Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Sister: Rough Draft

This is a paper I'm writing for school. Please give me your thoughts and opinions on it. It's the rough draft, so I'll post the final soon. Enjoy ;)

The sky paints our gleaming skin, and glitters against the turquoise water.  Our legs swing from the dock, the tips of our feet skimming the water, sending electric coolness through us.  My sister laughs, and the wind carries the sound.  In just a few seconds, the water will steal us, and strings of water will splatter the dock.  I glance at her.  She’s gliding through the water, her hair cascading down her back.  She’s like the sun.  Without her, the world would be dark, and yet she’s always there, so I often overlook her presence.
            As I look back, I see laughter, smiles.  I see French manicures, prom dresses, field hockey sticks, and lopsided Brooklyn apartments.  Now, I see sandy, dry deserts with shepherds herding hundreds of sheep, and the intricate Arabic alphabet.  I know this because last spring, she announced her ambition of teaching in Jordan at an American-style boarding school.
            My parents’ attention, not to mention every single one of our aquaintances’, slowly shifted to my sister and her future.  I was the youngest in the family, the one everyone gushed over and admired.  I’d always been somewhat like a china doll in a glass case, but would get jealous if the attention from me for two minutes.  So there I was, with everyone in the universe talking about the way this was a lovely experience, what an amazing girl she was, how she would go on to do great things, and I would just sit there, arms crossed, lips in a thin line, and eyes fixated on the ground.
            It wasn’t that I was trying to get attention, although maybe that was slightly part of it.  I felt jealous. I felt wistful.  I felt as though a puzzle piece was missing.  My sister had always been within reach, and now she was going to be across the world, in an entirely different time zone, learning to speak Arabic and teaching Shakespeare plays.  It was more exciting than anything I’d ever done.  A pang of annoyance and jealousy combined into one emotion would run through me every time someone mentioned her new job. 
            A few days, before she left, we argued.  Not only was the argument irrelevant and unimportant, it was so irrelevant and unimportant that I can't recall fully what it was about.  I remember our voices screaming and echoing across the silent lake and my dogs tentatively seeing what was wrong, but most of all I remember her voice, over a blur of chaos, saying loudly and clearly, "In case you forgot, I'm moving to Jordan in three days, so..." This line made me feel as if I'd just fallen out of a tree and gotten my breath knocked out of me.  It was a reality.  In three days, we'd say goodbye. 
            When three days passed, and my parents drove her to the airport in New York City, I watched their car descend through the trees, down the gravelly road, before turning back, full of happiness and regret combined.  I remembered in disgust the days I would sit sulking because every ounce of attention was not on me, but I also remembered the good things: the midnight swims, the days when we'd do nothing but listen to loud music and hang out, the times when we'd watch Matilda and cry at the sad parts, and the lengthy debates we had over The Hunger Games. 
           After she moved, I became more selfless, and more aware of what I did and said.  I still have the moments when I find myself annoyed when all my parents talk about are my brother's college applications, but mostly I have become someone different. I'm a better friend, a better daughter, and most of all,  a better sister. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

New Info: The Elite, Taylor Swift, and Me.

Hi!   Today I'm taking a day off from school voluntarily to catch up on a lot of things, such as sleep, homework, studying, reading, and my blog. This is going to be a triple post: as in, 3 completely different things crammed into one big post.  Hope this doesn't scramble your mind too much.  :p

Today I'm going to be talking about three things that I feel are important. One, the release of Taylor Swift's new album, Red, and a quick album review. (Something I'll start doing when I buy more albums, haha.)  Two, Kiera Cass's second book in The Selection series, The Elite. I decided to pick this day to take a look at this book because "elite" is one of my English vocabulary words, and because it's possible that the second cover just might be as pretty or prettier than the first cover. I'll give you the inside scoop on it, as well as what I'm planning to regarding reading this book.  And three--me, myself, I.  Me as a blogger. Me as a fashion blogger. Me as a reader. And me as myself.  :)

First things first: Thank you for all of you patient followers. I know my posts have been unpredictable and scattered the past month and a half, and I thank you for bearing with me during these crazy weeks of my life. :p

