Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

Who likes free things?

free stuff

So this month is my birthday month.

Yay!

Yay!

And with that comes some free things….Like being in the Red Robin club and getting a free burger.

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I of course, bought the most expensive burger I could…

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Then from Raley’s I got a free cake mix…

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And free cupcakes from Raley’s.

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And a free BBQ sandwich from a local restaurant.

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So why am I talking about this?

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Because it is nice to get things for free. It is fun and I am currently doing a giveaway.

Double double yay

I am giving away a copy of Death Comes to Pemberly, a Jane Austen quote mug, and a Jane Austen inspired hairclip.

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Enter by going to my facebook page.

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It’s Fantastico!

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Or a true reader! Yep, here we go! Another post full of my fandoms and all for your enjoyment.

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The Cat Who Series

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The Cat Who…Series is one of my favorite book series. It all started in sixth grade when I was looking in the library and trying to figure out what books to get. I was roaming the stacks when my friend Paul pointed out The Cat Who…Series. He knew I liked cats and mysteries and told me he thought I would enjoy this series. I agreed to think about it, as at first his description sounded kind of weird.

A year later I was at a different school and hadn’t really thought of Paul or the books, until I spotted them at the library. I decided to check them out and read The Cat Who Saw Red, which is actually the fourth book in the series. All it took was that one, and I was hooked. Lillian Jackson Braun is one amazing writer.

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So we have Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran, an amazing reporter who had become an alcoholic and lost it all.
In the first book The Cat Who Read Backwards, he has overcome this addiction and trying to get back into work. He gets a job on The Daily Fluxion doing the last thing he’d expect, covering the art beat. You see The Daily Fluxion‘s art critic has caused a lot of problems, so by adding an art feature writer, they hope to remedy feelings. Qwill actually ends up renting an apartment from the art critic and befriending his highly intelligent cat, Kao K’o Kung or Koko. In which he discovers:

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When his landlord is murdered, Qwill finds himself investigating as to who killed him. And getting some unlikely help from Koko. Koko does some catly things that point out important clues, which makes Qwill wonder is Koko solving crime? Or just being a cat?

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The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, propels Qwill into the interior design world in which he not only finds himself writing about it, but investigating the death of a designer. He also gets a friend for Koko, Freya also known as Yum Yum. In The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Qwill moves to Junktown to write about “junkers” or antiques; along with investigating the death of a dealer. Nobody knows why, but after this book Braun decided to stop writing for 18 years. She came back in 1986 with The Cat Who Saw Red. In this Qwill is a food critic and investigating the disappearance of an old friend. With her next book, The Cat Who Played Brahms, we see the series take a complete turn. In this Qwill is invited up north to visit Mooseville by an old family friend, and ends up investigating two murders. He also recieves a huge inheritance that includes billions and most of the town, but only can be there if he maintains that residence for five years. He decides to live there and the rest of the series covers the colorful characters of small town Moose County, along with Qwill solving many more murders.

Now for me, the series ends at The Cat Who Talked Turkey. There are three books that follow that: The Cat Who Went Bananas, The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell, and The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers; but they are not written as well as the others and left with a lot of loose ends.

In fact I loved this series so much I shared it with my family. My mother and I loved the characters and the food described in them that we created another blog, The Cat Who Wrote A Blog, that recreates the food from each book. Check out my sister blog on all the great recipes and try them for yourself.

For more on The Cat Who…Series, go to Heaven on Earth

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Death on Demand Series

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I was first introduced into this series when I was in a thrift store and looking through the books. I spotted one called Deadly Valentine. I started looking at the back and the inside to see what it was about and how it read when I noticed the author’s name on the front page.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

I thought no way, it has to be a carbon copy. But it wasn’t!!! It was an actual autograph by the author!

Finally something GOOD!

For 50¢. Heck ya! So I bought it and read it immediately.

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It’s been a life-long affliction

Annie Darling is from Texas, but moved to New York to become an actress. When that didn’t work out as well as she hoped, she moved to Broward’s Rock, an island off South Carolina; where her uncle has a store that sells mysteries, Death on Demand. Her uncle is murdered and Annie inherits everything. Soon her placid life gets a tumble when her ex-boyfriend, the rich and adorable Max Darling comes to town to be with her and she finds herself the number one suspect in the murder of author Elliot Morgan. The rest of the series has the adorable couple becoming a crime solving duo.

Death on Demand: Author Elliot Morgan is killed and the police’s number one suspect? Annie Laurence. With help from her boyfriend Max Darling, Annie solves Morgan’s murder along with what really happened to her uncle.

Design for Death: Annie is asked to stage a murder for the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. It turns out that she doesn’t have to stage it after all, as someone has commited a real murder.

Something Wicked: Annie and Max are delighted to be in the town play of Arsenic and Old Lace. But when one of the cast is killed, and Max is declared the main suspect, the two forget the play and hatch a plot to catch a killer.

Honeymoon with Murder: Annie and Max have finally tied the knot! However, their happiness is short lived as a dead body is found and Annie’s best friend and coworker, Ingrid Jones, is not only the prime suspect, but missing!

A Little Class on Murder: Annie is asked to give a class on female mystery writers at Chastain Community College. While there she finds out that the college isn’t as pristine as she thought: as a school newspaper scandal, two violent deaths, a suicide, and many more secrets coming to light. Annie and Max are on the case again.

Deadly Valentine: My entry into Death on Demand. In this book it is Valentine’s Day and all should be well…except for a voluptuous, promiscuous, neighbor. As the Darlings attend the neighbor’s masquerade, a night that should end in love but ends in death. Annie and Max are set on finding the killer and proving Max’s mother, Laurel, innocent.

The Christie Caper: If you are an Agatha Christie fan you will LOVE this book. To celebrate Christie’s 100th birthday, Annie plans a week long celebration with treasure hunts, trivia, etc. But when Neil Bledsoe, most hated book critic, shows up; things go far from what Annie planned.

Southern Ghost: Annie and Max get involved in a missing person’s case and find much more then they expected. Could the Southern gentry Tarrant family be trying to cover up a forty-year old murder?

Mint Julep Murder: Annie and Max are attending the annual Dixie Book Festival. A publisher with a tell-all-book is murdered, leaving Annie and Max as the prime suspects!

Yankee Doodle Dead: It’s the Fourth of July, and instead of celebrating America’s birthday they find themselves investigating the death of Brigadier General Charlton “Bud” Hatch.

White Elephant Dead: The Women of Broward’s Rock are planning their annual White Elephant sale. To make this year truly the best, one of the members blackmails five prominent people of the town to donate extremely valuable items. When she turns up dead, the main suspect is Annie’s best friend and customer, Henny Brawley. Will Annie be able to prove her innocence?

Sugarplum Dead: When millionare Rita Dumaney Ladson gathers her family together to discuss her will, she shocks them all with her plans to lead everything to the new age Evermore Foundation. All her relatives are furious, but which one is angry enough to kill? Unfortunately for Annie, the prime suspect is her father. The may have had their issues in the past, but can those be put aside?

April Fool Dead: Annie is planning a wonderful signing party with author Emma Clyde, but someone is taking April Fool’s Day a little too far and playing some not so funny pranks. Soon after s teacher and student are murdered; with Annie being the main suspect.

Engaged to Die: Everything seems to be going well in Broward’s Rock. Annie and Max are still very happily married, Annie’s new assistant Chloe is in love, and wealthy widow Virginia Neville is about to get married again. This blissful still is broken as Virginia’s family is furious at her being “conned” by a charlatan; Chloe’s boyfriend turns out to be the same man engaged to Virginia, and the lothario is found murdered. All the evidence points to Chloe as the murderer, and pits the Darlings against each other with Max working for the police and Annie for Chloe.

Murder Walks the Plank: Annie is excited for her murder-mystery cruise that includes dressing up as your favorite sleuth and loads of mysterious fun! However, the fun is quickly tainted as real bodies begin piling up. It’s up to Annie, Max, Henny, Emma, and Laurel to once again save the day!

