Category Archives: Hillari

The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain: A Quick Review

The Paris Wifex-large

So, it’s a new year and I’ve joined a book club.  I’m excited, but also a little nervous because I’m finally reading “adult” stuff.  It’s my goal to share with you what I’m reading each month, and maybe you’ll want to give it a shot, too.  So with that being said…  My first book of 2014 is The Paris Wife, a novel by Paula Mclain. Continue reading

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Catching Fire: A Quick Review


Yeah, it was good. Jennifer Lawrence nailed it, but did we ever doubt she would? I was immersed in Panem immediately, and I could literally feel the hope of an uprising in every scene! It was so powerful! The additional characters were well casted and have such intriguing back stories and motivations. And I was so excited to finally see some chemistry taking place between Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. I mean, it wasn’t bad in the first movie — I just wasn’t that invested. In this film, you can really see them beginning to feel for each other in a truly selfless way. Yeah, I’m a fan. Go see it.

– Hillari

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A Quick Review: Edenbrooke and Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Hello Friends,

In case the cold weather is keeping you in the house these days and
you want to further procrastinate your housecleaning or Christmas
shopping — join the slacker club with me! I have two wonderful books
to keep you entertained: Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, both
“A Proper Romance” by Julianne Donaldson.

Okay, so let me just say — swoon. I could not put these two great,
fun, delightfully romantic books down. They both left me grinning
like an idiot, and also feeling very concerned that I might never find
a man that suited me as well as a fictional character (scary, I
know.) Donaldson definitely delivers that Regency romance that I
can’t get enough of, but her writing speaks more to the modern world,
while not becoming it. So for those of you who love Austen movies,
but have trouble getting into the books — these novels will not

Truly, I had such a great time with these stories, and they really are
good “clean” fun — and who of us can’t use some of that these days.
So put on a pot of chili, curl up in your Snuggie, and let Philip
Wyndham keep you warm!

— Hillari

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The Mortal Instruments (Film Adaptation): A Quick Review


Hmm… I was entertained. The visuals were cool and completely coincided with what my mind had already came up with as a reader.

Umm… The acting? Well, they all looked good. And Jamie Campbell Bower did not disappoint — I totally bought that he was Jace Wayland. I also thought the adult cast was well done. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a little over the top, but an otherwise good villain.

I mean, overall, I liked it. I’m not going to lie, there were definitely some cheesy/flat-out-awkward moments. One in particular comes to mind, and if you see this film, you’ll know the exact one I’m talking about.

Will I pay to see this movie again? No.

Will I watch it while doing menial house chores, once it finds its way to ABC Family? Yes.

Will I pay to see the next one on the big screen? Yeah… Probably… I mean, I’m going to.


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The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen: A Quick Review


Hello all my literary soulmates! In case you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to spend your time for the next few months while we wait patiently on The Mortal Instruments film adaptation, the final installment of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, and not to mention The Hunger Games sequel, I have some ideas…

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Young Adult Fiction Author John Green: A Quick Review

Author John Green is one of those people who have the ability to make aspiring authors, like myself, both want to better ourselves and vomit at the same time. I would be satisfied to just write a sentence as well as Green, let alone a whole novel. The guy is just good. His knack for language is excellent, and his capability of making our everyday emotions this tangible thing is inspiring.


I was introduced to Green’s work about three years ago when his young adult novel, Looking for Alaska, was listed as a text for one of my kid lit classes. I bought the book, but I ended up dropping the class (I decided to go with storytelling that semester). Anyways, the book sat on my shelf until a couple of months ago. I decided to go searching for it after reading and loving his latest novel, The Fault in Our Stars, last year.

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The List: Hillari’s Best Movie Endings Ever! (Since the year 2000)

Some may call me an optimist after reviewing this list, but believe me, I’ve been called worse. I mean, is there anything better than a good, hopeful, awe-inspiring, uplifting, and all out warm-fuzzies guaranteed departure from our fictional, but based-on-a-true-story-world? I’ll be the first to admit, I love leaving the theater (or closing a book) with a butt load of goosebumps and a whole lot of happy, now-how-can-I-take-this-and-become-the-person-I-want-to-be feelings.

Here is my list of best movie endings ever, in this millennium. Please keep in mind that there are numerous honorable mentions (that I’m not going to mention), and that this is completely my opinion — and does not reflect the views of my fellow bloggers (who are probably judging me silently right now).

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The Miserables Review: Man of Steel


Fallon: Summer blockbuster reviews continue as we make our way through June. Below, Hillari, Andrew, and I review the much anticipated “Man of Steel.”

*******This review may contain spoilers*******

Hillari: Okay, so here is my little spiel…. I loved this movie. I loved the world that was created. I loved the overall message that was related. And, I don’t think there are many women who would argue with me when I say, I loved the casting! Now, it is long and it’s intense, but remember they call it action-packed for a reason.  If you’re looking for a movie this summer that will uplift you, empower you, and just generally make you want to be a better person — I suggest you see this film.

Andrew: As someone who has always been highly critical of the character Superman, seeing him as only a one-note barely flawed and unbeatable alien, I was surprised when the first trailer for Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” hit movie screens and I loved it. A grounded take on Superman that makes him a more relatable and flawed human being (although technically he is not from this world) was always something I wanted to see. It was with this expectation that I went into my midnight screening of MOS.

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Game of Thrones: For Better or Worse — Expect the Worst


The Land of Happy

Have you been to The Land of Happy,
Where everyone’s happy all day,
Where they joke and they sing
Of the happiest things,
And everything’s jolly and gay?
There’s no one unhappy in Happy,
There’s laughter and smiles galore.
I have been to The Land of Happy –
What a bore!

– Shel Silverstein

*** Spoliers Alert ***

I wonder at what age George R.R. Martin read this little poem. He certainly took it to heart. I don’t know about you, but after last night’s Red Wedding, I almost banned Starks and Lannisters and Freys for good. I knew that what happened was going to happen, but I was still holding out for a possible last-minute story change. Martin may look like Santa Claus, but this guy is definitely on my suspect list of possible Dementors. It seems like every time a character in his series has a string of hope – snap, crackle, pop – string of hope diminished. It gets very frustrating to me as a reader and a viewer, because I fall in love with these characters (especially Jon Snow!), and their hopes and horrors become my desires and fears. I mean, we’re in a world of dragons and direwolves. Can’t we get a fairy godmother or two?

However, before I told the whole of Seven Kingdoms to kiss it, I began to understand (kind of) what Martin was saying: life is not a fairy tale, and happy endings are hard to come by. And, although we may not be facing Tywin Lannister on a daily basis, we’re facing all kinds of other obstacles. I hope this doesn’t make you too depressed, because I just reread it, and now I’m a little depressed. At least I didn’t bring up the White Walkers…oops.

Okay, so I’ve decided that even though Martin’s characters continue to suffer and struggle but sometimes overcome – usually not – they’re still moving forward. So the next time you ask yourself, “Why am I still watching/reading this?” “Why do I continue to put my soul through this torment?” just remember that like the characters, you’re still moving forward, you’re still hoping…. It’s going to get better (maybe). It can’t get much worse (possibly).


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The Miserables Review: Star Trek Into Darkness


Fallon: Everyone did their movie homework this weekend- and aren’t we glad that we did! Below we discuss Star Trek Into Darkness.

******* This review may contain spoilers*******

Ashley: If J.J. Abrams directs every movie I see for the rest of my life, it will be just fine with me. I really enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkness. It was action packed, funny, and full of heart. Each character’s arc was right on. You know the story, their weakness ended up actually being their strengths, and what saves the Enterprise. This sequel seemed to be more of a bromance than the first. There was a time or two that I thought Kirk and Spock might actually kiss! So did this movie make me want to become a better person? No, but I still recommend seeing at some point this summer.

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