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Thursday, September 21, 2023

NikolaReviews A Few Page Turners Readers May Want to Read

Books Reviews Written by Nikola Naylor-Warren

Keeping up with tradition, I am updating my blog, with the latest. I have read a few books recently. The last novel I completed was The Last Flight by Julie Clark, this book is a fictional book that touches on the heroism of women who take action to escape domestic violence and decide not to settle with the cards that life unfortunately and inevitably deals without foresight. I don't want to tell the story however, I will give a few details. It's a good read about two women named Claire and Eva with entirely two different backgrounds that have a chance encounter that changes the course of their lives. It's a mystery and a journey that has an unsettling ending.

I read another short story (a novel) The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman in one night about two estranged sisters who were forced to come back together and live in the same home after years of separation to care for a child and an unexpected addition to the family due to a family emergency. The short story was cinematic in its retailing because it takes place on a small piece of family land on a small island, a place one of the sisters left behind years ago, with no intentions of returning. The book makes you value and appreciate the traditions that families have that are often taken for granted when instead they should be preserved and treasured.

I read another good book called The Tangled Vines by Julianne Maclean and this book was a page turner. This book is about a young couple who goes on trip to Europe because the husband was a starving artist or I should say a writer who needed inspiration to finish a book that he was working on for years but seem to not be able to complete without real life experience. During this trip an affair happens that actually begins this novel with a woman of simple means who takes care of her paraplegic father learns that she has inherited a multi-million dollar vineyard in Europe from a father she never knew. This books takes you on a whirlwind from the start. From her first encounter with her privileged entitled siblings who didn't even know she existed, back to the past to understand how she had a wealthy father she never knew, and to understand how the father she has always known ended up being such a pivotal part of her life without acknowledgement of the truth from her deceased mother or her ailed father. I couldn't put this book down. It was good. 

The last book that I am reading now, that makes me think I'm getting Ashton Kushner punked is about a woman who does not recognize her fiance at their wedding. I am 84 pages in so far and it reads like the story about my surgery ( I won't say more about that). The story begins at a wedding and as the bride is about to marry she gets cold feet because she does not recognize the man she is about to marry. The wedding is crowded full of friends, family, and loved ones. Everyone recognizes her fiance but her. She is told by an attending physician at the wedding that she must be having some type mental episode that blocks facial recognition. She visits another doctor to have a brain scan and a mri, and is told that isn't the issue. So far she has been undiagnosed. The story so far has recounted several past events that her fiance missed.  She recounts him missing key events such as the announcement of her engagement during a family dinner. The bride to be announced to family by herself that she was getting married because her fiance at the last minute could not attend. At another event, at a night club, the bride to be was so excited to introduce her finance to her friends for the first time and at the last minute he couldn't make it. The year long photos of her relationship have been changed or are missing from her social media. The photos her friends have of her with her fiance seem to show a man she does not recognize. I am 84 pages in, her friends and family thinks she is having a mental episode. I don't know where the writer of this book is going. I'm beginning to think that this is going to be some kind of "Fight Club' type ending, I don't know, I'm about to stop reading it because I'm 84 pages in, and the whole book so far has been about her not recognizing the man she was about to marry at her wedding. OMG! its a mystery I'm getting tired of, I don't know what to think. It's on my E-reader and I'm about sick of it, I don't know if I can finish it because it has been the same scenario every chapter. I'm wondering if this book is a hack, because so far, it's ridiculous. I'm literally like, get on with it, as I turn the pages. The title of this book is called The Silent Bride by Shalini Boland. Another reader can take a crack at it and see if you have better luck. I need it to pick up the pace.

Special Note: If in fact The Silent Bride turns out to be a good book, I will update and change my review. This is one of the first times I have given an opinion about  a book before I actually finished the book, if I can finish the book, lol....

