One of Us Is Next: Bayview High Book II

Books, Entertainment

How’s that new blog schedule going? Terrible 😛 I have just been incredibly lazy lately, I literally cannot sleep enough even though I’m in bed by 8 most nights. Well, aside from one night where I decided that I would check out the Star Wars saga and stayed up until 3 AM. I can now say that I have watched these movies at the ripe old age of 33. You heard me, I had never seen a single one but they were OK if a little light on plot. Anyway, this post was supposed to be my January To Be Read but it’s already mid-January and I’ve read most of my picks. Instead, I will share my thoughts on the wildly anticipated sequel to the YA novel One of Us Is Lying which I really enjoyed. Now, I’m almost middle-aged and don’t dabble too much into this genre because of the corny high school scenarios but the plot of both books is pretty shocking and twisted for a YA novel which I appreciate.

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This book picks up where the first left off, there’s drama at Bayview High again and this time, the stakes are deadly. The main characters from the first installment have gone off to college, started lives of their own but still share an unbreakable bond after the death of one of their schoolmates, Simon. He ran a gossip app that tormented and entertained the population of Bayview, in his absence some have tried to rekindle the popular gossip forum without much success. That is until an anonymous schemer kicks off a game of Truth or Dare exposing the darkest secrets of the students.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author brought back some of the main characters from the first one but also fleshed out a few of the supporting characters that we didn’t know a lot about. The story is told from different points of view, the main characters this time are Phoebe, Maeve and Knox whose lives are somewhat already intertwined before they become the focus of the Truth or Dare game in one way or another. I like this narration style but it can be hard to follow each story line which is why I will most likely give this one a second read. As the story picks up towards the end, I found myself losing track of small details. The game kicks off with the anonymous texter exposing Phoebe for sleeping with her sister’s boyfriend which starts a rift between the sisters who are already under strain after the death of their father. Then Knox is exposed for an unfortunate performance during what was supposed to be he and Maeve’s first time. The game turns deadly though when a fellow classmate Brandon falls to his death after deciding to take the seemingly lesser high risk dare option. You’d think that everyone would tell their parents what was going on at this point but in true teenage fashion, they don’t. Problems only escalate when the anonymous texter tries to bomb a rehearsal dinner. Yeah, apparently high school students know how to build bombs and aren’t afraid to use them. Knox and Maeve save the day and we find out that the most unlikely student was involved with the anonymous bomb maker and Brandon’s death.

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It’s really a sad story all around, all of the kids involved have had their lives ruined by some family tragedy. There’s a weird feeling of revenge not being the answer but also thinking that some people deserved what they got. Then, when you find out who was really behind the whole ordeal, it just gets even sadder. After I read these types of books, it always makes me wonder if these things are really happening in schools or if it’s just the author embellishing the sometimes irrational actions of the American teenager. Not to get real dark here but in light of some of the violence that has happened in our schools, some of these events really wouldn’t even shock me. I enjoyed the pace of the writing, the characters are fun if a little moony at times and apparently none of these kids had any homework…or parents around to pay attention to what they are doing. Even if you aren’t into the whole YA genre (which I’m not) I would still recommend both Bayview books as pretty decent thrillers. I also like the writing style of the Author, Karen M. McManus and plan to check out her recent standalone novel.

Have you read either of these, let me know what you thought!

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New Year, New…blah, blah, blah…

Life

New Year’s has never been my holiday, growing up with my mother, we were always expecting the world to end. To me, the year already starts off fantastic simply because the world didn’t end. When I started living on my own I planned on sleeping through the stroke of midnight so then I would at least miss the Apocalypse – or whatever the fuck the religious zealots always say is going to happen. Is it the Rapture? Don’t we want that? I always wondered how the end of the world worked with time zones. Is it when the first continent hits midnight? Does Death just pick at random? Wouldn’t it be a laugh if the world actually ends at like 1:42 AM or other seemingly insignificant, unassuming time? Exactly where will he be riding from, are there numerous entities? How can the entire world end all at once? Won’t some countries hear of the arrival of the end of the world and be able to prepare? Always things that I wondered as a child, it was a relief watching the NYE celebration in New York because I could relax knowing they were 3 hours ahead of us and hadn’t been smote so we were probably in the clear. It’s nuts right? Thanks, Christianity. Let’s not even get into the fact that time is a man made construct and only exists because we all adhere to it and say it does. So, like I said, not big into New’s Year 😀 I don’t make resolutions, if you want to make a change then do it whenever you feel like it! Also, the world could be ending so why wait for New Year’s?! I appreciate the concept of leaving things in the past year and have some things that can stay in 2019.

