THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR by Scott Hawkins (Review)



400 Pages

I just need to start off by saying that I think the cover of this book is absolutely stunning. Also, I’m not entirely sure I could describe this book and do it justice, so I’m going to just copy and past what it says on Amazon.

A missing God.
A library with the secrets to the universe.
A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.
Carolyn’s not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts. After all, she was a normal American herself once. That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.

In the years since then, Carolyn hasn’t had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient customs. They’ve studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.

Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own.

But Carolyn has accounted for this. And Carolyn has a plan. The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she’s forgotten to protect the things that make her human.

Basic Thoughts

I think this book’s premise is a tricky one to do well, and I was excited to delve into it.

While it’s, in my opinion, barely teetering on what Amazon wants to call a fantasy, I definitely see it as more extreme magical realism. As you start the beginning of the book, it is a little difficult to pin-point what is going, and their are a couple critiques I will get into once I do the Overview, but, overall, this read was a highly enjoyable, at least for someone who claims to enjoy fantasy.


  • 95% of the time, when the characters are trying to be funny, it really is funny
  • Taking a new spin on an old premise
    • the author has taken this old story of gods and mythological the stories and has turned into something modern and enjoyable
  • Fully commits to it’s oddness
    • This book, entirely, is very odd indeed, and it knows this and embraces it


  • Confusing, at times
    • Sometimes I felt things were confusing just to be confusing, or the author pinned a certain happening of something just because “that’s how it is in that world”
  • 5% of the time there are some cringe lines
    • I would consider this book on the comedic (while dark at times) side, and it mostly achieves that, minus the occasional cringe line.
  • I felt like I was walking a tightrope
    • To me, coming from the Elkin work I reviewed previously, this topic of giving life to immortal beings is tricky, and I felt like I was walking on a tightrope for it falling into not being good. While I never fell, the tension was still there.


This book is different.

Really different.

It is taking a large, immortal world and placing it in the likes of the earth as it is today. And I think one of my main issues with this book was that it sometimes relied on the fact of being “different” and “complex” as an excuse to do things that didn’t make sense. For example (and this was not in the book or anything), it could start raining nickels and a character would look up in the sky and be like, “Why the hell is it raining nickels?” and another character would look at them and just say “It’s really complicated to explain. You wouldn’t get it.”

Like, I understand that this world is complex, and it’s okay to have something like that in the book once or twice, but a lot of weird stuff happens, and I felt like the author took the easy way out in saying “eh, it makes sense, but it’s just too hard to explain.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and one of the main things going for it are the characters. The main characters, Carolyn and Steve, are very funny (minus the 5%) and save the story from falling into that cringe state that I believe Elkin did with The Living End

One more issue, before we end this, is that one of the things in the description and on the inside flap of the book describes the character, Carolyn, as “A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away,” and I believe that is highly deceiving. It makes the reader think that there is going to be some major love interest with her, and while there is a love interest, I feel it takes a huge step back to what the quote is actually saying. A better way would be to say “A woman too busy to notice that her morals for what is right and wrong are slipping away”. While that doesn’t have the same propagandist interest, it is more accurate and less misleading then the original description.

Looking at the overall story, however, it is highly entertaining. There’s action, lust, enjoyable characters, and that, to me, makes it a good story.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.5 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 4.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 4.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 4.0 (4.16)


Final Thoughts:

While I think this book could have benefitted from being longer, I do believe it is highly enjoyable. While the ending does leave things open for a sequel, I’m not entirely pressed for one, because I think what the author has created here is good, and I would be scared to see that a sequel would press some of the ideas portrayed in here as a little ridiculous. But, Hawkins managed to find the perfect balance here.

You can buy it here.

If you’re looking for a fun filled, action, fantastical adventure, look no further. I would recommend this to you.


Daniel xx


ANNOUNCEMNT: Next Wednesday, 03/21/2018, I will have an interview up of PUBLISHED POET Carrie Meadows!!



NEW ZINE – Sorry I Never Text You Back (7 Excuses)


I have been working hard at this one, and after a long while, I’m printing my first zine in almost a year!

