It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

Day 1) A is for Apocalyptical: Choose a book with an apocalyptic theme

Fahrenheit451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my absolute favorite books. I first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the German film. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Every time I read this book it shocks me with how accurate it is in portraying the culture of today. I was amazed at that age, but this most recent time when I read the book, it really struck me with exactly how spot on it is.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The book was published in 1953, and is set in a Dystopian future. No year is given, although it is done after 1960. In this future reading is outlawed

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Books are an illegal substance,

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and the firemen’s job is to burn the offensive material.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know about you all, but a world without books sounds like a catastrophic end of the world to me. After all:

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Guy Montag has always lived life the way culture dictates; has a good paying job, married, no kids as they are bothersome and their are already too many, multiple wall screens to stream TV, etc.

Sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

But then one night everything changes. He meets the daughter of his new next door neighbor, Clarisse, who doesn’t like firemen.

“And you must be-…the fireman.’ Her voice trailed off.

‘How oddly you say that.’

‘I’d- I’d have known it with my eyes shut,’ she said, slowly.

‘What- the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains,’ he laughed. ‘You never wash it off completely.’

No you don’t,’ she said, in awe.” [pg. 4]

She starts talking about all kinds of things, like how firemen at one time didn’t burn things but helped stop fires. She even questions whether he ever reads the books he burns.

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Clarisse is completely counter to the culture of the day and a throwback to the past.

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 For instance, she doesn’t like this obsession with everything has to be in a hurry, driving all is blur with no one taking the time to look, examine, or have have patience. In fact her uncle was jailed for driving 40 mi/hrs, as it was far too “slow”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Clarisse also likes to go out for walks and and look at the sky, stars, or moon. Something else everyone finds as weird or odd.

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This reminds me so much of our culture today. Everything needs to be instant-instant news, fast food, all TV shows, etc. No patience, no waiting. My niece and I were watching a show on Netflix, and she asked me why they would have these moments where they pause, go to black, and then do a review of what we already seen. I actually had to explain that they used to show these episodes on TV, and there would be commercials in-between. Because you might get people who just tuned in and didn’t see the beginning, and were unable to see the beginning (unless they purchased it on VHS or DVD, they would repeat it for them. And then I had to explain that streaming is something new, prior to it you had to  wait a week for the next episode; and when the season ended you had to wait 6 months to a year for the next season.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Now here is a child who has grown up on the world of streaming and the internet and never, ever experienced having to wait for something.

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Just like in this.

Anyways, when Montag returns home he finds his wife, Mildred, almost dead, having sucked down a lot of pills. He calls the hospital and they don’t even bother sending an ambulance. So many people these days are trying to kill themselves and end their life with pills, they have a machine like a black snake to pump the stomach.

The next day, Mildred doesn’t remember anything about what happened that night, and all she cares about is her “family” a TV show she follows.

Ringu Watch TV

There are all kinds of people suffering in the world or “real issues” that need to be talked about, but are all glossed over by entertainment. All people care about is the TV screens, wanting this giant Wall to Wall circuit. And the shows they watch have no real themes or content to them. Just mindless chatter.

When I reread this, it made me think of the reality shows we have that are just the same thing again and again, no real changes or real content. Keeping Up with the Kardashians for example. Or the endless dating shows looking for love like Flav O FlavMy Fair Brady, etc. Or The X Factor, The Voice, American Idol, etc, And people care more about these shows then real things.

We are strange people.

We are strange people.

Then Montag runs into Clarisse.  She talks to him, really talks just about anything and everything. Because she isn’t “normal” they force her to o to a psychiatrist.

“They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think.” [pg. 20]

In fact that is something she and her family like to do, just sit around and talk no devices, go out and walk just talking. In this world conversation is dead, no one really talks anymore. Sound familiar?

“He laughed.

She glanced quickly over. ‘Why are you laughing?’

‘I don’t know.’ He started to laugh again and stopped. ‘Why?’

‘You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.” [pg. 6]

It gets him thinking, and thinking is dangerous in a dystopian world.

“He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding upon the other.” [pg. 21]

Clarrise is a great character because she represents a type of person that is fading out. The one who is still holding on to the values of the past. A type of person who wants to think for herself instead of being spoonfeed an idea from the Internet, government, or teachers.

