Romance – Milp KBK http://milpkbk.co.uk/ Sat, 14 May 2022 05:20:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://milpkbk.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-22-120x120.png Romance – Milp KBK http://milpkbk.co.uk/ 32 32 TV tonight: Can strangers acting out sex scenes in movies lead to romance? | Television https://milpkbk.co.uk/tv-tonight-can-strangers-acting-out-sex-scenes-in-movies-lead-to-romance-television/ Fri, 13 May 2022 05:15:00 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/tv-tonight-can-strangers-acting-out-sex-scenes-in-movies-lead-to-romance-television/ Let’s make a love scene 10 p.m., Channel 4 Can you find love replicating TV and movie sex scenes with single strangers? Yes, it really is the concept of a new dating show (and, worryingly, it’s not even the weirdest one out there). Ellie Taylor is joined by Intimacy Coordinator Rufai “Roo” Ajala and Acting […]]]>

Let’s make a love scene

10 p.m., Channel 4

Can you find love replicating TV and movie sex scenes with single strangers? Yes, it really is the concept of a new dating show (and, worryingly, it’s not even the weirdest one out there). Ellie Taylor is joined by Intimacy Coordinator Rufai “Roo” Ajala and Acting Coach Emma Crompton to help everyone get into character. In the first of two parts, therapist Starr takes on Fifty Shades of Grey, Ghost, and The Notebook with three potential matches. Hollie Richardson

Guy Garvey: from the vaults

8 p.m., Sky Arts

The Elbow frontman returns to dig through the ITV archives for offbeat musical performances and choice interview clips. The first is 1989, which means Melvyn Bragg gets lyrical about Sonic Youth, Grace Jones charms Dame Edna as Tony Curtis looks on, as well as the TV debut of the Stone Roses. Graeme Virtue

Meet the Khans: Big in Bolton

8:30 p.m., BBC 3

Amir and Faryal Khan seem like perfectly pleasant people, which makes this reality show offering a glimpse into their lives initially engaging but, ultimately, slightly bland. Few Kardashian-style family dramas here — instead, Amir travels to Nebraska to prepare for a fight and Faryal arranges a family send-off. It’s cute but prosaic. Phil Harrison

The Terror: Infamy

9 p.m., BBC 2

The horror anthology’s second series is atmospheric and thought-provoking, with its Japanese-American characters now in a California internment camp during World War II. As talk of the mythical bakemono escalates, some locals start behaving in very strange ways. Jack Seale

Effervescent… The Other One is a sitcom about a family discovering new members. Photography: Joseph Scanlon/BBC/Tiger Aspect Productions

The other

9:30 p.m., BBC One

More from this effervescent sitcom about a family discovering endless new members. Mismatched sisters Cathy (Ellie White) and Cat (Lauren Socha) have just hit it off. So why not introduce a long-lost brother (Callum by Christopher Jeffers)? Better yet, Callum and Cathy have a forbidden attraction. pH

Love life

10:40 p.m., BBC One

The brilliant second season continues with a double poster. Marcus dreads a visit to his parents’ house where he’ll have to deal with their “I told you so” comments about his divorce, so he hooks up with an old flame to take his mind off things – but his mom quickly interferes. HOUR

Choice of movies

Ghostbusters: Afterlife
An engaging and respectful sequel… Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Photograph: Kimberley French/AP

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Jason Reitman, 2021) 9:50 a.m., 8 p.m., Sky Cinema premiere

Jason Reitman’s engaging fantasy-comedy is a respectful sequel to his father Ivan’s 1980s films (2016’s all-female take skipped), but with additional stylistic nods to Stranger Things and Close Encounters’ Spielberg and AND. Here, the ghoul hunters are children: brothers Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of ST) and Phoebe (Mckenna Grace). Stuck in a dusty rural backwater with their single mother Callie (Carrie Coon), they discover a connection to the Ghostbusters of old when earthquakes portend an apocalyptic hubbub. Simon Wardel

]]>
Retro Romance Returns in PATSY WALKER INFINITY Comic https://milpkbk.co.uk/retro-romance-returns-in-patsy-walker-infinity-comic/ Thu, 12 May 2022 15:38:30 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/retro-romance-returns-in-patsy-walker-infinity-comic/ Before being the modern superhero known as Hellcat, Patsy Walker was a mild-mannered teenager in the town of Centerville. Thanks to Patsy Walker Infinity Comic (2022) #1 by Trina Robbins, Charming Derek, Rico Renziand Clayton CowlesReleased today on Marvel Unlimited, readers get to revisit that era in a story that sees Patsy at odds with […]]]>

Before being the modern superhero known as Hellcat, Patsy Walker was a mild-mannered teenager in the town of Centerville. Thanks to Patsy Walker Infinity Comic (2022) #1 by Trina Robbins, Charming Derek, Rico Renziand Clayton CowlesReleased today on Marvel Unlimited, readers get to revisit that era in a story that sees Patsy at odds with her rival, Hedy Wolfe, over an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to Chad Collins’ upcoming concert…and a meet-and-greet with the dreamy singer before the show!

Available to read now on Marvel Unlimited.

Patsy Walker Infinity Comic #1

Patsy Walker Infinity Comic
A small town called Riverda Town center !

the Patsy Walker Infinity Comic is set in Centerville in 1955, and as a comics historian with expertise in the smart, sassy women of pre-superhero comics, Robbins is an ideal candidate to bring this tale to life in the new format. . Charm’s clean art (and Riverdale, USA drawing experience) pairs perfectly with Renzi’s bold colors and Cowles’ lettering for a great first entry in the four-part story.

While there are a few hints in dialogue or detail to the Marvel superheroic universe, this Infinity Comic is mostly a throwback that focuses on Patsy’s teenage drama, with plenty of retro flourishes throughout. gutters to add to the ambiance.

Available on Marvel Unlimited today

The first episode of the Patsy Walker Infinity Comic is available to read on Marvel Unlimited right now, with new entries released weekly.

She can do it!

Have you had the chance to read the first part of Patsy’s brand new adventure? What did you think of her return to the teen drama Centerville High School? The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout, here in the comments section or on social media @comicsbeat.

Read the original article here

Disclaimer! Verve Times is an automatic aggregator of all the media in the world. In each content, the hyperlink to the main source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the content owner and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. Content will be deleted within 24 hours.

