Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Book Review

Hey there! Two posts in one night. Crazy right? I just finished reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. This book isn’t part of my September TBR (because I finished it before September), but I still wanted to review it since I plan to read the other two books in the triology during September.

Review

Karou, a blue haired, 17 year old, Prague art student lives a double life. Juggling her human life and her life with the Chimera who raised her proves to be a difficult task. And while this fact sets her apart, she is and struggles to find the answer the one question that has haunted her, her entire life; who is she?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.

I had pretty high expectations going into this book. I’ve heard and read a great deal of positive reviews, and let me just say, I was NOT disappointed. This story is the age old “forbidden love” story, but it is so unique in its mythology.

Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war or does war make monsters?

Laini Taylor created such a diverse world that captivated my attention through the entire book. There was not one page that left me bored. Every word had me on edge, waiting to find the answers to the many questions posed through the chapters.

Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.

The language in this novel is beautiful. It really sets apart Taylor as an author. She weaves such a vivid picture into the readers mind without drawn out descriptions. This is a very character driven plot, which I love. Every character introduced has a unique personality, and I never felt like I was reading the same person over and over again.

Love is an element.

This is one of those novels where you aren’t really sure what is going on through the majority of the book, but you’re just so invested and intrigued, it doesn’t matter. You keep flipping the page with the hope and expectation that you will understand in the end. And you do…sort of. Taylor ends the first book in this trilogy in the right way. I had planned to read a different book outside of this series next, but I changed my mind. I need more of this world.

Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony.

I recommend this book to anyone who is into mystery and fantasy. The names take some getting used to, but once you get past that, you’re in for one beautiful experience.

Rating:

4/5 ☆

Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

You can stay up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @JessicaInspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can still read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica

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September TBR

Hey there, Happy Thursday. I have a very long list of books to read on my shelf. As a writer, I think one of the most important things to do is read. I’m going to try something new, and see if it helps me work through my TBR list a little quicker. At the beginning of the month, I am going to select 4 books I would like to complete. I will do reviews on each book after completion, and at the end of the month, I will do a wrap up on my success.

September TBR (in no particular order):

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Passenger – Alexandra Bracken

Days of Blood & Starlight (Book 2 in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy) – Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Book 3 in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy) – Laini Taylor

Let me know what your September reading plans are.

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

The Cure – A Poem

Happy Tuesday! Another poem for you. I wrote this one nine years ago. Enjoy. 😊

The Cure

Synchronise the flow of injections,
catalogue episodes of heartache.
Go to sleep, floating into reverie,
soon the pain will be worthwhile.

Cut the entangled spiderweb of lies,
turn flashbacks into ruins of hope.
Open your eyes to the gleaming sun,
and breathe in deep, heaven’s scent.

The cure to inner helplessness,
let agony be disintegrated within.
Flee from occurrences of false love.
Challenge the truth, fight illusions.

I hope you have a great week. A new book review is coming soon!

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

Alter Reach Inspiration

Hey everyone,

If you are following me on social media, you may recognize these. I took some of the images I pinned on Pinterest and created “story boards” for some of my characters.

NOTE: I do not own the rights to these images.

MARCI

FAELYN

ALYSON

ZEKE

WREN

BRASTON

I hope you enjoy checking these out. I can’t wait to share this story with everyone.

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired

Follow me on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

As It Seems – A Poem

Hi everyone! I hope your Saturday is going well. I wanted to post another poem. Enjoy!

As It Seems

It’s like a nightmare,
but you’re wide awake.
Holding on to what little
hope there is left today.

Faced with the prospect
of losing what has been
so wrongly taken for granted,
for so many years.

A burning ache deep in
the pit of your soul,
assures you it’s probably,
as bad as it seems.

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

50 Random Questions Tag

Hi there everyone! Happy Friday.

Today, I’m doing a tag that is more about me than books. If you wish to participate, I tag you! I found the questions here.

1. What’s your favorite candle scent?

Pumpkin.

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister?

Amy Lee from Evanescence.

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother?

I don’t really have an answer for this one. Haha.

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

I am married. I was 26. 😊

5. Do you know a hoarder?

I don’t think so.

6. Can you do a split?

Nope, haha.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike?

Not sure. Young.

8. How many oceans have you swam in?

One.

9. How many countries have you been to?

Two.

10. Is anyone in your family in the army?

No.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one?

Evelyn.

12. What would you name your son if you had one?

Paul.

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test?

An F. If we are talking number grades, I think it was a 47. Haha.

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child?

Rugrats!

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight?

Most likely a witch.

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series?

All of the above.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent?

I really don’t have a preference.

18. Did your mother go to college?

No.

19. Are your grandparents still married?

Widowed.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons?

Nope.

21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is?

Of course.

22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to?

Hm. Darien Lake or Seabreeze. Not sure which one I went to first.

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in?

Sign language and Spanish.

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray?

Gray.

25. Is your father bald?

Somewhat.

26. Do you know triplets?

Yes!

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook?

Titanic.

28. Have you ever had Indian food?

No, but I’d like to try.

29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant?

Outback Steakhouse is pretty good.

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden?

Yup!

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?

Sam’s Club.

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender?

I think they told me my name would have been Jordan, but I’m not positive. It would have started with a ‘J’ though.

33. If you have a nickname, what is it?

J or Jess

34. Who’s your favorite person in the world?

My hubby ♡

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs?

Rural, for sure.

36. Can you whistle?

Not well.

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight?

Nope.

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning?

I try to, but not always.

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily?

Vitamins.

40. What medical conditions do you have?

None.

41. How many times have you been to the hospital?

A couple…maybe three?

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo?

Yup!

43. Where do you buy your jeans?

Wherever I can find them at a reasonable price.

44. What’s the last compliment you got?

Pretty dress.

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?

Sometimes. That’s where Alter Reach cane from.

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy?

I like chai tea. Vanilla or chocolate.

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own?

Too many to count.

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice?

Christianity.

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real?

I don’t know, haha.

50. Why do you have a tumblr?

I don’t have a Tumblr so I am changing this question to, “why do you have a WordPress?” – because I love writing and I love being able to share it with people. 😊

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you have a great Friday. If you do the tag, let me know.

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

Final Outcome – A Poem

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday!

Final Outcome

The blame resides on her shoulders,
pressing down until she can’t stand.
Breathe in deep and choke a scream,
reality has dealt another cruel hand.

Too weak to leave, too weak to stay,
this tragedy sinks down to her core.
Decaying into a pile of nothingness,
she cannot live like this anymore.

Tearing away all the beauty and grace,
her soul crumbles and her spirit turns numb.
And with nothing left to fight for,
she prepares to face the final outcome.

You can follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @Jessicainspirrd

You can follow me on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica

Hell House LLC – Movie Review

Hi everyone,

Sometimes, I get on a horror movie kick, especially when I’m stuck home, sick (like I was last week). The reviews on this movie were pretty good, so I decided to give it a go.

Per usual, I won’t intentionally spoil anything but you should see the movie before reading this review.

Synopsis

Five years after 15 people were killed during a haunted house tour, a documentary crew visits the scene to investigate what really happened.

Review

Hell House LLC opens with no title credits, just footage from the incident and an on-screen message letting you know what you’re about to witness is a documentary on the strange events surrounding a 2009 haunted house tragedy.

The documentary starts off with pretty believable interviews with investigators, a survivor, a former Hell House LLC worker, and of course, footage of the actual House footage.

Chronologically, the film takes us through the events leading up to the tragedy that resulted in multiple injuries and fatalities on the opening night of Hell House LLC.

In the beginning stages of the film we are introduced to Alex, the owner of Hell House LLC, which is a travelling haunted house whivh travels throughout rural New York, setting up in a new location each Halloween. This time, he chooses an abandoned hotel in Abaddon, NY.

In true found footage style, Alex insists everything be filmed leading up to opening night.

The six weeks of footage covers the crew arriving at the abandoned hotel, setting up, trouble shooting, hiring of temporary actors and the opening night itself.

This is how we meet the other members of the crew: Paul and Tony, who do most of the filming as well as setting up many of the attractions; as well as, Sara, Alex’s girlfriend, and the only surviving crew member of the incident. She provides the footage to the documentary crew.

The crew live in the hotel during the six weeks of preparation, making it easier to work and film.

Of course, this is where the crazy begins and I don’t want to give too much away, so I won’t spoil the scares. Hell House LLC does an excellent job in the scary category. It jumps right in and wastes no time letting the viewers know, this hotel is no joke. I had my hands over my eyes quite a few times.

