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

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Stuff I've Been Feeling LatelyStuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.”

Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself. Alicia is a contributing writer for many blogs and news outlets, including the Huffington Post and multiple Gannett Publications. She writes regularly on drug addiction and how it directly affects families. Because of this, she has chosen to donate 100% of royalties to the Willow Tree Center in New Jersey.

My Musings:I loved how unique this book of poems was. Anyone that has ever dealt with grief and self-doubt will get a lot from this. The idea of setting each poem to a song was brilliant. Of course it worked a lot better for me when I was actually familiar with the song. For this reason I think it would be a cool idea if the book came with a cd of its playlist, or if in the audio version the poems song played after each poem.

There are many books that I have loved, but few that felt like they were written just for me. The writing was beautiful without being flowery, raw without being harsh. The author feels like a kindred spirit. These poems make me want to cry and smile at the same time. Alicia Cook is a master in the balancing act of bittersweet prose.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the black-out poetry in the second half of the book was not visible at all in my advance reader copy. I know this is not an issue in the finished work so I won’t take off a star for that. I am just sad that I couldn’t fully experience this book of poetry, but even just the first half of the book was worth five stars to me.

This is poetry for everyone. Well done Ms.Cook.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

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

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles) by Sarah Andersen

Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah's Scribbles, #2)Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Big Mushy Happy Lump is another entertaining offering from Sarah Andersen. While it lacks a tiny bit of the magic that was found in Adulthood Is a Myth, I still got a lot of enjoyment out of this book. Many of the comics included were laugh out loud funny, and you will still find yourself showing everyone you know the farcical stories that anyone can relate to. Great read, bring on the next one!

description

description

description

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

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

View all my reviews

Uncle John’s UNCANNY 29th Bathroom Reader by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Uncle John's UNCANNY 29th Bathroom ReaderUncle John’s UNCANNY 29th Bathroom Reader by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As expected, this bathroom reader was packed to the brim with interesting tidbits, everything from weird laws to wacky products to crazy criminals was covered. Apart from a very long and slightly tedious section on Lego pieces, I enjoyed everything in this book.

The good thing about it’s mammoth size is that there is truly something for everyone in here, and you can skip whole sections whilst still having hours of interesting facts left to read. Highly recommend as a coffee table or porcelain throne read, it sure beats scrolling 9gag.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

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

View all my reviews

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb:

Celaena Sardothien, heroine of the New York Times bestselling series, rises from the ashes to burn even brighter than before.


Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak-but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life-and her future-forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

In this USA Today bestselling third book in the New York Times bestselling series, Sarah J. Maas again delivers the epic fantasy, heart-stopping pace, and heady romance that have won her readers the world over.

My Musings: Third times a charm I suppose, because Heir of Fire has been my favourite book in this series so far. What a vast improvement over the first two! The change of scenery was great and the introduction of new characters was a breath of fresh air.

Although as interesting as the new characters were I didn’t really need to have multiple chapters told in their perspective. I am not really a fan of multiple narratives, because you always end up having a favourite. In this book Celaena was my favourite character by far, so when the book jumped around to all these different people, some of whom I didn’t care for at all… It felt as though I was just “doing my time” until I could get back to the story I really wanted.

On their own each of the characters could easily be the star of their own great book. But when you shove so many narratives (even good ones) into one novel…it gets to feel a bit cramped and cluttered. I understand why the author did it, but its just not a writing style that I am a fan of. However despite my grumbling I did enjoy this book a lot, and as long as the title character gets the most “page time” I will happily continue with this series.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Pst For those that hate love triangles, there are none in this installment!

View all my reviews

Big Kid Books | Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: SHE’S DESTINED TO DESTROY THE WORLD…
“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a girl to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

BUT NOT IF SHE CAN HELP IT
Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or not at all.

My Musings:Rather disappointing sequel to the much loved A Promise of Fire. I was shocked by how much of a slog I found this to get through.

It felt as though the novel simply flitted from one boring and repetitive sex scene to the next. There was no tension or passion. It was as if the sex was a filler for the lack of plot.

I believe it was around 65% before I felt that anything truly worthwhile happened in the story, and then only in the last 15-20% where I was actually enjoying myself.

The ending was very action packed and interesting, and the only thing about this sequel that reminded me of what I loved about the first book. Unfortunately by the time the action started it was just too little too late for me.

Unsure if I will continue with this series. What a colossal letdown. 1.5/5

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Bin

 

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

View all my reviews