Book Review: Jessie Hearts NYC

Most girls would be lying if they said they didn’t dream of falling in love in New York City. There’s something so glamorous about the East Coast city, and the thought of finding a cute guy to stroll through Central Park or go to a show on Broadway with would be a bit of a fairytale come true. 

credit



British BFFs Emma and Jessie are lucky enough to go to New York for the Summer to stay with Jessie’s playwright mum. Jessie has just broken up with a not-so-dream guy and has her eye set on her mum’s lead cast member, Ben. Both girls are obsessed with the famous city, and can’t wait to explore every detail of it (and hope to meet a few other cute guys along the way).
Finn is a New York local, desperately in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. His controlling parents and grandma are trying to force him to follow his father’s shoes into insurance, but all he wants to be is an architect.
A series of weird coincidences see Jessie and Finn continue to run into each other in a city of eight million people. Will they find love? Will Jessie be brave enough to tell her parents she wants to stay in NYC? Will Finn man up and tell his parents he wants to change majors? You’ll have to read brand new YA novel “Jessie Hearts NYC” to find out…


Jessie Hearts NYC is a cute, easy read with alternating perspectives that you won’t want to put down. Filled with amazing descriptions of New York, by the end you’ll be wishing your mum lived on Broadway so you could jump on a plane with your BFF and find your own Finn. Of course, some bits are super cliched, but it’s a teen romance set in New York, so it’s kind of expected. 
It’s a brilliant holiday read, and a perfect change from a lot of the Supernatural-themed YA books that seem to be plaguing the genre at the moment. I definitely recommend it to all teen girls (or anyone who’s a fan of the YA genre!). 


Rating: 4.5/5
Author: Keris Stainton
Pages: 255 (plus four pages of Keris Stainton’s ‘New York Top Fives’!)
RRP: $16.99
Publisher: Orchard Books 


frangipani princess xoxo

July 2011 Girlfriend Mini Review

In five days I’m heading back to Girlfriend HQ for a week of work experience, so I decided to do a quick review of their July Issue. 


Cover Girl: Emma Watson 
Theme: Formal
Front Of Mag Features: “What A Girl Wants”, “Why Kissing Is Good For You”, “Mind Your Manners”, “The Secret”, “The School Of Second Chances”, “Not To Be Rude, But Are You Being Stupid?” and “The Parent Survival Guide”
Highlights: 

  • Darren Criss poster. I get so proud every time I see him in magazines or somewhere exciting online. He’s getting so big, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
  • Mention of Team Starkid in “Harry Potter’s Over, Now What?” page 
  • Selena Gomez interview in which she says she hopes to come to Australia next year (oh please, please, please come true)
  • Emma Watson on the cover. Golly gosh I love that girl. 
  • “How Hot Is It When Guys…” includes pictures of DCriss and Nick Jonas, amongst many other cuties, and cool reasons like “are sweet to their grandparents” and “read”. 

Lowlights: 

  • Every second page being something about a formal. I get that they have to cater to the readers who are doing a formal, but the majority of teens only have a formal in year twelve (yes, some do have one in year ten, but not every school), and let’s face it, it’s a rare year twelve student who would be still reading Girlfriend. Maybe cut back just a little bit, GF. 
  • In “This Month” they have a picture of the Elder Wand and call it “Harry’s Wand”. I mean, Harry does end up with it, but it’s not ~his~ wand. Small facts, I know, but just slightly annoying. 
  • Formal Movie Faux Pas. The whole tone of this feature didn’t sit right with me, but I was rather annoyed when they said “A Mathlete Will Most Likely Never Win Prom Queen” and went on to explain that prom queens were popular and beautiful. Way to make all your more intellectual readers feel like crap, GF. I know you went on to say that the prom queen’s looks will fade and the nerds will be “investment bankers with sweet rides”, but that’s stereotyping at it’s highest. You just…shouldn’t have included that one. 

