9 Late Summer Book Releases to Keep You Busy While Hanging at Home

Since summer is officially canceled (ugh, so tragic) and all the plans we made are disappearing rapidly (RIP, my Memorial Day Weekend vacay plans), now we get to stay inside and do just about anything we can think of to stay busy. Me? I’ve been spending all my free time reading. Seriously, I’ve been averaging one book every other day; sometimes even staying up way too late (ugh, I’ll regret that by the time my alarm goes off in the morning) just to keep reading these captivating books.

So, check out my Late Summer/ Early Fall installment of Miranda’s Book Nook with several new books that’ll keep you busy and interested while staying indoors for the foreseeable future.

Act Like a Lady by Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, & Jac Vanek

The hosts and besties behind the popular LadyGang podcast (and their own show on E!) have come together to share their truths and advice in a brand new book about what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century.

This is an amusing, relatable, and inspiring book of essays that completely captures the voices of the LadyGang on-air with funny, truthful language. Their essays do make quite important and good points, nestled between relatable, funny anecdotes about dating, self-love, career, friendships, and more. It’s chock full of empowering reminders that we could all stand to hear a little bit more! It’s an advice book that makes you feel a little less guilty about the stuff we’ve gone through, and you get a clear look at each woman’s point of view by chapter, which are easily labeled as you read through.

From taking on lessons with dating, friendship, career, self-confidence, and more, it’s all the message we all need to hear more, from ‘don’t date that jerk,’ ‘therapy is okay,’ ‘pack the extra tampons,’ and ‘you are good enough.’ It’s empowering as heck and something most women should have in their arsenal to remember. It may be funny and jokingly at first glance, but at its core, the lessons of each essay are crucial pearls of wisdom we all deserve to remember. It’s a perfect coffee table book for any millennial apartment and I need it! As a woman, sometimes you don’t want to feel alone and with this book, you don’t. The LG is here to tell you that we all through the same stuff and we come out stronger and fiercer.

You can read this in a day, you can read it again and again because it’s evergreen, it’s timely, it’s what you just need to hear every once and a while. It feels like your friend is saying it directly to your face which makes their lessons easier to accept.

Available: June 2


Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Hannah Orenstein’s latest novel brings a fresh, Millennial-esque tone that’s fun, engaging, and relatable. She uses captivating writing where you just want to keep reading. Main character Avery’s relationship with her former childhood crush Ryan is adorable yet authentic, but also flirtatious sweetly and innocently. Within ninety pages, I’m sitting here squealing over the prospect of them becoming the hottest new couple and co-coaches ever. I’m definitely getting ahead of myself, but that’s because you want to root for these characters.

In the book, Avery is a down-on-her-luck former elite gymnast and Olympic hopeful who has moved back home when her NFL star boyfriend. Once home, she runs into former crush and coach Ryan who asks for her assistance training a promising young athlete. She reluctantly agrees because this girl has what it takes, but soon enough the sparks start flying between the two coaches just as a massive scandal rocks the gymnastics world that may threaten to pull them apart in this quick, fun romance read.

I loved Orenstein’s first novel, and this new book is just as adorable and I couldn’t stop reading or smiling, and I even polished off the book in a single day. Once you’re deep into the story, it’s heartwrenching and authentic, and way more than just a romance. The story is empowering, fierce, and strong. And I loved it, wow, I just couldn’t put it down! In the end, it warmed my heart because I loved that it was primarily about a girl finding her inner strength and power. And the love part certainly made it cuter.

Available: June 23


Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

It’s a quick and funny read that you can’t help but get sucked into. There’s plenty of banter right from the first page and that completely sold me. Even though protagonist Luc is supposed to the “bad boy” type, he’s actually so endearing and authentic that you want to root for him. As a romance reader, you’ve gotta love a good fake dating trope where they don’t like each other, because it makes the eventual feelings feel more earned, justified, and authentic. It’s cute, endearing, and very enjoyable! Within just fifty pages, I just wanted to keep reading because even through text they have cheeky banter down pat, and I love it! Oliver is literally the perfect boyfriend, and just wow, it’s so adorable to read about. All in all, the book is absolutely adorable and so freaking cute. It’s big and sweeping into the beyond adorable love story. The two love interests make each other better and you just want to root for them. The language is witty and you become so captivated by the story.

