“I never meant for it to go the way it did. I swear. I just wanted to talk to someone. I didn’t mean to fall in love.”- Eric from ‘Follow Me Back’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘ Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss a book called ‘Follow Me Back’, a psychological thriller that will definitely find a place among your TBR pile (or To Be Read for those of you who don’t speak BookTube) very soon. ‘Follow Me Back’ is the debut book from A.V. Geiger, one of the latest superstars to come out of the writing website Wattpad, and was provided for review by Sourcebooks Fire. On the outside this book seems like your typical Young Adult contemporary novel, but it quickly evolves into a story that will keep you mesmerized until the end. So now that you’re excited, let’s begin the review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Follow Me Back’ is a dual perspective novel that tells the story of 18 year old Tessa Hart who is a super fan of musician Eric Thorne. Tessa become famous within the Eric Thorne fandom when her fanfiction ‘Eric Thorne Obsessed’ goes viral. Due to her newfound internet fame, Tessa grabs the attention of fellow super fan MET (a screen name that stands for Mrs. Eric Thorne), as well as Eric’s management team. However, Tessa is harboring a deep secret that will eventually change her life forever. We also get insight into 18 year old superstar Eric’s deep resentment of his extreme fame, due to the fact that his fans seem to be more interested in his body than his music. When Eric creates a catfish Twitter account in order to ruin his own image, he sets off a series of events that will expose the dark sides of fame & obsession.
I feel like I have to start off this section by saying that not only is this a 5 smiley face book, but it broke the smiley face scale. Luckily the last few books I’ve reviewed have been very good reads, but this is undoubtedly the best book I’ll read this year. The characters are incredibly well developed & interesting, the plot grips you from the first word & never lets you go, & the twists and turns not only make perfect sense, but actually surprise you. Lastly, I really have to commend A.V. Geiger on her talent as a writer. She is able to perfectly jump between the perspectives of Tessa & Eric, while making their characters feel distinct and interesting. She is also able to use the tool of flashbacks through police reports to help her story become even more compelling. Needless to say I am so excited to not only read the sequel to this book, but to also add A.V. Geiger to my list of auto-buy authors. I am so excited to see where her career goes, & encourage all of you to invest in this duology TODAY!
Keep up with everything A.V. is doing here:
“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’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING singer that I’m sure you’ve all heard about! If you’ve never heard the out of this world vocal talent of 10 year old Celine Tam, then hold on to your headphones (unless you don’t have headphones right now. You can go grab them I’ll wait. Ready? Cool). Celine has already competed in numerous competitions around the world including: America & Britain’s Got Talent, & has been featured on Steve Harvey’s ‘Little Big Shots’ & ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, among others. So now let’s get to the awesome music. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video we’re going to talk about is Celine’s cover of ‘That’s The Way It Is’ by Celine Dion, which was uploaded on February 10th, 2017 (you can check out the video below). I had to start with this cover because Celine has stated previously that her parent’s named her Celine after the iconic singer (her little sister is named Dion btw, which is the cutest thing ever). What I really love about this cover is not only the incredible vocal talent & control that this young girl has, but also the personality & stage presence you see. This definitely shows the type of entertainer she will grow to be someday. Next up we’re going to discuss is Celine’s duet with fellow child star in the making Jeffrey Li of ‘You Raise Me Up’ Secret Garden (however most people are probably more familiar with the cover version by Josh Groban), which was uploaded on February 1st, 2018. I’m honestly SOOOO excited to talk about this cover because this duo has performed this song for years, and every time I hear it, I’m left speechless.
Next up we have Celine’s cover of ‘A Moment Like This’ by Kelly Clarkson, which was uploaded on June 15th, 2018 (you can check out the video below). This is another phenomenal cover that truly shows what a talent vocalist Celine is. This is a very difficult song for most adults to sing, so it’s truly remarkable what a special talent Celine has. It’s really fun to see Celine cover artists known for having BIG voices, because it shows you the foundation she has to become the next big voice in pop music. Lastly we have Celine’s cover of ‘Havana’ by Camila Cabello, which was uploaded on July 14th, 2018. This is a really fun video to watch because not only do we get to hear Celine sing a snippet of the song (which is an interesting style change for her, & really shows what a versatile vocalist she is), but it also features very cute dancing from her sister Dion. In this video you once again get to see Celine’s bubbly personality shine through, which shows what a likeable performer she is. It’s really fun when you feel like you know your favorite singers on a personal level, so Celine definitely proves in this video that she has an equally big personality to go with AMAZING voice.
