For the Fairies! (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Book-Play Review)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Published: 1600

Midsummer Night's

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Let’s start with a love square. That’s right, not a triangle, a square. Lysander and Hermia are very much in love, but Hermia is arranged to marry Demetrius by her father. Helena, her best friend is in love with Demetrius, but he only has moon eyes for Hermia.

So what are two forbidden lovers to do? They run away into the forest together, determined to be together.

In the forest, a fairy king and queen are at odds so the king gets his right hand fairy, Puck, to play a trick on her. Then to go a step further, he implores Puck to help Helena after she is found saddened because Demetrius refuses to love her back. In this Comedy, fairy magic wreaks hilarious havoc.

Midsummer Night's

We all know William Shakespeare. You start to read his works in high school, usually, and I don’t know about anybody else, but I read and studied Romeo and Juliet. A Midsummer Night’s Dream came later when I started forcing myself to read more on the great playwright and poet. He’s pivotal, one of the first stepping stones, for any book lover, English major, and author.

The comedy tickled me. Rereading it this time, I was still enveloped in the hilarity that fairies and magic can often make situations worse rather than better. Laughing out loud as Bottom who talks like an ass and then is turned into an ass while on the job in the bookstore turned a few heads. This is ultimately my favorite play. I’m not one for mushy romance. I seek realism no matter the genre when it comes to such this strong emotion. The play is in the percentile that makes me truly believe in it.

 

I love this play. It’s lighthearted, magical, and fun. It toys with the free will of love, making me a completely hopeless romantic. Very different from his tragedies. Definitely find time to read this if you haven’t done so yet. There’s a reason that William Shakespeare is more than just one of the most studied writers in British Literature. His approach to themes, emotions, and his style in writing are fundamental not only to learn from, but to understand people from; that we are capable of such strong emotions.

Then again, maybe this is just me. I do worship his plays. Sonnets? Well, I love poetry, but I’m terrible at writing sonnets. Tried to write one about Neverland once, (yep, I’ve always wanted to be a lost boy) and I don’t think it went well. I’m pretty sure that my British Lit. class knew it too. It’s a good thing I never got that assignment back.

Anyway, enough rambling about the legendary man. Read this, not because you’re forced to, but do it because it’s beautiful and the language will make you swoon and most importantly, do it for the fairies!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Whatever You Imagine by Wendy Moten)

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Down in the Mud (Lord of Misrule – A Book Review)

The Lord of Misrule
Author: Jaimy Gordon
Published: 2010

Lord of Misrule

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Welcome to the world of horse racing. This isn’t about the Kentucky Derby or any of popular races that we know about. No, this is a story at the bottom of horse racing at the track of Indian Mound Downs in West Virginia. Experience life on the racetrack for various characters from a veterinarian to a dangerous trainer that threatens the well-being of several people, to a girl that keeps up folks’ hopes and works as a hotwalker (person that cools down the horse after a workout or a race) and anything else that involves working with the horses. This will give you a personal, inside look at the gritty, and even a dark side, of horse racing. Trying to cheat the system, get the upper hand, and survive in this world where horses whose best running days are long lost are put up on the track.

This book became an instant classic for me. I don’t put classics in subcategories. Classics come from all over time. But anyway, a classic, yes. While the story took place in our modern time, the depth and detail really sunk in and I admired the way the book moved from one character’s POV to another. Each character had a different view of Indian Mound Downs and those that inhabited it, and that pulled me in even more because each character had opinions and even various ways of recognizing other characters, making them very independent of each and made the imagery extremely vivid for me.

The detail in Jaimy’s words envelop the senses, allowing you to feel like you are really there. You can feel the hot, humid air that stings your nose with horse manuer and sweat and see as these horses are pushed beyond their limits. She makes the senses tingle and capturing this sport from such an intense and unlikely angle that horse racing isn’t as glamorous as we believe it to be is what truly sparked my interest. It can make and break a person and horse over and over again. That and this was a gift from my professor, (by the way, thank you).

