Tag Archive | NetGalley

Maddie & Sayara

Maddie And Sayara is about two young teens from different countries who meet while on vacation. The girls bond over their stuck up older sisters who just care about appearance and luxury. Maddie learns that Sayara’s female cousin has been jailed because she was caught driving which is forbidden in their kingdom. Maddie can’t understand why a young woman wouldn’t be allowed to drive. Sayara tries to explain why to Maddie, but Maddie can’t grasp that not all countries in the world treat women or girls as equals to men and boys. Maddie decides she wants to go help Sayara rescue her cousin. This novel follows Maddie on her journey into an unknown country to rescue Sayara’s cousin. Will Maddie be successful?

This book was given to me free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. While this book is considered YA I felt the tone of Maddie came across more of a middle grade age group than high school in her maturity level. This story was a nice overview of what other countries might be like where a women’s freedoms aren’t as free as in other countries. Topics of freedom in how a woman or girl dresses and what they are allowed to do is explored throughout this novel. I might recommend this book to a junior high or older elementary age girl as insightful and educational.

All Things New

All Things New  is a stunning novel about the power of faith when you don’t realize you have it, family that has been there waiting in the wings to be there for you and friends that aren’t superficial. This story is about Jessa whose life seems perfect in Los Angles where she has a great boyfriend who she thinks loves her. When the truth is revealed at a party Jessa is crushed. On her way home from the party she is hit by a red light runner. As Jessa is struggling to stay conscious she encounters a man who stays by her side to calm her down while she’s trapped in her mom’s car waiting for an ambulance. After the accident Jessa has facial scars from the windshield breaking. Her anxiety before the accident is intensified. Her dad comes to see her and tells her she’s moving to live with him in Colorado. She’s on board with it, but feels weird being back in her dad’s world after he left her and her mom a few years prior. Jessa has a fresh start in a new place. Will Jessa reach out and make new friends? Will she choose to repair her relationship with her dad? Will Jessa’s childhood faith be restored after all she’s been through?

If you loved The Fault In Our Stars, then, All Things New,  might become a new favorite. This novel has so much depth when it comes to talking about tough topics like self acceptance and learning to trust again when your heart has been broken. The cast of characters in this book are memorable, funny, sweet and raw. I received the ARC of All Things New by Lauren Miller care of NetGalley for free in exchange for my review. This lovely book comes out this Tuesday, August 1st. Don’t forget to drop by your local bookstore Tuesday and buy a copy.

The Forgotten Family Of Liverpool

I love WWII whether it’s novels, or memoirs. The  Forgotten Family Of Liverpool is set in England where Dora dealing with the fall out of her marriage to Joe due to him being unfaithful with a coworker named Ivy. Dora and Joe have two daughters. Their daughters Jackie and Carol have their preferred parent. Jackie, the youngest likes her mom best and Carol, the eldest prefers her dad. When a unknown person reports that Carol isn’t safe to live with Dora her eldest is made to go live with Joe. Dora has postpartum depression she struggled with in the past, but with a new start she’s determined to get custody back. The challenge is that Joe wants her back. He’s asked forgiveness countless times, but Dora is too, burnt by his betrayal. When Dora’s mom is injured one day by an unknown individual, Dora wonders if there’s someone out to get her and her family. Thankfully Dora lands a job as a seamstress for a sweet elderly couple who become like second parents to her and surrogate grandparents to Jackie and Carol. This family drama has many twists and turns. 

If you enjoy this era and anything British this might be a great book for you. There are so many British expressions and words I had to bust out my dictionary. Not knowing lots of British expressions it was quite an educational read. It felt a tad slow paced till then. I would like to read the next book in the series, not to mention the first book. I received this ARC for free as a courtesy from NetGalley for my honest review. If you would like a copy of this book it comes out this Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Apprenticed To Venus

I’ve been fascinated by Anais Nin for years. I’ve always meant to read her diaries, but for some reason that’s never happened. When I saw Apprenticed To Venus as an option to review the ARC for I couldn’t help myself. This memoir is about the author Tristine whose godmother was a friend of Anais and asked Tristine to bring Anais something. This errand is what sprouted a friendship between Tristine and Anais. Tristine’s memoir is about her friendship with Anais and what it was like to be mentored by her.

I was in awe of Anais. I thought she was sophisticated, pretty, elegant, sensual and quite the muse for a number of people. Once I read this book my opinion of Anais changed. She comes across as a manipulative opportunist. Then I got to thinking aren’t we all that way to some extent? Some of us are more obvious about it than others. Anais just peppered hers with flattery and support through offering her friendship.

