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Fall TV Premiere Week Round 3

And so it continues and ends (for now…I’m still waiting for a few new shows to pop up). A lot of comedy in this block! Except for Whitney. Who knows what that was supposed to be.Whitney

I had heard that this show really wasn’t worth the time. The advertising campaign didn’t do much to win me over either. But, at the end of a long night of TV watching my husband and I decided to see just how terrible it was. In the end, we agree with Hulu’s The Morning After in how they rank NBC’s Thursday comedy block in terms of which episodes this week were the best. “Whitney” falls squarely at the bottom.Part of the problem is that it is filmed in front of a live audience. This prevents the show from doing anything creative with its storytelling. It’s all linear, no cutaways, nothing unique. For example, when Whitney goes to go find something sexy to go put on for her boyfriend instead of a cut to seeing her coming out of the bathroom in another outfit or something we have to watch and listen to her paw through her terrible underwear drawer. I felt like I was watching a terrible sitcom from the 80s or 90s.

The other problem is that the jokes all fall flat. Seriously, nothing is funny in this show. The characters aren’t funny, and the actors aren’t making me laugh. The writing is just atrocious. I kept hearing, prior to the show’s premier, that Whitney is known for being such a cutting edge comic; she’s so real and dirty. She makes jokes about vaginas and doesn’t hold back. I know this is network TV, but there wasn’t even a hint of that! Even if some of that was brought to the show I don’t think it would help.

There are all sorts of issues with this show, but the one that caused me to have a real pained expression on my face came when the topic of marriage came up at the end of the episode. Here are two characters who pretty much say that they really love each other and are definitely committed to each other. They don’t want to be with anyone else and don’t foresee wanting to be with anyone else. Whitney has an epiphany that she loves her boyfriend so much after he has an accident that puts him in the hospital that she really does want to spend the rest of her life with him. Yet they won’t get married because Whitney is “scared” of marriage! Look, I get it’s a personal choice for everyone and that a lot of couples are choosing these days not to do it. But in this show Whitney is prevented from going in to see her boyfriend in the hospital. She has seen firsthand one of the many benefits to being married. They admit that they love each other and are committed enough to be married. Yet marriage is too “scary.” WTF. I do not understand.

But then again I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who is 4 months into marriage. I chose it because yes, it is scary, but also wonderful.

Prediction: Cancelled by mid-season. No one is liking this show and I see why. I don’t think this show can be saved unless they change up the style and I’m pretty sure it’s too late to do that. Unless I’m in the mood to lambaste something I doubt I’ll give this show a second chance.

Community
Last season Pierce was pretty much a d-bag most of the time. And then he redeemed himself at the end of the paintball match (game? war?). Or at least the show has presented Pierce as being redeemed. I don’t have the warm and fuzzies for him yet. I think that he was too much of a jerk to be forgiven so easily. But the group seems to have welcomed him back more easily than I have.Musical number! Just go watch it. Because it’s pretty funny. And it sets the theme for this episode: trying to be normal.

Biology 101 is the new class everyone is taking. Well, until Jeff got himself kicked out for some shenanigans with his phone (oh Jeff and his phone). He winds up creating a feud between himself and the professor (who is pretty intimidating). Jeff also freaks out and has a mild psychotic break in the study room. But who hasn’t by this point? Abed has yet another little mental thing go on during this episode as well. He found out “Cougar Town” was a mid-season replacement so Britta tries to find other shows for him to like. She finds a British show similar to “Cougar Town” called “Cougartown Abbey” (I guess it’s similar? I know nothing about that show) but because the Brits are so good at closure it ends after 6 episodes. Cue Abed retreating back into his semi-comatose state.

And then comes “INSPECTOR SPACETIME”

It looks suspiciously like “Doctor Who.” I loved it. LOVED IT!

And Abed loved it. This parody was the best thing about this episode for me. I want to say that the fact that Abed falling in love with the pseudo-”Doctor Who” makes him normal because DW has become so mainstream now. Or maybe becoming a fanboy is the opposite of normal which is par for the course for this group.

Also, we got to see a bit of John Goodman. We’ll be seeing more of him. He’s a good foil to the Dean which is great. It saves us from the same Dean/study group interactions over and over again.

I’ll also mention that Hulu+/NBC sucks because I pay for a Hulu+ subscription and this show isn’t included! I then pay extra to Amazon to be able to keep up with this show. Ridiculous!Prediction: Things are getting mixed up a bit this season. I feel a little shaken up and not quite settled yet when it comes to “Community.” I don’t know if it’s because a lot of other shows did 1 hour premiers or if I’m just not sure yet where we’re going this season. But I really love this show and I have faith in the creators.

Parks and Recreation
I don’t think I can adequately sum up this episode and fully express how funny it really is. They did a fine job picking up literally seconds from where last season left off. Leslie Knope is going to run for City Council. Her dream of running for office is going to come true! Sadly that means her relationship with Ben (which still had to stay under wraps) really needs to end now. The episode traces her avoiding telling Ben this news and ends with him knowing all along. He presents her with a present of a personalized Knope 2012 campaign button – awwwww! So sweet. But he breaks it off by making himself the bad guy- again awwww.Ron is in hiding from Tammy 1, but when he comes back (after Leslie tracks him down for some advice) he announces her big news to the department and says she’s going to get a new assistant. April then volunteers Andy for the job. This saves him from having to work for Tom whose company Entertainment 720 has done jack all so far except make lame swag (that they don’t even make themselves).

There was another subplot involving Anne and Chris and penises, but it really doesn’t need explaining; it was hardly the best part of the episode. Unless this leads them getting back together?

Prediction: Not the strongest or funniest of Parks and Rec eps I’ve seen, but it set up for where this season is going. We’ll follow Leslie on the campaign trail. I’m glad we’re going someplace new! Not that the show was getting stale, but mixing it up is always good. I’m thinking it’ll be a solid season.

The Office
Michael Scott, you are missed. Let’s not forget the large Michael sized hole that he left in that show. But, you know what? The season premiere was so awesome that I actually forgot about it pretty easily. The ensemble cast works so well together (as they should by now) that everything flowed and clicked. James Spader made an (as predicted) excellent addition to the cast.Just like it was mentioned over the summer, his character is actually now CEO. The big surprise is that Andy is the branch manager! Good for him! Of course his biggest challenge will be finding the strength to standing up to the crowd when it’s needed. We’ve already seen this happen in this first episode.

Robert California has branded half the office as “winners” and half as “losers.” I surmised that it’s all a mind game; something to get them all to work harder. And I was right. When he left his notebook behind “on accident” and was confronted about the list he was pretty honest. He said that the winners need to prove that they are winners and the losers need to become winners. I’d hate to be in that office, but it’s kind of genius. And it worked on Andy. Something about Robert got Andy all fired up and angry and ballsy enough to charge in and tell him just how much everyone in the office was a winner (except Gabe – he’s still a loser). Oh, and they get to leave at 3 the Friday before Columbus day.

There was some seriously good writing in this episode. Great jokes and great execution of those jokes. The planking was taken a bit far. It was funny for a minute or two and then I was bored.

Prediction: They seem to be making Andy into a mini-Michael in a way. So I’m not expecting drastic changes which can be good and bad. Good because “The Office” is a good show. Bad because I don’t want to be bored. We may get an uneven episode here and there, but that’s kind of how it’s been the past couple of years. I’ve been excited about James Spader joining the cast since it was only a possibility. I think he’s got chemistry with the ensemble will only continue to grow.

Modern Family
“Dude Ranch” and “When Kids Go Bad” are the two episodes that “Modern Family” opened the season with this past week. Both were pretty good. The first made great use of the entire cast as they visited a dude ranch. Phil, once again, tried to prove himself to his father-in-law. But Jay was too busy keeping his eyes on Hank (their host) who had eyes for Gloria. Mostly everybody got a hilarious cowboy nickname: Manny is Hollywood, Jay is Old-Timer, and Claire is Bossy. Phil waits almost all episode to get his moniker Buffalo Phil. “Worth the wait.”Mitchell is hung up on whether he can do guy stuff or not because he and Cam are going to try and adopt a boy. In the end he blows up a bird house with his nephew and figures he’ll learn along the way.

In the second episode we hear more of the suddenly older Lily speak. Unfortunately she’s saying stuff like “I hate the baby” and “I wanna make the baby dead.” Mitchell and Cam figure this stems from the way Cam coddles her – flash to a montage of ridiculous scenes of Cam taking Lily places you normally wouldn’t have a toddler….like holding her hand while she waits for you outside the shower. Turns out it may be Mitchell’s fault. But that’s discovered later in the episode.

In the meantime we have other story lines going on, like Manny stealing a locket and Gloria helps him cover up his crime, and Phil pushing Clare into a pile of cans at the supermarket (which Phil denies). Clare is so determined she’s right she just can’t let it go just like Jay can’t let go proving that Gloria helped Manny cover up his crime. Ultimately the point of this episode was that we get our bad habits from our family members. This episode works because 1. that statement is so true and 2. we know these characters so well now that their bad habits are funny to us.

Prediction: The second season was a really great one. I’m so afraid that, with multiple Emmy wins under their belts, things are going to get stale. I hope I’m proven wrong. I don’t want to see the “30 Rock” effect where things are great until a few Emmy wins makes everything go south. I’d love another consistent and great season like before. But, you know, leave room in the Emmy categories for some other shows this time ok?

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Premier week round 2

I’m not done catching up yet, but this is a start. It’s been all shows I’ve watched previously; nothing new. Look for another post tomorrow or maybe early next week with my thoughts on “Community” “The Office” “Parks and Recreation” and “Modern Family.”

How I Met Your Mother

Two episodes of  “How I met your mother”  premiered this week- both excellent intros to the new season. There was a teaser for Barney’s wedding. Who is he marrying? Robin or Nora? Or possibly neither. Robin came close to telling Barney that she still had feelings for him, but telling Lilly was as close as she got. Speaking of Lilly, she and Marshal spilled the beans about their upcoming addition to the group. It was too tough having Marshal drink for two, and in the end he ended up spoiling Punchy’s wedding by inadvertently revealing the bride’s pregnancy. Hey but at least he pulled attention away from Ted who was in the spotlight because he apparently has a history of crying at every single toast he gives at friends weddings. They just happen to coincide with bad breakups. They just also happen to be filmed and end up on a Finnish YouTube-like website.

In the second episode Barney makes an attempt to win back Nora. She makes it pretty clear she doesn’t like liars, and Barney’s case is pretty hurt when he shows up wearing a fake neck brace. She tricks him with a ta-ta fake out. Barney is such a boob guy! But in the end he winds up telling her most (because, really, I’m sure there’s a few he left out) of the stories he told women to get them into bed. And as he pointed out, she didn’t leave. So Barney isn’t leaving the diner until she agrees to go on a second date. Crazy? Yes. It also sets us up for a scene with Barney another day into staying at the 24 hour diner (and still not having ordered anything) with the rest of the gang visiting at the booth behind him.

Oh yes, Martin Short shows up to give Marshal a job at an environmental firm but first Marshal goes through hell trying to get a rather embarrassing video of himself off the web before his new employer finds it.

Overall I loved these two episodes. They were a great intro to the season and they set up great plot lines for the season. By Season 7 everyone is super comfy in their roles but no one is phoning it in. Everything is running smoothly. I’m trying not to take it for granted because I’d hate for this show to end anytime soon.

I should mention that I purchase HIMYM through Amazon. Yeah, it sucks. If I want to keep up-to-date with it then I need to pay since it’s not on Hulu+.

Prediction: I’m still living with the memory of the Stella season (which was the worst in my opinion), but I think this will top it. I liked Victoria and if she makes a return this season then I’m fine with it. She’s much better than Stella and Zoey IMO!

Glee
Let me be honest: I had to force myself to watch this episode. I really didn’t want to, but it was like morbid curiosity. I knew that AV Club gave it a D+, but Jezebel seemed to not mind it so much.

I can’t really bring myself to write even a little bit of a recap of the episode. It starts the same way it always starts….blah blah blah Nationals blah blah. Rachel and Finn are still together. Sam and Mercedes are not (because Sam is off the show). Mercedes now has a new bf. Quinn is a “skank” now. That’s what she’s calling herself….I just called her that before. Shue and whatsherface are living together in a sexless relationship and Sue has reverted back to the beginning of Season 2 terribleness. Ummmm…I think that’s it. Otherwise I broke it down into good and bad things about the episode.

Good things: Rachel and Kurt’s friendship and less Rachel and Finn relationship. Less Quinn. Great Anything Goes number!

Bad. Sue reverting back to stupid villain. What happened to all her good character development??? BLAINE!!!!!!! HATE BALINE. STUPID. OVER THE TOP BLAINE SINGING! Seriously, I do not get his appeal. Don’t get me wrong, I love that Kurt gets a cute relationship, but I do not like who it’s with. Also, EW NO SOCKS! For a show  that treats most things with sensitivity (bisexuality, bullying, death), they didn’t treat Aspergers with any sensitivity. I mean wtf was Sugar? There are seriously no repercussions about her going around claiming she has a serious diagnosis just so she can insult people?

Prediction: Blerg. I don’t even know. I wanted to quit this show, but it shows up automatically in my queue in Hulu+ because it was there from last season. Despite what Ryan Murphy says and despite bringing on board talented writers like Marti Noxon (!!!! of Buffy fame!!!!) I’m just not sure about this season. This episode felt like it could have come straight out of last season. IF I continue with this season we may be in store for another uneven one. I’ll keep up with reviews before I bother watching. Fox isn’t cancelling this show any time soon though. It’s like their darling/cash cow. And, yet, somehow there are still tons of Gleeks out there. People are still really dedicated to this show for some strange reason. Please, if you can, explain it to me.

Grey’s Anatomy
Apparently we’re picking up not long after the season finale. I really could have used a refresher, but luckily the beginning pretty much caught me up. Christina and Meredith are living together to raise MerDer’s adopted daughter. Apparently Christina hasn’t gotten her abortion yet. Both marriages are still strained. Communication seems to be a foreign concept to these people.

Professionally, Mer has been fired for her stunt that compromised the Alzheimer’s study. Teddy is staying and will work with Christina but in some effed up way that slightly tortures her. Kepler sucks at being Chief Resident. Are we surprised? Meanwhile Little Grey is rocking at the job right under her nose. I think that might be a running thing for a few episodes.

That was just the first episode of the night.

Apparently Meredith is a baby stealer. Christina is a Gunther…or maybe Avery is? Basically this just means Avery stepped up and lead the charge when the group was tasked with coming together on a case (a woman pulled from a sinkhole whose leg had to be amputated on the scene. Don’t get me started on the sinkhole in Seattle. Ridiculous. Hated that). And hey, subtle reference to George by Derick! BTW Mer gets her job back by the end of the episode. I guess the Chief figured he owes it to her what with her tampering with the study for his wife in the first place.

I guess the theme of the second episode was motherhood? Normally the theme is a bit easier to pick out, but I had trouble with this one. Still, I have to applaud “Grey’s” with handling Christina’s abortion with maturity and going so far as to showing her in the doctor’s office. I’m sure they’re getting hate mail on that one. My heart broke for Meredith as she and Derick lost custody of Zola. It sucks when capable parents are chosen to adopt or be parents for children yet so many crappy parents are out there.

I wasn’t wowed by this set of episodes, but they provided a smooth into back into the season.

Prediction: If you’re a loyal “Grey’s Anatomy” fan then I think it will be a pretty good season. We know that Patrick Dempsey’s time is limited so that could prove to provide some interesting story lines. I wonder if this show is nearing the end. Could this be the last season?

Other Stuff:
– I’m not watching “Ringer” the second week (at least not until it appears on the CW’s website. They FINALLY put the first ep up. But I’m so not paying for another one). It got D on AV club and not much better review anywhere else.

-I am apparently alone in not loving “New Girl” Jezebel, PopWatch, AV Club all thought it was great! Maybe worth watching the second ep?

The Hunger Games: A commentary on our reality TV habit?

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I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins the other day. I began the book by listening to it on audio cd on a road trip last weekend and finished it up via the book I bought at the Borders clearance sale. The audio version is really good and pretty nice to listen to. My only complaint is the way the reader says the name Haymitch. It sounds more like “Haymish.”

Looking at the reviews on Amazon, I know there are a lot of complaints that this book borrows a bit too much from the Japanese Battle Royale. That series also has teens fighting to the death in a dystopian society. Beyond that I can’t really comment because I haven’t seen it (although I will). I wouldn’t say Collins plagiarized. Doesn’t a lot of Sci Fi and Fantasy borrow from each other? The plot of the Hunger Games doesn’t have identical characters to Battle Royale as far as anyone has said, just a similar plot. Fighting to the death, fighting for survival, controlling overlords who pull our strings in a post-apocalyptic world are not new themes in this type of literature. So therefore we have to look at The Hunger Games on its own.

I liked Katniss as a character. But then again I’m a sucker for a strong female character. And a strong female character that teens can look up to? Fantastic! She isn’t likable 100% of the time, but no character is. She isn’t even liked by all the characters in the book. Haymitch is meant to be on her side (and he is in his own way), but the two of them are like two strange cats shoved into a closed room. The problem with Katniss is her manipulation of Peeta. You either hate her for it because you can’t understand how she could be so oblivious to his real feelings or you admire how she has such determination and intelligence to play to the audience. I have the feeling this problem, this manipulation, will play out into the next book. Will Katniss come to really love Peeta? Will she have played at loving him that she fools herself into actually doing it? Or was it all just for show after all?

At the heart of the matter is the fact that all of The Hunger Games was played out in front of an audience. I feel like Suzanne Collins was making a statement on how we, as a modern day audience reading her book, also watch lives unfolding in front of us on TV day in and day out. And that has a real effect on the people who are being filmed. Case in point? Russel Armstrong, the estranged husband of one of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” wives committed suicide recently. Keeping up with the extravagant lifestyle of a Beverly Hills family got to him. When he went into debt it was too much and he felt that the show was going to portray him in a negative light. We gobble up these “reality” shows. J”ersey Shore”, “16 and Pregnant”, “Real Housewives”, etc. It’s our new entertainment. I really kind of wish Collins had expanded on the conversations people were having after the survivors came out of the arena. She touched on something there. Katniss went through an ordeal. But to everyone else all they could remember was where they were and what they were doing when they saw her brush death, or lose a friend. Kind of like us now. I wish this fueled Katniss to anger.

Maybe it will. I haven’t read the second book (no spoilers, please!). I hope she gets ripping pissed at The Capitol. I would be!

The Hunger Games will be a movie pretty soon. Entertainment Weekly posted some pictures not that long ago.

Upstairs Downstairs vs. Downton Abbey

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Upstairs Downstairs vs. Downton AbbeyJust to be clear I am referring to the newly revived Upstairs Downstairs that aired in England in December 2010. Both shows are Masterpiece Classic shows on PBS. Upstairs Downstairs aired on BBC and Downton Abbey aired on ITV. They also both happen to deal with a well to do titled family residing in the “upstairs” and the people that wait on them living in the “downstairs.” I really enjoyed both shows and am excited to see each one continue on.

Upstairs Downstairs

This show has a long history to draw from, and it’s a history that I really can’t draw from as I’ve never seen the show before. I recognize that anyone who watched the former incarnation of the show will feel nostalgia for 165 Eaton Place and for the former parlour maid Rose Buck. I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited to see the currently in ruins home turned into something fabulous.

Set in 1936, there are definite world issues concerning just about everyone in the show. Royalty plays a large issue in this series. We become familiar with Ms. Simpson and the Duke of Kent (played by Blake Ritson who I recognized from the recent TV remake of Emma). After having seen “The King’s Speech”I was really rather annoyed at the inaccuracies surrounding the Duke. He didn’t even stutter once. But I guess you couldn’t really have such a young (inaccuracy #1) and good looking actor like that slow down the plot like that. The show wasn’t about him.
The show was about the upstairs family and the downstairs family. Each had their own dramas. For only three episodes I would say a lot was crammed in. At times it felt like a lot. I’m glad the next season will give the writers time to stretch things out a bit so that we, as an audience, can catch our breaths. With so much material to work with I think the cast handled the material very well. The acting is pretty good and I don’t have any complaints.
Again, the only thing I can say is that there is too much packed into three episodes. The final episode feels like overload as well. Everything is resolved as well as throwing us a few revelations about the Hollands. The final Christmas scene is a bit sappy as well. Again, it’s meant to invoke a nostalgia I just don’t feel.

Downton Abbey

One of the key differences between this show and Upstairs Downstairs is that Downton Abbey focuses more on the drama within the family – which extends to the staff. Sure there are world events that effect the family, but it ends up being more atmospheric. Like U/D we see how “modern” conveniences influence the people of the day. Electricity is the big one in this series. I really enjoy the set of Downton Abbey a lot more than I do U/D. Highclere Castle served as the location for the household so, to me, it felt much more real. Production value felt much higher on this series.

Character back stories of the staff play a large role of the season. I think the writers do an excellent job in taking care of each of their characters. The rest of the time concerns itself with what Lady Mary calls “the Great Matter” aka. the Endowment. After Earl Grantham’s heirs perished in the sinking of the Titanic, his title and endowment is determined that it will go to a distant relative. Because of the workings of his father, the dowry of Cora, the Earl’s wife, is wrapped up so tightly in the endowment that it cannot be broken and passed on to their daughter. And because she is also a woman, neither can the title. Stupid laws.

I love the plot lines in this series. No episode is boring to me. The acting is really top-notch. Yes, it has Dame Maggie Smith as a draw, but even if it didn’t it would still be able to stand on its own.

If you must pick one of these shows, pick Downton Abbey. But, really, they’re both great if you’re into turn of the century peerage and the people in service.

Downton Abbey is available as a watch instantly on Netflix (but it looks soooo awesome on Blu ray as well).

Putting movie theaters in malls is dangerous!

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Just a few things we picked up

My husband and I went to the theater on Friday night to see the new Harry Potter movie. That theater just happened to be right in the middle of a large mall. Whoops! We had some time to kill before the start of the movie….and afterwards. This particular mall happened to have both a Newbury Comics and a going out of business Borders. Cue the devilish grin. We didn’t go as crazy as we could have because, well, we have a mortgage and various other bills to pay. But I was pretty happy with our haul. Particularly with the Buffy lunchbox as seen above. That was made as part of a deal so that my husband could get a Magic: The Gathering 2012 Core Set Intro Pack (black/blue if you’re curious).

The Borders in this mall had much better deals. We think it’s because the rent that they’re paying is much higher and they’re going to close faster than the location we went to previously. 40% off blu-ray!!

So anyway, we saw HP7 part2. Do you really need my review? I mean I think everyone has pretty much summarized it and said it’s teh awesome. I need to reread the book. Maybe re-watch part 1 because they really just jump in there and I reaaaallly don’t remember much from the book or much how the first film left off.

I will say this: if you can (and I know it can be pricey) try and see it 3D on IMAX. It’s amazing! I saw Order of the Pheonix on IMAX as well and thought that was great. Only part of the film was 3D because the technology just wasn’t there yet, but seeing it in that size was so cool. So I knew that this film with it’s action and fight scenes would be even better.

*sniff* end of an era

A new opinion on Modern Family

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Ok so now that I’ve watched all four disks of Modern Family, I get it. It’s actually pretty funny. The characters grow on you and the humor, for me, really shows up on the second disk (about 6 episodes in). I’m still not a fan of the documentary style. It’s been done. Can we move on now?

The acting is good. Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet are definite stand outs. The show is nominated for a total of 7 Emmys this year. 6 are for the actors. 4 of those actors are male. FOUR! I feel like these nominations might not be entirely deserved in a couple of cases. Especially when compared to someone like Joel McHale who wasn’t nominated this year. I mean, just watch him on Community. The place in my heart for that show is bigger than for Modern Family.

Ok, Ok I haven’t watched Season 2 (for which these actors are nominated) so maybe compared to Season 2 of Community it really outshines.

 

Memory’s Wake

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Memory’s Wake by: Selina Fenech. 2011I had the great opportunity to read Memory’s Wake by Selina Fenech in order to review it here. This is Selina’s first novel and is a self-published venture. I have been a fan of her artwork for many years and so when I heard she was publishing a novel I knew I had to give it a read. For anyone that follows her artwork (of which she has contributed several illustrations to her novel) they will be unsurprised to know that this novel is set in a world with Fae and magic.

Memory is the name a lonely lost girl takes after she wakes up in an unfamiliar location without any of her memories. Together with another girl she makes a quick alliance with, Memory winds up being chased by everything from dragons to a king. She struggles to find out any truth about herself while also dealing with the truths about those she’s traveling with.

Memory’s Wake was written with a young adult audience in mind. The first half of the book is very fast paced. Selina hit the ground running with her first few chapters. We’re treated to Memory’s point-of-view most often so the audience understands just how scared and frustrated the main character is feeling. This helps for the reader to identify with her, but it doesn’t always help in giving us a clear sense of what actually is going on. I also found Memory not to be a very solid character at times. She did a few things that seemed kind of against the character that she was shaping up to be. I also didn’t have an entirely clear vision of the world I was reading about. World building isn’t the main objective of this novel, I know that, but I think more description would have helped. This is a world of corsets and full length dresses, but aside from one particular black dress I couldn’t tell you what anyone else was really wearing in detail. I couldn’t see it in my mind. The same held true for the magic and the Fae.

As far as plot goes, it’s pretty solid. The character’s objectives are laid out pretty clearly in the beginning of the book (it’s essentially a save the princess story). The story never really drags and the pacing helps the novel move along quickly.

Memory’s Wake is a good first novel, but I can’t help thinking that the hand of an editor would have helped it to be even better. Selina Fenech decided to self-publish versus going through a publisher because she became pregnant and wanted to avoid the stress and the competitiveness of traditional publishing.

Two more novels are planned in this series and I have the feeling that the story will improve with each book.