Death of the Party: In the vibe of 10 Little Indians, the Darlings find themselves hired to solve a cold case crime. A year ago, Britt Barlow’s brother-in-law, Jeremiah Addison, was in her opinion murdered. She invites all who were there at the time and the Darlings to figure out who the killer is. Soon the butler is missing, the only way off the island has disappeared, and the whole group is trapped with a killer.

Dead Days of Summer: Annie is worried sick. Her husband Max went to meet a client and has disappeared. Things start looking grim when they find his abandoned car…with the body of a women nearby and the murder weapon in the trunk. Thing look very bad for Max, but Annie is on the case and prepared to prove his innocence.

Death Walked In: Max receives a call from a woman telling him she’s hidden something valuable in the old antebellum house the Darlings are restoring. When Annie hears of it she rushes over to ask the woman more, only to discover her shot and dying. This propels the two in to a treasure hunt and quest for a murderer.

Dare to Die: Annie meets a girl named Iris Tilford and invites her to a party the Darlings are throwing.Unbeknownst to her, Iris is from Broward’s Rock and someone is not happy at her return.

Laughed ‘Til He Died: When a teacher of the youth recreation center is thought to be guilty of murder, the Darling set out to prove she didn’t do it.

Dead by Midnight: A suicide has everyone in Broward’s Rock sad, but for Annie Darling she thinks there is more to it…MURDER!

Death Comes Silently: It’s winter time, which means without tourists Annie has a lot more downtime. She starts working at the local charity shop. When Emma Clyde comes out with a new novel, Annie plans a signing party and has fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt fill in for her. Gretchen harasses Annie the whole time of the signing saying she has “important news”.  Annie finally goes to check on her and hear her news, when she finds her body.

Dead, White, and Blue: The Darlings are looking forward to a calmer Fourth of July, but no luck. This year the most hated woman, Shell Hurst, is found dead and the Darlings get on the case.

BookAddict

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8 Simple Rules

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8 Simple Rules was based on a book in which a father detailed his rules for dating his teenage daughters.

The rules are:

  1. Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
  2. You make her cry, I make you cry.
  3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
  4. Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
  5. If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you’re sure not picking anything up (Alternative rule #5: Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.)
  6. No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
  7. If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
  8. Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

They then turned it into a hilarious TV show. Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate and she is a nurse. The two have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is adorable and a sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues. During season 3, John Ritter went to the hospital as he was feeling sick, and ended up dying. It was extremely sad to lose him as an actor and person. To honor him they wrote his death in as the death of the father and had to bring in two actors who were still unable to fill his shoes. We then get David Spade as the mom’s child-in-man’s-body cousin, and James Garner as Cate’s father and a crotchety old man.

I love the whole series but I have to say one of my all-time favorite episodes were the ones with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who I had a major crush on growing up. Loved him, and loved everything he’s in.

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The Highlander

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So The Highlander is a TV show based off a film of the same name. Unlike the film, the show follows the immortal Duncan MacLeod, of the clan MacLeod, from the 16th century and living in the ’90s. Immortals are people who can not be killed in regular ways. No one knows why or how, but they just seem to be born, yet cannot have children. People discover they are immortal when they are involved in something that should kill them, but doesn’t. Immortals can only be killed by fellow immortals, and this done by cutting off the head. When one immortal kills the other, they obtain all their skills in something called “the Quickening”, which makes them even stronger. In the end, there can only be one.

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Now Duncan is unlike most immortals, as he doesn’t go around killing others for their powers but just tries to live a normal life. He is Scottish and orginally from the 16th century, but as he is immortal has moved around all over the globe, with each episode giving us a flashback. He also befriends Richie Ryan, a recently discovered immortal, and teaches him how to fight and protect his neck. The series is awesome, the characters great, and the theme song is done by Queen. How can this show not be a winner?

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The Hunger Games

Go here to see who you are

Go here to see who you are

So when this book series first came out, I wasn’t that into it. You see I’m on pre-release program from several publishers, which send me notices about books that are going to be released. I read the little summary and wasn’t that interested in the books as it sounded like something that had been done before.

All my friends were really into it though, but you all know that just because everyone else is into something, doesn’t mean I’ll jump on board. When the first movie came out I had four people offer to take me to see it, my friend Jodie (a hardcore fan that went opening night), Alan, Harry, and John. But still I said no and wouldn’t go.

No thank you

I didn’t watch the first one until my ex-boyfriend Michael and friend Elaine finally convinced me. I thought it was pretty good, but had yet to become a real fan. I went and saw Catching Fire which I loved because of Peeta, he’s my fav.

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This summer that all changed. You see I have a kindle and Amazon was doing a free trial of their Kindle Fire program, which sucks, but they had all three books that could be borrowed for free. I decided to read them and was HOOKED. I started reading one and couldn’t stop.

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It’s a good thing I had them all or else I would have gone crazy. That’s one of the nice things about going into a series after the hype. You don’t have wait forever for the printing of the pieces.

So Katniss?

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I thought she was pretty cool and tough. It would have been nice to see more character growth, but I understand how she tried her best to stay focused on helping her family and form as few detachments as possible. I loved how in books one and two we get a lot of background info as to how her life was like in District 12.

Peeta?

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I LOVE Peeta! I think he is the best guy ever!!!!

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In book one we never really know whether Peeta is good or bad. We hear all these stories he shares and his feelings for Katniss, but as Katniss doesn’t really know him, so we don’t. The second book is the one in which we all fell in love with him. When I read that book I wanted Peeta to be real.

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He is just so kind, caring, sweet, and utter perfection!!!! When Katniss saw how he would gladly die for her and really saw how much he cared, she fell in love with him. She might not have realized it immediately, but she did. The third book was so hard, as I missed the old Peeta. Watching the movie was utter heartbreak as well.

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Now contrary to other fans, I actually really liked how she ended the series (which I won’t give away) and I think they should keep it exactly how it is.

So I loved the books and the movies, and you should definitely give them all a view.

For more on The Hunger Games, go to Peeta Please!

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Kinsey Millhone Mysteries

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This all started with a library book sale. You see a picked up an old Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine collection for super cheap. In each magazine they list out all kinds of great mystery books they recommend you read. I noticed a few titles like Grievous Sin (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus) by Faye Kellerman, and J is for Judgement by Sue Grafton. The next time I went to a book sale, what did I happen to find there? Grievous Sin and J is for Judgement. I bought them and a bunch of others, and took them home happily.

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I read Grievous Sin but didn’t really enjoy it, mostly I think because it was book six in the series and I hadn’t read the first five. When I moved on to reading J is for Judgement, I decided I should start at the beginning, which I did, and was completely hooked!

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So Kinsey Millhone is a female private detective living in the ’80s, in Santa Theresa (Santa Barbara), CA. She used to be a cop, but found that her problems with authority made it not the best fit for her. She’s been married twice; first husband was a cop supposedly gone dirty; the second a musician that cheated on her and got into drugs. Her parents died when she was little, leaving her to be raised by her hard-nosed, tough, single, Aunt Gin. This lead her to live a life of quiet solitude (minus the exes) and to be just like Gin. She lives in a garage-turned apartment, her best friends being Henry Pitts, her landlord and nonagenarian; and Rosie, a brash, loud, bossy Hungarian restaurant owner.

It is a truly great series. Another interesting tidbit, Sue Grafton started writing these books in the ’80s, but of course times in books move slower than in our time (like Narnia) so the newer books are technically historical fiction. Anyways…

A is for Alibi: We are introduced to Kinsey Millhone and her life as a PI. In this book Nikki Fife has just been released after serving 8 years for murdering her husband. She hires Kinsey to find the real murderer, and Kinsey sets on the cold trail, finding it red hot.

B is for Burglar: In this Kinsey is hired to find Beverly Danziger’s sister Elaine Boldt, who has gone missing and is needed to sign some important documents. What Kinsey finds is a much darker reason she can’t be found.

C is for Corpse: In this Kinsey Millhone meets sweet, innocent, Bobby Callahan. At least that is how he is now. He was almost killed in a car accident and now has a clouded memory. Bobby hires her to find out who is blackmailing him and why. And she better find out before whoever tried to kill Bobby strikes again.

