Social Experiment #3: No More Plain Jane

  

So…this social experiment isn’t a challenge for a specific event. It’s more of an overall theme that I need to change, regarding my life.

In the past, I’ve purposefully dressed as a plain jane. My goal was to fade in the background–not to be seen and not to be heard. My reason: I didn’t want to attract jerks. I’m talking the crazy guys who act like just because they said hi or looked in your direction, you owe them your undivided attention. I hate aggression and/or passive aggressiveness just because some guy has his sight on you. Gross….

Maybe those types of guys seek me out because I’m a loner or they sense my shy nature. Either way, they realize right away I don’t play that game. Keep it moving hee hee.

I told my coworker Ashley this, and she had the best advice I ever heard. She put everything into perspective, and I really appreciated her advice.

She said that I shouldn’t dress myself down to avoid the jerks. I should always look on point because the nice guy I’m looking for may not notice me if I’m trying to fade in the background.

Beautiful advice.

So…my social experiment is to always present myself in the best light. Lately, I’ve been saying hi to strangers (even with a smile–a shy one, of course) and asking a question to get a brief conversation going.

I feel like I’m in the 2015 version of Clueless. I love makeovers, exactly why I bought this cool purple lipstick. It’s time to be bold and experiment. Wish me luck!

I have more social experiments to go. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

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Book Review: Beneath the Silence by Charlene Carr

***I was gifted a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review***

Secrets have consequences. If given the power, they will lead you into a life you never dreamed of or wanted.

Brooke Lake is a girl caught in a town and a life she yearns to escape. Full of anger, fear, and questions without answers, she runs from her problems only to lose herself in a world that’s too much for her.

Molly Shirley is a woman without a past and no foreseeable future. Her body is her best commodity, so she does whatever she has to do to survive.

Broken by lies, Brooke and Molly must explore the parts of themselves they would rather keep secret. Only by confronting the past can they develop the strength to create a life of their own making–a life where love and forgiveness never come too late.

I loved this contemporary drama covering Brooke’s childhood to becoming a woman and Molly’s journey from teen to woman. The story kept switching between Brooke and Molly’s point of view. Right away I figured out who Molly was, but that didn’t ruin the story for me. In fact, the author did such a wonderful job with characterization that I really cared for everyone in the story. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I shed tears. 

I loved this book because it was full of drama–Brooke’s family dynamic was downright depressing. With a family like hers, who needs enemies. Good thing she had her neighbor and best friend, Gabe. Molly was a poor, naive teen who turned to stripping and prostitution in order to survive. Some of her roommates (coworkers) were decent. Both ladies needed self-reflection and I prayed that they could find themselves. It’s never too late.

My favorite lines: 1) He looked like the brother she remembered, not the strange person he’d turned into. 2) Riv. Her protector. Her hero…until he wasn’t. 3) Are cliches okay if they’re real? 4) The older Brooke got, the easier the lies came.

The author was brilliant with dialogue and creating tension. All the scenes were full of emotion. I definitely thought of this story as an indie movie, a tear jerker. It seemed like every time Molly tried to get ahead, bad luck would find her. She wanted to get her GED, but her past haunted her. She had a supportive boyfriend until he became an insensitive jerk. She faced inner-conflict every day–strip vs. real world.

I loved the twist at the end. I hadn’t seen that as the cause for Brooke’s mom, dad, and brother’s unhappiness. The entire situation broke my heart. If only…

My favorite scenes involved Grams telling Brooke about her parent’s tragic past, Brooke meeting her niece for the first time, and Brooke and Gabe getting closure. I can’t lie. This book made me cry. I loved how journal entries became a part of the narration. These characters were beyond broken, and the author didn’t shy away from that. It made for a very emotional, inspirational journey.

I’m definitely a fan of the author’s writing style. Usually I get bored with long books, but I didn’t want Molly or Brooke’s story to end. I rooted for them to become strong women. Did they get happy endings? You’ll have to read to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Ivy’s Envy by Latashia Figueroa

***I received a free copy from the group Paranormal and Horror Lovers on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review***

Latashia Figueroa’s riveting Want & Decay Trilogy follows the entangled lives of three people tormented by lust, jealousy, madness and murder. In this first book, Ivy’s Envy, Ivy James has had a history of violence with the men she falls for. Her grandmother and parents know what Ivy is capable of when things don’t go her way. 

Now Ivy has become obsessed with Thomas Miles, a man who works at her office. She is certain that Thomas loves her too. But there are people who stand in the way of Ivy and Thomas finally being together, like his wife, Deana. Determined to have the love that is their destiny, Ivy will go down a very dark and twisted road to make Thomas hers, and hers alone. But Ivy is not the only one who has dark secrets, and everyone involved will soon learn that pursuing love and passion to the extreme can lead to terrifying consequences.

I enjoyed this suspenseful book full of obsession and betrayal. The book was a very fast read. I loved the foreshadowing of something terrible happening. Plus, it was a cool perspective, or point of view, of the crazy Ivy analyzing her actions and the consequences, especially the ending!

My favorite lines: 1) When he lifts the cloth there is blood, my blood… 2) I let it go. I had to…for my sake. 3) I close my eyes tight trying to force a memory, and all I can remember is Thomas. 4) The last few months of my life rush to mind bringing with it a bottomless pit of regret.

Did I already mention that Ivy was crazy? Because she was. Crazy and violent. There’s a mystery regarding Charlie, her first office romance with a married man. This backstory was so intriguing that I wish the story would have started there.

I feared for Thomas and his wife. Literally any small contact she had with Thomas led to Ivy believing they were soulmates. Her actions reminded me of a Lifetime Movie. When he sent her flowers and kissed her on the cheek, I stopped feeling sorry for him. My favorite scenes in the book were the office environment, so I wished there could have been more of that instead of her interactions with her grandma. It proved that her grandma was suspicious of Ivy, but I got that after their first encounter.

The author did an awesome job on setting and images/metaphors. For instance, “my saliva thickens like a bloody paste.” She described everything in the scene so that, as a reader, I could feel, see, and hear everything going on. Some scenes made me jump out of my seat from fright! Ivy was the master of torture and mind games.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

My Social Experiment #2: Spreading the Love of Books

Yawatta Hosby read this first 🙂

These words will make sense after I explain myself. Yes, I love being a tease haha.

  

Let me start from the beginning. I read Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas after the friendly guy at Books-A-Million recommended it. The book was all right. Yes, only all right.

I let my writing buddy, Melissa, borrow Odd Thomas. She enjoyed it. When we met at Daily Grind, she gave the book back to me. Whoa daddy…I was hoping she’d keep it, but I always have a plan B.

Great minds think alike. Our buddy, Aaron, was in Daily Grind too. She handed him Odd Thomas. Caught off guard (haha), he asked, “Am I borrowing this?”

I told him he can keep it, return it back to me, or leave it at the table. No hard feelings. Then we proceeded to tease about the plot, genre, and characterization, making him scared that he may not like it (mind games are fun–the evil side of being an INTJ haha).

Since Aaron decided to keep the book and promised to read it, I think I’ve done my part in spreading word of mouth about books. I made sure to write: Yawatta Hosby read this first 🙂 on the first page, so if this particular book gets passed from person to person, I’ll be known.

Aaron is a cool 23 year old. First of all, he’s another ‘N’ who can talk about random stuff for hours and hours. Second, he’s the only non-writing person I know that sincerely likes to hear of my and Melissa’s writing activities. 

In fact, he gave me a cool story idea. I can’t wait to start working on it–and it’d only be right to let him read it when I’m finished.

Two social experiments down, only a few more to go…

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby