Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

Alien Skin

Happy Wednesday bookish people! I’m back with another Where’d I Leave It Wednesday. This one is a bit different to usual, it isn’t focusing on my cane rather just my life in general at the moment. It was a piece that I wrote for a competition, that I didn’t win, and I thought I would share it here.

I hope you all enjoy it!

It was thin in my hands. Blue, and it crinkled like paper. With a string hoop stitched into each side of it. My hands fit through the hoops, it scratched at my ears as the blue front compressed to fit the contours of my face with each intake of breath, a second alien skin over the top of my own. Everyone else around me has blue alien skins now too. It only shows up when we go outside, or the postman knocks the door, but he’s already outside – that’s why his alien skin is already showing it’s had chance to fit to every crevice long before he sent the post through the letterbox or rang the doorbell with his gloved hands. Sometimes people have theirs hanging from their faces, dangling precariously from an inflamed ear that always has a crimson crescent curled around it’s back. It looks like they are shedding. Like a snake does when it’s done with its original skin. If you laid my alien skin out on a table it would be smaller than my sister’s is but when it is smoothed onto my face it covers just the same amount. My tiny brown eyes stare out at me over the top when I look in the mirror, it’s the same look my sister’s kitten gives me when he hides on the stairs but drops his head on the step above with a thump. Some days I think I’d quite like to be a cat. All I’d have to do is stalk through my owner’s open and welcoming legs, brush up against their skin and bite with my fanged teeth if they tried to move while I was walking through because, how dare they move. All I’d have to do is wait for hands to feed me, then lay on my back while the same hands, and others, would rub my belly and I’d pretend to push them away with my paws while really wanting them to continue. And I’d purr all day because I wouldn’t have to wear an Alien’s skin on my face whenever I left the house and I wouldn’t have to guess whether or not I knew the person I was talking to because as a girl registered as blind in a world where we are all wearing Alien skin faces, I can recognize even less than usual. We got Shadow, that’s the name my Sister gave her Kitten, in October 2020 and it’s fitting that he’s black and white when we got him in the month of Halloween – we tried to dress him up in a Mickey Mouse zip up jacket but he wasn’t having any of it, he hid in my backpack with one tiny paw poking out the side to swipe at our legs instead. Revenge for the dress up, he’s definitely my Sister’s cat – and he also really hates the Alien skins we wear when we go outside.

That’s it for today’s story, I’ll be back next Wednesday hopefully with another one!

Where'd I Leave It Wednesday

The Puzzle of Building a Jigsaw

Happy Wednesday bookish people! I missed last week’s Where’d I Leave It Wednesday but I’m back! This will probably be a shorter post than usual but I hope you will all still enjoy it.

Today’s story is about the struggle of completing a jigsaw…

I love doing jigsaws. The satisfying clunk as each piece slots into place. Seeing the picture growing because of the work being put into it. It takes up time but I barely notice as the hours pass by. At the moment I have a jigsaw half completed taking up residence on the front room carpet. It’s pride of place, balancing precariously on a green mat that rises in different places like countryside hills have sprung up overnight. The pieces bend and crack over the hills, the tabs are like arms trying to grip to their neighbour or otherwise crumble to the bottom. An avalanche of puzzle pieces with every footstep in the house.

I’m getting close to finishing this puzzle. With a few more days of working it will be completed and the dressmakers shop it depicts will come to life in my living room. It’s 500 pieces taking up the space of 1000 pieces. The puzzle drew me in from the very first web search I did. ‘Extra large jigsaw puzzles’ that’s what I searched. There aren’t many, that’s what I discovered. Even this one saying extra large pieces all over it’s packaging isn’t as large a piece as you’d expect. it’s a constant search for me.. to find puzzles that I can see the pieces of without having to resort to puzzles that have ‘7 and up’ scrawled over the front like a flashing label that says look at me I have to do children’s jigsaws when I’m 22. This doesn’t include Disney, because Disney is for any age and I won’t hear anything against this.

I have a lovely Disney puzzle. I took it down my partner’s Dad’s on Boxing Day last year. Set out every individual piece with a careful precision. Took in each and every colour and distinguishing feature. The edges were built, an elegant frame. Then the inside was filled, piece by piece, I put in what I thought was the final piece. Wonderful, I sat back to take in what we had completed. Then I noticed, there was a piece missing. I looked everywhere for it, it wasn’t in the bed or on the floor.. no, my partner had it. He had taken it at some point during the day and kept it hidden from me so that he could put the last piece into the puzzle. Then he looked at me and said ‘I win’. I still contest this.

That’s it for today’s story, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: You Had It Coming by B M Carroll

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today is my stop on the book tour for You Had It Coming by B M Carroll, and I will say that this book actually brought tears to my eyes. Thank you to Viper Books and Anne Cater for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

You Had It Coming Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book is multi-layered and complex, fast paced and suspenseful. Carroll artfully drops clues into the story without the reader always noticing that they are significant. This book strikes the perfect balance between the present investigation and the mystery surrounding what happened in the past.

Throughout this book there is the evidence of trauma in the characters and it explores ideas surrounding sexual assault victims and how they are presented in Court. It also touches generally on how overly sexualised women can be presented by others and the topic of women being able to do whatever, and wear whatever they want without being judged. All of this is what actually made me emotional reading this book, especially because of society at the moment, I think a lot of women have experienced judgement, fear, and many other things. I thought it was a very important topic to be included in this book.

The mystery/thriller element of this book was executed brilliantly. There was a point where my brain was so muddled and that is a sign of a good book for me. I like to be confused by them.. that’s probably a little strange but nevermind.

You Had It Coming Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed that this book was written from multiple perspectives. It not only allowed the reader to experience every story surrounding the investigation but also the characters in the background of the stories that may have had a bigger part to play than would be shown with the limited perspective of one character.

There are many characters in this book but the main ones are Megan – the paramedic who knew the victim, Jess – someone who knew the victim and Bridget – the detective investigating the case. Their stories are interwoven with very dramatic impacts at points. I thought every character was explored thoroughly and had intriguing personalities. I definitely felt throughout that I couldn’t trust the characters – as is common in good thrillers.

You Had It Coming Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I think is already obvious I thought the writing of this book was excellent – clear, good pacing, intriguing. There’s not much more I can say about it. The dialogue is used well to further the mystery and the general plot.

You Had It Coming Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I had to give this book four stars overall because I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed being dragged along as the mystery progressed and discovering exactly what happened both in the past and in the present.

Blurb/Synopsis:

‘B.M. Carroll is a wonderful writer’ – LIANE MORIARTY

‘A true page-turner, relentlessly fast-paced’ – KATIE LOWE

‘Well written and very, very clever’ – A.J. PARK

‘I absolutely loved it. Gripping and twisty’ – SOPHIE FLYNN
________________________________________

WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?

When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?

Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.

Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?

Perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Lucy Foley and Lisa Hall, You Had It Coming is a thrilling tale of suspense and dark secrets.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Happy Monday bookish people! The fourth book review today is for An Unwanted Guest. I’ve recently gotten into reading the mystery/thriller genre and so far I am loving it.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy the book review!

An Unwanted Guest Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this novel gave me classic crime, Agatha Christie’s Poirot style vibes. With the remote Inn where all the guests get snowed in and then a murder happens. This is the style of murder mystery I truly enjoy. The whole time my brain was whirring trying to figure out who the murderer was and why they did it. I will admit now, I did not guess it correctly. There are so many twists in this book, secrets hidden by all of the guests and none of them can be trusted. I read this book in an afternoon and loved every second of it. I felt that the changing between the scenes could have been smoother because sometimes I did get confused about where I was but this didn’t impact much on my enjoyment.

An Unwanted Guest Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You get an introduction to almost all of the characters and all of them have mystery surrounding them. Some have marital problems, some have jealousy and some have even worse secrets. I found each character to be engaging and interesting however, I didn’t feel that I liked any of them and I certainly didn’t trust any of them.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The dialogue in this book worked brilliantly with the atmosphere. It gave the characters personalities and their interactions with each other spoke volumes with minimal words. The writing style was clever, dynamic and creative. It was smooth to read and I barely remembered that I was not in the story myself because of this.

An Unwanted Guest Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I really enjoyed the mystery, the atmosphere and how everything came together. I felt that some parts of the book needed a tiny bit more explaining and some things weren’t fully resolved at the end but overall I loved the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys

Hello bookish people! Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Today I’m bringing you a book review for The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, the first book in The Raven Boys four book series. I thought this book was okay, it was an enjoyable opening book to a series. In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each of these. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy reading my book review!

This is a well-written, enjoyable opening novel to the series. It introduces the characters and has a contained conflict as well as an overarching conflict for the rest of the series. It has a unique and interesting premise that made me want to pick up this book. It cuts between the POVs of multiple characters including that of Blue, the main protagonist, Gansey and Adam.

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die.

Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This novel has an interesting plot. It is a well planned, well-written and intriguing plot that keeps you reading on until the end, and I felt the ending was satisfactory to complete the story for this book while still managing to set up an intriguing story for the second book in the series, particularly because of the final line.
However, I felt there were too many little stories happening at the same time which made them hard to follow, and they didn’t all get solved within this first book. Also, it felt like an opening novel rather than a novel with a very defined plot, it seemed to centre around introducing the characters and their relationships (which I don’t think is a bad thing), that’s why I can only give the plot three stars.

Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought that the characters in this novel were brilliantly engaging. One of the high points for me was the dialogue between them, particularly between Blue and Gansey, it is interesting and well-written. It makes me like the characters. I find I am very much a character-based reader, I enjoy their interactions and the things that add to the plot I find are the things that are revealed through dialogue or the lack of it. The main characters in this novel (Noah, Blue, Gansey, Adam and Ronan) are all clear characters, each with their own conflict. I would have liked this novel to explore Noah and Ronan more than it did as I found their characters lacking compared to the others but overall I thought the characters were a highlight in this book.

Dialogue and Writing:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I don’t have much more to say about this, as I’ve mentioned it in the previous two categories but I could only give this category three stars because I felt that the writing in the beginning may have been a little slow to actually delve into the story and because of this the writing in the second half felt too rushed for my preferences.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

So, overall I’m rating this book three stars. I enjoyed the book and I definitely plan on reading the second book in the series (I’ve heard that’s the best one? so I’m looking forward to it). I am invested in the characters and their relationships but I couldn’t give a higher star rating because I wasn’t all that invested in the plot but I was at the same time – that probably doesn’t make much sense. I enjoyed it, but I probably won’t reread it any time soon.

Synopsis/Blurb:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Uncategorized

The Kitten Escapades Part 1

Happy Sunday bookish people! I hope everyone’s weekend has been lovely. Today my story is going to be one of the (many!) things that our kitten has done – he’s a crazy ball of fluff, very curious and very mischievous. He knows what things he shouldn’t do he just does them anyway. So, I’m probably going to turn this into a series, that’s why this is part one, because he’s almost definitely going to be doing naughty things for a while yet.

We got him, I say ‘we’ – he’s my Sister’s kitten but he loves me more, in October of 2020. My Sister’s friend had a cat called Luna who had four kittens (Trigger, Rusty, Opal and Shadow) three boys and one girl. Then unfortunately Luna was hit by a car and the kittens were left motherless. My Sister and her friend then hand reared the four kittens and one of them became very attached to my Sister and we got to keep him! Now we have a black and white kitten called Shadow. He’s afraid of everything and he likes to wake up at nighttime and play with his toys that have bells on them.

So, last week I was in the bath, and it was warm and relaxing and lovely. except for the slight breeze coming through the door that has to be left ajar. Shadow doesn’t like being shut out of rooms, he cries and cries at the door if you do. He especially doesn’t like being shut out of the bathroom because he likes to curl up on the purple flower mat that we have in there. If it ever goes really quiet in the house we would probably find him asleep there on the bathroom mat. So that’s why we have to keep the bathroom door open if any of us are in the bath – well, actually my Mum and I are the only ones who keep it open because we can’t resist the cute little kitten.

I’m in the bath, the door is open, and in comes Shadow. I could hear him purring but I couldn’t see him from where I was so I assumed he was just getting comfortable and then he would go to sleep. This is not what he did. It went very quiet and again I assumed he was asleep and I’d just have to be careful not to stand on him when I got out of the bath. So I’m washing my hair and for some reason I do this with my eyes closed, don’t ask me why because honestly I have no idea. Then all of a sudden I open my eyes and a black and white blur shoots over the edge of the bath. The front half of it starts to land on the edge next to me. But then it slips. And suddenly there’s a kitten in my bath. He does not like water and as soon as he hit the water he was already trying to get out, unfortunately for him there was something in his way from doing that. My leg, it was my leg in the way because he had fallen on it and now he was scratching it in his rush to get out. He did manage to get out. I screamed, he meowed, everyone downstairs heard and he showered me in water droplets and cat hair when he was firmly on the bathroom mat again. I might start closing the door from now on…

That’s it for this story! I hope everyone enjoyed it! I’m going to be posting some book reviews today as well so come back to read those if you are interested. Also, the kittens in the picture are not mine, I wasn’t able to post a photo of my kitten for safety reason but there are going to be photos on my instagram @the_blind_scribe if you want to see him!