In this male-male romance, Luc is the son of former music icons and therefore famous by association. After getting some bad publicity, he needs an image makeover, stat. And preferably a fake boyfriend who can reel him in and keep in centered. Oliver certainly fits the bill as he’s a lawyer, normal, and friends with one of Luc’s BFFs. Everything about him is perfect boyfriend material, and it turns out he could use a fake date for a big event coming up, so this deal is mutually beneficial. But, as many fans of a good fake date trope can attest, faking dating and turn into something real super quickly once someone catches the feels.

Available: July 7


Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell

First off, I love a good Southern tale and this novel totally delivers. While there is some romance, that’s definitely not the focus and that’s what makes it special. The focus is on the strong sisterly bond because that’s the heart of this story. Each sister has a strong and intriguing point of view yet very different, and equally interesting to read. It’s a quick read that you won’t want to put down with language so descriptive it feels like a movie is playing out in your head.

In this book, sisters Lexi, Callie, and Hannah Breaux grew up in small-town Louisiana, always struggling to make ends meet. The lottery is certainly the fantasy they’ve been dreaming of: Imagine not having to work or worry so much? Hanna could buy her dream house and send her kids to a great school, Callie can follow her career ambitions without worry, and Lexi can get her dream wedding. But then the unexpected happened, they win. And soon, some $20 million richer each, the girls find themselves changing who they are and all because of a little extra cash.

It’s the story of three optimistic girls thrust into a new world that’s never as it seems. The majority of the book though, I feel like I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Everything just felt too perfect and then boom, at the end, and rather abruptly, there’s a gutwrenching twist that blows up everything they thought they needed. I honestly didn’t think it was possible to wrap up the story and hot mess that erupted in just about forty pages but it was, and it was even better than what I could have imagined. It was a lovely HEA because it was earned and authentic, not some sugarcoated fantasy.

Available: August 4


The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

This book starts off on a cliffhanger with a mystery trial and protagonist Alex giving a deposition about her first year of experience at a big law firm in Manhattan. As she recounts her memories, the book flashes back to the beginning of her career at the firm. I was intrigued from the get-go with its relatable language that feels like you are in Alex’s head. It reads very quickly and is really intriguing. It is engaging and juicy, like, I just wanted to know what happened!

In this women’s fiction novel that’s sure to be a hit, high-achieving Alex Vogel accepts a job at a prestigious law firm in NYC as she soon finds herself seduced by the firm’s promise of glory, money, and powerful energy. She finds herself succeeding in the hyper-competitive Mergers & Acquisitions division and neglecting what we originally thought was a settled, happy personal life. Soon, a scandal rocks her corporate world and reveals the dark reality at the firm, she soon understands all the ways women are told to act to succeed and she cannot stand idly by anymore.

The book is less about romance or friendship but more about a woman’s drive to succeed on her own terms yet play by the “boys club” rules of the legal profession to get there. You aren’t rooting for Alex and a partner but rather her succeeding at shattering the glass ceiling for future female attorneys to come. It’s inspiring and empowering to see that as the primary theme of the story.

Available: August 4


No Offense by Meg Cabot

I was so excited to be back on Little Bridge Island, and this time it’s all about books! Much more my speed than animals. So, I was intrigued from the very start, but I’d expect nothing less from Meg Cabot with her resume. It’s a very engaging read and I don’t want to put it down. For one, it’s always very cute to see a couple from a previous book still have their HEA ala Drew and Bree from No Judgments, it’s sweet. And to see the same characters, it keeps you engaged from the beginning since you already know and invested in these supporting characters.

After a broken engagement, children’s librarian Molly accepts a dream job in the Florida Keys. But, once she finds a newborn left in the library’s bathroom, she finds herself at the center of a town-wide mystery and attracted to divorced sheriff John. Soon, they are solving crimes and opening their hearts in this fun, playful romance.

