So it’s the middle of the afternoon as I’m writing this/watching reruns from ‘Law and Order: SVU’, and I just realised I read like 9 books these two last weeks as I dealt with my knee being so injured and having to climb some stairs a couple of times to get to resolve my midterm exams on Research Methodology and English Translation, as my 11 year old students didn’t memorize their number for the Talent Show so I had to make some last hour changes to help us present something for next Saturday, wish me luck. Anyways, my country has gone through some turmoil, that’s actually good for our future, our democracy and economy, so yeah; I’m in a good mood but I wished I had read more books.
First one I read was the stand-alone ‘The Haunted‘ by never stopping scary af Danielle Vega.
Hendricks has some shady past but not to deserve a piece of hell. Specially the one inhabiting her new house. She’ll come to realise that this is not some PTSD, but a real dark thing trying to kill everyone she loves as it has done for the past years over a deadly curse hunting through the lies and hurt of the town’s darkest times.
SOOO IT WAS OK.
You know how I hate insta-love when it is so convenient, your know. I mean I saw the process of Hendricks getting closer to Eddie and the fact he was a decent guy, but I wish we got to know him more before spitting the big L word right before the big end. Just as I wanted that, I also wished we had gotten perhaps Margaret’s side of the story, I mean we could have easily sacrificed her instead of her children, or find a way to send those bitches ghosts back to hell cuz she was their victim until she stopped their shit for good and I can’t blame her for it. No need to say the creativity was good, not humongous like with other previous works from Danielle Vega, the queen of horror of the 21st century as I like to refer to her, but it was worth the reading for the better character development though as with Maggie I would’ve loved to hear more about Hendricks and her sucky relationship with Grayson or more about the background characters that were left scarred for life after the house was destroyed. I just wish, this story would continue since with the right character development and backstories, it could have been a fantastic series worthy of their own tv adaptation, no doubt.
“Now everything was so different, but that didn’t mean she didn’t miss her old life. Connor got it right. It felt like losing a limb. The ache of it kept her up sometimes.”
Next I read ‘These Witches Don’t Burn‘, book 1 in the new series of the same name by Isabel Sterling.
Hannah is a witch, not a mean wicked girl in school, nor a goth nutcase. No, she’s a real witch, with a coven and powers and deadly enemies. But she’s still a teen girl, dealing with her ex-girlfriend that continues insisting that she’s not guilty for their breakup, as trying to move on with a cute ballerina with a past as twisted as her own. Oh, and she also has to deal with the fact some dick or a pretty dangerous witch is trying to scared her and risk the safety of her coven, over exposure and death.
** spoiler alert ** I TOTALLY WROTE AN ENTRY AT 3AM AND IT NEVER SAVED, SO HERE I AM TRYING TO UPLOAD A NEW ONE AGAIN SINCE GOODREADS KEPT REDIRECTING ME TO USELESS BLANK PAGES.
Anyways, what can I say? This one I got wrong, I mean I thought it would be lame for the first discovery of who did that raccoon thing, cuz well, too effing obvious to start but then the mystery kept growing and I grew even more attached to these characters and their backgrounds. I mean Hannah is a leader when it comes to overcoming her ex, as her own independence. She’s the fucking boss and I love her humanity, I mean we’re capable of everything when it comes to avenge our family or those that matter to us and no hunter would be enough to contain her spirit, with every minute that passes she grows even more on me. BTW, I loved how the whole lgbtq topic was just morphed to the plot, I love how it keeps getting more accepted and embraced with every page that goes by, as it gets humanized since Veronica was no angel and had def an aptitute I just wanted to kick out of her, I mean that girl was a whinny brat! In other news, I so knew Morgan and Evan’s secret, I mean I just knew one of them was the Hunter bitch, it was obvious but it became when he blushed the moment Han talked about Gem’s injuries, I was like “that ain’t a crush but guilt and fear of discussing the topic with your target!”. Also, I wanted to know more about the Three Sisters’ lore, because every side has their own version of history therefore I’d like to know about them Blood Witches lore too, props on Isabel Sterling for getting me interested and for the upcoming sequel, as well props to the cover designer since it was captivating, that’s truly what got me to get this book so.
