7 New Books I Can’t Get Out of My Head This Fall

Holy cow, it’s almost autumn already?? Where has the time gone so quickly? Like, holy crap. Speedy indoor summer, ugh. Well, I’ve kept busy by reading, reading, and oh yea, more reading. I mean, is anyone surprised? And these books are sure to keep you all busy as you stay home and socially distanced from others.

So, welcome back to Miranda’s Book Nook with more of my latest book recommendations that’ll keep you company all autumn long. I hope you find these books as engaging, fun, and comforting as I have.

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. Y’all, let me just say that 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. Sorry not sorry, it’s so juicy, dramatic, and engaging.

Available: Now


Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I used to be a Twihard, and yes, I read this new Twilight book within days of its initial publication release. Duh. I mean, was that ever a question? If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that fandom never really goes away (thanks Hunger Games, Jonas Brothers, and One Direction); it just lays dormant for a bit — and can come back with a vengeance, just as strong as ever.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Stephenie Meyer went back and rewrote the first book in her bestselling saga from Edward’s angsty teen boy slash vampire perspective. After the first draft was leaked and posted online years back, now, she’s finally finished it and it is here! So, what’s it about? It’s the same time frame, plot points, and characters first seen in Twilight, just flipped around and told from Edward’s side aka the lion’s instead of the lamb’s. This companion novel takes on a darker side as vampire Edward attempts to stay away from Bella or if he’s meant to kill her and drink her blood rather than fall in love. It’s definitely a lot darker and angstier than the original, and I definitely was intrigued by this darker version.

Reading this book seriously felt like I was back in middle school, in the heyday of my Twilight obsession, staying up way too late each night just to finish another chapter. Because, that’s been me for the week it first was out. Now, it’s nearly 700 pages, which like what a chunker, and I could barely hold it, LOL. But, it’s so much fun to go back to this beloved franchise and see it from a different perspective. I liked that it was Edward’s, one because he was the other main character besides Bella, and two because as a mind reader, that means we also get to see the viewpoints of the other Cullens (and their backgrounds!) and Forks students. That part was super fun. Plus, Edward had some zingers, like when he retorts “no blood, no foul” about himself in response to a question about being hurt. Literally made me chuckle out loud.

Available: Now


CLUELESS: A Totally Classic Picture Book by G.M. Berrow, Illustrated by Heather Burns

Yes, you read that correctly. Amy Heckerling’s totally tubular, iconic ’90s cult classic has been reworked into a children’s picture book, and I’m totally buggin’ out about it. Like, obviously the movie is a classic that I can still quote every line and then I had to see the original musical years back because I love this 90s-style world so much. A book about it, like yes, please! The book, out just in time for the movie’s 25th anniversary, reimagines the Bronson Alcott students as pint-sized fashionistas living their best lives in elementary school. This is an awesome way to share your love of this tubular flick with your little ones and introduce them to a good teen movie.

This illustrated children’s book features all the classic nostalgia, Easter eggs, characters, fashion-forward ensembles, but all kid-friendly, obviously. Here, we follow precious tots Cher and Dionne who meet newbie Tai at Bronson Alcott Elementary. Tai, much like her film counterpart, is a fan of skateboarding and baggy clothes. Cher and Dionne are determined to help make their new bestie fit in with the stylish Beverly Hills crowd as these popular kiddos try to tell her how to dress or what hobbies she should like. But in the end, they realize that everyone’s different and that what makes them so flipping awesome!

We have Cher’s classic home, the same like way-classic language from the film, her computer program to match outfits (which I’m still waiting on IRL, plaid matching outfits (!!), all her rad friends, epic fashion looks that are exactly as we remember from the movie, and a sweet story about fitting in, standing out, and friendship. Just the romances are missing, after all, it is a book for kids. It’s precious and you’d like totally be missing out if this wasn’t added to any young kiddo’s reading list. Missing this picture book? OMG, as if! Thanks to a physical advance copy, courtesy of Hachette Book Group, I’ll definitely be reading this to my young cousins every time I see them. Sorry, but they need to be educated about the iconic world that is Clueless.

Available: September 1

Image Courtesy: Clueless TM & © 2020 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe*

First off, nearly every single Netgalley review for this new YA novel gives it either four or five stars (out of five), which to me indicates that it has to be something special. And after reading the first few pages alone, I can confirm it most definitely is. After only a couple pages, I desperately want and need to keep reading because the narrator Henri’s point of view is just so relatable, authentic, engaging, and completely captivating.

This diverse teen romance (yes, this is what we need more of in the genre!!) is whip-smart, fun, and relatable for many readers. Henri “Halti” is a NYC native, the first-generation son of Haitian immigrants, and who is the epitome of a charming, well-liked teenage boy. He’s smart, a good kid, an entrepreneurial dog walker. He started his own part-time dog walking site/brand as a way to help pay for college tuition for next year, and his eyes are set on Columbia University. At first, he doesn’t notice Corinne Troy as anything but the hyper-smart, annoying girl from school. She’s sort of his school rival as they push one another’s buttons. She’s a very Type A student and seems perfect to him. After she moves into his building on the Upper West Side and her mom hires Halti to walk her new pooch Palm Tree, she soon discovers his scheme and blackmails him to help her become popular with their school peers (and seem less intense about academics) in exchange for her silence about the truth of his business. (Side note: I love Corinne, hahaha she’s a gem and quite a fun character!)

It’s a quick, fun YA read that I have a hard time setting down because it’s just so enjoyable, even so early in the book. Philippe’s tone of voice for Henri is so witty and genuine, which makes this book even more captivating. There’s such a precious, innocent slow burn romance that’s perfectly timed with the book’s pace which was absolutely adorable and I can’t stop smiling, it’s that cute. By the ending, Henri did a stupid, stupid, dumb thing because he was so desperate to get into Columbia, and it made me so so pissed. But, in the end, that’s a good thing for this book because I could feel his emotions and it made me feel things as any good novel should. In the end, wow, it’s so raw and vulnerable, but then the epilogue delivers the cute HEA we all craved and that made me Smile.

Available: September 8


The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant*

This was a sugary-sweet romance, and honestly, that’s really all I could say. It’s wholesome and pleasant, but sometimes you just need that. Here, pastry chef Bri hails from a small town in Kansas and she’s ever the romantic, willing to wait however long it takes for her own HEA and prince to show up. In contrast, gruff travel writer Gerard is anything but, and a past relationship has made him jaded to the ideas of love. He’s assigned to cover the bakery where she works, which has gone viral thanks to a love lock wall in the backyard, the owners’ matchmaking schemes, a European theme, and a “cute blonde who works there.” And by the first page, I’m already dreaming of macarons.

It’s clearly set up to be a cutesy, wholesome opposites-attract trope, and it doesn’t get off to the best start for this reader. It’s told in back and forth perspectives and it’s a super slowww slow-burn and enemies-to-lovers romance with banter. Like OMG, them quoting Pride and Prejudice to each other in French is so adorable and funny. It’s fun, sweet, and cute. That’s about it. Then, it gets very emotionally charged by the end with a reveal about her parents and a big bombshell, however, all that feels like an at-the-buzzer revelation that could have been teased or started earlier.

The writing is good and captivating, but there’s no extra oomph to make this book shine, and it ends up as another cutesy baking romance story. Then, each chapter ends with a cliffhanger that’s barely addressed in the next section or from the other point of view and it feels abrupt and catches you off guard because there are so many lingering questions left as a new time frame, event, or something is revealed. Then, the ending gets super religious, which almost comes out of left field because religious beliefs and God-talk wasn’t even addressed until the tail end. It caught me off guard because religion wasn’t really mentioned as a guiding factor at any point beforehand. Then, the end of the book didn’t address her final actions before they got their HEA, and to me, it feels like part of their, and her, journey is incomplete as individuals and as a pair. 

Available: October 13


The Transatlantic Book Club by Felicity Hayes-McCoy*

First off, the Irish setting gives me so much wanderlust and the bookish storyline makes me happy! In this multicultural Irish family fictional story, the story follows communities across both a small Irish town and an American town chock full of Irish immigrants.

