Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Review: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Another adventure in listening to books in the car as opposed to listening to the radio..and this adventure was:

Courtesy of

"Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America -- to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland" -- she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.
Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future."


I wrote "sweet, uncertain, and beautifully (yet simply) written. I loved it." as my Goodreads review, and it's true. That's exactly what I thought of it. I've heard many people talk about it's simple nature. It's "cardboard cut out characters" and it's lack of a fast pace.

And I don't necessarily disagree with them.

Most of the time though, when I listen to a book as opposed to reading it, I'm drawn into it. It all becomes more alive, more real as I'm being lulled into the story. 

I like a good "coming of age" story - I've always been drawn to them. I guess that's why I'm still reading YA Fiction instead of moving onto classics (that's what you're supposed to be reading at my age apparently..)

It was sweet, but slow.
It was uncertain, but there was hope.
It was simple, but you had the desire to finish it.
And it was beautifully written. 

That's all. The end.


“In this waking time his presence, once so solid, lacked any substance or form; it was merely a shadow at the edge of every moment of the day and night.” 

It just reminds me of people that have come in and out of your life. They were once such a part, but now it almost feels like phantom limb. They don't help you anymore. They start to not matter as much. Life goes on. On and on. 

“In the morning, she was not sure that she had slept as much as lived a set of vivid dreams, letting them linger so that she would not have to open her eyes and see the room.” 

I think we've all had that moment. Regardless of circumstances.

 “She has gone back to Brooklyn,' her mother would say. And, as the train rolled past Macmire Bridge on its way towards Wexford, Eilis imagined the years already when these words would come to mean less and less to the man who heard them and would come to mean more and more to herself. She almost smiled at the thought of it, then closed her eyes and tried to imagine nothing more.”

SPOILER ALERT: this is the last sentence of the story. And it didn't exactly end like I thought it would - but I think the beautiful part of it was that after all she had been through, she was able to make a decision and go when she needed to. 

I'm thinking of getting rid of this part of my review..because it's not like I have real reasons every time. You just should. I think I'd stick with the audio book for this one though. And I'm looking forward to seeing the movie finally too! I'll let you know what I think of it too :)


Monday, June 27, 2016

At the Movies With: "The Fundamentals of Caring"

It's been a while, right? Life has included a lot of big changes, and while I don't talk about those..I do miss writing. I watched a movie today, "The Fundamentals of Caring" that I feel HAS to be talked about. Mostly because I found myself laughing out loud during it.

The trailer:

The positives:
1// The relationship between Craig Roberts (a wonderful little English man who is hilarious) and Paul Rudd. They play patient and caregiver. Each spewing sarcasm and developing a deeper relationship than they even realize. It's sweet.
2// And then you add Selena, who plays "rough and tumble" Dot. I say that with a bit of sarcasm, because a filthy mouth doesn't exactly make you rough. She adds a different element to the movie that I really did enjoy having her.
3// The "John Green element". The story is straight out of a John Green novel - and really, you have to know that anything JG touches turns to gold. I'd be interested in reading the novel this is based on, for sure.
4// The soundtrack. You know I love a good soundtrack.

The negatives:
1// The story is SAD. While it makes for a good emotional pull, you really do feel a lot for Rudd's character - and even for Robert's character. You become sad for the things people go life beats them up. Good thing we're all tougher than we seem.

Wait, that's all I have for negatives :)

It's a simple road trip movie with simple characters who care deeply for each other. They're messed up, messy, and talented - the whole lot of them. It's the type of film, like the Breakfast Club, where you so want to be apart of it by the end. And one you hope the actor's became best friends by the end.  Or is that just me? I know it's acting, but geez..I want everyone to be best friends.

I think I'm getting sappy in my old age.

Anyway, I loved it. If you're looking for a feel good film - you need this one in your life. Head over to Netflix and get your watch on!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fun Found Things: Pt 2!

Remember that time I used to blog? Yeah, I don't really either. Life is bananas right now..I'm throwing around the word "coping" a lot..and I had Chick-fil-a three nights for dinner this last week. So, I don't exactly have a lot to update y'all on (maybe when things have quieted down a little), but, after reading through some of my blogs..I've got a few things that HAVE to be shared.

