TV Show Review: Scream Season 1 (NO SPOILERS)

Hey guys, wow I haven't done one of these TV show reviews in a while. I don't know why I haven't done one since I've been binge-watching a bunch of new shows. Today's post will cover Scream's season 1 on MTV.

First Impressions

When the show was first announced, there was a little sneak peek pilot episode floating around Youtube. I decided to sit down and preview MTV's new hottest show based off of the classic slasher film. I was expecting blood, spilling guts, jump scares, booze, drunk teenagers and sex. All MTV shows have some sex appeal, whether it be about teenage werewolves or masked serial killers.

I was also kind of concerned for the Scream franchise. It is one of the classic and most popular 90's slasher films out there. I mean you really can't have Halloween without at least one person wearing the infamous mask. I was scared that people would try too hard to compare this show to the original film, making it hard for the show to become a chart topper. What if it completely ruins the Scream franchise, making it a cheesy high school horror rom com? That was one of my biggest concerns. 

My Thoughts

In terms of scare factor and cringe-worthy blood and gut scenes, the show did not fail in that department. I thought MTV would be very forgiving in how much blood they showed, but damn I couldn't close my eyes fast enough. This is coming from someone who lives for bloody horror flicks and books. I mean you probably hear the blood before anything else. WARNING: There are a ton of unpredictable squelching noises. Seriously, there were some graphic scenes that I didn't even know were allowed on television. 

The best thing about this show? No one was safe! Just when you think the producers weren't going to kill off a character because they played too big of a role.... KABOOM... they're dead. And it's that aspect that I found to be most mind-blowing and admirable. The producers want you to care and create a relationship with the characters. They want you to smile when the cute couple you've been rooting for shares a kiss. They want you to get goosebumps when the main character starts to get mysterious phone calls from an unknown caller. But even when you begin to feel the slightest shred of feeling, someone dies right before your eyes. And you just can't believe it. 

The season 1 finale is really something, but you'll never see it coming. NEVER, not from a million miles away. During the season you're wondering who could this killer be and every time you think of someone to pin the blame on, evidence pops up suggesting otherwise. The show leads you into thousands of different directions that you think might be the right one, but you don't know for sure. 

I'm definitely impressed with how MTV created such deep character arcs. Even with Teen Wolf, MTV has a knack for making you hate and love the characters at different points in the season. They reveal something that is worthy of your admiration. But not soon enough do they take back your admiration and throw something at you that will make you despise who the characters have become. 

My only quip would have to be how unnecessary some characters were to the show. I still to this day don't understand the role of Kieran in the entire story. You'll learn more about him in the first episode. I understand that he was a love interest but at the same time, what did he really add to the plot and our understanding of the killer's motives? Also what did Rachel have to do with ANYTHING?? (You'll find out who Rachel is later in the show) 

Scream wasn't as cheesy as I thought it would be. There was actually a level of maturity that I found myself enjoying. The characters were not only tasked with finding this killer but they also had real high school, teenage problems between fixing relationships and friendships. I love that the show didn't shy away from the school aspect. We got a lot of scenes in their English class and in the hallways with interactions between the main characters and the rest of the school population. It felt genuine. I didn't feel like the main characters were the only ones in the school, you know? I mean, if you want cheesy (and obnoxious in my opinion, no hate :x) then you should just watch Scream Queens or something :P 

Final Verdict

Have nothing to do on a stormy Friday evening? I suggest putting on Netflix and trying Scream. Once you've watched the first episode, you will be hooked. You'll want to know all the answers, but of course, there is the wait that comes with each episode. Even if you're not a fan of sexy, horror flicks, I'd recommend it because there is an aspect of relatable experiences that most teens face- hopefully not the running away from a serial killer part. a

I enjoyed the show enough to stick around for the second season, which has been on since late May. 

ARC Review: The Graces by Laure Eve + Character Lookbook

Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Source: ARC from Abram Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5 stars
Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

Pre-order now!
**DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced galley of this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own and all quotes are from an uncorrected proof.** 

With all these fall releases scheduled to release, you can't possibly find the time to read every single one. Regardless I think The Graces is a book worthy of anyone's attention. If you're on a budget for books and you need the 411 on which new releases are worth checking out, hopefully this review will help you decide. 

Everyone wants to be a Grace. Summer, Thalia and Fenrin Grace are siblings that seem to attract the attention of everyone in a small town with their striking beauty and supposed ability to wield magic. And River is their biggest fan. She'll do anything to become one of them and for her to gain the attention of the mysterious yet handsome Fenrin Grace. So when River is one day let into their inner circle, people start to turn heads and raise questions. Being with the Graces changes her and everyone around her, and not in a good way.

The only thing I can say without spoiling the entire book is that the story is much more than what it says on the back of the book. My expectations for this book were blown away soon after finishing it. It was so different from what I was expecting. I've read quite a handful of witch novels in my 2 years of reading and reviewing, and I have to say that I have not been impressed. With this one, however, I got more than just the mainstream witch-on-a-broomstick and hocus pocus. No rhyming chants or magical wands. Just some black magic and almost Halloween-y vibes.

The one thing I must commend was the fantastic imagery and scenery building. I swear, I was transported to a cloudy afternoon in October. The ambiance was so woodsy and damp. How else do I explain this? Okay, got it! Do you remember La Push Washington (aka the setting from the Twilight movies)? That's exactly what the setting of this book reminded me of. If a book can conjure up an image of the setting with its words, you know it's a keeper.

La Push Washington 
I had a love-hate relationship with the main character River. She's a handful, that's for sure. Her actions are all but unpredictable and in the same situations, I wouldn't have acted as she did. She sacrificed so much of herself because she was unhappy with who she was and wanted the lure and charm that came with being a Grace. Just because I didn't agree with her actions doesn't mean they weren't understandable. Eve does a great job at describing the urgency to become a Grace and why it is so many people wanted to be like them. You'd be surprised to know what people would do to fit in with the crowd, so as much as I didn't like it I'm not counting her actions against the book's ratings.

One minor thing I would point out was that the ending felt quite unfinished. It's really hard to talk about the ending without spoiling anything, but I was really concerned when I read the last page and realized that that was the last of the book. I guess, it also somehow leaves you wanting more which makes for a good start for the sequel.

Although The Graces wasn't a showstopper, it's definitely a read I thoroughly enjoyed and it left me wanting more. This cult classic was nostalgic of those cold, autumn evenings and cloudy days at the beach. Eve's vivid writing and imagery will keep you reading till the very last page. The Graces is a 2016 fall release you don't want to miss! 

What would the characters wear?

The author takes a lot of time out of the plot to describe the appearances of her characters, and I very much valued that. I present to you the Graces' lookbook! (BTW I'm only recreating two out of the three siblings because unfortunately I wasn't able to change the gender of my avatar for Fenrin)

Dark, brooding and untamable, Summer Grace is the most rebellious of the three. She's got spunk and sexiness, and she doesn't let anyone hold her down. Her style has got a bit of a goth tone so I decided to play with the standard black colors and give her the goth look, yet making her look really flirty and approachable. Summer is a ball of personality. She's the kind of girl who will throw her head back laughing, and so I didn't want the black goth style to scare people away. 

Thalia is a graceful gypsy who stands aloof- cool without even trying. She likes wearing off-the-shoulder tops with long maxi skirts that usually include some sort of beaded pattern. I got a lot of Coachella-eqsue and gypsy vibes off of Thalia when I was reading. Many of the students in the school have tried to wear what she wears but have only ended up looking like clowns. Thalia is the only one who can pull off this effortless and breezy look. 

ARC Review: Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow | Hurt You Can't Look Away From

Title: Girl In Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Pages: 416 pages
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Source: Physical galley from a giveaway
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Rating: 5/5 stars
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep, and the pain washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge. 

Pre-order now!

** WARNING: This book talks about the following: sex, drugs, cutting, suicide, rape, loss, death. If you are sensitive to any of these topics, please refrain from reading this review **

Kathleen Glasgow's debut novel takes a dip into uncharted territory. Here the raw and ugly truth of mental health is exposed. Glasgow is not merciful and at times, I found myself cringing. There are things we just don't like to talk about. Suicide, cutting, death, loss and even rape. They're not very popular conversation starters, but I believe Ms. Glasgow's novel will be the one to strip all those barriers aside. 

Don't go into this story expecting it to be like every other YA mental health novel out there. For some stories, there are no happy endings, just resolutions. Charlotte Davis is seventeen at the beginning of the book, and she's already been through more hell than any normal teenager. Her mother has all but abandoned her, her father past away, she's been felt up by some pretty shitty people and her best friend has been sent far far away, to a place Charlie (short for Charlotte) can never reach her. So what does she do? She takes the thickest, longest shard of a glass bottle and drags it through her skin because the pain it causes couldn't possibly be worse than what she's feeling on the inside.
"I need release, I need to hurt myself more than the world can hurt me." 

- quoted from the ARC, Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
We find out later that there's a name for it. It's called NSSI. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury. It means that although she hurts herself, she has no desire to die.

You might be asking yourself: How the fuck does someone have the guts to hurt themselves? Going into this book, I thought I would never understand Charlotte's story. I always thought to myself, people have it worse. What gives you the right to hurt yourself when others are suffering more? Then 244 pages later, I'm gripped. I've fallen in love with Charlie. All of her- her scars and her past. Sure, her past was grim and the people in her life were real assholes, but the one feeling you gain from Charlie's story is not pity. I did not, through any part of reading this book, feel pity for her. I can't exactly place what I felt but I definitely didn't feel bad for her. I didn't constantly think, oh poor Charlie. Poor girl. Your life sucks and you need help. 

Glasgow's story is brutally honesty. The reason I loved Charlie's story so much was because it didn't dance around the fact that she was a cutter. Her scars don't just magically disappear, and she's not automatically accepted into society. Truth is (and the truth is shit), people are scared and they like to turn their backs on reality. This is clearly shown when Charlie is asked by her employer to wear long sleeve shirts to cover up her scars so she won't scare away the customers. Charlie cut herself, and now she has to live with the repercussions of her actions.

She doesn't give her characters a break. When you think things couldn't get any worse, they do. I liked that, I really did; that she wasn't letting Charlie take the easy way out. Charlie's more human than any main character I've ever read about. Her character was really well thought out from her flaws to just how much she realizes she's imperfect.

Even the side characters were amazingly amazing. The story starts off with Charlie in a psych ward and rehabilitation hospital. You meet a lot of the other patients and important friends and family from before she was admitted. They added so much to the protagonist's personality, and they ultimately help her grow.
"If a guy has scars, it's like some heroic shit show or something. But women? We're just creepy freaks." 
- quoted from uncorrected proof 
Girl In Pieces is no medical textbook on mental illness, but it does give insight on the topic. For those that weren't aware, self-harm/injury is not just limited to cutting. Self-harm is any harm a person does unto him/herself. Charlotte didn't just cut herself. In certain situations of extreme anxiety, she often pinched herself to keep from reacting.

Not to be cliche but this book spoke to my soul. Finally a book that's true to what I want to say. On my Twitter & Instagram, I post A LOT (and I mean a lot) about the semi-colon project and suicide prevention. Yeah, I know what you're going to say. Alex, why are you bringing up all this semi-colon stuff again. I have a reason trust me. Not too long ago, self-harm was just another way for me to relieve myself of stress. I scratched myself because there was a ball of fire inside of me, and I didn't want to let it out in front of other people. And for a while, I didn't feel the pain. It never hurt. I was almost numb to the feeling.

I always thought to myself, how fucked up am I that I don't feel the pain I'm causing myself? My life isn't shit. I don't have it as hard as others. What gives me the right to hurt myself when there's nothing wrong with my life? People assume it's for attention when they don't know one fucking thing about what's going on inside that person's head. Me and anxiety? We don't mix well. So if I was piled with tests from school and/or my parents wouldn't let me go out with my friends, I scratched myself to assure that if I could get through the pain, why couldn't I trudge through a few tests and live up to my parent's decision?

