Look at me! I'm totally nailing the keeping a plant alive scene now. One of the prompts in this fun journal is "Draw a picture of the first houseplan Look at me! I'm totally nailing the keeping a plant alive scene now. One of the prompts in this fun journal is "Draw a picture of the first houseplant you kept alive." It's taken me years of trying to finally keep plants alive... who knew that finding the right window works. I forget to water these often and they are still thriving! I'm rocking this adult thing. (Note: there is an awesome picture of the book with my houseplants on my blog - go check it out!)
Please note: I also have a 10 month old daughter that I've been able to keep alive and she is thriving just fine too. So maybe I'm killing this part of my adult life!
The reason I love this book so much is that it's like a bullet journal, but set up with the prompts already. It has some really cute doodles, thoughts and is inspiring. You can go from something silly like "Keep track of all the times you've said I'm never drinking again here" to serious ideas like "What was the first meaningful life lesson you learned as an adult?".
I like the idea that this book can work for recent graduates who are just finding their place in the world and for those of us who have been in the grown up world a while longer (you don't have to feel completely grown up though). It's a nice way to either look forward or look back. You don't have to complete the book in order, jump around and fill in the pages that you are drawn to each day. There are NO RULES! I have a feeling I will have a lot of fun filling this journal with all sorts of fun memories. It's like creating a written mixed tape of memories!
Some added bonuses are that you can colour in the doodles! The hand lettering and doodles are probably what draws me to this book time and again. And there are also some wonderful quotes included such as "Uncertainty is so, so underrated." -John Green
I'd really recommend buying this for a graduation gift, for a friend who loves journaling or if you've been meaning to get into bullet journaling like myself.
This was such an intense thriller. Helen is a great main character - she's determined to figure out what is going on despite her mental health, drug This was such an intense thriller. Helen is a great main character - she's determined to figure out what is going on despite her mental health, drug addiction recovery and possible arrest for a murder she's not sure if she committed. From the get go you see how much she wants this new life of hers to work - her NA meetings, her new boyfriend, a job with her family's business (that she's surprisingly good at it), but one phone call makes her world turn upside down.
The story lets us see into Helen's past as a teen with her friend Carrie, who happens to be the deceased. It shows you how her best friend went missing and how that affected Helen's life. You see the drug addiction up close and you see her fighting hard to keep from relapsing. That's not to say she doesn't make some stupid choices along the way to uncovering the truth, but considering what hell she is going through, I'd say they may have been the lesser of two evils.
Carrie's family leaving didn't only affect Helen's life, but many other characters as well. It was interesting to see how one person could do so much just by not being around anymore. Perhaps it wasn't in the going away, but in how it all played out. The feeling of hope and then it being gone.
The story is written in a way that you are never quite sure what the truth will be - who did this to Carrie, why now and is Helen really involved? I was rooting for Helen the whole time though because there was just something about her that made me want to see her make it and prove people wrong.She works so hard to try and figure out what has happened to clear her name, because "no one could save you but you."
The entire book is filled with twists and crazy things keep happening. I loved every little detail that Helen uncovers. Honestly, twist after twist kept coming and many I hadn't figured out which is how I know I'm reading a great book. I bet you won't see the twists coming or the ending - I sure didn't.
What would you do if you were sure you weren't losing time, but the facts are making it seem as though you were? Is Helen back to drugs again, is she mentally unwell, or is someone framing her?
I don't even know where to start. This is the first book I'd give five stars to (I don't rate books on my blog, but I do on Goodreads). I enjoyed thi I don't even know where to start. This is the first book I'd give five stars to (I don't rate books on my blog, but I do on Goodreads). I enjoyed this book immensely. I loved Jubilee's character from the beginning and Aja as well. Eric, I was a little slower to warm up to, but he wormed his way into my heart.
From the start, I thought that this book would be interesting as it's dealing with the life of a woman who is allergic to human touch. I figured Jubilee would be reclusive, somewhat, considering her illness and just loved how she pushed herself to get back into the world to survive the changes happening in her life. No longer can she hide behind the safe walls of her home and not interact directly with people. She's standoffish and aloof, yet direct and at times harsh. I think that's part of why I enjoyed her character so much - I wanted to befriend her. I love that she got a job in a library as it suits her.
Now, Eric, try as he might, can't seem to catch a break. First, divorce. Then teenage daughter not talking to him. Now, adopted son hiding things from him and not being able to connect with him. So many curveballs. And then when he finally meets someone that interests him and seems to get his son to open up a bit, another gets tossed his way. It must be hard to start falling in love with someone you cannot even touch for fear of actually killing them. The thing I liked about Eric was his persistence. He never really gave up on anyone. He kept texting his daughter even when she didn't reply. He made effort with Aja in different ways to try and reach him. And he teaches Jubilee that baby steps can help you on your way to fulfilling your dreams.
Eric brings Jubilee out of her shell and Jubilee helps Eric to connect with his kids in different ways. I love how she connects with Aja and their random tidbits of info and that Aja warms up to her. And the element of Eric using books to reach his daughter was wonderful. Jubilee helps him with that too as she deciphers the different meanings to the books his daughter loved when he can't seem to figure it out. They just worked! I loved what they had in this story - no matter how fleeting it felt at times.
I love how it was the library that brought Jubilee, Eric and Aja together. How books bonded them. How just being at the library seemed to help them each work their way through some of the toughest issues. Much love for the library!
This is a book filled with hope. And did it ever deliver.
I thought that Genevieve Graham's Tides of Honour was amazing, but she just keeps hitting it out of the park. I always love when she includes the loc I thought that Genevieve Graham's Tides of Honour was amazing, but she just keeps hitting it out of the park. I always love when she includes the local natives in her writing and the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia/Acadia are in this story. From the beginning I was drawn right into the story of a young Acadian man saving the life of a young Mi'kmaq man. And I wondered how their stories would entwine, I was not let down. It took a while to see Me'tekw again, but his appearance was wonderfully written and such an emotional journey for the reader as well as his character.
The main storyline follows Amélie, who happens to be the daughter of the Acadian man at the beginning of this novel. She is strong willed young woman who sometimes needs to learn to hold her tongue and not let all of her thoughts show on her face. She is bold and brave, even when she feels like she isn't. From the beginning, she stands up to the British army who have come to take their land. Her actions draw the attention of one young soldier, who happens to be fighting as a British solider due to circumstance, yet does not agree with how things are happening. I loved her character from the beginning - not afraid to stand up for what is right and speak her mind. As for the soldier, Coporal Connor MacDonnell, he's a charming Scotsman stuck in a life he doesn't want, but until now had no other options. He does his best to aid Amélie and her family without causing anyone to notice. They have to forbidden love going on where they both seem to like each other, but probably shouldn't yet he works his magic in showing her that he really is not the enemy that she assumes he should be. His tale is tragic as well and she begins to trust him.
So many terrible things happen to poor Amélie, her family and Connor. How can one person suffer so much? But it seems that this is the life that the poor displaced Acadians suffered. Relocation, illness, stravation, death - so many did not survive this horrible ordeal all because of a war between the English and the French that the Acadians wanted nothing to do with. I felt such heartache for Amélie while reading her story and the challenges she faced. I am happy to see that she at least had a happy ending thanks to Me'tekw of the Mi'kmaq. The way her life crosses with Me'tekw's was wonderful as I had been wondering when he would make an appearance again to fulfill his portion of the story.
This line right here made me realize why this book was titled, Promises To Keep.
"I held on tightly, but I didn't want to hear him promise anything; it seemed to me that all promises did was break hearts."
She was wrong, not all promises break hearts. And sometimes the promises help heal hearts.
If you haven't read any of Ms. Graham's other books I highly suggest picking up a copy of Promises To Keep and Tides of Honour to start as they deal with Canadian history that should not be missed out on.
You would think that after all of the scandal and heartbreak with the Nesle sisters, that Louis would put an end to having mistresses, but I suppose You would think that after all of the scandal and heartbreak with the Nesle sisters, that Louis would put an end to having mistresses, but I suppose he just can't help himself. He seems to be a bit of an addict! After having lost his beloved, Marie Anne, the King needs a distraction and his men set out to find the perfect mistress to keep his attention. As a child, Jeanne Poisson, had her fortune read and was told she would be the lover of a king and from that time on she had been raised and educated with that in mind. When the time came, it was arranged that she would meet the king by chance and the rest is history.
Jeanne becomes his official mistress, is moved into the palace and is named the Marquise de Pompadour. She not only wars his bed, but becomes his biggest confidant and best friend. She holds the strings to this marionette of a man. Her influence is greater than any other and this allows her to have whatever she so desires.
As time goes on, she no longer warms his bed and others begin to fear her less and less. Louis takes on other lovers and the chapters in the book start to alternate from their point of view. The Marquise even starts arranging women for him to sleep with, hoping he won't take a specific mistress at all. Sadly, she is wrong and begins to feel jealous and worried she will be thrust out of her comfortable life. Over time, it is is shown that Louis needs her always, but merely as a friend or mothering figure. Not really what she planned for her life. The new and younger mistresses become her rivals and she fights with all she has to keep a place in his heart and the palace. The younger women are pushed aside when time and again they push to have the Marquise banned from court (at the insistence of their benefactors).
At first, I didn't really like the Marquise because she seemed too conniving and manipulative, but then I realized she just wants love and respect from the king. Her whole life she was molded to become his mistress because of the silly fortune told to her when she was a girl. How sad that must be to try to fit into a role you may not have truly wanted. I'm sure as a girl, she daydreamed about being loved by a king, but did she really want to be just a lover?
Louis seems to be a man-child. Not really making decisions for himself, brooding when things don't go his way and playing games with peoples lives as if it were nothing. He's childish and I can see how the Marquise could end up in a mothering sort of role as he always turns to her in his time of need and she plays the role as necessary. I think the reason Jeanne is always on edge is because of this childish moodiness - he is hard to read at times and so full of melancholy. Louis seems to go through girls like water, so I'm curious what he will be like in The Enemies of Versailles.
The thing that really makes these stories come alive is the description of the lives of these women. Sally Christie really shows how the lives are varied between the poor, the middle class and the court. The men and women of court want for nothing, while the very poor are in awe of small tokens like a piece of jewellery or fancy shoes. The mistresses vary: one is so poor that she holds every gift from the king as precious, while others a greedy little girls who want more and more. The one mistress lives in squalor before being housed in a house just for the king's visits. She feels like a princess in just an ordinary house, can you imagine if she were at court?
I'm looking forward to the next instalment in this series to learn more about the king's daughters who I am assuming are the enemies based on what I've gleaned in The Rivals of Versailles.
Guys! This book! You have to read it. It's full of feels. Seriously! I ugly cried during the first portion of the book. The loss is so intense and th Guys! This book! You have to read it. It's full of feels. Seriously! I ugly cried during the first portion of the book. The loss is so intense and the characters make you feel like you are part of this family who has lost an important member. Gah! Kai handles the news with overwhelming intensity - from it can't be happening to everything needs to be perfect for the funeral. It's how I felt when we lost my Mom. It brought back a lot of feelings for me, but in a good way. It was helpful to feel the grief this family was suffering and to know that I felt just like this. Everyone feels this heavy grief no matter how they lose a loved one, so even though this is a book about suicide and the aftermath for those left behind, know that it is a great book about healing for anyone experiencing loss.
I think the best thing in this book is the summer camp for dealing with grief. Honestly, I think it's such a great idea for kids and teens, so that they can work through things with others going through similar losses. The feeling of being surrounded by peers instead of one on one with a therapist is appealing to me. I think it was the best thing Kai's parents could have done for her even though she resisted at first.
Everyone deals differently with loss and you see that with how each member of the family. Kai starts trying to numb the pain with alcohol and some of the pills she stole from her sister's room when they found her, her Mom throws herself into organizing an insanely large funeral almost like it was a big party and her Dad works all the time and drinks alone in his man cave. They pretty much shut each other out and isolate themselves. Not healthy. They really needed to communicate and share what they were feeling. Thank goodness Kai has such good friends who intervene.
Now, the camp scenes were so well written. It's quite the balance to have teens talking about the horrible loss and then have then horsing around and flirting. It brings mixed emotions to the table for them as they feel like it's not the place to be falling in love or having fun, that they should only be grieving and sad. It takes them time to realize this camp is designed to help them let go of anger and hurt and allow them to start living again while coping with their loss. I loved the interactions between Kai and each teen at the camp. She's made some lifelong friends in a group she may never have chosen back home. I loved that!
In the end, suicide seems like such a hard thing to deal with. No one knows what to say the family while the family feels like they missed the signs and want answers. All loss is hard, but I think suicide seems to be the hardest to accept and understand. I think by having the teens around her with different types of loss, it helped Kai grow and realize they all hurt just as much and need love, support and comfort to get through it.
Last, I'll touch on the relationships. Kai has great friends at home - TJ and Emily. They try to be supportive, but they don't know what it's like to lose someone like this. So I love that she meets such a great group of teens at camp and finally feels like someone gets her. And the romance! *swoon* The guy she starts to fall for is not who you think at first, but he is perfect for her. They get each other. And he's thoughtful, not only with Kai, but others in their group. I love this 'SHIP.
Also, read the Author's Note. It will explain a few things about why she wrote this book and... "Everyone in this word does the best they can. You never know what anyone else is going through. Things look bright and shiny on the outside but can be very dark on the inside. No one has a perfect life. Lead with kindness. Live your story." #liveyourstory