My Best Friend’s Exorcism – Book Review

Published Date: May 17, 2016

Publishing Co.: Quirk Books

Pages: 330

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Well, this book certainly did not make me miss high school. Teenagers are just too much drama and make so many dumb decisions. I know, once upon a time, I was one. I don’t miss those days unlike a lot of people. This is part of the reason why I don’t read YA all too often, I get all grouchy about the young idiots.

Gretchen and Abby are accidental BFFs. Gretchen was forced to come to Abby’s birthday party by her parents and when no one else showed up, a very rude Abby managed to make a best friend while being very rude. I for one, would have said peace out to this beast and went home. But Gretchen is a better person than I am and saw someone in pain and tried to help them.

Fast forward several years to high school, they’re still inseparable. However, a strange night at the lake ends with Gretchen missing in the woods and when she is finally found, she’s not the normal Gretchen. As months go by, her hygiene declines, she starts fights with everyone and she is scribbling creepy things in her notebook.

My one major issue with this book is, we never find out just HOW Gretchen gets possessed by a demon. There isn’t a demonic backstory. This demon was just hanging out in the water/woods, waiting to possess someone?

The ending is DEPRESSING. Mostly, because I cannot imagine having the kind of friendship they end up having, with my BFF. I know it’s realistic which makes it all the more sad.

The moral of the story here is; don’t let your BFF jump off the end of a dock without you. If someone is getting possessed, you might as well bring chaos down on those around you TOGETHER. Twice the possession, twice the fun.

Thank you Melanie at Grab the Lapels for the book. ❤

Went to Hell

Sorry for being MIA. I went to Hell.

But don’t worry because I came back again!

You see, there is tiny town in Michigan called Hell. It’s only about an hour from our house. Mr. C&M has gotten into riding motorcycles so for his first bike trip, my dad and his friends came over and we took the road paved with good intentions.

It was one Hell of time.

Once the Hell puns start, you have a Hell of a time stopping them.

The food was to die for.

Hellions.

The town fully leans into it’s name and the people that work there have fun with it. We had a great time and I will definitely be dragging some people back to Hell with me. >:D

August 2021 Recap

I kept my promise! I was very active this month. It was easy for once. Now I get to go back to school starting today and I am sure things will slow down for me, blog wise, until this semester is up in December. I will try to post at least once a week.

I managed to finish 3 books this month. I don’t know the last time this happened. Probably before school started.

The Invention of Sound review

The Last Mortal Bond review

I just finished this last night and I loved it. 5 out of 5 stars. I don’t feel like reviewing it however. There is a lot of world building to explain and I rather just enjoy the bliss it brought me instead of worrying about how to describe it.

eBooks Purchased:

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews $2.99

The Poppy War by RF Huang $1.99

Death Masks by Jim Butcher $0.00 (coupon for this book specifically from Amazon)

TOTAL SPENT: $4.98

Movies Watched:

I’ve clearly been on a horror movie kick. I decided to go back and watch all the ones from the 80s that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

TV Watched:

As you can see, it was a productive month. My three weeks off of class flew by. I’m going to miss all the free time.

What was your favorite part of August??

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #3) – Book Review

Published Date: January 13, 2015

Publishing Co.: Tor Books

Pages: 649

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

In my review of the second book in the series, The Providence of Fire, I promised that the third book would be mine by Christmas. That might have been true, I don’t remember when I bought it but let me tell you, I thought I read that book last year. Turns out…..it was four years ago.

Now I sit here, absolutely torn. I was riding high on this book for ¾ of the way through, positive down to my bones that this was going to be another 5 star edition. Then, the last 60 or so pages happened. I HATE to say anything bad about this series, I’ve recommended it to SO many people, but I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t brutally honest.

The ending falls flat on it’s face. At least it did for me. We’ve spent so long, following an amazing story line with truly epic world building and some great characters, that it seemed the ending was thrown in just to finally end it. I wish I could describe accurately, how incredible the build up to this final battle was. Hell, there were so many battles before this that were more suspenseful than the grand finale. It was a disappointment that I was just not expecting. There is a quick end to this epic tale and a lot of questions left. Character deaths that felt unjust to the character themselves. As in, there were deaths depicted rather lamely for characters who carried the major plot points. The last person standing in a position of power is my absolute least favorite character of the series.

Before all that happened though, I was loving every second of what I was reading. It will remain a series that I recommend to people, as other people seem to love the ending, so it may have just been a case of it’s me not you. I will still read the standalone novel that comes after this and probably everything else Staveley writes, but this ending just left me unfulfilled.

“Nira just shrugged. “Sometimes ya gotta kill people to save ‘em.”

July 2021 Vacation

I finally got around to sending myself the pictures from my vacation back in July. The plan was relaxation, exploring Michigan and trying new beers in celebration of Mr. C&M’s birthday. He’s a big craft beer fan so he did a lot of drinking of beers he’s never tried and beers that we just can’t get in our area of Michigan. He says the birthday was a huge success and now he doesn’t want to drink any beer for awhile lol.

You don’t want/need pictures of all the breweries we went to so here are some of the pretty points of the trip:

Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula – Highly recommend.

Mackinaw Island – We didn’t take a lot of pictures outside as it was pretty rainy half the day. This was the big beer goal. Inside of the Grand Hotel is a bar called The Cupola, Short’s Brewing Company does an exclusive beer that you can only get at this location so of course, Mr. C&M just HAD to have it. The Grand Hotel requires you to pay $10 per person if you’re not a guest of the hotel just to walk around it. With the right swagger, acting like you belong there, no one questions your presence and you can get in for free. At least, that’s how we did it. He says Big Porch Ale is totally worth it. The butterfly house is a lot of fun too.

Sunset on the Mackinaw Bridge.

A whole day was dedicated to the dogs having fun. We hit a lake for swimming and followed that up with ice cream for everyone.

My dad bought me an informational book about the Upper Peninsula for more places to check out. I’ve done some traveling in the U.P. as we Michiganders call it, but a lot of it was when I was much younger so I want to get back up there and see what other adventures we can get ourselves into. Honestly, just driving place to place in the UP is fun as the scenery is just breathtaking pretty much everywhere you go.

It was a much needed getaway from day-to-day life and helped refill the gas tank so to speak. It also reinforced my desire to just sell everything, get a camper and travel. :3

The Invention of Sound – Book Review

Published Date: September 8, 2020

Publishing Co.: Grand Central Publishing

Pages: 240

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Haunting her was the idea that we each summon our own death.”

Do not pick up a Palahniuk book unless you are ready to get dddaaaaaarrrrkkkk.

That’s honestly what I love and what I count on when it comes to Chuck Palahniuk. He reaches into every taboo zone and drags you along with him. If he has to step into the dark to write it, you are going to have to walk through the dark to read it. We’re going places you never thought an author would go.

For example, we start this adventure with one of the main characters picking a Xanax out of the damp pubes of her lover after sex. This is how I knew I was back in Palahniuk territory. His characters are always massively flawed and that’s part of what makes them so interesting to read about.

Mitzi works for the Hollywood sound industry. She sells screams for movies and TV. She is on a quest to make the best scream ever recorded and she would do anything, even kill to get it.

Foster’s daughter disappeared during a game of hide and seek. Walked off with a stranger never to be seen again. Now he scours the dark web, seeking out child molesters and murders, trying to find out exactly what happened to his daughter. He assumes she’s dead, it’s seventeen years later after all, but his lust for revenge hasn’t died.

Both will bring Hollywood to it’s knees in their quests.

Palahniuk’s best book in years.

Ohio State Reformatory

Ohio State Reformatory is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. It was built between 1886 and 1910 (partially by prisoners) and remained in operation until 1990, when it was ordered shut by a United States Federal Court. The Shawshank Redemption was filmed there and is actually the only reason the prison was not demolished. It is famously haunted. Ghost Adventures did an investigation there years ago and caught some evidence.

Fast forward to last weekend (August 7th) and we went on our own paranormal investigation of the prison until 3 am. There was a brief tour and history lesson and then we were unleashed to wander the prison and try to communicate with ghosts. Unfortunately, due to Covid, there was no equipment to rent like advertised but we made due with cell phones, flashlights and disposable cameras. (Disposable cameras are supposedly the best at catching evidence. As someone raised during the era of disposable cameras, I think it’s mostly that the film gets screwed up easily and people claim it’s spooky ghosts.) I went in in full skeptic mode and was not proven wrong. Meaning, we didn’t catch anything. It was SO much fun nonetheless.

Originally, OSR was an actual reformatory for men aged 14-28. They had a 85% success rate of rehabilitating people back into society. It functioned as a small town, where inmates farmed the land and learned a profession (even lock picking apparently) and were released back as functioning members of society. Somewhere along the way, people decided that you could not force people to work and they turned to just locking them in cages day in and day out. The prison was closed due to overcrowding and poor conditions. There are a few famous murders and prisoners who died there but I’ll leave that for your own research and investigations.

