Book Review · Books

Son Of A Predator

What would you do if you the person you should be able to love and trust exploits you for their personal perverted appetites? David decided he wants other victims to know they aren’t alone in what they are going through. As an adult he was asked to go on vacation with his dad. He thought it was for father and son bonding time. Nope. David was just a pawn in his father’s plan to get time with his current “girlfriend,” who David realizes is a prostitute. David has a stepmom and wonders if she’s aware of what’s going on. David is horrified by what he realizes his father is doing, but doesn’t want to taint his sister’s view of their father. How can he help his father without enabling him?

This book was tough at times to stomach. My brain can’t wrap around what David went through. For him to write out, to warn others who may have similar family members or friends like his father is brave. Families with a secret that big like to keep those family details under wraps. I can’t fathom having a family member who doesn’t have any emotional and parental bond to me. To be merely viewed as a pawn is a sadistic game. It’s sad. It’s disturbing. It’s twisted, but it happened.

I received my digital copy from NetGalley for free in exchange for my review. This book is an important read. It’s not an easy read to stomach, but if you know the signs to look for you can try and stop the manipulation in its tracks quicker.

Book Review · Books

Permanent Marker

What would you do if you survived an almost fatal car accident? Aimee, an English teacher at her old high school, is on her way home with teens from her high school’s dance team when a young man runs a stop sign and hits her on the driver’s side. She shouldn’t have made it, but she did. Permanent Marker is her journey surviving the accident and two other life changing events prior to that night.

Surviving such a horrific event is a mental cluster f**k. It’s a lot to mentally wade through. I’m a survivor of sorts. I have survivor scars. Sometimes I think I mentally blocked them out, but one evening I truly looked at them and it was a very humbling moment. Scars are a personal momento to remind you that you won’t ever be the same as other people. They remind you that you are a fighter, who fought for their life. They remind you of grace, that you were spared when others were not. They can be beautiful and yet ugly. It’s all in your perspective.

Aimee’s memoir is blunt, raw, honest, funny, tragic and yet inspirational. She honestly talks about dealing with survivors guilt, dealing with recovering from serious injuries and figuring out how to piece her life back together after such a traumatic life event.

I received the ARC of Permanent Marker by Aimee Ross for free from KiCam Projects in exchange for my review. This memoir is short, but packs a punch in what an important read it is. If you enjoy memoirs, especially survivor memoirs then this one will get a special spot on your bookcase.

Book Review · Books

Everything Happens For A Reason

Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with a possible fatal disease, Everything Happens For A Reason, is a look at what it’s like when your view of God and how life works goes down the drain. The author, Kate Bowler, was raised a Mennonite. She studied the prosperity gospel. Her life didn’t feel very prosperous when she gets diagnosed with cancer. Kate’s honest memoir tackles the doubt she has in if it’s God’s will, or any other myriad of reasons other believers tell her is the reason she got cancer.

I received Everything Happens For A Reason by Kate Bowler from NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. If you enjoy memoirs this one won’t disappoint. I enjoyed Kate’s humor through a time when most wouldn’t want to try to look on the bright side of life.

Book Review · Books


Shunned will break you. This memoir of faith, struggle and rebirth will have you on the edge of your seat. The author, Linda A. Curtis, was raised a JehovahWitness. She was the good girl, a Pioneer putting in many hrs of door to door evangelism. She never envisioned herself going down the road of doubt until one such door to door encounter had her hearing her message from the viewpoint of the receiver. Linda knows doubting is dangerous, but are worldly people that bad? Is what she’s been taught something her conscious can live with? Shunned is Linda’s journey to find out what happens when you step out of your assigned religious box.

If you are questioning the religion you were brought up in then Shunned just might be the book for you. Linda is honestly raw in her account of her journey. This book had me laughing, crying and cringing. There were times I just wanted to sit and weep along with Linda. I, myself, was not raised Jehovah Witness, but I know what it’s like to have your set beliefs ingrained in your brain and to step outside that belief is scary.

