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!
Keep up with everything Epicurious is doing here:
About ONLY A BREATH APART:
Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.
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.
Now on to the excerpt!
I’m defying my parents by attending a funeral. Reckless and adventurous teenage behavior, I know. Most seventeen-year-olds lie to their parents so they can go on a date with a forbidden boy or attend a party where there will be questionable behavior. Me? I’m outright lying to my dad, and it’s because Jesse Lachlin’s grandmother died.
The entire way here I’ve questioned my sanity, but I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stayed home. Jesse Lachlin used to be my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. We had the type of friendship people strive to have, and then, a few years ago, he cut me so deeply that I still bleed. But ten-year-old me would have never abandoned a hurting Jesse. So today I’m not only honoring the memory of Jesse’s grandmother, but also the memory of our dead friendship.
On my way to the funeral, the high grass of the field swats at my legs, but I don’t mind the sting. I love walking barefoot in grass, I love the smell of the earth and I love that brief feeling of freedom open spaces can provide.
It’s the dog days of August. The type of hot that starts when the sun rises and makes you sweat through your clothes within minutes. While my skin and palms are on fire, the pads of my feet are cool against the dirt. The heat is unwelcome, but the sky is deep blue and the sun is bright, and for that, I can be grateful.
Walking out of the field, I stop short of crossing the one-lane road to slip on the flats that dangle from my fingertips. My mother would be mortified if she knew I was entering a church in a cotton daisy-print sundress. It’s not one of the dresses with stiff fabric and impossible back zippers she would have picked for me at an overpriced department store. It’s the type that’s machine-washable and breathable. The type of dress Jesse’s grandmother would have given her stamp of approval.
I can practically hear my mother heavily sigh and mumble my name, Scarlett, as if it were her personal, private curse word. Mom believes there’s a certain way to dress and behave, and I’m breaking all sorts of her rules today. Watch out, world. I’m officially rebellious.
I smile to myself because I’m the opposite of rebellious. For the last few years, I’ve followed every rule. I’m the teacher’s pet and the girl with straight A’s. I’m the poster child of perfection, and have earned every snarky ice princess comment Jesse’s friends whisper about me in the school hallways because he and I no longer speak.
There are only six cars in the parking lot of the white church, and that makes me frown. I thought more people would have wanted to attend. Jesse’s mud-covered pickup is there, and so is an unnaturally clean black Mercedes that belongs to his uncle. This ought to be interesting. Jesse and his uncle have a mutual hate for each other that runs deeper than any root of any tree.
Movement to my right and I slowly turn my head. Shivers run down my spine at the sight of Glory Gardner. Even though I’m seventeen and too old for ghost stories, I still can’t shake the ones regarding this woman. Girls would whisper over lunch boxes that Glory was a witch. As I grew older, I understood that witch meant con artist. She claims she can read palms, tarot cards and “sees” spirits from beyond the dead. All for a glorious fee.
She’s a beautiful woman—long dirty blond hair that’s untamed, even in a bun, and she has an eclectic taste in clothing. Today she wears a white peasant shirt and a flowing skirt made of material that shimmers in the sun.
Glory watches me like I watch her, with morbid curiosity. I knew her as a child, back when Jesse and I ran wild in the fields near her home, but we haven’t talked in years.
She stands under the shade of a towering weeping willow. There are lots of those trees around here. Mom says it’s because there is too much water in the ground. I say it’s because the people in this town have cried too many tears. Mom doesn’t like my answer.
I tilt my head toward the church, an unspoken question if Glory will be joining me. She shakes her head no. I’m not shocked. According to rumors, Glory will go up in flames if she enters the house of God. But who knows? Maybe I will, too.
The church is one of those picturesque, historical, one-room school buildings squeezed between a cornfield on one side and a hay field on the other. A huge steeple with a bell attempts to reach the heavens, but like anything created by a human, it falls tragically short.
The foreboding wooden door makes no noise as I open it, and I’m able to slip in without a huge, squeaking announcement. Orange light filters in through the dark stained glass windows, and its struggling beams reveal millions of dancing particles of dust.
On the altar, there’s no casket, but there is an urn. My heart dips—Suzanne is dead. I used to wish she were my grandmother, and many times, she treated me as if I belonged to her. Suzanne was the epitome of love, and the world feels colder now that she’s gone.
Choosing a spot in the back, I drop into a pew, and as I scan the church my stomach churns. How is it possible that this place is so barren?