It starts off with Cassie, who moves back to Ireland to be with her grandma after her grandfather passes away, and soon after that, the duo heads to this small US town where her Gran Pat had once visited her cousin as a teen. Once back in Ireland after the trip, Cassie takes a part-time job at the local library, which like, yay, I love bookish themes in my novels! Immediately, there are several narrators between Cassie, Pat, librarian Hannah and her mom Mary, all of whom can be a bit difficult to discern who’s who with so much happening all at once; The novel’s very ambitious in that way. Plus, in the beginning, several chapters are purely exposition and intros, and it’s very, very slow to get into the main story. The main idea is that Cassie sets up a transatlantic book club for the both the towns of Lissberg and Resolve, where they’ll chat weekly, at one time, via Skype about a book, or just a social call. This book features so much descriptive language that plays out like a movie in my head, but having too many points of view is making things difficult to keep track of, along with barely any transition between flashbacks and the present-day setting. That part feels abrupt and confusing as a reader. However, something clearly happened in the past and I’m very curious to find out what. There’s not a ton of action throughout and it wasn’t easy to get into.  I wanted to love it so badly because books and travel are my weakness, however, I just couldn’t get into this one, unfortunately. It was fine, but nothing more than that.

Available: November 10


Pretending by Holly Bourne*

OK, this latest ARC! I loved it, now I don’t think it’s five-star worthy because one, that’d hard to achieve and two, it’s something I’d go to reread actively. But, I did thoroughly enjoy this women’s fiction (which should just be fiction in general, but I digress) novel. 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. Then, it’s set in London, which is my ultimate guilty pleasure as an Anglophile, so yay, score one. I’m like super into this novel from so early on, mainly 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 men (join the club, girl, join the club), and she’d fed up with that shit. 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, who just seems so endearing and sweet, like I keep saying ‘aww precious’ about everything he does, that, 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, like eesh. DM conversations help show the passage of time and recount different days and dates to move things along. It’s just so vulnerable and open, which makes everything feel so real and raw. Josh is so endearing yet a bit clueless, so I’m not sure if they really have this connection and he’s The Guy because he is falling for the fake her and he’s super clingy.

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. I just want more content, and have so many lingering questions about where her story goes from here. There’s an epilogue that is quite ambiguous, so you can’t help but wonder who is that man at the end she speaks of, like is it Josh or someone else? I have so many questions left and I just want to know and keep reading more!

Also, the book definitely needs a trigger warning as April discusses and deals with her past sexual assault. But, I think it’s brave that she’s acknowledging and searching for a way to move forward, but it could definitely be triggering depending on your past.

Available: November 17


*Advance reader copies of several of the books listed were provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Music Review: One Direction’s “Made in the AM”

thHi everyone,
Being that I’m currently in London, England, I thought a music review about a locally-grown boy band was a bit necessary… Agree? Let’s take a closer look, track-by-track, of the newest album to come out of U.K. hometown favorite One Direction.

1. “Hey Angel”

First off, I would like to preface this by saying that this randomly popped on shuffle as the Tube in the morning arrived at the Angel station. True story, so that’s perfect right there. Okay, now back to the song. It’s catchy and makes me want to dance. However, the lyrics: if they are calling out the “angel” to “come to the other side,” are they insinuating that they are on the evil spectrum, like a devil persona? But, lyrics aside, let’s get back to dancing along.

2. “Drag Me Down”

This song has been out since summer, and I have to admit that I still can’t believe I heard the boys sing it LIVE for the first time on Good Morning America. (An awful mistake I will never again.– To clarify, that’s in reference to the waiting and the weather, not seeing them live for free.)

3.”Perfect”

Again a popular hit, but I can’t get sick of it. It’s such a good tune and it is still my alarm every single  morning.  (Hey, shouldn’t it be?) But seriously, if you don’t think Harry (who wrote the song) wrote it based on T.Swift, listen closely to one specific line at the end about “if you’re looking for someone to write break-up songs about.” Not a very tricky mystery, Mr. Styles.

4. “Infinity”

Okay, so I really liked this as the first preorder track. But, as now I have the entire album, I kind of almost forget about this hit. It’s not bad, it’s just fairly typical of the One Direction sound.