Before my brother and I were born, my mom worked on a racetrack. While the work was grueling, she loved it and wouldn’t have given it up for the world. I believe that if we hadn’t been born that’s where she’d still be today. That doesn’t make me upset. I’m thrilled by the thought because she had been so passionate about something. What does that have to do with this book? Well, this book gave me a glimpse at what it was like for her to work on a track, aside from the dark intentions of some characters. From the stories she’s told me, I imagine my mom to be much like Maggie from the book—in the aspect of working with horses that is.

This book was a challenge for me. There were no quotation marks to direct conversation between characters so I had to train my brain on reading the text without them. In my opinion people should find a book that challenges them every once in a while, give them a different and/or new angle to at life from. It’s part of the reason it took me so long to get this review up. This book was quite enjoyable and really kept me involved. I recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge.

 

Quotables:

“You can drink yourself to hell, Duecey said, and I know you will. I ain’t taking this horse.” (Duecey to Kidstuff, p. 68)

“I tell you a secret, horse racing is not no science. Some of em tries to make it a science, with the drugs and the chemicals and that, ma’fact it’s more like a religion. It’s a clouded thing. You can’t see through it. It come down to a person’s beliefs.” (Medicine Ed to Maggie, p. 83)

n o-d a m s e l-h e r e (the princess saves herself – A Book Review)

the princess save herself in this one
Author: amanda lovelace
Published: 2016

Princess Saves Herself in This One

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Follow Amanda Lovelace as she lets you in on her life journey and what’s made her who she is today. Through her four-part book of poetry she discusses loss, abuse, imperfections and being able to come out on top after all of it. This book holds nothing back about the dark parts that haunted her, which not only makes this a book of poetry but also a memoir.

At the same time, she strives to empower people with her words and encourage bravery in the face of fears that society brings down on a person, like the standards of beauty for example.

princess saves herself

One of the beautiful things about poetry is that it doesn’t have to rhyme. It doesn’t have to be a super long piece or even more than a word. It’s a work of art that is to be felt and pondered and explored. You put a personal part of yourself in it and then share it with others. It’s a reason I can’t discriminate against any poetry piece. The most I can say if a poem doesn’t reach out to me is that I don’t get it. I can even say I don’t like it. But I’ll never go as far as to say it isn’t poetry.

 

The language of the book is very simple, but it’s easily buffered by the waves of emotions that are in each word or lack thereof. Even more was the way the words took shape on the page, emphasizing what Amanda was getting across to me. Some words were spaced, some vertical. There wasn’t a single word that was upper case, which created a sense of equality among it all. In some cases the poetry was scattered to show give off that she felt that way. So there was a very nice balance. Everything had its place and really reached out to me.

 

The book is a quick read if all you’re doing is reading. However, it’s a long one if you’re taking a moment to allow the words to sink, allowing yourself to imagine what Amanda has been through. So I definitely found myself rereading a few and also losing myself in them.

 

Below are a couple of the poems that really reached out to me.

 

where
do all the
memories go,
the ones we
hide away
with
lock &
key yet
continue
to shape
us all the
s a m e?

did it really happen if i can’t remember it?

(p. 13)

This poem really posed an important and personal question to me. A lot of bad things happened to me when I was younger and so I repressed it. So much so that I don’t really remember anything from ten years old and back. I rely on what my mom tells me and my gut feeling on what to believe. So when I read this, there was one nasty pang in a both my heart and gut because I don’t want to remember what’s lost, but I know that alone shapes me and it’s been for the best. Sure, I’m excitable, nervous, and super awkward, not to mention I can have a short temper, but if anything, not remembering things has made my life better.

 

his talent:
he never
once
had to use
his hands
to touch
each & every
part of
me.

-he could touch me across highways

(p. 120)

This is one I think is relatable in one way or another. We’ve all been hurt by someone that didn’t even need to raise a hand. Words are twisty that way. After reading this one, I only had silence and a nod that said-I get it, I know. It’s okay.

