Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#4.12: Read 25 New Books; #6.7: Read BuzzFeed's 21 Best YA Books of 2013 – Eleanor & Park

BuzzFeed's 21 Best YA of 2013

101 in 1001

"'Bono met his wife in high school,' Park says.
'So did Jerry Lee Lewis,' Eleanor answers.
'I'm not kidding,' he says.
'You should be," she says, 'we're 16.'
'What about Romeo and Juliet?'
'Shallow, confused, then dead.'
'I love you,' Park says.
'Wherefore art thou,' Eleanor answers.
'I'm not kidding,' he says.
'You should be.'

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under."

This book was so many things. It was passionate, and sexy, and loving, and realistic, and funny, and, in the end, heartbreaking. I don't want to give too many details away, because I think everyone should read this and because I'm too exhausted to think of anything witty to say, but just know that I highly recommend it. 

Thanks for reading, no one!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures in Depression

I stand there in my oversized sweatshirt and gym shorts, greasy hair at the result of not having showered in five days, 30 pounds heavier than I was ten months ago, across from you, with your perfect body and busy social life and beautiful, symmetrical face. Every expletive in existence runs through my brain, but I still have some semblance of willpower, and manage to not curse you out.

I've had depression since I was in the fourth grade, almost ten years ago.

This one'll be a doozy. Brace yourselves.

Ten years is a long fucking time. Sure, there have been times within the last ten years where the severity of my depression has varied (2009 destroyed little 13 year old Autumn, and I'm still in the midst of a foggy, lonely cloud of existence that descended on me mid-December 2013), but overall, I've gone through the past almost-decade numb. Without much feeling. Just observing the world around me rather than participating in it.

I'm not going to say what specifically led me to such crippling grief. Depression is highly subjective, and if I were to tell you, you'd probably chuckle and say, "Oh, Autumn. People recover from much worse in much less time!"

Which is true. It's not like someone close to me died, or I was assaulted or anything. But still. Just imagine that the worst thing imaginable that could happen to you, happened to me. And roll with it.

Have you ever been depressed? If so, then you will know that no matter what you do, no matter who you surround yourself with, you will be isolated. The only person who knows just how heartbreakingly deep your sadness is, is you. You might reach out to someone else in desperation, internally screaming, "PLEASE INTERACT WITH ME! MAKE ME NOT BE ALONE WITH MY GOD-AWFUL SELF! I'M DROWNING IN SADNESS! SOS!" but they will run away frightened, not wanting to, and probably not equipped to, deal with you and all your baggage. 

Others don't understand. Because mental illness is such an internal thing, it doesn't carry the same weight that something like cancer or multiple sclerosis does. It can't be physically seen on the body, and when you're physically perfectly healthy, how sad can you really be? Oh, you're depressed? Oh, boo hoo. Take a hike! Meditate! Exercise! Choose to be happy! Suck it up! It's not a life-threatening disease and I don't care what you say!

Some people will acknowledge you with their false pity and say "You can get through this." or "Things will get better!" all while secretly thanking their lucky stars that they're not you. They 'recognize' that depression is something concerning, but again, are too happy to not be like you to really take it seriously.

It's hard to relate to anyone who doesn't seem to share your struggles. Because again, they do not know the extent of your sadness; they probably think the way you're behaving is superficial and immature, and are dying to slap you and scream "SNAP OUT OF IT!"

I think this particular part is also true with eating disorders. Time and time again I've caught myself thinking, "Fuck you, and your ability to view food as fuel for when you're hungry, and not like me where it's literally my worst enemy and a substance that I abuse and as the cause of so many of my problems! Fuck you for being better than me!"

If you couldn't tell by now, I am quite cynical. I am bitter. I am also lonely, and that in and of itself amplifies all those negative traits times a thousand.

I have so much more to say, but I'm not articulate/eloquent/organized enough to adequately write it down. Just take this as like a very generalized, extra-short summary of what I'm thinking right now. It feels incomplete, but my foot's asleep and I want to get back to my book and there is a cookie calling my name.

Thanks for reading, no one!


P.S. I apologize for the expletives. But I rescind that apology because I like expletives.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

#4.11: Read 25 New Books; #6.6: Read BuzzFeed's 21 Best YA Books of 2013 – The Beginning of Everything

BuzzFeed's 21 Best YA Books of 2013

101 in 1001

I've been really tied up with college applications, working, and being sick the last week. A bit overwhelming. And naturally, when things get overwhelming, I turn to Netflix and forget about my commitments because I am a responsible adult and you can't tell me otherwise!

"Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them – a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was printed to lose it all: In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met – achingly effortless and fiercely intelligent.

Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like boys, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: If one's singular tragedy has already hit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider's The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings."

This was such a sweet book. The writing style was so clever and unique and funny, and I was immediately mesmerized within the first few pages. I honestly might read this book again, and will probably read the author's other work, just to experience her writing more.

The book didn't end the way I originally wanted it to, but I'm not going to go into it for a couple of reasons: 1. the feels, and 2. I don't want to spoil it for anyone out there who may want to read it. But I highly recommend.

Thanks for reading, no one!