2016 was a crazy year. Let us all hope that 2017 is better.
Goodreads describes the novel as:Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands.
My review behind the cut.
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The series will have two more novels: one from Mira's POV and one from Tamsin's POV. Both will take place during the same time as The Glittering Court
After two days of teacher her English II classes, my mentor teacher gave me some “unofficial” feedback. She mentioned two things: I talk too softly and I need an attention grabber, for when students enter and for when they get off task. I know about the low voice and I am trying to get better at it. But, I’m wondering about the attention grabber. My mentor teacher isn’t a fan of Bell ringers, because the school has cut classes to 50 minutes each - and sometimes they ring the bell 5 or 7 minutes earlier. I offered her some suggestions: “Class, Class.” or snapping. But, my mentor teacher believes that “too young” for high schoolers. I’ve been looking, but nothing is catching my eye. I thought about playing music as they enter or playing sounds when they get noisy. I could use some ideas and thoughts.
Oh, if it helps: the English II children are in both 10th and 11th grade. Many have failed English II before. The mentor teacher describes them as the most entitled, nasty, mean, immature children she has ever taught. And, considering where she has taught (an alternative school for teens awaiting prison) and who she has taught (gangs), that is saying something.
I tried asking for attention. I said things like: “Class, I need your faces forward.” “Class, we’re starting. This is important. If you don’t hear directions, that is on you. Please pay attention.” I get some looks or their attention for three minutes, and than it is back to talking.
I think the issue with my quiet voice is that her classroom is old - from the 1940s, solid brick, and it is crowded. It’s an old computer lab that is very bad with noise.
Love Me, If You Dare aka Close Your Eyes, and Close To Me / He Is Here, Please Close Your Eyes (Ta Lai Le, Qing Bi Yan) is a Chinese drama, which is based on the novel by Ding Mo. It is a crime drama with romance and comedy thrown in. It stars Wallace Huo as genius criminal investigator, Bo Jin Yan (Simon). Sandra Ma plays his assistant and love interest, an English translator, named Jian Yao (Jenny). Rounding out the cast are: Wang Kai as police office (and Jian Yao’s childhood friend) Zhang Xun Ran, Yin Zhen as doctor (and Jin Yan’s only friend) Fu Zi Yu, and Edward Zhang as a mysterious and dangerous enemy.
The drama is very well written, beautifully filmed, and just a really fun and addictive watch. It has 24 episodes, and 18 have aired so far.
As I stated above, the writing for the drama is really amazing. The crimes are interesting and just dark enough, without getting too disturbing. (Apparently, the novel is much more disturbing) The scripts mix romance, comedy, and crime cases wonderfully. There is just enough of everything to keep the show interesting and exciting. I cannot wait for more episodes.
The cast all have great chemistry. Wallace Huo and Sandra Ma have believable romantic chemistry. I ship the romance hardcore. Then, you have the friendships between Jin Yan, Jian Yao, Xun Ran, and Zi Yu is really fun. Zi Yu is the humor in the show – I adore the way he rolls his eyes whenever Jin Yan asks if he can do something with technology. And, while Xun Ran has feelings for Jian Yao, he’s more than willing to try and get Jian Yan to notice his feelings.
Meanwhile, Jian Yao and Jin Yan are the most adorable and adorkable things in the world. Jin Yao has a very low emotional IQ, so he doesn’t understand romance. But, he tries and it is adorable and sweet. Neither Jin Yao or Jin Yan are terribly experienced, but they fit perfectly.
The mysterious stories of the serial killers are so creepy and really exciting.
I am just in love with this show. Please tell me more people are watching it? I need to talk about it with someone.
A lot of the story involves an American serial killer, Tommy. The FBI also pops up, as Jian Yan helped them solve Tommy’s case. So, there are several English-speaking cast members that pop in and out of the series. And... their English skills are not always the greatest. Tommy does this weird Southern accent at times, and it can be distracting. Susan, Jian Yan’s FBI friend, sometimes sounds like she’s just reading a prepared paper. I wonder if the actor and actress are Americans living in China or if they are simply Caucasians, and the production thought: “White = English speaking.” The show shot for a few weeks in the United States and I know there are Americans and Canadian actors and actresses who have done stage plays in China and Hong Kong. Could no one find a solid actor or actress? Seriously, that is a huge issue with me and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dramas and films – 95% of the time, they have “Americans” or English-speakers being played by people who clearly aren’t American and/or probably have English as their third or fourth language.
I just find it so weird that Jian Yan speaks Mandarin to Susan and Tommy and they reply in English. He studied in the States, he worked as a professor in a university, he worked for the FBI – why does Jian Yan never speak English? Do Susan and Tommy both know Mandarin? Jian Yao studied English and is an English translator. We are told several times that her English is very good – why does she never speak English to Susan and the other Americans she interacts with? And how do they all know Mandarin?!
And the language issues just bother me. As does the somewhat shaky acting by the actors and actresses playing American characters.
I looked up the actress that plays Susan, Emily O’hana. She is from Cuba and most of her credits have French or Spanish names. Mm.
In regard to the Lafayette, Louisiana gunman. I think it is important that people not focus too much on the fact that he had a history of mental illness. It should be mentioned and brought up. Like, how did he get the gun? Etc. HOWEVER, "he was mentally ill" shouldn't just be the reason he did what he did. It puts negative vibes on people who live with their mentally illness daily and never harm anyone. I think it is important that people also know that this man was: a man who believed that women shouldn't work outside their homes, had hostility toward Planned Parenthood, ranted openly about women's rights, minorities, and liberals. In all likely hood he chose the film he did because it was a female lead film, that featured minorities and several female characters. I have no idea why he did what he did - but I just really hope the media doesn't go with the: "Another white man with a mental illness" reason for this horrible event. There is way more to the story than "he was mentally ill" and I'm angry that so many use mental illness as an "excuse" for violence or that mental illness is seen as a "bad and violent" thing.
One of the things I really liked was the world building. This movie made the Wasteland and the different clans/groups/tribes seem more real. It felt more realtistic. Like, I could see 30+ years after the world is destroyed - an ex-military leader uses cult tatics to build himself an army. It happens now, so it makes sense. And, honestly a lot of this post-end of the world stuff rarely makes sense. Anyway, I'd really love to know more about this people. Like, what more backstory on the Vuvalini. More interactions between the wives. I just really want to know everything about these people and their world.
Max, Furiosa, the wives, Nux, the Vuvalini were all amazing. I wish we had been able to spend more time getting to really know the new characters a bit more. I loved the big (and beautiful) car chases, but I would have traded one for more time getting to know the wives, Nux, and the Vuvalini. They all seem amazingly interesting and I wanted to see more of them just being them and getting to know one another. (Yes, I know there is a comic that deals with some backstories.)
Speaking of that: I really loved the little “romance” between Nux and Capable. It was sweet, innocent, and didn’t take too much away from the plot. (Though I personally would I have liked to see more of it.) Also, thanks for having Max and Furiosa be partners and be equals in their fights. I really loved that Furiosa was such a strong character and I enjoyed the friendship and respect she developed with Max.
BTW: what do people tag the Nux x Capable relationship on Tumblr? 'Cause I'm shipping that like FedEx and really hope they have deleted scenes somewhere.