Books & Reviews 📚

My reading so far…

And the TBR continues to go down, down, down! YAY! This calls for a confetti celebration!

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Expectation vs…

But there’s still so MANY books to go! 🙄

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…reality.

I’m currently on my 38th book of the year as I write this, and I’ve realized that books are becoming even more meaningless and distasteful, so much, that I’ve been lowering my expectations with every book I choose to read. In this way, I won’t be totally disappointed if the book turns out to be boring or just didn’t quite live up to its gloating standards.

As for the classic challenge that I’m currently doing, well, let’s just say that I haven’t read as many classics as I would’ve liked to (as yet), but I’ll devote a month or two for that sometime just to get them out of the way and out of my life.

So far…

Books I enjoyed:

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Books I didn’t enjoy:

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Book 5) by Isabella Alan

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Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock solves mysteries and whines a lot! She’s not Amish, but her best friend is, and almost every chapter, she reminds readers about this and seems to subtly poke fun at Amish clothes and culture. I’m glad to get rid of this cozy mystery from my TBR. 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Reviewers RAVED about the cleverness of this book, but it was all over-hyped, for there was nothing clever, new, or original about this story. I unraveled the so-call “you won’t see it coming twist” from the very first page and the other one as soon as Emma stepped into the picture, so I don’t understand the glowing and high-as-the-mountain reviews for this book. The entire book is a joke.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

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All of this is stupid, irrelevant, pretentious, poorly executed, bland, and downright boring. 

I CAN’T

Books I revisited:

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Books I DNF’ed:

#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

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This so-call pretty boy CIA agent didn’t do it for me. He spends the majority of the story being sexist, and he’s a proper right arrogant jerk that looks down on everyone. He spends almost every chapter talking about his so-call good looks and whining. I have a strong dislike for whiny protagonists. I had to put this book down for many reasons that if I were to go into them, it’ll end up being a full review and I don’t want a reminder of why I STRONGLY disliked this drivel.

When it comes to saving the world, I’d rather leave my life in another pretty boy’s hands: Ethan Hunt’s. 

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

Disclaimer

#amwriting ✍

Forget A Picture; Give Me A Thousand Words

Short Story #26
A crossover fanfiction

An Ethan Hunt romance.

With Wonder Woman.

The following is Part II of This Love Story Will Self-destruct in… 5. I was asked to write it, so here it is. Also, it’s really short. Please proceed:

A million thoughts flew through Diana Prince’s head.

Ethan Hunt. Dating. Holding hands. Social media acceptance. ‘I love you’. Proposal. Missions and mishaps. Saving the world. Fights. Embraces. Rings. Proclamations. ‘I do’. Kisses. Cuddles. In-laws. Talks of starting a family. Ethan’s dark hair. 

His toothpaste-commercial smile.

His smile.

HIS SMILE!

Ethan’s smile reflected the universe like a mirror. It shined so brightly, sometimes it was brighter than the sun. It could’ve probably rivaled the light of the stars by night. 

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Diana shifted a little in her husband’s grip turning her hand just enough to press it flat against his chest as if she needed assurance that he was still breathing. She felt the heartbeat underneath her fingers against her palm and counted the thump thumps. The rhythm of hers didn’t match his. His heartbeat was always strong and steady; her own could never keep up. Yet, her heart always exploded into tiny heart confetti whenever she was with him.

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Their love was the most powerful thing she ever felt!

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But she still worried after his well-being, especially after she sees him leap from building to building and hanging onto the edge of aircrafts. And then he’ll come home to her – bruised, battered, bloody, torn! – as if nothing happened, brood for a few days, leaving her to worry after him.

“I wish I knew what you’re thinking…” Diana softly said against his heart.

Ethan hummed questioningly, raising an eyebrow. What was his wife babbling about now? He didn’t understand. 

“…you don’t smile much after missions and it’s a shame because I love your smile. The light just fades…”

Ah… Ethan broke into a soft smile, lifting one of Diana’s hand and pressing loving kisses to her knuckles. When her eyes met his, he admits, “I never want you to worry.”

