Happy 22nd Birthday to Me: 22 Favorite Books, TV Shows & More 

If you couldn’t tell by the title, today is my twenty-second birthday. To say the least, it’s definitely a weird birthday thanks to our current reality. I’ll be going out shopping – in mostly outdoor shopping outlets –  for the first time since January and I have plans to celebrate with friends later on this week. 21 was a big growing up year for me, and despite the events of the last five months or so, I loved being 21. I think 22 is going to be another big growing up year for me, as I navigate post-college life, real working world and grad school included. I’m trying to be more optimistic and less stressed in August, and I want to do my best to carry out this attitude this year!

I wanted to bring some birthday cheer to the blog today, so I’ll be sharing 22 of my favorite things that have brought me so much joy this summer, in the forms of books, TV/movies, and podcasts – you’ll likely recognize a few repeats from my monthly wrap-ups but I can’t stop gushing about them so much! I also didn’t want to share strictly books because I recently shared my favorite reads of 2020, and let’s be honest yearly wrap ups or a summer wrap up will be here before we know it!

Books

Some books that I’ve LOVED but haven’t shared too many details about yet or full reviews for include: 

The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks – I feel like I’ve mentioned The Heir Affair in so many blog posts this summer, but I officially read & finished it last week… and I can’t stop thinking about this sequel to The Royal We! I actually got too impatient to wait for a physical copy from the library, so I borrowed a digital copy and devoured it on my Kindle in about 2 days. The Heir Affair was everything I wanted in this sequel, and while I’m really content with the way it ended, I seriously would not mind a third book. 

Anna K by Jenny Lee – Anna K is hands-down one of the best YA books I’ve read in 2020. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to use the Gossip Girl meets Crazy Rich Asians comparison because while it has GG vibes (and honestly not really CRA), it is such a story of its own. I loved its Anna Karenina retelling, and it just felt so mature. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the upcoming sequel. Read More »

What I Watch on YouTube

In light of everyone having some extra time at home lately, I have been loving the many TV and movie recommendations, YouTube included. My relationship with YouTube has definitely changed over the past few years. Like many, I was absolutely obsessed with YouTube in my middle school and high school days, falling into many BookTube rabbit holes and other popular YouTube channels. Blame it on college and adulting life, but I’ve definitely become more selective about what I watch on YouTube- don’t worry I still fall into many binge sessions. I typically now watch YouTube while baking or doing homework, but there are definitely some videos that I like to sit and watch without any distractions. Since I’m always on the hunt for recs myself, listed below are my favorite BookTube and other YouTube channels and why I love them so much.

BookTube

Super Space Chick – Kristin of Super Space Chick’s blog and YouTube channel was recommended me by one of my TAs freshmen year, and I’ve been following her content since! Super Space Chick features a mix of YA, new adult, and adult book recommendations across many genres, with plenty of other fandom topics mixed in. As someone who is a pretty recent fan of Star Wars, I’ve loved jumping into Krisitn’s Star Wars book videos, explaining how to read through the canon, and her hauls. My favorite series on Super Space Chick is News & Stuff, in which Kristin recaps the latest news across books, television/film, fandom, and more.

PeruseProject – Regan of Peruse Project was one of the first BookTubers I followed back in 2014. I still watch almost all of her videos, but I especially love her reading vlogs. They’re such a nice blend of her reading & reviewing while also sharing her everyday life, plenty of clothing hauls, food, TV, and her adorable pug included. She primarily does weekend vlogs, but has also started vlogging during the week, showing the balance between work and reading life.

Peace Love Books xo – Jessica of PeaceLoveBooksxo is my latest BookTube discovery. She also runs the book blog,Peace Love Books. A huge romance reader, her channel has definitely matched my increased interest in new adult and contemporary romance She also reads YA. I really love her recommendation videos, reading vlogs, and vlogs dedicated to reading favorite or ranked (like the Goodreads Choice Awards).

PolandBananasBooks – Christine of PolandBananasBooks was the first ever BookTube channel I watched and subscribed to. I don’t watch all of her videos like I used to- I really don’t follow her Book Writing series or watch too many hauls- but I still enjoy her sketches and especially love her monthly-wrap ups.

Non BookTube

Delish – I am here to admit that whenever a Julia Tries Everything or Iconic Eats video hits my subscription box, I almost always immediately watch. My sisters and I both love these series and sometimes wait to watch them together (if we have enough patience and can hold ourselves off from watching them on our own). Julia Tries Everything follows Julia trying all or the most popular menu items from chain restaurants. In Iconic Eats, Tess tries the most popular food items at amusement parks.

