May Wrap Up: Books, movies, and TV!

May was a weird month – I went from a reading slump lasting weeks to reading 6 books, which is a lot for me considering I normally do around 4 a month! (Find out how I kicked my slump’s butt!)

So what did I read? Take a look below!

Thriller/mystery

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This book has been dubbed the next The Girl on the Train or Murder on the Orient ExpressNow, I thought The Girl on the Train was actually pretty overhyped, so in that respect, I agree with the comparison! In terms of the Christie comparison, it’s not as refined or believable as it would need to be to match the adventures of Poirot, but I see the similarities – mysterious death on a moving vehicle, leaving the main character trapped onboard with a killer we’re yet to find the identity of.

In case you don’t know, the book follows Lo, a travel journalist, onboard a luxury cruise ship on its maiden voyage. On the first night, Lo hears the woman in the cabin next to hers be thrown overboard, and sees blood on the window. The thing is, there was no one in the cabin, and all passengers are still aboard. But Lo knows what she saw, and isn’t about to let a killer walk around the ship freely.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The first chapter really gripped me and creeped me out, but by the end of the book, it seemed like a bit of a throwaway chapter not needed for the rest of the book. Without giving spoilers, I understand why it was there, but the intensity it builds, coupled with a reference to something similar happening to someone else on the boat, sets the scene for a big twist reveal that just never comes. It seemed like wasted potential to me.

After the first chapter, it was fairly slow for a bit – the main character isn’t hugely likeable and spends most of her time drinking (perhaps that’s why people thought of The Girl on the Train?!), and to be honest, there’s only a handful of characters that actually seemed to have a personality. That said, I was gripped by the cat and mouse game between Lo and the killer, so that kept me turning the pages. For me, the real disappointment came at the end – there were two elements that just made me roll my eyes in disbelief at the ludricrousness. The whole point of thrillers for me is that they’re believable – they get under your skin and make your heart beat a bit faster because you think: “what if that happened to me?” Having over the top, dramatic elements that quite frankly just would not happen, coupled with a few examples of throwing setting up for a twist further down the line that just doesn’t happen made this book seem a little rushed to me.

Young adult/mental health

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Of course, you’ve heard all about the TV adaptation of this by now. Whilst the first season wasn’t perfect, I stood by it for the most part (unlike season 2, which I have a lot to say about!), so I thought I’d read the book that inspired the series.

It doesn’t seem the right word to say I enjoyed this book considering the subject matter, but you know what I mean. The story follows Clay, whose life is turned upside down by the arrival of 13 cassette tapes detailing reasons why his classmate and first love, Hannah Baker, killed herself. Clay is one of the reasons.

For the most part, the book was effective in raising awareness of how teens may feel, and how our actions can impact others. It’s a good book to make you think about the ripple effect and the importance of treating others how you’d like to be treated – any small unkindness could tip someone else over the edge, no matter how inconsequential your action seems to you. You don’t know what other people are going through, and that’s the message I took from this book.

However, I do completely understand why others are up in arms about the “revenge suicide” accusations. Whilst to me it reads as Hannah recording some what of a memoir or eulogy and a message to others to think twice about their actions, the plot still stands as a teenager delivering a box of tapes accusing other teens of being one of the reasons she killed herself, so it’s hard not to see the revenge element even if the book tried to paint it a different way. I’ve said it before, but I really think the book would have had more impact without this dangerous grey area, and it could have been easily rectified by having Hannah record the tapes just to get everything off her chest, and perhaps Clay could be given the tapes by her parents to remember her by, as they would think they were normal music cassettes. Clay is definitely the type of character to be outraged and hand deliver the tapes to each person mentioned, so the message would get out that way.

Ultimately, the book has good intentions, but is a little messy in the way it’s carried out.

Non-fiction/productivity

Get the Hell Over It by Sarah Beth Moore

A humourous and relatable look at the nature of procrastination, this book breaks down the reasons behind that irritating little urge to go and bake a cake, clean the house, or spend three hours looking at dog memes when you’re supposed to be doing something else.

Moore lays it out in all its brutal glory – yes, you’ve got a bunch of great ideas; no, you probably won’t be able to bring them all the fruition because you will inevitably get distracted, disheartened, disassociate yourself from the idea – or any other word beginning with “dis” that you can think of. But she lets you in on a secret – you don’t have to bring every idea to life. In fact, accepting this fact means the ones you do will be even better.

Biding your time, and building a project, passion and plan will mean you can bring to life that idea you had, whether it’s a novel idea, a blog,  or a new business. Sticking to a simple plan makes it less daunting and more successful. Wahey! Win win, right? This is a witty look at a problem we all have, coupled with some great solutions to help you kick that procrastination devil and get the hell over the fears that stop you bringing your ideas to life.

Romance/contemporary

The Note by Zoe Folbigg

This is the absolute opposite of anything I would normally read! This was the pick of the month for my Book Club at work, so I gave it a try, and I have to say – it wasn’t bad!

The story is a fictionalised account of the author’s own love story – she met her husband on her commute to work. The book kind of does what it says on the tin – it’s a lighthearted, fluffy love story, with a bit of life thrown in in the middle. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was fun to read!

Young adult/contemporary

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming follows Claudia and her best friend Monday, who know each other inside out. Then one day, Monday disappears. Her phone’s disconnected, she’s not showing up for school, and her family are freezing Claudia out. Claudia knows in her heart that Monday isn’t just off school with the flu – something has happened and she won’t rest until she finds out.

This is both a heartwarming and heartbreaking story of friendship, with a twist that lands like a sucker punch to the stomach. And from then on, the blows just keep coming. Some of them left me reeling. I just wasn’t expecting how intense and bleak it would get!

But that’s good, because it means it’s giving important issues a realistic representation that hits home, because it should. This book deals with so many important themes – bullying, racism, abuse, first love and heartbreak, learning difficulties, mental health and much more, all packaged into a coming-of-age tale told by a girl missing the piece that makes her world whole – her best friend.

Non-fiction/feminism

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I love reading books about contemporary issues, and I’d heard a lot of good stuff about this one. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be. That’s not to say it didn’t address a wide variety of issues or in places totally hit the nail on the head – it’s just that, for me, I didn’t find myself nodding along and understanding exactly where the author was going and what she was meaning in each chapter. I can definitely see why others do, but to me, some passages read as exactly what it says on the cover – essays! No one really wants to read an essay, right?

Some of them were more what I had in mind – sharp, relatable, true, and sometimes funny, but a lot of them I read without really understanding what the author was getting at. Some places she kind of admitted that she wasn’t sure of her exact point too! It’s not a bad book by any means, but it didn’t quite have the punch of some other feminist contemporaries I’ve read, like Animal by Sara Pascoe, or How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. I don’t know – maybe I just prefer my feminism with a side of humour!

Inspired by Maraia and Sebastian over at Buecher Monster, I thought I’d add a round up of TV and cinema for this month too! Have you been watching any of these too?

Riverdale Season 2

I started this series purely out of curiosity, since everyone was talking about it. I went in not knowing about Archie Comics, and having no idea what it was about. But I’m addicted! I’m glad there’s a third season in the works.

Evil Genius

We’re only on episode 4 so I can’t say much, but I love a good crime documentary, and this one comes highly recommended! There’s lots of twists and turns and it’s fascinating so far.

Safe

This definitely has BBC drama vibes. We binged watched this over the long weekend, and there were so many twists! I can’t say much without giving spoilers, but it follows Tom Delaney as he tries to find his missing teenage daughter. With Michael C. Hall as the lead and Harlan Coben writing the story, you know the real crime here would be not watching! 😉

Supernatural Season 13

I can’t believe I’ve been watching this show since I was about 11. Madness! But it’s never let me down! Sure, some seasons are better than others, but I’ve never stopped watching – unlike I did with The Walking Dead, which has bored me rigid for the past two or three seasons!

13 Reasons Why Season 2

More like 13 Reasons Why Not! It wasn’t terrible, but I could spot too many issues without even trying too, so it really stopped me enjoying it. I still stick to the fact it should have remained a one-off series – a second season entirely defeats the point that the first one was trying to make. If you’ve watched it or don’t mind an in-depth look with spoilers, check out my blog post on what made season 2 a let down for me.

iZombie Season 4

This show doesn’t get enough love! It’s the love child of Veronica Mars and The Walking Dead (well, back when TWD was decent anyway…). If you like detective dramas, sarcastic humour, supernatural elements, and characters you’ll love, you can’t miss this show.

