One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus – Book Review

Book Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: May 30th, 2017.

Rating (Out of Five Stars) : 4

Book Review

Now, when I was in Barnes and Noble and looking for books to buy because I had a hole burning in my pocket, my choices were surprising even to myself but when I chose this particular book, it reminded me heavily of Pretty Little Liars and the Breakfast Club, two things that I thoroughly enjoyed watching.

With this story, I must admit, you’re confused for a good amount of time and generally curious about everything going on which is probably why I finished reading it in less than a day (including three Starbucks drinks while I was still in Barnes and Noble…)

The basic premise of this story is that five kids go into detention, all of which having been framed for bringing a phone to class – though I do question if Mr. Avery was actually allowed to root through people’s book bags, that just seems insane to me and I am high school student. During this detention however, only four come out safely as Simon, the resident outcast has an allergic reaction from peanuts after drinking a cup of water.

Immediately, we know a very telling detail that Simon was basically Gossip Girl and told everybody’s business for everyone to hear and that all four of the other students were soon to be subjects in the upcoming update in the story. All of which having their respective secrets that seems to give a motive for why they would want to kill him.

But I am going to stop talking about the details of the book before I give away the whole thing and if I somehow gave it away during this review, I don’t think I would ever be able to forgive myself because story is a MUST READ.

This story handles so many important topics so eloquently and so brilliantly that I have never been happier to find such an amazing book which is surprisingly odd since the writing style itself was a bit complicated.

The story had a constant change in point of view which was important for the story as it wants you to think somebody specifically did it (and I was between the real person who did and somebody else the entire time!) But not only does it handle such amazing topics that are obvious from chapter one but so many more that if you’re into mystery, romance, or suspense, you need to go out and buy the book right now.

So, I am giving this book four stars, though if I separated between writing style and content, the content section would get five stars but switching between four people as much as it did, practically gave me a whiplash and I think there could have been a more eloquent way to handle the four points of views but all things considering, it was an amazing story and if any of you guys have read it, I would love to hear your opinion!

 

Don’t forget to give me a book review request (though it will need to be updated soon!) in the comments of My Book Catalog! And if you guys have any suggestions for a book you want me to read, please tell me!

 

 

My Harry Potter Questions

As many of you know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan (especially considering Apple’s name!) and on my account Hogwarts Extreme, I had to create a profile so here you go and I would love to hear your responses.

House? Slytherin.

Ilvermony House? Horned Serpent.

Magical Creature? Demiguise.

Pets? I would totally have a Kneazle, an Owl, or a Cat. But I actually have a ferret.

Wizarding Job?

Probably a Magizoologist thanks to Newt Scamander whom I would personally love to marry myself, dang Tina for ruining my relationship dreams.

Best Classes?

I really enjoy learning about Care of Magical Creatures as well as Charms and Transfiguration. I think I would also enjoy History of Magic but not if I was stuck with Professor Binns as a professor.

Worst Classes?

Most definitely Potions, I think my nerves would be terrible in that class as I know my nerves are dreadful in Chemistry and the teacher in that class was actually incredibly kind so that would definitely be my answer. I also think I would do pretty dreadful in Arithmancy though I probably would never take the class to find out.

Patronus? On account of my Pottermore, I know my answer to be a Rat.

Order or Death Eater?

Unsurprisingly account on the stereotype of my house, I would like to say I would be a Death Eater though I completely understand the fight of the Order of Phoenix, on account of Voldemort being a bit insane and over zealous in his mission not to mention the complete distaste for muggleborns, I find myself understanding the side of the Death Eaters more. In their eyes, they were forced into hiding around the same time as the Salem Witch Trials and probably had horror stories as the generations passed down so I can only imagine the fear of Muggles finding out once more though I don’t think those with magic should be treated differently like Muggleborns or Halfbloods, I just think Muggles shouldn’t be trusted.

Favorite HP Book?

My favorite would have to be Order of Phoenix because it delves deeper into the backstory of Tom Riddle which I found to be incredibly fascinating as we got to know Voldemorts character a bit better and in general, I think it was the most gut wrenching due to the beloved Sirius Black passing away.

