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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“It’s all frivolous, meaningless. The only things that matter are already gone or almost gone. Already put aside in my safe, tidy compartment of lost things.”- Lena from ‘Who We Are Instead’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a new book called ‘Who We Are Instead’ by Kyla Stone, which was provided by for review by ‘Paper Moon Press’. This is a very interesting book that touches on themes of loss, love, family, & finding your purpose in life. Fair warning this book does discuss mental illness, child abuse/neglect, drug/alcohol use, undetermined rape self-harm, & suicide, so if these issues are triggering to you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution. Now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Who We Are Instead’ follows the dual perspectives of sisters Lena & Lux McKenna as they are forced to confront their individual personal demons when their father has a heart attack & is given a very small window of time to live. Lena must return home from her arts college where she is studying photography, & take on her role as “the responsible one”, while trying to resolve her issues with 18 year old “wild child” Lux. As we learn more about Lena, we see that issues from her childhood have cause her to become a more guarded & introverted person. Contrary to Lena, Lux has no desire to succeed in school, likes to party, smoke, do drugs, & drink a lot, & also leaves home for weeks at a time without informing anyone as to where she’s going.
So now we’ve reached the big question, is this book worth your time? Honestly the answer is a very loud yes! In this book we not only get to experience both girls perspectives, but also get a very strong sense of who they are as people, what has shaped them, & what’s important to them. We also get romance plots for both girls, & get introduced to Lux’s AMAZING childhood friends. I also really like that all of the characters we meet are flawed in some way of another, & the author does not attempt to redeem each of them which unfortunately does often mirror our own world very closely. With Lena & Lux’s stories we see how similar past experiences can cause different reactions in each person. We see that some people fight the past they are given to create the future they desire, while others run from their past in order to numb the pain & protect themselves. ‘Who We Are Instead’ gives us a very realistic & gripping tale of what can happen when a fractured family finally shatters, while also leaving the ending as ambiguous & open to promise as Lena & Lux themselves are. Definitely a 5 star read that’s will give you all the feels, but as also make you think about these very important issues.
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The first song that we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Shape of You’, which was uploaded on April 20th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). This was the 1st cover of Beckah’s that I ever saw and honestly it hooked me right from the beginning. I love how she took a song about someone finding the love they crave in a person and instead turning into a song about finding love in Jesus. Although Ed’s version is great, I really like how Beckah took a club song and made it an AMAZING worship song. The next song we’re going to talk about is Beckah’s cover of ‘Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato. This is the cover that will really show you just how much control and power Beckah’s voice has. This is definitely not an easy song to cover due to the incredibly high notes and long vocal runs the song has. This song definitely provides a round of vocal gymnastics for most vocalists however Beckah handles this challenge with ease. This is a cover that you will definitely want to blast from your car speakers this year!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an awesome new YouTube channel that every book lover will want to subscribe to right now (well finish reading this post and then go subscribe to the channel…ok? Ok). On this channel Zoe gives her viewers book recommendations, shows us book/bookmark hauls, and proves that she’s a fangirl just like the rest of us (so we can all obsess over our OTPs together yay!!!). So if you’re ready to release your inner nerd then let’s talk about some of the videos on this amazing channel. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOK UNHAUL! [#1]’ video which was uploaded on June 28th, 2014 (you can check out this video below). Honestly this is one of the first book unhauls that I remember watching and I really like the concept of this type of video. Just in case you’re not familiar with this type of video, a book unhaul is when a BookTuber discusses books that they are going to get rid of because they did not enjoy the book, decided that they will probably never read the book, for various other reasons. These are really great videos to check out because you can get a person’s honest opinion about a book before spending money on it. After watching several videos on a BookTuber’s channel you usually get a good idea of what their personal tastes are, and if you have similar tastes then their opinion of a book will probably match your opinion. The next book that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOKS I’M TAKING TO COLLEGE’ video, which was uploaded on August 22nd, 2014. Now as every book lover knows, if we could we would literally carry our book collections with us everywhere (and I realize that you can do that with e-books but that’s a different topic for a future blog post). If you are/will be living in an apartment or dorm room in the near future then this is an excellent video for you to check out because honestly it can be hard to leave books at home when you now you’ll be away from them for a while (ok we have to resist using #thestruggleisreal here…must resist…ok we obviously can’t because the struggle really is real).
