Let’s Talk… How do the Hunger Games movies stack up to the books?

In March of 2012, Lionsgate released the movie The Hunger Games to movie theaters across the globe, thereby blowing up the already popular fandom. Quickly, people who never read the books (I had just read the books since my friends were excited for the movies) were getting into the conversation. Over the next 3 years, 3 more movies were released to the world, bringing the trilogy into a 4 movie extravaganza. Also, not sure if ya’ll know this or not, but they are turning the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes into a movie as announced by the Hollywood Reporter.

I am always skeptical of movies adapted from books. A lot of the time, those movies just can’t really compare, so I always feel like I need to talk about the movies as separate entities. While I will always recommend you read the books before you see the movie, I also understand that there are a lot of people who don’t like to read (which like, thanks for stopping by if that’s you). So with that being said, and because I truly am an entertainment garbage heap, I am here to give you a review on both!

So I’m going to talk about the first two movies, and then I will be discussing the second two. I group them this way, because the first two follow the books almost to a t. There were many times while I was reading where I could perfectly see the movie in my head. There were very few things that were changed or added (thank you for not making us sit through hours of Cato being tortured), and they really were good adaptations.

And then we get to the last two movies. Firstly, I don’t think we really needed the last book to be two movies. And if you are looking at “was the large majority of the book represented in the movies?” the answer is yes. The problem is the amount of filler. While I understand that they wanted to show the unrest in the districts, at a certain point they just put stuff in to make the book into two movies (and I mean, Harry Potter did it, so we had to do it, right?). And unlike the first two, I couldn’t really picture scenes from the movies as I was reading.

I’m always going to have a special place in my heart. While I was really struggling with anxiety issues, I would put these movies on to help me go to sleep (which now that I’m thinking about it, is something I really should talk to a therapist about), so I could probably quote most of the movies. With that being said, read the books. Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Team Peeta or Team Gale?

Heads up: this post includes spoilers. If you still haven’t read the series or watched the movies, I truly encourage you to read/watch before reading this post.

Here’s the thing about being old, I remember this question as a huge topic of conversation when I was in high school. But now that I have a blog where I can actually talk about this question without having a bunch of teenage girls telling me I’m wrong (at least for now), I am finally going to say my thoughts on this important fandom decision.

I have always said that I am Team Peeta, which I think at the ripe old age of 16 was a good place to align yourself. But I’m almost 25, and it is time that I reeducated myself and made a more informed decision. So having just reread the books, here are my new thoughts on the matter:

So let’s start in the first book. Initially, I am Team Gale. Gale is her hunting partner, he agrees to take care of her family, and throughout most of the first book, Gale is the first person Katniss is thinking of. Obviously, compared to the relationship with Peeta which is more or less fake, it is easy to jump on the Gale bandwagon. And before people come at me, every single second that Katniss was having her romantic moments with Peeta while in the cave, she continued to think “what would I need to do in order for Haymitch to send us stuff?” and that’s why she did it. That’s why she told the story of the goat, that’s why she kissed him, and that’s why we have two victors in the 74th annual Hunger Games.

When it comes to the second book, that’s when we start thinking that maybe there is a choice to be made. While we spend a lot of time thinking about Gale before the games, but there is a huge drop-off once we are in the Game with Peeta. The first moment when we all kinda think “okay, maybe this thing going on between Katniss and Peeta is real” is when Peeta hits the force field and Katniss loses her mind as Finnick saves his life. And while should more or less be up in the air, at this point, I am exclusively on Team Peeta.

The third book cements those feelings for me. With Peeta stuck in the Capital, it is no wonder that Katniss can’t get him out of her mind. But even in District 13 with Gale, she doesn’t really cling to him as much as we would expect. In fact, I think she had more romance with Finnick than she did with Gale. But once Peeta is back, the immediate reaction to seeing him is tampered by his torture from the Capital. But even when Katniss is saying that she is not interested, that she hates him, whatever, she still thinks about him all the time. By the time we reach the end of the book, Katniss is forced to make her decision. Even if Gale wasn’t the brainchild that killed Prim, I still think that Katniss would have chosen Peeta. Every second that she kept him alive, even after he tried to kill her, even after he begged for death, I am sure that she was always going to choose him.

I think if you based it off the movies, you could be Team Gale because A) Liam Hemsworth aka Thor, God of Thunder,’s brother and B) the movies don’t give you as much access into Katniss’s thoughts. But, based solely on the books, I think the ultimate winner is Peeta. I said it, I meant it.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Horror

So I’ll be honest, horror is not my genre. I very rarely pick up books that are considered horror mainly because I have many triggers that are tropes for horror. For that reason, this post will probably seem a little disjointed and a lot more educational than personal.

Horror is designed by fear. This fear could be of the supernatural, this fear could be Jason in the woods killing teenagers at a camp, and/or this fear could even be being stuck in a monotonous loop that you can’t get out of. Clearly, based on my lack of experience in the genre, I’m not a huge fan of fear. However, there are a lot of people who enjoy being afraid, which all power to ya. There are books that you can find “scary” that are not horror books, just as there are books that are universally accepted as “horror” that you may think is not scary. Horror is probably one of the hardest genre (imo) to classify because everyone has different triggers and different levels of response.

In a Google search of popular writers within the genre, H.P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Stephen King are among the most common names I have seen. Surprisingly (or maybe not so), there are few authors in the YA genre that are also in this list. From personal experience, Laurie Faria Stolarz is a really good YA horror writer (and I personally think her stuff is scarier that Stephen King’s *shots fired*).

So, here are my tips for you guys:

  1. Know what triggers you. While it feels weird telling you my kryptonite, but I am triggered by paranormal, especially demonic, activity. I have noticed in my time as an avid reader, I can handle a lot more while I am reading, but I can’t handle watching. So if there is a movie for the books I am reading in the horror genre, I probably won’t watch it. Know your limits and be willing to give yourself the chance to walk away when needed.
  2. Figure out what gives you the biggest rush. The entire purpose for the genre is to have you experience fear, so figure out what will cause that. But be willing to try out things that are outside of that. There is a scene in Divergent where Tris finds out that she is afraid of something after experiencing someone else’s fear dream. Sometimes you won’t know unless you are willing to try.
  3. Which leads to the final tip: try. As amazing as popular horror writers are, there are many less popularized authors that are killing it in the genre. Try new books, new authors, and new ideas; you never know what you will discover.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… The MCU

Okay, I might be abusing the powers on this one, but hear me out: they started as comic books right, and I review books! So, even though I have literally never read a comic book (except for the collection of Calvin and Hobbes my brother owned) in my entire life, it fits the theme of the blog, right? Look, it’s a stretch, but I’m the one with the power here (probably a mistake), so here are my thoughts.

Let me preface this post by saying, I have literally binge watched all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies (minus The Incredible Hulk, which really is because Disney+ doesn’t have it) in the course of a week, so I need to bring this chapter to a close. Also, I am writing this on August 30th, 2020, two days after Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther, died of colon cancer. (Crazier: I was in the middle of watching Black Panther when the news broke. It changed the way I watched the last movies, and it gave me a whole ‘nother level of respect for the man). I watched all the movies in “chronological order” as listed on techradar. Which, I have some opinions on the order now that I watched them, but we will get to that. Also, I’m going to do my best not to spoil, but like, that’s hard. Even the actors have a hard time not spoiling (*Cough,cough* Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland *Cough, cough*). So anyway, here is me being power hungry and telling you about something that has been almost my entire life for the past week.

Before watching any of these movies this week, I had only seen Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and the Avengers. I had never seen an Ironman or Captain America movie, which now that I have experienced the MCU feels blasphemous. But I digress. Anyway, right off the bat, Captain America became my favorite avenger. I mean, he was the first one! And sure, RDJ is Mr. Marvel, but you can’t deny America’s *ss, am I right? (They say it in Endgame, this wasn’t just me being creepy, though I recognize how it sounds now, okay I’m getting out of this parenthetical now) Anywho, I decided pretty early on into this viewing that I was putting all my eggs into the CA basket. And up to the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was unmatched. And really, it was GotG 2 when the new favorite was crowned. Say it with me folks, Baby Groot.

As someone who has a twitter, but never seen the Marvel movies until now, I never really understood the whole Baby Groot thing (which, I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie, so I don’t get the whole Baby Yoda thing either, come at me Internet). But like, I get it now. Please, I am begging you, if you would like to send me any Baby Groot merchandise, please slide into my DMs. But regardless, Groot is now my man.

Now, when it comes to the movies you should watch and now watch, here’s my hook-up. Watch: you need to see GotG, both volumes. Truly, they are incredible, beautiful, and funny. Watch: Black Panther. There is no better explanation than it is set in Nigeria, with POC actors and the main actor filmed all these movies with Stage 3 cancer, so like, watch it! Oh, and remember how I said I wish they order was different? I personally would have watched Black Panther right after Civil War, but you do you boo. Don’t watch: Thor: Ragnarok. I have no idea why they decided to do this, but they started making Thor into a comedy character instead of a superhero. It really wasn’t a good movie, which is disappointing because Valkyrae is a bad*ss. Watch: the Spiderman movies. I was sure going in that these movies had to be overhyped, but they were really really good. I personally think Far from Home was better than Homecoming, but man, these are really good.

I don’t know what is coming for the MCU. I know that we are FINALLY going to get a Black Widow movie, but with COVID continuing to be an issue in the US, I’m not sure when we are going to get it, or if the movie will be part of the Disney+ Premier subscription (which I am also SO excited for Mulan). Starting this year (hopefully), Disney is also working on TV shows for the characters as well, but we are still not sure with everything going on in the world. What I do know? I am now a Marvel junkie, and until we can get a new movie, I am going to be trying my best to be patient.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… OwlCrate

This is an unboxing of the August 2020 box. I am not sponsored by OwlCrate (but my love can be bought) and they did not ask me to do this. I am doing this purely because I love books, subscription boxes, and giving you guys the inside skinny on whether you should buy this or not. All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure when I first heard about OwlCrate. It may have been Instagram, it may have been Facebook, but eventually I started seeing enough ads that I figured I would give it a shot. I have talked about many subscription boxes (see this), but I never took the plunge on this one. When I did, I initially was put on a waiting list which only made me miss one box. This August box is the first OwlCrate I have ever received.

Firstly, the packaging is adorable. While I wouldn’t rank it as high as Once Upon a Book Club, I think the packaging (due in large part to the owl tracks along the side of the box, which are not pictured) is far and above Unplugged Book Box, Uppercase, and Book of the Month. I think it is on par with the Bookish Box, although I could be swayed into thinking it is better. Not the point, but I’m super excited!

Picture 1: While I know that this might not be super exciting for most people, I literally said “whoa” as I opened it. Such a beautiful pen, and I almost don’t want to touch it because I don’t want to get my fingerprints all over it.

Picture 2: I am not a pin collector, but I have noticed that this is a VERY popular gift in these types of subscription boxes. It is an incredibly beautiful pin, but it will probably be going into my bowl of collected pins. Not my type of gift, but still really cool.

Picture 3: I was today years old when I learned that I suck at taking pictures of bandana. Would you have guessed that’s what that is? It is silk, and it seems like very high quality. I actually have been telling myself that I need to get bandanas (’cause my quarter life crisis is real), and this is more than I could have ever hoped for!

Picture 4: Okay, this is the clear winner for me! I love me a book sleeve, and it is so incredibly pretty! You can bet your bottom that I will be using this in the very near future!

Picture 5: I will say that I definitely was not expecting a clipboard. While it is the size of a smaller wordpad, I am excited to use this. While sometimes it seems like I talk out of my butt on this blog, I actually take a lot of notes about things to talk about, so I will definitely be using this.

Picture 6: Inside the bottle is pushpins, which I don’t use that often. HOWEVER, they suggested that once the bottle is empty, to put fairy lights inside which I AM HERE FOR. So, this will be in my new set-up, but sans pins.

I haven’t read this book yet (obviously, Elizabeth, since you just opened the box), so I’m going to post the synopsis as available on Goodreads:

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy. 

