My First Trip to Disney

All last week, I was in California with my husband. While our full honeymoon trip will be to Europe sometime next year, we still wanted to take a trip to celebrate our marriage. As we were debating where to go, we decided on California because both me and my husband have never been. I plan on writing three posts for this trip: one for Disneyland, one for Los Angeles, and one for San Francisco. I decided to write about Disneyland first.

Growing up, my family never did a Disney trip. It was expensive and when my dad passed away, my mom had to focus on raising me and my brother. As such, a Disney trip was the least of our family’s priorities. When me and my husband planned a trip to California, I made it clear that I wanted to go to Disneyland. Me and my husband stayed in downtown LA, so we planned on taking the Amtrak train from LA to Anaheim. It was so slick. The Anaheim Union Station was only ten minutes from the park. We arrived at Disneyland around 8:15 AM to wait in line.

The first thing I noticed entering the park was the Spooky decorations. I was in love with all the pumpkin Disney characters that lined the park. Any Halloween enthusiast like myself would love the park during this time. Me and my husband ended up taking various selfies of the pumpkin characters as we didn’t want to wait in line for a professional photographer to take our picture. As we entered the park, we sprinted for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as we wanted to do this first before it became busy.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was mesmerizing. Immediately upon entering the park, I ran to Kylo Ren’s TIE Echelon ship and forced my husband to take my picture. The ship looked like it came out of the movie and was on display at the park. After staring at Kylo’s ship, we meandered to the life-size Millenium Falcon. To no one’s surprise, I ran over to this ship and again politely asked my husband to take my picture. The Millenium Falcon ride was epic. We were with a family of four who fought over who got to pilot the ship, so me and Grant took the less coveted positions of engineer. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into making a realistic Star Wars theme park, and it shows.

As I walked around Disneyland, I was debating what I wanted to purchase as a souvenir. I had way too many t-shirts, and I wanted something that I could look at to reflect on my trip. I ended up settling on pins. At the Disneyland souvenir shops, they sell lanyards with collectible pins. Pin trading is a big deal where you can trade pins with people at the park. I liked the concept of this because I could hang my lanyard on the same hook as my other convention badges. I already had a special place in my head as to where this would go, so I knew this is what I wanted to purchase. I purchased pins that represented a movie or franchise that held a special place in my heart. This included pins from Hercules, Monster’s Inc, Belle, Star Wars, and Inside Out. Since getting home from our trip, the lanyard is exactly where I wanted to place it. I can look upon it and reflect on my time at Disneyland.

Once 1:00 PM hit, we were able to park hop over to the Disneyland California Adventure park. This park features the brand new Avengers Campus. One of my husband’s biggest complaints was not being able to buy a beer. However, once entering Disneyland California Adventure, we were able to purchase cocktails at Pym Test Kitchen. My husband was happy. Avengers Campus was fun! We didn’t ride any of the rides as the Guardian’s of the Galaxy ride was one of the drop rides and I’m not a fan of heights. We did get to see a brief show of Spider-Man climbing the buildings. I think Avenger’s Campus has a lot of potential to grow into something bigger than it is right now.

While Avenger’s Campus was neat, I did like Pixar Pier. Pixar Pier as it sounds is where most of the Pixar-themed rides are. The ride I see most often on social media is Toy Story Mania! where you sit in carts and shoot things. This was one of the longer waits we had for a ride, however, it was worth it. Of course, my husband scored more points than me. I blame this on his experience playing first-person shooters. Once we hit Pixar Pier, me and my husband were exhausted and soon after we ate, and left the park.

Disneyland was everything I hoped for it to be. It was seeing my childhood coming to life along with reminiscing on various Disney or Pixar movies that meant a lot to me when I was younger. I’m fortunate that after this long pandemic, Disneyland was my first trip out of 2020 and it was worth the wait.

