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Vook: Books + Video Games

Book Review: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) 

Rating: 4 stars

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Like Throne of Glass, I found that I enjoyed reading this book. I found the story to be captivating, wanting to find out what Celaena would do after the competition. She is exactly the same character I remember from this book’s predecessor, except she does go through some development of her own whenever an unfortunate event occurs with one of her dearest friends in the castle. Her development was a shift I never saw coming and made me appreciate her character even more.  

One element of Crown of Midnight I enjoyed was the emotional pull I felt as events unraveled. A lot of things happened in this book. While I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of everything, I felt like there was a lot more deeper emotions in this one than I experienced in Throne of Glass. I think part of it is because as Celaena continues to stay at the castle, she starts becoming closer to the people around her. To the point when something happens to them, she does everything in her power to protect those who she holds dear. 

I also enjoyed seeing the politics at play in this series. Celaena is conflicted throughout about her actions and that the king will find out what she’s done. She’s stuck between making a lot of serious choices, resulting in consequences occurring that shake up her character. In this book, we finally see an emotional side to Celaena that we haven’t experienced before. She feels pain, regret and anger at some of the choices she’s made, but ends up continuing to do everything in her power to fix her wrongs. To the point where some of her serious relationships falter due to the hurt and pain she’s experiencing. 

Another favorite part of this book for me was seeing Dorian’s character continue to grow. He’s the king’s son, yet he’s completely different from his father altogether. The way his development progressed surprised me because Maas changed him in ways I didn’t see coming. But they are changes that made sense to me in the overall story. 

Like with Throne of Glass, so much happens in this book, which I see as both a good and bad thing. It’s good because the story is progressing in ways I didn’t see coming. But it’s bad because it can sometimes make it hard to continue reading, due to the overwhelming amount of information presented. 

I also found myself wondering what the king’s perspective is of everything going on. Yes, I get he’s not heavily involved with some of these events, but they do impact him too. Especially the magical elements that are included in the story. I know he’s technically the villain so he’s not going to have a bigger role in the story arch until things really start rolling, but I think it would’ve been nice to see what his perspective is of what’s going on in his castle. It’s his kingdom so I feel like he’d definitely have some clue as to what’s going on at some point in the story. 

However, Crown of Midnight  was still a fantastic read. I enjoyed all of the fantasy elements in the story and I feel like the characters are continuing to make me invested in what’s going to happen next. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series to see where Celaena’s journey takes her.  

If We Were Having Coffee: Let’s Play Quidditch

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well today and are having a wonderful weekend. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how this week felt like it was dragging on. I don’t know why exactly, but it felt like it was a pretty slow week for me. Maybe part of it has to do with not really doing a whole lot after getting off from work. The only activity I had outside of work was whenever I went to the mall to grab dinner with a friend Wednesday night. We went to Chick-fil-A to eat, then walked around the mall. My friend and I had a good time and are planning to hang out again on Sunday and on Valentine’s Day go to a place opening in the mall called Dave & Buster’s, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s an arcade gaming place where you can have dinner, drink and play games. A place I’ve never gone to and can’t wait to see what it’ll be like. 

Other than that, the rest of the week has dragged on. Even at work, things haven’t been too exciting. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but we have a co-worker who’s been slacking on the job. I don’t want to get into too many of the details, but it’s been frustrating to deal with because with this co-worker, we have to give them specific instructions in order for them to do their job properly. There isn’t much else we can do about it but hope our co-worker realizes what there doing and will do the best they can to handle their responsibilities. Otherwise, I don’t know what we will do. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you my weekend plans make up for the rest of the week. On Saturday, My Mom and I went to a South Regional Championship Quidditch tournament that took place at a park a couple minutes away from my house. We went there with some friends of my Mom. For those unfamiliar with Quidditch, it is a sport played in the Harry Potter series. A game on brooms where your team’s goal is to score more points. This can be achieved through getting a ball called the Quaffle through one of three hoops on your opponent’s side of the field. But in order to do so, your team’s Chasers have to get to the hoops your Keeper is guarding. But as a Chaser you have to be careful because each team has two Beaters whose goal is to knock the Chaser away from the Quaffle so they can’t score any points. Each team also has a Seeker, whose main focus is to catch the Golden Snitch, which gives your team 150 points and ends the match. Oh, and this sport in the series is played on broomsticks with players flying on the field. 

