Book Review: Bone Gap

Before I start, I just wanted to say that I acknowledge that it's been a long time since I've written a book review. The truth is, I've had to step back in the past six months and reevaluate why I was reading, why I was doing book reviews, and why I was choosing the books I did. I've decided I want to write book reviews on books I enjoy because I want to write book reviews on books I enjoy, and for no other reason than that. Thank you for being patient with me<3

Summary: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby is a contemporary fantasy mixed with realistic fiction, that artfully combines elements of mythology with the trudge of daily life and themes of love and loss. It uses multiple character perspectives to explore these concepts. Finn and Sean live together in Bone Gap, abandoned by everyone and more alone than not. Roza has been abducted by a strange man and is trapped within his hell disguised as heaven. And no matter how many times Finn tries to describe to the people of Bone Gap her kidnapping, nobody believes him. From magical horses and bee-eyed girls, Finn tries to sort out the truth from the myth, and endlessly searches for his missing friend.

I started this book hesitantly, the style felt unfamiliar and awkward for the first few chapters, the characters were confusing, and the plot impossible to follow. I thought about putting it down, but I decided to give it one last chance.

And I'm so glad I did.

This book, once it got into its' rhythm, was amazingly written and so delicately and artistically dealt with complex concepts. I was amazed, by the end, by the way the author had basically defined love and at the same time left it open for reader interpretation. The themes this book expressed were profound, and I appreciated the fact that if focused on many emotional aspects of life, instead of just one static issue. It allowed the characters to be whole people, instead of defined by a trait or feeling. I also loved the style of this book, and the way it was written. There were so many good metaphors and similes in this book, and excellent comparisons. The writing style was so freshly unique and beautiful, I couldn't get enough of it.

I loved the characters in this book. Basically all of them. I enjoyed reading from every point of view, and that's saying something.

Another favorite aspect of this book was how it combined mythos and reality, without defining anything as mythology. Other nerds like myself may have recognized the Fields of Asphodel and the allusions to the myth of Persephone and Hades. But it was never explicitly stated, just carefully woven into the story. It was excellent. I also loved how myths were, before that, constantly mentioned, but only in a background way, like a books on a shelf in Petey's room. Other themes and symbols were threaded throughout as well, the most obvious being corn and bees. It gave the book a strong aesthetic and sense of personality, that keeps it differentiated from other books in your mind.

Finally, I loved the exploration of relationships throughout this book- relationship between brothers, lovers, bullies, dogs, cats, plants, nature, town, etc. Also the way it dealt with beauty- as an appearance and as a true expression of a person.

My only drawback to this book was that I felt the ending was rushed, and not all of the plot was closed. Some things in the ending still didn't quite add up, and I found myself feeling like it was too easy.

Overall, I thought this book excellent, and highly recommend picking it up. What did you think of it? Did you pick up all the subtle themes threaded throughout? Comment below <3

Pleasant Land // Psalm 16

dedicated to my trailhead family. I love you all. you grow flowers in my heart, and this poem will forever be written for you. <3

Crumpled leaves
People bind their books in gold thread
Or wrap them in grocery paper bag
Either way
Words on my cheeks
He writes them in day-old tears and copic marker
I hear acoustic guitar somewhere behind the library’s cold walls, whispering Psalms, the distant sound of my tired, heavy feet crunching over that hot concrete months ago
Where were you in the crisis?
I say
Clinging to tree branches, poetry, song lyrics, flower petals, blue skies, bus stops, and most of all
To refuge
And now
I am in the blessing
For honey is on my tongue and I wake up with it dripped all over the screen of my phone
Ripe apples
Bright red
And heartbeats
I am in the blessing but I hear the shadows behind me, whispering
“Three leaved clovers mean nothing”
They grab at my heels
And bite my neck as I shake in bed
Quietly terrified
I say to them
Lips trembling
“I am in the blessing”
“This land is pleasant”
They hiss in reply
“Blessings are a lie and pleasantries a falsehood”
“All flowers die eventually”
I crouch on the dirt floor
Dead oak leaves scattered around me
And ask my Father
When the demons learned to imitate His voice
He replies
“they are the deceiver but I am the Truth”
He carries me
Dried out
To a cool room made of stone
With stained glass windows letting in murmurs of gentle sunlight
He carries me there and places me on a bed of white
And helps my dead body learn
To rest
And grow lilies out of my ribcage
I’m so shaky
In my prayers I scream frantic apologies for crumbling bone and unsteady fingers on piano keys
And a loss of trust that means a loss of hope
I’m terrified because somehow I’ve lost the puzzle pieces to the space under the couch and pictures don’t make sense anymore
Screaming screaming screaming
To blurry windows and cracked mirrors
Somewhere above my hurricane
The sky
Blinding Light
He Says
And I am
I am
I Am
And I drown in tears and grace because
My poetry
Never ends
But neither does
His unfailing love

Parking Lot Towns

Parking lot towns
Big beige buildings with red brick awnings, stacked up neatly, geometrically arranged, model towns with model cars
White painted rectangles for empty automobiles, big, slightly dusty black trucks with thick tires, shiny red suburbans, license plates still missing, dull, silver audis with dents in the fenders, common cars of common people
There’s a haze in the air, of engine exhaust and floor-polish, tinting the once-blue sky a dusky grey
The mountains sit, ominous, in the distance
Navy blue
Silent, hovering
I hold my breath
I feel myself blur in the edges of photographs,
Hands becoming undefined blobs of shape,
My eyes
I hold my breath
I can’t tell what is up and down and where the parking lot ends
Or even
If it ever does
My dirty green sneakers are half an inch off the ground
My head
An ache behind where my eyes once were
Women with long eyelashes and lips painted burgundy
Curves showing, belly buttons and hips and breasts
Under tight lacy crop tops and long flowy skirts, like bright colored oceans that cling to the skin around pelvises
Sandaled feet with the toes painted a bright, neon pink
Ten dollar purses hang from shoulders like weights, heavy, glitzy metal emblems, insignias, logos, signatures on the clasp, knockoff brands and immitations, sewn hastily, cheap metal painted gold
I catch myself fingering fabric and price tags with .99 at the end of the number and wondering if I have enough
Long acrylic nails grab at single dollar bills and red plastic cards to pay for cheap floral patterns on polyester
They push babies in strollers and bounce them on their hips
Tiny faces with tiny eyes watching makeup smears, mega malls, and car tires
The asphalt desert is thirsty
The men wear shorts to their knees and dangle cigarettes from in between thick, callused fingers and the sides of their mouths
Smoke curls in the night air
Cursive, tattooed letters written on biceps and shoulders, names of sisters and grandmothers and daughters and lovers
Stubble on their chin, hair cropped close, their eyes are dark, intense
You don’t want to get too close
Fast singing to thin, sandy beats with undertones whispering of beer bottles and late nights and tall women blares out speakers and through rolled down windows
He yells at the phone while the woman wearing his ring holds the baby
“Sh sh sh” she whispers, frantic
And he screams
I don’t know
His sister
Past nine o’clock everyone’s voice is slurred
Metallic liquid dranken out of straws
and stale parmesan cheese on wilted lettuce leaves, burgers and pasta that looked better in the glossy menu photographs than they do on the plate
The laughs get louder and the glasses get emptier
The stars are blocked by the haze
Neon lights and loud noises and they all scream about possibilities of winning
Winning what?
I clutch my heart in one hand and red paper carnival tickets in the other
Enjoy your game
I spill my quarters on the floor
My drink is just water
The children scamper around like field mice high on ice cream
Little girls with their hair in pigtails
Little boys wearing light-up spiderman sneakers
The movie theater is the size of my entire town
I brush my hand over the surface and watch it crumble away
I whisper
“Where is the culture?”
They reply
“This is the culture”
I pluck four blades of grass
From the side of the street
They’re all the same length
Exactly three centimeters
They are sharp and the tips of my fingers bleed
The palm trees look plastic and I wonder when mother nature decided to leave this place
And I wonder
If she’ll ever come back
I imagine her roots breaking the hard, black ground, growing over two dimensional hotel rooms
Reclaiming what was once hers but since has been lost
To posters of glistening smiles
And cheap plastic flip flops
It’s only an imagination
The wind is hot and dry, blowing over the surface of the pool
Creating ripples on the glassy, chlorinated blue
It’s deepest end is five feet and I can stand easily and never even get my hair wet
The people’s hearts
Can’t be this shallow
As well
Can they?
Plastic hangers and broken cashiers, shiny floor tiles and high heels spilling off the shelves
I’m sure
There’s flesh and blood
Under all that foundation and faded green ink
I look out
At the endless
Parking lot
Trying to still my dizzy forehead
I hold my breath

