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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

I highly suggest reading Kathleen Hale’s article first. Does the Guardian look positively on stalking? Would her stalking escalate over time? I don’t think it’s too farfetched that she could hurt someone.  All I can think about is the show Stalker and I am fucking creeped out by this woman.

She’s a lot like her main character in No One Else Can Have You, but this isn’t a fictional small-town mystery with an annoyingly precocious teen sleuth.

#reading    #kathleen hale    #author    #stalking    #blogger    #review    #goodreads    #drama    #no one else can have you    #teen    #young adult    #ya    #guardian    

Friday, 22 August 2014

Ruin and Rising

I wrote a huge review for this and it just disappeared before I saved it. FML.

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So, after I finished reading the third book, I finally noticed that all the covers have the amplifiers on them in order. Obviously the third book is technically wrong, because it should be Mal on the cover instead.

This book was extremely upsetting in both good and bad ways. Let me explain.

Things that made me angry/confused me:

  • Alina’s hair became shockingly white, which reminded me of Daenerys. Come on, let’s stop involving GoT in everything.
  • Nikolai’s sudden situation takes him (conveniently) out of the picture long enough for Malina (Mal and Alina) to figure things out for themselves/get back together grudgingly at first.
  • If a Sun Summoner is rare, that makes Alina rare. That makes her family special. I thought for sure her theory would, in fact, be correct. When it wasn’t, I still wondered about her family. There has to be something about them, right? I NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING *gnashing teeth*.
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  • The amplifiers’ transfer of powers is inconsistent. The first two were transferred to Alina no problem. The last is confusing…technically Mal’s ancestor was the amplifier and she died. I already take a stance against that because she was raised from the dead and shouldn’t she be nearly immortal? When she gave birth to Mal, did her amplifier power transfer to him through her genes (were there FOUR amplifiers at that time or three and she lost her amplifier-ness?) or when she died did it transfer to him through default or nearest live body to her? In which case, I have no idea how these amplifiers work.
  • The Darkling’s merzost-induced traumas lessened and were undone with his death. This makes absolutely NO sense, because you cannot pick-and-choose what is undone. If it is undone, all of it must be undone. CONSISTENCY. Which means that people who died should now be living and all the other injured should be healed (if it was from the Darkling’s zombie Dementors).
  • I like Genya the best and her injuries and ugliness were something I appreciated and knew she was strong enough to rise above. I thought this made her character so much more. But in the end, even this harshness was slightly lessened to make her easier to look at again. 
  • If you think of Alina as a glow-in-the-dark sticker or a solar-powered gadget, shouldn’t she have had a little bit of Sun Summoning juice in her after all those months of healing? You don’t need a strict source of sunlight. I realize I just compared Alina to a glow-in-the-dark sticker, but…shut up.

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Things I loved about it all:

  • Nikolai.
  • Malina’s orphanage take over.
  • Alina losing her Sun Summoning ability.
  • Alina choosing to be without political power and sway—living the simple life.
  • Oncat.

But srsly, everyone should read these books.

#book review    #review    #books    #reading    #reader    #literacy    #literature    #ruin and rising    #leigh bardugo    #shelfie    #alina    #mal    #malina    

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE DETECTIVE? Giveaway! Win tickets to the Ruby Skye P.I. season 3 screening in Toronto! Tweet your favourite famous detective to @RubySkyePI for a chance to win! http://bit.ly/1mu4s4Y 

This one really speaks to me.

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#ruby skye pi    #twitter    #contest    #books    #review    #screening    #tv show    #sherlock    #watson    #bbc    #cbc    #kids    #middle school    #maltese puppy    #mystery    #adventure    #canada    #toronto    #event    #season 3    #haunted    #library    #scam    #safety    #holmes    #geronimo stilton    #tintin    #inspector gadget    #gif    

Friday, 28 February 2014

Mini Rant—“My Loss”

Why do people always say that?

"It’s your loss."

