January Recap ’18 | I Loved Lady Bird, Finished Spartacus, Listened To Fall Out Boy, & More

Welcome, welcome to my first ever monthly recap for the year of 2018!

I said late last year that something I really wanted to do was bring back monthly wrap-up posts, but I wasn’t interested in talking just about books and blogging; I wanted to talk about the movies and TV shows I had watched and some of the music I had listened to.

And I’m so happy to say that it has arrived, and I’m extremely happy with the result! I really hope you guys enjoy it as well since I rarely get to talk about these things anywhere else with other people, so I hope this doesn’t completely flop.

(Also, I watched WAY more movies than the ones listed, but most of them were total trash that I found on Netflix, so I didn’t bother wasting space. Feel free to ask me what they were if you’re curious!)

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[LET’S CHAT] The Dilemma Of Reading Diverse Books As A Diverse Reader

Spoiler alert: I am not white.

I can’t really tell if it’s a surprise that I’m not, since I have pictures of me on my blog, but I’m not. And I thought that since there’s been such a huge move in #ownvoices and listening to minorities and teenagers, that I thought I’d talk about something more personal that bothers me a little: the fact that it seems like because I’m a minority, I have some sort of job to be the paragon of diversity.
So, let’s talk about it, I guess.

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[LET’S CHAT] How Have Your Reading Tastes Changed Over The Years?

 It’s so funny how things can change.

I’m currently in my junior year of high school, so, technically, my life has barely begun (even though it feels like forever, damn it), but I know that my tastes have definitely changed over the years, regarding what genres I enjoy, what books I read, and which authors are my favorites!
I know I’ve changed a ton over the years even though I’m pretty young; the things I loved and hated in middle school confuse me as a teenager, and I’m sure I’ll look back at the things I’m doing now and wonder, “What the heck was I doing?”
(But hopefully not, because this is clearly the best part of my life OBVIOUSLY.)
 So, I thought it’d be fun to take a journey through time over all the books I’ve read, from elementary school, all the way to where I am now, high school!

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In Which I Rant And Rave About TV Shows | The All About My TV Shows Tag

 It’s no secret that I love talking about TV!

I stumbled upon this tag a couple of weeks ago, and just knew I had to do it! I wasn’t nominated by anyone for this one or anything, but I definitely wasn’t going to wait around for someone to do it! So, let’s get to it!

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16 TV Shows You Need to Be Watching (Like, Right Now)

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So, it’s no surprise to some of you, I’m sure, that I’m a huge fan of watching TV.

I love TV (even though I fail to watch it sometimes because I either have to choose between binging a show or reading a book. Hard choices), and I love talking about it, but most of the shows I love are either underrated, or they’re not really shows geared towards my audience (basically other sixteen year olds), so I can’t talk to anyone about them in real life. So, why not take a break from talking about books to talk about some of my favorite shows, and force you to watch them, too (I do love me some popular TV shows such as Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil, and a whole slew more, but everyone knows those already, so yeah).

Also, feel free to click the titles of the shows! It’ll lead you right to their IMDb page where you can see all the warnings and what the age range is. Most of these are TV-14 or TV-MA because that’s just how I roll.

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Spartacus

spartacus

Genre:

Action

The Lowdown:

Basically, the movie 300, except more violence, more slow-mo, and more sex. But, you know, if you remember the general revenge tale of Spartacus, then you’ll understand what it’s about.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Okay, so, my favorite time period to read about is the Roman era. “Mikaela, why are you a fan of such a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time?” Because it was a bloodthirsty, horrible period of time, duh. Which is why I love this show so much. It’s violent and over-dramatic and it uses way too much slow-mo, but who cares because it’s so much fun? Also, the actor who played Spartacus was gorgeous (even though, unfortunately, the actor died before season two because of cancer, so there’s a replacement, and NO, he’s not as good). I haven’t yet watched season two yet, but I will. I swear. Soon.

Queer as Folk

queer as folk kiss

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Five gay guys and two lesbians who are all friends are juggling romance, love, and other struggles in the midst of gaining basic human rights in the early 2000s.

Why You Need To Watch It:

This is literally one of my favorite shows of ever. You might be like, “Mikaela, this show is from the early 2000s, therefore it’s irrelevant,” and that is wrong! So wrong! It will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and it will honestly give you all the feels. Not to mention that it’s probably one of the most entertaining dramas I’ve ever watched that deals with a lot of issues in such a brilliant way. And the character development is so on point (especially Brian’s). Also, Brian and Justin are my total OTP, and I will flail about them to anyone if they are willing to listen.

Banshee

banshee

Genre: 

Action

The Lowdown: 

Lucas, the main character, finally gets out of prison, and only a day after coming out, gets caught in a gun fight in a bar where the new sheriff is murdered. He decides to adopt the sheriff’s identity, taking charge of the police force and trying to hide his previous life while hunting down his old partner in crime, Carrie.

(Yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds.)

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably the best action show ever. Like, seriously. It seems like no one knows about this series, which sucks, because I love it. Much like Spartacus, there’s a lot of senseless violence, but that’s the best part, you guys. Lucas is also another total hottie, and we have my girl Carrie, and Sugar, a bartender who gets involved, and Job, a badass drag queen. The entire squad is just total goals, you guys. It’s just such an intense and twisty series, and it also managed to make me almost cry in the end, which is shocking, because I was only here for the violence, not the emotions! Also, this is one of the few shows I’ve actually finished, so there’s that!

Black Mirror

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*you watching Black Mirror*

Genre:

Sci-fi/Dystopian

The Lowdown: 

Every episode presents the viewer with a different future dealing with different characters. The stories range all over the place, and manage to mess with your mind and expose things about our world that you’d never notice.

Why You Need To Watch It: 

I CANNOT GUSH ABOUT THIS SHOW ENOUGH. Charlie Brooker is a goddamn genius. Every single episode showcases a different sort of dystopian future that brings to light an issue in our world, and it’s all kinds of brilliant. Not to mention how this show creepily predicts some things that happen in real life to the point that it’s chilling (watch The Waldo Moment, and realize how scarily close it is to how the 2016 Presidential Election played out). It’s a show that really makes you think, and you must watch it. I honestly can’t recommend it enough. I highly recommend not binging the episodes, though, or your mind will melt and you’ll become extremely depressed.

Friday Night Lights

friday night lights

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

Football. Family. Drama. Basically, every football movie you’ve ever watched, except it’s actually good and not cheesy.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Okay, so, usually, I’m not a huge fan of “contemporary” sort of shows. I get bored of them easily. Plus, I hate football with my entire being. But, I ended up caving and checking this one out, and I literally almost cried watching the pilot. It’s just that powerful. I’m a huge fan of bromances, so that’s primarily the reason I love it so much, but I also love the relationships between the characters and the families, not to mention all the emotions it’ll give you. This is the only show that makes me care about football in any way, and that’s a feat.

Mr. Robot

mr. robot character

Genre:

Uh, sci-fi, I guess? Maybe drama? Who knows?

The Lowdown:

Um, so there’s hacking? And a snarky main character. Also, two-thirds of the time, you don’t even know what’s real or what’s not. And, there’s a secret society trying to overthrow a secret corporation. So, yeah.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Believe the hype with this show! Not only is Rami Malek an amazing actor (and attractive), but this show is so clever. It’s about hacking, but also about a secret group of people fighting against society, and I think my favorite thing about this show is the fact that you don’t know what’s real or what’s not. Not to mention that Elliot is probably one of my favorite narrators ever with his dry humor and such.

Gravity Falls

gravity falls

Genre:

Paranormal

The Lowdown:

Twins Dipper and Mabel are sent to live with their Great Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls where they encounter strange creatures and even stranger people. It’s basically a kids version of Supernatural, if you want a short explanation.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

“Mikaela, why are you recommending me a cartoon?” This show is not simply a cartoon.  The humor is truly funny and clever and for all ages, Mabel and Dipper have such a wonderful relationship, and the show is just so fun and positive, not to mention how twisty the plot is. Just because it’s a kids’ show doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely clever and well-written and funny. And, no, I totally WAS NOT crying during the finale; what are you talking about?

(Ok, maybe I was.)

Hannibal

hannibal

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

So, Hannibal is a psychiatrist to this guy who’s a total loner and considers himself a psychopath because he’s able to basically see into the mind of serial killers whenever he’s on the crime scene. And, yeah, Hannibal eats people.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Unfortunately, this show was cancelled (damn you, NBC and Bryan Singer), but this show is just so damn good. I’ve only watched season one, but it’s basically perfection. It’s incredibly well-shot and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention violent and weird and just all around wonderful. This show is intense, so I wouldn’t recommend it for sensitive people, but, damn, this show is dark, so I think most people who love thrillers would love this. Also, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelson are hot, end of story.

In the Flesh

in the flesh better

Genre:

Dystopian/Drama

The Lowdown:

In a dystopian future after a zombie apocalypse, scientists have come up with a cure to save the zombies and help them to assimilate back into society and their families. We follow Kieren, a teenage boy who’s trying to get back into the dynamics of his family and see his best friend again.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You have probably never heard of this show in your entire life, BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE. It’s British, and, again, this one was also cancelled and ends on a cliffhanger, unfortunately, so I’d enter this one with trepidation, BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT.  It’s such a good show, and it actually heavily parallels the whole Donald Trump/Muslim ban situation in season two, even though this premiered way before then. And Lucas is adorable and precious; I love him. Not to mention that Lucas is gay as hell, and he has an ADORABLE relationship with this guy named Simon and it’s aljflajfajlfa. PLEASE WATCH IT.

in the flesh kiss

Political Animals

political animals

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow Elaine, a former First Lady who’s now Secretary of State dealing with the chaos of her family.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Again, another cancelled show, except this one only lasted one season (boo). If you like more political-leaning shows, you’ll probably enjoy this one a lot.  It’s a really good drama, and it can even sometimes be funny at some points. Not to mention that I absolutely love how all the storylines come together, and how it can be really touching at times. Sebastian Stan is in this one, and he’s kissing boys, and if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I don’t know what will.

Sense8

sense8 better

Genre:

Sci-fi

The Lowdown:

Eight people of different backgrounds, origins, gender, and race end up being interconnected in some weird way regarding their minds, and they try as hard as they can to figure out why.

Why You Need to Watch It:

Probably one of the most underrated Netflix shows out there! Not only is everyone on this show super attractive, but this is a very diverse show since everyone comes from a different background, which is really cool. Also, the ships give me all the feels, and the characters are so wonderfully three-dimensional. The show is truly captivating. Also, the sci-fi aspects of this show are brilliant.

AND NO, I HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 YET; DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOOK.

UnReal

unreal

Genre:

Drama

The Lowdown:

We follow our main character, Rachel, who is probably one of the most corrupt and twisty women you’ll ever see on television, who comes back on to the Bachelor-like show, Everlasting, after a public mental breakdown.

Why You Should Watch It: 

If you hate reality TV, you’ll love this show. One of the people who works on the show used to work on The Bachelor, not to mention that the show is extremely interesting regarding how the producers on the fictional show twist everything to make the contestants hate each other or push conflict to happen. It’s also actually really political in some places, and quite diverse. And, personally, I think it’s feminist?? Does it count?? I count it. It’s just such a highly entertaining show to watch.

American Crime

american crime

Genre: 

Drama

The Lowdown:

A gay boy admits that he’s been raped by one of the basketball players at a party, and it spirals into a whole load of heavy events that get out of control.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

 There are three seasons of this show (it’s the one on ABC, not O.J. Simpson), but my favorite season is definitely the second one. It explores the taboo of male rape and internalized homophobia and racism and school shootings (it seems like a lot, but the show is really good at exploring multiple topics well). It’s an extremely powerful season, and, in my opinion, the best one out of the three. I will say, it’s quite an open-ended show, so if you don’t like endings like that, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s a fantastic show. Also, the two characters who I’d consider the main characters remind me so heavily of Ronan and Adam from The Raven Boys, like I would 100% cast them in the TV show adaptation. You’ll get it if you watch it.

The Fall

the fall

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

A male serial killer going around murdering girls is constantly being chased by a female detective trying to solve the mystery of the murders.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

This is also a British show, and it’s absolutely brilliant.  Jamie Dornan, despite how awful he is in the 50 Shades franchise, is fantastic in this show, and so is the wonderful Gillian Anderson as the female detective, Stella. This show is also intense and dark, and, again, one I’d highly recommend to those who like thrillers. Not to mention that this show is fiercely feminist, and that’s always wonderful.

Eyewitness

eyewitness main

Genre:

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Two gay teens making out in a cabin in the woods get tangled up in a mystery when a murderer intrudes and murders three people. One of the teens’ foster mom is a police officer trying to solve the case, but the other teen doesn’t want to tell her because he doesn’t want to come out. It’s complicated.

Why You Need to Watch It: 

You might have heard of this show when it was on last year, but I’m going to talk about it again. First off, the show is so wonderfully diverse. I absolutely love Philkas, and it’s so nice to see a gay couple normalized in something else that’s not really contemporary. Also, their moments are adorable. Not to mention it’s a brilliant thriller that takes in a small town (WHICH IS MY WEAKNESS), and you get to follow the serial killer from his point of view, which makes the show ten times more tense than it already is. Like, seriously; this is such a taut and well-plotted thriller that has fantastic character development. And the acting is absolutely brilliant. And the cast is wonderful. JUST WATCH IT PLEASE (especially to those who don’t like or were disappointed in Riverdale like I was).

eyewitness philkas

The Replacement

The Replacement

No suitable gifs for this show. Boo.

Genre: 

Thriller/Mystery

The Lowdown:

Life is going well for our main character until she becomes pregnant and has to go on leave. She decides to assist a replacement to be a stand-in for her until she comes back, but it seems like her replacement is trying to do more than take over her job…

Why You Need to Watch It: 

Basically, if you’re a huge fan of those thrillers with psychotic girls or that trope where the main character is the only person who sees what’s going on, you will binge this quickly. Because it’s a British mini-series (British shows are brilliant at thrillers, basically), there’s only three episodes that are an hour long, so you’ll go through it quick. Most people had issues with the very ending of the series, but it wasn’t SO terrible that it ruined the entire reading experience, so I still totally recommend to those who are curious.

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And that’s it for all my favorite TV shows.

Just kidding, this isn’t all of them. Once I find the time to binge some more, I’ll probably write up a second part to this post because this was so much fun.

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What are some of your favorite TV shows? Do we share any of the same ones? If we do, TALK TO ME.

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[Let’s Chat] Do You Talk About Your Blog In Real Life?

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Something that probably won’t be a surprise to all bloggers out there is the fact that we have lives outside of blogging.

I know; such a surprise, right? But, it’s always made me wonder how many of us separate blogging and the “real world,” in a sense. I know that I, for sure, compartmentalize. If you met me in real life, I’d be a totally different person than how I act on the Internet.

So, I decided I’d like to talk about my personal experiences with talking about my blog in real life. Obviously, there aren’t too many because I just don’t like doing it at all, but, hey, why not talk about it anyway.

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So, my close family does know that I blog. There’s an accomplishment right there!

I have to say, the only reason my family knows is the fact that I used to have the crappiest laptop that I got when I was, like, twelve or something, so I decided to use my mom’s, and I had to ask permission before I just spent hours and hours on her laptop (and, BOY, did I spend hours and hours on there. Not like I don’t do that now). I ended up getting a laptop a couple weeks later for Christmas that actually works and is totally awesome, which I wasn’t expecting, so it was such a grateful surprise!

I’d say that my mom is the one who cares more than my dad and my younger brother. My dad knows that I blog and doesn’t really talk to me about it (thank God), and you know how siblings work; my brother doesn’t give a damn about what I do, and same I feel the same about his interests (we’re total opposites; he’s an extrovert, and I’m an intorvert). But my mom is the one who has continually always wanted to get into my business. True story: when I used to be on Wattpad, she created her own account, and pretended to be a girl around my age in order to learn more about my stories because I wouldn’t talk to her about it in real life. And you might be thinking, “LOL, Mikaela; that sounds nuts.” BUT IT’S TRUE. Obviously, I don’t think my mom can do that now since it’s harder to start a random blog account as opposed to Wattpad, but she always keeps trying to pry information about it to me and wants to advertise it to all her friends, and I don’t want that. Mainly because I want my success to be my own, and, also, I just don’t want my mom to know everything about my blog.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d just rather do stuff on my own regarding things I’m proud of, without the help of my parents. And I also just want one bit of myself out there on the Internet that my mom doesn’t know about much about. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a teenager that makes me feel that way, but I’d just much prefer a little bit of distance. Just a little.

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Now, regarding friends,  it’s a whole different ballgame for me. I have never mentioned to my friends that I have a book blog. Except one. And that’s basically it. 

I’ve already mentioned a million times about how I don’t really have anyone to talk to regarding books, so this place is where I like to go to express that. It’s again akin to the whole thing with my mom; I just want a little corner of the Internet that’s separate from my life in the real world. I actually had one of my friends read my Wattpad stories before I deleted them, and I always found it so amusing that she truly enjoyed reading them. It always made me nervous, but it was nice to know that she really appreciated my writing, but, for some reason, I feel totally different regarding blogging.

Also, okay, I might have a TINY fear that they might find it weird that I take pictures of books, and I consider that a hobby. Or that I have all these people following me because they think I’m cool or whatever. I’m not the only one who has those types of fears, right? RIGHT?

I have to say, sometimes it sucks when something amazing happens regarding my blog, but I don’t really feel like I can celebrate it with my friends because they don’t know about it, but remembering that I can fangirl on Twitter or on my blog and have people who truly understand me is what makes me happy and actually makes up for it, in a way.

And if my blog became public knowledge to my school?

haha no

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For me, those are the only two categories in my real life that I can talk about, but I’m sure there are other people that have some others, such as bloggers older than me who have co-workers and such.

To me, the general consensus is that I just really like to have something private that I’d like to keep to myself. Obviously, it’s not private in the way most people would say it’s private, since I’m still posting my stuff on a public blog, and also promoting it all on sorts of social media accounts, but I consider blogging something that I keep separate from the real life, and that works for me.

Also, to those who are probably like, “Where did the #DregsDiverseathon sign-up go?” I deleted it! Long story short, I wasn’t really ready to post it, but I didn’t really have anything to go up for Monday, so I made a terrible decision to post something for the sake of something. So, the readathon isn’t gone forever; I have it in my drafts, and I probably will wait to host it later this year or something! But everything’s good!

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Do you talk about your blog in real life? Have you had any weird experiences with that? Why do you talk or not talk about your blog in real life?

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