friday5 for March 29, 2013

1. Happy Easter! Sort of... Okay, it's only Good Friday, but that means Easter is right around the corner and since this is a Friday thing, Happy Easter! I am personally hoping that Easter ushers in some warmer--dare I say spring-like--weather because I am so beyond sick and tired of winter dragging on and on and on and on.... I feel like this is payback for the mild winter we had last year, but come on! Spring in southern Ontario is short enough as it is. At this rate, we are going to jump from dreary grey freezing rain to unbearable scorching heat. So come on Easter Bunny, please leave a little sunshine and spring weather for us to find when you're hiding those eggs! Otherwise the baby chicks won't know what season it is and mass hysteria will ensue!
Like this, but with more fluffy confusion!
2. I have to admit, I'm not totally 100% up on news this week because the Studer household has been stricken with the dreaded pink eye. I don't recommend it to anybody. But while I was home with a sick little bay this week, I discovered the wonder that is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I know. I know. I'm waaaaaay behind on this one, but it's really enjoyable (and though some aspects of it are a little too familiar, I like it enough to consider it an homage to The Guild, which is almost as fab as its creator, Felicia Day). TLBD (is that a thing?) is fresh and funny and yeah, kinda sorta addictive. When I sat down to check it out I found the sheer number of episodes intimidating, but they're quick and compulsive and before you know it you've watched 50 of them. So yeah, if you haven't checked it out, it's worth a look!

3. Okay, I don't really understand exactly what the link is yet, BUT this week ABC Family announced that there's going to be a PLL spin-off! I feel like I should be more excited about this than I am, but that might just be because I don't understand exactly what makes this a spin-off aside from the claim that Ravenswood (spin-off town) is an awkwardly named neighbouring city to Rosewood (I feel like it should be Ravenwood, not Ravenswood. But whatever.). Despite the fact that I don't know what the show is really about or how it's connected to PLL, if it's anywhere near as juicy and well-plotted as PLL then I'm in!

4. I hope you're all watching the new season of Community, even if it feels kinda strange. Like that time you accidentally put your underpants on backwards and were all "What is going on with these underpants? OHhhhhhh! They're on backwards!" What was I saying? Oh yeah. Community. Yes, this season does have a different vibe to it, but I'm still enjoying it and I'm still waiting for it to feel familiar again. I don't know whether or not it ever will, but it's still one of the best comedies on TV and everyone should watch it. If you're a fan and you're feeling a little confused about the show these days, this editorial piece on Hypable does a fantastic job of summing up how I think most long-time Greendale Human Beings are feeling through this strange (but still entertaining!) fourth season.

5. YA book rec time! I feel like I keep saying that I don't actually read a lot of contemporary YA, but I think that might be a lie. I think the real truth is that I don't read AS MUCH contemporary YA as I do other sub-genres, but I definitely enjoy me some good contemporary YA! In that vein, this week I recommend Going Vintage by the highly skilled Lindsay Leavitt:

Classic AND classy!
When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:
1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous
But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.
(Summary from
 I love love love the concept behind this book! And how kickin is that cover? I love the pink and green and the print and outfit--I love it all! Even the title is a perfect fit! But if you're gonna check it out, you pretty much need to go with the print edition--I feel like it would be in poor taste to read a book on this topic in e-book format, no?

Happy weekend!

friday5 for March 22, 2013

1. THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE IS HAPPENING! I never thought this day would come, but huzzah! Rejoice! The dream is a reality! Thanks to a groundbreaking, record-setting kickstarter campaign, show-runner Rob Thomas and series star, Ms. Mars herself, Kristen Bell, have put a plan to bring Veronica to the bring screen into full-on, movie-making action. Not only did they hit their goal in record breaking time, making the Veronica Mars movie a thing--a real thing that we'll one day get to see with our real eyeballs and there will be much weeping over the epic love story of Veronica and Logan--but the prizes they're offering are fantastic and well-priced and just everything about this is SO EXCITING, YOU GUYS! If you haven't checked out the hilarious video they made to launch the campaign, get to clickin! Uuuuhhh, I mean, no! Wait! Read the rest of this post first then get to clickin!)

