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.

Book Review · Books

A Uterus Is A Feature Not A Bug

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I’m not a mother. I am not a baby person, so to speak, but this book’s title caught my attention. A Uterus Is A Feature Not A Bug talks about women’s struggles to be taken seriously in the working world, after having had children. The author, Sarah Lacy, is a no hold’s bared journalist who doesn’t mince her words. There are a few well placed flowery words to emphasize certain parts.

Sarah covers topics ranging from working as a new mom, working as a single parent and the stigma that divorce brings into the workplace. Another important topic she tackles is the traditional view that a woman must strictly stay at home with the kids is. With women being able to work outside the home it’s helping their partner/spouse financially and giving the other person more parental responsibilities with the kids. Women today can survive without having to be married. I think that scares the crap out of a lot of men because then women’s needy dependence on men lowers. Sarah goes over how nontraditional families are possible and do function quite smoothly. Also, you don’t have to be married to choose to have kids, or to have a healthy family relationship.

I received my free ARC of A Uterus Is A Feature Not A Bug by Sarah Lacy from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest assessment. Even if you aren’t a mother this book will change your life. There are so many topics I didn’t think about in depth much till I read this book. Men should read this book as well. This book empowers women to be all they can be wether married, single, or divorced. Cultural labels don’t have to define your life. You can move beyond the stigmas and grow as a woman. To find out more about Sarah Lacy via Twitter, click here. To buy a copy of this important book stop by HarperCollins.

Book Review · Books

We Need To Talk

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“We need to talk,” is one of the most intimidating sentences we hear. I know when I hear it my stress and anxiety levels go up. I hate feeling like I’m in trouble, or going to be lectured. If that’s the main sentence you hear from a family member, or friend it doesn’t endear you to want to ever talk with them for fear of being on their crud list. This book, We Need To Talk by Celeste Headlee took that one sentence filled with fear and opened my eyes to a lot more.

This book covers a lot of different aspects of conversation and how we either help, or hinder communicating effectively. I felt convicted on a lot. I interject similar experiences, I interrupt who I’m talking with and sometimes I go off into day dreamland not fully paying attention. When I get excited I get chatty, but if I’m nervous I go quiet. Another aspect to conversation that was addressed in the book is our lack of attention span and empathy as a society. Those statistics were sobering and disturbing. I think the invention of smart phones has given us access to information, but not made us smarter, or more compassionate.

If you are interested in reading more about the topic of conversation and how to be a great listener and conversationalist I highly recommend this readable book. To grab a copy click here. I got an early copy of We Need To Talk from TLC Book Tours for free in exchange for my honest assessment. What an enlightening read. To find out more about the author visit her website.

Book Review · Books

Take Me With You

Take Me With You is a collection of LGBTQIA poems. There are lovely illustrations throughout this book of poetry. The poems deal with topics that range from relationships, coming out, anxiety, etc. I liked this book of poems, except it was a tad bit hard to follow with how the book ended up formatted. If you enjoy poetry you may like this book. I received this ARC for free from NetGalley in exchange for my review.