I Wanna Play Hyde and Seek!

Untitled design (3)Hellooooooo jello legs.

HOLY HANNAH MONTANA. Looking for a new OTT(over the top) brooding alpha man for your romance collection? Look no further than Layla Frost’s Hyde and Seek series. She’s one of the authors writing in the Kindle Happily Ever After Crossover series with Aurora Rose Reynolds, and she’s writing Until Nox (and I am in desperate need for this book.)

I think my favorite alpha is the borderline-neanderthal kind, and Layla Frost’s Jack Hyde is such a caveman. The book kept me smiling from the very first “Babe” and had just enough twist in it to make me seriously want to cry and scream. But I held myself together enough to read it. Jack is a mechanic and owns his own shop, and Piper Skye is starting her own cake business.

Piper wins over almost everyone she meets by just being herself. Maybe feeding a bunch of huge, mega hunky guys with sweets she bakes to perfection helps too. Normally, when there’s a character that is so charming the people around them can’t help but be protective of them makes me want to gag. But it’s hard to hate Piper. She’s fictional, but I so wish I could meet her and be her friend. She won me over. Her sweet exterior totally matches with her sweet interior, but she knows how to rock. My favorite kind of people.

Jack Hyde makes me want to fan myself while I’m reading. And I’m not a fan of the man-bun or long hair look usually, but thinking about this caveman with long hair? Yeah totally did it for me. His rough, grunting ways are not because he is unable to speak, just that he chooses his words. And when shit hits the fan, he chooses to use more hands-on methods. His insecurities with dating someone ten years younger than him (plus some!) get to him, but he and Piper work it out. With the help of some friends.

If you read my Brynne Asher review, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves in a book is discounting therapy as unnecessary because they are fine, or don’t need it. Well, after some traumatic events, Piper needs therapy. And she admits she needs it! There’s not as much depth as I would have liked, but the acceptance of needing to gather more tools to help cope with something you weren’t equipped to handle, is something I think more authors should be doing.

There were some editing choices at the end that I wasn’t a fan of. There was a lot of quick flashbacks, and back and forth between Jack and Piper’s POV. Most of Hyde and Seek was told through Piper’s POV. Adding Jack in there was something I loved to see, but the back and forth on the timeline was a little disconcerting. It did help to amp up the anxiety and tense situation, but it just wasn’t my favorite aspect.

Untitled design (4)

The love that Piper and Jake find together is truly amazing. It is all consuming. But my favorite part that Layla details, is the parts you don’t think about. It can be hard to detail the little things that make you fall in love with someone. It’s not always the big grand gestures, but the way that someone searches for you in a crowded room, or the way they look and you when no one is watching. Layla manages to effortlessly make you fall in love with characters as they fall in love, while getting glimpses into the life that is hard to detail. As an author, you can’t always show or describe those little things, but Layla slips them in there.

So my rating? FOUR SOLID STARS. I cannot wait to devour everything Layla Frost has to offer. Her books are offered on Kindle Unlimited if you are a subscriber, but I am totally buying them the second I get the chance.

Follow Layla Frost on Facebook!

 

By the way… I’m totally finding amazing books by being in crazy book clubs on Facebook, and Layla has one for her cupcakes!

Welcome to Hell

…well Welcome to Frat Hell. S.M. Shade is back with her second installment of Violent Circle. (If you haven’t read Scarlet Toys yet, then you need to get on it ASAP.) If you’re looking for something deep, moving, or emotional than move along to a different book. Check out S.M.’s Safe Hands series if you’d like (super recommend that series!). This book is full of fun, light romance. It is a romantic comedy at it’s best.

The book just came out today, February 27th, and is on Kindle Unlimited, but I pre-ordered it. I could not wait to get my hands on this book. I have been waiting for Noble and January’s story since Noble catwalked his way into a date.

frathell

Noble and January are introduced in Scarlet Toys, as Noble tries to get a date with Jani, and Jani tries to brush him off. To get that date, Noble participates in a lingerie show, wearing a ball gag and leather underwear. Frat Hell, which is also the nickname for the house Noble shares with his college bros, opens with Noble finally getting his date with January, and their date is something I am now dying to try for myself. Magnet fishing! Please read this just so you can find out what the heck it is if you don’t already know.

