Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we’re going to review a YA contemporary book called ‘Lessons in Falling’ by Diana Gallagher, which was provided for review by Spencer Hill Press. This is a very interesting book about friendship, love race relations, & finding your own voice. Fair warning, this book does contain some racial slurs directed towards the Hispanic community as well as discussion about depression & attempted suicide, so if any of these subjects are triggering to you, this is your warning. So now let’s get to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Lessons in Falling’ is a young adult contemporary novel that revolves around the life of a young former gymnast named Savannah who has recently given up the sport due to an injury. Although Savannah can continue to compete in gymnastics, she spends most of the book running from the sport due to her overwhelming fear that she will fail. Also, throughout the book Savannah must deal with pressure from her family to continue her gymnastics career, pressure from her best friend Cassie to not continue, as well as fear that she will cause her family financial hardship by not receiving a gymnastics college scholarship like they always planned. Along with this, Savannah has to deal with some unwanted attention/consequences when she begins romance with a Hispanic classmate named Marcos, during a time when racial tensions are high in her school. Lastly, Savannah has to decide if Cassie (the person who she has always put all her faith in) truly has her best interests at heart, or if her best friend is actually stopping her from becoming the person she’s meant to be.
First of all I want to say that I really liked this book. It was an interesting story with characters that were well written, & a plot that kept you interested, & even surprised you from time to time. Savannah was a really good protagonist, because you never felt frustrated with her choices (even if you don’t agree with everything she does), & in the end you really feel yourself rooting for her. Marcos was a well written love interest who really complimented Savannah’s character, & who you also found yourself rooting for. The last character I wanted to discuss was Cassie. There are many points in the story that you’ll find yourself hating Cassie because of how she treats Savannah, but you also understand why she does what she does & in the end you find yourself hoping that Cassie can overcome her personal demons. There is so much more I’d like to talk about regarding this book, but I don’t want y’all you be stuck here all day. I would definitely give this book a rating of 5 smiley faces, & suggest that EVERYONE add it to their TBR.
Keep up with everything Diana is doing here:
“…it feels a little like it was during those days and weeks after we were born— like we’re all still part of one greater whole. The older we get, the more we all stretch into our own identities, but I still love the reminder that we started out together”. -Reagan from ‘Four Of A Kind’
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a new book review courtesy of Patchwork Press. Today we’re going to change things up a little bit by reviewing 2 books in 1 blog post. I was given the AMAZING opportunity to not only review the 1st book in a new series, but also the prequel novella. Because of how the books are written, it just makes more sense to give you all of my thoughts in 1 review so you can truly know if this series is for you. So 1st up we’re briefly discuss the novella entitled ‘Where We Were’, followed up by the 1st main book in the series called ‘Four Of A Kind’, both written by Kellie Sheridan. So now on to the review. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
In ‘Where We Were’ we meet our 4 central characters: 14 year old quadruplets Reagan, Reece, Reilly, & Rhiannon Donovan who are in the process of moving from their home in Richmond, Virginia to a small town in another state called Fairview. Throughout the book we get alternating chapters in which each girl narrates what’s going on in each of their lives in the final weeks before their move. This novella does a really great job of showing us each girl’s individual personality, as well as what their sister’s think of them through the use of a quote before each chapter begins. ‘Where We Were’ perfectly sets the stage for the beginning of ‘Four Of A Kind’, which is told from Reagan’s perspective & begins once the girls have moved to Fairview. We immediately see that the entire town has such a fascination with the girls’ birth, that they are minor celebrities in town. The story follows the girls (through Reagan’s eyes) as they deal with typical teenage drama such as friend & relationship issues, as well as trying to find their own identities in a town that watches their every move.