Besides the Funeral Brigade, or the FB, as I like to refer to them, there aren’t many people here. The FB are the older group of woman who attend every funeral in our small town even if they didn’t know the person. Attending funerals isn’t my idea of fun, but who am I to judge?
The FB sit directly behind the one person the town believes to be the lone sane member of the Lachlin family, probably because he isn’t blood related—Jesse’s uncle.
On the left side of the church is Jesse. Only Jesse. And that causes a painful pang in my chest. Where are his stinking friends? The anarchists in training who follow Jesse wherever he goes? Where is the rest of the town? Yes, Suzanne was polarizing, but still, where is any respect?
Quietly, so I don’t draw attention to myself, I slip from the right set of pews to the left. Someone should be on Jesse’s side, and it’s sad it has to be me.
A door at the front of the church opens, and the pastor walks out from the addition the church build on as a small office ten years ago. I would have thought any pastor assigned to this place would be as ancient as this church. Sort of like an Indiana Jones Knights Templar scenario where he lives forever as long as he stays inside. But no, he’s the youngest pastor from the main, newer church in town. His name is Pastor Hughes, and he’s a thirty-something black man with a fit build who is just cute enough that he should be starring in a movie.
The pastor looks up, and he flinches as if startled. I peek over my shoulder then sigh. Clearly, he’s surprised to see me. Flipping fantastic.
His reaction, and the fact he won’t stop staring, causes every person to turn their heads. Lovely. I’ve had dreams like this where I enter a room and become the center of attention. Only in my dreams it’s at school, it’s my classmates and I’m naked, but still, this is disconcerting.
Eventually, the FB and Jesse’s uncle return their attention to the front, but Jesse doesn’t. He rests his arm on the back of the pew, and it’s hard to ignore that he’s made me his sole focus, but I do my best to act as if I don’t notice.
To help, I concentrate on what my mom taught me as a child—to make sure the skirt of my dress is tucked appropriately so that my thighs don’t show. I then fold my hands in my lap and straighten to a book-on-head posture. I can be the ice princess people claim me to be.
Five pews separate me and Jesse, and it’s not nearly enough. My cheeks burn under his continued inspection. Jesse has done this a handful of times since our freshman year. Glance at me as if I’m someone worth looking at, someone worth laughing with a little too loud and smiling with a little too much. Then he remembers who I am and snaps his gaze to someone else.
But he’s not looking away now.
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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)
Keep up with everything Katie is doing here:
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.
Keep up with everything Sara is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING former Kpop (Korean Pop) Idol who is currently running one of the best YouTube channels on the site. If you love hearing phenomenal covers of some of your fav songs then you need to check out Kevin Woo! So now let’s get to the videos. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video that we’re going to discuss is Kevin’s cover of ‘Fools’ by Troye Sivan, which was uploaded on November 28th, 2017. If you don’t know of Kevin’s work with his former idol groups, XING or U-KISS, then this cover is an excellent introduction to Kevin’s incredible vocal talent. Also the pink filter on the video gives it a very cool effect that you will not be able to keep your eyes off of. The next video that we’re going to discuss is Kevin’s cover of ‘Rewrite The Stars’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack, which features fellow Kpop Idol Park Ji-min, & was uploaded on March 16, 2018. If you are a Kpop fan, this video adds the extra bonus of showing Kevin & Ji-min reunited on screen for one of the 1st times since their time co-hosting the popular South Korean tv program ‘After School Club’. Honestly this is such a beautiful cover! Their vocals out of this world amazing & their ability to emotionally connect to the song will keep you frozen in awe from the 1st to the last note. I honestly could sit here & write an entire essay about how amazing this cover is, but instantly I’ll let you hear for yourself (the link will be below). I will say that I really really really hope that they realize more covers or an original song together soon!
Next up we’re going to talk about Kevin’s cover of ‘Last Christmas’ by ‘WHAM!’, which was uploaded on December 4th, 2018. This is such a fun, entertaining video that once again shows just what an amazing vocalist Kevin is. In this cover he is able to demonstrate his great vocal control, while not stripping the song of the heart that has made it a Christmas classic. Also the video is beautifully shot, which shows just how much work Kevin puts into his videos in order to provide his fans with a high quality cover. The last video that we’re going to discuss is an original song by Kevin called ‘Ride Along’, which was released on November 24th, 2018 (you can check out the video below). ‘Ride Along’ is a really fun, catchy bop that will have you singing for hours! In this video we not only get to see just how talented of a vocalist Kevin is, but also how equally talented he is as a dancer. This video honestly has everything you could want in a music video. It has interesting camera shots, fun dancing, & of course features a song that will stay stuck in your head all day. So if you haven’t downloaded this song on any of the major digital music platforms, then you need to do that right now, I promise that you won’t regret it!
