Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade

Nightshade is a young adult fiction by Andrea Cremer.  I read it in 2 days..completely ignoring the other two books I am reading as well.  I just couldn’t put it down.  Though, I probably won’t read it again.  I think it might have caused a little stress.

About Nightshade

Calla is 17 and a Guardian.  She can shift between her human form and a wolf form.  She is also an alpha and belongs (for the time being) to the Nightshade pack.

Ren is also 17 and a Guardian.  He is an alpha that belongs to the Bane pack.

Calla and Ren were chosen at birth to be paired together in union and form a new pack.  Along with them would be their closest friends, 5 from each pack.  This union is supposed to take place when they are both 18, which happens to be October 31st.  The Keepers decided this destiny for them and nothing and no one can change the outcome.  Not that anyone would want to or dare to try.

The Keepers are the masters of the packs.  They decide who marries who and they carry out the laws and punishments.  The Guardians protect the Keepers and the Keepers provide what ever the Guardians may need (homes, cars, food…etc).  No one questions the authority.  The Keepers also decide who they want.  Anyone they want and no one can say no.

Like everyone else, Calla has accepted her fate.  She has never been with another guy, not even for a simple kiss.  She is a female alpha and expected to keep her innocence for the mate that has been chosen for her.  Ren on the other hand, has been with many girls in the school.  With their union so close Ren decides that it is time for them to get closer.  He suggest that Calla and her pack hang out with him and his pack.  They will be one pack soon, and they need to learn to work together.

And things would have gone as planed if Shay had not shown up.  Shay is 18 and Calla saved him from a bear attack.  She was in her wolf form, but when she noticed that Shay was dying from the attack she returned to her human form to give him her blood to heal him.  She didn’t expect to ever see him again, but he showed up at school on Monday.  Not only does she have to hide that she saved him, but she seems instantly attracted to the newcomer and starts to question her own fate.

Once she is forced by her Keeper to spend time with Shay her feelings start to grow.  She shares her first kiss with Shay, but she also finds out that everything she has been told is a lie.  Her life is turned upside down and somethings you just can’t ignore.

 

My Opinion (Warning: Spoilers Ahead)

I did read through the book quickly.  I wanted to know what happened.  I wanted to see who Calla would choose.  I was obviously rooting for Ren the whole time.  He did care for Calla and she seemed to be the only one who didn’t see that.  It actually ticked me off when Shay showed up and screwed everything.  Of course, Calla has been made to spend her whole life watching others in relationships while she had to stay away.  I can understand her kissing Shay the first time, just to defy some part of her chosen future.  It should have stopped there.

Of course, it didn’t and we end up with this messy love triangle.  Two guys fighting over the same girl.  One who has been promised to have her, another who just decided to steal her away. She knows her duty, yet she keeps going back to Shay.  I didn’t like Shay and I surly didn’t trust him.  Of course he is important to the history of the Guardians. I felt like I was reading Twilight in wolf form.  I was rooting for Ren the whole time! I just can’t believe Calla couldn’t see how much he cared for her, though with his history I can almost understand it.  Communication would have fixed things here.

I was annoyed how Shay came in and just pulled Calla away, forcing her into things she really didn’t want to do.  Ugh, it just annoys me.  The whole book is just annoying. And I felt so bad for Ren.  It’s almost like he didn’t even have a chance.

There were a few things I didn’t like about the book other than the story.  First was the set up of the book.  The chapters start on a solid black page (sometimes containing the phases of the moon) and in the right hand corner the chapter number.  The back of that page was blank and the first line of the chapter would begin in big bold letters.  I don’t  know why, but at some point I trained my brain to ignore big bold text.  I have no idea where this comes from, so I had to force myself to read the first line every time.  And the way the chapter started with the black page felt wasteful.  Maybe I just have a secret environmental activist side of myself.

The second thing being the grammar.  The book was well written.  I didn’t come across any crazy formatting errors or missing words.  What I did notice was the random big word.  Words that no teenager would use in their vocab.  If it had been through the book more often I would be okay with it.  But it seemed to be a few big words (the same big words) thrown in where it might work.  It threw off the pace of the book.  I’m not saying that teenagers are stupid, they are just lazy and wouldn’t use such big words.  And if they did it would be more often.

Would I suggest this book?  Not really.

Over all…this book stressed me out.  I was waiting for Ren to catch Calla and Shay kissing or flirting and Ren would have killed Shay.  Which, I think might have been a good route to go.  I won’t be reading this book again.  It was a nice light read and it did keep me interested, but once I got to the end I wanted to wipe my brain clean of it.  I have never had a book set so sickly in my mind.  I felt like there was something missing and there was too much, all at the same time.  There are two more books in the series and I will read them just to find out what happens.  Curiosity killed the cat…

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Show Review: The 100

There are a few new shows starting up recently.  Some have been on for about three weeks, while others have only had their first episode.  One show that has only had one episode is The 100.

This show comes on the CW on Wednesday nights at 9PM.

The idea of this show is the Earth has been evacuated for 97 years and what ever population made it off the Earth safely is now floating in space on the Ark.  Sadly, the Ark is dying and they have to figure out a way to save lives.  The  Chancellor of this ship is like the president, he calls all the shots.  Because of the tight space and the lack of supplies, any and all crimes are punishable by death.  Lucky for anyone under 18, they get to sit in a cell until their 18th birthday before they are sentenced to death.

Now, the reason Earth was evacuated is because of radiation poisoning.  Someone on the ark decides that Earth might actually be safe to return to, but in order to check they create a plan.  Unfortunately for 100 of the kids under 18, rotting away in a cell, this plan includes putting them in a ship and sending them down to Earth.  These teens are given a simple task.  Make it to Earth to test the air, if they die Earth is not safe, if they live they are to find supplies that were left in a safety zone 97 years ago before Earth had to be left behind.

As soon as the ship lands on Earth the kids separate.  You pretty much know from there who is going to cause problems and who is going to take the mission seriously.  Of course, they all committed some kind of crime, so why would they start listening to the adults now?

My Take on the Show
The first episode was fantastic.  It was enough to keep me interested and left me wanting more.  Here are my thoughts in a nice little list!

  1. First of all, these kids are criminals.  They have all done something stupid to put themselves in prison.  Why would they be the first to send down?  Actually, it makes sense to send down criminals to see if they survive, but why so many at one time?  They could have been sent in smaller groups.
  2. Why kids?  They are all under 18.  They are minors with parents that still love them no matter what stupid crime they did.
  3. ANY CRIME can get you locked up.  Does this mean that if one kid steals an extra bite of food and gets caught, the kid automatically goes into lock down to wait for his death the moment he turns 18?
  4. Each couple is only allowed one child.  One couple has a second child and tries to hide it.  When the child is discovered it is taken from the family and the mother is killed.  Was this really necessary?  Really??
  5. One group of kids goes off to find the supplies they were told about.  On their trek through the woods they encounter a deer with two faces and a giant snake that chills in the river.  Is anything safe to eat?
  6. At night the plants glow and two of the teens that are awake find it fascinating.  Yes, it was gorgeous, but it was caused by radiation…is it really that beautiful?  Will it kill you?
  7. One kid that knows his plants picks a flower and eats it.  What part of radiation did they not understand?

All in all, I will be watching more of this show.  Curiosity killed the cat, but I bet the cat was never bored.  This show has got my attention.  I want to know what is going to happen.  Will the ark be saved?  Will everyone return to Earth?  Is Earth really safe?  And who will fall in love with who?  A good show is never complete without a love story, even just a hint of one!

At least in my opinion.

What Do You Think?

Have you seen the show?  If so did you like it?  Do you want to watch it?  Go HERE to check it out!

Fun Friday Flop

I had this big plan for all my post this week.  Monday, was supposed to be a book review but, I posted it early.  So it became something random.  Tuesday is for new recipes. Wednesday is Wacky Wednesday, Thursday cake pops and Friday was going to be a fun quick craft.

Sadly, I didn’t get the fun craft done in time for my post.  Mainly because I got a little lazy and I was really tired this week.  The craft is almost done! But I won’t post about it until next week.