Smol Kitty Boi

I’m sure that most people can relate to this one, I will jump on Instagram to see what’s happening and spend hours on the explore page absorbing shit that isn’t enriching my life. I definitely want to be choosier with how I spend my time and stay up to date on current events without the unnecessary bullshit.

Smol Kitty Boi

I have been working since I was 16, I’m sick of it and I am sick of working all of the time. I was thinking just the other day that I wouldn’t be up at 5 AM if I didn’t need to be at work, my work day starts 3 hours before I’m even there. I wouldn’t use as much gas, I wouldn’t have to waste money on work specific clothes. And no, I am not compensated for these things with my salary – my salary is for what I do when I actually get to work. How is this not talked about more?

Smol Kitty Boi

Not much to say here, I don’t like being around a lot of people.

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They know who they are 😛

Smol Kitty Boi

I have been treating myself all over the place, this is the year that I hope to purchase a house and should be more conservative. We won’t talk about the David’s Tea order that I treated myself to for my birthday 😀

Do you make resolutions or set goals for the new year? Let me know if you did anything fun for the holiday! Oh, and Happy New Year 🙂

Blogmas Day 21: Best Television Christmas Specials

Blogmas - 2019

Have you ever heard that jazzy, doowop mash-up version of What Christmas Means to Me with the bitching harmonica solo? Literally my favorite Christmas song but until this evening, I thought that it was a woman singing – it isn’t, it’s Stevie Wonder and I’m shocked. I might love it even more now but am I the only the thought it was a lady singing, let me know…

I’m just waiting on a couple of gifts to be delivered and I am officially done gift shopping. I like to stay up really late and listen to holiday music or watch old television Christmas specials while wrapping. I did a wrapping paper and gift bag shop yesterday, now I just need to queue up my favorite shows/songs.

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The Conners decorate their home for the holidays, after receiving a note from their neighborhood association asking that the decor be removed – they retaliate with even more lights and over the top decor. I grew up in a very white trash community, this episode resonates with me on so many levels.

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Just about everyone is having a miserable holiday and regales their woes to a masseuse that Frasier has treated the household to as a holiday treat. Daphne and Martin are in a quarrel as Daphne though the old guy was dying on account of his mysterious visits to church. Frasier spills the beans about Roz’s pregnancy to her unwitting mother and Niles is just Niles.

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I know that most everyone’s favorite holiday episode is Benihana Christmas but I think that episode is just tragic. In this one, Phyllis blackmails Angela into allowing her to throw a really bizarre Moroccan themed office party. Meredith lights herself on fire while belly dancing and gets hauled to detox and Angela’s tryst with Dwight comes to light.

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Even the crypt keeper gets into the holiday spirit with this kitschy slasher episode. After offing her husband to cash in on his insurance policy, a disgruntled housewife falls victim to a serial killing Santa.

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George thinks he’s scored the best Christmas gift for Elaine when he finds a cashmere sweater on clear out. He soon finds out that it is stained with a small red dot, he seduces the cleaning lady and gifts her the sweater. Jerry accidentally servers Elaine’s alcoholic boyfriend booze and it’s all around a bizarrely hilarious episode.

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Have we talked about my love of Northern Exposure lately? Maurice meets his son he fathered while in the Marines and Joel sets out to find his first Christmas tree. It seems light on plot but it’s one of the most endearing episodes.

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Christmas is a rough time for Monk since it was his wife Trudy’s favorite time of year. He’s having a hard enough time when he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and apparently guilty of shooting Santa.

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Springfield Elementary gets snowed in, Homer and Flanders are tasked with rescuing the kids before the students drive Principal Skinner completely insane.