When I dislike a book or a movie (for obvious reasons, usually), or even that fact that I don’t eat meat. It’s clearly not my type of entertainment, cup of tea, etc.—not that I lack any enjoyable elements in my life. It’s like I’m not allowed to enjoy or not enjoy whatever I want without it being some sort of impediment of my character.

I can wholeheartedly disagree a point with someone so severely, but I will never presume to know that it is their loss in any regard.

It’s like saying that it’s my loss if I don’t live in ignorance of my own tastes. Maybe I come off as stuck-up and snooty about these things, but I don’t JUDGE people for their taste. No one should be ashamed of what they like and dislike. If someone is ragging on something I love, maybe I’ll whine a little, but I’m not going to convince them it’s for them or something they are clearly lacking.

It’s a poor man’s explanation, and a cowardly way out of proper discourse on a subject.

#my loss    #loss    #weak    #argument    #rant    #mini    #hobbit    #movies    #tv shows    #books    #review    #dislike    #impediment    #people    #discourse    #trap    #end    #insulted    #annoyed    #coward    #sad    #disagree    #film    #vegetarian    #opinion    

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Time to take the bookmobile to Neverland and beyond.

Make your own!

Time to take the bookmobile to Neverland and beyond.

Make your own!

#bookmobile    #books    #ya    #review    #mobile    #bus    #dont    #laugh    #tips tricks    

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Book Review: The Raven Boys

Note: I’ve decided I do not have enough time for the book on trial layout for this really, really quick review I did on GR. I am working 45 hours per week and am back in school. Although it is online, it is decidedly time-consuming. So it’s lucky when I even post once a week.

There are sort of spoilers. Though the book spoils things from the beginning. Things we haven’t even seen yet! :D

I know many people love Stiefvater’s Mercy Falls trilogy, but I have to say that I am glad she has come out with these brilliant plot-focused teen books. They stray away from the wishy-washy (and lovey-dovey) nature of the Mercy Falls trilogy and become more about the characters and the story that needs to be told. I am a huge fan of The Scorpio Races, and now The Raven Boys. Seriously, Maggie, this shit is golden.

The funny thing about this first installment is that it actually is about its namesake. Four raven boys, all tousled, scarred and touched in different ways by a girl named Blue and this quest for something magical, and bigger than them. 

In some ways, Maggie’s storytelling reminds me of the late DWJ, which I highly recommended she take as a compliment (don’t even ask how much money I have spent gathering up her original UK firsts). DWJ would include romance, to be sure, but it wasn’t straightforward, and it wasn’t about creating a love triangle. It was a story that flowed out from somewhere deep. And my literary-god, do I love my damaged characters. Especially when I am so unfamiliar with their situation, but somehow the writing makes me feel enough compassion to actually be hurt when those characters are hurt. 

I know that is a lot of emotion, but I just feel like there is something about Maggie’s writing (mostly) that gets me and what I want to read. I don’t think this will be true of most people. I just think that everyone has some author’s writing that they connect with instantly, especially at a certain point in their life. Mine has always been DWJ and Neil Gaiman, but occasionally someone else will come along, and practically have me on a lead.

Now it sounds like a raving review (haha) for ONLY a four-star rating, but that’s only because I like to be honest (not usually, lol). I really, really love Maggie’s writing and the idea of this story, but I was not entirely satisfied with this book. But that’s okay, I suspect this trilogy will wow me in ways those damn wolves couldn’t. Ravens, ftw!

Also the ending was very reminiscent of Nevermore by Kelly Creagh with the whole creating Chainsaw bsns.

#maggie    #stiefvater    #raven    #boys    #book    #on    #trial    #review    #no    #time    #goodreads    #gr    #dwj    #neil    #gaiman    #young    #adult    #teen    #ya    

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Book on Trial #38: Rebel Heart

Note: Random House Canada did not pay me to endorse or review this book.

SPOILERS TO BE HAD.

Title: Rebel Heart

Author: Young, Moira

Keywords: Deserts, rebels, government, Tonton, opium, chaal, Saba, YA, teen, wreckers, post-apocalyptic, western, adventure, romance, awesome, Canadian, sexual maturation, abuse, hurt, deceit, betrayal, mysticism, prophets, tattoos, brands, New Eden, attempting dystopian, Near and Middle Eastern lifestyle, horrible spelling and grammar.

Recommended For: 14+, Firefly, Westerns, Middle Eastern–style dystopia fans. 

Rating: image

Sentence: I sentence Lugh to a six-month journey through the Wraithway, that ungrateful, chaal-snorting lout. (I couldn’t be bothered to sentence Moira Young as I was far too fixated on Lugh.)

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Review: 

As far as middle books go, this one was pretty standard. A separation of young lovers; too much travelling without a consistent destination; and an overview of the “bigger picture”.

That being said, the bigger picture is not much to look at in this book. On the one hand, you see a little more of DeMalo; and on the other, readers are only getting to skim the surface of New Eden and the cleansing of the lands. It seems like a pretty vague allusion to Hitler and eugenics, but without a real motivation other than these “visions” of the past (us, Wreckers) and the future (the “purebred”). I liked the bigger picture when it was about drugs, gangs and Western-style fighting.  It didn’t really need all this extra…whatever it is.

Anyway, for those who just want a brief summary of what to expect in this book, do not wait for a femme fatale level of badassery. In fact, just do not expect much action from our protagonist at all. Let’s just say this once-upon-a-time badass, Angel of Death (who is, fittingly, dead to the world), is no longer open for business. She’s a simpering, lovesick and mentally disturbed teenager. Not that I’m saying she should not be mentally unstable after everything she has done, but this whole flip-side thing does not suit her. She’s too sad and open to betrayal. It makes me really feel for her, sure, but I’m also rolling my eyes as I read about her inability to cope. 

This installment is all about finding Jack and “saving” him. Really it’s about how Saba can’t seem to live without him for more than two months until she finally believes he has betrayed her, and sleeps with the first man she stumbles across (thank you Lugh for planting the doubt from the get-go). Okay, okay. He’s not just ANY man. He is THE man. The Pathfinder. All that sexual tension finally sort of messing up everything! And, honestly, I was glad for it. I know it’s not the exciting thrill of action readers get from Blood Red Road, but goddamn it’s some kind of action. And I’d probably respond no different. A sexy, powerful man that has just saved you from drowning yourself and then shows you a better world in front of all his creepy human-breeding-farm-people? Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to jump in the sack, but still…she’s human. And that’s one of the greatest things that drew me to Saba in the first book. Despite being an asshole that can kick ass, she has all the faults I enjoy seeing in characters. She’s a fuck up. She is selfish (and sometimes she’s self-sacrificing). She’s also confused and self-doubting. I can deal with that. I just want to grab her face and stare right into her eyes and say “Gurddammit Saba. You bin gittin into a whole lotta trubbel fer a gerl yore aij. But I kan unnerstand it. I kan git behind yooz an try’ta givya sum gud advice. I ain’t gunna maik ‘em decisions for ya, but I’mma try’ta guide yoo.”

Okay, so I just spent like twenty minutes on that. I need to stop or I’ll revert back to my NOLA accent (I miss that beautiful-weird city so much—okay, just the French Quarter).

Also, she keeps ending up in different colour dresses. How is no one pressing her (harder) on that situation? If I were Maev I’d be on that like redheads on the Doctor. 

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Don’t even get me started on the stupidity of Lugh. He was so not worth saving. Actually, I don’t know what he’s been through, but if it’s worse than Molly, Saba and Emmi combined, I’d be willing to understand why he is such a dick.

The entire plot was not as slow as I had initially expected it to be, but there were a few pointless mini adventures and random psychic, lightning-witch/seer moments. Seriously, where were we going with that if Saba’s having little prophetic dreams without Auriel’s help?

Basically, I have determined this series is wrought with too many YA elements, if that makes sense. Its got the drug trafficking, Western adventure, mysticism, twins, twin fallout, attempts at a Utopian society, rebellion, and fantastical creatures (see giant worms). I can’t even begin to pinpoint the genre of this series and not in a good way. As soon as a new element or previous element is brought in, the others are forgotten. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the third book it’s all steampunk and we’ve forgotten about star-reading and seers. 