]]>
Netflix’s winning gay teen romance formula https://milpkbk.co.uk/netflixs-winning-gay-teen-romance-formula/ Tue, 10 May 2022 17:48:33 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/netflixs-winning-gay-teen-romance-formula/ In pre-pandemic times, when people worked in person in an office, the Netflix series “Heartstopper” (eight episodes of about 25 minutes) would have been a favorite water cooler conversation topic. Instead, this sensational British coming-of-age series about first love, friendship, coming out and mental health has become the darling of social media, with near-universal critical […]]]>

In pre-pandemic times, when people worked in person in an office, the Netflix series “Heartstopper” (eight episodes of about 25 minutes) would have been a favorite water cooler conversation topic.

Instead, this sensational British coming-of-age series about first love, friendship, coming out and mental health has become the darling of social media, with near-universal critical praise from fans. Instagram and Twitter users. It received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Heartstopper” originated as a webcomic in 2016 on Tumblr and Taps, but was later turned into four compulsive-reading graphic novels (highly recommended, with plenty of material, some darker, for future seasons), but good luck trying to find or buy one, as they are all out of print, the publisher is forced to reprint new copies.

Author Alice Oseman is also the writer, creator, and executive producer of its television adaptation. “Heartstopper” will warm your heart as you fall in love all over again.

Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), a student at the all-boys Truham Grammar School, had been bullied the previous year and forced to come out under nasty circumstances. Starting a new term, he has a new office mate, Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), a rugby player, presumably a nice, likeable guy. They get along well and Charlie is in love with him as soon as he says hello, although he seems unlikely to be a potential boyfriend.

Nick grows attached to Charlie and as they get to know each other he slowly realizes that he is attracted to him, forcing himself to ask himself some tough and scary questions, such as the possibility that he is bisexual. .


Yasmin Finney, Kit Connor, Sebastian Croft and Joe Locke in “Heartstopper”

Complicating Charlie’s life is his closeted, toxic ex-boyfriend Ben Hope (Sebastian Croft) who refused to recognize Charlie in the hallways, terrified that his friends might find out the truth about him. Charlie is also tormented by Harry Greene (Cormac Hyde-Corrin) with homophobic comments. He plays on the rugby team and is friends with Nick.

Charlie has a support system that includes his protective best friend Tao Xu (William Gao) and their close friend Elle Argent (Yasmin Finney), a black transgender who was forced to change schools last year to a nearby girls’ academy, after a cruel behavior by both students and teachers. She befriends Tara Jones (Corinna Brown) and Darcy Olsson (Kizzy Edgell), a couple of lesbian students.

Although longtime friends, Elle may fall in love with Tao. And Tao resents the budding friendship between Charlie and Nick. All of these well-developed characters interact as they struggle with their own individual changes while maturing throughout the school year.

Authentic attraction
There are so many reasons why “Heartstopper” is so fabulous. The teenagers are actually played by real teenagers, so they look and act like real teenagers. The sexy and cute on-screen thrill between Charlie and Nick feels natural, their attraction genuine.

Although the two actors are handsome, they are not gorgeous “models,” so the audience can relate to them. Neither Locke nor Connor have come out as gay, although there are persistent rumors on social media that Locke may be dating Ben/Sebastian Croft off-screen. Still, it doesn’t matter if one of the actors is actually gay, because on the Gaydar meter, he scores close to 10.

What’s also refreshing is that both characters exude confidence and vulnerability. The series beautifully balances this internal battle of desire and shame when examining one’s sexuality.


Olivia Colman in “Heartstopper”

Additionally, the secondary relationships of Tara/Darcy and potentially Elle/Tao both provide welcoming counterpoints to Charlie/Nick. Overall, the series presents being queer as a joyful experience, but doesn’t underestimate the challenges of challenging the status quo.

There’s even a retro 1950s vibe with milkshakes, hugs and classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes suggesting integrity, with romance trumping sex (which there isn’t). here), while still managing not to be cheesy. Even animated special effects designed to mimic the series’ webcomic/graphic roots, such as animated pastel-colored falling leaves or fluttering hearts to convey a romantic swoon moment, add to the sweetness, whimsy, and charm of the show. series.

“Heartstopper” is almost entirely teen-focused, with few adults. Those featured are significant, even though they are mostly cameo appearances. Fisayo Akinade plays art teacher Mr. Ajayi, who is gay with a visible Pride pin on his lapel. He is friends with Charlie, allowing him to have lunch in art class on days when he is being harassed by other students.

Then there’s Olivia Coleman as Sarah, Nick’s mother, who raises him alone and is very supportive. She only appears in a few brief scenes in the Season 1 episodes. The only gripe about the show is that when you have a towering actress like Coleman, she should be used more frequently and creatively.

She’s wonderful, registering a hundred emotions when Nick comes out to her, but this incident only lasts two minutes, a waste of such prodigious talent.


Alice Oseman’s Graphic Novel Editions of ‘Heartstopper’

Finally, yes, it’s gay actor/broadcaster/comedian/writer Stephen Fry, as the voice of Director Barnes you hear on the speakerphone in the morning making sarcastic announcements, recalling his “Jeeves and Wooster” days. .

“Heartstopper” succeeds brilliantly where two years ago a very similar series, “Love, Victor”, on Hulu, was seriously incomplete. They both centered on main characters sexually questioning and falling in love with an openly gay friend. But here, the actors were in their 20s, were unmistakably straight (scoring 0 on the Gaydar meter), and didn’t act or talk like normal teenagers. The trials of Victor’s mother were more gripping than the gay protagonists, who both felt dull, bland, lacked depth, or showed sizzling chemistry between them.

“Heartstopper,” versus “Love, Victor,” proves that gay teen romances can work well if you’re true to your source material, both in how it’s told and cast convincingly.

Even for viewers over the age of forty for whom an openly gay high school affair would have been inconceivable, the film rings so true with its emotional honesty and relatability, that one can vicariously experience a fantasy romance by filling a schoolmate crush as your own personal Nick, replacing the virtually impossible with what should have happened.

“Heartstopper” has earned its cultural moment, securing its place as perhaps the best gay teen romance created for television.

Hoping – no, insisting – that Netflix renews this delightful, delightful series for a second season.

Favorite on Netflix

Help keep the Bay Area Reporter going during these difficult times. To support local, independent, and LGBTQ journalism, consider becoming a BAR member.


]]>
Romance Was Born celebrates the peak of Australian fashion https://milpkbk.co.uk/romance-was-born-celebrates-the-peak-of-australian-fashion/ Mon, 09 May 2022 10:32:50 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/romance-was-born-celebrates-the-peak-of-australian-fashion/ SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: Models get ready backstage for the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 09, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) Romance Was Born’s Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett continue to remind us that […]]]>
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: Models get ready backstage for the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 09, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Romance Was Born’s Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett continue to remind us that some of Australian fashion’s greatest moments are when they weave dreamy tendrils of whimsy with the familiar Australiana kitsch with their Resort ’23 Done Zone collection at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. Inspired by iconic artist Ken Done’s reef paintings, the brand presented the show in Done’s own gallery at The Rocks, adorned with Done’s colorful artwork (all also sold to lucky punters) and a set inspired scuba with knitted coral.

Even before the first model had turned the corner, the feeling of nostalgia was heavy in the air as sound clips from Muriel’s wedding played over the speakers. And then the clothes arrived…

Suddenly, the clues to Muriel’s marriage made sense. It was haute couture on the island of Hibiscus. It was the most restless of nights at Lassiter’s Hotel in Erinsborough. Rainbows of sequins and hand-sewn beads reinterpreted Done’s paintings in a dazzling world of sequins, including an exact replica of Done’s Tiger Lady painting on the back of an evening blazer. Iridescent cocktail dresses received exaggerated ruffles perfect for the local Blue Light Disco as well as Carmen Miranda-esque dresses. It was camp, it was colorful, it was a perfect wardrobe match for your West Coast Cooler or Bacardi and Coke.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

According to Romance Was Born co-founder Luke Sales, working with Done has been a lifelong ambition for him and fellow designer and founder Plunkett. “This collection is something we’ve wanted to do for ages,” Sales told Grazia. “So it’s a dream come true!” I think there are a lot of ideas that we’ve had over the years if we ever worked with Ken, so it’s been really quite organic and easy to piece together a collection.”

Comparing the two brands’ work — Done himself has long had a clothing line that showcased his artistic aesthetic — it seems almost inevitable that the two will end up collaborating on something. Perhaps most surprising was why this hadn’t happened until now. According to Sales, Done’s rich archive of work is one that he and fellow designer Plunkett have only just begun to delve into with this show.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

“The one and only iconic Ken Done is forever an inspiration,” says Sales. “There are so many aspects of Ken’s work that we could learn from. It’s like we’ve only scratched the surface. There’s definitely a Club Tropicana vibe and an 80s Aussie vibe that we can’t avoid.

But beneath the catwalk foam and ruffles was a reminder of what has made Australian fashion such a powerful player on the global arena in the past. The balance between fun frivolity and the heritage of fashion as a craft underlies the work of Romance Was Born. This is what made the works of Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson so magical (who did not by chance collaborate with Romance Was Born), made House of Merivale an icon of their time and Morrissey Edmiston an unforgettable duo . Romance Was Born continues a well-respected tradition of irreverence.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MAY 09: A model poses during the Romance Was Born show during Afterpay Australian Fashion Week 2022 Resort ’23 Collections at Ken Done Gallery, The Rocks on May 9, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage)

]]>
Review: ‘Along for the Ride’ Creates Magical Fantasy With Young Romance https://milpkbk.co.uk/review-along-for-the-ride-creates-magical-fantasy-with-young-romance/ Sun, 08 May 2022 07:57:56 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/review-along-for-the-ride-creates-magical-fantasy-with-young-romance/ DUBAI: Works by three of Ghana’s top pioneering artists will be on display at a sales exhibition at Christie’s London, organized in collaboration with Dubai-based Efie Gallery. Entitled “Material Earth”, the exhibition features a total of 10 works by El-Anatsui, one of Africa’s most renowned living contemporary artists, alongside two rising stars – Yaw Owusu […]]]>

DUBAI: Works by three of Ghana’s top pioneering artists will be on display at a sales exhibition at Christie’s London, organized in collaboration with Dubai-based Efie Gallery.

Entitled “Material Earth”, the exhibition features a total of 10 works by El-Anatsui, one of Africa’s most renowned living contemporary artists, alongside two rising stars – Yaw Owusu and Isshaq Ismail – until May 13 at Christie’s London at 8 King Street in Mayfair.

As El-Anatsui and Owusu transform everyday objects into forms of complex beauty with inherent socio-political messages, Ismail’s paintings feature captivating grotesque portraits of anonymous individuals inspired by those the artist sees every day. days in his hometown of Accra, Ghana.

El Anatsui, Silent, Aluminum and copper wire, 320 x 310 cm. (Provided)

Presented for the first time in Europe, a new series of wooden sculptures by El-Anatsui are full of the artist’s captivating abstract forms colored in vibrant hues.

The exhibition takes place at a time when international market demand for African art is skyrocketing. In recent years, art from the continent has become the subject of bidding wars at global auctions such as Bonhams, Piasa, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Strauss and Phillips. In the first half of 2019, international art sales from Africa generated a total of $25.3 million. According to Statista, art from the continent contributed $13 billion in 2018 to the global art market and is expected to reach $15 billion by 2023.

Contemporary art from Ghana is particularly in demand – especially as Amoako Boafo’s ‘The Lemon Bathing Suit’ (2019) sold for a stunning £675,000 ($881,432) against an estimate of £30,000 at £50,000 at the Philips Contemporary Art sale in February 2020. There was already a rising scene of young artists in the West African nation before Boafo’s incredible sale. Its success has further inspired a new generation of Ghanaian artists eager to portray and profit from their country’s history and contemporary culture.

Isshaq Ismail, Feelings 17, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 in. (Provided)

Works by Ismail, a young rising star from Ghana, have recently greatly exceeded their high estimates at auction. At Sotheby’s Dedicated African Contemporary and Modern sale in London on March 22, three of the artist’s works set personal sales records. “Nkabom 2”, an acrylic on canvas depicting two heads, fetched £277,000, well above its high estimate of £50,000.

“Growing international demand has spawned a new sense of respectability for the African art genre,” Kwame and Kobi Mintah told Arab News. “Where before artists and works of art from Africa were overlooked, now they can no longer be ignored.”

The “Material Earth” exhibition, a collaboration between the Efie gallery – which opened its doors at the end of March 2022 with a successful solo exhibition by the great El-Anatsui – and Christie’s, marks the auction house’s continued commitment auction with contemporary art from Africa. Most recently, the auction house partnered with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, hosting the latest editions of the fair at its Paris address and through an online auction in October 2021 which featured works by Nigerian Osinachi, marking the first NFT by a contemporary African. artist donated by Christie’s Europe.

Yaw Owusu, New Paths on a Bare land, 2022, stainless steel, copper, US coins, Ghana pesewas, wood, 60 inches x 63 inches x 3 inches. (Provided)

Also in October 2021, Christie’s in Dubai organized an exhibition in collaboration with Gallery 1957, a commercial gallery based in Accra and London, entitled “[West] African Renaissance”, showcasing a selection of works on canvas by some of the most esteemed artists working in West Africa.

“We are proud and honored that Efie Gallery has chosen Christie’s to collaborate on this incredible exhibition,” Isabelle de La Bruyere, Head of Office for the President of Christie’s, told Arab News. “The talent and the symbioses between the three artists represented, and even between our two brands, make this fair an exciting and revealing moment for the contemporary African art market, and the international reach that alliances can create.

The exhibit strives to spur discussion on the current global dialogue on climate change, sustainability and waste. Owusu, a recent graduate of the Pratt Institute in New York, incorporates otherwise worthless everyday materials, such as the coins he uses ritually, and recycles them to create new objects of beauty, shimmering with newfound life.

“Fostering cross-cultural exchange is paramount to Efie Gallery’s mission, so our European debut, through a unique collaboration with Christie’s London headquarters, helps further our mission and opens up this exchange in a new region for us,” Kwame and Kobi Mintah, co-founders of Efie Gallery, told Arab News.

Isshaq Ismail, Kwabena, 2021, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50 in. (Provided)

“The viewer is invited to consider the materials that contribute to the intricate beauty envisioned in Anatsui and Owusu’s work,” explain Kwame and Kobi Mintah. “When contextualized in theme, the unaltered materials in Anatsui’s work of bottle cap assemblages become determined to reveal man’s ignorance of the excessive wastes that can be found in the world .”

On the other hand, faced with the work of Ismail, explain the Mintah brothers, “while the subjects are still visibly human, this loss of humanity is reflected in the deformity of these grotesque figures, which in turn serves as a reflection of ourselves. .”

While shows like “Material Earth” testify to the growing interest in African art internationally, there are still major obstacles to progress on the continent, such as limited art education and the development of a larger collector base.

]]>
Style over substance in Sweet Netflix Romance https://milpkbk.co.uk/style-over-substance-in-sweet-netflix-romance/ Sat, 07 May 2022 01:17:00 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/style-over-substance-in-sweet-netflix-romance/ There’s been an interesting shift recently in romance movies and romantic comedies for teens and young adults. For a time, these movies obsessed over unrequited love and often associated young love with death in a downright bizarre way. The Fault in Our Stars, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Midnight Sun, Five Feet Apart, […]]]>

There’s been an interesting shift recently in romance movies and romantic comedies for teens and young adults. For a time, these movies obsessed over unrequited love and often associated young love with death in a downright bizarre way. The Fault in Our Stars, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Midnight Sun, Five Feet Apart, Everything Everything, The Notebook, The Last Song, and An unforgettable walk is just a brief look at these terminal romance movies. There’s something subtly nefarious about these films, with Justine Smith slyly commenting for The National Post:

Terminal romances are less about love and more about the fetishization of youth – often with female characters whose meaning is only found in how they affect the men in their lives. These films depict love frozen in time, uncorrupted by the trials of long-term monogamy. More than disease, aging is presented as the real threat to love in an adult world constantly portrayed as cynical and corrupt. For women in particular, the conservative expectations these romantic ideals impose are limiting and infantilizing.

Sofia Alvarez takes Netflix on the trip

Thankfully, a new wave of more optimistic, progressive, and less inherently misogynistic young romance films is on the way, starting with The sky is everywhere on Apple TV+ to critically acclaimed and beloved movies To all the boys I’ve loved before. Sofia Alvarez, the writer of the latter film, has now made her directorial debut with the Netflix movie Along the ride, based on Sarah Dessen’s popular novel of the same name. She takes the positive and affirmative themes of her previous scripts and brushes them with a polished style aimed at stimulating all the senses, and in some ways it works really well.

Along the ride follows recent high school graduate Auden (played by Emma Pasarow), who decides to spend the summer before college with her father, stepmother, and new baby stepbrother in a small town by the beach. Auden might be a little socially awkward, but not as much as she thinks. It’s obvious that her parents’ divorce and her bossy, semi-famous mother (played by a perfectly obnoxious Andie MacDowell) have affected her in some way that she continues to repress, so when she meets a 20-year-old equally sullen named Eli (played by Belmont Cameli), they recognize the damage in each other.

Related: Along For The Ride: Plot, Cast & Everything We Know

There’s an overabundance of romance movies about troubled young people, where two supposed “misfits” (who are actually extremely attractive and charming) face similar issues, turning sadness into a bystander sport and having the looking cute while pouting. While Along the ride isn’t entirely different in that regard and succumbs to similar romance movie clichés, it’s proudly part of a new type of romance movie that isn’t so obsessed with suffering. Eli and Auden aren’t toxic or codependent, and he’s not entirely emotionally unavailable. The characters love each other here, the girls aren’t viciously mean to each other, the boys don’t physically bully weaker guys, and people make room for conversation, and no one “wins” . It’s like an anti-John Hughes aesthetic.

Along For the Ride has a lot of style on little substance

In fact, the little world created by Alvarez is quite idyllic and beautiful, with some scenes straight out of a fantasy movie. the boy in a tuxedo and the girl in a yellow dress are dancing on the beach, a trendy cafe is hidden behind the walls of a seedy laundromat, a bonfire on the beach provides laughter followed by a late-night swim. Combined with the stylistic direction, Along the ride is almost a symphonic poem dedicated to the fantasy of youth, filled with hope for what coming of age in a better world could be like.

This is largely accomplished by Alvarez’s more dreamy directorial choices. She often drops the sound altogether, wisely in favor of the ethereal score of the great indie-pop group Beach House (their first film score), whose music perfectly accompanies the images of youthful frolics and the ephemeral joy of summer. Music supervisors Jessica Berndt and Jane Abernethy are also heavy hitters in Along the ridecurating an excellent selection of indie and underrated pop-rock musicians from the past decade.

Related: The Sky is Everywhere Review: One of the Sweetest and Simplest A24 Movies

Musical choices and smart needle drops are an integral part of youth media. Since Euphoria for CO, portrayals of teenage and young adult life connect much better to audiences with sounds that appropriately tap into the cultural zeitgeist or present a kind of freshness that transcends typical scores. The indie soundtrack of Along the ride has been one of the best for years – Electrelane, Nilufer Yanya, Cleaners From Venus, No Age, Santigold, Lykke Li, Yumi Zouma, Small Black, Gang of Youths, Girls, The Drums, Yeasayer, Youth Lagoon, Troye Sivan and several more pop up at just the right time, making the perfect summer mixtape for a blustery summer movie.

