Sweep Vol. 1: Book of Shadows, The Coven, and Blood Witch by Cate Tiernan

So this marks off my second prompt form the PopSugar Reading Challenge. Yes I know it’s March and yes I know I’m behind. I’m a bit behind on everything really, but that’s okay I will catch up and it will be okay. I can still make it; there is time. So these books are going to be interesting to talk about and review. There are technically 15 books in the series but I have them bound in 5 volumes by sets of 3. This is the first one containing the first three books: Book of Shadows, The Coven, and Blood Witch. I, however, will be talking about them by volume and not by individual book because honestly after reading the volume they make more since as one book and not three individual ones. Every book picks up exactly where the last one left off. So it ends up feeling more like the start of the next chapter and not the start of a new novel. Also may contain spoilers.

Morgan Rowland is just a normal girl living in a small town in upstate New York. She goes to school, hangs out with her best friend Bree, and dreams about one day going to college for science. Then everything changes when Cal Blair moves to town ans Morgan finds herself drawn to him, her and every other female in her class. Cal introduces Morgan and her friends to Wicca and something is awoken in Morgan. All of a sudden Morgan’s life is flipped upside down as she begins to piece together a puzzle that she didn’t know she had.

I find the story to be really enjoyable, but also problematic. Like most early 2000s YA Fantasy novels and even some of today’s YA Fantasy novels we have a bad case of a some what naive main character, a very powerful love interest, insta-love and the beginnings of love triangle. Morgan is very naive especially when it comes to love. There are several times throughout the story where Morgan comments how little time has passed between key events in the novel and then she comment how much she loves Cal a paragraph later. My 23 year old brain is like “GIRL YOU DON’T LOVE HIM! HE JUST GAVE YOU ATTENTION!” She also does this thing where she is like “I should tell this person whats going on, but nah.” Which is really annoying, but her inner turmoil about whats happening in her life is pretty relatable. One thing I DO NOT like is the relationship between her and Bree. First off Bree reminds me of a very toxic friend I used to have. Bree is selfish and uses Morgan quite a bit. Bree is used to having everything handed to her and being the prettiest in the group. Shes super popular and even hangs out with a different clique at school then Morgan. Their relationship was destroyed over a boy. Which is the dumbest reason for an 11 year friendship to end. Bree acted as though Cal would never choose Morgan over her. Although Morgan never told Bree about her feelings for Cal and she did ended up kissing him in front of Bree which is pretty bitchy. There aren’t really any strong female character in this book despite the fact that Wicca is a very women centric religion and seen by many to be pretty feminist in nature. Most of the women, especially Morgan, derive their worth from the men around them. Morgan constantly makes derogatory comments about her body, which is kinda off putting cause shes not as ugly as she would like the reader to think.

I guess now is a good time to talk about Cal, Morgan’s love interest. He’s kinda of a very charismatic ass. Its obvious from the beginning that Morgan is very powerful and very uneducated and its also very obvious that Cal wants to take advantage of that. He basically isolates her from not only her friends but her family as well and makes it so hes literally the only one she tells when things happen and he uses that to blind her to reality. The reality being HE’S AN ASS! He also tires to control her power and use it to his advantage. He also very much uses her own insecurities against her. At one point he even say something along the lines of “your not pretty from a distance and then you get up close and you’re gorgeous.” Like she should be thankful that he finds her attractive which is just stupid.

The writing itself is also pretty juvenile. The author is constantly reminding the reader of things that like just happened. Even though there are technically three books in the volume and they were originally published individually published its still kind of annoying to be constantly reminded of the big events. Tiernan also likes to use last names for the supporting characters like a lot. Its like in each new book the characters get reintroduced to the reader. I feel if I had read it when I was 14 I would find them to be absolutely amazing but 23 year old me is just like they okay. Hopefully it gets better!

New Year, New Me: Maybe

Almost two years ago I started this blog (and then promptly forgot about it for a year and half) with a post about the new year and my goals I wanted to accomplish (non of which I did in case you were wondering). So it only seems fitting at for the upcoming New Year I make another post about my goals and how I plan to start the year on the right foot and then eventually fall back on old habits and patterns. As of right now, with 18 days left in the year, I am feeling productive and on top of things. I have been setting up my bullet journal for the year (something I want to make a post about later) and just doing general housekeeping things.  My bipolar has rested solidly in the mid to light blue range so some days are better then others, but nothing absolutely crushing and nothing to manic.

There are several things I wish to accomplish in the New Year that I am determined to accomplish, but unlike in past years I am going to keep them small and manageable. I tend to bite of more then I can chew and then self destruct when it all inevitably falls apart on me. 

Become Debt Free. As far as goals go this is a fairly simple one. I am currently on track to be debt free by the beginning of February. Seeing as my Father has taken over my finances for the past couple of months, I have finally made actual strides in becoming debt free.   

Save $3000. Once becoming debt free this should me fairly simple. Especially considering I could potentially save double that number, but I wanted to keep it smaller and more manageable so that if I save more then great, but if I only meet the goal then i met my goal and I still have a healthy savings.   

Graduate College. I have three classes left. All of which I am signed up for. All I have to so is get C’s and then I have a degree and I can move on with my life. (When I say move on I mean find a online degree program for my bachelors)

Lose 24 Pounds. That’s only two pounds a month. Usually I set my goal for something in the 90 to 100 range, but I feel that just sets me up for failure. So we are keeping it small and keeping it simple. 

Read 60% of my Library. This is by far the LOFTIEST goal of the year. I have just south of 400 books in my collection so 60% would be at least 240 books in the year. Which sounds like a lot but in reality is only about 5 books a week and with the way I read I can defiantly accomplish that. I also want to add in the Pop Sugar Reading challenge for this year into this goal.

So there you have it my five goals for the year. They are simple and sweet and hopefully I will be able to accomplish them. Only time will tell I guess.  

The New Year Cliché

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Everybody probably says or at the very least thinks it, “New Year New Me.” It’s literally one of the most over rated, most used clichés in the book. I mean who hasn’t thought or uttered those infamous words on the eve of the New Year or in the beginning days of January? I know for a fact that I have and in years past they have never really ment anything; I would be on track for a week maybe two and then its back to the old habits that left me feeling less than great. This year will be different (oh look another cliché, but i actually mean it this time), I need this year to be different. So far I have actually been pretty good at keeping up with my New Years Resolutions. I have experienced some minor set backs but instead of letting it discourage me I muster through. So here are my New Year New Me resolutions:

  1. Lose 100 pounds. As it stands right now I am 21 years old and 5 feet 4 1/2 inches in height and I weigh 260 pounds. This is the heaviest I have ever been and I want to be the heaviest I ever will be again. In total I want to lose 130 and pounds and I mostly just want to be fit, healthy and confident. (Plus that revenge body is a nice bonus. There are a couple of people I would like to stick it too if you know what I mean).
  2. Be Organized and Productive. I am a generally organized person (I have all my pens color coordinated for Gods sake), but I have never really used it to my advantage and harnessed it to increase my productivity. I am like the queen of procrastination; like if it was an olympic sport I would be a gold medalist. I am in college at the moment and I have lofty aspirations of becoming a lawyer, but in order to accomplish this I need to make astronomically better grades and I know I am smart enough to do so I just don’t so more Productivity and less Procrastination.
  3. Get My Mental Health Under Control. For too long I have been scared of my diagnose (I mean it is scary for young person to receive a diagnoses like that especially one that has been so stigmatized) that I have let it cripple me and the decisions I make. I have used it as a crutch and I cannot do that anymore. I will continue to go to therapy and if necessary I will go on medication. I finally have the determination to get better. I hate it when I tell people about my depression and they just look at me and say “Just choose to be happy” as if it’s that simple, as if that I choose to be depressed. Now mental illness isn’t a choice but it is a choice to get better. I full heartedly believe that you can’t just choose to be happy but you can choose to work towards happy.
  4. Get all B’s in My Classes. As I mentioned before I am a college girl right now and I need to start doing better in my classes. I recently transferred to a four-year university from my local community college and I only took three classes this semester and well I failed two and that is just unacceptable. I need to do better. I am capable of better.
  5. Miracle Morning. This is a routine developed by Hal Elrod that I came across during my decent into the planner community. Elrod is a motivational speaker and wrote the book My Miracle Morning, I bought the book on Audible and listened to it and it really resonated with me. I have a Night Owl in every sense of the word (in fact as I write this post I am in the middle of the midnight shift where I work), but I have always wanted to be a Morning Person. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE nighttime, in fact it is really my favorite time of day. The moon and stars are out, it is usually cooler outside, everybody is sleeping so you don’t have to deal with people, and I am more creative at night. All that being said morning people tend to be more productive, healthier, less irritable, and just generally happier at least in my observations.
  6. Self Love. I tend to neglect myself. I don’t make time for me, I don’t pay attention to myself and I tend to put myself last. This year is all about me, which sounds very selfish and as an only child I am no stranger to selfish, but giving your self some love is good for you. Putting yourself first on your own priority list is good for you so that’s exactly what I am going to do. So no romantic relationships (at least I wont be actively seeking one if one finds me well then it was fate) and no helping others before I help myself. I want to work on the relationship I have with my self and I want to build it up. 
  7. Get Out of Debt and Get Spending Under Control. One of the ways I console myself when I am depressed, other than eating my feelings, is buying things. New things make me happy at least for a short period of time. A bad side effect of this is buying things I don’t need/use and credit card debt. Which just adds to the stress which causes me to buy things and its a never-ending vicious cycle.