“You don’t get to decide what I worry about; that’s not your job.” She chides. “I need to know that you’re okay.” She didn’t add that she had asked Superman to check for her husband’s heartbeat during his last dangerous mission in Kashmir when he suddenly went off the radar and she panicked until Superman begrudgingly assured her that Ethan was fine. “If you don’t want to talk about it, it’s honestly fine, but I need to know that you’re okay, Ethan. Always.”

All grammatical errors are mine.

I enjoyed exploring this side of the universes for fanfiction! It was a blast writing Ethan & Diana out of their natural setting and I’ll like to add a few more shorts to this series, but I’m not sure as yet. 

I also wanted to add Ethan’s reply at the end – which was one line – but I like it better with WW’s soft plead. 

***GIFs & images via Google Search

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Trinidad & Tobago 💙

My first trip to Tobago 🇹🇹

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I’ve been behind in writing posts, scheduling, and reading blogs lately. I’ve had some posts backed up in drafts for months now that need editing or dumping, so I’ll try to get to that soon. 

Anyways, this post is about my trip to Tobago, so allow me to introduce the sister isle.

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Mabrika!!

(In the language of one of Tobago’s original Amerindian tribes, welcome)

Tobago is known as the twin island state of Trinidad. Yeah, we (Trinidad) have a twin. But we’re (Trinidad) still the better-looking twin! Okay, that was childish. Tobago is the smaller of the twin-island state and was once home to an Amerindian community before Christopher Columbus’s claims about “discovering” the island. I am certain that the Caribs did not report it missing! 

Daniel Defoe was inspired to write “Robinson Crusoe” after reading a sales pamphlet on Tobago and to this day, the island is known as Crusoe’s Isle. 

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The island is home to 123 varieties of butterflies and 200 species of birds. It has one of the most beautiful drives with some of the beach vantage points in the world. If you’re into marine activities, Tobago encourages you to indulge in diving, glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, wind-surfing, and even kite-boarding. 

Behind every landmark is rich in history, but if I start talking about the Dutch, the British, the Courlanders/Kerlanders (modern-day Latvia) and of course, the French, we’ll be here all day, so if you’re looking for a scenic adventure, visit Tobago today.

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I’ll try to be short. I’ll also try to post a lot of photos!

On the morning of departure (May 31st, 2018), I was up early for I was excited. However, what was supposed to be a midday departure by boat turned into after 1 PM. We were greeted by boring Elvis Presley music and after everyone was on board and the safety announcement was made, Mission: Impossible III came on and as Ethan Matthew Hunt graced the screen with his presence, I was like, “How did they know I was boarding the boat today?!”😁I did not watch the movie, though. I was more focused on the sights before me and silently communicating with God. 

When the boat docked in the port of Scarborough, I just wanted to sleep as it was nearing evening. However, when I got to Sandy Point Beach Club, I didn’t bother to settle in right away. I went for a walk with my sister, took a photo of the remnant of the sunset…

…and then relaxed in the pool. It’s a pity I can’t swim! 😔The next day, we went driving around for a little bit…

…and squeezed in a visit to Fort Milford:

And later that day, we visited Pigeon Point:

That night, we wanted to go out for ice cream and what do you know! At the very end of the street which we stayed on was a homemade ice cream shop and the lady made some of the best ice-cream I’ve ever tasted especially the rice flavor! I could still taste the ice cream. Yum! So we made a mini nightly ritual of going for the tasty treat.

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On our last day, we explored the countryside. We couldn’t do Nylon Pool, but there’s always next time. But I was excited about Parlatuvier Bay for I’ve always wanted to see it up close in person and I was not disappointed at all.

Tobago is panoramic, scenic, and colorful. The locals are helpful and welcoming. You can walk the streets any hour of the night and no one would bat an eye. Tobago embraces you and gets you to live in the moment. She gives you peace of mind. 

As I end here, I am already packing for the next trip (in my mind). I hope to explore Tobago next time with my bestie for I missed having her with me. Everywhere I went, I thought of her and I know she would’ve appreciated the beautiful scenery! 

***GIF & separator via Google Search

Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

The Entertainer Book Tag 📚

I haven’t done a book tag in a while, but when I saw The Entertainer Book Tag on Jade’s blog, I thought I’ll give it a try. It’s a short one, but you know the drill: grab your coffee and let’s go!

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1) Your favorite form of reading (ebook, audiobook, etc.)?