I still liked this book despite all of the complaints I have. It’s solid writing and I’m already pretty attached to the characters. I just can’t get enough of them.

FINALLY, I know the Tonton are people that work for the Pathfinder, but how can anyone not picture people dressed as tauntauns? I just want to slice one open and sleep in his/her entrails.

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#tonton    #tauntaun    #star wars    #books    #review    #book    #on    #trial    #38    #blood    #red    #road    #moira    #young    #rebel heart    #random    #house    #canada    #blog    #booky    #wookie    #goodreads    #ya    #teen    #reading    #write    #literacy    #adult    #literature    

Friday, 17 August 2012

Book on Trial #36: Dark Star

Note: I find my standards slowly decreasing and my like for these low standards increasing. It is the sad state of literature today. Who am I kidding? I read YA novel for the immediate satisfaction and lack of effect on the state of my thinking about my current life. I like that it is simple, dumb and fanciful. Idealistic about the future of the human race, even. I even like when it is dark, negative and tears are shed over the depressing nature of it all. I like teen books because they are unrealistic, much like Disney movies, and do not require me to think. On the rare occasions that they do, I am pleasantly surprised (or mightily displeased). So heed my warning, readers, though I gave this book a low rating, I still enjoyed reading it.

SPOILERS BELOW.

Title: Dark Star

Author: Frenette, Bethany

Keywords: Minneapolis, dark star, morning star, single mother, teen drama, best friends, powers, small community, demons.

Recommended For: 12+, fans of The Demon-Trapper’s DaughterIlluminate, and Hemlock.

Rating: image

Sentence: I sentence Bethany Frenette to life as a mime trapped in a real box, because that is what this kind of first-person perspective does to a reader.

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Review: I will keep this review short since I read this book in about an hour and a half. This was a fast read because there was not much to it. This uses a recycled plot and recycled “surprises”.

For those who liked the feel of The Demon-Trapper’s Daughter, this book can provide that. It’s a small, close-knit community of people with power called the “Kin” who are likely ruled by some sort of council or elders or someshit I’ve heard before. They are responsible for the safety of Earth or the large city they reside in and murders be happenin’ all over the place (more than usual for the amount of demons they deal with regularly). So hide yo kids, hide yo wives and hide yo husbands, ‘cause they cuttin’ errybody’s ankles out hurr!

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Something goes wrong and naturally the “daughter” or MC of this goddamn story must meddle because she is curious as fuck and the only real part of her personality is her incessant questioning, which is also a recycled trait.

The MC gets hurt/learns the grisly details behind her mother’s “crime-fighting” and gets ragged on by not only her mother, but her obviously to-be-lover. Daddy issues, much? He follows her around, protects her, annoys her, clearly checks her out and then pretends to be an oppressive jackass (actually, I don’t think he was pretending), when everyone should know she’s going to do something stupid that’ll get her hurt anyway.

Everyone she goddamn knows/has heard about is some sort of “Kin” or part-Kin and pretty much the only surprise is that she isn’t the Remnant (this everyone-might-be-Kin bit is very similar to my everybody-might-be-a-lycan complaint about Hemlock).

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m complaining so much if I said I liked it. The answer is simple: I expect more and better from the next book; I expect more romancing; and I expect a Remnant to be found. Also Iris. Let’s get this Iris plot twist all untangled.

The reason I was able to stand this book was because the writing wasn’t awful, there was a baking-cake-fight scene and possibly the cutest, clumsiest kiss scene. That’s it. Now frak off.

I’m exhausted and I’m still goddamn reading The Rise of Nine.

#books    #review    #ya    #young    #adult    #reading    #reads    #on    #trial    #mime    #wtf    #dark    #star    #bethany    #frenette    #plums    #goodreads    

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Book on Trial #28: Insurgent

NOTE: If you really do not want to know the ending, then please do not read this review, as the ending was the only thing worth talking about.

