RSS Feed

Tag Archives: romance

Eleanor and Park – Review

Title: Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Book procurement: Received a copy from the author for an honest review. Currently available on Amazon.


Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


First Thoughts

Oh man, this book makes me want to fall in love and experience all the gushy, mushy feelings of finding that one person who just gets you on a whole different level.

Every time I listen to Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart – this book and its characters come to mind and my chest just fills up with incredible warmth. That’s how much I loved this book.


It is written with so much passion and realism and heartfelt emotion, I could imagine Eleanor and Park and Tina and Beeby and DeNice and Steven as real people. Tangible. As though I could go to that location and meet them in person.

Not only that, but to be able to experience the emotions of the characters without it feeling forced or cliche or anything of the sort – well that’s real talent. That’s what books are supposed to do. Suspended disbelief literally had my heart aflutter for a while.

It’s more than just a story about a girl in a difficult life and world experiencing the joy’s of meeting someone who takes her breath away. It’s more than just a story about a guy who meets a girl who just completes a hole he didn’t know he had. It’s not just another typical boy meets girl/girl meets boy kind of story. It’s richer. It’s stronger. It’s real.

Final Thoughts

It’s just an amazing book and I can’t fault it. I went through the ups and downs. I wanted to slap a few characters. I wanted to hug a few characters. I was completely enthralled by Rainbow Rowell’s writing style.

As a fan of horror and sci-fi, this romance was a breath of fresh air. With the right hint of humour, geeky knowledge trivia and music I actually listen to. Fantastic book. Fantastic read.

Rating: An amazing 5 out of 5


Fear and Fervor – A Patreon Fiction

Today’s fiction is an excerpt from this month’s Patreon work. I’ve combined my two favourite genre’s – Romance and Horror – with a dash of Lovecraftian influence. Enjoy!

Up upon the attic’s bare wooden floors, in the bodega of Casa Del Potro, between discarded paint bottles and torn canvas. Therein lies the young male we know only as Eduardo. He sits with his back against the raised mattress, naked save for a pair of dirty boxers. They reveal the stringy black threads of hair covering his legs and arms and have begun to crawl past the navel to his chest. Smudges of paint cover some of his brown skin, and the whites of his hands are lost to a swirling grey rainbow of colour.

He sleeps deeply and soundly. The dark tendrils of oily curled hair tumbled down to his chin like a frayed curtain. Near his bare feet lies a canvas still heavy with wet paint. Each corner holds a random item that keeps the canvas from rolling in. An iron stands in one corner, the severed cord wrapped in dark tape. In another corner is the one half of Eduardo’s wearable Jordan’s, the bottom half yawning with yellow strands of loosening superglue. The foot of an aged table, and one of the three metal stools keep the remaining corners down.

Caressed over canvas is a visage of improbable beauty. Flaxen tresses that divulge in hues of orange and red cascading down the back. Golden braids coil the hem of the snowy dress that sits below the smooth skin of bare shoulders. An elegant face gazes out at the viewer with gleaming emerald orbs that reach into the soul and tug it to the surface. Pert upturned nose sits perfectly on the symmetrical face above thin pursed lips. There is a haunting glare accentuated by her slightly raised brow, as though she notices something behind the viewer. Perhaps she feels the tiny pinpricks of an insect crawling up her leg below the separation of canvas and real life.

Or perhaps her gaze from canvas onto reality bears a truth she wishes not to comprehend. The artist, a living soul, tethered to the encroaching darkness ignorantly rejected as merely death. Only she, the portrait, the art, the creation, has any semblance of what awaits beyond the veil.

There is more to this corporeal existence than we can see. More beyond the ethereal presence that on occasion slinks along our spine with icy tendrils.

I will tell you the story of Eduardo and his paintings for it is a story that must be told. Perhaps it shall restore the madness that rattles my bones like arthritis.

Pray the madness does not pass on to you, for there is no fetter back to this blessed ignorance.


The Vulture

February 14, 1847



Squalid streets buzzed with soot stained faces,

Bedraggled coats pulled against winter paces.

