Brigette Reviews Sorta Like A Rockstar

Sorta Like A Rock Star by Matthew Quick

sorta like a rock star cover

I’ve never read a Matthew Quick book I didn’t like and this was no exception. Like Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, Amber Appleton annoyed me at first, but as I got to know her I grew to love her. She is the kind of girl I would be proud to call my daughter. This book seemed to find me at precisely the moment I needed it. If you’ve lost faith in yourself, the world, anything at all, this is the book you need to read right now. As long as it doesn’t get butchered by Hollywood like Silver Linings Playbook, I’ll be happy. So today, why not make a killer omelet, write a haiku and tell someone you hope they’re having a great day and see how it makes you feel.

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The Family Reviews Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

Freaky-Friday

Pete: At the start of this film I thought it was going to be a sub-standard film at best. Fortunately it picked up dramatically and was worthwhile in the end.

If you’re a fan of music from the early 2000s, then this soundtrack would be a perfect one for you (and maybe your mom) to listen to. Find the playlist on YouTube here.

My favorite architectural detail were the columns out the front of the cafe where Jake worked.

Freaky Friday 2003 archi detail

A good beer to try whilst watching this film would be Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René. Gueuze is a blend of both aged and fresh lambic beers.

Brigette: The B-movie beginning almost wrecked it for me, but Jamie Lee Curtis’ performance as a teenager stuck in her mother’s body was amazing.

Morgan: This film was more of a modernization of the 1976 version but it was still just as funny and entertaining. Check out me and Gable’s review of Freaky Friday (the book) here.

Gable: At the start of this challenge, I read the book Freaky Friday, and, before that, I watched the first adaptation of the film. Then I watched this version, which I found not at all like the book. It seemed to be very loosely based on the book, which I thought was slightly annoying and, therefore, it was hard to enjoy, although the ending was quite pleasant.

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Gable Reviews The 13-Storey Treehouse

The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

13-story_treehouse

Describe it in 25 words or less. Two boys who live in a treehouse and write books together, but all of a sudden are pressured to write a book in one day.

Who was your favorite character and why? Andy because he was wise.

Who was your least favorite character and why? Terry because he was stupid, mean, and irresponsible.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? It never grabbed me. It was a very lame book, the whole way through. I could tell the author was trying to be funny but he wasn’t doing a good job of that at all, at least for me.

What did you think of the ending? It was decent and probably the best part of the whole book.

Favorite quote: “Drawing is easy. It’s coming up with the words that takes real skill.” – Andy

What would you change? I would go back in time and not read the book in the first place.

Have you read other books in the series? No, this is the first one in the series, but I’m not going to continue.

Who would you recommend it to? Tween boys.

Number of unknown words: 0

Tell us about your best friend.

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Pete and Brigette Review Bernie

Bernie

bernieposter01

Describe it in 25 words or less.

Pete: A true story surrounding funeral director Bernie Tiede and his relationship with Marjorie Nugent in Carthage, East Texas.

Brigette: The dramatization of the events surrounding the murder of Marjorie Nugent at the hand of Bernie Tiede.

Genre:

Pete: Dramatization / Biographyy

Brigette: Based On A True Story/Drama/Black Comedy

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pete: Sonny Davis because he provided me with the most laughs.

Brigette: Sonny Davis because I loved his personality.

Who was your least favorite character and why?

Pete: Marjorie because she was so mean.

Brigette: Danny Buck Davidson because he was more interested in getting re-elected than doing right by someone.

How was the casting?

Pete: Jack Black is my favorite actor, and he and Shirley MacLaine were fantastic in their roles. I also enjoyed how real townspeople were incorporated into the “acting”.

Brigette: I thought getting a lot of the cast from the area where the actual events took place was a stroke of genius.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while?

Pete: It grabbed me immediately mostly because it stated it was a true story and also because it starred Jack Black.

Brigette: I’m always intrigued by based-on-true-stories films and this was probably the best one I’ve seen in a long time.

Favorite quote:

Pete: “I knew he was in trouble when I saw that jury. And Bernie is just going to have to get up there and explain himself to a bunch of San Augustine, cousin-countin’, red-necks over there. I mean they’ve got more tattoos than teeth and there ain’t a brain in the whole dozen of ‘em. And they’re supposed to decide big things like this? I mean, shoot, I wouldn’t let ‘em work on my car!” – Sonny Davis

Brigette: “Our Lord and Saviour wore sandals and he never married and he had twelve disciples. And I don’t thing any of them ever married. And the apostle Paul was a life-long bachelor and you never heard anybody in the New Testament say that they was a bunch of queers.” – Kay Epperson

How was the soundtrack?

Brigette: The soundtrack really suited the film and showcased Jack Black’s singing abilities. Preview it here.

How does the film compare to the real events?

