Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Monica Abroad: Quebec 2019


I finally went out of the country. I finally traveled to a country where I can use and advance my knowledge and usage of the French language. I'm so happy to have been given the opportunity to travel with my class, and boy do I wish we could have stayed longer! So much happened on the trip, we went to so many places, this is going to be a long post, but it's going to be worth it in the end.

So it started Friday morning getting into vans and driving towards the border. It was a long drive, but I was excited to take it and we stopped for gas and snacks right beforehand so I was okay. I was in a van with my French classmates, as well as two of the classmates we Zoomed in every time from another school. It was so great to meet them!

After three hours of music, conversation, and a bit of napping, we finally reached the border. Out of all the people in my van, I was the ONLY one who had never been to Canada, or even just out of the country. I handed my passport up, and then we were across! I was in a new country.

Once in Canada, we drove to the Rose Cafe in Drummondville to have some lunch. It was an adorable Canadian cafe, and we got to eat in a greenhouse! I had a croque monsieur with a salad and Dragon Pearl tea. Then afterward I threw a penny into the fountain (yes, and it was next to a playground), and walked around the small shop before it was time to hop back into the car. I highly recommend this cute little cafe for anyone traveling to Canada/Quebec because this is just a quaint and simple place to introduce yourself to the country (or at least that's how I felt).

Next stop was La musée des Abénakis (Abenaki Museum). This was our first stop, and I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. There was so much to learn there. We watched a movie about the Abenaki creation of the world (and the theater was interesting I felt like we were moving), walked around their permanent exhibit filled with historical boats, baskets, and even murals that coincided with the moon cycles of the Abenaki culture/time. Then we went into their temporary exhibit of Indians beyond Hollywood, where many videos and displays were set up to show the terrible depictions of Indians in Hollywood, and how they affected the actual Native culture (which we all sort of knew this but it was still messed up to read some of the posters and listen to the videos). Even played a game of 'Creating my own Hollywood Indian' where choosing the right Abenaki clothing was too authentic and I was told to try again, which led to some great end screens. After we looked all around the museum we walked around the gift shop where I bought a postcard with a map of the native tribes and a gift for my nephew and wished I had purchased the small Inukshuk statue.

With the Abenaki Museum done, we finished our journey (about two hours left) to our hotel in Québec. We stayed at Hôtel du Jardins, and most of us were able to sleep one to a bed, like me and my roommate Lindsey. Our room had to large beds, a television, mural of the mountains, and a gorgeous bathroom with a pretty mirror and a rainfall shower (which we both used just for the experience of it). Our classmates from the other university were on one side of us, and other French classmates on the other. A great floor and great neighbors. But we didn't stay in the hotel for long, we had to go get our first dinner in Québec!

The walk to dinner was, for the most part, difficult. We were just walking uphill the whole time. Stairs and steep hills and my knees hurt a lot and I ran out of breath at one point. But hanging in the back of the group to keep my breathing under control helped me and the tourism professor find a piece of graffiti that read 'Mort aux Nazis' and he took a selfie with it, as one should. We finally hit the restaurant, Chez Victor, which took in all 19 of us (15 students, two professors, and two children), into a room and worked hard to get us all our food in a decent amount of time while also getting to other patrons. I had a salad with some salmon, and my friend let me have some bites of his side of Poutine. After dinner, I walked home and went to bed a little earlier than my classmates, my lungs were in a bit of pain, as well as my knees from such a long car ride and then a long uphill walk.

First morning in Québec, I walked with my classmates to an ATM to take out some Canadian money which was something I was really looking forward to doing since I really like foreign money and the way that it looks, and then to a sweet little bakery called la Boîte à Pain where I purchased a croissant and a pastry with spinach and feta cheese. Both were AMAZING and I ate them both days, I also bought a baguette the second morning before we left.

Our first piece of business on Saturday, a walking tour of Québec, following a series of green dots that were in the sidewalk (if you've done the Freedom Trail in Boston it's like that). While walking we saw the Saint-Roch cathedral and some really cute shops, even stopping by the Gare au Palais to walk around a small market by the water (also the tourism professor sat on a bench completely under snow so that was fun), and then we just sort of...stopped following the path haha. After the small market, we were able to find Vieux-Québec, and a small road right by the Funiculaire, very close to the Château Frontenac (like right below it). We all walked down this street before going up and I found one of the cutest shops were everything is made with wool that comes from sheep at a local farm. After a small shopping break, we went up the funiculaire and then found ourselves at the Château Frontenac, where we also saw an anonymous group set up, I was told by a classmate that they were showing clips of animal cruelty in the food industry.

We continued to walk past the castle and find places to eat for lunch. I went with a group to a place called Paillard and got a very delicious pulled pork sandwich (which I didn't remember to take a picture of) and we got to watch a man with an accordion come into the restaurant and play for us! Then after lunch was done the French class went with the two professors (the tourism class was given an assignment that I know nothing of) to La Musée de l'Amérique Francophone (Francophone America museum). As a big francophone fan, I was very intrigued to go here! The building on the outside didn't seem like a big museum, but it was made up of two different buildings, with a chapel, and three different exhibits (very interactive/creative as well) to walk around and explore. There was an exhibit on art, the found colony of Jacques Cartier, and also one that talked about francophone heritage and ancestry.

Finished with the museum, the French class was allowed to walk around the city until it was time to meet up for dinner. I walked with my friend Christine to some shops, looking for souvenirs for family and just stuff for us as well. I'm shocked to say that I didn't buy myself many things, but I did get gifts for my family! We met up with more of our French class and walked to shops that led us closer to our hotel (with the help of Lindsey's GPS as well), and found ourselves walking around the shops near Saint-Roch. I wanted to go into the toy shop, just to try the tiny doors...but I'll do that next time I go because we all know I'm a child at heart. After that, we all went to the hotel to drop our things off and get ready for dinner.

We split up as classes this night because we couldn't find a place to hold us all, so my group of eight walked down a few streets and found a cute little pizza place called Piazzetta. The ambiance and feel of the restaurant were just perfect for all of us and the food was just as great! I got spaghetti a la bolonaise and a drink called Basil Park that just tasted like Sprite, so my kind of drink! We all had a great time talking and watching Anna teach Claire (our professor's daughter) how to play Miss Mary Mack and other hand games of the sort. We also decided to get dessert this night, and I got a sweet and tangy lemon cake in a jar. I almost want to make them myself when I get home!

After dinner, we went back to the hotel. Lindsey, Christine, and I stayed up and talked about the things we did during the day and what we liked best, and about things that we found funny that we saw/overheard in the streets of Quebec. After that conversation, I took a shower and went to bed, not ready for this trip to end.

Sunday morning, I packed, I walked back to the same bakery with my classmates, and then we all piled back into the vans with our things to head back home, but with another pit stop to round out our trip up north. There were a few mix-ups and wrong turns thanks to the van GPS (I think the van didn't like us for some reason) but we were able to make it to la Chute-Montmorency (the Montmorency waterfall, which is taller than Niagara) before ten!

The building in front of the waterfall wasn't even open yet, so we just walked around the building to look at the falls until then, since the stairs were closed and we'd have to take the cable car to go up (we got those terrible bracelet things that don't come off without like scissors and I pulled off so much arm hair). Montmorency was so beautiful, I can only imagine what it looks like during the spring and summer months when the snow and ice go away. Another place to revisit on my next trip up! The top of the waterfall was just as beautiful, and lush vegetation surrounded the walkway leading to the suspension bridge. I took a lot of photos of the waterfall from below and above, I'll have to size it all down for my Instagram post!

After I had seen everything about the Montmorency falls I went back down, bought a quick snack and drink for the drive back home, and also some last minute gifts for family that I couldn't find back in the city. Then we were off, another five-hour drive ahead of us (with a stop at Tim Hortons/A&W for lunch), but this time we had so much more to talk about.

My van was filled with talk about French, hearing people speak it around us, speaking it ourselves, and just a general reflection. We also jammed out to some great 2000s songs in the car because Christine is an amazing DJ and knew the right songs to play. We made it back to Plymouth, said goodbye to our classmates who still had about an hour to go back to their university (it's gonna be weird seeing them on a screen again after this!), and all got dropped off back at our homes. Lindsey and I unpacked our things (she's leaving for another trip very soon so she HAD TO) and invited our neighbor over to talk about the trip and everything we did.

I rounded out my evening watching the premiere of Game of Thrones season 8 and talking with my sister about a trip up to Plymouth to see me (as well as Easter coming up). Then I went to sleep, wishing I was back in Quebec, my heart left a part of itself in that city and I have no choice but to go back and leave more of it there!

I don't have a video for this trip due to me not having a camera or camcorder with me and me not taking enough videos on my phone, so I'll have to invest in one of those before my future trips! Any suggestions on which kind I should get?

What are some places in Quebec that you think I should visit next time that I go? Have you been to any of the spots that I saw while I was there? I want to know more, I love this city so much now!

