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.
You can keep up with everything Rebecca is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an event that we all experience every year. This is something that we all grow up with, and no matter how old or young you are, it still has the same affect. What am I talking about you may ask? A little movie that we all love known as ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’! In 1965 ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ first aired on CBS, and thus started a Christmas tradition that would continue to enchant families for decades. The movie was commissioned by ‘The Coca-Cola Company’, which asked ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz and his team to create the special in 6 months, after they viewed an unaired documentary staring Schultz called ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown’. This year ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ turned 50 so let’s discuss why this amazing movie has become engraved as a part of our Christmas tradition. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Although there are so many things about this movie that we love, I think that the 3 main things that you can pinpoint that makes ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ different than other Christmas specials is: the characters, the music, and the risks that this movie takes. One of the most important aspects of a great story is for it to have amazing, memorable characters that we can relate to. The Peanuts universe has brought us a lot of beloved characters from Lucy (the girl we all love to hate), Linus (the intelligent and practical one), Sally (the little sister we all wish we had), Snoopy (the cool one we all wish we were), and of course the wonderfully hilarious and fun Charlie Brown who we can all relate to on some level. Of course ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as memorable without it’s amazing music. Whether you love more traditional sounding Christmas music such as ‘Christmas Time is Here’ and ‘Hark the Harold Angels Sing’, or music that brings a fresh feel to the season such as the unforgettable piano jazz number ‘Linus and Lucy’ (which you can check out in the video below), this movie will have you humming along to its’ diverse soundtrack long after Christmas is over. Finally, we need to discuss the incredible risks this movie takes. One of these risks is not using music in the style of what was popular at the time. A lot of times movies use catchy, modern sounds in order to easily win over an audience. ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ uses the opposite (and often risker approach) of using genres that weren’t necessarily in the forefront of the American public’s mind in the 60s, and thus makes very unique music that instantly mesmerizes you because it’s so different. Another risk that this movie takes is that it used actual child actors to voice the characters, and because of this adds a larger sense of authenticity to the roles. Shows/movies are notorious for using adults to portray teens and children, (because of legal, financial, and other reasons), so to use a cast that was primarily made up of children was very groundbreaking at the time (and is still VERY uncommon today). Using children actors also added a sincerity and innocence to the roles that really brought these characters to life on screen, and has set a bar that all Charlie Brown specials have had to try to live up to ever since. Because of all of these reasons, we can see why we love Charlie Brown so much, and why we’ll continue to sing, dance, and laugh along to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ for the next 50 + years.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about the 2015 Grammy Awards (btw we guessed half of the winners correctly this year, yay!). This year the award show was full of unique performances, surprises, and of course, awesome awards. It was truly a night dedicated to music, and all that it represented this past year. The show was once again hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J, who stated at the top of the show that he wasn’t going to perform an opening monologue so that there would be more time for the music. I thought that it was a really memorable show, and will definitely have us all discussing it the rest of the year. If you missed the show, or just want to relive all the moments again, then please read on as we recap the 2015 Grammy Awards!
Here are the categories we guessed correctly this year:
*If you want to see the full list of Grammy Award winners then please go to GRAMMY.com | The Official Site of Music’s Biggest Night
Now there were a lot of awesome performances this year, but I decided to pick the top 10 must-see performances to discuss with y’all.
10) Eric Church: Eric performed his hit single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’, which is a fun song that brings out the nostalgia in us all. As always, Eric captivated his audience and never lost their attention. The backdrop of the stage had scenes of a town in a Sepia effect, which just added an air of coolness to the number.
9) Ariana Grande: One number that was really interesting was Ariana Grande’s emotional performance of her song ‘Just a Little Bit of Your Heart’. The emotional ballad had a very intimate vibe that definitely captivated fans. The staging consisted of really dim lighting, purple stage lights, and really cool white smoke that appeared half way through the performance.
8) Pharrell Williams: Pharrell began his number with a spoken word performance of the beginning of his hit song ‘Happy’. The number then changed back to the original arrangement, and included dancers in bright colored clothing & choir robes. Towards the end of the number, the attention shifted over to the small stage in the center of the auditorium, where Hans Zimmermann was showing off his out of this world piano skills. Definitely a number we’d all be happy to see again.
