Thursday, 1 March 2018

Soon I will be Invincible by Austin Grossman- Review By Carlyn

Soon I will be Invincible by Austin Grossman is a novel set in a world where superheroes and supervillains are real. The chapters alternate between Doctor Impossible, a supervillain who wants to rule the world and a new hero called Fatale who joins a team of superheroes to stop him.  Jon Bear has also written a review of this book and you can find more of the synopsis on his review.

Jon Bear asked for the perspective of a female on the strong female leads in his review. In answer to his question, I liked how complex and strong the female characters were in the story. I liked how they didn’t just exist in relation to the male characters and didn’t need rescuing all the time. I particularly liked Fatale because she still trying to find her place in the world after turning into a cyborg and trying to fit in with an established group.

I liked the exploration into the everyday lives of superheroes, the origin stories and growing older and going into retirement. There’s a variety of super powers explored in this book, from magic, science experiment gone wrong and alien technology. The characters all relate their stories about how they saved the world from alien invasion and ancient forces, how they time travelled, went to different planets and parallel dimensions. It’s a bit funny how they mention it as if it’s an ordinary thing to do.

While reading the book, I concluded that it would be awful living in a world populated by people with special powers. The citizens in this book must deal with the constant threat of world annihilation or domination and suffer through the super battles that go on in their cities. This topic is explored in some of the current superhero movies.

I thought this book was funny and entertaining. I think this book has a kind of Mystery Men vibe to it. It’s a little quirky and has enough action, comedy and heart in it. I think it’s appropriate for all ages and for anyone who likes superheroes.  

Friday, 23 February 2018

February Happenings

I haven’t really done much this February. Most of my time has been spent on my new job as a teaching assistant. It took me a while to get use to working every day as I use to be a part time worker. The people at my new work place are very friendly and welcoming people. Everywhere I go, people say hello and ask me how I’m doing. I must have the same conversation three or four times. I bet the others go through the same convo cycle.

 I find it a little tedious, but I try to remember that it’s the first time having that conversation with that person. I think this is what celebrities feel like when they are asked the same question in press junkets.  I try to remember what people say to me too and inquire about their lives as well. I’m totally anti-social, I do like my colleagues and care about them.

I really value the weekend now and love Fridays! In my downtime I have been reading Soon I will be Invincible by Austin Grossman. It’s one of the books on my ‘to be read’ pile since 2011! It is a book about superheroes and alternates between the villain’s point of view and the perspective of the hero. Jon Bear has read it before, you can read his review here.

I’ve also been watching Star Trek Discovery on Netflix. It’s different from the other Star Trek series. The main character is Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) as a science specialist on the USS Discovery. It features the Federation during war time and the ship has a secret weapon which hasn’t been seen on Star Trek before.

Sunday, 18 February 2018



One of my guilty pleasures is that I love watching movies or reading books about obsessive love. I love the melodrama, the stalking and final moment when the main character realises what’s really going on and how the stalker/lover becomes unhinged. I do know that it would be a horrible experience in real life to have a stalker in real life. But I don’t mind it playing out fictionally.

Heartthrob is about an unlikely romance formed between Samantha (Aubrey Peeples), a popular girl and a shy nerd Henry (Keir Sinclair) over the summer. Sam likes how Henry is different from her friends who only care about hooking up and partying. Henry is thrilled to be with Sam and strives to be the perfect boyfriend by spying on her constantly. His jealously eventually drives them apart and leads him to do dangerous things.

I knew it was going to end tragically, I just didn’t know how it would end. I think the whole mess would have been avoided had Henry talked it through and was more rational. Although I do understand his motivation. Sam is his first love and he’s thrilled to have a popular girl validate him. Sam is more rational than Henry having a bit more experience in relationships. She knows that life will go without him if they break up whereas Henry feels that Sam is the best thing that has ever happened to him.

The acting in this film was okay. No standout performances. The cast are relatively unknown actor with a few credits to their names. The film was made on a small budget but not much is needed for a simple story. I think this is a good movie to watch with friends, especially if you have friends who like to give a running commentary. There’s lot of things to discuss in this film and you can always talk about your high school experiences.

Monday, 5 February 2018

20 Fun things to do with friends

Last year I was in a bit of a funk. This year I’m making up for lost time by being more positive and active. One of my goals this year is to spend more time with friends and reunite with some that I haven’t seen in a long time. So I made a list of activities that I could with them.

