Summer Is Finally Here & I’m Off To A Great Start!
June was such a great month, and for once the month didn’t feel like it went by in a flash. The month felt like it went on forever, but in a very productive good way. I’ve been so busy with work this month, as well as trying to shoot some more fashion-specific posts for the blog (coming soon)…. and I’ve been racing to keep up with all these incredible new releases… so many books, movies, and TV shows! Also the amount of Podcasts I’ve discovered… it’s honestly a miracle I ever get any sleep at all.
We also got up to our family cabin for the weekend, and it was so much fun. It’s so beautiful up there, and it’s so nice to be disconnected from the Internet for a few days. (By “Disconnected” I mean it’s not that easy to get on the Internet.. but if you walk to the end of the lawn, you can connect briefly.. so it’s still possible to get texts/upload an Instagram haha). It is nice though, to not have the constant urge to check your phone, because there is no reception. It’s always like a breath of fresh air.
I took part in a “Romance-A-Thon” Book Reading Challenge this month as well, and as a result I ended up reading two ROMANTIC books (which I never read), and I loved them both. It was a nice break from the twisted thrillers I normally devour, and one of them is maybe *drum-roll* my… FAVORITE book of the year so far. More on that later.
This month I saw SO many great movies, that I will be dedicating this month to ONLY the Movies I watched/ not the T.V. I’ve gotten into some great new T.V shows as well, but it’s always hard to review a brand new show, when I’ve only seen 3 episodes so far… so I will wait until my “July Wrap Up” to fill you in on all of those. *Spoiler* HBO’S “Euphoria” seems like it’s going to become my new favorite show.
Anyways, there is a lot of shit I loved this month.. so let’s get right on into it…
Currently Playing In: Theaters
I have always been a huge fan of Elton John, and I grew up listening to his many records. When I saw that his life story was becoming not ONLY a movie, but a full blown musical.. I was so invested already. I loved how involved Elton John was with the movie, and the actor who plays him in the film (Taron Egerton). The real life friendship between them is SO cute, it makes me CRY seeing them together.
I loved every single second of this film. It was a bio-pic, but also a full blown Musical. The SETS, the dancers, the musical numbers.. just ALL of it! I was blown away by the sheer talent of Taron Egerton as well. Not only was he actually doing his own singing, but his ability to capture Elton’s personality… as well as reflect his vulnerability.. was amazing. This movie really goes into Elton’s family troubles, as well as his journey with Addiction. The acting was amazing, and the message was very powerful. Also… the MUSIC was just the most nostalgic, crowd-pleasing, roaring fun ever. I can’t think of one negative thing to say about this movie, other than I wish it had never ended. If you want to smile, sing-along and feel great, please go see this. The COSTUMES, the Actors.. all of it! I really loved the Actor Jamie Bell, who played Elton’s long-time best friend & collaborator Bernie Taupin. The friendship between them is the cutest thing ever, and I think Jamie Bell is a fantastic actor.
Also it should be said, it’s not all fun and singing, this movie does deal with some very serious topics as well, and may be quite triggering for anyone dealing with Addiction issues.
I think my favorite thing about this movie, was the moment they premiered it at the “Cannes Film Festival”. The crowd gave it a resounding standing ovation, and Taron and Elton were both CRYING. It was too much for me to handle haha.
Currently Playing In: Theaters
Okay, so this movie might have one of the most intriguing plots of the year. When I saw the trailer I was SO excited! It’s basically about a struggling musician, who gets into a biking accident. There was a giant power outage all over the world, and nobody is sure why. He’s recovering from his accident, and is playing a Beatles song “Yesterday” on his Guitar, at a BBQ with his friends. They all look at him and say “Wait… What is this SONG? WHEN did you write this masterpiece?!”. He’s like… “I didn’t.. THE BEATLES DID”. They are then all “Who the hell are the BEATLES?”…. and the movie takes off. Basically, after whatever the fuck happened with the giant power outage… the BEATLES NEVER EXISTED. Our main character faces a giant moral dilemma…. “record” all the iconic BEATLES songs as his own?????… OR do they just die forever, with nobody ever hearing them? You can guess what happens.. and trust me it’s delightful. Absolutely delightful. Himesh Patel is the lead Actor, and he has a great voice, and a really gripping charisma. Also Ed Sheeran is in this as well, playing an exaggerated version of himself, and it’s HILARIOUS.
