18 Things I Want to See From the Book in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2

Photo courtesy of Netflix/Liam Daniel

If you’ve followed along with Miranda’s Book Nook all lockdown long, you already know that I became a tad ~obsessed~ with Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series before the show even dropped and you could binge-watch the first season on Netflix, and you, like me, may have watched the adaptation in just one day.

Now, with the news that the Shondaland series will return for a second season on Netflix and will be focused on Anthony’s journey to find love, as inspired by The Viscount Who Loved Me, I instantly was stoked. Join me as I recap the best buzzworthy moments (if you know you know, but if not that was a very clever pun you’ll get in just a few moments) from Quinn’s second book, in chronological order, that just *need* to be seen onscreen in the second series.

**Note, this post does have spoilers from The Viscount Who Loved Me.**

1. A Happy Family

The prologue has a lovely backstory of Anthony’s childhood and his relationships with his parents and siblings. Much like the first season of the show, I do hope we get to see this backstory in a flashback scene. I want to see Anthony and his family playing at the country estate, his heart-to-heart with his father, and processing his grief individually.


2. The Most Reprehensible Rake with a Capital R

While TV viewers may think Simon was the rakiest rake there ever was, that honor is actually all Lord Bridgerton’s himself, right from page one. All I want to hear the incomparable Julie Andrews recite that monologue from Lady Whistledown’s first article, all about how Anthony is a Rake with a capital R aka the most dangerous kind of rake. Also, side note, I’m positive that “The Most Reprehensible Rake” should definitely be the title of the first episode of the season and you cannot convince me otherwise.


3. Newton In All His Glory

I hope, hope, hope the casting team does its due diligence to find the cutest and rowdiest corgi pup to portray Kate’s rambunctious doggo. Also, I just want to say that Jonathan Bailey cuddled up with said pooch will steal every scene and Every. Single. Take.


4. A Moody Teen Gregory

By this point, the youngest Bridgerton brother is a mere 13 years old and a full-on prankster. As Colin reveals to Kate at the first ball, the G sibling often puts frogs on people’s chairs, which is how you can separate him from big bro Anthony. This would be a fun, short moment of levity on the show, and I’d be all for it.


5. A Banter-Laden Enemies-to-Lovers Journey

First off, y’all know I have a weakness for a good E2L romance with delicious banter, and honestly, no Bridgerton couple delivers that better than Anthony and the quick-witted Kate Sheffield. From their first dance even, you see that tenfold and, boy, I cannot wait to see Bailey’s pure chemistry with whoever is cast as Kate. Then, based on Anthony’s dreams of her kissable lips and her body to their first kiss and beyond, wooo, are we in for some even steamier scenes this season!


6. Kate’s UnderTheDesk Antics

During his mama’s ball, which featured Italian opera singer Maria who’s definitely meant to be represented by Siena in the show, Anthony sneaks the songstress away to his study for an intimate moment. However, little does he know, Kate needed a breather from the social scene and was hiding out there. The best moment is where Kate, hiding underneath his desk, bites Anthony’s ankle like a dog to avoid getting caught. Lolololol aren’t y’all gonna be shocked to see it but, sweeties, I’m so ready for that scene.


7. Lady W Laying Down the Law About Men

This is one of Whistledown’s funniest and most relatable lines from her news sheet, and I need Julie Andrews to read it out in full with her signature flair. The line is as follows, “Men are contrary creatures. Their heads and their hearts are never in agreement. And as women know all too well, their actions are usually governed by something else altogether.”


8. The Rules of Pall Mall

Ok, I’ve been waiting to see a game of Pall Mall on the show ever since I read the first game scene and saw their family dynamics on screen! It could take the place of a scene much like the one last season where the family was all in the park prepromenading. I want to see Kate steal Anthony’s black Mallet of Death ball and leave him with the pink one to his chagrin. Oh, they better not cut this game from the show.


9. A Lovely Bond with Penelope

During the Bridgerton country estate party, we see Kate’s blossoming friendship with Penelope Featherington. I, for one, cannot wait to see this beautiful relationship grow onscreen between Nicola Coughlan and whoever’s cast as Kate.


10. Anthony the Hero

Also during the country party, we see Anthony come to Pen’s rescue when the wicked Cressida Cowper bullies her. Kate witnesses this, which of course makes her swoon even harder, but I love seeing this softer side of the viscount and how he’s just such a good friend.


11. Kate’s Vulnerability and Anthony Just Being There

Once again during the country event, we see Kate’s traumatic sleepwalking during a thunderstorm. That’s not the moment I want to see in particular, but rather its aftermath. I want to see her curled up in a ball in the library as Anthony finds her and comforts her, displaying yet another softness to him. That’s the Lord Bridgerton I was a fan of while reading and who I want to see Jonathan Bailey portray on the show.


12. *That* Bee Sting

You had to know this one was coming, right? It should be quite obvious, but that doesn’t make this scene any less iconic. After Kate and Anthony went for a walk around the garden, we see she gets stung by a bee, which in turn traumatizes the viscount because of his father’s death. So, his only logic is to pull down her bodice, still in the garden mind you, and suck the bee venom out. And of course, his mama Violet, her stepmother Mary, and Lady Featherington all spot what’s going down and insist on a proposal because lord knows Miss Portia Featherington cannot keep anything to herself.


13. The Bridgerton Heirloom Ring

Once engaged, Anthony presents Kate with a simplistic ancestral diamond ring. The fashionista in me just cannot wait to see what the wardrobe team will dream up to bring this facet of her costume to life!


14. The Talk

While Daff was very underinformed about the birds and the bees going into her wedding, Mary wanted to make sure Kate wasn’t before her own big day. I really want to see how the show writers will script out this potentially awkward talk, but also sculpt it towards the female gaze by focusing on female pleasure specifically.


15. Falling in Love

After their wedding, Anthony and his new viscountess have such a swoon-worthy yet steamy romance ahead that viewers will surely go nuts for. I mean, when Anthony tells her on page 261 that he’ll give her “anything in my power” that she asks for, just like GAH. And her response is “just love me,” repeated several times. I cannot help but melt and need those words written into the script.


16. The First L Word

Once Anthony realizes he’s crazy in love with his wife, he rushes off on horseback to find her and tell her. I cannot wait to see Jonathan Bailey on horseback, but also that terror on the face once he sees the carriage accident and that worry he might not get to tell her how he’s feeling. Her leg’s broken and bloody, and immediately he says those three words with such urgency that never fails to give me goosebumps. I cannot wait to see Bailey play that.


17. A Happily Ever After

In the book epilogue, we see Anthony surpass his 39th birthday and the year he thought he’d die per superstition. This party, with their kids and his siblings, would surely make the perfect ending scene for the season.


18. The Biggest F**king Lady W Clue Yet

Ok, this final page of the epilogue was how I knew exactly who Lady Whistedown was because Kate tells her husband that it seems odd that the popular writer extensively writes of his brother Colin an awful lot. Like a ton. Hello, clue alert! So, that would be a fun nod to the book and an easy way to wrap up the season to mirror the first season’s final season as well.

The 20 Best Books I’ve Read in 2020

This crazy, insane, bizarre year is finally almost over. And as you well know by now, I’ve coped with that time and everything I was dealing with by reading more and more books. Between purchasing books I was looking forward to or reviewing new ARCs (courtesy of NetGalley), I read so many new books that I can barely fit them on my bookshelves and much less count how many of them I completed during lockdown. While it’d be way too long of a post to recap each new book I read, I narrowed it down to the top 20 (get it, 20 in 20??). So, keep reading for the best books I’ve read in this freaking insane year, and hopefully, at least one of them gives you TBR inspiration when you need it.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Ever since I read this ARC and then purchased a print edition after its pub day, I’ve been hooked. It may be my penchant, err fine, obsession for all things Bachelor Nation and reality TV, but this book was so intriguing about the behind the scenes of such a production. It also stars a plus-size, body-positive lead, which is such a new change for adult fiction, and a long time coming one at that. This book was so refreshing, endearing, honest, authentic, sweeping, and fun. Hey, it was even a five-star read from me! I just couldn’t put it down and absolutely adored it. 

The book followed plus-size fashion blogger Bea Schumacher, who becomes the new show lead of the hit Main Squeeze reality show after her tweets and blog post about the show’s lack of diversity goes viral. And after a major breakup that left her reeling, this is the perfect chance to get over that and up her brand all at once. While she claims she’s only here to promote better beauty messages and not to fall in love, things get complicated when she meets some dashing, charming suitors who may help her find the real-life HEA she didn’t know she was missing. This book is funny and witty; equal parts empowering, glamorous, and indulgent. It’s very juicy, and was I just so intrigued and hooked.

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Beach Read by Emily Henry

Everyone was talking about this book this summer, and for good reason, because it’s so darn cute and impactful that I just devoured it in mere days. Here, romance writer January Andrews and acclaimed literary fiction author Augustus Everett are living in neighboring beach houses for the summer, both broke and suffering from writer’s block. One evening, the two opposites place a bet that they can each write something different: Augustus will pen a story with a happily ever after, while January must take a stab at the next Great American Novel. The plan is for each of them to finish their book and for no one to fall in love. She takes him on inspirational field trips worthy of a rom-com, and he takes her to investigate some backwoods death cult. While embarking on these field trips and sending inspirational ‘beat that writer’s block’ notes from their respective windows, it’s obvious that the only place they want to be is with one another.

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You Have a Match by Emma Lord

This was another five-star read that I just couldn’t get enough of, and just made me positively sob. It’s set at a summer camp, and I adored all of the different activities and friendships (Savvy, Mickey, Finn, and Leo know there’s nothing like camp besties, and now I just wanna call my BW sisters!) because it reminded me of my best days as a BW girl and how those days at camp with my fellow camp sisters were some of my all-time favorite memories. Overall, I’m not quite sure how to put this book into words. It’s more than a teen romance, more than a summer camp adventure, more than a familial drama, more than a story of friendship and sisterhood, more than a comedy, and more than a deep, emotional novel. It’s a book in a class all its own and had me captivated until I read that very last word on the final page.

Seriously, I can’t imagine not having read You Have a Match, and in a way, it’s made me feel closer to my late grandfather, who’s my own version of the character Poppy. And after every single page, it’s clear this book rightfully deserves this five-star rating and a coveted place on my must-buy TBR list once it’s published. Here, we follow 16-year-old Abby, who in a bet with best friend Connie, takes a DNA test to find out her ancestries along with their other best pal, Leo. So, the DNA test revealed that Abby has a secret full sister, Savannah, who’s an 18-year-old Instagram star. The two are polar opposites to their cores but want to get to know each other. To figure things out and get to know each other, Savvy invites her new sister to attend the camp where she’ll be a junior counselor. Then, there’s also a precious slow-burn romance between Abby and her best friend and neighbor, Leo. This book is just so much fun and I actually cannot put it down, staying up way too late in two nights just to finish it. Then, we get so much juicy drama and a big family secret that overshadows romance for a bit, and things escalate that make me actually want to ship Abby and Leo at screaming and squealing levels, because that definitely happened. Things get super heartwrenching, and gut-punching emotional that I’m legitimately in tears when it’s revealed all their grandfather did for the girls.

Read the Book starting January 12


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

So, in all honesty, I had seen this contemporary romance on bookstore shelves for a while now but had no real pull to pick it up. Then, I saw something on Instagram about the movie starring Lucy Hale, who side note is the perfect casting for main character Lucy. Seeing that inspired me to check out the summary for this enemies-to-lovers romance, which had me hooked. I pretty much immediately Amazon’d a copy to my front door. And boy, am I glad because I couldn’t put this fun, engaging read down. Here, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are rival executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. When news of a promotion is on the table, their hating game ramps up a notch as their daily battles hit a fever pitch. However, all this tension between the two has reached its fever pitch too and they discover maybe they don’t hate each other after all. It’s such a fun E2L romance read that I cannot wait to see play out on the big screen.

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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

After devouring the Netflix adaptation, I knew I had to check out the book. And guess what, it definitely lives up to the holiday and bookish goodness of the TV series. This is definitely the best of all three of the books in the D&L series, but they are all great with such a fun, dreamy meet-cute premise and gah, it’s beyond adorable. Here, when Lily is all alone for the holiday, her brother helps to create a scavenger puzzle in a red Moleskine, to be left at The Strand. Which, side note, this is like all I want in my serious lack of a love life, just saying. So, a surly teen Dash finds the book and accepts its dares. Soon, they start trading dares, hopes, dreams, and desires all over New York City, oh and feelings too. It’s beyond cute, every bit as adorable as the show, and gives me all the fun butterflies while reading.

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Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

This was an unexpected five-star read that I still can’t stop thinking about because I just want to read it again. It’s like Crazy Rich Asians meets American Royals, and since I loved both books, this was obviously a must. And every part of this lives up to that hype. It’s a coming-home story and one of pursuing her dreams. Once aspiring actress Gemma meets her doppelganger cousin when she arrives in China to film her first movie, she discovers a long-held family secret. The book is full of drama, secrets, dreams coming true, and it’s so captivating and engaging. It’s more than just a YA story, it is so rich and wow, I loved it. Every single page, chapter, and character. 

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

From the first moment I heard Shonda Rhimes was producing a TV series based on this juicy AF book series, I knew it was something I needed. But naturally, I had to read the books first. So, I started with this first one and was so hooked that I had to quickly order Anthony’s and Colin’s sequels soon after. If this Netflix is every bit as witty, indulgent, fun, and romantic as this book then it’s sure to be a winner. Here, we start with Simon and Daphne’s story. Daff is hoping to secure a suitable prospect by the end of this Season, someone who isn’t as horrendous as Nigel Berbrooke. Meanwhile, Simon, the Duke of Hastings, wants to avoid all the marriage-minded society mothers parading their daughters around him. So, they hatch a scheme to enter a fake courtship to boost her profile slash eligibility, and lower his. But, of course, fake dating only opens the door to real feelings. This quick read got me more into the historical genre and this series, and it’s just so fun, grandiose, salacious, and romantic.

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Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels

I’ve actually read my digital ARC some four times in completion already, and then just its sweeping HEA an additional 2-3 times when I want to feel that level of comfort all over again. This romance novel is just that cute yet grounded. A slow-burn can be hard to feel connected to, but Kate and Ben’s quick-witted, feisty, and playful banter makes it delicious. That, and you can’t keep me from a good enemies-to-lovers book starring these two congressional aides from opposite sides of the aisle and the office building; that makes the inevitable romance so much more earned and justified by the time the HEA does happen. I just can’t wait to order a physical copy, so I can read this story an additional ten more times.

Read the Book starting February 2

 


Pretending by Holly Bourne

From page one, narrator April is snarky, relatable, witty, and I just love this tone and language. It’s so relatable and fun that I just want to keep reading because April feels so honest and real. She’s vulnerable and genuine, making a stellar protagonist and I’m so invested in her journey and story. Now, April, at the beginning, hasn’t exactly had the best luck with dating, and she’d fed up with that. So, she’s after revenge on any guy that’s hurt any girl and made them worthless. She sets out to make a new dating profile and date (or catfish) men as Gretel, the girl in her head that she thinks men want and is the complete opposite of the real her. This way she can break their hearts like they so often do to her. She matches with Joshua, and their first date is super cute, except that she’s pretending to be someone else. But, this experiment is helping the real her because April is becoming more confident and not overanalyzing every little detail, but of course, she starts to see they are quite compatible even though she’s admitted that he’s not good-looking, not bad-looking, and not a good kisser.

All in all, this book is witty and captivating, and I can’t put it down; I have to keep reading.  I loved this read because I get it, everything April feels, and it’s real, authentic yet still frothy, light, and fun that keeps you turning the pages. So many women’s fiction nowadays revolve around a man or romance, and getting a man to fall in love with a girl, her needing or wanting love. And it’s refreshing to see that this book isn’t that because love and relationships are real, raw, and messy, just like life really is. 

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Shine by Jessica Jung

I’d heard a lot about this next read before I even picked it up off the YA shelf. Sure, the summary was intriguing: All about a teenaged K-pop trainee eager to live her dream and make it into a band. Oh, and the shiny love story with a fellow K-pop star didn’t hurt. But, in all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect when I’d actually start reading it, and OMG, this YA debut novel delivers! It was absolutely precious and a book I just couldn’t put down.

Here, seventeen-year-old Korean-American Rachel Kim loves K-pop and would do just about anything to be chosen for a group and live her dreams. Six years ago, she’s recruited by Korean label DB Entertainment as a trainee where the rules are clear. Train and practice all the time. Be perfect. Don’t date. At first, the rules seem like no-brainers, but soon enough, Rachel realizes all the dark scandals of the controlling industry and the pressure to constantly be perfect, and she questions everything and if she has what it takes to shine and be the star. Plus, once she captures the attention of DB golden boy, K-pop superstar, Jason Lee, the rules get increasingly difficult to mindlessly follow. He’s the label’s big star, has the voice of an angel that blends in perfect harmony with hers, is flirty and charming, and only seems to have eyes for her. This book pulls the veil back on the glamorous, picture-perfect world of K-pop and K-pop girl groups, which is so interesting to get this behind-the-scenes viewpoint, plus an empowering protagonist, amazing sets, and a sweet-as-doughnuts teen romance.

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Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

The second I first learned that Kevin Kwan was coming out with his first new book since the worldwide phenomenon that is the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, I was stoked. Here, we get a brand-new tale of a young woman torn between two men: her influential WASPy fiancé and George Zao, the man her family’s tried to keep away from her since she was a teenager. This book was so indulging and deliciously decadent that I just couldn’t put it down and had to devour it in a single setting.

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Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sittenfeld’s newest novel reimagines Hillary Clinton’s life and political career stemming from one question, “What if she hadn’t married Bill Clinton?” The fact that this compelling novel was based upon one of my feminist heroes and was authored by one of my favorite authors, I was initially drawn to this book. Then once I started it, I just couldn’t put it down! The beginning feels a bit like Hillary Clinton’s biography, but that just proves how well researched it was on Sittenfeld’s part. Then, you get into her fictionalized portrayal of relationships, career What Ifs, and more.

It’s so cute, interesting, feisty, and fierce at the same time, I honestly couldn’t stop reading. Sittenfeld’s portrayal of Hillary is everything a young Miranda wanted to be and to see that woman can be strong and powerful without the help of a man was inspiring. This book is like the empowering twist of history we’ve needed and yearned for since 2016, and I’m so glad to have read it.

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Act Like a Lady by the Ladygang

The hosts and besties behind the “LadyGang” podcast wrote this advice-filled, self-help, and humorous guidebook about what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century. It’s a fun yet relatable book of essays that’ll inspire just about any girl to rise up and be a powerful force to be reckoned with. From taking on lessons with dating, friendship, career, self-confidence, and more, it’s all the message we all need to hear more. It’s empowering as heck and something most women should have in their arsenal to remember. These pearls of wisdom make a perfect coffee table book for any millennial apartment. 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. 

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Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

A close runner-up is her cowritten Yes No Maybe So novel, but this ARC just bewitched my soul as a reader. The summary sounded so intriguing and fun on its own when I first saw it. Also,  as a former theater kid and current theater nerd slash fangirl, this plot seemed right up my alley.

Here, best friends Kate and Anderson do literally everything together, even share communal crushes that don’t go anywhere. But when they both have huge, deep crushes on their theatre camp friend Matt, who just so happens to be new in school, everything goes crazy. This quick, one-sitting read is so easy to get sucked into from seeing Kate’s confidence grow, watching things with her brother’s best friend Noah blossom, and seeing her relationship with Anderson evolve as they all get older. It’s so much fun, and so cute for a YA novel, and like, eep, I definitely, actually, audibly squealed at one part. Bravo, Ms. Albertalli, you’ve done it again.

Read the Book starting April 20


Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been reading other books by Miranda Kenneally for years, so drawn to the strong characterizations, friendships, and of course HEA and love stories. And her latest YA novel has not disappointed me. It’s teeming with dramatics, yet feels grounded and relatable, and I love it no matter how many times I restart it.

It’s so juicy yet grounded, I absolutely love it. From the very beginning, I just want to know all the gossip and I couldn’t stop reading; I needed to find out what happened next. The book takes place across Lulu’s four years of high school, based around the class trips at the end of the year, which somehow always brought her and Alex closer and closer. Of course, not all was revealed during the present timeline, the book seamlessly wove in flashbacks to fill in the missing gaps of Alex and Lu’s love story. It’s absolutely adorable and so easy to get sucked into.

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The Fangirl’s Guide to the Universe by Sam Maggs

This handbook for geek girls is so much fun!! It’s a fun, uplifting guidebook is for all the unapologetic fangirls out there, no matter what you stan. This book is for the fangirls and guys that are living their best stan lives passionately and free.

Author Sam Maggs writes from her own fangirl experience, which makes the book all the more realistic. With her first-person essays and lists, the book is chock full of empowering and informative language, plus fun, cute illustrations and graphics. It’s all about finding your geek tribe and then embracing this weird, wonderful geek life. Then, Maggs also interviews some of the top geek girls who use fandom in their careers, which is so cool to see their takes on the fandom world. All in all, it’s all about embracing your inner fangirl loud and proud, which I love to see it. Fangirls unite, it’s time to suit up and change the universe!

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Together, Apart by Erin A. Craig

This was everything I’ve needed to stay sane and happy during lockdown. Nine acclaimed, witty, and popular YA authors did what they do best and wrote short stories starring diverse and complex teens facing the pandemic, lockdown, and adorable first love stories. Each story was equally compelling and told a complete story with an interesting protagonist who learns that love always finds its way. The characters and storylines are all relatable, endearing, and engaging which makes the story so much fun, authentic, and beyond precious.

There’s one about a cute pizza delivery boy who gives the new girl in town a free book and cake; one where a girl is desperate to impress her crush on TikTok; two dog walkers getting closer; a new boy in town who can’t stop thinking about the girl next door; an enemies-to-lovers sitch from across apartment balconies; an unexpected romance that stems from a fortune reading and a take-out order; a flirty exchange that begins over two balcony herb gardens, a roommate enemies-to-lovers journey; and a mask-making entrepreneur and her famous crush. There’s something for every romance fan, and it’s just absolutely adorable and heart-melting. They are all so freaking cute in their own way between the love stories and the HEAs. It was something to make me smile during such a freaking hard time.

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Dearly by Margaret Atwood

In this brand-new book of poetry from acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, there’s an assortment of compelling and impactful poems, each that tells a story full of compelling language. These poems aim to make you think, feel, dream, desire, yearn — basically all of the feels.

Each poem effortlessly flows from one to the next and the book is impeccably organized, where I can see how poems and stories are related to each other with its seamless, well-positioned transitions. The tones and points of view are very realistic to the modern world, and while most are less doe-eyed optimistic, it skews on the darker side. There’s definitely a motif of sisterhood and women sticking together in their fight for survival, forgiveness, love, and strength. The poems have such rich language and captivating word choice that tells complex stories that capture the readers due to strong symbols and metaphors.

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The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel

Seriously, re-reading this gave me all of the zings and goosebumps, even more than the first time. Like, every time I read this, and Jay and Liya realize their feelings, I swear, I can feel my heart beating so loud. This romance read is sweeping, romantic, and adorable. It’s hard to resist.

This novel lives up to that and is 100 percent adorable and totally squeal-worthy. I love how independent our protagonist Liya is and how cute Jay is as he’s head over heels in love with her, even when she tried to push him away. Their love story feels so real, authentic, and earned as these two people break past their boundaries to eventually find love and acceptance. The book starts where headstrong engineer Liya walks out the door of a dinner party set up with an eligible bachelor whom her folks are trying to marry her off to. It’s a shock to both of them when Liya keeps spotting her one-time suitor around town, and it’s Jay. Jay has everything right on paper, but after Liya’s behavior during that first meeting, he’s embarrassed and infuriated to see her. Although, that tension is too much to resist in this second chance love story.

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The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

I was intrigued from the get-go while reading thanks to its relatable language that feels like you are in the main character’s head. It reads very quickly and is really intriguing. In this women’s fiction novel, 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.

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My Definitive Ranking of Every Song From ‘Julie and the Phantoms’

In case you’ve been living under a rock this autumn, Kenny Ortega (the visionary director behind High School Musical and Descendants) has returned with his latest project. It’s a nine-episode Netflix Family series about a girl, Julie, who plays a CD of the tunes from ’90s boy band Sunset Curve (who sounds eerily similar to 5SOS, just saying) when the band — now [cute] ghosts — appear to her. So, naturally, they form a band together because they are all musically inclined. This show is one of my new favorite Netflix obsessions even though I’m way older its suggested demographics. But, oh well, it’s just that good. Part of the reason, I’m loving JATP is due to its bop-worthy soundtrack because all 15 tracks are massive hits, I promise you.

So, for all my fellow JATP-loving fans and unapologetic Sunset Curve stans, here’s my official, definitive ranking of the entire soundtrack.

15. “All Eyes on Me”

Sure, this track has a catchy beat that makes me want to dance like the girls of Dirty Candy, and Alex too, but that’s about it. Now, when the pandemic is over, who wants to join me and choreograph our own dance to this track and become our own version of Dirty Candy?


14. “I Got the Music”

Yes, these young ladies are absolutely, incredibly talented, but this just isn’t my type of music. It’s the hip hop-py vibe and yelling thing that I just can’t get into. But, it’s very upbeat and has me wishing I could be in a flash mob every day of my life.


13. “Wow”

Seriously, Carrie is poised to be a miniature pop star already. Girl has the drive, determination, and precision to be the leader of a girl group. Flawless, that’s right.


12. “You’ve Got Nothing to Lose”

What do you get when you put Broadway veteran Cheyenne Jackson in a musical TV show? A fabulous musical number, obviously. This track has a big-band feel that makes me want to get up and dance. Also, Dancing With the Stars producers are seriously lacking if they don’t give one of their couples a quickstep or something to this number. I need to see it.


11. “Wake Up”

Madison Reyes was born to sing and be a star, that’s for sure, and this track proves that tenfold. This is only No. 11 because it’s less catchy than some other tunes, and I’m less likely to have this stuck in my head, singing and dancing along at every aspect. It’s still incredible, because of her voice, just wow.


10. “Edge of Great”

Here’s pure proof that this band was meant to play together. Like, their chemistry as a group is just electric and gives me chills every time. Also, I just want to stand on all my furniture and belt out their tunes. Seriously, if there’s a concert, I’ll be first in line to buy tickets next to all the teenybopper fans.


9. “Flying Solo”

This ode to best friends is beyond precious, but also makes me wanna sing and dance along throughout my entire apartment. Next time you want to tell your besties how much you appreciate them for always supporting you, just send them this link and that alone will say a lot.


8. “The Other Side of Hollywood”

But this Cheyenne Jackson number is pure Broadway and I love this track for that exact reason. It has a 1920s-inspired groovy beat, and it’s everything us theater nerds love. It’s flashy, has killer vocals, and perfect dance breaks. Yes, please!


7. “Perfect Harmony”

This ballad is absolutely pure and romantic from the very first moment that Luke appears through the mirror to dance with Julie, and gah, I’m a puddle. It’s so freaking cute, my heart has melted for these two and this beautiful duet.


6.”This Band is Back (Reggie’s Jam)”

This feels like a backyard jam sesh and is just plain, good fun! It starts with my favorite line, “Come on, Reginald” which, of course, I say every time I listen to. It’s just such a fun, cute line because Reggie is so lovable and underrated as a character. This track is just for fun, I dig it.


5. “Now or Never”

The opening number of the entire show gives off so much 5 Seconds of Summer vibes, and as a 5SOS stan, I’m on board. It has that rocking boy band music type that makes me want to stan Sunset Curve as a massive fangirl (oops, too late). Now, excuse me as I go blast this track and dance around my apartment while I do my chores.


4. “Bright”

For the first time the band played together in front of a crowd, I have chills. Their chemistry together is electric, pure poetry, and I’m obsessed; just call me a Fantom already!! This band was just meant to play together, and then, uhh, Luke, his voice is like an angel.


3. “Finally Free”

I think the section where Luke and Julie share a mic, look deep into each other’s eyes, and repeat “I got a spark in me” is why I love this so much. They ooze chemistry and it just makes me melt, like gah, it’s so perfect. Other than that, it’s an upbeat track that makes me want to sing along and dance around. I love it. Also, I saw a TikTok theorizing that Kenny Ortega included this song as the follow-up to HSM‘s “Breaking Free,” which, ahhhh, that would be amazing.


2. “Stand Tall”

This song is now my go-to confidence-building, empowering track to power pose to before I have to do anything important. Seriously, hit play and then power pose for the duration of the track, it works every time. When the song ends, you’ll feel so freaking empowered and fierce, ready to conquer the world. Which, like, yes, we need more of that especially as women in today’s world. Plus, each of the guys’ solos make my heart race, and then Luke’s grand entrance, after nearly giving me a heart attack, was everything to see him get there and it made me smile.


1. “Unsaid Emily”

Here’s the big one. The all-time best. The one that makes me cry literally every single time I hear it. And if Spotify is on shuffle and this comes on, then I’m a goner. It’s so vulnerable and raw, but so beautiful and authentic that I’ll always stan Charlie Gillespie and his character of Luke because look at his range! Look at what this boy can do! Now, considering the emotional impact of “Unsaid Emily” and Luke’s backstory, I’m gonna need all the tissues when Season 2 (please, please, please renew this, Netflix!) gives us songs and moments about both Reggie’s and Alex’s backstories.

19 of My Favorite Book Boyfriends That Ruin the Mere Idea of Dating

I think this title pretty much says it all. As you may have gathered by now, as frequent visitors to Miranda’s Book Nook, I’m a big fan of romance books. Because, especially in today’s uncertain and disheartened world, these books and the sweeping HEAs never fail to put a smile on my face and make me feel happier.

But, these love interests are fictional. Like seriously, where on Earth are these soulmate types IRL? I mean, where’s a Peeta Mellark, Bo Lawson, or even a Drew Nichols in reality, and how’s a girl supposed to find him amongst the billions of people roaming around? Since these dream dates aren’t sniffing around in the real world, I guess I’ll settle to read about these picture-perfect matches where heartbreak isn’t a major concern. (Seriously, why don’t I see these types of devoted book BFs pop up on Hinge, huh?)

This is not a ranking per se, but rather a comprehensive list of all my favorite (recent and all-time) fictional boyfriends across my favorite romance, YA, and women’s fiction novels. These guys just take such an interest in the girl they are crushing on, truly caring about her wellbeing and happiness for who she is — baggage be damned. And in the end, we get a picture-perfect love story that, sure, doesn’t exist IRL, but they feel just right and genuine, which is everything that us single girls could ever dream of for a match.

Seriously, all my fellow single ladies, prepare to swoon.

Writer’s Note: This may be an embarrassing post, but you know what? F*ck it. After reading an ARC of Smash It! (review post coming soon), I want to be more fearless in my own life and less afraid to do anything and so, here we go. I wanted to write this because I thought it would be fun and good for a laugh. So, here it is. Whether you like it or not, this post for me and I enjoyed writing and compiling every entry. Bam. Enjoy.

Jas Singh, Girl Gone Viral

Come on, like, I was already crushing on him *before* he even professed his feelings for his boss Katrina. There was a definite vibe between the two and sparks and chemistry aplenty. Within 37 pages of the book, I was already hardcore shipping Jas and Kat together, before they even professed their feelings to each other! But, they’ve been pining over each other for years (and his abs certainly didn’t hurt). Kat wanted the zings when it came to love, and with Jas, she got them, from their deep chats, innocent flirt sessions, and other *ahem* steamy moments.

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Connor Markham, American Royals

One of my favorite parts about this book was Princess Beatrice (aka Bea)’s storyline, which heavily involved our next Book BF. While Beatrice needed a blue-blooded man to sit beside her on the throne one day, she can’t help but ignore her feelings for former friend slash crush Connor, who also happens to be her personal bodyguard. Meaning, he always just wants to see her happy and safe. I mean, come on! Like, when he proposed to Bea (not the queen-to-be, but the girl he crushed on back at school) with just a Sharpie drawing because he couldn’t afford a giant rock? I wept. Money can’t buy you love and he proves that tenfold.

While they had to keep their relationship trysts on the DL because he’s her bodyguard, what they did share was romantic and cute as hell. I just can’t wait for the sequel Majesty to drop this fall just to get more Bea+Connor swoon-worthy content.

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Ben Mackenzie, Meet You In the Middle

Geez, where do I find a Ben Mackenzie that treats me like his own Kate IRL? Like, gah perfection. I mean, I may act like an ice queen to protect myself from getting hurt, but even I know that, damn, deep down I’m such a romantic Pisces girl, who’s just wanting and yearning for true love to be real and just so full of hope that someone can think you, quirks and all, is perfect.

I’ve since read my ARC of this book at least three times and swoon over him every time. Sure, like Kate, Ben and I fall on opposite political ends, but he proves how compatible the two are in so many other ways regardless and how much he’s willing to support her no matter what. Plus, he’s more excited for her own victories than his own, which is just so precious. Sure, they have physical chemistry and all that jazz, but they also have banter and wit, and that in itself is like dream guy material.

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Jay Shah, The Trouble With Hating You

Jay is absolutely head over heels with Liya, truly accepting and supporting her for who she is. By the time they admit their feelings for one another, the romance feels justified and earned. Even when Liya tries to push him away, he still sticks by her because he cares so deeply about her. Hell, he’ll even move away from his family if it means they’ll be together. Gah, it’s authentic yet sweeping, and is a Jay too much to ask for IRL??

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Alex Rouvalis, Four Days of You and Me

It’s the classic ‘popular boy is a jerk to a girl, but that’s only because he likes her’ trope, but as we get to know Alex better, we see he’s more than just a pretty-boy jock. Regardless of where he and Lulu stand personally, he always does what it takes to make her happy, from planting a garden, skipping school trips, risking injury, even if he gets in trouble, because his consuming love for her is worth it. They just have such a strong connection that can’t be broken.

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Derek Darcy, The Wrong Mr. Darcy

Derek may seem like the stereotypical rich professional athlete, but actually, he has so much heart in this novel. Just look at the storm scene, and everything he risks to help Hara and her new friend get to safety when things looked fatal and really bad. Then, he was willing to confront the basketball team owner over his misdeeds to help protect Hara and her family. He’s such a stand-up guy with the best heart around. I mean, I guess he is a Darcy after all.

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Nicholas Rose, You Deserve Each Other

While, at first, we as readers are poised to dislike Naomi’s Prince Charming-esque fiancé Nick, once their battle of wits heats up and their walls tumble back down, they re-warm to each other as accomplices, BFFs, and lovers to become even stronger. Soon, we discover the lengths he’s gone to save them, the real them; not the society couple they are supposed to be. From the cabin, the little notes, and teaming up against his controlling mother, it’s so clear they are meant to be. And that’s why he makes this list because his authentic self loves hers. They have to fight for their love and he doesn’t ever give up, because he knows the real Naomi is his person. To have someone fight for you when you’ve all but given up hope? Gah.


Ryan Nicholson, Head Over Heels

First, Avery’s childhood crush offers her a job and friendship once she moves back home following a traumatic breakup. So, they start to work together as gymnastic coaches. And I’m not kidding because, 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. Soon enough, the sparks start flying. It’s never that easy when a massive scandal rocks the gymnastics world and could threaten to pull them apart. But, of course, he believes her and supports her.

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Prince Nicholas, The Royal We

He’s definitely a favorite book boyfriend, first off, because he’s basically Prince William but fictionalized. Then, once he and Bex give into their crazy chemistry and connection, all bets are off. Even when they are apart, he cannot stop thinking about her. Ugh, and like the whole British Prince + American Commoner trope is just straight out of a fairytale, even before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating.

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Fitzwilliam Darcy, Eligible

Another Darcy? So, obviously, he needs to be on here. While he and Liz don’t exactly get off on the best foot, soon enough their banter translates into crazy, unexplainable chemistry. Even when Chip reveals himself to be the real jerk, it is Darcy who shines as the man who really cares for her and her family. It just goes to prove that first impressions are rarely as they seem.

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Bo Larson, Dumplin

Seriously, he has to be one of my top book boyfriends, like ever. Sure, Luke Benward does a great job portraying him in the Netflix film, but there was a lot to his backstory that was excluded. And that was the best part and why I took a liking to him so much. You think he’s some stuck-up private school kid and athlete, but actually he’s there on scholarship, dirt-poor, a great big brother, and a helpful son. That, and he likes Willowdean as she is, without even a care that she doesn’t have a typical Barbie-girl physique. He’s honest and lays his heart on the line to her and he’s legit one of the best YA romantic love interests I’ve ever read about.

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Oliver, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

I think I have a British boy infatuation problem? Oops. Anyway, ever since I first read this YA book back when YA was age-appropriate for me in technicality, I loved it in part to how sweet Oliver was to our heroine. He was heroic and charming, but still vulnerable and grounded, and just sought to be with her and be present in the moment. I mean, how many times did I secretly wish I was seated next to a handsome suitor on a flight?? Countless. How many times has it happened? A big fat ZERO, zilch, nada. So, I’ll live vicariously through these two.

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Adam Martinez, By the Book

While this story picks up some 20-odd years later, their relationship actually began while college students. Adam and Anne spent so much time together, he met her family and her college mentor, and then gave her the most incredible literary proposal of all time. Then, he does it a second time! He builds her a dream library, aims to do whatever it takes to make her happy and I just *sigh.*

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Nick Young, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend

Of course, you can’t think of the best book boyfriends without thinking of the doting, handsome, intelligent, and family-orientated Nick Young. Sure, the movie definitely makes him even more lovable, but I’m focused on him as a love interest in the books. Even by the end of the first book, when they aren’t even together, he still wants to do what is right by here, give her the time she needs to wrap her head around her own life and goals before giving her all in a relationship. He lets her do exactly that at her own pace, no rush. And seriously that book proposal in the second book from the trilogy blows the movie’s airplane proposal out of the water, because it’s so sweeping and romantic, and I’m gonna swoon. I mean, the movie viewers are definitely robbed of seeing that incredibly romantic scene play out in the sequel film. I’m fine, it’s not like I’m bitter or anything, whatever.

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Alex Claremont-Diaz & Prince Henry, Red, White, & Royal Blue

They both make the list because they are both wonderful love interests. What starts off as a fake friendship turned real friendship to real love is every bit as authentic, genuine, and cute as imagined. They see each other as more than just the supersized public personas from the tabloids and get to know the charming and honest men underneath. And I mean, the fact that one’s a royal prince certainly doesn’t hurt.

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Josh, Younger

He proves that age, et cetera, doesn’t matter when it comes to love and two souls that belong together. I loved how sweet and caring he was in the book and on the show, and what more could a girl want? He’s perfect, I’ll even make an exception for the tattoos. OK, I can’t help it: the book made it so easy for me to be a #TeamJosh supporter, especially since the novel has no Charles. But in her follow-up Older, I definitely swayed a bit more towards Team Hugo. Hey, it’s where Liza is out now, some five years later since the first book.

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Eli Stock, Along for the Ride

Honestly, he was one of my first book crushes once I started diving into the world of YA. (Thank you, Sarah Dessen.) Sure, he’s mysterious and a loner, but he’s someone Auden can count on and open up to. Oh, and he’s good with babies too. He helps her embrace her fears and to see the world in new ways. They help each other grow and if that’s not real love, then IDK what is.

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Oliver Blackwood, Boyfriend Material

He’s not just the perfect fake boyfriend in this book, he’s pretty much the perfect boyfriend in general. He has banter, is nice and normal with a good job and a good fashion sense. Also, he’s a vegetarian because of his strong ethical code and he’s never had a scandal in his life. Seriously, that’s boyfriend material. Hence, the book title. It’s just precious as can be to see Oliver’s adorableness as the world’s most perfect boyfriend. It’s just like so much perfection. But, you’ll learn that he’s actually not perfect, and between him and Luc, they make each other better, and it’s even sweeter and cuter.

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Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars

OK, I’m pretty sure Gus here is like the OG Book Boyfriend from any YA novel. Sorry, I don’t make the rules, he just is. Everything about him and who he is as a survivor is just so strong and kind, and I can’t help but melt every time I read the book (or watch the movie). He helps Hazel Grace cope with her own diagnosis, help her fulfill her dream with a romantic trip to Amsterdam, and helps her meet her favorite author. Plus, their flirty “okay” text conversations still gives me goosebumps.

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Well, maybe I’ll never find my ultimate, perfect prince in real life, but at least I know him in my imagination through these books. Hey, it’s something right?

My Immediate Reactions After Watching Netflix’s ‘Too Hot to Handle’ Series

One thing y’all know about me is that I’m a sucker for a good reality TV show, and the trashier the better. It’s a guilty pleasure, I’m not even guilty about. Upon seeing the trailer for Netflix’s latest foray into the dating reality TV game, Too Hot to Handle, it immediately looked bad — but in a way that I definitely needed to watch. And so I did. Oh boy, did I. And, um, it was A LOT. But instead of recapping what y’all missed, I thought I’d give my unfiltered and unapologetically honest first impressions and opinions of this series. Because, hey, it’s what I do and what I like.

First off, here’s the official trailer of the new show, from the streaming service that brought you Love is Blind.

So, keep reading for a list of all my random musings and thoughts I had while watching this trashy dating show starring beautiful people, places, and accents. I watched it so you don’t have to, and here’s what happened.

  1. Slow-mo beach/pool shots of beautiful people in swimsuits, OK, this is just like Love Island.
  2. They found “the hottest, horniest, commit-phobic swipesters,” like this is a real quote from the narrator.
  3. The resort is essentially run by a Siri or Alexa-type called Lana. Lana quietly and secretly gathers intel on the guests without their knowledge, how creepy.
  4. Essex girl Chloe is like every girl I’ve ever seen in all six seasons of Love Island.
  5. The are all like 20 years old; babies! Basically, there’s an air of immaturity around the lot.
  6. Sharron openly admitted that he’s most proud of his manhood, which, um, is the size of an air freshener. Which like, ew, we didn’t want to know that. (Hey, it’s been four minutes! Geez!)
  7. I can already tell Haley is going to be annoying: She has a tattoo in another language that she doesn’t know what it means and can’t stop doing her sorority chant. Just please stop.
  8. Within 5 minutes, I already can tell it is a pure dumpster fire. Like it’s so bad, but I just can’t look away.
  9. OK but seriously, Love Island and the entire Bachelor franchise both look classier than this. Which is saying a lot because people are making out and hooking up in like every episode.
  10. Did Harry just call the girls quesadillas? Like the food? Um. And then naughty possums? Creep alert.
  11. Most of them are models and influencers, of course. One dude (the Jesus lookalike) was even on America’s Next Top Model once upon a time, like obviously none of them are here for the right reasons.
  12. It’s just so ridiculous, but I just can’t look away.
  13. David walks into bars, whips his top off, and that works for him? I’d give him serious side-eye, like what the heck, that’s so unsanitary.
  14. OK Haley doesn’t know were Australia is. Like, I just. And yet, she’s in college??
  15. This show is rapidly decreasing my interest in dating as it continues to prove that men are The Worst and just trash even more. This song just gets me right now.
  16. One thing that really, really bugs me is that the lower thirds are inconsistent. It bothers me. For the US contestants, it says the state and USA, but international kids get their city and country code. For example, “Colorado, USA” or “New Jersey, USA” are not in the same style as “Essex, UK” or “Cork, Ireland.” Like, Colorado and New Jersey are states, and Essex and Cork are cities not states.
  17. There’s no way “Kelz” is his given name. Come on, please gimme a backstory and the real information.
  18. Harry is awful and not even the least bit cute. Like, how is he a hot commodity? Surely, it’s just the accent??
  19. This show is over the top and trash, but I can’t stop watching. OK, I’m in it and invested completely, just like the streaming service’s The Circle.
  20. Even the bedroom decor looks like it was inspired by Love Island meets the beachy vibes and palapas of Bachelor in Paradise.
  21. I cannot stand Francesca and Haley. These two girls are fake fake fake and snooty bullies and I do not like watching them on my TV screen.
  22. Real question: Considering this is an international show, how would these potential intercontinental relationships work on the outside? Like, I need follow-ups.
  23. Seriously, point deductions already? Can’t you keep it in your pants? You just met and there’s a cash prize on the line.
  24. How did the casting team find these people? They are all the absolute worst.
  25. Can’t touch, can’t kiss? Huh, seems like good practice for quarantine. Welcome to our new world!
  26. It’s truly mind-boggling, like, I just cannot.
  27. Rhonda’s nails are like talons. How is that comfortable?
  28. I swear, David’s only move seems to be applying sunscreen to girls. Like, no, please don’t touch me, we just met.
  29. The boys are flirting with Lana, who is a computer. Like, quite childish?
  30. Matthew and David don’t know a single man that’s gone a month without sexual practices? Um, welcome to quarantine life as singles, hun. LOL.
  31. Chloe is funny and my instant favorite. “Think of your nan” is my new favorite quote from one of these shows. Hahahaha.
  32. Like how is this hard? Girls, just avoid the temptation: don’t shave your legs, don’t put on makeup, cover up your bikinis. You have all the tools, use it. When there’s a giant sum of money on the line, wouldn’t it be worth it?
  33. This lot cannot even go two 12 minutes without breaking the rules. Like seriously?
  34. With each kiss worth $3,000 each, surely they are going to wind up with like $50 each??
  35. Ok, I keep forgetting that Nicole is there. Oof, girl does nothing. #freeholiday #unproblematic
  36. Ick, Harry is the worst. Why is he lying and pinning it all on Francesca. Boy, you’re canceled.
  37. Haley and Francesca must not be worried about money or financial obligations if they decide to break the rules out of revenge to intentionally drag the pot down without a care in the world. Like how selfish and immature are you?
  38. I’m watching these humans tie each other up. Oy, what is TV anymore?
  39. Sharron was so happy the truth came out that he and Rhonda didn’t break the rules that he says he “feels like OJ.” Um yea, I don’t know if I’d go down that route, yikes.
  40. LOLOL, Bryce joining the crew as a late arrival with no knowledge, then finding out immediately from the rest of the participants, oh it’s a priceless look.
  41. Lana reading out an itemized bill of infractions to the group is so savage.
  42. Poor Chloe, she keeps wasting money on kisses with boys whom she doesn’t fancy. Poor girl.
  43. Boys are learning to be vulnerable by covering each other in mud? Ummmm ok? Oh and then running across the garden with wooden spears? A weird version of Braveheart or something that I didn’t expect.
  44. Why is Bryce sleeping on the floor? Like, hun, you could share a bed with a friend, make a pillow wall, sleep on the couch in the living room or the outdoor bed. Why the floor?
  45. Banter! Banter! Banter! I like a bit of banter myself (it’s the Anglophile in me) but like no one has it? They just keep saying that’s what they like???
  46. Ooh poor David, he is so sunburnt. Yikes, that’s got to majorly hurt.
  47. Like Harry and Francesca, are you the least bit remorseful about costing the group $20,000? A bit selfish, huh?
  48. The girls take part in an empowerment workshop. Great, love it, we stan women being strong and independent. But, doing so by um taking a mirror up to their *ahem* yoni and then painting an artistic portrait of it? Yea, it’s a lot. Not even Love Island has gone there!
  49. Wait, Rhonda has a son? And she waited until the penultimate episode to reveal it to anyone? Like, wouldn’t you mention that in your voiceover? To your boyfriend? Someone, anyone?
  50. Oh, so y’all are putting faith in the couple who’s lost more than $30,000 to not touch at all for a whole night in the private suite. Oy. But seriously, you better stay six feet apart. Hey, it’s good quarantine practice.
  51. I get for suspense they wanted it to seem like one couple or whatnot would get the final prize, but it was obvious based on how the whole show was set up that everyone would get a piece of the fund. And Francesca’s smug face when it was just her and her beau standing, ugh. So selfish and snooty. Nope. Then, her face when Sharron was next to stand up and then, everyone else? Like, huh, karma hun, that’s what you get for being so mean-spirited and arrogant.
  52. This was filmed a year ago. How many of them are still together? (Or at least attempted to last outside the resort.) Come on, Netflix, gimme the tea and a reunion like now.

Wow, that was truly trash and sleazy. But like, wow, it’s addictive.

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…

Thoughts after watching “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”

Alright, so it’s been long enough to avoid spoiling Netflix’s newest TV revival: Gilmore Girls. That means I can write a post I’ve been yearning to do since I first started the four-part mini-movies right after Thanksgiving. (Note: I literally stayed up until 2 a.m.- 8:30 a.m. to see it in completion that Friday post-Thanksgiving. And it was totally worth it.)

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Here’s a random collection of my thoughts, divided by season.

*Please stop reading for now if you have yet to finish the series– spoilers aplenty 😉

Winter:

  • Rory is freelancing? How much does she hate not having a solid job?
  • Wow, Paul is super nerdy, poor guy
  • Luke’s offers free wifi for customers?? He’s gone soft
  • Wow, the sets are wayyy bigger, ASP
  • Michel got married?? To another Frenchman? Who wants kids?
  • Haha Lorelai’s Jeep is “fun to kick”
  • OMG, Richard’s portrait is HUGE (but, I’m still crying)
  • Funeral making me cry  a lot
  • Oh my god, JASON STILES!
  • Luke and Emily hugged?!?!
  • No no no no, not Richard’s seat, Luke!!
  • Okay, maybe I was right in my prediction that Lorelai will be pregnant?
  • Paris has a surrogacy/fertility firm? (Well, it combines her law and medical passions)
  • Geez, Paris has a lot of degrees!
  • Rory and Logan in London together! (shrieking here)
  • It’s a “only in London” relationship??
  • Haha Taylor finally lost it… But Luke’s has fake wifi
  • Haha the irony of Doyle being a screenwriter (accurate, right, Danny Strong??)
  • Nooo Paris and Doyle divorcing?? (I shipped them the hardest in the original series.)
  • Did Lane and Zach buy Sookie’s house??
  • We get to see preteen Steve and Kwan!!
  • Hep Alien looks the exact same.
  • I can’t believe Emily is wearing jeans… (OMG, they were teenage Lorelai’s!!)
  • Can’t have Stars Hollow without its wacky festivals..
  • Paul Anka the dog dressed as Luke, haha

Spring:

  • Stars Hollow composts??
  • Haha Mrs. Kim is the exact same… “They suck eggs… Literally.”
  • It’s Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) from Bunheads! (Side Note: Lin-Manuel Miranda loved it!!)
  • OH MY GOD, Mr. Kim appears!!! He exists!
  • Awww, Rory and Logan are so cute. Heart eyes emoji…
  • WTF, Logan is engaged?? (I did think that’d be possible…)
  • Stars Hollow has a secret bar??
  • Real Paul Anka dream is back!
  • Kirk made a second film??
  • Gilmore Guys cameo at the inn!
  • Rachael Ray??? (Um, she pronounced Sookie wrong…)
  • Well, I think Dakin misspoke at Waitress about which episode he was in…
  • Richard left Luke money to franchise the diner?? That’s still a thing?
  • New actor as Tristan?? Weird.
  • Francie??? In the bathroom??
  • Paris and Doyle have cute kids!!
  • Awww, “Ace…” Heart eyes emoji.
  • What did Paris name her kids though???
  • Look, Paris dresses her daughter in Burberry..
  • Mae Whitman cameo! And such a cute little scene between Lauren Graham (her TV mom)
  • Rory is not the best journalist– blatantly ignoring an unplanned story angle that’s more interesting than her scheduled idea of what it should be.. (See Nylon article on this topic for more.)
  • Wow, Rory is back to a relationship with someone else’s guy…

Summer:

  • OMG April!! Hipster?
  • Woah, April went to MIT…
  • This scene really humanizes April from the original series… Makes her likable now
  • Luke is still an ass about parenthood (haha punny, sorry.)
  • Prediction: Logan will break up with his fiancee for Rory??
  • Ginny (Bailey De Young) from Bunheads cameo!!
  • Carole King is back!
  • MUSICAL!
  • Is Rory going to take over the Gazette? Knew it.
  • Sutton Foster singing!!!
  • Michel is leaving?? Sad.
  • “Let’s have another round tonight:” Hamilton reference??
  • Lane works for her mother??
  • Whose kids are Dewey and Brandon?
  • Haha Doyle as a sellout
  • Christian Borle singing!!
  • Oh my gosh, I freaking love this musical….Hilarious. Jeanine Tesori did great.
  • Sutton and Christian’s pilgrim number…
  • Yes Babette, Christian Borle is hot… (Sorry, my Broadway fangirl is showing.)
  • “You are me in pants/ a dress.” What?? (They are siblings???) WHAT.
  • “Rapping like Hamilton..” hahaha
  • Haha singing Waterloo from Mamma Mia!
  • Carole King singing!! Haha Taylor saying it’s bad…
  • New DAR ladies?
  • “TV tray in the living room.” What. Emily wouldn’t even let them eat in her car…
  • JESS!! (A bit confused that Jack Pearson from “This is Us” is in Stars Hollow and shaved…jk)
  • “Still a contender,” aww cute.
  • Wait, has Rory not had any underwear for three seasons?? Um…
  • Jess, so inspirational
  • Prediction: Jess’ book idea is the perfect show ending
  • How has Emily not fired Berta by her standards?? (Side note: Berta is Gypsy aka Rose Abdoo!)
  • Is Emily saying ‘hello’ again?
  • What is going on with Luke??
  • Hmm I bet Logan still loves her over the fiancee…

Here we go… Fall:

  • Mimics Wild by Cheryl Strayed?
  • Truly (Stacey Oristano) from Bunheads cameo!!
  • LG’s teacher fiance from Parenthood (Jason Ritter) as park ranger cameo!!
  • Are Luke and Lorelai the wedding scene??
  • Life and Death Brigade!! In Stars Hollow?
  • Logan showed up, awww… he so loves her!
  • Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing pros in this tango scene!
  • Huntzberger Maine house key?? (Like Vermont for Olivia Pope and Fitz of Scandal??)
  • Book: how the show will end??
  • Logan’s eyes show he’d rather be marrying Rory instead
  • Adam Braverman from Parenthood (Peter Krause, Lauren Graham’s partner as other ranger!!
  • Where is Emily??
  • Luke fighting for Lorelai. FINALLY.
  • Ah she’s proposing again!
  • Is Rory going to write Richard’s story?
  • I’m in tears as we see old image of Richard in his study…
  • The show was her whole manuscript??
  • Emily just revealing everything!!
  • Miss Celine!
  • Rory meeting with her dad!!
  • Christopher joined his family company?? GG is still in Paris??
  • Emily is selling the house?? WHAT.
  • Asking for a loan– full circle to the pilot
  • DEAN in Doose’s!!
  • Dean left town and got married and has four kids?? Wait, he LEFT??
  • SOOKIE baking the wedding cake! (I knew it from the trailer!)
  • Is Truncheon/ Jess going to publish Rory’s book??
  • Is Team Jess endgame?
  • 20 minutes left and I can’t stop crying.
  • End: “Mom, I’m Pregnant.”– Like no matter guys, she’ll be just like her mom to the next generation?
    • This show has never been about men and romantic relationships– it’s a family dynamic of a close mother and daughter; final scene exemplified that.
    • When she met with her dad, was that closure about her childhood or really about coming to terms with this baby and potentially Logan as the father/ raising the baby on her own???
    • SO FULL CIRCLE.
    • It closes the chapter of the show that had been open since season 7, with a hint of openness that only Amy could write…
  • 8:30 a.m.– I finished it. So moving and profound. Wow, a perfect ending to a longtime favorite show of mine…

Well, there you go, a random collection of my complete thoughts while binging the latest Gilmore Girls movies for the first time. Were you similar? What did you think?
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My Latest Fall Obsessions

Hi everyone! It’s been a crazy, hectic fall semester full of homework, keeping up with the election news (ugh, so overwhelming), job applications and my senior seminar research study, which is why I haven’t posted as much. But, I’m back now! Yay! (I choose to believe you, my loyal readers, are just as thrilled to be reading this as I am to get to write this.)

With the fall season, in between the serious news and workload, there’s been plenty of new pop culture to immerse oneself in.

1.  Netflix’s new show, “The Crown.”

mv5bnju2nza5mzgym15bml5banbnxkftztgwndawotuxmdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_As of this past Sunday, November 6, I began binge-watching the latest Netflix original series, titled “The Crown” and chronicling the early days of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip (Matt Smith). May I just say, in my opinion, it is one of the best dramatic series that Netflix has created. It very much resembles the British shows that I became so fond of last year while I was abroad. While I’m only four episodes in (no spoilers please!), I’ve become hooked, as the storytelling is well-done at expressing the Royal Family “as Kardashians,” as the stars jokingly referred to it during talk shows and press interviews. Now enjoy some of my random thoughts that crossed my mind while watching:

  • Is there a certain quota of Matt Smith’s bum shots to include per episode?
  • Is it [the bum shots of Matt Smith as Prince Philip] historically accurate??
  • Time to pull up Wikipedia for a historical timeline and family tree…
  • Oh no, I can relate to such bad fog over London! 😦

2. Netflix’s acquisition of one of my favorite BBC shows, “Doctor Foster.”

maxresdefaultWhile abroad in London (one year ago *insert sobs here*) and taking classes in British media, I began watching a new series called “Doctor Foster,” a five-part story of British GP Gemma Foster living a happily married life as a wife and mum until discovering a single blonde hair on her husband Simon’s scarf. The show tells the story of a woman finding out about her husband’s infidelity and the lengths she goes to find the truth. Such a powerful story courtesy of the Beeb, and I truly recommend you all to watch it. Truly brilliant, and it’s such a shame it is a British show because I have absolutely no clue how I’ll be able to watch the second series (now filming) when it starts airing.

3. Kenzo X H&M collaboration

screen-shot-2016-05-25-at-8-23-15-pmUpon the release of H&M’s latest designer collab (remember how genius the Balmain one was a year ago??) with Kenzo, I immediately went to the lookbook and was instantly obsessed. Knowing I couldn’t get it all because most of it was sold out was sad, but I chose an adorable off-the-shoulder printed floral blouse and I cannot wait for it to arrive later this week, because I have already planned outfits around it. (Too much?)

4. Gagged Chokers

gagged-chokersCreated by Broadway’s Princess Jasmine (Courtney Reed), a new business venture has emerged and created handmade, unique chokers for the cool girls. And they made a Broadway collection. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. After careful consideration of what was in stock and various styles, I chose the Memory choker: a leopard-print (alternating with a plain gold) choker inspired and named from the Broadway revival of “Cats.” It was the appropriate mix of edgy, trendy and cute, and once again I have outfits planned well in advance to match. (Is that too much?)

5. “The Magnolia Story” book

I just started this weekend “The Magnolia Story” of Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV hit “Fixer Upper.” While I’m only on chapter one and two, I’ve instantly become transfixed by the humor and cuteness of real-life home decor couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. I start thinking, “Aww! They are so cute!! ❤ *melting into a pile on the floor*)

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6. My calming mechanisms

The one thing that can always calm me down after a stressful day: HGTV. Watching any HGTV show never fails to calm down my nervous energy brought on by the amount of stress I’ve been feeling as a senior in my last semester of college ever. So, sometimes it helps to calm down and de-stress, which this blog is also helping.

7. The tear-jerking dramedy on NBC, “This is Us.”

Ever since binging the first episode, I was hooked on this new show (which clearly the rest of the world was too, as it was picked up for a full season hours after the pilot aired.) It’s so well-written and does such a great job at telling human stories, interwoven with the perfect sprinkle of humor. The one downer: I. CAN’T. STOP. SOBBING. Literally, this show has (on average) reduced to me to tears at least twice an episode. The only show where my emotions can play tennis, and alternate between laughing and ugly crying every few minutes. Kleenex, you should get on this– I smell a perfect corporate sponsorship opportunity here.

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8. Niall Horan’s new single, “This Town.”

I know Directioners, this may seem like a tragedy that the day long feared as arrived— the 1D boys’ solo projects. Which for me, signifies the end to a 1D era. But, Horan’s debut single is so different, but I love it. More reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s ballads, it’s so beautiful and I love listening to it… Sometimes on repeat. (No judgment, please.)

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9. Little Mix’s new single, “Shout Out to My Ex.”

Shortly after Horan’s single another UK-based single was released, this time X Factor winning girl band Little Mix. And while you immediately start debating whether or not this was meant as member Perrie’s ex (and 1D’s ex-member) Zayn and his rather quick turnaround of a relationship with model Gigi Hadid, I’m over here jamming out this smash hit. So fun, and pure Little Mix, which is perfect, rumors aside of who it is based on with the title “shout out to my ex.”

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10. I’d be crazy if I didn’t include the upcoming Netflix “Gilmore Girls” revival…

Yes, I am so excited to see where literally every character from my favorite adolescent television show has ended up. And before you even ask what team I am— I’m Team Right Guy at the Right Time for Rory! (They were all great prospects for the time they were together, I think everyone can agree on that.)

Those are some of my obsessions this fall season! Go check them out yourself, and let me know your thoughts!

And make sure to VOTE tomorrow! Whatever side you choose, remember that it’s YOUR voice and you have the chance to make YOUR voice heard and count, because everyone’s voice matters.

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