I Rewatched/Reread ‘The Hunger Games’ Trilogy in a Week

Welcome!

I want to preface this post by saying I LOVED THE HUNGER GAMES books and movies in middle school. I only read THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy once in sixth grade (nearly a decade ago!!) and never picked it up again. Only recently did I begin re-reading books (see my Sarah Dessen Summer Readathon). I have seen the movies numerous times, but only when they first released in theatres. I may have watched my DVDs once or twice, but I have not watched any of the movies since my junior year in high school (four years ago!). Needless to say, I have not consumed HUNGER GAMES content for more than a few years.

rewatching the films

With quarantine draining my motivation, I decided to watch the movies after I finished my finals’ work for the day. I completely spaced on the fact BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES released within the week. I had not watched the first film since seventh or eighth grade, so I had a general sense of what happened. I forgot a lot of the details, though.

In the first movie, I could tell the budget was lower than the rest of the films because people weren’t sure how well it would do. I forgot how bad Peeta’s hair looked. His hair is so stiff through the entire movie. I also forgot how sassy Peeta was in the movies. As I re-read the books, I laughed at his sass 1000x more. The first scene I cried at with THE HUNGER GAMES movie was Katniss volunteering for Prim. I know, it’s literally less than 30 minutes into the film. This became such a common reoccurence.

I fell in love with Katniss and Peeta all over again. As I watched the first film, I truly appreciated Haymitch and Effie more than I did as a middle schooler. Perhaps that’s a sign that I’m truly an adult. I don’t know. Haymitch’s relationship with Katniss made me cry because he became like a father figure to her through the films. He took care of her but also pushed her in the arena. Effie became just as attached.

By the end of the first film, I was pretty sure I had felt all the emotions and could not cry anymore. I was wrong. Within a few minutes into CATCHING FIRE, I was a mess again.

I knew where the movie ended, so I was prepared for those emotions. For the majority of CATCHING FIRE, I was frustrated with Katniss being blind to her emotions. Actually, I think she just wouldn’t allow herself to truly feel her emotions towards Peeta to protect him from herself. She saw herself as broken, but Peeta helped Katniss see herself as whole again. Katniss helped Peeta, too, in numerous ways.

The scene that got me crying in CATCHING FIRE was when Katniss asks Peeta to stay with her on the Victory Tour. I was not prepared for that scene to bring up so many emotions. I loved everything between them in this film. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson truly brought these characters to life so well. When they kiss in the arena on the beach, I could see the moment in Lawrence’s eyes that Katniss realized how much she loved Peeta. CATCHING FIRE truly did a wonderful job of developing their romance in the film. And, yes, I bawled at the end even though I knew how it ended.

MOCKINGJAY PART ONE was frustrating for me with how much Katniss relied on Gale. What really made me frustrated was how much the film has Katniss and Gale kissing. They kiss way more in the movies than in the books. Perhaps this it to play up the love triangle, but at this point in the films everyone knows Katniss will end up with Peeta. CATCHING FIRE made that obvious. Gale as a whole made me upset. This is how I feel about Gale:

I started crying when Katniss first sees Peeta. In MOCKINGJAY PART TWO, I bawled at the first sight of Peeta. I basically cried any time Peeta was on screen for the last two movies. For PART TWO, I cried five minutes into the film all the way to the meadow scene. Josh Hutcherson did a phenomenal job acting as hijacked Peeta. Rewatching these films reignited my love for Peeta but also Josh Hutcherson. I even made a TikTok about Josh Hutcherson.

I don’t know how much else I can speak about the films because I basically cried through watching all of them. By rewatching the films, though, I realized how much I missed THE HUNGER GAMES. This led me to listening to the first book on audio while working. Once I reached the halfway mark of the audiobook, I realized BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES released the following Tuesday. At that point, I figured out I could actually reread the entire trilogy before the prequel released if I read a book a day.

rereading the books

While listening to THE HUNGER GAMES audiobook, I was surprised by my enjoyment of the first six chapters. I know this is odd, but I specifically remember my entire friend group (myself included) discussing how slow the first six chapters of the book were in middle school. While I was listening, I appreciated how well Suzanne Collins wove in history with action. She did a great job of keeping the pace of the book moving while explaining the intricate history of Panem.

Peeta and Katniss’ connection in the books is more obvious than the films. Gale truly never stood a chance to book Peeta. He has sass, can bake, and helps Katniss see the best parts of herself. Gale meets Katniss where she’s at, but he was just someone who helped her through a tough part of her life. He was never meant to help her grow as a person. The intimate moments between Peeta and Katniss made me cry. I even knew what a majority of those moments were going to be from watching the films, but I still cried!

