March 2022 Reads

March was definitely a month of reading. I was able to find a few unique reads that I had either never heard of or had been recommended many times. The common theme with the majority of the books I read is that these pieces of literature deal with or discuss serious issues like mental health. I really wanted to find books that would leave a lasting impact on me; that wasn’t just fluffy and forgettable, like most I have read. Over the years of reading, I have realized that some books just aren’t worth reading and that your time is precious so use it wisely.

Besides all that, I hope you will learn something or discover some new and intriguing reads for the future :).

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, was *a chef kiss. It was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it greatly! The novel is about a journalist named Monique who is interviewing the Old Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo, who is now an old woman. Evelyn Hugo was this sex symbol, bombshell actress of the 50s and 60s, who in many ways is a personification of figures such as Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. As the title implies Evelyn was married seven times, which is an important theme of the story. The story does an excellent job of telling Evelyn Hugo’s life story and keeping you hooked on the story. Also, the twists in the plot were very well done and even left me surprised. Overall a solid 9/10.

A Little Life

A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara, was a book that I had been seeing all over. If you have heard of it you most likely would know that it is very sad, and dark. Sad and dark are words that understate this book. I personally would never recommend this book to anyone since it is very triggering and graphic to the point that it could cause some serious harm to somebody. Overall if you do feel that your mental state can take a book like this please read this as a further warning, it’s a lot worse than I thought it would be. If you have a trigger it’s most likely in this book. Some of the Tws include self harm, sexual abuse, physical abuse, grooming, and suicide.

The book revolves around four friends: Jude, JB, Malcolm, and Wilhelm, and their lives over the decades. The book though primarily focuses on the life and perspective of the character Jude, who is a disabled, intelligent man who struggles with the effects of the severe childhood trauma he experienced; which is described in the book with great graphic detail. A major theme of the book is how the people in Jude’s life are affected by Jude’s personal struggles which they cannot do anything about. The book does an excellent job of making you fall in love with the characters especially Jude which makes it even more painful when the book continues to destroy the characters. With that said the thing that I really liked about this book was how the author was able to depict the happy moments or the beautiful moments in the characters’ lives. An effective tragedy needs to have happy moments to make the ending more of a tragedy and this book really goes by that truth. While reading this book I felt like I was watching a person I really loved fall apart and hurt, and being unable to do reassure or comfort them. It really hurt. To be honest I was very surprised I didn’t cry though I was very close too. I rate this book 8.5/10. It would have been a ten if it hadn’t been for the painful reading experience. Don’t read this book!

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar, by Slyvia Plath, was on my reading bucket list for a while, it most certainly did not disappoint. Definitely, this book does have some trigger warnings(suicide, depression, racism, etc), which is important to note. The book is about a young woman named Esther Greenwood who is living in New York as a guest editor for a short period of time. Esther’s mental health deteriorates throughout the timeline of the story, and though she is supposed to be having the time of her life her emotional state states otherwise. This novel captivated and drew me in almost immediately. Plath does an excellent job of using the first-person narration style, and in many moments I felt like I was really in Esther Greenwood’s head, which made her story even more relatable. I highly recommend this book and rate it 9/10.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, was another book that had been on my bucket list for a while. It most certainly did not disappoint, and I will forever call it a genius novel. The novel itself is about a beautiful young man named Dorian Gray who gets his portrait painted by the artist Basil Hallward. Basil introduces Dorian to Lord Henry who is a very worldly figure. Lord Henry influences Dorian to begin living his life in the indulgence of pleasure or sin. Dorian begins to wish that the marks of age would instead appear on is a portrait and not his physical appearance. This becomes a reality for Dorian. The worst and more corrupt Dorian’s character becomes is reflected in his portrait along with his actual age, which he realizes is a curse in actuality. This novel is beautifully written, and you really are able to experience the inner turmoil of Dorian’s character. The novel, in my opinion, is an excellent allegory of the mainstream, beauty culture today which has an emphasis on looking young and focusing on one’s appearance, often to a point of neglecting one’s inner character. This novel is a 9.5/10 in my opinion.

Though the reading list for March is quite short(I do have the excuse that A Little Life was over 700 pages long), it was a solid one from not reading for two months. Hopefully, April will be an even more successful month of reading but let’s see. I hope you guys find something new to read in this post.

-Dreamer

My Fall 2021 Reads/ Update

Hello everyone. I guess to start I have not done a post like this in a long time, which makes me slightly rusty. I need to get back into the swing of writing posts for personal enjoyment. But regardless I guess I will give the life update.

In September I took another CLEP exam, which went well, I passed yay! This CLEP process is going slowly that’s for sure, but I’m getting there. I’m planning to do more of these exams in 2022 when I will be finishing some of my school courses. On the note of school I am going to be graduating soon, probably in the next eighteen months or so, which is a terrifying and exciting thought, since I started this blog when I was still transitioning from middle school to high school. Lately I have been getting the unusual feeling of, “what am I going to do with my life after school?” I wonder if any of you guys who are nearing an end to your education process is feeling the same. It will be a weird transition from doing something I have done for ten years of my life to no longer doing that thing.

Colleges! Oh my gosh, that is another thing that is coming to the picture in my life. Even though I am Canadian I will probably have to attend an American College that provides online courses and degrees, just because of the path I am taking with CLEP. I never thought I would looking for Colleges but here I am. But on the note of what I want to do in College, I plan on getting BA, than eventually becoming a holistic nutritionist, which is something that has always interested me since I work for a holistic nutritionist myself.

But other than school and getting ready for the new chapters of my life, as of now I am just getting ready for Christmas, which I am already so excited for! I cannot wait to get fully into the Christmas spirit. Ahhh! I’m just so excited! Other than those things my life is pretty much unchanged so I guess that’s my life update. Moving onto my Fall 2021 reads.

Fall was a period for me when I got back into my swing of reading, which is something I am on and off with. That whole period I was able to find some pretty interesting books to pass the time, which hadn’t happened in awhile.

The books I read this fall were:

1: The Six of Crows duology, by Leigh Bardugo. Oh my goodness I cannot say enough good things about this series, it’s just so good! Fantasy is a genre that I am not really big on, but this series might of changed my mind a bit on the genre. I watched the TV show Shadow and Bone, earlier this year, which is based off of the book series Shadow and Bone, and Six of Crows. Also quick side note, I will forever ship Kaz and Inej. LOL

2: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was blown away! It was just a very good coming of age novel, which kept me hooked throughout the entire book. The characters in this book seemed so realistic, and my heart really warmed up to them. Even though it was written in the 40s and was set during the early 20th century the novel really talked about real issues, and things that usually are not discussed in older novels which was quite refreshing.

3: East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This was an interesting novel to say the least. East of Eden, is a biblical allegory that contains the allegory on the biblical story of Cain and Abel. It also contains allegories of good and evil, while all being set in California during the late 19th and early 20th century. Overall I had a more difficult time getting into this one, but by the end of it I was thoroughly embedded.

Regardless of me enjoying one novel over the other I recommend all of these books. Definitely recommend not reading East of Eden unless you are fifteen or older since in contains some very jarring and mature details that are not exactly suitable for someone younger. The other three though I would say are great books for teens of all ages.

I guess I ought to close the post now. Before I do I hope you all are doing well, and thank you for reading.

-Dreamer

My Clep Experience

Well there is a lot to cover in this post, hence why I have separated the post into a few sections. To begin I did the CLEP exam on July 22nd, and it was the Western Civilization 1 exam. It was stressful, and I mean really stressful. Studying for it was and actually doing the exam was stressful. But at the end of the day it is such a relief to get any exam over with and to pass any exam, also knowing the fact that this exam will save me money and time when it comes to higher education is also refreshing and worthwhile. The reason why I decided to write this post is because I have noticed that there are not a whole lot of videos, posts, etc on CLEP, and what to expect with these exams. Hopefully this post may help or give some insight to someone who is planning to take the exam. This is just my experience with the exam, you will most likely have a different experience than I did. Just wanted to put that out there.

How I Studied

The way I studied was by using a western civilization textbook, and my already written down notes from the Western Civilization 1 course I did from the Ron Paul Curriculum. Guys, taking a school course of a certain subject before doing an exam on the same subject was really helpful for me. Also I used the Ron Paul Curriculum CLEP/AP cram course on Western Civilization 1, which really helped me get started with the studying process. On writing notes some people write notes on flashcards others don’t. I was the person that didn’t use flashcards. I just used a decent sized notebook so all my notes would be compact and not separate. I just didn’t want to deal with losing any flashcards which would be a disaster for me! That’s basically how I studied.


