6 New Books I Can’t Put Down

It’s no secret that I’m a big reader. I could read all day, all night, and just about any time in between. And this summer, I’ve been reading a lot. So settle back into Miranda’s Book Nook for another week of Book Club where we can chat about my new favorite reads. And soon, you’ll be just as obsessed as I am.

No Judgments by Meg Cabot

What self-respecting tween girl wasn’t obsessed with Meg Cabot’s stories growing up? Then, growing up and finding her adult novels, only to discover her knack for writing and telling captivating reads has remained. With No Judgments, she tells the story of a sweet yet charming romance in the middle of a hurricane while attempting to rescue local pets.

The novel takes readers to Little Bridge Island, Florida as a massive hurricane is about to touch down. New girl in town Bree isn’t quite worried after just escaping the storm of a bad breakup, but the animal lover is concerned about the pets separated from their evacuated owners and makes it her mission to take care of these critters. But she can’t do that alone, and her boss’s heartbreaker of a nephew Drew is enlisted to help her. Of course, feelings start developing as they grow closer.

It’s more than just a romance as we explore the complexities of two souls in Drew and Bree as they come together over their similarities. Fans of Meg Cabot and animal lovers are sure to enjoy this cutesy read. Very enjoyable, but give me a Cabot novel that isn’t??

Available: September 24, 2019


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Very easy to get hooked on this lovable, romantic beach read! There is plenty of sweeping romance expected of the genre, which is why I was initially intrigued. However, as soon as I flipped to page one: I was hooked on the author’s descriptive writing and portrayals of her characters. Hibbert brings Chloe Brown (and a dreamboat in artsy, protective Red) to life as two strong individuals with even stronger (and fiery) chemistry as their relationship develops and blossoms into something beautiful, emotional, and even quite steamy in this realistic, contemporary novel.
What this book gets right is its oh-so-important representation. Many times, readers often see the same types of protagonists and it’s refreshingly honest to see a book focus on a character that is more reminiscent of reality in Chloe Brown. Brown as a body-positive POC, who is living with a disability (without letting any of that faze her) is exactly the type of representation we need in books more to accurately reflect the people we are. I absolutely adored this book and definitely plan to re-read. So darn cute.
Available: November 5, 2019

Reputation by Sara Shepard

Obviously, any self-respecting millennial has heard of (and obsessed over!) Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series for YA readers. So, as an adult, her new literary works are must-reads. First, I was pulled into The Heiresses, and so, I was instantly intrigued by the premise of this new book.
When Aldrich University is rocked by a hacker leak, it exposes some deep university scandals and rumors amongst faculty, alumni, and students. Only amplified by the murder of Kit Manning’s husband Dr. Greg Strasser. The thriller follows Kit, her reporter sister Willow, as they aim to uncover the truth about Greg’s death. The novel is told from multiple points of view, exposing a collection of women’s secrets in this small college town as they try to best protect their fragile reputations.
The read is compelling, the characters are honest and have depth, and the story is full of twists and turns along the way. You can’t put it down, you’ll be waiting with bated breath until you reach the final page to discovery the truths of the mystery as it unfolds.

Available: December 3, 2019


Husband Material by Emily Belden

I first read Hot Mess a few years back and fell in love with the easy storytelling, can’t-put-down vibe, and obviously plenty of romance. Upon hearing Belden had a new book, I was instantly sold. Fast forward to reading Husband Material and I couldn’t put it down.
The novel follows widow Charlotte moving forward with her life five years after the horrifying day when she lost her husband so young. Everything seems to be on track until her late hubby’s ashes suddenly appears on her  doorstep. She balances her new life, old feelings, a demanding mother-in-law, a new romance, and a surprising secret in this enchanting read.
It’s a quick read full of twists, turns, and of course, sweeping romance. (I mean, the story of how Charlotte got her pup Leno just wrecked me!) It’s so sweet and easy to get lost in. I want a Decker or a Brian, or, OK fine, I’ll just read it again. I couldn’t put it down, obsessed.
Available: December 20, 2019

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

I couldn’t put it down! It’s a heartwarming multigenerational tale of three vastly different, independent women all tied together around one Grace Kelly-inspired wedding gown.

The novel is told from three perspectives of women in relation to one Kelly-inspired wedding dress: modern bride Rocky, her mother Joan, and Parisian seamstress Rose. While each woman has her own idea of love and wedding dress styles, this fast-paced story brings them together with the power of family. It’s sweet, uplifting, and enjoyable.

Available: March 3, 2020


You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

It starts off like an anti-love story that’s gone far from the early swoonworthy days into a battle of who will outlast the other in the relationship, but with time and book pages, they slowly warm to each other again as accomplices, BFFs, and lovers to become even stronger.
Naomi Westfield has a perfect life, including a Prince Charming-esque fiancé in Nicholas Rose. While prepping for their glam society wedding months away, it is revealed this perfect couple are sick of each other, and in fact, Naomi can’t even remember how they met or even fell in love to begin with! To avoid calling off the wedding and thus paying for the extravagant affair, the duo go head-to-head to see who break first. But without any pressure to be perfect, they start to rediscover themselves and their buried feelings of love.
It’s not a romance where you expect the lead couple to be together without any problems, but Nicholas and Naomi have to work for love and to open up, discovering who they are as individuals in the process. By the time they reclaim their love, it feels earned and justified. It’s well-written and intriguing and had me hanging onto every last word. One of my new favorites, that’s for sure. You guys, I literally started this book waiting in the airport for my flight to board and couldn’t get off the plane until I reached the very last page. Five stars from me for this debut novel. Seriously, it has everything I want in a women’s fiction/contemporary romance story.

