April Favourites: Books, Movies, Music + More

A guide to everything I loved during April 2020.

Happy Wednesday!

Today, I am here to bring you a list of all my April favourites: everything from books to TV shows to music. Just the things that I have been loving.

These favourites are all new discoveries for me (except for one, but I think you can figure out which one it is), and are things I just want to praise and discuss with you all. Let me know if you have read, watched, or listened to any of these so we can discuss them in the comments below!

Books

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

I have raved a lot about this book but I am going to rave about it again right now. The Last Magician takes place in New York during the 1920s. We follow Esta, a girl from the present who travels back in time to find a lost book that could set magicians free from New York by breaking the curse that keeps them trapped there. The story itself is entertaining enough, but what comes alive for me is the characters and their relationships. I love books with morally gray characters and this book is filled with them. I have mentioned before that this book took me about one hundred pages to really get into, but once you get past the intro, the story just flies.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy books like Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo because of the similar heist plotline, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because of the great cast of characters.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Toll | Book by Neal Shusterman | Official Publisher Page ...

As the final novel in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy by Neal Shusterman, I was not surprised that this became a favourite for the month. Would I say it is my favourite novel of the three in the series? No, I honestly think the first one remains my personal favourite of the three. However, I did really, really enjoy The Toll and just flew through it despite its 600+ page count. I think the reason I liked this book so much is because of the twists and turns the plot took, especially the ending. It caught me so off-guard and I love when stories do that because it is not often they achieve that for me anymore.

If you didn’t know, the first book in this series, Scythe, takes place in a dystopian world where humans have conquered everything from disease to death. To keep the population in balance, there are people called scythes who kill a certain quota of people at random each year. Our main characters, Citra and Rowan are chosen as scythe apprentices to a well-known scythe called Scythe Farady, but they realize that a life of killing may not be one they want to live.

TV Shows/Movies

Elite

Netflix's 'Elite' Review: 7 Moments You Didn't Appreciate at the ...

Oh my god. This TV show is SO addicting and if you like high school dramas intertwined with a murder-mystery, I highly recommend this show. It is in Spanish, but the English dubbed version is so well-done that it doesn’t take you out of the story at all. However, I am hoping that once I get better at my Spanish, I will be able to watch the original version and have some sense of what is going on.

In the first season, we follow a pretty big cast of characters who attend this preppy private school. Three of these characters are new to the school and are “scholarship” kids who are invited to attend after a terrible accident occurred at their last school. Soon after they arrive, a murder takes place at the school. Everyone turns to the scholarship students but the truth is a messy and winding road. Season one is all about finding out who died, what happened, and who did it. When I tell you that you will get sucked in, I MEAN it!

Stuck in Love

Amazon.com: Stuck in Love by Millennium by Josh Boone: Movies & TV

I know this is from 2013 but I didn’t watch this movie fully until this past month, which is crazy because Lily Collins AND Logan Lerman both star in this movie. To be honest, I am a sucker for romcoms or really any romantic movie. Especially the ones that follow multiple characters and storylines that eventually connect. How I randomly came to watching this movie is because I wanted some feel-good movies and stumbled across Crazy Stupid Love. I liked that movie but then I got recommended Stuck in Love and I was like, “Oh, I’ve heard of this. Let’s watch it now.” And I just ended up liking it even more. It is charming and entertaining enough. By no means does it come in contest with Love, Rosie which might be my favourite romantic movie of all time, but it was what I wanted at the moment. Hence, it makes the list.

I think it is better to go into this movie without a clear idea of what it is about so I am just going to leave it at that!

Music

Hamilton

Hamilton (musical) - Wikipedia

Obviously, I listened to the Hamilton soundtrack back in 2016, but I started listening to it again last month and was reminded of how much I love it. And also how excited I am for the film version to be released next year! Listening to these songs puts me in the best mood and just talking about it now makes me want to listen to it…so I think I am going to go put that on right now.