Favorite HP Movie?

My favorite would have to be Prisoner of Azkaban as I am a huge Marauder fan in the movie, my fangirling was at an all time high though the book had the same affect.

Least Favorite HP Book?

My least favorite book would have to be Chamber of Secrets simply because of the child like atmosphere for the book. The entire thing basically delves deeper into the concept of racism and while I understand it was a series for children, this book especially made me wish for it to be a series for adults as I feel like this topic could have been explored better otherwise.

Least Favorite HP Movie?

My least favorite movie would definitely have to be Deathly Hallows as the entire thing was like a huge let down, I was continuously let down due to the lack of spells being used in the final battle. For a kid who managed to beat Voldemort countless times, you would think he actually had dueling skills but in this movie, it is like they completely ignore logic as both him and the rest of the Death Eaters are basically only using disarming spells while in the actual books, Harry Potter was pretty awesome and even used all three of the Illegal Curses which I give him mad props for.

Favorite Professor?

My favorite professor would definitely be Minerva McGonagall as she was continuously the only professor who never treated Harry Potter differently. She treated him as a human being who made mistakes but was still a good kid, effectively taking away points when appropriate and giving them once more when appropriate. She was the most influential teacher in my opinion and the best from who we actually got to see. Filius Flitwick was a bit of pushover, Severus Snape was too stuck in his past, and Dumbledore had clear biased against anybody who wasn’t Harry (Gryffindor should not have won the House Cup in first year, points for a good game of chess, seriously?)

Favorite Character?

My favorite character would have to be either Luna Lovegood or Draco Malfoy. I enjoyed Luna as I thought her to be a great addition to the series as she was rather wonky and peculiar but she was fascinating and I personally would love to read more of her story, particularly an in depth analysis of her mental well being and an explanation on the stories and I still secretly hope she was not imagining those creatures but a lot of me suspects that a lot of it was probably her compensating with the loss of her mother and being bullied (If you like Cho Chang, leave right now!) As for Draco Malfoy, I think had we seen a less biased view of him, a lot of people would have liked him more. He whole heartedly believed in what his family had taught him, something every body should understand and unfortunately didn’t fully understand why everything he said was so crude and disgusting. Despite all of the misunderstanding, I think he was a human being that never really got to see kindness from the other side, not saying he deserved it, but didn’t necessarily want to be a Death Eater like his father and struggled greatly with this.

Favorite Marauder Era Character?

As I believe it should be pretty obvious, I am a huge fan of the Marauder Era and I personally believe had we seen more of Regulus Black, I probably would have fallen hopelessly in love with him which is actually something that I think would be fascinating to write and he is one of those characters that I will fight with you about if you insult him. Don’t you dare. Beyond him, I really liked Xenophilius Lovegood, whom is Luna Lovegood’s father and while I continuously write the actual Marauders as good people, I generally dislike most of them for being bullies. There are countless examples of them being a bully, not just Severus and because of this, I am still upset with Lily Evans though I understand her point, at least a little bit.

I Am a Proud Mother of Apple – My Ferret

 

So, to be completely honest. I absolutely adore all animals. Whether they are soft and furry, scaly, or even just insects. I have always been interested in animals and obsessed with them at that.

Another important aspect of my character is that I am absolutely obsessed with research, I am obsessed with knowing every little thing about any one single subject. When we first moved to a new house, I obsessed over getting a Black Moor Goldfish and obsessed over the perfect tank mates and the right foods and all the right supplies. I put my all into knowing everything I could that at this point, I can look at any single fish and know exactly whether or not they are sick or not which was really helpful when a few months ago, my two Black Moor’s both got ick at the exact same time.

With this fact being known, please don’t start fighting with me in the comments over any of my following choices and revelations as in all honesty, I will listen but in the long run, I probably won’t follow any of your suggestions (depending on what they are) because trust me when I say this, I did my research.

So for as long as I can remember (also known as when I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the first time) , I have always been in love with ferrets. When Alastor Moody transfigured my dear Draco Malfoy into a ferret, I have been completely and utterly in love.

