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.

“Violently in love” with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Review

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are the parents of five girls that have grown into their different stages of adulthood. Mrs. Bennet sees her role in life as a matchmaker, especially considering her eldest and most beautiful daughter, Jane. When Mr. Bingly and company comes to town, the gossip begins and Jane and Bingly are at the center of it. However, this is not their story. Mr. Darcy, a friend of Bingly’s, creates quite a stir with his prideful nature. Even going so far as to comment on our Heroine, Elizabeth, as not being a particular beauty (which of course she overhears and this creates the start to one of the greatest romances ever written)

So this story begins with characters literally acting out the title, with pride and prejudice. You see, the Bennet family is not known for greatness, quality or for even being financially well off as many of the other characters, Darcy and Bingly included, are. Mrs. Bennet is a tad irrational and possibly a bit excitable and talks about things she really doesn’t quite have all the knowledge of to be a good judge. And then… Then.. There’s Lydia, the youngest Bennet sister at age sixteen who makes a habit of disgracefully flirting with the military men in the area… And … Well… She’s just not that bright? Can I say that? Yeah, I can. This young woman does not exhibit good decision making skills in the least. And all of this plus more combined, makes for a lot of judgement against the Bennet family.

So all these characters with all their differences are mixed together almost at once in the beginning and this creates an incredibly entertaining combination resulting in many amazing conversations. I think that’s what I loved about this book so much, just reading the way the characters conversed with each other. They are great at civilly condemning one another, its so well said that even their rude comments can seem like a form of flattery.

I think everyone should read this book at least once, or just give it a try. Jane Austen was ahead of her time. This is a story that if put in today’s world, would seem incredibly relevant.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!!

Calamity, Book Three of the Reckoners, A Review

After the wild ending of the second book, Firefight, David Charleston finds himself being the leader of the group he has always held in such high esteem, the Reckoners. In this last book of the series, David and company make it to Ildithia, former Atlanta, which has a very surreal manner of maintaining itself under Epic rule.

David still believes that an Epic can return from the darkness and evil that is caused by embracing their powers. He wants to save them, especially one high Epic in particular. This somewhat creates a moral saying that no matter how bad a person can get, they can always come back if given the right opportunities.

I loved this action packed ending to a great series. I also loved that the bad metaphors continued throughout the book and kept me smiling. Brandon Sanderson is a pro at creating intense stories and situations, but still having sentimental elements that I felt really connected me to the characters.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

Firefight, Book Two of The Reckoners, A Review

The first book took place in what used to be Chicago, now known as Newcago. However, in the sequel, Firefight, David gets to discover a new city and learn about a different way of life in what is left of NYC, also known as New Babylon or Babilar.

In New Babylon, David (also known as Steelslayer), has the opportunity to meet a new group of Reckoners and learn how they cope with their local Epics. He also gets to see how a different population survives. The New Babylonians are incredibly laid back and follow the belief that they should party while they can.

David is also still very much in love with Megan and its really interesting to watch that develop throughout this sequel. He still, unfortunately, really struggles with his metaphors and similes. Often creating such a bad allusion that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

This book had me constantly questioning who I could trust. Are the Epics all bad? Or is there still a chance to turn them around and back into decent human beings? I really liked this book better than the first of the series, Steelheart. Firefight simply is more interesting and seems to be more mature in its content. This series is evolving into something truly unique and yet still has that awesome Brandon Sanderson style.

I highly recommend this series! Next up is Calamity, the third and final book of The Reckoners Trilogy. Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!

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.

Steelheart, Book One of the Reckoners, by Brandon Sanderson, A Review

David Charleston loses his father at a young age when one of the most powerful Epics attacks the city of Chicago. Chicago becomes Newcago, but the name is not the only change. Most of the city is changed to steel by its tyrannical ruler, Steelheart, who uses other Epics powers to also keep the city in constant night and full of fear.

Later, at age 18, David finds his chance to become one of The Reckoners, an underground group of talented people that fight against the Epics. This finally gives him the opportunity he’s been dreaming of for the past 10 years, to kill Steelheart. However, David learns so much in this process, perhaps even that friendship and love are more important than vengeance.

This was such a fun book to read and I can’t wait to continue my Reckoners journey with Firefight. Steelheart is full of non-stop action and plot twists that made this an exciting page-turner.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!