Read/Watch/Listen: May 2019

Y’all. I survived the spring. It’s officially summer vacation 😎 (Of course, “summer vacation” to me means working one job instead of two, but still.) I’m also officially 31, which for some reason feels a lot older than 30. Case in point: when I go to a show now, my ears ring for 2-3 days afterwards 😳 Do I just give in and become THAT person with ear plugs? Do cool ones exist so the 17-year-old version of myself isn’t totally mortified? #halp

Read

Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

YA fiction makes me the happiest these days. It’s so much more swoon-worthy than new adult fiction. It also makes me nostalgic because I met MPR when I was 18, so I automatically see bits of our story in all books and movies that center around teens and young 20-somethings. But I digress. I’m a sucker for a coming-of-age story. I love to cheer characters on and applaud their personal growth. I love to imagine where the characters go and what they do after the last sentence of the last chapter on the last page. Rainbow Rowell is good at ending stories in a way that doesn’t tie everything up in a perfect bow, but gives you confidence that all the characters are going to be okay. Fun fact: Rainbow Rowell wrote this book as a passion project during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). So if you’ve ever thought about giving it a shot – I say GO FOR IT!

This “review” was vague, but I give it 4/5 ⭐️ A great college nerd love story that also tackles some heavy family issues. (Disclaimer: I also probably loved this book because the dad works at an advertising agency.)

Watch

Dead to Me on Netflix

MPR and I blew through this first season in one week. Maybe 10 days, tops. Christina Applegate is AMAZING in this dark comedy/suspense about the murder of her husband. And let’s not forget Linda Cardellini, who was the girl we all HATED in Boy Meets World, but then won my heart in Freaks and Geeks. (Side note: If you have not seen Freaks and Geeks, add this to your list pronto.) It was just renewed for season 2, so dive in without worry of being left on an unfinished cliffhanger.

Aladdin

Yup, we went to see the new Aladdin on opening weekend. And it was MAGICAL ✨ Disney did a fantastic job of bringing this classic animated film to life. It stayed true to the original story, yet added some 2019 #feminism upgrades that felt natural – including a new song for Jasmine. And Will Smith did an excellent job with the role of Genie, who had some very big shoes to fill, to say the least. Go see it in the theaters – it’s worth it 🍿

Free Throw

Listen

Young Culture

We went to a very small show at the new Amos’ Southend for Seaway, Free Throw, Heart Attack Man and Young Culture. This was one of those rare shows that I went into with no knowledge of any of the bands (MPR randomly bought tickets) and while it was a good time, Young Culture was my absolute favorite. And NOT just because they’re from Albany, NY! (Which of course we bonded over.) Pop-punk bops at their finest. Give them a stream. (Also, Heart Attack Man has some serious 90s grunge vibes, so if that’s your scene, give them a listen.)

Songs that Saved My Life

Also late to the party on this one (guess that’s the new normal when you hit 30), but Hopeless Records put out a compilation cover album (think: Punk Goes Pop) to benefit mental health awareness and suicide prevention. And that album is good in and of itself, but there’s also a Spotify playlist by them with around 80 songs that I’m guessing is added to by their staff. The description is: “These are the songs that saved our lives and we will be adding more each and every day! Tweet or post yours with the hashtag #SongsThatSavedMyLife.” SOLID playlist. The next time you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, throw this on. Lots of good throwbacks in there, as well as current songs. 🀘

Side note: I’ve also been feeling Neck Deep lately 🌸

The best things I read/watched/listened to: February 2018

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

I have a love/hate relationship with Goodreads. It helps me find and save books I want to read, but the reviews are always so negative! For example, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close has terrible reviews, but I’m so glad that I went ahead and read it anyway, because it quickly became one of my favorites.

I don’t have any “friends” on Goodreads, I mostly just look up books and add them to my “to read” shelf, but if you have an account and want to sync up, here’s my profile!

February was a short month, but I managed to fit in a lot! Here are my recommendations from the past month.

Read:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice – not just a Pride & Prejudice-esque storyline, but literally all of the same characters, but set in modern times. At first I thought that messing with Jane Austen was a little sacrilegious, but this book is so lovely. Apparently there’s a whole series called Β The Austen Project, and Emma is next on my list.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

SWOON. Rom-coms are my favorite genre of everything, and this book did not disappoint. The main characters are journalists, of course, (why are leading ladies of rom-coms always working at newspapers or magazines?) and it’s set in 1999 when the newsroom first got email. However, the story follows the IT guy who reads all of their emails. It sounds a little creepy, but this was a quick read and delivered my happily ever after. I was thoroughly satisfied (and warm & fuzzy).

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I was really excited for this book because it’s a YA novel about teens in the 80s who make mix tapes for each other and fall in love on the bus. I mean, could a novel be more perfect? However, it didn’t have a satisfying enough ending for me. Maybe the author is setting it up for a sequel?

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

This book is the perfect depiction of modern girls in their 20s. It follows a group of college friends from graduation through their 30th birthdays, and maybe it’s because all of my friends and I are turning 30 this year, but this book really resonated with me. I saw so much of myself and my friends in all of these characters. (And it made me miss them dearly.)

Watch:

Ingrid Goes West

This movie gave me the heebie-jeebies. It’s like Single White Female for the Instagram era, where Aubrey Plaza plays a girl who becomes a little too obsessed with an influencer. After watching this movie, I immediately made my Instagram account private and deleted all of my followers who I didn’t know in real life. Not that I’m an influencer in ANY sense of the word, but it makes you think twice about what you post online. It’s available on Hulu and is a great satire of the social media world we now live in.

When We First Met

This Netflix original movie starring Adam DeVine (from Workaholics and Pitch Perfect) had all the makings of a classic rom-com. It explores the concept of who we’re “meant to be” with through time travel. What do you expect? I loved it. (Duh.)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

This Amazon original series definitely deserves all of the awards it has won. Rachel Brosnahan is a treasure who perfectly plays a 1950s housewife in NYC who decides to become a stand-up comic after her husband leaves her (and their two kids) for his secretary. It dragged a little in the middle, but it survived the Amazon curse of getting cancelled after one season (RIP Z and Good Girls Revolt), as they’re starting to film season two this month. Also, I’m going to need her entire wardrobe. Can some fashion house create a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel line?

Listen:

Chase Atlantic

I have this new guilty pleasure called Chase Atlantic. It’s an Australian alternative/indie band that also has a saxophone player and some naughty lyrics. Listening to their EPs felt like the first time I heard Say Anything back in high school. They describe themselves as “dark alternative pop punctuated by rock and R&B.”Β I don’t know why I love it so much, but I got really excited when I saw they were playing Warped Tour this year. (Can you believe I plan on going to my first and last Warped Tour at age 30?)

What’s on your list for March?