All Systems Red by Martha Wells, A Review

Okay, I am not sure that what I am about to say is 100% true but I think it is: This is the best book I have read all year. This may even be the beginning of a beautiful (new to me) book series relationship because I believe this is going to have to fit into my most beloved series category. Of all time. I relate to Murderbot so much that I feel like Martha Wells must somehow know me and has been watching me secretly. I, also, like to wear my armour, especially around humans. I wish I had an opaque helmet to hide my facial expressions behind too but for right now the symbolic idea of armour will have to do for me. I love this so much, it made me feel less alone and like someone understands… a priceless and lovely tale! I highly recommend this!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Bloodlines Book 4, A Review

Richelle Mead!!! What have you done to me? I am in the big feels, the deep feelings of feels so much right now!! ADRIAN!! The Center will hold! I promise! Right? RIGHT??!!!

Wow, really though, I’m a mess after this book! Much of my “mess” feeling is because this book was not only told from Sydney’s POV but Adrian’s too. Technically, Sydney is still working with the Alchemists, although her eyes are now opened to their schemes. Her life has taken a new direction, a direction away from the hardcore rules and rigid beliefs of the Alchemists. Things are definitely complicated, especially with her little sister working with her now.

One thing that really blew my mind while reading this was the direction Mead took with Adrian and his use of Spirit and connecting it to mental health, particularly bipolar disorder. This was done so well. It is so similar to actual conditions that many people go through on a daily basis, medicated or not. I really respect this wise attention to these significant details.

I love this series! I highly recommend it! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi, A Review

I am having a difficult time figuring out exactly how this book made me feel. I am going through a tough time and dealing with a lot of anxiety right now and reading is a wonderful way to help me get through these feelings. However, I feel like it took me way too long to get through this book. I honestly cannot decide if that is the books fault or my own.

While reading this sequel to Children of Blood and Bone, I found myself often halting between the brief chapters lost in thought but not thoughts about the book, just the kind of random way I lose concentration and my mind wanders. The book seems to be made to be read quickly with chapters only a few pages long and very short paragraphs with fast-paced dialogue. And yet it took me three days to get through this which doesn’t seem right to me, but like I said, I have no idea if it is the book or my personal distractions that caused this.

I can say, that by the end of this sequel, I was feeling every emotion possible. Zelie and Amari brought magic back at great personal cost to themselves at the end of the first book, and now they are facing war in their beloved land and decisions that will effect them for the rest of their lives. These strong, young women and their companions must find the strength within themselves to not only face this fight but overcome inner struggles of who they truly are and how their actions will change their very souls. What is the right thing to do and what will they give up to win?

This definitely is a must read. The ending… WOW. Tomi Adeyemi is not messing around about keeping readers on the edge of their seats until book three!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, A Review

What a great beginning to this series! I am very pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book!

Lissa and Rose are best friends, as close as humanly possible, and more because they are not exactly human. Lissa is a Moroi, basically a Vampire. But dont confuse her with a Strigoi, its these kinds of Vampires that are dangerous. Rose, however, is a Dhampir, and in this case it means she is Lissa’s Guardian, her protector. Lissa has complete trust in Rose, so much so that they have a special bond few others have: Rose can tune into Lissa and feel her emotions. She can even tune into Lissa to see from her perspective and know exactly what’s happening to her.

After they both survived the car crash responsible for the deaths of Lissa’s parents and brother, Andre, let’s just say, their lives got complicated and they ran away from the Academy hoping to feel safe. A lot more about why they ran away is covered in the book but I dont want to spoil it for anyone by going into details, suffice it to say that two years later they were caught and returned to the Academy.

They are both 17 at this point, and finishing up their time at school. It was a little overwhelming for me how accurately the author describes a high school like atmosphere. The way the rumor mill worked and particularly what the rumors were about, was dead on exactly true to what people talked about in my school, which is who is doing what with who! I’m sure I dont need to elaborate on that.