So now that you know the plot, let’s look at the book a little closer. First of all , Reagan is one of my new favorite protagonists. She is relatable, interesting, and most of all someone who you don’t mind spending the entire book with. She wasn’t a perfect character, but she was the kind of person that you can definitely see yourself befriending in real life. Now let’s move on to the love interest Kent, the son of a local reporter. Thank goodness for Kent! It is SOOOO hard to find a love interest in young adult literature that is loveable. They do exist, but they’re hard to find. I know that we are all tired of the bad-boy, the rebel with a heart of gold, the emotionally/physically abusive guy that our protagonist falls for because they’re “wounded inside”, basically the ‘you should never actually date this guy trope’. With Kent we don’t see any of this, instead we get a nice, friendly guy from beginning to end, he respects Reagan & honestly always seems to want what’s best for her. I thought that at some point he would turn on Reagan to help his mother write a scandalous story about her & her sisters but he never did. Needless to say there is definitely a great need for more characters like Kent in young adult literature. Next I really want to compliment the author on her awesome writing style. Although the story is told from Reagan’s point of view, you really feel like you get a sense of each sister’s personality. In both stories each sister is instantly identifiable, & none of them feel as if they get lost in the plot. We also get some diversity through the character of Reilly when we find out that she’s a lesbian. Although this is not thoroughly explored, it also doesn’t feel like a tacked on label in order to check the diversity box, but instead a real part of who the character is. Honestly there is so much that I can & do want to say about this book, but I would have you here all week. This is one of those truly great books that you instantly know will be one of your favs as soon as you finish it, & this definitely made this author an auto-buy author for me. With all that said I HAVE to give these books a 5 smiley face rating because I will DEFINITELY be re-reading them again this year, & look forward to reading the sequels that are already out, & any additional books in the series that are released in the future.
Keep up with everything Kellie is doing here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to discuss a new Booktube channel that you need to follow RIGHT NOW!!! If you’ve never heard of Robby Reads then you’re not only missing out on a great Booktube channel, but also an AMAZING Bookstagram page (seriously his bookish pictures are so beautiful that you’ll wonder how your Instagram feed lived without them). Although Robby gained a lot of fame in the book community through his Bookstagram, he is quickly proving that he is also an incredibly interesting online personality that you will want to watch over and over again. So now Let’s get to the fun part…the videos! Ready? Ok, Let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to discuss is Robby’s ‘…Ready For It?’ video, which was uploaded on September 3, 2017 (you can check out this video below). In this video he answers bookish questions that are themed after Taylor Swift songs such as: the book you are never ever getting back together with…like ever (sorry I couldn’t help it), a red book, a forbidden “love story” book, etc. In this video we’re not only able to learn more about Robby based off of his choices, but we’re also able to see what a fun & bubbly personality he has. This video is the perfect mix for book & Taylor Swift fans that will give you all the feels. The next video we’re going to talk about is his ‘DIY Harry Potter Starbucks Drinks’, which was uploaded on March 12, 2018. This is definitely the perfect DIY project to do this summer whether you want a refreshing drink or even a cool Instagram picture. In this video Robby shows us how to make variations on popular Harry Potter themed Starbucks Drinks that are simple to make & low cost enough to make over and over again. This will definitely bring a little magic to your day!
Next up we have Robby’s ‘How I Take And Edit My Bookstagram Pictures’, which was uploaded on April 7, 2018 (you can check out the video below). This is definitely one of my favorite videos because it’s very interesting to see a popular Bookstagrammer explain his process. In this video Robby not only explains how he sets up his shots, but also which photo editing apps he uses, as well as tips & tricks in order to make the most out of these apps. The last video we’re going to discuss is his ‘Huge BEA, Bookcon, & NYC Book Haul’, which was uploaded on June 12, 2018. Now we all have to admit that we love book hauls (because honestly it’s like shopping without having to spend money), but the best hauls of the year are definitely the Bea & Bookcon Hauls. In these hauls we get to see cool new arcs so we can prepare for all of the new upcoming releases. Again we get to not only see Robby demonstrate his vast knowledge of books, but also the winning personality that has made people fall in love with him.
