Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Burn for Burn Series

Last night I finished one of my favourite series ever and I just can't get over it!  I can't believe it ended!  Do you ever get that feeling that the story can't possibly be over?  That the characters have left you and gotten on with their lives, and now you have to too?

The series I finished was the Burn for Burn series by two of my current favourite authors.  One of them is Jenny Han, who's book To All the Boys I've Loved Before was featured in my Chick Lits post.  The other is Siobhan Vivian, who's book The List was talked about in my Pretty or Ugly? post.

Now let me explain this amazing trilogy to you.

It's very John Tucker Must Die, which is a chick flick that if you haven't watched, you really should.  The only difference is that instead of three girls getting revenge on one guy, it's three girls getting revenge on their own three people.  Kat, the bad-ass girl, wants to get revenge on Rennie, her childhood best friend and queen bee of the school.  Lillia, a perfect popular girl, wants to get revenge on Alex, because she thinks he's doing something to her sister.  And last of all is Mary, the quiet new girl... She wants to get revenge on Reeve, the star quarterback, also the guy who bullied her in middle school.  And by 'bullied' I mean she almost committed suicide.

The first book is very much like a chick flick.  It's a little cheesy (according to a friend), light, fun, very high school.  There's just a little bit of supernatural that feels out of place, but it's incredibly important for later in the series.

Personally, my favourite of all the girls, since the very beginning, was Lillia.  I think it was just from the moment she was describing her Asian eyeliner.  It's not because she's popular or perfect... she's just less weird than the other two girls.  And she's Asian like me.  And she seems smart.  And the fact that her life is practically perfect (until this story starts) helps a little too.  She's also the one with all the romance..

Which brings me to the second book, where things get even more John Tucker Must Die.  By now the only one that really needs revenge is Reeve.  And you know how in the movie, one of the girls has to fake date John Tucker?  Yeah, well in this book Lillia has to fake date Reeve.  Except, she doesn't fall in love with the brother, she falls in love with him instead ;) ;)  And yes I know I've unleashed major spoilers but trust me, you haven't seen anything yet.  Just read it.  There's a giant ending.

And the third book is just COMPLETELY CRAZY!!!  Woah.  It's just as addictive as the other two, only waay more anticlimactic.  So much stuff happens and it's all a little creepy, like a fantasy horror movie.  It's still a little high school happy, but it's got a lot of supernatural. 

And then BAM... It ends.  One minute it's the most dramatic scene of your life, and the next there's an epilogue describing the next five years.  I don't know what to think of the ending, what to think of where the characters go or who they end up with or what they do.  I reckon some deserved better, and I'm not sure what to make of the final couple.  It all left me speechless...

I think I'm just going to have to accept that's where they went.  The story happened and then it was over and they grew up.  Some things were good, but not perfect, or maybe too perfect.  Some things were sad.  And honestly, I might say I would write the ending differently, but I can't imagine how.

Oh, and just as an after note: I was so overwhelmed when I finished the book that I tweeted about it, and BOTH authors liked my tweet!  That means both of them actually read it!!  They know what I think!!  I'm really starting to like this Twitter thing.  Come follow me @lyfoflittleme.

And I'll end this post with a huge recommendation for the Burn for Burn series, by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.  The first book is called Burn for Burn, so search it up.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Okay, I know I said I was going to be productive and "get into control" today, and I was, for a while anyway.  But then, while I was cleaning my room, I stumbled across a whole bunch of my old diaries and notebooks and couldn't resist reading them.  I spent literally two hours just flipping through the many pages of memories, and now I've decided to share them with you.

One of the first notebooks I picked up was this dream journal.  I recorded less than ten dreams before giving up, because, I mean, how does anyone manage to remember their dreams?  But there was this one dream from 2008 that I found so hilarious I just need to show it to you.
"2 nights ago I dreamt about my school having a pringle line.  They gave you a whole small pack of pringles.  I always got to the start of the line first.  My mum also packed pringles in my lunch box.  So I got 2 packs of pringles.  I can never get sick of pringles."
Bahahaha.  This just shows you what my 8 year old priorities were...
I also used to take notebooks on excursions and to camp, and we'd always write stuff in them during the bus ride.  Flipping through them today, I was living back some of those primary school memories.  The pages were full of drawings, hang man, truth or dares, and even a "crush" list written in code, because we didn't want people to know we knew who they were in love with.
It looks like a lot of people liked Xylophone. ;) ;)  I'm pretty sure Chair did.  In fact, I think I did too ;)
I also found two travel journals: one from when I went to America when I was 10, and another from when I went to Paris at 12.
In the America journal, I rated the food at Disneyland a 0/10 because it was that bad.
And I must say, the Paris journal was pretty cool.
It was filled with images and cool captions!!  I barely even read the actual journal.
I find that journals with pictures are much more visually appealing, and I enjoy looking at them a lot.  It's quite heart warming, looking at photos from the past.
This is one I found of two of my closest primary school friends and I.  We didn't want to get picked up that day, so we hid inside my igloo tent and buried ourselves in stuffed animals.  It didn't work, but my parents found it so cute that they just had to take some photos.

I also had some more random notebooks here and there, full of collected business cards, quizzes, drawings.  Here's some drawings.
I even invented a galaxy because I was a bit weird like that.
One of my notebooks was my "interview book" because I used to write a sort of newspaper for the family.  There are so many funny answers in there, but you probably wouldn't get most of them.  Here's one from my sister though.
"What do you think of Grandma and Grandpa?
They don't have much hair.  They're very nice"
Ahaha I was just cracking up at the hair comment.
I also had a notebook full of letters.  Every single Christmas card and Birthday card is painstakingly copied out in that book.  Here's one from my favourite primary school teachers in my last year:
"Dear M,
Congratulations on a fantastic year!  You are a mathematics and musical star!  Good luck at G****** next year and make sure you come and visit us when you are rich and famous"
Out of all the notebooks though, the most important by far are my diaries, which I am still writing to this day.
I skipped many months and a year or two in between, but other than that, these diaries have been going since I was 9 years old.  They were pretty badly written back then though.  Here's some excerpts.  Initials are used instead of actual names for privacy reasons, and for my own embarrassment...
I'm pretty sure I had a crush on this guy in 2009, but I didn't even admit it to my diary.  Anyhow, here's a story featuring DP ;)
"Eventually J told me.  It was about DP.  Who did he have a crush on?  N decided to ask him.  We watched her.  He answered R.  We knew he was lying."
Ah.  The badly written drama of afterschool care ;)  I couldn't remember any of the girls' last names...
For some more 2009 drama, I also found this mean girl in my group featured in many of my entries.  Here's just one story about EE...
"She told me that I had to listen to the teacher (that meany poop).  I was just too quick.  Then later AY made a wild guess and he was wrong.  We all said you thought wrong AY.  EE said you thought wrong M very wrong for no reason!  Mean huh!"
Wow.  Primary school arguments were really petty.
And of course, here's one featuring my lovely family friends who are still my friends today, and one of the games we played...
"We ran away from RM and our meeting place was the pool and the cellar.  We kept running away from him for he is the monster."
Skip forward 2 years and a bit, and I'm attending the testing day of the high school I go to right now.  Here's part of the entry I wrote that day...
"I had to wake up at 7am to get to C*** by 8am.  There were lots of people from the junior school but others were new as well.  I only knew MM, AW, IN and only sort of (hardly), AM.  We just mingled for a while before the tests."
Well, I certainly wasn't very good at writing down my feelings back in year 6.  It's funny thinking about the people mentioned, and my friendships or non-friendships with them now, in the present day.  I definitely know AM more than "hardly".
And here's a bit from my very last day of primary school...
"I always thought that this day would make me excited and I also thought I wouldn't cry.  But, I did.  Seeing LD's tearstained face made me burst into tears.  Everybody cried and hugged, except for some people.  I hugged GL the most.  As soon as I left the classroom I stopped.  But outside, LD and AA gave me the last hugs and I cried again."
And I think I'll leave the memories there.  It's 11:30pm and I should really be getting to bed before school tomorrow.  It's time to live in the present again.  It's nice to remember the good old days, but be careful not to mourn or feel as if you want to go back.  It's time to look forward.  Those days are over.
But here's some advice for you.  Start a diary or journal or something.  Record what you do or your feelings.  Because as you get older you're going to keep looking back at them, and they'll make you smile (or cringe).

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

A Little Fan Art

When in need of something to draw, why not draw one of your favourite characters or a scene from a movie or book you love?  I mean, at least that way you'll feel a connection rather than just drawing something pretty or tumblr looking, or a close up of a body part, which seems to be a bit of a trend.

So today one of my friends came over, and we decided to paint the cover of a very pretty book we've both read.  I'm trying to decide whether it's better than the last book cover we painted.

Anyway, here are the fan artworks I've done so far.  I haven't done that many and most are from quite a while ago because I don't draw that often... Just warning you, some of them aren't exactly very good.

