a TeMPLe of WoRDS

I am an avid reader, beautiful screamer, and lover of big words; a book editor (MeghanH Editing) and a book blogger (Meghan's House of Books).  Any free moment I have, you'll find me reading - especially now that I have gotten back into the reading thing, after far too long being unable to concentrate on anything (have you ever had to force yourself to do something that you have always loved?  it's aGoNy!!).  My taste in books is rather eclectic, so much so that friends have actually commented on it.  I'm honest about what I like and what I don't like, but I'm never rude when I'm giving my opinion (that's just not how southerners do it).  I absolutely love discussing anything book related, so don't hesitate to strike up a conversation.

She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten


You don't truly know another person, not deep down into their soul. Everyone has secrets. They have things that have happened to them over their lifetime that have made them what they are today. Not just backgrounds, stories, beliefs, families, but hurts, pains, devastations, losses, happiness, loves, and so much more.


To create an opinion of someone, you must take the time to get to know them, and without that time invested, you can never call the person a friend. Not really.


You also can't - and have no right - to judge them. Especially when they have a different opinion than you have. You can tell your story, but if you're not willing to listen to the person's story coming from the opposite side, then how dare you choose to attack them, then feign innocent when they call you out on your behavior?


Your position, your history, your story, your feelings DO NOT lessen or negate their position, their history, their story, their feelings, and for you to act as if nothing that has happened to them matters really shows the kind of person that you are. AND when you get your army to join in on the attack, and those people are willing to attack someone based on your position, your history, your story, and your feelings, and are willing to dismiss the other person's merely on your say so, that says a LOT about the people that you are friends with and even more about the kind of person that you are.


Unfortunately, in this day and age, people don't care to know why people feel certain ways, why people speak out for or against different things, to really know the story behind the story, whether it's a public figure, the person who lives next door, or the person on the other side of a computer screen.


People criticize, shame, and bully when they don't like what someone has to say. They seem to thrive on the anger they hold tight like a protective blanket, and they don't care who they hurt when they choose to lash out.


Unfortunately, with BookLikes being such a small community, when you deal with the bad behavior of someone on social media, you're stuck with them here. And BookLikes, no matter how many emails you send them, doesn't care about making and keeping this place a safe place. 


I tried to be a good BookLikes-er, but I just can't. I can't continue to deal with people who have so much anger (and maybe pain) inside, that are willing to lash out at others in the most hateful ways. Even more so when they "diagnose" those people they're attacking with mental health issues and then tell others their diagnosis as if it's fact.


I avoid this place like the plague because I no longer feel safe here, I no longer feel happy here. I just feel stressed, overwhelmed, and hurt.


But then again, this is all apparently a delusion of mine... and being bullied online is not a *real* thing at all because all the person who feels bullied has to do is just leave social media altogether and it will just end.


But then isn't social media available for all of us, not just the people that you believe should be allowed to participate?


I will miss some of you... and so many that I hope will just one day be forgotten.

Big news

So... I have some big stuff going on in my life right now that I'm pretty excited about, and I want to scream it from the rooftops, but don't actually have anyone I really want to tell about it, other than my mom, who already knows.


As of today (well, yesterday since it's after midnight), I am officially a college student once again.


To me this is huge.  I've been wanting to go back for awhile now.


So... there.  I screamed it from the rooftops in BookLikes, cause I guess I feel like y'all are more interested in what I have to say than anyone I have anywhere else to scream it from the rooftops to.

My June recap... a little late

Source: http://the-gal-in-the-blue-mask.blogspot.com/2018/07/june-recap.html

Reading progress update: I've read 61%.

They Call Me Crazy - Kelly Stone Gamble

I've read this book already, and have the physical book that the author sent me last year (around the time that I was getting ready to come here to Florida for vacation, which is a couple of weeks before I decided to spur-of-the-moment move here).  I started it on the plane, but never got around to reading more than the first couple of pages.  I saw it on my shelf, and was reminded that I hadn't gotten around to finishing it, and decided to come back and read this one again before I did.


I had forgotten just how good this one was.  I think I'll be re-reviewing it on my blog when I'm done with the second one and review that.  I feel like I missed a lot on my first read, so I'm glad something pushed me towards it again.

