Finding a boyfriend: personality and obsessions

So it’s the new year. Usually, I’d be inspired to write a “year in review” post, but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to tell you something that I’ve been thinking about the past few days. I’ve watched a ton of romantic movies and books. While watching Ella Enchanted the other day with my mom, I said, “I want someone like him [Prince Charmont]” My mom goes, “Well if you change your personality and stop being so obsessive you’ll find more guys.” You know what is wrong with that statement? It’s total BS. I’m 24 years old. My personality is basically settled by now. If I were to change right now, I’m sure I wouldn’t be me.

No, if you’re going to find someone, it’s going to be because of your award winning personality. Hearing that made me think about my personality. I’ve been told by several of my friends that my personality makes people come to me. I’m bubbly and nice to talk to. Sure, when I was younger, these attributes weren’t easy for me. But then I started getting out of my shell and building my personality. So somehow my personality is off putting to some guys? If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t want to be with them anyways. I need someone who can get my quirky personality and knows that I am a little over the top.

As for obsessive, what’s the harm? Someone who is obsessed with something has probably a lot more passion than someone who isn’t obsessed over something. I deeply love Green Day and Doctor Who. in fact, my love for Doctor Who allowed me to go across the pond and find a dozen more friends and experiences. If a guy doesn’t understand that you will get just as pumped for Doctor Who as you are towards sex, than you should probably dump him. And it doesn’t have to be just Doctor Who, although it is an amazing show. If you’re obsessed with something and your date or boyfriend isn’t as thrilled that you’re thrilled, then he is not worth it.

This year, go find someone who is passionate, outgoing, and maybe a little crazy. Normal people scare me.

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What now? the theme song to Jillian’s life

Hello readers!

So it’s been three months since I came back from Wales. Let me just say that this has been the hardest transition for me. There was that year between finishing my Bachelor’s Degree and going to Wales that I thought I’d never get past. That year was kind of a personal hell for me. But this time around, I find myself in more personal pain than before. I’m not sure if you guys are aware, but I went to Wales for a year to get my Master’s Degree. Since returning, I’m slowly sinking into a small depression.

What now? Will my life ever be as exciting as it was when I was abroad?

These questions haunt me every day. I wake up and remember what it was like to be in another country and feel like I belonged. Then I look in the mirror and say to myself, “what now?” If there is a theme to my life, that would be it. There are friends I’ve met along the way, so far, who I would not want to disappoint. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing as some people might think. I want to hold myself to the standard that people believe I can be.

I haven’t felt compelled to write so much these past weeks and that’s really bothering me. I make excuses of why I’m not writing and every time sets me back. I’ve realised that everyone is different in their own way and that is the same with writing. Some people can come up with an entire short story in a month, but I can’t. I take months and maybe even years to come up with something that is even remotely ready for someone else’s eyes. The words get clogged up in my brain and I can’t find a way to get them out.

One thing that I have noticed about myself is that I am good with creative non fiction. So memoir writing is something that I do good in. While I love reading fiction, writing it doesn’t come second nature to me. Lengthy descriptions aren’t in my writing style. I’m sure that comes as no surprise that I can tell a better story when it is about my life and the people around me than a world that is completely fictional. Every time I write, I imagine the reader reading it in my squeaky voice and that sets me back. When I read other people’s work, it sounds more sophisticated and poise. Mine just sounds like someone’s dumb diary. And yes, I know there’s an entire series called “My Dumb Diary.” I work at a bookstore. I follow these weird book trends.

Yes, I have a seasonal job at Barnes and Noble. Plus, I work some extra hours at a movie theatre. Not the one I used to work at, but one a few miles down. I will say this. I’m mediocre in customer service. I always feel like I’m somehow doing something wrong and that brings my self esteem down. That’s why I’ve been really trying for a job in the publishing field. Yes, I know it is a customer service job, but it has so much more than just selling the product. I want to be able to edit and have a say in the books being published.

I started writing this blog thinking I was going to put in some great advice about not giving up on one’s dreams, but it just ended up a sob piece about my feelings. I know that I shouldn’t compare myself to others and that everything will happen in time. I’m not stupid and I’ve worked really hard to get to this point. I shouldn’t be down on myself all the time.

I really wanted my other blog to thrive, but so far, I can’t find the energy or motivation to write anything in it. I know the next post will most likely be about Heartless by Marissa Meyer. Please, go check out my other blog: http://www.timeywimeybooks.wordpress.com.

Cataclysmic (middle section)

So I decided to show you guys part of what I’ve been working on for my novel. If you guys remember, I have been working on this novel called “Cataclysmic.” The name actually started as a placeholder, but then as the story progressed, I realised that it was perfect for the story I wanted to tell. So here is the middle part.

***

‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ I exclaimed.

Not only were we in a dark, underground jail cell, but I was trapped with Aaron. The guy who, for all I knew, wanted to roast me on a pit and eat me. We had been previously on a hill next to our high school in San Rafael, California, when the creature approached. After seeing the creature, Aaron had grabbed me from behind and thrown something at the beast, sending us to this cave. After the sensation of popping from one point to another, I was faced with more versions of the creature. Each one was identical to the other, with green scales surrounding its body, red eyes, and a blue horn on top of its head. They each carried some kind of metallic object in their hands. The objects reminded me of the Grim Reaper’s scythe, except they didn’t look old.  As soon as I wrestled my body away from Aaron’s, I was grabbed by an invisible force and thrown in the jail cell; Aaron along with me. The creatures disappeared from view.

There was nothing I could see outside of the bars. No indication of where we came from and no sign of the creatures anywhere.

Inside the cell, there was nothing except for the small orb in Aaron’s hands, which he took out of his pocket. It didn’t cast enough light for me to see the entire layout of the cell, but I could see the rust on the wall next to the cell door. The walls were made of metal, but the torches hanging around the opening of the cave entrance were lit by fires instead of electricity. I tried banging on the door, in a futile attempt to break free. To my surprise, the doors sparked beneath my hands, shooting electricity through my body. I hastily withdrew my hands and took a step back

‘Where the hell are we?’ I asked.

‘Trisha, this might be hard to hear, but you’re in the same spot we were just in,’ Aaron said.

‘That can’t be right. We were just on the hill, not in a cave. Now really, where are we? And what do you want from me?’

Aaron looked at me like he was pained, but I didn’t let him speak. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.

‘And you know what? I wouldn’t have been in this cell if you hadn’t been following me. What is your problem anyways? I don’t even know you –,’

‘You do,’ Aaron interrupted. ‘you do know me.’

‘What?’

‘It’s just…’ he started while looking at his hands.

His expression reminded me of when Tyler would eat the last of the chocolate candy. Tyler always felt sorry afterwards, but I knew he was only saying that to make me calm down. Looking at Aaron at that moment, I rethought of everything that I knew of Aaron. Maybe I judged him wrong.

‘Don’t you remember me?’ he asked.

‘No…should I?’

‘This is hard to explain. I never thought I would have to explain it to you hear, in the parallel world.’

‘A parallel what? Are we in some form of Doctor Who episode?’ I asked, jokingly, hoping that it wasn’t the case.

I remembered nights staying up late with my Dad watching episode after episode of Doctor Who. We would wait till Mom and Tyler went to bed before tiptoeing into the living room to watch the Doctor save the world from an alien attack. When Rose got trapped in the parallel world, away from the Doctor, Dad had run to the nearest 7/11 a few blocks away to grab two pints of ice cream for both of us, and a beer for him. We stayed up all night crying over Rose. To this day I can’t eat ice cream without thinking of the Doctor and the way I clung to Dad’s shoulder after the Doctor put the device around Rose’s neck, sending her to the parallel world, forever.

‘Sort of. Look, do you remember this?’

He took out this small round object from his pocket. It was the heart pendant that my imaginary friend Leonard gave me when I was 6 years old. It was something Leonard and I used to fight away the bad guys in my stories. It served as a protection amulet to ward off any evil doers in my backyard. Somehow I had lost the amulet once I was 8 years old and stopped believing in Leonard.

‘Where’d you get that?’

Aaron handed the amulet to me. It was exactly how I had last remembered it. It was cool to the touch and a bright red light seemed to glow from within the pendant. I knew this was the amulet because of the marking I made on the right side of the heart. ‘T and L forever.’ I remember the day I put it there. We were in my backyard, under the big Camphor tree.

‘What is it?’ I had asked Leonard, as he handed me the amulet.

‘It’s an amulet to ward you from the bad guys.’

‘Cool!’ I had thought any kind of adventure was cool back then.

‘You should write something on it, so that it can be a message for future you. Like in Doctor Who.’

‘Like Doctor what?’

Leonard looked at me like I was missing a head.

‘You haven’t watched Doctor Who yet?’

When I shook my head, he let out an exasperated sigh.

‘You have to watch it. You never know…’ he trailed off.

After I scratched in the engraving, my mom had called me in for dinner.

I started watching Doctor Who that night.

‘I kept it after your parents told me to leave you alone.’

‘Why would they want you to leave me alone? Wait,’ I said, fully realizing what he meant by that statement. ‘You were,’ I started, unable to process what was going on. I didn’t know how to phrase what I wanted to ask.

Aaron nodded. The light from the orb in his hand was moving in a circle around the cell. The light made the gold tint in Aaron’s hair more prominent.

‘My real name is Aaron Leonard Rodgers. I didn’t want you to leak my real name to your parents. But that backfired once the elders figured out what was going on.’

‘My parents? What have they got to do with ANY of this?!’ I asked, upset that he would even think about bringing them into what was happening here.

‘They are guardians, like me,’ Aaron hesitated, ‘Like you.’

The walls seemed to cave in on me when he said that. My parents were guardians? This didn’t make any sense. To lighten the mood, I said, ‘Oh, you mean like the Guardians of the Galaxy?’ I remember my parents took me to see that movie when it came out. Just them and me. Tyler was at a friend’s house and my parents were both off for the weekend, which was a first in months. Mom wasn’t into the whole Marvel franchise, but she came anyways to spend time with me. It was always my Dad and I who spent most of our time obsessing over the Marvel comics. I was happy to have them both to myself, since that rarely happened ever since Tyler was born. After the movie, in the lobby, my dad had tried so hard to beat me at a dance off,             but he couldn’t get his footing right. He kept falling on the floor, which made everyone in the theatre’s lobby turn to look at him. I didn’t mind at the time, since it was nice to be spending some quality time with my dad.

Aaron gave me a look that told me he was getting tired with my little quips.

‘Trisha, this is serious. Your parents were..’

‘I know this is serious, Aaron. Or should I say Leonard. I’m finding it difficult to believe this is really happening.’

I turned my back away from him.

‘I’m sorry if I got angry. I understand how this might feel –.’

‘No you don’t. You’ve had this knowledge prior to this moment and I’ve been the one in the dark. And now we are literally in the dark. I’ve kept it together when my parents died and when I thought I saw that thing. And even when we first met, I kept my cool. Now you tell me that my parents were some kind of guardians and you expect me to just accept that? Aaron, there is only so much I can take before I break.’

In a futile attempt to escape, I grabbed on to the door, hoping to somehow break free of this imprisonment. Electricity ran through my body, causing me to jump backwards, straight into the wall behind me. As my head hit the wall, a couple of startling memories of the past few months came to me.

It was two weeks back and Tyler was asking me to play blind man’s bluff with him. I didn’t want to play, but he kept insisting. To shut him up I put a blindfold on him and told him to wait thirty seconds. With his eyes covered, I made my way to the small shed outside by the pool. There was a hammock in there that I claimed as my own when we moved in. After ten minutes, I heard Tyler open the back door. It was a hot day out and I was sitting in the hammock in my bathing suit. The next door neighbor’s backyard was being renovated so every now and then the sound of a jack hammer could be heard.

I tried to crouch down below the Bay windows, but this didn’t seem to work.

‘Trisha, I know you’re there,’ Tyler said.

After a moment, I heard Tyler sigh.

‘Okay, so you don’t want to play with me. I get it. But do you really think that hiding yourself in your room will change the fact that our parents are gone? I kind of thought coming to San Rafael would bring us closer together, but all you’ve been doing is moping. I’m going inside to watch Netflix. You can come join if you decide to stop hiding away.’

I heard the distant sounds of his footsteps as he went back into the house.

As quick as I heard the backdoor slam close, I was pushed from this memory into the next. It felt as if I was slowly floating in the space of nothingness. It was neither hot nor cold and the only feeling I had was of just being in my body. After a few scary moments of me wondering if this was the end, I saw a trickle of light ahead. I started to move more closely to the light, like a bug drawn to a lightbulb.

Next thing I knew I was back in my house in San Francisco. Except everything was in boxes and we were moving out. The back of the house had been boarded off because of the fire. Tyler and Aunt Kristy were fighting over what they should bring back to Aunt Kristy’s place.

‘But I want this blender,’ Tyler was saying.

‘I have the exact same blender at my place. We don’t need another,’ Aunt Kristy argued. We all knew who would win this fight. Tyler, once he set his mind on something, always got his way.

The front of the house looked nothing like it once did. All of the pictures of Mom and Dad were packed away and the only picture that adorned the shelf above the couch was the one of Tyler and I at the Marin County Fair. We were sitting on the benches in front of the merry go round eating our ice cream cones and looking at the new iPod mom got me for my birthday. It was the day Dad had gotten that promotion at his work. He had been working tirelessly to get the promotion at his law firm, and when his boss had fired one of the other lawyers, they decided to finally give him it. We woke up early that morning to make it early to the fair. It felt like luck was on our side that day when we missed the traffic getting out of San Francisco and gotten free upgrades to cut in line at the fair.

‘Oh I want this,’ Tyler said.

He had walked in to the living room while I was checking out the picture.

He was starting to get taller, like dad. He was already almost to my shoulders. I unfortunately took after my mother and stopped growing when I was 12, five years ago.

‘Well too bad. I’m taking it. It’s going to stay in my room,’ I said, hoping to put some older sister authority to my voice.

‘That’s not fair. I called it first. You were just staring at it. So there,’ he said, while sticking out his tongue.

‘You got everything that you wanted. I just want this picture,’

‘I got the frame, so it’s mine,’

‘You can have the frame. I want the picture.’

‘That’s not how it works,’ I half yelled, grabbing the picture.

‘Yes it is. You don’t know.’

He grabbed the other end.

We continued to fight over the picture when the doorbell rang. It surprised me enough that I jumped, causing the picture to fly out of both our hands, smashing against the wall.

Tyler’s eyes started to well up with tears.

‘You couldn’t let me have this one happy memory, could you?’ he asked, stomping down the hall to the bathroom that wasn’t taped off by the fire department.

The doorbell rang again.

I rubbed at the tears threatening to fall from my eyes.

When I opened the door, Jake was standing there wearing his work uniform. He worked at a movie theater and they made him wear these horrendous black polo shirts with a movie title on the back. His hair was still as floppy as I remembered it the last time I saw him, in the hospital.

‘Jake? What are you doing here?’

‘Well I hadn’t heard from you since the hospital. And I was worried about you. I didn’t get a chance to talk to you at the funeral. You left before I could say anything.’

I didn’t know what to say. I had never been that great at confronting people. Even telling him how I felt about him four months ago was the hardest thing I had to do.

‘Um… we, ugh…’ I began.

‘Look. I get it. What happened was horrible. I care about you and would hate to see you shut yourself up for the rest of your life.’

I was reminded of the look he gave Jenny in the hospital weeks prior. The look I wished he would have given me. Even in the hospital, she was the one he was looking at with tenderness. I had spent so many years pining over him, only to be rejected; and for my childhood best friend, no less. Looking at him then, I realised that it was useless to chase after a guy who would never see me as more than a friend. But I couldn’t stand a future where we would be friends without the pang of heartbreak. I had to let him go.

‘No,’ I said, after a few moments, ‘I don’t think you get it. I don’t want to be friends anymore.’

I went to close the door, but Jake pushed back.

‘Trish, you don’t mean that. You’re just—’

‘I do mean it. I don’t want to see you again.’

With that final statement, I slammed the door closed.

‘Trisha,’ a voice called from somewhere.

‘Trisha, wake up!’

‘Wah?’ I exclaimed.

‘That’s it. Breathe. In. Out. Good.’

‘Aaron?’

‘Oh thank God! I was worried the shock from the bars had killed you.’

When I opened my eyes, I could see Aaron crouched down in front of me. The orb with the light was in between us, illuminating our faces.

‘Am I really a cold hearted bitch?’ I asked.

Aaron furrowed his brow.

‘No. Why would you think that?’

‘It’s just,’ I began, ‘I didn’t care to hear you out and I’ve been distant with everyone.’

‘That’s normal. You’ve gone through a lot in the past few months. I would have been more concerned if you didn’t freak out.’

I nod, not knowing what to say after that. Aaron offered me his hand. When I stood up, I felt as if the world was spinning around me. Aaron steadied me with his hands.

‘Your hair looks like it’s trying to do the wave,’ Aaron joked, trying to lighten the mood.

‘What do you mean?’ My hands went up to my hair.

‘It’s just from the electricity that you touched. Don’t worry about it.’

There was an awkward silence.

‘So, what were you talking about earlier?’ I asked.

‘Well, as I was saying before you touched the bars,’ Aaron started, ‘Your parents were never supposed to be together. But, because they are, things are getting crazier by the minute.’

A sudden chill ran through me. What did that mean, that they weren’t supposed to be together?

‘Why weren’t they supposed to be together?’

Aaron bit his lip.

‘Well, it’s complicated. They are from two different worlds, for one. The other reason, well, I can’t tell you.’

Aaron looked at me, pleading with me not to pry. As much as I wanted to figure out the other reason, I let that one slide. If I was going to get anything out of Aaron, I would have to start trusting him to give me the information I needed.

‘Okay, I’m not going to pry about that last one,’ I began, not particularly fond of dropping the subject. ‘But why do you look different than when I was little?’

The amulet, heavy in my hand, brought back memories of Saturday nights playing around the garden in the backyard, facing off faeries and ogres. Leonard had always had freckles and brown hair in the memories brought back by the amulet. He didn’t have the golden blonde hair and green eyes that Aaron has. These two images clashed with the solid form of the amulet. If Aaron wasn’t Leonard, then why would he possess the amulet?

‘It’s the machine. Watch.’ Aaron said.

He pressed a button on the orb in his hand. Suddenly, his appearance started to change. His image was pixelating, like when a picture on Facebook is loading. There was a bright light that came, as if, from around him. I covered my eyes. When the light seemed to fade away, I uncovered my eyes to find Leonard standing before me. We were silent for a minute as I took the sight of him in.

I babbled a few incoherent questions, unsure of how to respond in this situation.

‘Just think of it as a holographic projection. The machine can make you think what it wants you to think. It’s a lot of science stuff, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough Doctor Who, which I convinced you to watch, to imagine what is happening. I’m not sure myself on the mechanics of it, since the elders only told me which buttons to push.’

‘But that doesn’t explain how you were only visible to me and no one else. And how we ended up in this cell.’

‘It’s complicated. Lets just say that there are two worlds connected by a big machine, that must be protected at all costs. That’s really as far as I can tell you now. We will have to wait till we see Ada to give you the full scope of what this is.’

‘Who is Ada?’ I asked.

‘She’s my tutor.’

I didn’t want to believe a word he was saying, but the evidence was staring me in the face.

‘But why create such a device?’ I asked.

‘The elders in my world believed that by connecting the worlds, we could end the reign of the darkness that was coming over us. Look, we can sit here all day and discuss this, but it’s useless without Ada here to explain it. We need to think of a way to get out of here.’

‘But that doesn’t explain –,’ I began to say, as the cell doors opened.

Going unnoticed as Aaron and I talked, the lights had gone on in front of the cell. I could see more of the cave wall illuminated by the torches carried by the two people in front of the cell.

One of them was one of the creatures, and the other was…Jake.

Instead of the clean shaven face I was used to, here was a guy I barely knew. His face was painted with cuts and bruises, and his right eye was barely staying open. His clothes were tattered and he held his right arm close to his chest. I wondered if he had been following us from the hill.

‘Hurry. We’ve got to go!’ Jake said.

Aaron had taken a step back.

‘No. There’s no way I’m going with you,’ Aaron said.

I turned a questioning gaze at Aaron.

‘Why shouldn’t we?’

‘Trish, you don’t know him. He is a robot created by Baltazar and his only objective is to take you to his master and torture you.’

‘That can’t be—,’ I started.

‘It’s true Trish,’ Jake said. ‘I was made to befriend you and take you when Baltazar gave the signal.’

‘See, I told you,’ Aaron said with a smirk.

‘But, I’ve changed. When I met Jenny, something clicked for me. It’s not something I can really explain. Aaron here probably knows more about it since he was your imaginary friend.’

I was in shock. I had thought that Jake had somehow gotten through the parallel world, or wherever we were, and came to save us. But as I looked at Jake, as if for the first time, I realised that I didn’t really know him at all. I guess my brain had filled in what it thought was a reasonable story for Jake. But none of this explained the creature next to him.

‘If you are here to help us,’ I asked, while pointing at the creature, ‘then why did you come with that?’

As if he anticipated this precise question, Jake got something out of his pocket. It looked like a remote control.

‘I found this in the laboratory down the hall, after I went against the other mutants. It’s still in the prototype phase, but it works pretty well. It’s a Hypno Ray. Look.’

Jake pointed the device at the creature, or mutant as he called it. Jake pressed a button and said, ‘turn to your left.’ The mutant actually moved to the left.

‘Now, do the Macarena.’

True to the gadgets’ scientific properties, the mutant actually started dancing! I started to walk towards the opening when Aaron grabbed my wrist.

‘Stop. This might be a trap. Jake was made to do one thing only. And that was to gain your trust to bring you to Baltazar so he can have you destroyed.’

I was starting to get tired of their bickering.

‘Explain to me this. Why does Baltazar even want to destroy me? What have I ever done to deserve this?’

Aaron’s grip on my wrist loosened and I could see in the periphery of my vision that he was biting his lip. Obviously, this was something I wasn’t supposed to know about.

‘Well, uh…it’s complicated–,’ he began.

‘Come off it Rodgers. She has a right to know. Look, if you don’t believe that I’m on your side, look at this.’

Jake turned around and grabbed the hem of his shirt. The shirt was then pulled up and on the bottom of Jake’s spine was a hatch door for what could have been a battery. The hatch door was the same colour of Jake’s skin. Inside was a bunch of muscles and a few wires, which didn’t seem to be in any coherent order. They were a jumbled up mess, save for the few wires that looked to have different coloured wiring strung together.

‘See? I’ve rerouted the instructions to my system. I am my own man now.’

Not having been too familiar with standard robotics, I was still equally confused. Aaron, however, seemed to find this an acceptable response. After a moment’s silence, he walked outside of the cell doors.

Following suit, I got out of that cell.

Aaron was busy studying the door on Jake’s spine.

‘But how? I mean…’

‘I guess what Baltazar never counted on was his pets getting real human feelings.’

I continued to stare at the two of them.

‘So Trisha, you were asking about why you were important to Baltazar.’

‘Jake, don’t,’ Aaron said.

‘She should know why they want –,’

Before he could continue, there was a long piercing shriek. It was inhuman in nature and seemed to make Aaron and Jake tense up. The mutant started getting more animated next to me.

‘Shit!’ Aaron exclaimed.

‘Trisha, we need to go. Now!’ Jake barked.

The noise had come from the tunnel to our left, so Jake turned to go out the right one, Aaron following suit.

I turned to follow them, but the mutant grabbed my arm; its claws digging into my flesh. Jerking my arm back and forth, I tried yanking myself away from the mutant, to no avail.

‘Trish!’ Jake yelled. He tossed something small into the air. I extended my other arm out and caught the object. It was the Hypno Ray.

‘How do I use it?’

‘Push the green button and tell the mutant what to do.’

I pushed the button and told the mutant to let go of my arm. It didn’t budge.

‘It’s not working!’

‘Keep doing it. Baltazar’s voice is getting through his circuitry. The Hypno Ray will need extra power to work because of the pull of Baltazar’s voice.’

I kept my finger on the button and repeated what I wanted it to do. After a few minutes, the resolve on his face was breaking. Its hands started to lose their slack on my arm. Eventually I broke free of the mutant.

‘Go to sleep,’ I told it. Lucky for me, it followed my command.

As I followed Aaron and Jake, I began to feel a chill creep onto me. I hadn’t expected to enter chilly weather when I woke up that morning. The corridor we were running through was dark, save for the torch on the wall every five feet. I could still hear the noise from behind us, but it got fainter as we got further in the cave.

After a good ten feet, Jake yelled back at us.

‘Found it!’

I was so focused on getting farther from the cell, I hadn’t realised that they had stopped, causing me to bump into Aaron.

‘Oomf! Sorry! What did you find?’

From the faint glow of the torch a few inches next to him, I could see Jake’s hand go towards a chord in the wall.

‘This.’ A hatch opened up in the ceiling, revealing some light.

‘How did you know that was going to be there?’ Aaron asked. With the light above, Aaron’s expression was visible. He clearly didn’t believe this stroke of luck that led us to safety.

‘I stole one of the cave plans from Baltazar’s desk before I came to rescue you.’

‘You made it into his chamber without detection?’ Aaron asked.

‘Well he hadn’t figured out I went rogue till just now, when he discovered the bodies. The room’s security system okayed me entry because of my DNA.’

In the distance I heard barking, growing nearer and nearer.

‘Guys! Let’s figure this out after we get above ground!’ I yelled.

Hwyl fawr Wales!

Croeso readers! (That’s welcome in Welsh)

I haven’t posted in two weeks and I am ASHAMED!!!

*edit: it’s been three.

** edit: It’s been about a month since I started this post.

fidzknj

So what’s been happening in my life, you ask? Well, tons of things. I will try and plan it out for you guys.

PACKING!!!! 

I’ve started packing and it’s making me a little teary eyed just thinking about it. I’ve spent the past year in Wales and to go home will be bittersweet. I’ve had to purchase two boxes to ship back home and I’m still struggling to get everything in my suitcase. I have one giant suitcase that I will be checking in to the plane, and a carry on suitcase that is currently filled with most of my wardrobe. I swear, I came to Cardiff with the carry on holding all of my clothes and now I have to divide it all up.

TWO MORE WEEKS TILL I GO HOME!!!

(actually, it’s really only five days. Cause I forgot to post this.)

I can’t believe it’s almost time! My life has changed so much throughout this trip. I’ve figured out a lot about myself as a person and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve had so much fun getting to know new people and see new things.

****

I’ve been the worst blogger ever! I forgot to post this update for the longest time. So instead of having a countdown like I wanted, you basically get a post of random stuff to look at. I can’t decide whether I’m nauseous or hungry. Come on stomach! Work with me here! Anyways, I’m currently waiting for the bus to the airport. It’s been a long journey to today. Packing was a pain and lugging a whole year’s worth of clothes and memories around is taking its toll on my back already.

The worst part of travelling is the constant waiting around. You get to places early, hoping to make sure you don’t miss your bus. No, plot twist! You don’t miss the bus. You actually are a half an hour early. Now you’re faced with the inevitable waiting around. Because not all places have outlets and you don’t want to walk around with two suitcases to a place that does, you have to limit your time on your phone. You brought two books, but who has the energy to stare at a book? Yeah, I’m that exhausted. Not to mention that by the time I get on the plane, I’ll have been awake for a good 24 hours, with maybe one or two hours of nap time in between.

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I did it again! I forgot to post this!! Okay so I’m back in the States. I can’t believe a year has already gone by! I miss everything about Cardiff at the moment. From the clubs to the annoying seagulls screeching at five in the morning. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s over. There are so many memories that I’ve had that I would not change for the life of me. Some of them are grand memories and others are just small memories. Like the time I went to McDonalds at one in the morning with my friend Sanja.

I think this whole experience has changed me and I’m loving it.

There is so much I want to talk about, but honestly? I can really only sum it up by saying that it was the best time of my life. I’m so grateful to all of the friends I made along the way. Definitely made the trip worth while. Every moment was spent enjoying a new land.

When you study abroad, you get to see the day to day things that travellers rarely get to see. I got familiar with a lot of the streets of Cardiff and have some basic knowledge of where to go when you want to party. Favourite place to go is definitely Live Lounge. Well, at least for a good dance off.

In the beginning of the year, there were so many things I hadn’t done in college. I didn’t have the experience of bar hopping (or pub crawling) with friends and spending time with friends was something a little new to me. When you get accustomed to being the loner and the one who isn’t invited to most of the parties, you tend to be very skeptical when people start hanging around you for a longer period of time. So I think I’ve learned a lot more social queues than my four years in college.

I will end this post saying that this was only the start of my journey. I have so much more to offer the world and I hope to see more of it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review

It’s Harry Potter time!

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I cannot tell you how I’ve been dreading this review. I’ve read plenty of reviews of this book and it almost feels like a broken record. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child came out this month and it’s been taking over the internet. I think we all know the plot line of this book so far, but I’ll give my own summary of it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child follows Albus Potter and Scorpious Malfoy as they take on the legacies of their famous fathers. Albus, feeling lost and alone, befriends Scoprious, who everyone believes is Voldemort’s son. These two kids form a bond. As they progress in the school of Hogwarts, Albus starts feeling resentful of his father. So he steals a time turner and goes into the past with Scorpious to save Cedric Diggory.

I wasn’t really that enthused with this new book. I had a feeling that it wouldn’t live up to the other seven books, and I feel like I was partly right. But more on that later.

I actually didn’t preorder the book until two days prior to the release. I was waiting for this book talk with this author, Owen Sheers (“I Saw a Man”) when I just felt the urge to get the book. It was literally like someone spoke in my ear and told me to do it. Well, I would hardly call it magic since I have a problem with walking into a bookstore without buying a book.

The release party was really dull. There was a scavenger hunt but it didn’t really prove to be a challenge. Funniest part was when I had a group of people following me because they said that “I look like I know what I’m doing.” Hahahaha! Not exactly what I remembered for the other novel releases. But what did I expect? Nothing could compare to the releases of the original Harry Potter books.

On to the review!!!!

This book was great… until part 2. Honestly, this review is going to be about a lot of the feels and excitement I had. So be prepared!

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I love Albus and Scorious! Seriously, it’s like they changed the plot of Harry Potter and just made it about Harry and Draco.

Did this story seem a little familiar? I’m sure Back to the Future would have a say on that. (I only remember the first movie so you guys will have to help me out on which one I’m talking about.) And the friendship of Albus and Scorpious sounded a lot like Simon and Baz from “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. Or does Carry On sound like Harry Potter? Seeing as Harry Potter was first, I’d say the latter.

But comparing this to “Carry On” is actually a great way to summarize my feelings for this book. It was great fanfiction, but it seemed lacking in parts. Although I did love “Carry On” more than this book, which is saying something.

Anyways, the relationships are the best part of this book/play. It was great seeing Dumbledore’s Army all grown up. I’ve read a few reviews where people question the role of Ron in the play. I actually really liked seeing Ron, because he was my favorite character, besides Neville or Luna. Seriously, the scenes in the Ministry of Magic with “Ron” and Hermione were perfect!

I think the writing felt too much like terrible fan fiction and could have done better towards the end. The first part was okay, because there was a lot of relationship building, but the second part felt rushed and didn’t seem to serve that much purpose other than giving the story an ending.

This book was a quick read, so I powered through. I wouldn’t call it the best book or the worst book, but it’s definitely a book I would actually recommend for anyone still pining over the world of Harry Potter.

I understand that some people are upset that there will be no more Harry Potter after this, but the story is over. We all have to deal with it. If we go on and on about it, we will probably end up with something like this, where J.K. Rowling feels pressured by the fans to write more. And that doesn’t make for good literature.

It was fun seeing our old friends in this script, but don’t expect the best out of this book. Please go into it with an open mind and willingness to like something that is purely for entertainment than substance.

I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars.

Weekly update 4: 6 books this week and a booktag!

Hey there readers! It’s weekly update time! So most of the time when I start a blog post, I go right into the book updates. But to get my writing juices flowing, I’m going to start with a tag! I love tags!

This is the opposite tag!

First book in your collection/Last book you bought.

I really don’t remember all that way back. But I’ll talk about the first book I bought here in Cardiff. It was actually “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. I walked into Waterstones for the first time and guess what book just came out that day?! Seriously, I did not even know it was the book’s release day!

The last book I bought was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Definitely a great read. Will get to the book review once I get the motivation to do it.

A cheap book/An expensive book.

Well I grabbed “Jane Eyre”, “The Book Thief”, and “Dracula” for a pound. They were used copies and I got them for donating to this magazine.

The most expensive book I have on my shelf is “Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief”. I got the anniversary edition and it was about $25. It’s on my shelf back home, but still.

A book with a male protagonist/One with a female protagonist.

Male: Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan. Definitely one of my favorite of his series. The entire series is not out but I can tell I will love it.

Female: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

A book you read fast/One that took you long to read.

I read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead probably the quickest. It was really engaging to read and still one of my favorite series.

Game. Of. Friggin’. Thrones took me so long! I finally finished the fifth book last October and I am so relieved.

Pretty cover/Ugly cover.

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All of these were super gorgeous.

I don’t have a pick for ugly cover. I guess if I catch one, I’ll show you guys later.

A national book/An international book.

Not sure what this means, but I’ll go for an American setting vs. a foreign setting.

American: Mosquitoland by David Arnold I think this goes well with a national book, because it’s about a road trip around America.

Foreign: I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers.There will be a review coming up, so wait for that.

A thin book/A thick book.

Thin book: Soundless by Richelle Mead. I was a bit disappointed by how short that book was. But I definitely recommend this book.

Thick book: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas I don’t know how many times I have to recommend this book till EVERYONE reads it. I loved it so much I have to brag about it to all of my friends.

Fiction book/Non-fiction book.

Fiction: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Definitely the best Cassandra Clare book so far. Her writing has improved so much over the years. I’m hesitant to say it’s my favorite Shadowhunter tale, but it’s getting there. Honestly I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Non-fiction: I don’t read much non-fiction, but my favorite one I’ve ever read has to be “My Foreign Cities” by Elizabeth Scarboro. It’s about the author’s life with her husband who had Cystic Fibrosis. It was so heart wrenching and when I met the author I just could not help but feel for her. I read it for a class, but I loved the book so much!

Very (way too) romantic book/Action book.

I really don’t do romance, so the closest I’ve gotten to that is A Court of Mist and Fury. Oh the feels!

An action book would have to be the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The next book in the series is coming out soon!!!!

A book that made you happy/One that made you sad.

Happy: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Sad: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Not the most amazing answers, but it’s the best I can do.

So this week I’ve read a total of 6 books!

  1. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  3. Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johanson
  4. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  5. The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine
  6. I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

I’m very impressed with what I’ve read so far. I’m currently reading “All the Light we Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. I picked it up months ago, but couldn’t get past the first fifty pages. I just didn’t like the changing of the chapters and points of view. I’m still trying to figure out what the characters have to do with each other. Now that I’ve gotten a little further in the book, I’m enjoying it a little bit. But not exactly pleased.

My TBR pile is dwindling down to only four books. I think I can finish the three books next week and then I can focus all of my energy in finally reading “Pride and Prejudice”. I still have “Jane Eyre” and “The Book Thief” to read, but I’m unsure if I want to pick those up. I have to figure out what I’m going to do with all of my books I bought here in Cardiff. I’m going to try to send them all home, but if not, I might just sell some of the ones I didn’t like.

That’s my update so far. Check back with me next week to see if I can successfully finish my TBR pile.

The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine book review

Seeing as how I’ve been writing several edits for my writing portfolio and reading, I thought I’d write more book reviews. So here is one about “The Shadow Queen” by C.J Redwine.

It’s another retelling of a fairytale story. I usually like those kinds of stories, but in regards to this one, I have very mixed feelings. I have an interesting thing on fairy tale stories, but that is for another post.

“The Shadow Queen” centers on this girl named Lorelei who is the true queen of Ravenspire. Nine years previous, her step mother, Irina, had brainwashed all of the kingdom to bow down to her. Lorelei, having similar powers, wasn’t subjected to this brainwashing. Irina thought she could trust her. Wrong. Lorelei worked a magic spell to stop the trance Irina had on the kingdom.

Once her father was aware of this, he ordered his guards to kill his wife. However, Lorelei didn’t think about how Irina would react to what she had done, so her family paid the consequences. Her father told her to look after her younger brother, Leo, right before he died. One of the palace guards, Gabril, helped the two kids escape, leaving Irina to believe they had both perished.

Nine years after this incident, Lorelei is preparing to take back her kingdom from the evil queen. The land is having a blight, which is caused by Irina’s insatiable need for power. Lorelei tries to slowly work her way up to overthrowing the queen when she comes across the mother and her kids. The woman she sees ends up murdering her kids and herself, to save them from the fate of starving to death.

Then she meets this guy named Kol, who is the King of Eldr. Eldr is a kingdom filled with dragons. They shift into dragon form and have two hearts. Their human heart governs their dragon hearts to give them empathy and justice. Otherwise they could easily just take control of every land.

Eldr is in grave peril when the Ogres start attacking. The dragons are having trouble keeping them out of the capital. The situation is so dyer that King Kol has to go to Ravenspire to seek help from the powerful witch, Irina. She makes a deal with him. His kingdom’s safety for the heart of the princess.

You basically know the rest of the story, if you’ve ever heard of Snow White.

This book had such a big hype around it and so I wanted to see if it was worth it. After finishing it, I have to say that I was very disappointed. The beginning did not grab me and I had to force myself to get into it. Halfway through I did get hooked, but near the end I just wanted it to be over.

It didn’t have that many good qualities for me. The biggest drawback was that it was SO PREDICTABLE!!! It took a lot of YA tropes and put them into this book. This book was not original in the slightest and I’m a little peeved that it’s going to be a series. I thought it ended there!!

Also, I was confused as to the relations of Irina and Lorelei. It kept referencing the sister of Irina in the beginning and it didn’t stick with me that it was because Lorelei was the daughter of her sister. It was really confusing.

