Everything, Everything is in fact…EVERYTHING!

 

Everything 1

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

I. Am. In. LOVE! This movie touched my soul and for more reasons than it is sweet as can be.

First, let me start by saying, I purchased and I read the book the minute I saw the first trailer drop. Anyone who knows me or who has been following this blog knows that I love swirling. Particularly with a Black woman and White man (or any man for that matter). Just so long as a Black woman is being loved on. So the concept appealed to me enough to make me snatch up the book, even though I don’t alway read YA (Young Adult) novels.

The book, written by a Black woman who is married to a Korean-American man, is sweet, original, and creative. In between the story are illustrations that the main character Maddy has drawn. It’s just another element that pulls you into the story. The love between Maddy and Olly is sweet, innocent, and pure. You can’t help but root for them.

 

Everything 4

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

So I went into the movie today with high hopes. I was so not disappointed. In fact, this may be the first time that a movie based on a book is as good if not better than the book. They cleverly found a way to express the email/text conversations between Maddy and Olly, which is how they mostly communicate in the beginning of their relationship. But the way they translated it to film, only enhanced their chemistry. And some of the sweet things Olly did for Maddy in the film, made the romance so much better than even the book.

 

 

Everything 3

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The casting was phenomenal. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson were cast perfectly and their chemistry was off the charts. The way he looked at her made it feel like he truly did love her. Either he’s one fantastic actor or he’s got a little crush on his leading lady. Or maybe that’s just me and my hopeful little fantasy world I’m living in.

 

The soundtrack was also amazing and eclectic. I’m thinking about purchasing it too.

But what really touched me that I mentioned at the beginning of this review? What made tears run continually down my face throughout the movie? Finally seeing a Black girl fall in love on the big screen.

Those who are not a part of the minority cannot understand or fathom what it is like to grow up NEVER seeing someone that looks even remotely like you falling in love on the big or small screen. I literally wept for the 13-18 year old me, who never got to see a black or brown girl fall in love as I grew up. The Molly Ringwalds of the world, the Teen Witches, the Brendas, Kellys, and Donnas of the world were the norm and the standard. So much so that I didn’t even realize that I was missing anything.

Until today.

I cried because I didn’t know how much I wanted…no, needed to see that on a 5,000 square foot movie screen. I cried because it was 20+ years too late. I cried because I was so damn happy that I was finally seeing it. And it was…glorious.

Everything 2

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

But now I want more. And to get more, I need EVERYONE to go out and see this movie. I need Hollywood to understand that we desperately want and need more of this. So that they’ll be willing to produce more. For teens and adults alike.

I want to go to movies celebrating women of color finding love and being loved. But even movies like Waiting to Exhale, The Best Man movies, Something New, etc didn’t bring me to tears the way Everything, Everything did. Which lets me know that more than anything, our young girls desperately need to see black and brown girls falling in love and being loved.

We can’t let them down!

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Round, Brown, and A-broad: Welcome to My European Dream

And How to Find Yours…

Me & The Eiffel Tower

First, let me start by saying; Round, Brown, and A-broad is going to be a blog series within my regular blog about my journey (and future journeys) overseas. About my experiences as not only a female but as a black female who happens to be fluffy. I mean, we all know that the gender you identify with, the color of your skin and the number on the scale can greatly affect your experiences in any given situation. Traveling is no different. And I’ve seen plenty of blogs/vlogs featuring gorgeous slender black women who have ventured abroad. Well, what about us chubs? Well, that’s why I’m here. To find that out.

Recently, I just returned from my very first trip (which was also solo, I might add), to Europe. It was a 20-day tour that encompassed part of the U.K., Italy, and France. So this series will detail my journey with commentary, ratings, tips, photos, and some videos of my trip. Some posts will describe a whole day. While some will be solely about a single incident. They may come daily, weekly, bi-weekly, hell just whenever I feel like telling you about my whirlwind trip. Let’s not get bogged down with strict schedules. That’s not how I operate. Just know that you’ll get a tasty travel treat every now and again.

But first things first. How did I do it? I’ve lived abroad in Japan before when I taught English for a year. But then, I had someone (the company I worked for) meeting me on the other side with a sign and a shuttle bus. With a hotel already booked for our week long training. As well as a ticket already paid for for the bullet train to my assigned city. Going to Europe solo was a whole other situation. All I had were a couple of friends who travel a lot to give me some tips. And keep in mind, up until that point I had never planned and executed a vacation completely on my own before. Yes, I’m 38. Yes, that’s fairly late in life.

So I kicked off my planning with a simple Google search. Scrolling through the options for planning a European trip, I stumbled across the Holy Grail of European vacation planning. RoutePerfect!!!

routeperfect1.png

This site is the bee’s knees! The interface is user-friendly and super cute. You have tons of options, from using the sliders to adjust your preferences or manually entering the countries and cities you already are interested in. You can choose your budget, how you want to get from Point A to Point B, your dates, and what type of vacay it is (family, romantic, solo, etc.). Then you hit “Price Your Trip” and it will give you a list of available hotels in every city you’ve chosen with the option to swScreenshot (2)itch hotels based on price and/or accommodations. The hotel options are also through TripAdvisor so you can click on the hotel, which will redirect you to their site, and you can see a map of where the hotels are located as well as read reviews. Then, once you’ve picked the right hotels for you, click “Book Your Trip” and they book every hotel in every city all at once. Instead of doing them one at a time. They email you vouchers for each hotel that you print out just in case you’ll need them at the hotel (not all hotels need them).

I’ll admit, at first I was super skeptical of this site. I could barely find any reviews about them other than the testimonials on their site. And who knows if those are paid for or not. But now that I know, believe me, if you see mine, I was not paid for it. And other reviews I saw on other sites were based on how easy it was to play around with, but few had actually booked. So I went out on blind faith that I wouldn’t get my ass over to Europe and end up sleeping on a park bench somewhere.

There was one slight blunder on their part, though. The hotel that I originally chose for my two London stays at the beginning and end of my trip ended up not being available, even though the site said it was. A rep from RoutePerfect contacted me within minutes, they gave me other options that were within my price range and had me booked with those options within 48 hours. They also upgraded me to the executive suite at the first hotel free of charge for the inconvenience. So I was happy.

As far as transportation for roundtrip air to and from Europe as well as flights within Europe, I used Kayak.com. That’s always my go-to site for flights. But I just checked and now RoutePerfect has made it where you can book your flight from their site too! I even compared their prices with Kayak and they seem to be Even-Steven. Definitely an added bonus.

They even have a button to click that takes you to the EuroRail website to book your train tickets. As well as one for booking activities that I either did not see when I planned my trip at the beginning of the year or is a new (and convenient) feature they just added. There’s also a button on the first page that says “Transportation.” Click that and it’ll take you to a site that will give you the average pricing for train, plane, bus, etc for getting you to the different cities/countries you have planned within Europe. So you can see what is the fastest and cheapest option to get from one destination to another. Basically, you can do it all from this one site. And when you’ve decided what you want, you can save your trip for when you’re ready to book. Keep in mind though that the prices and availability are subject to change from minute to minute. So one hotel that you want when you first play around with it, may not be available when you’re ready to book.

Anyway, I know it sounds like one big commercial for RoutePerfect (Hmm…maybe they should be paying me. Ha!), but it really is how I planned my perfect European trip. And if I can help a fellow traveler out there, I will gush all day long about this site.

Stay tuned for my insights and shenanigans from my actual trip.

Until then, Peace, Cheerio, Ciao!, Au Revoir…