I finished the audiobook in less than two shifts at work. I even started the first few chapters of CATCHING FIRE, but I finished reading it physically. I read CATCHING FIRE in an afternoon, and I loved how Peeta is rebellious in his thinking. He is more subtle than Gale, though, which I appreciated. He knows how to work the crowd into seeing it as compassion instead of a direct rebellion against the Capitol.

When Peeta brings up a baby, I was confused at first as to how anyone could think Katniss got pregnant. Then I remembered from the train on their Victory Tour and the time before the Games in the Capitol where they slept in the same bed. Naturally, everyone else thought they were having sex, but they weren’t. Peeta is quite something in CATCHING FIRE.

On another Peeta note, I love how Suzanne Collins develops his character more by showcasing him as more than just a baker. I got more glimpses into Peeta’s life pre-Games in CATCHING FIRE. Everything made me fall in love with him more. Katniss also fell in love with him more. The beach scene in the book confirmed my movie suspicions where Katniss truly knows she is in love with Peeta at this point. She doesn’t outright say it, but she describes it as more of a warm feeling when she forgets about the Games. This is where I get the idea she’s trying to protect Peeta from herself since she won’t acknowledge her love for Peeta. But I also have to remember she’s only 16/17 in these books.

When I finished CATCHING FIRE, I forgot Katniss actually saw Gale and was in District 13. The film ended earlier than the book did for dramatic effect. When I started MOCKINGJAY, I knew I had to finish it that day since BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES came out the next day. While I flew through the book, I still cried numerous times. I took a TikTok break or two to control my emotions. In the book, I got so frustrated with how clingy Gale was to Katniss. The scene where they makeout in District 2 got my blood boiling. He KNEW at this point how in love Katniss was with Peeta. Gale literally says he will never be with Katniss while Peeta is around because she loves Peeta. Gale just needed to let her go, especially when he got jealous of Finnick simply talking to Katniss. Like, Gale just… he just needs to stop.

MOCKINGJAY really brushed over a lot of the deaths, too. I nearly missed Finnick’s death (I KNOW!) since I was reading so quickly. Prim’s death is seen more through Katniss’ grief than in action. Suzanne Collins brilliantly showed Katniss’ grief in the following months. I loved how well everything flowed together and emphasized Haymitch’s importance in Katniss’ life. He understood her on a new level after Prim’s death. I appreciated their relationship developing after the Games.

Peeta returning to District 12 made a bigger impact on me than in the films. Obviously, I cried during the movie. But in the books, Peeta is literally planting bushes in memory of Prim when Katniss catches him outside. I love Katniss’ reaction of finally taking a shower, getting dressed, and eating once Peeta returns. He really brings her to life again. But she also anchors him at the end of MOCKINGJAY. Together they are literally unstoppable.

I would also like to take a moment to appreciate how Suzanne Collins foreshadows the end of MOCKINGJAY in CATCHING FIRE. This queen has Katniss talking about seeing Peeta with his future children playing in the meadow in a world free of the Capitol and its Games. Like… let’s just take a moment. There were multiple other moments of foreshadowing throughout the books. I could never have truly appreciated these books without re-reading them at least once. I can see myself reading these books numerous times in the future. I can only imagine what more I can notice with every reading.

If you made it this far, please comment below your thoughts! I feel like I ran a marathon writing all my reactions and thoughts to the movies and books in one post. I am currently reading BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES, but I will be sure to write a (probably spoiler-filled) review within the next week.

xo,

Charley

My Quarantine TV Show Watchlist

Welcome!

During this quarantine, I have found myself watching more TV shows on Netflix this past month and a half. I wanted to share a few of the shows I have found comfort in watching!

girl meets world

Girl Meets World (TV Series 2014–2017) - IMDb
Google Images

I started watching this show after using the first episode as part of a lesson plan for school. When I was younger, I grew up watching Boy Meets World, so I had been meaning to watch Girl Meets World since it came out. This was exactly the show I needed during a stressful time. I loved everything about the characters: their development, support with each other, and personalities. Seriously, I used the first episode to show how secondary characters necessarily support the main character. THAT’S how good they are. I will say the love triangle gets a bit ridiculous towards the end, but the show gets better.

new girl

New Girl (TV Series 2011) - Trailer - YouTube
Google Images

If you follow me on Twitter, then you definitely know just how quickly I fell in love with this show. I legitimately watched half a season a day for the past few weeks. I couldn’t get enough of the brilliant way the writers developed the romantic relationships over several seasons. Nick and Jess were my favorite couple, and the show wrecked me when they broke up. But I also cried several times with all the proposals and romantic gestures. Don’t get me wrong: the show is not a rom-com. It’s definitely a comedy-centered show.

