May is Mental Health Awareness Month

I know it’s been a really long time since i wrote something for the blog, and to be completely honest it’s all Skam’s fault.  In case you don’t know what Skam is… well, it’s THE TV SHOW… i’ll be posting about it sometime soon… or at least i hope.

Anyway, this month is Mental Health Awareness Month.

As a person battling mental illness since i was 16 (though i’m pretty sure it started before, but i was diagnosed at 16) i believe it’s part of my ‘job’ to talk about this topic. Obviously relating this to books, since my blog is about books and literature, but not only that.

I was hoping you could give me your opinion on what would you want to read about relating to mental health, i have a lot to say about it, but i don’t wanna just throw all of that to you.

Obviously, this month i have a tbr just consisting of books that feature mentally ill characters, which i hope will make the cut and become reviews.  I’ll be posting the

I’ll be posting the tbr later in the week. I want to talk about mentally ill characters and their representation on books and tv shows. I’ll be giving some book recommendations and i may talk about books that didn’t work out for me. Maybe,  if you want me to also recommend some movies or just talk about own experiences, or if you want to share your on experience with mental illness… i’m open to all ideas right now.

I truly see this month as an opportunity to make a change in how people see and think about mental illness. I think it’s our job to make the difference, to speak up about the issue and not be afraid to say ‘yeah, i suffer from…’ (in my case depression and avoidant personality disorder).

So yes, i’m open to ideas and any recommendations really at the moment.

I hope we can make the best of this month.

‘Til next time!

firma

 

 

Some previous posts i made on the topic of mental illness:

Mental Illness & Literature.

#Life With A Mental Illness

Mental Illness & Literature.

Lately i’ve been trying to find the words to a lot of ideas i have. After a while, i ditched a few posts i was writing and i couldn’t find my way back to the blog. I guess, what i am trying to say is, sorry for being absent this much the last few months. The why is without a doubt related to the topic i want to talk about today.

Yesterday was my birthday World Bipolar Day and i thought it would be good to talk about this topic in general since mental illness and literature go far way back together.

It’s not a secret that many famous authors had a Bipolar Disorder, and many of them either tried to hurt themselves or succeeded in committing suicide.

Authors like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway are only a few of those who left their mark in literature’s history, authors whose books are still relevant and loved by many.

Personally, i haven’t read many books written by mentally ill authors, mostly because they have a huge impact on my life when i do. I’ll forever remember the time when i read J.D. Salinger, it was about 7 years ago and i was obsessed, but also, i felt more sick than usual while reading his works. For this to make any sense you need to know that i suffer from Depression and have an Avoidant Personality Disorder.

So, his works weren’t the best i could read at the moment i did read them and the fear of falling into a deeper state of depression stayed forever in my mind. Still, i will always love Holden Caufield and all the letters i wrote to him at the time are well preserved.  But we aren’t here to talk about me.

The thing is, these past few weeks i’ve been watching (obsessively so if i say it myself) a tv show where they touch the subject of mental illness. The show is mostly for teenagers (…) but is great. It teaches so much more than all the crap going on most shows these days.

The portrait of the mental illness in the show many be a bit off on timing because it is a show with short seasons, but it really shows not only the way a person suffers from a manic episode and then the fall to the depressive one but also the side of the people around the person in a very real way. (if you want to know the name of the show just tell me).

The thing was, it felt real, very real, because of many things. The fact that a person may not be as comfortable on sharing even with the people they care about that they have a mental illness, how people that don’t understand about it may  find it hard to be around mentally ill people even if they are their family, the lonely feelings of a suffering mind, and the truest fact of them all;  Love may help you get through difficult times, but it will not cure your mental illness.

This was the fact that got me the most. As a person suffering from a mental illness myself, as i said before, i have my share of feelings and emotions i went through while in my worst times. Obviously, each one of us is a world on our own, but many tend to feel the same or pretty close to each other in the kind of feelings and can relate to these stories, this is not a thing that happens. I’ve meet a lot of people with mental illnesses and many kinds of them, and never ever saw that falling in love suddenly saved someone from themselves.

