It Was Okay

It Was Okay

 

Hello and happy Wednesday. I remember listening to a review of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven in which the person said that they hadn’t loved it as much as everyone else did, or really at all. This was actually the first time I’d heard something concrete about the book, considering that I got it a few years ago because of all the hype it’d gotten. We all know, however, that people don’t always tell us much about the hyped book other than we should read it and that’s it. As you can probably tell by my recent reads, I am going through the books I own that won the Goodreads Awards or whatever, starting in 2015. This is one of those books, and though I can see why it was one of the winners, it didn’t do it for me.

I read this book between July 30th and August 3rd, 2019 and gave it three stars. Some might say this is a low rating but lately, I’ve been giving more and more books three stars because I think it represents my feelings towards stories that were just “okay” or “fine,” like this one. Of course, there are elements I’m into, like the multiple perspectives, because I think they always add a lot to a story that would otherwise seem incomplete, in my opinion.

Right off the bat, let me tell you that this book deals with suicide and this is a constant throughout the plot, so if you are sensitive to this topic, or to topics related to suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts, steer clear. We have two main characters who are very different to each other, but who meet in a tower at school and who, as far as we can gather, go there with the intention of jumping off. Again, suicide is a recurring topic and I personally think that it could’ve been handled way better than it was, but we’ll get to that later.

It bothers me that authors make dumb decisions just because that’s how they think their characters think. For instance, I thought the comments the guy main character made about the female students’ bodies were completely unnecessary. That stuff adds absolutely nothing to the plot and just makes readers not connect as much with the characters. On the flip side, I really liked how each of the characters was portrayed. They were so unique, and I know that’s no easy feat for an author to accomplish.

Finch, the male main character, is very unique, and you need to read the book to understand why. I don’t know if his representation is accurate or not, but I had never read a book about a character who’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I don’t know if this is a spoiler, but I think it’s better to say it before you read it because I think that if the rep is not accurate, it might be harmful to some readers. Finch is sometimes very pushy and he doesn’t understand when someone is saying “no.” Here’s where I’d like to know if this behavior could be considered representative for a person with bipolar disorder, or it’s just a stereotype or a trait that is not accurate. We all know that the conversation on consent must go beyond sex because one person should never force another one to do anything, especially after being told “no.”

There’s some conversation regarding the stigma around mental illness, which I appreciate, but considering that this is a predominant issue in this novel, I think it fell short. I mean, Violet’s (the main character’s) sister died in a car accident and nobody seems to notice how much she’s hurting because of that. There is also a mention of an eating disorder, but from what I gathered, it is only present once. If you are sensitive to this issue, you might want someone you know and trust to read this book before you and either tell you which part you should skip or maybe advice you on reading it or not.

I’m starting to increasingly see the class-assignment trope. I think, again, that the author of this book did a good job with it and the way the story was built around the assignment the main characters had to do together. I also liked that she included flashbacks and flash-forwards as well as inserts of text messages because by this point we all know that I’m a sucker for that.

Now, remember when I said we’d go back to talking about how suicide was handled? Okay, we’re back. I think suicide is one of those issues that I’d rather not see than see being poorly handled because of the dangers it entails. For example, describing ways in which a person has attempted or thought about suicide is extremely dangerous and it is present in this book.

The picture of this book is one of my most-liked pictures on Instagram, and I even got comments of people saying I’d cry reading this. I get why some readers might be affected by this, but I wasn’t. I just don’t see the purpose of this book, if I’m being honest, especially not the ending. The ending was what ruined the story for me, and because of it, this book didn’t get four stars but three. If you read it, you’ll know why.

What is a topic that’s trending right now on books that you don’t like reading about? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

How to Look Like You Have Your Shit Together

How to Look Like You Have Your Shit Together

Hello and happy Monday. Let’s just take a break for a second and admire how adult I look in the thumbnail. I don’t mean that I look old, although saying that doesn’t bother me as much as I used to. I simply look, like the title of this post suggests, like I have my shit together. I look like someone who works out, eats their veggies, has their eight glasses of wine a day, is the best at their six-figure job and has mindblowing sex every night, and since I want you to look like that too, here are the steps I followed to achieve this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1.  Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Powder (bake)
  5. Eyebrows
  6. Gold eyeshadow (wash of color)
  7. Black liquid eyeliner
  8. Faux black pencil eyeliner (lower lash line=
  9. Mascara
  10. Bronzer
  11. Shimmery blush
  12. Lipgloss
  13. Dewy setting spray

What do you think is a telling sign in a person who has their shit together? I’m asking for a friend.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

Splendies #3 Haul

Splendies #3 Haul

Hello and happy Sunday. Welcome to another post in which I show you my undies. If this is your first time here, hi, my name is Camila and I got myself a one-year subscription of Splendies, so every month I get three panties delivered to my home. Let’s get started, shall we?

First, we have the granny panties, which honestly I think I only wore once and then never saw again. That’s the nice thing about living with other women, right? I personally wasn’t a huge fan of these panties because their cut was too low, so it hit me below my belly and I prefer those that cover it. That’s why I wasn’t really mad about losing them.

The thong has become essential when I wear leggings or tight pants because the material is so thin and so fitted that it doesn’t show. I love thongs and would wear them every single day, but this is especially comfortable.

The pink ones are nice for when I’m not trying too hard. Yes, they also hit below the waist, but they’re more comfortable than the granny panties and they’re cute and playful.

Which of the styles featured is your favorite and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Teaching in Colombia vs. the U.S

Teaching in Colombia vs. the U.S

My Teaching Resolution.pngHello and happy Saturday. The other day, I was watching Early Edventures on YouTube and I got an idea for a post. You see, teaching in Colombia can be very different from teaching in the States, at least from the experience that I’ve had. I’ve made a list of six differences I’ve found, which I’ll share with you today. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Transportation 

I have worked in three schools, and in all of them, teachers had the chance to ride the school buses to and from school. I don’t drive, so without the possibility of using the school bus, I would have had to rely on public transportation.

2. Arrival time 

From the YouTube videos I watched, teachers in the U.S get to school earlier and leave later than students. In the schools I’ve worked at, teachers got to school at the same time as the students and left at the same time, except for one day a week, when we had meetings. I very rarely got to school or stayed after “contract hours,” if I’m being honest.

3. Dress code

Now, I don’t know if this has been an unlucky coincidence for me or what, but I feel like, at least in the schools I’ve worked at, dress codes are stricter than in the States. In two of the schools I had to wear black bottoms and a lab coat, and in the other one, I could wear navy bottoms and white or ivory tops. I wish I could rock all the colorful stuff teachers in the U.S do.

4. Planning 

I’m sure that teachers in the States plan in advance, but they just don’t show it in their YouTube videos. However, I feel like there is more flexibility for them to just come up with an idea one day and execute it the next one. Again, I envy that freedom.

5. State/ Standardized Testing

This is something I don’t envy because thankfully for me, I’ve only once had my students undergo testing of this kind, and I wasn’t responsible for grading the tests. People from an agency went to the school and administered the test. There was even somebody in the room with me monitoring the kids. With the younger kids, I could design the tests, and I graded them according to the standards I had set.

6. Lunch and snacks 

I would have been very sad if I’d have had to bring my own food to school. Things don’t work that way here. Teachers are usually given snacks and lunch, at least in the places I’ve worked at. Now, in two of the schools, this was discounted from our salary, but it was a very low price, and the food was great.

What differences have you noticed regarding your work among various places? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz

NetGalley Reads: Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz

NETFLIX TALK_.pngHello and happy Friday. It is no secret that I’ve been trying to consciously read more middle-grade books and I usually enjoy them quite a lot. What I’ve come to realize is that making the voice of a kid believable is not that easy, and that can either make or break a book. Today I’ll be reviewing Clara Humble: Quiz Whiz by Anna Humphrey, which I got via NetGalley, so I would like to thank them, the author and the publisher.

I read this book between March 9th and March 14th, 2020 and gave it two stars. Sadly, it didn’t do it for me. I had high hopes for it since it features a female main character who writes her own comic book, so I thought it would be empowering, challenging the so-called gender roles. Besides that, Clara is going to compete in a game show, and though I don’t read a lot about games or competitions in books, that can certainly make a plot exciting. It had all the elements to make it a solid read for me, but it didn’t deliver.

One of the first signs to me that probably I wasn’t going to enjoy this book was the fact that the main character, who is also the narrator, uses words that are “too big” for a kid. She uses words and phrases her ideas in ways that an adult could, and that’s a pet peeve of mine: when you can tell that the author is an older person trying to sound younger.

The other big issue I had was related to Clara’s character, again, especially when we consider that this book will be mainly read by children. She came across as petty to me, and I didn’t find her likable or appealing for young readers. Clara criticizes everybody who surrounds her or she thinks mean things about them, even her friends. For example, she compares one of her friends to a mouse because she’s small and quiet. That didn’t sit well with me, especially since Clara thinks that she’s perfect and she doesn’t grow as a character or realize that the way she thinks is wrong.

Clara has a best friend called Bradley and she constantly says that he’s quiet and shy. The first time this was said and the first time the gameshow was mentioned, I thought we would have them both fight because they were both competing. It went sort of like that since at first Bradley’s mom’s boyfriend is the person who makes him compete, but then once they’re both in the gameshow, the contestants (Clara included) start pulling pranks on each other and basically cheating to make the other one lose. This, again, is never addressed and there are no repercussions against anyone.

Do you know of any middle-grade novels that feature a female main character and/or a gameshow or contest of any sort? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

I’d Like to Stay Here

I’d Like to Stay Here

Hello and happy Wednesday. You know that I’m not really a fantasy/dystopian/anything-that-is-not-contemporary reader, but there comes a book or a series every once in a while that sweeps me of my feet and converts me, even if it is for a short time. That’s what happened when I was reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. 

I read this book between March 14th and March 19th and gave it four stars. I’m sure you know that these are uncertain times in the world and saying that I read this book for escapist purposes was an understatement. I watched the movie a few months ago, but I knew that it condensed the first three books in the series or something like that, so I was expecting something different. Adaptation-wise, I think it did a good job, although I can only speak for the parts pertaining to the first book. I would like, however, to have a movie series, each focusing on one installment because some elements were lost, which is understandable but sad nonetheless. 

You know that if you add grandparents to a story, you basically got me hooked. This gave me similar vibes than My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman, although the fantastic elements are heavier and we don’t get to see a lot of the relationship between Jacob and his grandfather. It’s more like the main character is discovering what his grandfather’s life had been like. 

If you’ve heard anything about this book, it’s probably that there are old pictures throughout it. I didn’t know there would be so many pictures; I thought we would have a few of the children at the beginning and that would be it, but no: if I’m not mistaken there are fifty pictures in just the first book. I wonder if the others have them as well. I think the author did a great job of creating a story using those old photographs. 

Something else you might have heard is that this is an analogy of World War 2 and how Jews and people who were considered different were persecuted. Well, part of the story takes place during WW2, so I don’t know if it would be considered an analogy or a juxtaposition of the true events that happened in the world, that Jacob’s grandpa, Abraham had to witness and suffer because he was a Jew, and the war against “peculiars,” that also involved him because he had a special ability of seeing monsters nobody else could see. I think if anything, it brings great commentary on how “peculiars” are still being systematically oppressed, be it for their race, religion, ability or disability, gender, sexual orientation, or pretty much whatever the heteropatriarchy deems different. 

The whole mood of this story is dark, and I felt like when reading this I was picturing an old movie in my mind that always has this opaque tone. There are a couple of violent scenes, and even when they are not, this novel is never happy. It took me a little bit longer than I had anticipated going through it, but I was satisfied with the ending. To me, the ending gives you the option to consider this a stand-alone if you don’t want to continue with the series, but if you do, it is open enough that you know something else is going to happen. That’s great for me because I detest cliffhangers. 

If you know anything about my reading tastes, then you probably know that part of the reason why I enjoyed this book was that Jacob, the main character, was introduced to the whole peculiar thing at the same time as the readers were. That is, we learn what he learns when he learns it. That is the kind of fantasy novel I am into. What I wasn’t into was the whole romantic element in this story. Seriously, I’m not even going to explain it to you because I think it is kind of yucky and totally unnecessary and that is coming from someone who basically eats romance books. 

Have you started reading any new series this year? Tell me about them in the comments below. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

 

Sun Kissed Makeup Look

Sun Kissed Makeup Look

Hello and happy Monday. I don’t usually go for warm tones, or at least not a look that is made up exclusively of them because I feel that would be a bit too much for me. Some days, though, I wake up with a weird makeup idea and I go with it. My weird makeup idea of the day is a yellow and orange look that would complement my yellow dress. What can I say? I was feeling all the hippie vibes, letting the sunshine in. For this look, I’m using the Colour Pop Good Sport palette. These are the steps I followed to achieve the look:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Concealer
  3. Foundation
  4. Powder
  5. Eyebrows
  6. High Hopes (crease)
  7. Liquid eyeshadow (eyelid)
  8. Rookie (center of the lid)
  9. Champagne eyeshadow (inner corner)
  10. Orange pencil eyeliner
  11. Mascara
  12. Contour
  13. Bronzer
  14. Blush
  15. Champagne highlighter
  16. Orange creme lipstick
  17. Orange lipgloss
  18. Setting spray

What are your thoughts on yellow and orange makeup looks? Do you like them? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila