Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss

Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss Banged-Up Heart: Dancing with Love and Loss by Shirley Melis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The encompassing idea of this book is you DON'T only get one. That's something I now know to be true, being happily married after a divorce. Love, loss, and moving on are all parts life and it's as ugly as it is beautiful. This novel lays out love and loss, not shying away from the nitty gritty. I mean that first date with Paul, um, awkward... in the most hilarious way. The marriage to Joe described so fully, all the betrayals included was both painful and honest. It made the rest of the story all that much more vivid and intense. The courtship between Shirley and John was very sweet and it's easy to see how deeply they loved one another. It made his death all the more devastating, but only slightly more than the horror of navigating the healthcare system.

The big negative for me was simply the character ages. I'm much younger and I can't relate to someone who can recall their husband's seventy-ninth birthday or was in their prime in the 60s. It's the same with very young characters for me. It's my issue, I know, but it taints a story for me.

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Friday, April 21, 2017


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are a thousand different ways to lose weight and a thousand different books that tell you how to do it. Some of them are gimmicky, some are unsafe, and some are smart. I put this book on my Smart shelf. Short and right to the point, this is an overall well balanced approach to losing weight and building healthy muscle through weight training. It's a step by step process laid out in a way that feels personal to the reader. I do want to talk about the way he says to calculate body fat for women... good grief, that's a PROCESS. Women really are complicated! The writer provides solid advice for creating healthy meal plans that actually made me want to cook. For a girl who loves food, that's a must. Also, being a visual person, the photos he provided of the workout moves were very helpful. My favorite thing about this book is that it is written in a witty tone without losing credibility, it makes sense. Eaton motivates the reader to make long term, healthy diet changes and to care for and love their body while pushing for the best results.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Review: First Person: Supernatural Interviews

First Person: Supernatural Interviews First Person: Supernatural Interviews by Okisha Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a collection of poems derived from "interviews" with emotions/themes such as Racism, Depression, Fear, Sex etc... What a fascinating, uniquely creative idea for writing! I was in awe of the concept, frustrated that I didn't think of it first, and tingling with excitement as I downloaded it.

It gets deep quickly with Depression and Racism all the way through Insecurity and Rape. The voice is haunting with bursts of humor and sprinkles of shame. Overall, this book is inspirational, if you're Christian and like that kind of thing in your reading material. I, myself, do not want scripture quoted after a chapter on sex but that's just me. I can see this being hugely popular with church groups both young and old. I am just not the audience she was reaching for. That said, she may not have been reaching for me but she caught me just the same. I would absolutely recommend this book to certain friends and family.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Review: The Circle

The Circle The Circle by Dave Eggers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that didn't exactly go as expected.

Mae, what the frick, chicka?

The Circle is intoxicatingly terrifying. And if you're not terrified at the thought of a real life Circle, you should be. Mostly because it doesn't seem that far out of the realm of possibility.

A significant amount of unplugged time may be in order after that. I feel somewhat rebellious that I read the book in paper format and not electronically. Nevermind that I'm going to post my review on half a dozen websites for everyone to read and follow and smile or frown at...

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: Seducing Sensei

Seducing Sensei Seducing Sensei by S.N. McKibben
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Seducing Sensei by Stephanie McKibben is the first book in her Notice me Senpai series. The word "seducing" should have tipped me off to the nature of the novel but I can be a bit dense at times. I'm not above a little erotica but this is my first homosexual, male or female, erotica. I'll freely admit I am a bit out of my comfort zone. Not because I take issue with this as a social taboo but because I've never held an interest in the subject matter.

The novel is provocative not only in that it delves into the homosexual aspect but also into teacher/student relationship taboo. Scott and Itsuma are perfectly legal 18 year old high school students, which makes Mr. Reis a predator the second he has sexual contact with either boy. 18 is only legal when you're not in a position of authority over them. Can we all agree that Mary Kay Letourneao banging a 6th grader was wrong on all levels? I'm no prude but I'm sorry, so is this.

Now, if you can get past that sleaze factor, one could say that the erotic scenes are elaborately descriptive and hot, even from a heterosexual viewpoint. You COULD say that but only if you like a little abuse in your kink. I mean everyone in this story is either in an abusive relationship, recovering from one, or doling out the abuse themselves. For me, there is too much of that surrounding everything to really get into the erotica. This could have been a great abuse survivor story or a good erotica story but the mix fell deflatingly flat.

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