Book Review: Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington

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Magic Curves@Flickr:Bousure

Book Review: Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington (Imdaline series)

Truth be told, when I first saw the cover for this novel, I thought ‘Oh god, another cheesy vampire love story’ but I will happily admit I was SO wrong. First released in 2012, this debut is just power packed and totally gripping. Not to mention the e-book is currently COMPLETELY FREE. Honestly, you’d be stupid not to read it.

The story tells of young teenager Joclyn Despain, beautiful, shy and reclusive. As a child she was marked by an unknown creature and suffered a long period of time in a coma before she finally awoke. Her parents split and her mother went to work at the billionaire LaRue’s home as head chef. There young Joclyn met her best friend and would be lover Ryland LaRue, finally she feels like someone notices her. Going forward a few years to the modern-day, Jocyln and Rylands friendship starts becoming more, but their difference in status threatens to tear them apart on a regular basis. It’s around this time that strange things start happening around Jocyln, her wayward father makes contact and warns her of a terrible fate and her own growing power. It’s not long until Joclyn becomes completely consumed by a world she never thought existed. In a world of magic, Joclyn realises she holds far more power than she ever thought, her mark separating her from the rest. Ryland risks his life to defend her against evil and becomes caught in its snare. So Jocyln and her new magical companions fight to save him before it’s too late and Ryland is lost forever.

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Copyright of Rebecca Ethington

Although the young-adult love story remains true to the fictional form, the magical aspect is completely original and I love it. Ethington builds such an enthralling world with so many exciting possibilities, and the love between Joclyn and Ryland is so intense and beautiful – “And locked inside me somewhere, I will always be waiting for you.” – you just can’t put the book down. It’s a bit slow to start with and takes a while for the truths to be revealed, but the build-up just intrigues you more, you feel so overwhelmed with happiness when Joclyn finally realises what’s going on around her. Once you get the point of unveiling, it becomes action packed and extremely intense. The characters are so loveable, I just wish I could meet them all.

To find out more about the series go to: http://www.rebeccaethington.com/books/imdalind-series/kiss-of-fire/

Love

Lauren_V

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Book Review: Rebel of the Sands. Join the rebellion with me if you dare!

 

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Book Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Fun fact: If I was a Djinn, I’d be able to control fire whilst simultaneously reading five thousand books. Now that’s out of the way, WHY ON EARTH HAVE I ONLY JUST READ THIS BEAUTIFUL THING. I’m talking about the FANTASTIC debut ‘Rebel of the Sands’ by the lovely Alwyn Hamilton. It’s a young-adult fantasy read, published earlier this year and set to be the first of a trilogy, of which the next is due to be released very soon!

It’s the story of gutsy Amani, a girl who just wants to get out of her sandy, patriarchal town like any young, under-appreciated gunslinger. When trying to find a way out of Dustwalk and her horrific uncle’s grasp, she crosses paths with handsome stranger Jin. He’s on the run from the Sultan and his army, and she’s trying to run from the life that is expected of her. Together they journey across deserts and mountains, finding out more about themselves than they knew capable. But with the fantastical Djinn nearly non-existent and all magical beings being slowly decimated by mankind and the Sultan, Amani knows that her world is only going to get worse, no matter where she runs too. Magic wants to take back the desert and Jin shows her a cause worth fighting for, but Amani struggles to accept everything she is and everything she could be, the key to the rebellions victory. Amani has to decide whether to fight against the injustice all around her or make a run for the hills and start a new life, the only thing she’s ever wanted.

When reading this novel, I really took note of Amani’s strength of will and the inner conflict she faces when determining her future. She’s a really gritty character that doesn’t really follow the stereotype of your average young adult heroine, she’s a complicated person with a pretty rough past but she just doesn’t let it phase her, life’s tough and she deals with it, she doesn’t sit back and whine her way to the end.

