April/May Favourites

Happy June everyone! So much has happened in the past two months and I've just been so busy that I haven't been posting as much as I'd like to. As you can tell from the title I have combined my favourites from both months and you know what that means...today's post is going to be a long one. So, if you would like to know everything I have enjoyed in the months of April and May then keep reading. 

Movie Favourites:

If you know me then you know I love Nicholas Sparks films. They're always so beautiful and emotional and this movie was no different. The Best of Me is about a pair of former high school sweethearts that reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown. It's tear-jerking and swoon-worthy and just one of my favourite movies of all-time. I highly recommend if you love romance!

“Me? I’m scared of everything. 
I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, 
of who I am, and most of all 
I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life 
the way I feel when I’m with you.” ~Baby

I had the time of my life watching this movie...(get it?). Dirty Dancing is just the ultimate classic. It's about Frances "Baby" Houseman, who spends the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, and ends up falling in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle. The steamy, beautiful romance and incredible dance moves were just a sight for sore eyes. This is the kind of movie you can watch a million times over and still need to watch it again. You probably have already watched this but...GO WATCH IT AGAIN! 

Book Favourites:

Alex Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Read: April 22, 2017 - April 25, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars) 

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

My Review:
New. Favourite. Book. It touched on the usual YA elements like family, friendships, and relationshipsbut it went so much deeper. It's definitely a more mature YA book though, as it discussed topics such as drugs, crime, and sex.

I instantly fell in love with everything this book has to offer. The California setting and beach-y town atmosphere was just so easy to visualize and it felt like you were actually there. I really loved the main character, Bailey, because she's so rational and mature, especially in her relationship with Porter (who is a great love interest by the way). Speaking of relationships, I love the hate-to-love relationship in this one. Their chemistry is through the roof and I also liked that they formed a friendship (unknowingly) through a common interest in old films. 

Something else I really like was that Grace, Bailey's best friend, and Porter, brought some diversity into this novel, specifically their culture and the food they eat. It added a really nice feel to the book and I'm glad Jenn incorporated it. 

This book was just so addicting and I couldn't put it down. It's become an all time favourite and I see myself rereading this in the near future. This is a must-read summer contemporary! Highly, highly recommend.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Read: April 28 2017 - May 1, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (4.5 stars)

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? 

My Review:
Beautiful writing, wonderful characters, heart-warming but also heart-breaking, star-crossed love story. 

I love that this novel discusses culture and identity and I felt that it was done in such a profound way. I also took comfort in the fact that Natasha is Jamaican as I'm also from Jamaica. It was really nice reading about my culture from someone else's perspective. 

Also, Daniel was just the sweetest guy. I love how even though he and Natasha didn't share the same views on everything they learned something from one another. They both realized that life is a combination of both fate and free will, God and science. 

Seeing their relationship develop was the best. Nicola Yoon just wrote in their voices so well that it felt like I was actually reading from a teenager's point of view. Also, the way that she added random characters' perspectives who aren't really seen as important was also a really nice touch as you got to see how little things can affect someone's life so remarkably and with you being none the wiser. She took such heavy topics and made such a powerful story easy for young audiences to understand. 

I really loved reading this book and I can't wait to read Nicola Yoon's future works.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Read: May 3, 2017 - May 4, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars) 

(This is a part of a series so this will spoil the previous two books!)

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? 

My Review:
I'm going to miss reading about Lara Jean's life so much. This book just made me feel so many emotions, as usual with a Jenny Han book. It made me feel so wistful and nostalgic like I was the one graduating high school and moving on in life. This book was everything I hoped it would be. After I finished the last sentence I just wanted to start the whole series over again. It's a bittersweet feeling that it's the end but I'm so glad to have read this series. It will always and forever be one of my favourites.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
Read: May 5, 2017 - May 13, 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars) 

(This is a part of a series so this will spoil the previous two books!) 

A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Review:
Loved it! Not as much as A Court of Mist and Fury but a super close second. Can't wait to read the rest of the series as there are some things left unresolved with side characters. 2018 can't come close enough!

Music Favourites: 

I am so excited to watch this movie as you might have seen in my recent post that I went to the Everything Everything signing. I fell in love with the soundtrack for this movie and they just fit the story so well. Click on the links to have a listen!

How Did We by Skylar Stecker
Human Touch by Betty Who
Runnin' (Lose It All) by Naughty Boy, Beyoncé, and Arrow Benjamin

I just recently heard Cold to the Touch by Ralph as it was advertised on Youtube. I fell in love with the catchy beat and the simplicity of the song. It's such a fun summer song. Check it out! 

Songs I Wrote With Amy by Ed Sheeran is an old favourite of mine. It has just been so relaxing to listen to while I do my homework as it calms me down and helps me focus. I highly recommend if you love Ed Sheeran or singer/songwriter music!

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a wonderful week. I'll see you soon! xx

love xena


  1. Hi Xeens, Yes, it's been a busy month, two months in a row, so looking forward to laying low and travelling into summer too. Loved watching 'The Best of Me' movie with you, and good thing you now have boxes of tissues at each corner of the couch. lol. Did you know that 'Dirty Dancing' celebrates 30 years this month? I never get tired of watching it again esp with a great story embedded within-- and all that great dancing; now everyone wants to do the mambo. haha Happy June and enjoy wrapping up your school year! Love you, xo

    1. Hey Sue. I know--The Best of Me was beautiful! Definitely made my top 5 Nicholas Sparks films. I didn't know that about Dirty Dancing. WOW! I loved that movie. I'll definitely watch it again. Love you xx


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