Book Reviews

Freeks, by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking has quite a few books, but this is the only one of hers I have read.

Mara is part of a travelling circus. Which is in part a “freak” show if you will. Travelling from town to town, wherever they are able to find paid work. Mara doesn’t have any “special” talents, but her mother and some of her friends certainly do. Some of these special talents include being able to communicate with the dead, super strength and the ability to make fire.

Mara has grown up in the circus, and they are her unofficial family. Mara and a few others may not have supernatural talents, but they contribute to the smooth sailing of the circus in other ways.

Things start looking financially bad for the circus, when they get an invitation from a previous member to come to his town. The invitation promises a 10 day job with a good payout at the end. How could they turn this job down? They cant, and don’t!

The cute little country town however quickly becomes unwelcoming, and Gideon, the circus owner, and the rest of the troupe, find themselves in quite the bind of a situation. People of the town throwing around subtle, and some not so subtle, hostility toward them, is nothing new to them. They have grown used to people calling them “freaks”.

The usual taunts are nothing out of the ordinary for the troupe, but things become more perilous and confusing for the whole troupe the longer they spend in Caudry. But their penniless state virtually keeps them as prisoners.

Amongst this Mara finds herself building a tentative relationship with a “townie”. Gabe seems like the perfect guy. Funny, smart, caring. But Gabe has his own secrets from the world. Not everything in this town is as it appears to be.

I really enjoyed Freeks. It had the right blend of plot-line and story, without being over the top. It was equally involved as it was simple. Very easy to read, and had suspenseful moments leaving you wondering what was going to happen next.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*featured image taken from

I Dont Understand The Human Race

A List of Small Things

So, I’ve been thinking about starting this category for a little while. So I’m just going to jump in and do it. This first post will be a small list of things, rather than a whole post for each topic.

I do not understand the human race. I repeat, I don’t understand human beings. There are so many things that I honestly question every day. Human beings baffle me. They blow my mind. I don’t get them.

So, here we go! (Please note, these aren’t necessarily in order of confusion)

1. People who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom;
So many of the worlds diseases are caused from lack of person hygiene. It literally makes my internals quiver. I feel like this will never leave my brain – one day I saw a lady and her daughter in a public bathroom. The daughter, who I would guess was 4 or 5, went over the sinks and told her mum she was washing her hands. The mother told her not to. Yes, you read that right. Told her daughter NOT to have personal hygiene. About 10mins later I saw them eating. With their hands. And I spent the rest of that afternoon hoping that that little girl didn’t get sick.

2. People who think that they are better than everyone else around them;
There seems to be an increase in self-entitlement. And I have no idea where this has started. But I cannot stand it. This can be so obvious, or really “subtle” as well. Can be anything from direct hostility and bullying, or all the way down the scale like pushing in front of people in a line/queue. Its downright disgusting. No one person is better than another. We are all people. Which means we all have thoughts, feelings, emotions. We all think, we all feel. We all have hard times in our lives, and struggle with things, have bad days, down moods, the list goes on. So how dare you look down your nose at others, or put others down, or push in front of people when it isnt your turn.

3. People who are rude to those who work in service industries;
This one kinda ties in with the previous point, but slightly different. This is for all the people that treat people in service roles as if they are not a person. This again could be a multitude of jobs; restaurants or fast food, retail stores, petrol stations, libraries, public transport, literally even members of the emergency services. Yes, you are a customer. We all are. But you know what? The customer isnt always right. Yes, I said it. The customer is NOT always right. And you also have no right to abuse and threaten people who are trying to help you. And you know what? Maybe they aren’t giving you the exact answer/response/solution that you want to hear – BUT, one they do NOT make the rules if they are on the frontline, and two you have NO right, I repeat NO right to speak to them inappropriately. They are just trying to get through their day like you are. They are people with feelings too. You might be frustrated, but its not that persons fault. Do not treat them like it is. Somewhere alone the line (and I really don’t know where this mentality came from) people got it into their heads that they not only have the right to personally attack the person “behind the counter”, but that it is essential for them to do so to have their issue resolved. Wrong. Ever heard the saying you attract more flies with honey? Its true. Be nice, and they are likely to go MORE out of their way to help you.

4. People who have no sense of personal space;
This one kinda speaks for itself… I’m sorry, but if I can feel your breath on my body anywhere, or you are making the hairs on my body stand up – you are too close. I don’t have issues with touching other people, but other people that I know. If I don’t know you, I don’t want you touching me. Simple as that. Respect peoples personal space.

5. Parents who let their children act like brats;
This one is a very fine line. And one that I am sure parents feel that people who do not have children can have an opinion on. But we do. You are not doing anyone any favours by allowing your child to behave like a diva. You are bowing to their every wish, and your child then gets this sick sense of entitlement. They will go through life being the assholes mentioned in point 2. Not to mention watching kids in public throwing tantrums, abusing others and being inappropriate.

6. Racism;
This one again is pretty self explanatory. Guaranteed if you are starting your sentence with “I’m not racist, but..” there is like a 95% chance that the rest of your sentence is in fact racist. People who have a different skin colour/tone, born in a country different to your own, speaks a different language to you, has different cultural and religions beliefs and traditions to your own, does not make them a bad person. It makes them different, yes, but not bad. No two human beings in this world are identical. So how about instead of being racist and discriminatory and hateful you view it as an opportunity to expand your horizons and learn something new. It won’t kill you. You may even like it.

My Mental Health Journey

I’m Not That Girl Anymore… Or Am I?

So today is my “baby” sisters birthday. I put baby in parenthesis as she turned 19 today. Hardly a “baby”. But my day has been filled of memories of her since I met her when she was 3yrs old (she is my “stepsister” – being that her mother is married to my social father). So many memories in that 16yrs.

