The After-Word: The Vegetarian

Everyone, I have a confession to make. Try not to let what I’m about to tell you color your opinion of me. I know you all come here looking for a certain…refinement; a certain elegance of language and deep knowledge of all things literary. I know you think of us as experts, paragons of knowledge and thought. But I’m about to peel back the curtain a bit. You see, I’m not a connoisseur of horror fiction. In fact, I have to look up recommendation, just like you. So sometimes when I’m late making a post I’ll Google “top 10 horror novels [insert year]” and just pick whichever one has the most interesting cover. It may not be classy, but it’s effective at least 62% of the time.

This is how I found The Vegetarian, a Korean surrealist drama novel by celebrated author Han Kang about a woman who may or may not be becoming a plant. Continue reading “The After-Word: The Vegetarian”

Eleanor and Park: A Love for the Ages

Happy Valentine’s Day, you heart-eyed lovelies. I’ve come to you on Cupid’s favorite day—or is it his least favorite because he has to do a lot of work?—with a post that’s about two years in the making. That’s right, y’all. It’s Eleanor and Park time!

As you may or may not remember (or be aware of), a few years ago, I started working on posts dedicated to my love of the four Rainbow Rowell books as I enjoyed my first time rereading them; her latest book, Carry On, hadn’t been published yet. Going in reverse chronological order meant that my favorite YA book of hers, Eleanor and Park, would be the last one I discussed in the series. However, shenanigans ensued. I lost the notebook where I had taken extensive notes during my rereads, and I wanted there to be some semblance of order while I vomited my immense love for E&P. Then too much time passed, and I felt I’d missed the window to talk about it.

I started my second reread of the book late last year, and I figured I’d give blogging about it another shot. I didn’t have a good notebook for keeping track of my thoughts, so I decided to do the unthinkable . . . a close reading (wherein you write notes INSIDE the book). I know! I’ve only done it one and a half times before, and it kills me a little on the inside each time. I just can’t support it, and I also feel like I don’t get much out of the experience (that’s a story for another time)! But knowing I had two other copies of E&P made it semi-okay.

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Naturally, while unpacking, I found the notebook with my original reread notes . . .

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Anyway! Being distracted by the other books I’ve blogged about in the past two months ended up being a blessing in disguise because now I get to talk about my favorite romantic coupling for the year’s most romantic holiday. Yaaaaaaay!!! You ready?

Continue reading “Eleanor and Park: A Love for the Ages”

Bloodborne – Fear the Old Blood

Howdy lovely readers, Super Hubs here:

I recently finished Bloodborne – just yesterday actually – because from the beginning I knew I wanted to write about it but I wanted to experience the whole story before writing about it. As is usually the case with these game reviews I’m not going to talk about the actual gameplay much because that’s not what you people are here for. You’re here for stories and story impressions! But for those of you who are so inclined I will say that the gameplay is fantastic. It’s fast and, though difficult, it is built in a way that means you can master it enough to win. Finishing this game made me feel more accomplished than any other game I’ve played and it will legitimately be difficult for me to enjoy other 3rd person action games from here on.

That’s all you get in terms of gameplay though! 10/10 play the damn thing cus it’s fun. The story though, the story is pristine. It’s fairly well known at this point, but just in case any of you who want to play it are still in the dark and don’t want to be spoiled I’m gonna put a big ol’ spoiler warning here. Keep reading after the break if you already know and/or don’t care. So…

SPOILER ALERT Continue reading “Bloodborne – Fear the Old Blood”

The After Word: Three Dark Crowns (SPOILERS)

My, my, my. Look who we have here.

It’s me. Nikkie. Silent but watchful owner (let’s be real; Super Hubs is just along for the ride) of Married with Bookshelves. Emphasis on silent.
I could offer you a bunch of excuses, but you can come up with one on your own. Suffice it to say: We’re all adults here, and sometimes life gets in the way.

The point is that I’m back! Not only am I back, but I’ve brought SH with me! Say hi, Lawrence. Olo ya’ll! On a recent trip to Target—coincidentally, the same trip where SH picked up The MercilessI acquired Three Dark Crowns, written by Kendare Blake. The name rang a bell for me because she wrote one of the short stories that was in Slasher Girls and Monster Boys, and I felt like I’d seen some good things around the Internet about this book. So I figured, What the hell? Let’s see where this goes. I didn’t have high expectations . . . which meant I was lowkey blown away by how much I liked this book.

But let’s not spoil the meal by skipping to dessert (even though that’s its own kind of fun). Let’s get into it!

Continue reading “The After Word: Three Dark Crowns (SPOILERS)”

The After-Word: The Merciless

I’m going to say this upfront: were it not for the last 40 pages, this review would be much more positive.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega (actual name Danielle Rollins) is billed by several dozen reviewers as Mean Girls meets The Exorcist and while the Mean Girls comparison is more than deserved – the main character even drops a line about making a Burn Book at one point – the comparison to The Exorcist is a bit more spurious. Yes, there is an “exorcism” in the book but it’s not a professional one and it’s more violent than they’re supposed to be. A more appropriate description would be Mean Girls meets The Girl Next Door.

