Five Netflix Shows to Binge this Summer

Hello everyone! Summer is nearly upon us, and so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Netflix shows that I’ve seen recently that I think would make great summer binge-watching.


SCHITT’S CREEK

PREMISE: When rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek.

WHY IT’S WORTH A WATCH: I cannot recommend this show enough! I’ve already binge watched all the seasons twice in the span of a month. The cast and characters are what makes Schitt’s Creek such an fantastic, hilarious show. The actors not only have amazing chemistry with one another, but they really give life to their characters. Alexis and David have the most realistic sibling relationship I’ve ever seen portrayed on TV. Another great aspect? The episodes are only 20 minutes in length, which is perfect for someone with a short attention span like me.

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SEX EDUCATION

PREMISE: A teenage boy with a sex therapist mother teams up with a high school classmate to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school.

WHY IT’S WORTH A WATCH: If the premise doesn’t make you want to watch the show for the hilarious shenanigans bound to occur, I don’t know what will. The series tackles teenage sexuality, the lack of sex education in schools, and the importance of interpersonal relationships and friendships in ways that are hilarious, awkward, and realistic. It can be a bit raunchy at times, but it also has plenty of moments that are sweet and poignant.

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GOOD GIRLS

PREMISE: Three suburban mothers suddenly find themselves in desperate circumstances and decide to stop playing it safe and risk everything to take their power back.

WHY IT’S WORTH A WATCH: You know that friend that everyone has that always seems to make bad decisions, which have negative consequences but they still continue to make even more bad decisions because of those consequences and yet we love them anyway? That’s what watching this show is like. We follow three friends begin a life of crime because of the domino effect of their first bad decision. Viewers might face the same moral dilemma I did, in that even though they’re partaking in criminal activity, I still wanted them to succeed. This series perfectly combines the genres of thriller + comedy to create a totally binge-worthy show that makes me feel a little better about my own life choices.

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WORKING MOMS

PREMISE: Four very different thirty-something working mothers and friends try to balance their jobs, family life and love life in modern day Toronto, Canada.

WHY IT’S WORTH A WATCH: I’m not a mother, but even I could appreciate the relatable humor in this female-centered show. It’s honest, realistic, and highlights the sometimes-hilarious-sometimes-not struggles many women have in balancing parenting, marriage, and work. The show deals with a lot of the cultural expectations and unspoken pressures many women face in a light-hearted, comedic way. And in between the laughs, the series touches on the more serious issues following childbirth, such as postpartum depression. Again, I’m not a mom myself, but as a woman even I could appreciate the show’s humor!

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DEAD TO ME

PREMISE: A hotheaded widow searching for the hit-and-run driver who mowed down her husband befriends an eccentric optimist who isn’t quite what she seems.

WHY IT’S WORTH A WATCH: This show is full of some funny scenes, but it also has some really sad moments, as well as a few well-placed plot twists. Christina Applegate is absolutely amazing in her role as a new widow on a quest to find the driver who killed her husband in a hit-and-run. The series is unique in that you start to form a bond and a liking to most of the characters…even the ones you shouldn’t.

dead to me

Game of Thrones: Favorite Moments

Hello and welcome back for another Game of Thrones themed post! The greatest thing about both the show and series is that you never know what is going to happen next. There have been some really amazing moments throughout the show, and I decided to talk about some of my absolute favorites! P.S. If you aren’t caught up with all seven seasons, turn back now as there are spoilers ahead!


THE BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS

I can’t even pick my favorite moment, because this whole damn episode is amazing. I could watch it over and over. The entire battle was a cinematic masterpiece. I can’t remember ever being so engrossed in an episode like that before! And the fact that they succeed in retaking Winterfell and the revenge Jon has on Ramsay made my little heart so happy.
jon botb


JON AND SANSA’S REUNION

I didn’t even know I wanted this reunion to happen until it did. This is honestly on the most emotional scenes in the whole show, and you’re lying if you say it didn’t tug on your heartstrings. After six seasons, these are the first two Stark siblings to reunite and it was everything. Kit and Sophie did an amazing job with this scene; their body language and facial expressions are so expressive and you can practically feel the emotion coming from the characters through the screen.

jonsa hug


THE HATCHING OF DRAGONS

Other shows should take note on how to end their first season. The moment after Daenerys emerges from the smoke and ashes of the funeral pyre with three newly hatched dragons was glorious. This moment made me so freaking excited for the next season and for her future storyline. It was the perfect ending to a new and unpredictable tv series that was (correctly) predicted to be the next hit show. 

daenerys dragons


THE KING IN THE NORTH

Last week I had mentioned that Jon slowly became one of my favorite characters. Not only is this moment awesome because of the ferocious Lyanna Stark, but my boy Jon gets everything he never thought he could have or deserved. There’s a ton of foreshadowing in the books pointing to this moment, but it was so amazing to watch. For whatever reason, this King in the North crowning felt way more emotional and important than Robb’s, and I think it’s because of how much Jon (and Sansa) have suffered to get to this point. Robb already had the North’s loyalty because of Ned, but Jon had to earn their trust. 

KitN


REVENGE ON THE FREYS

I nearly screamed out loud when Arya took off her face. What a BADASS and the best way to get revenge. And also, what better way to begin a new season and draw watchers into the story, all the while setting the stakes of what is to come later on. Here’s to hoping Arya gets more revenge and crosses more names off her list in season eight!

frey revenge


DAENERYS CROSSING THE NARROW SEA

I mean, we only waited like, six seasons for this to happen? There was something so satisfying at seeing Daenerys with her the army and supporters she has amassed throughout the series finally crossing the sea towards Westeros together. Was I excited about what that means for the people of Westeros? No. But ignoring the fact that she’s about to attempt to conquer the same country she wants to rule, that scene was pretty spectacular to watch.

daenerys narrow sea


JOFFREY CHOKING

Another wedding in which I wanted to weep: tears of happiness, that is. I remember watching this with friends and how the mood in the room was instantly uplifted after this scene. People have many different opinions when it comes to this show and the books, but I think the entire fandom is united in their hatred of Joffrey. 

joffrey choking


RAMSAY’S DEATH

I still can’t decide who is worst: Joffrey or Ramsay. I will say that I was equally pleased by both their deaths. But the thing that brought me greatest happiness was that it was Sansa who finally got to serve some revenge on her abuser. And the way she choose to administer death? Beautiful. 

ramsay's death


“HOW DO YOU ANSWER THESE CHARGES, LORD BAELISH?”

By this time in the series, I should be expecting to be surprised, but that was one fantastic twist. I was so thankful that Petyr Baelish finally met his end, and at the hand of the two Stark girls no less. This is the man who set into motion the events that would eventually start the War of the Five Kings, who was directly or directly responsible for the deaths of multiple characters, who sold Sansa to the Boltons. The whole trial is amazing: from Littlefinger’s confusion, to Arya’s knowing smirk, to Sansa’s sass and fierceness. 

littlefinger's trial


Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite moments from the book or show? Let me know in the comments!

Game of Thrones: Favorite Characters

As a huge fan of both George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO series Game of Thrones, I’m extremely ecstatic (and sad) about the upcoming final season. The books and show are one of my favorite things to talk to others about, and I decided in honor of the premiere coming soon, I will be posting a fun Game of Thrones inspired post every on various Sundays before the first episode airs and throughout the season. If you’re a fan of either of the show or books, please chat with me in the comments with your thoughts and opinions!

For my first post, I’m so excited to talk about all of my favorite characters! The great thing about Game of ThronesASOIAF is all the different characters present: good, bad, and every shade of gray in-between. There are many POVs in the books (and on the show) that I enjoy reading/watching, but don’t particular hope they succeed in their endeavors. And then there are other characters whose storylines I cannot get enough of and wish all the happiness in the world for (HA. We all know GRRM by now).