However, it was not until a few months ago that I really took any of my love for ferrets seriously and began to do the research and when it comes to ferrets, you delve deep into that research. You learn about the tricks they can learn, the temperatures they prefer, the amount of time they need, their natural personalities, the foods they need, the treats that they like that are food for them. You learn everything you can and pretty fast because people seriously do want you to learn and know everything you can.

Research has especially become easier due to YouTube though no, this was not my main form of research and yes, I did use various channels and information to perfectly understand what I was being told.

But really, I don’t want to talk about the care and what you’re supposed to do or what you’re not supposed to do though after a bit of my time with my ferret, Apple, I would love to tell you more based off my personal experience so that I include what I have learned.

Before you ask, no I did not adopt Apple primarily due to my mom wanting a baby due to various reasons that can only make sense to her so no, I can’t explain anything more than that. However, we also did not buy from PetSmart or PetCo as I personally am very against both companies and hate the treatment that they give their precious animals. It saddens me that such big companies could just kill an animal and yes, I do realize that some of the stores are an exception but it also disgusts me that they do not do any research nor do they have any knowledge of their animals from my experiences at the store.

Instead, we went to a small shop near where I live that sells a lot of different animals but is not a big name company and gets all of their animals from various breeders locally. I love this place for a variety of reasons, for every employee they have done specific research and each specialize in a few different animals showcased in the store.

I spoke with one of the ferret experts who had previous experiences with ferrets as they had four for themselves in the past and gave me a few amazing tips about them and even helped up get their necessary equipment. They explained to me that at 8 weeks old, they get a shipment of ferrets every couple of months which is really helpful for them as they run out of ferrets very quickly and I was incredibly lucky because when I bought Apple on June 8th, 2017, they had gotten their shipment of ferrets yesterday so my gorgeous little Apple was born on April 12th, 2017.

Because of this, I really wanted to share my love for the store called Friendly Pets which is located in Greensboro, North Carolina but beyond that, I really wanted to talk about Apple who is currently sleeping on my chest as I am typing this.

Apple was in a group of about 5 ferrets at the store and no, I did not get more than one ferret however despite this, when I first saw him, I was immediately fascinated by him. In a group of five ferrets, they were all sleeping and the four were all lying on top of each each and cuddling except for him. He was curled up in a ball sleeping and he was the only one I could reach because of the large glass surrounding them.

When I got an assistant to help me pick him up because I could reach him too well, all I could do was pet him and I was scared to try and pick him in fear of hurting him since I didn’t have a good grip and when I held him, he immediately woke up and starting climbing onto my shoulder to check out the people behind me and started licking my neck and hands and it was the cutest thing ever and I knew from that moment that he was my ferret.

During the car ride home, he ended up going to the bathroom in the box they put him in so he got really upset and wanted out so when I took him out, he immediately started laying in my arms and sleeping and on the way home, we had to stop by Dollar General because we were missing litter and a few other items for him and I really wanted to pick it up so instead of putting him in the box again, I carried him inside and he was so calm. Like he woke up a bit and was looking around but he made absolutely no attempt to get out of my arms.

When we got home, I think he was finally ready to start playing because he started running around the living and looking for things to go into and stuff like that but when my mom and I finally got the cage perfected and I put some of his toys inside the age as well as his very own blanket, he went inside, used the litter box and went straight to sleep but obviously, a little while later he woke up so I let him play around in my room since there is absolutely nothing for him to climb inside and immediately he found a big bouncy ball that has like all the continents and stuff on it and starting pushing it around with his nose.

So here are a few thing that I have already noticed about him and things that I already know I need to work on and even things that I love. The first thing that I did notice was that he does have a bit of a biting problem, it is not remotely hard or mean and you can tell it is only play biting. I want to watch a few more videos on this topic because for the type of person who is never truly done researching.

Right now, what seems to work saying, “No!” and putting my hand up which seems to be working relatively well but I want to look it up a bit more to see if  I can find anymore tips and tricks.

Another thing that I have noticed that I feel really grateful for is the fact that he is already litter box trained. The second he had to go to the bathroom, he immediately started looking for a litter box and used it in seconds and he even seems to like the box itself. You definitely need to get a litter box that your ferret can put all four of his feet inside as he seems to really like putting all of his feet inside.

Beyond the biting, which I am confident and patient enough, I thoroughly believe that Apple is an amazing pet and I am already proud to be an amazing mother to him and I adore the fact that he enjoys sleeping in my arms as much as he does.

Sorry for the really bad picture quality (and how bad I look) but I really wanted to share the picture of him laying in my lap and please also excuse how bad I look. Just enjoy how cute Apple truly is.

Apple and I -3 .jpgFerret

Bars Have a Lot of Possibilities… / Question

There is this moment for writers, this moment where they come up with a story idea and suddenly their entire mind gets covered in how the story will be, what the story is about, what will happen, their names, their stories, relationships.

This is that moment that I am convinced is the only reason why writers chose to be writers, besides our incapability of walking away from something so amazing and creative. Despite how long you’ve been in a rut when it comes to writing, these moments still continue to happen and sometimes at the weirdest times.

Lately, I have been going to this Billiards Hall, which allows people under the age of 21 to come in and the place is absolutely amazing and as I was holding the pool cue under my chin, staring at this dart board from across the room, I realized something absolutely amazing.

Bars have so many possibilities, they have the weirdos that don’t leave you alone and the people who you are relatively convinced might murder you if you go anywhere alone with them, you have the long-time couples and the new relationships and even the single people who want to meet each other.

Which is how I came up with a new story idea which will cause a lot of background writing and planning, something I don’t do very often with stories but I think this time it will be worth it and I think it will be so fun to write.

I am still working on ‘The Girl in the Cage’ but I know that I won’t be able to publish it in a couple of years due to some stuff going on at school right now though the story is ultimately finished besides revisions so in the meantime, I want to work on this story.

The thing with this story is that I don’t see how it can be a novel, I was thinking it might be best for a series of short stories to publish as one story and maybe I could post them on here as I finish them?

Tell me what you guys think and don’t forget to suggest a book from my book catalog if you want to hear a book review!

 

 

Pool Bar in the Dead of Night

 

He walked through the Pool bar in the dead of night, having just arrived yet you could smell the alcohol on his breath as he crept closer to our group. “Have you guys seen my friends? Were they arrested?” Were his first few questions, his words slurred and eyes darting around the bar as though he were a rat searching for cheese. I edged away from him in an instant, standing a bit closer to my mom’s best friend.

One of the people in our group questioned a rag that he was sporting, a stain that looked eerily similar to blood had coated the entire rag, “Are you hurt?” In which, he became more on edge and quickly walked away, throwing the rag onto a chair nearby, almost as though he suddenly wanted to get rid of it.

He walked towards the bartender, asking him what I assume to be the same questions before he begins to pace around the bar. He walked, surprisingly well, throughout the entire bar where I began to take notice of his tattoos coating his entire body, the jacket that was more of a cover up than anything as it had no sides. Nothing about him indicating any color, his pale skin as he wore brown shorts, a brown shirt, and a brown jacket that had no sides.

He made the attempt to leave when suddenly he stopped right before he reached the door, taking off his coat before returning back to the bartender once more, offering his jacket up on a silver platter when the bartender takes notice of a knives handle, long and indicating the blade was of an illegal length, ignoring the fact the bar clearly states that it prohibits weapons. After the bartender refuses the jacket, he begins to pace once more. He walks through the entire store, talking to random customers as everyone became more uneasy around the man, one group choosing to stay seated until he left as the others tried to remain calm, many of them leaving after a bit of time.

He got stuck at the walkway as there are railing leading to the front door, almost as though he didn’t know how to get around the railings, he asked around about how to get to the exit but seemed to get relatively confused, going into the wrong areas even though everyone’s explanations were pretty clear, he joked around that the place is a maze which everyone refrains from commenting on.

He took a beer from someone who had abandoned their game shortly after he arrived and sits down, where he remained until a few cop cars arrived, a single policeman came in to talk to the bartender before he asked the man to come with him, and soon after left with them.

