Book Review · Books

Don’t Read The Comments

I confess. I’m not a gamer. I played a bit old school in elementary school like Super Mario Brothers, but nothing extravagant like the online game explained in Don’t Read The Comments. It honestly took me some time to get into this young adult novel, but once I did I was hooked.

Enter Divya who has her own streaming gaming channel where she plays Reclaim The Sun. She has a great fan base who all support her except for online trolls who don’t like that a woman is a gamer and actually popular. One day while trying to claim a planet and name it the said trolls descend in mass and blow up her ship. This ship Divya had decked out from gaining experience points, etc. She was shocked and devastated to have to start from scratch.

One day while playing the game she finds a planet she can name, but someone else is already there and the player doesn’t look familiar. He seems nice and when he realizes whose there with him he totally fan girls over her. This player, Aaron can’t believe Divya is actually chatting with him in the game. She doesn’t get what all the hype is about. Divya enjoys gaming, but for her it’s a way to earn money from the sponsors she gets so that she can help out her mom financially.

Aaron and Divya slowly start an online friendship. Divya has her best friend Rebecca who is also, who helps produce her streams for the channel is a tad leery of Aaron after the way the online trolls took out Divya’s ship.

When the trolls start upping their harassment Divya is not sure if she should still attend GameCon in person. Should she report them? How do you report anonymous harassers?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith from Park Row Books, Hanover Square Press, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. This novel will sure become a favorite wether you are a gamer, or not. The topic of online harassment is uncomfortable. With a lot of social interaction being online people feel they can spew hate and that it’s not equally harassing since it’s not in person. This book will be a great conversation starter for teens of all ages. I think it’d be great required reading for junior high and high schoolers.

Book Review · Books

Take The Day Off

The word Sabbath brings a few images to my mind: church and quiet time on Sunday afternoons to nap, or read. The Sabbath for me always equals Sunday’s. It involved going to church, Sunday school then later having a quiet time in my room. I love how my mom would always bring a little snack of candy to much on for my quiet time.

Mr. Morris talks about how we have lost the art of observing the Sabbath, to take a FULL day to rest. I think sadly the church has turned the term Sabbath into a bad of word of sorts. Instead of being viewed in a positive light it’s dreaded because it equals boring with nothing fun planned. It’s not meant to be boring, but a time to recharge and be refreshed. Socially we are so addicted to being productive nonstop we don’t know how to just sit still. The author reiterates a number of times it doesn’t have to be chained to Sunday. The point is take 1 day off to rest up.

I learned some new things about the Sabbath through reading, Take The Day Off. I started this book with my preconceived biases about this very churchy topic, but this book changed my view in a way I wasn’t expecting.

I received a complimentary copy of Take The Day Off by Robert Morris from Faith Words. The views are mine and of my own choice. If you want your view of the Sabbath altered then go grab a copy. This book is readable, relatable and will give you a new perspective on a challenging topic.

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

What Unbreakable Looks Like

Do you know what it’s like to be trafficked by your own mom’s boyfriend’s friend? Poppy can tell you. She thought she was Mitch’s favorite of all the girls. Her world is thrown for a loop when the cops bust into the hotel where they are staying at and she’s sent to the hospital to get checked out. Poppy finds out her aunt, Krys, wants to take her in. Does Poppy want to escape the Hell hole that her life has become? How can her own aunt choose a broken, used up teen like Poppy? Will anyone truly love her?

When she gets the chance to escape the hospital with one of the other girl’s pulled from the hotel Poppy stays back and decides from then on she’s going to relearn how to be Alexa. She’s leaving Poppy behind and wants to reclaim who she was born to be. Lex.

Will Lex go and live with Krys? Does she cave in and decide to return to Mitch? What will she choose? This novel drops you smack dab into Poppy’s world. It’s a story about how evil sex trafficking is and how one teen decides if she wants to face her demons.

This story is not for the faint of heart. This topic is very adult, heartbreaking, gut wrenching and leaves you stunned. Can you handle Poppy’s story? Her story is addictive and I can guarantee you’ll stay up to find out what happens. Poppy is a character you can’t resist rooting for. Not only rooting for Poppy, but for Lex. Will Poppy allow Lex to shine?

I received my complimentary digital copy of What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin from MacMillian, care of NetGalley. The views are of my own will and are mine. This novel better win lots of awards because this story is vital for everyone (age appropriate of course) to read. I can’t stop thinking about Poppy, Lex and a whole cast of characters you’ll wish you could call up to chat. This novel has the power to change and to help end sex trafficking.

Book Review · Books

The Painted Castle

Do you love classic romance? If you do you’ll want to step into the worlds of Elizabeth, Amelia and Keira. The Painted Castle is a multi layered story about three different women and how an old English estate captures their hearts all because of a secret painting of Queen Victoria. Their stories span from the 1800’s to modern times. This novel is romantic and is mysterious in how all three women’s lives are intertwined.

This historical novel tackles different topics from a women’s place in society and how it’s changed, to how money can buy fancy things, but it can’t guarantee genuine love. Elizabeth, Amelia and Keira’s stories are in depth, unique and sweet. This book jumps back and forth between all three lady’s stories, but the end result is a story that will beg to be reread and lent out right away.

I received my complimentary copy of The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron from Thomas Nelson Publishers, 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 to get your own gorgeous copy visit Thomas Nelson. This publisher discovers the best authors who churn out the most intriguing novels. Every time I read a novel from Thomas Nelson I’m more impressed then the last book I read from them. Thank you Mrs. Cambron for bringing to life Parham Hill Estate. Once you read this book you’ll want to book your trip to England.

Book Review · Books

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Two teens broken by loss and both struggle with anxiety in different forms. Dew uses a tape recorder to record different conversations and Naima counts the hexagons on her quilt to calm herself. One desperately wants to befriend the other, but trust is a commodity dolled out sparingly.

This novel deals with the loss of a parent and how it’s not easy to keep going, to allow other adults to take over the role of your parent. Dew is thrown into foster care where he acquires a sister, Faith. Naima lives with her grandparents after her stepmom leaves her there for the summer to visit like she does annually. Dew and Naima are neighbors. Can Naima be open to Dew’s friendship or will her anger at her dad for dying close her off to the help that is just a fence away?

The casts of characters in this novel are fun. I like how the author gave a fun nickname to Dew’s coffee shop boss as Sasquatch and his coworker Violet is a bubbly girl whose into new age. I also, think the name for the coffee shop is clever: Baked and Caffeinated.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger from St. Martin’s Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. When I started this book I felt it was ok, but the deeper I got into the story of Dew and Naima the more I grew to love these two characters.

Book Review · Books

Dare To See

This book cover does not do the meat of this book justice. Dare To See is a collection of vignettes from Katie’s life and how God has changed her life. Each chapter is unique and covers different subjects from fitting in at school growing up, to being single and buying your own home, to going through the journey of adoption. Katie writes in such a way you feel as though she’s your best friend sharing with you.

If you are new on your Christian walk, a seasoned believer, or wondering what it all means this is a great book to pick out. Katie shares her faith through the different life stories she shares and doesn’t dumb it down, or go over your head. I found each chapter relatable to my own life and things I have gone through. I am at an interesting place in my faith. This book wasn’t Christianese in verbiage, which could have been triggering for me, so I’d even recommend it to those burnt by the church. This book is actually spiritually comforting.

I received my complimentary copy of Dare To See by Katie Brown from Faith Words. The views are mine and of my own will. I don’t have TV (shocking!), so I have never heard of Katie Brown and her TV show, but this woman of faith is the real deal. She is not showy, fake, but genuine in her love for God and her faith story is relatable. I have read a lot of Christian Living books and this one is a new favorite of mine. I look forward to reading more books by Katie.