So whenever I heard about this championship from Mom’s friends, I knew I had to go to it. To see people play a sport in a series I love, to watch it come to life. And I loved it, had quite a blast. Every game was fast paced and while Quidditch in real life is different from the series, I still enjoyed it because of how much the game is accurately portrayed. Yes, the players couldn’t fly in the air on broomsticks, but it was definitely very similar to the sport I loved in the series. I really loved it because it was exactly what I expected. I figured it would be really fast paced and hard to keep up, and I wasn’t disappointed. Each game had an intensity I can’t describe. You’d have to be there to witness it with your own eyes. But it was fun, even if I had a hard time keeping track of each team and which team won the matches I enjoyed.

I had no difficulty following the rules of the game though. Part of that is not only due to my knowledge of the series. Whenever I was in college, our school had one of the local college Quidditch teams come to my school during my first year. The team explained to us the rules of the game as well as had those who were interested play it. I volunteered and was able to experience Quidditch for a brief period of time playing as a Chaser in one game, then a Beater in the next. That experience made me realize how difficult Quidditch physically can be as well as made me love it even more. 

Anyway, enough about that. Here are some of my pictures from the Quidditch Championship I took on Saturday. 

One of the selfies I took at the championship. 

I really enjoyed these matches, even though now my face is so red I look like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. I guess that’s what I get for not wearing any sunscreen. 

On Sunday, I’ll be hanging out with a friend, then this week will be over. I hope you all are doing well and having wonderful weekends too. Stay well friends and see you next week!  

If We Were Having Coffee: Super Bowl Sunday Weekend 

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great weekend so far and that this week hasn’t been too bad for you. 

If we were having coffee, I’d let you know why I haven’t been writing as much on my blog. I’d tell you my laptop is permanently unusable and that I need to get a new one. I’ve been using my tablet for all of my writing needs and will continue to do so until I have enough money saved up to get one. But until then, I’ll continue doing the best I can to bring some fresh content to my blog in the near future. 

I’d also tell you about work. It’s been okay these last couple weeks. I still feel the same way about my job as I did last year. But I’m actually trying the best I can this time around to stay positive and not let all of the negative energy there affect me. Some days it’s easier said than done for me. But the good thing is that the hours have changed to where I’ll be getting off work earlier than I used to. There aren’t as many students here this semester so they’ve been cutting hours. And I also did ask about getting off earlier because it’s easier for Mom and I. It saves her gas money and she doesn’t have to worry about going back and forth to come and get me. Plus, it gives us a couple extra hours to spend together at home. And so far, it’s been a really great change to my schedule. It allows me a little time at home to relax before bed away from work and I don’t have to deal with whatever is going on at work when I’m not there. I also go in earlier too so I’m not hanging around, waiting for my shift to start. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I feel like things have been crazy here. Not here as in my life, but in the United States of America. I don’t want to get too political on here, but I do feel like this briefly needs to be addressed. Ever since Trump has been sworn in, I’ve just been feeling a little uneasy. Also more aware of what’s been going on by reading more of the news on a daily basis. I know it’s mostly because I’m not at all a Trump supporter (and probably never will be) and because the things he’s doing aren’t necessarily great or going to really benefit our country in any way. I don’t know what’s going to happen in these next couple years, and I’m trying too hard not to think about what he’s done already. I just know I’m feeling angry about him being our president because of the choices he’s already making and also mentally preparing myself for what’s to come next. I just don’t think he’s going to make a good leader for our country. But unfortunately, we are stuck with him right now. 

