About Me

Oh where to begin…

My name is Brooke Banks. Or I should say, my reviewing public name is. With the internet, being female, my abusive ex, and my progressive politics, I keep everything disconnected from my government name for safety’s sake.

I started this blog years and years ago, but had to take several long breaks due to life upheaval. However, I’ve been back, going strong, and more stable than I’ve ever been.

So much has changed since I’ve been gone! I do not get nor want Instagram or snapchat at the moment (seriously, awful at taking pics), but I’m in love with the books for trade and diverse books movement. And lord, have Indies have grown! I’m so proud though I had nothing to do with it. I will always support Indies.

As a reader, 

I read basically every genre except non-fiction, self-help and Christian. Romance is best mixed-in with something else, but I will rage if another dystopian is waylaid by a fucking relationship domination. In general, I don’t like love shapes and open endings, but there’s always exceptions.

I’m more of a dark, creepy and alternative girl so my favorites are usually those types, but I do love me some light fluff too. And don’t forget the smut! Not much into erotica, but every once in awhile, an itch needs to be scratched.

I read more young adult than adult books and way more adult than new adult. In theory, I love the new adult subgenre. High schools, parental influence, and first jobs are different than college, supporting yourself, and being on your own so hell yeah, separate that out so I can find what I’m looking for! What I’ve found…not so much. However, years have passed since I was introduced to it and hope to find a broader spectrum in this age range.

My main sources of books are freebies, giveaway wins, charity shops, trading, libraries (all the love) and very occasionally buying them. Since I don’t re-read or have lots of space, I’m not really into collecting for the sake of it.

Unless it’s absolute favorite I want to hug and keep, I cycle them out. If not trading, then gifting and donation. And I adore e-books for oh, so many reasons. They solve a lot of my problems for sure.

What I am working on collecting is dragons. I cannot love dragons more. Dragon books? MINE. I just recently treated myself with gift card winnings to these four beauties:

I saved up to get these detailed, study, black beauts that proudly hold up my favorites (spot the theme?) and give me extra space by being able to withstand the four fluffy fat cats running around here.

My ALL TIME FAVORITE EVER MEANINGFUL BOOKS

I’ve always been a voracious reader. A typical nerd that grew up with my nose in a book. I did aces in school and got my G.E.D at 16. A couple months before my 17th birth day, I was in community college and doing work study in their financial aid department. I had my daughter that summer, took summer courses, and worked full-time there. I didn’t sleep much, but I loved it.

My earliest pleasant memories are books. They were my escape, my life line, and wished they were my only world. My middle school library was amazing. The librarian refused to pull Harry Potter when that Christian witch scare business was going around. And had books like Luna, Cut, Speak, and Making the Run. I wouldn’t be the same person without that safe, inclusive space. She was a bastion in a small, rural, white, conservative, religious, sundown town.

Story Time:

One day, that lovely librarian told us a story I never forgot. When she was in college, students were protesting the racist history books. They asked her to join but she didn’t get it. She was devoted to school and continued on, never speaking up. She said that was one of the biggest mistakes in her life. She didn’t try to understand but now she did and wished she would’ve walked out with them.

She told us this hoping we wouldn’t make the same mistake. That we wouldn’t just sit in ignorance and accept things how they are. It was the first time in my hell-hole life that someone spoke of privilege and with the books from other people’s perspectives, I started on my progressive journey.

I haven’t stopped and never will.

Blogging:

I’m still learning. Oh gods, am I still learning. But I’m improving. It still feels like it’ll forever be a work in progress and experimentation but it’s something I’m much happier with now.

I’ve also decided to start trying my hand at graphics. Nothing fancy or hand drawn (my daughter is WAY better than I) but it’s interesting. And pretty. And I’d love to be more independent.

My lovely layout and blog design is by Parajunkee, who I absolutely adore. I looked up to her waaaay back when I started and honestly, has a lot to do with why I started in the first place.

If you can help guide me in this or have resources, I’d love to have them!

I don’t think I can go pro like her or be an author like her either, but I’d like to grow this passion into something more. Maybe be a beta reader and offer services like that. But I’m nervous and don’t feel I’m ready. I never probably will, but I’d like to work towards it.

At the very least, I’d love to be able to help fellow bloggers and readers. With something. Somehow. I just love this community so much. I’ve been an isolated introverted person with anxiety and shy awkwardness. Online communities have been a literal life saver for me.

I participate in a lot of giveaways, blog tours, and stuff like that. Not only to support my habit, but to support great books and share the deals with others.

Personally:

I’m a working poor mother of an intelligent, resourceful, play hard mixed-race daughter. I was a teenage mom with an abusive ex. I put my plan into action a couple months after my dragling was born and never looked back. We had to bounce from shelter to shelter until 5 years ago when I could finally get an apartment. We’ve been in the same complex since. I love seeing her grow, making connections and staying in the same place.

It hasn’t been easy of course. We’ve been on food stamps, WIC, free state medical insurance, and briefly cash assistance. We’ve had to scrounge, beg, borrow, and get donations throughout it all.

My daughter never had the privilege of believing in Santa Claus. When there’s no money, no chimney, and anything you do get is random stuff from strangers, there’s not much to do but get real. To be honest, I’m kinda glad I have this excuse. I didn’t want to lie to her about shit like this anyways. But I do wish I could’ve given her something from me for happier memories at the time.

Then little over a year ago, I got my current job. Starting rate was okay and they’ve recognized my work ethic and performance to an almost living wage now. Not much breathing room, but I can get what we need on our own and occasionally do something more.

Things have markedly improved since then. I have co-workers I adore like “if you go, I go!” Had a much needed dental surgery (not covered by the state if you’re over 18 and it’s so expensive!) which got rid of a lot of daily pain (though I still need to save up for more). I have started on the path to find the right medication cocktail for my depression and anxiety and hunting for the right therapist.

Even though 40 hours are spent working and 10 for commuting, I have more time, energy, stamina, and will to do more stuff than I ever have done before. Mainly, I contribute that to my current meds, but still. This job has taken a load off.

Last year was the first year I splurged on Christmas for my daughter. I even went to Walmart on Black Friday (which started on Thursday?!?) to get a decent, cheap laptop for her. It’s a luxury yes, but it’s helps so much too. She’s better at school, which is starting with computers very early due to our technological society, and better at getting her homework done with her own space and resources. This year for fourth grade, her class has iPads to facilitate learning and I’m confident enough in where we are that she can take it home.

Family:

I had a rough childhood and do not speak to any of my family except my mother. No one. And I don’t need to justify it or explain it in detail for anyone’s judgement. It’s better this way for me and child. End of story. Why in the world people feel the right and need to butt in, interrogate and play jury on this sort of thing, I have no idea. I’m not comfortable speaking about it like this and only the closest people to me know.

My mother has been in and out since I was 16 due to her drug addiction and terrible choice of men. She’s back in at the moment and it’s looking good. She finally left her violent, racist bigot of a husband and has no contact with him. She’s off drugs again and working to get back on tract in a shelter that comes with counselors for her.

She’s great with Dragling (definition: baby dragon. nickname for my daughter) and Dragling loves her but she’s been warned she can’t play yo-yo anymore. It’s not healthy and I won’t allow it.

Dragling is obviously the center of my world. We live with Roomie. A great guy that’s like a father figure to her and no, we are not dating or a couple. I pay for what I would with Dragling on my own anyways, he’s here for her when I’m at work, and I can ask him to step in when needed. It’s a win-win for both of all of us.

We’ve got a witches’s brood running around here too. Our four black cats are Sabella, Sol, Lily, and Salem. Dragling named three. She’s convinced she’s the first to come up with Sabella. Salem was my pick. From Sabrina the Teenage Witch, obviously. {pic of the doll, I had this growing up and loathe the fact it was thrown away.)

Salem claiming the food & Lily in pink running away

Technically, I have one cat, Lily, Dragling has one, Sabella, and Roomie has the remaining too. However, Lily likes to hide and sleep all the time so it’s not like she’s here except for eating and pooping. Roomie’s first cat Sol is a drama-lama attention hog who bugs me since I’m without a familiar hanger-on. She pees on my bed if she’s displeased. Only mine. And she’ll do it if I’m looking too. Her next favorite thing is eating plastic. Don’t ask me why. Also the most vocal chirpiest cat ever.

Sol. On my lap. Of course. 

Roomie’s second cat Salem dogs his heels. It’s adorable. She is always on or near him. Even sleeps with him though he snores and tosses like a fish out of water. And hates it when he works late closing the shop. That’s when she starts meowing and bugging me like “Where the fuck is he? Do I have to settle for you too? Bring him back!”

Dragling’s Sabella is the same way with her only more of a dog. She literally plays fetch! She’ll lick Dragling’s face raw if allowed, sleeps with her all the time, always on her lap, eats everything and goes through the trash. She was the resident escape artist too until she was gone for three days. I walked, called, and did so much to get her back. The relief I felt when she finally showed up by our back window under a car and meowing her heart out is something I’ll never forgot. That’s when we got her a harness. And she hasn’t run off since.

Sabella

Work:

My pay the bills job is a customer service rep in a call center for facility services. Companies contract with my employer so they can call us up and have a technician come fix their building issues. It’s another call center in a string of them. Which means I love all the funny pics, tweets, and memes about customer service. (Customer is not always right. I’m on here like every day.)

