This Year In Review: An Introduction
2019 has come to an end, and it was honestly one of the most stable years of my life. I had the same job and lived in the same place for all of 2019, which is not something I could say of the previous few years. I did have some struggles with my health, mainly in the form of relentless fatigue. In July, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and started sleeping with a CPAP machine . This has helped me greatly. I also have a thyroid disorder that I was diagnosed with in 2013. I had a lot of struggles related to that. On the plus side, I’m finally starting to get settled into my home for two years, Columbus, Ohio, and am finally making friends here, as well as going out more when my health permits. I also.rediscovered my love of reading. I wouldn’t say I read a lot, but I read a fair number of books, and decided I wanted to do a list of the books that really stood out to me this year. Please note these are books I read in 2019, and not necessarily books that came out in 2019.
So…I’ve had writer’s block for four and a half months. A few things happened, mainly my bipolar disorder and work stress resulted in a breakdown of sorts. It took a couple months to have the breakdown, and then a couple months to recover. I’m feeling pretty a-okay these days, but when it comes to writing, I have zero ideas. Zilch. Nada. So, I figured I’d just write about what I’m reading and watching, and then figure it out from there.
Below are short reviews for the Dream Daddy (the comic version, not the game), My Friend Dahmer, Maid, No Visible Bruises, The Weekly, The Thing, and Sorry to Bother You.
Filed under Books, Movies
This is part of book project where I read books focusing on bipolar disorder, or bipolar characters,
Dancing On Broken Glass is the story of Lucy and Mickey. Mickey is type 1 bipolar, usually resulting in severe manic episodes that put him in the psychiatric ward. Lucy worries a lot about cancer which has killed multiple members of her family. Despite Lucy getting her tubes tied, she gets pregnant. Then Lucy gets cancer. Then, yeah, you can see where this is going.
So right now I’m doing a book project, reading books dealing with bipolar. Memoirs about bipolar, bipolar characters in fiction, bipolar bipolar bipolar. My first book was The Museum of Intangible Things.
I just hope this entire ride won’t be so awful. Note: Spoilers After the Cut.
Summery: A memoir that recalls the story of Leslie Morgan Steiner meeting, dating, marrying, and divorcing Conor. At first he seems liked a fairytale prince, but it turned into an abusive relationship. In her memoir, Steiner describes the horrifying details as the fairytale becomes a nightmare, and her struggle to leave him.
Why I Picked It Up: I’ve been in a abusive relationship, and still trying to figure out and understand all that happened.
Why I Finished It: Steiner is a fantastic writer when it comes to telling her story. Her writing is honest, concise and easy to read, while her story pulled me in. It’s a pretty terrifying tale, but through it, Leslie really grows and matures as a person. She’s also illustrates this issues of control and the psychology behind the abuse, and at one point, even includes an interview with an expert. While her relationship was different then mine—no two are the same—it was comforting. For what must have been a difficult topic for her to talk about, Steiner does an amazing job.
But: I have no buts. It’s a very solid book that delivers the story it sets out to tell.
Who Would I Recommend This To: People who have survived abusive relationships, or are looking to understand them.
Filed under Books, Memoir
One, I’ll start doing Aniblog Tourny prediction again tomorrow. Bad cold+school=not happening. I need sleep more.
Thanks to some very nice people, they pointed me in the direction of another translation group who has translated up to chapter 4. This was a much better translation, and it’s actually a pretty good novel. First, what else do we find out about characters.
When I review a book, it’s either because it really stands out to me, it’s popular enough that I want to voice my opinion on it, or it somehow relates to an anime I’m currently watching. In this case, Riker’s High reminded me a lot of Rainbow. The two have their differences, different time periods, different countries, one’s a jail and one’s a prison. However, the sympathy for characters despite the fact they committed a crime, the brutality and the struggle to survive is similar. I feel like I came out of reading Riker’s High understanding Rainbow better.
Summery: Riker’s High follows the day to day life of Martin Stokes where he’s been kept in a jail in on Riker’s Island, New York for the past five months awaiting trial. The story covers the last 17 days Martin is in jail where he ends up transferred to another part and attending the school’s high school.
Why I Picked It Up: Interesting looking young adult novel. Need I say more?
Why I Finished It: While I never got attached to Martin himself as a character, I liked all the characters all around him. Also, the world of Riker’s Jail is a fascinating one. There’s
An author note as the beginning of the book stating that a majority of the incidents that appear in the book are events he witnessed first hand when he was working as teacher at Riker’s Island, and it is intense. Remember talking about that crazy psycho guard in Rainbow? Turns out, he’s pretty normal. Put guys in charge of a bunch of people they believe are scum, don’t make accountable for anything, and watch what happens. On top of that, there’s fierce politics among the boys of Riker’s. Still, the boys fight back against the condition they’re in and fight to make it from day to day.
Who Would I Recommend This To: Fans of the premise of Rainbow.
Rating: 3/5 stars-I liked it
If you’d like to read an excerpt, it’s available here.
It was one day at the museum. One day. Tola, a lonely student with an interest in art, bumped into her art teacher at a museum. Unfortunately, another student saw. Now, she’s living in the aftermath of allegations that she had an affair.
Why I Picked This Up: I’m a sucker for teen drama stories.
Why I Finished This: The storytelling skill of the author of this book was amazing. This isn’t just a story about a student/teacher relationships. It’s a story about cyber-bullying, and the way it can destroy lives. It’s the story about a mother trying to do what she thinks is the best thing despite the resistance put up by her daughter. It about a girl being a part of a broken family, a family where not only she, but everyone else develops, and while they don’t heal perfectly, they start to heal. It also is a quick read. I started it Friday night, and finished it Saturday morning.
However, the subject of teacher/student’s relationship is a very interesting one, especially in the high school setting where age gaps can be so small, and high schoolers are so close to being adults. Boundaries are there for good reasons, and teacher/student friendships are frowned on, as are relationships…but it’s a complicated situation. Many teachers don’t want to lose their jobs, or end up in a scandal, but at the same time, they want to be supportive of their students. I feel like the book explored this very well.
But: The ending is a bit of a jumbled mess. That’s the biggest problem in teen literature it seems, being able to bring stories to close and able to tie everything up. I think they try too hard and force a happy ending, even if it doesn’t always fit, or isn’t ready for the happy ending yet.
Who would I recommend this to: My teen librarian that loves quality teen novels just like I do.
Next post will be anime related.
It’s not possible to write an unbiased view of this book, as obsessive-compulsive disorder (also known as OCD) is difficult to explain, and I have the advantage of already understanding it, but I’ll do my best to remain so.
This cover drives me nuts. I want to put the last candy in line with the others.