Sunday, June 10, 2018

Why I Have Been Absent

Hello, this is going to be a long post so if you can bear with me that would be great.

I have been gone for quite a while now from this blog. My last post having been done in April, my Page Habit box reveal. Since then, I have been working hard finishing my junior year in college and getting home. I have also been battling a little internally which I will share later in this blog. I just haven't been feeling like myself, and for those reasons (and the ones I will share with you) I haven't felt the pull to post something. I've barely read a book that I've been DYING to read ever since I got it at a library sale.

So, I finished my junior year of college. I had many research papers and projects to finish, so many that I just couldn't even think about doing something that was fun for me, like reading or writing (by the way I completed my NaNoWriMo novel and am on the editing stage of that). I just had to get my work done so that I could pass. Outside of my papers and projects but still in the realm of school, I was working TIRELESSLY on my study abroad trip. This trip has had its ups and down, from before being Lyon, France to now being Montréal, Canada due to money, I'm still having issues.

I have been honored to be awarded two scholarships through my school due to the work in the language department of my university and one for my study abroad trip, but I also won third place in a French video contest held by the Franco American Centre of New Hampshire. My research partner and I from one of my classes won a small award from the Women's Studies Council at my university based off our paper on Wonder Woman and how her new movie has changed the world of cinema for women. So it seems that my hard work has been paying off!

However, with all this, and all the work that I have been doing since 2016, I still need some money. As of this moment, I am only covered just over half of my trip. I was not able to find a job for the summer either, so that will hurt me in my journey. I still need to get the rest of the money before I leave, so that I am able to have a place to stay while in Montréal and be able to eat. I will most likely be living off campus so I need money for rent (which is surprisingly cheap).

Here is my travel fund if you are able to donate: Help Send Monica To Canada for an Eye-Opening Semester!. If you can't donate yourself, I ask that you please share to help me instead. The campaign is only open for the rest of June because I can't change the end date so I would need the money ASAP!!

So, now on to my internal battle that I mentioned earlier. I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and I take medication for this. However, I for a while I was without health insurance and I wasn't able to pay every month for my depression medication. This meant that I was in a low spot, this also happened while I was finishing up school, so the stress of school really began to take a toll on my like it never had before without the help of my medication.

However, I have made it home. I have insurance again, and I am back on my meds. I am starting to slowly feel better, but the depression is still a strong hold on my head and thoughts. Also, with all the talks about suicides in the media (RIP all those who have passed), it's hit me because I once felt that low.

I'm bouncing back though, I hope to be in full swing of myself but the end of the summer. I have family events coming up with people I haven't seen in a while so that's exciting, and I look forward to working harder on my study abroad trip.

If you've read this far, I thank you. I know that I can ramble on at sometimes and that not many people care about someone's personal life online, but I just wanted to share the things that make up my life, and in the process make up who I am.

If you have any questions I would love to answer them! Now, let's end this off with a cute gif of a cat, shall we?

à bientôt!

Gif credits: black cat in the tub, heart,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MY FIRST EVER PAGE HABIT BOX!

So, I got an email one day about a big sale going through Page Habit (or more specifically Quarterly) that a lot of their older boxes were on sale for a way lower price. I looked around at the older boxes that they were selling and thought about getting one. There was one in particular that I really wanted, so I looked more into it on Goodreads. I found out the character is bisexual just like me, so I purchased it.

I got the box about two weeks later. I was so excited to pick the box up at my university mail center, and walked home with it with a large smile on my face. The next day I recorded a video showing everything, so if you want to see me being weird you can always check that out.


The book! It was so pretty in person the photo on the left does not do it justice. I am still trying to get the handle on bookstagram photos, and trying to find my own style.

And all the books from Page Habit come with annotations from the author, and in the photo the right, you can see the small note from the author about them! I can't wait to read about Sarah's journey with this book.

Now, for all the gifts that came with the book!

Tree-friendly pencils for all your note-taking needs! Even comes with a strip of sandpaper to sharpen them!

 A tiny metal bookmark. The small photo is of a library scene with many books and a ladder to reach high up. I don't even know if I'll ever use this, it's too cute! I might just display it on my shelf for a while.

A small enamel pin of a comic book! I didn't think I'd like something like this when I was younger, but now I love the pastels and I can't wait to make a larger collection of pins.

A cute little Time Traveler patch! I haven't had a patch since I was in Girl Scouts, so I think I need to go shopping for a nice jean jacket to start my wonderful new collection. I can't wait to be all patched and pinned up.

STRING LIGHTS! These are something I've wanted to have a while now. They are great for photos and just look wonderful in your home. I'll have to hide them from my cat or hang them up high though, Tucker likes to bite things that you love. Good thing that he's cute.

This was the second reason I decided to buy the Page Habit box. This cute little pillowcase! It looks like one of those due date slips in library books and I can't wait to show it off to anyone who comes into my room. 'HI YES HELLO I LIKE BOOKS'

The small gift inside the box. I didn't know what this would be, but now I'm happy about it. I don't know what I'm going to write on the keychain, and I want to take some time to really put the right words on there. Maybe find my favorite vine quote because Vine has never died in my heart. (or my YouTube history)


THAT'S IT! THE WHOLE BOX! I can't wait to start reading the book and using all of my little items. 

À bientôt!

Photo creds: all are my photos that I took on my phone.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

$10 Library Book Haul - April 2018

So, like my previous post on this event will tell you, my local city library will hold sales! You bring a bag, either a reusable shopping bag, or you can take a brown paper bag from them, fill it up with books, CDs, or even DVDs that they have no longer in circulation. Then all you have to do is pay them $10!!!

Ten dollars for a large number of books and other materials that normally altogether would have cost closer to $100. How great of a deal is that?? The best kind for me, and I'm sure my fellow booklovers will agree.

This time I was lucky to come home from university to take part in the sale, my mother and I were going to go to a paintbar the next day so it was just no thought about also going to this sale. Down below I will label the books and other items that I got, and why I decided to put them into my bag.

