10 Paramount Things about Nancy Verrier’s “The Primal Wound”

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

by Nancy Verrier

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: A book meant for anyone involved in adoption, “The Primal Wound” explores the trauma that all adoptees experience through the process of adoption. With emphasize on the adoptee’s experience, Verrier provides information on how best adoptive parents, biological parents, and the adult adoptee can help themselves and heal from this trauma.


10 Paramount Things about Nancy Verrier’s “The Primal Wound”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Adoption

Even though 6 out of 10 Americans have had a personal experience with adoption (themselves or close family/friend has adopted a child or put up a child for adoption), adoption is not an openly discussed topic. Verrier shares new insight and knowledge on this stigmatized subject.

2. Nancy Verrier

The author of “The Primal Wound”, Nancy Verrier is an adoptive mother and it was her personal experience with her adopted daughter that brought her to doing research on adoption and the trauma that occurs. Personal experience brings so much more substance and Verrier is able to provide a wealth of knowledge because of this.

3. Adoption Triad

“The Primal Wound” addresses the whole adoption triad: the adopted child, the biological mother, and the adoptive mother. It is written in a way that any individual in the role of the adoption triad should be able to understand and empathize with another role in the triad.

4. No Blame

Verrier makes a point to stress multiple times in “The Primal Wound” that the biological mother is not to blame for the trauma experienced by adoptees. Instead, she points to society as a whole for lacking resources that could have been available so that she could have kept her child. Improper treatment of drug addiction and/or mental health, poverty, unaffordable childcare, lack of sexual education, etc. are issues that many women face that may contribute to placing their child up for adoption.

5. References

Verrier meticulously cites multiple references and sources throughout “The Primal Wound” providing credence to her work and theories.

6. Validating

As an adoptee, “The Primal Wound” was so validating. A must-read for any adoptee, adoptive parent, or biological parent of an adopted child!

7. Suggested Reading

A super helpful list of other books is listed at the end of “The Primal Wound” to help readers further explore their interest in adoption and/or issues that may arise from being part of the adoption triad.

8. Issues

“The Primal Wound” does an amazing job of presenting all the issues and challenges people can experience if they are part of an adoption triad, especially for the adoptee. Self-esteem, attachment styles, intimacy problems, guilt, mourning, etc are all addressed.

9. Solutions

Not only does Verrier present the multiple issues that may arise from the experience of adoption, she also makes suggestions on how to solve some of these issues, especially by going to therapy.

10. The Writing

While “The Primal Wound” is a wealth of information, it never seems overwhelming or confusing. Verrier presents her supported theories clearly and includes her own personal experiences or those of people she interviewed to provide examples.

What are your favorite things about Nancy Verrier’s “The Primal Wound”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

5 Fearless Things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Fallout”

“Fallout” Crank Book 3

by Ellen Hopkins

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Hunter Seth Haskins, 19 years old and living in Reno, Nevada with his maternal grandparents; Autumn Rose Shepherd, 17 and living in San Antonio, Texas being raised by her paternal aunt and grandfather; Summer Lily Kenwood, 15 years old and in the foster care system in Bakersfield, California. Three children all touched by meth by no fault of their own but through their mother. Kristina Snow has left her children to be scattered along the west coast as she runs amock with the monster with no end in sight.


5 Fearless Things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Fallout”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Children of Addicts

Ellen Hopkins does an amazing job of providing a voice that is not heard very often. The children of the drug addicts. Stigmatized and ignored, the system has failed these children in so many ways. It was refreshing but difficult to read a book from their perspectives.

2. I Love You/I Hate You

One of the most important elements seen in Ellen Hopkins’s “Fallout” is the love-hate relationships all the children have with their parents who deeply wounded them in many ways. This is true in most, if not all, parent-child relationships in which the parent is the abuser or source of trauma for the child. The child’s life depends on the parent, especially the mother, and therefore the child loves the parent. And this is why no matter how much hurt a parent does to a child, the child still loves their parent, it is survival.

3. Biological Parents

Also captured in “Fallout” is the drive for a child to know a biological parent, even if the parent already abandoned/traumatized the child in the past, especially the mother. You will see this in not just foster children who may have some memories of the biological mother, but also in children who are adopted at birth and who have no conscious memory of her. As an adopted child, I can say this is absolutely true from my own experience.

4. Attachment

Finally, another concept that Ellen Hopkins explores in her novel “Fallout” is that of attachment issues experienced by children who have experienced trauma in childhood. Often having trust issues, these children may avoid getting close to anyone or simply sabotage relationships because they don’t believe they are good enough and deserve the other person’s love

5. Writing Style

Just like “Crank” and “Glass”, Ellen Hopkins’s wrote “Fallout” in free-verse poetry. Making the novel that more interesting and powerful.

What are your favorite things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Fallout”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

5 Gratifying things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Glass”

“Glass” Crank Book 2

by Ellen Hopkins

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Kristina has gotten clean. Clean from the crank, glass, ice, crystal, meth. She did this for her son. But now that he is born and they no longer share the same body, the monster calls. Believing that she can control her usage, Kristina goes back to meth and things begin to spiral. But this time it is not just her, she may destroy her son’s life as well.


