Books are my escapism. I love them. They are life. Except...
I've been currently reading the same book for what feels like ages, well for the whole of December, so really only a couple weeks. It isn't as if I don't like the book. I have no idea why I procrastinate something I love so much! I go through spurts of reading 20+ books in a month, and then reading like 2 and sometimes nothing at all!
I recently found out some of my "quirks" come down to autism. Shocker. 33 and I'm only now finding out who I really am, or at least understanding more why I do things the way I do them. The more correct term would be ASD or Asperger Syndrome Disorder.
People can call me a special snowflake all they want. I finally have a term, or label (if you will) that helps me understand my head a little better. I did not get it officially told to me by a doctor, either.
First I got advice from a friend who has it and she gently told me to look more into it, because apparently aspies are really good at recognizing each other. What she did not know was that I had already been wondering about it and when she gave me this long message talking about her experiences and relating them to what she has seen me do, I just couldn't control the melt down I had while reading it.
Like I feel ashamed and broken, but rationally, I know there is nothing to be ashamed of and I'm not broken. It is just another part of me. One that 90% of people won't take seriously because I'm a grown woman, and I didn't get a "Doctor's Note."
This hardly has anything to do with books. I was wondering if non bookish blogs are fine, considering this blog site is called "booklikes"
Anyone else share non bookish stuff? Is that frowned on here? I sometimes have things I want to blurt to people and nobody to blurt them to.
Oh, I wanted to share my current saving grace is the La La Land soundtrack. I put that music on full blast when I am having "moments" where I want to ignore the world. Go see the movie and make the music your life!! All music is my saving grace, but I really love this soundtrack. I'm really into the music I grew up with, the 90s/early 00s, plus a few more modern things. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that some people are calling the 90s the oldies now.
I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!
It has been a long time since I have been able to write poetry. It is an art form I don't always understand. I like to read it, but it is usually hit and miss whether I like it or not. So I've been going through stuff, so I wrote some poems recently. I'm sharing them with you.
Agonizing, Torment, Panic
All this because the Internet went out
Bored, Lonely, Sad
All this because the Internet went out
What to do, What to do?
Why are we stuck in an age
where Wi-Fi breathes us life
defines us, controls us?
The minute it goes
we freeze and
forget how to live.
desire owning, having
unable to toss it away
too many leftovers of a past
unwanted memories of a life
let it go, go, go
dried up, gone
trash it, give it, clean it up
not only physical,
in the mind
memories with people
once in a while
really live it
pictures and video
are things too
music, loud, love
headphones, my friend,
savior, comfort me
scary, too crazy
hide, be quiet,
better to, like to,
want to, hate to
ignore the world
Disclaimers: I'm reviewing an uncorrected proof ebook version acquired via NetGalley, I'm choosing to leave an unbiased review, and I'm not qualified to comment in-depth on aboriginal representation.
More disclaimers: Um, so I just want to note for the record that I already named characters Cole and Ash in BLIND THE EYES before I read this book. No plagiarism. I guess Canadian authors just think alike? lol.
I loved this WAY more than I expected to. To get a few critiques out of the way, the cover looks a little off to me (more indie or MG maybe?), so I wasn't expecting a lot of polish. The first few pages are also a little disorienting, because the author launches with a different perspective from the main POV, incorporates supernatural elements immediately without explanation, and references past events without backstory at first. All of which turns out to be great in the scope of the story, but it feels like jumping in the deep end.
This is the story of a 17yo Cree First Nations teen who left his rural home community in elementary school and is attending high school in Winnipeg at the time the story opens. A supernatural being is trying to lure him back to his hometown. His aunt and grandmother don't want him to return for reasons that aren't explained at first, but we discover that there's past trauma and bullying to contend with. Cole also has some superior abilities that may be more than natural. There's a lot going on in the plot:
-trickster spirits, ghosts, unexplained supernatural/paranormal phenomena
-bullying, trauma & clinical anxiety (incl. struggles with medication)
-rural vs. city enmities/tension
-First Nations/aboriginal experience (on/off reserve, resourcing, discrimination)
As a Canadian, and as someone who actually lived in Winnipeg during her childhood, there was a lot that felt familiar in this, including issues raised that I'm not sure if a foreign reader would pick up on or not. The author (based on his Goodreads bio) does live in Winnipeg and is a member of a Cree First Nation, so this is an #ownvoices book with (to the best of my knowledge) good representation.
I liked how the struggles that First Nations people experience within Canadian society were included within the scope of the story, but that the focus was on the characters and their experiences. It can be hard to write good fiction that represents real-world issues without breaking character or bogging down/diverting the plot (see: preachy dystopias for one), so I thought Robertson did an excellent job of including accurate world-building in service of the story. For instance, there are medical emergencies in the scope of the story, and it's referenced a few times how help is requested but the government takes a long time to respond, ignores the pleas, or doesn't send the help needed in a timely manner. Remote communities struggle for resources and lose people to the cities where there's more opportunity, jobs etc.
Some Cree words are used (and translated in place), some ritual and beliefs are incorporated, but the narrative doesn't suffer at all from the exoticisation of aboriginal culture. (Though maybe American readers will feel like it's "exotic" Canadian culture?) If anything, the hockey-playing, tiny-remote-community, one-restaurant-in-town setting felt so recognizable to me that it would have been boring if not for the strong character writing and murdery-plot.
Cole and his friends are relatable as teenagers struggling with a variety of issues: tragic pasts, tension with childhood friendships left behind, current identity and past identity, sexual identity and relationships, trust issues with adults who're keeping secrets . . . Also, the writing of "Choch" the trickster-spirit was hilarious. That's probably what tipped this story from a good read to "when's the sequel coming out?" for me. His clowning felt instantly recognizable and, at times, laugh-out-loud hilarious. It was a great counterpoint to the dark thriller plot that could have headed into way more emo territory without him.
I'm totally down for reading a sequel/series about a Canadian First Nations teen with superpowers and his trickster spirit sidekick/tormenter/guide/whatever.
Confession: I'm a bit of a Dodie fangirl. I enjoy her YouTube videos and her music. I'm kind of shocked I was approved to read this book, as I am a little "nobody" in the blogger/reviewer world, but it has happened, I'm reading it and liking it so far.
I kind of really like her. She's quirky and has a good singing voice. Her videos usually have meaning other than getting views for money, at least I think so. I don't watch every one of her videos. In fact, I do not watch every video of any person I follow on YouTube. I just feel like she is genuine. She talks about her mental health openly, isn't afraid to be herself, in fact a lot of her videos is sans makeup, even with acne/acne scars and I find that so refreshing. I think we should not be so focused on how we look. So we get pimples? So we gain weight? We're all human and these things happen! Dodie can be a role model to other people with similar experiences, though watch her with caution, as there have been viewers that mentioned watching people talk about anxiety, depression...etc can be triggering for them, because sometimes she is known to get in a dark place with her Instagram and Snap Chat stories.
In this video, Dodie wonders if there is a such thing as oversharing when it comes to depression...etc
In this video she follows up and apologizes.
I'm not big on YouTuber books, but got really excited for Dodie's book. Maybe she will change my mind about these sort of books and I will give more a chance. Though I am not sure I follow too many people who have published.
There is Connie Glynn "Noodlerella's" fiction novel, which I am curious about. Undercover Princess by Connie Glynn. The name and plot sound quite cliche and I can swear I have read something exactly like it before, like on Wattpad, so that is bugging me! But I do want to give it a try, as I enjoy Connie's YouTube channels as well.
The only YouTube book I have tried to read is:
Gabbie is from "The Gabbie Show" and I've only watched a couple of her videos.
And this book wasn't for me, sadly.
Disclaimer: I received "Secrets For The Mad" by Dodie Clark from Netgally in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the chance to read this! Review will come closer to publication date, which is in November.