Brigette: I’ve done a bit of research on this and it seems that it is pretty close to what actually happened. I think this is mostly due to how involved director Richard Linklater got in the whole case. He even pushed for the real Bernie Tiede’s release and when he was release in May this year, Linklater took him in until he gets back on his feet.

Have you watched other films by the same director/actor?

Pete: Director, Richard Linklater is responsible for the Before Sunrise series of films, Dazed and Confused, and School of Rock, all of which I thought were great films.

Brigette: I am a huge Jack Black fan. This was not your usual Jack Black film, but I really enjoyed his performance. I’ve seen a lot of Richard Linklater’s work as well and usually quite enjoy it.

How was the ending?

Pete: Enjoyable in the fact that people will believe what ever they want to believe despite any facts.

Brigette: Although it was rather sad, I still got a sense of hope.

What was the moral of the story?

Pete: Be weary of anyone who is too nice.

Brigette: There were many as this was a very emotionally complex film.

Did you learn anything?

Pete: A fair bit about the Bernie Tiede and Marjorie Nugent.

Brigette: A bit about the funeral business.

Who would you recommend it to?

Pete: Anyone interested in true crime.

Brigette: People who want something different.

Beer Pairing: (Pete’s specialty) As featured in the film: Pabst’s Lone Star

Favorite Architectural Detail: (Pete’s other specialty)
Marjorie Nugent’s living room

Bernie-archi-detail

What would someone have to do to make you snap?

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Brigette Reviews Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox

Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox by Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel

HONOR-BOUND-COVER-ART

Describe it in 25 words or less. Raffaele Sollecito’s account of the events surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Any particular reason for choosing this book? I’d read Amanda Knox’s book, Waiting To Be Heard, and wanted to get another perspective from the other person accused alongside her.

Genre: Memoir

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? This book had the best dedication I’ve read in a while and the preface was excellent. Having already familiarized myself with general ideas through Amanda’s book first, sometimes I got mired down in having to read about them again. However, I preferred Sollecito’s writing style as it was full of a whole range of emotions. This could also be due to the fact that Sollecito had Andrew Gumbel co-write perhaps because of the language issue.

What did you think of the ending? I really enjoyed the ending of this account because it let you know what happened beyond the acquittal.

What was the moral of the story? Sometimes standing by the truth means sacrificing your freedom.

Did you learn anything? I learned even more about the Italian judicial system and a bit about Italian culture in general.

Favorite quote: “I did want to make my father proud; that much was important to me. But figuring out how to please him while also establishing my independence was a skill I had yet to master.” – Raffaele Sollecito

What would you change? A koala is a marsupial, not a bear and should never be referred to as one.

Who would you recommend it to? Anyone who has read Amanda Knox’s account and wants a different perspective.

Number of unknown words: 3

Craft/Activity: How to stay fit in prison.

Recipe: New York Style Cheesecake

When was the last time you told the truth even thought you knew it would have dire consequences?

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Gable Reviews Spiderweb For Two: A Melendy Maze

Spiderweb For Two: A Melendy Maze by Elizabeth Enright

spiderweb for two

Describe it in 25 words or less. The two youngest Melendys discover a series of clues that have been planted for them, but what will be the epic reward?

Genre: Children’s Classic/Mystery/Adventure

Who was your favorite character and why? Oliver because he was the wisest and I could relate to him the most.

Who was your least favorite character and why? I don’t think I really had one; they were all good in a way.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? It was sad at the very start and I felt really bad for Randy but, even from the first chapter, it was exciting and intense and I never knew what would happen next.

What did you think of the ending? It was the most marvelous ending of all the Melendy series.

Did you learn anything? That Borealis means Northern.

Favorite quote: “As long as the discovery is made, it doesn’t matter if an accident reveals it!” – Randy Melendy

Have you read other books in the series? Yes, and this, sadly, is the last one in the series, but it was the best!

Songs: I’ve put the songs mentioned in the book on Grooveshark for you to listen to.

Who would you recommend it to? Siblings who have been separated.

Number of unknown words: 29

Recipe: Waffles

Craft/Activity: Learn how to dance the Virginia Reel.

Tell us about a time you were separated from your sibling or other close family member for over a month.

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The Family Reviews Frozen

Frozen

frozen-movie-film-posters-2

Describe it in 25 words or less.

Pete: Anna helps her older sister, Elsa, overcome the internal fears she has of possessing magical powers that freezes everything.

Brigette: A young girl must help her sister overcome her fears.

Morgan: Anna must find her older sister to save their kingdom from being in a constant wintery state and to understand the meaning of true love.

Gable: Princess Anna ventures into the wilderness in search of her sister, Elsa, who she hopes will bring the kingdom out of eternal winter.

Any particular reason for choosing this film?

Brigette: We watch every Disney film that comes out.

