Book Review · Books

The Great Unexpected

Joel’s wife recently died and now he has a roommate at his retirement home that doesn’t talk back. Mr. Miller is in a comma, but is still someone to talk to. That is, until he expires one day and Joel has to watch the nurses try to revive him.

Joel wonders if he’ll get a new roommate then enters in Frank Adams otherwise know as Mr. de Selby; an old actor who has the flair to match his fancy scarfs he wears. He’s very chatty and everyone at the home seems to like him, but Joel is not too, keen on his roommate.

Overtime they form an interesting friendship of sorts. Slowly his roommate scrapes away the bitterness that Joel holds onto like a vice grip. Life seems to be looking up until Joel confesses that he wants to be done with it all. The question is how does he want to go out? Frank wants to help out so he starts to write a play of Joel’s final moments via brainstorming in his journal.

Since Joel’s time is nearing to an end once he figures out how he wants to go, they both decide they want a night out on the town. They escape the home and proceed to go to a bar. They get properly sloshed and go back to the home. The head director is fuming and Joel’s daughter is furious he’d risk his life when he has a ver perfectly good place at the retirement home.

One person whose worried about Joel is his friend Una, who was friends with his wife, Lucey. She’s been keeping an eye on him and he’s been avoiding her obvious interest in him.

Frank and Joel decide to go on a few more nighttime jaunts into the city. One such adventure they bump into Joel’s grandkids who find it hilarious their grandfather is boozing it up with his roommate. Who knew partying with your grandkids could be a fun time. When they return more precautions are taken so they won’t escape again.

This novel discusses so many important topics. Friendship is a key one, but also, the topic of receiving respect when you are elderly. I know when my grandmother had to move into her retirement home it wasn’t easy. Having sense of loss after living in a house to a small apartment with neighbors all around is a big change. I also, think going from living independent to assisted living is a big change, to feel your sense of control of your own life is being micromanaged by someone else who is in charge. Another topic covered is how we ware masks as a defense mechanism. Joel’s roommate Frank uses his character, de Selby as his persona when he’s not wanting to be vulnerable. Joel uses grumpiness as his defense mechanism.

I received my complimentary copy of The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney from TLC Book Tours. The views expressed are my own and of my own will. This book is a gem and a reread. The characters are hilarious and thought provoking. The banter between Joel and Frank reminds me of the movie, “Grumpy Old Men.” I can’t wait to read more fantastic books by Dan Mooney.

Book Review · Books

Saved As Draft

I have loved to write since I was little. I’d write out short stories and draw pictures. In junior high I kept a diary and in high school. I am grieved I chucked those personal histories. All because they were triggers regarding ex boyfriends. Diaries are moments captured in real time. I wish I had kept them, so that I’d have that unique history to look back on.

N.D. Chan wrote Saved As Draft to show that even emails we may not send, letters we write, but chicken out to mail are still our written history and important to keep. Her memoir is her collection of such writings that follow her journey from living in China with her grandparents to moving to the USA to live with her mom and stepdad. N.D. shares her exploration to find out more about the dad she never knew. She also, dives into what first crushes and relationships are like when you’re a teenager. The author discusses what it was like to try to meet other ladies who are into ladies in a time when it wasn’t as safe to be out as it is now. N.D. also, includes poems.

This memoir is short, but filled with so much heart. I felt sucked right in from the start. As a little kid a lot of the time at a new school I felt like the odd man out. Being super short is not cute when the older kids find it humorous to pick you up and not put you down and being mistaken for a Kindergartner in the third grade. I know what it’s like to not understand why our parents may choose to do what they do. N.D. struggles wondering why her mom decided to wait so long to have her move to the USA to be with her. I have a lot of memories of having crushes on both girls and boys growing up. I remember just staring at one poor boy in the first grade relentlessly during the time we’d have to put our heads down for quiet time.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Saved As Draft by N.D. Chan from NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. I loved this book and hope there will be more books from this author. Some authors you read and sense they are a kindred spirit. Thank you N.D. for sharing your beautiful soul with the world. Keep on. writing.

Friends · Personal · Self Care

Whore Out My Heart

Lately I feel like I keep getting the word of knowledge to guard my heart. I am so needy for friends and wanting constant communication. I want to ideally be best friends with everyone and yet, those I’ve poured out a lot of my heart to have burnt me. I know no one is perfect. Life happens and friendships don’t always pan out, but I’m feeling fragile lately.

Why did I title this post Whore Out My Heart? Not a whore in the promiscuous sense, but in the emotional sense. I’m like a dang puppy anytime I make a new friend. I guess I definitely have an addictive personality, friendship addiction. I get so excited about having a new friend that I latch on like a barnacle. It’s unhealthy of me. I need to stop being so flippant with my heart and be selective in who I truly open up to. Not everyone is worthy, no matter how much I wish them to be. Yes, that includes family as well. Family doesn’t automatically equal entrance to my heart and soul.

My job was been busy lately and the energy coming off callers has been draining to say the least. Holding my anger in is challenging at times. I’m not a screamer, or yeller, but I abhor rudeness. When I get mad I cry, but that’s because I’m that mad that tears just have to come out. Someone crying or mad I get that. Rudeness just pisses me off.

Do I want real friendship? Yes. Quality over quantity. True friends, kindred spirits, bosom buddies, girlfriends, guy friends. Those I can trust.

I only have a very small amount of childhood friends that I still keep in contact with. Not all friendships make it from childhood to adulthood and that’s ok. It just means more room for authentic friendships.

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

The Monster Catchers

Bailey Buckleby lives with his father whose a monster hunter. His father owns a little store where they sell little trinkets for tourists. In the back is where Bailey’s dad secretly keeps his live fairy collection in lanterns that hang in the back room. In the freezer they have a live troll, Henry. Their little town of Whalefat doesn’t believe in monsters, unless you discover a goblin who won’t leave you alone.

Bailey loves researching monsters. He’s constantly reading his favorite book by a professional monster hunter. He helps his dad out when he goes to hunt monsters. Bailey has a talent to defend himself using frisbees. He doesn’t have any friends except for a classmate who also, believes in monsters. She owns a cool sword. Being in seventh grade can be stressful when you have to keep avoiding bullies.

When a goblin hunt goes wrong Bailey ends up on the wrong side of the monster equation and has to find his way back to his dad. Will he reach his dad in time?

I received my complimentary copy of The Monster Catchers by George Brewington from Godwin Books, care of Smith Publicity. My views are my own and of my own accord. This middle grade book was fun, fast paced, humerus and sad at times. I’m not into monsters, but reading this book made me want to Google the different monsters represented in the book.

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.