Catherine is a sixteen year old princess from the land of Lackanay who is dreading an arranged marriage. That is, until she decides to escape her cast...moreCatherine is a sixteen year old princess from the land of Lackanay who is dreading an arranged marriage. That is, until she decides to escape her castle in search of a life that suits her better. Little does she know the tangled web she will find herself a part of sooner than she knows. Catherine quickly realizes her plans of a more normal life are far from her grasp when she meets a supposedly mythical fairrier cat named Spelopekos (Pokos for short).
Catherine soon finds that in the neighboring lands of Lackanay and Candlewax nothing is as it seems. Pokos is her guide throughout her journey in discovering the truth about her grandmother (Catherine’s namesake) and her role in saving her world from trodliks- creatures that are not supposed to exist. With a powerful amulet passed down to her from her grandmother, a demanding fairrier cat, and others she meets along the way, Catherine soon discovers there is much more to her family history and the history of Lackanay than she ever knew. She is faced with sorting through family secrets and ancient prophecies, in her quest to save Lackanay- because she is the only one who can.
Candlewax is a medieval fantasy that serves as a coming-of-age story of young Catherine, who discovers who she is and her place in her world throughout the story. While at times a bit slow and overly descriptive, Sims has given us an enjoyable and exciting addition to the YA Fantasy genre. For the adult reader, it may be a bit predictable. However, for the younger reader for which it is intended, Candlewax is sure to be an entertaining read, and serves up a strong and courageous heroine with Catherine. The ending ties up well, but leaves it easily open for the next installment of what is intended to be the Candlewax trilogy. (less)
Holly is a 19-year-old single girl living in 1970s Chicago and trying to survive every day. She prides herself on her independence and her ability to survive with minimal human connection in her life. At least, she is trying to convince herself as much as everyone else that she is choosing to live in the shadows. What Holly may not realize is that by keeping to herself, she will never discover who she really is.
Holly’s lack of connection with her world began when she was only four years old, and her mother committed suicide. Holly went to live with her grandmother, who never really wanted her. As a result, the amount of verbal and psychological abuse she suffered caused her to internalize her feelings and withdraw from human connection. When even her psychiatrist cannot explain why Holly feels the way she does, she begins to resign herself to a fate of always being alone and unhappy. What she does not realize is that what she feels is not all in her head, but has yet to be understood and diagnosed within the clinical community.
As Holly begins to spend time in bars and clubs, she immerses herself in the music scene. When she meets the British band, Torc, she quickly discovers she somehow belongs with these people, and feels as though she finally fits in. She forms an instant connection with one of the roadies, Trevor, and knows she must try to make it work with him. As their relationship progresses, it quickly evolves into something Holly is not sure whether or not she can handle. Her ability to let others in is challenged, as is everything she thought she knew of herself.
As we follow Holly though a several year journey with Trevor and the band, we begin to see that she is not that different from the rest of us. Holly over-analyzes everything in her life. The difference between her and most people is that she admits it to herself. The honesty and introspection that is evident makes Holly an endearing and likable character. There are times when reading, we wish to make her see how special she really is. Then, we realize: that is life, and often opportunities are missed when we are busy trying to figure it all out.
Hang On is a story of loss, courage, hope, and learning to love one another for the person they are, rather than what is wished to be. Although Holly is later diagnosed as having depression and Borderline Personality Disorder, she could have just as easily been suffering from the neurosis of life. Many of the ways she handled situations were relatable to nearly anyone who is trying to figure out who they are and what to do when new situations are presented.
Gavin has given us a complex story that is so much more than a love story between two people. Rather, it is a love story among oneself. The ability to understand and allow oneself to be happy is the building block to letting others in as well. In a narrative that flows through the pages, Hang On is a story about life, and all its intricacies, that will stay with you long after the covers have been closed. This is a story about not denying the impact a singular voice can possess. (less)
Let me start by saying that Jeanette DePatie is an inspiring personality, encouraging people to get over the ‘I’m fat, so I can’t do that’ mentality....moreLet me start by saying that Jeanette DePatie is an inspiring personality, encouraging people to get over the ‘I’m fat, so I can’t do that’ mentality. She lays out a 12-week plan on how to get started towards becoming more physically fit and feeling better about yourself. That being said, there are many areas in regards to what it takes to be truly healthy that fall short, or are not even addressed in The Fat Chick Works Out. ______________________________________ For the full review, please visit: http://twistingthelens.wordpress.com (Please note: There may be some delay in the full review being posted on Twisting the Lens.)(less)
Printed on the back cover of Maggie for Hire, is an intriguing disclaimer stating: “WARNING: This book contains cussing, brawling, and unladylike behavior. Proceed with caution.” Right away, I knew this was a book for me. Combine vampires, ghouls, and one whip-smart, take-charge heroine, and you have a recipe for success. Kate Danley has served up a female lead character to fill the gap that the ending of Buffy the Vampire Slayer left in the world of sci-fi/fantasy. Maggie McKay was born into a family with magical powers- hers being the ability to open portals between dimensions and track down the monsters who are causing trouble. She has become the most sought after tracker in both realms, Earth and The Other Side, making the world safer one demon capture at a time. So, when she is approached by a messenger (Killian) of the Queen of the Elves to stop a group of vampires from breaking down the boundary between the realms, she finds herself in the middle of a decades-long battle. In her quest to keep the order and stop irreversible damage between the worlds, she learns more about her family than she ever knew, and finds out she is more connected to the situation than she ever would have thought. While seeking out the magical objects that will end the fighting, Maggie kicks the ass of all those who get in her way. Her mission is clear- save the world, reinstill order, and survive to tell about it. With the help of her elf sidekick, Killian, she may be able to pull it all off. Maggie for Hire is an enjoyable, quick read that had me laughing the entire time. She is a brash, sarcastic, unladylike character than is easy to love- a lot of Buffy with a dose of Daria thrown in. Danley doesn’t get off track with trying to throw in a romance for Maggie, which is somewhat refreshing in today’s sci-fi/fantasy genre. She is a tough, smart, and resourceful lead character that will leave you waiting for more. Ms. Danley: please tell us there’s more to come from Maggie? I’ll be first in line to read what she gets into next. (less)
There are so many books, magazines, TV shows, and websites out there that are trying to tell us what we should be doing with our bodies as women, that it becomes a chore to sort it all out. Do this. Don’t do that. Get the body you want NOW! 10 easy steps to better health! The promises are so enticing and accessible that it is difficult not to get sucked in to the latest craze to improve our health, mind, and body. In the end, most of these turn out to be too good to be true. So, what makes O’Connell’s The Alchemy of You any different from the rest? For starters, she’s not trying to change a woman’s body, but rather work with it to repair and enhance itself.
The Alchemy of You is a great reference for common ailments of women, with easy charts to match up symptoms, common causes, and possible solutions. O’Connell lays it out in an easy to understand format for everyone to understand. She also explains when it is time to seek help for certain symptoms, as well as what to expect from the testing process.
This book covers everything that ails women, from yeast infections to heartburn to osteoporosis, and gives solutions to naturally alleviate the symptoms while balancing the body’s hormones. Instead of urging us to immediately jump on the hormone supplement bandwagon, O’Connell understands and addresses the need to seek out natural solutions first. As a woman, understanding how your body reacts to different environmental and internal cues is integral to living a healthy and balanced life. This book may not save your life, or hold all the answers, but it is a great resource if you want to take a break from popular media’s fix-it-all-with-a-pill diatribe, and start focusing on yourself. (less)