Hallotober Blog Tag

I’m in need of a blog tag. Blog tags are so fun to do and I haven’t been tagged in one for a while. I found this blog tag from Our Favorite Jar that seemed fun to do. No, I wasn’t tagged to do this, I just wanted to do this for fun. The rules are down below:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post 
  • Put the rules at the beginning or after introduction
  • Answer the 13 questions 
  • Tag 13 people to do the tag 
  • Delete Question 13, add a new number one question of your own
  • You are free to use the tag image somewhere in the post 

What’s Your Favorite Thing About October?

My favorite thing about October is the cooler weather. It’s transitioning my Halloween themed sweaters out of storage, it’s wearing a comfy cardigan with some boots, and it’s putting away the summer clothes. The cooler weather is what I look forward to because it sets the stage for what’s to come.

Are You a Big Celebrator of Halloween?

Heck yes! I have been celebrating Halloween ever since I was little. My most memorable costumes from when I was little were Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Jesse from Toy Story #2. If I do have kids, I will make Halloween a big thing for them too.

What’s Your Favorite Horror Movie?

I love slasher films. My favorite slasher franchise is the Scream movies. It’s representative of the 90s and it takes horror tropes and makes fun of them.

Would You Rather Have a Cozy Night In or a Big Night Out for Halloween?

Waldo Costume

I love to go all out for Halloween, so I prefer to go out and do something. In 2017, I played a Call of Cthulhu role playing session on Halloween and in other years I have gone to a brewery all dressed up in a costume. Halloween is a big deal, so I want to go all out. The cozy nights in are perfect leading into Halloween to prepare for the event itself.

Which Has Been Your Favorite Costume to Date?

I don’t have a favorite, as I like them all. I like how I can tell what year the picture was taken based on the costume I was wearing. I will say, I like the year that we dressed Athena in a costume. It was very cute even though she didn’t like it at all.

Bobbing for Apples or Pin the Hat on the Witch?

Neither! None of the Halloween parties I have been to had either activity.

How Do You Celebrate Halloween?

By going all out! I like to go out or if I do decide to stay in, I like to have a plan of what to do. Halloween only comes around once a year, so I like to have a plan going forward.

What’s Your Least Favorite Horror?

I’m not sure I understand the question. If it means least favorite horror movie, I’d pick the Saw film franchise. It’s a bit too gory for me and the later movies seemed to focus on how graphic the traps could be instead of the actual story to go with it. If it’s my least favorite supernatural creature, I’d pick the Mummy.

Do You Have a Favorite Trick or Treating Memory?

I remember one Halloween in either 2003 or 2004, I slept over at my friend’s house. We went trick or treating, dumped out our candy and watched Hocus Pocus. It was a fun night and it’s special to me because I’m still friends with her years later.

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Halloween?

I like how Halloween can be anything you want it to be. It can be a night of staying in watching scary movies, or playing spooky board games or it can be a big party! Halloween is all up to the person as to how they want to celebrate.

Scary Sexy or Silly Costume?

I will be honest, when I was in college, I loved to dress in sexy costumes. I thought it was a fun time and I liked being able to control how I wanted to show off my body. Now that I’m older, I try and dress a little more tame, but I still like to have fun. I don’t usually dress in scary costumes usually. I like to wear something cute that I feel good in versus a silly costume.

My Favorite Halloween Candy?

I’m not a big Halloween candy fan. I have mostly cut out sugar for my own reasons, so when I would have a piece of Halloween candy, I found it to be way too sweet. If I had to pick, I’d pick the white chocolate kit kat bars.

Would You Visit a Haunted House at Night?

Nope. I care about my personal safety. I wish I could walk at night by myself and not have to worry, however, that’s not the case.

Nominations:

Lashaam / Trang at Bookidote

Emily at Monsterlady’s Diary

Dennis Vogen at The Den

Michelle at a Geek Girl’s Guide

Meg at A Geeky Gal

Chrissie at a Vamp it Up Manchester

If I forgot to tag you, you’re more than welcome to do this tag!

