Jane Austen (Little People, BIG DREAMS)

Jane Austen (Little People. BIG DREAMS) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Another Jane Austen biography for children?

What can I say?

But before I start my review, let me pause and say:

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

Yes, today marks her 246th birthday, and I thought what better way to celebrate than by reviewing a Jane Austen biography.

This year for my littlest niece’s (5 years old) Christmas gift, I bought her some tiny tea cups that she could have tea with. You see when she visited this summer I converted her to a love of tea and tea parties and want to reenforce that as much as possible.

Party time!

Of course something else I am trying to brainwash encourage in the younger members of my family is a love of Jane Austen. I had already bought this niece the Babylit books and needed something else Jane Austen related that fit her age. I thought about gifting her the same book I gave my 10 year old niece, A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice, but decided to wait as that book was more advanced and designed for older children. Instead I starting searching for something suitable for a 5 year old.

Hmm…?

I started searching through Amazon (I don’t have a local bookstore) and found this biography from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series. It looked cute so I ordered it, and of course had to give it a quick read and review.

I really liked the amount of pictures to text this book had as it was a great balance for a children’s book. It gave a basic biography in easy to understand terms, while still telling a cute story that children in the age range of 4-7 years will enjoy following.

I also loved how it highlighted her playwriting and the way her family would act her works out.

But the thing I enjoyed most of all about this book is that instead of just mentioning Pride and Prejudice or Elizabeth Bennet, it actually highlights all the heroines of her novels. You hardly ever see anything that mentions Fanny Price/Mansfield Park, Catherine Morland/Northanger Abbey, or Anne Elliot/Persuasion in kids books and I’m so happy this one did. I need to lay the groundwork for Northanger Abbey.

If there are parents, or kids, who are interested in knowing more about Jane Austen, there is an expanded short biography in the back of the book.

I thought it was a cute book and a great one for kids.

If interested in purchasing, click on this link. (If you do choose to purchase through the link provided, a small percentage does go to me through the Amazon affiliate program).

For more Jane Austen children’s books, go to A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

For more Jane Austen biographies, go to Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper

For more picture books, go to How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea

Jane Austen Runs My Life Holiday Gift Guide: Jane Austen Books

So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? A few days ago I posted on Jane Austen products, but I thought I would I also share some books that would make the perfect gift for the holidays.

I do not receive any money from any of these books for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing books I have enjoyed and I think you, or your loved ones will. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links, I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program.

So enough business:

It’s time for Christmas!

This list of books are the perfect gift for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift.

The books are all listed in alphabetical order and it was SO HARD to choose just 10 books. I really tried to create a variety of books and genre types in order to ensure I have something for everyone.

Just as difficult as choosing 10

Babylit Jane Austen by Jennifer Adams and Allison Oliver

Do you have a little one on your Christmas list? Why not start their love of Jane Austen early with these Babylit board books? Babylit has taken three Jane Austen novels and turned them into board books that cover topics important in children’s development from birth to 5 years old. Each one has lovely illustrations and are the perfect addition to the young child in your life’s bookcase. Sense and Sensibility covers opposites, Pride and Prejudice is on numbers, and Emma is on emotions.

I absolutely LOVE these books and they are always a constant on my gift list. Every time I gain a new niece, cousin, or a friend has a baby, these three becomes a birthday or Christmas gift.

To order, click here

Quill Ink Anthologies edited by Christina Boyd

The Quill Ink had published several anthologies on Jane Austen variations: some are set in different time periods, some answer “what if” questions, are told from secondary characters’ points of view, etc. There are so many great stories in these anthologies that I just couldn’t pick one, I had to include them all. If interested in more detailed reviews, just click on the titles.

Does the person you love, LOVE Mr. Darcy? Buy The Darcy Monologues. Is Elizabeth their favorite character? Buy Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl! Are they a fan of Jane Austen’s bad boys? Get Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues! Are you searching for a Jane Austen Christmas combo? Then Yuletide is perfect for you. Do they like all the Jane Austen main characters? Rational Creatures is the book to fulfill your shopping list.

These books are available in print, as ebooks, and in audiobook format; so however they like to read, there is an option for them! I personally don’t feel like Christmas is coming until I listen to my audiobook of Yuletide (over and over and over again).

To order, click here

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1) by Sonali Dev

Is the person on your shopping list looking for a more contemporary Jane Austen novel? Maybe they would like to see diverse characters? Then Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a great choice for them. In this Darcy is Trish Raje, Indian royalty and a doctor; with Elizabeth having become D.J. Caine, multiracial chef (Anglo-Indian and Rwandan). After a series of misunderstanding in their first meeting, Trish and DJ end up being thrown together when Trish has to take over the planning of an event for her sister. There are a series of missteps and mistakes, but in the end romance will always triumph.

As a biracial person I really enjoyed seeing that represented, along with this not only be a story of falling in love, but the love and comfort food and family can bring to us.

