Short Story Sunday

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I wanted to share some random writings with you, so I will start Short Story Sunday. Which may be a bi-weekly thing rather than a weekly thing. This particular short story will be shared in small bursts, till we finally reach the end. Please note that anything I post here is a work in progress, and has gone through ZERO editing. I just wanted to be able to share some of my writing. Not everything I write is fantasy or historical fiction, and this is a prime example. This one has some dark humor in it, but it is definitely going to twist at some of your emotions. This is a work of fiction. Enjoy!


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

©2016 Joana Simoes. All Rights Reserved

Part One: A Party You Say?

It’s been a month since I have stepped outside of my apartment. I want to say it’s a choice, and plenty of people would argue that it is– my mother tells me I am overreacting all the time. I have gotten fully dressed and ready to step outside a grand total of 8 times. Winter coat on, scarf at the ready, I place my hand on the doorknob and start the pep talks.

“Come on Zara, you are just going to the grocery store for eggs and milk.”

“Come on Zara, you just need to step out for some fresh air.”

“Come on Zara, go to the bookstore! YOU LOVE THE FUCKING BOOK STORE!”

I take a few deep breaths, turn the doorknob,and as I do so, sweat begins to drip down my forehead, down my neck, and pools on the small of my back. I slam my back against the apartment door. “Not today!” I yell, and walk down our short hallway, back into my bedroom, and straight back into my pajamas. Just so you know, I am not always like this. I can leave the apartment on good days, but for the past month it has just been a never-ending chain of bad days. Sometimes those bad days are really awful and for the past month even on Okay days I have just been too exhausted to go anywhere.

I live with my best friend Patrick. He takes care of the grocery shopping when I get like this. We moved to Portland from Pennsylvania about 6 years ago. Sharing an apartment seemed like the best bet to save money, plus I don’t think Pat and I know how to function anymore without the other one around. From the outside looking in, people assume we are a couple or really weird siblings that moved straight from the womb to an apartment in Portland. We are not, and have never had any sexual entanglements. I have barely dated, and he’s brought home a couple of girls. They always wake up the next morning, run into the weird chick wearing the batman pajamas eating oatmeal from a disney princess bowl, and are never seen again. Whatever a great wingman is, I am the opposite of that.

Patrick is patient, and the past month a lot has fallen to him. He doesn’t complain, but I apologize profusely a million times a day anyway.

About a month ago I was invited by one of the many downstairs neighbors to a party. Figuring that everyone there was going to be between the ages of 18 and 25, I asked Pat to come with me. Technically I gave him no choice, I’m awful like that. I always tell him I am way past my partying stage and he reminds me that I never went through a party stage. Usually Patrick is the one that gets all the invites, and he will always casually drop by, while I stay upstairs watching tv. This time I got caught in the crosshairs of a conversation in the laundry room. As I threw my laundry into the dryer, a girl of about 22 with shoulder length blonde dreadlocks turned to me and invited me to her party.

My initial thought was “No, I don’t want to go to your patchouli infested apartment where you will serve tofu and vegan brownies and talk about that month you spent in India, appropriating another culture. I’ve seen you in that Sari bitch!” But I am good enough at filtering my thoughts and making them less rude quite quickly. I also had just spent 30 seconds staring at the shell bead hanging off of one of her dreadlocks, and needed to say something and get out of there.

“Uhhh, Sure.” I stammered.

I sped down the hall and straight into the elevators. I hit the button for the 7th Floor, and hit the close door button knowing it is not actually going to make the door close any faster. When I reached the 7th floor I practically ran to our apartment.

Patrick was in the living room on his laptop as I step inside and he looks at me quizzically.

“Why are you out of breath?” he asked.

“That blonde girl with dreads just invited me to a party.” I say in between huffs and puffs. Shit I really should work out more.

“I think her name is Mandy, or Amanda.” Patrick said this like it mattered.

“Of course it is.” I reply.

“I’m guessing you said no?”

“I said sure, which I mean, kind of leaves it open to interpretation.”

“No it doesn’t Zara.”

“Sure it does. For instance, ‘Sure, but I would rather pull my teeth through my ass.’ or ‘Sure, but I have to wash my hair that night, try it some time.” I explained.

Patrick laughs as he continued to type on his laptop and then said, “Only you would think that ‘sure’ is open to interpretation.”

“So we have to go to this thing?”

