Sunday, May 29, 2011

Note to self...

....after reading super upsetting book, do not read emotionally charged book with more upset.

Good god, I'm going to need therapy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill - sob hiccup sob

I just finished Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill. This is the fourth book in her Chicagoland Vampire series. I think I'm having a full blown panic attack. O-o

(I'm going to try not to say what happens, but from my reaction, you might be able to figure it out, so ....

(sobs uncontrollably & clutches book to chest) ...

So, I yelled at this book. I begged it to be lying to me. I almost threw up on it. I ranted. I raved. I demanded it take it back & it said no! And now I'm a wiped out, totally traumatized hysterically grieving mess. WTF Chloe Neill? WTF?

(wipes face & stiffens shoulders bravely)

This book threw me for a complete loop. I'm not saying why. Anyone who's finished it knows why. And now we all have to wait until November wondering how Merit's world can ever be okay again....I mean, one part of me wants something magical to happen to fix things & the other part of me says doing that would be a total cop out. Because what is, just is. You shouldn't be able to undo it. Life doesn't work that way. But damn it. This is a book. So do I hope the author finds some sort of way to undo what she's done? She's the author. She knows what's meant to happen. I have to accept that, right?!?

(another huge crying jag)


(sniff, sob, sniff, sob, shudder)

Merit and Ethan are supposed to have a happily ever after. I want that. I like them together, even if he's being a total jackass. I like him even tho he LIES to her and manipulates her and uses her. They make sense together. And now? Oh hell....

(another bout of tears - shit, my computer is going to drown at this point)

Okay, Chloe Neill. I can be a big girl about this. I leave it up to your capable fingers and brain to find a way to make Merit be okay. I trust that this won't break her. I trust that you can find a solution. I will wait. Until November....

(I need a hug....sniff)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pride and Guilt and Bullies - News and a Vent

For anyone who actually reads this blog, you're aware that I have a son with Aspergers Syndrome. And that he dropped out of school this year when he hit 16. I'm happy to say that he passed his GED with flying colors. His score? Higher than 95% of graduating seniors. (The kid completed 9th grade. What does that say about our schools??!) So, he's officially graduated at 16. And he just completed (along with the GED) his first semester of college finals. While it was only 3 classes and we don't know the grades yet, up to the finals, it was A's & B's. Go my little man! (Okay, he's not so little

As for guilt, the big news in my hometown these days is a video tape of three boys beating up a special needs kid in the bathroom. Apparently, another spec ed kid hiding in a stall (because they'd beat him up the week before & he was scared) used his cell phone to record it & sent it to his mother. The bullies are suspended & the town is in an uproar. And I'm feeling guilty. Because this is not an isolated incident. My son suffered this kind of abuse starting in kindergarten. The school's Zero Tolerance policy? They give detentions for "tattling". My son got quite a few of them. He also dealt with a boy who knocked him down and stomped on his back kindergarten thru 2nd grade, a group of kids who stole from him, sat behind him on the bus & hit him repeatedly in the back of the head every day, and on one occasion knocked him down and stepped on him when they reached our stop. (The bus driver fought his way back and got my son to his feet.) All of these incidents were reported & nothing was done about them. The high school principal actually made him sit in his office and "get to know" the kid who bullied him so that he'd feel sympathetic toward him. Can you imagine that??!

Anyway, I'm feeling guilty. Because I have everything my son suffered documented. And I could have hired a lawyer and sued the district and won. But I chose to let it go. He's traumatized enough, as am I. But if I'd gone after them - if I'd made them pay for what happened to my son - would I have saved this kid in the news a beating? I don't know. (My head says no, but my heart hurts.)

So, last, bullies. I don't understand it. Why is bullying okay? Why are "kids just being kids" when they torture another kid? Why do we tolerate/encourage/ignore/accept this behavior? Why is it allowed? These kids were 11 years old. They'd been bullying this kid & others for 18 months and the school knew about it & did nothing. Just like they did nothing to protect mine. It's just wrong.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse and the CDC

If you're as big a fan of urban fantasy as me, then you've probably already heard about this....

The CDC has posted on their website a list of things you need for the Zombie Apocalypse. It's very tongue-in-cheek and really a suggestion of what you need for any emergency, but I have to say WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA!

How many people have actually bothered to put together an emergency plan or emergency kit? I mean, really?!? Most of us don't think twice about it. That someone at the CDC is a big enough zombie fan to think "Hey, this is a good way to get the message out." and actually create a page going over what to do should a zombie apocalypse happen, GENIUS.

If you haven't read it, go do it. It's not only guaranteed to make you giggle, it's actually very informative.

Now, I'm not saying I'm expecting a zombie apocalypse, but I do have an emergency kit. And we have a plan of action to get out of town to safety should the need arise (the perks of growing up close to a nuclear power plant & having my dad work there). But I'm also a strong believer that everyone should have the kit and the meetup/contact plan in place. Not that I ever expect to need or use it, but damn - I'm not going to be a person who gets wiped out by stupidity. Just sayin...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

I can't say enough good things about Sarah Addison Allen's writing style. I haven't had time or energy to read much this month. Too much going on as my kid takes the GED, finishes college finals and in general tries to figure out where his life is going to go. So my reading has taken a backseat to "Mom Duty".

I set The Girl Who Chased the Moon aside deliberately for a time like this. I loved Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. Seriously, nobody creates a quirky, magical world like Sarah Addison Allen. Her characters are beautifully thought out. The books flow like a gentle wave and carry you along in this rhythmic, soothing roil of glorious emotion. If you've read her books, you understand what I mean. If you haven't, you need to go pick them up and set aside some time to be enchanted.

So, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is about a town where magic is possible, secrets and lies, hope and redemption. It revolves around a series of characters - Emily, a girl who has just lost her mother only to be sent to live with the grandfather she never knew about; Win, a boy with an amazing family secret that could destroy not just him, but his family; Julia, a woman who has returned to town after the death of her father and is forced to deal with a past that she's avoided; Sawyer, a man who chose wrong and just wants to be where he belongs. The cast of characters from Emily's grandfather, an 8 ft. giant, to Stella, the hard living next door neighbor, is just brilliant.

I think this is Sarah Addison Allen's best book yet. It left me feeling light and happy and like magic is possible (which, considering I'm an emo kind of gal is a serious challenge). And that's why I saved it for a time when it felt like the rain just wasn't stopping in my life. It's that wonderful. It took this emo girl and kicked her in the ass (in a really good way).

I'd give this book a billion stars if I could. It does get 6 incredibly bright shiny stars (the highest I give) because it hits every mark of a truly beautiful book with perfection. I'm probably going to go back and read passages of it all day. Maybe I'll even re-read her other books. (Help! I need to figure out how to wipe this silly happy smile off my face.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Son Makes Me Proud

Every day, he makes me proud!

Today he completed his first semester of college - just 3 classes, but then the kid is 16. He's not even supposed to be in college. English? A. Math? B+. Computer? Dunno yet, but he's done his best, so I don't really care.

And all of this while we dealt with his depression and anxiety rearing their ugly heads, medication adjustments, some adults in his English class making fun of him for being a high school dropout, a computer teacher who verbally attacked him in class & has refused to provide extra help (because he doesn't understand his teaching method).

Not only did he persevere, he rose above it.

And tomorrow he begins working at a local animal shelter. He decided to volunteer so that he can help animals who have been treated as badly as him.

The kid is impressive.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This month's reading....

I fear this month's book count is going to be incredibly low (sigh).

I had dental surgery & I'm going to have another, my son is taking his GED & getting his driver's permit, taking finals, getting contacts, we both have multiple doctor's appts. and I have to put my house in order for a family party, among other things. I'm tired, cranky, in pain and all around feeling like running screaming into the street. And I've managed just one book. ONE! It's enough to make me weep.

It was a good book tho.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Nobody does epic movies like the Japanese...

This morning I was searching for something to watch and I came across "The Restless", a Japanese made movie about a demon hunter who finds himself in the region between heaven and hell, trying to save the woman he loves and fighting armies of demons single-handed while the head of the underworld tries to destroy him.

This is a freaking awesome movie!

I has incredible imagery and epic battles that defy gravity and unbearable love. Its about honor and hope and sacrifice. It kicks ass in every way. Absolutely amazing. Even the music is epic.

I LOVE these movies! "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "The Curse of the Golden Flower", "House of Flying Daggers" and more. If you've never watched them, you should.

Now, they can be watched either dubbed or with subtitles. I HIGHLY urge you to watch with subtitles. Dubbers, for some reason, tend to over-act and ruin the movie. They choose ridiculous voices.With subtitles you get all the beauty of the actors' voices along with the translation. Yes, it splits your attention a bit, but trust me you won't miss anything. And if you do - don't read, just watch. I dare you to not be amazed.

That's all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Books read in April 2011 - Total 13

It was a slower month for me. I'm tired. But I did read some good books....


Magic on the Hunt by Devon Monk
Strange Angels ^ Betrayals ^ Jealousy ^ Defiance by Lilith Saintcrow (or Lili St. Crow)


Boys that Bite ^ Stake That ^ Girls that Growl ^ Bad Blood ^ Night School by Mari Mancusi
Master and Apprentice by Sonya Bateman
Dark Descendant by Jenna Black


The Poison Eaters by Holly Black

Once again, Lilith Saintcrow and Devon Monk don't disappoint. They are two of my favorite writers. Their worlds are carefully laid out, their characters have depth, the relationships between those characters are solid and their stories are well paced, action packed and smart.

In the 4 star realm, Master and Apprentice is the second in Sonya Bateman's series. I think it's better than the first book. Dark Descendant is a good first book in a new series. There's a lot of time taken up getting to know Nikki, the main character and building the world. I'm not a fan of Nikki (her attitude kind of sucks as far as I'm concerned). But the story is interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing where it will go.

As for Mari Mancusi, I put this in the 4 stars section, but the books are a little uneven. Some I thought deserved higher marks (namely the 3rd & 4th) and others deserved lower marks (the 5th). Why? Well, book one and two created the world and introduced the main characters. They were good solid interesting books. The third and fourth books introduced conflict between the characters and this made the HEA they're aiming for questionable. I love not knowing whether a book is going to end happy. The last book pissed me off a little. I HATED the fairy world that she created. It felt like a cop out. I mean, seriously? It felt like a Shrek theme park to me. I just didn't care for it, though the story itself was good. So, overall, it gets 4 stars, but it ranges from 3-5 stars.

Finally, Holly Black's The Poison Eaters...I rarely give more than 3 stars for anthologies. For me, its hard to rate stories with minimal depth and length better than that. Anthologies are a way to get a feel for a writer. They're not meant to be powerful the way a book is. I could go thru and rate each short story, but I just don't feel like it. Most of the stories are 3 stars, so that's what it gets.

Overall, it was a good month of reads.

And just an FYI -- I feel like I need to state this. I don't get my books from anywhere but my local bookstores. I purchase each and every one of them with my own money. (I know a lot of bloggers win their books or get them from publishers, but I choose to read books that interest me instead of having to read what I'm given.)