Saturday, 21 September 2013

Meme: Stuck In My Head #6 - Royals

Stuck In My Head is a new weekly meme that spotlights the songs you just can't seem to get out of your head. 

Howdy! So a couple of days ago I was procrastinating my life away (as you do) and scrolling through my twitter timeline and I came across a tweet I couldn't really make sense of... it was a lyric of course and as an extremely curious - nosy - person I typed 'Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah' into Google and discovered the song Tennis Court by Lorde. I kid you not, her voice is addictive to the point of crazy and although I adored Tennis Court, after a little more clicking away at Youtube suggestions I found Royals by Lorde and this song... this song is so incredibly awesome.  

Ella Yelich-O'Connor, or Lorde, is a 16 (!!!!) year old singer-songwriter from New Zealand who recently released her first EP, The Love Club EP, in March 2013. Royals, if I put it simply, is about being broke. I didn't think a song about having no money could be so beautiful sounding. 

Yes, it's a little different but if you're a fan of Lana Del Rey or have a thing for random but weirdly deep lyrics set to a catchy tune, I'm pretty sure you'll like Lorde. Have a try... 

(The single hasn't actually been released yet but you can pre-order) itunes:

How about you? What has been stuck in your head? I have actually also really enjoyed listening to Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball recently. I know the video has been very controversial for our Hannah-Montana-turned-twerking-pop-star's lack of clothing however I still really like the song (especially the acoustic version), it's emotional and haunting. The video may not be everybody's cup of tea but I personally don't really have a problem with it, there are plenty of music videos with scantily dressed or naked pop stars. Have you heard Wrecking Ball? What do you think of it? The song and the video? 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Summary (from Goodreads):
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet. Why would they? Anna is sixteen in 1995, fiercely determined to leave her quiet town and finally travel the world. Bennett's seventeen in 2012, living in San Francisco and trying to control his ability to travel through time - an incredible gift, but also an unpredictable curse, which constantly threatens to separate him from the people he loves.

When Bennett suddenly finds himself in Anna's world, they are inescapably drawn to one another - it's almost as if they have met before. But they both know, deep down, that it can never last. For no matter how desperate Bennett is to stay with Anna, his condition will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs - and Anna will be left to pick up the pieces.

Time Between Us is possibly one of the most adorable books I have ever had the good fortune of reading. This is what I call a pick me up book with just the right amount of bittersweet romance, cute teenage first love looks across a room and just a sprinkling of crazy time travel on the top. I really couldn't get enough of it.

What irritates me so much with a lot of popular teen books is that authors feel the need to create so much superficial angst with characters who have too many love interests and are stuck wondering which person they would rather be with or something similar to that. Time Between Us is the romance between two individuals who can't be together because time - like actual proper time.. I'm talking Dr Who space continuum time... yeah, this shit is real - separates them. If that's not star-crossed lovers I don't know what is.

Speaking of said star-crossed lovers, Anna and Bennett are too cute for words. I've probably said this already (probably more than once) but wow, so adorable. This is cheesy grin inducing, a basket full of kittens, rainbows and unicorns adorable. Really.

I loved that I also like Anna on her own, when she wasn't with Bennett. If Anna decided to jump out of fiction and have a little gander in the real world, I would be honoured to be her friend. (The fact that her family owns a bookstore has nothing to do with my feelings, of course not.) Stone creates Anna as a very relatable character (she blushes over the littlest of things, she is my soul sister) who always tries to think of her friends and her family but also has ambition and dreams of her own which I absolutely adored about her. A lot of Anna's inner dialogue is really enjoyable to read and there so many thoughts that really resonated with me e.g.: 

“I stood there and stared at it—this colorful expanse of paper, with its topographic mountain ranges and changeable shades of blue to depict the various depths of the ocean—and saw a map of the world, but knew it wasn’t mine. My world was much, much smaller” 

This novel is too sweet to pass up. Yes, the ending was a little too perfect and not very likely but this is a teen romance about time travel, who really needs a perfectly believable ending? Overall, the characters are truly lovable, the writing is lovely and the story line, addictive... that's all you need from a book to let you effectively escape from your world for a little while.

Music choice: There's something about Time Between Us that really does scream proper Love Story. What better song to sum up all that then Taylor Swift's Love Story that speaks of star-crossed lovers and lonely characters? Here it is.. Love Story by Taylor Swift. :) 

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Summary (from Goodreads):
Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Stealing Parker is a summer read, pure and simple. While Kenneally's debut of Catching Jordan mainly captured my attention with its unpredictable romance, I enjoyed Stealing Parker for entirely different reasons. There is still of course the sporty female protagonists but in the place of surprising love interests, Parker's relationship with God and her religion took centre stage for me. It was incredibly interesting to read about a teenage girl's struggle with her faith grow and change and develop (seen through sporadic diary entries/letters addressed to God) while she went through some heavy family problems and also some other teenage girl dilemmas. Stealing Parker is a great mix of deep ideas in the midst of some not so deep ones.

Parker is a pretty good protagonist and although there were times I felt she was a little grating, she surprisingly grows quite a lot in such a pretty short book. Parker is confused about a lot of things in her life (including boys, faith and especially her parents) just like the majority of teenagers and although she makes some - pretty big - mistakes, they are understandable in her position and they make her an even more relatable character to teens. (Who wants to read about a perfect perfect-y perfect-son anyway, right? :) )

I really enjoyed reading about Parker and her various relationships from her romantic relationship with her older - and irritating - baseball coach to her very realistic family relationships. One of my very favourite parts of Stealing Parker are the couple of last scenes with Parker's brother which are just too adorable for words. The parts I disliked are probably just all the ones with Coach Brian, I found him creepy right off the bat (look at me with my sport metaphors) and I was constantly shouting at Parker through the pages to ditch him and realise that Will is just the cutest thing.

All in all Stealing Parker is lovely book to pick up if you're looking for a fun high school book with some substance. Stealing Parker isn't a surprising read, it's pretty damn predictable if I'm being honest, but it is a sweet one and we all need a little sweetness in our lives.

Music choice: A big part about Stealing Parker was about being a little lost and confused.. about everything. So here you go, Lost by Coldplay.

itunes link:!-ep/id294155980
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