Rating: 3.5/5 – Buy it for the Darren Criss poster, if nothing else. 
Price: $7.95
Freebie: Beanie
(I did have scans to add, but the photo-uploader is being annoying, sorry). 

I can’t wait for my week at GFHQ (and, uh, my week at DOLLY the week after), and I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes 🙂


frangipani princess xoxo

Fandoms For F*ck H8

As most of you would be aware, on Saturday New York passed the Gay Marriage act. This makes me super happy, for while I am straight myself, I am a firm believer in equality for all. I have friends who are gay, relatives who are gay, and, of course, I adore gay celebrities (and uh, fictional characters). While Australia sits over here with it’s backwards laws on equality, I found myself wishing there was something that I could do to show my support. That’s where Fandoms Against H8 stepped in. We all know I love a nerdy fandom shirt, so to combine my love of these with supporting equality, well, I was sold. Here are some of my favourites:

buy
buy
buy

Basically, there are a whole heap of shirts (and hoodies, and badges, etc. etc.) for every super popular fandom with slash ships (though you can request others). You buy them, get to wear a totally brilliant shirt, and then part of the proceeds goes towards the fight against hate. Such a perfect concept. 
I really, really want to buy the three above, but I’m poor at the moment and currently saving for two overseas trips in the coming months, plus two weeks in Sydney starting next week. My finger might just slip on the ‘add to basket’ and ‘checkout’ buttons as a special end of term treat in the next few days though…


frangipani princess xoxo

Miley Cyrus: Gypsy Heart Tour

For the last four and a bit years, I have been a Miley Cyrus fan. There have been times when she has done things that have made me begin to question why I adore her so much, but then I listen to her music or watch Hannah Montana and my love returns. When I heard she was coming to Australia, I jumped up and down and squealed in excitement. Disney stars never come to Australia, so I couldn’t believe I would finally be seeing one of them in concert. I bought tickets for myself, Toong, Tam, and one of Tam’s friends, in the very first pre-sale back in April and then waited with eager anticipation for the day to arrive. Yesterday, it finally did. All week I had been flailing in excitement whenever I thought about it, and even the eight hour round trip that didn’t get me home til 3.30am couldn’t deter just how much I was looking forward to the concert.

Miley is not Hannah Montana anymore. You are more likely to see her in her underwear than you are fully clothed, but I knew this. Arriving at Rod Laver Arena and seeing thousands of mothers and their under-twelve children, though, made me begin to wonder if the majority of the world had missed this memo. While Miley was absolutely brilliant and everything I could have ever dreamed of (well, it only could have been better if it had been the Best Of Both Worlds concert in which the Jonas Brothers opened, but as I’m not in the possession of a TARDIS or a Time Turner, we’ll just have to let that one be), the Gypsy Heart Tour was definitely not child friendly. Miley spent more than half the concert in various states of undress, often gyrating around a dancer or a walking stick, and she sang songs that would have gone right over the heads of most of the concert attendees. I could only laugh when she began singing “Bad Reputation”, something which could be argued to be the current soundtrack to her laugh. 

Her cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” should have never been allowed on the set list, but I could hardly contain my excitement when I heard the opening bars of “7 Things”. The crowd went wild for “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, “Party In The USA” and “The Climb”, although I suppose there wasn’t really a song that the sold-out crowd didn’t adore. The same can’t be said for opening act Michael Paynter, who was annoyingly repetitive and, well, just generally annoying. 

Miley didn’t interact with the audience very much (unlike Taylor Swift last year who spent forever telling cute little stories and such), and said “y’all” an annoying lot, but I suppose she is from the South and it is to be expected. She barely paused for breath; one song would end and the intro to the next would start, save the minor gaps between her five or six costume changes, but it created an awesome atmosphere. Unlike her previous tour, The Gypsy Heart Tour did not include elaborately theatrical sets; it was just Miley, a band, some dancers, and a stage. With lots of lights and giant screens, of course. Our seats were in the first row of the Upper section of Rod Laver, but we could still see everything really well (although it wasn’t the ideal place to take close-up pictures, as the ones I’ve included prove). 

