Monday, December 15, 2014

'Tis the Season for Plaid

Blazer: Thrifted, Necklace: Plato's Closet, Dress: thrifted, Tights: Target, Shoes: Thrifted

Plaid has been so big recently, so I was very excited when I found this dress at the thrift store the other day! It's originally Ralph Lauren, and I love that it can be worn structured and preppy, or a bit more casual and edgy. After styling this outfit, I realized that all of the main pieces of this outift are also thrifted! I love how easy it is to put together a stylish outfit from thrift items.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

November Book Wrap-up!

November was a crazy busy month, but I did manage to get my book count up, which really pleased me! The majority of my books were obviously geared towards male readers, so it certainly shook things up, but what I love about these books is that they were so well written, that it didn't matter.

The first book I read in November was "The Scorch Trials" by James Dashner, which is the second book in the Maze Runner trilogy. I had started reading this book in the seventh grade, but I never got around to finishing it, and I'm so glad that I decided to pick it back up this month.
For starters, if you love Dystopian novels, this series is a must read. So many of my friends are in love, to the point of obsession, with these books, and I can't say I blame them. If you're a parent trying to get your son to read a book, I would suggest these ten times over, because they not only teach life lessons, but they do it in a way that is so close to an action, sci-fi, or adventure movie that even those who don't like to read can enjoy them.
Thomas' internal dialogue is humorous, self-loathing, and beautifully composed. Dashner shows no mercy for his characters, but rather brings about the realistic consequences for this world, and I love it. Sure, it's terrible to read about kids my age dying, but in the world of "the Maze Runner" I expect nothing less. He doesn't bring in these characters to paint a charade, he tells the truth, and I applaud him for that.
Favorite Quotes: 
“I felt her absence. it was like waking up one day with no teeth in your mouth. you wouldn't need to run to the mirror to know they were gone”

“He didn't care about the others anymore. The chaos around him seemed to siphon away his humanity, turn him into an animal. All he wanted was to survive, make it to that building, get inside. Live. Gain another day.” 

“False hope," she said. "Guess that's better then no hope at all.”

I realize how far behind I am on "The Lightning Thief" bandwagon, but I did finally pick up this book and read it in November. Let me first start of by saying, that I am so jealous that Rick Riordan came up with this idea and I didn't. It's written so well and the idea is brilliant, and I just wish it had been me.
Again parents, if you want you son, or daughter, to read a book or two, try this series.
It's actually a middle-grade book, but I had no problem reading it as a senior in high school. Sure, the vocabulary was easy for me and the story line wasn't as fully developed as I could have handled, but it was still entertaining, and I think that's a power this book possesses. By using the timeless tales of Greek mythology, Riordan crafted a book that can appeal to people of all ages.
You want to root for Percy, because in the end we've all felt like Percy; Aliens who don't understand why we're different. We can relate to Percy, because he isn't perfect, but we admire him because he never gives up.

Favorite Quotes:
"Don't get me started on Charon!" Hades yelled. "He's been impossible ever since he discovered Italian suits!"

"In his pocket was a set of reed pipes his daddy goat had carved for him, even though he only knew two songs: Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 12 and Hillary Duff's 'So Yesterday' both of which sounded pretty bad on reed pipes."

I then re-read Mockingjay just in time to see it in theaters. Speaking of Dystopian novels, this series takes the cake for my all time favorite messed up society books. 
If you haven't read these books, I cannot say it enough times how much you should. Suzanne Collins is a genius, and I am in love. Obsessive love.
Freak out aside, if you're interested in politics and war, you are really going to love the third novel of the series. Again, Collins makes the connections to Rome and to America so cleverly that you might not even catch it the first time. I know that as I've gotten older and lost my naivety, I have also learned to appreciate these books even more. Sometimes it scares me how close America comes to Panem, and I thank Collins for that. I'm not suggesting that she has predicted the end of our country, but I do think that she sees the flaws, ad like the maze runner series, has shown them to us in a way that is entertaining and dramatic, so that we truly can grasp her meaning.

Favorite Quotes:
"Well don't expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear."

"Some walks you have to take alone."

"They only had the misfortune to have me."

"Oh, no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?" says Peeta. "It costs everything you are."

