Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

When I first started reading this book, I honestly thought this was going to be one of those super YA stories about a young woman who is on the brink of growing up and falls in love. Yes, it is all those things, but there is so much more to this than just vapid annoyance.

Trigger warning. Please note that this book has themes of:

  • Grief/loss
  • Mental health issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide
  • Drug abuse

Continue reading “Love and Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves”

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

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When I was a little girl, I used to have these amazing dreams about this guy. I would first fly through the air around my childhood home and watch the sun set orange and red across the lawn. I would finally land and sit down on our front stoop.

Suddenly, he would walk over to me. He’s always wearing an oversized sweater and well cut jeans. His smile made me melt and his dark hair was always in his eyes. Because it’s a dream, there’s always some strange quirks about what you see. For example, he was an alien from another planet.

I don’t remember all the details now that I’m older but I do recall that we would kiss under the street light before he headed back up to his home planet.

While the details of the dream are a little hazy, for some reason, I’ve never forgotten that dream and that dream boy and I think fondly about that time when I was a kid.

Have you ever had that dream before where it was so amazing and so memorable that even as an adult you can’t get it out of your head?

In Dreamology by Lucy Keating, you get to experience the same feelings for the main character Alice, who has been dreaming about her dream boy since she was a kid. All she knows is that the dreams were vivid and ended when she woke up. It was a surprise to her when she began school in a new city and found her dream boy in reality.

Of course, Max isn’t who he was in the dreams. In fact he appears to be rude, indecisive, and already in a relationships. You can see how a girl who has been in love with her dream boy for so long could be disappointed by the real thing. I mean, I would never want to meet my dream boy in real life worried about the same results.

From this point on, the story begins to get a little weirder as their dreams start to bleed into reality. They visit this dream lab to get it fixed and it’s something out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the main characters’ brains have been altered to allow for their dreams to meld together and then have their dreams become a reality.

I love books like this sometimes. The premise is pretty simple, the story is easy to read and follow along and you finish reading it in a few days. You get to feel that rush of love when you first fall for someone. It makes you feel good and sometimes you need a little bit of sugar in your life.

But I think what I love most about this novel is how they chase each other and their dreams. If I dreamed of my dream boy every single night, I would be worried that one day he would just disappear. It’s kind of the same here. What if Alice woke up and never dreamed of Max again? Would she be okay with the real Max or would it never be the same again?

You can find Dreamology on Amazon.

Being a book blogger and being authentic

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I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity lately. I think it might be because my Instagram following is getting bigger and I’m getting asked to read books and try new things and promote new products that aren’t related to books. I’m what people consider an “influencer” and while I’m super grateful for the point that I’ve reached I’m asking myself where’s the authenticity of all of this?

I found myself the other day taking over 50 shots of myself in different positions just thinking whether or not this post would get me over 500 likes. I mean, how is that a way to think about things and what is the message I’m sending if that’s what I’m trying to accomplish?

On one hand of the spectrum, you are gaining this traction and sharing your thoughts and sharing your life with so many people and on the other side you want to make this a career and become an entrepreneur and be your own boss. It’s a constant push and pull and a place to easily lose your sense of self and authenticity.

So what do you do in a situation like this? How do you keep yourself you in a sea of possibility and growth and what other people would consider “selling out?”

I know a lot of people (myself included) that want to take what they’re doing for free and make something real out of it. For some people it’s already a reality and for others we’re still working on getting there. And thinking about it, I think I realized that authenticity exists even if you’re trying to sell a product to people.

The funny thing about authenticity is that it’s easy to see beyond the bullshit. So how do you avoid that situation?

I have no idea. But I can’t help but to think about three steps that I hope to remember every time I wonder about my authenticity.

The first step to developing your brand is always knowing who you are. Are you a vegan selling dairy ice cream? Are you a naturalist putting on lipstick to sell to your followers? Stick to what’s true to you because in the end after wading all the bullshit, that’s all you have left.

The second step is to find those things you want to promote because it just makes sense to you and it makes you happy. Don’t sell sunglasses if you don’t like going outside and don’t wear high heels when they hurt your feet.

The final step is don’t give up. I think a lot of us want to feel “important” or more like an influencer so they say yes to everything. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re a unique and interesting human being, so follow that first step of knowing yourself and know that even though you’re not making money being a blogger, you’re influencing people’s lives.