Keep up with everything Robby is doing here:
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 talk about the official color (or should I say colors) of 2016. If you love pink and blue then get ready to be very happy because the official colors of 2016 are Rose Quartz (which is a hue of pink), and Serenity (which is a blue). According to the Pantone website, this is the 1st time that 2 colors have been choose as the official color of the year. So if you want to learn why these really cute colors were chosen then keep reading. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
According to the Pantone website, “Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace”. The website goes on to describe the colors as the following: “Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.” I’m really excited to see what beauty and fashion trends will be inspired by these colors! Pantone’s website also says that it chose these colors in order to show how fashion is blurring gender lines by not stereotyping one color as more appropriate for a specific gender (which basically means blue is no longer “only” for boys, and pink is no longer “only” for girls). I think that this is a very cool idea because the fashion and beauty industry is increasingly becoming more and more diverse so it seems only right that the color(s) of the year reflect that. Needless to say 2016 is off to a great start, and will definitely give us so much to look forward to and even more to put on Instagram and Pinterest. I can’t wait! What do you think people of the internet? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to talk about an AMAZING new product that y’all will be obsessed with this holiday season. Once the holiday season begins we are bombarded with delicious food, but after a while you might feel that you’re growing tired of the same types of food. I was recently given the incredible opportunity to review a new spice subscription service called RawSpiceBar. RawSpiceBar is a service that sends you 3 regional species every month, includes recipes of dishes (which feed 4-6 people) that you can use each of the spices in, and tells you a brief history of the region that the spices originate from, all for a mere $6 per month (you can also get a prepaid subscription for 6 months for $36 or 1 year for $66 which means that with this option you get 1 month free, gotta love that!). The spices are all really awesome and the dishes that you can make with them are super delicious. If you love to cook new and exotic dishes, or if you just want to spice up your holiday menu this year then you NEED to subscribe to RawSpiceBar. Now I know that you want to hurry up and subscribe to Raw Spice Bar, but if you want to learn even more about these awesome spices then please keep reading! Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The spices that I will be reviewing today were from the features spices for the month of November, and were for Ethiopian dishes. The three spices that I received were Berbere, Ethiopian Mitmita, and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Berbere is spicy and smoky addition that really gives the food a rich flavor. Personally I am a huge fan of spicy food, so this is now one of my favorite spices. You can use this spice with various soups, meats, poultry, as a rub on roast chicken or vegetables, and stirred into oil and vinegar as an awesome new dip, so the possibilities for delicious new dishes with these spice are endless. Don’t worry if you’re not a big fan of spicy food, because Berbere is a little spicy, but not unbearable, and definitely brings out the flavor of the dish in a new and exciting way. Next up we have the Ethiopian Mitmita spice! Now this is a very hot and spicy addition to any dish, that will definitely require you to have a drink nearby. Although this spice is seriously hot, it really makes a great addition to any meat stews, grilled meats, or as a replacement for hot sauce. Like I’ve previously said, the Ethiopian Mitmita spice is really hot, but I would give it a try because you seriously have never had flavor explode onto your taste buds like this before. Lastly we’re going to talk about the Pumpkin Pie Spice. Now I know what you’re thinking how different can this Pumpkin Pie Spice be from every other Pumpkin Pie Spiced food I’m eating/drinking during this time of the year. well trust me when I say that you have NEVER had Pumpkin Pie Spice that was this good! The cinnamon in it will seriously make you feel like baking dozens of cookies, and the blend is sweet but not overly sweet so it’s perfect for coffee, tea, or any baked good you can think of. If you want to kick off the holiday season right, this is the spice to get you in the perfect mood.
To wrap everything up, all of these spices were seriously great and I give them all 5 smiley faces (because you know smiley faces are more fun than stars). If the spices for November were so amazing, I can’t wait to see what the next featured spices will be! If you want a unique culinary experience every month than this subscription is a must have for you, and it also makes a great gift for any chefs in the family. I never promote any products that I don’t follow believe in so trust me when I say that $6 a month is a small price to pay for these incredible spices. So subscribe to RawSpiceBar today and get ready to have all the bragging rights at any holiday party this year!
Subscribe to RawSpiceBar here:
Become a fan of RawSpiceBar here:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we are going to talk about an AMAZING YouTuber that you need to be subscribed to right now! We all love YouTube for various reasons. Maybe you like cool brauty or fashion gurus who know all about the latest styles and trends. Maybe you like checking our lifestyle channels where you can get a mix of everything. Well Victoria aka Inthefrow (which stands for In the front row), has you covered in all three areas. She started off as a beauty, fashion, lifestyle blogger, but has quickly risen to YouTube stardom. So now let’s discuss why you’re about to become so addicted to this channel. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is Inthefrow’s ‘Get Ready With Me Every Day Makeup’ video which was uploaded on October 28th, 2013. This is a really good introduction to Victoria’s channel, because you get a great sense of her personality and style. In this video Victoria goes through the routine in an easy step by step process so we can all easily create her look. You gotta love a YouTube who proves that they know their craft. The next video that we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘How to: Pink Hair and Hair Extensions’ video, which was uploaded on March 23rd, 2014 (you can check out the video below). This is a really cool video that is perfect for anyone who wants to switch up their hair color. If you’ve ever wanted to try pink hair, or hair extensions (because you learn about those in this video too) then you gotta check this out. This is a really unique video that shows that Victoria is a not only a knowledgeable YouTuber, but that her channel is the place to go for interesting videos.