Now, I don't know if you're a Taylor Swift fan, but as you've definitely figured out by this point, I am.  A die-hard T-Swift fanatic who refuses to become skeptical of her new decisions even when she supposedly crashes a wedding. Oh, Taylor. Those are the moments when you shake your head and laugh.  But, back to my point. HER NEW ALBUM. Released yesterday.  I got picked up from school early for a dentist appointment (which is impossible when you have top and bottom braces, a herbst, and other various torture devices glued into your mouth), and I saw the Walgreens sign flashing to all those who drove by: "Taylor Swift 'Red' $11.99!" My eyes widened. I waited until my mom had picked me up from the dentist to sweetly try to convince her that this was a once-in-a-two-year experience. That REAL Taylor Swift fans bought her albums the day they came out.

After much persuading, she finally handed 3 crumpled bills to me and told me to run into Walgreens.  I did, and after I almost got lost and finally found the display of albums, I walked out hugging the carefully wrapped album to my chest, sighing with pleasure.  A great thing to indulge in on a depressing Monday night. (Especially when your gums are bleeding because the lady literally went at you like you were some sort of scientific experiment.)

Instead of talking on and on like I always seem to do, I'll get straight to the point, my dear friends.  This album is amazing. All of the songs.  I have several new favorite songs: "Treacherous", "I Knew You Were Trouble", "All Too Well", "22", and who could forget "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"? But that's not a new favorite song.  Also, this isn't about the songs at all, but the photography is gorgeous. Although, I did notice quite a contrast between different songs. You'd see her in a silky dress with dreamy curls floating around her face as she sings a depressing ballad, and then you'd turn the page and she'd have on those sunglasses and tight black skirt.

Anyway, I'm obsessed. I'm listening to "I Knew You Were Trouble" right now, in fact, as I type.  Two-thumbs up to Taylor Swift with her new album, I am extremely impressed.

One subject down, two to go!

Next. The Elite by Kiera Cass.

This just about settles it: I'll be dragging my parents to the bookstore the day this book comes out, just for the cover, once again. Yes, I did like the first book quite a lot and would buy this book anyway, even if it had a grotesque cover. But I would have been able to wait a few days before I got it.  This clinches it: I am not waiting.  The moment this book is available for public eye, I will be holding it. It is gorgeous. More than gorgeous, it looks very good.

If you scoll through Goodreads, a lot of people say that they won't read this. I understand. I actually respect them for overlooking the cover. But here is one thing logical about my desperation to have this book: I did like the first book. Quite a lot. So, naturally, I'll read the second. If it had had a normal cover I might be just "Yay, cool" about it, but I'm sort of like "YYYYAAAAYYY COOOOL!" about this one, because that's just me.

This was kind of a short section, but I don't have much to say about this except that it is pretty, and who wants to read about prettiness for a gazillion minutes of their day? I don't.


Next! Me.
Bad picture, but whatever...
Anyway, so the last few days I have been posting a lot. That was partly because I felt bad for not posting for 2 weeks, and also because I am a bored person with a boring life. Well, not really. Actually my life is anything but, haha.

I'm still feeling sad about summer being over (I know, I know, it's late October, and I'm still getting over summer...sad), ESPECIALLY because that means no more reading for long periods of time. When I can read, it's brief and I can only read a few pages at a time, which makes me so sad.  I miss my daily book review posts! :( I also miss reading all my other fellow bloggers' daily book review posts.

Again, I promise I am still alive if I don't post every week. I will try to post as often as possible and try not to make my posts TOO repetitive (after all my life is pretty repetitive: wake up, go to school, go to practice, come home, eat dinner, do homework, shower, go to bed, then the cycle starts again).

Anyway, thank you for  reading this long and probably boring post! Bffn!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Taylor Swift: Country Belle?

Is Taylor Swift never ever ever getting back together with her former self?
In 2006, Taylor Swift released her first album.  In 2008, her second, in 2010 her third. All have been major hits, and she is one of the most popular musicians today. So, it's natural for fans to be crazily anticipating the release of her 2012 album, Red, which, if you haven't been living under a rock, you know is to be released Monday, October 22. In other words-- In. Less. Than. Two. Friggin. Days.

