Book Review · Books

The Unbelievable Happiness Of What Is

The title stood out to me. What does the happiness of what is mean? This book by John Bernie is not for the faint of heart or someone detoured by a long book.

This book talks about learning to be fully present in the moment. To be fully listening, hearing and feeling; to not be thinking of the past or the future. He talks about letting go of having to be in control of our future, since we don’t know what the future holds we only know what is happening at this very exact moment. Mr. Bernie also, discusses how when we get outside ourselves and take it into account others, that we are all the same. When one person is hurting or sad we all are.

The concepts in this book were a tad heavy and yet simple all rolled into one. I think the idea of us all being one and being made up of energy is outside our Western comfort zone. In the US we are drilled to be individuals and separate. Mr. Bernie’s point is that we are all connected and when we can go outside our individualism we can truly love unconditionally because we aren’t trying to control our identity.

If you are up for a heavy, yet refreshing read I do recommend this book. I was given it for free from NetGalley in exchange  for my honest review.  If you enjoy reading, have a blog and want great titles to choose from to read I’d go sign up at NetGalley.

Poetry

Coffee

I crave that cup of Joe before I start my day.
Is it worth the paranoia for that brew?

The dark liquid fills my veins like blood.

It’s the experience I crave.

The time to sit and read.

I may be grumpy, bitchy or witchy, but without it 

withdrawal is insane.

Joe saves the day, my sanity.

I’ll chance that cup, come what may.

It’s my addiction, my security blanket of choice. 

Have you had your cup today?

Book Review · Books

One Perfect Lie

On the way to a vacation recently I picked up a copy of Lisa Scottoline’s newest book, One Perfect Lie. Since I enjoy reading her novels I was excited to dive into this one.

I have to be honest and confess I wasn’t very into the storyline of coach Chris Brennan and his new job at a new school in what appeared the perfect small town in PA. Not until I got further into the story did a light bulb moment happen. I don’t want to give away spoilers, so all I want to share is if you enjoy suspense, family drama that’s not your own and in-depth characters, go pick up a copy of this book. Another great title. Thank you for sharing your imagination with us, Lisa!

Book Review · Books

Ten Birthdays 

What would you do if you lost your mom at age 15 and had a letter from her for every birthday till age 25? Would you read the letters all at once, or would you wait each birthday to read the next one? Poppy chooses the latter.

This novel goes through each year and how her mom’s letter to her corresponds with her life and what is currently happening.  Poppy has two best friends Mark and Freya. They’ve dated each other for years and Poppy doesn’t know if she’ll ever find love. Poppy’s father is a tad distant going through his own grief and life struggles. She stays best friends with Mark and Freya through their relationship ups and downs.

This story was sweet. It was filled with different British terms since it takes place in the U.K. This book shows the importance of a relationship between a mother and daughter. I highly recommend this book. It was given to me for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review · Books

Surviving Death

I’m not one to search out paranormal books, but when I was looking for a book to review this title and topic caught my eye. The cover has the classic life beyond the final door of life on the cover. You wonder what’s beyond it. Leslie Kean covers a range of topics from past lives, to near death experiences, to Mediums and more. I haven’t read much, if anything, on any of these topics, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I’ve never believed in the concept of past lives. Reading the accounts of children who speak of their past life is a mix of strange, comforting and bizarre. The accounts provided were checked for authenticity regarding the individual the child says he was in his previous life. The evidence presented is uncanny. A few years ago I was watching a documentary on World War II and there was a scene of one of the cattle cars with people in it being sent away to one of the concentration camps. For a brief moment I had what seemed like a flash back of being in one of those cars. I’ve never had something like this occur in the past so, to experience a flash back for a time period I never lived in sort of freaked me out. I have read widely on the subject of World War II, but the flash back I had was like I was experiencing it for a brief moment, like I was there and recalling it.

Near Death Experiences I do find fascinating. I have read a couple of books on this subject, so getting to read further accounts was nice. As a preemie I was in a state of actively dying multiple times, but I pulled through. Obviously being an infant I have no clue if I had an NDE. There are too, many similar near death experience accounts that are similar to consider them non-legit.

Mediums honestly creep me out. Not the individual mind you, but what they are doing creeps me out. I do believe in God and demons and some doors don’t need to be opened. Maybe Hollywood’s rendition doesn’t help their cause either. I did read a book last year by one of the Mediums that the author went to. That book was actually reader friendly and not creepy. To me it was like a person has a spiritual gift where she can hear spirits and is like a transcrptionist for the spirit to communicate to their living family members for them.

If you are interested in the paranormal and want an engaging read I just might recommend this book. I think there was an over focus on Mediums rather than more on past lives and near death experience accounts. I received Surviving Death by Leslie Kean for free in exchange from Blogging For Books for my honest review.

Book Review · Books

The Witches Of The Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore


If you are a fan of Twilight and Interview With The Vampire then The Witches Of The Glass Castle is for you.  I honestly, am not a fantasy fan, so reading this book was outside my comfort zone. The cover though is gorgeous and inticing.

This novel is about siblings Mia and Dino who are dropped off at a castle for the summer to be trained as witches. There are two different groups of students at the castle. The Arcana and the Hunters. The latter are dangerous. Mia befriends Kizzy and Dino befriend’s Benny. Wendolyn the owner of the castle instructs the Arcana to not venture into the forest.

Mia and Kizzy get into a few scrapes. They decide to venture into the forest to check it out and encounter Colt, one of the Hunters. They escape back to the castle, but not before Mia is enraptured with Colt’s deep forest green colored eyes. Next adventure the girl’s try is finding the Athame to see if it will work in helping Mia discover what her special power is. The Athame is a special dagger. This proves to almost be disastrous, but Colt comes to the rescue.

Mia starts falling for Colt. Dino starts acting weird and disappearing at all hours. Will this summer bring Dino and Mia closer as siblings or is this Witches training going to rip them apart?

This book has a mixture of humor, suspense, romance and a great castle it takes place in. If you like fantasy I do recommend this book. This title was given to me to read courtesy of Oftomes Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Personal

I’m Such A Brat: Birthday Reflections


Today I turned 39. I’m starting to feel my age even though I could possibly pass for a high schooler minus my visible tattoos. I was born premature, so every year it’s a gentle reminder that I could be an adult who is a vegetable, or highly handicapped, or not even alive. I have a very small amount of palsy, an eye I’ve had surgery on because of it being lazy and have scars where I had chest tubes. Other than this I’m a functioning adult. Unless I openly mentioned my challenging start to life you’d have no clue.

Being called a miracle baby is a blessing and yet a spiritual curse sometimes. I have a rich Christian family heritage and start to life, yet sometimes I feel like my faith was handed to me on a silver platter. I feel like I don’t get the luxury of wrestling with my faith and what I believe as an adult vs what I was taught growing up. I didn’t have a sudden coming to Jesus moment. I was probably in preschool or Kindergarten when I knelt to ask Jesus into my heart. I was baptized at 9 and told the congregation it was like marriage because I was making a vow to God.

Today I was a brat and spoiled myself through purchasing a fufu purse and books I truly don’t need since my TBR is one shelf worth with more on my Kindle. Birthdays and being the center of attention have always made me feel weird, awkward, shy, undeserving, etc. Maybe it’s my introvert side coming out.
Then my coming out two years ago, my search for a girlfriend, entering the LGBTQA world and figuring life out. I’m hoping this last year in my 30’s is a year filled with growth spiritually even if it’s not identical to my childhood and that I grow in all areas of my life. I want to expand my LGBTQA friend circle. If you can relate and want a new friend I’d love to hear from you!

Book Review · Books

Goodbye Days

I got The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner with one of my Owlcrate boxes. I enjoyed it a lot, so when I saw Jeff had a new book out I just had to grab a copy. I am so glad I bought this book.

Goodbye Days talks about a prevalent issue in today’s society. Texting and driving. What happens when Carver sends a text asking his friends where they are? A basic text we all send every day without another thought. Sometimes we send this kind of text multiple times in one day. The only problem is that his friend Mars who is driving goes to reply to the text and ends up crashing. In one foul swoop Carver’s three best friends: Mars, Blake and Eli are dead.

To help with the grief of loosing his best friends Carver’s older sister, Georgia suggests he go see a therapist to have someone to talk to. Carver isn’t, too thrilled at the idea, but maybe have someone else to talk to will be helpful. Not only does Carver have the therapist to talk to, but his best friend Eli’s girlfriend, Jesmyn is an unlikely ally. She is on person who understands his grief, unlike Eli’s twin sister who hates his guts.

Blake’s grandmother suggests to Carver one time when he goes over to help weed her yard that she’s going to have a goodbye day of sorts in honor of Blake and do the activities her and Blake liked to do. She invites Carver to participate. Will his other best friend’s families want to give a goodbye day to their sons? Will Carver be included?

This novel explores the deep pain that a sudden loss provides, how loss can possibly tear a family a part and how new friendships can grow out of loss. This book made me laugh, cry and feel warm fuzzies. This book needs to be made into a movie. It’s got humor, tension, sadness, thought-provoking sentences you want to highlight and more. I have a few favorites I’d read this year, but Goodbye Days takes the cake. Go grab a slice.

Books · Netflix

13 Reasons Why: A Must See

1. It’s a powerful book, but Netflix’s rendition captures the story perfectly.

2. Hollywood needs to portray teen struggles in a non sugarcoated fashion and Netflix does this well.

3. Suicide is a topic that needs to stop being taboo.  A lot of teens struggle with this and it’s helpful to have an open dialogue. 13 Reasons Why opens this important discussion.

4. Books adapted into movies don’t always do the book justice. This movie is powerful, addictive (binge watch warning) and beautifully cast.

5. Teen alcoholism is topic that needs to be addressed.

6. Bullying at school whether in person or online is a big issue and needs to be stopped.

7. No matter how little a comment might seem it will have a ripple effect beyond the person it’s addressed to.

8. If you enjoy teen dramas this movie won’t disappoint.

9. Katherine Langford is gorgeous.

10. We don’t know the back story behind every person’s facade. Don’t assume anything about someone.

11. No means no.

12. Rumors are someone’s cry for attention.

13. 13 Reasons Why could revolutionize today’s high schools climate. Let’s get the conversation started.

Book Review · Books

Die For You

This cover has been taunting me every time I go into the YA section of Changing Hands. The girl on the cover is flawless, her eyes are a greenish blue color, her hair is a pretty brown and the title on pieces of notebook paper catch your attention. Die For You is one novel you aren’t going to be able forget.

This short YA novel is about Emma who starts her life over when her mom chooses to have an affair, divorce Emma’s dad and kick him out. Being furious with her mom for breaking up their family Emma decides to move in with her dad for her senior year of high school. One day while out jogging she meets two guys Jace and Dillon. After hanging out a few times Emma and Dillon become the perfect couple.

Dillon is on the high school baseball team, saves Emma from being injured on her first day of work and is always reassuring her of his love. Emma and Dillon start always tell each other they will save each other, but when does loving someone become obsessive?

Emma loves archeology and has a great internship opportunity. She’s thrilled she might get picked to go to Rome. Emma hopes Dillon will be thrilled for her and excited, but instead he is angry. Dillon feels like Emma is abandoning him, breaking up just so she can go off to Rome. He doesn’t seem to get she’s not breaking up with him. Dillon starts to try to pressure Emma to hold off on the internship. They have plans for the future and she’s ruining it with Rome. Emma hopes he’ll calm down, but after one angry incident where Dillon hits his elbow into the side of his truck in anger Emma realizes it might be more than just a case of jealousy.

This novel explores the tough topics of teen relationships, love, what is protective and what is possessive, how to tell when a relationship is becoming abusive and more. I highly recommend this very fast paced read.