“We?”he asked.

“WE!”


Hope you enjoyed the very short first part to this story! Leave some comments down below and let me know what you think! Happy Sunday!

The Dirty Thirty

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It’s March!!! And you know what that means?

No I guess you don’t. You’re probably thinking about Easter bunnies, and how to handle that hangover around your family on Easter Sunday. Good Luck with that by the way. Ah, but for me, March means my Birthday is coming. Typically I don’t make a big deal about this, but it is 2016…and I dear friends was born in 1986. Which makes me OLD. HAHA no that will simply make me 30 years old which a lot of my friends who are entering the same age seem to feel is a death sentence. I don’t know if there’s some kind of switch somewhere when you turn 30 that will automatically turn a person into a really lame and boring adult, but I think people are freaking out for no damn good reason. I for one am pretty damn sure that turning 30 doesn’t mean my entire life turns to dust. I am grateful that I am able to get older and older. I know a few people who didn’t make it this far, and I am sure their friends and family wish they had.

I am officially calling it the dirty thirty. I actually wonder how many Porn searching pervs are going to end up here because of this. Sorry sir, the <——porn is that way ——>

I know a few people who are going to tell me that I should have my bachelors degree by now, that I should be married, and HEY where are the babies? To get those out of the way now, I work at my own pace, I never knew what I wanted to do, and Life threw me some curve balls, mind your business. Marriage? Well it’s on the cards eventually, but what do you care? You won’t be invited. Babies? Take a giant leap out of my vagina! Please and thank you.

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I turn 30 on March 23rd in case you want to sing to me. You know what the beauty of being an adult is? No one can tell you SHIT about your life. You do what you want when you want. You want to walk around your place naked? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of birthday cake? DO IT! You want to eat that giant piece of cake while walking around naked? DO IT! Who’s going to stop you? No one, except if you walk out of the house, then the cops might.

The Dirty Thirty

When I got the idea to write this, I searched online and all I could find were things like “30 things to do before you’re 30” All of which seem really difficult to achieve in the next 22 days. or the really depressing “30 things you will regret not doing before you turn 30” Bitch you don’t know my life! So I decided on, 30 things I will try to do while in my 30’s, the dirty thirty!!

  1. Learn how to play the bass guitar
  2. Get one of my books published
  3. Stop Worrying about absolutely everything
  4. Take up Kick Boxing
  5. Visit London. SO MUCH HARRY POTTER…SO MUCH.
  6. Stop Burning myself out just to make other people happy
  7. Keep Growing my Library
  8. Find a workout that I don’t despise with every fiber in my body.
  9. Visit Barcelona
  10. Wear whatever I want. Yes that means my Super hero and Harry Potter shirts are going NOWHERE.
  11. Better my German speaking skills. Yea I understand you, but this language is a mother fucker for me, and I still have a hard time with conversations. Though I really don’t give two shits what people seem to think about that. “You’re not fluent yet?” no but you’re still an asshole.
  12. Learn coding…Because I want to.
  13. Learn How to play the drums.
  14. Visit Sweden again.
  15. Go to Wacken again.
  16. Write more
  17. Read more
  18. Visit Venice Again
  19. Get my Driver’s License here in Germany, cuz I wasn’t allowed to exchange my NJ driver’s license. While it is not necessary, I loved driving, and I miss it.
  20. Buy a house.
  21. Get a couple more Tattoos.
  22. Dye my hair a funky color. I haven’t dyed my hair for about 5 or 6 years.
  23. Find a better skin routine. I continue to break out, and need to find what really works for me.
  24. Possibly have a kid, NEVER complain about them on Facebook. Because honestly I DON’T GIVE A SHIT how tired your child makes you, you look like a fucking asshole when all you do is complain about them online.
  25. Learn Italian … also just because.
  26. Take more pictures. I have two really great cameras and I barely used them last year. That makes me sad, because I used to really love photography, and while I still do, I put it on the back burner.
  27. Put my phone away more often. I find that my phone is in my hand a lot more than I care to admit. I want to change that.
  28. Take hikes and enjoy it.
  29. See more of Germany. I have seen bits and pieces, but I would like to travel around and see more cities.
  30. Get my Bachelors move onto my Masters…LIKE A MOTHER FUCKING BOSS.

Those are the dirty thirty. Things I will aim to achieve throughout my thirties. Things maybe you achieved in your 20’s but if you think that makes you better than me, you are wrong. The truth is, there’s no time limit to reach your goals. I will fight every day to achieve my goals and dreams, because that’s just how I am.

So here’s to getting older, and growing bolder!! Age is only a number, and you shouldn’t get freaked out by it. Look at all the things you have done till this point, and look what the future holds. Don’t let ANYONE make you feel shitty about your life. I am saying this to you as much as I am saying it to myself. Life is meant to be lived, don’t let it just coast by because you think “I’m too old for that shit.” You aren’t.

March 23rd, I am coming for you!!

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A Gathering of Shadows – Book Review

Normally I start my Reviews by giving you a summary of what this book is about, but because this is a sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, I don’t want to do that, just in case you have not read it yet. If you have not read it yet, then I must ask, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! SO what I will do is give a summary for ADSOM.

A Darker Shade of Magic – Summary:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

A Gathering of Shadows – Book Review

A Gathering of Shadows begins, four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. It is wonderful. I will get into my review next, and will write SPOILERS in big letters before entering into spoiler territory, but that is IF I enter spoiler territory, because I enjoy keeping my reviews spoiler free. I want you to read this and have you say “YES! I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE!”

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I received this book about a week early from Amazon here in Germany, and after what felt like a really long week and a bad one with my anxiety, seeing this book show up early made my heart sing. I was nervous jumping in because I wanted it to be as good as the first book, and let me just begin this review by saying it exceeded my expectations. I finished it this morning while having breakfast, and I was left yelling “WHAT?!!! OH MY GOD!!” The world  building in this sequel is still just as excellent as the previous one, and I am still so in love with the characters of Kell, Rhy, and Lila. I love them so much, and I want to stick them into a bubble so no one and nothing can hurt them.

You see where Lila ends up, and what Kell and Rhy are up to 4 months after what happened in the previous book. There’s also an amazing and epic Magical tournament that I really loved. I will say that this one had a slower build up than the previous one, but the characters are still interesting enough to keep me at the edge of my seat. This was a wonderful second book in the series, and I cannot wait to see where this story ends. V.E. Schwab has created her own brand of magic and I love it so much. The thing about this one compared to ADSOM, is that the first book while leaving room for a follow up, it still tied everything up nice and neat. You could think it’s a stand alone and live on with your life. The thing about A Gathering of Shadows, is that there’s no way in hell I can wait for the next book. That ending had me really shocked. How can I go on?

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Miss Schwab…you have left me hanging here. What will I do? How can I cope with this matter? Help me!! Ha ha.

All joking aside, I think if you’re in the market for a new wonderful fantasy series to sink your teeth into then THIS is it! You will not regret it at all. I gave this 5 out of 5 metal horns, such well deserved metal horns they are.

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Coffee & Rant – Stop Being a Snob

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On this installment of my coffee & rant posts, I talk about snobs. You know who I am talking about. The people who think their choices in what they eat, drink, read, and listen to, are better than your choices. You know one. You possibly know a bunch of them. Well I am here to say: STOP BEING A SNOB!

NOTE: This indeed is a rant. I drop F bombs a few times, if you’re pure like a unicorn and can’t take it, Walk away now.

Here’s why I get irritated by the snobbery from people. What someone chooses to do with their free time, and frankly their god damn digestive system, has ZERO effect on your life. Honestly I know you can come back and say well “the mass consumption of this, that and the other is ruining…” Shut the fuck up. I will reiterate this for you, it has ZERO effect on your life. Take coffee drinking for instance, yes I have found many other places I enjoy more than Starbucks here, but once in a while if I want to walk into Starbucks and drink a frothy drink with 1000 calories, how is that any of your business? I am not chaining you down and making YOU drink it am I? But NOOOOO, the coffee snob is going to come in and rant “How can you drink that? I only drink coffee beans that have been partially digested by an Asian Palm Civet.”

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I have dealt with snobs a lot, because the Metal community tends to have a lot of them. Only their underground bands that no one listens to are real metal, and your love for (Insert Moderately Popular Band Name Here) makes you a poser. I already did an entire post about people whining about a band not being metal enough, so I won’t bitch about it right now, but again, What I listen to, isn’t going to make your world stop turning. Your heart isn’t going to stop, you won’t hear it if you don’t want to, so let me listen to whatever the hell I want, and you listen to your underground bands, but stop judging me for this shit. Stop judging people in general.