Anyway… I’d also want to tell you that I’ve slowly but surely started back to reading again. Just with these new work hours, I haven’t done as much with my free time as I’d have liked. Mostly been watching some of my favorite Youtubers play Undertale. But now I’m continuing to read Crown of Midnight, the second book in the Throne of Glass series I’ve started. I’ve also since this weekend started playing the game Fire Emblem Heroes on my phone. I saw someone I follow on Twitter posting pictures of their team in the game and it intrigued me enough to want to play it too. I also was interested in playing it because I’ve never played any of the Fire Emblem games, but have always wanted to. So that’s something I’m going to do now with this game. Once I’ve played it for a little while, I’ll post my review of it here on my blog for you all to enjoy.

And that’s mostly it. This weekend is also the Super Bowl, which I’m not too excited about because I don’t like football as much as I used to. I do however have family that lives in Boston so I know they will be cheering on the Patriots to win this game. But even though football isn’t really my thing, I hope everyone that does enjoys the game enjoys what’s left of the weekend. 

Flash Fiction Challenge: It Was All Just a Dream

For Chuck’s Flash Fiction Challenge, the writer is challenged to write about something that scares them. While I have a couple fears that could easily be fun to write about, I’ve decided on one I know really is a part of my character: not being able to protect those I love from harm. 

It was midnight once again when I found myself still struggling to go to sleep. I thought I’d be able to go to bed now, but my eyes refused to close. I know I’m tired and need this sleep so I can get up for work in the morning, but I just can’t seem to close my eyes. No matter what I do, my body refuses to rest. I feel hyper, like I’ve taken a sip from an energy drink I never bought. Almost as if I could stay awake for the rest of the night. 

Finally after what seemed like many hours later, I felt my eyelids droop. I could hear the sounds of my restful breathing as I inhaled and exhaled the air around me. It was peaceful and comfortable in my bed to the point where I could hear my mother snore from her room downstairs. 

I drifted into a dreamless sleep for the next hour. Then all of a sudden, I was having a nightmare. In this horrible nightmare, those I love were being harmed in some way or another. And there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. I felt helpless as I found out my best friend was dead and watched my mom and sister being hurt right before my eyes. I tried reaching out to my loves ones in this dark nightmare, but there was nothing I could do to stop it. 

Then all of a sudden, I’m lurched awake from these terrible visions. I wake up, tears streaming down my face with no recollection of what just occurred. All I know is that my dreams were of the people I love being taken away from me, but can’t remember anything other than feeling completely helpless and hopeless. I feel like I’m being punched in the gut, yet can’t find the cause of this type of violence against me. 

It takes quite awhile for me to realize what I just saw in my sleep was all just a dream because it all felt so real. So real, like it actually happened. 

So real that even when I’ve finally calmed myself enough to go back to sleep, the tears are still streaming down my face with no sign of stopping. Because while it was all just a dream, it’s something I truly feel could happen and it scares me. 

If We Were Having Coffee: Life Lessons at 24

Welcome to my first coffee post of 2017! My birthday was this weekend so I figured it’d only be fitting to use a coffee cake image for this post. I hope you all are enjoying 2017 so far. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I officially started back to work this past week. So far, it’s been okay. It’s actually been pretty slow there so most of our hours are being cut. I don’t mind too much though because I’ll be working from 8:30 to 5:30 instead of my usual 10:30 to 7:00. So I’ll actually be getting done earlier, exactly like I wanted. I also haven’t been stressing out too much about the problems at work since I’ve been back, which has probably helped me significantly. It’s almost as if the storm has already passed and we are simply just drifting out to sea. I know having Monday off will definitely help. 