This question pops up in almost every book tag I come across. My answer is always the same no matter how many years I age: physical books. I tried ebook, but we were not compatible. I’m yet to try an audiobook, so maybe I’ll give that a chance one day.

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2) If you could trade places with any other MC in their fictional world facing the same problems as them, who would you trade places with?

Haha! This is funny, for although I’ve read hundreds of books, it’s always the male characters that resonate with me the most. Like, I can name five of my all-time favorite male characters at the snap of a finger (d’Artagnan, Spencer Reid, Luc Moncrief, Alex Cross, and Ethan Hunt!), but I can’t do the same when it comes to female MCs.

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Eh, guess I adore male MCs more than their female counterparts. Oh, wait, I didn’t answer the question. Well, to be honest, when I was into mangas and the then anime for Yu-Gi-Oh! I wanted to trade places with Yami Yugi for at least one episode. He was the coolest dude around and perhaps in the world of anime, still is. No one has spiky hair like him, the deep baritone or can even dream of wearing a jacket like him. Not even one Seto Kaiba. 

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3) Favorite Movie?

I don’t watch movies anymore. The only ones I’m currently attempting to watch are the ones that I’m doing for the TC Challenge which I may not complete, but that’s okay. Anyway, my favorite movie is the Mission: Impossible franchise. If I have to choose one, Ghost Protocol.

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Only in my dreams, I am this free to fly off buildings like this!

4) What do you wish you could see more of in books?

Characters that aren’t reduced to stereotypes such as Frenchmen. Almost every book I read, Frenchmen are reduced to the same great looking, adorable, lovable, philandering, smothering, delicious heartthrobs! Why can’t we have Frenchmen who aren’t dreamboats and hair that aren’t the best? The Frenchmen who have flaws like their other fictional male counterparts. Why can’t we have that?

5) Favorite first line from a book?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1

(The Holy Bible)

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6) A book that isn’t your favorite all-time read, but one that you could read over and over again?

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*** GIFs via Google Images

Entertainment

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the Blockbuster of the summer!

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The following discussion/rant may contain spoilers due to the writer being unable to hold back excitement or rants. If you have not seen the movie as yet and you plan to, don’t read this. If you plan to see it, but don’t mind spoilers or if you’re just curious about someone else’s thoughts other than yours, then by all accounts, be my guest. 

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Let this sink in: it’s been 22 years since Tom Cruise embarked on a mission to save the world as Ethan Hunt. Twenty-two years since I’ve met Ethan Hunt and decided that he’s my favorite action spy. 

And he’s still doing things James Bond could only dream about in his sleep. The latest Mission has been certified fresh…

…but I don’t need Rotten Tomatoes to tell me so. The pulse-pounding engaging action had me leaping off a rooftop and ducking from bad guys… okay, that did that happen… but it happens in my writing! 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a solid summer blockbuster. When I first watched the movie, I couldn’t decide if to give it 4 or 5 stars. I eventually settled on five and because of that, I’ll be discussing why I give the movie this rating instead of doing a ‘traditional’ review. This post can get lengthy. You’ve been warned. Again. 😒

Ethan Hunt 

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Unfortunately, this clip didn’t make the final cut 😢

Ethan gets better with age and experience. He is the heart of the team and a great leader. Tom Cruise IS Ethan and this character should never be recast. I also love the fact that McQ treats Hunt like a human rag doll rather than a superhero. He is human after all and we have to buy into the character which was well written. Hunt makes James Bond look lazy with his incredible running form and work ethic. After all, the best lie Tom ever told is that he’s an actor when he’s actually a real-life spy who uses acting as his cover.

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Christopher McQuarrie is a directing genius!

I feel as if McQ doesn’t get enough props. The first movie I’ve seen of his was Jack Reacher. Where Rohit Shetty doesn’t seem to know what he wants to do with cars besides flipping them, sinking them and blowing them up (Dilwale, Chennai Express, etc.), McQ approaches car scenes with action respect. He coordinates car chases spectacularly as in the case of Jack Reacher even though the poor Chevelle takes a crucial blow. RIP.

What I also love about McQ, he doesn’t use any fancy sounds/songs to strangle the action scene, something I’ll talk about when I reach the bathroom fight. He served as a director on Rogue Nation and Tom brought him back to do Fallout. McQ has topped himself and I wish Tom could work with him for the rest of his action life. What am I talking about? I don’t want to see Ethan Hunt in a wheelchair! 😁McQ knows how to craft spectacles and I take my hat off to him. I’ll love for him to direct one of my screenplays… well if I wrote any. 

The stunts 

TC is going to die while performing one of those crazy stunts one day, but he’ll go out doing what he loves for I bet he’ll find a way for the writers to write his death into the movie. Anyways, if you were to look up the word ‘stunt’ in the dictionary, you’ll probably see Tom Cruise as the definition. While it’s admirable that at 56, he still wants to do his own stunts, ain’t nothing wrong with the green screen sometimes. 

I enjoyed the stunts, though. There was a car chase in Paris and going the wrong way on a motorcycle at the Arc de Triomphe. A helicopter chase was shot in New Zealand, the HALO (high altitude low opening) jump sequence in Abu Dubai and the fight scene on Pulpit Rock in Norway. Watching TC dangle from a helicopter over dizzying landscapes was gasp-worthy. 

Yeah, he plane crazy!
GIF via Skydance

The action

Thrilling! The action was thrilling from start to end. It’s probably the best action movie of the century. The action in this film was kicked up a notch because McQ and TC had to top Rogue Nation. There’s a tunnel shootout, bike runs, car chases, running, cliff climbing, and helicopter parachuting. There’s a sequence where the camera rolls with TC for a few seconds in an uninterrupted sprint across a rooftop in London and I was sitting there randomly thinking, ‘Bolt was lucky to not have to compete with that!’ 

BMW rules!

Two BMWs make appearances in this film. At the beginning of the film, the sleek and classy brand-new BMW M5 makes her cinematic debut and it was gorgeous eye candy for a few minutes. 

However, the real star of the film was a classic 1986 E28 BMW 5 Series which Ethan Hunt bashed! I mean, he went in on that car. A funeral was promptly held after the drifting scene.

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He even smashed a BMW motorcycle in the Parisian streets.

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*shrugging* Sue me. I like seeing things get damaged… fictionally speaking of course!

That bathroom fight scene!

I talked about this epic fight scene in a post last month, but I’ll touch on it again. The fight looks realistic despite Liang Yang tearing a drain pipe from the wall as if he’s Hulk. I love that Hunt doesn’t beat everyone in the room singlehandedly and walks out unscathed, but he gets blows and lands blows. Even August Walker gets his butt kicked. The fight choreography was well done right down to Hunt’s keysi moves and reaction timing. The fact that there is no music makes it even better for the realism and grittiness simply shines through. Hollywood (and Bollywood), take note, for THIS is how you do a fight scene.

August Walker 

I love the name, but I like Henry Cavill better when he isn’t speaking. I get why women like him: he’s tall, dark, brooding and good-looking, but thankfully, the man is not my cup of tea and I can watch movies with my eyes open. I’ll rather watch TC watch paint dry anyway. 

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Walker is an assassin who is put in charge of babysitting Hunt if he ever tries to go rogue again. This is a spoiler, but when Hunt was telling Walker how to catch John Lark and Hunt aims the masked gadget at Walker’s face, it foreshadows that Walker and Lark are one person. I like the character, but I feel as if Cavill didn’t do Walker much justice. He’s wooden but shares good chemistry with TC. It gave me immense pleasure when Walker met his demise in the end.

Men in suits

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White Widow and Ethan 

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Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis aka White Widow the daughter of Max from the first MI was my favorite female (shockingly!) and I would’ve loved to see more of her. She is a lover of paradoxes and there is playful chemistry between her and Ethan. 

I guess if Hunt wasn’t already spoken for, there might have been some sort of ‘relationship’ between these two characters for they look good together. 

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Ilsa Faust and Ethan

Their relationship is complex, but they care about each other. Ilsa has Hunt’s best interest at heart and she’s sort of protective of him. Although he doesn’t need her protectiveness, her hovering is kind of cute.

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They’re endgame after all and although many fans complain that they’re yet to kiss, I don’t have any problem at all. Their tenderness for each other is beautiful enough. 

Ilsa Faust — rebeccalouisaferguson: Tom Cruise and Rebecca...

The 3 Musketeers! 

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And everyone else…

The cast gelled great and Tom Cruise seems to have some sort of chemistry with everyone. The women (White Widow and Ilsa Faust) are not sexualized like the Bond films even when the camera is on them. They’re capable and independent and they’re not in need of rescuing. Luther (Ving Rhames), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) were also given their moments to shine regardless of their time on screen. I was particularly happy to see a chapter close for Hunt’s ex-wife Julia (Michelle Monaghan). Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) was scary good and Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) might have made his last appearance as the IMF Secretary. 

The supporting cast was great and I love how McQ layers a character.

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The Ending

When the credits start rolling, I realized that Fallout actually closes out a chapter in the series leaving room for a new story altogether. The storytelling started with Rogue Nation all thanks to McQ. It also closes the storyline of Ethan Hunt being a one-man show for he now has someone by his side to bear the burden with him. This brings us to the 7th MI which Tom says is going to be in the works and has asked McQ to direct. If McQ does direct the 7th MI, it’ll be a trilogy of sorts for him. He breathed new life into a 22-year-old franchise in which the main character is still Tom Cruise. I have no idea what they’ll do for the 7th one, but I think they should come film in the Caribbean. You know? Change up the scenery a little bit? Trinidad has a lot to offer. 😁Or maybe they can head to space. Now that’s going to be an impossible mission for sure!

Thoughts aside, while it’s refreshing to see that TC refuses to stereotype himself as a ‘grandpa’ actor (taking on certain roles because his boyish charms are long gone), I refuse to see Hunt in a wheelchair. 

Overall

The lighting and the atmosphere in the movie is just gorgeous! The movie was like a dose of human love towards humanity. It was relentlessly entertaining, the plot was solid, and it’s the only franchise I’ve seen get better with every film. Everything was well done from the directing, writing, music score, and cinematography. This film was made for fans and not to appease Hollywood elitists. There were several scenes that were shown in the trailer that didn’t make it into the final cut, but the movie turned out well and the shots of Paris were magnifique

TRIVIA

^ Tom Cruise trained for an entire year to perform the HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) stunt in this film.

^ Solomon Lane is the first villain in the franchise to appear in two films.

^ At 2 hours and 27 minutes, this is the longest “Mission: Impossible” film to date. Still wasn’t long enough for some people (including my sister and friend) who didn’t want it to end. 

^ Christopher McQuarrie was the first director in the franchise to direct more than one film.

^ The bathroom fight was meant to be shot in 4 days but due to the complexity of the fight, it ends up being shot over 4 weeks. Best. Fight. Ever!

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^ This was the first “Mission: Impossible” film to be released in 3-D.

^ Tom Cruise did all stunts by himself. Props.

^ The building Tom Cruise was jumping across when he broke his ankle is Baynard House, near Blackfriars, in London. It is a building owned by BT and used as offices, meeting rooms, a car park, data routing centre and telephone exchange.

^ The helicopter which Ethan Hunt pilot is an H125 which was manufactured by Toulouse-based company Airbus. Ayy, France! 

^ Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames are the only actors to appear in all six “Mission: Impossible” films.

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(Via IMDb)

Would I watch it again?: Already did.

Memorable Lines:

Solomon Lane: There cannot be peace without first a great suffering. The greater the suffering, the greater the peace. The end you’ve always feared… is coming.

AND

Delivery Man: Fate whispers to the warrior.
Ethan Hunt: There’s a storm coming.
Delivery Man: And the warrior whispers back.
Ethan Hunt: I am the storm.

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***All photos and GIFs via Google Search

If you’ve read the entirety of this discussion, thank you, or simply skip and came to the end of this, I have a question for you: Did you enjoy Fallout as much as I did? 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

The last ten books tag!

I saw this tag going around BookTube last month and decided to have a crack at it. 

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1) The last book you didn’t finish?

I recently DNF’ed Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts for it was not engaging. I’ll probably return to it after reading some better books. At one point a movie was in the works reportedly starring Johnny Depp *yawns* but now a TV series has been proposed with Depp in the production seat *yawns*.

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2) The last book you re-read?

Besides the Bible, it was Violets Are Blue by James Patterson in April. I hardly do rereads apart from the Bible, but I plan to reread some of my favorite childhood books at some point.

