The Wildwood chronicles, book one: ft. procrastination, child eating ivy and creepy mechanical princes. (spoiler alert!)

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I CAN’T EVEN DESCRIBE IN WORDS HOW ELATED AND BLOODY WONDERFUL I FEEL WHEN I READ THIS BOOK. LIKE, I COULD CRY HAPPY SALTY TEARS JUST FOR THIS BOOK AND IT WOULD DO IT NO JUSTICE! 

I mean, this book makes me want to jump in a river and scream hallelujah randomly

like, seriously.

I am sorta what you’d call a fuss pot, or whatever cute name you can conjure (ooh, horror!) up that basically says I am very.. choosy. When it comes to my books, It has to be love at first sight or I will not read it. I WILL NOT READ IT. PERIOD.

**tries to ignore the fact that this ‘rule’ is probably the difference between missing the opportunity to read a very lit books. is sad. cries

Time travel to three weeks earlier and I’m in the library, doing um, bookish things. I was yes, a fuss pot, and wouldn’t agree to coming a week later (read: two weeks earlier) and temporarily forgot about that lovely lil saying I preach. *Delayed gratification all.* 

And I was so out of practice, you hear?! It had been like, yonks since I had last indulged myself in wordy paradise and they no longer stocked any good books.

or maybe I just can’t see.

BUT THEN I SAW THAT BEAUTIFUL NUGGET OF ENCHANTED EVIL AND DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT SAID IT WAS FOR FIFTH GRADERS, I BORROWED IT. I BORROWED IT ALL! EXCEPT THE SECOND BOOK IN THE DARNED SERIES WAS MISSING.

CURSE YOU, PREVIOUS BORROWER.

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The time and effort that must’ve gone into this series is pretty unimaginable. 

The illustrations are so quirky and neatly drawn, and really set the scene. In fact, knowing me and my thinking patterns, a little section of my brain told me to borrow the book simply simply for illustrative copying purposes. Because that totally makes sense, doesn’t it?!

Did I mention that the author and illustrator are actual a husband and wife creative bookish/drawer-ish duo? Is that convenient/amazing or what?!

And don’t even get my started on the actual storyline. It was just so magical and crazy and it’s great me listing all the adjectives, isn’t it? Tells you a whole heap. BUT ALSO IT HAD SUCH BIG WORDS WHICH IS WHY IT JUST DON’T FIT ONE AGE GROUP. IT’S AN EVERYBODY BOOK.

Not.

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carson ellis illustration | oh wow love carson ellis illustration i didn t know of her work before ...

Slide Show: The Real Inspirations for 'Wildwood' Illustrations | Portland Monthly

 

Anyway, the series starts off with four humans, a mother, a father, a child bean we’ll refer to as mac, and our heroine, Prue Mckeel. She has a nice, simplistic life but yearns for more.. fate obviously grants that wish and she sets out with dear little Mac in his precious red wagon.. and all was well! (okay, like, the parents actually AGREEING TO THE TAKING OF THEIR KID BY THE OLDER ONE IS A TAD UNREALISTIC BUT IDC)

Until he gets kidnapped by a murder of crows. PLOT TWIST MUCH!

Kidnapped by Crows by Carson Ellis, in "Wildwood" by Meloy and Ellis

I know, I know. So evil!

Prue, being the caring sister she is, wishes she could crawl into a small ball and cry at her loss but she is caring and therefore knows that during this time of need, crying and balling oneself up will not serve a purpose so she hops onto her bicycle and off she goes, the chase beginning. She is soon brought to the Impassable wilderness, where our story takes place.. *cue creepy music*

Now, imagine something Narnia like. That’s sort of the setting of the story, which is, well, 541 pages long and sort of painful but I still love it.

Yeah, so back to what I was saying. Prue is freaking out. LIKE, FULL ON FREAKING OUT.

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And it’s at that moment that our dear bubba Curtis, not really a friend but sort of a friend of Prue + soon to be coyote army child and accidental betrayer, makes himself present but adamantly denies following Prue.

Then he dies, nearly.

#deathbykillertrain

AND THEN HE GETS CAPTURED BY TALKIN WALKIN COYOTE SOLDIERS WITH ACTUAL UNIFORMS ON.

Carson Ellis (part of the Wildwoods book I think)

And Prue freaks out.

Understandably.