All photos in this post were taken by me.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Monica Abroad: The Beginnings

I have always had the idea of making a series (both on here and my YouTube) that showcases my travels. While my blog would hold more of the instructional items and history of the trip, my videos would be more of the fun that I had. I've had this type of material planned since I had tried to study abroad in France, and I always wanted to call it 'Monica Abroad' because I thought it was funny (and I still do).

And with my VERY close class trip to Quebec coming up, I thought I would start with this wonderful series. I'll only be gone for a weekend so I'll fit it all into one blog post and one video, but I'm so excited. This will be my first time out of the country, and I'll be traveling to a spot I've been learning in class and somewhere I've been interested in seeing since I was a freshman in high school.

We have our locations picked as well that we are going to do, so I'll have to make a list of places to see the next time I go, because I will not go to Quebec only once in my life.

Before I post my first 'Monica Abroad' post, I'll have to figure out how I want to title the series, so if you have any suggestions let me know!

I plan to travel so much more in my life, this is only the first step before I leap into life.

Well, now I'm on to finish all my homework, do my laundry, go to work and make a poster for an event, and pack what I'll need for the weekend.

À bientôt!

Photo/GIF creds: Quebec City, suitcases, goodbye wave,

Monday, April 8, 2019

Bookish M.A.S.H. 2019

So I saw that Nose Stuck in a Book did this tag again, and is planning to do it every year...and I've needed more content lately, and since I loved the tag before when I did it first, I'm going to do it again too! So this begins my yearly game of Bookish M.A.S.H.!

The rules of M.A.S.H. are somewhat simple...you have multiple categories and four choices in each. Then you choose a number (spiral, number generator, etc.) and count down all the choices until there is only one left in each. That's your answer! If that's still too confusing to understand look at both of the posts linked here or look up the game online, better rules are put there than here.

For this of course I'm going to take all my answers and morph them into a story summary. I think it might be fun to also have some of the crossed out options from my last game as well and only come up with one or two new items for those categories (also at the time of writing this I don't have much brain power to think of other things haha). Next time I'll go completely new without looking back.

My last story summary of Steel-Forged Stars was really interesting and I'm still going to actually write it, just have to change some of the names! Let's see what this year's M.A.S.H. will have in store for me!


Historical Fiction
Soft Crime

Love Interest
Meredy Crowther
Kili (because the movie version tbh)

Medieval times
Modern day city
Middle Earth

Best Friend
Arya Stark
Bella Swan
Robin Goodfellow/Puck

A demon
Sauron/The Ring
(prince) Hadrien
Government leader(s)



Giant bird
Water travel

Object manipulation/Telekinesis
Weather power
Mind control

Trope or Plot Twist
Forbidden love
Deathly Plague
Government experimentation
Secret power(s)

oh boy this is going to be fun to mix all together

The Newest story from Monica Laurette: Hidden in the Sky

Monica stays hidden in the city, not because of her job as a necromancer, but because of her wings and her powers. If anyone but her best friend, Uriah, knew how she could get around the underworld to destroy souls, she would be sent away to a prison island where her magic would not work.

Working with a cat, who also helps out in her work, and sharing a small house in the village closest to the castle, Monica is surprised when the niece of the King, Meredy, comes stumbling through her door during a storm, telling Monica that a demon who had escaped the underworld was now holding her family hostage.

Monica, Meredy, Uriah, and Bello the cat must now travel the lands of the kingdom, and the underworld to stop this demon who could also reveal the secrets Monica has tried so hard to keep in the dark.

Can Monica keep her powers a secret while also saving the royal family? What are these feelings she has towards Meredy? Just how will Monica, along with Bello, defeat this demon? And why does Bello's tail keep getting puffier with each passing day? Follow along the adventures in Hidden in the Sky, but beware your own secrets as well.

I hope you all liked this version of Bookish M.A.S.H.! What did your answers come out to be? Was there a choice you wish you hadn't crossed out (I know there were some for me! but the spiral must be obeyed!), let me know! Should I expand on this idea as well and make it a WIP (as if I need more of those)?

À bientôt!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The TMI Blogger Tag

So, I wasn't tagged by Katelyn to do this...but I love talking about myself so I'm going to try my hand at the TMI tag. So whether you are new to me and my blog, or you've been here a while, this is an updated 'About Me' post so to speak.

Let's get started!

How old are you?
21 (very close to 22)

How tall are you?
5' to 5'1" depending on the nurse

Which Hogwarts house are you in?
I took the quiz on Pottermore a while ago and was placed in Ravenclaw, and everything I've learned since then only confirms it more.

Any piercings/tattoos?
I have earrings, and two tattoos. Gemini symbol on the back of my left shoulder and the newest one is a black cat on the back my right calf (a sister tattoo with my twin who has a white one on her left calf). I want to get more tattoos though!

