This month SUCKED. I’m losing hope in my job search. Taxes for 2020 were a nightmare. I still have no idea when I’ll be vaccinated, so I’m feeling extremely stuck in every part of my life.
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (technically a January read, I finished it after I posted the previous roundup)
- Why isn’t this taught in schools?! It is a dystopia that should be required reading along with 1984 and Brave New World! It takes place in the near future where climate change has caused society to collapse and follows a young Black girl named Lauren. I think the first half or so was stronger than the rest when it became something more like The Road, but I really couldn’t stop thinking about this book.
- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
- Ripley’s Underground by Patricia Highsmith
- I didn’t like this one much. It didn’t have nearly as much tension as the first one. I thought Ripley’s schemes weren’t as good this time. The other characters were terrible. Not a fan.
- Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
- The second book in the Shadow and Bone series still hasn’t wowed me. I almost bumped this up half a star because Nikolai is the best character, and I can’t wait for more of him, but I still don’t care about Alina and Mal! Even the Darkling isn’t as interesting as I was led to believe! The story was repetitive and boring.
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- I finally caught up on Sword & Laser’s 2020 picks! Unfortunately, I might be in a little book slump because I didn’t really like this one. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think there was some personal things surrounding this book (iykyk) which skewed some perceptions for me, and I don’t read a lot of middle grade/children’s books anymore. I didn’t care much for Howl. I felt Sophie was a little hard to root for too. I loved Calcifer and Michael best. I thought the climax happened too fast, and I just didn’t connect. I’m going to check out the film since I’ve heard it’s different, but I’m a meh here.
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
- Hello, would you like to read a Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai between a Russian Romeo (Roma) and a Chinese Juliet (Juliette)? Oh, and these former lovers team up to hunt a monster attacking their city. This was truly a unique twist on the classic tale, and I enjoyed it so much! I will say that it is a little slow, there’s is a lot going on, and the villain’s motivations didn’t feel like they made sense, but I highly recommend checking this out. The supporting characters were wonderful, and I couldn’t get enough of Roma and Juliette’s romance.
- The Aeneid by Virgil
- I am forever going to try to read as many classics as possible. Even if I struggle with them. I remember reading a section of this in high school, and now I’ve read the whole thing! I really do like stories told in verse, but with my brain fog lately, it was hard to connect to the story.
- Princess Mononoke
- My second Studio Ghibli film! I liked this one way more than I did Spirited Away! I thought the animation was gorgeous, but it was kind of a more violent Ferngully (’90s kids, where you at?).
- One Night in Miami…
- What a directorial debut for Regina King! An incredible film with some outstanding performances. It’s based on a play and to be honest, I wish I had been able to see it on stage. I love plays like this, but the expansion of scenes and backgrounds for the film was extremely well-done. There’s nothing more I can say about Leslie Odom Jr. that hasn’t already been said, but as a Sam Cooke fan, I did like seeing how one of his songs was created (and Leslie’s voice is perfect). Kingsley Ben-Adir is also great as Malcom X, but to be honest, I didn’t care for any of the “characters” except for Jim Brown played by Aldis Hodge (a forever fave). Hodge gives my favorite performance in the movie, but it’s much quieter so he’s sadly not getting much attention.
- The BFG
- Roald Dahl’s The BFG was one of my favorite books as a kid. I had always meant to see the adaptation, but never got around to doing so until now. I thought it was decent. It definitely captured the relationship between Sophie and the BFG, which made me very happy. John Williams’ score was pure magic as always. But as with most children’s movie, I hate reliance on fart jokes which happens here. And I always have criticisms of Spielberg with his movies being too long and too overreliant on special effects, but I was surprised by how much I did enjoy the film since I didn’t think it was well-received.
Video Games Played
I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here, but I am not really a gamer. Yes, I had a Gameboy and N64, but I loved playing racing games more than anything else. And then, I got the Wii and WiiU mostly for Disney Infinity (RIP). I’ve played the LEGO games but I need every cheat imaginable to get through them, which is a bit embarrassing!
Anyway, last year when the first lockdown was enacted, I stress-purchased a Switch Lite to get Animal Crossing. I still play that, but it never fully captured me like it did others. I enjoy it because it’s relatively quiet, and I can move at my own pace (which makes me a weirdo because I don’t obsessively check turnip prices or force the game to move faster by time-traveling and such).
Since I am very much online, I kept hearing people talk about a game called Hades. I love Greek mythology, so this intrigued me a lot. On Black Friday, I found a deal (and had some Nintendo Rewards!), so I bought the game! And despite me not being a gamer, I love it. It’s weird because usually I hate failing in life and games (hence the cheats!), but for some reason, I LOVE dying in Hades. You’re never starting back at the very beginning, you’re always learning and figuring out more of the story each time you wind up back in front Hades.
Since I’m unemployed, I have more time to play and I’ve gotten pretty far recently! It took me until January to finally beat Meg (on January 6th, no less. I had a lot of rage that day), and now I’ve made it to Elysium! It’s really a mix of luck and the boons, but I’m having so much fun just mashing buttons together. My favorite weapon is the Twin Fists, my least favorite is the gun (if you know me, this actually tracks real well with my personality). I’m enjoying all the bits of mythology thrown in. It’s just extremely well-made and I can’t get enough.
Also, I refused to do God Mode, which is probably why I took so long to get past Meg, but I’m more proud of myself for doing it the real way. This was much longer than I expected to write about, but it has honestly been cathartic to play it, reach a certain point, die, and get to start again. If only my life was at that point now…
What did you enjoy in February?