Chapter Review: “Kuroshitsuji, Chapter 129” by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Chapter 129 (Black Butler Serial)Black Butler, Chapter 129 by Yana Toboso
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To be honest, I am only going to rate this chapter and the chapters beyond because I was so far behind, I couldn’t remember exactly where I had stopped. I ended up rereading the entire manga from beginning to current.

I wasn’t very ‘into’ the latest arc, considering I’m not a fan of boy bands, and that’s generally what you are getting with this arc. The mystery behind the music hall was very interesting, however. I was able to figure out the blood separation prior to the big reveal, but I am still in the dark as to what is happening with Lizzy and the big surprise at the end of this chapter. I’m trying my hardest to not spoil anything, of course.

Enjoy.

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Broken

I feel like I’ve fallen out of my ability to write well. For the longest time, writing was the only thing I could do that made me feel important or accomplished. While in school, both grade school and in college, writing kept me going. It kept me sane. Now? Now I feel as though I’ve wasted all of those years. I feel old, used up, and unimportant. I feel like I can no longer write like I used to. Unwritten stories do not fly through my head anymore. There is no flame, no spark, no passion.

How do I fix this?

The Beginnings of Summer

Yesterday marked, officially, the first day of summer! I am not really a fan of the heat, but warmer weather does mean swimming outdoors, and cookouts. It’s a time when things change, become new and fresh and all kinds of awesome. I might not be in school anymore, looking forward to summer break, but there’s a sort of nostalgia for this time of the year. Summer has that kind of magic where anything is possible. It’s a time for adventures, for ice cream, for going out and doing things that you normally wouldn’t do.

I don’t know why, but during the summer, something happens to me. I become more than just myself. This only happens in the summer months, and occasionally, in the autumn. Spring and winter are bad for me, though I can’t exactly put my finger on why. Winter is the worst, of course, and triggers my depression. For some reason, spring tends to do the same thing to me.

For the first time in a long time, I am searching for new music. I’m getting into Electro Swing, which is really cool sounding and interesting. I’ve always been a sort of fan of the 1920’s and big band era, which Electro Swing really celebrates with remixes, covers, and tributes. Plus, it makes me want to get up and dance–which isn’t a very pretty sight, if you’re curious.

(And no, I have no idea why both videos happen to involve death and cats. Just roll with it.)

In other news, I’m going to start writing. For real this time. I just…I’ve been so dull and blah lately. Writing used to be my escape, my reason for continuing to live. I’ve filled that gap with others things–food, video games, sleeping–but it’s just not the same. I’m not as active as I used to be. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve become a zombie. Part of me wants to give up and just live my life as easily as possible. The other part of me knows that’s wrong. I have to break away. I have to push myself further. I have to. I have to go. I have to do this, or else…what’s the point of existing?

Honestly, I’ve become so sick of being a nothing. A nobody. I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t continue to go on as a nothing. I have to try. I have to become more than I am. Writing is the only way I can do that. Creating something, building my own worlds and characters and stories…With my mind and my hands, piece by piece, I can build a universe that is all my own. It’s stuck inside of me. In my brain, in my heart, are these things that I just need to get out!

Video Games, Coffee, and Money: An Adventure in Living

I have been playing a lot of video games as of late. I know a lot of people don’t take female gamers seriously, and furthermore, don’t take gamers seriously at all. I think it can be a great get away for those of us with over active imaginations. I feel safe when I’m playing a game–even a horror one, like my current obsession with “The Evil Within”–and I don’t have to deal with personal interaction (online or face-to-face) unless I feel the need to.

Along with “The Evil Within,” I have been playing an RPG called “Persona 5.” As the name suggests, it’s the fifth installment in the series. It’s part of a larger series of games called “Shin Megami Tensei.” The basic idea is that you, as the characters, summon demons to do battle for you. The series tends to be very dark, and you often find yourself toeing the line between good and evil (if you don’t plunge yourself right into one of the paths, of course).

Let’s talk about something I really love–coffee. It swims in my blood. Hell, it practically IS my blood. Sadly, because I am overweight, I have to go on a diet (well, change my eating habits, rather), and as a part of that, I have to cut down on caffeine. That means I’m only allowed two cups of my liquid love a day. Please note that I normally drink anywhere between three to six cups a day–and we’re talking large, 12 oz. cups. Now, I’ve cut it back to two 10 oz. cups a day, and eventually, I have to cut that down to two 8 oz. cups a day. I can have decaf coffee all I want, but what’s the point of that? Though I love the taste of coffee, decaf just doesn’t cut it. Oh, and the headaches! Terrible, terrible.