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3) The last book you bought?

A few I mentioned here: A mini book haul. I look forward to reading them for the Classic Challenge I plan on doing sometime early next year God’s willing. 

4) The last book you said you read but didn’t?

I don’t ever lie about not reading a book for it doesn’t make sense to lie if I can’t explain what’s it really about from my point of view.

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5) The last book you wrote in the margins of?

I was probably ten or so. Yes, I used to write in my books when I was really young especially the ones I know I would be disposing of after reading. I recall one of those books being Fearless by Francine Pascal. I found Gaia awesome at first, but as the series wore on I got bored with her perfect human antics. I can’t recall much of the series for I stopped reading somewhere around the 3rd one, but this book is like an ode to 90s culture. When it comes to spy stuff I’ll stick with Ethan Hunt.

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6) The last book you had signed?

I don’t care for authors’ signatures.

7) The last book you lost?

I can’t recall losing a book, but I do recall lending books and never seeing them again, so I labeled them as lost. Quite surprisingly, I hardly got my James Patterson books back, so I stopped lending them out to the ‘suspects’.

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8) The last book you had to replace?

The Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty by William Bligh and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. While cleaning out I found tattered copies and had to replace those epic books immediately.

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9) The last book you had an argument over?

I don’t argue over books for everyone is entitled to their opinions whether I like a book or not.

10) The last book you couldn’t get hold of?

What even is this question? I hold my books close to my heart all the time.

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And that’s the end of this awesome tag!

***Photos (except the 2nd one which belongs to me) and Spencer Reid GIFs via Google Search

Books & Reviews 📚

Books #125-127: major disappointments👎

It’s been a while since I’ve done book reviews! I’ve been in a reading slump since June despite reading around the World Cup. It’s kind of hard for me to not read. I like being surrounded by books and it’s been fun watching my TBR go down in the past few months.

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Let’s get to those 3 books I plan on reviewing today.

Book #125: Hidden Order by Brad Thor

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This is the 12th book in the Scot Harvath series. I recall saying that this book was a 3/5 during my 3rd haul for the year and it most certainly was when I started reading it, but I won’t call this book a thriller and when I finally came to the end I had to deduct a coffee so it’s 2/5.

The book was too ‘talky’. We got a history lesson in the Federal Reserve, CIA, and Economics. I didn’t ask for thorough historical details. In one breath the author talks about the conspiracies surrounding these so-call organizations and in the next breath, he contradicts himself by calling ‘truthers’ crazy. Make up yer mind, man!

Thor takes stories from headlines and tosses his characters right in the middle of it. At times it read like a scene from the Mission: Impossible movies, but without the non-stop action.

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Five names appear on a secret list. They’re kidnapped and start showing up dead and Scot is hired to find these kidnapped people. Scot runs the investigation without even asking or trying to figure out who had access to the list. Some agent, but it’s okay for not everyone can be Ethan Hunt. And I can’t warm up to Scot Harvath. Scot is so much into Scot he’s making Cristiano Ronaldo look like a saint. Thor needs to watch Ethan Hunt for inspiration and learn how to keep his protagonist likable so we can root for him and not roll our eyes everytime his ego checks in and he’s in luck for Fallout is in theaters now. 

Book #126: Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha Bajaj

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Why? Why was this book released?

This book targets Middle Graders. I was excited to read it because I love reading books that feature India, but it tortured me and I had to give it 2/5

Annoying 13-year-old Abby discovers that her father is a Bollywood star. Oh, excuse me, according to page 85: “is the King of Bollywood!” Shah Rukh Khan wouldn’t like that for he thinks he’s the greatest gift to women. 😆I’ll pass, though. 

But back to the book. The plot was boring and the characters weren’t too colorful themselves. Abby Tara Spencer doesn’t know her father, but when she comes into the discovery that her father is Naveen Kumar and Bollywood’s biggest movie star, her life takes a dramatic turn. Naveen finds out about her and invites her to spend time with him in Mumbai so he can get to know his daughter better. 

Almost everytime Naveen’s name is mentioned, it’s followed by the adjective “shirtless”. Abby is only 13 and is concerned about her Bollywood hunky dad being shirtless most of the time. It got quite annoying to the point where I wondered if the author had wished to have a hot shirtless Bollywood actor as a father or was Shah Rukh Khan actually Naveen in her mind?

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After reading this book, I still had no idea what the author’s purpose was for writing it. My sisters read it before me and they too were underwhelmed. Knew I should’ve watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai for the 10th time or so and skip this book!

Book #127: The Reluctant Matchmaker by Shobhan Bantwal

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This might get lengthy for I have so much to say about this book. In every book I’ve read about Indian women, the main goal is for her to find the IIH (Ideal Indian Husband) despite age, despite her beauty, despite her future goals, and this same plot follows Meena, a 31-year-old Indian-American whose native tongue is Konkani (how beautiful!). Meena works in marketing and her job is to make Rathnaya (yes, that’s the name of the company) look good. This book was so boring and offensive in some areas that I can’t believe the great reviews it got on some sites. 

The characters are boring, the writing is okay, but the story is mediocre. And the fat shaming being sprinkled around like parmesan cheese on pasta as early as page 3: If only Pinky ate a few less candy bars, she’d be attractive. 

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And I am only getting started. Meena is a short irritating idiotic woman. She is judgemental and her mind is set on material things. Her brothers act like 7 year-olds instead of their age. Then we have the tall love interest: enter Prajay, the rich idiot who co-owns the company Meena works at. He’s looking for a wife, but he only dates women over six feet. I can’t make this up even if I tried. He enlists Meena’s help to find him a datable giant babe from an online dating site because he needed a woman’s point of view. For what? The grocery list? As co-founder of Rathnaya, Prajay comes across as unintelligent and I lose a point of IQ every time he speaks.

This book is so superficial. There are subtle remarks from one’s height to skin color and class. It was also RAMMED with every imaginable Indian cliché:

* The obsession with fair skin.

* Why Hindus shouldn’t marry outside of faith (particularly Muslim).

* Arranged marriages and talk of it.

* Blaming of the American culture for influencing their children when the parents chose to migrate there and birth them. 

Parents value of sons over daughters.

There was no need for half of those topics for the author didn’t really do anything with them. All the author did was stereotype. 

There is zero chemistry between the main characters. Meena fell in lust with Prajay and was pinning over him since accidentally bumping into him on their first encounter. She even made advances on him, but he just wasn’t feeling the shorty. There are hardly interactions on their behalf and yet, she thinks he’s the one? Give. Me. A. Break! That’s not love at all. The last chapter was a HUGE cringe. Whenever Prajay called Meena ‘baby’ the endearing term felt forced. Should’ve tried calling her ‘stupid’ for it definitely would’ve worked. My final verdict for this wannabe Bollywood mess is 1/5.

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#amwriting ✍

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct In 5…

Short Story #23
A crossover fanfiction

An Ethan Hunt romance.

With Wonder Woman.

This is a story.

A love story.

Although it didn’t start off as such.

Diana was a force to be reckoned with and she thought that…

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…until she met Agent Ethan Hunt.

But Hunt didn’t give her a second glance for he was on a mission for the CIA. She blinked and he was gone. The next time she encounters him, he was on the Vienna State Opera rooftop helping some femme fatale off the roof. 

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There was a little spark between him and the beauty in the billowing yellow dress waiting to be ignited and this made Diana instantly jealous another feeling she wasn’t used to. As the spy duo safely slid off the roof and to the ground via rope, Superman appeared where she perched in the dark of the building opposite the Opera house.

“You seem distracted,” he said before locating the source of her distraction. “You’ve been watching that agent for weeks now.”

Wonder Woman sighs and asks…

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To which the Man of Steel somewhat harshly replies…

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“Don’t give me that lecture, Supes. I can take care of myself.” She turns to leave the rooftop when an explosion rocketed below.

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Gasping in shock, she quickly dashed to the edge to survey the damage. A car was blown to bits and Superman was too SHOOK to move from his spot. Had he not been distracted by his partner, he would’ve heard the ticking bomb wired to the Austrian President’s car. He had to remember that her heart lied elsewhere now.

“Is he…?”

“No. Your super spy boyfriend is safe.” he scornfully muses as he flew down to the scene of the crime. Wonder Woman shrugs and decides to go after the agent who was actually waiting for her at the hotel he was holed up in. 