The French Way: 2nd Edition by Ross Steele. This book my mother handed to me. It was about the lives of those who live in France, and their sort of day-to-day culture. I thought it was an interesting book to have on hand for the day that I finally go to France for a vacation (or for a job).

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I saw this book and was reminded that I've always been interested in this story, even from the movie. I just never saw the film and then never got around to read the book. Maybe now I will!

The Essential Cat by Paddy Cutts. So, it's a book about a photographer following around cats and taking many photos of them. How could I not get it???

French: A Self-Teaching Guide by Suzanne A. Hershfield. Even though I am a French Major with almost seven years of experience with the language (wow that was a jarring sentence to write), I think it's always good to relearn the basics and make sure you're fully grasping what you need to do.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. I sang the musical version of this once so I thought this was a fun find at the library. I might read it to see how different or similar it is to its musical adaptation, or I might give it to my choral director as a gift for all he has done.

Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. I liked the cover on this. It drew me to the book. Then I saw the tagline and dropped it into my bag. I always like learning about creativity. And if I don't like it, then someone else will.

Off The Beaten Path: Southern France (author unknown). So, someday in the future, I am going to go to France. It would be fun to learn about other places and areas in the South of France to discover. I couldn't find it on Goodreads either so oh well.

The Cat by Edeet Ravel. SO first off the title is The Cat so I had to read the back. The summary was very interesting and had a strange twist to it. I just hope the mystery in the summary will not be the only thing that I like about the whole story.

A small book about what to name your cat based on their personality, horoscope, and more!

Menagerie by Sharon Montrose. This was a French word, so I was intrigued. Then there were animals all over the cover. Turns out the book is just a bunch of pictures of animals. So in the bag it went.

Woodland Rains CD. An hour of calming nature sounds. Perfect for when I start meditating again!

Sucker Punch DVD. Another movie I have always wanted to see, but I could never find where to watch it. Let's hope it will live up to the hype I've put onto it in my mind.

The Year's Best Science-Fiction Annual Collection(s). This is authored by many and edited by Gardner Dozois. I grabbed the 28th, 29th, 32nd, 33rd, and 34th editions of them. I have always wanted to get more into Sci-Fi, so large collections of many short stories might just be the way to go!

So, these were the books, CD, and movie that I was able to purchase this past weekend. It was always a fun experience.

I was also doing a homework assignment while there. For one of my communication courses, I have to conduct two sets of 3 hours where I only communicate non-verbally. This means no talking or even texting! It was so hard to do that around books, I love them so much so I like to talk around them, even if just to myself wondering if I should get the book or if I have it already at home.

So, that was my $10 book bag sale. It was fun, and I found some really great stuff. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some photos of all the books to put it on Instagram before I go home too. Does your library do things like this? Would you like them to? Have you read/listened/or seen anything on my list? Tell me what you thought of it!!!

À bientôt!

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Fault of Our Institutions

I am taking a French Revolution & Napoleonic Era history class at my university because I love the French Revolution (and I'm a stan of Marie Antoinette let's be real here), and while reading for homework one day, I came across a quote in one of my books that I feel is very fitting for all time periods, especially this one.


"Woman is born with as many capacities as man. If she has not demonstrated it until now, it is not the fault of Nature but of our former institutions." - Georges Couthon, wheelchair-bound Jacobin from the Committee of Public Safety.


I read this quote and instantly thought about the world that we are currently living in. What kind of world did they live in back in the 1790s that someone would say this about women? To me, it was a good one. Even in the French Revolution period, women were a high priority. They had control of some things and they were getting rights. That's more than can be said for America and our history with women's rights.

What I am getting from this quote is that, no matter what, women are equal. And that if we are not able to show ourselves, it's because of the barriers that society (mainly men) have put up in front of us, and we can only show ourselves when we are able to bring ourselves over that barrier.

To me it is crazy to think that during a time period way before ours, they were thinking of women as their own persons, and not just a thing, or a wife/mother figure. They were so powerful during the revolution that some of them were arrested for their efforts. A whole group of women stormed the Versailles palace demanding the price of bread be brought down and the royal family move back to Paris. Imagine something like that happening today...I just did and in my head it was lovely.

If they could point this barrier in the 1790s, then we can see it now, and it's only ignorance that you don't want to face it. I say we need to take a large hammer to those barriers and walls. Grab your hammers (fake ones please don't hurt someone else) and let's break down those walls! VIVE LES FEMMES!

What do you think of the quote? Do you think we could learn something from Couthon in today's age? Do you think that this quote is just far fetched and Couthon did know what he was talking about? Let's discuss it in the comments.

À bientôt!

Quote cred: Peter McPhee, Liberty or Death. (New Haven and London, 2016). Page 208
Photo/Gif creds: Couthon, sledgehammer,

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Death Cure by James Dashner - A Book Review

{Literally while I was writing this I listened to a Death Cure commercial}

Well, it's been a while since I went into the world of the Maze and Wicked. I read the second book (Scorch Trials) a little over a year ago give or take. I don't fully remember when I did without checking Goodreads and while that tab is currently open I don't want to click on it.

One thing that has always struck me as funny with this trilogy is the fact that 'WICKED' is bad. I am from New England, New Hampshire to be precise, and the word 'wicked' is such a versatile word that I never once felt scared about it. If a group called WICKED suddenly came out I would trust them, and that would be my downfall.

I thought that The Death Cure was a fast-paced story with great emotional conflict as well as physical ones. The baggage of emotions, sorrow, and pain, that Thomas had to carry around the whole time were wonderfully written. A great way to end a trilogy: Happiness resting right next to sorrow.

I gave The Death Cure 4 Stars.

Below will be some of my thoughts on certain aspects, it is as spoiler-free as I could make it but read at your own risk.


