Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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Have you seen Megan Hipwell?

I first was introduced to the book this film is based on by Goodreads. Everywhere I looked they promoted the book and kept recommending it to me.

They were constantly attacking me trying to get me to read it. That kind of pressure actually made me not want to read it at all.

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But then I saw the film coming out and decided that I would like to read the book before seeing the film. I figured out who the murderer was, but thought the book was pretty well written.

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So before we start with the film review, let’s give a bit of background on the book. So the theme of the book is that you never really know a person, there is a lot more than meets the eye.

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So the book is told by three female narrators who are completely unreliable.

1) First we have Rachel Watson. Rachel is bitter, obsessed, and an alcoholic. We want to like her and believe in her, feeling for the wrongs that have been committed against her, but at the same time we can’t trust her. First of all Rachel is an alcoholic who continually blacks out when she gets drunk and never knows what actually happens. Besides that, Rachel admits that she has an overactive imagination so we never know what she does remember or see to really be what she says or whether it is made up in her head.

2) Secondly we have Anna Watson. Anna was a real estate agent by day, party girl by night. When she met Tom Watson, Rachel’s husband at the time, she wanted him; became the other woman; got pregnant and became the new wife. She dislikes Rachel and the disruption she brings as she continually plagues their life. As Anna is willing to do all she can to get rid of Rachel, can we actually believe what she says about her or is it just jealousy?

3) Last we have Megan HipwellMegan says right away that she is a liar and makes things up all the time, no one really knows who she is. Therefore, how can we trust a single sentence she utters? Her story is told in flashbacks, leading up to her disappearance and murder.

So I  decided to see the film, how did it hold up?

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Well………………………………………………………………………….

I don't like it 11

I thought the film was pretty horrible. It didn’t capture the thrills of the book, the language and screenplay was horrid; and they just inserted sex everywhere! I was furious! WHO WROTE THIS? It sucked!

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So let’s count down what made this film so bad.

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1) Setting

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So they changed the location from England to New York and I thought that was a bad decision. First of all I’m tired of everything being New York, it is getting kind of boring. Besides that I thought England was a better choice as unlike America, Europe is so centered on trains. I also thought the weather and location added a certain suspense to everything.

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Plus the way the police interact and a lot of mannerisms; didn’t translate over as well to American. I mean there was Rachel’s obsession with her house that is very English, a type of Peril at End House that we have here, but not as strong.

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2) The Language

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The book was well written and crafted well in creating the story. The film, however, was not done well. I can’t believe the person who wrote this was paid any money, it was bad. Just F-bombs; no mystery, no suspense, nothing.

I don't like it 11

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3) Too Much Sex

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They trade out character development and actual plot to just show sex like every ten minutes. None of this was in the book, as it didn’t need that to be a good story. In fact the excessive sex just made the story weaker.

I mean when you watch the trailer they market it like 50 Shades of Gray. That was not what the book was about.

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4) Where was Anna?

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So the book is split between three narrators, the film did well with two but Anna had hardly any character development. In fact she was barely even in the film. Why would they do that? She was a big part of the story?

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5) Surprises Revealed Too Early

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So the book is a SUSPENSE. A THRILLER! You aren’t supposed to reveal things right away, they are supposed to be done slowly.

However, this film took all the thrills out early on. If you watch the trailer, the killer is revealed. They tell everything about Rachel’s reason for drinking, Megan’s secrets, etc.

It is like they wanted to do a drama instead of a thriller.

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6) Most of the Casting Choices were Horrible

So I disliked almost every actor they choose to play these characters. What were they thinking? Who was in charge of this? They should be fired.

Scott Hipwell

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In the book Scott was a wealthy IT consultant. He had a lot of money and could support the two of them, have a nice house in the country, and live off having to travel and work like once a week to twice a month. He was kind, handsome, charming, respectable, etc. You wanted to like him because Rachel did. Rachel believed in him and never thought of him being a killer or ever hurting his wife. He had to be someone you felt comfortable with, that way when Rachel realizes she has no idea who this guy really is, just who she imagines him to be, it takes on a real creepy tone.

In this, from the way he [Luke Evans] dresses and acts he seemed abusive and controlling. I never trusted him in the film as straight off the bat he acted and looked like someone who would hurt women. He never appeared trusting, kind, or gentle. He never appeared IT and their home looked barely lived in and worn. It just didn’t work and he didn’t work.

