“I'm so tired. I'm tired of anxiety that twists my stomach so hard I can't move the rest of my body. Tired of constant vigilance. Tired of wanting to do something about myself, but always taking easy way out.”
I had such high hopes for this book. All of my GoodReads friends were raving about it, but unfortunately this book didn't do it for me.
Before I start the review I wanted to mention some things that I think are very relevant.
I, like a lot of people, have anxieties. I had them when I was in my teens, but they weren't prevalent at all. They were hiding, if you will. I think it was due to the fact that I had an amazing group of friends, who made me feel safe, secure and supported. Because of such great support I was very outgoing and very much an extrovert.
Then my whole family moved continents away when I was about to turn 18 and my world came crashing down. I suddenly found myself in a country where I had no friends, no support and I didn't even know the language.
So, naturally, I stayed home a lot, became very shy and very, very introverted. That didn't happen overnight - but gradually. Soon I found myself wary of people and preferring my own company to anything else. Once I've acclimated myself to the new country and learned the language I started doing more things, putting myself out there, but I never did find true friends.
And then - anxieties hit me like a wrecking ball. They came finally came to the surface in full force - just when I felt good and confident about myself again. So here I was, in my mid twenties, having intense anxieties and panic attacks - things that I never experienced while I was a teen (usually the age when people start experiencing those).
It's gotten better with time (it probably helps that my husband is my best friend, and basically my security blanket). But the anxieties are still here, always lurking beneath the surface - resurfacing here and there just to remind me that they haven't left.
“I do have friends. Maybe they live hundreds of miles away from me, and maybe I can only talk to them through a screen, but they're still my friends."
I really enjoyed his aspect of the book - Eliza's only real friends were a world away from her. They were validated beautifully in this book. And, as being a person who's best friends are also a world away I was very happy to read that in a book. It was such an important message to deliver.
I felt that it was important to share my story before I go into explaining why the book about anxieties didn't speak to my soul.
If I had to describe Eliza and Her Monsters with one word - it would be - dramatic. And for no good reason. Maybe I couldn't relate to the MC because I wasn't a teen anymore when I had my anxieties. But to me, Eliza was so ridiculously dramatic and over the top - I could barely keep my eyes from rolling so hard.
I kept waiting for some explanation to come out, to say why she was that way - but nothing ever did.
YES, since she is a teen she has the hormonal right to be dramatic just on its own, YES, her anxieties are triggered by the smallest of things and it's completely legit - BUT, anxieties have to come from somewhere. They don't just manifest by themselves - there is always a traumatic experience which draws them out (even if the person who's having anxieties never realizes what the trigger was). There was no trigger for Eliza, there was no explanation - she just was that way.
I couldn't even assume that her shyness (which later manifested into anxieties) was hereditary, because her family was extremely outgoing - I just felt as if her character lacked a strong foundation, and because of that to me Eliza wasn't a character that I could get on board with.
However, I feel like maybe for some people anxieties do come out of nowhere? Maybe it's very different for everyone - but I just never seen a case like that for myself. I think the opinions of this book are based greatly on being able to relate to anxieties, and because mine were so different -I couldn't relate fully (I did to some things though).
On the other hand, Wallace's explanation and backstory were very well developed. I could see his pain and his fears - it was all there for the reader. To take in, to relate with. I didn't care for Wallace as a character at all (he was quite selfish), but I liked how his character development was described.
Eliza's parents were also un-relatabe - what kind of parent talk and act like they do? Who says 'go out it's time for you to start having physical relationship with a boy' to their daughter? I don't know, maybe some parents do, but I definitely don't know any parents like that.
I also didn't care much for the story that Eliza was creating - it was choppy, and I never did get the whole picture out of it. I guess I was expecting more from it? The drawings were also just alright (the book describes them as completely amazing, which they weren't...). And I thought it was very weird that the author used her previous series in this book as a part of the story - that just felt like an advertisement for a book inside of a book.
However, when Eliza started seeing a therapist - I really enjoyed that. It just was such a good chapter. I felt like I, as a reader, finally got a chance to dive deep into Eliza's thoughts and see the real her. The therapist also said many important things and I really appreciated that. And obviously, the message itself - that seeing a therapist is a good and responsible thing to do - was great.
I know this book is many people's favorite, so I'd recommend reading it for yourself and seeing if it relates to you. We all experience things differently - and different books speak differently to us.
For me, this was a very average and mediocre read. Some things were good, some things were not so good, but for the most part I just wanted to be done with it, because it wasn't holding my attention much.
I decided to do something different today - instead of writing I filmed a quick video on my trip to the library. Well, I filmed the portion of me sitting in my car and talking about the books I got.
*take a shot every time I say "like"*
I guess it takes filming yourself to realize some of your annoying talking habits.
Wanted to mention that I don't have a Youtube Channel (official one, that is) and I am not making one. I don't have time, or to be honest, camera skills for that. I filmed this on my PHONE for goodness sake :) I merely used Youtube to upload the video so then I can post it to my blog :)
I actually had fun talking about the books (even in all of my graceful awkwardness), so I might do this again I the future. Maybe it will be once a week thing? Although, no promises.
