A Breather.

a look into my complex mind. give it a read, but hopefully you are not left, too confundido.


i am already feeling burnt out.. it has not even been three months since i decided to devote my time into blogging about books. i do not know what the real aim is. I do not necessarily want to become a “bookstagrammer” or a “booktuber”; but i figured i might as well look into it. but it never felt right. i feel like i am trying to be something or someone that i do not want to be. or better yet, trying to make a career out of a hobby. (i still have my feels up in the air on that one) when i really like something as a hobby, and then the mention of financials enter into the mix, in my mind’s mind, that is considered to be somewhat of a job. like some things, when money gets involved, it gets messy real quick. that is one of the things that have been on my mind, but that was not to be the main point of this blog point. to quickly recap this point, i like writing reviews of books i have read, it feels and comes naturally to me as of late to share my honest opinion and simply share my thoughts. but the other things, that may be involved in it– do i get involve in the instagram and youtube part of it, or no? the self marketing, promoting and networking? i do not naturally like going in front of the camera. i do not care to take photos of the books I have read. i do not care to conform to the general aesthetic of any of these terms but.. if anything i would much rather stay off of social media for the year, But i feel as though i need social media to make me places in life. after all, are you even successful if your photo or video or post has under a thousand hits? so now i am stuck on possibly making my “dreams” come true, or just truly finding my peace of mind, away from screens and technology. i am talking off grid. i started this book blog several months ago, and through it, found interest with writing and “reading”. I started goodreads again, with the goal to “rediscover my “love” for books”. I do all that I do Not because I feel like I like doing it but rather because I feel like I Should do it. “` i grew a lot in such a span. i challenged myself more than i ever had mentally. i took on a metamorphosis and applied myself to things. i will keep up the blog but when it comes to other things, i think i will give up that chase. if you do not know what i am getting at, it is the “”noticeability” factor”. I do not care to reach as much people anymore, but if I do I just do. I do not like having to seek attention to then get popular to then be seen as an equal or get opportunities. Everything like that feels grimey to me. Social media is general feels grimey to me– I think I finally found the word.

i had the goal (rather the “new year’s resolution”) of staying offline. but now i feel like i have goals in mind, of where i can take this project of mine. I call it a project because I do not want to consider it a job, even a possibilities of a job. One can look at it as a side hustle with the possibility of becoming a money maker but not as much effort a real job,essentially just seeing where things go. Essentially everything was to be Just 4 Fun.

i have an End of the Year post coming out on the last day of the year. I Had made a goal to complete a hundred books by twenty twenty. i will now be retracting that statement. the new aim is,

                                      how long will it take to get to a hundred books?

regardless of time, speed, book size and mode. There is no limit.

slow reader.

because if anything, all of this reading is hurting me. and though, i have been reading a lot more that i ever had in my life, i feel the need to “keep up with everyone”. i see there are readathons and people reading six books in a day and tags and such and i placed the pressure on myself (not even going to blame society) to be that good enough. but i can not. to be fair, i never really gave it a try but for my health, i will not. all the power to those who can do such an incredible feat. before my current status, i could barely finish a book in a month. the fact that i was able to do what i have been doing is incredible. but i have finished about ten or so books this year (since mid october). i think most people i have come across online, have finished that in a month. i feel the need to surrender. i have been comparing myself to other readers, thus why i never wanted to come back to social media*, but i followed something in me that wanted to start this blog in the first place. it was not because i enjoyed reading, it all seemed like a fun, “easy to do” concept. i am going to step back into my “slow living lifestyle” ways, and become a “slow reader”, no rush, just reading what I can at a time. maybe even back to one book at a time.

*i will use my social media to cheer on other readers. i will do what i do best and be the cheerleader for others. and briefly, occasionally, if i feel like it, say when there is a new post out. as mentioned, social media + self promo makes me feel some type of way. : / but as usual, i am still in my comfort zone about things. things could change. idk

`cloudy head + “competition”

i do not want to make reading a competition. i want to see other readers as my peers, my friends, not someone to get a higher reading over (which may never happen lol). reading to be leisure, for fun, maybe even relaxation, possibly as an escape but not a race to read the most books. of everything mentioned in this post, i am talking of myself. i am not @ing anyone. i will cherish if i finish one book in a month, or even five in a month. i may make the goal of a hundred books in a year, or i might make it to just twenty, either way i will be appreciative. all of these words and pages and more often than not, scrolling on the Kindle app, has my head cloudy in mental fog. something I have experienced (the heavy headiness, blurry vision, confusion and such) unfortunately should not even be happening [again]. the remedy was to remove myself from the source of problem(s) and, for that, i must take care. no more keeping up appearances.