For a teenage Miley fan like myself, who knew all her songs and the covers she performed, and understood that she wouldn’t be fully dressed for most of the concert, it was brilliant, amazing, fantastic…I would go again, and again and again. For the little girls in the audience – many of whom fell asleep even before the encore – it was a bit of a waste of money, and just generally inappropriate. Surely mothers know how to google these things before dropping hundreds and hundreds of dollars on tickets? 
I think I preferred Tsweezy’s “Fearless” tour (can she pleasepleaseplease come back?!), but then again, the two concerts were very different and can’t really be compared. I adored them both in their own ways.

Now if only other Disney (or, you know, previously Disney) stars would follow her lead and come and tour. Jonas Brothers, I’m especially looking at you. 


frangipani princess xoxo

Harry Potter And The Levels Of Darkness

I have never been a massive fan of the Harry Potter movies. I love the entire cast more than most people can begin to fathom, but I just love the books so much and the films just kind of ruin them. They add bits and take away bits and change things that just shouldn’t have been changed. It frustrates me no end, and leaves me sitting there raging to anyone who will listen. Other than when they come out at the cinema, I rarely watch the movies. I own all of them (and numerous copies of some) but they’re not my first choice for a movie night. The last time I watched most of them was early last year when Toong and I had a marathon. 


In the lead up to Deathly Hallows Part Two (one month today!), my local cinema is showing one movie per week. I missed Philosopher’s Stone because no one told me it was on (and then missed it on tv on Friday night for the same reason), but watched my extended-edition dvd the other night. Then yesterday, I went and saw Chamber Of Secrets at the movies. Being used to watching the newer movies, I was shocked at how light the older movies were. There was so much hope and joy, and even though Voldy would come along and try to ruin everything, there was just so much innocence and that happy ending feeling. There was no continuation of evil that started at the end of the fourth but really kicked it up from the end of the fifth. There was no angst. No death. The endings brought tears of joy to your eyes, instead of tears of heartbreak, because everything was just so perfect. 


In a way, it was almost painful watching them knowing everything about the overall ending. Painful seeing Fred laughing. Painful seeing Dobby. Painful seeing annoying fangirl!Ginny and realising that the epilogue from hell is almost upon us. Painful seeing Snape. Oh gosh, it was painful seeing Snape. 


I know Harry Potter had to get darker. I know it had to lead up to the confrontation we’ll be seeing next month. I know that people had to die, no matter how much I loved them, because if they didn’t, if there was no battle, we’d end up with Breaking Dawn. I understand why it had to continue the way it did, but a small part of me would have been happy if it had stayed at the level of the earlier books. If the evil didn’t progress past what an eleven year old could defeat. If Draco’s worst decision was stealing a Christmas present and over exaggerating an injury, and if Snape’s worst move was taking too many points of Gryffindor. If everyone lived happily ever after (though without the Epilogue From Hell) and just enjoyed Hogwarts like the Marauders were able to. Admit it, you think it would kind of be really cool if they were just chilling at Hogwarts without Voldemort being around every corner, and could just have regular lives with the addition of magic and an epic castle. Maybe that’s just the fanfiction lover in me coming out though…


frangipani princess xoxo

Of Pre-Release Anticipation And Who The Hell Is River Song

When you become a member of a fandom, you become emotionally attached to everything. You become obsessive in the lead up to a big episode, or the next book in a series. What will happen? you find yourself compulsively thinking. You contemplate just what will come next. What will happen to your favourite characters. How everything will work out. 


Back in the good old days when there were still Harry Potter books being released, the anticipation would almost kill me. I remember being so nervous in the weeks leading up to their release, frightened about what the fates of my favourite characters would be, and then forcing my mum to drive me up to four hours return to get a copy of my book as soon as it was physically possible. In the weeks leading up to the release of The Deathly Hallows I read so many theories and spoilers, it wasn’t even funny. As much as it pains me to admit, I was much the same in the lead up to the release of Breaking Dawn. The day before it came out, all I thought about was who Bella would pick. 