What place do you want to visit?
oh so many places. Let's do the top 5: France, Greece, Morocco, Korea, and Japan. I'm going to be visiting Canada very soon which is why that is not in this list.

Who are you favorite bands/groups?
*I'm going to include singular artists here* Pentatonix, Paramore, Halsey, Christina Perri, Evanescence, Rita Ora, and Little Mix.

What was the last song you listened to?
RBB (Really Bad Boy) by Red Velvet (my favorite K-pop group also)

What is your favorite TV show?
Sleepy Hollow, The Librarians, Law & Order S.V.U., Forensic Files, and The Curse of Oak Island. I know three of these were cancelled/ended but I still love them.

What is your favorite movie? 
How can I pick just one!? Here are some of them: The Last Unicorn, Beauty and the Beast, The Longest Yard (newest one), Thor: Ragnarok, and Anastasia. There are so many more but I'll just stop here.

Who is your favorite actor?
Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, James Spader (because of his voice), and Mark Hamill.

Who is your favorite actress?
Brie Larson, Carrie Fisher (love you space mom), Daisy Ridley, Elizabeth Olsen, Kiera Knightly, and Kristen Stewart.

Favorite author?
Julie Kagawa, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sarah Glenn Marsh.

Ebooks--yes or no?
Yes, as long as I can read it I like it.

What was the last book you read? 
Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon.

What book are you currently reading?
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

What is the book you're going to read next?
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

What is the number one book on your wish list?
Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh

What is your favorite book?
Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

Which is your favorite book-to-film adaptation?
Catching Fire. I felt that (after the Hunger Games movie) it was so well done. Following what Gary Ross did with the first movie and going off what happened in the book Francis Lawrence did such a wonderful job catching emotion and the drama of it all.

Who is your all-time favorite book character?
Katniss Everdeen and Meredy Crowther.

Who is your book boyfriend/girlfriend/fictional crush?
Meredy Crowther, Rowan (Iron Fey), Peeta Mellark, Rey (Star Wars), and Carol Danvers.

Do you prefer books with female or male protagonist?
I don't really mind either, but I am usually drawn towards female or split POV books.

If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?
Probably singing, or constantly doing colorguard because that's my favorite physical activity.

What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?
My go to phrase whenever someone has an opinion that they give (and a lot of people say a differing one to try and get a rise out of someone) is "It's not for everyone."

Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?
Staying in. I'm not that active so I like to stay inside as much as I can.

Where do you prefer to read?
If I'm home I like to read in my room or on the couch. At school I like to read in my room because it brings a sense of comfort.

Which do you enjoy reading more--negative reviews or positive reviews?
I like to read both of them. I read the positive reviews to get a sense of what others like about the book and what's good, and the negative ones to see if there's anything in the books that I might not like personally to see if I should read the book.

What is your favorite book quote?
I don't honestly keep track of a lot of these. I do have saved quotes on my Goodreads profile, but for some reason I don't remember or write down many quotes from books that I read.

This was fun to do (while ignoring my homework at the same time, oh no). Do we have any of the same opinions or favorites? Let me know! I'd love to chat with you all.

À bientôt!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Should I Move to Wordpress?

Sometimes I wonder if Blogger is the best place for me and my blog. I started using Blogger three years ago when I made a blog for one of my classes to give chapter summaries. I thought it was an easy system to use, and had some fun templates to work with, so I decided to start my own blog.

Also, I'm not fully feeling my blog name anymore...because I don't fully have a theme on my blog and my blog name, Fiction Food and French, almost seems like a theme...but I have never blogged about food yet...which like...should I blog about food soon? Maybe if I ever go to a famous restaurant or try something cultural? I just don't know.

But I also know that fiction, food, and things French are a big part of my life and personality. I like writing and reading fiction, I like food, and I'm a French major with such a passion for the language and culture.

But it's also not just French that I like the language and culture for. I have a long list of other languages that I wish to learn soon and I love learning all I can about different cultures and the people who celebrate them.

I just feel that a large majority of people use Wordpress, and when I do tags and fun little bookish posts, I can't do the Pin-Back feature that Wordpress allows you to do to notify people that you tagged them. And I feel like that is a really cool and interesting feature that should be used.

I've looked at Wordpress before, and I'd be able to import all of the posts that I have made here onto a Wordpress account/blog if I made one, and I've also always wanted to have my own website and that's another thing Wordpress can have connected to the blog (I have no idea if Blogger can do that, and also Google getting rid of Google+ probably changes a lot of things about Blogger).

