Black Mirror – Season Three (Part 1)


Black Mirror – Season One

Black Mirror – Season Two + Christmas Special

How can we describe part one of season three?

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Traumatizing in some way for us. Every single one of them messed with our heads and not all in a good way. I (Caidyn) love my head getting messed with from time to time, but it was a bit much since they really capitalized on being a modern Twilight Zone in the first three episodes we watched.

Netflix taking over the show was probably the best thing for it because the concept is the same, but on Netflix, there are no restrictions on anything as long as it’s not porn, I guess. But the show is able to go to darker places and despite it being a bit traumatizing it’s definitely a good thing.

Caidyn will be in blue.

Chantel will be in purple. 


I think out of the three, this one was the tamest. Which is hilarious since this one starts off the show with a bang and a rather strong start, even though I know we disagree about how good the episode was.

The episode was fine. I know my issues with it are my own personal issues, not necessarily because of the episode. Basically, this episode is what would happen if Facebook and Instagram meant a lot more than it does now. Now, you might be thinking that they already mean more than they should, but oh no, it could be way worse. If we aren’t careful we might end up at this point. I really hope not, but I kinda lost my faith in humanity.

This is a world where you get ranked by people for daily interactions, posting on social media, and anything else. Those rankings then get averaged together to create a total score for you. That score then dictates what you can and can’t do in life. It’s a ranking out of five, so if you’re a 4.5 you get a better housing deal. Or a better car. Or a seat on an airplane. If you’re 2.0 or below, then you’re just shit out of luck in life. You can even get locked out of your job if your ranking dips below a certain number.

The concept of this episode isn’t bad. I just couldn’t stand the characters and I wasn’t on Lacie’s side at all. She wants desperately to have a higher score so that she can move up in the world. She just wants people to like her. I understand that. I’ve been there. However, everyone is so fake in this episode so that they can get five stars from other people. I found it extremely frustrating and not appealing at all.

Lacie was a difficult character, I have to agree. But I could understand her since I was, in a way, that person. Desperately wanting to fit in. Trying to be liked. I could understand her, even if I stay the hell away from those people now. But, yeah, it was painful to watch since the only people I liked gave two shits about the system and chose to be apart from it.

I was just constantly frustrated. I know it’s a personal thing with me. Like I said, I’ve been that person too. I still want to be liked, but the desperation that she felt and demonstrated was off-putting to me. Still, this episode was better than fucking “White Bear”.

Yeah, we never will get over what “White Bear” could have been, but yes. I thought that the actress really portrayed the desperation well, though. She did a fantastic job as Lacie and she made it so believable that it was painful to watch her performance at times.


Okay, I don’t have a lot to say about this episode. I could not concentrate on it and for a huge chunk of it, I was covering my eyes. I never actually finished this episode when I first watched it. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS A GIANT FUCKING SPIDER.

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I can’t even. I would’ve probably liked it a lot more if I wasn’t completely traumatized.

I agree with you about spiders. I actually went and warned my mom since I knew there were spiders in this so she would know there weren’t actually spiders in my room that I was battling. (Because apparently, I have some kind of noise that I make when there are spiders.)

However, I adore horror. I love it. Right now, I’m watching a horror movie to calm down because, as Chantel said in our chat thread while we’re writing this, I am demented.

Sherlock Nothing Wrong with me

It’s true. So, I really found the horror elements to this well-done. In what most could do in an hour and thirty to two-hour movie, they crafted a really creepy and well-thought out episode. Personally, I loved the manipulation of time in the episode because it just messed with me.

But, there are spiders and jump scares and weird creatures and a lot of other nope things that made Chantel freak out.

If I was into horror and wasn’t afraid of spiders, then I’m pretty sure I’d find this episode interesting. But alas, nope.

And that’s all she has to say about it because I could barely get her to talk about this episode after we watched it.

Shut Up and Dance

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I think we need a good primal scream for this episode.

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My original reaction to this episode?


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I can’t even function for this episode yet and it’s been like an hour since we’ve watched it. AND WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT IT OR WE’LL RUIN EVERYTHING.

What I really want to start with is talking about how masterfully they used music and dialogue. Can we? It’s a tame topic, right?

It’s a safe topic. Should be safe.

Nothing is safe with this episode. But, like we pointed out in “Fifteen Million Merits” and “The Entire History of You”, we pay attention to music. We honestly do. And this one had a distinct lack of music and dialogue to it that clued me in that something wasn’t right. It made a tension, especially when the only music played was harsh and sharp.

There was so much tension in this episode and it was done brilliantly. The acting, the music cues, the directing. All of it was so well done, even on a second viewing it’s still fascinating to watch.

