Netflix: The Haunting of Hill House

hill house

One of the reasons I wanted to watch this series is because I am a big fan of horror movies and it’s the perfect time of year to get you in the Halloween spirit. Boy was I surprised at how well this show was written and directed. When it comes to scary movies, you don’t expect much in terms of story line and characters. All you know is that there is a monster killing people for no apparent reason and we all get a thrill at the ominous tones that inform us of an impending scary scene. As a child I really enjoyed Freddy Krueger and Jason because I found it more funny than scary, especially when someone was being chased by a walking villain only to fall and roll around in fear instead of getting the heck out of there.

I never got a chance to read The Haunting of Hill House, which was written by the great Shirley Jackson, but I did see a 90’s movie version of the book, which I thought was pretty good.

The show begins with a family of seven living in a 100 year old house which we learn later that they bought it as a fixer upper and was only supposed to stay over the summer, long enough to fix it up and sell it. Unfortunately, strange things started to happen inside the house to the point that everyone started to see things that weren’t there and experienced very vivid nightmares about ghosts who may be living in the house.

The first episode starts where Nelly, one of the set of twins is screaming because she keeps having nightmares about the same scary lady. She shares a room with her twin brother Luke, who also shares his own fears about seeing things. If you enjoy a lot of “then” and “now”, then you’ll really like the layout of the story. The episodes are divided from each person’s point of view and what they experienced in the house. Now that the five kids have grown up, we learn how the house affected them when they were kids through the flashbacks and what horrible demons they carry with them in present time from day to day. As I watched each episode, I got more and more mad at the parents because there were some scenes that were so terrible I thought why not just grab your kids and get them out of the house. But that would have made too much sense.

In present time, Steven Crain, who is the oldest son is famous for writing a book about his experiences in the house. But his siblings aren’t too pleased with what he wrote because he capitalized on their grief and experiences all the while in disbelief about the  things they actually saw. From what we see, the family is torn apart by a tragic event that left with them with more questions and sadness.

The parents, Hugh and Olivia Crain seem like the best parents in the world but we learn that being inside the house has taken a toll on them both, especially Olivia. Their neighbors, the Dudleys have warned them about paranormal events that have happened inside the house over the years and that they refuse to come over after dark, basically implying that the house is somehow alive and is what’s causing everyone to see things that aren’t there and causing them to behave a certain way.

For someone who doesn’t scare easily, I found myself covering my eyes and jumping a lot. There was one car scene where I actually screamed. So if you watch this show, just brace yourself. You really can’t prepare for it. There was a few tragic parts of the story I wish would’ve turned out differently but it all came together in the end and it answered any questions I may have had from earlier episodes. You can’t help but feel sorry for the entire family and what they went through but overall I give it 5 stars because it was very good from beginning to end. If there is a season 2 I’m in!!

 

Don’t forget to grab a copy of my two novels, Like a Dream and Monstrous Ties before the 3rd book in the series comes out!! Tap here for both books.

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Thursday thoughts

Favorite Netflix Shows

Netflix is one of the best things invented. There is nothing better than turning on the television and binge-watching your favorite show instead of having to wait week after week to find out what’s going to happen. I love that we can watch it whenever we’re ready and at our own pace. Check out my list of favorite Netflix shows. With so many news shows coming out, don’t be surprised if my list changes in the future 😉

 

  1. THE KILLING

Kill show

This show had me hooked by the first episode. Right away we’re catapulted into the terrible moment when a family reports their daughter missing. Two detectives with shady pasts are assigned to the case but they still hustle to find answers while the victim’s family deals with their horrifying reality.

 

  1. MAKING A MURDERER

Murder show

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this show but by the time I finished it I was blown away. It’s centered around the case of a man who spent years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. The messed up part is that it looks like the police framed him for it. When the man finally gets a pardon and is released, he is yet again accused of another crime and is arrested. This show is very addicting and sad because it’s someone’s real life. I can’t wait for season 2.

 

  1. STRANGER THINGS

Strange show

I really liked this show and the eighties vibe brings back so many memories. The kids make this show so amazing and funny even though they are surrounded by dark and horrific events. The premise is about how three boys and a gifted girl band together to find their missing friend, who is trapped in another universe. Thank goodness I can binge watch this show because I don’t think I could handle waiting.

 

  1. DAREDEVIL

Dare show

Who can resist a comic hero with awesome kick-butt skills? Did I mention he’s blind and can put a man down faster than a person who can see? I’m so glad they made a show out of it because I am hooked. As a kid I wasn’t one to gravitate to comic books but I can honestly say that this show can hold it’s own.

