Hello,This is me!

Eva Marie

Blogger and cat lover In love with books, pizzas and DiCaprio Writing is my passion

About me

Hi

I'mEva Marie

French student and blogger

Welcome to my blog, where I love to write about anything that comes to my mind, with no taboo. I’m 24, I’ve got freckles (you get it now) and I’m a grumpy French, sometimes, who writes in English. I love books, cats, le barbu, pizzas and Dicaprio. Besides that, there is not much that you need to know about me. Except that his blog has seen is first day back in 2017, and I'm proud that I manage to keep it that long.

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So, I tried audiobooks ...

When I had my Kindle, it was a revolution. I doubled the amount of books I read in one year, I found VO books without struggling so much and basically: it was the best and easiest thing to have for a reader who try to read more. I only saw the benefit, but still preferring physical books. I never saw it as a replacement, just as another way to incorporate more books into my life.

This is how I saw audio books as well. But, there is something different about them that always made me skeptical to try them. For me, it didn't count as reading but more like listening to a podcast. I know it's a big topic in the reader's world but I really don't count it as reading. It even felt like cheating, which is ridiculous as it's not a race or anything of the sort. Still, I didn't think it was for me. So when I looked for The Four Winds by K. Hannah to download and also found the audio version, I just tried it. I was too curious to see how it felt to give it up without trying at least once.

I'm not sure it was the best book to start this new format. The voice of the reader was a bit off and robotic, I disliked the different voices and accents she made and was too focused on trying to be focused whilst experiencing something new that the first hour was difficult. But then, I just listen to it more as a background without trying too hard and it actually worked: I was focused in the story. Yet, it was still not that great. I don't know if it was the story, the reader or the whole new experience but it still didn't feel like reading.

 
 

So I tried with another book in French by an author I like at the moment. In my mother tongue, it should be easier to follow without having my mind wandering off. It was actually better this time. The voice was really deep and serious which stick to the ambiance of the story (a thriller), the different characters were distinguishable without him trying too hard. But it's so hard for me to stay focus on the story while doing something else. Walking is fine because I don't have to focus on something else, but otherwise I always wonder what's going on and what I missed while daydreaming.

I won't say I love audio books, but I will probably try to listen to them a bit more this year, especially when I'm cooking or cleaning the house (I don't listen to music that much at the moment, so this will be a great alternative). However, I'm curious to know your thoughts on the subject. Do you count listening to audio books as reading? Do you have a favorite audio book?

Studying literature in France


I'm one of those stereotype who reads all the time and did literary/history studies. And let me tell you, I love it! 

I first had my first bachelor's degree in English - languages, literature and civilization (basically, how to be fluent and know the culture of all the main English-speaking countries) then in French literature ("Lettres modernes" - which is not modern at all and not always French). Those two degrees gave me plenty of books to read and words to put together in many essays and dissertations. It was four years in total where I dreamed in English and thought about Ronsard even when I ate. Yes, it was intense and I actually enjoyed it all (mainly). 

What I loved the most was learning about other's civilization. Yep, it's sad to say when I intended to write a blog post about literature and not history. But I'm getting on that! I became obsessed with the Victorian Era and the 20th century in the US. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.

Then comes literature. I have plenty to think about when I remember those four years. I did love it, but not all of it. Some books were amazing such as Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Others were supposed to be amazing but didn't feel so at the time like Margaret Atwood's best seller: The Handmaid's Tale (oh yes, I had bloody amazing feminist teachers!). And some were just plain boring (sorry for those of you who loves Emily Dickinson's poetry - I didn't). And between that, lots of writing about those books.

In France, we got different classes with different books and teachers every semester. That's why I had a lot of different books to read for various classes. I probably had around 3 to 6 books I had to read every semester (plus additional one for the most determined). Some I had to read three times (never did, I hate re-reading a book in order to understand it properly). And because I am a very obedient girl, I read them all. 

 


Before uni, I thought that those studies where about classics and boring/long books that nobody wants to read anymore. I was wrong. We did studied classics like Shakespeare, Henry James, Jane Austen and F. Scott Fitzgerald, but we also studied more modern literature like Atwood, Arthur Miller, Brian Evenson or Ben Marcus. I also discovered that some classics were far better than modern books. The whole end of the world/apocalyptic class I took was a disaster: I hated them all. Whereas I discover a passion in Great Expectations which was such a huge book to read at the time. Dickens won my heart, just like Jane Austen did. 

