Beyond The Surface Book Club: A Post inspired by MHAOBH


So, I just finished reading my book club’s book of the month for August 2017 My Heart and Other Black Holes and I’m in desperate need to talk about this book and also share some thoughts and fun things related to this book over the next week so for now I’m keeping the next couple of post ideas I have a secret and I’m going to share the most important one with you all right now. 


In my Heart and Other Black Holes Aysel (pronounced Uh-Zell) and Roman (a.k.a FrozenRobot) have depression and suicidal thoughts. The one thing that I felt I really need to share after reading their story is a post about how many reasons there are to live, because sometimes life switches things up and our mental state is iffy at best so sometimes it’s great to remember the reasons why we keep trudging along. There is always something to be hopeful about. 

My Reasons for Living 

Family: 
My family is a huge reason why I can get through the toughest parts of my life. Without the people who took me in and raised me as their own, the people who choose to love me and be my family, I don’t know where I would be. To have a mom and who pushes me everyday to do more and to be a better person lifts my heart to the sky. To have a sister who pushes me to do more in general (really to function better as a human being) who I can look up to constantly gives me hope for who I will become. To have a dad who will always see me as the little girl I once was, but who will also love me unconditionally no matter what I do or say or become in the future fills my heart with joy. These three people would do anything for me. That’s more then I could ever hope to deserve. 

The puppy of the family: 

The forth member of the family, Gypsy is a pup that always gives me joy. 

Just look at how cute she is: 


Gypsy has such a unique personality and at the end of the day when we all come home she is always there running around wagging her little tail jumping up to greet us (well my sister mostly, she’s a momma’s girl). She always makes me laugh, especially when she growls in annoyance at my mom talking back because my mom loves to chastise her/tell her to get off the couch (Gypsy never gets off the couch). Gosh do I love this pup with all my heart. 

Books: 

So long as there are books I don’t think I could fully contemplate leaving this earth. There are thousands upon millions of amazing stories filling up this earth and I want to read as many of them as I can. Books have got me through so many good and bad moments in my life and they always make me happy (unless they break my heart… MHAOBH’s broke my heart). Books are definitely a reason I want to be alive for a very long time.

Art: 

I love art. I love looking at art. I love watching people make art. I love to try and create, but also fail at making art. The way people’s hands can work to create something beautiful solely from their own minds fascinates and awes me. There is so much art I want to see. 

Writing/Poetry: 

There are so many things I have to say before I leave this earth, and I fear that I will never be able to say all I want to before I die (18 years old and this is what I worry about, so much for thinking that the young don’t think about death). There is always something more that comes to mind and I never want to stop writing. 

Miracles: 

There are times where I look at some random people that cross paths with me in my life and I think of it as a miracle. I think of someone who said just the right thing to me at the moment. Or someone who was there to help someone else. Human kindness for the right people at the right time is always a miracle to me, because the person’s surprise for another’s kindness is what makes it a rarity that shouldn’t be so rare. 

Random places: 

I have so many places I want to see before I die. So many things I wish to experience. It’s not even the larger places I want to see. It’s little places, Caffe’s, little shops, unique parks, aquariums, museums, and places I would never have thought to go. I want to experience things go on random rides, learn sword fighting at a little gym place I didn’t realize was nearby. Horseback ride at a little beach somewhere. I just want to fully experience what the world has to offer. 

There are so many reasons to keep on living. So many little moments of happiness that make it all worth it. We have so much potential energy inside us… we just have to find it in ourselves to transform it into something kinetic. 

Thank you all for reading! Share with me some of your reasons for living. I would love to hear them. 

Also don’t forget to join the Beyond The Surface Book Club on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/235823-beyond-the-surface

-Till next time!

Illuminae: A Review 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My Rating: 5/5 burning stars! 

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Published: October 20, 2015

Recieved: I purchased this at target a long time ago…

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Nobel / Book Depository 

Synopsis: 

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
 

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Musings: 

This book is 100% awesome! I laughed while I read and I cried a bit too. The way this book all came together had me floored. 

For full disclosure I was afraid to read this book. The popularity it has rightfully garnered since its release scared me. Especially when I had read a few mixed reviews from those that found this formatting not for them. However, Once I got into this book and found little areas of humor mixed with some very dark and sad truths I fell in love. 

