Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: The “Check, Please!” Duology by Ngozi Ukazu

Image courtesy of amazon.com

Hello readers!

Welcome back to another one of my fancasting posts that seem to be my most popular content on here, which is more than okay with me considering it’s something I really enjoy doing for myself as well as for those who keep returning to this little passion project of mine that is having a book blog running for over two years now.

Recently, I’ve had someone comment on one of my posts saying how they disagree with my choices for a particular fancast on here, and while I’m totally okay with not having everyone agree with me on everything, they lost all credibility with me when they decided to be rude, disrespectful, and just downright unpleasant for absolutely no reason…there’s nothing wrong with just saying you don’t agree with someone and simply leaving it at that but the negativity and overall just plain nastiness is just so unnecessary…

….So this is just a reminder to everyone who sees this and reads it to be nice and be respectful on not only on here, but anywhere else on the web or even on social media! You may forget it sometimes, but there’s still another human being on the other side of the keyboard, and some people seem to just get an unwarranted sense of confidence and overall bitchiness when they type something behind a keyboard and not say it to someone’s face…those people deserve a good smack upside the head!

BE NICE, it’s not that hard to do…

Okay rant over…..glad I got that off my chest, now back to bigger and more important things worth my time and energy.

I’ve been posting LGBT book reviews so far this month (for obvious reasons, and all M/M since that’s my preference), and have plenty more on the way, but I wanted to do at least one fancast too so I can switch it up a little bit! It was no question that I put together a fancasting for these particular books, and I did it for multiple reasons: they’re the first LGBT graphic novels I’ve ever read, and they’re by far one of my favorite queer romance stories I’ve ever gotten my hands on too. Everything about these just speak to me; from the artwork to the storyline, the characters, the banter, the humor, the themes of friendship & first love & and self acceptance & college, and the author herself and the story behind this whole project!

The story is about Eric Bittle: a young little figure skater who loves to bake and post on his vlog about his life who winds up getting a scholarship to a fictional Ivy League University, but with a hockey scholarship! You can imagine how well that would possibly go over for everyone…but along the way he meets some incredibly interesting people, learns a heck of a lot about himself and those around him, and of course while dealing all the regular stress of a college freshman! Let’s not also forget how he may or may not be hardcore crushing on his team captain too…

To see my review of book #1 – #Hockey – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Sticks & Scones – Click HERE

~~~

Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast for the “Check, Please!” Graphic Novel Duology!

~~~

P. “Shitty” Knight: Gaspard Ulliel, or Glen Powell

Gaspard Ulliel, image courtesy of fred.fm
Glen Powell, image courtesy of justjared.com

P. Shitty Knight is probably my favorite character because of how lax and out there he is about literally everything. He’s THE character of this whole story, and I have two people who are on the exact opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to casting him. Gaspard is a french actor best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising,” and he more just fits the role with his looks. Glen Powell might be a much better choice, as he can look the part AND he has the personality to play the part. I became a fan of his when I saw him in “Scream Queens” and even more so for Shitty for his character—who also has a mustache—in the movie “Everybody Wants Some.” For anyone who doesn’t know what I mean, GO WATCH THAT MOVIE, and then try and tell me you can’t see him playing Shitty for that movie alone!

Adam “Holster” Birkholtz: Nick Milone, or Wyatt Nash

Nick Milone, image courtesy of the model’s Twitter profile
Wyatt Nash, image courtesy of justjared.com

The first half of the “Holster and Ransom” dynamic duo, I’ve picked Wyatt Nash for a few other characters on my blog already, but since he’s in the Netflix show “Dear White People,” I just picture him being pretty comfortable in this role and setting too. Nick Milone is a model I found on Instagram who physically fits the look of Adam—at least in my opinion—and to add a new face to my fancasts!

Justin “Ransom” Oluransi: Remi Alade-Chester

Remi, image courtesy of beauty-around.com

The other half of the bromance that is “Holster and Ransom,” Remi is actually a Nigerian male model who may or may not actually look the part! Justin is a cutey and so is Remi, so I’m happy with this pairing!

Larissa “Lardo” Duan: Lana Condor, or Malese Jow

Lana Condor, image courtesy of refinery29.com
Malese Jow, image courtesy of wisdominbeauty.com

I’ve been a fan of Lana since I first seen her in the Netflix film adaptations of the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series, but I know Lardo is a completely different character than Laura Jean. Lardo has a lot of spunk wrapped up in such a petite little body, Lana Condor is just the only actor I can think of who’d play the part well. Malese has been in shows like “The Vampire Diaries,” “Unfabulous,” and “The Flash,” and is another choice I could see as the manager of the Samwell hockey team.

Kent “Parse” Parson: Alex Pettyfer, or Alex Wennberg

Alex Pettyfer, image courtesy of wallpapercave.com

~~~

Kent Parson is an interesting character who causes a lot of drama where he goes, and he just so happens to be incredibly handsome and good looking and that’s probably why he gets away with it all most of the time. For this, it kind of reminded me of the actor Alex Pettyfer, both in his golden-boy looks and in his hollywood reputation being less than stellar. I also wanted to include Wennberg because he’s not only a pro hockey player just like Parson, but also has the similar aesthetic and even a mischievous smile that I’m sure could get him into (or out of) trouble.

Derek “Nursey” Nurse: Jordan Matheson

Image courtesy of the model’s Instagram profile

I found this model on Instagram and think he’s absolutely gorgeous with his hazel eyes that I think perfectly match Nursey’s in the graphic novels when we meet him. He looks like he’d have that laid back, chill mood that Nursey is known for!

William “Dex” Poindexter: Ken Bek

Image credit to owner

Dex is actually one of the harder characters to cast, as there’s not a whole lot of actors or models who are redheads with golden eyes like him. Believe it or not, but a lot of them have dreamy blue eyes instead—darn it—so my choices were limited! I feel like KJ Apa was the only other choice since he plays Archie in the CW’s “Riverdale.”

Chris “Chowder” Chow: John Harlan Kim

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

I can’t say I’ve ever watched this Australian actor in anything, but I feel like just looking at pictures of him on his IMDB profile that he gave me vibes he could totally play Chowder if they ever decided to make a live-action adaptation of these graphic novels. He’s got the eyebrows and the facial expressions that I think this is a really good match!

Suzanne Bittle: Julie Bowen

Image courtesy of disney.fandom.com

She may not fully fit the character in a physical sense to some, but Julie Bowen screams mom ever since she starred in “Modern Family”! She’s got the blonde hair, brown eyes combo that technically fits Bitty’s mom’s look, so I’d be happy to see her play the character if this ever got turned into a show or movie.

Richard “Coach” Bittle: Sam Jaeger

Credit to owner

This was by far the hardest casting choice to make! No one was popping up in my sources for quite some time, but then I ran into Sam Jaeger and thought to myself “You know…give him a mustache and he could work!” I found this image of him, and I think I’m convinced, hopefully others are too! Sam has been in film/shows like “Lucky Number Slevin,” “The Politician,” and “Friday Night Lights.”

Bob Zimmermann: James Patrick Stewart

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

Jack’s father and living hockey legend himself, I pictured this actor playing this character! He’s been in films/shows like “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Supernatural,” “Las Vegas,” “Gettysburg,” and even “All My Children.”

Alicia Zimmerman: Cameron Diaz

Image courtesy dnaindia.com

As soon as I first glimpsed Jack’s mom and her large, bright blue eyes, I immediately was reminded of Cameron Diaz! She may not quite be old enough to actually be the character, but since she was the first face to come to mind, I decided “why not?” and put her down as my Alicia Zimmerman.

Georgia “George” Martin: Eiza Gonzalez

Image courtesy of deadline.com

Georgia is the assistant general manager to the Providence Falconers, and I got the vibe that she was possibly of latin or spanish descent based on the color of her skin and the way her hair is drawn in the story—I could be totally off base with this, but it’s just the impression I got. Eiza Gonzalez is a mexican actress and singer who’s been in films like “Baby Driver,” “Hobbs & Shaw,” and “Godzilla vs. King Kong.”