Friday Night Dinner Season 5

My boyfriend and I were so excited when this came back on TV! It’s delightfully daft, and follows the Goodman family each week as they try to have their traditional Jewish Friday night dinner. However, each week is inevitably a debacle, and you’ll find yourself laughing and cringing in equal measure!

Just Tattoo of Us Season 3

This is a bit of light watching for a good laugh! The premise of the show is that you go on with another person, whether it’s your best mate or your nan, and you each secretly design a tattoo for the other person which they only see when it’s already on their skin. Cue everything from horrendous tats to marriage proposals!

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 5

I am so happy this has been picked up by NBC! Andy Samberg can do no wrong.

 

A Quiet Place

This film totally caught me by surprise! I went to see it on a whim with my friend Emily, and had absolutely no idea what it was about. However, I loved it so much I dragged my boyfriend to see it again with me! We all really enjoyed it. It follows a family of 5 in a world where you can’t make a sound or you’ll be killed by strange alien creatures who use their superhuman hearing and speed to hunt. It’s probably the tensest film I’ve ever seen.

Avengers: Infinity War

What can I say? Marvel have done it again. Once again, they’ve delivered the perfect mixture of action, humour and heartbreak, filling our appetites under the next adventure hits our screens.

Deadpool 2

Delightfully silly and hilarious! Though, unlike Deadpool 1, there were a few poignant moments in this that give more depth to the character, whilst still keeping the snark and dark humour.

 

Thanks for reading!

Leave me a comment with your favourite read, film and TV show of the month!

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29 Comments

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 3, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      I really enjoyed it! Went in not knowing what to expect and got a pleasant surprise!

  1. June 4, 2018 / 2:00 am

    Busy month I see! 😀

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 4, 2018 / 9:02 am

      Very busy indeed! Better than being bored though, right? 😉

  2. June 5, 2018 / 11:39 am

    I still think it’s kind of weird that a man is writing about a (female) teen’s suicide. Especially one who’s been accused of sexual harassment? I mean, I don’t think he’s not allowed to write stories he doesn’t know, but I feel like you have to be really, really careful when you do.

    Get the Hell Over It sounds good. I love the title, haha.

    I’m really looking forward to Monday’s Not Coming. I thought the author’s debut novel was quite good.

    Did you recommend Safe to me, or was that someone else? It sounds like something I need to watch! So does Friday Night Dinner. I hope it’s on Netflix.

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 5, 2018 / 6:18 pm

      Wait, Jay Asher was accused of sexual harassment?! Yeah, you definitely have to careful what you write!
      Haha, it is! It’s only short so it’s a quick easy read and it made me laugh as well as giving some good tips!
      Yeah, I thought it was quite good! I haven’t read her debut, but I did hear it was better! I thought this one was good, but a bit long-winded in some places.

      I might have! If not, I meant to 😂 you do need to watch it! Ooh yes, Friday Night Dinner is great 😂 it’s the kind of silly humour of B99 but more awkward and British 😂 I hope you get to watch!

      • June 6, 2018 / 4:50 pm

        Yeah. I don’t know the details, but it was when a bunch of people in the publishing industry were getting outed for sexual harassment.

        Oh no, long-winded doesn’t make me want to pick it up. 😂

        Safe is on Netflix, but Friday Night Dinner isn’t. I LOVE British humor. Have you seen Coupling?

        • rhiannacampbell
          Author
          June 7, 2018 / 11:15 am

          Oh dear. Maybe it was his way of trying to redeem himself or something :/

          Haha! Not the whole way through! Just the odd time I thought a chapter wasn’t really needed that much!

          Hmm, can you get All4 in Germany? It’s a Channel 4 show here so it’s on their streaming site but not sure if it’s available out of the UK! I haven’t seen that, actually! I’ve heard of it though! Is it good?

          • June 12, 2018 / 10:46 am

            I haven’t heard of it! But usually streaming sites through broadcasters don’t work abroad. I know none of the US ones do. It’s SO FREAKING FUNNY!