This author did a great job of discussing mental health, in my opinion. I thought she described cutting in such an easy to understand way, “to let IT out”. “It” in this context being the feelings, the emotions, to survive the pain inside of her head this is what Lissa did. I would like to add, that Rose assisted her in getting help with this. It’s just awesome to even breach this subject, to create awareness that there is help and also to create understanding which leads to weakening the stigma against mental illness, in this case Depression.

I recommend this for curling up in bed, rainy day, not feeling good maybe, reading. Lol. Well, I recommend it for anytime reading as well. Let’s just say, I recommend it, and leave it at that.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Filling the Emptiness

For myself, so much of depression is feeling a sense of emptiness, as if there is a literal void inside of me. I picture it as a dark space that is so black it sucks in any light that tries to reach inside and turns that light to nothing. Depression isnt always about actually feeling certain emotions, like sadness for example. Sometimes it is lacking the emotions, lacking the ability to care, to give a damn, that is what really becomes a struggle.

I have been working with my therapist on different ideas to cope with depression. One of the main ones is exercise. This isnt a new idea for anyone that is struggling. It is well known that exercise increases endorphins and makes body and mind feel better. However, this kind of backfired for me. I walked almost everyday for 3 weeks for about 30 minutes at a time, but on the end of the third week I broke my ankle! I was dumbfounded, I mean who breaks their ankle by simply walking and tripping over their own feet? Me, this girl. Now its months later and I’m mostly healed, so I’m doing yoga. Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. I’m enjoying it, but seriously, I’m waiting to see how I’m going to break something else.

I also began doing a gratitude journal. I love journaling and I keep one by me at all times so this isnt a stretch. What I do is when I am feeling down, or bored or lonely, I write down 5 things I’m grateful for. But the rule is that they have to be different things each time. I cant just say the same 5 things over and over. And, surprisingly, this can be hard sometimes. I really have to think about new things and what I appreciate. But, honestly, it works great for getting my head to start thinking in a more positive way, or at least stop the negative thought processes that hound me sometimes.

Today I’m doing pretty well. I’m feeling content with where I’m at right now. At least at this exact moment. Now, an hour from now, I could be feeling completely different. I’m hoping not, though.

One step at a time.

One of THOSE days…

Some days are just hard. Some days everything seems so much more difficult than it should. Common chores are just too much and unwanted distractions and interruptions seem like personal attacks on me.

I really thought I was getting out of that depression slump I’ve been in. I thought things were getting better and they were. My mood was improved and those little daily annoyances were easier to handle. However, the past two days my level of aggravation and depression has been escalating. Honestly, its been escalating quite rapidly. And that makes me feel bad for the people who love and support me because I’m just not fun to be around at these times.

I don’t know if the families and support systems of people living with bipolar, depression or any mood disorder understands the guilt that goes along with it. I feel so much guilt for not being always so happy and serene and easy to get along with. I also feel deep, deep remorseful shame for the times I lash out. And honestly, I don’t know how to apologize anymore. What do simple words like, “I’m sorry” mean when I cannot promise that I will never be in such an aggravated state again? Its not enough.

I know this is an overused metaphor, but I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster. I’m going up and up and I finally reach the top but only to plummet again.

I hope anyone else who is going through this has some good ways to cope. I read and sometimes do guided meditation. However, I have to sometimes force myself to even try.

Well, I’m trying today. Just one second at a time.

On getting to therapy…

So, yeah, I made it to therapy on Thursday, January 9, 2020. I made it. However, I did not shower before I left my house and honestly, I wasn’t sure that I was even going to leave my house until I was in my car pulling out of the driveway.

A small step leads to another small step which leads to big leaps. A friend told me that. I may not have showered and dressed nicely for therapy but I did clean up and put on fresh clothes. “Got dressed today: check!” My therapist is amazing and she doesn’t judge me for this. She agrees that when my depression is so so bad, like it is now, that just leaving the house and getting to therapy is amazing.

I told her, my therapist, that next week I’m expecting her to pay me for coming. Definitely joking, but I feel like anyone going through such severe depression for any reason should get awards for any and all small accomplishments. For example, I put my coffee mug in the dishwasher and that really took effort! I know that’s terrible to admit, but geez, the dishes do not matter to me at all right now. My priority at this moment is to just simply get through today.

