Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Review: Cleopatra Ascending by Maureen Lipinski

Title: Cleopatra Ascending
Author: Maureen Lipinski
Series: Shadow’s Edge #2
Rating: 3 Stars

223 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Flux
Received a review copy from the publisher on Netgalley

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Cleopatra Ascending is fast, almost too much so. Covering 223 pages, this young-adult paranormal thriller is straight-up non-complex fiction, easy to read and get lost in.
Rhea has always known she was a reincarnation of Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, but it had never seemed interesting. Her family consists of witches and shamans, and Rhea is boringly human – until her sixteenth birthday. On an otherwise dull day, she discovers she is part of an ancient curse, which only she can break.

Although Cleopatra Ascending is the second book in the Shadow’s Edge series, it is perfectly understandable without having read the first book. The earlier book focusses on one of Rhea’s sisters, making Cleopatra a fresh story only loosely connected to it. Unlike many young-adult books, Rhea already has an established relationship at the beginning of the book. Despite the fact that a second teenage guy is introduced in the course of the book, a love-triangle never forms, leaving the original relationship as the focus of romantic interest. I liked how the issues Rhea and Slade faced were related to their circumstances, and not the addition of another hot guy.

Rhea is very much a teenager, which is an advantage or a drawback, based on your perspective. She is concerned with mundane things like being grounded, seeing friends, and smooching her boyfriend, and the world-ending stuff doesn’t make her forget these things. Perhaps she reads as “stupid” for not taking the treats on her life seriously, but I actually found her resistance realistic. No matter how surrounded you are with the paranormal, saving the world must not come easily to everyone.

The weakest aspect of the book is the mythology. Rhea receives visions from her previous life, but these do not extend beyond the aesthetic and plot-related elements. There was very little to learn about history or Egyptian culture or even Cleopatra herself. It feels like a missed opportunity, as there is so much material to work with, and I feel that the book would have had a better grounding if it had drawn more from mythology and history. As it is, the plot seems flimsy and filled with an almost cartoonlike distinction between good and evil. It is serviceable, and propels the story toward a satisfying conclusion, but it doesn’t leave much of an impression.

On the other hand, this does mean that Cleopatra Ascending is accessible even for readers who find history incredibly dull and are looking for a high-stakes adventure featuring a girl-next-door teen protagonist.


Trigger warnings (highlight to show): violence. Some characters are killed by a bomb. Characters use veils to disguise themselves, and I am unsure whether the portrayal of this was handled sensitively enough.

Blurb

Sweet Sixteen = You’re a Queen

Despite living with a shaman, a witch, and a muse for sisters, Rhea Spencer feels like a normal teenager-even if she is the reincarnation of Cleopatra. But all that changes on Rhea’s sixteenth birthday, when her visions of the Egyptian queen start unraveling a very different version of history, and Declan, a hot representative of the secret Order of Antony, shows up on the doorstep to keep her from being kidnapped. Together, Rhea and Declan travel to Egypt to stop the Octavians, a dark cabal trying to tap into Rhea’s growing powers. The cabal seeks to access the magic deep below the desert sands, a potentially devastating force that only Rhea can protect.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Review: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Shifts
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Rating: 4 Stars

342 pages
Published August 4th 2015 by Ace
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

As Magic Shifts is the eight book in the Kate Daniels series, this review might contain spoilers for the earlier books. Some really big stuff went down in the seventh book in particular, so beware!

Times are changing for our favourite power-couple Kate and Curran. Having left pack life behind, they moved to a nice suburban neighbourhood. Though perhaps a were-lion is not the kind of neighbour the humans signed up for… When a pack member goes missing, Kate and Curran are faced with an enemy they haven’t encountered before – and it’s getting stronger every day.

After a book that made some huge steps in the overall story arc of the series, Magic Shifts is a slight return to the monster-of-the-week format. Although the various treads get attention – especially Kate’s relationship with her father continues to fascinate – Magic Shifts introduces a rather typical mystery-action-adventure of the kind series readers will recognize from the earlier books. I was glad for this break, allowing some more character growth as roles and relationships change. Events in Magic Shifts illustrate how far Kate has come. Gone is the solitary mercenary, as she has gained responsibility not only for people she loves, but also Atlanta as a whole as she claimed the city.

The loving and stable relationship between Kate and Curran is continued in this book, which makes me terribly happy. It’s great to have an established couple as heroes, rather than being in perpetual will-they-won’t-they limbo. They will, and they do, and they’re awesome together.

Without saying too much about the mystery in Magic Shifts, it draws from Egyptian, Middle-Eastern and Islamic mythology and tradition. These books have been great in highlighting mythologies beyond the Anglo-Saxon, and this was no exception. I will leave the judging the accuracy of representation to actual Muslim readers – it is not my place. The portrayal of the Muslim characters however was sympathetic and complex.

Another great book in the Kate Daniels series. It’s great to see Kate and her family come together through adversary. As always, I am looking forward to another volume of witty and snappy prose and sword-wielding adventure.

Blurb

After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

Other reviews you might be interested in
Other books in this series
  1. Magic Bites
  2. Magic Burns
  3. Magic Strikes
  4. Magic Bleeds
  5. Magic Slays
  6. Magic Rises
  7. Magic Breaks
  8. Magic Shifts
  9. Magic Binds
  10. Magic Triumphs

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Review: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Title: The Fifth Season
Author: N.K. Jemisin
Series: The Broken Earth #1
Rating: 4 Stars

468 pages
Published August 4th by Orbit
Borred from the library

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Tired of the endless slew of Tolkienesque fantasy, I asked for recommendations of fantasy-loving friends. N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy came up again and again. It’s actually a surprise it stayed off my radar for so long, as it is well-loved in the bookish community as well as by the broader public.

The world knows five seasons: winter, spring, summer, fall, and death. Comms are always prepared for the inevitable fifth season, where the sky darkens and life is uncertain. Told from three perspectives, this novel reveals a world where the earth itself has become angry. It shudders and heaves, and it is only orogenes that can still it. Yet they are feared and ostracized, often killed before they reach puberty. Their awful power can kill thousands of people with one thought, but is at the same time essential for humanity’s survival.

The Fifth Season contains many elements which are brought together skilfully by Ms Jemisin. Points of view span different times and places but never become confusing; little seeds promising future events fully come to bloom later on; the world feels fresh and interesting and there is always more to discover beyond the next turn. The earth as envisioned in The Fifth Season feels familiar quickly, but our understanding of its workings deepens as our protagonists discover more about it. What I especially liked is that it stays clear of the magic-apprentice trope: a typical fantasy plot where we are introduced to the magic system and the character’s surroundings through an exceedingly naïve and sheltered child. Ms Jemisin’s characters are generally already familiar with orogeny (a form of earth-moving magic), leaving space for more interesting developments.

Perhaps my favourite element of The Fifth Season is its acknowledgement that human nature is not simple. We do not all want the same thing, no matter in what groups or communities we collect ourselves. This same courtesy is extended to the other races in this universe, such as the mysterious stone-eaters. Everyone has their own agenda, and it is not always clear what it is. Additionally, the book lightly touches on non-monogamous and non-heterosexual relationships in a way that is accepting and loving. Even though romance is of little consequence as a whole within the book, it was great to see it being handled respectfully. All too often the sexually unconventional are demonized in fantasy.

A common thread throughout the novel is a commentary on race and Othering. To give a quick summary, theories around Othering try to explain how groups of people can be made to seem inhuman, not one of us, the Other. Throughout history, racial difference has often been used to treat groups of people horribly, a rhetoric employed to justify acts up to and including genocides. In The Fifth Season the racial Other is displaced unto the magical/powerful Other. It is not skin colour that sets people in this world apart (what we now would see as blackness or a mid-African phenotype is a point of beauty) but what they can do. While the characters face terrible injustices because of their capabilities, the reader feels that their powers are actually amazing and should be cherished. This emotion reaction of pushing back against discrimination of orogenes subtly points back to racial Othering. However, because that anxiety and tension is displaced onto a category of people which does not exist in our reality, it allows all people who feel like they have ever been excluded from society to identify with the plights of these characters. This is truly very well done – I can’t imagine it being handled more skilfully by any other writer.

Perhaps the only element that was missing for me was an emotional connection with the characters. A tighter connection would have catapulted this book from “wow, this is great!” to an all-time favourite. As it stands, The Fifth Season was everything I was looking for when I asked for diverse fantasy recommendations, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.


Trigger warnings (highlight to show): physical abuse of children, discrimination, implied genocide, forced sexual relations*, off-page execution of children, forced captivity, inter-species cannibalism.
* Regarding the forced sexual relation, it was surprisingly low in rape triggers. The female character is an active participant, seeing it more like a chore that needs to be done with low emotional repercussions.

Blurb

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. AGAIN.

Three terrible things happen in a single day.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back.

She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Books for Sale & Trade

Hi guys! So my bookcases have been absolutely overflowing lately, and I have decided to get rid of some books. Most of these have been read (though not all), and many are still in new condition.

I’ve added a description of the condition of the book, and the price (if applicable). Shipping is €3.20 per book for European addresses. If you live somewhere else, I can check what it would cost, but you’re probably better off just buying a new copy 🙂

I’ve also added a wishlist of books below. If you have any of these, we might work out a trade! In this case, of course, you don’t pay the price I put next to the book. You might also check out my Goodreads TBR, as there are quite a lot of books I’d be interested in but that aren’t listed.

20170507_150228

Books for sale:

  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
  • Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
  • Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
  • Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (hardcover – new €5)
  • The Peculiar by Stephan Bachmann (paperback – near-new €3)
  • The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
  • Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
  • Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks (paperback – new €4)
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €2)
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (paperback – used and slightly yellowed, no markings €3)
  • Entangled by Cat Clarke (paperback – used but looks fine, spine intact €3)
  • Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris (paperback – used, some markings on cover €2)
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (paperback – used but looks fine €3)
  • Cress by Marissa Meyer (paperback – used, heavy markings around spine as visible in picture €2)
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
  • Torment by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
  • Passion by Lauren Kate (paperback – slightly yellowed but otherwise as new €3)
  • Rapture by Lauren Kate (paperback – new €4)
  • Die For Me by Amy Plum (paperback – as new €4)
  • Until I Die by Amy Plum (paperback – spine creased near the top, visible in picture, otherwise fine €3)
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan (paperback – as new €4)
  • Eren by Simon P. Clarke (hardcover – new €5)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (hardcover – new €8)

  • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
  • Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
  • Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (paperback – as new €3)
  • The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett (paperback ARC – trade only!)
  • Everbound by Brodi Ashton (paperback ARC – trade only!)
  • Evertrue by Brodi Ashton (paperback ARC – trade only!)
  • Rise by Anna Carey (paperback ARC – trade only!)
  • Cashel Byron’s Profession by Bernard Shaw (paperback – new €3)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth (paperback – used, spine intact €2)
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth (hardcover – slightly yellowed €4)
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (hardcover – slightly yellowed €4)
  • Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (paperback – as new €3)

(Adding this is taking longer than I expected, will add some more books later!)

Books on my wishlist:

  • Whisper my Name by Jane Eagland
  • The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
  • Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
  • Fortune’s Blight by Evie Manieri
  • The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
  • Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
  • The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton

If you’re interested in any of these books, let me know in a comment or contact me directly at nyxbookreviews(at)gmail.com! I’ll try to keep the list as updated as possible 🙂

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Bookish This or That

this-or-that

Where do you prefer to read? What does one snack on during reading? These and other important questions are covered in the This or That Book Tag, created by Tea & Paperbacks. For more information on the tag and the rules, check out their blog. Rebel that I am, I have actually not been tagged, but rather decided to do this post because… well, because I can.

Onwards!

Reading on the couch or on the bed?

Though I often read in both, overall I prefer to read on the couch. I find it more comfortable to read in a semi-upright position to facilitate easy page-turning, and being in bed makes me a bit too sleepy to read for long.

Male main character or female main character?

Either! I don’t think there is necessarily a difference between the two.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?

I probably lean towards sweet – tea and cookies or cake or muffins just go together so well, it’s hard to resist! I also like crisps, or fruit, or veggies though. Honestly, any combination of food en books is great.

Trilogies or quartets?

Hmm, I’ve read many more trilogies than quartets, but I do think quartets less often fall into the filler-second-book pit like trilogies do. I love both though!

First person point of view or third person point of view?

First. I like the immediacy of first person POV, like you’re really inside the head of the main character and experiencing all that happens yourself.

Reading at night or in the morning?

