The Journey Begins



Trapped, by her own people, struggling to survive and keep her own sanity: this is what Sydney’s life has become. Re-education isn’t really as bad as everyone said it would be. It’s worse. The only thing she can do is keep fighting and repeat to herself that the center will hold and that Adrian will come for her. But even here, in a place fraught with danger and enemies, Sydney can’t help but push the lines in a quest to do what’s right.

Outside, Adrian is doing everything he can think of to find and save Sydney, but with no results. How can the center hold when he is helpless? Spirit is rising within him and it feels good, but Aunt Tatiana is growing louder. Not even partying himself senseless can get rid of her, or fill the hole Sydney left behind.

As Adrian teeters closer to the edge than ever before, it’s clear that both of them are reaching their darkest hour. Their love is strong, but can it bring them back together and into the light?

This novel is the fifth installment of the action packed Bloodlines series, add on to the already established world created for Mead’s Vampire Academy. For those who haven’t read these series, go do now! If you want to hear what I had to say about the previous two books in the series, click the titles to find my reviews of The Indigo Spell and The Fiery Heart. Yes, yes I can already hear you Pleeeeeeeaase not another teenage vampire book. However, I can assure this one is worth your time. Witty and fast paced, Mead’s writing has the reader holding on from page one, on point from beginning to end.

To say I am a fan of Richelle Mead’s writing is, at best, an understatement. I don’t think there is a thing I’ve read by her that I haven’t loved. There is just something about her style that just gets me as a reader. She develops characters that are beautifully mutli-faceted and real. Her plot is a roller-coaster half part mystery and full part intense. Best of all, the cadence of her narration, no matter who it is, is unique and interesting. Silver Shadows is no exception. In fact I’d say Mead’s writing and story telling only get better with each new book. Sydney has become one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. Strong, intelligent, and kick ass and that’s only scraping the surface. I’ve become so invested in her character that reading each new book in this series is a heart-in-the-mouth experience as I fly through the pages praying everything turns out alright.

I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, so I’m just going to say that I was very VERY pleased with how things turned out. I suppose some might not be as enraptured by it all, but that opinion is not mine. I will definitely warn it is emotionally trying. There were tears of pain and joy shed throughout. Yeah, that’s a thing I forgot to mention. Read her books, get attached, then prepare to cry. Mead is a great writer. She’s also great at torturing her own creations and the readers as a result. It’s still worth it, because as Ron Weasley once said, “You’re gonna suffer, but you’re gonna be happy about it.’

Prepare to go from this:


to this:


and back again.

A note on the end [don’t proceed if you don’t want to know]

The fact that they made it through what they did could be accused of being convenient at the very least. However, I maintain, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. ANJSKABFDJASHJ. That is all.

Finding Me by Michelle Knight - Book Review

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight with Michelle Buford

Before moving forward I’d like to warn that I am discussing a book about kidnapping and very disturbing themes. If you feel this would be harmful to you, do not continue reading.



On May 6, 2013, it was all over the news: the recovery of three kidnapped women, held in captivity by an Ohio man for over ten years. Michelle Knight, the first of the kidnapped victims, has come forward with the help of writer Michelle Buford to tell her side of the hellish experience she was forced to endure. A tale of darkness, Michelle relates her struggles that started from long before she was kidnapped. 

As so often happens for me when I read memoirs, I always can’t help but wonder how much is really true, how much shifts in the telling, what is lost and gained. From what I’ve come to understand of life and storytelling, even the purest intentions can lead astray because no one view is ever truly objective. Sometimes with a good memoir, I forget these questions, the story well written enough to keep me going, real or not real. This was not one of those stories. 

Though I was pulled through the story in an overall engrossing ‘can’t turn away from something grossly disturbing’ sort of way, there were parts of it that were hard for me to swallow. Not to do with anything factually present or not, but more in relation to the writing of the prose and delivery of the story. The story is written as if it is happening in real time, though thankfully in past tense. Still, throughout much of the writing there is a lot of direct quoting as well as pinpoint detail on things already described earlier on as memories that had all ‘blurred together’. For me, this sort of attempt at narration pulls me more out of the story than into it, because I often get caught up arguing in my head about whether or not one could actually remember something in so minute a detail. However, I do believe that what Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry went through was horrific enough to be imprinted on their minds forever. I’m not in any way trying to silence or disregard the story or this woman’s words. My bone to pick is simply with the narrative style. 

Another thing to do with the writing that I still don’t know how I feel about is the amateur style of the narrative. It is obvious that this story might not have become a best seller were it not for the nature of the memoir and the news blast that came from it. It at once bugged me, and yet also made me feel like the story was more authentic. After all, Knight states over and over that she barely got through a few years of high school. It would stand to reason that she would still be incredibly behind on grammar and other writing techniques once she began to try and write down her experience.

All in all the book is poignant and hard to read. Given the nature of her descriptions, coupled with the style, I don’t think I’d recommend it, but I will say that it has continued to stick with me long after I finished.

An employee, a student, a writer, and an engaged woman walk into a bar…

This is kind of what my life has been lately. I know that there are many others who juggle this kind of crazy and more, so I’m not going to complain. Okay…maybe a little bit. Maybe a lot. I’m not saying my life is a joke either, but in the quiet moments left to myself I might be laughing slightly hysterically.

I guess it’s no news that a full-time job, a master’s class, and a fiance can take up a lot of a persons time. My blogging, and even worse, my writing has fallen to the wayside. It’s a bad feeling, one I knew all too well during my time earning my Bachelors. I had to put aside what I loved doing in favor of earning a degree. It’s not exactly the same situation, but it might as well be.

Okay, complaining segment done, on to the promises I may or may not keep! I am going to update more, a lot more. I’m behind two book reviews, something I plan to change in the next few moments, and I am about two weeks behind on editing my novel.

I can do this! Probably. By giving up sleep…

Who needs sleep right?

Anyway, to all you out there wearing twenty hats and teetering on the edge of crazy, you’re awesome. Anyone have special ways of handling the pandemonium?

Surprise presents from my fiance are the best :D

Surprise presents from my fiance are the best :D

Comic-Con for the Writing Nerd: A Midwest Writers Workshop Experience



It’s that time of year again, where everyone who is any one gathers in force in San Diego for the Comic-Con to beat all Cons. There are panels and celebrities and interviews and cosplay, a play ground landscape that could fuel even the nerdiest wet dream. Now dial this back a bit, swap tenth doctor and deadpool cosplays for business casual slacks and dress shirts, instead of celebrities there are authors and agents, and everywhere you look are writers. This, my writer comrades, is the beauty of a writers conference.

Last weekend, I was part of an intense three day writing conference at the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie Indiana. This was my first writers conference experience, and going in I really didn’t know what to expect. From 8 in the morning to past 8 at night, myself and a little over two hundred other writers got together and experienced something that was for writers, by writers, about writing and it was exhilarating, inspiring, and exhausting. Last year when I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time, I said that it made me really feel like a writer for the first time, despite going for a four year degree in creative writing. Suddenly I was generating fiction and it was amazing. When I walked out of the MWW14, I didn’t just feel like a writer, but like a professional writer. It was no longer a question of if I would get published, but when. To quote Kyle Newbridge, a friend who also attended MWW14, “I actually feel like a writer now, instead of just a kid trying to throw words at paper in a pretty way”.

Read More

I Just Couldn’t Get Through It – July

When I was younger I used to think I had to read every book I picked up from beginning to end. Even now I have this urge to push through a novel, no matter how much I dislike it or not. But with a “to read list” that reaches into the hundreds, I had to admit, if I didn’t like it I should just stop. However, since I don’t review books that I don’t finish, that left me with the conundrum. How could I let my readers know? This monthly post is going to be my answer to that question. I will list any books I Just Couldn’t Finish and tell why this was. It isn’t exactly a review, but it’s better than giving a book a 0/5 when I didn’t actually finish it.

Read More

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody - Book Review

Elspeth Gordie wishes nothing more than to fit in. But that is hard to do when she harbors a secret that would surely mean her death. She is a Misfit, born with special mental abilities. To be found so is to be hated and feared by the Herders and Councilmen who rule. She has already lived through the burning of her parents, the only thing she can do is hide the best she can. But in one careless moment all of her carefulness is dashed to nothing. She is spotted for what she is and exiled to the dreaded Obernewtyn, a mountain manor where Misfits are brought to and never seen again. Even with her abilities Elspeth finds herself out of her depth. All is not as it seems on Obernewtyn. Someone is keeping secrets and it suddenly seems like it may be her destiny to find out what they are.

Read More

Park likes to blend in. He’s weird enough without anything else adding to it. So of course it couldn’t get any worse when the weird new girl sits next to him on the bus. She’s loud, in appearance if not in words. Between her bright red impossibly curly hair, her eclectic clothing, and abundant curves, it’s hard not to notice her. Park doesn’t want any of this. Not the notice he gets from her sitting next to him, or the feelings he gets when he can’t stop thinking about her.

Eleanor only wants to lay low, to make it through the hell they call high school and the even worse hell she calls home. She didn’t think that the weird angry Asian kid she sat next to on the bus would become the one thing that would get her through each day.

Can something hold together that seemed impossible from the start? Neither of them know, but they have to try.

If there is one thing the Shadowhunters have always depended on, it was knowing who was the enemy. But as Sebastian Morgenstern wields the infernal cup, swelling his ranks with Endarkened warriors, the Nephilim must face their own in a war that is threatening to drag them under. Darkness is falling and Clary and her friends might have to go to hell and back to make things right. 

Madeleine Rose Russell has never been one to sit back and let fate do it’s work. If her sister Bryony can go undercover as the hired help in order to reveal the person responsible for the fall of House Russel and the murder of their father, then so can Maddie. And anyway, all the help Bryony had been absconding off with one of the suspects on an illicit elopement and leaving behind only a cryptic note not much more informative than their father’s own last few words. Maddie can definitely do better than that. So what if her new employer happens to be a devilishly handsome half-gypsy pirate who she can’t seem to keep herself away from. It’s nothing she can’t handle. Or at least that’s what she keeps telling herself. 

*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD* *DO NOT proceed if you have not read Never Kiss a Rake* 

*Minor spoilers for Never Trust a Pirate* *TRIGGER WARNING: contains discussion of physical abuse, assault, rape, and other sexual themes*