Keep up with everything Celine is doing here:
Other YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/karaoketutor
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a book review of the first book in a new series called ‘Songs About a Girl’ by Chris Russell. This book was provided for review by Flatiron Books (a division of Macmillan Publishers), and was released on July 28th, 2016. Just so y’all know this will be a spoiler-free review so let’s get to the fun part of this blog, the book! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
This is a story about a 15 year old girl named Charlie who is given the opportunity to photograph the biggest pop band in the world Fire&Lights. Although Charlie is a quiet, shy girl, she is quickly is pushed into the spotlight after a photo of her with one of the guys from the band is leaked. At 1st Charlie decides to distances herself from the band, but when she finds a connection between their new lead single and poetry in her deceased mother’s old journal she can’t ignore investigating a possible connection. The harder Charlie looks for answers about her own past, the more she experiences the dark side of fame and fandom.
I’m going to start off by saying that the premise of this book was super interesting. We live in a time where reality & gossip shows allow us to feel closer to our favorite stars than even before. Also, with the addition of social media we’re able to join fandoms & feel a community around our admiration. Although ‘Songs About a Girl’ is marketed (rightfully so) as a One Direction fan-fiction, it really does speak to the current celebrity-centric culture we all live in. Although this isn’t a new topic, I really liked the way Chris Russell showed his love for fandoms in this story, but also showed the consequences of what can happen when they cross the line. I also really liked the characters he created. Charlie is a relatable protagonist, her bff Melissa is the fangirl in us all, the guys in the band are interesting and fun to read about, even the “villains” & more minor characters serve their roles well. The problem however, lies in how all of this comes together. In the end this story is a One Direction fan-fiction at its core which can either be a good thing or a not do good thing. If you really like romance & One Direction then you’ll probably love this book, but only if you really really love both of those things. Personally I’m a fan of both but this story just didn’t click with me. The whole time I kept getting distracted by who inspired which character and it took me out of the story too much. The big twist was very predictable (and I’m horrible at predicting this stuff so that tells you a lot), and the love triangle was solved to quickly (I know, I know, a lot of us have asked for this but a little more tension is always nice). Also, the mystery surrounding Charlie’s mom felt unnecessary & ultimately seemed like it could potential get in the way of the romance between her & the guy she chooses at the end of the book. I feel like this book serves a very niche market which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but because of this forces me to give it 2 smiley faces. This is definitely a quick, light summer read that you can try out if it sounds interesting, but because it doesn’t have a very vast market appeal I can’t recommend it for everyone. However if you do read it & love it, then book 2 is already out, and book 3 will be released later this year!
Keep up with everything Chris is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about something a little different. Today, July 19th, is the 7 year anniversary of Rebecca Black’s second single ‘My Moment’ (which followed her viral internet hit ‘Friday’). Why am I talking about this you ask? Well because Rebecca Black honestly has a very interesting story that is a HUGE part of YouTube history as a whole (also we did previously discuss the ‘Rebecca Black Effect’ that was a trend for a little while a few years ago, you can check out that post here: http://celindareyesblog.com/2014/06/youtube-wednesday-the-rebecca-black-effect/). Just like TV or film teen stars, Rebecca spent her entire teen years in the spotlight. Now being a teenager can either be the best or worst time of your life, but it’s definitely harder when your attempt at making your dreams come true get turned into a giant worldwide joke. Honestly I never (and still don’t) understand why everyone gave her such a hard time. However what I’ve always liked about this story is how Rebecca was able to use this ridicule & turn it into a career doing exactly what she wanted to do. So today we’re going to talk about how Rebecca Black’s song ‘My Moment’ actually predicted her future. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Now as we know it all began when Rebecca’s parents paid Clarence Jey & Patrice Wilson of Ark Music Factory $4,000 to write & produce a song for Rebecca, & record a music video for her. I couldn’t find an exact number in regards to how much money Rebecca has made from ‘Friday’ (although I’m sure we can all guess). What we do know is that this song led to A LOT of opportunities for her. Katy Perry (who was honestly having the best year of her career, at least at the time this post is being written) immediately came to Rebecca’s defense by not only inviting her to perform ‘Friday’ at various upcoming shows she had, but also giving Rebecca a lead role in her ‘T.G.I.F’ music video which premiered in June 2011. Other high profiled celebrities such as: Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Simon Cowell, & Lady Gaga also came to Rebecca’s defense, and the song was covered on the 2nd season of the hit Fox show ‘Glee’. Rebecca continued to ride this fame by uploading more original music, as well as beauty/fashion videos on her YouTube channel. Throughout the rest of her teen years, Rebecca hosted the 2011 ‘YouTube Rewind’ as well as the 1st MTV ‘O Music Awards’ Fan Army Party’, has appeared at VidCon (one of the biggest annual YouTube conventions), had her own Go90 (an online streaming site) show called ‘Life After Friday’, as appeared on the reality show ‘The Four’, is an ambassador for anti-bullying campaigns, and so much more!