While a relationship between leads John and Molly started off professional at best, their sparks burn so bright and you end up rooting for them to solve crimes together and fall in love. (Side note, I’d love a movie adaptation if just to see Molly teach John that “Single Ladies” dance IRL, hahaha!) Meg Cabot, you’ve done it yet again, bravo, it’s so cute and I’m loving every single page. There’s romance, friendship, small-town gossip, and a big mystery full of intrigue: it has everything! Ahhh, this ending is so squeal-worthy, seriously, it’s so darn cute. I read this in a single day, it’s just adorable and engaging and fun. I liked this way more than No Judgments, don’t get me wrong that was cute and all, but this was more my speed and more than just a romance.

Available: August 11


Live in Love by Lauren Akins with Mark Dagostino

Upon first hearing about this book, I already knew I wanted to read it because I loved looking at her cute little family on social media and her husband’s sweet songs about them, and I was so intrigued by her story and hearing her side of things. As a couple, Lauren and Thomas Rhett seem super sweet and down to Earth, and this memoir completely captures that. It’s a book of advice, memories, and the story of their love, marriage, and family in such an authentic and conversational way. It reads as if she’s speaking her truth in a genuine, casual way.

From this book, she’s way more than just Thomas Rhett’s wife but this is her own story and she’s the star here. The book is so raw, vulnerable, and honest. It’s so sweet to see how their love story and partnership began. Even when Thomas Rhett adds little parts here and there, it doesn’t feel overpowering and like he’s taking over, it feels like they are a team and he is helping her make her dreams come true. In a high-profile industry like music, Lauren and Thomas Rhett prove they are down to Earth folk and it makes me smile that fame and acclaim can’t take away or change real love and what matters the most. While Lauren has made it clear she wants to live a relatively normal life and follow her own dreams to help people, more than just a musician’s wife, through this book, it’s clear she’s succeeded and she’s done just that. I even found myself tearing up at her adoption story, it was so vulnerable and authentic; so raw and honest. While life isn’t perfect, least of all not for celebrities, Lauren and Thomas Rhett have proved that hard work, effort, teamwork, and love can make everything worth the struggles. And it was just a beautiful, lovely story to read.

Available: August 18


The Wrong Mr. Darcy by Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz

This romance was inspired by the iconic Pride and Prejudice, which you can clearly tell (and part of its appeal). At first the sports talk is sort of off-putting to me because sports aren’t really my thing, so it took a bit to get into the story.  But the writing was sharp and reeled me in. It’s very engaging and the characters Darcy and Hara have so much chemistry from the get-go. It’s oh-so-juicy with twists and turns, and I loved it! While it was slow to draw me in, by the end, it is a very cute and adorable romance, which I did enjoy. It’s a romance with plenty of action and drama. And by the end, I just wanted more! Like, give me an epilogue or a sequel, stat!

In this book, journalist Hara Isari has lofty journalistic ambitions that could change her life when she gets the amazing chance to interview one of basketball’s biggest stars. There, she also meets rookie Derek Darcy (yes, Darcy, you read that right) who is handsome, wealthy, and yet, kind. He’s arrogant and she writes him off more than once. But, once he keeps showing up for her, she soon finds her guard dropping and starts to feel something new.

Available: August 25


Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels

OMG y’all, I’ve been dying to talk about this one since I went through the withdrawal of finishing this good book. In this enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn contemporary romance, we meet political rivals Kate Adams and Ben Mackenzie, who sit across the aisle on Capitol Hill but have a heck of a time bantering, debating back and forth; and boy, do the sparks fly. The language is authentic and relatable, so engaging that you just want to keep reading, as this duo has quick-witted, feisty, and playful banter and so many sparks. 

I’m super into this enemies-to-lovers story; it’s very cute and fun with all this banter. I can’t put it down and end up finishing it in a single setting. I already cannot wait to reread again and again, because I definitely need to just to relive this romance book magic. In this book, conservative Senate staffer Ben Mackenzie is the only thing standing in liberal staffer Kate Adams’ way to pass a bill she’s fought so hard for over a year. But after he’s late and arrogant in their first meeting, it’s anything but smooth sailing as the two find themselves in a head-to-head debate and yearning for the upper hand.

It’s so captivating with such descriptive language that you get into Kate’s head. Beneath all the descriptive language and steamy emotions, this book has a tremendous amount of heart and is quite an endearing story. So, while nothing steamy or too romantic happened for the majority of the book, their slow-burn romance has so much passion and heat, I just craved more. Most romances feel predictable through storylines, character types, and tropes, yet Meet You in the Middle doesn’t and instead feels fresh and unique. Seriously, there aren’t many romances like this one, and that’s precisely what makes Meet You in the Middle special: it’s different yet sweeping and I can’t stop thinking about it.

It’s a charming opposites-attract romance set in the head-to-head world of politics and I just don’t want it to end! Then, things their relationship gets all-consuming and passionate, and I’m hooked, obsessed. Seeing Ben fight for her nearly makes me cry and I feel so many emotions, as a good book should. It has such a sweeping ending and it all feels right, earned, justified, and authentic. I don’t know, this book has something about it: I’ve never read a romance quite like this one and that’s perhaps why I liked it so much. This book’s slow-burn was timed exactly perfect and I was hooked from the start. I don’t give out five-star reads often, a book has to be extraordinary and something I can’t get out of my head, and Meet You in the Middle delivers on that ten-fold. I just want to read this like ten more times.

Available: May 4, 2021


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

iHeart fashion at the iHeartRadio Music Awards

It’s Sunday night and the annual iHeartRadio music awards, which means it’s time for my red carpet breakdown! Here we go!

rs_634x1024-150329154207-634.Iggy-Azalea-iheart-Radio.jl.032915 Iggy Azalea: I like the jacket, shoes and pants individually just not together. It’s edgy and cool, but the see-through top and jacket are a little too busy with the printed pants. Also, with such a busy outfit, her hair should have been simpler.

rs_634x1024-150329154616-634.Meaghan-Trainer-iHeart-Radio.jl.032915 Meghan Trainor: I normally love her music and her style (i.e. what she wore to the Kids Choice Awards last night was perfection!), but this looks like a bad Homecoming dress from high school. I think it’s the sparkle jacket that crosses –oddly– in the middle of her tight, black dress. And her hair also evokes a high school dance type of look, not so much for a red carpet affair.

rs_634x1024-150329162033-634.Zendaya-iHeart-Radio.jl.032915 Zendaya: Lately, she’s been a risk taker in the fashion world (both with her clothes and hair), to put it lightly. But, here? It’s, like, a hot mess– though I like her skirt and shoes! Her top looks like a cheap men’s workout tank that she paired with a bandeau, making her look very much like Barney the dinosaur. Not a selling point for a music star or actor like her.She gets points for trying (at every red carpet), but not for execution, sorry Z.

rs_634x1024-150329163504-634.Nick-Jonas-iheart-Radio.jl.032915 Nick Jonas: Okay, so I like the concept of a plaid suit, very rock ‘n’ roll. But, I don’t like the plaid pants with the jacket. It’s too much. However, his stylist does a good job at getting fitted suits for Nick.

rs_634x1024-150329162937-634.Anna-Camp-iheart-radio.jl.032915 Anna Camp from “Pitch Perfect:” I like the concept, the dress, the fit: all of it. However, I’m not sold on the straps. I think something a little more substantial would look better, and support her frame better as well.

rs_634x1024-150329161447-634.Adam-Lambert-iheart.jl.032915 Adam Lambert: Definitely one of the best dressed guys on the carpet. The leather pants, blazer and heeled boots are the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll and perfect for the iHeartRadio music awards.

rs_634x1024-150329162802-634.Ariel-Winter-iheart-radio.jl.032915 Ariel Winter: The “Modern Family” starlet looks great. I love her whole outfit from hair, dress, shoes and clutch. However, I think it might be too mature for such a young (under 18) starlet. But, again her stylist pulls goods outfits for her (i.e. her Kids Choice Awards outfit last night!).

rs_1024x759-150329160853-1024.5-Seconds-of-Summer.jl.032915 And here’s 5SOS because, yea. Love their edgy looks; they look great and make great music.

rs_634x1024-150329164232-634.Taylor-Swift-iheart.jl.032915 And last but not least, probably the night’s most anticipated star: Taylor Swift. Her dress is pretty, though, I’m not sure how I feel about the side cutouts. It’s a little weird. I love her shoes. The one thing I’m not a fan of here: her hair. I’m not sure what the idea behind the sixties-inspired bob, with a bump-it thing and the bangs. It’s not looking good or Taylor-like. With that dress, I wanted to see her trademark “1989” wavy bob. That would have been much better for the carpet.

What are you thoughts on the red carpet looks from tonight?

The American Music Awards happened. It’s time for my Red Carpet Breakdown.

Must-see looks of the night:

1. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.27 PM Miss Kendall Jenner, fashion’s latest  haute couture It Girl of course is in attendance, and her dress… looks messy, sloppy. Not well put together. I mean, she’s a tall, beautiful girl, stop going for the obvious sexpot look your family is known for, be the high fashion model “Kendall,” you wanted to be called.

2.  Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.52 PM Selena Gomez, who will perform (for the first time ever) her latest song about the Biebs. This ages her soooo much. It’s too dark, too long. She’s young, having fun: you don’t need to age yourself this much! And that strict bun does not help that cause.

3. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.37.13 PM PLL star Lucy Hale: not crazy about the dress, a little ill-fitting. But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her hair! The length with the ombre and the styling– perfect!

4. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.52.58 PM I’m loving “Jealous” right now, and here he is, Nick Jonas in the flesh. He looks very dapper, but I’m afraid the silk suit is a little too Academy Awards than AMAs. But, hey, no complaints, obvi, just like any other female fan. (lol.)

5. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.37.25 PM “All About that Bass” singer Meghan Trainor. Love this look, from head to toe. She’s been vocal about not being a size two, and I see a gorge ensemble that I’d want to steal. Perfectly tailored, the bag is jus the perfect amount of “pop.” She looks great. And I’m loving her song, “Dear Future Husband” right now, it’s great.

And of course…

6. Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 8.36.42 PM ONE DIRECTION… sports black-on-black. They look good, well-done, boys. However, Niall looks like the odd man out: the only one dressed very casual when his bandmates are dressed to the nines (Liam! Louis! Zayn!). He looks like he took clothes off the rack from 5SOS’ wardrobe, tbh. And Zayn’s hair: it’s DANNY ZUKO.

Reviewing 1989. (The album, not the year)

 

I know it’s a little late, but I’ll be reviewing T.Swift’s new pop-online album. First off, I wanted to say how I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t like the album, but I really do like it. It’s well-written and very catchy. A+ Miss Swift. Can I just say how yesterday at chapter, our president asked who had this album. I proudly raised my hand: it’s that good.

Tracklist for 1989:

Welcome to New York. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!!! And not to mention, it came out the day I found out I was accepted to go to NYC this summer. I call that fate. It’s so catchy and peppy. It’s making so excited to be in the city this summer. And it’s the official NY tourism song, insane right? Yes, “New York has been waiting for me.” Love this song.

Blank Space. Easily one of my favorite songs off the album. It’s pure perfection and I love it! “It’s gonna be forever or worth the pain. I got a blank space baby and I’ll write your name.” I love it. PERECTION in terms of a song.

Style. So peppy and upbeat, it makes me want to dance! 🙂 Ugh, I’m waiting for a dance to it on DWTS!

Out of the Woods. The iTunes preview doesn’t do this song any justice. It’s great. And is it really about HARRY STYLES??? Can someone confirm? As a journalist, I want to know the truth! (Haha, lol.)

All You Had to do Was Stay. Amazing. Love it. So great. 

I Wish you Would. LOVE LOVE. Great song. So peppy.

Bad Blood. Oh wow, this is so catchy. More importantly, who is Taylor feuding with??

Wildest Dreams. At first, I didn’t like it. But it’s growing on me as a sweet ballad.

How You Get the Girl. I LOVE THIS SONG. Hands down, one of the best off the album. It’s very dance-y and I love it. It’s even my alarm. 

This Love. Not bad, a sweet ballad.Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.49.14 PM

I Know Places. Kinda haunted. (haha, I just realized that pun. Oh wow, that was not intended.) But, really good.

Clean. The one song I’m not crazy about. 

No matter my tastes, I think we can all agree that Taylor did a great job on this album, and as Brad Paisley said, “New York’s gain is Nashville’s loss.”

And speaking of music, One Direction just released a new track off their soon-to-be-released album, called “Ready to Run.” I love it because it’s more than their traditional past songs that are very dance-y. It’s a beautiful ballad, and I really like the mature sound. Great job, One Direction, great job. It’s mature, well-written and catchy. I love it. People are comparing it to Steal My Girl: but I don’t see that. (Partly because I wasn’t a fan of the previous single, but Ready to Run: it’s good.)

LISTEN HERE.

Guess where I was last night???

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That’s right. I saw the one-and-only ED SHEERAN, again. This time live in Charlotte, North Carolina; which happened to be the first time Sheeran had been.

First, we had to drive TWO HOURS from campus to see Ed. But, hello? It’s Ed. Worth it.

The first song was “I’m a Mess,” which I was pleasantly surprised he played! But, I loved it nonetheless.

After the song ended, he spoke in his British accent, “Sing along. And if you don’t know the words, make some up.” How great is that? He’s humble and just wants to put on a good show.

He goes into “Lego House” next, which I didn’t record because I saw him perform two years ago at a meet and greet back home. But, anyway, I haven’t heard him play in this big a venue, definitely louder. It was interesting to compare the venues with his setlist and performance vibe.

Next comes “Don’t,” mixed with “Girls Ain’t Loyal” and “No Diggity.” Loved his energy, per usual.

Next is “Drunk,” where he kept playing though the issues with his loop pedal, the only thing on stage with him and his guitar. This was followed up by “Take it Back,” a more rap song that I still enjoyed.

He discusses the distance travelled for all of us to get here. Two hour drive for me! He goes into “One!!”

He thanks his support act, UK’s own Rudimental, who I had never heard of before. And in between EACH song, he kept having to switch guitars because of how hard he plays it. Talk about dedication. Then he sings “Bloodstream,” followed by “Tenerife Sea,” nonetheless lovely. It was beautiful.

He sang “Runaway” next and included a super surprise cover that I won’t spoil, so just watch it! Hashtag, 90’s throwback!

Then, he told us the story of his girlfriend from high school and how they had a little chicken, who accidentally died under their watch. He added, “In memory of the little chicken,” and played “Little Bird.” Another old hit that I still adored.

He then explained how most people relate to “Afire Love” and told us to “resist the urge to yelp” during the song. Awww. Next, was my personal favorite: “Thinking Out Loud!!” (This was where my phone ran out of storage, ugh!)

He then went into “Give Me Love” and the crowd was silent, and that’s just how I like an Ed concert, where I can hear his talented vocals.

At 9:45, he said, “We’ve come to the end.” Sad face from me. He then played “I See Fire.” I loved it when the crowd was silent, so we could hear how AH-MAZING his vocal range truly is. Also, he had said his goal for the night was to have everyone lose their voice. Laughing out loud. Even though, at an Ed concert, it is pretty much inevitable.

Ed literally set his guitar down, waved to the crowd and exited the stage. But, then he was back a minute later for his three-song encore of “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” “A Team,” and, of course, “Sing.”

  1. “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.” Loved it. And I literally could rap his entire song with him. And he beatboxed a little too. He even ad-libbed “since I went mainstream with A Team.” Ahh. Love it. He then took his usual Insta photo of the crowd. Sad face I wasn’t in the photo, again. But, oh well, because I was there, AGAIN. 🙂
  2. “A Team” was a beautiful ballad as per usual. And everyone lit up their iPhone flashlight apps. He finishes the song and it was so pretty.
  3. Finally, it was time for “Sing.” He’s just so energetic and ended the song with just the crowd singing the ah ohs section.

As everyone was leaving, people were singing “Sing” still, per Ed’s request, of course.

Overall, it was a perfect night and perfect example of what a concert should be.

1D Update

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.36.46 PM

Okay, yes. I’m a One Direction fan. There music is exactly the type I like to listen to.

And guess what, fellow directioners? A new album is coming, November 14 to be exact. And it’s titled “Four.” I have no idea why it’s named that, but I hope it has a symbolic meaning, other than it’s the fourth album, because that’s not clever.

Follow the link below and you can pre-order the album and hear an exclusive track, “Fireproof.” I have no idea where this track came from, certainly not from the 1D we knew from the past three albums. But, it’s good. More mature. Maybe too mature for the 13-year-old fans, but for the college-aged fans like moi, it’s clear we’re the target demo.

http://www.onedirectionmusic.com

Enjoy the audio track below! xx

 

Top of the Charts

Hi all. Sorry it’s been awhile– classes have taken over my schedule. But, I’m back now and this week I’m going to discuss my thoughts on the top music songs, that I’ve heard of.

1. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift

Finally, she’s calling herself pop. Finally. At first, I hated this song. But now, after letting it settle, I like it. Definitely has a good dance vibe.

2.”Bang Bang” by Ariana Grande, Jessie J, & Nicki Minaj

You already know my thoughts on this song.

3. “Break Free” by Ariana Grande feat. Zedd

Love Ariana right now. Love this song.

4. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

Normally, I hate rap. But, in this case, I’ll make an exception.

5. “Maps” by Maroon 5

Definitely good driving music.

6. “Amnesia” by 5SOS

I’v already talked about them. But this song is good. I want to see a Travis Wall contemporary number choreographed to it.

7. “Don’t” by Ed Sheeran

Love this song. And it’s rumored to be about Ellie Goulding cheating on Mr. Sheeran with 1D’s Niall Horan. Hmm…

What songs are you currently listening to?

Theatricality is a must at a Katy Perry concert.

Yes, that’s how I spent my Sunday night: at the Katy Perry Prismatic world tour stop in St. Louis. I thought I’d recap, review, and rehash the fashions and the happenings of the show

At the beginning, there were glow-in-the-dark warriors (her dancers) doing aerials across the stage. Pretty impressive. Then, Katy comes out (bursts through a giant triangle  in the floor) and singing “Roar.” (Which I knew would be the opening song.)

Then she went into “Part of Me” and practically yelled every lyric. Not so endearing.

With the fashion, I was expecting a hell of a lot, knowing what Katy Perry is capable of. Her first outfit is very couture with glow-in-the-dark abilities.

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Very edgy and couture, especially this shot. But, it is indeed a crop top and skirt.

Then, she appeared sitting sidesaddle on a mechanical horse to intro “Dark Horse.” Personally, I think this song would do better with black costumes as opposed to gold sequins and purple (here in a bodysuit). Honestly, I ended up dancing more to Juicy J’s section in the song than Katy’s and he wasn’t there.

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Here’s her Dark Horse apparel. But what is that skunk-pharoah hairdo? Not good.

During the first several songs, including “Legendary Lovers” (which didn’t have a good crowd energy), a father sitting behind me kept yelling for my entire row to sit down. You do realize this is Katy Perry? And it was during her big dance hits! Who would actually sit during that concert?

For the song that “put her on the map,” “I kissed a girl,” Katy appears in a lilac bodysuit. very couture. Like. Although, I did not like the background vocals that yelled the lyrics out. KP lacked energy for her first major hit.

Then, we kept waiting for the standard long dance break and guitar riff for her to change into another ostentatious couture outfit.