We've gotten a sneak peak into her album, with her hit--ahem, her POP hit-- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together playing on every radio station there is.  But, doesn't it puzzle you? The way she has gone from being a 16-year-old singing in a twangy accent to b being a 22-year-old who sings pop songs, crashes weddings, and wears tight clothing?  It is positively mind boggling.

I can't help but love Taylor; her songs are all great. I'm obsessed with all of them and can sing We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together entirely by heart. Want me to start? "I remember when we broke up, first time, saying this is it I've had enough, cause like..." Oh, I could go on, but I won't.

Doesn't it make you sad, that Taylor Swift has gone from being a country belle, everyone's sweetheart and people thinking she's adorable, to being this barely recongizable girl? Gone are the butterscotch curls and floral dresses and in their place are blunt bangs and stick-straight hair, with (as you can see in the picture above) tight black skirts and button-down shirts.

And what about her new boyfriend? Conor Kennedy? He's an 18-year-old junior in high school at the prestigious Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. His mother recently committed suicide. And he's dating Taylor Swift, a person who is almost five years older than he is.  That's like my sister dating one of my brother's friends. (Umm, weird... Why did I even say that? Enough.) It's weird. Very weird. Although I do admit they're a cute couple, even if they did crash a wedding.

I might be a critic, but I'm still the same Taylor Swift-y I was before all of this crazy stuff happened to her. I love her new look, even if I feel slightly sad about her old look being thrown out the window. I liked her old look better but new and different changes bring good things, right? Well, let's hope so. I know I'm eagerly anticipating the release of Red, and you better be, too! (No, just kidding, just kidding. Not all of us love Taylor Swift, I get that. :p)

Fashion Blogging: Will I Make it?

(Yes, I'm aware that I'm posting multiple times in one day, but... um, I feel guilty for not posting in such a long time.)

So, I'm a bit obsessed with Teen Vogue. I always beg my mom to let me buy the latest issue at the store, and if she's in a nice mood usually she'll let me buy it. This month's issue caught my attention when I read the articles on fashion blogging. It gave me inspiration: I love fashion, I love writing, I love blogging: So, why not start a fashion blog?

So, even though it's a bit crazy, I did. I barely have time to manage THIS blog; how would I have time to manage another blog? I've made so many blogs over the years that, um, most of them except for this one are dead.  But I want this new fashion blog to be a success. I don't want people to just overlook it as some teen fashion blog. I want people to read it, to appreciate it.

A lot of people think fashion is shallow, but they're seeing it in a very black and white way.  Fashion is only shallow if you make it shallow.  If you like expressing yourself through writing, I think fashion is a big statement about yourself.  The people who just wear jeans and sweatshirts every day (well, yes, I admit that is my go-to outfit if I'm staring at my closet blankly), well, some of them don't care about fashion, which is perfectly fine, but some of them are insecure.  I've noticed that the girls who aren't afraid of how they're going to appear to you are the ones that seem the prettiest, the most fashionable, and the girls who hide under hoodies look insecure and awkward.

I don't mean to say that you shouldn't wear that kind of stuff; I wear it all the time.  I'm not daring, I admit, and I do tend to follow trends such as skinny jeans and Uggs. But I think fashion matters, so that's why I decided to start a fashion blog. So if anyone wants to check it out and tell others about it, if you're interested, here is the link: Inner Beauty Meets Fashion. Read, enjoy, and be a fashionista ;)

Book Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him--and I didn't know how dominant that part was--that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

My Rating: 2.5/5
Who Recommend it to Me: No one. 
Who I'd Recommend it To: The more curious of people. 

I picked up this book not expecting much. I'd already tried to read it about five times and each time epically failed. It wasn't until I was 12 that I finally finished the book. After I finished it, I decided something--that I hated the book, that I would never try to read it ever again and that it was the worst piece of literature I'd ever read.

Yes, this is not a Jane Austen-type book. This is not one that will charm readers generation after generation, but it is a book that people obsess over, whether it be to criticize it, or to wish they could marry it. The last time I read the book, I was determined to join those who strongly hated it. And I did, for a year.

About a week and a half ago, I was staring at my bookshelf, wanting something to reread. My eyes skipped over Twilight since it was naturally THERE, not something I cared about or even took a second glance at. But this time I found my fingers tugging at it, and eventually it became loose. I flipped through its pages, and within moments I was sitting on my bed, reading the first page of it again. I decided I'd try it again. Whether the outcome would be good or bad was beyond me. It was an experiment.

I enjoyed the book in the way that you enjoy stuffing your face with chocolate. I didn't sigh when Bella and Edward confessed their love, I rolled my eyes. But nonetheless, I kept reading, and even though this book did not prove worthy of people's obessions, I still can give it an honest 2.5 stars.

A year ago, I thought Bella was an offensive portrayal of females. And she still is, in a way, but in a different way. I respected her more during this book, even though she still disgusts me. I wouldn't go so far to say that she's offensive to females anymore, but I wouldn't say she's the most feminist thing I've ever read about.

Anyway, I encourage you to see the bright side of this book, instead of just seeing it in a black and white way. I didn't like the book. It will not go on my favorite books list anytime soon, or even on my "ok" books list. But people seem to approach this book in a way that makes me frustrated, a way that I did until now. Feel free to hate the book--I do hate it--but just try to look at things in a smart way instead of just hating, hating, hating it or loving, loving, loving it.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Story of My Crazy Busy, Super-Hectic Life.

I have been MIA for two weeks. I apologize to my community. (Got that one from The Giver. Is it possible I study too much?)

HI, guys! I feel like I've been away for, like, forever. So I'm not that much different from what I was almost 2 weeks ago, but I feel different. Like my life has taken a different shape. Well, no, not really, haha, but I do feel like a slightly different person. I've noticed 2 things in the past couple weeks.

- Thirteen is an awkward age.
- It's annoying when girls go off and have secret conversations that they push you out of and u feel incredibly awkward just standing alone because everyone is having secret conversations with each other.
- It is very awkward talking to boys. Unless it's not. But it usually is.
- I hate some people I loved 2 days ago, and I love some people I hated 2 days ago.
- Social life is stressful.

Well, I could use the word awkward several more times but I don't think I will primarily for your benefit.  Since it's Friday (thank the Heavens), I get to save all my homework for Sunday evening and just chillax all weekend because that's the way I live and function.  Last week was the interim and my grades are all well and good except for math where there's that one ominous 84. (C+). Ugh. Whatever, though. I scored a few goals in field hockey this weekend which I'm happy about, also there's this boy who pretends he hates me but everyone knows he likes me, Oh! And there's this girl who I used to like but now i hate. Fun life, right?

I am exhausted. More than exhausted, I am suffering from major sleep deprivation.  There's the drama queen in me, but I am so tired I could just collapse in a heap on my bed and never wake up. Or, at least, wait until Christmas break to wake up, when my sister would come home and there would be no school, no mile runs, no friend drama, no boy drama, no nothing except me and presents and cake and Christmas trees. Ahhh. A beautiful thought.

Even though it might sound as if I loathe my life, I love it. Life sucks sometimes and life rocks sometimes. It depends on the day. Today was half and half.  The school part was ok, the social part sucked, the practice part rocked! Miss Brooks was in a verrry good mood and we decided to just play games in the gym with the boys soccer team since it was wet and rainy outside and everyone was in a sucky mood. Luckily, our sucky moods were quickly turned to happy moods when we found out we could show off our sexy athletic skills to the hot soccer boys. Just kidding. No, we were just happy that we didn't have to run the 5-lap test. :p

Anyway... I love all of you guys, and even if I sound like a sleep-deprived, half drunk maniac, I promise I am still my normal self and will post a civilized post soon enough. Bffn. :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
    Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
     Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future--to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
    With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
       From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Peaches" comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Title of Book: Tiger Lily
Author of book: Jodi Lynn Anderson

Date of Publication: July 3, 2012
Number of Pages: 292
Publisher: HarperCollins

My Rating: More than 5 stars
Who Recommended it to Me: Erika
Who I Would Recommend it to: Every girl in the world. 

My review:

I am crying right now. This was an amazing story. I'm in love. 

I've always found it incredibly difficult to choose a favorite book. I have read so many awesome books in my lifetime that it is impossible to pick just one that was my absolute favorite. But here, I have a winner. The story of Tiger Lily takes the top slot on my favorite books. 