Available: April 7, 2020


Advance reader copies of each book were provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Commenting on The First Crop of Islanders on CBS’s ‘Love Island’

Many of you may already know I find reality TV (and trashy shows at that) my not-so-guilty pleasure. Hence, the plethora of The Bachelorette/ The Bachelor cast roasts I’ve taken upon myself to post on here. No shame, we all judge.

One show I even like more than the Bach franchise is the U.K.-based reality goldmine of Love Island. One,  England knows how to produce some quality reality TV and I love it all. Especially the original series (hey, no pies from me!), which has it all: witty British banter, lovely accents, silly games, steamy romances and couplings, and so much drama that I live for. While I do not know yet if the U.S. version will live up to the hype of the original, I do know that they have released cast photos and bios. Which means that I’m pretty much obligated to tell the truth about what I really think based on first impressions alone. So, let’s get started.

Cashel, 27

The Cali-based model and musician (which, of course) is apparently quite the romantic who, “already has a ring and is looking for the perfect girl to give it to.” I’m sorry, pardon?? I’m a little thrown off, and a little intrigued as to why. Ok back to him: a self-described go-getter, sporty type who is looking for someone funny. Hey, aren’t we all?

 

 

Kyra, 22

Based in LA (I’m sensing a theme!), she is a musician as well. She’s very into music and wants an artsy yet funny guy to volunteer with her once they leave the Fiji villa. Which, ok, seems like a normal gal minus the whole “I’m a musician and probably want to promote my band” thing.

 

 

Zac, 22

First, let’s take a deep dive at his cast headshot. The pose strikes a strong party, fratty guy type of vibe and immediately I want to pass. The Chicago native works as a grocery story cashier and I need to know if he knows Grocery Story Joe from Bach Nation??? Back to his bio: the young-looking college football player is looking for a wifey. He does want someone he can trust and build a family with, as well as will watch all the rom-coms with you. However, there’s something about his look and age that, like, I can’t shake the feeling that he’ll be a game player in the villa.

 Alana, 21

She’s a college student based in New Haven. She’s never been in a relationship before (just like air hostess Amy currently in the Majorica villa), but has a long checklist of what she wants, including “minimal facial hair.” The optimistic girl once won prom queen in high school “even though she did not run, campaign, or nominate herself. *cough cough, humble brag, much?*

 

Weston, 25

OMG Luke P is that you?? *hides under the covers* The Dallas-based photographer could be a dead ringer for the problematic Bachelorette contestant. He is described as a southern gentleman, an adrenaline junkie, and has worked in construction. He (I guess, proudly?) sports denim-on-denim but I sincerely hope for his wellbeing he doesn’t wear a Canadian tuxedo in the sweltering villa.

 

Yamen, 24

The Los Angeles real estate agent is very fit, no sense of lying about that. He played football in college, followed by a brief stink in the NFL before selling real estate. He claims he’s a catch and that overly confident persona has knocked him a few points down. Gives me Marcel vibes from series three of the original.

 

 

Mallory, 25

Duck lips, FTW! Ok, I’m just joking, but the Washington-based Nike analyst seems to be a fan. She’s described as the life of the party who is looking for her perfect match. I’m sensing a Laura or Camilla storyline from the British series’ third and fourth seasons.

 

 

Alexandra, 25

The L.A. publicist wants the girl-next-door persona, evident from her hand-heart pose. She’s a tomboy who enjoys white wine (same, girl), smelly cheeses (umm, ok?), and belting T.Swift tunes. She likes guys with tats and is ready to get serious about dating. I bet she is already prepping some Insta endorsement posts already.

 

 

 

Caro, 21

She’s also located in LA, where she is currently studying marketing. The Amber doppelgänger is a world traveler looking for an adventurous partner in crime. Her most important traits for a guy? Height and intelligence. If you’re on a dating reality show, will you find the latter though???

 

 

Elizabeth, 24

Scratch that, Alexandra, the NYC advertising exec is here to take on the girl-next-door role. Literally, she hails from a small town in Michigan and is sick of the world of dating apps and ready to find love in the villa. She likes a guy who can carry a tune, and being that half of these guys are musicians, I think she’l be pleased.

 

 

Michael, 29

OK, TELL ME HE DOESN’T LOOK EERILY SIMILAR TO TOM? The guy who just got booted out on the UK series. He’s the oldest boy in the villa so far, and is a working model from Miami. He’s a vegan. Pass. He enjoys working out. Double pass. Ok, bye. Then, he likes meeting people by “walking into a room and watching every head turn.” Ick, nope. See ya.

 

I do have to note there’s a staggeringly low lack of diversity so far: racially, body size, or seven sexual orientation, and I do hope later Islanders will get more progressive and representative. Please come through, CBS casting!

Well, those are the first group of Islanders about to couple up under the Fiji sun, and hopefully we’ll see plenty of pies, hilarious challenges, and swoonworthy romances as the show airs five nights a week (!!) on CBS. Seriously, five nights a week? Even Big Brother caps out at three. I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it, but ok, I’m ready, let’s start binging.

Roasting the New Crop of Suitors on Season 15 of “The Bachelorette”

It’s that time again: the Bachelor Mansion has once again opened its doors to one eligible lady and a brand-new crop of 30 suitors clamoring for her attention and potential hand in marriage.

Before next week kicks off the season, let’s meet the guys. You know the drill by now: based exclusively on the headshots and brief bios, I will run through my first impressions and judgments of these men looking to date 24-year-old former beauty queen and recent college graduate Hannah “Beast” Brown. Let’s get started.

First off, here’s a brief look at each guy giving their best Hannah growling impression (is that supposed to be impressive? k, pls let me know, thx) and a sappy AF pick-up line, which turn around and go. Bye.

Now, the men:

Brian, 30

The Kentucky math teacher, guess what? Likes math. PASS. I mean this line is nice and all: “Brian is passionate about helping his students achieve their dreams and is hoping this journey will lead him to his dream woman,” but like, numbers. Nah, you lost me. But all in all, seems like an all-American yet slightly dorky white male.

Cam, 30

We met him at AFTR, where he rapped and got the first First Impression rose. My feelings were lukewarm even then. His bio stresses he is competitive, the life of the party, and loves The Notebook. Nice to meet you, Cam, and allow me to show you the door. Bye.

Chasen, 27

The Michigan-based pilot apparently chose his career because “women love a man in a uniform.” That’s why you chose your profession? NEXT, puh-lease. He is also a Bach superfan, so you know he can’t wait for his eps to air. Hey, you’ll be posting teasers on Insta weekly, amirite??

Connor J., 28

First off you know it’s a very basic and white season when there are multiple men with the names Connor, Luke, and Tyler. Moving on to lucky bachelor Connor J. His bio says he’s a Southern gentlemen and apparently has manners up the wazoo, but like, isn’t that something all guys say to try and land a girl?

Connor S., 24

He has Bieber fever! I feel like that says it all. Can I inquire what era is his favorite? Like shaggy-haired “Baby-“singing J.Biebs is completely different from mugshot, homeless-looking Biebs. And then, this line just rubs me the wrong way: “Not only is he easy on the eyes,” I just can’t.

Daron, 25

An IT consultant, he–of course– is a former college athlete and self-proclaimed “giant teddy bear.” Clay vibes, anyone??

Devin, 27

The talent manager (maybe he can manage the up-and-coming influencer careers of his soon-to-be housemates??) seems to really take value in love and finding his person. Oh, and also, Wills (from Boring Becca’s season) is a dear friend. Because how dear of a friendship could it be if all of ABC’s viewers didn’t know about it??

Dustin, 30

He just wants love, and by someone who will meet the approval of his mama and precious pooch.

Dylan, 24

This is just a sea of basic AF white boys, isn’t it?? The “handsome engineer” (I swear to god it actually said that.) founded a fitness company. PASS. Wait, dude can cook? Gotta circle back. (I mean, if you’ll feed me, aka a girl who can barely boil water, all can be forgotten.)

Garrett, 27

He is a pro golfer. And yawn. Also, an Alabama native. If he and Hannah get to talking, what are the odds ABC will subtitle them with their respective accents?

Grant, 30

OH, POOR BUDDY. His career is actually listed as unemployed. Yo, ABC, no fake or made-up title? Poor guy. I just can’t let it go. But, dude “has a hard time believing that any young guy who comes on The Bachelorette is ‘here for the right reasons,’ and he plans to call them out on it.” And so, I guess he’ll be shit-stirring the pot a bit?

Hunter, 24

Stand back Mr. Pro Golfer, we got a Pro Surfer ready to catch a wave into Hannah’s heart… (ABC, did I get your bio formula right?? Would you hire me? LOLOLOL). And he still lives at home with the ‘rents, so is he ready for marriage?

Jed, 25

This definitely-country boy is a singer-songwriter. Aw, our first one this season! I’m getting– what’s the country one’s name from seasons past– vibes? (Oh, Joshua with the leg tat from Idaho from JoJo’s season and Joe from Kaitlyn’s season, right? It’s the country boy thing.) I swear, drinking game for every time he shows up in a leather jacket this season!

Joe, 30

His career is “The Box King,” and I’m sorry, what? Oh, his family has a cardboard box business, okay, I guess that makes sense then. His cockiness, not so much. I’m sorry Joe but Bach Nation has room for only one Joe from Chi-town in our hearts: and that’s Grocery Story Joe.

Joey, 33

The old man of this batch of men is ready to settle down, minivan and all. Hey, Joey, if you show up to the mansion night one in a minivan, we’ll all know you just copied Garrett (the winner from last season), just saying…

John Paul Jones, 24

Why put your full name, unless you consider this your brand, acting audition, or whatever BS you label it as? His bio is basically one long, running gag about his three-word name. K, can you talk about anything else? Interests? Passions? Job? Family? Anything? Anything?

Jonathan, 27

He’s a server in LA, so basically an aspiring actor, right?? Another life of the party, always-clubbing dude, and I’m over it. Bye.

Kevin, 27

This small town guy had me saying “damn” to his career: “He works as a behavioral health specialist for the army, helping vets deal with trauma.” Mazel tov. And then, he enjoys “pumping iron” and travels… to the gym a lot. Check, please.

Luke P., 24

He’s looking extra Colton-like, right? This “good Christian boy” (I swear this info is coming direct LOL) really wants a wife, especially after some mysterious “religious awakening” in college, because sure.

Luke S., 29

He wishes he could be Nick Viall. He’s a political fundraiser, lover of tequila, apparently “once hit on Emily Ratajkowski and made her blush” and continues to talk about it all the time, and made a very inappropriate upon meeting Hannah on AFTR for the first time. Thank u, next.

Matt Donald, 26

First off, shame on ABC. You write this line: “Matt’s brother and parents are deaf, and he grew up speaking sign language.” And immediately follow it up with “We love a man that can communicate what he’s thinking with his hands without ever saying a word, and we think Hannah will too.” Boo. Thumbs down for the network. Onto him, woah, coming on really strong by saying he “loves Hannah and he hasn’t even met her.” No thanks to him and the network’s lack of a PC bio.