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There are so many good Christmas specials but this will at least get you started 🙂 Are you done shopping or do you like the chaos of last minute shopping 😉 I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season, thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 19: Christmas Traditions I Can Live Without

Blogmas - 2019

I post something along these lines each year and most of it is hyperbole, I know and love that the holidays mean something different to everyone!

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I know that it’s not raw eggs but I can’t with the texture of eggnog, the flavor or the smell. Why does it always taste and smell like there is booze in it when there isn’t? It’s milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, I can’t even. Also, booze doesn’t make it better.

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I think that popcorn garland looks lovely but stringing it is a nightmare. I was terrible at stringing popcorn when I was a kid and repeatedly stabbed myself with the needle, I would never subject myself or others to this activity.

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It’s creepy & everyone knows it, lets all collectively stop doing it.

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I’m probably overthinking this but it’s odd to me that children everywhere are excited about their homes being invaded. I much prefer the kindly, charitable Saint Nicholas as opposed to the modern day, breaking & entering Santa. Who, by the way, doesn’t even eat the cookies that are left for him.

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The milk and cookies thing – what a waste.

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When I was a kid, it literally took my mom like 16 hours to cook a turkey. I have no idea why but it was Christmas Eve tradition that she would be up all night basting this stupid turkey. In my adulthood, I have found out that it does not take that long to cook a turkey – even a big one. I’ll never know why she cooked that thing so long.

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Have you ever really listened to some of the lyrics to popular Christmas songs? Some are really bizarre, Winter Wonderland comes to mind. First of all, who is Parson Brown? Second, that whole are you married bit and the part time husband thing. Again, probably overthinking it but can someone write some new Christmas songs for the love of Parson Brown?!

Let me know what holiday traditions you could do without & thanks for stopping by!

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Blogmas Day 16: The Holiday

Blogmas - 2019

I am not a rom-com kinda’ gal unless we’re talking the Brat Pack era films or anything with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. I think that rom-coms portray an unrealistic idea of love and being in love. I do know some couples that seem like they are straight out of a film script but not many. I mean, not everyone can get engaged during the Holidazzle (barf, by the way). Does that mean everyone else’s relationships are bad? No, it means that most people probably have real life relationships without the ridiculousness of manufactured romance. Anyway, The Holiday was on while I was making cookies this weekend and I was shocked at how much I enjoyed this movie!

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The movie starts where all of these movies seem to start, heartbreak. Iris finds out that her love interest has just become engaged and Amanda has just broken up with her boyfriend. Iris is a plain Jane type (I mean, as plain as the stunning Winslet could be) and Amanda is a jet setting business mogul, the two could not be more opposite. Looking for a change of scenery, the two swap living spaces – is this a thing? It sounds like something that I would be interested in doing so let me know if you want to swap spaces for a while 😀 Iris heads to the states and Amanda heads to Surrey. Of course, the two women fall in love with unlikely new acquaintances overseas. I was surprisingly pleased with the male leads in this one, Jude Law is your standard rom-com fare although, I like that he has kids in this one. Jack Black was a pleasant change from the usual hunks. Everyone loves a funny man but he was delightful in this role. Kate Winslet is hands down my favorite actress, I enjoy most anything that she is in. Aside from Titanic which is ironic since that’s what launched her career (more on this later). It is wildly unrealistic, I mean, maybe two people could meet and fall in love under said circumstances but probably not. I think what I enjoy most about this one is that it reminds me of older films in this genre that were wildly unrealistic with a touch of perhaps it could happen. It is a long movie but from start to finish, it’s just fun. I think it has definitely become a new must-watch holiday movie for me! If you haven’t seen it and aren’t really into this genre of movies, I would still recommend giving it a watch.

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Let me know if you have seen this one and if you were a fan or not! Also, legit let me know if you want a little holiday in the Twin Cities and I will come to wherever you are. Thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 15: Sunday Funday

Blogmas - 2019

I have a two week vacation coming up next week and I cannot wait. This time of year, while one of my favorites, is hard for an introvert. There’s just so much going on; potlucks, parties, work, shopping all on top of just regular existing and I’m exhausted. I’m in the middle of making 3-dozen chocolate spoons, I have to make a dish for work on Wednesday and a dessert for Friday and it will all be here and gone before you know it. I thought I’d just do a rambling update post for this evening.

Amilya Regular

I don’t have a metabolism that allows me to not work out everyday. It’s been so cold and icy that I decided to join a gym. So far so good, for $20 a month I can use all of the equipment and attend their classes. I’m liking it more than I thought I would, partly because I also picked up some cute new workout clothes 😝

Amilya Regular

Yup. I’m getting a new kitten, I have one senior cat and one younger cat who is a bit rambunctious. I’m thinking the younger cat could use a companion since my senior kitty is really mellow. I’ll be sure to post about him when he arrives in about 2 weeks.

Amilya Regular

I’ve been doing really well with not buying stuff I don’t need but I’ve been in a shopping mood. I think it’s partly due to the fact that I’ve been gift shopping and keep gifting myself 😉 Also though, my birthday is coming up and I’ll get back to better spending habits after that.

Amilya Regular

I totally spaced on sending any cards this year! On the one hand, I don’t mind because they’re just unnecessary waste but this is the first year since I was 18 that I haven’t sent any ☹️

Amilya Regular

I always claim that winter is my favorite season and then we have a winter like this one, we’ve already received 20 inches of snow and the first day of winter isn’t even until the 21st! Also, we’ve been having January temps and it’s been driving my MS crazy. Apparently, it makes me more sensitive to the cold and this year I’m really feeling it.

Amilya Regular

I don’t know where but I’ve had a hankering to see new places and meet new people lately. Unfortunately, all of the places that I’d like to live (in the middle of nowhere) don’t have an abundance of jobs. Living in a metro area has worn on me, I don’t like it but I do like my job. Who knows where I’ll end up but hopefully somewhere new soon.

That’s it for today, let me know what’s on you mind. Thanks for reading!

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Blogmas Day 10: Would you Rather Holiday Edition

Blogmas - 2019

Would you Rather Tags are always fun and I found this one that 100’s of questions with a holiday twist. I’ve selected a few without making this too long (hopefully), enjoy!

Amilya Regular

As much fun as Christmas was when I was kid, I enjoy shopping for kids probably more than I recall getting them. Have you heard of Cabbage Patch Sprouts? They are like Polly Pocket but Cabbage Patch figurines and are super adorable. It’s just fun to look at all of the latest & greatest toys that come out each year.

Amilya Regular

Elf ears, no question because though I like the look of beards, I’m sure that they are a pain to upkeep. Also, talk about an instant Halloween costume accessory each year.

Amilya Regular

Useful, I received a cold weather kit a few years ago and I still have it in my trunk and have used it many times. It has everything you need for a Minnesota winter; jump pack, cat litter, emergency blanket, water – it’s awesome.

Amilya Regular

How about neither? 2100 is going to be Water World and everything probably smelled rancid in 1700 but at least global warming wasn’t a thing and human population growth wasn’t out of control. Fine, 1700, I guess.

Amilya Regular

I think it depends, both are equally important. I would have to consider what would be more beneficial to the recipient.

Amilya Regular

The White House, just once. It’s one of few historical places in the US and I think it would be cool to see outside of a public tour.

Amilya Regular

I have done both and equally enjoyed both, honestly. It can be nice to stay home and not worry about bad weather or traffic but it’s also nice to go somewhere and not have to be the one who cooks, cleans and organizes everything.

Amilya Regular

None at all, I’m not crazy about parties in general but holiday parties are especially exhausting. Often times, it’s a bunch of people who might only see each other 1-2 times a year and there’s this obligation to care about what everyone has been up to. The question is, does anyone really care!? If we did, wouldn’t we hang out more? I much prefer holiday parties with close friends who I see often but could skip those too 😛

Amilya Regular

Snow! What is Christmas without snow? Although, if it could stop raining before it snowed, that would be great. Thank you, global warming.

Amilya Regular

I’ve never tried a fruitcake, that I can recall but I am assuming that it really is as bad as everyone claims and will just skip dessert altogether.

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Thanks for reading, I hope that it isn’t 5 degrees where you are but if it is, stay warm!

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