I loved everything about it. I have not one complaint. I warn you, if you read this book, you will cry loudly. It is heartbreaking and beautiful, and definitely one of the most thought-provoking, beautifully written things I have ever touched. My life will never ever be the same after reading this book. I'm more impressed than I could ever tell you in plain words. This book, in short, has touched my heart in a way that a book has never had before. 

I don't know if my love for this book has anything to do with my unconditional love for faeries for many years, but I loved Tinker Bell. I'd never thought of Tinker Bell in such ways before. She was a generous narrator, talking little about herself and more about Tiger Lily. I loved the snippets of Tinker Bell's personality, and something about her made me feel like crying every time she talked about herself. She was so lonely, so selfless, and something about that made me sad. 

From the age of six all the way to the age of nine or ten, I would go into the woods right behind my house and search for faeries and faerie houses. I'd make them out of branches, weeds, sticks, grass, leaves, and anything I could find. I used to sing for the faeries to come, and sprinkle cinnamon along the path, because I'd heard faeries were attracted to the smell of cinnamon. All day long, I'd sit there in the woods until my fingers got near frostbitten, singing for the faeries and sprinkling a path of cinnamon along the gravelly road. Needless to say, the faeries never came, but I truly believed that one day they would come. This book brought back nostalgic memories of those days, and for a few seconds in the book, I felt like I wanted to be right there, I wanted to be Tiger Lily, sitting there peacefully with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell fluttering around us. 

For a while, it seemed as though everything was damn near perfect (minus, of course, Tiger Lily's unavoidable upcoming marriage to a grotesque creature Giant). But then, of course, there is pain, like there is pain in every well written story. Wendy Darling, a beautiful, sweet girl from England threatens to take away all Tiger Lily's love for Peter, and soon everything falls downhill after she arrives. Tiger Lily loses herself and never really gets brought back to normal. She marries Pine Sap after the mysterious death of the Giant, who though she is happy with, brings sadness every time she thinks of Peter. 

About three fourths of the way through the book, I realized I was truly on the verge of tears. I could place myself right there in Tiger Lily's shoes, imagining what it would be like if my true love abandoned me for a girl who is everything that I am not, if I had to marry someone I didn't love, if my life suddenly seemed to burn around the edges like Tiger Lily's did. 

Though the ending of this book wasn't exactly happy, it had the sad-smile kind of thing that you get in good books. You're crying, but you're happy at the same time. You feel unbelievably sad, but happy at the same time. Happy at the same time. This was what this book was about for me.

This is a book of pain, love, loss, but most of all, genius and perfection. My life will truly never be the same after reading this book. It was an amazing, amazing story. My new favorite book

Friday, 5 October 2012

I'm (Finally) 13!

This is a bit of a late post since my birthday was Tuesday and it's now Friday (4 day weekend! woo-hoo!), but I'm now officially 13 and officially can call myself a teenager.  It is very surreal, might I add? Probably the majority of you readers are teenagers/have been teenagers so it's probably not a big deal to you, but... I'm sure you remember when you became a teenager within 24 hours of your life, and how surreal it felt.

It is both a moment of happiness and a moment of sadness.  I'll never be 12 again. I want to be like Tinker Bell, like Peter Pan, never growing up, staying a little girl forever.  I look back on all of these years and remember my faery-house days, my ever-present hair ribbon days, and the days when I was a foot shorter than my mom.  I'm now just about as tall as she is, maybe like half an inch shorter.

Blowing out birthday candles is something that also changes over the years.  When my mom brought out the glowing birthday cake with the glittering 14 candles (one extra for good luck), I sighed in happiness but when I blew them out, my wishes differ from the ones I made even just a year ago.  I wish for selfish things.  I think I'm too old to believe in magic things like birthday candle wishes, but it still counts, I think.  I can't tell what I wished for, I'm still that way; but let me just tell you that it wasn't for world peace or for hungry children to be fed.

Well, anyway... Just a quick little note from your (teenage) writer, ^^ to say hi to all of you and to celebrate my 4 day weekend and gift certificate to Barnes & Noble! Ahhh so excited to go!

I love you guys,

love, love, love
Annie :)