5. “End of the Day”

This is a fun, upbeat song that makes me want to sing (and dance) along. Nothing else to say about it. Also, yes Liam, this is a perfect instinct where your lyric (once again) references hospitals. (Note: this is a reference to something Mr. Liam Payne discussed at the 1D concert I was at in London.)

6.”If I Could Fly”

I. LOVE. THIS. BALLAD. It’s so beautiful and soft, I love it! One of the only ballads about true love. However, I guess should it actually be called “For your eyes only” or something, I mean they say that way more than the actual title which is only muttered at the very beginning of the song.

7. “Long Way Down”

Another good slower tune. I also would like to point out that I do dance along to this track. And it’s harder to dance to, but I have. Anyway, the song, it’s really pretty and I like it. One of my faves.

8. “Never Enough”

This has a very different, but still good, beat. It’s upbeat and fun; I like it. However, the “random noises” you hear between lyrics sounds like something out of the Lion King… Now that I said that, I’ll never be able to un-hear that. Also, this is a song that Liam thinks he could sing over and over again (Haha, anyone catch that small reference to the older days?? Okay, I’m done now.) for the rest of his days, so that indicates something. And you could, I’d be fine with that. It’s really good and fun.

9. “Olivia”

It is so interesting how the first eight seconds shows how the recording process happens, I like that– it’s interesting. It’s upbeat, but not my favorites. The chorus where they sing “I love you, I love you, I love you…. Olivia,” it sounds a bit like they were saying a line and like “word vomit” essentially followed the line; that’s what it sounds like. (Note: No offense to any Olivia’s out there screaming of joy about a track that share their name.)

10. “What A Feeling”

This has serious flashback vibes, with the music and the title. But, that aside, it’s good, in a very retro vibe. The chorus where they all sing together, reminds me of the boys’ X Factor days of all singing in harmony.

11. “Love You Goodbye”

Every album needs at least one break-up song, right? Rumored to be based on the emotional heartbreak of the break-up of Louis Tomlinson and long-time girlfriend Eleanor Calder, it is very emotional and I like it. But then again, ballads tend to be my preference.

12. “I Want to Write You a Song”

Not my favorite song, but it’s still a cute song about an innocent first love story. This seems to have some indie, songwriter, playing-guitar-around-a-campfire vibes embedded in this tune, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

13. “History”

OKAY, WE FINALLY MADE IT HERE. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the entire album. I love the music, the lyrics, everything. I love it. And the meaning about it being for the fans is to sweet. Especially, how Niall and their songwriting team brought in the fans to sing on the chorus, like it’s truly for and by the fans. Adorable. Also, that part that “this is not the end,” is a perfect reminder that the boys are going on sabbatical/hiatus (Note: this is in reference to an interview conducted by Nick Grimshaw on Radio 1.) It’s such a cute dedication to the fans and how much they support the boys each and every day.

14. “Temporary Fix”

Love this song! I love the upbeat tempo, and it’s giving me serious “Alive” vibes. For those who don’t know, “Alive” is one of my favorite songs from the “Midnight Memories” album. It’s fun!

15. “Walking in the Wind”

Not my favorite song, but it’s still a cute song. This gives me some indie, songwriter, playing-guitar-around-a-campfire vibes, again not a bad thing. Also, very reminiscent of older hits ala “Story of My Life.”

16. “Wolves”

Upon re-listening to this track, I’m liking it even more! It’s fun, upbeat and I’m enjoying it! The intro is giving me like 50s vibes? Right?!? But, it’s dance-y, also reminds me of “Alive,” which I like.

17. And finally… “AM”

This is very cute. A little cheesy that it’s a song about how good memories are “made in the a.m.” But, it’s adorable.

This is really good FIFTH album boys. I hope you enjoy your… hiatus, and when you come back, know that you’ll still have a fan right here.