2. Shailene Woodley is on fire. Not literally. That I know of. I don't really have any way of checking on her, but I'm going to assume she's not literally on fire. But her career is definitely blowing-up. She's Mary Jane in the new Spiderman, and as we've discussed, she's Tris in Divergent (which is getting a lot of buzz and will very probably be a very big deal when it comes out), and now, as though those roles weren't already putting her name everywhere, she's now been cast as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars. I feel really torn about this news to be honest. As I've said before, I think Shailene is quite talented and I fully support her as Tris, but now here we have her in another big YA book to film adaptation and it feels... weird. Now, to be fair, Divergent is a big franchise while The Fault in Our Stars is a one-off, but still. I shall reserve my judgement until I see how this pans out for myself! They are very different stories so we shall see!
2.2 Bonus Item! There is so much Divergent casting news that I seriously can't recap it all, but Four has been cast and Kate Winslet's role has been revealed! If you're as excited about this film as I am, be sure to check out the updated IMDB page! I will likely weigh in with my thoughts after I've had some time to digest some of these casting choices!

3. Emma Watson is basically amazing. For some reason (where some means, but seriously WTF?), people have been speculating that Watson might play the female lead in the Fifty Shades of Grey film adaptation. My reaction to this news has always been along the lines of, "That's some serious fanboy wishful thinking. Emma would never bother with a role like that!" Well, it looks like Emma herself has been thinking along the same lines. You rock, Emma.

4. Two things you must watch on the interwebs if you haven't already: School of Thrones and A Very Potter Senior Year (make sure you've seen first two productions beforehand--it's a lot of viewing time, but it's soooooooo worth it!)

5. It's not newly out this week, but since I was on hiatus I need to play a bit of catch-up! This week's YA Book Rec is Requiem by Lauren Oliver. Oliver has been rockin it since Before I Fall and Requiem is the finale to her Delirium trilogy--dystopian romance done right. 

They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.

But we are still here.

And there are more of us every day.

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.

Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.

But we have chosen a different road.

And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.

We are even free to choose the wrong thing.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
(Summary from
Okay, so, confession time, I don't love the cover. I don't know what it is about it that irks me, but it's something. It might be her eyebrows, even if that makes me a horrible person. And that said, I don't hate it. It's just meh for me. But that's okay because it's the contents of Oliver's books that are the reason I'm rec'ing this series. In a market flooded with dystopian romances, the Delirium trilogy stands apart because of Oliver's skilled prose and likable characters. If you're looking to satisfy your dystopian YA appetite, this series is deffo worth checking out!

Happy weekend!

pretty little recap: spin the murder bottle

Hello my dear PLLers and bloggies alike! I am back from my blog-cation. Sort of. I'm mostly back, but still not going to be totally back to normal for another few weeks. Here's the sitch: the details of my day job recently changed quite a bit and the learning curve + catch-up work has left me feeling all kinds of exhausted. Let's just say it's Wednesday, but I definitely feel like it should be Friday. Actually, no, I feel like I should be May. That's how drained I'm feeling. But I have a very long to-do list that I'm slowly but surely working my way through and when I finally reach that sweet, sweet end to the list... well, there will probably be more stuff on it, but I'm hopeful that once I'm in the swing of things, it will be normal-busy instead of insane-busy.

So that's all just a long way of saying that I'd been hoping to recap the last two episodes of PLL, but alas, didn't happen. I did watch them (and enjoyed them--Hello angry Hot Caleb!), but I kind of watched them in a puddle of slothiness while my laptop remained buried on my desk.

But the finale aired last night and I can't deny my faithful readers a "quality" finale "recap". So let's fire up the PVR and get to it because this show, like our dear Spencer, just keeps crazier!
3.24 A Dangerous Game
Previously on PLL: Creeper Toby looks like a bad guy, Ezra's spawn looks like a girl, Hanna and Emily look shocked at the morgue, things are looking bad for Spencer...and Aria, and Hanna, and Emily... It looks like it's going to be one hell of a finale!

