NEW FINDINGS OF 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017
I love to babble excitedly about things I'm passionate about -- I mean, who doesn't? 2017 has been a fantastic year for discovering all sorts of epic new stuff. I've been mentioning a few in my monthly highlights throughout the year, but I wanted to consolidate my favorites into one, big post. Here's a list of my new findings (specifically: music, books, and movies) of 2017.

(I wanted to write this later in the year since it's meant for the entirety of 2017... but next month is NaNo and December is my blogging break, so I guess it's now or never. xD)

M U S I C:
(links are going to lead to YouTube, though the songs are available on Spotify)
(pictures in this post are not mine.)
>> ARTISTS <<
aurora
nature boy //  half the world away

Her music is absolute PERFECTION for writing -- especially for fantasy stories! She has a hauntingly beautiful voice and gorgeous, lyrical songs. I find them very calming yet an exceptional background for writing evil scenes. xD

[if you like her music, consider giving a listen to the music artists fleurie and ruelle!]

nf
oh lord // real // know

(technically I discovered his music last year... but I didn't start consistently listening to it until this year, so)

Please let me take a moment to scream because he just released a new album yesterday! *screams* I haven't listened enough to create any concrete opinions, but so far I really like it. I'm partial to the song Know (linked above) just because it has a Twenty One Pilots reference in it. o.o So that's awesome. xD

If you don't usually listen to rappers, still give him a try because his lyrics are just so powerful and emotional. You may find this weird, but I almost always listen to NF's music while writing blog posts. I don't know why?? But there's something about the intense word-spitting that gets my fingers flying across the keyboard. xD

(forgot to mention that he is a Christian rapper and his songs are clean so you don't have to worry about any language or gross stuff like that. :P he's not afraid to talk about heavy themes, though.)

>> SONGS <<
underground

THIS SONG. <3 I have a soft spot for simple songs that just tell a story, and this is exactly what Underground does. Ugh, I don't know why I love it so much, but I can't help but smile each time I hear it. This song creates such strong visuals in my mind!

i built a friend
alec benjamin

The first time I heard this song was when a dancer performed to it, and it was so beautiful and heart-touching that I immediately started to cry. IT'S SO MOVING I CANNOT. I recommend watching the dance with the song for the best experience. :P

(also... even though I was crying when I first heard this, I was extremely creeped out because I HAVE A STORY IDEA THAT IS SO. SO. SIMILAR TO THIS. Like, crazily similar. It's like they stole the idea out of my head, switched a few details, and then made it into this epic song. Seriously. It's weird.) 

{other songs}

B O O K S:

This year I've tried to be more realistic with my book ratings. When I was younger I basically rated every book five stars -- maybe four if I really wasn't feeling it. But now as I scroll through my Goodreads I don't know which books were actually worth five stars. Sigh. So here's the general outline of my rating system:

five stars: WOW THIS BLEW MY MIND I PROBABLY READ IT IN ONE SITTING AND EVERYONE AND THEIR DOG MUST READ THIS BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE.

four stars: It was a really good book! I maybe have one or two problems with this book, or it just didn't have that extra magic of "oh my goodness I can't." o.o

three stars: didn't love it, didn't hate it. 'twas "fine."

two stars: well... I finished it! but... it was a struggle. like trying-to-walk-in-high-heels-on-a-tightrope-over-a-sea-full-of-crocodiles sort of struggle.

one star: most likely didn't finish this book. urghhh. reading this story was like getting bitten by one of those crocodiles in the sea under the tightrope. (okay, that sounded harsh. but... there's probably a reason I'm rating the book one star. xD)

OKAY THAT WAS A HUGE BUNNY TRAIL. Anyway, all of that and describing my system was to introduce my five star reads of 2017. So far I've only read four 5-star books, which is a little disappointing, but I also haven't read as many books as previous years. And I really really love these books. *hugs them to death* I almost think they're due for another reread. ;)

(links will lead to goodreads if you click on the author's name)
midnight at the electric
jodi lynn anderson

I've flailed over this book before, BUT PLEASE LET ME FLAIL OVER IT AGAIN. I randomly picked it up at the library because I thought the title was pretty. I glanced at the back cover blurb, saw the word mars, and knew that I had to at least give it a try.

