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We Are Your Friends

100 min.

we are your friends posterOké, ik ga er toch over schrijven. Er zijn verschillende domme films. Sommigen zo flauw dat het melig wordt, anderen hebben net genoeg plot en/of mooie mensen dat je de onzin accepteert. Dit was niet zo’n film. Dit was een vlak, leeg vehikel dat op geen enkele manier vermaakte.

Zonnig Californië met een groepje vrienden (twintigers?) dat het mooie, luxe leven wilt, maar er niet de middelen voor heeft. Gelukkig kan er eentje DJen! Moeten we maar geloven dan, want door een combinatie van luiheid en faalangst, wordt er weinig getoond, en de rest is niet indrukwekkend. Hoe ontdekken we dan dat deze jongemannen personen zijn in plaats van bordkarton? Niet. Er is een romance met een vrouw die er liever ook niet lijkt te zijn, wat gepruttel tussen werkgever en werknemers, maar gelukkig toch een happy ending. Geloof ik.

Een promo-clip voor MTV Ibiza is spannender en klinkt ook beter.

We Are Your Friends, StudioCanal 2015

The Unseen World

“Hello,” it said.

It took a while, but this story comes with a punch. It’s about the family you choose and build, the place in society you can create and can be created for you. It’s about a love for education, knowledge and science, sometimes overruling familial love. It’s also about tragedies. Yes, I know this might not sound like the most appealing story.

Adding to that, the characters are all flawed in different kind of ways. The father figure chooses work and science over traditional parenting (and family) life, the neighbour falls regularly short in her attempts to add normalcy, the daughter is a stubborn yet passive creature. It takes a while to root for those that are all so awkwardly flawed.

David – the father – is losing the control over his mind, and Ada – his daughter – is only twelve. With his mind deteriorating, so does the world he built around her, the story he created for himself. Ada has to adjust to puberty, traditional life and saying goodbye to the father she knew, in different ways.

Science may just be the only that is left standing.

 

The Unseen World, Liz Moore, Windmill Books 2016

Nevernight

People often shit themselves when they die.

Ah nice, just some ordinary, entertaining sword and dagger (and dagger, and dagger) fantasy. Is it a stand alone? I don’t think so. Can it be read as one? Definitely.

Preteen girl goes through a traumatic experience, uses it to get into Superb Killer’s School to become one and punish those that put her through it. Along the ride there’s a lot of high school tropes (cliques, hateful teachers, romances) with some fantasy ones (surely there’s never been one as good as her).

It’s fun and satisfying, with some nice (with some gruesome details) world building along the way. Did it blow my mind and will stay with me forever? No. Was there anything annoyingly wrong with it? Not that I can remember.

Nevernight, Jay Kristoff, Harper Collins 2016

Lair of Dreams

Every city is a ghost.

Oh man, sometimes I’m just lucky to have a book. The first book of the series blew me away, this one -the second- easily caught up.

There’s a few new characters, a new creep and new surroundings added. But the fun, speed and adventure is still here, and I breezed through the pages once more. It’s the roaring twenties and thirties, the eye for detail without having it drag down the story.

This time there is a mysterious sleeping sickness, Diviners (and imposters) popping up around the place and terrifying metro stations. But with fun, different kind of female characters, and pizazz. I just hope I can repeat myself for the third book.

The Diviners: Lair of Dreams, Libba Bray, Little, Brown and Company 2015

Do Not Say We Have Nothing

In a single year, my father left us twice.

This was work. I don’t know how I managed to read two similarly build up novels (the other one being Disappearing Moon Cafe), but this one was the tougher of the two. Maybe because the comparison material was so recent. Both left me wondering how I’d like something contemporary written by an Asian actor.

Anyway, time moves every way but chronologically in Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Keep your head with you, because there’s a lot of characters going through a lot of things. The most brutal one, probably Mao’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ and the horrors of Tiananmen Square.

These aren’t light, bright stories. There seems to be no end to what a family can be put through, and the small, mythology-like side steps only make the difference starker. How did anyone come out alive?

It’s a novel to take in in small doses, to learn and see through another set of goggles.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Madeleine Thien, Granta 2016

Readathon: live

14:00 hours life happens when you’re busy making readathon plans: we’re leaving two hours earlier than expected. Read? Newspaper. I’m taking my book with me, but not great at reading in the car. This might turn out to be a eight hour readathon.

16:00 hours

22:00 hours back home, read about forty pages. Book is weird enough and versatile enough to probably easily get me through the next hours. Going to read until I reach the last fifty pages: I need something left for work – traffic transport this week.

24:00 hours I started reading at 14.15: page 45. Now, at 23:45, I’m at page 149. Little over a hundred pages in ten hours is nothing in my book, but as I might have been reading less than two hours in those ten hours ..not that bad. I’m taking the book to bed, in case I wake up somewhere during the night. I wonder if I will dream of art deco movies on Venus because of it.

10:00 hours Page 175, good morning. It’s been ages since I read in bed, instead of just grabbing my tablet to check on ONTD. I guess this readathon – although I’m participating on the amateur kiddie level – helps you move your focus back to reading. And I say this as someone reading up to eight books  a month.
I underestimated my book keeping skills. No, not administration-wise (though I don’t think I do those too badly either), but books kept to read. I realised I still have Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance lying around. It doesn’t call to me at all, but it takes the brake off of my reading of Radiance. Approx. four hours for 260 pages, let’s see how this goes.

12:00 hours Now my stubborn streak strikes. Page 260 and I want to be done with it, finish this book in the next two hours so I don’t have to look at it again. The randomness of it (collected stories, scripts, interviews) make it both easier and harder. I don’t have to follow one plot line, but that means there might not be one satisfying conclusion either. I read on.

14:00 hours And that’s it. Done. In the end there was kind of a conclusion, just maybe not the one I thought of to be a possibility. Reviewing Radiance is going to be a challenge. The readathon, even though I felt like I participated in the smallest way (no challenges, friends, donations added), was fun. A throw back to the time of staying up late, waking up early, walking into the restroom with your book – all because reading had to be done. So yes, I’ll probably be around for the October edition.

Readathon

Whoever thought that this was a good idea. Tomorrow is Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, and in a moment of I-don’t-know I signed up for it.

Anyway, I am allowed to start at 14.00 hours local time, and after that it’s just ..reading, I guess.
I have 400 pages left of Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance. I read her children’s book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and am very curious about her ‘adult’ writing.

In the evening I’ll go indoor skydiving for my mother’s birthday, but if I need more to read/have more time to read, I have the ebook Every Heart A Doorway. This was a free download earlier this week at Tor.com, and I couldn’t resist. It’s also just a novella, and what’s another 100+ pages?

Am I going to be reading through the night? Very probably not, but it still means that I’m going to need something to read until two o’clock Sunday afternoon. I have the latest volume of Saga left, and I always re-read the previous volume, so that’s a chunk. If life still hasn’t eaten away my reading time, I have a manuscript left: 80.000 words. Surely that will get me to two.

Let’s do this, I’ll keep you updated!

 

 

P.S. it being the weekend, I also have a fat weekend newspaper with two appendixes and a magasine. Sounds like a back up to me!