Review for “The Other Wife”

Review for “The Other Wife”

Synopsis:  This is a tale about 2 women, married to the same man at the same time.

 

Eleanor wakes up to find her husband lying dead, right next to her.  That in itself is terrible, right?  But this is just the beginning of her problems.  In addition to her grief, she discovers that he left no money for her.  In fact, he left a sizable insurance policy for another woman named Claire.  It turns out he was married to her for 4 years.  That can’t be right.  He and Eleanor had been married for 38 years!  Oh, but it is right, unfortunately.  And this painful truth has ruined both of their lives.  How will each woman recover from this mountain of betrayal?  Let’s find out….

In this book, the main characters were Claire and Eleanor.  I thought both were incredibly smart, wonderful and nicely written.  The pain, shock and see-saw of emotions came across as very believable.  I think they responded the way anyone would in such a situation.  I found both of them–particularly Eleanor–to be kinda whiny at times, however.  But in a situation like theirs’, I guess a little whining and complaining is perfectly acceptable.  I like how they both eventually picked up the pieces.  They turned out to be incredibly strong women.  Of course, the husband Richard turned out to be a jerk.  (And his daughter with Eleanor?  What a bitch.)  I guess it takes a special kind of a-hole to juggle a career and two families and keep it secret for so long.  I did hate the Richard character most of the time, but I could see why each woman fell for him.  Narcs can be rather charming.  In the end, him dying was actually good for Eleanor and Claire.

 

Each woman stated repeatedly how sad, confused and heartbroken, etc. they were by Richard’s actions.  While I definitely sympathized with them, it did get a little too repetitive.  It was like, “Okay.  We get it.  Now what are you going to do about it?”  I feel kinda bad for saying that, but it was how I felt.  Maybe I should read it again?  I also felt like the book was a little too slow.  I was waiting for them to meet and eventually talk.  But I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a short book.  And what person wouldn’t ask themselves these questions over and over again in this type of situation?  They went thru something horrible.

 

All in all, I thought that “The Other Wife” was a decent read.  Kathleen Irene Paterka is a good writer.  Other than the above qualms, I did enjoy this book.  It was ultimately a story about fighting through adversity and believing in yourself.  I liked how the story ended for both Claire and Eleanor.  They were good women who deserved more than that piece of crap.  It was also a bit of a cautionary tale.   I give it a 6 out of 10.  You can find on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other such bookstores.

 

 

 

 

 

Review for “Zootopia”

Review for “Zootopia”

Cast of voices:  Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps, Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, Shakira as Gazelle. Idris Elba as Bogo, Jonah Hill as

Synopsis: Welcome to Zootopia, where all animals can live in peace and harmony.  But someone doesn’t want it to stay that way…

 

It’s been a while since I’ve watched a family-friendly film.  But then a friend of mine invited me to see “Zootopia”.  I honestly expected to be bored by it, for some reason.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t.  It turned out to be a wonderful film.  It had a ton of important life messages–believing in yourself, fighting prejudices and stereotypes, actually getting to know people,  being kind and realizing you can’t solve every problem alone.  Here’s the rest of the review

 

Like I said, I haven’t really seen a family film in a long while–except for maybe 5 minutes of one a few months ago.  So I didn’t have a lot of expectations when it came to that.  But all the voice actors did a decent job.  I enjoy the animations, though.  I thought it was very cute and (kinda) realistic.  The main character, Judy Hopps, was my favorite character.  I liked how bright-eyed and optimistic she was.  Then when things got more complicated towards the middle of the movie, she stopped being optimistic and started becoming more realistic.  Especially the scene where a press conference is given about certain animals.  She was so sad, and I felt bad for her.  Judy really wanted to make a difference, and she did by the end of the movie.  Officer Hopps was–dare I said it–pretty human.  Which is a bit strange to say since there are no humans in this film…..

 

The animation in “Zootopia” wasn’t super-spectacular, but it was very nice to look at.  The writing crew–which included Byron Howard–all did an incredible job with the story.  I liked the balance of it all.  It had jokes and situations that grown-ups could laugh at and understand.  Then it had very kid-friendly situations, like the play at the beginning.  Howard and Jared Bush were the directors of “Zootopia”.  Hats off to them for making an enjoyable movie.  But  I felt that the running time was a little too long.  They could’ve shaved at least 15 minutes off the running time.  The stereotyping was annoying, but I guess that was the point.   And where were the birds, reptiles and amphibians?

 

All in all, I  enjoyed “Zootopia”.  It was funny, and fairly original and very cute.  I think there are very important messages in this movie that we all need to learn.  It’s a little something for the whole family.   I recommend this film, and give it 8 out of 10.  It’s in theaters right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HTGAWM: Who do you think the backstabbers are?

Review for “Never Smile at Strangers”

Synopsis:  The disappearance of a nineteen year old woman rocks a small town to its very core.

They say that small towns are better than big cities.  Everyone knows everyone, and the people are friendly.    Picture-perfect couples raising happy, healthy children. The towns are so safe that residents never lock their doors.  Grand Trespass used to be one of those places.  Things changed the night that Tiffany Perron disappeared.  She was last seen with her best friend and boyfriend at a club called Provost’s.  People assumed that she just took off.  She was a free spirit, inconsiderate.  As time goes on, they wonder:  Is a serial killer on the loose?

 

I enjoy reading and watching mysteries, and “Never Smile at Strangers” was one of the best mystery books I’ve read in a while.  It is hard to believe that this is Jennifer Jaynes’ first novel.  I like how it was written–from the eyes of four different people.  I found the 3 female leads–Erica, Haley and Rachel–all relatable and likable.   They were well-written, smart and really interesting.  They felt like really people, penned with the right amount of realism without being too depressing…or, uh..real.  Who was my favorite character?  I guess it was a toss-up between Erica and Haley.  I think Erica won by a slim thread.  Fortunately (unfortunately?), the killer was also brilliantly written.  He’s probably one of the creepiest villains I’ve ever come across in a book.  The descriptions of him made want to hide under my bed or sleep with the lights on.  I think the fact that we don’t know his name makes him even scarier.  He was a stranger to everyone.  You never know the whodunit for sure until the last few chapters of the book.

 

A lot of books and movies lose steam somewhere in the middle of them.  However, “Never Smile at Strangers” never did that not once.  You were fully engrossed with every page turn, always wanting to know more.  Waiting for the next thrill.  I liked how the chapters were done in the book.  They were all very short, but not too much so.  The pacing in the book was near-perfect, albeit a little dizzying towards the end.

 

Some of the material in the book, mainly the killer’s parts, were a little too much for me though.  But that didn’t stop me from reading it.  I had some slight reservations about the ending, but I changed my mind.  “Never Smile at Strangers” has some disturbing and graphic material.  It is not for the faint of heart.  But if you don’t mind that, then this is the book for you.  This was an excellent read, and I highly recommend it.  I’d give it a 9 out of 10.  You can find it on Amazon.com and Goodreads.23199714-_uy475_ss475_

HTGAWM: Secrets and Lies are Finally Being Exposed

HTGAWM:  Secrets and Lies are Finally Being Exposed

Secrets and lies are a huge part of “How to Get Away with Murder”.  Every single character has them, and it seemed destined to stay that way.  Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case this week.  A lot of the dirty little secrets the Keating crew have been keeping from each other are finally starting to be exposed.  Let’s review some of them:

 

  1.  Frank and Laurel’s relationship is clearly done.  There is no way she will ever forgive him for what he’s done.  Lila’s death was what started this whole mess to begin with. (Actually, it’s the fact that Sam couldn’t keep it in his pants, but why be petty?)  Laurel knows that Frank killed her.  Now Bonnie does too.  But why did he do it?  We know he did it for Sam, but Laurel doesn’t. I was kinda annoyed because I thought we’d finally learn the truth this week.  But we didn’t.  But at least Bonnie knows the whole truth now.  We’ll probably find out next week.
  2. Wes and Annalise finally talked about the events from 10 years ago.  With the help of vodka, she discussed the Mahoney case and how she knew Wes’ mother.  Now Wes knows that he did not kill his mother, and she sacrificed herself to protect him.  I’m still a little confused to be honest.  One of the biggest reasons she protects him:  the older a-hole Mahoney is Wes’ birth father!  Wes is actually a product of rape!  This is horrible.  Wes wants more answers now, but I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid.  I honestly wished Annalise didn’t disclose that info to Wes.
  3. What happened to Annalise’s baby?  Annalise was on her way to the police station when a car rammed into hers’.  Annalise survived, but the baby didn’t.  I didn’t cry, but it was a very sad scene to watch.  I felt sorry for Annalise and Sam.  And Eve.  Now I understand why Wes is so important to Annalise, and vice versa.  He’s a replacement for the son she lost, and Annalise is a surrogate for Wes’ own mother.  Whether he wants to think of her like that or not.
  4. Philip.  I am more confused by him than ever.  The struggle between him and Annalise was brief.  I guess if he wanted to hurt her, he would have.  What if he is a victim of all of this after all, not a killer?  There’s still a good possibility he is though.  He has done some questionable things.  He lied about his birth parents.  He lied about knowing Catherine.  He kidnapped Oliver.  This is the second time he’s broken into someone’s home.  Why was he in Wes’ apartment?  Why choose him?  His encounter with Annalise doesn’t help matters either.  I don’t know how to feel about this guy.
  5. Caleb.  He’s not a very interesting character, to be honest.  Which means he probably is the mastermind behind the Hapstall murders.  Or not.  That case just wasn’t as interesting as Lila’s case.  Hopefully, they’ll have a more interesting season-long case next season.
  6. Oliver.  He seems to be the only completely good person on the show.  But what if he is the mystery hacker?  He knows a lot more about whiny baby Connor’s secret life than we thought?  He quit his job last week.  That may not mean anything because people quit jobs all the time.  Is Oliver’s HIV has progressed more than we thought?  One of the threatening e-mails asked for a million dollars.  Caleb and Catherine are billionaires, so why would they need to ask for money?  But Philip and Oliver are not billionaires, so they would need that money.  Last year, it was a team effort.  Sam and Frank working together to keep Sam’s affair permanently secret.  I think something similar is going to happen this time as well.  Oliver may or may not be involved.
  7. Asher.  I assumed that he’d be like Frank.  Kill someone and move on quickly.  But thankfully, he does have a conscience after all.  He feels guilty for what he did, just like Wes does for what he did to Sam.  But of course, the Keating people won’t let him turn himself in.  Then they’ll all go to jail.
  8. Asher and Michaela?  Meh.  Apparently, it’s impossible for a man and a woman to just be friends unless one of them is gay.  Not true, by the way.
  9.   Laurel.  Did Laurel screw up by telling Annalise about Frank and Lila?  Well, maybe.  I think she (Annalise) would’ve found out eventually, like she said earlier in the episode.  She wasn’t completely wrong about Sam, but she was wrong about Frank.
  10. What happens now?  I’m afraid to find out, but I’m also looking forward to the finale.