“You’ve been following me for quite some time, Miss Prince.” Ethan appraised what he saw in front of him although she was dressed in civilian clothing. “Took you a while to come get me.” 

Diana somewhat smiled. “This is fate, Ethan and I am hoping that you’ll accept it.”

Ethan Hunt was intrigued. “Oh yeah?” he said amused. “I don’t believe in fate, but I do believe in luck and you’re in luck. Now, tell me why you were stalking me for the past few weeks and maybe we can come to some sort of an agreement.”

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That was exactly seven months ago. Now that they were a couple, they had to settle for seeing each other whenever they can even if it was just for a minute. Ethan had his secret missions and she had the world to save with the Justice League. 

Tonight, the secret island was bathed in a cold full moon. Ethan was reclining back in a chair out on the balcony half asleep healing from the last brutal mission which almost cost him an arm, but when he sensed his girlfriend close, he opened his eyes to smile at her. “Thanks for bringing me here. I needed this getaway,” he said, holding up his slung arm.

“I like taking care of you,” Diana assures him as she takes his invitation and sat on his lap. Being domesticated was also something she never thought she would be good at. She wraps her arms around his neck, his smile growing deeper. She still couldn’t get over his smiles sometimes. At how his one-in-a-million perfect combination of teeth and lips made her feel like she was the most important person in the entire galaxy. Superman never made her feel that way. She wanted to be the only one Ethan smiled at. The only one he saved his best kisses for. “And I love you just the way you are.”

“Immoderate amounts of danger and injury included?” he asked.

She nods yes. 

“I’m beginning to feel like Batman, though, with so many injur…” she quieted him with a kiss, happily ending any more need for words. But the bliss was not to last for Ethan’s cell phone interrupted the beautiful silence. They both sighed for they knew it meant business. She ran her hand through his glorious head of hair and touched his forehead with hers.

“Answer it,” she whispered as she stands. He didn’t complain as she walked away for he loved watching her walk away.

Ethan groaned in annoyance already knowing who it was, but he took the call anyway. A recorded voice immediately fills his ear: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it -“

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ELSEWHERE…

Superman sulked rather nastily as he sat in the Watch Tower alone. Normally, Wonder Woman will be on watch duty with him, but she was on some secret island with that stupid secret agent on a mini getaway. He had every intention to destroy Hunt in the building blast, but the bastard made it out alive. The bruises and the broken arm was enough to make Superman smugly smile. The puny mortal was no match for him.

Hunt was Diana’s sun and moon, but Superman was about to end the universe to win her heart back. 

 :

This story was actually a few months in the making. I thought about sharing it earlier, but the time never felt right. I am not ashamed of my writing, but this is my first Crossover FanFiction and I wasn’t sure if it would’ve been welcomed. Then fear flew out the window and I decided to post it. I have never written Hunt nor WW before, so don’t judge me. I like taking characters out of their natural habitat and do the odd pairing thing every once in a while. Sydney Bristow was my preferred choice for the female protagonist, but she’s Hunt’s equal… sort of.

I think it’s time for an Ethan Hunt cartoon! As for this, there might be a part deux, but I’m not sure as yet. 🤔 I wanted the GIFs to give off a comic-y feel hence the reason they’re scattered all over. Also, I think TC is a spy in real-life and acting is just his cover. 😉

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On second thought… 🤔

I love challenging myself as a writer so I had fun writing this.

And for the WW fanatics who may argue that she wouldn’t fall in love that fast, relax, it’s just fiction… although she did flip head over heels at first sight for Superman. Not that I’m complaining, for I’ll go down with this ship.

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***GIFs via Google Search

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Entertainment

Mission: Impossible – Fallout was 🔥

Mission: Impossible – Fallout opened here (Trinidad) last evening and I had to be there on opening day. To be honest, I thought we were getting this movie on August 01st for we hardly get movies this early, but I ain’t complaining. I enjoyed it in the company of a few friends and they’ll be returning to watch it again. Yes, it was that good.

This time around, McQuarrie gives us a deeper look at what makes Ethan Hunt tick. The film is filled with lots of eye-popping action and Tom Cruise ran away with the show.

I’ll be writing a full review sometime next week God’s willing if I get up to it.