Friday, December 4, 2015

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

weekly reads: the diviners by libbra bray

I don't usually read fantasy or young adult paranormal fiction. I am a pretty strict contemporary gal, but summer is here and what better time to branch out and read books you normally wouldn't go for? I borrowed The Diviners from my aunt because I have enjoyed Libba Bray's other works and decided I needed another summer distraction in the form of this 600-page tomb.

The basics: the story is set in the late teens/early twenties of the 20th century and primarily focus on Evie, our speakesie-attending, magical-gift having, flapper girl. Evie is sent to live with her uncle in Manhattan and looks for adventure in all of the right (but also probably wrong?) places. When murders start popping up around the city and her uncle is enlisted to help, Evie believes that she can help too. Any modern girl couldn't resist a murder.

At times, I was overwhelmed while reading, because we started off with about six different characters and characters without names and merely called "the stranger" and "the man in the top hat" and I was all kinds of confused. The Diviners is the first book in a series, so I understand that there was a lot of exposition to be hashed out, but all of the information made the first two hundred pages seem a little slow.

As the plot started to pick up and simultaneously thicken, things got a little less confusing (yay for names!) and much more interesting.

I was surprised by the amount of biblical and religious references surrounding the murder cases. I think it added a more interesting layer to the murders and the fantasy, because it was a continuous build up and something that I'm pretty sure the series will build around.

I was also surprised by how much I liked Evie, even though in most cases, she was downright unlikable. She was selfish, intrusive, and inconsiderate, but as her story unwound, her actions seemed almost justifiable with her emotions and the attention she was trying to find.

The plot was intense and the book did pick up, when the character's paths started to intertwine, but I do wish that the book hadn't been so slow in the beginning. I will most likely read the second book in this series, primarily because I devoted so much time to finishing the first one, but it isn't something that I would reread.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

movie muse: tonight you're mine (or You Instead)

I've decided to watch every movie under the "Independent Comedies with a Strong Female Lead" section on Netflix. (I think.) What started out as a dare declaration while I was lamenting my lack of "culture" and "coolness" for my upcoming dive into college has maybe turned into a tangible thing. Really, it depends on how much time I have/if someone will PLEASE HIRE ME (Hot Dog on a Stick, I'm looking at you)/my desperation level. However, it's the first week of summer and I've got one movie completely finished, which is kind of a feat for me.

I have a really, really hard time finishing films. It's just...if it doesn't grab me, it doesn't grab me? Books I will continuously give second and third and forty-fifth chances to, but movies kind of have one or two and if it doesn't work, back to browsing. Sorry, movies.

Tonight You're Mine (2011) has a kind-of interesting premise; basically two kind of prattish musicians are handcuffed together after a fight and the resulting relationship that grows after.

The dialogue is certainly witty in some parts and the cinematography is perfect. The movie was filmed over five days at an actual music festival and it shows; the mud, the tents, the outfits, the screaming - it makes a very loud, but very lovely backdrop for this love story. 

I enjoyed it, simply because it made me really want to spend tons on Coachella tickets and also because it was cute enough to draw you into another world. It didn't make any intense political statements or have really intense layers of meaning. It was a movie about two people who become attracted to one another and bond a ~connection after being forced together. 

Me gusta. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Milk is Superior to Other Milk

Most of the books I am devouring this summer are thrift store purchases, meaning things that have looked mildly interesting on the shelves at Savers and have since laid around in stacks, waiting to be read. Well, summer is upon us and I have no job prospects yet (fingers crossed for my two interviews on Thursday) and the books are slowly being read and digested. 

French Milk by Lucy Knisley is actually more of a comic than a book or like, a hybrid between the two, and even though I am not usually one for comics or graphic novels (my friends are slowly trying to convert me), I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Basically, it's a drawn comic journal that spans over a month, the bulk of the diary concerning the artist's month-long vacation in Paris with her mother.

The drawing, first and foremost, is cute and detailed and appealing and that's pretty much all I can say on that topic because I have no art skills at all. 

I am interested in all things French and French Milk was a nice little two hour dive into French culture, providing lots of dreamy drawings of food (especially foie gras) and funny little tidbits about the apartment they were staying in. 

Even though nothing particularly exciting happens on this holiday (museums, shopping, cemeteries,  lots and lots of food), it's perfect because of that. The realistic traveling expectations are met - kicking children in airports and slightly disappointing experiences in museums. Knisley's way of capturing the overwhelming fear of adulthood and Life After Graduation and how those feelings are crippling, even when she's in the middle of PARIS is kind of sad and heartbreaking, but in a good way, because it's a reminder that people can be in one of the best cities freaking ever, but that doesn't mean that their life and all of their other worries stop. 

My only real complaint (it isn't even really a complaint it's just something I noticed in a kind of neutral  kind of man-I-want-more way) is that because this is more journal than story, sometimes character's names were thrown in and we didn't really know about them. They're real people and when writing about friends, background stories aren't always included, I totally get that, but it could be a little disconcerting when a gift was picked up for [name] and I had no idea who that was. It didn't take away from the understanding at all, because the basic people were mentioned and kind of introduced, but sometimes I would've enjoyed learning more about these super rad, gift worthy friends. 

French Milk is super enjoyable and kind of quirky and makes me wish that plane tickets could be only 10 dollars, so I could take a Parisian escape. It's a nice dive into vacationing and unmet expectations and also French milk, which is apparently superior in it's full-fat content, sweeter, amazing goodness. Seriously, I enjoyed the book, but after I was done reading it, I wanted to go milk a cow and enjoy some whole milk, French or otherwise. 

This is the first book read from my various acquired stacks and it hopefully set a nice tone for the rest of my summer reads. The comic nature made it a super fast read and I'm a little sad that it only lasted for about two hours, but that's more a qualm with my reading skills rather than the book itself. Onto the next one! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

why can't i be rory gilmore?

I want to be Rory Gilmore. There. I've said it. Now that I'm older and slightly more realistic (hah), the inkling has faded, but when I was younger, there was nothing I wanted more than to be Rory Gilmore. The wit, the academics, the oh man. Of course, I was only twelve when the series ended and much of the intense love I hold for Gilmore Girls spawned after the series was off air, it's still there. And it's probably always going to be there. 

Gilmore Girls is a safety net for me. I rewatch different seasons every year (generally during fall because sighs) and it's a ritual that I have. When I am sad or sick or tired with life, I stay in bed and watch Gilmore Girls because it's so familiar. I hum "Where You Lead" often and understand so many more cultural references because of the show. 

Sometimes I want nothing more in life to find a small, quirky town to settle down in and it's primarily because of this show. 

So here's to hoping. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012

autumn wishlist

autumn wishlist

autumn wishlist by kayliemarie featuring pink bags

Sometimes a little indulgence is good. Especially after weeks full of tension and stress and not enough sleep. Indulge, I say, and give yourself a break. After I say this I generally order a bacon cheeseburger, garlic fries, and a chocolate milkshake.  And then I proceed to eat it all under like twenty minutes. 

Sometimes it's also good to indulge in other things, like shoes and make up and nice smelling candles. This is a nice little collage of all the things I've been loving/wanting for fall. I'd like to be able to say I'll indulge in all of these things (ha. ha. hahahahaha.) but I'll probably just end up with the candle. 

  1. The Naked palette. Ugh. The bane of my existence because I want it but don't need it and every time I go into Sephora I talk myself out of it and then every time when I don't have enough money I talk myself into it. 
  2. Jumpers. This one is absurdly expensive and very soft, but all jumpers make my heart flutter. And help with the food over indulgence. 
  3. Scarves. Burgundy scarves are a plus. ("Like you need more burgundy, Kaylie." I say to myself as I buy another burgundy sweater...) And if it's a circle scarf? Gone, I am. It isn't really cold enough here for scarves, but I might just suffer through the heat anyway. Painful fashion and all that. 
  4. This is more like a need, because I really do need a new backpack. I have intense Thrifter's Regret because I totally found The Perfect Backpack a few weeks ago, in all of it's olive with tan detailed glory, but I didn't have enough money for it and it escaped me. I will now dream and cry forever.
  5. Combat booooooots. Brown combat boots because I'm a brown boot person. I'm not the biggest fan of taller boots, just because they never properly fit my calves and I have oddly shaped legs and the entire equation just doesn't work, so ankle-hitting combat boots are the way to go. I've been attempting to thrift some for a while now but I might just have to fold and properly buy some from a store. 
  6. The It Candle. Not that I need more candles or anything, but it's just so...attractive. And there's something to be said for hype, right? 
So that's what I've been wanting. I'm going to go light a candle now and watch Gilmore Girls and pretend it actually feels like fall, even though it's SEVENTY FREAKING DEGREES in good ole CA. 

