What I Read October 2014

BOY, SNOW, BIRD

About- A retelling of Snow White that explores the themes of race, beauty, and identity.

Why I picked it- I heard that this one was interesting and I’ll admit that the cover also captured my attention.

Grade B This book was kind of strange, but I kind of liked it. I liked the writing style, which was somewhat conversational. I felt a bit like I was sitting down with a friend and they decided to tell me this wild and crazy version of their life story. There were a few twists in the plot that I didn’t anticipate and I thought the narrator was an interesting character. This book won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a bit of an experimental read, then this might hit the spot.

THE BELL JAR

About- A young woman struggling with depression; a realistic portrayal of someone dealing with a mental illness.

Why I picked it- I’ve been meaning to read this for over a year now. It’s a classic and I’m glad I finally got to it.

Grade A Our main character, Esther, battles depression and the entire time I was reading this, I really felt for her. At the beginning of the book, she’s living the dream and doing a summer internship in NYC. After the internship ends though, her plans for the rest of the summer don’t quite work out and the depression starts to take a hold of her. Esther feels so alone and although she seems fine on the outside, she’s really hurting on the inside. Plath’s writing is beautiful and I thought this book was really good for anyone who wants to understand mental illness better. This is one of those books that I think will stick with me for a long time (if you want to hear more of my thoughts on this book, check out the video that I made).

HALF BAD

About- A young witch who is Half-White (good witch) and Half-Black (bad witch).

Why I picked it- I’m pretty sure Eva Chen instagrammed a picture of this book a few months before it came out, so I mentally added it to my list.

Grade B- The good: interesting premise, fast pacing, interesting details in this world of witches. The not-so-good: underdeveloped characters, the romance was not really believable, and the ending felt a bit rushed. Overall, I thought this book was entertaining, although I had some problems with it. It’s the first book in trilogy and I’ll be checking out the next book to find out what happens and see if it addresses any of the issues I had with the first one.

REBECCA

About- A young woman gets married to a widower, but feels that she is constantly in the shadow of his first wife.

Why I picked it- This is another book that was on my list of top 10 classics I want to read or reread.

Grade A This book was excellent. I almost want to tell you nothing about this book except for, go read it. I didn’t know too much going into this book and I think that’s the best way to approach it. I wanted to read some spooky/creepy books this month in keeping with the theme of Halloween and this one fit the bill. The characters are fascinating and the plot is a slow burn, which I thought worked perfectly in this case. That’s all I’m saying about this one- let me know if any of you have read it!

If you want to hear more of my book talk, I have a YouTube channel where I upload book-related videos weekly!

Tell me: Have you read any of these books? What are you reading at the moment?

(as always, click the titles for links!)

trench coat outfits

Here’s the first outfit that only features pieces from my fall capsule wardrobe! I wore this look on a blustery, but sunny day of sightseeing with my sister.

red lips dark skin

I’ve had this trench for several years now. I bought it from Target for around $50 when I was in college and this year I was considering upgrading to a nicer version. In order to cut costs though, I decided to have this coat dry cleaned and I also had a tailor fix a large rip that was on the side. Now it looks almost new and it will do just fine until I can afford to replace it.

madewell sweatshirt

This Madewell sweatshirt was the first piece I bought for my fall capsule and probably the item I’ve worn the most so far. It’s so easy to throw on and I’ve worn it both to work (my office is quite casual) and on the weekend. I love the French text and the graphic lettering.

brooklyn bridge1

Up until a few weeks ago, I’d never walked over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was on my list of things I want to do in NYC eventually and having my sister here was the perfect excuse to cross it off. The view was pretty spectacular and on the day we went, it wasn’t as crowded as I feared it would be. Also, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would and I’m hoping I’ll stroll across that bridge a few more times in the near future.

walk the brooklyn bridge

Outfit Details: Target trench coat, Madewell maison des a.r.t.s. sweatshirt, American Eagle black hi-rise jeggings, Sam Edelman Petty boots, Fossil Erin Satchel | Lips- Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick- Kate Moss Collection in 01 | photos of me- my sister

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shopping at chelsea market

I waited so patiently for this skirt. I first saw it on the J. Crew website sometime last year, but at $98 it was out of my price range. Then I started seeing it on blogs everywhere and they released it in a bunch of great colors and I wanted it. Every time J. Crew had a sale, I’d check to see if it was discounted.

sitting on the high line

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when this skirt went on final sale. I thought to myself, “Ok, now’s the time to buy this.” Then I got an email about their sale on sale (my favorite kind of sale) and the skirt was now $19.99, which is about 80% off the original price. There was no more hesitation after that. I already had the skirt in my cart online and I checked out then and there.

on the high line

Since the skirt was on final sale, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t fit (there’s no returns on final sale). Happily, it did fit and now I’m kicking myself for not buying the black version when they still had it in my size. I think this skirt is classic, easy to dress up and down, and can work in any season. When we visited the High Line, it was fairly warm and I could pair this skirt with light separates. It’s part of my fall capsule wardrobe and I can’t wait to wear it with some ankle boots and tights (actually, scratch that last part, I’m holding out on tights for as long as I can!).

j crew fluted skirt

Outfit Details: Forever 21 cardigan, Aeropostale Pocket Woven Cropped Hi-Lo Tank (c/o), J. Crew Fluted Skirt in Double Crepe, Payless flats, Fossil Erin Satchel, Forever 21 earrings | Lips- Julep Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Cardinal Red | photos of me- my sister

NYC 10th Avenue elevated walkway yellow flowers Nki and I sisters the high line musician the high line extended red berries walking the high line high line kissing mural

Normally you’ll find me far away from NYC’s biggest tourist attractions, however, the High Line is one touristy spot that I actually love. In case you’ve never heard of it, the High Line is an elevated park located on the west side of Manhattan. They recently opened a portion that extends even further west towards the water and I was really excited to check it out.

When my sister was in town, we strolled around Chelsea Market for a bit, then took the stairs up to the High Line. It was an overcast day, but the temperature wasn’t too high and we really enjoyed walking along in no particular hurry. There were various plants in bloom, musicians stationed here and there, and plenty of people-watching. We walked the entire length of it, from 14th street to 33rd street, and then back to 14th street. I think the High Line is such a beautiful spot and I wish I could spend more quiet afternoons there.