Monday, February 8, 2016

Had a little surgery...

So, Friday, I had some skin cancer surgery. I opted to go to the hospital because it was on my nose. One place had already been operated on twice before and the other was very thin. And shots in the nose, they hurt! Ummm, as you can see by the picture I am so damn glad I opted for the hospital. It was a little more invasive than originally expected. 


And second, I'm out of commission for a week or so. I can't read or comment. I can't blog. I'm doing this with one eye closed. I just didn't want you to think I was disappearing again like last year. This is a minor setback. When I can, I'll be back. Hopefully no longer than a week or so.

And, in case you're worried, my skin cancer, all ten surgeries I've had have all been benign, called basal cell carcinoma. But they are still serious. It's a painful surgery and I'm so damn tired of them. But it's my fault for baking in the sun without sunscreen, all those sunburns when I was young.

So, please, redheads and blondes with light eyes especially, but everyone wear your sunblock or at least sunscreen. Reapply. Stay out of the sun between 10 and 4. Wear a hat and a scarf. Don't tan at a tanning salon! Pale really is the new tan. It will keep you looking younger. 

I've never looked in the mirror and thought I was beautiful, but with each new surgery, I get a new scar. And my surgeries aren't over. There are more to come. I dread them. But I don't have the deadliest form of the disease, melanoma. That's what I say, every time I get a new biopsy result.

Protect yourself. I hope you don't ever have to get this kind of surgery. I hope you take this seriously. I will be fine in a few days. One more scar but I'm a survivor. Take it from me, those tans weren't worth it. Save your skin.

Take good care of yourselves!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Not a Drop To Drink (#1) by Mindy McGinnis

NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis
(Book #1)
Available Now
Dystopian/Survival/ YA

So, this is one of those books I have been meaning to read forever. First I meant to get it forever, but it's been sitting on my shelf for two years now. Melissa at I Swim For Oceans always had this on her Top 10 List, whether it was Top 10 Dystopian, Top 10 All Around, or Top 10 Books I'd Love to See as a Film. Her love of this book really made me understand, I needed to read this book! So I finally made time to read it. I know why she liked it so much!

Sometimes you feel like you've read every dystopian out there, don't you? But not this one. This felt like life had gone back to the 1800's with the exception that Lynn and Mother would kill anyone that set foot near their pond, the only water around. And they have a truck, but they don't use it unless they absolutely have to use it. Survival is all there is, living isn't really anything but survival. Lynn doesn't know any other way, doesn't know anyone but Mother and the man that lives in the shack on the land next door. But really she only knows him by his red bandanna that he waves as a signal that everything is okay.

The story is told from Lynn's point of view, very stark and raw. Lynn is fiercely protective of her pond, of her way of life, and she learns how to let people in and become fiercely protective of them. Family, in this time, is what you make it, not who you are born to and this makes for an interesting story later on in the book. Lynn has some amazing character growth as she goes from the girl sitting by Mother's side on the top of the barn taking out anyone that wandered close to the pond to a young woman caring for others and protecting them from any harm.

The world is a glaring case of what could happen to us in the future. I hear reports about the world's drinking water supply drying up and I know that all the money in the world isn't going to fix that problem. A big house, a young face, a fancy car, none of that helps when it comes to a lack of  resources. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I don't want to be around for the Zombie Apocalypse, the Alien Invasion or just the Apocalypse or anything that Mike Mullin dreams up!

This is a quick read and there is a sequel, In a Handful of Dust, that I have decided not to read. Although the ending to this came down pretty quickly, there is an epilogue or a follow up that shows several years into the future that leaves me in a good place with the characters. The reviews on the sequel are mediocre and I choose to leave things as they are. But it's up to you if you want to continue with the story.

This is on the darker side of dystopians so I'd say this is for the 13 and up crowd. There is violence, death, talk of prostitution, talk of rape and sex off the page. Some of the death is graphic. None gratuitous.

Find Mindy McGinnis HERE

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume

By Judy Blume
Available Now
First Published in 1970

So this book came out when I was five. But I didn't read this until much later. I don't even remember when I read it. I might have been in junior high school- what middle school is now. Maybe 7th grade. It's one of those books we hid from our parents while we read. I remember talking about it in hushed tones with my cousin on the bus.

Now that I read it, I have to remember what the climate was when it was written. I temper my criticisms with remembering how people were back then close to 50 years ago. Religion was important whereas many people identify with being spiritual these days. Mixed religion marriages and being raised in no religion is more commonplace, now. Margaret felt left out in 1970 but she'd feel at home today, I think. Every child is different, of course.

I think it's still a classic book and young girls today can extrapolate the best information in the book, that they will all mature at some point and not to worry about it. And as for the girls that mature early, it isn't easy being that girl. Assumptions are made and yet every girl wants to look like her. Puberty is so hard and I think Judy Blume's book Are You There God? It's Me Margaret is relevant today.

Find Judy Blume at Blog

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

THE SUGAR QUEEN By Sarah Addison Allen
Available Now
Published by Bantam

Alright, I know this is not a YA book. It could be NA, but it wouldn't be the typical NA with all the sex. This is a great book about a woman who, at 27 is still trying to live down the stories of her childhood and win her mother's love and approval. In the meantime, she fills that hole inside of her with candy and cakes and comforting foods and romance novels that she hides in the secret space in her closet. And she secretly loves Adam, the mailman who she can feel coming, a little magical thing she has going on.

Now, this book appealed to me on so many levels. It's an easy story to read, a little bit of magic in it and some big character growth with a nice romance and a little bit of danger. But I can't tell you how long I had to hear stories of my childhood repeated every time my family got together, told expressly to embarrass me. They weren't even that bad. Certainly not so the whole town or even the neighborhood talked about them, but they kept me down, and afraid to speak up for a very long time, well into my adult years. And I worked hard for parental approval as well. Something you learn when you're older, no amount of stuff, clothes, food, things (maybe books wink, wink) will ever earn you your parents' approval. The problem is with them not you, and something we learn in the book as we read on about Josey and her mother, Margaret. 

Josey opens her closet one morning to find Della Lee, the down on her luck waitress in her closet and Josey can't get her to leave. Through Della  Lee, Josey's world begins to open up. Once she takes the first step, there is no going back. But Josey isn't the only character in this book. Della Lee is an enigma, for a little while. I had her figured out about halfway through the novel. Chloe is a great character that I loved to see grow and understand who she was. And the ending was perfect! 

If you need a little break from the same old thing, I would highly recommend this book. You might find you have something in common with one of the characters whether you need to forgive, move on or break out of your shell. It's an uplifting, feel good story. I'll probably read some more of her books in the future.

Find Sarah Addison Allen Here

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Empty Throne (Heirs of Chrior Book Two) by Cayla Kluver

Available Now

This is the second book in the Heirs of Chrior Trilogy. If you haven't read The Queen's Choice, don't bother reading this one. You will have no idea what is going on. In fact, I had a little trouble remembering what was happening and who was who. I eventually figured it out, but I think a slight recap in a prologue would have been well worth it. Of course, I am reading it a year after it was published, but.....maybe it is my fault.

Anyway, this felt like a long book. I enjoyed it, but it dragged in places and there felt like a lot of standing still spots where the story just didn't go anywhere. But, then, that is part of the story. Anya just waiting for something to happen. She's stuck, imprisoned, not in jail, but still watched every second and it's made worse by the fact that she has indulged in something she shouldn't have. She has nightmares and feels the loss she suffered at the hands of the hunters when she crossed The Bloody Road. (I'm trying not to be spoilery for the first book.) Her days and nights are endless as she just sits around doing nothing. She's not the girl she was in The Queen's Choice.

In this book, Anya seems like she's been beaten by her circumstances. She makes foolish decisions. She doesn't confide in anyone. She trusts no one not even her own instincts. She languishes in her loss. I kept thinking about it too. Wondering if there weren't some way to fix what had happened. Could it be repaired? What would her betrothed do? Would he change his life for her?

There is a lot that happens in the book, yet a lot is in Anya's head. There is a lot of waiting and thinking. The romance is bigger in this one than the last for those fans of the romance. I just wasn't quite as impressed as I was with The Queen's Choice.  There are still so many questions about who is trustworthy and who isn't. Honestly, I didn't believe anyone anymore at the end of the book than I did at the beginning of the book. I think in the end, I was disappointed because I saw(in my mind) Anya hanging on the gate waving goodbye to her friends while she was left in the mortal world. She's sad. Alone for the most part. Worried for her world and worried for herself. Worried for the Fae and Human world alike.

This book did move the story along to a predictable place. Some interesting reveals occurred. There were more questions that came up than answers. Everything took place in the human world. We saw nothing of Illumina and I really would have liked to have known what happened to her in Chrior. But I did enjoy my time with the old characters and some new ones. It just didn't live up to The Queen's Choice. I guess you've got that by now. However, if you want to continue the series, I recommend reading the book. You will be lost without it. And apparently, right after I read it, I gave it four stars so I think I enjoyed it more than I remembered.

There is some violence, some of it mild, some of it very brutal. There is drug use, a made up drug, but still drug use and addiction. I would recommend this book to mature 12 and up. Also death and a little sexual content (alluded to).

If you'd like to find Cayla Kulver go HERE


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