Dim lampposts illuminate shadowed vagrants,

Unwashed skin, waste, stagnant water – the fragrance.


Dazzling amber light washes over lonely streets.

Many, this night, have succumbed to their sheets.

Sleek carriage clops smoothly towards a juncture,

Where I shall meet him. The Vulture.


Damsel in distress approaches in glistening carriage.

I wait in shadow so none see this unholy marriage.

At the juncture I dart into carriage quickly,

She cringes at my sight, I merely smile thickly.


The Vulture nauseates, not only from stench.

Scarred face hidden behind long dark trench.

Sinister grin of missing teeth is bared,

Within his presence I am truly snared.


The warmth of carriage thaws prickling fingers.

Freesia scent drifts about like Lolly’s singers,

Yet this is a woman of class, so I present a souvenir

It is packaged carelessly, slick and dripping yet sincere.


He pulls stained parcel, pungent stench whirls.

It stains his fingers scarlet like lips of call girls.

Crinkling paper reveals plump flesh.

He grins wider “It’s his heart, still fresh.”

Happy Valentines day from the dark side!

Friday Fiction: As it is

Living Statue

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of 300 word short story using the following elements.

Living Statue, setting: Pedestrian Area, and genre: Romance.

We’d spent the day at the river further out of the city. Aurulent light cascaded over his long dark lashes framing large brown eyes no longer innocent. They sparkled under my gaze, suddenly bleeding clear liquid with a long drawn blink.
“I don’t understand.” A feathery whisper following downcast eyes; I brushed loose strands from the unblemished skin,
“Where the heart draws no line, the law does.” He draped a thin arm across my waist, my chest growing wet against his face. We remained so, surrounded by trickling water, distant chirrups and rustling leaves until the sky deepened into a fiery curtain; the last scene of our final act.

He wasn’t there. Not when the sun bloomed in the distance, peeking from clustered puffs and filtering through the high-rise structures like golden fingers. Crowds milled around the cordoned off pedestrian area, scowling past the workmen carelessly slapping cold concrete over my bare skin. Mother stood rigid further off in the distance, a roulette of emotions.
“Mr Ruskin. Any last words?” I gazed down at the lanky fellow in his flawless grey suit gleaming in the sunlight. I shook my head, sweeping my gaze over the crowds. Hopeful.
“The boy has been banned from visiting this part of the city.” The man said with furrowed brow,
“Not even as a last request?”
“You’re in no position to make last requests. Your kind deserve no rights at all.” I nodded my head and looked towards the sun. It would be the last time I would feel its warmth against my skin. Changing laws meant there was no rehabilitation-focused incarceration where freedom was an attainable dream. Criminals were literally cemented into living statues and put into public spaces, living their last days as public spectacles of ridicule. And thus I would always be.

Challenge Day 6 – Annivesary


She blinked. The lake gleamed from the streaming sun, while a gentle breeze carried the sound of birds chirping in the distance. She sighed. The book in her hands topple over onto the grass between her outstretched legs, while she tipped her head back against the trunk of the tree. How long had she been sitting out there? An hour maybe? Then again she was early…and he was late – as usual. She sighed again and yawned, stretching her arms up and arching her back. With a sigh she slumped back against the tree trunk and waited… like she’d waited back then. She smiled as she thought back to that day.

She’d been waiting where he’d told her to wait – at the balcony close to the banks where standing on the rails of the balcony allowed you to overlook the small stage area. A throng of people moved either up or down the elevator, heading towards the ATMs – a typical occurrence at end of the month. They’d been “together” for a while now, though not in the sense that she was used to; they were not dating per se but their friendship had progressed further than she’d imagined. And then he’d approached her father – ” with intentions”, her father announced with an intermingled sense of joy and grief. The words, however, had set an uncontainable smile across her lips even as she fought to keep reserved. So when he’d asked her to meet him at the mall, she did and she was anxious about it. She hoped they would eat too  – she was starving.

A band was setting up, she noticed, and her heart suddenly thumped faster in her chest – he’s going to propose with a band!? Her eyes scanned the musicians; she didn’t recognize any of them. Would she though? He might have hired them for this. Wait what if he’s not going to propose. She breathed out slowly, calming herself down before she hyperventilated and passed out right there. How embarrassing that would be – she grinned at the thought only to realize that she was grinning alone and that people might think she’s crazy. With much self control she breathed out again and watched people going by, wondering when he’d get there.

The band was playing – the music drifted softly through the speakers in a familiar tune. By now her patience was also running a bit thin. She pulled her phone from her handbag to check the time; he was 15 minutes late. Okay that’s not too bad. The band was playing louder now – an upbeat tune. She was tapping her foot to the music when everything around her stopped. Just stopped. People stopped moving. The escalator stopped. The only thing going was the music. Shock settled around her mind like a blanket as she looked about to find that even the kids on the toy cars had stopped moving. Her mind was reeling. Thoughts questioned the possibility of mutants and she could already imagine Professor Xavier’s voice cutting through her panic seized mind to tell her all is well – as illogical as that all seemed – and then an old man in a grey jersey and black pants stepped out of the frozen group and waltzed through them, taking the hand of an older woman who came to life at his touch. They danced to the music and with each person that they danced past they would reach out, touch them and the new couple would join in to dance; it was magical. Soon the entire mall was dancing and it was then that she recognized the song playing and her heart in her chest leapt.  A tap on her shoulder had her whirling around and coming face to face with the bright hazel eyes that had so long ago captured her heart. And they danced.

They ate – thankfully. The people in the restaurant were laughing and smiling with them or at them. A complimentary dish had been served by the restaurant in celebration of the event. She was staring at the ring on her finger with increasing joy, like a well had opened up in her chest, releasing fantastic feelings of joy and happiness. She wanted to scream in joy! Exclaim to the world the joy that was in her! Yes! Yes! Yes! – and he was grinning madly at her too. They ate with a renewed sense of excitement, it bubbled out of them in conversation, in the people around them and in just about everything.


She opened her eyes. From under the shade where she sat she could see the path on the other side where he would come from. She reached for her phone from her pocket. He was fifteen minutes late. She laughed at the memory – he’d always been a hopeless romantic. Movement caught her eye from the path and she lifted herself up from the tree trunk only to see it was another couple. She sighed but then movement caught her eye and it was another couple. The third person or rather people to show up however, was her kids along with one of the young girls from the church who would normally babysit them. Concerned she stood up to face them. Her boy ran up to her; he was a replica of her husband, even in the way he tilted his head when he was thinking. Her daughter followed next, long brown hair flowing from her shoulders. She stood watching them, waiting for them to get to her when the kids stopped moving. The breeze that swept through swayed her daughters dress but other than that there was no movement. It took a moment for all of it to register but by then a young man was already walking in, an acoustic guitar in his hand playing a song that was all too familiar for her. She noticed that the couples around her were already dancing to the music, slowly swaying in tune to it and when one of the couples got to her kids, they too joined hands and began to dance – though fits of giggles and large grins had taken over their faces. She knew what was coming next, of course and she was not surprised as she felt a tap on her shoulder and she turned to come face to face with her hazel eyed husband. She wrapped her arms around his neck while he placed the basket and flowers down. They smiled at each other.

“Happy anniversary” he said – they kissed.

Rajat Narula

Let's keep the love for books alive

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

Transmundane Press

Join the Community

Andrew McDowell

An Author of Many Parts

Letters from a Horror Writer

Katie Marie, Horror Enthusiast & Writer

Just another blog of random thoughts.

sakhile whispers

mental health and books over every damn thing

Way Too Fantasy

Speculative fiction book reviews and more!

R. Michael

The home of mysteries, writing, and ponderings.

The Library Ladies

Two librarians, one blog, zero SHH-ing

The Lost Highway Hotel

See cinema differently

Lorraine Ambers

Fantasy writer - Bibliophile - Daydreamer


Ordinary Girl in Love with Horror

SAM's Book Reviews

Books Old & New


Personal blog