The downfall of a dream girl

I promised you musings and ramblings, and now I’m ready to deliver. I will be posting reviews of the show “You” that’s available on Netflix. I’m watching season 1, and will be reviewing all the episodes, publishing one review a day. I will be posting my ramblings just as they are – one proof-read for errors, and then off they go, no internal editor. Let’s see how it goes. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT!

SEASON 1 EPISODE 7

  • Oh let me guess, Joe. Over the next few weeks you realized that you’re in a real relationship with a real person, and that’s not the same as all your fantasies, so you started to feel weird about it. Not to mention that Beck never properly healed from Peach’s death. I hope I’m not right about this, cause if I’m right then this show is predictable and boring.
  • So this is obviously a fake-out episode. Only a fake-out to distract us from what?…
  • Joe is investigating Beck’s therapist by pretending that he has problems with his boyfriend, Ronaldo. Nice one, Joe.
  • “Everybody hates Dreiser” – true that, brother.
  • Aren’t they going to suffocate on candle fumes in that glass chamber? It does have air holes, but it’s probably not enough for proper ventilation.
  • Excuse moi, but since when does a Sagittarius crave attention?! It’s the first I’m hearing of this – and I’m a Sagittarius, so I know what they say about my sign. And while we are social butterflies, we don’t crave attention. We generally attract it by being the life of the party, ha-ha.
  • Is it just me, or is Beck super-annoying? And not worth all the carnage? I know I’ve said it plenty of times that Beck is the worst, but she really is THE WORST. Like, why can’t she turn off the sound on her phone? The constant ding of messages would drive anyone mad, even if there was no cheating involved.
  • Say what?! Joe realized the error of his ways and is ready to let Beck go? That looks sane and rational, which tells me that something messed up is about to happen cause we have three more episodes to go and they need to be filled with something other than Joe quietly pining for Beck and peacefully stalking her. Something crazy has to happen, otherwise this show makes no sense.
  • We get another glimpse of Candace that let’s us know that craziness is indeed coming. Oh good!
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I bruise like a peach

I promised you musings and ramblings, and now I’m ready to deliver. I will be posting reviews of the show “You” that’s available on Netflix. I’m watching season 1, and will be reviewing all the episodes, publishing one review a day. I will be posting my ramblings just as they are – one proof-read for errors, and then off they go, no internal editor. Let’s see how it goes. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 6

  • Peach is good, very good at her game. Joe has found a worthy adversary, and we have found some good drama on this show.
  • This show is brilliant! The whole episode was leading up to the confrontation between Joe and Peach. I knew it was coming, it was inevitable – the only outcome of Joe’s desperate trip to Greenwich. And yet he managed to stay hidden for so long in that giant house that I even started to doubt my previous theory. Glad that I was wrong! The build-up of tension was expertly executed, so that we arrive at the confrontation not entirely sure how Joe will get out of this mess. And again, I know that he has to get out of it, so that the show can continue, but how can he possibly turn the situation around when no odds are in his favor right now?
  • Now Peach is truly gone, too bad – I really liked her. I hope that Joe doesn’t get away with it, given all the evidence he was bound to leave behind without realizing it. That pee jar, for one, and I’m sure there’s other evidence, but they might not look into it, given the apparent suicide. RIP Peach and her fierce eyebrows!

223 Orchard Street, by Renee Ryan

Please note that my rambling reviews almost always CONTAIN SPOILERS!

I was in the mood for historical fiction, and this was alphabetically the first choice of NetGalley books, so that was that. I was excited about the time period and the set-up of two Irish sisters trying to make it in America, one arriving a year after the other. The narrative is third-person but the events are relayed from both sisters’ perspectives which is the optimal balance between detachment and getting to see the world through the character’s eyes.

So all was well for the first couple of pages. Katie gets a summons from the immigration department to collect her sister from Ellis Island, but when she gets there it turns out that little sister Shannon has been detained due to a mysterious illness and might get deported. Katie can only wait and see what the verdict will be.On the way back Katie encounters a familiar figure – Doctor “my friends call me Ty” Brentwood who instantly recognizes her. Despite seeing dozens of patients every day, Ty somehow remembers this lovely girl with Cupid bow lips and big eyes and is drawn to her because she reminds him of a mysterious mistake he made in the past……

And that’s when I realized that this is a romance novel, and I got the urge to barf.

