Monday, December 14, 2015

Sea-less Surfing



Technology is always evolving; we see it in our smartphones, our electric cars, and our tablet laptop hybrid concoctions. But it's not just our cool toys that are developing technologically, our environment is too. Large ponds that are actually wave pools are popping up with man-made waves big enough to surf. This advancement will not only change the rules of the surf, but could go on to change the Olympics in time for Tokyo in 2020. 

There are three important positions that can be taken when exploring this new trend - technological, business, and the surfer. 
Wave pools are a popular attraction at many theme parks and have been for many years. However, now there is the capability of creating actual ocean-like waves, with no time for flat-spells, constantly and consistently - two things you're not likely to get in the real ocean. Each wave only takes about 90 seconds, so there's plenty of time for plenty of rides. Four major technology companies in this area currently are set to compete for head title of this new sensation within the next two years. Surf Snowdonia and Wavegarden currently lead the pack. 
In August, Surf Snowdonia opened to the public bringing about the reality of this being a serious business venture. They almost reached their maximum capacity every day it was opened for the first two weeks. Drawing in $30-70 a surfer, it shouldn't take long to profit off of the $7 million expense to build the creation. Once they perfect the barrel wave technology, profits and customers will only increase. Another park is planned to open next year in Austin, Texas. 
This idea definitely draws in surfing fans from around the world. It' a great way to learn how to surf for beginners, yet provides constant waves for pros. However, it isn't the ocean. It lacks the saltiness of the sea, the marine life, and the overall depth and danger associated with riding a huge wave in the middle of the ocean, far from land. Paul Evans, editor of Surf Europe Magazine, for example, is not at all excited about the idea of a perfect wave pool. 

What Evans and the article seem to overlook is the fact this could very well be game changing for the world's view on surfing as a sport, as well as giving new hope to land-locked people. With this technology, waves are always available, making it now eligible to be an Olympic sport. People who have always wanted to try to surf yet live nowhere near the water's edge now have the opportunity to learn and try to surf, almost quite literally in their own backyard. This technology has opened up the world of surfing to the entire world. 


Wave creating and wave riding technology has been previously introduced by many parks, but neither have quite perfected it. Thanks to Wavegarden and Surf Snowdonia, we are closer than ever before.


*This post was originally published on my Info System class's blog

Thursday, December 10, 2015

SkyTruth leads to SeaTruth

Image from Wall Street Journal via Google Images

Illegal fishing, sometimes referred to as pirate fishing, is a huge problem throughout the world, but with new satellite technology, it is becoming easier to catch these criminals at sea. SkyTruth has come up with a way to determine if vessels tracked via satellite are illegally hunting fish.

Image from dw.com via Google Images
National Geographic gives readers an insight on the history of SkyTruth, the technology behind it, and the limits or problems the technology currently faces.
In 2012, SkyTruth used satellites and radar to find the ship responsible for an oil spill off Angola by noticing a white dot at the end of a black stretch on the images. Eventually they realized they could use this same detection system to look for pirate fishermen, and teamed up with Pew Charitable Trusts to help. This partnership ended up involving Google and Oceana as well, creating a website called Global Fishing Watch, allowing advocacy groups, fisheries, and governments to view the same information as SkyTruth.
This data is made available because of the Automatic Identification System, or the GPS used by the ships. Originally, this data was intended just so ships wouldn't run into each other or could help vessels in danger. SkyTruth figured out the normal patterns of a ship's movement and can therefore now determine what a given vessel is up to - including illegal fishing.
Unfortunately, there are some loopholes. Some vessels only send up a signal when they are halfway through their voyage, and some transfer their illegally caught fish to other vessels. Some avoid the Automatic Identification System completely! These activities limit the complete accuracy of Global Fishing Watch and allow some ships to slip under the radar. Because of this, SkyTruth is now working on an even more advanced tracking system, a "vessel story", similar to a credit card log. Until then, they are still advancing the Global Fishing Watch website, and hope to make some of its information available to the public in the future.

The article also mentions drones are being used to also collect data and track illegal fishermen, yet they never dive into the drone aspect. It also mentions the White House plans to do something about this, but doesn't mention what. That would be an interesting and informational addition to the already informative article.

According to National Geographic, 20-32% of the wild-caught seafood imported into the United States ends up coming from pirate fishermen. This makes the information relevant to readers; it's where a lot of seafood is coming from! To bring this attention to more readers, this should have also been developed a bit more so more people understand the importance of this issue. It provides a serious question to ponder as well. If illegal fishing stops or is no longer as common, will people in the United States still have the same amount of seafood available to them?