Tristine is enamored by Anais and yearns to be like her, to gain her approval. This brought to mind that we all have one person in our lives who we admire and want approval from. We spend our lives cowtowing to said individual and in the process we loose who we are. We are so caught up in wanting to be like this particular person our own sense of self goes right out the window. I, myself have had such a friend I was enamored with. I was so focused on getting her to like me, shower me with her praise that I ceased being me. Not until I backed away from this deep friendship did I start to rebuild who I was apart from her. It’s too, easy and convenient to fall back into the groupie mentality and not develop who are, so we can compliment the other person. This memoir explores this topic in depth and shows how much of our life can be so wrapped up in another we loose who we are as an individual for years. Lost years we can’t get back.

This book also, discussed that no matter how a close friend may wound you, you can still love them fiercely and not give up on their friendship. Tristine’s account is raw, moving and honest. Her account of Anais’ life is spellbounding. I know my thoughts about Anais fluctuated through out the book. Just when you want to throw in the towel Anais pulls you back in to insist you still love her.

If you are interested in Anais Nin I do recommend this book. It goes on sale this month on the 11th. I was provided the ARC care of NetGalley in exchange for my review.

The Truth About Goodbye

When searching for a title to read, The Truth About Goodbye, stood out to me. This novel follows the story of Sebastian whose learning how to live life without his husband Frank, who had passed away almost a year prior when the story begins. Thankfully he has Frank’s cat Arthur who keeps him company along with his best friend Chole. 

Sebastian struggles with anxiety, self-esteem and trusting people. He lost his parents years ago, so Sebastian feels even more adrift after loosing Frank. He misses Frank and at times is positive Frank’s ghost has been visiting him. One night Chloe introduces Sebastian to her new apartment friend Reid. Sebastian hasn’t thought of dating because he’s still mourning his husband’s loss. Reid is patient putting up with Sebastian’s mixed signals because of course Chloe makes friends with an attractive man.

This novel covers the important topic of grieving and what that can look like for different people. It also, discusses how difficult it can be to move into a new relationship when the previous one might not have had the closer it needed or was cut off prematurely.  I think the biggest topic this novel handles is learning to allow others to love and care for you when it’s hard to be motivated to love yourself when you are emmersed in grief.

If you are looking for a sweet, thoughtful read I recommend this book. I appreciate NetGalley for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Mr. Ricard for writing such a sweet novel about relationships, family and how to get through surviving the death of a loved one.

Death Awakening To Life

The title Death Awakening To Life describes the author’s experience that dying doesn’t mean you don’t exist any longer, but that you aren’t housed any longer in your body. Her life changed the day she had a forbidding sense something big was going to happen. Her husband at the time had been researching the warning signs of a heart attack. She expressed her sense of unease. Even in his research her husband didn’t realize Christine was starting to have one. This book is the author’s experience of what it was like having her heart attack and what happened afterwards. Christine’s journey after dying and then coming back to life is unique. This experience helped shape what her life’s mission has become today.
I received an ARC of Death Awakening To Life by Christine Contini free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This book covered a lot of topics that were over my head. Some of them have to do with how the author helps people who are either passed on or in the processing of crossing over. Quantum physics was mentioned, as well as the author being able to hear people’s thoughts of those who have passed on. 

This book is definitely out of my spiritual comfort zone, though last year I read a book by a famous medium. If you are interested in reading more about paranormal topics this book might interest you. Christine writes in a very down to earth manner, so even if the topics might be a bit heavy she writes in a way you don’t feel talked down to. Thank you for sharing your journey Christine.

The Unbelievable Happiness Of What Is

The title stood out to me. What does the happiness of what is mean? This book by John Bernie is not for the faint of heart or someone detoured by a long book. 

This book talks about learning to be fully present in the moment. To be fully listening, hearing and feeling; to not be thinking of the past or the future. He talks about letting go of having to be in control of our future, since we don’t know what the future holds we only know what is happening at this very exact moment. Mr. Bernie also, discusses how when we get outside ourselves and take it into account others, that we are all the same. When one person is hurting or sad we all are.

The concepts in this book were a tad heavy and yet simple all rolled into one. I think the idea of us all being one and being made up of energy is outside our Western comfort zone. In the US we are drilled to be individuals and separate. Mr. Bernie’s point is that we are all connected and when we can go outside our individualism we can truly love unconditionally because we aren’t trying to control our identity.

If you are up for a heavy, yet refreshing read I do recommend this book. I was given it for free from NetGalley in exchange  for my honest review.  If you enjoy reading, have a blog and want great titles to choose from to read I’d go sign up at NetGalley.