2 Months

Today officially marks two months with out my Bear. Each day sucks worse than the last. He should still be here. Still being my baby boy even if he was ten. I love my Stuart, my new pup, but the trauma of losing my Bear will stick with me. Will make it hard not to be guarded about loss. Bear was.. just.. something special. A pet I needed with out knowing it until he was gone. I love you, Bear. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.

Temporary Hiatus

I am going to be needing a temporary hiatus from reading and all projects and reviews that were coming.

My beautiful PomChi, Bear, was attacked by my neighbors pit bull. With great sorrow I had to put Bear down far sooner than I ever imagined I had to.

My beautiful boy had so many years left in him. So many laughs to give me. So many night sleep left to lay cuddled by my side. I haven’t stopped crying for four days and I don’t know when my pain and tears may stop.

Thank you for bearing with me while I deal with my pain and loss. I’ll return when I feel as if I have the strength to do so.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (*Spoilers*)

I’m not feeling that well today so bear with me. That being said, here we go;

Letters to the Lost Synopsis:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: English

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I received Letters to the Lost out of the generous heart of Brigid Kemmerer after we had talked back and forth about her book. I talked to her over twitter about how I couldn’t wait to read it due to how cathartic I think it might be for me given it’s synopsis surrounding a teenage girl having lost her mother at a very young age. For the both of them. I was given an ARC to Netgalley but then about a week or so later I was sent an early hard copy that was signed by Brigid herself.
I, truly, can’t describe how touched I was to receive something like this. I have been given other book copies from authors before but nothing that meant so much to me as this did. Those feelings only became more overwhelming as I read and finished LTTL.

I know most book reviews are supposed to give a general look at the book and praise it. Make you want to read it and so on. But LTTL was different for me. I wasn’t wrong when I said this book would be cathartic for me. I knew going into it that there was a very large chance I would have a hard time getting through it, the words would stir feelings in me that I hadn’t dealt with on my own, I could even potentially cry. Which I did. It’s because of this that I am grateful for Letters to the Lost. I’m not saying to completely healed me of the grief over the loss of my mother some 18 years ago, but the words and thought processes in this book has given me a chance to look at my decisions and grief, itself, a different way.

For that I say Thank You, Brigid Kemmerer. You’ve done more for me in one book than most therapists have done in a few hundred sessions. I’ll always volunteer as tribute to read your books and back your stories 100% because of this. Letters to the Lost will forever stay on my list of Favorite and Re-Readable books. There aren’t many of those.


 

Let me start by saying I gave Letters to the Lost 4 stars. Now that’s not to say it isn’t deserving of of five. It is. The four is my own personal issues with the book itself. They’re minor, however, but in the end they sort of add up to take away one full star.

Note: There are spoilers in this post, so stop now if you haven’t read this book. It’s too good of a read to spoil!!

Letter to the Lost is a plot I haven’t seen done before. It’s about two lost teens wrapped in their own teenage crap on top of personal tragedies that are weighing them down. Almost to the point of destruction. But they communicate through hand written letters left in a cemetery all while not knowing who the other is.

That being said, one of the main issues I had was how long it took for ‘The Dark’ and ‘Cemetery Girl’ to figure out who each other were. There were so many opportunities for Juliet to be, forgive me, not BLONDE and just put two and two together and realize DECLAN IS ‘The Dark’. Almost to the point I wanted to throw the book. Half of that was frustration, half of that was I wanted them together because when Declan isn’t being a self-destructive jerk he really is a book-boyfriend I want for myself!

A second point is Rev. I LOVE Rev. He was a little creepy at first but once he got more lines and you got to know his home life a bit more he opened up to be a very interesting character. So interesting I WANTED MORE. Now, I know Brigid is making a book JUST for Rev, but had I not known that I would have been upset because I believe it’s Rev and his past history that really grounds Declan a lot of time. Thus it would have been nice to have more on him so you could join in on that bond with Rev and Declan to love their duo even more.

Declan’s step-father was a third, and the most irritating, point for me. He and Declan were such a toxic mix of anger and spite and rejection their scenes were hard to read for me because I’ve been in a family situation that was similar. Declan couldn’t do ANYTHING right! I wanted to punch the guy in the face!! But even after knowing everything Declan did in his past and living, practically, in a car shop for his dad, who is gone now, his damn step-father still wouldn’t let him help at first. Like What. The. Hell. Man?! Get off your damn high horse! On top of that, his sudden turn around and suddenly they’re having a calm heart to heart and he’s wanting to be a family man?! At first I thought it was a rouse, and while I was glad Declan was getting to say what was finally needing to say, the turn around in the dad seemed a little rushed. But I was also glad it was happening? So I’m sort of 50-50 on that whole thing?