And now I’m the same for Doctor Who. As a fairly new member of the fandom, this is my first season where I’ve actually had to wait for episodes. Although I did watch episodes of season five on tv, I wasn’t emotionally invested in them. After really getting into it, I then went back and watched all of the seasons, but because I had them on my laptop, there was no waiting for cliffhangers. No year long gaps between seasons. Everything was right there, and if I was desperate to know something I was yet to see, there were friends to ask or websites containing all the spoilers I could ever want. This season, however, is different. This season I’m painfully waiting the week long gaps between each episode. I have to endure not knowing what will happen next, and it’s killing me. This is possibly the worst season for it too, with more than just the regular ‘two-parters’ of seasons gone by. This season there’s a whole big storyline and more cliffhangers than you could poke a stick at. 


The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw had River Song in it. I had no idea what was going on in the episode, so I texted Quack asking for answers. My biggest question was “Who is River Song?”. Quack couldn’t answer, because you don’t know who River Song is. She is just there and plays some big part in The Doctor’s life and is constantly saying “spoilers, sweetie”, but apart from being an archaeologist in jail for murder, with a time-line running in reverse to The Doctor, we know nothing of her identity. Until tomorrow, that is. I do not like River Song as a character at all. She’s annoying and frustrating and just makes me want to slap her, and yet, here I am, desperate to know who she is. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent more time than I care to admit googling theories and spoilers and information, trying to piece together what is going on in this season. River’s story is a mystery that has driven the fandom crazy for three years (I guess my one year wait is nothing to complain about!), and in just a few hours, it will be solved. Well, it will be as solved as much as a massive cliffhanger (with the next episode not being until Spring Australian time) written by Steven Moffat could possibly explain/solve anything. It is said that in the final few moments of the episode, we will learn her identity and then, BAM, three month wait. There is so much speculation about who she is, some of which makes me sad, some of which makes me happy, and some of which just disappoints me. I’m sure whatever Moffat has install for us tomorrow will be completely insane and what none of us were expecting, though he does say once we watch the episode, we’ll realise that we’ve known who she is from the beginning. Whatever that means.


Whenever the episode you’ve been waiting for airs, or the book is released, and you watch or read it, you sometimes feel empty. The build up has been there for months. You’ve devoted hours and hours and hours of your life to theories and thoughts and head-canon, and then suddenly it’s all over. You’re left with canon, and we all know canon can often leave a dirty taste in your mouth. You’ve spent so much time speculating, then suddenly there’s nothing left to do anymore because the truth is out there. You sit there, and ponder what to do with your life now that it’s all over. After The Deathly Hallows was released, I actually took around a year off from Harry Potter in general, as I suddenly knew everything that would ever be canon, and it saddened me. There was no more “I wonder if this will happen”, because all was out there. I think that’s why I love fan-fiction so much, because it allows the stories to live on in different ways, and people to keep rejected theories alive with wonderful tales of what might have been.


I often wonder what non-fangirls do with their lives, without theories and character speculation to spend weeks on. It must be weird. Surely they must feel like they have a hole in their lives. No amount of social interaction could fill the gaps in my life created by fandoms. You just become such a part of it, it becomes a major section of your life. But that’s another point for another day, so for now, I’m going to sleep, with the child-like belief from Christmas Eve and birthdays that going to sleep early(ish for a Saturday) will make morning come faster. With morning comes River Song’s identity, and though part of me doesn’t want it to arrive as what will I do with my life once I know who she is, I’m really just dying from the anticipation of it all. 


frangipani princess xoxo
ps. By the time most of you read this the episode will have aired. Can we please keep her identity out of comments, as it won’t air in a lot of places for a week or so, and nobody wants spoilers, sweetie.