“Being suspicious of everyone is exhausting.”
Third I read the disturbingly smart stand-alone, known as ‘Bunny‘ by Mona Awad.
Samantha Heather Mackey never had anything for herself since her mom died and her dad run to stay out of jail, but she’s had some hopes. She wants to be acknoledge for her writting skills in college, but They are always getting the spotlight, They and their cutesy nicknames of Bunny always get the praising from her new teacher and They look so happy to belong somewhere, to have everything she’s ever shamelessly wanted. But this year is differnt, They want her to be Bunny, They want to see what she’s made of, and They will get her.
ONE OF THE MOST CREATIVE AND PROVOKING BOOKS I’VE READ THIS YEAR. IF NOT, EVER.
I think of this as a mix between Us, Get Out and Mother, meets an essay on the author’s psyche. It’s disturbing to the point you wonder what the heck is this all about, like you don’t know what’s real anymore. It’s filled with vulnerability, an emotional side that made me understand myself through the character of Samantha, that need of approval and validation by a mysterious clique, the ache for company even for that you created only to stop feeling miserable, to avoid getting depressed and the fresh breath of air/heartbreak that is to face our own demons. Now, let’s talk spoilers, I was def not expecting those twists, props to the author even though the choice of words we’re a bit to complex to fully understand them, but apart from that they explained it all pretty well. 👏
Then I ventured through the pages of the eye opening tale of ‘When the Truth Unravels‘ by RuthAnne Snow.
Last month, Elin tried to kill herself but nobody made questions, no even her best friends, and nobody who knows of this thing knows exactly why. They kept living, trying to get her back to the world of the ‘living’ as well as dealing with their own dramas. And in their last attempt to achieve their goals, they all go together to their last prom. Soon it becomes a hunting night as Elin has runaway and again nobody knows why, but the clock is ticking and their friend might want to give them answers.
** spoiler alert ** WHEN I STARTED READING I WAS GONNA GIVE IT TWO STARS ONLY.
I must admit that there were lines in the begining and personalities that just weren’t going anywhere positive in the first 20 pages, I mean first I liked Jenna a bit cuz well, she’s a control freak as I am but then she was also this sucky friend so I totally put her in the box of annoying selfish people along with Ket, Teddy. And it took me four POV chapters of Rosie to feel even more related to her way of being, as awkward and as suspecting as her. There’s where it started to get interesting, then the whole suicids attempt by Elin got me figuring out that A she had depression or B she was bi-polar, and definitely her parents were the worst denying her reality, I mean I didn’t like Jen neither by then over her being as insensitive to her friends mental state as Ket, trying to not acknowledge the mammoth in the room. *SPOILERS* By the time of the big reveal, the whole OCD finding the almost death body of Elin, I got it. I got why she avoided her, how come she kept that secret despite her ways, why she actually is such a fucking good friend that had me crying out of being thankful. Then I cried because how related I ended up feeling to Elin, I mean I don’t have that condition but I’ve suffered from depression to the point I needed thosd pills, twice since I just couldn’t stop crying to the point I no longed knew why, I understood what it was to feel helpless and betrayed by your brain’s chemistry, to just think about death as a way out of all that inexplicable mysery, to just want everything to go back to normal so we will stop experiencing this awful feeling. I cried with Elin and felt glad she had such loyal friends with her, how it was just a matter of getting words from them, words of encouragement to help her heal and try to achieve her life back, controlling her medication and giving her emltional support. It made me realise how lucky we are to have that special friend who becomes our rock, that one we go when we feel like we’re drowning, an almost sister that helps us carrying on our path. 😊 Anyways, nice book, the writing was not hard at all to understand and while reading I felt like I was in an unboxing figuring out every character’s growth through this experience, so props to you RuthAnne, keep doing what you do. 👌👌👏
Fifth I read the YA mystery full of anxiety story known as ‘All Eyes on Us‘ by Kit Frick.
