Everyone should read “Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley.

 Not only does it discuss an important part of the integration process in the United States, it’s also from the POV of a young Bi/Lesbian/Questioning Black girl and accurately portrays the struggle of being seen as different on many different levels : by being a woman in the 50s, a Black woman in the 50s, a WLW Black woman in the 50s… beyond the historical context, Robin aptly exemplifies the struggle many people face even today whilst dealing with their identity in a world that does not seem to want them or to recognize them as equally worthy.

Of course, the Historical context makes it doubly important and gripping. It was only 50/60 years ago that White people would rally in front of schools everywhere in the US to protest against the integration of Black pupils in their all-White establishments, not hesitating to insult them in the worst ways and to spit at them, kick them, threaten them, frighten them mercilessly so that they would give up. The book is categorized YA but it does not sugarcoat anything at all. Jim Crow or not, it goes to show how Law alone cannot erase hate, only education and communication can fully change a system that was almost entirely built on the concept of ’difference equals inferiority’.

Please read this book. It doesn’t pretend to be a masterpiece of literature, it is still a YA format despite all of its extremely down-to-earth concerns, but it is still amazing. It’s very, very important for today’s youth to understand the struggles that one of the most idealized nation in the world have faced only half a century ago, so that they can also understand why it still faces large racial/homophobic/sexist discrimination in 2016. 

A little playlist I made to read the novel with : “Lies We Tell Ourselves” (username : maria.sptfy)

Language learning advice I should give myself more often

- I did not start speaking a single word of my NATIVE language until after 1 year.

- Language learning is not a race, it is a new way of life.

- Some times I will feel like I’ve made lots of progress, other times I will feel like I’ve gone 10 steps back. It’s all relative.

- Stop expecting to make leaps and bounds in a day’s work.

- I still encounter words in my native language, after 20 years, which I do not know.


- I would not think someone struggling to speak my native language is stupid, so native speakers of my target language would not think the same either.

- I know you say “I’ll never need to know this word” but honestly if you’re aiming for a high level of “”“”fluency“”“”, please learn it.

- “Fluency” is too broad a term and not a clear goal to aim for.

- Even native speakers make mistakes.

- If the content I am learning is too simple, I am not challenging myself.

- “If you do the same thing you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same results.”

- Don’t be ashamed for having an accent.

- I will one day in the distant future look back and think how amazing the journey to learn my language was.

- The journey is always more exciting than the destination.

- Speech between 2 native speakers is one of, if not the, hardest things to understand. Do not be disheartened.



Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

“A brilliant story about the courage it takes to keep living after your world falls apart. A heart-wrenching celebration of love and friendship and family.”  – (Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak)

For an English class assignment, Laurel is asked to write a letter to a dead person. She naturally chooses to write to Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. Also, May died young like he did. Throughout time, Laurel compiles a series of written letters in her notebook to Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger and more. Although she never hands her assignment into her teacher, she opens up starting high school, falling in love and her crumbling family life on paper. Through her letters, she begins to rediscover May. May failed her as a sister when she was suffering, but she eventually accepts that May was as human as she is now.

If you enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you will revel in Love Letters to the Dead’s sentimentality. Dellaira’s prose urges you to stop and ingest every word. Love Letters to the Dead will make you cry with the tenderness that Dellaira weaves in each page. The book contains an anguished beauty, which is difficult to find, but an anguish, which fills you rather than leaving you empty.

Read excerpts from the book here!

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Friday ❤ Are you all prepared for the weekend? Or are you working, like me? 😁 Weather is horrible here, so might as well spend the weekend indoors. Now, over to something else entirely: I woke up to the sad and shocking news of yet another attack in France 😦 This is horrible, and I’m speechless. My thoughts and compassion go to France, Nice and everyone affected by this🌹

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you are not the length of your skirt
you are not the sheerness of your shirt
you are not the cut of your hair
you are not how your legs cross on a chair
you are not the color on your lips
you are not a dress to the fingertips
you are not an unwanted comment
you are not a penny to be spent
you are not an object to make things fun

you are yourself, not a prize to be won

—  you are