Alexei “Tater” Mashkov: Andrew Biernat

Image courtesy of the model/actor’s Instagram page

I’m not sure if Andrew actually has any Russian in his heritage, but I follow the guy on Instagram and he has a goofball attitude in his videos that kind of reminds me of Alexei, Jack’s (most likely) favorite teammate when he goes to the NHL!

Denice Ford: Courtney Sauls

Image courtesy of zimbio.com

Denice—Who thanks to Key & Peele I pronounce it like D-Nice—becomes the new team manager in volume 2 when Lardo graduates, and she luckily seems to be able to handle the pressure of keeping all those players in line! Courtney plays the strange and quirky reporter named Brooke on the Netflix show, “Dear White People,” and she just gives me somewhat-similar vibes to Denice in the second volume of these graphic novels.

Connor “Whiskey” Whisk: James Maslow

Image credit to owner

This fancasting is funny to me only because I know James all the way back from 2009-11 from a guilty pleasure called “Big Time Rush” on Nickelodeon—of all places! He was way more animated and expressive on there than Whiskey is in the whole second book. This may not be the perfect choice for the character, but I know James over a ton of other actors so this is purely subjective to who I follow!

Tony “Tango” Tangredi: Brandon Larracuente

Image courtesy of spoilertv.com

I know at this point for some of these minor characters it can really get vague and a lot of other actors could play them, but it’s still fun to kind of put a face to the drawing, so don’t think some of these are final selections! Brandon played Jeff Atkins in “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix, and he played a jock on there too, and he’s also kind of adorable, so I’d be happy to see him on my screen again!

River “Bully” Bullard: David Bodas

Image courtesy of the model’s Twitter profile

The first thing that you notice about Bully is HAIR. He has got some gorgeous flow that he absolutely rocks as a newly incoming freshman during Eric Bittle’s senior year. David Bodas is a model I discovered on Instagram, and he’s one of the few guys that I feel like is actually really rockin’ the long haired look like this nowadays!

Jonathan “Hops” Hopper: Rome Flynn

Rome, image courtesy of the actor/model’s Instagram profile

Rome Flynn has a smile that could get him out of trouble, and Hops is a total sweetheart so I could totally see this being a thing if they actually make “Check Please” into a film or tv show! For those of you not familiar, Rome Flynn can be seen in “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Lukas “Louis” Landmann: Benjamin Eidem

Credit to owner

I’m trying to keep it ethnically accurate with this choice, but Benjamin is actually a swedish model so it fits! He’s actually done some high end fashion brands like Prada, Michael Kors, and Burberry just to name a few, NOT that that has any reasoning behind why I picked him!

Jack Laurent Zimmermann: Robbie Amell, or Ryan Kennedy

Robbie Amell, image courtesy of robbie-amell.com
Ryan Kennedy, image courtesy of models.com

Robbie Amell is one of my favorite male actors, i’ve had heart eyes for him ever since he was first seen in the Disney Channel Original series, “Life With Derek.” He’s also been in “American Pie: Beta House,” “The DUFF,” “The Babysitter,” and has been cast in the future film “The Hating Game.” Ryan is a model who someone on Tumblr posted as their choice, and I looked and looked and couldn’t find the post to give credit where it’s due, but if someone knows who I’m talking about, PLEASE send the profile my way so I can credit them!

Eric “Bitty” Bittle: Tom Holland, Troye Sivan, or Michael Provost

Tom Holland, image courtesy of stanfordartsreview.com
Troye Sivan, image courtesy of popbuzz.com
Michael Provost, image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

I picture Tom Holland playing an adorable, gay little figure skater-turned-hockey player, and my heart just gets so warm, full, and excited at the idea. All these guys are as cute as a button, and I could picture any of these guys being the main character of these graphic novels! Troye Sivan is a singer and actor who actually is queer himself, so that’d be great representation for him to play this role, and Michael is an adorable actor I found on one of Netflix’s cancelled shows, “Insatiable.”