 1// 49 PHRASES to Calm An Anxious Child.
But for real, it's for adults too.

2// What? FITNESS PROS are insecure too?
Obviously, they're human. I just don't think people think they do. 

3// Living with BIG EMOTIONS.
The third solid read in a row. I loved all three. So applicable to my life right now.

4// There's new flavors of M&MS!
Spoiler alert: they're all bad. The Everywhereist always says exactly what we're all thinking.

5// Places to go: The TREE CHURCH!
Uh, can I just live in the tree church? Because I wanna.

and, a song:

Oh, because you've been listening to something OTHER than Lemonade this week? 

1. Those are CHILDREN. Except for the guy with the dreads at the beginning. He does by Wildebeast..he does all the choreography. 
2. The girl in the purple..right?!

K, byeeeeee

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Review: "Weightless" by Sarah Bannan

I feel like I haven't posted in such a long time! I've actually read a few since last posting, but none really worth mentioning. SUCH a bummer. It's probably my reason for listening to "Goblet of Fire" in my car. It's reliable.

Today I'll be talking about:

From "When 15-year-old Carolyn moves from New Jersey to Alabama with her mother, she rattles the status quo of the junior class at Adams High School. A good student and natural athlete, she’s immediately welcomed by the school’s cliques. She’s even nominated to the homecoming court and begins dating a senior, Shane, whose on again/off again girlfriend Brooke becomes Carolyn’s bitter romantic rival. When a video of Carolyn and Shane making out is sent to everyone, Carolyn goes from golden girl to slut, as Brooke and her best friend Gemma try to restore their popularity. Gossip and bullying hound Carolyn, who becomes increasingly private and isolated. When Shane and Brooke—now back together—confront Carolyn in the student parking lot, injuring her, it’s the last attack she can take." 


I really genuinely wish I hadn't read this all the way through. Doesn't that synopsis just make you question my taste with choosing what I read? I would.

Needless to say, this book was a BEATING. First, the narrator speaks in a first person plural. "We think this.." "We knew this.." It's kind of interesting, but mostly it makes things confusing and tires you out. You're just left wondering who they're talking about.

Secondly, it ends exactly how you think it will. Think about it. What do you think Carolyn will do at the end? Will someone save her? No. Will she save herself? No. I kept hoping that she would pick herself up or have someone change her mind. I golly I know that depression is hard. Whatever you're feeling, no one can truly understand that. I know. But there was a point where positive light was found, only to be trashed and blown out again.

My heart hurts for kids like Carolyn. Kids who can't see past the situation..and who really can blame them? With your cellphones able to capture video..and Facebook being ever present. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. It's all there and it's used and used. You're not safe from anything. Even Snapchat has ways for you to save images. It doesn't just go away..not if someone doesn't want it to. 

And these kids..they don't get a break from it. It's a constant. And it can be anonymous. What kind of trash is that? Where you can say whatever you want, whenever you want and it be covered because you didn't own up to it? It's hard. It's so unbelievably hard. 

And this didn't say anything. It didn't do anything. There wasn't one good person in it. It was a waste of paper. She didn't once say "it's okay to feel sad, but never EVER think that your life doesn't mean anything..that you'll never get out of this place and this season." 

Not once. And it's a damn shame.

You have to use the platform when you have it. Otherwise it's just a waste.

Let's go ahead and say..I didn't have any favorites, but this quote stuck out:

"We thought it would never feel better, that this would stay around our necks forever. We'd carry it with us to college, and to our first jobs, and into our marriages, and bestow it on our children and then our grandchildren. Not a gift, but a curse, or just a heavy stone that you picked up as a child and never took out of your pocket. Later, when things did start to feel more normal, the guilt would kick in: You did something horrible. And you are too horrible to even realize it." 

It sums up exactly what I've been saying and feeling towards this book. No sympathy, no empathy, no heroes. I know life isn't about saving one another, or even about the underdogs all the time - but what's the point of life if all your energies are flooded into just you. You wouldn't do anything. You wouldn't change anything. Again, such a waste.

