Beneath the Glitter – Elle and Blair Fowler

I feel good about mahself :) I’ve been knocking books off my list to read like bowling pins hahahah

I finally ‘finished’ Beneath the Glitter and I say ‘finished’ because I finished as much as I possibly could. I give it 2.5/5

I feel bad. I really did want to like it and I really did for about half the book.

This book is based on Elle and Blair’s life in L.A. and being webstars. Obviously it’s not 100% true, hence ‘based on’. It follows the life of Sophia and Ava London, their rise to fame to the cutthroat life behind the curtains. They get big, they meet boys, they bond, they get betrayed, enter book 2.

The first half was good. It was a cute sister sister book with a light feeling where I would pick it up to read in between intense books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Coraline. It was light and airy, didn’t have much dimension but that wasn’t really the point. It was funny and I could really see their individual personas oozing from the characters.

The second half was painnn. I feel bad because I know it’s hard to write a book. But I am skeptical as to how much help they got writing the book vs other authors that write cover to cover themselves. ANYWAY I digress. The second half dragged and dragged. It was painful for me to read and I really just wanted to finish the book. But I JUST CAN’T. I started skimming at 170 and put it down at 210. There was too much boy stuff. Boy stuff mainly with Sophia. OK WE GET IT, your hot and you’re a boy magnet to bartenders, rando strangers, and rich upperclass guys.

Fo realsies

I have to say my heart actually semi-broke when Ava and Dalton were together and she realized how interested in Sophia he was. Ouch. Seriously. But really, I was getting sick of this tug of war thing with Sophia and all these guys. Especially the scene where she gets her photos in a gallery or something and she gets drunk off of champagne and hiccups and acts cute and shit. That shit is not real life, and does not connect to readers. It doesn’t connect to me and doesn’t relate to me because that shit doesn’t happen in real life! Therefore, I get disinterested. It’s like when authors write how startlingly pretty someone is or how someone has flawless skin with flawless features with flawless body. Ava was pretty cute, her enthusiasm and constant OMG LIAM LIKES ME, OMG LIAM CALLED ME BEAUTIFUL, was cute and I could see Blair doing something like that.

Anyway a good chunk is boring and boy crazy, thus resulting in me not even getting to the betrayal part which is no doubt only in maybe the last 10-15 pages of the book. So I quit. It was cute, then it was bad, then it was painful.

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Books are a Part of Us

After reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I’ve come to a deep realization. Books are alive. They have a heartbeat and they have past.

I’ve always been super anal and didn’t give my books much love. They remained in pristine condition and the binding remained fresh. I’m sad to say that I’ve regretfully borrowed books I own from the library as not to soil my own. PATHETIC.

So I’ve decided to love my books. My books have meaning. The cracked bindings show love, the little tear here and there are battle scars.

Each book I read I develop a personal connection with because it was that book that took me to infinity, it was that book that I clutched in the middle of the night finishing, and it was that book I cried over or laughed about. Each book I read is a part of me and a part of building who I am today.

Books are alive. Books are a part of us. So I’m going to read every book I own.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

Oh my god. This book. I started it so long ago and put it down for a really long time. But today I decided to sit down and finish it. And I did. And I cried. I’m still really emotion because I just finished it. 4.5/5!

This book is written in the voice of Enzo, the dog. It starts with Enzo and his owner Denny and within the first few chapters the family starts growing with Eve and their daughter Zoe.

This book has so many dimensions and so many stories and lessons and insights I don’t even know where to start.

The book is kind of made of 3 parts. The beginning happy family part, the Eve gets sick part, and the Zoe custody part.

I knew going into the book that Eve would get sick and eventually pass but I had NEVER expected the entire second half of the book. The whole custody battle, the lies, the hurt, everything that Enzo and Denny went through was so much! While I was reading I was actually getting nervous about how the book would end and what would happen to Denny and Zoe. But it did end well which made me so happy. But I was still in tears in the last chapter when Enzo was passing.

Enzo is such a wise dog and his love and admiration for Denny was so touching. And Denny is such a fighter and I just he was such a great person. Even up to the end when he was with Enzo saying it was ok if he was ready to go. UGH. I’m just so happy everything ended ok, Denny gets this amazing job and goes to Italy with his daughter and start a fresh life.

you go glen coco

I also loved when Luci told him how someone held out their hand to them, and he was happy to do the same for Denny. It reminded me of when Michelle Obama said at her DNC speech that her and Obama knew that when you go through the door of opportunity, you don’t slam it behind you, you reach back and help others too.

Amazing book. Must read.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

I JUST finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and it was amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve read a life moving book and it felt really good to just read a really good book. I give it 4/5.

This book is a series of letters that Charlie sends to a stranger he heard some girl talking about. He sends these letters to just tell someone and have someone listen.

Charlie himself is an awkward, secretly brilliant, teenager making it through his first year of highschool. He befriends seniors Sam and Patrick, and so begins his journey.

Charlie is an old soul. Such a sweet and honest kid damaged by things that happened in his past, the suicide of his only friend, and the fact that he has no friends prior to Sam and Patrick.

The whole book is kind of fucked up in a way but in a heartbreaking way. I was on the brink of tears with the whole Patrick debacle and Charlie’s honest and genuinely kind heart really tugged my heartstrings. That’s so cheesy but Charlie is just such a full… person. I don’t know how else to describe it. He’s constantly wishing people well and constantly going deeper. The mix tape for Patrick, the stone house for Candace, his favorite books from his personal collection, everything is just connected and everything had a reason.

It’s terrible the things that happen in the book. The molesting, the things Charlie sees without fully knowing, the drug abuse, the physical abuse in the earlier generations of Charlie’s family, it was all so heart breaking. I have to say that my high school experience wasn’t the best. I was victimized and I begged to transfer, but everything that happened to Charlie and the people around Charlie in high school makes me see kind of the endgame and result of such a tumultuous journey. God that’s corny…

The book was beautifully written, so truthfully expressed, and just effortlessly life changing. The book, Charlie’s thoughts, everything just makes me see things differently. Being free, being infinite, being a wallflower and observing versus being there and ‘participating’. Like at the end when Sam said that Charlie was there, he was feeling all this love and all these feelings, but he was a shoulder, but sometimes people needed an arm. Being present and not coasting the sidelines. That sounds bad and it sounds like I’m bashing Charlie about coasting, but, he did have so many emotions and I feel like the trama mixed with him not being used to ‘participating’ was all part of it. But yeah. I guess I feel like I should ‘participate’ more as well..

UGH! Great book! GREAT book!

Bookshelves

I’ve been on the hunt for the longest time for a way to store my books. My collection is growing because I’m kind of psychotic and spend all the money I get on books instead of… well anything else, and I needed more storage space.

So yesterday I went to Menards and picked up goodies to DIY a wallshelf. So here’s what I got to achieve my project.

4 white metal “L” shaped shelving brackets
1 pack size 8 x 3/4″ phillips flat head, zinc plated, wood screws
2 packs e-z ancor self drilling dry wall anchors
1 10″ x 6′ board

The board I got was just unfinished raw-ish wood. Unlike the kinds that Menards sells that are fully polished and finished wooden shelf, the one I got was just nicely sanded and slightly finished to the point where you won’t get slivers.

It took a while and a quite a bit of strength, but I finished it in maybe an hour and it looks awesome sauce!

Inserting picture NOW!

So here are the quickie instructions:
1: measure and mark from the floor up how far up you want the shelf to be
2: measure and mark the length of the board
3: measure where you want the brackets to be, 1 ft in, 3 ft in, etc.
4: put the lever where you want and mark where the screws will go in
5: screw in the wall anchors (if you have a drywall) where your marks are
6: screw in the screws through the bracket and into the anchor
7: repeat with all the brackets you are using
8: put the board on the brackets and mark where the screws will go on the board
optional–> I actually pre screwed in the screws in the wood separately and unscrewed them so there would be a hole in the wood making it easier to screw the screws in when the board is on the brackets.
9: screw in the screws through the bracket and into the board
voila you are finished. Easy peasy.

I like this method because I spent maybe $20 total including the board, and I can add more shelves when I accumulate more books :)