Reviewapalooza

Wow, I have 5 books to review. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Reading probably! I’ve also been to Book Club, Painting with a Twist, and oh yeah… Easter happened. LOL! I can’t believe how busy it’s been over the last week or so. Has everyone else been busy? Let me know what you’ve been up to, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

The 5 books I’ve finished since April 7th are….

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

 

A Review of my 3 star read, Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.” – description from goodreads website (not the full description).

I am a big fan of leadership books, as I find them very inspirational and they fuel my desire to strive for better in not only my career, but my life. I loved the concept of this book, to look at the “Why” of certain behaviors or actions to produce the motivation behind it. I found it quite wordy though, almost as if each chapter was about the same thing but titled something different. Yes, this is a skill that you continue to build upon the foundation of it, but sometimes with these types of ideas or skills less is more. Maybe it was just me though, as I know a lot of people loved this book. For me it was just meh! I did the audio book version of it, as I couldn’t stay focused with the book itself. Don’t let this discourage you from reading this book though! I tend to rate self-help and career development books on a stricter level than fiction.

 

A Review of my 4 star read, The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell.

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .


When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure–a silent companion–that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition–that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.


A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.” – description from goodreads website.

A true Gothic Horror story for sure! The Silent Companions had me on the edge of my seat, obsessing about what would happen next! Not a gory or extremely violent story, it was tastefully written to inspire that slow build of tension and spookiness that has you looking over your shoulder to make sure there are no silent companions haunting you. Laura Purcell had a way of writing the story that had me constantly second guessing myself if the events were really happening or just psychotic delusions of a poor mad woman. A definite read for all lovers of classic horror and haunted house stories! I will definitely be adding Laura Purcell to my list of must read authors!

 

Reviews for my 5 star reads

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.” -description from the goodreads website.

Wow, Angie did it again! Her 2nd book after her debut with The Hate U Give, and it did not disappoint. Bri was such an amazing character, a headstrong and passionate woman who wants to make it big time rapping to get her family out of the neighborhood and financial situation they are currently in. Her mom is a recovering drug addict, and her brother came back home after graduating college to work in a pizza shop to help pay the family bills. Living in Garden Heights, a small tie in to Star and The Hate U Give, you really get a feel for what it’s like for Bri and her family. The struggle and the desperate need to elevate her family above where they currently stand in life, but also the struggles of a teenager and the consequences of expressing yourself without filters on Social Media. This was an absolute AMAZING book, and probably my favorite of 2019, or at least Top 5!

 

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

OK, I have never laughed so hard in my life because of a book before. This witty, charming and hilarious story of two friends who reconnect years after graduating college and decide to set each other up on blind double dates is one of the funniest and heartwarming romances I have ever read. I really related to Hazel on so many levels. We are about the same age, and both are super crazy about animals, as well as being quirky to a fault where it almost scares people away but we aren’t ashamed of it. Hazel is my spirit person, even though she is fictional. I absolutely loved the friendship that blossomed between Josh and Hazel, as well as the result of it. If you are looking for a cute, quick read then this is definitely the right book for you!

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.”-description from the goodreads website.

I loved, loved, loved this book and read it in one sitting! For those of you who know me well, Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite Disney movie (with Alice in Wonderland as a close 2nd), so of course I HAD to read this B&B retelling!!! I really enjoyed that Harper was a character from modern day, and that she had a disability as it added a certain strength to her character. Rhen, a sure heartthrob, was your traditional tortured soul and a Prince. I fell totally in love with him. He’s mine ladies, you can’t have him!!! LOL! This story flowed so well and I couldn’t put it down. I actually made a sandwich while reading! No joke, I was more interested in the story that how I was making my lunch. The character development was really well done and the ending left me satisfied with the events of the book, but curious and wanting more. I might have cried when I found out I have to wait until JANUARY 2020 for the sequel. Ahhhh!!! So if you haven’t read this book then please immediately order yourself a copy, or get it from the library and enjoy!!!

 

What I am currently reading! 🙂

In order to stick with my beginning of the week schedule, you’ve seen what I read recently but I know you’re wondering what I am reading now. I currently have 3 books in progress now. The first is an audio book through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and it is Pines by Blake Crouch (book #1 in the Wayward Pines series). It is a Sci-fi book about a Secret Service agent who is sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of 2 agents from his field office who disappeared while on assignment there 10 days ago. Ethan ends up in a car accident and wakes up in the Hospital in Wayward Pines and his adventure goes south from there. He finds that the townspeople are very peculiar, and that something just isn’t right. I can’t seem to stop listening to this book, especially as the narrator does a great job!

My second book is an ARC called Blood and Other Matter by Kaitlin Bevis, which I received from NetGally. This book’s description is, “Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood…Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive.During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying…”. I’m not very far in this book, but so far I am intrigued. Hoping to have this finished by the weekend.

My third book I am currently reading is called The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. This is also a Sci-fi book set during China’s cultural revolution and is about how the government sends a communication to an Alien race and they then decide to try and take over China (or the world). So far it’s a lot of weird and interesting things and a lot of science talk about nanotechnology and physics theories. You definitely should be interested in aliens and science to enjoy this book. More to come once I’m farther through it.

 

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you very much for taking the time to read all of my reviews!! Yay, you made it! Hahahaha. Today is National Book Day, so don’t forget to take a little time and enjoy a good story! Happy Reading!!

 

 

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