Cinematographer Luca Del Puppo takes on the challenge of creating images to match the wonderful music. Therefore, the dialogue and the narration matter much less compared to the feeling of certain scenes, and Along the ride becomes like a summer scrapbook, a keepsake montage filled with the kind of sights and sounds that etch their eternal existence in the mind during the impressionable years of youth. The plot and the stakes of the film are ultimately subordinate to it; watching the movie is like enjoying the memories of someone’s best summer, and the way things happen is much nicer than what actually happens.

Coming of age with kindness

In a way, the best coming-of-age movies are often like that. If we look back Dazed and confused, Boyhood, Lady Bird, blue is the hottest color, Diary of a teenager, or Pariah, none of these movies care too much about their plot. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many major dramatic events with people under 20, or because the most formative moments of youth are often universally common and actually quite boring. and predictable (as important as they are). Whatever the reason, a good coming-of-age movie is more about encapsulating the feeling of youth, the transition between childhood and a budding blossoming of maturity.

What’s this Along the ride do good. It captures the mood and tone of that summer between high school and college, in which fear and hope sway, and creates an audio-visual portrait of the power of first things. first friends, first loves, first jobs, first parties, first disappointments. When the film abandons its style and focuses on substance, it falters a bit, as there’s very little to fall back on. It’s a surprisingly simple story, a skeleton adorned with the skin of a cinematic style, so when the music and the dreamy moments die down, the film is downright anemic.

It’s not the fault of the actors, who do their best with the skeletal scenario. Belmont Cameli is a real star here as Eli, a cyclist who blames himself for a past tragedy but is a nice guy who prefers not to talk about it. He’s almost like a young George Clooney here, or a nicer, less cynical Heath Ledger in 10 things i hate about you; he is very charming and should have a great career ahead of him. Dermot Mulroney and Andie MacDowell are a bit lost, appearing minimal but doing a good job when they do, especially MacDowell. The young actors are quite naturalistic and do well, and everyone comes together to form a very nice and communal whole.

Maybe that’s too nice. Perhaps this idyllic, beautiful summer is a bit too much of a fantasy and a hugely shocking contrast to terminal romance movies like Notebook. Critically, though, it’s probably less destructive to young people and relationships to watch a romance between kind kids than one with dead kids. Along the ridenow on Netflix, is very much alive, especially when it submits to its stylized aesthetic.


To All the Boys 3: Always and Forever Trailer Ends Lara Jean's Journey

To All the Boys 3: Always and Forever Trailer Ends Lara Jean’s Journey

Read more


About the Author

]]>
15 books inspired by Egyptian mythology https://milpkbk.co.uk/15-books-inspired-by-egyptian-mythology/ Thu, 05 May 2022 04:30:54 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/15-books-inspired-by-egyptian-mythology/ Ancient Egypt has captured the imagination of many writers over its 7,000 years of existence. Think of it like this: there was less time between Cleopatra and the iPhone than between Cleopatra and the Pyramids. That’s more than enough material to inspire authors of all ages to create everything from coloring books and graphic novels […]]]>

Ancient Egypt has captured the imagination of many writers over its 7,000 years of existence. Think of it like this: there was less time between Cleopatra and the iPhone than between Cleopatra and the Pyramids. That’s more than enough material to inspire authors of all ages to create everything from coloring books and graphic novels to in-depth guides to Egyptian mythology and historical non-fiction…

Pantheon by Hamish Steele

Illustrating how Egyptian myths are a journey, this graphic novel hilariously depicts the main stories like Amun creating the universe and Osiris ruling the underworld. While it’s certainly not a source for academic papers, it’s a good gateway into that world if you’re looking to laugh.

Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch

If you’re looking for more than a proper reference book, this is it. Incredibly comprehensive, it covers the timeline of mythical history by breaking down every ancient Egyptian deity, demon, concept, and principle in alphabetical order.

Egyptology by Emily Sands

Any child who loves history or mythology would love this classic. A great introduction to the genre, it tells the story of Egyptologist Emily Sands searching for King Tut’s tomb in 1926 when she mysteriously disappears with her crew. Your child will love this one.

Ancient Egypt Coloring Book by Hicham Eramdani

Exactly what it says on the cover: a coloring book centered around the deities, pharaohs, queens and mummies of ancient Egypt. Because if you’re not coloring in Tawaret, what are you doing?

The Spirit of Egypt by Jan Assman

Breaking down the workings of ancient Egyptian belief systems using examples from literature, artwork, hymns and inscriptions, this book is a window into how the ancient Egyptians perceived and perceived the world around them. We recommend taking it in pieces.

The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin

Based on ancient Egypt, Gujaareh is a city ruled by peace and fueled by dreams that heal and guide people to the next life. Yet something is rotten, a conspiracy within the main temple is brewing as innocent people are murdered in the name of the goddess. Step into a world that feels real and explore theology in depth as the plot unfolds with incredible suspense.

A Djinn Master by P. Djeli Clark

Steampunk meets urban fantasy in 1912 Cairo where Fatma, the youngest worker in the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities (we imagine if they had a website it would be maesa.gov.eg) has already saved the universe. Solving a murder in a secret brotherhood should be child’s play… right?

Egyptian Book of the Dead translated by Ogden Goelet and Raymond Faulkner

Here is a funerary text that was written during the New Kingdom. It was placed in burial chambers containing spells to facilitate its journey through the Duat, and became the first manuscript to be compiled in color and translated into English.

Jane Louise Curry’s Egyptian Box

Back in college, this book focuses on Tee who has moved to California to live in the house he inherited from his great-uncle. She also inherited a mummy-shaped wooden doll that transforms into a shabti. In life, he does everything that is asked of him: homework, chores, anything. But the doll begins to enjoy Tee’s life a little too much, which must end. It doesn’t sound like a nightmare at all.

Rick Riordan’s Red Pyramid

Part of The Kane Chronicles, its premise is similar to the Percy Jackson series. But instead of demigods, Carter and Sadie’s father was an Egyptologist, until he summoned a mysterious figure from the Rosetta Stone. The Egyptian gods return and a mad apocalyptic chaos is about to collapse. And here you thought driving in modern Cairo was “chaotic” enough.

Theodosia and The Eyes of Horus by RL Lafevers

From the series that is now an HBO Max broadcast, this third mystery follows budding Egyptologist, Theodosia Throckmorton, as she discovers an Emerald Table with questionable legends following her. Theodosia is catapulted into an adventure where Edwardian London and ancient Egypt collide, and stuffy grandmothers aren’t always what they seem.