Yes, the hints were fantastic. The basic plot for this is that a teenage boy, Kenny, gets blackmailed for doing something while filmed through the camera on his laptop. From there it’s a twisty and curvy mess all the way through to the ending. In short, it’s what we think “White Bear” should have been. And, in an earlier draft of this, I went into more detail, but Chantel pointed out spoilers so I completely erased all of it. What you need to know is that it’s an all-around mind fuck.

I think you summed it up well. Just go watch the episode and then come talk to us about it.

This is an episode that you’ll want to talk about.

Episode Rankings

Chantel’s rankings: 

  1. Shut Up and Dance
  2. Nosedive
  3. Playtest

My rankings are the same as Chantel’s.

Really? I thought yours might be different.

Nope. “Playtest” was good but wasn’t my favorite. “Nosedive” was better in the end, and then we both know how much we couldn’t stop gabbing after “Shut Up and Dance”.

I think all three episodes traumatized me in some way.

Yeah. “Playtest” didn’t traumatize me since I’m so used to horror, “Nosedive” was one I actually knew a bit about already because a coworker told me some about it, but I went into “Shut Up and Dance” blind.

Which is the only way to go into it.

And that’s why we gave no spoilers. We want all of you to watch it without knowing the bigger picture. Chantel found it hard to not give it away somehow, but I’m so glad she didn’t.

I felt like anything I said in regard to the episode would give it away so I kept quiet. I didn’t want Caidyn to figure it out because he’s good at that kind of thing.

Believe me. I didn’t figure it out. One bit.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Caidyn: 1/5
Chantel: 2/5


That’s really all I have to say about the book, but I know that I need to explain it since 1) this is a much beloved book and 2) I read this with Chantel so we need to do a fun discussion review of it. For me, this book is a case of a good message but a bad story. By now, everyone knows that this book is about a boy who has a facial deformity and it’s all about him going to school for the first time. And that’s middle school. Great choice, guys. And it’s a book about how people will like you no matter what and the bad guy loses and blah blah blah.

So, let’s count the ways I didn’t like this.

For one, there are too many pointless points of view. Great, his sister gets a part. Oh, and his friend from school! And… the guy he doesn’t exactly like. And…. his sister’s boyfriend???? They had no point and just hashed out the same issue without taking any steps forward. There’s a bad guy he goes to school with and you have to destroy him.


My second issue was that it was so contrived, which made it unrealistic. One thing I took away from reading On Writing by Stephen King was that you have to tell the truth about what you’re writing. You tell the truth and your reader will appreciate it.

Palacio didn’t. This made the book feel so unrealistic. Like, where does Auggie’s parents get all the money that they apparently have? They live in New York, which is fucking expensive. Then, they somehow pay for his treatments without an issue. And then they send both kids to private schools. With their father only working.

The parents were also far too perfect. The father just didn’t strike me as realistic at all. Then the mother was better but not quite. Really, they felt so stifling perfect.

Also, how did Auggie get into prep school after only being homeschooled… by a woman they tease about not being smart enough to get him into prep school.

And then the whole good/evil thing. Too cut and dry for me.

Overall: Bleh.

Oh boy.

At least I’m not alone in not liking this book. I hate to say it because I don’t like writing negative reviews and this is a popular book. I read the whole thing and at first, I was annoyed at August’s POV. There was something about him I didn’t really like. Something that was off-putting. Maybe the fact that he was a ten-year-old boy, I dunno. However, as the book continued on I longed for Auggie’s point of view because there were FIVE different points of view other than Auggie’s. Which brought this book in at over three hundred pages. The only POV that made sense other than Auggie’s was his sister Olivia’s. Instead, we get, Olivia’s ex-best friend and her boyfriend WHO HATES CAPITAL LETTERS APPARENTLY.

Then we get Jack’s POV. Jack is the first kid at Auggie’s school who is nice to him and they become friends. However, he says something awful, Auggie overhears him, and they are no longer friends. I was starting to get fed up during Jack’s part of the book. I did not care about his home life, I didn’t care about his reasoning for saying what he did about Auggie, and I didn’t care about him punching the mean boy in the face. I didn’t fucking care.

All of these POVs seemed to all have the same message: “Yeah he’s ugly and deformed but he’s a cool guy.” I didn’t like that. During Olivia’s part of the book, she talks about constantly being overlooked by her parents because of Auggie’s condition. I appreciated that because it seemed to be the only honest thing in the book. Not everything is perfect and it’s clear that Olivia resents her brother even if it’s not his fault he was born a certain way. I would’ve liked more of that rather than five different kids talking about how ugly he is and how great they are for hanging out with him.

This book would’ve been a lot better if they had limited the point of view changes to family. Not his friends. I don’t want to know what’s going on in their heads. Their point of view didn’t add anything to the story. Hell, this might have been better in third person perspective, but I think not limiting this book’s perspective to Auggie was a huge mistake and the main reason why I disliked the book so much.