Tom Watson

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So in the book, Rachel describes Tom as being strong, powerful, and having the shoulders that seemed like they could carry all their weights and burdens. He is remarried, but at the same time the way he treats Rachel is almost like Cousin Ashley in Gone With the Wind, keeping her on a string.

In this film, I was surprised that they picked Justin Theroux. He was small and made me think of a weasel. I never thought he seemed comforting or a good husband; he looked like a liar and a cheat the whole time. I thought he was a bad choice, as like Luke Evans, he just couldn’t create a sincere or kind facade.

Anna Watson

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As said before, Anna was supposed to be party girl turned wife. In this she had no character development and the only bit we had was that she loved being a mom and thought it was the best thing any woman could do. We never heard about what she thought about their relationship, her hatred of Rachel, her needs, desires, etc.

Megan Hipwell

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I thought she was okay. They definitely played up the sexual angle, but didn’t focus on everything she went though to be who she was. All she was was a sex addict; not a grieving sister, former drug addict, bankrupt business owner, wife, friend, etc.Megan was much more complicated than just sex.

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The only thing I really liked was Emily Blunt as Rachel. She did extremely well in showing the emotional abuse and effects of alcohol. Good job, Emily!

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

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For more films on disappearances, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more Emily Blunt, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

For more films based on books, go to That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

A Whole Lot of Fanfare

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So here we are in part four of my fandom posts. You know, I originally planned this as one post and now I am laughing at myself for even thinking that. I guess I didn’t realize how many things I loved. It seems that every time I start on another post, I add like three more things to the list. Well I hope you all are enjoying these and that it sparks your interest in checking these things out.

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Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing. Although, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot tend to always be smarter. She also does not shy away from doing extremely radical ideas, such as having a child be the killer or having a part of the narration be through the killer (although at the time you don’t realize that person is the killer.) Her work is so great that every time I am in a bookstore I hunt down her books as I hope to one day own them all. I strongly recommend reading any of her novels. When you start one, you just can’t stop.

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I’m such a fan that I have not only read her mysteries (and watched the films and TV series) but I have read her biography and romance novels that she wrote prior to the mysteries.

Here are a few that I absolutely love: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, The Secret of  Chimneys, Murder on the Links, The Murder at the Vicarage, The Sittaford Mystery aka Murder at Hazelmoor, Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans aka The Boomerang ClueDumb Witness, Death on the Nile, Appointment With Death, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas aka A Holiday for Murder aka Murder for ChristmasAnd Then There Were None aka Ten Little Indians, One Two Buckle My Shoe aka Patriotic Murders aka An Overdose of DeathThe Body in the Library, Murder in Retrospect aka Five Little PigsThe Moving Finger, Murder After Hours aka The HollowCrooked House, Murder is Announced, They Came to Baghdad, Funerals Are Fatal aka After the FuneralWhat Mrs. McGillicudy Saw aka 4:50 from PaddingtonThird Girl, Nemesis, Curtain, and Sleeping Murder. I know that seems like a lot, but there is so much more of her books I could have also included.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Quite a Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

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Awkward

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So I was a huge fan and fangirled over the first season of this show. After that, it kinda went downhill for me and I stopped watching it, so I have no idea how it is now. But that first season, that first season is gold.

So I was flipping channels one day and just happened upon Awkward. As I was watching the episode I decided that I would watch the first one to see what’s what, and that’s it. I was hooked.

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I watched all the episodes I could to catch up, and then reached the point where I had to be like all the other fans and watch one by one.

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And I was a mega-fan. I actually went on the message boards.

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I would write constantly my thoughts on the episodes, how I felt about the whole love triangle, who I wanted her to end up with, and promoting the J-train all the way (will explain in a minute).

So what is the show about? Well, Awkward is about Jenna Hamilton, nerd girl, who hopes this year will be different. Jenna has had a crush on this guy Matty McKibbon, forever.

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She is surprised when at summer camp he wants to have sex with her. She thinks that maybe this could work out, this could happen, but nope. After Matty gets what he wants he ignores her.

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She gets home and gets this horrible letter stating everything wrong with her. She is reading it in the bathroom when she accidentally slips and falls. The big prob, her blow dryer fell in the tub, she spilled all her razors and asprins, etc. It looks like she was trying to commit suicide.

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Everyone thinks she was trying to commit suicide, even though she keeps telling them she wasn’t. Now she has to go to counseling sessions all the time.

Not only that, but she constantly picked on by the most popular girl in school, Sadie, who is jealous of how pretty Jenna is. Now this was one of the reasons why I liked this show. Jenna reminded me of a more sexually active (as I abstain) and more passive version of myself. As I was bullied too by other girls. Of course, I would have reacted differently.