So, I’m saying to anyone who may also be going through depression for any reason… “A small step will lead to another small step, which will lead to big leaps.” If your just going to stay in bed today, try doing some stretches and drink some water. These little things can help your body feel better. And if your tackling anything outside of your den of safety, you’ll be okay. It will be okay.

A Court of Mist and Fury by an author that knows how to really get under my skin, Sarah J. Maas… A brief and, more than likely, crappy review

So, okay! Yes… I literally just finished reading this sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I need to just say what’s on my mind as quickly as possible because I think my brain will explode if I don’t begin the third book in the series immediately.

Wow, this is the longest book in the trilogy and I honestly love it so much more than ACOTAR. I did not realize that what happened during the whole of this book was what I really wanted. I never would have guessed it. But I adored every second, even if I was just squirming in my seat wishing certain things would happen faster.

But… But.. The ending!!! Maas, I have no idea if I can be friends with you because you have a habit of making me believe in wonderful, perfect happy things… Just to rip it all away and set my world on fire so that I have to watch all that I love be destroyed and burn to the ground!!!

But!! Yes, there is a BUT!! All hope is not lost! So, I must be grateful. I’m hurrying, so I’m going to end here by saying that: Sarah J. Maas, I’m expecting some good stuff in this last book, A Court of Wings and Ruin… I have a feeling that once again I will be surprised, dismayed, possibly heartbroken but ultimately satisfied ….

Now I’m going to stay up and read the last book all night. Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

A Beginning…

Thank you for visiting my first Blog Post.

Over the past year, my relationship with my mother has grown immensely. This is not only because of being able to spend more time together but also because of the good and bad circumstances we have been experiencing together.

My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in February of 2019. The following April, mom underwent a successful Lumpectomy on her right Breast and she was prepared to continue work as a Human Resources Manager while undergoing Radiation. However, plans changed.

Mom found out in the following week that her recurrency score came back high and she would have to go through chemotherapy to make sure her cancer did not return. This was unexpected and due to the fact that mom does not have a Spleen, this changed everything about mom’s life. Mom’s doctor made it clear that this would not only be a very difficult time for mom but that she would not be able to continue to work mainly because her risk for infection would be so high.

Mom is turning 62 this year and was able to take a leave of absence from work until she could start Unemployment. Although this worked out so well, it still left mom very depressed.

At this point, we have gotten through the hardest of times together and we will soon be celebrating mom’s last chemotherapy treatment on August the 26th. As far as we know, mom will be starting radiation about 6 weeks after that date.

These past months have not just been about mom going through chemotherapy, although that has been a major struggle. I have been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with severe depression and anxiety since the age of 26. I am now 35. This time period mom and I have been spending together has not only given us an opportunity to create a better relationship with each other in general, but has given me the opportunity to learn so much about my strengths and weaknesses and how helping another person, my mom, only makes me feel stronger.

We have been able to relate on so many issues together, especially depression. We may have depression for different reasons, but there are so many similarities. This is not something that made either of us weaker but instead, through shared feelings, has made us so much stronger.

This blog is not going to be specifically about Cancer, Chemotherapy or Mental Illness, although I will surely touch on these topics frequently. What I really want to talk about is our shared love of reading and the ways we relate to one another as only a mother and daughter can. Honestly, when mom started this journey, I told her we were going to laugh our way through this, and that is what we have done.

I hope you find the time to follow my blog and get to know us. I also hope I will be able to recommend some great books along the way. Right now, mom is reading one of my favorites, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, while I am journeying through Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere. I have so far been able to read Mistborn, Warbreaker, and The Way of Kings, and am currently reading Elantris before I go farther with Words of Radiance in his Stormlight Archives. The fantasy genre is my favorite, especially when times get a little tough and I need a break from reality. I feel like Brandon Sanderson is the perfect author for me right now because he has a way of keeping everything positive.

Thank you for reading and please keep up with us so I can share my mom’s thoughts on her current read and also my thoughts on Elantris.