BOOK REVIEW // THE CHAOS OF LONGING BY K.Y. ROBINSON

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SYNOPSIS

The Chaos of Longing is a prose and poetry collection draped in raw honesty, ache, and eroticism. The collection explores trauma, love, heartbreak, and the realizations from it all.

The book is divided into four sections. “Inception” briefly examines formative years and its effects on how one loves. “Longing” reflects on love and sexuality. “Chaos” explores toxic relationships, unrequited love, and heartache. After chaos, there is order with self-love and healing poems in “epiphany”.

Some content may be triggering.

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REVIEW

The Chaos of Longing was a gorgeous collection of poetry that discusses a variety of important topics, such as sexual-assault, mental illnesses, racism to the love and heartbreak of relationships.

when you look at me,

stars cluster in your eyes

but I often wonder if

my black holes

will swallow them whole

because deep down

I’m a connoisseur

of sabotage.

Robinson takes us through each stage of love. The first flutters, the waves of lust, the embers of doubts that grow into a wildfire until finally you are left with the crushing agony of a broken heart. These emotions are something that we all must experience, but the way Robinson captures it was simply breathtaking.

I feel like something

is broken inside of me like:

shattered glass,

cracked eggs

on the kitchen floor,

brittle twigs

in the dead of winter,

and shards of a mirror

that said I would never be

the fairest of them all.

Robinson isn’t afraid to dig down into her darkest parts, sharing the most fragile pieces of herself to us, and that is something I highly admire. Everyone has their own tragedies, and these shape us into who we are. They give us insecurities and doubts. Dark creatures we can’t scrape off of our backs, and Robinson captures all of this in a dark, yet beautiful manner.

one moment life

is more pigmented

than technicolor.

glitter flows

through my veins

and the stars

in my eyes dilate

and burst

into delusions.

 

minutes, hours,

or days later,

shades of blue and black

surround me like smoke.

the glitter morphs

into shards of glass

and taunts every

breath that I take.

It was pieces like these that left me completely speechless. I think the way Robinson talked about mental illness was so raw and descriptive, so moving within a few sentences. I was blown away.

star your own sky.

drink the shooting stars.

lasso the moon.

take a bite.

feel the juice

of self-love

running

down your chin

and laugh madly.

 

you’re still alive.

you’re still alive.

you’re still alive.

If you’re on the hunt for a luscious collection of poetry, I highly recommend picking up The Chaos of Longing. Keep in mind, as the synopsis says, this book does discuss tough topics and can be triggering, so do read with caution. (Also, props to the author for putting trigger warnings. We need to make this a commonality, myself included.)

I received a copy of The Chaos of Longing on Netgalley from Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The revised and expanded edition is expected to be released September 26, 2017.

RATING: ★★

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

The Chaos of Longing might be my favorite poetry book I’ve read this year so far. What are some of your favorite poetry books? Have you read The Chaos of Longing? What are your thoughts?

As always, let me know! I love to hear your thoughts, comments and feedback.

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AUTHOR Q&A // CHRISTINE SPOORS

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Q&A

One of the first people I connected with on bookstagram was the lovely Christine Spoors. I believe it was shortly after we began following one another that Christine told me she was writing her very first novel, and I was, too. We swiftly bonded over both reading and writing, supporting each other to follow their dreams and keep writing, no matter the blocks that fell before us.

And now, about a year or so later, Christine is publishing her novel, The Changeling’s Journey! I’m so incredibly proud of her and thankful to have such a positive, inspiring influence in my life.

I had the honor of interviewing Christine and picking her brain about The Changeling’s Journey, her writing process and future endeavors.

Taylor: Welcome, Christine! Before we get started, please introduce yourself.

Christine: Hello, my name is Christine. I am a Scottish writer who recently graduated from university. I have been part of the online book community as WeeReader for almost three years now. The Changeling’s Journey is my first book!

T: What originally inspired you to write The Changeling’s Journey?

C: I have always wanted to read books based on Scottish folklore, or fantasy inspired by it, but could never find one that wasn’t filled with stereotypical accents and focused on “hot” Scottish men. (Luckily, I have found great books since 2015.) I decided to give writing a try myself, figuring that as a Scot I’d maybe be less likely to use stereotypes. I quickly found that I loved writing and fell completely in love with the story.

T: Tell us what one of your writing sessions is like. What are some must-haves you need while writing?

C: I always like to start my writing session by making a cup of tea or a mocha. I sometimes wonder how many cups of tea it took to write The Changeling’s Journey. I used to listen to music as I wrote (always songs without lyrics), but recently I’ve been writing in silence. I tend to work on two or three chapters at a time, meaning that I can jump onto a new scene when I run out of ideas. I sometimes use Pinterest for inspiration and I have a notebook filled with ideas and plans for each book.

T: The Changeling’s Journey is told from three perspectives. Did that make the writing process more challenging for you?

C: As The Changeling’s Journey was the first book I ever wrote, I think the three perspectives made it easier. For a while I was basically writing three different stories in the same world, which made it easier to reach a novel length word-count. It was also great to be able to jump between stories if I was ever stuck on another.

T: Mythology can be a tough, but fun subject to write about. What methods of research did you use in order to write the mythology in The Changeling’s Journey?

C: Honestly, I began with Wikipedia. I know it’s not always the most accurate source of information but the folklore and mythology sections are very detailed. I put my own twist on the folklore and chose interpretations that fit my world best, but Wikipedia was a really great source. As my book takes the idea of changelings and gives the folklore a new spin, I found it more challenging when I reached a point where I had moved past the original folklore. The most research I had to do was for world-building!

T: The Changeling’s Journey features an f/f romance, which is AMAZING. Representation like this is so important. What inspired you to write a gay relationship?

C: As I based my fantasy world on a pre-Christian Scotland, I was trying to imagine what life would have been like before Christianity. I wanted to remove the idea of “sin” and tried to write a world free from homophobia or sexism. (I hope I have achieved that.) As I began writing, I fell in love with the characters and I think writing really helped me to figure out and understand my own sexuality. As I edited and changed the book, I realised that I’d subconsciously implied that heterosexuality was the norm. It is something that changed, and hopefully improved, with edits.

T: I know as a writer myself this is a difficult question, but I must ask, who was your favorite character from The Changeling’s Journey to write?

C: I definitely went through phases of loving each POV character the most and getting trapped in their stories. I think Morven may be my favourite, simply because the idea for the story began with her. I’ve had a few readers who know me say that Morven reminds them of me, so I think I accidentally wrote a lot of myself into her character.

T: Now that you’ve finished The Changeling’s Journey, what are you currently working on or soon to be working on?

C: I am now working on the second book set in my fantasy world. I hope to write many books set in this world, telling smaller stories as well as huge world altering stories. This second book has one POV and is set in one kingdom, rather than spanning the kingdoms like The Changeling’s Journey. I’m really looking forward to including new parts of Scottish folklore to the world and I think this second book will be more of a fantasy romance, rather than a fantasy adventure!

T: Lastly, do you have any advice you can give to all of us writers and aspiring authors?

C: I spent weeks watching author interviews and reading blogs filled with writing advice before I began writing. I have to say that my main piece of advice is don’t worry about writing advice. Every author is different. The best thing you can do is keep coming back to your story and only write what you love. If you’re ever bored by your writing, then you need to cut it or change what is happening.

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THE CHANGELING’S JOURNEY

SYNOPSIS:

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend.

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive.

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom.

One changeling’s journey to save her life will alter their world forever.

The Changeling’s Journey will be released July 31, 2017. Pre-order your copy or add it to your list with one of the links below!

{GoodreadsAmazonBook Depository}

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LET’S CHAT

I have to give a massive thank you to Christine for being such a kind friend and being subject to my very first interview. (This was actually loads of fun and I should attempt to do this with other authors.) I loved learning more about her process and ideas, and especially her advice for us fellow writers!

I hope you readers and writers alike enjoyed this little interview. Be sure to follow Christine on the links provided below, because she has a STUNNING feed and shares all sorts of book recommendations and writing updates. And of course, don’t forget to check out The Changeling’s Journey!

Blog // Wee Reader

Twitter // @weereader

Instagram // @weereader

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GOODREADS 2017 READING CHALLENGE [UPDATE #2]

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UPDATE

We have reached the sixth month of 2017, which means it’s time to take another look at my Goodreads 2017 reading challenge and see where I stand. Now, if you keep up with me on social media, you may already be aware that I switched my Goodreads reading goal from 100 to 50, then finally to 80. (I swear, I will not alter it any longer.) If you didn’t know this, then yeah. I changed my reading goal from 100 to 80.

(BUT, before you read this, be sure to read my first update here.)

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I know, I know. I was adamant to read 100 books this year, but I’m sure as most of you can understand, life can become chaotic and destructive, ruining the plans we’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Between work and writing, along with other dilemmas I’ve experienced this last year, I finally decided to reduce my goal.

Believe me, I’d love to spend more hours of the day devouring books, but as of now, I simply can’t do that. (Well, not all the time.) So since my goal was 60 last year, I figured 70 was a good step up. And as of know, I’ve read 34 books, keeping right on track with my goal.

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Since March, I have only added one more shelf—magical-realism. For some reason, I had yet to make a magical realism shelf, but after reading The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I realized I need to make a shelf for magical realism. (By the way, if you haven’t read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, you should give it a go.)

Other than that, my shelves are the same, beautifully organized masterpiece. (Not to pat myself on the back or anything. *pats self on the back*) Now since I haven’t read that much since March, there isn’t a huge difference here. I’ve only read a couple more fantasy (who’s surprised?), sci-fi, and contemporary novels, along with some poetry. I’m hoping to add more diversity to my shelves as I continue knocking down my TBR. (But let’s be real: most of it is fantasy.)

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WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT, I WAS WRONG. I suppose fantasy is not the majority of my TBR considering my stats show otherwise. If we discount young-adult and adult, my most read genre this year (so far) is contemporary. Contemporary. And these are my stats. I’m sorry, but who have I turned into?

As someone who rarely reaches for contemporary, I’m shocked. But also, I’m proud for reading new things and expanding my shelves. On top of that, I’ve also read several great books since March, many of which are four stars. (Five stars is like I would die for this book, so four is pretty generous.)

Oh yeah, and I also finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And yes, I will finish the series hopefully soon! Those books are just massive and intimidating and honestly *whispers* I have trouble getting into them. (Please don’t hate me.)

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LET’S CHAT

So tell me, what have you been reading this year? What are your favorites so far? What is your goal and how many have you read as of today? I want to know all of the bookish details of your life!

I know I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll say it again: please remember that reading should be fun. If having a hefty goal isn’t for you, then don’t. Read as many or as little books as you want. It isn’t meant to be a competition. Enjoy every bit of your literary life, and don’t rush it.

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