Tuesday, January 26

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages: 368  

Summary:    For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.

My Thoughts: My first debut of 2016, even though I read it in 2015. And, I liked it. It was weird!

We are introduced to Breezy who is on the run from home. Well technically, nobody is missing her since she’s already dead. Breezy was murdered and not even her family knows she came back alive (or kind of) and is out wandering the world. Breezy is kind of like a zombie (or at least to me) but not a bad zombie. Breezy can also sense if someone is a killer. And this has helped her so far.

Breezy runs into another girl and becomes friends with her. The other girl is a supernatural too. Actually, really she runs into a lot of them. She meets a boy named Zeke who is also a ghoul. I really liked Zeke (and even his brother Jake). Zeke was always there for Breezy when she needed him even though he didn’t know her really well.

I just love the name Breezy and I think this was a wonderful world to dive into. I think the world building was probably the best part of the novel. I never knew what would happen next or what we would find out was real and what wasn’t.

I think this could be a wonderful series and even though I felt like not much happened in this one, a lot did to set it up for a series if it goes that way.

Overall:  This one was a bit weird for me but I still enjoyed it. I liked finding out more about ghouls and more about all the other things that did exist. I also liked that Breezy could sense things and she knew usually who to trust and who not too.  I’d say this is probably a 3.5 cupcake rating or maybe even a 4.  I generally don’t read much horror so this was a good change for me.

Shallow Graves was extremely creepy and I don’t read much horror! Extremely creepy!!

Cover:  Like it! It would spark my interest.

What I’d Give It:

Sunday, January 17

Burn (Four Sisters #2) by Elissa Sussman

Burn (Four Sisters #2) by Elissa Sussman
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher:  Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 272

Summary:   After helping to rescue Princess Aislynn, Elanor has finally rejoined the rebel camp she calls home. Stolen from her parents at a young age and forced into service by the Wicked Queen, Elanor now wants nothing more than to see the queen removed from power. But Elanor has secrets, mistakes she’s spent years trying to forget, and the closer the rebels get to the throne, the harder it is for Elanor to keep her past hidden away.

With fellow rebels on her side—including Princess Aislynn, Thackery, and the handsome and mysterious Matthias—it is time for Elanor to make a decision. Will she protect her secrets? Or risk everything to save the people she loves?

The thrilling companion to Elissa Sussman’s masterful and original fairy tale, Stray, that will appeal to readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and fans of Wicked, Into the Woods, and the Disney princess movies.

My Thoughts:  I debated between giving this one a 3 or 4 cupcake rating. I liked it but I didn’t like it as much as the first one, Stray.

We are reintroduced to Elanor. You may remember her vaguely from Stray. When I started this one I didn’t know it was more of a companion than a sequel, but I still liked it.

Well, Elanor is out to make the world a better place and to force Josetta out of rule just like many others. She’s a great fighter and a true leader. We also meet a new boy named Matthias. I was so happy once he became a big part of the story. The first part of the book he isn’t really around very much. I just loved his personality and the way he talked.  

I also loved the secondary characters. So many of them I just enjoyed the time with.

I really liked Elanor as a character. She was brave but also really nice. She stood up for herself a lot now! She has gotten really strong!

Overall:  I liked this one! I think I did like Stray a little bit more but I enjoyed Burn as well. I want to know more about Mathias! I really liked him!

Cover: Like it! Its pretty!

What I’d Give It:

Saturday, January 16

One Year Since My Mom Passed Away

Just to take a moment away from blogging. I wanted to share something personal. 

I don’t know how many people read my posts or even care. But if you do please leave me a comment so I don't feel so stupid writing this! 

I just can’t believe Monday my mom will be gone a year. It just seems unimaginable. It seems like yesterday but at the same time it seems like it was forever ago that I got to talk to her. I don’t know how I’ve made it through this year. First my aunt Vickey passed away, than 3 months later My mom. Within a few months my aunt Linda. And then my uncle Jack. It’s been a rough year on my family.

 Some days I’ve told myself I’ll be ok, other days I am so down in the dumps its hard to get out of bed. My mom was my best friend. There were days I just needed to talk to her during difficult times. I needed my rock. I needed the person who I always had to lean on. I know it wasn’t her choice on leaving us all. It was just the way it is. There wasn’t a day I didn’t talk to her while she was here. There is not a day now I don’t think about her. She had such a big heart. She’d give you the shirt off her back, but she also wouldn’t take shit. She’d hug you and tell you your problems would be fine but then she’d want to kill anyone who hurt you. She’d always be there to listen to your problems but she’d also tell you to man up and face it. I could write a whole book on what I feel and who she was as a person. Nobody knows what heartbreak is like until you’ve lost a parent, or even two.  Since I’m writing most of this with tears in my eyes, I’ll go ahead and apologize now for any spelling/grammar mistakes.

