2017 TV Scorecard

It’s that time of year when we know which shows survived to see another season. For the most part I don’t feel “WTF are you thinking?” as much as I usually do. Below is a list of shows that survived, were put out of their misery and those cut tragically short.

Agents of Shield (RENEWED)

American Crime (CANCELLED) – No! This was such an important anthology series. Powerful. Season 3 may have been weaker than previous seasons, but it deserved another go.

American Housewife (RENEWED) – Happy to hear it!

American Idol (COMING BACK!) – ABC is officially reviving the series… I was never a fan, but I know I’m the minority there.

Black-Ish (RENEWED) – Yes!

Dancing With The Stars (RENEWED)

Designated Survivor (RENEWED) – Yes!

Dr. Ken (CANCELLED) – I’m not surprised. A third season would have been interesting because Ken lands a part on a sitcom. The show would have been different, retooled, new supporting cast… I don’t disagree though.

Fresh Off The Boat (RENEWED) – So happy! I was worried for a minute…

Grey’s Anatomy (RENEWED) – Naturally.

How To Get Away With Murder (RENEWED) – Duh! 🙂

Imaginary Mary (CANCELLED) – Sad, but not surprised. I liked it enough, but not sure I even disagree with the decision.

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Confessions of a Bookaholic Presents: The Stunning Conclusion To The 5th Wave Trilogy – The Last Star

I loved Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave and enjoyed its follow-up The Infinite Sea just as much. How did the final book of this series measure up? Better than I ever thought it would!

“The Last Star”
by Rick Yancey (May 24, 2016)

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.

Rick Yancey created a science fiction masterpiece when he wrote The 5th Wave. It was so much more than an invasion story and in my original review and in my review of its sequel, The Infinite Sea, this was one of my main points of praise. Yancey is not concerned with aliens or their invasion as much as he is his human characters. The 5th Wave trilogy has never really been a story of invasion, but a story of humanity. It asks big questions like what it means to be human, if survival is worth the sacrifice of one’s humanity and it digs deep into the story and its characters to try to answer these questions…

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Best Rebound Ever: The Newest Starbucks Frappuccino – Midnight Mint Mocha

Two weeks ago I wrote about the atrocity that was the Unicorn Frappuccino. Yes it looked pretty and changed colors, which is cool, but what it did to your stomach and the assault to a person’s taste buds was downright criminal. So when I saw that Starbucks had already come out with another new Frappuccino I thought, “Not this again!” Thankfully, Starbucks didn’t make the same mistake, and redeemed themselves with the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino.

Now I’ll admit that I love almost anything mocha or chocolate flavored. I also like mint… usually, but I don’t like them together. I’m not sure why but I think I must have had some traumatic childhood experience that involved mint and chocolate because I never appreciate this combo. And this is coming from someone who appreciates really weird combinations in chocolate, from bacon to hot chilies to every fruit imaginable to rose petals etc. but not mint. The only exception is Thin Mint cookies. The only exception.

The Midnight Mint Mocha doesn’t look very pretty, but it sure is good. Plain brown, it might not dominate Instagram, but unlike the Unicorn Frappuccino, it is a drink that people will order again and again. It’s dark chocolate, mint, whip cream – simple. I ordered a small because I really wasn’t expecting to like it. I’ve already had two more since, and I know why. One thing I haven’t seen in other reviews of this drink is an accurate description of how it tastes. Are you ready? It’s drinking a chilled Thin Mint through a straw. Seriously. I almost wonder if Starbucks cracked the magical Girl Scout cookie’s formula because it doesn’t taste like a Thin Mint, it tastes exactly like a Thin mint, cold with coffee, through a straw. And it’s every bit of amazing as that sounds!

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Confessions Of A Bookaholic – Guilty Pleasures Edition #142 – Sweet Valley High #92 – She’s Not What She Seems

This book features Shakespeare and has two practical lessons in the end. I think it’s the first Sweet Valley High book with a single practical lesson, let alone two. Worth a read!

“She’s Not What She Seems”

Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins

Jessica Wakefield has landed the starring role in Sweet Valley High’s production of Macbeth, and suddenly she is too busy for anyone except Paula Perrine, a timid new transfer student who seems to idolize Jessica. At first, Paula spends all of her time fawning over Jessica and helping her prepare for the role of Lady Macbeth. But before long, Paula seems to be better friends with Jessica’s crowd than Jessica is! Jessica is pleased that her new friend is coming out of her shell, but when Paula doesn’t tell Jessica that she’s been made her understudy, Jessica begins to wonder if Paula is trying to steal, not only her friends, but her role as Lady Macbeth as well! No one else, not even Jessica’s own twin sister, Elizabeth, believes that shy, sweet Paula could do such a thing. Can Jessica convince her friends of the truth before it’s too late?

David Goodman, some famous bigshot director is coming to Sweet Valley to direct Sweet Valley High’s high school production of Macbeth. Wow, we don’t even get to the second page before I get to yell, “Bullshit!” Why would some bigwig direct a high school play anywhere? And if he did, wouldn’t it be at some snooty private school in New York (or even LA)? Whatever.

Jessica is obsessed with getting the part of Lady Macbeth and like she does with all things, she goes overboard. She totally ignores her friends and blows off everyone in her life, including Liz and her boyfriend, Sam. In the first few chapters, this mousy shy sophomore keeps showing up everywhere she does. Jessica starts to get unnerved by the girl (her friend Annie Whitman tells her the girl’s name is Paula Perrine) and finally confronts her. Turns out Paula is just a rabid fan, but rabid is the operative word here. Like if she really has innocent intentions and this isn’t some sort of wild scheme/plot, then she is working from the Fatal Attractions playbook.

Jessica invites Paula to hang with her crowd while Paula is generous with the praise she gives Jessica. It makes you think she can’t be serious, or she’s deranged or just pathetic, but I can’t tell which of these it is yet. One night, while she is helping Jessica with her lines (Jess made it through the first two rounds of auditions, just one more round to go) Sam calls and Jess leaves her in the living room. Elizabeth is all like, “How rude!” and goes to hang out with Paula, but I don’t see what the big deal is, since Jessica was like, “Paula do you mind? I’ll be right back.” Whatever, I’m overthinking this. I just can’t stand the moral superiority.

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Wildlife Fact Files: The BEST Wildlife Subscription Service EVER

I am a bit of a nerd. What I mean is I am a total proud card-carrying nerd. I cover a lot of geeky territory and I find no shame in that. I never did growing up; I wanted to spend summers in the library instead of at the pool. I was that kid.

I loved learning then, and I still do. (Like I challenge myself to learn at least one new thing every day, from bizarre facts to entire histories – it just gives me a kind of high.) I’m also a major animal lover. So it makes sense that a lot of my nerd’s focus back in the day was focused on animals, wildlife and dinosaurs/other extinct species.

In December 1991, my parents got me a subscription for Christmas. I received five packets of twelve cards (but they were a few pages so more like spread/wide pamphlets) each, as a starter set and one binder. Reading about animals I loved, enjoying the pictures and “Did You Know?” Fact box, which felt like the “You’re never going to believe this” highlights of that animal, I read and reread all sixty cards. From that day forward, I was hooked.

Wildlife Fact Files (Subscription/Complete Set)

Rating:

Availability: Subscription no longer available, complete sets available – can be hard to find.

 

Wildlife Fact File divided its cards into eleven categories:

  1. Mammals
  2. Birds
  3. Reptiles and Amphibians
  4. Fish
  5. Insects and Spiders
  6. Primitive Animals
  7. Extinct Animals
  8. Animal Behavior
  9. North American Habitats
  10. World Habitats
  11. Conservation

Wildlife Fact File sent a packet of twelve cards each month. I was so excited every time I received a new packet. I’d rip it open, look at all the different cards before starting to read them. A typical packet had three to four mammal cards, two bird cards, and then a mix of the other groups. The other groups would never have more than one card per packet/month and some groups wouldn’t have any. They came in random order, like you would get Mammal cards, 1, 2, 26, 68 in a packet, etc. I now realize that the company had preselected which cards went into each packet, so if a customer missed a month they would be able to easily obtain the cards they missed though it appeared to be in random order. (I suspect, that it was used to keep people from cancelling their subscriptions.)

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