D is for Deadbeat: This one I didn’t enjoy as much, but it wasn’t horrible. A man hires Kinsey to track down a person and deliver a check to someone. Kinsey agrees for a fee, but quickly finds that check bouncing. She starts her search for the “deadbeat: only to find him in the morgue.

E is for Evidence: Kinsey is prepared to spend the holidays alone as usual, but this year sees a huge stray from that plan. Instead she gets a $5000 deposit in her bank account from unknown sources, an accusation of insurance fraud, bombs, and the return of an ex-husband.

F is for Fugitive: Seventeen years ago Jean Timberlake was found strangled on the beach. Everyone believed it was her boyfriend Bailey Fowler who did it. He was convicted and imprisoned, but ended up fleeing. Now he has been found and Fowler’s father wants Kinsey to prove his son’s innocence.

G is for Gumshoe: Kinsey finds herself on a hit list and in need of a bodyguard. Can any body sing “I Will Always Love You“?

H is for Homicide: When Kinsey’s good friend Parnell Perkins is killed, she starts to investigate one of his marked files on a Bibianna Diaz, and finds herself deep undercover in an insurance fraud ring.

I is for Innocent: When millionaire Isabelle was murdered, everyone assumed her soon to be ex-husband David Barney killed her. Unfortunately for them, he was acquitted. Now Isabelle’s first husband, Kenneth Voight, is suing Barney in a civil suit to take away his millions. When Kinsey’s PI friend and mentor is killed, Kinsey finds herself in the middle of a very sticky case.

J is for Judgement: The book that started it all, but ironically one of my least favorite books in the series. In this William Jaffe, presumed dead, may have been spotted alive and well in Mexico. The insurance company that just paid his widow wants their $500,000 in insurance benefits back and hire Kinsey to find Jaffe.

K is for Killer: Janice Kepler is a grieving mother who wants answers as to why her daughter Lorna was murdered. She hires Kinsey who investigates the life of Lorna, who finds there was much more than meets the eye to this beauty queen.

L is for Lawlessness: This is my least favorite of the series. In this book Kinsey is asked to find proof of a friend’s grandfather’s service in the military. What she finds are complications that send her all the way to Kentucky.

M is for Malice: The head of the Malek family and Malek construction passes away, and his will leaves a surprise. The brother that all thought was cut out of the will, actually wasn’t, and Kinsey is out to find him. She hears horror stories of the awful person he was, but when she meets him finds a completely changed one. She brings him home for a reunion…and unfortunately his death. Now she is set on avenging him by finding his killer.

N is for Noose: Tom Newquist was a great cop, but an older out of shape one. So it wasn’t that big of a surprise when he had a heart attack. The only one who doesn’t believe it is his widow, Selma, who hires Kinsey to discover who murdered him. What Kinsey finds is much more than she could ever have imagined.

O is for Outlaw: Kinsey gets a call about a person having bought a salvaged box from a storage center, that had her name on it. He sells it to her, and Kinsey finds much more than she dreamed about her Aunt Gin and more on her first husband. When her first husband is killed she starts investigating, and learning more than she could have dreamed.

P is for Peril: Dr. Dowan Purcell has disappered and no one knows where he is. His ex-wife Fiona believes him to be alive and hires Kinsey to find him. His current wife, Crystal, thinks he is dead. Kinsey starts searching and finds a much bigger case along the way.

Q is for Quarry: This book is a little different as it is based on a real case. In the 1970s there was a Jane Doe found, and Grafton was giving the ability to look at the police files. Her story is loosely based on the event, and of course with the murder solved in the book. The police have yet to solve that actual case, and for ever book purchased, a percentage is given to the fund that is still trying to reunite the body with her family. In this book, Kinsey teams up with retired police Chief Con Dolan; and Sheriff Stacey Oliphant. Their search into the cold case leads them on a long and winding trail as they try to figure out identity and motive.

R is for Ricochet: In this Kinsey Millhone is hired to babysit Reba Lafferty. Reba was a rich girl, apple of her father’s eye, who has just been released from prison for embezzlement, having taken the rap for her boyfriend/boss. Kinsey thinks it will be easy, but she is quickly proved wrong as Reba has much more in mind then “girl time.”

S is for Silence: This book is the beginning of a shift for Grafton. In this novel, Kinsey is hired to find the mother of friend. Problem? The mother, Violet, disappered thirty-five years ago. In between the accounts of Kinsey’s investigations, Grafton includes chapters from the past in the point of view of other characters. It is amazingly done and extremely well written.

T is for Trespass: This is one of the creepest books I have ever read. In this Kinsey hires a caretaker for a neighbor, Gus, who has suffered from a bad fall. She thinks that is all there is to it…except the woman she hired is a sociopath. Using a stolen identity, “Solana Rojas”, starts abusing Gus and taking everything of worth. This book switches from Kinsey’s point of view to Solana; telling the story in a new and frightening way.

U is for Undertow: This book takes this movement into switching point of views to an even higher level. In this Michael Sutton hires Kinsey to look into a startling, recently come back to him memory. He remembers two “pirates” burying “treasure”, of which he now believes may be the murdered body of a kidnapped girl who disappeared around that time. As Kinsey begins investigating, we not only have her point of view, but the past and present point of views of the other major players.

V is for Vengeance: Kinsey decides to treat herself to some new underwear and ends up stopping a shoplifter. This chance encounter gets her neck deep into the mafia, loan sharks, and a huge shoplifting adn merchandise moving ring.

W is for Wasted: A homeless John Doe is found dead on the beach with Kinsey’s business card. As she starts investigating into his death, she discovers that they are more connected than she could ever have guessed.

X, Y, Z are yet to come, but you bet I can’t wait to read them!

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Fangirlfinishedreadingwhattodonow

Ahh, the life of a fangirl

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For Part 6 go to Fandom Love

And Stay Tuned for Part 8

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For more book love, go to Heaven on Earth

For more quizzes, go to Where Were Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more fav quotes, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more of my favorite songs, go to Five to Nine 

25 More Films of Christmas

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So two years ago I tried to do a Christmas countdown, the 12 Posts of Christmas, but I discovered that it is really difficult as you get involved in Christmas activities. So last year I decided to make it easier on myself and did a singular post listing 25 of my favorite films that were either classified as Christmas movies or had a Christmas scene in it. Since it worked so great last year, I decided why not do it again? So here are 25 more films of Christmas! (Once again these aren’t my my top favorite 25, but randomly picked and then rearranged them in the order of how I love them.

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25) Holiday (1938)

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Holiday (1938) is a remake of the 1930 film. In it Johnny Case (Cary Grant), a self-made man, is heading to his fiancé Julia Seton’s house for the holidays. While on the surface the two appreared perfect for each other, as Johnny spends more time at the Seton household he finds himself having more in common with Julia’s younger sister, Linda (Katherine Hepburn). Johnny now finds himself in a dilemma, should he honor the commitment he made to Julia? Or should he try to find love with another?

Why it’s Great: Hepburn and Grant made four films together, and anytime you have these two paired up you have pure gold. Grant is his attractive, charming, and at times comical self. Hepburn is the silly, comedic, oddball, and modern woman that she always does great at. A fun film. Plus those scenes of Grant tumbling? Priceless.

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24) The Polar Express (2004)

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The Polar Express is based on the short book of the same name. In the 1950s, a little boy, no longer believes in Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, he hears something outside and goes aboard the Polar Express, the train that heads right up to the North Pole and Santa’s home. He makes new friends on the train, helps control the train, meets a ghost hobo who tries to teach him morals, and ends up in the North Pole coming face to face with Santa Claus.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute kid’s movie. Tom Hanks is pretty amazing at how he plays almost every character in the film. The kids are cute, especially the geeky, know-it-all tattletale. He makes me laugh. It has a good message of faith, believing, leading, etc. It also has a couple great songs: The Polar Express and When Christmas Comes to Town. It does have a few problems though. Mainly it suffers from the same issues all small picture book film adaptions face, extra content to fill the time block. There are a lot  of unnecessary songs, characters, and scenes; that if they had been culled would have resulted in a stronger film. But on the whole it is a cute, family, Christmas film.

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23) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

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The sequel to Home Alone (see #2 on the list). Home Alone 2 has Kevin McCallister once again finding himself spending Christmas on his own, but this time he’s in New York! How did this happen? Well this year instead of going to France, the McCallister clan is heading to Florida. Once again they find themselves running late to the airport (but this time being sure they have Kevin) and have to run to catch their flight. Kevin stops for a moment to get batteries out of his dad’s bag and accidentally follows the wrong man onto a plane to New York City. He starts living it large at the Plaza and using all his dad’s credit cards and cash (as he has his bag). Everything goes well, until he runs into the two thieves he harassed the year before and sent to prison. They come after him, but luckily he has rigged his uncle’s townhouse into one giant trap.

Why it’s Great: I have to say how he gets alone again was done really clever. The scenes of him just spending the dough and buying pizza, ice-cream, going on huge toy shopping trips, etc is fantastic. That was all the things that kids wished they could be able to do. Tim Curry plays the hotel manager who notices the lack of an adult and is awesome in being evil and trying to trip Kevin up. Unfortunately, the second half the film falls a little flat. I mean what are the odds of the thieves running into Kevin in New York City? There are a gajillion people who live there. Also the traps aren’t as clever as in the original film. It wasn’t nearly as great as the original, but still one fun holiday film.

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22) Elf (2003)

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One Christmas a baby boy accidentally gets on to Santa Claus’ sled and is transported to the North Pole. One of the elves adopts him and raises him as his own child, naming him Buddy. One day, Buddy overhears some elves mention he is a human. He goes to his elf father and discovers the story of his adoption. They tell him who is real father is, and Buddy travels to New York City to meet him. When he firsts meets his father Walter Hobbs (James Caan), Walter doesn’t believe Buddy’s story to be true. After a DNA test confirms it, Buddy is introduced to the family. Buddy befriends his stepmother, stepbrother, and makes new friends. However, he doesn’t fit in well with “humans” and after an argument with his dad, decides to return to the North Pole. On his way he runs into Santa who is having trouble using his sleigh and magic as people don’t believe in him anymore. Now Buddy has a bigger problem to solve. How can he save Santa?

Why it’s Great: Now let me say that I am not that big a fan of Will Ferrell. I only like a few of his films, and this is one of those. The story is silly, but the reason it works is that Ferrell goes all in to the character of Buddy. Unlike everyone I know, I do not watch it over and over, but I do think it is definitely worth checking out and viewing around the holidays. And I do have to agree that I am as crazy about Christmas as Buddy.

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21) Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

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Dr. Seuss’ beloved book finds itself heading to the big screen with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim Carrey plays the Grinch, the beloved grump who hates the Whos and hates Christmas. He terrorizes Whoville, and all are afraid of him. Except one girl, Cindy Lou Who. Cindy Lou is eager to find out all she can about the Grinch and why he is the way he is. She discovers his sad childhood and decides making him the Holiday Cheermister will repair everything. When her idea has disastrous results, the Grinch decides to head down to Whoville and steal Christmas.

Why it’s Great: Jim Carrey really is the only reason why the film is great. Like The Polar Express, it suffers from being stuffed with extra scenes, characters, and things not needed in order to fill the time block. And I absolutely hate the song “Where Are You Christmas?” But as I said, Jim Carrey is a great Grinch. His makeup is amazing, I mean look at him! He’s looks just like the illustration. The backstory of why he is mean loses ground, but the film really picks up once he starts stealing Christmas. I love how they illustrate the song and copy the scenes from the original film. It’s worth watching the film to see that scene. It may not be as great as the Boris Karloff version, but it is still a fun Christmas film.

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20) The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

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This is the sequel to The Santa Clause (see below #6). Eight years has passed since the original film and Scott Calvin, AKA Santa Claus, has just discovered that if he is to remain being Santa Claus he has to have a Mrs. Claus. Scott also discovers that Charlie has been having a lot of problems and and acting up. So the elves create a robot Santa to fill in for him, and Scott heads back home. He stays with his ex-wife’s family, trying to reach Charlie, and becoming an uncle figure to Charlie’s sister Lucy. When talking to Charlie’s principal he finds himself falling for her, but will she believe him and go with him back to the North Pole? Also, while Scott has been gone, his robo-Santa has become and evil dictator. Will Scott be able to stop him in time to save Christmas?

Why it’s Great: I like how this film deals with real issues. Charlie is having problems as he misses his father, has the stress of having to lie about his dad’s job, etc. I loved how realistic it was as this are issues a boy who’s father has to be away for his job would actually deal with. I also enjoy the scenes of Scott and Principal Carol Newman. There were real dates and actually showed them falling in love over a period of time, it wasn’t instantaneous. And the Principal’s reaction to “I’m Santa” talk was completely real. Some scenes are definitely cheesy and silly, but I have to say this is one of the better Disney sequels and one great film to watch at Christmas.

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19) The Toy That Saved Christmas (1996)

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So this film is part of the Veggietales series. Veggietales was a series of Christian films that lasted 30 mins and told two stories that were either a retelling of a bible story or had a strong biblical message. And all the characters were fruits and veggies! The Toy That Saved Christmas was the first Christmas Veggietale video and starts with a green onion, Grandpa George, telling his granddaughter Annie a Christmas story. In the Veggietown (or wherever they live), December is here which means CHRISTMAS!!! All the kids are excited. They see a commercial on TV for a new toy Buzz Saw Louie and everyone wants them. Besides having a saw, Louie talks and tells people that the true meaning of Christmas is getting stuff. This was planned by the toy factory owner as he wants to sell more toys. When more Louies are being made, something happens to one, and it comes to life. It starts to wonder if getting stuff is the true meaning of Christmas. Louie escapes from the factory and gets stuck in the snow. The next day Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber, and Junior the asparagus all go sledding and come upon the toy. They also run into Grandpa George who tells them the true meaning of Christmas. After the hear the message they want to tell the world the good news? But how? They get the idea to use the factory owner’s equipment and make a commercial. Will their plan work? Will everyone get to know the true meaning of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: It is an incredibly funny and adorable film. This is one that my family has to watch every year. Besides the comedy, adventure, and fun it also has a lot of great songs. One of my favorites is Can’t Believe It’s Christmas! as it truly captures being a kid excited about the holiday. And then there is the hilarious silly song Oh Santa!If you don’t watch the film at least check out that song.

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18) Lady and the Tramp (1955)

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The classic story of a rich girl who meets a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with one major difference-dogs! Lady is a cocker spaniel is a Christmas gift to “Darling” by her husband Jim “Dear”. She grows up in the household, becoming a real “Lady”. Everything changes when Darling gets pregnant. With a baby coming Lady is unsure of what her life will be like. The baby comes and Lady realizes that she loves him as much as her other masters. Things seem to be great until Darling and Jim Dear have to go away on business. Jim Dear’s Aunt Sarah comes to watch the baby, and brings along her two siamese cats that cause problems for Lady, and gets her a muzzle. Lady embarrassed, scared, and confused; runs away and straight into a mutt, Tramp, from the other side of town. He not only frees her, but the two have a romantic dinner, a moonlit walk in the park, etc. However, when the Tramp gets Lady to chase chickens, she winds up being sent to the dog pound. There she hears all about Tramp’s sordid past. She is freed from the pound but chained up outside by Aunt Sarah. The Tramp visits to apologize, but Lady won’t hear anything. Then a rat tries to get into the nursery. Will Lady be able to save the baby? Will Lady and the Tramp get back together?

Why it’s Great: It is an old story that has been done before, but the choice of dogs is great. I love how the dog thinks Jim Dear and Darling are their real names as that is only what she hears, and there are also some great dogisms. The We Are Siamese song is really catchy and the pasta scene is just adorable. This film actually has two Christmases in it; one when Lady is first introduced, and the second at the end of the film. Making this a great film to see round the holidays or any time of the year.