Author: Roth, Veronica

Title: Insurgent

Keywords: Factions, fake post-apocalyptic, dystopian, outside the fence, love, friendship, guilt, killing, death, simulations, experiments, traitors, betrayal, legacy, placed, The Truman Show, Chicago, divergent, insurgent, war, factionless.

Recommended For: 12+

Rating: image

Sentence: I sentence Veronica Roth to a glass case of emotion.

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Review: As per usual, Roth decided to keep Tris rather numb and robotic. It is hard to connect with her when she finds sobbing uncomfortable and too much display of emotion inappropriate. There is also an awful lot of “feeling nothing”, when there should be empathy* or at least a reaction.

Unfortunately, even reading from Tris’ perspective does not help her case. She has very few thought processes that we actually see and many of them include her shooting Will, which I appreciated. Of course she’s basically scarred for life from shooting someone. 

As a result, Tris is really into the Dauntless lifestyle and is having trouble communicating with Tobias. And they have some dumb fights where nothing basically gets said or done. The theme of this entire sequel, apparently.

There is talk of Tris getting this important info from Marcus and more talk about joining the factionless/it being a legitimate idea because Candor and Amity will not help. It just took 400 pages for it to happen, naturally.

Tris gives herself up to the Erudite and Jeanine, as expected, to be experimented on and learn more about her brain. She is apparently capable of more complex decision-making, and driven not by rewards, but her own self-sacrificing reasons and empathy*. The complex decision-making I saw throughout the series, but the empathy? I think it’s more a lack of caring about differences and all that. She can’t even empathize with herself. Not until she is going nuts, Caleb has betrayed her and she has no family left, and is about to die.

The last ten chapters of the sequel are actually where the story’s at, if readers are finding a bit of a lull in the plot. This is where Marcus reveals the secret has to do with the Divergent (big surprise there) and something “outside the fence” (if you are even the slightest bit clever you will start to get a very placed and fake feeling about everything—especially since Marcus basically says what the deal is). It’s like the frakking Truman Show, but they are left to their own.

Sure enough, a prior Prior reveals that they were placed in this playground of life to resolve the human nature to destroy and pit themselves against each other, beginning with the emergence of the Divergent (oh, so they are important then?). Predictably, the factionless turned on their factioned partners in order to eliminate society as it is and create anew (not really sure how Tobias didn’t see that coming).

Chaos likely ensues.

What I Actually Liked: 

The thought that Tris might just have a uni-brow, when Christina tried to introduce her to tweezers.

Uriah, Zeke and that little Dauntless crew (even Shauna) are actually pretty much hilarious and have unique personalities. They are the only characters Roth created that are worth feeling for.

Roth finally acknowledged that the remnants of Chicago are clearly not the only things left in the world. I pointed this out in my review of Divergent, claiming that I could not appreciate a post-apocalyptic/dystopian teen book that doesn’t look at the bigger picture. I guess I got what I asked for.

Tris finally standing up for herself at the Erudite building rather than lying and then doing something behind Tobias’ back anyway (although that is how it began).

Marcus is fairly complex as well. On the one hand, he is an abusive asshole that deserves a horrible death, but on the other, I see his charm. Which reminds me, he sort of disappeared at the end and I cannot recall if they said he was dead or escaped…

I am not going to talk about what I disliked, because then I’d be really ragging on this book (don’t even get me started on all the contradictions in this book e.g. Tris afraid she would cry and then two paragraphs later is “not feeling anything”; Tris choosing not to be a Dauntless leader because she is Divergent, but Tobias is apparently allowed to be a Dauntless leader, etc.). Take the good stuff, because that’s as nice as I’m going to get about this.

All I will say to ever “encourage” reading this is that if readers liked Divergent, then they will like Insurgent less because they probably liked the former for a) swoon-worthy romance, b) personality division and categorization via faction, c) adult-less and lack of responsibilities of the Dauntless division. There is much to be desired in Tobias’ and Tris’ relationship; factions are mixing and the factionless are increasing; and there are more responsibilities and nagging adults (Jack, Marcus and Johanna being among them).

