Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chapter One - Continued

...Here’s the thing, when I died I didn’t see a great light, my favorite memories flash before my eyes, or anything earth-shatteringly cliche like that. What I saw, well, I don’t really remember. Truth be told, the whole thing is a little fuzzy. I get bits and pieces, but most of what I know about the whole ordeal comes from what my family has told me. Simply, one day my heart just stopped beating. I was in English class, like any other Tuesday. I felt the corners of my mouth turn up as I admired Mrs. Merlyn's one yellow wall. Though it was littered with tons of inspirational quotes, photos of famous authors, and pages of books you could still see the sunny, lemon paint underneath. It was like the color refused to be drowned out by all the chaos, and instead built upon it. A perfect metaphor for a happy existence--appreciating the imperfections, letting them be a strength rather than a weakness. Maybe I was crazy for thinking a wall could mean so much, I preferred to believe I was a keen observer that saw what others didn’t take the time to see. Brought back to the present by the deep voice of the audiobook Mrs. Merlyn played as she graded the test she had forgotten to look over this past weekend, I heard the not-so-soft voice of Olivia Dunham behind me, telling her friend Margaret about her “puke-worthy” first date with some guy she had met at a club a week prior. I rolled my eyes. Girls. Why were they all so dramatic? Then nothing. Apparently, this was the point in time my lifeless body fell out of the sad wooden excuse for a desk and onto the dirty classroom floor. I think that’s called irony. Anyway, after waking up from that traumatizing experience in the E.R., I found myself in a hospital room. It was standard as far as hospital rooms go. There was a bed, a old, crappy tv, an uncomfortable-looking chair, two doors, and bland, beige walls. At first, I was thoroughly confused. Was that nightmare not a nightmare at all? Why was I in the hospital? What the hell happened? Where was the bathroom because I really needed to pee? Before I had the chance to get my mind together, one of the doors opened, and an ebony face popped out from the other side.
“Well, look who is awake, the walking dead,” said a rich voice tinted with a bit of laughter.
“Hi,” I tried to say, but it sounded a bit weak, which worried me.
He stepped into the tiny space, and I got a better look at him. Dressed in scrubs, he had a shaved head, high cheekbones, and deep chocolate brown eyes that seemed to know things I’d never understand. His pearly-whites were on full display, offering warmth and cheer at an otherwise frightening time.
“Don’t talk too much. You are still recovering. Nice to meet you though, I’m Darren,” he grabbed the clipboard at the end of my bed, “I’ll be your nurse until eight. If you need me, click that button to your left. I’ll take your vitals, answer any questions you may have, and unless you need me, you won’t see me for another half-hour.”
I nodded my head.
Darren did his thing, fast and efficient, but gently as though not to hurt my fragile state. I asked him what had happened to me, and he explained it calmy.
“I can’t tell you much. All that I know is that when the ambulance arrived, they thought you were dead. They couldn’t find your pulse. They tried reviving your heart, and it seemed to work, but your heartbeat was still weak. Dr. Karver’s the specialist. He told your parents that he didn’t know what was wrong, but that something needed to be fixed. That kind of stuff doesn’t just happen, you know. Anyway, they ran a few tests. Apparently you had coronary artery abnormalities. They took you into surgery and fixed you right up. A damn miracle if you ask me,” he down looked at me and smiled again, “Excuse my french.”
I gave him two thumbs up and a smirk. He then took off his gloves and patted my head. When his hand made contact with my hair everything turned to black.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

First & Then

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Favorite Quote: "Close your eyes, real tight, and then count to three hundred. That's all you have to do. You just count to three hundred, and when you open your eyes, five  minutes will have passed. And even if it hurts or things are shitty or you don't know what to do, you just made it through five whole minutes. And when it feels like you can't go on, you just close your eyes and do it again. That's all you need. Just five minutes at a time."

Summary: Devon Tennyson wouldn't change a thing. She's happy silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon's cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive jock, Ezra, right where she doesn't want them--first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

With wit, heart, and humor to spare, First & Then is a contemporary novel about falling in love--with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.

Background Noise: I find that I listen to music a lot when I read, and I feel it can greatly enhance the reading experience. For this particular novel, I found myself listening to the Acoustic Spring playlist on Spotify. Check it out!

Review: I honestly don't know where to start. When I picked up this book, I expected it to be another cutesy love story that made me smile, but didn't stick with me for long. I expected it to get me through a few mindless hours and offer a bit of entertainment. What I didn't expect was how much I enjoyed this book; I simply devoured it. The writing was absolutely fabulous, almost poetic, and the characters were pleasantly dynamic. It has been a while since I have read a story where I have found myself captivated by even the simplest of appearances from characters/personalities that barely rank as minor. Mills has a gift for creating realistic, multi-dimensional beings. Devon, the protagonist, is commendable but not perfect. The author doesn't try to portray her as the epitome of good or beauty, but as someone who has flaws, knows them, and accepts them. Devon also has a life of her own; her mind doesn't just revolve around her love life, and she evolves not through her relationships with her romantic interest, but with her relationship with her cousin, Foster. I guess it has just been awhile since I have read a novel where the main focus was not on a protagonist's romantic woes. (Don't get me wrong, I love those books, but it nice to have a change of pace every once in awhile.) Foster, was an equally fascinating character. In the beginning, I thought he be nothing, but the sad, peculiar kid that needed a little kindness and understanding; however, as the book progressed, you see how strong he really is. As for the rest, I can not really put it in to words. I guess you will just have to read it and find out. 

(By the way, hope you had a great Easter!)

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Little Update

I'm currently working on a schedule for posting. I've been complete crap, but I have made the decision to commit to this amazing activity because it brings me immense joy. To hold you over until I have everything sorted out, I'm leaving you with a snippet of something I wrote recently. If you guys like it, I might consider writing more. Have a great day or night!

Chapter One

My body is completely frozen, and I feel as though each of my limbs have been superglued to the surface below. I hear voices and strange noises all around me. Metal clangs together softly, momentarily drowning out the constant, ominous beeping of what I can only guess is some kind of machine. I want to open my eyes, but I can’t. My eyelids refuse to budge.“Dr. Karver, her parents have just arrived.” My parents? What are they doing here? What am I doing here? Where is here? Horrible thoughts and questions flood my mind; I can feel my heart beating so fast...too fast. Then, there was nothing.
My name is Eloise Garner. Before you ask, there really is nothing very special about me. I’m smart, but not enough for it to really mean much. I love to read and I even write a little, but that’s not very original. As if my fate wasn’t already sealed, I’ve been blessed with middle child status. Bernard, my older brother, splits his time between “developing computer software” and taking too many mixed martial art classes. Bertie’s that weird breed of human that has the ability to humiliate someone using their fists or their intellect. Don’t get me wrong, in high school, he was a total nerd whose only friends were those that appeared on the screen of his favorite role-playing games. Then he met Riven, a guy who thinks all that it takes to be “cool” is to have a stupid name and some bad manners, at Walmart while picking up some tortilla chips for nacho night. The two of them have been inseparable ever since. Sarah, my younger sister, is the epitome of everything sunny, cheerful, and good. She volunteers at the local retirement center three times a week, is an active member of every stupid club, and is the worship leader of our small youth group. I kid you not, words flow out of her mouth like silk. There isn’t a person in town that doesn’t think Sarah is the kindest, holiest thing to ever touch earth. Now me, I’m the sarcastic introvert that spends her free time tucked beneath a blanket, a book in hand. Of course that’s not all that I do, I also watch tv, and sometimes I might hang out with a few of my friends. Overall, my life is a ball of fun, and at this point, you’re probably wondering why you are even still reading this? You remember that little paragraph from before? It was the one that described some dark, terrifying scene. Yeah, that one. That wasn’t just some story meant to trick you into turning the page. That happened to be the day I died.