Amazon Lover

I love lists.

Love them.

I make them all the time. I have a planner I refer to as my “life” that lists my work schedule, my goals for each day, appointments, etc. etc.
I have a notebook that lists each “pay day” and whatever finances I hope to take care of or need to get to with that particular income.
I have a notebook that keeps track of my reading challenge lists-just because I like having something physical to look at sometimes.
and I have a massive Amazon wish list.

I have been shopping on Amazon since I was 18. The first thing I purchased was Eminem’s Marshall Mathers lyric book. I started a wish list then. Just adding things I’d like to buy eventually all willy nilly.

A few years back I realized my wish list had grown to insanely long and how would anyone that actually wanted to shop for me be able to figure it out. So I organized.

I separated everything into their own little categories.

When I am feeling particularly unfocused or restless I’ll go and sift through my lists and remove things I may have purchased else where (like a book sale where I acquired 20 new books, perhaps).

This past year, I have really been utilizing my library A LOT. Because of that, I made myself a whole new pretty list and moved the books from my well established Bookworm list to a private Borrow Me! list.

Because though I want very much to purchase allllllll the books, I can’t swing that all the time and currently, I am officially out of space to house books until I clear some of these shelves! So I borrow. I support my lovely local library. I borrow and borrow some more. And you know what, my state has some fannnntastic stacks! Thank God for Interlibrary Loans!

And moving around the lists gives me something to focus on that isn’t causing me more stress. It’s a focus that has no time constraint. That wont cost me money. That isn’t impending deadlines. It’s just something fun for me.

Whatever works, right? ūüėČ

On the Amazon Lover front–today! I successfully purchased an upgrade for myself. I am DVD collector. I love movies. I love TV. I love stand up. I love live shows. I love the fact that you can purchase your favorites and just watch them to death. Which means, I love the Netlix annnnd Amazon Prime Video. So, since my well loved DVD player died a horrible death due to a power outage this week; I have upgraded to a BluRay player WITH streaming capability which makes me sublimely happy.

I feel it is important to find ways to treat yourself even if you live paycheck to paycheck.

Today, I spent some time playing with my lists because I needed to do something for me that calmed me. Then I did some finances and I ordered Mom some lovely new clothes she’s been eyeing. I went ahead and ordered myself that upgraded player so I can enjoy my TV time the way I love too. I even picked up the shampoo Mom prefers and a pretty new stand so my TV and new player and cable box can all live in harmony and actually fill the space they’re in.

Lists are calming for me. Shopping is incredibly fun for me. And knowing that I saved a ton of money getting things that will make us smile and feel good; that is certainly a step to less worry.

 

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Rapid Fire Reviews: The Girl From The Sea

OOOOOOOoooooOooo! Bitches be crazy!

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers

This is a short read, like just under 300 pages. It’s billed as a “psychological thriller.” Basic synopsis is a girl washes up on a beach with no memory and the more she learns about herself the more crazy the story becomes.

Now, I picked this one up off my favorite shelf at the library: New to the Library. Sometimes they are new releases, sometimes its just something that was added to the stacks recently. I always seem to scoop up fun stuff there. This one had a weird vibe to it. The cover has a chick looking all exorcisty floating out of water or drowning although to me it looks like floating.

The blurbs on the back compared it to The Girl On The Train annnnd Gone Girl so I excepted a thriller and a half. I mean, I remember actual moments where I had to remind myself to breathe when reading Girl on the Train. And Gone Girl had that crazy ass other half where you went “wooooaaahhh, bitches be crazy.”

Although this did pack a punch in the last 30 pages or so, I would not compare it to either of those books. I didn’t feel that exhilaration you get from a thriller. I wasn’t gasping or shocked. I was absolutely intrigued by what the hell happened to Mia.

And! I actually liked Mia! I feel like it’s been a minute since I liked a main character. Amnesia Mia was all kinds of empowered and her inner monologue was relatable. And thennnn–bitches.be.crazy.

I liked the book. I enjoyed the twist to the story in the end. I would certainly pick up another book by Shalani too. It was a good one.

and as happens when you read a good book, I jumped right into my next read.

Happy to feel back on track.

Rapid Fire Review: Weekend Reads

I managed to read two books this weekend. Well, technically I finished up the second this morning but it still counts.