National Geographic Article

*I originally published this article on my Info System class's blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The2Tails Mermaid Tails

 Have you ever wanted to be a mermaid? Don't lie; I know you have. Or at least, you know someone who has. Still does even! But...how? Isn't it impossible? After all, at first glance, you do appear to be...a mere mortal...a human. With legs. Yuck, what good are they? All you want is a beautiful tail to help you swim in the sea. Well my dear, your wish has been granted.

 For a while, I searched near and far for affordable mermaid tails. I was fine with not necessarily buying one of my own, so long as I got to spend a day as a mermaid somewhere. Turns out, buying my own was actually the cheapest way to go! The2Tails.com provides affordable, swimmable tails for all mermaid fans! They have a variety of sizes, from children to curvy adult. Oftentimes, they have sales and giveaways on their Facebook page as well.

Send in your pictures of you in their tails and you might even be featured on their sites!

Of course, the pictures weren't the only thing that interested me about my mermaid transformation (although, let's be honest, they played a major role). I am also a huge water baby, so getting in the water and swimming around was pretty much a must. As a child, you often swim like mermaids or dolphins, imagining what it'd be like to swim under the sea and live like that.
Thanks to the monofin-ed tails, that experience can be a reality. Like flippers, but together as one, the monofin provides powerful kicks to those who try it. It's really quite amazing. One kick can save so much energy and propel you so far, it's an amazing feeling. But be careful, though helpful, they are not a magical device that can make the non-swimmers professional. If you cannot swim, DO NOT try swimming in your fin as it will only be more difficult for you and could end in disaster.

*Photographs taken by Helios Photography

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cruising on the Wi-Fi Waves


Smartphones, smart watches, smart boards, now smart ships. Cruise ships, that is. For any of you who have previous traveled aboard a vessel of the sea, you know the struggles of on-board internet. Super slow speeds, practically dial-up, on the few computers in the "library" room keep ships stuck in the late 20th century. Well, not anymore. Royal Caribbean has announced their new SmartShips and Carnival has announced their new "Got Wifi?" campaign, with other cruise lines quickly following the fleets.
Fortune magazine does a good job of mentioning three key points to this new innovation incorporated into the ships - a step toward the future, new customer opportunities, and customer satisfaction. Faster wi-fi is the key to these upcoming successes in the cruising industry. "O3b Networks, a company that provides ship-to-shore communication systems, started working with Royal Caribbean back in 2011 to upgrade its internet connections. It developed a new type of high-throughput satellite which quadrupled connection speeds, according to Steve Collar, O3b’s CEO". These new speeds transport cruising from a pre-connected time into the current era. Because of the new internet availability found on board, businesses can now take their business conferences, training, and other trips via cruise ships without losing connection to the business world they need to stay connected with while on the trip. Whether this be via internet communications or simply business workers working on the vacation, it means many new customers for cruise lines. But business workers aren't the only new clients gained; millennials that can't seem to be separated from their connections can now stay connected while cruising, opening a whole new world to them.  With wi-fi so readily available now, people stay connected to social media, posting and sharing how much they're loving their cruise-cation, thereby promoting the cruising company and expanding their customers in that aspect as well. After a few trials of the new wi-fi systems were imposed, customer satisfaction jumped 50% because of the connections now available. Such improvement shows wi-fi is a strongly desired aspect of life nowadays, and now not only is it readily accessible from the seas, but the accessibility and connectivity are ever expanding and increasing to support the high demand of the quick-paced connected world we live in.
Unfortunately, the Fortune article fails to mention the losses this new implementation brings forth. It also focuses only on the wi-fi aspect although it is clear more advanced technologies are involved in the new smart ships emerging.
While it is true that this is a major step for cruise lines and cruise-goers, the importance of escaping the prison of a strong cellular or internet connection shouldn't be given up so easily. The world is full of natural beauty, and cruises are certainly a great way to get to experience a lot of that beauty, but if your nose is in your phone 24/7, why bother going on a cruise when you could do the same thing from home?



Fortune Article

*I originally posted this article on my Info Systems class blog; is251loyola.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Elephant Pants



With the holidays quickly approaching, everyone is scrambling around trying to find the perfect gift. Well, look no further! The Elephant Pants makes the perfect gift for anyone! A portion of all sales made through the clickable link (just click on the top or bottom pictures or "The Elephant Pants" in the previous sentence) go to the African Wildlife Foundation to help raise awareness to elephant poaching and attempt to prevent it. When you order the Elephant Pants, you are helping to save the lives of many African elephants.