Although a romantic spark ignites between Amani and Jin, unlike many YA novels, it’s not the central plot line. It’s about doing what’s right, standing up for those that can’t and accepting who you are, even if it goes against everything you thought was normal. In addition to these themes, there’s so much MAGIC! Bucket loads of magic. You’ve got the Djinn, Buraqi, Skinwalkers, Nightmares and more! Not to mention some charming characters, an exhilarating adventure and a beautiful use of language. This is a definite must-read, for young adults and adults alike in my opinion. Everybody deserves to go on an adventure like this.

To find out more about the novel, please visit: http://rebelofthesands.co.uk/

Love

Lauren_V

20 things to think about before you self-harm

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Shadows@FlickrUser:Rachel.Adams
Self-harm is still a massive issue in society, and unfortunately most people tend to associate it with a stereotypical emo teenager who’s trying to get attention. This is absolutely terrible. So here’s a little catch up on the reality of self harm. Firstly people of all ages do it, not just young people, in fact I personally know more people over the age of thirty that self-harm than young teenagers. Self-harm comes in many forms including self-mutilation/cutting, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, anything reckless that one does to hurt themselves is classed as self-harm and it’s not always physical. It usually occurs with people that have some kind of mental health issue such as depression or a mental illness, although this isn’t definite, many people do it as a release from their troubles without any mental health problem. Self-harm is also nonrestrictive of gender, I know plenty of males and females who self-harm. Peoples reasons for self-harm can really vary, but the way I see it, if someone is feeling so bad that they cut themselves then it doesn’t matter how small or big the reason because it’s clearly had a horrible effect on the person and shouldn’t be mocked.

Now that’s out of the way, I want to give self-harmers twenty reasons not to cut, sometimes people cut before they think of the weeks after that will be affected by them. For the sake of this specific post, I’m going to focus on physical mutilation/ cutting because it’s one of the most common I see. I’m aiming to lighten the subject and hopefully not offend anyone, but sometimes reasons, however small and laughable, can be enough to stop someone, so here goes:

  1. The showers/baths after you cut REALLY sting.
  2. The constant re application of plasters because they keep falling off.
  3. Your clothes getting caught in the scabs which pulls them off and can infect them.
  4. Having to wear a lot of clothing to hide them in public, even when it’s BOILING.
  5. The itching as the scabs heal can be nearly unbearable.
  6. Infections. I think the least said about that the better.
  7. You can’t get any tattoos or anything like that on them for years because they need to heal properly.
  8. Tanning is never even, you always have strange white bits.
  9. The whole conversation that you have with everyone that notices about how you fell or your pet scratched you is always super awkward and everyone knows it’s a lie.
  10. When you go swimming, chlorine stings, and it’s basically impossible to cover up properly.
  11. Beaches are a no go, SAND.
  12. Makeup wasted on the scars that rubs off after five minutes anyway.
  13. Limitation of clothing choices, like no short sleeve tops or crop tops.
  14. Jewelry can get itchy and irritating, especially bracelets on wrists.
  15. When you stretch you can feel the cuts re opening and that’s not a great feeling.
  16. The constant re-application of Savlon and Germolene to stop infections and itching, although extremely greasy and generally annoying.
  17. Those scars are going to stay with you forever, do you really want your future to be marked by your past?
  18. It’s always a difficult conversation when you get naked with your new partner for the first time.
  19. You might end up needing stitches because the skin can stretch apart in some areas. so that means you have to go back in so many weeks to have them removed, eugh effort.
  20. Scar removal costs a fortune and no one on the NHS is going to bother giving it to you for free if your at risk from doing more. And the over the counter stuff really is pointless.

So that’s it, twenty reasons not to self-harm, if you think you know someone in danger of self-harming, show them this list, you never know what might stop them. And remember, their is support out there, you just have to ask (and occasionally pester). Don’t bottle it up, it’s okay to be human and ask for help, although we’d all like to be, we’re not superman.

Love

Lauren_V