7) Ed Sheeran feat. John Mayer & Questlove/Ed Sheeran & ELO: Ed performed a sweet rendition of his new single ‘Thinking Out Loud’, and was accompanied by John Mayer’s EPIC guitar playing, and Questlove (the drummer of the band The Roots, who are Jimmy Fallon’s house band) on the drums. This was such an awesome pairing that I know we all have our fingers crossed for these artists to collab again soon. After ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Ed switched over to another stage and performed ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ with British rock group, Electric Light Orchestra (aka ELO). This was another unexpected, yet really awesome collab that left us wondering who Ed will work with next (because obviously he can work with anyone and it will sound awesome).
6) Miranda Lambert: Miranda performed her song ‘Little Red Wagon’, and definitely showed that country music can rock. She was in full rock star mode, with a performance that included lots of cool smoke and explosion effects, an interesting red sun decoration in the background, and lots of flashing red lights that definitely raised the energy of the room to full blast.
5) Hosier & Anne Lennox: Hosier started the performance with their hit single ‘Take Me To Church’ & was later joined by Anne Lennox, who also performed her rendition of ‘I Put A Spell on You’ (which was originally by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins). This was another high energy performance that had the audience captivated throughout the number…what can we say, they put a spell on us!
4) Katy Perry: Katy performed a truly angelic rendition of her song ‘By The Grace of God’, complete with a beautiful white gown. The performance followed a PSA by President Barack Obama, and a speech by domestic abuse survivor Brooke Axtell (the PSA and speech were in support of a new program called #ItsOnUs, which is an initiative to end violence against women & girls). This was truly a strong way to deliver this powerful message.
3) Paul McCartney, Rihanna, & Kanye West: The legendary Beatle joined Pop star Rihanna, & Rap star Kanye West for a performance of the trio’s song ‘Four Five Seconds’. This was such an amazing number, that really brought out the true talent of all three artists, and showed the magic that can happen when artists of different genres come together to create something spectacular.
2) Sam Smith & Mary J. Blige: Sam & Mary J. Blige left the room completely speechless with their duet of Sam’s hit song ‘Stay With Me’. The two artists used their amazing vocal talents to deliver a breathtaking performance that was one of the highlights of the night. What made this performance extra cool was the old school soul flair that the artists added to the overall vibe of the show; it definitely left us hoping that they will work together again in the future.
1) Sia feat. Maddie Ziegler & Kristen Wiig: The top spot of the night has to go to Sia for her beautiful performance of her hit single Chandelier. The number took place in a destroyed, dirty room, and showed comedic actress Kristen Wiig & Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler performing the choreography from the song’s music video together. Although Sia & Kristen were INCREDIBLE, the star of the show was definitely Maddie. Seriously, she’s 12 years old and has already performed at the Grammys, how do you possibly top that!?! With such a HUGE start to 2015, I’m excited to see what this rising star does next.
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to talk about an actress who is making a HUGE name for herself on multiple YouTube platforms. If you’ve seen the TBS hit ‘Are We There Yet?’, or various other hit TV shows, then you will know exactly who I’m talking about, but just in case…it’s Teala Dunn. At the very young age of 17, Teala has had a career that has spanned more than 10 years, and is now adding YouTube star to her detailed resume. With appearances on the hit YouTube channel ‘AwesomnessTV’, as well as maintaining her own highly successful channels, Teala is taking over the industry, and is definitely one to watch. So, if you want to know more about this talented girl, then read on! Oh go on, you know you want to!!!
Teala began her professional career in 2002 with a guest starring role on the TV mega hit ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. She then had a 3 year stint as the character of ‘Tuck’ on the popular NickJr. (a branch of the Nickelodeon network) animated show ‘WonderPets!’). During her time on the show, Teala also had roles in the films ‘Phoebe in Wonderland’ and ‘Enchanted’, as well as the highly popular Nickelodeon show ‘The Naked Brothers Band’, and the dramedy ‘Queens Supreme’. After ‘WonderPets!’ ended, Teala went on to co-star on the popular TBS sitcom ‘Are We There Yet?’. Once ‘Are We There Yet’ wrapped, Teala had guest starring roles on the hit Disney Channel shows ‘Shake It Up’, ‘Dog With A Blog’, and the CBS sitcom ‘The Crazy Ones’, among others (so basically Teala’s been working steadily in TV and Film since 2005…yeah that’s impressive!).
On August 17th, 2010 Teala uploaded her first video on her channel ‘Tealaxx2’. The video was a makeup tutorial for middle/high school aged girls (Back to school makeup look. For (high school and middle school) – YouTube). I really enjoyed this tutorial, because it was informative, and Teala showed her ease in front of a camera. I also really liked that the majority of the products that Teala used were drugstore products, and thus easy for most middle/high school girls to buy. I thought that the look was perfect for school, the summer time, or if you just want a very natural look. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Teala’s ‘Makeup Collection’ video (Makeup Collection 2013 ? – YouTube). I found this video perfect for anyone who loves makeup, or is new to makeup and wants some suggestions. I loved how organize Teala is with her makeup, and if you have a large makeup collection, you can definitely get some suggestions from this video. Another aspect of the video that I really liked was the fact that Teala’s makeup collection contains both high end products, and drugstore makeup. I found that this makes Teala’s collection seem more obtainable by her fans. The final video that I am going to talk about in this section is Teala’s ‘Morning Routine’ video (Morning Routine: Spring 2014 PLUS GIVEAWAY!!! – YouTube). I choose this video, because it’s like Twitter come to life! Seriously, you all know that Twitter was invented for us to obsess over what our favorite celebrities do in their day to day lives…that’s what it’s for right? I’m not alone in that right??? Good, I’m glad you all stalk your favorite celebrities on Twitter too…internet high five! Moving on…I really thought that all Teala Dunn fans would enjoy this video, because you get to see a few more products that Teala uses every day, and at the end of the video you can enter a contest and get free stuff (I think the contest might be closed by now, but Teala does a lot of contests and giveaways, so I would look out for them)!
Along with her ‘Tealaxx2’ channel, Teala also has another channel (TTYLTEALA) where she occasionally vlogs, does behind the scenes videos, and so much more. The video I choose to profile from this channel was the behind the scenes video Teala did on the set of the ‘AwesomnessTV’ show ‘IMO’ Awesomeness. – YouTube (which stands for In My Opinion). In this video, you get to see all of the fun and craziness that happens on a set, and you also get small glimpses of other famous YouTubers that I have profiled, such as Meaghan Dowling, and Bethany Mota. I thought that this video was really fun to watch, and allowed Teala to really show her personality. Speaking of ‘AwesomnessTV’, if you didn’t already know, you can catch Teala on a few of the shows on ‘AwesomnessTV’, such as: ‘IMO’, ‘How To Be A YouTube Star’ (in this first episode of the series, you can learn how to make a vlog How To Make a Vlog with Teala Dunn – How To Be A YouTube Star Ep. 1) , and a number of the skits on the channel (such as this one that lets you know whether or not you are addicted to YouTube…based off of the title of this blog post, you can tell that I am Addicted to YouTube with Teala Dunn & Meg Deangelis)
So as you can see, Teala Dunn can pretty much succeed on whatever media of entertainment she chooses. I think that Teala has proven that she is not only a talented individual, but also a very smart business woman, due to the fact that she has taken advantage of traditional media (TV and Film), as well as the new media outlet YouTube, to advance her career. With brains, talented, and an ever growing fan base, it is VERY safe to bet that Teala Dunn will be around for YEARS to come (and we wouldn’t want it any other way).
You can click on these links to stay up to date with everything Teala is doing:
Tealaxx2 YouTube: Tealaxx2
TTYLTEALA YouTube: TTLYTEALA
Twitter: Teala Dunn (TTLYTEALA) on Twitter
Instagram: ttlyteala on Instagram