My Husband was born in Liverpool, and seeing it on screen was really fun as well! We loved it so much, and the entire theater was cheering and singing along, which was wild. Highly recommend this one.
Currently Playing In: Theaters
One of the strangest Horror movies I’ve ever seen, but I loved it. It was ridiculous though.
I honestly don’t even know where to begin with this movie… it was bizarre. I don’t want to spoil anything about it at all, because the way it unfolds is honestly so weird & amazing. It’s sort of a modern take on a “stalker” movie, with a sprinkle of revenge mixed in. It’s also kind of a sad story about loneliness, and social pressure…. and really the insane lengths some people will go to.. to “settle the score”. I loved it, and I laughed out loud so many times… while also being deeply disturbed as well. An interesting mix of feelings went on haha. If you have seen this, PLEASE let me know what you think of this movie.. and ALSO WTF WAS WITH THE IV SCENE?!
4.) “The Invitation”
Currently Streaming On: Netflix
Ohhh this was a creepy little surprise of a movie. I was just randomly scrolling around Netflix, looking to put something on in the background, while I edited photos. I ended up being gripped immediately, and lets just say not ONE photo got edited after that. This movie sucked me in with it’s horrifyingly creepy score, it’s tense shots, and the very claustrophobic vibe right off the bat.
The story is told to the viewer slowly, un-folding as it goes along in a spectacular/eerie way. It’s basically about a man who (along with his girlfriend) is invited to his ex-wife’s home for a dinner party, hosted by his ex and her new Husband. It’s weird to say the least. He’s nervous about going back to the home he used to live in, and he’s wrestling with some trauma associated with his marriage.. and something awful that happened. I won’t say much else, because honestly SPOILERS. This is one of those tense films, that going in blind is much more effective.
When our main character Will (played by Logan Marshall Green, who looks ALARMINGLY like Tom Hardy) arrives, he soon figures out this Dinner Party.. is not what it seems. Something weird is going on…. or is it?
I honestly enjoyed this so much, and was SO rattled by this movie.. that the second Ryan got home from work, I made him watch it immediately. I watched it twice within 4 hours, and I kind of want to watch it again, just to go over everything in detail haha.
Currently Streaming On: Netflix
Directed By Drake Doremus (One Of My Favorite Directors)
Drake Doremus is hands down one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Directors, and I’ve seen all of his films many times over. He has such a beautiful style, and such an artistic eye. His movies feel like moving photographs, in the way they zoom in and out… mainly focusing on subtle facial expressions, etc. The simplicity of one characters small expressions, is shown on-screen.. and becomes the focus of the scenes. This makes all of his movies feel so intimate, and almost like you are spying on someones private moments. It feels SO raw. “Like Crazy” is probably my favorite of his films, but this one is a close second.
“Equals” is set in a futuristic world, where everything is almost mechanical. Emotions are basically forbidden, and if people are known to be experiencing anything close to “love” or even “friendship”, they are dealt with in horrifying ways. They are “cured”. If people begin to start feeling emotions, even basic ones.. they are thought to have contracted a Disease. This Disease “SOS aka Switched On Syndrome” is dealt with swiftly, and sometimes fatally.
Our two main characters, Nia (Kristen Stewart), and Silas (Nicholas Hoult), meet and fall in love.. and all hell breaks loose. By “all hell breaks loose”, I mean in the slowest, most beautifully shot, artistic way. I am in LOVE with Drake Dormeus’s work, and I could go on and on.
This movie was a beautiful, harrowing, but oddly hopeful story. I loved this so much, and honestly after writing this review I kind of want to go make Ryan watch it now.
Google Plot Summary
(Nia (Kristen Stewart) and Silas work together in a futuristic society known as the Collective. A seemingly utopian world, the Collective has ended crime and violence by genetically eliminating all human emotions. Despite this, Nia and Silas develop a growing attraction that leads to a forbidden and passionate romance. As suspicion begins to mount among their superiors, the couple must choose between going back to the safety of their lives or risking it all to try and pull off a daring escape.)
GAMBIER ISLAND ADVENTURES
1.) “Red, White & Royal Blue”
By, Casey McQuinston
MY FAV Book of the Year!
“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
Okay so this book was the absolute CUTEST thing I’ve ever read, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved it. The hype for this book is REAL, and I think everyone on Bookstagram/Book-Tube has been raving about this for months.. so naturally it was on my radar. I don’t read a ton of Romance-type novels, and I probably would never have picked this one up.. if it wasn’t for the “Romance-A-Thon” Reading Challenge I participated in during June. We had to read a bunch of books over the week, with specific challenges… like “Read an LGBT Romance”, “Read a Book with a Man on the Cover”, “Read A Book With Pink on the Cover”. This book fit all three categories, and it also has one of the most aesthetically pleasing covers I’ve seen in a while.
So this book is a male-male LGBT Romance, about what happens when the Son of the President of the United States (a female President), falls in love with a royal Prince of England. The story is set in an alternate sort of future, where our main character Alex’s Mom is elected as President, right after Obama. Alex is the First Son of the United States, and he is one of the most hilarious characters I’ve ever read about. All of the dialogue in this book was so witty, full of super funny back-and-forth banter, and tons of pop culture references! Our other main character Henry, is the royal Prince of Wales.. and he is the SWEETEST most lovable character ever. Not only are our two main characters perfect, but the author has an amazing gift for making every single side character wonderfully developed as well.
(“That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.”)
This story starts off with a very enemies-to-falling-in-love vibe, which was a lot of fun to read about. Alex and Henry hate each other, and there has always been this weird tension between them. They get into a brawl at a Royal Wedding, and it’s a media shitstorm. To do damage control for their families reputations, they are forced to spend time together, and act like best pals for the cameras. This is so hilarious, and you can probably guess what happens.
It’s not just a right off the bat they fall in love story, but a slow burn with lots of confusion and other issues going on as well. Alex is coming to terms with the fact that he might be in fact bi-sexual, as he can’t deny his feelings for Henry. Henry who knows he’s Gay, is having a really difficult time being who he wants to be, given his Royal family is not very accepting of his choices. The way they fall in love felt SO real, and I just had the biggest smile on my face the entire time. It was incredible.
I also found all the Political parts really interesting, and it was an interesting look on how things in America might (hopefully) be some day.
Please please read this beautiful little book. I’m obsessed.
“I thought, this is the most incredible thing I have ever seen, and I had better keep it a safe distance away from me. I thought, if someone like that ever loved me, it would set me on fire.
And then I was a careless fool, and I fell in love with you anyway. When you rang me at truly shocking hours of the night, I loved you. When you kissed me in disgusting public toilets and pouted in hotel bars and made me happy in ways in which it had never even occurred to me that a mangled-up, locked-up person like me could be happy, I loved you.
And then, inexplicably, you had the absolute audacity to love me back. Can you believe it?
Sometimes, even now, I still can’t.”
2.) “Girl Walks Out Of A Bar: A Memoir”
By, Lisa F Smith
I listened to this as an Audio-Book
This was a book I randomly found as an Audiobook, and thought sounded pretty interesting. It’s about a woman in her 30’s, who is a very successful Lawyer, living the life in New York City. Her Memoir starts off right away with Lisa kind of hitting her “rock bottom”, and realizing she’s been living as a high-functioning drug addict & alcoholic. She is aware she is drinking far too much, and using too much Cocaine.. but she can’t seen to stop or function at all without it. She it at the end of her rope, and decides to check into a detox. After this it’s pretty much the story of her getting clean, and getting her life together. The book dives into her past a little bit, but not that much.
I liked this book, and thought it was a well written story, with a powerful message. I feel bad criticizing it, because this type of story is a very personal journey.. and I can’t/shouldn’t judge the way she went about writing this. I just found the story to be not very hopeful, and it just sort of rushed through everything, and it was all just very… easy? I don’t doubt her truth, but I just found this book a little but of a “best case” scenario, and not very realistic for a person who isn’t a very privileged, wealthy woman.. with tons of support, etc. It also ends sort of abruptly, and we never really see how she uses her new skills to change her environment, or how she deals with all of her relationships with friends who are still using? I just felt left wanting a bit more.
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(Lisa Smith was a bright young lawyer at a prestigious law firm in NYC when alcoholism and drug addiction took over her life. What was once a way she escaped her insecurity and negativity as a teenager became a means of coping with the anxiety and stress of an impossible workload.
Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Smith’s formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery. In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspire with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. When her close-knit group of high-achieving friends celebrate the end of their grueling workdays with alcohol-fueled nights at the city’s clubs and summer weekends partying at the beach the feel-good times can spiral wildly out of control.
Girl Walks Out of a Bar is a candid portrait of alcoholism through the lens of gritty New York realism. Beneath the façade of success lies the reality of addiction.)
3.) “The Night Olivia Fell”
By, Christina McDonald
“To feel love was to feel fear—you just couldn’t let it dictate your life. Love was a risk, but it opened up a world of possibility, one you would never experience without it.”
This was a pretty decent Mystery Thriller, with a few little twists. I found it to be quite slow, and I was disappointed with the “Twist” reveals, mainly because the ones I had “predicted” were way more advanced and exciting.. than the actual reveal. It was very underwhelming, and like “THIS, Really?”.
It was a well written book though, and it was actually a very sad story about a Mother trying to come to grips with the death of her Daughter, and risking everything to solve her “Murder”. Or was it a murder? Who would have done this to her daughter?
The story begins with the main character Abi, waking in the middle of the night to find out her daughter Olivia has been found at the bottom of the bridge, in the water. She is alive, but in a coma, and brain-dead. Abi is horrified, and races to the Hospital to be with her Daughter. When she arrives, she gets some more shocking news. Olivia is pregnant. The Doctors say according to the law in this State, they will keep Olivia alive with the machines, and in a medically-induced Coma, until the baby is born. Abi is shocked, and doesn’t know what to think.
The rest of the story is Abi trying desperately to find out what happened that night, and who the Father of Olivia’s baby is. The book is told from Abi’s perspective in the current day, and also from Olivia’s perspective in the Past. It was interesting to watch it all unfold, and piece together the story.
Overall a pretty good Thriller, I think I’ve just been spoiled with reading some really shocking Mysteries lately… and it takes a lot to really shock me. Not a bad book, just not amazing.
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.
A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.
In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.
When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?
Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heart-wrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?)
4.) “It Ends With Us”
By, Colleen Hoover
“In the future… if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again… fall in love with me.” He presses his lips against my forehead. “You’re still my favorite person, Lily. Always will be.”
I’ve heard lots of mixed Reviews about this book, and about the Author Colleen Hoover’s work in general. She is known for writing books, that deal with complex issues.. and she is often accused of glorifying abusive situations etc. I’ve never read any of her other books, but this one sounded cute.. and one of my favorite You-Tuber’s “GabbyReads” was raving about it.
“It Ends With Us” definitely has a few questionable parts, but overall I didn’t find it to be offensive.. and I think the lasting message was really hopeful and positive.
This story is told in the present, and in the past through our main character Lily’s letters. The “letters” she is writing are actually to ELLEN DEGENERES of all people. Lily is obsessed with the show, and she writes a Diary of sorts.. in the “Dear Ellen, this is what’s going on” way. Weird, but it got the story-telling message across.
The book starts off with Lily meeting a handsome Surgeon, and falling for him. She’s opening a new flower shop, making friends.. and life is going very well. One day she is at lunch with her handsome new boyfriend Ryle, introducing him to her Mom.. and BOOM she runs into a face from her past. We learn all about this “ghost from her past”, who’s name is Atlas (and who is one of the CUTEST characters ever). Atlas and Lily met when she was younger, and he was a homeless kid who she helped out. He was living in an abandoned home next door to hers, and she fed him, clothed him, and completely fell in love with him. Circumstances tear them apart (very Notebook style), and he ends up joining the Military. Now cut to the PRESENT day, at her lunch with her new Boyfriend… she runs right into her first love.
This story is gut-wrenching, and so beautiful. I loved it so much! I hope they make this into a movie. Apparently I’m a lover of Romantic Books, who knew? I will have to check out some more of Colleen Hoover’s books, to see for myself how they are. I’ve heard “All Your Perfects” is quite good as well, so maybe I’ll read that next.
Good-Reads Plot Summary
(Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.)
LIGHTHOUSE PARK HIKE
Here are a few more random shots from the past month. Date Nights with Ryan, Wine Tasting for Paige’s Wedding, A few Fashion Posts (and one very cute fruit-print dress).. and a few other things. I can’t wait to see you all soon with some more curated Fashion content, and of course with my July Wrap Up. I hope you are all having a great Summer so far,
All Photos Of Movies @Google Images 2019
All Photos of Me, Scenery, Books, Etc @Carly Ingram Photography 2019