For more on Lady and the Tramp, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

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17) Chasing Christmas (2005)

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This abcFamily film, part of the 25 Days ’til Christmas countdown, tells the story of A Christmas Carol in a completely new way. Jack Cameron is a modern day Scrooge. He caught his wife with another man at his daughter’s Christmas play. Not only is the marriage over, but so is his love for Christmas and Christmas spirit. At the Bureau of Yuletide Affairs (BYA) the company is reviewing which holiday grumps need a little Dickens spirit. He assigns Christmas Past (Leslie Jordan) and Present (Andrea Roth) to take care of him. Past has started to become disgruntled with life. Every year it is the same thing over and over again. So he decides to do something about it. After taking Jack to his childhood in the ’60s he knocks him out and takes off. Present is then sent back to catch Past and help Jack find his Christmas spirit. As they travel through time Jack discovers a lot about himself and his family. When they reach the ’70s, they accidentally break their time machine and are desperate to find Past in order to get back to the future. Will they ever catch up to Christmas Past? Or are they doomed to stay in the ’70s? And more importantly, will  they be able to save Jack’s love of Christmas?

Why it’s Great: The twist on the classic is extremely hilarious, fun, and adorable. In fact, the film is almost a parody of all the films and TV episodes that rip of Dickens’ work. The characters are lovable as you have the sarcastic, unhappy, stick-in-a-rut Past that wants to relive the good times instead of just visiting. Then there is Jack, the average guy who gets pulled into this adventure and really starts having a great time.  Then there is Present, who knows nothing about the past and has to educated by Jack. This is actually pretty adorable, as it awakens his love for different things as he explains why they are important or special. A truly great film, loosely based on one great book.

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16) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

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The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started out as a short poem, then transformed into the hit song, and ultimately (like everything) found its way into film. Rudolph is the son of Santa’s flying Reindeer Donner. Everyone bullies him and doesn’t want him around because he has a blinking, red nose. Rudolph ends up not being able to deal with it and runs away, hoping to find a place for misfits. As he heads out, he runs into an elf named Hermy. Hermy is also a misfit as he doesn’t want to make toys, sing carols, or other elf-y things; he wants to be a dentist. As the two journey out they run into a miner named Yukon Cornelius, hunting for silver and gold, who joins up with them. They have to fight the Abominable Snow Monster, when running from him they hitch a ride on ice and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys. Rudolph, conscious that his nose almost got them attacked by Abominable, he takes off on his own. He later returns home to find that his family has been captured by the Abominable Snow Monster while searching for him. It’s up to the team to save them from the monster. Everything seems like it is going to be a great Christmas until the fog rolls in and Santa won’t be able to see where he is flying. That is until Rudolph steps up to the plate.

Why it’s Great: My earliest memory of this cartoon was when I was three years old. My family was visiting my aunt’s house, and being kids, us cousins were running around everywhere. I ran smack into my cousin Sean, and began bawling. I was bruised, so I did have a reason to be sad, but I wouldn’t stop crying. I kept going and going, until my mom told me that I could watch Rudolph if I stopped crying. I stopped immediately. My favorite character as a kid actually wasn’t Rudolph. I loved Yukon as I thought he was hilarious and I loved Hermy as I too wanted to be a dentist (which everyone thought was weird). Watching it as an adult, I still love it. Happy Anniversary Rudolph! Here’s to another 50 years!

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15) Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991)

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It’s Christmas time at the Hundred Acre Woods and Christopher Robin is writing a letter to Santa Claus. As he is finishing the letter, asking for a sled big enough for him and a friend, he asks each one of his friends what they want for Christmas. Rabbit needs a new fly swatter; Tigger a snowshoe for his tail; Eeyore an umbrella to keep snow off his house; and Piglet asks for whatever Santa wants to give him. Christopher Robin sends his letter off into the wind and to Santa. The next day, Christmas Eve, Winnie-the-Pooh is drawing his Christmas tree on the wall when Piglet comes in and tells him that Pooh forgot to ask Santa for something. They chase after the letter, find it, and take it to Rabbit’s house to add on Pooh’s request for honey. As they are doing that everyone asks for an upgraded present: Rabbit a super bug sprayer, Tigger a special bouncing boot, and Eeyore a mobile home. They send the letter out, but when Pooh gets home a southern wind has sent the letter the same way. Pooh and Piglet don’t want Christmas ruined so they set out to fix everything. They try to create the gifts asked, suit up, and head out. Will their homemade gifts work? Will Christmas be ruined? Or will everything turn out just right?

Why it’s Great: First of all it’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Secondly, the story is amazingly sweet. Once Pooh realizes that Christmas might be ruined, he tries to do everything in his power to make it right. A great story of friendship, love, and Christmas!

For more on Winnie the Pooh, go to Heartbreak Hotel

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14) Christmas Every Day (1996)

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Billy hates Christmas! For him it is always the worst day of the year and this one is no different. It starts off with him tripping, his uncle coming to visit and crashing into the garage, the pies burn, he misses his basketball shot, he loses the jellybean thousand dollar contest, messes up the Christmas pageant, and gets socked in the eye. To top it off, his uncle is bringing his monster conglomerate store, Value Mart to town, and will be putting all the smaller businesses, (including his dad’s store) out of business. Billy sarcastically wishes it was Christmas everyday, and gets his wish granted. At first he is in denial, then he makes it the most selfish Christmas, then tries to make it the most unselfish Christmas, but still remains stuck in the day. After he has been going through all those days, he finally stops thinking about himself, but tries to make it the best Christmas for his friends and family. Will it be the best? Will he finally get to December 26th? Will he be able to stop his uncle from bringing in his Value Mart?

Why it’s Great: My sister and I loved this movie so much. We would watch it every year on the 25 Days ’til Christmas until they stopped showing it. I just rewatched it a week ago and love it as much now as I did then. I thought Billy was pretty realistic in how he dealt with being stuck in Christmas, sort of the preteen version of Bill Murray in Groundhog’s Day. He gets over his Christmas hate much quicker than in Groundhog’s Day, but he is a kid and hasn’t been jaded as long. The best part, of course, is the fact how Billy learns from his past mistakes, and ultimately does create the best Christmas for himself and everyone.

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13) Batman Returns (1992)

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The Joker may be gone, but Batman is back to the big screen in his film Batman Returns. It’s Christmas time in Gotham, but even though it is supposed to be a time of good cheer, crime still abounds in the city. Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), who as a baby was thrown down the sewers by his rich parents because of his deformity only to be saved and raised by penguins, has returned 33 years later as the Penguin and leader of the Red Triangle Circus Gang. He kidnaps businessman, Max Shreck (played by Christopher Walken) and blackmails him about his dirty business dealings into making the Penguin a citizen of Gotham. Shreck agrees and promises to do even better, promising to make the Penguin mayor. Shreck has some plans he wants to put in motion, but knows the current mayor would not approve. Unfortunately, Shreck’s secretary, meek Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) has discovered them. Shreck does the only thing he thinks he can do, he kills her by throwing her out the window. Unbeknownst to him, Selina is revived by nine cats and granted “9 lives.” She goes home having fully transformed in her personality, creating a black leather outfit, and becoming Catwoman. She returns to work for Shreck, planning on destroying him when he least expects it, and runs into Bruce Wayne. The two begin dating, while at night their alter egos begin fighting. The penguin and Catwoman team up to destroy Batman. They sully his reputation, but Batman is able to outwit the Penguin and disgrace him. Upset, the Penguin renounces humanity and kidnaps the first sons of all the wealthy families of Gotham during Shreck’s annual Christmas party. Bruce takes Selina as his date to the party and the two discover that they are Batman and Catwoman. What does this mean to their relationship? Will Batman be able to stop the Penguin? Will Catwoman get her revenge?