this is us

Watch This Is Us Episodes at NBC.com
Google Images

This Is Us was the first show I caught up on while in quarantine. I was a season and a half behind from the last time I watched it. I started watching the show when it first premiered since I loved the premise and Mandy Moore with Milo Ventimiglia. Catching up wrecked me emotionally since the show makes me cry once an episode. I couldn’t believe just how powerful the latest season was for character development in the show. I definitely recommend this for anyone who is a writer simply due to the grace it approaches the complex plot lines.

normal people

Normal People (TV Series 2020– ) - IMDb
Google Images

This show is actually on Hulu, but I definitely recommend if you are looking for a moving and aesthetically-pleasing show. I am a third of the way through the show, and I am in love. The show brilliantly displays the difficulty of relationships and societal pressures. I literally fell in love with Marianne and Connell within two episodes. I may have cried, too.

never have I ever

Never Have I Ever Netflix
Google Images

I have only watched the first few episodes of this show, but I absolutely am in love with the characters. The way the show is approaching grief so far is raw. I can’t wait to dive into the show more over the next week.

Which shows have you watched during quarantine? Any shows you recommend rewatching? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

17 Songs on My February 2020 Playlist

Welcome!

In January, I shared 20 songs that I put on my 2020 playlist for the year. I loved how many of you discovered new artists, so I thought I would share songs from my playlist more often! This month I tried to find some new songs after I found myself circling through the same playlist as January for weeks. My tip is to find your favorite Spotify playlist of your own and click “Go to Playlist Radio” to find songs with similar vibes.

blinding lights- the weeknd

I am always a fan of The Weeknd, so I added this song to my playlist pretty quickly after my last post. I absolutely love his voice and the vibes of his music. I could listen (and have) to him all day.

what a man gotta do- jonas brothers

I am all aboard the JoBro’s wives train. I legitimately squealed with joy when I saw that all the wives came back for this video. Nothing makes me happier than seeing them happy.

alive- daughtry

Daughtry is always low-key one of my favorite storytelling artists. His voice is so powerful when all you want to do is have a jam session in the car. Daughtry is an artist I grew up listening to and will listen to for the rest of my life.

teenage dirtbag- ross lynch, jaz sinclair, lachlan watson

Not going to lie: I have a major crush on Ross Lynch. I watched Austin and Ally, and my love for Ross has only grown as I’ve gotten older. When I watched the latest season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, I was ecstatic that Ross Lynch was singing. And that’s the only reason this and the next song are on my playlist.

my sharona- ross lynch, jaz sinclair

the one i’m running to- 7eventh time down

This is an older song that I’ve listened to a thousand times before. When I listened to it this month, though, something just hit differently. I like having this song in my playlist to help me refocus on the good things in life during the stress of my semester.

everything i wanted- billie eilish

Billie Eilish’s songs are always hit or miss for me, but I love the meaning behind this song. Just the thought of gaining everything in life and still not being satisfied or loved by those around you are some of the greatest fears I have in life. It reminds me to be intentional with those around me.

only the young- taylor swift

If you can watch Miss Americana on Netflix and not cry, please let me know how. I bawled the entire time (like ugly crying, bawled) because of the pain and how honest Taylor was in this documentary. Having this song during the election year is a fantastic reminder that the young are the ones who can change the world right now.

me & ur ghost- blackbear

I find blackbear’s voice mesmerizing with this song. The lyrics also ring so true for anyone going through a relationship break-up. I, most definitely, am not going through a break-up (#singleforever), but I love how he tells a story through these honest lyrics.

no shame- 5 seconds of summer

Much like any Ross Lynch song, 5 Seconds of Summer will forever be on my playlist. Their sound has changed drastically since they started, but I love it. I can see myself blaring this song during the summer with my windows rolled down.

know your worth- khalid, disclosure

First, the title of this song is amazing. Second, Khalid is a dream! I mainly added it because Khalid’s voice makes my heart full. And I love that this song is all about reminding people to look for someone who actually knows what you’re worth because it’s more than nothing.

never seen the rain- tones and i

If you’re like me, then you probably started listening to Tones and I thanks to TikTok’s obsession with “Dance Monkey”. But they have such great songs! I definitely recommend checking out more of their songs, and I can’t wait to see this song blow up.

anyone- demi lovato

Demi has been one of my favorites since childhood, but seeing her go through her battles has been hard. When I watched her sing this song at an awards show, I started crying right along with the rest of the audience and Internet.

if the world was ending- jp saxe, julia michaels

The story being told in this song makes my writer’s heart feel like writing an entire contemporary series based on it. I love the thought of putting aside your problems just to simply love the one you’re meant to be with at the end of the world. Also, I heard rumors that they started dating after collaborating on this song. Isn’t that the cutest?

boys like you- anna clendening

This song came from my playlist radio on Spotify, and I will need to dive more into Anna Clendening’s songs. Her voice has such power behind it. I love how this song is a bop but still kind of sad.

you should be sad- halsey

Halsey is always hit or miss again, but the music reminds me slightly of country music with the opening notes which I love. Also, the lyrics make me sad which goes along with the title. But does anyone know the meaning behind them?

older- sasha sloan

This music video is so adorable! I love how well this song captures all the feelings I have felt since growing older and see my parents in a different light. I think the hardest part of growing up is changing how people see you, but also changing how you see the people in your life.

