Leigha's Little Library

I am a Booktuber and book reviewer! I post my reviews here and on Goodreads. I post bookish videos on Youtube as well. You can find all my links in my profile. I appropriate any followers here and subscribers over on Booktube.

 

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I accept kindle books for review. I reserve the right to turn down book. Email and ask before sending kindle copy. If you send a book unsolicited, I may still read and review, but only if it interest me.

 

I read and review for fun, so I do them in my own time.

Email and send kindle copies here: shiny_mae1984@yahoo.com

The River and the Ravages by J.M Lawler

Maybe mild spoilers. TW: Scene that is borderline rape, but isn't technically rape. Still unsettling/upsetting to read.*

 

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Summary:

Aaliya Reiner is made of strong stuff. But when her mother passes on, she seems to lose her grip on life. Things don’t seem to get better with her sister, Maddalena, who’s estranged and enjoying the benefits that come in a marriage of power and opulence.

Aaliya takes refuge in a passionate and hidden love affair, hoping to fill the void left by her mother’s death.

But desire can be deadly and the Kingdom of Traegos is becoming a dangerous place. When the dark web of politics and power begins to ensnare the kingdom’s inhabitants, choice and chance collide leaving Aaliya with only one option left to survive.

(show spoiler)

 

First off, I must say that this is so beautifully written. I really enjoyed the way the author described things, the setting and characters.

I liked the younger sister, Aaliya, but had a very hard time liking the older sister. First impressions stick with me, and Maddalena annoyed me from the get go. However, I think that might be what the author intended, so good job! But the girl got some brownie points from me as the story went on. The ending was quite unexpected for how the book began. I liked that a lot.

I loved how both girls had a distinct and different personality; you can tell which chapter belonged to who with no problem whatsoever.

I really disliked the sex scenes, especially the last one in the book.

Aaliya has this one sex encounter that caused me to cringe a lot. It's a horrible situation to be in. You got to do what you got to do, I understand, but still felt unneeded to be so graphic about it. [Trigger Warning: It wasn't rape, per say, but it also wasn't wanted sex. Sounds confusing, but it is what it is.]

Each person has their own idea of graphic. The sex/violence in books might be fine for some, but too much for others. I wasn't bothered by the violence. I'm just not an "erotica" fan for the most part and this book did have some juicy and descriptive scenes. I'm honestly not a prude at all, but I am asexual, so that might have something to do with my feelings.

There is also threesome sex (2 male, 1 female) for anyone wanting to know.

Overall, I believe many would like the book.

*Author sent me this to review. I am very thankful!*

Today I'm Thankful... [March 8 2018]

Today I am thankful that I got a good nights sleep and woke up in the morning, rather than being awake all night and sleeping all day.

 

 

 

 

My sleeping schedule is never "normal" and it is always different, so it is nice to wake up every now and again and feel actually awake, instead of wanting to go back to bed all day. Depression and various other things causes my sleep to be all over the place. I am also naturally a night owl. I just love being up at night.

 

What are you thankful for today?

 

I'm Thankful for... [March 7 2018]

I am thankful for my ability to read, even though I have a really hard time focusing a lot. There are some who can not read at all, for various reasons. I also can't wrap my head around those who dislike reading. It is traveling, being someone else, having adventures, living many lives and experiencing different ways of living different from your own. What are you thankful for?

 

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I've talked about it on my Facebook, on my Youtube channel and even here:

Depression, social anxiety, chronic pain, possible autism, among other "glitches" la di da, di da... I want to remember what I am thankful for on a day to day basis, despite the bad. We all need to remember what we're thankful for; who knows it might brighten your day a little.

 

There are days where I just don't know why I am here. Like, what is the point? I do think about death, wish it at times. I honestly believe people would be better off without me. I have these feelings and worse during my darkest hours.

 

I feel stuck. I can't see a future because sometimes I doubt I will be able to have one other than what I have now. Stuck. Useless. A burden. A no good person who is lazy and doesn't work. I think those things, but does my husband think that? Does my mom? Anyone in my family? My husband says he doesn't think that and he never resents having to "take care of me" because he knows and understands why I am this way. I honestly can't understand how he couldn't resent me or think of me as a burden.

 

That all aside...