January has her own issues with dating, since her mom has multiple sclerosis, but Noble tries to overcome them in heartwarming ways. Noble has his own insecurities, one of them being adulthood looming around the corner. But the love these two find is mushy goodness. Noble may come from Frat Hell, but he’s learning to grow up.

frathell1

Overall, this book was exactly what I thought it was going to be when S.M announced the release. It was funny as hell, and kept me smiling and laughing from page one. I enjoyed every minute reading it, and devoured in it almost six hours. Because it wouldn’t be romance without someone screwing up, someone does. But there’s no long drawn out forgiveness, and it keeps with the comedy feel. And the crazy antics that make Violet Circle become Violent are very much alive and well. This book was absolutely, 100% worth it. 5 stars all around.

Now I have to keep my eyes peeled to see if there will be a third, because I am so looking forward to more!

Who Doesn’t Love Big Crazy Families?

In anticipation for the Kindle World’s Until crossover series (also known as the “Happily Ever Alpha Kindle World”), based on Aurora Rose Reynolds’ Until Him/Her series, I’ve gone and read some of the authors crossing over. It’s releasing in April 2018 and I am so excited, because I seriously love the whole Mayson crew. (And Until Harmony comes out March 6th, look for my review after it’s released!)

The first author I picked up was Brynne Asher, and the Carpino series, because Byrnne’s novel, Until Avery, will be a crossover with this series. And Ms. Asher, I NEED MORE! It was a short series, only three books, but there were so many people that could have had a story, and the family is just so crazy, that I cannot wait until Avery releases. I need more Carpino’s in my life.

The first novel is Overflow, starring Gabby Carpino and Jude Ortiz.

BeFunky Design

Gabby is an interior decorator, not designer don’t mess it up, with a huge, crazy Italian family. After decorating her friend’s laundry room, the FBI and ATF come barging in, hand cuff her, and pat her down. Jude Ortiz is the FBI agent that pat her down, and then barges his way into her life when she could be in even more danger. Jude, with his police get up, ability to put Gabby in a Jude coma with his kisses, and his bossy-ness, not-so-slowly moves into Gabby’s life and home, protecting her and going out of his mind with worry. Because as much as Gabby likes Jude’s bossy behavior, she still gets her way when she wants to.

This book started out slow. So slow, I was seriously worried if I would be able to finish it. I loved Gabby and Jude almost from the beginning, but because Gabby is an interior decorator, it seemed the first chapter was dedicated to just the laundry room Gabby had designed. Gabby’s eye for detail certainly made her job a profitable one, but the paragraphs dedicated to just how a room looked, were not for me. I bullied through, and I am so glad that I did. Gabby and Jude’s love story is one that I don’t think I will ever be able to get over. It has the perfect amount of struggle and darkness, and tons of comedy to keep it light, and fun.

After giving Overflow 4 stars, I moved onto Beautiful Life.

BeFunky Design4

This story had some more darker themes to it. Leigh, who is Gabby’s best friend since they were 8, has an abusive ex-husband, whom she left because she got pregnant and he beat her. She miscarried. Tony Carpino, who is Gabby’s cousin, who’s always had a thing for Leigh but waited too long, slowly moves in so he can get his chance to be with her. Leigh, who is still struggling with the four years she spent with her husband, and still coming to terms with how to be Leigh again, tries to ignore her feelings for Tony. Gabby was in a Jude Coma, Leigh had Tony Torture. Little touches, gentle caresses, that Tony gave Leigh to show her that he was not Preston, he would never be Preston, and he was going to wait until she was ready. He pushed, just enough for Leigh.

This book was a little darker in it’s nature. Leigh’s life was a hard one, but Brynne makes expertly navigates the emotional trauma Leigh suffered, and Tony’s struggle to be with Leigh, help her move forward with her life and not be stuck living in her mental prison, but also end up happy with her. The one thing that bothered me, that bothers me about all books that have an extreme emotional and physical trauma, is that everyone says their fine and they don’t need to see a therapist. Like going to therapy is a bad thing. Therapy is not bad! And I’d love to see more authors writing a more accepting view of therapy.

But I think that’s more my personal issue than an actual issue with the book. I have never been the victim of physical abuse so I don’t know how it feels to be abused by someone, and I can’t tell if this accurately portrays that. I do know, that it was believable.

My one question: for all that Gabby and her friends complained about Preston being an asshole, and never seeing Leigh, how could they not know that he was being abusive?! It seemed pretty obvious to me.

Still 4 out of 5 stars!

The last of the series is my favorite installment, Athica Lane.

BeFunky Design5

This is the story that, start to finish, kept me smiling and laughing. Paige Carpino meets Cam Montgomery after literally bumping into him at a burger store. After they’re both a mean to each they’re both mean to each other, they go their separate ways thinking they will never see each other again. But, Paige is watching his kids while her sister Sophia is on her anniversary vacation. While Cam would love to never see her again, and vice-versa, Cam’s kids quickly fall in love with her. Cam and Paige struggle with some crazy events, and Cam struggles with his ex-wife Bekki with an i (please read this novel so you can understand that reference), and the damage she did to him when she left him with two kids.

The third installment of the Carpinos includes two crazy families, a lot of psychos, and some more darker themes. This is probably the craziest of the three books when it comes to struggles, but it is also my favorite. I was engaged from beginning to end, constantly waiting for the next part, the next crazy antic that would happen. My favorite part? There’s something that Paige wants that Cam can’t give her, and she sticks with it. She agrees there’s things she has to do, to stay safe; she agrees there’s things she has to do for the kids, and will do everything she can to protect them; but she will not give up her dreams. And she doesn’t force Cam.

I do love a strong heroine.

This book? 5 stars. Hands down.

You’re going to go down in the books as a first class donkey face with a pile of shit on your head.” – Jen Montgomery

Quotes like the one above are what made me laugh out loud, literally. Brynne’s writing is amazing. And she truly brings the Carpino family to life. I cannot wait to continue reading more of Brynne’s work.

Who Am I?

I sat up gasping, out of breath. I looked around, realizing I was in the bathtub. Did I fall asleep? No, another dream. Another nightmare. I quickly got out of the tub, dressing in my usual pajamas without bothering to dry off. I emptied the tub, then left the bathroom, walking down the hall to my room. When I laid down in bed, I dug my fingers into my eyes trying to get rid of the images in my head.

God they felt so real.

This time I was in a business meeting, three piece Armani suit, tailored to fit me. The board members sat around the table, unhappy with my latest decision. But I didn’t care, I was going forward with it. I was stepping down as active CEO, taking a back seat, letting someone else run the daily functions, while I maintained my position on the board. I’d still make money, but it was time for me to take a step back. I didn’t want them to know I was slowly losing my mind with visions of myself doing–

What was I doing? I don’t know. In these dreams, I could feel myself struggling with reality and fantasy, I was struggling maintaining the company, I was struggling in every relationship I had, but I couldn’t figure out why. Why was I struggling? What visions was I having?

I sometimes had memories, within these visions, of me as a child. I would remember empty bottles of Jack Daniels on the counter tops, with chipped, dirty glasses and dishes everywhere. I would remember pain, searing, debilitating pain, but I would never cry. I would remember yelling “dad” at the top of my lungs, to distract the man that was hitting a woman.

But that wasn’t my dad.

That wasn’t my family. That wasn’t how I grew up. But it looked just like me. It sounded just like me. That’s what I looked like growing up. But it wasn’t me. I was going crazy. In my dreams and in reality. No matter what happened, no matter where I was, I was going crazy. Sometimes I wondered if when I the billionaire CEO was my reality. If when I thought I woke up, I was really dreaming then.

I sat on my twin bed, looking around the small room. I looked at the dresser that had only four drawers. Those four drawers didn’t have many clothes in them. I live a simple life. Simple, but good. My parents where great people. Amazing people. And they loved me fiercely, never laid a hand on me. Our house was always clean, all the dishes were washed and put away after we used them. My father kissed my mother before leaving for work every morning, and kissed her when he came home. They loved each other.

They loved me.