What’s the song you’ve been playing on repeat in February? Any future albums you’re looking forward to releasing this year? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

20 Songs I’m Listening To In 2020

Welcome!

Each year I create a playlist where I add all my favorite songs throughout the year. By the end of each year, I typically have a range of 100 to 150 songs. Well, I’m halfway through January, and I have somehow added 20 songs already! Before I added any more, I wanted to share with you which songs have made my list to start off the year.

Lose You To Love Me – Selena Gomez

I absolutely adore Selena. I have been a fan of her music since her Wizards of Waverly Place days. When she released this single, I definitely started crying from the first lyric. We all know the power of Selena, but I am amazed at the talent of creating this video on an iPhone. Like, to get a deal with Apple to produce a music video on a cell phone? CRAZY!

Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa’s self-titled album was the soundtrack for my freshman year of college. I love how each song of hers is such a good song to dance to with friends or alone. Plus, the lyrics always make me feel empowered to leave behind any negativity I’m feeling.

Memories – Maroon 5

I loved this song before I learned about the meaning behind this song. Now I just about start bawling every single time this song plays on the radio. Every time I hear this song, I think of all the people I have lost in my life and how badly I would love to have them beside me for one last hangout. It helps me appreciate those around me even more.

Look At Her Now – Selena Gomez

This song grew on me the more I listened to it because of how catchy the lyrics are for the chorus. Also, this music video is insane. I love it!

Teeth – 5 Seconds of Summer

I have a slight obsession with boy bands, but 5SOS keeps creating songs with a sound that pulls me in. It definitely helps, too, that Luke Hemmings is the lead singer. They have all grown up so much since I first heard their song ‘She Looks So Perfect‘.

Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi

Apparently I just love songs that can make me cry. I will blast this song on MAX whenever it comes on the radio. And I definitely act like it’s raining outside and stare out a window (especially if I’m in the car) like a dramatic early 2000s video. Lewis Capaldi quickly became my favorite singer in 2019, and I can’t wait to see what he releases next.

Easier – 5 Seconds of Summer

5SOS has definitely created some darker music videos, but their sound reminds of Ansel Elgort’s songs, just better.

Love Me Anyway – P!nk, Chris Stapleton

P!nk has developed from an artist who created songs for the angry and powerful to the vulnerable. I love every song she has released throughout the years. My mom listened to P!nk when I was younger, so I grew up listening to this powerful woman who could take down the world. As I’ve gotten older, she has written so many vulnerable songs, and I am here for it. I will throw a party with her songs in one minute and turn around to start crying the next minute. Plus, Chris Stapleton is slowly becoming one of my favorite country artists out there.

Adore You – Harry Styles

Harry Styles was not my favorite One Direction band member. I didn’t even fully enjoy his debut album. Whatever he did for this second album, though, has been a hit with me. I have multiple favorites from this album, especially this song.

Take What You Want – Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne

Post Malone has written many songs I enjoyed, especially with his latest album. Hearing Post Malone sing a song with Ozzy Osbourne, though, just hits a place deep in my soul that makes me ready to take on the world. The combined sound of their voices… it’s magical. But my favorite part was all the people who didn’t know who Ozzy Osbourne was and thinking Post discovered him. Like, what?

Dance Monkey – Tones and I

The only reason this song ever made it onto my playlist was because of TikTok. So many people on my “For You” page created TikToks to this song, and it got stuck in my head. The obvious solution is to put it on a playlist for the entire year to have it stuck in my head eternally. It does get me dancing, though.

Trampoline – SHAED, ZAYN

The music for this song gives me a cozy feeling for some reason. I could listen to this song on a rainy day and feel like it’s my anthem. I didn’t even realize ZAYN sang in this song until I added it to my playlist. Like Harry, he was not my favorite in One Direction. But yet, here he is on my playlist.

Yellow Hearts – Ant Saunders

Just like “Dance Monkey”, this song is also brought to my playlist by TikTok. I do like the early 2000s vibes of the music video. The lyrics of the song feel like the perfect love song for any awkward human.

Flux – Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding is a masterpiece, and her voice paints pictures so vividly in my mind. I love the rainy day vibes (once again) I get while listening to her songs. The romance created with the lyrics allow me to close my eyes and see a future I hope to have one day.

Mean It – Lauv, LANY

If you’re looking for a good “Summer Days” artist, then Lauv provides those vibes. I’m all about the vibes with artists apparently. Lauv just keeps releasing bops, and they keep ending up on my playlist. I don’t even follow Lauv anywhere to know when they will be releasing new music. I probably should.

21 Years – TobyMac

If you don’t follow TobyMac or the Christian music scene, then let me tell you why this song (and video) makes me BAWL. Toby recently and unexpectedly lost his son Tru, and this song details Toby’s grief. Tru was my age, and he was just starting his music career. He held only one live show and didn’t release any music. I grew up listening to his little music cameos on Toby’s albums, and just knowing Tru will never be able to have his own music legacy destroys me. I am legit crying just writing this…

Slow Dance – AJ Mitchell, Ava Max

I had to get used to the beginning of the song’s changing speeds with AJ’s lyrics, but I love when the song gets into the chorus. I can just see this song being played at school dances and clubs. If a guy came up to me at a club (for whatever reason I may be at one) when this song started playing, I would definitely slow dance with him. I’m not quite sure how you would slow dance to this song, but I would.

Born to Be Brave – Cast of HSMTMTS (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series)

GAH! My guilty pleasure has definitely been binge-watching HSMTMTS. I adore this series and the powerful voices in this cast. I love the energy this song brings, and I want to match that energy in 2020.

Just for a Moment – Cast of HSMTMTS

I was watching the Disney+ special on creating this series, and this song was written by Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo specifically for their characters. I may have already started crying during the entire final two episodes, but when I heard this song start fresh tears came to my eyes. This series is done so well, and I love that the cast got to write some of the songs, too.

Ring – Selena Gomez

I started with Selena, and I ended with Selena. I will probably even be adding more Selena songs to the playlist after this post goes live. I can’t wait to see how many awards Selena wins with this album after four years of creation.

Which songs have you been playing on repeat? Any songs or artists I should listen to? Let me know if you want to see songs for February, too!

xo,

Charley

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gabbie hanna “2WAYMIRROR” reaction

This post contains affiliate links.*

Welcome!

I wanted to share one of my favorite YouTubers and independent artists: Gabbie Hanna. My sister first introduced me to Gabbie when she bought me her poetry book, adultolescence*. I fell in love with the talent Gabbie had for writing. When I started watching Gabbie’s videos, I started with her storytime videos. Then I started watching her newer videos which discussed her music. The first time I heard Gabbie’s voice, I knew I would always be a fan of hers. Gabbie officially launched her first full album. If you haven’t heard anything of Gabbie’s before, I would recommend jumping into this story of an album.

I did a reaction post for Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty album, so I thought I would post my initial reactions to Gabbie’s album, too. She seriously has such a talent with her voice, song organization, and storytelling.

Broken Girls

When I heard the opening notes of this song, my immediate thought was that this song could be happy. Then the lyrics came in. Gabbie has a way with her songs to take the listener on a rollercoaster ride. “Broken Girls” is the perfect example for her talent. I could hear this song becoming a number one hit on the radio as I listened to it each time.

Butterflies

I recently watched Gabbie’s video about the process for writing and producing this song. I was absolutely amazed how quickly she was able to piece it all together to create this masterpiece. The transition into the chorus felt a bit abrupt, but I fell in love with the song at the 1:40 mark. This will be a song I will return to repeatedly throughout 2019.

Perfect Day (A True Story)

“A FOGGY MIRROR WITH A MESSAGE STARING BACK AT ME”?!?! This is the song, people! The cover art comes from this song, y’all. The juxtaposition between the angry and soft moments made me cry. I cannot believe just how I can literally feel the tone of the album change in this song. While the songs before aren’t happy, I can feel the hope. But around the halfway mark of this song, the tone changes to an angrier and deeper tone.

Click image to purchase Gabbie’s album on Amazon*.

Pillowcase

“Pillowcase” gave me chills. Let’s be honest, this entire album gave me chills. The song builds up only to drop down to softer tones. I love how Gabbie tuned into her softer voice instead of being all power in this song. She shows how impactful her voice can be without giving it all she has in a song.

Medicate

I have been playing “Medicate” on repeat since Gabbie released it as a single with the music video. The tone in her voice with the lyrics make me want to pause and just soak the music in every time it plays. When you listen to this song, just take the 3:24 minutes to listen to Gabbie sing.

Goodbye, For Now

The final song perfectly wraps up the entire story of the relationship told through the album. I can hear the closure in the words and tone of Gabbie’s voice.

Gabbie also places in short clips of songs/voicemails for transitions between her songs. Each clip has a purpose and tells more of the story. Gabbie straight up tells her story of this relationship she was in (which she has talked about in her YouTube videos) and gives context through the transitions. You could listen to her songs out of order and still get a good idea of what the album is about, but listening straight through gives you such a different experience.

