Saturday Movie Review: The Princess

The Princess is a new action thriller on Hulu that was released this past summer. It caught my attention when I was skimming through Hulu trying to find something to watch. It looked like a female driven movie and I was excited to check it out. The premise of the movie is that a princess refuses to wed a cruel suitor and is then kidnapped and locked in a tower. Once she is free from her bindings, the princess discovers that the kingdom is in danger and it up to her to save it.

Joey King stars as the leading role of the princess. The role is intense and involves alot of physical stunts as the princess defends herself against the guards of the man leading the coup against the kingdom. It turns out that it is the man she was supposed to marry and he is also holding her family hostage. I was curious if the actress was actually doing all of these stunts and upon looking it up, it turned out that she did indeed do a majority of them. This was very impresses as there are many kicks, flips, and punches delivered.

As a character, the princess is very strong headed and has been secretly training as a fighter. When her father finds out, he immediately demands she stop. In this medieval type kingdom, it is the men who are the warriors and who will run the kingdom. This is the main reason for the arranged marriage as the king has no male heirs. I liked how strong this character and and how she took control of her own life. Were her actions predictable at times? Yes but I still was engaged in the battle.

The whole movie is basically one long fighting segment. There are brief flashback moments which tell the story of the princess. There are also little tidbits of humor through. This helps break up some of the on screen tenison. The battle scenes will not be for the faint of heart as there is quite a bit of blood and dismemberment. It can get a little gruesome honestly and the body is count is epically high.

As gruesome as it was, I did enjoy The Princess. It was nice to watch a female character that was able to defense herself and not wait to be rescued. This woman is no damsel in distress. She was determined to take down the patriarchy around her! The whole movie is based around the princess saving her kingdom so there are plenty of ups and downs. There really is no other focus which I found good because I was able to just focus on the princess and not a bunch of other stories. Overall, the movie is fun, adventurous , and just a good way to live vicarious through a bad ass medieval woman.

Rating: 4 Stars

Looks Good On Paper | Kilby Blades | Book Review

Looks Good On Paper is such a sweet contemporary romance. I was hooked right from the beginning. Of course that might be because I’m a sucker for romances that start out as two strangers connecting over a shared passion. In this case it is pen pals Zuri and Nico. Zuri is an American who signed up for a pen pal exchanged hosted by her favorite Italian paper company. Nico is the part owner of the paper company and recently had to step down as CEO due to some conflict in his personal life. He shares the company with his brother Alessandro. Alessandro is originally supported to be Zuri’s pen pal but due to his poor English he asks his brother for help. So Nico writes the letters disguised as Alessandro and finds himself unexpectedly falling for the woman who shares his love for paper.

Zuri has loved paper and stationary for as long as she can remember. Having a pen pal in another country is the distraction she needs right now. Between her awful job and some personal family issues, she feels like she is about to lose it. It is really nice for her to find someone who she connects with on so many different levels. When she finds herself taking a vacation to Europe, she knows she needs to meet his mystery man.

When Zuri heads to Europe is when things really start to get interesting. Their letters to each other are sweet but when they meet face to face the sparks are flying. Except Nico is still keeping his true identity a secret. I understood why he would do that as a way to protect himself and the business but I also knew that the secret keeping was likely going to blow up in his face. I couldn’t help but feel for Nico though as he is such a sweet guy who has gotten in way over his head.

The characters growth that is seen through the story is well done. Both characters become stronger individuals are they each finally deal with incidents that happened in the past. They are also quite the force together as they collaborate on how to make the paper company stronger. I thought Zuri and Nico balanced each other out perfectly.

Looks Good On Paper had me wanting to buy more stationary and take a trip to Italy. The descriptions of Italy were so beautiful and were gr such a wonderful background for Zuri and Nico’s growing relationship. The romance is sweet with a little bit of heat that will give you butterflies in your stomach. Basically everything really does good look good on paper.

Rating> 4 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

The Littlest Library | Poppy Alexander | Book Review

The Littlest Library follows thirty-two year old Jessica “Jess” Metcalfe as she moves to the small village of Middlemass finding new friends and adventure. There are a series of events that play a role in her decision to move. At the forefront though is the recent death of her grandmother who raised her since she was a little girl. The move is a bit of a spur of the moment but when she sees the ivy cottage for the first time, she feels like she is coming home.