I think what’s helped though was I had time off away from work. Speaking of which (if I haven’t already), Christmas break went well. My grandmother was down through all of it so I spent my days with her doing whatever she wanted, whether it be baking cookies or decorating the Christmas tree. It was nice seeing her, even when she was getting on my nerves like she sometimes tends to do. The only disappointment with Christmas break has been my laptop. First my Internet connection wasn’t fully functional, now my charger doesn’t work anymore. So that’ll need to be taken care of at some point. Hopefully, I’ll just need to get a new charger and not have to replace it completely. But for now, I’ve been using my tablet for all my Internet needs, including my blog posts. And it’ll continue to be that way until the laptop situation is handled. 

Speaking of writing, I have some news for the new year. The platform I’ve been using for some of my video game posts and other posts, Creators is creating another platform. It’s going to be for Indie gaming and is going to be a great way for gamers and developers to interact with each other. If you want to know what I’m talking about, here you go. Anyway, I received an email after I signed up about that they are looking for writers and people to interact in the community, to email back if your interested. So I emailed back letting them know I’m definitely interested. So I’ll be doing that now too, which is really cool and exciting to me. This platform is supposed to launch this month so I can’t wait to see how this’ll work out for me. I think it’ll be an amazing opportunity to be able to write about one of my passions and hopefully make good connections within the video gaming industry. If you want to see some of my posts already on the Creators platform (some of which aren’t on my blog because I’m taking their Creators Academy course to become a Verified Creator), here is the link. 

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I feel like I’m doing well with writing more this year. I’ve already written so much and we’ve just gotten halfway through January. And this is just the beginning. I saw a Flash Fiction Challenge the other day I’m very interested in doing. I’m not going to spoil you with the details because I want you to read it. All I’ll say is it’s probably going to be super personal. Either way, expect that to come as soon as I publish this coffee post because that’s what I want to write about next. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue writing at this magnitude, but only time will tell. 

I’d like to also tell you that I think I’ll reach my reading goal for this year. Already, I’ve finished reading Lair of Dreams and The Book Jumper and am getting started with Crown of Midnight, the second book in the Throne of Glass series. I’ve also recently been playing The World Ends With You and just recently finished watching A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix. I plan on continuing to play this game and watch Criminal Minds whenever the mood sets me. 

I know I’ve already mentioned my birthday, but with getting older, I usually like to quickly reflect on what I think I’ve learned. What I can currently say about being 23 is that there were quite a bit of ups and downs. I know a part of my problem was that I was stressing out about work too much. To the point where it affected me emotionally both on and off the job. I also had a new friendship begin to form that’s continuing to grow in completely unexpected ways. At the age of 23, I was also struggling to continue to let my broken heart heal, to let go of the past and embrace the future and just not worry about things too much. In essence, I was somewhat emotionally unbalanced and reaching to my breaking point. 

But after some much needed thinking, I’ve been looking at things with a different perspective. And I’ve come to realize that there are only so many things that I can control. What other people do or say is beyond my control. How I react to situations is what matters. So what I’m hoping to do now that I’m 24 is not let things easily get to me. To try and stop the unneeded drama at work from  causing me stress and continue to realize I can’t please everybody. 

I’ve also come to realize I’m much stronger than I think. That I’m going to be alright even when things seem dark in the world. That my dreams are possible as long as I continue working towards them. I know I’m already healing and am proud of what I’ve accomplished this year alone, both with my writing on my blog and taking care of myself. I hope that with turning 24, life will continue to bless me in unexpected ways and I’ll be able to accomplish my dreams to the fullest. 

With this in mind, I wish you all a good weekend. I hope 2017 hasn’t been too bad for you so far and hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Book Review: The Book Jumper

                                       Rating: 2 stars

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House—but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts—at whatever cost.

This book wasn’t quite what I expected. Told from the perspective of Amy Lennox, a girl whose family has the ability to jump into books, I was hoping this would be a much better read. 

But before I get into what was bad, let me quickly tell you what I enjoyed about The Book Jumper. I found the story itself to be interesting. Even though I’ve read a book similar to this one (Inkheart), I find the idea of being able to immerse yourself into your favorite stories and meet some of your favorite characters to be very exciting. As someone who hopes to one day publish a story of my own, books like this remind me why I love reading and writing so much. They bring out the love in storytelling for me and make me interested in reading books I haven’t enjoyed in a really long time. 

