Dear Reader,

This is another review where I’m not going to give anything away because I actually picked it up without knowing anything and I really enjoyed it. So, because I don’t want to spoil anything, I’ll just tell you this:

Read this book if you want a particularly quick read. Read it if you enjoy looking at spooky little pictures that go along with a story. Read it if you like mystery and magic and peculiarity. But don’t read it if you want to be shaking from fear in your bedroom, unable to put it down at 1am.

I really liked it. It was an interesting, well-written story, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel and seeing the movie in 2016. But when I went onto goodreads to give it four stars, I saw that the top four reviews all gave it two.

Confused and curious, I decided to see what their reasons were, and they all seemed to be the same: not scary. Sure, the pictures are creepy enough to send a chill down your back, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Now, I don’t particularly like being scared–partly because I spook easily and partly because I’ve just never seen the appeal of horror stories and films, and even haunted houses for that matter! You want to get an adrenaline rush? Go ride a roller coaster. Don’t give yourself nightmares!

So I say read it. It’s a great book and I’m glad the storyline is to be continued. I’ll definitely be reviewing the sequel once I get around to reading it.

Hopefully Ransom Riggs didn’t read the reviews from goodreads and decide to avenge his reputation and show the critics something truly scary.

If he did you can bet my next review on his work will be far from raving.





Dear Reader,

If you’re just skimming or stopping by: yes. That’s all you need to know. Yes to this book. I. Love. This. Book.

The main character, Craig, is having some problems with depression and finds himself in an adult mental hospital after almost killing himself one night. I think this is a very important book for anyone to read, whether they’re in high school, out of it, or even way past it. Mental illnesses aren’t always treated as they should–like actual illnesses–which is kind of ridiculous. With so many people struggling with things like depression and anorexia and OCD, we really need to not be ignorant in this topic area.

It’s now to the point where 1 in 5 Americans (yeah I googled it) suffer from a mental illness, yet many aren’t comfortable getting help or even talking about it. And, like Craig, there’s not always a specific reason for why people become depressed or anorexic or what have you. It’s a chemical imbalance, one that doesn’t necessarily occur because of a traumatic event or an extremely difficult life. Just because Craig has a supportive family and is in a good school and is a smart kid doesn’t mean he’s going to be okay, or take everything the same way everyone else does. It’s okay for him to get help. Just like it’s okay for a person with a broken bone to get help from a hospital, it’s okay for someone with a mental illness to, too.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a beautiful, refreshing, and, yeah, funny story. And this part on the last page (after the story) just made me love the book and Ned Vizzini, himself, so much more:

Ned Vizzini spent five days in adult psychiatric in Methodist Hospital, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 11/29/04 – 12/3/04. 

Ned wrote this 12/10/04 – 1/6/05. 

I’ll definitely be looking into this author some more.




Dear Reader,

This is just kind of a quick update, but I follow so many people on here and I have so many favorites that sometimes it’s hard to keep track. And a lot of times when I’m busy, I’ll just post something and get off the computer and go to class or something–not checking back for days sometimes.

Because of this, I miss a lot of what people write on here, which is kind of a bummer! Because then I’ll go and try to catch up, but I feel creepy binge-reading peoples’ blogs sometimes. Even though I’m sure they probably wouldn’t mind.

Anyway, today I have a ton of time on my hands, so I’m going to go through and follow my favorites by email as well. I’ve never taken advantage of this before–I’ve only used it for my friend Ashley and one of my all-time favorites since the beginning, Natalie.

But the reason why I’m writing this is because I’m pretty sure when you follow someone this way, even if you’ve been following them for a while, they get a notification saying “Sammy has followed you,” or whatever. And I don’t want them thinking I ever unfollowed them or I just for the first time checked them out or anything. I don’t know, I’m probably just being overly cautious or something. I just don’t want any confusion or hard feelings or anything to become of this.

