book

A Series of Breakdowns and Breakthroughs - A Memoir

9:08 PM

Picture this: your life flashes before your eyes, all you see is a series of every breakdown you've ever had. Do you laugh or cry?

I like to think that I'd laugh. When I write about the times I blew up over something so small, or even big, I get a good kick. Why? Because it's in the past and self-reflection has allowed me to see both how that event worked its way into my current life as well as how minuscule it was in the long run.

A young Brooke pronounces her love for chicken and
fries at a young age while simultaneously imitating
Deb from Napoleon Dynamite without even knowing it. 
I've had more than my fair share of breakdowns, and I think it's time I share them with the world. I tend to be a quite vulnerable writer and this allows readers to relate. It soothes their inner worries about similar experiences they've had. I think I have a lot of wisdom to share via these horrendous meltdowns I've had.

Here's a quick preview: me, red-faced, mouth screaming, on the floor of old navy, a skort (Good riddance, am I right?) crumpled in my hands, my mom in the corner with her head up against the wall, her best friend scolding me for not slipping that torturous garment on, and the rest of the store wondering what the hell is going on in that dressing room.

Or this: Eating leftover spaghetti for dinner when my mom tells my brother and I that she has something to tell us, that our father is in jail and the news has been published on a local news site that most people in town read.

The events vary in degrees of seriousness, but each one felt just as real as the next in the moment they were happening.

I'm not sure if this is something I'll ever try to get published, but I sure am excited to write about it. Sometimes writing a memoir seems conceited, but I think it's really good reflection that could possibly benefit others if done correctly.

Life hasn't always been easy and it never will be. I intend to share that with whoever ends up reading my pieces.

Best,

P.s. Sorry for the lack of posts lately. My sorority is going through the rush process right now, which is very important to me, though it doesn't feed me in the same way that writing does. I'm hoping to get back to more blogging soon. 

P.s.s. I'm probably going to redesigning the layout of this page soon, so don't be surprised if you see changes! 

P.s.s. I've been experimenting a ton with watercolors lately for a class I'm in right now! Would anyone like to see?

2016

Books I Want to Read In 2016

4:33 PM

Hey!

I thought I'd take my TBR pile and make a list of books that I plan on reading in 2016. None of these are exactly new releases, but they are books that I have been planning on reading for a while and just haven't gotten around to.


The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. 

How have I not read this? I graduated high school and took all honors classes and not once was I asked to read this book. That shocks me given it's amazing reviews and that it relates to young people.

Half Broke Horse by Jeannette Walls. 

I loved The Glass Castle and have read it three times. I bought this book at the used book store connected to the library I worked at in high school. Don't ask why I haven't read it yet. I really relate to Walls' story and find her writing inspiring.

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. 

I'm going to be honest, I know nothing about this book. However, it was given to me as a hand-me-down and I'm determined to read it. UPDATE: I just read about it, and it sounds like it revolves around the reclassification of Japanese Americans. That's going to be a new read for me, but definitely one that I'm looking forward to.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. 

So I started reading this book, and it's soooo pedantic. I'm not sure I'm going to make it, but I was told it was incredibly witty. I find it hard to even stand the main characters. I might pick it up in a few weeks.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. 

Again, why haven't I read this?

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. 

As a lover of many types of genres including fantasy, I've been told that I should read this for a long time. I've very recently acquired the series as a hand-me-down from my aunt. I'm so pumped to finally hear this story!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Read) by Douglas Adams. 

I read this already. It was hilarious but at the same time made a point. In the beginning I thought it was going to be some super ridiculous story that made no sense, but it ended up actually having meaning. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

Another one of those books that I'm just not sure why I haven't read. I need to keep up with these books.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. (Not pictured, to-buy.)

Every now and then I really enjoy a good graphic novel. This is one that I've heard a lot about through the bookstagram community, booktube, and Goodreads.

Winter by Marissa Meyer. (Not pictured, currently reading)

I started reading this final book in the Lunar Chronicles this weekend. I'm only 100 pages in, and it's going to take me a very long time (especially given that I'm a full-time college student), but it's going to be worth it.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman. (Not pictured.)

Last year I read If I Stay and loved every word of it. I have yet to watch the movie, but I'm really excited to read this book from another point of view!

I hope you've enjoyed my little blurbs on what books I look forward to reading this year. You can find all of these books and more on my Goodreads account, where I not only rate but review books for anyone to read.

Thanks for reading,




book

Review - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

7:22 PM



I began this book after seeing it countless times on Instagram. Around Thanksgiving I visited my aunt and uncle's house in Ohio only for them to send me away with books upon books that they didn't want anymore. The Night Circus was one of them.

This is a very peculiar book to describe, because it is a quite peculiar book indeed. What you must know is that it is unlike any other book you've ever read. The narrative is beautiful, as well as the story that it tells.

The premise of the adventure is that two "magicians" have been battling for years over which format for performing magic is best. They challenge each other by teaching students their methods and then placing the students in some type of an arena (not often a typical one) where they must see who can perform the longest. The winner of the challenge is proven to have the best method of teaching magic. Celia Bowen is only six when she's taken to her father, Hector Bowen. Hector decides to make her his student, and challenges Alexander, otherwise known as the man in the grey suit, to find a competitor. When he does, marvelous plans for a circus evolve. The circus is magnificent and stands apart from other circuses. There are many tents, all filled with amazing and breathtaking acts and talents. There is a draw to the circus, so much so that some people never want to leave. However, the circus is the arena, and Celia and her opponent, Marcus, must hold it up until the other cannot do so anymore. You must be warned: this is a story of unrequited love that may or may not be solved.

I found this book to be magical, for lack of a better word. It simply was. The circus is described in a way that makes your mouth water. The characters' relationships keep you hanging on for what's at stake. There is an ever-present air of mystery around every action that happens in the book.

Here's how I rate it:

The writing - Simply wonderful. I haven't read a book this poised in so long. Morgenstern makes the circus real to the reader, even when such a spectacle has never existed. When she describes the food at the circus, it is almost like reading J.K. Rowling describes the feasts at Hogwarts. And that is a high standard. What exists in that aspect exists in others. Morgenstern makes you want to be at the circus, just as her characters cannot stand to be without it. I'm amazed at how her descriptions came to life. 5/5.

The plot - The plot was magnificent toward the end of the book. I felt that it was a bit slow at first, and had trouble reading through this as fast as I could other books. However, this is because there had to be a lot of buildup in order to get what needed to be done set up. I did feel that some parts could have been taken out to shorten the book, but I may not have as deep an understanding of the plot as the author does. Surely, everything in this book happens for a reason. 4/5.

The characters - I loved the characters in this novel. They felt real, full of life, and I was drawn into them from the beginning. The love between Celia and Marcus felt so tangible, like I too could feel the tension that followed them wherever they went. I also loved Poppet and Widget, who became a part of the circus the day they were born- they quite literally started and ended their lives with the show. Even the characters that I didn't like- Hector, Alexander, Isobel, and Chandresh, were still so well developed that I had to admire the author's work. 5/5.

In total, I give this book 4.5/5 stars. I highly recommend it to lovers of well-told stories. It is not a book you read to quickly pass the time, or one that you can read mindlessly. Read this book with the intention of being amazed.

As for age-related content, please note that this book does contain one scene involving sex. However, it is not realistic. I believe it could be handled by ages 14+. 

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