What comes next is a range of amazing events including but not limited to a blood thirsty, child hungry Dowager Governess, bless her soul, who is also a resident reincarnater and owns baby kidnapping bird creatures. Also talking/fighting/sparring animal villagers and a certain Bandit King, Brendan, who is not highly liked because of his thieving ways. And also magical elders.. *sighs in happiness*

And then there’s just so many crazy happenings! We find out that Prue’s parents were unable to have children, so they went to this blood thirsty, child hungry Dowager Godess, bless her soul, who is also a resident reincarnater and owns baby kidnapping bird creatures at midnight and walked across some creepy bridge and bam!! a couple of weeks later, there was a bun in the oven. 🤗

but of course the catch was that their second child (however they even had that second child because it was like a one child deal or so??) had to be given to the blood thirty child hungry- okay, I’ll shut up.

So yeah.. and the next thing you know, so much has changed. Prue’s parents are so happy to have her home that they sorta don’t even care about their missing son and just care for her safety, which seems mean but also like it’s the best thing to do.

carson ellis illustration | oh wow love carson ellis illustration i didn t know of her work before ...

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And also a spongiform. It sounds gross and probably is.

spongiform

ˈspʌndʒɪfɔːm/

adjective

VETERINARY MEDICINE

 

  1. having or denoting a porous structure or consistency resembling that of a sponge.

    “spongiform changes in the cerebral grey matter”

    Seriously.

    I FEEL SICK JUST TYPING THIS. EVERYBODY COMMENT WHAT THIS WORD MAKES THEM THINK OF. I’M THINKING SORE THROATS AND BACTERIA. EW. 

    IS THERE A WORD FOR FEAR OF SPONGIFORM?

    Cause just in case you don’t believe me, there’s some so gross it’s actually graphic description of thingy in the book. It’s alive and, well, working with the dowager goddess- Alexandra, witchy lady. yep yep.

    And that, in short, is the craziness of the first book in the series- *breathe.*

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    Borders-03carson ellis illustration | oh wow love carson ellis illustration i didn t know of her work before ...

Mm.. so overall, I’d say this was about 4 stars if we’re talking ratings. It was very good with an extremely imaginative and at times, horrifying story line. I seriously it should be classified differently though- as much of a reader as I am, nine year old me would be totally lost.. :/ For the illustrations, a definitive 5/5 star rating doesn’t even do justice! Look how beautiful it all is 😍

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Only problem is that it took me ages to actually finish the book because as interesting as it was, it was long and just too much for a sitting.. a hefty 530 or so pages.

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So! Do you like spoilers? duh no do you like me? do you like spongiform? no you need help will you buy the book or the series? will you take months to read it?

Look at me there, talking to myself.

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A word if I may: let’s discuss marriage equality and non conformism. ☪️ 🏳️‍🌈✝️

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Islam and Christianity.. the world’s two most followed religions, and surely, for good reason. The most accepted forms of truth, but not without flaw. Sometimes you need to question what you’ve been taught.

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The sarcasm is strong with this one

^^ Now, this beautiful little thing above you is pretty much states all the reasons under the sun for hating on the LGBTQ community. Think about it. It looks stupid and sarcastic, but there are people who think like this. If I had a dollar for every time someone answered ‘It’s unnatural’ when asked on their views of those this, I’d be richer than Kim K. Anyway, I’m here for change. 

And also because I refuse to stay voiceless on what is potentially the most argument worthy cause of our times. And the most secret.. it makes me wonder, actually. Nobody shares their votes, especially not on a topic like marriage equality. What do we think will happen? Are we scared of judgement or do want to disagree? A secret vote is the best way to do that.

A bit about me. I believe in Islam, but I find that as a whole, there isn’t acceptance for anything that is considered different OR abnormal. At all. And I wonder about this too? Where do our values come in? Where do we stop and think about what a vote like this could mean for the inclusion of minority groups?

Therefore, I don’t agree with all parts of my religion. I question certain beliefs and take my own stand on them. I am no longer afraid, but I stand tall and proud. Proud to be Islamic, a follower of an Abrahamic religion but also a member of a minority group within. I do not have extreme views on this matter, but I know where, for me, the true sin lays- in how we choose to accept others sexuality. Or show unacceptance, to be frank. Yes, there a places where death is the price you pay to be yourself. And the shame.. some people would rather DIE than be themselves. What does that say about us as a society, as a world? 

Religious freedom plays a big role in our lives- through politics, the way we view the world and the choices we make. If we’re told to stay quiet, we’ll never open our mouths and ears to new possibilities.

If I could vote, I’d say yes because I believe love doesn’t discriminate. It is one of the purest emotions and it doesn’t know complications- gender does not and never has come into it. It’s just us. Over time we kept outdated beliefs and that’s why the stand today. They are easy and we don’t like change.

It’s okay, world. Guess who else hates change? Me. But this is the positive sort. This is what we need.

We’ve all seen the ways we fail at being brothers and sisters to each other. (And I don’t mean this in a literal sibling way!)- We don’t support each other or have the person’s back. We’re in it for ourselves and would rather turn our noses up in disgust if it means with fit in with the norm.

Enough, please. 

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Over the past couple of days, I have been really getting into the whole pride spirit. I’m under 18 which means no vote for me, but there are others way to make a difference. I was proud to see others doing their part too, and happy to find out that people I know have voted yes. 😊 I also heard a couple of beautiful songs surrounding same sex relationships and the vote, one of those being ‘Same love’ by Macklemore. It was a rap style song, but very beautiful and the words were deep. I also liked how it was based on his own experiences and his ability to make something out of the pain. It was released in 2013 and due to the upcoming election, fell into first place on music charts once more. Now, it is to be sung at the NRL Grand finals, and I’ve no doubt it’ll attract hate but it warms my heart completely that there are people who will fight for their own and others’ truths. The chorus was by a woman, Mary Lambert, who sings ‘She keeps me warm.’ and does an incredibly moving job, If I might say so myself. There is a full version of the song along with a clip, and it might just become my favourite song. It was just perfect. It wasn’t an overly sexualised and there was no kissing for shock value. It was a perfect depiction of love between two people.

At the end of the day, it’s all the same love.

Think of it as human rights.

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#MyRoadToWellness: Tagged? Participate for motivation to shine, inside and out and enjoy life!

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Hello chicklets! 

I sure hope you’ve got your party pants on, children, because Kimberly Clark sure does!

She has just astounded the blogging world with her fantasticness and now this- she’s released a tag!

*cue confetti pls*

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October is more that just a “month” to me anymore. Starting from October 4th, it will be my 1 year anniversary of my Road to Wellness (RTW). Even though I have lived for a while (I’m not stating that I’m old, but I am looking forward to my senior years), it was only my body that lived, not my soul. I didn’t truly enjoy life just because. On my 1 year anniversary, it will be the day when I was on my Road to Wellness, when I started to eventually love my life.

Sounds beautiful aye? Well, all praise to the creator! Let’s go, shall we? xx

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1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the #MyRTW questions
3. Nominate five other bloggers to participate or leave it open for all! 💗

(I’ll also share Kimberly’s answers below)

Questions

What is one thing you are proud of yourself?

What is your favourite thing right now?

Where is the place you can most easily find inner peace? 

What motivates you?

Answers (K)

I guess… that I am appreciative. After last year, I really found out that I am such a lucky girl who has so many people who love her. Honestly, I used to take things for granted, but now, I’m like *yo thanks* 🙂 *I ❤ you all*

School!!! for now. I don’t like the amount of anxiety that comes with it, but it is such a privilege to be able to walk though the lobby door (please refer to Ans. 1)

My rooooooooom. It’s like this safe haven for me. So many laughter, tears, anger, anxiety happened in there, but at the end of the day, it’s the safest place I feel.

Quotes and taking pretty notes.

 

(Oooh, Kimberly’s notes.. you’re c u t e)

 

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Answers (M) or me, if you couldn’t tell 😂😂

I am proud of the self growth I’ve experienced through the past years. This is very painful self growth, no doubt, but I have evolved and when I look at myself, I can see clearly- it is me.

My favourite thing right now is day trips out. I recently went to Kiama and had a lovely day out. I ended up filming a video too, which you can check out here. Honestly, I’d say it’s doing wonders for my health!

My favourite place for inner peace is definitely outdoors, probably at the beach. Of course, away from the crowds. Towards more secluded, peaceful parts.

I find my motivation in knowing that something greater is to come, whether it be in a day or ten years time. There is a reason and a purpose for everything. Always.