Which brings me to the book community. I actually really love this community because they are way less judgmental about what people choose to read, but the readers who are outside of this online book community tend to piss me off. Especially the adults. So the fuck what if I read Young Adult Books, Kids books, or anything else that you seem to deem unworthy? When people complain about popular novels…I’m sorry, did we have a freaky friday moment, and suddenly everything I read is being absorbed by your brain? NO? Then, silence! I will admit that I turned into a slight snob about people reading 50 Shades of Grey, but at the end of the day read whatever the hell you want. I read comic books too, and I am sure there are plenty of people who find that juvenile and stupid. Well good for you that you don’t know how to have fun, but I enjoy it immensely. I get it, you’re a pseudo intellectual who only reads classic novels written by dead white guys, but I don’t care what you read, just don’t try to pin point me as an idiot because I like to read many different things. Don’t think because I have a mass amount of Harry Potter books and collectibles that I am somehow less intelligent than you. I can tie my shoes and count to three, go fuck yourself. I work hard, so if I want I will play hard. That has no lasting effect on your life, other than those five minutes that you get worked up over what I am doing, but that’s on you. I will continue to do whatever I want.

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I get it, you snobs love to feel special, smart, and unique. You love to think so highly of yourselves that you can’t take the time to just let people simply enjoy the things they love. Well continue on your pretentious little lonely path, I will be over here, having fun.

My coffee is cold, see ya later!!

 

Locke & Key Vol.1: Welcome to Lovecraft – Book Review

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Locke & Key Vol.1 Summary:

“Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!

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Locke & Key Vol.1 Book Review:

My love for graphic novels has grown exponentially within the past 2 years or so. Of course this means I have gotten into a lot of the super hero comics, but I actually really just enjoy creative and unique graphic novels. Locke & Key is definitely one of those Graphic Novels. Joe Hill, who as many of you might already be aware is Stephen King’s son, writes Locke & Key’s story. Apparently the art of gruesome and creepy story telling runs in the family, because this was just a bit of both.

Here’s the thing though, while it does in fact get creepy and indeed there are many gruesome scenes, it is not overly in your face the entire time. There’s build up, and there’s just incredible art by Gabriel Rodriguez that is so fitting to Joe Hill’s story telling. There is some spine tingling moments that really had me stop for a second, which is what you want from a scary or horror story. You want it to get to you a bit. The thing is, as you follow this family’s journey through their mourning and their grief, you feel connected to them a little bit. Joe Hill makes them feel quite human. This also has that very horror movie feel where the old manor they live in seems to have a life of its own, and truly it does. It holds so many secrets.

The key storyline in the title is a HUGE part of the plot. This house seems to have doors that open to different kinds of worlds? Realms? Craziness? You discover one particularly creepy one when the youngest child Bode goes exploring. See the entire family is traumatized in ways we can’t possibly imagine. You watch as the Locke children deal with the situation in their own ways. I am trying really hard not to put in any spoilers because going into this story as blind about plot as possible is the key to really loving it. All I can say is I highly recommend this one, and I am already moving onto the next Volume.

I gave this 5 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

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15 Book Nerd Facts About Me

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I have seen a few book nerds writing up some book nerd facts about themselves and I thought this would be a fun and quick post to make!! So here are 15 BookNerd Facts about me!!

1. Books have been a HUGE part of my life from the very first word I learned how to read.

2. Covers of Books have ZERO influence on what I buy now, because in the past year some of the prettiest covers, had the crappiest stories.

3. I don’t care if I buy used or new books, and lately I have been heading more towards used books, because I am GENUINELY trying to spend less money on books. For the price of one book, I can get 10..NO JOKE.

4. I have slowed down my requesting of titles for review. I requested too many last year and disliked most.

5. My current favorite writer is V.E. Schwab.

6. I am editing my first novel, and have four other ideas juggling around in different parts of the writing process. You can call me crazy.

7. I usually have my Kindle on me.

8. Which brings us to this fact…I enjoy Ebooks and Physical books. I have no rhyme or reason as to what format I get.

9. I stop paying attention to any reviewer who only gives books 4 or 5 stars to absolutely EVERYTHING they read. I notice it more and more with people who seem to just try to kiss ass to get free stuff from publishers. You are in it for the wrong reasons, and I have no respect for you.