Have you listened to Gabbie’s songs before? What did you think of her songs? Do you like album reactions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

xo,

Charley

marvelous mrs. maisel season 2 review // pregnancy, new loves, and the catskills

The other day I wasn’t feeling well, so I took the day off of work. I laid in bed all day, ate soup, and watched the entire second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. If you haven’t watched this show, find someone with a Prime subscription and watch it. The show came back for a second season full of more punchlines than ever before as well as some serious discussions.

marvelous mrs. maisel season 2 header
from spoilertv.com

I’m going to jump right in with Midge’s new relationship that starts about mid-season and continues through the end. Benjamin stole my heart right away from the second he was shown on screen. He respects Midge and challenges her to be more than just a housewife. Plus, he is a freaking doctor. I did not feel like the show delved into their relationship as much as I would have liked. Benjamin is definitely a major secondary character, but I wanted more!

Image result for the marvelous mrs. maisel benjamin
from hollywoodreporter.com

Which also brings me to the awkward conversation about Joel. I definitely felt like he was a jerk during the first season. Then somehow my heart started breaking during certain scenes with Joel in the second season. When he would look like such a sad puppy dog about Midge, I would struggle with my love for Benjamin and my forgiveness for Joel. The two could not be further opposites, but yet I can see how they both work for Midge.

The second season definitely brings some Dirty Dancing vibes with the entire family going on vacation to the Catskills. I absolutely loved it! For anyone that doesn’t know, I adore all things Dirty Dancing. When The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel mentioned going to the Catskills, I just about lost it. The middle of the season takes place primarily in the Catskills, so I definitely got my fix in.

Throughout the show, though, Midge tackles what being a comedian actually is like with the show business and touring. She starts to do more gigs and runs into walls with how she is censored. For example (NOT A SPOILER) she can’t say the word “pregnant” on stage despite guys being able to do vulgar acts about sex. I definitely felt some parallels to today’s climate with comedians and the movements.

The last episode in the show broke me. With the plot twist with Midge’s career, relationship, and the final few minutes. I was yelling at the screen from the start of the show until the end. All of the characters in the show had wrenches thrown into their lives in the final episode which left so much open for the third season.

Once again, if you have not watched this series yet, find a way. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will for sure make you laugh.

I sincerely hoped you enjoyed this post. If you did, make sure to let me know in the comments below. Make sure to like this post and subscribe to the blog to be updated when I post more!

xo,

Charley

mortal engines movie review // why did i not hear about this?!?

Doesn’t this movie look amazing? And can you believe it’s a YA adaptation? Somehow this movie (and book) escaped my radar until literally three days ago. I saw a few bookstagrammers post promo package images on Instagram, but I didn’t think too much about those. I thought the book was new and looked cool. Then… I watched an Emmmabooks video for YA movie adaptations reviews where she opens with talking about this movie. I had a day off due to cancelled plans and decided to take advantage of my local theater’s student discount to watch this movie.

Before I walked into the movie, though, I decided to check the ratings and saw terrible reviews. Well, let this review be the one that says otherwise.

I had virtually no idea of what the movie was going to be besides watching the trailer and the short clip in Emmmabooks video where she mentioned it. I was pleasantly surprised. I laughed, cried, and jumped through all the action. MORTAL ENGINES hits the spot for everyone, whether you like action, dystopian, a bit of romance, etc.

I loved the world building in the movie and all the animations. The idea of cities that move and tear each other apart for energy is fascinating. The movie opens up with the action of the cities chasing each other down, and I loved how caught up I got within minutes with all the action. The details in the buildings and landscapes kept me enraptured. I could definitely tell the movie came from the LOTR and HOBBIT filmmakers simply from this detail.

All the characters were unique and had their backstories that made me cry, especially Hester. Throughout the movie, I struggled with loving and hating the same characters simply because of how complex each character turned out to be. Hester was annoying at first because she seemed a little “high and mighty” but then turned out to have the worst upbringing ever by a monster who could not feel. I ended up loving one of the villains (yes, there are multiple) despite all his terrible acts. I was legit crying in an empty theater (besides two other guys).

The plot surprised me multiple times with different twists. I don’t want to give away too much information, but everything about this movie is in the small details. Honestly. Pay attention to the smallest thing a character says or does.

I do have a newfound love for Tom Natsworthy, though.

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from mortalenginesmovie.com

He literally took time during an INTENSE fighting scene to stare at some nice aviator jackets. It made me laugh at the most inappropriate timing considering all the fighting going on. I absolutely loved his character because of all the quirks and knowledge. Honestly, he is the most attractive person for a Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff person. He is so sweet…

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I can’t speak for how accurate the adaptation is because I haven’t read the book… yet. I did some browsing through Twitter though and found that is was a decent adaptation. Most adaptations can’t capture everything the book does simply for lack of time, but this movie is literally two hours long. I picked up the book as well, and the book didn’t seem too thick considering the length of the movie. I will hopefully read the book soon, and then I will be able to speak to the adaptation value.