At least it’s not too sappy. After the initial Harlequin descriptions and lots of INTENSE MOMENTS between two strangers, the relationship between Katie and Doctor Ty comes back to reality… well, it gets closer to it anyway. 


Writing style: Flows naturally, is easy to follow. Dialogue stumbles a bit, but finds its rhythm eventually.


Immigration issue: paints a vivid picture of immigrant life and struggle. I had no idea how awful the process of entering the country was. I thought the hardest part was surviving the journey on crowded ships, but I was wrong. It’s much worse to get denied entry on a medical issue that’s not even explained to you.


Ty’s “dark” past: this whole thing with Ty being so dark and dangerous and destroying all the good and beautiful things in his path is so bogus. So he had one surgery that went terribly wrong – so what? It’s not something to be taken lightly, for sure, but it’s not like he botched it on purpose. It’s not like he was drunk or high during the surgery. It’s not like he straight-up murdered that woman and her newborn baby. So what’s the damn problem?! I understand that he’s feeling guilty as hell, and like no amount of lives saved can bring those two back. I get that. But it was a mistake – doesn’t he realize that as a doctor?! It was a complicated procedure that he’d never done before. Plus it was the turn of the twentieth century, people! Medical science was not so advanced back then. Even now people are still dying on operating tables or they never come out of anesthesia. It’s tragic but it happens, and it’s hardly ever the doctor’s fault (unless he’s drunk or high, as I’ve already said). 


Which brings me to why the inevitable romance between Katie and Ty is so annoying. The author is trying to turn Ty into a villain to artificially create an obstacle that they will have to overcome. Like there can’t be anything else that’s keeping them apart? Something that feels organic and not forced? Even having his wealthy family being opposed to him romancing a poor Irish girl would be better. Sure, it would be a cliche, but at least that’s something that actually happened and still happens to people. Pretending that a good doctor suddenly turned into Doctor Doom because of one fatal surgery is bullshit.


And this is where the rambling really gets going…


Overall it feels like this book lacks plot. I’m at the half-mark right now and nothing much has happened. The pages are instead filled with “inner monologue” that all reads the same – as a description of generic feelings of the three main characters. It’s a straightforward description and therefore lacks the ability to get you attached to the characters. You can’t even tell which one of them is “feeling” what, unless you pay close attention. Shouldn’t the characters have their own distinct voices and characteristics?


A little over the halfway mark and I’m reeeeealy bored. Nothing much is happening, the characters keep going round in circles… Katie and Ty are drawn to each other but keep talking themselves out of it because OBSTACLES (that don’t actually matter). Shannon is pregnant and alone, but keeps telling herself that her beloved Liam is on the next boat over to America! (which honestly is NOT happening). And that’s it, basically. Why am I reading this again?!


OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, Liam actually came to America!?! WHY??? At least give me something that doesn’t suck about this book. But no… I guess this inspirational romance gotta inspire and there’s nothing inspirational or romantic about the guy who knocked you up out of wedlock and turned out to be an actual creep. Ugh…


So in conclusion, I tried to see this romance that betrayed me by being a romance, from the point of view of someone who actually likes romance novels. And you know what? It still doesn’t work! The insta-attraction between Katie and Ty is forced, their initial avoidance of each other is forced, their inevitable attraction to each other is forced. It was outright laughable when Ty became SO jealous of that girl’s brother who came to tell him that Shannon was bleeding to death. Ty was all, So he’s making moves on my Katie – I challenge thee to a duel! Bitch, please. Shannon’s romance with Liam is even worse because it’s mostly talked about and Liam is clearly set up to be the villain and when he actually turns up at the eleventh hour you’re just annoyed.
2 ANNOYED STARS for this one.

A dark cavern where conversations go to die

I promised you musings and ramblings, and now I’m ready to deliver. I will be posting reviews of the show “You” that’s available on Netflix. I’m watching season 1, and will be reviewing all the episodes, publishing one review a day. I will be posting my ramblings just as they are – one proof-read for errors, and then off they go, no internal editor. Let’s see how it goes. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 5

  • Joe is the last real feminist left in this Bachelor-watching world. You go, Joe!
  • “Lynn is a dark cavern where conversations go to die.”
  • Peach can’t be this easily fooled by Joe, right? Right? And of course they had to bring James Franco into this. I’m surprised his name didn’t come up sooner.
  • Need any more proof that Beck is the worst? How about letting Peach look through Joe’s apartment when he’s not home? Girl searched through all his drawers and stuff – and Beck just stood there. And then had the nerve to snipe at Joe.
  • No, Beck. You’ve got TWO stalkers, and why they’re both obsessed with you, I’ll never know.
  • Of course Peach is still alive, you idiot! I think we’ve established that you’re incapable of bludgeoning a person on the head once and killing them for good. Has the Benji incident taught you nothing?! Even if Peach didn’t see you behind her, you left the rock with her blood and your fingerprints next to the crime scene, you moron! I swear, you and Beck deserve each other. Two idiots.

