Book Review · Books

Book Girl

Have you loved to read since you were little? Did your patent(s) read to you as a child? Were you the type of bookworm who would check out 10+ books from the library? Oh you too? Great! Keep reading.

Author, Sarah Clarkson writes about the awesome addiction that is reading and books. Ink, paper and that great smell of paper. Ever since Sarah could recall her mom has read to her and gifted her the love of reading. Sara provides lots of titles to add to your TBR. Each section deals with different topics, so you can browse by topic or just read straight through. She touches also, on the topic of faith and how it can help shape your reading habits.

This book was like reading a book written by your childhood best friend who knows your favorite authors and knows wether you prefer hardcover or paperback, physical or e-book. This book is a must buy.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson from NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. Sarah is a fellow bookworm kindred spirit whose love of reading shines through each page. Thank you for writing a book that makes book girls feel less alone. Bookworms unite. If you are a fellow book girl please comment or send me an email. Would love to befriend other lovely book girls/ladies. Thank you Sarah and thanks NetGalley for another opportunity to discover a new favorite author.

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.

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

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.