“I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this…But I don’t think it is social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?…We never ask questions…they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing…It’s a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not.” [pg. 27]

The other thing I love about Clarrise os that she is so easily relatable, at least to me she is. She is disconnected to her generation because she doesn’t have the same values as they do she is more old fashioned, and because of that she is an 80 year old in a 17 year old’s body. I know exactly how that feels. I love reading, creating things by hand, having things until they wear out, not getting the newest stuff. That’s how I been my whole life which makes it hard to find others who value the same thing. I mean I read Emily Post.

“You sound so old.’

‘Sometimes I’m ancient.” [pg. 27]

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Clarrise hates this world of blandness and nothingness.

“People don’t talk about anything.’

‘Oh, they must!’

‘No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else.” [pg. 28]

Clarisse opens Montag’s mind up to the way the world is and how it should be, and before he knows it, she and her whole family are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

He asks Captain Beatty if it is true that fireman used to stop fires instead of creating them.

Not good

Not good

The rest if the firemen are uneasy, but Captain Beatty knows it is natural for at one pint a fireman to question things. He shows him the history of the firemen and when they were first established.

“Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.

Rules

  1. Answer the alarm quickly.
  2. Start the fire swiftly.
  3. Burn everything.
  4. Report back to the firehouse immediately.
  5. Stand alert for other Alarms.

Before anything else can be done, an alarm sounds and the group heads out. They reach the place and apprehend a women, demanding to know where her contraband is. She won’t tell them but quotes Hugh Latimer.

“Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”

The fireman don’t understand this, but Hugh Latimer was executed for his protestantism, under the ruling of catholic Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s older sister. He was burned alive for his beliefs, which is foreshadowing as to what is to come.

Not good

They find the books and are going to burn them like they always do, except this night is different. This woman, Mrs. Blake, stands their silently judging them.

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Montag begins burning everything, but instead of just being things, they feel more alive, like killing animals.

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They burn everything, ready to decimate the building, but Mrs. Blake won’t leave. She refuses to give up her books. The fireman leave, ready to let her die; but Montag tries to help her. She refuses as she holds in her hand a match.

Not good

Not good

Willing to die for her beliefs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

I think that is why I love this book so much, the fact that it truly explains a connection people have not just to the book but to the author’s thoughts and ideas. Destroying a book is more than destroying a physical object, it is trying to kill the person who created it.

“It’s not just the woman that died…Last night I thought about all that kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before…It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.” [pg. 49]

Montag returns home after the horror with a secret:

“His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms. He could feel the poison working up his wrists and into the elbows and his shoulders, and then the jump-over from shoulder blade to shoulder blade like a spark leaping a gap. His hands were ravenous. And his eyes were beginning to feel hunger, as if they must look at something, anything, everything…He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.” [pg. 38]

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Montag realizes how empty his life is, he married his wife ten years ago, but can’t fathom why. He doesn’t love her and she doesn’t love him. They don’t talk, they spend no time together, and all she does is watch TV or listen to her device with her little seashell headphones that go in her ears practically disappearing from view. Both people are empty, full of nothingness. There is countless walls between them through the TV shows she watches and she is more connected to those fake creations on the screen than her own husband.

All Mildred does is watch TV, yet even that is so empty that you if ask questions what is it even about Mildred doesn’t know. Mildred doesn’t know anything. It’s like she is on drugs, the way her memory and mind is so foggy.

She is like a zombie.

She is like a zombie.

The next day Montag is sick, not physically but mentally, and philosophically. The death of the woman has troubled him dearly and he can’t understand it.

“You weren’t there, you didn’t see,’ he said. There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” [pg. 48]

booksWordsChangetheWorld

Mildred doesn’t understand it and think that Montag is crazy for taking the death of a stupid radical this way. He should focus on work, on making more money, so they can get more things and TVs and such.

“Let me alone,’ said Mildred. ‘I didn’t do anything.’

‘Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long has it been since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” [pg. 49]

Then Beatty shows up as Montag has been missing from work. He figured it out that Montag has been questioning the world they live in. So he gives them the spiel he gives out to bring those on the edge back to reality.

“Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths…Films and radios, magazines, books leveled down to a sort of paste pudding norm…in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids…Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve line dictionary resume…

Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom!…Whirl a man’s mind around so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought.

…philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” [pgs 51-53]

Life today. Now this part here really gets me with how PC you have to be 24/7, the littlest infraction and you are out.

“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico…The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean.

Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca…But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive, And the dimensional sex magazines of course.

There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick…Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time…

With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual’, of course became the swear word it deserved to be…

We must all be alike. Not everyone was born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man in the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, judge themselves against…”

Horrifying, yet that is the world we live in. You don’ like it, they destroy it; and that is happening now. A book about George Washington’s slave, who liked him because she saved his life from an assassination plot, making him a birthday cake was pulled because it isn’t p.c. Uncle Tom’s Cabin? No longer read because it is “cruel to blacks”, when it wasn’t. People don’t even read the book, but destroy it because it might hurt someone’s feelings. The remake of Red Dawn? Last minute had to be rewritten as it might hurt China’s feelings.

Captain Beatty lets them know they got rid of the girl as she was too crazy and out there.

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Life’s better bland, nothing to worry about, pleasant life, no problems, no nothing.

He tells Montag it is okay to check out a book, just one, as there is nothing in there. He’ll read it and burn it afterward.

After Beatty left, Montag is furious, but instead of taking something to make him happy, he has 20 books hidden in the house. He has decided to read them, sharing them with Mildred.

Montag goes to see Professor Faber, a man he ran into before. Faber used to work at a liberal arts college, but they closed it down as it was no longer important. He wants to know how to understand the books, to learn and Faber is the only one he has left.

Faber tells him we need three things in life:

“Number one: Do you know why books such as these are so important? Because they have quality…This book has pores…You’d find life under the glass, streaming past infinite profusion…The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” [pg. 79]

And the second? Leisure. Now Montag brings up that we have plenty of leisure, but he means actual time set aside to read, not bombarded with all types of  things.

“You can’t argue with a four-wall televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’

‘…You can shut [books], say ‘Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself away from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece-symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions…” [pg. 80]

And thirdly the ability to carry out the actions learned from it.

Montag thinks they can change the world by planting books on all the firemen, to bring them down. But Faber knows it won’t help, it isn’t the fireman that created this rule but the public who wanted people to stop reading.

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That’s right, we did when we stopped reading.

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Montag is afraid to go out as Beatty might mix him up again. Faber gives him these devices so he can put it in his ear so that he can hear Faber. That night he goes home and sees that Mildred is having a party.

Montag is horrified by these women. One just marries, divorces, marries, divorces, no emotions whatsoever. The other has kids who are in school constantly, and never sees them as she doesn’t care. They discuss politics. voting for people based on how they look and their names, rather than what they actually say or want to do.

Montag reads to them but they don’t understand. They’ve been too distorted with TV and the culture with no substance.

Captain Beatty knows that Montag has been reading and plays with him, using the books he clings to to rebut his arguments. They leave as they have a call, and it turns out that it is Montag’s house

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Mildred put in the alarm and she is heartbroken. But what saddens her the most? Losing her TV family

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Yes, not her husband, home, etc.

Montag is forced to destroy his own home, and afterwards destroys the firemen. After all, his whole life he has been taught, you have a problem, burn it.

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He has now become a fugitive and runs. Not knowing where, but just continuing to run.

After running, he plants the books in other firemen’s houses. Montag stops to see Faber, finds out the Hound (the firemen’s robotic assassin) is after them, and continues to take off. Never knowing where he is to go next, but running.

He runs into the country until the end of the all known. He stops when he reaches an area with men siting near a campfire and TV set. They give him a potion to change his perspiration, but it is’t really necessary. The Hound needs to find someone, as after all this is TV, the people need the answer.

They find some poor sop who looks like Montag and kill him to save face.

These men are former professors , intellectuals, etc; who have been running from the law. Each one has taken in a new life, the life of a book. These books are locked away in an area they can never be taken from. The mind.

Eventually the hope is to one day reenter society and bring the books they have been passing orally to the world.