Look who’s talking, too

I promised you musings and ramblings, and now I’m ready to deliver. I will be posting reviews of the show “You” that’s available on Netflix. I’m watching season 1, and will be reviewing all the episodes, publishing one review a day. I will be posting my ramblings just as they are – one proof-read for errors, and then off they go, no internal editor. Let’s see how it goes. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 4

  • I hope the new voice-over is the way to make Beck seem more interesting and less of a waste of everyone’s time. The Captain is an intriguing prospect, and I hope it’s not code for “Her father is still alive and pervy”. It would be funny if it was Peach’s code name, and they had a hot secret affair. But I doubt that’s where we’re headed.
  • I have a feeling that both Joe and Peach will follow Beck to her secret weekend with the Captain.
  • “You are the worst friend”, that’s right, Beck, you are! Also you don’t need the word “friend” for that sentence to be true. You’re just the worst.
  • Must we re-live this awful eight-second sex scene over and over again? And please tell me that we’re not going to see all the scenes this way now? First her perspective, and then his. It was bad enough when Shades of Grey did this, YOU don’t need to resort to that. YOU are better than this.
  • We need more of Joe’s co-worker on this show, he’s so wonderfully hipster! And I never call hipsters wonderful, but this guy gets a pass for taking balalaika lessons, ha-ha!
  • Yep, the dad is still alive, how original. At least don’t make them have an affair…
    So they’re going to a Dickens festival – at least he’s not a magician, like I thought when I first saw his outfit.
  • Peach is doing some snooping, good girl. She looks fierce, by the way. Apparently, Sofia Vergara is not the only woman who can successfully pull off leopard print.
  • Joe had two choices: run from the Dickensian time machine, or stay and lure Beck into another trap. Guess which one his chose?
  • The narration is evenly distributed between Joe, Beck and – my favorite one – Silence. So I was worried for nothing.
  • See, this is why audio-books aren’t for me. I’m listening to Beck’s story, and it sounds awful. But on paper it might be a different story. Hopefully. I mean, if Blythe herself approves then it’s gotta be good. Or maybe Blythe approves ironically? Or maybe Blythe knows nothing? So many questions…
  • Ew, why is Beck taking selfies on the toilet? Like, a lot of selfies? Do people do that? Is that a thing?
  • How did Joe get into Peach’s apartment? He had to call in a gas leak in order to get into Beck’s little apartment. But he can just waltz into Peach’s brownstone and return her book without anyone noticing?! I’m calling bullshirt on this.

