June 2017 Round Up

Things have been a bit slow for me on the reading/blogging front since I went back to work. So, I’ve lumped May and June together in my round up. Only problem with that is, I have to stretch my burned-out brain back to May to think up a few sentence to say. Damn I wish I had thought to pre-write them.

Books Read: 9

Blueback by Tim Winton: This “ecological fable” was absolutely beautiful. I borrowed a copy from my local library, but intend to buy a copy for my sons to read when they are older. Blueback was a joy to read and one I promise you’ll want to re-read. A book with heart and a message that needs to be heard.  [Goodreads]

To Betray My King (The Betrayal Legacy #1) by Kayla Lavan: I enjoyed stepping into Ms Lavan’s medieval world of Sol and meeting the magic weavers she has filled it with. I read a review copy that I found to be a little rough around the edges at times, but never the less a light and fluffy read.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick: The Simple Gift was beautiful. I actually hugged the book at the end. I borrowed a copy from my local library and am now thinking that I need to try and buy Steven’s whole back catalog for myself and the boys when they are older, as the three borrowed books of Steven’s I have read I have adored. The Simple Gift is a story of friendship and second chances, of healing and new love.  [Goodreads]

Homies by David Gonzales & Elliott Serrano: Homies is a collection of four separate stories featuring (for the most part) the same key characters. I read a review copy and once I warmed up to the characters I found this comic to be a quick and enjoyable read. The later two stories being my favorites.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Play by Jez Alborough: Seriously, I have read this book to Riley every night since it arrived and he is still in love with it 6+ weeks on. We read a review copy and found it to be a fantastic story told mainly through the art. The images are magnificent, coming off colourful and clear on the high quality paper used. [Goodreads]  [Review]

Night Swimming by Steph Bowe: An adorable feel good romp about first love, true friendship, growing up, finding your inner strength and a place in the world. [Goodreads]  [Review]

Counting to D by Kate Scott: While the story is rather light and fluffy it touches on a lot of extremely important topics beautifully; peer pressure, social acceptance, learning disabilities and self-worth. It is a heart-warming, fun and fast read.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Last Rites (Paranormal Detectives, #5) by Lily Luchesi: In book five we get to delve deeper into Harriet’s past, see Danny and Angelica get married, meet the first ever Vampire and experience the epic end of an era.  [Goodreads]  [Review]

Saga #43 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples: After a short break SAGA is back with a new a new story Arc and it didn’t disappoint.  Bring on issue 44!!!   [Goodreads]

* * *
I’m back at work full time, Riley’s just turned Four years and Ethan Six months. We are starting to figure out a routine. We’ll get there and hopefully that’ll mean more read time for me. I knowingly didn’t give myself a big target this year, so i’m still ahead in my Goodreads challenge LOL.

Until next time, enjoy your shelves

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

25248094The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes 

Published: 22nd June 2015 by Harper Collins

Thank you to the author and publisher for giving me an ARC and the opportunity to read and review this book.Synopsis mk3

With a harrowing poetic voice, this contemporary page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Julie Berry’s All The Truth That’s in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow By is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself. +Goodreads buttonMy Thoughts mk3

This book has received so many raving reviews and so many “loved it” reviews from fellow book bloggers that I follow. I can understand how someone could be so WOW’d by this book. The writing is beautiful, easy to read /understand and flows at a perfect pace. The action arches and curves to keep you tearing through the pages till the end.

It’s hard to believe that this is Stephanie Oakes Debut! It is her debut people and in my eyes it is flawless. I’ve already added her next book to my TBR even though it won’t be out until next year.

Cults disgust me. Anyone who hides behind religion and lies degusts me. In fact any person who can hurt another living thing and enjoy it, degusts me. Even so I think this book is brilliant. It made me keep reading even though I hated the topic matter. I either wanted to slap sense into the characters or see them run them over with an army tank. Ok, I wanted the Prophet to be run over by an Army tank, the rest I wanted them to wake up to themselves, stupid sheep.

I liked Minnow from the start, but I loved her once she woke up and started to rebel.

My only complaint is that I wanted more closure at the end. I wanted to know that the innocent got a happy ending and the others got what they deserved – even if that is unrealistic.

I generally read books to escape the horrible world we live in. This book spotlights the horrible world we live it, but I am glad I read it. I think anyone 13+ could read this and get something out of it.

I’m going to share what I am sure is going to become one of my favorite book quotes. I’ll give you a little lead in so it makes sense. Warning the work fuck is used, but there is very little swearing in the book considering she ends up in juvenile hall.

* * * * * * *

“FUUUUUCK!” She screams.

“A MILLION TIMES FUCK!” I scream with her.

“What on God’s sacred green Earth is going on?” Benny calls from the skyway. She approaches the bars, her arms crossed.

“Nothing,” Angel and I sat in unison…

“Fuck,” I Whisper.

“Fuck,” she whispers back, a smile creeping onto her face. And, inside that smile is the knowledge that some things are just too sad, too screwed up. Sometimes there’s nothing for it but shouting “Fuck” with your best friend at the top of your lungs.

* * * * * * *

I think that sums up life; something’s are just too sad, too screwed up. I’ve been known to scream profanities at the sky, sometimes there is nothing else we can do to release the pain.

4sAuthor’s Links mk3Stephanie Oakes is a teacher and YA author from Washington State.

THE ARSONIST, her second YA mystery is scheduled for publication in fall 2016.

Website – http://www.stephanieoakesbooks.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/stephanieeoakes

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/543716.Stephanie_Oakes

Tumblr – http://stephanieoakes.tumblr.com/

Live Life Sunny Side Up by Jeremyville

23604451

Published Date: 14th July 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis mk3

Be Patient, Don’t Let the Haters In, Live in the Light, and Build Your Own Rainbow—these and many more inspiring reminders from Jeremy Ville fill the pages of Live Life Sunny Side Up.

To break out of a creative funk, artist and designer Jeremyville began pairing positive affirmations with simple, yet thought-provoking drawings and posting them online under his “Community Service Announcements” project. The response was overwhelming, and the result is a library of 800 images in just a few years. Live Life Sunny Side Up collects 100 of the most inspiring CSAs guaranteed to bring you out of a funk even on your worst days. This collection of simple and cheerful messages is perfect to give to a friend or keep on your nightstand for those days when you need a quick pick-me-up or a reminder to “Live Free Range Instead.”image (4)+Goodreads buttonMy Thoughts mk3When I hear the term “Self-Help” I think of a repetitive preachy text book full of pages and pages of junk that while wonderful on paper is useless in the real world – not that I’ve read that many, so shame on me, I guess! If more of them are like this book I would happily give them a go.

SO this book is categorised as a “self-Help” book, but don’t let that put you off. This book collects Jeremyville’s all-time favourites of his “Community Service Announcements”. The illustrations are bright, colourful and cuter then a baby elephant. The messages are simple but powerful and relevant. It is watermelon flavoured bubble-gum sweet and it will make you smile. It might even make you think to call your mother once in a while.

I would love to have TRUST IN YOUR IDEAS AND JUMP and OWN YOUR STRANGENESS as big posters on my wall at home, however I don’t think my husband would be into it.

image (3)While I wasn’t blown away, I did enjoy reading It.

3s

Author’s Links mk3

Jeremyville is a New York based artist, product designer and author. His art is about simple, thought provoking messages told in an instantly recognisable style.

Jeremyville grew up by the ocean at Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia, and started his art career drawing at the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, while completing his Architecture Degree from Sydney University, and editing the student newspaper Honi Soit. It was amidst this education in print at the age of 19, that he first discovered the power of simple writing, and the impact that an iconic image can have in helping to change the world.

Jeremyville draws daily in his sketchbook and shares his Community Service Announcements through his social media, with messages of environmental action, social change, inner growth and positive daily actions.

