Waiting on Wednesday: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty LoganPublisher: Crown Publishing

Author: Kirsty Logan

Release date: May 19, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A lyrical and moving debut in the tradition of Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood, introducing an original and commanding new voice in fiction.

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

Why I’m excited: I know Kirsty, but that’s not why I’m excited. “Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales” – you guys know how much I love Scotland. A circus. A name like Callanish. Loneliness, isolation, joy, and hope. I can’t even tell you how much I want to read this one. It sounds really wonderful, and I am definitely looking forward to reading The Gracekeepers. Plus, look at that beautiful cover. Can I just have it now, please and thank you?

Seize the Tuesday – American Beauty / American Psycho

Seize the Tuesday is a book blogger meme created by Adi Alsaid and the Let’s Get Lost Buddies Street Team, to share stories about how we’ve seized the Tuesday, with a special focus on the particular book we’re reading. We’ll share our posts online with the hashtag: #LetsAllGetLost. The idea is to share little ways in which you may have embraced Bree’s motto of seizing the Tuesday. To relate it to books, you can talk about what book you’re reading, and how you stole some moments from the day to enjoy reading. It doesn’t have to be about reading, but we all know that a well-read day is a day seized. The idea is not just to help spread the word on LGL, but also to remind people to live fully, even/especially if that means spending a part of your day reading.

Seize the Tuesday - Let's Get Lost

Yesterday was all about new music. Yesterday, one of my favorite bands for more than ten years, Fall Out Boy, released a new album titled “American Beauty / American Psycho”. So obviously, I bought it. I listened to it on the way to dinner last night, on the way home, and several times from beginning to end once I got home. It’s such a great album. This is a really, really short post. I just wanted to tell you guys to check it out, and that there is really nothing better than sitting in your room and listening to a new album. Okay, FINALLY buying a book you’ve been looking forward to for several months is even better, but new music is a close second. Losing yourself in music is a beautiful way to spend an evening. Try it.

Favorite tracks from the album from my first few listens:

Tuesday seized jammed

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie – Ten reasons to read comics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a freebie, so I decided to do a post on ten of the comics you should try if you’re thinking about starting comics.

Top Ten Tuesday

1. Pretty pictures – alright, that’s a HUGE oversimplification, but comics are beautifully illustrated by people like Fiona Staples (Saga), Jock (Judge Dredd, Green Arrow: Year One, and most recently Wytches), Jaime McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine), Dave McKean (Arkham Asylum), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), and SO MANY MORE.

2. Creative stories – whether you’re a fan of superheroes, horror, anthropomorphic animals, zombies, or blasphemous preachers, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find a story to love.

3. Comics teach you that you can be a superhero too, like Batman – that is if you happen to be a billionaire with access to grade-a technology and a kick ass butler

4. Free Comic Book Day – Once a year you can go to your local comic book shop and get FREE comics. I’ll say that again: FREEEEE comics.

5. Wednesdays are no longer just the middle of the week – New comics come out every Wednesday. I never make it out to my comic shop on Wednesday, but I love perusing ComicList to see what new comics will be in my pull.

6. The Walking Dead – For me, this is a big reason. I started reading TWD comics in June, powered through all of the (then) 21 volumes of issues and added them to my pull list. I’ve now read all of the issues and am completely caught up on the TV show, which I didn’t start watching until after I’d read all of the comics that were out at the time. The best part about this is that the show and comics are so different – character arcs, plot lines, deaths, and the characters themselves are not always the same, so it’s like you get two completely different and unique stories! It’s awesome. It is sometimes difficult to match up the characters in the comics or show at first, but then you just become obsessed. A comic I’d recommend to those who aren’t sure if they want to try comics. Do you. You really do.

7. The book is always better than the movie – ‘Nuff said.

8. You’ll know what you’re talking about – When the next superhero movie comes out, you’ll be able to talk about the characters backstories like you’re old friends. You’ll know who the new character is in the Marvel post-credit scenes, so you won’t have to pretend you know who it is when everyone freaks out. Knowledge is power, you guys. 🙂

9. Improve your imagination – Although comics have the settings and characters drawn out for you, the minimal dialogue and little-to-no wordy descriptions, leave a lot of the world-building and character development to your imagination. You have to read between the lines (or, in this case, panels), which is a lot of fun.

