Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake | Game Review

Hello my friends, it has been a long long time since I have last posted on this blog. Mostly because I have not been reading at all but focusing on my new novel. I'm too scared that other books' writing style may affect my story to read anything while writing this, so this is a somewhat blessed hiatus.

Anyways, it's not as if I am not doing fun things. I am watching anime, drama and playing games, anything that doesn't involve reading words. And as part of this, I have played Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake today.
For those of you who don't know, the Nancy Drew games are a series of games where you play as Nancy Drew, young sleuth, who must solve the mysteries she keeps finding herself in before they kill her! Nancy is always a fun character to play as; she is smart, sharp and sassy, and she bows down to no one!

In this mystery, You, as Nancy, must pick up the cold trail left by a notorious gangster who once lived in the lakeside cabin recently purchased by Nancy’s friend. Are the ghostly legends true, or is there a flesh and blood answer to the dogs’ haunting howls?

These games are the definition of Nostalgia for me. I played them as a child with my cousins, who lived in America and whom I only saw in the summers. They introduced me to these games and helped me understand the English in them until I was thirsty to play on my own and continued with them at home. Ever since then, I have played all the Nancy Drew games that have come out to date.

Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake was one of those my cousins lent me and I accidently on purpose never gave back.  It was one of my favorites growing up, especially since it had dogs in it, and I love me a good doggie!
Playing it again, I have to say you can definitely see how far this game-series have gone. New games are far more exciting and action packed, and the puzzles are harder and more prominent, but there is something very fun about going back in time as well. It was very calming and relaxing it its own way. 

It's funny for me to play this now; it took me barely two hours to get through this entire game, when as a child I worked on it for about a week. It seems silly that those riddles were ever hard for me, but there you go. I'm going to take this as a positive confirmation that I have grown smarter over the years haha

The only thing lacking was the actual villain. I actually remembered who it was and searched for clues throughout the game, but there weren't almost any. It was a bit disappointing to realize there was no build up for this mystery, and I look forward to seeing how the other games fare in this department as I play through them!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Let's Be Honest... Who Do You Write For?

This is a post a long time in the making. Which makes sense considering I haven't written a proper, pure discussion post in a long while now, as I've been slumping pretty hard blog-wise. But every time I thought to myself "what post should I write next?" THIS is what came immediately to mind;

Who do I write for?

This blog is not very popular. In a lot of ways, perhaps in all the ways that matter as an online blog, it's not a success. I'm hesitant to say it is a "failure", but that is perhaps the most accurate description. No doubt a huge part of that is my fault, as I post irregularly at best and not at all at worst.

The facts remain that my average comment number on any given post is a huge zero and I only have about one reader who comments regularly (hey Stephanie! *waves*). It's nothing like my very first blog in 2012, where I got between three and five comments a post. I thought that was lame back there and was disappointed by it. I find that ironically hilarious.

That old blog closed because of the same thing that is happening now; irregular posting schedule, low interactive-ness, etc etc. But whereas I had so many thoughts of closing down the blog back then, of moving on, I do not have those same thoughts now.

For all the disappointment of getting no reads, and the huge slump of not reviewing many of the books I read... I've never thought about stopping reviewing books on this blog. This made me wonder... who, exactly, do I write for? What has changed since 2014?

Any reviewer who tells you they are not writing for others to read is lying. If we weren't writing for you to read it, we would do so on a personal journal that no one ever has to see. If I didn't want you to read this very post, I wouldn't have put it online where it's available to y'all.

We all wish and hope others will read and enjoy what we're putting out there. It's part of the magic of reviewing and this whole community in general. Where fandoms have fanart and fanfiction, the Bookish Fandom has reviews and discussion posts and tags.

And yet, I find myself replying to the aforementioned question with...

I am writing for myself.

Now, don't be thinking it's an altruistic desire... because it's not that at all. If anything, this is as selfish as I can possibly be. I am putting this content out there for the chance someone could enjoy it and maybe even validate me and my opinion a little bit (hey, I'm just a human), but the content itself is written for me.