I also liked the characters. Despite any of them having any sort of development, I found the characters to be relatable. I also loved finding out how they were connected to each other in Stormsay. Each of the characters had an important role to play and it was interesting to see how everything turned out in the end. I liked getting to meet some of the literary characters because it was nice to see how they interacted with each other. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book was seeing Amy’s ability in action. I was curious about how the author was going to incorporate book jumping into the story and wasn’t disappointed. It was interesting to see that book jumping had zero affect of the original plot of the books unless jumpers themselves decided to interfere with the story. 

I also like the book cover and the little paragraphs before each chapter. It looks really beautiful, like the story came out of a fairy tale.  I found the little paragraphs before each chapter to be very captivating. After reading this story, you understand their purpose and see how they connect to the overall plot.

Sad to say but there were so many things with this book that made it hard to enjoy it as much as I’d have liked. I found the writing to be too dense, almost as if the author was trying to pack everything in at once. And it showed. The reader can see it in the story when it comes to the plot. It’s all rushed, like the author had no time to continue writing this story. 

There’s also a lack of character development and morals in this book that bothers me. I find that even though the characters can be relatable, they don’t really learn from what happens in this story. They don’t change or progress in any way that shows that what happened in the story affected their lives. The only exception to this is Amy since she didn’t know about her abilities until she and Alexis came to Stormsay. What also bothers me with The Book Jumper is the way protecting the stories is portrayed. Throughout the book, Amy again and again is telling everyone that something is going on in the literary world. But nobody believes her or listens to her, except for Will. Instead, they get mad she’s using her abilities to go to other literary world’s when she’s been assigned to watch over one of them. Even when a literary character loses their life in the real world, nobody bats an eye. They continue moving on as if nothing happened. In many ways, it’s as if the events in this book happened in a small vacuum because nobody else in the real world is affected by the outcome. 

Even though I enjoyed reading The Book Jumper, I’m sad because it’s not as good as it could be. It had so much potential, but the author didn’t manage to pull it off. 

Book Review: Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2)

                                                                

                                               Rating: 3 stars

The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.

After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people’s secrets, she’s become a media darling, earning the title “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” Everyone’s in love with the city’s newest It Girl…everyone except the other Diviners.

Piano-playing Henry DuBois and Chinatown resident Ling Chan are two Diviners struggling to keep their powers a secret—for they can walk in dreams. And while Evie is living the high life, victims of a mysterious sleeping sickness are turning up across New York City.

As Henry searches for a lost love and Ling strives to succeed in a world that shuns her, a malevolent force infects their dreams. And at the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans that extend farther than anyone can guess…As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dream world to save the city?

Lair of Dreams was a great read for me because the story and characters made me want to find out more. I enjoyed this book because the story centered around the ability for Diviners to walk through dreams. In particular, it centered around my favorite character’s friend Henry and introduced us to Ling, both whom can walk through dreams. I found this part of the story to be interesting because readers found out more about Henry and also learned how the dream world played a role in the events that followed. I also find dreams to be a fascinating subject, which allowed me to enjoy this book even more. Especially when Ling discovered a new ability she could harness in the dream world. I liked learning Henry could walk through dreams because it’s a nice tidbit of information that Libba Bray didn’t include in The Diviners. It also allowed me to learn more about his character before he and Theta had become friends. I also liked learning more about Theta and how she plays an important role in the story. 

I also enjoyed this story because the dream world felt so real. Bray really did a good job of making dreams so powerful that nobody would want to wake up from them. She really made the place Henry and Ling went to feel so real as if I was there myself. But she also did well at showing the dark side of dreaming and how it can affect the mind. This can be seen through Henry who starts visiting the dream world more frequently because the love of his life is there. He then starts staying in the dream world for longer periods of time to the point where it affects his everyday life. You as the reader also see this through the sleeping sickness. This sickness is the main root of our character’s problems as the sickness spreads and affects one of their own. It’s up to them to stop the cause before the sickness can spread through the whole city. 

