Sea Spell by Jennifer Donnelly: A Review

Sea Spell (book 4) by Jennifer Donnelly

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Cover Rating: 9/10 it’s gorgeous! One of my favorite things about this series is the covers. They are stunning. The black and white with jacket to give Astrid the look of her personality it’s so well done. Eye catching for sure.

Publish Date: June 14th, 2016

Number of Pages: 357

Received: thrift store buy

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

At the end of Dark Tide, Book 3 in the Waterfire Saga, Astrid leaves her mermaid friends to confront her ancestor, Orfeo, the evil force behind the rise of the monster Abbadon. Orfeo possesses one of the talismans that the merls need in order to keep the monster locked up forever. But without the ability to songcast, how will Astrid be able to defeat the most powerful mage in history? Meanwhile, Serafina and her Black Fins train goblin troops for battle against her uncle Vallerio’s death riders. Will Sera ever see her beloved home–and her beloved Mahdi–again, or will the Volneros take over the mer realms while Orfeo takes on the gods themselves? Nothing less than the fate of the underwater world is at stake in this breathtaking finale.

Opening Sentence: “Manon Laveau, regal on her throne of twining cypress roots, regarded the merman before her.”

Musings:

You know a book is solid when it’s been two years between the time you read one book to the next and your not confused at all when your reading again and being reintroduced into the world. That in itself is an accomplishment. I’m in love with this riveting story about friendship and magic and doing anything to make things right in a time that is going terribly wrong.

What I loved:

The world itself! Jennifer does an amazing job at making you feel like your truly underwater. Her world building is incredible. There is no filler and every detail adds to the story in such a rich way.

The sisterhood! These girls have gone through so much over the course of this series. They’ve had drama between each other, two of them basically acted as enemies for a while, and together they’ve experienced so much loss. Through it all they’ve become so strong together and nothing could tear apart their friendship. They’ve lifted each other up and pushed each other to be the best versions of themselves. It’s such a beautiful thing of hope to see.

These lines:

I love great romance! These lines were so good especially in the deeper context of the rest of the story. Made my chest glow in joy. Had to take pictures and send them to my partner with the excitement I felt reading! I love these storylines!

The romance is there, but not at all central to the plot. The romances in this book are great and lovely, but the focus is centered around the girls friendship and their quest to save their realms from great evil. It makes me smile to see a book that has such a wonderful balance to it like Sea spell does.

The pets! I swear I love a book with pets. Plus, these ones are so unique. For example, the adorable octopus Opie owned by Marcos. I love it so much!

All in all:

I don’t want to be too spoilery in a review on a fourth book in a series. I’m just going to say that I greatly enjoyed Sea Spell. It was truly magical.

About the Author:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in Upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or follow @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Y’all West: Y’all Stay Home: Sunday Webinars

Today is day 2 of Y’all West Y’all stay home and I’m super pumped! Can’t wait to share all my thoughts on the Sunday festivities!

My Experience:

10 am: Middle Grade Storyball: StayHome Edition

This was such a sweet start. I love Pseudonymous Bach. He’s such a great moderator. I loved hearing about each of the authors books. They all sound amazing.

The story became a vampire with a universe under their bed. A dog is the villain.

11 am: Suckage is part of Writing

I haven’t read any books from the authors on this panel, but I’ve wanted to for ages. This is one of the more fascinating panels I’ve listened to just because it’s so writing focused. It’s good to just get words out there sometimes. You just want to build something bit by bit. Its fun to have fun with it. It’s always about learning day by day.

12 pm: Whodunnit and why do we care?

I really enjoy mysteries and thrillers and it was fun to hear these amazing authors talk about them and how they are different, but why they haunt us. It was interesting to hear about each of their processes. It’s fun that it can be so different for mysteries and how it has to at least be loosely planed.

1 pm: World-building Beyond Wikipedia

I love this! I enjoyed sitting back and listening to everyone talk books. Just a great fun time. I was so busy paying attention that I missed out writing about it. Just to me Jennifer Donnelly is a queen. All these authors are queens. This was a fun panel.

2 pm: Remember High School?

This panel was so sweet. I loved hearing about all the high school experiences and advice they give.