Matteo, 25

The guy founded a VR tech start up, has lived all over the world, is a strong and silent type, once chugged milk for a talent show, and oh yea, is a “sperm donor who has helped create 114 children for all types of families.” Ya know, just casually throw that in there.

Matthew, 23

He’s a “Car Bid Spotter” and I have legit no clue what that means. Auctioneering. A “Bid Spotter,” what? He has lots of tattoos, has never been out of the country, and enjoys exercising, and hanging with friends or his little sister, who is an actual toddler. And that about sums him up.

Mike, 31

This very energetic vet has a lot of swag and energy for all types of active activities. See ya later.

Peter, 27

Another pilot of the group. Do you think the two have ever crossed paths, or in the sky? You know, before living in a Cali mansion together and dating the same beauty queen? Also, how is your granny’s name a fun fact about you? He apparently is a fan of line dancing, which would immediately rule out a potential date in my eyes.  (Hey, my friend once twisted her ankle learning a line dancing. It’s dangerous, I’ve seen it firsthand!)

Ryan, 25

He’s a “Roller Boy,” no explanation given, but hey, dude, can I get one? He’s a risk-taker and adventurous, but hates birds. Nice to meet ya there, hope you enjoy your car ride home after a short journey.

Scott, 28

A Windy City native with spiky, gelled-up hair. He calls himself a catch and that’s all I need to bolt. But, he admires Kris Jenner, so before I split, can you please hand in an 1,000-word essay to the class on why you look up to the momager and savvy business mogul?

Thomas, 27

He’s not just a pro basketballer, he’s an international pro basketball player. Should I be oohing here? FOR A YEAR. He played pro ball overseas for ONE year, and that’s the career the show goes with??

Tyler C., 25

A former football player, and TBH, Hannah should run away from a guy boasting how he was almost in the NFL. No one wants a Colton repeat. *shudders*

Tyler G., 28

He’s laidback and would rather read than go clubbing. I’m on board. *keeps reading* He’s a Crossfitter and relaxes on his own boat. I retract my previous statement, y’all.

All in all, what a bunch of duds in this group. I wasn’t the most outspoken Hannah for Bachelorette supporter, but I honestly feel sorry for her. Because these guys are bland, and basic, and frankly not “here for the right reasons.” What can I say, I call it like I see it.

As much as I thought Colton and Becca’s respective seasons would be my last as a dutiful member of Bachelor Nation, honestly, the first look at the season has reeled me back in, and I’m here for the drama that’s coming, not for the journey or any potential to find an S.O. for a suitable amount of time before your Instagram blue checkmark arrives. So, I guess, I’ll see y’all on Monday nights.

Breaking Down the Women Competing for Roses on This Year’s “The Bachelor”

By now, we’ve probably forgotten all about the most boring season of The Bachelorette in franchise history (sorry, Becca). And after a difficult time dumping our fave (and Raven’s BFF) Tia in Paradise, it was revealed that COLTON (the former footballer turned kids’ charity founder slash virgin) will be the next lead. Not Jason, Not Blake, Not Ben Higgins, Not Wills, but Colton. I swear, I’m not bitter or anything… Whatever, I’m fine, I’m fine…

Now, that we are less than one month away from the January premiere, ABC has dropped the names, headshot, and bios about the 30 women vying for Colton’s heart, or just to take his V-card. Honestly, it’s probably 50-50. Or, more likely, to become Insta B-listers with a little blue checkmark to solidify their Fab Fit Fun and gummy hair vitamin endorsement deals.

So, now let’s go through my first impressions and judgements of these women who’ve voluntarily chosen to appear on this reality show. Let’s get started, and to be frank, I had plenty to say and judge when first reading through these, that and I was bored. Yawn.

Alex B.

  • She’s 29, so decent age, of someone ready to get married.
  • She’s a dog rescuer, like for real, so that’s cool. And something she and Colton can bond over,
  • Mouth.

 

 

Alex D.

  • She’s 23, which speaking as a 23-year-old, is she truly ready for marriage?? Because like I’m personally a long ways off. Maybe I just don’t get it. Whatever.
  • Her career is listed as a “sloth” for some reason… So, that is her intro to Colton I’m guessing?
  • Very into New England region. Apparently that’s all there is to her.

 

Angelique

  • Age 28, works in marketing sales, from New Jersey = average.
  • Seems friendly enough.

 

 

 

Annie

  • Another 23-year-old! See thought above.
  • Country girl raised on a farm. Now in finance in the Big Apple.
  • Was she the girl that left Colton and ranted about him on Snapchat?? So, spoilers, don’t put her in her Bach bracket at the end..

 

 

Bri

  • The 24-year-old model from Cali, is more than just a pretty face. Oh, I’m sorry, Barbie, is it?
  • Her biggest dating fear is farting too loudly. Um, ok?? (BTW, I’m crying laughing reading this.) And as one recap already pointed out, is a silent-yet-deadly one ok then?? Real questions.

 

 

Caelynn

  • Another 23-year-old! See thought above.
  • This young lady won Miss North Carolina 2018, and has a past with another contestant, Miss Alabama. Drama? Obviously, because they battled for the same crown. And here they are battling for the same prize Colton once more.
  • She’s not just a beauty queen… she flew to Japan once for a first date… Oh, has she been on The Bachelor before? (I know, I know, I’m not the first, and certainly not the last to make that joke, but if the shoe fits.)

Caitlin

  • The Toronto-based 25-year-old realtor seems likable and normal.
  • Chris Harrison compared her to fan-fave Kaitlyn Bristowe, so those are some big shoes to fill, Caitlin.

 

 

 

Cassie

  • Another 23-year-old! See thought above.
  • She’s a speech pathologist, but her bio still says completing her degree. Um, consistency?
  • However, she wants to work with kids using her degree, so mazel tov, and I hope that can happen for you. Truly.