Anyway, I just thought I’d make a quick PSA in case anyone wanted to know. Comment any blogs you want me to check out, too–even your own! I have a ridiculous amount of time on my hands today (as you’ll understand in next week’s update, if you care to know), so it seems I’ll be spending a lot of time on this website.

I might as well explore a bit.



PS. I’ve been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by the wonderful Becca, so when I write that post (fingers crossed for this weekend), I’ll be sharing 15 of my favorite blogs! So look for that, if you’re interested, I guess. 🙂

WEEK 1: J-Term, Cockroaches, and Getting Locked Out

My Week in Pictures (I’d like to think I got better as the week progressed)


I finished Gilmore Girls, but I didn’t really like the ending! I think it all just happened too soon.


I also read, ate general tso chicken, wrote a blog post and a journal entry, and foundout that I will be receiving a new roommate second semester–something I was not prepared for, but decided to go in with low expectations and an open mind.

But no pictures to show, sorry.


Today I finally got myself a good pair of running shoes!


Then I reviewed Bossypants and finished It’s Kind of a Funny Story (oops, I need to review that soon). I also worked out and just hung out with family today.

I hope I get better at this.


My last day at home, and possibly my laziest. Well, at first.

Up until about 5pm, all I did was read and bug Sarah and eat and bake cookies and play the piano. Oh, and I shared a lyric essay and got surprisingly good feedback on it! Another wonderful thing about this website.

Then, my sister and mom and I decided to go shopping at an outdoor mall (Fallen Timbers), where I indulged in some major retail therapy.




We came home afterward and I introduced Sarah to American Pie and Blue Mountain State (such a good sister, right?). Then we binge-watched a few SourceFed videos–I had forgotten how much I love them all.

Sidenote: I now realize how lame all these pictures are. I mean, this isn’t really a photo journal at all, it seems. But I’ll just have to get better. And hopefully it’ll be easier as taking pictures becomes more a part of my daily routine.


Today just dragged on. I was supposed to get to Miami and be unpacked and everything just before 2, and it turned out to be about 5.

But I did get to stop at my sister’s house and see her adorable finished nursery!



Then I had dinner with Amanda and went to bed around 8 because I was so tired. That was very new for me.



So, I’m at Miami in a hall that’s practically deserted (only a very small number of people come for the extra term they offer in January). Yeah, last night was spooky with all the creaky noises coming from wind and who knows what else, but there are definitely perks. I mean, I get my favorite shower any time I like, right?


Because today I woke up and walked into the bathroom around 9, got into the shower, pulled the curtain shut, and was just about to turn the water on, when I look up and see the biggest cockroach ever.

I screamed.

Then I took pictures.

IMG_0063 IMG_0064

So, because I’m not a huge fan of bugs (really though, who is?), I went into the stall farthest away and took a seven minute shower–which is especially fast considering I was constantly stepping out of the water to look up and over the other showers to keep an eye on this nuisance.

But it started moving towards me so I practically ran out of the bathroom, conditioner still in hair, and into the safe place of my room. But how many more of them are there? And if they got in the bathroom, can they get in here?

Ugh, I really can’t think about it too much.

Then I went to my 5 1/2 shift at work. In the 7 1/2 hours we were open, we had 100 customers. Including the lunch rush.

Yeah, pretty dull day. But I got to work out and work on my journalism class, which was actually fun!

Oh, and I got a parfait from Scoreboard! (A nearby market)


I missed them so much.



This morning was not bad. I had work at 10, but I woke up at 6, feeling fully rested, and got a ton of stuff done–I worked out and cleaned my room and wrote a blog post! Then I went to work, which wasn’t anything special, but it was fine.

And it had snowed! So I’m walking back, listening to Pandora and snapping pictures of the snow:

IMG_0078 IMG_0074

But, no exaggeration, ten feet away from the door to my building, my phone dies. At 60%. Annoying, but whatever I’m almost home.

So I walk up to the door and tap my ID card, and it just beeps at me, and the door remains locked. I tried all three doors at least three times, but nothing. Then I waited outside for a solid twenty minutes and didn’t see a single soul–downsides of J-term and a deserted campus.