So far, $143,419 has been donated to the African Wildlife Foundation through purchases made by customers. They also are very supportive of other causes as well; for Anti-Bullying week they had an anti-bullying campaign completed by the many ambassadors and workers of the company. They've also teamed up with Hmong Hill bags in support of education in third world countries. The Elephant Pants is truly a company that cares about many charitable causes and does it's best to help others.

You don't want harem pants? No problem! The Elephant Pants also sells tapestries, bags, rompers, shorts, shirts, and leggings! Portions of ALL sales, not just pant sales, go to the African Wildlife Foundation! Some items even help other causes as well. In October, a portion Ruby and other red pants went to breast cancer research, for example.

If you're stuck on what to get someone for the holidays, browse The Elephant Pants before you freak out anymore.
Oh, and tell your friends.

PS. Sizes come Standard, Large, and Children's so that's one less thing to worry about!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Suzanna Linton Guest Post

"Quitting My Day Job to Live the Dream"

In one of the few romantic comedies I enjoy, When Harry Met Sally, Harry (Billy Crystal) says to Sally (Meg Ryan), “I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

That pretty much sums up my decision to leave my day job and write full time, with me as Harry and my writing as Sally. However, this is a blog post, so maybe I should elaborate.

My day job was working part-time as a library assistant for the Reference Department of my local library. My job consisted in helping people sign into their email, answer phone calls, and research some of the most random questions in the history of man. And, every now again, I looked up a book.

From a writer’s standpoint, it was a dream job. I only worked half a day, leaving me entire afternoons or mornings to write, and when I did work, I had a front row seat to human nature. (Seriously, the best way to know someone’s true nature is to see how they treat their waiter. Or, the library assistant at the Reference Desk.)

However, as time went by, I grew increasingly discontent. It was a mix of not being suited for customer service work and office politics which often left me on the firing range no matter what I did.

In my writing life, I was trying to get an agent or publisher to take notice of Clara and having zero luck. So, in a fit of frustration, I designed a cover, formatted the manuscript, and published it on Smashwords. Then I started learning what being an independent author was all about. I discovered I had, essentially, jumped into the middle of the major battle of a role-playing video game without knowing how the controls worked.

As I scrambled through a crash course on author platforms, things at work continued to deteriorate, not only with the public but also with my fellow coworkers. My panic attacks and bouts of depression, though lessening in frequency and magnitude thanks to medication and therapy, led to misunderstandings and missed work. A change needed to happen.

One Friday last year, I managed to offend the same coworker for the third week in a row. As I sat at the desk with the tension between us charged enough to set hair on fire, I thought to myself, “I could be writing a blog post right now. I could be promoting Clara. I could be doing any number of things I need to be doing if this whole indie author thing is going to work. Hell, I could be reading and it would be better time spent than this.”

It was my “Harry” moment. I realized that I wasn’t going to get any better at customer service and it probably didn’t matter that we were getting a new library director. Even if things turned sunny and I was given a position away from the Reference Desk (something I had been trying to do for months), I would still be discontent because I would not be doing what I was meant to do. And, perhaps, that discontent was part of the root of my problems with depression and anxiety.

On that following Monday, I put in my notice.

Eight months later, I'm still doing what I love. The rest of my life has started. And, I find myself to be a very different person and very different writer.

Firstly, I'm more confident. When working at the library, I was never sure if what I was saying would be taken well or what sort of person was about to call or approach the desk. But doing what I love and what I know I'm good at, I feel more confident about what I'm doing. I feel more sure. I rarely have panic attacks and haven't had a severe case of depression in months.

Secondly, I'm more committed. When I worked at the library, I couldn't wait until the next break or the moment I could go home. However, now, my husband has to threaten to take my phone or laptop away from me. I love what I'm doing, so I look forward to getting to work in the morning and it's hard for me to leave it at night.

Finally, I'm more serious about my writing. That's not to say I wasn't serious about it before but I have time now to act out that seriousness. I have the time to study writing, read books and articles, and practice through exercises or journaling. Beforehand, my days were taken up in working, housework, and other activities. What time I had for writing was limited.

Yes, there is a measure of uncertainty. Sometimes, I worry finances might force me back into the realm of the day job. Yes, sometimes I get depressed or a little anxious over a current project. But I still love it. I have a second novel out, Willows of Fate and I am so excited about it. I wouldn't change a thing.


The rest of my life has started. I am living the life of a writer. And that is enough.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Landfall Giveaway!

One lucky winner to receive an eBook copy of Landfall by Joseph Jablonski! 


About the Book: (Amazon)
Forty years ago, a young woman was murdered aboard an American freighter. Now, her children are grown and they want answers. Jake Thomas is the only one who can tell them what really happened.
But after a lifetime at sea, Jake has finally settled into a new marriage and a comfortable retirement. He’s afraid that digging up the secrets he’s kept buried will undo everything and lead him to a truth he doesn’t want to face.
In this riveting story-within-a-story, Jake’s peaceful routine in Portland, Oregon, stands in stark contrast to his early days as a merchant seaman in Subic Bay, when he set off on a journey to discover his dark side. A journey that hasn’t yet ended.
Like Joseph Conrad, Joseph Jablonski has created a story set at sea that is as much a careful observation of human nature and a powerful condemnation of war as it is a fascinating sea story.

About the Author: (Amazon)
Joe Jablonski passed away suddenly in May 2014 from natural causes. He left behind several unpublished manuscripts including LandFall. His wife, Darlyn Jablonski, and son, Peter Jablonski, are very excited to have published LandFall posthumously as one of Joe's great aspirations was to get more manuscripts published (prior to LandFall, Three Star Fix was published in 2008 and Pirate Nights, a NY Times Op-Ed piece, was published in 2013).

Joe grew up in Nebraska, graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1970, then pursued a career in the merchant marines. He rose to the top of the ranks and retired after sailing several years as Captain of APL's MV President Kennedy containership in 1998. Joe was a lover of life. He loved dinner parties, travel, tennis, scrabble and adventure. He passed away suddenly and is greatly missed.
We are very grateful to Michele Orwin of Bacon Press Books and we hope that you enjoy LandFall.
Peter Jablonski and Darlyn Jablonski

What to Win:E-book Copy (mobi or epub) of Landfall

How Many Winners:1

Entry Requirements:Follow PrincessReviews

How to Enter:Leave a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL (so we can contact you if you win) and what type (mobi or epub) you prefer

Who Can Enter:anyone (international)

When to Enter:Feb 18-28, 2015 



Good luck! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SwitchNote

Get paid for your notes on SwitchNote! 
If you're a college kid like me, you know the struggle is real when it comes to money. Well, SwitchNote is a great solution! Just for uploading notes you should already be taking anyways, you get points. Points are then eligible for giftcards, discounts, and giveaways. Points are super easy to earn and get you things, fast!
For example, an Amazon eGiftCard is only 50 points! So is a Starbucks $5 code. Bigger things cost more, like a $100 Visa Giftcard is 4000 points, but a $100 Restaurant.com giftcard is only 2000 points.
Like I said, getting points is super easy! Each document you upload is worth 10 points. Refer friends and get 50 points per friend. And when people download your notes? Another 10 points, per download! Sweet!
Not only will you be doing well in the points department, you'll be doing well in school too by taking good notes so others will want to download them. It's like two birds with one stone - except you're supposed to be taking notes anyways so is there really even a stone? I dunno but anyways, you should totally join SwitchNote! It's free, easy, and fun when the points start pouring in!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jassy de Jong Guest Post


Jassy de Jong, author of Drowning, has provided a guest post for readers. You can read it below:

I confess... I love Valentine’s Day.

Some call it over-commercialized. I say that’s just as well. Thank goodness for all those entrepreneurs out there, designing cards with hearts and glitter, and making teddy bears on sticks and ruby pendants and chocolates with red wrappers, and growing long stemmed roses. I mean, what would we give as gifts otherwise? Easter eggs? Pumpkins?

Some call it schmaltzy. Well, what do you expect? It’s a day celebrating love. Soppy, doting, romantic, couply love. It’s all about hand holding, intertwined fingers, long, deep gazes into each other’s eyes. It’s about saying, “You’re so amazing,” and getting the answer, “No, you’re so amazing, and then saying, “I’m so glad I met you,” and hearing, “No, I’m so glad I met you. Here, have some more champagne.”

I googled the origins of Valentine’s Day... I had a confused idea it was something to do with a saint rescuing a lot of animals, which sounded loving and very appropriate for a day filled with so much caring. But I found out I was wrong. The animal rescuer was St. Francis of Assisi and his celebration day is on October 4.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t quite have the romantic roots I hoped it would. The ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia from February 13-15. During this time they sacrificed a goat and a dog, and then, while drunk and naked, whipped the women with the hides of the slaughtered animals. Say what? I’m struggling to see the romance in that. Apparently the women believed that a good beating made them more fertile, so they eagerly lined up for their punishment.

