Switching it up a little on this Friday. Here are five things I found super exciting about this week, still all relating to my latest read this, listen to this, and watch this obsessions:
- Sarah Dessen’s Once and For All and Paula Hawkins Into the Water are both available for me to pick up at the library. I foresee some pool or beach side reading in my weekend plans (pending this rain storm passes, otherwise it’ll probably be snuggled up.)
- I re-watched About Alex for (I think) the third time, a few days ago and was reminded why I was obsessed with this film in the first place. If I ever made a movie, this is the tone, vibe, soundtrack feel, cast chemistry I’d be going for.
- This anthology video Maren Morris released:
- HOW HAVE I NOT MENTIONED IT HERE?! (But across various other social media platforms.) JOHN GREEN’s NEW BOOK! Set to release in October Turtles All the Way Down. Go ahead and pre-order your signed copy now. (Literally can’t wait!)
- Speaking of awesome things happening in October…Stranger Things SEASON TWO!
I know, it hasn’t been that long since I shared Harry Styles “From the Dining Table,” but seeing as it’s July and I’m still blasting these songs several times a week why don’t I go ahead and share another track? With lines like:
“She never saw herself as a west coaster
Moved all the way ’cause her grandma told her
“Towns, better swim before you drown” and “I met her once and wrote a song about her” – Carolina has easily been one of my favorite tracks from the beginning. Not only is it a catchy song, but it also captures are a certain sentiment. Have you ever been on a really incredible first date, or even just first meet that turns into spending hours with this new person finding out all kinds of little details of their life story? Those encounters will have you drunk on serotonin, and that new found person will be taking up all the empty spaces in your mind with their laugh, their smile, their cute little anecdotes. We all have our own interpretations, but those fun, new, flirty feelings even if they’re fleeting, are what “Carolina” reminds me of every time I listen. If you didn’t give his album a listen the first time around, definitely check it out. “Carolina” is a great place to start!
A friend recommended The Selection series by Kiera Cass with the premise of “it’s like a combination of The Hunger Games and The Bachelor.” Okay, so I don’t watch The Bachelor, but I am a twenty something living in America, so I vaguely know what’s up. Also, as you probably remember I was absolutely obsessed with The Hunger Games. I’ll admit, THG holds a high spot in my heart, so I was a little weary going into this one, but my goodness was I wrong. Cass weaves an intriguing story, mixing romance, friendship, loyalty to self and country all into a web of addicting pages. America Singer is a teenager leaving in a future country long after what we know as America doesn’t exist anymore. Illea is ruled by a monarchy, and it’s time for Prince Maxon to find a wife for him to rule the kingdom in the future with. They use a process called The Selection where women are chosen from each region, to come and live in the castle and go through a dating process very similar to The Bachelor. It was never really part of America’s plan to actually be a contestant in the Selection. She thought she’d continue her life in her caste as a 5, singing at lavish parties, and marry her childhood best friend. Of course, life has its own unexpected twists and turns. I don’t use the word addicting lightly. As soon as I finished The Selection, I went online and saw the e-library had The Elite available and downloaded it immediately. Basically, my obsession continued through the rest of the series, along with the final two of the five that take place after a time jump.Cass writes so vividly that I could easily see this series being adapted for a television show, (which I think it was a while ago.) I would also throw in, if you’re a fan of Reign you would probably also enjoy these. If you’re looking for something fun to read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend this series.
I have barely gone to the movie theater in 2017, but there was one movie I saw the trailer for several months prior to its release, I just knew I wasn’t going to miss. Gifted starring Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, and also included Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, and Lindsay Duncan in this incredible cast. I tend to go to the movies by myself, but this one I saw with my parents, and it was great to know I wasn’t the only one that went through several tissues during this drama. McKenna Grace plays Mary, a spunky, spirited, brilliant little girl being raised by her Uncle Frank (Chris Evans) in Florida. Frank unfortunately gets into a custody battle with his mother, but it’s not any usual custody battle – Evelyn wants Mary because she’s basically a child prodigy and she wants to exploit her abilities. Jenny Slate plays Bonnie, Mary’s teacher who recognizes her unmistakable talent, but also gets Frank’s desires for Mary to have as normal a childhood as possible. The film is just beautifully done. You can tell that the cast seriously bonded with one another, and the chemistry is so palpable, I forgot that all of these characters aren’t related to one another in real life. (Isn’t that the goal of a film – make the whole story undoubtedly real?) I really loved the message in this story too. Frank so badly wanted Mary to really get the chance to be a kid. I won’t ruin the story, but it explores plenty of themes – the value of family, finding balance in life, figuring out ways to acknowledge a gift but not make life ever be about only one thing. The soundtrack was amazing, the cast was astonishingly talented, the story was beautiful and it’s funny but some of the parts that made me sob in the theater weren’t even “sad” they were just so incredibly touching. I laughed, I cried, I got mad at characters, I thought about relationships and life, and the little things. I know I haven’t recommended a movie in a while, but if there’s one you’re going to add to your To Watch list, this should be it. The cast deserve some major awards for these performances!