Ramses: The Son of Light by Christian Jacq

Historical fiction about the life, love and reign of Ramses II, perhaps the most famous and powerful pharaoh to date. The five-book series is easy to read with its entertaining depiction of ancient Egypt, complete with guest appearances from Nefertiti and Moses.

River God by Wilbur Smith

Set during the Hyksos invasion, the adventure novel is accompanied by a love triangle between the pharaoh, the daughter of a lord and the soldier she is in love with. Yet the main character is Taita, a slave who must fight his way through the perils of the love triangle as the empire is about to fall to invaders.

Eloise Jarvis McGraw’s Gold Cup

Presented as a children’s book, it’s equally enjoyable for adults. Ranofer is a young orphan who wishes to rise above his situation to pursue a simple dream: to become an apprentice goldsmith. At the time, it gave him the kind of prestige and security that comes with being a banker, along with the joy of working for Azza Fahmy. Leaving his abusive half-brother behind, Ranofer stumbles upon one of ancient Egypt’s worst crimes and it’s up to him to do the right thing. Even if it costs everything.

Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green

Aimed at a more advanced age group, this collection of stories is written by a contemporary of CS Lewis and Tolkien, and is divided into three segments: stories of gods, stories of magic, and stories of adventure.

]]>
Seven Seas Entertainment licenses Anti-Romance, Night of the Living Cat and two other manga titles https://milpkbk.co.uk/seven-seas-entertainment-licenses-anti-romance-night-of-the-living-cat-and-two-other-manga-titles/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 03:52:02 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/seven-seas-entertainment-licenses-anti-romance-night-of-the-living-cat-and-two-other-manga-titles/ Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed four new manga titles, slated for release later this fall and around 2023. All series will be released in physical and digital formats in North American bookstores. Their first licensing acquisition is the Boys Love manga series. anti romance by Shoko Hidaka (blue morning). The series is described as a […]]]>

Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed four new manga titles, slated for release later this fall and around 2023. All series will be released in physical and digital formats in North American bookstores.


Their first licensing acquisition is the Boys Love manga series. anti romance by Shoko Hidaka (blue morning). The series is described as a gripping story of friends turned lovers. Hidaka first launched the manga on November 21, 2015 in RuTile magazine.

The first volume will be released in September 2022 in print and digital formats in single volume editions. The print version of the first volume will be sold as a “special edition” book with an additional art gallery of color pages. These were originally released as a separate booklet in Japan.

© Shoko Hidaka

anti romance is described by Seven Seas Entertainment as:

Suou and Ryou have been friends since childhood. The hairdresser and the writer have lived together for six years now and, while they’re definitely not dating, their close relationship is hard to define. Will they ever move beyond the nebulous territory of “more than friends” or will they continue to live in a stalemate forever?


Another manga that Seven Seas will release for the first time in North America is the spooky horror comedy series Live Cat Night. The manga is written by Hawkman and illustrated by the artist Mecha-Roots. In this series, adorable feline threats begin to invade the post-apocalyptic world in a unique take on the zombie genre.

The first volume of Live Cat Night will be published in single-volume editions on print and digital formats. The manga was first published on October 5, 2020 in Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Garden magazine.

night of the living cat manga tome one cover
© Hawkman and Mecha-Roots

The story of the manga is described as follows:

In the near future, a unique disease has swept the planet: a virus that turns humans into cats! And the horde grows, since if these adorable kitties snuggle up against a human, the human turns into yet another cat. A small group of cat-loving survivors try to escape the madness, but how can you defend yourself against a menace you just want to cuddle and pet? ! This wild new take on a post-apocalyptic survival tale will have you rolling and purring with delight!


Seven Seas Entertainment will also release the manga adaptation of the light novel series. Let’s buy the land and cultivate it in a different world by the writer Rokujuuyon Okazawa and artist Jun Sasameyuki. Original light novel illustrator Yuichi Murakami is also credited with original artwork. Isekai’s story of farming life was first published on December 28, 2018 in Comic Boost magazine.

The first volume of Let’s buy the land and cultivate it in a different world will be released digitally and in print in November 2022.

Let's buy the land and cultivate it in a different world manga volume 1 cover
© Rokujuuyon Okazawa, Jun Sasameyuki and Yuichi Murakami

The manga series is described as:

Norio, a corporate drone from modern Japan, is summoned to a fantasy world to battle evil! But it turns out that the magic ability he got isn’t working?! Fortunately, he has a plan B. Ask for land to cultivate a farm! To his surprise, this supposedly useless magical ability recharges his tools, allowing him to craft wood like a master and plant vast fields of crops. After fishing a mermaid woman, charming a lich, and luring a young dragon to her side with homemade cooking, there’s nothing our hero can’t do!


Onigunsousupernatural action manga Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari will also be released for the first time in North America. The manga was first published in Shueisha’s Miracle Jump magazine from April 15, 2014 to December 15, 2015 after its last issue. The series then moved to monthly Ultra Jump on January 19, 2016, where it is currently running.

The first volume will be released in single editions in January 2023, on print and digital platforms. An anime television series based on the series was announced last November.

Malevolent Spirits: Cover of Mononogatari manga volume 1
© Onigunsou

Seven Seas described Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari as:

When spirits enter the human world, they can possess old objects and acquire a physical form: a tsukumogami. The Tsukumogami can be gentle, violent, or somewhere in between, so the Saenome Clan peacefully helps them return them to the Spirit World to avoid destruction.

Kunato Hyouma is a member of the clan, but he is… far from peaceful, since he resents him since a tsukumogami stole something important from him. Fearing that Hyouma’s impetuous anger at these spirits will lead to supernatural disasters, Hyouma’s grandfather sends him to live in Kyoto with Nagatsuki Botan, an unusual young woman who actually lives with the tsukumogami as family! Can Hyouma learn to control his emotions in the face of the tsukumogami, or is his own mind doomed to be possessed by rage forever?


Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

]]>
Flourishing arts, gardens, romance, city notes https://milpkbk.co.uk/flourishing-arts-gardens-romance-city-notes/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 18:26:04 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/flourishing-arts-gardens-romance-city-notes/ At the Cultural Center Stick around after work Friday for the opening of four new exhibits from the Cape Cod Cultural Center: Trans(formation): A Series of Collaborative Portraits Exploring Gender Identity in Our Cape Cod Community” by Julia Cumes; “Floating on a Paper Sea” a collection of mixed media and digital prints by Val Roy […]]]>

At the Cultural Center

Stick around after work Friday for the opening of four new exhibits from the Cape Cod Cultural Center: Trans(formation): A Series of Collaborative Portraits Exploring Gender Identity in Our Cape Cod Community” by Julia Cumes; “Floating on a Paper Sea” a collection of mixed media and digital prints by Val Roy Gericher; “Little Gems 2022”, featuring mosaics by members of the New England Mosaic Society; and “Forces”, an exhibition of paintings and of digital prints by John Stringfellow The Center is located at 307 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth.