Genre:

Pete: Animated/Musical

Brigette: Disney/Animation/Drama

Morgan: Disney/Musical/Action/Family

Gable: Family/Animated/Romance/Comedy/Adventure

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pete: Olaf because of all the laughs he provided.

Brigette: Anna because of her purity of spirit.

Morgan: Olaf because he always found something to be happy about.

Gable: Elsa because I felt bad for her.

Who was your least favorite character and why?

Pete: Hans because his sideburns made him look untrustworthy.

Brigette: Hans because he wasn’t genuine.

Morgan: Elsa because she lived her life entirely in fear but I also didn’t like Prince Hans because he was a liar.

Gable: Hans because he was a show-off.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while?

Pete: It grabbed me very early on and keep my interest throughout.

Brigette: I felt like this film had been a little over-hyped, but after watching it, I now think it’s the Disney film with the best message.

Morgan: Before I even watched it, I felt like it was too popular and over-hyped and I wasn’t looking forward to seeing it because it was everywhere I looked and I was tired of it. But in the end, I ended up quite liking it.

Gable: I had been looking forward to it for ages and I was really excited to see it. At the very start it was an adorable film but then it developed into an intense and somewhat saddening film, peppered with comedic lines.

Favorite quote:

Pete: “Oh look at that, I’ve been impaled.” – Olaf

Brigette & Morgan: “People make bad choices if they’re mad or scared or stressed.” – sung by the trolls

Gable: “Some people are worth melting for.” – Olaf

What would you change?

Brigette: The opening/closing song sounded too much like The Lion King and I felt like this was one of the worst put-together Disney films I’ve seen in a long time. It was almost as if a lot of different people did a lot of little pieces and then they had to figure out a way to fit them together which I think they did a poor job of.

Gable: The musical part of the whole thing was a bit annoying. If the singing was just toned down a little bit, it would have been 100%.

How was the soundtrack?

Brigette: You can hear every note on YouTube here but be warned it is big-time earworm material.

How does the film compare to the book?

Brigette: The one thing I love about Disney retellings is how they make stories that may not really be geared to kids and turn them into films that anyone can enjoy.

How was the ending?

Pete: The little twist made it interesting.

Brigette: It didn’t feel right to me, almost like it was an afterthought.

Morgan: Wonderful!

Gable: Like all Disney endings.

What was the moral of the story?

Pete: Always keep the doors of love open.

Brigette: Life is so much better when you approach things with love instead of fear.

Morgan: Love is all you need.

Gable: Love is the only way to undo a horrible mistake.

Who would you recommend it to?

Pete: Fans of Disney or animation.

Brigette: People who are afraid of being themselves.

Morgan: Disney fans, siblings and anyone who believes in love at first sight.

Gable: Sisters and people who fall in love with people they are only slightly interested in.

Color Palette: (Morgan’s specialty)

frozen cp

Won’t Eat Their Cereal Opportunity: Elsa Won’t Eat Her Cereal

Beer pairing: (Pete’s specialty) Kulmbacher’s Reichelbräu Eisbock

Recipe: Chocolate Fondue

Artwork: The Swing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

swing frozen art
(source)

Craft/Activity: Make some snowflake crafts.

Favorite Architectural Detail: (Pete’s other specialty)
Coronation Chapel in Arendelle

FROZEN archi detail

What was your last act of true love?

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Morgan Reviews The Miraculous Journey Of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

edward-tulane

Describe it in 25 words or less. A vain china rabbit goes missing but soon learns many things and understands the importance of love on a very unexpected journey.

Genre: Fairytale/Drama/Children’s Literature

Who was your favorite character and why? Nellie because she was always cheery.

Who was your least favorite character and why? Neal because he was mean.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? Was it worth the wait? It took me a little while to get into it but as it went on I became more and more interested and the story became more heartwarming and meaningful.

Was it plot or character driven? Definitely more character driven.

What did you think of the ending? Touching.

What was the moral of the story? Everyone is loved by someone.

Favorite quote: “Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart.” – Natalie

Have you read other books by the same author? Yes, I have read The Tale of Despereaux and The Magician’s Elephant but my most favorite Kate DiCamillo book of all time must be this one.

Who would you recommend it to? Those who feel unloved, those who are fans of Kate DiCamillo or those who simply want a touching tale.

Number of unknown words: 0

Recipe: Pancakes from Neal’s Diner

Why is love important to you?

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Gable Reviews The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop

The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders

WhizzPopChocolateShop

Write 6 words you would put on this book if it were in the “Blind Date With A Book” shelf. Chocolate, Magic, Cats, London, Immortality, Ghosts.

Genre: Children’s Fantasy/Comedy/Drama

Who was your favorite character and why? Lily because I could relate to her the most.

Who was your least favorite character and why? I didn’t actually have a least favorite character. Even the evil characters were, in some way, comedic or helpful.

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while? At first, I thought is was going to be super lame but it turned out to be a thrilling book and I had hardly any time to relax and take it all in. All the magic was slightly difficult to keep track of but, other than that, it was truly marvelous.

Was it plot or character driven? Character.

What did you think of the ending? The ending was happy and cute. There could definitely be a sequel, too, which is exciting.

What was the moral of the story? Every good thing can be bad but you’re the only one who can change that.

Favorite quote: “Learning is nothing to do with magic, and everything to do with using the intelligence you were born with.” – Isadore Spoffard

Who would you recommend it to? Lovers of Wildwood by Colin Meloy or chocolate-obsessed kids.

Number of unknown words: 27

Recipe: Fish and Chips

Tell us about a time you felt something bad was going to happen in the future so you did something in the present to prevent it from happening.

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The Family Reviews High Society

High Society

high-society

Describe it in 25 words or less.

Pete: A woman, on the eve of her second marriage, must decide between her ex-husband, her fiancé, and a reporter she has just met.

Brigette: An ex-husband, reporters and a philandering patriarch all lead make getting remarried very difficult for a high society woman.

Morgan: A rich woman makes a scene when the reporters from Spy magazine come to “spy” on her when her up-coming second wedding is nigh.

Gable: A songwriter and a writer for a magazine meet at the wedding of the songwriter’s ex-wife, along with a complicated plot of true love.

Genre:

Pete: Musical/Romantic/Comedy

Brigette: Classic/Musical

Morgan: Comedy/Romance/Classic

Gable: Romance/Comedy

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pete: C.K. Dexter Haven because he was full of confidence and charm.

Brigette: Dexter because he was so accepting of people’s flaws.

Morgan: Dexter because he was simply a good guy.

Gable: Elizabeth Imbrie because she was the smartest and the most sensible.

Who was your least favorite character and why?

Pete: Seth Lord because he was a chauvinistic pig.

Brigette: Tracy because she was too fixated on perfection.

Morgan: Seth Lord because he seemed like a bit of a jerk but I also didn’t like George because he was boring.

Gable: Tracy Lord because she was mean and too hard on herself and others.

How was the casting?

Pete: Totally brilliant cast with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong.

Brigette: I thought it was very oddly cast. I wonder if they cast singers and then turned it into a musical or was it a musical to begin with?

Did it grab you immediately or did it take a while?

Pete: It did grab me immediately and was entertaining throughout.

Brigette: The opening scene was very entertaining and the whole story was full of drama and angst which held my interest despite the awful plot line.

Morgan: It grabbed me pretty much immediately and it had a lot of funny stuff and action to keep me entertained the whole way through.

Gable: The beginning really pulled me in but it didn’t turn out to be what I had hoped it was. In all, it was a pretty good film in the choice of humor and its being a musical but I have seen much better.

Favorite quote:

Pete: “You were extremely attractive, Tracy. And as for distant and forbidding, on the contrary. However, you were somewhat a little the worse or the better for the wine and there are rules about things like that.” – Mike Connor

Brigette:
Tracy’s father: “What most wives don’t’ seem to realize is that a husband’s philandering, even as innocuous as my own, has nothing whatever to do with them.”
Tracy: “And pray just what has it to do with then?”
Tracy’s father: “A reluctance to grow old, I think.”

What would you change?

Brigette: I would cut out the singing. There was really no reason for this film to be a musical.

How was the soundtrack?

Pete: If you’re into the old-school swooning and 1950s jazz then this is the soundtrack for you.

Brigette: You can check out the musical numbers on YouTube here.

Have you watched other films by the same director/actor?

Morgan: I’ve watched “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby in it a while ago but I very much enjoyed it. I love Bing Crosby films.

How was the ending?

Pete: Entertaining but it was slightly predictable.

Brigette: You could see it coming a mile away, but it still made you happy.

Morgan: Wonderful.

Gable: It was a charming ending and quite unpredictable.

What was the moral of the story?

Pete: Marry for love not money.

Brigette: Nobody is perfect.

Morgan: Sometimes you just need to let go.

Gable: One experience can change you for the better, one experience can change you for the worse, but you are the only one who chooses which way it will go.

Who would you recommend it to?

Pete: Anyone who enjoys light-hearted romantic comedy classics with some singing.

Brigette: People who love stories about spoiled rich people who also break into song a lot.

Morgan: Bing Crosby fans, Grace Kelly fans, Frank Sinatra fans, Louis Armstrong fans, fans of classic-musicals or fans of funny classic films in general.

Gable: Rich divorcees.

Won’t Eat Their Cereal Opportunity: Grace Kelly Won’t Eat Her Cereal

Beer pairing: (Pete’s specialty) Societe Brewing’s The Gleaner Old World Saison

Favorite Architectural Detail: (Pete’s other specialty)
Secret Bar in the Library

High Society archi

What is your idea of the perfect man/woman?

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