Zoella/Zoe Sugg – Zoe Sugg of Zoella, who now really just goes by Zoe Sugg nowadays, was one of the first YouTuber channel I ever subscribed to. Back in 2015, I used to follow so many British/UK bloggers, but she’s the only one I still really follow. Although she doesn’t really post on her main channel and as much as she used to, I still really enjoy her vlogs.

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What do you watch on BookTube or YouTube? Any of the same? Any recommendations for me? Share in the comments!

Most Anticipated 2020 TV & Movies

Right after reading of course, my favorite way to relax and unwind is with a good binge-worthy TV show or ten. While there are plenty of books I am looking forward to in 2020, today I’ll be discussing the TV shows and films that I can’t wait to hit the big screen and my small screen this year.

TV

Schitt’s Creek S6 (Pop TV)

Release Date: January 7

Although I just discovered Schitt’s Creek in 2019, I know the final season of the show will be bittersweet because it’s just so well-done and it will be so sad to know that it’s over!

Zumbo’s Just Desserts (Netflix)

Release Date: January 10

Everyone knows that I love a good baking competition show. One of my favorites is Zumbo’s Just Desserts. I’ve been honestly waiting for a second season since finishing the first one in October 2018.

Grace and Frankie S6 (Netflix)

Release Date: January 15

Grace and Frankie just might be the show I am anticipating the most on this list! After binge-watching the first five seasons this summer, Grace and Frankie absolutely stole my TV-loving heart.

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ALMOST EVERYTHING I WATCHED: Favorite TV Shows 2019

Even though I feel like I dedicated more time to reading, given the amount of books I read, I also dived into a lot of TV this year. I’m always on the hunt for TV shows that I know I’ll likely enjoy from the get-go or will only take a few episodes to get into. With a few exceptions, the biggest theme of my TV watching in 2019 was watching shows with episodes between 20-20 minutes. I feel like I watched a lot of shows in 2018 and even earlier in the year that were hitting the near the 60 minute mark, so I think my head was just ready for some lighter and shorter episodes. As per usual, comedy also made up most of my watching.

Favorites

Derry Girls S1 & S2 (Netflix)

I’m likely going to say this about nearly every show on this list, but I love everything about Derry Girls! This show is set in 1990s Ireland and follows a group of very dysfunctional friends growing up in Derry. Only six episodes per season at 25 minutes each, I highly recommend binge-watching both seasons available on Netflix over one day—even though you’ll be on one of the worst TV show hangovers after.

Sex Education S1 (Netflix)

My friends kept telling me watch Sex Education back in March and I’m so glad they did. The premise- a socially awkward teenager provides sex guidance to his classmates inspired by his growing up with his sex psychologist of a mother- completely sold. I’m so excited for season 2 in January.

Grace and Frankie S1-S5 (Netflix)

I spent June and July absolutely obsessed with Grace and Frankie. The show had been on my radar for a while and I can’t believe I didn’t watch it sooner because it’s become one of my all-time favorite shows. Grace and Frankie is one of the few shows that is guaranteed to make me laugh out loud every episode. I recently got my best friend to watch it, and it’s been so fun re-following it along wit her. I definitely see myself rewatching a few episodes before Season 6 premieres in January.

Workin’ Moms S1-S3 (Netflix)

Workin’ Moms was the first show I dived into when I moved back home for the summer. The show follows a group of friends who are all dealing with the challenges of being working mothers while also finding themselves in a wide range of shenanigans and relationship problems. There’s definitely some mature content, aka sex, in this one that makes for a lot of funny moments. This is another gem that my best friend and I are both obsessed with.  We texted non-stop when S2 dropped this summer, and we had both finished S3 during by the second weekend of the fall semester. We’re unfortunately in for the long haul when it comes to S4 being available in the US, since it airs first on CBC and then goes to Netflix US after. It’s set to air in Canada during winter 2020, which means we likely won’t have it in the US until 2021.

The Politician S1 (Netflix)

If I can only show one show on this list to have the next season immediately, I would hands-down choose The Politician S2. I loved everything about this dreamed, and it definitely reignited my celeb crush on Ben Platt. Its 40+ minute episodes had me hooked throughout each episode. It definitely has a bizarre moment or two- it truly is a blend of AHS, Glee, and American Crime Story meeting high school politics- but it works so, so well! I’ve also been listening to the music/covers from the show non-stop. I’m so happy that we only have to wait until June for S2.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S3 (Prime)

Considering that I’ve only watched three episodes so far, I am cheating a bit with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but how could I not love the latest season of one of my all-time favorite TV shows?? Based on what I’ve watched so far, I’m once again in love with the cinematography and how much this show gives me Gilmore Girls vibes. I’m also so interested in each other character’s development this season, and I really don’t know what to expect from Midge and Joel’s relationship.

