Review: My Rad Life (Journal)

TITLE: My Rad LifeImage result for my rad life journal
AUTHOR: Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  With this journal filled with powerful women, quotes, and prompts, you can start developing the habit of journaling everyday.
GENRE: Journal | Feminism
RATING: N/A Continue reading


My Favorite Shows Featuring Latinos

American TV shows like Modern FamilyThe Fosters, and even Lost featured Latino actors and characters, but they weren’t about Latinos. In fact, there are very few shows out there that have a majority Latino cast as the stars of the show. So for Hispanic Heritage month here are five of my favorite shows featuring Latino / Hispanic families.

¿Qué Pasa, USA?

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YEARS: 1977-1980
SUMMARY: The Peñas are a Cuban family living in (then) mostly white Miami

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: This was the first bilingual show on American TV and the first show I ever felt my culture was being represented in a genuine way. I find it hilarious because of the different generations within the household, the Cuban American conflicts of culture, and all the mispronounced words in both languages.

Jane the Virgin

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YEAR: 2014 – Ongoing
NO. OF SEASONS: 4 / Ongoing
NO. OF EPISODES: 64 / Ongoing
SUMMARY: A young woman finds out she is pregnant being a virgin.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Ok, I’ve talked about this show on the blog numerous times! If you haven’t watched it yet, then I don’t know what else to say. It has great characters, it’s funny, it has strong women, and sheds light on issues we normally don’t think about… like choosing to wait until marriage.

The Villanueva women are a Venezuelan family living in Miami as a tribute to the original Venezuelan telenovela the show is based on. This the second show on this list (and that I know of) that is bilingual and takes place in Miami.

George Lopez

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YEAR: 2002 – 2007
SUMMARY: George Lopez is trying to raise his family in spite of his own dysfunctional upbringing with his alcoholic mother.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: This was one of my favorite shows to watch on Nick @ Nite. It’s about a Mexican family (the Cuban side shows up later) struggling just the same, they’re no different and it was awesome to have someone representing that on TV. While this show delves into more serious topics than the other two, like runaways, drugs, and other family struggles, it never stops being funny.

One Day At a Time

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YEAR: 2017 – Ongoing
NO. OF SEASONS: 1 / Ongoing
NO. OF EPISODES: 13 / Ongoing
NETWORK: Netflix
SUMMARY: Penelope is a single mother raising her two kids with the help of her mother.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: To be honest, this is not one my all time favorite on this list, but it is does a couple of things right. For one, I love Moreno’s role as the colorful Cuban grandmother that loves her Cuban coffee and the Pope. Secondly, I loved their slow steady approach to a coming out storyline, which I wasn’t expecting but was very well done. Although it’s supposed to be a sitcom, I would call it a dramedy because it’s equal parts funny and serious.

Orange is the New Black

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YEAR: 2013 – Ongoing
NO. OF EPISODES: 65 / Ongoing
NETWORK: Netflix
SUMMARY: While not exclusively about Latinas, the show is about the struggles of incarcerated women in Litchfield Penitentiary.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Ok, so this one is sort of a stretch considering that the Latinas account for about 1/3, maybe 1/4 (how to math?) for the prison population at Litchfield, BUT they are part of the show. What I love about this show, is that it shows Latinas from several countries like Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, among others. While the girls are in prison, we don’t see much of their culture, but it does come through in some of the flashback scenes.

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Top 5 Wednesday – Favorite Creepy Settings

These don’t have to be from horror books, but any setting from any book that gave you the heebie jeebies…in a good way.

As a child anything remotely creepy, creeped me out completely. As an adult, not so much but I still avoid horror films at all costs. I don’t mine reading horror stories or watching shows like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Pretty Little Liars that have suspense / horror elements. But, I still and will refuse to watch horror movies like Saw or The Ring or any Rated R scary movies.

I know that the prompt says to put creepy settings, but I’m choosing to put in creepy anything. For me, most of the time it’s not the setting that makes the story scarry but the characters or events in the story. Continue reading

My Guilty Pleasure: Telenovelas

It is true. I watch telenovelas, and I love them.

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I’ve been wanting to talk about my love of telenovelas and Turkish dramas on this blog for a long time, since I started this blog over a year ago, but every time I sat down to write about them my mind goes in a thousand different directions. I want to talk about everything from my personal history, my experience with them, and my favorites. In other words, I have too many thoughts and I never know how to organize them into coherent sentences. So, this Telenovela discussion will come in parts.

Part I: Personal History

Growing up in a Hispanic household there has always been a Telenovela playing on TV and I would watch them with my mother. Sometimes, if the novela was really good my dad would join in. It was a family affair and everyone was invested and would wait for the next episode the following day.

However, somewhere along the way I stopped watching until a couple of  years ago when I started rewatching one of my favorites. That’s when I got heavily (and maybe obsessively) invested in them again.

