Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review the Kpop super group that is quickly taking over the charts both domestically in the U.S and around the world. If you haven’t heard of SuperM then prepare to have your mind blown by this group of exceptionally talented vocalists, rappers, and dancers. SuperM is the brainchild of Kpop superpower SM Entertainment (home of legendary Korean pop acts such as: BoA, Super Junior, Girls Generation, SHINee, EXO, and many more artists who have broken music records and barriers time and time again), and legendary U.S. music label Capitol Music Group (which has served as home of hit making acts such as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Katy Perry, The Beach Boys, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dogg, Coldplay, and many more). Through a joint project, these two music industry giants brought together 7 exceptional artists from across SM’s vast network of talent to create a group that is able to utilize all the training that Kpop artists are known to go through and thus combines the best aspects of the individual groups that make up this super group. Now that you know the game, let’s meet the players. Ready? Ok, let’s go!
In order of seniority, SuperM is comprised of: Taemin from the group SHINee, Baekhyun & Kai from the group EXO, Taeyong & Mark from NCT127, and Ten & Lucas from WayV. For those of you who are not already familiar with these very accomplished artists please allow me to give you a crash course. Taemin, Baekyun, & Ten serve as the group’s vocalists (although Ten also raps when needed), Kai, Taeyong, Mark, & Lucas are the group’s rappers, and as is expected in Kpop, all 7 artists dance with unbelievable precision and skill. You really have to hear these incredible artists to fully grasp just how spectacular their talent is but let me tell you that once you hear a Kpop vocalist or rapper you will truly understand why they spend 3, 5, sometimes even 9 + years practicing 10 + hours a day. It’s definitely a grueling system but the results speak for themselves when you hear the incredible notes these artists hit with ease, the singing range they all have, and the impeccable flow that their rapping has which seems to come out of them as naturally as breathing. I was fortunate enough to see SuperM at their 1st stop in Fort Worth, TX as they embark on their first tour across the U.S. & Canada (with possibly more dates to be added in countries later next year). So now let’s discuss the tour itself.
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Had so much fun Jopping last night with @superm! The performances were mind blowing so in conclusion we stan harder than ever before! @superm @lm_____ltm @tenlee_1001 @lucas_xx444 @zkdlin @baekhyunee_exo #Superm #superminfortworth #lucas #ten #taemin #baekhyun #kai #mark #taeyong #kpop #rap #music #fancam #exo #shinee #nctu #wayv #jopping
As I waited for the concert to begin the whole venue had a level of electricity and anticipation running through it like nothing I had ever seen. Kpop fans are known for their deep rooted love of their favorite artists, but this felt special. Although this group is new they are far from rookies in the industry. SHINee had their debut in 2008, EXO in 2012, NCT 127 in 2016, & WayV earlier this year in 2019 (although both Lucas & Ten had been previously featured on NCT U songs in 2017, which is another subunit group under the NCT umbrella just like NCT 127 and WayV are). Why is this important you ask? Well because not only do these groups bring along years of experience with them but also loyal fans that spread across the various groups. It was truly mind blowing and beautiful to see numerous fans with multiple lightsticks (a special light with a design unique to each group that fans use to wave during a Kpop concert that often changes light pattern via Bluetooth depending on the song playing) from each of the individual groups that make up SuperM as well as the SuperM lightstick. The group performed all the songs from their debut self-titled mini album including the uniquely powerful ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’, the hip-hop fueled bop ‘Super Car’, the Hip Hop/R&B infused track ‘No Manners’ (which utilized a bonus stage with some of the best dancing of the night), & of course their title track the fun and powerful song ‘Jopping’ which immediately got the crowd screaming and singing along. Each of the members also performed solo songs which utilized their unique talents: Taemin’s solos ‘Danger’ & ‘Goodbye’ took advantage of his smooth R&B vocals, Baekyun’s solos ‘Betcha’ & ‘UN Village’ showed off his incredible vocal range, Kai’s solo ‘Confession’ utilized his unmatched showmanship and connection to his fans, Taeyong’s solo ‘GTA’ was the perfect marriage of his standout stage presence and natural rapping skills, Ten’s solos ‘Dream In A Dream’ and ‘New Heroes’ proved he not only brings an immense amount of vocal talent to the group but also a gift of dance that few artists ever obtain, Lucas’ solo (which is currently unreleased so we don’t know the official name of it) really showed off his fun personality that fans have been able to quickly and intensely connect to, and lastly Mark the group’s maknae (a term in Kpop for the youngest member of a group) truly proved why he won awards as the hardest working trainee during the years he trained under SM Entertainment with his unmatched skills as a rapper, dancer, and showman during his solo ‘Talk About’. Overall the night was full of dancing, bonding between new and older kpop fans, and a true appreciation of how 7 young men originally from 4 different countries (South Korea, Canada, China, & Thailand) were able to make this a truly special night by sharing their unmatched gifts with their fans. If you’ve never seen a Kpop concert first hand then I highly suggest SuperM or any of the groups that make up SuperM because believe me you have no idea just how talented a group of artists can be until you’ve seen the unmeasurable talent that lies within Kpop.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING new book coming out on January 22, 2019. If you’re addicted to YA (Young Adult Fiction) then you’ll love Katie McGarry’s latest release ‘Only A Breath Apart’. Today I have an incredible excerpt for y’all in order to get you ready for the release. Now let’s get to the excerpt! Ready? Ok, let’s go!
A scraping of a chair, a tray full of food and I glance over with my practiced smile in welcome. It’s not Camila, Evangeline, or anyone else from the group. It’s green eyes, red hair, a familiar mischievous smile that used to be reserved only for me, and my blood pounds with excitement as if someone lit a sparkler in my chest. Then I frown because I’m not supposed to feel this way. Not with him. Not with anyone.
Jesse Lachlin winks at me as he sits across from me like no time has passed from when we climbed trees together. “What’s up, Tink?”
Another thrill runs through me but then my muscles tighten. Stupid, antiquated reaction belonging to a dead past. “What are you doing here?”
Jesse pops a fry into his mouth, chews, then picks up another as if he has no intention of answering. I scan the cafeteria. Several people are watching us, curious as to why Jesse Lachlin is sitting with me, or is event at lunch, or even at school.
From the lunch line, Camila’s and Evangeline’s eyes are bugging out of their heads.
What is going on? Camila mouths.
I raise my eyebrows to inform her I have no idea. Jesse digs into his corn with his fork and that’s crossing a line. “Maybe you didn’t hear me, but I asked what you’re doing here.”
He lifts his eyes to meet mine and there’s a glimmer in them that causes my lips to flatten. Fantastic. He’s here to make my life a living hell.
“It seems obvious,” he says.
If he remembers anything about me, he should recall I was never known for my patience and that he should be speaking, and speaking soon. “Just answer the question.”
“I’m eating lunch.”
I honest to God groan in frustration. “There’s no room at the inn.”
He surveys the table, takes in the empty seats, my books, and then gives me a good look. A slow look. As if he’s trying to memorize every inch he’s drinking in. My cheeks redden because that somehow feels a little too intimate for lunch. Feels a little too intimate for someone I’m no longer friends with. It feels too intimate if we were friends.
I glance away, but I sense him still staring at me. God help me, I want to stare back.
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See what other people have to say about ‘Only A Breath Apart’:
“Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series
“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins)
“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber)
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s Monday Memos we’re going to review a new Young Adult contemporary romance called ‘The Last Thing You Said’ by Sara Biren, which was released on April 4, 2017. This book was provided for review by Amulet Books, but as always this review will be completely honest & spoiler free. I do want to issue a quick warning that this book does contain a lot of vulgar language (which means a lot of cussing) as well as depictions of alcoholism so if this is something you are sensitive or triggered by please consider this before reading this book. Ok now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘The Last Thing You Said’ is a story told in the dual perespectives of Lucy & Ben. Both are dealing with the loss of Trixie, Lucy’s childhood best friend & Ben’s sister, who died in an accident 1 year earlier. As the story continues we find that Ben & Lucy are no longer friends even though they once had romantic feelings for each other. Lucy spends her days hanging out with her new friend Hannah, working, & avoiding Ben at all costs. While Ben spends his time with his girlfriend Dana, working, & attempting to drink his guilt over Trixie’s death away. However once the summer begins, the two teens are forced to come to terms with the affect Trixie’s death has had on their individual families, if they can ever be friends again (or something more) again & what their futures hold without the glue that once held them together.
Now I do want to begin by saying that I would definitely give this novel a 4 out of 5 smiley face rating. It had an interesting plot that definitely will keep you entertained, & the author was able to create very interesting characters that you find yourself invested in. I will say that I personally didn’t like the relationship between Lucy & Ben, but at the same time I could understand why did both did the things they did throughout the course of the story. If you’re looking for a story with an interesting romance & a compelling plot, then this is definitely a story that you need to check out.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we`re going to review a new YA dystopian book called ‘The Similars’ by Rebecca Hanover. This book takes a very interesting look at love, science, & the age old question of where the line should be drawn between technological advancement & basic laws of humanity. Now if Rebecca’s name seems familiar to you, that may be because she did win an Emmy for ‘Best Writing’ in 2008 for her work on the daytime drama ‘Guiding Light’. This book was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire, however as always this review will be completely honest & spoiler free. So now lets get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘The Similars’ revolves around a futuristic United States, in which cloning has become a hot button topic. Currently cloning is considered illegal in the U.S, however everything is shaken up when 6 clones known as The Similar (who were cloned from the DNA of the children of some of the most influential people in the U.S 16 years previously) are invited to enroll at the prestigious Darkwood Academy. We follow are main character Emma as she navigates the difficult process of dealing with the fact that her best friend Oliver has recently committed divide, & the fact that he was one of the teens who has a Similar attending Darkwood. When Emma is chosen as one of 5 new select students to enter a prestigious group at the school called ‘The Ten’ (along with a few of The Similars), she embarks on journey that will reveal dark secrets about her school, friends, & ultimately herself.
I will begin by saying that I definitely give this book a 5 out of 5 smiley face rating, due to its’ great balance of dystopian tropes & interesting, well developed characters. The plot of this story is interesting from beginning to end, & will definitely leave you satisfied yet wondering what becomes of these characters & the society they live in.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we once again have the opportunity to work with the spice subscription company Rawspicebar. So if you didn’t quite find that perfect Christmas present for the chef in your family, or if you want to give yourself a late Christmas present then please read on. Full disclosure, I was given this product to try for free, however as always this will not affect my opinions on the product itself. Ready? Ok?
This service allows you to order customizable spice subscriptions based off of your diet, favorite ingredients to cook with, the number of people you generally cook for, among other factors. This info allows you to get 3 custom picked spices that you can order monthly, quarterly, or every 6 months. So how much does this AMAZING service cost? You can get your 1st of 3 spices for only $9, or buy individual spices for $7 a spice (quantity is 1oz per spice). You can also join Rawspicebar’s ‘Spice of the Month Club’, which gives you 2 spices every month for $36 for 3 months, $72 for 6 months, or $144 for a 1 year subscription. Honestly the Rawspicebar website is so HUGE & full of lots of fun gift ideas for the entire year! They have special sets for birthdays, weddings, graduation gifts, & so much more! On the website you’ll also find recipes & spice guides in order to help you with all your future culinary adventures!
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• All photos and information used in this blog belong Raw Spice Bar, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended., and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.
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.
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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.
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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.
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“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’.
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