“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.
Keep up with everything Kyla is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ I am going to introduce you to an AMAZING singer/songwriter whose voice will blow you away. I was introduced to this vocalist when she followed me on Twitter (thank you Twitter for being the medium in which I have found so many amazing artists…and this is why Twitter is my bff…ok moving on). This phenomenal teen singer has perfected the formula of complementing fun pop style beats and infectious melodies, with jazz vocalist elements, and thus creating a completely unique sound that is unforgettable and impossible to ignore. This young vocalist has already made large strides in her career, and is also an accomplished actress and dancer. Honestly, in my opinion she has the talented and drive to accomplish whatever goal she sets for herself (and she’s from Texas!!! Sorry but I have to support my fellow Texans). So without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to the soon to be iconic Macy Medford!
Macy Medford is a 16 year old actress/singer/songwriter/dancer who was born and raised in Katy, TX. She began performing at the tender age of 3 in a recital. This performance would ultimately be the catalyst that would spark Macy’s love of performing. She is also a well seasoned actress, and has performed in numerous stage plays such as: Aladdin, Alice in Wonderland, Annie, and others. Macy has also had the opportunity to appear in a national Disney Channel commercial. In 2011 Macy was nominated for Pop Artist of the Year at the LA Music Awards. Macy’s music has also been featured on the Hulu teen drama ‘East Los High’ (a show about Hispanic teens growing up in East Los Angeles). Macy has continue to grow a loyal fan base over the past few years, and currently has over 50,000 twitter followers. In 2013, Macy won the International Songwriting Competition for her track ‘Just Me and You’. In the same year, she also became a finalist in the Unsigned Only Music Competition (a competition that gives unsigned artists and bands the opportunity to compete for cash prizes, exposure, and mentoring from industry professionals).
Macy has shown through her YouTube videos that she is capable of adapting songs from numerous genres into her own unique style. For example, in 2012 Macy performed her rendition of ‘ Trouble with Love Is’ by fellow Texan Kelly Clarkson Kelly Clarkson – Trouble With Love covered by Macy Medford – YouTube (yay Texas!!!) I truly enjoyed Macy’s rendition of the hit due to the fact that she stated true to the original version, but added a few “Macy Qualities” which gave the song new life. Through the track Macy was able to show off her enviable range, as well as her vocal’s jazzy undertones. Macy once again adds her own flair to a popular song, with her cover of ‘Lego House’, Lego House- Acoustic Cover by Macy Medford originally by Ed Sheeran. In ‘Lego House’, Macy is able to convey her ability to bit only sing beautifully, but also demonstrates her exceptional vocal control. Throughout the song, Macy performs the song in a manner that is similar to the original, but also adds her own twist to the song (even adding an exceptionally cool riff towards the end of the song). Another cover where Macy is able to showcase the various dimensions of her voice is in her rendition of Emeli Sande hit song ‘My Kind of Love’ My Kind of Love by Emeli Sande- Acoustic Cover by Macy Medford. When I heard this rendition, I was truly floored, due to the fact that this is an exceptionally difficult track to perform, and Macy was able to make her cover unique and amazing. Although this song is very vocally challenging, Macy was able to handle the notes phenomenally well, and as always she added her own personal touches, to make her version unique. Hearing Macy’s voice on the track is very refreshing, due to the distinct differences between her voice, and Emile Sande’s voice. Although Macy has performed several covers, she has been able to prove through these videos that she is not only an amazing vocalists, who is years ahead of her age vocally, but is also a true artist who is able to give any song new life.
On February 20th, 2012 Macy released her debut album entitled “Crazy ‘Bout You”. After I listened to this 8 track album, I quickly determined that it is a MUST BUY album for all music lovers. The album gives off a very positive vibe, and all 8 tracks are so infectious and relatable, that you will soon find yourself listening to the album non-stop from beginning to end. Through this album, Macy also showed off her impressive songwriting chops (she co-wrote all 8 tracks!…definitely very impressive!). With spring and summer rapidly approaching, this album should definitely be on your road trip playlist, with fun tracks about the beginning stages of young love (Crazy ‘Bout You, Just Me and You, Scream Out Loud, and Free Fallin’), and inspirational songs about following your dreams and not letting others bring you down (Sideline and Stronger), this album will be your perfect spring/summer soundtrack. However, if you are nursing a broken heart and are just sick of love, Macy has you covered! Her track ‘Bye Bye’ is a sassy, upbeat song about how a certain person may have treated you badly, but you’re MUCH better without them (alright girl power!…or guy, because we know y’all go through broken hearts too…don’t worry though, we’ll keep that between us). Along with very well-written, catchy songs, Macy also puts her impressive vocals on display in this album. With a fun Jason Mraz meets jazz diva sound, and impressive runs thrown in every once in a while, Macy truly shows that she is an artist that does not have any boundaries or limitations.
I certainly think that Macy is on the fast track to being a global superstar. With an amazing stage presence (DEFINETELY check out some of her live performances on YouTube), well-developed songwriting skills, and vocals skills years ahead of her time, Macy has the total package. As if this wasn’t enough, it seems that Macy has also discovered what type of artist she wants to be at the tender age of 16. Macy’s vocals contain such a unique twist of modern pop and old school jazz, that I can see her music finding a home in the rotations of various radio stations. Also, due to the jazz elements in her voice, I believe that Macy will certainly standout from the crowd, making her an undeniable force in the music industry. I would suggest that EVERYONE check out Macy’s videos, buy her music, and become very familiar with this emerging artist, because Macy Medford is a name that will become inescapable in a few years.
Stay Connected with Macy:
YouTube: Macy Medford YouTube
Facebook: Macy Medford Facebook
Website: Macy Medford
‘Just Me and You’ Video: MACY MEDFORD – ‘JUST ME AND YOU’ – OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO
IMDB: Macy Medford – IMDb