The cottage has not been lived in for a while so there is much work that needs to be done. Jess has a strong mental picture of what she would like it to look like when it is finished. There is also this old phone booth on the property that is shared with the community. Before she knows it, Jess is pulled into deciding what to do with the phone booth and helps turn it into a small library. There is no public library so the small library immediately becomes a hit. All of the books that are being used belong to Jess or her grandmother so they all have a special place in her heart.

Living in the village of Middlemass helps open Jess up. She has always kept to herself afraid to miss out on time with her grandmother. She only has one close friend that she keeps in touch with. The women of the village immediately take her under their wing giving her advice and helping support the little library. I really enjoyed the creation of the library within the phone booth and the way it brought the community together. There are literary references and tiny tidbits of wisdom coming from the little library though out the story.

There is a hint of romance within this story but it often felt like it was an afterthought. There really is not enough evolution of the dynamic between Jess and her neighbor Aiden. At first they bump heads and annoy each other but slowly they become friends. It never felt like it really moved past that though. There was quite a bit of this story that felt repetitive to me. Much of what was being said or done could have honestly been condensed. I also felt that some things were rushed in order to be finished and I just didn’t feel that was necessary. Alot seems to happen away from the page and it was just expected that the reader would catch on to help the story move forward.

The Littlest Library has the feel of a small community that is in need of books. When the little library is created there are sever characters who immediately become attached to it. I enjoyed the creation of the library in such a unique space. It brought something special to the community. The rest of the book did not really bring anything to me. It felt redundant and honestly just hit me as an “okay book”. There is nothing wrong with an ‘okay book” but in this case it really felt like there was something missing.

Rating: 3 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Aces Wild: A Heist | Amanda Dewitt | Audiobook Review

Why did I listen to Aces Wild: A Heist?

I came across Aces Wild: A Heist on Netgalley and was immediately intrigued. A complete cast of asexual characters who are meeting for the first time in Las Vegas? Plus, there may be some sort of heist involved? Count me in!

What’s the story here?

Gambling is in Jack Shannon’s blood. His mother is a big time casino mogul in Las Vegas and it’s the only life has has ever known. When his mom is suddenly arrested everything starts falling apart. Jack knows his mom was sold out and becomes determined to clear her name. He recruits his closest friends and together they plan a heist of a high-stakes gambling club of his mom’s biggest rival, Peter Carlevaro.

How did I like Aces Wild: A Heist?

Aces Wild: A Heist was a story that had so much potential but ultimately left me wanting more. I enjoyed the representation of asexual characters and how each of them had different personality quirks. This is a really strong group of friends and I loved how they all met online through fandom forums and an asexual support group. It was such a positive look at internet friendships including the things that aren’t always revealed until you see each other in person.

While the friendship was such a strong part of the story, the heist was not. It is sprinkled through with moments of sneaking into the rival casino. Yet there was never really any buildup for the full out heist. IN fact everything felt packed into the last few chapters. I really felt like this could have been spread out a bit or at least make it feel more intense. I just felt like something was missing especially when it say it is a heist in the title.

How was the narration?

Aces Wild: A Heist is narrated by Robbie Daymond. It is 10 hours and 27 minutes in length. I listen to it at 1.x speed which was a good pace for the story for me. The narrators voice was pretty evenly paced throughout. I just wish there had been a little bit more distinction in the voices of the characters. Granted everything was being told via the main characters perspective, a little change in tone may help keep a listeners attention.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is held by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today’s topic is all about the books on you Fall TBR list!

What are some of the books on your Fall TBR?

Count Your Lucky Stars | Alexandria Bellefleur | Book Review

Count Your Lucky Stars is the third novel in the Written in the Stars series. I have really enjoyed reading these books and have become attached to the characters. And if I’m honest Margot has become my favorite character. I couldn’t wait for her to get her happily ever after! So much so that I admittedly kept putting off reading this one. I recently finally bit the bullet and I’m so glad I did. No disappointment here!

Margot has made it loud and clear that she does not do relationships. Casual hook ups are her specialty and no feelings are hurt. Unfortunately, her friends have all found their happily ever after’s and she is starting to feel all alone or like she is in the way. She tries to keep herself busy helping plan the dream wedding for her friends Brendon and Annie. Suddenly, a blast from the past – her childhood friend and first love Olivia – and Margot’s whole world is flipped upside down.