What I Learned

I mean specifically what I learned from the process before taking the exam:

1: the first thing I learned is the fact that there are not a whole lot of testing centers(the place where you take a CLEP exam), in Canada. There are only a few places in Canada that actually provide CLEP. So it’s best to figure out if your area has a testing center that provides CLEP if you live in Canada. I don’t know about the US but I believe there are more providers of the exam there.

2: The number of questions on a CLEP exam may not be exactly 80 questions. Let me explain: on any source basically on CLEP it states that the exam consists of 80 questions, and you must get 50 right to pass the exam. Well when I did my exam the exam itself had over a hundred questions, which was shocking! I believe that the 80 questions thing is the scoring system. Even if your CLEP exam has over a hundred questions if you get a 50 or higher score that means you still passed; its the scoring system not the number of questions you got right.

3: Studying is really hard and stressful. At least it was for me. Studying for a CLEP exam was a mind numbing, exhausting, stressful, and not a pleasant experience for me. Maybe that was due to the exam I had to study for, but still studying for an exam is not fun at all.

4: the last and final main thing I learned from the whole experience is to take breaks, and to not over push yourself in the studying process. This is self explanatory.

Bonus: actually when I took I break from writing this post I also remembered one last thing that I learned from the experience. Take a break from all your other school work! Just focus on studying for the exam. This goes especially for people who are home schooled, and who do school over the summer. Worrying over the essays you have to write during the week does not benefit your studying and how well you do on the exam.

What I Would Do Differently

In short, meaning what I would do different next time I take a CLEP exam(which is pretty soon actually). Well there isn’t a whole lot I would do differently the second time around, I mean even though last time I felt like I wasn’t doing anything right, now looking back I see myself doing very similar things when I do it again. The first thing I would do differently probably is not be so hard on myself; some days if I couldn’t get a whole lot of studying in I would feel pretty annoyed with myself. Even though I knew that the day I was to take the exam wasn’t even booked yet, and because I am home schooled that means I can take anything school related at my own pace. Well the only thing I would do differently is to be not so hard on myself.

Conclusion

To conclude this, I would like to say to anyone who plans to take CLEP exams is: you can do it! That sounds motivational am I right lol. But on a serious note you can really do it, even when you think you can’t. Study hard, take practice tests, and you have a high chance for success! I should actually end this post now, history is calling my way.

Thank you for reading!

-Dreamer

Update

July for me was a crazy and busy month for a few reasons, hence why I have not posted in a little bit(I really didn’t check how many days I haven’t posted). The first reason for my lack of posting was studying and doing my first CLEP exam(which was the Western Civilization 1 exam), which was quite difficult to study for. But I did it and its over now thank goodness. I will be getting into my CLEP experience more in the next post I will make. Also since I am done with that CLEP exam I have been getting my life back together, studying for an exam put my schedule in complete disarray. But those things are neither here nor there.

A thing that I have been introducing back into my life is reading. I mean I have been reading the whole month; I have been reading my textbooks and notes, if that counts, which ultimately fried my brain. A book I just finished recently was, Six of Crows. I am not huge on fantasy, but Six of Crows, my goodness was actually a worthwhile read. I might post a summary on the book in the near future, if I have time. Now I am rereading Jane Eyre, which is one of my all time favorites. I can’t believe I have forgotten how good the book was! Before closing this post I will like add, actually I have nothing more to add; well I have nothing more to write about, so I guess I will end the post here.

I hope ya’ll are doing well and enjoying your summer, thanks for reading!

-Dreamer

Btw: has anyone been watching the Olympics?

Happy Canada Day!

I usually don’t make posts on holidays, but today I felt like writing one today. Canada Day is not a really big deal in Canada compared to how big a deal 4th of July is in the States. This year especially it has been a bit sad due to everything going on, but thankfully today is a turning point, things are finally opening up where I live, so there is something to celebrate!

For the past week it has been abnormally hot, Tuesday was the hottest week in British Columbia, and the hottest it has ever been in Canada. In some regions in British Columbia, temperatures were almost 50 degrees C which is insane for Canada! But today it’s mellowed out which is another blessing!

Regardless of all the issues going on in the present and the unknown future ahead life is full of blessings and beauty, including places opening up, and changes in weather. So I hope you all a blessed day! Happy Canada Day!

The Importance of Asking Yourself Things

So today I had absolutely no essays to post which is surprising because I usually have way too many to post, lol. I decided to shake things up and write about something that I believe is pretty important to do time to time, which is asking yourself things. I know this sounds weird but, hear me out.

Every day we ask people things, like how are doing? How are you feeling? Etc. But have you ever considered asking yourself these questions, I mean a lot of people go through the day including myself without checking on how we are doing ourselves. Sure we feel fine and all, but do we really know the details on how we are feeling that day. Probably not.

Lately I have been pretty busy, with all sorts of activities, and life things to do, which has left me with not a lot of time to consider how I am doing. I guess quite a few people relate to this. Some days you are too busy doing things or checking on how other people are doing to check on how you are doing. Because of the new busyness of my life I have been realizing lately that I should really begin to check on how I am feeling, emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc, by asking myself questions on those things. When I asked myself those questions above, I was surprised; I mean I hadn’t really considered how I feeling in those areas because I wasn’t thinking of them.

Well what’s the point of this post? Well maybe the point is that we all get caught up in life, and sometimes we forget to think about how we are actually doing. Who knows you may be suppressing something that is really bothering you, which I certainly was.

So how are you all doing?

Happy Easter!

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Happy Easter ya’ll! I hope you guys are having an amazing day! Personally I love Easter for a few reasons, including it’s religious significance, but also for all the happy memories I have had during this holiday in the past! Also if you are wondering why I put an image of a bunny holding a basket full of colorful eggs, well that’s because it’s cute, and also because Easter today is mostly known for being the holiday where eggs and bunnies are the theme so yeah. Also on the side note Easter like Valentines is a holiday where people consume and buy way too much chocolate and candy, but who blames them, hence why chocolate eggs are a large part of this holiday. Which brings up the tragic fact that I have not had a single chocolate egg this year…….

Well with that all said and done, I hope everyone has an amazing Easter; so Happy Easter everyone!

300 Followers!!

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Well it happened! I hit 300 followers!

First of all a huge thank you to all of my amazing followers! This would not be possible without you guys!

When I first started blogging I was only thinking about the fact that I would now have to post my school essays on the internet; and would have never thought that this day of hitting a large follower milestone was to come!

A lot has happened since I first created my blog, I mean a lot has. I have changed, so has my writing, and my blog, sorta… Creating my blog was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made; sharing my writing on the internet and having other people read it other than my family and friends, has been the best thing that has happened to my writing. I cannot believe I used to put off the idea of creating a blog when I was younger; and the only reason why I created one was because one of my teacher’s strongly encouraged the idea of creating a blog, so… yeah…

Well this begins a new chapter of my blog. I have been thinking of some ideas on how I can make my blog look more aesthetically pleasing, and more organized. Also the theme needs an update but I have been too busy to look through different WordPress themes. *sighs*

So what can I improve on my blog? What theme will look good with my site? Etc?

Well I will close the post here, history essays are calling my way right now, lol!

Well thank you ya’ll again! Have an awesome day!

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye - Kindle edition by J.D. Salinger. Literature &  Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger is a coming to age novel. As the title indicates the novel’s main “moral of the story,” situation is preventing teens from falling off the cliff(metaphorically of course), or in other words protecting the innocence of teens.

The novel is about a pretty angry and depressed sixteen year old boy named Holden Caulfield, who lives in an unnamed boarding school institution in California. Holden recalls and retells the previous events that occured before Christmas. These previous events begin at the prep school he used to go to in Pennsylvania, which he gets expelled from. After getting expelled he is confused, and begins searching for truth, eventually leaving the school early before Christmas break without anyone knowing. He is against the “phoniness” of the adult world. After all of this he ends up exhausted and even more depressed than before. But in the end he realizes that he needs people, especially people who he loves.

Holden has a pretty dark and gloomy perspective of the world; and cannot stand anyone at the prep school he used to go to. He is also pretty impulsive and makes last minute and rather foolish decisions. This novel uses the first person literary style, Holden is the narrator, and everything is in his perspective. Moving on to a more formal analysis.

In my opinion the book is pretty good and shows how teens especially who are going through depression, rebelliousness, etc, pretty accurately. Even though the character development is pretty up and down, it is realistic in the sense that a person in real life goes through a lot of ups and downs in life. I don’t really have a favorite character, some of the characters I even really disliked. The characters were portrayed in a way that made them seem very flawed and messed up; also Holden the main character was unlikable in many instances, just because of his questionable decisions. But than again this is what makes the book realistic.

The main themes in this book are: coming to age(Holden is transitioning from boyhood to manhood), protection of innocence(I explained this above), loneliness(Holden is often incredibly lonely and lost, but even when he try’s get out of this state he constantly sabotages himself), and mental instability(I wouldn’t really call this a theme but this is so prevalent in the novel that I had to add it).

Would I recommend this book? Yes! I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone who is sensitive to topics such as depression and other mature themes. I would recommend this novel for a 14+ age group, just because their are a lot of mature messages, and some inappropriate moments. Also there is a lot of profanity, I mean a lot! I was actually surprised, since this novel was published in the 40s. So be warned. But overall it’s a good book and in my opinion accurately portrays the perspective of some teens.

Thank you for reading

-Dreamer

Oh quick thing, do any of you guys have any cool book recommendations? I am out of books to read, lol. Any recommendations are much appreciated.

Thanks

David Copperfield

David Copperfield (Annotated) eBook: Dickens, Charles : Amazon.ca: Kindle  Store

I read this particular novel around a month ago, but today for some unknown reason I felt like writing about this classic today. Even though I have forgotten most of the small details of this classic it has stuck with me, and still feels very fresh to my mind. During my “journey” of reintroducing reading back into my life David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, by far is one of my favorites I have read so far, and I dare say is probably going onto my list of my favorite books.

Well the first thing to note is the fact that this is a very long novel, I thing it’s around 800 to 900 pages long, I am not exactly sure, but it’s long. Because of the length each page fits let’s say the length of the American Constitution, and the words are in size 2 font, so it’s not the best for your eyes. But honestly who cares about that right? Moving onto my summary of the novel.

The novel is the life story of a man named David Copperfield in short, from childhood to mid-adulthood I guess(I do not remember the novel saying how old Copperfield was in the end of the novel), but I am guessing mid-adulthood, he did not seem young in the end of book for some reasons which I will not disclose because I do not want to spoil for ya’ll, trust me on this.

Getting back onto the summary, so it’s the life story of David Copperfield(he is a fictional character). Dickens’s does a beautiful job using the first person narration style. The novel is written in a way that makes it seem that Copperfield is retelling an autobiographical account of his life, though it’s fictional. Copperfield goes through many ups and downs in life, and goes through the struggles of life. Overall this novel seems very real and rather relatable from my experience of reading it. Also there are many important themes such as, love, coming of age, death or loss, etc. I am sorry that this summary is very short but I will spoil the story if I get into it more.

Now to the technical stuff, the main themes in this novel are many, just because its so long, so I would say that the main themes are like I mentioned above, which are: love, coming of age, and death or loss. The reason why I believe these are the themes?

Love: Copperfield falls in love three times during the length of this novel.

Coming of age: I mean the novel itself is about the main character from childhood to mid adulthood, and also about the main character’s self growth as a person the older he becomes.

Death: Copperfield experiences the lost of loved ones more than once; this in my opinion is a key to the character development.

Who was my favorite character? Probably Copperfield and one of the main female character’s Agnes(who is very a smart figure). But I also like some of the minor characters who play lesser roles.

I rate this book around 7.5 to 8/10, just because the novel itself is like 3 decent sized novels put into one, and there are a lot of ups in downs in the story because it is a life story, some parts interesting, and others drag on. What age(s) would I recommend this book for? I would say 12 and up, just because you have to be a pretty good reader to fully appreciate the novel, and also because there are more mature themes. But overall this book is great for teens and adults, and I highly recommend if you are looking for a good classic to read that will last you a while. Overall this is just a great novel and is one of the reasons why I love Charles Dickens’s as an author as much as I do.

Thank for reading.

-Dreamer