Saturday, 10 December 2016

1990s Nostalgia: Shannon & Curtis join Home and Away

Just a bit of light and fluffy 1990s nostalgia this week, this short clip shows a new pair of foster kids entering Summer Bay for the first time. Shannon and Curtis were a pair of teens whose adoptive parents had died. Everyone thought that they were brother and sister, and were shocked when the pair shared a kiss, but later it turned out that they were only 'adopted' brother and sister. Their arrival is symbolic of a more innocent era from the series, where most of the drama revolved around troubled teens who (nearly) always learned to become responsible adults during their stay in Summer Bay, thanks to the gentle guidance of the adult residents. 

Interesting contrast in the casting--both Isla Fisher (Shannon) and Shane Amman (Curtis) were seasoned actors by the time they arrived on the set of Home and Away. Both had appeared in short lived soap Paradise Beach and a number of children's television programmes. While Isla Fisher would go on to become a Hollywood level actress and is the author of three novels, Amman gave up acting after he left Home and Away in 1997 and, to the best of my knowledge, has never appeared in any of those tacky 'Home and Away: Where are they Now' features that seem to pop up online or in the pages of TV Week every now and again.

PS Just in case you are wondering, Shannon and Curtis were soon causing their own fair share of trouble, as can be observed here and here.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Friday Funnies

One of the things that constantly amazes me about the Peanuts comic was how its artist and author Charles Schulz was able to say so much in one small square, with a simple, inked picture and a few words. This simple square captures perfectly some of the less pleasant feelings that we experience when we're in love with someone--stupid actions, barely thought through, followed by agonising moments of self-doubt.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Because You'll Never Meet Me is a story told in letters, detailing the correspondence between teenagers Ollie, who lives in the United States, and Moritz who lives in Germany. Neither Ollie nor Moritz are ordinary boys--Ollie has an allergy to electricity meaning that he must live in a remote cabin with his mother, and Moritz, has a pacemaker (hence why they can never meet,) and an almost supersonic ability to see despite the fact that he literally has no eyes. Through their correspondence both will reveal their struggles with their peers (Moritz is a target for bullies, while Ollie struggles with Liz an 'ordinary' girl who wants to cure him rather than understand him,) and they will learn some remarkable life lessons, before a startling, life changing revelation is made ...

Though a little gross in places, this one is a thought provoking read, one that seamlessly blends real life teenage themes with science fiction. Optimist Ollie is a contrast to the bitter and distrustful Moritz and both boys clearly need each other more than what they realise. 

Because You'll Never Meet Me is enjoyable, a little far-fetched but, ultimately, powerful. 

A sequel, titled Nowhere Near You will be published in February 2017.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for my reading copy, via Netgalley. 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

1990s Nostalgia: McDonalds Ad

This ad was is clever, memorable and oddly annoying. It also features something that an advertising agency could never get away with today--showing a child under the age of twelve eating junk food.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Friday Funnies: Kermit And Grover The Sunglass Salesman

Following on from my previous Kermit and Grover clip, I just couldn't resist sharing this little bit of fun and silliness ...

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Review: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Finding Cinderella is a short novella featuring Daniel and Six from Hoover's Hopeless series, and unsurprisingly, it's a romance. As always with Hoover's novels, the fun is seeing how the couple get together, despite the odds working against them. 

It's been a long time since I read Hopeless and I have yet to read it's sequel Losing Hope, so most of the minor characters were a little bit fuzzy for me. Fortunately, this one stands up pretty well on its own merit, detailing the unlikely romance between Daniel and Six. The novella begins with Daniel making out (and eventually sleeping with,) a girl that he meets ever day in a janitor's cupboard at their high school. He never sees her face or learns her name, but he hopes that one day he will. One year later, he's almost given up hope of finding this girl, when Six (the best friend of his best mate's girlfriend,) returns from a student exchange from Italy. The pair are instantly smitten in a way that Daniel hasn't felt about anyone since his experiences in the cupboard and well ... I think we can all guess what happens next, but the journey is interesting enough, as is a rather heart wrenching plot twist. 

This one is a short and enjoyable romantic read. Even better, it's available to download for free from the Amazon Kindle Store.


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Review: Arid Lands Part One by HMC

This short eBook had me asking one vital question as I got to the last page--when will I get to read part two. Ever-so-slightly reminiscent of Mad Max, this is the story of Elizabeth, a young woman who is living with her family in a bleak, future version of Australia where resources, particularly food and water, are scarce. Elizabeth is one heck of a tough young woman who is fighting to feed her family.

This is a solid introduction to what absolutely has the potential to be a killer series. 

Highly recommended.