Why it’s Great: So Christmas does play a role in this film as a little more than a backdrop. There is a line about mistletoe that is the key in discovering each other’s identities. When Batman and Catwoman are fighting the first time Batman says, “You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Catwoman replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” When Bruce and Selina are at the party, Selina tells Bruce ,“You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” In which Bruce replies, “But a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.” But that’s not the reason why I like this film. First of all Michael Keaton has to be my favorite Batman, he just gets the stoic and serious, along with debonair and slightly fun side correct. I mean out of all the actors I think he captured the duality of Batman’s character the most. Then we have Michelle Pfeiffer who has been the best Catwoman to date. Morally ambiguous, vengeful, focused on her goals, but still having a heart of gold. No one could have played her better. Plus Christopher Walken as the bad guy? Perfect. The only thing I don’t like is that the Penguin was much sillier than I would have had him be. Danny DeVito did a great job and he looked great, but a lot of his lines and obsession with birds of all kinds were just a bit too silly. Otherwise, this is one great film to watch anytime.

For more on Batman Returns, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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12) The Year Without a Santa Claus (1975)

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Santa Claus is sick and tired, and has decided that he does not want to do Christmas anymore. After all, no one believes in him anymore. Mrs. Claus is determined to prove Santa wrong and sends out two elves, Jingle and Jangle. The two get into some scrapes and end up in Southtown, USA. Their mistakes cause Santa to come down and try and help out. The two elves and a small Southtown boy, Ignatius, end up getting the Mayor to agree to giving Santa a holiday, only if it snows in Southtown. The chance of that happening, -100%. The elves go to Snow Miser, but he it isn’t his territory and he can’t do it unless his stepbrother Heat Miser agrees. Heat Miser will only let them, IF he gets the North Pole. Something that Snow Miser will never give up. Will they be able to get the two to compromise? Will Santa get his holiday? Will we have a year without Santa Claus?

Why it’s Great: This is a cute film that tries to revitalize the Christmas spirit. It has some great numbers like the Miser Brothers’ SongI Believe in Santa Claus, I’ll Have a Blue Christmas, and Here Comes Santa Claus. A cute film that old and young will love.

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11) The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (1975)

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In The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow, Lucas a shepherd boy is blinded by lightening. Nearby is the nunnery, who takes in the orphan boy. He befriends a girl Lisa, who helps him. Sister Theresa, one of the nuns, takes care of Lucas, even describing the snow that wishes would come. Lucas is chosen to be an angel in the play, and as it starts snowing, a Christmas miracle occurs. The snow falls in Lucas’ eyes and grant him back his sight. He remains with the nuns and the priest, finally having a family.

Why it’s Great: This is a cute and cuddly Christmas film with great songs. You’ll enjoy this half hour production, along with their version of White Christmas and The First White Christmas. It is a great addition to your Christmas lineup.

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10) Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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Sam Field is a millionaire who is trying to negotiate the biggest deal of his life with Javier Del Campo. The only problem, Del Campo only likes to do business with family-orientated people, and Sam is a confirmed bachelor. He hires a family to pretend to be his, but that doesn’t work out very well, and he is unsure of what to do. Enter Kathleen, single mother and worker at Sam’s plant. She is trying to save up money to buy a house, but so far does not have as much as she needs. A chance meeting, winds up with Kathleen and her daughter Zooey pretending to be his family for a few days, which expands into weeks as Del Campo wants to spend Christmas with the Fields. As they spend more time together; Sam, Kathleen, and Zooey all learn more about family and learning to love again.

Why it’s Great: I love this film sooooo much. It’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies. I will not go to far into it, as I have written a separate blog post on it that you should check out.

For more on Borrowed Hearts, go to On the 9th Day ‘Til Christmas: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

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9) Rise of the Guardians (2012)

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In Rise of the Guardians, Jack Frost (played by Chris Pine), is created in the depths of a pond and suffers from amnesia. He doesn’t know how or why he was created, but just goes around having fun. One day Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin) discovers that the Boogeyman Pitch, has returned and notifies the other Guardians: Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Australian Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Sandman. They learn that their creator, the Man in the Moon, has chosen Jack Frost to join them as a Guardian of Children. Pitch goes about trying to destroy the children’s beliefs in these characters, and attacks the Tooth Fairy’s home, stealing her helpers. The other Guardians pitch in to help her out, doing the same for the Easter Bunny. Will they be able to defeat the Pitch? Will Jack finally learn who he is and why he was chosen? Will they secure the children’s belief in Jack Frost, Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman?

Why it’s Great: When the film first came out, I thought it would be really dumb, but then I saw it and loved it. It is funny, cute, sweet, everything you’d want in a family film. The characters are amazing and just perfect as they bring your childhood to life. I just love this film and could watch it over and over.

For more on Rise of the Guardians, go to Dreaming of the Sandman 

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8) Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

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It tells the story of the Robinson family, (they are Swiss), who are traveling to New Guniea but end up getting stuck in a storm, abandoned, and stranded on their broken ship. They pack up every bit of supplies they can and travel to the nearest place, a little island. The family consists of the father, mother, and three boys; Fritz (my fav the cute one), Ernst (the smart one), and Francis (the baby). The family creates a tree house and lives on the island going through many adventures; dealing with wild animals, saving a young teen, fighting pirates, etc.

Why it’s Great: This was a favorite of mine as a kid, although more beloved by my sister than me. It has everything you could want: action, adventure, pirates, etc. Plus, like Supernatural, you have your pick of which brother to chose from. Do you like a brawny man of action? Or are you more interested in a thinker and planner? And let’s not forget their amazing treehouse. I wanted one like it so bad growing up. It used to be in Disneyland, but they replaced it with Tarzan. And yes, this film does have Christmas in it. The Robinson family has sent out Ernst and Fritz to explore the island, and are sad that they won’t all be together for Christmas. The boys surprise them with a zebra for Francis, and a rescued hostage. It is classic Disney at its best, and a worthwhile checkout any time of the year.

For more on the Swiss Family Robinson, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

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7) Jingle All the Way

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Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a workaholic. His wife and child are very upset with him, and the only way he can get back in their good graces is to pick up a Turbo-Man doll. Only problem is, EVERYONE wants one and EVERYONE is sold out. This causes him to go on one crazy adventure involving a faux toy factory, a postal postman, a mall doing a Hunger Games to sell off their remaining doll, battling a reindeer, storming a radio station, bombs, fistfights, etc. Howard even goes as far as replacing Turbo-Man in the Christmas parade in order to try to get a doll. Will he be able to do it? Will his family be reunited for Christmas?

Why it’s Great:  This movie is so freakin’ hilarious. I just love it so much. All the crazy things that happen to Howard as he tries to achieve success in his quest to get the doll. And that end fight scene is just great. A true holiday classic that I watch every year I can.

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6) The Santa Clause

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Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is a self-absorbed and selfish toy designer. This Christmas Eve he gets to have his son spend the holiday with him, while his ex-wife and her husband celebrate elsewhere. Of course he is not only extremely late (too much partying at the office), but he burns their Christmas Eve dinner. Things are not going as planned. That night Charlie hears something, and the two go out to investigate, surprising Santa and causing him to fall off the roof! Scott puts on the suit, and the two go out to deliver the gifts. After the deed is done, Scott discovers that when he put on the suit he entered a clause, that is a decree, making him the new Santa. He doesn’t believe it, but as the year passes, his body starts to become more Santa-like. Will he have enough faith to become Santa? Will he be able to change his ways so he can be more like Santa?

Why it’s Great: Like Borrowed Hearts I have done a post on this, so I’m not going to talk too much aout it. It is a truly hilarious movie with some truly memorable lines and scenes. I love this movie so much that I don’t even always wait for Christmas to watch it. Defintely worth seeing again and again.

For more on The Santa Clause, go to On the 11 Day ‘Til Christmas: The Santa Clause (1994)

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4) Christmas With the Kranks (2004)

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Based on the John Grisham novel, Christmas with the Kranks shows how one can never truly skip Christmas. After Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis) discover that their beloved daughter Blair won’t be coming home for Christmas, they decide to forget it entirely. No decorations, no Christmas cards, no Christmas party, no Christmas tree, zip. Instead, the two will go on a lovely cruise. It starts out a great plan, until they start getting upsetting calls from the neighbors who want to win the best decorated street contest; tickets from policemen who are used to them buying multiple calendars, charities who expect their yearly donation, etc. As they are getting ready to go on Christmas Eve, they get a call from Blair who is surprising them by flying home-with a fiancé. They have to rely on their neighbors for help in making this the greatest Christmas ever.