And now to the very point i wanted to make. As you can see from my blog, i mostly read YA books, and this is just fine. You see, there a lots of topics to read about in YA literature as in any other genre. The thing is, for some reason, the tropes in YA literature blook-down down on the readers.

This happens with most tropes but the mental illness card or the illnesses at all in YA literature uses love as a magical weapon that can save you from everything. Ridiculous. There is a terrible amount of books I’ve read about mentally ill characters where the love interest somehow manages to get them to feel all better and then life is amazing again, like these characters weren’t ill at all, ever.

Are you seriously trying to sell me the idea that finding love can cure me of my depression? Well, i’ll be damn, i need to get me a boyfriend ASAP then.

No, really. For some reason, as the internet became a place where people look for validation from others and for them to be the most special person ever, mental illness becomes a way for them to stand out(and i do realise this may sound ironic, because i just said that i’m mentally ill myself and i could be looking for the same validation, but i don’t) and so the YA literature gives them, even more ideas and reasons for them to pretend to be ill.

Obviously, there are mentally ill people, young people and older ones and they are all valid and real, but also there are some people looking to sound ‘cool’.

Well, mental illness is not a ‘cool’ thing to have and that is exactly why i think the way YA literature uses many times the topic in a very loosely way and that feels just wrong.

Sure, mental illness is a topic that needs to be talked about, it’s important because many may not even know they should get themselves some medical help and such and these books create awareness on the topic. But they need to take themselves seriously enough and be more real with the people so they don’t create false expectations on the readers, especially on those who suffer from these illnesses.

Well, i wish i could go on and on on the topic right now but i have some other stuff to work on right now.

I hope this didn’t feel disrespectful or anything like that, obviously this was written only because i felt the need to bring this issue to my blog somehow. I’ll be writing more on the topic as the Mental Health Month Awareness get closer.

Have a good day!

firma

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik | Review

Things I Should Have Known Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

Genre: YA
Pages: 320
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.

Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.  

My opinion on the book:

*First of all, i received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion*

When Chloe’s big sister Ivy, an autistic young woman starts to ask about love interests Chloe realises her sister is feeling lonely and she decides to find Ivy a boyfriend.

The story was very different than what i expected, in a good way. Truly it talks a lot about how society sees people with autism, about the families and the autistic persons themselves.

Also, luckily enough the book wasn’t all about the main character love life, but about her sister.

I enjoyed learning about autism and appreciated the fact that it was written by someone who knows about the topic from her own life (one of the author’s sons is autistic).

The story doesn’t have many twists or surprises though it had one i wasn’t expecting at all. At moments it was really fun but it also knew when to take the story more seriously.

I didn’t like the main character much. I think her journey could have been more explicit that it was, but she did change the way she saw the world. I liked many of the other characters, though.

One of the main problems i had with the book was that the main character was so perfect at first, she had everything, she was smart and pretty and everyone liked her in school, she also was dating the hottest guy in school. It felt a little too much.

There’s romance for both the sisters in the book. I wasn’t really expecting any of it to be honest. I think the romance for Chloe was rushed and unnecessary. Why can’t people just be friends?

Anyway, i enjoyed the way the book was written. It was a ‘friendly written’ book. It never felt like the author was looking down on you but saw you eye to eye.

It was a fun reading, i read it pretty fast and i found it to be easy and sweet.

I would recommend it to people looking to read about young autistic people more than people looking for a romance, though.

The book will be released March 28th, i hope you give it a chance!

Happy reading,

firma

 

T5W: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

As always, topics for these entries are taken from the Top 5 Wednesday group on Goodreads. The group was created  Lainey. Now the group is under Samantha’s moderation, you can find her here.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)1.) Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This one is a must. Obviously, since i grew up with this series, it’s very close to my heart and it means the world to me, so it’s not a surprise this one is one of my favorites, right? Harry Potter has been there for me in my best and worst moments and because of that, and obviously because it’s an amazing story it owns my heart forever and always.

