{ “Dancing in a Parking Lot” }

Poetry, parking lot dancing, and pretty words.

 

That tortured soul, that rebel without a cause–he was a recipe for cliches and disaster that my nineteen year old self was too naive to see coming together.

We danced in big, empty parking lots to my favorite song, “El Tango de Roxanne” and he read me his poems about birds as we watched them swoop and dive from a corner of the lake.

And, like it was written in a script hidden only from me, he left without saying goodbye. And I was sitting on my bedroom floor left to pick up the shards of our short-lived romance that cut into my hands every time I tried to gather them up. The blood from those tiny gashes swirled with the saltwater that escaped, gasping, from my eyes and they clung to each other in some sort of melancholy waltz that stained the memories of us together.

Sound a little dramatic? Yeah, I agree. But (to risk a real cliche), the heart wants what the heart wants. *sigh* And the door to mine was swung wide open. So instead of bowing to the sweet allure of pain, I thought up some advice:

1) Please double check whether he’s gay or not. If rumors swirl about him struggling with homosexuality and you’re a girl, don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are that he probably has eyes for a guy too. Trust me: the dramatics above are a case-in-point.

2) Just because he’s a gentleman in actions doesn’t mean he’s a gentleman in characterSure, he pumped my gas, got my doors, paid for stuff, and embodied the word “romantic,” but he still moved away without saying goodbye and–oh yeah–lied about essentially everything. Even a robot knows how to do the things it’s been programmed to do.

3) You know the first part of Proverbs 31:30 that goes “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting...”? It’s true. I wish I wouldn’t have lived through it to finally come to that realization. Think Mr. Darcy versus Mr. Wickham. Charm is a glittering facade that hides a plethora of dark interiors. Not everyone sets out into relationships to hurt people, but baggage and selfishness make it easier for them to justify or ignore the fact that they are indeed hurting people. Charm isn’t inherently bad, but it’s usually dishonest.

4) Don’t “talk” to a guy. That’s just emotional investment without commitment. For either party. It’s just two people who care a lot about each other both pretending they don’t care. It becomes a game to see who can care less. It’s late night texts and infatuation and feelings that are “no big deal” and it makes it easier to do the same thing with multiple people. But it’s not cheating, right? Even if you don’t know they’re saying the same things to another girl (or, in my case, guy)? I mean, there’s no title on it. So it doesn’t matter. (That was all sarcasm. Of course it matters.  If he’s telling you the kind of stuff that is reserved for telling only one person, don’t ever let him off the hook)

5) Pace yourself. In all aspects. Physically, emotionally, mentally. If he hasn’t proved himself to be trustworthy or reliable, does he really deserve your lips, your time, your effort, or your secrets? There are things in all of our lives that carry heavy emotional weight. And not everyone deserves to see those parts of you. Because they’re pieces of you and a man will either (cheese alert) treasure and guard those pieces or discard them as he turns his attentions to someone else. If you feel like he’s not spending a lot of time thinking about you, you’re probably right. Why on earth does he deserve the time you spend thinking about him? I know. You’re thinking it’s easier said than done. And that’s true. But fighting for yourself is a worthier cause.

6) Make him prove himself. No, I’m not talking about making him live up to standards of perfection. What I mean is that he should be able to show you–and the world–that he’s ready for something. There needs to be space between him and his problems and signs that he’s actually healing from past mistakes or heartbreaks. Otherwise, you’ll let his charm to convince you to believe that he’s recovered. And the secrets pile up until the levees break and suddenly you’re the one drowning in them while he evacuates and starts fresh.

Let’s take some advice from John Green. This is, after all, technically a book blog!

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

Do you?

Check out “Every Ugly Word” by Aimee L. Salter!

Every Ugly Word follows 17 year old Ashley who is relentlessly bullied at her high school and by her own mother, and his helplessly in love with her best friend, Matt, who is bullied by his father.

 

She seeks help by looking to her future self, “Older Me” who supports her through it all and teaches her to love herself. But is she really seeking “Older Me” or is she looking within herself for the answers?

 

When Ashley looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been her support system through her relentless tormentor’s bullying, her unstable mother at home, and her forlorn love for her longtime best friend. But when Ashley discovers “Older Me’s” betrayal, she is targeted in the worst way and impends her last chance with Matt. She’s done with hearing every ugly word.

Remember a while back when I took a chance and reviewed a book for Aimee? (See interview here)

Let me say that I am glad I did. She is now being published by Alloy Entertainment. The same Alloy Entertainment that has had over 75 of their

 

Let me also explain why this is a big deal. Ever heard of Chuck and Blair’s tumultuous and swoon worthy romance? How about the infamous Elena-Stefan-Elena-Damon-Katherine-Elena-etc-etc-etc relationships in the Vampire Diaries (not to mention every fan’s tears at the end of every episode). Let’s not forget the unending frustrating question of WHO THE HECK “A” IS on PLL!

What do these things all have in common? Alloy Entertainment. (Insert “hallelujah” here)

Now Alloy Entertainment has decided to adopt Aimee. And I trust their judgment. I haven’t read this latest work of Aimee’s, but you guys can all be assured that Every Ugly Word is coming up very shortly on my list.

 

Review: Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson

Seconds Before Sunrise (The Timely Death Trilogy, #2)

Publisher:  AEC Stellar

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: Timely Death Trilogy, Book 2

Pages: 277 (Paperback)

Release Date: March 27, 2014

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: Let’s put it this way–I had an early class the next morning and I still couldn’t put it down. Thompson packs some crazy intense moments into the plot along with some really adorable ones. Minus some plot confusion, SBS was a genuinely enjoyable read.

Characters—

Jessica: If you know anything about Jessica in the last book, she’s completely different in this one. I feel like Jessica’s memory loss really adds depth to her character. It also makes her relationship with Eric stronger, in my opinion. To fall in love twice seems to me a very deep love. An improvement from Minutes Before Sunset is plot reliability where Jessica is concerned. There are a few scenes that had me on my toes in the most perfect way possible–Thompson uses a great mixture of foreshadowing and surprise to bring a lot of Jessica’s thoughts and scenes together.

Eric: He sounds so much more like a teenage boy in this book! In Minutes Before Sunset, I thought he sounded a little feminine, but I think we learn more about who Eric really is in SBS. Probably one of my favorite aspects of this entire novel is seeing Eric’s growth. I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but it’ll really bring a smile to your face. On top of that, his gallantry will make you swoon. Ugh. Yes. Gents take notes, please.

Robb & Zac: I think that the words “mysterious” and “ominous” apply to both of these guys. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be unsure of at least one of these guys’ character until the very end. Although these two aren’t always in the spotlight, their supporting roles are vital to the story. Thompson was brilliant with these two.

Crystal: She’s a great best friend. She probably wouldn’t be my best friend, but I really appreciate how steady of a character she is. Every novel needs a character that’s transparent and reliable in the midst of the story’s conflict, and she’s it.

Camille/Teresa: I felt that Camille (let’s stick with that name) was a pretty static character in Minutes Before Sunset, but Thompson reveals a lot about her in this book and I grew to really respect her. The reader will definitely get a glimpse into her complexities.

The World—

Thompson spends SBS focusing on setting the stage for the Timely Death finale as well as building each of her characters, both in depth and in intrigue. As far as “second books” go, she does a great job. SBS definitely does not fall into the dreaded “second book slump.” The reversed images/ideas of Light and Dark still play a large and interesting role in this book. For more info on the world in which SBS is set, check out my review of Minutes Before Sunset here.

The Themes—

I didn’t really nail down any specific themes, but I did see an emphasis on maturity and obedience to elders. Fate also stays very prevalent in this second novel.

Final Thoughts—

I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it was an enjoyable read. Firstly, I admire how accurate the titles are to each book. You’ll see why once you read it, but she does a great job choosing them. Thompson makes you care for her characters. That is pivotal on whether one will enjoy a story, and she’s successful here. My only real complaint is the plot fogginess towards the end. I felt like I knew what was happening, but it wasn’t actually happening. It was almost like I was in a dream-state during the structural climax. I’m hoping that the battle scenes and all that jazz with the prophecy become sharper in the finale book. Although honestly, I’m most excited to see more of Eric and Jessica!! They are climbing their way up on my list of fave book couples! 🙂

Memorable Quotes—

“I was in love with her, and she was in love with me, but our relationship–our identities–would kill us both if the Light figured out whom she was and used her against me.”

“The fantasized kiss was stolen time from the dreams…”

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

****I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. So I can honestly tell you that it’ll be worth it to go check out Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise.

Review: Breakable by Aimee L. Salter

Publisher:  Aimee L. Salter

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction, bullying

Series: None

Pages: 340 (eBook)

Release Date: November 4, 2013

Rating: 071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png071913_0709_ReviewThron2.png

Summary from Goodreads:

When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy’s secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark. 

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he’s used her own artwork to humiliate her – and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.

Literally.

__________________________________

coffee to goCoffee To Go: Well, it kept me up until 4:30am the night before an 8am test. It was that intriguing. Stacy makes you want to fight for her. She’s not a pushover. Salter is great at believable plot twists; the story never got boring for me. The most accurate description? Raw. On every level.

Characters—

Stacy: I wouldn’t say I necessarily liked her. I always support fighters who are direct in their approach and Stacy wasn’t that. But I definitely empathized with her; my heart went out to her and her conflicts within herself and with other characters are very realistic.

Older Me: At some times, very enigmatic. I liked it. At others, it seemed like I could see right through her. I think Salter did a great job making Older Me a character full of intrigue, uncertainty, and foreshadowing.

Mark: Oh, so clueless, boyish, and…realistic! As the reader, I didn’t see Mark the way Stacy sees him. Instead, I saw the way Stacy saw him and I saw the way the rest of the world would see him. (That’s a lot of “saws”). Anyway, I really respected Salter for making Mark a round character whom one might actually meet in a high school. He’s not some formulaic love interest full of mystery and unrequited love and brooding, yet he still cares deeply for Stacy. In short, I adore the mistakes he makes!

Finn: Can we not discuss him? Like, is he worthy to be deemed human? Finn, Stacy’s most enthusiastic tormentor, needs an attitude check and a life. He’s awful—almost too awful to be believable. I can’t decide whether that’s a flaw or a strength.

The Themes—

I didn’t feel like Salter communicated any strong themes in Breakable, but I did get a sense of some definite ideas. I think this book is a good lesson to people about what really goes on in the mind of someone who is bullied. It also reminds us of the importance of showing compassion to those teenagers. Honestly, I was beyond angry at everyone in the book who blames Stacy for being bullied. …Then, very guiltily, I realized that I would probably have a similar mindset. Wow. Reality check.

Final Thoughts—

I usually don’t review for self-published authors, but I’m really glad I reviewed for Aimee. She’s a brilliant writer—especially when it comes to plots—and has a lot of potential. Something tells me this will be the first of several novels with which readers will identify. I highly recommend that you read Breakable. You can buy it here for only a couple bucks. It’s definitely worth it.

**The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way.

Cover Reveal! Seconds Before Sunrise

Author Shannon Thompson brings us back into Eric and Jessica’s enchanting world with her sequel to Minutes Before Sunset! I have one word: FINALLY. Since finishing Minutes Before Sunset, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Seconds Before Sunrise, which is why I am thrilled that Shannon has allowed me to be a part of her cover reveal for SBS.

Quick note for ya: Seconds Before Sunrise releases on March 22, 2014. Mark your calendars, folks! I know it will be on my blog’s Book Release calendar, which can be found on the right sidebar. Below is a quick synopsis of SBS.

Two nightmares. One memory.
 
“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”
 
Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.
Here is your fact for Shannon’s scavenger hunt–and just below that is what I know you’ve all been waiting for: the gorgeous cover for Seconds Before Sunrise! Helloooo Eric. What a cutie. The cover is, according to Shannon, strategically designed to represent humanity, which will be the book’s overarching theme. Yes, please! Okay, enough of my musings. Fact time and cover time!

Fact #29 Eric’s last name “Welborn” is purposeful irony—“well born.”

Seconds Before Sunrise

Did you like the cover? Comment your thoughts! If you did like it, check out more info at Goodreads or at Shannon Thompson’s website!
-coffeeshopreader

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