These reviews are written by @NikolaReviews

Nikola Naylor-Warren

I do not do reviews on everything I read or watch, however I tweet out good tv shows, movies, and books, especially during the writers strike that I think are good. Even if I do not do the reviews, I will tweet a list anyway. So if you are looking for a good book, movie, or tv show, I often tweet what I like, because I think you may like it too. I have been doing movie and book reviews since college. I used to write for the Drexel Triangle at Drexel University during my undergrad years as a movie critic. It's a hobby, I have always enjoyed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Nikola Reviews The Blackening in Theaters June 16th, 2023

The Blackening is a film written by Tracy Oliver and Dewayne Perkins and directed by Tim Story starring Grace Byers from Empire and several other up and coming actors and actresses. The Blackening is a comedic satire of horror. The film offers suspense with a whole lot of laughter after a group of friends meet up on a trip in a remote cabin for a long awaited reunion. From the moment they arrive the location, the park ranger, and the cabin present oddities that begin to unfold into what looks like may become a very uncomfortable trip. 

The host who invited them, never shows up. Several doors in the cabin are off limits even though the entire house is rented for all the guest to enjoy. As the guest of friends attempt to lossen up and have fun, things get worse when the power goes out and the guest learn that only one door is open to them. The game room.

Trapped in the game room the group of friends try to make the best of a bad situation. In an effort to carry out what they believe is the absent host wishes, members of the group force the others, who resentfully join in to play a game called The Blackening.  What is assumed to be a stupid game set up by the absent host quickly becomes a game of survival. At first, black is what matters, to stay alive. However, in the irony of cool aid drinking and card table playing, members of the friend group discover that "the blacker the berrier the sweeter the juice". Those who are blacker lose their blood first, or perhaps the other way around. The laughter comes when each friend compete against one another to prove one's blackness in a last ditch effort to stay alive. 

I took my teenage daughter and her friend to see the film and they could not stop laughing. They also said that the film presented unexpected horror and suspense because clearly everything happening on this trip was not going as anyone expected.

Movie Review is Written by Nikola Warren

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

NikolaReviews gives two thumbs up to Women Talking in Movies on January 20th, 2023 and Select Theaters Now....

Review is Written By Nikola Naylor-Warren

The movie Women Talking is about a conversation between women who are forced to find a new way to exist either within their reality or to have the courage to search, find, and create an entirely different reality within the universe outside of everything they have ever known and loved. 

Each element of their value system has been shattered leaving them with the unknown to rely on. Their entire lives, their decisions, were based on tradition, duty, family, and faith in exchange for love, security, and peace within a community that lived within co-dependence of each other. Their conversation is about a decision that must be made and a bitter liberating solution they must agree on by facing the truth of their present reality and challenging each other to weigh the cost they will pay and their children will pay for the exhaustion of their in action.

 The movie is a window into the psychological perspective of women have had to consciously tolerate, accept, and cope with the unconscionable.

This movie features a cast with a mixture of well known actresses and up and coming young actresses such as Frances McDormand and Claire Foy from the The Girl in the Spiders Web.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

NikolaReviews gives Judas and the Black Messiah two thumbs up!

Review Written By Nikola Naylor-Warren

I just watched a screening of Judas and the Black Messiah the movie offers an enlightened perspective of beauty inside what many viewed as the beast of Fred Hampton played by Daniel Kaluuya, the notorious leader of the Black Panther Party.  In this movie you learn a lot more about Hampton, his vision, and how he viewed the people.  Fred Hampton capitalized on the commonality of injustice within groups by bringing together both black, white, and latino groups the FBI defined as violent terrorist organizations such as The Lords, The Disciples, and The Crowns to fight for the will of the people in order to economically build up what is viewed as the "little man" poor blacks, latinos, and what some might consider poor white trash against police brutality and poverty.

Fred Hamptons crusade was to fight against injustice and the FBI's focus was approach.

FBI agent Roy Mitchell played by Jesse Plemons, saw both the white and black organizations fighting for their own kind as violent insurrectionist who incited violence and separation amongst the people.

The FBI's formula for infiltration and destruction of these groups was simple.

Trap a criminal in a trap then offer him a way out to create a rat, Bill O'Neal, played by LaKeith Stansfield, the African-american informant who helped take down the Black Panther organization.

Overall this historical film was informative it allowed viewers to see the challenge of position and purpose and how often each one is unable to share the same space.

NikolaReviews gives Judas and the Black Messiah two thumbs up.

