The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black

Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Summary:

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black takes place in a small town surrounded by forests where magical creatures, like elves, live. There is a glass casket at the edge of the town where a boy with pointed ears sleeps. He hasn’t woken up in many, many years. One day he is found to be missing, and the story unwraps from there.

It follows siblings Ben and Hazel and their involvement in the mysterious boy’s waking.

Review:

Before I even picked up this book I knew there was what was described as a “huge twist” in the middle, so as I was reading it I was looking for the twist, and never really found one.

That being said I loved this book! I loved the way that love was portrayed throughout the story. The writing was simple and easy to follow, and the story was a page turner. The book also contained an epilogue that tied up all of the story lines, while leaving most of it up to the readers imagination. severin I loved how you could never quite get a read on what Severin was thinking, and how Hazel was motivated more out of her love for her brother, and romantic love. The writing threads in aspects of embarrassment, making the story seem more relatable. Both Ben and Hazel spilled their guts to the sleeping boy, never thinking that he could hear them, or wake. They both came to love him, in their own ways. It is like pining over a fictional character, and suddenly they are sitting across the room from you, and they have heard everything you have ever said to them. Embarrassing. It was interesting, and a light read, would highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Easily.

I would definitely read something else by Holly Black.

 

~Maddie

Living Away From Home

I am a junior in college. A college that just happens to be 1,192.4 miles away from my family. I chose to go far away for school, in fact I didn’t apply to any schools in my home state. I wanted to try and be on my own.

I have always found it easy to be independent, to think for myself. This being said, being on your own, in a place where you know no one, can come with it’s challenges.

In my first semester I kept to myself mostly. Yes, I made friends, but I was shy and preferred my own company, rather than theirs.

Second semester I tried to be more outgoing. To make connections with people. It was that semester that I came to be close with my little group of friends. k0502332 I ended up leasing a house with them starting this summer. I have never been a very outgoing person, but forcing myself to be around people more gave me the best group of friends I have ever had.

I miss my family every day though. I try to call my grandmother at least every other day, and I text and call my mom at least every day. Being away from my little brother and dog is by far the hardest, and when I am home I try to fit in as much time with them as I can.

When I am home my family treats me like they haven’t seen me in years. They make the food I like, and do the things I want to do, that is until the novelty wears off after a few days and it’s back to normal, like I was never away.

When it comes time for me to leave again it is always hard. I try to focus on the fact that I am becoming more independent, and when I’m away, every decision is up to me. For me, that is an exciting thought.

My advice for anyone moving away from home, either for college or some other reason, is to make friends. Surround your self with people who make you happy. Also, try and keep in touch with family. That will help you feel like you are still a part of their lives, and you theirs.

Family, like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.

 

~Maddie

Scars

Most people have scars, mine just happen to be caused by my own hand. If anyone is triggered by mentions of scars caused by self harm please stop reading now.

I have depression, and cutting was one way that I coped. The marks from that time can be found on my left shoulder, my left forearm, stomach, and both thighs.

At first I hated them and was ashamed of them. But, now I love them and am proud. My opinion changed when I realized that the scars were a record of what I have been through. Each mark is proof that I have fought the demons that reside in my head, and lived to tell the tail.

I haven’t gotten any negative reactions from strangers, just people staring and asking where I got them. Most are surprised when I am so open with my response, which is usually “I have depression and these are the marks of one way that I used to cope.”

You would be surprised how many people answer with their own similar stories.

When it comes to friends I find it easier to handle their reactions. Any friend that has had a negative reaction to my scars has been cut out of my life. If they can not accept or be supportive of what I have been going through then their friendship isn’t worth keeping up with. The friends that I have kept, and made, sense then have been the best ones I have ever had.

Many people with scars from any type of self harm may be worried about how a significant other will react to them. I got lucky, my boyfriend has never treated me any different because of my scars. We have been together for nine months now, and they are normal to us. But, if you are dating someone who doesn’t react as favorably to your scars, I would try to explain to them your feelings behind them. If that doesn’t work, I would urge you to think about your future with this person.

My family used to stare at them, make sure that I wan’t cutting anymore. They have said that they don’t want to see anymore. They have been nothing but supportive. After five years of having them I only catch them staring occasionally.

Have I ever covered my scars?

No. I have never intentionally covered my scars. Even when I was ashamed of them, I wanted to see peoples reactions to them. I think part of me wanted to let someone who may be struggling with something similar that they are not alone.

When I was cutting and hiding it I would look at other peoples bodies, searching for scars. For something to prove that this could be survived with dignity. 

So, I wear what I want, showing my scars, because they are part of me. I am proud of the stories they represent.

If you want more information on self harm and how to help someone going through it click HERE.

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can find a list of suicide hotlines by clicking on this link.

~Maddie

Journaling

I currently have 5 journals going. To most that may seem like a lot, but each one I use for something different.

The first one (purple) I started my sophomore year of high school. I use it to put down all of my thoughts when I am sad. When I get down I feel it helpful to just rant on paper. This journal is full of rants, poems, and drawings, all done when I am sad, or upset.

The second (blue) journal I started my junior year of high school. I use it for daily journaling. Happy thoughts, things I did that day, my thoughts on the world around me at the time. I like trying to write every day, so that I can look back and see how my views have changed, or how I accomplished something I was once scared to do.

The third journal I started my senior year of high school. I copy down song lyrics I like, poems I want to remember, books I have finished and the date at which I finished them.

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I try to keep this one neat. It is the only journal that I am using where every entry is not dated. I do this because what it written is the important part, not what date they are written. I find that one way to move people is with words, so I try to put beautiful works of writing in this beautiful journal.

The last two I started my sophomore year of college.

The black one is just a plane sketchbook, and I use it as a bullet journal. If you want to know more about bullet joarnaling click HERE. I use it as another calendar along with the one I carry from class to class.

The one with the red binding I use as sort of a “catch all.” I put down random story ideas that come into my head, but aren’t fully formed. I write down blog past ideas that I want to write, but aren’t at my computer. I have just gotten in the habit of carrying this journal with me every where I can. I find it comforting to have something to write down the ideas that pop into my head.

A journal that I want to add to this would be something small that I can carry easily. I would use this just to scribble in. I find that sometimes sitting in class can give me anxiety, and it would help to have something to scribble in, simple to get the anxiety out in a place that wouldn’t wreak my notes.

Each journal is a record of that I have been through, and what I have done. To me that is the most powerful part.

 

~Maddie