 

 

i am
a tigress
who has earned
her softer-than-velvet
stripes

-ode to my stretch marks

(p. 152)

This one made me smile so much. There are times to accept your beauty and thrive in the imperfections of life. I started getting stretch marks in the tenth grade. I also weighed 80 lbs. and approached the final height of 5’2’’. I know, 80 lbs. and stretch marks? How!? Well, it happened and at the hips. For years they bother me and it wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I started accepting it because at that point they’d trickled halfway down the back of my thighs and I only came out to 107-112 lbs. Today, I’m only 110 lbs. and haven’t grown another inch taller. My skin only does what it can and so I have stripes. Reading this poem made me so fuzzy and warm inside because I totally get it! There are just some things you say ‘to hell with it’ and laugh because you have no control. In fact, I found this amazing tattoo idea for stretch marks!

 

 

trees
have words
the wind
cannot carry,
so we must
write
on them
their stories
until there are
none left
for them
to tell.

write the story

(p. 161)

Reading this one, I can still hear the breeze in the summer twilight as it rustles the leaves. It’s dropped to 70 degrees and a small shiver falls over my shoulders, making smile as I sit on the stoop with my bare feet in the cool grass. Looking up, the stars are peeking out one by one. Fireflies are on the edge of the woods, twinkling, searching for their other half. They look like the stars themselves that have decided to visit us little humans down here. I have this moment every summer. It’s my favorite one and when I hear the breeze ruffling the leaves I swear it’s the trees talking. Maybe that’s cheesy, but it’s so beautiful. It’s a moment when I can just be. And that’s important. Having moments like that means my head isn’t clogged with stress. And to write stories is my passion. It’s why I went to college. I’m not out give underlying motivations or understandings. Readers will find that on their own. I just want to give someone the opportunity to lose themselves because every once in a while we need that. Having a place to go in books helped me survive high school. So when I read this poem, it was really drawing back to all of and reminding what I’m working toward and keeping me tethered to a moment that I want to always have.

 

Obviously, this book really spoke to me. So I’ve decided to be brave. Below are a couple of the poetry pieces that I’ve worked on.

 

Fruit:Human

Rigid teeth drag over the soft and fuzzy surface
Scratching until bitter juice trickles down my arm
A nasty shutter

Another bite
There’s no taste

Another bite
There’s no satisfaction
No feeling of fulfillment to be had
But the teeth marks remain.

So does the shame

 

 

First Cup

The cranes stand tall
I can’t help but imagine the smaller birds,
The ones I can’t see so well in the early hours,
As seagulls
I can only guess it’s my mind missing the ocean
I’m not an early morning kind of woman

The stone is chill as I lean against it,
Standing on my tippy toes
The graffiti on the other side of the river is as vibrant as I feel the day will be soon

The building behind us still block out the sun
But not its ever reaching rays that touch the river sands with its golden fingers
I contemplate jumping over so I can squish my toes in those grains
It’s an early morning thought
Which isn’t really a thought at all

As the city awakens, so do I
Or at least I try.
The sound of the rushing water could put me back into a slumber
I lay my head down on the bridge wall

I don’t drink coffee
I don’t see the appeal
However, I thought that this momentous occasion called for such circumstance
Like drinking champagne for an anniversary
Or shots for a special birthday

This place all on its own is no longer in the depths of my imagination
It now lingers in the vault of my memory
A peaceful place
Where the water rushes
The birds sing like seagulls
And that first ever cup of coffee tastes like water

 

 

Fireflies in the Garden

Some cup them in their hands
Making small wishes and release them to the sky
Others swing at them with rackets and fly swatters
Angry about the wishes that never came

From the porch,
With my chin in my hands
Watching
Waiting
Anticipating

Only for a moment
They fly around like stars
I am one of them
But only for a moment
It’s freedom

In a wisp
A swish
A buzz
A glowing ember returning to the sky
It’s gone and so am I

As I sit here on the porch

 

This was a phenomenal read for me. I will more than likely find myself coming back to it at some point. I recommend that if you haven’t read it that you consider it.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Safe by Britt Nicole.

Even in Graphic Novels They Sparkle (Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1 – A Book Review)

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol. 1

Author: Young Kim

Published: 2010

Twilight

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

“It’s twilight…”

Coming to life in a unique way is Stephanie Meyer’s novel, Twilight. The graphic novel, beautifully illustrated by the way, has a whole new POV of how the characters act to how they look. In Volume I, discover how Bella meets Edward and discovers what he is as she falls in love with him and possibly discover a whole new way to imagine the world of vampires.

 

Now, I’m not going to do comparisons here. If a comparison is what you seek then I suggest picking up the Twilight saga guide which will give you the in-depth look and comparison of the series.

Twilight

 

When I read Volume 1 I was really drawn to the artwork. It’s certainly different from the novels and the movie saga. Forks, Washington is still dismal and rainy with that mist that makes it magical, but the characters are very different. They aren’t anything like what I imagined them. There’s a perfection to every little bit, down to the very facial expression of each character. The Sepia coloring was rich and gorgeous. All of it is one-of-a-kind.

Twilight graphic novel

Something that steered me away from this book though, was that only the good lines we all know and love from the saga are featured in the book. From there I had to gauge from the actions of the characters what was happening. For major fans, that’s not an issue, but I like to have more. I’m a greedy reader. I wanted more to keep me engaged.

While I found bits that I enjoyed and bits that I didn’t, the book isn’t half bad. It really sits in the middle with me and maybe if I get bored I may pick it up and give it a reread.

 

Quotables:

“First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was part of him—and I didn’t know how potent that part might be—that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” (Bella)

“As I looked into his eyes, I abruptly grasped that this was every bit as now to him as it was to me.” (Bella)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? When It Rains by Paramore.

Totally Witching (Summer on East End: Triple Moon – A Book Review)

Hey my loving bookworms!

I’m getting this review in here before I head out of town to the Supernatural Convention down in Pittsburgh. I’m super excited. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’ll be getting some much needed quality time with my mom.

So to the review!

 

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published: 2015

Triple Moon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

“Beware the storm of retribution” (p. 143)

Young witches, Mardi and Molly Overbrook (and twins to boot) are sent to stay with their Aunt Ingrid on East End after a terrible accident that could expose their magic and send them back to the days of burning witches at the pyre. Problem is, they can’t remember what happened so they, along with their Aunt Ingrid and Aunt Freya need to figure out what happened before it’s too late. That means they’ll have to come together and that’s not easy since they can barely stand each other. One thing is for certain, there was somebody else with them during the accident. While in East End, the girls will need to keep cool with their magic and embrace the human life. Their lives depend on it.

Meeting cute boys, however, is a side perk to being stuck in the small, oblivious town too. The twins meet the Gardner brothers and sparks certainly start flying both metaphorically and literally. Can they handle getting caught up on in love dram and stay out of witch drama, or will this be the end of them?

Triple Moon

If you’ve followed the witches of East End then you’re already familiar with the characters. I followed them through the TV show on Lifetime so I know a little-tid-bit. It was delightful and made me quite reminiscent of Charmed. Plus, it’d been a while since I read a book with witches, so I was ready for this book.

Both old magic with potions and broomsticks meet the modern world of fancy parties and ritzy fashion. I wasn’t sure about the combination when I started, but it blended very well, much like salty and sweet. You think being so opposite of one another that they wouldn’t work, but they are tasty! I personally love Reeses Snack Mix (and I’ve realized I make food comparisons. Not sure if that’s just because I’m hungry or not. I love food.).

Myth and lore of magic is always important to me. One small tidbit can ruin a whole book for me. That kind of happened with Twilight. Loved the storyline and the characters, but didn’t love the vision of mythology of ‘vampires’ and ‘werewolves’. And while I don’t mind debates, this review isn’t about Twilight. To each their own. But I loved how this book stayed attached to magic in a way that while it was one of a kind, it was also still connected to the history of witchcraft.

Triple Moon

The blend of Nordic gods and witchcraft was such an amazing twist, even though I already caught a gist of it from the Lifetime TV show. There was more depth added to it here in the book. I was swimming in an endless pool of magic.

Triple Moon

The twins were fantastic characters because of how they made me feel. There was frustration and excitement and longing for them to find closure in certain aspects of their life, like their absent mother. There was a great amount of detail to them, right down to what made them so different and what their styles were. If I had to pick one I can relate to the most it would have to be Mardi. While she’s bold and relaxed, she’s shy and caring while her sister is sensitive and high-end. However, I’m not brave enough to try Mardi’s skimpy and flashy clothing style.

 

I’d read this book again because while I wasn’t surprised by some of the plot twists, I found the story to be a beautiful, magical, mess. The detail sucked me in and really put me right in the middle of a different world. I couldn’t find a problem, not even when I got frustrated with the characters, because they weren’t written terribly, they were just stubborn and making me go grrr sometimes just like people do in real life. I look forward to reading the sequel.

 

Quotables:

“The rush of gratitude she felt toward the universe was intense.” (Mardi, p. 36)

“Something about him felt like home. A home she had never had.” (Mardi about Trent, p. 61)

“…Take for instance, the very runner beans. They look pretty misshapen, and they have a few brown spots. Their color isn’t uniform. If you were looking for perfection in a gleaming supermarket, you might turn up your nose at these particular beans. But these particular beans are actually fantastic, bursting with flavor. All of their color and beauty is on the inside. So you have to know them in order to love them…” (Marshall about Molly, p. 103)

A fantastic analogy by the way. This book was littered with beautiful language and it was delightful.

“You always want to a fresh situation with a boy on a high note, with a lingering sense of possibility.” (Mardi, p. 240)

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song today? Can’t Be Tamed by Miley Cyrus.

Stalker Much? (I Know What You Did Last Summer – A Book Review)

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1973

last summer - amazon

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Four teenagers make a pact after a devastating car accident, promising to never talk about that night. A night when their lives changed forever. A year later the teenagers start receiving letters that remind them of what they did and worse, what they didn’t do. Being haunted and stalked, they try to figure out who is behind it all and what to do before one of them or all of them end up dead.

I know

First things first, this book is nothing like the 1997 film, which was a horror and went off of the urban legend of the man with a hook for a hand. There are so many differences between the book and movie from what the characters look like to what actually happened that made them form a pact of silence. Also, the body count was much lower in the book. However, both cover the theme of revenge and guilt very well.

This book is quite accessible as it read on a 7th-8th grade level. And I realize it took me two months to read, but in my defense, it sits right beside my pillow as my bedside reader. It wasn’t heart attack inducing or anything of the sort. Nonetheless, I found the story to be quite enjoyable.

Books like these are rare these days. The build-up and curiosity reeled me in. These kids had ordinary lives and now what should be the best time of their lives—going to college, getting an amazing job—is actually riddled with anxiety and dread. But I think what really surprised me was that it was both predictable and unpredictable. I discovered who the antagonist was. It was easy, but I certainly didn’t expect the plot twists and in depth explorations behind the accident. Lois explored each angle, detailing each family and showing how each of them struggled. It really opened my eyes about the varying relationships between parent and child.

I know

One of my favorite things about this is the consistent tone of the story and the way the language magnified the time period when pot and alcohol was revered as major gateways to a low life. That you wouldn’t go anywhere in life if you partook in these things. You were breaking all kinds of rules if you were out partying all night. The vocabulary itself showed just how much language changes over time. We certainly don’t talk like the way they do in the book anymore. It’s so light and simple compared to the complexities of today’s ever-growing language. These days we’ve even added emojis to our language base.

This book is an instant classic and it’s one worth reading again. One certainly gets a feeling for what it’s like to harbor terrible secrets. Definitely earned five bolts from me.

I know

 

Quotables:

“It’s like something out of a move. You think of things like this happening in New York and Chicago and places like that, not in peaceful towns with normal people.” (Elsa, p. 108)

“Something bad is going to happen and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.” (Julie’s mom, p. 268)

“The heavy blackness was all around her. And she knew at last what it was like to be alone in the night.” (Julie, p. 195)

 

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Song today? Eighteen by Creed.

Possession is Fundamental, Not. (Unmarked – A Book Review)

Unmarked (The Legion Book 2)
Author: Kami Garcia
Published: 2014

Unmarked

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

                                                He is here…And he could be anyone.                

 The demon, Andras is set free thanks to Kennedy and the Legion. (Confused? Read Unbreakable, the first book in this series or take a peek at my spoiler free review: The Family Business?)

Now, Kennedy is off at boarding school. Girls have been going missing left and right. With no idea about where her friends are, Kennedy keeps track of the strange occurrences happening across the country, not that she has a choice with her photographic memory. Then the gorgeous Jared Lockhart shows up, the one who promised to find her, and while she is unbelievably happy to see him, she is immediately reminded of what they did. But when his life is threatened, Kennedy is determined to find a way to save him, regardless of the world falling apart around her.

Kennedy and the Legion are forced to accept help from the most unlikely of people, the organization that has been enemies with the Legion for years, the Illuminati. Kennedy isn’t sure how much more she can take, but when secrets are revealed that change how she views her mother, they could break the Legion apart forever.

Unmarked - Supernatural Wikia

 

The secrets & revelations just keep coming. I was rather surprised with the plot that kept twisting and twisting! My gut was in a couple knots by the end. Kami Garcia really knows how to stun you. I want to say it’s like running into an invisible brick wall. You don’t see it coming or at least I didn’t, which is an upgrade from the first book, Unbreakable. The unpredictability was definitely kicked up a notch.

The new characters were fantastic. Gave the story that good push forward. Sometimes sequels and other books within in a series lean too heavily on the book that started it all, but this was not the case here. While there were flashbacks (well placed by the way) there were massive pushes forward into the series with the introduction of new characters and obstacles. These characters weren’t just here for a few scenes and then gone and I loved it.

 

Revisiting subjects that were only briefly mentioned in the first book and realizing that they held so much more importance that before was made me salivate. It was literally a case of—I remember that! Followed by—wow, intense, because there’s so much I didn’t know and it wasn’t relevant then, but now…now it is and Kami really knows what she’s doing, mind-bending me. For example, the illuminati, briefly mentioned as a group of baddies in Unbreakable, has a much bigger role to and so does Kennedy’s mom.

Unmarked

 

Still moving at like a high-speed semi-truck. The time jump from the first book to the second is only a few days. This series is non-stop action and drama, a force to be reckoned with. There certainly wasn’t a dull moment, though I can’t deny that I rolled my eyes a couple times during those super gushy moments. What can I say, I’m awkward around people with feelings.

 

I’ve read a couple comments on Goodreads about a third book and quite a few people feel like it’s never coming, but never fear! I actually sent a message to the author and her lovely people because I was curious about it myself. I got a reply the next day. There will be a third book. Kami just has a couple other books that she’s been working on such as X-Files: Origins. I hope it really keeps up the momentum of the series and with it leaving me hanging the way it did, I can’t wait for the third book to be released.

 

Quotables:

“Real life doesn’t work that way. There are some fights you can’t win.” (Kennedy to Maggie, p. 18)

“Sometimes when I look at you, I can hardly breathe.” (Jared to Kennedy, p. 172)

“Friends who don’t trust you…and a boy who doesn’t love you” (Kennedy, p. 279)

“This was a war we couldn’t win. Or one we’d already lost.” (Kennedy, p. 331)

“Sometimes moving forward changes what’s behind you.” (Kennedy to Priest, p. 371)

“But you still fight. You still hope. Because there’s a chance you might win. And even if you don’t—you fight for the people you love, especially when they can’t fight for themselves.” (Kennedy to Jared, p. 379)

Unmarked

 

More to come soon…

– K.

P.S. Song Today? Cry Little Sister by Aiden.