My love-hate relationship with Gilmore Girls

So…for the past week, I have been rereading the first book in the Game of Thrones series. I’m just about halfway through it, so it’s going to be a while before I can write a review on it. For that reason, I thought I’d share my thoughts on a TV show that I’ve been watching quite a lot of recently. I know I’m about a decade late on the whole Gilmore Girls thing, but it’s been somewhat entertaining. If you’ve read my recent post about my sitcom addiction, you would know that I’ve been scrambling to find a good show to watch. Having had no luck in finding another sitcom, I decided to give Gilmore Girls a try.

Gilmore Girls

I’ve just finished season 3 of the show, and to tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure if I like it. Now why did I watch three seasons of a series that I don’t love? I don’t really know. At 22 episodes per season, binge watching three seasons of it in a two week period is no easy feat. I guess there’s just something about the show that’s sucking me in even as I’m sitting here, contemplating all of the things that I dislike about it.

Season 1 wasn’t that great in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. I really didn’t feel any chemistry between Rory and Dean. They were completely wrong for each other. Dean was too boring, and safe. He’d do anything to please Rory, and while that is an admirable trait in a boyfriend, it really doesn’t make their love story that interesting or entertaining to watch. I actually found myself rooting for Tristan instead, because he’s the riskier choice. He would have made the story more fun and unpredictable. Unfortunately, the writers never really gave Rory and Tristan’s relationship a chance to develop.

Season 2 was when things got a lot more exciting. If you’ve watched the series, you probably know why…Jess finally moves into town! Need I say more? Jess is a way better match for Rory than Dean will ever be. I do think the writers made Dean seem a lot more stupid in the second season in order to make Jess look better, and boy, did they succeed! There’s really no contest between Jess and Dean. I think Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) is better looking, and obviously smarter. He has a lot in common with Rory, which is why I think they make a better pair. He’s also the main reason why I’ve been watching the show nonstop for the past two days.

I admit I probably have a weakness for the “bad boys” seeing as I was all for Tristan in season 1, and now I’ve switched to Team Jess. All I can say is that they add just the right amount of danger and excitement to an otherwise boring town.

I am rather wary of starting season 4 though, because Jess is basically gone from the show now. I’ve also read a ton of spoilers online, so I know that Rory is going to have an affair with Dean again -.- I really don’t like his character, as nice as he is. I am curious to see if I’ll like Logan (Rory’s next love interest) who’ll make his first appearance in season 5, but I don’t really want to watch all of season 4 just to get to that…To all the Jess fans out there, is the show still worth watching after season 3?

I’m also getting a bit tired of Lorelai. Another reason why I’m a little hesitant about starting the next season. She seems to get progressively worse and more annoying as the show goes on. She’s terrible to her parents. And while I get that they can be quite controlling and snooty, Lorelai just takes everything to a whole new level. I think I started to really dislike her when she freaked out at her parents after she found out that Rory applied to Yale. She just can’t help but look for ways to push her parents away whenever they try to get involved with her and Rory’s lives.

I also hated the fact that she can’t seem to make up her mind when it comes to the men that she’s involved with. First, she dumps Max because she thought that Rory was getting too attached to him. A few weeks/months after their breakup, she shows up unannounced at his door, and sleeps with him. They go on to date again for a while, and they decide to get engaged. Then, a few days before they’re set to get married, Lorelai suddenly realizes that she doesn’t want to marry him anymore, and takes off. Who does that?! And here’s the kicker: months after their cancelled wedding, she sees Max again and kisses him, looking to start yet another relationship. Seriously? Can you be any more indecisive?! 😡

Even with all of the things that I hate about Lorelai, I do want to see her happy, which is honestly quite astonishing. I don’t know how the writers did it. They made her so unlikeable that at times you just want to kill her, BUT even then, you still end up hoping that she’ll get her happy ending.

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Book Review: Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Book Info:
Title: Mr. Perfect
Author: Linda Howard
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Print Length: 432 pages

Rating Comparison:
Goodreads: 4.08
Amazon.com: 4.2
Me: 4.0

I’ve had this book sitting in my TBR list for the past couple of months. Now, I’m just scratching my head, wondering why it took me so long to pick it up, especially when I’ve been in a bit of a book rut. I guess I really have no one to blame but myself for this one. I’ve been way too preoccupied with my TV shows, and my chick-lit that I almost missed out on a great book. Well, I’ve learned my lesson. I will try to make a conscious effort to read different genres of books from now on, because you never know what great stories you’re missing out on when you refuse to try new things ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In any case, here’s a little description of the book before I jump into my review.

What would make the perfect man?

Mr. PerfectThat’s the deliciously racy topic that Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends are pondering one night at their favorite after-hours hot spot: Mr. Perfect. Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted — or will just muscular do? As their conversation hears up, they concoct a tongue-in-cheek checklist that becomes an overnight sensation, spreading like wildfire at work and sizzling along e-mail lines. But what began as a joke among friends turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered….Turning to her neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, for help, Jaine must unmask a killer to save her friends — and herself. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival — as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.

The book starts off really strong with a very disturbing glimpse into the killer’s violent childhood. That first look at young Corin made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It was fascinatingly creepy. I knew then that this book was going to be great!

The story does lose a little bit of its momentum after that hair-raising prologue, but it picks up speed halfway through the book. Some parts of story were so creepy that I actually got scared of going to the bathroom in the middle of the night 🙄 …I’m a big scaredy cat 😐

Putting the creepiness aside though, I did enjoy Jaine and Sam together. The back and forth between them was very well-written, and entertaining. However, I wasn’t too crazy about how quickly things progressed between them. I personally think that it was a bit too rushed. It would’ve been better if Sam waited until the very end of the book to propose to Jaine. It just seems unrealistic that he would ask her to marry him a week after meeting her.

I was also quite bothered by how much attention the “list” was getting. I don’t really get what the big deal is. It definitely wasn’t news-worthy, so I was a bit skeptical about that whole scenario. I also thought that the men were overreacting when they got all worked-up about some of more risque items on the checklist. I definitely don’t think it’s anything worth breaking up a relationship over.

Overall, the story was really great. It’s really hard to put down once you get to the exciting parts midway through the book. The mystery of who the killer was had me guessing until the end. For that reason, I am going to give this book a 4 out of 5 rating. I definitely recommend this one!

My Rating: 4/5

Game of Thrones Season 5 Finale?! What? Why would you do that to us George R.R. Martin?!

Aaaaaahhh!….I’m still reeling over the ending of the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones… Warning, there WILL be spoilers on here, so if you haven’t seen season 5 yet, you should really get on that before reading this post.

Game of Thrones

Let me begin by first saying just how much I enjoyed season 5 of GoT. It is, by far, the best season of show, in my opinion. Every episode has left me excited for the next. They’ve deviated quite a bit from the books, but I think it was a great idea, since it made the show a lot more interesting. I personally loved A Feast of Crows (book #4 of the series), because Cersei finally got her own chapters! It was really fun reading from her perspective, because she’s one of those characters that you love to hate. I definitely had high expectations going into the fifth season, but thankfully, the show did not disappoint.

In season 5, we get to see a lot more of my favourite character, Arya. For the past few seasons, her parts in the show have been rather boring, but now we get see her in Braavos, where her storyline actually starts to pick up. The scene with her stabbing and ultimately killing the man in the brothel was so satisfying! I was silently cheering her on the whole time…You could say that I’m a little bloodthirsty 😈 but the man totally deserved it. If I’m not mistaken, that scene doesn’t actually take place in the book, but I’m glad that they added it in, because it makes Arya’s story a whole lot more interesting. I’m excited to see what’s in store for her in the coming seasons/books.

The show also did fantastic job with Dany’s storyline. To be quite honest, I started losing interest in her story after book 3 of the series, because it seemed like she was just dealing with one mutiny after another. She just seemed “stuck” in Meereen. The writers of show definitely made her storyline a lot more interesting this season, so I’m now very much looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen to her next. Pairing her up with Tyrion will surely make them unbeatable.

I do have one complaint about this season though. Ever since I finished reading book 4 of the series, I’ve been looking forward to seeing Cersei’s “walk of shame” on film. Reading about it in the book was so satisfying, because I got a look into what was going through her mind as it was happening, her hateful thoughts, her humiliation, etc. Watching the scene in the show, however, was not what I expected it to be. It didn’t give me the same satisfaction as it did in the book. It actually made me empathize with Cersei, and made me hate her less, which I personally didn’t like lol.

What’s up with the new member of The Kingsguard, by the way? The one who carried Cersei into the Red Keep? I’m pretty sure he wasn’t in the book. Is there some sort of Frankenstein shit going on here ❓ because I’m quite certain that that’s the Mountain, reincarnated from hell o_O

Anyway, I left this bit until the very end, because I’m still reeling over what just happened. I must have hit my head somewhere, and lost a chunk of my memory, because I don’t recall reading that in the book…BUT according to a friend of mine who’s also obsessed with the books, Jon actually does get stabbed at the end of book 5…Now, I feel like my anger and shock are completely misplaced. I definitely need to go back read the books again 😐 Hopefully book 6 will be out by the time I finish rereading the first five.

I do want to mention that there are a few theories out there regarding Jon’s death. I personally think he’s going to warg into his direwolf, but knowing GRRM’s penchant for killing off his characters, he could actually be dead. Well, here’s to hoping that he somehow survives being repeatedly stabbed in the gut…

George R.R. Martin, please finish book 6 as soon as humanly possible! I want to know what happens to Jon Snow! 😡

My sitcom addiction and “Raising Hope”

My name is Stephanie and I’m a sitcom addict…My latest obsession has been Raising Hope, a show about a man who becomes a single father after having a one night stand with a woman who turns out to be a serial killer. Sounds ridiculous? Pretty much…but it is, by far, one of the funniest shows that I’ve ever seen. This one is actually laugh-out-loud funny unlike most other sitcoms out there.

Raising Hope

For the past 2 weeks, I have been binge watching the show, going through 5 episodes or more every single day. It’s become such a staple in my nighttime routine that I’m going through major withdrawal right now :/ The only solution that I can think of is to find another fix. I’m frantically looking through IMDb for my next favourite show, but it seems like I’ve already seen all the good (and not-so-good) sitcoms out there 😦 So if you have any recommendations, please let me know! I’m desperate. I can’t go to sleep without my daily dose of sitcoms…

Anyway, going back to Raising Hope…I actually didn’t love it the first time I saw it, which was about a year ago. After watching the first 3 episodes, I ended up putting it aside, because I didn’t find it that funny. Then about two weeks ago, I picked it up again, because I didn’t have anything else to watch. And what do you know? I suddenly loved it! The first few episodes are still not that great, but I think it’s because the writers needed to set the stage first before getting into the funny bits. I definitely recommend watching past 5 or 6 episodes before you decide to give up on it, because it gets progressively funnier as the season goes on. I especially loved Maw Maw’s one-liners. I also had a lot of fun with the guest stars. A lot of them come in with references that you wouldn’t get unless you’ve seen shows like “My name is Earl” and “Yes, Dear.” Don’t worry though…you would still get the jokes even if you don’t get the little references.

I do think it gets a little bit less funny after season 2, but I still watched it until the very end. Now, I’m just sad that I have nothing left to watch, so please recommend me something 🙂

Book Review: Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams

Book Info:
Title:
Sincerely, Carter
Author: Whitney Gracia Williams
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Print Length: 272 pages
Notes: written in alternating first person perspective, past tense

Rating Comparison:
Goodreads:
4.16
Amazon.com: 4.6
Me: 3.5

First of all, I’d like to thank Amber for recommending this book. She mentioned that I might like it, and sure enough, I did! 🙂 I was actually going to wait to read her review before diving into this book, but I got too excited after getting a peek into the 1st chapter. Now it’s looking like I might even beat her to posting a book review on here lol 😀

Anyway, as per usual, here’s the synopsis on the back cover of the book:

Sincerely, CarterJust friends.
We’re just friends.
No, really. She’s just my best friend…

Arizona Turner has been my best friend since fourth grade, even when we “hated” each other. We’ve been there for one another through first kisses, first “times,” and we’ve been each other’s constant when good relationships turned bad. (We even went to colleges that were minutes away from each other…)

Throughout the years, and despite what anyone says, we’ve never crossed the line.

Never thought about it.
Never wanted to.

Until one night changed everything.
At least, it should’ve …

Just friends.
We’re just friends.
I’m only saying this until I figure out if she’s still “just” my best friend…

To be honest, I was actually a bit hesitant about starting this book, because it was categorized under “new adult.” I’ve never had much luck with that particular genre of books. Almost all of the male leads in the new adult romances that I’ve read were too immature for my taste. They’re usually all pierced, tattooed bad boys with emotional baggage, and anger problems… Carter was a refreshing change from that. He’s a lot more mature, and relatable. The opening chapter with him and Arizona in the fourth grade immediately grabbed me, because it reminded me so much of the book “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen. Both “Flipped” and “Sincerely, Carter” were written in alternating first person point of view, which I surprisingly didn’t mind. I usually like books to be written in third person, but I think using first person POV worked in this case, because it suited the style that the author was going for.

Warning, a few spoilers ahead!

I did have a problem with the pacing of the book though. The middle section was a bit slow and dragging for me, while the ending felt a little too rushed. I do think there was potential for more emotional development during Ari and Carter’s separation. The author could have made it a lot more heartbreaking if she really went in-depth into how her characters were feeling in that moment. I also felt like the conflict was too easily- and quickly-resolved after Ari comes back from France. Overall, the whole ending was just underdeveloped, and could’ve used a bit of work.

My last complaint about this book has to do with the break-up between Ari and Sean. It may just be one of the worst break-ups – if not the worst – that I have ever read in a book. It was so poorly executed and rushed. Sean definitely didn’t deserve to be dumped like that after pretty much baring his soul in front of Ari’s family and friends. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy – although I could’ve done without the whole promise ring scene… 🙄 The author really should’ve spent more time crafting a better break-up for those two characters.

Anyway, while the book isn’t perfect, to say the least, it was entertaining enough to earn a 3.5 rating from me. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a light summer read! 🙂

My Rating: 3.5/5

Book Review: Spencer by Kerry Heavens

Book Info:
Title:
Spencer
Author: Kerry Heavens
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, maybe a bit of Erotica
Print Length: 372 pages
Notes: written in alternating first person perspective, present tense

Rating Comparison:
Goodreads: 4.09
Amazon.com: 4.6
Me: 1.5

Ugh, this book was such a struggle to finish. I really wanted to like it, but I just had a difficult time getting into the story. Sorry to the person who recommended it to me! ^^’ We’re simply going to have to agree to disagree in this case. I am sad to say that I am part of the minority who just didn’t love Spencer and Jazz together.

Anyway, before I launch into my review, here’s the little blurb that I grabbed from Goodreads:

Spencer

@TheSpencerRyan exudes confidence,

I mean, have you seen him???
His dark good looks and tattooed muscled perfection are too much.
He’s hot. Lickably hot.
And he has a way with words that leaves me breathless.
But cocky doesn’t even cover it,
this guy is so arrogant you have to fight back.
But God he’s so lickable!
The thing is though,
he looks like sex but he’ll taste like jackass.

@OMGJazzyP is a sexy, annoying ball of rage in fuck-me heels
and she hates me.
Although her nipples would tend to disagree.
It’s a deadly combination.
She’s a princess.
And when I say princess, I mean intolerable, spoiled brat with a tiara.
Sure she’s got that curvaceous goddess thing going on,
but that mouth of hers…
God it needs something in it to shut it up.
#GotJustTheThingRightHere

This is not your average British romance.
It’s a tale of high heels, hot tattooed bad boys and
sex oranges, all wrapped up in a coating of chocolate.
It’s ‘love’ in a social media world,
where not everyone is who they seem
and where some people’s bios should carry a warning.
#JustSayin”

First of all, this book was written in 1st person perspective, something that I tend to avoid. Usually, I like books to be written in 3rd person, because it gives me the most insight into all of the characters’ actions, thoughts, and feelings. While the author, in this case, does alternate between telling the story from Jazz’s point of view to Spencer’s, I found that it still fell short in delivering a complete and insightful narrative. Another problem that I had was the use of present tense. I personally find that writing in past tense flows better, but I’m just being nitpicky now :\

The real reason as to why I had so much trouble finishing this book was because of the unlikeable male lead. Spencer was, in all honesty, shallow, vain, and narcissistic. At one point in the book, Spencer even says, and I quote…”Looking at myself in the mirror is usually one of my favourite activities.” 🙄 …Let that sink in for just a moment…

How is that not a turn off for all the women out there?! I’m astounded by the number of times he checks himself out in the mirror, and the number of times he poses for selfies…I really should have paid more attention to the cover photo before deciding to read the book. It’s a dead giveaway of Spencer’s personality… Don’t get me wrong; he does seem to become less self-involved as the story goes on, but by then, I was already way too turned off.

Jazz, on the other hand, was just an “okay” character for me. There were times when I got really annoyed by her lack of control, and self-respect, but other than that, she was fine. I have to say, though, that “Fine” and “okay” are probably 2 adjectives that you wouldn’t want your readers to be using to describe your fictional characters…

It’s also worth mentioning that the interaction between Spencer and Jazz consisted entirely of light bantering and flirting. I felt like they never really connected on a deeper level, because of this. They didn’t even know the most basic facts about each other (e.g., what Jazz did for a living, where Spencer’s parent were, etc.). They only find out about those things closer to the end of the book, and they don’t even hear it from each other. Instead, they had to talk to mutual friends in order to learn more about each other’s past.

It still irks to think about the number of times Jazz and Spencer got into fights/arguments over Twitter. They both came across as very immature and passive-aggressive in a lot of the posts that they made online. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was with Jazz for not blocking/unfollowing Spencer after he repeatedly dared her to.

One thing that I won’t be able deny is the sexual chemistry between the main characters. It was clearly evident in the length and the number of pages dedicated to the sex scenes. I’m actually wondering if this book should be categorized under erotica ❓ I did find myself skimming through the sex scenes after the first two or three, because it just started to get repetitive. They would fight, and then have sex, and that would just repeat over and over again. After a while, I realized that there wasn’t a lot of emotional “meat” to the story. It was just a lot of hot steamy sex. With that said, the book definitely did not need to be as long as it was. It was dragging in so many parts.

Now that I’ve spewed out all of my complaints, I should probably say that I did enjoy a bit of their social media interaction, especially when they weren’t being passive aggressive. I think the concept of using Twitter and direct messages is pretty original. It was actually what caught my attention when I first came across this book. But even with that bit of originality, I’m still going to have to give this book a 1.5/5 rating 😦 I most likely will not be reading any more books from this particular author.

My Rating: 1.5/5

USA dominating the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Vail

The title of this post says it all…The American athletes absolutely dominated. Nathaniel Coleman, whom I’ve never even heard of before last week’s comp, took the silver medal at today’s event in Vail, Colorado. In Toronto last week, he also placed second. He’s definitely starting off the season really strong, beating out other veteran climbers.

Megan Mascarenas (left) fixing her shoe mid-climb XD and Nathaniel Coleman (right) doing a 360 campus move

Megan Mascarenas (left) fixing her shoe mid-climb XD and Nathaniel Coleman (right) doing a 360° campus move

Megan Mascarenas, another American, was also really amazing in the finals today. At 17, she’s fairly new to the big events. I’ve only seen her climb at a few other bouldering competitions, but she managed to take the gold, topping 3 out of the 4 problems! I definitely was not expecting that. I thought for sure one of the more experienced climbers would win the comp, but these young athletes are coming out, blowing everyone out of the water. My pick, Juliane Wurm, didn’t even make it to the semis, which was a complete shock to everyone. Anna Stohr, my second pick, made it into the finals, but unfortunately had to bow out after topping the F2 problem due to a finger injury. I do hope her finger heals nicely for the next event in China.

Well, at least one favourite of mine in the female category managed to podium today 🙂 Shauna Coxsey took the bronze medal, having been edged out by Akiyo Noguchi for 2nd place.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the competition. Jan Hojer, one of my favourites in the male category, took the gold, making a lot of the problems look so easy and effortless.

I was also super pumped about the fact that there were 2 Canadians in the finals! 😀 Sean McColl did really well in the semis, qualifying 1st. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to podium in the finals, having only topped 2 problems, but I was still really happy with the way he climbed. He’s always such a pleasure to watch.

Jason Holowach, the other Canadian who made it into the finals, placed 7th (last) in the male category, but you know what…this was his first ever competition, so I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing how he does in the upcoming events.

It was very interesting to see so many North Americans make it into the finals in Vail today. Usually bouldering competitions are dominated by the Europeans and the Asians, so maybe we’re starting to see a change in the mix here?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Special mention goes to Alex Johnson. She, unfortunately, didn’t make it through to finals, but it was great listening to her cheer on her fellow athletes. She made the commentary a lot more interesting with her humour and amazing personality 🙂