Why it’s Great: I just realized that this is the third Tim Allen movie on this list. Guess it was a good thing I decided to save Toy Story for another time, or else there would be four. Anyways this is just a hilarious film, from beginning to end. Grisham is a true master and the actors really bring his work to life. This is a truly great addition to you Christmas lineup as it is funny, heartwarming, and covers the true meaning of Christmas.

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3) Goodfellas (1990)

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A film based on the real life of gangster turned FBI witness, Henry Hill. Half-Italian, half-Irish; Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) has always wanted to be a gangster. He is taken under the wing of mob-boss Paul “Paulie” Cicero, to work under James “Jimmy the Gent” Conway (Robert De Niro) alongside Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The trio hijack cars, commit insurance fraud, and the famous 1967 Air France Robbery. They spend most of their time at the Copacabana, hanging out with women. Hill meets Karen, Jewish and upper class, and the two eventually marry. At first Karen is alarmed at Hill’s lifestyle, but eventually becomes enamored with the perks. They continue to live the criminal lifestyle, ultimately having to serve a stint in prison. There Hill discovers how “real” money can be made in drugs, and his life starts to take some real twists and turns.

Why it’s Great: Now this film isn’t for everyone, but if you are a fan of the gangster genre then you need to check this out. It covers the life of Hill pretty accurately, and of course the actors they chose are just amazing-De Niro, Liotta, & Pesci. In fact if this wasn’t a Christmas list countdown, I probably would have it even higher. And for the Christmas part of the film, well this is no Christmas film but the holiday does play into a crucial part of the film. My friends and I used to have “gangster film and spaghetti” parties, with this one always being one of the main courses.

For more on Goodfellas, go to Sucky Sequels: Mean Girls 2 (2011)

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2) Home Alone (1990)

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Kevin McCallister’s whole family is getting ready to fly to Paris for Christmas, spending the holidays with his uncle and aunt. The night before they leave, Kevin is punished (unfairly) to sleep up in the attic by himself, where he makes a wish that his family would just disappear. When a tree limb crashes on the powerline, the McCallister’s find themselves waking up late and rushing out the door to the airport, in order to catch their plane. And…completely forgetting Kevin. At first being home alone is just fun and games, but when two robbers try to get into his house, Kevin finds himself defending it, in very imaginative ways.

Why it’s Great: This movie became so popular, almost every family pic after it tried to recreate it’s success. It is funny, memorable, and the scenes where Kevin is just wolfing down junk food was every kid’s dream. It is one fantastic movie, great for Christmas or anytime you want a laugh.

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1) Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970)

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In Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, postman Special Delivery Klugman (Fred Astaire) is prepared to answer all questions about Santa Claus. In Sombertown, the Burgermeister Meisterburger discovers a baby on his doorstep, with a tag saying Claus. He sends one of his stooges to take the baby to the orphanage, but a wind blows the baby away. The forest creatures take the baby to the elf family Kringle, where he is raised as one of their own, Kris Kringle. The Kringles used to be toymakers for the King, but an evil man, the Winter Warlock, keeps them from continuing this tradition. Kris resolves that when he is old enough, he will brave the forest and Warlock, in order to give their toys to the children in the nearby town. He manages to slip the Warlock and heads to the town. Unbeknownst to Kris, toys are outlawed in Sombertown. He meets the school teacher, Jessica, and convinces them all to take toys. Kris almost gets arrested, but runs away, only to be captured by the Winter Warlock. When he gives the Warlock a gift, it melts his icy heart and removes his evil. Winter Warlock teaches Kris a few tricks, like magic snowballs that allow you to watch anyone. Kris keeps coming back and giving more toys, first handing them out to kids, then leaving them at night, lastly putting them in the children’s stockings. The Burgermeister Meisterburger lays a trap and catches Kris. In order to free him, Jessica gets the Winter Warlock to give reindeer his flying corn, and thus Kris’ eight flying reindeer were born. Jessica and Kris get married and move to the North Pole, Kris reverting to his given name of Claus.

Why it’s Great: This film is absolutely adorable and Christmas is never the same without at least one viewing of this film.

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Merry Christmas All!

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For more on Christmas, go to O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

For more on Christmas movies, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more quizzes, go to Simply Fantastic

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

Peeta Please!

So with the release of Mockingjay Part 1, I decided to do a post all about Peeta as he is the best thing in The Hunger Games series. He is such a sweet boy as he truly loves Katniss and does everything he can to help her. In fact, Katniss never changes in the books, but with each chapter we see a better and stronger and more amazing Peeta that I wish I could have in real life.

Peeta

Let me just say that it would be no real struggle for me to be Peeta’s girlfriend.

Peeta Hunger Games

Yep. I mean in The Hunger Games, you Katniss is extremely suspicious, so its not until Catching Fire that you really know learn how wonderful Peeta is.

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And how much he would risk for her.

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And that is why Mockingjay Part 1 2 will be so hard as he is hijacked and turned into this horrible person. But as they say, you never know what you got ’till its gone.

Peeta

So stay strong everyone. It will be hard to watch but we will make it through.

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But just be sure to fortify yourself.

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And just think of the wonderful Peeta that will be back.

Peeta

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For more on Peeta, go to Being Friends is Good Enough

For more on The Hunger Games series, go to Girl on Fire

For more films based on books, go to Remember, Remember the 5th of November

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Oh NO YOU DIDN’T!

Viva La Révolution

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So I decided to do this post in honor of Bastille Day! Yay! You know I find the French Revolution so fascinating on how things got so ugly, so quickly. Also the complete irony on how they tried to change everything about France and erase all shreds they were ever ruled by a monarchy, but yet at the same time, find themselves being ruled by a king in about 10 years. By the way this is Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix (1830) about the July Revolution of 1830 (the 26-29), which ousted King Charles X of France. For those of you wondering, this took place two years before the June Uprising depicted in Les Miserables. So in this image we have liberty, represented as a woman (as usual) leading the people onward. This painting helped end the Enlightenment period and made way for Romanticism, the style that revolved around political events and current issues to try and evoke emotion out of the viewer. The people in the image following liberty and the French flag, are a wide range of people from different classes. To the far left is a poor peasant, and next to him a member of the bourgeois in a top hat, and to the right of liberty a member of the military.

Anyways, this post is also a response to Girl on Firemy post on The Hunger Games quiz result I got. I mentioned how I would start a revolution as I have tried before at an Oxfam  banquet.

So at my school we do an Oxfam banquet every year that raised awareness of hunger and homelessness in the world, U.S. and city that we live in. Each person who visits picks a name/occupation out of a bowl and it determines where you will be placed, and what your economic status is. Those who are lower class are the majority, sit on the floor, are treated rudely, have to drink water with coffee grounds in it, share a thing of rice, and eat last. Those who are middle class are seated at tables and get clean water, beans, and rice. Those who are upper class get bread rolls, salad, clean water in glasses, eat off glass plates instead of paper, cookies, and some kind of meat dish. They get the most attention and there are only like five of them, but yet they have more tables set out with food that remain empty. Throughout the night they have speakers and do a discussion of how we felt about the activity.

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Now the first year I worked the bowl, holding it and making sure no one cheated, and all went to their right place. At the end of the shift, I pulled out a name and ended up getting upper class. Unfortunately, the waitstaff forgot to serve us the main dish so we only had salad and bread.

The next year they didn’t need volunteers so I just went with my friends. This year I got middle class (pooh) and in order to eat we had to do “chores”. They gave us a bag with holes in it and we had to clean up the newspaper pieces they had ripped and thrown about. The poorer class had it worse as they didn’t have a bag and the people get throwing more and more paper at them.

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So I came up with the idea to tie the holes up as otherwise, we were going nowhere. After we finished we got our nasty food (it was horribly done as our caf sucks). Then we sat there. Now we had plenty of food left over, and I tried to give it to the other group but they just wouldn’t take it. They felt that it was their role so they were going to accept that. Well I wasn’t. I saw all those tables with empty people and I was hungry. So I told my friends, let’s start a revolution! Look at all the uneaten food that is going to be thrown away afterwards. Let’s go get it. Come on, there is plenty for us. We won’t have to take anybody’s stuff, we won’t force them to do anything. We’ll just rise up and take the stuff we need. I was very much Maria from Metropolis.

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

 

Come on everyone! Let’s do this!

But sadly, none of my friends wanted to as they “thought they would get in trouble”.

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But I was like images

And went and took the food.

Yum!

Yum!

A few people followed my lead, but mostly everyone was too complacent to stand up for their rights or scared they would get kicked out. So what if we do? Then we do. That’s the problem with revolutions or fighting for a cause. You need others to fight with you, but sometimes you just can’t convince them to take that chance. 😦

According to Buzzfeed I’m a real revolutionary and belong during this time period

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Go here to see what time period you belong in

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For more of my favorite art, go to You’re Just So Pretty to Look At

For more on the French Revolution, go to Sucky Sequels

For more on The Hunger Games, go to The Hunger Games: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

For more on rebels, go to A True Princess

For more on Revolutions, go to Being Friends is Good Enough

Girl on Fire

So I love taking those personality quizzes, especially ones with movie characters. I have so much fun seeing which ones I match up to. I especially love zimbio, they are better than Quizilla. Quizilla was fun, but just not as cool.

So I did The Hunger Games quiz and got:

Katniss

I think it fits pretty well. I have to say I’m pretty tough and capable in most situations. I am pretty level-headed and think fast on my feet. I definitely care about my family. If any of them were chosen, I would volunteer to save them, any day. Perseverance, loyalty, honesty, and compassion are like my four most important traits. I also am an INTJ, so moral integrity, justice, etc; are extremely important to me. I’m not that big on parties, but prefer more intimate and small gatherings.

However, I am more clear on social cues and better at interacting with others. I definitely would have picked up on the whole Gale and Peeta situations. I do have trust issues like Katniss, I’m working on that though. Slow, but that’s how every process is, right?

Trust

To be honest I don’t know what I would do in a situation like the Hunger Games. I’d like to think that I would be cold-blooded to survive, but still be trusting and caring like Peeta. But, I don’t know, and I hope I never find out.

And I would start a revolution. I have tried before at an Oxfam  banquet when I tried to overthrow the high class to get a salad, but that will have to wait for another blog post. I know, it doesn’t make a whole lotta sense, but will when I write it out.

The biggest difference between Katniss and I is the whole Peeta question. I LOVE Peeta, and would have definitely pick him over Gale. I mean Gale is great but Peeta is awesome!!! Click here to read why I think so.

Peeta

To take the quiz yourself and see who you get, click here.

To read more posts on The Hunger Games go to The Hunger Games:Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 

For more quiz related posts, go to They’re Alive

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Now You’re Gone

For more on INTJs, go to My New BF

For more on trust issues, go to The End by Silverstein 

The Hunger Games: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

So the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is based on the beloved children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thew story is of a young, poor, low-income, starving, boy who is chosen to compete against four other children to not only win enough chocolate and candy for their lifetime, but also a grand, secret prize.  Very Interesting, I know, but you are probably wondering what does that have to do with The Hunger Games? A young girl from a starving district competing to the death against 23 others to win food for her family and community?

This:

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Now it is not exactly like The Hunger Games, Willy Wonka is a nice guy who really wants to help people, Charlie is the only poor, suffering guy, and you hate everyone else as they are whiny brats. But, there are some similarities. So now presenting the Hunger Games: The Chocolate Factory!

And it's going to be fabulous!

And it’s going to be fabulous!

So what’s different for this version is that we will have one tribute, from only five districts, all competing to survive Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. All who survive win chocolate, the ultimate winner gets the factory themselves, food and money for their families. Let the games begin!!!

District 1

District 1’s industry is making luxury items for the Capitol. It is considered to be the wealthiest district, the only other wealthier area being the Capitol itself.

Now presenting our tribute for district one

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Veruca Salt

Strengths:

  • Loud voice that causes immense pain
  • Very good at manipulating people and getting what she wants
  • Has people to do hard things for her
  • Doesn’t take no for an answer
  • Can cry on command
  • Isn’t afraid to lie or crush others to get what she wants
  • Questions everything

Weaknesses:

  • Is a spoiled brat
  • Won’t take no for an answer to the point where she knocks herself out
  • Whines all the time

Can Be Defeated:

  • By a kick in the pants
  • Saying NO! and meaning it
  • Boat Rides
  • Seasickness
  • Geese (Especially those who are golden)

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District 3

District 3’s primary industry is general electronics of many types, though it is known for also making various mechanical products such as automobiles and firearms. These tributes are always skilled with electronics.

Now presenting our tribute for district three

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Mike Teevee

Strengths:

  • Knows every TV show that has a gun in it (huge pop culture junkie)
  • Can use knowledge gained from TV in real life
  • Can sit still for hours
  • Questions everything
  • Can shoot a fake gun
  • Doesn’t scare or get grossed out easily
  • Willing to try new things
  • Eager volunteer

Weaknesses:

  • Is a spoiled brat
  • Can’t be away from the TV
  • Will try to shoot anything and everything
  • Missing front teeth
  • Can’t read
  • Sometimes overeagerness to try new things leaves him in bad situations
  • Doesn’t listen to rules

Can Be Defeated:

  • Bubble Foam
  • Saying NO! and meaning it
  • Books
  • By shrinking him

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District 6

District 6’s industry is transportation

Now presenting our tribute for district six

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Violet Beauragarde

Strengths:

  • Chewing gum champ
  • Can chew and talk
  • Rather chew than eat
  • Fast talker
  • Likes to save things
  • Will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means losing friends
  • Bossy
  • Head-strong and Obstinate
  • Does whatever she wants
  • Can wheel and deal like no other
  • Delights in pain of others

Weaknesses:

  • Is a spoiled brat
  • Hard to understand through constant chewing
  • A braggart
  • Doesn’t listen to “no”
  • Does whatever she wants
  • Picks her nose

Can Be Defeated:

  • Blueberries
  • The color blue or purple
  • Throwing away her three-month old gum
  • By rolling her

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District 9

District 9’s industry is grain. Little is known about this district, just that there are lots of farmland for grain.

Now presenting our tribute for district nine

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Augustus Gloop

Strengths:

  • Can eat ANYTHING
  • Never stops eating
  • Is one huge mass that won’t easily be pushed around
  • Fast runner when it comes to food
  • Likes to be first in everything

Weaknesses:

  • Is a spoiled brat
  • Has no patience
  • No self-control
  • Is always hungry
  • Can’t swim
  • Doesn’t like small spaces
  • Doesn’t listen

Can Be Defeated:

  • By not giving him food and having him starve
  • Drowning in water or chocolate
  • Sticking him in  tight spot, such as a pipe
  • Let him go first so he can face things and die

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District 12

District 12’s industry is coal. This district is one of the poorest districts. The district has not had a winner of the Hunger Games emerge from the ranks of its residents for over twenty-four years.

Now presenting our tribute for district twelve

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Charlie Bucket

Strengths:

  • Has a heart of gold
  • Cares for others
  • Would never steal from someone
  • Always tries to help others out
  • Thinks first of others needs
  • Hard worker
  • Knows how to make things last
  • Can get by on little food
  • Trustworthy
  • Listens to directions

Weaknesses:

  • Is an enabler
  • Has a passion for fizzy-lifting drinks
  • Easily lead astray
  • Gulps food too fast

Can Be Defeated:

  • Fans

LET THE GAME BEGIN

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MAY THE ODDS EVER BE IN YOUR FAVOR!

If you liked this post, check out Sucky Sequels