And just like that, it’s already JULY. I can’t even believe how fast June passed me by. It was such a crazy busy work month for me.. with the incredibly nice weather, all the Grad Photos, Bridal Showers, Engagement Shoots etc. Not complaining one little bit, Summer Photo-Shoots are always the most fun.
Other than work stuff, I also got the chance to get all my Bridesmaids together (minus my beautiful friend Elizabeth who lives in Toronto), and we got all the Bridesmaid Dresses! It was so much fun getting all the girls together, trying on dresses, and having dinner together after. Everything is really starting to feel real now. We also booked our Caterer, our DJ, ordered our invites, and so many other fun little things. I can’t believe I’m getting MARRIED in less than 6 months! Crazy! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Everything I read this month, I absolutely loved.. which is so great! Usually out of the 5 or so books I read a month, one is a complete disaster.. but not this month! I also saw some terrifying new movies (like honestly actually traumatizing-level scary) , discovered some very binge-worthy T.V shows, and listened to hours and hours of my new favorite pod-casts! I’ll fill you guys in on everything I loved this month, and share some personal photos from the month.
Maybe one of the most brilliant Horror movies I’ve ever seen. Ever.
Okay. Where to even begin with this? To say this movie was “hyped”, is the under-statement of the year. Everyone was talking about this film, saying it’s “this Generation’s Exorcist”, how it’s “the most terrifying movie ever made”.. and how people were walking out of the theater, they were SO scared. Now while I found this movie terrifying, like bone-chillingly twisted and so impacting.. it was not what I was expecting it to be at all.
It’s interesting because all of the reviews from the Critics were fantastic. All of them hailing this a Horror Genre masterpiece. Then when it hit theaters, the audience was having a much different opinion. People were upset, mad even. They said it “wasn’t even scary”, and that it was “too slow”. I think the problem here, is the way the movie was marketed to the audiences. People (myself included) walked into the theater, expecting it to be a jump-scare a minute horror fest, but it was a COMPLETELY different type of Horror movie. For me though.. I was VERY pleasantly surprised.
This movie is the kind of Horror movie, that I love more than anything. It’s cinematic-ally stunning, beautiful acted, and one of the most intense/tense things I’ve ever sat through. It’s essentially a family drama, of the worst, most hard-to-watch kind. Some of those scenes, I will never be able to shake from my mind. It was a slow burn, but it felt like it went by in seconds. I had my hands over my eyes, my heart was racing.. and the DREAD I felt the entire time.. this gut feeling that something horrifying is happening.. was SO much fun.
While I understand some of the negative reviews, I think it can only be because it’s much deeper and more of a character/family study, than it was marketed as. The acting in this… Alex Wolff, TONI Collette, and OMG the little girl was FANTASTIC (played by Milly Shapiro). This was top shelf Horror, and I loved every second of it. Also those MINIATURES were stunning.
I don’t want to say anything about the plot, because it’s a really intricate and twisted thing. Let me just say one thing.. if you go see this, don’t go to the washroom during the first 45 minutes. There are a few scenes, you CANNOT miss.
Please go see this movie, and don’t believe the “negative” reviews about this one. If you liked “The Witch”, “Let the Right one In”, “It Comes at Night”, etc.. This is right up your alley.
(Google Plot Summary)
(When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.)
2.) “A Quiet Place”
A deeply scary experience.
This movie is one of those movies, that I’m SO glad I saw in the movie theater. Firstly it’s called “A Quiet Place”, and it really is QUIET. There is no dialogue, and basically ZERO sound for 90% of the movie. You can’t look away for a second. It was such a fun experience to watch it with a group of people in the theater. I could FEEL everyone just holding their breath, and just bracing themselves for it.
It’s set in the near future, and all you are told right off the bat.. is that there is “something” out there, that is incredibly sensitive to sound. Make a sound, you get killed by these creatures right away. It was fascinating to see the way this family, basically decides to live their lives completely silently. Little things, like playing with soft toys.. walking on sand.. as not to make noise. Just wild.
Also I loved the fact that it stars real-life Husband and Wife duo Emily Blunt and John Krasinski (who also Directed the film). It was so intense, I loved every second of this.
Also being in a dark room with a ton of Strangers, and having everyone screaming at the same time, is really so much fun.
(Google Plot Summary)
(In the modern horror thriller A QUIET PLACE, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.)
A Dark DARK Coming-of-Age, Comedy?
I hadn’t heard a ton about this movie before I saw it, but I really love the Actress Zoey Deutch. I thought this was going to be one of your average “coming-of-age” movies, and it started out somewhat tame.. but it took a VERY VERY messed up, VERY dark turn.. almost immediately.