Good news though, I have something to share with you!

Yesterday I spent the entire day with a bunch of rowdy and amazing teenagers.  I volunteer with the youth group at my church and we took them to Carowinds yesterday.  I rode so many roller coasters! I had a group of four girls and a friend.

I went a month or so ago with my mom and my brother, but my brother got sick and my mom doesn’t ride rides.  So, while it was fun, I left feeling a little disappointed because I didn’t get to ride too many rides.  This time though, we hit up as many rides as time allowed!

We had one girl that wouldn’t ride the Intimidator, which is an amazing ride!  And we had another girl that wouldn’t ride anything that went upside down.  They don’t know what they were missing out on.  No one wanted to do drop zone, except one girl, who drug another one along with her.  Poor girl.  It really was an amazing day.  I would share pictures, but some people are weird about having their kids faces on the internet, which makes sense and I totally respect that.

Today, my forehead is red (as well as my cheeks and nose), my throat is sore (from screaming!), and my body is just a little sore.  I didn’t come out as bad as I thought I would.  I can deal with the little bit of pain, it was worth all the fun I had.

I started volunteering because I feel like a teenager sometimes.  I knew they wouldn’t let me attend the youth group (lol) so I volunteered. Actually, I wanted to be that one person that was there for them when they were in a rough spot.  I don’t want them to feel as alone as I did when I was a teen.  It has been the best decision I have ever made.

After a little over a year, I am finally starting to bond with some of the teens.  It’s really nice.  And in some weird way, it’s actually making me grow up a little more.  Yet…have more fun!

It probably doesn’t make any sense, but I don’t know how else to put it.  For once in my life, I finally feel like I have found where I belong, at least in one aspect in my life.

Watch Me

The other day, my mom made the comment that if I was as dedicated to losing weight and watching my diet, as I am to writing, I would be in really good shape.  After thinking about it, I realize she is so right!  I can be super tired, have a raging headache, and want noting more than to sleep, but I make myself get up and write.  I even skipped church a few times to get a little more time to write.  This is new though, I just got back to writing like this.  I am writing anywhere from 2000 to 3000 words a day, and then a daily blog.  Yeah, I missed a few days with the blog, but I don’t plan on that happening again.

I decided I am going to try very hard, to be just as dedicated to my health as I am my writing.  I mean, writing is my passion, it is how I release the stress of every day life.  I dream of days when I actually get paid for doing the one thing I love the most.  I think I would become very lazy though, sitting at the computer all day writing.  Though, probably not much lazier than I am now.  Now, I sit 8 hours a day at work, then come home and sit behind the computer to write.  Maybe if I was getting paid for my work I wouldn’t be so lazy.

That is why I have decided that my health needs to be part of my passion.  I write because I want to be an inspiration to others, my main focus being on teens.  My heart goes out to teens and how hard life can seem at their age.  I just want to be the person they can look up to.  But I can’t be that person if I let my health go, just because I hide behind a computer all day.  It’s going to be hard, but that is what being a role model is all about.  We work hard for what we have, and we show people that it is possible.

Right now, I am almost at my heaviest.  I have set a goal for my latest novel, I want to have it ready for publishing August 21st, my birthday.  I want to keep that date, I want to add to my goal.  By August 21st, I want to be the healthiest I have ever been.  Which means, I need to lose at least 30 pounds.  But it’s not just the weight that has to go.  I have to do other things, like giving up all the candy that I love, and the sodas.  As much as I am doing it for myself, I am also doing it for anyone struggling with health issues.  Kids, teens and adults alike. I am doing this to prove to everyone, that no matter how busy you feel you are, it can be done.

At the moment, I consider myself working two full time jobs.  My regular day job, and writing.  So let’s add one more full time job to that, because isn’t your health a full time job?  Can it be done?  Of course it can.  Watch me.

Celebrity Bashing

Today I read an article about Justin Bieber.  Yes, I am going there.  Hang on for the ride, because I have a destination in mind.

This article was about Justin’s recent trip to a museum of Anne Frank.  We all know who Anne Frank is, well, the smart ones anyways.  Please, Google her if you don’t know who she is.  She is a very inspirational person, who died too soon because of idiots.  Justin wrote in the celebrity guestbook at this museum and said that it was inspiring, that Anne was a great girl and that he hoped she would have been a fan.  I find this rather cute, but some people think it was stupid and selfish.

As a writer, I often wonder if certain people were still alive, would they like my work.  Would they be a fan?  There is nothing wrong with that.  That is pretty much what Justin is saying here.  People are freaking out!  Which makes no sense.  A friend told me that she thought it was selfish for him to write such a thing, because none of the other celebrities wrote stuff like that.  I am sorry, but your argument is lacking just a bit.  The only reason other celebrities didn’t write things like that is because they didn’t think about it.  I bet they will now.

There is a point to all this, I’m getting there.

Justin Bieber gets a lot of hate.  Everyone loves to hate the Biebs.  Why?  They say he has no talent, he is immature, and he is rude.  Okay, I agree that he has become a bit of a douche lately, fame usually does that to people.  Yeah, he is immature, but he is a teenage boy, what do you expect?  Just because he is famous does not mean he has to give up having stupid fun,  let him have his fun!  Talent now, I think he does have talent.  I love a few of his songs, and I support him 100% because everyone should get a chance at their dreams.

It’s not just Bieber that gets a lot of hate.  Most celebrities are constantly bashed for their imperfect ways.  How DARE they not be perfect.  They are in the spot light the HAVE to be perfect.  But you are wrong.  First and foremost, we are all human.  We make mistakes every day, and probably more than once a day.  Why does someone who just happens to be really good at acting, suddenly have to be perfect?  Why are they the subject of your hate?  I think it is jealousy, because they have fame and fortune.  I bet their lives are not as glamours as they seem.

Moving on though, parents, stop and think.  When you talk about a celebrity, bash them and call them ugly names, your kids hear that.  Kids see on TV every day, a new celebrity being BULLIED.  Now do you see where I am going with this?  No?  Hang in there.

When you go online and send hate messages to celebrities, that is bullying.  Paparazzi is just a bunch of bullies, waiting for just the right picture to make a beautiful person look hideous.  Kids see this.  Couldn’t this be a reason why there are so many bullies in school.  Or at least a contributing factor?  If mommy and daddy can bully a famous person, why can’t I bully the kid that sits beside me in math class.  You can’t tell me you have thought about that.  Who cares if the person being bullied is famous or not, it’s still bullying.  Throwing things out of proportion like the Bieber and Anne Frank thing is ridiculous.  People are just looking for new ways to put down a celebrity.

Next time you have something bad to say about anyone famous, think about what you are saying.  Is it really justified?  Should you really say it?  How would you feel if someone said the same to you?  It just a bunch of bullying.  Set a good example for the young, show that you can respect talent, even if you don’t think it’s talent.  No matter how many times you say someone is not talented, there is is at least one person out in the world that thinks they are talented.  Stop being so ugly to one another.  Make the world a better place.

Poor Kids

As a kid, I was bullied.  I was the chunky girl that everyone loved to pick on.  I had no confidence in myself and at one point I wanted to die.  I remember once, staring at a knife and wondering how hard I would have to push on it to make the blood drain from my veins.  From 3rd to 7th grade I felt like the whole school wanted me dead.  I hated me and I wanted it all to end.

I have always been a believer in God.  I have always prayed.  And I have also always been told that if I killed myself I would go to hell.  Sometimes I think that the fear of hell was the only thing that kept me from killing myself.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to die though.  I remember laying in bed some nights, crying and begging God to take me.  I would tell God to bring me home, that I just wasn’t cut out for this world.  I wanted out.  Then my dad got hurt and life just seemed to get worse.  My wish for death got stronger.

I finally made it to high school.  I wore black clothes and dark make-up.  But I finally found friends.  They pulled me out of the dark and helped me get better.  I am grateful for my friends who saved me, and for my parents who didn’t give up on me.