Carter Shaw is a golden boy, a cheating golden boy. Everybody knows it, his girlfriend Amanda knows it but she’s too invested in their relationship and the fact she doesn’t know any better way to get the economic stability she so desperately needs, makes her face the text message threats that are slowly venturing through her better judgement into doing what this stalker wants her to. While Carter’s other girl, is still recovering from her last conversion therapy camp and is using him as her beard, when suddenly her plan to stay with him until she turns 18 shatters as she too receives some stalking texts threatening to break her sanity worst than that religious camp.
** spoiler alert ** I NEVER THOUGHT THAT A MYSTERY BOOK COULD BE SUCH A COMING-OF-AGE.
I found a soft space in my heart that didn’t come out of sharing some aspects of myself with the main characters, it wasn’t we were alike but that somehow I became protective of their well-being, I mean these girls truly grew on me and their terrible parents help me want to be their mother. Yeah, their messed up toxic environments made me, a 23 year old university student/ESL teacher who wants no children of her own in the future, want to care for them cuz I’m sure I would have done a better job than their shitty parents, there’s no denying that. So let’s start with the sketchy situation: their relationship with the dickhead that will forever be known as Carter the slut Shaw, no kidding I hate that patronizing psycho bitch. I mean like a 69% of my notes were about how much of a piece of shit he was and how better the world would be with a dick less to screw girls’ hearts. In other news, I’d heard about conversion ‘therapy’, I knew it would be messed up so I was reluctant to venture myself to that isolated and just miserable state when I was emotional myself, but I guess I grew some courage and went on reading those flashbacks while the anxiety became a huge blob in my heart and mind just crying about how empty one must feel being there, I wanted to shake the fanatism away from Rosalie’s parents so badly so they could see their valuable daughter, see how precious she was since after all that disgusting and cruel things they made her go through she still believed in God and loved them both, they were lucky she never reported that shit as torture. Anyways, I’m happy that even after all that shit, they got to be exactly were they can be truly happy. Now, about the whole who the fuck Private is… Carter was between my crazy theories, I was like what if that dick is doing it all himself? The thought cross my mind but I never gave it more importance, my guesses were obvi Ben or Adele (who the f screws your bff’s break ex?!), I also considered Pau (sorry, girl) and her brother, until David came on and I was like please, not him, he’s hot and could have something with Amanda don’t turn him into a creepy stalker. And it wasn’t him. It was bitch abusive Carter all along trying to be a dick like always, I would have shot him no matter what, no joke. He had it coming.
In other news, the writting was good and the topic was well-handled, I enjoyed its pace and the whole emotional state it left me. PROPS TO KIT.
Ps: Amanda’s mom made me remember Jillian from VC Andrews’ Web of Lies, those ungodly women had my wrath on point.
Later I went by the creative tale of ‘The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza‘ by Shaun David Hutchinson.
Elena Mendoza was always the odd one out, ever since birth. She was considered a miracle child, having been born out of an inmaculate conception, yeah that exists. And having the ability, or curse to hear the voices of certain innanimate objects like the Starbucks mermaid who keeps telling her to save others since the end of the world is coming, she never believed them up until her crush got shot in front of her and Elena literally healed her wounds as the shooter was abducted by a light coming from heaven… Now she’s starting to consider what the mermaid told her, could it be real or maybe she’s just mental?
I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD’VE LIKED IT THIS MUCH.
Elena Mendoza turned out to be one of those characters that feels like me, the awkward sarcasm, the hopeless yet coward crushes and the belief I know it all but actually know shit less than everyone else, besides the unability of making choices on my own without having anyone to blame later if they go wrong. I got a reflection that stick with me from her, that everyone deserved to make their choices and that could ruin us or save us, however those choices were still our right, therefore we should use them to stop blaming others for our own shit or blessings. IDK, but I liked that, I think it might have changed a little the way I normally handle things on my own. Anyways, good writting, I laughed and it was one of the most creative storylines I’ve read in a long time, so props to Shaun right there. For moments, I felt like I was reading a living entertaining non-stop TED TALK or perhaps some reality check by Dr. Drew, that made me reconsider many things, it mostly blew my mind. While I’d also like to share my shipping feelings towards Elena and Fadil, I mean they could have made a great couple, it’s one of those OTPs you say are cannon but would never happen irl, so yeah I got that vibe from them, idk. Anyways, good read, no complains, i’d even recommend it.