There was a matchmaking lottery as part of the festivities, where names were drawn out of a hat. If the match was right, the couple would get together for the duration of the festival.

Of course, it wouldn’t be ancient Rome if there weren’t some executions involved. History tells us that Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both called Valentine, on February 14th, during different years of his reign. Why on the same day? Who knows? But as a result, the Catholic Church began commemorating this day to honor their martyrdom.

It seems a big leap from whippings and slaughterings, to restaurants with elegantly designed menus featuring oysters, with tables set up for two. But seriously, aren’t we lucky in today’s modern times to be able to unwrap a carefully chosen gift while waiting for our heart shaped chocolate mousse to be served, instead of watching somebody flaying a dead goat before they start flogging us with the skin?

Valentine’s Day. It’s all about gratitude.

Oh, and love, of course.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Drowning book review



“The word love is open to interpretation. And to abuse” (de Jong 162).  This one sentence so perfectly sums up the entirety of Jassy de Jong’s new romantic drama, Drowning.  With a great romantic storyline about a strong woman who allows herself to be saved from abuse, relatable characters, and an intense discussion about abuse, Drowning by Jassy de Jong makes for a good read.  However, the erotic nature takes away from the plot and distracts the reader at times, putting other romance novels above it on my list of suggested reading books.
I should have realized the content of the novel given that it is labeled as “erotica” along with romance and drama, but I did not know what that meant and didn’t take the time to look it up.  Now I know.  So I am warning all future readers – be prepared to read that type of content or you probably won’t want to read it.  However, the plot almost makes up for the sexual – and masturbation – scenes and it can be a good read. 
            It all started on a trip to South Africa for a photoshoot.  Driven off a bridge by a major flood, New York photographer Erin Mitchell is lucky to have survived.  Although she is only alive due to Nicholas’s rescue with resuscitation, all her husband, Vince, can worry about is his precious pictures for Vogue magazine.  Now stuck on the wrong side of the bridge with the wrong man, she is drowning yet again – this time in her thoughts and desires about lust and love, right and wrong.
Jassy de Jong knows her setting well, being that she is from South Africa herself, and it certainly shows.  Although the majority of the setting takes place at one high-end getaway, the resort has all the major perks of the safari life in Africa, which is one of the reasons it’s so luxurious.  While learning about temptations, tribulations, and abuse, one might learn a thing or two about South Africa and the safari animals too.  De Jong also understands the importance of living every day like it’s the last after she was hijacked at gunpoint in her own driveway, and she brings that attitude to the forefront when it comes to Erin about halfway through the book.  She definitely did a great job incorporating her own life into the story, something that probably doesn’t come as easily as it sounds.
            Nicholas de Lanoy, Erin’s charming and mysterious savior, evokes feelings deep inside Erin that she can’t seem to shake, bring up issues of temptation and right or wrong – a great strength for the novel.  Although she believes he is a “serial womanizer” (de Jong 127), there is a mutual connection drawing them into each other.  Struggling with staying faithful to her husband – whom she has only known for six months and has been married to for three of those six – Erin decides a weeklong no-strings fling might suit her well.  While most may not cheat on their still newlywed husbands, the temptation of a straightforward request “to take [Erin] to bed” and “to satisfy [her] sexually” (35) given by the “sculpted lips” with “the blaze of pale blue eyes” and “the warm touch of a strong hand” (22) is enough to confuse any girl.  As it is, Erin doesn’t know how she feels, nor what to do (127) but she keeps fantasizing about her handsome rescuer.  Knowing how wrong she is, she “[shakes her] head briefly, hoping to clear these dangerous, intruding thoughts” (128) much like one might do to shake other sinful temptations from one’s mind.  The enticements and lures alludes to a more religious meaning right below the surface of the text, but as Erin gives into temptation and ends up happy in the end, the novel either loses this subliminal message of temptation or is saying that sometimes it’s okay to give into temptation.  Reviewer Marienela believes “though, there is no mention of religion in this book, author Jassy de Jong skillfully tackles this philosophical question” of whether or not one should give into temptation (Marienela).  Erin struggles with what she should do – to give into Nicholas and break her vows with Vince, or to stay loyal to her husband and ignore her heart.  Nicholas is the temptation and the struggle between giving in or not is a major point in both the plot and in Erin’s life, making this undertow of temptation a great strength for the novel.
            Erin reaches out to her best friend, Samantha, for help on what she should do in regards to Nick and Vince.  Samantha, even though she is not a main character per sé, portrays perfectly any girl’s best friend.  She is honest, caring, and loyal.   Before Erin reaches this realization herself, Samantha is kind to inform her that she “think[s] Vince is a prick” and “his behavior is alienating [Erin] from [her] friends” (de Jong 153).  Samantha is the desirable type of friend everyone deserves and everyone needs.  She makes the story realistic.  She is the one tying Erin’s magical and mystical world at the gorgeous Leopard Rock to real life, despite the often brought up fact that Vince is on the other side of the bridge. 
            With the help of Samantha and the polite but aggressive Nicholas, Erin slowly comes to the realization that Vince is abusive, a key climax of the book and a point that brings up some much needed meaning to this story.  As if the bruises on her arms and hip, put there by Vince’s mad jealousy, aren’t enough to immediately suggest his brutality to her, she is so engrossed in the famous photographer that she does not recognize nor realize that she is a victim of abuse.  After all, Erin believes that Vince isn’t an unintelligent man; surely he would know better than to let his temper get to him and hurt his wife?  Clearly not.  Maybe that’s why Vince’s previous marriages did not last.  Once abusive, always abusive.   As she thinks about it, Erin recalls several incidents where Vince has abused her.  She even had to go to the Emergency Room due to injuries caused by him, yet she had “forgotten those incidents – or made [her]self forget – believing them or perhaps wanting them to be incidental, unimportant blips on the radar of Vince’s and [her] relationship” (de Jong 178).   Nicholas identifies her abuse before she does, relating it to his mother’s.   As a child, Nicholas dealt with his father abusing his mother.  He understands “abuse in any form is absolutely unacceptable. It is a crime” (180) but still Erin defends Vince. 
These few pages discussing domestic violence brings forth a message that should be developed and explored more throughout the book.  Unfortunately, although a main character trait of Vince Mitchell for the duration of the book, it is only deeply, or even mildly deeply talked about on about seven or eight total pages of the entire 236 page novel.  Yes, Vince is abusive and it’s obvious to all but Erin for the longest amount of time.  Yes, subconsciously Erin knows the abusive nature of her husband which prompts her decision to have an affair with the well-respected, compassionate and caring Nicholas.  These rivers flowing just below the surface of the words on the page are not enough however.  The few pages actually discussing the heartlessness of abuse should have been much more prominent throughout the entirety of the novel.  It is a major issue and needs to be more majorly discussed, both within society and within the pages of a book, even that of a romance, such as Drowning.
            The main characters of Erin, Nicholas, and Vince appear to be extremely relatable due to their depth and how dynamic they are.  It is these people – the ones who can easily relate to the main characters – who should pick up Drowning and read it.  It is easy to see how victims of abuse, near-death experiences, or people who simply fall in love too quickly may relate to Erin.  Should a person have been involved in a love triangle or experienced any type of temptation even remotely similar to the temptation Erin has experienced, he or she shall also greatly relate to the lead character.  Even people that have just chosen to live life to the fullest everyday can relate to this fierce female.  Nicholas represents all who are victims of growing up in dysfunctional households, especially those also containing abuse.  The need to hide his childhood and, in a sort of ripple effect due to habit, most of his personal life, stems from the fact his childhood was, well, horrible.  The fact that he is drop dead gorgeous just adds to the plot for those who cannot personally relate to him and brings the much needed sizzle into this love triangle.  I highly doubt anyone like Vince will be reading Drowning, unless forced to by a counselor.  Nonetheless, should any abusers, or any extremely vain, jealous, and heartless people at all, decide to pick up Drowning, they will apprehend that they are Vince.
            I especially recommend this novel to victims of abuse, whether currently in an abusive situation or previously engaged in one.  It gives a sense of community and belonging to other abuse victims where they can see they are not alone in their struggles. However, it shall be warned that this book contains very explicit content and that should be kept in mind.  I definitely do not recommend this to anyone younger than a high school junior, no matter his or her situation. 
Overall, I would give Drowning a 5.4 out of 10 due to good storyline, good incorporation of the author’s life and therefore good relatability, and the writing style (not difficult to read at all, but not written for youngins), but am taking points away for the fact it could be more captivating.



Refrences
De Jong, Jassy. Drowning. ARC ed. New York: Astor + Blue, 2014. Print.

Marienela. "Book Review: Drowning by Jassy De Jong." Marienela. N.p., 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. .