 

  1. 13 REASONS WHY

13 show

I have mixed feeling about this show but I’m so glad I saw it. I felt compelled to see how it was going to end. The narrator is the girl who committed suicide. She informs the audience that there are thirteen reasons why she did what she did. She left a tape for each person she blamed. I really empathized with the victim as well as each of her friends. When watching something like this, you always wish the person could’ve gotten help before it was too late.

 

  1. LUKE CAGE

Luke show

This comic hero is a dream come true to a dangerous city like Harlem. While incarcerated, Luke Cage agrees to an experiment but it goes terribly wrong, leaving him super strong and bullet proof. Lucky for Harlem, he has a good heart and uses his powers for good, even though there are some evil people trying desperately to get in his way. It’s full of action, a little romance, and comedy which are a great combination.

 

  1. ARROW

Arrow show

If you haven’t guessed by now I’m really into comic heroes. This is my favorite show and I can’t get enough. Every time I watch it there is something even more suspenseful and explosive than before. Plus I must admit it’s really nice to see Arrow doing his work out routines. Oliver Queen and his team go through great lengths to save their city while still trying to be as normal as possible.

 

Don’t forget to check out the books in my Like a Dream Series! Tap here for a great deal on both books. Waking Amelia, the 3rd installment will be out soon and I can’t wait for you guys to read it.

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Comfort food

AMAZING CASSEROLES

It’s that time of year for comfort food. Casseroles are at the top of my list for go-to meals that don’t take long to prepare and will feed the entire family. I’ve created a list of some of the best casseroles to sink your teeth into.

 

8. TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE

tuna

The three main ingredients for this delicious concoction is tuna, egg noodles, and cream of mushroom soup. It is one of the easiest casseroles you can make and it tastes even better the next day.

 

  1. CORN CASSEROLE

corn

I tasted corn casserole for the first time a few years ago and I was hooked ever since. It is great as a side dish or as a main entrée. Some of the ingredients include sour cream, corn muffin mix, and corn. This is one of those recipes that are hard to mess up. It doesn’t take much to put together and is well worth it.

 

  1. BROCCOLI RICE CASSEROLE

Brocc

This recipe is so delicious and even though it’s a casserole, I convince myself that it’s healthy because it has broccoli and I substitute the white rice for brown rice. Either way it’s really good and savory.

 

  1. TATER TOT CASSEROLE

tater

I love the crisp of the tater tots and creaminess of the ground beef mixed with cream of mushroom soup. You layer the meat, soup, and cheese, and it all comes together in a tasty delight.

 

  1. BUFFALO CHICKEN CASSEROLE

buff

When I first saw this recipe I assumed it would be really high in calories but it’s a tasty dish with low carbs. After roasting cauliflower in the oven, you add the rotisserie chicken mixed with a few other ingredients and out comes a delicious meal with a little kick from the buffalo sauce. You can also serve it with crackers as a dip.

 

  1. CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

Tetra

I’ve had Chicken Tetrazzini many ways but my favorite is with the white sauce. It is such a fulfilling dish with rich spaghetti noodles and sour cream. I have to stop myself from eating it because it’s so addicting.

 

  1. STUFFED PEPPER CASSEROLE

pepper

I am a big fan of stuffed peppers but this casserole is equally as good. You use the same ingredients except you simply chop the peppers and add everything in a pot and it all gloriously cooks together. Top it with some cheese and get lost in the delicious flavors.

 

  1. CHEESY CHICKEN ALFREDO CASSEROLE

alfredo

This is hands down my favorite casserole. Anything with Alfredo sauce is a win for me. You can use any noodles you like, but I like to use the penne pasta because the sauce and cheese gets stuck inside and it makes it so much better. Plus penne pastas won’t get mushy, making them taste even better as leftovers.

 

Check out the 1st two books in my YA series called Like a Dream. Tap here for Like a Dream and here for Monstrous Ties. The 3rd book in the series will be out soon!!

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Thursday Thoughts

Poem: You

 

 

 

love-560783_640

I wanted more,

embraced everything,

but all I needed was you…

 

To read more by Shina James check out her YA Like a Dream series here

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Happy Monday!!

Hey guys! Hope your Monday is going as good as Mondays can go. I’m feeling pretty nostalgic lately and this list of classic, funny movies always puts a smile on my face.

8 Funny YA movies

Who doesn’t love a good comedy? Movies have a way of making us forget reality for a few hours so that we can enjoy the works of a creative mind. With so many movies to choose from, I’ve ranked a list of my top favorite funny YA movies.

