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have you seen a fallen star anywhere?

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I'm fairly certain that Neil Gaiman is a wizard. Every book of his that I have had the privilege of reading has been so original, eerie, yet magical. What I love most about Neil Gaiman and his books is that he gives no explanations for the unusual worlds he creates. He paints a picture with words and expects the you to go along with it, and as you read you actually do. You accept his reality, and in the end you wish it to be true.

This fantasy story follows Tristran Thorn and his journey to procure a fallen star for his true love.
I admittedly saw the movie of Stardust before I read the book (it is amazing, albeit a little cheesy at times), and it was hard for me to disassociate the book from what I knew from the movie. The book and movie are very different from each other, though, and I found both to portray equally great stories.

As I was reading I was surprised at how many adult themes there were. It definitely reads like a children's fantasy book, but it is not at all a story for children. I found it somewhat nice, though. This book was more lighthearted than ordinary adult books (or other Neil Gaiman books, honestly), but it's still extremely enjoyable. It's an escape. A great read to help you forget all the stress and difficulties of life.

The book is very fast paced and humorous and keeps you hooked throughout, and it has the Gaiman writing style that is completely addicting.

While I really enjoyed reading this book, I can see how others wouldn't care for it so much. Again, there is not a whole lot of explanation for how the world works. It's just there. Which can be frustrating at times. The characters can get on your nerves at times (especially Tristran), and their actions a bit predictable. But if you're able to get past all that, it really is a magical journey.
“A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really..."Do the stars gaze back?" Now, that's a question.” Neil Gaiman, Stardust

five

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I've been reflecting on the importance of the written word. Just the ability and freedom we have to write and to share our stories, our lives, our opinions astounds me.
Writing is how history stays alive. When a culture wants to block off from the rest of the world, the first thing they attack is the people's access to books and information.  
And what a crazy, ridiculous, amazing time we live in where it is easier than ever to write and to get our words out there to people all over. The deeper I dwell on it, it becomes even more amazing to me.

This month I have been blogging for five years

I never wrote down the exact date I clicked the publish button for my first ever blog post. My first ever blog post doesn't even exist anymore (thank heaven for that). But I remember that day so vividly. It was on a crisp day in November. I had just gotten home from my bible study group. I was 13 years old. And I was ecstatic to be writing on my first blog. 

Five years doesn't seem like a lot when you're thinking of the grand scheme of eternity. Little blogger me is still practically a toddler in the internet world. But looking back on the past five years, I feel like a completely different person than that frizzy-haired girl who had no idea what she was getting into, who didn't know what she was doing with her life, who just wanted to write.

Sometimes I think back to those days and I just want to smack my younger self for posting the most mindless, random weirdness (I honestly have no idea how I had followers back then. I was obnoxious). Then other times I wish I could go back, back to when I didn't give a care about what other people thought of me, when I was bold and was able to find something to write about every day.

I never liked writing in private journals and diaries. I still don't. Blogging has given me an outlet to have an audience. I don't feel like I'm shouting into the void. I have a community, a family that I couldn't have by writing privately. 
This was one of my points in my paper I talked about the other day

Blogging is important!
We live in a world where we can write for and have discussions with people around the world. Blogging gives us perspective about things that we wouldn't have otherwise and that's amazing! 

I'm not a perfect blogger. I've never been a perfect blogger. I'll never be a perfect blogger. I have kept four completely different blogs before I finally permanently settled on this one (I ain't going anywhere folks!). I still hate my writing sometimes, and I have taken so many unexpected, spontaneous blogging hiatuses (sorry) that I'm somewhat surprised you are still here.

In the end though, I wouldn't be the same person I am now without blogging. The world wouldn't be the same as it is now without blogging, and for that I am grateful. I still get annoyed thinking about my younger self sometimes, but honestly, I wouldn't change a thing that has happened over these past five years.
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This post was supposed to be a list of things that blogging has taught me, but then I started to bleed out feelings and everything I've been thinking on and this sort of happened. I don't really mind, though.

Book Review | All the Light We Cannot See

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I wanted to love this book. I was suppose to love this book. From all the ravings and reviews and hype I have been hearing about it over the past year or so, it seemed to ooze with everything I adore in stories. A World War II setting, intricately connected storylines, a promise of a heartbreaking ending, all of which are characteristics that will always draw me to a book.
However, after I finished it and tried to gather my final scattered thoughts and opinions, I felt conflicted.

I did not hate this book. Not at all! The author is extremely talented and has a beautiful writing style. His use of unique verbs and adjectives are fresh and unparalleled. He is able to create magic with his writing, and that, I think was my very favorite part of reading this story. I was sucked into this world and felt for the characters through his voice.

Another thing that I appreciated was that the chapters were also very short, some being no more than a page long, which made it easy to fly through this seemingly long, 500-page book without feeling like any time had passed at all.

The story itself was also intriguing. It is truly like a puzzle. I know that's an extremely cliché metaphor to use, but it is. The pieces are laid out in front of you, and one by one they are put in their place to create the final picture, and when you finally see it all come together in the end, it makes sense.

The book is continually shifting point of views and time periods in order to fully construct the puzzle. The two main characters are Marie-Laure, a blind French girl, and Werner, a radio technician for the German army. While both are interesting to read, I found myself enjoying the sections about Werner more than those on Marie-Laure. I always think that it's interesting to read from the perspective of a German or other opposing during the war when most literature likes to focus on the members of the Allied Forces. Werner felt more real to me. Not that I didn't care for Marie-Laure, she was a also likable enough character, though I found her to be somewhat naïve and childish, even when she grew older.

From what I heard from reviews, and from when I read in the synopsis, I was expecting Marie-Laure and Werner to be more connected then they were. While I wasn't unhappy with the way it turned out in the end, I just assumed that there would be more between them. And also, I was very impatient for them to eventually meet, as the author promises they will. It takes nearly the whole book for them to finally cross paths, and while it was worthwhile when it did happen, I still feel as if it was slow coming.

There were some chapters I also felt to be unnecessary and just dragged the story down, and there were many characters that got mixed up in head. All of these are just little things that I usually forgive pretty easily if I am read a truly good book. And this is a good book. It was everything I expected from the hype. The reason I'm conflicted about my final verdict, however, is the way it ended.

I wanted a bang for an ending. It needed a bang. It was practically promising me a bang. I was prepared for merciless heartbreak. The bang that I expected came. But then it went. And the book kept going. In my opinion the author dragged it out longer than he should have. There were several points that I noted where I believe the ending could've been more impactful. I'm sure that the author had his reasons for doing what he did, and I'm not saying I am wise and all knowing when it comes to these things. I was just expecting something different.

I definitely want to read this book again someday. I want to be able to understand the things that the author did, to see if my opinions change at all, but I would also love to reread it just for the sake of rereading the beautiful story and impeccable writing.

stress + mess

2 months and 14 days.
College is hard. But it's a different sort of hard than I expected.
I expected no sleep, writing papers, reading thousands of pages from several different texts, and a confusing class schedule that would require me to wake up early in order to be on time for anything.
But it's different.
On the day I moved in I felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience. I wasn't really there. I was just going through the motions, watching everyone go by while they did their own thing.
And after 2 months and 14 days that feeling hasn't really gone away.
You anticipate going to college for so long. Throughout high school all they ever talk about is: "In college you'll have to..." "College is like..." college, college, college... and when you finally get there, it doesn't seem real at all.
You also don't realize how it really does go by so fast.
In a blurred frenzy of papers, and classes, and late nights, and crying, and laughing, I am already 6 weeks away from finishing my first semester. Already 1/8 of the way done.
I now know how to construct coherent sentences in French, and what the word "primogeniture" means. I tried ballroom dancing, and have been able to analyze the deeper meanings of literature.
I wrote a long paper on the effects that blogging has on a person's identity, and realized just how much I missed this space.
I've been trying for a long time to find a way to sum up my conflicting, chaotic, and confusing feelings on college. And all I can say is: so far so good.

I've been doing a lot of thinking. Here's where I stand:

  • I finished high school. I got to walk across a stage in an extremely flattering bathrobe and table-hat to accept a piece of paper for accomplishing four years of school. 
  • I turned eighteen, and almost every birthday wish I received was accompanied by a short remark about how I'm an official adult now and have new adult responsibilities, which was kind of terrifying.
  • I'm getting ready for college. I'm mentally preparing myself to pack up my whole life in a couple months, to move away from my friends and family and everything I've ever known.
It's an intense time. My thoughts are running around frantically in my head of things to do, people to say goodbye to, how to save money, adult responsibilities I should be worried about.

I have absolutely zero ideas for posts. I want to be able to document all of these exciting (and terrifying) things going on in my life, but everything feels swallowed up by more things happening.

This isn't an apology. I'm tired of apologizing for not being around.

This is a promise. I'm not abandoning this space. My life is changing, and in the midst of all the change I want to be able to use this blog as a way to write about my journey. This summer I'm going to work on figuring out a good schedule, so that I will be able to keep up with this and everything else.

Stay tuned.

le happy

books// rereading The Lord of the Rings for the millionth time and still not getting bored. Wuthering Heights, even though the characters are flawed and the plot is comparable to that of a soap opera. The Book Thief, because it will always hold a piece of my heart. The Night Circus, Vicious, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and other stories that you can just drown in and forget everything around you.

words// copious. ineffable. epoch. serendipity. epiphany. solitude. oblivion. eternity. 

movies + tv// The Dead Poet Society. The Prince of Egypt. The Lord of the Rings (still not bored). Lost. I'm in complete denial that Downton Abbey is over.

scents// my french lavender and honey lotion that I apply religiously to my perpetually dry skin. The musty smell of one-hundred-year-old theaters. Crisp library book paper, early spring mornings after it rains.

songs// Rules for Lovers. Chasing all the Stars. All of the Of Monsters and Men and The Civil Wars albums. Numbing myself with old Taylor Swift and One Direction songs.

miscellany// hearing people talk in French and being able to understand them (a little). Surprise large cokes and green tea frappes from people I love. Lasts and firsts. Standing ovations. Having answers to questions. Realizing that you are not the same person you were four years ago, and it's okay. Finally having an excuse to buy a masquerade mask. Late night talks with best friends. Falling asleep while watching a movie.
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I'm trying to remember the things that make me happy.

Blog has been put on the back-burner.

Love you all.

Be patient.

Thank you.