River of Shadows – Chapter 7 

“I could never hurt him enough to make his betrayal stop hurting. And it hurts, in every part of my body.”
– Veronica Roth

**

Ava had no time to react as they knock her out. In the end, she was going to join them no matter what, whether she wanted or not. Even if it meant taking her as a prisoner.

Before she got knocked down, all she could think about was how much Theo had used her. She hadn’t seen him in years while she was under Aiden’s spell, while he made her believe he was the one she was in love with. Maybe they were in it together. Before she got her memories back, Theo felt honest to her, even though he was keeping information from her. Lying was that easy for him.

We are the villains in this narrative.
Humans are the heroes.
Have you been outside? – Yes.

She should have known. But how? How could she be suspicious and doubt the master of pretending? Not even when he told the fake name she noticed a difference. He lied to her nonstop and not even once she doubted him.

**

Ava slowly opens her eyes, she looks down to her arms and legs tied up. She’s sitting on the floor and her whole body is sore. She tries to move but it’s nearly impossible to change positions. She remembers she can use her powers to get free.

“Either they are really stupid or,” she says out loud.

Nothing works.

Of course, they would find some way to keep her from doing magic. Some sort of shield maybe. Maybe Theo was the one who created it.

Minutes later, a tall dark skinned woman enters the room. It’s not Theo’s mother. And the woman looks kind and friendly.

“Good. You are awake.” The woman says, smiling.

She’s faking it. Ava thinks. Everyone here seems pretty good at it.

“Thought you would be making some questions. Talk a little more, you seem that type.” She keeps the smile.

“Who are you and where am I?” Where’s Theo, she wants to ask too.

“I’m Amelia, and Ava, sweetheart, we are not the enemy. I know you believe we are some sort of evil witch hunters but you are not a witch, we control River of Shadows.”

“What are you talking about? Why did he-” she was going to say his name but decides not to. Just the thought of him hurts too much.

Amelia ignores the question, she continues, “It’s true that we – humans – do not have powers like yours. And yes, some people have died over the years, not everyone can survive it. So maybe, after all, we do hunt them, when they go rogue.”

“I don’t believe a word.” Ava snaps.

“I understand it’s difficult to understand. Maybe a familiar face can help.”

“If you are talking about Theo,” Ava forces herself to laugh, “he has lied to me so many times, it’s hilarious that you think I would believe a single word he says to me now.”

Amelia leaves the room without replying, that smile that was now getting annoying never once left her face. Even as she spoke about the people they did hunt and murdered over the years.

Continue reading “River of Shadows – Chapter 7 “

The Upside of Unrequited – Review

3 stars, not spoiler free.

I havCover-Reveal-The-Upside-Of-Unrequited-Largee to start by addressing my biggest issue, which isn’t about the book but about the negative reviews it receives. Everybody loved Simon’s book. No surprise there, plus a lot of females really enjoy stories with m/m relations but when it comes to f/f suddenly everything surrounding it is problematic. But that’s not even the point I’m trying to make. The issue is that when it comes to having a fat girl as the main character everyone seems to have a problem with it. It happened with Holding Up the Universe and it happens here too. Having a fat main character actually addressing bullying and sharing their thoughts about being fat does not make a book problematic.

It’s simply the reality of a lot of fat girls and how they feel about themselves. Now, this book is short and it doesn’t really focus on the fact that Molly is fat unlike what happens with Libby so we don’t see a lot of development from that part. But self-love doesn’t happen in two seconds. I also didn’t felt like Molly needed a boy to validate her, she simply wanted to experience kissing one and actually having a boyfriend. Which I guess, a normal thing? To experience those sort of things. I also highly doubt that Molly suddenly started loving herself and accepted her body once she starts dating Reid. Yes, she does think she’s beautiful but I don’t think it’s related to Reid. Dating Reid makes her happy and guess what, having someone love you can help you realise what you couldn’t before. Because what once felt impossible it’s happening now. I don’t know where this obsession with turning love into a bad thing comes from.

In fact, Molly seems to care more about the fact that her grandmother thinks she’s beautiful than she did with Reid.
Anyway, let’s start with quotes that I totally relate to and no, I don’t find it problematic. I find it realistic.

“I guess it’s just this feeling that my body is secretly all wrong. Which means any guy who assumes I’m normal is going to flip his shit if we get to the point of nakedness (…) It makes me never want to be naked. And it’s not like I could be a Never Nude. I don’t even like jean shorts.”

Girl, same. And feeling this way doesn’t mean I need a boy to validate me. Because I know that getting a boyfriend doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to love myself. It doesn’t work like that. I don’t need men to validate me.

Here’s another one,

“We’d kiss. Okay. We’d have sex. I don’t know. Even if he likes me, I’m not sure he’d like me naked. I hate that I’m even thinking that. I hate hating my body. Actually, I don’t even hate my body. I just worry everyone else might.”

And here we have it, Molly doesn’t even hate her body but she worries everyone else does. Because why? People really enjoy bullying others for the way they look and maybe, just maybe if we treated everyone the same way, this wouldn’t be an issue. If people weren’t assholes we wouldn’t have others growing up feeling like outsiders and people not worth loving or not being acceptable to have sex because of what their body looks like.

Another one showing once again, that also relates to movies, tv shows etc where everywhere you rarely get positive fat representation, “Under my shirt, there’s no flat stomach, and there are no cute little boobs, and there’s no hazy lighting. It’s just a lot of me. Way too much of me.”

Let’s stop pretending Molly is the only one who feels the way and the story are in her point of view so of course, you are going to see everything the way she does. And everything is going to be about her and how she sees everyone else. Because we are in her head so we might not like everything we see.

Continue reading “The Upside of Unrequited – Review”

River of Shadows – Chapter 6

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
― William Shakespeare

**

I can not wait to see you. For I’ve been desperate since your departure. Am I going insane? My heart aches every single minute of my days. At night, as I lay down on my bed you are the only thing I can or I’m allowed to think about. Every conversation we had, the secret kisses we shared. You are my best friend. 

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, I found a new book. We should read it together. 

Yours, Ava

**

I feel the same way. And I don’t care how many times Aiden mocks me because my best friend is a girl or because you are all I can talk about. But we have fun, don’t we? I like how you sing even though we all know I got the better voice (wish I could see you laugh when you read this), and I like how we read together and you get so into character that for a moment I get lost. How ironic is it that we read about them hoping we could live in their world while they read about us hoping to live on ours. 

Am I a fool for wanting to go there? I was thinking maybe we could go together. Just a thought.

Yours, Theo

**

I haven’t heard from you in a while. And you haven’t been around here. I asked my father and he told me he hasn’t seen you nor Aiden. Is everything okay? I’ve sent you more letters and you didn’t reply. 

Last time I wasn’t sure but now my answer is yes. I would love to see it with you. Maybe the stories aren’t real. 

I miss you.

Yours, Ava

**

He never told her what happened when he got back. For years until Aiden decided to turn against them, she never asked and he never thought it would be wise to let her know.

Standing in the middle of nowhere they look up towards the sky. A storm, a big one has started and it would be a matter of seconds for someone to appear shouting at them, possibly trying to kill them.

“We should run, now.” He tells her.

Continue reading “River of Shadows – Chapter 6”

Holding Up The Universe – Review

3.5 stars.

I’m genuinely curious as to why people believe that not reading a book means you can or should write a full review about it. Especially, when that review happens to be negative. If you are going to complain, at least do so after reading the book. Also, and here’s a thing that a lot of people LOVE to do which is talk over those who actually go through things or have a say in the matter. And to be more specific according to the book, if you aren’t overweight then please kindly refrain from speaking on the matter.
I don’t care if your brother, cousin, next door neighbour is overweight, it’s not a free pass to write your claims or praises by using someone else’s – real life people in this case – as your excuse to do so. This also goes to the author herself, I ge9780141357058t that as writers we can’t be everything or go through everything that we write about but some subjects should be taken less lightly when you decide to write about them.

And why am I saying this? Apparently, this book received a lot of negative reviews because of the way it portrays an overweight girl. I will not speak up about Jack because he’s not the character I relate to and I’m also not familiar nor do I have his disorder. But as an overweight girl, I will speak about how I felt about this book. First of all, if you think it’s offensive then clearly you have no idea what you are talking about (and I’m talking towards those who aren’t or never were overweight), what’s offensive is what people actually do and how they treat overweight people. What Jennifer wrote is just a small demonstration of the cruelty that goes around and god forbid someone actually writes a book with an overweight girl, her perspective and having her fall in love. While also showing her struggles and the bullying she goes through.

Libby is strong as hell, honestly, she became like my hero. I wish I had even half the courage she has and I wish I accepted myself the way she does. Yes, she’s overweight but at some point, she’s happy with who she is. And unlike what a lot of people said, no, Libby does not see a boyfriend as her salvation. She accepted herself long before she fell for Jack and when he breaks her heart, she didn’t let that slow her down. Did she have a moment of weakness? Yes. She’s human. Did she want a boyfriend? Yes, she’s a teenager and please don’t try to tell me that that it wasn’t accurate or “in real life, it doesn’t work this way”, sadly it does. And I would understand if Jennifer gave the idea that Libby wouldn’t be happy with herself nor her body unless she had a boyfriend who would love her and suddenly she would love herself too, that it would cause people to react negatively but that’s not what happens.

I get it, the book insists a lot on the fact that Libby is fat and on Jack’s disorder. Personally, that didn’t really bother me. And yes, people are cruel as hell. And some parts of the book that people feel as if Jennifer is being offensive or that she’s fat shaming, I have a question: Do you even understand what writing is? When I’m writing a character and it happens to be in their Point of View, for example, I’m going to write down their feelings because that’s how they feel or think and guess what, not everyone is perfect, not every book is fantasy so if you want accurate and realistic characters you are going to have to write feelings and thoughts that sound realistic. Here’s where it gets tricky, some parts don’t feel realistic in her book but it’s a YA book about two teenagers falling in love, it’s going to get sappy. Now, having my girl fat shaming herself doesn’t mean the author THINKS and FEELS that way as well.

And truth is, I feel that way a lot. I wonder if maybe having a boyfriend would make me feel better. Make me accept the body I have. It isn’t healthy thinking but it’s accurate. All the nasty things someone could say to me, I’m going to think them first. But seeing Libby being so brave and happy with who she is, it’s truly refreshing.

This wasn’t a story about the hot guy who saves the fat girl, in fact, it felt more like Libby was the one to save Jack. The constant mention of the fact that she is fat is nothing but an honest representation of what goes on in school and real life. Everyone sees you as the fat girl even if you do lose some weight. So yeah, no one was congratulating Libby for losing the weight because they still see her as that same fat girl. So for most people – for bullies – they don’t care.

To sum up, this isn’t a perfect book but it hardly deserves all the negative praise. And if you love TFIOS and god knows what else, then I find it hypocritical that you are going to call out this story for romanticising overweight people and Jack’s disorder. It’s contemporary so it’s a light and easy reading, it’s not a big book and with YA it’s not like you can go too much into things. If you can’t relate to it, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book.