So I decided to share with you a Feature Article a 2nd Year Communications Student wrote about me. She pursued me for it and I was honored!
Update: My life has changed quite a lot since this article was written... I have moved back to Brazil from Israel and I am back to living in Rio de Janeiro. Right now I am not blogging full time anymore. I am working as Academic Coordinator for Teens at a Language Institute and Teaching English as a Second Language.
I don't have as much time as I used to to read, review and work on the blog, but I do as much as I can =D
My past hasn't changed, so I'll keep the article as is and if you'd like to read more about me, feel free =)
Thank you so much Aidai!
Here it goes:
"Welcome to Larissa’s Life
BY AIDAI SEIDAKMATOVA
Larissa Piva Benoliel is a 26 years old blogger who reviews fiction books of well-known writers and prestigious
New York publishers like Dorchester. Two years ago, she moved from Brazil to where she enjoys Interactive Communications studies at IDC Herzliya and lives in Tel-Aviv, her favorite city in the world. She enjoys both her virtual life and real life. However, her real life did not always smile at her; she has had to overcome enormous obstacles on her way to success. Israel
Larissa was still a child when she had to face a harsh reality – she was diagnosed with “Juvenile Rheumatoid Polyarthritis” (JRP), a rare and incurable disease, which causes chronic inflammation of joints. A very small percentage of the population suffers from JRP.
“At age eleven, I started waking up at night with my knees locked; I couldn’t stretch them or bend them… either way”, said Larissa. Being a very active child who was about to enter the Inter-school Olympics, Larissa suddenly realized that she had to avoid the things she loved the most. “With that, I had to stop everything. I couldn’t do any more sports. I couldn’t do anything.” Since she was forced to participate in limited physical activity and constantly depended on medicine, she started gaining weight. This weight gain perpetuated her to have lower self-esteem than she already had.
She was neither happy at school, with kids mocking her limping nor at home with a very strict and dominant mother. For Larissa, sleeping was sort of an escape; she lived to sleep since her reality was too hard to stand. Three years passed in a dark depression before Larissa realized that she had to get out of it herself: “You know what? I said… No one is going to come and pick me up from this so I better get out of it by myself.” It took her a year, but the important step for her was not letting her mother instruct and test her before exams. “I prefer to have a 70 that I got by myself than a 90 getting spent with my mom”, said Larissa. Since then she started to become more confident and independent.
At the age of 14, her parents divorced, and she moved with her mother and stepfather from
to Porto Velho, a place in the North of Brazil. She said it was a tipping point in Larissa’s life. Finally, she was in a place where no one knew her. At last, she could start a new chapter in her life. She went to a new high school and even made new friends. Larissa always wanted to study Journalism, but in such a small place the closest degree was English Language, and since she has always been passionate about English, she decided to go for it. Rio de Janeiro
During her first year, a college mate told her about teaching in a local language institute. At 17, Larissa started to teach English to adults. After four years of teaching, at the beginning of 2007, she decided to visit her father, who had made Aliyah to
. “It was my second day in Israel and I was like… I am not going back! I felt so much at home…”, said Larissa with a smile. She went back to Israel in order to officially go through the Aliyah process. Six months later, she was home, she was in Brazil . Israel
Larissa heard about the IDC from her father and decided to apply. She did not mind starting from the beginning as she had done so many times before. It was a regular school day when she came up with the idea to start a blog. So she launched a blog called “Welcome to Larissa’s Life – A Real Reality Show of My Life” two years ago on the day of her five-month in
celebration. “If I am not online, I am reading. Usually, it’s both” says the profile of her blog. Israel
In 2009, she read more than 365 books, most of which are electronic books. The idea to start reviewing books came up when she saw her twitter friend chatting with an author. “You know what? Books are such a huge part of my life. Why don’t I start reviewing them?”, thought Larissa. It was November 14, 2009 when she posted her first review. “That’s it! I started reviewing every day… It went crazy because I started getting followers… 10. 15. 20… Every single follower was a celebration! ”, said Larissa with a spark in her eyes. Today, she has 385 followers on her blog and over 840 followers on twitter. People from all over the world read her posts, people that share Larissa's two greatest passions: books and the Internet.
Gradually, authors themselves started sending Larissa books for review. She e-mailed her favorite writers and became friends with some of them. A big moment arrived when Larissa received an Advanced Reviewers Copy (ARC) from one of her favorite writers. Then, another writer e-mailed an e-book for review. And one more next day... And one more two days after…
Today, another writer wrote her on twitter and wants to give a book for review. Currently, Larissa is working on a newsletter for her blog. Besides that, she has a new event with one of the authors set for March and an interview and a give-away contest scheduled for April. Among other future plans of Larissa is to write an interactive autobiography and three fiction books. Larissa is a person who does not wait for things to happen; instead, she makes things happen – with enthusiasm and a spark in her eyes."