The Good Doctor – A Review

The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor is a show for anyone who’s ever struggled, felt like an outsider, or stepped into something new. Produced and developed by David Shore, this medical drama is about Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), an autistic surgical resident at St. Bonaventure Hospital with savant syndrome. The show centers around Shaun’s struggles and interactions with the other residents and surgeons at the hospital, such as Claire Browne (Antonia Thomas), Jared Kalu (Chuku Modu), Dr. Neil Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez), and Dr. Audrey Lim (Christina Chang), as well as his mentor and President of the hospital Aaron Glassman (Richard Schiff) and neighbor Lea Dilallo (Paige Spara.) I loved this show, and I think most people will too. It’s inspiring and uplifting, though not free of dark and crushing moments.

Plot: The show has a episodic structure with overarching themes and arcs. There is a different patient almost every episode, and the their treatment and story is the theme for that episode, and each character handles that theme differently. The plot is inventive, smart, heartwarming, and most importantly, entertaining. (10/10)

Characters: Every character in this show seems very real. All of them receive development throughout the current 2 seasons, and each of them are relatable in some way to the viewer. All of them face struggles and have to find ways to overcome them. All of them must learn to work with the many different personalities present in the hospital. The character interactions and growth are one of the many highlights of the show. (10/10)

Sound: The most notable thing about the sound in this show is the music. The theme song, a simple melody, often gets replayed in a softer piano solo for emotional effect, which works spectacularly. The sound has never taken away from anything, but rather it has added to it. (10/10)

Acting: The acting is one of the best parts of the show, and considering how great this show is, that’s saying a lot. There is not a single actor, whether they’re a main or an one-time character, who ever feels fake, insincere, or over the top. The main cast are incredible, nailing every line, empowering emotional scenes, and making the set-up and more calm scenes entertaining as well. It’s clear that every actor knows their character completely. It’s hard to describe how phenomenal each and every one of the actors are. Words must be said to showcase Freddie Highmore, though. Highmore is neuro-typical, yet he plays the role of the autistic but brilliant Shaun Murphy perfectly. Everything is thought out, from line delivery, to movement, to facial expressions, to the way he holds his hands. Highmore captures the struggles with social understanding and emotional intelligence that many people with autism face every day while also showcasing the incredible skills Shaun brings to the hospital, the unintentional charm of his character, and the joy brought on by each of Shaun’s successes. He makes the show an absolute treat to watch. (10/10)

In conclusion, this show is a dream. It has brilliant representation for every viewer, and displays autism for what it is. It is a disability, but not a limiter. It creates many roadblocks, but none of them that one can’t push through. The characters, structure, music, and acting all blend together to create a smart, funny, and emotional show about overcoming your weaknesses. I recommend this show to everyone. 10/10

Captain Marvel Review

Captain Marvel

The Marvel franchise has a pretty good track record. Almost every film they have made has been successful critically and financially. “Avengers: Infinity War” is one of the top grossing films of all time. However, “Venom” was not very well liked by critics or audiences. And, “Captain Marvel” seems to be getting some negative attention as well. So, what did I think of it? Here is my review of “Captain Marvel”.

The story revolves around Carol Danvers, an agent of the Kree, a race in a war with the Skrull, shape-shifting aliens. An incident sends Carol Danvers flying to earth, where it seems she may not know herself as well as she thought.

First thing’s first: Brie Larson was alright. Nothing about her performance was incredible. It felt pretty average.

All of the other characters  acted very well, and some of the more mundane acting was still not bad.

The story was also pretty good. For me there was a lot of missed opportunities.

Something I want to point out is the fight choreography, For a Marvel film, it’s pretty bad. The camera was constantly flailing around like a toddler who didn’t get their chocolate milk.

Final Rating: This movie was just “meh” for the most part. It went in a more story based direction like “Avengers: Infinity War”, which is good, but has a severe lack of action. The acting was good, but nothing amazing.

I give “Captain Marvel” a 6/10.

 

Review of books one and two in “The Unwanteds Quests” series, by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds Quests

This is the sequel series to “The Unwanteds,” and I found the first two books to be disappointing.

***THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “THE UNWANTEDS” SERIES.***

Books one and two of “The Unwanteds Quests” are in the perspective of Alex and Aaron’s younger twin sisters, Fifer and Thisbe.

Fifer and Thisbe are desperate to learn magic, as they are easily the most powerful mages in Artimé, having killed Captain Baldhead in Artimé’s final battle and destroying the silence spell on Warbler Island.

But Alex forbids them to learn, because it’s “dangerous.” They get into all sorts of trouble performing spells they shouldn’t know and sneaking out of the mansion.

Then one day, bad news arrives. Hux, the ice-blue dragon, returns to Artimé, requesting new wings for him and his siblings. The problem is, he needs them because they are enslaved and need them to do work.

Is this Fifer and Thisbe’s chance to finally use the magic they’ve been dreaming of? Find out by reading “The Unwanteds Quests.”

Rating: 2.5/5 stars. These books were depressing, with poor Alex and his unusable dominant arm. I think this was the main reason the series focused more on Thisbe and Fifer, and not Alex, because Alex can’t even do magic anymore. Some people die in the series (sorry for the slight spoiler there), so overall, not the happiest books. If you’re looking for a book or two that’ll cheer you up, this is not the place to go. Also, I found that the series was very slow, and does not speed up until halfway through the second book. I found myself zoning out many times, having to backtrack a page or so every time. (And that rarely happens with me!) There were a couple other issues I found with the series, but I couldn’t tell you without ruining the books!

Ages: 11-14

***THE SPOILERS END HERE.***

I do not recommend the first two books in “The Unwanteds Quests” series unless you read “The Unwanteds” series first. (I tried once and I only got a couple chapters in!) Also, if you dislike sad books, do not read them. However, if you can’t wait to know what happens next, go ahead!

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Beloved by millions of enthusiastic readers and despised by only few, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is definitely a book everyone, if reader or non-reader, has at least heard of. I began to read this book the day of Harper Lee’s death and was immediately taken on an interesting ride through the story of American small town Maycomb, Alabama, with its unforgettable characters. It is impossible to really summarize what the novel is essentially about as it covers so many different subjects.  The blurb does fairly well with describing this as “compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, [taking] readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos”.

Of course, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is considered to be a must-read novel for everyone, but if I had to recommend it to a specific audience, it would be to those people who want to make a difference in the ways of the world.

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Restart by Gordon Korman

Restart

What would it be like to start over? What if you were a bully extraordinaire and everyone was scared to face you in the school hall? What if you were a talented football star who suddenly is forced to stand on the sidelines and watch your friends play without you? All this, and MORE happens to Chase Ambrose in Restart by Gordon Korman.

During one of his outrageous adventures, he falls off the roof of his house and suffers injuries. In time, his physical injuries will heal, but most distressing is his Amnesia. He cannot remember anything or anybody that was part of his previous 13 years. He doesn’t even remember his family! As he prepares to go back to school for the start of 8th grade, snippets of flash-backing memory slowly creep into his brain. It’s distressing, though, because he cannot make sense of them. The kids at school avoid him, except for his friends, Aaron and Bear…and, yet they seem to be bullies. Now, Chase wants nothing to do with their vindictiveness and hatred. He tries to reach out to others in the school, but how can they possibly forget what Chase has done to them in the past?

Eventually the video club embraces him but some members are still wary. Chase tries to apologize and let his new-found kindess shine through, but as with all hurtfulness , it takes time to alleviate the effects.

Will his memory ever come back? And, how will he handle the realization of his wrong-doings? Will others accept his new persona? Restart is begging to be read as a group, especially as a read-aloud, since discussion about bullies and their hate will surely need to be addressed. This book speaks to the power of forgiveness, kindness, criminal acts, and retribution. A lesson can be learned from this….can restarting one’s life erase the past? Maybe, maybe not, but how does one move forward and how do others get past the hurt inflicted?

KOD by J.Cole Album Review

KOD by J. Cole

J.Cole is an up and coming hip-hop artist who just released his 5th studio album KOD. Here are my top 2 favorites songs on his album.

  1. Kevin’s Heart-  Yes, I know what your thinking the songs title is like Kevin Hart. Well J.Cole actually named this song in reference to Kevin Hart cheating on his fiance the summer before. This song is basically Kevin asking forgiveness from his fiance saying he knows he makes mistake but he “only has eyes for you.”
  2. KOD- This was the son named after the album and this was the song that blew up the music charts. KOD is about J.Cole’s rise to fame from a small town in North Carolina to Hollywood. He talks about finally being able to get his mom a car, getting features on big names in the music industry and dealing with the haters.  This was J.Cole’s album that put his name on the map. Tune in now and watch the name J.Cole rise to stardom.

Prince Charming’s Search (Charming Academy #3) – Review

Prince Charming’s Search is the third book in the Charming Academy Series, by Jessica L. Elliot. This book centers on Jacobi and Clarissa’s quest. I’ll go over some of the things we know about the two based off the first book.

Clarissa:

  • Very sweet, but is not as large of a character in the first book.
  • not very good at dancing
  • Was in the year younger than her prince, like Allegra was.
  • Struggled along with Allegra to help Leticia after Eleanor’s death.
  • In the second book, we learned from her interactions with Allegra at the beginning of their last year of schooling that she was in lots of servitude classes. Huh, Cinderella?

Jacobi:

  • Was good friends with George, Kaelan, Adrian and Lucian.
  • Was also (very) not good at dancing,
  • Okay, to be honest, we really know the least about Jacobi and Clarissa from earlier books. That is probably why I felt like the beginning of this book dragged a little, because Elliot had to try and establish both the plot for this story and simply who the characters were.
  • Oh yeah, Jacobi was funny. He often tried to lighten the mood, though less comically than Adrian would. He was just good. He wanted everyone else to also be happy.

*Spoilers*

I enjoyed this book because it was a very creative retelling of Cinderella. I feel like the Cinderella story is a classic, and it, as with many other fairytales, (I’m not ignoring them, I just particularly enjoy Cinderella), can be retold so many cool ways. I also particularly loved how just good Clarissa and Jacobi are, they are sweet and loving and they try. Some may interpret Clarissa based on her words during servitude that she was spoiled, but it was the exact opposite of everything she had grown up in and she did want to change things not only for her, but for all servants in general who were treated as horribly as she and Angel were.

Which leads me to Angel. Oh, how I loved her. I thought that having Angel work along side Clarissa was a fantastic way to bring in the Fairy Godmother character. She was so kind and I really liked the background story she made, though it was false, and her constant care for Clarissa.

There were some other really interesting characters in this book. The ghost people and queen that Jacobi met were interesting, and how Jacobi got himself a new pet after he so selflessly gave Patches to Jezzie. The baker who was in that scene was also entertaining and a very practical addition.

The family that Clarissa is serving had some very interesting dynamics as well. The Master and Mistress were definitely not kind, and Cynthia is ridiculous. Jezebel tried so hard to please. Toby was just mean, but I really appreciated the character development surrounding him and those around him that occurred later.

I think it is really interesting how all of the books have lines that cross over from the other books that blend the quests together. Many of the mysteries resurface in other books and I find it really cool how Elliot brings the information together. This book did drag a little at the beginning but became an intriguing read where the questions continue, some the reader knows may not be answered even in later books. The twist on Cinderella was very well done and creative.