Mainly what I'm asking is those who use Wordpress: what are the best parts about it? How easy is it to create your own website/blog and what are your favorite parts of having a Wordpress blog? Does it matter which package I get, and like...are they really that expensive in the long run? I'm about to get out of school and make more money than small part-time jobs so it would probably be easier for me to pay for it.

And for those who use Blogger...what are features that I'm missing? Do you not care about not having the Pin-Back feature to tag other bloggers? It is maybe my inability to code that makes me just...not want to think about customizing my blog at the moment or thinking that it's too hard? Should I just not care about what platform I use and continue to use Blogger? Because I like having my blog...but maybe this platform just isn't right for me? Thoughts?

I know I need to learn how to code if I want to use Wordpress too...so either way I have to learn it.

For those with blogs that don't use either Wordpress or Blogger...what's your platform and what do you like about it?

Lately I've been really thinking about where I want to take this blog, the types of posts I want to do, and I want to revamp the whole look of my whole blog. I'm going to keep the posts I just want to change like the theme and look of the blog and maybe pick a new name that fits that just a bit better, and I don't know how to get myself to that point on my own.

à bientôt!

Photo/GIF creds: Elmo thinking, shrugging man,

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Goodreads Book Tag

I am stealing this tag from Amber at The Literary Phoenix because I really liked it and I thought it would be fun to look more towards my Goodreads besides the system I put books into.

Now, some of these answers may be different from when you read this to when I have written this, but that's because I go one a lot and update everything at least once a week.

What was the last book you marked as read?

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

What are you currently reading?

I have four books in my currently reading at the moment haha, but three of them are school related. I am reading:
  1. Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon
  2. A Distinct Alien Race by David Vermette
  3. The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
  4. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

What book do you plan to read next?

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I plan what books I read next with the whiteboard in my room back home and write down like ten books I plan to read and in what order I plan to read them.

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes I do! And like many of us, I wish there was the option to use half stars, or even more stars than five, but I work with what I have!

Are you doing a 2019 reading challenge?

Yes I am. I normally don't set too high a goal for myself because I'm not that fast of a reader like I used to be. My goal this year is 15 books, I have only read 1 so far, and Goodreads is telling me I am 2 books behind schedule. But I currently two of my school books have to be done soon so that will change within the month.

Do you have a Wishlist?

I loved Amber's idea of having a 'To Buy' shelf on her Goodreads (and then added said shelf to my account after). I do have a wishlist on Amazon of the books that I want, but it's also a list mixed with movies and TV show seasons that I would like to own as well.

What book do you plan to buy next?

Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh. Other than that I never know what books I plan to buy next. There are always so many choices and I'm bad at making those choices haha. I usually pick what book is next while standing in the bookstore or staring at my wishlist.

Favorite quotes?

This is one of the functions that I don't use that often on Goodreads, but I do have a few here, and you can see that there are a lot of Edgar Allan Poe ones.

Favorite authors?

My favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, J.R.R. Tolkien, Julie Kagawa (who is the only one featured on my profile), and I think the last time I checked, my most read author was Cassandra Clare (because I do each novella individually) so I guess I should include her here as well. Also, I can't find where that list is again to double check who is second but oh well!

Have you joined any groups?

I am currently in one group, which I joined like...actual years ago. I think I was a sophomore in high school so about seven years ago, and the group hasn't been active in five. It's a Witch and Wizard group called "Witches and Wizards" and it was a roleplaying group. I might look for different groups in the future, any suggestions?

Do you use Goodreads? Have any tips or anything that you think I'd like for it? Just want to be friends? I love friends!

À bientôt!

Photo/GIF creds: my photo of Shadow of the Fox, covers from Goodreads, writing,

Monday, March 11, 2019

10 Characters I’d Switch Places With (Just For A Day)

I saw Amber from The Literary Pheonix do this post, and I thought it would be fun to try myself! (Also check out Amber's posts she posts so many fun things and great reviews)

As a reader, I find myself connecting to characters all the time. But would I ever want to trade places with them for a day? Well, some of them I would, and I'll tell you why!

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
One of the first characters I really fell in love with as a person, because she was so close to me. I just want to live in her world and experience the other side once.

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
I love the magic of being able to control an animal and work with them, I want the BEAR! I can't wait to see more of them both in Song of the Dead!

Meghan Chase
Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
I think the fact that she has a mix of Iron and Summer glamour is really cool and interesting, but I wouldn't want to get mixed up in all the danger, just a day in the life of the child of Oberon, please.

The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
He doesn't come into contact with the spiders in the books...also I want to do magic.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The concept and the underground world always intrigued me. I think it'd be fun to talk to a voice in my head that wasn't just my thoughts too.

Esme Cullen
Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Her motherly instinct and family are amazing, also the chance to be a vampire...YES PLEASE!

Clary Fray
Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
I want her ability to make runes that aren't in the book, and I've also always wanted to be a red-head as well.

Effie Trinket
Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Just think of the OUTFITS that I could wear. Also, I definitely like the movie version of Effie slightly more than the book one (because she didn't just vanish) so I want to be both.

Wisteria "Wisty" Allgood
Witch and Wizard series by James Patterson (and others)
As the series that got me into reading, of course, I would pick someone as amazing as Wisty. She can burst into FLAMES and uses a drumstick as a wand. Sooooo, I like her.

Ember Hill
Talon series by Julie Kagawa
One, she is a twin (I forget if she is the younger one or not). Two, I want to shapeshift into a dragon and travel all over the world with Riley.

There are other characters that I'd want to switch places with, but these are the current top ten in my mind. What are yours?

À bientôt!

Photo/GIF creds: all book covers from Goodreads (my canva edit to connect them),

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wonder Woman Book Tag

If you know me, you know that I love superheroes, especially the women ones (because who doesn't????). And I love Wonder Woman. The Wonder Woman movie by Patty Jenkins was AMAZING and I even wrote a paper on it with a research partner on how the movie changed the film industry view on women, and we won an award...so I'm passionate about all of this.

So when I saw Kathryn at Nose Stuck in a Book doing this tag, I had to do it too! Also I fell in LOVE with the photo she had at the top of her blog so I'm going to put it on mine so more people can see her work. Here's her post on it. Now let's get into this!

Wonder Woman: Your favorite badass female book character =

For me, it's always been Katniss Everdeen. To me, she's such a dynamic character who went through some terrible events in her life, and her reactions to it all and what was going on around her was so real and I felt that I could connect with her in her struggles. I'll always love her.

Fantasy Island: A book setting you want to escape to =
Am I allowed to choose the secret island full of strong women? Comics count as books right?

A book setting that I have always loved is the Nevernever from the Iron Fey books. While I'd probably DIE within a week of getting there because I am not aware of my surroundings, I've always found it really pretty there.

Panem is next of course, because I want to live in the world after the games and explore all the old arenas and stuff like that. Imagine the finds you'd get...and the ghosts!

London: A hyped book that let you down =

I tend not to read many hyped books that I didn't like. I do research on the books and look at other reviews from people I trust to figure out if the book is something I would want to read. For me, the hype that let's me down comes from movies and TV shows.

Steve Trevor: A book that has a beautiful cover and a great story (i.e. good personality) =

Reign of the Fallen. The cover was so pretty and the story behind it was full of mystery and just all around a great story with a deep plot and realistic characters. While the cover wasn't all of the place with decoration and designs, the lone diamond-esque skull with the crown was beautiful and didn't take away from the book.

Lasso of Truth: A book you hated =

For Whom the Bell Tolls will always hold this spot for me. I've never read a book as terrible as this one. I get that Hemingway is supposed to be one of the greats in the 'forgotten children' generation or whatnot...but I hate his writing and how he wrote on the female characters and constantly comparing them to rabbits...no...never again.

Wonder Woman's Shield: A book so sad that you need a shield =
Honestly, the strength in this scene still gets me.

For me there are two books that work with this.

First: The Host, when I got to that last chapter where they were taking out Wanda I almost sobbed, I was ready to be so upset, but then everything was okay.

Second: Witch and Wizard: The Lost, it was the end of the series for one (last I knew) and what happened to one of the characters was so shocking and rocked me to my core because those books got me back into reading so it was like losing a friend.

Ares: A villain that is scary, but you can't seem to hate them =

My Iron Fey friends know that I love Rowan even though he's a terrible person...but it's also not the canon Rowan I love as much as the Rowan we have within our fandom. I also agree with Kathryn that Sebastian Morgenstern is a character that I love to hate.

The Amazons: A book that you wish had more/better LGBT+ representation =

Speaking as a member of the LGBT+ community...a lot of them. If you don't even have at least two LGBT+ characters in your book...it's a little unrealistic to me. I mean, it's hard to live in the real world and not know at least three people who are LGBT+, why make your book not reflect that?

Justice League: What superhero friends do you tag =

I don't really have many friends I interact with on here at the moment (I am going to change that by being more active here once I graduate and have more time for this stuff), so I tag anyone who reads this post and wants to also do the tag! Whether just in the comments or on your own blog, I love seeing other people's answers.