HTGAWM: Is it really Philip?

As you all know, the Keating 5 has a stalker in their mist.  Someone who could easily take them down.  Send them to jail, which they deserve to be honest.  But is it Philip, like we and K5 believe.  Or is it someone completely different?  Here are some unusual suspects:

 

  1.  Kan– This theory is completely farfetched, and probably won’t happen.  But Laurel broke his heart, twice.  She cheated on him with Frank, and ultimately left him for Frank.  Kan is devastated.  He gets his chance for payback when the Hapstalls are tried for their family’s murders.  But Kan was always the nicest guy.  He actually wanted to help people, legally of course.  He’s over her now, and is probably dating someone who isn’t a killer.  Plus, karma is the best revenge of all.
  2. Maybe it’s Oliver. He’s definitely smart, and he’s obviously great with computers. And if he did this, then it means that he’s a better liar than any of the Keating crew.  He also has the nice guy thing going for him.   Plus, he has more access to the K5 than ever. This is the cynical part of me talking, but I think it’s really strange that they’re all buddies all of a sudden. Something about it just doesn’t seem right. Maybe it’s about the fact that they’re murderers.  Anyway, it would be an amazing twist.
  3. Caleb?  Could it be him?  He helped screw over his sister.  (Yuck.)  He’s free while Catherine is in jail for something she didn’t do.  He also has access to the K5 people, Michaela especially.  He could’ve easily hired someone to set up the cameras around the home.  Then again, they’re rich and those cameras were probably there already.  Plus, he lives close to the Keating house. He’s a little questionable, but who isn’t on this show? But he and Catherine are billionaires.  They don’t need the money. The Keating people have (mostly) been on his side.  He’s not my number-one suspect, but he’s beginning to look like a good possibility.
  4. I had a brief theory that Sam’s sister could be behind this. But that’s why Annalise framed Nate back in season 1, right? So she’d back off the ‘kids’?  Back off of her? Hannah seemed to accept that Nate did it, even though we all know that’s untrue. That her brother got justice. That once again, Annalise ruined another person. But what if she didn’t….
  5. Who could forget Rebecca’s foster brother, Eggs 911 aka Levi?  He has a few reasons for wanting to destroy the Keating 5.  Because of them, he served prison time for a crime he didn’t commit. But framing people isn’t something that’s unusual on this show.  He knows that Rebecca is dead, and someone in Annalise’s group is responsible.  He wants justice for his sister.   So why not stalk K5? Stalking leads him to the Hapstall mansion.  Something shady happened there.  He records them running out of the house.  He blackmails Annalise and the K5 so he can finally get answers.
  6. Or what if it really is Philip?  He lied about his birth parents.  Lied about knowing Catherine.  He and Catherine seemed to be close.  (Not in that way!  Ick!)  Plus, this isn’t the first time he’s stalked anyone. (Remember episode 2×07-8?)  We all know that he’s a genius with computers.  What if the simplest explanation is the best one?  Of course, there’s always the possibility that he is working with someone….