I'm not proud and even writing this makes me feel like shit. But this book, holy shit you guys. If this book isn't a mantra for people to stop hurting themselves, I don't know what is.
"Go be absolutely, positively, fucking angelic."

- quoted from uncorrected proof
Mark my words, Girl In Pieces is one of the most realistic portrayals of mental illness I've ever read. Charlie's story is incredibly horrifying and even with such a small support system, she managed to rid herself of the pain. Why can't we all do the same? Poignant and beautiful, you will be won over. Her story will be your story.

For more information on suicide prevention and self-harm, I recommend checking out The Butterfly Project and The Semicolon Project!


If Book Characters Were Superheroes... | #BBCP

I'm back with another fun post... or at least I hope it is. In collaboration with 6 other book bloggers, we're here to bring our #BBCP post to ya'll. All our posts will somehow be connected by the theme of superheroes. For my post I'm turning my favorite book characters into superheroes because they're that awesome. Don't they deserve to be superheroes? DISCLAIMER: These photos were photoshopped using pictures (which were not mine) from Google and fanart from amazing fans. I am not taking credit for any of the images used in this post (except for the header which I made :P)

#BBCP is a Book Blogger Creativity Project created in effort to spread the love of book blogs everywhere and bring some joy into the community! It is hosted by the lovely Nori @ ReadWriteLove28. She recruited a ton of book bloggers and split us up into teams (btw we're the Green Team, so GO us!)

**WARNING: There may be potential spoilers for the following books**

Book: A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas
Nicknames: High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand 
Abilities: Incredibly long wingspan (that he's not afraid to use), blessed with Fae abilities such as winnowing, misting, memory manipulation, mind walking, binding, memory reading, darkness munipulation, extreme arrogance 
Weaknesses: Feyre Darling, his inner circle, Velaris
Enemies: Tamlin, King of Hybern

Fae-ce Destroyer is scarcely seen but when he makes an appearance, women yearn for what they can't have and men only wish to be like him. His abilities make it almost impossible for him to be defeated. He only bows down to one person, and her name is Feyre.
Book: Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Nicknames: Celaena Sardothien, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Fireheart, Adarlan's Assassin, Queen of Terrasen, The King's Champion
Abilities: Magic: Fire and water, skilled in use of daggers, cunning and silent
Weaknesses: Books, sweets, music,
Enemies: Arobynn Hamel, King of Adarlan

The Fire-Breathing Bitch-Queen is one of the most notorious assassins in all of Adarlan (and possibly in all parts of the world). Brave, cunning and resilient. She survived a year in the salt mines of Endovier, and was so close to escaping. Commonly known as Celaena or Aelin, she will not hesitate in fighting for who and what she loves. As someone who has a big intolerance of slavery and injustice, she is a compassionate soul.

Book: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
Nicknames: Ronan Lynch, Greywaren
Abilities: can steal objects from dreams and bring them into reality
Weaknesses: Adam
Enemies: Sometimes he is plagued by his abilities

Dreamstealer is incredibly mysterious and secretive. Although granted with incredible abilities that allow him to manipulate dreams, he is sometimes overwhelmed by his power and therefore even more dangerous than people think.

Book: The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Nicknames: Linh Cinder, Cinder
Abilities: mechanic (can literally fix anything), half cyborg, immune to mind manipulation, powerful glamouring abilities,
Weaknesses: Prince Kai, her friends
Enemies: Queen Levana, Sybil Mira, Adri

Fixer-ella is kind-hearted and friendly to anyone she comes across. She genuinely cares about the lives of others more than she does of her own. And so it makes her extremely determined to dispel any unfair evil. In fact, she is never alone! She's always accompanied with her #defeatQueenLevana squad.

That's all for this post! 

Don't forget to check back on the 20th for my next Superhero #BBCP post!

And don't forget to check out the posts from the other members of the Green team! Hint: They're all superhero themed. 

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