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Paradise of Glass (The Glassblower Trilogy) - Samuel Willcocks, Petra Durst-Benning

I wasn't sure at the beginning of this book, and there were a couple of moments in the middle that made me wonder, but this ended up being a good book and the perfect ending to the story.  It is so nice to have conclusions that are actually difficult to get to and people who are not perfectly perfect.  And two of the series that I read this month really made the characters work for their happy ending


I get so bored with the perfect main character (especially when she's female) who meets the perfect mate (especially when they are perfectly fit, absolutely gorgeous, and somehow extremely wealthy) and everything just happens so perfectly easy with them.  Even when bad things happen, it all gets wrapped up so perfectly easy.  Even if it's a good book, when I get to the ending and my first thoughts are "that was too easy," it ruins the whole book for me, and makes me feel like I just wasted a bunch of time.


Now to figure out what I'm going to read next.

Reading progress update: I've read 7%.

The Paradise of Glass (The Glassblower Trilogy) - Samuel Willcocks, Petra Durst-Benning

I went into this series unsure whether I would like it or not.  The bad reviews I read about it spoke of very unlikeable characters and a lot more romance than history, but I went ahead and gave it a try anyways.


They were right.  There are some very unlikeable characters in these stories, but I disagree with the ones that say there's nothing redeemable or likable about the sisters.  They each have very good parts to them, and have, over time, changed in ways that I did not like at all, making some of my favorite characters not my favorite at all, however I wouldn't say they weren't redeemable or likable, in their own ways.  Horrible things have happened in their lives, as well as wonderful things.


(I'm trying ever so hard to not spoil things for anyone who plans to read the series.  This is hard.)


My favorite part so far is seeing another side to a character I have loathed for almost two books.  To see the change that has come over him, to see him express his feelings, something he's never done in all this story, was just amazing.  When I finished reading what he had to say (it was towards the end of book two), I just sat there, Kindle in hand, trying to digest it all.


This whole series - good parts and bad parts, rape scene and death - is well worth the read just for that one experience.  I can't wait to finish this book, but am also saddened that the story will end when I do.


I will be honest - I'm not exactly sure I like where one character is heading so far in this book.  She wanted so much more, and I feel like part of her thinks she's in the position where she has to settle not finding her true purpose (or maybe she has and I just haven't seen it yet).  As I've learned with the other two books, though, you never know where its going to head.


My mom has been a big fan of Freebooksy for what seems like forever now, but every day, as she looks through the list of books they send her, she complains about the amount of "boring" cozy mysteries there are.


She somehow ended up on the page where she gets to select books and found that she had, in fact, at some point, marked them as things she loved, and very quickly fixed that.  


The reason I tell you this story, though, is that if I ever did wonder if I was adopted (which I never have, but still), I would know for certain today that I was not.


Mom: "I am just so SICK of all these stupid cozy mysteries with their bumbling men and their perfectly perfect women.  And how do they even make a living??!!  'Hi, my name is Joanna and I make pumpernickel cupcakes.'  Gah!!"


I laughed so hard...  Pumpernickel cupcakes?!?!  How gross hahahaha.


(Might not be funny to ANYONE else in the world, but I'm still laughing just writing it there haha.)

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Book 3) -  Charlie Holmberg

I shouldn't have read it (and I think I read it so quickly to get it over with).


It just... disappointed me... and I think more so than the other two.


I wanted to love this series, but it wasn't the fast-paced, magic-filled, steampunk that I expected it to be from it's book descriptions.  Instead it was a romance through-and-through, with the other stuff coming across as merely an after-thought.


Made even worse by the fact that she seems to think she is the only one that is allowed to break the rules (she seemed very shocked when she read in an article that a lady magician had been caught the year previous having an affair with her student) and is quick to judge - and even wound with hateful angry words - anyone... well, anyone outside of her and her teacher.


Her attitude - that of a fourteen year old, and not the twenty year old she's supposed to be - never changed, and at the happy ending of this book, I couldn't be happy for her.  When she was being injured or chased or threatened or whatever, I just couldn't be sad for her or worried for her.  I just didn't like her.  At all.  And found myself caring for the people around her... and even the bad guys, at least a little bit... but never her.

Reading progress update: I've read 23%.

The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Book 3) -  Charlie Holmberg

Yeah, I started it.  I must be a glutton for punishment.  The good parts didn't make the many bad parts disappear, but I guess I just keep hoping the series will get better, especially since there is also a fourth book.  


It's started out okay.  They are now clearly in a relationship, but they have to keep it secret from everyone, which is funny, actually, considering they've made no effort to keep their interest in each other (especially on her side) from anyone since the very beginning.