To order, click here

Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge

Do you have a friend that loves Jane Austen and devotionals? Then this is the one that you need to get them. There are 31 chapters to read, for every day of an average month, that take you section by section through Jane Austen’s prayers. This is a great way to refocus your life, learn about Jane Austen, and increase your prayer time.

I really enjoy this devotional and read it at least once a year (typically in the days that lead up to Christmas). Plus Rachel Dodge has great customer service. I ordered autographed bookplates for her books for Christmas last year and they never arrived. I contacted her about it and she sent new ones immediately.

To order from her website, click here

Definitely Not Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

This is an older book, as it was published in 2011, but it is such a wonderful and funny book and perfect for fans of dating shows (and a great way to pass the time while we wait to see if Peacock will really make their Pride and Prejudice/Regency inspired dating show.) in this Chloe Parker is a single mom in need of money to keep her business afloat so she applies to be on a Jane Austen TV show. However, when she gets there she finds out that the network felt they needed a change and now it has become a “The Bachleor-esque”competition. Chloe is convinced to stay and try to win her own “Mr. Darcy”…but what if she doesn’t fall for the “Mr. Darcy” but for another man on the show? Will Chloe get her Jane Austen ending? Or go home with no money and no man?

A hilarious book that any Janite will love.

To order, click here

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I LOVE THIS BOOK! This is the sequel to Austenland, although both books are independent stories and do not have to be read in order. This book has romance, mystery, comedy, and more. It’s the perfect book for anyone who loves Agatha Christie and Jane Austen.

After Charlotte’s husband cheats on her, leaves her, and remarries she finds herself at a loss of what to do. She ends up finding a teenage list of things she wanted to do before 30, one of which is to read all the Jane Austen novels. She does and of course becomes a fan, deciding to take a vacation to Austenland in England. While the Regency activities are fun, something mysterious is going on. Will Charlotte be able to figure out this whodunnit, or will she become the next victim?

This is a fantastic book and I strongly recommend it.

To order, click here

Emma: Manga Classics adapted by Stacy King and illustrated by Tse

Do you have a teenager you want to introduce to Jane Austen? Do you know someone who loves Manga and Jane Austen? Then this reimagined classic is perfect for your holiday shopping list! This Emma manga has beautiful illustrations that bring the classic tale to life.

I bought this for my teenage niece, of course had to read it first, and loved it! It is definitely a great addition to a Janeite’s shelf.

To order, click here

Just Jane by Nancy Moser

Are you looking for a biographical fiction book on Jane Austen for someone on your list? This is a wonderful book and fits that slot! This book is part of a series on famous women, but do not have to be read in order and all the books are independent of each other.

This book is on Jane Austen’s life and was extremely well done. Not only was it a fun story, but brought up little real life anecdotes that I just had to learn more about, and would often fall down a research rabbit hole. As there are parts of Austen’s life that we know little about, the author does take some liberties in telling the story. However, I felt the author tried to tell a story that does its best to represent Jane Austen.

I really enjoyed it and I think that if you have a friend who loves Jane Austen and wants to know more about her, but doesn’t care for typical biographies, this is a great route to take.

To order, click here

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfruend

Do you know someone who loves Jane Austen but is also into science fiction? Then this is the perfect book as this adaption of Persuasion has a SciFi twist. Set in the not too distant future, the author has welded Austen’s classic take of love lost, love returned, and misunderstandings with cyborg-like accruements. Elliot’s (Anne) old love has returned with a new name and new enhancements. But can the bitterness and hurt be laid to rest, or will this couple face even more odds at romance.

I enjoyed this book a lot and felt that the fusion of genres was extremely well done.

To order, click here

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries by Emma Thompson

Do you have a friend/family member that loves Jane Austen and their favorite film is Sense and Sensibility (1995)? Then this would be perfect for them. The book has an intro by producer Lindsay Doran, the screenplay to the film, and the notes Emma Thompson made while filming. It is a great behind the scenes look that is perfect for the Janiete on your list.

I personally loved reading about how they had to work together to overcome cultural and at times language barriers-being an American producer, British screenwriter/actress, and a Taiwanese filmmaker.

To order, click here

So of course this is just a small sampling of all the Jane Austen adaptations out there, but I hope that this has helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! If none of these strike your fancy, I will post links to my posts that list all the Jane Austen adaptions I have reviewed.

I wish you all a happy holiday and happy holiday shopping!

Sense and Sensibility Adaption Reviews

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part I

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part II

Pride and Prejudice Adaption Reviews: Part III

Mansfield Park Adaption Reviews

Emma Adaption Reviews

Northanger Abbey Adaption Reviews

Persuasion Adaption Reviews

Jane Austen Runs My Life Holiday Gift Guide: Jane Austen Products

So I don’t usually write one of these, but thought why not do a holiday guide this year? All the items I have put on here are items I have used in the past and enjoyed, and recommend to others.

I do not receive any money from any of these stores for promoting them, I am just honestly sharing items that I have enjoyed and think make perfect gifts. I have attached links to all the items if any of you are interested in purchasing any of these products. If you do choose to purchase an item from Amazon, by going through these links I will receive a small percentage through the affiliate program. Any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

So enough business:

It’s time for Christmas!

Yes, Christmas is coming and I thought I would put together a list of some of the best Jane Austen products I have personally come across. These items are perfect gifts for Janeites in your life OR you could always share this list with your loved one that may be struggling to find you the perfect gift. You know what I always say:

All the items are not in any particular order, although I did try to break up the apparel, that way there are not clothes one after the other.

Litographs Jane Austen Shirts

Back when I first came across this company I did a post on them. Litographs is a company that prints the words of classic books onto clothing and other items, but they don’t just reprint words-they also create beautiful designs. You can currently get products in all of Jane Austen’s completed novels, although as I have only ever ordered the shirts from them, those are the only items I recommend. (Although the Northanger Abbey products are lacking and boring, if you are a Northanger Abbey fan keep reading). I would say women’s clothes fit true to size, while unisex does run a little large.

The items came fairly quickly and they have excellent customer service. I ordered a Pride and Prejudice shirt and it arrived in the wrong size, color, and design. I emailed the company, sent them screenshots of my invoice and the item, and it was replaced immediately. If you have a Janeite who loves wearing the words of her books, this is a great place to shop.

To order from Litographs, click here.

NovelTea Tins Jane Austen Tea

NovelTea Tins is a company that makes tea and gives it a punny literature twist. I have also reviewed them in the past. Featured above is their Sense and Senchability Tea, but they make a Pride and Peppermint as well.

This tea is delicious and comes in cute containers or tins with an adorable matching bookmark. This is perfect for Jane Austen friends and family, along with any tea lovers you know. You can purchase the two Jane Austen teas individually, or get a Romantic Reads sampler that will have the two of them, The Picture of Earl Grey Tea, and three corresponding bookmarks.

They have also just added a third Jane Austen tea, Pemberley Pu-erh, but I have not tried that yet, I cannot recommend it.

To order from NovelTea Tins, click here.

MadsenCreations Henry Tilney Fanny Pack

So MadsenCreations and I have collaborated on a few things, (more below), but I’m not the only one who has been searching for an item and MadsenCreations has delivered. A while back Austen Therapy remarked about how she wanted a Jane Austen Fanny pack, I recommend she reach out to MadsenCreations, and now you too can have one. These are adorable and great for someone on the go who doesn’t want a full size purse or backpack; but does want to show off their love of Mr. Tilney.

As I have worked personally with this shop I felt they were a great person to work with. I also have not had any issues in speed of service as everything came within a week of my order. And don’t forget, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

To order from MadsenCreations, click here

Marrying Mr. Darcy: Pride and Prejudice the Card Game

I received this game for my birthday last year and really enjoy it. When you play you are trying to accomplish two goals at once. On one hand you want to gain cards with the attributes that will help you gain your suitor; along with trying to collect high numbered cards as those points matter in the end. This game is a lot of fun as some characters have special abilities or advantages, and even though you may acquire a lot-you also won’t know if you have won your man until the final roll-too low and he’ll say no.

This definitely is made for fans of the book or movie, although I have played it with my nieces and friends who have never seen or read Jane Austen, and they still had a lot of fun.

To order the game, click here

MadsenCreations Jane Austen T-Shirts

I wrote a post on the making of these two items, but I they came to be as I wanted the crop top from Selena: The TV Series and couldn’t find it, so MadsenCreations and I made our own! I also thought it would be cute to have a “Jane Austen Runs My Life” shirt available for any one out there who wants to declare their love of Jane Austen. Both of these shirts are comfortable, and for those not a fan of crop tops, the Jane Austen tee also comes in full size.

And don’t forget any item you purchase through MadsenCreations, if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

For the Crop Top, click here.

For the full tee, click here.

For the Jane Austen Runs My Life tee, click here.

Six0Six Jane Austen Pencils

I wouldn’t normally be interested in purchasing custom pencils, but I won these in a giveaway. These pencils are cute and perfect for any of your Austenite friends or family members who love office supplies, writing, or would appreciate the artistry and design of these. The creator lives in Ireland, so if you are interested in purchasing them for the holidays, I would put your order in sooner rather than later.

To order, click here

MadsenCreations Northanger Abbey Sweatshirt or T-Shirt

Is Northanger Abbey one of your favorite books and are you disappointed at the lack of Northanger Abbey products out there? Well I sure was! I contacted MadsenCreations and we designed this Northanger Abbey sweatshirt and long sleeve shirt. And guess what? It also comes in children’s sizes!

This sweater is warm, cute, and perfect for any Northanger Abbey fan (or any future fan).

Also again, don’t forget that if you use the coupon code Janeaustenrunsmylife you’ll receive 10% off your whole order!

