Books

True Life: I Spent Senior Year In A Coffin-Sized Box

FIND HER by Lisa Gardner

A Review

If Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds had a seriously fucked up baby you’d get FIND HER by Lisa Gardner. And I am so into it.

Let’s set the scene for this book, shall we? Page one: a girl wakes up in a literal coffin. It’s casual. After an entire chapter of listening to this girl simultaneously freak the fuck out while also memorizing the intricate details of this box more than Chris Harrison memorizes his “pep talks” to Nick Viall, we learn that Box Girl is none other than Flora Danes, the Boston co-ed who went missing over spring break and was rescued after 472 days of captivity.

Seven years ago, Flora was all of us living her best life on spring break in Florida with her betches. Until one night she drinks too much (same, girl) and ditches her friends at the bar to go hang out on the beach alone (weird, but okay). Next thing she knows she’s waking up in a pine box, and spends the next 472 as a sex slave for a psychopath.

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Cue to present day, Flora is alive and not in a pine box anymore, though she’s still living it up in clubs. But unlike in her youth, Flora isn’t at the club just to order vodka sodas and flirt with random dudes, she’s there for revenge. Victim-turned-vigilante, she now spends her nights trolling for club creeps and fucking them up before they can hurt any other girls.

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When one of her creeps ends up dead at her hands, Boston detectives learn all about Flora’s bad AF extracurricular activities, and they can’t help but think she might be involved in the recent disappearances of several missing college girls. Who is Flora Danes and is she a victim or a predator?

Told through Flora’s past and present we come to learn who exactly Flora Danes is and what her role is in these missing girls’ disappearances. We also get the perspective from the lead detective on the case, D.D. Warren, which is kind of interesting but I love Flora’s chapters’ way more. I don’t know if I love or hate her, but she’s definitely some kind of psycho and I do love that.

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FIND HER will legit captivate you from the very first sentence. Seriously, I dare you not to keep reading. And though the book doesn’t go into too much detail about the trauma Flora experienced at the hands of her psychopath, like Leah Remini’s new Scientology series, it’s just enough detail to keep you sickeningly fascinated.

In conclusion, if you’re into having the shit scared out of you while also reading a good fucking book then FIND HER is definitely for you. Seriously, even Olivia Benson approves.

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Books

How To Lose A Hipster In 10 Days

THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. by Adelle Waldman

A Review

You know when your boyfriend does something so fucking stupid you actually can’t see straight and then he tells you to read The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance or some shit so you’ll understand where he’s coming from? That’s, like, the whole fucking point of THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. by Adelle Waldman.

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NATHANIEL P. follows Nate Piven, unemployed writer and rising star in the New York literary scene as he tries to navigate through both his career and his love life. After years of trying to prove himself in the writing community he suddenly has his pick of both magazine assignments and women: Elisa, his sexy AF ex-girlfriend (whom Blake Lively would totally play in the movie), Juliet, see the definition of Side Chick; and Hannah, a Nice Girl.

The book particularly focuses on his relationship with Hannah. After meeting at a mutual friend’s party he immediately dismisses her as plain and boring (GTFO Nate, you ain’t special) until they go on a date. They bond over red wine and their sad writing careers and proceed to kind of fall in love.

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Nate’s career really starts to take off and Hannah gets more attached to their relationship because she is a human with feelings, and then just as he gains some notoriety Nate dumps her BECAUSE OF COURSE HE DOES. Le sigh.

Reading this book is a little like living inside the mind of Dan Humphrey as he sits down to blast a bunch of bitches on GG.

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Nate is the definition of a Williamsburg hipster right down to the craft beer he probably brews himself in his $2,000+/month loft. His lack of self-awareness is probably the best aspect of this story though. He spends much of the novel having high anxiety about being perceived as an “asshole” and then acts like an asshole. Similar to any Bachelor contestant ever, he is completely shocked that fucking around with multiple women will actually blow up in his face.

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Even though Nate lite-weight makes me want to set fires, the story itself is actually pretty damn good. Set against the amazing backdrop that is lower Manhattan, the story feels very honest and very now. Plus Waldman’s writing is so on point she’ll make you want to fall in love in city but also cry over your Bumble messages (#NotAnAd) and grow old with your cats.

So if you’ve ever wondered why the guy you were seeing suddenly stopped calling and deleted you off SnapChat (looking at you, Tinder Alex) then you should read this book. It’s an in-depth look at fuck boys, too real at times, and hilarious in an if-I-don’t-laugh-I’ll-blow-my-fucking-brains-out kind of way. So read it or don’t read it. Either way love is dead.

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Confessions

Dating Lord Voldemorts: The Appeal of the Bad Boy

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OK, Abercrombie & Fitch. With a face like that, please tell me how much you’ve struggled.