 

I do have "good" days, or moments of happiness during a day I'm feeling crappy. However, I second guess myself: Is this "happy?" Am I happy right now? I can't understand my own feelings because I'm so used to being "under the weather." Under the weather? That is kind of how I might put it if someone asks how I am. People get tired of hearing the same old "Belly-aching" and some people still don't believe depression & anxiety are a real and serious condition.

 

My normal response.

 

"I'm fine, just a bit under the weather."

 

"How have you been?"

 

"Oh good. Okay. I'm Alive. Not much to complain about."

 

My answers are usually very vague.

 

Another thing I just want to add on. Personal boundaries... You might be a good friend, or a family member. I could know you well, or not well at all (despite being family even). We might bump into each other somewhere. It is nice to see you, but small talk really freaks me out, gives me anxiety. Please don't think badly of me if I act weird or seem rude. 9 times out of 10 I do not want to hug you, unless we're super close. You should know if we are. I just don't like it. It's uncomfortable. It is nothing personal. You might not understand it, but sometimes it physically hurts.

 

Even my husband knows; no light touches. It's uncomfortable and even hurts in certain places. If you want to rub my arm or back, firmly, no spiderweb-like caresses.

 

I don't know what this post is... just word vomit, I guess.

 

Remember to find something to be thankful for every day, even if it is a small thing.

 

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Photo Credit: Mine. I found a diary from when I was 12. When I thought I was Harriet the Spy. Thanks to this book and the movie that followed. I have dyslexia. My hand writing is/was horrible and my spelling/grammar was worse. I feel like it is better these days, but not all the time.

Go big or go home?

I've not been able to read for a month or so, but I just read a short poetry book, so that felt nice. :D I have a really hard time focusing and also can't seem to just pick up the book and go. That's executive dysfunction for you.

 

However, I really want to find my groove again. I get better when I get into a routine of some sort. I've started Salem's Lot by Stephen King, but I also think I want to tackle a bigger book after Salem's Lot, as the bigger books are the ones I've always put off because of my lack of focus. Les Miserables and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. (Both over 1000 pages) are both on my list to read.

 

I've actually put them off for over a decade, despite really wanting to read them. Should I ease myself back into reading with a bunch of small books or slowly chip off chunks of a big book?

 

Any other chunkers worth reading? I'm also on the lookout for more Gothic literature, so if you have any recommendations, that would be great.

Not an excuse, but a reason...

I haven't posted here in a while because I am horrible with my memory and keeping up with things. I really love having a book blog and Booktube (Youtube) channel, but also my day to day stress and depression really gets in the way. I have executive dysfunction so that also doesn't help.

 

Something I read (or it was a video I saw; I can't quite remember) is that people who constantly post/talk about their mental health or other illnesses are only doing so for attention. It was the stupidest thing I ever saw/read.

 

There is such a thing as awareness. People post/talk about the stuff they go through for awareness, and talking in general can be a form of therapy. Also, it is a heads up for people as to why you haven't been so active or you did not do a thing you promised someone. (Like I owe a couple book reviews and I don't know when I can do them now to be honest.)

 

For me, my mental health, developmental disorder and chronic pain are my reasons and not my excuse as to why I "suck." I'm usually really down on myself. I say bad things, insult myself, call myself ugly, fat, you name it. I also apologize non stop, so I am trying to not say "sorry" for not updating this blog or my Youtube channel, but I hope you know I really wish I could do better.

 

I do want to say sorry and then say that I will start being more active starting [insert day] but I can't do that.

 

So I haven't been reading. The last thing I started to read was A Little Princess on my kindle. An oldie, but a goodie ;)

 

Mostly, I've been listening to a lot of goth music. I'm new to the subculture and learning about it. People judge alternative people unfairly. I wouldn't quite call myself goth yet, but I'm leaning on the side of a babybat (what they call someone who is a newbie to the goth culture.) I've felt so much happier and more confident when I started to express myself outwardly. I'm just basic, I can't wear super fancy clothes or anything.

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup(A very basic makeup look. Not too dark. I'm new with makeup)

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

 

And since we're talking about mental health awareness, here is some awareness!!

 

I stim. Some people call it stimming or the need for sensory play & sensory toys. Some of my stims are done with tools, like this Onyx annular chewlry & and the Starry Night spinner ring from Stimtastic. I stim to self regulate when stuff gets to be too much. It calms me down and makes me happy. Gives me something to focus on. Why a chew toy you ask? Some stims are harmful, like the sensory need for things in my mouth, which is usually food. I end up eating until I'm sick. Even when I say to stop, I still subconsciously grab anything nearby. I also grind my teeth and bite things. Myself (not the same as self harm), sometimes my husband (playfully, but sometimes too much or too hard. It's just something I do.)

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

I will put this in my mouth when I start to feel full (or in some cases sick), or when I'm overloaded with anxiety.

The ring spins. Perfect fidget toy. I'm wearing it as my wedding ring.

I have other stims. I rock when I'm overwhelmed or super upset/depressed. I bounce my feet, legs. I have auditory stims, random phrases, singing...etc.

Sometimes I try too hard to force myself not to stim or self regulate because of the stigma.

I do not know for sure what causes my mental disorders or if I have a developmental disorder such as autism. If you want to put a label on it, autism is the only thing that puts all my little mental issues (side effects if you will), my "quirks", odd behaviors and much more together. It would also make sense of my childhood, and everything really. (My chronic pain is a whole other story.)

I'm different, but not less. It's hard to remember that.

 

Don't judge me.

I will leave you with this link. It talks about "so your kid might be goth" and why that isn't a bad thing. I think it can be given to anyone to explain why being goth isn't bad. Being alternative, like having mental health has such a huge stigma!! So your kid might be goth?

 

Not an excuse, but a reason...

I haven't posted here in a while because I am horrible with my memory and keeping up with things. I really love having a book blog and Booktube (Youtube) channel, but also my day to day stress and depression really gets in the way. I have executive dysfunction so that also doesn't help.

 

Something I read (or it was a video I saw; I can't quite remember) is that people who constantly post/talk about their mental health or other illnesses are only doing so for attention. It was the stupidest thing I ever saw/read.

 

There is such a thing as awareness. People post/talk about the stuff they go through for awareness, and talking in general can be a form of therapy. Also, it is a heads up for people as to why you haven't been so active or you did not do a thing you promised someone. (Like I owe a couple book reviews and I don't know when I can do them now to be honest.)

 

For me, my mental health, developmental disorder and chronic pain are my reasons and not my excuse as to why I "suck." I'm usually really down on myself. I say bad things, insult myself, call myself ugly, fat, you name it. I also apologize non stop, so I am trying to not say "sorry" for not updating this blog or my Youtube channel, but I hope you know I really wish I could do better.

 

I do want to say sorry and then say that I will start being more active starting [insert day] but I can't do that.

 

So I haven't been reading. The last thing I started to read was A Little Princess on my kindle. An oldie, but a goodie ;)

 

Mostly, I've been listening to a lot of goth music. I'm new to the subculture and learning about it. People judge alternative people unfairly. I wouldn't quite call myself goth, at least yet, but I'm leaning on the side of a babybat (what they call someone who is a newbie to the goth culture and I'm very fascinated with the culture.) I've felt so much happier and more confident when I started to express myself outwardly. I'm just basic, I can't wear super fancy clothes or anything, but I feel more comfortable in darker clothing. I've always liked darker things, and that doesn't mean "evil & bad" things like people assume. Think Halloween, but all the time, and then some. K? Think the Addams Family or The Munsters...etc.

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup(A very basic makeup look. Not too dark. I'm new with makeup)

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

 

And since we're talking about mental health awareness, here is some awareness!!

 

I stim. Some people call it stimming or the need for sensory play & sensory toys. Some of my stims are done with tools, like this Onyx annular chewlry & and the Starry Night spinner ring from Stimtastic. I stim to self regulate when stuff gets to be too much. It calms me down and makes me happy. Gives me something to focus on. Why a chew toy you ask? Some stims are harmful, like the sensory need for things in my mouth, which is usually food. I end up eating until I'm sick. Even when I say to stop, I still subconsciously grab anything nearby. I also grind my teeth and bite things. Myself (not the same as self harm), sometimes my husband (playfully, but sometimes too much or too hard. It's just something I do.)

 

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

I will put this in my mouth when I start to feel full (or in some cases sick), or when I'm overloaded with anxiety.

The ring spins. Perfect fidget toy. I'm wearing it as my wedding ring.

I have other stims. I rock when I'm overwhelmed or super upset/depressed. I bounce my feet, legs. I have auditory stims, random phrases, singing...etc.

Sometimes I try too hard to force myself not to stim or self regulate because of the stigma.

