Reading: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
So, I’ve never read Go Fug Yourself. I’ve never even heard of it. But, when you’re sitting on the beach and NetGalley starts alerting you to a book basically about the most recent royal wedding then you’re reading a book called The Royal We. I’ll be the first to admit that I, along with too much of the world, is super into the British royal family. And, like everyone else, I worship at the altar of Kate Middleton (she’s so classy!). This is basically about Wills and Kate, but… you know, fictionally. This is undeniably inspired by Kate. However, how much I can’t be sure since I am not privy to the intimate details of the Duchess’s life before she stepped reluctantly into the spotlight. Though a lot of the circumstances are the same. This book is about how the main characters felt in the face of these extraordinary circumstances and there’s no way that could be anything more than fiction.
Rebecca Porter is an ordinary Ivy Leaguer when she opts for a year abroad at Oxford University. There she falls in the lap of the future King of England, Prince Nicholas Lyon, and his friends. As she gets to know the Prince the two find themselves falling in love. But, by accident of his birth there is no way for this love story to run smoothly. Hounded by the paparazzi, dealing with unruly siblings, and often stumbling over their own impetuousness Nick and Bex’s story may be rocky at times but their faith in each other is unshakable, and the reader know they’re headed for the wedding of the century.
Let’s start by saying this book was good. I would venture to say very good. About as good as I can imagine for the subject matter. The writing is not exactly deep, but is seamless (especially for two authors). Bex is a completely likable protagonist, even while she makes mistake after mistake. Nick is also genuinely charming, in that he often seems like a very normal dude (thank god). At Oxford Nick and Bex bond over a terrible American supernatural soap opera, and who doesn’t appreciate a man who can enjoy a bit of the cheese. He is also ridiculously sweet, procuring American snacks while wooing Bex. But he’s not perfect (again, thank god); he’s uneven, overly concerned about the paparazzi, isn’t always honest (though, neither is Bex), and can be reactionary. What this book did very well was almost make us forget the Cinderella side of things because we’re too focused on this completely normal love story.
My main issue with the book comes in a fourth act scandal that just felt like too much. We’d already weathered so much by then than a smooth wedding would have been reward. But, the desire for drama was too high, I guess, because instead we got a scandal over something that seemed sort of unbelievable in the first place. But then, I guess we already got our flawless wedding a couple of years ago when Nick and Bex’s real life counterparts said I do.
Watching: The 39th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival
The Cleveland International Film Festival is in full swing, which is always a good time. So often it’s difficult to pick which movies to see because there’s not a lot of talk about them at all. It’s rare that I even see a film with stars I know or directors I’m aware of. But to me, that is part of it’s charm; getting to see films that I wouldn’t necessarily be privy to otherwise. The first two movies I saw this year were insanely cryptic and I was desperate to talk about them. Which was problematic because I saw both of them alone and there are no posts about them on the imdb message boards. I generally see about five or six movies at the festival, mostly due to my lack of funds and them costing fifteen dollars a pop. Someday I will just buy one of those all access passes and see everything, but for now six will have to do.
Now We’re Alive (Et Maintenant Nous Sommes en Vie) was the first film I saw and I picked it because it sounded like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was about a man, Tom, aged 25, who, per tradition, attempts to find his soul voice after being blindfolded in a room with a group of women born the same day and choosing one to be his bride. Then he has to find her. Yet after he is presented with his choice he is positive it’s not her, as she doesn’t match up to the picture of his head.
The Midnight Swim was about three sisters who’s mother dies, diving in Spirit Lake which’s bottom no one had ever found. The sisters invoke the spirit of the legendary “seventh sister” for answers but only find more questions.
Anywhere Else (Anderswo) was the brief story of Noa, a woman having a bit of a crisis. An Israeli living in Berlin, Noa’s working on a dictionary of untranslatable words, which her thesis advisors don’t quite understand. Impulsively she decides to go home for a few days to visit her critical family and ailing grandmother, much to the consternation of her German boyfriend, Jörg.
Apartment Troubles was a straight up comedy about two best friends and roommates who are on the verge of eviction from their illegal sublet in New York. Instead of dealing with the situation at hand the two travel to Los Angeles to stay with one of their aunts, throwing in a dead cat, a psychotic ride share, and an audition for a reality show for good measure.
Tonight I will be seeing two more; Gemma Bovery (because I have a girl crush on Gemma Arterton) and a collection of short films. And, so far, I’ve really enjoyed everything.
Something great about Cleveland (and many other cities, I am sure) is that there are a bevy of free things to do all the time. The Cleveland Metroparks are a grouping of green spaces that circle Cleveland in our emerald necklace. My two besties and I are doing “tours”; ice cream, coffee, hot chocolate, and now Metroparks trails. We go to one each week, or at least that’s the goal. For our first Metroparks we went to Rocky River Reservation for their maple sugaring. They had a quick guided hike where we were shown techniques on tapping sugar maples and different methods through history. In the end they gave us a silver dollar pancake with their maple syrup. Delicious. Afterwards we went on a short two mile hike on a nearby trail. The weather is just starting to turn warm (though, it’s snowing today, which is typical) and there was some beautiful scenery.