(advice: don't start book at 11:15pm. you will unavoidably stay up past midnight and suffer from an aching back and tired eyes the next morning)

This is the kind of story I want to write. The author has such a way with words, flowing beautifully and lyrically. It's not a huge action book -- there aren't world ending disasters and explosions. Instead it's about family histories that span generations. It's about loss and friendship and getting to know the hearts of the characters. IT'S JUST SO GOOD.

The mood/aesthetic occasionally gave me Interstellar type vibes? (which makes even more sense as to why I loved this book, haha)

scorpio races
maggie stiefvater

So. Confession: I first picked this book up three or four years ago, gave it a try, and stopped a couple chapters in and decided that it was the most boring book to ever exist. I WAS SO WRONG. I must've been in the wrong mood or something, because I completely adored it when I gave it a second try! One difference is that I listened to it on audiobook this time, so... maybe that's what changed my mind?

But, ugh. Super gorgeous, lyrical writing. <3

angel eyes
shannon dittemore

I honestly wasn't expecting to like this book very much. I've never been the type to be intrigued by books with Christian paranormal elements, but Nadine told me that she read it in one sitting, so I decided to pick it up.

And then I never set it down until I finished it. That's huge, because I haven't read a book in one sitting for a looong time. This book has a little of everything. Action, adventure, mystery, a touch of romance, a touch of humor.

This book is Christian fiction book, and it had some very poignant and thoughtful messages. Usually Christian messages don't strike me as much in books, but this one did. And the angel characters didn't seem odd -- they were done carefully and the author handled it well. :D

real friends
shannon hale

Now as I'm going over my list of five star books, I realize that they all have one thing in common: I've read them in one sitting. (excluding The Scorpio Races, but that was a ten-hour-long audiobook, so.) :P

Real Friends was an extremely quick read -- it probably only took me a half an hour. It was so cute! The majority of the book is actually based on the author's life and her struggles with friendship, which made it extremely heartfelt and relatable. READ IT.

M O V I E S:
spider-man homecoming

I mean... this movie probably doesn't come as a surprise to you, seeing that I wrote an entire blog post about my extreme love for it. So I'll just link to that instead of rambling about it here. xD

dunkirk

*sighs happily* I'm not one for war movies, but I love Christoper Nolan's work, and the trailer was amazing, so I tagged along with my dad when he went to the movie theater to see it. I'm so glad I did. It's a very unique movie and it's hard to put it into words. There's hardly any dialogue, hardly any focus on the characters. << sounds like a horrible idea, right? But it worked so perfectly. It's like the movie was made up of little moments instead of a giant, complex plot. Just go see it -- you'll understand what I'm saying when you do.

{OTHER GOOD MOVIES}
gifted // the theory of everything // the greatest game ever played // rewatched Civil War for the sixth time, hehe // rewatched the Harry Potter series

- - -
PHEW YOU MADE IT TO THE END (presumably. maybe everyone gave up halfway through :P *hands you cookies if you did survive until the end*). I think this was the longest blog post I've ever written. Which makes sense since this took four hours to write and format and edit. *naps for seven years* *or maybe just until NaNo*

<3.
katie grace
what are your new findings of 2017?

62 comments :

  1. Nice post Katie! I discovered the book series The Lunar Chronicles this year and I'm so glad I did - they're stellar books, lots of great characters. Now definitely one of my favourite series. I also loved Spiderman Homecoming (I didn't expect I'd enjoy it as much as I did)!

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    1. AAAHH the Lunar Chronicles are so amazing. <3 I cannot wait for her next book, Renegades! It's going to be amazing. xD Well, at least I hope so. But I've enjoyed every one of her other books!

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    2. I know! The graphic novel series, Wires and Nerve, is amazing. The second volume comes out in January, and I am super excited! So many books of Marissa Meyer's that I want to read...

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  2. Haha - just laughing about the last paragraph. You are an epic blogger, and I appreciate the effort you put into every post. :) Thanks for all the recommendations - I'll have to check them out. Stay awesome, girl! xx

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  3. I loved Dunkirk, I didn't expect to like it, but it just blew my mind tbh. I'm listening to Aurora's music right now...And I think I like it? It has this eerie feeling to it that
    I like :)

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    1. I knoww I love Aurora! The eerie/haunting vibe is a perfect soundtrack for my story. :D

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  4. How do I - an ENORMOUS Jodi Lynn Anderson fan - not have Midnight at the Electric on my TBR??? *dives for Goodreads*

    And I really need to watch Spider Homecoming!!! I loooooove Spiderman, and they did such an amazing job with him in Civil War that I'm itching to see his story. XD XD

    Great post, Katie!

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    1. OH MY GOSH YOU MUST AMEND THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. AND THEN TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF IT. o.o

      YES YOU DO. Basically you need to watch and read and flail over all the fangirl-worthy-things.

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  5. I can't wait to see Dunkirk. Ugh. But the Scorpio Races was amazing. I don't think my rating for it was that high, mostly because of content, but... I still adored it.

    And by the way I'm stealing your rating system because I think we rate books in the same way so.....

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    1. Ahh, yeah. There was some language in there, but I was actually surprised by how clean it was since Maggie's other series was worse.

      DO IT. xD

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  6. Awesome post, Katie!:) And I will have to look into those songs they sound interesting.
    -Quinley

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    1. Thanks, Quinley! You'll have to tell me what you think of them. :D

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  7. My favorite 2017 finding was in music. I got hooked on The Gray Havens a few months back and they've been my life soundtrack off and on since then. I may have to look into a couple of the bands you suggested!

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    1. Oh my gosh I love the Gray Havens! Especially their son, "Ghost of a King." It's so pretty!

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  8. THE SCORPIO RACES. <3 <3
    Also I am listening to all the songs you linked to and so far I am IN LOVE WITH MAYBE IDK. If there was ever a song that was #relatable, this would be it. :D

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    1. YESSS. <3

      oh my gosh RIGHT????? I got to see him perform it live in February and it was the most amazing thing. <3

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  9. I love posts like these! So happy to see NF on here, love his music!

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  10. I loved like everything on this list! *takes cookies and eats all of them and then admits I might have just skipped over the post for the cookies*

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    1. Eheheh. I approve of all the cookie-eating. xD

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  11. Oh my goodness, Aurora is the jam! So haunting and eerie. Thank you for all the music recommendations! I will check them out. :) Midnight at the Electric sounds awesome, too. What a title!! <3

    ALSO: Dunkirk. Wowza, just an amazing film right there. It is such an experience...it feels like you're right there with the soldiers. A totally immersive film, for sure! I will definitely watch that one again and again.

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    1. YESS I really loved Dunkirk. Ugh I want it to come out on Redbox so I can see it again!

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  12. This year has been filled with so many new things for me. <3

    Music: Ashes Remain, Twenty One Pilots, Mark Schultz, and Lindsey Stirling.

    Books: The Maze Runner series, If I Run trilogy, Martin Hospitality, Unwind, Divergent, and The Hunger Games.

    Movies: 2017 Live Action Beauty and The Beast, Wonder Woman, The Lego Batman Movie, Spider-Man Homecoming, and The Passion of The Christ.

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    1. I haven't read/listened/watched Mark Schultz, Wonder Woman, and If I Run... so I'll need to check all of those out!

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    2. YES GO LISTEN TO HE'S MY SON IT'S SOOOOO GOOD.

      Bonus points if you listen to it while watching the music video that features clips from The Passion of The Christ.

      Also, I'm feeling very accomplished cause I just got a couple of my guy friends to read If I Run. *congratulates myself on pulling them into the fandom*

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  13. This was a fun post! I love reading about what people are interested in. :)
    Let me see... my new discoveries have been;
    Music: I have discovered that I LOOOOVVVVEEE Matthew West's music. Naturally I was flailing a ton while listening to his newest album ON THE DAY IT RELEASED (September 22nd) on Spotify. The album is called "All In"
    Books: I have enjoyed mystery books the past year, but only recently started REALLY enjoying them (I'm even contemplating becoming a detective when I grow up; i may or may not be kidding). I'm even writing a Sherlock Holmes mystery and am reading this AMAZING mystery I just discovered: Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie. I am reading it for the first time AND I LOVE IT *freaks out and has fan-girl moment*. XD
    Movies: On the subject of Murder on the Orient Express, THE NEW MOVIE IS COMING OUT IN NOVEMBER. NEXT MONTH. O.O I MUST see it!!! XD

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    1. Ooh, I didn't realize he released a new album! I'll also have to check it out. :D

      AH THAT SOUNDS EPIC. How exciting. xD

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  14. Okay so this was a super-cool post and I may or may not steal the idea of it, if you don't mind xD.

    THANK YOU for all these epic recommendations, Katie! Midnight At The Electric looks AH-MAZING, so *add to tbr*. I'm in a needing slump right now, so HOPEFULLY I can find a book that will break me out of it xD. And OH MY, I Built A Friend <3. I saw the song title and was like, 'huh, I think she's talking about Merrick's performance' and I clicked on the video YOU WERE. Wasn't it just so good??? It's epic that it's so much like your story idea - AND I NEED SAID STORY, BTW xD.

    Also now you have to tell me which Harry Potter movie is your favorite. I MUST KNOW xD.

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. YESS DO IT.

      It's a very... unqiue book, so I hope that it does drag you out of your reading slump. YOU'LL HAVE TO TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF IT. *crosses fingers*

      AHH YES. His performance was so goood. I don't know if I'll write that story anytime soon... but it's in my head for someday. xD

      UGH I DON'T KNOW. I like the later ones a bit better -- just because the actor's have matured and improved -- but can't narrow it down to a favorite. :P

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    2. Deathly Hallows Part 2 is obviously superior to every other Harry Potter movie. #micdrop

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    3. I'm afraid I;ll have to disagree with you there; I appreciate the better effects and acting in the later ones, but my favorites are the first two because they followed the books closely and I feel like they captured the tone of the world of Harry Potter more effectively than any of the others did. The later movies also had a bad habit of assuming everyone already knew the plot and not explaining things ever, which is fine if you've read the books, but I know my casual Harry Potter-watching friends were confused. I'll also never fogive the movies for butchering Ginny's character so much. Ah well, I'm rambling. I REALLY don't want to write my psychology essay right now, lol.

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    4. First off, good luck with the essay. 🍀

      Secondly, I don't understand why everyone is always so mad for Ginny being different in the movies than she was in the books. I get that she's not the same strong and independent girl in the movies, but...like really? Why are we always blowing this out of proportion?

      I completely understand your point about the first two movies capturing the Harry Potter world. I agree, although I wasn't a big fan of the first two books because it felt like they just kinda followed the same story arch. You know what I mean? But I do agree that they followed the books the best.

      Don't want to start an argument, just throwing my opinions out into the comment void for you to see lol. Totally cool with disagreeing. :D

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    5. OHHH yeah I totally see what you mean! Now I'm reminded of the conversations my family had saying, "if someone hadn't read the books... they would be so confused!" So, yes, that was poor on that part. *sniff*

      (did you get that bothersome essay done?)

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  15. OOOH, I know exactly the "I Built a Friend" dance video you're referring to; I burst into tears like halfway through it. Still haven't seen Dunkirk, though I really want to. I'll have to read Midnight at the Electric soon.

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    1. UGH I'M GLAD I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE. It was so gosh darn emotional. xD

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  16. New findings... *ponders* some more Amish novels and books lately. I've been enjoying reading more lately :D

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    1. Ooh, nice! That isn't my genre but I know there's a lot of them out there. xD

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  17. DUNKIRK. That movie was mind-blowing. O.o

    I'm not very adventurous when it comes to music? I mostly listen to classical, but when I want something epic I go to LOTR or Two Steps From Hell. Lyrics distract me when I'm working, but I do just love sitting back and listening to lyrics. <3

    Ooh, I've been interested in Angel Eyes. The concept does honestly not appeal to me at all, but I've seen such high praise for it, and I've heard that Shannon Dittemore is just a fabulous author. So. I think I'll eventually give it a try. :)

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    1. HONESTLY THOUGH. So cool. o.o

      *nodnod* That makes sense! I have troubles listening to LOTR when I write just because it brings up such strong memories of watching the movies or specific scenes when a certain song plays. xD

      I encourage you to give it a try! I agree -- it's DEFINITELY not something I would've picked up if I had not heard such glowing praises. But Shannon's writing is amazing and so is the story. :D

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  18. Ooh thank you so much for all the recommendations! Can't wait to look these up!

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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    1. Yay! You'll have to tell me what you think of them. :D

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  19. *gobbles up recommendations like a rabid wolf*

    Ugh, yes, Real Friends is SO. GOOD. *nods*

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    1. That gave me such an interesting visual... xD

      YESS. <3

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  20. YAY for long blog posts. XD But ACK MUSICS. I must stalk all of these and listen to them. *nods*

    Also those bookssssss. Help I need more reading time. BUT I'M GOING TO READ A BUNCH TODAY BECAUSE AN EPIC BOOK JUST ARRIVED IN THE MAIL AND BYEEEE LIFE. XD

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    1. DO IT. STALK THEM ALL. xD

      OOH. WHAT BOOK?? I MUST KNOWW. o.o

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    2. Project Gemini by Jill Williamson. IT'S SO GOOOOOD.

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  21. love this Katie! listening to underground right now, it's so beautiful *cries*
    and Spiderman homecoming? umm, it was amazing! so excited for the sequel XD! thank you for the book suggestions, I've been looking around desperately for new books! this post was just everything Katie <3

    -Sarah
    denimandtea.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh my gosh isn't it gorgeous? I'm glad someone else can appreciate that beautiful song. <3

      YAY thank you for your kind words, Sarah! You make me smile. <3

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  22. I just discovered and started reading the Ilyon Chronicles. #hooked And thanks to Jem Jones, I started listening to the Grey Havens (I especially love At Last, The King). But I'll have to check out the other music links you provided - I'm always looking for something new to listen too!

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    1. Aww, the author of the Ilyon Chronicles was partially the inspiration for how I first started writing! And she's actually my second cousin, so that's cool XD

      Ooh, I don't think I've listened to that song by the Gray Havens? I'l'l have to check it out. *nodnod*

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  23. Ach!! Spider-Man!!! I really wanted to see Dunkirk when it was in cinemas, but I ended up seeing Spider-Man, so I'm waiting for it to come out on dvd. I love well done war movies!

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    1. YESSS. Ugh they're both such good movies! You'll have to tell me what you think of Dunkirk once you finally watch it. I can't wait to rewatch it. <3 :D

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  24. SOMEONE ELSE WHO LISTENS TO AURORA!! Day made.

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  25. Holy freaking cow, I AM OBSESSED WITH NF. Literally just listened to his songs not two weeks ago, and i’m completely hooked. He makes me cry. Like, literally cry. His songs are so dark, and gritty, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Because the messages bring hope; i may not be struggling with the same life issues as him, but I know so many that do, and he has helped me see things from their pov’s. I love how real he his, he’s not afraid to show his anger, his hurt in his music. Just. It’s Real.

    Great post lol xD

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    1. oh btdubs you should check out Billie Eilish too. she’s bomb 👌

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    2. AH YES I'M SO GLAD TO MEET ANOTHER NF FAN. What do you think of his new album? favorite songs from the new one, or favorite songs in general?? *tell me all the things*

      NF real music. xD
      (ooh I'll check her out!!)

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  26. I like NF! I will look up the other songs, books, and movies too!

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    1. YESS he's great! You'll have to let me know what you think of the other things. :D

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  27. I'm so excited to try all of the different things you recommend! I'm actually not familiar with ANY of them, so I can't wait to check them out!!

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    1. WHAAAT NONE OF THEM?? Girl, you got some work to do. They're all so awesome! xD

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