How Do Other People See You?

You know yourself more than anyone.

You would know if you’re an asshole, a genius, or a violent sociopath, right?

Yeah, that’s right.

That’s the problem.

You know yourself for who you really are, but other people only see what you let them see. They see about 10% of who you actually are as person (if you’re super closed off like me, it’s probably more like 1.5%). That’s not a lot.

In fact, what most people think about you is only 20% what you’ve done and 80% assumptions they’ve made about you.

You make fun of a someone you’re friends with.

Assumption: You’re rude, unfriendly, and unapproachable.

You read books all the time.

Assumption: You’re shy, introverted, and very intelligent.

You make a few bad jokes.

Assumption: You’re annoying, cringey, and stupid.

It doesn’t matter who you really are as a person; it matters what you let people believe about you.

It may sound harsh, but it’s true. You could be hilarious, outgoing, and beautifully shrewd, but people may only see the bland walls you put up around yourself. It’s the same with a serial killer or child rapist. They could pretend to be sociable, kind, and charming while hiding their violent intentions somewhere inside themselves.

Realizing these things made me realize something about myself:

I’m an asshole.

At least, that’s how people see me. I never talk to anyone if my friends aren’t around. If they are around, I’m constantly shoving sarcastic remarks down their throats. When I’m doing something I know I’m good at, I smirk and pop my knuckles, knowing I’ll be in my element. If in a competition with other people, I aggressively fight for the prize–no matter who gets hurt. In soccer, I’ll ram straight into girls on accident because my eyes were locked on the ball. When I add all these things up and picture myself from someone else’s view, I realize the way I present myself.

An arrogant, egotistical, antisocial, sarcastic asshole of a human being.

Yep. That’s me.

Or that’s all I let them see. I have a vulnerable side (as we all do), a cold intellectual side, a friendly side, a shy side, an insane side, and a thoughtful, philosophical side that only comes out when I’m writing. We all have different sides that we keep hidden.

We are all 3-dimensional.

We just never remember that.

I’ve actually met someone who thought that I read books every waking hour of every day. Seriously? Who the hell has time for that?

But I can’t blame him. That’s all he ever saw me do. Sit in the corner, talk to no one, read. That was all I was to him. I didn’t let him see all the other sides of me.

I’ve never let anyone see more than 3 of my sides.

So think about yourself. What do you let other people see about you? What do you keep hidden?

There’s also the other way around. What assumptions have you made about people you barely know? Have you assumed someone’s an asshole and been proven wrong?

We all have. The next time someone hates you for no reason, or the next time you don’t like someone even though you don’t know them, just STOP. Think about it.

We are all 3-dimensional. Even those of us who only let you see 3 of our sides.

P.S. Yes, that’s my beautifully ugly face as the featured image.

I close the novel, “You’re . . . Luke’s mom?”

“You would be correct,” she smiles broadly. “He hasn’t given me many details, but I assume you two were in some sort of argument.”

Your son is a manwhore and tried to fuck me on the riverbank.

“Yes, we had a small disagreement,” I say politely.

-Penny and Mrs. Blu, Insert Name Here

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys Book Review

Um, it’s not what it looks like. I swear.

No one was harmed in the making of this blog post.

I love horror. Not because of the gore, and not because of jump scares in horribly thought-out movies (Yes, I’m looking at you, The Conjuring 2.) I love horror because fear is one of the strongest emotions a person can feel, yet so many people can’t convey it through the written word. Obviously, the authors in this book claimed that they could.

Needless to say, I was intrigued.

A few of the stories were ones that I absolutely loved. Most were okay, not good or bad. One of them was, for lack of better words, absolutely shit.

Don’t hate, don’t hate. Literature is completely subjective, you know? We all have our opinions, and you’re here to hear mine.

Stories in order of quality (best to worst):

  • Sleepless- Jay Kristoff
  • In the Forest Dark and Deep- Carrie Ryan
  • Stitches- A.G. Howard
  • Emmeline- Cat Winters
  • Hide-and-Seek- Megan Shepherd
  • The Girl Without a Face- Marie Lu
  • The Dark, Scary Parts and All- Danielle Paige
  • M- Stefan Bachmann
  • The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh- April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Verse, Chorus, Verse- Leigh Bardugo
  • The Birds of Azalea Street- Nova Ren Suma
  • On the I-5- Kendare Blake
  • A Girl Who Dreamed of Snow- McCormick Templeman
  • Fat Girl with a Knife- Jonathan Maberry

Most of the “lower quality” stories I just personally didn’t find interesting or exciting. A few of them had extremely transparent story line “twists” if you can even call them that (zombie apocalypses, revenge-seeking dead girls, etc.) I won’t go into detail about most of them, but I’ll talk about my top 3 and my most disliked story.

