Hey guys! Welcome back to another blog post. This week I’m going to be giving you my writing playlist! This is music I listened to when I wrote The Crystal Chronicles! I also included some music I am listening to currently writing the second book in the series. Regardless I think this playlist is great to get the creative juices flowing!
A Little Wicked – Valerie Broussard
Give Us a Little Love – Falluah
I’m a Wanted Man – Royal Deluxe
Mess Around - Cage the Elephant
Breathe Into Me- Marian Hill
Trap (J Paul Mix) - Elizaveta
I’m So Sorry – Imagine Dragons
Jungle – X Ambassadors (shout out to The Crystal Chronicles book two)
What I Wouldn’t Do - Serena Ryder
Feeling Electric – Parade of Lights
Photograph- Ed Sheeran
A Little Taste – Skyler Stonestreet
We Must be Killers- Mikky Ekko
Who Are you Really – Mikky Ekko (literally Haven Reeves)
Flawed Design- Stabilo
Everybody Wants to Rule the World- Lorde
The Devil Within – Digital Daggers
Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore – Ryan Lewis
Atlas Playlist- Sleeping at Last
Bad Blood- Bastille
Gold- Imagine Dragons
Jesse’s Girl- Rick Springfield
Poison – Rita Ora
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked – Cage the Elephant
Armageddon – Michelle Treacy
Dream - Imagine Dragons
Let her Go – Passenger
Beneath your Beautiful
Nuvo Blanche – Ludovico Einaudi
Alright thats it for this week guys! I hope you like my writing playlist! I hope it inspires some of you to write something great!
Until next time,
Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to be reviewing the Midnight Star by Marie Lu. It is the third and final installment in the popular Young Elites series. Warning: spoilers ahead!
As I did with my previous review, I will rank Midnight Star according to three criteria, writing, plot and characters! This will determine the book’s score!
On the writing:
Marie Lu is definitely one of my favourite YA authors. I mean, she killed it with her Legend series and did it again with the Young Elites. I have always adored her writing. Specifically, I love how descriptive her writing is. Midnight Star takes place in it’s own world and she describes this strange world so vividly. She makes me want to visit this renaissance Italy themed world.
Near the end of the book, Adelina and the elites enter this weird ethereal underworld setting. Lu writes this scene so well even though the concept of the underworld is so abstract. Another thing I really admired with MS is her writing the “voices” in Adelina’s head. It’s so cool to be able to do this with a character. As a reader, we’ve gotten to know Adelina’s inner demons and at some parts they are oddly terrifying. And I really, really like it. These italicized “voices” Adelina deals with in the book is such an interesting angle to work with. I was also caught off guard when she finds out the voices in her head are all the people she’s killed in her life. Damn, in this book Lu seriously achieves a new level of dark. This series is not for people who enjoy happy endings and nice juicy romance scenes because this book is none of that. And that’s okay. It’s what makes it so interesting.
On the characters:
The characters in Midnight Star make this book for me. I love Adelina because she’s so dark and evil. She’s not the hero, she’s the villain and she owns it. Instead, Lu creates this amazing anti-villain dynamic that is just so unique. I seriously haven’t come across a series with a main character that is so dark and crazy as Adelina.
It’s also great as reader, to watch Adelina descend into madness. There is huge character development from book one to book three and I didn’t know Adelina would be as evil as she is in the beginning of Midnight Star. Does it make me hate Adelina? Yea a little bit (or maybe the entire time Raffale has been my favourite). But what Lu does with Adelina’s character in the end just blew me to pieces. In the final chapters while she is the underworld, Adelina chooses to trade her life for Violetta’s life. This heartbreaking sacrifice actually brought tears to my eyes. While Adelina did horrible things throughout the Midnight Star, she chooses to leave her mark on the world by leaving behind a thing of light – Violetta.
Violetta is the opposite of Adelina, she’s caring and empathic, and it’s interesting to see their loyalty to each other despite being opposites. Even though Violetta represents goodness, there is still a dark side to her – can you see the theme yet? Other strong characters like Raffale and Magiano really help the book. I think I would go crazy just reading Adelina go crazy. Adding chapters with different characters points of view really makes this book a hit. I want to get in the head of Magiano, Raffale, Violetta, Maeve and Lucent. And I can’t forget about Teren. I think I hate him more than I hate Adelina. So why not all of them? Yea, that’s probably what Marie Lu was thinking too.
On the plot:
The plot of the Midnight Star was well done for the most part. The beginning centers on Adelina conquering surrounding lands and her terrifying rule. Things quickly pick up when Raffale learns the elites powers are slowly destroying their bodies. After realizing, Violetta is dying, Adelina teams up with the other elites for one last adventure. They discover their immortal powers are poisoning the world and in order to fix the planet, they will need to venture to the underworld and give back their powers.
The final scenes are a great closing to Adelina’s story. After giving up her powers to the Gods and returning to the world, she instead trades her life for her dead sister. Violetta is then returned to the world and as a testament to Adelina’s memory, makes a deal with a God to transform her into a constellation. The series ends as the elites give back their powers, healing the world. After the elites learn of Adelina’s passing, they return to their lives. Raffale and Violetta return to rule the kingdom that Adelina left behind, and Maeve and Lucent are later married. In the final chapter Magiano tells Violetta he is going to look for Adelina, as there is a myth that she would return every night. He sets off looking for the midnight star to find her, hence the meaning of book’s title. The plot was conducted pretty flawlessly and there were no boring moments in this book. To be honest, Lu did an amazing job.
All in all, I reward the Midnight Star a 9/10. Most books do not get that high of a ruling but for MS, it is well deserved. Lu created an incredible cast of characters and built a world that intrigued me from the very start. This heartbreaking sacrifice at the end of Midnight Star, reminds me of my own love for my sister.
This book is an absolute must read. It is a great end to this trilogy, and was a satisfying blend of bitter and sweet. While I do mourn Adelina’s death and Magiano’s loss, I think leaving Violetta behind in Adelina’s memory was truly the best ending for the Midnight Star. So yea... bolt over to your nearest bookstore and pick up this book. I literally read it in two days... I just couldn’t put it down!
Well that’s all for the review guys! There’s plenty more to come in the future so stay tuned!
Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog! So this weeks post is going to be a little different... I've decided to start sharing my poetry! As a writer, my primary focus is obviously working on my book series but sometimes it's important to step out of your comfort zone and try something new! I absolutely love writing poetry and I've been fiddling around with it for a long time! I will include a few in this post and I might potentially add more later! If poetry isn't your cup of tea, this post might not be for you... but if it is... happy reading!
Note: This poem is my personal experiences with a chronic migraine disorder. It is extremely disabling at times and it's really impacted who I am as a person. This is a very painful topic for me to talk about and as always I am better expressed on paper.
On Chronic Disorders
I used to dance in open fields,
Light, free and chasing my dreams.
I used to offer my shoulder and hand out consolations,
to the souls of our damned generation.
One day I returned to the field to find it open no more,
only to be fenced in and trapped inside,
with nowhere to hide.
I screamed at the sky but it answered in a thunderstorm,
the days of sun and blue skies, I often mourn.
I was the prey waiting for the predator to strike,
and it did.
It tied me up in chains, inflicting the worst type of pain.
Like Prometheus chained to the wall with vultures pecking at his liver every night,
and like me, Prometheus knew it was futile to fight.
For he was caught in a vicious never-ending cycle of pain,
to suffer again and again, with each day ending the same.
I wonder just how much someone could possibly take,
when they are damned to an eternal fate.
Life should be a choice.
A choice to stay or a choice to leave,
but does anyone truly know what it is to be free?
Is pains puppet all I really am?
No wonder I never had a chance.
Sometimes I try to break free of this cage,
and escape the fiery depths of my self-destructive rage.
But it’s my own skin and bone,
funny, how this body never feels like home.
As of late, I search for a bright star,
and I see from my grasp, it’s travelled so far.
Sometimes I think about where it possibly went,
especially when my days are stolen, instead of well spent.
Maybe it’s buried in the cemetery inside my mind,
either way, I sit here, digging for the hope I yearn to find.
Note: This is my take on writing a love poem. Sometimes poetry does not have to be based off of personal experience but your perceptions and ideals of love and relationships.
I want to explore you
I want to run my fingers along the movement of your spine
I want to touch every scar and hear every accompanying story
I want to use my lips and write stories on the canvas of your bare skin
Once our bodies are properly acquainted, I want to find the darkest parts of you
The kind that could stain my hands black
I want to undress you word by word until you've shed every protective layer
I want to explore your soul darling
I want to douse you in gasoline and I do not want to be spared from your blaze
You would burn so very brilliantly
Tonight, the fire in your eyes is too tempting to resist
So fall into my arms and burn
Let me explore you
Note: I decided to write this poem one day after seeing how deeply my good friend was hurt by an unrequited love. This poem isn't necessarily about his experience but it is about my perception of lost love and what it could make me feel.
On Unrequited Love
I never understood why you don't call my arms home
I could immortalize you in words
Keep your spirit forever pressed between the pages
I could give you all of me
Your love was toxic and destroyed the walls that kept me a chained prisoner
We could have had the world
But you hold her the same way you held me once
I taught you how to love
I was the one who showed you how to tame wild souls with words
Next time, I won't give my greatest gift to the next man who has the courage to look me dead in the eyes
Note: This poem is personal and I wrote it for a friend who is so dear to me. This person has saved my life in countless ways and it's hard to express deep and profound love sometimes.. but this me trying!
To My Dear Friend
You said that you've seen me broken
You said that you've seen me at my best
You watched with a weary heart as I shattered one by one
Piece by piece
Until I was just a shadow of the girl you knew
Yet you say even broken I am beautiful
You always say I'm human
As if being human gives me an excuse to feel this way
I want to let you know
Your the first person I turned to
When I finally gathered all my shattered pieces
I didn't know what to do with them
I was in ruins and I had nothing left
Yet you took them from me gently
Letting the world roll off my shoulders and on to yours
And you said you could piece me back together
And you did.
Note: I've never been in a real relationship to be able to document what it feels like. All I can rely on is observing people in my daily life and listening to people about their past loves.
Miles and Miles
You weren’t always like this love
I remember the days where there were no barriers
You were the tide and I was your shore
But over the years
Your eyes went cold and cloudy
Your fingers felt foreign on my skin
And that was when I realized
It was long ago, long before I called you mine
That you put on a disguise and wove it into your skin
You fell so hard into a disguise that you became inseparable from the thing you feared most
These days the disguise won’t budge
I’ve tried peeling and prying it off
But tonight when you sit here in my arms
I see the faintest crack through that armour you locked yourself behind
And I know I can shatter you, shatter you down to the very bone that once made you so beautiful to me
What I never understood
Is why you let yourself fall so hard into a disguise
That you eventually became the very thing you promised you wouldn’t
Note: This poem was originally a challenge for my creative writing class. If any of my readers are still in high school and enjoy writing, I highly recommend taking a class like this if it is offered. It's quite fun!
Why I Write
Because it makes life bearable
And I’ve never wanted to but needed to
Because the untold story is agony
And the temptation to create is hard to resist
Because if I stopped a part of me stops with it
And my readers would ask where the second book is
Because writing drove me crazy
But in the end it was the only thing that saved me
Because the 9 to 5 white picket fence life is too much for me
And I don’t want to be shoved into the formula
Go to school, get a job, have 2 kids and a dog
Because my characters feel more like my longtime friends than just words
And they’re waiting for me to finish the story
Because between the pages is the only home I’ve ever known
And it lets me escape life’s black and white
From a perfectly engineered generation
Just tell me I’m right
Because it keeps me hanging on
And I have to remember I’m not society’s little pawn
Because I don’t believe in fate but I know this is meant for me
And it’s the only thing I turn to when nothing goes right
Because sometimes I want a break from life’s white noise
And I want to find myself in the words
It’s the only place where I know how to look
Because sometimes it’s the only calm in the storm
And it’s the only quiet in an always-moving world
Because I’m not immortal
But stories are
Because I have a love affair with the written word
Because writing set me free
Because writing keeps me strong
Because I can’t say it any louder
This is why I write.
Note: This poem is very personal to me, it's a poem again referencing my migraine disorder. Writing is often an outlet for me when I feel like I have nothing else to turn to in my life. I know I am not alone in feeling this.
The Only Poem
This is the only thing I know how to do
When things turn bitter and cold
This is the only thing I want to do
When it comes to take me away again
Sometimes it digs its claws too deep
And then it’s a race against time
To outrun the pain and get down another line
This is the only thing I can do
When nothing else goes right
It’s the thing the keeps me going
When there is too much pain, night after night
I once begged religion to save me, screaming out for God
But it remained unanswered
Now I know what really kept me hanging on
A single book for redemption and a single book drew readers in
They ask for more, expect more, and so I kept hanging on
A fight against my own body that’s run 7 years too long
Writing kept me going
Writing kept me strong
It spilled onto the page forming its own kind of song
My song, my story, my only saving grace
My book saved me, my characters saved me
To finish what I started long ago
100 pages deep, I stopped and looked around
And realized what my own words had done
Reeling me back into my life, one by one.
Thats all I'm sharing for now guys! As always thanks for reading the little pieces of me! I would love to read any of your poetry so feel free to send me them through my Contact Me page! Also stay tuned for an update in my Press/Media page... I'm going on a book tour across local schools! Check for where and when I'll be! Can't wait to meet you guys!!
Until next time!
About the Author
Alessia Dickson is the author of The Crystal Chronicles series. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she is hard at work on her next book.