But this really isn’t all that fair


Summer is ((finally)) here!
I had a wonderful first day of freedom enjoying the sunshine at the beach. There was also a lot of music and some Panda Express involved. Bliss.

I just wanted to chat a bit with you all about my summer goals and plans. Here's what I'll be up to:

working at camps
GeTtiNg mY LiCEnSe
going to the beach and/or swimming every day
racing my friend to 100 pages of writing by the end of the summer (you're going down Liv)
watching all the Star Wars movies with my nerd of a boyfriend
possibly going to Warped Tour?
shopping ((because I need to buy myself new clothes it's time))
blogging with all you
filling up sketchbooks
completing some large paintings
working on watercolor skills
sleeping in
waking up early
drinking iced tea
working on my comic
reading comics
playing Magic the Gathering
playing video games
taking aesthetic photos
taking not-aesthetic selfies
chilling with friends
listening to large amounts of music
going to the movies
writing poetry about everything
spending too much time on Pinterest
staying at a college for two weeks (ahh)
touring more colleges
hanging with sisters and neighbors
eating popsicles
enjoying the sun

I think that's most of it? If I missed any I'll add them :) What are all of your summer plans? Stay cool <3

Painting Roses

Hello friends-- happy end of spring/beginning of summer!
And for my American friends out there in the internet, happy memorial day, and I hope you all are enjoying your three day weekend.

I have had quite a lovely few days which included a dinner picnic at the courthouse with a movie, a trip to the comic book store, I Madonnari (a chalk-painting festival) at the mission, sitting in the sun at the rose garden, and binging Legion at my friend's house ((anyone else into that show?)). I also spent some time working on Magic the Gathering decks ((I'm a nerd ok you should've figured that out by now)) and going through my old American Girl Doll stuff, which was so nostalgic ((saving it all for my future kids)). It's been nice, and I'm all the more excited for summer now.

What color rose are you? I'm yellow :)

Here have some photos because I like to imagine I'm aesthetic 

2 Year Blogiversary?!?


It's been two years since I started this blog.

Where has the time gone?

For my blogiversary post this year I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of your comments, subscriptions, and views. I know any blogger can tell you how special it feels to have someone appreciate your art and the work you put into the world. I've been through a lot during the time I've written this blog, and, being the way I am, I tend to leave more personal details out of my writing. But whenever I was tired or sad, I loved to check my inbox and see that someone had left a sweet comment on my sketchbook post, or a thought on my poetry. It makes my day every time. And providing you all with quality content you enjoy is something I love doing and want to continue doing for as long as I can.

So as for right now, you may have noticed my posts are starting to shift and change a bit and morph into something new. Things are becoming more personal, but also more ambiguous. I'm trying to keep core things like art, poetry, writing, and photography around but present them in a new format I like. I'm also trying to incorporate more music, because that's becoming such a big part of my life, and always has been. I'm curious to hear your thoughts-- are these posts working for you? Did you prefer older stuff? Are there posts I used to do that I don't anymore that you miss? Posts you wish I'd do more of? Please let me know below. 

Thank you again for all of your support and love. And thank you, those of you that are my fellow blogger buddies, for putting your creations out there as well on your own blogs. They inspire me. Stay wonderful my friends <3

Some Guitar For Those Who Need It

Full Circle- Half Moon Run
Nana- the 1975
BMI Valentine (Acoustic)- Relient K
The Gambler- Fun.
Sleeping Giant- Fort Atlantic
Psalm 46- Jenny & Tyler
Heart- Sleeping at Last
Remember When- O+S
Willow- Arcadian Wild

some gentler stuff for you guys who just want to lay on the grass and stare at the clouds and think about bottlebrush trees and hummingbirds and half written letters in your bedside table drawer. it's ok.