Website – http://www.jeremyville.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JeremyvilleDaily

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Jeremyville

Instagram – https://instagram.com/Jeremyville/

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/MrJeremyville/videos

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9873838.Jeremy_Ville

CHASING THE DEMON

CHASING THE DEMON
(Book 2 of The ‘Gateway’ series)

By Louise G. White

Chasing the Demon cover

Synopsis:

The system has been changing, the Agency flaunts its cruel practises and the balance of the realms is disrupted. Ethan’s enforcers are already stretched to the limits with policing the realms, and things get worse when partnerships develop between the worst of the Demon realms.

Meanwhile on Empustat, Carolyn has spent an entire year being pampered and ‘reconditioned’, her memories wiped and replaced to produce a limited and vapid Princess. Under the constraints of the Chief, she is no longer the feared and mythical destroyer. Carolyn lives a life of privilege, expected to marry her father’s second in command and produce heirs for the realm. Her friend Mario, in contrast, has suffered hardship and humiliation at the hands of the Lilim Guard – A chance encounter between the pair is surely a step towards Carolyn’s awakening.

The disabled gateway has frustrated the team’s efforts to reach Carolyn, and Ethan can barely suffer Note’s presence, but both mage and demon share the same goals. Hope rekindles by way of an unexpected source which leads to the team embarking on a plan so daring that that their survival hangs in the balance. With old and new friends from the realms, bias and loyalties will be challenged as the fight for order truly begins.

My thoughts:

Oh why did it end, I just wanted to keep reading.

I’m really am at a loss as what to write, as anything I write won’t do this book justice…………….

Louise is an amazing writer, she depicts these other worlds so well that I feel as if I am there, it’s as if they are real. Her vivid descriptions really are a delight. The way it jumped between the characters really pushed the pace of the story along, I couldn’t put it down. All the things I loved about the first book were amplified and grown on.

In this the second instalment of the Gateway series we get our old favourites from the first book with the injection of a few new characters that really spice things up and add humour to it all. Louise offers us up; Romance, Friendship, Loyalty, Action, Adventure, Good versus Evil and Multiple Worlds to tickle our fancy. I loved the ending as it leads to so many possibilities, even Ethan’s in with a chance (I hope).

I’m not going to say anything else as I don’t want to give the story away – It’s awesome – GO READ IT.

If you haven’t read the first one:
THE CALLING 
(Book 1 of The ‘Gateway’ series)
By Louise G. White

the calling

Synopsis:
On the run and hiding from the suits, Carolyn’s life is far from straightforward. After her mother and brother go missing in a most extraordinary way, (through a hole to another world which appears in the kitchen wall!), she is determined to track them down and bring them home. But life is never that easy! Rescued and protected by a group of unusual and likeminded people, Carolyn hones her magic and fighting skills. Whilst answering a call to retrieve a human from another world she is faced with a quick decision and ends up bringing a demon back with her. Little did she know what effect this demon would have on her. As each day passes her strengths grow and her magic develops to assist her in her quest to track down her family, but there are decisions to make that will affect the rest of her life..

Louise

More about Louise

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The Calling by Louise G. White

The Calling by

Goodreads Synopsis:

On the run and hiding from the suits, Carolyn’s life is far from straightforward. After her mother and brother go missing in a most extraordinary way, (through a hole to another world which appears in the kitchen wall!), she is determined to track them down and bring them home. But life is never that easy! Rescued and protected by a group of unusual and like minded people , Carolyn hones her magic and fighting skills. Whilst answering a call to retrieve a human from another world she is faced with a quick decision and ends up bringing a demon back with her. Little did she know what effect this demon would have on her. As each day passes her strengths grow and her magic develops to assist her in her quest to track down her family, but there are decisions to make that will affect the rest of her life.

My Thoughts:

Wow this book was a rollercoaster, I don’t even know where to begin.

The first couple of chapters are hard to get into as there is so much thrown at you and so much going on, but you immediately fall for the main character Carolyn and you can’t stop yourself from reading as you NEED need to know what happens to her and you can’t sleep until you know she safe from the suits.

Oh dear sweet Carolyn, her family and the life that she knew is ripped from her when she is fifteen. Carolyn spends the next two years as a possessed incoherent killing machine, ruled only by primal instincts she never knew existed inside her. It isn’t until she meets Note (spoiler- he’s not human) that she truly regains her self. The thrill ride that becomes their life on the run draws you in even more than you thought possible. Eventually Carolyn finds her place with a bunch of ”special” people just like her and comes to peace with what and who she is – Only to have the story finish on the dramatic cliffhanger that rips the whole world and her relationships to shreds.

This was a fast paced, actioned packed romance/ Fantasy/ Sci-fi Novel that was a great start to kick of a new series of awesomeness. I really think there is a little bit for everyone here.

I’m going to give it four stars. I really think the only reason I didn’t fully love the story was that I fell for Ethan (is human), not Note as the leading “man”. Note gets Carolyn (to an extent, but I won’t give away too much) and Ethan is left to struggle with his frustrating and unrequited feelings – Yep Ethan I feel for ya buddy.

I wanted Carolyn with Ethan but she ends up with Note and don’t get me wrong I loved Note as well. I can’t really explain it. I tend to do that; I wanted Jacob not Edward (in new moon & eclipse, but fell for Edward in breaking dawn), Homer not Lee (in tomorrow when the war began, the whole ten books I was like “no not Lee, choose HOMER!! that handsome cheeky greek devil thats been your best friend always!!! my Mum and most of the population where Pro Lee though LOL)

Anyways a Frustrating, Fascinating, Captivating read and Fours Stars. I await the next installment to find out what happens to Carolyn “The Destroyer” next.

Harry Potter Companion Books by J.K. Rowling

I’ve just finished reading the three Companion books and here is a little poem out of Quidditch Through the Ages that I just had to share by J.K. Rowling, I don’t think there is a Potter fan that wouldn’t love it. The set was a quick, cute and entertaining read – a must for any Potter Fan.

Oh, the thrill of the chase as I soar through the air

With the Snitch up ahead and the wind in my hair

As I draw ever closer, the crowd give a shout

But then comes a bludger and I am knocked out.

Harry Potter Companion Books by J.K. Rowlinghog lib

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

A copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resides on almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attacked by a Manticore.

Quidditch Through the Ages    

Did you know that: there are 700 ways of committing a foul in Quidditch? The game first began to evolve on Queerditch Marsh – What Bumphing is? That Puddlemere United is oldest team in the Britain and Ireland league (founded 1163). All this information and much more could be yours once you have read this book: this is all you could ever need to know about the history, the rules – and the breaking of the rules – of the noble wizarding sport of Quidditch.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

What I’ve Read So Far

Here is a recap of the books I’ve managed to read and review so far this year 🙂

Books Read in 2014 =

January:

  1. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-3x )
  2. The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-44 )
  3. Tripwire (Jack Reacher #3) by Lee Child (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-4u )
  4. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-50 )
  5. The Visitor (Jack Reacher #4) by Lee Child (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-5U )
  6. The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-66 )
  7. The Son of Sobek (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #1) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/431Gp )

February:

  1. The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-6E )
  2. Midnight Sun (Twilight #1.5) by Stephenie Meyer (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-6y )
  3. The Enemy (Jack Reacher #8) by Lee Child (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-6R )
  4. Harry Potter – Three Short Stories by Bruce T Forbes
  5. Take Me To Your Reader: An Otherworld Anthology by Amy A. Bartol, Tammy Blackwell, Amanda Havard, Heather Hildenbrand, Tiffany King, C.A. Kunz, Sarah M. Ross, Raine Thomas (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-7b )
  6. Here Among The Ruins by Regina Puckett (my Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-6K )
  7. Day Trips to Narnia by Bruce T. Forbes
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-7F )

March:

  1. The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-7L )
  2. Casting Shadows Everywhere by L.T. Vargus (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-8d )
  3. Salvation by A.M.C. (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-8J )
  4. Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker
  5. Delta Force Vampire: Insurgency by Alex Shaw (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-9m )

April:

  1. Lust & Longing: A Collection of Erotic Shorts by Charity Parkerson
  2. Dementional by Tonya Cannariato (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-9z )
  3. Words by Robert Zimmermann
  4. Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-at )
  5. Vaempires: Revolution By Thomas Winship (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-aN )
  6. Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology
  7. Now You Shall Know – Newcastle Poetry Prize 2013 Anthology
  8. Thunderhead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-bc )
  9. Speak of the Devil by Shawna Romkey (My Review http://wp.me/p431Gp-bz )

Vaempires: Revolution By Thomas Winship

Vaempires: Revolution By Thomas Winship

 Synopsis:

 It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event.

Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Vaempires-former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood-have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of vaempires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, vaempires unleash their secret weapon: a new breed of vaempire that is far deadlier than any ever seen before.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, and walk through walls?

My Thoughts:

The story is non-stop action from the first page and as it continues we get friendship and romance added to the mix.

The story is set in a future earth where World War Three happened, caused a Nuclear Winter that nearly destroyed the whole planet and in turn created Vampires, LOVE IT.

I really enjoyed that it’s not Humans vs. Vampires. Vampires are the dominant species, the good guys, the ones being attacked and their world destroyed. An even more mutated race Vaempires are the bad guys slaughtering humans and vampire’s as they attempt to take control. The main characters felt real and I immediately cared about them. As I got closer to the end of this book I thought I knew how it was going to end, but the ending shocked me, I didn’t see it coming. Five out of five stars, I’m really looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Time Shifters

5234978Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey

Synopsis:

An ancient people who can move through time or space…

A secret that never should have been revealed…

One day in a Los Angeles restaurant, Akalya of the Harekaiian witnesses the capture of several of her people and is the only one to get away. Now it is up to her to rescue the captives and learn how… and why… they are being apprehended.

The key lies in discovering who is behind the hunt for her people, when no one should have known they existed.

My Thoughts:

My only complaint with this book was that it was too short, I wanted it to never end. I’ve just gone and Liked Shanna’s Facebook page because I want to know immediately when the second instalment is out.

I really like Shanna’s take on Time travel. I was immediately drawn into the world of the Harekaiian. The main character is a female by the name of Akalya, she felt real and warm to me, I immediately cared about her. Akalya is a Harekaiian and she possesses the ability to move through space and time. Akalya witnesses some of her own kind being kidnapped and takes it upon herself to rescue the captives.

I really enjoyed this story it was fast paced and I didn’t want to put it down. Shanna gives us mystery, suspense, characters you can feel for, plot twists and romance. Even with all the time shifting and jumping around going on Shanna’s writing is of such high quality that as a reader you don’t get lost and are able to keep up with the fast passed action.

As this is the first Novella in a Ten part series and you can tell that the dark dealings of the ‘bad guys’ are only just coming to light and things are only going to get more intense and more interesting.

I am really looking forward to see how it all concludes.

According to Shanna’s website Time Shifters is only available in eBook on Amazon at the moment, but don’t despair if your still not on the eBook train the paperback is in progress and you’ll be able to grab a copy soon. Keep an eye on Shanna’s website http://shannalauffey.weebly.com/ and FB www.facebook.com/ShannaLauffeyBooks page for updates.

Review on My Mind The Menace

Below is a review Stephan Attia posted
on Goodreads about my Poetry eBookSmashCover
‘My mind the menace’ by Sarah Fairbairn is an expressive, emotive, and intriguing book of poetry which shook me off balance and reminded me that life was meant for all humans to be cherished and enjoyed. The title, although subversive of the order of the mind, does not undermine Reason as the poetess in all of her poems made a point and delivered a message through an explosive fits of emotions. The poetess’s illusive madness is in fact reason, whereas the order of society, which is under a justifiable hefty criticism by the poetess, is in fact the epitome of madness. The deficient humanism in society is the cause of madness within the poetess. The mind of the poetess may seem at first impression diffused, disordered, and even erratic, but a further extensive read, and a subsequent deep analysis concludes that in fact the poetess is at balance and that she makes very much sense. Her fits of rage are in fact an utterance of humanism, and an indication of virtue and chastity. Bound by moral virtue the poetess naturally admonishes her friends, family, and society. Her super humanism, care for life, and her love for life render her a rebellious poetess. Her rebellion against the madness of the world and against the apathy of her surrounding mates is a war against vanity. It has been a joy for me to read and analyze this book.

Poems analysis:
The uniqueness of divine poetry is often embedded with humor. However, since this collection is at a preliminary stage of exploration, or what is often known as experimental poetry, I did not expect to find any traces of humor. Therefore I was quite surprised by the poem ‘Fire my friend’ as here the last five verses are funny punch lines. The subsequent poem ‘Fend for yourself’ proceeds with the humorous tone, as here the subject of the poetess’s rage, whom is immersed with sadistic apathy, so we learn also from other poems, is reprimanded. The rigorous outrage, however, is hilarious, particularly the fourth line, but there is a point at the end. The cry of the poetess is subversive of the inhuman vice of oblivion. She cares too much, thus when she is encountered with a person who does not care at all, her furious reprimand is justifiable. The reader identifies with the poetess because of her good heart and emotional care for life and for the beauties of life. In the subsequent poem ‘You seek’, which is, in my view, implying that the poetess is an emissary of the light, the humor is expressed in the last three lines of the poem. Her genuine emotions together with her love towards her subject allows her to give vent to the truth from her perspective, thus the punch lines arouse laughter through irony. In the poem ‘Stay or Stray’ there is another expression of the poetess’s wish to escape her horrible reality, but once more, she chooses to stay despite the hardships. The reader learns that she is a responsible parent, compassionate, and altruistic. Many of her harsh expressions throughout the book were made on the spur of the moment, but at the end of the day, the poetess chooses God over the devil, and altruism over selfishness, a fact which renders her admirable, altruistic and heroic. I really thought about the role of the poet here as a super human, or as an epic hero that was born to save mankind. Clearly she is a poetess of the redeemer type whom is misplaced in society. Her place is among the higher ranks of society, but sadly, since society is not a devout of moral virtue that she is bound to suffer. It is tragic in my view that poets are not accepted as moral leaders in society because of ignorance. The relationship of the poetess with the dark world is fascinating as she is in touch with her inner demons and knows how to control them, even though she expresses the complete opposite. In ‘My mind is the menace’ I felt that despite the poetess’s assertions of a rasped mind, it was in fact her good heart that was in a constant struggle. I felt that the way she handled her darkness in such a mild transmutation was in fact a success. Thus, despite her personal conclusion that darkness always triumphs over the light in regard to her emotions, she manages to prove the complete opposite, that the love of life itself is the light that cannot be consumed by darkness. The search of order in this poem reminded me about the first chapter of the bible, in Genesis, when the world was first created out of chaos. The erratic mind in this poem is influenced by a valiant heart that never gives up in the end. In ‘Words in my way’ I have enjoyed the rhymes at the last part of the poem. Although it feels as an experimental poem, it was nicely executed in emotion. I loved the soft tone embedded with the straightforward truth. I did not find any lies in this explosive collection, a fact which renders the poetess loyal and trustworthy a person. In ‘Rat Trap’ I felt for the poetess. Here, her emotional breakdown is subversive of a world of lies and hypocrisy, and subversive of oblivion, lack of compassion, and lack of humanism. This poem, therefore is advocating for humanism and emotion. Generally speaking, the utterances of fury and expressions of rage in language are mere genuine feelings of unrest and frustration, but not without a good reason. The poetess always explains the reasons for her rage, a fact which brings the readers closer to a sensible understanding of her anger. The last poem in this collection ‘Back to shore’ is a genuine cry for help and solidarity. Other moralists will naturally react to the call of the poetess and give her hand and accompany her to the shore of salvation. I have enjoyed the spirit of parenthood and the loyalty of the mother to the laws of nature in the poem ’26 years old’. As a parent I have felt that her child here is a winner of a great mother, as she will nourish her child with love and care. It was a poem of loyalty despite the grumble of a typical poet. ‘Shame’ was an interesting poem, as here the blitz against the unthankful oblivious subject has to do with unreciprocated love and responsibility. It is a poem subversive of neglect, apathy, and spiritual death. ‘This shallow reflection’ is a very critical poem, although I very much disagree with the first line of the poem. The tones of a heartbreak and disappointment reach the climax in the punch line. The dilemma which accompanies the poetess throughout the book is fiercely expressed in ‘Arms around me’. However, despite her mental torture and horrible state of mind she manages always to survive the situation and heal herself. That is a sign of fortitude and endurance. The poem, which I believe really exposes the strength of faith of the poetess here is ‘Slave’, as her rebellion against darkness is in fact rewarded with a final victory. Her victory is in her love of life, in Carpe Diem, and in the fact that she overcomes despair. She lost many battles, but she has always won the war of salvation against vanity; A fact which renders her a savior. Her explosive humanism is a result of her adherence to everlasting love and to the principles of salvation. Her rebellious nature and her true agenda, which is to destroy the polarity of vanity, are also noticed in the powerful poem ‘Tear it down’ as here her straightforward declaration of war is against the kingdom of vain pride. Moreover, this poem is also subversive of the system of man and of the order of society. Basically her declaration of war is against madness which stems from vanity. Therefore the poetess cannot, and will not, conform to a society which enslaves people to lose their true meaning in life, and/or to become automatons. The