Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

Wicked WondersWicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: The Scott O’Dell award-winning author of The Green Glass Sea returns with her second collection: a new decade of lyrical stories with vintage flair.

Inside of these critically-acclaimed tales are memorable characters who are smart, subversive, and singular. A rebellious child identifies with wicked Maleficent instead of Sleeping Beauty. Best friends Anna and Corry share a last melancholy morning before emigration to another planet. A prep-school girl requires more than mere luck to win at dice with a faerie. Ladies who lunch keeping dividing that one last bite of dessert in the paradox of female politeness.

Whether on a habitat on Mars or in a boardinghouse in London, discover Ellen Klages’ wicked, wondrous adventures full of brazenness, wit, empathy, and courage.

 

My Musings: If you think short stories are not for you, read this book.

From the first page I was instantly immersed in the magical and vibrant worlds of Wicked Wonders. The author has this amazing talent of writing short stories that leave you with enough closure to feel satisfied, but also include an intriguing enough premise to have you musing and daydreaming about the stories for weeks on end! Only a master storyteller could make glimpses of other worlds feel so complete.

I also really enjoyed the end chapters, where the author explained why she writes short fiction and the included blurb about her inspiration for each short story in the collection. I wish more books did this as it was so interesting to read about.

Overall this is great collection from an award winning author, and while not every story includes magic, every story is magical.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One DayMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first foray into the world of David Sedaris was “Exploring Diabetes with Owls”, which is arguably one of his lowest rated books. I, however enjoyed it, and when I saw a kindle daily deal of all his books I decided to grab a bunch. I figured if I enjoyed his low rated book than subsequently his older books would only get better and better for me.

And it seems like my random haul paid off because I really loved this book. I feel like reading this in public would be a great idea for shy people who want more social interaction because strangers will undoubtedly go up to you to ask what has you laughing so loudly.

While at times the writing feels a little overly embellished, for the most part I adored this collection of stories and essays that mostly focused on David’s attempts to learn the french language and his holidays in France. It was hilarious and I can’t tell if it has made me more or less likely to try to attempt learning that language myself in the future.

Overall fun read, loved the bite sized chapters and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dry and slightly dark humour. 4.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

The ShipThe Ship by Antonia Honeywell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My thoughts are very divided on this novel. I loved the premise, a resourceful group of people decide to abandon a failing land and live on a ship in the midst of the end of the world. A ship setting for a post apocalypse book is pretty unique and rare, and it did live up to its potential in that regard.

Where I struggled with the story was with the main character, on the one hand I want to commend the author for writing a very relatable and realistic teenager…but that realism is what makes her so bloody annoying! She was constantly going around in circles, contradicting herself, making hers and the people around hers life so much harder than necessary.

However the back and forth did allow for some deep thinking, and I love when you can see both sides of a very complicated situation. The writing flowed nicely and I flew through the story. Even when I was annoyed at the main character I couldn’t stop reading because I was desperate to know what happened next. I would enjoy reading a sequel for this.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | The Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

The Unprotected: A NovelThe Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lyrical and poignant, this novel follows Lara as she goes from “anti-kids” to “ try-anything- for-one”. The novel explores what happens when everything you have ever wanted turns out to be nothing like what you expected.

The gradual build up was so well done, it shows how easy it is to get to the extreme end of postpartum depression. I think that there are aspects to this story that every mother can relate to.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

How Not to Hate Your Husband After KidsHow Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you only ever read one self-help book let it be this one. It’s almost a five for one deal in that the author has painstakingly researched and ferreted out the best of the best in various areas of psychology that is vital for a healthy marriage.

I think that many, if not most women can relate to the cover image of this book. The harried, flustered mother just trying to get by day by day with as much sanity as she started with, while her frustratingly nonchalant husband casually lives life by the seat of his pants. Probably because he has what we don’t…a wife looking out for everything!

I loved how thorough this book was. Everything that could be affecting a marriage was included in here, from chore distribution to sex life and date nights (or lack thereof), to child discipline to anger issues and ostrich syndrome (hiding your head under the sand). There really are so many moving parts in a marriage, and so many seemingly small things that can make a huge difference. I loved that they were all addressed in a very genuine and thoughtful manner.

The author was so honest in this book, I was very impressed. I think that honesty is what made this book impossible to put down. You can’t help but trust in her genuine desire to fix her marriage. That raw desire for improvement seeps off of the page and you find your own ember for change and happiness reignited.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy (This would also make a great baby shower gift!)

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

Things I Should Have KnownThings I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.

Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal. Continue reading

Year of No Clutter by Eve O. Schaub

Year of No ClutterYear of No Clutter by Eve O. Schaub

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eve Schaub has a secret room that no one outside of the family is aware of. Always firmly glued shut. Most people, if stumbled upon the room would surely gasp in horror. What does this room contain you may wonder? Dead bodies (well, mostly not), gruesome monstrosities? Well perhaps only to Marie Kondo (famed organizational expert). You see Eve’s aptly named “Hell Room” is packed to the brim with clutter.


“So it goes with my roomful of belongings: most of the objects in there have at one point or another brought me something positive: happiness, joy, satisfaction, or simply a connection to various memories. Collectively, however, they morph into something entirely different:something heavy and obstructing and unclean and mortifying.”

And so begins Eve’s very ambitious project of The Year of No Clutter. Of finally getting through this room and making it livable again. I think the subject of clutter and the fear of letting go of objects is something that so many people can relate to. Eve explains it rather on point when she says
“ Each object was a teeny-tiny reference point to a moment in my life, big or small- like a million stars in the sky, each one connecting in an invisibe line back to me.”

Eve’s Year of No Clutter was an indulgent read for me. How often can we pick up a book that we identify so precisely with? Seemingly every page I was raising my hands in the air going

As a pack rat/clutter prone/sentimental person myself, Eve’s struggles were achingly familiar.

I found The Year of No Clutter to be very well written, with Eve coming across as an authentically personable and humorous friend. I was disappointed that there was no before and after picture at the end . However the author does stress at the end of the book that the story ended up being more about the journey than the destination. Which is perhaps why a before and after picture was omitted.

I also found that while this book was all about a woman’s organizational journey, there was actually not a lot of advice on how to get rid of and reorganize your own personal hell room. This book is definitely more about Eve’s personal journey and growth rather than an actual organizational how-to book. Nevertheless I still got great enjoyment out of it. 4/5


“That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it? Trying to find a place for your stuff.”
– George Carlin

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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