19. 5 Recommendations: Recommend 5 things (place, activity, book, movie, etc.) that you feel are hidden gems.
First, if you like Young Adult Fiction, you have to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. You should read every book by John Green, but this was my favorite. It was perfect. I haven’t read any other book by David Levithan, but I want to and suggest you look into his books as well because I enjoyed his part of the novel even more than John Green’s. The character development in this novel is perfect. It’s new. It’s something so different from any other Young Adult novel that I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot). You will fall in love with both Will Graysons and will probably have a favorite. One major way it differed from other John Green novels (and YA novels in general) that made it stand out for me is there was no “true love.” The story didn’t revolve around a big epic love between two teen characters (not that teens can’t be ‘in love’ but it’s highly unlikely). One of the Will Graysons had two relationships throughout the story and recognized that it’s okay to date and it’s also okay to break up if you don’t feel right about the relationship. Overall the novel showed different ways of looking at relationships. There will be someone you can relate to no matter how you feel about love. I identified with Tiny Cooper, for example, who fell in love on a daily basis (but unlike Tiny, I don’t get heartbroken after every love ends). I also identified with the way Will Grayson felt when he was dating his first boyfriend (I’m leaving out his name because spoilers). Now I really want to reread Will Grayson, Will Grayson. But I still have to finish the Divergent series. Boo. That reminds me I also have to write my review for Insurgent. Anyway, go read Will Grayson, Will Grayson right now.
My favorite quotes from the book:
“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”
“You like someone who can’t like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.”
“need is never a good basis for any relationship. it has to be much more than that.”
Once you’re done reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson you should go watch my favorite movie, Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen directed it so that should be enough to make you want to see it. It’s one of those films that just takes you by surprise. You will be thinking about it for a long time after you see it. It’s not one of those movies that you think, well that was cute, and then forget about. At least it wasn’t for me. The cinematography is gorgeous. It’s all so pretty to look at. Marion Cotilliard is incredible (this is not me being biased because of my huge crush on her, she really is fantastic). Owen Wilson surprised me quite a bit because this isn’t his usual role and he mastered it. If you read the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, one word that comes up a lot to describe the film is “charming,” and that’s perfect. It has so much charm and character and brings Paris to life (not that the city needed to be brought to life). It’s quirky and is sure to have you smiling throughout the entire film. It doesn’t tackle any deep issues, it’s just an escape; an adventure. It reminds me a bit of Moonrise Kingdom. The music is wonderful. And Kathy Bates is in it. What more do you need?
My favorite quotes from the movie:
“No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”
“We all fear death and question our place in the universe. The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
“That’s the problem with writers. You are so full of words.”
Doctor Who. Let me preface this by saying that Doctor Who is not a television show- it’s a lifestyle. Some would even say a religion. The Doctor is my God. All the religious people reading this are probably cringing and calling me idolatrous. I don’t care. I believe in the Doctor. Doctor Who teaches us that everyone is important and that our little lives are significant, even if they seem like they’re not in the grand scheme of the universe. Every decision we make impacts not just us, but everyone around us. These may seem like simple lessons, but it’s not until I saw them played out on the show that I actually believed it. When I was a little kid, I was terrified of dying, and even more so of dying without having made a difference in the world. I also did this thing where I tried to picture in my head what it would be like if there was no universe, essentially what nothingness would look like and it scared me. Pretty existential stuff for a 7 year old, I know. I don’t believe in an actual God, but I believe that something holds the universe together, a kind of force or merely the universe itself. And I choose to imagine that that force is the Doctor. All my life I was forced into believing in the God of Christianity, but now that I’m older and thinking for myself, I’m making my own God. But now I’ve gotten off track, haven’t I? The point is, Doctor Who changed my life and the way I view the universe, the world and my place in it. Its treatment of women and female characters can be problematic at times from a feminist outlook, but for that I blame Moffat, not the Doctor.
My favorite quotes from the show:
“Everywhere we look, complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.” -this was partially inspiration for my first tattoo.
“900 years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
Next, music. If you want to listen to some really great music and you’re into alt rock, you should check out the new Arctic Monkeys album, AM. It’s so fab. I don’t have a big spiel for this one, you just need to listen ok. Because it’s really sexy.
My favorite songs from the album:
Do I Wanna Know
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
I Wanna Be Yours
Last, I’m recommending a place: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s the best place I’ve ever been. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you haven’t lived until you’ve been. It’s magical. I felt like a child again. I cried. I felt like I was actually at Hogwarts. The inside of the castle is incredible, it looks just like it does in the films. The pictures move and talk, the sorting hat talks, the statues are all there, you walk through the greenhouse and there are mandrakes in pots. And the ride inside the castle is so much fun. I really felt like I was flying on a broom behind Harry. I got a wand and a Quibbler and drank butter beer and pumpkin juice and saw the Hogwarts Express. I bought candy from Honeydukes and explored Zonko’s joke shop. It was heaven on earth. I can’t wait to go back once all the expansions are added, I can’t imagine it getting any better, but it looks like it will.