“Do you really think they will listen then?’

‘If not then we’ll just have to wait…you can’t make people listen. They have to come around in their own time…” [pg. 146]

And what book does Montag choose to be? Ecclesiastes.

Besides this fantastic story, we have the amazing language and the great way it was written. Take the beginning:

“It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmut numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.” [pgs. 1-2]

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This book is only 158 pages, barely any pages, but there is so much power is in that. Amazing amounts of power. I just love this book.

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Remember:

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Turn your TV, computer, cell phone, and any other device you have off for a while and pick up a book instead.

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To read more 30 Day challenges go to 30 Day Challenge: All About Me!

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For more on Fahrenheit 451, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Dystopian futures, go to Remember, Remember The 5th of November

For more on being old-fashioned, go to Not a Hipster, But an O.F.

For more Cassandra Clare, go to Drug of Choice

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So last year I posted a Christmas Carol every day in December and I really enjoyed it. I had so much fun picking out the songs, I decided to bring it back.

So with everything going on in the world, and the way people have been acting: I think we need a little Christmas in our lives. So I choose that song.

We Need a Little Christmas is from the musical Mame based on the novel Aunt Mame. In the story Mame gains guardianship of her nephew and starts to raise him. At this point in the musical, Mame has lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929. With everything practically gone, she decides to have Christmas early as she doesn’t know what will happen.

Of course that isn’t the end of the play as Mame has many more interesting antics. However, this song is great and just the right thing to put us in the mood.

This version is sung by Angela Lansbury, from the first musical cast of Aunt Mame.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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For more on Angela Lansbury, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

I’m Okay With Waiting: Fateful, Awkward (2011)

Most Romantic Moment #13

AwkwardTVShow

So I mentioned a while back that I was a fan of this show (at least the first season. I don’t like the changes they made later on. I’m J² all the way, the J train is what it is all about.)

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So brief recap on Awkward. The show is about nerd-girl Jenna Hamilton, who hopes this year will be different. Jenna has had a huge crush on her longtime neighbor Matty McKibbon (I don’t see the appeal).

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She is surprised when at summer camp he wants to have sex with her. She thinks that maybe this could work out, that they could be a couple; but afterwards Matty ignores her.

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She gets home and gets this horrible letter stating everything wrong with her. She is reading it in the bathroom when she accidentally slips and falls. The big problem, her blow dryer fell in the tub, she spilled all her razors and aspirins, etc.

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

Not only that, but she constantly picked on by the most popular girl in school, Sadie, who is jealous of how pretty Jenna is. To further the drama of the year she has Matty who only uses her for sex:

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

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

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

So Jenna finds herself trying to figure out what path to take next.

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Most Romantic Moment: We Don’t Need to Have Sex, We Can Wait

So the moment I have chosen comes in the final episode in the season. Jenna has yelled at Matty for being a total tool.

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Jake asked her and she agreed to go; them bringing along her friend Tamara and Ming. They go to prom and have a great time The two being silly, Jake holding her hand in public, and the two kissing.

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Now the most romantic moment comes after prom. Jenna and Jake have gone back to Jenna’s house and she invites him in. Jake agrees, but let’s Jenna know that nothing has to happen. They can wait.

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Not only is it incredibly sweet that Jake is willing to wait, making their relationship much more than just sex, but the fact that Jake is willing to wait; proving to Jenna that he isn’t another Matty or just going to “use and lose her”. And to top it off, she finally has a real relationship with a guy who isn’t afraid to be seen with her, who likes everything about her, and cares about her feelings.

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What an incredibly sweet guy. J-Train all the way!

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To start Romance is in the Air:Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For the previous post, go to You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

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For more on Awkward, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare

For more Relationship Rules, go to Just Like the Beginning

 

I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: A Trip to the Dentist, Veronica Mars (2005)

Most Romantic Moment #2

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Romantic Moment #2

So we haven’t reached the point in my fangirl posts on which I am going to discuss my love of the TV show, Veronica Mars or else you would know how much I love this show.

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So the moment I chose, and feel is the most romantic in the whole series, comes from the last episode in the first season. So if you haven’t watched the show and am planning to:

**Spoiler Alert**

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So Veronica Mars used to be a popular student, part of the in-crowd, but that all changed when her boyfriend, Duncan Kane, dumped her;

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and then his sister, and Veronica’s best friend, Lily Kane died.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Everything further changed when her father, Sheriff Keith Mars started investigating the Kane family, and found himself not only ousted out of office but public enemy number one.

Instead of leaving the town of Neptune, CA; Keith to open a P.I. office, which is aided by Veronica. The mom had some issues with the changes (and her life threatened) and left, making it just Keith and Veronica.

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Besides assisting her dad on his cases, and looking into who killed Lily, Veronica has her own bustling business at school; picking up various cases from students. Veonica is friends with the PCH biker gang, and a couple of the other “unpopular” kids; but her old friends in the 09er “in crowd” dislike her, particularly Logan Echolls (Lily’s boyfriend).

Ever since Lily’s death, Logan has been acting mean, cruel, and being a big ol’ bully.

Person hate talking

However, at this point in the series, Veronica has been helping Logan look for his mom, as he believes that she didn’t commit suicide but faked her own death to flee her marriage. When they discover the truth that she really is dead and it was Logan’s sister who was using her credit cards, it sparked feelings between Logan & Veronica; along with bringing back the pre-grief stricken Logan.

Things come to a head when Logan saves her from gunpoint, them making out, and later dating. However, they’ve been keeping their dating a secret as Duncan has gone M.I.A., and they want to tell him first instead of him just finding out; along with not sure how to break it the two crowds each hang out in.

This could get ugly

This could get ugly

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Most Romantic Moment: My Status has Nothing on You

So this romantic moment comes in the middle of this particular episode, A Trip to the Dentist. Logan and Veronica have been dating secretly; and while Logan hasn’t been snarky or mean to Veronica, he still hasn’t done anything overt yet to show that he has changed and truly cares about her.

At least not yet

At least not yet

And he has done a few things for her; such as pick her car up from the shop, promising to stay out of any future Mexico drinking & cheerleading trips, and even planning a romantic boat ride. But Veronica is still not fully ready to trust him, especially since the last boy she was completely crazy about (not Deputy Leo but Troy) turned out to be a class A jerk.

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So the romantic moment? Well I’m getting there. It comes when Logan and Veronica head back to Logan’s house, only to discover that Logan’s dad has decided to throw him a surprise birthday party…and invited the who school.

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So Veronica is trying to figure out a way to explain why they are together, come up with some snappy remark but with everyone talking smack about her, it is kind of putting her off ideas.

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But Logan does something that completely surprises her and everyone else in the room. He announces to the group that Veronica is his girlfriend and if anyone has a problem with it they can leave and no longer be his friend.

Logan Echolls: That’s kind of a general invitation. If you don’t like my girlfriend-then just start heading toward the rectangle with a knob.

This is a huge moment for Logan and Veronica. For Logan we’ve seen him from horrible jerk, bereaved, drifting, thorny, wounded-to brave, heroic, and back to the man he used to be. But even more so, we see that Logan has decided that the things he cared about before; popularity and status, aren’t nearly as important as the girl he loves.

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For Veronica, it shows that Logan really cares for her, and isn’t playing her like her last boyfriend Troy, as he is willing to risk all for her.

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Veronica + Logan Forever!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part IV from the beginning, go to I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

Don’t You Forget About Me

30 years ago, one of the best movies was released:

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Yep this baby.

Breakfast club

Now I know you all are thinking, but it says March 24, 1984. That’s the time in the movie, the film was actually released February 15, 1985.

This film was written by John Hughes in just two days and completely shot in sequence. What also is really interesting about this film is that Hughes actually allowed a lot of ab-libbing in the film. Such as Brian’s reason for a fake ID- “so I can vote”; the whole scene when they are in a circle sharing their feelings; and even the fist in the air by Judd Nelson at the end of the film. Now that last scene is extremely iconic, just like the song “Don’t You Forget About Me”. This song was especially written for the film and was turned down by a quite a few artists, like Billy Idol, to finally be performed by Simple Mind. Of course it became a huge hit for the band and is covered by millions, including Billy Idol. I guess he changed his mind.

So some of you many not be aware of the story, so here is a brief recap.

Five very different students have been sentenced with detention. We have Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “the basket case” who just came for fun; Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), “the athlete”, who received detention for bullying a kid; John Bender (Judd Nelson), “the criminal”, sent there because of his acting up;  Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), “the princess”, caught skipping school to go shopping; and Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), “the brain”, who brought a flare gun to school.

breakfast club

In the beginning everyone abides by their cliques, Claire and Andrew sit together as they are on the highest level of the totem pole, while the rest sit by themselves. At first they keep their distance and Bender riles everyone, but through the course of the day they all bond together sharing their most personal secrets and working out their dysfunctions.

Allison feels ignored and therefore is a compulsive liar and a klepto, seeking out attention. Andrew hates his overbearing father who is always pressuring him. That is one of the reasons why he was bullying another kid, his father said he wasn’t being manly enough. Bender is abused by his father and ignored the rest of the time. Claire feels confined by the role she is in, as everyone sees her a certain way when in reality she has hardly ever dated and is a virgin. Brian feels so pressured by his family to be perfect and get into a good college, that he contemplated suicide over getting a bad grade in woodshop. Through these discussions, everyone feels much better and is much happier. But at the same time they feel sad and scared that once they are back in school Monday they will no longer be friends and things will continue as they have before.

Before the day ends, they hook up the sound system and have a big dance. Claire and Bender pair up and so do Allison and Andrew. Poor Brian gets stuck writing their detention assignment.

In the end Claire gives Bender one of her diamond earrings so they’ll never forget that moment. Allison steals Andrew’s Captain letter and the two kiss, while Brian gets nothing (poor nerdy guy). And the film ends with Bender’s triumphant arm thrust and Simple Mind’s Don’t You Forget About Me playing in the background.

Breakfast Club

Now I love this movie. Like freaking love it.

love it

And watch it over and over.

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I mean how could you not love it and the messages it covers? First of all you see that labels are nothing, just things we create ourselves to make us feel accepted, when in fact there is a little of everything in all of us.

We all have insecurities:
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And that we all are strange. Nobody’s perfect or has it all together.
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Yep, I just love this film.
In fact, I am such a fangirl over it that in one of my college courses, a group of us became such great friends and were all so different, yet the same, that we named our collective “The Breakfast Club”. Yep, my fangirl was showing.
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So of course being a huge fan, when I saw a quiz to see which character I was, I had to take it. And I got:
To see who you are, click here.

To see who you are, click here.

Now this surprised me as I would have thought I’d get the Basket Case, Brain, or Athlete before I ever got the Criminal. But, and you guys will laugh at this, a few weeks ago (and right after I took this quiz) I was watching this film with four other friends. We started teasing my friend Gabe that he was Brian the Brain. He started joking that our friend Stephanie was Allison the Basket Case. Then we all started pairing up people and characters. Laurence did sports so he became Andrew the Athlete. And even though Jack was a boy, we decided he was Claire the Princess, or Prince in his case. And that made me Bender the Criminal. In fact, that night I was wearing a plaid shirt, jeans, and black boots; not the exact ones Bender wears, but pretty darn close. Now whenever I see Jack, I always joke around that he’s my girlfriend, or woman as I feel Bender would say.

So this is one fantastic film that I strongly suggest you view. If you’ve never seen it, get a copy and do so as soon as possible. If you have, another thousand viewings is what I recommend. 🙂

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For more on The Breakfast Club, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For more on Judd Nelson, go to I’m Going Down the Tubes: Making the Grade (1984)

For more about the ’80s, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

For more quizzes, go to Shall We Dance?: What Happens in Vegas (2008)

I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

Romantic Moment #1

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

So one of my all time favorite movies is The Breakfast Club. I just love the story of how you have all these different people crossing social circles and befriending each other. It is something that could not be done today.

***Spoiler Alert***

So the movie begins one Saturday morning:

Breakfast club

It turns out that five very different students have been sentenced with detention. We have Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “the basket case” who just came for fun; Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), “the athlete”, who recieved detention for bullying a kid; John Bender (Judd Nelson), “the criminal”, sent there because of his acting up;  Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), “the princess”, caught skipping school to go shopping; and Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), “the brain”, who brought a flare gun to school. 

breakfast club

In the beginning everyone abides by their cliques, Claire and Andrew sit together as they are on the highest level of the totem pole, while the rest sit amongst themselves. At first they keep their distance and Bender riles everyone, but through the course of the day they all bond together sharing their most personal secrets and working out their dysfunctions.

Allison feels ignored and therefore is a compulsive liar and a klepto, seeking out attention. Andrew hates his overbearing father who is always pressuring him. That is one of the reasons why he was bullying another kid, his father said he wasn’t being manly enough. Bender is abused by his father and ignored the rest of the time. Claire feels confined by the role she is in, as everyone sees her a certain way when in reality she has hardly ever dated and is a virgin. Brian feels so pressured by his family to be perfect and get into a good college, that he contemplated suicide over getting a bad grade in woodshop. Through these discussions, everyone feels much better and is much happier. But at the same time they feel sad and scared that once they are back in school Monday they will no longer be friends and things will continue as they have before.

Before the day ends, they hook up the sound system and have a big dance. Claire and Bender hook up and so do Allison and Andrew. Poor Brian gets stuck writing their detention assignment.

In the end Claire gives Bender one of her diamond earrings so they’ll never forget that moment. Allison steals Andrew’s Captain letter and the two kiss, while Brian gets nothing (poor nerdy guy). And the film ends with Bender’s triumphant arm thrust and Simple Mind’s Don’t You Forget About Me playing in the background.

Breakfast Club

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Most Romantic Moment

Now what I consider  the most romantic moment happens at the end. Emilio Estevez, and let’s face it, if you know me at all you knew that the scene was going to include something about him. I mean look at this gorgeous man!

Emilio! Breakfast Club

So at the end of the film, after their crazy dance party (of which I love watching Emilio dance); Claire notices that Andrew has been looking at Allison and she is feeling kinda bored and decides to give Allison a makeover.

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Claire pushes Allison’s hair back and does her makeup, but nothing too showy, mostly natural and she comes out. When she goes over to Andrew he is shocked at what he sees and says one of the most romantic things ever.

Andrew: [after Claire has given Allison a makeover] What happened to you?

Allison Reynolds: Why? Claire did it… What’s wrong?

Andrew: Nothing’s wrong… it’s just so different, you know? I can see your face.

Allison Reynolds: Is that good or bad?

Andrew: It’s good.

Breakfast Club

So romantic!

So romantic!

I mean I just absolutely love how he says “I can see your face.” He doesn’t say that that “you look hot” or “you look so much better than before”. What he says is that “I can see you even clearer than before.” And it’s not like this some new-flung thing. He was interested in her when they went to get the sodas, trying to get to know her better.  Later when she is sharing things about herself, he pays deep attention and defends her when the other people call her bizarre.

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But the best thing of all is just the fact that when he tells her that she is beautiful, he’s not saying she is beautiful because she changed herself, but that she was always beautiful and know he can see it even better than before.

beautyofawoman

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For more on The Breakfast Club, go to Heaven on Earth

For more on Judd Nelson, go to When Everything is Going Your Way

For more on the ’80s, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

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

A Whole Lot of Fanfare

Benedict-Cumberbatch-people-obsessedFandom

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

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Agatha Christie

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

book Binge

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

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

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

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Awkward

AwkwardTVShow

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

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

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

come on

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

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

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

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

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

Jerk

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

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

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

PassaFist

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

Funny-how-you call when need something cable guy

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

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

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

Perfect Boyfriend

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

swoon dreamy

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

oldfashioned

So season one was great, and ended perfectly.

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

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

Girl Please

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

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

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

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

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He is a horrible human being.

IfTheyreallywantedyou

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

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Deadwood

Deadwood

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

This doesn't feel right.

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Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

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

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

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

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

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Frank Peretti

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

Double double yay

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

Fangirlfinishedreadingwhattodonow

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

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

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

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

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

This books was freakin’ amazing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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LifeasaFangirl

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For Part 3, go to Fantastic Fantasies

Stay tuned for Part 5

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

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