Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Frenzy

I have moments like this frequently.  "Too many books and not enough time!"  There are so many books that I want to read and I can feel the minutes ticking away, I know that I will never be able to read them all and it drives me crazy!

Watch this hilarious video clip.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Hallowed Ones - Review

Title:  The Hallowed Ones
Author: Laura Bickle

Synopsis:  “Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church.  But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble.  It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world.  Something is out there … and it is making a killing.
          “Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in.  But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die.  She refuses to submit to the Elders’ rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community – but what else is she bringing in with him?”

Review:  I spent all of my teenage years in a Mennonite Community.  I walked the walk, talked the talk, dressed the dress… whatever you want to call it.  I immersed myself in the culture and I loved it.  We still had cars and telephones, although back then hardly anyone had cell phones, so it wasn't as extreme as the Amish.  I tell you this so you understand that when I saw the cover of The Hallowed Ones I absolutely had to have it.  Some of my family still follows many of the Mennonite ways, although I am no longer living in the Mennonite Community for those of you that wonder.  My Mother’s nearest neighbors are Amish, and I am very familiar with their beliefs and customs.  I understand that each Amish community is a bit different, but I was a tad disappointed in Bickle’s portrayal of the Amish.  Two points: 1) The Amish do not pray out loud at meals.  They pray silently before and after a meal.  2) The Amish do not believe that they can know they are going to heaven as this would lead to pride.  Now I understand that this may garner me some flack as each community is different.  However I have been led to understand, by the Amish that I know, that these are rigid rules and beliefs that should be the same in every community.  I also understand that there is such a thing as poetic license which is why I will not let this small disappointment tarnish my love of this book.
          I did love The Hallowed Ones.  I read it in less than a day.  It was my birthday and I treated myself to a trip to Barnes and Noble.  I bought a lot of books.  At one point a salesperson offered me a basket.  I declined because my rule is that I can’t buy more books than I can carry.  A few minutes later another salesperson offered to take some of the books to a register for me.  She looked very concerned for my safety.  I can carry a lot of books!  Okay, back to the book.  The cover of The Hallowed Ones grabbed my attention right away.  I didn’t really pay attention to what it was about until I got home; I just knew that I needed this book with the Amish girl on the cover. 
The Hallowed Ones is a horror novel about an apocalypse told from the perspective of an Amish teenager.  It was wonderful.  I was sad when I finished it.  It made me angry and it made me sad.  It made me smile and it made my heart pound.  I loved Katie and the fact that she didn’t just blindly follow along with what the Elders told everyone to do like a sheep.  She loved her community but wanted to understand the reasons that they did things the way that they did.  She knew that she would most likely end up choosing the Amish life but wanted to experience life outside of the community first and all of that was ruined by this disaster. 
When we read and write novels about apocalypse or dystopian earth we rarely consider what would happen to these people who already live apart from the rest of society.  With no phones, no television and no radio, these communities would be the last to know about a disaster and the least affected by one.  The Hallowed Ones was very original and told a story that many of us have not really considered before now. 

Publisher: Graphia / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 978-0547859262

If you like this book you may want to read:

Obernewtyn: The Obernewtyn Chronicles book 1 by Isobelle Carmody

The Forrest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I don't handle change well.  Even when it's good change there is a certain period of adjustment.  I am a creature of habit and like to have a semi-predictable schedule.  There have been a lot of changes in my life recently that I feel the need to catch everyone up on.

Firstly:  Book Girl has a boyfriend.  It's not that I hadn't tried, and I met some very nice people who were by all appearances perfect for me.  But, as some of you know, since my divorce the idea of a relationship is something that would strike fear into my heart and cause me to run in the other direction.  However, last May I met someone that didn't make me want to run.  It's partly the timing.  I think that I was finally ready to begin healing and moving on.  But it's also him.  He didn't push me to move faster than I was willing to go and is quite literally the absolute sweetest man I have ever met.

Secondly:  Book Girl now has a BA in English Literature.  Yeah, that's right.  I graduated in December, after much hard work, and have decided to take a break from school for now.  Sitting in class with all those 18-21 year olds made me feel old!

Thirdly:  Book Girl now has a full-time job.  I have student loans to pay back, the rent is due, someone has to buy the cat food, and there are books to be purchased and read.  The company for which I was already working hired me full-time as a pharmacy technician.  

What does this mean for you? I have discovered that the second and third changes mean that I have a lot more free time than I did previously.  Working 40 hours a week is nothing compared to working part-time and going to school full-time!  However, the boyfriend is taking up a lot of that new found time.  I am slowly settling into a schedule of working, reading, writing, blogging and cuddling. Almost every Saturday is going to be a no internet, no phone, no television day.  These days will be set aside primarily for reading, writing and getting things done around the house, ie: laundry and bathroom cleaning.  So, things should be picking up around here and falling into a somewhat more predictable schedule.