10. YES, I do prefer the company of books.

11. I try to convince everyone to read the Harry Potter series.

12. My boyfriend lets me talk his ear off about books I am reading, or book ideas I have to write. He’s quite supportive.

13. I hate seeing shelves with pristine books like they have never been read. It breaks my heart.

14. I hate hate hate the mortal instruments series…NOT SORRY.

15. I own over 600 Books.

*Bonus fact: I worked at a book store for about two years and it is where I met one of my best friends and it was one of the best times I had.

Those are just 15 little fun facts!! Enjoy, and tell me some of your booknerd facts!!

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Book Review

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Uprooted, A Summary:

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
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Uprooted, The Book Review: (minor spoilers, read at your own risk)

Uprooted is marketed as Young Adult fiction, though this is absolutely false once you get into the story. The only ingredient that really would make it Young Adult, is the fact that the main character Agnieszka is 17, because this is actually a more mature story, and definitely should be aimed at Adults. Putting that aside, I really enjoyed the beginning of the story. If you read the summary of Uprooted then you know that it is not her best friend Kasia that gets chosen, but Agnieszka is the one chosen by the Dragon. The dragon, is not an actual dragon, it is his wizard name.

The beginning of the story I loved, and it definitely has a few touches that reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. The reluctant “beast” and the young “beauty”, but that’s sort of where it ends. I will say that Naomi Novik is a wonderful writer, and I intend to check out her other stories when I get a chance, but there was something that lost me midway through Uprooted.

First, I found the growing relationship between Agnieszka a girl of 17 and the Dragon not only completely inappropriate but also extremely creepy. It just reminds me of when I was a teen and being stared at like a piece of meat by much older men. It threw me off, because I was hoping that maybe this would be the story that wouldn’t have any kind of romance in it. I loved the magic, and how they worked together with the magic but in my opinion the romance factor was completely unnecessary.

Second, I found that as I reached the middle and the end, so many different characters were introduced, and the story became a little convoluted. I understood everything that was happening, but there were a lot of different things happening, and it could have been explained a bit better. I understood everything about the village and why the people stay, and the whole Wood-Queen thing, but it just seemed like too much saved for the end.

Finally, while the ending sort of came and I felt nothing for most of the characters, I did enjoy the realistic friendship of Kasia and Agnieszka. You can tell they would jump through flaming hoops, maybe even quite literally to help one another, but there’s a bit of jealousy there, both showing some of their flaws. It was refreshing to see that.

Final Thoughts on Uprooted:

This wasn’t a favorite read of mine. It took me a long time (for me anyway) to get through it because I just preferred to read my Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire book when I had the time, and I lost interest in the characters half way through. I still say that Naomi Novik writes this story beautifully, it is just a story that’s “okay” for me. It just might not be my cup of tea. If you love magic and weird romances that are borderline creepy this might be for you. Also dear publisher, this book is NOT Young Adult! Stop selling it as such.

This gets 3 out of 5 Metal Horns from me!

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Between Shades of Gray – Book Review

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This book has nothing to do with that shamble of a series called 50 Shades of Awful. This is an exceptional book telling a horrifying story. One that seems to be forgotten when people talk about the atrocities that occurred during World War II.

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Between Shades of Gray starts off in 1941 and follows Lina Vilkas a 15-year-old girl who lives in Lithuania and somehow ends up on Stalin’s extermination list. She gets sent to a prison camp all the way in Siberia where she’s faced with horrors we could never even begin to imagine. She takes risks to save her family and herself, doing anything possible to simply survive.

Between Shades of Gray Book Review

This book had me hooked before I even opened it. The synopsis was enough to get me to pick it up. It is beautifully written but extremely sad read. Lina is a wonderful and strong character. Going into this historical fiction story I didn’t know much about what the Soviets had done during World War II, this story while a fictional tale, paints a picture of the horrors people went through at the hands of the Soviets.

This is a young adult novel that does not read like one. I say that because it gets very dark, and it does not hold back from sharing the events that this family goes through. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this story because I don’t always read historical fiction, but this made me want to read a lot more of it. There’s a specific line that I have seen many people use when they talk about this book, but it is the one line that lets you imagine where the book goes.

 

“Have you ever wondered what a human life is worth? That morning, my brother’s was worth a pocket watch.”

 This line tears my heart apart. These are the things you can expect from this story. Using their last bits of their past, last few things they own to continue to survive.

