“Depression”

If I’m being honest, life hasn’t been the best to me this year. Yes, people experience all kinds of hardships everyday and I’m not unique in that aspect but, sometimes I wonder if my depression is really just.. “depression”. I’ve been on medication for close to a year now and it’s been helping. I’ve gone to a couple of therapy sessions to let go of the pent up sadness and anger and everything nasty but it just seems to get worse. I thought I was doing better then school started. I had a boyfriend, and the breakup happened. To make it all worse I did work with him and had to see him for the most part of the week. I thought I could save it. I did everything stupid but I never got any closure so because of pure desperation I started to cut myself. I took 8 tylenols to numb the pain and so I could interact with people and “function” properly. It is complete crap of course and I shouldn’t have done that. 

I talked to my co workers, especially the ones I considered to be my big sisters. They told me, my depression is not a thing, I’m just making it up and I just need a change in perspective. Their lives are shitty too but since they’re not 20 and not immature and a “weak, piece of shit” they can handle life. They said that in a nice, caring way of course so I know it’s for my benefit (of course). I should just forget about the ex because he’s a piece of shit anyways, ‘like every other guy’. They didn’t care that I dated him for over a year, that I knew all about his life more than them, that we broke up not over another girl but simply because life wasn’t being too nice to him too. So yes, maybe I just hurt myself to look for attention. I need to find the maturity somehow so I stop being weak and pathetic.

I’m just ranting right now because honestly I don’t get why people treat mental illness like it’s an illusion. They didn’t even take me seriously when I said I wanted to kill myself. When I told them I got help and will be seeing a therapist, they laughed at me telling me how much of a waste of time psychologists are and how I just need a great friend and my family to be able to feel better. That my medications are actually making me more insane. It’s sad and if I am feeling normal I would feel sad for the way they think but it just makes me feel more of a failure than I already am. I just quit that job and have a new one now and I finally found closure with the breakup. I’m not healed yet but in a way I feel better. I’m gonna get help. I’m doing my best not to hurt myself anymore. I just wish with this next chapter in my life I encounter people who doesn’t stigmatize mental health and instead, tries to learn more about it and help raise awareness.

At the end of the day I know what I feel and I know that this sadness is not something that I can rationalize myself and make it go away. Maybe tomorrow I’m gonna wake up better but before that, I pray that those people will open their minds and not dismiss anyone with this problem.

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Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★★

Synopsis:

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away..

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Okay, I know a lot of people are giving this book high praises and even comparing it to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern but I wasn’t blown away by it. I wasn’t blown away by the Night Circus as well so that might be a factor. Basically this is about a magical show that comes to places once a year and you either spectate or join the game and if you win you get a wish. Of course there’s magic inside the ‘carnival’ and there’s a whole different set of rules and people speak in riddles and stuff and there’s clues and everything.

I don’t know, I just don’t think this kind of story is for me. I don’t know if I’m right in saying this but the magical realism part of it just doesn’t do it for me and the whole mystery part of the grandmaster and the whole thing just irritates me to no end. I know there’s supposed to be a little sense of madness throughout the whole game but instead of making it appealing to me it just feels too ominous and it clouds the whole magic/fantasy aspect of it for me. I have no exact words for it but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting it to. I gave it three stars as opposed to two just because the description of the place sounds beautiful and the writing is pretty good but other than that this was okay for me.

Has any of you guys read this yet? If so, I would love to know your opinions about it, maybe I’m just missing something 🙂

Book Review: Spellhaven by Sandra Unerman ★★★

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What the book is about:

In the summer of 1914, Jane Fairchild, a young English musician, is kidnapped by magic and sent to Spellhaven, an island city ruled by magicians. Here, peace and prosperity are maintained with the assistance of Unseen Spirits bound to the service of the Lords Magician. The Spirits must be kept in good humour by the performance of all kinds of shows, dance, drama and music and Jane is one of many people kidnapped from the outside world and forced to contribute to these entertainments for a set period of service.

Only Jane is having none of it. She will not perform for her kidnapper, Lucian Palafox, but agrees to undertake an apprenticeship with another magician impresario, provided she is taught magic in return. Jane’s forays into magic lead her deeper within the mysteries of Spellhaven, her rivalry with Lucian escalates and the quarrels between them grow strong enough to shake the city to its foundations.

My thoughts on the book:

This book had a lot of potential. It really did. I can see where Sandra was planning on going and it would have greatly benefited from more character and story development. It felt like she tried to cram two or three books’ worth of material into one and then chopped off a lot of details that mattered. I did enjoy her writing style however. She manages to be engaging still even with all the details and information that she’s trying to throw onto you and for that I give her credit for.

Another thing that kind of bothered me was the way she wrote the love story between Jane and Lucian, the magician. Throughout the whole book she emphasized greatly how much Jane hated and was thoroughly pissed of at Lucian and she never really bothered to say that they liked each other. Lucian gave me the impression that he was just a womanizer and Jane is just one of the challenges that he wants to conquer and nothing else. And then it just suddenly felt like, boom, they are in love and they get together and all that. Yes, this is a bit of a spoiler but nothing too detrimental.

Also, the fact that the first 3/4 of the book felt like a different story from the latter 1/4 was really disappointing. Overall though I still had fun with the book and in fact, I actually could not put it down, which says a lot about how good of writer she is. I just pray that she has a better one if she has any plans of writing another book. I will read it as well because I thought she had a lot of potential.

I rated this a 3 stars and if the premise sounds interesting to you, please do check it out! Happy reading!

 

I received an eARC of this from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) ★★★★

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What the book is about:

Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot—and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.

Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

My thoughts on the book:

I read this after watching a lot of Booktubers talk about it and how it was a good choice to get yourself started if you’re fairly new to graphic novels. Just like how the synopsis is, it’s about these two children and how they moved into an ancestral house and discovered that there’s a whole new world underneath it and their adventures in trying to save their mother after being taken captive by one of the monsters.

I loved the art in it, not the best I’ve seen but it’s adorable nonetheless. It is an easy read, definitely, since it took me only half an hour to finish it. The story was very interesting although I wouldn’t come into it expecting some sort of epic action scene because keep in mind this is still intended for a middle school audience. Nevertheless it is still very enjoyable, and another surprising thing, I actually found one of the characters creepy as hell. I can’t really go into it anymore because then I would be spoiling a lot.

I urge you guys to try it out for yourselves and comment down below what you think of it, if you’ve read it or not. Happy reading!

Book Review: The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

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This is my first time reading Christian Fiction and I absolutely loved this. Yes there are some faith related content in here but I’d say it’s pretty appropriate with the time period and the country so even if you’re not religious you can just take it as it is and still enjoy the story. This has the perfect balance of drama and romance and I would say that the character development was really well written. Is it cheesy? I didn’t think it was. It is romance but I felt like it is realistic enough that it wasn’t cringey.

I found myself actively cheering on one couple versus another and for me that really means that the story is engaging enough and the writing is good. I honestly don’t know how else to explain this story without spoiling anything so I’ll just leave this review short. The title and the book cover initially made me think this is some cheesy ass romance novel but I was pleasantly surprised that I loved it (and I’m not big on romance, mind you). I really suggest you give this a try even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy it as much because every book deserves a chance 🙂

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris ★★★★

Synopsis:

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

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This book first caught my interest after one of my favourite booktubers (Sarah’s Nightstand) raved about it after she read it.. last year? Yeah I think last year. I was initially gonna buy this brand new but lo and behold, this was the first thing that caught my eye after entering my favourite charity bookshop and I freaked out. It was still in perfect condition and I got it for $2.00 so yeah, that was a happy day.

Moving on, this is a psychological suspense thriller and like it says in the synopsis, it’s about a couple who everyone thinks is perfect but none of them know that behind closed doors (see what just happened? hahaha) is a dark secret about their true relationship. I guess I can kind of spoil it a little bit because everybody will assume this anyways but the husband is a freaking psycho. That’s all I’m gonna say. The whole time I was reading this I was super on edge and anxious because of what was happening. You might think that you know where this is going while you’re reading this but trust me, the plot twist was not what I was expecting. It wasn’t even close. And the last three pages? Those were my favourite because it gave me chills and I felt such relief, I think it erased my stress for a good bit.

The only reason I gave it four stars as opposed to five is because even though it surprised and intrigued me, it wasn’t that much of a mind blow to me as it was to the people who have raved about it. I think it could actually be because I’ve read a Korean webtoon called Killing Stalking and it has similar tropes but that one is actually worse. I might just be a sicko but I loved reading that and I enjoyed this novel as well.

This is a definite recommend to anyone new or old to the genre because I feel like even though there are similar stories out there, B.A. Paris has really outdone herself on this one and I know that most people will enjoy this.

Book Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine ★★★★

Synopsis:

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

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Okay. First of all I finished this book in one day after it was already 3 days overdue from the library. I know, I know, I’m bad haha. I brought this with me to the dentist while waiting for my sister to get her wisdom teeth extracted so I had a pretty good chunk of time to read it. Initially I thought it was a little bit slow but it could also be because the clinic made me sleepy as hell but it easily picked up speed about, halfway through the book (for me anyways). This is fantasy but I would say it also has a bit of a dystopian in it because the book is set in a world where original copies of books are forbidden by the Library, which is a sort of organization that protects and controls books and information from everybody. The citizens are only allowed to have ‘blanks’ and I’m imagining them to be like e-readers where texts/books can be read through them.

Rachel Caine did a great job at fleshing out how the world being run by the Library actually feels like. I could feel the frustration and oppression from reading and at some points I actually wanted to throw the book far, far away from me because the corruption and dirty politics was making me mad. Jess Brightwell is a pretty well developed character and I loved how consistent he is with his values and upbringing because you know how it is when they suddenly go out of character. The rest of the gang has a pretty good amount of diversity as well, ethnic and personality-wise although I kinda did wish some of them were explored a little bit more because their lives sounded fascinating. Thank goodness for sequels though.

I gave this book only four stars as opposed to five just because there were a few loose ends here and there that I hope would be answered in the next book because I really wanted answers lol. This had a pretty good amount of action in it which I know everyone will enjoy (well mostly) so if it sounds interesting please check it out and comment down below any of your thoughts!