Keep an eye out for the book review coming (hopefully) within a month’s time!

Have you read/watched MORTAL ENGINES yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

XO,

Charley

the holiday calendar movie reactions// unique, cheesy, and the perfect amount of romance

Welcome to day three of Blogmas!

My love for any and every cheesy holiday movie is no secret on the Internet. As soon as Netflix put their first holiday movie of the season out, you best believe I was watching it that night. I saw a trailer for THE HOLIDAY CALENDAR and knew I was going to love it. 

The movie, overall, had solid acting and a great storyline. Netflix threw in a few plot twists that surprised me (and hurt my heart) for a cheesy holiday movie. 

These reactions are NOT SPOILER-FREE! If you are planning on watching the movie and have not yet, make sure to avoid this post and come back later in the month (or day) to see if our reactions were similar!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you definitely saw my reactions. I thought it would be fun to add a little more context to these tweets.

As required, I saw the love triangle from the moment “dreamy dad” walked onto the scene. I did like that the dreamy dad was semi-likable (until later on) which made me enjoy the movie more. I did not like the idea of the friend with our main character. The chemistry simply was not there. 

Fernando, the comedic relief, had the best lines of the entire movie. Every time he was on screen, I was guaranteed to laugh. 

I used to ice skate at least once every winter at the park down the road from my house, but, as I got older, I stopped. After watching all these cheesy holiday movies, I definitely think I should start ice skating more often. I think this might be the reason I’m still single. 

This was my conflict with the movie. They suddenly made the dream dad super unlikable in a matter of a scene. His character made a 180 degree change from out of nowhere. While I appreciate cheesy movies having plot twists, I did not enjoy this one. 

Netflix not only plugged its’ own service and movie in THE HOLIDAY CALENDAR, but also in THE PRINCESS SWITCH. Like, I’m obviously already in love with you, Netflix. Do I need more convincing?

Like I said before, I loved all of Fernando’s lines. Also, this is the moment I knew Netflix was going to put Abby with Josh (the friend). While initially I did not support the decision… yeah, I still didn’t like them at this point. 

The movie was actually pretty sad for a bit, and I almost thought Netflix was going to pull a major plot twist by not having Abby and Josh date at the end. But, I also really wanted Gramps to pull the calendar out from behind his chair and save having to put Josh back into the storyline. 

When Abby said the above line, my heart became mush. I do have a human heart in my chest. The final moments of the movie were full of good romance between Abby and Josh, heart-warming scenes, and a solid ending. 

Have you watched THE HOLIDAY CALENDAR yet? Do you have any favorite holiday movies you watch every year? Let me know in the comments below! 

Make sure to come back tomorrow for more blogmas fun!

XO,

Charley

currently on my watch list // all things netflix, hulu, and amazon prime

Hello! I promise I still exist. College professors have been piling essays, exams, and projects on top of me this semester. Work isn’t any better, either, with the holiday season prep and chaos. But somehow I still find time to sit and watch a show or movie every once in a while. Since I tweet plenty about my shows and reactions, I decided to give a little sneak peek as to what is really on my watchlists. 

netflix

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The only show I have on my “continue watching” category on Netflix is ONCE UPON A TIME. I am about halfway through season 5, but I have reached a slump. I’ll come back to it eventually. Perhaps in January when life slows down. 

I will definitely be adding in some good romance Christmas movies, though, as I get into December. I’ve already watched a few Netflix originals this month, but I can’t wait for everything coming up. Make sure to keep an eye out for a great list once December hits!

hulu

Hulu is where I spend most of my time watching shows since the service keeps the most recent shows up to date. Hulu=1, Netflix=0. 

I Feel Bad   

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I’m not actually fully sure how I got roped into watching this one, but each week I keep coming back to watch this hilarious comedy show about a mother trying to navigate the world. I love how the show takes topics and lessons relevant in today’s society and makes them actually seem realistic. 

The Good Place 

I recently binge-watched the first two seasons of this show at the end of the summer. If I could have learned psychology this way instead of sitting through a brutal semester, I would choose this show every time. I love all the twists and unexpected plot turns. 

A Million Little Things 

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This show has made me cry a few times now, so I guess you could say I’m hooked. A MILLION LITTLE THINGS discusses suicide, depression, affairs, etc., basically everything in life that people don’t generally talk about. 

New Amsterdam 

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I never really got into medical dramas before, but I decided to give NEW AMSTERDAM a try. I have been determined to watch this show every week. I can definitely see this show lasting for years. 

Single Parents 

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While I’m not a single parent, I love watching this sitcom. The rallying of these single parents and creating a community is heart-warming. I also get lots of enjoyment and second-hand humiliation from watching these characters. 