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Now to further the drama of the year she has the guy issues. First there is Matty who only uses her for sex.

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He never wants to publicly be seen with her, never acknowledges her, and puts her down in front of everyone.

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Then you have Jake. The two start of as friends, then Jake realizes he has feelings for her.

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He breaks up with his girlfriend and tries to date her, never pressuring her for anything, not caring who knows he likes her, etc.

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And now Matty gets mad. As soon as Jake mentions he’s into Jenna, now Matty is into Jenna. Eventually it all comes down to Jenna having to make a decision as to which boy to pick. And I of course was all about Jenna and Jake, the J-train as us fans called it. Jake was just so perfect!

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Sweet, sensitive, funny, and completely secure in himself that he didn’t care what anyone said about him dating Jenna. Plus, the best thing ever: he showed Jenna that a relationship is more than sex. Sure that’s what he wants, but he can wait a long time, making sure he got to know the person, before he did anything.

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So season one was great, and ended perfectly.

Season two was where I had issues. Matty purposely tries to do stuff to break the two up as he wants to be with Jenna. That whole, you have it I want it.

And not only that, the kept writing it so Jenna was unsure if maybe Matty really loved her and that’s the guy she should be with.

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This dude only wanted you for sex! Only sex. He never wanted to have a conversation. He didn’t care how you felt. He paraded other girls in front of you. He treated you horribly! Horribly! And you think that’s love?

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Plus he was too ashamed to even be seen with you.

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And, and he made fun of you in front of the whole school!

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He is a horrible human being.

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So like I said, I stopped watching it. First season is golden! And that is where it ends for me in my mind. So defintely check out the first season, the rest of it depends really whether you are a Matty or a Jake fan. J-train all the way!

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Deadwood

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Deadwood was one of those series that ended too soon. It lasted only a season, but was so cool. It tells the history of Deadwood, South Dakota; one of the most famous Western towns.They combine a lot of historical figures; such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp,George Crook, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Jack McCall, and George Hearst; along with blending it with fictional people. It’s not 100% accurate, but is really awesome! I loved this show as I love practically anything Western. Plus it has the handsome Timothy Olyphant.

This doesn't feel right.

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Diagnosis Murder

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Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. It came on every Thursday night on PAX, now ION, and it was the only time that my parents would let us stay up past our bedtimes on a school night.

Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke) is the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Jack Stewart (Scott Baio); guy from a crime family turning on that life and making something of himself. Jack ended up leaving to go to Denver, and they brought on Jesse Travis(played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

It was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime. You used to be able to watch them all on Youtube, but for some strange reason they took them down. 😦

But if you can get a chance, you should definitely check it out.

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Frank Peretti

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Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors. In fact I was able to meet him once and totally fangirled over him. But he was super nice as he autographed my books and actually spent a long time talking to me. It made the other people in line mad, and I can’t blame them, but I didn’t care as I had just met FRANK PERETTI!

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Frank Peretti started out being a pastor, but discovered that it wasn’t the life for him. He drifted from job to job, and while working in a snowshoe factory he wrote his first novel, This Present Darkness. He has now written over 30 books for adults, teens, and children. His books are amazing as they always have great, realistic characters, action, adventure, suspense, and a moral message. Everytime I read his works I feel great! Although also like this:

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So I haven’t read everything, but I’ll tell you what I think about the things I have read.

Hangman’s Curse– This was the first of the Peretti novels I read, and when I read this one I was hooked. The Springfield family of four- mom, dad, teenage twins (boy and girl), work for the government as an undercover unit to infiltrate places the FBI, CIA, and Police departments can’t. A sort of 21 Jump Street. They are sent to a small town to investigate the mysterious deaths of students. Students who are bullying others, are being killed. How? By a ghost of a student who hung himself. Or at least that is what everyone is saying. When the team goes in, they discover that there is much more to this plot then they could ever have imagined.

It was an amazing book! Suspenseful, supernatural, action, etc. It had me on the edge of my seat furiously flipping pages to discover what happens next. And the ending is so unexpected and fantastic!

This book was turned into a movie, in which it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been meaning to do a post on it for Horrorfest, and will soon.