There are times where I can’t imagine living the rest of my life without her. I’m envious of people who have their parents. I’m 31 years old, and I’ve lost both of them now. Its hard. I will never have my parents at my wedding or when I have children. I will never have them there during a lot of big moments of life.  Just writing that puts tears in my eyes.  I also think of the day I will lose a sibling and it makes me cry. I’ve always had a special connection and bond with my parents and siblings. Sometimes they think I’m naïve or immature, I’m sure because I’m 10-15 years younger than them but I’ve always felt a connection.  I don’t know how many more times I can go through this. But I know that’s life. I know that we have to face life. And what comes with it. But its hard. It sucks.  My mom knew deep down she wouldn’t always be here. She told me she’d be lucky to see me make it through college because I took my sweet time only going part time etc.  I’d tell her she would live to see it because I refused to go to college just to have her not see me graduate.  She died not even 8 months after I graduated.

Honestly, most people face their parents with “they will always be around” because they’ve always been around. While this may seem true right now, its not. One day you will wake up and realize you wish you would have called them more and seen them more.  Even though I called my mom multiple times a day. Jake always thought it was funny because I talked to her every night on the phone. To him, this wasn’t really normal. But to me, it was. I talked to her everyday while I lived at home, so why not talk to her everyday while I don’t. It was just our way. When something big or small happened in my life I called mom. When I was happy, I called her her. When I was sad, I called her. When I was sick, I called her. She was my person.

A few years ago, I made my mom something for her birthday. At the time I thought it was the coolest thing ever. A homemade gift from me, whohoo. I knew she’d like it. She was always creative as well. I’m the person who makes weird gifts or gives weird gifts.  It took me quite some time to make it. When you have to think of all the reasons you love someone its hard to really write them all down. There are just so many. So many unique things that make your story the story it is. When she unwrapped it she didn’t know what it was at first, just looking at it weirdly thinking what the fuck did she make now??  Well, once she figured out what it was she liked it I could tell.  I had made her a cookie jar with little notes. Each note contained a reason why I loved her.  I than wrapped them into little bows. Each day you unwrap one note.
Well, throughout the few years I figured she opened the notes and just got rid of them.  She would tell me throughout the days that she was opening the notes and sometimes we’d talk about what each one said.

When she passed away last year as we cleaned out her house, I found the cookie jar the notes were in and kept that, but I had no idea where the notes were. They were probably just gone, threw away at one time or another. Who really keeps paper?  Low and behold, my sister had found a little box with all the notes. She than packed it up in my stuff. I never knew about it right than because I didn’t know everything that went into my boxes to take home. It was stuff of mine from her house, like my baby teeth, and stuff of hers that I would want.  A few months later I was in my kitchen and something fall out of one of the boxes from her house.   I still hadn’t gotten the nerve to go through everything yet. It was heartbreaking and sad to look through all the stuff. I just hadn’t gotten up the courage to really sort through it all yet.  Well, I picked it up thinking it was just a photo album or something. I opened it up and I just started bawling.  She had kept all the notes and made a little box out of them. She will never know how much this truly touched me.  And I’m glad my sister was awesome enough to put it in my stuff, it was something I’d want and cherish forever.   All the reasons were jokes or moments between us. They won’t always make sense to everyone else but she always got the jokes behind some of them.

As I’m thinking about her tonight, I just wanted to share this. I know it won’t mean as much to others as myself but I wanted to share it anyway. If you knew me or my mom you knew the bond we shared. As she shared with all of her 7 kids. And many grandchildren. She loved and cherished her entire family.  

All the reasons I put in the cookie jar. 
60th Birthday 2011

 1.       Mom I love the way you took us trick or treating and stayed in the car and drove up and down the street as we went.
2.       Mom, I love how you sent Andy postcards about your “vacations” in different states. Thoughtful and caring.
3.       Mom, I love your handwriting. As soon as I get a piece of mail, I know its from you and I smile.
4.       Mom, Thank you or always supporting me, dying my hair multiple colors, putting up with my smart mouth and taking care of me.
5.       Mom, I love the way you used to try to protect me from boy troubles. I was too boy crazy to listen.
6.       Mom, I love how you trusted me to run the neighborhood. I even stayed out of trouble. And I never got caught in grade school playing hide and go get it. I was a fast runner.
7.       Mom, I love the way we would stalk Claires for the 10 for 5 sale and you’d let me buy the store.
8.       Mom, I love how we would get ice cream cones from culvers and race to the bottom.
9.       Mom, I love the way we used to go to buffet on the boat and how excited you were when I hit 21 so I could go with you.
10.   Mom, I love the way you understand my phases, you took me to Burger King to get Furbys, you bought me beanie babies. A LOT.
11.   Mom, I love the way I grew up listening to Beach Boys and you taught me that it was “cool.”
12.   Mom, I love how you made me all those dorky outfits, and made me a blanket out of them.
13.   Mom, I love how if we had a fight we make up quick. We don’t stay mad at each other.
14.   Mom, After everything you’ve been through you are still trying to heal and stay alive. I love you. I want you to live forever.
15.   Mom, I love how you’d take care of me when I got sick, even if it made you sick. We’d both end up sick in bed together.
16.   Mom, I love the way you’ve answered 10000s of my questions growing up and never stopped.
17.   Mom, I love how silly you can be.
18.   Mom, I love the way you tried to help me with math homework. (yeah right) and teach me my time tables of 8. I still don’t know them.
19.   Mom, I love the way we went to Bingo together, and even when I wore 2 different shoes, you didn’t mind being seen together. You said they’d think it was the “style.”
20.   Mom, I love that you took me to McDonalds everything to get a happy meal to collect all those beanie babies.
21.   Mom, I love how you took me to see Beauty and The Beast in the old theater. One of my best memories.
22.   Mom, You taught me about Weather. “This room of yours looks like a tornado went through it.”
23.   Mom, I love the way you used to watch movies with me every Tuesday and you’d try to stay awake. By the middle, you were watching your eyelids.
24.   Mom, I love how you made me a baby book from the moment I was born and added to it.
25.   Mom,  I love how you always try to take care of everyone. Kids, grandkids, everyone.
26.   Mom, I love the way you send cards for every holiday.
27.   Mom, I loved how you cleaned out from under my bed and found a “surprise”. The look on your face “priceless”  The look on mine- thought I was gonna die. “oh my gosh” funny
28.   Mom, I love the way you used to tell me bedtime stories. That is how I know most fairytales.
29.   Mom, I love that your my mom. I couldn’t ask for better. I love you so much.
30.   Mom, I love how my mom says what she thinks, don’t you? LOL
31.   Mom, I love the way when we used to go for Chinese you knew only to get me donuts. HAHA.
32.   Mom, Thank you for being YOU! You are amazing, wonderful, special, caring, brave, and just plain awesome.
33.   Mom, I loved the trips to the gift shop to get charms for my bracelet. That braclet has a lot of memories.
34.   Mom, I love talking to you everyday on the phone, and the way you know I will call, many many times.
35.   Mom, I love how you can barely turn a computer on, and if you do, you sit there and say “now what?”
36.   Mom, I love how you never made fun of me for sleeping with the light on or a nightlight. I still do.
37.   Mom, Thank you for always coming up with swimming money, even at the end of the month.
38.   Mom, I love how we gossip and how we swear each other to secrecy.
39.   Mom, I love how you think its so cool to use a CD player. Think mom, now is the time of ipods. You do know what that is right?
40.   Mom, I love how you always took me to Wendys for lunch. You got me from school everyday that year.
41.   Mom, I love how much I turned out like you. We have a lot of the same habits. I love that your my best friend.
42.   Mom, I love the way you used to always give me money to Balbirds to get candy.
43.   Mom, (from April) My favorite thing that I enjoyed was getting nachos and going garage sailing.
44.   Mom, You taught me that not everything is perfect and we are only as happy as we choose to be.
45.   Mom, I love how you have a habit of swiping pens. I’d find my pens in your purse. Sneaky you.
46.   Mom, (from Carrie) I loved when you showed up with a smiling face at my house, in your witches outfit. You were fun and vibrant.
47.   Mom, I loved how when I got home from school you’d make me roast or grilled cheese/tomato soup. You knew my favorites.
48.   Mom, Thank you for being my rock, especially when Dad died. You were always there when I cried.
49.   Mom, thank you for not killing me for any and all the stupid things I’ve done over the years.
50.   Mom, I love that we’re alike in the sense we both didn’t get our ears pierced when we were kids. We are pussies.
51.   Mom, I love the way you were willing to drive me to Amber’s party, saw the cops and drove away. You had perfect timing!
52.   Mom, I love the way you brought me gifts when you went to visit Vickey in Oklahoma. You brought that neat little photo album.
53.   Mom, I love the way you dressed up as a witch for Halloween and took pictures.
54.   Mom, I remember the day I choked on ice. You were so scared for me. I love the way we cried together afterwards. You cared.
55.   Mom, I love how you encouraged me to read. You would sit in the car while I went in the library.
56.   Mom, I love the way you thought Buffy was too “dangerous” and the way you sat with me during Dawsons Creek and understand why I got so emotional.
57.   Mom, Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord……. You taught me that, and I still say it everynight.
58.   Mom, I love the way your allergic to cats and dislike big dogs. I inherited that from you.
59.   Mom, I love the way you used to haul me everywhere, the post office, park, swimming pool, school, everywhere!
60.   Mom, you never told on me when I “borrowed” Marlas clothes, we’d wash them before she got home. You protected me. 
Please cherish the ones you love! Call your parents right now. Tell them you love them, you appreciate them. If anything do it for me tonight since I can’t.


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