Hooray for Spencer not being in a nightgown! Photo credit: ABC Family

What is up with Hanna's hair lately? I love me some Hanna, but what is happening on her head? Is that... a bird's nest? Sorry... distracted. Spencer is out of Radley and ready to share her pain! She seems eerily in control. And apparently ready to party. Cause nothing says everything is effed up like a party!

I get the whole hooded A thing in public, but I don't see why the A teamers have to keep a low profile when they are with each other in their secret A lair. That seems super unnecessary. If I was on the A team, I'd be all, "Whew! Sure is nice to be out of that stuffy black hoodie! Who wants to watch Gilmore Girls reruns on the TV in the doll room?"

School drama! Emily relationship drama! Ezra for some reason being allowed back at Aria's school drama! None of this is really registering high on my care-o-meter.

Ah Jenna being suspicious.. that's more like it! Speaking of suspicious, I hope we hear something about our dear J-Pouf. I never thought I'd miss that pouffy hair, but I do!

Looks like Mr. Aria is on to Ezra's poor life decisions. At least somebody sees a problem with that plan!

No! Hanna, you're not allowed to utter the words "Caleb's out of town." That is not acceptable! It's bad enough that this is the finale and I'll have to wait months for more PLL, but no Hot Caleb ??

Ooooh, Jenna is meeting with suspicious sexy Shana! And here I thought she was just a homewrecker. She's clearly up to something more sinister!

And it looks like we've reached the point in the episode where Aria and Ezra break-up. Haven't we already been through this? Several times? They love each other but can't be together? Meh.

Creeper Toby is alive! And he is looking SUPER CREEPY! I had no doubt that he was alive by the way.

Oooooh! Spencer!!! I feel like I kinda saw that coming too. But man, she looks intense! Troian is killing it this season. Spencer is either unhinged or she's finally reached the point where she is just doing what she has to do to finally get some answers and make some progress. Either way, I'm on board!

Hanna seems like she might actually be a pretty cool babysitter. It could be a good fall-back career if she doesn't make it as a child interrogator. Which... seems likely.

Melissa being suspicious--what else is new?

So, I think I still don't quite follow Creeper Toby's motivation here. Maybe I'm just being slow. If he was doing it to protect Spencer, why not tell her? Something about this still doesn't add up.

I love Spencer's black nails. Very covert ops. Aww, creeper love. Also, kinda ick.

Ha. Aria is ready to check into Radley. That I'd like to see. She'd have to wear one of those plain white nightgowns! Oh man, she'd hate it!

More creeper love. Creeper Toby has a lot of shirtless time to catch up on I guess. I'd still be feeling pretty betrayed if I were Spencer, but I guess that's love for you. It's not always wise and it doesn't always make sense.

Aria's reasoning for not waiting seven months (it's too hard) doesn't make much sense. She needs to just get a pair and tell Ezra that she just doesn't want to be with him cause she's too close in age to his son. Come on, we all know that's why! Again with the Aria walking away from Ezra scene. I feel like we've seen this a million times!

Oooooh Red Coat! I think if I were Red Coat, I'd probably just stop wearing the red coat, you know? Like what's the point anyway? Again I find myself questioning the extreme decisions the A team seems to arbitrarily make. But I still love a good reveal..... Oh, it's Hanna. And a set-up. But is Spencer still one of them?

Yeah, she is. And it looks like she definitely believes in Creeper Toby 4-evah! I'm not sure that's wise, but again, love is blind blah blah blah.

Crazy Mona seems to feel the same way about Creeper Toby makeouts as I do. Heh. I definitely don't follow what's about to happen here. There have been so many twists this season that my brain can't keep up.

Is Creeper Toby faking? Is Spencer? Is this part of the plan?? I think it is... but now the other liars think otherwise. Meanwhile, it's confrontation time! Sorry Crazy Mona, you just got served. Kind of. Okay, I don't really know when it's an appropriate time to use that phrase, but it seems like she maybe kinda got served something.

Uh oh. That's a whole lot of fire. Girls, get out! Get out now! You don't stand around trying to call someone when you're in a burning building! Alright, fine. The doors are locked. That seems unlikely, but still, the point is, you try!

