Patrick Ness thought of two ideas when he created the Chaos Walking trilogy. First, he thought of information overload. Then, he considered the idea of hearing a dog’s thoughts. The result is agonizing sweetness and thoughtful exploration of humanity. As readers often note, there is a tragic event that takes place in the first Chaos Walking book. I will refrain from spoiling the details of this incident. However, the story remains powerful in its chilling examination of social media oversaturation, censorship, and the conflation of masculinity and its toxic image within Prentisstown.
In 2018, one of my college friends introduced me to Grey’s Anatomy. As someone who’s not a fan of medical dramas, I did not think the show would resonate with me. I am not overly fond of doctor and I do not deal with stress well. This show features characters who are driven, competitive, and very self-assured (for the most part). Imagine my surprise when I discovered the most beautiful friendships ever on television to be on that show. Let me share the love between the least likely pairings ever.
But First, Let’s Discuss Grey Anatomy’s Premise
Grey’s Anatomy is a double-entendre as a title. On the surface, it may seem to be a teasing reference to Meredith Grey’s profession as an intern at a hospital. However, as the series continues to unfold, the show’s writers start to peel back Meredith Grey’s own social and familial anatomy. The audience discovers more about her history as a daughter, friend, up-and-coming surgeon, lover, partner, and even more surprising relationships she has along the way. I could write so many things about Meredith Grey. I will say this: the show has such a powerful depiction of relationships, particularly platonic ones, and I will share my favorites here.Read more–Some Spoilers ahead
It is my intention to celebrate the gems I find as a reader, writer, blogger, and (small) world trotter. Today, I am sharing a conversation I had with Fox, a queer and non-binary mental health blogger. They have been blogging for a while now and they have been frank in sharing their journey of self-acceptance as someone with mental illness. In particular, I admire their ability to step back and be a force for educational goodness.
Check out our interview below, and please give their blog a follow. They write over
On to the conversation!Continue reading “Content Creator Gems: Meet Fox”
Summary of Post:
This post is a discussion of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave and its reflection on humanity’s anxiety around the future and the unknown. In particular, I want to talk about Yancey’s focus on the effects of the alien invasion on the characters within the story, especially: Cassie Sulivan, Ben Parrish, and Evan Walker.Continue reading “The 5th Wave Book and Exploring the Fear of Human Extermination”
Some of you may know that I lived in Egypt in the 90s. I was mostly isolated by my mental illness, but even then, I had noticed the prominence of the Si-Sayed figure. What I didn’t ever expect is that this figure appears in Naguib Mahfouz’s 1956 classic called The Palace Walk.
Give This a Listen: Popular Music Around Mahfouz’s Time**
This is a violin cover of the classic Umm Kulthum song called “Enta Omri.” The song is way too long (at least nine minutes long. And, it doesn’t have awesome variety like a Queen song).
While I did enjoy The Final Empire novel, Brandon Sanderson completely blew me away with the sequel, The Well of Ascension. Here, I will gush, ooh, and ah over this powerful story about morality, duty, and love.
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
**Image by: Free-Photos on Pixabay
Rather than having a blog entirely dedicated to books, I want to raise awareness on my intersectional existence across different communities. One of those landmarks is mental illness. As someone trying to cope with mental illness, I am exploring options for my emotional, emergency toolkit.
The Emotional Toolkit
An “emotional toolkit” is a bouquet of ways to deal with negative emotions. You can read more about it here.
Part of my journey with mental illness has to do with recognizing my own patterns. I get really angry and frustrated by the isolation my condition brings about. When I do feel “up” enough, I reach out only to go “down” again before I can see the relationship through.
But, more than anything, it’s the lack of emotional self-help and micro-management of the tiny spikes and dips in my mood. This is why an emotional emergency toolbox is of use. Continue reading “My Mental Health Emotional Toolkit”
Welcome to my first installment of Chit Chat. In these interviews, I introduce and celebrate influential figures in my own life. My hope is to showcase talented people who are making a difference.
Meet Ashley Jean
Ashley Jean and I met in college and we have maintained a friendship since then. She is clever, artistic, and creative. I just think the world is in need of her beautiful presence.
Here is my first chit chat ever on the blog, with the wonderful Ashley Jean.
First of all, as a debut author, how would you describe your influences? Are there certain stories that resonate with you?
What was your writing experience like? Did you discover that certain tips work best for you? Is there a routine you follow?
Okay, so for those who have not heard about your novel, how would you describe its premise?
Since you are a composition teacher and an artist, would you say that art is a common theme in your work? Particularly for Love from the Barricade, how did you address music as both a fan and an artist?
Because I was once an emo music fan, I am curious about what your favorite emo bands were. What was your favorite lyrical witty line that you loved?
As an indie author and a person of color, what elements of your own life or your own culture did you incorporate into this novel?
That’s the biggest goal of this novel: is to help women find unity in the music industry. Because right now, there is none of that.
Since this is a book about music, I have to ask, what are your go-to hype-up songs?
Maybe a snippet from the story?
Where can readers find you on the web?
Y’all can follow me below:
Way back in February, I went to the library and grabbed my first Sarah J. Maas book. It was her first published novel, Throne of Glass. My nervousness as a people pleaser was an all-time high. This was the case because Sarah J. Maas has been criticized a lot over the years on Book-Tube. Reading Sarah J. Maas’ books now is a form of self-care and expression to me. Let me discuss this further.
Damsels No More
Maas’ Throne of Glass: Caleana
Maas’ first series has a typical premise, akin to The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. An assassin is ordered to be the king’s champion in a tournament. I acknowledge the criticism of Celaena as a character.
Let me tell you why Celaena matters to someone like me. She gets to be herself, unabashedly, despite the scoffing of many (male) characters. As the books get bigger, so does my love for Celaena. When people point out that she is not shown as a heartless killer, I wonder if they’ve considered Celaena’s complexity.
Because, yes, she could’ve been a ruthless killer, but the point is her inner turmoil and grief. Maas shows us a girl who had difficult circumstances, a traumatic past, a love taken away from her way too soon.
To me, Celaena is strong, not because of her assassin storyline. No, she’s strong because her heart experiences death, torture, and unfairness without ever losing her innocence. I have never seen a book character with a dog like Fleetfoot. Nor have I seen a character search for answers in stillness, in reflection, and in reaching inward.
Throne of Glass: Lysandra
I have not read Assassin’s Blade yet but Lysandra became a total favorite of mine. Her backstory was equal parts sad and unique. Her relationship with Celaena developed beautifully. Plus, she has made bold choices to break free from abusive relationships.
Besides, she and Evangeline have strong parallels in their upbringing, which strengthen their relationships.
I am here for all the girl gang love.
Throne of Glass: Elide
Oh, my favorite girl. I have never related to a character more than I have with Elide. Her timid nature, coupled with her secret, is one of the reasons I love this series so much.
I have yet to see what will happen to Elide. She is already rocking my world quite a bit.
The loveliest, sassiest, and the most incredible princess in my world. I miss her.
So…What Does That Mean For Me As a Critical Reader
I recognize the flaws in Maas’ writing. There are cringe-y sex scenes in later books. Sarah J. Maas has not included enough diversity and sometimes, there are messed up gender roles in her books. My approach is to be critical of these things, but I also admit that I enjoy her stories. Her characters mean a lot to me and I fly through her stories.
You can be critical of something and still enjoy it.
The Love for V.E. Schwab
I started reading V.E. Schwab’s work about a year ago. Prior to this, I had only collected her books with some vague assumptions of their greatness. Having read most of her stories, I had one more book to go: Vicious. Back when I was sure of my belonging in Slytherin, I thought of this book as a staple to the nature of that house.
The Premise of Vicious:
The story alternates between two points of a decade where two friends prepare for their thesis in university. Eli and Victor unravel the process of becoming people with powers. At the end of the timeline, we see Eli and Victor as sworn enemies.
Through a cat-and-mouse chase, we get to see the tension between these former friends crackle to life while they rely on two allies who were sisters, Sydney and Serena.
Vicious and Morality
My favorite aspect of this story is the opposite journeys we experience with Eli and Victor. At first, I was certain that Victor would not ever make sense but the biggest surprise is watching Eli become bewilderingly nonsensical. I mean, I follow his train of thought, but my goodness, he is terrifying.
The most shocking element in Eli’s thinking was how warped his faith in God collided with his view of the powers he has and the attitude he has towards other EOs.
Reminding me of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, Vicious had me cheering for the “bad” guys. For the most part, the antagonists (in the novel’s society, at least) were simply trying to exist. They were on the run. While Victor does terrible things along the way, he is focused on facing Eli, who did some shady things, okay.
Connections in Vicious
Serena and Sydney mirror Eli and Victor’s closeness in the earlier sections of the book’s timeline. There are loads of mistrust and uncertainty. Besides, the chase between the two sisters was also ruthless.
The bad blood between Eli and Victor bound the story’s plot in thick threads and tendrils. Like all relationships, the way each person acts is a result of a series of perceptions. Eli thinks of himself in a certain way, and he reacts to other EOs because of this view. The same thing can be said about Victor (who is kind of my baby, I just want you to know this upfront).
Oh, this book ends with the tables totally turned. I have never been this happy about a smile.
Easily, this novel is among my favorites. It was so good.