I did study with a Pioneer a few years ago for a few months. It was fascinating and intriguing. I felt challenged to explain why I believe what I do, which I think is good. The Pioneer I studied with thought for sure I was a Jehovah Witness because of my Bible knowledge, but I reassured her I was raised Protestant. Their study materials are impressive and they are highly organized. When I came out I pulled away from my studies because I know their view on homosexuality. I had hoped said Pioneer would still be my friend. A real friend. Sadly nope. As soon as I backed away it was like she never contacted me. When I reached out to check in I was advised I knew where I could find her. The Kingdom Hall. As long as I showed interest then you’d think she viewed me as a close friend, but as soon as that opportunity went away then I got black listed. Did she truly care about my spiritual walk and soul? Honestly I don’t think so. It came across as a numbers game. Glad I stepped back.

I received my free ARC of Shunned from NetGalley care of She Writes Press. This book has to be my number one 2018 book. It’s brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful. Thank you Linda for sharing your heart.

Book Review · Books

Where I End

If you know what it’s like to deal with physical health challenges then you will be able to relate to Katherine. Her memoir is the true story of how one little boy’s decision to jump off the top of a play set changed her life in a flash. One moment she was playing tag with her son, William’s class at recess and the next moment she was on the ground seriously injured. Katherine gives a no holds barred account of what it’s like to be a quadriplegic.

I can’t imagine suddenly not being able to walk or use my hands easily. You’d feel completely trapped in your own body. To go from one day being able to hug and help your kids to not being able to feel if they are hugging you. Katherine shares her ups and downs pre and post accident. She shares how this life event challenged her Christian faith and how it altered her kid’s faiths. How can someone come out of that with their faith intact?

I received my free ARC ebook of Where I End by Katherine Elizabeth Clark from NetGalley care of Moody Publishers. This book was an intense, yet inspirational read. Thank you for allowing me to read this powerful memoir.

Book Review · Books

Beautiful Scars

The cover captivated me. Kilee Brookbank was a sixteen year old high schooler home after school when choosing to light a candle changed her life. The smell in the bathroom was incredibly gross, so to ease the stank she decided to light a candle. The next thing she knows her dog is barking nonstop at her, she’s on the floor of the bathroom and not sure why. Kilee goes outside to her neighbor’s house with her dog still barking at her heels. She sensed her face was warm, but didn’t realize she was on fire. Her neighbors helped put the fire out on her, called 911 and tried to wrap her since she was cold. Beautiful Scars is Kilee’s journey through her recovery from that horrific day.

I couldn’t put this book down. If you love memoirs, survivor stories then go grab a copy ASAP. Kilee and her mom, Lori share their experiences alternately. I can’t imagine surviving that type of life altering experience. Kilee is a survivor that will inspire countless readers. I was provided a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. This lovely memoir is a keeper. Thank you for sharing your story Kilee. You are a blessing.

Book Review · Books

Almost Gone


Mackenzie is a junior in high school when she meets a handsome man on a social dating site. He’s Muslim, respectful and enjoys chatting with her. Mackenzie is a Christian with a boyfriend at the time. This new online friendship blossoms. Once her relationship with her current boyfriend doesn’t pan out she immediately intensifies communicating with this new friend, Aadam whose from Kosovo. Mackenzie’s parents sense something is amiss when their daughter starts pulling away from the family, her Christian faith and her best friends. They have no idea Aadam exists. When Mackenzie asks her dad if she can buy a Koran her dad is floored, but figured everyone goes through their own faith walk and exploration. When Mackenzie states she’s converted her parents are stunned. Why has their daughter all of a sudden gone from social to reclusive? Why the sudden belief change? Will her parents figure out why before it’s, too late?

This book brought up some personal memories for me. In high school relationships can seem like the end all, be all. Teens want to be taken seriously. If you are eighteen you are legally an adult, but not necessarily emotionally or mature enough to be considered an adult. It’s a tightrope to use your wings to gain independence, but still know your parents do love you and want you to make safe life choices. As for faith, growing up in a Christian home myself, there aren’t many opportunities to be exposed to other faiths that differ from your own. I can see why Mackenzie would be enthralled with Islam. It’s different, unique and a person she cares about is of this faith hence why it becomes important to her.

I received an ARC of Almost Gone by Mackenzie Baldwin and John Baldwin for free from NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts on this book. I think this book explores many important topics that parents and teens face today: online dating and how to handle when your teen decides to not believe what they were raised on faith wise. If either of these topics resonates with you I’d recommend this book.