The actual footage of opening night is disturbing, and not in a gore fest type of way, which I am so glad. The found footage style works so well for this film, keeping the atmosphere claustrophobic. The hallways are tight, the scares aren’t fake, and escape is nearly impossible for many people.

The movie did a fantastic job of showing you just enough to scare the crap out of you, but pulling away at the right time to make it worse. The chaos of the night is shown perfectly through each shot. It was a good reminder to me of why I don’t do haunted houses.

Of course, there were some flaws. Per usual with found footage, some of the acting during the not so scary scenes were sub par at best; but when the action started, I was thoroughly impressed.

Rating

4/5 ☆

This was a definite scare in my opinion. If you’re looking for a wild ride, I suggest this one.

Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @jessicainspirrd

You can follow me on Facebook: @jessicainspirrd

You can read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica

Dealing With Grief

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. This week was crazy. I had the stomach flu, and was out of work Monday-Wednesday. I’m finally feeling like myself again.

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post like this for quite a while, but honestly, it isn’t something I love to talk about. It’s difficult to open up about something that hurts, but it’s also therapeutic.

I mentioned it once, briefly in an earlier post, but I didn’t elaborate. Wednesday, 8/16 was the nine year anniversary of my mother’s passing. I was already not feeling well, and the realization of the anniversary made things worse.

A little background. My mom was diagnosed with cancer and in the same year, passed away from it. The doctors thought she had a year to live, when in reality, it was months.

My Mom was one of those people that just lit up every room she walked into. She worked in my high school cafeteria, and became a mother to people I didn’t even get a long with in school. It was just who she was. I knew many kids who called her Mom, and I know she helped a lot of people through a lot of painful times in their lives.

She spent her last week in the hospital. The nurses said they had never seen so many people come to visit. It was crazy how many people came back, day after day, just to spend another second with her. Like I said, she changed people’s lives.

When Mom finally passed, I have to say, there was some relief. Taking care of a woman, who for your entire life, was so strong and independent, was the saddest thing to experience. I say it was a relief, but that feeling of relief wasn’t there for long.

I didn’t spiral into depression, but there were dark moments. There were also happy moments. I have the best father a girl could ask for, and what we went through brought us closer than we probably ever would have been. It also brought me a step mother, step sister and a niece, who I wouldn’t know if things were different.

It was hard to feel that happiness for a long time though. There were times I felt lost, angry and confused. Why my Mom, of all people? I may never know that answer. And I’ve come to terms with that, but it took a lot to get where I am. Sure, I still cry. I cried Wednesday. But I don’t let that darkness cover all the light in my life.

If you are going through or struggling with any grief, I have a few pieces of advice.

Keep up your routine, to keep yourself healthy. Sleep, eat and drink water. Don’t let yourself get so low, you hurt your health.

Talk to someone. Family, friend, counselor…whoever it is, make sure you trust them. Don’t shut yourself off from the world. Darkness is a lonely place, don’t let it consume you.

Express yourself. Whether it’s through writing, painting, cooking…find something you can pour your heart into. Every time you feel that cloud rolling in, go to that one thing that makes you feel powerful and alive.

All of this is easier said than done. It’s been nine years and I still struggle. Every time I see someone post a selfie with their mother or complain about their mother, that pang of jealousy and darkness comes rolling in; but, I never let it win.

A much more personal post, but I’ve been wanting to write it for quite a while. I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @JessicaInspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can still read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica

Cycle – A Poem

Happy Weekend! I failed miserably at keeping up with my weekly poetry post. I’m still going to try to post poems on a semi regular basis, and I would like to start writing them again. Hopefully sharing my work will bring back that inspiration. 😊

Cycle

My heart would start relapsing,
my conscious would stop reacting.
I would dance in the fire again.

My brain would be screaming,
but my soul would be bleeding,
and the cycle would repeat over again.

The truth and lies collide,
and the pain eventually subsides.
I vow to never let it happen again.

This one was written 9 years ago. I hope you enjoy. I have a pretty busy weekend ahead, but I will try to post again this weekend. My main goal is to work more on Alter Reach.

Let me know what your weekend plans are.

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @JessicaInspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can still read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica