Sun in Paris, Moon in London, New York City Rising
I recently came across this TikTok where the creator discusses how if you grew up in the 90s to early 00s, you had a major city archetype. Paris, New York City, and London are the ones mentioned. I feel like I was all three growing up: London—always with books, and a deep love of tchotchkes, wanting to share my obsessions, and fandoms; New York—had a blue bedroom, in charge of group projects, and full of that creative energy; Paris—truly liked the finer things in life, and had all love for stationery. Of course, knowing me, you can fully expect me to reframe it in astrology terms: Paris Sun, London Moon, New York City Ascendant. But then, I considered other areas I could describe in terms of a city-astrology crossover: my Mars is in Seoul, Mercury in Athens ... and what of Venus? aIt got me thinking about how we strive for language to describe ourselves to others. So that others can see how we see ourselves, and so we can feel seen and accepted for our whole selves. I know I absolutely light up when discussing one's astrology natal chart and the signs that are said to represent them. To be honest, I feel the same way with most personality assessments. I'm a Leo, an ENFP, a Type 2!
Why wouldn't you take the time to learn more about yourself? Ultimately, we do this so we can relate to other people. Someone can tell me they're a Rome Girl, and explain how they were obsessed with Renaissance art, and loved Italian enough to major in it ... and I get a picture of the interests they had growing up, and how that led them to where they are now. I can tell you that I have a Gemini moon, and if you have an understanding of this, these things will click: my physical spaces are in disarray, but I remember where everything is, and remember an innocuous event in detail; I would do epic deep dives to learn about Arthurian legends, Greek mythology, and read the Royal Diaries series by Kathryn Lasky to learn all about real life princesses across the world. Even now, there's a new personality-based app I've come across that lets you take familiar assessments. You can add your friends, and see how similar (or dissimilar) you are with them. I love that people seek ways to better understand those close to us. There are so many ways we, as humans, misunderstand each other! I don't view it as a box to put people in, but rather a tool and a language to better understand them.
Aren't we all striving for understanding, and connection?
Last summer, when I finished Emily Henry's second novel People We Meet on Vacation, I declared it was in my arbitrary Top 5 Favourites of All-Time. I don't have an actual list. I don't think I could name the four others that would round out the list, even! Yet, I had the feeling once finishing that I would go back to it, or always be recommending it to others to read. There was something about the characters, the emotions evoked, and just how everything panned out that got to me, and had me crying in parts, and feeling my heart squeeze many a time. And, here comes Emily Henry again with her third book, Book Lovers.
Truly, Emily Henry has gotten me yet again with the chemistry and dialogue, and moments that just pierce the heart for that big heart squish. This may be her funniest one, and I love it for so many different reasons from PWMOV. She has written this for the trope-loving romance reader, and still flipped this around for us to delight in. Nora and Charlie are a grumpy and grumpy duo who are thoroughly misunderstood, yet it works. I always forget that there's the trope of sunshine-grumpy, and having Nora also be a misunderstood grumpy? Who I sorta relate to (okay, not entirely, but big moments)? I'm here for it. I love a character who knows what they want, yet also does so much for the people they care for out of love and, well ... because they care.
You know that Friends line? From Phoebe: He's her lobster! My Ross/Rachel feelings aside, I do think Charlie really shows that there are people out there for you. Who will see you for you (yes, I know this is a piece of fiction)! It got me in my feels: wanting to belong in a place you desperately know is not where you shine, and wanting to love the people you love the way you know how. Yes, this is a romance novel: it is spicy! I found the tension and build up was the best part, and well worth the wait—you can see the sparks in the air, jumping off the pages. I am definitely the type of reader who "rates" a story on emotional impact, and character development (or representation). And, Book Lovers did this in spades for me. I didn't want the story to end! I wanted more and more. It may actually eke out PWMOV from its top spot of Henry's adult fiction books ... and maybe tied for its All-Time Top 5 spot.
What should I be watching? I've just gone through a wave of kdramas (watch Twenty-five, Twenty-one for such a good First Love story), and haven't felt compelled to pick up the couple others my mom has been watching. Not that they're not interesting (Our Blues, My Liberation Notes) ... but my mom is a fast-forwarder, and listens to theories, and spoils everything for me when I may be behind! I need to watch those out of sync with her so I can keep my sanity! It drove me nuts when I was behind on the last one that we were watching at the same time. To be fair, she was just excited to watch the show, and wanted to talk about it. I was behind and needed her to stop spoiling things for me! Because I actually cared!
I'm always in need of heartfelt, and maybe uplifting, or fun and lighthearted. Romance is always lovely. A kdrama rec is always welcome. If it's intense, I proceed with caution, and may not get to it for months or years. Please send me recommendations!
Articles, and more
The Overwhelming Thinness of the Queer Rom-Com Renaissance, Sadie Collins (Them)
To Come of (Drinking) Age on YouTube, Mary Anne Porto (Punch)
The Reimagining of Anne Hathaway, Evan Ross Katz (In The Know)
@missmadiejean's City Girl Archetype (TikTok)