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Sons of Anarchy  - Season 2
Sons of Anarchy - Season 2
2009 | Drama
Tara (0 more)
This is definitely my favorite season, the story lines were interesting. Henry Rollins (from Black Flag) killed it in his role. Some of the season was hard to watch, like the situation with Gemma, but overall, it was a strong season.
For Their Child's Sake
For Their Child's Sake
8.0 (1 Ratings)
Book Rating
Sam and Tara have fought the good fight to keep their marriage together. Over a year ago Tara had enough and told Sam he couldn’t come home anymore. His addiction had destroyed their family and she had to protect their child. Sam walked away and into rehab and now wants his family back.

Tara never stopped loving Sam but that doesn’t mean she is ready to just give in and let him back home again. When a playground accident forces them back together again, as a family, will she be able to hold strong to her convictions?

Sam has been waiting for an opportunity to prove to Tara that he is a changed man. Moving back into the house with his 2 favorite girls is just that moment. He will do whatever it takes to prove he is now able to take care of his family the way he should have been all along.

Sam, Tara and Marley navigate their new normal, while trying to put all the pieces of their family back together again. Return to Stonerock in this powerful story that addresses current day situations like addiction and amnesia. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy, all opinions expressed are my own. Return to Stonerock with this family working on their second chance.

Bookapotamus (289 KP) rated Educated in Books

May 29, 2018  
Tara Westover | 2018 | Biography
9.3 (9 Ratings)
Book Rating
All the stars in the Idaho Sky! Tara Westover is so very brave. And her book is hands-down, 5+ stars amazing. This is by far the most riveting memoir I've ever read. I am so fascinated by cult-like religions, as well as homesteaders/survivalists and end-of-the-world preppers - and this quenched every thirst I've ever had for all those things and infinitely beyond. This was the extreme of both of those worlds. I cannot believe this is real life. The epitome of "you can't make this sh*t up," I imagine those words running through Tara's head often.

This is a story of growing up in middle-of-nowhere Idaho with Mormon anti-government parents, who "home-schooled" Tara and her brothers and sisters, while preaching these crazy ideals on these poor kids who just didn't know any better. They believed everything their parents said (who wouldn't believe their own parents?!), and the abuse and neglect she had to essentially endure because of it, was heartbreaking. These kids grew up with no birth certificates, never stepping foot inside a classroom or a doctor's office, zero modern medicine (including for severe burns and brain injury!), living in filth and squalor, and the constant pressure to be of extreme faith and a tireless servant of a God, that required way to much of these poor children. And all under the watchful eyes of a father who takes no less than their utter devotion to that God, no matter what the consequences.

It pains me to see them choose sides throughout - you really do get the sense that these parents love Tara in all the way they know how, and they honestly feel that what they are doing is right and just, but it's just so blatantly wrong. I applaud Tara for trying so very hard - throughout every victory in her life without them, and coming out on the other side, not bitter at all, still feeling love for her family.

I was enthralled by this memoir. There wasn't any second of this book that dragged, or lulled - I literally could not put it down. The writing is so well thought out, every person rich with description and character, and you root for this strong-willed little girl to get out, and make something of her life and triumph over the family who may love her, but believe her to be evil because she just wants to be free. And we know, because of this amazing book, she finally is.

Love. Love. Love!
Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to review and to Tara Westover for sharing her story.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
2018 | Action, Animation, Fantasy
The deadly, demented, and dangerous, and dysfunctional Task Force X has returned in “Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay”. The new animated film from Warner Bros Home Entertainment features the voice talents of Christian Slater, Vanessa Williams, Greg Grunberg, Tara Strong, and many others in an adult themed story which should delight fans of the series who thought the PG-13 approach of the live action film did not do the series the proper treatment they believed was due.

The worst of the worst have been recruited to recover a mysterious artifact and thanks to the explosives implanted in their heads; their control and compliance is expected.

Deadshoot, Harley Quinn, Copperhead, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, and others set out to complete their mission despite their usual issues with authority, the world, and each other. Naturally they are not unopposed as Captain Zoom, Banshee, and others stand in their way.

As the team fights others and amongst themselves, the body count piles up as this is not a kid’s movie and the blood and bullets fly frequently.

The animation and voice acting is first rate as you would expect from Warner Bros and the large cast works very well bringing their characters to life and infusing them with a complexity which is deeply engaging.

In another triumph for the studio, the movie delivers all that fans expect and more and let us hopes we will be seeing Task Force X again in the very near future.

LeftSideCut (3653 KP) rated The Walking Dead - Season 4 in TV

Sep 22, 2019 (Updated Oct 25, 2019)  
The Walking Dead  - Season 4
The Walking Dead - Season 4
2013 | Drama
A season of two halves
Contains spoilers, click to show
Season 4 of The Walking Dead is honestly a mixed bag.

The first half is pretty damn solid, wrapping up the Prison and Governor storyline nicely.
It shows off just how strong the cast is here - the characters we have come to know and love are stronger than ever, and a lot of new faces are welcome. I really liked how we got to know Tyrese more throughout this season.
As the group deals with a deadly flu outbreak within the prison walls, the show does a really good job of making you feel the claustrophobia.
I also really enjoyed the flashback Governor episodes - although these episodes introduced us to Tara - a character who I warmed to slowly later on, but in this season, damn she's annoying (nothing against Alanna Masterson just FYI)

The first half climaxes astonishingly with the episode "Too Far Gone" - possibly the best episode of TWD ever. It's sooooo tense. It's violent. It's upsetting. It's masterful. TWD at it's soaring best (although I don't think I'll ever get over what happened to my beloved Hershel)

Then the back half of the season is where it's loses its footing a bit. The group is scattered after the events of "Too Far Gone" and it really shows how TWD fares much better when everyone is together. It's just becomes a bit....boring, and it struggled to hold my attention.
There are still some great parts though - the sweet relationship between Daryl and Beth, the introduction of Abraham, the BRUTAL scene where Rick defends Carl from a truly disturbing fate in the finale...
And of course "The Grove" - another stellar episode.

Season 4 is the first season that became a little bit filler-infused for me but those stand out episodes elevate it and then some.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer  - Season 5
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 5
2000 | Horror
The Body (2 more)
Anya Speech
The Gift
DAWN! (0 more)
The lets kick you in the feels season
Whilst I hate the introduction of Dawn I really enjoyed this series there where two absolute sound out episode first being:

The Body- This is without a doubt one of the best ever episode ive seen dealing with greif and death the episode is heart breaking from start to finish Anya's speech is the most powerful moment for me.

"I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's- There's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. And-and Xander's crying and not talking, and-and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why."

However ever character had a part that was monumental in explain death I also liked Tara explanation of its always sudden even if expected. Xander's need for violent outburst WIllow's need for changing clothes. This is one of the most memorable episode of Buffy.

The second stand out episode is The Gift:

"Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will *always* love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles... tell Giles I figured it out. And, and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world... is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."

The thing that got to me most this episode was Spike face in the last scene
The Medici Mirror
7.0 (2 Ratings)
Book Rating
Back in the summer I read a wonderful novel called Beyond the Sea by Melissa Bailey. I loved it and was swept away by Melissa’s ability to create atmosphere and such a vivid sense of place – you can read my review here. I loved it so much that I (maybe a little cheekily!) asked Melissa if she’d send me a copy of her first book. Well she did, and I’m so very glad because I loved this one too. Check out the cover above – that in itself rang a whole lot of my bells. Doesn’t it just invite you in?

This is another novel with an incredible sense of place. I was fascinated by the descriptions of the old, derelict shoe factory with all its machinery and materials still in situ. I could almost smell the dust and leather and was just as keen as the protagonists to see it brought back to life. But nothing lies dormant for decades without accumulating its fair share of secrets and this factory is no different.