The story follows Army brat Sofia Flores after she moves to a new town in Mississippi and gets caught up in the weird schemes of a group of popular girls who want to ‘help’ the weird girl  stop being so weird with the power of Jesus. Also Sofia’s mom is an atheist and this annoys her because Sofia wants to be religious and go to church. Now I know I’m a godless heathen and everything but this seems just…so unrealistic to me. Even the religious teenagers I knew never wanted to go to church. It was around this time that I thought the book was going to wind up being religious propaganda under a thin veil of horror – sort of an anti-Footloose horror if you will. Having finished the book…I’m still not sure if this is the case. It sort of fluctuates wildly between the two extremes. I guess it’s possible that Danielle Vega was just writing a story with no agenda, but where’s the fun in that? Suffice it to say…Spoiler Alert. Continue reading “The After-Word: The Merciless”

Our End o’ Year-cast 2016

Podcast No. 2, y’all! This one is a little rough for reasons that are explained somewhere near the end lol

To that one guy who asked last time (Matt, I believe!): We are still working on getting these posted to iTunes. I (Nikkie) was waiting because I wanted to have a logo we could use as the podcast’s image when it comes up on iTunes, but I’m sure it’ll give us the option to add one at a later date . . . right? So I will get that process started next week once we get settled from our move!

Also, this podcast was recorded a few days before Carrie Fisher’s untimely death, so obviously we didn’t know it would happen. 

May the odds of 2017 be ever in our favor,
Nikkie and Super Hubs

Backlog: What I Didn’t Talk About in 2016

Happy between holidays, everyone. Christmas is over, Hanukkah has a few days left, and soon it will be New Year’s Eve (which is one of several high holy days for alcoholics). It’s ya girl Nikkie here, pausing all the commotion of a year-end move to bring you a year-end post. Yes, Super Hubs and I are moving into a new apartment, within our current complex, over the weekend. So as you can imagine, it’s a mess over here.

In fact, this month has just been a bit of a mess, which is why I’ve been (noticably?) absent from MWB. I started a new job at the beginning of the month, this semester of grad school was winding down, so I had final projects to take care of. Thus, while on my mind, blogging found itself at the very end of my priority list. My apologies! I’m here now, semi-ringing in the new year with you. (For actual NYE camaraderie, meet us here Saturday afternoon!)

Anyway. Today’s post is going to feature a lot of the books I read this year that I didn’t share with you lovely people. Some of them were good, some weren’t; all passed before my eyes at some point in 2016.
Let’s jump in! Continue reading “Backlog: What I Didn’t Talk About in 2016”

A Bite-Sized Review for Christmas: NOS4A2

Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!

My favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard. I know a lot of people say that now and they tend to say it with a smug smile as if they’re the most clever boy to ever live even though pretty much everyone thinks of Die Hard as a Christmas movie now. But lemme tell ya, I’ve been doing this shit for probably 20 years now. So if anyone deserves to have a smug smile it’s me. I’m the trendsetter!

All of this is to say my holiday entertainment can be pretty non-traditional. I have my normal Christmas fare (Muppet Christmas Carol, Nightmare Before Christmas, Love Actually, those sorts of things) but my favorites are all more Christmas adjacent than Christmas themed. Die Hard, Gremlins, Batman Returns. I also tend to watch Lord of the Rings around Christmas because they were each released in December and I can’t help but associate them with the season. Continue reading “A Bite-Sized Review for Christmas: NOS4A2”

Let’s Talk About Five Nights at Freddy’s

I was supposed to do an Undertale post. I was supposed to do that Undertale post three weeks ago. And, if we’re being honest, I was supposed to do that Undertale post almost a year ago. But I have a problem writing about Undertale. I love that game so much, I respect it and all of its elements, it affects me to such a degree that whenever I try to put words down about it I end up hating them. See to me Undertale is a perfect game. Whereas many games have a numbing effect (think your Call of Duties, or your Final Fantasies, where you mow down endless enemies with no recourse and no deeper understanding of what they are other than “bad guys”) Undertale is the opposite. Undertale wants you to feel and it wants you to feel deeply. And it made me feel. It made me feel so hard that it’s nearly impossible for me to talk about it without hating every word. I will get you that Undertale post eventually and I will hate it. I will never be happy with it because nothing I ever write will adequately explain just how much I love Undertale. I am a sentimental ponce and damn proud of it.  Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Five Nights at Freddy’s”

TV Trauma: The After Effects of “Gilmore Girls”

‘Ello ‘ello. It’s your favorite married blogger, Nikkie, saying thanks for taking a break from your murderous, psychopathic shopping sprees to feast your eyes on our humble little slice of the Internet. How will I reward you? By complaining about “Gilmore Girls” some more. You’re welcome!

I know what you’re thinking. “Nikkie, you were supposed to do another blog post before you go to the continuation of your ‘Gilmore Girls’ rage.” And you’re right about that. But then the election happened—enough said. So I’m sorry that this post, in conjunction with my last post, makes me seem all grouchy. On the other hand, I’m not that sorry! Sometimes things suck, and that needs to be conveyed.

Additionally, while I will be using “Gilmore Girls” as an example throughout this post, what I’m really trying to do is point out some issues I have with the way a lot of shows are being written. So, I arguably apologize for crapping all over this show yet again . . . but at this point, you should know what to expect from me. Continue reading “TV Trauma: The After Effects of “Gilmore Girls””