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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year


by Julia Hoban

Books about mental illness, depression and self-mutilation are difficult to read and write. Having suffered through severe depression myself growing up I tend to gravitate to books on the mental illness subject in some attempt to better understand myself or in a way, feel less alone.

I wish I could say that Willow had an emotional impact on me like other books on this subject, but it didn’t. From the first pages I had a distinct feeling of unease but not due to the subject matter. I did not enjoy the writing in this book at all. I sort of felt like the mater of cutting was forced down my throat right from the start. I think that more could have been explored in relation to how Willow felt about the death of her parents. The relationship with her brother I could accept. Those talks, or outbursts rather, are the only points in the story I ever felt any emotion.

That was my main problem with the story. As I read I knew I was supposed to be feeling something, anything about what was going on and I just wasn’t. That’s rare for me when it comes to teenage depression and feeling left out in a book. I didn’t find there was any connection between me and Willow at all, unless she was trying to talk to her brother. She just didn’t feel like a real character to me.

I especially felt this way about Guy and his “relationship” with Willow. Not once was it ever explained why he latched on to her when he discovered she was cutting. This was someone he had only just met and mere moments later he’s dragging her to see her brother to reveal her secret and getting upset with her because he didn’t want to have to be responsible for protecting her. Well, dude, you don’t have to be responsible for any of that, you don’t even know her.

Maybe there was supposed to be some sort of soulmate connection between the two of them, but I didn’t see it. In fact Guy creeped me out and I kept waiting for him to turn out to be sinister or rape her or something. I did not like Guy, though I appreciated his kindness, but to me it was out of the blue and didn’t make sense. If he was a long time friend, ok. But not just having met her.

I waited so long to pick up this book because I was terrified of the emotional toil it was going to put me through. Sadly, there was no toil, heck there was hardly any emotion. All I could think of was how I didn’t like the way it was written and that Guy was creepy.

There could have been so much more explored in this novel. I think there was great potential but it just didn’t live up to MY expectations of it. Almost everyone else I know that has read Willow has adored it. I wish I could add my voice to that crowd, but sadly it didn’t muster up. I only gave it 3 stars on Goodreads because of that.

I am sorry, book. I wanted to add you to my collection of teenage sob-worthy books on depression, but I just can’t.

In case anyone is interested in reading more on cutting there are a couple of great books out there (thank you psychology courses) that you might be able to find.

Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation by Steven Levenkron
The Luckiest Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron

Out of My Pocket #19

Due to my book buying addiction I started this  feature on my blog where I post about the book(s) I bought that week. Not something I plan on having every week – though it seems to be turning out that way.  So here’s what I bought this week!

Previous OoMP posts can be found here!

It has been ages since I have bought books. I have not been reading them or buying them. It’s been very sad. Or, rather, I have been very sad? Stupid case of the blues and blahs. But this week I set out on a mission – buy a book and read it. And there were a few that piqued my interest and then my husband gave me the $25 gift card to Chapigo he won at his office Halloween party, so I went BACK a second time. Heh. Three books were actually bought the week prior at my University bookfair (which was very lousy to be honest) they cost me a total of $2.50. 😉

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #30 – Retreat Part 5

Ok, is anyone else out there reading this “season” of Buffy? Because, really! What. The. Hell. I had a monthly subscription at my local comic book store and then the comic got so confusing and stupid and disjointed that I cancelled it. My husband and I started reading the Angel Season 6 “After The Fall” comics and they actually read like there was a story arc. But once I cancelled my Buffy subscription it got interesting again, and so I reinstated it… and now? Did you read this one? I ended with, “Wait.. what?!?!” This is so un-Whedony it’s not funny. And as a matter of fact it is NOT funny at all. At least the Angel comics have humour and have charters that act like the characters the are supposed to be and have art that depicts the characters so you know who the hell is in the frame when they are talking. Because this Buffy comic? I never know who the hell anyone is! Gah! Anyhow.. just needed to get that out there.

Tempest Rising
by Nicole Peeler

Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn’t quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new “friend,” Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie’s lamp. (amazon.ca)

I am almost finished this as I write this post! I am loving it!

Cast in Shadow
by Michelle Sagara

Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered—and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin.…

Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she’s made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can’t trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers—powers that no other human has. Her task is simple—find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies! (goodreads.com)

I saw the latest book mentioned on some blog recently and this series looked interesting. So I’ll try it out!

Witch Fire
by Anya Bast

After a chaotic marriage and a rough divorce, all Mira Hoskins wants is stability and normality. But when sexy Jack McAllister enters her life, she discovers that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Jack is a powerful witch with the ability to command fire and is anything but normal. As the head of a security detail for The Coven, a national organization that governs national witches, Jack has been assigned to watch over Mira. She is a natural born witch with the ability to call the air. And although she is unaware of her talent, a group of renegade witches has discovered her existence and are determined to steal her power–and her life. (goodreads.com)

I like witches. Yep, I do!

Playing With Fire
by Gena Showalter

Twenty-four-year-old barista Belle Jamison dreams of a better job and a decent love life. Until a crazy scientist spikes her mocha latte! Suddenly Belle can wield the four elements—earth, wind, fire and water—with only a thought. Coffee too hot? No problem. Hair in need of a blow-dry? Done.

Gorgeous government agent Rome Masters has been sent to neutralize Belle. But he’s not the only one after her. Together they must outrun the rogue agents on their trail and find a way to control her powers. There’s just one problem: the sparks Belle and Rome generate are even hotter than the ones flying from her eyes—and with her future on the line, now is the worst possible time to fall in love…. (amazon.ca)

Was so interested in this one, started it right away, stopped 5 chapters in because it was just so horridly written. I am so disappointed. I will be mailing this book to Kristi this week. I warned her though.

Dead on Arrival (Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: Super Mystery, #23)
by Carolyn Keene

Nancy is called upon to investigate the disappearance of an ace reporter, but is unable to prevent the missing girl’s murder, while the Hardy Boys go undercover to find out who has been holding up ambulances and stealing bodies. (goodreads.com)

An exciting bookfair find! I had all the Nancy Drew books from the early to mid-90s and I was always so thrilled when they would release the joint Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysterys! Yay!

Fear Street Superchiller: Broken Hearts
by R.L. Stine

When Josie and Melissa receive threatening Valentine’s Day messages, and then the girls of Shadyside High begin turning up dead, the two friends are certain that they will be the next victims.

Oh, how I adored Fear Street when I was a kid. This one cost me a whopping $0.50 at the bookfair. 😉 I am slowly but surely going to rebuild my teen library!

Runaways Vol. 9: Dead Wrong
Marvel Comics

The beginning of a whole new Runaways! Comics legend Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise, Echo) and super-star artist Humberto Ramos (X-Men, Wolverine, Spider-Man) run back to Los Angeles with your favorite teen heroes. But it’s not the same city they left so long ago. The Runaways try to stay off the radar, but the sins of their parents won’t make that possible… Collects Runaways Volume 3 #1-6. (amazon.ca)

I have been really enjoying these digests, however I was looking through this one today and noticed the art is completely different and I don’t think I like it. I hope I like the story lines at least!

Lily’s Ghosts
by Laura Ruby

A sinister old house, an intriguing new friend, a fifty-year-old mystery, and a tag-team of disgruntled ghosts force thirteen-year-old Lily to unearth her family’s deepest secrets in this multilayered tale that’s both hilarious and harrowing, comic and creepy. (goodreads.com)

This book looked really cute and so I picked it up at the bookfair. My 3-year old niece is named Lilly and I thought that when she got older this might be a fun book to read with her. For a dollar who could resist?

The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. (goodreads.com)

My Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! just posted a review on her blog of this book and raved about it – so when I noticed I was just off by a few dollars in order to use the discount coupon I had, I picked this one up.

The Sugar Queen
by Sarah Addison Allen

Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters. (amazon.ca)

I loved Garden Spells and though I have been holding off on reading this one, I was suddenly in the mood to read another Sarah Addison Allen story.

by Julia Hoban

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen year- old Willow’s parents died in a horrible car accident. Willow was driving. Now her older brother barely speaks to her, her new classmates know her as the killer orphan girl, and Willow is blocking the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when one boy –one sensitive, soulful boy–discovers Willow’s secret, it sparks an intense relationship that turns the “safe” world Willow has created for herself upside down.

Told in an extraordinary fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl’s struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy’s refusal to give up on her. (amazon.ca)

I only picked this one up because I had the gift certificate and a $10 off coupon. I was trying to wait for the paperback. Oh, well. Worked out to be cheaper with what I had. I have heard a lot of great things about this book and I am currently in need of some emotionally wrenching fiction right now.

That’s it for me! I even got two books in the mail from Bookmooch this week and only just remembered that now, but I am too tired to write my IMM post right now. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.