From the very beginning the reader realises that this narrative will be split. It opens with Catherine de Medici and her concerns regarding her husband’s affair before moving to the modern day and Johnny’s story. Johnny is at a vulnerable stage in his life and very early on meets the somewhat mysterious love interest, Ophelia – who happens to be a fashion photographer specialising in shoes. As the two of them and Johnny’s beautiful colleague Tara start to dig away at the history of the factory you just can’t help but want to know how the two eras will be linked. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to point out the significance of the mirror in the title at this point…

The narrative deftly switches between Contemporary London, Victorian London and 1540’s France bringing in some incredible historical detail which Melissa must have spent considerable time researching. I love novels which lead me off on a ‘Google tangent’ and this had me looking up Victorian shoes, Venetian mirrors and the story of Catherine de Medici and her husband (the King of France) in more detail.

Melissa writes strong, female characters particularly well but all the characters in this novel are well-rounded, if flawed – as they should be. The story is excellently plotted with a very satisfying ending - a compelling mix of murder, passion, intrigue and the supernatural. It’s a ghost story in the vein of my favourite Victorian ghost stories; eerie, spooky and chilling rather than terrifying but no less accomplished because of that. It’s gripping and smart – and unbelievably, a debut novel. A perfect read to curl up with on a winter’s evening. Thank you so much Melissa! I can’t wait for book number three.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018)
2018 | Action, Animation, Comedy
This summer has brought us many of the best and highest rated superhero movies of all time. After seeing big blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 and even Disney Pixar’s animated superhero hit Incredibles 2, folks may have a bit of superhero overload. With so many genre-defining films one right after the other it would be easy to miss the newest contender, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, but it’s absolutely a movie you should make a point to see.

Robin (Scott Menville), the leader of the Teen Titans dreams of nothing more than having a movie made about him. It seems like there is a movie about every other major superhero (even if it wasn’t a particularly good one as Green Lantern reluctantly admits too), so why not him? When he and his team Beast Boy (Greg Cipes), Cyborg (Khary Payton), Raven (Tara Strong) and Starfire (Hynden Walch) inquire why a movie has yet to be made about them, they are laughed at. After all, who would ever make a movie dedicated to the lowly sidekicks?

The Titans realize that there is one thing that all superheroes have that they are missing…an archnemesis, someone they could prove their heroic talents defeating and ultimately earn them a place among the stars. The Titans, due the other major superheroes being unavailable, come across Slade (Will Arnett) attempting to steal a precious crystal. Jumping quickly into action, the team realizes that this may be the archnemesis they are searching for.

Teen Titans is a movie that certainly does not take itself seriously, even their first battle is against a giant balloon man who steals safes by stuffing them inside helium filled balloons. There are also the occasional fart jokes and the expected waffles references, which are all the things that young kids have grown to love about the series. Even though those jokes and references were very funny, they are really only surface level jokes, ones to make the kids in the audience laugh. To get to the real genius of this movie you have to look a little deeper. Teen Titans is full of 80’s and pop culture references, so many that it’d be easy to overlook them the first time you see it. The movie includes subtle nods to everything from Back to the Future to superhero origin stories and every one of them is pure genius. The references were clearly made for the adults to catch, yet you’ll still see the younger audience members laughing (although they may not know why). One of my absolute favorite parts in the movie involves Aquaman, and 3 days later I’m still laughing about it. The joy this movie brings will stay with you for a very long time.

Teen Titans! Go to the Movies has my vote for best superhero movie of the year. It’s a bright shining star in the otherwise dismal DC Universe. It’s a movie that is made for young and old alike, but for entirely different reasons. It is both nostalgic and new, something that is incredibly difficult for most movies to accomplish these days. It will have you laughing throughout, but deep down teaches an incredibly important lesson about friendship, and what it means to be a true hero. For fans of the television series this is an absolute must see movie, in fact you should already have your tickets and know exactly when you are going. For those who have never seen a single episode but love superhero movies, don’t just sit there, fly/swim/portal your way over to the theater. If you have a fondness for the 80s, you’ll be in for a serious treat, in many, many ways. As cliché as this may seem, it’s the must-see movie of the summer and in my opinion the entire year. Oh, and make sure you stay for the credits…the genius lasts until the very end.

What I liked: Incredibly clever 80s and pop culture references, vivid and amazing animation, the superhero origin stories (you’ll understand when you watch it)

What I liked less: I couldn’t immediately go see it again