I really liked this movie, and I appreciated what it was “going for”. I think Zoey Deutch is such a talented young Actress, and she’s so beautiful too. The only thing I didn’t like about this movie.. was (as much as I hate to admit this), I found her character to be quite un-likable. She did some things that really creeped me out, and I just had a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. However, I think that might have been the point? Not all characters are meant to be likable I guess.
(Rotten Tomatoes Plot Summary)
(Rebellious, quick-witted Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch) is a 17-year-old firecracker living with her single mom Laurie (Kathryn Hahn) and mom’s new boyfriend Bob (Tim Heidecker) in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. When Bob’s mentally unbalanced son Luke (Joey Morgan) arrives from rehab to live with the family, Erica finds her domestic and personal life overwhelmed. With Luke and her sidekicks Kala (Dylan Gelula) and Claudine (Maya Eshet) in tow, Erica acts out by exposing a dark secret of high-school teacher Will (Adam Scott), with perilous results; their teenage kicks become a catalyst for growing up in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Mixing dark comedy and teenage angst writer-director Max Winkler (CEREMONY) and co-writer Matt Spicer (INGRID GOES WEST) re-imagine an unproduced script by Alex McAulay, creating a star vehicle for blossoming talent Zoey Deutch (BEFORE I FALL, WHY HIM?) and elevating the teen movie to new heights.)
Period Piece Drama. Also AIDAN TURNER is the hottest thing on T.V.
Really just let that photo settle in. It really can’t get more majestic than this. God he’s like a painting.
Okay so my Aidan Turner obsession really began, years ago.. when I discovered the incredible show “Being Human”. He played a Vampire on that show, and I’ll never forget the first time he came on screen. Obviously he’s handsome, but what’s even better is how amazing of an actor he is. He commands the screen, like nothing I’ve ever seen. He does the whole “brooding” thing, on a whole other level. As soon as I caught wind of this “Poldark” show, I knew I had to get in on it.
I’m not a huge fan of complicated Historical Fiction type of shows, but this one is very heavily “love-triangle” romance based saga, (which I just loved so much). It’s about a man (Aidan) named Ross Poldark, who comes home after the War, and ends up inheriting his fathers estate.. and all the little dramas and businesses that go along with it. I made it sound really boring, but it’s actually really good. It is SO beautifully filmed. Some of those scenes where he is riding his horse, near the shoreline.. are stunning (like him). I’ll stop, I’m sorry.
2.) “The Staircase”
Netflix Documentary Series
Before seeing this on Netflix, I didn’t know much about the infamous Michael Peterson & The “Suspicious Staircase Incident”. This Documentary series was FANTASTIC. It gave me major “Making a Murderer” vibes, but it was also much more intensive. You see not only the trial, but all the behind the scenes footage of Michael preparing for trial, with his team of lawyers. It’s so intense, and so gripping. Something happens around episode 3, where his lawyer looks at the camera and says “Ok, now this just became a Documentary”. At this moment, I didn’t know WHAT to think. Every episode I thought “He’s innocent! Wait no he’s DEFINITELY guilty! Or is he?”. This plays on all your emotions, and makes you second guess yourself 100 times over and over. Brilliant.
(Google Plot Summary)
In 2001 novelist Michael Peterson’s wife died, and he claimed she perished after falling down stairs at their home. The medical examiner, however, determined that she had been beaten with a weapon, which led to Peterson becoming a suspect in what would become a murder investigation. This series, which began with eight episodes in 2005 before being updated in 2013 and 2018, follows the investigation as it proceeds from Peterson’s arrest to a verdict being reached in the ensuing trial. The real-life courtroom thriller offers a rare and revealing inside look at a high-profile murder trial and an examination of contemporary American justice.
Produced by the legend Darren Star (Creator of Beverly Hills 90201, Sex and The City, and Melrose Place). Icon.
This show is such a guilty pleasure, and I love it so much. Firstly it’s set in my “Dream Job” world… aka the Book Publishing World. Also it has Hilary Duff in it, which was enough of a draw for me, if I’m honest haha.
This show is about a 40 something woman named Liza, who’s daughter has gone off to College, and she’s gone through a Divorce. She wants to get a job in the Publishing scene, but she feels like she’s too old, and that all the jobs are going to these young 20-something girls. She then decides to basically PRETEND she’s 25, and what follows is so hilarious, real, heartfelt.. and so so good. I love this show so much, and I look forward to it every week.
