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Esther Spurrill Jones. Powered by Blogger.
27 November 2015
Has it really been three years?
Some days, it seems much longer.
Am I forgetting you?
My life continues on without you:
I love, I laugh, I cry, I smile.
And yet, some days, it feels as if
Just yesterday I saw your face,
I felt your arms around me.

31 October 2015
It's hard to believe another OctPoWriMo has come and gone, but here we are. Today's prompt is about journeys and endings.

Journey's End

Every end is a beginning;
Journey’s end can bring new life.
Everything is ephemeral
So enjoy it while you can.

30 October 2015
Today's prompt is to "write a poem that incorporates each of the senses." The cinquain seems fitting since there are five senses, but it has only five lines, and I had more to say. So each of the five stanzas in today's poem is a cinquain.

Sensation

I see
Art surrounds me,
Beauty encircles me.
Ask and receive; look and you’ll find
Beauty.

I hear
Everything sings;
Music is everywhere.
Listen! You will hear it as well:
Music.

I smell
Snow in the air,
The crisp scent of autumn,
Apples and pumpkins and spices,
Fragrance.

I taste
Pumpkin, turkey,
Sweet potatoes, and pie;
Candy apples and pumpkin spice:
Flavour.

I feel
Chill in my bones,
Warm fire roaring bright,
My lover’s warm lips on my skin:
Touching.


29 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to think about an ending that was positive. I've written a rondel about my first boyfriend.

Only Relief

I felt no grief when he walked away,
Only relief that he was gone.
In his life, I was a pawn,
A decoration for display.

I’d told myself it would be okay.
I loved him; I thought he was the one.
I felt no grief when he walked away,
Only relief that he was gone.

It was a sunny summer’s day:
My best friend told me what he’d done;
I wasn’t enough; he wanted fun.
She’d spurned him, but he’d tried to stray;
I felt no grief when he walked away.


28 October 2015
Today's prompt is to record myself reading my favourite poem out loud. I've done this before other years and, this year, I really want to write 31 new poems this month so I'm skipping this prompt.

There are two popular songs that have always bothered me. They are what you might call problematic. "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction and "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. Both of them, I believe, are trying to bring across a message of confidence in one's own beauty, but they both fall short.

When One Direction says, "You don't know you're beautiful; that's what makes you beautiful," they are implying that insecurity is attractive and, conversely, that a self-confident woman who knows she is beautiful is not attractive.

Christina says, "I am beautiful in every single way. Words can't bring me down," and that's good. But then, in the very next line, she says, "So don't you bring me down today." Wait, what? If words can't bring you down, why are you worried that anyone will bring you down? What can they do? She's undermining her message here.

I wanted to write a kind of response to these ideas, a poem of self-confidence. I believe that confidence is beautiful. Not arrogance, but knowing who you are. It's taken me a long time to get to a place where I can say that I am beautiful and mean it, and some days I still can't do it. But maybe this poem can remind me of what makes me beautiful.

What Makes Me Beautiful

I know I‘m beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful

Paint your face
Dye your hair
Lose weight
Because you’re worth it

Take up space
Hear me roar
I create
My own self-confidence

I know I’m beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful

Don’t tell me
My insecurities
Define me
I know I’m beautiful

For I know
My confidence
Defines me
That’s what makes me beautiful

I know I am beautiful
That’s what makes me beautiful

27 October 2015
Today's prompt is about happy endings. "What is your happy ending?" I know I've written about my husband several times this month, and maybe I'm a bit sappy, but he's one of the best things in my life. He's my happy ending. Today's sonnet (Italian style) is written in third person, but "she" here is me.

My Happy Ending

Once upon a time there was a girl
Who dreamed of romance, chivalry, and knights.
Since she was young, her mind would tend on flights
Of fancy, free from fetters of the world.
Happiness, she thought, would be a whirl-
Wind love affair, consuming days and nights;
Of deepest depths and, oh, so dizzy heights.
Instead, she found love like a bloom unfurled,
A slow awakening like spring’s return.
Before she knew what happened, she would yearn
To be with him each moment of each day.
She was surprised to find her soul would say,
“This is my other half, the one for me,
My happy ending I could not foresee.”