Here are the questions below:

1. What’s your favourite thing about October? 
2. Are you a big celebrator of Halloween?
3. What’s your favourite horror movie?
4. Would you rather a cozy night in watching horrors or a big night out in a costume?
5. Which has been your most favourite costume to date? 
6. Bobbing for apples or pin the hat on the witch? 
7. How do you celebrate Halloween? 
8. What’s your least favourite horror? 
9. Do you have a favourite trick or treating memory? 
10. What’s your favourite thing about Halloween?
11. Scary costume or Silly costume? 
12. What’s your favourite Halloween candy?
13. Besides Halloween, what’s your next favorite Holiday?

How The Matthew Mercer Effect Has Impacted Me

I started watching Critical Role in 2021 and quickly became enamored with the world Matthew Mercer built for his players. Although Critical Role wasn’t the first DnD podcast I listened to. My first DnD podcast experience was Not Another DnD Podcast which I started listening to back in 2018. I realize that the “mercer-effect” impacted me when I started playing DnD because I had such high expectations from my DM. I wanted to talk about this experience and share something I learned from it.

Me and my friends started a DnD group back in 2019. My friend wanted to try to DM and create his world. As mentioned, I had high expectations as to what I was hoping for from the story. Instead of going into this experience as a learning experience, I wanted a high intense story with real-world implications. I realize that I set myself up for failure. I set this campaign on a high pedestal when in reality, DnD allowed me and my friends to goof off and have a great time. I reflect on this campaign as a way that all my friends were able to get together regularly even though we all live busy lives.

I think the biggest way around the “mercer-effect” is setting little to no expectations when playing DnD. Playing through a campaign with an open mind can allow for random events to happen during game- play. Besides the expectations, I think it helps to have a gaming group that clicks with each other. I have played in campaigns that I grew bored with, but when I reflect on these sessions, I didn’t connect with the group I was playing with. In my most memorable and fun sessions, I think of all the random events that occurred and how much laughter was shared between friends.

DnD is supposed to be a fun, relaxing, and interactive game. If you’re playing DnD and you’re not having a good time, it’s not worth it to keep playing with that same group. It’s also completely valid to be a fan of Critical Role, Not Another DnD Podcast, or Ain’t Slayed Nobody and not want to play DnD. Many fans of these podcasts like interactive story telling, but don’t enjoy roleplaying themselves. The “mercer-effect” can create a negative environment in a gaming group, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Roleplaying is one of my favorite hobbies, and thanks to Critical Role it’s become more accessible and open to enjoy.

Becoming a Bodmer – October 2nd 2021

Mitchell Ringness Photography

I wrote a post summarizing general life updates which included marrying my husband earlier in October. I wanted to lump everything wedding related into this one post versus writing multiple posts. If you’re more of a fan of my geeky content, this might be the post to skip since it’s more of a life update post. However, I was able to incorporate some geek aspects into our wedding.

Saturday was a partly cloudy day with 70-degree weather. Our party arrived at Four Daughter’s Vineyard & Winery at 10 AM. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t on edge for most of the morning. Being a bride, I had gone through in my head what could go wrong. A vendor doesn’t show, a guest arrives who forgot to RSVP or I forgot to bring something to Four Daughters. As the morning went on, I started to feel at ease. The hair and makeup artists I picked did a great job. I went with PrimpedMN who specializes in onsight hair and makeup services. All my bridesmaids looked stunning. As we were getting ready, we were blasting music in the getting ready area while the hair and makeup team worked. The hair and makeup artist were dancing along and talking with us which helped create the fun getting ready environment.

Besides the hair and makeup team, our floral arrangements were fantastic. Fox and Fern Floral made floral arrangements that gave off a rustic feel. All the flowers were locally grown. Me and my husband aren’t huge flower people, so we didn’t want flowers everywhere. There was a floral arrangement on our arch that was so beautiful and helped create the Fall wedding I was dreaming of. All the wedding bouquets were beautifully arranged. My bouquet was huge! It got heavy carrying it after a while. Our florist did such a great job.

