Violet’s Corner

Julie Plum: Girl Exorcist

Oh, Julie Plum. Where to start. Let’s begin with the positives.

Yay for strong female protagonists! It’s always nice seeing a strong female leader that doesn’t need a man to save her. Unfortunately for her boyfriend, this left him no purpose in the book; thus, he was just there to basically carry her purse. He didn’t even carry the backpack with the heavy incantation book. Nope, her awesome, strong female friends got to do that.

Now I’m brought to one of the negatives: poor characterization. Either get rid of the boyfriend altogether in the story, or actually give him a personality that makes you understand why Julie Plum is with him in the first place. He could have been at least street smart and offered some skill/benefit to the team. But, no, he had to get lost in a ghost town at least three times. Emphasis on ghost town. I don’t understand how he kept getting lost. It’s called listen for the only voices for hundreds of miles and follow those voices to your girlfriend. I’m ashamed to say that I did find it entertaining every single time he would fall down stairs or trip on tree roots. If he isn’t capable of being any help to Julie, he might as well make us laugh, right?

So, basically, Julie Plum is the supernatural version of Nancy Drew. Numerous plot holes il_570xN.242063081aside, it was quite entertaining. Her two friends Tyler and Betty definitely reminded me of George and Bess, Nancy’s friends, and they brought some fun comic relief once in a while. They would bring helpful insights at times that would help Julie solve a puzzle or figure out a clue, and they of course were the ones toting around the mighty Latin incantations book.

I hate to be nitpicky, but I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the Latin phrases. They were inconsistent, for one, which shouldn’t have been a problem because Julie was reciting the same paragraph throughout the story (so the paragraph shouldn’t have changed…). I’m also not sure how much research was gone into the Latin words and phrases. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the word expelliarmus has no place in an exorcism.

Overall, Julie Plum: Girl Exorcist wasn’t half-bad. Now, I’m not saying it’s half good, either, but it wasn’t the worst writing ever, and it was a quick, entertaining read. Just don’t expect a work of literature if you decide to sit down and read it. I admit I wasn’t expecting the book to surround only one exorcism (attempted multiple times), so be prepared; you will be in that ghost town for the entire book. Don’t be waiting for them to go somewhere better. If you do decide to read it, I suggest that you go in with the lowest expectations possible (maybe read Eleanor’s review again) in order to actually be able to enjoy it. Low expectations are key.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch is Gorgeous and Sounds Absolutely Nothing Like Snape

There’s usually at least one thing Eleanor and I can actually agree on: our love for Benedict Cumberbatch.

While this is still true (what’s not to love?), I’ve found out recently that Eleanor and I have very different opinions on a few things. Shocker!

Here’s what happened: Eleanor and I were having a lovely conversation about the lovely person that is Benedict Cumberbatch when, suddenly, Eleanor casually mentioned how he sounds like Snape and looks like a weird alien. She continued talking like she hadn’t just spoken blasphemy, so I had to stop her to make sure I had heard her correctly. Had she actually just compared the devastatingly gorgeous voice of Benedict Cumberbatch to the voice of the character Snape in Harry Potter and decided that they were the same?!

She looked at me like it was the most normal statement in the world, responding with a simple, “Yeah.”

Well, Eleanor, since I was somewhat incoherent during my rant on the couch after that, I’ve decided to write this comprehensive list of similarities and differences between Cumberbatch and Snape (as depicted in the movies by the great Alan Rickman). As you will see, my conclusion is that the differences STRONGLY outweigh the similarities…like by a landslide.

Similarities:

  • Both Severus Snape and Benedict Cumberbatch have English accents (this is the end of the list of similarities)

Differences:

  • Snape has a droll, monotone voice
  • Cumberbatch has a voice that displays an array of emotions
  • You would not want to listen to Snape read an entire book on tape
  • Cumberbatch has done just that. He is in high demand when it comes to audio books.
  • Snape’s voice is not soothing. It’s actually quite devious.
  • Cumberbatch’s voice is arguably one of the most soothing and lovely voices to listen to.
  • Cumberbatch plays a dragon in The Hobbit quite brilliantly. Another example of the great things he can do with his voice.

I don’t even begin to rest my case, but these examples will do for now unless someone needs more convincing.

Now, I was so flabbergasted — yes, flabbergasted — by Eleanor’s out-of-the-blue statement comparing Snape and Cumberbatch that I didn’t even have a chance to reply to her “weird alien” comment when she said it. I figured it’d be easiest to combat with visual aids anyway, so here goes:

First off, this man can pull off virtually any hair color, though my personal favorite on him is dark brown:

Benedict-Cumberbatch-War-Horse-Photoshoot-benedict-cumberbatch-32651064-2250-3000 tumblr_inline_mvvruoXqc31r730h6

He even pulls off facial hair in a breathtakingly amazing way:

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Next, I love how he looks in Sherlock.
Once while Eleanor and I watched it, she pointed out that they have him wear a lot of scarves, and she said that they’re trying to cover up his long neck. She then proceeded to call him a giraffe. While I cannot deny the fact that he does indeed have a longer than average neck, I stand by my belief that he is an extremely cute giraffe, and he can definitely pull off scarves. Let’s be real, he can pull off most anything:

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Finally, those EYES. Stare at them for 10 seconds and then tell me that you still aren’t swayed even the slightest bit:

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At the VERY least, you have to admit, Eleanor, that he’s a gorgeous alien.

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Man Buns: Actual Pros and Cons

As you might have gathered from Eleanor’s article, man buns have become quite the hot topic in our household. To be clear, I’m not actually against man buns. What I am against is Eleanor’s obsession with them.

Let’s just say that I used to enjoy when my older sister would play with my hair. Unfortunately, man buns have entered the picture and have put a damper on the festivities. While I admit that there are a few select people who can pull off the man bun style, I am certainly NOT one of them.

So stop giving me man buns, Eleanor!

Eleanor’s obsession aside, even though I’m not technically against man buns, I’m definitely not for them, either. I honestly just don’t think they’re that great.

My sister made some strong cases with good quality photographs of hot hipsters, but the man bun fad is frankly getting out of control.

I’m sure some guys can pull off tie-dye leopard pants as well, but that just means that some guys can pull off anything — not that tie-dye leopard pants are the best.

  • Pro: I agree that the men in the particular pictures that Eleanor showed looked great.
  • Con: That’s not often what man buns look like in everyday life, and there are many more styles of man buns that do not work as well.

Case in point:man-bun-hair

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  • Con: There are also a lot of guys who just can’t pull off a man bun, but they try anyway:

justin-bieber-manbun

If you want your hair out of your face, guys, cutting it is a very viable option:

Shia-LaBeouf-with-a-Man-Bun-600x450

 

 

  • Pro: Good-looking man buns on good-looking people look great from the side. Most pictures have this profile shot as well because…
  • Con: They don’t look as good from the front. I personally don’t like the look of a guy’s hair completely slicked back .

Here are two pictures of the same, beautiful actor Eleanor used, Avan Jogia. While he’ll always look good, I definitely like him better when his hair isn’t stuck to his head.

avan-jogia-bio-photo nm2240326

 

Same with Jared Leto:

jared-leto Jared-Leto-photo

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So, for the sake of conclusions and clarifications:

I don’t hate man buns, but I don’t love them, either. I think there are better-looking hairstyles that a guy could have.

However, here is a picture of the one man who is my exception to the rule. He can, without a doubt, make it work, and I don’t wouldn’t want him to ever have any other hairstyle.

Shang_3

Oh, Shang. Don’t ever change.

Shang_bucket

For those of you out there who are thinking, “Well, he’s animated. Of course it looks good,” think again. Here’s one more photo for thought. Notice the slightly blurry guys in the background? They are also animated, and they also have man buns, and it’s just not working for them like it is for Shang.

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Broadway Baby: My Life Is Complete

I cannot stop screaming. It’s bad (but AMAZING). Eleanor has threatened to take away my computer because I keep watching it. “What is ‘it’?” you ask? Oh. Let me tell you. “It” is what will change the lives of our generation. “It” is what will cause Eleanor to not be able to stand me for months. “It” is a BOY PARADE MOVIE!!!!!!! Your eyes are not deceiving you; you read that correctly. Boy Parade, the amazing band with angelic voices, is coming to the big screen. I know. My brain can barely comprehend it as well.

If there are sparse individuals out there who still have no clue who Boy Parade is (I’ve met a few more recently; crazy, I know), then feel free to read my previous Boy Parade article that explains a bit more about them.

So, back to important business. Here’s what I can tell so far from the trailer for Broadway Baby: Taking Broadway to the Streets:

-The movie seems to be surrounding Danny (obviously, because he’s the lead singer in the band). And Danny goes to New York to go on Broadway. Once Broadway rejects him (shut up, Eleanor), he decides to make his own Broadway show that he can be in and perform in front of Broadway in the street (apparently this is legal? Ah, who cares).

-Eric (*swoon*) plays Danny’s disapproving older brother (who also happens to live in New York). But once he gets over the disapproving bit, he agrees to write the songs for the off-off-off-off Broadway play.

-Miles and Justin P. seem to be playing a couple that are veteran Broadway choreographers/dancers. And they agree to help out Danny with his play endeavors, choreographing as well as participating in the play.

-Justin T. seems to be a nightclub DJ? Well they befriend him somehow, and he agrees to act as composer and write the music for Eric’s lyrics.

-The main song of the show (which was already partly shown in the trailer and I’m sure will be on radios before the movie comes out) is called “Play on Parade,” which seems quite fitting.

 

Here’s the rundown of their names in the movie:

  • Danny is now Billy
  • Eric is Chris? (I’m not sure. I could’ve sworn someone in the trailer actually called him Eric…so we’ll see)
  • Miles is Robby
  • Justin P. is Ronnie
  • Justin T. is DJ (apparently this is both his profession and his name)

 

I don’t know about you, but I am sooooo super duper extraordinarily excited to see this when it comes out. This is one to see opening night, for sure. I’m stoked. Eleanor may not admit it, but she’s pretty stinkin’ excited as well (I know cause I heard her screaming in her room earlier).

Makeovers!

My sister Eleanor and I have always loved playing with each other’s hair and experimenting with makeup. Recently, we both agreed to let each other do whatever we wanted to the other’s appearance. Head to toe makeovers!

As you can imagine, this didn’t go as well as we thought it would.

After I finally talked the sheers out of Eleanor’s hands, we amended the verbal contract, saying that we could both do whatever we wanted within reason. You’re all welcome that you don’t have to see me with bangs. It wouldn’t have been a pretty sight.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me start with the amazing makeover I gave to Eleanor.

Hair and Makeup:

  • I pinned back her bangs and curled her hair, giving her a 1/2 up,1/2 down hair style. It looked ridiculously gorgeous on her.
  • I gave her pink, almost nude lips.
  • I decided on natural browns for eye shadow paired with black mascara so that her eyes would pop but not be a distraction from the overall look.

Outfit:

  • White blouse
  • Black circle skirt
  • Pink cardigan
  • Lacey bow tights
  • 2″ Mary Jane heels

Even though I had to chase her around the house with that tube of pink lipstick, the finished product was worth it. She looked so classic and so cute with this look. I even threw in the lace tights with the bow pattern to give it a slight Eleanor edge. The look would have been perfect if she had just kept the flower in her hair. Apparently, for Eleanor, a flower from our garden is not “within reason.” I let the fight go once she reminded me that she still had to give me my makeover. She didn’t admit to it being a threat, but she always gets this mischievous gleam in her eyes that gives her away.

Oh, and for the record, Miss You-can’t-make-me-wear-stilettos, these are stilettos.

stilettos2

And these are closer to what I made you wear, only yours were black and not even as high.

mary jane high heels

 

Now that you all know how great I made Eleanor look, let me share with you what she did to me…

Luckily, by the time her turn came around to have fun with my appearance, I had already hidden the sheers (we didn’t want a repeat of that morning). Since bangs were out of the question, you’ll never believe what she did to my hair. Well, those of you who are privy to my sister’s unhealthy obsession may be able to guess. Yup, that’s right. She gave me a man bun! Anyway, I can’t get into that topic. Moving on.

To accompany my new ‘do, Eleanor gave me heavy eyeliner, the darkest lipstick she could find, and more blush than my cheeks are used to.

The featured pieces of the outfit that she picked out for me were the leather skirt and biker boots. For the final Eleanor touch, she couldn’t resist putting her own glasses on me. While they look great on her, they just do not fit my face well, not to mention that they make the world a tad blurry.

Can I just say that no high school girl should look like a 26-year-old female biker? With my features, less is more when it comes to makeup.

So, while I made Eleanor a gorgeous, edgy socialite fit for any occasion, she decided to turn me into an older, edgier, man-bun-wearing version of herself. Thank you, Eleanor, for giving me yet another reason to dislike man buns.

Supernatural: Be Still My Scared Senseless Heart

Supernatural is amazing. I have no idea how I’m going to catch up, though. Eleanor knows that I can’t watch them alone, so now that she’s marathoned them without me (thanks, sis), she’s definitely not as eager to re-watch them with me. I need her there, though, to tell me what’s going on (I do miss information here and there when I watch through my fingers)!

