The Return (haha)

I’m well aware that it’s been quite a while since my last post, but I’m back on wordpress now and I just felt like returning to this site wasn’t going to fuck me over in any way. And it gives me an excuse to write more book reviews- even though I’m going to have to relearn my own style or develop a new one.

Anyway.

I’m going to relinquish a lot of the weirdness I had going on and focus on commentary and book reviews and maybe a blurb here and there about how life is going. I get busy (I’m graduating high school in a few months, so life is hectic as hell), but hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things.

And if you feel like checking out more me-specific posts, head over to onthisdaythen.wordpress.com for excerpts from my journals. Be warned, it’s cringy.

❤ D/Fl

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Albertalli has quickly become my favorite break-through author. Simon was an incredible book; honestly, I’m still reeling a little. It was that good.

I’ve found that I read a lot of literature about homosexual teens and the struggles they face, but I have to say that this was by far the best I’ve sampled. The characters were diverse and interesting, but best of all- they reminded me of myself and every other teenager I know.

Sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.

I hate that “realistic characters” has become such a staple in my reviews, but that’s what I’m most concerned with when I read a book, realistic fiction in particular. So many authors create completely fake, flat, or otherwise frustrating characters, and it’s very annoying. It’s especially bad with YA writers; it’s all about the romance, making Little Rebel Ronnie feel better about her lacking romantic history because, hey, the only good boyfriends are rugged werewolves and smoker fallen angels.

Not that I have anything against rugged werewolves or smoker fallen angels. I just think there are aspects of a teenage (or even adult, honestly) relationship that are rarely well-explored in fiction. Even homosexual relationships, which have finally started to get decent representation, are suffering from fantasy expectations and awful writing.

I’m very impressed with Albertalli’s writing. I’m definitely going to try and check out her second novel, The Upside of Unrequited, which came out April 11.

I’d definitely recommend that you check out Simon, Nuts! It’s an incredible book.

❤ Fly

Stieg Larsson

I’ve put off writing this review and I feel a little guilty for it, so here I am!

I bought the first two books in this series ($7!) at a bookshop, and I’ll admit that I pretty much bought them because they were bright & pretty & thick & cheap. Sue me. I’ve heard a lot of hype about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I knew it was made into a movie, so I figured it would be a decent weekend read.

It was much more than a decent read, Nuts. (And it took a bit longer than a weekend, but in my defense, I was busy and had some trouble focusing.)

Armageddon was yesterday, today we have a serious problem.

First of all, there were a lot of characters, and they’re Swedish so I can’t pronounce half of them and the other half I got mixed up until about a third of the way through the second book. I love that. Maybe that’s confusing, but I actually adore books with a lot of characters; I have a love/hate relationship with constantly flipping back and forth between family trees or character lists. That’s one of the reasons why Game of Thrones interests me so much, even though I often get confused when everybody’s dying and I can barely keep up with all the Brandons and all those Freys.

But I digress.

Second, the characters are extremely complex and realistic and I adore most of them. I often found myself struggling not to like or dislike a character based upon which PoV I was reading; for example, when Salander (AKA The Girl) was the main focus of a particular passage, I found myself viewing every other character more harshly. It’s incredible. My opinion of someone could change from chapter to chapter and back again. And character development? Wow. I don’t want to give away a lot, but every main character grew so much over the course of the series, but in such small ways. It was incredible. I can’t think of another book where a character’s core was maintained so well through a trilogy.

Salander in particular (she’s my all-time favorite, in case you couldn’t tell) was written magnificently. She’s a total badass and she doesn’t take crap from anybody, and yet Larsson managed to give her weaknesses that never contradicted her overall persona. Most writers couldn’t do that, not even for an adult characters whose traits are majorly set in stone. I’m still impressed.

But she wished she had had the guts to go up to him and say hello. Or possibly break his legs, she wasn’t sure which.

Third, this novel explored the gritty, dirty aspects of journalism (and later, to some extent, politics and law enforcement) in a way I haven’t seen in fiction. In a way, Larsson reminds me of Kathy Reichs, if she were a journalist rather than a forensic anthropologist. Larsson (and Reichs) used his particular field to expand upon an already impressive storyline, and Blokvist became not only The Good Guy, but the Crusading Journalist, fighting for the rights and well-being of all Swedes and maybe All Mankind! It annoyed Salander to no end, but I appreciated the insight into such an interesting field. And it made the entire series a hundred times better and more realistic.

These books were a roller coaster of emotion, excitement, fear, and anticipation. I’m extremely satisfied with the ending (even though I wish Larsson hadn’t died and he’d written a thousand more), and overall I’d have to give it ten massive, gleaming gold stars. If crime, mystery, adventure, travel, humor, and hyper-realism are your thing, go check out these books. Buy them. Love them.

Oh, but I wouldn’t suggest reading it if you’re a young teenager or sensitive to violence or sexual scenes. And it does have a lot of triggers, from rape to abuse, so I would be careful if you have a history of reacting to them. If you want to know anything specific about the books or would like a run-down of the triggers, feel free to contact me!

❤ Fly

Fangirl

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This was my second time reading Rowell’s novel Fangirl, and I honestly loved it.

Now, I’m the type of person who is actually capable of rereading books, but to be completely honest I didn’t really remember Fangirl anyway; all I remembered was that the main character was obsessed with a book/movie series that wasn’t Harry Potter but was kind of Harry Potter… if Harry Potter was modern and kind of muddled and weird.

Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.

The biggest appeal for me personally was just how much I identified with Cath, the protagonist. First, she’s an obsessive fan of a fictional magical world and a young teenage boy/man who has lots of issues. Second, she writes fanfiction- actually, just that she writes. I write. I’m writing now. Third, she is massively socially awkward and says massively stupid things and has massively huge problems making friends.

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”

Beyond my individual connection to this slightly pathetic teenager, Rowell is a fantastic writer. Character development is incredible, the romantic relationships- actually, just the relationships is general- are unique and interesting, and best of all? It’s realistic. Really realistic. I genuinely enjoy Rowell’s books.

Okay, so I attemped to read Carry On and absolutely shated it, but that’s a strange fanfiction about a series that literally does not exist and makes me uncomfortable.

But besides that, I loved Eleanor & Park and I loved FangirlBoth are books that I would suggest to just about anyone who reads.

❤ Dy

Food Struggles

TRIGGER WARNING

I’ve been thinking a bit about exercise. I’ve wanted to start running for a  few years now, in the vain hope that some endorphins might help me feel more stable, but I always talk myself out of it at the last minute. Additionally, I’m worried that if I do start exercising, I won’t eat any better and I’m going to make myself sick.

I already struggle to eat as it is; I just don’t get hungry like I used to. Sometimes my stomach will growl, and I do get the urge to eat, but I rarely feel as though I need to consume something. It’s like that part of my brain has shut off; I just get headaches when I haven’t eaten enough, and even that threshold is extraordinarily high. I hardly ever eat three meals a day- and if I do, I usually eat about four and binge like mad.

I’m a relatively healthy eater- in content, that is. I love fruits and veggies, I regularly eat grains and dairy, and I get a decent amount of meat. The problem is the amount I eat, and the way that I do. I’ll skip meals, eat something small once or twice in a day, then the next day I eat almost constantly and I’ll shove almost anything down my throat. It’s extremely unhealthy and I recognize that, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I actually started thinking about my problem as an eating disorder.

I was afraid to label it that at first. I didn’t feel like I was always stressed about being skinny, so how could I have an ED? Granted, I obsess a little over the fat I do have, but it wasn’t a problem. I just ate when I felt like it, that’s all. My stomach has just shrunk, that’s why it’s hard for me to make it all the way through a meal. That’s why I eat throughout a day instead of during a meal. There isn’t an actual problem. Right?

I think that’s where my perception of EDs has screwed me over. I never really thought about it as something that I could have, and if I did, I thought I would just know. But over the past few weeks, as my friends joke about not wanting to eat and complain about feeling fat and talk about how they skip meals, I’ve come to realize that it isn’t healthy. That these things they’re saying just because it’s “cool” and it’s “cute,” they frighten me. I’m struggling with all of this shit they think is popular and it’s destroying me. Even more so since I don’t know how to talk to anyone about it.

Last semester, I ate so little that I was constantly lethargic and needed fourteen or more hours of sleep just to function. I went to bed at 6, 7, or 8 at night, and I still struggled to wake up in the morning. Mom mentioned taking me to the doctor, but while we were in Mexico we ate buffet for every meal and since then I’ve eaten more; I’m still exhausted, but I’m able to stay up later. In fact, some days I hardly sleep at all. Mom mentioned yesterday that she thinks I was lying about needing so much sleep, that I just didn’t want to work and now I can stay up because I’ve been staying out late.

How do I explain to her that I’m still struggling to keep my eyes open and eat enough to stay alive?

❤ Dy

A Thought

“Especially females, make sure you have mechanic friends. Pay them back with, you know, pay them, but with steaks or beer- when you’re twenty-one- and just have a mechanic friend. Especially you, ladies. It’s [useful].”

I find it extremely disgusting that my female teacher would encourage her students to use their feminine wiles to encourage men to do work for them.

Hey, ladies? How about instead of demeaning yourself to get mechanical help, you learn how to change your own oil? Find cheap places to get maintenance done?

Why is it okay for us to debase ourselves to get help?

❤ D/Fl

Kalahari

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Hey Nuts, sorry it’s been so long since I posted anything, and the only thing I did was total garbage…

Anyway, I actually put off reading Kalahari for a solid week, then read it in two hours. I couldn’t tell you exactly what I was expecting from this novel, but it completely blew whatever I did expect out of the water.

First of all, this book is definitely science fiction, whereas I thought it was going to be more along the lines of realistic or perhaps suspense. The synopsis was very vague; I actually appreciated how little of the story it gave away. I get very frustrated when authors give away a plot twist or some major situation in the blurb.

Second, the character development was impressive, particularly considering its YA classification. I’ve found that a lot of popular- or successful, at least- teenage fiction has terrible character development, often even worse than a children’s chapter book. That’s not a rule, obviously, and we’ve actually got a lot of really good YA fiction recently, but I continue to be very disappointed by popular mainstream fiction. The Rest of Us Just Live Here, for example; I’ve talked to a lot of people who loved that novel, but I was very unimpressed.

People are like stars, but it’s stories that turn us into constellations. If we don’t tell our stories, we burn alone in the dark.

Third, the storyline was actually something new and I love that. The science was interesting, if uncomplex, and the characters faced problems that were very realistic for the setting- the desert, if you didn’t already know that from the cover and/or the title.

I could have gone without the stupid romance, but I suppose that brings in readers so I’m not too upset.

I would definitely buy this book and read it again. It’s not a book that pushes you to think very hard, but it’s a nice pleasure read on a lazy day. I’d take it on vacation with me for sure, since I hate crappy cookie-cutter romance.

❤ Dy

Runemarks

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Runemarks was an extremely nerdy, awesome book that I enjoyed quite a lot.

I’ve always had a soft spot for mythology, particularly books that take mythology into a different realm of fiction and change the old stories, or continue them. I suppose that love began with Percy Jackson, but it’s continued long past then.

In any case, fire burns; that’s its nature, and you can’t expect to change that. You can use it to cook your meat or to burn down your neighbor’s house. And is the fire you use for cooking any different from the one you use for burning? And does that mean you should eat your supper raw?

Runemarks revolves around the world after Ragnarok. Which, if you didn’t know, is pretty much the Norse apocalypse. In this particular book, a young magical girl (called a Firey) is attempting to find other human marked with runes in a land ruled by Order rather than Chaos, or even balance. Having a rune is practically a death sentence.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into detail about any of the characters or the story, but it is very, very good and I highly recommend it. Be warned, though: it’s long.

❤ Fly

Another PSA

TRIGGER WARNING

The following article speaks of rape in the middle east, both of women and children.

This is really important and I think it’s imperative that all of us keep informed of the situations women of all countries, ethnicities, and religions are being forced into. This is just one of millions of articles and stories out there and I hope that we can all learn from the pain our sisters out there are facing and hopefully protect others from the same fate.

Human Trafficking is a real, horrible problem that can affect anyone and we need to be aware and well-informed to protect ourselves and everyone around us.

United States National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888

Please, Nuts, if you know anybody that has been enslaved or you yourself are in a dangerous situation, please call the police or the above toll-free number.

This website has numbers for many other countries, but if you know of better numbers or if any of these are incorrect, please message me and I will add a disclaimer on this post.

How to help: Global hotlines

Stay safe and keep our sisters in your hearts.

❤ D/Fl

A Small Scar

Last night and today have been not-so-good. I’m feeling particularly low right now- not my worst, but definitely not anywhere near my best.

Not that I’m even sure what my “best” is, honestly.

Abandonment is a very intense fear of mine and some things have been said by someone I care about that triggered a massive amount of anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, he feels as though he’s taken a step in the right direction with his honesty, but I’ve lost a lot of trust in both myself and in him and I’m not sure how to broach that subject with him. I’ve already gotten upset after he was honest with me and I’m afraid that if I express this issue, he won’t want to explain his emotions and how he interprets our interactions.
But on the other hand, I think it would be wrong not to tell him. He’s trying very hard to extend trust to me despite his admittance that he does not have a lot of confidence in our relationship and I want to do the same. If we cannot discuss our problems, there’s no point in continuing to talk- right? If I can’t tell him when he’s upsetting me, he’ll do it again and that might be the end of it.

How do you tell someone that their honesty is breaking something inside of you?

I was told that, though I considered him a best friend at the time, a few months ago this person did not like me very much. That he didn’t want to be around me. That, up until a few days ago, he wasn’t sure whether or not I liked him for despicable reasons.

We’ve been in a relationship for a month and he said that none of the physical connection I’ve felt affected him until this Saturday.

How do I address that?

How do I adequately explain how much this upsets me?

❤ Dy