Book Review · Books

Bound

Elizabeth Wood finds herself being her mom’s advocate when her mom’s cancer comes back. Elizabeth’s mom has recently discovered the world of BDSM and blossomed sexually in her later years. Elizabeth is supportive of her mom exploring her sexual freedom after Elizabeth’s dad passed away when she was little.

This memoir is Elizabeth’s journey through the world of hospitals, rehab and learning to be the eyes and ears for her mom when she is too, sick to advocate for herself. How can one still fully be allowed to be a daughter and yet have to be the role of the adult when your parent isn’t in a place to make big life decisions?

What would you do if you were searching for makeup for your mom in her usual makeup bag and instead of finding a particular lipstick you discover a black dildo? Elizabeth is still shocked and yet fascinated to continue to uncover her mom’s new exploration into the world of BDSM when she goes by her mom’s apartment to bring a few things her mom needs.

Elizabeth discusses how with the parent child relationship we never discuss or contemplate that our parents have sexual lives and are sexual beings. When it comes to having to get treated at a hospital does the system take into account a patient’s sexuality and need for intimacy wether with a partner, or solo?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Bound by Elizabeth Anne Wood from NetGalley and a complimentary physical copy from Smith Publicity. The views are mine and of my own accord. This memoir portrays the emotionally tough decisions that encompass cancer treatment, the interesting world of coming to terms that your parent does have a sex life and still needs intimacy when going through treatment. The topic of BDSM is outside my vanilla comfort zone, but I think this book is a must read. I think socially we do need to promote the full care of a patient in taking into account their needs need to be met not just medically, but that the patient’s sexuality needs to be taken into account. Just because a patient may be nearing towards end of life doesn’t mean their libido has turned off.

Book Review · Books

The Book Of No Worries

When I was in junior high we had the classic book by Dr. James Dobson, Preparing For Adolescence. I recall it being an awkward book to read. When you are in junior high reading about bodily changes is cringe worthy. When I saw the book, The Book Of No Worries, I wondered how a similar book would be now that it’s 2019 and not 1990? This book covers a similar range of topics, including modern ones like social media, sexting, the morning after pill, LGBTQA and more.

It boggles my mind that a junior higher nowadays would have to be told about the morning after pill and sexting. When I was in junior high a cell phone was a foreign concept, contraception at that age unthinkable and sexting was not even a blip on our radar. I don’t know that these topics are appropriate for the age group intended. Yes, kids get provided more adult information earlier on, but that doesn’t mean they are mature enough to handle it. As for the topic of sexuality I do wish more had been explained around that age. When you are in the bubble of social heterosexuality, the idea of their being alternatives is a foreign concept. This book was informative and very thorough. I don’t think if I had a preteen that I’d give them this book necessarily.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Book Of No Worries by Lizzie Cox via NetGalley. The views expressed are my own. I think it’s interesting to see the modern topics discussed in this book. If you want to see how much the world has changed this book will will open your eyes.

Book Review · Books

Small Town Hearts

Babe thought she had her whole summer ahead of her after high school with her two best friends Chad and Penny. When Penny dumps Chad, making Babe do the break up dirty work, she realizes she’s possibly loosing both of her best friends. Babe is still recouping from the fall out of her past relationship with Elodie. It was her first relationship with a woman and she is over keeping being Bi a secret. When Levi walks into Busy’s she can’t deny the attraction she feels towards him. As Levi and Babe become friends her world is thrown for a loop when Elodie reappears for the summer and seems to be cozying up to Levi. Will Babe be able to reconcile her feelings?

This novel covers the topics of friendship, sexuality, contentment and love. The characterization is well done, the description of Maine is breathtaking and the story keeps you wanting more.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The views expressed are mine. If you love YA and romance then this novel will be the perfect spring read. This story was sweet and the descriptions of Maine made me want to book a flight.

Book Review · Books

Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

If you love edgy, outside the box Christian then you’ll love any book by pastor Nadia Boltz-Weber. When I saw Shameless, as an option to possibly get to review I had to request it since I loved reading her book, Pastrix.

Shameless is a book about how the church and Christianity has made sex and sexuality something to be ashamed of if it doesn’t fit in the white conservative Christian picket fence family dynamics. Pastor Nadia shares some stories from a few of her parishioners that are gut wrenching and disturbing. She also, shared stories from her own life in how the way the church talked about sex was seen as dirty unless you were married. Pastor Nadia also, talks about the gender stereotypes kids are shaped into by their church and family. If you aren’t straight you can be viewed as sinful, off the straight and narrow and needing to be reigned in.

If you were a Christian teen in the 90’s you may recall the True Love Waits Movement that swept Christendom up in its hype. Did this movement prepare young Christian couples for intimacy in marriage? I’d wager no. Hearing your whole life you have to wait till marriage doesn’t exactly prepare you for the wedding night part. I get waiting for sex till you’ve found your forever partner, but just being told no without any directions on what to expect once there’s a green light is the blind leading the blind.

Sadly Christian schools and some Christian families are against sex education in schools. If Mom and Dad won’t have any in-depth talk then all those kids being pulled out of Sex Ed are oblivious to potential dangers when they slip up and go too, far when their sex drive awakens and I’m not meaning the potential pregnancy scenario.

This book was a really personal read for me being raised in a Christian home. I did survive public school Sex Education class. All I recall is there being a fill in the blanks body part test in fifth grade. I recall my parents helping me study for that. Only main thing I was told was not to wind up pregnant like so and so. Ah, how could I forget the book for preteens my parents gave me to read. I’ve always been a bookworm, but something’s are more personal when talked out vs being given a manual of sorts. I know talking about literal private things can be awkward for a parent, but I’d rather hear from my own parents on what to expect. I can relate in more ways than that with this book, but that could be a separate blog post.

This book gives me hope for Christendom. I have so many evolved views on sexuality, marriage, education and more. This one is a keeper and I can’t wait for it to come out so I can have a physical copy to highlight and notate to death.

This review is for a digital ARC of Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Boltz-Weber from NetGalley and is my own unbiased opinion. I loved this book. I adore how wise and snarky Pastor Nadia is with such an important topic. If you need someone who understands and has been through a similar upbringing then you’ll want to preorder a copy of Shameless. If you need someone to talk to or vent to feel free to contact me.

Book Review · Books

Grabbing Pussy

When I saw the title it piqued my interest. I love poetry and thought for sure the topic would mean the poetry would be powerful. Alas this was not the book for me. I understand wanting to be edgy, in your face, bold, blunt and a sprinkle of funny, but I had to force myself to finish this book. I don’t like wanting to DNF a book.

This book of poetry and commentary is about the topics of Trump, Hilary, politics and feminism. I love poetry, but I think I need to stick with more classical poetry that doesn’t sound worse than a truck driver. I know the author is just trying to make a loud statement; it’s just not my preferred style of poetry.

I received this digital ARC from Edelweiss for free in exchange for my honest feedback. If you enjoy potty humor, swearing and crass poetry then you may love Grabbing Pussy by Karen Finley.

Book Review · Books

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe 

Aristotle is a loner whose content to keep to himself until one day Dante arrives on the scene. Aristotle who prefers to go by Ari is at his local neighborhood swimming pool. He doesn’t know how to swim, but at least he can stick his feet in the water. Dante notices him and offers to teach him to swim. This starts a new friendship for both teens. Dante is well liked, but doesn’t have any friends. Ari is the quiet, brooding type. Both teens learn to let their guards down and trust each other. Both of them are struggling with who they are in the world.

I can relate with Ari. His relationship with his dad is one of occasional conversation, but nothing too, deep. Ari’s dad is a veteran who won’t talk about the war, is very reserved and quiet. My dad isn’t a vet, but he can be quiet and reserved around me. I think the relationship between these two characters is a great picture of how through life’s challenges the wall between a parent and child can be torn down.

Mr. Saenz provides yet again a beautifully written book about friendship, love, figuring out who you are whether you like girls, boys, or possibly both. Ari’s story grabs you from chapter one. The cast of characters from Ari, Dante, their parents, Ari’s brother whose not mentioned at home and his extended family have all unique personalities. Ari and Dante’s friendship shows what true friends will go through for a best friend they truly care about. If you are looking for a story with funny, contemplative moments this is the book for you.

Book Review · Books

The You I’ve Never Known

Ellen Hopkins never disappoints and The You I’ve Never Known   is her best yet. This thick tome follows the story of Ariel and her journey coming to terms with her sexuality. Her father is a mechanic who has quite the temper and paranoia of them living anywhere for, too long of a time. Ariel wonders why they don’t stay in any place very long. That is until they land in Sonora, CA.

With her new home comes making new friends with Monica and Gabe. Ariel has never had a boyfriend before and she’s not sure if she just might like girls. Monica is a closet lesbian and Gabe is the cute nephew of her dad’s current girlfriend. Ariel is leery to open herself to having friends since her dad always would yank her away to live in a new place.

When Gabe and Ariel discover one of Ariel’s rich classmates injured in a horseback ridding incident Ariel is in the lime light for saving her classmate’s life. Her dad is livid because the media is involved and that was one of his big rules. Don’t talk to or be seen by cops and don’t be interviewed. Why not Ariel has no clue why he’s so paranoid.

Growing up Ariel’s dad told her how her mom abandoned them to run off with her lesbian lover. Seeds of hate and distrust have been sown since Ariel was little. Sure she’d love to have a mother figure in her life. Every time they live with a new girlfriend of her dads a part of Ariel hopes this one will stick, but they never stay around long enough.

Will Ariel ever have a mother figure in her life? Will her mom ever reappear? Why has her dad kept them moving from place to place for her whole life? Can Ariel start to establish roots in Sonora? Read this gripping book and find out.