I want to give you a very eloquent review, one where I delve into characterization, the plot, and everything else that normal book reviewers dive into, but I just can’t. All I can say about this book is that it made me feel so many emotions at the same time, mostly a mix of rage and sadness at the things happening to our main character, her family, and her friends.

I think if there were a book that needs to be read this year, this would be it. It brings to light a lot of issues that get tossed into the background about World War II. There are many stories that have been silenced for so long, and this screamed one of those tales at the very top of its lungs. I was left with a sense of loss myself after finishing it. It is in no way a light hearted read, and people should know going in that you are in for a rough ride, but its an incredible book that deserves more attention.

This book received 5 out 5 Metalhorns from me!!

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Coffee & Rant – Why Was Rey Left Out of Star Wars Toys?

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On my very first Coffee & Rant post, I want to talk about a little something that brought up old memories and brings up angry ranty rage up to the surface of my otherwise quiet and timid demeanor.

It was written on the Hypable site that Rey was intentionally left out of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toy sets.  They excluded her because the idea here is that boys will not want to play with a product that has a female character on it, which in turn makes me think what kind of boys are you people raising? and Also what about the girls that want to play with Star Wars toys? Don’t they get to be represented in the toy sets? Don’t they get a choice of choosing Rey over Barbie?

A Girl in the 90’s Who Wanted Action Figures

Growing up in the 90’s (I was born in 1986..yes I turn 30 soon, No I don’t think I’m too old for this shit) I had an interest in the action figure aisle, but I was always handed Barbie dolls, Disney Princesses, and Polly Pockets. Which by the way I enjoyed, but I also loved playing outside, playing soccer, and coming home covered in dirt. I had constant scabby knees from falling while playing random games. I was a tom boy 80% of the time. When I was in third grade the Power Rangers became the really popular tv show for kids. I loved the Red Ranger, and not because I thought he was cute, but because I wanted to be the red ranger. Red was my favorite color, and it was the color of my favorite Portuguese soccer team Benfica. But when I said I wanted to be a Power Ranger for Halloween, I was given the Pink Ranger suit. That was the girl Power Ranger, and so that was going to be my costume. It didn’t register at the time, but years later I thought about how I actually hated the color pink as a kid, and somehow I still ended up being the Pink ranger. When it came down to buying the action figure of the Power Ranger I wanted…I refused to get the Pink Ranger, and my parents probably a little reluctantly at that time, Bought me the Red Ranger Action Figure.

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That’s how it has always been right? Girls have to do girly things, and Boys do what boys do, but what happens to the kids who have different interests? I hated being told that something was only for boys. Growing up around my older brother and his friends, I wanted to jump from the Garage roof with them, I wanted to play sports, I wanted to do the boys only things. But the media and the entire world was screaming that I was supposed to be into dresses, princesses, and boyfriends.

Rey is Important for Girls and Boys

Rey symbolizes something bigger. Not only is she the main character of the best selling movie of ALL TIME, she represents little girls like me, who were told that Star Wars or anything else remotely “masculine”  was meant only for boys. She is showing the world that women and young girls can and will do anything that boys and men do. She is empowering young girls, and she is showing young boys that YES, girls can have lightsabers too! So why in this day and age did a giant corporation think that putting a MAIN CHARACTER in their toy lines would be a mistake? The answer to that is that we have a long way to go before we reach true equality. Of course this is a first world problem, but it is a representation of a much bigger issue. Women and girls are still not taken seriously. Even though we are definitely a force to be reckoned with, we are still seen as damsels in distress. This is something that just needs to change. It is 2016, I can still play soccer better than most men I have crossed paths with, don’t believe me? Let’s take it to the field. Stop saying shit like “That’s a girl color” or “That’s for boys” Newsflash! Inanimate objects DO NOT HAVE GENDERS. My pink coloring pencil isn’t lifting up its skirt and flashing its vagina around. Soccer balls don’t need to come in pink for me to be interested in them. So Star Wars toys can include Rey, and if your son mouths off about it, then you have a bigger problem on your hands and need to educate him better. Children are too young and too innocent for adults to be telling them things that will sucker punch their self esteem. Don’t do that shit.

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Girls are not just lying in wait to turn a certain age and simply become sexual objects for men. That is not their purpose, so stop treating them as such. Strong girls will grow up to be strong and brilliant women.

Rey is a representation of that, and THAT is really what scares the white men in suits making these shitty decisions.

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My coffee has gone cold, and this rant is over! Let’s discuss this issue!! Comment down below!!

MATG

 

 

My Top 10 BookNerd Problems

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When you are an avid reader, there are some things that regular people will say or do that will just get under your skin. Then there are just somethings that come with the territory of being a booknerd. Here are my top ten booknerd problems. Are you ready for this? I am!

1. When you are reading, and someone asks “What are you reading?” 

Take note here, If I am reading a physical copy of a book, do NOT ask me what I am reading, just read the damn cover and then google it. If I am reading on my Kindle, do NOT ask me what I am reading, for the simple reason that it is fucking annoying!! Wait until I put it away and then ask. If you’re not even a reader, don’t ask me just to make small talk. I hate small talk. Just go away honestly.

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2. When people say they’ve watched the movie, and don’t need to read the book. 

This might be my biggest Booknerd Problem. That is the dumbest thing someone can say. The story you see on the big screen could never ever live up to the books. Even the movies I love that are based from books, I still love the books 100 times more! You have no idea what you are talking about, and you are making me angry for no reason. Sit down somewhere and think about what you’ve done!

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3. When you finish an amazing book, and can’t decide what to read next.

Booknerds, you know what I am talking about. This happens to me quite often. I will read something amazing, and then everything else I try to start seems so mediocre compared to the beautiful piece of fiction I just finished reading. Sigh. What can you do, but continue to dig through your piles to find your next amazing read.

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4. Waiting for the next book in a series… 

Anyone who is a reader and a serious booknerd will tell you, this is some serious business that requires the patience of a saint. Currently I am waiting for the next book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, The Song of Ice and Fire, and A Darker Shade of Magic. Luckily V.E.Schwab who wrote A Darker Shade of Magic is on point, and her next book is being released next month. As for George R.R.Martin and Patrick Rothfuss I will wait patiently because I know how amazing their books will be no matter how long we wait. I still remember waiting for the Harry Potter books to be released one by one and how incredible it was to finally have the book in my hands. But what am I going to do while I wait?!

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5. When someone says I read too much…

Well, all I can say to that is, you don’t read enough and you can suck a dick. I love to read. I always have from the very first word I learned how to read till this very point in my life, and until my very last day on this earth…reading will always mean the world to me. Some of you should try OPENING a book and reading it once in a while. Could be useful to the world.

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6. Moving…

When I moved from the USA to Germany the main things that were packed up and shipped were all of my books. People kept telling me I was nuts and that I should have given them away to charity. I don’t tell you to give a way the things you hold dear do I? Anyway once we moved to a different apartment here, I had to pack them up again, and move them…AGAIN. Now that we have about 600 books on our shelves…I am kind of dreading the day we will move again. Balls.

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7. Running out of shelf space…

We recently had to pick up some more Swedish puzzles (aka Ikea Bookshelves) to organize my books. Running out of shelf space is a common booknerd problem. They were starting to pile up all over the place. I have it under control at the moment. My book collection has grown with the local used book sales that seem to be happening more and more often now. I can’t help it when I get a giant stack of books for 20 bucks. So we haven’t run out of shelf space…yet.

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8. When a book is so amazing that you don’t fall asleep…

I have lost count how many times I have done this. Sleep is not a priority when I am hooked into a book. When I first read the King Killer Chronicles I was twitching in the morning because I stayed up all night reading. I have done that more than once. Call me irresponsible if you would like, but I always do my work, and I always study the next day. I mean I will probably start dozing off while I make dinner, but that’s besides the point. Some stories deserve that kind of attention.

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9. When someone asks you what a book is about, and your brain goes into overdrive…

This happens to me all the time. I gush about a book and someone will ask what it is about, and then suddenly my brain simultaneously explodes and goes blank. I want to say so much, but then I want to say so little because I wouldn’t want to spoil a book for someone else. Its hard out here for a booknerd.

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10. When your favorite characters die…

There are many characters to name, but within the Harry Potter series are the ones that truly broke my heart. I couldn’t bare with the death of Sirius Black and Dumbledore (and so many others.) I cried serious tears and yelled into the wind the words “J.K. Rowling…WTF?!” It gets seriously rough, and obviously I am a masochist because I just reread it, and get punched in the gut every single time. Again and again.

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So those are my booknerd problems! Comment down below and tell me some of yours!!

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