Here are some of my fav quotes:
“Everyone reacts differently to extreme situations. (…) I reacted by turning into a sarcastic robot. I felt flat and emotionless. Like everything had happened to some other version of me and the event was a movie I’d watched, instead of my life.”
“That’s how crushes work. They’re not based in reality. If they were, we wouldn’t call them crushes because we wouldn’t wind up crushed by the inevitable truth of the person.”
“I didn’t know many things for certain, which bothered the hell out of me. I liked certainty.”
“(…) the dead never truly die.”
“Our free will and ability to choose is ultimately what makes us the dumbest intelligent species on the planet.”
Seventh I read ‘Wildcard‘ by Marie Lu, book 2 in the Warcross duology.
After discovering the truth, nothing can remain the same. Emika doesn’t trust herself with Hideo, and now Zero is demanding her to work with him to stop him… Oh, and there’s the little detail that Zero is the long lost brother of Hideo, who doesn’t seem to have any linking feeling towards the game maker. But if Emika thought this was the last mystery she unvoluntarily solved… Well, perhaps she should reconsider, as she becomes a walking target for her foes.
** spoiler alert ** I ACTUALLY DIDN’T EXPECT TO LIKE IT THAT MUCH.
I mean I know that everything Marie Lu touches turns into gold but still, I mean I wasn’t getting much from Warcross, the whole interest of Emika in Hideo. I wasn’t interested, he seemed to plain for me, but whateves; and oh the entire logic of the game and process, IDK but I needed a little more slow explanation of it. Maybe I was slow myself, but those were my complaints, however, I managed to get this one better somehow, despite forgetting how these characters looked (the Phoenix team, our crew). I was inmediately interested in the whol Zero plot, his thinking and what the hell happened to Sazuke to turn him into Zero. There’s no need for me to explain my shock when we discoverd the whole truth about this one, and I found myself in need of a novella (or another book) based on the path of Zero and the silver-hair girl (I just read it and can’t remember her name!), I mean I just need it. Please, Marie Lu? Pretty please. Anyways, the plot was great, I wanted to finish it to find out how things could get ok to make things right in the end, btw I like Tremaine and Roshan, I mean they’re cute af. I still do not support the thing of Emika with Hideo, I don’t like him, I think he’s pretty fucking toxic and hideous. Don’t blame me for not liking him, he ain’t no Day, he might have a big brain but not enough for me to be interested in him that way. Emika, gurl, you can do better than Mr. Control freak. Sorry not sorry.
After that I navigated through the honest sea of ‘Hold Still‘ by Nina LaCour.
Caitlin doesn’t know why Ingrid did it, she never noticed her being sad or bullied, and all she knows is that her best friend is gone for good. Now she’ll have to relieve Ingrid’s journey through adolescence via her diary, to try to figure out what triggered her and perhaps get a way out of this depressive state to allow herself to move on, to keep living.
SO WOW, THAT WAS SURPRISING.
I’ll admit that when I started reading I wasn’t on it, IDK, I was half afraid I was gonna discover some serious depressing things that I was frankly not in the mood for, also I know that first parts are supposed to represent her utter depression but I was just bored, I know that’s not a deep thought but I was like not getting any hint of personality from her, and I know that was the point so I’m pointing out my initial thoughts. Then I gave it a lasting go. I made no mistake choosing this little coming-of-age. We experienced what is like to loose a friend when one just knows nothing that could be wrong with that person, I mean friends are supposed to know it all about their bffs, even their inner pains, specially those. So once it happens guilt hits us hard and depression is right around the corner. I also felt that Caitlin was so relatable, she found out that even though she’s never gonna forget about her bff, she’s allowed to live and enjoy herlself, her future and that nobody is the guilty one in situations like this one. Nice writing Nina, nicely done.