Well, here they are...

Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters 

June Iparis

Will Herondale, Tessa Gray and Jem Carstairs

Tris Prior

Lara Jean

Katniss Everdeen 

Celaena Sardothein

Jace Herondale and Jem Carstairs

Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace

And here are the two painted book covers:


So, which one did you like the best?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pretty or Ugly?

This concept was swimming around my head at 3am, consuming my mind for a while there.

I finished a book called The List by Siobhan Vivian, and it was a good book.  It's about a high school with an annual tradition.  Every year an anonymous list is printed, listing eight girls, two from each grade.  One is announced as the prettiest, and one as the ugliest.  I know this sounds completely shallow and stupid, but despite the extremities and the deluded reasoning, everything was so so true.  All the different types of girls with their different points of views and intentions, it conveyed how we all think and feel and how we view beauty.

There's two sisters.  One is smart but thinks she's ugly.  The other is pretty but thinks she's dumb.  The book still ends that way.  She still thinks she's ugly.  She still thinks she's dumb. Because that's how insecurities are.  They hardly ever go away, even if they aren't true.  The funny thing is, that both girls are a little envious of each other.  They don't think the other is ugly or dumb at all.  They don't see that flaw because it's not there.

Then there's another girl.  The list calls her ugly.  The list calls her a man.  So what does her boyfriend think?  He's embarrassed of course.  He doesn't know what to do.  He makes her feel ugly.  And when people don't make you feel beautiful anymore, when they don't make your life better anymore, it's time to let them go, no matter how hard or sad you will feel.

There's a home-schooled girl, new to society.  When she suddenly feels like she belongs, like she has friends, she wants to keep them.  It doesn't matter that her mom is unhappy.  She wants to belong to the group.  She's nice and clueless, but all her "friends" start to find her weird.  She doesn't really belong.  They don't even care.

And what about the mean girl?  She's only mean because she's beautiful on the outside.  She can get away with it.  Until she's tossed out because she's ugly on the inside.  Replaced by the home-schooled loser.  What does this do to her inner ugliness?  Sometimes being alone sets your priorities straight.  Even when your "friends" come back for you, sometimes it's better to turn away and be beautiful on the inside, as well as the outside.

Then there's the girl that tries to be ugly.  She's making a statement.  She's dissing her past where she tried to fit in but never could.  But nobody cares about her statement.  It's expected.  She's not important.  Nobody cares.  Except for that one somebody.  Sometimes you need to appreciate the people already in your life, who do notice and care for you, who think you're beautiful.  Nobody else's opinion matters.  They are too self-focused, probably never forming one anyway.

What happens when you're not good enough?  You'll never be skinny enough, even when you look like a skeleton.  You'll always be ugly, no matter how many people tell you you're beautiful.  You'll never be like the perfect glossy girls in the magazines.

And then there's the ex-best friends.  The pretty girl ditches the ugly girl, but did she do it for a good reason?  The ugly girl made her feel so ugly.  The ugly girl was ugly.  The ugly girl read her diary.  The ugly girl knew what she was doing.  The ugly girl wrote the list.  One girl was supposedly too busy flaunting her boyfriend, one was full of crap, one was used to teach her uppity sister a lesson.  But what does the ugly girl know?  What gives her the right to call all these people out?  And the truth is, the ugly girl just wants to be liked.  She's desperate for it.  She's not making a statement.  She's still trying to fit in. 

The pretty girl is desperate to be liked too.  She cares so so much about what people think of her.  They define her beauty.  Their opinions count.  She must look the part for them.  She must wear the sophisticated dress to show she's above high school.  And when she decides to end the list, it's mostly for herself, because she's selfish.

Now scroll up and string the bold words together to make a sentence, because it's true.  Hardly anyone cares enough to view you as beautiful or ugly.  Everyone is too busy assessing themselves.  Everyone's intentions are selfish.  They want to make their life better, they want to make a statement to get people to notice them, they want to belong, they want to be prettier.  And it's funny how so many people view their own beauty on how other people think of them, because the truth is, nobody really realises whether you're beautiful or ugly.  They're not actually thinking about you at all.

So if you think you're ugly, you are.  You're the only one that thinks so, but nobody else has really formed an opinion either.  And if you think you're pretty, you are.  It's your opinion that counts.

Now here's a very true quote I found in the book:

"That's how inside jokes usually are...Funny to those inside, annoying as shit to the rest of the world."