          • rhiannacampbell
            Author
            June 15, 2018 / 10:15 pm

            Ah, that’s so annoying! I’ll have to watch that though! 😎

  3. June 7, 2018 / 10:13 pm

    Great post, we have such similar taste in TV! I loved Safe and thought it was really gripping. I haven’t watched the second season of 13 reasons why yet, I thought they should have left it after the first one! Definitely a few books hear to add to my reading list aswell!

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 7, 2018 / 10:23 pm

      Thanks so much! It was​ so good, wasn’t it?! Really kept me guessing! Oh yeah, totally agree! Did a whole post on why they should have stopped after 1! 😂
      Yeah, definitely! Hope you enjoy! 😘

      • June 7, 2018 / 10:27 pm

        I know I seen but I want to watch it before I read your post incase there is any spoilers 🙈

        • rhiannacampbell
          Author
          June 8, 2018 / 5:45 am

          Haha oh yes, watch it first – it’s full of spoilers! I put a disclaimer on the top to warn everyone it’s a strictly after-watching read 😂

  4. June 7, 2018 / 11:11 pm

    I’m a huge fan of Riverdale. I’m so hooked and completely ready for season 3. Never watched 13 Reasons Why, keep hearing the first season was amazing! I can’t wait to see The Avengers: Infinity War too! Nice round up post!

    Natonya | justnatonya.wordpress.com

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 8, 2018 / 6:37 am

      Me too! It totally caught me by surprise, I thought it was gonna be rubbish! Haha! Yeah, the first season was good but season 2 I have a lot of things to say about 😂
      Ooh, hope you enjoy it!
      Thanks Natonya! 😘

      • June 8, 2018 / 2:30 pm

        I was the same way! Season 2 was BOMBSHELL after BOMBSHELL!!

        • rhiannacampbell
          Author
          June 8, 2018 / 4:39 pm

          Yeah, and some made no sense! I feel like they just wanted drama 😂

          • June 8, 2018 / 7:21 pm

            I know!! Some scenes I was like, “ok, what are y’all doing???” lol!

          • rhiannacampbell
            Author
            June 9, 2018 / 1:10 am

            You took the words right out of my mouth 😂😂

  5. June 9, 2018 / 7:07 am

    Wow congrats on getting through 6 books I’m struggling to do 2 a month at the minute!! I watched Safe and loved it, we’re just starting 13 Reasons Why Series 2 so I can’t comment about that yet! I got dragged to see A Quiet Place thinking I’d hate it but I was actually pleasantly surprised by it! Great post hun!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 9, 2018 / 4:10 pm

      Thanks Jess! It can be really hard to fit them in sometimes, right?

      Ooh, let me know what you think about 13 Reasons Why season 2!
      Yeah, A Quiet Place caught me off guard too! Loved it!

      Thanks Jess 😘

      • June 9, 2018 / 8:18 pm

        It really can! I usually read a few chapters before I go to sleep now but that’s all I get done so it takes me a while to finish them! We’ve only watched 2 episodes so far but will let you know! x

        • rhiannacampbell
          Author
          June 11, 2018 / 10:19 pm

          That’s still good though! I find a few chapters a night means you can get through an average sized book in a week! 😎

  6. June 9, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    I love the layout of your wrap-up!

    I’m definitely interested in reading Monday’s Not Coming as it sounds like an important book and I’m all for sucker punch twists.

    I need to catch up on iZombie and I totally get what you mean that the show doesn’t get enough love. I love Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Haven’t watched season 5, though but I’m still so happy that it’s not gone. That was really upsetting.

    Ah yes, Infinity War! I didn’t think I had it in me to watch A Quiet Place in a cinema but I’m definitely going to at home. I have such high hopes!

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 9, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      Aww, thanks so much Sana!

      I love a good twist too! I live for ’em! 😂

      I actually need to catch up with it too now, I’m a bit behind even though I’ve been watching! 🙈 oh, I love B99 too! Yes, me too! Couldn’t cope without it! 😭

      Haha, I won’t lie, A Quiet Place on the big screen in the dark was really intense! Especially as I had no idea what the film was about 😂

  7. June 23, 2018 / 8:20 am

    I’m not so much into movies in genera but Avengers really live up to the hype and it makes me want to watch the rest of the series.

    • rhiannacampbell
      Author
      June 25, 2018 / 7:19 pm

      They really do! Anything Marvel, whether TV or film, just kicks ass! 😎

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