I also enjoy the mystery of the series surrounding Project Buffalo and Blind Bill. Bray gives us little details about Project Buffalo that make us continue to be invested in the series. I also like the way Blind Bill’s character is portrayed and can’t wait to find out what his main role will be in the rest of the series. 

While I don’t particularly like the ending of Lair of Dreams, it has many more flaws that’ve caught my attention. One of my biggest criticisms of this book is Evie’s character. In The Diviners, I really didn’t mind her character too much. However, I feel like she’s devolved since then. She’s now famous because of her powers and goes on the radio to show off her ability to read objects. She also no longer wants anything to do with her uncle and starts going to parties almost every night because of her celeb status. I feel like all of these things made me like her character less because she becomes shallow, vain and selfish and allows her fame to get to her head. While I understand why she’s doing all of these things, I just had a hard time sympathizing with her and wanting to read her role in this book. She becomes so caught up in city life she fails to realize how much danger she and the people she loves are in, causing her not to play as much of a vital role in the story. 

I also disliked the role Will’s character plays in the story. I hate it because Bray doesn’t really tell us where he’s gone off to and the only time we see his character after he leaves causes the reader quite a bit of confusion. I find this to be a serious flaw in the story because it leaves me with a lot of questions that don’t get answered by the end of the book. It would’ve been nice to have some answers instead of feeling more confused than when I started. 

While I very much enjoyed reading Lair of  Dreams, there were so many issues I had with it that I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I’d hoped. 

First Impressions: The World Ends With You

Released in 2008 by Square Enix and Jupiter, The World Ends With You is an action, role-playing game. The story centers around a young boy named Neku in a city called Shibuya, one of the biggest cities in Japan. He wakes up in the middle of the city with no clue who he is and how he got there. He quickly realizes as he explores the city that he’s in the Reaper’s Game, a seven day challenge where the players have to complete one mission a day under a time limit or face being erased from the game. As Neku continues exploring Shibuya, he also fights these creatures called Noise and makes allies with other players in order to survive.

In The World Ends With You, you are partnered up with another player in order to fight Noise and given unique pins. These pins give you powers that allow you to defend yourself against Noise as well as scan the people around you to read their thoughts and further complete your missions. These pins are one of the things I enjoy most about this game because they give you a unique battle experience.

Here are some of the pins from The World Ends With You.

When battling Noise, you are given slots for your pins. Each pin you put in a slot are the ones you can use when fighting Noise. You can put whichever pins you want in a slot as long as they aren’t the same type of pin. This gives the player the opportunity to use a unique set of pins to fight off their foes and level up their pins.

During each fight, you and your partner are on separate screens while battling the Noise. The great thing about this is you can control both characters during your fighting in order to give out more damage. However, whenever you receive damage, your health is depleted from the same bar and controlling both players isn’t always the most ideal because one player could be losing health while your controlling someone else. This can easily be fixed in the menu screen so you can focus on controlling Neku and not have to worry about your partner losing health.

While I enjoy this fighting style, one of its weaknesses is controlling the pins. When fighting Noise, sometimes the pins don’t always work even when you’re doing things correctly. I know part of the problem is because all of the controls during battling involve using your stylus, which can be quite a big turn off during gameplay. I know I definitely can find it annoying at times when I know I’m using a pin correctly, but it’s not doing what it’s supposed to.

What I also enjoy about playing The World Ends With You is the unique art style and storyline. When playing the game, the art really catches my eye. I find it to be beautiful and completely immersive because it reminds me of comic books. I’m also enjoying the storyline because the plot doesn’t give everything away at once. With each day, you learn a little more about the characters you didn’t know before. But you also find out more about this Game and understand why the players are in it.