Because it gives me something incredible. It gives me a shortened re-reading experience... without ever cracking the book open.

Do you have any idea how many times in the past I have encountered a book, or a movie, or an anime, or a show, that I have read/watched... and yet I can't remember anything about it? There is nothing more frustrating to me than looking at a cover or a title and drawing blanks despite knowing without a shadow of a doubt that I have spent time in this world.

It bothers me on such a personal, deep level.

But you know what happens when I have written a review on whatever it was? the words on the page trigger a slew of memories. I am suddenly able to put myself where I was when I read, what I read, what I thought, where before there was nothing. I am able to relive the emotions and have a shortened re-experience with the novel.

Be it good or bad, I am able to remember.

I love this. I love doing this and being able to recall what a book made me think and feel because of the words I put down on it in a review.

So I'm not going to stop this blog, even if I write barely five posts a month, on a good month. Because at the end of the day, while it's online so other people could read and enjoy it when I can just have a notebook for all those thoughts (although, let's be honest, at this point this blog is dead enough to be considered a personal notebook), I still write for myself. For that ability to re-read the novel through my review. And if I could maybe make some else feel emotions through this, all the better :)

Side note: if you're looking for more consistent content from me, friend or follow me on GR. There are a lot of thoughts that don't appear on this blog simply because I don't put unedited reviews on here. On GR, though, I puke all my thoughts straight after finishing a novel and then later edit them for the blog. So it's a lot more consistent, if also a lot messier.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae | ARC Review

Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae
First Published: 2017
I received an arc from NetgGlley in exchange for my honest review! 
Adult, Romance
In this heartfelt romance from the author of the All About Love series, two people who thought they’d given up on passion turn to each other for emotional support—and maybe something a little more physical.
Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t sure if she’s ready to move on.
Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.
If you're looking for a simply sweet romantic story about love and loss and love again, this one is for you. Cassie Mae is a master at crafting lovely love stories that can warm your heart and make you smile, without having to relay on drama to carry the story along.

In this one, she delves into the realities of prematurely losing a loved one and coming to terms with the fact that you are allowed to feel joy and love again. That moving on does not mean forgetting, nor does it negates the love you felt for that person.

And she shows this dilemma, this inner conflict very well through both our heroine and our hero.

Sweet, gentle Kennedy has just lost Jared a year ago, but his death feels as fresh today as it felt the day he passed and the silence that accompanies her whenever she attempts to talk to him a stark reminder of her loneliness.

Quiet, thoughtful Aaron has lost Jared years before his actual passing, but his pain--and guilt-- is just as strong as Kennedy's, if not stronger. His fallout with Jared and his inability to breach the gap before his passing haunts him. Their lost friendship and the lost chances were heartbreaking to read off.

These two people, haunted by the same person, meet at his hometown and in a course of a week come together, find solace and a sense of peace within each other. But they shouldn't, should they? Not with Jared's ghost hanging around them.

Cassie Mae does a really good job in making you forget these people only know each other for a week because she spends so much time letting us sink into their conversations and their meet ups. She deftly crafts this relationship, this falling in love, through conversations and looks and smiles, that make you feel as if it has been much longer. When the characters themselves wonder at the short while they've known each other, I was shocked to realize it hadn't been months.

That being said, I didn't connect to this one as much as I normally do with Mae's stories, because of my personal belief system and by no fault of this novel, because I truly believe this novel will connect to and move many a heart.

But while I definitely bought Aaron and Kennedy's romance, I didn't buy quite as easily their healing process. I felt like these people have hurt for so long, and their love for Jared was so alive, that their actual healing came much too fast for me. On a personal level, this is something I don't believe. I think it's a much longer process, and I always struggle with love being shown as this magic cure.

But this is, again, such a personal matter, and I highly recommend reading this novel or any other novel by Mae (Reasons I Fell For the Funny Fat Friend and Doing It For Love my current faves) to experience the joy her writings can bring.