It has been ten years but neither Olivia or Margot have forgotten each other. The first time cross path is so good! You could just tell there is alot of unresolved history between them. There were so many sparks and that was just from the initial conversation and eye contact. Then they find themselves living under the same roof and that is really when their chemistry shows.

Even with the chemistry between them both Margot and Olivia have their reservations. they each gave their hearts to their bond before and wound up broke hearted. Plus, there are still misunderstandings between them which affect their ability to commit. Alexandria Bellefleur does such a good job writing these characters. The way their dynamic is written is both spicy and heartfelt and I love every minute of it.

The dynamic between all the friends is also so well written. Even though there are two other books in the series, you can easily understand these friendships. I loved how thy welcomed Olivia into the group and never made her feel like she was just the wedding planner. And they were one hundred percent behind Margot – supporting her and also not afraid to call her out. Everyone is so accepting of each others queerness and are a hilarious group of friends.

Count Your Lucky Stars continues the bright path which Alexandria Bellefleur has created with her other romantic comedies. The characters are real with flaws and sincere emotions and very easy to get attached to. Especially Margot – I just loved her evolution as a person. I was very happy as a reader with the way everything was put together. I look forword to seeing what this author comes up with next.

Rating: 5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Sh*t I Say To Myself | Katie Krimer LCSW | Book Review

Sh*t I Say To Myself is a self-help guide written by psychotherapist Katie Krimer regarding how to break up with a toxic mindset. Using cognitive behavioral therapy, the author provides the reader with techniques of letting go of negative thoughts and moving forward with positivity and confidence. This is a straight forward approach to improving one self and provided individuals with tools to remove the toxicity. It is approachable and broken down in a way that is easy for a “common” person to understand.

Personally, I really enjoyed the authors snarky approach to the topic. She uses approachable language and examples from her own life. She refers to herself as a former negative thinker and expresses how much better she feels without the toxicity. There are 40 main points that are focused on and several organigrams are used for visual reference. These diagrams are helpful and would be a good ting to post for helpful reminders.

The 40 main points are each broken down into small categories and short chapters. Each chapter has an example of the negative thought and how to remove it from your life. I found this guide to be an easy but also a bit repetitive. Due to the repetitiveness, it did take me a while to finish reading. I just kept drifting in and out of the desire to read it.

Sh*t I Say To Myself uses a proven professional technique in a way that is easy and understandable. The way Katie Krimer talks about herself and her negative mind is relatable. I believe there is a target audience of younger readers (age 20 to 30) but there is something for anyone to pick up. The tone however will not be for all readers. It is blunt, uses swearing to describe things, and also uses slang that may not be recognizable by older generations. The tone may be blunt but, it is still supportive and encouraging to the reader. It is set up to help the reader and remove the toxicity for their lives.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Saturday Movie Review: Shania Twain – Not Just A Girl

Growing up, Shania Twain was like the queen of country for me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed and respected Reba, Dolly, and Loretta but, Shania was the artist of my youth I have a vague memory of first hearing her sing on the radio. When her album The Woman In Me came out, I was officially hooked.

Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl is a recently released documentary about her rise to the top of the country charts. When I saw it on Netflix, I was quick to hit play and learn more about one of my favorite country artists. The documentary uses old clips, interviews, and music videos mixed with present day interviews and reflections. Shania herself, her friends, and producers all express their thoughts and memories from over the past nearly 30 years.

There are also interviews with artists that have ben influenced by Shania. As a female artist, she broke so many barriers for herself and other female artists. I loved this aspect of the documentary and how you can see her influence all over. She has influenced people beyond music too. And she has conquered everything that has been thrown in her way.