Nightmare Academy– A healthy, extremely intelligent boy runs away from home and is found a few months later naked, incoherent, and with the mental capacities of a one-year old. The only thing he seems to remember is two words-Nightmare Academy. The government calls upon the Springfield family, who once again go undercover. The twins pretend to be runaways and are approached by a woman from the Knight-Moore Academy. They agree to go, but this school is more sinister than they imagine. The two are drugged and wake up in a place where there are no morals, no truths, but a world where anything you believe is right is right, and absolutes are non-existent. Their parents had been keeping an eye on the twins, but find they’d been carried away right under their noses and there is no trace that they even existed. Who are these people? What are they doing to the kids?

This books was freakin’ amazing.

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It is suspenseful, it is mind-boggling, it is realistic, is crazy…I could go on. Let me just say that if any of you are a fan of Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent this will totally be something you’d love.

This Present Darkness– His first novel and a really amazing one. In this book a small town becomes the battleground in a war between the angels and demons. A collection of people want to take over the town and its college in order to indoctrinate the students into believing their untruths. On the other side of the battle is an agnostic editor, Marshall, and his star reporter, Bernice, trying to figure out what is going on in the town as nothing sits right with them. Fighting alongside, but unbeknowest to them, is Hank, the pastor of a little church and a true prayer warrior. It has action, comedy, suspense, drama, and the supernatural

Piercing the Darkness The sequel to This Present Darkness. In this novel, a group of people are set on closing down a Christian school, removing kids from a widowed Christian teacher, and causing their school material to be the only thing taught. Once again people find themselves fighting in the earthly and spiritual realm. This book is its own story with its own characters, but Peretti does bring back a few favorites such as Marshall, Hank, and Bernice. It was a great read, and almost as good as the original.

Prophet– John Barrett is the attractive and most popular news anchor on his station. He is estranged from his father and son, but in everything else doing absolutely splendid. Money, fame, adoring fans. Everything changes when his father dies, and no one seems to find the circumstances suspicious. Later he finds out that his news station is being selective in what has actually occurred and changing stories so they are sensational, instead of truthful. This causes John to start looking for the real truth and sets him down a path he never thought he would ever go down. It was a great book that sucks you in.

The Visitation– I have yet to read this, as you all know my to-read list is in the millions, but I have seen the film. In this a man comes to town who seems to have miraculous powers and claims to be the son of God, Jesus. Yet, there is more to this man than meets the eye. The film was amazingly good and you can all expect a review of it to be coming in some future Horrorfest.

House– House is actually a collabaration between Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (the Christian version of Stephan King). This is not my all-time favorite books of his, mostly because Ted Dekkar style really doesn’t suit me. He’s just a bit too dark. I wouldn’t read this until I had finished all of Frank Peretti’s other books. They made a movie out of this and it was on Amazon Instant Watch, a while back, but I couldn’t watch it. I’ll get around to it eventually, and you’ll probably see it popping up on a future Horrorfest.

For more on Frank Peritti, go to A Little Bit of Love

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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I can still sing the intro to this show 100% perfectly. Oh I loved this show growing up, and of course Will Smith. I think everyone was in love with him, I mean come on funny and attractive? Carlton was another of my favorites because he was so incredibly straightlaced. And don’t forget Geoffrey the sarcastic butler. But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself

So the story is about Will (played by Will Smith) who in West Philidelphia was born and raised. And on the playground is where he spent ost of his days. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool-shooting some b-ball outside of school. Then a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood. He got in one little fight and his mom got scared, and said your moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

His uncle Phil and Aunt Viv grew up poor, but have moved up the social ladder-him a judge and her a professor, and are now rich. They at times seem to have forgotten their past, which Will reminds them of.

Their oldest daughter is Hilary, vapid, only cares about shopping, and for lack of a better word-bimbo. She is sweet and always providing comic relief.

Their second child is Carleton, who is about the same age as Will and always butting heads with him. Carlton is a super prep, nerd, ultra-conservative; but extremely hilarious. And a great dancer.

In fact “The Carlton” was so popular they reprised it on Dancing With the Stars.

Just Dance you guys need to add this to your repitoire.

The youngest child is Ashley. Ashley is still trying to figure out who she is and, as her siblings are older and in that phase where they want nothing to do with their younger sis, she gets really close to Will and bonds with him. She ends up with a singing career, encouraged by Will.

And rounding out the the household is the British, sarcastic butler. Hmm…I wonder who had it first? FPBA or The Nanny?

Anyways, it was a hilarious show and the essence of the ’90s.

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LifeasaFangirl

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For Part 3, go to Fantastic Fantasies

Stay tuned for Part 5

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For more posts on my love of books, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Over and Over Again