Love Shouldn’t be Creepy | A Book Review

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Title: I’m Still Here

Author: Clélie Avit

Pages: 240

Catchwords: Coma, French, Non-consensual romance


I’m going to admit right off the bat, I borrowed this purely because of its pretty cover. I guess after reading the blurb, I was intrigued to see if this story could be pulled off in a non-creepy way. Yeah, I don’t think that was ever gonna happen.

At first I thought it might be due to the translation. Then I realised it’s just overall poor writing. I get that it’s drawn it’s inspiration from Sleeping Beauty, but it was nigh impossible to get over the creep factor. Since the plot is predictable, the focus was largely on the characters, yet they both felt inconsistent and very underdeveloped. It was filled with irritating cliches with little to no explanation of how it fit in with their identity.

Essentially Thibault is on the fifth floor with his Mum who is visiting his brother who he doesn’t want to see. He wanders around and accidentally goes into Elsa’s room where she is in a coma. He then proceeds to talk to her and falls asleep in the chair next to her bed. She hears him despite her coma and isn’t creeped out by this stranger who thinks he is entitled to be her friend and even KISS her. He is confronted with her ACTUAL friends, and isn’t even slightly embarrassed by his total lack of etiquette. And neither are the friends! They indulge his budding infatuation even though it is very creepy to be “drawn” to this unconscious girl.

He continues to visit her and fall in love, despite having nothing to go off about her except that she’s in a COMA. Apparently she is also inspired by him and sees him as her rainbow willpower to finally wakeup. People have been visiting her pretty consistently during the past 5 months and yet the novel sort of focuses on how he is an unwitting hero, which is kind of ridiculous. His automatic infatuation with this unconscious girl that he doesn’t even know is due to his longing for the perfect family. There is a reoccurring metaphor where he visualises his life as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book called ‘The Book in Which I am The Hero.’ Blurgh. The complete lack of consent and the total creepiness of his “love” is super unnerving. It’s also inconsistent at times which would make sense because she is really only an object to which he can project his ideals of a perfect family. There is literally one part in the book where he forgets about her for a whole week even though he is totally in love with her right?!

This book was absolutely cringe worthy with a major creep factor. Had to skim read to the end cause it was just that bad. There were other problems, such as the poor writing (it was quite bad, and this may or may not be the fault of the translation) and the unbelievable relationships between Thibault and everyone in his life. It almost felt like the author only understood communication through the lens of daily television soaps. Thibault’s habitual pineapple juice and Elsa’s glacial mountaineering characteristics felt so overtly forced into the story that they just felt like paper dolls of characters instead of people that I actually could believe in.

Suffice it to say, I did not like this book.

1 out of 5 stars

Inconsistent Blogging Doesn’t Nullify the Title

I have always been this way. It’s hard to change and I’m constantly trying not to judge myself too harshly.

I am a inconsistent blogger.

I know, the SHAME. I’ve been blogging for years and years, yet I can never stick to a schedule or even post somewhat consistently. Even with this blog that I created at the end of 2016, I haven’t posted since New Year. As more time when on, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t kept up with blogging like I had wanted to.

But then I realised something. I arrived at an epiphany. It doesn’t matter. I can blog whenever I feel like it, even if the mood for it happens in between months. This is my blog and my life, and I’m entitled to be inconsistent.

I read a lot, and whilst this is great for my Goodreads goal, it impacts on how I prioritise my time, and blogging, as the consistently neglected, always falls to the wayside. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy blogging, or that I’m not a blogger, just that, for me, my blogging happens in waves.

So is this me stating another unrealistic goal? Am I saying that I’m jumping back on the bandwagon that I keep missing? Not really. I would like to make writing and blogging a higher priority. But there will be no unreasonable promises coming from me. I will not make 2 posts weekly ad infinitum. I will not resign myself to an unsuccessful schedule that will just enforce shame around an activity I enjoy.

Though I am a blogger, just on my own terms. Those being – whenever I feel like it.

Looking Onwards in the New Year

Last year was a difficult one, but like many others we have made it through to see the beginning of a new year. It would defeatist of me to surrender to the horrible things that dominated the news last year, and coming out of 2016 I have made it my mission to not let life defeat me. I struggled deeply with mental health issues and there were some pretty difficult and scary points of the year for me. I don’t mean to linger on them but it is helpful to reflect that I’ve made it through. I decided mid-year to keep trying even harder to help myself, and that meant putting myself out there. I started socialising more, studying harder, and facing my fears and seeing doctors again. This led to making friends, meeting Ross, achieving amazing results at university and finding both a pill that works for me as well as a psychologist. I can safely say that whilst this year has been difficult, I have preserved to my benefit and it makes me immensely proud.

Since a lot of the positive changes in my life were made in the second half of last year, my resolutions are more a continuation and commitment to the choices I was already making in my life. Whilst I’ve achieved some great things, I can always keep improving myself and now I know how far I can go, so I don’t want to stop.

Health

I want to keep improving my health, both physical and mental. I would like to avoid binge eating and to exercise is whatever way I can a few times a week. Exercise can be difficult for me when my chronic fatigue is acting up but I feel confident that I can actively work around it this year and hopefully that will help in the management of it.

Life

I want to maintain my good grades, as well as embrace more opportunities for involvement at university and professional activities. I also would like to keep up with journaling as I have found this almost therapeutic and deeply helpful in staying in connection with myself.

Reading

My Goodreads goal will stay manageable at around 100 books because I don’t want to focus solely on quantity or numbers. I want to read some sequels in series I’ve already started. I also want to keep reading more non-fiction because this was an amazing goal from last year that I really enjoyed. I’ve started a new way of picking books to read that is awesome for me and I would like to stick to that.

Overall, I just want to keep working on the things I was working on last year. Life doesn’t end and begin again with each new year. We keep growing and changing all throughout life and this new year is just a divider between one stage and the next.

Here’s to focusing and drawing power from the amazing things in our lives, and to the happiness that lies in this new year.

The Catcher in the Rye | Review

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My highschool required reading was minimal compared to the classics that seem to be universally read throughout other schools. I’ve never picked up nineteen eighty-four, never glanced at Catch-22, or even considered The Catcher in the Rye. I’d picked up some things about the book before going into, such as Holden being a bit of a whiny character who dislikes phonies. My expectations were founded by I didn’t find Holden to be as annoying as so many people seem to think he is.

Holden is a unique character, who is desperately and destructively trying to linger in the innocence of his youth. Whilst he is interested in learning at school, he can’t bring himself to invest his mind because that would be pushing himself further into the adult world that is full of people that are true to themselves like children are. He finds these people that are grown up and enshrined in dull rituals of etiquette repulsive because they are the catalyst of lost innocence.

The plot is largely non-existent as it focuses on Holden experiencing New York at this transitory time in his life. He isn’t quite a child or an adult, so his place in this city is undefined and shaky. There is a strong contrast between scenes where he is violent unfit for the adult scenery (such as the scene where he has a conflict with a prostitute) and scenes where is acknowledged as belonging. He may be a compulsive liar but he is not a bad person. I see this clear as day when he was talking with the nuns who are a model of virtue and charity. He can’t help but proffer himself to them and provide charity and company because this is a form of company that is more aligned with his being.

This book is interesting because of how Holden is this physical representation of philosophical difficulties of adolescence. Definitely a fascinating character study and I can see its merit in a classroom.

4 out of 5 stars

Trio of Reviews | Necrotech, Where Am I Now?, Gone with the Wind

Maybe one day I will be able to keep up with reviews on my blog, but I have not yet reached that time in my life. I’ve decided to lump together three recent reads for me that have taken up most of the second half of December. I’ve enjoyed all of these books, which makes them wonderful to end the year on.

Necrotech by K.C. Alexander31128541

Action packed and super fast paced. Set in a post-apocalyptic city that is run by mega corporations that keep track of everyone through SIN (Security Identification Number). Though some get off the grid by becoming saints who are SINless.

Riko is one unsaintlike saint who wakes up with without her memories and a lot of people to hurt to find why. She is a kickass mercenary with metaphorical balls of steel.

In this world, there is incorporated tech – tech which is incorporated into flesh. At birth, when SIN is incorporated, so is nanotech and they help with healing. If they get overloaded by either exertion or too much incorporated tech, then the tech will take over and control the body. This is called necrotech because essentially the body is dead but the tech fuels the body to kill. Therefore we get electronic powered zombies. This concept is so flipping cool and was so much fun.

This book does diversity right. Main character is bisexual and disabled (missing arm), plus the side characters are Indian, and these characters are incorporated without their traits being plot points. Really enjoyed that.

Overall, this book was epic. Cyberpunk adventure time with zombies and intrigue. I’m hooked.

4 out of 5 stars

Where Am I Now? – Mara Wilson29429875

Mara Wilson is an interesting person who has been off my radar since Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire. This memoirs describes the times in-between and I have to say that she has become a truly inspiring person. Some parts of her book really resonated with me. In particular the part about her realising she has OCD as well as the part about high school choir. I loved the chapter about the Matilda-Whore Complex where she discusses trying to become her own person outside of her “cute” reputation as Matilda and how this point of her life was a turning point for her own individuality. I think that I could connect with this transition in her life despite the child acting career. I think we all go through transitory periods where we go through who we think we should be in the eyes of others, and Mara discussing working up the courage to embrace herself was really beautiful. I listened to this as an audiobook and hearing her tell her stories was a wonderful experience.

4 out of 5 stars

Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell237241

After years of being nagged by my mum to read this hefty tome so that she watch the movie with me, I finally picked it up, and surprisingly, I couldn’t put it down. I was utterly captivated by Scarlett. I can’t remember the last time I admired a character so much. She was so interesting and masterfully crafted. She was so stubbornly and unfailingly herself that it was wonderful to witness time and time again through the plot. She was such a strong character and I adored her.

Not only was Scarlett amazing, but every character was fully fleshed out and made real for me. Melanie felt like a close friend, Ashley an abandoned teddy that you wanted to hug and never let go. And Rhett. He was a treasured character. The right amount of perfect for this spanning tale of love, loss and war.

I hadn’t realised going in that it was going to have such a heavy focus on the war and the politics of the time, and really it was ridiculously interesting since I know nothing of the American Civil War. It was thrilling to read. After Scarlett and Melanie’s retreat back to Tara, the book almost had a post-apocalyptic feel to it, because their entire lives had been irreversibly changed. I love seeing well-developed characters react and adapt to completely new lifestyles. It was such a fun ride to watch them all grow.

4 out of 5 stars

The Vampire Lestat | Review

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Catchwords – Irresitable Vampires, Pre-Revolutionary Parisian Theatre, Beautiful Male Relationships, Vampiric Historical Fiction, Meaning of Beauty


Immediately upon beginning this sequel, I began to recollect how much I fell in love with Interview with the Vampire. Just like it’s precursor, The Vampire Lestat is beautifully written and full of emotions and original characters. I found myself lingering over certain lines or passages of the book that resonated a sense of literary brilliance in me. I truly enjoyed every moment of this book and wished I had picked it up sooner.

One of my favourite things about vampiric tales is how fantasy and historical fiction are melded together so that they are neither one or the other, but something totally unique. Anne Rice’s vampire lore is definitely one of my favourites and this tome doles out quite a lot of history and background to the underworld she has created. I found the stories within stories to be a truly fluid and magnificent conduit of her vampire lore. Hearing Armand’s and Marius’s tales from themselves was magical.

Lestat. The Vampire Lestat. He was wondrous in the first instalment of The Vampire Chronicles, and continues to shine as a multi-faceted and intriguing character. I fell in love with his relationships to others such as Nicholas (oh sweet child) and their “conversation”, Armand and the Theatre of the Vampires, as well as Gabrielle. It was awesome to see Lestat’s mortal beginnings and I love that the story started so normally and ended up going so many interesting places.

The Paris of Lestat’s mortal life was vivid and alive on the pages. I could see Nicholas and him going about their lives in this pre-revolutionary city.

The theme of beauty was strewn all throughout and was articulated with such brilliance. You could see Rice musing on the purpose and existence of beauty and life through her characters who were masterfully created to ponder this unanswerable queries. I also enjoyed the contemplation of humanity’s need for gods, relative to a universal and uniting purpose. When the story is told over so many differing time periods when faith in higher powers was commonplace and attached to the identity of humanity, it was interesting to see characters contemplate changing temperatures in belief and how this would affect humanity and vampires alike.

I adore these books and the stories found within. I am enamoured and can’t wait to pick up the next one.

Rating – 5/5 stars