After watching and singing along to Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl, I have found myself having even more respect of Shania as an artist and a woman. She has had to over come so many obstacles! Economic, death in family, sexism, marriage, cheating spouse, divorce, motherhood, and Lyme disease are just an overview of some of the things that she has experienced. These experiences each made her stronger, influenced her music, and taught her grace and resilience. Currently, Shania is performing a residency in Las Vegas and has new music on the way. It would be a dream to be able to see her live!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Every Shade Of Happy | Phyllida Shrimpton | Book Review

Every Shade of Happy is a heartwarming story about independence and familial relationships. The main character Algernon is 97 years old, lives alone with his cat who he aptly named Cat, and is very set in his routine. He is a widow with one daughter Helene whom he has an estranged relationship with. When Helene and her daughter Anna find themselves in a need of a place to stay, Algernon reluctantly agrees to let them move in with him. Now they are all under the same roof and will forever be changed.

Prior to her life being uprooted, 15 year old Anna had never met her grandfather. When her mother was pregnant, she had a falling out with her father, and though him to be an uptight controlling man. Algernon thought Helene was too flighty and when she became pregnant, he felt like she had forever ruined her life. Anna has only heard about this tense dynamic from her mothers point of view but, her first interaction with her grandfather further cements her negative opinion of him.

Algernon has no idea what to do with this young girl who is now in his life. Anna enjoys brightness and colors and adventure which is not something Algernon has had in his life for years. Yet, the more time they spend together, the start realize they have more in common than they originally thought. I adored the dynamic between these characters. They both have experiences a deep loneliness in their lives and these feelings of being an outsider in society help bond them together. The chapters alternate in perspective which I liked because you learned the background of each of them and what they bring to their relationship.

As this is an intergenerational story, there is a strong focus on what the three individuals from three different generations bring to the family and their relationships. Helene really isn’t sure what to think about the bond that is forming between father and daughter. She is also building and finding herself. The characterizations of all the characters is just so good. They are layered and feel real with flaws. They are all likable characters, and I also liked the friendship of Anna and the boy next door named Jacob. It was just the right amount of sweetness with a hint of young romance.

I became very attached to these characters and their growth as individuals and as a familial unit. This is a story filled with moments that will make you laugh and memories that will break your heart. Especially with Algernon – such a sweet cantankerous man. Everything that has happened to these characters has helped bring them to the place they are now in. I love how they come together, learn about each other, learn from each other, and grow. It’s so beautiful.

Every Shade of Happy has so much hear to it. This is more than just a story about a young girl breaking down the walls of her grandfather. It is a story of second chances, trusting yourself, learning from the past, and embracing the future. There are just so many layers for both the story and the characters. This will be a real hidden gem for readers.

Rating: 5 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

The Wedding Crasher | Mia Sosa | Book Review

The Wedding Crasher is the companion romance to The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa. It features Dean, who is the best friend of Max from the previous book; and Solange, who is hired to help with Dean’s wedding. Everything thing is all set, ready to go until Solange overheard the bride having a private conversation with her best friend. After hearing the conversation, she can’t help but feel that the wedding should not going on …. and finds herself objecting before the couple officially says I do.

The thing Solange doesn’t realize is that the wedding is more of a business arrangement than a love connection. So Dean isn’t exactly heartbroken about everything falling apart except he finds himself needing a significant other in order to possibly make partner as a law firm. He asks Solange for her help and the two begin a hilarious and sweet faux-relationship scenario.

Dean is afraid of love because he sees it as a sign of weakness if you are vulnerable for someone else. Solange has never been able to fully settle but when she does she wants someone to be one hundred percent in. These varying perspectives cause quiet a few very interesting moments for the pair. They are spicy together; and very much in denial that there really is anything going on between them. This type of dynamic is one of my favorites, and Mia Sosa nails it in this story.

I also enjoyed the dynamic of the familial ties between Solange, her mother, and her aunts. There is positive representation of Brazilian-Americans, single mothers, and having pride in ones culture. The aunts are hilarious and are so not buying into Dean and Solange’s denial. I loved how both Dean and Solange defended each other in front of their family and friends. They were a real solid unit together.

The Wedding Crasher is the second book I have read by Misa Sosa and she is quickly earning her spot on my must read shelf. I’m really into books that have strong characterization and that is exactly what you get with her writing style. Her characters feel real and inviting. I’m always rooting for the couple to stay together in the end and for me that is a sign of a good book.

Rating: 4 Stars

**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

Chasing the Four Winds

Reading, Writing, Nerding, and Honoring the Oxford Comma Since 1987.

A. A. MacConnell

When you write drabbles, you relieve the pressure of the epic novel expanding in your head.

The Calico Books

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