Monthly Archives: December 2014

Writing Playlist #2 – Come Back To Me/Coming Back

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Return To Me – Bob Dylan

Return to me, for my heart wants you only.
Hurry home, hurry home, won’t you please
Hurry home to my heart?

Country Song – Jake Bugg

Will I see you again
and please just come on back home to me
So I’m not all alone

Where’d You Go – Fort Minor

Where’d you go? I miss you so
Seems like it’s been forever
That you’ve been gone
Please come back home

Light On – Backstreet Boys

So if you ever feel the need
Jump in your car and just drive back home to me
Wherever you are, I will always leave a light on

Forget Me Not – The Civil Wars

Forget me not my love
I’m coming home real soon
Please leave a light on for me

Call Me On Your Way Back Home – Ryan Adams

Call me on your way back home dear
Cause I miss you
And I just wanna die without you

Come Back When You Can – Barcelona

Come back when you can
Let go and hold my hand
If all you wanted was me, then I’ll give you nothing less

Get Home – Bastille

How am I gonna get myself back home?
The birds are mocking me
They curse my return

Top Ten Books We Read in 2014

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz 

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas

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Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

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Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Character Spotlight #4

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Featured image

Name: Prince Robot IV

Book: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Get to Know Him: My villainous darling is as his name states: a prince. But he is also a soldier in combat. He’s a loving husband. He’s a family man. Listen, all this dude wants is to go home and be with his wife and try to start a family. But he’s stuck having to fly from planet to planet hunting down two star-crossed lovers and their child. So what if Prince Robot IV murders a few people on his path? He’s just trying to clock out of work and get some well-deserved rest.  Also, his head is basically a television. And sometimes he can transform his arm into a deadly weapon of massive destruction.

Why I Love Him: The way this robot man speaks is glorious. He is so eloquent and witty and wordly. He has true class, even when killing people. He has manners, and never forgets to use them. He is incredibly sweet to his wife, continuously calls her “love,” which warms the cockles of my heart. He believes in justice, and I love that about him. Even though he isn’t completely right all the time, he still does what he is asked to do by the people he trusts. He isn’t a heartless robot. He’s a beautiful man. And I just want to wrap him up in my arms and love him forever.

Favorite Quote: “I’d never felt anything quite like it. For the first time in my life, everything was as it should be. Because the opposite of war…is fucking.”

prince robot iv

Let it Snow: A Review

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This book is three different short stories by three different authors, but all the stories are interconnected. The side characters in one story are main characters in another and so on. All of the writing styles are kind of similar to each other as well, so the whole book flows together nicely.

The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson: This was a nice story to start out with. It set the stage for the book as a whole rather well. Jubilee isn’t my favorite character ever, but she isn’t that disliked much either. All the other people in it are great though.

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green: This would have to be my least favorite of the stories. Most of the characters annoyed me a lot. The plot annoyed me. The romance annoyed me. I wasn’t into it.

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle: If I have to choose a favorite, it would have to be this one. Probably just because it is the last one, and gets to wrap everything up neatly and that usually is my favorite part of books. It did talk about miracles and angels too much for my liking, but it made up for it with a pig.

Overall, this book gets four out of five stars. It’s a good Christmas book that I probably won’t ever reread, but would recommend it if someone asked for a nice Christmas book.

My True Love Gave To Me – Book Review!

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I’ve gotta be honest. The only reason I bought this book (aside from Rainbow Rowell’s story), was because of the pretty UK cover. Yeah, I’m not ashamed. The book is beautiful on the outside. On the inside, well, there’s a variety of quality.

Everyone has been rating each story individually, and I think I will follow the trend. So, here we go.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell – 5/5 stars
I love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. I love it so much. I think there’s something so genuine and sweet about her characters. She is just brilliant. This story was excellent. It follows two best friends, Mags and Noel, who met one New Year’s Eve at a party. The story jumps from New Year’s Eve for about four years, told in past and present povs. This story was too short, but it still managed to tear me up. It made me giddy. It made me feel things that I never thought I could feel again. This story was everything. I asked Rowell if she would ever write more, and she gave me a “maybe someday” so I guess that’ll do for now.

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link – 2/5 stars
I’m not sure what this story was about. The writing style was often really nice, but at other times it just annoyed me. The characters confused me. The story confused me. And near the end, the love story really made me uneasy. It had a good premise, but it wasn’t executed well. It made me hate Christmas more than I already do.

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Pena – 4.5/5 stars
I think my favorite thing about this story was the writing style. It felt so true to the character. I loved that the MC was so honest with himself, even if he wasn’t honest with the other characters in the story. Also, there was a cat. It was all very well-done. I didn’t love the romance, but I think it went deeper than the romance. It touched with social and family issues. I enjoyed it.

Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han – 3/5 stars
Elves, am I right? Who wants to read about them? I didn’t. Not until I read this story and I found that hey, elves aren’t that bad. I thought the story was interesting. Santa adopts a girl and she’s raised by him in the North Pole, surrounded by elves. Isn’t that just the premise to the movie “Elf”? Yeah, but this one has a twist. There’s a love square. So, not a love triangle, but a square. I think my favorite thing about this story was the elf the MC falls for.

