Monday, August 27, 2012

Feminists Before, Jane & Jesse are here

By Angela Thomas

Lauren Conrad is just the “it” girl; the girl you hated in high school because she was everywhere. Fashion designer, retired reality TV star, and author of the hit book series, L.A. Candy, is hitting book shelves for the second time with her second installment of L.A. Candy, Sweet Little Lies.

I must say, my women’s and gender studies classes have ruined me with literature. Reading Conrad’s second installment, my veins pumped with anger at the stupidity and naivety of the lead female character, Jane. For once, it would be nice to show a strong female character in these “chick-lit” type series; however Conrad has fallen into the same loop. My best friend, Janene, described Jane’s character as that “girl who readers know the decisions that she should make before she makes them.” As readers, we are constantly wanting to yell at Jane, “no, no! Don’t believe them! Don’t love him! Don’t be friends with her!” However, we must allow Jane to make the mistakes in order for her to learn her lesson.

I think it is even more frustrating when we see Jane blame herself for her boyfriend’s drunken and cheating antics. The strongest that reader’s see Jane at is when she breaks up with her boyfriend, Jesse, after he shoves her to the floor after another drunk night for him.

I guess I am a little disappointed that Conrad has not written about a strong female character. She is in the position to. This really makes me wonder how autobiographical this book is. I know the series is rumored to be based off of Conrad’s experience, and she does bring the attention to readers that reality TV does not always tell the truth.

Conrad’s book does a good job representing exactly what it is, pure entertainment. Women and men who loved the Gossip Girl series, will absolutely love this series. It is full of back-stabbing friends, shopping, relationships, and juicy gossip! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Whip It: Inspiring Youngins’ to bring out those old skates everywhere

By Angela Thomas

If there ever was a book that young, thrift-store shopping, grunge-music loving, hipster teenagers will grasp onto it, Shauna Cross wrote it.

Cross, a former “derby doll,” is the author of the brilliant, slightly autobiographical book, Whip It, which was famously later adapted into a movie starring Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, and Kristen Wiig.

Whip It tells the story of Bliss Cavendar, an indie, music-obsessed, Skyper t-shirt-wearing, and eagerly awaiting her departure from her small-town, teenage girl who allows readers to fall in love with her instantly. Bliss has a way of communicating with readers and making us feel like we are indeed her best friend (besides, Pash, her gorgeous and equally independent best friend).

What I love about Bliss is that she is just like the rest of us as teenagers, desperately seeking some place cooler. When Bliss and her beauty-pageant-obsessed mother go on a shopping spree in Austin, Texas, Bliss comes into contact with her future in a vintage shop. Spotting a flyer for the roller derby, Bliss becomes determined to attend one of these derby games. After Pash scores a car and the two of them score a great excuse to get out of Austin un-detected, they attend a derby game in pursuit of meeting their heroes and meeting a few cute boys. When Bliss is informed by her soon-to-be-derby-pal, Malice, about derby tryouts, Bliss moves towards a future as “Babe Ruthless,” the popular derby girl for the sexy but always losing, Hurl Scouts.

As readers, we are cheering for Bliss to accomplish her dreams. We are afraid for her heart (especially when she falls for the bad boy, Oliver), we are afraid of her controlling and image-obsessed mother from taking away Bliss’s chance of becoming a derby star, and we are especially afraid for her when Bliss takes on the scary and ultra-competitive, Dinah, on the track.

Cross brings to life a story of a teenager, who although is different, still strives to achieve greatness. Bliss is an inspiration to any teenager out there who feels different because of the way they dress, the music they listen to, or the things they enjoy. She encourages teens to go for what they want, even if everyone is routing against them and that is exactly what readers need. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Marina and The Diamonds dazzles fans in Philly

By Angela Thomas

It is rare that a 27 year old performer can be described as adorable, however Marina & The Diamonds not only proved that wrong but she also put on an adorable show.

On Friday, August 17, Marina & The Diamonds hit Philly with a pink-colored BANG at The Theater of Living Arts. After her 2012 release of her second album, Electra Heart, Marina and her diamonds ( an affectionate name for her fans) went on a US tour.

Fans lined the streets, some donning a heart shaped beauty mark, which is a trademark of Marina and her “primadonna” image coming off of the success of her second album. Once inside, fans hurried to the stage, eager to see their favorite Welsh singer in full bloom.

“Hello Philly!,” Marina shouted to her diamonds after singing “Homewrecker” and “Lies” off of her second album, Electra Heart. Marina’s set was every princess’s dream, with a velvet lounge chair, a pink background, and a primadonna costume change. She dazzled fans as she danced around the stage, shaking hands and throwing water at the fans.

 Marina received the biggest applause when she sang her hit single “I am Not a Robot” off of her premier album, The Family Jewels as well as “Primadonna” off of Electra Heart. Fans sang along, showing their adoration.

Marina not only is a trendsetter in music but also in style. She is best known for her unique but beautiful vocals and pop-icon style, wearing anything from vintage to couture. Coming all the way from Wales, Marina & The Diamonds are among a long list of talented individuals from the United Kingdom who have set off the US wave charts. Philadelphia was the second-to-last stop on Marina’s US tour and we sure hope it is not the last.