There was a twist towards the end with Juliet and concerning her mother that really.. threw me. Honestly, it didn’t sit well with me or the pit of my stomach after I finished the book. It was one of the reasons I had to give myself a day or so to sit with the book before I wrote this and gave a truly honest review. While I understand it was for drama purposes and for Juliet to truly have an outstanding moment to relieve her grief and figure things out, I feel like another plot somehow might have worked better. I’m not the writer so I couldn’t tell what to replace it with, but I feel like I felt the pain that Juliet did and it hurt me. Which may be had been the point all along. It just felt painful for me like Juliet going through it. Awkward even.

My favorite thing I am grateful for, however, is how Brigid handled the romance. Through out the whole book the romance was there but it was more of a back burner situation. Which only made you want to have the MC’s get together that much more. It was handled so well and so beautifully that I wish more authors wrote like that. Have it there, hovering, but not the main focus but then it happens anyway in a way that’s.. more realistic. It was wonderful to read because you rooted for Declan and Juliet so much.

Letters to the Lost has a lot of ups and downs, happiness and frustrations. It sticks in my brain and makes me feel like there’s hope at the end of the tragic moments that happen in life. Brigid Kemmerer is an amazing writer and I can’t wait to see what else she brings to the table. I know I’ll be first in line for the arcs and the day of releases.

Letters to the Lost releases April 4th, 2017.

First Day of Spring Life Update

As if it wasn’t obvious I have been M.I.A for a good, long time.

Reason being is that my life had nearly, literally, blown up in my face. My house needed major repairs and everything that could go wrong, did. Our bathroom needed to be fixed first because of black mold and the toilet almost falling through the floor had it not been for the structural integrity of the pipes and basement floor boards.

Next our stove went. Thinking it was the heating coil and an easy repair we later found out it was the mother board. That is still out for repair with no idea if it can even be replaced given that it’s an in-wall unit.

Then went our fridge, which wasn’t that old! 6 years AT BEST. So for about two weeks we were living out of coolers filled with what we could save and ice. That was replaced recently for not a cheap price.

Our dishwasher was replaced, that was fun.

My uncle broke his ribs which limited driving and the ability to get our groceries or anything else we needed for about 6 weeks.

I’m not sleeping all that well and I’ve put on so much weight due to about three months of living out of coolers, eating out at restaurants, and fast food because we couldn’t cook for one reason or another. In all of this my Anxiety & Depression has taken a drastic nose dive. I just want to sleep, or hide, or just read books and be left alone. It’s very hard to deal with, as of late. I’m trying to get out of my slump but when everything just continues to fall apart it’s difficult to get out from under and you feel defeated.

So when it rains it pours! I just couldn’t win. The only thing that got me through were my favorite TV shows and books. I received some very special books.

The one I’m reading now is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. She sent me an early, hardcover, signed copy as I asked for an ARC but there weren’t any available at the time except for NETGalley. The reason being as I have a very similar situation with the main character. Not in HOW the situation with her family happened, but in that I have lost a parent at a very early age in life. I talked to the author and told her that I could see myself finding her book to be very therapeutic for myself and I would love to read and review it. I started reading a copy on NG and to my surprise I was sent the hardcopy.
I never received such a precious gift before. I will cherish this book to the end, I can already tell. I’ve already cried a few times, this book will kill me in the end but I think as the MC grows I might, myself, as well. Or gain a new perspective on how to handle my own grief as time goes on.

I’m very excited to finish this book. But also hesitant because I’ve already cried several times. LOL And Im not a crier. LOL.

Other than that life is SLOWLY getting back together. SLOWLY.

I went out with friends this weekend for St Patricks Day to celebrate what Irish Heritage is in my blood line. A few drinks, some cornbeef, friends, Cards Against Humanity, desserts, so on. Now I just wait to go home, as I don’t drive, to get to my OwlCrate which should be arriving today!

But that’s me! How’s YOUR life been lately? Less hectic than mine, I hope.