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It came at a time where every show I  was watching was dealing with intense topics, all the characters were dying, other were miserable, and no one was happy, not even me. What’s worse is that I didn’t know how long I’d have to wait for a happy ending… or any ending… hopefully, a satisfying ending. With Telenovelas, I know I’ll get that ending whatever it might be despite the intense topics, dead characters, unhappiness, angst, etc. With most serialized shows, you’re never guaranteed a proper ending. Yes, I’m looking at shows like The United States of Tara and Star Crossed.

From then on I’ve consistently managed to watch at least one telenovela. I’ve watched novelas from Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela among others. I’ve even somehow added Turkey to that list although technically they’re called dramas (but they put them on Telemundo).

Part II: Stereotypes & Me

Within my community there’s that stereotype that only moms and grandmothers watch telenovelas, so when I, a 21 year old, say I watch them and like them, people tend to be surprised.

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Meanwhile, others think that all novelas are bad, and I’m here to say that not all of them are bad. Like EVERYTHING in life, some things are bad and some things are really good, and telenovelas and foreign dramas are not the exception to that. I think that’s why I really wanted to write about this, to debunk that stereotype.

Another stereotypes that I’ve heard is that the stories are ridiculously outrageous.  Ok, so that’s not exactly a lie, but not every novela is like that either. I think that instead of focusing on the ridiculousness, we should focus on how much of it makes sense for the story and its characters. Because if we were to focus on how outlandish these stories we might as well never watch television or any kind. Or are you telling me it’s completely believable that a one person can survive through bombs, shooters, plane crashes, pregnancies, and drownings like Meredith Grey? Or why is it that everything bad happens to the doctors in that hospital? That show is practically a soap opera!

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Part III: My Favorite Shows

TITLE: Yo Soy Betty, la FeaImage result for yo soy betty la fea
TRANSLATION: I Am Betty, the Ugly
PREMISE: Betty is a brilliant economist who can’t seem to get a job anywhere because of her unattractive appearance until she lands a job in Eco Moda, a fashion empire. There befriends the other secretaries and falls in love with her boss, but scorned by everyone else.

WHY I LOVE IT AND YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: One of my favorite novelas is undoubtedly Yo Soy Betty, La Fea translated to “I Am Betty, The Ugly”, but most people know her as Ugly Betty. There is so much love for this story and the main character. She is adorable and awkward and incredibly smart and in love. At the time, having an “ugly” protagonist was groundbreaking because most protagonists were tall and incredibly beautiful. Betty broke with that stereotype by having a protagonist wear unfashionable clothes (for the time), braces, glasses, a hideous hairstyle.

Image result for avenida brasil posterTITLE: Avenida Brasil
TRANSLATION: Brazil Avenue
PREMISE: After losing her father, sent to a dump, and eventually adopted by an Argentinian family, Nina comes back as an adult to get revenge from her former step-mother. However, her revenge becomes increasingly complicated when love enters the equation.

WHY I LOVE IT AND YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: This was the first Brazilian telenovela I ever watched, and I’m so glad I did. The story alone is captivated me from episode one, but then I met the main characters and the villainous Carmina, and that’s how I found my new obsession. This show has a huge cast and several storylines, some of which are absolutely ridiculous and I didn’t care for, but some are funny and others are heartbreaking. Either way, there is something for everyone. But personally, I was in it for Nina’s complicated love life and for her revenge, but I was DEFINITELY in it for Carmina, the biggest baddest villain I’ve seen in a while. That’s not something you usually hear, but that speaks volumes of how great the actress is. Not only that, but this show caused a standstill in Brazil when it first aired.

I’ve heard the premise is similar to Revenge, but I’ve never seen that show *gasp?* We also named our dog after Nina.

TITLE: Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?Image result for what is fatmagul's fault
TRANSLATION: What is Fatmagul’s Fault?
PREMISE: Fatmagul is a young bride to be until her world is turned upside down when she’s raped by men of the powerful Yasaran family, suddenly she’s forced to hide what happened and find a way to cope with what they’ve done to her.

WHY I LOVE IT AND YOU SHOULD LOVE IT: I have no words to describe how much love I have for this show. It’s not the usual semi happy premise and the romance is practically nonexistent in the beginning, but the reason why I LOVE this show is for the way they dealt with the issue of rape. They find a way to discuss every single part of  what happens to Fatmagul from her recovery to her new husband’s guilt over not stopping the assault although he didn’t rape her. They take their time telling her story. It was incredibly refreshing to see a story like this handled in this manner because I’ve seen too many telenovelas that gloss over this issue.

Part IV: Telenovelas on Netflix and Hulu

Unfortunately, none of my favorites are on Netflix or Hulu, but there are other shows I’ve loved on these platforms.

TITLE: Juana la Virgen Image result for juana la virgen
TRANSLATION: Jane the Virgin
PREMISE: Juana has dreams of studying photography in the U.S. when suddenly she discovers she’s pregnant despite being a virgin. The CW show is based on this telenovela.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: The premise is absurd, but the rest of the show is more about the relationships between Juana, her family, her friends, and of course her love interest, Mauricio de la Vega. The original show definitely focuses much more on the pregnancy than what happens after the pregnancy, but if you want a whole list of differences then I recommend reading my blog post about it.

Other Blog Posts About Jane the Virgin:


TITLE: Pasion de GavilanesPasión de gavilanes poster.jpg
TRANSLATION: Passion of Hawks
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States / Telemundo
PREMISE: The Reyes brothers attempt to avenge their sister’s death by seducing the Elizondo sisters, but things get complicated when love enters the equation.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: Okay, so this isn’t the best on this list, but there is so much sex appeal and beauty it’s hard not to watch it because everyone is so hot on this show. As for the story? It is full of secrets and intrigues that it keeps you on your toes to see what happens next. So many good secrets and I love watching the reveal for every single one.

TITLE: GonulImage result for gonul
PREMISE: Gonul is about to marry the man of her life until old secrets and new doubts make her think twice of the commitment she’s about to take.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT: This show sheds a light on spousal abuse and how people can get caught in it without realizing it. I loved watching the protagonist grow strong despite all the obstacles she’s forced encounter. And as always, I’m amazed by how beautiful Turkey’s scenery is. It’s so different from what I’m used to seeing.

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Popular Characters I Don’t Like

There are a lot of things in pop culture I don’t care for or I just don’t understand the hype surrounding it. That includes some characters from popular shows and books. Before I continue, I want to say these are just my opinions. If you think differently, please let me know, I’d love to know why you do love these characters, maybe you’ll help me change my mind about them.

Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door

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I’ve never heard any one say something bad about this book or its characters, and I for the most part loved this book… except for Lola. In the book she spends the majority of her time making outrageous outfits to wear every day. I have no problem with that, but it always felt like she was hiding something and she was. I never felt like I knew who was the real Lola, and that really bugged me. In some ways it felt like she never once let her guard down, and from a reader’s standpoint, I would have liked to see some vulnerability from her. No make-up no big outfit, just her.


Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

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I’m sure I’m going to get crucified for this but, it’s true I don’t like Rory Gilmore. Why? She’s too perfect in an annoying sort of way. Even when she makes mistakes it’s not the type of mistake that is fun to watch on screen. She is beautiful, very smart, mostly rich, and everyone she ever meets loves her. Doesn’t that sound annoying? Maybe I am wrong, after all it feels like the entire world is in love with Rory and the show, but me. If you like Rory (or don’t) please let me know. I honestly don’t know why I’ve kept watching the show if I keep cringing all the way through.


Mako from Legend of Korra

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I’ll be honest, I once liked Mako in the beginning of the show. I especially loved him in the later seasons, but I did not like him in the first two seasons. Why? Because he was a horrible boyfriend to Asami and later again with Korra. He never officially broke up with Asami before he started seeing Korra. He then lied to Korra about ever breaking up after he had kissed Asami during their break! That love triangle was just one big clusterf&*@, and clearly Mako didn’t handle it well. I much prefer his awkward self in books 3 and 4 than his complicated relationship self from books 1 and 2.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Witches


So there is a topic later this month about paranormal creatures, but 1. witches aren’t creatures and 2. they deserve their own topic. These can be “witch books” or books that happen to feature witches as characters, whether they are main characters or side characters.

Apart from mermaids I was fascinated by Witches, probably because I wanted to be as powerful as the witches I saw on TV and read about. Then again, the witches I cared about were of the nice and friendly variety. Anyway, here’s a semi chronological list of my favorite Witch stories. Continue reading

September 2017 Update

As school continues and I try to again get into the (semi impossible) rhythm of school, work, and blogging my reading time has diminished. Now, my reading is mainly dictated by whatever my professors decide we should read, and this will be the trend until I graduate (hopefully next Spring).

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I read a couple of short stories from Latin@ Rising, an anthology of fantasy and science fiction. So far my favorite have been these ultra super short stories “Uninformed” and “Circular Photography” by Pedro Zagitt. There was another cool story called “Code 51” by Pablo Brescia, which was about aliens (duh!) and pretty weird.

As for pleasure reading, ironically, my favorite was How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Forster. However, I’m not sure one can call in pleasure reading because it’s helping me as an English major in school. It’s doesn’t tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about literature, but it does point out some of the things you should look out for or how to approach certain things.

Books Read

  • Love Misadventure by Lang Leav
  • Alexander Hamilton by Jonathan Hennessey and Justin Greenwood
  • The Selection by Keira Cass (audiobook)
  • Latin@ Rising an Anthology
    • “The Road to Nyer” by Kathleen Alcala
    • “Code 51” by Pablo Brescia
    • “Uninformed” by Pedro Zagitt
    • “Circular Photography” by Pedro Zagitt
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Forster

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