This Is Us 

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If you haven’t heard about this show, then you may be living under a rock. Season 3 is definitely a tear-jerker with flashbacks to Jack’s days in Vietnam, the early days of Jack and Rebecca dating, and then, of course, present day. 

amazon prime

America to Me 

Image result for america to me tv show

One of my professors recommended this documentary series for my class, and I have watched a few episodes already. Technically, this show is a part of my STARZ subscription through Amazon Prime. I think this documentary is important to watch no matter what profession you have. 


Which shows are you currently watching? Do you watch any of these shows? Want to see a series/season review of any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

XO,

Charley

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before // book re-read + movie review

to all the boys i've loved before book coverWhat if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control. 


I have definitely been one of many people hyping up the release of the TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE movie adaptation. After watching the movie three times in one weekend, I knew I would never stop replaying the rom-com. After I read the book again (in one day), I fell in love with the magic of the movie all over again.

I will briefly talk about my reactions to reading the book again before moving on to my reactions to the film. Although, if you follow me on Twitter you probably already know most of my feelings for this film/book. #notsorry Spoilers from the book (and the movie) will follow here, so if you have not watched/read TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, please stop here.

 

Originally, I read the book back in July 2014, just over 4 years ago already. I just recently got into re-reading books, so I only remembered the general storyline and bits and pieces of details. After watching the movie twice (back-to-back), I knew I had to read the book in order to be truly critical of the movie. (I don’t mean critical like hate, but as someone who is going to be reviewing the movie.)

As I read the book, I realized how much of the Song sister chemistry had been changed along with Peter and Lara Jean’s chemistry in the movie. In the book, Peter and Lara Jean obviously start off with minimal, if any, romantic attraction to each other. The fake dating trope heavily develops into their romance later in the book. Naturally, books have more time to develop character backgrounds, identities, etc. versus a movie which is allotted a certain amount of time to tell the entire story. The Song sisters had a different rhythm in the movie as well (much more welcoming to each other). Kitty and Lara Jean bickered a lot more in the books which made their development and growth together that much more meaningful in Margot’s absence in the book than the movie.

I enjoyed falling in love with Peter Kavinsky as Lara Jean did, but I liked being reminded about the intense love triangle with Josh Sanderson. Josh plays a much bigger role in the book than simply Margot’s ex-boyfriend or the boy-next-door. I still don’t like Josh in the book (or the movie), but his character suddenly made sense to be in the story and more of a tension point between Peter and Lara Jean.

A final note about the book: John Ambrose McClaren is more than an ending scene. I still remember this… boy… from the sequel, but he appears much more in the first book. If you watched through the end credits of the movie, then you know how perfectly the writers set up for a sequel movie. While the the movie does reference John Ambrose as a letter receiver, Lara Jean has no interaction with him beyond that. In the book, however, Peter gives Lara Jean his number, she goes to see John Ambrose at an UN event, and seriously considers reaching out to him as a potential boyfriend. I freaked when he showed up in the movie. If you haven’t read the books, you may not have known why it was such a big deal for him to show up at the end and what it could lead to.

Pivoting off the book and to the movie, I feel like the movie emphasized Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship more than the other boys. Josh was still used as a tension point in the movie, but Josh’s scenes felt disconnected from everything else happening. When everything blows up at the end, I felt like Margot forgave quicker than in the book and Josh had no consequence. The climactic points in the book did not transfer to the movie as well as I hoped simply because of the lack of character development beyond Lara Jean and Peter.

The chemistry between Lana Condor and Noah Centineo as the main characters, however, was beyond what I imagined. To be honest, I was not a huge fan of Noah Centineo in THE FOSTERS when he replaced Jake T. Austin as Jesus Foster. As soon as he showed up as Peter Kavinsky, though, I knew Noah Centineo finally found his part. The chemistry between the two actors made me want more scenes between them which naturally happened. As soon as I saw the scene between them in the diner when Lara Jean tells about the five letters, I knew I was falling in love with Peter and Lara Jean all over again. The rest of the film was basically me geeking out over all the little things.

While the film didn’t have the road trip to the estate sale, John Ambrose McClaren, and a few other things, the movie did have a lot of unique quirks and additions that I loved. For instance: Lucas became a significant side character, Lara Jean and her dad discussed love in a diner, and Jenny Han made a cameo. Peter and Lara Jean had a lot more heart-to-hearts and fell in love in their own way.

I love both the book and movie separately, but the movie also holds up against the book. As far as adaptations go, TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE takes its place as one of the best I’ve seen. (*cough cough* definitely not a PERCY JACKSON disaster *cough*) I am excited to see a movie sequel *crosses fingers* as well as read the P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU again… soon.


Did you watch TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE on Netflix yet? Have you read the books? Did you enjoy either one? Let me know in the comments!

Miss Charley (2)

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