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 ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an amazing new series by the YouTube channel ‘Epicurious’, where they take 3 chefs (an amateur chef, a home chef, & a professional chef), and asked them to make the same food. After the food is done, a food scientist explains to us why certain techniques the chefs did were right, & what you can do to make your food so much tastier. So now let’s dig into the videos! Ready? Ok, let’s go!
Now instead of reviewing the videos one by one we’re going to talk a little bit more about the format of the show & why you need to subscribe to this channel. What I really like about this show is the wide variety of people we see on it. You get to see an ordinary person like yourself, someone who knows a little bit more about cooking/baking than the average person, & a professional chef. Everybody who appears on the show has a great personality & is fun to watch. I also really love that the food scientist gives you amazing tips & tricks for each recipe, so you can make some of your fav foods at home! We also get really easy to follow recipes in each video so if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make cookies, brownies, or spaghetti & meatballs from scratch then you can try without having to pay for expensive cooking lessons. If food is one of your favourite pastimes then this is the channel for you!
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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 have another book review of a young adult novel you might want to add to your TBR (to be read) pile. Today`s book is ‘In The Hope of Memories` by Olivia Rivers, which was provided for review by Red Sparrow Press. As always this will be a spoiler-free review, but I will add some trigger warnings that you should be aware of before reading this book. If the following topics will trigger you then please proceed with caution: anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, school violence, death, and domestic terrorism. So now let`s get to the review! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
`In The Hope of Memories` is about a high school senior named Hope who has recently died from a heart complication. Before Hope died she set up a scavenger hunt around New York City for her friends Erik, Kali, Aiden, & Sam, in order for them to meet each other. Each character has their own history with Hope, as well as their own individual issues they are facing. Throughout the book we get to see them face their personal demons, learn about each other, & maybe even start to see themselves the way Hope saw them.
I`m going to start by saying this is definitely a 5 smiley face book. It had an intriguing plot, interesting characters, & twists that will definitely keep you interested. Another thing that I really loved about this book was the various ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity that we see throughout this book. I enjoyed the fact that this book had a large amount of diversity, but it was weaved into the novel in an organic way that really added to the characters. Lastly, I absolutely loved how by the end of the book, you feel as if you know Hope even though she is already dead at the start of the book. The author does an incredible job of using the various characters` relationship with Hope, as well as her scavenger hunt to make us completely fall in love with the character. If your looking for a beautifully written, incredibly touching book to read this fall, then ‘In The Hope of Memories’ should top your list!
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING artist that y’all NEED to check out immediately. Who am I talking about you ask? Excellent question everybody. Today you’re going to learn all about Victoria Skie, an incredible singer/songwriter from New York that you’re about to become completely obsessed with. So now please allow me to explain exactly why Victoria will be your new favorite artist. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘Sorry- Justin Bieber (Cover)’ video, which was uploaded on November 21, 2015. This video is the perfect example of how Victoria can take a song and truly make it her own. This honestly doesn’t even feel like a cover, but more like what this song would’ve sounded like if Victoria was the original artist. The next video we’re going to discuss is her ‘Havana -Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug’ cover video which was uploaded on November 16, 2017 (you can check out this video below). Once again Victoria puts her own unique twist on this cover, which continues to show us how she is growing not only as a vocalist, but as an artist. In this video we get to see how Victoria would handle a more high tempo song which shows her diversity as an artist.
Next up we have the music video for Victoria’s original song ‘Arrow’, which was uploaded on May 8, 2018 (you can check out this video below). This is such a beautiful song y’all! The music video uses black & white tones, as well as beautiful framing to really help you feel the emotional impact of the lyrics of ‘Arrow’. After listening to this song you’ll see that Victoria is not only an exceptionally talented vocalist, but she is also a talented songwriter. So basically she can do it all! The last video we’re going to discuss is Victoria’s ‘Don’t Matter To Me – Drake ft. Michael Jackson’ cover video which was uploaded on July 13, 2018. I was really interested to see how Victoria was going to handle this song, because of the unique mix of both Drake & Michael Jackson’s musical styles in ‘Don’t Matter To Me’. Although we did not hear Victoria rapping in this cover, I thought she did a great job of combining these two songs into a very cool cover. One thing I definitely learned after listening to this cover was just when you think you know what Victoria is capable of, she does something to show her listeners that she is truly an artist who knows no boundaries.
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Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about an AMAZING musician that you need in your life. If you’ve never heard of Matt Bloyd then you need to sit down, grab you a snack, & get ready to have your mind blown! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to discuss is Matt’s ‘Have You Ever?- Brandy cover by Matt Bloyd, Mario Jose, and Vincint Cannady’, which was uploaded on April 22nd, 2016. In this video we not only get to see Matt’s phenomenal vocals, but also his amazing ability to perfectly harmonize with anybody. Next up we’re going to check out Matt’s ‘I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston cover’ video, which was uploaded on August 9th, 2016 (you can check out this video below). Honestly every time I listen to this cover I am left speechless. The tone, pitch, & pure musical ability that is shown in this cover is just mind blowing. This is a cover that you just need to hear to believe, so please do yourself the biggest favor ever & listen to it right now.
Now we’re going to talk about Matt’s ‘Too Good at Goodbyes – Sam Smith’ cover which was uploaded on September 9th, 2017. Once again we get to see just how insanely talented of a vocalist Matt is. In this song we really get to see how well Matt can handle an emotionally charged song like this one. He will seriously give you all the feels with this cover, & honestly make you ugly cry for hours. The last video we’re going to talk about is Matt’s ‘Bless the Broken Road’ cover which was uploaded on August 30th, 2018 (you can check out the cover below). Again this is a cover that will leave you completely speechless. Honestly I’ve listen to a lot of cover by a lot of artists over the years & Matt is by far one of the best vocalists I’ve very heard on YouTube. The way he can take a song like this one, make it his own but still keep the emotional depth of the song intact is nothing short of spectacular. Seriously as soon as this guy’s voice hits the radio he will be one of the biggest male artist in the music industry. DO NOT sleep on this guy y’all because he will definitely make music history one day & you’ll want to say you heard about him first.
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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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