26 October 2015
Today's prompt is the Loop form, which is described differently on Shadow Poetry and on the prompt page. I decided to go with the Shadow Poetry description, and I ended up writing kind of a follow up to my paradelle from October 16. Again, this is about Doctor Who, but this time, it's about the beginning of the Eleventh Doctor's time (The Eleventh Hour).

The Eleventh Hour

Ring around the rosy
Rosy cheeks so red
Red as roses blooming
Blooming by the shed

Shed the bad wolf memory
Memory, say goodbye
Goodbye to loss and hello
Hello, my cool bowtie


25 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to remember our favourite toy from childhood. I had a horse my mom crocheted for me that went everywhere with me, fueling my imagination.

Toy Horse

His body made of yarn,
Stuffed with fibrefill;
His tail two strands of white—
The rest had fallen out.
Yet, in my mind he shone with pride,
Trotted, cantered, ‘cross the fields;
Mane and tail flowing free,
Head held high with pride.


24 October 2015
Today's prompt suggests that we take a picture and write a story poem inspired by it. I'm not sure if mine is exactly a story, but it's what came to me with this photo.

Walking in Snow at Night

Golden light upon the snow
Under starry skies above
Makes a softer, warmer glow
Than daylight ever does.

The hurry, hurry, busyness,
The frantic rush to get things done,
Feels like distant craziness,
Vanished with the setting sun.

Quiet, hush, your steps must slow,
Squeaking softly in the night,
Following the path of light
Through a world that’s all aglow.


23 October 2015
Today's prompt is about how small things fit together to make up a whole. I took the line 'a drop in the ocean' and kind of went a different direction with it. I also used a song I loved from my teenage years as inspiration (video is embedded below).

One in a Million

A drop in the ocean
A grain of sand on the shore
Just one in a million
That’s what you are
A work of art
Treasured by your creator
Truly one in a million
That’s what you are


22 October 2015
I couldn't get inspired by today's prompt, so I used yesterday's Wednesday Poetry Prompt from Writer's Digest, and wrote a sonnet about Star Wars. I am so excited about the new film coming. I've been watching the trailer over and over.

Shadows of Anger and Fear

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away,
The shadows of anger and fear grew strong and bold.
The stories are true: it’s us who saved the day,
Took down the Sith, refused to be controlled.

We lost our homes, we lost our families,
We lost so much, we vowed we’d lose no more,
We’d never live our lives upon our knees,
So we took up our arms and went to war.

Among the stars, he faced his destiny—
A choice between what’s right and what’s easy—
And chose the path of light, chose to be free,
And showed us all what love can truly be.

Though darkness had his father’s soul enslaved,
‘Twas love that gave his son the pow’r to save.


21 October 2015
Today's prompt is to write a ballad about being overwhelmed and how we deal with it.

Storms and Strife

When life is full of storms and strife
I remember You;
When problems seek to bury me
I know I will break through.

I am Yours no matter what;
I hold onto You.
Love came down and died for me:
I know that this is true.

Over mountains’ lofty height,
Through the valleys low,
I will sing of all Your mercies,
Remember what I know.

I know that You are always here;
You will never leave.
You always give me a way out:
I only need receive.


20 October 2015
Today, the prompt was to write a love poem. I chose to use the HexSonnetta form since I love sonnets and I've never tried this one before. This poem is dedicated to my husband Mark.

I Love You

Do I need to say
I love you? For you know,
And every day I show
That I will never stray.
I don’t do things halfway:
You’ll always be my beau.

Yet, I know words have might
And, so you won’t forget,
I once again will let
You know you are my light.
So, yes, I know ‘tis trite,
But I have no regrets.

Never more alone,
For you and I are one.


19 October 2015
Today's prompt suggests that we write a poem where each line starts with "Dear [name]" and speaks to some significant love. I decided to use only those I have lost to death.

Dear Departed

Dear Grandpa,
I remember sitting on the stairs with you,
slowly hitching ourselves up or down one step at a time.
You made a child believe it was a game
though you were too sick to walk up and down normally.

Dear Grandma,
you were my favourite singer.
My head is still full of your songs.

Dear Grandad,
thank you for bending your thumb backwards to make me laugh when I was a child.
You didn’t talk much, but I always knew you loved me.

Dear Oliver,
I miss the way you would sleep on my pillow and purr.
You were my baby.

Dear Mom,
how can I ever thank you for everything you did for me?
I will never stop missing you.


18 October 2015
Today's prompt is to write about something that isn't what it seems. I wrote this one in church this morning.

A King in Rags

A carpenter’s son
From a backwoods town
With nowhere to lay his head,
He walked the land
Through the dust and the mud,
No majesty about him.


17 October 2015
Today's prompt is the cascade, and dancing.

Dancing in the Rain

I tilt my face toward the sky,
I spin around and smile,
Dancing in the rain.

Water running down my neck
Washing me clean;
I tilt my face toward the sky,

I close my eyes,
And spread my arms,
I spin around and smile.

Thunder, lightning all around;
I give myself to the storm,
Dancing in the rain.


16 October 2015
Today's prompt suggests that we try the paradelle, which is, quite honestly, the most difficult form of poetry I have ever attempted. Since I love trying new forms, I gave it a shot. Though I almost gave up several times, I pushed on and finished it. I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment as when I sat back and said, "I did it!"

This is a fanpoem. For those who have not watched Doctor Who, the story told here will not be familiar, but I think that you can follow it anyway. It's the story of a man and woman who fall in love and are separated by time and space and try to find their way back to one another.

Find a Way

He burned a star to say goodbye;
He burned a star to say goodbye.
Her heart will die at Bad Wolf Bay;
Her heart will die at Bad Wolf Bay.
At Bad Wolf Bay, a star will die—
He burned her heart to say goodbye.

Though universes crash and burn,
Though universes crash and burn,
She will return; she’ll find a way.
She will return; she’ll find a way.
She’ll find a way, though she will burn,
Crash universes, and return.

Alone, now wanders, broken, lost,
Alone, now wanders, broken, lost,
He saved the world, the cost his soul.
He saved the world, the cost his soul.
The soul alone now, wanders lost,
The broken world he saved his cost.

At Bad Wolf Bay, a star he burned;
The world he saved now will return;
His lost and broken soul will die.
Alone wanders her heart… Goodbye.
Universes she’ll crash to say—
Though she burn the cost—“Find a way.”

"I'm burning up a star just to say 'Goodbye'"

15 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to imagine what we would do if we could do anything we wanted. "What is your wildest dream?" I have way too many dreams to boil it down to one poem, so I just wrote an acrostic about dreams.


Dream

Diving in: sink or swim;
Reaching out, I know I’ll win.
Everything that I can be
As I try, I will see
My dreams become reality.


14 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us "What is on the bridge between yesterday and tomorrow?"

Today

Between yesterday and tomorrow
I find my present:
Today.


13 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to write about risks we are willing to take, and suggests using the blitz form. This is one of my favourite poetry forms, so I had to take up the challenge. Instead of writing about risks I might/will take, I wrote about a risk I took seven years ago: on September 1, 2008, I asked my best friend if he wanted to be my boyfriend. This year, we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. So that risk worked out well, I think. ;)

Love Will Be

I had waited
I had dreamed
Dreamed of love
Dreamed of forever
Forever I would be with him
Forever we would love
Love is patient
Love is blind
Blind to signs that all could see
Blind to feelings, leaving fear
Fear of rejection
Fear of being open
Open up my mouth
Open up my heart
Heart so full of love
Heart so full of hope
Hope like a tiny flickering flame
Hope that flared at his response
Response that fulfilled my every wish
Response set my heart ablaze
Ablaze with feeling
Ablaze with joy
Joy that never yet has waned
Joy that took me to the church
Church with friends and family
Church where we became one
One flesh
One soul
Soul mate was just a word before
Soul mate is my husband now
Now we have woven our lives together
Now we are one soul in two bodies
Bodies that once were separate
Bodies that yearn to touch
Touch my heart
Touch my hand
Hands entwined
Hands so strong
Strong and able to keep me safe
Strong, yet gentle
Gently holds me
Gently gives his best
Best lover
Best friend
Friends we are
Friends we will always be
Be together
Be forever
Forever
Together


12 October 2015
Today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada. Here's a haiku about thankfulness.

A Thanksgiving Haiku

I thank my God for
Life and love and everything.
He fulfills my needs.


11 October 2015
Today is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, so instead of using today's prompt, I wrote an acrostic about what I'm thankful for.

Under Your Hand

There is so much I
Have to be thankful for:
All my
Needs are met, and there is unlimited
Knowledge at my fingertips.

Yes I
Own all I need. I live
Under Your hand.


10 October 2015
I am the type of writer who rereads, edits, and rewrites everything several times. I believe in polishing and reworking something until it is perfect. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, and I believe that most of my rough drafts need that in order to shine. Like a diamond pulled from a mine, a rough draft needs to be cut and polished before being set in a ring or necklace and shared with the world.

Having said all that, I decided to give "wild writing" a try. In todays' prompt, Morgan Dragonwillow suggests that we try to turn off our brains and just write from the deepest part of ourselves. I wasn't able to exactly stop thinking, but I think I managed a stream of consciousness free verse. I listened to the Piano Guys and just allowed myself to feel. And I didn't rewrite it. This is the raw, unedited words I threw down as I listened.

To get into my headspace, play the video while reading.


I Hide

There’s a fire burning deep within my soul
A raging inferno
But I let no one see
The deepest part of me
A storm of ice and flame
This is who I am
But I care too much what others think
And so I hide


09 October 2015
Today's prompt is the symbolism and duality of the elements, earth, fire, air, and water. I wrote an alliterative 4-stress (Tolkien's favourite form) for this because it just seemed to want to be that.

Opposing Forces

Water
It’s cool and calm and captivating
Then rushing, roaring, raging wild

Earth
The solid strength of sturdy stone
Turns murky, muddy, a dusty mess

Fire
A cheery warm, crackling comfort
Or a scorching, searing, stinging blaze

Air
A soughing, susurrating secret
But a tornado, tempest, typhoon, gale


08 October 2015
I'm not following the prompt today because something happened to me last night that I just can't get out of my head, so I had to write about it.

Bug Misplaced

Taking a sip of ginger ale
Should not be a source for chilling tales.
Into my glass a beetle had slipped;
Heedless, I lifted it to my lips.
Instantly feeling something off,
Gagging and spitting, I gasped and coughed.
Twelve hours later, I still can taste
The awful awareness of bug misplaced.

These things are all over my house right now, and they're driving me crazy. Google tells me they're Boxelder bugs and they're generally harmless. But who wants bugs in their house—or in their food and drink?! For those wondering, I did spit it out and it was dead. I'm not sure if it drowned in my ginger ale or if I killed it.


07 October 2015
Today's prompt is to write about something that we wouldn't change, maybe a decision that seemed wrong at the time but in hindsight is the best thing. I decided to write about the job I have that I applied for on a whim and now love.

My Career

I went on a whim
Never done something like it
Now it’s a passion



06 October 2015
Today's prompt is about freedom and courage. What would I do if I were brave? I took longer than usual to think about this one, finally settling on the villanelle form and using two of my favourite songs—Rachel Platten's Fight Song and Sarah Bareilles' Brave—as inspiration.

Blazing Light

I am filled with blazing light,
Igniting words like tidal waves;
I will stand my ground and fight.

Banish fear, take back the night:
Do not tell me to behave;
I am filled with blazing light.

I speak, I sing, I shout, I write—
I’ll be silent in my grave.
I will stand my ground and fight.

This is no time to be polite;
I find the strength and I am brave.
I am filled with blazing light.

If I dare, I might incite
A flood of others, rushing waves.
I will stand my ground and fight.

We demand the wrongs made right,
The slaves are freed, the children saved.
I am filled with blazing light;
I will stand my ground and fight.


05 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to write about love and relationships. As always, I must write about my husband Mark. I actually cannot remember the first time we met, and sometimes it feels like I've always known him. I've tried to capture that in a triolet.

My Heart has Always Known

I can’t recall a time before
It seems my heart has always known
We two are halves of but one soul
I can’t recall a time before
Without you I was never whole
With you I am so much more
Nevermore to be alone
I can’t recall a time before
Without you I was never whole
It seems my heart has always known


04 October 2015
Today's prompt is magic. With such a broad, open-ended field to play in, I decided to limit myself with a strict form. I settled on the Kyrielle Sonnet because I love sonnets.

Embrace the Darkness

Welcome to the time of year when
Spirits wander in broad daylight,
We all embrace the darkness, and
Magic thrills us all day and night.

The sun is losing all his hold;
He no longer has any right
To prevail o’er all as of old.
Magic thrills us all day and night.

We glory in macabre and grim,
In spooky and weird we delight.
Cobwebs, spiders—ghoulish is “in.”
Magic thrills us all day and night.

Welcome to the time of year when
Magic thrills us all day and night.


03 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to think about what makes us not want to write, what makes it difficult to sit down and create. There are so many things in life that can make me busy, take my attention, that I started to get overwhelmed just thinking about it all. I had to take a step back and I realized it all boils down to what I make time for, and then it just came to me. So, here's a haiku about what distracts me and takes up my time.

Call My Name

Work, tv, and books
Call my name, demand my time.
And yet, I must write.

02 October 2015
Today's prompt asks us to write something inspired by a favourite movie or music video. I chose something that's kind of both: the Misty Mountains Cold from The Hobbit (click the link and scroll down to read the lyrics and watch the music video/scene from the movie). I read the book as a child, watched the movie(s) as an adult, and have always been inspired by the story.

I did something a little different with the poetry form today, something I have done in the past and really enjoy: I made up my own. Today's poem is a bit like a villanelle, a bit like a ballad, but all my own thing. I hope you enjoy.

We are Returning

The mountain is on fire;
Our home is burning.
Blood is in the air;
My heart is yearning.

Now years and years have gone:
Uncounted turnings.
And every single moment
My heart is yearning.

Today we stand as one:
The dragon spurning.
Blood is in the air;
We are returning.

Far over the mountains
We are returning
To caverns deep and old,
The dragon spurning.

We leave ere break of day—
My heart is yearning.
Today we stand as one:
We are returning.

The mountain is on fire;
We are returning.
Blood is in the air;
My heart is yearning.


01 October 2015
Today is the first day of OctPoWriMo 2015, and today's prompt is clouds. I've decided to write an acrostic about the different types of clouds, and I've attempted a bit of rhyme as well.

Clouds

Come and watch the clouds with me.
Light and fluffy cirrus—lie back and float away.
Oncoming storm: we watch it grow, filling all we see,
Uncaring cumulous, huge and dark and grey.
Darkness falls: silent, cold, and bleak;
Stratus creeps across the sky, ending day.



08 September 2015
Literacy Day
Grammarly
For me, the ability to read is a privilege I often take for granted. I learned to read when I was four years old and read my first novel at seven. It was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I loved it. Today, I devour everything written I see. Reading is a great pleasure for me, and I cannot imagine my life without it.

However, there are millions of people around the world who cannot read (32 million adults in the US alone) and, as today is International Literacy Day, I believe it is appropriate to promote awareness of this.

Being able to read and write is more important than ever in our world of smartphones and computers. It can quite literally change lives.

For information on how you can get involved and help out the cause, check out First Book and Reading is Fundamental or talk to your local librarian.

Because everyone deserves the chance to read.
17 July 2015
Sometimes—no, often—writing is much harder than my day job. And it doesn't pay nearly as well. Okay, it doesn't really pay at all right now. So, why do I do it? I spend all this time and energy—and blood, sweat, and tears—on an activity that produces very little measurable worth.

The easy, pat answer is that I write because I love it. And, while that is true, it doesn't begin to cover why I write. I'm not sure I can really articulate it, even though words are my tools of trade. But I'll try.

I write because it's the only time I can truly and fully be myself. While I'm creating fiction, I am the most truthful. Woven into the made up worlds and characters is the most honesty I can articulate. My characters can say things I could never say and, while I don't always agree with everything they say and do, there is ever an undercurrent of my most authentic, genuine self.

I write because it's an outlet for my deepest feelings. When my parents broke up, I wrote poetry. When I fell in love, I wrote poetry. When I lost my mother to cancer, I wrote poetry. In everything in my life that has affected me deeply, writing has been there: a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

I write because I must. In some ways, writing is a partner, a significant other, a best friend. If I don't write, I'm betraying one of the closest relationships I've ever had. I don't always want to write, but I have to write. It's not a choice for me.

19 June 2015
For the first time in years, my dad is going to be in the same town as me for Father's Day, and I am excited. I don't get to see him as often as I would like to, and he usually doesn't stay long when he comes to visit, so this is exciting. This time, he arrived today (Friday) and will be staying until Sunday afternoon. Yay! :)

Living 3 provinces away from my dad is sometimes hard for me. But I love Saskatchewan, and don't regret moving here, despite missing the mountains of BC. I never did anything with the mountains anyway, not being into mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, or any of that other stuff BC people are supposed to be all about.

My dad, on the other hand, loves the mountains. He grew up in Manitoba and will never live in the prairies again. So I have to drive a day and half to see him or he has to drive that long to come here. So having him here this weekend is really awesome.

How are you celebrating Father's Day?

Scroll down to see how much you know about Father's Day grammar! (Found on http://grammarly.com/grammar-check)



16 June 2015
The Dragon King and I (Fairest of Them All #1)The Dragon King and I by Adrianne Brooks

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


There were things about this book that I really liked, but so much more that I didn't. I want to give it 2.5 stars, but it's not good enough for 3 so I've given it 2.

First off, I want to give a warning that wasn't given in the blurb. This book contains a lot of references to rape: fear of rape, attempted rape, possible rape. It wasn't clear if Alex was ever actually raped, but the threat is there on nearly every page. See, Alex is cursed: every man she comes in contact with falls under her spell and wants to be with her. This affects them in different ways: some want to protect her and just be near her, while others want to possess her, body and soul. This means that some of them want to rape her. At least one tries to do so in the text, and there is reference to this happening to her in the past as well.

Now, for what I liked. Adrianne Brooks sometimes really has a way with words. I really feel a connection to lines like "The main thing that I loved about living alone was the silence. Sometimes simply talking to people was like listening to white noise." I'm an introvert, so I strongly relate to this.

Unfortunately, even though I started off relating to her, I didn't like Alex very much. I can understand why she is antisocial and hates leaving her house—every time she ventures outside, she feels like she is going to be raped—but I don't understand why she fights Flo to get inside Clarabell's house. What the hell changed? Also, Alex's voice is very annoying. Maybe other readers would like the "modern" feel, but I just wanted to slap her or choke her or both.

And, you know, there's a reason why writing advice tells writers not to have a character look into a mirror and describe themselves. It's stupid and feels really forced and unreal. Yes, there is a such a scene in The Dragon King and I. Ugh. So annoying.

While reading, I kept wondering if an editor had even looked over this manuscript. If so, Adrianne really should hire a better editor next time. So many grammar errors. Yikes. For example: 'jealously' is an adverb; 'jealousy' is a noun. They are not the same word and cannot be used interchangeably. Also, continuity is important, kids. In one scene, Alex is gripping Sam's shirt with both hands, and then she tightens her arms around him. When did she go from one position to another? This kind of thing is really disconcerting.

Oh, and this book is in first person from Alex's POV so we really shouldn't be seeing lines like, "My eyes (view spoiler) were gray, like my father’s" since, how the hell would Alex know what colour her own eyes are? She's not even looking into a mirror in this scene!

This is definitely not the worst book I've ever read, but it's not very good either. I wouldn't recommend buying it, but if you find it for free like I did, you might want to give it a try.



View all my reviews
10 February 2015
Before Midnight (Blood Prince, #1)Before Midnight by Jennifer Blackstream

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I really want to give this book 2.5 stars, but since that's not an option, I went back and forth on whether to give it 2 or 3. I finally settled on 3 to be nice.

It's not a terrible book, but it's not very good either. The writing is quite repetitive and tell-y (and full of so many typos), with sentences like, "he opened his mouth to bare a mouthful of sharp teeth too sharp to be human." Ok, so they're sharp then? Wait, are they sharp? I'm guessing they must be sharp. And it really feels like I'm being told to feel sorry for this girl who constantly feels sorry for herself. Well, I do what I want, not what I'm told. So there.

And, ugh, Loupe is so annoying. She drives me nuts. She acts pathetic and, though we're told she's really tough and won't give up, we don't see that; we see her giving up. Then she goes from weak and pathetic to strong and determined with nothing in between just because she's in love. It's the Power of Love! Give me a break.

Speaking of giving me a break, what's with all the purple prose? Like this: "Her jaw dropped. The most gorgeous man she’d ever seen was standing at the edge of the lake. From her angle, she couldn’t tell how tall he was, but he radiated strength. His soft brown hair and clear grey eyes, paired with a lean, muscled body, conspired to heat her blood. She wondered that the lake wasn’t boiling around her." So, I guess he's hot? Oh, and also, "Arabelle’s red hair fell like curling fountains of blood to the puffed sleeves of her dress." As a redhead, I think I might be offended or something (since Arabelle is EEEEVIL).

Why oh why is it always love at first sight? (Or, lust at first sight, maybe.) Loupe and Etienne don't even know each other—they've spoken twice!—when he confesses his love. I don't wanna say love at first sight never happens, I just don't think this is a very good way to begin a relationship. What if she doesn't like the way he chews his food? What if he doesn't like the way she rearranges the furniture?

And everything is so emotionally overdone, overwrought, and exhausting. (SPOILER: The sex scene wasn't even sexy it was so overdone.)

Am I allowed to request some realism even though this is fantasy? For example: (SPOILER: Loupe's stepsister shoots her with a crossbow while Loupe is in wolf form and shoots her toe off. This is her actual line: “Wow, I really shot your toe clean off. What a shot. There isn’t even any bone from the toe left, just a hole. I must have taken it off at the joint.”/ENDSPOILER) Are you kidding me? I don't think that's even remotely possible.

But I did enjoy the plotline, and I couldn't actually abandon it since I wanted to know what happened next. So it wasn't all bad.



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29 January 2015
Seaborn (Masters of the Elements, #3)Seaborn by S.A. Bolich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I feel as if I was carried on a wave of adventure and excitement with Nes as she journeyed with Jetta, Settak, Sheshan, and the others. This book was just as good as the first two, and now I cannot wait to read the fourth in the series.

The world S. A. Bolich has created is so rich and complex, and we learn of it slowly as the series progresses. Seaborn gives us insight into the fascinating world of the Water folk, and a few glimpses of the abilities of the Delvers. The romance here nearly felt tacked on, but I like it anyway. Finally, (view spoiler).

I highly recommend this book (and the whole series) to everyone who reads fantasy. It's simply amazing.



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26 January 2015
Freak of Nature (IFICS, #1)Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This book opens with the boring cliché of the main character, Kaitlyn, looking at herself in the mirror. Even worse, she's hating herself/her reflection because she's a freak. I don't have a problem with angsty self-hate, if it's done right, but don't just tell me that she hates herself. Show me.

There is so much telling in this book (and hardly any showing), I felt like I was being spoonfed how I was supposed to feel. I couldn't make myself care about any of the characters. I felt like I was being talked down to, like I'm not smart enough to make up my own mind about any of this. This is why showing instead of telling is so important: the reader doesn't want to be treated like a child.

Another thing that really annoyed me was the constant, glaring typos. In one sentence, 'soldier' would be spelled correctly and incorrectly ('solider') within a few words. It seems that the author didn't bother with a basic proofread before publishing.

When Kaitlyn is at the shooting range, we are treated to a long, detailed, boring explanation of guns and shooting and stuff that I don't care about. I skipped over it. I get that the author did a bunch of research and wants to show off her knowledge, but I don't care. It's boring. And then this happens: "She continued to shoot the various drills the instructor set-up and explained. Each time, unknown to Kaitlyn, she performed at a world class level, something that took competition shooters years of practice and hundreds of thousands of rounds." In a third person limited POV, we shouldn't ever be told anything that is unknown to the POV character. It's jarringly unrealistic, because if she doesn't know it we shouldn't know it.

For a cyborg with a computer brain that we are constantly told is amazing and intelligent and beyond any human brain, Kaitlyn is really stupid. She doesn't understand slang until they give her a 'slang chip' and the only reason I can think of for this is that the author thought it would be funny if the robot got confused by idiom. Oh, haha. Spoiler: I'm not really laughing. At one point in the story, Kaitlyn is given an iPhone and this happens: " A small square on the screen said ‘Maps.’ Not knowing what else to do, she tapped it. She was surprised when it opened to a map." Are you kidding me? How idiotic is this girl?

The ending is way too easy and happens way too fast. I felt cheated. And then, Kaitlyn is approached by a douchebag at the bowling alley: '“What do you want?” she asked calmly, wishing Lucas would hurry up. “I’m looking at it.” His hand came forward as if he were going to touch her, and without considering whether she was doing the right thing, Kaitlyn grabbed his arm and threw him over her shoulder. He hit the hardwood floor hard on his back, and a long, low moan escaping him.' And Lucas, the man who claims to love her, berates her for this! “I promise. Kate, this is serious. If you do something bad, you could get taken away from me.” She needs to get away from Lucas now. Run away, Kaitlyn. Run far away. And don't look back.

This book really desperately needed a good proofreader and editor before it was published. The storyline was pretty good up until that awful ending, so I gave it 2 stars because I can see what it could have been. It's just so disappointing that it fell short of its potential.



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