What I think we should emphasize is not that we didn’t like the message of this book. Choosing kind is what we’re all about. We want people to choose kind and to be good people to others, especially those who are marginalized for sexuality, gender, disabilities, etc. Just that this book doesn’t do it in what feels genuine. Nor was it interesting. We’re not taking a shot at those who love this book and find it beautiful. We just find major faults in the storytelling and way the message was presented to us.

Perhaps I was harsh. I do believe that maybe we weren’t the right audience for this book. I’m not fond of that excuse, but I’m going to try and explain myself. This book is clearly targeted towards pre-teens and teenagers. Both Caidyn and I are in our twenties and while we can appreciate a message which teaches kindness, it felt directed toward kids who were in middle school or high school to teach them a message. The different perspectives might be random and unnecessary to us, but they might resonate with someone who is reading it. Like someone who is quiet and says nothing when another kid is bullied. Maybe after reading Wonder, that kid stands up for the bullied kid. I think ultimately this book is for a younger audience who aren’t necessarily kind to everyone.

Well, I know that I completely agree with you. The many POVs made zero sense to me, minus the addition of his sister’s. I didn’t need to hear about things from Olivia’s perspective, but it added to the family dynamics. I really didn’t need her boyfriend’s. Or her friend’s. Or all of Auggie’s “friends”. Pick a perspective and stay with it, or only have two perspectives. It weakened Palacio’s message by showing all these people think he’s ugly and deformed when her message is to choose kind.

And, going off of the whole standing up for someone being bullied thing, we are too old for that message. Like, yes, that’s great. Do that. Be kind. I do my best to do that every day. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I don’t. However, at our age, that’s not going to really be taught to us. The book was just too young. The message is good, but not for someone our age. I think that this would be different if we had children or families of our own, though.

I might have liked the book more if it had just been from Auggie’s POV because at least with his POV I was shown that he was a normal ten-year-old boy. Also, the book might have been a lot shorter which I would’ve liked as well. I think this book could’ve been so much better and might have reached more people than I think it did because people love this book. If I had a child I would absolutely read this to them to hope they absorb the message of kindness, even to those who are different. But I’m not going to absorb a lesson I already learned. I’m not going to appreciate a book that tells me something I already know.

Again, I completely agree with you. Auggie’s POV was perfect since he was a normal boy who loved Star Wars and other nerdy things, but just had a facial deformity. Everyone else made no sense to me. I didn’t need their input. And, yes, if I had a kid, I’d suck up my dislike and totally read this to them because it’s a good message. Everyone is normal, even if they don’t look/think/act like you or I. And maybe I would like the book better if I had a family of my own since I know lots of parents like this book. I would want to use it for my kid. But reading it on my own for no real reason? Nope. Not for me.

And it’s a shame since I think the message is a good one.

A book can have well-meaning intentions, as I believe this book did, but poorly execute them which this book also did.

It’s just not a good way to show a message. Even if we agree with the heart of the story, that Auggie is a normal kid, Palacio did the exact opposite. I got about 60% into the book and I just felt like I was getting hammered over and over again that Auggie was weird. And, from what Chantel is telling me, the last 40% didn’t change its tone.

Nobody wants constant reminders that they are different because they are fully aware of why they are different. Throughout the book, Auggie grew on me as a character because he was the only character I cared about. I wanted to read about what HE thought and what HE experienced and what it was about him that made him normal in a world constantly telling him he’s not normal. Guess what, Auggie was charming, he was annoying, he shouted when it wasn’t necessary, he threw hissy fits like a normal ten-year-old would. This book should’ve been his story alone and I don’t feel it was.

And I agree with you there. It was everyone else’s story. Literally.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

beneath the sugar sky cover
This has to be one of my favorite covers of all time.



Every Heart a Doorway – 4 Stars

Down Among the Sticks and Bones – 5 Stars

This is a sequel that takes place after the events of Every Heart a Doorway, I left a link to the Goodreads page, but if you haven’t read Every Heart a Doorway you should read it before reading Beneath the Sugar Sky.

Beneath the Sugar Sky is the first most anticipated read of 2018 that I’ve read. If you want to see the full list, click here.

3/5 – Last year, I was introduced to the Wayward Children series. I really liked Every Heart a Doorway, loved Down Among the Sticks and Bones, and eagerly awaited Beneath the Sugar Sky. The third book follows a character named Cora. I think she is a good character, she was fat yet she subverted what people thought of her as a fat person. I love that. And she came from a world where she was a mermaid which gave me serious The Seafarer’s Kiss vibes. However, this was our first time meeting Cora, a new main character, despite there being multiple characters we had already met from Every Heart a Doorway in this book.  I didn’t have the same amount of time to connect with Cora and I think it affected my enjoyment of this book. Which was the same issue I had in Every Heart a Doorway.