 

 

Catherine

  • First off, there is no way she’s 26. She’s gotta be older.
  • Strong Krystal vibes. Including that Chris Harrison called her a villain. Hmmm.
  • She’s “DJ Agro” in Ft. Lauderdale, um def, villain vibes.
  • Next.

 

 

Courtney

  • Another 23-year-old! OK, so considering Colton is 26, 23 isn’t too young, it’s just to me personally, it seems very young, considering you barely know who you are at that age and what you want to do.
  • She’s a caterer hoping “she has the recipe for love” with Colton, man, the ABC producers get cheesier and cheesier.

 

 

Demi

  • Another 23-year-old! See thought above.
  • Texas country girl.
  • Her bio says “keep an eye on this one??” Is that a spoiler or just that she has big eyes??? Real questions.
  • I feel like she’s going to go far.

 

 

Devin

  • Another 23-year-old! However, she has a Masters degree, mazel.
  • She likes yoga, and eh, it’s fine.

 

 

 

 

Elyse

  • At 31, she’s definitely the eldest.
  • Originally from Alaska (is that a first from the show?), she now resides in Scottsdale— does she know Arie?? I have a feeling that A-word will be brought up this season.

 

 

Erika

  • She’s “The Nut.” Enough said.
  • Also, her talent is “being able to eat whatever she wants without gaining weight.” F U. Also, you won’t be winning over America with that line.

 

 

 

Erin

  • Her career is listed as “Cinderella,” which her bio completely backs up. Um, so entrance?
  • Also, she loves PSL. HAHAHAHA, I’m cackling by now.

 

 

 

Hannah B.

  • Another 23-year-old!
  • The 2018 Miss Alabama, who has a past with Miss North Carolina Caelynn, apparently bleeds Alabama. How many Roll Tide references will we get this season?

 

 

Hannah G.

  • Another 23-year-old!
  • Also from Alabama, the “content creator,” which is her real career listed, “plans photo shoots for her next posts.” So, she’s so ready for the Instagram endorsements to roll in.
  • Is content creator code for unemployed? But like in a nice way?
  • She likes glamping, so puhlease producers put her on a down-and-dirty date. Like Corinne with the cow dung shoveling date. I’m cackling just thinking about what could be.

Heather

  • She’s 22, so similar to my thoughts on the 23-year-olds.
  • Her career is “never been kissed,” which feels mean to call out. I mean, Colton’s career wasn’t virgin last year! That’s an unfair double standard.
  • Giving me strong Kendall vibes from last year.

 

 

Adrianne “Jane”

  • Her name is Adrianne, but she goes by Jane. And she’s categorized alphabetically with the J’s. How does one go from Adrianne to Jane? Is it like Jane Doe? Is she in Witness Protection? I have so many questions.
  • She’s a social worker, so mazel tov on helping others.
  • She seems nice and friendly, it’s just the name thing.

 

 

Katie

  • Meh, nothing interesting to report or joke about.

 

 

 

 

Kirpa

  • She looks like Shushanna from years past on the show.
  • Eh, I have a feeling she won’t stay past day one or two.

 

 

 

Laura

  • She wants moved to Spain “on a whim.” Why? and Why did she move back? Producers dig deeper with these bios.
  • But, YAWN.

 

 

 

Nicole

  • She looks familiar. No idea who she resembles though.
  • She hails from Havana. Ooh Na Na.
  • She seems like a younger, female version of Rachel’s love Bryan.

 

 

 

Nina

  • Geez, that’s a sad back story.
  • She’s watched The Bachelor with her mom and grandma for years, so her career could be “Superfan,” right???

 

 

 

Onyeka

  • Mmm, k. This is Onyeka. Of which I don’t know how to pronounce your name.

 

 

 

 

Revian

  • Her name reminds me of Evian and Revlon.
  • Her career is listed as nurse but in her bio, it says she’s an esthetician, which are two very different jobs. Does she not know what she does??

 

 

 

Sydney

  • She seems very normal, which is a low bar for the show, which means I like her already.
  • It seems to be the “never” season: she’s never had a boyfriend, Kendall 2.0 has never been kissed, and Colton is a virgin. Hmmm, purposeful?
  • I’d put her far in my Bach bracket, for this season, for Paradise, for Bachelorette running.

 

 

Tahzjuan

  • Not going to attempt to pronounce her name. I just hope Chris Harrison or Colton do not butcher it.
  • She has a tattoo that says “I love bad ideas,” so that explains why she’s on this reality dating show. Oh, how I love to tease.

 

 

Tayshia

  • She’s a phlebotomist and likes to volunteer. Seems nice and normal. No word on how long she’ll last, unfortunately, because I like her: she has purpose and drive.
  • We’ve come a long way from our beauty queens and content creators. Literally, we are in the Ts. But does Colton want a self-sufficient, successful girl or one who will settle for the career title of wife?

 

 

Tracy

  • I feel like she’ll be involved in drama this season.

 

 

 

 

It feels like a sea of girls who all look the same. Give Colton the strength to remember which one is which, because I’m already lost.

This season seems very boring. But, will I still be watching, obviously. Will I, like Colton, feel the desire to fling myself over a fence to escape this? Likely.

30 Thoughts I Had Watching Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince 2”

As you may have gathered, um, I’m as you could say, a bit obsessed with romantic comedies and cheesy love stories unfolding on screen. There’s just something about curling up and watch your troubles melt away when can watch a totally predictable and cheesy romance movie with zero regard for conflict and only a couple coming together. So settle in (I’m already wrapped up in my Snuggie.) and pop on the latest Netflix holiday flick, A Christmas Prince 2: A Royal Wedding, and once you’ve finished (or don’t mind spoilers), read on for a list of my random thoughts and musings I had during and after the cutesy holiday followup to last year’s festive flick.

