This one was HARD for me, but I knew it would be going into the movie. I intentionally waited until it came to video to watch it. I knew I would be very triggered watching this movie, so I wanted to watch it in the privacy of my home.
For those that don't know, I am a CF mama. I lost my oldest daughter to CF at a little under 2 1/2 years old and my youngest child, Ezra, has CF as well. The details of what happened the day Hayley passed left me with PTSD.
As someone that knows the ins and outs of CF, I was concerned about the title the first time I heard of this movie. For anyone without CF knowledge, the rule of thumb is all CFers must be six feet apart at all times to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria and infections that do not affect most people. I was glad when the trailer showed me there was a valid reason behind the missing foot in the title.
Stella and Will both have Cystic Fibrosis. Stella is very in control of her treatments, she stays on top of them and is very organized about her setup. Will, on the other hand, is rebellious about his own therapies due to the resentment of his health and condition. Stella is on the lung transplant list, waiting for her perfect match to come through. She survives the hospital stays with studying, facetiming friends, and working on coding. Will, doesn't meet criteria for a lung transplant due to a bacteria he's contracted. This makes their budding relationship especially critical. These two, above all, need to stay apart. But their hearts don't want to listen to that reason.
I was extra critical with the hospital and treatment scenes because I am a CF mama. I will not bore you with those details. They did very good overall with staying true to the life of a CF patient. I was disappointed in the lack of parent involvement. I understand the characters are older (Will turns 18 during the movie), so they can care for themselves and even stay in the hospital alone. But, as a CF parent, I felt they should've been around more than they were. I will state that I haven't reached that point of CF parenting as my oldest is only 4 1/2 so I am his advocate and in charge of his care 100%. My thoughts might change on this point in the future when he is old enough to handle some of his own care.
The love story is sweet and not corny, as so many are nowadays. Their connection makes perfect sense. CF is a very isolating disease and only understood by those walking through it. They understand the struggles, the hopelessness, the constant pain, the fear of the unknown, and sharing those emotions and experiences brings them to a relationship they know is forbidden. The missing foot in the title is part of this. Stella decides CF has stolen far too much from her and her and Will decide to take one foot back. Instead of following the standard six feet apart rule, they commit to five feet and use a pool stick as measurement when they are together.
There are two separate scenes with CPR, which is likely not a trigger for most, but it is my biggest trigger. I went into the movie assuming the chances were high of seeing a scene with CPR so I was as prepared as someone with PTSD can be. There were statements by Stella and Will that were tough to hear as a parent of a CFer, but I strongly feel they were accurate representations of the emotional strain this disease leaves on its victims.
Overall, I give the movie 4 dragonflies.
Content-wise, I caution against anyone under 16. There is more cursing than I expected, given the age of the characters. The majority of the movie takes place in the hospital with treatments and medications throughout as well as a few surgery scenes. Given the matter of the disease, there is a good bit of discussion on death and the afterlife. There is a scene with Stella and Will both in only their underwear. There is a character that is openly gay and a few statements/conversations regarding sexual acts. My only trigger warning is if you are sensitive to medical scenes, though nothing is too graphic in that department.
I figured the best way to share our story was to begin with some background on our history and family.
So, here it goes..
I (Lyndsie/aka Lainy) have dealt with social and general anxiety as long as I can remember. I don't recall the age I realized my fears weren't "normal" or that panic attacks were panic attacks and not something everyone experienced. But, at some point, I matured enough to realize something was wrong with me. It would take a lot more years before I decided to seek help for these issues and still to this day, I only accept help on an intermittent basis (which I don't recommend, mind you).
My husband, Alex, and I were high school sweethearts. Six years after meeting, we were married. Shortly after that, we discovered I was pregnant with our first child. Nothing sets paranoia and anxiety into overdrive quite like pregnancy hormones! I was a wreck!! I was so sure I was going to do something "wrong" and mess up our baby. It was this fear that led me to sign up for the genetic disease testing that would change our lives forever. It was a simple blood draw that informed us we were carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis Gene, meaning our baby had a 25% chance of having Cystic Fibrosis. I had heard of the disease before, but knew nothing of it. So, I did what any anxious person does when handed a scary, unknown situation; I turned to Google. And even after my husband told me to stay off Google, I researched the way our lives would change every chance I got. This research of course only intensified my guilt and fears, yet it became a masochistic habit I couldn't stop.
Two weeks after Hayley was born, we received her official CF diagnosis and began our first pathway down chronic illness. Despite the additional challenges, we loved being parents and Hayley quickly accepted her princess status in our household. She was a strong girl that didn't let any of her sickness show. Even when she wasn't feeling well, she didn't show it. Just before Hayley turned two, we added our second daughter who is a CF carrier.
Five months later, Hayley suddenly passed away in her sleep. We knew she was dealing with a lung infection, but we had zero indication of how serious it was. As it turns out, she was dealing with necrotizing pneumonia. Her passing, and events that happened that day, led to my PTSD, which I was diagnosed with a few months later.
When Callie was 19 months, despite having already had exposure to all types of nuts, she had an allergic reaction to peanut butter. We were very blessed in that her reaction wasn't as severe as it could've been. She broke out in hives and began to show slight signs of anaphylaxis, however, the moment we wiped her down, all her symptoms disappeared. After seeing an allergist, and a blood draw, her peanut allergy was confirmed and we became epi-pen carrying parents.
One year after Hayley's passing, we discovered we were pregnant with our third child. Emotions ran high with the fear of returning to the CF world. My pregnancy with Ezra was my hardest. I had severe back, hip, and pelvic pain that I continuously brought up to my doctor with the concern something was wrong. Each time I was brushed off with an "it's your third pregnancy, you're just feeling the pain more intense now". Ezra's birth was my only natural birth without an induction. It was intense, to say the least. Two weeks later, we received our second CF diagnosis call and once again set off on a path that had already stolen far too much from us.
My pain only continued to increase after Ezra arrived. After quite a few doctors and too many tests to count, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and the beginning stages of arthritis. I had already been diagnosed with Endometriosis as a teenager.
The combination of our illnesses is the reason I wanted to share our journey. We have an array of different health issues on top of my mental health struggles, and of course the normal day-to-day life and parenting stressors. I wanted a place to share our struggles, victories, advice, experiments, and more.
I wanted to love this series, and I did, until the very end of this book.....
I thoroughly enjoyed books 1 & 2 of the Tearling Series. I thought the writing and story was very well done. I felt the same for the majority of the final book as well.
Most of the Fate of the Tearling is done as a history revealing what led to the crisis the Tearling now finds itself in. The story was good, though I will admit it was slower paced than I expected. This series did a lot of switching between fast and slow-paced pieces of the story. Given the way book 2 ended, however, I had expected the finale to be a face paced, action-packed story, and it wasn't.
Without giving away too much information, because you know I do my best to keep my reviews spoiler free, I will simply say that the ending killed the entire series for me. I had a suspicion for the better part of reading this book that it was going to end the way it did and I was sourly disappointed to find my suspicion correct. It's disheartening, to say the least, to follow a series (especially one as long as this one) for the ending to leave you feeling it was all a waste of time.
Overall, I would have to give this book a rating of 3 dragonflies. The first 75% of the book is good, but the ending really destroyed it all for me. Content rating would be 18+ in my opinion.
I will also put out a trigger warning for a borderline sexual assault/rape scene..
I honestly wondered for just over halfway through this book whether or not it was the final book of the series. The story did not seem to be moving along quickly enough for it to be the last book. The last ¼ of the book, however, the pace picks up significantly and the ending seems to come a bit too fast. I have mixed feelings about the end, and without giving away spoilers, I will simply say it was fitting overall, but not what I wanted.
Overall, I enjoyed the development of Kricket's character in this book, and I enjoyed the relationship she developed and the struggle surrounding how it grew and played out. There were a few things I think I would've liked to have seen done differently, but overall I was also left guessing for the most part on what would happen.
I give the book an overall rating of 4 dragonflies and, once again, would say it is 16-17+ due to romantic scenes, still "closed door".
You can check out all of Amy’s works here, I plan to read more of her works in the future so keep a lookout for more reviews in the future.
Kricket finds herself in quite the predicament(s) to work through in this sequel. It is more action-packed than the first book in the series, and the romance aspect intensifies tenfold. Overall, the story remained moving quickly and was enthralling. There were parts where I wanted to hit Kricket for being naïve, and I did not feel there was much character development.
Seeing Kricket’s romantic life take off was welcomed and done very well throughout the book. The temperature behind it rises quickly and pulls you into the building relationship.
This one ends with a more prominent cliffhanger than the first, so be prepared to start the 3rd book immediately, I promise you will want to!
Overall, I give the story 4 dragonflies. I enjoyed the book and instantly devoured the third as well (review here) I would rate this as a 16 or 17+ due to the romantic encounters, they are "closed door". There is a bit more violence in this book as well, nothing too severe, but a more significant quantity for sure.
You can check out all of Amy’s works here, I plan to read more of her works in the future so keep a lookout for more reviews in the future.
I generally get weary about "alien" series. So far, the books I have encountered with other world species have been on one end of the spectrum or the other; super corny or really good. This extreme has left me a bit guarded towards these types of books. I honestly didn't realize this was a different world book until after I was already in, luckily it didn't deter me at all in this book.
Amy didn't leave me wanting in any way! I loved every part of this book and was left craving the next instantly craving the next. The characters consumed me after only a few chapters, and the storyline was the perfect mix of action, love, and drama to leave me hanging onto every word.
I give Under Different Stars a 4 dragonfly rating.
Content wise, I would consider it a young adult, safe for 14+.
Click here to check out all of Amy A. Bartol's works.
As if the cover itself isn't enough to convince you to buy this book, I'll restate it; buy this book!!
Beautiful. Romantic. Real.
The characters will draw you in, You will instantly form a connection with them.
Their story will send you through every single emotion possible.
The writing of this book is simply incredible. It will leave you unable to put it down.. The emotions it ignites will leave you raw, yet still wanting more. It will linger in your mind long after you are done.
Blue and Adam are a wonderful love story, yet the emotions invoked are masochistic. I won't lie, this book shredded me, but in the best way possible. Do yourself a favor, and just read it!
Get your copy by clicking on the photo.
See all of Sarah Jayne Carr's works here.
I rate this book 5 dragonflies.
Content wise, I'd say 18+ as there are sex scenes, drinking, and cussing throughout.
The Invasion of the Tearling is the second in the Tearling series.
Kelsea made a few changes during the first book in taking over her Kingdom that brought on serious repercussions. The Invasion of the Tearling is where we see those repercussions come into play. We know from the first book that war is inevitable. As you can likely gather from the name of the book, that war comes into play in this book. Overall, it was a good book. There was a lot of build-ups and in a slight way, I feel it was a bit anti-climatic.
There was a good bit of character development throughout this book and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Kelsea's internal conflict with accepting herself and the woman she is becoming. It was done in a very relatable way. There are two storylines going on in this book and we learn a lot about the pre-Crossing era. I think this part of the story was the most interesting because it was done in a way that was very believable. The things that led to the downfall of humanity and in turn led to the Crossing in search of a fresh start are all things we see in the world today. Greed, debt, desire for power, disrespect, and hate towards people that are different or we don't understand. It was eye-opening to think of the very things we see day-to-day in this world being what destroys us and sparks a hatred and bigotry that infects every fiber of the world.
Overall, I would give this book 4 dragonflies. It was enjoyable and I look forward to reading the last book of the series, The Fate of the Tearling. I would consider this book a 18+, there is language as well as some "closed door" sexual relations. *Trigger Warning* There are rape and a battle scenes.
If you'd like a copy of the book, click the image above. The series also includes The Queen of the Tearling (book 1 my review here) and The Fate of the Tearling (book 3, my review here.)
This is one that has been on my to-read list for a long time now, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it! The story is gripping, the characters are dynamic, and the narrative is captivating.
This isn't your average princess to queen story! Kelsea didn't ask for this life and had no idea what she was taking on upon being brought to her kingdom. After being hidden and raised by a foster family to ensure her safety, she is taken once she comes of age, to begin her rule. She is a normal girl, who grew to be a bit of a tomboy and is thrown into a land where the history has weaved a web of wickedness that she must sort out if she wants to be a queen with any shred of character.
Normally when stories jump back and forth with POV's, I get turned off and confused. This book was quite different and the story wouldn't have been near as good without the changes in POV throughout. It is nice to see a real character, one that is well aware of their flaws and argues with themselves about their fear of not being good enough, yet still taking on the day to day life handed to her, while spending her nights wondering if she did a single thing right at all. Kelsea is handed a hard deck of cards and she must decide what to do with them, all while hoping she isn't murdered and dealing with the ghosts of her past and the childhood that was stolen from her. I enjoyed the storytelling Johansen used in this book and look forward to continuing this series.
Overall, I give it 4 dragonflies. It is an older teen/adult book with a decent amount of cursing throughout. I would recommend 16+ as the audience for The Queen of the Tearling.
If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, click the image above.
This series also has two other books, The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling. I will post reviews of both books once I finished them as well.
Lost Girl is the first book in The Neverwood Chronicles. It is a Peter Pan retelling of sorts. Peter Pan is, and always will be, one of my very favorite stories. That said, I am very picky about any retellings or reimaginings. Lost Girl exceeded my expectation, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters were well developed, and I loved the combination of spunky, yet kind, and independent yet still willing to admit she needs help sometimes in Wendy. The character of Peter was perfect, He was imaginative and protective, in charge, yet still a bit immature, sweet and dreamy as can be. All of the supporting characters had individual personalities and stood out of their own accord well.
The twists and turns throughout the story were well laid out and not very predictable. The story was well thought out, and the ending was enough of completion of this story while still leaving you more than ready for the next.
I give this book 5 dragonflies and can't wait to get started on Lost Boy.
Content-wise, this is a young adult, 12+ friendly book.
You may get your own copy of Lost Girl here.
You may find out more about the author, Chanda Hahn, here.
You can look at the rest of Chanda's books here. I plan to read more from Chanda in the future.
Here is where you can keep up with me and what is going on in my head, with my characters, and works! This is where all of my author information, cover reveals, releases, sales, contests, etc. will be posted. Check back for updates regularly.