Then came French literature, which actually was not all French. Baudelaire, Ronsard, Racine, Euripide (really, REALLY not modern at all), Rousseau, Sartre: they weren't for me. I probably had to read 12 for this one year and I probably liked only 3 of them. It was disappointing, especially when the teachers were not captivating (expect the one who looked like John Snow). I was a lot to read for just one year as we have at least 2 books for each literary class. I didn't love "Lettres modernes" as much as I love my English degree. It was not captivating and the book were not always the best to study. We had to do those huge essays, in writing or orally (my cup of tea, as you could imagine) every other week (or what felt like it) and it just put this big weight the whole year. I really hated it when I had to speak alone for 40 minutes about literature. It actually benefited me, but the stress and anxiety it gave me was probably just too much to be okay with it in the end. And I just missed learning about history anyway. In another life, I might just do a whole History degree. Who knows?

I'm now over with literary studies as I'm doing a Master degree in web design - which I love, especially since I had zero books to read (= plenty of time to read the books I chose to read). But I'm grateful for the culture it gave me, the classics I read and the ability I have to write pages and pages of essays without dreading it anymore.

The list of all the books I read in those four years: 

  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • Death of a Salesman - A. Miller
  • Various poems - E. Dickinson
  • The Handmaid's tale - M. Atwood
  • Romeo and Juliette - W. Shakespeare
  • Great Expectations - C. Dickens ♥
  • The Flame Alphabet - Ben Marcus
  • Immobility - Brian Evenson
  • Daisy Miller / In the cage / The beast in the Jungle / The figure in the carpet / The Death of the lion  - H. James
  • Pride and Prejudice - J. Austen ♥
 
  • Britannicus - J. Racine
  • Les Bacchantes - Euripide
  • Macbeth - W. Shakespeare 
  • Les Confessions - J-J. Rousseau
  • Les fleurs du Mal - C. Baudelaire
  • Les mots - J-P. Sartre
  • Les amours - P. de Ronsard
  • Extension du domaine de la lutte - M. Houellebecq
  • Le quai de Ouistreham - F. Aubenas ♥
  • Petites natures mortes au travail - Yves Pagès
  • Aux animaux la guerre - Nicolas Mathieu ♥
  • Les Pensées - Pascal

2021: the year where I finally set a skincare routine

Who would have guessed that one day, I would write about skincare products? Definitely not me. I basically used the same products since I was a teenager. We know, all agree on how bad this is since I'm not a teenager anymore.

In all seriousness, it started at Christmas time when I saw wrinkles under my eyes. I started panicking (I'm only 24 after all) thinking I should have plenty of time before worrying about that. I later realized that it was mainly because I wore concealer (which i'm not used to), that I smiled a lot and that wrinkles were formed in the concealer (probably wore too much anyway), even when I did not smile. All of that to say that I still panicked and started wondering if putting nothing on my skin was actually the best thing to do. 


 

It's not a joke when I say that I wore nothing on my skin expect my one true love, the Effaclar duo from La Roche Posay, which did save my skin a lot. But it also makes it dry, especially in winter time. That, plus the wrinkles thing made me put an order on skincare product. The greener, the better.

The Ordinary was the first I bought products from. I tried the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which is the biggest winner for me here. The hydratation is like nothing else, and leave the skin so smooth. I use it in the morning. For extra hydratation for the night, I also use the 100% Plant-Derived Squalane which is incredible even if I had to get used to oil. And because of hormone or the mask or pollution (who knows at that point), my skin tends to dislike me sometimes around the chin area, I use the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% when I need to. It's still not perfect, but the spots go away a bit quicker.


  


Typology is another (French!) savior to me. Their products are really clean, their packaging really minimal even though they're not really plastic free. I tried their Nourishing moisturiser 1% Hyaluronic Acid + Shea Butter. I use it at night (I use my Effaclar in the morning) and gosh, it's nourishing. It's not greasy, it's just perfect. The smell is really soft as they don't use any additional perfume to their product. It's divine. Just as their radiance face scrub with rosehip oil which leaves my skin so soft and nourished. The smell is a bit odd and earthy, but everything else is lovely. It's a bit tricky to rinse (I'm actually not sure I'm doing it right), but other than that: I love it. 



I also purchased their hydrolate Organic Peppermint. I'm not sure if it does anything to my skin, but it's great to wake me up in the morning. The smell is quite something, but it's also very fresh and organic. Just like the smell of any peppermint tea actually. 

As you can see, I went from nothing to many new products. I was a bit scared to use too much, but I understood that my skin needed more than just water and one day cream (okay, and my micellar water/oil). It feels way more moisturized than before and I actually love to do those little skincare moments just to take care of me. You know, taking time for ourselves and all of that. 

Anyway, I'm just so bad to talk about skincare product, I feel like I just gave a long list of new products I used since the beginning of the year. But I'm just glad I'm an adult now and put things on my face to look better and to never see those fake wrinkles EVER again. Now, I would love to know which skincare brand is your favorite, I want to discover more!

A Little Life, my review


A Little Life seems like any other book about friendship when you start reading it. It depicts JB, Malcolm, Jude and Willem. We start their story during their twenties and follow them for decades. For the first hundred pages, we think this story will be okay, quite light and maybe funny sometimes. Four men growing up might be interesting, especially with the New-York setting. But something feels different, you try to guess what.

For those first hundred pages, you have three points of view: Malcolm, JB and Willem. We have a bit of their past, their thoughts and what they aim to be. They each give their view on their friends. Each talk about Jude. But we never have Jude’s thoughts. And yet, he is already enigmatic because of the little details his friends know and give us about him. We want to know a bit more, to finally have a sense of them all. We do have Jude’s thoughts then. We have everything until the last pages of the book. Little by little, we have bits of his life. Some of them are very detailed, some are faster because we already grasped the meaning of it.  

 

 

I was so not ready for what follows. This book needs multiple triggers warning. It is devastating, deeply. You won’t feel great while reading this story, you’ll want to cry and focus on things that make you feel better, make you love this world despite of its cruelty. You’ll cry again, stop reading because it gets too much. Way too much. And yet, you keep going. It is the most horrible story I have ever read in my life, and yet it might be one of my favourite books ever. I couldn’t even tell you why. When I talk about it, I can only talk about its atrocity and deep sadness. I wanted to finish it really quickly so that I won’t have to endure the story ever again. I will never read it again. And yet, it’s one of the best books ever written. You’ll have to read it for yourself to understand it.

This book is outrageous, yes. It is also beautiful thanks to friendship and love. Despite what we may think, this book is full of love and respect. The four friends, with Andy or even Harold, make us look at what love is for just one human being. When you’re ready to accept totally someone, no matter of what their past is or how they feel, then you’re ready to love them deeply and unconditionally. That fact that Jude understands that, little by little – even though he doesn’t feel he is worthy of that love – shows that love can almost save someone. Or a least make his life a little more bearable.

Be ready before reading this story, it might not be for you. It is really intense and might make you feel like crap for hundred and hundred of pages. Be ready.


Little women, my review

Little Women seems to be the classic to read at the moment, especially after the last movie came out. Don't get me wrong, it's good that classics become fashionable in a world where they tend to be seen as boring or too long to even bother. So I was glad about the enjoyment, but feared that it might raise the hype and make something bigger than what it really is.

In the end, I read the book in a matter of days and ended up enjoying it, not more, not less than what I imagine. It was a really nice book to read with four lovely sisters, each with their own and well-defined personality. The character of the mother is quite incredible: she is a mother as well as the embodiment of wisdom, kindness and love. She is fair, intelligent and inspiring. I guess many young people reading this book could benefit from her advice while growing up and struggling to find themselves and be kind.

I also loved that the story took place on many years. I was scared the book might be too long or too detailed, but it gives exactly what we need to understand everything and get a good sense of each character in the book. I personally loved Jo and Amy. They were the two I related the most: they are strong, passionate, love deeply and care very much to become better people. Meg was lovely, but a bit old school - even though the book was written in the 19th century. She gave too much of herself to others that I didn't see any real personality or ambition in this character. She could have been more. As for Beth, well (SPOILER) the writer killed her way before her actual death. What I mean by that is that we see so little of her throughout the book since she starts being sick that her death doesn't surprise anybody, or change anything for us reader. She seemed like such a kind and selfless child, taking very little space and being very quiet. She could have turned into a really interesting character if she wasn't so left behind, sick or not.


 

This book reminded me I need to read more classics in general, and might get into that this year, especially when you read these books on such beautiful editions as this one. It gets me motivated. As for this one, it was part of the Polly Florence's book club for December and I was just so glad that it gave me the opportunity to finally read it.

So now, your turn. Have you read Little Women yet or are you planning to? I'm really curious to have your opinion on this one.

Quotes

Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretend to love.

Emma Watson

Actress and Feminist

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

Rebecca West

Author and Feminist

I used to think that freedom was being not attached to anything. I've been working on redefining that, that freedom is not about being not attached to people. You can still be free when people love you.

Jemima Kirke

Actress

EVA MARIE
Rennes, France

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