Photo: Netflix

  1. Amber and Richard are still going strong… But like, how practical is it that a king can take off to visit his lady love whenever he wants. Especially she’s a blogger, like she can write anywhere. I mean, nothing is tying her to NYC.
  2. “I don’t want to get recognized!” Then, why did you (the future queen) fly into the country commercial?
  3. “I feel like a new person” HAHAHA they just had to address that they recast her father, to a slimmer, gruffer, less facial hair, and more hair-hair version…
  4. How much money did they spend on this? It looks poorly made, like horrible quality… Sorry, but I speak what I feel.
  5. Her new Pops asking if “all this stuff free” in the limo is such a MOOD. Like, 100 percent accurate and my life.
  6. Amber got a Meghan Markle casual look wardrobe update.
  7. Is it possible that Richard got even stiffer than the first film?
  8. The “haute couture” wedding gown? Yikes.
  9. Richard is being a jerk who doesn’t want to hear his love’s ideas or thoughts. HELLO, We as women have thoughts that are valid and important!
  10. Leopold (which, who?) is coming back from Monaco to help… Why do I get a bad feeling??
  11. SIMON! He’s gone… well, common. And, hair. Oh, and is he redeeming himself??
  12. Oy. That wedding dress and veil. Oooo.
  13. This lil’ shy, nerdy boy that clearly likes Emily is so cute. This is the love story I wanted in the movie. HEART MELTING.
  14. How dare they censor her blog? #FreedomOfThePress
  15. Did Richard just say “keep calm and carry on??” LOL, like, they aren’t in England.
  16. How dare the wedding planner and protocol head make Amber take off her dead mother’s locket for a busy J.Crew statement necklace??
  17. If this is a romance movie, why can’t Richard stick up for his supposed love?? Perhaps one reason why I cannot seem to get into this sequel.
  18. Simon and Amber’s bestie Melissa have more chemistry and have far more fire together than the future king and queen of Aldovia. Just saying..
  19. Can we discuss how they made the young princess Emily a master hacker/coder?? YASSSS. She is my fave.
  20. How very Meghan Markle of her to make Amber shutter her blog. She’s a writer; she loves to write. As the future queen, she should be allowed to do what she loves.
  21. HE DOESN’T DEFEND HER AND HER PASSIONS. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BUY THEM AS THE LEAD ROMANTIC COUPLE. HOW?
  22. We have 20 minutes left, and in a movie titled the wedding, where is the wedding, huh??
  23. I take back what I said about her dress earlier. This wedding dress she actually wears is far too plain, boring, and ill-fitting. Ew.
  24. This film feels like bad fan-fiction as opposed to having a good story to tell, like they tried to rush the idea of making a sequel to be timely with the real Royal Wedding.
  25. The inflatables on the royal Christmas tree look extremely tacky.
  26. Amber’s best friends finding love with Sahil and Simon, respectively, were too cute though, and made up for the lack of chemistry all damn movie between the two leads who were supposed to be madly in love.
  27. The Queen catching the bouquet presumably to fall in love with Amber’s butler is giving me Queen Clarisse and Joe love vibes from Princess Diaries and I am here for it. Almost as much as I am here for a Princess Emily spin-off feature film. Maybe her dull brother goes off on a foreign trip and she must save the day and steal the show (as if she doesn’t do that already). Buy that movie, Netflix.
  28. Has anyone ever made a Chanukah romance holiday movie? Because, that is a genius idea that they need to rectify. Like, you could even call one “The 8 Dates of Hanukkah.”
  29. Does the end of the film mean we are getting a third film??
  30. This film was pure trash, but did I watch it in its entirety? And rewatched to write this post? Obviously.

In pure Christmas romance movie (and Netflix) fashion, this brought out all the feels as we like to cozy up to watch cheesy romances unfold. If a third film (or frankly, any other romance from the platform) gets made, I’ll still be right here, watching every minute of it. We could all use a good, relaxing cheering-up sometimes…

My Latest Summer Reads, Part II

After compiling my summer reading list back in May, I quickly decided to save those four reads for my summer vacation… at the end of this month. Putting faith in my own willpower and patience (which has proved very difficult) to wait and save the likes of “Marriage Vacation” (seriously, I’m dying to find out the contents of page 58!), “The Favorite Sister,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” (obviously before the film comes out ideally) for the moment my four-hour flight finally takes off and departs New York City.

Ugh, it felt like agony waiting (err, well, still does)… And then, I tried to reread some of my older reads on my bookshelf in the interim, but that can prove little fun, especially when you already know how the stories end. And so, I turned to a laundry list of reads from the library and my latest Amazon wish lists to tide me over, adding to my summer reading list as I attempt to save my original picks for vacation time.

“The Dirty Book Club” by Lisi Harrison

What Millennial girl doesn’t remember reading “The Clique” series growing up? I remember that the third book only in the series was on sale at my elementary school book fair, and my mom picked it up for me a few days before my class went. I devoured it in one sitting, and then insisted my mom take me right to the bookstore (RIP, Borders) to go back and get the two previous books and then the fourth one in the lineup. Well I was already four books of the series in and researching when the next one would be out, when my class finally went to the book fair, and literally every girl in my class heeded my suggestion and was ecstatic to get the Clique book #3 that was still on the shelf. Such a book trendsetter, even way back when… And then, I kept reading the entire series. Flash forward to last week at the library, when mid-browse, I came across “The Dirty Book Club” by none other than one of my favorite childhood authors! Flipped to the inside cover, and I was intrigued to open to page one and start reading this one.