As the morning ticked by, it was time to get ready for the ceremony! I put on my dress and it fit perfectly. Our ceremony began at 3 PM and because the weather was nice, we set up in the middle of the vineyard. As I reminisce on this part of the day, I think about how it was a blur. I remember lining up with my brother as he was the one to walk me down the aisle. We waited for our special song and then we started to walk.

Our ceremony was about 10 – 15 minutes long. As me and my husband planned our script, we knew we didn’t want to stand in front of everyone for a long time. I have been a guest at weddings where the ceremony was 30+ minutes. I remember feeling impatient. I didn’t want my guests to feel this way plus short and to the point can be just as special as a longer ceremony. There was a brief hiccup in the ceremony regarding poem readings, but once we got through that, everything was smooth. Me and my husband kissed, signed the paperwork, and walked down the aisle hand in hand, ready to begin our lives together.

After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour for our guests while we took pictures. It’s nice because Four Daughters has these garage doors that open out which allowed us to set up yard games and guests could wander the vineyard during cocktail hour. Once we finished pictures, it was time for the grand entrance. Me and my husband were adamant about doing the grand entrance. With some convincing, I was able to get my husband to agree to march into our dining hall with the Doctor Who theme song. When me and my husband first started dating, Doctor Who was the first show we watched together, so it has a special place in my heart. Once we sat down, dinner began.

The other highlight of our meal choices was the dessert! We went with Nothing Bundt Cakes I wanted cupcakes versus a wedding cake because I thought they were small and cute. We had several flavors including pumpkin, red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate. They were a hit. Everyone I talked to said the cupcakes were decadent. Cupcakes were the perfect choice in my book because we ordered enough where our guests could try multiple flavors. Plus we had a few kids at our wedding who would probably eat more than one.

Dancing began at 7 – 7:30 PM ish after me and my husband had our first dance. We danced to Everything I Need by Skylar Grey. My husband picked this song from the Aquaman movie with Jason Momoa which I felt was fitting for us since we are big DC Comics fans. The song was beautiful and our DJ did a great job at setting the tone. We went with Ever After Entertainment for our wedding. Brent was our DJ and he did a great job. Once our first dance was done, Brent continued the energy all night long. He even played a Harry Potter version of “Like a G6” because he knew how much I loved Harry Potter. He made our night extra special and took us into account when picking songs.

Throughout the night, we had a photo booth for guests to take pictures. Of course, I made sure to have Harry Potter specific props available. We even had late-night pizza prepared for the guests who stayed with us all night. Finally, the garage doors stayed open into the night so guests could cool off in between dancing. Once midnight hit, it was time to pack up and end the night. I remember going to sleep at 1:30 AM and having the best night of sleep in a long time.

My wedding was everything I wanted it to be. It was special for us and I’m glad our most important guests were able to attend. Me and my husband have been together for seven years, and now we start to celebrate our forever. I became a Bodmer on October 2nd, 2021 and I’m so glad I did.

My Spooky TBR

It’s Spooky Season! This is my favorite time of the year and now that I’m done with wedding planning, I can fully dive into the season. I went to my local book store Cream and Amber to pick up a few books to read during this time of year. I wanted to share what’s on my Spooky TBR!

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Patricia Campbell was a successful nurse turned housewife to her husband and two kids. In her free time, she and the other moms in the town are a part of a true-crime book club which allows them to discuss how evil some people can truly be. Patricia decides to welcome a stranger to their book club. As much as Patricia is captivated by the newcomer, she starts to become suspicious as children are mysteriously disappearing from the next town over. Patricia realizes that this stranger may be the next Ted Bundy or maybe something a bit more supernatural.

This is the first book I started reading and it’s really good! I find myself wanting to read this any time I have free time. I went into this thinking it would be a typical Vampire moves next door book, however, there’s a lot more horror involved. I just read a part about rats that still makes my skin crawl.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne Jones went through an awful breakup. She drank, she cried, and she decided to cast a curse on her ex because why not? Being a witch has its perks. Although, Vivienne’s ex moves back to their home town and Vivienne realizes her curse may have brought some unintended consequences.

Romance books aren’t my favorite genre to read, however, this premise captured me right away. When I pick out books for my October TBR, I’m drawn to books starring Witches. This will be a nice break from horror as I plan on reading this right after The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A wedding party arrives in Ireland to begin the festivities. Champagne is popped, conversations are had, and someone turns up dead. Who is the culprit, and what secrets are revealed in the process?

I’m a sucker for a good thriller. I can’t help it, they draw me in as I want to know how everything unfolds. I think thrillers can fit into Spooky Season because human beings are capable of awful deeds.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

A female apothecary waits as women visit her from across the globe. They purchase poisons to help free themselves of the men who have wronged them. Two women are bound together in different parts of history as they seek the apothecary.

I partially bought this book for the cover. The cover shows a mystical potion bottle surrounded by neon flowers. I figured I could fit this into my TBR because of the alchemy and magic associated with this book.

I can’t wait to read all these books! I think I have enough variety in my TBR to cover different genres. Once November and December hit, I either like to read non-fiction, romance, or more thrillers. If you have any of these books, let me know what you think in the comments below, or feel free to suggest other Spooky books worth reading too.

Insomniac Games – Wolverine + Spider-Man 2

The sole reason I bought my PS4 back in 2017 was because of Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man game. My mind was blown away at how good the game was. I played through Miles Morales earlier this year which allowed me to reminisce playing through Marvel’s Spider-Man. I have been a big fan of Insomniac ever since and when I saw they announced Marvel’s Spider-Man #2 plus a whole new game about Wolverine, I was ecstatic. I wanted to summarize my thoughts on both games.

After watching Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 trailer, my first reaction was how much of a presence Venom will have in this game. Venom is one of the most well-known Spider-Man villains. If there’s any villain to incorporate into a game to generate buzz, Venom is it. There was an after-credit scene in the first Marvel Spider-Man game which leads into who Venom could be. I won’t discuss this here due to it being a major spoiler. This trailer provided just enough without feeling like it’s giving away the entire game.

Wolverine

This trailer was quite short. It shows a blood-stained Wolverine in a bar after he’s fought many men. His knuckles are bloodied, as he’s sitting having a bourbon or a whiskey. It’s been a day. I wouldn’t classify myself as a huge Wolverine fan per se, however, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for Wolverine to have his own game. I imagine this game will be more violent and gritty if Insomniac is staying true to the character. I think there’s a lot of potential in turning this into the ultimate Wolverine game.

I’m still utilizing my PS4 as I haven’t upgraded to the PS5 yet. Both games are slated to be released in 2023 which is probably when I will be forced to upgrade. For now, I will continue to extend the life of my beloved PS4 as I try to wait patiently for both games to be released.

Married + Visiting Disneyland! Life Updates

It’s been a hot minute since I have written a post. I’m glad to be back as I don’t foresee any barriers to writing regularly again. I enjoyed my break and not feeling bound to pre-writing posts every week. I wanted to share a couple of life updates now that I have had time to unwind.

Wedding Bliss

On Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, I married the love of my life at Four Daughter’s Winery in Spring Valley, MN. This was a long time coming. Me and my now husband became engaged on May 4th, 2019 which was both Star Wars Day + Free Comic Book Day. During the wedding planning process, we decided to get married in 2021 which allowed us to be stress-free during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding. It was partly cloudy, Fall colors were showing, and we were able to get married outside in the middle of the vineyard. My husband is my life partner and I’m thrilled to make it official.

Visiting Disneyland

Me and my husband are planning a huge honeymoon trip to Europe next year. We wanted to wait to ensure that we wouldn’t have to quarantine for two weeks. I still wanted to go on a trip to celebrate our union. We planned to fly into LA, stay a few days in San Francisco, and I wanted to spend at least one day in Disneyland. This will be my first trip to Disneyland, however, my husband has been to Disneyworld a few times. I’m planning to spend extra time at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge along with visiting the newly opened Avenger’s Campus. I have also heard Disneyland during Halloween is all decked out with pumpkins this time of year. As someone who is a big fan of Halloween, I’m looking forward to seeing a Spooky version of Disneyland.

Back to Reality

I’m relieved to be done with wedding planning. Both me and my husband have spent long hours crafting the perfect Fall wedding, so it’s been a nice feeling to be done. I have been spending my time catching up on Critical Role, reading spooky books, and playing video games. I’m looking forward to campaign #3 of Critical Role premiering towards the end of October although I’m not halfway through campaign #1. I’m currently reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix and I’m into it. I’m playing through Lego Harry Potter and plan to move on to Fary Cry 5 once I’m done. It’s been nice to focus on my interests and happiness versus the wedding.

I’m excited to be back writing regular posts again! I have missed spending the time writing posts and I look forward to catching up on what I have missed.

Gatekeeping Opinions That Suck

I was reading comments on a random Facebook post. This post was about audiobooks and how this particular person found joy in listening to an audiobook during their work commute. I’m not an audiobook fan myself as I prefer podcasts, however, I can see why audiobooks have gotten popular. One comment on this post was from a person who stated that audiobooks don’t count as reading. I could feel myself getting irritated once I read this. It inspired me to turn this into a full-blown post of gatekeeping opinions that suck.

Audiobooks Don’t Count as Reading

I completely disagree. Reading has evolved from reading physical books to kindles, and audiobooks making a huge comeback. This comes off as a gatekeeping opinion because it’s dictating what counts as reading. I’m a huge reader and I don’t want people to be criticized because they read differently. This opinion also discrimnates against disabled people. If someone is visually impaired leading them to listen to audiobooks, are they less of a reader due to a disability? Nope.

All Fans are Valid and Equal – (i.e reading the books or watching the movies only)

I see this a lot specifically in the Harry Potter or Game of Thrones fan communities. I do not have the bandwidth to handle reading all the Game of Thrones books, would I be less of a fan if I only watch the show? Not at all. Reading is extremely time-consuming, and watching a show or a film is a lot easier.

Playing Video Games on an Easier Difficulty

When I was younger, I had the time to play Halo Reach on the Legendary difficulty. Now, I barely have time to play a game for an hour. I don’t want to sit and struggle in my gaming free time. Therefore, I usually play on either an easier difficulty or whatever counts as the medium. I like a challenge, but I also like to use gaming as a way to unwind. It’s completely valid to be a gamer who plays in an easier difficulty setting.

Taking Six Months to Watch a Show vs. Binge-Watching

I’m a slow TV watcher. I don’t usually finish a show within a few days or a week. I have some friends that are able to binge-watch a show, and that’s cool. It doesn’t matter how much time it takes to watch a show, as long as you’re a fan of the show, you’re a fan! A good example of this is Schitt’s Creek. I love Schitt’s Creek, but I’m still on season #2 and it’s been at least four or five months since I watched. Planning a wedding doesn’t help with this as that has sucked up most of my free time. I’m still a fan of Schitt’s Creek even if it takes me the rest of this year to complete every season.

Those were all the gatekeeping opinions I have personally witnessed recently. Let me know in the comments if there were any I missed!