"The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy" was the last book I read for the month of November. This book was told by a male narrator, and had the sense of boyish humor, but regardless was an entertaining read, and I think either gender would enjoy it. This book was similar to John Green's books, minus "The Fault in Our Stars", and held so much talk of literature in it, that I was hooked from the second I opened it up. 
This novel tells the story of four friends and their journey to remove a popular reality tv show from their school. That's all I'm going to say, because I don't want to spoil anything, but I will include that the ending totally surprised me, and actually left me feeling really unsatisfied. After thinking about it, however, I realized that the reason I wasn't happy, was because the ending was realistic. It wasn't some grand ending with hope and promise, but just the truth, and I hated that because I had already begun to realize that I was almost exactly like the main character, and that meant that his ending might be my own some day.
The main character in this novel, Ethan, learns that he sabotages things for himself by living in a fictitious world, something I think all writers, including myself, can relate to. Having to overcome this barrior between what is real and what is not real actually becomes the driving force for the novel, which was again something I didn't expect.
That's the other thing about this book, it's unexpected. For starters, it's a new YA book that doesn't need romance at the center of the story. Sure, romance and attraction is discussed in the novel, but at the end of the book it doesn't matter. Ethan is still single, and still pining after a girl that he could have had all along, according to his friends. It was frustrating at times because I honestly had no idea how the book was going to end, but it was also exciting, new, and fresh, and I can honestly say I appreciated that aspect of the book the most.

Favorite Quotes:
“I hold a strict policy of automatic grudges against people everyone likes.”

“Everybody has unattainable crushes too and imaginary friends. Some part of their mind that they talk to when they can't deal with talking to real people.”

“Everyone knows how to love, but not how to love well. The mistake is too easy. You call her a goddess and you think he's perfect and suddenly they're not people anymore. You've betrayed them. Instead of being in awe of their complexity, you've swept it away. ... Once you've recognized a person as a person, you can start to love that person well. It's an awful thing to learn, but it's the best thing in the world to know.”

“He didn't know that sometimes, the most awesome and complicated thing you can do is just stick around.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Wish List

Winter Wish List

Hey there! Recently I've been doing a lot of pining, and these are the objects of my affection. I have been obsessing over these green coats from J.Crew since Lydia Martin wore the Cocoon coat on Teen Wolf, and recently found the City Coat, (the darker of the two), which I think is a good match considering the other one is sold out. I've always been having an obsession with leather recently, which includes, (but is not limited by any means to), this skirt from Charlotte Russe and leather gloves, which I've discovered I need. That's right, I need them. My shoe and purse problem has continued to grow, as seen above. I really think that both pairs of shoes are really classic and sophisticated, which brings me to a good point, sophistication. I've been thinking more about college and job interviews recently, and a lot of this list is inspired by that. Besides the beanie and the skirt, these pieces are things that I think make someone look more put together and classy, two things I would like to permeate of when I finally go off to college and then the work force.

Friday, November 14, 2014

October Book Wrap-Up!

Another month is over, and with it means another set of books! For the month of October I read three books, and I think that this might be the first time I strategically picked out the books. I chose to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in honor of Halloween, Gossip Girl so I could finally watch the show, and The Book Thief because I had started reading it the month before. Well, 2/3 has to count for something...

The first book I read was The Book Thief. Like I said above, I had actually started reading this at the end of September, but I wasn't able to finish it in time to include it in that review. 
I think this book is phenomenal! I will say that it was hard to get into at first, (I think that might be because I watched the movie first and I was marking everything that was different as inconsequential... I really love the movie...), but once I did, I couldn't stop! Even though I knew the ending because I had seen the movie, Markus Zusak was able to keep me on the edge of my set regardless. I love how he used death to narrate the book, and I'm obsessed with each of his flawed, yet beautiful, characters. You fall in love with them because they are imperfect.

Favorite Quotes:
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope that I have made them right." - The Book Thief
"One was a book thief. The other stole the sky." - The Book Thief
"I'm compelled to continue on, because although it's not true for every person on earth, it's true for the vast majority - that death waits for no man - and if he does, he doesn't usually wait very long." - The Book Thief
"They were French, they were Jews, and they were you." - The Book Thief

There are three main things that I love about the next book I read:
1. The fashion in it is unbelievable and if I could have their closets for the price of my right arm, I would do it.
2. The characters are flawed, like completely and utterly messed up, and I love that to no end.
3. I am by no means a wealthy elite, but I can still relate to these teenagers.

I initially bought a whole slew of Gossip Girl books at two different thrift stores, in the hopes that I would read one, fall in love, and be able to watch the show with the comfort that I had read the books before. I never knew how obsessed I would become with both mediums. The show is brilliant, and I actually prefer Serena van der Woodsen on television to the book version. However, I do think that the book allows for you to truly understand the lives of these elite teenagers. The Serena on the show is not naive and she feels like she needs to change, contrary to her book counterpart. I think that S in the book is perfect for the scene that Cecily created.
I love hating and adoring these characters, and I cannot get over the fashion. To me, it feels like a grown up version of the clique books that I read back in middle school and FREAKING OBSESSED OVER FOR YEARS. Honestly, all it takes is flawed characters and fashion to get me in permanent fangirl mode.

Favorite quotes:
"Life is fragile and absurd." -Gossip Girl
"Face it: we're all the same." -Gossip Girl
"No matter the truth, people see what they want to see..." - Gossip Girl
"I don't eat chicken abortions!" - Gossip Girl

There's nothing like the wizarding world of Harry Potter to get you in the mood for Halloween! I decided to reread one of my favorite books after discovering, which is another one of my obsessions. I really have a problem.
This book is so beautifully written, and time after time after time I find myself falling in love with this world. I have never been so involved with a book so many years after the first time I read it. I totally get that this book has been there and done that at this point, but I still feel the need to rave about it, because it is THAT good. J.K. Rowling is a genius and I respect her so much.
If you haven't read this series yet, please do. 

Favorite quotes:

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." - Sorcerer's Stone
"To the well organized min, death is but the next great adventure." - Sorcerer's Stone
"... to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever." - Sorcerer's Stone
"Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." - Sorcerer's Stone

(I just realized those are all Dumbledore quotes... no regrets...)

Join me again next month were I will probably have gained more obsessions and get the chance to read my babbling nonsense once again! It'll be great!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Spirit Week: Blue and Gold Day

Friday was the last day of the week, and as always it was Blue and Gold day. This year my class purchased t-shirts for the first time, and I actually really like them. I was also really obsessed with this tutu that I picked up at party city. It's so cute and definitely shows school spirit!

Also, my class won the spirit stick this year!

Spirit Week: Throwback Thursday

For Throwback Thursday, my friends and I decided to dress up like the Breakfast Club. This was by far my favorite day, because it was so much fun walking around the school with my friends, dressed up as the characters from such a great movie. I think we did pretty well when it came to emulating the outfits as well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spirit Week: Disney/Pixar Day

It rained today, so I did my best when it came to pictures, however I'm not sure how well I actually did. Never-the-less, it was Disney/Pixar day at school, and my friend Sam and I dressed up as Wendy and Peter Pan. The best part about my outfit was that a friend of mine taught me how to sew while we made it together, which just put the icing on the blue-nightgown-like dress if you ask me.
Everyone was so creative and spirited today, which made it possibly one of the best spirit days of my high school experience. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spirit Week: Tropical Tuesday

Today commenced the first day of my last spirit week at Mathews High School. It was defineitly bitter sweet, like pretty much everything that has happened this year, but I love spirit week and am so excited for the rest if the week.
It was tropical Tuesday and I had a lot of fun busting out all of my summer-vibe clothing. I especially was excited to try out my mom's old parrot earrings, which until now I have not found an outfit to wear with. I even got adventurous and tried to pull off a tropical-inspired makeup, though the lighting was not doing it justice in picture.

Friday, October 10, 2014

August and September Book Wrap-Up!

August and September were crazy months for me. Between starting back at school, cheer leading, and other various responsibilities, I've barely had any time to sit down and review the books I read during those months. Better late than never, right?
Anyways, for the month of August I read "Four" by Veronica Roth and I re-read "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner in honor of the movie coming out in the beginning of September,

I am a huge fan of the Divergent Series, so when this book came out in July I knew I had to get it. I devoured it quickly during the month of August and couldn't be more pleased with it. 
For starters, I was never a huge fan of Tris, who is the protagonist of the Divergent series, so when I found out that these stories were in her love interest Four's point of view, I knew that I was going to be in love with this book. The world that Veronica Roth created is as beautiful as it was throughout the trilogy, but this time as I read it I got to see it through the eyes of Tobias, and it was such a sweeter view. Sorry to Tris lover's everywhere, but I find her annoying.
"Four" is exciting, insightful, and exactly the kind of book you could read over and over again. The only downside being that, you really need to read the other three books first to truly understand what is going on.
Favorite Quotes:
“Dead people can be our heroes because they cant disappoint us later; they only improve over time, as we forget more and more about them.” -Veronica Roth

“I'm not sure bravery is something you acquire more of with age, like wisdom --but maybe here, in Dauntless, bravery is the highest form of wisdom, the acknowledgement that life can and should be lived without fear.” - Tobias

I read "The Maze Runner" in the seventh grade, and became enthralled with the scene that Dashner set. However, reading it five years later, and five years wiser, allowed me to see the parallels that Dashner's story holds to other stories and to our culture and History. I love when books tell a story that makes you think about your own life, and "Maze Runner" does just that. 
Minho and Newt are my favorite characters in the book, and their humor is not only so similar to my own that it scares me, but breaks up all of the stress and tension in the novel. 
Favorite Quotes:“If you ain’t scared… you ain’t human.” -Alby

“If you're going to decipher a hidden code from a complex set of different mazes, I'm pretty sure you need a girl's brain running the show.” - Teresa

In the month of September I was able to knock three books off of my "To Be Read" list. These books were great stress relievers as school made me change my day to day schedule. They allowed me to relax and stop freaking out about tests and what-have-you, which is really all I look for in a book.

I started the month off by reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn, because of the great reviews my friends had given it and because the movie came out in September as well. (There is a common theme with my book reading...)
This book was creepy, twisted, and just full our crazy, but I loved it! It really makes you think about the people and your life and totally freaks you out, which is great. I honestly raved about this book for a week after I finished reading it; I just couldn't stop talking about it. The characters are a mix of terrifying and real, that makes you want to avoid all human contact for the rest of your life, and I just loved it.

Favorite Quotes: 
“It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.” 
― Gillian FlynnGone Girl

“Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial - you'd think all women do is clean and bleed.” 
― Gillian FlynnGone Girl

"There's a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.” 
― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

I then decided to pick up "Noggin" from the school library after hearing a great review of it a while back  by PeruseProject. Noggin is the story of 16-year-old  Travis, who opts to have his head frozen instead of continuing to fight his cancer. This story sounds really weird, but is truly remarkable in the way that it handles growing up. It's the strangest "Coming of Age" book I have ever read, and I really like that about it. I understood the message that Whaley was trying to portray, and he was able to do it in a interesting, cool, and sometimes humorous way. Travis deals with moving on in a way that is so real and human, you almost forget that you're reading a book about a kid that had his head sewn on to someone else's body.
Like I said... weird.

Favorite Quotes: 
“I thought maybe a day was coming when I'd stop constantly worrying about how to live. Maybe at some point I'd just start living, no questions asked.” 
― John Corey WhaleyNoggin

“But in that moment I understood what they say about nostalgia, that no matter if you're thinking of something good or bad, it always leaves you a little emptier afterward.” 
― John Corey WhaleyNoggin

 The last book I read in the month of September was "'Love' and Other Foreign Words" by Erin McCahan. This book is so adorably quirky that it would make a great movie some day. Josie is such a realistic character, and even if you don't relate to her, I'm positive you know someone that does. McCahan's writing style reminds me of a mix of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, so of course I was hooked from the first page, and I love that like those authors, McCahan isn't afraid to make the nerdy girl nerdy. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I think that a lot of times people take the glasses off of the 'nerdy' girl and suddenly she is pretty, but McCahan creates a character that literally refuses to take off her glasses.
I found myself crying towards the end of this book, not only because I felt Josie's pain, but because it was so heartwarming at points my soft heart just couldn't contain it. Josie truly is a character that girls everywhere can relate to.

Favorite Quotes:

“Good becomes perfect, but perfect is an illusion. And illusions are like all spells—temporary and soon broken. And when that happens, feelings change.” 
― Erin McCahanLove and Other Foreign Words

“I think I'm nostalgic for a time I never experienced.” 
― Erin McCahanLove and Other Foreign Words