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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & REVIEW: Epiphanies Whilst High Out of One’s Mind By HT Yim

Epiphanies Whilst High Out of One’s Mind
By HT Yim
Genre: Narrative Non-Fiction, Personal Memoirs and Humor 

Book Description: 

Epiphanies Whilst High Out of Ones Mind is a thought provoking and consciousness-raising essay series following a young woman's often-humorous and ever-poignant journey on the path to becoming a stoner.

Already heralded by critics as an “honest revelation of the soul,” Yim’s full-length nonfiction work entertains and educates – offering a decidedly unique narrative exploration of recreational marijuana use at the same time that paradigmatic law reform is changing the way the country legislates this still-controversial substance.

“I wanted to write a book that was accessible and fun to read, and – just as importantly – one that promoted responsible consumption,” explains Yim, a Third Wave feminist and dedicated advocate for drug policy reform. “I’ve learned so much about the substance over the years, both positive and negative, and hopefully readers will benefit from those lessons. 

“Especially as we enter a new era of understanding, I believe it’s important to challenge lingering misconceptions about cannabis, as many are as unfair as they are inaccurate.”

Epiphanies Whilst High Out of Ones Mind is a must-read for nonfiction lovers, marijuana enthusiasts, or anyone interested in gaining a fuller appreciation of the opportunities and obstacles that lay ahead for the future of cannabis and its path toward social legitimacy.

As a graduate of University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in Political Science and English, Yim is also a prolific blogger with a passionate and loyal following.

“I want to help shatter the stigma associated with marijuana, which dates back to the 1930’s,” explains Yim. “Epiphanies allows readers to learn while laughing and glimpsing the world from the perspective of an average user – breaking down stereotypes and exploring the beauty of the Cannabis plant and its many medicinal, sedative, and creative uses.”

My Review

Epiphanies Whilst High Out of One’s Mind, a new novel by HT Yim, is an exhaustive exploration into the Authors experiences, good and bad, with smoking and ingesting marijuana. It begins with her youngest and most unpleasant experiences, and progresses forward in her life as she gets more comfortable both with the drug AND the progression of her relationships. Her insights are well-thought, her writing impeccable, and the descriptions of her experiences full of color and complexity.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite my reluctance towards the subject matter originally. This is recommended reading for stoners and non-stoners alike.

 'The wind was bone-chilling and relentless, whipping my hair into my face and attacking from every possible front while I stood outside the metro station, eyes focused firmly down the street, scanning for a familiar vehicle. My body felt flushed with warmth and intense relief as I at long last entered Kurt’s car, escaping the harshness of yet another winter night in Canada.
 It was one o’clock in the morning: we had both been relieved from our shifts at our part-time jobs in the restaurant industry. We spoke little on the ride to Kurt’s home, for which I was silently grateful. It was a Friday, the busiest night of the week. We were both senselessly tired and, immersed in the intense panic, stress, and self-hatred inducing experience known as final exams, I was caught in a mild spell of depression. Constantly feeling the pressure of school and working just to pay rent and other seemingly never-ending bills, I lamented the futility of life, of slaving away only to perish, in what can be construed as the last remnants of adolescent angst; it all seemed so … Damned pointless. As we drew closer to his house, Kurt pulled over in front of the nearby park to light up, as per usual after a shift. ‘You want some?’ he asked in a choked voice as he held in the smoke. Normally, I would have refused his offer. Though I had learned to appreciate marijuana, I was not quite comfortable doing it on a frequent basis. Yet on a night such as this, exhausted and stressed out for various reasons … Fuck it, I thought. Why not? ‘Please and thank you.’ Once we were satisfactorily ripped and had reasonably aired out the car, we drove into his garage and entered the house. After shedding our coats we turned the television on, chose Clone Wars as the Netflix selection of the night, and scoured the fridge to lay out a little feast for an obscenely late dinner. Sadly, even the enhancing effects of weed could not dissolve my melancholy mood; at least, not immediately. After we finished our meal, Kurt revealed his surprise. Having noticed my gloomy state of mind, he had brought back a slice of chocolate-encrusted caramel cheesecake from his restaurant; a gesture that normally would have thrilled me. I pulled him into a hug, appreciating his thoughtfulness. Though I did not much feel like eating it, I tiredly picked at the dessert. The moment cake and taste-buds made contact, my eyes widened; it was as if my brain exploded in a whirl of delight, pleasure, and revelation. This … this is it. This is the point! Sensations … food, laughter, sex, music. This is the point of life! For a more coherent (and sober) explanation, I was referring to the sweetest sensations, both physical and mental, that life has to offer: of food that makes you feel inundated, indeed almost intoxicated with pleasure; of humour that makes you feel certain you must be developing abs from laughing so hard; of a book that absorbs you completely, pulling you from and simultaneously enriching reality; of physical intimacy that makes you feel like you wouldn’t even mind if life were to end immediately afterwards; of music that truly moves you, instilling in you a strong, almost physical urge to share it with the whole world; of the first distinguishable scent of a new season in the air, stirring up old memories and promising new ones to be made; of a soft bed that makes you feel like you never, ever want to leave its warmth and comfort … For me, such delightful sensations were what made life truly beautiful and worthwhile, whereas the painful experiences of sadness, anguish, and heartbreak served as reminders not to take anything for granted. Like the ephemeral firework or flower, I mused, finally swallowing. Beautiful despite its brief existence – perhaps even more so because of it. Smiling to myself, brimful of satisfaction and meaning, I proceeded to shamelessly and unrestrainedly stuff my face with cheesecake.'
Author Bio: 

Hayoung Terra Yim is a graduate of University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in Political Science and English.

She is a Third Wave feminist and a member of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy. She is the author of Epiphanies Whilst High Out Of One’s Mind: a series of narrative nonfiction essays written on the subject of cannabis, seeking to both entertain and educate. Her blog,, provides insightful and incisive commentary on marijuana-related themes and confronts today’s most controversial topics in an approachable, yet direct way. Her writing has been published on Elephant Journal and Ladybud Magazine and she is an avid fan of all things science-fiction and fantasy. 


The author is giving away 10 digital copies of her book. 

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