life update

Hey bookish people!

I know I haven’t exactly been diligent with blogging and posting lately. Sorry about that! A few things have happened since I last published a new post:

  1. FINALs are FINAL-ly over! (I admit, that was weak.) This means no more cramming for tests and stressing over grades that are living on the edge and perilously close to plunging over the wrong end of the grading cliff.
  2. I completed my Goodreads challenge of reading 100 books this year. I went from being 12 books ahead during the summer to 5 books behind once school started again for the fall semester. But somehow, I managed to catch up and finish my goal! If you really love something, you’ll always find time for it right?
  3. I’m on Christmas break! Which means: a) more time for reading + blogging and b) less time to finish the college applications I still haven’t submitted.
  4. I played in a winter orchestra concert as the principal violinist. We played Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, as well as a handful of traditional Christmas songs, such as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Sleigh Ride.
  5. I finally watched Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Asa Butterfield. That. is. all. (Did it bother anyone that it was so different from the books? And that Olive’s and Emma’s peculiarities were switched?)
  6. I found out Zayn and Taylor Swift did a collab for Fifty Shades Darker (no, I haven’t read the books or watched the movie and I don’t think I ever will do either of those things). But their new song, I Don’t Wanna Live Forever, is so addicting! Which is totally weird because I usually don’t like pop music.

I don’t like making excuses for myself, but the main reason why I wasn’t able to post at least once last week was because I was drowning in school and finals and the dreaded, unfinished college applications. Hopefully, I’ll muster up the motivation to polish off the last couple of college apps that I have and get back to posting more regularly!

So, how’s your life? Did I miss anything interesting while I was gone?

harry potter: the microsoft paint edition

In need of a laugh? You’re in luck! I came across the SILLIEST “artwork”/condensed format of the Harry Potter movies and characters on Twitter the other day, and I just had to share it.

Warning: Wildly inappropriate spew of profanity, atrocious grammar, incorrect (yet ridiculously hilarious) spelling ahead. Read on at your own risk!

image1-3image2-2image3-2image4Every time I look think about this series of stupidly comical Paint drawings, I practically die laughing. My cheeks hurt, and my stomach gets the most intensive ab workout ever! I honestly feel like the terrible drawings only add to the comedic effect. My personal favourites are “im cho chung” and “gobble of fiyah.”

Hopefully, you got a few laughs out of this short post. Or maybe more than a few. 🙂

bookstagram q & a

Hello, my lovely bookwyrms! I hope your holiday weekend was great. Because I reached 5,000 followers on bookstagram this month, (yes, holy crud, that is totally insane! I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that over 5,000 people have decided to tap the follow button.) I decided to hold a Q & A session with my bookstagram followers! They asked the questions, and I answered them.

I’ve bolded the questions and my bare-boned answers for the people who like to skim instead of close read. So without further ado…

pagesinparadise: If an author would write a book about your life, who would you choose? 

I love this question! Unfortunately, my life happens to be rather boring, so I’d want Sarah J. Maas to write it into something with lots of action and full out epic-ness. And maybe give me a Rhysand of my own? Or Rowan? Dammit, I’d even take Lorcan. Because, you know, brooding Fae warrior males are my favourite. 😉

zoe_hoibian: If you could spend a day with three fictional (book/movie/tv show) characters, who would it be and why?

1). Cath from Heartless. I’d stuff my face with rose macarons and other delectable baked treats.
2). Kaz from Six of Crows. Please teach me some of those lock-picking skills.
3). Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock. I just want to see his reaction to everything. I want need those powers of deductive reasoning! Maybe we’ll even solve a few crimes along the way. Preferably those that don’t involve Kaz.

travel.by.book: What’s your favorite genre?

Historical fiction. It’s such an oxymoron. You’d expect something historical to not be fiction and fiction to not be historical.

alinabooklover: Team Captain or Team Iron Man? Top 5/Top 10 favourite tv shows?