What I Want From My Readers

You know, my goal in writing was never to please the entire world. I did not want millions of fans that read every single thing I published. I did not want my fans to read every book I love just for the sake of reading something I had written. Fans that copied my quotes on their hands was never anything I ever wanted.

 

I have a tattoo that says, “Write with the Breathings of Your Own Heart,” on my right thigh and I want to talk to you about what I want from a reader. When I had begun to write, I did it for myself and to share with my mother to entertain her. It wasn’t even something you could read without me being there because of dyslexia. My attempts at writing was nothing more than scribbles and horrible drawings.

 

But I still told stories, I told my mother of two long lost sisters coming together and I told my mother the story of the train tracks and I did it for no other reason but for her enjoyment. But here’s the thing about all of that, I was a kid who just wanted her mom to be happy and I never took it as something serious.

 

The fact of my dyslexia was that it slowed down my learning as I did have to overcome my inability to read and struggling to write but the second I learned, I flourished and I went from not being able to read at the end of second grade to being a 12th grade reading level at the end of third grade, one of my proudest accomplishments.

 

But as I grew older, my desires and interests in writing became so much more than just wanting to please my mother as I began to read books on my own. Books that would have an impact on my heart and the way I viewed the world. A desire and thirst to read more and more and I became a Literature Nerd on epic proportions. Case in point: My Personal Library.

 

Because of my love for reading and my interest in books and reading as much as I could, I began to learn about the world around me. I was horrified read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I was fascinated by Anthem by Ayn Rand, I related to 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, I understood Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, I loved A Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, and was entranced by Sex and Sunsets by Tim Sandlin.

 

Reading had become a life preserver, I went into stories and I learned things and I had my own adventure. I want a reader to feel the same way about my own book, I want them to consider the topics and relate to them. I want them to see the depression, the messages, and the violence. I want them to understand and I want them to cherish an individual book because it touched their soul. I don’t care if you like one book and hate the other, I care if it touched your soul.

 

That’s my goal as a writer, to touch a reader’s soul like so many others had touched mine and on this topic, what book has touched your soul? #BookThatTouchedMySoul

A Letter to My Mom

Dear mom,

This is probably the millionth version of the same letter, a letter that I desperately wanted to write and post today and weirdly enough, it has been the hardest thing for me to ever write. Mostly because our relationship has lasted for 17 years and hopefully a million more to go.

You know what our relationship has consisted of more than anyone besides myself, you were the one cheering for me in the stands when I was throwing around Pom- Poms and watching me proudly as I stood behind a table with a buzzer. You helped me through my dyslexia, ensuring to make me read everything before school started because you wanted to see me excel.

It is everything that I am, everything that I was, and everything that I will be that is credited to you. All of my powers and my skills and dreams are because you were there for me when no one else was.

You supported me through the rough times, talked me through my drama and my struggles and gave me advice even though I didn’t totally listen to you. You pushed me through things that I wasn’t strong enough to do, where I was too fearful to agree and too weak to understand.

You were there, holding me when I cried and supporting me with my decisions and knew that sometimes I didn’t think with my brain and you ensured that I did sometimes. I know that everything that has ever happened and that everything that will happen is in honor of you.

I remember a conversation that breaks my heart every single time I think about it, not the one that shattered my heart completely but one from a few years ago. We were at a family member’s house and you were talking to somebody about how we were close and you explained that it was because you were the only one that had never left me. Which is still true to this day. It was so small and insignificant to you and it should have been to me but randomly, especially when I lose a friend, it crosses my mind and I thank the world that you are still there for me.

I know that next year, I will be starting my life at a University and that you won’t be there for me as much and that you won’t be there to help me make my decisions but I know that you’ll be a phone call away, that I can call you and talk to you about my life and keep you updated on the cute boys that I met and the friends that I might have made.

It is because of the promise of a phone call away that I know I will be okay because you are the only person in the last 17 years that I can 100% trust in my life. Mom, I know that we fight and that sometimes we say things we really don’t mean but I also know that I love you so much because you’re my mother and you are the only person I want when I don’t feel well.

I love you and I always will,

Your daughter.