June 26, 2017

Ballet Season

Another summer, another ballet season at the American Ballet Theatre! For the second year in a row, Alexa and I bought their 3-show season tickets. We chose ballets featuring our favorites, Stella Abrera and Misty Copeland, and it was incredible to watch them dance. Their styles are really different but equally compelling and I never tire of seeing them take the stage. Going to the ballet was something I had always wanted to do more of and I'm just so glad to have such a dear friend who appreciates this as much as I do. Even though last year we bought the tickets on a whim because it was such a good deal, I'm so happy we went for it again this year and I have a feeling this will be a tradition for us every summer!

Giselle • Stella Abrera is lauded for her depiction of Giselle so when we saw that she was performing it this year, we knew it had to be on our list. And it was easy to see why she's famous for it. She's so poised and graceful. 

Swan Lake • This is such a classic but I had never seen it before, so I was super excited to finally watch. Of course, Misty Copeland was beautiful in the roles of Odette and Odile. It's incredible how she can bring together being powerful and delicate to her movements all at the same time. 

Onegin • Our final ballet together and my favorite! Even though the storyline is simple (and as Alexa pointed out, straight out of a historical romance novel), the dancing was breathtaking. I loved the choreography but most of all, it really showcased Stella's talent. She embodies every character she plays and it showed. 

 I seriously can't wait to do this again next year. In the meantime, I will probably experience ballet withdrawal and maybe watch Center Stage (or similar movies) this summer. 

Do you have a favorite ballet?

Make sure to check out Alexa's post!

June 23, 2017

Rachel & Carina's Infinite Playlist (116)

RACHEL • " The Other (Shallou Remix)" by Lauv
Like Carina, I am all about the summer playlists during this time of the year! I enjoy a mix of upbeat songs that make me want to dance or chill tunes that are great for relaxing. This song falls somewhere in the middle and I can already tell I'll be playing it a lot this summer. Especially if the last couple of weeks are any indication! Enjoy!

CARINA • "Slide" by Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean (Cover)

The start of summer wouldn't be complete without a summer playlist! And the first song on my list is "Slide" by Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the full song on youtube and had to resort to covers. Check out the one below! It's not fast-paced like the original song but it's a great cover with the added bonus of including my favorite Frank Ocean song to the mix. Enjoy!

If you like our music, you can subscribe to our playlist on Spotify which we'll update each week!

What have you been listening to lately?

June 21, 2017

Review: Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios

Collaborative feature with Alexa since Nov 2013. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
6/13/17 by Henry Holt and Co.
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received ARC from publisher
Plot • Grace's life is a mess. On one hand, she has two amazing best friends, dreams of going to college in New York and has a passion for theatre that shows in all the work she does for her school plays. But on the other, her stepfather is a horrible demeaning man and her mother not only allows the verbal abuse but also inflicts her own neurosis on Grace by having her clean the house from top to bottom over and over again. When Gavin, a guy Grace has not-so-secretly been attracted to, becomes available and starts falling for her, she can't believe her luck. But soon his love for her turns dangerous and controlling. It's a ticking time bomb that Grace she doesn't know how to stop.

Characters • In general, Demetrios did an incredible job with this book. In Grace, she shows an unflinchingly honest side of a young, bright and impressionable woman who falls prey to a very bad guy. We see how her home life played a role. We see how sweet Gavin was in the beginning and why she fell for him. Then just as quickly, we see the cracks in his behavior that belie the awfulness to come. It's a train wreck you can't turn away from and I experienced so many emotions for Grace. Sadness, frustration, fear, sadness again. (And repeat.) In Gavin, we see almost the worst kind of abuser. It's subtle but crushing how he treats her. It's all aimed at her psyche and her emotions, rather than the physical, which it makes it harder for Grace to pinpoint everything that's wrong, although sparks of intuition do show itself. I also adored Grace's BFFs. They were a ray of light at the end of the tunnel and every time they made an appearance, I was glad Grace had them to constantly tell her the truth.

Writing •  I had to get used to the writing style and the voice Demetrios gave Grace. It's very stream of consciousness and unfiltered which is departure from her previous books. As soon as I adjusted to it though, I felt the writing worked in the book's favor because we got to see directly into Grace's head.

Overall feelings • This book will make you uncomfortable but more importantly, it will make you think. When Alexa and I read it, we couldn't stop talking about it, which to me shows that the book accomplished what it set out to do. And that is to get a conversation going about why and how these relationships happen.

What's your favorite musical? •  As I mentioned Grace is really into theatre and brings up her love of Rent a lot. For me, Wicked will always hold a special place in my heart. I saw it with the original cast and with my college roomies. For days and weeks afterward, we'd blast the soundtrack and sing along (loudly!). Even now, I can't listen to "Defying Gravity" without thinking of them.