To order the sweatshirt, click here

To order the long sleeve, click here

To order the children’s hoodie, click here

Northanger Soapworks

So I am very allergic to scents and a lot of skin products and that means everything I have has to be scent-free, hypoallergenic, and boring. I thought that’s how my life would be, until I tried some Northanger Soapworks. This soap is inspired by Jane Austen works and comes in a variety of different scents. I’ve never had any skin related issues with them and the scents also don’t affect my allergies.

Every item comes wrapped in cloth with a beautiful little note card that makes this perfect for Jane Austen fans and any one on your Christmas list. I’ve ordered soaps, bath salts, and candles from her and been happy with all of them.

She also offers wonderful customer service. Once I even put the wrong address in for my order, I contacted her, and she immediately resolved it.

To order from this shop, click here

Socksmith Womens Jane Austen Socks

A friend of mine gave me these socks for Christmas a few years ago and I love them. They are comfy, cute, and the perfect Jane Austen stocking stuffer (pun intended). I don’t think the lavender is still available, but you can order these in dark blue.

To order the socks, click here

Quill Ink Magazine Cover Cards

Christina Boyd, editor of the Quill Ink anthologies, makes these faux-regency inspired notecards. They are hilarious and such fun to send to friends. If you have a Jane Austen friend or family member who loves to write and mail letters (or who loves a good laugh) you should definitely purchase these for them.

To order these, click here

I hope this helped some of you who might be searching for that perfect Jane Austen gift for your friend or loved one! I wish you all a happy holidays and I hope to have a part two with my top 10 books perfect for Jane Austen holiday gift giving.

Happy Holidays!

For more Jane Austen products, go to Jane Austen Runs My Life Spooky Collaboration with Madsen Creations!

They’re Everywhere. Battling for Dominance. A Rival Alpha to Godzilla.: Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

They’re everywhere. Battling for dominance. A rival alpha to Godzilla.

So after Godzilla (2014) I resolved to never, ever watch another one of the Godzilla films. You see I grew up watching all the older Godzilla films and I was just so, so, so disappointed in the fact that we hardly had any Godzilla and just the scummy old MUTO. But this past April I was hanging out with my niece for her Spring Break and she wanted to see Godzilla Vs. King Kong. So of course I took her (and that review will be posted next week) and I thought the film was only okay.

Meh.

But as I didn’t watch this film before there were a few things I was a bit lost in. When I was flying home from visiting my niece I saw that this film was one of the options to watch on the flight, and I thought why not check it out. Hopefully it is not as bad as the 2014 Godzilla, and maybe better then the okay 2021 Godzilla? Let’s find out!

So watching the credits I spot Sally Hawkins, you know Anne Elliot in Persuasion (2007). Was she in the first one? It’s been so long since I’ve seen it and I don’t remember much other than I hate it and it was a waste of my money.

So the film begins at the end of Godzilla (2014), Dr. Emma Russell and Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) lost their son in the attack on San Francisco. Me being me I had to find out why they didn’t continue with the characters of Brodie (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), his son, and his unfaithful wife (at least that was the vibe she gave me as she seemed to care so little about him). It turns out they had to replace the characters as Elizabeth Olsen (the wife) was busy with The Avengers and Aaron Taylor-Johnson was busy in something else. So we have these new characters that we know nothing about. I really hate when movies do this as they are trying to force an emotional connection that isn’t there.

I don’t know them!

So Emma and Mark have split up, extremely common after a child passes, and Mark is off studying wolves, having left the goverment program Monarch that is tracking and trying to control the Titans (Godzilla, MUTO, all the other creatures in the Monsterverse). She has Madison and is out in China studying Mothra. That seems weird to me, as why would the court grant her custody over the father in her line of work, as she’s up close and personal with unstoppable monsters!? Anyways. Emma is working on this machine to speak to the monsters and hopefully enable humans to communicate with them. They get word that Mothra is waking up and Emma goes running to fetch Madison to be a part.

Now this seems really weird to me as she is just a chilld not an employee, why would they allow Emma to bring daughter to this serious event, especially one that could go wrong at any moment. Why would she want to risk the life of her daughter? All I could think is that we had better protocals at the museum I interned at than this top secret facility with giant creatures.

Anyways, things start going wrong with Mothra (like I said), but they get the machine working and Mothra is calmed down. Unfotunately, right after a team comes in and shoots everyone up, kidnapping Madison and Dr. Emma .This group is lead by Abel Jonah (Charles Dance), ecoterrorist.

After this is discovered, Mark’s old friends and coworkers at Monarch, Dr. Ishirō Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins), approach him and let him know the situation. Mark goes with them and they have a size contestent with some of the other guys, it ending when Mark angrily yells that we should kill all the Titans and Godzilla. But he does calm down and notices that Godzilla is moving from his usual area and tells them to they should follow him, the team heading to Antartica.

Meanwhile, in Antarctica Jonah, Emma, and the team run into the Blob, I mean the Thing, no a Giant Behemoth, oops I mean a frozen monster, Monster Zero who is actually King Ghidorah. Why do they even call him Monster Zero? I mean he isn’t even the first Titan they discovered. Is he the oldest? They never say.