One of the things that I didn’t think Every Heart a Doorway achieved was having a compelling main character in Nancy. Yes, she was asexual and I’m so happy for that rep, but I thought her presence as the main character left something lacking. The characters around her were so fully fleshed out and realized and yet there she was, so blah. The plot, despite being super dark, was so interesting and I loved it. I finished that book wanting to know about more worlds in future books and I wasn’t disappointed.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones was a prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, telling the story of Jack (short for Jacqueline) and Jill, identical twins. Not only did it introduce us to a dark world with vampires and mad scientists, but it had something to say about gender expectations and how damaging they can be. This book had a deeper message and I found it incredibly compelling. Jack and Jill were fascinating characters and the book just seemed very well put together.

Now, I’m not saying Beneath the Sugar Sky is bad or that I didn’t like it. I really liked it, you guys. We got more of Kade, which I will never, ever complain about. But I think he should’ve been the main character of this story. Instead, we got a brand new main character. The familiar characters should’ve been the main characters and I think that was my ultimate problem.

I wasn’t too keen on the plot, but it’s a fantasy story and there’s a whole lot of nonsense going on so it was fine. We actually see multiple worlds other than Earth in this book and I loved that. It just revolved around a character I had no investment in. The most compelling scene for me was between two characters from Every Heart a Doorway. It was the only time I felt something tug at me and it was so subtle. I hate to say it, but I was let down.

I have no idea if this is the last book in the series, but I really hope it isn’t. This series has endless possibilities and that’s what I’ve loved about it. Three different books, with completely different tones, and I just want more. I want to see more of Kade and Christopher and Jack and Jill, and hell even Nancy. This might not be possible given where some of these characters end up, but I just want it. I’ve grown attached to these characters (especially Kade if you haven’t noticed) and I love being able to spend a chunk of my day with them. At the end of the day, that’s why I keep reading and why I have an attachment to these books.

Also, there are a few illustrations in here that I fucking love. Seriously, I want them on my wall as art.

First Lines Friday

It is the last Friday in January! 2018 has definitely had an interesting start. Who knows what’s to come but only good things one can hope. How has your January been? Are you excited going forward or just ready to put January behind you?

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!


Chantel will be in purple.

Caidyn will be in blue. 


Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible. Adulthood brings limitations like gravity and linear space and the idea that bedtime is a real thing, and not an artificially imposed curfew. Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious. Childhood melts, and flights of fancy are replaced by rules. Tornados kill people: they don’t carry them off to magical worlds. Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure. 

Honestly, I could’ve gone on because I really like this passage, but looking at that block of text is intimidating enough so I won’t. 

This week, I’ve actually chosen a 2018 release! One that I’ve actually already finished. It’s part of a series that I really enjoy and it should really be no surprise that this week I picked…

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

beneath the sugar sky cover

So, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve finished this book and I still haven’t posted my review on it. I really don’t want to spoil my feelings on this book, but it was really difficult to write about. I will definitely try to get my review out soon as it’s looming over my head and haunting me at every turn, and I need to just get it out there before I lose my nerve and take another two weeks to post it. Anyway, I preordered this book and now I have all of the Wayward Children books which is exciting. I’ve recommended these books every time I’ve talked about them, and I won’t tell you how to live your life anymore. 

Marie left the interview room and walked down the stairs of the police station, accompanied by a detective and a sergeant. She was no longer crying. At the bottom, the police handed her off to the two people who were waiting for her there. Marie belonged to a support program for teenagers aging out of foster care. These two were the program managers.

So, one said.
Were you raped?

Admittedly, this isn’t my usual type of book. I don’t read about rape. It’s a personal preference thing. If I see that the story is about rape, I file it away as a book I want to read but probably won’t. I find these stories highly important, but I don’t go for them because I can’t handle reading about rape culture.

But this book is more about finding the perpetrator than the after effects of rape, something that I can handle. It’s also an ARC coming out very soon.

It is…

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America

So far, I’m very impressed by the book. It does touch on rape’s effects, something I’m very familiar with, in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me. It also is told in a very captivating way that makes you want to continue on with the story. In a short summation, it follows the stories of two women, one who was raped and her story was discounted and another whose story was believed. And it seems like they were raped by the same man, very calm and collected.

If you like true crime, go for it, but it can be detailed about the rapes. A good book for how much I’ve read.

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose



To me, this book was an explanation. Perhaps an apology, but mainly an explanation about why he chose not to run. And, I don’t have much to say about this book. It’s incredibly well-written and insanely moving. Between bouncing about domestic and foreign problems that came up during this period (2014-2016), it also covers his son’s, Beau, battle with cancer that he eventually lost.

And, yes, I did cry. A few times. And teared up about every single chapter. So, don’t read it in public. Unless you like crying in public, then go for it and don’t let me dictate your life.

What I really loved was how Biden quietly showed just how much he had going on in his life, without it feeling as if he was hammering it into me that it was too much stress and too many hardships that were pressed upon him. He showed exactly why. He weaved in the never-ending Ukraine/Russia problems. The issues with ISIL and trying to get people from the area to work together. The domestic shootings, from the two police officers murdered in their patrol car to the Charleston shooting. And then he covered Beau’s cancer and the progression of that. He explained the difficult things, using them quietly to make the point for exactly why he chose not to run.

An extremely good memoir for a very specific period in his life. I’d highly suggest it.

Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win by Luke Harding

Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win



Yet another book to teach me something about the world! And this one was really good. The only downside is that I thought I should have read a physical copy, not listened to it as an audiobook. A mistake on my part, but it made it hard for me to make connections when I just wanted to scribble all over a book.

I have to say, this book was terrifying. It covers when the USSR was still a thing through to as recently as the book came out in 2017. During that, it meanders down the path of how all of this got out about the Trump campaign working with Russia, Russia’s tactics to get people to work for them through blackmail and how they likely got to Trump, the major players and why they’re important through their history. I mean, it really got down to the brass tacks of the problem to tell me why it matters.

The scariest thing to me is the more that I learn about Russia, the more Soviet it sounds without it being communist anymore. And this story explains why the case for collusion is so strong.

Despite it being a daunting topic, I would recommend this book to anyone. For it being a very dense topic, it was also very accessible and made sure that I understood what was going on in the book. I could connect the dots. I could follow the strands. And it was incredibly worth it to have someone so immersed in the topic lay out the timeline.

Crusade and Jihad: The Thousand-Year War Between the Muslim World and the Global North by William R. Polk

Crusade and Jihad: The Thousand-Year War Between the Muslim World and the Global North



Thanks to Netgalley and Yale University Press for the advanced copy! This did not influence my opinions whatsoever.

First thing’s first. I didn’t technically finish it. I got super close to the end of part three before I decided that, right now, it was enough for me and that I had formulated my opinion very early on. I simply did not need to keep reading the book to find out more.

It’s a very dense book. I mean, it takes you from pre-Islamic history (because you have to get background on exactly why Muhammad’s message was radical) to current times. That’s a lot of history. And since Islam spread globally, that is a lot of countries, areas, and names. It’s dense. It’s difficult. It’s a journey.

And, I couldn’t get through it because I was finding myself confused. That’s not a ding on the book, per say. It’s just that you have to concentrate very hard on it to glean the information, keep names straight, and really understand what was going on. It’s not an easy book. While I wasn’t looking for one, I didn’t expect it to exactly be like this.

The writing was good. Polk assumed that you knew nothing or next to nothing. I think he had great theses and really backed them up with how many examples he gave, not to mention the depth of analysis he was able to draw from his examples.

However, this book is not for a beginner such as myself. This is a book that you should take months to read and absorb. I didn’t have that much time. So, good but a bit too much for me right now.

Black Mirror – Season Two + The Christmas Special


The great thing about Black Mirror as a show is that it’s an anthology series. Every episode is self-contained. You can jump around, skip episodes if you like, and if one episode is bad there is a next one coming up that could be good or bad. Season two had two bad episodes out of four. Netflix categorizes White Christmas, the Christmas special as a part of season two so we did as well. Last season all of the episodes were so good, even great. This season, not so much.

Caidyn will be in blue.

Chantel will be in purple. 

Be Right Back

This was definitely my favorite out of the whole season. It’s a solid start, showing a woman whose husband died in an accident go through the grieving process. I thought that it was beautifully written and a great glimpse into just how hard it is to grieve someone that you loved with all of your heart.

I’m always a sucker for tv/movies/books that deal with characters who are grieving. They always hit me the hardest and invoke a lot of emotions for me personally. This episode was beautiful and Hayley Atwell did an excellent job in portraying the complexity of the situation because she was grieving her husband while also wanting desperately to bring him back. I wanted to give her credit because the acting on this show is one part of what makes this show great.

A common part of grieving is the desperation to bring what you lost back. I always think of the five stages, which can come in any order and you can repeat or combine them. Denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. I think that Atwell was fantastic at showing the facets and how you can bounce between things. One second, she’s accepted it, then the next she’s back to being angry or sad.

It was fascinating watching her character’s struggle through the episode and what happens in this world that’s technologically advanced. The grief is still real, the way people deal with it is slightly different. We don’t want to give anything away with this episode because we want you to experience it for yourselves, but I think we both highly recommend this episode.

A short note on the technology: The initial tech shown in the episode felt like we weren’t that far away from it, you know? It felt that it could be there within a few years to a decade with how quickly things are going in the world.

I think there are a few episodes in this season and in future seasons where the technology isn’t far off from where we are. The fact that this show revolves around technology and where it can take us is very interesting indeed. There are definitely outlandish things in certain episodes, but it all feels real in some way or another. Some are just a terrible idea like the technology in “The Entire History of You”.

The technology in this has upsides and downsides, which we can’t get into because of spoilers. Speaking of terrible ideas, let’s go to “White Bear”.

White Bear

Both of us weren’t huge fans of this one, but I actually liked it a little better than Chantel did. I can’t go into the ending of it, but it focuses around a woman who has been checked out of the world and, for some reason, there are people chasing her and trying to kill her, then these random spectators taking pictures and videos of the whole thing.

Unlike Be Right Back, this one just wasn’t as well crafted. The twist felt off since there was no hint about what was going to happen. But I did appreciate this one because I really enjoyed the brief conversation of what constitutes cruelty.

This was my least favorite episode when I watched it the first time and that hasn’t changed on a second viewing. I think the concept of the idea was good but poorly executed. I think if we had been in the know the entire time it would’ve made the idea far more interesting and the twist wouldn’t have felt so cheap. I do think the first time I watched it, there was a lot of tension and I kept wondering what the hell was happening. On a second viewing, I didn’t get anything out of it.

I don’t think that it would have worked if we knew the secret from the start, but I think it would have been better if there were screw-ups that let us know that something wasn’t quite right, and it wasn’t that everyone had finally become completely apathetic like I thought the whole time I was watching. Completely giving it away would have ruined it, but I think there could have been a different angle to take the episode to talk about the same issue.

I disagree because I don’t think it was worth keeping a secret. Sometimes, if the audience is kept in the dark it’s effective. Other episodes do a far better job of keeping secrets from the audience. This episode failed in my opinion. It was a weak concept with a weak execution and it was disappointing after the strong first season and the first episode of the season. I’m always talking about the quality of this show, but I don’t think this episode is evidence of that.

For all the weaknesses of this episode, the acting was still really good in it.

It was okay.

There’s no pleasing you.

Not when it comes to this episode.

The Waldo Moment

This was an okay episode. I didn’t think it was fantastic and I think Caidyn and I both agree it wasn’t that realistic. I know that some people say this episode predicted Trump, and I disagree. Trump isn’t Waldo who is a cartoon bear. I think that it implies that people are stupid enough to vote for a cartoon which I don’t think is the case at all. Yes, people want something different but it didn’t have to be a cartoon bear.

The technology presented was very realistic, but no, the plot didn’t work for me. I don’t mind a comparison to Trump by calling him as stupid as a cartoon bear, but I can’t believe that people were so fed up to really want a fucking bear to run the world. It didn’t work for me, even if I know that people do tons of throwaway votes. And the cartoon bear, in a way, was a throwaway vote that actually gained traction.

The only thing that redeemed this episode for me was Jamie, who was a failed comedian who ended up being the voice behind this bear, Waldo. He was extremely depressed, starved for attention and affection, he was so fragile and yet he just continuously gets put down by one thing or the other. I can see people finding him unlikable, but I liked his character. What I have noticed is the episodes that seem as if they take place in the present day are generally weaker. Both episodes thus far have been surrounded by politics, which I don’t find interesting at all. Technology is a huge part of this show and when they deviate from that, I don’t care as much.

I’m one of the people who didn’t like Jamie. Sure, I could understand him and his plight, but eh. I don’t like that type of person, sadly. He just came off wrong to me, especially since I don’t like the humor Waldo had and he was Waldo. I find politics interesting, but this one was meh for me. I couldn’t root for Jamie, no matter how much he went through a change and somewhat grew as a character.

While Jamie did portray Waldo and created the character (I believe) he spends most of the episode wanting his own voice to be heard and wanting to be seen. Waldo is so tied to who he is and it’s the only thing that makes him worth anything. I think that’s so tragic and I totally understand not liking him. He’s an extremely flawed character and is very immature in a lot of ways, but I understand him and I had a soft spot for him.

White Christmas

I almost chose this one as my favorite episode from this season, but I didn’t because it didn’t have the heavy hitting emotions like “Be Right Back” did. What this one did have that the rest of the season didn’t was a tight plot that held my interest the whole time and reminded me of movies that I love, such as Inception or Shutter Island.

This episode was so well crafted. I agree with Caidyn that it wasn’t as emotional as “Be Right Back”, but it was so well done plot-wise. It involves multiple storylines which all revolve around two men. There is questionable morality and so many things to think about. I don’t want to give too much away and it’s almost too easy to but this episode was compelling and Jon Hamm was great as always. I would honestly recommend skipping the two episodes in the middle because “Be Right Back” and “White Christmas” are the best episodes of the season and it’s not even close.

What I loved about this episode was that they did give it away bit by bit without doing too much, but then when it’s all revealed (or close to since I picked it up early) it all makes sense. Especially since you feel like something’s wrong or off right from the start. You don’t know what it is exactly, but you can feel it.

I agree with Chantel, though. As we watch these, I’m actually recommending episodes to my mom since she watched “The National Anthem” and got scarred by it. I think that you can definitely skip “The Waldo Moment” and “White Bear” then come back to them later if you want to see what they’re all about.

Yes, everything was unfolding slowly. There were multiple reveals and I think they were well done. Unlike “White Bear”. Even if they were predictable, it didn’t matter to me. They were still interesting. I had no fucking clue what was happening in “White Bear” and yet the payoff was weak. This episode, you might be able to figure out the reveals but they are far better and actually have a purpose. There are hints of what is going on. Everything circles back in the end.

I think at first you can definitely skip “The Waldo Moment” and “White Bear” until you know you enjoy the show. I feel like people can too easily get put off by the poor quality of those episodes because I assure you some of these episodes are some of the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to hype it up for you because I think it gets enough hype, but if you watch “Be Right Back” or “Fifteen Million Merits” or “White Christmas” and you don’t like the show, then there might not be hope for you.

Episode rankings

Chantel’s rankings:

  1. Be Right Back
  2. White Christmas
  3. The Waldo Moment
  4. White Bear

Caidyn’s rankings:

  1. Be Right Back
  2. White Christmas
  3. White Bear
  4. The Waldo Moment

A-Z Bookish Tag

So, about two months ago, Emma tagged us in this. It has taken us this long to get to it. As always, we are sorry, and we’re getting to the backlog of things slowly but surely! If you guys haven’t already, you should check out her blog. She’s fantastic!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

1. Author you’ve read the most books from?

Shakespeare – 58

Agatha Christie – 39

J.K. Rowling – 7

Patrick Ness – 3

Junot Diaz – 3

2. Best sequel ever?

Okay, so while I’m technically first, Chantel filled this out early so she fucking filled in her answers and took good ones. But I’m agreeing (for once) with her about Harry Potter. But I think the best sequel of the series was Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling 

3. Currently reading?

Many things.

Right now, I’m reading Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore which is a book I doubt I’ll finish in the next few days. 

4. Drink of choice while reading?

Coffee, wine, or beer.

Coffee when I drink it and cider. 

5. E-reader or physical books?

Both, yo. I can’t choose.

Physical books but e-readers are way more convenient. 

6. Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school?

I dated one person in high school and she was insane so I’ve vowed never again. But, if we had to go off that one person’s personality, I would honestly have to pick Joe from You. I wish I were kidding.

Me? Date in high school? Are you joking? Here’s what would’ve happened. I would’ve had an unrequited crush on Hermione Granger and watched heartbroken as she ran off with Ron. That’s my story. 

Me heartbroken.

It would have been better if she’d run off with Harry.

That’s not comforting at all. 

7. Glad you gave this book a chance?

omg I don’t know. Uhm. I don’t know. I rarely like books that I give a chance since I know my reading likes/dislikes.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. I don’t read nonfiction often, but I’m really glad I read his memoir. It was incredible. 

8. Hidden gem book?

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver. It’s indie published and the author is so sweet. I’ve talked with her a few times, tbh. She’s fantastic and the book is hella queer.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember. I rarely hear people talking about this book and I absolutely loved it. I mean, a bisexual mermaid. Who wouldn’t want to read this?

9. Important moment in your reading life?

I could count so many, dammit. I think it was when I was a stubborn shit of a five-year-old and proved to my mom I was ready to learn to read while she said I wasn’t since we weren’t learning in school yet.

I would like to say in March when Caidyn and I started this blog because I started reading more because of it. 


Image result for awww gif
I love you, too.

10. Just finished?

At the moment, Become the Force by Daniel M. Jones. Pretty good if you want to read about different religions than the mainstream.

On Writing by Stephen King. It’s great, go read it. 

You’ve read many books since then, yo.

This is so embarrassing. I actually just finished Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire, but I’m positive I’ll have finished another book by the time this gets published. 

11. Kinds of books you won’t read?

Hyped books. I try to avoid them.

While I agree that I try to stay away from hyped books until the hype dies down, I am trying to broaden my horizons in reading across different genres. 

12. Longest book you’ve read?

IT, which clocks in at over 1000 pages.

I’m almost positive it’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which is 870 pages and trust me, it feels like it. 

13. Major book hangover because of…?

The Book Thief. Like damn. That one gets me every time.