(Trying to start a new career gets more difficult as you age, which suddenly single-mom Liza realizes when she tries to re-enter the working world at 40. After a young tattoo artist convinces her she looks younger, Liza decides to do something about it. Her solution revolves around trying to pass herself off as 26, courtesy of a makeover by her best friend, Maggie. The newfound confidence helps get her a job assisting temperamental Diana. Teaming with 20-something co-worker Kelsey, Liza hopes to make it a dream career — while no one discovers her secret.)
1.) “The Surface Breaks”
A Feminist Re-Telling of “The Little Mermaid”
By, Louise O’Neill
I CAN’T even tell you how amazing this was.
“We are women. And women are warriors, after all.”
― Louise O’Neill,
Oh oh oh oh MY GOD. I first heard about this book on YouTube, and as soon as I saw that drop-dead gorgeous cover.. I knew I had to have it. I looked everywhere, and sadly it doesn’t appear to be out in Vancouver to buy, so I found it on Amazon. It took weeks to come, and when it arrived it said it had traveled to me, all the way from a little bookshop in the U.K called “Blackwell’s” Trinity College. I love thinking of how far this little book traveled, to get in my hands.
Okay so this is a re-telling of “The Little Mermaid”, but it couldn’t be further from the “Disney” mermaid. It’s a lot closer to the Hans Christian Anderson version, which is a LOT darker than I recalled (honestly it’s SO dark). This re-telling had a little spin on the classic tale, and came at it with a razor sharp feminist edge. I loved it. So much.
It’s the story of a young mermaid named Gaia, who turns 15 and has the chance to finally swim to the surface. She witnesses a ship-wreck, and rescues the young Oliver. You guys know the drill.. the story. What was different about this, other than the names and setting.. was the tone. It was sinister.
Gaia’s father, the Sea King is a controlling, misogynistic, awful, disgusting monster. He talks down to his daughters in a horrific way. Telling them that women should act a certain way, look a certain way, etc. It was skin crawling.. and super disturbing.
She longs for the surface, for Oliver.. and to escape the DISGUSTING arranged marriage, with a man her FATHERS AGE. Mild spoiler ahead (but I’m assuming you all know the story of the Little Mermaid)… she then trades her “voice” for legs, to head on up to the surface. In the Disney version, Ariel sings her pretty little voice away… in this one.. it’s extremely violent and savage. You’ve been warned!
What I loved so much about this book, was the way it plays on all our expectations. The veil is lifted off of this perfect idea, very quickly. Maybe Oliver isn’t that special at all, maybe everything she’s been raised with is a lie? After everything she has sacrificed to be with Oliver, to win his heart… when she slowly realizes how flawed he really is… was brilliant. Also the visceral, gritty way they describe her broken, decaying legs.. that are like knives with every step… Wow. God this was just so RELEVANT. I loved every word in this book.
Please find a way to read this. Also the cover is the most stunning piece of Art, ever.
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is re-imagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.)
By, Caroline Kepnes
“Consciousness is the monster and it wins.”
“She can’t see the Book. Ever. I feel like Gollum with the Ring. I feel like the goddamn book is making me weird, undoing all the good she sees”
Most Anticipated Book of the YEAR right here. You guys all know, that my all-time fav book is probably “You” by Caroline Kepnes. When I found out she had a brand new book, coming out this Summer.. I almost passed out. Not only is this cover a masterpiece… this book lived up to every single one of my expectations, and completely won me over.
I heard this book was receiving mixed reviews, and I DON’T understand how?! It was so perfect. One of the reasons “You” is one of my favs, is because of it’s internal “voice”. Caroline Kepnes is so dead-on insightful, and jaw-dropping relatable. I could tell from the first line of “Providence” that the voice lives on. Her characters are so deep, so layered, and so REAL. I fall in love with all of them, and they live on in my mind. I am desperate to know what Joe Goldberg is up to.
This book is the story of two young best friends Jon and Chloe, who are torn apart when Jon is kidnapped by his substitute teacher. He returns four years later, and he is not the same. Not only mentally, but something has changed physically too. He has powers. That is all I will say.
This book blends horror, romance, sci-fi, mystery.. and the downright WTF, so perfectly. Also I’m desperate to read everything by H.P Lovecraft, immediately.
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.
Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he’s suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.
Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and “fit in” with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.
When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity–but he’s soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.
Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two.)
3.) “Birthday Girl”
By, Penelope Douglas
A trashy, oddly enjoyable read.
“Time passes by you like a bullet,” he says, “and fear gives you the excuses you’re craving to not do the things you know you should. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t second-guess, don’t let fear hold you back, don’t be lazy, and don’t base your decisions on how happy it will make others. Just go for it, okay?”
Okay I’m actually like embarrassed to even mention this book, but what the hell. I have heard SO many Book-Tuber’s talk about how much they loved this, and I took a chance. I never read “Romance” at all, ever. I hate reading graphic sex scenes in books, I don’t know why. Maybe because I do so much of my reading on Public Transit, haha.