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(AAAAAAAAAAAH)

It’s already the end of this post! Wow. Anyway, I feel that as this tag is still pretty new, anybody who wants to do it is most welcome to participate. Drop me a comment down below if you’re going to give this a try and I’ll make sure to check your post out //

and now I should sleep. It’s late. Oops. 😂💤

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‘Where Dandelions Grow’: A book review!

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 Happy Monday everybody!

Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing this wonderful book, and I’m oh-so excited 😄 Let’s get started!

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DANDELION BOOK REVIEW

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Now that you know what’s happening, I’ll share a little story about my, what would you call it, reading journey? That’ll do 😂😂 It took me a couple of weeks to finish this book overall. Not because I’m a sloooooooow reader but because I’m a busy bee. I don’t know why, but I had this clever idea to print out the book. So yeah. That was just great. I didn’t want to stand at the printer, constantly ordering papers so I went to have a bath while the pages printed, and trust me, that was a sad, sad, sad, sad, sad EXPERIENCE. When I finally got back to the printer a good half hour later, there was like, a billion pages sitting there, and they weren’t in order at all! It was absolutely horrid. I freaked. Now I’m wishing I’d just sat at my laptop and read the book (which I did for the first and last parts of the story) the whole duration because then I wouldn’t have had that clever idea and spent 1+ hours putting the various pages into order. Le sigh. 

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omg i just came across this gif and it was the bomb except it seemed a little r rated so #pointmade 🤦😭

Anyway, I think this was meant to be a book review, which means that you probably want to hear my thoughts. Anyway, thanks again to the lovely Lydia! It’s been so much fun getting to know you a bit better and read some of your work x

The plot (-.png

Fresh out of school, Destiny longs for the familiarity of Swallow Ridge, the place of her birth, dreams and everything that shaped her as a person- most importantly, her four cousins. They weren’t just family, but friends by choice.

Desperate to overcome the challenges that drove her loved ones apart, Destiny embarks on a journey that will ultimately lead to her embracing her dreams with the help of something- or someone- greater.

 

What I liked-

  • The writing, to me, seemed very personal. It was like I could hear your thoughts as you transferred them to the page and that created something really human. I could almost picture myself as one of the characters.

 

  • The plot was unique and well, reliable. I don’t quite know how to explain that, but in my head, it works just fine. Yaaaaaaaay.

 

  •  It was clear that Where Dandelions Grow was written with love and care. I like how inspiration was taken from the writers own experience as I believe that’s where authenticity is born.

 

  • And Noveltea.. where do I start?! Throughout the book, I had such a clear mental picture of what everything would look like suppose Swallow Ridge was a real place.. and it was delightful!

 

  • Lots of great life lessons. This book is jam packed with inspiration, and I really like that. Books with actual messages are great.

What I disliked

Honestly, there is NOT a whole lot I disliked about the book. If I was the author, I definitely would’ve changed a few things, but it was overall, not a bad read.

  • This is a Christian book.. when I first heard this, I definitely envisioned it to be somewhat different. I guess I expected more religious themes, not that I was bothered by this. In fact, I prefer it this way. I just feel that the links were somewhat random and unclear and did take away from the overall message of the story. Destiny taking ‘the high road’ and trusting in Jesus to carry some of the burden she had laid on her from a young age.

 

  • I honestly didn’t feel like this was a book I could sit and just keep reading. Don’t get me wrong, it was light hearted and witty and a good read for an afternoon in, but just not my piece of cake- significantly different to what I usually enjoy, and by no means bad, but I felt that, I don’t know, I didn’t give it justice. This book needs to be read by someone who will cry happy tears over it and well, sit and eat pastries. But I did get hungry.. mm, what I wouldn’t do for one of Mrs Reed’s pastries!

 

  • Last of all.. the writing felt disjointed and was at times, hard to understand. I’d read one part and then there was the next part and I was like ‘what?!”- If that wasn’t such a regular occurrence, I think I would’ve enjoyed the book more. I get where the author was going but think this is something that needed more reviewing and a more succinct way of explanation.

Maryam @

I think, overall, Where Dandelions Grow, will be really well received by the public. I just feel that while the writing felt cosy, it was, to a degree, unsatisfying and left me with too many questions. I mean, if the book was a series, there would be a lot to talk about. There is promise for future stories and the author’s development as a creative and I have high hopes for what is to come and would love to read more books in the future.

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