The next video that we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘Tiger Halloween Makeup Tutorial’, which was uploaded on October 28th, 2014 (you can check out the video below). Let me start off by saying that this is one of the coolest makeup videos that you’ll ever see! In this video, Victoria gives us a step by step tutorial so you can perfectly recreate this amazing tiger look. There are a lot of steps involved so I would practice this before Halloween so you can impress your friends (and everyone on Instagram) with how awesome you look. The final video that we’re going to talk about is Victoria’s ‘Smart Workwear Lookbook ad’ video, which was uploaded on September 16th, 2015. This video really shows how far Victoria’s channel has grown, and how her style has perfected over the years. If you want to look cute at work then you really need to check this video out. No matter what you personal style is, you will find a look that is stylish and work approved (see become an adult doesn’t mean your clothes hasve to be boring).
Keep up with everything Inthefrow is doing:
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ we’re going to talk about everybody’s FAVORITE subject…food! I thought that it would be cool to mix it up today (with a channel you may or may not already be familiar with) and discuss an AMAZING YouTube channel called ‘How To Cook That’ (featuring the culinary genius Ann Reardon), where you will learn how to make the coolest desserts ever. Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen, or you burn cereal (it’s ok, you can admit it…yup you right there…moving on…), you’ll love all the recipes on this channel. So now let’s get to the deliciousness! Just a quick note, some of these desserts are easier to make than others, so if you don’t see a video in this post that grabs your interest, check out the rest of the channel, and I’m sure you’ll find something awesome. Ready? Ok, then let’s go!!!
The first video that we’re going to talk about is the ‘Easy Macaroon Recipe’ video, which was uploaded on April 24th, 2012. I thought that this was a good video for us to kick this post off with because macaroons are a really popular dessert right now, so this is a great video to watch if you want to impress all your friends with this sweet treat. The video is very easy to follow, and you even learn how to fix common mistakes that may happen when trying to make this dessert. You got love a video that this user friendly and kind to culinary newbies. Ok, next up we have the ‘Mickey Mouse Cupcakes’, which was uploaded on February 15th, 2013 (you can check out the video below). Now this recipe is a little more time consuming, but once again the video is very easy to follow. What I loved most about this video is that you not only learn how to make really cool (and edible) Mickey decorations, but you also end up with the Mickey head symbol IN the cupcake. How cool is that!!! This is the PERFECT recipe for a class party, or if you just want a really cool dessert that will make you look awesome.
Now we’re going to talk about the ‘YouTube play button cake’, which was uploaded on May 23rd, 2014. This definitely looks like a difficult dessert to make (because there are A LOT of steps), but as always the video is detailed enough so you probably won’t get lost. I just thought that this was SUCH a cool video that is definitely worth trying out. Also, what would a ‘YouTube Wednesday’ post be if we didn’t include a YouTube themed cake. This is another dessert that is beautiful and delicious so you gotta love art that you can eat. Right? Right! Ok, the final video that we’re going to talk about is the ‘Inside Out Cake’ video, which was uploaded on August 14th, 2015 (you can check out the video below). Now don’t be intimidated by how the cake looks, because the video actually explains the process in such great detail, that it actually seems like something you can replicate. This recipe is time consuming, but if you can do it, then you will definitely be master of the birthday cake, because this cake is SO AMAZING. Also, the characters on the top of the cake are toys so you don’t have to worry about embracing your inner Picasso by trying to make the characters yourself. If you love cake, desserts with A LOT of sugar, the movie Inside Out, or all of the above, then you GOTTA try out this recipe!
Keep up with everything Ann (the mastermind behind the awesomeness you have just viewed) is doing:
YouTube: How To Cook That
Hello people of the Internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we’re going to look at a rising YouTube star that you’ll instantly want to subscribe to. Clarissa May is a 15 year old beauty/fashion/DIY guru and dancer. Along with her beauty channel, she also has a dance channel called Live On Pointe, where she posts Q&As, tutorials, demonstrations, and a lots of other cool things related to dance (definitely check this channel out too). What I like most about Clarissa’s beauty/fashion channel, is that she really shows off her creativity with her channel, and constantly pushes the quality of her videos to higher and higher limits. So…now let’s get to the videos! Ready? Let’s go!!!
The first video we’re going to talk about is Clarissa’s ‘Get Ready With Me Photoshoot’, video which was uploaded on August 30th, 2014. I love how Clarissa explains her process step by step so it’s easy to replicate this look. This is a really good video to check out if you want to find a new look for any upcoming events such as graduation, or a party. Ok, the next video we’re going to talk about is Clarissa’s ‘DIY Starbucks Frappuccino Costume’, which was uploaded on October 26th, 2014 (you can check out the video below). I think y’all will really LOVE this video because it’s really creative and inexpensive to make. Another good thing about this costume idea is you can customize it to fit your individual style, and you can look cute for any selfies that the day brings (and if you take a selfie holding a Starbucks drink that’s the same as your costume then you can bring a new meaning to the #twinning!).
