Book Review · Books

Rouge

Are you a girlie girl? Do you love makeup? Do you drool over buying a new lipstick, or mascara? Do you like the 1940’s era? If so, do I have a fun novel to recommend.

America in the 1930’s to 40’s was the era where women went from just being house wives to having to get a job to help with the war effort and help provide extra income for their families. Enter in Constance who created a business where house wives could sell makeup door to door. This would give them time out to socialize, but also, earn some extra money. Next you have Josephine who built her own beauty brand, opening salons all over the USA and abroad. Two cosmetic leaders who want to be number one no matter the cost. Then there is CeeCee, a biracial lady who discovered a way to keep her hair just right for her and her fellow African American sisters, Will she be able to compete with Constance and Josephine? Who will win as the ultimate beauty leader?

This novel takes you behind the scenes of the rivalry between two cosmetic queens and what happens when they only will accept the best and are determined to win. There is romance, mystery, suspense, humor and, of course lots of makeup talk. This book is beautifully written and brings this era to life.

I received a complimentary copy of Rouge by Richard Kirshenbaum from St. Martin’s Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are my own and of my own will. I rarely wear makeup. I like the idea of it, but my skin is so sensitive I only can use select lipstick, or lipgloss. This novel brought back the exciting moment of buying a new lipstick and trying it on. This book makes you proud to be a woman and show off your beauty. I think my favorite part is the very end of the last chapter. This book was very satisfying. Thank you FSB Associates and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to get to read this fascinating novel.

Book Review · Books

The Stone Rainbow

Jack recently came out to his mom and is slowly befriending Cody, whose teaching him how to swim. He hangs out with his friend Ryan and likes to get advice from Ryan’s girlfriend Clare. Life is improving from the previous year when things felt hopeless.

When cute new kid Benjamin starts talking to Jack in art class, Jack is surprised since Benjamin is the school VP’s son. Jack can’t tell if Benjamin is just being polite, or actually likes Jack. He doesn’t know of any other gay kids in their town.

When Benjamin and Jack have to make an art project for class, Jack is surprised how out Benjamin is. He makes a rainbow out of stones he colors and then writes the meaning behind the different colors. Jack is concerned for his safety once everyone in town knows Benjamin is gay. Benjamin on the other hand is out and not shy about being obvious.

Benjamin starts talking about how their small town should have a Pride parade, but Jack knows with how conservative their town is there’s no way they’d get it approved. When there’s an incident Jack has to decide if hiding who he is, is worth it.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. If you haven’t read Caterpillars Can’t Swim you can still read The Stone Rainbow without being lost as to what happened in the first book. A lot of times sequels don’t live up to the first book. This one surpassed it. This book is a powerful story of friendship, family, community and being true to who you are no matter what others think, or do.

Book Review · Books

Just One Bite

Timothy Blake is helping out wanted criminal Charlie Warner. She’s a badass blonde that doesn’t take crap from anyone. Charlie is giving Timothy a great deal. He helps dispose the bodies she’s had killed. The only challenge is Timothy has been asked to help out the FBI on a case. Agent Reese is back in his life and the chemistry flairs up again. Can he handle the attraction he has for her? Will Reese figure out Timothy’s secret? Will Charlie find out who he’s helping out on the side? Can Scary Timmy curb his craving?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Just One Bite by Jack Heath from Harlequin Trade Publishing, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are my own and of my own will. It’s rare to get a sequel where you don’t necessarily have to read the first book. This is one is just that kind. This novel is fast paced, funny, gruesome and thought provoking. If you are a fan of Dexter you’ll want to keep up with what happens to Timothy Blake. If you want to read the first book look for a copy of Hangman.

Book Review · Books

The Grace Year

Some books leave you breathless, in shock as though you’ve survived a war. The Grace Year, is such a novel. This book sucks you in from the first sentence and still holds on after the last one is read.

Tierney is about to go serve her grace year with other ladies of her county. Some have been chosen to be brides when they return and others have not. Tierney didn’t expect to get a veil, but she got one from the last man she expected. They’ve heard rumors of what the grace year is like, away from the county, for them to rid themselves of their womanly magic. When they arrive at their encampment they are shocked to discover there’s more to it than they thought.

Kirsten is the pretty one of the group, who leads with an iron first. She is angry because she thought she would getting married to the man who chose Tierney. She doesn’t realize Tierney is just as shocked as Kirsten. Tierney tries to ignore her, but when Kirsten gangs up against her with the other girls, Tierney is banished from the group. The challenge with this isn’t just not having access to the supplies they were given for the year, but out in the forest there are poachers. These men hunt the grace year girls. Can Tierney survive outside the encampment? What has made the other girls turn on her? Why do the poachers kill the grace year girls?

This novel discusses what superstition can do to a community. It’s fascinating to me how the view of women after their period has started has changed through out history. Not only that, but the view of the Eve of the Bible as being evil and that just being a woman means you are marked as being a temptress, that women are meant to be reined in by men and for a woman to stand up for herself is a huge sin. This book explores what the stance of women being the weaker sex does physically and psychologically to a woman and how it affects the community.

I received a complimentary digital copy of The Grace Year by Kim Liggett from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own accord. I haven’t ever read Lord Of The Flies, The Hunger Games, or The Handmaiden’s Tale, but if you loved these books then you’ll want to grab a copy of this new book this fall. If you’ve also, read an early copy of this engrossing read please message me. I want to chat about this book!

Book Review · Books

Happy Money

Do books about money make you want to take a nap? Do they bore you to tears? This short yellow book with the smile on the cover will keep you turning pages to the very end. I’m not into reading finance books. It’s a rare occurrence, but the title Happy Money sounded like a happy book, so why not try it?

I dove in and wondered what financial gems I would find. This book isn’t about numbers. This book is about how our views about money help shape how it effects our lives.

It shares the different types of views we can have and what type of emotions the topic of money can bring up for us. This is fascinating because you don’t necessarily put two and together. I know I didn’t before I read this book. I learned a lot about myself.

Another topic that comes up in this helpful book is how important relationships in our lives are in regards to money. I don’t mean merely asking someone to help you out with EOC, but how having people in our lives that we can trust to help us out (not just fiscally) is imperative. If we had a big groups of friends and family to help us when life turns ugly we wouldn’t be stressing about how much we have in our bank accounts. Not that it gives you a license to mooch off others.

Lastly, the biggest message I took away from this book is how vital thankfulness is in our lives. Being thankful for small things helps gives us room to receive and be thankful for even bigger things. We really don’t need all the bells and whistles that commercialism throws at us on the TV, radio and social media. What do we truly need to be happy? We all have our own scale of what we feel will make us happy. This book made me rethink what I truly need to make me happy.

I received a complimentary physical and digital copy of Happy Money by Ken Honda from NetGalley, care of FSB Associates. The views expressed are of my own accord and my own. This book I believe will become a classic. It’s motivational, educational, and challenging. It’s a keeper.

Book Review · Books

Caterpillars Can’t Swim

Ryan is minding his own business when he notices a woman down by the water twirling in a yellow skirt. She looks happy. One minute she is there and the next she disappears. Ryan looks over the railing to see if he can see her, but he sees no one. The water is down a bit of a hill and to get to it he’ll need to crawl. Ryan has cerebral palsy. He doesn’t think of anything else, but to find the unknown woman.

After saving the unknown woman Ryan realizes he knows this person. This person is Jack. Why was he wearing a skirt? Jack is a quiet classmate of Ryan’s, but he’s not friends with Jack. Both boys don’t want what happened to be blown out of proportion. Wouldn’t anyone else do the same if someone was drowning?

Enter Cody, Jack’s best friend from swim team. He’s a classic jock whose got an ego the size of the sun, trying to shine brighter than anyone around. Cody is determined to find out more about Jack and what really happened, but Ryan’s not sure on the fine details either of the why. When Ryan invites Jack to accompany both him and Cody to Comic Con in a gesture of friendship is it a recipe for disaster, or will it bring the boys together?

I received my digital copy of Caterpillars Can’t Swim by Liane Shaw from NetGalley. The opinions are my own and of my own accord. This young adult novel tackles the challenging subjects of depression, identity, friendship and what it means to be true to who you are. I loved this novel. I thought Ryan’s character is fleshed out well. I don’t have to depend on a wheelchair to get around, but this novel shows the realistic struggle to be noticed for who you are minus any handicap assistance you come with. Cody was a well represented high school jock, though how he changes throughout the story is interesting to watch. Jack is the classic sensitive kid who is scared to trust to be himself in front of others. This book will be a great edition to any YA fan’s bookcase, as well as any high school library. Let’s get the conversation going. Never let anyone suffer in silence.

Book Review · Books

No Place Like Here

I have to confess. I wasn’t hooked right off the bat in chapter one. Ashlyn is a teen paying for the crime of her past by being sent off to boarding school. She’s excited to be back home for the summer where she can hang out with her best friend Tatum, except her dad has other plans for her. Ashlyn is set to help out her cousin, Hannah, at a retreat camp. Why can’t she just stay home like a normal high schooler? Her dad has crimes of his own to pay, so he won’t be home and her mom is so messed up from her father’s misdeeds that she won’t be home either.

Ashlyn goes off to help Hannah at the camp and meets two cute fellow staffers, Baxter and Marcus. Both appear to be great guys and one seems to give her a tad more attention than the other. Will Ashlyn have a summer romance, or will her father’s controlling words freeze her up from enjoying her summer despite having to work?

This novel grew on me. Ashlyn’s character is relatable to me in so many ways. I love to write, journal and read. I think it’s great Ashlyn carries around a notebook of her favorite quotes that she writes down. I, also, shy away from speaking up except for when I’m really mad about something. I also, have daddy issues. My own dad isn’t as strict as Ashlyn’s dad, but I know what it’s like to have high expectations to live up to and not feel like what you do is enough. Also, when it comes to parental affection it’s not doled out often. I know what it’s like to have anxiety when hearing from said parent, of being nervous of being in trouble, even when there’s no reason to be. It’s sad, but true.

I received my complimentary digital copy of No Place Like Here by Christina June from Blink, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are of my own accord and mine only. This book is a sweet read. It is a story that opens up the complication that is family and how we do our best to navigate our family relationships. It shows a great example of how we are all imperfect, but how through our brokenness we can heal baby step by baby step. I highly recommend this upcoming summer release.