What are your answers to these questions? Do you love Wonder Woman as much as I do? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo/GIF creds: Kathryn's art board of WW, glowing bracelets, Themyscira, Steve Trevor, lasso toss, shield, ares (its a YouTube thumbnail), amazons, justice league promo, WW logo

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh - A Book Review

WOW!  I really liked this book. It was great and had so many twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The way you felt about a lot of characters changes throughout the book, either subtlely during a chapter or in one short sentence.

There are some spoilers, but I'll put major ones in RED TEXT so you can skip them if you haven't read it. If you don't care about spoilers then go ahead and read it all!

I got this book from Page Habit in a sale box, and I chose this book because the story sounded great, and I wanted to read a book with a character closer to me than some of the other books that I have read, in the sense of romance.

It was important to me to read this book because Odessa was bisexual. I haven't read a lot of books that even touch on my sexuality and having the main character being bi? YES PLEASE. And I also liked how, I guess, normal it was to just be who you were and love who you loved.

With that being said, I liked how Odessa started with her and Evander, but part of their dynamic just didn't work for me. Maybe it was because they had that fight about change and exploring the world. But I did think that they worked for each other. Damn did it hurt when he died like I didn't think that's how it would go, and seeing what it did to her was rough to read. I know heartache like that, that burns inside you.

I LOVE KASMIRA! From the first meeting on the boat, I wanted more of her in the books. I wanted her and Odessa to kiss. I would have wanted to kiss Kasmira too, and I would have. Where is my beautiful weather mage-boat captain? I only wish for the simple things in life.

I hope I have friends like Valoria and Meredy who would sit by me in my greatest downfall and help pull me back up as hard as they could. Valoria was such a strong character too, and interesting too with her knowledge and powers. And with Meredy, I really liked her, and with her description and clothing, I got MAJOR Sansa Stark vibes. Just as tough, maybe even more, and with a bear to back it up.

The fighting and the conflict in the story, as well as the world-building, were so thought-out and different. During the book, I was always trying to figure out who it could have been, but everyone had seemed so nice and worried about the conflict themselves, that I never saw it coming.

Symbolism in the book

Flowers - I loved how flowers popping up on graves being something dangerous and wrong. A message sent from the dead, that's cool! I don't care what anyone says. I think taking what a lot of people think about flowers, that they are a symbol of love and purity, and using it the way Marsh has, is an incredibly creative thought.
Eye Color & Magic - I thought that having a certain eye color being an indication of certain jobs that you can have was also very creative. But I also feel like I need to know more about the different colored eyes and what they can do, and if there are more types of colors somewhere.

I give RotF: 5 Stars!

I can't wait for the second book. It seems even more action-packed and I can't wait to read more about Odessa and Meredy (and hopefully Kasmira). And connect even more with the characters and story like I did with this book. The ending had such large amounts of hope and happiness, that I want to see it all happen again, even if it will bring heartache to the characters (and me) while reading.

Have you read this book? Are you planning on reading it? I want to talk about it as much as I can! Comment down below. I want to know your favorite parts!

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: my photo of the book, flowers gif, guy reading,

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year, Same Me, New Adventures, New Stories

So this is my first post of the year. And I had planned to do about two others before 2018 had ended, but oh well. My body wanted to rest and my friends wanted to see me. I was able to bust out of my depression for that.

However this year has so many exciting things coming my way, and I'm so excited for them. So excited I'm going to make a list. Lists are fun.

  1. I am going to be graduating from college (undergrad) in May with TWO bachelor's degrees! One in French and the second in Media Studies Communication. It's bittersweet to be ending my undergrad career, but I've also been looking forward to this day since I started.
  2. I'm going to see my twin sister and nephew again! They are (hopefully) coming up for my graduation and our birthday. I haven't seen either of them since about a month before they moved to Texas, a very far distance away from me.
  3. When I go back to school this semester I will be working with the Communication department again like I did the last two(ish) years. I loved working with my professors and the admin and the only reason I wasn't working there last semester is because I was supposed to be in Canada, but that's explained in this earlier post.
  4. There is a possibility of my mother taking me to Quebec after I graduate (and after my sister leaves) for a long weekend or a week so that I can still experience the city. But of course, I'll go back for a longer period of time for another vacation.
  5. I have an opportunity to teach English in France for seven months starting in October. I still have to finish my application but I'm excited to find out if I get accepted and finding a place and learning where I would be teaching. It'd be such a great experience. I'm even going to be sitting in on a TESOL class to give me some insiders and skills for teaching English.
  6. If I don't get into that program (I can always reapply later for different years), I would take a year off of school to start looking into grad schools and choosing a program. Because I need a break from schooling. Part of me wants to just jump right into grad school after undergrad if I don't get into the France program, but I also know that I need to give myself a break, or I'll burn myself out.
  7. THIS is the year I'm going to get my license. Depression and anxiety have caused me to take a really long time to get into driver's ed (right before college) and I have taken the driving test, but I failed. School has made it hard to practice, but I am going to be working with my mother while I am home and hope to get my license either before the start of this semester or after during the summer. I need to get a license and start being more independent with my life.

That's most of what I'm excited about this coming year. I don't say it often because normally I don't think of myself as a 'go-getter' but I want to make this year, MY YEAR. I'll let you all know if that actually happens.

I've made a reading challenge this year of 15 books, like last year, and I have a list of books that I want to get done this year. And if I get into this French teaching program, I'll be able to take my tablet and read the books on there so I can save some room in my suitcases haha.

I hope you all also have some exciting things coming for you in 2019, even if you don't know about it yet. Whether it be love, or success, or graduating (from school or a certain time in your life), maybe even just finishing up one of the goals that you've had for years. I will wish only good onto your lives, because that's what I wish for my life this year.

Time to spend the rest of this third day of the year to watch Criminal Minds with my mother and do some cleaning in my room.

À bientôt!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Book Feels Tag

So, of course, I got the idea to do this tag after seeing Nose Stuck In A Book do it on hers, so I had to try it out for myself! You should try it too! Now it's time to get into my feelings about books, and I have a lot of them so I'll try to keep my answers as short as I can, haha.

A book/series that made you smile or laugh

Oh, most of them honestly. I always find the happiness or the small amount of humor within a lot of books. I like finding those little moments while I read. And I think mainly the series that made me smile the most was the Iron Fey series.

A book/series that made you sad or want to cry

While the whole series didn't make me want to cry, the last book of the Witch and Wizard series really hit me hard. I was not okay for like three days afterward, and still not okay because of it.

A book/series that you love

The Hunger Games trilogy. I will sing its praises for all my life. I know that not everyone loves it, and that some people have so many things wrong with it, but I loved it. I read the books when I was in high school, and I fell in love with them. I also read them with friends and saw the movies during premieres with them, so it's a sentimental love I have for them as well.

A book/series that you didn't particularly like

I mean...it's not that I don't like it. I've never read the Harry Potter series. I am currently watching the HP movies with friends, I just don't think I'll ever read the books.

A book/series that was made into a movie that you liked

The Hunger Games movies were GREAT in my mind. I loved them, especially when the second director came into the scene. He really captured the storyline. I will always love that trilogy as well and always will. I need to read and watch them all again.

Also the Divergent movies (only the first two). I loved them and it felt like I was reliving the series over again in a different way. And the way Insurgent ended, I felt like a nice closing and don't even need to watch Allegiant.

A book/series that was made into a movie that you didn't like

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie is not what I thought would happen, and don't like all the changes they did with it. The TV show though, I really liked it.

A book/series you have mixed feelings about

Lord of the Rings. I want to finish reading it, I really liked The Hobbit. But it's so long and some of the parts are so long (he needed someone to edit some of those parts down) that's it's going to take me so long to get through. I love the movies and the world of Middle Earth, I'm just trying to figure out if I'll ever finish it or not.

A book/series you haven't read but are totally excited about

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh. I am going to start reading Reign of the Fallen after I finish this post so I am very excited about that. I got my copy from PageHabit so it has annotations from Marsh throughout the book. I love reading those!

Also anything by Julie Kagawa and The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, which I got as a Goodreads giveaway.

A book/series that made you angry

Moby Dick or anything Hemingway. I read those during a really bad time in my life so they hold really bad memories to them. It was when I was in an honor's English class that I shouldn't have been in. The books took a lot out of me, as well as the teacher herself because she wasn't even close to a nice person to those she didn't like. I'm only happy that I didn't get to spend the whole year in her class, I got out half-way through and then actually enjoyed myself in that subject again.

A book/series you feel like you can relate to

At this moment, I have found very few series that I can fully relate to in a sense of who I am as a person. I love the Talon series for its usage with twins, as well as Ty and Livvy. I haven't read any books yet with a bisexual MC, but I know once I read those I'll connect that way with those books.

I think that I need to look more into the world of books and find more stories with characters I could relate to on deeper, more emotional levels as well. If you have any suggestions based off of what you know of me, please let me know as well!

I liked doing this and reaching into my feelings of books. Though it's actually not that difficult, I'll always talk about books!

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: my photo of ROTF, lady with book,

Monica Abroad: Quebec 2019

FINALLY! I finally went out of the country. I finally traveled to a country where I can use and advance my knowledge and usage of the ...