Home.

I’m in my old room. The walls are a heavy sky blue. The stickers Deblyn gave me in Form 1 are still on the walls, peeling and yellow around the edges. The scratches I made on the wall beside my beside my bed revealing the white plaster beneath. The unsteady table sits in the corner filled with books that are not mine. The telephone seat is next to the wardrobe gathering dust and paper. The clothes in the wardrobe are not mine. The vanity that was once an entire wardrobe is cluttered with empty bottles, melting lipsticks, half-empty perfumes and crumbling eyeshadow palettes. Not mine. The curtains are the same, tearing with age. The bed is different, my old one turned into firewood for days when load-shedding occurred. I remember I used to hammer it into place every time the boards came loose.

Home is where you feel at ease, a place that moulds into your shape. I’m always so disappointed every time I make the 800km journey to the place where I grew up and all I feel is despondency and rejection. These blue walls don’t know me anymore. They don’t whisper to me like they used to when I was 14 and thought death was calling my name in between coughing fits.

Then it hits me: I’m just visiting a place I used to know. A place I don’t remember too well because I spent too long in my head worried about my impending death, thinking about suicide.

Home is not these four blue walls, it’s not this house with a ceiling that creaks, it’s not this yard with the avocado tree that never has any fruits. Home is nowhere. It’s something that I’m carrying inside until I can find a place where no one minds Lana Del Rey at 2am, where the lights are off when I need them to be, where I can breathe without feeling broken glass in my chest.

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Movies I’ve Been Watching Lately

When that reading slump hits, I turn to movies and tv shows. It’s been weeks since I’ve last been able to read something without wanting to put it down after two sentences. I’ve decided to go through my list of movies to watch in the meantime. Most of them are recent (or recent-ish) popular movies and some of them let me down a little.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

This was probably the most anticipated book to movie adaption of the entire year. Since I didn’t read the book (oops) I can’t speak on how accurate the adaption was but the movie itself was enjoyable. Writing love letters to the people you loved to let them go. Katherine, Lana’s younger sister sends the letters out in an effort to get her sister a boyfriend – a matchmaker in the making – but it leads to a pretend relationship with the ex-boyfriend of her nemesis. I liked the movie but I didn’t love it. Continue reading “Movies I’ve Been Watching Lately”

ARC Review: The Shape of You by Georgia Beers | Body Positivity

The Shape Of You

Title: The Shape Of You
Author: Georgia Beers
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
Publication Date: 14 August 2018
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Goodreads | Takealot | Book Depository

Spencer’s fiancée, Marti, signs her up for a bridal fitness class that focuses on being “the best body for your wedding.” Although she had previously thought that her body was beautiful, this action sends her spiralling into insecurity but she is eager to please her lover and future wife so she barrels through.

On the first day of her fitness class, Spencer meets Rebecca, a fitness trainer. Rebecca recognises parts of her mother in Spencer, her eagerness to please and inability to speak up for herself which creates conflict between the two.

I loved the way that fitness and body positivity were linked in the story. Due to the original instructor falling ill, Rebecca takes on the bridal fitness class and puts a healthy, body positivity spin on it. She chooses to focus on being healthy and fit than thin and fitting-into-your-wedding-dress.

The characters were a little difficult to differentiate. I spent most of the first chapters of the book trying to figure out who was who. Marti and Rebecca were unlikeable characters. Marti for her business-like indifference to Spencer and Rebecca for her quick judgment to Spencer.

I’m not a big fan of cheating so that part annoyed me a little especially how it was made to seem like Marti’s fault. From the beginning, Spencer and Marti’s relationship wasn’t visibly portrayed in a positive light. The few moments that occurred between the pages were always removed and lacking any emotional warmth. It was quite clear from the beginning that the two were heading for a breakdown. Their relationship suffered the usual ills that end a relationship; Marti working too hard, Marti not listening to Spencer, Marti being unappreciative which I assume the author was directing the blame for Spencer’s cheating.

An ARC was sent to me from Bold Strokes Books through NetGalley for an honest review.

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The cover of this book is gorgeous! What’s a book you didn’t like but has an amazing cover?

 

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Book Review: Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman | Surfboards & Skateboards

Girl Out Of Water by Laura SilvermanPublisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Book Depository | Takealot

Anise belongs in the water, the place where her life begins and ends. This is the last summer she’ll spend in Santa Cruz with all her friends and she’s determined to make it the best. When her aunt Jackie has an accident that leaves her with two broken legs, she has to go with Nebraska with her dad, leaving behind the waves and beach for skate parks and babysitting her three young cousins.

Girl Out Of Water took my breath away. This story had everything I didn’t know I loved about books. It’s the kind that touches your soul without hurting too much. Continue reading “Book Review: Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman | Surfboards & Skateboards”

To Be Vulnerably Honest…

I love writing. I’ve loved it since I was a young child. Starting this blog was a way to keep my mind busy and a space to talk about my favourite topic: books. It was supposed to be fun and easy. Words come easy to me but I hadn’t banked on how my mental illness would taint this beautiful thing in my life like everything else that it touches.

Blogging was supposed to be fun but lately my mental illness has sucked all the fun out of it. My first few blog posts were a tentative dip into the blogosphere, testing the waters. Eventually I found my voice and had a good time putting out posts. I’d write something and think, “yes, this is good” but now it’s more like “WhAT iS tHIs ShIT?” Continue reading “To Be Vulnerably Honest…”

ARC Review: Reign of Mist | Power, Magic and Badass Women (And a Giveaway)

“The mist is coming, and with it comes a power so hungry for magic, it threatens the whole realm. Something must be done. Or in time, all will be lost.”

Summary from Goodreads

The realm’s darkest secret is out.
The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.
On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust.
But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.

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Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 13 September

Publisher: Talem Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

The sequel to the amazing Heart of Mist is a story of power, magic, and hope. This is a story about the desire to rule, dangerous thirst for power and doing anything to get it. This is a story about the evils that lurk in human hearts. This is the story about Reign of Mist.

Reign of Mist begins with Bleak arriving in the forgotten Oremere. She meets an unexpected character in the home that feels so familiar but she has no memory of the life she lived there. Bleak learns about her past and her destiny. She becomes friends with a teerah panther, a fierce creature believed to be extinct and joins a group of rebels.

Meanwhile Henri arrives in the winter kingdom and reunites with Queen Edyis, her childhood friend to seek help with the war King Arden is threatening against her people sparked by the corrupt nature of royal politics and power. Olena is quite possibly my favourite character. Everyone underestimates her and that is their mistake. I can’t wait to see more of her.

I was insanely excited to read the sequel because Heart of Mist literally left me hanging on the edge of a cliff. Helen has created amazingly intricate characters that leave. Characters that we love and sympathise with as well as characters we do not like. Once again the multiple perspectives were clear and not confusing at all which is my biggest pet peeve with multiple POV in novels.

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One thing that stood out for me is that this is a high fantasy novel with female characters at the lead. Actually, writing this review forced me to think about my own prejudices about “strong women” in fantasy novels. I wanted to focus my review on how strong the female characters in Reign of Mist are but I caught myself because they’re doing the same things that I’ve seen so many male leads in fantasy do.

We’re only just starting to see positive portrayals of women in fantasy. When someone says Strong Men in Fiction who do you think about? Every male lead character ever written right? Because male characters aren’t coded as “strong”, the fact that they’re the lead in a high fantasy automatically places them there.  So why isn’t that the same for every non-male character? Why do non-male characters have to possess certain characteristics (ability to endure pain, physical strength, non-feminine, etc.) to be considered strong? Helen Scheuerer’s story challenges this tired stereotype.

Overall Reign of Mist blew me away just like Heart of Mist did. I don’t know if this has been said before but I’m getting serious Game of Thrones vibes.

Some Of My Favourite Quotes

“In the golden light of dawn, the sight of Havennesse took Bleak’s breath away.”

“Maybe, just maybe, if they survived what was to come, she’d bring him here. Somehow.”

“She missed the whisper of magic from her ancestors, the thrum of their power pulsing through the living bridges.”

“I didn’t believe I belonged with my people. I didn’t believe I belonged anywhere.”

“I’ve come to believe that all memories are jaded. Even yours.”

Heart Of Mist is currently $0.99 on Amazon right now! If you need any more reason to read it check out my 5 Reasons To Read It.

Click here to enter the giveaway for a $20 AMazon gift voucher and exclusive prequels!

Link to blog tour launch post: 10 Reasons To Pick Up Reign of Mist on Shealea’s blog
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Breathe,

Sakhile

Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

My blogging has been sporadic at best these past two months meaning that I’ve been missing my monthly wrap-ups, so I’m complying a few reviews of books that I didn’t write standalone book reviews for.

Seven Tears At High Tide by C.B. LeeSeven Tears At High Tide by C.B Lee

★★★★☆

This is such an amazingly diverse fantasy novel. C. B Lee has been a pioneer of diversity since before it was cool. She doesn’t get half the recognition she deserves. Morgan, Chinese-American bisexual, unknowingly makes a request using seven tears at high tide to have a summer romance after being dumped by his closeted neighbour. Morgan, a halfling selkie, is sent to fulfil his Request. Throw in a life-changing decision to be made on your 17th birthday and some crazy scientists hell-bent on capturing selkies and you have a pretty exciting read. Continue reading “Books I’ve Been Reading Lately”

An Ode To Old Books | Why I Love Secondhand Bookshops

There’s a bookshop on Market Street, just after Maboneng or before depending on where you’re coming from. It’s three floors of nothing but books. When you turn into the doorway there are books everywhere, you have to step over piles of books while you’re climbing the stairs to the main entrance and then, towers and towers, and shelves and shelves overflowing and nearly toppling over, of a seemingly infinite amount of books. Continue reading “An Ode To Old Books | Why I Love Secondhand Bookshops”

Book Review: Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour | The Vastness of Love

Genre: YA Contemporary18667779

Rating:  ★★★★☆

Goodreads | Takealot | Book Depository

Everything Leads To You is the type of book that isn’t particularly sad but it’s so beautiful it makes you sad anyway. It’s a story about friendship, vastness and love. It’s not a sad story. I think it was supposed to make me feel hopeful but hope has a way of breaking my heart and maybe that’s why it made me sad. Continue reading “Book Review: Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour | The Vastness of Love”

This or That Tag

Hi everyone. August is turning out to be the month that I do ALL the tags. The This or That Tag was created by Cait at Paper Fury

Series or Standalone
I prefer standalones. I’m still trying to finish book series that I started years ago.

Magic Earned or Magic Born
Magic born.

Enemies-to-Lovers or Friends-to-Lovers
Idk, with enemies I draw the line at becoming lovers with someone who has caused you extreme pain. And sometimes friends are better off as friends. Continue reading “This or That Tag”