Keep up with everything Kevin is doing here:
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 ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss a BookTube channel that all my fellow bookworms need to be subscribed to! Who are we talking about? The AMAZING BooksandLala (aka Kayla) of course! If you’ve never heard of Kayla’s channel then grab your self a snack, relax, & be prepared to discover your new favorite bookish YouTube channel. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The 1st video we’re going to talk about is Kayla’s ‘First Sentence Challenge’ video, which was uploaded on January 20th, 2015 (you can check out this video below). This is a fun video that not only introduces us to Kayla’s fun, bubbly personality, but also her vast knowledge of books. In this video Kayla’s husband reads her the 1st sentence of books she’s previously read & she has to guess what book it is based off of this sentence. Crazy hard right? Want to know what’s most impressive about this video? Kayla actually gets a lot of these right just by hearing the 1st sentence! Honestly you know this challenge takes some serious skill & knowledge. Next up we’re going to discuss is Kayla’s ‘Guide to BookTube Terms’ video, which was uploaded on January 27th, 2017. Ever hear some BookTube terms & wonder what the person is talking about? Like all communities on the internet, BookTube/Bookstagram (book themed Instagram accounts)/Book Blogs have their own language that’s commonly thrown around. If you want to master the slang then this video is perfect for you!
Now we’re going to discuss Kayla’s ‘Book Unhaul Round #11 | revisiting old TBR’ video, which was uploaded on December 1st, 2017 (you can check out this video below). This video is a part of a series that Kayla had on her channel last year in which she watched old haul videos (videos where BookTubers show you books they’ve recently bought), & sorts these books based off of whether she’s read them, unhauled them (which means getting rid of books), or still has them but hasn’t read them. I really loved watching this series because Kayla has the funniest reactions to these videos. This series really allowed us as the viewers to feel as if Kayla is just one of our bookish friends. Even though this series is over, I definitely think it showed just how fun & creative Kayla is. Lastly, we have Kayla’s ‘Books Featuring Podcasts’ video, which was uploaded on September 28th, 2018. I thought that this video was super interesting because I personally never knew that there were so many fictional books that include podcasts in their plot. As a person who likes to listen podcasts, I found this recommendation video to be very unique. So if you want to change up your TBR for this year, definitely give this recommendation video a try!
Keep up up with everything Kayla is doing here;
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss an AMAZING new video that will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit! Now I know that we usually discuss channels, not individual videos, but there is so much to discuss with this video that it needs its’ own blog post. If you haven’t seen the ‘Slashstreet Boys -I’ll Kill You That Way’ video by the channel ‘The Merkins’ then be prepared to have your mind blown! I will throw in a quick disclaimer that there is some profanity in this video that may not be appropriate for all ages so please proceed with caution. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
So you may be asking, “What’s the deal with this video?”. Well if you love The Backstreet Boys and/or famous Halloween villains Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Ghostface, Michael Myers, & Leatherface then this is the video you’ve been waiting your whole life for! In this video the guys do an amazing job of changing the lyrics of ‘I Want It That Way’ by The Backstreet Boys into a really funny Halloween themed version that uses lyrics that relate to each of these character’s individual movies. These lyrics provide the perfect Easter eggs (aka hints for those who don’t speak internet) for horror film fans. Also, even though not all of the actors in the video sing, the guys who provided the vocals for this parody have really good voices. I honestly would love to see covers from these guys because their vocals are just that good!
Lastly, I wanted to discuss the meticulous details that this parody video contains. If you are a Backstreet Boys fan then you remember that epic ‘I Want It That Way’ video. I mean we have the airport scenes, the screaming fan scenes, & of course those famous white outfits. Unforgettable right? Well ‘I’ll Kill You That Way’ does an impeccable job of mimicking these scenes as close as possible. In the parody video we get very similar dance moves (only this time split between a airport & the woods), the screaming fans who love our villains, & of course those famous white outfits. If you’re a Backstreet Boys fan then you’ll definitely appreciate the effort put into this video.
You can keep up with everything The Merkins are doing here:
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.
You can keep up with everything Victoria is doing here:
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.
You can keep up with everything Matt is doing here:
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.
Keep up with everything Riley is doing here: