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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Funday List: Funniest Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes

Hi everyone! I know I've been slacking on my lists, I'm sorry! This week I'm changing it up a bit, since I do do more than read! Buffy the Vampire Slayer is probably one of my favorite TV shows, if not THE favorite. I didn't feel well last night and the first thing that popped into my head to watch was funny Buffy episodes. Below are my favorite, funny, episodes. I have other favorites, but they definitely aren't funny, haha. All synopses courtesy of IMDb.

Here they are by season:

Season 1:

While there are funny moments, I don't think I would specify any of the first season episodes as strictly funny.

Season 2:

Episode 6: Halloween: "On Halloween, Buffy and her friends patronize an unusual costume shop where customers turn into whatever costume they are wearing." 
What happens to them is a scary thought, but the episode cracks me up. Seeing these characters we know so well as someone very not like them is great fun. Also, when Willow scares Giles by walking through the wall is priceless.

Episode 16: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: "As Valentine's Day approaches, Xander tries to improve his love life through witchcraft and finds himself with too much of a good thing."

This episode kills me. Poor Xander gets his heart ripped out on Valentine's Day, so of course in typical Xander fashion, he casts a poorly thought out spell. Drusilla is my particular favorite in her affections for Xander. And the Buffy-rat is also highly entertaining.

Season 3:

Episode 5: Homecoming: "As Buffy and Cordelia vie for Homecoming Queen, a group of killers gathers to participate in SlayerFest '98."

Buffy and Cordelia's rivalry is the best part of this episode. And it makes the latter part of the episode even more entertaining. The highlights would be Faith ruining Scott's homecoming date, Cordelia trying to kill a vampire with a spatula, and her speech at the end in the library. Just a fun episode all around.

Episode 6: Band Candy: "Adults throughout Sunnydale behave like immature teenagers after they eat cursed candy"

Only two words needed: Principal Snyder. Seeing him revert to teenage form is hilarious.

Episode 16: Dopplegangland: "While casting a magic spell, Anya and Willow accidentally summon Willow's evil double from an alternate universe"

We met Willow's vampire doppleganger in a previous episode, but in this one we really get to know her. Watching the two of them interact is a lot of fun. And how vampire Willow handles Percy is fantastic.

Season 4:

Episode 5: Beer Bad: "Xander finds employment as a bartender at a pub where some of Buffy's friends turn into terrifying Cro-Magnon creatures."

The funniest part of this episode is when Buffy turns into a cave woman. She talks to the little people in the TV, falls off of her chair, and is just very un-Slayer-like. I can't stop laughing the whole time I watch it.

Episode 9: Something Blue: "One of Willow's spells causes her statements to become reality, with consequences both entertaining and life-threatening."

This episode is proof that words are stronger than we think they are. All of Willow's words come to life with some really funny consequences. One particular highlight being Spike and Buffy getting engaged.

Season 5:

Episode 1: Buffy vs. Dracula: "Buffy finds herself pitted against the legendary Prince of Darkness, Count Dracula."

The best part of this episode is Dracula turning Xander into his minion. And Xander's reactions to being said minion. As well as his "distractions" from anything related to Dracula. Just watch it.

Episode 11: Triangle: "While Giles is in England meeting with the Watcher Council, a bickering Anya and Willow mind the magic store and inadvertently conjure up a fearsome troll."

Anya and Willow's feud creates some pretty entertaining moments in this episode. I also really like seeing more about Anya's background, including the fact that she wasn't always scared of bunnies.

Season 6:

Episode 5: Life Serial: " The Geek Trio begin their plans by testing Buffy's abilities and subsequently ruining her attempts at employment."

If I had to pick the funniest episode of the series, this would be it. I LOVE this episode. The Troika (Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew) try to find ways to ruin Buffy's life without her noticing. Poor Buffy is trying to get back on track and trying various ways, but keeps being thwarted. My favorite scene would be Buffy's monologue at the end where she calls Spike a neutered vampire that cheats at kitten poker. Or the whole scene in the Magic Box.

Episode 14: Older and Far Away: "After Dawn talks to a guidance counselor about her feeling lonely, she accidentally puts a spell on Buffy and her friends, trapping them inside the Summer's house with a sword-wielding demon."

While this may not be the funniest of funny episodes, it has its moments. There are some one liners and scenes in here that do not deserve to be missed.

Season 7:

Episode 6: Him: "Dawn's simple crush on Sunnydale High's star quarterback RJ starts to become obsessive, leading Buffy to investigate the boy herself. When Buffy, along with all the other women who see RJ, also fall in love with him, Spike and Xander must team up to discover the source of this attraction. But first they have to keep the women from doing anything crazy in their competition for RJ's affection."

This episode is priceless. This is another love spell gone wrong a la Xander in season 2. But this time we see the effects from the women's point of view. Favorite scene has to be when Spike and Buffy are attacking each other outside of Principal Wood's office, which he can't hear due to classical music.

Episode 16: Storyteller: "Andrew creates a documentary called "Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyres", a record of the current situation in Sunnydale to show to future generations. He manages to capture many important moments, and to annoy almost everyone in the house. But Buffy needs to tear him away from his filmmaking because the Seal of Danzalthar is active and Andrew may hold the key to closing it before it destroys the town."

Andrew is hilarious. He was always my favorite of the Troika and this whole episode is perfect. His humor makes this episode. His storytelling is great. I love getting a look inside his mind.

Well there's my list! Anything you guys would change? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tarnish by Katherine Longshore

Title: Tarnish
Author: Katherine Longshore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Tea: Raspberry Black Tea, can be subtle, but also full of zest.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"Anne Boleyn is the odd girl out. Newly arrived to the court of King Henry VIII, everything about her seems wrong, from her clothes to her manners to her witty but sharp tongue. So when the dashing poet Thomas Wyatt offers to coach her on how to shine at court—and to convince the whole court they’re lovers—she accepts. Before long, Anne’s popularity has soared, and even the charismatic and irresistible king takes notice. More than popularity, Anne wants a voice—but she also wants love. What began as a game becomes high stakes as Anne finds herself forced to make an impossible choice between her heart’s desire and the chance to make history." (

Tarnish is the third book I read by Katherine Longshore. It is a companion novel to her two others, Brazen and Gilt. This novel is predominantly about Anne Boleyn, though she does play a role in all three books. There have been tons of books written about Anne Boleyn. "Not another one!" you say. But this is not your typical Anne book. In Tarnish, Katherine Longshore gives you a look into Anne's history and what her daily life is like living at the castle as a ladies maid to the queen. Also what it is like to live in her sister Mary's shadow, who also happens to be Henry VIII's mistress.

I really enjoyed this portrayal of Anne. Katherine Longshore doesn't show her as a power hungry, man-stealing girl. She's your typical teenager that just wants to fall in love, preferably with the right man. Unfortunately her goals start to shift when other people try to meddle with her love life, among them her father and the poet Thomas Wyatt.

All I can say is I'm so glad I didn't have to deal with the drama of living in court. We think school is bad? That's cake compared to what these people dealt with on a regular basis. Anne's tribulations echo a lot of what teenagers go through in school: do I listen to what everyone else says? Do I follow my own dreams? How doe these rumors even start? And what do I do if that older guy that I think is cute starts giving me attention?

I liked seeing Anne in a different light that she is often written. Katherine Longshore does a fantastic job of getting insider her head and giving the reader lots of information while still telling a compelling tale. If you are interested in Anne's beginnings, I would suggest this book. It can give you a taste and you can decide if you want to learn more about this doomed queen, who really was just a girl like everyone else.

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Title: Brazen
Author: Katherine Longshore
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Tea: Silver Needle, maybe not as popular as or well known, but equally as good.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?" (

Brazen is my second novel my Katherine Longshore and it does not disappoint! It is about the lesser known Mary Howard, betrothed to Henry FitzRoy, son of Henry VIII. I did not know much about Mary Howard before this novel, but it made me want to research her!

Katherine Longshore's novels, which historical and informative, also read like popular fiction. One of the best ways to describe it would be a cross between Gossip Girl and Philippa Gregory's Tudors series. The story line is intriguing and makes the 500 pages fly by. I liked Katherine Longshore's portrayal of Mary. She gave her a voice and brought life to a very interesting part of that time period. Mary was one of the only women that sought to have her own life, her own place to live, not surviving off a man. She's an inspiring woman that more people should know about.

Katherine Longshore admits that she takes liberties with Mary and Fitz's relationship, but in this context, that is totally fine. Also, there isn't any written information saying that she is wrong about their relationship either. This book actually made me cry, which I was not expecting. Mary is a likable main character and you want to see her succeed. I enjoyed this novel more than the first one I read by her, Gilt, for that very reason. The one of the main characters in that one, Catherine Howard (yes, they're related), was not a nice girl. I couldn't feel any sympathy for her and just kinda wanted to get it over with. I did enjoy the historical information though, and the other main character, Kitty, was someone I wanted to know more about.

If you like the Tudors, or don't know much about them and want to, check this out! It keeps your attention and teaches you about the characters and time period without sounding like a book report.
Katherine Longshore's novels don't have to be read in any specific order (they are companion novels), but if you want to read them in order of when each queen was in power start with Tarnish (I'll be reviewing that as well), then Brazen, and then Gilt.

Can't wait to see what, or rather who, she writes about next!

The Wild Queen: Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots (Young Royals #7) by Carolyn Meyer

Title: The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical
Tea: Lapsang Souchong, fiery and wild, definitely not prim and proper, but intriguing.
Rating: 5 out 5 stars.

"Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone. Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hoping that a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable 'sister queen', Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life." (

Mary Queen of Scots has quickly become one of my favorite queens. She is written about more than I imagined and it intrigues me to see the different takes authors have on her life. Carolyn Meyer does a great job of telling the story of Mary Queen of Scots in a way that will keep younger readers interested while still teaching them something.

Mary's life was quite difficult and she experienced more hardships than most people will face in a lifetime. Carolyn Meyer does a great job of showing Mary's feelings and strength throughout the novel. Her descriptions and knowledge of the settings are fantastic as well. Having read a lot about Marie Antoinette (another favorite queen of mine) I know the French court fairly well, but did not know much about Scotland and it's royalty. They are definitely two very different animals. Carolyn does a great job of navigating two very different worlds without confusing the reader.

I think the most difficult part of this book for me, and really any book dealing with royalty, is when Mary was a child. A lot of what she said sounded far too grown up. Yes, I understand she's a Queen at six days old, but that doesn't mean she doesn't talk like a small child. I find this in a lot of historical fiction. I'm guessing this is done so the reader gets used to the character's voice, also an adult is writing it and the character, for a larger part of the story, will be an adult.

If you've always wondered about Mary, but don't want to read a giant tome, I would suggest this one. While it is fiction, you get a lot of background on her and can give you an idea of what you'll get more of in other books (be it fiction or non-fiction). I think Mary is a queen that deserves to be known and remembered. I hope you'll feel the same.