Then, it’s Welcome to Kittywood with a cat themed set to sing “Hot N Cold.” She’s wearing a pink sequined leopard inspired bodysuit and her face was completely emotionless during that set. It sounded robotic and creepy, including the normally-upbeat chorus. Do not like.

At this point, KP has yet to address the crowd. Total dislike.

Then she sings “International Smile” and I can’t hear the vocals, there’s way too much bass. I don’t know what she onstage changed into, but it looked very haute couture, to which, she does a runway walk to Madonna’s Vogue. Do you think Katy is gunning for a guest judging spot on ANTM? After all, she treated her concert like an over-the-top fashion show.

Next set is at the very tip of the triangle stage, covered in sunflowers. She adds, “I just had to change into something more SPARKLY.” She sounds a bit, crazy.

She’s sporting rainbow-colored hair; clearly a wig, KP.

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I love the bottom of her flower dress, so couture. I’m not crazy about the over the top sparkly bust.

Clearly, Katy the cartoon character is here tonight.

She sings “By the Grace of God” and for the first time all night, I can actually hear her vocals, which are pretty good. It’s a beautiful ballad and really shows her passion for music and performing.

But that wig! It’s almost making a mockery out of her beautiful song and vocals. What a shame.

Then, the first support act, Ferras pops out to duet “Legends Never Die,” which wasn’t bad. He was weird hair, but I like his song. Pretty vocals, Katy’s voice too.

She brings out a glitter acoustic guitar for “The One That Got Away.” It’s a ballad-remix. It sounds pretty, but so sad. Hmm….

Then, she infuses that with “Thinking of You!” It’s one of her old hits I loved! Thanks for bringing that back, KP! Definitely one of her old best songs.

She goes into “Unconditionally” and the crowd lights up their flashlight apps. I love the song to begin with, but Katy’s dancers made butterflies that flew around, that made it way too adorable for the song.

Towards the end, I was no fan of her costumes. Too crazy and out there. Stick to the couture. Much better.

Her new song, “This is How We Do” sounds totally synthesized and I didn’t like that.

She goes into “Teenage Dream” and “California Girls,” where she changes some lyrics to fit the town. And she sports what is a couture version of a sexy Tinkerbell costume.

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At 10:57, it’s time for the encore. She appears in a pink vinyl dress turned bedazzled nude body suit for “Birthday” where she celebrates a local girl’s bday. How sweet. And she does that at every show! Then, she flys across the audience.

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She ran across the stage and hi-fived members of her band. How down-to-earth. I love it when stars act like regular people.

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Then, she plays “Firework” wearing a firework-inspired ball gown with blue glitter pants underneath, which I want. The song sounds just like vintage Katy, including her old hairstyle of long brown hair with a bang.

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At the end, her triangle stage fold up with her inside, the opposite of how the show started.

All in all, it was very theatrical and over-the-top, but, nonetheless, it was entertaining. I had fun.

My [Must Listen To] Summer Music Playlist, Part 2

As you recall, earlier this summer I had compiled a list of the songs I was obsessing over this summer.

I’m here to amend that list:

1. “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj

To be honest, I started to enjoy this song after seeing the amazing choreography to it on So You Think You Can Dance! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVPQhXm_1cI) And now, I’m obsessed with it.

2. “Chasing the Sun” by Hilary Duff (aka Lizzie McGuire!!)

Lizzie McGuire is back! And this time with a super-sweet Top 40 song that is perfect for summer! Love.

3. “Break Free” by Ariana Grande feat. Zedd

Yes, another Ariana track is on the list, but I can’t help it–she’s just that talented.

4. “Black Widow” by Iggy Azalea & Rita Ora

Okay, I guess I’ll put this on here. Simply because it’s catchy.

5. “Maps” by Maroon 5

Another ‘maybe’ song, but hey, it’s catchy and I’m enjoying it.

6. “Amnesia” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Love this ballad! And I’m waiting for a routine on SYTYCD!

7. “Good Girls,” “18,” “Mrs. All American,” “Social Casualty,” “Voodoo Doll,” “Greenlight” by 5SOS

And lastly, here’s a feminist-inspired country number:

Happy listening! xx