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!!!

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!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, A Review

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Wow.

I reread The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern around Christmas, and once again it just blew me away. Then I (Finally) had THIS book in my hands. Hello, The Starless Sea, I have been waiting on you sense 2011. And I was not let down!

The magic is back, this lyrical prose that Morgenstern uses in her storytelling overpowered me again and left me weak for more. I want more of her beautiful words. These images she creates are majestic and so enthralling that I really felt this book was describing one of my dreamscapes.

This is a book about books. About seeking and about finding. Join Zachary Ezra Rawlins as he leaves the safety of school and libraries, to travel into Manhattan and begin to live out his own personal story. There are many doors to be opened in life, and there are some to close forever. But Zachary Ezra Rawlins is in good company (especially the cats and cocoa and cupcakes).

I did not want this book to end.  Which is sadly rare for me. Please, Erin Morgenstern, do not make me wait so long for another taste. Your writing creates poetic pictures that inspire me to really see the world around me, so I can maybe… Just maybe, catch glimpses of magic.

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!

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 Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, A Review

Some things I have learned while reading this series: Do not bargain lightly. Always look deeper than first appearances. And, trust your heart.

Feyre is such a dynamic character. She turns into a completely new person by the end of this series. The scared girl who was willing to settle for a life of quiet and safety is no more. She makes her own choices now and she chooses to love her mate unconditionally while still having her own control over her life, her independence.

Wow, this book was a great ending to a great series. I went through every emotion possible by the end of ACOWAR. Maas did not hold back at all. This author can make me feel exactly what the characters are feeling, even if that means I have to pretend my eyes are watering really bad because I’m reading this book around other people. (I swear, y’all, something got in my eye!)

If you haven’t read this series, I say… READ IT NOW!! I am not going into detail about what happened in the books because its better if you find out on your own. All I will say is that it is full to brimming with serious magic and a one of a kind love story that had my heart racing many a time!

Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!