Fall Playlist

Music is powerful and nostalgic. Certain songs that I once listened to on repeat have the power to take me back in time. I’m trying to be more conscious of what I’m listening to, so I created a list on my phone to keep track of the songs and albums that have defined the season for me. It doesn’t consist of everything I’ve listened to this fall, but it does chronologically include the big hits that I want to remember later. This playlist runs roughly from the end of August/early September to early/mid-November (I cut it off a week or so before One Direction released Made in the A.M.).

Fall Playlist | 2015
Wilder Mind – Mumford & Sons
“Jet Black Heart” – 5 Seconds of Summer
“Best of You” – Foo Fighters
“Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
“What Do You Mean” – Justin Bieber
“On My Mind” – Ellie Goulding
“In the Night” – The Weeknd
Badlands – Halsey
”Throne” – Bring Me the Horizon
“Gorgeous” – X Ambassadors
“Hotline Bling” – Drake
“The Hills” – The Weeknd
“Perfect” – One Direction
“Sorry” – Justin Bieber
“Hello” – Adele
“I’ll Show You” – Justin Bieber
“Stitches” – Shawn Mendes

What have you been listening to this fall?

Thanks for reading.

The Happy List: Thanksgiving Edition

Thankful thoughts for Thanksgiving week.

  1. The Lightning getting its groove back. Three wins in a row!
  2. Blasting techno and rap music at full volume while driving down Bayshore with the windows down and car-dancing with my little brother the whole time.
  3. Mockingjay Pt. 2 being a wholly amazing conclusion to one of my favorite book and film franchises.
  4. Seeing Anton Stralman at the Mockingjay showing. Multiple times. In one night.
  5. The song Brokenhearted by Kalin and Myles.
  6. Lou Teasdale’s Snapchat story of Harry Styles befriending an elderly man after the AMAs. He even gave the man his fancy glitter shoes.
  7. My new Peeta Funko Pop. So he can stay with Katniss, always.
  8. My friends, whom I have not made enough time for lately and who will probably remain neglected until college apps are done.
  9. My family. This one is a given, but I should express it more often.
  10. THANKSGIVING. And BLACK FRIDAY (even though I am working the midday shift at the store).

What are you thankful for? Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thanks for reading.


Quotes I Love

Here is a list of quotes, consisting of both new discoveries and old favorites, that I’ve been loving lately.

  • “So we’ll just let things take their course, and never be sorry.”
    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, Benediction
  • “Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
    ― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See
  • “The world goes on, stupid and brutal, but I do not. Can’t you see? I do not.”
    ― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution
  • “I know it is a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that it is a worse thing to let a promise break you.”
    ― Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light
  • “Don’t let yourself feel worthless: often through life you will really be at your worst when you seem to think best of yourself; and don’t worry about losing your “personality,” as you persist in calling it: at fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon, and when you are my age you will give out, as I do, the genial golden warmth of 4 p.m.”
    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
  • “And the rest is rust and stardust.”
    ― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
  • “You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.”
    ― Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass
  • “You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.”
    ― Sarah J. Maas, Heir of Fire
  • “Whenever anyone has called me a bitch, I have taken it as a compliment. To me, a bitch is assertive, unapologetic, demanding, intimidating, intelligent, fiercely protective, in control — all very positive attributes. But it’s not supposed to be a compliment, because there’s that stupid double standard: When men are aggressive and dominant, they are admired, but when a woman possesses those same qualities, she is dismissed and called a bitch.These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don’t appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you. Not being a bitch means since Eve ate that apple, we will forever have to pay for her bitchiness with complacence, obedience, acceptance, closed eyes, and open legs.”
    ― Margaret Cho
  • “A bookshelf is as particular to its owner as are his or her clothes; a personality is stamped on a library just as a shoe is shaped by the foot.”― Alan Bennett
  • “Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”
    ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • “Seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition.”
    ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • “Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.”
    ― Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

Thanks for reading.


The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

15724396Novel: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan | Goodreads
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Also Posted On: Lit Up Review

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Rick Riordan knows who he is. He knows what he does well, and he sticks to it. And he produces something wonderful and magical each and every time. I really enjoyed the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. The Sword of Summer was fast-paced and fun. I read it because I love mythology, because I love Riordan’s witty writing style and sassy characters, and because I knew it would be a good ol’ time. And it was. Magnus is sixteen, sarcastic, and reminiscent of Percy in all the lovable ways. The side characters are an elf, a dwarf, and a stubborn daughter of Loki. Magnus is definitely my favorite character, and I am excited to get to know the god Loki more over the course of the series.

There are several references to the Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series in The Sword of Summer, and Annabeth Chase is Magnus’ cousin. I totally did not connect the dots between their last names until they smacked me in the face within the first few chapters. My hope is that Riordan will somehow explain how all the Norse gods and mythologies and Greek/Roman gods and mythologies can coexist in the same world… In my opinion, it would have been smarter to leave Annabeth out and have Magnus and his series be entirely separate from Riordan’s prior works. But I understand that this connection will excite some people, and will definitely be a pull for the ever-loyal Percy Jackson audience. Admittedly, some of the references were quite funny (like the chapter title, “Hearthstone Passes Out Even More Than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is)”).

From The Sword of Summer, I did get a refresher on Norse mythology and definitely learned some new information. Though it is immersed in the nine worlds of Norse mythology, the overarching story is not really new. I think anyone who’s loved Riordan’s past works will enjoy this one, but don’t expect to have your mind blown with new material. The book is very entertaining as a whole, just not revolutionary. In fact, the novel’s plot – and the plot of its sequel, judging by its title, The Hammer of Thor – is fairly predictable. HOWEVER, I’d like to point out that I read The Sword of Summer as a seventeen year old, after having read around fifteen Rick Riordan books before. Of course it didn’t feel one hundred percent original. But it has everything I’ve always loved about Riordan’s books in it and I enjoyed it and sometimes that’s what matters most, more than any critical literary analysis.

In conclusion, I very much enjoyed The Sword of Summer and I look forward to continuing the series. While Riordan’s first series, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, will likely always remain my favorite of his, I am excited to see him explore another area of mythology in a new series. His tried-and-true formula continues to be successful in The Sword of Summer and I think people of all ages, whether it’s their first Rick Riordan book or their fifteenth, will enjoy the lighthearted, adventurous spirit of Magnus Chase.

Thanks for reading.


The Happy List | 3

  1. Hot showers
  2. Tomato soup
  3. NyQuil tonight
  4. Old hoodies
  5. My last State meet
  6. Body mist, because I’m too cold for lotion
  7. A day off tomorrow
  8. New boy band music
  9. Gary, because our training is over and he’s changed my life
  10. A complete and utter loss of appetite

On a less happy note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Gene Odom, particularly to his twin children. Mr. Odom died in a plane crash yesterday.