We’re halfway through the year – when did that happen?! Somehow, it’s time again for some more monthly favourites!
Again, I haven’t had much time to read much this month due to exams – I only managed 2 very short books – but now that summer is upon us I am super excited to read a lot more! Regardless, my favourite book that I read this month was ‘New Boy’ by Tracy Chevalier. A retelling of Othello set in 1970s America, ‘New Boy’ explores Shakespeare’s original plot in context of the influence of racism on 11 year old children. If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, or are looking for a starting place into his stories, ‘New Boy’ is perfect. If you’d like to see my full thoughts on the book, you can check out my review here.
Undoubtedly, my favourite album this month is ‘Last Young Renegade’ by All Time Low. I have been excited for this album for a while now, as over the last few months they have been gradually releasing singles, and I saw ‘Dirty Laundry’ performed live at their show in March. However, whilst I was considerably looking forward to its release, the actual album surpassed all of my expectations.
Every single song featured on this album is perfection. The lyrics are beautiful throughout, and provide a much more honest and personal side to All Time Low than has previously been shown through their work. Alex Gaskarth’s voice has a new maturity, and its smoothness blends perfectly with the music. Whilst their last album was a little more pop based, ‘Last Young Renegade’ seamlessly intertwines a modern sound with the roughness of their past work, such as ‘Don’t Panic’. All in all, experimenting with new sounds and effects has really played to All Time Low’s advantage, and I would go as far to say that this is some of their best work to date.
Favourite track: Dark Side Of Your Room
My television pick for this month is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ on Channel 4. As I have been studying the novel in class for my A-Level course, we have been anticipating the release of this adaptation for some time now. It is quite a confusing book on the first read due to Atwood’s writing style and the dystopian setting, and I was curious as to how they were going to adapt this successfully for the screen.
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ follows a young woman named Offred, living in a dystopian society in which fertile women are used solely for reproductive purposes. Granted, there have been many plot additions, which was slightly surprising to somebody who has studied the book in a lot of detail; however, it is clear that all additions have been done with the purpose of making it more suspenseful and dramatic for television which is understandable. Overall, it is a truly beautiful show in both its soundtrack and cinematography, both of which do a superb job at creating a suspenseful and uncomfortable atmosphere. I would highly recommend ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to anybody who is looking for a dystopian drama, as its relevance today is both disturbing and wildly compelling.
My favourite film this month has got to be ‘Moana’! Honestly, I’m as shocked as you are that it has taken me this long to get round to watching it, but it was definitely worth the wait. ‘Moana’ follows the teenage heir of a chief on a Polynesian island, as she discovers her ancestors were navigators, and thus sets on a daring journey to restore the heart of an island goddess, Te Fiti. Not only is this such a unique premise for a Disney film, but it sets up a beautiful narrative for a strong and independent female lead.
As well as providing a captivating adventure, ‘Moana’ as a whole is just absolutely stunning. The soundtrack is packed full of fun musical songs, with incredible leads in the form of Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, and of course, the song ‘How Far I’ll Go’ is a stunner. The cinematography and design of the world is also phenomenal; I will forever be in awe at how animators can create such beautiful and life-like settings through animation. This is a definite must-see if you are a fan of Disney films, and even if you’re not, it is an addictive and irresistible adventure for those of all ages.
My YouTube pick this month is Anthony Padilla. Following his recent departure from the channel Smosh, Anthony is creating sketch-like content on his own channel. Whilst I was never an avid watcher of Smosh, they are the first channel to introduce me to comedy on YouTube, and back in 2011/2012 I used to love their videos. It’s sad that Anthony felt like he had to leave in order to be creating the sort of content he wanted, but judging by his latest videos, it was definitely the right decision.
Anthony’s latest videos have been a series of sketches, following his journey into becoming a ‘real YouTuber’ with the help of successful creators such as Jon Cozart, Joey Graceffa, and Lilly Singh. His humour is excessive and over-the-top, and yet tinged with a depressing tone which highlights the typicality of exploits in modern YouTube culture. I’m aware I’ve probably looked a little far too into their message, but overall Anthony’s content is fun and addictive, and I cannot wait to see what he has next in store.
And that wraps up my June favourites! Thank you for reading, and let me know if there’s anything you agree with or would like to recommend to me! ☺