Book Review · Books

Don’t Read The Comments

I confess. I’m not a gamer. I played a bit old school in elementary school like Super Mario Brothers, but nothing extravagant like the online game explained in Don’t Read The Comments. It honestly took me some time to get into this young adult novel, but once I did I was hooked.

Enter Divya who has her own streaming gaming channel where she plays Reclaim The Sun. She has a great fan base who all support her except for online trolls who don’t like that a woman is a gamer and actually popular. One day while trying to claim a planet and name it the said trolls descend in mass and blow up her ship. This ship Divya had decked out from gaining experience points, etc. She was shocked and devastated to have to start from scratch.

One day while playing the game she finds a planet she can name, but someone else is already there and the player doesn’t look familiar. He seems nice and when he realizes whose there with him he totally fan girls over her. This player, Aaron can’t believe Divya is actually chatting with him in the game. She doesn’t get what all the hype is about. Divya enjoys gaming, but for her it’s a way to earn money from the sponsors she gets so that she can help out her mom financially.

Aaron and Divya slowly start an online friendship. Divya has her best friend Rebecca who is also, who helps produce her streams for the channel is a tad leery of Aaron after the way the online trolls took out Divya’s ship.

When the trolls start upping their harassment Divya is not sure if she should still attend GameCon in person. Should she report them? How do you report anonymous harassers?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith from Park Row Books, Hanover Square Press, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. This novel will sure become a favorite wether you are a gamer, or not. The topic of online harassment is uncomfortable. With a lot of social interaction being online people feel they can spew hate and that it’s not equally harassing since it’s not in person. This book will be a great conversation starter for teens of all ages. I think it’d be great required reading for junior high and high schoolers.

Book Review · Books

Groomed

You don’t have to be trafficked to have been groomed. We all have people in our lives who have groomed us into who we’ve become. There are different types of ways to be groomed: for appearance, to be invisible, to endure, for judgement and for financial fear.

Being groomed for appearance is to look good for a particular person in your life. Maybe someone whose in a role of authority within society. This individual cares more about how your appearance comes across to others more then your thoughts, or feelings. They want you to make them look good. It’s their reputation on the line.

To be invisible is where you are the ultimate helper, don’t like being in the limelight and abhor conflict so you don’t stand up for yourself. This one spoke volumes to me personally. Your groomer’s goal is to keep you from speaking up, keep you helping.

To endure is where you compromise over and over with your groomer. You don’t stand up, similar to the woman whose made invisible by her groomer. You feel swamped with too, much on your plate, but you don’t stand up.

For judgement is where you can never seem to please your groomer. who ever that may be in your life. If every time you share something the other person finds fault with it, or constantly judges you on your decisions.

For financial fear is where your groomer keeps you dependent on them financially. This is where you are at the mercy of the groomer, not allowed to manage your own finances.

Author, Elizabeth talks about what lead her to creating a nonprofit to help girls recover from sex trafficking and she can’t to terms with all she went through growing up. By providing these different examples of how people can be groomed munis the violated part, she shows can how we can be molded in ways we don’t even realize.

I received my complimentary copy of Groomed by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good from W Publishing Group, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. This book is short, but packs an important emotional punch. I think it’s a must read for all women.

Book Review · Books

Cross Her Heart

Lisa’s life is finally getting into a great rhythm with her daughter Ava. She has a great job, landed a big account at work and has the best friend ever in her coworker, Marilyn. Ava is turning into a classic surly teenager with attitude. She can’t understand why her mom is so protective of her. Ava is practically an adult, can’t her mom are that? Lisa knows they can get through her daughter’s rebellious phase.

One afternoon at a local town fair Ava saves a little boy who falls into the river. Being on the high school swim team has it’s perks. Ava swallows up all the attention while Lisa is trying to avoid being a part of the spotlight.

The affects of Ava’s heroism turn Lisa and Ava’s world upside down when people come looking for someone named Charlotte. Whose Charlotte? Does she know Lisa? Does Lisa know her? Are things as they seem for Lisa and Ava?

I loved Sarah Pinborough’s young adult novel 13 Minutes. Cross Her Heart is even better. For fans of Gone Girl, this new book by Sarah will definitely become a new all time favorite. I already want to read it again. If you adore suspense and psychological thrillers then this is a must read.

I received my complimentary copy of Cross My Heart by Sarah Pinborough from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and my own choice to post. Pick up a copy here and learn more about the author. I thought I was a big fan of Sarah Pinborough, but after reading Cross Her Heart, I’m now an avid fan and am going to read her other novels.

Book Review · Books

A People’s History Of Heaven

Step into fictional Heaven. It’s a slum in India where developers are trying to bulldoze it down to build more shopping centers. The only thing is that they have to contend with the residents of Heaven who want to keep their homes. This story dives into the lives of each protester whether it be a mother, or their daughter. It’s a clear story of how the caste system works and when you live in a slum you don’t always get to choose when the big wigs want to expand your area.

This story is rich in description, characterization and brings India to life. I have never been to India before, but growing up my grandmother would make me chapatis. They are unleavened flatbread. We’d eat them for breakfast with whipped cream and honey or jam depending on your flavor preference.

There has great LGBTQA and religious representation in this novel. Some of the characters are figuring out who they are and who they love wether it’s to a boy, or girl and if they were born a particular gender that it may not be who they truly feel they are. The different characters share a variety of faiths from Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

I received my complimentary copy of A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian from Algonquin Books and NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This a beautiful novel that needs to be read, shared and talked about it. It’s a women empowering women story that shows that you don’t have to be rich to be powerful in spirit. Thank you for allowing me to win a copy of this book Algonquin Books.

Book Review · Books

The Years After You

Lily is in love with her 20 years older boss, Harry. The challenge is that he has a wife, Pippa and two teenage sons. Harry adores Lily and wants to be with her all the time. She doesn’t want him to leave his wife, though she loves when she gets Harry all to herself. When Harry starts to get paranoid and stalk Lily, will she notice this disturbing change in him?

Told between alternating views between Lily, Harry and Pippa you are taken on a tour-de-force of what happens in a marital affair. The author, great niece of Virginia Woolf, Emma Woolf writes with such vividness inside each character’s head that I felt as though I was there witnessing all that happens with Harry and Lily’s office romance.

I received my complimentary copy of The Years After You by Emma Woolf from Amberjack Publishing, care of Smith Publicity. The views are mine and of my own choice. The topics covered in this novel aren’t easy to stomach. The topic of marital affairs isn’t pretty and is down right uncomfortable, but in today’s world life happens. We all make different choices that have consequences beyond our own vantage point.

This novel brings to life the nitty gritty of what happens when flirtation migrates to sex. I highly recommend this novel. It’s a deeper novel than merely being just about an affair, but to find out more you have to go grab a copy. I will definitely be looking out for more novels by Emma Woolf.

Book Review · Books

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre

I haven’t read Jane Eyre since the summer before fourth grade. I’m not a huge fan of manga, but it can make for a lighter, fun read. This was the case with Jane Eyre. This manga has beautiful artwork and this classic book was condensed in a way that brought the story to life.

Jane Eyre is an orphan whose taken in by her rich aunt. Her older cousins are cruel and pick on Jane nonstop. Her aunt decides to send her off to a strict boarding school called Lowood. The school isn’t much improved from her aunt’s house. Thankfully Jane has a classmate, Helen befriend her. Life gets more bearable, until Helen passes from getting sick.

Jane sticks it out at Lowood and decides she wants to be a governess. She responds to an ad for one. Thornfield is a massive mansion of sorts and the owner never seems to be home. Thankfully the housekeeper keeps her company along with the little girl she’s teaching, Adele.

The master of the house comes home and Jane realizes he’s standoffish and placates Adele by buying her fancy gifts. Jane keeps to herself and teaching Adele. One night Jane hears a noise and goes out of her room to investigate. She discovers that there’s a fire in the master’s room. Jane runs in to wake him up. This scary incident makes Jane wonder who would want to harm the master of the house? The master, Mr. Rochester, tries to distract Jane from overthinking the incident.

Will Jane figure out what her employer is hiding? Is there more to Mr. Rochester then meets the eye? Follow Jane on her journey to figure out what secrets may be hiding at Thornfield.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Manga Classics: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. This manga brought Jane Eyre to life in a way I’d forgotten. This novel is so dark, spiritually deep and intense. It’s definitely not for kids. It might be even a tad too, adult for a high schooler. I can’t believe I read it before 4th grade.

Book Review · Books

Meet Me On Love Lane

Who can resist a beautiful cover, to want to know the story that lurks between the pages? I sure can’t. The opening of this novel grips your heart. What would you do if you’re a little kid and your mom is making you move out of state, to leave behind your dad and beloved grandmother? Charlotte knows, but due to the trauma of that night she’s pushed it as far back as she can. The problem is that when she returns to her small town to clear her head as an adult, the town remembers more about her past, then she does.

Will Charlotte be able to put the pieces together from that fateful night? Can her childhood friends rekindle their friendship with her? Can her dad and grandmother help her piece her life back together? Join Charlotte as she returns to Hope Lake.

This novel needs to be turned into a movie. The storyline is perfect. It has mystery, sass, deep friendships, a cute small town you’ll swear was real and characters you’ll fall in love with. This story tackles tough topics like divorce, mental illness, childhood friendship and how hard life decisions can be.

I received my complimentary copy of Meet Me On Love Lane by Nina Bocci from Simon and Schuster, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and my own will. This book was beyond sweet and an emotional roller coaster, but I loved every minute. If Gilmore Girls was in novel form then this book would be of a similar sweet small town vein. To grab a gorgeous copy off Amazon and check out more about the author.