Radio by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey โ€“ Radio Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

To be honest, this is the first Lana Del Rey song I have listened to in full which yes, it is crazy, I know. I was making a playlist on Spotify called “Like a Movie” and this song popped up. This is the sort of song that you play driving down the street at night. It is haunting and slow but so, so good. It was definitely a perfect match for the playlist I added it to.

Forever by CHVRCHES

CHVRCHES โ€“ Forever Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

I found this song because of the TV show, Elite. It plays in quite a few episodes but I was really sold on it while watching the final episode of the third season. It plays while they are at their graduation party and it is just a fun, upbeat song. It reminds me of something that would come out in the early 2010s and that I would be obsessed with. It just gives me that nostalgic feeling that I love.


Those are my April favourites and I hope you enjoyed! I haven’t done a favourites post for a while, but I think I will do them every so often because I really enjoy looking back on a month and remembering everything that made me happy. Let me know what some of your April favourites were!

Don’t forget to check out my last blog post as well as my social media accounts which are linked down below.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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Matching Books to My Playlist

Happy Saturday!

Today is the first day of my Saturday blog posts and I am very excited to begin it with a blog post filled with music and books.

My music taste mostly revolves around the classic rock from the 70s and 80s and of course, some pop bands like The Beatles. My favourite band in the ENTIRE world though is Queen. However, I only included two of their songs here because, for some of their songs, I had a hard time coming up with books that matched them.

Here are 10 songs from my playlist matched with 10 books.

Summer Song” by Himesh Patel

& Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

This song is from the movie, Yesterday, which I saw and adored, so I had to include some of its soundtrack here. “Summer Song” reminds me of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson because it is a summer-y contemporary book. Most importantly, though, I feel as if the entire book is summarized in the first verse of Summer Song:

Sun’s in the sky
And nothing can go wrong
Kiss winter goodbye
And sing this summer song

This first verse is basically what the main character’s best friend, Sloane, is saying to her in the letter she leaves behind after mysteriously disappearing. She encourages Emily to forget about her and live her life to achieve the best summer ever.

Across the Universe” by The Beatles

& The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between Worlds is a YA urban fantasy that is extraordinarily atmospherical and whimsical. The book is about two sisters struggling to settle back into their world after living in a magical forest for several years. However, one struggles more than the other. This plot pairs beautifully with Across the Universe by The Beatles.

Images of broken light

Which dance before me like a million eyes

They call me on and on across the universe

Thoughts meander like a

Restless wind inside a letter box

They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

I feel that this is such an accurate description of how Evelyn feels throughout the story. She is living in the real world yet feels a call from her true home, which might as well be across the universe. Even when surrounded by loved ones, a piece of her is missing and is lost back in The Woodlands.

My Fairy King” by Queen

& The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The dark and strange lyrics and tone of My Fairy King by Queen remind me of the story and atmosphere in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. The Cruel Prince is about the dark side of faeries often not portrayed in literature, which is exhibited well in this song. Also, the beauty of the Fairyland is shown through Queen’s lyrics and relates to how I picture the world in The Cruel Prince.

They turn the milk into sour

Like the blue in the blood of my veins

(Why can’t you see it?)

Fire burnin’ in hell with the cry of screaming pain

(Son of heaven set me free and let me go)

Sea turns dry no salt from sand

Seasons fly no helping hand

Teeth don’t shine like pearls for poor men’s eyes

(No more)

These words just really remind me of how I think our main character, Jude, sometimes views the Fairy world. Even if she loves it and wishes to be a part of it, she knows that she must be terrified of all it can do.

Chances by Five” for Fighting

& Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

In Everything, Everything, the main character Maddy has a disease where she is allergic to almost everything and, therefore, cannot leave the house. When a boy named Ollie comes along, she starts realizing she needs to take chances in her already chanced life to feel like she is truly living. Considering the name, I think this fits what our main character is going through in Everything, Everything.

Chances are we’ll find a new equation

Chances roll away from me

Chances are all they hope to be

These words reflect what I think Maddy felt before meeting Ollie and after. Chances are chances. It is our choice if we want to take them.

I Want to Break Free” by Queen

& When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

In When Dimple Met Rishi, our main character, Dimple, has always struggled with her parents understanding her desire for education over finding a boyfriend/husband. Finally, she convinces her parents to let her attend a summer camp for aspiring web developers. However, she doesn’t realize it’s not because she wants to go because her parents plotting to set her up with the son of their friends. Because of this, I feel like I Want to Break Free is a fitting song.

I want to break free

I want to break free

I want to break free from your lies

You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you

I’ve got to break free

God knows, God knows I want to break free

This is basically what Dimple feels towards her parents. She is mad when she learns the truth and thinks that they aren’t listening to what she wants, but what they want.

Kiss Me by Sixpence” None the Richer

& The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

It has been a while since I read this book. Still, I vividly remember the main character, Belly, in love with her older family friend, Conrad. “Kiss me” is what Belly constantly thinks when she thinks of him.

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight

Lead me out on the moonlit floor

Lift your open hand

Strike up the band, and make the fireflies dance

Silvermoon’s sparkling

So kiss me

Again, I would NOT be surprised if these lyrics were something Belly said in the book. Not at all.

Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine

& The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I associated this song and this book because, in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie struggles to make friends as he starts his first year at high school. This is hard, but even before that, Charlie has had a difficult life. I feel like Dog Days Are Over perfectly symbolizes how he feels once he meets Sam, Patrick, and their friends and finally becomes a part of their group.

The dog days are over

The dog days are done

It’s simple, but once Charlie finds his group in school, he finally feels like he belongs. Indeed, his dog days ARE over.

Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfieldย 

& To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Unwritten is the MOST 2000s song I have heard, but at the same time, I love it for that. It reminds me of To All the Boys because Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys she has loved before and, for the most part, lives in a fantasy world regarding love and relationships. 

Her life is definitely not unwritten, but eventually, she learns to live her life as more of a “go with the flow” and take more chances than she did at the beginning.

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined

I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

These lyrics are a great reminder of how we should all live unwritten and unplanned lives. Well, okay, maybe plan a little bit because otherwise, you might be wandering around, but don’t pass up on opportunities just because they aren’t written into your 5-year life plan!

Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

& Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

I am surprised it took me THIS long to include a Cassandra Clare book, but finally, we made it. I feel like all the characters get hit by a landslide, whether in their relationships or life. I feel like I get swept away by the rubble of my heart with every gut-wrenching plot point after heartbreaking plot point…

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?

Can the child within my heart rise above?

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

I hear a lot of Julian and Emma in these lyrics if you know what I mean…just because they are struggling with some things…I also think a common theme throughout this book is that many characters realize they aren’t children anymore and have to learn to understand everything they are feeling almost constantly.

Let It Be” by The Beatles

& Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I think many of us relate to Eliza Mirk as a quiet and introverted main character. I know I do. Not only is she a creative person, being the creator of the webcomic Monstrous Sea, but she also deals with anxiety, which I can definitely relate to. However, she lets her anxiety for most of the book get the best of her. 

When people try to help her and tell her how her life isn’t that healthy, she says, “let it be.” It takes her a while to realize things need to change and that “letting it be” isn’t always the best answer.

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me

Shine on ’til tomorrow, let it be

I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

So many people in Eliza’s life try to help her and get her out of her chair, and I think these lyrics reflect her internal conflict.

Wow! That was a long one, but there it is, me matching books with my playlist…anyways, I hope you enjoyed it because I had so much fun creating this blog post! 

Don’t forget to comment below on some of your favourite songs on your playlist, and also make sure you check out my last blog post, which will be linked below. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

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