Good Morning

Good morning.

Good morning world, today is the day.
It is the day everything changes.
Or so I always say. 

Even now my will has not conceded.
Let me show you all things,
That I never needed.

Written November 2015

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Across the Distance – Poetry

An old love poem from my 2013 archives about the challenges of long distance relationships.

In a world where I imagine you’re there.
I create the most perfect moments in my head.
The fantasy lets me live in your absence;
Cursed by our long scarlet thread.

Our patience grows weak, but our bond in strong,
No matter what happens, I’ll never regret.
And I’m entirely unashamed to say,
That I’d give my soul to someone I haven’t met.

From WeHeartIt

Books I Read vs Books I Buy

Hi, my name is Samantha and I love books. I love the smell of a freshly bound hardcover book… I love to put my face in there and take a good sniff. (Yes, don’t worry I’m still talking about books.)

I also love to buy books. I love coming home to my shelves full of books, stacked and sorted by size and genre. I love how they take up the entire wall, trophies of many a night spent curled up on a chair with my head in another world.

I love reading. I read daily, on my commute, on my breaks and before bed. I average about a book a week, sometimes less and sometimes more, depending on what life is throwing me. But I always make time to read. However, being on a budget – I couldn’t afford my book habit if I had to buy every book. Thank the stars for the public library and Overdrive.

So, being on such a budget with such an addiction, I really have to think before I spend the money ($0.99 or $29.99+) on a book. I think hard about if I can, if I should and if I really want to. I generally have some basic criteria when deciding when to buy:

1- If I like it, am I willing to buy the series?
I can’t stand it if I’m collecting a series and can’t get my hands on a volume or two. (This is especially true with graphic novels.) If there’s an unfinished series on my bookshelf it pokes my OCD until I give in. Or hid them behind another, complete series. Because of course my shelves are double stacked.

2- Will I read it again?
Most books I read once, skim while writing a review and then that’s it. When I was younger I used to read books over and over, but now I have a “to-read” list way to long for that. I tend to spend my money on books that are non-fiction and that can be used for reference (see point 3) but now and then I do splurge on fiction.

3 – Will the information stay relevant? 

Back when I was born, my parents bought a $2000 set of encyclopedias, which now 24 years later are outdated dust collectors. Only a fraction of the information is still relevant. But they do look nice on the shelf.

4 – Am already a fan of the author?
This is kind of a no brainer, but as an author I like to support the writers as much as possible. (If I had the money, I would buy all the books.) However, because I’m on a tight budget, I stick to dropping my cash on authors that I truly swoon over – hopefully someone will do that for me one day. Pay it forward!

Although I have all these rules for myself, I can never say no to buying books for my 2 year old.

She loves to read as much as I do (thankfully her books are short, colourful and fun to read …err, memorize.) I try to stick to the bargain box for her through, because she’s taking after her mother.

And hey, there’s worse things to be addicted to, right?

Book Review: Delirium Series

I finished reading the Delirium Series (Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem) in October. The entire series left me breathless and lost for words. So lost, that I’ve been trying to figure out how I was going to write a review. This series written by Lauren Oliver impacted me in a way that YA books often fail to. I’m not saying it was perfect, but it has wriggled its way into my soul and changed me.

I entered the world of Lauren Oliver through her book Panic. I was interested in Panic simply because it was a YA novel that didn’t unnecessarily drag itself through 3 or more books. I’m a quick reader and I generally enjoy fast paced books. So after Panic blew me away with its raw look at teenage angst, the search for oneself and the desire for freedom, I knew I had to read the Lauren Oliver’s other series.

The official teaser of Book 1 is:

Ninety-five days, and then I’ll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard not to be afraid while I’m still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn’t touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.

After that, I had to read it. I have a love/hate relationship with love. Romantic love has been in my life but it hasn’t ever turned out as planned. I also have a young daughter, whom I love with all my heart, but the intensity of maternal instinct is enough to drive me insane. Love is a crippling emotion in all its forms.

But here’s the problem: I still do not know how to express myself when it comes to Delirium. It’s so caught up inside me that every time I try, it doesn’t seem to come out right. SO I’m going to attempt to make this a fact-based post, and leave out all the fluffy emotional stuff because it would probably cause a lot of spoilers for all you who haven’t read it yet. (I’m saying YET because you have to!)

Also, it’s important to note that I did not read all the accompanying novellas. (Annabel, Raven and Alex) but I did read Hana. After reading novella 1.5 I decided against reading any more because they did not add much value for me, considering the 3rd book left me gobsmacked and I selfishly didn’t want anything to ruin it.

The premise of the book was enticing, a near-future Earth, set in what was the United states, where love is outlawed and thought of as a disease. It was an interesting idea, and I wanted to see how it would pan out. The story is typical in the dystopian fashion of 1 person rebels against the status-quo, joins a team to over throw the government, etc. But because we saw it through Lena’s eyes, we see the people behind the rebellion. The struggle of the outsiders, unedited and cold. In Requiem, we also get a peek into her friend Hana’s world, which helps to bring the story into a full 360 as we see both sides of the struggle.

The covers were just ok. Just pretty and cohesive and, well, pretty. I think they could have been changed, but I also like the simplicity of a simple portrait with flowers. The flower theme was continued throughout the novella covers as well.

I enjoyed the formatting of the chapters, including the little nursery rhymes, quotes and press releases woven into the stories. It helped add depth to the world outside of Lena’s 1st person point of view. Lauren Oliver also did this in Panic.

This book speaks so much about love. The ups and the downs. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t feel at all, but then what kind of life would I be living? The Delirium series reminded me that love has a million sides and in order to enjoy the best parts, you need to accept the bad. And if there were no bad, how would you even notice the good?

I’ll admit it: I’m going to be a Lauren Oliver fan for life now. There’s so much in this series that impacted me on such a personal level, but it’s chock full of spoilers so as a courtesy, I will keep those thoughts to myself for now. Just to put the emotions in perspective, I finished this book during rush hour on a crowded train – I cried in public. Once I can get my fingers to type out my feelings, I might do a follow up review.

Take Down The Walls.