~~~

So there you have it!

These are my choices for who I picture the characters looking like in real life, it’s interesting to do a fancast for a graphic novel just because there’s actually more of a limit on who to pick since you have a visual of the actual character. It’s not so up-in-the-air and vague with their physical descriptions, but either way it was fun to do another one of these!

Don’t agree with my picks, or do you have your own choices as to who you could see playing these characters? Feel free to comment or message me what your thoughts are, just don’t be a dick about it (referring back to my rant earlier)! Either have respect and be friendly, or I’ll just report and block. I have no time or interest in dealing with toxic internet trolls, so lets have a mature and friendly conversation instead.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

New Adult, New Adult Romance, Romance

My Review: The Hating Game: by Sally Thorne

Publish Date: August 9th, 2016
Number of Pages: 362 Pages
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.

Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are shredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you.

Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”

– Sally Thorne, “The Hating Game”

What It’s About:

The official blurb:

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

~~~

Hello readers! I am trying a new format for how my reviews will look here on my blog, so this one will be the first one to test it out (feel free to comment what you think, I’m hoping this will have it flow better by having the blurb go first then go into more details on my thoughts below that).

The Hating Game has been a title that has been tossed around quite a bit ever since it came out, and I knew I was going to read it eventually, but the news that it’s being made into a movie starring Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell only made me want to bump it up on my TBR list! So does it live up to the hype?

Honestly, Yes and No, I mean it’s not blow-your-mind amazing, but it certainly has a lot of the qualities that I really enjoy about the romance genre:

  1. Banter that is playful, sassy, saucy, and just downright hilarious
  2. The whole enemies-to-lovers romance trope
  3. Characters with hard outer shells who slowly let the love interest in and open up
  4. Heartfelt revelations and confessions
  5. Steamy sexual tension
  6. Personal growth between the two main characters

Overall, it really was an enjoyable book to read, it was a perfect lighter read that’s helping me kill time while I wait for a couple anticipated releases to come out this year. Of course, people hype the heck out of this book to the point that it couldn’t POSSIBLY live up to the expectations people put on it, but luckily I didn’t put it on a pedestal like I’m sure some readers have, and I found myself enjoying it more because of that. The characters were great even as they feel familiar to a lot of others in different books, and the dynamic of Lucy and Josh’s relationship and how it changed over the course of the story was done so well and was a major highlight.

Lucy is kind of like the ‘Jessica Day’ of the office (Zooey Deschanel’s character in New Girl for those who don’t know the reference), she’s very sweet, kind, a literal ray of sunshine around the office. Josh is literally her total opposite and her mortal enemy: he’s tightly-knit, uptight, organized to the point of being OCD because NOTHING can be out of place or no hair out of line for him. I loved learning their fears and insecurities as they grew closer and opened up, I can’t say enough how sweet and adorable this book gets sometimes.

With all the sweetness of cotton candy that is abundant in this story, there was also quite a bit of steam to add to it too! It wasn’t super graphic or descriptive to the point of calling it erotica, but what I can say is Joshua Templeman is something else….I really wanted a few chapters from his perspective, but I can also say that part of the experience of this book is NOT knowing what’s going on in his head too!

This book is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s like those early 2000’s chick flicks like Mean Girls, She’s The Man, and John Tucker Must Die and plenty of others that you hate to admit you love and keep watching over and over again, year after year. They’re not exactly Oscar worthy, but that doesn’t detract from how enjoyable they are and how many people love them, and that’s definitely how I feel this book was too.

What I Liked:

  1. The Hidden Depths of Joshua! Like a lot of the male characters in romance novels I’ve read over the years, Joshua Templeman was a little rough around the edges to say the least…sure, he’s handsome and obviously has confidence to spare when we first meet him in this book, but one thing I absolutely love is when the mask cracks and the hard edges fall away and you begin to see a softer, more vulnerable side of him. He may seem like a crude, arrogant a-hole at first, but just you wait until he starts to open up, and then get back to me on your thoughts on him.
  2. The Banter! I like sassy, saucy, and just straight up hilarious banter between two love interests, and I feel you get just exactly that in this book. Lucy and Josh have a really tumultuous relationship through the course of the story, and while their dynamic may change from workplace enemies to lovers, their teasing and bickering stays consistent and entertaining as well too.
  3. The Bonding Moments! I guess this kind of ties into the points I’ve already made, but the moments when Josh and Lucy are alone and talk and come to learn so much more about each other had to be my favorite scenes to read. They were so sweet, so genuine and I only wish I could’ve gotten into Josh’s head a couple times to see what was going on in his head, but Lucy as the narrator is just as good too!
  4. The Brunch Scene! When Lucy confronts Anthony about all his BS is just golden, like I dream of being able to take someone down a peg or two like she does in this moment, and in public in front of an audience too! It really showed how Lucy had grown over time too; gone was the too-sweet and kind girl who everyone could walk over, and here was a fierce lioness baring her teeth at someone who’s showing disrespect to someone she loves!

‘What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.’

‘Strangling you. Bare hands.’ I can barely get the words out. I’m huskier than a phone-sex operator after a double shift.

‘So that’s your kink.’ His eyes are going dark.

‘Only where you’re concerned.’

Both his eyebrows ratchet up, and he opens his mouth as his eyes go completely black, but he does not seem to be able to say a word.

It is wonderful.

– Sally Thorne, “The Hating Game”

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. I Wish There Was More Pranks/Hijinks…For an enemies-to-lovers storyline, I was kinda hoping we’d see a little more of the “enemies” part of their relationship…I wanted more hijinks and more aggravation on both sides of Josh and Lucy’s relationship. I wanted safe for the workplace warfare! Not that I’m complaining, but I felt like the jump into the romance was too fast! I guess it makes sense once you finish the book and know what you know, but I always want “enemies-to-lovers” to go further than they usually go! She doesn’t have to have a knife up to his throat per say, but a few little staring contests and imitating each other’s sentences in that petulant voice like an annoying sibling…
  2. Would A Dual POV Have Been Better?…I like the romance novels that have you read from the minds of the two characters, and as I read this book I was wondering what Josh was thinking in so many cases of the story! I was disappointed we didn’t get into his mind in the story, but I can also say part of the experience that is reading this is knowing things through Lucy’s eyes, and learning things about herself and Josh and their relationship as she does too.

Conclusion:

The Hating Game is a fun, entertaining, and light read that any fans of the romance genre can enjoy, at least in my personal opinion! It’s a perfect book to kill time with if your (im)patiently waiting for an anticipated release or just need a quick standalone story to change your pace with. Fans of Christina Lauren novels will especially like this book too.

Romance novels are hardly ever the perfect book, so of course there are things that some people just don’t really enjoy, but I feel like some of those readers maybe make the mistake of taking these books too seriously! I mean nothing against the romance genre, but you have to admit the A Song of Ice and Fire series is much heavier and more immersive reading in comparison. I think romance novels are just lighter and easier and don’t need to be taken as seriously as other titles and other genres, and I find I enjoy titles more when I remember that. And before anyone gets on me about it, that doesn’t mean I consider the romance genre “less” than others…

If you’re curious about this title, I say go for it! I really enjoyed it and would want to reread it down the road someday if the mood struck. Any harsh critiques made on this book that I’ve seen are about really particular things, like fat-shaming and knocking “nice guys”….While I see where those readers are coming from, it personally did not affect my reading experience and I didn’t put the book down because of it. To each its own though!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell