Books · TBR

It Started With 5

For a few months I watched Sasha Alsberg’s booktube channel. She’d do unboxing videos of getting ARCs from different publishers. I was intrigued. I wanted free books to review. I started a blog and reviewed five books I’d recently read. I, then started searching for book blogger review opportunities. I was thrilled to discover NetGalley,  Blogging For Books and TLC Book Tours. All three of these companies have been gracious in giving me an opportunity to get to review for them. My TBR is quite scary thanks to all the lovely books I’ve been approved to review. If you love to write and read, then think about starting a blog today. It only took 5 book reviews to be accepted to review for the above 3 companies. I always get excited when I see book mail from HarperCollins.

Book Review · Books

The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans

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I don’t have kids. Why would I pick to reciew a book about how to deal with teenagers? I’m not a parent, a teacher, a mentor, a counselor, but I am an aunt. Eventually my nephew will become a teenager and I’ll need to be ready. This book is very readable and has great suggestions on how to handle a myriad of things from sex, dating, dealing with death, anger, eating disorders, school, cell phones, etc. Josh writes with humor and candor. The author even goes over what to expect with teen’s emotions and physical changes, broken down by age category.

Reading this book brought to mind how I related back to my parents and the type of parenting they enacted. There are 4 different parental traps: comfort, approval, control and performance. I’d say my dad falls under the control and performance categories while my mom is under the comfort trap. I unfortunately relate to the approval trap. I still over think and care what others think of me. Even though I’m an adult this section of the book was very enlightening.

If you work with teens in any capacity I highly recommend this book. It has great examples for questions to ask when it comes to talking about the bird and the bees. If you want to put together a house rules document for your home so everyone clearly understands what’s expected of them Josh has a great template for it. I think having a journal to correspond between parent and teen is a wonderful idea. It gives a place to be honest without the pressure of the other person looking intently at you, waiting for an answer to a question. Plus, it gives history you can refer back to, to see how far your communication has improved. I received The Grown-Up’s Guide To Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. To buy a copy click here and find out how you can get further awesome guidance from Josh here.

Book Review · Books · Uncategorized

The It Girls

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The It Girls by Karen Harper is a historical novel about sisters Lucille and Elinor Sutherland. Lucille is the eldest who adores designing clothing for women and Elinor is the younger who loves to write romance. This novel follows their family life, love life and careers. This takes place during the late 1800 to early 1900’s. There are many themes that run throughout this book from relationships to money, to what a woman’s role is. The theme I think that stood out the most is the importance of family. The cover of this novel is gorgeous with an image of what the two sisters may have looked like with an image of the Titanic at the bottom.

This novel is rich in the description of the era that  the two sisters lived in. The relationship dynamics are a tad head spinning as it seems both sisters love life’s were intense. If you enjoy historical fiction this novel might be just right for you. I received an ARC of The It Girls by Karen Harper for free in exchange for my honest review from TLC Book Tours. To buy a copy click here. If you are interested to find out more about Karen Harper click here. Once you finish this novel I’m sure you’ll want to find out more about Lucille and Elinor.

Book Review · Books

Daring To Hope

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If you have read Kisses From Katie, then the follow up memoir, Daring To Hope is going to be the icing on your spiritual cake. It’s a short book, but the spirit led richness makes you want to take your time reading each chapter. This book is anointed. It is a simple, yet powerful testimony to Katie’s ministry and work in Uganda. She shares stories of helping others who don’t have much. Katie along with her thirteen adopted daughters help those who need a place to stay, some who are sick and need around the clock care and those who need food. I found myself crying, laughing and just drinking in the beauty this book holds.

I have been lapsed in my faith for a long while. I’ve been wrestling over what do I believe and why. This memoir was a God send. Katie isn’t preachy in a Hell and brimstone manner, but in the manner of a saint whose seen prayer answered in the way she hoped and in the way that was not in her comfort zone. Katie is humble. She meets you where you are at with no judgement, or spiritual arrogance. If you need a book that will let you know you aren’t alone in your faith struggles I hugely recommend this gem of a book. I received my free copy of Daring To Hope by Katie Davis Majors from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

The Crows Of Beara

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I didn’t quite know what I’d get into when reading The Crows Of Beara by Julie Christine Johnson. This book captured my heart. This novel follows Annie, a freshly out of rehab PR Rep who begs to be allowed to do an assignment in Ireland. Her boss is leery of her not being quite up to the task decides to allow her when her colleague has to back out at the last minute. Annie is excited to be back in Ireland where she previously vacationed with her husband, Stephen. The difference now is that her marriage is on the rocks. Annie hopes this time away will give her a chance to regroup.

When Annie gets to Ireland on her assignment she meets the local hiking guide named Daniel. They seem to have some inexplicable connection. Annie waves it off as nothing, but when her assignment in Ireland seems to be turning ugly she realizes there’s more to the assignment than she thought. Is there more to Daniel than meets the eye? Is Annie ready to fully face her demons?

If you like Ireland, love suspense, some possible romance this novel might be perfect for you. I received a free copy of it from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. This book was sweetly written, scenery spot on and the storyline hard to put down. I couldn’t help myself by YouTubing Beara. Yes, it is a real place in Ireland. This book does it justice with its description. Now I want to go visit it. For further information on the author, click here and if you are interested in purchasing a copy click here. The icing on the cake for me was the character being from Seattle and the nice shout out to Cafe Vita.

Book Review · Books

13 Minutes

img_2160.jpgBecca Crisp used to be one of the popular girls till her best friend Tasha dumped her. At least she had her boyfriend Aiden. He was her world. Becca was glad she had a new BFF. Hannah was attentive towards Becca. She could be a tad clingy, but that was better than having no friends.

Becca’s world is thrown for a loop when Tasha is found on the banks of the river. A dog walker finds her. Tasha was officially dead for 13 whole minutes. Becca is not sure if she should go visit Tasha in the hospital, but figures since they used to be so close she should at least reach out. For some reason Tasha seems to connect with Becca better than with the Barbies once she gets out of the hospital.

As Becca re-enters the world of the “Barbies,” as Tasha’s clique is called she recalls all the past closeness they used to all share. The other Barbies Jenny and Hayley are cold and cruel towards her. Becca can’t understand where things went wrong, why she was pushed out of their insulated nest? Jenny and Hayley seem jealous over Tasha renewing her interest in her friendship with Becca.

Solving the mystery of why and how Tasha landed in the river is filled with fits and starts. Becca thinks she has it figured out until something shocking occurs that rocks their whole town. Are the Barbies who they portray themselves as being?

This novel goes into depth on the topics of friendship, control, relationships and how they aren’t always as neat as they appear on the outside. As children the status of being Best Friends Forever with a friend is a coveted role. It’s the highest pinnacle of a teen’s life aside from having an official boyfriend or girlfriend. When you gain that status is it truly forever?

If you enjoy YA that has suspense, mystery, drama, snarkiness then I highly recommend 13 Minutes.  This book sucked me in from the first sentence, though the use of the word shit was a tad overused. I received my free ARC of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

Unforgivable Love

img_2140.jpgI didn’t know anything much about what Unforgivable Love was going to be about. This novel follows the lives of Mae, Elizabeth, Cecily and Val during the early civil rights movement of the late 1940’s. Mae and Val are rich and use their wealth to get just what they want wether it’s sex, or wealth. They are mirror images of each other in their lack of character. There are secrets, lies, betrayal and love. This story is set in the south and in Harlem. The descriptions of both places is well done. I think having never read the novel, or seen the film that it’s a retelling of didn’t help me. If you’ve watched, “Dangerous Liaisons,” then you may enjoy this novel.

I try to give a book the benefit of the doubt, but honestly this novel was not my cup of tea. The writing was nice, but the storyline I found boring after 150 or less pages. I’m struggling to finish this 500+ page book. Maybe I am not a long novel kind of girl, but the storyline of manipulation back and forth got boring very quickly. I don’t hugely care for any of the characters. I can’t stand Mae or Val.

A few days later…..

I did get to the end of this novel retelling of “Dangerous Liaisons,” and I must say the ending redemed it’s self. I was given my free copy of Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I feel awful not liking the book, but it’s just not my genre. I’m sure the author’s other books might be to my liking.