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins – 4/5 stars
My first Perkins read, and it was not bad. This story managed to really capture my interest, although it was only set in a few hours in the same day. There was character development, and that was impressive. I liked the quirky, witty characters. I liked the writing style. It was all really lovely. But it didn’t really grip me completely. I kind of didn’t buy into the whole passionate almost-love in the end. I don’t think it works that fast. Other than that, great story.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan – 3.5/5 stars
Why am I giving a David Levithan story less than 5 stars? Granted, I’ve only ever read one of his books, but it was an amazing book. But this story wasn’t really interesting. It had a gay couple, which was very nice, but the couple wasn’t a part of this story. In fact, they didn’t even mention the name of the MC, which pissed me off. I wanted more details. I wanted more insight into this relationship that sounded so lovely. Why didn’t you give me that, Levithan? I believed in you. You could have made this so awesome.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black – 1/5 stars
One word to describe this story: bizarre. There was magic. Random, senseless magic. Stupid MC. A plot that was all over the place, which was also senseless. A fucking strange love story. And the characters never reacted appropriately. It also bored the shit out of me. I am so sorry, Holly Black, for being such a bitch about your story. I’m sure your other stuff is better.

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman – 3/5 stars
I had high hopes for this. And part of me expected this story to be told in flashbacks. Classic Forman style. But it wasn’t. And although there were some really cool parts to the story and the characters, mostly I was confused and bored. And I’m not really sure what kind of point Forman was trying to make. Something about religion and money? Hmm.

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire – 2.5/5 stars
Why did I feel like I was being preached to during this entire story? Religious girl who can’t even say the word “Hell”? Um, not really my thing. Or the trouble guy who decides to be good for his church girl? Not my thing either. It’s nothing against religion on being a generally “good” person. It’s about feeling like I’m being preached to. That being said, I liked some parts of the story. It was well-written.

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White – 5/5 stars
After so many not-great stories in a row, I was so relieved to find something so incredibly perfect! This story warmed my heart, and that’s not easy to do. The characters were rounded and incredibly real. The magical realism in this story was done so beautifully. It was subtle but it was wonderful. And Ben? What can I say about Ben? That boy was exactly as Maria said–a cup of hot cocoa. On a rainy day. With nothing to do but read a good book. Also, this story made me hungry.

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter – 3/5 stars
This story was really unbelievable at times, but it also drew my interest. The ending really threw me off. I didn’t find that believable either. I liked the big reveal and the romance somewhat. I liked the message of finding your home, which I’ve found to be a common theme in these stories. Also, the “I must get away” theme. Other stories did it better. Like the previous one, for example.

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – 1.5/5 stars
I mostly skimmed this story. It was too whimsical for my liking. I didn’t understand its point or message or anything. The characters annoyed me. All of them. The writing was nice at times. Mostly it made me roll my eyes. Maybe it’s me not liking fantasy. I never have. I almost didn’t finish this book because it was painful having to read this absurdity.

So, there it is. I found some really good stories amongst some really not so good ones. I think it was worth reading just for those few amazing stories.

-Isis

Christmas: Then and Now

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Hi. My name is Isis. And I hate Christmas.

Yup. I’m basically the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge combined. And since it’s that time of the year once again, I decided to finally reflect. You know, look back on my history of Christmases that led me to this point in my life. Where I have simply accepted that, yes, I fucking hate Christmas.

But I haven’t always hated Christmas. Oh, no. In fact, Christmas was once my favorite holiday of the year. It was the most beautiful time, and every year I waited desperately for the day to come. I lived in Mexico, and I come from a large extended family. We used to be close. See, when we decided to come together, we did. There were no buts. My entire family gathered at my grandparents’ house, up on a hill near the coast in Manzanillo, Colima.

Christmas Eve was paradise. I would wear a pretty dress, new shoes, and a big smile. I would wait around outside for my entire family to arrive throughout the day. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends–they would all pile in, even the neighbors who knew us all so well. They would stack all of the presents under the Christmas tree full of colorful lights. Out on the street, where no cars would ever come (because it was a hill), we would put out chairs and hang up ornaments and more lights, and there would be music playing loudly. The neighbors never complained because they were part of the celebration.

Once we were all gathered, we would eat some of the best food ever made. There was always so much food and so many desserts and so many laughs and smiles and hugs. I had a shitload of cousins around my age who would just agree to play with me at any game I would come up with. I was never bored. I wasn’t even thinking about the presents waiting to be unwrapped under the tree. None of us were. We danced with each other, we danced with ourselves. At midnight, we’d open presents, and continue dancing. We stayed up until early Christmas morning. The clock could strike 6AM and we could still be dancing.

That was my Christmas for most of my childhood, up until I was 7. I remember it clearly. I remember how wonderful it was to have this holiday every year. I lived for it. I wanted it to go on forever. I didn’t even have to be lied to about Santa Claus, because no one ever mentioned him in Mexico. I didn’t have any whimsical Christmases. I just had good times with people I loved. With my family.

