Bloodline/Claudia Gray

Since 2015, when The Force Awakens came out, Disney has supplement-ed its on-screen world of Star Wars with books. Referred to as the Star Wars Disney Canon on Goodreads, these books flesh out the wonderful world that George Lucas created over forty years ago. They follow characters that we love, and new characters that we have yet to meet on screen. As a fan of Star Wars, I am always happy to be in that world, so a few years back I started to read some of the books set in the world of Star Wars. The first one I picked up was Claudia Gray’s Bloodline.

Bloodline is the story of Princess Leia, now Senator Organa, and how she navigates the universe post Return of the Jedi. She has the struggles of a politician, but also that of the daughter of Darth Vader. Gray digs into feelings and themes not explored in the Star Wars movies. What would it be like to know your father is Darth Vader? What would it be like if people found out? Gray tackles the psychological side of Leia, and it’s very moving. Leia is obviously a great favorite among Star Wars fans, as she is a strong, powerful, and inspiring leader. It was really nice to get to see even more sides of her, and to get to know her better as a character. 

The other main thing that has stuck with me after reading this book, is its focus on politics. I’m one of the (what seems like) few people who actually enjoy the prequel movies. Like I said above, any chance to be in the universe of Star Wars is a win for me. Queen Amidala was always one of my favorite characters, along with The Phantom Menace being one of my favorite movies. I always found the focus on politics and galactic relations to be fascinating. Bloodline delivers on that front as well, but with the beloved Leia at its heart. I also really enjoyed getting a closer look at the politics behind the new government that formed after the Empire was destroyed. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Star Wars, wants to get to know Leia better, or just wants a good political thriller to read. May the force be with you.

P.S. I also highly recommend getting the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of this book (which can be found at this link: because it comes with a really awesome poster!

Lady From The Black Lagoon

The Lady from the Black Lagoon is author Mallory O’Meara’s dive into the life of Milicent Patrick. Until O’Meara’s book came out in 2019, not many people were aware of who Milicent Patrick was. Thanks to the author’s dedicated research, she has brought Milicent Patrick into the spotlight. 

Milicent Patrick’s claim to (now) fame was that she designed the Creature from the Black Lagoon, for the film of the same name. She was a talented woman who not only created famous Hollywood monsters, but also worked for Walt Disney as an animator. Milicent faded into obscurity, and never got credit for her design…until O’Meara. 

The Lady from the Black Lagoon not only follows Milicent Patrick, and her struggles through Old Hollywood, but also O’Meara’s own story and struggles in Hollywood. The parallel between the women’s lives is both heartbreaking and touching, and I’m sure if Milicent was still alive, the two would be fast friends. 

I picked this book up for two reasons: I love old movies, and am always looking to learn more about them, and secondly, I’ll be honest, the cover of the book. I’m a sucker for an attention grabbing cover, and this book has got it! Setting aside the cover, though…the content was just what I was hoping for. It was an honest and well-researched look into what life was like in the movie industry for a woman, during what we now think of as ‘Old Hollywood’. Highly recommend. 

Pick up the paperback edition of O’Meara’s Los Angeles Time Bestseller, available on March 3, 2020.