Go Pack Go – Touring Lambeau Field

Last weekend, me and my fiance drove to Green Bay, WI for a wedding. Green Bay is in the North-East part of Wisconsin and it’s somewhere I had never been to before. With my fiance’s family living in Wisconsin, they are all big Green Bay Packers fans. The Green Bay Packers play at Lambeau Field which is a pretty historic Football stadium. Me and the fiance decided to schedule a tour of Lambeau before attending the wedding. For someone who isn’t a major Football fan, the tour was pretty interesting.

The stadium was HUGE. Our tour guide said Lambeau was the fifth largest Football field. Before stepping on the field, there were several pieces of artwork our group passed. This included a piece of art depicting the “Ice Bowl” The Ice Bowl was a Packers game in which the windchill was low and players were freezing as they watched the game. Lambeau is an outdoor field that has its benefits and drawbacks including the potential for snow. Another piece of artwork featured bicycle wheels. It’s a tradition that Packer players when starting training camp ride-on children’s bicycles. This has been a famous tradition due to kids biking to see the Packer players train during the off-season. There’s a lot of history tied to the Packers that I wasn’t aware of. It made touring Lambeau feel more like a museum than a sports stadium.

During the tour, we could walk around the field to at least see what it looks like from the player’s perspective. I think this was my favorite part about the tour. Me and the fiance lucked out because we had great weather on the day we toured. It led to some cute pictures of us that the tour guide took.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a Football fan yet I thoroughly enjoyed the Lambeau field tour. It was something fun to do while we waited for the wedding to start and it was great exercise walking the stadium. I may never be a fully devoted Packers fan, but I can at least respect the history of the team and why so many people are passionate about their home team.

Lock Every Door

I was first introduced to Riley Sager after I read Final Girls last year. Final Girls was my favorite book I read in 2020 partly because it felt like I was reading a slasher movie. Sager seems to have found his niche in writing psychological thrillers with some horror or supernatural elements thrown in. Lock Every Door was on my TBR (to be read) for a long time as I was saving it for Fall/Spooky season. Lock Every Door was another captivating and eerie read.

Jules Larsen is down on her luck. She’s lost her job, found out her boyfriend was cheating on her, and she’s homeless. Jules finds an ad in the paper about an apartment sitter at a notorious New York ritzy apartment building called the Bartholomew. Jules is interviewed by the luxurious Leslie Evelyn who decides Jules is the perfect pick. As Jules moves in, she starts to notice strange occurrences at the mansion. After one of the other tenants moves out unexpectedly does Jules decides to do her investigation which leads her down a dark path.

This book took some sharp turns where I wasn’t sure what Jule’s fate would be. Jules was a protagonist I was genuinely rooting for. She has been through so much trauma at a young age and knows what it’s like to be close to giving up. I read some negative reviews of Lock Every Door and they stated that Jules is naive and a bit reckless for moving into an apartment building she doesn’t know anything about. However, I think it’s made clear that Jules needs the money. She is living paycheck to paycheck and she needs money fast.

Lock Every Door wasn’t a supernatural thriller like I had originally anticipated. It’s more showing how evil humanity can be and how some in society view others as less than due to income level. Each villain in this story was someone I hated, so kudos to Sager for making me hate everyone who had a hand in hurting Jules. While reading Lock Every Door, I kept thinking this reminded me of American Horror Story: Hotel. All I pictured was the rich aura of the Hotel in American Horror Story and how Leslie Evelyn could be a Lady Gaga Esque type woman.

I have now read two of Sager’s books and I’m starting to notice a pattern. Earlier in this post, I mentioned how Sager has a niche. Each book stars a female protagonist who has been hit with some kind of personal tragedy or trauma. The female protagonist is put in danger and has to fight her way out using her trauma to provide fuel to fight back. I have liked Sager’s books, however, I can understand why some readers don’t. I find it’s worth mentioning because while I liked this book, I do find that once you read one Riley Sager book, you have the formula for the rest.

Lock Every Door was such an engrossing read. I’m a bit skeptical to read more Riley Sager books as I’m finding they are becoming a bit formulaic.