Posted in Book Review

The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace

Read Dates: June 20, 2019 – June 20, 2019
Publication date: April 23, 2016
Source: Owned paperback

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The Princess Saves Herself in This One

4 cats

the princess i was born
a little bookmad.

i could be found stroking
the spines of my books

while i sat locked alone
inside my tower bedroom.

all the while, i hoped my books
would spill their exquisite words

over the lush green carpet
so i could collect them one by one

& savor them like
berries inside my mouth

forever a collector of words

Six months ago, if you had told me I would be into poetry books, I would have laughed right in your face. Mind you, I have always been into authors like Poe and Frost. Among others. But I just wasn’t a fan of how poetry was being written in modern times. Until I met Rupi Kaur and she absolutely broke me. That encounter led to me picking up other poetry books blindly without ever reading a single review or a single synopsis. I found Amanda Lovelace in the bestsellers section of my local bookstore and grabbed both this book and The Mermaid Doesn’t Lose Her Voice in This One. I’m glad I did.

Lovelace cuts to your core in a completely different way than Kaur does. While they both cover the same troubles, for me, it was the delivery. Lovelace spoke to me in a way that brought all my old wounds to the surface and just as they were beginning to fester, her words filled them with poultice and taught them what it took to heal.

She begins with The Princess. A young, naive version of herself who suffers abuse at the hands of her mother and ridicule from her peers. She tells a story of a girl who is broken and has no idea where she’s going much less how to get there. A girl who only wishes to escape into the worlds inside her books. (Same girl, same.)

fat
\’fat\
adjective

1. a descriptive word.
it has no deeper meaning.
it should not determine
the worth
(or lack thereof)
of a human being.

what i know now that I wish I knew then.

She continues the story by telling us how the princess became the damsel. The author seeks acceptance from those around her. She finds unhealthy relationships and clings to them because she wants to feel something other than the things she grew up with. Her mother passes away due to cancer and she harbors a battle inside of her as she tries to decide if her passing was a blessing or a curse. There is so much grief and pain in this section until the princess turned damsel finally finds herself.

the princess
jumped from
the tower
& she
learned
that she
could fly
all along.

she never needed those wings

The next section is my favorite. The princess becomes the queen. She becomes content. She finds someone whose soul compliments her own. She is finally able to be herself and live her life untainted. She gains the confidence to LIVE.

In the end, she encourages the reader. She’s taken you on her journey and carried you through the tale of her trials. But now she wants you to know that you are enough and you are able to face your own trials.

I highly recommend this one. It will reopen old wounds and bring to light current ones that you didn’t realize you had. It will make you feel.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pages in this book:

you were
sent down
from the stars

exactly the way
you were supposed
to be —

the way
you would
love,

the way
you would
lust,

& the way
you would find
your wings —

& no one
should have
been given

the power
to take that
away
from you.

you deserve your pulse.

Keri

Posted in Book Review

Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan

Read Dates: June 11, 2019 – June 18, 2019
Publication date: April 2, 2019
Source: Owned hardback

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Wicked Saints1

4.5 cats

Nadya is a cleric, the only one known to be left in the world. All she’s ever known is her home in a Kalyazin monastery where she learns and lives every day. With the gods on her side, she is able to utilize their magic, she need only ask.
Nadya’s world is turned upside down when soldiers and the High Price of Tranavia leave her home in ruins, taking her friends and mentors with it. The Tranavians and the Kalyazins have been at war for centuries, ever since the Tanavians cast out the gods from their land and relied solely on blood magic and the ruthless band of Vultures (blood mages turned monster), who follow their own code and their own king.
Nadya is on the run so as to not fall into the hands of the High Prince who wishes to use and abuse her divine magic for his own gain.
Nadya gains some unlikely allies and sets out on an adventure that could change her values and beliefs forever. There’s a lot Nadya doesn’t know and those truths will change the course of her life completely.

Before I even start to tell you how I feel about this book, let me tell you… I’m a huge D&D fan. This book is basically a D&D campaign written as a novel for people to read and enjoy and I LOVE IT. The minute I read the word “cleric” in this book, I was up and at attention waiting to see what this cleric could do.

I loved the idea of her having the favor of these gods that would grant her certain powers she was in need of at the moment… things as simple as light in dark places or the ability to know if someone is being truthful with her.

There are 20 known gods… as I read, I kept track of the ones that were mentioned. 13 total were mentioned. Nadya didn’t make use of all of them but I thought I’d make a cute little list of the ones we were met with.

Veceslav – god of war and protection
Marzenya – goddess of magic and sacrifice, goddess of winter and death (the goddess who claimed Nadya from infancy)
Zvonimira – goddess of light
Bozidarka – goddess of vision, goddess of prophecy
Horz – god of the heavens and stars
Devonya – goddess of the hunt
Myesta – goddess of the moons
Bozetjeh – god of wind, essence of speed and time
Alena – goddess of the sun
Krsnik – god of fire
Vaclav – god of truth
Zlatek – god of silence
Zbyhneuska – goddess of healing and health

I loved the little excerpts we get at the beginning of each chapter from the “Codex of the Divine”. Those were fun. They gave us little stories about past clerics, martyrs, saints, and past and present gods. There were a lot of really good ones and even ones that made me gasp out loud! But my favorite was this one:

Horz stole the stars and the heavens out from underneath Myesta’s control, and for that she has never forgiven him. For where can the moons rest if not in the heavens?
-Codex of the Divine, 5:26

That brings me to my biggest issue with the book. (Which isn’t SUCH a big issue…) It seemed like the gods didn’t really matter and there are some unanswered questions I had with them and with Nadya and her gifts. But this is a trilogy so I’m sure I’ll get some answers WHEN THE NEXT TWO BOOKS FINALLY COME OUT. Can’t believe I have to wait until next year for the second chapter in Nadya’s story.

Nadya. There’s something to talk about. She was fantastic. From the beginning she has this amazing independence and such a fierce protective nature when it comes to those she cares about. When she realizes the monastery is under attack, she grabs some voryens (daggers) and rushes headlong towards the fight. She just has her head on straight and she keeps an open mind. I love that. When she finds new information, she questions herself and adjusts her actions from what she was raised to do to what she needs to do. She doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. She tells multiple characters about themselves without thinking twice. She was such a joy to read.

Look, when you read the synopsis on Goodreads, you’re going to be like, “Uhh, is this a love triangle?” I’ll be honest, I was halfway through the book and I literally stopped mid-paragraph and wrote in my notes, “Is this going to be a love triangle?”
I’ll admit, love triangles are one of my guilty pleasures when they’re done right BUT this book was not a love triangle. In fact, it was better.
Yes. There is a bit of romance in this book but it comes with a price and a purpose and I think what the author did with this romance was fantastic. Did I see this duo coming from the beginning? Yes. But did I think that’s where they would end up as we reached the last page of the book? NOPE.

You guys know I like the bad guys in books and this book is no exception. Although, I’m not adding anyone from this book to my fictional boyfriend list this time.

Look guys, if you enjoy archetypal hero stories, then DIVE IN. This is definitely one of those and it was definitely worth the wait. The author had a plan, she knew our hero’s story and she filled in the rest with some beautiful, poetic, dark, and haunting elements. I’ll be anxiously awaiting Something Dark and Holy #2!

*Let me hit you with this throwback that played right as I was at the end of this book:


Go read this book and then listen to that song when you’re done and TELL ME it isn’t perfect. You won’t. Because it’s perfect.

+You may have noticed, my cats have changed! I was trying to create one that looked like one of my kitties and I finally found the time to work with it. I feel like my blog is a little more complete now. 🖤

Keri

Posted in Book Review

Black Butterfly by Robert M Drake

Read Dates:June 9, 2019 – June 9, 2019
Publication date: April 2, 2015
Source: Owned copy

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Black Butterfly edited

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There is nothing
more dangerous
to any form of government
than an entire
generation
who knows how to dream
and believe
in themselves enough
to change
and reinvent
it all.

I’m back again with another Robert M Drake book! I saw two of his books in my local bookstore a few weeks ago and… I’ll admit… bought them based on how beautiful the covers were. I have a serious cover porn problem…
Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed. His books are a far cry from what I get from Rupi Kaur who was actually the author who got me into poetry books at all. Where Kaur is raw and relentless, Drake is soft and soothing. This is only my second book of his and I plan to seek out ALL others by Drake but I’ve gathered that I’m 100% right in that he’s a hopeless romantic. In Black Butterfly he actually mentions his significant other and most of this book was more romantic whereas Spaceship had a little more heartache and struggle in it.

And there were
always
those nights where
she preferred the
rain over the people.
Because the rain would
remind her of how
she should feel
and people
would remind her
of all the things
she always
wanted
to forget.

The author is one of the few who has found true love and what it means and he wants the world to know of the beauties that come with finding the one who ignites your soul.

Don’t think.
It complicates things.
Just feel, and
if it feels like home
then follow
its path.

Look, if you want a feel good poetry book, pick up one of Drake’s books. This one was definitely more of a feel good poetry book. The passages are a little longer than those in Spaceship but they’re still just as deep. I really enjoyed this one and I’m glad I gave him a try. He’s wonderful.

Love
what loves you,
but never
hate
what hates you.
For hate is
the burden
to exhaust
the
stars in you.

And a timeless entry in Drake’s book from 2015 that I will cherish forever as Robin Williams was one of my absolute favorites and was lost all too soon.

Robin Williams

Keri

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Ups

May Wrap-Up

May Stats
Number of Books Read: 5
Pages Read: 1960
Average Rating: 3.9
Favorite Book of the Month: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Least Favorite Book of the Month:The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
Current Progress Made Towards Yearly Reading Challenge: 27 of 50

WHAT. A. MONTH.

So, let me just update you guys…

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Sort of…
We spoke with a contractor and drew up plans for our forever home. The contract is signed and we’re signing the final plans tonight actually! It has been such a tiresome process looking at homes after work and on weekends that we loved but had issues with or found things we wanted to change in the long run. Little did we know, the budget we were working with could get us EXACTLY what we wanted and BRAND NEW nonetheless! We’re stoked. It’s going to be December 2019-early 2020 before it’s done but we’re so excited and more than ready to leave apartment life behind.

With that said, I was only able to throw down with 5 books this month. Which is ok! I’m still ahead on my reading goal and I plan to read a LOT when we move in with my parents while we wait for our home to be completed.

I also got a promotion at work that keeps me incredibly busy. I love it, though! I’m not able to read like I was during the time spent in my last position but I do enjoy being up and busy all day. It makes the days fly by! No wonder May raced past me without my noticing!

This month definitely wasn’t the best in the way of books I loved but it wasn’t the worst either.
But let me tell you what WAS the best… SPIN THE DAWN BY ELIZABETH LIM. That book wrecked me in all of the best ways. Go read my review where I lose my mind over this book HERE.

I also got to participate in my first ever buddy read with the Dragons & Tea Book Club which was literally the greatest. I am so thankful that I was invited to the group and I am loving meeting the other members and reading their thoughts while sharing my own. The book blogging community is one of the greatest parts of my life. Everyone is so positive and uplifting and I find it so effortless to fall into step with the community.

I also recieved my first award this month! I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Hannah over at But First, Fiction and I’m honestly still super ecstatic about it.

May has been a whirlwind. I feel like it came and went all too quickly and I’m hoping that June will take it’s time with me as I need all the time I can get to knock out my tbr pile!
I know things will still be hectic as we prepare to leave our apartment and embark on our extended sleepover at my parent’s place and I’m sure they’ll be even more hectic as the house is being built and decisions need to be made. But I’m hoping I can slip into the book realm every now and then in between all these responsibilities so I can check out from reality and check into some wonderful book worlds. 🖤

Keri

Posted in Book Review

Spaceship by Robert M Drake

Read Dates: June 6, 2019 – June 6, 2019
Publication date: March 13, 2014
Source: Owned copy

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Untitled design

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Society pushes us to pour out our beauty and uniqueness. So they can burn us alive for being too different

This book claims to be a “collection of words for the misunderstood”. It’s not wrong. This book is dark, quirky, weird, beautiful… there is hope among it’s pages.
It seems like the poet is a bit of a hopeless romantic as well. Always giving himself over to his love for his significant other.

This collection didn’t just present you with the words of a hopeless romantic, though. Nay. It gave you strength. It reminded you that you are enough and you can flourish and reach your full potential if only you allow those that are holding you back to let you go.

Her eyes like a battered black sun, departed from the night before. She remembered the suffering the world caused. But it was in her weary soul, a killer’s instinct to savagely keep going.

This book tells us not to be ashamed of what we’ve endured. It has taught us vital lessons and is the reason we are able to push forward with all of our might. Don’t let people pity you or shame you for your past. Your past shaped you into who you are right now.

Change was among the stars, the moment she began to love herself.

This was a super refreshing read. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately when it comes to reading as we have been crazy busy but then I saw this book in my book case and thought, “Heck, I definitely have time for a poetry book!” I’ve also been wanting to read Drake’s works for a while now and I’m so glad I did. This book was wonderful and I hope you pick it up so it can remind you, as it did me, to stay weird. 🙃

The world is filled
with broken people
with broken lives
searching for broken love.
And that is why being
alone has never
felt so good.

I can’t see myself
with the crowd.

I never have.

Keri