Her Fearful Symmetry-Review

So I spent all evening Sunday and all morning Monday chugging away through this book.  Her Fearful Symmetry was published a while ago, but I put off reading it so that the hole that The Time Traveler’s Wife left in my heart could heal.  I was worried that Her Fearful Symmetry was going to be a total U-Turn from her writing style in The Time Traveler’s Wife, but the story was still just as captivating. And, well, weird. Not to mention a little confusing.

I’ll try not to get into the details, but basically the story begins with the death of Elspeth Noblin, the aunt of Valentina and Julia Poole.  In her will, she asks the sisters (and identical twins, mind you) to live in her flat in London for a year before selling it or doing what they will with it. The twins’ parents are also not allowed to enter the flat at any time. The twins comply and move to London. There they meet Martin,  who has severe OCD ( I certainly relate to him well) and whose wife leaves him to escape his never ending rituals throughout their flat.  Then they meet Robert, the “boyfriend” shall we say, of Elspeth, whom is a tour guide at Highgate Cemetery and is writing his dissertation on said place. (Did you know Karl Marx is buried there? Neither did I.) As I mentioned earlier, the twins are inseparable. For being identical, they are opposites in personality. Julia is convinced that they are going to be together forever, while Valentina wants to go to college, get married, and have a life separate from Julia. (She’s getting awfully tired of Julia telling her what to do all the time). Enter Elspeth, who joins the story in ghost form, trapped in her flat that Julia and Valentina now reside in. At first she can’t be heard or seen, but eventually gains enough strength to be heard through a ouija board. (Did I spell that right? Doubt it.) Yes. I know. Anyway, Valentina comes up with this crazy plan to “kill herself” so that she can escape Julia and have her own life.  Some more stuff happens, including bad things, and yeah, if I say any  more, I’ll obviously spoil the ending for you. That’s my synopsis right there.

I was very impressed by Audrey’s portrayal of Elspeth as a ghost, and delving into what life would be like as a ghost without getting too creepy and whatnot.  She also gives us a glimpse into the lives of twins, and what it would be like if we saw another one of ourselves all the time. The book itself was very easy to get into, and I literally only put it down to eat and sleep. However, it wasn’t nearly as gripping as Audrey’s other works. That could be good or bad, because after reading The Time Traveler’s Wife, I cried off and on for 3 days or so. I didn’t have that problem here. I did form a connection with the characters, but it wasn’t as deep as in other books I’ve read.  I still feel rather conflicted about this book, mainly because of how it ended.  The book had the right amount of complexity and detail to keep you curious and keep you reading.  However, I was disappointed, and rather conflicted about the ending. It wasn’t a horrible ending I suppose, and it wasn’t exactly a happy ending. But it kind of leaves you hanging, asking yourself, “Uh, what just happened??!!!” I still don’t understand exactly why everything played out as it did and from the little information given at the end I can’t really create a personal epilogue.  But what do I know? Maybe Audrey intended it to be that way. Still, I can’t help but feel like the story was incomplete. Something was missing that would have made the book stand out from other books I’ve read.

All in all, this book was worth the read, though can’t see myself reading it again (I don’t like reading books over again anyway). It was enjoyable to read though.  As with most of Audrey Niffeneger’s books, I would definitely rate this PG-13 at least, but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone younger than 18 for sure. I was thankful that this novel wasn’t nearly as graphic as The Time Traveler’s Wife (which should really be rated R) but it still contained some content that I wasn’t very happy with. Call me a snob, or a prude, will you, but I have standards.

So that’s what I got to say about that.

What should I read next???



Awkward and Awesome Thursday.

You canNOT tell me you didn’t see this coming. 

Actually you probably can, but none of you have read the original Awkward and Awesomes, created by Sydney over at The Daybook. I’ve been reading her blog for some time and I adore it! I especially love her Awkward and Awesome Thursday posts, and have been meaning to write my own for some time. I thought you all needed to know the awkward things that happen to me every week. So here it goes. 


-Making eye contact with the nude you are currently drawing. You have no idea how much I would have loooved to exit the building at the time.

-Seeing the nude you made eye contact with roaming around in daily life. “Oh, so you’re a person? With feelings? And thoughts?” Oh grief. Just walk away and pretend you’ll never see them again.

-Okay so I keep sunscreen in my backpack at all times. It’s been sunny all week, so I got out my sunscreen to aptly apply as I should. It wasn’t coming out. So I poked a hole in the opening, thinking it was clogged. It still wouldn’t come out, so finally I squeezed it really hard and it totally exploded, sending teeny blobs of sunscreen into the row of seats in front of me, as well as the people sitting there. Did I mention the awful farting noise the tube made when it exploded? So yeah. The people next to me were hysterical, and the people hit by the sunscreen didn’t seem to take notice. Not sure if that was a good thing or bad thing..but I’m thankful they didn’t. Don’t do stupid stuff like that at the beginning of class. Just don’t. 

-Witnessing a woman throw a loaf of bread at a cashier at Giant Eagle. Someone’s khakis must have been pretty chapped. 

-My sweet tea ‘peeing’ on my leg whilest riding the bus. I put some in a tumbler and stuffed in my bookbag. Apparently it leaked quite substantially, enough that it dripped through the bottom of my bag and onto my leg. Pardon me, public transitors, I am certainly not peeing in this seat over here. 

-On Tim and I’s adventure in my last post, a man got on the bus and claimed that he had waited at that stop for 19 days. (The bus usually comes by every 30 minutes). He then proceeded to argue with the bus driver about making sure to come 17 days late next time. ‘Kay sure, dude. 

-Three words: Yogurt meets clothing. 

-Jogging. I’m attempting to exercise, and I feel like every car that drives by be judgin’ me. 


-Finally getting the hang of figure drawing. ‘Lemme tell ‘ya, it is not an easy thing. My legs are always huge. They’re finally starting to look proportionate. I love it! 

-This weather. Definitely.

-Fun walks and ice cream from Katie’s Korner with Tim. I adore our little adventures. They make life so sweet.

-Being nice and helpful to the cashier whom the bread was thrown at. It’s fun to treat people kindly. 

-Everything with our car working out so smoothly. We are SO thankful!

-Tim getting the day off due to the car. So much fun! It’s nice to not be all by my lonesome on Mondays for a change. 

-Buckeyes. Buckeyes at every meal. Soo deliciously terrible.

-Spring Break next week. I can’t decide if this is awesome or not, considering I’ll be studying or drawing or gluing all week. No beach parties for ShelbShelb. 

-I have seen cardinals at least once every day this week. Cardinals are my favorite bird, (owls don’t count :) and I feel like I never see them. I only hear them. So when I do get to see them, I stop and stare at them until they fly away. Flowers are slowly starting to bloom up here, and they’re so beautiful! Tim and I are considering going up to Cuyahoga Valley State Park this weekend. I can only imagine how amazing it looks up there! 

So that’s what I gots to say about this week. Have a good Friday!






Guess What I Do For Adventure?

Tim and I had some issues driving home Sunday night. 

ImageImageWe were driving down the highway, and this car had just pulled over. A piece of metal that probably flew off that car was laying in the middle of the lane, and we weren’t able to switch lanes in time to miss it. Next thing we knew, our car was smoking, so we pulled over and found that we were leaking transmission fluid from the hole just created in the transmission pan, as well as blowing a gasket. Soooo we had to get towed. We were towed to a random auto center in Kent, and we had to leave the car there. Fortunately my friend Juliana was able to take us home. Otherwise we would have had to walk. And lemme’ tell ya’, there’s some boogeymen living in Kent. As well as your regular drunk frats and the like. Fortunately this auto repair shop had some AWESOME reviews and they held true to our experience as well. They were able to get the car fixed in one day, and these pictures are of us riding the bus to downtown Kent. I ride the bus every day, but this was Tim’s first time, so I thought it should be documented. Wait until I tell you about the passengers ( I do declare, he was drunk) but anywho. The repair dudes were super extra ultra nice, and informed us that had that piece of metal hit a half an inch above where it actually hit, it would have destroyed the power steering, and we would have had a LOT more to replace than we actually did. Praise God! We are so thankful that this situation worked out for the best, and we know we are so blessed. We’re thankful that we made it through this test of faith. 

‘Til later, kind ma’ams. 


Enough is Enough.

Well, I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy with my new major.

Actually, that’s a lame excuse.  I have stuff to post, but I’ve been too lazy to post anything.

And well, I can’t really express in words how I’m feeling.

I’ve realized that I’ve been writing this blog for others, not myself. I post things to get people to read it more, not to help my sort out my complex life or share my thoughts. Maybe because I think my family are the only people who read this, so I’m sure they just want to see pictures of all my adventures rather than know what I’ve been thinking about.

So I want to post what I want to post. I want this blog to be about me. That sounds so selfish doesn’t it? But I want to be real. I don’t want to do this for others, because then it becomes a task, and an unfun one at that. So I’m going to be Shelby. And the world is just going to have to deal with it.

So, I suppose, prepare yourself for me, for what I have to say, what I have to show, and take me as I am.

In the brilliant words of Brandon Heath, I’m not who I was.

But I’m still Shelby! :)


Resolutions, Shmesolutions

So obviously blogging has been at a standstill for awhile. It’s not that I don’t want to; my will to blog typically depends on whether I have pictures that I’m happy with and don’t look horrible. Plus with my slow computer, it takes forever.

For. Ever.

But now that I have a shmancy new camera and Photoshop, this shouldn’t be a legitimate excuse anymore right?

Well, I have no idea how to use Photoshop and the lighting in here sucks.

So no pictures today, just letting you know I’m alive, Tim is alive, and Elle the snake is also alive.

Spring Semester is starting in two days and I’m very excited about it! It’s still yet another transition, but I’ve got my hopes high for this one!

You should see my list of supplies for Drawing I.

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions but I know what I need to do to make this year better. And I think the first thing on that list is to definitely make a to-do list.  :)

I don’t know what God has in store for us this year, it’s rather overwhelming and scary to think of the future. But I also know that His timing is perfect, and that He’s here with us. We just have to seek Him.

So here’s to a new semester and a year of wonderful things!


I was 19.

Today I turn 19. I feel like I’m turning 85. It’s funny how you look back to last year’s birthday and everything has changed. You feel completely different now than you did then, you were concerned with other things and other people. Your perspective has pulled an 180.
This time last year I was in love with life, things were great. Uncertain, but great. Things now are, great, if I could focus on the positives, and still uncertain. In so many different ways. But now I’m trying to relearn how to love myself, and to love my life as well.

19 is such an odd number isn’t it?

I’m so enthusiastic for the future, but the older I get, the faster time flies, and then I realize that I’m running out of time. I’ll be dead before I know it.

Not very pleasant to think about is it?

Well, off to get some homework done.
Tim has something up his sleeve, I just know it. He got me a “cardboard box”. ; )