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Releasing my inner fangirl at a One Direction concert in London

So, last Monday was the day I went to the ONE DIRECTION concert in London!!! (Can you hear my inner fangirl shrieking?) It was so incredible to see the boys live for the third time, and this time in their home country! 🙂  It was a great night. Now, on to some of the great highlights from their fourth show in London:

  1. Harry told Karen Payne (Liam’s mum), who was there with his older sister, to “stand her pretty a** up” during the show. And they were seated in the same side of the stage as me. No biggie. But, what Harry said was so him and absolutely hilarious.
  2. When reading signs, Liam and Harry found a couple there on their anniversary and they said they had their first kiss watching Elf, to which Harry said, “nothing like… to put you in the mood.” Oh, that’s so Harry…
  3. Liam spoke of how all of his lyrics are about skinny jeans, hospitals and drinking… Well, he’s not wrong… I wonder what a psychologist would say about that one? (And yes, Liam: psychology is a real word. Note: this is a reference to an interview they did with Ellen Degeneres.)
  4. Liam asked if his mum and sister were liking the show. Awww, he’s too cute.
  5. During WMYB (and the whole encore really) Liam and Louis had a huge water fight, chucking entire contents of several water bottles at each other while Harry/ Niall were singing their parts… It was hilarious.

There were so many amazing moments, songs and it was so awesome to be able to see them at their real height and see their faces! 🙂 Ready for some pictures?

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View from my seat! So close to the stage!

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Boys on the main stage.

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Niall and his guitar.

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Liam.

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Harry mastering the “tip the mic stand” move.

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Awww, buddies Liam and Niall…

Side note: who’s looking forward to the release of “Made in the A.M.” next month??

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Leaving on a jet plane…

Hi guys! So, after spending such an incredible summer living in Manhattan, I’ve had to leave. Sad face. But, that means my fall semester adventures can officially begin! I couldn’t be more excited to spend my time living in London, exploring all over the U.K. and Europe, interning with a local business and experiencing all the wonders of traveling, as I so love to do!

Since it’s crunch time for me to get ready for my epic travel adventures, I thought today’s blog post would focus on travel tips and perhaps things I want to do abroad/in London.

WHAT TO KNOW WHEN GOING GLOBAL:

1. Pack light. You don’t need twelve pairs of pants, several ball gowns and six pairs of boots (numbers approximate.). A few pairs of pants, shoes, etc are plenty. Remember, there’s always laundry. And if you pack too much, then you can’t go shopping… So, isn’t it worth it not to overpack?

2. When traveling for an extended period of time, always choose your outfits ahead of time. What I do is lay out all my options and take pictures of complete outfits. It also helps to show you how versatile each piece can be. If you can’t wear an item multiple ways, leave it at home!

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Example from my NYC packing!

3. Dress for comfort on the plane! Especially when you’re on a long flight, always wear clothes that are light and easy to move in. Also, grab a pair of compression socks when traveling internationally! Do you really want an increased risk of blood clots and DVT/ cankles?

4. Make sure you have some identifiable trait that makes your luggage easy to distinguish. I mean, everyone has a black rolling suitcase. Sometimes, I travel with a brightly colored pink suitcase or have a colorful ribbon or luggage tag, so I’ll always be able to i.d. my bags at baggage claim.

5. When on the plane, sleep as much as you can! You don’t want to waste a day when you arrive being jet lagged. (A sleep mask is a great investment!) Hint: the window seat is the best place to fall asleep, as you can lean on the wall. Or, if you are not able to sit at a window seat, you can rest on your tray table or just lean back, but please don’t be that person who leans way too far back, giving the person behind you no space for comfort. (For inspiration on how to avoid jet lag: remember Gilmore Girls? This is what not to do.)

6.When packing, ROLL don’t fold or place flat. Rolling allows you to take up less space, and thus, you can add more to the suitcase. Or you can put everything in Ziplocs or Space Bags, and make sure to get the air out!

7. Just in case your baggage does not make it to your destination on time, always always always make sure to add some extra undergarments, deodorant/ toiletries and a change of clothes in your carryon. (When traveling abroad, you do not want to board the plane with one tiny little purse exclusively.) Adapt to a backpack or big tote and put your essentials inside. This was my lifesaver in Israel last year. (No luggage for 3 out of 10 days is definitely not ideal, but I survived due to preparation.)