Ooooh even Mona doesn't know who Red Coat is.

But I think we're about to find out! But for reals Spencer, keep back! Creeper Toby is right--you get to see her, but she shouldn't be able to see you!

Ah! Is Creeper Toby dead for reals now?? Or just knocked out. I didn't think I cared. But apparently I kinda do. Looks like a good old fashioned framing!

Red Coat is... Ali??

Creeper Toby is not dead. That's good I guess. This show needs his creepy ways!

Are they friends with Crazy Mona again? But what about all the crazy???

Ahhhh! The ghost police cruiser! It's back! Nooooooo! That thing and its flashing light will haunt me forever!

Melissa and Shana and Wilden and incriminating evidence and...

Whenever the phones all go off, my heart stops beating. What's in the trunk?? Seriously, that car is going to be the death of me!

The zombie hand from Halloween is back! And it has a friend! AHHHHHH! How long do we have to wait for more PLL?? I can't handle it!!!

Until next season, PLLers!

The semi-return to form continues on Friday with the Friday5 where I'll attempt to highlight the news I'm most excited about from the past few weeks! Plus a new YA book rec! Hooray!

pretty little recap: if you didn't see it, it didn't happen

A bit of blog business before we get started. The PLR is late this week because of several reasons that I won't get into in detail, but let's just say it involves a teething baby and a PVR that's recording a lot more than it's playing at the moment... So there's that.
And then there's this: March is traditionally a time when a lot of people pack their bags and go on vacation. They do it because it's been a long stretch since Christmas vacation. They do it because winter sucks. Snow sucks. Lousy Smarch weather sucks (10 points to you for getting the reference).
Sadly, I'm not in a position to go on any sort of real vacation at the moment (where real = beach + drinks + actual restful sleep), but I can take a blog vacation. And that's exactly what I'm going to do for a few weeks. And yeah, I say that, but there's a really good chance I'll still do a Pretty Little Recap for next week's episode because the season is winding down and who am I kidding? I can't take a vacation from PLL! So, that's the blog business! And since we're on the topic of PLL, let's get rolling...

3.21 Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Previously on PLL: We're at that point in the season where way too much crazy shiz has hit the crazy fan to cover properly in a previously on segment. Also, Spencer is losing it.

Funeral flowers = not as romantic as you'd think. Photo credit: ABC Family
Spencer is finally ready to reveal the major Creeper Toby's nose sized secret she's been keeping. About time, Spence. Aria and Emily look appropriately shocked. Kinda. I half expected one of them to faint. Like Aria. Aria should have fainted.

Meanwhile Hanna and her mom are busy dealing with the fallout from that whole attempted/possibly actual murder thing. Man that'll sour an evening! I guess it's time for these two to be on edge for... well, forever, I guess.

Spencer is broken over having to reveal her Creeper Toby secret. So way to rub it in, Aria. Way to handle the news in the worst way possible. Or maybe that's Emily's job. I mean, it makes sense that Emily doesn't want to believe it since she and Creeper T were good friends, but surely she doesn't think she was more of a special snowflake than Spencer, right? Poor Spencer is only getting crazier. I thought finally spilling the creeper beans would be a weight off her shoulders but it would seem it's only brought a new level of reality and pain.

Awkward Ezra's spawn meet and greet! Oh Aria your insane wardrobe is going to give that kid nightmares. Also somebody needs to cut that kid's hair.

Aw man we don't get to see Hanna find out? She was my last shot at seeing one of them faint over the news.

Way to keep everything under wraps, Hanna. As I've said before, acting suspicious is the best way to keep a secret in Rosewood. Actually, that might be true. Since everyone there acts suspicious, it's kinda the new normal. Poor Emily. She may be in even more denial than Spencer was.

More Aria-Ezra's spawn drama. Is this going to be one of those episodes? This storyline is so disjointed from everything I care about in this show. Next!