And not all of her. Some of me. When our relationship was at its closest. When we both lived under the same roof. When I was 14 -16yrs old. My step mum kicked me out just before Christmas the following Feb in which I was to turn 17, and insisted I live with her before the Christmas the following Feb I was to turn 15. She did potentially save me from potentially being raped,  but thats not what we are talking about right now. I was in pretty bad shape for probably the first 9 months in which I lived there with them. That I will never deny. But my baby sister became my rock. My reason for living. My everything. Yeah, it was distraction and diversion as I would put all of my focus and energy into everything about her for as many of the hours of the day as I possibly could. When she was at school was the hardest. I had dropped out of school, I couldn’t be there anymore. Because the rest of my day literally orbited around her; her breakfast, getting her ready for school, getting her to school, getting her from school, making sure she did her “homework”, reading with her, colouring with her, making sure she ate all her dinner, showering her and teaching her to shower herself etc you get the picture. If I slept 4hrs a day that was a good day. I couldn’t eat much, I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to be anywhere. Most of all in my own head.

I would read when I couldn’t sleep because lying there not being able to sleep whilst one of my other sisters snored away peacefully on the other side of the room – I could literally feel my sanity slipping away with the hours I was not sleeping when I “should” have been. Sometimes she would wake up and “read” with me for 10mins before she would be snoring again lol.

I literally shut out all my friends. They were immature bitches anyway. But occasionally I wonder what would have been different in my life if I hadn’t have done it. Probably just more drunken nights with other people, rather than alone. But in all honesty, I couldn’t have stayed friends with them. They were so ignorant to everything. But hey. 15yr old girls; who can blame them right? We all mature at different stages and times in our lives, and lucky them for having a longer childhood than me. Right?

I hated myself. Hate is not even a strong enough word. Don’t get me wrong, I have never once been suicidal. I do not judge people who reach those lows. But it does amaze me in all my lows that I never once went there. I did self harm. In more ways than one.

Neither of my parents were really around much when I was growing up. My mother moved back in with her parents/my grandparents when I was three and we stayed with them until they moved interstate when I was 9. My mum was working fulltime, but all of my memories in that time, and in this house, she isnt in any of them. In fact, the one memory I do have of her in that time; my nan always dropped me off and picked me up from school. One day no-one showed up. There was a park next to the school, and a boy in my class lived next to the park. We decided to play in the park and wait for me to be picked up. Just as it was getting dark his mum wanted him to come inside, and he then told her no-one had come for me. Right then, my nan pulls up. She had just done the groceries, and taken them home. And found my mum home, but not with me. My mum had told my nan not to pick me up, that she wanted to pick me up to surprise me. And forgot all about me. Until my nan came home with the groceries and asked where I was.

I have this weird, obsession, is the only term I can think of. I cling to people. Normally women, normally older than me (even if only by a few years, but when I was a teenager it was like women old enough to be a parent, whether my own or a younger Childs), and I honestly cant help to wonder if thats why. Because I spent most of my childhood from the age of 9 alone. I would see my social father every fortnight (most of the time) and my mum was always at work (average 60hrs a week I think) and the rest of the time I wasn’t at school or work I was alone. Most of the time I didn’t mind it, actually came to prefer it, but surely in those developmental years its not healthy.

But I still do it. And I still drink sometimes when I have had a shitty day, because I have had a shitty day. I am still so good at beating myself down, and not that good at building myself back up again. I’m back on anti-depressants for anxiety. (Although I have a 8 month plan for that!).

As much as I would like to think I have outgrown all my issues, I don’t think I have. What if I never do?

14 Week Health "Challenge"

Day 20

It was hot again this morning, so I thought here we go another day too hot to go walking with my puggy, and low and behold as the day progresses it rains and drops the temperature to a beautiful 21 degrees Celsius. So I’m thinking sweet I can go for my evening walk in the cool and everything will be wonderful. Except the rain comes back half way through dinner. And it doesn’t stop. If I have time in the morning tomorrow (or if not I’ll do it when I finish work) imma drive by this gym so I know where it is and if google is correct in saying it is 4mins from my work lol.

Today’s Stats;

> “Move”: 1,641kjs

> “Exercise”: 6mins

> Steps: 6,364

> Total distance walked today: 4.73kms

14 Week Health "Challenge"

Day 19

So I meant to look more into depth about that gym that is about 5mins away from my work, but I completely forgot about it, I had so much other stuff going on today…

I didn’t eat too badly, however I did have some chocolate ice cream. I know I shouldn’t have. I have also felt all day like my period was going to start, but according to my tracker app I’m not due for another week… I started keeping a track of it as it seemed to be all over the place, just so I had a record of it.

Today’s stats;

> “Move”: 1,667kjs

> “Exercise”: 7mins

> Steps: 5,457

> Total distance walked today: 3.87kms

14 Week Health "Challenge"

Day 18

So, I loosely researched gyms today haha. There is one about 5-10mins away from my work that I could potentially use before and after work. So imma look more into that.

Didn’t do my morning and evening walk again, due to ridiculous high temperatures again, but I did do some walking around a shopping centre for Christmas presents 😂

Today’s stats;

> “Move”: 2,362kjs

> “Exercise”: 7mins

> Steps: 10,407

> Total distance walked today: 7.06kms

14 Week Health "Challenge"

Day 17

I really don’t know what I am going to do. I feel like I may need to start going to a gym again. Another day has passed with it being 30 degrees celsius plus and I just cant do it. I cant walk/exercise my dog in this extreme heat. Whereas if I am in a gym I will be inside aircon. I don’t know what to do.

Todays Stats;

> “Move”: 1,623kj
> “Exercise”: 12mins
> Steps: 5,654
> Total Distance Walked Today: 4.13kms