End of The Month Wrap Up

Wow, where has this month gone? Life goes far too fast when one is a grown-up. 😦

This month I was able to read 27 books! Thanks to the Eugene Public Library, which is such an awesome place to go. I spend way too much time there some days. Here are just a few from my list.  I’ll catch up on reviews someday, I promise. 😀

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As far as writing goes it’s been a rough month. I’ve been working on a lot little projects. The beginnings of stories, a story about a Siren, one about a scientist into the future, a play about a woman trapped in a confusing marriage.  Here’s a snippet from my siren story.

I had been dreaming of the water for a week now. I told my mother of it but she only hushed me saying,
“We live in a fishing village, what do you expect?”
But it wasn’t the normal sort of dream, not a recurring theme save that the water called to me. In one dream I was swimming for hours, but I was in the body of large whale. The water was life brushing along my skin, I could feel the gentle push of the waves in my gut and I sang. Alongside me swam other whales, and I could hear them singing as well. In another dream I was a seagull, flying along the coast. The sky was misty, and the salty sea air crashed through my lungs and made me giddy. With a cry of joy I turned three loops in the air and then landed in my nest. There in the rocks other seagulls sat in their cozy nests, when I arrived they looked up and I immediately felt I was home.

And that is all from me. How was your month? What writing did you get done? Any book recommendations for February?

 

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Glitter By Aprilynne Pike

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Goodreads Synopsis: Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

This book was a total surprise. I admit I took one look at the cover and grabbed it. But it was so worth the read!

Glitter takes place in the palace of Versailles. Our main character is the Queen to be, and she wants more than anything to get out of the palace. And she will quite literally do anything to leave. I loved her. Danica is sympathetic, but also morally gray character, something you don’t see often (or enough!) in YA.  Danica is being forced to marry the king, and in order to raise the money she needs to leave she starts selling drugs. Despite this I couldn’t help applauding her efforts, because she was actually doing something. I’m so tired of YA heroes and heroines standing by and not acting because they don’t want to do something ”bad”. All the while complaining as friend and family die because of their stupidity.

Danica sees an opportunity and takes it, and while some have complained this makes her selfish, I say this makes her realistic. Her choices also aren’t without consequence, and that’s something she sees and has to deal with. Which was good character development. There is of course a love interest, which was fine. I thought his character was okay, but I didn’t really ship Danica with him. I would have preferred her not falling in love with anyone.

The world of Glitter is a vibrant one, though at times not the most developed. There were things that I didn’t understand. But overall I thought the characters made up for it. Also the ending has quite a twist!  It definitely has me longing for the second book.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. Anyone else read this book? Strangely I’ve not seen any other reviews of it going around in the blogging world.

My Sister Rosa By Justine Larbalestier

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Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he’s also certain that she’s a diagnosable psychopath—clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he’s the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the violence she’s capable of.

Their parents, whose business takes the family from place to place, brush off the warning signs as Rosa’s “acting out.” Now that they have moved again—from Bangkok to New York City—their new hometown provides far too many opportunities for Rosa to play her increasingly complex and disturbing games. Alone, Che must balance his desire to protect Rosa from the world with the desperate need to protect the world from her.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

I’m not usually a big fan of scary books, or movies or anything really. But I heard this was a good book and I saw it at the library the other day and decided to get it.

I was massively disappointed. My Sister Rosa is not scary at all, it is a times slightly disturbing, but it never got to a point where I was afraid to read it at night. The character of Rosa is bland for a psychopath. She talks about killings things, but the closest she gets is making her friends do a few things.

The main character Che is a pretty good character, I liked the story being told from his POV but I also was confused by things. SPOILER At the end of the book we find out that Che’s brain is also wired like a psychopath’s, but we are never given a good reason as to why he’s not like his sister. END SPOILER.  And while his development as a person who does everything his parents say, to being more of a ”normal teenager” is interesting, it also made the whole book feel more normal.

I had several problems with the other characters. For one the parents are typical YA parents, never noticing what’s going on and completely ignoring the child whose trying to tell them. It comes to light latter why the dad is doing this, but I still felt that the mom was insufferably annoying.

I also disliked Che’s girlfriend Sid. She was annoying and wishy-washy. She was also christian and spend a lot of her time trying to convert both Che and his sister, which I just thought was unnecessary.

Overall I thought the book was a waste of time. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads.

Going On Anxiety Medication

A week and a half ago in my last counseling appointment my councilor brought up the idea of looking into anti-anxiety medication.Grant could feel me tense up and shut down. He touched my arm and said gently,

“That idea scares you doesn’t it?

And I realized he was right. This really and truly scared me down to my core. And I had to stop and ask myself why? Why does it matter to me that much?

The answer turned out to be complicated at first but once I looked at it I realized there were two main worries I had. At the core of the issue I was scared of this idea because a large part of me felt this meant I was very very ill. It’s one thing to be anxious, and to go to counseling and fix things. It’s another thing to take medication.  Doesn’t that mean that I’m beyond just a normal fix? Doesn’t that mean there’s something terribly wrong with me?

The answer to that is of course no. Taking a form of medication doesn’t somehow cross the line between kinda needing help, to really needing help.  Medication is just another tool that I can use to get better.

The other thing that scared me about this was the thought that by taking medication I was somehow lazy or not doing my best to get better. Medication seemed like the easy way out, the way out for people who have a hard time sticking with the more difficult road.
This is also a wrong assumption. I’m not somehow less than, or lazy. I’m working every day (though some days are easier than others) to get better. And again medication is just another tool for me on my journey to be less anxious.

Grant has been so much help to me this past week and half. He’s helped me break down my fear and realize why it’s not true, and where there might be some valid points. My mom has also been a big help in researching all the different methods to help my anxiety go down.
I’ve decided now that I would like to look into a low form of anxiety medication, and that I will also be looking into my hormone levels and go from there.  I’m not expecting my anxiety to be cured automatically. I just need to keep trying and see what works for me.

If anyone else has anxiety I’d love to hear about what works for you! Also if you have anxiety and you just need someone to listen to you, I’m here and always willing to listen.

 

 

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

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Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?
Enter Lisa. Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

I guess I’ll start off by saying this is my first 4 star book of the new year!

I decided to read this book because I saw that it had a main character who was both gay and had anxiety. Or to be more correct he has agoraphobia. And in the theme of reading more diverse books I quickly found it at my library.

Highly Illogical Behavior is a multiple point of view book, switching between Sol and Lisa. Both POV’s were written well and I actually didn’t mind the switching.

Sol’s character is really well written. His problems with agoraphobia were written well, and I really appreciated that. I only have anxiety, but I could easily imagine being in his shoes throughout the book. I also liked it that it was hard for him to work on his fears, and even by the end of the story he isn’t 100% better. But he’s simply in a good place, and he’s feels proud of what he’s done so far.

Lisa’s character was interesting. She could have easily been someone that I hated as she’s using and manipulating Sol in the beginning of the story. But as you learn more about her you understand why she’s doing what she’s doing, though you don’t condone it at all. She also learns that she’s not doing the right thing, and realization was realistic.

The friendship between the three teens is interesting. They have their quirks, and they work well as a team. Sol’s love of star trek and board games was so awesome, and basically he’s just the best character ever.  Lisa, who doesn’t really listen well, definitely makes steps towards growing. And although there were times when her boyfriend Clark felt a little underwritten, and I was never really sure why he was with Lisa, I loved how he became friends with Sol.

Overall I felt like the story was fairly well paced, I loved the characters and found that it was a fairly easy read.  I highly recommend this book.

Commodore Hornblower By C.S. Forester

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Goodreads Synopsis: 1812 and the fate of Europe lies in the hands of newly appointed Commodore Hornblower . . .Dispatched to northern waters to protect Britain’s Baltic interests, Horatio Hornblower must halt the advance of Napoleon’s empire into Sweden and Russia. But first he must battle the terrible Baltic weather: fog, snow and icebound waterways; overcome Russian political and commercial intrigues; avoid the seductive charms of royalty as well as the deadly reach of assassins in the imperial palace; and contend with hostile armies and French privateers. With the fate of Europe balanced on a knife edge, the responsibility lies heavy on a Commodore’s shoulders . This is the eighth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester’s inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.

Find on Amazon and Goodreads. 

Hornblower continues to be a favorite of mine. Dispite this being the 8th book in the series, and things getting a bit repetitive now. There’s just something wonderful about this nautical series.

In this book we find Hornblower happily married to Lady Barbara, and risen to the rank of Commodore. Once aboard his new command we are again joined by Captain Bush, who is one of my favorites. The story follows the normal Hornblower style, full of sea battles and daring exploits by our main character.

In the end I gave this book 3 stars. Because it’s good, but also the same stuff that’s happened before.