Links of the Week (Week 4)

Hey there!
I’ve been a little lacking as of lately, I’m getting ready to go back to school and my internship writing for a local newspaper just wrapped up! In addition I started a small job at a community theater camp for children. Those kids are keeping me on my toes and making me laugh every time they’re on stage! But, all excuses aside, I’m back to blogging. Hopefully I’ll never take a month vacation again! So, to get back into the swing of things, I’d thought I’d start it off with a Links of the Week, which is kind of translating into things (and people) I’ve been crushing on since my last posts.

1. Movies of the Month-Dirty Girl and 21 Jump Street

I watch many a movie on my days off (which has pretty much been everyday). Aside from a week when I was house-sitting and devoured over 7 DVDs in 2 days that included Shakespeare in Love and A Cinderella Story, (classics, I know) my favorite two movies as of late have been the tastefully rebellious and witty Dirty Girl and the hilarious and inappropriate 21 Jump Street. 

21 Jump Street

Ladies love Channing Tatum. Why? one may ask, well, maybe it’s his charming mannerisms, his intelligent movie choices and roles (like, come on, he knew he was going to make a killing off of middle aged women lining up to see Magic Mike), or maybe it’s just his good looks, but 21 Jump Street gives girls another reason to swoon over Tatum, he’s funnnnnnyyy. Or at least his various characters, one being the adult cop and the young kid the adult cop pretends to be in high school, are. 21 Jump Street was witty in a way that most teenagers will enjoy, a lot of quick comments, a bit of poking fun at the extremes, over-the-top organic vegan types, a little jock-nerd role-reversal. And, it was raunchy. That’s usually not my type of humor, I’ve tried to watch the Hangover about 5 different times and either fell asleep or gave up before the end each time, but I enjoyed it. Sure, it had a bit of unnecessary swearing and just like, an overall stupidity factor, but it’s great. And that’s what makes it great. I mean, who can’t laugh at Jonah Hill’s audition for Peter Pan or Ice Cube’s concern for Korean Jesus’s problems?

So, Dirty Girl stars Juno Temple. Have I mentioned how awesome Juno Temple is? She plays some really great and powerful women.

Danielle, the namesake of the movie is a dirty girl, and a powerful girl. I mean, she’s not rolling in mud or really dirty, so that category is pretty off, but she does some things that the adults in her small town deem unnecessary, like hooking up in the backseat of a car before school, etc. (And, just to go off in a side-rant, it really annoys me that girls are held to such a different standard to boys, like obviously Danielle is with someone in that car, but you don’t see the principal calling him into the office and calling hime a “dirty boy” now do you?).  So, most of the town despises Danielle and she’s sent into classes with kids that have a harder time grasping concepts because of her behaviors. But, really, all Danielle wants is a dad. And some stability. And for someone just to accept her for who she is. So then she meets up with this kid in her class, his name is Clarke, and she doesn’t want to meet him, but they are partnered up in one of those projects where you have to take care of a flour baby that happens in every high school movie but not really in acutal high schools. (Or, for more clarification, it didn’t happen in my high school, so that’s my experience, and no flour babies were to be had).

Clarke is also misunderstood, in a physically trying way. He is hiding a secret from his father, I’m just going to spoil it, he’s gay, and his father does not approve.

These two misfits team up to find Danielle’s father, (who is played by Tim McGraw which made me chuckle because he was the former  school football coach, and like, what other characters has Tim McGraw played?) and have some life-altering adventures along the way, making them learn about family and real love and that mothers are pretty much the epitome of wonderful. They have their faults, those moms, but they rise above and face their demons to help their children. Friendships are made, tears are shed, there’s a talent show portion, add a male stripper in there and you have an indie movie darling about coming of age and realizing you should just embrace who you are. Hats off to you, Dirty Girl.

2. Something to Think On

Shannon Hale, the author of many kid/YA lit wonders, posted a blog on the need to cut out gender genres in literature. And, before this post, it was really something I had never thought on. It just seems so normal that there are socially acceptable books for boys and girls. But, why? That’s what Shannon Hale questions. After reading the article, I agreed with her on everything. Why can’t a boy like a story about a princess or a girl like a book about a prince? What’s the big deal? Boys like The Hunger Games and girls like Harry Potter, so why can’t other authors find the same acceptance for their novels told in a girl’s POV or a boy’s POV? Society forces us to follow these pre-set labels and not really think outside of our box, but for a book to truly be accepted, everyone must love it in the open, no closet fans. It should be okay for a boy to go to a signing of a female author who wrote a book about a female, or vice versa.

So, read outside of your box! I will challenge to read outside of mine, I’m sure we can all learn something valuable. Also, from this point on, I vow not to label books as “girly”. After re-reading a bunch of my old posts, I have found that the label was used quite freely. I apologize and definitely agree that books like Lola and the Boy Next Door could be devoured and coveted by males. Read it, guys, it’s a contemporary genius. And, I promise, no more “girlies” in this blog, and if I slip, slap me.

3. New Youtube Series Obsession

Squaresville tells the tale of a high school female who just wants out. She lives a normal life. She talks with her best friend on the phone for hours. She tries her hardest to find fun in her small, suburban  town. All in all it has a cast of “rejects”, or rejected in the society of a high school where pastel-cardigan wearing, soap opera looking kids are the royalty.

The main character, Zelda reminds me of a girl that I would have idolized in high school; she’s ambitious, playful, funny, snarky, and intelligent. Her best friend Esther is sarcastic in a way that only punky high school kids can be, she’s endearing, and has a bit of Emma Stone’s dry humor to her. Percy, the Gordo to the Lizzie McGuire and Miranda-esque trio is quiet, sweet, and doesn’t try to fit in. One of my favorite episodes (Mallscapade) shows Percy egging on a video-board game where the three friends compete to get a jocky stud to take them to prom. A lot of Polly Pockets are harmed in the process, beware. (Only joking, of course).

It’s a great youtube series, and getting better with more characters and antics in every episode, they premiere every Friday. Last Friday told the tale of Zelda and her possibly first on-scene romance, a rebel who shows high school who’s boss by sticking forks into a field. This Friday showed Percy and Esther left to their own devices, alone for the first time. One Friday even showed a glimpse into the lives of the elite, cardigan-wearing, Britton and Bradeon, portraying their lives in a cheesy, almost Laguna Beach meets Days of our Lives way.

In Squaresville everyone has a point of view, everything is almost eerily real in that way that TV sitcoms fail to be, a high school indie tale at its best.

Here is the official synopsis found on youtube:  Squaresville: a funny new indie teen web series about growing up in the suburbs with nothing to do. Each episode is filled with tons of funny, weird characters filled with teen angst, weird hipsters, romance, feminism, and adventure. It’s like Daria, Freaks and Geeks or Ghost World, but as a web series, and free. New videos every Friday featuring the best new indie rock, emo songs, punk, and the best independent music.

Star Mary Kate Wiles is also talented and adorable. Follow her on tumblr, y’all!

And check out Squaresville on youtube (or as they tweet, L7sville. Cute, I know).

4. Book give-away! (Not on my site, I wish I had the power to do that!)
Whitney, a youtube vlogger famous for her hilarious Hunger Games parodies and charming book recommendations is offering a give-away to all of her youtube video commenters. She has three separate videos where she takes us on a tour of her bookshelves, and she’s offering up a copy of any one of the books she owns to 5 lucky commenters. She has a great selection, spanning from YA contemporaries, historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, and some classics thrown in for good measure. Check it out and shoot her a comment, any lover of Daniel Handler is a friend of SLSRSS, and I’ll probably entering to receive her copy of Revolution. 

*Edited after I saw that Mary Kate Wiles linked my blog to her tumblr, surrrreeeall. And then I went back to this post and saw I had more to say about Channing Tatum than Squaresville, so I changed that up real quick. Thanks, Miss Wiles! That unexpected and wonderfully surprising promo made my night!


About She Listens, She Reads, She Speaks.

A site, written by a young woman, who believes that the two simplest pleasures in life are literature and music. A once-in-awhile look into a folk-loving, pop-culture obsessed, book nerd's mind.
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