I liked that we got to see Brenda again. I missed her from the Scorch. Of course it was weird to see her in WICKED, but granted everything and everyone can be traced back to this group, so I'm not that taken off guard. She showed off her dominance over the world a lot in this book and I was so proud.

I was so sad about Newt. He was such an important character in the first two books and I was heartbroken that he wasn't as big of a physical role in this one, but he was an emotional and mental one on the other Gladers. I couldn't tell if he was going to sacrifice himself, or if he was a Variable and also working for WICKED, because you can't trust anyone in this storyline...like at all. His whole role in this book was to sacrifice himself to save the others instead of dragging behind them and making it worse, you could really tell how much it hurt him to act the way that he was to his friends.

I had always had this hold on Teresa from the first book. I knew she wasn't a tool of WICKED's and she was only doing what she was doing to save humanity. I wasn't as mad at her as Thomas was, and in this book, I think she was given a wonderful redemption arc from her actions (though controlled) in The Scorch Trials. Also the fact that her following the rules and not resisting as hard didn't make her the Final Candidate instead of Thomas was really funny to me??

They brought up Chuck so much in this book, my poor little babe. He was too young to die and I'm so mad that he was just a Variable in the Killzone Mapping. How dare you, James Dashner. You owe me some yogurt and fruit so I can make a smoothie to replenish the tears I cried over dear, young Chuck.

I was also thrown off guard to the mention of Gally in this book. I, having read the first book SO long ago, I forgot a few details. Like how Thomas didn't kill Gally but just beat him until he was permanently scarred. I think it was fun to add him in and have Thomas realize how much WICKED had really made him do and to put aside all that had happened before in order to save humanity from the Flare.

When WICKED was controlling Thomas, using his body and controlling his words, it reminded me of The Host. It was like a more violent version of Wanda and Melanie fighting for control of the body, but it was also interesting to have Thomas not be able to control himself and see it through his eyes. The panic that he always felt no matter what I feel was very well written. He had a lot of glum of feelings, and at some points, I couldn't handle it, but at the same time, I'd probably be the same if not worse if I was in his position.

Minho in this book was really the one I felt was the best at taking charge and getting things done in a lot of areas. Thomas sometimes thought too long about when his 'right time' would come and then it would pass him. Minho just jumped into action. Where's my book from his perspective?

The fact that Thomas thought "I'll hide the device in the bathroom and put all the water on to cover the noise" was honestly brilliant. He had his shining moments, usually right before his terror-filled ones. Like when they were putting him under. Having people force me down and poke me with needles is an actual fear of mine since I was younger. I had a nightmare that I was being forced to participate in a medical study and I cried the whole time they did it while people watched from the OR gallery...so I felt some genuine fear at this part of the story.

The symbolism behind having the Immunes locked away in the Maze was staggering. Having Thomas see it after being trapped there, the empty shell of the first Trial. And how he had the thought of 'being a Runner again' was just so much and helped tie the ending to the beginning of the trilogy.

One question that I have that isn't really that important: Who was the 'Thomas' of Group B? We know that Aris was the 'Teresa' of Group B, but who was the 'Thomas'? Was it the Rachel character mentioned in Scorch Trials? I just kinda want to know, let me know what you think of this in the comments.

I feel that I could have done with more knowledge about Teresa at the end. I feel she was ended so abruptly that we didn't get the full closure of her actually being on Thomas's side full-time and I would have loved to see a conversation or just a passage more about that.

Like my review? Think I was totally off? Let me know what you think in the comments. Or we can just have a chat about the Maze Runner trilogy. I'm off to watch to find a way to see the movie, we can talk about that too if you want.

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: my (bad) selfie with the book, movie poster, Dylan eye twitch(?), Dylan 'running',

Sunday, December 31, 2017

My 2017 Books

The new year is here! (As of me typing it is 2:10 pm on Dec. 31)


Let's recap the books I read this year and give links to the books themselves and to any reviews that I made of them as well as giving a small rating and little blurb of why I liked or disliked the book.

Boxing Plato's Shadow: I read this story for a Communication course that I took. The information was difficult to understand at points but it was very informative to my studies in the class. I rated it 3 Stars.

The Simarillion: This book I actually started around the end of 2016. I almost finished it during that year as well, but alas, it did not happen that way (I ended it in March!). While I did not a review post on this blog, I did write a short blurb on Goodreads. I didn't read it that fast at some points because the mass of information and story-telling in this book was IMMENSE. But, it was fun to read a bible-like book of Middle Earth. I rated it 5 Stars.

Beauty and the Beast: I read this story just for the fact that the live action movie came out and Belle is my favorite Disney princess. I cried in the theater listening to the song 'Nevermore' and I bought the Blu-Ray disc the second that it came out. The story wasn't the exact same of the live action or the animated version from Disney, but the character of Belle was the same strong woman. I rated it 5 Stars.

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner series): It had been three years since I read the first story in the Maze Runner series, so this one was a little harder to get into, but I found myself flipping through the pages pretty quickly. I was jumping back and forth with trusting some of the characters and not trusting some of them at all. I haven't seen the movie yet for this book but I am going to try and see it soon (mainly because I like the actors). I rated it 4 Stars.

L'homme qui plantait des arbres: This story I read for my French class. I thought it was a cute little story of a man trying to save the forest by just planting trees. It was short and sweet, but it also held a wonderful message within it. I recommend this to any person who is learning French or anyone who loves the environment. I rated it 4 Stars.

Scrappy Little Nobody: I bought this book as a winter break present for myself. I love Anna Kendrick and the ability to read a book that she wrote I jumped at. I was actually laughing at the writing, she is naturally funny and interesting. Some people don't like her, but I love her. She talked about her first films, about filming Twilight, and even about Pitch Perfect. It was amazing to hear her story. And she grew up so close to where I grew up, we're practically cousins. If anyone likes Anna Kendrick or just interestingly funny people, I tell you: read this. I rated it 5 Stars.

The Comet's Curse & The Web of Titan (Galahad series): I bought the archive version of this and had both books in one. For CC I liked how they started with them going to space, and then went back and forth to what had been happening on Earth beforehand. I have to say though, I was getting anxious at some points because who knows if this could actually happen. I'm getting anxious just thinking about it again. In WoT, there were very little ties to Earth, but mainly the children (they are all under 16) trying to figure out what to do and how to save themselves from Titan. There's also a cat so that's a plus in my book. I rated them 3 Stars and 4 Stars.

Lady Midnight & A Long Conversation (Dark Artifices): So, I'm a fan of the Shadowhunters stories, of course, I'm going to be reading this book. I'm so glad that my friend let me borrow it for so long so I could read it all. I was a little sad that I had none of my babies from the other two series, but I'm ready to fall in love with more (I'm head over heels for Christina right now) of them. I won't spoil this book, but I just thought it was a fun ride and just like Clare always does, there is forbidden romance. The second book was a small novella-like story of Clary and Jace. I basically cried reading this because it was so short but so good at the same time, and it tied in with Lady Midnight by having the events played at the same time. I rated them 4 Stars and 5 Stars.
I’ll
Hiroshima: I did write a review of this story. This story was emotional, and mostly so because it was completely true. Everything that happened was something that rocked the world of Japan. To me, this just shows the true America, the one that for years we have been trying to hide. I just want to again say sorry to all those that were affected that day and all those who are still being affected by it generations later. I rated it 5 Stars.

Under The Dome Part 1 & Part 2: I had watched the show the first year it came out, the premiere was too close by for me to find the books and read them, and when I was younger I didn't really want to read them. But now, I'm older and wiser. I wrote a review of these books together. I thought the action in the books was great and fast-paced, the characters were well rounded and written. However, there were parts of the books that I personally didn’t like or felt could have been taken out. I rated them both 4 Stars.

Maus 1 & 2: These two books are different from all the others on the list because they are graphic novels. They are the true story of Art's father during WW2, and it is made to have animals as the characters instead of humans. I loved the symbolism of each animal in the story, and it didn't take away from the pain of the truth. I rated them both 4 Stars.

Distracted: Another book for another class. This was a story written about how the world is distracted by technology and that it's a bad thing. Of course, as a Millennial, I was 'offended' by this. I find that all the arguments about technology being bad and taking away our attention is bogus. Yes, some people can get sucked in, but technology is a great way to learn about the world and keep in touch. I think the author just has a bad view of technology. I rated it 2 Stars.

Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry: This was a class reading that I really liked. I have just become aware of how much I like meditation and how much it could help me in my life. I even bought some meditation stones on Black Friday while shopping with my sister. There was very little within the book that I didn't understand or couldn't wrap my brain around, but that's normal with a book like this. It'll take I think another read to get more information out of it. A must-read for lovers of wellness and mindfulness. I rated it 4 Stars.

Candide: I've never really been one for certain French stories. But Voltaire is a good author. His satirical work on the hierarchy of France during the time was great. The story was a little too cringy and quick for me though. I'd like it to go on a little more, have a little more detail, but it was different back then. Also, I know it was different back there and he was pointing out the danger of it, but I was really put off by the amount of sexual abuse in the story. A cautious recommendation to anyone who likes French classics or satirical literature. I rated it 3 Stars.

Life and Death (Twilight Saga): If you read my very long review of this story, you know full well how I felt about this story. Twilight is such a big part of who I am and what I love. And rereading the same story but with new characters, while most would say was too lazy or annoying, I loved. The story is the same, and gave me the same emotions each time around. Now I just need to reread the whole saga again and watch all the movie again. I will love this saga and story for my whole life, and I will defend it even after I die. I rated it 5 Stars.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Twilight Saga): This was the last book that I read this year. It was a quick one that I have been holding onto for a while, but I finally buckled down and read it. Surprisingly it took me a few days. I thought the story of following Bree around in her journey up until her demise was such a good idea. A wonderful addition to the Twilight Saga. I gave it 5 Stars.

Did you read any of the books that I did this year or years prior? What did you think of them? Let's chat in the comments!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: book art, bye 2017,

Friday, December 29, 2017

'Under the Dome' Part 1 & 2 by Steven King - A Book Review


So, my first experience with this series was the introduction of the television series on CBS. I knew it was a Steven King novel, but the premiere date was too close for me to run out and find the books to read before the series started. Also if I remember correctly, I wasn't interested in reading it when the show came out, good thing that time changes feelings.

Part 1

Television photo of the dome vs. the book cover dome.
This starts out as more of an origin story, and there were so many storylines to follow and people to remember that I kept forgetting that this story was only taking place over a few days, not weeks.  It was confusing to me that some of the characters were the same, but not doing the same activities. That some of the characters in the television show had been teenagers but in the book were preteens. In the show, two people had been in a relationship, in the book the man was the friend of the girl's ex.  I also found myself connecting the face from the show to the names in the book.  But that's to be expected with reading the book after watching the first season of the show.

The action was well written in this part but I feel that since it was two parts that most of the action and planning would happen in the second book (and I think I was right). This story was more to do with what they are all doing right after it falls, and the real danger comes afterward.

My rating: I gave this book 4 stars. This was mainly for the wonderful storytelling and the interesting plot. This part of the story ended on a high cliff-hanger. I was shocked by how abrupt it had ended and most of the issues had just appeared and were nowhere near fixed, or at least it didn't look that way.

I would have given this book 5 stars if not for one decent chunk of this book. That was what was done to Sammy Bushey.  I just felt very uncomfortable reading this part.  I understand that this story was written before the large movement of having trigger warnings and things like that, but it was a little too unnerving. I'm not saying he change the story (I'm about 8 years too late for that) but I am saying, if you're listening Mr. King, that the next time you happen to put a scene like this in one of your next stories, that you put a warning in the table of contents or the beginning of the chapter. Granted having a scene like that is also a little much in today's time, I can see how they work with stories and villainous characters.  I am going to put which section and number that I found this in since my edition might have different page numbers. I will also be putting here the spots in the second book where I found them.

-The first one is in section: Nyuck-Nyuck-Nyuck and number 10.
-The second one (which is multiple parts) is in section: In The Frame and numbers 4 and 5.
-There are other small paragraphs later in the novel after the victim is brought to the hospital where nurses and police mention it, but I have not been able to find those pages in the book again. I really need to start marking the pages while I'm reading so that I can put them down here for you all.
-Section Salt, chapter ten
-Section Salt, chapter 16
-Section Ashes, chapter 3 (a nurse refers to Sam as a r*pe victim)
-Section Ashes, chapter 7 (double murder of two of the abusers and suicide of Sammy)
-Section Ashes, chapter 13 (Denton's comment on Sammy)
-Section Ants, end of chapter 13 (Carter's comment to Rennie about Sammy and the assault)

Part 2

So I took a little detour between reading part 1 and 2 as can be seen from my Goodreads.  I watched the Twilight Saga with my roommate and just had to read Life and Death.  But you can find that review on this blog. I thought this was a nice ending to the two-part story.

I thought the action was fast-paced and nicely portrayed. The creation of the villain of Rennie Sr. was very well written, it was an instant knowledge, but the slow reveal of just how devastating he could be to the town was a nice way to keep the tension going in the story.  I also liked the changes in many of the characters and their personalities.

I also liked how King still started out the book with a list of some of the major characters who were trapped on Dome Day, even though most of them were dead or close to death.

I thought it was a nice insert to have Piper Libby to be a good priest, while also not fully believing in the God she preaches to. I thought it was a great way to show that sometimes you can fall out of something that you were so set on. I also made a note of a quote she made later on in the book "Pray to the God of your understanding." I found this really heartwarming because Libby knows that she can't force religion on someone if they already have their own. And why would she push something she no longer believes onto those who don't believe?

I really liked the comment that goes "You help me, I help you. Ginny and Gina, the Fighting Females." that was then followed by a fist bump. I was so happy to see that two women could stick together, no matter the reasoning.

I was really proud of Angela for kicking her addiction cold turkey so that she could better help the town in their time of need. I wish that she had gotten a better ending and more time in the books. She had a kind heart and good intentions.

Another character I wish was treated better is the Carolyn. She was a wonderful Dome-mom to the two kids and she really did love (or at least like a lot) Thurston. The way she felt about the kids made me believe more in raising children later on in my life.

"Skateboarders, they are a different breed." -Ernie (same man, same)

I thought I would like the character of Carter, I thought he would turn out good for everyone, but he didn't. I was very let down.

Also, I want to know more about what happens between Ames and Dismore after the Dome came up. That was a sudden relationship (friends or more I wonder) that I just want to know. I want it to be something big and meaningful. @ Mr. King, let me know if you've written anything about that. AmesxDismore

The last page, with Horace running to Julia and the last paragraph was a great ending. There was no further investigation into the Dome, and it just ended with the Dome lifting and them walking to their rescue and away from the Death Town that was once Chester's Mill.

I was not pleased with the second rape in this story. I thought it would just be left to Sammy's, which for me is even too much. I still understand the purpose of having it, but just to a point. The extent in which Sammy was hurt I felt didn't need to be there. And Carter's abuse of Linda in her home, I just felt there was no need or place for that. The fear of him could have been created by a different action, maybe just physical abuse, like a punch to the gut or something. I will be labeling the three section's where Linda's assault takes place. If you would like to know the details of the assault or the passages prior to reading you may email me.

-Section Ants, chapters 18-19
-Section Halloween Comes Early, end of chapter 1 (a comment she makes in her head)
-Section Halloween Comes Early, chapter 6 (Carter's comment on Linda's pants)

My rating: I have given it a four star rating. This is only because of the second sexual abuse and the *trigger warning/suicide* suicide of Sammy in the hospital. I felt like I would have liked her to stay with Little Walter longer, and not kill herself, however, I liked how she took out two of her abusers before she went. That was the only nice touch. If those two factors were not in the book, I would have given it five stars.

From what I remember the TV series didn't have the sexual assault, but I could be wrong and it comes later after I stopped watching. I'm going to give the show another go if I can find a place to stream it online.

Have you read these books? Did you watch the show? What did you think? Let's talk in the comments!

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: book jacket, my selfie with the books and my photo of the covers together

Friday, December 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017

As some of you who follow my writing twitter (@mlettewritings), you know that I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. This is the first year that I have ever done this, and let me just tell you that I am very proud of myself and what I have accomplished in the last month.

In case you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, let me explain it a little further. National Novel Writing Month takes place in November every year. Writers from all over the world take the time in October to set themselves up to write, and they start by declaring a novel on the NaNoWriMo site. Once a novel is declared and November starts, writers are given to the last minute of November 30th to write 50,000 words. Now, some people don't complete this goal, and that's fine. NaNoWriMo is mostly about the spirit of writing, and not the goals.

They share pep talks from published authors and ML's from your area (mine is my state of New Hampshire) to give you little moments of inspiration throughout the month and so much more. When you hit a certain number of words you get sent an email with the achievement, and it comes with a little idea to put into the book. I have saved all of these emails because I plan to use all the suggestions in my book, no matter when I finish it.

My total word count: 50,114!!!  I won!


I didn't think that I would get this far at all. I started writing this blog post when I was about 6,000 words behind the goal, and I was ready to finish it talking about how I'm proud of the progress I got done even though I didn't win, but here I am now. How was I, with so many things to do this month and a Thanksgiving break with sometimes non-existent WiFi, able to write over 50,000 words!?

Well, I'll tell you. I wrote all the time. In class, between class, when I should have been doing some of my homework assignments but chose to move them to a later date because they weren't too pressing, and even at work when things slowed down. I never stopped writing. I updated my word count at night right before midnight would strike. And I was always proud of what I was able to accomplish.

I started November with a rough outline and idea of what I wanted to write. And the words just flew out of me. The story just appeared on the pages before me. I'm not even done with the story. I still have so much to do. I have the big drama to write, the final battle, and the love story that my story needs.  Below I will put the synopsis of my novel, titled 'Friendly Fear' and the cover art that I made, I worked really hard on both so please be gentle with me.

Synopsis of Friendly Fear:
Young Joan is saved from the lab she was raised in by a group of mercenaries that are anything but merciless.  She’s a special woman, there is no name for her.  She controls all the elements and when pushed to her breaking point, is a weapon of mass destruction.
   Joan joins up with the mercenaries, but things go quickly awry when the ones who experimented on her her whole life learn she didn’t survive the fire, and they want her back, or dead.
   This novel will explore how a young woman learns to accept herself and learn she is more than her powers, as well as learning more about herself personally through the trust and caring nature of her new found family.

I updated my novel last night, and then posted the photos all over my social media besides Instagram which I will be doing today. Then I went to bed, happy with myself and chugging some water because I was dehydrated. When I woke up this morning I logged on and saw this when I went to my novels page:

Seeing that big winner ribbon my novel made me smile so big it hurt my face. This was a goal of mine since I heard about NaNo. I have about 105 pages of story, and I have so many pages left to do. And I can only say thank you to NaNoWriMo, thank you to my friend Victoria for introducing me to the site last year, and thank you to all my friends and family who cheered me on this month and told me that I could do it. I may have not believed in myself when I was behind, but I managed to get behind my keyboard on the 30th and write 5,890 words, my wordiest day this year.

I don't know where I got the strength to do this, where I got the energy to write every day when I had the time, but I did and I just can't stop saying this, but I am so proud of myself. I look forward to the next years that I am able to do NaNoWriMo. I'm already starting to think if doing it next November while abroad would be an option for me because I loved it so much.

Here's to me writing more and starting the publishing route. Did you participate in NaNo? What was your word count? Was it your first time? Let's chat in the comments.

Here is the certificate PDF that I was given when I finished. This is so pretty and official I love it so much:
À bientôt!

Photo creds: all photos came from the NaNo website and screenshots of my account page, cover was made in my Canva account,

Monday, November 20, 2017

'Life And Death' by Stephenie Meyer - A Book Review

Let me start this off by saying if you are only on here because you dislike Twilight and want to write/say rude and hurtful things about this book or the original saga, please leave. I don't need that in my life.

I did my makeup just for
this picture.
Before I begin with the review of this book I want to tell you how much Twilight means to me, which is one of the reasons I chose to read this book.

During my sophomore year of high school, my aunt introduced me to the Twilight Saga.  I had been one of the kids who just went with the crowd and hated the storyline (without reading it of course). But I trusted my aunt and I was tired of hating on a book series that I hadn't read yet, also I was secretly interested in the story I just couldn't let anyone know that. So I borrowed all four books from her and went to reading. It was such an important time in my life when I read them that they became an important part of who I was. Yes, the books aren't the best ones that I've ever read. Yes, they have some things that could have been written better. But Stephenie Meyer knows this, and so do the fans, but it doesn't stop them from loving the story and the characters.  Nor does it stop me.

So now to the present.  I have Life and Death in my hands.  The story I fell in love with, but the characters have changed (except for Charlie and Renee but if you read it you'll understand why).  I knew that it would be hard to split up my feelings for Twilight with Life and Death, but it has also been such a long time since I read Twilight that I wasn't getting confused during the book or telling myself 'HEY stop that this is Beau, not Bella.'

There were sometimes while reading that I found myself trying to remember who in the Cullen/Hale family was who in each book (Royal = Rosalie, etc.) but I made myself try to stop that very early on and it was effective to a point.  When I was deep in the book I didn't worry about it.  However, whenever I would pick up the book after a time of not reading, my brain would revert to comparing characters for a few paragraphs.

Also straight up, @ Meyer: Please make a version where it is f/f love of Edythe and Bella because I feel like I need that in my life.  "Oh, yea, I'd read that gay book." -My roommate upon hearing me say that.

(My other reviews will not be this wordy I just have a lot of feelings towards Twilight and its world.)

My review will be just comments from parts of the book that I found I really liked, cried at, laughed at, or something along those lines.  There will be spoilers, but not many as the book is about 95% the same story, there is a twist surprise at the end so I will warn when I'm about to talk on it.

My rating:
I give the book 5 stars, of course.  The story, even with the twist, was so much more than I thought it would be.  Rereading the story brought me back to simpler time and the fact that the character changes helped make it a whole new journey for me.

Meyer's message in the beginning about how she chose to write the book this way and how she only kept a few of the characters the same really helped me with this book.  It helped me get a little more into the story and make it believable, instead of having 100% gender switched, and many of the characters had just such a different personality and weren't 'the same character but that opposite gender'.  I think that Meyer did a wonderful job in recreating her iconic story.

I'm also just so in love with Edythe.  I think it's the way that Meyer describes female vampires, or maybe that's more my type than I thought it was because Vampire Bella is literally so amazing and one of the loves of my life.  This is more evidence as to why I need a version of the story that's EdythexBella; if I have to write it to get it then so be it!  But I want it gay and I want it now.

My notes:
Pg 117-120: I really liked how Meyer connected the two characters from the airport to how Edythe saved Beau in Port Angeles.  I thought it was really interesting to have the situation like that since the one with Bella was so different because of the different dynamics of the characters.

Pg 140: I was so happy with how casual the reveal of Edythe being a vampire was in this scene.  It was obviously more dramatic in Twilight (or maybe I'm just thinking of the movie) but I just felt that being so casual and having Beau not feel as nervous about saying it made me feel not as nervous.

Pg 155: My sweet boi Beau telling McKayla about Jeremy but then bringing in the Man Code to show her how much he cares for the both of them but doesn't want to hurt either of them I just love him so much what a good boy.  My sweet son.

Pg 164: Their [Edythe and Beau] argument on who thinks about the other more is so embarrassingly cute and I look forward to the day I can be that cute with someone that I love.

Pg 178: Beau makes the comment that Edythe asks him so many questions on books, and I would talk for DAYS with a pretty female (vampire or not) about books if they asked.  Because books and pretty females are a large part of my life.

Pg 182: "It's twilight" - Edythe (She did the Thing™)

*no page but at end of chapter 11*: I really liked how Bonnie was given a deep voice.  I feel that most of the books that I have read the female characters I have read don't have a deep voice, they have that high feminine voice that is so distinctive of being a female character.  So having a deep-voiced female who was so badass made me happy to read.

*notes that I wrote all over the book*: CHARLIE IS SUCH A SWEET AND CARING FATHER EVERY TIME HE GETS HURT I GET HURT STEPHENIE WE NEED TO HAVE WORDS. I want to go and live with my lasagna-loving father, Charlie Swan.

Pg 210-213: I didn't remember Edward's story being so painfilled or full of emotion.  I just felt that Meyer gave Edythe a little more emotion and turmoil in her story and attempt to try to stay away from Beau.

Pg 214: IT'S THE LION AND LAMB QUOTE I HAD TO MARK IT I LOVE IT SO MUCH OH THANK THE GODDESS THAT MEYER KEPT IT IN THERE.

Pg 266: I like how the Volturi was two women and one man.  I don't know why, but I felt it was a nice dynamic especially with the lead being one of the females.

Pg 299: "It's called a hotel, Edythe." - Beau.  Sir leave her be please calm down she is just worried about her, but also I am screaming so loud why are you like this Edythe.

Pg 301: "I love you.  Whatever happens now, that doesn't change." -Beau.  Oh, when can I have someone love me this much where is my vampire lover?  I'm right here waiting for you!

Pg 311: Archie asking permission to touch Beau was honestly such a wonderful thing to read and I know it's small but I just...consent is so important no matter the circumstance.

Pg 319: Archie talking about Jessamine and how great she is makes my heart fly.  That's love right there.  He is boosting her up on a pedestal and I just love him more for it.  PRAISE YOUR S.O.!!!

Pg 325: "...a sudden wave of depression crashed over me. Jessamine looked up sharply, and the feeling dissipated."  Jessamine is literally a human Prozac pill lmfao.

Pg 341: "The memories were better than any reality I would see today.  But I raced away from them."  This line really struck me.  Sometimes I also run from the good feelings, and the fact of where Beau was running to (dance studio) at the time and thinking about Edythe made it more emotional and I was crying because I didn't want him to do this.

Pg 344-345: I totally forgot about the backstory of Alice (which means the same as Archie) and I cried at it.  My sweet children being hurt but luckily not remembering it.

Pg 371: " Don't you ever again think that I don't want you.  I will always want you. I don't deserve you, but I will always love you. Are we clear?" -Beau.  This was a great line that he said to Edythe but this is me to like every cat that I see.


THE FOLLOWING IS DURING THE TWIST AT THE END PLEASE STOP IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT AND DON'T WANT A SPOILER
Pg 359: I very much like the fact that Beau changed in this book.  Like I so wanted that to happen in Twilight but at the same time, I loved the whole saga.  But having him change now was such a great ending.  But NOT THE HURT ON CHARLIE HOW DARE!  Reading about Beau's funeral and seeing Charlie being in pain over the death of his son just like...there are so many issues with hurting Charlie that is literally my only rule don't hurt my father.
SPOILER OVER YOU ARE SAFE TO CONTINUE

This has been my review/emotion dump of 'Life and Death' by Stephenie Meyer.  If you had similar or different feelings let me know in the comments, let's have a conversation!  Who are your favorite characters? Did you have a hard time keeping them separate from both books? Do you want it gay (m/m or f/f)??? If you just want to scream about Twilight I am ALL HERE FOR IT!

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: my selfie with the book, Charlie Swan eating, Twilight, Bella's eyes, Bella reading,
while looking for gifs and pictures I came across this and died of laughter

Friday, October 27, 2017

My Myers Briggs Type & How It Fits Me

So the other day I was sitting in my living room with my roommate and some friends.  The conversation about our personality types came up.  My roommate and one of our friends chatted about what they were and labeled off a series of letters that made my head spin.  My roommate quickly looked up what the definition of hers was and began to read it off.  Our other friend and I got curious and we asked what they were talking about.

The Myers Briggs Personality Type.

I quickly opened my laptop and found the website to start the test.  I answered the questions to the best of my ability and with 100% honesty.  I hit the button that would bring me to my results and I got:

The Mediator (INFP-T)
53% Introverted vs. 47% Extroverted (which makes sense because I am an extroverted introvert)
78% Intuitive vs. 22% Observant
58% Feeling vs. 42% Thinking
54% Prospecting vs. 46% Judging
90% Turbulent vs. 10% Assertive (this is so true I am terrible at being assertive)

INTRODUCTION

"Mediator personalities are true idealists, always looking for the hint of good in even the worst of people and events, searching for ways to make things better (get out of my head). While they may be perceived as calm, reserved, or even shy, Mediators have an inner flame and passion that can truly shine (it me). Comprising just 4% of the population (ooooo I'm rare), the risk of feeling misunderstood is unfortunately high for the Mediator personality type – but when they find like-minded people to spend their time with, the harmony they feel will be a fountain of joy and inspiration."

"Mediators have a talent for self-expression, revealing their beauty and their secrets through metaphors and fictional characters." Okay now, this is just scary.

Other Mediators are: J.R.R. Tolkien (IM SCREAMING SO LOUD YOU CAN HEAR ME IN MORDOR I'M LIKE TOLKIEN), William Shakespeare, Julia Roberts, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hiddleston, Frodo Baggins, Amélie Poulain, and Arwen.  I love and relate to at least all of these people and characters.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Strengths are: Idealistic, Seek and Value Harmony (okay MEEE), Open-Minded and Flexible, Very Creative, Passionate and Energetic (many people say that this is me), & Dedicated and Hard-Working.

Weaknesses are: Too Idealistic (make up your mind???), Too Altruistic, Impractical, Dislike Dealing with Data, Take Things Personally, & Difficult to Get to Know.

ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

The site says that INFPs are dreamy idealists who wish for the perfect relationship.  We also jump into relationships wholeheartedly and have a hard time separating fantasy from reality (and this is about half true for me).

Conflict is a tough spot of INFPs, and we tend to internalize and overanalyze everything said to us (MEE). However, at our best, we strive to be the perfect partner.  NOTE: I account this with both romantic and platonic relationships because I love my friends as well.

FRIENDSHIPS

"Mediators crave the depth of mutual human understanding, but tire easily in social situations (me at family events); they are excellent at reading into others’ feelings and motivations, but are often unwilling to provide others the same insight into themselves – it’s as though Mediators like the idea of human contact, but not the reality of social contact. (i feel ATTACKED)"

Basically what the rest of the page says is that Mediators are great at offering help to their friends and other peers around them, but are stand-offish to do that same.  This is true for me because I love helping my friends, but just the thought of telling them what is wrong gives me anxiety because I don't want to bother them with my troubles.

"Mediators will always need to disappear for a while, removing themselves from others so they can re-center on their own minds and feelings (I do this at least once a month, at the most three). Often enough people with the Mediator personality type will emerge from this time alone having come to some momentous decision that even their closest friends didn’t know was weighing on them, evading even the option of receiving the sort of support and advice they so readily give (they are describing my life). Such is Mediators’ way, for better or for worse."

PARENTHOOD

"Mediator parents are warm, loving and supportive, and take immeasurable joy in the wide-eyed wonder of their children as they explore, learn, and grow. People with the Mediator personality type will give their children the freedom they need to do this, keeping an open mind and letting their children gain their own sense of understanding (literally before I took this quiz this is how I felt about raising my future child(ren), I want them to be happy and be able to be themselves). At the same time, Mediator parents will try to provide a backdrop to this freedom and experience, establishing a set of morals and values that guide that liberty with a sense of personal responsibility."

"The biggest challenge for Mediator parents, especially more Turbulent types who often have even more trouble with self-doubt than most, is to establish more practical and day-to-day structures and rules."  why don't you @ me already, I have 90% turbulent.

CAREER PATHS

"First and foremost is seemingly every Mediators’ dream growing up – to become an author." OKAY WHAT HOW DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT ME???

"...with their gift for language and written expression..." I want to be an author and I am a French major... GUESS THE TEST IS RIGHT!

In another paragraph, it also mentions how face-to-face jobs like social workers and teachers are a suitable fit, which makes sense because when I was younger I wanted to be a teacher and that feeling has never fully gone away.

WORKPLACE HABITS

"...there are a few basic truths about what Mediators seek in the workplace: they value harmony, need an emotional and moral connection to their work, and loathe bureaucratic tedium." Oh, this is me, if I don't have a good connection to those around me and my work it just doesn't sit well with me.

INFPs also need meaningful work that will leave an impression and not just something to do and forget so they can pay the bills.  This I find is exactly the type of work that I want to be getting into.  I want to do something so wonderful, that I never forget it or the impact it gave me from making it.  As a boss/manager role, most INFPs tend to focus more on the relationships which cause a problem with times when the boss needs to be the boss.  This is true for me because in my two clubs I like to have it open and free yet when I have a set agenda and want to get things done, it's hard for things to go smoothly.  But I'm working on it! ...granted because of this MB type...I might never fix it.

CONCLUSION

Mediators need to work hard on their weaker traits and other skills when they go into any situation, but all in all, I think that this Myers Briggs type really fits me and how I have become today.  The website offers a roadmap to the future if I want a premium profile, but for now, I think that I will just stick with this, and if I need help in the future I will see what that premium profile demands of me.

What's your Myers Briggs personality type?  Don't know, take the quiz.  Let's talk about it in the comments.

À bientôt!

Photo/Gif creds: mediator female, different types grid,

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017 Completed!


Just the other day I was so happy to have gotten the notification that I have completed my reading challenge for 2017.  My plan was originally read 20 books, which I brought down to 15, and as of this post, I have read 16 books.  I did it!

I brought my amount down from 20 to 15 because I didn't feel that with school and other activities that I'd have the time to read 20 books, but it seems that I will get closer to it than I thought. I have gone OVER my challenge amount.

The last time I completed my challenge was in 2015 when I read 33 out of 20 books. It was a great year for me.  The next year I was going to try 20 books again, thinking I could do what I did the year before, but I only read 19. I knew that this year I should either put 15 or 20 books and I wanted to push myself.  So I put down the bigger number.  About halfway through the summer, I thought that I wouldn't get enough books and that trying to get to that higher number wouldn't be healthy for my mental state, so I lowered it. But thankfully from reading some books for my classes and finding some small amount of actual free time I was able to reach and go beyond my goal. It's surprisingly liberating to have the goal completed. Like a weight was lifted off my shoulder from this year.

Most of the books that I have read this year I have only reviewed on my Goodreads account, and one I reviewed on this blog. I have stopped making book reviews on my YouTube account because I never really have the time to stop and make a video, I'm just always moving. As it is it took me a few days just to write this post because I've been bouncing all over my campus doing so many things.  I can't wait to see what other books that I read this year!  I'll post a blog post on one of the last days of the year listing all the books that I have read and what rating I gave them.

À bientôt!

Reading Challenge photo from Goodreads.com

Why I Have Been Absent

Hello, this is going to be a long post so if you can bear with me that would be great. I have been gone for quite a while now from this bl...