Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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*No Spoilers*

Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?

I know I’ve stated in the past that I don’t read what’s popular and trending. However, I think the hype about the Netflix Original Birdbox has died down enough to where I feel comfortable finally getting around to seeing what all the hype is about.

I found the premise to be intriguing, most of us heavily rely on our sense of sight to function day to day. When you have a threat to take that ability away, you suddenly are forced to learn how to hone your other senses that aren’t as heavily relied on.

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This novel caused my fiancé and me to have a discussion of the premise. Something that normally doesn’t happen much when I’m talking to him about the books I read. I’m really thrilled that this actually gave us something to sink our teeth into.

I liked most of the main group of survivors. I felt like each one was a real person who made their decisions whether it was for the better or the worst of the group’s survival. Just like other apocalyptic novels, you have several people who each have their own motivations and goals.

I wouldn’t say that I found the ending to be predictable per se. Without spoiling the ending, I’ll say that it was a pleasant surprise that I hadn’t guessed the ending completely. The ending was nice and sweet, I felt like the journey for the trio was wrapped up nicely.

Overall, this novel was well worth the wait, I enjoyed the theme and tension of the unknown. This book is just the right length to get a grasp on what’s at stake without having much fluff. I’m glad to finally have read this novel.

I would highly recommend this novel for those who loved the Netflix adaptation of Birdbox. If you love a good mystery, and some horror definitely please check this novel out.

Posted in Movie/TV Reviews

My Latest Netflix Binge: Rilakkuma and Kaoru

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If you are looking for a relaxed, adorable anime look no further! Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a Japanese animation about two adorable stuffed bears and a little baby bird.

The official summary goes like this:

Her life might be a little mundane, but Kaoru gets to go home to Rilakkuma, her endearingly lazy roommate who happens to be a fuzzy toy bear. -Netfix

I know it’s not much to go on, but trust me you will be getting all the cute feelings from how the characters interact with each other. I’m not familiar with the famous Japanese pop icon Rilakkuma, so I called him “Big Brown Bear” and the other bear “Vanilla Bear”.

From Wikipedia:

Rilakkuma’s name is a combination of リラックス rirakkusu, a Japanese transliteration of the English word “relax”, and クマ(熊)kuma, the Japanese word for “bear”. He is a soft, toy-like bear whose interests are mostly limited to sleeping and eating, although these traits are portrayed positively, with fans and consumers encouraged to, at least sometimes, emulate Rilakkuma as sort of cure or treatment for stress.

Now enough backstory and explaining. Let’s get into what I liked, and what I didn’t like about Rilakkuma and Kaoru!

I loved all of the characters, the bears, Kaoru, and even the neighbor kid who brings a child-like perspective to the bears’ lives. There’s funny moments, heartwarming ones, and there’s at least one episode everyone can relate with.

My favorite episode is the Rainy Season. It’s Typhoon season in Tokyo, and even though Kaoru has a difficult trip to her little office job, it’s not as crazy as what’s going on in the bears’ apartment! Hilarity ensues and it’s a good reminder on not to do too much lazing about.

Another thing I loved about the show is how each episode ends with an inspirational quote. They’re always positive, and I found it was a nice way to end an episode. It was kind of like a “what did we learn today?” kind of ending.

There really wasn’t anything major I had an issue with, mostly just nitpicks and minor things that don’t affect my overall feeling for the show.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this anime, it held my attention, and it gave me a good laugh and heartwarming feelings. I hope Netflix will invest in a second season! I will be looking forward to a new adventure with these loveable characters.