In My Head

Foggy image of teenager with head down
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

They’re back in my head. Mom tells me I’m fine; I don’t believe her. They keep telling me information, the information I don’t want to know. Like how Kelly Healer never was your friend; she used you. They repeat it over and over again. They tell me to be alone, never go to anyone for help, it’s you against this awful world we live in. So that’s what I do, I do everything it says. I believe everything it tells me.

“Hey, honey is everything ok?” my mom asks, concern lacing her voice.
“I’m fine, Mom,”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, Mom,”
“Honey, something’s wrong. Just tell me.”
“Why do you care?” I ask.
“I’m your mother, why would I not care,” She said, concern still there,
“You’re lying,” I was on the verge of tears, “You’re lying, no one cares for me!” I yell.
“Honey, what is going on with you?”
“What’s going on with me, What’s going on with you!” Tears fell down my soft cheek. “You were never there for me, why would you now!”
“Don’t!” I paused, “Don’t lie to me.”
“Honey, I had too,” She said trying to stay calm.
“You had too, that’s an awful excuse. Do you know how long I’ve been crying for, how long I wished you would be there for me!”
“Honey, please just listen to me,” she said, tears falling down her cheek.
“She doesn’t care, she’s lying to you. Go do what I’ve been telling you do, do it,” The voice said tantalizingly, “Jump,”


Couple holding hands during sunrise
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Waves crash into the sand

Trees swept away by the gusts of wind

Everything gone. Just us standing on land

While our fates intertwine

No more of that hide n seek

Now you know the truth and the secret

The secret they wanted to leak

To watch my heart burn to flames

Truly to prove that I am weak

Now it seems, their plan a failure

Instead of flames, I shower with flowers

While you heal the wounds of my heart,

We stand together hand in hand

Watching the portal open to a brand new start

Reunited once more,

As the star-crossed lovers

You accept me to my core

Through all the mistakes and flaws

I accept you for who you are

She’ll Never Be the Same, Part 2

Teen girl sitting at picnic table
Image by Bente Jønsson from Pixabay

When we get home, we plop our backpacks on the floor.

“Hey girls!” our mom yells from the kitchen. “How was your day?”

“Great!” says Chelsea. “I got invited to a girl from school’s birthday sleepover, and I want to go.” She has a smug grin on her face. I glare at her.

“Cool!” exclaims our mom. “Will you show the invitation to me?”

“Sure thing,” says Chelsea. I hate her.

She walks into the kitchen and I follow behind, fuming. She hands the envelope to our mom, who is washing dishes, and she tears it open.

“Hmm . . . It looks like it’s next week at five o’clock. Yep, we can do it!” says our mom.

“How was your day, hon?” she asks, looking up at me.

“Fine,” I say.

I feel like I’m looking in a mirror whenever I look at my mom. She has the same freckles, round face, brown eyes, and blonde hair as me. The only difference between us is that my mom’s hair is wavy and mine is stick straight.

“That’s good,” she nods, going back to the dishes.

I go upstairs and close myself in my room, sprawling out on my bed. Why would Chelsea do this? She knows Tina is mean. Why would she want to go to her sleepover?

Stupid Chelsea who wants to be popular. Who can even be popular. I could never become popular. But Chelsea’s so pretty that she can be.

The doorbell rings. It must be my dad, coming home from his job as a counselor at an elementary school.

I get out of my bed and open the door. My dad is setting down his things down in the doorway where our backpacks are. He sees me standing in my room. “Hey, Charity!” he says.

“Hey dad,” I say, leaning against the doorframe. He walks into the kitchen to greet my mom and Chelsea.

Chelsea hasn’t talked to me since yesterday at lunch, which is hard, since we live in the same house. The real test is to see if she’ll eat with us at lunch.

Harmony and I walk into the cafeteria nervous, though Harmony’s turquoise eyes are hopeful. We sit down at our usual spot. Chelsea isn’t there yet.

And then we see her walking in.

Talking to Tina.

“That’s it,” Harmony says, draping herself over the table. “We’ve lost her! She’s under the evil influence of Tina.”

I groan in frustration. Chelsea has always been the more naïve of us two, but I didn’t think she’d completely ditch Harmony and me.

Day after day passes, with no sign of Chelsea ever moving back to our table. It’s Friday, the day of the sleepover, and I am infuriated.

“Did you hear Chelsea started dating Jackson?” Harmony asks me.

“Ugh. She already has a boyfriend?” I ask, staring across the cafeteria at Tina’s table at Chelsea and all of her new mean friends.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: A Wide Window

Cover of A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window

After Uncle Monty’s unfortunate event and the escape from Count Olaf, Mr. Poe has to give them over to Aunt Josephine. Aunt Josephine is afraid of everything and anything. It makes her annoying. But it’s okay, as long as they don’t see Count Olaf.

Aunt Josephine is all about grammar. She’s got an entire library of books about grammar. And her fear about the water, the doorknob, the oven, the telephone, the cars, the boats, the books, anything. It was quite annoying, especially when the only thing that they could decently eat was cold cucumber soup. (Well, it wasn’t that much of soup … but still.)

And, as you might expect, Count Olaf finds them. And things go downhill from there — what was that crash in the library?

Find out Count Olaf’s next evil scheme and the Baudelaire’s ingenious, or not, plan to get them out of it. And see what happens to Aunt Josephine. That’s an interesting tale that should only be told by Lemony Snicket. Go ahead! Read the book, it’s quite a masterpiece of annoyance. 10/10 for the book, it was an interesting plot and I loved Klaus, Violet, and Sunny throughout the book. (And series, but, who wouldn’t?)

Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020

Logo for Netflix's Terrace House

Terrace House is a Japanese reality TV show about six strangers living together. A house and cars are provided, and that’s it. No script, no private interviews, no crew manipulation. Just natural, human interaction. Plus a different group of six people who watch and commentate on each episode, of course.

This season, sponsored by Netflix, is the first season of Terrace House I’ve ever watched. I’d heard about the show before, but I never understood how it could be interesting. I mean, I’m not a fan of reality TV in the first place, and what were the chances that a random group of six people could ever really be that entertaining?

Boy, was I wrong.

Terrace House showcases relationships and life in a way that I’ve never seen before. The interactions between the six housemates can be painfully awkward, but also incredibly heartwarming. Of course there’s drama from time to time, but never in the overtop way that most scripted and semi-scripted tend to lean towards. Every conversation, every interaction, every moment is grounded in realism, because that’s exactly what it is, real.

Haruka, Risako, Kaori, Shohei, Kenji, and Rika are all real people living their actual lives, and that’s what makes you love each and every one of them. You get to see their good moments, and their bad. You watch them get jealous, overfilled with joy, and so anxious they cry. You witness their personal drama and moments of manipulation, but also when they show immense kindness and respect. The six don’t adhere to any stereotypes or tropes, because they’re being themselves. Some of them are working diligently towards their dreams, some of them are feeling doubt over their career choices, and some of them have no idea what they’re doing with their life. With an age range of 20-32, they all have unique perspectives on life and ideas to bring to the table.

But the show isn’t all big moments and philosophy. In fact, it’s almost entirely made up of little moments. The smile that just won’t leave after asking someone out on a date, pretending to be interested in your nails as your heart quietly breaks, and little details in the background showing how the group gradually adjusts to living with each other. It’s often the small, silent things, captured by quick cameras, that make the show.

Of course, Terrace House would be a completely different show without the panel of commentators. Throughout the episode, the footage of the six housemates gives way to the panel, who watches the same footage as the audience and discusses together. In the beginning, especially for a foreign audience, this seems a little strange, but in my case, it quickly became one of my favorite parts of the show. I’ve nodded along to their over-analysis of the tiniest interactions many times, and I always find myself tracking the predictions they’ve made. The commentary sections are just as funny as they are insightful, and the panel members themselves are just as endearing as the group of housemates. I’ll be watching an episode, something will happen, and I’ll get excited just because I know Yamasota will be having a fit over it. This exact group of six have been together for 2 seasons in a row, and their chemistry shines through. Overall, they’re just a ton of fun!

All in all, Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020 is an unexpected gem of a show, centered around reality and letting the true beauty of relationships and life shine through that. The first part of the show is easy to stream on Netflix (with English subtitles, of course!) and I recommend everyone to give it a try!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room

The Series of Unfortunate Events The Reptile Room

SO. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny were able to escape Count Olaf’s clutches and his evil scheme of marrying Violet. Ewww. But now, since Count Olaf isn’t here to raise them, who else could they go to? Easy. Uncle Monty.

Uncle Monty studies snakes as he travels around the world. His house is very comfortable, with a giant room with reptiles in it. I would think that’s why it’s called the Reptile Room.

After Count Olaf, the Baudelaires children are a little hesitant to go with another relative, but they give Uncle Monty a try; they loved him.

Uncle Monty is about to go on a trip, and he needs everyone’s help. Sunny, who loves to bite, gets to bite wood into small pieces. Violet, who loves inventing, gets to fix and make safe snake traps. And Klaus, who loves reading, gets to read everything about their trip. After a day of work, they go see a movie. Everything seems fine until the new assistant comes.

The assistant is sketchy and moody. And… never mind.

I’ll leave you with that.

This book is amazing! I loved the fact that the Baudelaires were able to have some fun before tragic strikes. A 10/10 because the book flowed nicely, and the sad parts were sad. I didn’t cry, but they were sad. Enjoy!

Book Review of One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is Lying

One of Us Is Lying is the best murder mystery I’ve read in a long time. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and surprising, this book has it all– many-faceted and well-developed characters, multiple points of view, and plenty of shocking plot twists. Far from your average YA thriller, One of Us Is Lying is a fascinating story about what happens when the secrets we keep threaten to rise up and destroy us.

The book follows four teenagers who, on the surface, each embody a high school stereotype– “the brain”, “the beauty”, “the criminal”, and “the athlete”. For various reasons, they all end up in detention together, along with a fifth student– Simon– who runs the school’s infamous gossip app and for this reason also happens to be the most hated student in school. A few short hours later, Simon is dead– and his four detention-mates are prime suspects for his murder. It’s discovered that Simon had planned to reveal life-shattering secrets about the four the following day, catapulting their worlds into chaos as the evidence piles up and past mistakes come to light.

This book is as much about self-discovery and identity as it is about a murder, following the four main characters as they struggle to prove their innocence while still preserving the secrets they have left. By the end, none of them are the same, and each learns from the rest. The story shows that nothing is as it seems, and no one’s life is as simple as it looks from the outside. The author does an excellent job with balancing the coming-of-age aspect with the thriller narrative, combining the two seamlessly so that each new development in the murder investigation is accompanied by a revelation from a character’s personal life or past. The book rotates between each of the four teens’ point of view, providing many sides to the same story while still surprising the reader at every turn– the narrators’ secrets are often hidden from the reader as well as from the other characters, ensuring that the plot twists remain shocking and always keeping us guessing.

The distinctive voices of the characters, the detailed plot, and the climatic ending make One of Us Is Lying a terrific and thrilling read. I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves murder mysteries, thrillers, and YA realistic fiction. It’s a great read on so many levels, and the sequel, One of Us is Next, premieres in early 2020, so it’s a great time to begin the series. This book is a 10/10!