 

  1. EASY A

Easy

This was a well-deserved movie for my list. Emma Stone plays Olive, a high school student who inadvertently gets named the school tramp by lying about losing her virginity. Suddenly all the guys beg her to say she slept with them and she agrees but there’s always a cost. She gets bullied by her peers and goes through a lot but the comedy was so funny it was hard to stay focused on anything else.

 

  1. DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD

don't

I must’ve watched this at least twenty times. I could never get enough of how funny it was and I found myself laughing at different parts each time I watched it. When their babysitter dies, Sue Ellen, the oldest of five kids decides to keep this information from her mother, whose abroad, and gets a summer job to help take care of her siblings. She finds herself in over her head as things go wrong in a funny way.

 

  1. 17 AGAIN

17

I think the title speaks for itself. 17 year old Mike makes a life changing decision to marry his pregnant girlfriend instead of going to college and pursuing his career as a professional basketball player. Fast forward twenty years and he’s divorced and gets fired from his job. When he goes to visit his high school for old time’s sake, he has an encounter with a mysterious janitor who makes him 17 again. Things get funnier from there when he re-experiences high school a second time.

 

  1. FERRRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF

Ferr

Who knew that playing hooky from school would be so fun to watch? Ferris pulled off the ultimate task of skipping school for a day. He fooled his parents and the entire student body. Of course the Dean of Students, Mr. Rooney, wasn’t buying it but it didn’t matter because Ferris spent an awesome day with his friends and got away with it. This classic movie never gets old.

 

  1. SUPERBAD

Super

These not so popular teens, Seth, Evan, and aptly named McLovin, think about nothing but girls and sex. But what makes it so funny is that they want to impress a couple of girls by going to a house party and bringing the alcohol. They hilariously go through great lengths to get the booze in hopes of getting lucky with the girls and staying out of trouble.

 

  1. JUNO

JUNO

When 16 year old Juno discovers she is pregnant by her boyfriend, she decides to get an abortion but quickly changes her mind. She endures the judgement of her peers all the while comically dealing with the craziness in her life. Ultimately she carries the baby full term and gives it up for adoption to the perfect lady. I love that she and her crush find peace with her decision and fall in love.

 

  1. MEAN GIRLS

mean

Cady Heron and her zoologist parents move back to the U.S. from Africa. For the first time in her life Cady attends high school and meets two friends who show her the ropes and inform her on all of the cliques in the school. Of course they tell her that the mean girls of the school, “the plastics” are a force and that Cady should get close to them so that they can destroy the bullying click. Cady infiltrates the click but has a little too much fun being a part of them.

 

  1. CLUELESS

CLue

This classic movie has been out for years but I can literally watch it over and over and still laugh just as hard. Being in high school is hard enough but through the main character Cher’s eyes it is hilariously funny. The way she handles dealing with friends, boys, and life in general makes this my number one pick for funniest YA movies.

 

Catch up on Like a Dream and Monstrous Ties before book 3 comes out this Fall!! Tap here for book 1 and here for book 2.

 

 

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Book review

I was really into the story from the start. It was a really good read and I like the flow of the novel. It starts off with Chief Inspector Gamache investigating a murder when a body was found in a bistro in the small town of Three Pines. It gets really interesting from there when the inspector and his team needle through the evidence to find the killer. I love a good mystery and this book was full of twist and turns that will keep you guessing all the way through. The only thing that I didn’t care for was the ending. I just didn’t like the outcome. There is obviously still more of the story that needs to be told but I just wished for a better ending. I will definitely grab the next book in the series to see what happens next. Overall, it was an entertaining read.

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To read more by Shina James, catch up on the LIKE A DREAM series before book 3 comes out this summer! Tap here for Like a Dream and here for Monstrous Ties!!

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Book review

I recently finished reading the first book in the Fallen series and I thought it was pretty good. I really liked the pacing of the book, it did start off a little slow at first but the more I read the more I wanted to see what would happen next. I thought the characters were well thought out and added a lot of diversity to the story. I found Luce, the main character, to be intriguing and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for what she had to go through as she trudged through life wondering why a certain event happened, which ultimately led her to Sword and Cross. The school is for troubled kids who all have a tainted past. It is there that she meets Daniel for the first time, a hot jerk whom she can’t get out of her mind. As the story continues to unfold I began to understand Luce and Daniels’s relationship and being that this is a series I’m sure I’ll learn more about their tumultuous love story.

 

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