Book Review · Books

The Hazel Wood

Alice moved a lot with her mom Ella. She didn’t think much of it until one day when she was little she got kidnaped by a man who claimed he was going to take her to her grandmother. Alice never met her grandmother, but knew she was a famous writer of fairy tales. The strange thing was that Alice’s mom didn’t want her reading her grandmother’s book. Alice tried countless times to find a copy, but it seemed they disappeared out of existence.

In high school Alice’s mom marries a rich man with a snotty daughter. One day Alice comes home from school to find everyone gone. There’s an odd smell in the apartment and there’s a note on her bed for her. It’s a page from her grandmother’s book. What did it mean? Alice goes to her classmate Finch who is a major fan of her grandmother’s book. Will Alice and Finch find her mom? What’s the mystery behind her kidnapping and the note?

If you enjoy fantasy, fairy tales and mysteries you may enjoy The Hazel Wood. This book was fast paced, intense, fascinating, a mental whirlwind and outside my usual genre. This book has made me want to read some classic fairy tales that haven’t been Disney sanitized. I received my ebook ARC of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert for free from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. I bought a physical copy since I wanted one for my book collection.

Book Review · Books

True Stories From An Unreliable Witness

Christine Lahti’s memoir True Stories From An Unreliable Witness is hilarious, sobering, and mesmerizing. Christine talks about her life growing up in a house filled with 5 siblings, a perfectly coiffed mother and an aloof father. She is a sensitive and emotional person in a family that has to wear their happy smiles and never take off their masks. Each chapter is an essay about different parts of Christine’s life from childhood, to college, entering the acting world, marriage, motherhood and more. She wanted to break out of the prescribed shell her mother lived in.

This short book packed a punch on so many topics from family dynamics, father and daughter relationships (I can relate), finding your footing professionally, mental illness, motherhood and loving yourself as you are despite what the magazines say. This book had me laughing, tearing up, feeling convicted and more.

I received my free copy of True Stories From An Unreliable Witness by Christine Lahti for free from TLC Book Tours care of Harper Weave in exchange for my review. This memoir was a quick, enjoyable, enriching read. I hope Christine will write more books because she has a talent with the written word. To purchase her book click here. Now off to go watch some of her movies.

Book Review · Books

The Dream Of You

If you are a woman who needs a spiritual pick me up then I recommend The Dream Of You by Jo Saxton. This short book is heavy on wisdom in a non-preachy manner. Jo talks about her tough childhood, how she came to faith and the different trials and accomplishments she’s had in her life. She shares her honest faith struggle in a way you can relate to. Throughout sharing her story, Jo includes Biblical stories about women and men who went through trying times to discover who God made them to be.

I received my free copy of The Dream Of You by Jo Saxton from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review. If you are a seasoned or new believer this book is written in language that is easy to understand and a great fresher on Christian basics.

Book Review · Books

Girlish

As soon as I heard the title of this book I just had to read it. Yes, honestly a lesbian family household is outside of my life experience, so I was interested to hear what it is like. Enter in, Girl, who talks about her life from childhood, elementary, junior high, high school, college and beyond living with mother and stepmother. Girl has a variety of siblings, half siblings and a father who lives off in Alaska. Girl is best friends with Brother who is a witness to their lives with two moms and visiting Father in Alaska when it was summertime.

This memoir is about Girl and her struggle to find her place in the world where Father favored Brother and Mother had to cow-tow to Stepmother. Girl is honest, stubborn, free spirited and a survivor. Her writing drops you into her world. I got sucked in from page one.

I received my free digital ARC of Girlish by Lara Lillibridge from NetGalley in exchange for my review. Skyhorse Publishing was kind and sent a courtesy copy. Thank you Angela. If you enjoy LGBTQA memoirs I do recommend this book. Girl lets you into her world and you won’t be the same after.

Book Review · Books

Hurricane Season

I’m not into Christian fiction. It can be campy, cheesy and not well written. Lauren K. Denton proved me wrong in her novel, Hurricane Season. This lovely story is set in Alabama, about two sisters who secretly envy the other sister. Betsy is the eldest. She’s a farmers wife who wishes she had children. Jenna is the wild younger sister whose a single mother of two little girls. When Jenna gets an opportunity to take an in depth photography retreat in FL she can’t believe her luck. Will Betsy and her husband watch their nieces if Jenna agrees to the opportunity?

This book discusses the myriad of difficult choices we make and how going after our dreams can alter our loved one’s lives. It talks about the sensitive subject of infertility and how it can either bring a couple together or threaten to rip their relationship apart. This novel also, provides a great farming 101 lesson through the book. This book is Christian fiction without any preachy, religious tones in the book, so if you aren’t of that faith variety you can read this book without fear of indoctrination.

I received my free copy of Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson Publishing. I greatly enjoyed this book. Characters haven’t felt this real in a long time. To me that is the sign of a excellent book. To purchase this gorgeous book click here.

Book Review · Books

Self-Made Woman

I have read a few trans memoirs. They are always fascinating, intense, inspirational and thought provoking. Self-Made Woman is the memoir of Dennis who discovers his desire to be a woman the day he falls into the lake and almost drowns at his grandparent’s lake cabin. Due to his clothes being wet from falling in the water he is given a dress to wear while his clothes dry. This experience opens the door to him realizing just how wearing a dress makes him feel. At a young age he realizes he doesn’t just merely love being around woman and girls, but wishes he could be one rather than a boy. This memoir is Dennis’ story of becoming Denise.

Her journey is not for the faint of heart. Some of the things she goes through in discovering herself are outside my comfort zone, so parts where a tad hard to stomach. If you are into kinky things you might like this autobiography. I am more of a plain Jane, so this memoir wasn’t my cup of transformational tea.

I received my free copy of Self-Made Woman by Denise Chanterelle Dubois from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest feedback. I do like reading memoirs, so I’m glad I got the opportunity to read Denise’s story. I’m just sad it didn’t connect with me like I thought it would.

Book Review · Books

1,001 Ways to Be Creative

The cover has little splotches of different colors. For some reason it makes me think of the colorful spotted character in the children’s book Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire. 1001 Ways To Be Creative by Barbara Ann Kipfer is a collection of inspiring quotes, themes and ideas for ways we can be creative. Each page has pretty designs on the side and each section is in a different color font. If you love colorful things like books by SARK, then you’ll be attracted to this little tome.

I received 1001 Ways To Be Creative by Barbara Ann Kipfer for free from TLC Book Tours care of National Geographic. If you need ideas to make your life more adventurous and exciting go pick up a copy. This book would make a great gift or coffee table book. See how many things you can try out of the ideas in this book. To purchase a copy click here.