They passed away almost two years ago, but I can still feel their love. It keeps me going even on my hardest days. I seem to be having a lot of hard days. The nightmares keep me up, give me headaches, make me sick. I can’t keep doing this to myself. Every time I fall asleep, I wake up drenched in sweat. I can’t take it anymore. I live a good life now, good but simple. Before the night terrors, I would wake up and be happy, ready to start my day. I’d get breakfast at the cafe downstairs, near my apartment, and go to work. My job isn’t a fun one, I don’t make a lot of money, but I enjoy it. I’m a nurse at a nursing home, and although I like my patients, I don’t like the duties that come with working with the elderly. It can get gross. When I come home, I make a small dinner, and relax. Read a book. Watch TV. Nothing special.

I check the clock and see that it’s almost six in the morning. I couldn’t sleep last night, so I took a bath hoping to relax. It obviously worked since I fell asleep, but more time passed then I thought, and I need to be up in an hour anyway for work. I decide to just get up.

I take off the pajamas that I just put on, and put my scrubs on. I look in the mirror, seeing my short blonde hair a mess, even though I’ve run my fingers through it to try to clean it up. The bags under my eyes are getting worse, my green eyes and pale skin looking worse for the wear. Not good.

I try to keep my routine, to keep my sanity. Before I go to the little cafe in the downstairs, I grab the mail that I forgot to get yesterday, then grab a cup of coffee and a muffin.

“Conner, hey!” I turn and see a friend of mine that lives in my apartment building, Mason. He’s around my height, just over 6 feet tall. While I’m light all around, Mason is dark. Dark skin, short black hair, dark eyes that look more black than brown. He’s wearing a business suit, compared to my scrubs.

“Mase, man, what’s up?”

“Nothing, just thinking I might propose to Clara tonight.” He runs his fingers through his hair, and I can tell he’s unsure.

“That’s great, man. Clara’s awesome,” I smile and hug him. We chat a bit more, more small talk, and promise to get together to watch the football game this Sunday before moving on to work.

When I get there, I see my best friend at work, Melissa. We both smile as we greet each other. Melissa’s a doctor at the nursing home, and I work with her sometimes. Mostly, I work with another doctor, Dr. Jude Ramirez.

I can see the concern on her face as she looks me over. She puts her hand on my forearm as I’m checking into work.

“Conner, are you still getting the nightmares?” She asks softly. I look down at her, because she’s much shorter than me. Her blonde hair is a shade darker than mine, and pulled up into a ponytail. Her blue eyes stare up at me, sympathy shining through her eyes. “Why don’t you come into my office and talk about them?”

I just sigh and nod my head, yes. I go to the locker room. As I put my mail in my locker, a letter falls to the floor. When I pick it up, it’s addressed to me, but I don’t recognize the return address. I open it, then can feel myself frowning.

“Dear Conner,
I hope this finds you well. You don’t know me, and there is no reason you should. I should start by saying a couple months ago, I started having dreams. Dreams of a better life than the one I had. Dreams of being a nurse and working with the elderly. I’m a CEO for a Fortune 500 company and have never been to a nursing home. Ever. I started looking into my background, and found things I couldn’t possibly believe. I have put copies of those things in this letter. One of those things is my birth certificate, and yours. It turns out that we are twins. You were given up for adoption by our parents, but they kept me. I never even knew you existed until I started having these dreams. I want to come visit you. Please, call me. Let me know if we can meet.
Best,
Colin”

I pull out the copies of the birth certificates, the adoption records, everything that proves that I have a twin. I have a twin. One that has been having dreams, while I have nightmares. He’s a CEO, and he’s dreaming of being a nurse, while I’m a nurse dreaming of being a CEO. What the hell is going on.

I leave the locker room, in search of Melissa, with the documents in my hand. Maybe she can help me. I find her in her office, sitting at her computer. I knock on the door, and I can feel panic starting to bubble in my throat. Panic I’ve never felt before.

“Conner, please, come in,” Melissa smiles, and I tell her about my dreams.

“The nightmares are getting worse, Melissa. I’m barely sleeping,” I pull my fingers through my hair. “The worst ones aren’t the ones where I’m wearing clothes I’ve never seen before, or where I’m in a city I’ve never visited. It’s the memories of being abused. And I know-”

“Conner, we’ve talked about this.” And I know I won’t tell her about the letter I received. “You need to take your medicine. It’s going to help you,” she says softly. It’s comforting, but a lie.

“Melissa, the doctor gave me sleeping pills. They just keep me trapped in these nightmares for longer. I can’t take it.” I look at my watch on my wrist and sigh, “I’ve gotta get back to work. I’ll talk to you later.”

I get up and go about my day, while wondering about the letter, and about Colin.

At lunch, I sit in the cafeteria with my cell phone in hand and text the number that was in the letter.

Me: Colin? This is Conner.

Colin: I’m so glad you got in contact with me. Would you be willing to meet with me?

Me: Yes

I wait a few minutes before he responds.

Colin: I’m in town. Near you. I had hoped you would want to meet.

Me: I work at the nursing home on Walnut. Want to meet me there? We can grab dinner. I get out of work at five.

Colin: Perfect. I’ll meet you there.

I breathe out a sigh of relief. And I wait until it’s time for me to clock out.

My day moves slowly, the time crawls, and I can feel anxiety knot in my stomach. I try to push through it, and focus on my patients, but it’s not easy. I keep checking the time. It’s obsessive, and I know it. I can’t help it. It seems every five minutes, on the dot, I am checking the time. First the clocks on the wall, then my watch, then the clock on the wall again. At 4:58 I am in the locker room, grabbing my things and the mail that I put in there earlier. Before I can leave to clock out, Melissa stops me.

“Conner, we need to talk.”

“Melissa, please not now. I’m meeting someone.”

She looks at me and sighs.

“Conner, I found this in my office. You dropped it after you left,” she holds out the copy of my adoption record. “Your not taking your medicine, and I’m not talking about the sleeping pills. You’re not talking to Dr. Ramirez. I’ve seen you check the clock all day. This is a problem. I’ve spoken to Dr. Ramirez, and he’s going to meet us in my office. Let’s go talk to him.”

“No, Melissa, you don’t understand. Those records are proof. I have a twin. I was put up for adoption. He’s been having the same dreams as me. But of my life. Look,” I pull out the letter and show it to her. She looks at it and bites her bottom lip.

“Come with me,” as we walk out of the locker room, I look to the front door and see him. Colin. He smiles, but I can see the bags under his eyes, just like mine. I smile too and wave him over.

“Melissa, look. This is Colin. I told you. I have a twin.”

Melissa looks at the both of us, and I can see more concern crinkling her brows. She says “follow me” to the both of us, and we go to her office. Dr. Ramirez is waiting for us there. He’s tall, but not as tall as I am. His skin tone is darker, but not like Mason. Just tan, but a natural tan. His brown hair is cut short. Close to his head. His brown eyes look over at me and are filled with worry. Colin and I make our way into the office but there’s not much more room. He motions for me to sit so I do, while he stands in the back.

“Look, I know I haven’t been taking the sleeping pills–”

“Or any of the medication,” Dr. Ramirez interrupts.

“I don’t need it. Look, you see Colin? He sent me a letter. He told me he’s having nightmares too. He told me we’re twins.”

“Conner,” he sighs again. “We’ve talked about this. You’ve talked about this with Melissa. Those nightmares are your memories. They are not your twins memories. You were the one being abused.” I shake my head.

“No, no that’s not true. In my nightmares I’m a CEO. But I’m a nurse.”

“Conner. You were the CEO for one of the top marketing firms in the country. You couldn’t handle it anymore. You’re not a nurse.”

I keep shaking my head.

“Colin is real. He’s right there.” I turn around to look at Colin, but he’s not there anymore. I shake my head to clear it and look, and there he is. He’s got his hands in his pockets, and he’s wearing a suit.

“Conner,” Melissa says. I turn around to look at her. “There’s no one there. You did have a twin but he died a long time ago. You were both abused by your father, and he died because of that. You went into foster care, and found a loving family. They adopted you when you were fifteen. You went on to become very successful, but when they passed away two years ago, you had a breakdown. You were admitted here, to this hospital, to help you get better. You’ve been here for two years. When you first got here, you were saying that Colin was alive, that he was a nurse somewhere in the mid-west. You wouldn’t listen to anyone. You were making progress with the medication, but you stopped taking it when we trusted you to take it on your own. That’s why your having nightmares again. That’s why you’ve brought Colin back from the dead.” On her desk, is a little cup with medication in it, and she pushes it towards me.

“Conner, you need this to get better. So you can leave. Colin is real, but he’s no longer alive. If you don’t take the medicine Melissa gave you, then you will be monitored again. All day, every day.”

“What about Mason? He’s my friend. He was going to propose tonight. He works in the stock market. We live in the same building.”

“Mason is another patient here. His room is on your floor. Clara is a nurse. They’re not together.” Dr. Ramirez states this matter-of-fact. I put my hands to my temples. What the hell is going on?

“Conner,” Melissa says. I look up at her and she gives me a small smile. “Take the medicine. If you don’t, you will not be able to ever get out of here. Talk to Dr. Ramirez and myself. We can help you. We want to help you.”

I see Colin move out of the corner of my eye. Melissa and Dr. Ramirez don’t look in his direction, but I hear him speak softly. Almost a whisper.

I take the medication, and they both smile. As I leave, making my way to the cafeteria, I can feel the medicine kicking in. I lose my energy as I slump into my chair. The words Colin spoke repeating in my head.

Take the medicine. Get out of here. They’re lying to you.

 

 

 

Thanks for the inspiration Melo!

How to Date a Douchebag Review

**SPOILER ALERTS BELOW!!**

Early February Sara Ney came out with another stunner in her How to Date a Douchebag series. This time, it’s the Coaching Hours.

This addition to the series was a little different. First, we get to see Elliot, Sebastion “Oz” Osbourne and Zeke Daniels’ roommate from the first two books in the series. I, for one, was so excited to see Elliot’s return! But, Elliot is not a douchebag.

Elliot’s love interest? The wrestling coach’s daughter, Anabelle. And Anabelle is not a douchebag either.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But where are the douchebags?

The douchebags come in the form of Rex Gunderson, wrestling team manager, and Eric Johnson, member of the wrestling team. These two knuckleheads bet on who can get into Anabelle’s pants first. But Anabelle isn’t having it.

BeFunky Design2

Anabelle moves in with her father, the Coach. Although she loves him, she wants to get her own place. While searching for an apartment, she overhears the wrestlers talking about Gunderson and Johnson’s bet. Anabelle and Elliot meet in the library, after Anabelle overhears some guys in the gym talking about the bet. Then Elliot meets her again at a party when she gets very drunk. Elliot, the sweet guy that he is, takes care of her. He helps her when she’s sick, and helps drive her back to her house in the morning. Anabelle realizes he has an extra room in his small apartment, so asks to move in.

Elliot’s thoughts? “What if she decides to walk around the house with no pants on and I have to see her ass cheeks? What if I like it?”

They move in together, and Anabelle gets her revenge on the boys, while she slowly falls for Elliot, and Elliot falls for Anabelle. The problem? Elliot is leaving once he graduates. He’s moving to another state for school.

Sara Ney has done it again with this installment. She also says it’s the final one. *sigh* I so would love to see another douchebag story! The writing, the comedy, the story. Everything about it is fantastic.

And oh the twists and turns! There were some WICKED plot twists that I was not expecting, but were fully appreciated!! This read was 5 stars for me!

And I can’t wait to read more from Sara Ney!

BeFunky Design3

Review Time!

Ok, I am so behind when it came to this book. My cousin (shout out to Felicia) lent me her book after I told her I was looking to read more books that weren’t romance novels. I tend to stick to what I know and love. I am so glad she gave me this book.

The novel itself is short, only 163 pages, but the overall messages this book delivers are both great and impactful.

For those, like me, who have never heard of the book before, it is about a young shepherd Santiago. While traveling with his sheep, he has a dream of going to the Egyptian pyramids and finding treasure. But before he can find out where the treasure is, he wakes up. He decides to go to a gypsy woman to help interpret the dream. Her advice is simple: go to Egypt.

Santiago debates on what to do, because he has his sheep to take care of. While debating, he meets a king, who tells him of a Personal Legend. The king tells him he needs to follow his Personal Legend, now while he has been gifted an omen, before it is too late. Not everyone realizes their legend, but if they do, they must follow it. But he must remember, everything comes at a price.

On Santiago’s journey, he meets more people, including an alchemist, a crystal merchant, a thief, and eventually he meets the love of his life. Over the years, he struggles with whether or not to continue on his journey, whether or not to fulfill his Personal Legend.

The novel was originally written in Portuguese and translated in the 90s. Though translated books are usually not as good as the original (due to certain things being lost in translation) The Alchemist holds its true meaning. The moral of the story: if you want something you need to go and get it.

But I got so much more out of the novel. Some of my favorite quotes:

BeFunky Design1

“It’s this: that at some point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become curried by fate. That’s the worlds greatest lie.” – The King of Salem

“Even though I complain sometimes, it’s because I’m the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are aftraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because when these things happen, we suffer terribly.” – Santiago’s heart.

For me, this was a 4 star read. I give it 4 stars, because although I really enjoyed reading this, it was kind of hard to get through. The translation of the novel was really good, but the writing was stilted. The sentences were smaller, and were uncomplicated. The language was simple, and it was repetitive. This is probably more a Young Adult novel than one for adults.

But still good!

Have you read The Alchemist? Did you have favorite quote? Comment below and tell me!

Am I Dying?

It feels like there’s an elephant sitting on my chest and I can’t breathe. I am actively reminding my self to breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Over and over again, I keep repeating this to myself, hoping I can get through the fog in my head. But it is like I am whispering this mantra. While I am actively making myself breathe, there’s another voice in my head that’s louder, that’s reminding me that I cannot breathe. My lungs don’t work. And then I start panicking all over again because I can’t breathe.

I can’t breathe. I cannot physically breathe. 

I can see people around me, moving and talking. I think I know them. I think they’re my friends, but I can’t remember. I am too busy whispering to my body that I can breathe and that my lungs do work. But if these people moving around the room are my friends, why aren’t they helping me? Why aren’t they calling an ambulance?

My lungs aren’t working!

I want to scream and yell, but that requires breathing, and I can’t do that. So instead, I stand in the corner, not focusing on what is happening in the room. I’m not focused on who is moving around me, or who is bumping into me with a mumbled apology. I hold the red solo cup in my hand, but I don’t drink it. If I drink it, will it get into my lungs while I struggle to breathe?

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

“God, Rey, you’re so freaking anti-social. Go talk to someone!” Someone says next to me. I look to see, I think, my best friend Alessia, but I can’t be sure. My vision is starting to blur from the lack of oxygen. “Seriously, you look like such a bitch standing over here, alone, in the corner. And you’ve got RBF!”

I think I made a sound.

“Yeah, resting-bitch-face! You look so unapproachable. This is why people complain about you. Sometimes I don’t even know why you come out to these things.” She flips her brown hair over her shoulder and walks away from me.

She thinks I am purposely standing in a corner, with a drink in my hand, looking like an anti-social, unapproachable, person. I’m just trying to take a deep breath. Get some oxygen into my lungs. Something.

Anything.

I look around the room again, but my vision is starting to go black. Blindly, I stumble towards the door, where I think the door is, down the stairs and onto the street. I sit down on a curb somewhere, anywhere. I put my head in between my knees trying to breathe. Trying to get air into my lungs. Trying to get my lungs to work.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.

My jeans are suddenly too tight, my hair is too long and it is helping suffocate me. My shirt is starting to stick to my skin as I sweat. The sweat is beading across my forehead. It drips down my arms. I am drowning in a pool of my own sweat, and I can’t breathe. My mind cannot get past that I cannot breathe.

Why can’t I breathe? Am I dying?

No. This is anxiety. I know this is anxiety. My lungs work, I know this. I know this. But it’s so hard to make my brain remember this. It’s so hard to make my heart remember this. I don’t know why my anxiety comes. It starts slow.

A crowd of people; a knot in my throat.
A date with a new guy; butterflies eating at the inside of my stomach.
My friends telling me I’m not social enough; I can’t breathe.

Tonight it was all three. My friends invited me to a house party. There were so many people there, and the knot in my throat made it so I couldn’t talk. They wanted me to meet a new guy, so the butterflies ate at my stomach lining. I couldn’t tell anybody what was wrong. And then the complaints started. How I don’t talk enough, I’m not social enough, and then I can’t breathe.

But nobody cares.

Nobody can tell.

In through your nose, out through your mouth.