The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2)The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was cute. Not amazing. The love story felt forced. There were far fewer games or puzzles in this book than there were in the previous installment, which was disappointing, because without the puzzles and with a cringe-y love story, there simply wasn't a lot to keep readers wanting more. The characters showed very little growth or depth and the prose was just okay.

Overall, an adequate follow-up to the Inheritance Games.

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Hella. Mega. Tour.

When you wake up with smudged black eyeliner, mysterious bruises, and a throat so raw you can barely speak, you know you’ve had a good time. That’s what awaits ticket holders for the Green Day, Weezer, and Fall Out Boy joint tour – The Hella Mega Tour.

Silly names aside, this concert was a fun time. Worth a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. (Insert friendly reminder to musicians everywhere – Kansas City is an awesome place. Come here every once in a while!) Definitely worth taking all the Covid-19 precautions necessary over the past year. Anything to get me right here, in the twenty-first row, screaming myself hoarse every time Mike Dirt’s name gets mentioned.

The show opened with a set from The Interrupters, who admittedly, I wasn’t hugely familiar yet. I’d heard (and enjoyed) She’s Kerosene, but didn’t recognize any of their other songs. They put on a good show though, in spite of the pouring rain that fell especially for them, then cleared up in seconds after they ended their set. A good enough show that I’ll be on the lookout for their CD.

Up next, Weezer, with their bright 90s era colored set (you know what I’m talking about), played a healthy mix of old favorites and new songs. Enough that veteran Weezer lovers will have plenty to sing along with, while keeping up audience interest in the new.

If you’re looking for a fun time, Weezer delivered a solid set, which can almost make me forgive Rivers Cuomo his porn-stache and mullet combo.

Fall Out Boy got a bit of a late start here in Atlanta due to some technical issues with the set, but once they started, they played well. They opened with a video narration about space travel and stardust which apparently only true FOB fans understood, because I was left feeling like I always do about this band--that they’re trying too hard to be edgy. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s truly not their fault though. They did a great job. But, if I want space-themed allegory in rock’n’roll form, I’ll take David Bowie thank you very much.

While Fall Out Boy was my least anticipated act, I did enjoy the set overall. Sure, I couldn’t get into it as much as say, the exuberantly dancing twenty-somethings in the row in front of me. One of my great joys of the night was guessing what band audience members were most excited to see, and I guessed correctly with these two. Their black Vans told me well in advance they were here for FOB.

More so than Weezer with their dad-vibes, Fall Out Boy’s act made me feel old. So old. I don’t want to dog on them too much, because the music they produced was good, another healthy mix of top songs from older and newer eras. But where Weezer and Green Day have aged with me, Fall Out Boy is forever that band I listened to in college, and just can’t get into anymore. I’m glad the younger audience members had fun, though.

Unfortunately, their set was cut short when they ran out of time. I’m not an expert on music management and concert dealings, so I can’t tell you if the set mishap at the beginning is what interfered with their timing, but I can tell you that it was highly entertaining watching the hope, then sorrow, then hope, then sorrow as the crowd begged for another song, only to receive more stage hands breaking down the set. Here’s hoping whatever timing issue came up in Atlanta can be resolved for future shows on the tour.

And last, but certainly not least, the one, the only… Green Day.

Anyone who knows me knows I still fangirl over Green Day like I did back in high school. If they’re touring, I will find a way to be there. That said, while they consistently put on an excellent show and all three of the main members had the best of their personalities on display (though Tre did, at times, look a little bored), I was a bit disappointed in their set list which, unlike the other two bands, eschewed their newer music in favor of older hits.

I understand why, of course. Father of All is hardly their best work, but there are good songs on there. Songs I was looking forward to hearing. And while I may be in the minority (as all Green Day fans want) in telling you that I think Revolution Radio is in fact their best work, I still expected at least two, maybe three songs from that album. I got one. A good one, mind, and the one that provided a majority of the inspiration for my latest novel-in-progress. In fact, with the exception of Still Breathing and Pollyanna, every song on the set was from American Idiot or earlier.

Lifelong fans of Green Day got a good show, a show filled with songs they can recognize and sing, and play (shout out to audience member Clay who got up on stage and jammed like the best of them) along with. But it wasn’t a new show. It wasn’t anything we haven’t ever seen before. Which doesn’t mean I won’t still be going to their next tour, or the next after that. It just means that I go home thinking about what set list I would create for them, if I were in charge. Maybe, someday, I may even get a chance to tell them in person.

In a quest to raise the coolest child in the world, I brought home a hat for my kid, as well as a promise to take him to see Green Day live if they ever come back to Kansas City.

Hear that, boys? Don't let my adorable child down!

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