Book Review · Books

Edna’s Gift

I was not prepared for this memoir. In my brain I was thinking the theme was World War II, but I was in for a surprise. This memoir takes you on the journey of two sisters, Susan and Edna. They both have a disability. Susan’s is not visible, but Edna’s is. They were very close, but in social situations Susan isn’t quite sure how to get Edna to fit in, but Edna will strike up a conversation with anyone. Susan shares how hers and Edna’s relationship morphs after Edna is sent away to a special school. This is during the era of the 50’s when there weren’t special schools close to home.

As an adult Edna lives in a community for other adults like herself who help out and live with caretakers that also live there. While Susan is living her life on the outside she wonders how Edna is doing. When her and their parents visit Edna, she realizes how much of an impact Edna has on others.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Edna’s Gift by Susan Rudnick from She Writes Press care of NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. This book is not an emotionally easy read. Getting help for those with a disability has changed a lot since the 50’s and 60’s, yet this book taught how important it is to help be a voice for those who may be not able to express as well, or as clearly on what they want and need. I’m glad Susan wrote about Edna’s life and her own life. Thank you for giving Edna a voice.

Book Review · Books

You Are Enough

Do you feel like you don’t measure up? Does keeping up with societies standards make you want to pull your hair out and hide in a cave? I have those days OFTEN. Mandy Hale tackles this common unspoken pressure and cuts it wide open exposing all the guts and ugly parts. She writes with a rawness that only someone whose been through this deep struggle can do and she shares from her life how she climbs out of this Hellish hole, how you can too.

This is a short book. If I’d stayed up last night I could have finished it one day, but some books you shouldn’t rush. You Are Enough is one of those books. Mandy’s stories will have you laugh, cry, nod in agreement and breathe with relief you aren’t alone. This book is a small treasure you’ll want to revisit again and again. I just need to go buy my own, finished copy.

I received my complimentary digital copy of You Are Enough by Mandy Hale from NetGalley. The views are of my own will and mine. This little book has a powerful punch. It asks you to grow, go out of your comfort zone, but the awesome thing is you have someone who is cheering for you on the other side of the dark times. Let Mandy take you on the journey of knowing you are enough just as you are. It’s ok to breathe and be your unique self.

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

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.

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 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.