Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10 Things My Boyfriend Does That Every Guy Should Take Note Of

As a woman, all of us want to believe that our man is the most perfect guy out there. Or at least, I feel that way. Everything my boyfriend does, I never take for granted; however, after listening to women my age talk about their boyfriends, I have come to realize how lucky I really got. I've listened to my friends complain over and over about their boyfriends/ boys they're "talking" to, and I have got to say that my life is a heck of a lot easier with my boyfriend. So, ladies, if your man isn't taking the time out of his day to make you feel special or even doing any of the things listed below, maybe you should re-think some things.

1. Tells me I'm beautiful every day.
   To most, this might seem a tad excessive. But coming from someone who has suffered from self-image issues basically their entire life, this turns my day completely around. I could think I am the ugliest human being on this earth, but my boyfriend still tells me I'm beautiful. And it's not that I need to be told that every day. I'm not like Tinker Bell and will die if I don't get enough attention. But having my boyfriend call me every day with a "hey, beautiful" is enough to make me smile.

2. Doesn't blow off my feelings.
   For some reason, people in my generation have issues communicating with one another. A lot of my friends have boyfriends that don't really like to talk over their problems. A lot of the time it's a "I think you're overreacting." My boyfriend will let me rant to him for hours about something he did and he'll try and see it from my point of view. We rarely have fights. In the almost two years of dating, we've only had one big argument and we resolved it fairly quickly. But that did involve communication. Not once in that argument did he ever say "you're overreacting." If you're boyfriend makes you feel like you should apologize for your feelings, something is wrong. If you're boyfriend makes you feel like you can't tell him he did something wrong the moment it happens, something is wrong. My boyfriend and I have a rule that if one of us does something that bothers the other, we tell them right then and there. It doesn't matter how silly it is, because keeping it bottled up causes more harm than good. I tend to overreact a lot too. There was one time we were driving and nobody would let me over into the other lane; so, we missed our exit. Not going to lie, I cried and even got a bit fussy with my boyfriend because he didn't tell me to turn into the exit right away. But my boyfriend held my hand and said "Emily, it's okay. We'll find a place to turn around. Just breathe." And he directed me to the next exit. He didn't tell me I overreacted even though it's obvious I did.

3. Loves me even when I'm bloated, crampy, and gross.
   This is pretty much a deal breaker for me. I had an ex in the past who refused to associate with me at all when it was my time of the month because he said it was gross and a hassle on him. Sorry the natural processes of my body grossed you out? Or moreover, sorry that me being in so much pain that I pass out and throw up is a hassle on you. I just chose to be a woman one day, just to be a hassle on men. You're right. But my current boyfriend always buys me ice cream, cuddles with me, tells me he loves me when I'm crying over nothing, and will feed my whatever weird cravings I have. We went to the gym once because I read somewhere that it would help my cramps (FYI it didn't), and he left early because I was doubled over in pain. Now those who know him know that he NEVER leaves the gym early for anything. But he'll always leave the gym early for me. He wasn't mad. He was understanding and he told me we could go eat anywhere I wanted and we could watch whatever movie I wanted. In the end, he bought me Moe's and ice cream, so he made my day just a little bit nicer.

4. Is ALWAYS loyal.
   I am aware that this a no-brainer. However, for some reason people my age don't really grasp this concept. For me, cheating is anything you do behind your significant other's back that would hurt the other person. For example, I had an ex that would get nude pictures from other girls but that "wasn't cheating because he didn't use them." You can decode that for yourself. But it involves other things too. Flirting with other girls or straight up checking out other girls in front of you hurts. Now just like all men, I'm sure my boyfriend checks out other girls. However, he makes sure to acknowledge that I look better than anyone which is a huge plus. Also he doesn't text any other girls without telling me. Now you might be thinking that I can't possibly know that. Furthermore, he could by hiding things behind my back. But I would trust him with my life. He hasn't done anything to betray my trust. We had an issue in the past but after seeing my point of view he never spoke to this girl again. In fact, he deleted her number because he never wanted me to feel like there was someone else in the picture. We tell each other EVERYTHING. He also never compares me to anyone. We asked each other, if you could date a celebrity for a day, who would you date? Without hesitation, I said "Zac Efron" (obviously!). But he told me, that he didn't need to date a celebrity because he had me. Although his response made me feel terrible after mindlessly shouting "Zac Efron", it made me realize how much he must care about me.

5. Makes time for his friends and me.
   Sometimes it is hard for us to balance time. I know couples who lose their friends because they only spend time with each other. The last thing you want is to be friendless because you and your boyfriend can't be separate people. Furthermore, guys reach a whole new level of clingy without their friends. One of my exes gave me zero space because I told him that I was tired of not being a priority in his life. I guess to him that meant "let me spend every waking moment with my girlfriend." I couldn't even breathe without telling him about it. Please, never put yourself in a position like that. My boyfriend is okay with me hanging out with my friends and family without him and the feeling is mutual. If he has friends over, I'm not going to interfere. It's harder to make plans the older you get, so he rarely sees his old friends. When they do come into town, I make sure that he gets enough guy time with them. Now, he does invite me to everything because he wants me to feel included; but, he is always happy when I decline too. We're around each other a lot, so he needs some guy time. It is a problem though when your boyfriend won't let you see your friends/family. If your man is keeping you away from your friends/family or preventing you from doing things you want to do, that is actually a sign of psychological abuse. Furthermore, it is just not fair. You should never let your man control you. It's your life, not his life. You have to find a proper balance between doing your thing and doing things together.

6. Loves to hear about my goals and passions.
   I cannot tell you how many people tell me "nobody cares" when I talk about science. Science has been a passion of mine since I was very little. Naturally, I talk about it a lot. My boyfriend never tries to interrupt me when I'm talking about my passions or goals. Instead he is very supportive. I talk about outbreaks, diseases, and parasites a lot. Most of the time he'll tell me he doesn't understand but he still allows me to explain it. He always listens. In fact, he got a question right on his anatomy test because of something I told him. When he plans his life, he plans it in a way that we can both pursue our goals. For example, he knows that I am happiest in a lab; so, he was looking for places to live that would have a nice research facility and a place for him to open up his own gym. Furthermore, he asks me about school sometimes. He'll ask me about things I've learned and even my advice on his workout supplements. Here's a tip for all guys out there: complement a girl on her brains and not just her body!

7. Is constantly seeking new adventures with me.
   As you get older, you realize how difficult it is to plan vacations. Money and work both play a significant role in the matter. But you can do new things without spending a lot of money. Working retail, my hours are sporadic and I never get weekends off. However, when I do get a day off, my boyfriend tries to find new things we can do. Granted a lot of the time we just sit at home, eat pizza, and watch Netflix. However, when we both magically get a day off, we don't take it for granted. We like to try new things together whether it be a new craft or going somewhere new. The world is a big place and we want to experience it together. When we plan vacations, it's not so much what have we done that was fun. Planning a vacation is more of "what haven't we done together that would be fun." Free time is a rarity for most people, so we shouldn't take it for granted. Experiencing something new with the person you love just makes things so much more exciting.

8. Never skimps out on date night.
   Many couples stop going on real dates over time. Even my boyfriend and I don't have a set date night every week. It seems that most couples stop chasing after each other after so long. This is a depressing fact. Me and my boyfriend will plan date nights if I'm not working that weekend. I'll get all dolled up, he'll pick me out, and we'll go do something fun. Fact: having fun does not require absurd amounts of money. One of our date nights consisted of buying a lot of snacks and a movie from the $3 bin at Walmart. This may not seem like a date, but you can have date nights in. Sometimes we'll go out to eat and see a movie. Sometimes we go bowling. We love going to Gatti-Land and playing games. The important thing is that we make each date count. He is a real gentleman too. I am a firm believer that relationships are about balance. He shouldn't always have to pay for our meals/dates. But he always does despite my wishes. He'll open the door for me and always let me order first.

9. Goes out of his way to make me feel special.
   Again, this might seem obvious. However, I can't tell you how many of my friends rarely get spoiled by their boyfriends. By spoiled I don't mean just by material things. Your boyfriend should do nice things for you on more than just your birthday, Christmas, and anniversary. Each day, he should be striving to make you feel loved. When I'm having a bad day, my boyfriend will do everything to make it better. Whether that be cuddling me, watching my favorite movie, going for a walk in the park, or giving me my space, he will do it. With him, I feel special 365 days out of the year. He is constantly doing things to make my life easier or going out of his way to make me feel great. Everyone has those days where they just feel down, but my boyfriend can make me smile even on my worst of days. He'll listen to my rants and try to be understanding. He never gives me unsolicited advice either. Sometimes you just want to rant about something without someone telling you what to do. He's always there when I need him.

10. Strives for us to move forward as a couple.
     Let me stress that I have no intentions of getting married until I'm about 28 years old. I have a while before I can even consider it. However, if you're dating someone, you should see them as a candidate. Many couples love the idea of each other more than actually being together. I like to think of these couples as stationary. They're not really taking steps forward because they don't really want to move forward with that person. It's silly to be with someone if you don't see a future with them. My boyfriend and I are constantly moving forward as a couple. Granted, it is baby steps, but we're moving forward. We make plans with each other that are in the future such as living together someday. We plan our own personal futures with each other in them like where we'll live in 10 years or how many dogs we'll have. We want to do new things with each other and experience the world together. But the point is that we're constantly on the same page about the future. We don't take our relationship on a day-by-day basis. We're constantly seeking ways to improve ourselves when we have differences and seeking new things for us to experience together.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Life in Retail

I have always wanted to make a post about working in retail, because for some reason people really just don't get it. People are under the impression, it seems, that retail workers have it very easy. Now you're probably thinking, "well retail can't possibly be that hard." The work itself isn't hard (most of the time). But the work itself can be mentally and physically exhausting. Not only do we have to work holidays and weekends, but our hours are all messed up. We don't get to come home at 5 or 6 everyday. There are days where I am at the store until 3 AM. We spend time away from our families during holidays to meet the needs of the holiday shoppers. We work Christmas eve, the 4th of July, new years eve, you name it. Here is some things people need to realize:

1) We don't just sit around all day doing nothing.
    Rarely do we ever just sit around. In my 3 years of retail, never have I ever had a chance to just "sit around." There is always something that needs to be done. I worked a 12 hour shift before, and the only time I got to sit down was on my 30 minute break. Anybody in a customer service industry can tell you that if you have time to sit around, you aren't doing your job correctly. There are days where I need to fill 8 different shelves and help 4 different customers all at the same time. As a customer, snapping your fingers at us and yelling for us to come over to you, will not make the process any easier for us. I understand the frustration of needing help and not being able to find it, but I promise that we will get to you if you're confused. We don't intentionally ignore customers (even though sometimes we might want to), so if you feel like we are, let us know. You can do this in a polite way, I promise. There is no need to yell at us and accuse us of bad attitudes. A simple "excuse me ma'am, but I need some help" will do just fine. Chances are though, we will always come up and greet you first.

2) We don't make company policies.
     This is an exception for privately owned businesses. There is this common misconception that we set store prices, marketing, product availability, store hours, and even sales tax. I have had several customers in the past, yell at me because of sales tax. Obviously, my store out of the hundreds of stores in the nation set their own sales tax. Moreover, we were specifically targeting you this time when you walked in the store. We thought "how can we make this specific customer pay more" and thus, raised the sales tax. The sales tax is in no way set by the government. That is obviously some conspiracy. We set sales tax based on each individual customer. Also, we make sure to hide all of the products people want. Our back room is a never ending abyss of items, almost like a Mary Poppins bag. The backroom is like Narnia. Our shelves are always stocked with every single item, but we just choose to not put them out because we want to inconvenience you. And yes, we specifically hid those items from you. There is no possible way we could be out of any of our items since we have complete control over our shipments.
    I hope people understand that this is sarcasm. Although for some reason, people are under the impression that this is true. I promise that although we try to make sales, we do want to do what is in your best interest. If you don't want to buy something or are looking for a certain price range, let us know. Yelling at us at the cash register over something beyond our control will not solve the problem. Our job is to understand the policies, and even then we don't always 100% agree with the decisions the company makes. We also want to do what is in the best interest of the customer. If you're confused about something or are looking for something specific, don't hesitate to ask. But understand, that we are aware that being out of a product is an inconvenience and we will let you know when we should get it in.

3) There is a huge difference between helping us improve and being a jerk.
   Constructive criticism is one thing. We all make mistakes. We aren't perfect people. We may forget to take a sign down, change a price tag, or even scan an item wrong. But understand, that most of the time we have been running around for the last 8+ hours. Obviously we're tired. If something seems wrong to you, point it out to us. Let us know that we need to improve on something. New flash: you can do this in a polite way. If a total seems wrong, you can ask "oh I though this cost x dollars" or even "how much did this item cost." Saying "that can't possibly be right. You obviously messed up," will not make me magically fix your  total. 99% of the time, the employee is comfortable with the promotions and knows how things should ring up. If coupons are involved, we know how they work. We know what works for each coupon. Heck, we even allow customers to use expired coupons sometimes (this might vary by store. Don't hold me to this). I have been called incompetent at my job by a customer for the fact that I would not allow her to stack coupons. At my job, we only allow coupon stacking on Black Friday unless the coupons came together. We customer service employees can tell when you're lying about your coupons. Don't tell us you miraculously went against company policy at our store yesterday. We are all familiar with the way things work since we're there practically everyday.  Again, we aren't out to get you. We do want to save you money and we will honor your coupons if applicable. Understand, that after so long we don't get upset after yelling at us. We get used to it after a while. Therefore, yelling at us will not benefit you in any way, shape or form. Just be a decent person. I have been called uneducated, incompetent, and many foul names in my retail career. It comes with the job. Causing a scene to embarrass us will embarrass you even more. Don't be that person.

I hope everyone can appreciate the people who work in customer service. Shopping in general can be a very stressful process, but I promise we will try and make it a little easier for you. Just be polite and I promise the whole experience can be a little bit easier. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I Tried Different Brands of Leggings and Here is What You Need to Know

If you're like me, black leggings are a necessity. Many people still haven't boarded the leggings as pants train, but I promise once you're on it, you can't get off. My morning routine consists of me getting up late, rushing to finish my makeup, and throwing on clothes. Black leggings are my lazy girl hack for when I want to wear a baggy sweater or a flowy top. I bought a bunch of black leggings from several different places. I don't like to limit myself to one brand since I go through leggings really fast. If you're like me and have thighs that rub together so badly they could ignite a fire, then you probably suffer from pants that form holes in the thigh area over time. My leggings have this issue. Thus, I set out to find the one pair of leggings that wouldn't be destroyed in a month. I tried leggings from Forever 21, Walmart, Victoria's Secret PINK, and LuLaRoe.

Forever 21
I came across these leggings by accident. I used to love Forever 21 back in high school, but now it is impossible for me to ever find clothes in there that don't make me feel like a back-up dancer in a Britney Spears video. But my boyfriend insisted I take a look since I used to love it back in the day. That's when I saw it: a sign that said "$3.90 leggings." How could I resist? Walmart doesn't even sell leggings that cheap. The material was not as soft as I had hoped, but I decided to buy a pair anyway. As soon as I got home I washed them. The next day I put them on and was a little disappointed. I could feel my thighs rubbing together violently with each step I took and I knew these were not going to last. I tried to stay optimistic because it was only the first day. Well, I am on day 5 of owning these leggings and the fabric is already thinning at the inner thighs. I give this a 2/5 because they were only $4 so I did get what I paid for.

Walmart is my go-to when I am in a huge hurry. I was down to my last pair of leggings and had to waddle into Walmart because I was trying to conceal the hole that had formed in the inner thigh of my leggings. They weren't super cheap but I thought I would give them a try. For $12 I felt like I had nothing to lose and they were probably the cheapest place around to buy leggings. I can say with pure confidence that these might be the best leggings I own. I have had this exact pair of leggings for 4 years now and still have no holes. My only complaint is that the fabric is a little cheap so it kind of sags near the butt, but I wear long enough sweaters that it is not noticeable. Even though the fabric is cheap, my leggings are fairly soft. It almost feels like I am wearing pajama pants which is a plus when I'm sitting in my 8 AM lectures. 4/5 thank you for not letting me down, Walmart (like you usually do).

Victoria's Secret PINK
Every girl ever has probably owned something from Victoria's Secret. But if you're thinking about buying their knit leggings, think again. I bought two pairs of fashion leggings there, a knit pair and a synthetic blend pair (I'm not quite sure what fabrics they were but I think it was polyester maybe?). If you're familiar with this brand, you know they aren't cheap. My leggings were on sale for 2/$40, which is a pretty great deal for that store. The polyester? leggings were great. I have had those since high school and they're still just as nice as they were the first day I bought them and I wear them all the time. However, my knit leggings only lasted me a few months before my entire leg could physically fit through the hole that had formed. All-in-all I felt like I had wasted my money because my Walmart leggings lasted longer than the knit pair and they were almost half the price. These leggings were highly overrated or maybe they just don't take into account girls can have big thighs. Overall 1/5 for the knit pair (seriously these things were not worth $20) and 4/5 for the polyester? pair.

I obviously saved the best for last. I could live in my LuLaRoe leggings. I got a pair for Christmas from my sister and since then have accumulated quite a collection. These leggings are so soft and are truly one of a kind. I bought a black pair recently which was pretty much impossible to do. If you're familiar with the brand, you know that black leggings are a rarity and they only make so many of each print. In other words, each pair of leggings is a rare find. I am completely in love with these. It doesn't even feel like my thighs are causing the next big forest fire when I walk in the them. My thighs are thanking me to be honest. The fabric hasn't thinned a bit after owning them a month! Plus the leggings were not that expensive. They were $25 which seems like a lot. However, if you compare it to the PINK ones which are almost identical in price, you'll see how spending an extra $1 is not that bad. This brand also makes a One Size (OS) and Tall and Curvy (TC) size in leggings; so everyone can fit comfortably in a pair! 5/5 I would buy 100 pairs of these if I could.

I hope this review helps all of my fellow leggings lovers find peace in their leggings purchases.

What I'm Reading This Week: A Brief History of Time

Hi, friends. It has been a while since I last wrote. I must admit, it has been a while since I last opened a book. I did get a little carried away and am currently reading two different books: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Both of these books have been out for a while now; so most of you have probably read these. If you have not, I strongly encourage you to at least give one a try. I have always had a strong fascination with science ever since I was a very small child. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I finally bought a copy of A Brief History of Time. This book was written by Stephen Hawking and not only gives small incites into his life and his brain, but also explains his theory he came up with as a PhD student. Now I am not going to lie, I was a little skeptical at first. I love science, but I am more interested in viruses and bacteria than I am in physics. However, Hawking explains in such a way that even those who are not interested in physics or know nothing about physics can appreciate and understand his work. I am about half way done with the book, but so far I am intrigued. The book challenges you to ask the big questions about the history of the universe and time itself. Furthermore, if you come from religious background, it does not criticize people's beliefs. In fact, Hawking gives several examples of how you can allow a creator in this theory. Overall, I recommend this book to my fellow science lovers or people who just want some answers about our universe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