 

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia Review

The Lovely Reckless
Author: Kami Garcia

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250079195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250079190

Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

——————————————-

“Your own heart will race with each page turn of this heart-stopping star-crossed love story.”

This could not be anymore true! This book is not a boring read by any means, what so ever! Kami Garcia blew me out of the water with The Lovely Reckless. I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up and the action really started to get going.

I mean who doesn’t love a book about street racing? Fast cars and sexy men and women? SIGN ME UP!

The first thing that really spoke out for me was Frankie. She is not a boring character to have in your head as you’re going about her life in the book. Frankie isn’t whining about typical crap. She’s had a very traumatic experience and she’s dealing with it the way a girl her age would. Rebellion, personality change, complete melt downs, and losing who she is while trying to remember it’s okay to be upset.
Having gone through something traumatic myself at a young age I think parents forget that while they just want their kids to get better, they don’t understand we can’t just be okay the next day. Trauma takes time. My experience wasn’t as scary as Frankie’s but today it still scars me as, unlike the MC, I wasn’t able to handle mine any other way than to sit and suffer due to my age. But I connected with Frankie in a lot of ways because I sympathized with her mood swings, her friends and family pushing her to get help and wanting her to be a different person. I got her.

Can we talk about Marco? Holy. Hell. That’s really all I have to say! LOL! Hot Tamale! Yeah. I love him so much! Mostly in the way that, yes, he was.. gorgeously hot, but he was SO FLAWED. You don’t get that often in Y.A. At least, not in the way that every time you turned the page there was more to Marco’s story that was being revealed. It just kept you hooked until you knew Marco inside and out. You knew his story, the characters involved and that surrounded him that some were already in play and others that weren’t. You wanted to be there for him. You wanted him, in more ways than one! *wink!* And you wanted to help him. His family. His friends. There was no part of him that didn’t make you want to be involved with him. Yes, there were even times I wanted to smack the crap out of him. Which is good. Because it means Kami wrote a very good, well rounded, real person. Because no one is perfect. (Which is why I think I hate trashy romances. The men seem to.. perfect. Blegh). Marco is complex and really moves the story along beautifully as the love interest and one of the main components of the plot.

Another fantastic part of this story is the morality. Yes, there are some questionable themes but they’re handled with such maturity that I applaud the author. Whether it was a sexual nature (minimal as an issue, I assure you), or right versus wrong in enthics of doing the wrong things for the right reasons, this book made you think.

The side characters are all well constructed, full of fault, but loyal to the bone people. Lex, Able, Cruz, the Chief, even gross Deacon Kelley, and the parents. There’s so much going on that I could sit here for ages and go on about each character but I think that would spoil a lot of the books side plots. And there’s a few tied in so well that there’s always something going on while not taking your mind off the main going on.

Cruz for the win as BFF, though! 😉

However, I wish daddy dearest had a bit more of a talking to from Tyson but you’ll get there and understand what I mean! Grrr! Stubborn parents!

Anyway, The Lovely Reckless is… so far my favorite 2017 read. It came out Oct 4th of 2016 but I had, only, just been able to get a chance to read it. Which I apologize to Kami since I had been given an arc of it some time ago. I deeply regret waiting because this book rocked my freaking world. I seriously hope we see Marco and Frankie again. Even if it’s just in a tiny side story she drums up.

Please buy a copy if you love street car racing, complex characters, and restarts in life. You won’t regret it, I guarantee it!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Can we talk about how AMAZING Jenny Han and duology (soon to be a trilogy) is?!

If you haven’t read these books I do warn you there MIGHT be spoilers because I may be unable to stop myself from gushing over the incredible read this book is!

 

You’ve been warned!

 

Turn back now!

 

Last chance!

 

You’re about to blow it!!

 

You’re doomed..


 

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader

Synopsis: What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

 

Like many other books before this one I’m not sure why I put reading it off so much. Mainly, I think, it was misconception of what the book was about. For me, contemporaries always seem to be about the same thing. Girl meets boy, boy breaks girls heart, they get back together, possibly sex, big lesson during some other drama, everything works out, and the end.
To me that’s soooooo boring! That and I’m just not into sex being in my books. Don’t think of me as a prude. I have read a few of the Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter books. I have a few favorites, one being the sexy god Acheron! It’s just it tends to get on my nerves if it feels forced or badly written or as if the characters are put in a situation where it shouldn’t have happened right then. Then I feel awkward reading it and don’t want to continue it. If it fades to black, that’s awesome because I feel, unless you’re into erotica, that’s not anything I wanna read.

ANYWAY, that’s usually why I’m not into contemporaries and thus I had a huge misconception of Jenny Han’s book. And Ms Han, I apologize WHOLE HEARTEDLY. I judged a book by it’s cover and title and for my 2017 New Years resolution (one I KNOW I CAN KEEP) I promise never to do that again! I will read a book no matter how it sounds if it even has the slightest hint of interest to me. I won’t let something else turn me off of it. Because, in the past, these books did interest me. I let something dumb turn me off to it.

Moving on!

HOW GREAT ARE THESE BOOKS?! I’m not actually done with book two yet; that review will come as soon as I am! I had to get my thoughts out about this first one, however.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before made me have a lot of thoughts I hadn’t had before with others. I think that’s why Jenny will, and is, become a very strong force in my reading world.
Through Lara Jean, Jenny opened up a lot of my own fears about love, sex, and relationships I’ve struggled with even in my later years in life. On top of that the book also opened my eyes to the fact that change is inevitable. Whether you’re the one changing or the one being left, or feeling like you’re left, behind as everyone else around you is moving forward.

As far as the book itself, I have to say screw everyone that thinks Lara Jean is whiny and juvenile. I’m sorry, did we read the same book as everyone else? I know the mantra is not everyone reads the same book the same way, HOWEVER, Lara Jean IS JUVENILE. She’s, what, Fifteen or Sixteen in the first book? She IS a child. She’s a freaking out child who is flipping out because she’s suddenly discovered the letters she’s kept privately are gone.

Secondly, she’d now the woman of the house as Margot, her eldest sister, is moving to Scotland to attend college. Being the grown up is TERRIFYING. Even with a parent present, knowing you have to take over is the worst feeling in the world. To some it may be liberating and the jump start into responsibility others might need but to most, it can be a scary place.

Lastly, the only other real male influence and relationship reference Lara Jean has had in her life is Josh, (*SPOILER ALERT*) Margot’s, now, ex-boyfriend. Margot and Josh break up so she isn’t doing the Long Distance thing and no one is tied down to each other. Something Margot’s mother drilled into the girls heads and she’s trying to uphold that mentality.

With all of this going on I think Lara Jean is an incredibly well handled female protagonist. There’s even times when I think she’s handling things better than I would. There’s also times I wish I could offer her advice of ‘chill out, you’re making things worse, honey.’ Lol! So her letters are gone, her sister is leaving, her sister and the boyfriend broke up which sort of upsets the dynamic of the family, and in all of this Lara Jean still has to be the one to hold the family together while her dad works long hours at the Hospital.

Now, Peter Kavinsky, ONE of the boys who received a letter, I have to say I -HATED- him, at first. His pretentiousness drove me crazy! Everyone loves him, he’s a jock, he has a pretty boy face, and he has the hottest girlfriend at school. That seems to be a thing every book writer does once, though. They have to have ONE boy in one of their books thats a pretentious jerk that you wanna smack then later lover. Cassandra Clare did it with Jace, David Levithan did it with Dash, I’m sure there’s a million others. We love to hate them.
The one change I did appreciate in Peter that Jenny did was that he came from a wholesome home. Most books I’ve read with a playboy attitude family their home is a wreck. Peter has a little brother, a welcoming and loving mother, a beautiful home, and both sons and mother are close. Which is very important. Despite Peter’s ‘play boy attitude’ he does show that he knows how to take care of a lady. I very much appreciated that side of Peter and it made me grow to like him despite side characters acting, appropriately, to hate him because they don’t know the full personality of him.

I don’t want to go too much further into the main plot of the story because I think it’s just brilliant on it’s own. However, the drama that comes out of mailed letters wasn’t something I saw coming. I was fairly certain things weren’t going to go the way it was meant to go. You just have to READ to figure out what I’m talking about! GO! READ!

Jenny Han wrote this beautiful duology (soon to be a trilogy YAY!) from true perspective of  clique’s, high school nightmares, first true love, first heart breaks, and anything else you could want in a contemporary read.

I’m so excited for the third book, I’m trying my hardest to get the ARC if there is one. Other wise I’ve already pre-ordered the hardcover! LOL! And I have a UK hook up I’m hoping to get the version of since I have the first two in UK versions as well.

If you get the chance PLEASE pick up a copy from Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, you’re local indie or any where else you get your books. I promise you won’t regret the read!

~B

Victories, Nano, & an olde time Review

First, let me say CONGRATULATIONS TO MY HOME TOWN CUBBIES BRINGING HOME THE WORLD SERIES AFTER 108 YEARS! It’s about freakin’ time, boys! Let’s keep it going and do it again! Take a play from the Blackhawks play book!

Second, it’s November which means NanoWrimo time is here again. Yes, I have a book in mind. Or, at least, a start of one. Characters are playing around in the ol’ brain. Will I complete it? Hardly. Will I give it a huge shot? Hopefully, provided my family doesn’t.. bother me or embarrass me or something of the distraction sort that causes myself to tank. That’s not even Anxiety talking! It’s just computer location and I have a hard time expressing myself, even in written word, with someone around. Especially if they’re walking behind me at constant paces or constantly asking me ‘What are you doing?’. I would tell you if I wanted you to know.

So we’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck, will you? 

That being said and novel writing month rearing it’s ugly head it’s because of Nano that reminds me of my favorite books. One series sticking out the most that I never got a chance to review as I read them before I even realized there was a book reviewing world. While their books and movies have long come to a close their story continually brings me back to them even in my worst of times. I may not read their books or watch their movies constantly like crazed fans I know but pictures or mentions, tattoos or role play I do with a friend online still brings me great joy. In fact, I have many a book tattoo based on this series planned whenever I can figure out my life and working plans. 

The series I brag about is The Twilight Saga. 

*waits for inevitable whiny groans*

Yes, I know most don’t enjoy it and would like this saga to go away into the darkness they think it deserves. No, I’m not one of those delusional types that doesn’t realize that YES, IT HAS IT’S ISSUES. I’m a grown woman. Bedroom stalking is weird, I’m aware, among other things. Let me cut in and remind you, it’s a paranormal, NOT REAL series. However, as a reader and reviewer, hear me out and let me get through this before you judge MY reasoning for enjoying this series so much. Even for as old as I am now (31, I was in my early 20s when I started it.)

Book: Twilight
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance, paranormal
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication date: October 5, 2005

Synopsis: Isabella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.

I first saw the first book in my sisters elementary Scholastic Book Week sales magazine. The cover drew me in and the synopsis caught me last. I thought it was going to be a quick read so while I had some baby sitting money I went to Borders (RIP *Tear*) and grabbed the first book. I had no idea what the Twilight Saga was or how large each book from the first-on was going to be. I was SURPRISED at how large Twilight was.
I was equally surprised I fell in love with it as immediately as I did, let alone that I finished it in three days. That’s a record for me. I never read anything but text books in high school. I HATED reading as a kid. I just didn’t have the imagination for it. Twilight jump kicked my book -OBSESSION-. 

Given where I live now I had no other thing to do BUT read. If I wanted entertainment I had to make my own and Twilight started an obsession I didn’t know I had with in me.

Twilight embodied something so important for me. It was so different unlike anything I had read before. The situation of the vampires and how they lived, their lore with the vampire overlords The Volturi, their eating habits, their skin etc. So much was so different that I knew Twilight was a series I needed in my life. 

What first drew me in was the paranormal aspect. I was born and raised by a hair brained mother, as Bella called Renee, but in a very different way. My mother loved vampires, wizards, dragons, and anything else paranormal. So when she died in 1999 of cancer and I was finally able to… process what had happened I realized I didn’t really have much of her to hold on to at all. No specific item or anything of that keep sake sort. It wasn’t until I found Twilight that it struck me I had even lost any interest for anything paranormal. And I LOVED Vampires. She raised me on them. I used to watch Dark Shadows as a kid for fun!
So when Twilight came about and I picked up the first book only to swallow it in three days the next thing I know I’m picking up New Moon. But then I notice I’m also reading Moon Called by Patricia Briggs which is mainly an upfront Werewolf series. I’m searching for books left and right of all paranormal kinds. It was as if Twilight had woken me up and reconnected me with my mother again. I had that shared connection with her again. It started to piece me back together in the depression and anxiety that, while I still suffer greatly, was the darkest hole I had ever been in my life. I was no longer that person. Twilight made me feel better. 

