Weekend Rewind | May 29, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

CrackedUpToBe

Lila

Heheheh. So. You might have seen my slightly over dramatic post on being in a reading slump.

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If you didn’t see it you should a) check it out because it’s awesome and b) know that I’m currently in a reading slump. So I’ve been jumping around from book to book, not finishing anything.

What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

Lila

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I was in desperate need of fluff so I finally picked up The Crown by Kiera Cass. And you know what? It’s working (knock on wood). My reading slump is dulling.

 

What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

meep. One week from now, I will be done with school! Blog posts will flourish!

Lila

Ah, blogging slump, you’ve overstayed your welcome…

GoAway2

Once again this past week’s posts were scarce. I think it’s safe to say I’m also in a blogging slump. I just haven’t been feeling motivated or in the mood to post or respond to comments. Sorry, guys. Sometimes life just hits you all at once and lately I’ve been taking the punches. I’ll get back into the groove, but right now I’m just not feelin’ it…

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

Lately, in order to diversify the music I listen to (read: the Hamilton soundtrack), I’ve been listening to songs from Rent. I forgot how much I love this musical, and listening to the soundtrack really makes me want to read more about the ’80s and ’90s when the AIDS epidemic was at large. I’ve read Two Boys Kissing, but I’d love to know if you guys have any other recommendations for me!

Lila

I recently discovered an incredible new booktuber who’s a reader and a writer named Francina Simone. She discusses really important topics like authenticity in storytelling, demanding quality work from publishers, and diversity in a really in depth manner and her videos are on point. I seriously suggest you check her out.

In Other News

Claire

Freedom…so close! I have a final speech today, a problem set tomorrow, and exam Thursday, a final project due Friday, a final project due Sunday, an exam Monday, and a final project due Tuesday night–then I am DONE. Shout out to the professors who decided to give both a final exam and a final project!

Lila

I CHANGED MY MAJOR TO BIOLOGY (I was a physics major)! I still don’t know whether I want to do microbiology, bioinformatics, bioengineering, or biochemistry, but I have time to decide. And I can always switch back to physics. Right now I’m just taking time to explore different fields. But I’m hoping to stick with this one.

But otherwise, not much is going on. I’m just chillin’ like a villain.

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Lila | The Six TV Shows I Think YOU (Yes, You) Should Be Watching

Hey guys!!! Lila here!

So in my life outside of blogging (Oh, heck. Who am I kidding. Do I really have a life outside of blogging?!), one of my favorite hobbies is the infamous Netflix Binge. I love a good (good) TV show. Now, if you know me, you’ll know that my tastes run toward the fantastical. It’s the same with TV shows for me. My favorite TV genre is probably sci fi (as you’ll see with my top 3 shows), then dramas. Anyhoo. These are some of my favorite shows that I think you’ll enjoy watching, especially if you share my taste in books.

The 100 (The CW, Netflix)

My #1 main show!!! My fangirl heart’s one true love!!! If you don’t know by now, The 100 is my top show. The basic premise is that in the distant future, Earth has been ravaged by nuclear war and all of the humans now live in space, on The Ark. 100 juvenile delinquents are sent down to Earth as a testing group to see if Earth is inhabitable again. They find themselves in a strange new world where life threatening challenges are a daily thing and they might not be as alone as they thought. Not only is this a brilliant and addictive show, it is racially and sexually diverse, features women in many positions of power, and showcases morally gray and philosophical plotlines.

Fringe (Fox, Netflix, Amazon Prime)

This show ended years ago, but remains one of my all time favorites. I recently got my boyfriend, who is also a physics major, absolutely obsessed with Fringe, so we’ve been rewatching it! This show is part of where my love for science, in particular physics, comes from. The show (which has plotlines derived from real, cutting edge science) follows FBI agent Oliva Dunham, head of the Fringe Division, which handles all things weird and otherworldly, consultant Peter Bishop, and Peter’s brilliant, slightly mad father, Dr. Walter Bishop. Together they investigate cases that involve all things science-y. The incredible thing is that the show uses real life science as a basis and some of the show’s predictions of where science was headed have come to pass.

Sense8 (Netflix)

Coming in third place for my all time favorite TV show is Sense8! Agh! How do I even begin to explain this one? Eight individuals of varying lives and talents, in various countries, find themselves inextricably linked to one another. That’s all I can say because from there it gets pretty wild! Just watch it!!! This show is also filled with philosophy and diversity ad it’s just so amazing. Plus, #kalagang5ever

Reign (The CW, Netflix)

Another CW show that is pretty good! This show follows the fictional story of real life queen, Mary Queen of Scots. Mary travels to France, to be wed to Prince Francis there, but when she and her loyal ladies in waiting arrive at the French court, they find much more awaiting them. Intrigue and scandal abound, of course! While it does seem a bit silly, from what I know, the core storyline does accurately follow Mary’s life story. It’s just a fun, loose historical drama that I can’t help but get sucked into.

Scandal (ABC, Netflix)

This one I watch on and off. I’ve seen half of the first season and parts of the other seasons, but I always find myself coming back to Scandal. Scandal tells the story of Washington, D.C.’s top political “fixer,” Olivia Pope, an ex White House employee who now works cleaning up political scandals. However, Olivia soon finds that she herself may be at the center of more than a few scandals! It’s over-the-top, I know, but it just so addicting! I can’t stop watching!

Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Okay, so I’ve only seen the first episode, but from what I’ve seen, Jessica Jones has got me hooked. The show follows Jessica Jones, a private detector with PTSD, an alcohol problem, and a dark, mysterious past, who just happens to also have superhuman powers. Because I’ve only seen the first episode, I don’t really know much past that beyond that but I think I’ll really like the show.

Claire’s #WWCW: Rainbow Rowell | May 25, 2016

Happy Woman Writer Crush Wednesday, where I fawn over my favorite female writers. Today’s feature: Rainbow Rowell.

RainbowRowell

Whenever people ask me: what book do you relate to most? I immediately answer Fangirl. In all the YA books I’ve read, nothing has come as close to portraying the reality of college as Rowell’s depiction in Fangirl. While listening to the audiobook, so many of the insecurities I had felt my freshman year were echoed back to me as Cath learned to navigate college life–I distinctly remember eating lunch in my dorm room the first few weekends because I didn’t want to go to the dining hall by myself and didn’t yet feel comfortable enough with anyone to ask them to come with me. At the same time, I also identified with Wren. I frequently felt the same yearning to start anew and experience the checklist of stereotypical drunken college experiences.

What really hit home though was the world of fandom portrayed in Fangirl. I have made so many friends through common interests in various fandoms, and have found so many new passions through platforms like Tumblr. Way too often, fanfiction (and the teenage girls that frequently write it) are belittled in the media and by others. Which is crazy to me. I have literally read multichapter fanfics longer than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix–how can you not admire the amount of talent and dedication it takes to do something like that? For free, no less. I loved Fangirl for bringing the world of fandom to the forefront with honesty, humor, and heart.

I have read two of Rowell’s other works, Eleanor and Park and Carry On, and was impressed with both. One of these days I will write a review waxing poetic on Carry On–one of the few books I can ever remember reading, finishing, then immediately rereading. As for the rest of her books, they are on my TBR list and I plan on reading them soon!

ONE LAST THING: Next week, Lila will be taking over #WWCW! Look out for her post!

Weekend Rewind | May 22, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

Starflight

Lila

What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

ShootingScars

Lila

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What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

*crickets*

Lila

Not much has happened. I did do a guest post on BookStacksAmber about mental health and writing mental health, though! That was fun! But otherwise, it’s been pretty quiet!

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

Lila finished her sections of this post before me, so this is a response to her comments below: I LOVE THE BROODS!!!! I really like Mother & Father (first listened to it when I was living alone over the summer–it was just so fitting) and Bridges by them. And L.A.F. And Four Walls. I guess it’s safe to just say I really like all their songs. It makes me so happy you like them too!

Lila

I’ve been getting back in touch with music and listening to music a lot more. I rediscovered a ton of great new artists on Saturday including BROODS, Florrie, and Arctic Monkeys, among others. So I’m enjoying that. I saw the season 3 finale of The 100 which was stellar! I can’t believe I have to wait a year for season 4, though! I went blog and twitter hopping on Saturday evening, so I also discovered a great bunch of new blogs which I’ll be checking out from now on! Aaaaaand that’s about it for my weekly likes! What did you discover this past week?

In Other News

Claire

My workload is still overwhelming, so I won’t be blogging much. Luckily, the quarter is over in T-2 weeks, and then it’s SUMMER! (!!!!) I’ll be traveling a bit right at the start, but then I plan on turning into a blogging machine. Also, since a lot of my problem sets don’t involve words, I’ve been able to multitask and listen to audiobooks, so at least my reading hasn’t come to a complete halt.

Lila

Welp. My internet was supposed to be fixed last week. Turns out it wasn’t. *Sigh* So that’s being taken care of and my mom and I are trying to work around patchy internet. But other than that, it was a great week! My boyfriend had an interview in my hometown area so he flew out here and we spent 2 hours together. It was a short period of time, but it was just nice to see him. Plus he brought me some of my books that I left with him! I also ordered these great new glasses frames–fuschia, square cat-eye Lilly Pulitzers! I’m so excited to get them and fill them. The bad new, though, is that my eyesight is so bad that my lenses are going to be really, really, really expensive, so it’ll be a squeeze for my family.