And because my phone was dead, I couldn’t call the number for assistance or even text anyone inside to let me in. So I walked back to the library, repeating the memorized number as I went, got on Facebook and messaged a guy in my hall. Luckily, he responded quickly and let me back into the building, but I don’t know what I would’ve done if he wasn’t there.

Don’t you just hate it when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong?

After that, my day went fine. I continued to get a lot done (I cleaned and organized my desk!)


and I got this weird, but humorous, text from my father.


I’m just glad that incident didn’t ruin my entire day.


Today I basically worked the entire day. I opened at 7AM, and had this view for 5 hours:

IMG_0089Bur I was at the cafe until 3:30 working on training.

Afterwards, I came home and got 100% on my quiz, which kind of made my day because these quizzes kept tripping me up before!

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.22.18 AM

Then, this was my night in a picture:


Oh, and Jack Frost came!


So, that was my week. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of these, and they won’t be so long in the future. But, to be honest, these are mostly for my own purpose. I mean, I really don’t care who sees these (and I don’t know anyone who would care to see them). It’s just a nice way for me to keep track of 2015 before yet another year flies by.

Posts I wrote:

Songs I’m listening to:

  • Traum by CRO
  • Honey, I’m Good by Andy Grammer
  • You’re the One That I Want by Lo-Fang
  • Long Way Down by Robert DeLong
  • What I Wouldn’t Do – Serena Ryder
  • Too F*cked Up To Call by 2AM Club


Dear Reader,

Sometimes someone else just does it better. And lately I’ve been discovering all of these great covers that prove that. So, I thought I’d share:

Hey Ya! by OutKast, covered by Troy Ritchie: this is from the battle rounds of The Voice, and Troy lost. I still can’t believe it. I would buy anything that Troy sings. (Also check out his cover of Out of My League)

You’re the One That I Want from Greece, covered by Lo-Fang: I discovered this song yesterday, and it’s been on constant repeat. Chilling.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, covered by Lorde: I put this one next because the same word comes to mind: chilling.

1989 album by Taylor Swift, covered by Superfruit: Ugh, my favorite people on YouTube, from my favorite a cappella group: Pentatonix. They did a quick mash up of the entire album and it’s so good. Also check out when they did it to Beyonce’s album and their evolution of Miley Cyrus.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Years) by the proclaimers, covered by Sleeping at Last: Forever a song on my “sleep” playlist.

XO by Beyonce, covered by John Mayer: I mean,  it’s John Mayer covering Beyonce. Does any more really need to be said?

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj, covered by Drew Tabor: this is the song that introduced me to Drew Tabor a few years back and I’m still listening to it today. Love it. And the introduction is adorable.

Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty, covered by Lana Del Rey: I honestly don’t know where you’ve been if you haven’t heard this cover yet.

Ignition (Remix) by R Kelly, covered by Dartmouth Aires: The perfect cover that makes you dance around your room in your underwear and sing into your hairbrush.

What, people don’t do that?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, covered by Cory Monteith: This song made me cry when I first saw the episode years ago, and it still gets to me now. RIP Cory.

Well, I hope you enjoyed. There are so many more that I could’ve included, so it’s basically inevitable that a part two will be coming soon.




Dear Reader,

I’m driving back to school today, which means break is over. And, as you may have realized, I’ve become kind of book-obsessed this winter break. But I don’t think you realize how much.

I have 15 more books than I had 3 weeks ago.

It started on the day of my older sister’s shower. My Aunt recommended a really good local bookstore, so we decided to check it out on our way home.

I left with four books:


Crazy Rich Asians


How to be Parisian Wherever You Are




and Let it Snow

A few days later, my younger sister and I decided to visit Books a Million. Because why not? And I purchased three more books because there were surprisingly good sales that day:


Emma – a book I needed for school


Warm Bodies – a book that was on sale for five dollars! 


and It’s Kind of a Funny Story – a book that I felt I needed. And I was right.

Then, on the weekend after Christmas, we drove down to Dayton to celebrate with my family. And what did my older sister get me for Christmas? The only thing I asked for, of course–books!




Let’s Pretend this Never Happened


and Gone with the Wind

I know, I had a major brain fart a week earlier and already bought Bossypants, even though I specifically told Caitlin that it was a book on my list. But, hey, it’s a great book. Having a spare copy isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Anyway, while in the Dayton area, my family decided to make a pit stop at a store called “Half Price Books.”

This. Store.

Oh my gosh, it was amazing. After spending fair chunks of my allowance at Books a Million and Barnes and Noble for all these years, I’ve learned how expensive reading can be.

But this. Store.

I left there with three movies (Baby Mama, American Pie, and Moulin Rouge) and five books for–wait for it…


Tax included.

The lucky picks were:


The Help


Nineteen Minutes


The Manny


The Ex Files


and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

In conclusion, I am now fifteen books richer. The books that I’ve read have links to my reviews of them (It’s Kind of a Funny Story coming soon), and I’m currently working on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. I don’t normally read two books at once, but I have my reasons in this particular situation (ones I’m not about to delve into right now).

But I have a question for anyone who’s made it this far. Have you read any of these? Which one should I start next? And what books should I add to my growing to-be-read shelf?





A lyric essay I tried out for a composition class I took this fall. It’s pretty dramatic and a tad more personal than what I’ve been posting lately, but I thought it’s been a while since I’ve shared my writing, so here it goes:

  1. My name is Samantha.
  2. I was born on September 11th.
  3. I like to be called Sam even though I always introduce myself as Sammy.
  4. I become obsessed with new songs, but they die when I overplay play them long before the radio has a chance.
  5. I never think of a good comeback or a witty remark or the right thing to say until the moment has passed.
  6. I never seem to find the perfect word I’m searching for until it’s too late.
  7. I still have a baby tooth.
  8. Sometimes I’ll laugh at a joke that I don’t get and I’ll get really scared that someone is going to make me explain that joke and I’ll be exposed as a fraud. That never really happens though.
  9. I laugh a lot but oftentimes my laugh is too loud. I’m sorry.
  10. A few years ago I tried to train myself to laugh differently. It didn’t work.
  11. I wish I didn’t care so much what people think about me.
  12. I’m half-Canadian.
  13. I love maps, trains, and nights when the moon is full.
  14. I hate when people say they like the rain but then they stay inside all day and have the audacity to complain about feeling lazy.
  15. I love watching the rain from a cozy place inside just as much as I love splashing, dancing, and going on walks during rainstorms.
  16. I get sick a lot.
  17. Sometimes I’ll try a ring on at a store because I’ll forget what size I am and then it’ll get stuck and my face will turn red.
  18. I’m easily embarrassed.
  19. I trip over my feet just as much as I trip over my words. (A lot.)
  20. I break things a lot but I didn’t realize that about myself until senior year when my friends pointed it out after I broke our school’s rain stick. This is when I started the list of things I’ve broken. It has over 20 items on it. I’m sorry.
  21. Sometimes I read in different accents. Not often, and only if it’s logical, but it happens.
  22. My favorite accent is an Indian accent.
  23. Sometimes I talk to myself. I read somewhere that it makes you smarter, but sometimes I just like practicing how to speak and say different things in the hopes that maybe one day I’ll get better.
  24. I google everything.
  25. I overshare.
  26. I eat when I’m bored.
  27. I eat when I’m sad.
  28. I eat because food tastes good and eating is fun and sometimes I accidentally schedule two lunches on the same day but I’ll eat at both because I don’t want my friends to feel like I’m watching them eat.
  29. I never hate myself while I’m eating, but I hate myself every time I look in the mirror.
  30. I pull accidental all-nighters sometimes because I’ll get so caught up in whatever I’m working on that I won’t want to sleep. Sometimes there’s just not enough time.
  31. I pull on-purpose all-nighters sometimes because I procrastinate.
  32. My high school GPA embarasses my father.
  33. I’ve dreamed of being a lounge singer in London and I’ve dreamed of writing a textbook. I didn’t particularly pursue these dreams, but they both formed within the last two years.
  34. Sometimes during soccer my heart would randomly start beating out of my chest, and other times I would stand up too quickly and my vision would go black around the edges. I thought this happened to everyone, but I guess I just have an autonomic dysfunction, so I need to eat more salt.
  35. I love beef jerky. And ketchup. (Not together you weirdos)
  36. I don’t care for nutella.
  37. I don’t speak up. Most of the time I wait too long or am just too afraid of messing up or sounding stupid and I miss my chance.
  38. I have ADD.
  39. Sometimes I won’t realize I’ve been singing or humming until you’ve asked me to stop.
  40. Same goes for shaking my leg or tapping my hand or any other continuous movement. I’m sorry.
  41. I have to remind myself to listen, smile, and look otherwise engaged when people are talking to me.
  42. I get distracted by eye contact and forget to listen to the words that are coming out of the person’s mouth.
  43. If I didn’t hear what you said, I might ask you to repeat it. If I didn’t hear it a second time, I will probably just smile and chuckle.
  44. I’ll wholeheartedly agree with something I don’t believe in if I haven’t been paying attention. Which is often.
  45. I stare into space a lot and sometimes it looks like I’m glaring at people. I’m sorry.
  46. Sometimes I’ll accidentally spoil a book for myself because my eyes will wander to the last paragraph before I’ve read a single sentence on that page.
  47. I start sentences that don’t go anywhere. It’s hard for me to control my train of thought. Sometimes there’s just too much in my brain.
  48. I thought this happened to most everyone. I thought this was relatable. After all, I felt like I related to my peers, so I assumed they’d relate to me in turn.
  49. I never wanted to be the same, I just wanted to be normal.
  50. You write a lot. I know. I’m sorry.


Dear Reader,

Get ready for a very quick review because I have a lot to do today and not a lot to say about this book.

This is not to say that this book is bad in any sense–quite the opposite, actually. It’s great! But, I mean, isn’t that what we’re expecting? People rave about Tina Fey’s autobiography. And this is just another one of those reviews, so I don’t want to waste any more time.

If you’ve never read an autobiography by a comedian (or, should I say, comedienne) before, I highly suggest you start. Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Handler, and now Amy Poehler! They all have books out and they’re all hilarious. I mean, laugh-out-loud-funny. Seriously, don’t read them in public if you’re not comfortable smiling goofily at a book or chuckling to yourself with others around.

And, actually, I can’t even speak for Amy’s because I haven’t read Yes Please yet, but why would it be any different? It’s Amy Poehler.

Which brings me back to Bossypants: it’s Tina Fey. Of course it’s hilarious and charming, while still insightful and, well, informative of her past. It is still a biography.

So, no more time to waste. If you feel like laughing, and especially if you watch 30 Rock or follow Tina’s career in any way, pick up this book. You won’t be sorry.




Dear Reader,

Have you seen those 365-day challenges on Facebook and Instagram? It became kind of a trend where I live and tons of people were posting daily pictures and recaps on social media and then, at the end of the year, they had all these lovely memories to look back on.

Well, I tried it. A few times actually.

I think the longest I lasted was 60 days…

But don’t worry–I’m not trying again! It just got to be a pain for me and I hate pictures enough as is, so the entire project was just not a good idea. But I really love the idea. I mean, so many of my friends have completed it and have this completed project to look back on and really see how everything changed throughout the year.

So I’m going to do something like it.

I’m just going to post weekly updates, and I’m not going to make it absolutely necessary for me to take a picture every single day, but I’m going to try this. I mean, I’ve already been writing on a regular basis lately (in journals and such), and I really need to get over my ridiculous self-conscience issues I have. Plus, I have the 2015 Bucket List to complete. So, I might as well try this out.

And then, at the end of the year, I’ll have 52 posts to help me reflect upon my year.