He helped her keep two lies, one at the end of each previous book, and now she's keeping a huge lie from him, so that makes me wonder how the relationship can continue if she has been keeping such a huge lie for around two years now.  She's 21 now, and still acts like a 14 year old - when will she finally grow up in attitude and mentality?  Seriously?


I still don't think of her as a hero.  I feel like she does everything out of ego and her "love" for this guy.


I want to scream, and yet I pick it up again and again (the same with the last two) hoping - just hoping - things will change for the better.


I truly am a glutton for punishment.


My favorite character?  The paper dog.  I read to see more of the paper dog.

Book three...

The Master Magician (The Paper Magician Book 3) -  Charlie Holmberg

Am I stupid for considering reading this after being so irritated by both book one and book two?


There are some good parts, I'll give you that, but they don't outweigh the bad parts.


I read the book description and it has me intrigued.  I had an idea that part of it would happen somewhere around the beginning of book two... and the other part was so freaking obvious that a blind man would have seen it coming from a couple of miles away...


but I want to see if it gets better because I was really looking forward to reading these and now I'm all irritated and I want book three to fix it all and make me happy that I read it...


but what if it doesn't?



Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

The Glass Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg

I made it to the end of this and am unsure how I feel about the whole thing.


It didn't end all easy with her being the hero, but she still managed to be the hero and do things and figure out things that long-time magicians were unable to do and figure out.  She's also still the stupid "little girl" that I disliked at the beginning of the first book, even though she was 19 then (and acted like a pre-teen) and 20 now.  


The ending was kinda super easy, though.  That's the worst part of the whole thing.  The defeats were still too easy and deaths happened because of her stupidity, and people's lives were put into jeopardy because of her stupidity, yet everyone is so happy she's alive and no one seems pissed that she caused these issues.




I have book three on my Kindle.  Part of me wants to read it after re-reading the book description - I want to see if it gets better, I want to see how she uses the information she now has, I want to see what messed up position her stupidity puts her into, I want to see if it's the way that I figured out it would be at the middle of this book - but the other part of me is just done with the longing for a guy who apparently longs for her back.  A guy who is 35 and a girl who just turned 20.  A guy who is her teacher and a girl who is his apprentice.  


I didn't go into this with knowledge that it was a romance - a dumb one, at that.  The genre says nothing about romance.  It's advertised as steampunk, which I absolutely adore, and is marked as "Teen & Young Adult > Historical Fiction" and "Teens > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban."  

Reading progress update: I've read 53%.

The Glass Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg

This book is irritating me.  The first book was more about her learning and the adventure she took to save her teacher's life, but now that she's decided she's in love with him (she just turned 20, he's 35 or so - and there's an unwritten rule about not getting involved with your apprentice, which she seems to not care about), it's mostly about her love for him, and her dreamily wondering if he loves her too, blah blah blah, and the whole thing with two different magicians who are bad guys after her seems like an afterthought.  And, once again, she is taking off on her own to confront these magicians, even though she is only an apprentice, and has been an apprentice for less than a year.  Bad guys that even experienced magicians have not been able to capture.


If this book ends all easy, I'm not even going to bother with number three.

RIP Anthony Bourdain

So, I'm sure by now everyone's heard.  After I found out, I posted a little something on Facebook about how much he meant to me, and how heartbroken the news has left me, but I felt like it needed more, especially seeing all the posts people are making about suicide and depression.


Here's my thoughts on suicide, depression, life, him, etc... for those interested.  I only shared it on here and Facebook because it's quite personal.  


Note: I was planning on stopping what I was reading now and going to re-read all of his stuff, but when I opened my favorite book by him, I just couldn't get past page one.

Source: http://beautiful-screamer.blogspot.com/2018/06/rip-anthony-bourdain.html

Why are some reviews so complicated?

Yesterday I sat at my laptop for over an hour trying to write a review for a book - Over. An. Hour - and the review still isn't written.


Here's the basic thing.  There are three books, two movies, and a fourth book is already up for pre-order, being released this time next year.


When I originally got the books (after book three came out), I knew nothing about the movies, and I've looked back at the descriptions on Amazon - the movies are not mentioned at all.


I didn't find out about the movies until I was working on my epic and thorough Disney movie marathon list that mother and I are slowly but surely getting through and, to be honest, I didn't even realize that they were connected to the books until the end of book two when I saw a mention to the movies that were based on the books.


Now... I really enjoyed book one, even if I thought it was silly that it's directed towards grades 4-6, but the main characters are in high school (it just seemed odd and unusual, but then that could be just me) and the ending seemed to be just a little too easy.  


I quickly jumped into book two, and was immediately disappointed by the fact that something EPIC happened BETWEEN books one and two.  WHY did we not get to watch the EPIC thing happen?  To make matters worse, this EPIC thing had only two pages directed to it at the front of the book, along with some mentions here and there in the story - enough to gain some information, but not enough to really get the whole and complete picture.  Also, things were very different from book one and book two, all because of the events that happened during the EPIC thing.


Book two, though, was good, except for all the questions I had that went unanswered, and the same complaints I had for book two.  (I had the same complaints about book three as well.)


When I sat down to write the review, I first tried to write it as a review of the first book... and that didn't work.  Then I decided to try writing it as the entire trilogy... but that didn't work either (mainly because I couldn't figure out how I wanted to set it all up, and that bothers me).  Then I went back to writing the review of just the first book.  Everything I wrote either didn't sound like me and the way I talk, or sounded too stuffy, and all I could think about was the "issue" between the two books.


Something made me go look at the info on the two movies on INDB, and there I realized that the first movie actually takes place BETWEEN book one and book two and IS the EPIC thing that I was complaining about, but there's nothing in the movie pages or in the book pages mentioning this.


The second movie is very strange, as it has a lot of the same characters from book three, but a completely different story, and seems to act like book three never even existed, especially since the two main characters of the second movie had a confrontation in book three, and both books act as if the other confrontation did not happen.


I am so confused.  This is so frustrating.  And writing this review is probably the most complicated one I've written yet.


My mother suggested that I watch the two movies, and then do one giant review about the three books and two movies, mentioning the issues that I have said here, and I think that's a good idea.


Has anyone else ever found a book to be so complicated to review?  Or run into issues such as this one?

Reading Progress: 30%

Salem's Vengeance - Aaron Galvin

Much better.  I needed something I could really get into after that whole anthology argh.  So far I'm really liking this book...

Reading Progress: 37%

Glass & Gardens: Solarpunk Summers - Silvia Stefani, Charlotte Brontë, Edward Leslie Edmonds, Jaymee Goh, Sam S. Kepfield, Sarena Ulibarri, Wendy Nikel, M Lopes da Silva, Julia K. Patt, Holly Schofield, Gregory Scheckler, DK Mok, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Shel Graves, Jerri Jerreat, Commando Jugendstil, Tales f

I warn you now - I have given parts of stories away below.  Not the whole point of the story - like I didn't tell who the murderer was or anything - but I've given away things that you'd have to read the story to find out.  Continue reading warned.


I can't tell you how frustrated I am with this anthology.  So frustrated, in fact, that had I not promised the publisher that I would post a review in a couple of days from now, I'd probably put it back "on my shelf" and not look at it again.


It does have some good stories in it so far.  I really like the fact that it's all "happy go lucky" instead of "all out war" like most dystopians are (and wish more authors would think that way) and that, for the most part, at least one of the characters learns something by the end of the story.


There have been a couple of stories that have made me Hulk Mad, though.  I'm not even exaggerating.


I'm all...



Like the one about a camping trip where I was so irritated - like, physically felt the irritation, the blood pressure go up, got crabby - because of the two male characters in the story, and I finished the story not out of enjoyment, but because I wanted to find out if the girl telling the story actually broke up with her boyfriend at the end.


And the one where this "relationship" (if you can call a one night stand that, a one night stand between two people from two different strongholds that are working together, where the one guy who's telling the story wants the other one to come with him and is convinced that the other one wants him to stay) comes out of nowhere almost at the end of the story, a "relationship" that honestly made no sense at all to me, and felt like it didn't belong at all.


Oh and the one where people now radiate the colors of their emotions and are judged by those colors like people now are judged by the way they look.


And the last one I just finished, where she mentions fleetingly that her mother knows she's bisexual and then it's never mentioned again, in any way, but the story goes on for way too long about the ex-boyfriend and the new guy her mother wants her to hook up with.  I get to the end of the story, thinking that her mother has maybe hooked her up with a woman instead, which would explain why it was mentioned, but no, she hasn't, and I can't figure out why it's mentioned at all because it really just makes no sense and is not the first time I've read a story where the author has thrown in some sort of "key word" (like trans or lesbian or whatever) and it's just came across as cheap, like the author is either doing it to not offend people or because they think that they can garner more readers that way.


And I'm only 37% in... *sigh*