You know what else is weird, this ecoterrorist took everyone out in the Monarch facility, but they only had like five guys. You think the Monarch facility would have a ton of people and security. What did they have, just two gunned guards guarding a giant creature? Seriously?

So the Monarch team follows Jonah & co, and Mark goes all in trying to save his daughter and Emma-who at this very moment are waking up King Ghiddorah. King Ghiddorah and Godzilla fight, Dr. Graham being killed in the process, and Mark goes up against Jonah and his team who have huge weapons while he has an itty bitty gun. He manages to subdue them, but then Dr. Emma does something weird. Instead of going with him, she and Madison run off with Jonah.

So instead of going with her husbsnd she goes with the ecoterrorist? Is she in on it? OMG did she betray her team so she could use her machine? Was she seduced by the temptation to test scientific boundaries? OMG this is just like in The Thing From Another World isn’t it? (Why haven’t I reviewed that movie yet! Darn). She’s just like that crazy doctor too. You know I hope she dies for all the trouble she is going to cause. She doesn’t care about any of the innocents that are going to die for her scientific achievements. She doesn’t even care that she is risking her daughter’s life. What a terrible person!

So everyone is debating whether or not Emma betrayed them, her team not believing she could, but Mark assuring them she did. Meanwhile Dr. Che searches mythology for what this creature Monster Zero is and can find “zero information” because “people were too afraid”. Uh, King Ghidorah looks like the Hydra. I mean right away I knew that and she could find zero information? Where is she looking? What kind of reserch credentials does she have that she can’t tell that? Has she never seen a movie of Hercules? Read a myth? Seen any artwork? I mean she could do a google search and find tht info, how with all Monarch has is she able to find zero? Especially in the Hercules, Lore Olympus, Percy Jackson world we live in?

So Emma sends the group a video message to tell them why she decided that these Titans needed to be awakened, as she believes they will heal the world citing all the improveents we have had since Godzilla destroyed San Francisco and it grew back with trees and such (although Godzilla is radioactive wouldn’t that destroy the land? Hmm?) She doesn’t care who dies saying that it is the price needed to pay for what happened, and those that survive will adapt to serve ou new overlords. She warns them to find a Monarch secret shelter and hide out there awaiting until all the destruction ends, signing off at the end.

What really surprises me is that Madison is okay with her mom betraying everybody and causing mass death and destruction, especially as you think she would have a lot of trauma from when Godzilla attacked San Francisco and not wish that on anyone else. But she doesn’t care either. Like doesn’t she have any non-Monarch friends she is worried for? Ones that won’t have access to bomb shelters?

And her reasoning makes me hate the mom even more. Who made you the one to decide everyone’s fate and that people are just expendable? Huh, I bet you wouldn’t feel that way if it was you child in trouble, but sice it isn’t you don’t care that millions will die. And yes, it turns out all those people in her team were murdered by her command. What a jerk. I hate her.

Emma awakens Rodan in Mexico, the Monarch team trying to help evacuate people, but they get there too late to save them all. Rodan is defeated by King Ghidorah-and then Godzilla shows up.

The fighing scenes are the best as to be honest, we don’t really know a lot about these characters so I don’t really care about them at all. Like Mark is okay and Dr. Ishirō because he was in the first film-but the rest I don’t know and don’t really care about. What I do care about is watching Godzilla destroy things and this gave me exactly what I was wanting.

Godzilla rips out a head, woohoo! I have to say I am extremely happy to see how much Godzilla was in here, vast improvement.

But unfortunately before Godzilla can take King Ghidorah out, the military shoots the two with an oxygen depleting missile that shortens Godzilla out, but King Ghidorah is unaffected. He even grows his head back and wrecks havoc everywhere. Man sometimes humans suck.

Emma and her eco crew continue to awaken Titans going from South America, to Arizonia, to Germany, and so on.

So Dr. Chen still hasn’t found out anything from King Ghidorah even though him growing back a head is so Hydra. Like all I can think is this is why Gen Ed classes are important. Maybe if she had taken a Greek History class, Mythology, or art history she would have recognized it right away and know what they are dealing with.

Madison, meanwhile, has started to have second thoughts about everything and plans to escape. She takes some supplies, the Orca (machine that wakes the monsters up), and sneaks out of the underground bunker. Again, I see that this team has adopted a no security policy along with a let’s not protect our important invention policy. Really, really guys? You are supposed to be tough ecoterriorists?

Finally Chen finds “something” in the research that reveals King Ghidorah is an alien and not of our world (hence the oxygen missile not working on him). How I don’t know as I though people were “too afraid” to document him.

Mothra has imerged from her Chrysalis and goes to Godzilla. With a submarine the team go under the water ad find the ruins of a city that Mark calls Egyptian, but the statues look more like the Greek Kores to me. What is this supposed to be, Atlantis?

Anyways, it is Godzilla’s home where they find him recuperating. They need to help him and decide to nuke Godzilla to give him the extra juice he needs. The only problem is, the ship was damaged so the only way to do it is of course manually, Ken Watanabe sacrificing himself for the world. This scene is actually very cute as he brings the watch that stopped when Jappan was bombed in WWII and reaches out touch Godzilla, the creature he’s been studying forever before he goes.

Godzilla gets the juice and wakes up raring to go.

You know, how come we don’t ever hear the song of Godzilla anymore? I remember hearing it in the old movies and I wish they would bring them to the new films

So Emma is starting to have some second thouhts as the Titans aren’t “healing” the world like she thought they would. She mentions trying to use the Orca in Fenway Park to stop them listening to King Ghidorah. Madison overhears her, takes her supplies, the Orca and heads to the park. Now I’m super surprise that she knows how to do this. I’m not trying to go against her intelligence or anything, but I’m surprised that Monarch doesn’t have a policy that you cannot take things home with you or only authorized personel should be handeling this. Like shouldn’t all this be confidential so this doesn’t happen?

So Madison gets the machine working and stops the Titans’ destruction, or should I say extra destruction, but all Titans start coming toward her-espechially King Ghidora.

Emma discovers that Madison and the machine is missing and big surprise-she no longer thinks that humans should be killed and destroyed, when it is her daughter. Mmhmm…

Mark and his team run into Emma as they search for Madison, going home which is all intact. Just like in War of the Worlds.

Meanwhile, the monsters fight, just what I’ve been wanting. Mothra Vs. Rodan, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, King Ghidora vs. Mothra and Godzilla. It’s awesome.

Godzilla is going nuclear, Mothra sacrifices herself to give him an extra boost while Emma sacrifices herself, paying for the murders of the people she killed, and Madison, Mark, and the team get away.

Godzilla defeats everyone who opposes him, all that remain bow to him.

This was much better than the first film as it gave you what you wanted, watching Godzilla fight and destroy things. The human interest angle was lacking, but if I have my Godzilla fighting, that makes me happy.

And the Facebook cover:

For more on Godzilla, go to Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

For more on monster movies, go to Something’s Out There and It’s Killing People! And If It’s Monsters, Nobody’s Going to Do a Thing About it Except Us!: The Monster Squad (1987)

Incense and Sensibility

Incense and Sensibility (The Rajes #3) by Sonali Dev

I thought what better way to commemorate or commiserate (depending on your point of view) the California Governor Recall Election than with a book that is about a California Gubernatorial Election.

Incense and Sensibility is the third book in the Raje series. The first, Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors, is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice and I really enjoyed that book. It had biracial characters, it kept to the story while at the same time allowing the author to tell “her” story, and it had wonderful descriptions of food (depicting the tradition, love, and culture weaved into the making of it.

The second book, Recipe for Persuasion, is based on Persuasion. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous one. I liked the diversity of the characters, but I didn’t feel as connected to the people.

I had seen on Instagram that the third was going to be published soon and as soon as it was added to the library I immediately checked it out.

This book is based on Sense and Sensibility, and focuses on Trisha Raje’s brother (mentioned in both previous books) and a new character, India Dashwood. In the previous books we were given some information about Yash; he is the eldest brother of the Raje family and was in a horrible accident that caused him to lose his ability to walk. Originally told that he would spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair, he proved all wrong and was able to walk again.

However, even though this is a miracle he still felt very insecure and has never let anyone look upon his naked body and see his scars. His dream was to always go into politics, but again he faced another hurdle. At the bequest of his sister Trisha, he offered a job to her best friend Julia Wickham. Julia Wickham turned out to be a truly horrible person, (of which there are no words to describe how horrible); who used his generosity to grow close to him, drug him, rape him, and then blackmail him (as she was underage), and the Raje family. Yash never properly dealt with that trauma, but become not only more suspicious and closed off from others, but all thoughts of a relationship with a woman was pretty much gone forever as the experience left him with severe trauma.

Such a sad and traumatic story [image from The Wolf Man (1941)]

At his sister, Nisha’s, wedding he met his cousin’s friend India Dashwood. He and India had a wonderful evening together, Yash allowing a new person into his life, and made plans to get together when he returned from an already scheduled trip. But when he arrived in Singapore for a wedding, he was convinced to pretend to be engaged to his best friend, Naina Knightley. Naina convinced him it would help them both as her parents do not see Indian women as having any other role than married and she will be able to continue her dream of running her own nonprofit. For Yash he can have someone to be by his side for important events and not have to worry about people focusing on his sexuality over his political agenda. (This makes me think of Kevin Kikey, someone running for governor of California who is single. Everyone is trying to figure out if he is gay, asexual, is involved with a married person, or just hasn’t found his dream mate.)

Hmm…

Even though this trade off helped his friend (and him), while Yash was okay with it in the beginning-it has been grating on him. But Yash is a professional and sets all that aside as he prepares for a new speech given at a rally. As he goes on stage to begin his speech, a shot rings out. Yash’s bodyguard Abdul takes the brunt of it and is put in ICU while Yash is grazed and has a concussion.