The next video we’re going to discuss is Clarissa’s ‘Silver Smokey Eye for Beginners’, which was uploaded on February 19th, 2015. Now if you’re like A LOT of us, we’ll, smokey eyes lead to issues. I mean what’s worse than spending all these time struggling to make your eyes look awesome and then someone asks “why do you have two black eyes” (#epicfail). The final video that we’re going to talk about is the Clarissa’s ‘Pinterest in Real Life’, which was uploaded on May 1st, 2015 (you can check out the video below). I thought that this was a fun change from the usual videos we discuss because it’s a really funny, comedic video. The video explains what happens sometimes, when we try and fail to mimic stuff we see on Pinterest. It’s a really funny video that’s honestly not only hilarious, but so relatable.
Keep up with everything Clarissa is doing:
Instagram:Clarissa May (@clarissamay_) • Instagram
Facebook:Live On Pointe | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! Today’s ‘Monday Memos’ is going to be a little different than the normal blogs that I usually post. As I’m sure many of you know I am a huge fan of Music. I literally spend all day with my headphones on, so I thought why not write a quick story, and insert music into it. Basically this is what I imagine a person’s day might be if we all had theme music automatically inserted into our days. It’s meant to be a funny blog post, so hope y’all enjoy. Ready? Let’s go!
You wake up in the morning and realize it’s time for school (boo!!!), then you remember that school means hanging out with friends, stalking…I mean talking/wishing you could talk to that special someone that has no idea you exists, oh and there’s that thing called homework or something that everyone keeps saying you should do but it can’t be that important right? So you get up and start singing in the shower, pick out an AWESOME outfit, do your hair and makeup, take a look in the mirror and think “I wish that I could be like the cool kids”. But what the other kids might think or say doesn’t matter because you’re just gonna shake it off. Ok, so now you’re off to school. Great now we’re at school, let the learning begin! (yay?) Ok so school has been ok so far, now it’s lunch time! Oh know there goes that guy you like, quick don’t look! Oh he saw you; well what are you waiting on? Wave! Not frantically like you’re insane…maybe he didn’t notice?!? Oh no, his mean girlfriend did. Great. Well just go sit down with your friends. Maybe they didn’t notice you. Wait, why wouldn’t they notice you? You’re awesome! Well that’s what everyone keeps saying. That girl is so mean to everyone, why is he even with her? Seriously sometimes you just want to scream,” You Belong With Me”!!!! She always makes fun of you because you’re shy and maybe even stutter a little bit. So what if you’re not the most popular or confident person ever. That’s ok right? Wait maybe people don’t like shy? Maybe you need to be louder and more noticeable. But who care what they think right. Right? Then you start thinking “Am I Wrong”? Do I really need to change? Oh no that cute guy is coming. Is he going to laugh at how you waved at him? Quick! Hide!!! Too late he’s here. Ok act casual, act cool, please stop it with that goofy smile. Ok he’s talking, so far so good. Ok, he just wanted to tell you hi because you didn’t see him wave back. Oh and now he’s leaving. Aww that was nice. It’s not fair for someone to be that nice and good looking. One of these days you know you’re just going to say “that’s what makes you beautiful”, then he’ll realize that you’re perfect together and you’re have that fairytale love story that everyone keeps saying is impossible. Yeah it will be perfect! And now the bell rings…ok back to reality. Yeah after all those classes school is over for today! Let’s go crazy, let’s get a tattoo…ok maybe not that crazy. Let’s go home and watch YouTube. Ok well that was 3 hours well spent. You know what time it is now? Netflix time!!! Gotta love Zac Efron and Channing Tatum. Ok time for bed. Makeup is off; pajamas are on, now time for some music and a few hours of looking on Twitter and Instagram. 5 hours well spent. You know what? Who cares what other people think? Yeah YOU ARE AWESOME! You don’t have to try so hard. Right? Right! Yeah, because you really don’t care! Ok, nice talk. Time to go to sleep. Goodnight!
As you can tell, it’s not a serious blog, and I also focused more on lyrics and title from songs that fit the story, instead of what the songs are actually talking about. Anyway with that in mind, I hope y’all enjoyed the story and if this is something that you like, maybe I can write a part 2 in the future!