Toxic Positivity

Here is a rant that’s been a long time coming. I’m not against people living their lives positively, or looking at the world through a lense of positivity. What I’m against is people forcing that positivity on others. For example, people that think illnesses can be cured through the power of positive thinking. People that try to tell you you would feel better if you were happier or that you aren’t trying hard enough because illness and pain is mind over matter.

I hate it when people use their positivity to put others down. Other people have it worse than you. Other people suffer more. Oh you’re hungry? Well some people don’t get to eat for days at a time. Everyone’s suffering is valid even when other people have it worse.

Then we have the people that have wealth and fortune and have had opportunities not everyone can have. I have been poor for my entire life. I work full time and barely scrape by. I have a chronic illness. When I have people tell me I’m not focused enough on my dreams, or I clearly don’t want it enough if I’m not just doing it, I start to see red. I can barely make it through a day of work. Sometimes after work I need a cane to get from the couch to the bathroom. Sometimes I can barely stand long enough to take a shower.

To have people tell me I’m not trying hard enough, that it’s mind over matter, that I clearly don’t want it enough, that I need to push harder, that I need to meditate and do yoga, or lose weight, or do this and do that, or eat better, or take more vitamins, or to think more positively and I can achieve anything I want. That’s not how it works. Some people have to work their asses off when they are too sick to work. Some people have to work full time and barely survive. Some people get handed shit after shit. Some people don’t get the opportunity to improve their lives. Some people don’t have access to proper health care. Some people have mental illness and other illness that people don’t take seriously.

Some people get opportunity. Some people get to live their dreams, or drop everything to pursue them. To get told I have a choice when the choice is to focus on myself and what I want when that would mean I cant provide for my family. That is not a true choice. Some people can’t drop everything to pursue what they want. People can’t just think positively and make millions of dollars. Some people can’t work on achieving their goals and dreams because they are too busy trying to stay even remotely healthy, or to not have mental breakdowns, or to not have the weight of everything they have to deal with crush them.

Some people don’t get the chance to do more than just survive. Some people don’t even get to do that. When I hear people tell me or others that they can achieve anything they set their mind to? It’s bullshit. It’s bullshit and it’s cruel to rub things like that in people’s faces when they can barely hold themselves together. When the only strength they have left is to keep themselves standing.

When someone you love is suffering. When someone you care about is stretched thin, burned out, sick, fatigued, exhausted, barely hanging on. Don’t tell them to think positively. Don’t give them advice they can’t follow. Don’t tell them to calm down, meditate, do yoga, think about how other people have it worse. Tell them you care, tell them you’re there. Tell them you love them. Don’t tell them how to improve. Don’t tell them they aren’t trying hard enough. Everytime someone tells me that, or tells me it’s mind over matter, it crushes me. It hurts. It cuts deep. I exist with chronic illness. I have dreams I can’t achieve because I don’t have the energy or health or money to pursue them. That’s the way it is. I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that if I just smile more or “try harder” when I can barely stand, that I will achieve those dreams through positivity. I try what I can when I can. And if I can’t do it? Then at least I’m alive. At least I know I’ve tried, despite the world crushing me down over and over again. If you don’t have money, if you don’t have health, you can’t be expected to do more than those who have both. You can only do what you’re able to.

So for those of you suffering in any way shape or form. For those of you living your life and barely surviving. For those of you bearing the constant scrutiny and judgement of those around you, the forced positivity, being told you aren’t doing enough when you’re barely holding on, I’m sorry. I’m sorry the world isn’t more fair. I’m sorry we live in a world where not everyone gets to live the way they want. I’m sorry you have to suffer. I’m sorry and I see you.

For the Wolf By: Hannah F. Whitten

I was drawn to this book by the cover, title and description. I love stories like this and this one didn’t disappoint. The story follows two sisters on their separate paths. The descriptions of the wilderwood were fantastic and there was a real atmosphere or darkness and danger present throughout the whole book. The romance was very well done. There was action and suspense throughout and overall I really enjoyed this book. I’m definitely looking forward to book two! Just can’t get over how pretty the cover is!

Within These Wicked Walls by: Lauren Blackwood

The first thing I read about this book was the description of: An Ethiopian-inspired fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre. That’s all I needed to see and I was in. And what an adventure! This book came complete with a creepy haunted castle, ghosts, romance and of my course, plenty of banter. Andromeda was a wonderful character and I really enjoyed reading her story. Magnus was a very flawed hero and I really liked the way his character was done. There was action and some tear-jerking moments as well and overall this was a wonderful read.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Vespertine by: Margaret Rogerson

Another great book by Margaret Rogerson. I absolutely fell in love with her writing when I read Sorcery if Thorns and this book was just as amazing. She has amazing world building skills and her character development is always great! I loved Artemisia and her story. The revenant was very well written and the story moved at a wonderful pace. There was a wonderful set of side characters as well that kept the story moving. The banter in this book was excellent as well and there was humor laced throughout. This is a world k very much want to read more about and I believe this is going to be a duology, which is awesome! And the cover! Charlie Bowater always does amazing cover art. Love it.

This book was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Storm of Echoes By: Christelle Dabos

This book was so brilliant and such an amazing ending to the series. When I started reading the first book, I knew I would love this series and this final book didn’t disappoint. The story is so wonderfully unique, so incredibly imaginative and creative, I can honestly say I have never read anything like it. I honestly wish it wasn’t over! Ophelia is such a brilliant character, so strong and intelligent but wonderfully human. Thorn is amazing and flawed and very relatable. The story flows so well and the pacing was amazing. I can’t wait to re-read this series once I have the hardcover of this book in my hands. Just a few more months and I’ll be reading these four books again.

Book one: A Winter’s Promise
Book two: The Missing of Clairdelune
Book three: The Memory of Babel
Book four: The Storm of Echoes

This book was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Everything from the cover to the title to the synopsis made me know I would love this book. And I was not disappointed at all. A wonderful mix of magic and creepiness. A large haunted house in the midst of winter? Yes please. This book was perfect for me. Wonderfully drawn out characters and the romance was very sweet and we’ll done. I enjoyed the main character a lot. It can be very difficult to be kind when everyone around you is anything but. It was a different kind of strength and one I loved reading about. I’m definitely going to be watching for future books by this author. Loved it!

I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Mask of Mirrors by: M.A. Carrick

I thought this was going to be a slower read for me, but I was very wrong. This story drew me in right away once I met Ren and Tess. The strengths of their character was plain to see from the get go and I loved them immediately. The world building was very detailed and in depth, just adding layers to an already rich story. The magic system was very interesting and well described. There wasn’t a lot of romance, but there is the hint of more to come. The characters themselves were all amazingly well done. Very well fleshed out and I actually enjoyed reading about all of them, which to be honest, doesn’t always happen. There is plenty of mystery and intrigue, but also a wonderful amount of suspense and action. This is the first book I have read of either of these authors, but that’s something I plan to remedy very soon. I would definitely consider this to be an epic fantasy, but at over 800 pages it honestly didn’t seem long enough. I’m going to buy this book as soon as it comes out and will eagerly be awaiting the next instalment. I was very impressed by this book.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

An Unexpected Peril by: Deanna Raybourn

Another wonderful addition to a wonderful series. Deanna Rayborn has created such a wonderful character in Veronica Speedwell. She is strong, intelligent, and full of energy. The chemistry between her and Stoker is just perfectly done and their adventures are always such a pleasure to read about. I’m glad this series is still going and I plan on reading them all from the beginning again soon. Perfect for lovers of mystery and adventure. Can’t wait to keep reading what Deanna Rayborn creates! Also the covers are all so beautiful!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Send Me Their Souls by: Sara Wolf

What an exciting finish to the series! I love these books from the start. The main character is feisty and very sarcastic, which I love. She was strong but flawed and it made her more relatable. The side characters were all amazing as well and wonderfully written. This is a world that clearly shows not everything is black and white. Sometimes people do terrible things for reasons they think are good. I’m looking forward to whatever this author brings to the table next. And that cover! It’s amazing!

Kingdom of the Wicked by: Kerri Maniscalco

This was a great book to read during spooky season. This book starts you off right with a chilling atmosphere and intriguing beginning. I was honestly hooked from the first sentence. This was my first read from this author but I’m definitely going to be starting her Stalking Jack the Ripper series after this. The story starts you off right with the introduction of twin sisters and their amulets, making it clear that both are absolutely important to the story. This book had it all, mystery, intrigue, action, witches and dark powers and a touch of romance as well. Loved it! The end was a bit predictable, but overall this was an amazing read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a quick, purely entertaining read, I would highly recommend this.

I was provided this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Don’t you love the super creepy cover?