SANSA STARK

My Queen in the North. All I want is for her to end up alive, happy, and surrounded by her loved ones in Winterfell. The amount of hate she gets is not only completely unwarranted and uncalled for, but extremely upsetting and frustrating. People are always so surprised when I tell them she’s my absolute favorite. Must of her hate stems from the fact that she’s a female character that is not oversexualized in the show but is also not a “fierce, warrior” type woman, and so they believe her to be useless – despite the fact that she is sharp, intelligent, kind, and arguably the character with the greatest character growth. People blame her for her idealistic, naive behaviors/thoughts she had when she was a CHILD and continue to hold it against her. The fact that is 2019 and there are still so many people who think she deserves all the abuse/rape/trauma that has happened to her is sickening and you can miss me with that bullshit. sansa


JON SNOW

Given my track record with favorite male characters, you may be surprise to learn that I didn’t like Jon Snow at first. It actually took me until season 4/5 until I really began to like his character. While reading the books, however, he was quickly one of my favorite POVs to read. BookJon and ShowJon have many similarities, but BookJon is a bit more harder and possesses a more questionable sense of honor than in the show – and I kind of dig it. His chapters also helped me appreciate his show character so much more, and it has made a tremendous difference. The last couple of seasons, besides Sansa he is the one character I treasure and hope all the best for.
jon


CERSEI LANNISTER

Let me preface this by saying I do not like Cersei Lannister, but she is a fantastic character – book and showise. In the show, Lena Headey does such a marvelous job with her character. While I never want her to succeed in her schemes, she is just so damn entertaining to watch. In the books, I still despise her as a person and pray for her demise, but I’d be lying if I said her chapters aren’t some of my absolute favorite to read. Cersei’s mind is so interesting to be inside of: she’s diabolical, manipulative, and vain. A Feast for Crow was the most boring book of the series for me, and one of the only redeeming qualities was all of the Cersei chapters.
cersei


ASHA / YARA GREYJOY

Asha – known as Yara in the show – is such a badass female character and I love following her! She’s an easy character to root for and I really want her to claim the Seachair in the Iron Islands. Throughout both the books and the show, she has proved herself to be a strong, intelligent, courageous woman. I’m still making my way through A Dance with Dragons, but I’m excited that there will finally be more chapters from her POV! asha


ARYA STARK

She’s about as opposite as you can get from her sister, but I really enjoy her character. Throughout the story, Arya has gone through some really tough shit. I’ve enjoyed watching her grow as a character immensely, and I absolutely love every time she gets revenge on someone. She was so close so many time to reuniting with different members of her family; it was both heartbreaking and extremely frustrating. I was ecstatic when she finally made her way home to Winterfell. 

arya


DAENERYS TARGARYEN

She is such a fascinating character, and I’ve really enjoyed reading and watching her transition into an anti-hero as the time has gone on. As with Cersei, I don’t necessarily like her as a person, but I love being in her mind. Even though there a lot of things she does that I don’t agree with and that make her a borderline villain, there are a few situations in which I rooted for her and applauded her success. There’s no denying the fact that Daenerys sets out to do good, and yet the way she gets things done is not always right or just. Do I want her to ultimately sit on the Iron Throne? Gods, no. Have I enjoyed watching her journey to the throne? Hell yes. daenerys


Thanks for reading! Do you watch or read Game of Thrones? Who are your favorite characters? If you enjoyed this post let me know below and be sure to look for my next Game of Thrones themed post next Sunday!

Favorite Romance Tropes

We all have those tropes that make picking up a certain book a no-brainer. In the honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to talk about all the romance tropes that I absolutely love in a book. If I detect a hint of any of these in a synopsis, you can bet I’ll be adding that book to my TBR. I’m also really mad because as I was writing this post, I was drawing some serious blanks and could not recall any books that featured a lot of these tropes. I need to go back and reread every book I’ve ever had and take notes.


ENEMIES TO LOVERS

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: hate-to-love romances are my bread and butter. There are so many great aspects to this trope: the heated arguments, the palpable angst, the sexual tension, the mixed feelings. Honestly, just give me two characters that hate each other and hint at an attraction and I’ll be good to go.

Favorite Examples: Cardan + Jude from The Cruel Prince, Eelyn + Fiske from Sky in the Deep, Magnus + Cleo from Falling Kingdoms, Matthias + Nina from Six of Crows, Anthony + Kate from The Viscount Who Loved Me


CHILDHOOD FRIENDS TO LOVERS

The next best thing to hate-to-lovers, is having two people who have know each other for forever and then eventually develop feelings – or better yet, discover the feelings have been there all along. I love everything about it: the history between them, the inside jokes, the established friendship, the moments of jealousy before they realize their feelings. 

Favorite Examples: Malyen + Alina from Shadow and Bone, Eril-Fane + Azareen from Strange the Dreamer, Elliot + Macy from Love and Other Words, Jay + Violet from The Body Finder


THERE’S ONLY ONE BED

You know this trope. The protagonist and love interest encounter a situation where they need to stay in a room with only one bed which – to my great delight – they end up sharing. Every time this happens in a book, I turn into giddy, squealing schoolgirl. I don’t know how this trope originated, but I would like to personally thank each and every author that’s ever utilized it. Bonus points if they hate each other. Extra bonus points if they end up cuddling by morning or the male love interest wakes up with a bit of a situation, ya know what I’m saying 😉

Favorite Examples: All of them. (but no seriously, I’m drawing a huge blank and cannot think of a single book with this trope even though I’ve read it so many times. If anyone can think of any specific YA books in which this happens, please comment below and put me out of my misery 😭)


FAKE RELATIONSHIP

I love me a good fake relationship, especially when the characters need to make it believable and act in love: hold hands, snuggling up, kissing. I know it’s probably redundant at this point, but the trope is even better when they don’t even really like each other at the beginning.

Favorite Examples: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Rogue Not Taken, Roomies


KISSING TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Ah, the infamous “the bad guys are looking for us, let’s kiss so they look the other way!” Or when two characters are in disguise and have to kiss to keep up the ruse. Classic. I love this trope, particularly because it always happens before either of the characters admit to any feelings. And also because kissing, duh.

Favorite Examples: Angelfall, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, The Devil’s Thief, Rebel of the Sands


HUDDLING TOGETHER FOR SURVIVAL

This is such a good trope, and one that sometimes allows for our beloved characters to strip down in a totally nonsexual way and then cuddle for warmth (or survival). I think I like it so much, because usually they end up falling asleep in each other’s arms, and then it becomes very reminiscent to the whole “there’s only bed” trope which we have all learned by now is one of my favorites.

Favorite Examples: Grave Mercy, The Hunger Games, The White Stag, 


SHARING A HORSE

I’m total and complete trash for this trope. Like, in every fantasy story where there is some kind of horse riding going on, I always pray that some kind of situation arises in which the main character and the love interest have to share a horse for the duration of the rest of the journey. Whether they end up riding in front or in back, doesn’t matter it makes me swoon so hard. 

Favorite Examples: Each and every time it happens.


Are any of these tropes you enjoy reading? What are some of your favorite romance tropes? Or what are some tropes in romance you cannot stand to read? Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Underhyped Books of 2018

It’s that time of year: the time for the Best of 2018 lists. And while I love shouting about all my favorite reads to anyone and everyone as much as the next reader, there are also a whole bunch of great releases this year that haven’t seen as much hype and totally deserve praise. So I’ve decided to shine a spotlight on some of the most underrated releases of 2018!


DEBUT AUTHORS

30975382BLOOD AND SAND by C.V. Wyk
This historical fiction book set in Ancient rome features gladiators and is (very) loosely based on the legend of Spartacus! It’s fast-paced, well-written, and contains wonderful characters and a heart-warming enemies-to-loves romance. I’ve very picky when it comes to reading historical fiction due to my tendency to latch onto any inaccuracies or unbelievable scenarios (nerd alert), but I absolutely loved this and really recommend it.
Goodreads | Amazon

33413958YOUR ONE AND ONLY by Adrienne Finlay
If you’re looking for a unique YA Dystopian story with excellent execution, skillful writing, and great characters, look no further than this. The synopsis hints towards a book rife with tropes and romance-heavy, but it actually focuses on plot and character growth, with the romance riding shotgun. I highly recommend this book and I think other readers will become as enraptured by the story and characters as I was.
Goodreads | Amazon

31179006SWEET BLACK WAVES by Kristina Pérez
This is such an emotional, wonderful retelling of the legend Tristan and Iseult, set in ancient Ireland and full of Celtic mythology. The stunning worldbuilding and fantasy aspects are combined perfectly with historical elements. Branwen is a wonderful and selfless heroine with whom you can help feeling for, especially with that tumultuous and heartbreaking ending. My stomach is a knot of angst just thinking about it.
Goodreads | Amazon 

32702487THE BIRD AND THE BLADE by Megan Bannen
This was a fascinating, compelling, stunning story that captured my heart and attention from the very beginning. The story was both unique and intriguing in that it blended historical elements of the Mongol Empire with the Italian opera, Turandot, and it did so seamlessly. The story ends in a way that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. An unforgettable, breathtaking, impressive book and one of my favorites of the year.
Goodreads | Amazon

34842042THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS by Laura E. Weymouth
This is an extremely different sort of book than Narnia, so if you’re expecting a whimsical story full of magic and mythical creatures, this is not that book. This a very character driven book, that deals with important issues and heavy subjects such as familial bonds, war, grief and guilt, depression, and mental illness. The writing is poetic and really quite lovely, and if you give this slower paced book a chance, I think you will find it very enjoyable.
Goodreads | Amazon 

NEW RELEASES

30339493ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE by Makiia Lucier
This is the only book on the list that I haven’t actually read, however I’ve heard such good things about this and it has a decently high rating. And for a YA Fantasy with an intriguing synopsis, I found it really surprising that there was hardly any hype for the book at all I have an arc of the companion novel, Song of the Abyss (which doesn’t seem to have as much hype either), so I look forward to reading this in the near future!
Goodreads | Amazon

36134048WHISPER OF THE TIDE by Sarah Tolscer
This is a the sequel to Song of the Current, and it makes me so mad that these books aren’t more popular. These books are action-packed, fast-paced, well-written, and have excellent worldbuilding. They feature an amazing kick-ass heroine, a spoiled yet charming prince, pirates, assassins, sea adventures, and of course – a swoon-worthy romance. This duology is really fun and entertaining, and it’s such a shame how underrated it is!
Goodreads | Amazon

34640572STATE OF SORROW by Melinda Salisbury
This book was so underhyped, that I had never even heard of it until it arrived in my March FairyLoot box. This is an absolutely spectacular book; the storytelling and the worldbuilding were stunning, and it’s full of political intrigue, breathtaking descriptions, and dynamic characters. The protagonists doesn’t fall under the typical “strong, female heroine” expected of YA fantasy books, but instead is clever, passionate, and possesses a quieter kind of strength.
Goodreads | Amazon 

36099148ALL THE WANDERING LIGHT by Heather Fawcett
This is the sequel to Even the Darkest Stars, and the worldbuilding was just as unique and gorgeous as the first book. The best part about these books is honestly the setting: it’s so different from any other fantasy world and it really made such a difference when reading. The book is set in snowy, mountainous area inspired by the Himalayas. It also features mountain climbing, explorations, dragons, witches, fire demons, and all kinds of other fun stuff!
Goodreads | Amazon