So now back to your original question, why are we talking about ‘My Moment’? Well although ‘Friday’ is what made Rebecca Black famous, ‘My Moment’ is what showed that she had staying power. Most of us have dealt with some sort of bullying in our lives, but nothing compares to the worldwide ridicule that Rebecca faced. To go through that throughout your teen years & still pursue in a career in the entertainment industry is not only admirable, but also very brave. However, personal strength & determination alone don’t make a successful career. Rebecca could’ve easily become just a forgettable part of internet history, but instead has been able to hold our attention all these years later. If you think about it, there have been other “internet sensations” that have quickly burned out, and now are never mentioned. Even though internet fame can come quickly, it can also disappear even more quickly. In the opening lines of ‘My Moment’, Rebecca says, “Weren’t you the one who said that I would be nothing, well I’m about to prove you wrong”, and it looks like she was right.
Check out Rebecca here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss a new book by author Jessica Park called ‘180 Seconds’, which was provided by ‘Skyscape’ and ‘Two Lions’ for review. Jessica Park grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has also previously written several books entitled ‘Clear, ‘Relatively Famous’, as well as the series ‘Left Drowning’ and ‘Flat-out Love’. This review will be spoiler free, so if you’re ready let’s find out whether you should add this book to your summer TBR or if 180 seconds of your time is more than this book deserves. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
Hello people of the internet!!! Today we have the pleasure of being apart of the cover reveal for Young Adult author Katie McGarry’s latest amazing book entitled ‘Only a Breath Apart’ which will be published by Tor Teen on January 22, 2019. If you haven’t heard of Katie McGarry’s previous work, then you HAVE to check out her book IMMEDIAELY (seriously her books are the best you can thank me for this recommendation later). So know that you’ve seen how gorgeous the cover is (and seriously that is such a beautiful cover I honestly can’t wait to give it a place of honor on my shelves), you probably want to know what the book is about right? Don’t worry I have y’all covered! Ready? Ok here we go!
Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most. Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done. Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.
I mean honestly we all know that this will be on EVERYONE’s TBR in 2019 so definitely keep your eye out for it. Now even though this book will be available for sale on January 22, 2019, it is currently available for presale through any of the links below, and I HIGHLY recommend you pre-order this one, because once you read 1 Katie McGarry book, she will be an auto-buy author for you!
Pre-order ‘Only a Breath Apart’ here:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2M6S24K
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2tnkyXZ
Keep up with everything Katie is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to discuss an amazing new documentary I was recently given the opportunity to screen about a man who died and went to Heaven. If you loved films such as ‘Heaven is for Real’ and ’90 minutes in Heaven’ then prepare for a documentary that will lift your spirit and make you question just where the line between life and death is drawn and what exactly happens to us when we die. Through the use of beautiful cinematography as well as captivating storytelling, director Stephen Gray is able to demonstrate just why this film has won best documentary awards at: Festigious IFF Los Angeles, New York Film Awards, Los Angeles Film Awards, and selected as a Daily Pick on Film Shortage. So if you’re ready to hear an incredible story that will truly inspire you then please read on! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
On July 18th, 1969 at 19 years old, Capt. Dale Black became the sole survivor of a non-survivable plane crash in Burbank, California. In ‘Discovering Heaven’ Capt. Black describes his vast 40 years of experience as a pilot, flight instructor, standards captain, aviation safety counselor, and FAA designated examiner, which was though to be impossible after the extensive bodily damage he suffered as a result of the crash. In the documentary Capt. Black explains the horrific experience of crashing 5 feet from the top of a 7 story tall concrete dome called ‘The Portal of The Folded Wings’ (which was made to honor fallen pilots) at 135 miles per hour. Prior to the crash the plane of deemed suitable for flight and appeared to be in perfect operational order. In a split second Capt. Black’s life would forever change. After the crash occurred Capt. Black describes viewing his own body, as well as the bodies of his two co-pilots, after the three individuals fell 70 feet from the air. He then traveled to Heaven with two angelic beings, before returning to his body in the hospital. Capt. Black described his experience as feeling alert but without fear or pain. Upon waking up in the hospital Captain Dale had to undergo a vast amount of physical therapy due to his bodily injuries which included his back being broken in multiple places, and well as pieces of debris having to be removed from his body, among other injuries.
Capt. Black goes on to describe how this experience truly changed him due to his family’s background as logical indivduals who believed that there was a scientific explaination for everything. I truly do believe that Capt. Dale’s story is an increbile account of a miracle that few of us are given the opportunity to experience. However I think Capt. Black says it best in ‘Discovering heaven when he states that his advice is to, “Get a good bible and read everything Jesus said and keep your mind alert but open your heart, and then make your own decision. It’s your life, it’s your eternal life, so do with it whatever you want to do”.
Check out the trailer for ‘Discovering Heaven’ below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6HDysj6u3c
If you’d like to stay up to date with Captain Dale and At First Sight Films (which produced ‘Discovering Heaven’ please check out the links below. Also, if you would like to donate in order to help At First Sight Films produce more stories like Captain Dale’s and turn ‘Discovering Heaven from a 10 minute documentary into a full length film please considering checking out their website below:
Discovering Heaven Links:
Donate Here Please!: http://discoveringheaven.com/donate/
Captain Dale Black’s Links: