War and Peace Rant

WarandPeace

Every pseudo-intellectual is about to roll their eyes so hard at me, but I don’t care.

I posted recently about more positivity in the book community, and writing a rant about War and Peace seems a little counteractive to that idea, but this book really bothered me.

I read all kinds of books, including young adult novels because ONE they are the category in which I would like to one day be published in and TWO they are fun imaginative rides from start to finish. I bring this up because a lot of young women and men within the book community get older men just spewing dumb comments at them because apparently to them if you only read young adult novels, you’re dumb, and I am here to stand up for all young men and women who choose to read what they enjoy.

Classics are not all they’re cracked up to be. I don’t know how many old white dudes tell us to read more classics. I decided I needed to make up my own mind about classics. War and Peace is not the first classic novel I decided to read, nor will it be the last. It is, on the other hand, one of my least favorite books I have EVER FUCKING READ in my life.

I would describe it as Gossip Girl mixed with Russian history. Honestly, you people make fun of young adult novels but this entire book is about people loving this person after a day, but oh wait JUST FUCKING KIDDING they love that other person now…Oh, and by the way Napoleon is a fucking asshole…oh another drama about who loves who and who wants to die in a war. I know it seems like I am simplifying a very complex book, but this book isn’t actually complex at all. It’s massive and boring. It took me MONTHS to finish, and I will honestly never read it again. War and Peace could totally be given the Disney treatment because the instalove is REAL in this book.

At 1200 pages, I would say this thing could have been cut in half.

As historical fiction goes, it’s absolute shit. I recommend it to NO ONE.

If you want to read an epic Historical Fiction then I recommend The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. If you’ve been contemplating reading War and Peace, then do so if you must but be warned this book did not age well, and it will make you roll your eyes right into the back of your head.

Don’t ever feel pressured to read classics like this because if you don’t then you’re not considered intelligent, because anyone who thinks this is a beacon of intelligence needs their head checked.

Peace and Love!

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Dread Nation – Book Review

DreadNation

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

ISBN: 0062570609

Published: April 3,2018

Length: 455 pages


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.


My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this alternate history tale with zombies, but what I got was a punch to the face. First of all, it’s well written, and the characters are fleshed out really well. You could feel what they’re feeling and what more could you ask for in a story? Then you have the political commentary thrown in, and it’s just such a creative way of putting forth facts about American History within a fictional world. 

Jane is in this school to learn how to protect wealthy white people from the undead, but in the process, she learns a lot more than she bargained for. I liked the fact that the MC spoke her mind even in situations that could be dangerous to do so. Something that is still prominent today if we really think about it. The author herself gets a lot of crap for speaking her mind, and I think a bit of that comes through in Jane. 

There are some scenes that are a tough pill to swallow, but that feels like the point as well. 

There was a spark of romance, but it didn’t drown out the rest of the story. The action scenes are extremely well written, and I really enjoyed this alternate history story. I am not sure if this is a duology, trilogy, or a series, but I do know I am looking forward to the next book!

I gave this 4 out of 5 metal horns!

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Unpopular Opinions Trend

unpopularOpinions

The Unpopular Opinions Tag and Trend has been around in the online book community for some time now. I took part in it at the beginning like everyone else, but now I am getting bored of it–not just bored, but irritated by it. I wanted to open a discussion to see if I am alone with this, or if other people are also tired of this trend.

Negativity

My main issue with the Unpopular Opinion thing is that it keeps spreading weird amounts of negativity. There are so many things I could write full blog posts on how I dislike something someone loves, but why? Why alienate people? This past week on twitter my feed has been bombarded with these so-called “unpopular opinions”. We get it, Becky, you don’t like that book everyone seems to love. WHO ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT? It’s just getting old. If you get your rocks off by shitting all over stuff, then maybe it’s time to do some self-reflection.

Opinions are Like Assholes

Here’s the thing, can we maybe just share what we love and ignore what we don’t?

(I am not talking about politics here, if there’s one jackass that shouldn’t be ignored it’s Trump, because blink once and he’s fucking something else up)

I mean it’s okay to dislike something, but do you really need to waste the energy of constantly talking about it? Instead, share things you love!! If someone makes a negative comment about it, then mute them, block them, do whatever you have to do to keep your sanity. It’s the internet and people can easily make shitty comments, but you don’t have to waste your time replying. They’re not entitled to your time and energy.

Spread Positivity

I am on a little life quest to become more positive. So that is probably why this trend bothers me so much. I would love to see more positivity brewing in the book community because sometimes it feels we really lack that. I am signing off from this rambling now.

Spread positivity and love!! There’s enough hate in the world at the moment!

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The Extinction Trials – Book Review

extinction trials

The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

ISBN: 1474927343

Published: January 1, 2018, Usborne Publishing LTD

Length: 384 Pages


Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…


My Thoughts: I saw The Extinction Trials at the bookstore and saw the little fake sticker on it that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurrasic Park” and I instantly grabbed it. I didn’t even read the synopsis till I got home. I really had no idea what the book was about other than it had dinosaurs and some kind of trial like the hunger games. I was instantly sold. 

I was not disappointed. This was such a fun ride! I have been telling everyone to read it since. The writing is great and the story is wonderful. Stormchaser and Lincoln’s dynamic is fun to read, and while you know they’re catching some feelings for one another, that doesn’t end up taking over the plot like so many YA stories these days.

The dinosaur aspect is my favorite part because ever since I was younger and watched Jurassic Park, I wish we could one day see these animals up close (although that movie franchise shows just how horrible of an idea that would be). Wilson’s ability to bring these animals to life within this story is amazing. I felt like I was being watched at times.

The story itself was a bit predictable, but that didn’t take away from the entertainment factor of this book. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. The second book in the series called Exile will be released this Thursday and I am already itching to read it!

This book gets four out of five metal horns from me!!

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Life Update

lifeupdate

Maybe you have noticed that I haven’t updated this blog on a regular basis. Well, there are a few reasons for that.

The main one being that I’ve had some struggles with my anxiety recently, and so I did the best I could to keep myself calm.

Two, my internet has been running like shit. My computer itself couldn’t seem to stay connected no matter what, and I officially hate PCs now. I need one for work, but HOLY SHIT do I miss my MacBook.

Three, I am working on better content. I am looking to move this blog to a different server, and also to get back on the youtube game, but don’t expect me to lock into only doing booktube. There are way too many things I want to cover and talk about to solely focus on books.

Back on Tour

My boyfriend is officially back on the road now, and I have been home alone A LOT. I have weird conversations with my cat, and every so often my friends come by to chat and drink. I was having a hard time adjusting because I hate where we live. This town is filled with weird ass German racists, and I am so fucking tired of being here. Every time I go to the grocery store there’s some German Housewife throwing some kind of fit. Most recently it was because some lady was buying coffee and it rang up at 20 cents more expensive. She was OBNOXIOUS about it. To the point where I wanted to hand her 20 cents just so she’d shut the fuck up. I keep running into these types of people. Generally rude and unkind for no reason.

coffee

To clarify, I am happy that my bf is out doing the job he loves. It’s just time for a change of scenery for us cuz this town–this country really isn’t making either one of us happy. More on that in another blog.

Book Reviews

I will be posting some book reviews in the coming weeks. I’ve read quite a lot in the past few months and I need to get back to writing about it. I always feel weird about reviewing books because I don’t really want to tear anyone’s work apart. Writing a book is tough work, but I want to spread the love I have for books. I may not share so many negative reviews except for maybe War & Peace because FUCK THAT BOOK!

Anyway, I had to take care of myself and I plan to get things back on track. I am working on a new logo and look for the blog as well, so keep an eye out for that 🙂

Changes are coming!!

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Ask Me No Questions, I Will Tell You No Lies.

sad

Pace. Sit. Pace. Sit.

She does this for hours and then heads straight to bed.

She can’t get her mind to stay silent, and she can’t stop her heart from racing.

Her eyes close for about an hour, but she’s not sleeping.

She opens them back up and looks around the dark room. The shadows whispering everything she tries to ignore the entire day.

They tell her so many things. They make her mind spin, and when she gets up to start pacing around the house the room begins to spin along with her mind.

Dazed and feeling frustrated from not sleeping, she makes herself a cup of coffee.

Sits on the couch with the mug in her hand, steam rising along with her heart rate.

She stares off out the window watching the sun come up, and everyone goes about their day.

She just sits there. The coffee goes cold.

Her phone lights up because it’s always on silent. Some sounds make her clench her jaw.

“Hey! How are you?” the screen asks.

“I’m good!” she replies.

“I’m good!” she lies.

©2018 Joana F. Simoes

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Depression is a Neighbor

This is a short story I wrote for a contest. I did not get chosen this year but I was last year so it’s okay. I did want to share this story with all of you. It means A LOT to me. So here it is:

Depression is a Neighbor

©2018 Joana F. Simoes

farhan-siddicq-200523-unsplash
I don’t mean to take over people’s lives. It’s my job. I don’t have an excellent reputation, but I am also hugely ignored by many. Hence why I am still around. It’s a conundrum.

The people I affect give me a horrible name, but the ones who don’t believe just go on
pretending I am nothing but a figure of everyone’s imagination. “It’s all in your head,” they say to those who I visit.

That’s the truth. I do enter straight into their thoughts and slowly take over, but my job is very misunderstood.

Today is an especially interesting day; it’s some of my busiest days. The dark clouds are
blanketing the city like everyone in town let their toast burn this morning.
I have so many appointments today that I had to skip having breakfast, like most mornings.

I skip a lot of things throughout the day. In fact, I am not entirely sure I am wearing a clean shirt at this very moment. I always walk to my appointments. I find cars, buses, and trains too nerve-wracking for me. Who knows what can happen to those things?
I look over my shoulder and put up the hood of my black jacket. It’s not raining yet, but I like to stay within the comforts of my clothing. The world is an ugly place, and I am not here to make it any prettier.
8:00 am
I knock on the door of the first appointment. I visit Maggy every day; she lives on the next street over.
“Maggy? Are you there?” a barely audible grumble comes from within the apartment.
“Maggy you have to let me in.” I look at the time. I have another appointment in 20
minutes. I can hear footsteps from behind the door. She turns the lock, yet the door doesn’t open.

“Hello?” I ask.
“You’re not coming in! Not today Satan!” Maggy is in a mood today. She’s usually my easiest appointment. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, the door was unlocked when I arrived, but she just locked it.
“My name isn’t Satan, Maggy.”
“Close enough.”
“Maggy, you’re atheist. You don’t believe in Satan.” I remind her.
“Stop telling me what I believe in! You don’t know me at all.”
“I’ve been coming here every day for the past three years. I know you very well.” Silence
follows. “I know that you stay in bed until noon. You try to get up earlier only to head back to bed in the afternoon. You cry in the shower and cry in the corner when no one else is around. You pace your apartment when you should be sleeping at 2 am, and sometimes you forget to do normal things like eating or drinking water.”
“That’s your fault!!” she yells back at me. I shake my head. The ugly part of the job.
“You’re not wrong, but that’s the deal.”
“I never made a deal with you. I never asked for this.”
“No one does. It just is the way it is. I used to visit your mother every day.”
“Don’t. Do NOT talk about my mother.” A touchy subject with Maggy, but one that usually
gets her to open the door. I try to turn the knob. Still locked. I have 15 minutes now.
“Maggy, you need to open this door.”
“How about you just go to hell. Or do I not believe in that either?” she asks.
“ Well if we are going to be perfectly honest, you do not.”
“You’re a pain. Did you know that?” I do in fact know this. I am not like a broken bone, but I inflict some of the worst kind of pain known to humanity. I make people feel worthless, really less than worthless. Insert “it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it” cliché here.

I start tapping my foot on the wet stone steps to an imaginary beat. This has never
happened before. Maggy has never fought me. My quota has been going down the past
couple of months. I get yelled at constantly to pick that quota back up. Sometimes I wonder
if the world would be better off without me in it.
“Why are you still at my door? Haven’t gotten the hint yet that I am not letting you in Mister know it all?”
She will eventually break down, they all let me back in. Maybe not today but ultimately I see their names on my appointment list once again, but Maggy, she’s a regular and If I lose her, I may very well lose my job.
I keep tapping my foot and staring at my watch. Suddenly the curtains on the windows to
the right of me fly open, and Maggy is tapping at the glass. She shows me a bottle of water and sticks out her tongue. Right there, laying there is a pill.
“Don’t you dare!!!” I yell at her.
She gulps down a bunch of water, and I know the pill is surfing straight down. Maggy smirks, and suddenly slams her two middle fingers against the window and the curtains once again fly closed.
“RUDE! That was a little unnecessary and a little hurtful to be quite honest.” I say.
“Here’s a tissue.” And she slips a tissue through her mail slot.
That’s the moment I move onto my next appointment. I make a note to pass back around
before heading back home.
My next appointments all go smoothly. They let me in, and they crumble into a pile of
melted thoughts and numbness. They get up, and then head back to bed or find solace at
the bottom of a bottle. At the end of the day I feel drained, but still, decide to head towards Maggy’s again.

I tell myself it’s because it’s just on the way home, but it’s because I’ve never had anyone put up so much of a fight. Not in years. As I walk through the streets hearing
pieces of conversations. I find myself entranced by human emotions. I usually numb most of them, but listening to them and wanting to know more is against our rules.
As I turn down Maggy’s street, I hear a beautiful laugh from the opposite side of the road.

I turn to look, and it’s coming from Maggy. Something inside my soul tears to shreds. I’ve
never seen such genuine happiness on her face.
I turn and walk the opposite way to avoid her seeing me. I keep walking with my hood up, and my eyes look straight ahead. The day has been miserable, and that is the essence of my job.

I stop at my door and think once again, would the world be better without me here?

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