Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Therapy Prologue Reveal

Copyright Kathryn Perez (2012)
 For review purposes only. Any other use is a violation of copyright law.
By Kathryn Vance-Perez

The blood runs down my stomach and, I close my eyes letting the pain ooze out with it. This is what I need, what I crave. Otherwise I’m numb, feeling nothing. The pain and depression stays suppressed until I can release it. It gives me a high and a rush that I need every morning before I go to school. I know when I walk through those doors of Edmond High School every day that I have to flip a switch inside and turn it all off just to make it through the day. My mom drinks coffee with a shot of liquor to start her day, I need a razor blade cutting through my flesh.

I shove my notebook into my book bag and mentally prepare for another day of dodging Elizabeth Myers and her posse of mean girls. Some days I wish I could just meet them all somewhere and let them beat the hell out me, spit all of their venom my way, then be done with it. If I knew it would make it stop I would do it in a minute. My senior year of high school had barely begun and I'm already counting down the days for it to end. For the past three years I've endured the wrath of these girls, and it’s imprisoned me. I look forward to some normalcy. It’s been so long since I felt normal that when I finally do feel it, it will probably feel abnormal. I just want it to end. Every day I pray that it will be the day they forget about me. They never do. I do everything I can to keep attention away from myself in order to avoid their radar. It's always pointless because Elizabeth is merciless. I've never understood how a girl that's so beautiful on the outside can be so ugly and evil on the inside. How all of her admirers can't see her for what she really is will forever be a mystery to me. But I know better than anyone how easy it can be to fool people and hide your darkest secrets on the inside. I do it every day.

I head into first period English and sit at the back of the classroom like I always do. I shuffle through my book bag and get my notebook out just as I hear them. The banter is unmistakable.

“Oh my God Hailey, did you see him this weekend? Jace was on fire in the game, although he usually always is. I rewarded him properly afterwards then he was really on fire.”

The posse giggles as Elizabeth goes on about her boyfriend and football quarterback Jace Collins. They were the “it couple” around the school. Jace was Mr. Popular and of course Elizabeth was Ms. Popular. What he saw in her I had now idea, well aside from her long, luxurious blonde hair, perfect skin, perfect body, and ocean-blue eyes. But she radiated “bitch” regardless of her appearance. Elizabeth glances back at me as she takes her seat.

“So Jessica, how much slutting around did you do this weekend? Go to any rainbow parties? How many guys got between your legs in the past two days? Huh?” she smirks.

I dart my eyes down towards my notebook and refuse to engage her.Trying to take up for myself only makes it worse. My long black hair fell down around my face creating a curtain of defenses. I doodle aimlessly on my notebook ignoring all of her comments. Something hit my arm and fell onto my desk, then again and again. I look up and Elizabeth is laughing as Hailey, her partner in crime, balled up another tiny piece of paper. I rolled my eyes at them and looked back down at my notebook shoving the pieces of paper onto the floor.

“Wow Jessica, it must really suck to be you. How do you just sit there and let people treat you so shitty? Are you really that weak, or are you just exhausted from blowing guys all weekend? You do know they only pay you any attention because you put out right? They don’t actually like you.” She scoffs.

“Yeah, I know Elizabeth. Thanks for the memo.” I retort.

She turns around mumbling something about what a skank I am just as Jace walks in and sits down beside her. Hailey flicks another balled up piece of paper at me, and he scrunches up his eyebrows glaring at her. She grins at him and shrugs her shoulders innocently.

“Hailey don’t be such a bitch. Stop picking on people, it’s mean.” He said in an obviously irritated tone.

“Jace Collins, don’t talk to my best friend like that! Hailey is only warding off the infestation of STD’s sitting behind us.” Elizabeth hisses.

He looks back at me and mouths the word sorry. I don’t reply in any way; no expression, no all-knowing look, just nothing. Jace is the epitome of male perfection with his sandy blond hair and crystal clear blue eyes. He always has a little stubble from not shaving and totally has a Paul Walker look going on about himself. He’s toned and muscular but not in a bulky way, and he’s nearly six feet tall. He’s the star of the Edmond football team, on the track team, plays on the baseball team, and is on the male swim team. He’s a super jock and pretty much has a clear-cut future with an athletic scholarship to a major university. The only reason I think he is ever nice to me is because I am on the girls swim team. I steered clear of all team sports for the most part, and I was definitely a loner. I have been competitively swimming for four years now, and it is pretty much the only thing that I really enjoy. School is a means to an end for me, and I can’t wait for it to be over. This place is nothing but a daily prison to me.

After English class we all file out, I walk slowly allowing Elizabeth to exit first and hopefully forget that I am behind her. I make my way to my locker only to find notes taped to it reading SLUT along with other expletives in big bold letters. I rip the papers off quickly just before Elizabeth walks by, shouldering me into the metal lockers.

“Oh excuse me Jessica, I didn’t see you.You should wear a slut warning sign letting the rest of us know you are there!” She laughs as her posse surrounds me.

I look to the floor and shut it all out. This is how I deal with her and all of them. I lockdown, shut it out, and wait for it to be over. She flicks a strand of my hair from my face and starts with the threats.

“We all know you slept with Harrison this weekend, and you know that Hailey has been seeing him for quite a while. Did you really think you could keep that from us? Huh?” She demands. “You better keep your skank-ass away from him, do you understand me Jessica? He doesn’t want you, none of them want you! You are pathetic and disgusting. If you weren’t an easy piece of ass none of them would ever give you the time of day.” She slaps her hand on my locker merely inches from the side of my face and whispers.

“Don’t you ever just think about ending it, spare us all the repulsion of looking at you every day?” She glares at me as my eyes dart back and forth looking for an out. Then I hear his voice and Elizabeth turns away from me in his direction.

“Liz leave her alone already! You’re going to be late for class anyway. Let whatever it is go.” He murmurs, gesturing for her to make her way to second period.

“Remember what I said skank.” She exclaims as she struts off down the hallway.

I look up to see that Jace is still standing there looking at me, hands shoved into his jean pockets. I feel vulnerable and embarrassed. Why is he standing here causing this awkward silent moment to happen? I look away nervously and turn back to my locker opening it quickly.

“Hey Jessica, I’m sorry about Liz and her tribe of brats.” He says as I rustle through my locker stalling so I don’t have to turn around and make eye contact with him.

“Are you ready for swim this year? I hope we kick ass like last year.” He says and I wonder why he’s trying to carry on a casual conversation with me. The bell rings, now I’m definitely late for second period. I spin around facing him.

 “Thanks Jace and yeah I’m ready for swim team.” I mutter. His mouth turns up into a grin and he walks in the opposite direction.

What was that all about? If Elizabeth saw him carrying on a full blown conversation with me she would go ape shit. I was like the plague around here, and the star quarterback talking to me was definitely not a good idea for him or me.

The day moves at an arduous pace, and I continue to avoid Elizabeth for the remainder of the day. I’m not sure what’s worse; this prison of a school and the way I seem to be the butt of everyone’s jokes, or home where I am invisible to everyone. I go to my car and drive home blasting Seether from my speakers. I wonder what kind of day mom will be having today. She’ll either be drunk or be Martha Stewart, it’s a 50/50 chance I will get Martha every day. I stopped caring one way or another a long time ago. When she’s not drunk she tries too hard and it’s smothering. She just overcompensates for her lack of parenting on the days she’s liquored up. I pull in the drive and see her sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette and holding a glass of wine. Drunk day today.

“Hi mom.” I say hurriedly as I walk past her.

“Hi sweetie, how wassss your day.” She slurs.

“Great Mom. It was great!” I say lying straight through my teeth because telling her the truth would be pointless.

I went on inside towards my room. After slamming and locking my door, I reached over and pulled out my hidden box of razors, alcohol swabs, ointment, and bandages. I flipped my iPod docking station on and fell down onto my bed. I pulled up my shirt and unbuttoned my jeans, pulling them down just barely enough to expose the cut from this morning. I had to be really careful to not let them get infected so I cleaned and bandaged them daily. It was a typical routine for me. I knew I would soon have to put on a normal happy face for when Dad came home. Not that he really paid me any attention at all, but I always felt like he had me under a microscope looking for any imperfection or mistake. I did my best to avoid him like everyone else in my life.The weekends were the only time I socialized and that usually always involved guys. I snuck out every weekend at night and cruised the back roads with whatever guy I was seeing at the time, which changed often. I was always too clingy, and they always ran scared after they got what they wanted from me. Sex was a way for me to connect; to feel something. I guess sex equals love for me since I really have no idea what love should really feel like. It’s my version of love and it fills a void so I continue the viscous cycle of sleeping with every guy I go out with.

After cleaning up my cut, I place a bandage on it and button my pants back up. I place the box of items back in my nightstand and pull out my journal. My journal is the only place I can be me. I rarely understand why I feel the way I feel every day, and writing is my only true form of expression without the fear of judgment. If anyone ever read my journal I am positive I would be committed to a crazy house. I pull the cap off of the pen with my teeth and chew on it anxiously as I write.

You only know the mask I wear

Who am I?

Do I even know?

Black…White…no Gray

I either love or I hate

When I want to hold on I claw instead

No sense of purpose

Eyes that are dead

Regret and rejection I swallow down

I just want someone to love me

Emotional pain creeps all around

When someone hurts me it’s hurts forever

Be. Me. For. A. Day.

Let me walk beside you

Let me look over

See the me you see

Then you can walk beside me

See the you that I see

I’ll keep filling the hole in my soul with I O U’s

While you keep filling it with I hate you’s

I shut my journal and text Harrison. We had a good time this past weekend no matter what Elizabeth has to say about it. Having someone makes me feel happy even if it’s always short-lived.

Me: Hey I had fun the other night. You want to hang out this weekend?

He texts right back and I smile inside.

Harrison: Hey babe. Yeah I had a blast with you. You really know how to show a guy a good time! I’m not sure about this weekend. Jace and the guys invited me out. It’s just some sort of guy’s night out thing. But I’ll catch you some other time ;)

My inside smile fades and I instantly feel rejected. I want him to want to be with me, not the guys. Why does this always happen? Why do I need them so badly, want them so badly? It’s always the same. Every guy I date I feel consumed by them with some sort of freakish need. I know it’s not normal but I can’t make it stop. In the end it either pushes them away or causes me to go off on an emotionally charged rant towards them. The result is always me screaming about how much I hate them and how I never want to see them again. I regret it every time, but the cycle is nevertheless on repeat.

This is me, Jessica Alexander. My life. My personal hell.


Copyright Kathryn Perez (2012)
 For review purposes only. Any other use is a violation of copyright law.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Taking Chances By Molly McAdams Reviewed

“People fall in and out of love all the time, and sometimes people have numerous loves throughout their lives. But you have two epic loves and no matter who you were with,
I don’t think you’d ever get over or forget the other.”
Molly McAdams, Taking Chances
Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

Due to sexual situations and language, this is Mature YA/New Adult. Recommended for ages 17+
Where to begin...oh where to begin with Ms. Molly McAdam's book, Taking Chances!!! I am seriously in love with this book and these characters so this review may be a little high on the excitement side and it may contain many exclamations marks!!! Just know you've been forewarned!!!
Who do I start with... hunky polite and oh so sweet Brandon or sexy, cocky and oh so bad Chase??? Have you ever eaten a sundae with multiple flavors and one topping be so good then you taste the other and it's equally as good but one is just a little sweeter than the other? That's Chase and Brandon!!! You want to eat both of them right up and you ping pong back and forth between these guys emotionally throughout the entire book.
Chase will piss you off, make you want to drop your panties and break your heart all at the same damn time! Yes, Molly McAdams has created a sexy torturous character in Chase that will work you over real good ladies. He's bad but it's ooooh so good!
Brandon's such a wonderful, strong, big hearted guy who will melt your heart and make you swoon. He's such a gentleman and loves Harper so much. He will give you gooseys with his sweet pillow talk and his even sweeter protective ways. This is the guy you want to bring home to Mama for sure!
Harper...hmmmm. Let me just say it's hard for me to like a cheater in any book. But the author did such a great job developing this character that you love her no matter what and you struggle right along with her as she fights her inner battle of loving two guys at once. Yes, at times I wanted to reach in  my Kindle and ring her neck and slap some sense into her but then there were other times that I just wanted to give her a tub of Ben and Jerry's and cry with her.
Taking Chances took me on a roller coaster ride that turned my insides upside down! I laughed and I cried buckets while reading this book. My favorite books are the ones that can make me do both of those things. This was one of my top favorite reads of 2012, so if you haven't read it yet you should check it out and I promise you it will be one of your favorites of 2013!
You can purchase Taking Chances for only .99 right now >>>HERE
Now>>> go, run fast and read this emotional roller coaster but grab a box of tissues while you're at it because you're going to need them!
You can also purchase Molly's newest book From Ashes HERE. (I loved it too)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tidal By Emily Snow Reviewed

"He was wrong. I wasn't beautiful. I was damaged."
~Emily Snow, Tidal
Now that Willow Avery is out of rehab, she's got one chance left to prove herself before she’s officially on every producer’s crap list. At least, that's what her parents and agent are claiming. She doesn't really give a damn if she never makes another movie or not—she just wants to get on with her life, get back to her friends, and find her next escape. But Willow is broke. And whether she likes it or not, acting is the only job
she knows how to do.

When she accepts the lead in a beach drama, Willow finds herself in Hawaii. And in Hawaii, she finds Cooper, the gorgeous surfer hired to train her for her new role. With the bluest eyes she’s ever seen and the sexiest Australian accent she’s ever heard, Cooper’s different from the men she’s used to. He doesn’t want to use her. And he refuses to let her fail. But when an old friend re-enters Willow’s life—a friend whose toxicity she’s been drawn to time and time before and whose presence brings about the painful memories she's tried so hard to suppress—Willow will have to choose between the girl she was and the person she’s becoming. The lifestyle that helps her forget the pain
and the guy she’s falling hard for.

*A New Adult romance that contains some adult content*
Australian, toned and tan...Cooper is the surfer that will threaten to make you swoon. He was witty and strong willed. I loved the funny banter that he ensued with Willow whom he so endearingly called Wills. He wasn't your typical bad boy or your typical good guy. But he could melt my heart at times...
 “I won’t let anything happen to you. Not ever when you are with me”
Snotty, moody and damaged...Willow will piss you off and break you heart all at the same time. You will end up loving her and cheering for her HEA by the end of the book. This moody actress has walked a bumpy road and it's nice to watch her grow as she learns to navigate a smoother path.
If you enjoy hot beach boys and a little angst then you will enjoy Tidal. Go >>> HERE and buy your copy now!