I’m also hesitant to keep watching now cause apparently Sam loses his soul??? (You know me, Eleanor. You saying “Spoiler” before a sentence just makes me need to read the sentence that much more…)

Speaking of Sam, I felt like he was grievously overlooked in my sister’s article. I definitely think Sam deserves more credit than he’s given sometimes. While I love Dean, I looooove Sam. He’s so sensitive and caring (while still kicking demon butt hardcore), and he has a great bedside manner.

Let’s be honest: Sam Winchester is the actual brains of the operation. While Dean hits first and asks questions later (an admittedly good characteristic to have in his profession), Sam observes his surroundings and figures out what devious thing is happening in a town and what devious creature is actually behind the strange happenings in said town.

Also, Sam’s storyline is crucial to the plot and is the reason the show’s been able to run for as long as it has been. Mysterious powers, weird demon friends, sketchy demon encounters as an infant, visions, etc. This guy’s got it all.

Finally, have you seen that jaw line? Those eyes, that height, those arms, that smile… you get the gist. Yup, I’m ready to start watching again.

jared-as-sam-winchester-jared-padalecki-1683301-967-1450 tumblr_l8jwgf2xlu1qbws4u Sam-Winchester Jared-Padalecki-Smiles

 

The Hunger Games: Team Peeta

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So, I loved The Hunger Games. I know some book lovers who weren’t too happy with it, but there were so many different elements to it that I loved. This movie might have also seemed great because the last book adapted series I’d watched was Twilight, so I greatly lowered my expectations before watching this one.

First: Jennifer Lawrence. I love her. I think she’s a great actress, and I love that she’s down to earth in real life. If you haven’t seen the interviews with her, Baby Thor, and Josh Hutcherson, watch them. They’re amazing — especially the “Unscripted Interview” ones. Her inside jokes with Josh just make me root for them that much more. (Their friendship in real life is SO adorable!)

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Too much cuteness

Which brings me to all you Peeta haters: back off! I have had an irrational crush on Josh Hutcherson since his first movies — so this may have something to do with me not minding him being the actor for Peeta — but I also love Peeta as a character. Nobody’s perfect, so of course he will have flaws and weaknesses, and he may never be as strong as Katniss.

BUT, let’s talk about his interview skills and strategy. That boy has got it down. He is a sensitive cook who paints and isn’t shy in a crowd — not to mention he is willing to die for the girl he loves…or the girl he at least seriously likes at this point. He’s the reason they have a chance at sponsors during the games, and he’s supportive of Katniss throughout the whole process (even when she’s mean to him and wants him to go away).

Gale_watching
This is his face watching them kiss…

Now, I admit that when reading the books, I was leaning more toward Gale in the beginning; but, in the movie, he’s barely even there. They only have a few scenes together, and those needed to serve as the foundation for their strong friendship and their everlasting loyalty to each other and each other’s families — and it just didn’t happen. Personally, I didn’t feel the chemistry. Maybe it’s because they weren’t given enough scenes, or maybe it’s also because Baby Thor just isn’t how I imagined Gale.

Either way, I completely forgot about Gale during the movie — except when they would decide to awkwardly pan back to him in District 12 during cute Peeta/Katniss moments. So awkward.

Although I wasn’t planning on talking about Rue too much (it’s too soon), I feel the need to explain to some people why her death was so tragic. Firstly, just because I knew she was going to die doesn’t make WATCHING HER DEATH any less painful. I just had to experience her death all over again, and this time I had a lovely visual to go along with it…. Also, seeing and hearing Katniss crying and being heartbroken makes it all the more sad.

As I’ve already explained to Eleanor, Rue is so much more in the books. Her character overall is somewhat tragic because she depicts everything that is unjust with the games. While they’re all technically innocent (don’t get me started on Districts 1 and 2), Rue is a little girl, the proverbial picture of innocence. She’s forced to fight by being placed in the games, but this cruel environment doesn’t change who she is.

She could have let the Careers kill Katniss, but instead she exposed herself to Katniss, deciding to trust her in order to save her. Then, when Katniss was useless and passed out for a couple of days, Rue risked her life in order to slowly nurse her back to health. This selfless act of aligning herself with Katniss is what ultimately led to her unnecessary death. (For clarification, every single death in the games is unnecessary and meaningless. Stupid, Capitol).