We are still waiting on getting the disposable cameras developed but like I implied, I’m not expecting much.

I would recommend this adventure to anyone interested in history and/or ghost hunting. There were a decent amount of other people there so that also infringed on any real attempts of catching evidence. Your ticket prices go directly to preservation of the building and volunteers staff the building for the night. I would 10/10 do it again.

Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes

One of the new pharmacists at work has Celiac Disease. She never wants anyone to go out of their way to make her anything but we were having a joint birthday party for her and another coworker. Ya girl here, cannot see someone NOT have a birthday dessert. So, I embarked on my first adventure in gluten free baking.

It was not as hard as anticipated. I even substituted coconut oil for butter in this recipe because another coworker is lactose intolerant. I still put regular milk in it though since it was what I had on hand. Either she avoided the dessert altogether or it didn’t upset her stomach too badly.

I think they turned out pretty great. They had good flavor and the consistency wasn’t even that different. The only issue I had was since I replaced butter with coconut oil, the frosting would get pretty hard in the fridge. I left them out for the party to thaw some.

Recipe here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 5, 2015

Publishing Co.: Bloomsbury USA

Pages: 419

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Honestly, I told myself I would never read anything by Sarah J. Maas. The things I had read from reviewers about her other series about assassins, were pretty off putting for someone who only dabbles in young adult books once in awhile. They have to really catch my attention or be recommended by people I trust to get me to give them a shot anymore. I’m in my thirties and plenty jaded at this point.

In this case, I had not one but two people tell me that I should give this specific series a try. That in mind, worlds still had to collide before I picked it up. I was on vacation. I didn’t bring the book I was reading because it was falling apart and I wasn’t sure how much time I would actually have to read. Turns out, it was a decent amount. So I hit the local independent bookstore where I was, the selection was wanting, and I picked this up in the clearance section.

I opened it, fully skeptical, of what I would find.

I was hooked by chapter two. I loved the poor main character angle, just trying to keep her family alive with the skills she picked up by watching others and trial and error. That’s a girl I can get behind. A survivor. Her situation sucked and it was about to get worse (or better) thanks to a chance encounter with faeries.

Feyre doesn’t listen very well. I can get behind that. I don’t particularly like when people tell me what I can and cannot do either. In this case, it leads to trouble she has to fight her way out of and/or be rescued from. I’m currently team Tamlin as he’s (mostly) a gentleman, as I have a feeling this is going to become a love triangle. Normally, this trope would bother me but I’m very interested in the back story of the possible other boy toy. The big issue is resolved in this novel so I’m not entirely sure what book two holds but I’ve been told by my friend that it’s better than book one. She lead me straight with her recommendation so I’m sure I will pick up the next book as well.

This felt darker to me than a lot of young adult novels these days (I say this like I read a lot of them), and I think that made it feel a little more grown up for me. Reading other people’s reviews reminded me that this is supposed to be a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and honestly, that’s a vague comparison. If you ignore that altogether, you’ll probably enjoy it more.

That riddle was hella easy tho, homegirl.

Reset Achieved.

Do you smell that? It smells like August this morning. That means my hiatus is officially over! I am ready to get back to blogging. I should have content for the next month without even trying very hard. There will be a vacation post, a book review or two and hopefully a recipe besides my usual ramblings.

This coming week is finals for Accounting and then I am free for 3 weeks until school starts back up for the Fall semester. I passed my Public Health and Disease class two weeks back now. That class was mostly about Covid so it was rather easy. While on my 3 week hiatus from school, I have big plans around my house as well. I need to make some good progress on the bathroom and set up a desk area for school. I currently take up about 1/3-1/2 of the dining room. :3

I am not taking any school courses next summer if I can help it. The summer is just too busy to be locked inside, LEARNING.

To reset my brain before finals, and to get out there and enjoy the outdoors, I went for a hike by myself on our local trail while my husband took his little brother kayaking down the river. It was the peace, quiet and beauty I needed. Until the mosquitos came and made me their personal slurpy machine.

The goal this summer was to get out hiking more. I did achieve that but not quite on the level I was hoping. Of course, there is still summer left and autumn is my absolute favorite so we’ll have to squeeze in some more outdoor adventures before the snow hits.

Exciting new adventure status: this coming weekend, we will be doing a paranormal investigation in an old prison in Ohio. I will definitely have to post about that.

How was your July? I lurked in the shadows while on my hiatus, liking and commenting on things here and there but tell me something exciting I may have missed!