Happy Birthday America!

red striped shirt blue polka dot skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

Just a simple outfit to end the week and wish my friends back in the US and all of my US readers a happy Independence Day. Stay safe, and have fun!

red striped shirt blue polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greyred striped shirt blue polka dot skirt brown sandals by 14 shades of grey

red striped shirt blue polka dot skirt by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Gap, Skirt: hand-me-down, Sandals: gift


Thud!

teal shirt polka dot skirt orange belt by 14 shades of grey

That’s the sound of my head banging on my desk after I’ve read yet another script that feels like it was written while the writer was drunk/high/suffering from an extreme case of ADD. I’ll spare you my whining and complaining and drown my frustration in a double dose of Game of Thrones + Mad Men.

And yes, the outfit is really simple, but when I tried putting on any jewelry, it just looked wrong or like I was trying too hard. I guess when in doubt, simple is the best way to go.

teal shirt polka dot skirt orange belt by 14 shades of greypolka dot skirt black flats by 14 shades of greyteal shirt polka dot skirt orange belt by 14 shades of greyteal shirt polka dot skirt orange belt by 14 shades of grey

chinese trumpet vine flower by 14 shades of grey

T-shirt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Belt: thrifted, Flats: Payless


Book Review: Matched

plaid shirt polka dot skirt red flats by 14 shades of grey

I first heard about Ally Condie’s novel “Matched” from my friend Debbi, who read it for a production company who was looking to adapt it into a movie. They eventually passed on it, but Debbi gave it a glowing review, so I decided to check it out myself.

The story is quite standard for the YA dystopian genre: 17-year-old Cassia lives in a world where everything from what to eat, what to wear, poems to read, paintings to look at, even who you marry and when you die, is decided by the totalitarian Society. At the beginning of the book, Cassia just finds out that her future husband (her Match) is her best friend Xander, and everything seems perfect, until she sees another boy’s face pop up as her Match. The problem is, this boy Ky, is deemed to be a second-class citizen (an Aberration) and not eligible to be matched. Encouraged by her grandfather, Cassia begins to wonder if the perfect system of the Society is so perfect after all.

plaid shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greyplaid shirt polka dot skirt red flats by 14 shades of grey

I didn’t hold out a lot of hope for “Matched” when I read the first book. Ally Condie has conjured up a great dystopian world, in the sense that the audience would rather die than live in it (imagine that there are only 100 songs/stories/poems/paintings that are approved by the Society, the rest get destroyed so thoroughly nobody even knows they exist!) The story is a little slow though, as it mostly centers around the love triangle (I’ve had enough of that with¬†The Hunger Games, thank you very much), and I was exasperated by Cassia’s naivete.

polka dot skirt red flats by 14 shades of greyplaid shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of grey

However, the story improves greatly with the sequels (of course it’s a trilogy. I think it’s like a requirement for YA novels now.) Cassia becomes a much stronger, much more engaging character. The romance becomes believable as Ky and Xander get developed more (the second book alternates between Cassia and Ky’s points of view, and the third adds Xander’s into the mix) and we can see why Cassia prefers one over the other. The love triangle is executed very well, it’s integrated seamlessly into the plot rather than being just there. There are a lot of internal stuff, so don’t expect big action sequences, but I actually like that about these books. It makes for more interesting writing than your average YA novel, especially with the recurring motif of three – the trio of main characters, the roles they play in the plot, and even in the colors (green, blue, and red – which I recreate in my outfit here) that become a sort of symbol for their journeys.

plaid shirt polka dot skirt by 14 shades of grey

So “Matched” may not be the the next Hunger Games (I know Divergent is supposed to be that, only the synopsis I read on Amazon seems way too convoluted), but if you want something a little more thought-provoking, check it out.

plaid shirt polka dot skirt red flats by 14 shades of greyplaid shirt house necklace by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: hand-me-down, Belt: thrifted, Flats: Caprice, Necklace: borrowed from my sister


Stray Heart

pumpkin cardigan polka dot skirt heart brooch by 14 shades of grey

This is another outfit from last week which just happens to fit the Valentine’s Day theme thanks to the addition of the heart brooch. I didn’t even remember it was Valentine’s until I saw roses and chocolate being sold on the curb. Ah, Hanoi, where you can buy everything from a street vendor… Now, my attitude toward romance is a weird mix between hopeless romantic (that comes from watching too many BBC adaptations of Jane Austen and the likes) and cynical, but there’s no ambiguity in my attitude toward Valentine’s Day. To quote Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it’s “a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.” OK, I have to go watch it again now. Come to think of it, it’s kind of a perfect movie¬† for a cynic like me to watch on Valentine’s Day.

pumpkin cardigan polka dot skirt heart brooch by 14 shades of greypumpkin cardigan polka dot skirt heart brooch by 14 shades of grey

cap-toe flats polka dot skirt by 14 shades of greypumpkin cardigan polka dot skirt heart brooch by 14 shades of grey

pumpkin cardigan heart brooch by 14 shades of grey

Cardigan: Target, Skirt: hand-me-down from my mom
Flats: Payless, Brooch: hand-me-down from my sister
Post title: song by Green Day