But overall, I could have lived without reading this, not that it irked me or caused me to be indignant like The Selection.

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#divergent    #insurgent    #veronica    #roth    #meh    #books    #book    #review    #on    #trial    #video    #goodreads    #postapocalyptic    #teen    #young    #adult    #reading    #literacy    #bookstore    #may    #1    #second    #sequel    #prior    #beatrice    #tris    #tobias    #eaton    #power    #war    

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Book on Trial #26: The Selection

NOTE: I want to remind readers that it is important to give all books a fair chance despite negative reviews and controversy (see linked article)/the author or the author’s agent being horrible with public relations. And that is what I did.

Author: Cass, Kiera

Title: The Selection

Keywords: Stupid teens, competition, cheap rip-off of The Hunger Games, The Bachelor.

Recommended For: Non-feminists, people with little dignity.

Rating: image

Sentence: I sentence Kiera Cass to a season of The Bachelor in which everyone is selected to be dropped off on a deserted island and are made to fight to the death to be the lone survivor. But then as a prize the survivor is made to marry some asshole she may or may not like.

Review: I wasn’t really blown away by the cover, although I’d love to twirl around in a dress that freaking huge.

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It’d probably go down like this though:

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But really, I was excited for this bizarre twist on dystopian caste systems and competing each other (yet again). What I found, however, was a cheap imitation of The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor meets A Little Princess (competition against nation of numbers for prince’s hand in marriage, but with a little homesick orphan-like story time/bonding in their boarding school the palace). I wasn’t sure whether to be pissed I had wasted my time or just relieved I had found something else to read to cleanse my mind afterward.

I settled on being productively angry at the world, through a chart, which I made to compare The Hunger Games to The Selection

image 

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of things different between the two books. Mostly how America is a total fucking push-over and signed up to change her life for her boyfriend’s piece of mind. Then when he wanted her back she realized she had to see the Selection through because she is doing it for herself. WHAT A LOAD OF HORSESHIT.

I have determined that America clearly doesn’t know what the hell she wants and needs to realize that if she is oh so good at giving the prince political advice and is just as pretty as everyone claims she is, she needs to consider becoming a goddamn symbol of rebellion. Because I feel like that’s what will happen. Everything was so freaking predictable in this book.

Even Aspen ending up in the palace as a guard. Puh-lease, I saw that even before Cass wrote this book. Oldest freaking romantic-triangle-coincidence in the book. Literally.

What really bothers me, though, is that America lets herself continue this competition and being pressured into falling in love with Maxon, who she seems to like as a friend. Oh wait, I forgot, it’s impossible to be just friends when it’s the prince, right? And I’m not saying she should go back to Aspen because, let’s get real, his ego is bigger than Kiera Cass’ agent’s ego. In any case, Aspen’s pride comes before his need for food, which totally blows Maslow’s hierarchy of needs out of the water. Speaking of inaccuracies, the caste system is totally contradictory. On the one hand, I’m imagining a real life caste system, but then you hear of a five and a six watching frakking television and having enough money for popcorn, at the end of the day. And even the eights seem to find a way to live and not be considered complete untouchables. What is this; a Disney version of caste divisions?

I think the worst part of all of this was finding out, upon finishing the last paragraph, that this was only the first volume in what was promising to be one of the worst teen series’ (I’m assuming trilogy) I have ever read out of seriousness (not reading for the lulz).

Apparently the southerners are going to kill everyone in the palace before Maxon makes a decision. I won’t stand for such tomfuckery. This series is seriously over in my head and I won’t hear of it again, much like Kelly Keaton’s Darkness Becomes Her (that one made me physically vomit).

#the    #selection    #book    #review    #video    #on    #trial    #goodreads    #wendy    #darling    #hunger    #games    #battle    #royale    #cheap    #imitation    #pretty    #cover    #darkness    #becomes    #her    #keaton    #kiera    #cass    #america    #singer    #castes    #what    #fuck    #tomfuckery