Overall, I would give this book a 3/5 stars. And that’s being generous. I liked Kol’s character and Leo, but Lorelei was a little… typical of any YA novel out there.

Book/series recommendations 2016

I’ve had plenty of people ask me for recommendations on series/books to read. So I decided to write a top 10 series/book recommendations. This is in no particular order.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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This series is Young Adult science fiction. It follows this girl named Cinder who is a Cyborg. She lives with her step mom and two step sisters. She finds herself tangled with the prince Kai. This series is such an amazing read. Each book is based on a different fairy tale princess. Cinder: Cinderella. Scarlet: Little Red Riding Hood. Cress: Rapunzel. Winter: Snow White. I wrote a review for this series, which you can check out above.

2. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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A disease goes through the youths of the world. They end up with these freaky powers that leave the adults scared. They’re put into camps and mistreated. I loved this series, although it was hard to get into at first. But once you get into it, you can’t put it down. Again, I wrote a complete review above. I put this one on my list because it’s supposed to be getting its own movie, which I’m excited to see.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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This series follows a lady named Claire Randall in the year 1945. After the second World War, she goes with her husband, Frank Randall, to Scotland on their second honeymoon. However, things go awry when Claire takes a walk and ends up going through a stone circle called Craige Na Duine, which transports her to the year 1743. She is taken captive by the Mackenzie clan, where she meets Jaime Fraser. Claire must figure out how to get back, but along the way, ends up giving her heart to Jaime.

What I love about this series is the complexities of the characters. This is a historical fiction series with fantastical elements to it. I learned a lot about Scottish history and the Jacobites. This series brings history to life and you won’t be disappointed when it comes to the thrill of reading. I’m only on the third book right now and I can say for certain that I love this series. There are eight books out so far and two seasons of the TV show out. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves history or even Game of Thrones.

4.. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

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I just have to say that the fact that they are searching for a Welsh king made it so much more enjoyable while I’m here in Wales. I loved the characters and the plot line. I think this series has so much for everyone. The series is mainly character based. Meaning that the story moves forward with character development. You won’t be disappointed with this read. To find out more about what I have to say, click the link above.

5. The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

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This book series follows Mare Barrow, a Red, who has some Silver powers. There are two kinds of people in this series. The Reds, which are people like you and me, who bleed red blood. And then there are the Silvers, who have magical powers and their blood bleeds silver. After falling in front of a royal court, Mare is thrust into this world of politics and power. She must marry the prince or be condemned to die. It’s a dystopian setting where the Silvers hold hierarchy over the Reds. There are two books currently out in the series and I cannot wait for the third one. The twist at the end of the first book though. I’m still shocked.

6. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

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This series follows Kelsea Raleigh, Queen of the Tearling. She was in hiding for most of her life after her mom died and her uncle took over the throne. Kelsea must take back her throne and defeat the Red Queen, who is a crazy lady who only wants power. Kelsea’s mom made a deal with the Red Queen to send twice a year a shipment of her people to Mortemese. (I don’t think that’s how you spell it.) When Kelsea stops this shipment, she openly declares war with the Red Queen. Kelsea herself has powers and must learn to control them. The setting is centuries after the Crossing. Which was around the year 2080 or so. Basically, people went on a ship to find this other land and start a new life. Definitely worth a read. The third and final book is coming out at the end of this year.

One thing that was particularly different than most other stories of this kind is the absence of a love triangle or some guy holding the girl back. While there is some form of love or infatuation in the first book, and some in the second, the series does not focus on that. It focuses on the political portion of the plot. I didn’t really like the first book because it was really confusing. But the second book definitely gave more background as to the setting and answers a bunch of questions that I had about the Crossing.

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

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This series is just… ahhh!!! There is no other way to describe it. Along with “Throne of Glass” which I will talk about later, Sarah J. Maas has a way with words. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast… but with faeries and magic. Honestly, I wrote a great review on this series and I cannot start having feels again so soon. Rhysand!!!

8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Basically this story focuses on this girl named Celaena who is an assassin. She is thrown into this game of the king’s to be his assassin. The king has banned magic and magical things keep happening around Celaena. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis since I’m apparently doing a horrible job at describing this series.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Definitely worth the read. The fifth book comes out in September and I’m super excited to read what’s in store for Celaena.

9. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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Definitely a summer read. I loved this book so much and was so glad that I did read it during the summer. If you want a summer contemporary book, this is the book for you. Read my review for more info and some great pictures.

10. “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell

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So if you’ve read “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell, you will know that this is the book that Kat is so obsessed with. Don’t worry, if you haven’t read that book, you can still read this book. It’s very Harry Potter like. It centers on this kid who is a foster kid and his journey to this magical place. I feel like I’m forgetting a lot of the major details, but it’s all in the book review above. I loved this book so much and would highly recommend it to anyone who loved Harry Potter.

Book Update 3: Invasion of the Tearling and Rock and Roll book tag

Here comes my book update!!!

I’m really happy with what I have been able to read this week. Well, it’s more like just one book, but that’s good enough. The book I am reading is called “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erka Johanson. It’s the second book in the “Queen of the Tearling” series. I’m only halfway through the book and I’m pretty happy that I picked this one up.

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Unfortunately these aren’t the covers I have. But the ones I have are still gorgeous.

Honestly, I forgot most of what happened in the first book, so I came into this book a little fresher than I would have liked. Unlike most books, this book didn’t summarize what happened in the first book in the beginning of the second. I kind of had to guess at things.

This book has different perspectives, and sometimes it’s not the greatest thing. I would have just liked to stay in Kelsea’s head. I’m so confused by her character at this point, because her appearance is changing. For those who have not picked up this book, I will just say that as for second books go, I do like it so far.

The first book in this series was hard for me to get into, but this one was easier. I liked the idea of magic and how it came about after the “Crossing.” This happens around the time of 2060. Well, that’s when they cross some ocean and end up almost going back to the stone age. When I got into this series, I thought it was a medieval setting and that they had never heard of telephones because they hadn’t been invented yet. But apparently all technology had been obliterated in the crashing of the ship as they found this “new world.” I am a little confused as to how they could have found this new world if they had technology back then and had already seen the Earth. It’s slightly confusing and I really want to know more.

One thing that I find compelling to read in the second book is the world that Lily Mayhew lives in. A girl from the “pre-crossing” years, who Kelsea has visions about. Lily was born in 2058 (I think this is correct, but if not, around that time) and things are looking bad for her. Basically she lives in a sexist and homophobic society in which she has no voice and is very much repressed. The thing I find really scary is that the future in this book isn’t an impossibility. We’ve made some great strides as a nation and society, but they might be slowing down as we start voting for the next American president.

Also, the fact that they were editing books and banning written books was something I really wanted to learn more about.

That’s it for my book update so far. When I finish the book I’ll probably do a review about it to discuss ways in which the world is scarily familiar for today’s times.

Now on to a book tag!

ROCK MY TBR SONG AND BOOK TAG

1. SMELL LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (Nirvana) – A Contemporary I Want to Read

“Second Chance Summer” by Morgan Matson. I read “The Unexpected Everything” and I saw this book on the shelf the other day and really want to read it. Unfortunately I probably won’t get to it till maybe next summer.

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2. SHUT UP AND DANCE (Walk to the Moon) – Most Anticipated Book You Have

I guess I’ll put this one up. I won’t be getting it till tomorrow night, but it’s one of my most anticipated books. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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3. CENTURIES (REMIX) (Fall Out Boy) – A Twist on a Classic or Fairy Tale

That I love? Well, lets see. This is my favorite. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer review

4. YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOT (The Flaming Lips) – A Science Fiction Book or a Book Set in the Future

I’m halfway through this book and I’ll just recommend this one. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman.

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5. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT (5 Seconds of Summer) – A Book with a Girl on the Cover

Throne of Glass series. I love the UK covers better.

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I just really love how badass she looks on this cover.

6. AFRICA (Toto) – A Book Set in a Foreign Country

I need to put this in here somewhere, so OUTLANDER!!!

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7. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST (Queen) – A Book or Books That Will Complete a Series

This question seems vague, so I’m going to interpret it as “what book or books didn’t need to be in the series to complete it?” So I’m going with the Selection series. The last two books didn’t need to be there at all.

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I did love the covers. So how unfortunate was it that they were so beautiful, yet the story just lacked… beauty??

8. SOMEONE NEW (Hozier) – A Book by an Author You Haven’t Read Yet

I just got this one. I met the author yesterday and have never read his books yet. It took this guy 7 years to write this. It’s called “I Saw a Man” by Owen Sheers. He’s apparently Welsh.

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9. HELLO (Adele) –  A Book your DNF or Weren’t in the Mood for at the Time

This one is easy. Winterspell by Claire Legrand. I just could not read the book. The story was not interesting and it was very confusing. I got this book with a gift card so I don’t feel so bad. I thought the cover was beautiful though. See, that’s why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

 

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10. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Kylie Minogue)– A Book You Bought Because of the Cover

Look above and you will have your answer.

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I only like one of the songs on this list and have no clue of the others. But anyways I hope you guys like this update. Follow me for more of these fun things!

Scotland Trip 2016

Hello there lassies! I’ve just come back from a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. I have to say it was an eye opening trip. Without the surroundings of my friends and family, I could really be me. Sure, I came to Cardiff alone and made some friends here, but I got to experience something truly alone. It was glorious.

First day:

I arrived in Edinburgh around 8:30 am. Took the Tram to the City Center. I had gotten off at the wrong stop since I looked at the map wrong. So I had to walk about forty minutes to my hotel. It wasn’t that bad of a walk. It gave me some perspective on what I wanted to check out later on in my trip. Edinburgh was more hilly than Cardiff. Not San Francisco steep, but close. The place I got off at was a bit quiet. I didn’t see that many people around. But when I got closer to the City Center, I saw more people.

The City Center was lovely to behold when I got there. There’s two parts of town. There is the Old Town, which is the architecture that was there when it was just starting as a city. And then there was the New Town. Basically a different style of architecture that came around later in the city’s history. In between

the two towns is a park. There was a Ferris wheel, two museums and even a cemetery. The New Town was where I ventured out mostly for the first two days. The hotel I stayed at was only five minutes away from the City Center. There were plenty of places to eat around it and the Tram station was RIGHT THERE! I didn’t need to walk all that way. But you live and learn.

The hotel was super close to Nando’s!  Seriously, if you’ve never been to Nando’s, you should. Or if it’s not in your country, try to imagine amazing chicken wraps and burgers. They specialise in chicken.

I couldn’t check in till two, so I got to roam around more. I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before so I was exhausted. I got lunch and looked through part of the museum. When I finally checked into the hotel, I fell asleep for five hours. When I woke up I went to Nando’s for dinner and looked around some more.

Second Day:

I woke up late and missed my chance to go to Doune Castle, which is the location they shot Winterfell at and also Castle Leoch in Outlander. I ended up just walking down the street from my hotel and explored. I forgot my umbrella so when it started to rain halfway through my walk, I got drenched. I caught one Pokemon and then I turned off that app. I walked a good four miles and then I went to take a nap. After my nap I went to get some cheesecake and did some more window shopping. It wasn’t the most productive day of my trip, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

They say that you need to do things when you’re visiting a foreign country. But my favorite things to do when I travel is examining how the down time of the city is.

Third Day:

This was the day I was looking forward to the entire trip! After I finished reading “A Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon, I got the idea to visit the Highlands. So this trip was leading up to this. I bought a ticket to this tour around the Highlands. I saw the Loch Ness, Glen Coe, the famous Whiskey distillery, a double rainbow, and some Highland “coos.”

The view was breathtaking! All the amazing scenery I saw in “Outlander” was what brought me to Scotland. I definitely was impressed with all of the nature. Most people who know me think I’m more of a couch based person, but I do love the outdoors. I just really like complaining about being outdoors.

The tour guide was hilarious and if given the chance, I would love to go on another one of his tours. The company is called “Rabbies,” which is not the disease, but the name of a famous Scottish poet. If you’re ever wondering what to do in Scotland and have never seen it, I would recommend this tour.

Fourth Day:

This day I went to Edinburgh Castle. I only went for two and a half hours, then I took a nap. Yeah, I took a bunch of naps during this trip. I loved just seeing the people around the castle and the amazing architecture. It felt like the castle was on a cloud. Also, the food was amazing! I had Haggis for the first time… really good! Just don’t look up what it is.

Fifth Day:

This was my last full day in Edinburgh. I went to the palace, the World’s End pub, and the Elephant House (where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter). It was a nice day, but then I got a headache and had to lay down.

***

I know that some of that was a little short, but I do have photos. I had such a great time in Scotland and I am glad to have gotten the opportunity to do this. If I could go back, I would. Next time I go, I would like to take someone else with me.