”Even though we wanted to go, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to walk into Henry’s house, see everyone already talking to people, already settled and gathered into little exclusive groups, and watch them look up at us and wonder why we were there.”
“As a teacher, you dream of finding the perfect student, the most promising student. (…) It’s partially selfish, really. We, as teachers, like to think that we play an integral role in our students’ development. We dream of being the one teacher that people remember all their lives, the one who inspired them to achieve great things.”
“I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever. There used to be days that I thought I was okay, or at least that I was going to be. We’d be hanging out somewhere and everything would just fit right and I would think ‘it will be okay if it can just be like this forever’ but of course nothing can ever stay just how it is forever.”
“’Life is shit,’ he tells me. I not. ‘Maybe.’ (…) ‘But not all the time,’ I say. ‘I don’t think all the time.’”
And, finally, I read a life-changing novel known ‘Words on Bathroom Walls‘ by Julia Walton.
Adam has schizophrenia and he surely knows what’s happening in his brain, when out of nowhere he sees people that aren’t there or hears some bullying voices telling him what a waste of spece he is, so he’s a regular teen suffering a mental illness and dealing with it through his sharp sarcastic mind. After a breakdown where not only was he exposed but also lost his best friend, his stepfather has found him a new school and a new beta treatment, while his mom suggested him to sea a therapist. Now he’ll meet people who’ll make him want to stay an average person, to begin questioning himself and try to hold on to pills, only to not loose those attachements he never believed he could develop again.
I SO THOUGHT I WAS GONNA FINISH THIS LATER IN THE AFTERNOON BUT WOW.
This story was so honest, funny and to a point painful. I mean I must admit that I used to be one of those people scared of those suffering of this illness, I mean I had no idea how this even worked but still I was only afraid and not even caring. But now I’m glad I got to know more, to know what is this and how people dealing with this actually are, they are like the rest of us, they’re human but they have it worse than our regular problems. They can see and hear things, and can’t help their actions and that made me incredibly sad to the point of tears, because this still had no cure nor a reliable treatment for all pacients so yeah, it was sad and just gave me a whole new perspective. These are people, not cases, they breath and laugh and watch TV.
But talking seriously about the book itself, it was so well-written I mean I seriously ventured through his mind towards those little letters and e-mails, and I was glad Julia Watson stated that he had this super good memory so he could actually remember all that he had heard and said to complement the entries. I also feel like the whole topic of parents was adressed in an honest way, how we get awfully scarred when they say something that sticks with us in a really painful way that makes us question everything we are to the point of not trusting them, but also how one simple word can fix it to the point of tears making us believe in the good things inside of us for once. It’s the power of being a parent that truly captivated me too about this novel.
“When you love somebody, you try to be better.”
“I like feeding people. It’s an easy way to make them happy, and I get a rush from the instant gratification.”
“Arguing with stupid people, knowing that you’re right, but then they say something condescending that basically means, Okay, I’m going to go because you don’t seem to understand what I’m saying, when really you do understand-you just know that they’re wrong. (…) You don’t need to concede their point. There is no point. You should be allowed to slap them because clearly they are too stupid to live.”
“It never made sense to me to worry about what happened to someone else unless I could help in some way.”
“You lose your secrets when you let people get too close. (…) It’s hard to let someone find you in all the dark and twisty places inside, (…)”
“(…) it sucks to disappoint your parents. There’s nothing more gut-wrenching than looking into their eyes and seeing that you’re not what they expected.”
“The thing about being smart is that you don’t actually need to remind people you’re smart every five seconds. It makes people want to kill you.”
“She doesn’t like people, and she definitely doesn’t like dealing with their problems on a human level.”
“(…) being old does not make you a good person. Old age is not, in itself, an admirable quality. Sometime it just means you haven’t had the sense to let anything kill you.”
“They contradict each other, like everything else in life, I guess. You’ll hear one thing that gives you hope and another thing that takes it away.”
“(…) being a parent means becoming what your children need most.”
“It’s funny how quickly you can love a person.”