3 pm: LGBTQIA Q & A

This is one of the panels I’ve been most excited for. It’s definitely lived up to my expectations. All these authors are so incredible. This was so positive and wonderful. I loved hearing everyone’s stories. It was just one of my absolute favorite panels. The idea of inviting in instead of saying coming out is super empowering and beautiful. I loved hearing that.

4 pm: Writing Empathy

Just another fun panel. I’ve been so happy listening about their backgrounds and stories and it’s so fun. It also had this sad undertone just with the seriousness of some of the topics, but I very much enjoyed listening in.

5 pm: This American Life 2.0

I tried to listen in on the other panel I’d signed up for as well, but I really want to listen to these stories. It’s really unfortunate that yesterday they weren’t treated the way they should have been. Just an amazing panel! This was such a better panel then yesterday. I know I loved their stories yesterday, but today it was way more in depth and such a richer conversation. Such a powerful and strong panel. So good.

6 pm: Juvenalia

This was adorable! I loved every second. Just so cute. I loved all the writings. God this was amazing and funny. All the stories were amazing and I loved every second!

All in all:

This is what I needed to get back to the community and read and write so much more again. It was so fun and I’m so happy to have heard from all these authors. It’s just wonderful.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Y’all West: Y’all Stay Home: Saturday Webinars

This is the first ever time I’ve gotten the chance to attend Y’all west. I’m honestly pretty happy it’s online this time. I’ve never had the chance to attend dispute begging my mom every single year and for the first time this book nerd is getting to participate! This post is going to be all about Saturdays webinars. Things I loved. What I participated in. Any fun surprises that I got to experience. This is the all access post I’ve wished to read for ages.

Check out the yall west website for information and tomorrow’s schedule!

My Experience:

I woke up way before my alarm went off. I was just so excited! I’m so happy to be a part of this today. It’s just incredible. I’ve always wanted to and ahhhh I’m just so happy!

9 am: I read YA @ Home

To start I’m super excited to check out The Bridge! Hearing Bill’s story was something special. If I read any book from this panel I want it to be this one. It sounds so beautiful. I love how he talked about it. His personal struggle with suicidal ideation. God I loved how he decided to create something beautiful out of something so hard. I can’t wait to read it one day!

I love Jennifer! I’m just finishing reading the fourth book of her Deep Blue series and I love it. I’m so excited to read Poisoned! I’ll always read anything she writes!

Leah is a sweetheart. I loved hearing about You Should See Me in a Crown. I loved that she was just winging it and was growing up along with her character. It’s super cool. Every authors journey is different. Her story was so fun to hear about!

I didn’t realize that Jennifer was rejected for so long. It’s amazing that she went from that to being such an inspiration to me and so many others. It’s so wonderful to hear.

10 am: Opening Ceremony + Teanote AM Keynote

A fun little start to the festival. A cute little happy time. I loved it. I loved the cute little outfits. I haven’t read Little Women, but it was so fun to hear them discuss it all. Jo & Laurie sounds like such an adorable story. I’d love to check it out someday. The sisterly love in the panel was amazing. I enjoyed them talking about writing together. Such a cute panel.

11 am: Creativity in the Time of Corona

A fun time. This cast was really fun to watch. It was all about being kind to yourself and taking it day by day. Things definitely have changed. That it’s enough to take care of yourself and it’s such a pure and loving thought. All of them are such beautiful souls. It was really freeing to hear them talk. I loved it. That living and enjoying life is just as important as the work that your passionate about. Pretty much a do what you want and what’s best for you type of advice. It’s such a lovely thing.

On a side note hearing about how they write for video games was fascinating! I adored that aspect. Such an interesting and fun thing!

12 am: Modern Magic World-building

God I love fantasy. I love listening to all these fantasy authors talk about fantasy. It’s just the best feeling. I love what Adalyn Grace said about always chasing magic. I’ve always done that. God I love this so much. Essentially writing fantasy is such fun and that’s what makes it so fun to read. It’s pure escapism and what it reflects on the world after is a bonus. Everyone’s processes for writing fantasy was really fun to hear about.

As a side note every word out of Frances Hardinge’s mouth is a gem. She’s such a fun person to hear talk. I love her mind and the way she expresses herself it’s so delightfully wonderful.

This awesome answer came during this that I’m glad I saved cause otherwise it would’ve disappeared forever:

1 pm: Middle Grade Truth or Dare

Fun and cute panel. I wasn’t going to join in, but it’s been a gem of a panel. The banter between Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs was just so fun. I was laughing the whole time. The sarcasm was awesome and I got a lot of book recommendations for things I’ve never heard of that sound amazing.

2 pm: Truth Talking in Tough Times

This was a really interesting panel. Super informative. Very fun. Just a bunch of badass women talking badass things. Amazing! The toughest parts of life can inspire such hope and amazing ability to overcome. I loved watching this. Also how friendship can be a powerful tool for amazing things. As well as how powerful love can be in times of struggle. I especially want to read Lobizona. It sounds absolutely incredible.

Also the amount of empowerment and belief in the youth of our generation is beautiful. I love every one of these authors. This talk was amazing.

3 pm: Facing the Enemy: Hope, War, and Revolution

I love the female energy on this panel. All the books sound amazing. Feels like a chill podcast, but just with these amazing authors just talking about stuff. It’s so fun. I loved there ideas on hope. That was my favorite part of the panel. No matter what there is always hope and everything can just get a little bit better and a little bit better.

4 pm: This American Experience

Bill is back!!!! Yes! This panel is going to be amazing.

I love this panel it’s a very interesting and unique group of authors with all incredible books that I can’t wait to check out. I’ve been so immersed in the conversation, It’s been so powerful to me. Every person on this panel is amazing. All the books sound absolutely incredible and they all effect change and stand for creating a better world. It’s so empowering and hopeful. I love it.

Also having a white women whose very aware of being white among many marginalized authors in different ways was interesting. The conversation was a very unique one and I enjoyed it very much.

Edit: I do feel the need to address the fact that despite enjoying the chat and the authors dealing gracefully with a moderator that clearly should not have been the moderator. I’m linking the tweet to what was said and what the issues were. https://twitter.com/nekuthebooklock/status/1254227203971309568?s=21 this does not negate the fact that the discussions each author had about their book in spite of her was amazing to listen to.

5 pm: PM Keynote with Brandon Sanderson

Some straight advice on writing. Although I personally don’t entirely agree with it. It’s not really how I believe. It was interesting to hear, but it’s not exactly how I personally see dreams and what one is capable of. Or that it was framed in a way that resonated with me personally. I’m an optimist. I mean I get the ideas he’s discussing, but in reality I think it’s more that it’s forgetting the fact that we all start somewhere. That it isn’t an instant rise to everything we want, but it’s certainly possible. Even probable.

Here’s the thing although it’s not framed in the way I would put it, it’s basically the formula for releasing resistance (rather the ideas that would make you give up and make it harder to get published). So I have taken a bit of value from his story. I’ve seen things differently. But, weirdly it’s not so different from what I see and believe. Just in a very round about way.

His second point though is super solid advice. Being human means your interested in many things and that writing doesn’t have to be this innate thing that you live and breath and nothing else matters. It’s important to balance out your life and figure out what you want and how you work.

Also making things manageable in pieces is really important. Small goals are better then just having that big picture in your mind. It’s about the journey not just the end goal. Which is just the truth of big projects.

Favorite thing he said though is that writing books is like telepathy. Cause thinking about it it’s so true.

What you can do today is a wonderful mentality to have.

Side note macaw was adorable. He can use the force and it’s amazing!

6 pm: YALL Stay Home Smackdown

Just the opening was the best. So funny. I love whiplash. God this was the best. This ending has been glorious and light and funny and the best ever. I love everyone on the panel. It’s amazing. I love y’all west. It’s been wonderful.

Look at all these beauties.

Also highlight from Author Cribes:

God this was so funny. I loved it.

Then the pet roast with all the wonderful pets:

This cat is 90 in human years. Such an amazing one.

Then there was Masterpiece Emoji. Which was also so much fun to watch!

Then of course the ending dance party:

I can’t say how much fun I had today or how much this event and being able to finally participate has felt for me. It’s been absolutely incredible. I’m filled with so much love for this community. It’s been such a blissful day. Being an author is everything I want and just to finally be a part of this as a reader… it’s incredible.

I’m so excited for tomorrow!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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The Diabolic: A Review

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Cover Rating: 7.5/10 love the metallic. It’s so shiny and it is a very simple yet beautiful representation of who nemesis is as a Diabolic.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: November 1st, 2016

Number of Pages: 416

Received: Special gift from special person

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.

As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity truer than what she encounters from most humans. Amidst all the danger, action, and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life—and the empire.

Opening Sentence: “Everyone believed Diabolics were fearless, but in my earliest years, all I knew was fear.”

Musings:

The Diabolic is brutal, full of action, and takes place in an incredibly unique futuristic setting. I enjoyed the entire thing from beginning to end. It’s such a unique and fun story to read.

What I loved:

This line: sorry about the spoiler that this is, but god reading it was so good!!

Nemesis

Nemesis being a general badass. God, I love Nemesis. She’s been through crap. She has one of the hardest pasts I’ve ever read. It’s literally engineered her into being the beast that she is. She’s brutal and unapologetic and unkind (well if you mess with anyone she cares about) and she does what needs to be done. She doesn’t always do the “right thing”, but she does what she knows to be necessary based on who she is as a Diabolic.

Nemesis’s dog. Later on she gets a dog that’s just as beastly as she is and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read. I love their relationship. It’s the best.

Nemesis learning to accept that she’s an emotional being. For a lot of the book Nemesis is cold. It’s not really her fault it’s pretty much the only way she could ever be as a Diabolic. As the story goes on she realizes she has the capacity to care. Her stepping into being something more then just a Diabolic, but a human being is one of my favorite things. It was so amazing to root for her as she realized she could love for her own choosing and not just who she was programmed to.

The futurism. This book is cool. That’s the only way to properly describe the unique and futuristic elements that make of the world. It’s so expansive and unique. Has it’s own particular politics. It has beauty bots that change people to be however they want to look. As well as inter-planetary travel. Everything is just so cool.

All in all:

This book is a fun read. It’s a blast. The only reason it’s not five stars is because while it’s incredibly entertaining there’s something about it that doesn’t quite make it five star worthy. I loved it though. I’m really happy to have gotten the chance to read it.

About the Author:

S.J. Kincaid originally wanted to be an astronaut, but a dearth of mathematical skills turned her interest to science fiction instead. Her debut novel, Insignia, was shortlisted for the Waterstones prize. Its sequels, Vortex and Catalyst, have received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. Her next book, The Diabolic, comes out in the Fall of 2016. She’s chronically restless and has lived in California, Alabama, New Hampshire, Oregon, Chicago, and Scotland with no signs of staying in one place anytime soon. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012, followed by its sequels Vortex and Catalyst. The Diabolic was released in the fall 2016.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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My 2019 Year in Books!

2019 was a year that was entirely dedicated to my mental health. I decided to really put all my time into just feeling better and it really worked. I still read some in 2019 not nearly as much as I have in previous years, but I’m still happy that I read.

Here is my 2019 year in books!

As I said above, I didn’t read all that much, but of what I did read I enjoyed most of them. I don’t really have a goal for how many books I will read this year. But, I do know that there are many wonderful books in my life to read and I can’t wait to get to them!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! This post is a day late. I got a little sidetracked yesterday, but I hope you all enjoyed it anyway! 

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Books of Christmas Future

In the future, I wonder what I will see?

Underneath my Christmas tree.

Will there be wars fought and treaties won?

Will there be hearts coming together in spite of it all?

Will there be cyber bodies risking it to the end?

Will there be magic with a reality twist?

Will there be horrors to celebrate?
Or will there be trips to the past that we can’t escape?

Will there be stories of contemporary connections?

And will there be other points of view to consider?

I know that whatever it is to be the case, I will love all the books that come my way!

Christmas time is a magic one.

You never know what will come to be until it’s all done!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! This post is a day late. I got a little sidetracked yesterday, but I hope you all enjoyed it anyway!

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Books of Christmas Present

This year I’ve had a wonderful Christmas! I got a myriad of presents that I really love and that I’m excited about using. My sister loved all the presents I got her and that was an awesome gift in itself.

I got five wonderful books this year! All books that I know I will one day enjoy reading.

Here they are:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The acclaimed book behind the 2018 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning movie

“LGBTQ cinema is out in force at Sundance Film Festival,” proclaimed USA Today. “The acerbic coming-of-age movie is adapted from Emily M. Danforth’s novel, and stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a lesbian teen who is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after she gets caught having sex with her friend on prom night.”

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and provocative literary debut that was named to numerous best of the year lists.

When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone, and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Talor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship, one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.”

My friend at work Daisy got this book for me. She had read it and enjoyed it and hoped that I’d enjoy it. I knew about this book previously and had wanted to read it so I’m exited to do so and share with her my thoughts.

The rest of the books I got were all from family:

Wayfarer

I’m not going to say what this book is about because it’s a second book and I have not read the first and I don’t want to spoil it for myself or anyone. I guess this means I’m buying Passenger sometime in the near future.

The Tiger and The Wolf

“Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul, so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution. Maniye’s father plots to rule the north, and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. Strangers from the far south appear too, seeking allies in their own conflict. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, and a darkness falling across the land. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. A time of testing and broken laws is near, but what spark will set the world ablaze?”

I know nothing about this book. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it does look interesting. It will be a wonderful surprise to read.

Furthermore

“Inspired by her childhood love of books like A Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other. 

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.”

I’ve been wanting to read some good middle grade and I don’t even think my mom realized that. I think she picked based off the cover which to me was a wise choice. The second I laid eyes on Furthermore I knew I wanted to read it! I’m so happy to have it on my shelves.

The Walls Around Us

“A #1 New York Times Bestseller “With evocative language, a shifting timeline and more than one unreliable narrator, Suma subtly explores the balance of power between the talented and the mediocre, the rich and the poor, the brave and the cowardly . . . To reveal more would be to uncover the bloody heart that beats beneath the floorboards of this urban-legend-tinged tale.” —The New York Times The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices–one still living and one dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old ballerina days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries: What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve–in this life or in another one?”

This books is MAGICAL REALISM!!! One of my absolute favorite genres. With every magical realism ya book I own I get happier. There’s only so many out there and I want to read them all!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all received all you wished for and more this Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

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Books of Christmas Past

Last year, I did not receive any books for Christmas. Typically this boat talks about just that, but last year was a tough Christmas for me, but all that happened then has turned into a blessing for me.

See I was in no position to even really feel enjoyment with books or much of anything in general. The contrast to how I feel now in this moment is incredible. I have changed so much this year and I achieved the ultimate goal that I’ve had for the entirety of my life. Which is to no longer have depression or anxiety way on me. Especially the last three months, I’ve felt free of any sort of Depression or Anxiety.

I’m at a point where I’m happy all the time. I find enjoyment everywhere and life is wonderful all the time for me. After my birthday, I set out to write the best things that happened each day and I was so surprised and delighted to find these past 8 days have been absolutely incredible! I look back on this week and I think that I’d want to fill my life with as many wonderful and unique moments every single day into the future. It’s been incredible.

Mainly, what has changed is my beliefs about life. Which sounds bigger then it really is. I’ve just discovered that I can and should be responsible for my own happiness and that I’m good at it. I’m good at keeping myself happy. I’m good at finding things to think about that bring me joy. I’m good at allowing myself the things that create greater joy in my life. It’s an incredible thing.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas everyone!

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Top 5: Christmas Themed Books I’d Love to Read

I need to get my hands on some Christmas themed novels. The only book I’ve ever read even remotely related to Christmas is “A Northern Light” by Jennifer Donnelly. It looks like it would be a Christmas Novel, but it isn’t. However, I loved every moment of reading it!

Now on to the books I’d love to read!

In no particular order:

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

This one is endorsed by Julie Kagawa, one of my favorite authors ever, so it’s a no brained that I would want to read this one!

My True Love Gave To Me by Various Authors

So many great short stories by so many incredible authors! I’d love to read them!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

I didn’t realize this was a Christmas book. I wanted to pick this one up anyway, but now I love the idea of it all the more!

‘Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances’ by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle

You gotta have John Green in here. You just gotta.

‘Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe’ by Melissa de la Cruz

This is both a cover love thing and the fact that it’s Pride and Prejudice although I still haven’t read it yet. It looks adorable!

Well that’s all! I hope you enjoyed this list!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and that you all receive all that you hope for. 

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Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagram and Twitter!

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A Coffee Kickback/ Review: Schism

This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.

I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.

Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.

On to the review!

Schism by Britt Holewinski

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.

Publisher: Delirious Pixie

Publish Date: March 15th, 2016

Number of Pages: 264

Received: goodreads giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”

The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.

A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.

Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”

Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”

Musings:

Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.

Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.

What I liked:

The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.

The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.

Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.

The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.

All in all:

An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.

About the Author:

I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.

After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Wolfe Creek Candle website and Instagram!

Till next time!