The Truth About Goodbye

When searching for a title to read, The Truth About Goodbye, stood out to me. This novel follows the story of Sebastian whose learning how to live life without his husband Frank, who had passed away almost a year prior when the story begins. Thankfully he has Frank’s cat Arthur who keeps him company along with his best friend Chole. 

Sebastian struggles with anxiety, self-esteem and trusting people. He lost his parents years ago, so Sebastian feels even more adrift after loosing Frank. He misses Frank and at times is positive Frank’s ghost has been visiting him. One night Chloe introduces Sebastian to her new apartment friend Reid. Sebastian hasn’t thought of dating because he’s still mourning his husband’s loss. Reid is patient putting up with Sebastian’s mixed signals because of course Chloe makes friends with an attractive man.

This novel covers the important topic of grieving and what that can look like for different people. It also, discusses how difficult it can be to move into a new relationship when the previous one might not have had the closer it needed or was cut off prematurely.  I think the biggest topic this novel handles is learning to allow others to love and care for you when it’s hard to be motivated to love yourself when you are emmersed in grief.

If you are looking for a sweet, thoughtful read I recommend this book. I appreciate NetGalley for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Mr. Ricard for writing such a sweet novel about relationships, family and how to get through surviving the death of a loved one.

Death Awakening To Life

The title Death Awakening To Life describes the author’s experience that dying doesn’t mean you don’t exist any longer, but that you aren’t housed any longer in your body. Her life changed the day she had a forbidding sense something big was going to happen. Her husband at the time had been researching the warning signs of a heart attack. She expressed her sense of unease. Even in his research her husband didn’t realize Christine was starting to have one. This book is the author’s experience of what it was like having her heart attack and what happened afterwards. Christine’s journey after dying and then coming back to life is unique. This experience helped shape what her life’s mission has become today.
I received an ARC of Death Awakening To Life by Christine Contini free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book covered a lot of topics that were over my head. Some of them have to do with how the author helps people who are either passed on or in the processing of crossing over. Quantum physics was mentioned, as well as the author being able to hear people’s thoughts of those who have passed on. 

This book is definitely out of my spiritual comfort zone, though last year I read a book by a famous medium. If you are interested in reading more about paranormal topics this book might interest you. Christine writes in a very down to earth manner, so even if the topics might be a bit heavy she writes in a way you don’t feel talked down to. Thank you for sharing your journey Christine.

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe 

Aristotle is a loner whose content to keep to himself until one day Dante arrives on the scene. Aristotle who prefers to go by Ari is at his local neighborhood swimming pool. He doesn’t know how to swim, but at least he can stick his feet in the water. Dante notices him and offers to teach him to swim. This starts a new friendship for both teens. Dante is well liked, but doesn’t have any friends. Ari is the quiet, brooding type. Both teens learn to let their guards down and trust each other. Both of them are struggling with who they are in the world.

I can relate with Ari. His relationship with his dad is one of occasional conversation, but nothing too, deep. Ari’s dad is a veteran who won’t talk about the war, is very reserved and quiet. My dad isn’t a vet, but he can be quiet and reserved around me. I think the relationship between these two characters is a great picture of how through life’s challenges the wall between a parent and child can be torn down.

Mr. Saenz provides yet again a beautifully written book about friendship, love, figuring out who you are wether you like girls, boys, or possibly both. Ari’s story grabs you from chapter one. The cast of characters from Ari, Dante, their parents, Ari’s brother whose not mentioned at home and his extended family have all unique personalities. Ari and Dante’s friendship shows what true friends will go through for a best friend they truly care about. If you are looking for a story with funny, contemplative moments this is the book for you.

The Girl In The Red Coat

I don’t quite recall which Youtuber recommended The Girl In The Red Coat, but one day I decided to buy it. The cover is a striking shade of red. As you read the story you get the significance of the red coat and the red shoes. 

This book is about eight year old Carmel who decides to be naughty and wander off at a book festival with her mom, Beth. This story covers what happens to Carmel after she wanders off and the repercussions it has on her life, her mom’s life and her dad’s. The author wrote very poetically, but the novel felt dragged out. I give it 4/5. If it was a tad shorter I’d probably give it 5/5. It is a thought provoking book and worth the read.

Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God

This book cover depicts the scene from the prodigal son coming home to his father and being restored even though the son doesn’t feel he deserves it. This biblical story is of a son who asks for his father’s financial inheritance early. This younger son goes off and lives the glamorous life which ends up backfiring and he ends up eating slops out of a pig trough because he has run out of funds. He decides to go back to his father’s house to be a servant since it would be better than this. When the son returns home his father is thrilled his youngest has returned home. Rather than requiring him to be a servant, the father asks the older brother to get the fatted calf and to prepare a banquet in celebration of his son’s return home safe. The older brother is furious that his younger brother doesn’t get what he deserves for squandering his father’s inheritance. This cover has a modern art look to it. I like the color of blue that was chosen for the sky.

In Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God, the author, Brian Zahnd talks about the topic of Hell and if God is truly monsterous. His journey coming to terms on these matters all began with the similar titled sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” This very old American sermon describes God as a wrathful, angry God whose waiting to torture us for our sins uses different imagery comparison of us to spiders and snakes. Mr. Zahnd was raised to believe in a literal Hell afterlife, the traditional Christian view that only Christians arrive at heaven after they die while the rest burn in torment in Hell. For a time he prayed for God to give him an experience of actual Hell, but none came. Instead God called him to places of disease, war and proverty. Mr. Zahnd saw that life has its own types of Hell in the here and now. What helped the author change his view of who God is? Read his book to find out. It’d worth it. It’s short and precise.

I received an ARC of Sinners In The Hands Of A Loving God  from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. If you want to read a nontraditional view of God, Hell and ultimately what and who true LOVE is I recommend this book. This book goes on sale 8/15/2017. For further information on the author click here

The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life

Some books wreck you for life in a good way. This book by Mr. Saenz does just that. I don’t even remember if I read the inside flap of the book jacket. All I know is I was hooked from page one. This book is, too beautiful not urge everyone to read it. This story talks about family, friendship, love, and how to survive life when it just plain sucks.

Sal is raised by his adoptive gay father Vicente. They live a simple, quiet life with their golden retriever named Maggie. Sal’s life is fairly standard with going to school and hanging out with his best friend Sam. Sal is a calm mannered teen until a classmate utters an anti gay slur at him. Sal ends up in the principal’s office after hitting him.  He’s not sure why all of a sudden he’s angry. Sal doesn’t remember his mom who died when he was three and has no clue who his birth father is, but wonders if his reflex to punch comes from his birth dad’s side of the family. Thankfully Sal has Sam in his life. She’s got a potty month like a trucker, but she sticks by Sal. The other best friend Sal has in his life is his grandmother he calls Mima. He gets to visit her on holidays and occasionally since she lives in a different state. She loves to make homemade tortillas which he loves to eat the first fresh one with butter. Sal’s life turns upside down when Sam needs his help. This book talks about the depth of family ties, friends new and old, and dealing with the topic of death. 

The characterization is excellent. Each character is distinguished and unique with their own quirky personalities. They come alive off the page and feel like flesh and blood. I laughed, I cried, and now I feel emotionally like I got grazed by a car it was that an intense of a read. There is so much life and poetry in this one book. Please go buy a copy. Buy two because you will want to give one to a friend.

The Lara Jean Series

I’d heard of the Lara Jean series since they are very popular. I was not, however, expecting to fall in love with the characters and storyline, not to the mention the book covers. The covers of this series are chic, classy and most of all girlie with how they depict Lara Jean’s room as she ages. The best thing about the covers are the titles are written in Sharpie. So realistic looking with parts that look faded. The covers are like the storyline’s cheerleaders asking new readers to dive into Lara Jean’s world.

Lara Jean Song Covey is raised in a single parent home due to her mom sadly passing away when she’s younger. It’s just her older sister, Margot, Lara Jean and their youngest sister Katherine aka Kitty. Lara Jean is a lot like me in that she’s nerdy, creative and somewhat of a homebody. The Covey girl’s dad is a doctor whose gone often. This series is about Lara Jean’s life: her family relationships, her childhood friendships, a first love and life’s changes. 

I can relate to Lara Jean in many ways, yet she reminds me think of my younger sister. Growing up I was the eldest, but my sister is the classic bossy older sister personality. I’m more of a passive, keep the peace personality type. Kitty’s character also, made me think of my younger sister in that she has an eagle eye of what’s going on, speaks her mind, but secretly is a softy. She’s like an M&M. Hard outter shell, but soft on the inside. I’m not into cooking, but Lara Jean is a talent and she decompressed by cooking just like my sister.

First loves and boyfriends are powerful. Lara Jean pretends to date her big crush Peter K in order to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. The plan backfires when Lara Jean and Peter fall for each other. Lara Jean used to be best friends with Peter’s ex. The relationship and friendship dynamic in the series is in depth.

If you like old fashioned romance set in a modern setting I highly recommend this series. The characters are well fleshed out, believable, versatile and most of all memerable. My favorite characters are Lara Jean and Kitty. I like Kitty because she is sassy, affectionate and funny. She’s a classy broad in a little kid’s body. I will definitely be reading this series again down the road.  Thank you Jenny for writing such a heartfelt series that stays with you after the very last page. When’s the movie coming out?