8. Pack snacks! You’ll definitely get hungry on a long flight and sometimes the little peanuts or the prepackaged meals won’t really help. So, always bring easy snacks for the length of the flight. However, please don’t be the person with the airport fast food. The entire plane will instantly dislike you, as it stinks up the whole cabin.

9. Speaking of the airlines food options, if you have a meal allergy or specific preference always make a note under the “special requests” section when booking your flight! The last thing you want is to be given some food item that you cannot eat. You can even do it after the ticket is bought, as long as they have 24 hours notice to be able to order everything.

10. With a long flight, I always like to go to the bathroom about an hour before landing to freshen up. Change any clothing items that are no longer fresh or clean/ not weather appropriate, and you can also use this time to freshen up your hair and makeup from the flight.

My London Bucket List:

What do I want to do in London?

  1. Hello? London. Home of TOPSHOP. But, I think that one is quite obvious.
  2. Since I’m staying in Kensington: PETER PAN statue (Finding Neverland!) and Royal Family sightings perhaps?
  3. Well, I already know this one: see One Direction live at the O2 arena!! (Eeep, I’m legit soo excited!)
  4. Fitness/ dance classes at Seen on Screen! (Seems like fun for a dancer like me!!)
  5. Travel… EVERYWHERE. (Well, time and budget permitting)
  6. West End shows! (Obviously…)
  7. Singalong film at the Prince Charles Cinema? I think yes. (I mean, Grease singalong?!?!)
  8. Historical sites that are obviously necessary to visit.
  9. Well, since celeb spotting was a thing in NYC… How about royal spotting?? 😉 Also, I wouldn’t say no to 1D spotting… 😉
  10. Shopping, obvi… (Think Harrods, Spitalfields Market, etc)

I can’t wait to go to London!

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My favorite looks from the Billboard Music Awards red carpet

With tonight’s BBMAs in Vegas, I thought it was appropriate to discuss my fave looks from the carpet.

kendall-jenner-jourdan-dunn-balmain-billboard-music-awards-2015-h724 First off, so excited to hear about the upcoming Balmain x H&M collab! (I mean, Justin Bieber’s Met Gala tux was epic!!) Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner stun in the future collection, and I’ll def have to stop by my local store when the collection is released!

rs_634x1024-150517165629-634.ChrissyJohn-jmd-051715 Tonight’s hostess Chrissy Teigen looks perfect in her perfectly tailored and perfectly styled 70’s-inspired jumpsuit. It looks ahmazing on her. One of the night’s best dressed for sure!

rs_634x1024-150517170511-634.Taylor-Swift-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And of course, Miss T. Swift looks perfect in the night’s biggest trend: jumpsuits. And her Bad Blood video? Epic. (Bonus: who caught her cats’ namesakes walking side by side? I did!) Watch it right now if you haven’t seen it.

rs_634x1024-150517155433-634.Danica-jmd-051715 DWTS alum Danica McKellar stuns in her silver, sparkly one-shouldered gown. Gorge.

rs_1024x759-150517170537-1024.OneDirection-jmd-051715 And here’s One Direction. let’s just stare at their beauty for a minute, shall we? (Liam’s smolder.) Plus, who heard Liam’s “we would like to share this with our brother Zayn??” Too adorable. (I can’t wait to see them live in their town: London! First, I saw them in my home state, and now the tables have flipped! Eeeep I’m so excited about it— best study abroad ever!)

rs_634x1024-150517161930-634.Ed-Sheeran-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And Ed Sheeran also looks great for one of my fave artists EVER.

rs_634x1024-150517162817-634.Idina-Menzel-Billboard-Music-Awards.jl.051715 And there’s IDINA. Still can’t I saw her perform LIVE!! She’s incredible! If you get a chance, go see If/Then on tour (an awesome show and Idina will be reprising her role this summer!!)

Great looks aplenty, what were your favorite moments and looks from the show?

Directioner Update

After five years, the face of the mega-popular pop band One Direction has changed as we know it.

The official press release, published March 25, reported, “After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall [Horan], Harry [Styles], Liam [Payne] and Louis [Tomlinson] will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.”