The next pull of the Twilight saga wasn’t so much, for me, the epic romance itself. It’s just that she handled the romance in a way that meant a lot to me and my morals and still does ten years later. While contemporary reads are meant to take the realistic and hormonal situations and portray them as they often play out in real life, Stephenie eloquently handled that man/woman desire until the Bella and Edward were married in book four (Is that really a spoiler now? lol). This all happening in one human and one heightened sense, vampire, blood lusty way. The way she handled the heavy handed romance, which I’ve been burned on before by being over baring in other books, was just elegance. True first time feelings. Experiences. Despite the bruising vampire strength, of course! LOL! Stephenie did something that was very important to me in my younger years. It gave me a sense that waiting for the right person was alright. Being who I am and what my values were was completely okay. 

New Moon really stuck with me. The biggest part being when Edward left Bella and the heart break felt like she was being ripped apart into a million pieces. While, in the real world, it’s not healthy to wallow over a boy in such a deep depression like that both in book and movie these scenes resonated with me because I’ve been there. I’ve felt a love that deep for 6 years and it was pulled out from under me over a holiday and it left a deep scar. He didn’t come back like Edward did but I know that pain of wanting to scream over nightmares, lay in bed, sob, not go to school or out. New Moon was a powerful book for me and, surprisingly, it helped piece me back together because it was nice to know a character could feel what I felt and then take me on a journey I needed to go on.

Eclipse was my favorite book but then upon movie releases then re-read I’ve determined Breaking Dawn is my favorite now! 😉

Of course the action sequences were amazingly fun! The fact that the problems never ended but all made sense. Between the trio of the nomads, or the humans having to stay in the dark, the vampire army making their way from Seattle to Forks, then finally the wolves becoming truly involved as the main enemy. Having to cross that line and possibly take one humans life to save the rest of the town. Even the chance of having to kill an infant! An innocent, nearly. There were so many twists and turns over who the next enemy could be it was fun to see where the story took you. 

I got into the saga late but I jumped into the bandwagon like I had always been there. 

  • I did the 5 movie marathon at AMC for the premiere of BD pt2 to be one of the firsts to see it. 
  • I have all the sound tracks.
  • The Illustrated Guides.
  • Name the merchandise I probably have it.
  • Friends got me a signed Eclipse book from Forever Twilight in Forks 2015.
  • Multiple copies of the books (both hardcover and paperback) and Life & Death: Twilight Reimagined.
  • Multiple copies of the movies including the FOREVER bluray dvd set & the extended set.
  • Shirts.
  • Hoodies.
  • Posters.
  • Postcards from different movie locations.

My love for this series is insane but I believe Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga saved my life. I was spiraling and Twilight revitalized me and gave me something to look forward to. It branched my love for books. My collection of books and fandoms is.. enormous now.

If I could talk to Stephenie Meyer once I’d love to just tell her thank you. Let her know what she did for me despite her being finished with Vampires. That I’m not one of those over obsessed (and frankly SCARY) fans but I’m a fan of hers because she did something extraordinary for me. 

I’ve wanted to do a review of the Twilight Saga and it’s meaning to me since the beginning of time. It’s only been now that I’ve been able to think about how to put down words of the emotions I’ve felt. Chances are I might add to this later as I’m sure I’m missing things.

I hope, one day, I can write something as amazing as she, Suzanne Collins, Leigh Bardugo, Garth Nix, and so on where I bring joy with my written word.

 

(C) to the person whose pic I used above.

Disgusted

I know I’ve been MIA. Life has just been keeping me sort of.. In the dumps and I have’t been feeling much like.. writing or blogging. I haven’t updated my Bookstagram (instagram) much either, despite the fact I’ve gotten SOOOO many books in thanks to #BooksforTrade & #ArcsforTrade on Twitter!

What brings me back today is something I am.. beyond disgusted about. Floored even. Raging, maybe?

I love Halloween, I really do. Even when my Anxiety tells me to turn and run away I try to fight it as much as possible. I love Cosplay/costumes and dressing up. It’s fun! You get to be someone else! You get to hang out with friends especially if they throw parties!

But what I saw today threw a wrench in my gut. Through a third party seller a certain retailer store was selling Asylum Straight Jackets, Suicide Scar and Razor Blade make up kits, Schizophrenia jump suits, and Anorexia dresses as COSTUMES.. They were selling MENTAL ILLNESS COSTUMES.

WHO..

DOES..

THAT!?

Even if the main retailer wasn’t responsible who in their right mind would think this was okay?! And why would the models be okay with it?! MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT A COSTUME!! So needless to say I sent a VERY strongly worded letter to the retailer begging them to take them down. The community of Twitter was successful in getting the retailer to take it down and the retailer asks us to keep an eye out and send links their way via their official FB page.

But still.. To stigmatize mental illness as a costume.. just made me sick to my stomach. WHO DOES THAT!? Halloween is about fun. I get it but making a mental illness a costume isn’t fun. It’s making fun of someones sickness and that’s just.. not cool. That isn’t something that’s okay.

I will be trying to post more. Maybe I’ll update once more after I get over my revulsion.

How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

Publication date: 07/26/16

Publisher: Knopf/Random House

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal, Supernatural, YA Fantast, YA Paranormal

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.


 

There are.. no words to describe the feelings that overwhelmed me when I finished this book.

How To Hang A Witch is both a history lesson and paranormal joy ride. Adriana Mather takes her real life family history and puts such a spin on things I was sucked in by the first few pages.

The first feeling I had while reading this book was that I HAVE to visit Salem, Massachusetts some day. Not only to find out more about the Mathers, see the sights, but to bring this book with me and take pictures for Adriana as a mini book tour.

Secondly, I didn’t want this book to end. It wasn’t your typical.. YA. To me, anyway. This read had all the perfect parts for my perfect read.

-The right, light, but well timed romance.

-Paranormal of the right intensity.

-Twists I had NO IDEA were coming.

-Cheeky boys with the correct type of teenage attitude that weren’t straight out jerks.

-An enemy(s) and plot of believability.

HTHAW is just the perfect example of how to write and debut as a new author. I can not stress how much I will enjoy supporting Adriana from here on out.

Lastly, when I finished reading I was filled with dread. Left with this… hole in my chest. Not because the book left me unsatisfied, no, but because the read was over! This was one of the few times I felt as if I lost some very good friends. As if the characters actually said goodbye to me. Yes, of course, I know I can re-read the book once more to bring them back but I think right this moment I may need time to get over my book hang over.

Please, if you get a chance, pick up How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather. It is very much worth your time. You will not be disappointed.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

If there was ever a book about Mental Health that was needed to read, Under Rose-Tainted Skies is it. I’m beyond blessed to have been granted an ARC. With how much this book meant to me and how kind and.. remarkable the Author is I will be supporting her and her writing from now on. There’s just no way I can’t.

As a suffering person of Anxiety and Depression for so long I’m only just exploring books that tap into the mental health realm. Upon finding URTS I don’t think I could have started with something better.

Synopsis: Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

 

Every person who reads this book WILL find themselves in Norah and/or Luke. There just isn’t a way around it. I know that is a common thing to say about main characters but when a contemporary comes along and really digs under your skin poking at very true vulnerabilities it’s very hard not to look at yourself and wonder if what’s being said on the page isn’t true about yourself. More than once I had to stop reading the book because as Norah explores her own mind in her many, MANY break downs, (because let’s face it, OCD and Agoraphobia is going to weigh and you -will- freak out now and again) I would reflect on my own anxiety and how easy it is lose yourself and only make your attacks worse.
       However, with the adults in Norah’s life and they truly give some very hard core advice on how to help her over come obstacles. Especially when it came to boys. Luke is a charmer. He’s funny, cute, and gets her but he has his own .. challenges, as well. Does it bring them together? In what ways?
You’ll have to read!
When I was reading URTS it felt more like a friend was talking to me. Like Louise was helping me through my own problems. Or, as if, she wrote this book FOR ME. Norah has a one parent home. Issues with boys and intimacy. She feels better off alone, but hates it at the same time. Most of all -HATES- change. It felt like Louise watched my life and just.. wrote about -ME-. I know hundreds of others will feel the same way. It felt like Louise was making friends with me, as well. Which is strange to say, I know, but that she was reaching out a hand to say ‘It’s okay to be weird and have problems. You’re still a person.”
So thank you, Louise Gornall. This book is something.. I will never forget.
I won’t go into the ending because, honestly, the whole book is a treasure and I will be reading it over and over again. I found it healing and something I will purchase in ALL forms.
US release date is: January 3rd, 2017.
I strongly encourage everyone to order a copy. You won’t be disappointed.