 

Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1) 2.) The Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green

I feel like not enough people talk about this trilogy, and it is such an amazing story, i truly don’t know why people aren’t talking about it.

I started reading it about three years ago and i fell in love with it almost immediately. Seriously, these books have such a fantastic story and a very jaw dropping ending. I adore it with all my heart.

 

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2) 3.) The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

Little warning; huge Rick Riordan’s fan here.

Seriously, i love all the books he publishes. The Heroes of Olympus is though my favorite series, ot that i don’t love all the others. But the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus characters and story are my life.

Son of Neptune (2nd book in the HoO series is my favorite book of them all).

Ready Player One 4.) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Oh my god. When i first read this book i became completely obsessed. This is such an amazing book, i love it. Like, i think everyone should give this book at least a chance.

 

 

 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) 5.) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The newest addition to my science fiction/fantasy favorites. I haven’t finished the series yet, but i totally love it already.  Sure, i’ve been avoiding the fact that i haven’t read the last book in the series yet, but i’m pretty sure it’s because i don’t want it to end or disappoint me.

 

 

Well, those are my favorite science fiction/fantasy, what are yours?

firma

Most Anticipated Books| March 2017

Another month, new releases! God i love finding new books to read! Though my tbr is about to explode and i wonder if i can get through with it… New Books is always a reason to be happy! Let me share withyou some of the new releases  i found most interesting on the month of March.

The Pants Project  The Pants Project by Cat Clarke

Genre: Middle Grade, GLBT, Contemporary

Release Date: Match 7th,2017

Synopsis: “My name is Liv (Not Olivia)… I’m not technically a girl.

I’m Transgender. Which is a bit like being a transformer. Only not quite as cool as cool because I probably won’t get to save the world one day.”

A Transformer is a robot in disguise. Liv is a boy in disguise. It’s that simple. Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school’s terrible dress code, he can’t even wear pants. Only skirts.

Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Live to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn’t just a mission to change the policy- it’s a mission to change his life. And that’s a pretty big deal.:

You're Welcome, Universe You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

Genre:  Contemporary, Disability

Release Date: Match 7th,2017

Synopsis: When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah's Scribbles, #2) Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

Genre:  Contemporary, Comic

Release Date: Match 7th,2017

Synopsis: Swimsuit season is coming up! Better get beach-body ready! Work on those abs! Lift those butts! 

…Um, or how about never mind to all that and just be a lump. Big Mushy Happy Lump! 

Sarah Andersen’s hugely popular, world-famous Sarah’s Scribbles comics are for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair, who are always down for all-night reading-in-bed parties and extremely exclusive after-hour one-person music festivals. 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Genre:  Contemporary, GLBT

Release Date: Match 7th,2017

Synopsis: Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

*I’ve been reading some negative reviews on this book, and i’m not sure how to feel about it, this is the author of Aristotle & Dante discover the secrets of the universe which was a favorite reading… anyway, i’ll be giving this a chance because i got an e-arc from netgalley.

A Psalm for Lost Girls A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

Genre:  Contemporary, Mystery

Release Date: Match 14th,2017

Synopsis: Tess da Costa is a saint — a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. Tess’s mother is ecstatic over the fervor, while her sister Callie, the one who knew Tess best, is disgusted – overcome with the feeling that her sister is being stolen from her all over again.

The fervor for Tess’s sainthood only grows when Ana Langone, a local girl who’s been missing for six months, is found alive at the foot of one of Tess’s shrines. It’s the final straw for Callie.

With the help of Tess’s secret boyfriend Danny, Callie’s determined to prove that Tess was something far more important than a saint; she was her sister, her best friend and a girl in love with a boy. But Callie’s investigation uncovers much more than she bargained for: a hidden diary, old family secrets, and even the disturbing truth behind Ana’s kidnapping.