Rue is such a huge part of Katniss’ journey in the games. She’s the bright light that gets her through it all and keeps her sane. Rue helped her remember herself and helped remind her why she was fighting — for her sister. Rue becoming a sister-figure to Katniss made her death just that more tragic.

Some may say that Katniss took Rue under her wing, but Rue is the one that saved Katniss and stuck by her, giving her the hope to keep going.

Overall, it was fun seeing this movie with someone who didn’t know what was going on. Although, she would’ve understood a lot more if she had actually watched it instead of whispering questions in my ear the whole time. “Wait, are they gonna die, too? What about them?” Yes, Eleanor…everyone dies.

Also, I hate to burst your bubble, sis, but your idea for Baby Revolt already exists. It’s called Les Miserables. And, yes, they all die in that one, too.

 

Boy Parade: I’ll Follow You to the Ends of the Earth

Oh my goodness. Where do I begin??? Eleanor is the best sister ever! This has probably been the best time of my life so far. I don’t know how it can get any better than this. We spend our spring break following Boy Parade around on the tour. BOY PARADE! Eleanor is AMAZING because, even though she isn’t as crazy about them as I am, she knows how much I love and adore them and took us on this trip anyway. Thank you, Eleanor! This was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. We were initially hoping to get a quick interview with them, but…I’ll get to that.

Now, for those of you who don’t know about Boy Parade (I’ve met quite a few of you recently), I don’t know how you’ve survived until now.

Here’s the run-down:

Danny: He’s the lead singer, he’s still in high school, and he’s either 14 or 16 (Eleanor and I can never agree on this). He plays the tambourine (quite difficult to do while singing), and he is known for wearing a top hat ever since he wore one in one band photo. He has a ridiculously good voice, and anyone who says differently is just jealous; they wish they could sing as great as he does.

Eric: *sigh* He’s the lead guitarist. While I love them all dearly, Eric is by far my favorite. He’s the oldest, he’s in college, and he writes a lot of their lyrics for most of their songs. While they all do back-up vocals at times, Eric sings back-up the most.

Miles: The bassist.

Justin T.: The drummer.

Justin P.: Rhythm guitar.

 

I can never get tired of hearing their songs (which is good because of the number of times that we heard them over break).

There most popular song is “Staring Through Your Window.” It’s the sweetest; you can just tell that the boy in the song loves the girl so much. My personal favorite of theirs is now “The Only One.” When they played this song at the second concert we went to, I kid you not, Eric kept making eye contact with me. We’re destined to be together. I just know it.

Now, for the big moments of the trip:

During one of their last concerts in Indianapolis, guess who got called to come on to the stage?! Eleanor….

I kept my jealousy in check at first, deciding to be happy for my sister. But then…THEN…she had on her what-am-I-doing-here look! Not an I-am-so-happy-my-life-is-fulfilled look. No! She even sneered at one point when Danny got close to her to sing! Sneered! Suffice to say, I didn’t talk to her much the rest of the night. I’m over it now, though. Completely over it.

 

We now come to the reason why we do not actually have an interview with Boy Parade to share with you. It was a dark and stormy night. We were driving to the next stop on the tour, Chicago. The rain was making it difficult for Eleanor to drive, not to mention she was tired (and we were both starving). So, at the first Denny’s we spotted, we stopped.

I was so focused on eating that I almost didn’t notice the group taking up half of the restaurant. That’s right. It was Boy Parade! I looked out the window, and sure enough, there was their tour bus at the other end of the parking lot. I nudged Eleanor with my foot because my face and arms were frozen in place, my hands holding a biscuit in place a few inches from my open mouth. She didn’t like being disturbed from her food, but Eleanor soon followed my line of sight to the booth containing the gorgeous band members.

As my initial shock subsided, I became uncontrollably excited. This was our chance! We could actually get an interview! I looked over to tell Eleanor to go talk to them (we both know she’s the bold one), and I found her hiding behind her menu! Which in reality hides nothing. After a half hour of pleading and bickering back and forth, we ended up with an empty restaurant, no Boy Parade, and no interview.

So, jury. What’s your verdict? Should Eleanor be forever teased for a) sneering at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of being on-stage with Boy Parade and then b) being too scared to talk to the same people she sneered at?

 

Lack of interview aside, this was an amazing trip. Not only because I got to see the amazing Boy Parade, but because I got to have an unforgettable road trip with my amazing sister.