I don't recommend this book. Not even a little bit, and there have been a few others that I haven't finished or I've totally disliked that I've skipped talking about. This one needs to be talked about. You need to hear about empathy, and you need to get some. You need to be reminded that being in high school sucks, but it doesn't forever, and you will come out the other side. And you need to know that you don't need to brandish a knife and stab someone to kill them. There are other ways - and you need to be reminded that it is NEVER okay to treat someone the way Carolyn was treated.



Monday, March 14, 2016

At the Movies: "50 Shades of..NO."

Straight up, I'm a little late to the "50 Shades of Grey" party. Except, I most definitely wouldn't call it a party.

I'd like to start this by saying: I do not condone what happens in this series, I don't like it, and what I have to say doesn't really have to do with a review at all. I just feel like it needs to be said.

A few weekends ago a friend and I sat down to watch a movie. We chose "50 Shades" because we "wanted to know what the fuss was about".

We made it 20 minutes in.

In those 20 minutes, I came to totally LOATHE everything about the situation..but I also became very sad for those folks who see the series as a positive representation of what love is. Or even just a representation of what love is.

I've never been in love. I've thought I was. And possibly, I've been in love from afar (hey James from the 6th grade..!), but I'd like to think that I know what love is. I've watched my grandma keep my grandfather's ashes in her room because she doesn't want to be away from him. I've seen my parents wear the same pair of glasses at a restaurant to see the menu, and hike the Grand Canyon together. I've watched my niece kiss her new brother on the head, and then push him away a second later. And watched my best friend marry the man of her dreams when she wasn't supposed to beat cancer.

Those may not be what your idea of love is..but, it's mine. And it's a far cry from whatever "50 Shades of Grey" is spewing out.

Let's talk about real love..shall we?

"Love is patient.."

It doesn't burst into situations demanding that you stop whatever you're doing and take you home. Not even to your house, but to a hotel room where the next morning it looks like you've slept together.

"and kind.."

It doesn't play with your emotions and make it seem like he's into you, only to find out that he is all about sex. 

"Love does not envy.."

It doesn't see your friend and confidant and dismiss him as a threat.

"or boast.."

It doesn't show you around his "home", shower you with expensive food and a helicopter ride. It's not wealth at all.

"It is not arrogant and rude.."

It doesn't force itself on you. Shoving you up against the wall to kiss you or automatically assume you'll be there at the drop of a hat.

"It does not insist on it's own way.."

There is no "my way or the high way" thinking. It doesn't require you to act or think or dress a certain way to please. You're not a toy.

"It is not irritable or resentful.."

You may have a bad day here and there, but a it doesn't have a permanent growl or stare.

"It does not rejoice at wrongdoing.."

There are no games. There is no pressure to do what you don't feel comfortable with. Even if you have no back bone to speak up on your own behalf.

"but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

(1st Corinthians 13:4-7)

The truth? "50 Shades of Grey" is crap. I learned that in twenty minutes. I didn't need to see the whole thing. Want to know why? Because it's a lie. It's a false truth that whatever you've gone through in life, whatever has made you the way that you are - you can treat people how you want to. You don't have to give them respect, trust, hope..because the world is too big, it's too harsh, and it rips you a new one every time you do something. 


Mr. Grey thinks the world of himself. Thinks that whatever he says and does and thinks is the gospel truth. I know I'm talking about a character, but there are men and women out there who think the same of themselves. And they are unable to love someone how they should. They just aren't. They don't know what true love is. The kind that died on a cross. The kind that keeps ashes close. The kind that plans elaborate birthday parties and sings "your song". 

They've never been apart of that kind of love, and it's heartbreaking. 

And it makes watching a movie hard. It makes seeing our culture scream for protection for rape victims, but celebrate this movie in the theater. I wonder how we've come to this. How we can see it one way, but turn a blind eye to another.

We have to be better. We have to write characters that triumph. That see the dark in their lives and overcome it - and love. We owe that to the next generation..those that go after us. 

