Star Wars : The Last Jedi (Film Review)

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi
Written By: Rian Johnson
 2h 32min | 15 December 2017 | Lucasfilm & Disney

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

Star Wars, as a long time fan of the Franchise I'm not one who tends to be too overly critical of the films. I have my annoyances sure, my own preferences but overall I can say I've never walked away from a Star Wars Film overly horrified. Okay, Rogue One might have been the exception but that wasn't because it was a bad film that ending just shook me to my core. 

The Last Jedi, for me, brought much of what I had hoped for in The Force Awakens. We got a taste of the past, the old characters while actually getting to explore a new story, a new world, new characters. This film felt much less lost in nostalgia than the last.

It had a lot going for it. Rey's strength and unwillingness to give up. Finn's dedication to proving that among everything he'd done he does want to be a hero of the resistance. The sexual chemistry between Poe and literally everyone. BB-8 comes out as the clear, on top hero of it all and my new favorite droid of the entire franchise. I'm sorry've officially been dethroned, you were never this helpful.


One thing I really have to say was that I was underwhelmed with the character of Rose. Which, is kind of a bummer. I was pretty excited about the prospect at first, here she was this female mechanic and engineer with this sad backstory, a sister that was instrumental in taking down the enemy ship, and literally gave her life to do so and..... we get a Fangirl. 

Her personality was a bit flat, which I just sort of let slide as part of the anti-social, timid thing and yet like a badass, she'd turned around and stunned Finn like no big deal. I don't... I just don't really know what to make of her. It felt like she was really a wasted opportunity. 

Then they just sort of ... throw in this 'I love you' moment with Finn a guy she's known for.... a day? I sat there feeling extremely uncomfortable, waiting for Finn to open up and confess "...uhhh too soon." Because really, really, really too soon.  I'm pretty disappointed in the writers on this one, I though Disney had grown beyond the 'we just met and fell in love' storyline, I think she could have been an amazing character and after that near-death confession, I was sitting there, kind of wishing she'd died. 

I just don't understand who that moment was for... because looking around at the audience none of us wanted that... Finn didn't seem all that into it either. We were trying to give him the opportunity to realize that he matter to someone because I think if that was the idea it undercut the obvious way that Poe, Ren and ummm BB-8 love Finn. He didn't need this at that moment, we didn't need it at that moment so what the actual f?

I don't know maybe it'll come together more in the next film. 

Kylo Ren and Rey were #goals for about 20 minutes of the movie off and on. I also think that it was a wasted opportunity to be the redemption of the darkside before it was too late. What a mind fuck that would have been, but instead the moment was squashed like a bug. The ending fight scene was kind of great and there were hints that had me going 'wait..why-' and then it made itself clear. I had figured it out a bit before it was revealed. 

Over all I really enjoyed it. It was its own true story with the base of true Star Wars at its core. If you haven't seen it yet, get up and get going! 

Fangirl's Guide to Loki Fashion

Can I please just say that this is the moment I've been waiting for since the very first Thor movie came out. I have always loved Loki, his mischievous ways, his attitude, everything about him was fantastic. The one major problem I always had was finding ways to show it.

I remember my first trip the local comic con, among the tables and walls of t-shirts and hoodies there was extremely limited among of Loki Merchandise available. In fact, I recall a grand total of two t-shirt designs that featured the God of Mischief and really not much else.

Not to say I haven't found my fair share of Fangirl wear but when you work in an office environment it could be hard to find work appropriate attire. That is where Her Universe and Hot Topic has come to the rescue.

So many of their pieces are Subtle enough for everyday wear but have the details that any true fangirl, or boy would recognize. EVEN BETTER There's now an entire Loki line! Christmas list complete.


$49.90 $39.92 USD

Currently 20% off 

Sizes XS-3X

Available at HER UNIVERSE

Also Available at HOT TOPIC

This piece is beautiful and could be easily dressed up, pair with a blazer for work and when you look at the green velvet fabric you see the Loki crown embellished dress. I would wear this to work, also a Christmas party, out on a date. Very versatile.


$69.90 USD


Ony Available at HOT TOPIC

This piece I am absolutely in love with, the Her Universe website had a black version of it but I feel like the green really captures the Loki spirit. It's cut much like Loki's costume and If you get a closer look at the lapel on the jacket it's clear to see the little gold studs with his crown featured. I would happily add this piece to my wardrobe and get a lot of use out of it.


$59.90 $47.92

Currently 20% off 

Sizes XS-3X

Available at HER UNIVERSE

This would be a super cute workpiece if you love that cape look. I prefer it as seen in the photo here with a long sleeve black shirt underneath because it helps it looked like a complete piece. I have seen photos of it over a lighter short sleeve shirt and I feel like the contrast actually takes away from the blazer as a whole. Plus it's winter up here in Canada and the thought alone is leaving me chilly!

Do you have any favorite fangirl pieces that you own and wear on the regular? I'd love to see what you've got!

The Becoming of Noah Shaw

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1)
by Michelle Hodkin
384 pages | November 7th 2017 | Simon & Schuster Books

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after. 

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.  They’re wrong. Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t. And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart. They’re right.

I admittedly started reading this book with apprehension. Now usually when an author does this it either goes really well or terribly. I'm happy to say, at least in my humble opinion, this one went really well. If you have not read the Mara Dyer series do not even pick up this book, you'll be confused and won't be able to enjoy the storyline. 

This story picks up not long after the end of The Retribution of Mara Dyer. As a spin-off series, the character continues their journey together. It was intriguing and refreshing getting to see things from a perspective of another character in this story is amazing. Getting inside Noah's head, finally, really understanding his character. 

I liked the change of dynamic within the character relationship. I think people who may have disliked Noah's character for how he sort of fell in line, will appreciate getting to see how he reevaluated himself and their relationship. It was moving, a bit heartbreaking but necessary for their connection to evolve and change. At the end of the book, all I wanted was more!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend to fans of the original series

Michelle Hodkin is the author of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, which was a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling series. The trilogy, which includes The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, and The Retribution of Mara Dyer, was described as “haunting and dreamlike” by Cassandra Clare and “darkly funny, deliciously creepy, and genuinely thoughtful” by Veronica Roth. Lev Grossman has called Hodkin “One of the greatest talents in Young Adult fiction.” The novels were praised by Romantic Times, MTV’s Hollywood Crush, and the Los Angeles Times, and books from the series appeared on several state reading lists. Additionally, The Retribution of Mara Dyer was selected as one of’s Top 10 YA Books of 2014. Hodkin grew up in Florida, went to college in New York, and studied law in Michigan, before finally settling in Brooklyn last year. 

Thor: Ragnarok (Film Review)

Thor: Ragnarok
Director Taika Waititi
2h 10min | 3 November 2017 | Walt Disney Studios

Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization

All I can say is finally. Over the years of Avengers films and individual ones, Thor has sort of become the MCU's running joke. The strong, good-looking Prince of Asgard who wasn't meant to be taken seriously.  He had never truly had a moment to become the hero we needed him to be. While the rest of our Avengers have had their emotional journeys Thor's were usually overshadowed rather quickly and he went back to being the good-looking joke. I think the greater problem was that they never really properly acknowledged that role within the story and he was placed in these 'serious' storylines and stuck out awkwardly within them. 

Finally, someone got it right, maybe it was the haircut or the destruction of his crutch of a hammer, but the movie started out treating everything around him as one big joke and continued throughout the film while managing to maintain a very real threat within the story line. 

Thor finally evolves a character, as a hero, as a king of his people. By the end of the film I was rejoicing in the fact that he was finally the badass we knew he could be. Plus there's a lot of Loki in this movie which is reason enough to run out and see it! I am so happy to finally be able to say that I loved a Thor movie! 

The Audible Addiction

I never thought a time in my life would come where I would find that I didn't have oodles of time to read. I am a fast reader, and when I love a story I can get through it in a day if I'm dedicated enough. I used to read two to three books in a week, so many more in a month. Then with working, soccer, writing my own stories I suddenly found books that were taking me a couple days suddenly were taking me weeks, sometimes months to finish. MONTHS. Totally unheard of for me.

So I have to admit I was pretty thrilled with my 30-day free membership from AUDIBLE, Amazon's audio book company. Listening to the books take a bit longer than if I were reading them myself but the difference is that I can listen anywhere! In the car on the way to work, in the kitchen while I'm cooking, in the bathroom getting ready in the morning. You name it, I can listen to a book while I do (within reason of course). The same can't be said for holding my paperbacks up.

Books I'd been putting off reading are done, or books that were exceptionally long and overwhelming to look at were much easier for me to listen to. Since signing up for Audible I've listening to so many different stories including Ender's Game and most recently starting The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The enjoyment of an audio book really depends a lot on the narrator so ALWAYS look at the reviews, they will tell you a lot because even a great book can be ruined by bad narration.

Still, if you're been putting off trying audio books there's really no time like the present and if you're already a member let me know why, and how you like to enjoy your audio books!

If you're not a member yet try the offer below for two free books!!

The Virgin's Daughter

The Virgin's Daughter (Tudor Legacy #1)
By Laura Andersen
368 pages | May 26th 2015 | Ballantine Books


Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, The Virgin's Daughter is the first book in a captivating new saga about the next generation of Tudor royals, which poses the thrilling question: What if Elizabeth I, the celebrated Virgin Queen, gave birth to a legitimate heir? 

Since the death of her brother, William, Elizabeth I has ruled England. She’s made the necessary alliances, married Philip of Spain, and produced a successor: her only daughter, Anne Isabella, Princess of Wales. Elizabeth knows that her beloved Anabel will be a political pawn across Europe unless she can convince Philip to grant her a divorce, freeing him to remarry and give Spain its own heir. But the enemies of England have even greater plans for the princess, a plot that will put Anabel’s very life and the security of the nation in peril. Only those closest to Elizabeth—her longtime confidante Minuette, her advisor and friend Dominic, and the couple’s grown children—can be trusted to carry forth a most delicate and dangerous mission. Yet, all of the queen’s maneuverings may ultimately prove her undoing. 

I will start by saying that while I enjoy historical fiction and alternate story lines I also enjoy history a great deal. That being said I was hesitant to even give this book a change the moment I read the blurb line 'Since the death of her brother, William' given the fact that I know Queen Elizabeth I brother was Edward. I blinked in confusion staring at it for a moment before I realized that this was a completely alternate universe where Willaim was a fictional son of Anne Boleyn from the author's The Boleyn King book. 

So beware although it indicates that it's the first in a series, it's really not! It's a So spin off of the author's other series. Either way, I decided to give the book a shot, but I will recommend to other readers that you start with the others books first to best understand the whole alternate world the book is set in.  

It was worth a read though, this story of how Elizabeth I life might have been was well written, intriguing and enjoyable. Those who have a thirst for accurate historical interpretation will likely not enjoy the spin of the tale but I found to my surprise that I did! 

Laura Andersen has one husband, four children, and a college degree in English that she puts to non-profitable use by reading everything she can lay her hands on. Books, shoes, and travel are her fiscal downfalls, which she justifies because all three ‘take you places.’ She loves the ocean (but not sand), forests (but not camping), good food (but not cooking), and shopping (there is no downside.) She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

The Jane Austen BBC Radio Drama Collection

The Jane Austen BBC Radio Drama Collection: Six BBC Radio Full-Cast Dramatisations
By: Jane Austen
14 hrs 30 | 03-17-16 | BBC Worldwide Limited

A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels.

Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle.

Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.

Sense and Sensibility: forced to leave their family home after their father's death, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood try to forge a new life at Barton Cottage.

Pride and Prejudice: Mrs Bennet is determined to get her five daughters married well, so when the wealthy Mr Bingley and his friend, Mr Darcy, move into the neighbourhood, her hopes are raised....

Emma: Emma Woodhouse declares she will never marry, but she is determined to find a match for her friend, Harriet.

Persuasion: eight years ago, Anne Elliot rejected a marriage proposal from a handsome but poor naval officer. Now her former love has returned....

With an all-star cast including David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia McKenzie, Jenny Agutter, Toby Jones, Eve Best and Juliet Stevenson, these BBC radio adaptations are full of humour, romance, love lost and love regained.

This collection is absolutely perfect for readers new to the Jane Austen world, and it's a treat for those woh are already fans. The stories have been dramatised while managing to keep hold of the original stories and really pull you into the world of Austen. 

I had previously read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility but had never had the pleasure or perhaps the time these days to venture into Austen's other works. I'm so glad I bought this program because as it turns out, while Mr Darcy still makes me swoon, Northanger Abbey's Mr. Tilney is my new favorite Austen Hero.

This program is fun, engaging, funny and keeps you entertained. I listened to it at the lake, in the car, before bed. I couldn't get enough of it! I'm so sad to be finished. 

The only thing I will say, was that the cover is rather misleading, it lists big names such as Benedicts Cumberbatch and David Tennant which initially made me think they would be voicing characters throughout the whole series however that is not the case. It seems like a marketing ploy it was used to get people's attention. 

However, It doesn't affect my opinion of the program over all because I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking to venture into Jane Austen, or those hoping to revisit her works in a fresh way.  I'm quite sure you will not regret it. 

**If you're not yet an audible member scroll up to the banner that gives your two free audio books for joining! Audible is now my favorite app! I can still read even when I feel that I don't have the time! Audio books are amazing. 

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Director: James Gunn
PG-13 | 2h 16min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 5 May 2017

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill's true parentage.

Huh. That was the only expression I had after watching Guardians Vol. 2. This might have been one of those scenarios where it was best to go in with no expectations but after how much I loved the first film, I was expecting a bigger better one this time around.

Instead, it just felt like... a lot more of the same jokes but the actual story was forced and felt almost like they were really reaching for something they just didn't achieve.

The first movie managed to do, as Marvel does so well, balance a serious storyline all while embracing the humour and absurdity that is Guardians of The Galaxy.

This movie seemed to struggle to find that balance and frankly, its only real saving grace was Baby Groot. Who would have even thought you'd hear me say that Vin Diesel saved a movie, seriously.

 Everytime you were getting bored and wondering why you were wasting your time on this story, Baby Groot would have an adorable and or hilarious moment and bring you back.

I HATED Ego as the father of Peter Quill. I think the director made a huge mistake changing the Canon for this storyline because well, it was just the worst. It was corny and bad and it overshadowed everything else. On top of taking away from the Guardians story,  Kurt Russel was just bad I'm sorry. In a cinematic universe that brought us likeable, relatable villains such as Loki, I expected so much better.

I LOVED Yondu in this film. Here we have a man we thought was a villain who really was just trying to be a Dad, create a family. I think his *SPOILER ALERT* sacrifice was really a touching moment though I was confused why they bothered bringing up the whole Ravager issue when they weren't going to elaborate on that backstory more that that weird scene with Sylvester Stallone.

In review, I guess, if you're a Marvel fan you should see it though it really didn't provide anything more to the MCU in my opinion. I expected there to be a bigger focus on the infinity stones and learning more about the different planets and realms and ...while it touched on them briefly, it didn't give us much to take away.

As a Marvel fan, I'm sad to say that I wished I'd seen Wonder Woman instead.

The Scribe of Siena (Review)

The Scribe of Siena 
by Melodie Winawer
464 pages | May 16th 2017 | Touchstone


Equal parts transporting love story and gripping historical conspiracy—think The Girl with a Pearl Earring meets Outlander—debut author Melodie Winawer takes readers deep into medieval Italy, where the past and present blur and a twenty-first century woman will discover a plot to destroy Siena.

Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city.

After uncovering the journal and paintings of Gabriele Accorsi, the fourteenth-century artist at the heart of the plot, Beatrice finds a startling image of her own face and is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague.

Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs.

The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read the synopsis of this book, only that it sounded similar to Outlander and I knew that I'd enjoyed (am still enjoying, give me a break it's a long audio book) that story. So I figured this one would be equally enjoyable. The short, yes and no. 

I enjoyed it but I wasn't thrilled or wowed by it. Tuscany is one of my favourite regions of Italy and I was excited at the prospect of seeing a modern day woman thrown into the middle of it hundreds of years ago. That portion of it was sort of underwhelming. It felt like the historical aspect and goals of the heroine were drowned out beneath the romance. I love romance in literature, I do, but I don't like when it overshadows the plot.  

I would have loved to have seen this story without the romance and see what it could have become, or at least without much of the romance. I think the intrigue of the story drew me in had nothing to do with the romance and everything to do with the discovery of this ancient conspiracy. 

I definitely recommend reading it. It was enjoyable it just wasn't my favourite. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC of this novel. 

Photograph © Dana Maxon
Melodie Winawer is a physician-scientist and Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. A graduate of Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University with degrees in biological psychology, medicine, and epidemiology, she has published forty-seven nonfiction articles and book chapters. She is fluent in Spanish and French, literate in Latin, and has a passable knowledge of Italian. Dr. Winawer lives with her spouse and their three young children in Brooklyn, New York. The Scribe of Siena is her first novel.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Film Review)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
PG-13 | 2h 9min | Disney | May 26, 2017

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. 

Pirates you're back! After the complete travesty that was Stranger Tides and At World's End, Dead Men Tell No Tales comes back with a vengeance. It falls back to a complex but easy to follow storyline that keeps you intrigued. If I'm being honest, however, which I always try to do, I could have easily done without Jack Sparrow. I'm not sure why, or what was different about this film but the way that character was presented was incredibly different than what we're used to. The voice, the classic lines, they all weren't delivered with the familiarity of the Jack Sparrow that became an icon.

What I will say is that the new cast made up for it. Brenton Twaites was exceptional as Will & Elizabeth Turner's son. I have to admit it was the draw of this storyline that pulled me into seeing the movie to begin with. Physically he was a perfect combination of both but his acting was great and there were definite moments where he just oozed this 'Will Turner' vibe from the first film. Any true POTC fangirl would appreciate.

Kaya Scodelario was also exceptional as Astronomer Carina Smyth. We spend the movie wondering who this young scientist's father is (and you guess and guess) and the reveal is sort of an anti-climax because while the reveal was surprising and made for a beautiful moment within the film, I though the realisation on both ends would have been a bit more shock factor and a bit less... well, how it was.

I am also not sure why Henry Turner's identity was kept a secret so long in the media. Because, unlike in the original Pirates of the Caribbean, we learn who Henry is within the first few minutes of the film. It was never some huge secret that he is Will's son, in fact, he tells Jack immediately. It may have added an additional layer of intrigue to the film if that was kept a secret a little bit longer, at least from the other characters.

Over all I was impressed, this was the POTC sequel that we all deserved. It could have been improved certainly but it had be intrigued and certainly left me wanting more which I can say, Stranger Tides certainly did not.