Overall, my experience with The World Ends With You has been a good one so far. I hope to continue playing this game to find out what other secrets have yet to be unlocked for me.

Bringing Hope Into the New Year

happy-new-year-2017-image

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” -Neil Gaiman

Since the end of 2016 is here, I want to use this time to reflect on what this year has brought for me. While I know a lot of people say this year has been a terrible one, it really hasn’t been quite as awful to me. Yes, it hasn’t been a very great year either, but I’ve had a lot worse happen in my life in comparison to what I’ve had from this one year alone.

In this year, I feel proud of what I’ve managed to do. Now, I didn’t do a whole lot to really be proud of, but I’m proud of myself for my continuous effort to blog on here even at times where I didn’t think any writing would get done. I know I didn’t keep up my promise to write multiple blog posts in one week. I know that was something I genuinely wanted to do. But I understand now with my writing that I’d rather it not be rushed and that I’ll always be looking to improve myself like this with each new year to come. I’m proud that I kept up my blog during the year, despite all of the different things that happened during this time and that I haven’t lost any followers since I’ve been here on WordPress. My goal for this new year is to continue putting up work on my blog that people will continue to enjoy. And if there’s anything I can do at all to make sure that continues to happen, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in this post below with ideas or suggestions of things you’d like to see here. I’m always open for new ideas, new topics to be explored and want to do the best I can to make sure that happens.

Besides continuing to improve my blog, I hope in the new year to continue improving in my writing as well as continue working on improving myself. While I know most of the writing I do ends up here on Vook: Books + Video Games, I still want my writing to get better. I want my writing to improve each year in some small way or another, even if there’s nothing wrong with the way I write. I also want to write more too. I know there’s never any guarantee of that happening, but I always want to hope for the best whenever I can. I also want to work on improving myself too because there’s always room for self-reflection in life.

I know how critical I can be of myself. I know it’s mostly because of the troubles I’ve been dealt in life. I haven’t always had things as easy as I do now and know how fortunate I am to still be here. I think about my past, about what I’ve been through in such a short amount of time and am proud of how strong of a person I am. I know at times I blame myself for the things that have already happened, as if I had control of those situations and could stop them from happening. But I know now that there wasn’t anything I could do and that I’m the person I am today because of it. So with this new year, what I want from myself is to continue letting go. To stop criticizing myself every time I make a mistake. To stop saying “I’m sorry” to people when you haven’t really done anything wrong. To stop thinking of the troubles of the past and continue embracing what is to come in the future. To live like every moment will be your last breath. To stop letting the past break you down and leave you with scars that will never heal. To never forget, but remember that there is more to life than what you were once dealt. To stop letting your emotions get to you and realize that you are surrounded by people who love you. To continue giving chances even when you get hurt because you know you are strong enough to pick yourself back up again. I hope in this new year to come, I’ll be able to do these things and feel confident enough to share stories of my past without breaking down into tears.

While 2016 is ending, I’d like to bring hope into the new year. I know 2016 has been a rough year for a lot of people, either because they lost someone they loved or because of other personal traumas they might’ve experienced that they are still coping with. While I know this year didn’t turn out the way people wanted, know that you will be okay. Things might seem rough and difficult now, but know there are people that if you let them will be there for you when you need them. I say this, both to everyone following my blog or not. For those who are struggling, I am here. To listen, to learn, to understand—to be here when you need someone close by.

What I’m trying to say but realize now I’m not doing such a good job is that I hope things get better for you in 2017. Look at this new year as a fresh start. If you see certain things in your life aren’t working out and you know what you can do to change them, then do so. Make those changes, make things a little easier for yourself. And if you make mistakes along the way, that’s okay too. Embrace those mistakes and learn something from them so that you can continue on your way.

Happy 2017 everyone. I hope this year you are able to get accomplished everything you want and more. That all of your dreams come true and have a fabulous year.

 

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