This book is about a young girl named Jordan, who meets an older man in a movie theater one night. They totally hit it off, but nothing happens because she has a boyfriend. Cut to like two minutes later, and we find out… drum-roll….. THIS GUY IS HER BOYFRIENDS DAD. She’s horrified obviously, and tries to shake it off. THEN, she and her boyfriend get evicted from their apartment, and have to…. MOVE IN WITH HIS FATHER. You all know where this is going. I feel like a total perv for even mentioning it, but honestly.. I loved it.
It was so much fun, and such a forbidden, angst y read. A real slow-burn, will-they-won’t-they-but-you-KNOW-they-will thing. Every now and again you need something trashy like this. The “Dad” I should mention is only THIRTY EIGHT, and he’s like the hottest character ever. Just in case you think he was like 70 or something haha.
4.) “Sharp Objects”
By, Gillian Flynn
A Re-Read In Anticipation for the HBO Show (Coming out Soon)
“Safer to be feared than loved.”
― Gillian Flynn,
This is one of my “Top 10” fav books of all-time, and when I saw the beautiful HBO-Tie-In Edition, I had to have it. I can’t wait to see Amy Adams play Camille in this T.V adaptation. I have all the faith in HBO, they never really go wrong.
This is a dark, twisted little book. It’s shocking, violent, and very jarring to read about. I can’t imagine how they are going to portray some of these scenes on the screen. Amy Adams has her hands full here. She’s a brilliant Actress, so I’m not at all concerned.
“People got such a charge from seeing their names in print. Proof of existence. I could picture a squabble of ghosts ripping through piles of newspapers. Pointing at a name on the page. See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”
― Gillian Flynn,
This is a classic missing children, detective story.. with a very twisted dysfunctional family aspect as well. The character of Camille Preaker is very damaged and disillusioned with the world. Gillian Flynn writes her characters with so much depth, and makes them so on-purpose un-likeable.. that they end up begrudgingly winning your heart. Please read this before the HBO show begins. I can tell you right now, this is going to be HUGE.
“I’ve always believed clear-eyed sobriety was for the harder hearted.”
― Gillian Flynn,
(Good-Reads Plot Summary)
(Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.)
One of my best friends Julia, took me to see the musical “Mamma Mia!” with her family, during June.. and it was so wonderful. I love Musicals so much! It’s such a happy, light, and hopeful little show. Also my Dad is a HUGE ABBA fan, so I knew the words to all the songs. The actors and actresses, were all so talented and mesmerizing. Every time I see a Musical, I end up coming home CONVINCED that I could be a Musical Theater Star! I was going on and on to Ryan about it, and he’s like “Okay sing me something”. The DREAD I felt was immediate. Lets face it.. I could never sing in public. Something about seeing a Musical really gets me going. I’m going to see my all-time fav “Les Miserables” in July… this desire is going to be raging full-force.
Aka, Where I’ve Been Buying ALL Our Wedding Decorations
Etsy is the most wonderful, creative little heaven of an online space. You can find anything on there. Any fandom, any interest.. and these talented people hand-make most of it! I’ve gotten so many amazing hand-made things, art prints, jewelry, etc. Mostly all “Harry Potter” themed (of course), and one Daenerys Targaryen print, that is actually the most beautiful thing in our home.
When we were planning Wedding decor, I wanted to add a little tiny (very tiny) splash of some Harry Potter flair. I mean a full Harry Potter themed wedding seemed a bit excessive, but honestly I would have been into it, haha. I thought this little sign was quite subtle, but to any HP fan.. they would know what’s up immediately.
I bought this gorgeous handmade, wooden quote print from William Rae Designs. It was shipped so fast, and it arrived in the most beautiful packaging. I’ve gotten so many other adorable Wedding decorations, I’ll have to do a full blog-post on it for you soon.
Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
My beautiful Bridesmaids (missing one, the lovely Elizabeth who lives in Toronto) and I.. all gathered up together and made the adventure out to the Bridal Store. We found five matching gorgeous Vera Wang Bridesmaid Dresses, and it was so surreal to see all of my best friends in matching dresses. These girls have been by my side through everything, and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world in that moment.
I’m so excited to have them all by my side, when I marry my Best Friend, in less than SIX months!
Memories from Bridal Showers, Amazon Orders, Hikes, Photo-Shoots, Views, and Overalls. It was a lovely month. Thanks so much for joining me.
Talk to you all very soon,
Hope your Summer is of to a great start.
All Photography @Carly Ingram Photography 2018)
All Film/TV Images @Google Images 2018