The poet Ahbez once said "the greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved." And not the watered down, forced, warped beyond measure story of "love". You know the lowercase, in parenthesis kind..because I can't stomach calling that real love.

So look for love. You may have to look hard at times, but our kind has always sought it out. We're always drawn to love, and to be loved. That's just the way we are. And I'm thankful for that every day.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Review: "The Last Letter from Your Lover" by Jojo Moyes

Today's review is coming straight from my bed. I'm feeling under the weather today, so I'm using it as time to relax and get back out there again tomorrow. Also, my bed would have missed me if I had gone to work, and we really can't have that..can we?

That being said, today's review is of:

This is via "It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband. 

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance."

A friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her book club, and this was the first book we read. Meeting with the girls to discuss the book made me super geek out, and I loved it. I definitely want to continue book club.

As for my thoughts on it - I loved it. The characters are interesting, the scenery is from another era (one of glitz, heroics and glamour), and it's both relatable (we all want our own happy ending) and believable. Jojo is a fantastic writer. I haven't disliked anything yet.

I found myself immersed in the whole scene and also totally caught off guard at the twists. Which, is nothing new - I'm always so wrapped up in a story (whether it's a book, tv show or movie) that I almost never know the ending - unless it's something totally stupid and cheesy. Those I guess pretty soon after starting.

But that's the beauty of both books I've read of Jojo's (this and "Me Before You" - read my review of that HERE!) - she does romance and carries you off into this world where you know everything is going to work out EXACTLY how you think it will and then BAM, it changes. Don't fret though, my friends, it does work out. Just maybe not how you want it to..ala "500 Days of Summer".

1// “She didn't talk about it: if this past year has taught her one thing, it is to live in the present. She immersed herself in every moment, refusing to cloud it by considering the cost. The fall would come - it always did - but she usually collected enough memories to cushion it a little.”  

I realize that saying that I like a quote that screams "THIS GLASS IS HALF FULL ALWAYS" probably isn't the best way to start, but - what I see from it is this: there will be crashes. There will be bumps and bruises and times when you can't breathe. But, you're never far from light. From good times, from things that make you alive. That's all. And it gives you that extra push to find your way back again. If you choose to do so.

2// “He talked to her in the way that people tell lifelong secrets to fellow passengers in railway carriages: an unburdened intimacy, resting on the unspoken understanding that they were unlikely to meet again.” 

Isn't that the truth? Sometimes strangers know the most lovely things about you - the things you're afraid to tell other people..because the only way you disclose them is if you're never going to see that person again. Because that's safer than being vulnerable. But then again, all it takes is one person..

3// “I was once told by someone wise that writing is perilous as you cannot always guarantee your words will be read in the spirit in which they were written.” 

So much truth. So much.

1. Jojo Moyes knows how to write a story. Plain and simple.
2. It has something for..most people. Romance, intrigue, well written characters, travel.
3. And definitely read if you're a "Mad Men" fan. I can so picture John Hamm as the husband, and January Jones as Jennifer - but I can't picture "B". Not yet. I'll have to get back to you. Anyway, it's set in the same time period. So if you enjoy that, I'd definitely recommend.


Monday, February 15, 2016

At the Movies: Thoughts On "How To Be Single"

Hi there friends! I had every intention of getting things accomplished tonight, but I'm in a weird headspace after a super long day at work. So, I thought I'd talk about "How to Be Single" instead!

Let's get right to it:

1// It really has no plot or character development.
I mean, if you're going to this movie for Oscar winning performances, you're out of luck, my friends. BUT, there are some fabulous comedic presences: Rebel Wilson, Damon Wayans Jr, Anders Holm (hey boy hey), Jason Mantzoukas (who plays a weirdo so SO well), and Colin Jost (my favorite part of Weekend Update!). So, just go for the fun of it, okay?

2// I don't understand everyone's facination with Dakota Johnson.
Or Dakota Fanning according to my best friend..who couldn't remember her name. I find her awkward and boring. Also, she has an odd hair cut:

Is she 10? Maybe it's the 50 Shades of Grey thing, but I don't get it.

3// Leslie Mann does crazy so SO well.
She plays Dakota's big sister - who, after delivering babies for a living decides she needs her own - she uses a sperm bank and finds true love whist pregnant. And the boyfriend is totally cool with said crazy pregnant lady (who says a million times that you shouldn't call a pregnant woman crazy..which, for some reason I know to be a true thing) and said baby (the man, who is like 10 years Leslie's junior) actually says "who wouldn't want to stay home all day and hang with a baby?! I never have to work again". The theater literally erupted in "aww's" was cheese ball.  I mean, who could have predicted that plot twist? Everyone, the answer is everyone. I really don't think it would happen in real life. Like at all.

4// Why is there always a kooky best friend?
Rebel plays Dakota's "side kick". Or the other way around, I can't exactly tell. And I sat there wondering why there always has to be this outrageous personality next to the shy, hipster girl?! (there's always a hipster girl too..) Why can't people have real personalities? Why can't they both be chill and have a good personality and be funny? They don't have to be outrageous all the time, Hollywood. So, quit it.

5// The ending is real life.
You're sitting there for two hours and guessing every single plot twist (is it really called a twist outside of horror movies? Get back to me...) and then it lays it on you. She doesn't end up with the dude. Or, in her case, the three dudes vying for her attention in the movie. She ends up (*SPOILER ALERT*) finding something she's passionate about (hiking the Grand Canyon) and going to do it..because, early on in the movie, she exclaims that there are too many things she says she wants to do but never does.

And that's where I am in life. Choosing the solo adventures - or trying to - because that has to be better than doing nothing your entire life. It has to be.

Why you should see it:
1// Rebel Wilson.
2// It kind of gives you one side of being single. The side that's featured in brilliant cinematographies such as "He's Just Not That Into You", "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve". If you like that kind of thing.
3// Girl power. Rebel, Leslie and Dakota are there for each other in every situation and say what needs to be said, even if it's hard to say. That's important in friendships.
4// And cute boys. You know I'll always let you know when there are cute dudes in films ;)

There you have it, amigos. Not the cinematic masterpiece of our age, but if you're wanting something fun to do on your girls night out - I'd go for it. It'll make you laugh, and make you thankful for your solo time. Because, no matter how much I hate other people saying it - being single isn't always the worst. And it's beneficial in being a real adult. Finding out who you are alone is something someone can never take away from you.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review: "Carry On" by Rainbow Rowell

Oh, hey. It's been a while, hasn't it? Life has taken over. I haven't stopped reading though - and this one is just my latest love.

Courtesy of "Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters."

Sheesh, Rowell sure knows how to write a I right, or am I right? I'm right, obviously. 

Simon Snow is actually a play on the Harry Potter world - and was first mentioned in her other book, "Fangirl" (read my review HERE!) Simon is the obsession of the main character in that lovely story, and I think there was so much cry for Simon's story to be told that Rainbow felt she had to write it. (I'm speculating here..)

First, I loved it. I listened to it instead of read - which, I highly recommend because the voice actor was also awesome - and I was wrapped up in it within 30 seconds. Her characters are bright, funny, thought out, and maybe a little cliche - but never boring. 

It's an adventure, a love story, a comedy - with a touch of darkness in it - so something for everyone. It takes a minute or two to get into (as some great ones do..) but it flies high from then on. You'll love it..promise.

1// “You have to pretend you get an endgame. You have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can't carry on at all.” 

Teenage melodrama at it's best, ladies and gentlemen. I think it's a great reminder though, for those young adults who read it. So many "kids" these days are having a hard time with their lives, and knowing that you get past this part of life is literally everything. That it gets better.

2// “He’s a book full of footnotes brought to life. He’s a jacket made of elbow patches.” 

The word swoon comes to mind..I love when people talk about other people like this. In ways you don't even think make sense..but you find yourself curled up in them. They feel good. They make you smile.

3// “You have too many friends,” she’ll say. “I’m pretty sure that’s not possible. And, anyway, I wouldn’t call them all ‘friends.’” “There are only so many hours in the day, Simon. Two, three people—that’s all any of us have time for.” “There are more people than that in your immediate family, Penny.” “I know. It’s a struggle.” 

That one just makes me laugh. Penny (Simon's best friend. The Hermione to his Harry.) is hilarious. She's spunky, smart and annoying as hell. I loved her. I loved this part of her story. #thestruggleisreal

4// “And sometimes holes want to get bigger, but Baz was wrong—sometimes they just want to be filled.” 

There's this whole scene where they're talking about areas in England where the Voldemort type character, the Insidious Humdrum (which, I still think is a terrible name), sucks out magic..anyways, I won't reveal anything - but they're talking about holes. How the creation of these holes disrupt life and create chaos. And it gets you thinking about how your react to holes in your life. How each time something creates a hole, you don't go looking to open it up more - you look to fill it. With another person..with another feeling..another high. I think your character and who you are as a human determines the type of thing you fill it with. It reveals more about your character than most things do. It gives you a sense of what's important. Some just want to be filled..

I've heard plenty of reviews that say its just "bad Harry Potter fan fiction". And they would be one opinion, the wrong one. I think it's difficult to open yourself up to something as a Harry Potter fan - you don't want to damage how it makes you feel, etc..and I totally get that. I sat there intently listening the entire time, and mostly forgot it's basis on Hogwarts, Harry and the whole deal..because Rowell is that good. She's that good at creating something, and I think it's worth it for you to read it. Give it a chance and get back to me..

I'll wait.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday's Mixtape: BOWIE.

The world lost a great musical icon Sunday. 

And it only seems right that this mixtape is all things David.

1// Space Oddity

The man invented glam rock - and killed it. Or as the kids say, he slayed it.

2// Let's Dance

This one just makes me want to dance. I mean, it's totally the point, but the poppy melody and the funky sound always makes me want to stand up and dance.

3// As the World Falls Down (from "Labyrinth")

You can't talk about Bowie without talking about "Labyrinth". The 1986 movie tells of a young girl who wishes for her baby brother to disappear. She is to solve a labyrinth and get the baby back from David Bowie, who plays goblin king, Jareth. 

If I'm being totally honest though, it creeped me out just a bit. Loved it, and we watched it about a million times in my high school art class (my teacher was practically obsessed), but creeped me out.

4// Lazarus 

The last music video he put out before his death. It's creepy, and odd, and visually stunning. All of the things I know David to be. People are also saying it foretold him not surviving his cancer. I don't know if that's true, but it's one last send off. And he does it well.

5// Heroes

It's probably very cliche that this is my favorite song of his, and yet, I don't care. I think it's so beautiful and it's only right that it be anyone's favorite.

So goodnight Goblin King.
Goodnight Ziggy Stardust.
Goodnight David Jones.

You will be missed.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: "Why Not Me?" by Mindy Kaling

So, it turns out that I may not be done with this challenge - the 25 memoirs before I turn 26..because, I'd most likely consider Mindy's new book a memoir of sorts. I just may not complete the challenge before I turn 26. How about I give myself til the end of 2016..that might be easier. Anyway, we'll talk about that later.

From "In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper."

First, I made the grave mistake of reading and not listening to the audio book of her first book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?". Listening to this one in the car had me laughing out loud, cringing at some parts and scoffing in others. It brought the whole thing to life. I think I enjoyed it more hearing her read not only the book, but give background information along the way. You also get to hear B.J Novak (Mindy's real life bff) in parts. He's entertaining as well. 

Second, as I said, I laughed a lot. I also cringed a lot. And scoffed quite a bit. Mindy's brand of comedy makes me like her and dislike her at the same time. It really just depends on what she's talking about at the current moment. 

I really enjoyed her story of dating a White House Press Secretary (I think that was his title) and enjoying a behind the scenes look at the life and times of the President. And her commencement speech for Harvard Law (for the most part) towards the end of the book.

I did not enjoy her thoughts on her two weeks in a sorority. I have to keep reminding myself that I had a different sorority experience than most, but it really does sort of bug me when people have narrow views of what a sorority is, how it's run, and the whole "pay for friends" thing. When you aren't fully in something, you don't know what you're talking about.

I admire Mindy's confidence and her brassy attitude, but I also think she should mind what she says. At least some of the time. 

1// “I will leave you with one last piece of advice, which is: If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And if you don’t got it? Flaunt it. ’Cause what are we even doing here if we’re not flaunting it?” 

This is one that I really laughed at, but it's also a bit thought provoking. It kind of goes along with the old saying "if you don't love yourself, no one else will". I think everyone has days (weeks, months, years) where they aren't 100% in love with who they are (which is totally fine), but we forget that we're it. We're the only one of us..and why shouldn't that be celebrated?

2// "But my secret is: even though I wish I could be thin, and that I could have the ease of lifestyle that I associate with being thin, I don’t wish for it with all of my heart. Because my heart is reserved for way more important things.”  

I wish this was my thought process on more than one occasion. In fact, I wish that was my very first instinct. It's not, most days..but, at the end of the day, I do know there are more important things. And that's what my heart is really, truly super obsessed with..not the pounds or the curves or the way my jeans don't fit some days. It really isn't that important. 

3// “Work hard, know your shit, show your shit, and then feel entitled. Listen to no one except the two smartest and kindest adults you know, and that doesn't always mean your parents. If you do that, you will be fine.” 

You will.

I don't think you should read it. I think you should listen to it, number one. It'll make the whole thing a lot more enjoyable. Think of it as "me time".

Second, I think you should read it because it's funny. Because Mindy says things you aren't willing to say yourself, and she (although this is really not that true) is a real person. She isn't going to give you bullshit, and I like that about her. 

It's a short book that keeps you interested and gives you something to chuckle about during the day..what more could you want? In fact, maybe save it for a summer, read by the beach read. That sounds really nice.


Friday, January 1, 2016

At the Movies: Best of 2015 + some runner ups!

Friends, I love "Best of.." lists. I love countdowns. I love the feeling of "man, this list is awful..BUT I HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT'S NUMBER ONE!" - when I could most likely just Google it. And ten bucks says I'll most likely disagree with whoever decided number one was number one. So, instead of disagreeing..I complied my own list this year. My favorites - not in any particular order. Let's get started!

1// Star Wars: The Force Awakens

You're probably all like "uh, duh..I knew you were going to put that first.." - and well, you'd be right. I actually had a whole post planned for this movie, and went to Boston for Christmas (another post I will eventually do), and sort of forgot to.

Things I liked: 
1. the leads - John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are adorable, new faces and seem to genuinely be excited to be in the Star Wars franchise. So likable.
2. HAN SOLO. But, obviously..again. He's my number one crush of the century. Such a babe.
3. the comedic timing. JJ Abrahams likes his "action comedies", and The Force Awakens didn't shy away from that.

Things I didn't like:
1. Adam Driver being serious. If you see him in anything else, he's the biggest goofball. It's just a bit unnerving. Although, I did like his portrayal..I just was expecting him to make fart noises behind someones back or something.
2. It followed a bit to closely to the original stories. I don't know if this is a set up to the next part, or if they're just going to pick material from the originals. We shall see.
3. A certain characters which I decided I hate JJ Abrahams. 

2// Creed

You can check out my full review HERE! - but just know..I LOVED IT. Michael B. Jordan is spectacular and super attractive. Sly is funny and he STILL has it. It fit in perfectly, albeit the 2015 style of it, with the others and I can't wait to see another. Oh, I'm definitely hoping they make another! *crosses fingers*

3// The Hunger Games Mockingjay Pt 2

I did not think I'd like this one as much as I did. I am always a little hesitant to see movies made from my favorite books, but I think that Francis Lawerence (the director), J-Law and the rest of the crew made it possible for me to enjoy one of those books-to-movies movie.

Things I liked:
1. J-Law and Josh Hutcherson's chemistry. In real life, I think Jennifer would end up with Liam Hemsworth, but Jen and Josh love each can tell. The final scene..*sigh*
2. It stayed fairly true to the book.

I didn't like:
1. Finnick and Prim. But that's more Suzanne Collin's fault. I'm still mad at her for it.

4// The Martian

I also did a little review on this movie, which you can see HERE! 
My favorite parts had to have been the casting and the comedic side of the story.. From Matt, to Kate Mara, to Chiwetel Eijofor - everyone is solid. It's always a bit of a struggle when directors cast a bunch of huge, huge names together, but this one definitely doesn't disappoint.
And I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun on Mars alone for years as Matt did, but he kept his sanity by his sense of humor. This movie would have been a complete ass kicking without it.

The only thing I didn't like that the man with a family went back into space like that. I mean, come ON. After all of that and you STILL went back? You're crazy.

5// Inside Out

Pixar always does a good job. I haven't been disappointed in much of anything they've put out, but this one has to be one of my favorites. I actually saw it twice in theaters, I liked it that much.

I liked:
1. The characters/the actors they chose as voices. I mean, y'all know my love for Amy Poehler goes far and wide, but Mindy Kaling as Disgust? Lewis Black as Anger? Phyllis Smith as Sadness? Awesome. Every single one.
2. The positive message that while you can have emotions and let things out - there's still a time to learn to control the emotions. To beat them sometimes. And to just ride them other times. Kids need to know that.

I didn't like:
1. Well, I cried during the part where she lets her imaginary friend go..that was tough. I never had an imaginary friend, but love that that leaving your life is always hard.

6// McFarland USA

A powerful, powerful story of "it's not alway who you are, but what you become". Small town runners find their true potential in their running coach, played by one of my absolute favorites, Kevin Costner. It made me smile and cheer and laugh and cry. I loved it.

7// Jurrassic World

Straight up, I saw this because Andy Dwyer is my dream man. And I stayed because the movie was awesome.

8// The Intern

If I had to choose a favorite movie of the year, (and this may surprise you) but it definitely would be this one. Catch my full review HERE!

I liked:
1. Robert and Anne's chemistry. I really want them to be best friends in real life. Someone tell me they are..that's my wish for 2016.
2. The rest of the cast. A motley crew of characters - seasoned vets, new up and comers and some I've never seen before - but it mixed well and I don't think they dropped the casting ball once.

I didn't like:
1. Anne's husband. But you'll really have to see the movie to see why.
2. That it ended. I need a copy ASAP.

9// The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Another review that I did this year - you can catch it HERE! 

I liked:
1. Dylan O'Brien
2. Dylan O'Brien
3. Dylan O'Brien

Oh, you thought I'd say something else? No. Sorry. I'm..not sorry. And honestly, the only thing that I really didn't like was that they sort of strayed from the book. No, they definitely did stray. It was quite different. Not necessarily in a bad way - because I think it's a solid second effort (nothing like boring Insurgent..which, you'll see, didn't even make my list), but it's different. 

10// Cinderella

When I was going through the list in my head, I was like "WHERE'S MY ROMANCE?" I didn't just add Cinderella as my romance (to round out the list). I thought it was beautiful, clever, and just the right touches to be a Disney classic. I was never really a fan of Cinderella (the original from Disney), because I was true to Beauty and the Beast, but this one converted me a bit. Especially the part where her mother said "have courage and be kind." That rung through my little head all year. 

Well, that's that. My favorites for the year. I did, though, have a few that didn't quite make the list, but I still really enjoyed. My runner ups include:

1. American Sniper
Bradley Cooper's performance was pretty powerful. Even with that fake baby.
2. Furious 7. 
I actually did a review on it - which you can check out HERE! My love for Fast and the Furious movies is big time. I just liked a few a little bit more than it this year.
3. Pitch Perfect 2
I liked it. And then I really didn't. It was incredibly funny - especially with the Green Bay Packers - I just didn't get into it as much as the first one. The first one trumps the second in every way. Except in the Green Bay Packers category.
4. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Another that I wrote a little something about. You can read it HERE! I think it's the best Mission Impossible movie so far, and I can't say enough good things about it - but like with Furious 7, I just liked a few movies a bit more.

And with that, I can't wait to see what 2016 holds in the world fake babies, super hunks, fast cars, Disney princesses and a galaxy far, far away...