Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (2/3/20)–The Girl Who Could See

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Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

I haven’t been giving much love to the middle reaches of my TBR, so I figured that it would be good to delve a bit deeper into that area. Luckily I managed to find this gem hidden there…

 

GOODREADS MONDAY (2/3/20)–THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE by Kara Swanson

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Blurb from Goodreads: 

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

 

So why do I want to read this?

Ooh…I’m definitely getting some Legion vibes from this one. Always a good sign…but definitely not for the protagonist.

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(Great show, if you haven’t watched it. All three seasons are on FX.) By that, I mostly just mean the concept of a character who believes that they’re crazy, but actually and/or also have special powers. That, and a few “imaginary friends” peppered in. Judging from this synopsis (and the GORGEOUS cover), I’m on board. 😈

Today’s song:

That just about wraps up this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Music

Thoughts on Covers

The Bookish Mutant? Writing a post about something other than books? It’s more likely than you think.

 

I’ve been a music nerd for much of my life, and though most of this blog is dedicated to more bookish content, I do like to ramble about songs. In particular, there’s one topic that I’ve been wanting to talk about, and that is the topic of covers.

So, I’ve tried to outline some examples of covers that I find particularly significant, whether that be in a positive or negative way.

 

First, let’s address the nearly universal (and mostly good to follow) rule of covers: Don’t cover the Beatles.

I’d say…I agree about halfway with that. I’ve heard more butchered covers of Beatles classics than I can count on my fingers, but at times, artists have been able to cover the iconic band so well, to the point where they nearly–but never completely–surpass the original.

Case in point, Throwing Muses’ cover of “Cry Baby Cry”.

 

They’ve managed to create a cover that converts the original into an almost gothic, and at times atmospheric composition. Kristin Hersh’s ethereal voice only adds to the dreamlike effect, making for an unforgettable rendition of the song.

But at the same time, I feel as though it loses the warm, almost nostalgic air that the original carries. With the Beatles, it feels like someone fondly telling a story; with Throwing Muses, it almost has the feeling of someone reflecting on a childhood that they thought was full of joy, but had darkness hiding within it all along.

 

 

Sometimes, though, a cover can completely nail the original feeling of the song, while still making it their own. Take Nirvana’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World”.

 

As with “Cry Baby Cry”, both versions of “The Man Who Sold the World” sound like the words of a raconteur, recounting a particularly odd acquaintance of theirs from ages ago. Even with something as simple as a key change, Cobain transformed the classic song into something darker, more desperate. (As he did with…well, most all of his songs, but that’s beside the point.)

Nirvana’s version does seem to lack the inherently alien quality that’s always hidden below the surface of any David Bowie song. To be fair, however, I don’t think anybody could ever come close; that’s just David Bowie. Nobody can be David Bowie but David Bowie.

 

 

Another source of interesting covers can always be found in the soundtracks of film and television. More often than not, it produces bland attempts at making songs into something “edgy” or “gritty”. But on rare occasions, gems are born from already polished crystals.

Personally, the best example of this is…well, all three seasons of FX’s Legion.

I mean, you have to have some serious talent to make “Rainbow Connection” sound creepy, turn “Behind Blue Eyes” into the pulsating score for what’s easily the best action scene ever to air on television, and “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?” into a heartstring-pulling, tender moment between the whole show’s cast. And Noah Hawley, without a doubt, has that talent by the boatload.

(Spoilers for seasons 2 & 3 of Legion in the last two, especially the last one.)

And that’s not even all of it. Man, I can’t wait another second for the Season 3 soundtrack to come out…

 

And then, there’s those rare, once in a lifetime covers that transcend the original.

Alright, let’s back up. This is completely subjective, mind you, but I think there is some degree of truth to it. Maybe.

Think for yourselves, but we need to talk about girlpool’s unforgettable cover of Radiator Hospital’s “Cut Your Bangs”.

 

With something as simple as removing the drums and slowing down the tempo, girlpool has morphed the original into something far more tender, deeper, and overflowing with emotion. There’s no doubt that Radiator Hospital’s songwriting is stellar, but girpool made it shine even more, telling a raw, bitter, and tear-jerking story.

As I said, I’m definitely biased around the original. It’s probably just Sam Cook-Parrott’s voice that mainly gets on my nerves, but in it’s faster form, it feels more like pulling off a bandaid than telling a story.

 

And then there’s covers with lovely intent, but that fail to capture the original meaning.

Remember what I said earlier about nobody being David Bowie but David Bowie?

 

[heavy sigh] Well…

Alright, let me be clear. There’s no doubt that Lady Gaga is a talented musician, but this does not feel like a tribute. Nor does it feel like a cover.

This just feels like commercialization, capitalizing off of Bowie’s legacy by trying to be him. And I get it, so many of us–myself included–were beyond heartbroken at the news of his death, but I don’t think that this is the proper way to pay tribute to somebody. Make the content your own, at least a little, don’t try to be somebody you’re not. And I mean that in the least harsh way possible, but…at the time, this just felt like salt on the wound. Still does. This pretty much ruined Lady Gaga for me. I still admire her as a person, but I don’t think I’ll be able to forgive her for this one.

 

 

Hopefully you found this interesting! I just wanted to pour out some of my nerdy thoughts here (as I always do), so I hope you liked this post. See you tomorrow for Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and keep on being your wonderful selves.

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/11/19)-Defy the Fates

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

And yes, that’s right…

IT’S HERE.

The conclusion to the Constellation trilogy is HERE! (*ahem* okay technically it came out in April but I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago)

And man, it’s STUNNING. A beautiful conclusion to an unforgettable series.

 

Before reading this review, though, I suggest you read my other reviews for the previous books in the trilogy, Defy the Stars (see 5/15/18) and Defy the Worlds (see 5/22/18), if you haven’t a) caught up with some of the books or b) haven’t read the series yet. (If the answer if ‘b’ for you, then WHAT ARE YOU DOING? READ. THIS. TRILOGY.)

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3)

After the disaster that left Noemi Vidal close to death, Abel’s final goal is to save the life of the one he loves. But it won’t be easy–the only way that she could be saved is to replace some of her body parts and organs with robotic material. And the one person in the galaxy that could pull off this procedure is the person who Abel has desperately been trying to run from: none other than Gillian Shearer, daughter of Burton Mansfield, his notorious creator. Shearer is his only chance, but her intentions are more than Abel can see–she wants Abel for herself, as a vessel for Mansfield’s now detached consciousness. Can Abel save Noemi–and himself–from a fate worse than death?

 

 

Defy the Fates was a satisfying, beautiful ending to a phenomal series. Though it wasn’t  quite on par with Defy the Worlds (basically The Empire Strikes Back of the trilogy), Defy the Fates still retained the intricate writing, intriguing plot, and raw emotion that was so characteristic of the trilogy. The ending perfectly wrapped things up, and didn’t leave me wanting anything more, for what we had was just right. Thank you, Mrs. Gray, for this unforgettable gem of a trilogy. ❤️ Abel and Noemi forever!

Also…something about Abel on this cover–not the other ones, mind you, weird–looks a teensy bit like Dan Stevens. Dunno why, dunno how, it’s just this one cover. Gettin’ some David Haller vibes, guys…

 

Thank you so much for reading this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, take care of yourselves, keep on reading, and most of all…enjoy your summer!

Posted in Art, Book Review Tuesday, Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

I know the expression is usually the other way around, but this is basically a sheep in wolf’s clothing

Alright. First off, here’s the “wolf” part, if we’re sticking to my pitiful excuse for a flipped metaphor.

As you’ve probably gathered, I forgot to do a Book Review Tuesday yesterday. I got home a little later from a doctor’s appointment, and I was REALLY tired. So, I just spent the rest of the night drawing, re-reading The Hazel Wood, and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. So, sorry about that. I promise I’ll get around to making a review next Tuesday. 😉

Now, for the “sheep”.

Instead of a lame excuse/apology, I’ve got something for you…MORE FAN ARTS! (Because you know I was never going to come up with a creative name for a fan art post anytime soon, riiiiiight?) So, we have one kind of post disguised as another, and a little art dump. Enjoy…?

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Rumor (comic version), Umbrella Academy

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Jubilee (X-Men: Apocalypse)

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Mystique/Raven Darkholme (X-Men)

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Forager (Young Justice: Outsiders)

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Lenny Busker/what my hair kind of looked like in Florida (Legion)

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Halo (Young Justice: Outsiders)

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Number Five (Netflix version) (Umbrella Academy)

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Pogo (Netflix version) (Umbrella Academy)

 

So, I hope this post was a pleasant surprise. Again, I promise I’ll get to another book review next week, if conditions are favorable. Thanks so much for reading, and have a great rest of your day! 🙂