With all that said, what is up with kids now days?  I know my own story of being bullied, but it was no where near as bad as some of the stories you hear today.  These poor kids are being destroyed.  Someone finds their weakness and just pounds them with words and fist.  I feel like some kids just don’t have a strong family life, and that is what leads them to killing themselves.

I thought it was bad, but I never thought it was as bad as it is.  I fear for my own future children.

I read an article the other day about a girl who was gang raped.  As if that was bad enough, the boys that raped her took a picture.  The picture got out to the school that the girl attended.  Instead of getting help, the poor girl was bullied.  She was called a whore!  Why?? How could someone be so cruel?  The girl moved to another school, but she was still bullied.  People would send her messages.  Because she just couldn’t take it anymore, she killed herself.

My heart breaks for her and her family.  My heart breaks for every teenager that has killed themselves because they are bullied.  They feel like there is no other way out other than taking their own lives.  It isn’t right for someone to be in so much pain, that early in life.  Or at all.

I ask you all, young or old, if you see or hear someone being bullied, DO SOMETHING!  Don’t let these kids think they are alone.  Don’t let them get so far gone that they kill themselves.

If you are bullying people, I ask, what is your deal?  Why do you feel the need to do so?

If you are being bullied, please find help.  I know I am just words on a screen, but behind these words is a real life person.  I would love to give you someone to talk to.  I am here for anyone that needs to talk.  Together, we could find why you deserve to live.

This is my cry to the world to stop this madness.  It has gotten worse.  It is up to us to stop it.  It is up to the ones that see it, to report it.  It us up to us to give these kids a life line.  Together we can stop this.

I will be your life line!

Shut Your Mouth

I was thinking at work today, no the world didn’t come to an end.  I was bored and there was nothing else to do.  I got to thinking about high school and the silly things people do in high school.  And also, the mean things people do.  I have no clear answer as to how this come about, but I started thinking about birth control.

I have been on birth control for about three years now.  YOU WHORE! You know you were thinking it.  Actually, to be honest, this girl is still a virgin. What, what!  But I realize that birth control has this stigma about it. Like, if you are on birth control you just want it so you can sleep around with out getting pregnant.  Some women are embarrassed because they are on birth control and try to hide it.  It’s  not a sin folks, and it doesn’t mean I am just looking for my next one night stand.

I am on birth control because of medical issues, that probably stem from my weight problem.  I’M NOT FAT! Okay, I’m overweight, but I’m working on it.  Kind of.  Okay! Not hard enough.  Anyways, I have no shame in the matter that I am on birth control.

Wondering back to high school, how many of those girls were on birth control for medical issues?  People automatically assume ALL teenagers are out having sex with each other.  Their hormones are all out of whack and they are just getting their freak on.  In reality, it’s not true.  I know a few people who didn’t have sex through their teen years.  Yes, teenage sex does happen because, once again, their hormones have gone cray cray.  Please forgive me for using cray cray…

Think about it.  How many teenage girls are labeled as whores just because someone found out they were on birth control.  For that matter, how many adult women are considered whores because they are on birth control.  Or maybe not so harsh as a whore, but loose.  I feel like people label women as some kind of villain, out for her next kill.  Okay, maybe most of them are, but there are still a few decent women waiting for some guy to sweep them off their feet.  You know, the girls that have been pushed into the shadows, because they could never measure up to the blond, blue eyed, babe with big boobs.  Yeah, we are still waiting for someone to notice us.

I totally went off topic.

My point in all this is, next time you hear a woman or teenage girl talk about being on birth control, don’t jump to conclusions.  You don’t know her story.  And ladies, don’t be ashamed about it!  Why should we hide the innocent medication we take…unless you really are a little loose and use to mess around with whoever.  And if you are one of those women, I really hope you are using condoms too, birth control doesn’t always work.  I have seen proof.  There is also the whole messy deal with STD’s…sleeping around is really not a good idea!

A quick message to teenage girls, because I feel the need to say it.  Don’t let anyone pressure you into having sex.  Heck, boys too for that matter.  No one can force you to do what you don’t want to do.  Your virginity is something super special and should only be shared with some one you trust.  It’s also, usually best to wait until at least after high school.