#MsBookworm: My Back-to-School Favourites

August 26, 2015

As the summer draws to a close and changes begin to take place, having a bit of familiarity in my life helps to make the transition from the routine of leisure, to the strict and time-crunched schedule that school creates. There are many vices I turn to in order to cope with the arrival of the new school year, such as watching a movies on Netflix, tackling a tough recipe, or revising last year's notes (it is always on my list but never actually gets accomplished), but reading is the most effective one. Cracking open an old book is like revisiting an old friend. The familiar words are like a warm hug, and flipping through the pages is like leafing through an old scrapbook, with each new chapter evoking a strong sense of nostalgia. 

The key word for me this school year is balance, a healthy balance. I will no longer spend hours and hours on school work while depriving myself of the ability to experience and take part in activities that bring me happiness and keep me sane. In regards to reading, last year was my worse by far. My list of books to read grew longer as the months dragged by, but very few of them actually made it into my hand or off of my shelf. In an effort to change that I've relaunched this segment, in which I will share a short review of a few books (approximately 1-3) that I've managed to read over the months. I am aiming to add a few more novels every month, but as you well know, life happens.

For Romance and Magic: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


The "true" story of Wendy, the Lost Boys, Peter Pan and of course Tiger Lily, told by the beloved (and mischievous) Tinker Bell. Although small and mute, the fairy puts aside her tricks long enough to give us insight into this new version of Neverland, and the origins of Princess Tiger Lily.  The author does a fantastic job at pulling our heartstrings and sending us back to a time and a place where fairies and man coexisted, and to grow old was an impossibility.  By closely mirroring the world that J.M. Barrie created all those years ago in the original Peter Pan, the tale of romance between the wild Peter and the brave Tiger Lily seamlessly incorporates itself into the already beloved tale. Captivating, riveting and full of intrigue, I love reading this book again and again.

Favorite Quote:


 “Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we’re only what we’ve done and what we are going to do.”Tiger Lily

For an Adventure and Mystery: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

One boy. One dog. One mystery which sends our young protagonist Christopher Boone on a  path towards adventure, independence and uncovering his family's secrets. Through his unconventional way of seeing the world, be prepared to have your own eyes opened as well. While overcoming the difficulties of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), he uses his talents to show us a much more logical world, that is no less devoid of heart and emotion than a "regular" one. Get ready to "feel" for Christopher on his journey, as one curious incident unfolds right after the other. Be prepared to cheer at his triumphs and sigh at his unlikely encounters. One event leads to a whole slew of them turning Christopher and our lives upside down.

Favourite Quote:


"Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them." --The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

For Advice and Inspiration: What to Wear, Where! by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power


I love the website Who What Wear. It's where I turn to fulfill my fashion fix, and for inspiration for a new outfit. So as soon as I heard that the creators of the site had published this book-- albeit a few years late--, I ran to my local library and quickly read the book from front to cover. The book is a feast for the eyes and ignites the fashion spirit in all of us. If you have ever been invited to an event and stressed about what or what not to wear, or need inspiration for a back-to-school outfit, then this is the book for you. Although a lot of the outfits shown might be too glamorous for an academic environment, the advice is sound and the looks can be tweaked to your liking. Clear and concise, every outfit has an accompanying picture, description of the event, and suggestions for further arrangements. From first dates to first interviews, the book truly offers an outfit for "every occasion A to Z". 

Favorite Quote:


"When it comes to fashion, there are very few rules that apply to everyone, all of the time." --What to Wear, Where!


If you have any suggestions, I would be thrilled to hear and take a look at them! Leave a comment below, or tweet me at @itsMsTLilly!

~Alexandra

 
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Senior Year Musings (or the Hidden Wisdom of Paper Towns)

August 05, 2015



Finally, this is the moment I have been waiting for my whole life, Senior Year. The time when I am the eldest among the youngest, and the wisest amongst the foolish. There has been so much building up to this year that I can't help but wonder where all of the time has gone. I have reached that scary point where what actually occurs in the movies is somewhat relevant to my own life. Where I can find myself within the books I read and can find familiarity in the tales that others tell of their own "teenhood".

Senior Year. The more I say it, the more I hope that it will sink in. It's the dawn of a new era, and the ending of a world that was so familiar to me not-so-long ago. "It is a whole new experience!" they say, "Enjoy it!" they cry and "You will miss it!"they assure me. Miss it. It? I never really understood what it was until a few afternoons ago. While sitting the chilly mall theater with a few of my old friends, I watched as the characters contemplated the culminating events of their own Senior Year. The year full of first and last times, full of it.
 
“I'd had nearly four years of experience looking at these clocks, but their sluggishness never ceased to surprise. If I am ever told that I have one day to live, I will head straight to the hallowed halls of Winter Park High School, where a day has been known to last a thousand years.”
― John Green, Paper Towns   

And where a year has been know to last an eon. An entire lifetime gone in the blink of an eye. A whole world where time is spent following a repetitive schedule, doing things that you will probably never do again. That my friends is it. The people, the memories, the fears, the laughs, the mistakes and yes, even the classes. It,  a two letter word with a double meaning. It itself contains all of the moments that make up life. All of life's fleeting moments that will never happen again, but that will never leave you the same way.


You will remain forever changed, but in order for this change to take place, you need to be present. You cannot keep waiting until the next Senior Year, or the next big chapter in your life, you need to willingly turn the page. You need mount your trusty steed, sword in hand, and gallop in the search of it.

As John Green wrote in the book Paper Towns, “At some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you'll look back down and see that you floated away, too.” While I am not thrilled that school is starting, I am excited for this new year, to finally stop floating and begin rising to the occasion. I look forward to not just floating amidst the clouds, but taking control of the winds and blow them in the right direction. While, the beginning of Senior Year may be green light that launches me onto the right path, I can assure you that the ending of it will not be marked with a red or yellow light. I will not pass Go and collect my 200 dollars, I will speed up and reach new heights. And while I don't know what is in store, but in the words of John Green, I do know how I will feel,


"Young. Goofy. Infinite.”

― John Green, Paper Towns  

  

~Alexandra XO 

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@itsalamb