5 Gratifying Things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Glass”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Poetry

Ellen Hopkins’s has a unique writing style of her own in which she tells the story in free verse style poetry. Sometimes the structures of the poems will create shapes or other words. Also, some poems could be read not only left to right but also other directions. This allowed multiple thoughts and feelings to be expressed on a single page.

2. Rationalizations

The concepts that one can “control” the drug, that they will only “try a little”, or that they can be around it without using are all very common thoughts amongst addicts that have gotten clean. Hopkins really captures these thinking processes and also how easy it is for an addict to believe it and then get caught up in the drug again.

3. LGBTQ+

As like many other Ellen Hopkins novels, “Glass” includes side characters who identify as LGBTQ+.

4. User to Dealer

Another easy trap for addicts is going from simply a user to dealing drugs and then looking at an immensely longer prison sentence and this is beautifully illustrated in “Glass”.

5. Chaos

“Glass” clearly shows the chaos, damage, and pain that drugs cause on not just the addict but the addicts’ friends and family. Disturbing to read but so worth it.

What are your favorite things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Glass”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Book Reviews of May 2019

Legendary Caraval Book 2 by Stephanie Garber

7 Intriguing Things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Impulse”

“Impulse” Impulse Book 1

by Ellen Hopkins

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Tony, Conner, and Vanessa, three teenagers with one thing in common: they attempted suicide. All three are now in a psychiatric ward together and somehow become friends. As they come to grow and love each other, they explore the events that led them there. But most importantly, they need to help each other find a way to keep going, to be able to survive on the other side of the psychiatric ward walls.


7 Intriguing Things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Impulse”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Free Verse

Ellen Hopkins always writes in a unique style of free verse poetry, which makes for a quick, powerful, and fun read!

2. LGBTQ+

Inclusiveness and support of the LGBTQ+ community through having a character who identified as LGBTQ+. Also appreciated that Ellen Hopkins normalized the idea that sexuality for some individuals can be fluid and that the teenage years are filled with exploring and learning about ourselves.

3. Author with Guts

One of the most fantastic things about author Ellen Hopkins is that she writes about tough subjects, drugs, mental illness, abuse, addiction, suicide, etc. She is a badass who brings up the stigmatized and darker human aspects.

4. Mental Illness

Ellen Hopkins really captures the distorted, irrational thinking that can take place amongst those with mental illness. But most importantly she leaves you with the concept that just because someone looks “all-together” or that they come from a wealthy “good” family doesn’t mean that they are not suffering inside or that they couldn’t have mental illness.

5. Defining Sexual Assault

Another important point that Ellen Hopkins makes is that an older woman having sexual relations with a little boy is sexual assault. It is disgusting and wrong to portray such an event as anything other than sexual assault but often these situations get turned into “Oh she was just ‘teaching’ him” or “I lost my virginity to my nanny, I’m the man!”

6. Bipolar Disorder

Having bipolar disorder, I feel that Ellen Hopkins in “Impulse” really captured how bipolar disorder can express itself in people. How they may behave and may think. Total truth in regards to those with bipolar disorder often enjoying the manic episodes.

7. Medications

While many people with mental illness take medications to manage their symptoms and improve their lives, there is a piece of very important information to take into consideration when it comes to medication. That is that the situation is most dangerous and potentially life-threatening to the person and those around them when they are either first beginning or coming off of medications. In potentially all situations involving a mentally ill individual committing a heinous crime, it is not the mental illness to blame but rather the effects of psychiatric medications on the brain. And of course, the chances of suicide are extremely high during this time and Hopkins really captures that reality.

What are your favorite things about Ellen Hopkins’s “Impulse”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

3 Delectable things about Diana Gabaldon’s “Dragonfly in Amber”

Dragonfly in AmberOutlander Book 2

by Diana Gabaldon

Nikki’s Rating: 3 out of 10

Summary: Brianna Randall travels to Scotland with her mother Claire Randall and gets the news that her father, is not who he thinks he is. It is 1968 and yet, she is told her father is none other than James Fraser, a Scottish warrior from 1744. Claire unfolds the secrets she has been keeping for twenty years and tells her daughter of the love her and Jamie shared in Scotland and then France in 1744 and how she plans to return to him.


3 Delectable things about Diana Gabaldon’s “Dragonfly in Amber”

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The Writing

Diana Gabaldon is an excellent writer, her descriptions are beautiful and really paint a picture in the mind.

2. 1700s France

As a fan of historical fiction, I enjoyed that most of the book took place in France during 1744. It was also interesting to learn about the Scottish rebellion of ‘45 as I’m completely ignorant of this event in history.

3. Romance

While Claire and Jamie are not my favorite couple ever, I am always a sucker for romance and will admit that there are many heartwarming moments between Claire and Jamie that were thoroughly enjoyable.

What are your favorite things about Diana Gabaldon’s “Dragonfly in Amber”?


Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. And if you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.