I do not know for sure what causes my mental disorders or if I have a developmental disorder such as autism. If you want to put a label on it, autism is the only thing that puts all my little mental issues (side effects if you will), my "quirks", odd behaviors and much more together. It would also make sense of my childhood, and everything really. (My chronic pain is a whole other story.)

I'm different, but not less. Don't judge me.

It's hard to remember that.

 

I should photoshop?

So I haven't updated this blog in a long time. Real life has just been a pain in the butt. I've not been in a reading mood either, so this post isn't book related; just something I feel like sharing with anyone who cares.

 

 

So a little bit personal: I'm like 100% sure I am autistic (Aspie).

 

One of the things I struggle with is taking care of my appearance. I am horrible with my hair and know nothing about makeup, but sometimes I want to try and "fit in" and play with makeup anyways, but I have a lot to learn. So I posted this photo

Image may contain: Leigha Mae Desmond, eyeglasses and closeup

 

on my personal Facebook page and one of my "friends" replied this: [He's a 70+ YO man]

 

 

Don't like those black lips at all. The eyes should be the most outstanding - but the lips steal it - badly. Something wrong with the chest - looks like hair. You need to photoshop that my friend. Good eyes, but they are a tad too dark - makes you look shady and sinister. The glasses are a superb choice. You could afford to bring the hairline just a smidgen forward - it would look more feminine. On the whole - a good pic that could do well with a little 'enhancing'. xx

 

 

Then my mom jumps on board:

 

She's being real, not "fake". No need to enhance. She wasn't asking for the photos to

be critiqued. WOW, sir...

 

He replies:

 

You have a real problem - she's a friend I am trying to help - you don't like my help give your own opinions and don't attack me for offering mine - because I too am trying to help. God you defensive friends do more damage than good."

 

My mom:

 

Ha! I'm her mother, thank you very much!

 

He says:

 

I don't care if you re her risen again great great grand mother. Wise up woman.

 

My husband had to chime in as well:

 

Just stop. She didn't ask for advice. She doesn't need "enhancing". She can look however she wants. Who are you to tell her what looks best??

 

I'm sitting here watching this, just laughing. I was hurt at first, but now I don't know what to think. How do you respond to things like this?

Clara by Christophe Lemoine & Cécile (Artwork)

A very short, but powerful graphic novel about a young girl coming to terms with a death of a family member.

 

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Beautiful, touching and heartbreaking are a few words that come to mind when thinking of this story.

 

This was hard to read. I was crying at the halfway point and really sobbing at the end. I could put myself in the little girl's shoes. Death is a thing I never can quite wrap my head around and it really terrified me as a kid and even as an adult. I loved the art style. I loved that the little girl used her imagination to help her deal with her loss.

 

This story would be good for any young person going through something similar. It could help them understand death and that their loved one did not abandon them.

 

*Provided by Netgally*

Meh

I haven't posted on Booktube (Bookish Youtube Channel) in ages. I'm just not feeling the filming or reading much lately.

My depression & anxiety has been drowning me. I've mostly been zoning out on playing video games and watching people play them. I know, I have no life. :(

 

 

The only books I've read so far this year are comic books from Netgally.(Read for review books) I have a stack of graphic novels from the library that are just sitting here, getting closer and closer to the due date, but I just don't feel up to reading them.

 

Why do we sometimes procrastinate things we love?

 

My aunt (Step dad's sister) died about a week ago from pneumonia. Her heart stopped two times, so she was also brain dead. She had down syndrome, so I think that lowered her immune system. It's just really sad, and I think I'm really feeling more depressed from it.

 

I've started to have breathing and coughing problems and I'm having panic attacks, making it worse. Rationally, I know I'm fine, but my brain is telling me I have pneumonia, too. I do catch it easily, but I haven't been exposed to it as far as I know.

 

If you're the praying type, say one for me, or just keep me in your thoughts and send me good vibes.

 

Hope everyone is well,

 

Leigha

SPOILER ALERT!

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

I have conflicting feelings about this book, but I did enjoy it overall.

 

*Tagged as spoiler, because this book could be triggering. There are lots of blood, gore, pictures of what looks like self harm, and murder...also baby killing.

 

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There were a few stories that I personally felt did not make sense, and also I could not see what was Gothic about them. Maybe I don't fully understand the word "Gothic" but that was my feeling while reading this. I did like it that the "bad guy" was usually the girl, and she wasn't a damsel in distress or something.

