Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: The Dollhouse

Hey everyone! I'm back with another book review. Recently, I joined my school's book club and we read The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. I am really glad that I am apart of book club because I feel like I wouldn't have discovered this book if it wasn't for it.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

My Thoughts:

I really liked this book because it had a very unique plot. The book switches between Rose, a journalist, whose life has turned upside down in the span of a few days in 2016, and Darby, a woman who moved from Ohio to New York, in 1952. I love books that have flashbacks and the point of view of multiple characters, hence why All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is one of my favorite books. 

I found the character Rose slightly annoying. She becomes obsessed with the lives of the women that live in her building that were alive when a maid was killed in the '50s. I understood that she was a journalist, but I feel like there should have been more consequences for actions, especially living in someone's apartment for two weeks without them knowing. She deals with a lot of relationship problems (both romantic and with family), and it's obvious that her coping mechanism isn't the best. 

I liked Darby because her point of view was so interesting. She is a young girl that moves from Ohio to New York to go to secretary school. She meets Esme, a maid at the Barbizon Hotel where she lived and gets introduced the jazz scene of the 50s. Darby's life becomes so much more interesting once she meets Sam Buckley, a chef at a downtown Manhattan jazz club. There's so much character development that happens to Darby. She goes from this shy, small-town girl to a woman who truly finds herself. Unfortunately, when there's the time jump she's not like that. 

This book is meant for adult readers, but there's a very thin line between young adult and adult The Dollhouse. There are a few sexual scenes, but those are only a few pages long and not a huge part of the overall plot. I recommend this book because it's easy to read and gets you hooked on page one. 

I hope you look into this book because it's definitely a great read!

Question: What books are you currently reading right now?

                                                                       Christina Madeleine


Monday, November 13, 2017

Halloween 2017 + Life Update

Hey everyone! I know it's been awhile, and I should've have posted yesterday to be back on track, but everything has been hectic lately. I've been very focused on my school work and applying for college, so I needed to take a small break from posting. As of now, I am finished with my applications (which is so scary!), and I am ready to back into the weekly schedule of posting on Sundays. There will be a few more posts to catch you guys up on my life, but get ready for your weekly posts again! On another note, I have been writing for Affinity Magazine, and GLUE Magazine to further expand my writing. Both are teen run magazines, and super fun to be apart of! You can see all my posts in the tab on the top of the page called, 'Other Places I Write'

Another reason why I haven't been posting lately is that I have been planning a feminism/gender equality summit at my school, and that has taken up a lot of my time. I am the co-president of my school's feminism club, which put me in the position to plan the summit, and it has been a lot of work but I am so excited for it. Some of the speakers are Maria Cuomo Cole, Doreen St.Felix, Jeannie Gaffigan, and so many other wonderful people. I can't wait to meet them, and write all about it!

Every year I write about Halloween (ex: 2015 and 2016) and this year is no different, despite it being a few weeks late.  This year, I dressed up as Steven Hyde from That 70's Show. The actor, Danny Masterson, has been accused of sexual assault recently, so as much as I am not a fan of him; Hyde is one of my favorite characters from the show.

My Outfit
Denim Jacket - Forever 21
Patched Jeans - American Eagle 
Turquoise Socks - American Eagle (?) - purchased in 2015
Keith Richards for President shirt 
Pink Sunglasses - Urban Outfitters 
Gray Turtleneck - L.L. Bean 
Adidas Stan Smiths

Picture of Steven Hyde from That 70s' Show

My friends and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take photos in our costumes.

Trudi was dressed as a fairy.

Marina was dressed as a character from Stranger Things (so...80s style). 

Nikki was dressed up as a bear. 

Almost everything thing I am wearing is my own. The only thing I borrowed was the Keith Richards shirt because the only band t-shirt I own is One Direction from 2013.

What did you dress up as for Halloween this year? I hope you liked this post, and I will be back with another one in a few days! 

                                                              Christina Madeleine



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