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My Disney+ Watchlist

When Disney+ was first announced, I wasn’t that excited.

The day before Disney+ came out I wasn’t that excited.

I am a Disney fan, and an even bigger Pixar fan, but I didn’t really want to subscribe to another streaming service. My family subscribes to Amazon Prime and Netflix. I’m either going to have to subscribe to Hulu or borrow my friend’s account info. when Little Fires Everywhere comes out and I finally check out Looking for Alaska. On Disney+’s launch day, my best friend and I scrolled through her account and I realized how much I really wanted Disney+.

Disney+ basically has EVERYTHING that is even the slightest bit related to Disney– and yes, that includes nearly, if not every, Disney Channel Original Movie. Fortunately, Santa decided to come early for my family this year and I am officially a Disney+ subscriber. I’m really looking forward to some of their original content, as well as ALL the Disney Channel Original Movies and TV show rewatching.

Originals & New To Me Movies

Noelle Before I had Disney+, Noelle was the one movie I knew I’d watch with my Disney+ subscribing friends. Everyone knows that I need to watch Christmas movie ever, especially this one starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner. Anna Kendrick and Billy Hader play Santa’s daughter and son, Noelle and Nick, as they prepare for their father’s retirement.

Encore! I didn’t watch Kristen Bell’s Encore! when it was on ABC in 2017, but I’m so excited to follow this weekly docuseries. The show reunites high school alumni to recreate the musicals they performed while in school.

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Happy Galentine’s Day: Favorite Parks & Rec Episodes

Besides Treat Yo’ Self (the best day of the year), the best holiday to come out of Parks and Recreation is Galentine’s Day. Created by Leslie Knope, Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating with your best gal pals.

prIn honor of Galentine’s Day, I think it is about time that I’ve shared my favorite episodes of Parks and Recreation. If you don’t already know, I am a Pawnee Goddess by heart. Parks & Rec’s humor and messages has always resonated to me. It’s my go-to TV show for comfort and laughs. I live in fear of this show being taken off Netflix and Amazon Prime, hence why I need to get the DVDs in my life ASAP.

Choosing the following episodes out of 125 options definitely wasn’t an easy task, but I’ve had so much fun reflecting on the show. Each favorite episode is listed by season and episode  number.

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Top Five Wednesday: Anticipated Movies

While I’ve focused on all the amazing new books coming out in 2019 lately, for today Top Five Wednesday’s freebie post, I’ll be discussing my most anticipated movies of 2019.

While I probably do spend more time reading than watching movies, 2018 was a pretty great movie year for me. To give you a taste of my viewing likes, some of my favorite new releases from last year included To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Mary Poppins Returns, Dumplin’, A Star is Born, Set it Up, and Crazy Rich Asians. And speaking of those book-to-movie adaptations, there are plenty more coming in 2019!

Ashes in the Snow (January 11) Inspired by Ruta Septetys’ Between Shades of Gray, aka one of my all-time favorite books, I wish Ashes in the Snow had a larger release so more people could learn about this often untold story from the WWII era (but I am very thankful for the digital download date being the same as its limited release date). I’ve heard that Ashes in the Snow is even better than the book- a feeling this fangirl rarely experiences.  

Captain Marvel (March 8)– Marvel did so many amazing things in 2018, and I’m so happy to see a new movie with a female superhero at its center. While comparing Marvel to DC isn’t so difficult, I really hope Captain Marvel lives up (and maybe goes beyond) the empowering messages in my favorite superhero film, Wonder Woman.

 

Little Women (December 21)Little Women has received the film treatment before- I absolutely love the 1994 adaptation and I’ve heard not-so great things about the 2018 adaptation—but this version has a completely star-studded cast (see Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalament) and will focus more on the March sisters’ lives as young-adults.

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COMEDY & MORE: Favorite 2018 TV & Movies

While the most amount of books that I’ve ever read in one year, 2018 has been a year where I’ve also felt that I turned to TV and movies more than usual. To be considered a 2018 favorite, the TV show or movie had to come out or have new episodes this year. However, because catching up with ALL the shows & movies are just as difficult as keeping up with all the new shiny book releases, I do have some honorable mentions that didn’t come this year.

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Crazy Rich Asians: Book Vs. Movie

2018 has been filled with some pretty amazing book to movie adaptations, and Crazy Rich Asians is no exception. Me being the fangirl that I am, I had to read the book before I saw the movie. I obviously loved both book and film, but today I’m going to be discussing which bookish or movie elements I liked better, and whether book or movie is the ultimate Crazy Rich Asians winner in my fangirl heart.

 

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