e-book. + audio books

with the desire to read more books, i went to e-books. i borrow all of my e-books from the library– i can not afford [and do not want to spend money], on a book i may or may not enjoy and i do not want to have much books around me, i am trying to downsize. The ebook has been taking a toll on my eyes and well, eyes are important lol to reading book. Audio book are out of the question. I may listen to them but I have yet to finish one. I can not seem to follow along with and enjoy them & they will never beat reading a real book.

[~~~a living out of it?]

i had hopes of making this blog as a source of income because i have been unemployed for a long time. but now i will keep it as is, with a donation part, but [money] will not be so much of my main focus anymore for this site. If it happens, it happens.

breathing space.

i have not had the mental space to focus on much else. from experience, when things get too overwhelming i tend to blank out as not to take on too much. become very lax. reading had been a game changer in my life. i do not want to give it up. but i need to know when to stop. i Need to take the rest of the year off. what was a thought, is now an actuality. i need to give myself room and space to breathe. and for a second, my life needs to stop revolving around reading a book. i wanted to get back into art, my other businesses?, watch series, + do some more searching but I can not do all or any of those things with a(n) (e)book to my nose. I am making a space for creating and doing more. that is an intention.

fantasy and the witcher.

i love fantasy books. they have always been my favourites. especially a dark, twisted fantasy. but something in me broke when i was reading under wildwood and wildwood imperium. something shifted but i can not recall exactly how and why it happened. i think reading them in e-book had a lot to do with it. there was so much strain on me emotionally, mentally and physically to upkeep. i went right into reading the second Witcher on ebook because I had it on hold for ebook from the library and if i did not accept, i would be charged. for those who do not know, i am Obsessed and in love with the Witcher anything. It is everything. But, I have been having the hardest time getting through the book. I am a little less that half way though but I can not make myself go on, days have gone on and I am absolutely fried. Somewhat literally. My eyes and whole being is rejecting it. I can not bring myself to read on ebook right now, and I can not stand to read yet another Fantasy On ebook. I think Wildwood has really swamped me. From that, I have made the hard decision to stop reading the Witcher, and I will possibly let many months go by before I get back to it, if ever. I also would like to read it in person, “next time around” and I want to take a mighty step back and away from fantasy books in general. I want to venture off in another genre I enjoy, such as nonfiction, especially historical non fiction. I have a list of books I have for reading and that I want to read that are not historical nonfiction but I will eventually get into hist non fic. I will have an abbreviated, abridged version of a review for what I did read for the Witcher and that will come out in a weeks time or so.

i may have forgot more than half of the other points i wanted to bring up in this post. but as always, if i have anything to mention, i will blog about it. i am also considering having blog posts like this out on mailchimp? we will see. i will take that much needed break away that I have been hinting at for quiet quite some time, coming back refreshed. if you are as confused as I at this blog post, I guess a tl;dr, will be that I am putting my (mental) health first and am going slower. I see no more competition, no more rush but taking time for rest as need be. reading will be fun and explorative for me. it is a project, not so much a set goal as a job for me anymore. I branch out from it, trying out new avenues where they may lead to but I always keep in mind that this is a hobby; something that should never to be taken so seriously. More or less: I read, I share. I grow. I repeat.

Review: C. S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy

This shall be a short review. Probably the quickest review yet for me.

I started this book a couple years ago, via audio book, and I absolutely wanted to go to sleep. It was that boring. (but then again i was reading five books at the same time) *eyeroll*

YET I really enjoyed it this time around.

It had to be because I was actually reading it, not listening to it this time around*. I found that starting this book from the beginning again, it was Not as boring as I remembered.

*i find that i do not enjoy listening to audio books. more to come on that eventually.

Like Tolkien, the language is not… the “simplest” to read. Yet compared to the readings I had been and currently am reading, this was a easier piece of cake to digest.

Not going to lie, I did dredge through a chapter or two. I was not up for reading and though I read the pages, I was not taking them in completely, not missing anything– often rereading what I was not comprehending. Also, I definitely did that for the fight scenes. Just like audio books, I think I do not care for war/ fight scenes.  Zzz.

Part of me really wants to s t r e t c h this review, but I really do not have much to say. It was a good read, and I really liked it. I finished the last five chapters off, between tears, in the library in ’bout two hours. I had to stifle a bit of laughter and grins when needed. The book was surprisingly somewhat humourous.

I really liked Aslan. I sensed a godly essences from him and it felt right. I like the imagery I got it in my head reading his parts. He really made the story come more alive. I guess lastly, I want to mention that the way the book was written, as in the language, made the story seem older than it was, which is great because I find that stories that claim to be historical, lacks … “conviction” because the words do not add up with the setting. It comes off as a fifteenth century based story told in a twenty first century tone. Words and descriptions told historical accurate are so important. I appreciate Lewis for this because I truly felt like I was transported to an ancient era and older. The history buff in me is !!


Review: Colin Meloy’s Wildwood Imperium

I say, when I read a book fast, it is for two reasons: either I am enjoying it and I cants wait to read more or, I am not enjoying it at all and I want to hurry up and finish it.

This time around it was the latter. I was over a week or so in, and I made the bold attempt to finish sixty percent of the book in a day. The book is not a small ‘un, it is a hefty boi, standing in at almost six hundred pages. I finished the book at about seven in the morning after pulling an all-nighter, an impromptu thought -turned- quest I started at about ten pm or so the previous night.

I have been bellyaching and lollygagging about this book for days. Complaining to all that have ears and wanted to listen to my strife– I was not loving this book. Which is unfortunate because the first book was a dream. One of the best books I have read. Now down in ranks a bit, and sports a threatened, tarnished legacy. I have simply lost faith that trilogies could end promisingly. i.e: Divergent . I do not want to say [Wildwood] was a flop, but it sent the angst of investing time and energy into a [book] that started off so well to end in, emptiness. –more on that later.

Read more: Under Wildwood

I have alot to say + I do not want to get too far ahead of myself, so I will jump right into it.

It was dark. It got dark from the very beginning. I like that. I live for a dark, twisted fantasy. *ye* That, I did not have any issues with. It came out of nowhere, quite unexpected and that was the overall tone of the book. The book was different in another way as well. The tone was more… “older”. Throughout the book, I had thoughts of whether or not this book was for kids or not. It seemed to fit more with pre teens and early teenagedom. For the first book, it was more like for eight year to ten year olds. So I guess it was nice to see progression.

The vocab was not the easiest– again. I finished this book on the Kindle app again. Second book completed on an ebook! Using the built in dictionary, I saw that a lot of words were much out of context. It was difficult to even use context clues on most of the book that did not have diction on. Which segways into another point– the trilogy was quite hipster-ish. I will finally admit it. Going through my hipster phase back in the day, it takes one to know one. The usage of all these big words (again this is a kids book), was a bit pompous. It was like trying to make yourself look cooler than you are. It was unnecessary, and it easily could have gotten a bit annoying. If I was finding it unenjoyable with difficult to read words (did not even mention that it had bit of French and Ukrainian phrases and words– butchered and did not even try to pronounce or translate correctly), was not ideal. Upon the fact that the book was about thrice the size of a third grade level book. Why? -Alexei (pun semi intended)

Not gonna lie. It was a bit boring. Especially with yet another major and semi major fight scenes. When I see wars, conflicts and physical dilemmas are of concerned, I tend to glaze over them in my head. I can not seem to get the mental imagery correct and I do not even bother to get it right. I read but do not mental process it. This book was a challenge.

I kept waiting and waiting. The most outrageous (amongst other things) is the fact that I had to wait ’till Chapter Twenty! for a mention of Curtis. I Had To Wait About Four Hundred Pages In To Hear About The Secondary Protagonist!! I had to wait this Eighty! Percent ! Completion of the Book to Hear! and See ANY action being Done!!!!! If it was not for the fact that I lived for the first book a several years ago And for the fact that I am tired of quitting, then I would have Been chucked this book away.. (or just let it expire, since it was a borrowed ebook from the library.)

I did not get the placement of the stories. Upon the fact of having to wait so long for Curtis and Bandits bits, the random story of the owl in the beginning of part three (ch. seventeen) short, appreciated for experimenting with writing voice (and style) but… why? That could have been mentioned in a part of chapter one… or be like a prologue. Or more likely not be mentioned at all. I liked the writing style or it but it Was useless, unnecessary. And that owl was never mentioned of again. He just came out of nowhere, and went out of nowhere. In that spiel, there was an undertone of “going out, seeing the world, have an adventure” for all the hermits out there but I did not see how that message tied in overall with the story. It was mentioned again in another context, mentioned something along the lines of it but I did not see how it is of use to the story line, which I do not even know what the moral of this book was.

IDK what Colin was going through; clearly he started and stopped often. I lost the story.

In the beginning, it was telling. There was no real showing in the story. So though it was descriptive, it somehow lacked… emotion.

When did this become a funny book? It tried to be funny? but it was cringe. And the only book I know that was able to pull off being funny yet dark, was Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen, that I read ’bout three Halloweens or so ago. (10/10 will recommend). There were times where it was a bit spoof-y*, also to the point of being too grandiose. How can you become more fantasy than fantasy?. And then there were times where for a fact, there were errors. I remember clear as day what happened from the last book (I did just finish reading it) and he mentioned about it in this book, but he was… wrong. It happened twice. I thought to myself whilst reading them that I could have *sworn* ..xyz.. (really) [happened]. I was going to write down the exact truths (based off the other books), but I decided not too. But if you survived reading the second book, then start the third book right away, you can spot the inconsistencies..

*i.e with the fire explosions… how did everyone Not die? it now kind of reminds me of how it toy story, all of that action is happening but the “outside world” is oblivious to it.at times.

rushed, lost pizzazz from the starter book. Oh, how everything went so wrong, so south, so fast. Starting with the second book. I have to agree with others, how Wildwood would have been better as a stand alone book. Imperium was “significantly” better than Under, but not so much, only a notch above. Meloy wrote in different tones of varying elegance. The analogies are the most random of analogies. Some had nothing to do with anything– which somewhat threw me off a bit. at times.

The overall problem is that Nobody should have to wait till the last eighty percent or five hundred pages, for the climax (or any interesting, semi important action) to happen. The series (Wildwood trilogy) gave me serious rebels (Star Wars Rebels) vibes, for the fact simply, I live for the blank and the blank, fizzles and lack the luster and dies completely and i look about like, “what did i see in ’em.?!” This phenomena, which I am sure to use again, will be coined, rebels ( or rebel’s vibes or SWR vibes)– gonna make this a tag now. trust there are things that already fall into that category. in this instance, not regretting ever starting series but the end of the era is “not” promising as hoped. things changes, people change, seasons change. tra la tra lee (yet another pun semi intended) *slaps hands* i miss unthank. him and curtis’s stories were the only ones i cared to hear about.

if it was not for cleopatra’s moon 

one of my favourite books, teaching me patience, to hold out, that is what helped me to hold on to completing this book, when i really did not want to go on with it.  cleopatra’s moon was a book that i absolutely detested, like Really hated but i somehow stuck thru and it became one of the most iconic, memorable books that i still quote after all these years. it taught me even if a book had a nice cover and is painfully relevant slash scary subject matter, it cracked me and showed that i can make it through things i do not necessarily want to face and or image. [this was not the book’s meaning but what i got from it, personally.] (anyways, def recommend, next!)



but after everything is said and done, I will be reading Meloy’s other book, something something about a mob (that aint the title btw) in January. i am the worst.lol



Review: Colin Meloy’s Under Wildwood

I finished this mammoth of book in late November. I downloaded the last of the trilogy the next day. I was hesitant; it is such a big book. I read the first one several years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it but… this one… I just do not know.

I gave it a three out of five. It very much at points was going to be a two. From being possibly one of my favourite trilogies to read, the book was on the verge of being a proper collapse.

Like most seconds out of three, to me, middle parts (of trilogies and movies) are usually “filler pieces” and that is exactly how it felt. Like a bridge from one to three. Somewhat pointless, no direct action just something to bide time until the conclusion. I very rarely like the second of books and movies. (I can only hope this book does not disappoint me like Divergent trilogy lol– starts off strong and promising, plateau but still good, them dropped)

I am writing the review now (late November) because I do not want to mix it with the finale.

I feel like I am still searching for what is told in this book. There was a lot going on and I feel like they did not really actually All they were suppose to do. Like it felt like nothing was done Andi just wondered how Meloy managed to stretch this out to over five hundred pages. The action took too long. Everything really started popping in chapter twenty ’til the end of book. (So like the last four to five chapters) and even then, it felt so incomplete. the narrative had too much people and creatures to keep up with, so spreaded out I forgot about them. (Mentioning one to not mention again, or mention in chapter three to be then mentioned again in chapter seventeen). It took five days give or take to finish the book, if I took any longer, I would have totally been at a lost of what was going on.. and though I did not take that long, I still was a bit confused.

I kinda wish the books were shorter because I believe no kid would put up with the amount in this, no matter how cool it could be to read. It would be more attainable to a grander audience if it was sold at a bit over two hundred pages each section, or made into short stories.

I was bored, surprisingly. I read the first few chapters years ago and I was struggling in the first few chapters of the book. (I do not like to read something I have read already– even if it is a blur to me, anything vaguely familiar is a bit of a drag, annoying. Nobody fault by mine on that one). I was either having deja vu, had already read this certain spot, everything blended in exactly like the first book or I could see into the future (so things were quite predictable?) But the book was not too predictable because I was often at a lost as to what was going to happen next but I also was able to guess what was to come.

Prue Was in fact everything Curtis accused her to be when they got into arguments– everything was all about her. (though I still do not really get the reasoning for why Curtis left his old life (like I get it but it just does not seem like a valid excuse)) He could not help but live in her shadows. I was with Curtis on this one.. I wanted to know of the bandits, more of his story line, but like I said, they were there and then quite literally were gone, never mentioned of again. Prue, though the star of the series, was just not interesting to read about this time around.

I think I would have liked if the book had a catalog? in the beginning telling of who is who. List the name, and a brief description of them. Like how the Narnia series has. I appreciate that the book had a map. That helps.

I was over the Darla conflict from the get-go. I could have done without the mole conflict. The book is grand, it Is like a theatrical epic, but a lot of it was unnecessary. This time, I feel like things did not work in the authors favour for me and what was fun felt like a burden to read this time around. There were multiple plots and conflicts and climaxes but a lot of them ended softly or did not even come to an end. So I guess we will see to it in Wild wood Imporium. The book was too busy and simply too long. I can only image there will be more fight scenes in the final installment of the book. I am ready to go to sleep…

I finished this book on an e-book. This is The first time I ever finished an e-book. I had to read it off my phone because my Kindle of five or so years has been broke for just as long. I may or may not have finished an over five hundred page book, but I do not know if I did in less than a week. I really did not enjoy the book as much as I would like, but after much delay, I finally decided to bump it up a month and read the last one. I wanted to finish Under Wildwood by the end of the year. That happened. Honestly, that is what led me on. Had no idea I was going to finish such a feat.

The vocabulary is still quite big and if I am struggling, I can only imagine an eight year old’s woes. Ellis’s illustrations are as lovely as ever.

I still believe in this trilogy.

Now I hope I can get through this last one in time!

Review: Carl Hiaasen’s Skinny Dip

this is not what i expected. 3/5 alligators

the “strong” book

oh, where did it go wrong? i remember at a time, where I said to myself whilst reading, “This is an embarrassment.” The book I finished reading was and could not be from the same author I knew enough books from, the one that I was willing to add to my list of recommended Florida authors.?!

The cover. Though I saw the title and the cover image, I still thought this was going to be a children’s book. It was clearly made know whether or not it is, when I read the first page of the book. I was shook. I never read an adult Hiaasen book, and the book was so PG-13 (at times R), I would have never expected this of a children’s book author. It just makes you question everything. I do not want to blame the cover from being misleading. To me, and my thought process, I really saw it as the ever childish, quite minimalistic, standard Hiaasen cover as a kid friendly book. I will never look at him the same. Though the title is quite scandalous I really did not put two-and-two together. I do not mean to sound like a prude, I am still in a state of shook lol. I like to read children fantasy books. I mean how do I go from reading about attempting to find your missing cruel? teacher on a school field trip (of what I can barely remember of Scat) to cheating husbands killing their wife, and others and not being a lick remorseful? It was a weird process, kinda like seeing a child actor shedding their saintly image. Reading though was a mind boggling and a shock of its own.

I like how in every book from Hiaasen that I read he brings awareness about the Everglades or natural elements know to Florida. but in this one, though slight, he mentioned how one of the characters released their pet pythons into the river of grass. I think of most natives by now know that there is an invasive species dilemma going on in the Everglades. To so nonchalantly mention it, quickly, and not say that it is a dangerous problem, is a bit reckless. (It seems like I have been finding real life fault in a couple of the books I have been finishing!) Many people get exotic pets, can not take care of them and then release them to the wild, that thus kill off the native species. He did not really mention that. For someone who does not seem to not have enough to say out the Everglades (in a bit of his books), I would think he would not treat the topic so lightly.

Surprisingly, my favourite character was Tool. I do not really have a real reason, he just kinda grew on me, though I do not approve of all his ways. His sea change was admiring, though imperfect, but nonetheless, enjoyable. I liked his interactions with Maureen. I did not like the Mick and Joey duo. Joey was agitating at times. She is too stubborn among other things. Oh, I liked Rolvaag, as well.

I found that the book drew out unnecessarily long. It could have easily been a hundred pages lighter. (The book was called the “strong” book because it is a hardcover copy that sounds like a door when you knock on it.) I could pinpoint the exact page, that would tell you why Chaz did what he did and expose the entire purpose for the book.

I like that Carl always mentions real life places. Set in South Florida, I knew exactly of the places he was talking about. It made for a personal, homey feel, like it is taking place right in your backyard. However, others may not know. It would be nice if he had a map in the beginning. You can not just mention Weston and then Coral Gables, and expect people to just know how close or Far that is. Key note: It is far.

Carl’s dialogue was cringe. His wording was of those of middle age people trying to be hip, sometimes referencing things I have No idea what he was talking about. I can guarantee no body talks the way he had set up the conversations to be. It was like, not modern, like I stated aloud, “I do not get it! I do not understand your references.!!”

The book was messy. Some of the introductory chapter paragraphs are unnecessar(il)y (long). They are exactly what I call “filler pieces”. They would span for what seem like two pages, and they are simply not needed or they could have been truncated. They are just there; long and semi useless. He did it often and I would find myself desperately wanting to skip over it, for it did not really pertain to the story at hand.

Literally on page 146, is the answer , the whole point of the book.

The writing style is a bit difficult to read. He had





With big big big big big big words at times and I was like do I need a thesaurus?. I did not know a couple of words, and I finished college! (okay, maybe I am being a bit mean lol)

I am having a bit of fun with this extra exaggerated piece but overall, I would say the book is okay. Though it was not his best. The book was promising and it failed to deliver. I mean come on the ending. The final line. I never felt so incomplete! (being extra again) I do not feel to read another Hiaasen books any time soon, but finger’s crossed when I come back to ’em, it betta be bett’r th’n this on’.

Review: Tracey Bateman Leave It To Claire +

The “easygoing” book.

Plus the book where I will have No chill.

There will be spoilers and there will be a run-through of the question for the reader’s group guide in the back, for fun.

I appreciate the familiar names and places. I have recently been reading books where the authors have been mentioning real life celebrities and places. It adds a sense of knowing and relating to what they are talking about.

I also liked that the chapters were relatively short. When chapters are short it makes it easier on me to read them. It makes the notion of aiming for a chapter a day, attainable and bearable.

Claire was suffering from “panic attacks”. When you have a book about someone suffering from panic attack, I think that the author should not casually write about her [Claire] having them and Not bring more awareness to the disorder. The introduction of the attacks and when they occurred throughout the book were all likely places to happen, but felt like filler pieces. Just something to put down. The mention of the attacks seems to stop as randomly and quickly as they started. It felt like the author threw them into the book randomly when to be honest, they did not need to be added or mentioned at all. If you are going to mention a mental disorder or any other serious topic, tell more about how detrimental it is to [Claire’s] lifestyle, how it can mess up her day to day, make it more realistic and understandable to someone who does not know what panic attacks are. From the short and little details mentioned, man reading would more could end up self diagnosing. The whole scenario is quite simply reckless. And very problematic. Adding to the stigma that follows it and other related mental disorders. In fact, I do not think Claire herself even knew she was having panic attacks, others had to Tell her. I would have liked that the author had showed of how Claire dealt with them, researching ways to handled it when they do come, have a scene of Claire buying books about panic attacks and just educating herself on the topic. In the story, they downplayed counseling (which was needed for one of the sons) but she never did it for her attacks. I could go on, but I will digress.

I do have to admit, I chuckled about three times but I mostly had eyerolls. Claire was a difficult character to get into. I see that this book was the first of many? (i do not know if it is a trilogy), but I will not bother to read the others. The book was a bit cringe and I had a hard time getting through Claire’s bitter, venomous, sour, self deprecating ways. It was All. Throughout . the book. It was not fun to read. I do not know what it is like to have a divorce, or a cheating husband and all of the other things in this book.. I simply could not relate. I felt from the first chapter that this book was to be claimed, “Such A “Mom” Book– whatever that may mean (to you). She was someone, if I knew in real life, I would not want to be around. The complete irony is for someone who claims to be a Christian, she was really not in the character of one. And though everyone has flaws, she was especially flawed to the point that instead of being relateable it was just a mess. A very cliche mess, Christian style. Everything you think would happen, happened. There was not shock value. The most shocking thing is on the cover, the lined review said “Storytelling at its refreshing honest best.” What story were they reading? Storytelling, yes, I guess. Refreshing (Ironically, Hell naw) and honest, probably, but cliche, which made it boring. I can not believe my mom brought this book, but then again I could believe it lol.

The book always had something going on. It was nonstop, which was nice but predictable.

Claire has four chilren. It was too much to keep up with. When I was reading up a couple of months ago about writing stories, one of the big no-no’s wee to have too much characters going about. It definitely was an issue for me when reading this book. I could not remember who was the oldest from the youngest, and they all had a story of their own. They has the usual storyline of their alloted age group. I am telling you that the book was very typical. So to hear storytelling at its best was an insult to books like Desperaux and The Graveyard Book. Children’s books but that is why I stick with kids books– they are the Only ones (other than stories by screenwriters and well told autobiographies,) that can tell stories the right way. The whole writing of the book was too informal. I am not your friend.

The mom [Claire’s mom] leaving is one of the most relatable things. I will eventually write about that too, but not here. Often, you need to get away from the familiar, so you can grow.

Claire did inspire me to try again at making lists. I will come up with one and share it.

On and on about the divorce, but as clear as glass, Claire was the problem, as well. I felt like I had a divorce. It was just so melodramatic, I can not.

I have not even mentioned Greg. He is too “perfect”. This is why I do not read Harlequin books. This book was cringe to my aromatic soul. One of the questions was “Is Greg right for Claire?” No. Simply, you can smell and feel the hypermasculinity from a mile away. If this book was written in the last few year, it would have been struck by the Me Too and Times Up movement. Greg making advances under the mistletoe that Claire tried to walk away from. Ever so slightly what the daughter went through, it is what some may consider the prelude to rape culture. It was subtle but had not gone unnoticed.

Just a sidenote: that I saw this girl got a tattoo read “Soy Dios”. Though more power to Her, just in case, she is the one to get stuck down, I do get it, the reference, the purpose of the tattoo. It took time to unlearn what I grew up knowing. I get the concept. So many are not willing to take personal responsibility. Like we do not have free will. I came to find out the we do have control over our circumstances, even to some degree.

Questions Time Quick Run through!

  1. On Christian divorces– The churches should not have to deal with divorces. It is for the couple to deal with. The couples need to work on themselves. Actually love themselves first. Do that inner work. There is more to say but I will leave this alone for now.
  2. On secular comfort– I do turn to other things besides God for comfort. It works but I also pray. But I take the necessary self actions. Where is the personal responsibility?! Take control of ye life. Change in perspectives works wonders.
  3. On Claire/ mother relationship: Claire Should of learned that she Can handle life on her one. She is a grown woman, who is still sulking, then became bitter. She had time to grow up. She never, until now, “did the work” on herself.
  4. On Claire’s parenting: I relate so negatively to Claire’s parenting. She was not good at all. Too passive and that is why the kids pushed over here. She was not involved. 5. On Claire’s feeling toward Rick– With Claire acting how she did to her ex, it has all of the symptoms of harmful effects on a child’s mind. Where is her forgiveness?
  5. Not five but six! On Claire + Darcy– Claire is venom, she unnecessarily blow up on Christmas Day. That was the last straw, I can not! She needs to work on herself. What she is doing towards Rick and Darcy is noticeable to the kids and it is so beyond toxic and unnecessary.
  6. Not six, but seven. On Claire surrendering– But did she Really surrender to God? I did not see her experiencing freedom. I guess I did meet God, but no, I was not waddled in any bitterness. How the book spoke of God, and Christianity period, felt like the stereotypical way movies interpret the supernatural. It was again, cliche, and impractical. It felt like someone wrote a story of how Christian is from the outside, as if they are looking in on the lives or one. It did not speak from a personal understanding of Him. It did not quote? even a Bible verse! This is what I am talking with the panic attacks. It was not “real” feeling. Like it was all a show. No real personal account of what a Christian Is. Just the TV version of one.
  7. Not seven but nine. On Claire’s changes in life– I will be setting goals for my life. I will achieve them. No, Claire did not Really achieve all of her goals. There were mediorce efforts, especially on the exercise front.

I can not begin to tell you about Greg. It was always annoying to see him pop out of nowhere. Quite stalkerishly. Claire had even lower self esteem than me! I had not favourite characters for they all were quite agitating.

The book as I figure would be Christian based, but it did bring up feels. It reminded me why I “left”. I did mention that I am not so religious but it is more like not so heavily religious– spiritual but not religious, Sorry mom. A story I will eventually write about but not in this review.

After all of this, I did give the book at three. It just did not feel like a two or one, but was not a four or five. I did accidentally give it a five on Goodreads because I was still in the mindset of rating In Order To Live.

What a whirlwind. I will be coming to y’all next week with the review on Skinny Dip.

Review: Yeonmi Park’s In Order To Live

read tis book

The “heavy” book.

I knew from the very beginning that I was not going to be able to write a proper review on this book. The subjects are difficult to go into (as someone who is still trying to read up on it all), seeing as though I just do not have the right words to say to tackle the enormity of it all. I knew most definitely I was not going to discuss North Korea.

I was always waiting for the next part. The “flashbacks” always felt like they were going to transition to the present. It was until later that I saw the format was written mostly in the past, present future context. This book really helped me to put things into perspective. I thought of others other than myself–even more than I already do. I learned off the importance of telling your story. We all have the power to make an impact.

This book told of the real life horrors of human trafficking in Asia. Something I knew of but had no idea it was this bad and prevalent, though the governments try to hide it and say they are doing something about it.

Simple words can not describe Yeonmi. To say she is an inspiring women, is too little. Her story was something I could never fathom. And like she said, through it all, though she had so much adversity at her age, she also had a lot of luck, in several ways. It is amasing the timing of how everything panned out.

She is more than an inspiration. She is someone I would now look to as a source of guidance. Somehow, I see myself in her and I find her relatable, though I have not experience nearly half of what she had to go though. She is in the ranks as one of my favourite youth inspirations, along with Malala. Her and Malala’s autobiographies will go down as my two favourite. I can not recommend them highly enough.

At first I was a bit confused. When it was in the North Korea part of the book, I felt on the edge of my seat by the writing style (which was great). I was waiting for it to go to the present tense. Then I eventually caught on to what was happening. I like that the book was written in this way. I was engaged and I like that though it spoke of the past, it hinted at what was to come. I did not appreciate that at first but at least it revealed, but did not spoil, the important details. It was nice to know ahead of time.

My brother had to read this for school. He kept bugging me to read it but though I finally came around, I had this apprehension towards it. I really wanted to read and finish it but I was hesitant. I thought it would be too much to literally and figuratively read, at a time like this. But I managed with all of the readings and I got it done. I thought it would be a lot of work but I spaced myself out and I even read ahead. In fact, this book was to be finish sometime in early December but though I had angst, I read through and finished right in front of Leave It To Claire.

Almost forgot to mention, that I love that the chapters were named. I always found that to be a nice touch and too often now, books do not have them. With chapter names, they are like mantras and memos to commemorate the chapters read and to be read.

I learned lots of things from her story, like the importance of family (great timing seeing as though it is Thanksgiving week and ironically, this is around the time when she found her family member), perseverance against all the odd (gives me hope since I have been looking for work of so long, thinking for yourself (why it is so important to unlearn, learn and relearn, doing for others (there is a time to be selfish and there is always a time to help out others) and so much more. I am so glad I have read this book. I can not recommend it enough. Thoroughly can say it was a five out of five.

Back to the bookshelf it goes. It is funny how gems be right up under your nose.

I feel as though this review did not give the book enough justice. I do not think I have plead so much about a book on this site yet but I urge you guys to check it out.

It was interesting hearing things from a North Koreans’ perspective. Something you rarely hear or see, like ever. I though the ending of the book really solidified the whole book. It was not cheesy or cliche at all; it was what I think most people, especially the Koreans, would want but most of the world has not uttered loudly enough.