Now we’re going to discuss Zoe’s ‘MY FICTIONAL BOYFRIENDS TAG’ video, which was uploaded on May 28th, 2015. Now we know we’re all fangirls/fanboys at heart, and because of this we honestly have a very deep emotional connection to our favorite book characters (and because of this so many ships are constantly set loose on the world). This is a really fun video that you will definitely have on replay, and a entertaining tag that you can play by yourself or with friends. The final video that we’re going to talk about is Zoe’s ‘BOOKS I WANT TO BE ADAPTED’ video, which was uploaded on December 30th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). If you love books (and you obviously really do if you’re still reading this post), then you know that you have a list of books that you think deserve a TV and/or film adaption. With the trend of so many of our fav books already getting adaptions, it is very likely that your favorite novel could get a small or big screen adaption some day. I highly recommend this video because Zoe gives a very interesting list that’s full of variety, so you’ll definitely find something you like on this list.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday we are going to discuss an INCREDIBLE new band that you will all be completely addicted to. If you’ve never heard of Anthem Lights then you NEED to keep reading because this amazing bands and covers will instantly hook you from the first note. This band has the amazing ability to cover a wide variety of songs from different genres, and still make each cover sound unique, but also keeps the original vibe that originally made the song a hit. Anthem Lights is a Christian pop/rock band that currently has 379,301 subscribers and over 64 million total channel views on YouTube, and over 72,000 Twitter followers, so if you don’t want to miss out on the music industry’s next big thing then keep reading to learn all about this band’s awesome music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Anthem Lights’ cover of ‘This I Promise You’ by ‘NSYNC, which was uploaded on February 5th, 2013. I thought that this was an awesome cover to kick things off with because it allows each of the guys in the band to show off their amazing vocal skills. This cover is also a good example of this band’s phenomenal ability to take a song that we love, add the special Anthem Lights touch, and make the song feel like your listening to it for the first time. Next up we have Anthem Lights’ mash-up of the ‘2014 K-Love Fan Awards: Songs of the Year’ nominees, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014 (you can check out below). This video is so incredible that you’re going to definitely replay it over and over. In this cover, Anthem lights takes multiple Contemporary Christian hits from the 2014 voting year, and combines all of the songs to create a memorable, entertaining video that fans will love (they have also released a 2015 edition so I would check that out too).
Now we’re going to talk about Anthem Lights cover of ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train, which was uploaded on March 11th, 2014. This can be a really difficult cover for an artist to pull off because it’s a very popular song, and is still a favorite among Train’s fan base. Once again Anthem Lights does an incredible job of making this song their own without changing what we originally loved about the song. Their vocals of this cover are so perfect that they instantly captivate you, and leave you mesmerized from beginning to end. The last video that we’re going to talk about is one of Anthem Lights’ original songs. It was extremely hard for me to pick just 3 covers to talk about (because all of their covers are amazing), so it was even more difficult to pick just 1 original song to write about I decided to pick a track off of their 2014 album ‘Escape’. Although I really loved all of the songs off of the album, I decided to go with the song ‘Top of the World’, because it’s a fun, energetic song that’s perfect to blast in the car. This song is a MUST HAVE on all of your playlists! The music video for this song was uploaded on YouTube on October 6th, 2014, and is just as fun and zany as the song itself (you can check out the video below). This video will definitely keep you entertained, and anxiously waiting to see what Anthem Lights releases next.
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iTunes: Anthem Lights