A lot of things are really happening at once. My eating habits have to change, my wife and I are moving, and, thankfully, she was approved for SSI. This comes with problems, however. I’m on SSDI myself because of my bi-polar, anxiety, depression, and PTSD (I’m just a mess, really I am), and we are not entirely certain how much money my wife will be able to make on her SSI. She received a phone call yesterday saying that she had been approved, but they have yet to calculate how much money she will be allotted each month. It’s a good thing to get extra money–Gods know we need it–but being in limbo over how much is giving us more of a headache than the lack of coffee is.

Keeping us sane is our cat, Jasper. She’s the sweetest, most loving thing in the world, I swear to the Gods. She’s part Maine Coon and a total love bug. She loves to be held like a baby and cuddle. No matter what happens, she loves us and cares for us. It’s crazy to think of how just a little, furry baby has changed our lives so much!

 

Book Review: “Raven Girl” by Audrey Niffenegger

Raven GirlRaven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Raven Girl” by Audrey Niffenegger is an enchanting little book about finding your place in the world, and embracing who you are, even if you are born differently. There are some questions that come with the book, of course–is right to change your physical appearance to make you feel comfortable in your own skin? The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’

Short and sweet, I give “Raven Girl” five stars for being a lovely little modern fairy tale that children and adults can enjoy.

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Book Review: “Teeth” by Hannah Moskowitz

TeethTeeth by Hannah Moskowitz
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I will start this review by stating that “Teeth” had been on my to-read list for a very, very long time. I was so excited to start reading it that, after I had purchased it, I dove headfirst into it.

I was sorely disappointed.

Let me be clear–I do not think I have EVER given a novel a one-star rating. I usually like to try to find something good about the books I rate lower than a four-star. Something in them has to make the book enjoyable at some point–some plot twist or character that I liked. With “Teeth,” sad to say, I did not even find one of those.

Hannah Moskowitz’s writing is horrible in this. The story centers around a teenage boy. He uses the word “fuck” more times than breathing, I swear. When he isn’t internally cursing everything, he is either thinking about sex, books (oddly enough), or his little brother and how much he loves/hates/loves him. Rudy (the main character) is an absolute mess, and I don’t think the author intended him to be that way. I think she was trying to be edgy, and to make him relatable to the intended audience. That being said, I have no idea who the intended audience really is.

Oh, and let’s throw all sorts of rape into the story as well! One of the characters is, in a sort of pseudo flashback, raped by a fish. I suppose a merman has to be explained somehow, but honestly? Raped by a fish. Not just any fish, mind, but a magical fish. It seems to only be for the shock factor as well, as the mother character to Teeth is only ever shown either crying or yelling at the main character. There is also the repeated rape of Teeth by the fishermen. Again, it seems to be only for the shock factor, and for the ‘big’ payoff of the climax of the novel–which, might I add, is really not a climax but rather a lot of swearing and vomiting.

In short–I will not be reading anymore of Hannah Moskowitz’s work, and honestly, I’m surprised I managed to stomach “Teeth” for as long as I did. I made a vow that this year, I would not give up on any book I started to read. “Teeth” almost made me break that promise to myself.

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“Of Creatures Great and Small”

Chapter One

 

Reach, pull. Reach, pull. Reach, pull. The repetitive motion burned my arms, keeping the cold of the ocean away from me for the first time in what felt like months. Even through the soft fur of my face and throat, I had felt that cold since we had first departed from Calengard. The freezing ocean, I decided, was no place for a civilized Minotaur. Especially not one whom prefered the warm sands of her home city.

Pull, reach. Pull, reach. Pull, reach. The men with me pulled hard on the rope. I was the first in line, since I was the strongest of us; that was why I had been hired on, I suppose. It was not because I liked to make a habit of hoisting heavy things; it was merely because of what I was. Even as a cow, my strength was double that of a male orc and triple that of a male human. I was valuable–more valuable for my muscle than my meat and milk, thankfully.

A hot sweat started to pool up between my breasts and across my flank. My hands sweated as well; had it not been for the rough texture of the rope I might have dropped it then and there. I persevered, however, even as the north wind howled in my ears. I could hear singing on that wind. No one else seemed to. I pushed the melodic voices to the back of my mind and continued my work. The net was heavy; there must have been a good haul inside of it. Enough fish to return to Calengard? Perhaps. Perhaps another few days were needed to bring our catches to market. Either way, I had to focus on the task at hand. I had to pull, pull, pull.

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