1. Movie Marathon
2. Spa day
3. Board Games
4. Video games
5. Markets
6. Museums and art galleries
7. Picnics
8. Barbecues
9. Trip to the cinema
10. Road trip
11. Day trip
12. Antiquing
13. Rock climbing
14. Dancing
15. Host a party
16.  Sewing
17. Makeovers
18. Photoshoot
19.Watch Youtube videos
20. Scavenger hunt

Monday, 22 January 2018

First Day of School

The 22nd of January is the first day of school for Queenslanders. I got a new job as a teaching assistant so I will be there on day one. It will be fun watching the children arriving into school. Some will be excited and run into the classroom with their parents in tow and others will be clinging to mum or dad’s hand, fearful of their first day of school. In contrast, one of my new colleagues has children starting high school this year. She would love to be there for her kids but they rather not be seen with their mother. They have reached the stage where parents are embarrassing.  I remember my first days of school and thought I would share them.

My dad took me to my first day of school.  I think I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. We found the classroom alright. On the desks were labels with each student’s names that were to go on our tidy trays. My dad covered the label in contact before I could colour it in. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Hanson. She looked like Queen Elizabeth ll. I wonder if she is still alive.

High School
My dad came with me on my first day of high school. A lot of new students already knew each other but I barely knew anyone. It was a novel experience, going from class to class for different subjects. The other students were very friendly and invited me to hang out with them. Eventually, I found friends that I clicked with and I had a good high school experience.

This time dad didn’t come with me. I didn’t ask him to and he didn’t offer. I took the train and bus to get to campus. I felt small and awkward on campus. It was just a day of walking around, trying to find different classes, getting lost and trying not to look lost. I eventually dropped out of that uni and tried again at a different one. I think I was too young and overwhelmed with it all. When I started uni again, I had a bit more life experience and I majored in something that I had better interest in.
What were your first days of school like? Were you excited or nervous? Did you have a positive school experience?

Friday, 19 January 2018

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life


Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck) is a middle schooler who has been kicked out of multiple schools for his trouble making behaviour. Hills Village Middle School is the last school that will take him and he promises his mother Jules (Lauren Graham) that he’ll behave.

The school principal Ken Dwight (Andy Daly) enforces a hundred school rules that centre around obedience and respect. The students are not allowed to do anything creative which is especially hard on Rafe as he is a talented artist.

When Principal Dwight destroys Rafe’s sketchbook, Rafe decides to get revenge by breaking every rule in school with his friend Leo (Thomas Barbusca). Rafe’s pranks include covering the school in post its, replacing the school bell with fart noises and putting hair dye into the principal’s hat.

The movie was based on a book by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts. The film has a fun upbeat soundtrack which accompany animation sequences that detail Rafe’s feelings. Although I haven’t read the book, I’m guessing that there are pictures in there and it matches what is used in the film.

There’s a twist in the movies which I didn’t see coming. It was touching and provided the heart to the story. It helped me to understand Rafe’s motivations and his interactions with other people.

I enjoyed this movie. I think it is good family viewing and perfect for sleepovers and rainy days. Kids will like the outlandish pranks and comedic characters. Everyone is kooky in their own way in the movie. I thought the child actors were fine in the movie, nothing remarkable and stilted at times. I liked the adults in the film, particularly Andy Daly and Rob Riggle who played Carl, Jule’s boyfriend.

Monday, 8 January 2018

My guilty pleasures


I enjoy reading fanfiction because it expands on the fictional worlds, ideas and puts the characters in interesting situations. There are a lot of talented writers who make something from nothing. I really admire the ones that take an obscure secondary character and give them a whole new life yet keep them in character. I like to read Harry Potter, Star Trek, Stargate fanfiction and sometimes I’ll look up random fiction after I watch a movie.

Every version of House Hunters
House Hunters is a show where regular people look for houses to buy.  Each episode features a couple who want to buy a house for various reasons in a new place. They go to a real estate agent and tell them their wish list and then they are presented with three different houses. There are pros and cons about each house and then the couple decide on which house they like.

I like to binge watch House Hunters and all their spin offs. There’s House Hunters International, House Hunters Tiny House, House Hunters Renovation, House Hunters Family etc.  I like to guess which house the couple/family will pick. I guess wrong most of the time because I don’t know them. The couple/family pick their house for many reasons such as price, location, size.

An amusing aspect of the show is the pickiness of the House Hunters. Some of them want a lot of things for the price they are willing to pay or there is some small detail about the house that they are unwilling to overlook.  

Teen Girl fiction series from 80s and 90s
I like to read book series for teenage girls from the 80s and 90s like The Babysitters Club and Springsong Books (Christian romance books). I read it for the nostalgia as I grew up in those times. I mostly find the book at thrift stores for a dollar. They are a fun quick read.

What are your guilty pleasures?
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