Fast forward a few years later. I’m 9. I’m in a brand new country. America. Huge. Freeways. No more house on the hill. Now only a tiny apartment. But hey, at least I have my mom, my dad, my sister, my brother, my aunt. We’re together. Had we ever been together like this before? All of us? Why does it feel like we’re so alone. We’re sitting in the living room couches, watching TV. My brother rolls in a brand new pink bike for me. I thank him. I give my brother and sister some stuffed animals I bought them for Christmas. They thank me. My dad gives me money. We eat a nice meal. We watch some more TV. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we yawn.

Hey, maybe the Christmas cheer is lost because I’m getting older. I decided then that I wouldn’t give up on Christmas just yet. It was too special and important of a holiday for me to think of it as anything less than extraordinary. Christmas had nothing but great memories for me. Why should it change all of a sudden?

My brother moved far away. But it’s okay, my sister had kids. We lose some, we gain some. It’s Christmas. We’re hanging out. We’re watching TV. Sitting around. We’re eating good food. We’re drinking from fancy wine cups, but we’re drinking soda. We’re laughing. We’re talking. It’s okay.

I’m in high school now. I’m excited because even though the last few Christmases haven’t been as amazing as I’d wished, I still want to believe this year will be better. I’m naive, can you blame me? Anyway, we’re at a house now. It’s bigger. More spacious. Cosy. We’re drinking hot chocolate. We’re okay. My dad brings his girlfriend, so my mom makes a fuss and locks herself in the kids’ bedroom. My sister won’t kick my dad’s girlfriend out just to please my mom. I have to go from the bedroom to the living room back and forth because I feel bad being in one place too long. Should I side with my mom or my sister? It’s pretty early in the night, Christmas Eve. Finally, my mom snaps at my dad’s girlfriend, at my sister, and takes my presents and me back home. We get home, she apologizes for taking me away from the rest of my family, and she goes to bed. It’s not even midnight yet, and I’m alone. I unwrap my presents while watching TV in the living room.

I don’t think I had much faith in Christmas after that time. But every year I tried to put some effort into it. I put up my tree, decorated it. I tried. Believe me, I did. Every year after that one I tried to like Christmas, tried to renew my excitement at the thought of this holiday. I watched the appropriate movies. I listened to the appropriate songs. I did everything I could to get myself into the holiday spirit.

This is my breaking point. It’s 2014, I’m 21 years old, and I hate Christmas. I give up. I don’t have any expectations for this Christmas. The once cheery holiday is now nothing but a day I’ll spend watching TV with my family. I guess that’s the usual for most American families. Maybe if I’d always known nothing but boring Christmases, I wouldn’t feel this way.

I was told earlier this week that I’m too young to renounce myself from Christmas. That I’ve got so many years ahead of me, and that I might change my mind about this holiday, come to love it again. I’m not saying I won’t. I know this hatred might disappear someday. But I just think it’s important for me to accept that right now, I despise Christmas.

Call me the Grinch. Good luck trying to make my heart grow twice its size.

Writing Playlist #1- LGBTA

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Coming Clean-Green Day 

Seventeen and coming clean for the first time/I finally figured out myself for the first time/I found out what it takes to be a man/Well, mom and dad will never understand

Brave-Sara Bareilles

Honestly I want to see you be brave/With what you want to say/And let the words fall out

Everyone Knows-Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

If it feels this strong/It can’t be wrong/And I don’t care/If everyone knows

Cocksucker Blues-Rolling Stones

Well, I asked a young policeman/If he’d only lock me up for the night/Well, I’ve had pigs in the farmyard/Some of them, some of them, they’re alright

Androgyny-Garbage

Get on board and have some fun/Take what you need to turn you on

My Sweet Prince-Placebo

Me and the dragon can chase all the pain away/So before I end my day, remember/My sweet prince, you are the one/My sweet prince/You are the one

It Gets Better-Fun.

Like starlight crashing through the room/We’ll lose our feathers/Yes, I know it hurts at first but it gets better

I Was Married-Tegan and Sara

They seem so scared of us/I look into the mirror/For evil that just does not exist/I don’t see what they see

Take Me to Church-Hozier

Take me to church/I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies/I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knives

Flesh-Simon Curtis

Hold my hands above my head/And push my face into the bed/I’m a screamer, baby, make me a mute

Nara-Alt-J

Love is a pharaoh and in front of me/I thought let him be where he want to be/Love is a pharaoh and he’s boning me

All the Girls Love Alice-Elton John

Tender young Alice they say/If I give you my number/Will you promise to call me/Wait ’til my husbands away

Transgender Disphoria Blues-Against Me!

You want them to see you/Like they see every other girl/They just see a faggot/They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick

Girls/Girls/Boys-Panic! at the Disco

And never did I think that I/Would get caught in the way you got me/But girls love girls and boys/And love is not a choice

Bad Religion-Frank Ocean

This unrequited love/To me it’s nothing but/A one man cult/And cyanide in my styrofoam cup/I could never make him love me