Turtles All the Way Down

I finished the latest John Green book a few nights ago, Turtles All the Way Down. I loved The Fault in Our Stars but haven’t connected to his others in the same way.

The main character is Aza, who is a high school girl struggling with mental illness. She compulsively thinks about how bacteria is invading her body and at her worst, she starts to ingest hand sanitizer. While I felt bad for her, I became frustrated at times especially when she didn’t take her medication. Aza’s illness also hurts her relationships with her best friend and her boyfriend. The story also follows a mystery regarding her boyfriend’s missing father.

I would rank this below Paper Towns. The mystery in that one was a lot more interesting.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

We had another flight and I was able to catch Spider-Man: Homecoming. The kids had seen this one already with my parents but I hadn’t gotten the chance yet.

This is a great Spider-Man story. Tom Holland plays Peter Parker as a high schooler and the movie skips the origin story. Instead Peter is thrust into the spotlight after the events of Civil War. He wants to be a part of the Avengers, but Tony Stark holds him back.

Peter discovers a villainous plot led by Michael Keaton and goes after him with the help of his high school buddy. Marisa Tomei is great as Aunt May as are all the high school characters. I would have loved to have seen this on the big screen but it was a fun movie even on an airplane.

Murder on the Orient Express

I saw another movie today through Moviepass. This time I checked out Murder on the Orient Express. I love how even if the movie is only getting marginal reviews I can still see it guilt free. The movie is based on an Agatha Christie novel but I had not read it nor seen the previous iteration of the movie.

Kenneth Branagh stars and directs and is definitely the best part of the movie as the French detective who gets pulled into an investigation when a passenger is murdered on a train. The train is full of suspects played by notable Hollywood stars but no one is particularly engaging. The film is gorgeous though especially the snow scenery seen from the train and the vistas of Jerusalem and Istanbul.

Once the backstories of the characters were revealed more, I could pretty much see where the plot was going. I would agree with many of the critics. The movie certainly was beautiful but wasn’t anything incredible.

Thor: Ragnorak

The kids had a day off of school the day the new Thor movie came up, so we headed out to the movies. We all really liked this one, although my daughter claimed it was a little scary.

This chapter in the Thor universe is essentially a comedy and the character of Thor is very funny. There are great new characters, including Cate Blanchett as Hera, his sister and the goddess of death. Loki is back as is the Hulk who has to fight Thor in a great arena scene. The jokes and the action kept the movie moving at a quick pace and we all had a great time.

A Separation

I finished A Separation by Katie Kitamura a few days ago. It was a fairly quick read and told the story of a wife who is separated from her husband, Christopher. She receives a worried phone call from her mother in law about him and so the narrator travels to Greece to search for him where supposedly he has been researching a new book.

She finds Christopher’s hotel as well as the young woman he has been sleeping with, but does not find him. His body turns up about halfway through although there is no real closure that takes place, either for his family or for the reader. The book never fully turns into a mystery nor is the protagonist particularly interesting.

Lady Bird

I saw this movie today and had to drive awhile since it is not totally in wide release yet, but it was completely worth it. I absolutely loved this movie.

The movie follows Christine who goes by Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) as she is finishing up her senior year of high school. She must navigate friends, boyfriends, family and applying to college. Her relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) is especially poignant. At times they seem to be the same person and the next moment they are fighting. The script and the acting are spot on and I can assuredly recommend this movie.

The Marriage Pact

I finished The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond the other evening. The story is about a newly married couple that joins a group called the Pact, whose purpose is to maintain strong marriages among its members. There are a multitude of rules to follow, along with increasingly drastic consequences for not following them. The couple quickly begins to realize they need to escape but that possibility becomes less and less likely as time passes. 

The concept of the book is interesting, but I found it hard to believe they wouldn’t just call the police or at least confide in family or friends. The ending is also a bit of a cop-out where the ends are tied up a little too neatly.