In terms of my reading life, I’m still moving really slowly. Usually it takes me 3 days to finish an audiobook, 2 for books I really love, but lately it’s been taking me 5-7 days! I think I’m just worn out. I feel that in my blogging life too, being worn out, especially of good ideas. I’m not too worried about it, though, because I’m creative and I always find something to do. I just wish I was finishing more books.

 

Claire’s #WWCW: Suzanne Collins | May 18, 2016

Happy Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! Sorry this post is a little late in getting out, but at least it’s still Wednesday! Today I’m giving a shout out to Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games series.

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There’s no question that Suzanne Collins has had a huge impact in YA and pop culture in general. Katniss may not have been the first kick-ass heroine in a YA novel, but her fame gave rise to the trend of YA books featuring physically strong girls taking control of their narratives–not to mention the increase in dystopian literature that followed in The Hunger Games‘s wake. Additionally, The Hunger Games was able to transcend the stereotype that YA is only for girls by drawing hordes of male moviegoers and introducing new readers to the genre. (This is a stereotype, by the way, I completely disagree with. I am very adamantly against the notion that books are a gendered product–I think people of all ages and sexes stand to benefit a lot from reading YA. Unfortunately, there is definitely a stigma surrounded YA which I believe is largely due to the fact that things that interest teenage girls are belittled. Alas, this is a topic best suited to a longer post.)

On a personal note: while I’ve always been an avid reader, my reading noticeably declined for a while in high school. Part of this was that I had a long commute to and from school, so by the time I got home and finished homework I was usually exhausted. The Hunger Games is one of the series that got me back into reading. I started following book blogs on Tumblr and reading fanfiction, and by the end of high school I was more engaged in the book reading community than ever before. For that, I largely have The Hunger Games and Suzanne Collins to thank.

I said this last week about Susan Ee (lol just realized the name similarity) as well, but I hope Suzanne Collins writes more soon! Panem was such a wonderfully crafted world, I’d love to see what else is in Collins’s head!

Weekend Rewind | May 15, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

Lila

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What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

Lila

What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

Not much, unfortunately. This will probably remain the case until summer arrives, which is thankfully less than a month away!

Lila

I couldn’t go to BEA & Bookcon, so I participated in the very fun Armchair BEA. But other than that, not much happened. It was a pretty chill week!

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

Some friends recently got me into romance novels and I cannot stop reading them. They’ve proved terrible for my productivity but I’ve always had issues when it comes to prioritizing homework over reading. No regrets!

Lila

I strengthened my habit of late night blog hopping this past week by reading a ton of great blog posts and watching some awesome booktube videos. I was really interested in Emma’s booktube video on sponsorships and Sara Ella’s vlog on author etiquette on Goodreads (from an author’s perspective).

In Other News

Claire

School will not be letting up any time soon, and will probably only get exponentially worse in the next few weeks as it gets closer to finals. For now, my Igniting the Passion series is going to have to wait. On the bright side, I have a notebook where I jot down comments on books I read, so hopefully once summer arrives I’ll be churning out book reviews!

Lila

Oy (#oywiththepoodles)! It was quite a week! I helped my mom move, went to the Geek Girl brunch in my city, and then something came up at the end of the week that sucked away all of my time! So as you can see, I was pretty busy. But it wasn’t a bad week. Actually, aside from all the work, it felt pretty normal. For the past two months, my mom and I have been staying in a different town during the week (where she has her psychology internship) and coming home on the weekends and the drive between the two places is about 4 hours. So we’d leave on Mondays at 4 am, stay in the town all week, leave on Saturdays at 4 am, and arrive at home for the weekend, repeat x 1234568909876543. This past week her internship ended so we’ll be at home from now on (YAAAAAYYYY!!!). So that’s really nice. But other than that, life’s been chill. It was another slow reading week. I don’t know what is wrong with me. It was like I was a reading machine and now I’ve just burnt out. And of course now is the time when all my library books check out! Argh!!! *shakes fist* But I’ll work it out. I have to remind myself that I can always renew them (but I just want to read them all now!!!).

Claire’s #WWCW: Susan Ee | May 11, 2016

Happy Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! Today I am honoring Susan Ee, the author of Penryn & the End of Days.

Penryn&theEndofDays

I absolutely loved this series (also: look at the covers! gorgeous!), especially the first book Angelfall. What’s really cool is that Angelfall started out as a self-published ebook.  I think Ee does such a great job crafting her characters and building relationships. Her writing frequently had me at the edge of my seat and she wasn’t at all afraid to get gritty–there are some seriously twisted scenes in these books that just amplify the horror of the angelic apocalypse that’s going on.

I’m not sure what Ee’s plans for the future are, but I hope she writes something soon!