We as Women Need To Stand Together

Feminism is a word that has acquired a negative connotation over the years. A few years ago, if you would have asked me if I was a feminist, I would have laughed in your face. I would have said, all of these feminists are just women who hate men and do not actually understand what oppression means. Now I will admit I am far from political. If you ask me anything about the last election, I could not tell you a thing. I can admit that I did not vote in the last election nor did I pay much attention to it. However, I can proudly say that I am a feminist. A few days ago the women's march took place. Unfortunately, the march had much backlash. A lot of negative posts I saw regarding it came from women. Here is my problem: no person is perfect. Therefore, who are we to judge the individuals who have a desire to stand up for what their own beliefs? Who am I to tell a woman that she just needs "to get over it" or that she "doesn't understand what oppression means?" As a woman, I stand for all women. Whether you're democrat or republican or independent, I support you. I may not necessarily agree with everything, but I understand that my own opinions do not have a right to dictate how other people live their lives. Just because you personally have never been discriminated against as a woman does not mean that there a millions of women in America who do not get discriminated against. Just because you do not have a desire to take birth control/do not need birth control does not give you a right to tell a woman to just keep her legs shut and call it a day. If you are lucky enough to not ever endure sexual assault, do not tell the women who have to get over it. I understand that here in America women do have a lot of rights. However, we are still so far away from being equal among our men. Now I know some of you are saying that women are not designed to do everything a man can. To an extent you are right. Yet, in the workplace, women can do just as much as men and yet they are still treated unequal. I am sure my mother could tell you countless stories about her experience working in a male dominated field. I, too, can recall a time in which I experienced discrimination. As a women educating my way into a science field, I have labs several times a week. In this specific lab, I was assigned to an all-male group. My professor looked me in the face and said "don't worry. Just stand there and look pretty and they'll do all the work." He had the audacity to tell me, a well-educated student, to just stand and look pretty. At first, I thought it was a joke but I was very wrong. My group and I got to the first section which entailed quite a bit of math. The group leader was giving assignments only to get to me and not give me an assignment at all. He said I was welcome to check everyone's work, but other than that I could just relax. Even when I checked my peers' work, none of the people in my group would listen to me. This continued on for the entirety of the lab. No matter how much I argued with my lab group and the professor it was the same reaction: a laugh and a simple "sweetie, it's okay." Now this does not even come close to what some people face, but it was enough for me to understand that as a woman of science I am going to have to push myself harder than most would. I have seen so much hate these last two days about women telling other women to suck it up. Again, we as women have to stay together. I actually saw a post where a woman told another woman that work discrimination does not exist and called her a "libtard." Is that what we have become now? Name callers? This goes both ways for women and men: name-calling never wins an argument. In fact, it comes across as more idiotic than anything. Moreover, arguing about someone's own personal experiences is ridiculous. If you have not experienced something, do not tell a person who has that they should get over it. We need to stop letting our political views and personal opinions get in the way of us being decent human beings. It is so easy to be kind. It is so easy to be understanding. Just because you may disagree with this women's march does not give you a right to tell the women who have been beaten by their loved ones, who have been sexually assaulted, who are simply speaking for the women who do not have voices, to suck it up. Just because you have not experienced it, does not mean it does not exist in America. This is more than just women's rights. This goes for everyone. I am so saddened by the hate spread from people with opposing political views. The truth of the matter is that each of us individually has the power to make a difference in this world. We need to be decent to each other. If someone is trying to tell you something, hear them out. Listen. Then speak. You may find yourself learning something you did not know before. More importantly, watch your mouth. Your words are so much more powerful than you believe. You can be kind and disagree with something. I have a friend who has political views differing from my own. But when he talks politics, you don't see me calling him a "libtard" or bashing his views. I simply nod my head and say "I never though about it like that before" or "I don't necessarily agree but I see where you're coming from" and end the discussion. Proverbs 18:21 says "the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Even the Bible says that we must choose our words wisely. So I am ending this post with a dedication to all of my fellow women out there. You are so loved and so strong. Do not let anyone tell you differently. I long for a world in which we can stand together, both men and women, equally in peace. But this cannot happen if we are going to hate on any single person that tries to take a stand on their beliefs. Remember: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week: An Abundance of Katherines

