Three of a Kind: Cutesy

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. Here’s something a little more mushy for a light sunday (said the lover of funny science fiction).

READ: Simon VS The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

oreos + adorable protagonist + emails
Highlights: “White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

Simon is the most adorable character ever. I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. The book had so much of positive energy and explored Simon coming out and dealing with the different facets of being a teenager in the best way possible.

WATCH: Inside Out

emotions as characters + sweet innocent Joy + life of a 11 year old
Highlights: Train of Thought

Adorable personified, literally. This show captures the workings of the brain in the simplest way possible- through animated characters that represent emotions. It’s so basic in thought yet exploding with creativity in implementation.

Watch: The Secret life of Walter Mitty

adorable shy guy + imaginative life + goes on an adventure
Highlights: Skating in Iceland

There’s a lot of whimsy in this movie and it will make you melt. Walter Mitty is a shy love struck guy who goes on an adventure and finds love. Its innocence and the beauty in the places he visits makes me forget how unrealistic the story is

While cutesy is so not my style, I think these cute stories are worth it. What would you add to this list?

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Three of a Kind: Extraordinary Women

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. If you know me, you’ll know that I am in awe of the movie Hidden Figures. This post is to celebrate women just like those.

READ: Warbreaker by BRandon Sanderson

two sisters + color-based fantasy + a sword as a character
Highlights: the character, Lightsong and his sass

While there were main characters besides the sisters, these sisters were the main catalysts to the plot and the real heroes at the end of the book. This epic fantasy knocks every other out of the park. I mean, did I already mention that a sword is a character?

WATCH: Hidden Figures

true story of women at NASA + first woman engineer+ woman who put man in space
Highlights: Fierce trailblazing women

Not only does it show how NASA got its first man into space, but it shows the women behind it, and the adversity they faced to be where they were. I love how the movie talks about the race issue in America and the fact that it’s a true story just adds to its appeal.

Watch: Jessica Jones

heroine with superpower strength + persevered despite PTSD + fierce AF
Highlights: Her fighting skills!

Well produced tv show with the bold Jessica Jones, I haven’t seen a show that portrays internalized thoughts so well. It also addresses abuse and PTSD so bonus points for not trying to glaze over the tough stuff.

Bonus: Scars to your beautiful

I bet there’s a lot more fiction that portray powerful women but my library of read books in this category is tiny. So, what would you recommend?

Three of a Kind: Creepy Reality

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. This week, we look at odd and creepy fiction that’s so close to reality. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a low-key upside down story?

READ: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Library of the dead + strong main character + themes of depression
Highlights: You can smell the haunted vibes in the story.

There’s a thin line between the living and the dead and Schwab has perfectly imagined it. I have never come across a world so vivid with its elements of fantasy that mix well with reality. (I want to say more but oh god, it’s too good to be spoiled)

WATCH: Stranger Things

set in the 80s + scientific mishap + character with absurd powers
Highlights: Upside Down (that’s all I can say)

There’s isn’t much you can say about Stranger Things without spoiling it. There is a lot of scientific exploration that is seen in the show. The themes of familial affection as well as platonic loyalty is my favorite. More shows need to take note!

LISTEN: Welcome to Night Vale

Paranormal shit happens + People take it as normal + weirdest government body
Highlights: There is an eternal animal pier to toss animals that fall out of the sky.

Scores of people have tried to describe this podcast and have failed. In a radio format, this podcast gives a glimpse into the strange town of Night Vale, where newspaper stands sell milk and newly installed dog parks are not allowed for people or dogs.

What odd and creepy books, movies or shows would you recommend?

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Step aside, Harry Potter universe. The next best world building is in town.

If I had to describe the magical aspect of this book with one word, it would be minimalism. I grasped the elements very easily but that doesn’t make it any less incredible. I love how compact the world building is yet, so rich. I always fear that a fantasy novel would take long, descriptive passages that sound like a textbook to explain its history but books like ADSOM really ease that doubt. The book talked about the worlds’ pasts like they were anecdotes. Lightly but not diminishing its seriousness.

World building that is this vivid is remarkable and if I hadn’t read Schwab’s works before, I would be genuinely surprised. Her books have a distinguishable style- that is, to create a world closely knit to reality but with a load of fantasy elements that Schwab sculpted out of thin air.

Let’s inspect these fine characters, shall we? Kell, with a stiff exterior and a complex web of interior. Lila, with her heart made of steel and her knives full of love. Rhys, the ever charming prince who is so much more than that. The character in this series have so much stuff that makes them who they are; layers that define them and help develop them as they proceed.

This series is going to be around for a long time- with the collector’s edition coming up and the TV series that’ll release sometime in the future. And if we run out of that, there are the infinite fan fictions to try (if one is brave enough).

Three of a Kind: Strange Worlds

Three of a Kind is a series that lists books, shows, movies, podcasts and even music that pair well together. Each post highlights a particular theme and lists fictional worlds (and music) that revolve around the theme. Starting the series with Strange Worlds because science fiction is my jam!

READ: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam

Space + odd characters + a guide to space travel
Highlights: Towels are important in this world.

It starts with the world ending. Douglas Adam makes such vivid worlds and doesn’t miss a chance to poke fun at the oddities of Earth through good ol’ alien interactions. The rulebook ties it together. The imaginative world(s) in this book know no boundaries.

WATCH: Rick and Morty

Time and space travel + alternate realities + scientist grandfather
Highlights: An infinite number of alternate realities exist.

Rick and Morty is an animated show about a scientist and his grandson. What I love about the show is the sociopathic tendencies of the scientist and how it explores parallel universe, time travel and more. This is only a glimpse of the mind-blowing concepts the show reaches into.

LISTEN: SONGS BY DAVID BOWIE

Space Oddity + Ziggy Stardust + Moonage Daydream
Highlights: Goes perfectly with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I recommend everything by David Bowie. Upbeat, his music is full of life and sets the scene for you while reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Any strange worlds you think would fit the bill? Tell me about it!

Launching this series after a month of fidgeting and planning. It was so much fun writing this and the upcoming ones in the series. I would love your suggestions and topics for future Three of a Kind posts. What would you like to see?

Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

There’s so much positive buzz for this book and it’s all true.

simon-synopsis

This book preaches coming to terms with who and how you are more than anything else.

People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.

What makes Simon so special?

  1. This book is a keeper. Albertalli personifies teenage life with all it’s angsty and self-pity moments into words, relatable words that work for anyone.
  2. This high school took all those stereotypes between nerds and soccer players and mixed them up. This diverse set of characters surround our protagonist and the interaction between them is blunt and real.
  3. Have you wanted a novel about that side character in the story who is twenty times more impactful than the main character? This is the book you’re looking for.
  4. Speaking of characters, the family dynamic is my favourite. We’ve got parents who are involved in the teenager’s life AND they have a great relationship. Which hasn’t been explored in YA properly.
  5. This book shuns the default. Yes, those questions we’ve been asking ourselves everyday have been voiced out loud.

It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mold. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better.

Digital Age and Anonymity

As I’ve said, this book is very close to reality and one aspect that reinforces it is the internet and its role in Simon’s life. Moreover, it imbibed the current digital age accurately without making it the main focus.
The book explores the way people behave online versus offline. We see how bullying is a fusion of things said online and acted on offline.

Verdict

I keep saying this but Simon is as close to reality and honest as it gets. Albertalli has articulated this story as if she is a teenager herself.
For its open portrayal of the most dynamic characters and its simple yet effective writing, Simon and Co. have earned a place in my very critical heart.

Have you read this book yet? Tell me how it was for you!