Image result for the book thief gif

I would say The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. That one hurt me. 

14. Number of bookcases you own?

I use random things as bookcases, but I own four traditional ones. Then I also use a weird shelf thing for books and a filing cabinet.

I own two. 

15. One book you have read multiple times?

Uhm many? The Book Thief, Harry Potter series, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice, etc.

Idyll Threats. Just re-read it last year and still loved it. 

16. Preferred place to read?

Anywhere that’s comfortable. Couch, chair, bed, floor, desk at work.

In bed even if it’s awkward sometimes. 

17. Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you read?

“He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.”

Image result for rudy the book thief gif

I wish I kept better track of the quotes I like. Unfortunately, I don’t and I don’t want to go digging because work. 

18. Reading regret?

Vanilla by Billy Merrel. 

Image result for fuck that gif

Adam by Ariel Schrag. I regret that shit so much especially because it was marketed as an LGBTQ+ book. IT IS NOT. 

You will never get over that book.

Nope. Not when they plan on making a movie out of it. 

19. Series you started and need to finish (all books are out in series)?

Obviously the book series wasn’t that great since I can’t remember any.

The Broken Empire series by Mark Lawrence. I read Prince of Thorns and need to read King of Thorns and Emperor of Thorns. 

20. Three of your all-time favorite books?

  1. The Book Thief
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  3. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Oh shit. I hate these questions. 

  1. A Monster Calls
  2. We Are Okay
  3. Down Among the Sticks and Bones

21. Unapologetic fangirl/fanboy for?

Harry Potter. I don’t exactly fanboy over shit.

Thomas Lynch from Idyll Threats and Idyll Fears. Duh.

22. Very excited for this release – more than all the others?

Actually, I’m excited about The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. I actually preordered it, too.

Omg, so many freaking books. Especially all of the queer lady pirate books. Here, just look at my list on Goodreads. I can’t name them all. 

23. Worst bookish habit?

What Chantel says.

Not reading books I own and continue to buy more books. 

24. X marks the spot: start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book.

Do you realize how much this sucks? I keep my books in A-Z order on most bookshelves. Then the shelves that aren’t like that are usually specialized. But fine. FINE.

The book I got was Suicide by Emile Durkheim. I’ve owned it for a few years now. I think I only bought it because Durkheim wrote it.

Why 27? It’s such a random number. Oh well.

The book was Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire a book I’d probably recommend to anyone and everyone. 

25. Your latest book purchase?

When I preordered the book from question 22.

I bought The Love Interest and Leviathan Wakes for ten dollars. What a bargain. 

And all those book packages you’ve been getting recently??? (Aka since you last answered this question.)

Again, embarrassing considering I just bought several books from Book Outlet and Book Depository. There are way too many to name. The last book I received was Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. 

26. ZZZ-snatcher (book that kept you up WAY late)?

I have a schedule where I go to sleep between 8-10 at night so I don’t really break that. But the only book I can think of was when I was way younger and on vacation when I read it. Which was Half-Blood Prince. And I was about 10 when this happened. So 11 years ago.

The last few books I read, We Are Okay and How to Make a Wish both kept me up later than I should’ve been up. 

Wonders Will Never Cease by Robert Irwin

Wonders Will Never Cease



First, I want to say that the damn description on Goodreads lies. This is not for fans of George R.R. Martin or Philippa Gregory. This book has one perspective and is told in a period-appropriate way, so it’s not like Martin, although it deals with the time that inspired him. While this book isn’t completely historically accurate, it has a purpose to it. Oh, and there’s no sex scenes. Or people pitted against each other to create drama with women. So, not like Gregory.

The only knock I have for this book is that the beginning was a bit confusing and it took a bit to get into. But, once it started off, it really got going and I wound up loving it when I was worried about it being shitty.

So, why did I love it?

For one, I adored the theme of magic and how it really spoke to the period feeling like magic was alive in their world. It was accurate to how most people were religious, blending Christian theology in with folklore and the great romances. It was a huge theme of the book, and I loved how Irwin dealt with the themes.

It also showed the Burgundian influence on Edward’s court that lasted through to Henry VIII. Then, it really talked well about the Arthurian revival that started during this time and, again, extended far into Henry VIII’s reign. Uhm, then the writing style was authentic and fantastic.

But, what really did it for me, were the themes. Reality v. fiction and how there’s a very thin line between them. History and the influence of fiction on it, which is common through all periods but especially in this one since there was a huge difference in what people considered factual. Magic being alive and an active influence in the world. The feeling of magic dying away as you grow older. Aging in general. Death. I could go on.

This story was just so rich on so many levels that I adored it and the half star off is just because I wasn’t a fan of the beginning. But, on a reread I’m definitely going to do, it’ll probably be bumped up.