In Harrison’s debut adult novel, four complete strangers together inherit a secret dirty book club that initially started in the 1960s when the original members (and lifelong besties) follow through on a long-held pact to move to Europe. As the group of unlikely friends bond over these scandalous bestsellers, each woman (book club members past and present) reveal intimate details of their own life as the book club, letters from original members, and their friendship “help each other find the courage to rewrite their own stories and risk it all for a happy ending,” Amazon summarizes. It may sound cheesy or like a copycat 50 Shades or something, but it’s truly like nothing I’ve ever read before with its wit and surprising plot points, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“The Wedding Date” by Jasmine Guillory

After waiting weeks to scooch up the library’s hold list of 60-plus potential readers, I finally received this contemporary romance novel this weekend. And it lived up to the hype as an adorable modern happily-ever-after love story read.

What happens when protagonist Alexa meets handsome doctor Drew in a hotel elevator that gets stuck? Well, naturally, he invites her to be his wedding plus-one. What initially starts as a simple transaction so he won’t be the groomsman who RSVP’ed for two and then ends up alone soon becomes way more when feelings develop, of course. Adorable in all its romantic glory that makes it an enchanting and delightful summer read.

 

 

“When Life Gives You Lululemons” by Lauren Weisberger

Next up on my nightstand is the latest Devil Wears Prada novel, except it takes place years later with West Coast image consultant Emily (aka Emily Blunt’s character from the Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway film).

Initially, I planned to put this book on hold at the library, but after seeing the newly released novel had almost 300 holds in front of me, I broke down and Amazon Prime’d a copy to my apartment, which actually arrived the same day a copy of “The Wedding Date” was available for me to pick up. With Guillory’s book finished, it’s now time to move on to what happens when Miranda Priestly’s former assistant turned image consultant Emily’s new opportunity takes her to the Connecticut suburbs for a comeback opportunity for a new client, a former supermodel. And yes, Miranda Priestly will be back, I’m told. And, I’m officially off to page one!

“Limelight” by Amy Poeppel

This book takes place when wife and mother of three Allison decides to pack up her roots and move her family cross-country to Manhattan for the first time. Trading their suburban Texas spacious home, easy-to-get-into schools for the kids and her teaching career for a comparatively small three-bedroom apartment, three school admissions to contend with, her husband’s new and busy law practice, no job prospect for her lined up, and taking care of three kids in the city, Allison worries if moving her family was the right call. When a chance encounter gives Allison the chance to become the personal assistant to a young Hollywood pop star in town to make his Broadway debut, she finds herself balancing motherhood with a glamorous new life, showing her a glimpse of a very different side of Manhattan.

With realistic expectations of Manhattan (haha, totally relatable), Poeppel’s novel brings laughs, witty dialogue and plot points into this delightfully charming read.

“Campaign Widows” by Aimee Agresti

Admittedly, I know nothing about the inner workings of politics, but somehow this novel stuck out to me.

When the newly engaged Cady moves to DC with her  boyfriend-turned-fiance, she’s thrust into the influential world of D.C’s elite wives, a club of significant others who’s spouses are away on the campaign trail. Told in several viewpoints of a “fabulous Georgetown doyenne,” a mommy blogger, a website editor, Cady the news producer, and a First Lady hopeful who isn’t sure she wants to gig, it seems this unlikely group of friends are just what’s needed for these five to survive the campaign and election season and get exactly what it is that they do want. Call me intrigued, and I was, until the very last page.

 

 

“My Oxford Year” by Julia Whelan

Honestly, this one struck me simply by the word “Oxford” and the image of the English city on the cover. What can I say, ever since I studied abroad in London (and visited Oxford), I’ve had severe wanderlust for the UK, which makes me a sucker for any book set in London and England.

This book takes place when American Ella has the chance to pursue a Rhodes Scholarship at the legendary Oxford University. As the Amazon summary reads, “With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.” She soon discovers that smart-mouthed local is the handsome English professor that teaches her first class at Oxford. Soon enough, a connection is developed between the two and with the expiration date of her Visa in sight, she soon is conflicted with “if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.” Cute, adorable, and based in England? Seems it was just what I look for in a summer read.

Keep on reading, my lovely followers! ✨

16 of the Best Body Positive Moments on Television to Remind Us to Love Ourselves

Most of us, myself included, have grown up and been able to rattle off a laundry list of all of our insecurities since we were young, those so-called “flaws” that signify how we in no way resemble what we see in media. What’s been great about the current body positivity movement is its awareness to different body types in society, in the media, and in the internet sphere. It has been hugely instrumental with body acceptance and facilitating self-love, and I celebrate that. However, the majority of all the classic TV characters has not really reflected that, where we haven’t seen as many characters that resemble us in reality, scars, stretch marks and all.

Believe me, I get it. To be frank, I’ve always struggled with self-esteem, confidence, and accepting what I look like. It’s always been difficult to feel confident when you turn on media programs and no one that looks like you, or is dealing with similar insecurities, is seen as the protagonist, the hero, the successful one, or the romantic lead. However, quite a few shows of the past and present have begun to knock down those beauty ideals of the past and helped to inspire us by showcasing that everyone is different and every difference is beautiful. Here’s a look at some of the most empowering moments to get you through this summer with total confidence and nothing but love and admiration for what you actually look like, cellulite, zits and all.

