I’ve never read Strangers on a Train but I’ve seen so many adaptations, references and parodies that it feels as though I have. One of the most memorable ones is in an episode of The Simpsons, which really only sticks in my mind because Barr keeps popping up saying “criss-cross”. The latest film to be inspired by Patricia Highsmith’s novel is Do Revenge. The Netflix original is what happens when you combine Alfred Hitchcock and Riverdale. I always suspected that I was beyond the intended age range but I figured it was worth a try. After all, I’m fairly obsessed with Maya Hawke at the moment. She’s by far the greatest thing about Stranger Things and was interested to see her do something a bit darker.
I know that I say this far too often but it’s not been a great week so far. Work has been horribly busy and I just haven’t been able to get through anything that I needed to. Thankfully, I’ve used my remaining holiday for the year to take shorter weeks leading up to Christmas. It seemed like a better idea than taking a full week’s holiday and being left with no time off until December 25th. Of course, having Friday off does mean that today is going to drag. No day is quite as long as the one before your day off.
One of the best things about my Spell the Month reading challenge is that I’m reading way more books that I’d never have known about. Having to search out certain letters is opening my eyes to titles I’d have never have thought about picking up. This is one of those books. I’m not a real YA fan anyway but a YA romance? Definitely not my usual kind of book. I thought I’d take the chance to step out of my comfort zone while also finding an easy read for the letter Y. Whatever the actual story was like, I could at least be confident that it wouldn’t take a long time to read.
On Tuesday, I reviewed Vampires vs the Bronx. One of the main reasons that I did this was because it gave me the chance to rewatch The Lost Boys for today. My friends and I were obsessed with the 1987 classic black comedy when we were teenagers. It was a ridiculous thing and we loved it. It also helped that, even as a bleach blonde vampire, Kiefer Sutherland is an absolute dreamboat. The Lost Boys was a commercial success and is still beloved by fans. To the extent that, 21 years after it was released, a sequel was released. Apparently, there’s a third one as well. Something I might never have realised had I not been writing this post. Will I watch it? It’s unlikely but at least I now have the option.
In my review of Love, Guaranteed on Tuesday, I suggested that my main motivation for watching it was to escape from reality with something ridiculous. That was partly the case. After all, the more news I watch the less energy I have for dramatic narratives. However, I won’t pretend that it was my only motivation. Really, I wanted to use it as an excuse to rewatch She’s All That. I can’t remember the last time that I watched this film but, for a time, it was definitely something I watched all the time. Along with 10 Things I Hate About You, this was a film that had a prominent place in my teenage years. I clearly didn’t have great taste at the time but I don’t think anybody really does in their early teens, right?
I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m far too stubborn about certain things. I’ve discussed it before and I’m sure it will come up again. When it comes to certain topics, I’m sticking to my guns regardless. One of those things is YA fiction. I’ve had such terrible experiences when reading YA fiction that I now avoid it at all costs. I’m not going to say that it’s bad but it’s not for me. And it’s not just books. Whenever I see another adaptation of a Young Adult novel, I just roll my eyes and ignore it.I rarely give them a chance because I just assume it won’t appeal to me. Although, I’m also someone who is something of a glutton for punishment. I’ve given plenty of YA fiction a chance. That’s the reason I’ve been disappointed so often. So, why not films? I decided to give one a chance as it really was the best companion for Dating Amber this week.
So, anyone who has read my Tuesday Review of the Netflix original film Work It will know that I was in two minds about what to watch for my TBT review this week. Part of me wanted to watch Save the Last Dance and the other wanted me to watch Bring It On. Turns out, it’s really hard to track down a copy of Bring It On at the last minute. At least at a price that feels worth it. Julia Stiles as a hip hop ballerina. It’s a film that I haven’t watched in a really long time, so I don’t really know where the desire to watch it came from. I guess I just really missed Julia Stiles.
Each week I have to decide which movies that I watch and some weeks are harder than others. I tend to pick something to review on Tuesday first and then try and base the TBT film around that. I like it if they have a common theme but am willing to mix things up for a special occasion (like last week’s unexpected Scott Pilgrim repeat). This week, however, I mixed things up even more. I was looking through Netflix for inspiration and was all set to watch The Peanut Butter Falcon. Then I saw the new Netflix original dance film. I knew that it would be terrible but, in it’s unoriginal concept, I saw the perfect opportunity to watch a film that I suddenly had a massive desire to watch. If I sat through this silly teen romp, then I would be able to watch Save the Last Dance. I hadn’t thought about that film for a long time but, apparently, I’ve been longing to watch it. So, I went for it. Of course, now I also have a desire to watch Bring It On, which means the question of my TBT is still up in the air. So, that’ll be a nice surprise for you. Unlike the narrative of Work It.
This is one of those books that everyone seems to have read when they were younger but it passed me by. I don’t know why but I just never read it. I mean it is often referred to as one of the greatest pieces of English literature of recent years. In 2019, BBC News included it in their list of 100 most influential novels. So, there must be plenty of people out there who think it was worth reading. I just never did. Maybe I just didn’t like the idea of reading a boy’s diary? As much as I don’t want to perpetuate the idea of gender stereotypes, I wasn’t exactly interested in what a 13/14-year-old boy had to say. Or maybe it was something about diaries in general? I never wrote a diary when I was younger. I think I was always a bit too embarrassed. It seemed too self-indulgent and pathetic. Why did I think my life was so worthy that it deserved being immortalised in a diary? Part of me is quite sad I never did, especially as my memory is o bad these days. Of course, every time one of my friends tells me about reading their old diaries, I am overjoyed that I never tried. Remembering what I was like as a teenager, I can be assured that it wouldn’t make for an easy read.
The fourth book in Jacqueline Wilson’s Girls series was published 4 years after Girls Out Late. I’m assuming this is the reason that I never knew it existed. After all, it was only 2002 so I would have been 14. Surely that would have been the perfect age to be picking up this book. I would finally have been the same age as Ellie and her friends. But, for whatever reason, I have only just finished reading this book for the first time. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was definitely hoping for something more inspiring than the previous novel. But, as we found on Monday, that wouldn’t take an awful lot.