Book Review: “For Nevermore”

A teenager who has suffered more than her fair share of tragedy struggles with a less-than-stable mental state. Noella Snow manages to attend high school, work a part-time job, and spend a little time with her two friends. In addition to maintaining any semblance of normalcy in her life, Noella is somehow linked to a string of serial murders targeting the women of her hometown. Her nightmares eerily mirror what is later reported on the news, and she is torn by the guilt of wanting to help but fearing no one will really listen to her. What if Noella isn’t crazy like everyone thinks? What if she actually has a link to another world, where a mysterious guardian watches over her and has done through several lifetimes? For Nevermore is intriguing in its concept, skilfully navigating the choppy waters of a teen with a history of mental illness and how she relates to a world that generally doesn’t accept her. Her supporters are staunch but few and far between. The fortitude and resilience shown by Noella are wonderful qualities in a young adult heroine, giving readers someone to truly look up to and root for because everyone can relate to her feelings of insecurity. This is presented in the television serial format authors Sean Platt and Dave Wright are having so much fun with right now. I downloaded the whole “season” instead of consuming the material on an episodic basis, and that may have been a mistake. I thought I would want to read it straight through like a book (as I did with their Yesterday’s Gone series), but...

Busy Bee or Lazy Ladybug? Enough is Enough, Already.

Well, maybe not lazy, but relaxed and mindful instead of crazy-busy and frantic? That’s a worthy goal. I recently read the article “The Busy Trap” by Tim Krieder, and it made me cringe in self-recognition and cheer at the same time. He makes many great points, but this especially resonated with me: Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. You want to know that what you are doing matters. You want to be doing something meaningful so at the end of the day, you can put up your feet and feel that wonderful, deep satisfaction. Twitter counts, right? I discovered how much I rely on busyness as a means of validation when I was laid off a few years ago. At first I was occupied with finishing my master’s in education and getting married, but then the only real “job” I had was finding another paycheck. Of course, I also kept up the house, ran errands, babysat my nephew and helped with my disabled grandmother. Still, I always felt I had to come up with a list of what had kept me busy so I could rattle it off when I picked my husband up from work to prove that I was worth keeping around. Since starting my own business and moving into a formal role as caregiver to my grandmother, I have found lots of ways to keep busy. Too bad busy doesn’t automatically guarantee profits. When a...