​You Need To Read John Green’s 'Turtles All The Way Down'

​You Need To Read John Green’s 'Turtles All The Way Down'

And all of John Green’s other books, really.
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I’ve been absolutely obsessed with John Green and his writing since my freshman year of high school. I love the unique narratives he tells and I enjoy the interesting little tidbits I learn throughout his novels. "The Fault in Our Stars" will always be my favorite book of his, but that will never stop me from tearing through the pages of his other books (and hopefully future books).

I was so excited when John announced the release of his newest book, "Turtles All The Way Down." As a result of my amazing calculus teacher senior year, I was already familiar with the story surrounding the term “turtles all the way down” and I was excited to see how that was going to play into the story.

"Turtles" is told from the perspective of Aza Holmes. Aza is a teenage girl that has OCD and likely anxiety (it’s never explicitly stated what she has and I am no professional, this is just my guess). Aza’s old friend’s millionaire father goes missing and Aza’s best friend Daisy is on a mission for the two of them to figure out what happened to the two of them.

In every aspect of this book, I was surprised. Without spoiling anything, I thought that this was going to be a story about a girl with a mental illness who falls in love, solves a mystery with her amazing best friend by her side, and eventually gets better. This was not that story. That’s not anyone’s real story. Thank you, John Green, for sparing me that story.

The glimpse inside Aza’s mind was beyond enlightening. Aza is obsessed with the idea of bacteria and other microorganisms living on and inside of her and has some obsessive habits that come as a result of that. I’d always kind of heard the general experience of those who have mental illnesses through the media and online, but this was almost like you were experiencing it with her. You hear her inner dialogue and logic and fight to gain control over her own mind and it’s really truly an interesting look inside her head.

One of the largest things that I vastly appreciated about this book, though, was that it was not a love story where the girl with the mental illness is saved by the perfect guy. No thanks. Aza from the beginning of the book until the end has her mental illness and the only progress she makes with it is entirely the result of her own work and challenge. There is no hottie on a white horse that shows up and magically makes her forget about all of the things that were completely overtaking her mind moments before. It was very refreshing to see this.

There are nearly no characters in this story who couldn’t be people that you’d meet out in the real world. They all have their own quirks and habits and they’re "flawed." I literally cannot say how refreshing it was to see a main character who can hardly get a grip on telling her own narrative at times, a best friend who’s kind of a lovable dick, and a mother who isn’t ridiculously clueless and doesn’t know how to deal with her daughter’s mental illness.

"Turtles All The Way Down" is a delightfully refreshing look on what it’s like to be a teen and what it’s like to be a teen with mental illness or that’s suffered a tragic loss of a family member. It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s entirely touching. Please read this book. You won’t regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Tayler

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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11 Amazing TV Shows That Are Ending in 2019

All good things must come to an end.

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It might just be the beginning of 2019 but there are many TV series wrapping up already. There are many breathtaking and original pilots around along with several reboots coming. This might be one of the greatest year for TV.

However, all good things must come to an end. Some series have been planned out and are going to be finished while others have been cut short. Sadly, here's a list of TV series to say goodbye to this year.

1. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Final Date: May

12 Seasons//279 episodes

2. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

www.youtube.com

Final Date: End of 2019

7 seasons//91 episodes

3. Jane the Virgin (CW)

www.flickr.com

Final Date: Mid-late 2019

5 seasons//100 episodes

4. Games of Thrones (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Summer

8 Seasons//73 episodes

5. Broad City (Comedy Central)

Comedy Central

Final Date: March

5 seasons//50 episodes

6. VEEP (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: Spring

7 seasons//67 episodes

7. Homeland (Showtime)

Showtime

Final date: Summer

8 seasons//96 episodes

8. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Final date: January 25

4 seasons//52 episodes

9. The Affair (Showtime)

Amazon

Final Date: End of 2019

5 seasons//42 episodes

10. Friends From College (Netflix)

Final Date: End of 2019

2 seasons//16 episodes

11. Crashing (HBO)

HBO

Final Date: End of 2019

3 seasons//24 episodes

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