Kady, Ezra, and Aidan were truly the Stars of this book. Kady being our hack pro heroine sporting pink hair and a spicy attitude. We never do find out why Kady and Ezra break up in the beginning of this book and that is the one curiosity that plagues me now. Ezra himself is charismatic in the way that even though he sometimes says the weirdest things, you can’t really hate him. I dub him Adorkable and I really enjoy Kady and his relationship. 

Then we get to AIDAN. Mister Am I Not Merciful? himself. I think reading his (is he truly a he?) files were the most fascinating and truly thought provoking of all. I have so many conflicting emotions about this AI because even though he may be insane and quite possibly murderous, he has some emotional things he thinks about that tears my heart to pieces. I truly do not know how to feel. 

All I want is to spend my next couple of days or so reading Gemina and then once Obsidio comes out reading that as well, but I sadly do not own Gemina yet and right now I’m super tempted to purchase it.. even though I can’t yet… 

Anyway, if you are one of the people out there who has been on the fence about Illumnae.. or just haven’t gotten to it yet, please bump it up on your tbr. You won’t regret it. 

Thanks for reading! If you have read Illuminae already let’s talk about how awesome it is down in the comments, and if you haven’t read it yet, let me know if you do plan to read it eventually. 

-Till next time! 

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller: A Review 

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

My Rating: 3.5 fighting stars!

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

To be Published: September 5th, 2017

Recieved: Netgalley provided an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review

Pre-Order: Amazon

Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

Musings: 

First of all, I must say that I am so incredibly happy that this book exists. A fantasy novel with a strong, independent, gender fluid character is something that the world of literature needs more of and this book does it all beautifully. Sallot Leon is fierce, both masculine and feminine, and determined to do everything they set their mind to.

This novel is brutal in a very good way. Sal was born into this life surrounded by tragedy. They lost everything his home, her family, and through blood, their innocence. Living on the streets as a thief and a fighter Sal does what is necessary to survive.

Soon Sal enters the gauntlet, identity stripped away to a number and the true fight begins. The fight to become a part of Our Queen’s Left Hand. To become Opal. In order to survive, death must come. In this novel, it is truly kill or be killed.

I also enjoyed the way Sal interpreted death. The way Sal dealt with the blood that would stain their hands till death set him free. How Sal felt her regret but didn’t let it consume her. Every new day was a step closer to a goal that was burnt deeper by the darkness caused by magic and shadows of days past.

As soon as I started reading, I couldn’t get enough. I read late into the night, I thought, just one more chapter, until there were no more chapters left. I loved everything about this book. The characters, the world, the presence yet absence of magic, and the sheer will of it all.

This lovely fantasy novel is one I thoroughly enjoyed. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review. The Mask of Shadows is a novel that I hope you all read and enjoy as much as I did. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

-Till next time!

Beyond The Surface Book Club: A Talk About Suicide and Depression


*trigger warning for suicide and depression*

Our first book of the month: My Heart and Other Black Holes, is centered around probably one of the most hard-hitting topics in mental health: suicide. This topic is an ugly one, but also a very important one to discuss. 

Here is a deeply personal story of my connection to this topic. 

Deep breaths…. 

I had an Uncle in my family.. let’s call him Uncle J. This uncle, he had problems with alcohol, probably was part of his depression, but he never discussed that with anyone as far as I know. The most important part of his character for me however, was that he was always a great father for his kids. I never once saw him happier then when they were in his life, but then again a lot of things in his life hit him a bit too hard. 

In the end he committed suicide. I don’t know why. I was never close enough to him to know. I don’t think even his daughters could have ever known why. But what broke my heart was his daughters reactions. They spiraled into deep depression for a while. Just looking at their faces for a moment and you could see a brokenness. It was a long long time before I ever saw them look normal again. I… I don’t truly have words for what that must have been like for them. 

When something like that happens, that’s when you truly see that even though you may be one whole person, but their are more people then you could ever know in your corner and rooting for you. Suicide is nothing to romanticize. Even I have nightmares of the way things went down. So many complications, so many strings, so many awful emotions. 

So when it comes to depression, if your someone who believes in giving that person time to think through everything and leaving them alone in their grief, please don’t. Even if it’s just staying in a room with someone while they are sobbing, or staying with someone when they have expressed darker thoughts, don’t leave them alone. Be the person that saves that kid of the bridge who makes a final decision in that single moment. And if ever someone comes to you asking to talk or for help of any kind don’t leave them alone, be there, sometimes something you think may be insignificant can be monumental for someone else in a darker state. 

Also if you are in a darker state please call the number that is the title of the song linked above: 1-800-273-8255 

Thanks for reading. I know that this got to pleading real quick, but for me all the things said here needed to be said. I have been at a point in my life where everything came crashing down and those thoughts those self-loathing encrusted thoughts flooded in. Without support from my family, without a God mom who made sure she never left me alone when I wanted to be alone in the bathroom sobbing my eyes out I don’t know where I would be. 

Sign up for the Beyond The Surface book club on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/235823-beyond-the-surface

-Till next time!

Elegance 

Gone was any pretense of elegance 

It was just a line and motion between two

A primal dance with jagged edges 

No questions no answers just being 

They say love is like answering a call 

But for them it was more like being home 

Gone was all curiosity except for the other 

Gone was all need for breath 

#Makemereadit a-thon TBR


You all voted and the results are in! 

This week I will be reading in the following order: 


So far I have started with Illumnae and I’m really enjoying the surprising humor and the adventure and coolness of it all. 

I’m not so sure how I feel about finally reading Insurgent though since that was one I included that I was most on the edge about reading, but it wouldn’t be the #makemereadit a thon without me following the popular vote. 

I hope I get to read as many of these as I can over the next week! Thank you all for your votes!

Thanks for reading! Are you joining the #makemereadit a thon? What books are you thinking of diving into this week?

-Till next time!

A Very New Day by Steven Salmon: A Review

A Very New Day by Steven Salmon

A Very New Day by Steven Salmon Cover

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Publisher: Black Rose Writing 

Published: Febuary 2nd, 2017

Recieved: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis: 

A Very New Day is about a boy with Cerebral palsy, who goes to go regular school for the first time in junior high and uses Morse code to write. Rich Trout is unable to use his hands. Instead, he drives his electric wheelchair and writes in Morse code with his head. Rich doubts that he belongs in regular school after being isolated to special education classes only.

He is inspired by Mrs. Tilley, his English teacher, who treats him as a regular student and shows Rich that anything is possible. Rich has one dream, to be a writer. Mrs. Tilley introduces Rich to an author friend of hers, who also has Cerebral palsy, serving as an inspiration and role model.

 

Musings:

As someone who continuously looks for books to open my eyes to what it would be like to live in another’s point of view, I found this book to be absolutely irresistible. Cerebral Palsy is probably one of the most debilitating of all disabilities and I’m sad to say I didn’t know much about it until I picked up this book.  This book is a day in the life following

This book is a day in the life following Rich Trout as he navigates his way through his very first day at a regular school. He encounters people both people who wish to lift him up and others who wish to push him down for only being able to see a disability.

Rich has such an honest way of looking at life. All he wants is to be seen as normal and capable of doing things just like everyone else can. He has such a deep desire for friendship and connections with people. The fact that his muscles would tighten up till he couldn’t talk because of how excited for things he would get broke my heart. It made me happy to see that he develops a few friendships on his first day at school with a few people who seemed to genuinely care about him as a person. The one thing Rich desires more than anything, however, is to write. He wants to be an author that inspires others with a voice that lets others know that no matter what life throws your way that you can accomplish greatness.

A Very New Day is a book for those who wish to learn more about Cerebral Palsy and to generate a larger sense of compassion in their hearts. Sometimes those that appear the most different to us are the most similar of all.

Thanks for reading! This book is one I would recommend to everyone as a part of us all keeping up an awareness of what it might be like to be someone who is born with all odds stacked against them, but who live with such hope in their hearts. Let me know what you think of A Very New Day down in the comments.

-Till next time!

Changing Schedule

I have been a little infrequent with my posting recently and I have finally realized that my usual posting routine is starting to affect my health because I always end up writing posts way too late. 

So I’m going to end up uploading and writing posts in the morning instead of at night as much as possible so that I can get back into the swing on things. I will also try to get back to doing my dayly posts because I have been posting every other day for a few days now and I really don’t like it. 

I have so much in store for August and I can’t wait to rest up and get back into the swing of things!

Thanks for reading this short update. Let me know what you think of the switch in schedule. 

-Till next time!

For Tomorrow 

Sometimes you need to things don’t go as planned.. Life deals cards as it feels like it

Sometimes you need to see where you are to see your even further away from the person you thought you wanted to be… regrets aren’t regrets until after the deeds been done

Sometimes you need to leave today behind for tomorrow