Ah last week's funeral wreath arrives. So tasteful and yet so threatening. Looks like A is somehow on to Spencer's info spill. Looks like things are about to get murder-y. Again. Must be an odd-numbered episode :)

I know Emily is in denial and Spencer is losing her mind but Emily really does need to just trust her friend and back off. Spencer ambushes Crazy Mona at the coffee house. Oh crazy Mona. You can't deny something and then make threats that directly contradict that denial. It's such a waste of everyone's time.

Creeper Toby's friend is super suspicious! He must be a Rosewood native. Oooh, he's totally on the A team. Or maybe this is just the point in the season where I start to suspect everyone.

Ah!! Wilden is a ghost!! Run Ashley! Ruuuunnnn!!

Spencer is probably right about the EM in the sympathy sash--but by giving it to Emily she's probably playing right into A's hands! The sash is probably a bomb or something! Run Emily! Ruuuuuuunnnnnn!! But don't take the sash with you!

Is this the same day as earlier? Is this timeline wonky? What point in the day is it? Why isn't anyone in school? What's going on?? Why is Aria still wearing those awful green pants??? IS IT THE WEEKEND???? WHERE'S HOT CALEB??????

Oh Hanna stop acting so suspicious! Seriously you might as well be wearing a tee that says, "Attempted murder. Ask me how!"

Emily at the police station. That convenient plotline is just the gift that keeps on giving...

Uh oh. Aria killed Ezra's spawn. Maybe. Probably not. But that would be way more interesting.

Emily is such a savvy hacker. First the costume shop's computer and now the police database. Oh except that her phone distracts her from bothering to look at the photo she's searching for. Yeah okay it's a text from Creeper Toby but maybe put your phone on the back burner while you're doing time-sensitive snooping! Babytown frolics!

"He cut his chin. That's what happens when you're a boy." <------What????? Ok seriously what is going on in this episode? I don't even care about this storyline, but what is Ezra talking about? Is cutting your chin some sort of male right of passage I've never heard of?

Okay, I'll fess up. The police car in the garage TOTALLY freaked me out. But did Hanna really need to watch the full video and see the actual hit and run to realize what it was? "Hey this is a great video... WAIT A MINUTE!"

Aww, Aria isn't immediate family. Always the underage girlfriend, never the baby-momma, huh Aria?

Spencer screaming and chasing Mona through the trees is chilling. I don't think I can believe that Toby's dead. I think they just need Spencer to believe that. Dead body with no facial reveal? DIDN'T HAPPEN.

This Aria-Ezra drama needs to stop. The finale is just around the corner and I don't want precious twisty minutes to be devoted to this melodrama.

Ah! The possible ghost in the red coat! These girls are so ballsy. I'd totally run screaming in the other direction if I encountered half the stuff that they did.

So....Toby's coworker is basically confirming the ghost. And Ah! How does he know Emily's name?? That's beyond creepy. Creeper Co-Wo!

This is the longest day ever. And Emily seriously needs to stop going off on her own like this. Didn't she just lecture Paige about how dangerous that is only last week?

Okay how did Hanna and Aria get the cop car to the lake? And where's Hot Caleb? If I needed to (I assume) push a cop car to a lake and then sink it, I'd definitely enlist him for the deed. Then there could be hot makeouts afterward.
But this? This makes no sense.
"So Hanna, which if your pretty little friends are you going to get to help you dispose of this heavy vehicle?"
"The littlest one, obviously."
This has bad idea written all over it. Holy crap the flashing light on that car is going to give me a heart attack! PLL, you nail the creepy atmospheric stuff every time!

Sounds like Ashley's in denial. She and Emily should attend a workshop together called, Stop lying to yourself.

Oh Spencer. Yeah. This is rock bottom. If Creeper Toby isn't really dead, Spencer should kill him for putting her through this.

I don't know what to think. I still don't think Toby is dead but I don't know if he's faking his death or someone else is. I hope somebody thinks to check the mental hospital for Spencer.

Uh oh. Hook line and cop hat. I don't think fishing up a hat which could have easily blown into the water would lead me to the conclusion that there's a cop car at the bottom of the lake. But I'm sure by next week someone will have reeled in the incriminating video! Or--god forbid--that horrible horrible flashing light!

Shudder. Until next week!