Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See

Hey everyone! I've been so busy with homework lately and other events that I didn't get to blog last week. In New York, we've gotten over a foot of snow in the last day. It's crazy! If you haven't picked up in the past, I read a lot of books. I've been wanting to share my reads with all of you lately. A few months back, I read a book called All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I was recommended this book by my father, and he was recommended it by my grandmother. This book made it's debut on the top sellers for weeks. I absolutely loved this book, and I could not put it down. I read it on the train every morning and afternoon for 2-3 weeks straight.

Synopsis on Amazon:

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s con

My Thoughts:

This book is beautifully written. At first, I thought this was going to be a just sad (but very good) World War II story, but it was more than just a story based off of a war. The book does skip years and points of view every few chapters, which gets confusing, but eventually it comes together. The three main characters don't fully see each other fort the majority of the book, which is odd for a book but I loved it. I, personally loved the character Marie-Laure because of her determination and ability to confront the unknown. She deals with hardships along the way and she overcomes them with much more strength than most teenagers.

I was having a discussion about this book with my English teacher, and he was surprised with the fact I read book because he was a huge fan of it. He thought the book was very well written and he recommended it other fellow teachers, that's kind of what I am doing here. A common theme of reviews I have heard about this book is how it shows a different light on the people of World War II. I don't want to give too much of the book away, but the ending left me heartbroken. The epilogue gives some condolence for those of you, who are like me, and obsess over endings of books.  I recommend this book because there are highs and lows, and the light and dark of the time before and during World War II.

Some Favorite Quotes:

"The girl sits very still in the corner and wraps her coat around her knees. The way she tucks her ankles up against her bottom. The way her fingers flutter through the space around her. Each a thing he hopes to never forget" (469)

“It's embarrassingly plain how inadequate language is.”

“A line comes back to Marie-Laure from Jules Verne: Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”

“The brain is locked in total darkness, of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”

“Seventy-six years old," she whispers, "and I can still feel like this? Like a little girl with stars in my eyes?”

I hope you guys liked this book review. I have plenty of more to come in the future! Have you ever read All the Light We Cannot See? Will you? 

                                                          Christina Madeleine


Monday, January 4, 2016

What's Coming Up in 2016? + Goals

Hey everyone! Happy 2016! I am super excited for this year. For one thing, I turn 16 years old. I am one of those many people born in the year 2000, which makes it forever easy to calculate my age. I really want 2016 to be one of the best years ever. I will be doing quite a bit of traveling this year (foreign exchange program!!), and photographing. I am so lucky that I live in New York, and only in the last year I have realized how amazing everything is here. I want to spend 2016 sharing more of my life, and improving myself physically and mentally.

I feel like resolutions put to much pressure on something. You shouldn't limit yourself by a certain date to do something. If you don't achieve your resolution by that day, then it feels like a failure.
Every year I have had this blog I have wrote resolutions, and they have all been pretty much the same (to lose weight, etc..). This year I want to write about goals that I have the whole year  for myself and my blog.

What To Expect This Year On the Blog:

- More Book Reviews: 
          I read a lot because of my commute to and from school. I am a huge fan of fiction but it does vary depending on the book I pick up. A book that I will definitely be reviewing in the next few weeks is called All The Light We Cannot See. Reading books is awesome, and it benefits you in so many ways.

- More Adventure Posts:
           It's so much fun going to new places and taking pictures. But, also it's fun to take pictures of your hometown because what you experience every day is not what others do. I, personally, enjoy reading people's blogs who live far away because it's interesting to see what other people see everyday.

- Food Posts:
            I love food so much. My thinking towards food has been changing, and I have been wanting to try more vegan and vegetarian foods. I am not vegan or vegetarian (yet, maybe one day in the future), but I am definitely interested in trying new foods. There would also be posts from my foreign exchange, where I will be eating food in another country. I am just so excited!!

- More Outfits of the Day:
            This is a bit self explanatory, but outfits of the day are so much fun to do. Five days of the week I have to wear uniform, so the weekend is a perfect time to wear new outfits.

- Random Posts:
             I've seen this on a few people's blogs and I thought it was really cool. Other teenage bloggers (there is a ton of us!) have been posting their writings and art on their blogs. I'm not the best drawing, but I love to sketch and look at art. In the future, I might join the trend and do more rants (feminism?, thoughts on topics?).

My Personal Goals:

-Focus on Getting Good Grades:
           It's so important to get good grades. It doesn't matter if your in APs, Honors, or regular classes as long as you are trying your best. I've had my ups and downs in grades and hopefully this year can be the year I turn my bad habits around and get even better grades.

-Care Less About People's Opinions About Me:
           For as long as I've had my blog (even longer) people have made judgements about me. There was a time period where people, in person, would make fun of my blog. I think most of the negative feedback I've received has been overthrown by the positive comments. Sometimes I don't blog because someone said something that made me upset or I felt down about my writing or clothes. This year I am really going to try to put the best possible content out, and make it more real.

-Get a Body I will be Happy in:
           I remember being twelve or thirteen when I first started being self conscience of my body. I, by no means, am fat or anything of the sort, but I am not super confident. A thing I used to do was calorie restrict, and if not that then I would binge because of lack of calories. I've been watching more cooking videos, and looking into more ways that can make me happy about my body. A goal for me would definitely become fit (I have zero stamina), and healthy. I think it's very important to become happy and confident with your body.

-Become Better at things I love
             I play field hockey (for those of you who didn't know). I truly love playing field hockey because it's really fun, and it's great being  part of a team. The thing is that I am not very good at sports, or running. This year I want to be motivated enough to get into shape so I have a chance of playing on the field (I have never played a full game). Obviously, it's hurts when you don't get the chance to play in a game, but I definitely want to change that.
             I, also, want to work on drawing, public speaking, and so many other things. I've joined a speech club in hopes that it will help me be more confident in speaking to an audience. There's just so many things I want to work at this year, and hopefully by 2017 I will reach my goals.

There are other goals that I have (being a better friend, etc.), but I don't want to bore everyone too much. You know the quote, "Be the Change You Want to See", well I want to be my own change and by doing that I will make a difference.

My first change of the new year was...A NEW BLOG DESIGN!

Now, I want to give a shout out to a few bloggers who are pretty great. These three, in my opinion, will become so popular in the next year.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2016!
Leave a comment telling me all about your goals for the new year.

                                                        Christina Madeleine


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