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1) Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: Match 28th,2017

Synopsis: Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

I hope you find some interesting new readings! I sure did!

Happy reading month!

firma

February Wrap Up

I cannot believe another month is gone already, and with it almost all the promises for cold days (*suffers in silence*).

I have to admit i’m a little disappointed this on myself, my book buying ban is over, yet i haven’t bought a book since. I need inspiration, which books should i buy next?

Any recommendations are happily welcome.

So this month i read 4 books and a lot of fanfiction. Like, seriously i read so many fanfics i cannot believe it myself.

Anyway, i enjoy everything i read pretty much. So now let me share with you the books i read on February.

We Are the Ants We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson [5♥]

OMG, i don’t really have words to describe the way i feel about the book right now.

The story is about Henry, a teenager that has been abducted by aliens since he was 13 and now they gave him an ultimatum, life on earth will be destroyed, but he has the power to decide if it’s worth to be saved.

An absolute amazing plot, with a lot of lovable character and a relatable narrator in many ways. This book will be for sure one of my favorite readings of the year. I wrote full review for this book, you can find it here.

Things I Should Have Known Things I Should Have Known by Clare LaZebnik [3.25♥]

I’m still not a 100% sure on how to feel about this book.

The story is about a girl that tries to get her autistic sister a boyfriend so she wouldn’t feel so alone.

Though i enjoyed it some, i’m not sure how much i liked it… i mean it was an easy read and easy going but, i had so many questions about it.

I wrote a review for this book, and i wanted to post it, but i’m still changing and trying to make an opinion on the book, so it is still sitting in my notebook. Maybe i’ll be posting it next week and you can decide for yourself.

The book will be released at the end of the month, i got the arc from netgalley.

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1) Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy [3.5♥]

This book is about a self-proclaimed fat girl and how the body where she always felt home in, suddenly isn’t as comfortable as it used to be and the lengths she’ll go to feel okay with herself again.

So, i’m not sure how to feel about this book. I have a lot of feelings about the story and the characters and not all of them are good. I mean… it had its sweet moments, but i don’t know, i’m not sure i would recommend it to people.

We Are Okay We Are Okay by Nina LaCour [4.25♥]

This book made me so emotional. I just can’t, okay. I adored the main character, Marin, so freaking much. The story was nothing as i expected and that made it so much better.  I loved and enjoyed every moment i spent reading this. I hope to read more by the author pretty soon because her writing was beautiful.

I recently posted my review for the book, you can find it here.

 

Well, that was pretty much what i read this February, if you wanna know the names of the fanfictions i read, just let me know.

have a great month!

Clemence.

 

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

We Are OkayWe Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Genre: YA, GLBT.
Pages: 240
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4.25 stars

Synopsis: You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

My opinion on the book:

I jumped into the book without knowing anything about it or the writer, i just wanted to immerse myself as much as possible in the book without a previous idea of what could it be about.

It was a great idea. I stumbled upon a very interesting story with lovable character and amazing writing.

The book is a bitter-sweet tale about how life changes not only because of stuff we are expecting to happen (like leaving for college) but also because life is so much bigger than what we think and see of it.

I adored the story. The main character, Marin, was an incredibly sweet character and narrator. I could feel the pain she was feeling through her words. I think the author made a great job creating the voice of the narrator.

There aren’t many characters in the book, and not all of them are fully developed (obviously), but the most important one are three-dimensional and come to life in the best way possible.

I enjoyed a lot the writing style of the author. It was soft and poetic and it suited the narrator very much. This was the first book i read by Nina LaCour, but i believe i’ll be reading more of her books because it was absolutely fantastic (so if you have one that you think i should start with, please tell me).

The book made me really melancholic and i went through a lot of emotions while reading it, i laughed and cried, smiled and felt really sad.

It was an extremely enjoyable reading and the emotions it made me feel were very real.

I would like to recommend this book to pretty much everyone, especially to those looking for a heart-warming, bitter-sweet story about friendship, loss, love & family.