Was once blind…

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New Adult (NA)

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At the beginning of this year I started reading a few New Adult books here and there. And to be honest, it was a nice change from Young Adult, especially since I was entering the New Adult world myself. I liked New Adult books.  I loved New Adult books because they explored a lot of issues often faced by new adults. The heartbrokeness (is that a word? spell check says it’s not. But whatever!), guilt, sex (though to be honest, these days sixteen is the right age to discuss sex thoroughly, not just in bio class or Sex Ed class), change, university, disappointment, working, working and studying, relationships (family, friends and romance), and many more issues. I truly loved how these issues were out there for new adults to just read and hopefully learn a thing or two. You know?

However, about six months in, I started noticing a pattern and not a good one. This pattern was/is irksome at times but other times it was/is welcome. Because who doesn’t like predictability now and then. But this kept happening as I read more and more NA books. There were repetitions of the same story line, themes and plot twists by a couple of authors. Novelty and originality was/is lacking in some books. There are books that have left me truly desensitized about certain BIG issues that happen to people out there. And this is due to some issues being discussed way too often and not thoroughly analysed. There are NA books that have handled bullying and sex abuse in a flippant manner. Some books have portrayed women as objects and things, and planted nodes that sex equal love, boundaries mean a woman is a prude, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of these books, particularly when there is a STORY. And often there’s no story, there’s just major plot twists and sex scenes that appeal to ID and make us loose focus from the fact that there was NO story.

Where’s the moral of the story, NA? Why don’t I remember something vital after finishing the book, NA?

As I said before, they have been books that have left me stunned, in a good way. Because I was able to reflect on the book and my life. I was able to draw something paramount from the book. I still read NA books but not as often as I would like.

I thought I was alone but after reading a few reviews of some newly released books and a few blogs, I discovered that there are people that have the same problem. Megan from  Reading Books Like A Boss beautifully put into words what I’ve been feeling. Dear New Adult: An Amost-Breakup Letter is my letter and many others too. Megan just had the balls big enough for all to make it public. And I thank her for it.

To NA,

Please keep it simple. Be novel. Be original. I don’t need you to be a duplicate of ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. I just need you to be more than amazing.

From me.

Check out my review on Throne of Glass here: Celaena Sardothien. Probably one of the best reviews I’ve written. Promise, I’m not that egotistic. Or full of it, I just really enjoyed writing the review.

Don’t forget to like and share. And, of course, let me know if you agree, disagree or both both by commenting.

Yours Truly,

Duchess♥

Forgiveness and Second Chances

“Happy people are those that forgive.” -Duchess

I was wrecking my brain thinking about what book to read with the right kind of theme to make you think really hard about what you know or think you know about life. Or simply give a lesson or two about subjects we’re often oblivious to. I mean, I’ve read plenty of books with great thought provoking themes, my bookshelf, desk, kindle and suitcase can vouch for me. With issues explored by the likes of Katie McGarryTijan and James Patterson, to name a few, it should have been an easy pick. Hello, we’re talking about Tijan here.

After a lot of thinking, and reading, one word kept dancing in my head screaming ‘Pick Me’. That one word, which is I think is a paramount key of life, was FORGIVENESS.

What is forgiveness, you ask?

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offence, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness with an increased ability to wish the offender well (Wikipedia).

In my own understanding, forgiveness is a breathe of fresh air after spending a week in a stuffy, hot room and ice cold water after completing a ten mile run. Forgiveness is liberating and it gives you this new perspective on life.

And, seriously, who doesn’t want a second (maybe a third or a fourth) chance in life? As I went down memory lane and read There’s Only Been YouAll My Life and Stubborn Love I realized how forgiving changed my life and gave me a second chance to enjoy this adventure called life. So, I decided why not, might as well blog about, the Duchess way, of course.

The books are free on Kindle and for paperback on Amazon they are $10.52 ,$5.99  and $8.35, respectively.

Mini reviews:

There's Only Been You was an amazing read with just the right amount of suspense and thrill. Donna Marie Rogers flawlessly demonstrated the miracle of forgiveness through the characters. I loved how Ethan forgave his mom and uncle for lying. And I even more so loved it when Sara gave Mike a second chance. On another note, I think Rogers should have fully dissected the relationship between forgiveness and second chances more deeply.

There’s Only Been You was a good read with just the right amount of suspense and thrill. Donna Marie Rogers flawlessly demonstrated the miracle of forgiveness through the characters. I’m talking the kind of forgiveness that happens so quick, that you start to think all the bad was just a bad dream. The characters had their own personalities that contributed to making it a good family romance novel. I loved how Ethan forgave his mom and uncle for lying as if that’s not an offence. You got to love little children and their forgiving hearts. And I even more so loved it when Sara gave Mike a second chance. What can I say, I’m a sap for romance. On another note, I think Rogers should have dissected the relationship between forgiveness and second chances more deeply.

What stood out for me was Ethan, that kid was cute- in my head he was. Don’t judge.

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It took me a while to get into this book but the more I read the more engrossed I got. This book, in my view, was all about forgiving yourself and simply learning to forgive. In All My Life, Kari was tied down from living life like a college student should due to a sex tape that Eddie (we royally dislike Eddie) holds like a noose around her neck. Kari went through her “very own personal hell” for at least a year and half. She had a hard time forgiving herself and she let the whole thing weigh her down.

I loved the courage she had to finally open up and actually take away the stigma that she did something wrong and ultimately forgive herself. The book had awesome secondary characters who never failed to make you laugh and ease some of the emotive and sensitive subjects. And I loved how Ban nicely linked forgiving oneself and taking a leap into second chances.

Can I just say I was so proud of Kari when she said this:

“This scar that rips me apart. I’m not going to hide it.”

Me liked the book!

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I don’t even know where to begin with Stubborn Love. Wendy Owens explored pregnant, fraught subjects that my pretty little head didn’t understand their magnitude and I’m afraid for some, I haven’t really wrapped my head around. I think you have to experience them to understand them. Emmie went through hell and stayed there for a couple of years and came back. Yes, she stayed there, not by choice.

I often wish I could be characters in books but in Emmie’s case, at least not until the happy ending, I never wanted to be her. Emmie went from getting the boy every girl wanted in school to being trapped in a tumultuous marriage to being a widow at 23. I also think this book was about learning to forgive yourself of the mistakes and bad decisions you made, among other themes.

I loved how Owen made the story real and raw. You can tell that even though Emmie is moving on with the hottie next door, BTW, his name is Colin, she’s still tied down by Ashton (he’s the douche guy that ruined Emmie’s life).

More importantly, I loved the character development of Emmie from the first chapter to the last chapter. Her journey from been hopeless, distraught and sad to hopeful, alive and happy was a great illustration of letting go. Of self-forgiveness.

Please don’t think this was a novel where Colin showed up and Emmie had her second chance on a silver platter, as if all she had to do was take it and run with it. It’s was not. Noooo…Emmie had to deal with big fat merde before letting go and forgiving, slowly but surely.

Paige and Christian were a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious addition to Emmie and Colin’s relationship and story. Yep, that’s a polysyllabic word I’m using to describe supporting characters. Read the book and you’ll understand.

What I learnt while reading these books and from experience was:

  1. It takes a helluva of courage and strength to forgive, either someone or yourself.
  2. It takes forgiveness to have a second chance at life.

From the greatest book ever, that I’m still reading…

“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

That is my challenge to you, royal readers.

Please do share with friends and family. Like and let me know your thoughts by commenting.

Yours Truly,

Duchess

Laugh, learn and love…and laugh some more

Imperfect Chemistry -Lucy Frame

“You know there is an evolutional explanation behind the social patterns Cameron is exhibiting. Biologically, our urges are based on the continuance of the species. With this in mind, logically, the male can inseminate multiple females with hardly any responsibility or time constraints, while females are required to endure a nine-month gestation period followed by nearly eighteen years of preparing their offspring to be self-sufficient. From a purely scientific standpoint, this explains both male and female behavior: why males feel it necessary to ‘sleep around’ like Cameron is doing, and why females are typically selective. Women want someone who will take care of them and their progeny, hence the attraction to men with money and power. They also want someone with healthy genetic features that will pass onto their offspring, which explains physical attraction.” -Lucy London (Mary Frame, Imperfect Chemistry)

That pretty much sums up Imperfect Chemistry…and that one biology lesson you missed in high school. Can I just say that I absolutely laughed my ass behind off. I would love to have Lucy on my dinner table, the girl is the definition of candid. I love her!

Forget the character development and the build up of the story, for a minute or…six. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate Lucy London for being who she is. A bad ass chick. Oops, I mean a brainy wordsmith who has no time for awkwardness…and please expect and appreciate the awkward situations Lucy, the genius, puts herself in. They make this book what it is.

Imperfect Chemistry is about Lucy London doing what Lucy does best, writing a thesis studying human emotions. Yes, emotions as in the cause of the eye waterfalls and the trigger of swoon-activation when a hot guys passes by. Of course, it wouldn’t be such hit if Lucy doesn’t experience her study- experiencing emotions a.k.a fall in love. SWOON! The book is sweet, amazing and explores the title in a sagacious manner. It is able to make us see Lucy for who she is and understand her character; and see what makes her different from her peers. It is most definitely NOT a typical romantic novel (in your face, realists!), as much as it has a happy ending and the predictable ‘hurdle’ that Lucy and Jensen face. Imperfect Chemistry is as much about friendship between Lucy, Freya, Ted and Bethany as it is about the relationship between Lucy and Jensen. Many reviews explore the relationship but I really loved the friendship that took place. From Lucy’s first atrocious meet up with Freya and to a little B&E together they defined the imperfect chemistry of their friendship. I probably raved about this book the moment I first read the sample. And I truly think that every girl needs a friend like Lucy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you better get book. You won’t be disappointed, but you will laugh. A lot.

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Imperfect Chemistry is imperfectly perfect (don’t roll your eyes) for anyone. Yes, I said the forbidden word. This book is fun, funny, geeky and you get learn new words such as cunnilingus. Don’t google it, if you know what’s best for you. Trust me!

Get the book for $8.09 on Amazon or get the free eBook here: Imperfect Chemistry

Yours Truly,

Duchess

P.S.: Like and share, don’t forget to let me know what you think.