poetess is subversive of dogmatism and automatism, as she professes for life and advocate for salvation through higher individualism. She lives the moment and that is why she suffers so much, as all those around her have been consumed by vanity. They don’t feel what she feels, because they are asleep in vanity. ‘Dollar’ is another poem which consolidates the poetess rebellion against the system of man, as here many people are subordinated to the money system. But the poetess here goes deeper in her reproach and criticizes the fact that people worship money. She further implies that money is the reason for the madness and oppression of everybody. Even her husband is subjected to her criticism against vanity, but because she is a leader in the moral sphere such a conflict is inevitable as he lacks the insight to fathom her true role in life, which is to lead in morals. The poetess is paradoxically a pathfinder whom is stuck in a lost world. Not because she does not know the way, for she knows the way. But she is stuck because she is deprived from the opportunity to follow her true vocation, because of the primitive dogmas and ignorance of contemporary society. In this poem it is clear that the poetess is a dove of peace that abides by divine law. Her criticism against money is both impressive and admirable. I should remark here that it was a comfort for me to read that despite all the harsh criticism, the poetess never considered her husband, family, and/or friends as enemies. Despite her hard time she lives in unity and harmony with them. The reader should not be judgmental in regard to the use of language in ‘Bad call’ as here the rage of the poetess is associated with the tone of depression. Here the betrayal of her partner and the disappointment that follows justifies her rage. Justice is running deep within the poetess. In the subsequent poem ‘Blue’ I have enjoyed the alliteration and rhymes. However, the strongest assertion of the poetess’s true character appears, in my view, in the poem ‘Hate you’. Her virtue of forgiveness and healing nature seal the poem and in fact nullifies the title. At the end of the day, despite of all the pain, rage, and sufferings, the poetess returns to the oasis of love. This poem reminded me about the second testament in regard to the principle of universal love. However, the poetess’s hot temper and fits of rage do not weaken her boons, but on the contrary. The poetess refuses to yield to apathy, oppression, and/or to injustice, and therefore she makes noise, rebels and whines, criticizes and scolds. She is the equivalent of an erupted volcano, only that the lava here is in fact love. The first line of ‘One day in bed’ is a very interesting declaration of non conformism. Solitude becomes a middle ground, but calling her non conformism sin only reminds the reader how rugged is the law of man in comparison with the law of nature. The poetess’s adherence to nature and to the love of life is at endless conflict with human society, because human society lacks love and compassion. The rhythm and emotional drift in ‘The land of Z’ were enjoyable, whereas in the subsequent poem ‘Teenage games’ it was the sense of motion and change which provoked the mind of the reader. Here I really felt the hidden message of Carpe Diem as life is a very brief moment and full of changes, like the currents of the sea or like the wind in the sky. In ‘Way out of bounds’ the sense of betrayal and the deep pain involved resurfaces, to suggest that poetry for the poetess is a healer. ‘Day’ was an interesting poem to analyze as here the rhymes and the mild tempo were compatible with the mood, which was somewhat a bland of melancholy tinged with an epic notion. ‘Food’ surprised me in the valiant separation between the material world and the spiritual world. The poetess is definitely metaphysical and her awareness of food’s damage to her body and soul in instructive. I thought that it was not a coincidence that the poetess used the word evil in association with money and food in this collection, as both money and food corrupts mankind and are the roots of evil when abuse is involved. The poetess advocates for the balance and not for the loss of it. Hence, her poetry is subversive of materialism, as it promotes higher values and calls for a new way of life in a higher level of consciousness. ‘In the mirror’ was a harsh poem of self criticism. I felt sorry for the poetess to be so harsh on herself. It could, however, be interpreted as criticism against lack of achievements in regard to human experience rather than a dissatisfaction that stems from a lower self esteem. The poetess, nevertheless, is fixated on moral order and I believe that one of the flaws of such a wonderful order is harsh self criticism. ‘The beast’ is a great poem, as here I have truly identified with the poetess. It was probably the most realistic poem in regard to humanism. The recognition of the dark side is denied by many humans, yet the poetess speaks of it here in truth, and I felt that she was in fact in control of her beast. The awareness of the beast and the acceptance of its needs are clearly understood and respected by the poetess. And here I felt that her criticism against the confinement of a human being is justified, as we are not robots programmed to work for the system of man, we are human beings that were born to enjoy life. Society has subordinated human beings and demonized them, calling them beasts when they dream to have a real life, a better life, thus the poetess here is definitely a redeemer and a savior. It was definitely one of the strongest messages in this book. The struggle of Yin and Yang is implied in this poem and it suggests that the balance is in fact attainable. T he poetess, despite her survival in the system of man, is a metaphysical realist, and a rebel that refuses to bow down to the vanity of society. She is devoted to humanity, a fact which renders her a super human. The last line in ‘Take me home’ was a call to return home to the realm of salvation, as life on earth is quite a horrible experience for a higher being. It was an emotional poem, in which the soul yearns to return to the heavenly realm. In ‘Conflicted’ I was blown away by the striking following lines:

‘It feels like I’m about to give birth
Give birth to a clouded second earth’

It was a wonderful way for the poetess to express her melancholy mood, but her powerful tone suggests that she has a divine faculty and even an apocalyptic connection. Here is where poetry becomes prophetic and supreme. The mention of home later in the poem, once more imply as for the metaphysical rank of her soul. It was a brilliant poem despite the final confessions of apprehension and fear. My favorite poems in this book were ‘Angry’, ‘How low’ and ‘The Boy’. In ‘The Boy’ there was a grand message which is adverse to the belief in divine intervention. That was simply a great realization of the truth, as many people fails to understand it. The poetess realized that her only way out of the abyss of darkness can occur with an individual intervention of her own self. Her altruism won’t help her; she needs to realize that selfishness is not always the enemy. One has to save oneself. It was simply a superb poem of self realization through agony. ‘Angry’ was simply the best rebellious poem in this poem. The poetess is an advocate of higher of individualism, and her anger is in fact liberating. Moreover, her seemingly loss of situation has to do with the low gravity of human society. I felt for her rebellious spirit because she was right. Her convictions were aligned with the balance of justice. Her unique individualism is not appreciated and that is a natural cause for frustration. For me, however, the best poem in this book was ‘How low’ because the final line was an expression of a doubt, and yet the poetess came out stronger with this soul feeding collection of poetry. Paradoxically, the poetess meant how high she can soar, and I feel that her creativity will definitely make a difference in the world. Poets are the true moral leaders of society. Sarah Fairbairn is the evidence of such a proclamation. Her way to bloom, however, requires light, water, and a good soil. I truly hope that her family, friends, and society will accept her for who she really is: a volcanic poetess of justice and righteousness. She is truly wearing the garment of a literary sage and a fair judge.

Additional characteristics and epithets: Honest, sensible, diffusing, ethical, straightforward, temperamental, sensitive, critical, admonisher, emotional, rebellious, spiritual guide, judgmental, epic, humorous, divine, veracious, celestial and sentimental.