Hello people of the internet!!! On today`s `Monday Memos` we have another book review of a young adult novel you might want to add to your TBR (to be read) pile. Today`s book is ‘In The Hope of Memories` by Olivia Rivers, which was provided for review by Red Sparrow Press. As always this will be a spoiler-free review, but I will add some trigger warnings that you should be aware of before reading this book. If the following topics will trigger you then please proceed with caution: anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, school violence, death, and domestic terrorism. So now let`s get to the review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
`In The Hope of Memories` is about a high school senior named Hope who has recently died from a heart complication. Before Hope died she set up a scavenger hunt around New York City for her friends Erik, Kali, Aiden, & Sam, in order for them to meet each other. Each character has their own history with Hope, as well as their own individual issues they are facing. Throughout the book we get to see them face their personal demons, learn about each other, & maybe even start to see themselves the way Hope saw them.
I`m going to start by saying this is definitely a 5 smiley face book. It had an intriguing plot, interesting characters, & twists that will definitely keep you interested. Another thing that I really loved about this book was the various ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity that we see throughout this book. I enjoyed the fact that this book had a large amount of diversity, but it was weaved into the novel in an organic way that really added to the characters. Lastly, I absolutely loved how by the end of the book, you feel as if you know Hope even though she is already dead at the start of the book. The author does an incredible job of using the various characters` relationship with Hope, as well as her scavenger hunt to make us completely fall in love with the character. If your looking for a beautifully written, incredibly touching book to read this fall, then ‘In The Hope of Memories’ should top your list!
You can keep up with everything Olivia is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING new video that will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit! Now I know that we usually discuss channels, not individual videos, but there is so much to discuss with this video that it needs its’ own blog post. If you haven’t seen the ‘Slashstreet Boys -I’ll Kill You That Way’ video by the channel ‘The Merkins’ then be prepared to have your mind blown! I will throw in a quick disclaimer that there is some profanity in this video that may not be appropriate for all ages so please proceed with caution. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
So you may be asking, “What’s the deal with this video?”. Well if you love The Backstreet Boys and/or famous Halloween villains Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Ghostface, Michael Myers, & Leatherface then this is the video you’ve been waiting your whole life for! In this video the guys do an amazing job of changing the lyrics of ‘I Want It That Way’ by The Backstreet Boys into a really funny Halloween themed version that uses lyrics that relate to each of these character’s individual movies. These lyrics provide the perfect Easter eggs (aka hints for those who don’t speak internet) for horror film fans. Also, even though not all of the actors in the video sing, the guys who provided the vocals for this parody have really good voices. I honestly would love to see covers from these guys because their vocals are just that good!
Lastly, I wanted to discuss the meticulous details that this parody video contains. If you are a Backstreet Boys fan then you remember that epic ‘I Want It That Way’ video. I mean we have the airport scenes, the screaming fan scenes, & of course those famous white outfits. Unforgettable right? Well ‘I’ll Kill You That Way’ does an impeccable job of mimicking these scenes as close as possible. In the parody video we get very similar dance moves (only this time split between a airport & the woods), the screaming fans who love our villains, & of course those famous white outfits. If you’re a Backstreet Boys fan then you’ll definitely appreciate the effort put into this video.
You can keep up with everything The Merkins are doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a new book review for y’all! Today’s review is about a Young Adult mystery novel called ‘Watch You Burn’ by Amanda Searcy, which was provided for review by Delacorte Press (a division of Random House Children’s Books), and will be released tomorrow October 23rd, 2018. As always this is a spoiler-free review, however I do want to issue trigger warnings for the following: bullying, death, & drug/alcohol abuse. We definitely have a lot to talk about with this one so let’s get to the post. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Watch You Burn’ is about a 17 year old girl named Jenny who is hiding a deep secret, she’s an arsonist. Jenny is forced to move from her hometown in Ohio, to Albuquerque, New Mexico to live with her estranged father while his construction company works on the renovation of a luxury motel. Once she arrives in Albuquerque Jenny gets the same familiar “itch” she’s always had to start fires however, she knows that doing so would reveal other deep secrets she has hidden. When Jenny meets friends who may be hiding even deeper & darker secrets than she is, Jenny must decide how far she’s willing to go in order to keep her new life from going up in flames.
I want to start off by saying that I have a lot of feeling about this book. I don’t normally read mystery books, however I was really intrigued by Jenny’s character description in the synopsis. Based off of how Jenny is described you imagine that she is a complex, interesting character that has many layers you need to uncover as the book continues, and honestly this is exactly what Jenny is. She’s not a perfect character by any means, Jenny has a lot of issues as a person and does some really questionable things throughout the book. I really liked the mystery aspect of the book, and honestly I went back & forth over who our “bad guy” was up until the last page. My only problem with this book is the ending. I’ve said it before, I really don’t mind open ended endings, but I also think that this is one of the hardest things for a writer to properly do. I felt like this book needed one more chapter, or at least an epilogue to achieve a satisfying ending. Honestly the book doesn’t feel like it ends, it just stops. Now we do get a lot of questions answered, but it feels like the story just stops for our characters. Nothing really feels resolved & while this may have been done in order to lay the groundwork for a sequel, the abrupt ending ruins the momentum & excitement that the book built up to this point. I do want to say that I really did like this book, so much in fact that it was a 5 smiley face book for me up until the ending. Unfortunately because of the ending I will have to give this book a 4 smiley face rating. I’m honestly so sad about this because I really liked ‘Watch You Burn’ & I think Amanda Searcy is an extremely talented writer however, a great book deserves a great ending & unfortunately we just didn’t find that great ending here.
You can keep up with everything Amanda is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING artist that y’all NEED to check out immediately. Who am I talking about you ask? Excellent question everybody. Today you’re going to learn all about Victoria Skie, an incredible singer/songwriter from New York that you’re about to become completely obsessed with. So now please allow me to explain exactly why Victoria will be your new favorite artist. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘Sorry- Justin Bieber (Cover)’ video, which was uploaded on November 21, 2015. This video is the perfect example of how Victoria can take a song and truly make it her own. This honestly doesn’t even feel like a cover, but more like what this song would’ve sounded like if Victoria was the original artist. The next video we’re going to discuss is her ‘Havana -Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug’ cover video which was uploaded on November 16, 2017 (you can check out this video below). Once again Victoria puts her own unique twist on this cover, which continues to show us how she is growing not only as a vocalist, but as an artist. In this video we get to see how Victoria would handle a more high tempo song which shows her diversity as an artist.
Next up we have the music video for Victoria’s original song ‘Arrow’, which was uploaded on May 8, 2018 (you can check out this video below). This is such a beautiful song y’all! The music video uses black & white tones, as well as beautiful framing to really help you feel the emotional impact of the lyrics of ‘Arrow’. After listening to this song you’ll see that Victoria is not only an exceptionally talented vocalist, but she is also a talented songwriter. So basically she can do it all! The last video we’re going to discuss is Victoria’s ‘Don’t Matter To Me – Drake ft. Michael Jackson’ cover video which was uploaded on July 13, 2018. I was really interested to see how Victoria was going to handle this song, because of the unique mix of both Drake & Michael Jackson’s musical styles in ‘Don’t Matter To Me’. Although we did not hear Victoria rapping in this cover, I thought she did a great job of combining these two songs into a very cool cover. One thing I definitely learned after listening to this cover was just when you think you know what Victoria is capable of, she does something to show her listeners that she is truly an artist who knows no boundaries.
You can keep up with everything Victoria is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a review of the novel ‘Silence Interrupted’ by Sania Shaikh, which was released on November 14th, 2016, & was provided for review by Lanier Press. Now I do want to issue a trigger warning for the following topics: suicide, cutting, Depression, alcoholism, spousal/child abuse, profanity, slut shaming, & homophobic slurs, so if any of these topics are triggering to you this is probably not the book for you. I can honestly say I have a lot to say about this one so let’s jump into the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Silence Interrupted’ is a young adult novel about a group of four friends in their senior year of high school named: Troye, Adelaide, Arabella, & Zaidan. The four form a group after Troye moves from his hometown in Florida, to Georgia. On Troye’s 1st day of school, he is quickly intrigued by Adelaide outgoing nature, & the two quickly form a strong bond. At a school event Troye meets Arabella & Zaidan (who have been a couple for several years), & the four share a year of fun, friendship, & learning how to help each other conquer their darkest inner demons.
First of all I want to start off with what I really enjoyed about this book. I really loved all the topics that were tackled throughout this novel. The topics of cutting & child/spousal abuse in regards to Troye & Arabella were particularly well developed, which made these characters more engaging. I also really enjoyed the adults in this book. I thought that the author did a really good job of making us feel love, empathy, & hate towards the various adult characters in this book, which gave them more character depth. Unfortunately where ‘Silence Interrupted’ falls a bit short in my opinion is in the pacing of the book & the use of multiple perspectives. I often felt as if I didn’t know how much time passed throughout the book, which made it hard to believe the bond between the group because in one chapter they meet & by the next they’ve known each other for some time. The book often felt like it went by to slow during some parts of the book, & then speed up to much during other parts of the book. Lastly, I often wasn’t sure whose perspective I was listening to (since we got to see all 4 perspectives throughout the book). I often had to go back to the beginning of the chapter in order to know who was telling the story, which distracted me from what was happening in the story. Because of this, my enjoyment of the book definitely suffered despite the fact that the plot was a very interesting concept. I definitely would have loved it if the author just stuck with Troye & Adelaide’s perspectives instead of using all four characters, because I think this would have helped focus the writing a bit more which would have allowed the reader to stay immersed in the plot. Due to these reasons, I do have to give this book a 1 out of 5 smiley faces.
Keep up with everything Sania is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING musician that you need in your life. If you’ve never heard of Matt Bloyd then you need to sit down, grab you a snack, & get ready to have your mind blown! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to discuss is Matt’s ‘Have You Ever?- Brandy cover by Matt Bloyd, Mario Jose, and Vincint Cannady’, which was uploaded on April 22nd, 2016. In this video we not only get to see Matt’s phenomenal vocals, but also his amazing ability to perfectly harmonize with anybody. Next up we’re going to check out Matt’s ‘I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston cover’ video, which was uploaded on August 9th, 2016 (you can check out this video below). Honestly every time I listen to this cover I am left speechless. The tone, pitch, & pure musical ability that is shown in this cover is just mind blowing. This is a cover that you just need to hear to believe, so please do yourself the biggest favor ever & listen to it right now.
Now we’re going to talk about Matt’s ‘Too Good at Goodbyes – Sam Smith’ cover which was uploaded on September 9th, 2017. Once again we get to see just how insanely talented of a vocalist Matt is. In this song we really get to see how well Matt can handle an emotionally charged song like this one. He will seriously give you all the feels with this cover, & honestly make you ugly cry for hours. The last video we’re going to talk about is Matt’s ‘Bless the Broken Road’ cover which was uploaded on August 30th, 2018 (you can check out the cover below). Again this is a cover that will leave you completely speechless. Honestly I’ve listen to a lot of cover by a lot of artists over the years & Matt is by far one of the best vocalists I’ve very heard on YouTube. The way he can take a song like this one, make it his own but still keep the emotional depth of the song intact is nothing short of spectacular. Seriously as soon as this guy’s voice hits the radio he will be one of the biggest male artist in the music industry. DO NOT sleep on this guy y’all because he will definitely make music history one day & you’ll want to say you heard about him first.
You can keep up with everything Matt is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I have a new book review for y’all! Today we will be discussing ‘Noteworthy’ by Riley Redgate, which was provided for review by Amulet Books. This book was released on May 2nd, 2017, & I will put a trigger warning about the amount of profanity in this book (because there’s a lot) so if this bothers you this might be one you wanna skip. We have a lot to talk about today so let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Noteworthy’ is about a high school junior Chinese-American girl named Jordan Sun who goes to a very expensive, very exclusive school called Kensington-Blaine Academy for the Performing Arts. Due to the fact that Jordan has a voice type that is lower than most girls, she has a difficult time booking roles in her school’s productions. When an opportunity to join Kensington’s premier all-male A Capella group the Sharpshooters arises, Jordan decides to masquerade as a boy for a chance to join the group & compete in an upcoming contest the Sharpshooters are in to win the opportunity to travel on a tour with a professional A Capella group called Aural Fixation. Due to the fact that Jordan is a scholarship student & her family is doing worst & worst financially, she feels that if she is able to go in this tour that her parents will finally see that her education at Kensington is worth the high price tag they have to pay for books & travel to & from the school every year. She also feels that her parents don’t support her dream of becoming an entertainer, so she hopes that they will fully support her dream if she wins a spot on this tour.
Ok now let’s dive into the review. I really wanted to like this book. I tried you guys, I really tried to like it, but I just couldn’t. This book had so much going for it: diverse characters, some funny dialogue between the characters that really made you love them, & show choir. I’m all about show choir you guys, I was in show choir for a little while in high school, so believe me when I say that I will always pick up a book that centers around music or musical theater. Unfortunately for this book, the problem was that it’s just so boring! The plot is super slow, Jordan is really annoying at times, & about half way through the book I wanted to drop it (and honestly if this hadn’t had been a review copy I would’ve dropped this book). I kept skimming through the last half of the book because I just wanted it to be over so I could move on to something else. Because of this I have to give this book a 1 smiley face review & will probably never read anything from this author again because her writing style just did not click for me.
Keep up with everything Riley is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss a new BookTuber named ‘Starry Night Reader’ aka Warren, that y’all NEED to subscribe to now. I mean literally right now go ahead & subscribe to him I’ll wait here. Done? Ok now let’s discuss why this was the best decision you’ll make all week. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video we’re going to talk about is Warren’s ‘BOOKTUBE NEWBIE TAG’, which was uploaded on October 16th, 2017. This video is the perfect introduction to who Warren is as a YouTuber, because we get to see how comfortable he is on camera, & what a fun, interesting personality he has. In this video we get to see how Warren found reading, what he has in store for his channel, & so much more! Next up we have Warren’s ‘MY FALL READING ROUTINE’ video, which was uploaded on December 4th, 2017 (you can check out this video below). With fall already upon us, I thought that this would be the PERFECT video for anyone who wants to develop their own fall time reading routine, or just likes to see what other people do.
The next video we’re going to talk about is Warren’s ‘IF YOU LIKE THIS THEN YOU’LL LIKE THIS’, video which was uploaded on February 23rd, 2018 (which you can check out below). If you’re looking for book suggestions then this is the video for you! In this video Warren shows you books similar to some of your favs that you may have either not heard about, or wasn’t high on your TBR (or To Be Read for those who don’t speak BookTube) list. The last video we’re going to talk about is Warren’s ‘FIRST BOOK UNHAUL’ video, which was uploaded on July 13th, 2018. Now I don’t know about y’all but I really love unhaul videos. It’s so interesting to see why your fav BookTubers didn’t like a certain book, & either agree or disagree in your head. Whether I love a certain book or not, it’s always super fun to hear a different perspective.
Keep up with everything Warren is doing here:
“You probably think you know who I am, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t. I used to be a bright star of a girl, but that girl burned out of existence, like a fire swept through my life and left nothing but ash and smoke.”-Mellie from ‘What They Don’t Know’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ I am very excited to bring you a book that discusses` a lot of very deep topics. Today we are reviewing the book ‘What They Don’t Know’ by Nicole Maggi, which was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire & will be released tomorrow October 2nd, 2018. As always I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible however I will issue a trigger warning for the following subjects: rape, pro-life vs pro-choice debates, abortion, abuse of pills, harassment (if you are easily triggered by these topics then do not read this book). So this is definitely a book that requires A LOT of discussion so let’s get straight to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘What They Don’t Know’ revolves around two teenage girls named Mellie & Lise who live in a small, conservative town in Colorado. Although Mellie & Lise were friends as children, they have grown apart over the years but soon find themselves forever woven in each others lives. Mellie has grown up in a very strict, religious household, is a good student, & is determined to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. Unfortunately her entire world changes when she is raped at her home a few days before Christmas. Mellie soon discovers that she is pregnant & must wrestle with whether she should give the baby up for adoption or get an abortion. Feeling alone & unable to tell anyone about her assault, Mellie begins to question everything that she previously believed, & this lead her to some dark & scary places. On the other hand, Lise is a free-spirited tern who isn’t afraid to speak her mind & help anyone who needs her. This trait of helping anyone who needs it leads Lise to figure out Mellie’s secrets & stopping at nothing to help her. However, when helping Mellie risks Lise’s own secrets coming out in the open, Lise must decide if she really can help Mellie or if some places are just too dark to climb out of.
Ok I’m going to start off by saying that this is one of the most captivating books I’ve read all year. ‘What They Don’t Know’ takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, that will make you truly think about all of the topics in this story. Obviously this book is a 5 smiley face read, but I will say that you do have to be emotionally prepared when going into this one. Nicole Maggi has an incredible talent of making her truly become emotionally involved with the characters she creates. She is also able to present the topics brought up in this story in such a way that you feel as lost as Mellie regardless of your personal opinion on some of the topics. Also, I love how not every character reacts exactly the way you expect in certain situations in this book, which really gives you characters to root for. One concern that some people have had with this book is the depiction of Christian characters, however I truly disagree with this concern. Although I wish we did see more open-minded Christian characters, it’s perfectly believable to not see this due to the fact that Mellie’s parents have kept her far away from anyone who believes in things contrary to what they believe. Also, we do see that Mellie finds more open-minded Christian people towards the end of the book, which I think really helps Mellie’s growth as an individual feel more powerful, while allowing her to keep some of her religious foundation that makes her Mellie. The last thing I want to talk about is the fact that the two girls perspectives are told in journal entries, which really makes the narrative feel more personal, as if the girls are telling us this story themselves. I’m truly excited to read more from this author, & hope that everyone checks out ‘What They Don’t Know’.
Keep up with everything Nicole is doing here: