Book Review · Books

Rules Of Rain

Rules Of Rain is about a quirky cook loving teen, Rain, who helps watch over her Autistic twin brother, Ethan. Rain has worked out a schedule and rules of sorts for her brother to keep him happy and safe. Every day they go for a run together rain, or shine. Rain cooks unique dishes for her mom and brother to try. Life seems normal until her best friend comes over and Rain has the realization that her BFF has a crush on her brother. This wasn’t part of Ethan’s rules to keep him safe. This is out of her comfort zone, but does Ethan even realize a girl likes him? Rain gets partnered with her crush Liam in science. Will he end up being the boy of her dreams? This novel discusses the hard topics of family relationships and when to stand up for yourself. Romance is a big theme and the different ways that first love can be expressed. The other major theme is sibling relationships and how they can morph over time.

I can relate to Rain’s character because I, myself, struggle with being OCD in wanting things to be a certain way and when they aren’t I do tend to get grumpy. I’m not a cook, so I can’t relate to her cooking obsession, but I’d appreciate her unique cookies. As for Ethan, he’s a character that sort of stands off in the shadows, but then blossoms through out this book. The sibling relationship between Rain and Ethan is almost like classic older to younger sibling in how they relate to eat other since Rain is like a mother hen towards Ethan though they are twins. I can relate to Ethan in this regard because my younger sister has the dominant personality to my passive aggressive one.

If you love a book that will have you asking for more then go find a copy of this sweet, powerful book. I started it and it took a bit of time for me to get into the layout of the way the novel is laid out (Rain has her blog posts at the start of the chapters followed by Ethan’s journal entries), but once I got into the book’s rhythm I couldn’t put it down. I don’t know lots about Autism, so this novel was a nice primer on Autism. I received my ARC of Rules Of Rain by Leah Scheier from NetGalley in exchange for my review. I hope this book will be made into a movie because I want to watch it now.

Book Review · Books

The Temptation Of Adam

We all have our addictions. Adam is addicted to porn. He gets put on school suspension for something he did in. During his suspension he is required to attend Knights Of Vice, an addiction recovery group that one of his high school teachers sponsors. Adam is not keen on going, but his dad offers to go with him to his first meeting. At this first meeting he encounters fellow member, Dez Coulter, who is a beautiful mix of troubled, beautiful, sarcastic and intense. Will this support group help Adam slay his porn addiction? Will the beautiful Dez pull Adam into the world of the living instead of the digital?

When I first started this novel I wasn’t that into the storyline, but once I got a bit deeper in I was hooked to find out what happens to Adam. Porn addiction is not hugely discussed in YA, but it’s a common addiction teens need help with, heck so do a lot of adults. The Temptation Of Adam deals with this important topic with grace, humor and raw honesty. No matter what your own addiction might be, we all just might struggle like Adam does.

I was sent a free copy of The Temptation Of Adam from SkyPony Press in exchange for my honest assessment. Thank you Emma for sending me a copy. This book is heartfelt, funny, sobering and enlightening. Thank you Mr. Connis for writing about a very taboo topic and bringing it out into the light.

Book Review · Books · Uncategorized

Christmas: A Biography

If you want to find out the behind the scenes history of Christmas, then Christmas: A Biography will give you an in-depth summary in condensed volume. I’ve researched the history behind the beloved holiday and this book sheds light on so many other topics including : how Santa Clause came to be, when wrapping presents became a thing, how much does religion really have to do with this holiday and how the holiday has morphed over time.

I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for my review. When I saw a finished copy I grabbed it from the library. If you enjoy history and holidays this book may be the perfect combo. This book didn’t personally grab my attention right away, but I came away from reading it much more educated on the background of Christmas.

Book Review · Books

How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*T

I’ve read a number of what would be deemed self-help books, but How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*t takes the cake. Andrea Own takes common ways we make ourselves (directed toward women) feel crappy by: isolating ourselves, thinking we are an imposter, being a people pleaser/approval seeker, comparing ourselves to others, blaming others, being a control freak, being cynical about everything and over achieving in all aspects of our lives and makes us dig deep. The different areas that Andrea discusses hit home. At the end of every chapter are questions to answer.

If you want a no holds barred book to help you wade through your crap then this is the perfect book. I plan on getting a journal to answer the questions that are at the end of every chapter. I got a copy of How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*t, care of NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. I definitely want to go find Andrea’s other book and possibly join her online community.

Book Review · Books

The Border

This stunning cover beckoned to me from the shelf at my favorite indie bookstore. I read the back blurb and knew I just had to own this title. I was not disappointed one bit.

The Border is a YA novel about three friends: Pato, Arbo, Marcos and Gladys who live in Northern Mexico where their worlds are shattered all within the same night. They are wanted for reasons they don’t understand. These friends just know they have to leave Mexico. Where will they go? When you are on the run with no time to plan your journey, what do you do? Follow these three on their journey.

If you loved Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe then The Border will become a new favorite. The author, Steve Schafer, has a similar intriguing writing style as Benjamin Alire Saenz. If you want to look deeper into the topic of immigration and see what it’s like on the other side this book will change your life.

Book Review · Books

Beautiful Scars

The cover captivated me. Kilee Brookbank was a sixteen year old high schooler home after school when choosing to light a candle changed her life. The smell in the bathroom was incredibly gross, so to ease the stank she decided to light a candle. The next thing she knows her dog is barking nonstop at her, she’s on the floor of the bathroom and not sure why. Kilee goes outside to her neighbor’s house with her dog still barking at her heels. She sensed her face was warm, but didn’t realize she was on fire. Her neighbors helped put the fire out on her, called 911 and tried to wrap her since she was cold. Beautiful Scars is Kilee’s journey through her recovery from that horrific day.

I couldn’t put this book down. If you love memoirs, survivor stories then go grab a copy ASAP. Kilee and her mom, Lori share their experiences alternately. I can’t imagine surviving that type of life altering experience. Kilee is a survivor that will inspire countless readers. I was provided a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. This lovely memoir is a keeper. Thank you for sharing your story Kilee. You are a blessing.

Book Review · Books

Almost Gone

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Mackenzie is a junior in high school when she meets a handsome man on a social dating site. He’s Muslim, respectful and enjoys chatting with her. Mackenzie is a Christian with a boyfriend at the time. This new online friendship blossoms. Once her relationship with her current boyfriend doesn’t pan out she immediately intensifies communicating with this new friend, Aadam whose from Kosovo. Mackenzie’s parents sense something is amiss when their daughter starts pulling away from the family, her Christian faith and her best friends. They have no idea Aadam exists. When Mackenzie asks her dad if she can buy a Koran her dad is floored, but figured everyone goes through their own faith walk and exploration. When Mackenzie states she’s converted her parents are stunned. Why has their daughter all of a sudden gone from social to reclusive? Why the sudden belief change? Will her parents figure out why before it’s, too late?

This book brought up some personal memories for me. In high school relationships can seem like the end all, be all. Teens want to be taken seriously. If you are eighteen you are legally an adult, but not necessarily emotionally or mature enough to be considered an adult. It’s a tightrope to use your wings to gain independence, but still know your parents do love you and want you to make safe life choices. As for faith, growing up in a Christian home myself, there aren’t many opportunities to be exposed to other faiths that differ from your own. I can see why Mackenzie would be enthralled with Islam. It’s different, unique and a person she cares about is of this faith hence why it becomes important to her.

I received an ARC of Almost Gone by Mackenzie Baldwin and John Baldwin for free from NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts on this book. I think this book explores many important topics that parents and teens face today: online dating and how to handle when your teen decides to not believe what they were raised on faith wise. If either of these topics resonates with you I’d recommend this book.