Reading all day every day! Though I probably read a lot more at night because I’m simply not much of a morning person anyway.

Libraries or bookstores?

I used to be a library girl, but now it’s more bookstores for me. Libraries rarely have the books I want and that annoys me. Additionally, I’m such a mood reader that I would borrow books and not read them, and would have to return library books unread.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

Books that make me laugh. I love it when a book entertains me, surprises me, makes me snigger in public. To be honest I almost never cry at books.

Black book covers or white book covers?

Black looks better on my shelves and doesn’t get dirty easily.

Character driven or plot driven stories?

Give me character development over plot any day. I feel like truly delving into characters is one of the strengths of the medium of the book, and what makes stories truly come to life for me. I can tolerate a book with great characterisation and a weak plot, but not books with a good plot and boring, flat characters.

What about you?

Feel free to consider yourself tagged ^_^

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Review: The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Title: The Dragonbone Chair
Author: Tad Williams
Series: Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #1
Rating: 4 Stars

672 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by DAW
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

What a fantastic story. Some people can’t stand special snowflake Simon, but I love it all.

The Dragonbone Chair is takes a long time to build, and therefore it’s hard to give a spoiler free premise. Our main character is Simon, a young orphan boy living in the Hayholt castle. He is a dreamer, someone unfit for the dreary castle life. When he becomes the apprentice of the fascinating Morgenes, he feels like he might finally become part of the adventures and grand life he has always fantasized about. However, he doesn’t know that he will become part of a journey that isn’t nearly as glorious as he expected it to be.

In many ways, The Dragonbone Chair is a classic fantasy story. Simon as special snowflake-y as they come – there is no denying it. However, I love following his development from a naive scullery boy to a responsible young man. Simon is a dreamer, an idealist, which is something I can relate to. He develops from someone that things happen to, to someone who becomes more in control of his own fate. He finds bravery, friendship, and through hardship loses his naiveté. His is a typical coming of age story, but a heartfelt one.

The world of Osten Ard slowly unfolds like a scroll being opened. When Simon is young, our perspective is limited to the capitol. As Simon’s scope broadens, so does ours. We learn more about the different tribes inhabiting Osten Ard, and the tensions between them. Instead of dumping this whole world on the reader at once, we’re being taught its mythology piece by piece. There is a lot of background to learn, and I would not call the book a fast-paced one, but I feel all the background adds to the story. The scope of the book is truly epic, and without the sense of history the world building provides, the whole book would fall flat.

The Dragonbone Chair is published in 1988, and its story might no longer appeal to the modern sentiments of contemporary fantasy lovers. If you’re looking for a classic story with clear Tolkienesque influences, give The Dragonbone Chair a try. A good fantasy story is timeless after all.

Blurb

Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless, and 14 years old – a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he’s apprenticed to his castle’s resident wizard. As Simon’s learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes’ tutelage, forces greater than he could possibly imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon’s life – and his world – forever.

Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair – the country’s throne as well as the symbol of its power. Simon is forced to flee the only home he has ever known, a journey which will test him beyond his worst nightmares.

Other reviews you might be interested in
Other books in the series
  1. The Dragonbone Chair
  2. Stone of Farewell
  3. To Green Angel Tower

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Looking for Recommendations: Quick Reads

quick reads kindle

The last few months have been quite stressful for me, and consequently I have very little focus. Though it’s slowly getting better, I still have a hard time actually sitting down with a book, and an even harder time finishing anything. I’m usually quite a fan of long and/or complicated books, but at the moment these aren’t working for me. Therefore I’m turning to you, lovely readers, to recommend me some quick reads!

I’m looking for:
  • Anything that’s easy to read. A good read would be something that isn’t too long (think 300 pages max), is fast-paced and gripping.
  • My preferred genre is fantasy, including sub-genres such as urban fantasy, steampunk, paranormal romance, etcetera. However, I’m also up for quick and light romance/contemporary stories
  • Nothing too bleak or depressing. I’m trying to escape my problems, not add to them 😀
  • Both adult and YA are fine. No middle grade unless it’s REALLY good
Some quick reads I’ve enjoyed in the past:

quick reads

Feel free to check out my shelves on Goodreads to see what I’ve read so far. Don’t be afraid to recommend a book that is already on my to be read list, often I forget which books are on there.

What quick reads would you recommend?

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Review: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Down With the Shine
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 Stars

355 pages
Expected publication April 26th 2016 by HarperTeen
Review copy received from the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Kate Karyus Quinn not only has a fantastic imagination, but also the skills to translate that onto the page.

Everyone knows Lennie’s name. After her criminal father killed a few people during a heist and got away with it, it’s hard to just live your life; which is exactly what Lennie wants. There are more secrets in her family – including the fact that she can grant wishes. Which her uncles did not tell her. And now she has granted a dozen wishes to drunk teenagers by accident. Whoops.

I have been hooked on Quinn’s books from the moment I read (Don’t You) Forget About Me. Her stories are fantastic, nostalgic, and always resonate with me. Down With the Shine has plenty of moments that will break your heart, but overall I found the tone to be relatively light and humorous. Much of what happens is absolutely absurd and Lennie’s adventure made me think of a teen Alice in Wonderland. Granting all those wishes has led Lennie down the rabbit hole, and will she ever return to normalcy?

The author does voice very well, and Lennie was realistic and relatable throughout all the madness that is thrown her way. Down With the Shine has a cute hate/love interest and I enjoyed their permanent banter. I mention this in my reviews quite often, but no sweeping declarations of eternal love here. Just two teenagers having a crush on each other, and both not ready to admit it yet.

My only issue with the book is that at some point it tried to tie together too many storylines. Though it never got to the point where it got confusing, I did not feel invested in all aspects of the story, most notably that related to Lennie’s father. I can’t pin-point the exact reason I did not care for that part. Maybe it was one step too far? Maybe that storyline was not set up enough? It wasn’t a large issue, but it did temper my excitement for this novel a bit.

Overall Down With the Shine is a great novel of wonkiness and awkward teens being awkward teens and family members that are never exactly who you expected them to be.

Blurb

There’s a reason they say “be careful what you wish for.” Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for “balls of steel” and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it’s too late-after she brings some of her uncles’ moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn’t mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles’ moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their “important family legacy,” she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Other reviews you might be interested in

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On Silence and Stress

I originally wrote this post on Irresponsible Cactus, but decided to cross-post it here as well.

It has been over a month since I last blogged on Nyx Book Reviews. It has been over two since I last blogged on Irresponsible Cactus. One day I was here, and the next, I disappeared. Or at least, my digital presence did. I turned silent, and that silence has been pressing on me since.

I love blogging. I love reaching out with my words and my mind and to create a little slice of me that others can read and relate to. I love to entertain you, I love to interact on Twitter and meeting new people and chatting with the familiar ones. Blogging and writing have been a huge part of my life in the last six years and I would not have it any other way.

But the truth is, dear reader, that I can’t at the moment. And that makes me feel like a failure in some ways. Why can’t I just open that browser and put some words down? Even if I can’t do it every week, why not at least a few times a month? Why can’t I answer comments and post tweets, or, what weighs even more on me, answer the letters some lovely bookish friends sent me? I’ve done it before. I’ve done it for years. Why can’t I just do it now?

I can pinpoint some key moments where I started to realize that no, I was not well. I was not dealing with the stress. I was not handling it. I was not fine.

So I culled down on anything that wasn’t completely essential in my life and faced the issues that I had been suppressing, in some cases, for multiple years. Though I’m glad I did it, these last few months have been absolutely terrible. All energy I have goes into setting things right both in my mind and my life, and in trying to keep up with school. Even the smallest tasks beyond that are out of my reach. I’ve had days in which I just sat on the couch for six hours straight, doing nothing and feeling overwhelmed. Hell, I still can’t bring myself to do the dishes, even though it’s so easy and takes so little work but even that small household task feels like it’s too much. Everything takes energy, and I have none left.

On some days I feel better, and on some I slip backwards. I’ve made many changes, and one of the most important ones is that I no longer want to lie and pretend I’m doing just fine, thank you. People can’t help you if you’re not honest. I can’t help myself if I’m not honest.

So I’m here today, dear readers, to break through that silence I’ve maintained here and on my other blog. Though generally because I simply couldn’t write, it was also an embarrassed silence. It was easier to disappear than to give a reason why.

I’m here to tell you today that I’m not fine, and that’s okay.

I’m working on it.

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