My very first job was a cashier at a Chinese restaurant. The free food was great but then my morning sickness kicked in and I couldn’t stand the smell of Chinese food for a while. Thankfully, 9 years later, I am now able to eat it again.

The one job I loved and wish I could get back to was doing financial aid at a community college. Of course, I also want the USA to get with the program and reform their education system to be free so…

Snapshot

Since I won’t share pics of myself or my daily life usually due to security and insecurity, I thought I’d fill out those character trait sheets to fill you in on some other stuff. Or if you just wanted to scroll past all my rambling.

Basics

  • Full name: Brooke Banks 
  • Identifies As: Woman 
  • Age: 26 
  • Star/Zodiac Sign : Taurus 
  • Job: Call Center CSR
  • Current Residence: Arizona 
  • Sexuality: Straight but questioning 
  • Relationship Status: Single
  • Religion: Atheist
  • Lineage: Fucked up white trash
  • Languages spoken: 1
  • Native language: English
  • Smoker ?: Yes
  • Drinker ?: Yes
  • Drug User ?: Weed

Appearance:

  • Height: 5’6”
  • Skin colour: White
  • Figure/build: Overweight
  • Tattoos: None, but want several
  • Hairstyle and colour: long brown hair
  • Piercings: No.
  • Eye colour: hazel
  • Distinguishing Features: Uh, let’s not go there…
  • Scars: Acne scars, cutting & abuse scars, stretch marks
  • Preferred style of clothing: Casual, Jeans, Dark colors

Personality:

  • Myers-Briggs Type: ISFJ-T, The Defender
  • Mental Peculiarities: Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety
  • Sociability: Introvert
  • Fears/phobias: public speaking, that people are lying or faking
  • Likes:
  • Dislikes:
  • Favourite colour(s): Black, blue
  • Favourite food(s): Pizza, hamburgers, fries, the usual…
  • Favourite drink(s): Water, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Hot Chocolate
  • Hobbies:
  • Talents/skills:

Relationships:

  • Parents: Father – Dead to Me. Mother – Undead.
  • Siblings: None.
  • Children: Daughter.
  • Best Friend: Roomie
  • Pet(s): Sabella, Sol, Salem, and Lily

Rapid Fire This or That

  1. Netflix or YouTube? Don’t have netflix 🙁
  2. Phone Call or Text? Text
  3. Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
  4. Ice Cream Cone or Snow Cone? Ice cream
  5. While walking: Music or Podcasts? Music
  6. iOS or Android? Android
  7. What’s worse: Laundry or Dishes? Dishes
  8. Bath or Shower? Shower
  9. Sneakers or Sandals? Sneakers
  10. Glasses or Contacts? Glasses
  11. Hamburger or Taco? Hamburger
  12. Passenger or Driver? Passenger
  13. Money or Free Time? Money
  14. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
  15. Pen or Pencil? Pen
  16. Toilet paper: Over or Under? Neither. On top of the holder…
  17. Cups in the cupboard: Right Side Up or Up Side Down? Upside down
  18. Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
  19. Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee? Iced
  20. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty
  21. Coffee or Tea? Neither…but I’ll drink iced coffee
  22. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Home
  23. Ocean or Mountains? Mountains
  24. Winter or Summer? Winter
  25. Mac or PC? PC
  26. Soup or Sandwich? Sandwich
  27. Beer or Wine? Neither…
  28. Camping or Binge Watching Shows at Home? Home
  29. Dine In or Delivery? Delivery
  30. Sweater or Hoodie? Hoodie
  31. Ninjas or Pirates?
  32. TV Shows or Movies? Shows
  33. Scrambled or Over Easy Eggs? Over easy
  34. Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers
  35. Taco Bell or McDonalds? McDonalds
  36. Sweet or Sour? Sweet
  37. Pringles or Lays? Lays
  38. Salt and Vinegar or Sour Cream and Onion? Sour Cream & Onion
  39. Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi
  40. Surge Soda or Mellow Yellow? Surge
  41. Air Dry or Hair Dryer? Air
  42. Tattoos or Piercings? Tattoo
  43. T-Shirt or Button Up? T-shirt
  44. Flip Flops or Sneakers? Sneakers
  45. Bright or Neutral Colors? Neutral
  46. SpongeBob or Patrick? SpongeBob
  47. Xbox or PlayStation? PlayStation
  48. Hot Weather or Cold Weather? Cold
  49. Sunshine or Storms? Storms
  50. Spring or Fall? Fall
  51. Fan or Air Conditioner? AC
  52. Dogs or Babies? Dogs.
  53. eBay or Amazon? Amazon
  54. Christmas or Halloween? Halloween