Last Book Review is Actually a Song Review

Between the Bars by Elliot Smith
Drink up, baby, stay up all night
With the things you could do, you won’t but you might
The potential you’ll be that you’ll never see
The promises you’ll only make
Drink up with me now and forget all about
The pressure of days, do what I say
And I’ll make you okay and drive them away
The images stuck in your head
People you’ve been before that you
Don’t want around anymore
That push and shove and won’t bend to your will
I’ll keep them still
Drink up, baby, look at the stars
I’ll kiss you again, between the bars
Where I’m seeing you there, with your hands in the air
Waiting to finally be caught
Drink up one more time and I’ll make you mine
Keep you apart, deep in my heart
Separate from the rest, where I like you the best
And keep the things you forgot
People you’ve been before that you
Don’t want around anymore
That push and shove and won’t bend to your will
I’ll keep them still
I fell in love with this song a long time ago. I was going through a phase of being mutually in love with Lily Collins and Logan Lerman, and they happened to be in the same movie together Stuck in Love. The character that Lily Collins played was a young woman that didn’t believe in love after her parents had gotten a divorce. Then a guy came around that wasn’t afraid to be with her and all of her sharp edges and everything was sweet, and they fell in love. But that’s not the important part. The important part is that Lily Collins and the other character were in the car together, parked in an abandoned parking lot and it was raining. He told her to close her eyes and listen to the song that made him feel something. And she did. And so did I. And I replayed the song and that scene until I knew it word for word and I cried and loved it. 
It took me forever to find the song on an actual music platform, but once I did, it played on repeat for weeks. The only reason I don’t listen to it as much anymore is because of like, my own personal mindset. During the time that I found it, I was really sad and lonely. I used the song as a way to feel connected to someone, even though I didn’t really have that person at the time. 
The song is one of  protection and love. It’s a song that sings peace and calm to the listener. It’s what you want to listen to on a rainy day, or when you’re alone in your room, or when you’re looking into the eyes of someone you’re in love with. It’s sad and slow and desperate. It is love and protection sung into the ears of a loved one. 
I don’t listen to it as much as I should anymore, but that’s why I wanted to write a review on it, because I think everyone needs a song like this. 

Book Review: March

After writing my last book review on the final book in the Eragon series, I want to write this month’s on the first book, Eragon itself. Eragon was one of the first over-one-hundred-page books I really got into, and because of that the whole series holds a special place in my heart, but especially Eragon itself. It starts off very normal and not at all like a fantasy novel normally does. Other than it being set in a make-believe world, there is nothing special going on with the main characters and their lives. Eragon and his cousin live with their uncle on a small piece of land a few miles away from a small village. They are very poor and don’t have a whole lot going on in their lives. Shortly into the book Eragon finds a weird, big blue rock that for some unknown reason he decides to keep in his room for a little while but then he wants to sell it because his family is very poor and on the verge of starving. Anyway, he can’t sell the egg because a dragon pops out and his whole world turned upside down. For a little while he is able to hide his new dragon, Saphira, but she becomes too big, and a group of bad guys come to his house, burn it down and kill his uncle. His cousin decides to join the army because he’s sad and doesn’t really have a home anymore, Eragon meets up with this old hermit who (SPOILER) turns out to be his long lost father in a later book (but he dies too) and begins his journey of learning and becoming the newest and only surviving Dragon Rider. 

So, despite this whole book of around eight hundred pages being just one big set up for the rest of the series, it’s extremely good. As I’ll repeat from my last review, Paolini is one of my favorite writers, even though these books are pretty much the only things he’s ever written, or at least published. I often stray away from writing fantasy, even though it is, embarrassingly, one of my favorite genres because world building is such a daunting task. Paolini manages to bring this whole world into your mind and not make anything too confusing. Of course, there are points to where you’re not really sure what’s going on or who is who, but he was very in depth with his world-making and nothing stays in the shadows for too long, unless he wants it to. Overall, because I’m biased, I give this book a 10/10, would read many times again.