There’s no denying that we’ve all done it at least once in our lives. Whether we’ve healed blocked it out with dove chocolate and bottles of Moscato, or simply written it off as a weird side effect of the birth control the doctor recommended—there’s no refuting it. We’ve all dated a Voldemort, a Sith Lord, a master of the dark arts, a Lord Disick. We’ve all dated at least one, or in my case, as many as would have me. There’s just something so appealing in dating the villain, the bad boy, the douche in the backwards hat. I’m not sure if it’s something in our DNA, a need to rebel at least once, to date a jackass and see if it’s really as passionate as The OC taught us it should be. Or if it’s something else all together. A typeContinue reading “Dating Lord Voldemorts: The Appeal of the Bad Boy”

College

Some Things Are Worth Scarring For

Change is something I’ve never been good with. In fact, I hate it. Even things I thought I wanted, adventures I was excited to embark on—even these had me second-guessing myself when it came down to actually embracing the change. Once when I was feeling particularly rebellious I got my belly button pierced over spring break. Now, this is something I’d wanted for as long as I could remember. Growing up chubby, I spent my summers swallowed up in loose one pieces and even looser tankinis. The only skin I’d be showing that summer season was the tiniest strip of translucent belly. I’d sit there in my faded, waterlogged berka while my babysitter would prance around in the latest bikini trends, a bedazzled jewel hanging from the center of her belly button. There was something about the way it glinted in the sun, it just hung there so precariously, almost flirtatious in its manner. And I thought, I want that.

Fast-forward to my sophomore year of college where eating was a thing I did only if I could find time between boxed wine breakfasts and vodka dinners. I thought, now is the time. So I got it done. Even though my mother hated it, even though I was twenty years old too old for a body piercing. Later that night, I’d stood there staring into the mirror at my blinged-out stomach. It was all tanned skin until the center of me, which was puffy and inflamed and surely infected because in hind sight a tattoo parlor/motorcycle club/bar in Daytona Beach was probably not the most hygienic place to obtain a body piercing. I stood there staring at my reflection, at my childhood dream, a thing I’ve wanted for as long as I could remember—and I hated it. I disliked it so much I considered taking it out after two days. I didn’t like how flashy it was, how I couldn’t sleep on my stomach, how it pulled at my shirts. I hated it. I hated it like I hated my second earring hole, like my first bob hair cut, like my too-colorful dorm room sheets. Graduating college, I’ve discovered, is no different than my short-lived belly button ring. I hate this change too.

I’ve thought a lot about how this would go down: me, graduating college. The only thing I can say is I didn’t think it would be like this. In high school I was ready to leave, to get the hell away from everything and everyone I’d ever known. It was easy to say goodbye because there wasn’t much to say goodbye to. I had my family, whom I was sad to leave, and a handful of friends that I’d probably miss. But it didn’t hit me like I thought it would. It was more like getting to the bottom of the chip bowl at a Mexican restaurant—sad because now your hands are awkward and the chips are gone, but also okay because the waiter’s about to bring your food anyways. Anticlimactic in the worst way. This, though, this is different.

With only a week and half left until graduation, I’m really starting to feel it. I find myself breaking down at the most random moments; in the car, in the frozen food section of the Harris Teeter, over pizza and ranch at two in the morning. My friends think it’s hilarious. Sometimes they’ll hum Michelle Branch songs under their breath just to watch my lips tremble and my eyes water up.  I think they’re probably different than me in that they’ve lived their big goodbye scene already. After high school they did the tears, they accepted the change, they learned to move on.

Maybe that’s why I’m so emotional these days. Like I’m in this constant state of PMS, but I didn’t mean to build a life for myself here, to put my roots down, to find a forever home. This goodbye is more than trading in my beach house for a room that’s no longer mine in a house that’s too far away from the ocean. It’s the Creative Writing department, my amazing teachers, and my inspiring classmates. It’s my sorority sisters, a group of women I never thought I’d be a part of, an organization that’s grown me into a woman. It’s my roommates, who have this thing about frozen yogurt and drink more tequila than should be physically possible. It’s the people I didn’t think I’d miss. The ones I thought I’d moved on from, a door I’ll never fully be able to close. It’s my best friends. Bonds I didn’t expect to have, and ones that I can’t imagine living without. It’s more than a place, really, or even four years, that I’m leaving behind—it’s a life.

The first time I had my heart broken I was fourteen years old. I’d spent my entire adolescence swimming. I never learned the names of the kids in my neighborhood or how to ride a bike. I gave up a childhood for swimming. At fourteen, swimming stopped giving back. I didn’t get better no matter how many hours I put into the pool, no matter how bad I wanted it. I didn’t know heart ache until that moment. The second time I had my heart broken I was twenty years old. I fell in love with someone who couldn’t love me back. I have a feeling that my third heartbreak will be the day Wilmington flashes in my rearview mirror, the smell of salt and sand disappearing down the interstate.

Here’s the thing: even though I hated that belly button ring at first, I ended up keeping it. It grew on me. I felt like a badass with it because even though my mother detested it and I was twenty years too old for body jewelry, it was the first risk I’d ever taken as an adult. So it kept it. A few months later it got infected. My beautiful, innocent belly button had turned purple and started gushing this really weird fluid. For health reasons, I was advised to take it out. And I hated that. Taking it out meant admitting my mother was right, it meant saying goodbye to a childhood dream. My point is this: life went on after the belly button ring. Don’t get me wrong, I did mourn the loss of that body piercing. I kept the ring. It sits in my jewelry box to remind me that I was once a badass. I’m even proud of the disgusting scar the ring left behind on my skin. Life went on after the belly button ring, just like life will go on after college. It may break my heart, it may even leave a scar, but, as I’ve learned, some things are worth scarring for.

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