1. “The Bold Type”

On the third episode of “The Bold Type’s” season two that aired two weeks ago, the Freeform series conquered body positivity, and not just in a way of acknowledging it briefly, but rather they made it the cover story. (Pun intended.) From Tess Holliday’s cameo as a body positive champion and successful model, the girls embracing their “pimples, stretch marks, and moles” in a naked and un-retouched photoshoot, to Jacqueline schooling the board on why it’s such an important message. One of the most inspiring quotes was Jacqueline saying, “Body positivity is about self-love, self-acceptance. And that is healthy” to the media board member that just didn’t get it. All the motivation you need to live your best, confident lives this summer.

2. “American Housewife”

This is the ultimate summer swimsuit inspo we need this summer. Whether you’re scared of rocking a two-piece or that moment you go from covered up to disrobing as you descend into the water, we can all relate to Katie and daughter Anna Kat’s plight of body and swimsuit insecurities. So, follow Katie’s lead, and let go of that coverup and embrace your best swimsuit life this summer and just enjoy the sun, pool, and oceans, judgemental watchers be damned, because you look awesome in your swimsuit and confidence.

3. “Drop Dead Diva”

The premise of the former Lifetime show was what happens when a deceased model awakes in the wrong body— and into one of an accomplished lawyer, who happens to be a plus-size, drab dresser. We see Deb-as-Jane eventually come to terms with her new body and learning that confidence makes the world of difference. And that’s a message we can all get behind.

4. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

One thing “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” gets right is creating a female protagonist who’s relatable, but still owns herself, even though she has struggled with if she’s pretty enough to get the guy and her body type. Hey, Rebecca, we’ve all been there! The CW show is all about empowering females to be strong and confident for yourself, and that is why it’s so great.

5. “Younger”

Maggie is the best friend we truly deserve. While Liza becomes nervous about how she looks and her appearance, her best friend Maggie steps in with some words of wisdom, “With everything that women have to be paranoid about, we don’t need to be making up more stuff. You look amazing.” Morning mantra right here!

6. “Ugly Betty”

Betty taught us not to let insecurities overpower your dreams and your attitude. It’s that age-old lesson of “don’t judge a book by its cover” because your confidence outweighs any external beauty or so-called imperfections. Besides, if Betty can survive (and thrive) at Mode, then you got this.

7. “That’s So Raven”

Growing up, this was arguably one of the most inspiring moments on television I’d seen, let alone from a Disney entity! Seeing Raven Symone openly speak up about unrealistic body standards and how that makes people feel gave all the young girls (myself included) out there that didn’t fit Hollywood’s ideal of a “perfect body” all of the confidence in ourselves to own who were were. And that moment is something every little girl should have moving forward.

8. “First Dates”

On the popular British reality show, “First Dates,” contestant Eve stunned the world with her power and strength as she removed her wig, covering up her alopecia, for the first time. Her strength empowered viewers as she unapologetically embraced her baldness and went on enjoying the on-camera date and creating a romantic connection, sans-wig. We should all have this level of internal strength to embrace every so-called flaw.

9. “Suite Life of Zach and Cody”

Another time Disney addressed body insecurities, they discussed eating disorders when neither girl really had any issues to begin with, other than letting some outsider into their heads and disrupting their confidence. That was an important lesson as well, don’t let the haters get to you, because you are beautiful (and definitely model-worthy) as you are.

10. “Broad City”

One of the things that Comedy Central series does best is showcasing these girls living their best selves, confident in who they are and owning it. Ilana is unapologetically herself, with plenty of confidence in everything she does. Then, there’s Abbi who’s not as self-assure but who’s worked hard to find her true happiness in her whole life and can own it as well. Something to aspire to.

11. “Gilmore Girls”

While Melissa McCarthy’s Sookie on “Gilmore Girls” was primarily meant as a humorous character, during her first date with Jackson in season one, we see her as vulnerable, worrying if her date will turn out well and if he’ll like her and the way she looks. Best friend Lorelai reassures her pal, and as the evening, and future seasons, later unfold, it’s clear she had little to worry about, because Jackson liked her when she wasn’t trying too hard and was just herself.

12. “The Mindy Project”

If Mindy Lahiri has taught us anything, it’s confidence, confidence, confidence. May we all have Mindy’s level of confidence in every aspect of her (and our) lives, from her bright wardrobe and outspoken personality, she’s truly an inspiring TV role model we could all learn a lesson from.

13. “Empire”

Gabourey Sidibe’s sex scene on “Empire” was one of the first times a plus-size woman of color is seen in a sex scene, proving that it’s not just for skinny, model-pretty people.

14. “Project Runway”

During season 14 of “Project Runway,” Heidi Klum and the panel of judges chose Ashley Nell Tipton as the season’s grand winner. Tipton was notably the first plus-size designer who won the grand prize, and choosing to design for real women and their different body types, as showcased in her final runway show. As the competition series has continued, the rules have evolved where the pool of models regularly reflects a variety of body types. A step in the right direction for the fashion industry.

15. “Glee”

After Mercedes faints from extreme dieting, Quinn is there to support her Glee Club pal and lets her know that she is already beautiful the way she is, no change needed. Quinn tells her how she’s lucky to “always feel at home in her body” because throughout the show Mercedes had plenty of goal-worthy confidence. Even the most confident of us have those days where it seems like we’re not enough, but it’s important to remember that even when we don’t think so, we are, always.

16. “How to Get Away With Murder”

Even without saying much, this scene from “How to Get Away With Murder” still says a lot in an empowering take of Annalise Keating taking off her wig and all her makeup. It’s an inspiring message that you can still be strong, powerful, and beautiful even without your hair done and makeup carefully applied.

Plenty of strong female role models to look up to that proves you are beautiful as you are and it’s high time to embrace who you are, flaws and haters be damned. Because they can’t mess with confidence. ✨