Let’s get the more disappointing one out of the way.

Note: These reviews are 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

The Girls by Emma Cline

I have seen this book everywhere. At local book stores, in ads online, on booktube; everywhere. I heard it was chilling and interesting and all those buzz words that make you want to grab it up. It has a cool looking cover that suggests the story inside takes place in the 60;s. The blurbs! OMG. They were fantastic. They also leave me to believe we were reading different books.

Personally, I have always found the whole Manson Camp story fascinating. The fact that decades later he still maintains his innocence in the whole thing. The fact that the women involved were so devoted to him. I watched that fantastic show Aquarius and loved every episode (and that dude that played Charlie was perfectly cast). So, the fact that this story used that as a jumping off point intrigued me.

And it stopped there. Now, I read the whole thing. I found myself determined to finish it because surely it had to get better.

I didn’t hate it. Here’s why: Emma Cline is a beautiful writer. I mean, straight up haunting and flowy and borderline conversational. That redeemed the not so interesting story.

I kind of hated Evie. She was annoying. BUT! She is also 14 when the story opens so she should be annoying. Her mother was even worse. UGH! The girls that were in the camp itself were varying degrees of the mean girls in high school. Just grimy and eventually psychotic mean girls.

Russell was gross and skeevy and did not come across as charismatic at all. If he was some kind of ringleader here, shouldn’t he have a little charisma. I mean, Evie talks about him just willing people to give him things but he never felt like that kind of character.

The whole Evie and Suzanne friendship, worship, love thing just..how do I explain it? I didn’t hate it and it felt like the devotion you have to people who show you attention when you are young (hell, sometimes even as adults). I also didn’t love it, it felt contrived and obvious. Like that moment in a movie when they have two girls kiss for no apparent reason.

The entire book felt like something should be happening and then it would shift to a new part of the story which was so very aggravating. It’s told in a past and present Evie perspective so it swip swaps THE WHOLE TIME.

I feel like, I may try reading something else by Emma Cline because I liked the actual writing, not the style of this story (or really this story at all), but her actual writing. But yeah, not a fan.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman

Yesterday, Mom and I went on a little adventure and went to five different Little Free Libraries. I have this abundance of books kicking around in my storage room that just are not getting claimed on Book Mooch at all so I figured it was time to set them free in the world. If you’ve never seen or heard of Little Free Libraries, they are exactly as they sound: tiny little boxes filled with books that you can take for free and your encouraged to leave books as well.

I ended up getting a hardcover Liane Moriarty book that I am super excited to read, Shop Girl by Steve Martin, Mom grabbed another Debbie Macomber book (she’s addicted) and this one.

This book is a memoir told in sketches. The sketches are fashion related as the title suggests and they are lovely. It’s a quick read, just a tiny little book, but I really enjoyed it. I liked that glimpse into someones life and the styles for each year.

And that is what I read this weekend!

I have a pile of four more books from my library to attack and two out of three had that creep factor promise I’m in the mood for so hopefully one of them delivers.

My People Are The Best People

I use that phrase a lot when I talk about my friends. “My people are the best people.” A simple phrase that means everything.

When you start out as a child making friends, you don’t realize how much it will mean in 10 years that they still know your name. If they’re still nice to you when you reach high school, you’ve hit the jackpot.

I also identified as the “weird” kid. I read a lot at a young age and before a lot of my peers. I have always been loud when excited and quiet when I’m getting the lay of the land. I am social and also reclusive. I am individual to a fault (if that’s even possible). I have always been super inquisitive which has been mistrued as annoying, plying, and even insubordinate n my life.

I moved at age 8 and then again at age 14. So I dealt with the fun that changing schools and neighborhoods brings. In high school, I chose to surround myself with some, well for lack of a better word, assholes.

In the end, there is a pretty large group of people I went to high school with that as an adult I am friendly with. But there are only two that were my friends then, knew me then, and are still kicking around now (they count in the “my people” group.)

I purposely went to school away from home. I only applied to one school in my state because my advisors begged me too. I quickly accepted the offer to go to a tiny little Catholic college just one state away and moved in just shy of three months after graduation.

The first person I met was my RA. And somehow, we became friends.