Star stickers for reading this whole thing! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Am I too old for gummy bears?"

My entire train of thought for the past two months has pretty much just been, "Holy shit, I'm a senior." And it still hasn't sunk in.
 Does not compute.
It seems almost ironic, because I've spent the last three (more like 5) years of my life "prepping" for college and now that I've taken the SATs and chosen my schools and done everything else, I can't take it. The thought of college makes me want to go back to sleep. Everything about college, from applying to actually going, makes me nervous. 

Whilst we all ponder the reasoning behind this reaction (um, I'm a teenager, there's your reason), I will move onto the other equally large thought looming over me: adulthood. I'm aware that 18 is the "legal" number/border for adulthood, but I dispute this, mainly because part of me pretty much already feels like an adult, and the other part of me feels like I'm going to be a mental thirteen-year-old forever. On one hand, I do all of my banking online. On the other hand, I still beg my mother to makes my lunches. Woo, half adult half teenage Kaylie. Am I ever going to strike a happy medium? And if so, how does one go about accomplishing this? Please fill me in.

Life lately has been a very tedious and scary balancing act. I won't bore you with a tightrope analogy (though I will briefly mention it so you get my point!), but sometimes I feel like I'm going to fail and fall flat on my face. Balancing and managing my time has been my biggest struggle. I can openly admit that I am over committed, but it's a bit too late to back down, so now I'm stuck with attempting to arrange my academic/theatre/leadership/college/personal duties into my schedule. It's very hard, as it's one week until Homecoming, college application time, and the middle of a theatre production. Add a sprinkle of AP classes on top and it is the most unappealing banana split ever. 

Highlights of life and attempts to relax have come in the form of really cute puppies (lhsdfjshdfsd he was adorable and licked my face!!!!), cupcakes, and clothing organization. Lots of clothing organization, because I'm testing out the whole "dress for success" theory and also trying to wear all of the clothing my mother doesn't think I will. I also organize everything during the weekend and that makes me feel marginally better, but only marginally. My biggest stress relief generally comes in the form of a a pumpkin spice latte and Barnes & Noble browsing, but that hasn't been achieved yet this season. I'll work on it. 

I will leave you (and this unorganized, rambly post)  with a photo of my cat throwing her hands up in resignation and on the high note that tomorrow, I will be traveling up to Palo Alto for a college fair, where I will hyperventilate about the future and also meet up some some awesome people from CSSSA. If you've made it to the end of this, you deserve a cupcake (they're pumpkin spice).


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Talk About a Juxtaposition 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Your Word is the most important thing you have.

your word Teen Creative Writing Residency

Back in April, I applied for this creative writing program in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I applied warily, because of the thousands of applicants nationwide, only 21 people are accepted. I was grateful enough to get in, so this summer, I get to spend 14 days in Florida, surrounded by some other amazing writers and mentors. My excitement bubbles over every time that I talk about it (of course, I hold in it, because I was taught all that modesty crap). I'm so excited I could burst. I'm equally nervous, because I've experienced my roughest creative dry spell ever this year, but I'm working on it.

From the pictures online, the campus looks incredible. It's actually set on a nature reserve, in the middle of the "woods", across the street from the beach. (Like my description, eh?) All I can say is that all of that nature better be inspiring, or I'm kind of screwed. At least they can't rescind my acceptance now!

The bulk of my summer will be preparing for this trip. I have to get a new ID, find a bigger suitcase, and get a few vaccines. The only sucky part is that I return on August 6th, four days before school starts up again. But hey, at least I'm going.

I'm really bad at this whole blogging thing.

The only reason I created a blogger account was so I could keep up with my favorite blogs easily and not clog up my favorites bar. Then, somehow, I got this crazy idea that I could keep up with a blog, taking outfit photos and being active. If we're going to be honest, I'm neither comfortable enough nor talented enough in front of or behind a camera to take pictures of my outfits. It might happen eventually, but not now.

So I'm going to rearrange the purpose of this blog. For now, it's just going to be about posting things I like an random pictures/posts about my life. And I'm incredibly happy about that. One of my biggest fears is starting an actual blog (I don't think Tumblr counts, because really it's just a bunch of reblogging). So this summer, I'm going to conquer this fear and create a virtual diary.

Here goes nothing.