Spoiler Alert! If you plan on reading this book, skip to the “In Conclusion” portion near the end.

Sleepless by Jay Kristoff

This story started off kind of bland, as a lot of stories do (including the golden series, Harry Potter). It got into what appeared to be a bland, online, high-schooler flirting session. There were pages filled with chat messages between the girl and boy. Occasionally, the boy would be yelled at by his mother and told to stay away from the “skank” on his laptop. Long story short, the girl and boy plan a meetup, and his “dad” picks her up. Only, the story is still being written from who we thought was the boy. The boy even tells her “I’m Justin, Wolfie’s dad.” (Wolfie being part of the boy’s online username.) She gets in his car, goes home with him, and the twist has fully emerged. Instead of a cliche teenage romance we get a creepy, disgusting case of catfishing. And he’s a serial killer. And he tries to kill her.

But, of course, she prevails. She kills him to seek revenge for all the other girls he had killed. Apparently she sensed the girls’ ghosts or something and needed to put them to rest . . . ? I admit, the girl’s supernatural abilities were the worst thing in the whole story. Super cliche, seemed thrown in at the last minute, and appeared as kind of a rushed resolution to the whole thing. But, hey. You get what you get. The twist outshined the horrible ending in my eyes.

In the Forest Dark and Deep by Carrie Ryan

Love Alice in Wonderland? You’ll love this story. Love stories with descriptions of decaying bodies mixed with the slow deterioration of a little girl’s mind? You’ll love this story. I’m personally not a big fan of Alice in Wonderland. Not even a small fan.

This story was good all on its own. A young girl stumbles across a tea table in the woods. A hat sits at one seat, a pine cone at another, and an apron at the last. She slipped on the apron, and started to act as Alice. She talked to the empty hat and pine cone as if they were the Mad Hatter and the Dormouse. She scanned the empty seats and said, “I guess the March Hare is running late again.” She would continuously return to the clearing to play pretend, almost every day. One day, she saw a human-sized rabbit cautiously emerge from the woods–the March Hare.

Long story short, she gets bullied by some girls, the March Hare kills them and places them in the seats at the table. He strings them up and controls their dead limbs as if their marionettes, making them nod and toast the young “Alice.” About 10 years later, on the anniversary of the girls’ deaths, a group of stupid teenagers went to party in the clearing.

The March Hare ripped their throats out, nearly decapitating them all. “Off with their heads,” Alice laughed when she found them.

Stitches by A.G. Howard

An abusive father, a dead mother. A typical sob story from a young girl and her siblings. One day, though, her horrible drunk of a father comes home with a “savior.” The man will rescue her father from his horrible ways by cutting of his feet, hands, ears, eyes, and tongue. They will be replaced by the body parts of someone who was a good person, and he will be cured. The family, which borders on poverty, will be awarded $10,000 for each body part. Added up, the total profit will be $90,000. The main character is forced to be the one who cuts off her father’s body parts and sews the new ones on. Slowly, the “treatment” actually starts to work. Her father has no taste for alcohol or cursing with his new tongue, he does not hit or kick with his new hands and feet, his new eyes only see kindness, and his ears only hear the sweet voices of his children. Then, the beautiful twist.

The body part replacements were from none other than the main character’s dead mother. Her father’s wife. Both of her parents were now combined into one person. It as the only way her father could get closure for what had happened. It was the only thing that could have saved him.

Fat Girl with a Knife by Jonathan Maberry

Why would someone think this story was even remotely good? It had everything bad a story can have: cliche plot, cliche characters, cliche setting . . . Nothing that set it apart from anything else. Nothing unique or interesting at all.

A young overweight girl, bullied by the skinny pretty girls. Boohoo. Next.

She uses the school restroom, and the main pretty girl comes in crying. Boohoo. Next.

It ends up a fucking zombie apocalypse has begun in the school. Wait, I’m sorry, what? Where was the buildup to this? Why is this happening? Who was the author who obviously hit a roadblock and decided to just throw a random “twist” at us? Jonathan Maberry. That’s who.

It was an all-around horrible story. No interesting characters, no intriguing plot, no real twists. NOTHING.

In conclusion . . .

The stories in this book that were good, were really good. Most of them were just okay.

One was absolute shit.

But that’s okay. More of them were good than shit, so that’s an accomplishment. Overall, I’ve decided to read some books written by Jay Kristoff, Carrie Ryan, and A.G. Howard, because their stories were incredible. Maybe I’ll come across a book that really speaks to me. Who knows?

Have any of you read this book? Are you going to? What are your thoughts on this?

Let me know with a comment, and I’ll be sure to respond!

Whitewashing Movie Roles

Scarlett Johansson is white.

And yet, she’s playing a Japanese character in the new Ghost in the Shell movie. It seems like everyone and their mother has talked about this, so I won’t go into too much detail. Also, to be completely honest, Ghost in the Shell isn’t close enough to my heart for me to get upset about it.

Plus, Scarlett actually looks like Major, doesn’t she?

ghost-in-the-shell-comparison

As long as they keep the plot intact, I don’t care.

Death Note is a different story.

In case you didn’t already know, the Netflix Death Note live-action movie trailer came out on Wednesday. This trailer got outstanding excitement and support . . . from people who had never heard of Death Note before. Those of us hardcore fans who had read the manga and/or watched the anime (or both, if you’re really obsessed like me), were pissed off. If you haven’t seen it, watch it before continuing to read this post.

The Death Note Trailer

Jesus, so many things to complain about. Let’s make a list!

  • Light isn’t blond and he doesn’t look like he’s addicted to heroin
  • Light doesn’t receive the Death Note that way
  • The movie is set in America instead of Japan, so now all the characters names are changed? Light Turner? Mia Sutton? (Not mentioned in the trailer)
  • Misa is not a brunette cheerleader, nor does she smoke
  • There’s no damn Ferris wheel scene! Where did that come from?
  • Watari, the only white character, is played by an Asian guy! Seriously, America?
  • Last, but definitely not least, L Lawliet is not black.
nolightno
Light “Turner” Yagami
nomisano
Misa Amane aka “Mia Sutton”
noooooohusbandnoooooo
L Lawliet

This is a big conflict. People like me say L isn’t black, and everyone is quick to jump on the “You’re a racist!” train.

The reality is: I’m not being racist, I’m just being truthful.

L Lawliet is one of the main characters in Death Note, and my personal favorite anime character of all time. The way Takeshi Obata drew L and implemented all of his little quirks is just as important as the way Tsugumi Ohba wrote his dialogue and his actions. In fact, Ohba-sensei hadn’t really given L any personality at all when originally creating him. Takeshi Obata created L’s personality and endearing nature purely through his appearance when he was drawn. This is why L’s race is actually more important than any of the other characters. His appearance made him the character that he is.

L’s 1/4 Japanese and 3/4 white. His pale grayish-white skin is the result of his reclusive lifestyle, which he partakes in due to fear of making friends and social anxiety. The dark circles under his eyes are because of his lack of sleep. He doesn’t sleep because of the horrific crimes he’s seen in his line of work, which constantly give him night terrors. He has a trendy, K-pop idol hairstyle because he secretly craves to be liked by other people, but has no close friendships. He hopes his hair will attract people in hopes that they’ll befriend him.

All of that personality and backstory about L was created simply because his appearance. This is why L Lawliet is the one character in Death Note that has an appearance that should never be changed. I see why they casted an African-American actor to play L. We want more diversity in our movies, especially if the movie will now be set in America instead of Japan. But L is the one character they shouldn’t have picked. Light and his family could’ve been black, Misa, Takada, Mikami, the Kira Task Force . . . anyone!

Anyone but L.

“Sometimes, the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” -L Lawliet

Social Skills? What Social Skills?

I suck at talking to people.

(And I know all of you do, too.)

I can write a poem in under 30 seconds, write an +A research paper in one night (I’ve actually done this before, but that’s another story), and I’ll pen a kick-ass novel in the summer before my freshman year, but give me an opening for a conversion with a cool guy/girl, and I’ll run away screaming. (Side note: was that a run-on sentence? Seems like it. If it is, give me a break. It’s been a long day.)

Also, what’s up with my ears deciding to go deaf if important people start talking to me?

Cute Guy I’ve Been Staring At For 3 Months: Do you sdno fgh ajvncwh?

Hyperventilating-on-the-Inside, Shocked Me: What?

Patient, Wonderful Samaritan of a Boy: Do you have dah ajvncwh?

Struggling-to-not-be-Deaf-in-the-One-Moment-That-Matters-Dammit Me: (smiles awkwardly) What?

Guy Who’s Getting Tired of My Shit: Do you have the nousses?

Sad, Helpless Me: (nods and laughs, hoping this in some way tricks him into thinking I had the slightest clue about what he said)

Confused Boy Who Will Now Forever Avoid Speaking to Me: (awkwardly waits for some other response because my attempt obviously wasn’t enough)

Embarrassed, Flustered Me: (runs out of the classroom sobbing, buys a plane ticket to Canada, and changes my name to Seraphina Pyroclastic)

Disclaimer: The above situation may have been dramatized.

Look, just because my future career is completely built around the written English language, doesn’t mean I’ve mastered the spoken word. Plus, if you go down the path of writing and expect to become more socially skilled, I’d say your delusional.

Being an author isn’t exactly the most extroverted job.

We sit at home, write books, and send them to (if your lucky) a literary agent via email. There’s not a lot of going out and talking to people unless you dabble in writer’s conferences or have a big enough following to have book tours and signings.

“But, Sarah! Authors write amazing dialogue in their books! Doesn’t that help their conversational skills a lot?”

No, not at all. Here’s why.

When you write dialogue, not only do you

  • a. have time to think about what you say,

but you also

  • b. control BOTH sides of the conversation.

So, not only is it a lot like texting, which allows you time to think about what you say before you say it, but it also completely eliminates any fear that would be involved in a real conversation. You can’t be afraid of messing up, because you’re the one deciding whether or not something is embarrassing and if anyone will even say it in the first place. Dialogue in books is not like real-life conversations.

Dialogue is simply an author talking to themselves.

This is, ladies and gents, why you may love the dialogue someone writes, yet meet them in person and experience the most painfully awkward conversation in all of human history.

This is why writing speeches and giving speeches are two different skills.

This is why I suck at talking to people.

“Perhaps, the only one who really despises you is yourself.” –Penny Belle, Insert Name Here

Hey There, Random Person.

As you’ve probably already figured out from the numerous times it’s stated on this website, my name is Sarah Partain. I’m 15-years-old, and I’m in love with writing. I’m also in love with a few things teenagers are into (video games, mainly), but most people would agree that I’m a 45-year-old woman stuck in an adolescent body.

It comes with a few props.

I know what I want to do, and I have a body that’s able to do it. I’ll probably impress colleges if I’m able to publish a novel in the next few years, because the sad truth is that most teens don’t know what the hell they want to do with their lives.

It also comes with some downsides.

The number of friends I have is relatively low, even though I don’t rely on my friends as much as other kids. I have about 5 or 6 people I’d actually refer to as my “friends,” and I never try to make new ones. The reason why? Maturity. I don’t care about Snapchat, Instagram, “juicy gossip,” or anything related to who’s dating what guy or girl.

Screw that.

I want to have real conversations about things that matter. No one my age is interested in discussing the origin of the universe, global warming, politics, or our futures. They just complain about how school is boring, text during class, and make some elementary-level sex jokes. GROW UP.

So, yeah. Some may call me an intellectual; some may call me a buzzkill. In reality, I’m the comedian of my group of friends. I like to have fun, I just have fun in different ways and with different people than most 15-year-old’s.

I would insert a selfie here so you know who’s writing what you’re reading, but I can’t make myself do it. I either look like I’m trying too hard, angry, or confused. Maybe later, but not now. Just know I’m a pale half-Asian girl with long hair who rocks winged eyeliner on a daily basis. Deal?

Just realized you can’t answer that. Moving on.

Now, I’m thinking about how Americans randomly decide to replace the “s” in words with “z.” Realize, authorize, recognize, civilize, patronize, agonize . . .

Why, America? Why must you do this?

And we still don’t use the goddamn metric system.

Anyway, I’m the blazing ball of pure sarcasm that’ll be running this blog. Nice to meet you.

Huh. Maybe I’ll end blog posts with quotes.

“It’s just that most guys our age only care about eating, sleeping, and making sex jokes,” I smile.

“You act like girls are so much different,” he says.

“You make a good point,” I laugh. “Deep down, everyone’s a pervert.” -Penny and Luke in Insert Name Here