If you are looking to buy it and are confused because it is not purple, it is the same book! OwlCrate’s exclusive version has the purple cover, and all the pages are purple gilt edged, which makes the book look more spooky. While I am, admittedly, not a huge fantasy person, I am excited to give this one a chance, purely because it is so beautiful (yes, I judge books by their covers, sue me).

One of the reasons why I have limited the amount of subscription boxes I am still subscribed to is due to the number of gifts I received that I never used or knew what to do with. There are upsides and downsides to be subscribed to these types of boxes, which leaves me in a tough position. I feel like once my three month period is up, I probably will not renew. I am at a point in my life where I really need to downgrade (ew, am I getting old?), so I don’t necessarily think I need all of the items that are given in the box. HOWEVER, I cannot explain to you how surprised (in the best way) by this box. Compared to other boxes I have gotten, this box has A LOT more items that are more my style. So I leave the ball in your court, dear reader. You can get your own OwlCrate at owlcrate.com starting at $29.99/month, and let me know what you guys think!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… The Questions

When we learn to form questions, we are told to use the magic words: who, what, when, where, why, and how. I remember being in 3rd grade and having to write stories for class. We had to sit there and plan out all of those questions before we could start writing the story. So why don’t we do that for our lives too? We are so excited to make changes, to “fix” yourself, to make things better, but we don’t sit back and ask ourselves the simple questions. So I figure, since I am taking you guys on this emotional journey with me, to give you my answers.

Who: Elizabeth

What: Happiness

When: Whenever I can get there

Where: Wherever I can get there

Why: I don’t want to wake up in the morning and complain. I don’t want to go to a job I hate for the sake of money. I want to do something that I love, and work my butt off for it. I want to wake up and smile instead of scowl. I want to be moving, not stuck. I want to experience. I want more out of my life.

How: 1) Exercise and eat right. I need time to be happy and the best way is to start taking care of myself. 2) Meditate. Read the Bible, pray, realign my faith and how that connects to my body. Try yoga. Try not to break my back in the process. 3) Rebuild friendships. There are people that needed to leave my life. There are also people that I removed because life was hard. Figure out who needs to stay and who needs to go. Be selfish when needed. 4) Give back. Volunteer for charities and non-profits. Help when people need it. Give my heart to people who need it. 5) Get out. Go for walks. See my friends. Get off my butt and out in the world. 6) Grow up. Move out and move up. Figure out the next steps. If it scares me, then it probably means that I should do it. Keep moving. 7) Don’t expect things to happen. Take the steps I want to take. Be my own advocate. I got this.

These are my questions. Now ask them to yourself. What are your answers? How long have you been working on them? Everyday is a process. It is a chance to work on your answers. But you gotta want it. It’s not easy, being your better self never is. But hey, you got this!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Know My Name by Chanel Miller

I originally planned to make this post a normal review. I had already purchased this book off of pre-order as soon as I learned of its existence, and I was mentally preparing myself to read it. Within the first 20 pages of this book, I learned that there will never be enough mental preparedness to get ready to read the morning after a rape. I wanted to take you guys on the journey with me, through thoughts, tears, and vomit. So here goes nothing:

TRIGGER WARNING: This is the story of a woman after rape. It is extremely descriptive and hard to handle for most. Read at your own risk.

Previous history

Like most people, I had heard of the Brock Turner case, especially at the conclusion of his trial. I read the impact statement written by the victim, named Emily Doe. I was outraged that the media was more concerned by his swimming lap times instead of the fact he just raped someone. I was outraged that people were calling him a “good boy” when he literally just did a heinous act. I was angry for the victim, this nameless girl, who got no adjectives, no history. I was distraught that Turner got such a small sentence, 6 months, which he only had to serve 3. My heart is broken, and I stand with Emily Doe. About a month ago, 60 Minutes did an interview with Chanel Miller about her new book which details her truth during the aftermath of the sexual assault. I didn’t even think twice, I went straight to Amazon and purchased the book. So let’s get into my thoughts:

Sunday, September 29th, 2:51 pm, page 42

I have almost vomited 3 times already. Since I was a little kid, I have hated my body. I have been ashamed of it, and Chanel seemed to feel very similarly. Trying to imagine 3 women pulling at my skin, taking pictures, putting ointments, dyes, and whatever else on and in my body is making my hands shake just typing this. And no one told her why this was all happening. This girl is forced to sign papers already labeling her a rape victim and she doesn’t even know when and how she got there. And to find out what happened to you in a news article. It’s just heartbreaking, and all I want is to hug this girl and tell her she doesn’t have to be strong, because that’s exactly what she is doing. Being strong for her sister who puts the blame on herself. It just hurts me to read it, but I also want to learn how I can be a better ally for someone who goes through this. I don’t want anyone who goes through this to ever feel alone, because I am here and I am someone you can talk to.

Sunday, September 29th, 4:05 pm, page 75

We live in a digital age, where we can hide behind a computer screen and think we can say anything we want without repercussion. We have all heard stories of cyberbullying, and there have been shows, movies, books, and all around media created to discuss the effects on the victims. To have people who blamed Chanel for drinking, or that she was just blaming Turner because she was embarrassed, or any of the other incredibly ignorant posts is incredibly sad. But more so, it is so hard for a victim to continue to feel like it is their fault. And to hear how broken she became, to the point of calling suicide hotlines, is heartbreaking. There are no other words to describe it.

“I told my boss I was at a doctor’s appointment, but it ended up feeling like a job interview. They were deciding if I would make a good victim.” -page 57

On top of that, Chanel is a freaking beast emotionally. This girl has gone through dealing with the suicides of many of her classmates, some as often as 4 in 6 months, a school shooting, and now a sexual assault. Do not mess with this girl because she is stronger than anyone I have ever known.

“I learned it was expensive to be assaulted.” -page 68

Sunday, September 29th, 5:47 pm, page 125

One of the things that Chanel talks about is how catcalling became a trigger for her fear and anger. It’s the idea of losing her freedom, to not be able to walk around, for fear that someone could come out and attack her. As a woman, I have always been told to keep my head facing forward, to not acknowledge strangers’ catcalls, to carry pepper spray or a taser. I was told to put my defenses up, and I have never been sexually assaulted. Imagine what that is like for someone who has.

“I do not include the victims’ names here, for names are sacred, and I do not want them identified solely by what [the attacker] did to them.”– page 90

Chanel also chose at this point to seek therapy for her anger and sadness in the wake of the assault. One of the most impactful moments in this section for me was when Chanel felt so proud and confident of her testimony, only to read about it in the news and how they took the 300+ questions into a statement against her. It is almost like, what do you want her to do?

Sunday, September 29th, 9:12 pm, page 189

Within this section, we see Chanel experience her first week of the trial. We follow the power moves, the ups and downs, the guilt, and ultimately, the fight. Chanel in this week went from just trying to get by to “I will eat you alive”. The anger, guilt, and fear for her family and friends that are forced to stand up in court and defend their actions is completely raw and powerful, and it is so empowering to read. To also have so many of her friends come out and say “I have been assaulted, too, and I wish I had the opportunity you have” is so compelling.

“Whenever I am underestimated, I think, you mistake my quietness for weakness.” -page 131

“If you pay enough money, if you say the right things, if you take enough time to weaken and dilute the truth, the sun could slowly begin to look like an egg [yolk].” -page 150

At this point, I am going to call it quits for the night, and I will see you all after work tomorrow.

Monday, September 30th, 6:15 pm, page 245

I am currently watching a YouTube comedy video in order to try and not throw up as I talk about this. When we start this section, we learn about Turner’s testimony. He said that she said yes every step of the way. Even so, Chanel was clearly completely out of it. For the defense to completely switch her words in order to make their point is absolutely disgusting.

“He had given himself permission to enter me again, this time stuffing words in my mouth. He made me his real-life ventriloquist doll, out his hands inside me and made me speak.” -page 192

For his coach, french teacher, or best friend to decide whether or not he is a rapist is not the purpose of the trial. They aren’t there when he is sexual situations. Of anyone, his ex-girlfriend is the only character witness that I understand. But even then, why does Turner get character witnesses while Chanel is degraded every step of the way.

“Bad qualities can hide inside a good person.” -page 194

From here, we move on to the victory lap. 3 felony counts found guilty. After the verdict, Chanel opened a letter from a woman in Ohio stating that she stands with Chanel. From all walks of life, people stood beside this woman, this victim, Chanel, and that is so beautiful and powerful.

“This victory would be celebrated in rooms in towns in states I had never been to.” -page 212

And then, we fall. Based on past experiences, Chanel asked that Turner get the help he needed. That included therapy and rehabilitation. She did not mean that he would not serve time in jail/prison, but that is exactly what the probation officer interpreted her meaning. He requested the judge to only give Turner 6 months of jail time, which could be halved to only 3 months served. And then the impact statement comes into play. Within the actual narrative, Chanel does not post her statement. It is, however, located at the end of the book. After such a power moment, comes Turner’s father. 20 minutes of action. That is the only phrase we should care about. 20 minutes. In all my times of working out, I have to remind myself every single second that this is something I should do, and it that decision only affects me. You can’t tell me that we do not make a decision to continue doing what we are doing every minute of every day. He had at least 20 decisions in that time, and he STILL chose to continue. As a parent, you chose to love your child no matter what, but I can’t imagine learning all of this about my child. 20 minutes. 20 minutes to ruin all of these people’s lives. It’s disgusting.

“In swimming, one one-hundredth of a second is the difference between victory and loss. Yet they wanted to write off twenty minutes as insignificant.” -page 235

Tuesday, October 1st, 9;10 pm, end of book

“I believe, out of the millions who knew I was brave and important, I was the last to know it.” -page 251

This section is initially positive. We see the impact of her words for the other survivors across the globe. Letter after letter of outpouring and support. People cared about what she said. Chanel moved on, found a new life for herself.

“We live in a time where it has become difficult to distinguish between the President’s words, and that of a nineteen-year-old assailant.” -page 278

We then take a walk from the other high profile sexual assault allegations/lawsuits from the time after her trial. These include President Trump’s “locker room talk”, Cosby, Weinstein, Nassar, and eventually, Kavanaugh. The impact of women standing up, saying “we will not back down”, is an important milestone of our society. It is still an uphill climb to report sexual assault, but we also live in a world that is much more understanding than a few years ago.

“My advice is, if he’s worried about his reputation, don’t rape anybody.” -page 283

We also learn about Brock’s attempt at appeal. Almost 1/3rd of the appeal was about how she was drunk. That’s when you know you got nothing. Ultimately that appeal was denied.

“For Brock, his goal was to integrate, for me it was to isolate.” -page 271

Finally, we see Stanford’s response to the sexual assault case. They were willing to turn the area where the dumpsters were into a garden where students were to study. They were not willing to post a quote from the impact statement that was not hopeful. There will not be a statement of the plaque in the garden. I have talked a lot about hope in this section, but don’t forget that the backbone of hope is despair.

I don’t have a good way to conclude this post, nor do I feel like this book requires a rating system. What I will say is that I am not always a great person, and I often times am awkward and confused, but I will do my best to stand beside any person who is in need (probably with a complaint or two because that’s my specialty). I will give you sass, and I probably will make inappropriate jokes to help cope, but I will never blatantly turn my back to you. You know where to find me if you need to talk, and I hope you use those resources. Thank you for going on this journey with me.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Mountain Highs and Valley Lows

From as young as I can remember, I have always felt negative emotions to the extreme. When I was sad, I was crying every day, shoving people away, and/or completely hiding. When I was stressed, I was puking up breakfast in order to get my job done. When I was tired, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t really focus. Today I wanted to talk about how these feeling affect not only this blog, but also my life in general.

Let’s talk about being sad. At the end of the day, I am at some level of sad. Think of it like a callus, where eventually the painful blisters harden and you don’t notice the pains you were feeling earlier. At some point in my life, I reached a baseline of sad. I formed that callus. And as I have been going through these larger transitions to my life, I have either added to the callus or have tried to shave away at it. Since starting the blog, I have talked about how I am a lot happier than when I started. But over the past month or so, I’ve started to slip up. I have let everything eat away at me, and my negative feelings about my body, my friendships, and my world in general have begun to creep into my day to day life.

Now stress. I have done a very good job of keeping up with posts for the blog, but since I switched to a new position at work, I have been unable to listen to books as I am working. And while I was working a job that left me physically drained and mentally awake, I now work a job where I come home and I feel like I need to be active physically, but the last thing I want to do is pick up a book and read. But for the month of September, all I really needed to read was the BOTM books this week and I got to Wednesday still needing to read 2 books. And I was STRESSED. I began pressuring myself to read, forcing myself to do something that I used to love doing, and I was mentally drained. It is not healthy to force yourself to do anything, even if you like to do it, and I. FEEL. IT. I am probably going to be changing posts in an effort to lower the stress I have been feeling.

As for being tired. There is very few times in my life where I am not some level of tired. We all went through the stages in college of staying up all night in order to finish a paper when we really should be sleeping so our mental health is okay. At this point in my life, I realistically need to sleep on a consistent level, and more or less 7 hours a night. I currently am getting about 6 hours, so yea, I’m tired.

Now that we are talking about some lows, let’s talk about some highs. I have you guys. I have consistency in my life. I am working a job that I am up for promotion for. I am moving. I have so many amazing things in my life, and I need to start appreciating those things more. My mountains are really low compared to where I want to be, but I am proud of all those high moments I have felt.

So why am I telling you this? I want you to understand that I am a person too. I feel the same things that you all feel. I am just as broken as the next person. I struggle, and I have to find a way to get myself out of the rutt I have found myself in. If I can do it, you can too! So let me know how you get out of this, and if you ever need to talk, you know where to find me!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Okay, so this is awkward. Normally, Once Upon a Book Club books are not the same books as Book of the Month, but of course, this time it is. Since I already read the book, I felt like I should at least share the gifts with you guys! So let’s talk… the gifts from my August 2019 OUABC box!

Page 56

Okay, so the drawing was awkwardly faded, but it is the drawing that Rowan finds in the nightstand drawer in her room at Heatherbrae House. The cord is a USB cord with 3 different types of cords so you can charge your phone (whether it is iPhone or Android) or your laptop (at least, it fits my thunder outlet for my Mac?). I’m also sure you can charge multiple items at the same time with the one cord, so it is efficient for traveling.

Page 213

I love this. If I drank coffee often, I would use this all the time, but thankfully my sister-in-law will be putting this to use! It is incredibly beautiful and of higher quality that the other mugs I have gotten from OUABC before!

Page 304

Honestly, I would love this if it were my initial. It is a very beautiful necklace (though a little big), but I probably will never pull it out of the box. So if you want a necklace with a ‘R’ initial, I got you fam.

Page 335

Okay, so I can’t really show you the gift because it essentially tells you the whole plot of the book, BUT it is literally the letter from the last 2 or so pages. This is the present that is literally just a printout for the box, and while it completely fits the book, I still wished that it was something else. But, here we are.

Sorry guys, if I would have known, I would have waited, but I am completely oblivious to everything right now, so I’m just going to leave you guys with a promise to do better! Until then, if you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… 6 months

6 months. 6 MONTHS. That can’t be real. It has felt both like the longest time of my life and also like I just started yesterday. Since we started, so much has happened. I have done 2.5 author series, made over 100 posts, and reached over 300 people in 20 countries on 6 continents (still waiting for Antarctica!). I do not deserve the amount of love and support I have received, and I am so grateful.

So where do we go from here? One of the things I am trying to do is reach out to other platforms. My social media has been lacking for a while, and I think it is time I start to get better at it. Along with that, I am going to be working on putting out a secret project, so expect that in the upcoming months. Otherwise, I am going to keep putting out posts, and hopefully ya’ll will continue to stop by and hang out!

I am going to also be doing holiday posts as we enter Halloween and December (I am going to do my best to not make it all about Christmas. If there is literature about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa that you would like me to read and review, let me know on social media or through email!). I am considering an advent calendar series of posts, which I will obviously be altering as it fits my schedule. Announcements will go out when I have a clearer idea.

I am going to continue to come up with as many new ideas that I can, but I will always be open to hearing your thoughts or ideas. This is just as much for me as it is for all of you, so please feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!