Sorry I Never Text You Back is 7 excuses as to why I haven’t texted back in awhile. This is inspired by an incredible artist – Kate Berwanger.


They are full color, 16 pages and printed on this amazing paper.

They are $5 plus shipping ($1 US, $3 international). While I only have 3 in-stock right now, I will get more if there is demand.

You can get yours and find out more about it here.

About TenderYouth

TenderYouth is the new shop name I’m going to be putting all of my new zines under. While I have made several zines before, I feel like I’m in a new chapter of my life, so I needed to start fresh – hence tenderyouth.

If you have ANY questions, please don’t be afraid to ask.

I’m super excited about this. I think they turned out so beautifully.

I have another really awesome announcement, so stay tuned. Some amazing things are coming.


Daniel xx

February 2018 Wrap-Up

IMG_8422I managed to read 3 full books this month.

I am currently over half-way through with one title which will not be named just yet:

  • 280 Pages


Average Rating This Month: 3.0 / 5.0

Approximate Amount of Pages Read This Month: 1,166 Pages


Not too bad of a month, considering how much schoolwork I have had. But, in terms of quality reading, there was only one book that really wowed me, which is way better than none, as I’m sure it is entirely possible to go through a whole month with duds.

Other than that, I’m pretty proud of this month, page wise.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: I have two very exciting things coming up, one of which you will hear about within a week or so, the other little bit further down the road. I am sooo excited to finally announce these things, so keep an eye out for them.

Other than that, I hope you all had a good reading month, and a great day!

As always,

Daniel xx


WOOL by Hugh Howey (Review)


528 Pages

Wool has been on my TBR list for awhile, as have a lot of the reads I’ve been picking up lately. It was mostly on my radar when I was more into post-apocolyptic/dystopian things, as I thought it was interesting – being advertised as an adult book (or new adult) in this genre.

In a future where the air you breath could kill you, and humans live in Silos buried underground, we follow several characters as they live their lives transfixed by the thought of the outside world. People who even speak of leaving or commit any punishment are sent out for the cleaning of the cameras that show the world of the outside – using wool pads – for sure to end in their death. When Juliette is put in the position of Sheriff, she soon starts to realize that not everything is as nice and peaceful as it may seem in the Silo. And, she soon realizes that not everyone is on the side of peace, either. How did they get there to begin with? Why is the world so toxic outside? But, asking those questions in the Silo, she knows, could very easily get you killed.

Basic Thoughts

I think the premise behind this book is very intriguing. While I do feel that a lot of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels follow the same pattern, I felt this one could break the mold.

It’s a long book, too, which I thought would help it achieve this goal in the end. What is this Silo? What is this world in which they all have been living in? Why are these people there?


  • Interesting idea
    • The whole idea that the air is toxic, forcing people to live inside of a Silo is honestly quiet interesting.
  • Relatable characters
    • I do feel like a lot of the character’s ambitions are highly relatable, and Howey manages to portray them well.


  • Very wordy
    • While the chapters where short, there would often be chapters with absolutely    no dialogue. It made me wonder if they were necessary at all.
  • Some things didn’t make sense
    • The Silo is made up of around 150 stories, all connected by stairs. They complain about these stairs a lot. They have advanced computer technology but couldn’t build an elevator?
  • Doesn’t manage to break the mold
    • While it tried very hard, it is honestly just your average dystopian.

Overall View

From what I know, this book was very well received, so I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t have very high expectations for it.

My first point of critique would have to be the length. It’s a pretty lengthy book, which is good…sometimes. In this case, however, I felt it was about 200 pages too long. I felt the author often got lost in describing things that were not important to the story and that I, frankly, did not care about. This, of course, made this long book feel like not a lot happened. When I finished, I felt like hardly anything did happen. I felt like he lingered too much on the slow parts, and not enough on the parts that actually made the story exciting.

While some of the characters where amusing and their ambitions relatable, they felt entirely 2-D. Two of them falling for the insta-love trope around page 200, which I thought the character was going to be above…she was not. Especially when she is fronted as a “tough” character, yet so easily gives into to a lot of things.

This idea is pretty neat, I guess. The air outside kills you if you breath it, and people are put to death to clean the sensors outside of the Silo that allow people to see outside. However, one thing that was huge tear in the story, were the stairs. One of the main things the author continuously harps on is how hard the stairs are to climb for everyone. They have a huge department of computers, huge generators and water pumps…yet no elevator? If the stairs caused this much of a hassle for everyone, why weren’t elevators present, especially with advances they had?

Also, I did feel as though the book never really committed to this idea of an adult dystopian. You could have easily made the characters teen, and nothing would have been different.

Overall I just felt this book was too much and too long. While I’m not saying it wasn’t enjoyable, it was just, overall, nothing new.

Final Rating:

Characters: 3.0 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 2.5 / 5.0

Overall Story: 3.0 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 3.0 (2.84)

Final Thoughts:

I feel like it’s usually a huge hit or miss with books like this – books that get extremely popular outside of the book world, that is. Overall I just found this story no different from a lot of other things I’ve read, and just found the writing very lengthy at times.

Don’t get me wrong, if post-apocalyptic/dystopian is your main thing, then you’ll probably like it and may or may not agree with me.

However, I do think this novel was about 200 pages too long and could have easily had the same effect with less pages. But, I can understand why people generally liked it. It just didn’t hit all the marks I wanted it to as an avid reader.

If you’re curious, you can purchase it here.

Other than that, I have some exciting things coming up soon, so keep an eye out!

Have a wonderful weekend.


Daniel xx






This is going to be a brief post.

While I have thoroughly enjoyed doing Friday Favorites, even if it was for a short time, I have decided to end the strict schedule of posting one every Friday, or even at all, as the past couple of times I have found that they are becoming slightly monotonous and taking up the majority of this page.

While this page is still young, I want the focus of it to be on books and writing. And while I may, occasionally, share a favorites list with you, I will be putting a rest to the posting of Friday Favorites.

I hope you understand.

I’m so excited to see where this page is going to go! I have been welcomed with such open arms, and I thank you all deeply.

I hope you have a great Friday!


Daniel xx


WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson (Review)



214 Pages

I had heard about this book awhile ago through BookTube, but was first really introduced to Shirley Jackson in English Composition II when we read “The Lottery”.  I ended up writing an entire paper on the significance of the Black Box in that story, but I always had We Have Always Lived in the Castle in the back of my head in my mental TBR list.

Marry “Merricat” Katherine Blackwood and Constance Blackwood, sisters, and their Uncle Julian, as well as Merricat’s feline friend, Jonas, live life in their sprawling home left to them six years ago when a terrible tragedy left the three (or four) of them to fend for themselves. Shirley Jackson weaves a dark and terrifying story of the mysteries behind this family and why everyone is so afraid of them. What actually happened to the Blackwoods?

Basic Thoughts

I went into this knowing very little, but the opening paragraph hooked me and I could not put it down from there.

The dark and twisted world of the main character, Merricat, is one of intrigue and suspense. The way Jackson shapes the vocabulary and ignorance of Merricat and the world around her are what truly make this a haunting read, all spinning around the question of:

What really happened to the Blackwoods?

The tension as Merricat goes into town and how the people treat her is nearly impossible to imagine, but then you think of the time we’re in now, and how easily ridicule could come on to someone, or a family, so easily. How easily it would be to get shunned like that – especially in a small town.

But, Merricat, her sister Constance and Uncle Julian have managed to get by, even with the town’s distaste in them and the mystery surrounding their family – shutting themselves away and creating their own little world at the Blackwood home. But when Cousin Charles shows up, befriending Constance and disrupting their normal routine, Merricat isn’t pleased. How will she restore this bliss that they had in their castle?


  • The writing style
    • I quite favor this type of writing. It reminds me so much of the writing of J.D. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye. Jackson manages to portray the innocence and ignorance of the young so beautifully.
  • Fast, but fulfilling read
  • Leaves a lingering impression


  • Very little on the outer world beyond the house

Overall View:

Starting with the single con, Jackson doesn’t paint a very broad picture beyond the world of the Blackwoods. While this did not bother me, per se, as I believe she was attempting to showcase the fantasy world Merricat has built in her mind, this could be an issue for some, as the townspeople aren’t really portrayed except in criticizing the Blackwoods.

Focusing on the pros, Jackson’s writing reflects the ignorance and innocence that is Merricat and what she stands for. And, while this a fast read, it is one that leaves you “book full”, if that makes any sense. It manages to pack so much successfully (mystery, suspense, childhood youth/ignorance) that it leaves the reader feeling fulfilled.

One of the main things I enjoyed was the dialogue between Constance and Merricat and then also Merricat’s own, personal thoughts. Reitterating on the theme of this childhood ignorance, these are the main things driving that point to the reader of how young Merricat’s mind is – how unaware it is to the outside world.

Speaking of Charles, who shows up at about 50 pages in, I do feel like he was more of an object than an actual person or character in the story, as he was merely a disruption and not an actual living being it seemed upon reflection, in what I think is a disillusioned retelling of the fall of this “perfect” thing between Mary Katherine, Constance, Uncle Julian, and even Jonas, the cat.

Speaking of the cat, Jonas, appearing in many of the scenes of the book, offers a deep extension of Merricat’s mind and how she describes this cat as if he is a human, which goes into the further supporting argument that Jackson is a master at painting the mind of this disillusioned youth that is Mary Katherine.

While I’ll admit, I did kind of see the twist coming, this book, I feel, wasn’t about the twist, but about everything around it – the town and how it has reacted to the Blackwoods, the entire mystery and power behind rumors, and then being smacked in the face by truth and the consequences of that.

While this has probably been said many times before about this book, Jackson has created a masterpiece.

Final Rating:

Characters: 4.5 / 5.0

Action/Dialogue: 5.0 / 5.0

Overall Story: 5.0 / 5.0


Final Thoughts:

Another 5 star review already! Wow!

As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is definitely one I would highly recommend –  especially if you enjoyed the writing in The Catcher in the Rye. (However, do not misunderstand, the story line between this book and The Catcher in the Rye are nothing similar, but the style of writing is something comparable, in my opinion.)

For some reason I’m a sucker for characters who like to tell it how it is and aren’t afraid to share their opinion, even if they’re wrong, which is something I could definitely feel in this.

This is a book I want to put on my shelf permanently, and I think anyone even moderately interested in literature today should pick this one up as you can see many themes that resonate in modern-day storytelling.

Please, treat yourself and buy it here. (Note: This version is fewer pages, as I checked mine out from my University library and it is a different printing.)

Again, HIGHLY recommended. This will be added to my list of favorites.

If you have read this book, I would love to hear what you have to say about it.

Even if you didn’t like the book, I must remind you that these are just the honest opinions of an English Major.


Daniel xx



FRIDAY FAVORITES: Week 4 (February 9th, 2018)

It’s hard to believe that it has been about a month since the first one these!

Well, without further adieu…

Here’s the criteria.

This list will consist of my weekly favorite:

  • Physical Thing
  • Non-Physical Thing (This can include but is not limited to anything from Movies, Videos or Online Articles)
  • Song



Uniball VISION Pen

Buy here.


All I’m saying is that this is one of the smoothest pens out there. Perfect for sloppy first drafts and mark-ups.


booksnjournals Instagram



I really don’t even remember how I started following this person, but I just remember one of their posts popping up in my feed one day AND JUST LOOK AT THIS JOURNAL!

Doesn’t this make you want to start one of your own? I have no idea how she has under 100 followers, but GO FOLLOW HER FOR MORE POSTS LIKE THIS AMAZINGNESS!!



“Delicate” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Reputation Credit: Mert & Marcus

You can hate on Taylor all you want, but I’m a huge fan and I think that “Delicate”, off of her latest album reputation, is one of most subtle love songs there is. If you’re looking for the perfect “crush” or “new relationship” song, this is it.



Overall, this week has honestly been a little stressful, but we have all gotten through it!

As for the project I have been mentioning, be expecting that soon. Not soon soon, but soon.

Other than that, I hope you have a great fin de semana!

And, if you, for some reason, don’t like any of these things, just remember that these are just the honest opinions of an English Major.


Daniel xx