Highly disturbing stories, but I went in expecting that. However, there was one story that was a little too much for me personally and it involved taking a baby from a mother's womb and killing it....

 

I enjoyed the varied artwork and color schemes used in this.

 

*Provided by Netgally*

Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir (Author) & Steenz (Artwork)

A little slow to get anywhere, but overall, I really enjoyed the story.

 

 

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The main character was highly relatable. Going in, I did not know much about the story, but her depression is something I can understand. She was so harsh to some of the other characters. That was in part to her depression, but I honestly felt it was overdone a little. I felt sorry for the person she was really harsh toward. I understand depression can make you do things you don't mean, but this is just how I felt when I read those parts.

I enjoyed her growing friendship with her coworkers at the museum.

The story was super slow. I liked that for the most part, but I really did not like all the time skips. I felt like there were huge chunks of the story I wasn't being told.

The artwork took some getting used to.

 

*Provided by Netgally*

Grim Beginnings (Kim Reaper Vol 1) by Sarah Graley (Mini Review)

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This is a fun, quite ridiculous story, but I mean that in the best way possible.

 

I did feel it started a little slow, but picked up quickly; I believe this is because at first, I wasn't sure where the story was going to go or what the point of the opening scene was, because it was just of Becka crushing on Kim, and I hoped the whole book wouldn't be like that, because I found it boring.

 

Luckily, there is so much sustenance to the book than just crushes. (Not that there is anything wrong with having crushes!) It doesn't have any full out romance, but there is hints of some for later volumes.

 

I liked both of the main characters. I'm curious to see what happens in the second volume. I wasn't sure I liked the art style at first, but I did end up liking it a lot and felt it fit the tone of the comic.

 

*Provided by Netgally*

I Won 3 Audiobooks on Audible!!

I won 3 audible audiobook giveaways from J. S. Bailey.

 

1. Servant (The Chronicles of Servitude, #1)

2. Sacrifice (The Chronicles of Servitude, #2)

3. Ordinary Souls

 

+ I won 1-3 in the Servitude series previously!

Surrender (The Chronicles of Servitude, #3)

 

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I am very grateful to win this. I haven't been a member on Audible for a while and I've missed being able to get books on there. The reason we stopped is of course because of funds, like usual! It is one of the things we keep saying we're going to do again, but we keep forgetting.

 

This is the second giveaway for her books that I have won.I entered a giveaway for the same books a while ago and actually won the first 3 books in her Servitude series for my ereader.

 

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Previous to winning these giveaways, I met J.S Bailey at The Half Priced Bookstore and bought a physical copy of Ordinary Souls from her.

 

I'm excited to get to them in the new year.

 

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I feel bad because I've won two times, plus I've bought 1 book and I've yet to read any. It has just been a really hectic time and I am a mood reader. My husband is also interested in reading them, and now he'll be even more happy, because he mostly uses audiobooks!

 

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A Dream for Three by Jérôme Hamon

Heartfelt story, lacking in some ways, but over all enjoyable.

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This had a good message. Be who you want to be and not who your parents or other people want you to be, and it is okay to not know quite who you want to be. I thought the story was slow moving at times. I did not feel that engaged. I felt like it would have been told better with more details and if it were stretched out into a longer story.

I liked how it ended, especially with everyone finding their path.

The artwork was pretty.

Herding Cats (Sarah Scribbles #3) by Sarah Anderson

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This gets a high rating from me. It is so me. I related to almost every single panel in this little graphic. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The book is funny, laugh out loud. Even when you have an illness or mental health problem, sometimes you just have to find ways to bring out the humor, poke fun at yourself. I guess some people might call that morbid humor?

It got one less star than the first two volumes, but I can't quite pinpoint why. I still related to 90% of it, but there was something off during reading this volume.

I love her art and the comic strips. I see people giving this mixed ratings, but for me, I think I am on the higher rating/liking side because I really do see myself in these books.

Memento (Harmony #1) by Mathieu Reynès

The first volume left a lot to be desired, but there was enough there that I would be interested in the second volume.

 

 

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This is a whole load of confusing. First the first part that seemed like medieval, and the the part where Harmony wakes up. Nothing is explained. Honestly feels like I was reading #10 in a series. I liked the artwork during the modern part of the story, it was beautiful, especially when she activated her powers and had blue eyes.

 

The story has great potential.

 

*Provided by Netgally*