Malik responded in the press release, “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”

Giving his only interview since the big news, Zayn revealed to The Sun, “I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people’s happiness. I feel like I’ve let the fans down, but I can’t do this anymore. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything; it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not the real me.”

Liam, like the other boys, responded via Twitter:

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Celebs and fans alike have been posting their thoughts via Twitter about Zayn’s desires for happiness and a normal life.

What are your thoughts on Zayn’s decision to leave? Will you remain a 1D fan?

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.

It’s here. It’s new. I’ll review it.

So, the new One Direction video for “Steal My Girl” was released today. And I thought I’d provide shot-by-shot commentary of the video using screenshots. Here we go.

We start with the boys exiting a trailer in the middle of the desert, waiting to meet their video director.

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Surprise! It’s Danny DeVito!

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He assigns the boy banders all a superpower to portray.

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Here’s a shot of Niall looking like he has in past videos, hello LWWY moment. You can tell it’s summer.

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Now, I’m not entirely sure the plot or the purpose of everything. But, hey, it made me laugh…

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Boys on a mountain during sunset.

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Louis and Danny made a new friend. He has the best glasses of the three.

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Sunset shot. With balloons in the background. Artsy?

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Here’s Harry’s big solo moment, very overdressed and he could stand to get a haircut.

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How do you explain the scene of Zayn and the sumo wrestlers.

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And Liam leads a marching band? With a cast on his wrist. 😦 Can we know what happened?

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Louis and his monkey pal are getting closer (holding hands, how does Eleanor feel? lol.)

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More balloons on the mountain at sunset!

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Who can forget this image of Harry dancing, in the rain, with Danny DeVito. I certainly can’t.

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Rain! And one last group shot.

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And cut, Danny DeVito deems the video finished.

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Now go watch the video in it’s full glory.

New post. New thoughts.

Hi everyone. Sorry I haven’t had much time to devote to this blog recently: a journalist’s job is never done, as I’ve been crazy busy with homework, class projects and everything thing else I’ve overcommitted myself to. (But, I sort of love my life that way.)

I thought I’d just sit in ramble for today’s post. Just talk.

What’s been happening since I last posted?

  1. George Clooney is officially off-the-market and married an amazing high-profile human rights lawyer.
  2. I’ve become obsessed with “Once Upon a Time” AND “How to Get Away With Murder.” As well as, “Manhattan Love Story,” “A to Z,” “Red Band Society”  and of course, Greys and Scandal. Great shows, start watching. (I mean, #TGIT, anyone?)
  3. The whole Ebola news thing everyone should be aware of is big news.
  4. Applying to study and intern in NYC this summer and London this fall. (Dream: to intern at a publication like Seventeen. Fingers crossed!)
  5. I interviewed a major YouTube star (“HelloKaty”) and wrote a profile on that. Read it here.
  6. One Direction announced the track list for their fourth studio album, “Four.”
  7. Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2015 Oscars.
  8. Taylor Swift’s new pop album “1989” will be released any day now. And “Out of the Woods” may be inspired by a Mr. Harry Styles.
  9. Everyone’s been obsessing over “American Horror Story” which stars my camp alum, Emma Roberts.
  10. The Kansas City Royals will officially be playing in World Series. (GO CARDINALS!)

One thing I’ve noticed about the world: is such a huge focus on the superficial sides. And while, I love fashion and celeb gossip, I admit that’s not what matters: family, doing what you love, etc– that’s what matters, not what you wear or how popular you are, it’s how you perceive yourself and who you want to be. No one can belittle who you are or tell you who to be except for yourself. Be brave, be strong, be yourself. Because no one else for stick up for yourself other than you.

I just wish more girls, and people in general, would be able to be 100 percent themselves and not worry about how others perceive them. So, if you want to wear a certain outfit or attain for a certain career: go for it. Chase your dreams. Be a superstar. Be amazing. You are amazing. You don’t need anyone else to tell you that. Your opinion is the only one that matters.

Alright, I’m off to watch Greys, Scandal and the Cardinal game, as well as work on some essays. Thanks for reading. xx