Brain on Fire, Gone Girl, Dark Places

I’ve had fierce writer’s block the past few months, but instead of writing about that, I’m going to write about the books I’ve been reading.

gillian flynn dark placesRosamund Pike Gone Girl Movie trailergillian flynn gone girl






First of all, if you’ve read Gone Girl, hated the way it ended but thought the writing was great, then you should read Dark Places. In my opinion, Dark Places was the better of the two books and I’m looking forward to reading Sharp Objects. I went to see Gone Girl at the theater Saturday night. Having read the book, I was skeptical about the way it would be adapted but I thought it was well-cast. Love him or hate him, Ben Affleck made a great Nick Dunne. Rosamund Pike was despicable and I’m left wondering whether her depiction of Amy Dunne is more likely than Annabelle to give me nightmares. I went to see the movie with my friends Michelle (who had read the book) and Mike (who hadn’t). We all came out of the movie theater on the same wavelength: Almost all of the characters in the movie are pretty much awful – and we hated the movie. But then again, that’s how I felt at the end of the book, which is why I recommend Dark Places as your next Gillian Flynn read. However, I’ve never been good at movie reviews or else I would’ve made a career out of it. If you’ve read the book & went to see the movie, you should read this review.

Gillian Flynn adapted her own novel into a screenplay and, perhaps because she spent ten years at Entertainment Weekly presumably chopping thousands of words of precious copy into mini-blurbs fit for print, she seems to have had little trouble excising only the most vital organs from the body of her 400-plus page bestseller.

There’s been a little buzz about the movie being misogynist—criticisms that were also leveled at the book—but I did not find that to be the case. Yes, most of the female characters are deplorable for various crimes typically coded as feminine: for being shallow, fickle, attention-hungry, dumb, gullible, controlling. But it’s not like the male characters are a pack of winners, either. Almost everyone in the movie is a straight-up terrible person, the only possible exception being Margo, Nick’s sister.

brain on fireSpeaking of books, I finally got around to reading Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. It’s the true story of a journalist whose body attacked her brain and she tells the powerful true story of her descent into madness. I finished it in a day and firmly believe that it’s a book that everyone should read. We’re all familiar of the stigma of mental illness and how little we truly understand about our bodies and minds, despite all of the medical advances we’ve made in the last few decades. The book also does an amazing job of displaying the impact our loved ones have on us, as well as the affect mental illness can have on those closest to us. It’s an incredible story about fear, perseverance, and faith.

I would soon learn firsthand that this kind of illness often ebbs and flows, leaving the sufferer convinced that the worst is over, even when it’s only retreating for a moment before pouncing again.

In addition to these books, I’ve also re-read The Giver, finally read Ender’s Game and began reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

What have you been reading lately?

GetGlue Gets Itself In a Sticky Situation

I love GetGlue and have a lot of friends who love it as well. With a lot of different apps and websites out there for checking into the TV shows, movies and sporting events, there was always one thing that made GetGlue stand out: Their stickers. More importantly, the fact that people could order PHYSICAL copies of the stickers they earned by checking in.

Read more GetGlue Gets Itself In a Sticky Situation

Just Dance 4 – Rickroll Included

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

I dance around in my apartment all the time, sometimes to no music. So when I get a chance to review a game like Just Dance 4 from Ubisoft, I jump on it. It had been a while since I’d used my Kinect when I tried out Just Dance 4 so once I got through the updates, I picked a song and dived into the game.

Read more Just Dance 4 – Rickroll Included

Vampires, Mockingjays, Writers, and Giveaways

When I first heard about Vampire Diaries, I cringed. I said “Hahaha, no” because, let’s be honest: We’ve all been a little scarred about vampires in today’s pop culture thanks to a sparkling, brooding one we all know and hate.

Then it was on Netflix. As someone who works from home and needs background noise during the day, I figured, why not? It’d play on the background and I wouldn’t have to pay attention because I’d probably end up hating it anyway.

I really should know better.

I finished the first two seasons in 5ish days. Because that’s how I do shows. I marathon, I obsess and then if the show is no longer on the air, go through withdrawals. Lucky for me, there’s a new episode of Vampire Diaries tonight because I need my Damon fix.

Speaking of obsessions, did you guys know that Hunger Games movie is coming out? I mean, in case you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know. And if you’re on any of my social networks, you’re also aware of my obsession.

I have never gone to a midnight screening of a movie.


You bet your sweet ass that I will be buying my tickets early and going to the midnight show for this movie, because, I’m a little obsessed.

I even have a “May the odds be ever in your favor” bracelet.

I will, more than likely, read the books again before the movie comes out.

In case you missed it, there’s a new trailer for it.

Moving on, I have two announcements:

1) If you’re a freelance writer looking for work, or know of someone who’s looking for work, I need a few great writers for a few of my clients. All the information can be found in this post.

2) I have an AWESOME giveaway for you guys on Monday. Get ready because you’re going to love it.

I know I’ve been MIA lately but what’s going on in your world?  How did the first month of 2012 treat ya? 

Kristen Bell, Please Be My Best Friend

I’m not one of those people who follows celebrity lives. I have a few celebrities whose work I enjoy, who I have girl crushes on and the guys who make me drool.

But then there’s Kristen Bell. I have to be honest, I was kind of annoyed with her in Heroes but she won me over in Veronica Mars. She’s also kind of awesome in House of Lies.

If I had the chance to be friends with any celebrity, it’d be her.

Then I saw this incredibly endearing video and I’m putting out the call to the Universe.

Kristen Bell, please be my best friend. I have a Penguin Posse. We’ll love you forever and ever.

How to Avoid Ruining Shows on Twitter

*I originally wrote this post back in 2009 but from a few complaints I’ve seen on Twitter already, it was worth reposting*

Everything is instant and we’re all connected globally.

So what happens when our Twitter feed has the potential to ruin our night of television?

Back in the day, when I did reviews, I’d wait to post a review blog on TV show until the west coast had aired it…and even then, the title and the first five lines of the blog would read: SPOILERS!! STOP RIGHT THERE!! giving the reader plenty of warning.

Where’s the warning on our Twitter feed? How about Facebook?

I made the mistake last week, during the episode of Glee, to Tweet lines while watching the show live. Realizing my mistake, I then tweeted @ those users that I knew were watching it at the same time but then you run into the problem of having common friends who can still see your Twitter feed. Even if you give fair warning, the instant Twitter feed will quickly bury your warning tweet. If a friend is following 500 people, your tweets probably won’t stand out too much but what if you’re just one of 20?

Posting REACTIONS are different than actually narrating the show itself. “Whoa, what just happened?” will incite excitement and anticipation for the friend who has yet to watch the episode over “Wow, I cannot believe she just threw a rock in his window!” will make them resent you for ruining a surprising moment.

Be considerate and wary of the people that you share your daily insights with…Here are a few tips on not alienating your friends during Fall 2011:

1) Find out which of your readers watch the same shows you do. Send out a poll tweet to get an idea.
2) Be aware of the time zones that your friends live in.
3) Use your direct messaging/IM. Keep the spoilers out of the public timeline. (One of my favorite things to do is chat on IM with a friend who’s watching the same show as me, especially for shows like Glee)
4) Give reactions to the show without giving away plot details. (Quotes are usually OK during comedies, as long as you aren’t giving away a surprise)
5) On Facebook, consider opening up a running note to talk about the show with those watching it at the same time, instead of posting status messages.
5) ENJOY THE SHOW! You can tweet/facebook about it the next day!

A Tweet is not a blog…There’s nowhere to bury the content.

Remember that as excited as YOU are to watch the new episode of your favorite show, so is everyone else who is a fan. We’re all busy people with very different schedule.

We integrate our lives with each other instantly on Twitter & Facebook. Let’s extend the consideration and remember the golden rule: NO SPOILERS.

Is this a problem that you’ve run into? Do you have any other tips/suggestions/complaints?