Sunday, January 17, 2021 Gives A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance Two Thumbs Up!

Review Written By Nikola Naylor-Warren

When scientists plan experiments they often condition the environment and their subjects. Then they carefully observe and wait for anticipated results that will be used to further their research. This often requires careful planning, with meticulous and methodical detail. Conditioning subjects to react in a way that supports the scientist FRAME work is essential in plotting a SCHEME that generates the results needed to justify and execute the next steps in reaching the goals of the scientist. Often subjects are unaware that they or their environment is being conditioned or what is being used to condition them.

If I were an investigator and evidence was provided against someone, I would ask fundamental questions like: 

What did you see? Why were you looking? Where were you looking? When were you looking? And Who were you looking at?  These details alone can be telling.....

Just to satisfy the "CONVENIENCE" of evidence for the sake of due diligence.

May was not given this chance.   Although A Splendid Ruin is not about science -the injustice of what happens to May in this page-turning novel plays out like an exact science. One I am all too familiar with, and is often missed by some of the smartest and brightest, as proven so far. However, this excellent novel by Megan Chance gives us all hope that the tables can sometimes turn.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

NikolaReviews Gives Two Painful Thumbs up to Dolen Perkins-Valdez book Wench!

I listened to a book on Audible this summer. It was so good I ordered it, so I could add it to my permanent book collection. 

I discussed recently, in one of my over 1500 audio and video recordings detailing a five-year real-time documentation of what happens to my body since I awoke from an illegal May 12th, 2015 surgery I had at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA performed by Dr. Fred Price.  I often wondered would my daily audio journals be enough to tell my story either while I am alive or after I die. I thought about Henrietta Lacks and how her story was retold by someone else years after she died.

I read this book, by Dolene Perkins-Valdez, and after reading it, I knew, that she gets it, even without knowing anything about me, my story, or what my body has been through since waking up from an illegal hidden surgical procedure that was done to my body without my consent. Although Roe vs. Wade is about abortion, the premise, of those rights stems from the root, which states women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies. I did not choose. Dr. Fred Price and West Penn Hospital chose for me without my consent.

I am reminded daily of that choice that Dr. Fred Price took away from me by what happens to my body everyday without my consent. Something very scorching happened to my body today October 13th, 2020, even while I type this review, which finally made me want to include Dolen-Perkins Valdez book on my website NikolaReviews. This book was excellently painful to read, I cried a little, feeling the pain, and understanding the mentality that one must possess to want to hurt women this way. The book is historical fiction, that exposes the suppressed nature of how black women are viewed in society. After my surgery, and feeling the deliberate things that happen to my body daily, it was clear our so-called emancipation is more in name rather than actual reality. 

There is an insert taken from Chapter 15 page 104 of Dolen-Perkins Valdez book titled Wench, that I would like to quote, as a simile to Dr. Fred Prices surgical procedure.

"The pinches were hard enough to bruise. Fran did it secretly, in the kitchen, on the stairs, in the hallway, in the yard. She searched for new places, beginning with Lizzies cheek. Then an arm. Thigh. Side, Shoulder. She seemed to relish discovering each new point of hurt. Sometimes Lizzie even caught the woman examining her body, as if searching for a new place. Lizzie tried to stay out of her way. Tried to bypass her in the familiar layout of the rooms.

At night. Drayle came to her...........  

 :Has anyone seen Elisabeth Moss's reaction in Invisible Man!

Exactly what am I saying? Exactly what was just said or quoted.

Are black women still emancipated in 2020?

If it happens to one, it has happened to too many.  Read the Poem by Martin Niemoller, "Then They Came For Me". A poem about the Jewish Holocaust.

The book Wench is gripping and painful to read. It is a book where one can learn, what we must never allow again. Unfortunately, scientists and doctors have already lost that battle in their so-called pursuit of advancement that actually is taking us backward. Some may argue the science and technology isn't taking us back, and I will add, but the mentality of who and how it is used, is. Wench is a page-turner.

NikolaReviews A Few Page Turners Readers May Want to Read

Books Reviews Written by Nikola Naylor-Warren Keeping up with tradition, I am updating my blog, with the latest. I have read a few books rec...