It started because she had a photo of herself with Joey McIntyre and I am a Blockhead for life. We figured out that she lived super close to me, went to the same high school as my Dad, and it seemed insane that we hadn’t crossed paths before.

She was my savior more than once during the two years I spent at that school.

I left the same year she graduated and we kept in touch.

I saw her a couple times and then I lost her number.

About a year later, I ran into her at my crappy retail gig and we started hanging out.

And that’s it. I met her 16 years ago and we are still friends. And I mean real, true, friends.

Now, I am not negating that I have friends that I’ve known longer or that they are important to me, but I was compelled to gush about this particular person because she did something amazingly thoughtful and I am still all shocked and super excited about it.

Somehow, she seems to always know what I need. I believe that I have a similar trait. I’ve always prided myself on being a good friend.

We are travel buddies because we 100% get how the other one operates.

we have had few arguments and all of them ended in a real conversation that is since chuckled about.

I remember her showing up at a party years ago and escorting me out. I didn’t ask her to. I had my car with me and I was at a friend’s home I would’ve stayed in if needed. But there was some drama brewing and when she sent me a random “whatcha doing?” text, my response made her drive over and steal me.

She has taken me drunk shopping so I could sober up before I went home.

There have been many occasions of us just aimlessly riding around to take a break from life.

We talk so often that when we go a couple of days without saying hello, it feels insane.

I have had an emotional year. In fact, I’ve had an emotional couple of years. Emotions are not something I am 100% comfortable expressing, even at 34.

She has gone through her own emotional years. Her own craziness.

We attempted to take a real break from life in March and treated ourselves to a vacation. We were so exhausted halfway through, it’s a wonder we even made it. And then we had the trip home from hell. Not to mention, we were kinnnnd of broke.

We’ve been talking about taking a day trip to one of our closer to home favorite places. We already determined we’re spending her birthday next month at the beach (weather had better cooperate with that). So when she texted me with a list of dates a few weeks back, I figured we were probably planning a day to go play in our old college town.

I am caretaker to my Mom. She is in no way as bad off as she was a couple of years back but in true Mom fashion, she was curious about what we were doing next weekend on our little adventure. I told her that I didn’t really ask I just knew that it was a day trip. She wanted a more definitive time line to ease her own anxiety so I asked my friend what was up.

She replied that she really felt I needed a break from life so we would be heading to Boston in the afternoon and we’d be home late that evening because we have tickets to see Wicked.

I really do need a break. In a whole mess of ways. That’s part of why I love to read so much: the escape. The fact that she knew that and planned something like this, just speaks to why I say my people are the best people.

Because they are.

I am a musical nerd and haven’t seen Wicked yet. I’m so pumped about it and also shocked about it. I didn’t expect such a gesture.

I don’t know why though.¬† This is the same friend that’s helped me take a break throughout 16 years. Saved me from drunk disasters. Acted as my GPS before you could actually afford GPS.

She was the friend that came to the hospital the night my Dad passed away. She sat in a waiting room alone in a hospital I know she hates to be in for the same reasons I do and refused to leave until we were ready to leave.

Really that whole experience solidified the my people are the best people thing. The fact that my friends came out and helped in the ways they did meant a lot. It was nice to keep shocking my family. They apparently didn’t realize my friends were quite so awesome.

And this coming weekend, I get to go and have adventure with my peep. I get to know that we’ll have fun and be obnoxious and laugh our asses off because that’s what it’s like when we’re together.

I get to know that I wont have to do anything for anyone else that day.

and I get to see Wicked! With a friend that will totally sing along with me.

I am excited. I am humbled. I am grateful. I am blessed.

My people are the best people.

 

Rapid Fire Reviews: Gemina

Note: This review is 100% my opinion and may contain spoilers. 

 

HOLY SHIT! I mean COME ON! This book was a ride, to say the least. If you have not jumped on the Illuminae Files train and you enjoy Sci-Fi reads with a YA flare, PICK IT UP NOW.

I was audibly yelling at this book while I read it. I said the phrase, “plot twist,” out loud and then sat with my jaw hanging while I continued.

This was such a good sequel. If you have not heard of Illuminae (my review is Here) it is a story that takes place in space after a crazy massacre happens and everyone escapes to different ships in a fleet. The first book follows Kady and her people and her lovely adventures with Aidan. Aidan is the AI system aboard the ship and he is by far one of my favorite elements of this story.

This book takes place aboard another ship and follows Hanna and her people. Now, in the first one, I loved Aidan so much that I about threw the book from excitement when I realized he was popping up again in this one.

My favorite part of this one was the surveillance updates. Whatever employee was writing those was just 100% snark and sarcasm and I loved it.

The book is made up of all kinds of different documents, just like Illuminae, and the addition of Hanna’s journal was beautiful. I loved the artwork.

If you follow me on GoodReads you will have seen the journey this book took me on. OMG the weird little slimy drug providing creatures were things of nightmares. Those poor cows! Also, cows in space?! hahahaha.

I absolutely loved this one from beginning to end. I may wager that I liked it even better than the first. I can not WAIT for the third installment. It was pushed back already but is slated to be released in March 2018.

Rapid Fire Reviews: June

I have a feeling this may be my style of review. Well, atleast this time around because I have not written any reviews for the past ohhh six books I’ve completed and I don’t want to feel like I am INSANELY BEHIND ON LIFE.

Thus, rapid fire review. Let’s talk about the books I completed over the past month.

Note: These opinions are my 100% own. These reviews may include spoilers. 

Ready? GO!

 

Room by Emma Donoghue

I have this whole goal to pull things off my very, super crazy, stuffed shelves by reading books by the same author, if I have them. I completed¬† The Wonder and knew I had Room kicking around on my book shelf from what was supposed to be a group read years ago. I was impressed with Emma Donoghue’s writing style and wanted to get into another of her books.

I love Jack. I love him. I love him so much. He is the sweetest, most adorable, little fictional boy. I mean, I love him like I love Lucy from Narnia. The way that this particular author writes children makes you remember how it feels to be innocent and untouched. To be vulnerable and imaginative. I love Jack.

The story itself is a dark one at its base. A girl gets kidnapped and held captive for 7 years by a swarmy kind of dude who lied about a sick dog to grab her. Jack is the light. I loved that he has a kind of growth that no other charectar gets in the book.

I gave it 5 GR stars and would pick up anything by this author.

Bonus: Watched the movie (cause I do that) and I have to say- I get why people lovvvve Brie Larson and Jacob Trembley so much. MAN! They were lovely. I found the discrepancies from book to movie made parts of the story lack the same feeling they did in the book but overall a solid film.

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café by Max Lucado with Eric Newman and Candace Lee

You know how Hallmark makes all those feel good, sometimes Christain centric, made for TV movies that you end up watching without meaning too? That’s what this is.

I was grabbing a book for Mom at my library and this super cute cover distracted me and 20 minutes later I was devouring this book. Seriously, it’s super short, it’s kind of adorable. It has a bit of an It’s a Wonderful Life vibe with the angel coming to help the struggling Momma.

The whole story gave me the warm fuzzies. Manny, Mr’ Angel come to help, is hilarious! And totally obsessed with Star Wars which made me happy. Your main charectar is Chelsea; a separated, newly single Mom. She is trying to keep a caf√© that’s been in her family forever running. She is a baker. She is struggling and it just so happens that her sister is part of a church (married to the Pastor) and they all pray and it’s lovely. And then poof! Manny shows up and people can talk to God in her caf√©. Yup. They can connect to God through WiFi and ask him questions directly. It’s like a newfangled prayer line.

It was an adorable read. I kind of loved it without meaning to. Super quick read.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

This is the one Epic Reads made me pick up and OMG was it worth it. Holy Crap! This has twists and turns and crazy drama on just about every page. It’s told through dual perspectives. So one chapter is the twin sister, Carys, and one is the twin brother, Andreyus. I swear, at some points, I don’t know which one was crazier. I mean, your dude is in love with a Seer and willing to risk everything for her. Oh and POWER HUNGRY. Your chick is some kind of medieval drug addict and a badass!

The only negative I had with this book was the sudden need to give Carys a love interest. I mean, why? Was it necessary? Did she need to have a crush annnnnnd some dude who came to be her hero? I don’t know. Despite not liking that aspect, I did love the appearance of a random hero who I’m fairly certain is evil. Or at least related to evil.

I can’t wait to grab the next one in this series. I will say, if you’re not a fan of cliffhanger endings-wait for the next book to come out before you grab this. MAN.

If that wasn’t enough reading I blew through two more books this weekend while on Dog Duty at my sister’s place.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

OMG! I get the hype! I am one with the hype! I loved this. Loved it, loved it, loved it. This is novel that is comprised of a collection of documents about a crazy event that occurred. Therefore, this isn’t your typical read. Some of it is in chat form. Some is email. Some is letters. Some is diagram or drawing. And then there is the actual dialogue moments.

The event is uhhhh well, its the future and we live on planet-ish sectors. One sector gets destroyed. Everyone jumps on a spaceship and then the spaceships start flipping out. Legit. The spaceship has an Aritficial Intelligence system and it has a bit of breakdown.

I have to say. I really liked Aidan. The fact that the AI system gets to have a voice was fun. If you’ve ever wonderied (like me) if your GPS gets mad when you don’t listen to it, this book kind of gives you the insight that Yes, SHE GETS PISSED>

It was sooooo good. Like so good. Like if you haven’t picked it up yet and you like YA Fantasy Sci-Fi reads–go! Get it! NOW! Read! and then discuss it with me because none of my real life bookish friends know what I’m talking about!

Also–already started Gemina, the sequel, and YES!

And then! Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This one is because I was at my sister’s and finished Illuminae and needed another book. I went and raided my niece’s book shelf and she loved these books.¬†The book is about hidden children. The country has determined that each family can only have two children. The third children are illegal and kept hidden. And that’s where Luke comes in.¬†I’ll say that it was written well. The concept was interesting. The first book was a good one. I could not get into the second one so I doubt I’ll continue with the series.

Oh! I forgot one.

Son by Lois Lowry

This is the fourth and final book in The Giver Quartet. Now I absolutely loved The Giver. It was such a cool read. It had intrigue and a weird society and a kidnapping and crazy deaths. It was gooooood. Then Gathering Blue was not as exciting and felt like it belonged in a different series. Messenger, book number three WAS AWFUL. Beginning to end awful.

I had decided I just wasn’t finishing this quartet after Messenger. But! An old friend assured me that Son would wrap everything up and then the two middle books would make more sense.

Well screw that. Son was not any better than the two previous books. And yes, it does let you know where that ridiculous cliff hanger at the end of The Giver ends up but! it takes a hell of a long time to get there. It’s predictable and all in all just wasn’t a good read. The caliber of The Giver does not follow through to the rest of its books.

And that! That is why I was referring to myself as a Book Dragon because I am actually ahead on my Good Reads Challenge and just really enjoying devouring books.

With that said, I’m going to go back to Gemina!

Book Dragon!

I have always associated myself with the term “book worm.” I was a child that always had her nose in a book. I was reading full series at a young age. Example, in Kindergarten, I was one of 5 kiddos that already knew how to read. While the rest of the class was learning how, we had the option of going to our library and picking out books. During that year of school, I read the entire collection of Junior Biographies, all of Dr. Seuss, and the Mercer Meyer books I didn’t have at home.

A few years later, my aunt gifted me the Little House on the Prairie series and I devoured it. Then it was Anne of Green Gables (OMG I still love miss Anne with an E). Then the epic series that is The Baby Sitters Club. Side note: Did you know they are sill writing these? And it’s up in the 100’s now. I’m toying with the idea of starting from the beginning and reading them all again.

I read allllll the Roald Dahl books but somehow never read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. By 13, I was into the creepier reads. I attempted Stephen King (Because Maine) but preferred the movie versions (unheard of, right?)  and then picked up R.L. Stine instead because my cousin was reading them. I read those through a summer and then moved on to some chunky mysteries and suspense horror by the time I was 15.

I also read all of Shakespeare’s works at that time because I was a little obsessed with Othello and Romeo and Juliet at the time. (Cut to college when I had to read them all again TWICE due to having to take Shakespeare twice to get my degree. I haven’t picked up one since).

In high school, I still read a lot. More so in the summer than any other time but I always had a book or five going. Harry Potter came around when I was in high school too.

College, as an English Language and Literature major, to say I read a lot is an understatement. Due to the major, I was reading intensively, everything. Legit, this is what I remember putting down in my first two years at Rivier–ready?

  • 90 % of Shakespeare’s Plays (my teacher loved the tragedy’s so we did allll the Kings)
  • The entirety of Major British Writers Volume II
  • Frankenstein
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dracula
  • Beowulf
  • Some horribly written Post-Moderninisim themed book about a wine tasting that I’ve blocked out
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Alchemist
  • The Book of Genesis (Bible–cause Catholic College)

And that’s just off the top of my head and doesn’t include actual text books or the amount of Chinese I had to study for that class.

On top of that, because my happy place has always been books, I discovered I really liked YA. I read the Angus, Thongs, and Snogging series. The A to Z List series. I read Prep then and loved it.

My next run of college brought along with it Popular Fiction. The class in which I read 10 books in 8 weeks. YUP.

I think the speed in which I had to consume books in college is why I sometimes take my time and spend a month lost in a book.

BUT! This month. This month, I have been more than a little book worm. I have been a book dragon! I feel like I just keep getting into good books and then attack another and another.

With that said, I have reviews to do! Talking books makes me happy. That soul happy, you know. SO! Expect to see reviews in the near future.

Woop Woop! I’m feeling good about it. ūüôā Book Dragon FTW.

Epic Reads Strikes Again!

I am a lover of bookish things, quite obviously. I’m also a chronic subscriber and a lover of giveaways so it should come as no surprise that I get a lot of bookish emails each day. One of my absolute favorite daily emails is the Epic Reads First 5.

If you do not know what Epic Reads is, let’s educate you shall we.¬†Epic Reads is a site that feels like a YA movement. It’s full of lists and entertaining videos, quizzes, and articles about upcoming Young Adult authors or books. Epic Reads is the YA part of Harper Collins and holy crap, do they publish some amazing books.

The First 5 newsletter is literally the first 5 chapters of a book in the Epic Reads/HC family. This was how I used to pass my time at my horribly boring hotel reservation gig. I’d just go through the Epic Reads site and pick out the “read a preview of insert-book-title-here” and read a chapter or five.

This resulted in me racing to my local Books-A-Million after work to grab Queen of Hearts because five chapters was not enough.

I signed up for the newsletter and have been adding books to my TBR rather steadily ever since. I enjoy this newsletter so much because you aren’t just going by a synopsis, you get to actually get into a story and then decide if you want to continue.

Well! I’m catching up on my emails today, as is a usual Sunday event as of late, and the first five is fannnnntastic! This time its¬†Dividing Eden and I am hooked. This one is about twins in a kingdom where their Father is the King. Their brother is next in line for the throne but apparently something is going to happen to him. And there are secrets and intrigue. IIIIIII like it. So much so that at the top of Chapter 3, I went and searched for it on my library’s website and requested it.

Good on you, Epic Reads! You win again!

Review Time! The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

Guess who finally got into a book she could finish? THIS CHICK!

I picked up The Wonder by Emma Donoghue while waiting in line to pick up a book I had on hold for Mom at my library. I read the first little blurb and decided I needed to check it out.

Disclaimer: All of the opinions expressed are my own and this review may contain spoilers. 

General synopsis: A child is turning into a bit of an oddity and miracle in a small town in Ireland in the 1800’s. She is in her fourth month of fasting and is somehow still alive. A nun and a nurse are sent to determine if the fast is fact or fiction. The nurse, Lib, is incredibly skeptical and can’t wait for her week of nurse duty to be up.

Thoughts!

The child, Anna, is so adorable. She is devout in her religion and is praying constantly. She is also wasting away and somehow still kind of chubby. I loved her from the get go and also felt like she needed one giant hug.

Lib, the nurse sent from England, is a hard pill to swallow at first. She is skeptical. She is determined to make this child into some kind of villain. All in all, She’s a bitch. BUT! Here’s the beauty of this story, the character development for Lib alone is amazing. By the end of the book, I wanted to be her best friend. Her callousness made sense. Her sense of needing to prove herself in some way was so relatable.

Emma Donoghue has this beautifully, haunting vibe to her writing. I fell in love with it 10 pages in. I loved the descriptions of Ireland and the historical aspects that were thrown in.

All in all, it was an excellent read. I mean I honestly had no idea what was going to happen until those last few pages.

I rated it four out of five stars because I found sometimes that Lib as a narrator was a little too dry. It was a totally haunting read though. I found I’d put it down and then need to pick it up again because I couldn’t stop thinking of Anna.

I’ve been trying to clear room on my shelves by reading books by the same author (if I have them) so my next read is Room by Mrs. Donoghue and let me just say, I will read anything she chooses to write because she is just phenomenal at building a world you can just fall into.

Sober

I absolutely love Buzzfeed. Most of the workouts that I do I find on You Tube. Both¬†Tone It Up and Blogilates have You Tube pages, so when I finish up my routine, I’ll just pop through my subscriptions for a little break to bring my heart rate back down.

Today, I stumbled on My First 30 Days Sober and it was 100% relatable. Sometimes, Buzzfeed just hits the nail on the head, so to speak, and this was certainly one of those times.

Almost 3 years ago now, I did what this man did. I was stressed out and emotional and I was using alcohol to get me through it. I am also someone that due to stress, has vertigo and IBS. Both of these ailments increase with alcohol consumption (Note: if you get super dizzy and unbalanced when you drink–chances are you also have vertigo. Yay!).

I always enjoyed drinking. I rarely declined a drink when out with friends. It was my crutch to get through social situations. I spent most of my twenties drunk. Like really drunk. My tolerance was always pretty high (Mom says she was the same way) so I could drink 3 drinks and have a little bit of a buzz or I could have 6 and be what I deemed, “tipsy fantastic.”

First of all, at the time that I was drinking I made decent money but I have never been affluent. Drinking is friggin’ expensive if you actually know what you like. Me. I love top shelf tequila, whiskey, and Belvedere. And when I drank, if I was getting a refill, I tended to get the more expensive drinks after my first three were gone.

I am a dramatic drunk. I’m also a super funny drunk. That dramatic drunk. That one always bothered me.

Sober, I hate drama. I mean¬†hate it. Have I caused it before? Of course I have. That doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable.

Drunk, I seemed to thrive on it. Especially if I was in a more emotional state than I cared to share before I started drinking.

Watching this video brought me right back. About three years ago, I went out to a restaurant with a friend to bitch about work. And about boys. And life in general. I drink 5 margaritas because the waitress loved us and just kept refilling. I got in my car and remember sitting there for more than 10 minutes because I suddenly remembered that I was an adult.

A living breathing adult who knows better than to drive right now.

So I sat until I felt less like I was tipsy. I rolled my windows down and took a deep breath. I dug out the Dramamine from my purse because my vertigo was kicking in. I felt my eyes well up when my stomach clenched. Just letting me know tomorrow was going to suck.

I drank half a bottle of water and then I drove the 10 minutes to my house from the restaurant. In that 10 minutes I decided that I needed to take a break.

Drinking wasn’t fun anymore. It made me feel worse and not better. I was trying to be healthier in general and hangovers impeded workouts. Not to mention, there is no nutritional value to hard liquor-my alcoholic beverage of choice.

The next day I was dizzy, cramping, and exhausted.

I spent my twenties drunk. Did I really need to spend my thirties that way too?

So I stopped. The next time I went out, I didn’t drink. The entire table stared. “WHAT?” That moment where his friends boo’d. I know what that feels like. When suddenly everyone stares at you like you’re insane because you don’t want a drink? Yup.

I went on vacation to see one of my best friends. When she went to the liquor store to pick up supplies for the party, I had to tell her that I wasn’t drinking anymore. It had been six weeks and I liked the clarity. That party was a testament to how incredibly awkward I am socially. But I did it. I was uncomfortable. I had no clue what to do with myself. And this was a group that knew me as someone that partied. But I did it.

Even now, when it comes up, people are still a little shocked that I don’t drink.

A lot ask me why and I simplify it by saying that is just wasn’t fun anymore.

That video. Those reasons he gave are 100% it.

Waking up doesn’t suck as much.

My face isn’t flush or puffy.

My body can show the definition of muscle when I’m working out.

I can work out longer (sometimes).

My vertigo is less constant.

I am less stressed.

I am able to process my emotions fully.

I feel better.

I’ll say that again.

I. Feel. Better.

I believe that I spent enough of my life drinking so I still don’t. I don’t intend to. It’s much like when I quit smoking. I’m just over it.

Good on Buzzfeed for capturing the clarity that making a decision to be sober, even just for 30 days, can give you.