February Book Review

I started reading a series of books when I was in elementary/middle school that made me fall in love with books and reading. They were the only books that the author had ever released or planned on releasing, and I absolutely loved them and still love them to this day. Anyways, after all these years and thinking that I’ll never have the chance to experience this world again, he released a new and final installment to the series.


The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm – Tales from Alagaesia was the ending to a world that you always want for a world, but you never seem to get. Christopher Paolini ended the “final” book in the series with a cliffhanger that left all of the characters across the world from each other, love stories were left unresolved, and the main character was cast out into the world alone because of a foreshadowed cryptic prophecy from book one that everyone forgot about. In my own personal opinion, it was probably one of the most infuriating series/book ending that I have ever read. After spending years falling in love with the characters and all of their separate, intricate story-lines and then pretty much having the author do that thing that some authors do where they leave the story open for the readers to imagine the ending was awful. Turning the last page of a four book series, after reading over a 1,000 pages, and turning the last page to have no closure was the worst thing that I didn’t plan on. That’s why having this extra, small book to cover the ends of the stories was almost enough to make me cry. 

Paolini began the new, bonus stories book set a year after the final installment of the original series, writing out three brand new smaller stories inside the book to clear up all of the loose ends of the original series. We’re now able to see the end of Eragon and his family and friends, bringing it all to a final point, opening the way for a whole new set of books, but it isn’t clear yet if we’ll get them or not. 

I’ve been a little vague with this book review because I am still trying to process the stories and ending of the newest book. I will say that these books are some of the most in-depth, world-building series I’ve ever read. Never have I read a series and understood the layout of the world as much as I did while reading the Eragon books. 10/10 would recommend. 

Let’s Hope This Works

I have a terrible habit of being terrible.

I feel like that was an attention grabbing sentence for a post that is supposed to inspire and drive people to do better things, or maybe I’m wrong and it was just awful- you see what I’m talking about? 

This last year, starting around this time, I decided to change how I was looking at things in my life. I had a tendency to look towards the worst-case scenario in anything I did, whether it be my writing or everyday tasks like going to Walmart. 

This sounds like the most cliché thing I have ever written, but I feel like maybe it’s supposed to be. Mrs. Sibley said that if we cringed when thinking about writing something inspirational then her lecture was needed. I won’t say I cringed, it was more of an internal moan that is still echoing around in my rib-cage. I try to do the best that I can in any given situation, but sometimes I get distracted by what hasn’t even happened yet, and will probably not happen anyways. 

I mentioned my trips to Walmart earlier, and I want to touch back on that subject. I can’t stand going to Walmart for the sole reason that there is a 95% chance that I will see someone I know there. My secret wish is that one day MSA will magically teleport to somewhere other than Brookhaven (which happens to be where I’m from), so I can just be surrounded by strangers. BUT, this goes along with my own personal journey of making my own life more enjoyable and easier to live. I’ve decided I can’t be scared anymore. I have to realize that things might not go my way, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t change them to. 

I took a trip over Christmas break to a place that I have horrible memories of. I have not been there since the terrible things happened, and I was terrified. By the time I got there I felt like I needed another shower and change of clothes because I had sweat so much (sorry for the TMI). As my mom and I were driving into the city, and I was so very close to crying, I made up my mind. I will not and refuse to be controlled by things that have hurt me in the past. I cannot think about them daily and have my dreams filled with what-ifs and if only I had. That’s no way to go about living- because it’s not really living at all. It’s being thrown around by  the outcomes of your past while ignoring the fact that you have control over your future. 

I will not say that I am perfect. I have days that I struggle to do simple and ordinary things without having some sort of negative thought or action towards the task. I’m working on how people see me (although if we’re honest, I don’t care how people see me). I want to be known for my kindness and understanding. This is something I have the most work to do on, because I was raised a certain way, and it is proving difficult to change that part of myself. But the most important thing is that I am working on it, and I’m trying to better myself for the good of me and the people around me. 

November Book Review: Kingdom of Ash


Kingdom of Ash is the final installment of the Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J. Maas. In the final book all of the loose ends tie together bringing all of the stories to a close. 

The book begins three months after the end book six; Aelin, the main character, has been trapped in an iron coffin and tortured for the entire three months by her aunt that is but one of the main villains that wants to take over their world. Aelin is close to breaking and is ready to end her life before she can give her aunt the information that she needs to find the last of the keys that will allow her to travel between worlds.

Rowan, Aelin’s mate, along with a small group of their court is at the same time traveling trying to find Aelin and rescue her so they can meet up with multiple armies from all over the world ready to defeat Erawan, the big bad that wants to end all of humanity. 

As the story progresses all of our favorite characters ranging all the way back to book one are seen again and play a large role in defeating Erawan and his demon army. There are large sacrifices made by all and many of the characters we have grown to love do not make it to the last page, but in the end, the good guys win and everyone is happy and healing. 

This series is one of my favorites for many reasons. For starters, most of the main characters are strong, capable, brilliant women that only have men around because they want them, not because they need them. Along with that fact, Sarah J. Maas creates the most well thought out world that I have ever read. It it filled with color and beauty that I have never read before.

My most favorite thing, though, about this book and the entire series is that it has a happy ending. I started reading these books about four years ago, when I was not in a great place mentally, and reading these books about this strong female lead that was just as equally human, was extremely good for me. I took solace in the fact that, though the characters are not real, they could go through the horrible events and still find happiness and love and peace. 

I read something somewhere one time that said you need to write the story that you need to hear. I think it also spans to read the story that you need to hear. If you need that courage and hope, then this is the series to get you started. 

Book Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson is one of my all-time favorite books. It is set in an upstate California town, narrated by two siblings, Noah and Jude. They are twins who see the world the same way at the beginning of the book, but as the book goes on, and they fall away from each other, their differences become more apparent. They both struggle with the same internal struggle of wanting to be their own independent people, despite being twins, and their story follows them through their stages of grief after losing their mom in a car accident. 

Noah, the ‘younger’ of the twins is narrating their younger years, and we follow him in his efforts to get into the local art high school. His narration is very close to being unreliable due to his exaggerated accounts of his surroundings. It is often hard to tell what is really happening and what is actually real. His narration was the polar opposite of his sister’s in his accounts of growing up. He made it very obvious that he had lost his mother, distanced himself from his father, and barely talked to his sister. As the book goes on, he uncovers his most prevalent internal and external struggles, revealing him being gay, and how he has to reevaluate who he hangs out with and how he has to act. While his mother is alive, he is somewhat comfortable in being the artsy, weird gay kid, but after she dies, he takes time completely rearrange how he lives. After Jude, his sister, sabotages his portfolio for the art school, and his mother dies,  he becomes the popular, athletic kid. It’s a very interesting way to see how different grief and self-loathing can affect characters. 

Jude, polar opposite of her brother, begins the book being a sunny and cool character. She is the typical rendition of surfer-popular-girl. She has the most friends and distances herself from her weird brother unless they’re hidden away at home. She hangs out with guys older than her and goes to too many parties. She grew up being closer to her father, but striving to gain her mom’s approval. Her narration starts as soon as her mother dies, and the total shift in her character is even more extreme than her brother’s. She begins to totally isolate herself, wearing baggy clothes in hopes that boys will not notice her, and talking to her dead grandmother’s ghost. Because of Noah meddling with her portfolio, she gets into the art school, but is close to flunking out because she thinks her mother’s angry spirit is breaking her sculptures. Through much personal growth and revealing secrets about her mother and herself, she eventually realizes that she is not cursed and the whole family finally reunite again. 

I love this book for so many reasons, but the main one is the beautiful way Nelson captures the process of grief. I was recommended this book in a very hard time after I lost a loved one, and reading it was very refreshing. I stand by it being my favorite book, telling anyone I see that they should definitely give it a read. 

Book Review: Dispatches From Pluto

Dispatches From Pluto is a non-fiction novel written by Richard Grant. It takes place in the Mississippi Delta after Grant and his girlfriend Mariah move to Pluto from New York. Grant was previously a travel journalist and spent time in many other countries, bringing him into contact with many different types of people. He decides to move himself and Mariah to Pluto after a single trip to visit a writer friend turns into him buying an old plantation home and the acres surrounding it in the heart of the Delta. Grant spends the book taking time to delve into the heart of the spirit of the South. Most of the book focuses on the racial tension still prevalent in the South and its hold over politics, the education system and regular day-to-day life. He makes friends ranging from a metal scrapper to Morgan Freeman himself, battling the wildlife and terrain of a new and often-times harsh landscape. 

I have to admit, I was fairly skeptical of reading Dispatches From Pluto when it was referred to me. For one, I don’t normally read nonfiction, but I have wanted to get more into real-life reading as I get older, and I figured this would be the perfect book to start. Another thing I was worried about was the nature of the author before I started reading; I was worried it would be narrated by a typical middle-aged white man thinking he knew more about things than he actually did, but I have to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised. 

I was ensnared by the beautiful writing to begin. Grant had a way with his descriptions that made it easy to understand the complicated background of Mississippi politics and life, even for someone who lives here. His words were causal and sincere in the way he wrote, taking great care to include even the most basics of interactions he had with the locals to show the reader the broad spectrum of people that preside in the South and in the Delta. 

For me, it was nice to read something about home that was not all bad. Of course, he made sure to include the semi-rampant racism and sexist behavior that runs deep through the South, but Grant also included his account of the people that make the phrase “southern hospitality” believable. 

Through his writing, Grant paints a picture of the South that ensures to capture the reader, and hold their attention, all while painting the picture of the South that I believe would have anyone falling slightly in love with Mississippi, as I believe he wanted. 

(I highly recommend this book!!)

we’ll be back after a short intermission, feel free to stand and stretch your legs a bit

For some reason I thought that by the last blog of the year, I would have posted more things that actually mean something. I guess it’ll have to wait until next year.

I plan to go into this summer the person I am now and come out totally different. This year has tested me in ways that I never imagined, and I am ready to get rid of the weight it has left on my shoulders. I need a break to sit and think and have time to myself away from all of the excitement on campus.

I will travel and sleep and eat healthily this summer. I will come back whole.

Part of me does not like the person I have become this year because when I came, I thought I was as cold and sad as I could be- I was wrong. I have lost a lot this year, things that I will never be able to get back, and honestly, I don’t want them back. I have let go, and I am ready to start my new journey as the person I am now. I will miss who I was nine months ago, but I will not mourn that girl anymore. Who I am is where I have felt the most comfortable. I can order at restaurants and ask teachers for help and I don’t constantly nervous sweat anymore. Those are all things that I am happy to leave in the past. 

I am missing people from my life, and I don’t want them back. I have let go. I have cried when I was supposed to cry, and now it’s all settled. I refuse to belittle myself for someone(s) who will tell me how little I matter, not only to them, but in the grand scheme of things. I am worth so much more than that- and I’m confident enough in myself to realize that. I do not need problematic people in my life. I do not need someone who will lie and manipulate. I am better than that. I do not have to put my recovery on hold for someone who does not care about me. (I write this not only for the people that will read this, but also for myself.)

Things will be okay. Things are okay now. I will not apologize for how I feel, and how I want to make myself a better person.  I have left these people behind because I am moving forward. Far be it from me to stay in a mentality that will only harm myself and the people around me. I can leave it to that person(s).

I am ready to make new memories with old, and new, friends. I am ready to let go and finally be a whole, happy person. Life is wild and crazy, and I am so ready to experience every single part of it. Guys, we’re starting something new. We’re going to go and do things and live and have a good time. This year hasn’t beat us all the way up. I love you all, and we’ve got this. 

I hope everyone has a great summer and comes back ready to f*ck up senior year! (In a good way)        🙂

i wish i would have learned to dance

(This piece is inspired by Mallori’s ‘things i miss’ post)

When I was 12 years old, I wore the same size shoe as my Aunt Maudell. Hers were pointy and old-lady looking, and I usually just made fun of them. She absolutely loved my shoes. The only problem was she always refused to wear closed-toed shoes, so the only shoes of mine she would care to ‘borrow’ would be my sandals. This all sounds fine and dandy, but at the time, I had and even more prevalent hatred for shoes, and if I had to wear something, it would have been sandals.  I would constantly have to go to her house to reclaim my shoes. I hated it. I secretly loved it. I loved that someone took the time to notice something about me that they liked and would love to do for themselves.

Maudell was a dancer. She grew up in the Roaring Twenties and knew exactly which way to twist and turn to get everyone’s attention. By the time I was old enough to be taught her moves, she was almost 90. Her jiggy hips turned to shuffled little steps across the dance floor. She couldn’t swing her arms without falling, so her windmill arms hopelessly grasped the person in front of her.

People say that you start to die as soon as you’re born, but science says you only start to regress after about 25. Maudie started to die the second she couldn’t dance anymore. Or better, when she couldn’t dance on her own. She wanted to twist and turn and sweat and have all eyes on her. Her old joints couldn’t do it anymore, and neither could she.

She told me she would have rather died on the dance floor than in a hospital bed, losing her fight with cancer.

“If I can’t dance Little Charlotte, should I even bother to stay alive?”

She was straight-forward like that.

(She, with the help of my grandmother, had me addicted to coffee at the ripe age of 10.)

There was a point when I had started taking dance lessons in an attempt to impress Maudie, but we both knew dancing wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good at it, but it did not hold my lifeline and she could tell. I gave up dance when I was 10.

Instead, I started writing. I dedicate all of my writing to my grandmother because she is my bestfriend and my greatest muse, but between the lines I can hear Aunt Maudell’s voice and creaky hips.

And the sound of my sandals tapping the floor.


I have an unimaginable hatred for speaking. I don’t like the way words feel as they make their way up my throat. My ears ache when I have to hear my own voice for too long. It’s an odd thing to have to deal with because at some points of the day or the week I might feel like imputing on a conversation or voice an opinion of mine, but I don’t feel like it. Talking takes a lot of energy. 

I once read a book about this girl who went so long without talking that her parents put her in a mental institution because they thought she was sick in the head. Psych  doctors tried to trick her into speaking, but she had gone so long that she just didn’t need to. In her point of view, she explained how little talking people actually need to do. Her friends and parents could tell when she was upset just by the way she acted- no speaking required. Facial expressions conveyed when she was happy or sad or frustrated, etc… Anyway, at the end of the book they didn’t even get her to talk, she fell down the stairs or something and had to talk to doctors about the pain. I don’t really remember. I just know that in the end she did what she wanted to and was happy. 

I don’t know how that correlates to me other than the fact that I’m afraid my mom will put me in some psych ward. I just don’t like speaking. It does make it hard to form relationships with people that don’t already know me or how I think, and that’s an unwanted side-effect. 


Another thing I can add is that I haven’t had a whole lot of inspiration for writing lately.

(as you can tell by this post)

I want to blame it on putting so much into the short story and play that we had to do for our nine-weeks test, but it’s probably just me being obnoxious to myself. I’m not really sure. 

This post has no real meaning. I have nothing that needs to be said.

(no pun intended) 

An update: Since making this draft I have differentiated my lack of speaking for, usually, not caring. I guess that should have been apparent from the beginning, but I like to be hard-headed, even against myself. I figured this out mostly by just being around a person(s) that I genuinely wanted to be around; I had so much to say to this person- things that I had thought I was comfortable keeping in my head, but I guess not.