P.S. when I say "it's backwards" - it was backwards in my camera view...Rookie mistake :)
“If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?”
It feels so good to check off books from the TBR list. Dark Matter was a fast, thrilling and quite enjoyable read. However, I was promised a f-ing mind blowing experience, and that didn't happen. But what I got out of this book was so much better.
“As long as I'm with you, I know exactly who I am.”
Me and my husband buddy-read this book. And while he is super into science fiction and physics and all of that, me, - not so much. I was a bit scared that I might be bored or confused by this book - but I wasn't at all. Turns out Dark Matter is so much more than just science fiction. It is a science fiction with so much heart and emotion, and love.
The concept is pretty cool, and the pace is incredible. There were definitely a few heart thumping instances. It is also very well written - I would definitely recommend. But what surprised me the most in this novel, is how much Blake Crouch knows about family, love, sacrifice, choices and consequences. The book is full of so many amazing ad heart wrenching quotes! I teared up at least twice! So, bravo, Crouch, bravo!
“I’ve always known, on a purely intellectual level, that our separateness and isolation are an illusion. We’re all made of the same thing—the blown-out pieces of matter formed in the fires of dead stars.”
The connection that the main character, Jason, had with his wife, Daniela is swoon worthy. And not because it's perfect. It's very flawed - and that's what makes it so real, so relatable. To be completely honest, one can take out all of the emotional quotes from this book and build a pre-marriage counseling course off it. It's that good.
“They haven't been unhappy these last few years, quite the opposite. But it's been a long, long time since she felt that sense of giddy love that effervesces in the pit of your stomach and spectacularly upends the world.”
The plot itself had a few holes - I felt like quite a few questions were left unanswered. Things that seemed very important in the beginning, or the middle of the book, were just completely forgotten by the end. Some of the events that happened at the very end were quite weird to me too, but overall I was pretty satisfied with how it all wrapped up.
Although, I have to mention that it did feel a bit - open. Like there were so many questions left and it made me think that maybe there will be a number 2? I mean the world is infinite, so why not. I would totally be okay with a second book, or even better - a spinoff.
“My reality—more and more every day—is this world. Where I have nothing. Where I’m a homeless, filthy creature whose existence evokes only compassion, pity, and disgust. Nearby, another homeless man is standing in the middle of the sidewalk, having a full-volume conversation with nobody. I think, Am I so different? Aren’t we both lost in worlds that, for reasons beyond our control, no longer align with our identity?”
“It was amazing how many books one could fit into a room, assuming one didn't want to move around very much.”
I think I have mentioned this previously, but I feel that it's important to say it again - I had the hardest time getting into The Mistborn (#1). For about 200 pages I just slugged through - feeling half bored and half intrigued. That other half kept me reading - and boy was I glad!
I am saying this for anybody who is trying to start this series and just can't - keep reading and you will be rewarded immensely. Book one was good. Book 2 was amazing from page 1 to page 728.
One might wonder - why would I persevere in something that is boring, I'd rather just dnf. And you may, of course, but with fantasy books - you need a bit of patience. Especially when the series encompass a world and magic system so vast and complex. And Brandon Sanderson can write a fantasy world! Yes, he can! He became one of my favorite authors with just one book. Now, I know he's written so many - and yes, now I want to read them all.
“Other men are strong like bricks - firm, unyielding, but if you pound on them long enough, they crack. You... you're strong like the wind. Always there, so willing to bend, but never apologetic for the times when you must be firm.”
The Well of Ascension is full of twists and turns, new characters, surprising revelations and action. The story is so complex and interwoven that somehow I did not see the big twist coming. To be honest, I didn't see other smaller twists either. I was just as blind as the characters were. I don't know how Sanderson did it - but he wrote quite a masterpiece.
“You must love him enough to trust his wishes, even if you disagree with them. You must respect him - no matter how wrong you think he may be, no matter how poor you think his decisions, you must respect his desire to make them. Even if one of them includes loving you.”
The book is full of love, and emotions, and loss and rediscovery of one's self. Yet, it's never eye-rolling, never cliche, never cringe worthy.
It's everything every other book out there tries to be.
It also contains the best array of characters, including, the world's most lovable bookworm - Elend.
“I kind of lost track of time..."
"For two hours?"
Elend nodded sheepishly. "There were books involved.”
I really didn't want to include spoilers in my review, but there are some things I just can't keep quiet about.
1. The only reason I wasn't bawling my eyes out at the end when the shadow-ghost-mist whacked Elend with a knife is because I saw the third book with him on the cover. So I just sat there saying "he will survive, he will survive..." Even if it really felt like he wouldn't.
2. Zane was one of the best characters ever written . I loved Zane, then I disliked Zane, then I hated Zane, then I felt bad for Zane and then I just thought that maybe Zane was yucky (I mean he did sleep with his father's mistress...)
“He found insanity no excuse, however, for irrational behavior.”
3. Clubs...For some reason that one hit me the hardest.
4. That twist at the end!!! Like what? How? How did I miss it??
5. "He ate my horse." - hands down the funniest moment in the whole book. Also the most badass too. (those who read this will know why).
!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!
“Love must be allowed to flow both ways—if it is not, then it is not truly love, I think.”
Freelance BETA reader.