When he has recuperated enough to be released he find himself, for the first time in a very very long time, at a loss of what to do. He doesn’t feel anything, every time he tries to give a speech he has a panic attack, he is angry and guilty that his bodyguard is lying in a coma, he wants nothing to do with the farce of a fiancée, and he doesn’t even want to be governor. His family is worried about him, and as Ashna has suffered from panic attacks in the past (previous book), she encourages him to see India Dashwood, her friend and yogi-the last woman he ever thought he would see again.

That’s not good.

India Dashwood’s family came to America, and the Bay Area, to start a barbershop. India’s great-grandparents hired an Indian immigrant, Ram, to be an assistant who also taught them Yoga. What none planned was for their daughter, India’s grandmother, to fall in love and become pregnant. Ram was fifteen years older and left town due to fear of what would happen to him, and India’s grandmother raised her daughter, Tara, changing their business from barber shop to yoga studio. When Tara was old enough she went abroad to search for her father, but was unable to find him. Instead she returned home with a baby she adopted, continuing that two more times. Her son Siddhartha is from India, her daughter India from Thailand, and her other daughter China from Kenya. All the children had cleft palates, but she didn’t care and adopted them anyway.

Out of the children, only India was the one to carry on the family’s traditions of the Yoga studio as her sister China is a TV producer and their brother a photojournalist. The family is in a bit of a financial strain as India used what money they had saved to do some much needed renovations, and now her mother has grown seriously ill. So when Yash comes back into her life after dropping her all those years ago, she would like to reject him and hurt him (a bit like how he hurt her), but instead agrees to help him, not just for the money, but to help him through his trauma. Will these two find a way to maneuver through the trauma, overcome hurt feelings, get through youthful decisions made for the wrong reasons, stalking paparazzi, and become something more?

Hmmm…

Meanwhile, China Dashwood has everything coming up roses. Her cooking show is going great and she is dating KDrama star, Song Ji Woo. True, she doesn’t like having to keep it hidden, but understands that Song can’t reveal her homosexuality as it would end her career. The two spend all their time in hotel rooms, at China’s apartment, or China’s mother’s house. China encounters Yash’s new body guard, former marine Brandy and tbe two do not get off on the right foot when Brandy fails to let China inside the building. The two have a bit of a better relationship after China meets Brandy’s daughter. Brandy and her best friend were heading toward one direction, but her friend ended up marrying an abusive man. When her husband murdered her, Brandy was given legal custody of their daughter and adopted her and raised her as her own. When Song has to return to Korea, China decides to give up her life in America and follow her to Korea. Tara, India, and Brandy try to caution her and convince her to wait and see-but China won’t be dissuaded. Will she get her heart broken ? Or have her happily ever after?

Hmm…

So as always I like to start with what I didn’t like and then move onto what I did like about the book.

First of all I don’t enjoy the political part of this book, as I read to escape. I understand that the author has a particular story she wants to tell and there are opinions she wants to express and share with her readers-I have no issue with it. Just for me, I like to read to escape the world we are in and this book had too much real world for me personally. Especially as I happened to read this book when a real election was going on.

I also find the absence of Latino people from this book to be really odd. Yash started going over with Rico the different political groups on his side and it seems strange to me that Yash discuses the African American vote and working with thE BLM, but there is no mention of a Latino vote, even when they discuss immigration. Not only am I Mexican, but I was born in California, grew up here, lived in the area the books take place and the more and more I think about it, the absence of Latino people in this book is extremely weird. I mean if she decided not to make a Latino a main character, fine it’s your choice and your story, but Yash is running for governor of California and there is no mention at all of the Latino vote or a Hispanic alliance group? It seems strange that both Nisha and Rico who are supposed to be extreme experts have decided to ignore the largest non-white racial demographic in California, especially as his only rival is white and anti-immigration. It seems to me that the smart thing would be to use that to show why the Latinos should vote for Yash.

I also think it is odd that the issue the book and Yash focus on are health care, it is partly what pushes him back into running for governor after his near death experience. I know that is an important issue, but is that the number one Californians are facing? I’m surprised that Yash doesn’t focus on any of the huge CA issues that those running for Governor usually go over (I mean I know because not only have we been going through the recall election but also I remember when governor Newsome was running a few years ago.) One of our biggest issues are water rights and farming rights, something that has carried over every with drought concerns get worse and worse, yet Yash doesn’t even focus on this or talk about it. Nor does he focus on the wildfire crisis even though the deadliest fire was in 2018 in Butte County (Camp Fire) and the biggest CA wildfire was the August fire in 2020. But even if the book was going through revisions there was the Mendencino fire in 2018. And then what about homelessness? We have one of the highest homelessness levels in the nation. I know health care is important, but again it seems strange to me that it was the only issue he seems focused on besides immigration.

I also felt that Song wasn’t really a a very good Willoughby. Willoughby used a woman, got her pregnant, and left her! Then he romanced Marianne only to leave her with no explanation when his aunt threatened to cut off his inheritance, and he decided he needed a woman with money. Song on the other hand is in a harsh reality of the fact that she has no choice in her life. KPop and KDrama stars are owned by their companies and have to be single as their boyfriends and girlfriends are their fans. If they start dating someone they are dropped as the fans don’t want them, and they lose everything. I mean it is CRAZY how obsessive their fans are and how they treat them. If they found out she was in a relationship, her life and career would be over. One woman got married without approval of her agency and she was dropped, blacklisted, and the only way she could make music was her husband had to buy a company. When fans found out that this one KDrama star had a girlfriend and she was pregnant, he was dropped by the fans and his agency. He and his girlfriend got married and I believe it has been five years and he is just barely being allowed to act again. Not to mention that Korea is super conservative and if people found out she was a lesbian that would be even worse for her. So while she doesn’t treat China as nice as she should, Korea is very different from America. And unlike Willoughby, Song is providing for her family. She’s providing money for them and they probably still have debts to the company they belong to that she still needs to pay. Willoughby was a jerk that thought only of himself, while Song is in a completely different situation. For me I would have made Song an American or British actor, or have had her made the crossover into American film and TV (beyond a cooking show), as I feel that the way she treats China and her wanting to keep them hidden would have been more a clue to Song’s behavior rather than her complete lack of control over her relationships.

From True Beauty. They are discussing a KPop idol

So what did I like? First of all, I thought the story line and the characters were more engaging than the previous one in the fact that the plot propelled forward and made me want to read more. I also felt that there was conflict and more on the line for every character’s decision.

I like the multicultural/multiethnic families A LOT! As someone growing up biracial, there was hardly anything out there for me, so I love that we have that in here.

I also like that the Marianne character in this isn’t just a flighty, silly, unintelligent girl. So often authors get the spirit of Marianne wrong and make her just all froth and no substance.

I liked that in this China (Marianne) was passionate and gave everything all of her, no holding back, but that she was also intelligent and a hard worker (not a bubble head like they usually write her). I thought that Dev making her a workaholic really did well for the character as I could see someone who is so passionate about their job to be just as passionate in everything else they care for, such as a new relationship. But while I enjoyed those parts of her character I didn’t care for the romance with Brandy. China barely interacts with Brandy, actually spending more time with Brandy’s daughter (who ends up working at the Yoga studio). She is pretty much just rude to Brandy when she is around her, moves to another country to be with Song, it doesn’t work out, she returns home, and then she and Brandy watch a few movies and are now a couple in love? It felt extremely fast as they hardly shared any scenes or time together in the book. At least in Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Colonel Brandon spent time together. I think she should have fleshed that out more as the book only takes place in like two months. It really felt like Brandy was just a rebound instead of a “love” as she just returned home like a week ago “being fully committed” to Song and now she’s with someone else?

I also really, really liked how she wrote Yash. The trauma he encountered was horrendous, and the way he closed himself off to people-choosing the easy way out of love and relationships by agreeing to this fake relationship, made perfect sense for his character. I’m not a big fan of Edward Ferrars, but I did enjoy this Yash version of him. Dev dealt with this subject extremely well, although I still think he should have continued his therapeutic help, and it should be with someone he’s not having a relationship with. I understand the security issue of it as they didn’t want the media getting wind but him having India help him fix everything in a couple months and then he ending up with his “therapist”, rubs me wrong. I just think it isn’t a good foundation for a romance, and it feels unethical as well. I also am not a fan of the one night together and then years later, just a couple months and they are “in love”. I prefer my romances to happen over a period time, so that wasn’t for me.

I also enjoyed the character of Tara as I thought she was extremely interesting and I wish we had a little more of her. Growing up biracial, trekking across Asia to find her father, adopting children from across the globe, her strange illness/healing stories, etc. She was the right amount of unusual and relatable. She also was a more active mother than the original Mrs. Dashwood, yet recognized that her children needed to make their own decisions and mistakes.

I enjoyed this book more than the second one, but I still liked the first one best of all.

The one thing that really confused me about this book was that Yash’s fake ex-fiancé is Naina Knightley, so I’m assuming that the book Emma is next on the adaptions schedule, but Naina’s actions don’t seem anything like Mr. Knightley at all. I mean she is manipulative, takes advantage of Yash, and exhibits truly horrible abusive behavior as she tries to force him to stay with her. I’m not excited at all for the next one if it features her.

For more Persuasion, go to Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious (2015)

For more Persuasion adaptions, go to Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more on The Rajes, go to Recipe for Persuasion

For more Jane Austen adaptions, go to I Was Asked to Be a Guest on the Podcast P.S. I Love Rom Coms + My Review of their Bridget Jones’ Diary Episode


If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, click on this link. If you do purchase one through this link, I do receive a small percentage.