   It has been a while since my last post. With school and work, I definitely fell behind on my reading. In the time span of my last post, I've read only four books. I just came across An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and I immediately fell in love. If you haven't heard of John Green yet, I highly recommend you check him out. Most of his books are for teens so they are an easy read; so you can actually finish his books relatively quickly. I picked up An Abundance of Katherines this morning and I have roughly fifty pages of it left. Trust me; you will love John Green if you don't already.
   Our story centers around a recent high school grad, Collin. He is a child prodigy worrying about his future on top of girl troubles. He always falls in love with girls named Katherine. But his last relationship with whom he addresses as Katherine XIX left him depressed. She dumped him like all of the other previous Katherines. For Collin though, this break up was different. This time he really loved her. John Green put Collins break up in probably the best wording I have ever read. Collin's friend Hassan is always complaining how Collin should get over it  and how after 19 breakups he should be used to this by now. Being the prodigy Collin is, he compares his break up to a punishment seen by the Greeks. They pulled out all of this person's teeth. Just like teeth pulling is a monotonous task, so is getting dumped. However, now matter how many teeth you pull or how many people dump you, it doesn't hurt any less. I absolutely loved that. Collin in a last ditch ever to win her back and make her see that he is indeed a genius tries to find his "eureka" moment. He sketches a graph of his breakups and tries to come up with an equation to predict the outcome of a relationship. Just as Pythagoras believed that math can predict anything, Collin feels the same way. Numbers can predict love.
   I highly encourage this book to all of my John Green readers. It is definitely not a new book, so I am sure many people have read it. If you haven't though, definitely check it out. An Abundance of Katherines puts a new perspective on how to see relationships and offers some comic relief as well. John Green is a talented writer who offers a realistic perspective on romance. His books aren't fairy tales. The characters are relatable. We don't expect every relationship to work out perfectly. Nor do we expect to fall in love with the first pretty person we see. The same goes for John Green's stories. In An Abundance of Katherines, Collin is able to acknowledge all of these attractive girls but no matter how much he wants to move on, he can't forget about his first real love. John Green depicts break ups both poetically and accurately. He puts love in a logical and mathematical way. If you want an interesting and new romance novel, then this book is definitely for you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Jonathan Safran Foer)

   After finishing my book on the human genome, I thought I would read a fiction book for a change. My waiting-to-be-read pile of books has definitely accumulated over the past several months so I just decided to start from the top of my pile and work my way down. Little did I know that I would choose arguably the most compelling book I have ever picked up.
   Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close follows the adventures of a young boy, Oskar, seeking closure and answers to his father's death. Just as the plot shows, the book is one of sadness but also one of hope. Jonathan Safran Foer really takes us on a journey of emotions. One second I feel like I'm getting closure and the next I'm feeling hopeless and depressed. The book is written in the view point of Oskar which makes it much more personal. I really feel like I am in Oskar's head feeling all of his emotions. Oskar once had a very close relationship with his father only to have is father taken away from him by the devastating event of 9/11. He is feeling lost and mistreated even a year after his father's death. However, he finds a mysterious key while rummaging through his father's old things in his closet. This key takes him on a wild adventure, solving the last mystery his father left him. The book is raw emotion. Not only do you get to see how 9/11 affected a little boy, but you see how it affected the citizens of New York. How are people rebuilding their lives? How are people coping with loss? This book answers all of those questions. In the end it seems all we need is a little friend to get us by. I haven't finished the book just yet, but as of now my favorite quote is on pages 73-74. Oskar has just finished speaking with his grandma.
              "We need much bigger pockets...We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our                      families, and our friends, and even the people who aren't on our lists, people we've never met but still want to protect."
   Taken out of context this quote might not make much sense. Oskar is referencing to his question about why matches are so short. However, the quote is a reoccurring theme throughout the book. All we ever want to do is protect those we love. We survive in numbers. Therefore, when it comes right down to it, we really do just need to protect each other. For in the end, everyone loses everyone anyway. It is a sad book. However, it also has its happy moments. Oskar's interactions with his fellow citizens of New York bring comedic relief and hope for a new tomorrow. 
   My only complaint is that Oskar is relatively scatter brained so it is hard to understand what he is trying to say sometimes. Then again, that might be why I love it so much. We really are in the mind of a little boy, not just some fictitious character. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to read a different type of book. This book is unique just like its characters. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Sad is compelling and overall very special. I will definitely hold a place for it in my top favorite books.