books

We Are Okay Review + Birthday Shenanigans

Sup, mofos.

My 22nd birthday was yesterday so I’ve been super busy in anticipation of that particular event. For those of you wondering, I went to a Death Cab for Cutie concert on Thursday night AND IT WAS MAGICAL AS FUCK. I’ve been to concerts before and I really enjoyed them. I’m a music-oriented person. Nine out of ten times I’m going to remember something in terms of what songs were playing or what songs were popular at that period of my life. So, concerts are a good place for me. Being introverted has its drawbacks in the sense of really, really hating fucking crowds but I’m also a super aggressive and angry introvert and that balances me out a bit. Anyway, it was magical. It was one of those times when you get goosebumps because suddenly everyone is singing along to a song that you used to fall asleep to and the nostalgia is tangible. I was amazed at how alive I felt during the concert and my friend that took me (an early birthday present, bless her) was just as stoked, which was awesome. I hella started tearing up during Soul Meets Body but it’s okay, we don’t have to talk about that. The moral of the story is that I am now a concert junkie – look out world, I just gained another tier of Crazy.

On my actual Womb Evacuation Anniversary, I spent the day getting completely fucking wrecked with my soul sister who happens to also have the same Womb Evacuation Anniversary. Jason has the stomach flu, though, so I had to cut my 10-hour drinking spree short. St. Paddy’s is such a fantastic day to be of legal drinking age and have a birthday because the amount of whiskey that one consumes is completely justifiable by saying “FUCK IT I’M IRISH”. I have definitely decided that I need to permanently ingrain my day of birth into my flesh by getting a Celtic tattoo. Sue me, I like body art.

A lot.

Okay, so here comes the nerdy part. I had a fucking amazing couple of days and then the bookish gifts started flooding in. I got my March package from my pen pal and she picked out some seriously rad looking reads for my library (because she’s a Virgo and I collect Virgos because they understand me). My incredibly sweet Uncle Grapes (it’s a long story, it’s fine. Everything is fine) sent me some money so I went straight to Barnes & Noble. I even got a year membership! No self-control! Also, for someone who has such immense tolerance for physical pain and alcohol, I sure don’t have any tolerance for people or expensive books. My boss (also a Virgo, I was not kidding when I say I collect them) found me amethyst bookends. She remembered that I saw them a few months back and didn’t feel like splurging so she went ahead and did me a solid. Here they are in their glorious and majestic as fuck nature.

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They’re so pretty, I could just die.

So then, my mother-in-law presented me with a personal library kit and a book embosser. That’s right, I have a book embosser now. She got me a copy of The Scorpio Races because one can never have too much Stiefvater in their lives AND I EMBOSSED IT.

embosserlibrary kit

 

She used my fiance’s last name on the embosser and that made my cold, dead heart warm ever-so-slightly. I’m going to emboss everything I own and then if someone tries to run away with one of my precious babies I will hunt them down and emboss them, too.

Anyway, here’s a little snippet of my thoughts regarding We Are Okay (by Nina Lacour)

  • I read Hold Still a few years ago and really, really liked it so I expected the same kind of enjoyment from We Are Okay 
  • LBGT characters? Yes! Sign me THE FUCK UP. Gimme all the representation, all of it. 
  • It was a little tricky to get into, the story starts off pretty timid and vague but once I was in, oh boy, was I in.
  • Marin is extremely relatable; her grief is so realistic there were times that I thought I could hold it…if I was careful
  • The character development is astouding  – for real, some of the best CD I’ve ever read. You go from being like “Okay, what’s going on, send help” to being like “Something very profound just happened and I think I missed it because I was too busy watching these people unfold”
  • THE PLOT TWIST IS THE WORST THING EVER. Like okay, Nina. We get it, you like crushing people like ants under your feet but this is cool, too. There will be no spoilers ahead but I can tell you that the thing was revealed and I had to reread it because it was so unexpected.
  • It had a lovely nostalgic feel to it. There was such delicious descriptive language. It felt like road trips and Christmas and beach trips all rolled into a delightful little package of soul-crushing sadness.

 

I give it a solid 8/10 and highly recommend it for fans of contemporary fiction or who need to feel understood.

I also finished Anna Kendrick’s autobiography. It was good, I’m not a huge fan of biographies but I powered through it because I have a huge crush on her. It’s okay, I read her book. We’re friends now. You can definitely tell where she starts to get more confident in her story because she switches from objective storytelling to snarky asshole over the span of a couple pages. I’m just glad I finished it, to be honest. Her humor was so on point but I truly hate stories of Hollywood and fame. I detest them.

I am now looking for a new audiobook and trying to get through Truthwitch which is becoming better, the further I get into it.

I’ll talk to you guys when I’m done with my vacation so I hope you have a lovely week.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

 

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Young Wives’ Club Review & Tattoo Updates

Hello, loves.

Part of my crumbled, decaying soul settled yesterday. I got my Raven Cycle tattoo and it was a really amazing experience. I love, adore, and appreciate my artist. If you’re in the Reno area, I would strongly recommend going to Nichole at South Town Tattoo Collective. She’s amazing; I love how she talked to me the entire session. I could’ve told her anything about my life and felt like the information would’ve been safe and wrapped away for later. She said “I’m in love with this tattoo” and a part of my heart filled with joy. It was such a  strange cacophony of emotions; I was sad that I could never experience the magic of the Raven Cycle for myself, I was proud because she had told me that she loved doing my tattoos.  The universe created a strange synchronization where it played Blink-182 over the loud speaker and I’d like to think it was because I was wearing my favorite shirt. So maybe I did actually experience a bit of Cabeswater in that small corner of sketched goddesses and blood. I told her about my next idea and then asked if she was down to tattoo my knuckles. We plotted the designs together and I mentioned that my family wasn’t stoked about me covering my skin. I told her “You can’t raise someone to practice witchcraft and then  expect them to live a mundane existence”

She asked me about the Raven Cycle and what it was about and I panicked. “Uhhh, it’s about this girl who can’t kiss this guy but she sees him on this Corpse Road, which is on the ley lines and the guy is searching for a dead Welsh king. You might wonder ‘Why is he searching for a dead Welsh king? That’s extremely specific.’ Well, the answer is also extremely specific. Ronan Lynch is there and I care so much about Ronan that it fucking scares me. I also care a lot about Joseph Kavinsky and I don’t give a fuck what Gansey says, Joseph Kavinsky matters to me. Ronan is in love with Adam, who made a deal with a forest called Cabeswater. Joseph Kavinksy is in love with Ronan but he dies because, like me, he makes very poor decisions. Good old, Joey K. They’re all a little bit in love with each other, actually. Oh, and Ronan can pull shit from his dreams and he has a pet raven. There’s a houseful of psychics and their roommate is dead, man. This series changed me from a moderate car crash to absolute fucking train wreck. You need to read it.” We talked about cars and wedding plans and conventions because I can’t actually summarize books without having a meltdown, apparently.

Anyway, here’s a picture of my tattoo.

raven tattoo

My sister also got me a signed copy of The Raven King for my upcoming birthday because she’s an enabler. Just kidding, my sister is fucking rad. I wrote a sappy post about it and then I re-read the last chapters of TRK, cried, had a drink, and went to bed holding the aforementioned copy of TRK. Here we are, being nerds. Her with her normal person hair and my purple bob.

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My “Joseph Kavinsky Matters” bag arrived aaaaaannnnd I ordered more stickers. Don’t judge me. I love my sisters. Look, my laptop has its own JKM sticker, too!

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Fuck off, I don’t have a problem.

In other less-obsessive news, I finished The Young Wives Club. 

Honestly, it was pretty disappointing. I would give it 2/10 stars and here’s why:

I definitely need to stick with creepy / darker books if I want to enjoy my experiences. I would recommend it to someone who wants something mindless and fluffy. The people in the story are not very smart and I wasn’t attached to them at all. Even during a death scene, not a major character, I was like meh, deserved it. I could predict everything they did and that’s not a good indicator of writing since I am slower than a sloth when it comes to plot twists. I was really excited for this book and I’m disappointed with how much I loathed the characters and the story. The ending was the only redeeming point – it was very Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants-esque and it almost (I say “almost” in the loosest way possible) seemed like some of them had learned their lessons. Very bland characters, very generic plot. Again, I would say that if you know you like literature with bite, just stick to it.

I have another book review coming to you this week! I’m looking for something amazing to read. I have some in my queue that I’m so excited to start. I tried to get into the Truthwitch but its falling short after reading Throne of Glass. I’m also attempting to finish Anna Kendrick’s memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody. It’s very lighthearted and sweet but I have a huge crush on her, so I’m enjoying it.

I will talk to you all later.

That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

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A Narrative; A Character Study

I picked my sister up in the Camry after work. I’ve preferred the Camry as of late because I have more control and more control equates to going faster. It’s not like driving the Explorer, which is all weight and no fluidity. There’s nothing gratuitous about driving a tank. We drove on auto-pilot to our restaurant, to our table – my camera loaded in the back, the weight of feeling everything at once on my shoulders. I had a beer with my lunch while we discussed Camaros and court cases. I had every intention of only going so far out of town that the fresh air would loosen the grip on my lungs. Breathing has been a labor of love the last couple of weeks; staying conscious has been accompanied by nausea and rage. The universe had other plans and I found myself bringing the accelerator to ninety as we careened around the snow-heavy mountainsides. Sometimes you go on a spontaneous adventure – sometimes you lie out of a ticket. Sometimes you talk about books and husbands but the words you need find themselves stuck between your teeth.

I wouldn’t tell her that the only religious experiences that I’ve had revolved around muscle cars, tattoos, and nicotine. The phrase “he was baptized under a stream of self-sacrifice and bare tree limbs but I see a sinner in the mirror when I tie up my hair” would not form itself without leaving the shadow of bitterness behind. I so desperately wanted to tell her that he had learned to love a god that had dragged me through embers and the only worship that I understand is self-destruction. I still have the hole in my palm where I had discovered how to turn their addictions into barbed wire while he brushed them away like sand. I wanted to tell her that he was the color of pine – a source of comfort and solidity – whose branches I could cling onto when the world tipped on its axis. I didn’t tell her that I was the color of a bruise blooming under tired skin, a storm of salt water and shards of stained glass. I would never vocalize that I felt as if smoke and ink replaced vital parts in me, my bones and blood had been insubstantial for longer than I could remember. The world was quieter when I was far away, under the tattoo needle, going too fast. I need substances to stay awake, substances to fall asleep… my own haunted house. I am a fragment of a constellation; the aftershock of a thunderstorm. I am petrified of heights but graveyards make me feel whole. I have bloodied my knuckles intentionally more times than I can count and he has always brought peace to any environment. He is the saved turned savior and I wear a crown of thorns to all my affairs. 

My sister knows about anger. She knows the walk that I make from driver seat to front porch is stained with grief. She knows that when I hear the sound of gravel under my boots that the years are soaking through to my skin and I’m imagining the slick crunching noises are actually femurs and scapulae. She knows of the night terrors that follow me around and the stories I read to make them subside. She knows that I wear oceans inside my veins and frost bite under my nails. 

I do not have to say it but 

she knows.

She always 

knows. 

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How We Find Ourselves In Books

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I was so drawn to the characters in the Raven Cycle series, especially Ronan or Kavinsky. They’re so contradictory and prickly, what could I possibly see in them, especially Ronan? 

Well, my friends, the mystery is solved: it’s because I, small and hateful angry bean, AM RONAN LYNCH. 

For the love of fuck, look at this shit!

ronan

I dress like that on accident, man! That is an actual face that I make at other human beings. (I’m the one on the left, by the way. I know some of you probably didn’t know that)

How many times have we fallen in love with a book or a series because we resonate so closely with the characters? I’ve been devoured by these books, turned completely inside out, chewed up, and spit back out. It’s like looking into a mirror and seeing yourself in typewriter font.

For example, here is the List of Things That I Have In Common With Ronan Lynch Because I Need More Reasons To Stay Awake At Night 

  • trust fund babies
  • literally, we’re just privileged assholes with no verbal filters
  • my birthday falls on St. Patricks’ Day aka the Irish Day; Ronan is Irish af
  • taste in music that everyone fucking hates
  • don’t talk to us when we have headphones on, don’t touch our tattoos
  • give us a something fast and we’re happy
  • or, give us music and alcohol and we’ll be restless but better
  • we both lost parents and turned into bitter douche canoes
  • we will both end your life if you fuck with our baby brothers
  • or our friends
  • fucking with my friends is a sure-fire way to get your life ended
  • wear black and keep our resting bitch faces on point but are really full of feelings
  • a LOT of feelings
  • both think our boyfriends are some sort of godlike angel when in reality we are dating huge nerds
  • super sensitive to all things. don’t deny that Ronan Lynch is a sensitive mofo, he literally won’t let Gansey boy make other friends
  • both of us have had Kavinskys in our lives; we ended up not being with them because they were toxic af and would’ve ruined our shit
  • love our dads very much
  • treat our pets like children
  • NIGHT TERRROOORS
  • like no friends but really fond of the ones we have
  • beings of rage and love
  • raised on a farm
  • raised Catholic AF
  • hates most things, including ourselves
  • is either dropping the F-bomb, flipping you off or being sarcastic
  • actual trophy wives
  • would rather die than hurt someone we love
  • PTSD, depression, and anxiety up the wazooo

There’s more, a lot more, but that’s the general gist of my argument. We fall so hard for these characters because we see ourselves in them. We love them when we cannot love our own souls. They are catalysts to the breaking of our hearts and the slow, aching awareness that brings us back to wholeness. The characters we love are constellations in the galaxies that reside in our bones.

I am so elated to be made up of these beings, these people that I will never meet. Their presence forces me to stop and remember my gushing affection or them and that reminds me to love myself, as well. The cycle is continuous and beautiful and my gratitude for the writers who penned the puzzle pieces of who I am is infinite.

I did actually pick up reading again – my book hangover has subsided a bit. I’m currently listening to We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and reading The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennel. I heard that you kind of need to force yourself to read again and that it really helps to pick something in a completely different genre. So, I guess I’ll read other books until my Dream Theif trilogy arrives. I GUESS.

In the meantime, I have my gorgeous new tarot cards, drawn by my Scorpio soulmate Maggie Stiefvater herself to work with. My favorite part of these cards is the accompanying book that comes with them – the translations are witty as hell. Its hard to find cards with translations that you actually resonate with! I swear this is a problem in the cartomancy community!

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I actually had dreams about ghosts and my cousin last night but the best part was that she greeted me with a Jersey accent, mimicking my problematic son Joseph Kavinsky, and said “DICK GANNNSSSSAAAAAY THE THIRD!!”. It was such a calming sensation, hearing a 17-year-old drug  Bulgarian  drug addict mobster’s voice come out of my 21-year-old, and very female, cousin’s voice box. I’m not kidding, I woke up and I was like “So this is how the pieces fall together”

I hope everyone has a book character that they love so much it causes them physical pain. I know that I have several, because life is a fucking nightmare. 

That’s all there is,

Carry on

The Book Witch

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