10. It’s even more reading – if you like to read, comics are beautifully illustrated stories. They are books, whether you think so are not. The only difference is they are usually only 24 pages long. Unless, of course, you buy a trade paperback.

Have I convinced you? Do you agree with my reasons? What did you use the Top Ten Tuesday Freebie for? Link me up!

I Mustache You Some Questions…

You guys may or may not know that I have an obsession of sorts for things with mustaches on them. I have (and have made) several pillows with mustaches on them, have socks with them, made a blanket that has mustaches on the fabric, have two notebooks I use for my blog with mustaches, and on and on. So when Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie and Alex @ Alex in Bookland tagged me to do the I Mustache You Some Questions tag, it was a no-brainer. Here we go.

I Mustache You Some Questions

Four names people call me other than my real name:

  1. Stef
  2. Sloma
  3. Tef (by my brother)
  4. Nicknames from my parents, but you don’t need those. Lol.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Public Affairs worker for the Department of Transportation
  2. Intern (I’ve interned at five or six different publishers)
  3. Circulation Clerk & YA Librarian (current job)
  4. Babysitter (been babysitting on and off since I was 12)

Four movies I would/have watched more than once:

  1. Mean Girls. You can’t sit with us.
  2. Donnie Darko
  3. Sweet Home Alabama
  4. Clueless

Four books I’d recommend:

SO HARD

  1. The Humans by Matt Haig
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  3. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  4. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

Four places I have lived:

  1. Adelanto, CA
  2. Brandon, MS
  3. Columbus, MS
  4. Stirling, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, Scotland

Four places I have been:

  1. NYC
  2. London, England
  3. Verona, Italy
  4. Alicante, Spain

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. Scotland
  2. Scotland
  3. Okay…Chicago
  4. Somewhere I’ve never been

Four things I don’t eat:

  1. Burgers (haven’t eaten ground beef in about eight years. For no other reason than it’s nasty)
  2. Oranges (acid reflux) / bananas (nasty texture)
  3. Cucumbers (had a bad experience once and now I don’t eat them. I know it’s silly, but whatever)
  4. Coconut (gross)

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Pizza
  2. Chicken (so many different ways)
  3. Mangoes
  4. Pretzels

Four TV shows that I watch:

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. Doctor Who
  3. The Big Bang Theory
  4. Community

Four things I am looking forward to this year (2015):

  1. Traveling (somewhere, anywhere)
  2. ALL THE BOOKS
  3. Concerts (I’ve got tickets to one so far, but there are several I want to go to)
  4. Growing my blog even more. 🙂

Four things I’m always saying:

  1. Seriously?
  2. I’m going to make coffee.
  3. I’ll be reading if you need me.
  4. I just finished that book!

Four People I Tag:

  1. Annette @ Booknerderie
  2. Amy @ Read What I Like
  3. Jackie @ She Reads a Lot
  4. Molly @ Woven Magic

Comic Book Review: Memetic #1-3

I don’t post a lot of comic reviews on my blog, which is something I want to do more of in 2015. So why not start with a recent favorite? Memetic was a limited run series of three issues from BOOM! Studios.

Memetic #1-3    WRITER: James Tynion IV / ARTIST: Eryk Donovan
COLORIST: Adam Guzowski / LETTERER: Steve Wands

When your comic book shop tells you they think you’d like a new comic about a killer meme and asks if you want them to order you a copy, you say yes. I mean, a killer meme?! Of course you say yes. Then, when you’ve read all three of them, you wish there were more and can’t believe it’s over.

What am I talking about? Memetic, of course! A three-part mini-series from James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan, Memetic was scary, you guys. It felt too real, as if it could happen any day now. To sum up without spoiling it (you should really just read them; it’s only three issues!): one day in the near future, a meme spreads on the internet. Seemingly harmless and strangely adorable, the meme is that of a sloth giving the viewer a thumbs up. Nothing that special, right? Somehow the image makes the viewer feel ridiculously happy, making people around the world want to share it with everyone they love. On and on it goes until almost everyone with access to the internet has seen it. But then people start dying. Can they find the source and get him/her to flip the image and save humanity? Or will we die out because of our obsession with social media?

Memetic was so good. It was a little confusing at times, with a little too much happening at once, but I was expecting that as they had to shove an entire story into three short issues. Though it was a lot all at once, this didn’t annoy me. I wanted more! The issues were intense, thrilling, terrifying. It felt like a logical story coming from our current society; it never felt preachy or like Tynion was shoving his message down our throats. Obviously it felt a bit like a cautionary tale against what could happen when you become addicted to the internet.