Hey, that’s two questions!! That’s a tough choice, but I think my heart’s with the Captain and my mind’s with Iron Man. As far as TV shows go, here’s a sneaky confession: I don’t watch TV often, BUT Sherlock is my absolute favourite! I also love Downton Abbey. Once Upon a Time is my guilty pleasure. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Outlander, but I like it so far. I have plans to binge-watch Mr. Robot, PoldarkDoctor WhoGrey’s Anatomy, Stranger Things, and House in the near future…

mybookacademy: Who are your top two fictional boyfriends AND hypothetically if you were in a vicious love triangle between them who would you pick??

Girl, you are vicious. I think you and Maas are molded from the same sheet of evil. (just kidding, you know I ❤ you, Sally!) But if you forced me to choose at knifepoint, I’d choose Rhysand from ACOMAF over Kaidan Rowe from Sweet Evil.

mylifeisanovelmylifeisanovelIf you could only read one series for the rest of your life, which series would you choose?

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. This trilogy is absolutely perfect! You can’t go wrong with a likeable, bookish main character. TID also contains one of the only love triangles that I didn’t have problems with.

bookish.marls: Would you rather read a book about your whole life or read a book about all conversations that had been said about you?

Conversations. I’ll feel like I’m reading minds. My life is (sadly) quite uneventful.

readingisinevitableWhat/who inspired you to start bookstagramming? How do you find inspiration for your pictures? What’s your favorite less-known book or series?

Xan from twirlingpages! Interestingly enough, we have mutual friends, though Xan and I have never met in real life. I find inspiration all around me. There’s so much raw beauty in nature and created beauty in music. And of course, I take into account of the book’s content and cover (especially the colour) whenever I take a photo. My favourite lesser-known series is Wendy Higgins’ Sweet Evil trilogy, featuring angels and demons and my favourite British drummer/badass!

sentrancedbookworm: If you had to change one thing about one of your favorite books, what would it be?

Nothing. If it’s my favourite book, there’s no way I’d want to tamper with anything. Although preventing a character I love from dying would be good for my bruised heart…

scarlingwolf719: Who are your top three book character crushes?!?!

You’re making me choose?!?! Fine.

1). Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury
2). Kaidan Rowe from Sweet Evil
3). Adrian Ivashkov from Bloodlines

fictionalpassionPopular character you don’t really like?

Alina Starkov from the Grisha trilogy. Sadly, she’s the reason why I didn’t enjoy the Grisha trilogy as much as everyone else seemed to.

libraryamongstarsWho’s your favourite Disney princess?

Ariel! #mermaidsforlife

bookhuggerreviews: If you could meet a fictional character and hang out with them, who would you choose?

Manon’s wildflower-loving wyvern, Abraxos. (from Queen of Shadows) I’d spoil him sick with wildflowers, and then bribe him with honey to take me flying through the skies. Or maybe he won’t need bribing.


I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it! I honestly loved answering all of your questions. Some of them took a loooong time to reflect on. (hello, multiple book crushes) If you have more questions, feel free to ask, and if not, I will see you in my next post.

the chainsmokers book tag

I was tagged by Anj from @seaweedbooks to do The Chainsmokers book tag!

Everyone knows about The Chainsmokers right? They’re the vocal duo who first started the whole “but first, let me take a #selfie” business! I love one of their more recent, mainstream songs, Closer.

So let’s begin!

ROSES- a book or series that you didn’t want to end

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. A trilogy counts right? The Infernal Devices (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince, Clockwork Princess) remains my all-time favourite trilogy because 1) the MC is NOT a whiny brat who always depends on her love interest to save her sorry butt and 2) both love interests, Jem and Will, are so special and strong in their own ways. Clockwork Princess was my favourite out of the three books, and it’s one of the only books that has ever brought tears to my eyes. I remember staying up until 3 am to finish it when it first came out!

the-infernal-devices_wallpaper
from left to right: Jem (Clockwork Prince), Tessa (Clockwork Princess), Will (Clockwork Angel)

DON’T LET ME DOWN- a book you have high expectations for

I screamed a little (okay, maybe more than a little) when Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo arrived on my doorstep a whole day earlier than I’d expected. (Thank you, Amazon!!) The red lined pages are so beautiful I almost want to cry. Everyone was raving about CK while I was on my longest lasting book buying ban EVER, and believe me when I say I felt those pangs of jealousy! But now that I have this beauty in my hands…I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE KAZ AND HIS CREW KICK SOME SERIOUS ASS. Sorry for the bad language.

INSIDE OUT- beautiful story + beautiful cover

A.G. Howard’s recently published NA novel, The Architect of Song. Goodness, can we just talk about how the writing is a literal work of art and so is the stunning cover?! I actually just finished The Architect of Song on Sunday, and it’s everything I hoped for–steamy romance, bearable love triangle (hello TWO dreamy guys who happen to be…okay sorry, I’m not giving away spoilers), strong-willed, deaf main character, and with hints of historical fiction/Gothic elements? Check for all of the above! And have I mentioned that the cover is gorgeous? Scroll down and take a look below if you don’t believe me.

UNTIL YOU WERE GONE- a book you read when it was not trending

Back in 2012, I first picked up Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass because the girl on the cover was so striking, with her piercing, blue, blue eyes. The minute I read the blurb, I was sold. And guess what? I ended up devouring that book in a single sitting. That was back when ToG was just published– it wasn’t popular yet, but look at it now!

CLOSER- a book you wish you didn’t read

I’m sorry, but I really didn’t like Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke. I originally picked it up for its stunning cover, but the story was just so strange I couldn’t help but feel just a bit creeped out. Also, I’d like to know who names their child Wink. I think the book might be enjoyable for people who like weird, dark mysteries but unfortunately, it wasn’t for me.

image1-2

WATERBED- a book that gave you too many feels

TOO MANY FEELS. OMG. LET ME JUST GET MY THOUGHTS IN CHECK.

too many feels, you ask? A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, aka my favourite read of this year so far! Rhysand is my #1 book crush at the moment. He melts my heart and I sometimes forget my own name when I’m reading about him. Feyre’s so damn lucky. After the way ACOMAF left off…well, I wouldn’t say it’s a cliffhanger, but I so want to see Tamlin get his arse kicked by our lovely High Lady. There were some really beautiful, moving moments between Rhys and Feyre, like the Starfall scene. And can we talk about multi-coloured paint and chapter 55? *insert winky faces here*

KANYE- expensive book(s) that you really want

If you’ve seen my goodreads ‘to-read’ shelf, you know exactly how my tbr list stubbornly refuses to be conquered year after year because there’s only so much time in this world and so many books I want to read!

Bookstagram (you can follow me here) introduced me to the Harry Potter illustrated editions of The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, and now, I would love to own copies of both! But together in a set, they cost $65, a price my poor wallet would faint dead away at. #brokestudentstrugglesarereal

SELFIE- a photogenic book

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen on a YA novel. Or any novel, for the matter. In fact, the entire Starbound trilogy is worth picking up just to drool over the covers! (Zelle, get a hold of yourself!)

starbound-trilogy
*heavy breathing* LOOK. AT. THESE. COVERS. OMG.

GOOD INTENTIONS- a book with a lot of rave reviews, and you hope you will love it too

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I heard that the author actually wrote the novel during NaNoWriMo, which is totally cool! The premise is so promising and I’ve heard so many people rave about how amazing this book is, especially lovely CiCi from @therusticwindow. I recently received a candle called “Circus of Dreams” by Tris from BurningPagesCandles, inspired by The Night Circus, so if the book is as wonderful as the candle smells (and as everyone says it is) I look forward to reading it!

NEW YORK CITY- a book you stayed up to read, possibly moved to tears

Heartless by Marissa Meyer has already torn a hole halfway through my heart. I stayed up late to read a few more chapters, and then I made the dreadful mistake of skipping ahead and spoiling the ending for myself! My initial reaction was, of course, a bad pun: Surely Ms. Meyer, you Jest? It can’t end like this!! Even though I already know the ending is going to thoroughly destroy my heart, (will I become Heartless? hahah) I plan on finishing Heartless sometime this week. I have never in my life read a more vivid, complex Alice in Wonderland retelling of the Red Queen.

heartless-marissa-meyer-feature


That concludes today’s post. I hope you found this blog post fun to read! Maybe you even added a few more books to your tbr list, who knows?

I tag:

Tiffany , Rachael , Mariana, Alaina, Tina, AlexMariana,

 

…and anyone who would like to do this tag!

fragilemyths, a story

You all know my name, but not my story…yet. You might be wondering how I came to settle on the name “fragilemyths” for my bookstagram and blog. In order to understand my story, my myth, simply take your time turner–three turns should do it!

Flashback to middle-school me, reading Fragile Eternity (the third installment of the Wicked Lovely series) by Melissa Marr.

That’s when I fell in love with the word ‘fragile.’ To me, the word itself was a sort of paradox. There was nothing truly fragile about it, because the short a sound clips the first syllable of the word, and the strength of the consonant ‘g’ sound both softens and augments the rather harsh sound created by the ‘r’ and the ‘a’ together.

Years later, I created what is now my personal instagram account, but I had the hardest time deciding what my username would be. Initially, I chose fragileeternity, in honour of the book I drew my inspiration from. But good lord, the double e in the middle of the name looked AWFUL! How then, should I change it? fragile_eternity? No. I didn’t like the underscore; it made the name lose its allure. fragile.eternity? Also no. I wanted my name to be seamless, connected on its own. I temporarily gave up on finding a name for myself, and went with my own given name.

Skipping a few years ahead to the end of March 2016, I created a second instagram account, soon to be inaugurated as my ‘bookstagram.’ Again, I faced the dilemma of what to name my account, or myself. I thought about how Beatrice Prior established her reputation in Dauntless as ‘first jumper’ and renamed herself Tris in Divergent. But who did I want to be known as? Who did I want to be?  Suddenly, I recalled a game of telephone that I played in my fourth year and came to the conclusion that the best myths, stories, and folklore stay aflame because the people who love them keep them burning brightly for the next generation. The cycle continues, and that’s how simple stories can secure spots in the libraries of classics and become so beloved. But there are also the more fragile myths, or combinations of words easily lost and forgotten into the oblivion of ages past.

I swore I wouldn’t become someone easily cast aside by Time’s capricious nature. I am not a casualty of Time. As cheesy as it sounds, I vowed to make an impact on the world, whether it be by spreading my love for literature or conducting research in a lab. (I’m a science geek, for those of you who don’t know yet!!) And now, I’ve found my name. I’m still writing my story, my very own myth, and you are a part of it!

halloween (book) recommendations!

I can’t believe we’re near October’s end! I guess you could say it’s OctOVER? (hahah) Seems like just yesterday I was singing (badly, of course) “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day…

Many of you requested a list of spooky/Halloween recommendations, and I was also inspired by a handful of other bloggers to compile this list. However, rather than including just YA books, this list also encompasses classics and short stories. So without further ado…

289629061Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco 

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

Thoughts: Stalking Jack the Ripper is currently at the top of my tbr list, after my lovely friend Alex recommended it to me. You know it’s going to be good if it’s at the top of my list of recs, and I haven’t even read it yet!

y450-293Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

SynopsisFirst, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

Thoughts: I read this few years ago, and it remains my favourite murder mystery. It had me guessing until the very end, and I highly recommend And Then There Were None to those who crave intense mysteries and high levels of suspense. See if you can be Sherlock Holmes and figure out the culprit!

51esar3mtkl1Title: The Tell-Tale Heart

Author: Edgar Allan Poe

Synopsis: A Gothic short story classic written by the master of macabre, The Tell-Tale Heart is told through the perspective of an unnamed narrator who suffers from insanity and commits a murder but attempts to convince the reader that he is sane. Whether his attempt is successful or not…is entirely up to you.

Thoughts: I read this for school a few years back, and I think it’s absolutely perfect for the upcoming spooky season. It’s far more bone-chilling than The Cask of Amontillado. If you’re looking for a short, spooky read, this is it!

Side note: Authored Adornments‘ October subscription box theme is Edgar Allan Poe! Make sure to use code BOOKSHOP to receive 10% off your order!

31Title: The Shining

Author: Stephen King

Synopsis: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr. Halloran he was a ‘shiner’, aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel – and that too had begun to shine…

Thoughts: You may have heard of The Shining, arguably one of the best horror films out there, directed by Stanley Kubrick. But did you know that it was based on a Stephen King novel? If you’re looking for a truly scary, horror fiction story, you should definitely pick up The Shining! (And this is coming from a scaredy-cat.)

missperegrine_334x5181Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Thoughts: I’m currently reading this, and to be honest, I flipped out when I saw the first series of vintage photographs–they were so strange and creepy! Now that I’m further into the book, things are turning out to be rather interesting…

cover_jekyll_and_hydeTitle: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Synopsis: Idealistic young scientist Henry Jekyll struggles to unlock the secrets of the soul. Testing chemicals in his lab, he drinks a mixture he hopes will isolate – and eliminate – human evil. Instead it unleashes the dark forces within him, transforming him into the hideous and murderous Mr. Hyde.

Thoughts: All right, where are my morally ambiguous scientists? If you’ve already read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, you may want to pick this one up! Like Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll is a struggling scientist. However, Jekyll’s struggle is different–a clash between good and evil–that releases his inner persona.

232995121Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab

Synopsis: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Thoughts: I finished TSS a couple of months ago with my book club, The Literary Lions. You’ll be happy to know that there’s NO romance, plenty of action, and full of musical references–August plays the violin!

Of course, there are many other wonderful books to read this spooky season, but these are a few of my favourites. (hahah, I already know I’m going to love Stalking Jack the Ripper) Let me know your own scary story/spooky book recommendations!

Happy reading!

TLDR: Stalking Jack the Ripper, And Then There Were None, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Shining, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, This Savage Song

#bookwormproblems

You know those ridiculous moments that only bookworms can understand?

You know you’re a bookworm when…

  1. You figure out the plot twist beforehand and when you’re right, you feel like Sherlock Holmes.
  2. You tell yourself “just one more chapter” at 10 pm and five minutes later, it’s somehow 3 am and you’re pretty sure you look like this:635832241272757072-1283116787_gif_460x284_2e015d
  3. Your book buying bans never work because once you see that new release you’ve been DYING to read (*cough* ACOTAR 3) every ounce of willpower you have will magically disappear.
  4. You loathe the ‘20% off!’ stickers on book covers with a deep passion.
  5. You’re constantly falling for fictional guys and tend to compare them to every real-life guy you know and think “nope, lol you’re not the High Lord of the Night Court.”
  6. “BUT MOM, I DON’T HAVE TOO MANY BOOKS. I JUST DON’T HAVE ENOUGH SHELF SPACE!”
  7. Your tbr (to-be-read) list is about 238 miles long and stubbornly refuses to be conquered year after year. And at the same time, you still don’t know what to read next.
  8. You feel the intense agony of cliffha-
  9. The last book of a series is finally released after like 23 years, and you have no idea what to do with your life after finishing it.giphy
  10. When this happens-

me: I ACTUALLY LOVE THIS CHARACTER WOW SHE’S SO BADASS AND HEADSTRONG YAAS YOU GO GIRL

character: lol

character: *dies*

me:

ahhh, I’d almost forgotten how much I love gifs. *insert 438 laughing emojis here*

so tell me, what are some of your #bookwormproblems?

review: all the bright places

I AM SO UPSET. BUT IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. WHERE DO I EVEN START?! HOW DO I WORDS??!

I don’t think that this book should be compared to TFIOS or Eleanor & Park , especially not E&P, (which I didn’t enjoy at all) because it stands on its own.

I am not a crier. Call me heartless, but I didn’t turn on the waterworks when I read TFIOS.

But this. THIS. destroyed. me.

I fell in love with Finch from the very first page. He embraced his nerdiness in a way I admired, a way I never could claim my own outside of my blogging/bookstagram life. He’s quirky, sarcastic, different. His voice was powerfully eye-opening, and I fell so hard for his quotable words. I understood why he felt the need to be Awake, and to have someone or something to keep him Awake.

Finch finds Violet while both their lives are teetering over the ledge- quite literally, in the sense that they meet at the top of the school bell tower, both contemplating death from falling from a great height.

But for Violet, the height isn’t just physical. She struggles with falling out of touch with herself after the accident that took her sister Eleanor. She falls from social grace when she stays around Theodore “Freak,” after their initial meeting. But let me just say, her character development is ASTOUNDING! I loved watching how slowly, but surely, she pieced herself back together, with Finch’s help.

The only problem I had with the book was the fact that the adults seemed so flimsy and paper cut. They didn’t feel realistic enough. They were just there for the sake of being there because teenagers obviously need parents.

I’ve noticed that the primary reason behind the negative reviews is that the author is accused of portraying mental illness as some kind of cute quirk. But it’s not. I agree, mental illnesses should never be shown as ‘cute,’ but in this case, I think Finch’s quirkiness came from his innate personality rather than his mental illness. His struggle with bipolar disorder and depression doesn’t define him as a person, and it certainly doesn’t create the way he thinks. Rather, his illness controls how intensely he feels, as seen with his self-contained anger at Roamer, then the release of that anger packed into a hostile punch in Roamer’s face that led to Finch’s own expulsion. But for all the deep, why-don’t-you-just-think-on-this-for-a-moment-ultraviolet-remarkey-able quotes, his mental illness was not speaking for him. He expressed himself through his personality, NOT his depression and disorder.

And that, my friends, is EXACTLY what he meant by not being defined by his diagnosis.

“Listen, I’m the freak. I’m the weirdo. I’m the troublemaker. I start fights. I let people down. Don’t make Finch mad, whatever you do. Oh, there he goes again, in one of his moods. Moody Finch. Angry Finch. Unpredictable Finch. Crazy Finch. But I’m not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and an even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I’m a person.”

*SPOILER AHEAD DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE RUINED*

It wasn’t the ending itself that ended my heartbeat and turned on the faucets I didn’t know I had in my eyes. It was the fact that the story was so heartbreakingly true and real. The pain, the exhaustion, the feelings of helplessness, I felt it all. Finch succeeded in saving Violet, mentally and physically, and yet she couldn’t save him from taking his life at the Blue Hole, where they had their first ‘date.’ It broke me when Violet wondered to herself, “Was I not enough?”  Ultimately, Violet gave Finch a temporary reason to stay Awake, but it wasn’t quite enough to lull him away from choosing to be Asleep.

But in dying young, Finch is immortalized in the stories of his Indiana town, in Violet’s mind, and in the spirit of the Blue Hole. His death reminds me, just a little, of a poem by A.E. Housman:

To an Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

This book is tough on the heart, but delicate with the subject. It sums itself up easily:
“Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words—it’s all in how you read them.”

what it means to be a rep and how to become one

hi everyone! I had a lot of people ask me how to become a rep for a business on bookstagram, so I thought that I’d just put together a blog post explaining my take on it.

first of all, being a brand representative is a HUGE responsibility. there are deadlines to meet and beautiful, high quality photos are expected. most businesses require four promotional posts per month, or one post per week. this means you should plan out your posts and ideas for them.

to avoid cluttering your feed with constant promotional posts, I’d recommend only applying to be a representative for the companies you really love. all too often, I see accounts with large followings apply to every rep search possible, thinking they’d be chosen based on the number of followers they have. granted, many of these accounts do have beautiful styling and themes, but to me, it’s ridiculous to be a rep for let’s say, three different book-inspired candle companies. just choose one to pour your heart and love into! additionally, if you end up being a rep for multiple businesses selling the same type of product, you dilute the intrinsic value of the others with every promotional post for one.

when you’re applying to be a rep, be sure to read all the rules carefully! sounds obvious, but for businesses with hundreds or even thousands of applications to sort through, it can be frustrating to come across so many accounts that haven’t followed the general rules. if the original photo announcing the rep search says to repost the photo with a hashtag, don’t include collages of your own photos. just repost the photo. you can always delete it after the reps are announced! if the post announcing the rep search asks you to choose up to five photos you’re proud of and put them together in one seamless collage, then by all means, please do so! open up that layout for instagram app and have others give secondary input as to which photos to include!!

all of the rep searches I’ve seen so far have asked applicants to write about why they’d want to be a rep. don’t be that person who writes something along the lines of-

“Hi, I’m (insert name here)! I love your products and think they would be perfect for me. I want to be a rep because I never get chosen for these kinds of things. I can take beautiful photos of your stuff and promote them!”

first of all, the reason why you would like to be a rep shouldn’t be all about you-it’s about the company you would like to represent. these businesses want interactive bookstagrammers and bloggers willing to promote in order to increase sales, not to constantly receive free items. keep in mind that the items you receive are your compensation for promoting them, so don’t take them for granted!

secondly, you should always write to show your personality. talk about how you would take those beautiful, HDR photos! do you use your phone? or a Nikon? if you’ve been following the business for a while, mention that. explain that you post twice every day and usually respond to all comments within two hours. be a good sport and wish other accounts luck- take the love that bookstagram is so famous for and spread it all around! and most importantly, always thank the business owner for hosting the rep search and allowing you to take part in such an amazing opportunity!

lastly, don’t spend time agonizing over whether or not you have a chance. don’t compare yourself with others! i repeat, DO NOT compare your account with others’!!! everyone’s account is different. your aesthetic and composition preferences probably won’t line up exactly with others. as long as you put your heart and mind into your photography and writing, you’re headed the right way! if you don’t think you stand a chance, apply anyway. what’s the worst that could happen? if you’re not announced as a rep, move on and take the next opportunity. (most businesses change reps every three months!) your chances are exactly 0% if you don’t even try. though it’s natural to sometimes feel insecure about your account, please don’t let that prevent you from trying. personally, I never felt like I had a chance at representing the current three businesses I’m currently working with- lovely Tris from @burningpagescandles, the sisters from @tillanddill, and the amazing Julie from @authoredadornments. but in the end, I’m glad I chose to try, and I love working with them! I probably won’t apply for another rep search for a while because three’s a handful- bookish candles, bookmarks, and book inspired jewelry- they’re all different, special in their own unique ways.

hopefully, this answers most, if not all of your questions! good luck in all the rep searches you choose to enter! i’ll talk to you all in my next post.

review: the song of achilles

when i was 10 years old, i discovered the lightning thief by rick riordan. and that’s when i fell in love with greek mythology and the fantastic tales of heroes, gods and monsters. i voraciously devoured every book in the percy jackson series and eagerly waited year after year for the heroes of olympus books to be released.

seven years later, i am standing here slack-jawed in absolute admiration of madeline miller’s first novel, the song of achilles. i don’t care that some call it ‘homeric fan fiction,’ but hell, this is GOOD homeric fan fiction. i’ve officially found my new favourite historical fiction novel. (sorry salt to the sea, you’ve been dethroned!)

achilles, the demigod son of king peleus and the sea nymph thetis, is famed for his unparalleled skills in combat and prowess in battle. he is known as the greatest warrior of his generation, destined to defeat and kill the mighty hector at troy. even more well-known is his fated death at troy caused by a single arrow through his left heel, and thus giving rise to the idiom “achilles’ heel.” there is, however, so much more to the epic myth surrounding perhaps the greatest, or one of the greatest of the legendary greek heroes…

this book does not center on achilles’ extraordinary skills on the battlefield, nor does it focus on the way he died. despite the title, the protagonist is clearly patroclus, an exiled prince and the friend and beloved companion of achilles. though homer’s iliad never really clarifies the nature of the relationship between achilles and patroclus, miller directly addresses this in the most beautiful way possible. patroclus is privy to achilles’ deepest secrets and thoughts. they are friends. they are companions. they are lovers.

the song of achilles gives patroclus a voice he never had in the iliad as a secondary character. i was able to see and understand achilles through patroclus’ point of view, rather than bask in the glory of the war epic that highlights the hero’s strength and hubris. i appreciated that despite his god-given skills in battle, achilles still proved himself to be wholly human. he feels deeply. he loves deeply. he is just as human as the rest of us, growing up from childhood to adulthood. through patroclus, i watched achilles transition from a privileged child of mischief to a more sensitive teen to an adult who continues to struggle deeply from within, especially in terms of his fate.

i loved this book beyond words. (i know, quite ironic, since i’m trying, kind of, to put my feelings about this amazing novel into words.) having read homer, i knew how the book would conclude, but the song of achilles really put a different spin on a classical greek myth. as patroclus tells thetis from the grave, “let the stories of him be something more.”