Book Review · Books

Awful Beautiful Life

I just finished the last page. Becky Powell’s memoir is memorizing in its crushing, Hellish storyline. Honestly I’m shocked her faith held out through her whole ordeal. That’s how faithful God is. I can’t fathom having a spouse, or family member chose suicide. Just that mere tragedy alone is mental breakdown territory, but Becky’s faith surged on day one after her husband, Mark’s passing. She started her day off reading her Bible. Heck I would be too, mixed between sobbing hard or raging to be able to sit and read the Bible. I’d most likely be mad at God. I’m sure Becky struggled with that, but she pressed on in trusting Him when the average person would be like, “Not now.”

Not only did Becky deal with the passing of her spouse and best friend, but she had to solider on to muddle through the financial scandal her husband left her with. This is a whole can of worms topic. So many marriages have the traditional role of the husband strictly handling the finances while the wife takes care of the home and children. I vote for wives to be fully aware of and involved when it comes to their team finances.

I’m still mentally and emotionally processing this memoir. It was so intense, powerful, and such a testament to how life can turn crappy, but God is still there along side you.

I received my complimentary copy of Awful Beautiful Life by Becky Powell with Katherine Reay from Faith Words. The views are mine and of my own choice. Thank you Faith Words, Hatchett Book Group for the opportunity to read such a beautiful book. It’s going to be a while before I’ll be able to come back to earth once this book hangover subsides.

Book Review · Books

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre

I haven’t read Jane Eyre since the summer before fourth grade. I’m not a huge fan of manga, but it can make for a lighter, fun read. This was the case with Jane Eyre. This manga has beautiful artwork and this classic book was condensed in a way that brought the story to life.

Jane Eyre is an orphan whose taken in by her rich aunt. Her older cousins are cruel and pick on Jane nonstop. Her aunt decides to send her off to a strict boarding school called Lowood. The school isn’t much improved from her aunt’s house. Thankfully Jane has a classmate, Helen befriend her. Life gets more bearable, until Helen passes from getting sick.

Jane sticks it out at Lowood and decides she wants to be a governess. She responds to an ad for one. Thornfield is a massive mansion of sorts and the owner never seems to be home. Thankfully the housekeeper keeps her company along with the little girl she’s teaching, Adele.

The master of the house comes home and Jane realizes he’s standoffish and placates Adele by buying her fancy gifts. Jane keeps to herself and teaching Adele. One night Jane hears a noise and goes out of her room to investigate. She discovers that there’s a fire in the master’s room. Jane runs in to wake him up. This scary incident makes Jane wonder who would want to harm the master of the house? The master, Mr. Rochester, tries to distract Jane from overthinking the incident.

Will Jane figure out what her employer is hiding? Is there more to Mr. Rochester then meets the eye? Follow Jane on her journey to figure out what secrets may be hiding at Thornfield.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Manga Classics: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. This manga brought Jane Eyre to life in a way I’d forgotten. This novel is so dark, spiritually deep and intense. It’s definitely not for kids. It might be even a tad too, adult for a high schooler. I can’t believe I read it before 4th grade.

Book Review · Books

Meet Me On Love Lane

Who can resist a beautiful cover, to want to know the story that lurks between the pages? I sure can’t. The opening of this novel grips your heart. What would you do if you’re a little kid and your mom is making you move out of state, to leave behind your dad and beloved grandmother? Charlotte knows, but due to the trauma of that night she’s pushed it as far back as she can. The problem is that when she returns to her small town to clear her head as an adult, the town remembers more about her past, then she does.

Will Charlotte be able to put the pieces together from that fateful night? Can her childhood friends rekindle their friendship with her? Can her dad and grandmother help her piece her life back together? Join Charlotte as she returns to Hope Lake.

This novel needs to be turned into a movie. The storyline is perfect. It has mystery, sass, deep friendships, a cute small town you’ll swear was real and characters you’ll fall in love with. This story tackles tough topics like divorce, mental illness, childhood friendship and how hard life decisions can be.

I received my complimentary copy of Meet Me On Love Lane by Nina Bocci from Simon and Schuster, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and my own will. This book was beyond sweet and an emotional roller coaster, but I loved every minute. If Gilmore Girls was in novel form then this book would be of a similar sweet small town vein. To grab a gorgeous copy off Amazon and check out more about the author.

Book Review · Books

The Sound Of Stars

What would we do if aliens landed on earth? This scenario seems more timely lately with all the current UFO sightings. The opening of this novel has our MC, Ellie stuck in a building with other New Yorkers, held captive by aliens called the Ilori. Any kind of entertainment or form of art is illegal. Ellie can’t stand by and let all the books be burned, so she stashes away a few favorites.

Ellie gets the brilliant idea to lend out her books to select teens she can trust. It’s risky, but worth it to provide a distraction from their now boring existence. One night when she goes to check her secret library stash she discovers a book is missing. Who has the book?

Enter in Morris, whose a labmade Ilori, created to serve the true Ilori masters. In looking for contraband he discovers Ellie’s library stash. He decides to borrow one of the books. This book opens his eyes to a story he can’t put down. When he goes to return it one night Ellie discovers him. Will Morris report Ellie? Can she trust this strange alien who likes to read books?

This novel is apocalyptic mixed with aliens, romance, adventure, suspense and so much more. I think it will take me time to come down from my book high after just finishing this book. I can’t shut up about telling other book bloggers to please request this title because my gosh it’s brilliant.

I received my digital complimentary copy of The Sound Of Stars by Alechia Dow from Harlequin Teen and Inkyard Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and my own choice. Thank you for the opportunity to discover, yet again, another favorite book, new favorite author and the feels are real.

Book Review · Books

Golden Keys To Open Doors

This little booklet of sorts left me saying, “Wait what?” at the end. The author describes his spiritual journey and how there are so many spiritual scams out there. He expressed for the reader to research on their own, to not believe everything they read, even his little booklet.

I know that spirituality is an “in” topic. Gurus abound online asking for your time and money because spiritual secrets cost money to share. He warned against following the newest popular spiritual leader. I see them advertise on social media with links to find out more.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Golden Keys To Open Doors by Harry Meier from Booktasters, care of the author. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. I was expecting more spiritual meat of sorts, but sadly came away feeling like this book lead me into a big circle. One thing is that the author writes in a very conversational tone so, it’s not a boring read. This book may produce food for thought though. It’s a swift read you just may need to read more than once to grasp it all.

Book Review · Books

Body Leaping Backward

I’m a 70’s baby, so I don’t remember that era. Maureen Stanton does a fantastic job of bring that decade to life in her memoir: Body Leaping Backward. Maureen’s world is broken the day her parents gather her and her many siblings to tell them that they are separating. With her father out of the house Maureen is left to her own devices. This equals trouble as she becomes addicted to the drug Angel Dust.

Maureen brings the 70’s into full color with all its quirky traits. She’s in high school when she becomes addicted. Her candid description of being high before, during and after school is eye opening. If you need a drug deterrent then her memoir is just the cure you’ll need to steer clear. Maureen doesn’t sugarcoat ANYTHING. She shows how addiction put a veil over her life and being able to honestly deal with the emotions of her parents divorce, the swirl of adolescence and school life.

This book isn’t long in length, but deep in content. At first I found it ok, but the further I got into Maureen’s memoir the more I wanted to see what became of her. Thank you Maureen for baring your soul on the page. One thing I gleaned is how important it is to keep a diary and not chuck them because they are your recorded history and a window into your past, in your own words.

I received my complimentary copy of Body Leaping Backward by Maureen Stanton from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own will. To find out more about the author, check out her website and go grab yourself a copy here.

Book Review · Books

The Clergyman’s Wife

Charlotte Collins is the wife of a local vicar. Her husband is caught up with what their landlady, Lady Catherine deems appropriate for high society. Charlotte is more concerned with taking care of their daughter and learning the ropes of being a vicar’s wife. She misses her family back home, but their maid Martha keeps her company while Charlotte’s husband is in his book room writing his sermons.

When Charlotte’s husband summons’s the farmer, Mr. Travis’s son to help plant roses for them, Charlotte meets a new possible kindred spirit, but decorum persists. Over time by visiting old Mr. Travis she sees how he enjoys getting to see her little daughter and how kind his son is. They speak occasionally at church and when they bump into each other on walks.

Over time Charlotte discovers she has more than friendship feelings for Mr. Travis’s son. Unlike her sister, Maria who married for love, Charlotte married out of convenience since her husband, William was the only eligible bachelor and a good social catch. Charlotte is ashamed about the feelings that are welling up for her regarding their neighbor. She senses Mr. Travis’s son has mutual feelings, but they are both conscious of what’s appropriate when interacting. It’s hard when there are nosey town neighbors spreading gossip.

This novel made me thankful I’m a women in modern times. The view of women and wives in this older era is depressing. It shows how back then marriage was a contract between esteemed families and depending on who you paired up with reflected back on your family’s status within the community. Marrying for love was not the priority and I think looked down upon. Or matching from different social classes was another huge no, no. If you never found a decent marital match then you were left to live at home indefinitely.

I received my complimentary copy of The Clergyman’s Wife by Molly Greeley from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own will. To procure a copy visit HarperCollins and check out more on Molly Greeley. If you enjoy Victorian era novels then you may enjoy this debut novel. Unfortunately, this one wasn’t my cup of tea, but it did provide a clear example of Victorian life.