Bookworm’s paradise

I found out about NetGalley exactly a year ago.
Before then all the books that I read came from my own personal collection, or a vast, vast library that I was working at. Let’s just say, I never ran out of books to read, but rather my book piles kept growing and growing. Yet I always wanted more.
It’s in my nature. Maybe it’s the post-Soviet upbringing, where I hardly had anything, books included, and it was never enough. In fact, I could never get enough books. In those dark days of no Internet, cable or even DVDs, books were all I had.
I am a genetic bookworm – both my parents were huge book nerds. But while my mother mostly borrowed books, as she had no place to store them, my father filled his whole apartment with books to the point where he had to, literally, sleep on top of piles of books. Needless to say, with that pedigree I learned how to read at age 3 and was always ravenous for books.
I will not ramble on about this now, it’s a story for another post – or seven. Now is the moment to praise NetGalley.
So it was January 2017 and I was lamenting the fact that I barely got any new books during the holidays and I, like, ran out of reading material. Which is so not true, but you can never tell a bookworm that. I was browsing through Goodreads, looking at my friends’ reviews and getting more and more agitated because I kept running into the same disclaimer – I got a free copy of this book through NetGalley.
What was this NetGalley, I wondered, and how can I get some free books from it? God knows I’ve earned the right to get free books over a lifetime of obsessive devotion to literature! A quick Google search revealed that NetGalley was a treasure trove of brand new and upcoming releases that could be yours free of charge, if only you’d be so kind as to leave a review on your Goodreads, blog and other social media platforms (also don’t forget Amazon).
Oh em gee, thought I! All these free books in exchange for something that I already do – writing reviews?! Sign me up and give me all the books, please and thank you! It turned out that NetGalley and all the publishers were incredibly generous and really enthusiastic about literature, to the point where most of the books that I requested I would receive. I never even hoped for that much! Pretty soon my Kindle was bursting from countless electronic pages, and my mind was bursting from all the stories that I could help share with the world.
And then my mother got really sick and all my reading and especially reviewing whittled down to nothing…
2018 was officially the worst year of my life. The most challenging, devastating year. One where everything about me was put to the test, including my natural-born love of literature. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t lose myself in a book. Partly because I couldn’t sit still for longer than five minutes at a time, so consumed was I by taking care of my mother and trying to hold on to a job. And partly because reading requires more work than watching movies or shows, especially when you want to write a good review when you’re finished.
Long story short, I closed out the year of devastation and despair without my mother, and with a gaping hole where my heart used to be. And now, at the start of 2019, I realize that I need to fill that hole with something. Could it be my old soulmate Literature? After all, we’ve had some amazing times together over the years. Literature was my constant companion, even when all else failed me. Hopefully it will pull me out of this deep, dark hole now, since nothing and no one else can.
And the reason why I started and concluded this post with praise for NetGalley is that one of my New Year’s resolutions is to get my reading and reviewing back on track. I feel terrible about getting those wonderful free books and then letting publishers down by not reviewing them on time.
Well, if any publishers or NetGalley team is reading this, please know – I will get better, I will keep reading, I will improve my reading and reviewing habits, and I will make you proud! Okay, that last one was kind of cheesy, but when it comes to books I am a cheesy, over-the-top, unapologetic book lover and I will prove that with my actions in 2019!
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to my Kindle – stories await!

Sky rockets in flight, premature delight

I promised you musings and ramblings, and now I’m ready to deliver. I will be posting reviews of the show “You” that’s available on Netflix. I’m watching season 1, and will be reviewing all the episodes, publishing one review a day. I will be posting my ramblings just as they are – one proof-read for errors, and then off they go, no internal editor. Let’s see how it goes. And obviously, SPOILER ALERT!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 3

  • But you’ll tell us about Candace, right, Joe? You’ll tell us what deadly allergy you used to kill her.
  • This no-curtains thing is really bothering me. How can she not have curtains?? How does she sleep at night? I get that she wants to put herself on display for all the Dan Humphreys of the world to give her much-needed validation, but you also gotta get some sleep. And how the fork is that possible with all the street lights glaring through your unprotected windows?! I don’t close the curtains in my kitchen, because that’s where I crack open the window to get some air into the apartment. And let me tell you, my kitchen is so bright at night, you could read in there. And my apartment is on the seventh floor, so I don’t even get all of the glaring lights. But an apartment on the first floor, with no trees blocking the view, gets all the lights. This probably shouldn’t bother me so much, but it does.
  • I love that Beck is now working with a female professor, which she thought would be a blessing, but it’s going to turn out worse for her than the predator professor. Alright, maybe not worse, but equally bad for her job. Cause working with women, especially with female bosses is the worst – I have first-hand experience in that area. There will be this rivalry that you don’t have with men. Sure, this is not politically correct to say anymore, but it doesn’t make it incorrect. Human nature doesn’t change just because something is suddenly deemed inappropriate by society. People still have their instincts, and they’re going to act on those instincts before they turn on their brains to reconsider. So you can talk all you want about “Girls supporting girls” – I have that T-shirt and I love it – and female empowerment, but you’re still gonna encounter catty bitches who will be jealous of your potential and who will passive-aggressively get in the way of your success.
    Go on, show, prove me wrong!
  • How can you tell that a story is brilliant from a few sentences?! That’s even more stupid than the curtains. Which by the way is the reason why Joe, and everyone who walks by your building, knows that your bedroom is too small, Beck! Buy some goddamn curtains while you’re in this fancy non-Ikea store! Ugh. Beck is the worst, so it makes total sense that Joe becomes obsessed with her.
  • I gotta say, watching a guy fumble through a kidnapping, a poisoning and a disposal of a body is quite refreshing. Most killers in movies, even unintentional ones, know exactly how to off someone and then get rid off the evidence. But not Joe. Apparently all the Stephen King books in the world cannot prepare you for dealing with oozing, smelly dead bodies. At least he managed to get away with it, for now.