The artwork was really great. Not over the top but sensationalized enough in all the right places. It’s simple in the beginning, to bring out the story and let it say what it needs to, but later, when things get crazy, it comes out in full force to scare the crap out of you. Eryk Donovan’s art is creepy but feels realistic. Adam Guzowski coloring brings it to life.

Overall, Memetic was an unnerving, modern-day cautionary tale. It probably wasn’t healthy how into it I was. But comics aren’t going to kill me, right? RIGHT? …Totally worth checking out this (way too short) run from BOOM! Studios.

I’m also posting this review on WatchPlayRead. Check out my contributor page on WPR if you are interested in seeing more of my comics reviews. I usually post two a week, so there’s a bunch over there!

Book Review: Girl Online by Zoe Sugg aka Zoella

Girl OnlineAuthor:  Zoe Sugg aka Zoella

Genre: Young adult, contemporary

Publisher: Atria / Keywords Press

Publication Date: November 25, 2014

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Penny is a blogger, writing online anonymously as GirlOnline. She blogs about her friends, drama, boys, her family, and her horrible anxiety. After a horribly embarrassing fall, her family is lucky enough to go to New York for the holidays, where she meets Noah, who has some secrets of his own.

Alright, so everyone is kind of freaking out because Girl Online MIGHT have been ghostwritten. I honestly don’t really care either way, but I’m going to mention it here for a sec. First, who reads a book written by a celebrity who has little to no writing experience and expects it to be AMAZING? Hopefully, no one. Second, do you guys know how many books by celebrities are at least partly ghostwritten? A lot of them are. So, basically, calm your tits are read the book if it sounds like something you’d like and don’t if it doesn’t. Geez.

As for the book, it’s probably what you’d expect from the synopsis. It’s fluffy and cheesy and predictable. It’s full of clichés in characters and plot. The events in the story are somewhat implausible and unlikely.

BUT it is actually pretty enjoyable. The story, while predictable and unlikely, is adorable and fun to read. Penny is a klutz, clumsy to the extreme, awkward, and a little weird. When she meets Noah (cliché gorgeous love interest), she is able to accept herself and begin to overcome her anxiety. There’s a fight with her best friend and a horrible bully/girl best friend. It has everything you want in a fluffy contemporary, and I don’t know about you, but I like that sometimes. Fair warning though: the “twist” was so predictable as to make it a little annoying.

Now for the deep part to the book: the anxiety and panic attacks. Zoe actually suffers from anxiety, so the parts of the book in which Penny is dealing with it or having a panic attack felt real. I, too, have anxiety – not quite to the level of Zoe or Penny but I have panic attacks as well – and I could relate to this pretty well. The way the panic attacks are described was just right, just how a panic attack feels. So even if a ghost writer wrote this, you can tell Zoe had a say. You can tell that she described it.

The bottom line: Okay, I did not go into Girl Online expecting to like it as much as I did. I thought it might be poorly written or cheesy, but I thought the synopsis sounded interesting. I’m glad I checked it out. I enjoyed it. It is definitely predictable and clichéd in parts, which was annoying [but you should keep in mind it was written for teens and young girls], but it was cute and fun and dealt with things like anxiety, family issues, cyber bullying, homosexuality, all things teens need books to be about.

Rating: 6.5 – between Good, but not great and Pretty good

Joint Review of Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never When I first saw Never Never on Goodreads with its short, simple, intriguing, and confusing synopsis, I marked as to-read immediately. When I saw Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek and Brandie at Brandie is a Book Junkie were talking excitedly about it on Twitter, I jumped in their conversations and they invited me to live tweet it with them. Of course, I decided to join in, and I really enjoyed talking to them about it. We were so excited, we decided to do a joint review, and so, without further ado, here’s our review!

[Rachel is R, Brandie is B, and I (Stefani) am S – should be obvious, but better to point it out just in case]

The Beginning:

R: The first thing I need to talk about is the start of the book – because I knew it was Colleen Hoover, I stuck with it knowing/expecting it to get good, but I struggled with grasping the first couple of chapters because you’re just thrown in the deep end and it’s all a little muddled (which is probably how the characters feel!), but after a while I settled into it and really started enjoying the story.

B: I agree that you’re thrown in immediately, but that suspense of not knowing what the hell is going on is what hooked me. It forced me to keep reading, trying to figure it out. I loved that!

S: For me, the beginning was really awkward and strange. It took a few chapters to find its rhythm, but once it did, I was HOOKED.

The Genre:

R: I haven’t read anything by Fisher yet (but after this I plan to), and I’m loving the fact that CoHo is trying out this new genre – the mystery and suspense elements were evident, and for a 140 page book I thought that was pretty impressive! That ending – Gah!

B: Fisher is known to be kinda dark with her stories. The Opportunist series is one of my favorites – I highly recommend you start with those! That’s why I was nervous about them teaming up. CoHo books usually have happier endings and I wasn’t sure how that would work with Fisher’s style. And now with that wicked cliffy – we won’t know for a while! Lol.

S: I haven’t read anything by either of these authors so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know a lot of people (like Rachel) LOVE CoHo, so I was hoping I’d like it. I love mystery and suspense, so that was one of my favorite parts of Never Never.

The Swoons:

R: I’m totally loving, Silas? Please tell me it isn’t just me? I love delving into the story to find out more about what these two characters once meant to each other, and what they might mean to each other again one day. I don’t know how much I like the sound of past, Silas, based on what we learn about him, but I can’t wait to read more about these two.

B: Oh, I totally agree about Silas. I liked him immediately. It doesn’t sound like he was likable before whatever this is happened to him.

S: I don’t think I like the sound of either of them before whatever happened, but I definitely like Silas now. I like what Rachel said about delving into the story to see what they meant to each other and might mean to each other again.

The Story:

R: One word. WUT?! I’ve no idea what’s going on and I’ve no idea where it could possibly be going. I read this book pretty quickly but from around 90% I was speed reading like a demon hoping something​ would be resolved in this instalment. Alas, Hoover and Fisher like to torture their victims, ahem, I mean readers.

B: I love all of the little clues playing out and the discoveries along the way. This is the best kind of suspense! The fact that I’m totally clueless makes my reading experience even better. I’m not one who enjoys figuring out the conclusion before they tell you – that ruins a book for me. This was so well written, even for such a short amount of pages. It packed a serious punch!!

S: WHAT IS HAPPENING? – This is pretty much what I said at least ten times while reading. And I loved that. I loved not knowing what the hell was going on or what is going to happen. I hate when a book is predictable (but I am usually able to figure out what’s happening), so having absolutely no idea what’s going on is so fun! And HOLY CRAP, that ending. Wuuut?

The Cover:Never Never part 2

R:love the cover for this book, and really want to own it in hardcopy! The cover for book 2 was released this week. And there’s only one hand on the cover. Guys! Why is there only one hand on the cover?!

B: LOL, right!?! Even Fisher made that comment on one of her social media posts – something about the fact there’s only one hand… ha ha. Killing me!!

S: I hadn’t seen the cover until just now and NOOO. WHY IS THERE ONLY ONE HAND? Oh man.

R: I enlarged and examined it up close (because I’m weird like that) and I can’t tell which hand is male and which is female to try and figure out who is missing off the cover. CoHo and Fisher just loooove messing with me.

The Series:

R: I’m obviously going to be buying the eBook instalments of this series, but then I’m imagining the final story may be released as a hardcopy bind-up? In that case, I will want to own it as a full novel, but I do feel a little cynical and wonder how much of this is a fabulous marketing ploy… Hmmm…

B: Colleen commented on someone’s Facebook post about how many books there is going to be. She said it had something to do with her publishing contract only allowing so many pages per book. And this story was going over that number, so they made the decision to break it up. They aren’t sure if it’s going to be 2 books or 3, yet. All I know is that doesn’t matter to me. If it’s CoHo, I’m going to read it!! And definitely buy it in paperback, however it’s printed.

Normally I get really annoyed with cliffhangers and marketing ploys to have multiple books in a series. But reading Colleen’s reasons about it showed me it’s not a ploy and she’s not trying to make people upset. It’s just how it worked out and she still hopes people give it a chance.

I loved it so hard. Can’t wait for Part Two in May!

R: That makes sense. Who knew publishers put so many restrictions on their authors? I’m imagining the publisher will see how amazingly successful this is and then kick themselves and release it. At least, I hope that’s what happens. How do we start a petition??? 😀

S: I don’t even care if there’s going to be like seven of these. I want them all, and I want them right now. That ending was one of the biggest cliffhangers I’ve read recently, and I just couldn’t believe it was over. It might be a marketing ploy, but either way: Hurry up, May!!

Predictions and Theories:

R: This should be fun. OK, CoHo has never let me down (sorry Fisher – I don’t know you well enough yet!), but I’m worried that the build-up and suspense is SO great, that the ending of the story could be a bust. What if it takes a weird turn, or makes no sense?! I’m holding on to my faith that this will be amazing, but the seed of doubt is there. So, at first I thought they were maybe dead and were ghosts, but there was too much human interaction going on for that to be true. Then I thought it was maybe a dream… I’m still not sold on that one. But that leaves utter confusion, because unless there is a paranormal element of some description, I really don’t know what’s going on. My prediction is as follows – their families conducted some sort of experiment on them, like in Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to make them forget about what happened in the past between the two families, and to make them forget about each other, but their love was so strong, that it left lingering memories that’s resulting in them beginning to piece it together… Hence, Never, Never – as in never forget…​

B: I try not to predict or think about a book too hard. Because if I DO figure out what’s happening before the big reveal in the book, I feel like I cheated myself. That being said, I did think about the ghost thing, but like you, quickly dismissed it because of all the interactions with other people. I’ve also considered it to be a dream. But that was where I stopped dwelling on what it could be and just focused on enjoying reading it. If I get too caught up in my head, it just ruins the reading experience for me. I prefer to be blissfully ignorant! LOL.

As for the ending, I have total and complete faith in Colleen Hoover. Whatever happens and however they decide to end it, I am 99.9% sure I’m going to be okay with it. She hasn’t disappointed me yet!

S: Like Brandie, I try not to predict too much. I usually end up doing this anyway, and when I figure it out, I get annoyed at myself and the book. Lol. SO, with that in mind, I didn’t really think about Never Never too hard. I tried, in the beginning, to figure out what the heck was happening, but then just let all of that go and fell headfirst into the story and let it pull me along with it. As I’ve never read either of these authors, I don’t have faith that it’ll all work out in the end or will be explained, but, somehow, I’m totally okay with that. I just want to see what happens!

Never Never: Part Two comes out in May, and we plan on doing another joint review then! Make sure you go follow Confessions of a Book Geek and Brandie is a Book Junkie because they’re both bookishly awesome. 🙂

Book Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare was my second read of Bout of Books 12, and I quite enjoyed it.

The Iron TrialAuthor:  Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Genre: Middle grade/young adult, fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Publication Date: September 9, 2014

299 pages, hardcover

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

Call’s father has always told him to stay away from magic, that magic is what killed his mother, and so unlike the other kids at the Iron Trial, he wants to fail. Unfortunately, one of the teachers at the Magisterium, Master Rufus, sees something in him, and suddenly Callum Hunt is somewhere he’s been warned will kill him.

If you want to see how I would describe The Iron Trial in pictures, check out my challenge post from Bout of Books.

I think my favorite part of this book was Call. He’s not your average protagonist. He’s kind of a jerk (seems like I like jerk main characters. Remember my review of Firecracker?). He’s abrasive, insubordinate, says the wrong things, and pushes people away when they try to befriend him. It takes a little while to understand him and why he does this, but once you do, you can’t help but care for him.

A lot of people have compared (or criticized) this book to Harry Potter – there’s a young boy who goes to magic school, befriends another boy and girl, and has to fight an evil wizard. Okay, yes, those are indeed very similar to HP, BUT The Iron Trial is also unique. The magic is probably the main way it’s different – mages use the elements to create and change and destroy. The focus is on nature and the elements, which is really cool. There are creatures called elementals who’ve been consumed by their element, and chaos-ridden animals and people who have a piece of the void inside them. I’m not going into the whole Clare debate blah blah blah. I liked the magic, characters, and ideas, and that’s what matters.

I felt that Call’s friends – Tamara and Aaron – as well as the other characters were well-developed and full. On the other hand, I think there were a few too many minor characters and I would constantly be confused which character was doing what.

One last thing: No one, and I mean NO ONE, will see that twist coming at the end. It was wholly unexpected, a crazy twist that was both awesome and strange. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.

The bottom line: The Iron Trial is a fun, unique take on magic school and child wizards. I had a few issues (too many minor characters; middle that was a little drawn out), but I enjoyed it overall. I loved the main character and the world that Holly Black and Cassandra Clare have created.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Have you read The Iron Trial? What did you think?

Thoughtful Third Thursday – January 2015

The lovely Selah at A Bibliophile’s Style co-hosts Thoughtful Third Thursday (T3)  each month.

You can either pick your current read or use the theme they’ve set out. This month’s theme was:

Favorite Literary Man

This was hard for many reasons. I have a lot of book boyfriends. I also am not really interested in fashion, and I don’t really have a lot of clothes that could fit with any of those book boyfriends. In fact, one of the articles of clothing I’m wearing below doesn’t even belong to me (I’m not really a glittery sort of person when it comes to clothes). However, because I had that article of clothing, I decided to go with Jay Gatsby. I’ve always liked him. He’s interesting and crazy and (okay, fine) he could spoil me.

Robert Redford - Jay Gatsby

Here’s the quote I chose to go along with Gatsby and my outfit:

“It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Thoughtful Third Thursday - Jay Gatsby    Snapchat--8800150013042344603

I chose khakis, a bright blue shirt, and a glittery cardigan, and I paired it with these earrings my mom made me and some boots. Not super Gatsby-esque, but I thought the earrings worked and the glitter. Also, excuse the somewhat silly face. I don’t know how to be serious. Sorry it took all day, Selah!

Who’s your favorite literary man?

Please don’t tell me to calm down. Or, the problem with being intense

I’m a passionate person. In case you weren’t aware, the definition of passionate is:

– having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid
OR
– expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling
OR
– intense or vehement, as emotions or feelings

In other words, being a passionate person means that you pretty much talk intensely and excitedly all the time about the things that you love. I can’t help it. It’s part of who I am. I know that sometimes my excitement and intensity can scare some people. Or annoy them. Or even make them uncomfortable. But I don’t do this on purpose. I don’t do it to get on anyone’s nerves or to annoy you. It’s just that when I love something or when I think something is interesting, I have to tell people about it. It feels like something is bubbling up inside of me and I have to let it out or I’ll implode. I have to tell people about these things so that they can love them too.

It feels a little like this

Excited gif 1

With some of this

Excited gif 2

And a lot of this

Excited gif 3

And if I don’t let it out, this will happen

Excited gif 4

If you knew me, you’d probably know that. That I don’t get intense to get on your nerves. You’d know I’m passionate (hello, I have a blog dedicated to one of those passions) and you’d know I love things intensely. I don’t do anything half-assed. That’s me. Just be glad I don’t actually act like those GIFs.

Amy Poehler says something in her book Yes Please that she is able to stomach people who can’t stomach her (I’m paraphrasing. Problems with listening to audiobooks). This is true for me too. I put on my confident face and just do me all day long. But sometimes that doesn’t work. This is usually the case when people tell me to calm down. If I get too excited but you don’t want to listen to it, please don’t tell me to calm down. Telling me to calm down is one of the biggest insults, in my opinion. It’s like you telling me you don’t care or that I’m annoying you or that it’s okay when you talk about the things you love because you don’t get as into it as me, but it’s not okay when I talk about it because I get too excited. It feels like you’re telling me to shut up and that’s not fair. I don’t know if this makes sense but I hate it. I always have.

This probably stems from the fact that I’ve been told to calm down or shut up or tamp down my excitement my entire life. Not necessarily by my family or my closest friends because they sort of understand. But by strangers, acquaintances, people who think they know me, or, yes, even by my family or friends. It’s probably because I’ve never met a lot of people who share the same passion as I do, which sucks. I think everyone should have at least one person who understands them and their passions. They don’t necessarily have to love or enjoy the same things, but finding someone who shares your level of passion for things and for life.

And that’s why I love this blog. I don’t have just one person but many. Many who share my passion for books. For authors. For characters. For words. And I sincerely hope that none of you will ever be told to calm down or to turn down your excitement. I hope you can share your passion for whatever it is you love and not be judged for it. Because no one should ever be told to not let that passion shine. Just know that you will never be told to calm down here.

Love you all.

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Sorry for the little rant, but I’ve been told to calm down by a few people recently and (I never say this out loud) it hurt my feelings. I was hoping some of you would understand.