Cape Cod Art Center honors Roberta Miller

A 1972 grand opening of Barnstable Village made way for a new Cape Cod Art Center building whose modern design by Richard Sears Gallagher still commands attention along the historic Old King’s Highway neighborhood. The center’s classes, workshops, exhibits, lectures and events throughout the year have attracted 1,000 members.

An expansion of the building begun last June will end with an official inauguration ceremony on Saturday, May 7 at noon. A new wing of studio classrooms, with an elevator to service the center’s three floors, is dedicated to Executive Director Roberta Miller, who has held the position since 2009. 3480 Main St, Barnstable Village.

Wetu talk and hike

Join Nipmuc – Wampanoag Marcus Hendricks on Sunday, April 24 at 10 a.m. for a one-mile Native American walk/conversation along the Thacher Trail in Yarmouth Port, beginning at the meadow on the grounds of the Old Yarmouth Historical Society.

Discussions will range from the Forest Period up to 200 years after the Contact Period; hunting, fishing, domestic life and local native Thomas Greenough, one of the ‘Praying Indians’ and the last of the Nobscusset tribe in Yarmouth. Online tickets at www.hsoy.org/events.

Cyr named honorary president of “Prelude to Summer”

The Cape Cod Arts Foundation named State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) honorary chair of its Summertime Prelude fundraiser at the Hyannisport Club on Thursday, June 9. “Julian has been a strong advocate for the arts and understands the vital impact the arts have here in Cape Town,” said Julie Wake, Executive Director of the AFCC, in an April 25 press release.

A former member of the Nauset High School choir, Cyr led the promotion of arts and tourism, securing strong funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council and sponsoring a bill to increase arts representation at State House. Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.artsfoundation.org.

Here is the bride

A Mashpee Commons Bridal Event offers a unique opportunity for brides to experience a wide range of wedding products and services all in one location at Mashpee Commons on Sunday, May 1 from noon to 4 p.m.

Hosted by Beyond the Barn Boston and Head Over Heels Bridal Boutique, the event will feature nearly 20 additional Mashpee Commons businesses targeting couples planning weddings and other post-pandemic celebrations.

“I realized that an entire wedding — from dresses and tuxedos to flowers to pedicures — could be planned at Mashpee Commons,” Ewing said. “Our neighbors at Head Over Heels Bridal Boutique agreed and soon we had several other Mashpee Commons and local merchants on board to make this event a reality.”

Participating merchants and service providers include: Ghelfi’s Candies; Green floral design; Sea Salt Luxury Studio Spa; Sachs jewelers; Manufacturing; Beauty by Caitlin; Cape Cod Nail Co.; Upside Down Escape Room; The Chocolate Rose; Cape Cod Coffee; Brent Burwell; Williams Sonoma; Mashpee Chamber of Commerce; Pottery Barn; and Luxe Paperie.

On-site registration for the event begins at noon at Beyond the Barn Boston, located at 43 Market Street in Mashpee Commons. Registration is limited. The first 24 brides to register will receive a gift bag. All participants will receive a “passport” which will be stamped when visiting participating companies. Duly stamped passports will be entered to win a gift basket.

Barnstable’s Great Cleanup

On Sunday, May 1, community members are invited to join the Great Barnstable Cleanup, part of a city improvement initiative led by Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, Pick Up Mass and the Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine and Spirits in Centerville.

Get some fresh air while helping the Town of Barnstable with a deep spring cleaning. This is a great opportunity to ensure the community is litter-free before summer arrives.

Participants must register in advance to participate in the cleanup. Volunteers will meet for the cleanup on May 1 at 12:30 p.m. at Barnstable High School parking lot, 744 W Main St in Hyannis. Cleaning is scheduled until 3 p.m.

Supplies including; Gloves, trash grabbers, vests and safety bags will be provided to all volunteers by on-site organizers before they continue to their assigned cleaning areas.

Aw, beep-beep: Hyannis Roadwork

Work will be carried out daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday, May 2 to Thursday, May 5. Temporary lane restrictions will be in place. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will pave a section of Hyannis Main Street beginning in Barnstable and ending in Yarmouth.

The work will be performed near the intersection of Route 28, Bayview Street to Route 28, and will involve lane restrictions and/or alternate one-way traffic. Please slow down, be patient and exercise caution.

Backdoor Colonial Gardens

Author and teacher Joyce Prince will discuss the use of medicinal plants by colonial women in “Backdoor Colonial Gardens” on Wednesday, May 11 at 2 p.m. at Kelley Chapel in Yarmouth Harbour. It will describe the culinary, medicinal and domestic uses of plants and herbs.

Prince, who lives in Hyannis Port, taught Hispanic Studies at Thayer Academy in Braintree and Wheaton College before turning to writing books. She has written an award-winning bilingual book which is used to teach children in Middlesex County Family Court.

She says she’s not so much a gardener as she is interested in the stories and folklore surrounding the use of plants and herbs for various purposes in colonial New England. It does not promote any current use of the plants.

The talk and slideshow are sponsored by the Old Yarmouth Historical Society where reservations for $10 can be made at www.hsoy.org/events or on the HSOY Facebook page.

Buy local

Here we go, says Elizabeth Wurfbain, who is recovering from all the action last weekend at Hyannis Main Street Spring Adventure with Gilbert the Party Pig.

Local merchants are stocked for Mother’s Day shopping this Saturday and the day after, and Hyannis Open Streets returns on Sunday, May 15. Remember, when you shop local, your money stays local.

Tales of Cape Cod holds its court

Tales of Cape Cod invites volunteers to roll up their sleeves and spruce up the grounds of the Olde Colonial Courthouse this Saturday, April 30 from 9-11 a.m.

Then it’s showtime on Monday, May 9, with John Murelle, pianist John Salerno, and special guest Dennis Nobrega in a concert of songs and stories. $25 per person; $20 members; includes wine and Italian dessert reception.

Woot: Memorial Day weekend

Registration is open for the 51st annual Figawi, which begins Friday, May 27 at the Hyannis Yacht Club. The event includes two days of racing on Nantucket Sound Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29, start and finish area off the Hyannisport Pier. Details at www.figawi.com.

