ramblings of a college student [2020]

hello! it's been a few months since i've been on here. sorry about that. i do keep up with reading other blogs - but just haven't had the time to write a post. so i decided to compile a bunch of little anecdotes about my college life so far. 

dear freshman me, why on earth did you sign up for an 8am statistics lecture? you may have been overzealous in that first year (y'all i used to wake up at 6am to prep for my 8am chem lectures), but as a sophomore... i'm a morning person, but still. 

psa: hot cheetos are the bomb. coming from someone who despises cheetos...they're actually really really good. 

triple checking to make sure video & microphone are turned off during live lectures < that zoom life. 

surviving off pasta + chicken, cuz those are the only foods the dining hall can actually make ok. (besides breakfast. their breakfast is surprisingly amazing). 

tater tot day is the best day.

my suitemate + i have a new tradition on how to spend our non-homework nights - eat pita chips, play scrabble, and * occasionally * watch love island. we're grandmas. also i hate how i've only seen two love island episodes, and i'm already so invested in that stupid stupid show. (update: i haven't seen anymore episodes + i'm proud of myself, lol.)

surprisingly, the chicken alfredo @ the dining hall is flat-out amazing. which is huge coming from me, as i  do not like cheese. lol. 

also been going thru sherlock with a friend thru netflix party, and apparently i'm absorbing it too much cuz now i've started talking like a british person. 

left my room w/o a face mask, realized halfway down the hall, sprinted back to my room while pulling my sweatshirt over my face. ah, how i love 2020. 

watched harry potter + the order of the phoenix and ate pretzels with my suitemates. it was a good night. 

my suitemates + i have been going to the farmer's market every saturday morning. it's one of the highlights of week. the other day i bought a bouquet of flowers, and now i have mason jars full of yellow and pink flowers all over my room (and i stuffed some in a water bottle < college life).

ordered pizza + watched the lion king 1 1/2

lots and lots of calling my mom + dad. and facetime calls with my best friends at other universities. 

went to the local library + picked up the raven boys + blue lily, lily blue! i love reading that series during autumn. we'll see how far along i can read....so far i'm halfway thru the raven boys! and i've forgotten just how incredible this series is. update: wrote this three weeks ago. haven't been able to read any more, lol. 

also suddenly this week, we got fall weather? and i'm so excited + i really hope it lasts. i've been in leggings + sweatshirts for the past five days, and i'm thriving.

put jeans on for the first time on wednesday. and sent a selfie to my mom. she was shocked lol.

also apparently there are psych books? like legit mysteries with Shawn + Gus! my dad got me one as a surprise on move-in day, and i'm loving it. the guy who wrote them actually wrote a couple episodes, so he's totally got Shawn + Gus's voices + personalities. 

picnics are so much fun. especially in nice weather. 

even tho ants love to climb all over me.

apparently wednesdays are jean days now. 

quizlet is queen.

ordered panera + watched pride & prejudice (2005) w/ my suite mate. i love the bbc version, but i really enjoyed the keira knightley version too. :)

introduced my suite mate to a very potter musical (*cough* due to lots of content, cannot recommend. but it's hysterical. it's on youtube if you're curious ;) ). and now she'll randomly run into my room + shout "DID SOMEONE SAY DRACO MALFOY?!" and it's the best thing ever, lol.

also i discovered the x-files + now i'm obsessed. it's the perfect blend of creepy (but not horror) + murder mystery, especially for sPookY sEasOn. 

anyway,  hope y'all are doing well!

can't believe it's already october.




i will never be a teenage author

photo by me

i'm turning twenty this summer. and i'm scared.

i hate change. i hate the idea of getting older. of losing my childhood and entering the scary phase of adulthood. of growing up. the possibility of outgrowing or losing touch with old friends.

i'm sitting here, thinking of all the things that i will never accomplish as a teenager.

- i will never publish a book as a teenager. 

- i will never date as a teenager.

- i will never travel to another country as a teenager.

and the list could go on and on.

photo by me

and i know it's silly. there's so many exciting things ahead of me, and i shouldn't be upset that i won't be a teenager anymore. 

but it's ok.

it's ok to feel sad and regretful. 

i've thought about this a lot. 

it's ok that i won't ever be a teenage author. because, you know, i'm not ready. i could publish a story now, but it would be awful. 

and it's ok. 

i may not publish a book until i'm twenty five or thirty or even later. 

and that's ok.

i will eventually publish a story. it may be a story that i wrote as a teenager. a book that i spent the summer of '18 writing - and falling in love with storytelling. 

now, i'm not trying to say that people shouldn't publish books as teenagers. i've read many amazing books written + published by teenagers, and i have so much respect for them. 

but, i don't want to do something just to do something. i don't want to publish a crappy book just to say, hey look at me. i'm a teenage author

i may never be a teenage author, but i was once a teenage writer.

photo by me

instead of thinking of all the things i will never accomplish or do as a teenager, i started thinking about what i have done as a teenager. 

- i wrote two novels as a teenager. 

- i edited one as a teenager. 

- i wrote countless short stories and started dozens more as a teenager. the tattered pieces of notebook paper, covered in my childish scrawl, live in an overflowing file box under my desk. they're a testament to how much i've grown as a writer, even in the last year.

as a teenager, i became a voracious reader. i fell in love with harry potter and sherlock holmes and agatha christie, and found books that have changed my life in countless ways. as a teenager, i discovered the incredible power that words hold. 

as a teenager, i became serious about my faith and strove to make it my own. as a teenager, i pursued many interests and applied to colleges. as a teenager, i stepped out of my comfort zone when i moved away to college. as a teenager, i discovered that i didn't want to major in chemistry or science - and  decided to pursue a career that i never considered before. 

as a teenager, i learned how to drive and overcame my crippling fear of driving. now, i enjoy driving. something that i never thought possible. 

as a teenager, i realized how much i love writing and decided that no matter what i major in, i would always be a writer. 

and you know, i still have a lot to learn about writing. 

one of the books that i wrote as a teenager has no plot. it's a rambling, sun-filled book about two best friends who write a book together. that's it. there's a whole lot of work to be done.

the other book that i completed as a teenager has a lot of drafts ahead of it. the dialogue needs to be written. the characters need more development. themes have to be incorporated earlier. but ya know? i had so much fun writing that book. i'm really enjoying editing it right now. 

all in all, it's ok that i haven't published anything as a teenager. eventually, i will publish a story. whether traditional or indie, i don't know yet. 

it's ok that i will never do certain things as a teenager. 

all i know is that there are exciting adventures ahead, and i trust that God knows what He's doing in my life. 

- - - -

so this post is just me spewing thoughts
that have been on my mind lately.
i hope it all makes sense.

a l l i s o n 


how we rise / REVIEW

welcome to the next stop of the blog tour for HOW WE RISE by Brooke Riley. i read an ARC and was blown away by this incredible story. 

before i get to my review of this incredible book, here's some info about the lovely author & her story! 

- h o w  w e  r i s e -


When the truth gets you killed… will you still Rise?

Raegan MacArthur is content with her simple life. But lately, her life hasn’t been all that simple. She can’t drown out the screams in the night coming from the military base up the road. And she can’t ignore the truth behind them.

Peter Daniels thought moving back to Texas with his mom for senior year was a good thing. A chance to reconnect with old friends and finally feel at home again. But his life now can never be the same as it was six years ago.

Signs of government overreach are everywhere, and an unknown- yet familiar- enemy lurks in the shadows, watching their every move. The government is clamping down tighter and tighter on anyone who resists their ways. Raegan and Peter have to make the hardest decision they've ever faced: will they go quietly to save their lives… or will they rise?  

Brooke Riley has been seriously writing novels since she was fifteen, the thrill of creating new worlds and broken humans with a greater purpose is something that inspired her to begin writing in the first place. Before then, she hated writing but loved books and literature. She's always been drawn to new worlds and fascinating books. Not limiting herself to one genre, you will find she writes in dystopian one day, contemporary another day, and even historical the day after that.

When she's not writing, Brooke is probably thinking of some random idea for a new novel that's come to her in the most inconvenient of times, and how soon she can make a Pinterest board and Spotify playlist for it.  

- - - -

and here's my disorganized, rambling review. basically just me spewing all my thoughts on this amazing book, and why y'all should read it. 

r e v i e w

disclaimer - i was given an ARC by the author, but was not compelled to give a favorable review. all opinions expressed are my own :) 

HOW WE RISE is an inspiring, emotional book that completely broke me. i read the last few chapters so fast that i had to go back and reread immediately after finishing it. and the last page. y'all. <spoiler> BROOKE HOW COULD YOU END THE BOOK WITH THATTTT. just saying, raegan better not be dead. *glares* <end spoiler>

when i finished HOW WE RISE, i just sat and stared at my computer screen. then i got up and refilled my water bottle. and sat back down and fought the urge to immediately reread the book. i have to admit, i wasn't completely hooked during the first part, but by the middle section - when Certain Things happened, i couldn't read it fast enough. 

a short list of reasons why you should read HOW WE RISE:

Peter. i want a peter in my life, guys. just, he's such an amazing, thoughtful character, always conscious of when Raegan needs a pep talk or encouragement. 

x fRieNdSHipS. also ships. because everyone knows that Raegan + Peter belong together. just sayin.

a. great. representation. of. homeschooling. << YES. i love how homeschooling is presented in this book, and Brooke accurately depicts Raegan's struggle to fit into public school. 

also, a pastor's kid that isn't portrayed negatively or stereotypically. 

Evan. love him and hate him at the same time. he's not a typical villain by any means, and i look forward to seeing what happens next for him.

x the setting! it's super interesting since it's set in dystopian America, but just a few years in the future. which, imo, makes it more eerie and disturbing. 

despite a few minor quibbles, i thoroughly enjoyed Brooke Riley's HOW WE RISE, and i look forward to reading the sequels! hopefully soon, as i still haven't recovered from that cliffhanger. 0_0 

very excited to participate in the blog tour, and let me know if y'all have read this lovely book! 

x x
a l l i s o n


cover reveal / DARE

happy friday, all. i'm so excited to participate in the cover reveal for DARE by Tricia Mingerink. The Blades of Acktar is one of my all time favorite series (seriously, i read it three times last year) and i can't wait to see the updated covers!

- - - -

the new & shiny cover for DARE !


ahh, isn't it gorgeous? Savannah Jezowski designed it, and i can't wait to see the other covers! the new cover is live on amazon now, and if you don't already own a copy of this wonderful book, i highly recommend you check it out. or you can order directly from Tricia (thru her website) and get a signed copy!

- - - -

hope y'all are having a
good day! i'm very ready
to be done with finals...just
a couple more days. :)

a. r.