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2017 Goals

Well, I found a cheap webcam on Amazon, so I am going to give the YouTube experience another try. I think it will help motivate me to read more and better myself as a person. I really miss reading for pleasure and academics.


My goal is only to read 12 books. I figured one book a month was a good start, and if I read more then it will just mean that I will feel more accomplished. I have picked up other hobbies, such as oil painting and playing Magic: The Gathering, so I haven’t just been doing nothing. I feel more rounded as a person and I think now it is time for me to get back into the books.


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Tiger’s Promise



Tiger’s Promise by Colleen Houck
109 pages
Colleen Houck
Rating: 3/5

I was really looking forward to this book, as it is a prequel to Tiger’s Curse. In Tiger’s Curse, the timeline is hundreds of years after the prequel. I was hoping to get more backstory on the curse, the characters, and the other specific important things from the series.

What I got was a nice, slow build up… and then suddenly an ending. The ending was dramatic, but it seemed forced and rushed.

The character Yesubai is our protagonist and we did get to learn a lot about her. I was pleased at her strong, noble personality compared with Kelsey from Tiger’s Curse. The facts and personality traits revealed about her were very subtle but lend a feeling of awe and beauty.

Mainly, this was a book about abuse, love, sacrifice, and faith. I think it could have been a lot better if it wasn’t a novella. There is no mention of tigers at all, which gives you an idea of where the story cuts off compared to the history learned in Tiger’s Curse. I feel like I got half the story that I wanted. I really like this series but this one was a little underwhelming for me.

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I am doing a giveaway on my YouTube channel. Check out the link for more info on how to win!





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Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa


Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa
164 pages
Harvell Secker
Rating: 3/5

When I finished reading this book, my cheeks were red and hot and I had a chilling sensation in my body.

This book is about a particular sexual fetish which takes advantage of a young, Japanese woman in her limited world working in a hotel with her mother. Some would read this book and be disgusted, others would be fascinated.

I liked how the book exposed a topic that many are afraid to look into. Instead of being the outsider, we are giving the insider’s perspective. We agree with Mari until a certain point where things change, but we can sympathize with her and understand the draw.

What I liked and will remember about this book was the writing. It evoked a lot of emotions and sensations regarding touch – which is a sense that I am particularly sensitive towards. I could feel everything that happened to Mari. Was that a good thing? Well it wasn’t a bad thing, but it also wasn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world. As I was able to experience what Mari was experiencing so clearly, I think it is a sign of great descriptive writing.

As this book deals with adult content, I would only recommend this to curious minds that are very open minded about sexual fetishes and that want to be challenged by reading something that may make you feel like you are doing something wrong.

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April ElleBox






This was a wonderful box. The tea tasted fantastic  and bright, and it contained magnesium which is something my body needs right now. I have been getting cramps in my legs which is a sign of magnesium deficiency so being able to have a salt bath with a cup of wholesome tea was just wonderful. The candle smells very sweet, as it should as it is sugar cookie scented. The scent was not over powering, and instead it was just really nice. I found the flame to be quite large. I’m not sure if that was just my candle or if all of them are like that, so be careful about what you put it around. The bath salts smell like black licorice from the fennel, which is quite strong. I enjoyed it because I like that smell, but my mom took one sniff and said “no way.” And as always, I got the dark chocolate for my treat. I highly recommend this monthly subscription to anyone that would perk up from receiving a box of comfort items just in time for your period.

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Finish 7 by Summer




In my Finish 7 by Summer, I have a collection of tea, makeup, a book, and something that smells super yummy.




I have a couple of teas from Davids Tea that I want to finish. The first is the “Me to We” tea which was a promotion to donate the entire cost towards the “Me to We” charity. The tea only has a little bit left in the tin, because it was that delicious. It is a fruity blend, no black tea or caffeine at all. The taste is bold and bright, like cherries and raspberries.

The other Davids Tea is the White Nectarine white tea. This one contains: Apricots, white tea, blackberry leaves, safflowers, and natural nectarine flavours. It is a very light, delicate tea that I find is amazing for unwinding in the evening. As much as I enjoy this tea, I haven’t been reaching for it, which is why I am setting a goal to actually finish it.



The last tea was actually given to me by one of my coworkers. Steeped Tea is a home based company, similar to Epicure, Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware, etc. I haven’t experienced them until I tried this tea. When I lived in Victoria, BC, there was a tea that I used to get from a locally owned and operated tea store that was a woman’s tea blend. I remember it had cinnamon and juniper in it, and since then I have missed it greatly. This one is pretty similar and is a nice tasting tea that is also medicinal. The ingredients are apple pieces, rooibos, ginger pieces, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, juniper berries, raspberry leaves, chamomile, lady’s mantel, cloves, orange peel, St. John’s wort, black pepper, silver weed, and natural flavours.



I have two makeup pallets that I want to try to get some decent wear into. The one on the left is by Quo and the one on the right is by Pacifica. The Quo pallet already has some good use for the darker colours, but I want to try to use the brighter colours this Spring. The Pacifica eyeshadows are very light on the skin, even the dark blue. They all blend together quite nicely but I find they don’t last as long as the ones from Quo. Still, it is a natural product that is made from coconuts, I believe, and so I would like to get my money’s worth.



I love incense and candles. I always have something burning when I am at home. This pack of chocolate chip cookie dough incense has been hanging around my basket for quite awhile, so it is time to use it up. I love the scent but it makes me hungry so I have been avoiding it. Not anymore!




My book choice is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles. This one is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and so far it is pretty good. I am on page 30 and so far so good. I’m immediately sucked into the environment and I can tell I have many good nights ahead of me.


That’s it for my Finish 7 by Summer post. What are yours?

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Room by Emma Donoghue


Room by Emma Donoghu
401 pages
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Description: Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.

It has been awhile since I have read a book that I could feel my heart sinking while I read it. This book is about a woman that was kidnapped in her teens and forced to live in a 11×11 foot shed. Her kidnapper routinely rapes her and keeps her locked away secretly from society. As a result, she finds that she has a son that she must parent on her own. All he knows is that locked shed, the place they call Room.

The story is told from the boy’s perspective while he is four and five years old. This gives an unique perspective onto the situation, one that is of interest to those that like psychology, child development, and a sense of self within a designated space (me vs the world). Room contains the boy’s entire life and everything he knows about the world to be true. There is a single plant, a single bed, a single rug, etc. There is no space in his mind for multiples, wasted objects, or other people. For this reason, he calls the single plant, “Plant,” and the single bed, “Bed.” He grows up learning everything from his mother. He lacks common sense, but excels in reading and writing. He has no friends – his friendships are one-way relationships with him and the objects around him.

Try to imagine yourself locked in a shed for years and years with a five year old son. There is nowhere to hide. The questions that he asks his mother cannot be avoided. She must answer everything the best she can. From the child’s perspective, the world doesn’t seem limiting because he doesn’t understand there is more to the world than just Room. For the mother’s perspective, she is juggling from knowledge of the world that she left with the events and routines in Room.

Even though the perspective is told from the son, the mother’s perspective starts to be exposed during the second half of the book. The mother really hates Room, yet her son loves it because it is his entire world. Obviously his mother would prefer to have not been kidnapped, but her son doesn’t understand her thinking. There is a huge separation in each of their concepts of reality. They are in it together, experiencing the same stimuli, but they react to it completely differently.

It’s a book that some would feel uncomfortable reading, due to the subject matter it is based on. However, it is also a book about hope, consequences, and reality vs imaginary. The tone is similar to “The Lovely Bones” in that it is somber and melancholic, with a hint of possible justice down the road. It was emotional for me, but it is not something I regret reading. It allowed me to really identify the psychological issues that these two characters experienced and reflect upon my own issues I discovered in them.

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