]]>
Royal Romance and Equal Partnership: Dana Swift’s Wickery Series https://milpkbk.co.uk/royal-romance-and-equal-partnership-dana-swifts-wickery-series/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 18:04:53 +0000 https://milpkbk.co.uk/royal-romance-and-equal-partnership-dana-swifts-wickery-series/ Dana Swift’s Wickery series is what would happen if you mix the intricacies of the underworld and the court of glass throne, the jailbreaks and mastermind plans of Six of Ravensand added a fair amount of beloved romantic tropes to the mix. There are currently two books in the series. The first one, Thrown into […]]]>

Dana Swift’s Wickery series is what would happen if you mix the intricacies of the underworld and the court of glass throne, the jailbreaks and mastermind plans of Six of Ravensand added a fair amount of beloved romantic tropes to the mix.

There are currently two books in the series. The first one, Thrown into the firelight was released in January 2021 and Bound by firelight followed in 2022. In the author’s own words, the books “combine the character-driven fun of a romantic comedy with the tension of a fast-paced adventure fantasy”.

The continent of Wickery, which gives the series its name, is divided into different kingdoms seemingly at peace with each other. Our protagonists, Adraa and Jatin are the respective heirs of two regimes, Belwar and Naupure. Engaged from a young age, the two haven’t seen each other in a decade, though they’ve stayed in touch by letter, sparking an endless competition where they constantly try to outdo each other. Adraa is determined to hate her fiance but, in a triumph of dramatic irony, their reunion happens by pure chance as they both pretend to be other people. This leads to an inevitable but endearing misunderstanding that covers almost the entire first book.

They bond under the safety of their fake identities, relieved of the pressure of their respective titles and responsibility to each other. Ironically, by both lying about who they are, they get the chance to really get to know each other, without the semblance of competition they’ve kept in their correspondence.

Through classic tropes like rivals to lovers, and with a dual first-person perspective, we watch the story unfold through the eyes of the two main characters. Adraa has been training for years to lead her people. As a royal princess, she is also expected to master the nine colors of magic, even though she is blessed by the goddess of fire. Adraa provides her people with warmth and power through her invention – firelight – in an embodiment of servitude, almost like a mythological fisher king whose power is tied to the prosperity of her people. Firelight acts as an equalizer and brings much-needed stability to lower-class citizens in a society where [sic] the differences are extremely clear.

Obviously, there are criminals in the black market hoarding and profiting from her firelight, but Adraa’s love for her people knows no bounds. To unveil these intrigues, she has forged a false identity as the founder of an underground cage and has cultivated a legend around this glorious underworld figure that will delight fans of Celaena Sardothien.

While her story is primarily about social justice and overcoming her own fears, Jatin’s chapters complement hers by delivering what is essentially an endearing romance novel. He too becomes involved in the underworld and becomes an unsung hero to the people, but only because he is fascinated by Jaya Smoke, Adraa’s vigilante alter ego; then falls in love with her and agonizes over it, torn between Jaya’s passion for their now common cause and her loyalty to Adraa herself.

The world-building is delightfully complex, especially when it comes to the refreshing magic system; magic is elementary, each power being linked to a deity and a color. Only half the population of Wickery is magically gifted; each touchdown has a strength and the potential to wield various elements, while the untouched suffer from prejudice, inequality and injustice. The most powerful witches and wizards can wield all nine elements, which creates conflict for Adraa’s insecurity: she’s getting dangerously close to her initiation ceremony and she still hasn’t mastered ice magic, which is coincidentally Jatin’s forte. She could train more, but her crusade to protect her people, fight inequality, and neutralize criminal threats takes priority and ultimately results in her own demise.

Between the end of Thrown into the firelight and the start of Bound by firelight, Adraa loses its freedom and the trust of its people. Eventually, she loses her voice. The two books blend seamlessly into each other and the transition is barely palpable if you read the books one after the other. In an exclusive interview I conducted for Tor.com, Swift revealed that a few scenes were actually moved from book to book, “so the crossover between where a book ends and the ‘other begins was fluid’. One difference, however, is that the second book is unmistakably darker and more heavily plotted, with more twists, delving deeper into corruption and political intrigue, as well as the nature of magic and its limits. The stakes are higher and our heroes face much tougher choices, forced to adapt to impossible situations; they must submit a part of their innocence and sacrifice it to the pain inflicted on them.

Bound by firelight introduces more complex themes like guilt and grief, and new morally gray scene-stealing characters that leave us wondering about their allegiances until the end. It also highlights disability through two characters who are bound to be absolute fan favorites. Honestly, I’d gladly take another 200 pages if we could dig deeper into the backstories and psyches of all the supporting characters.

I confess that given the light tone of the beginning, I expected the second novel to open with a wedding of Adraa and Jatin or to find them already established in domesticity after a time jump, but Swift didn’t bow to genre or fanservice expectations and kept her readers on their toes for a reunion, a kiss, a much-anticipated proposal. The sweet romance between the main characters, though less prominent in the second book, is still central to the story. Adraa and Jatin are perfectly matched and in perfect opposition, as can be seen from the ice and fire hues that surround them in the book covers designed by the brilliant Charlie Bowater.

Adraa is headstrong but not without insecurities, as any teenage girl has a right to be, “complex and inspiring” in the words of the author, and Jatin was created as “her equal, embodying qualities and struggles that are relatable, but not toxic”. even for a smug teenager who is used to being successful. Swift revealed that she really wanted to write a romantic relationship based on “equality and partnership, where they spend the book not just falling in love with each other, but understanding each other.” And she certainly did.

Wickery’s frame is easily recognizable in Indian code and it was heavily inspired by South Asian customs. Swift wrote extensively in her author’s notes about her gratitude to her husband’s family for welcoming her so warmly into their world and for their support of his books. The author felt the need to write this tale for his children, offering them a “fun fantasy romance with characters who look like them”. During our interview, she admitted that the idea of ​​her children taking her first published book and not seeing themselves depicted in it didn’t sit well with her.

The series is technically YA, and its smooth writing is a blissful respite from our world; easy to follow for teens and perfect for those transitioning from mid-level novels to young adult, but enjoyable enough for everyone. I also haven’t seen chapter titles as sassy as these since…Percy Jackson, maybe?

Right now, Wickery is a duology, albeit a deliberately open one, because Swift has a lot more ideas for these beloved characters and I really hope their story continues. In the meantime, she revealed she’s been working on a standalone YA fantasy, a loose and fun retelling of Hades and Persephone. It’s still a work in progress, but I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Federica Bocco is a writer and editor who enjoys reading and watching all things magic. She writes for a number of international publications and can usually be found at @ladymultifandom on Twitter.

]]>