Sunday, October 22, 2017

Book Review There be Demons

There Be DemonsThere Be Demons by M.K. Theodoratus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Throw together a mix of deadly demons and guardians, a spunky heroine and some trusty sidekicks along with danger and action and you get: There be Demons by M.K. Theodoratus. This book was labeled fantasy but I think it could also be read by Young Adults. The story follows Britt, a 14 year old teenage girl who would love nothing more than to be a normal human, going about her day and being allowed to obsess over teenage stuff like love, who wore which clothes better and how to navigate her new school. Gillen, the leader of the gargoyles wants nothing to do with that but he is forced to help Britt come to terms with her magical powers and her importance because he needs her help, and that of her friends to defeat the demons that want to overrun their world. This book was a delightful read, the plot was great, and I did not feel as if the author was stretching the believability of her characters. I think the pace was kept well throughout the book, from action into the downtime, I never felt bored or tempted to skip ahead..

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: Burn Over

BURN OVER: a novellaBURN OVER: a novella by R.D. Byron-Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At its core this is a romance novella about a young bride named April and her Husband Kyle who is a firefighter in California. They are building their dream home in the foothills of California when it becomes threatened by a massive wildfire burning in the area. However, the possibility of a “burn over”, where the wildfire jumps and overtakes the firefighters, forcing them to take cover in their suits, is forefront on Aprils mind as she worries about Kyles safety. This story is partially based on a true story and the journalistic background of the author is seen in his writing style. He has crafted a gripping story around the tender love between these two main characters and their friends. The addition to the terror this Wildfire creates brings a havoc into the pages that as a reader you are almost spellbound to keep reading until the end. I enjoyed this book maybe a little more than I should have, I certainly finished it in one sitting.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Book Review: The Miracle Journey

The Miracle JourneyThe Miracle Journey by Abdirizak Omar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The miracle Journey is a book that takes multiple tales from many people across Somalia and fuses them into the adventures of one main character. Gulled is that man who we follow from birth, through the beginnings of the civil war on Somalia, to his time in the USA and his homecoming several years later. He is accompanied at various stages by many friends, Mahad, Ibrahim, Gaanie and Geedi are at times helpful, willful, comic relief and sources of frustration for Gulled.
I was surprised at some points in the story to see just how strong the kinship bonds are between people of Somali descent and how willing they were to help out a complete stranger (I am talking about the example of Hanad and Kayse).
Overall though, this book and the experiences all of the characters have, showcase some of the difficult times that displaced people who end up resettled as refugees have. I say some because even though there are some scenes described within this book that may not be for the faint of heart, I am sure that the author could have included many more of the gruesome and heartless atrocities that have been and continue to be committed to this day. I would recommend reading this book to get a sense of what goes through someone's mind while they are in this volatile time in their life trying to get settled in a country that isn't their own and where customs may seem backwards to them.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Review: The Power of Time Perception

The Power of Time PerceptionThe Power of Time Perception by Jean Paul Zogby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered about how when you are having fun the time seems to fly by? Or when you are at work and those last thirty minutes are dragging along? This book helps explain that phenomenon and so much more. It is a great book that helps us first understand time and how we subconsciously perceive it and then helps us with effective time management. At times, full of scientific information and at others philosophical anecdotes, this book bridges a gap that many others don’t.
Chock Full of good and thought provoking information, the author clearly has spent much time researching how the power of our mind can influence our perceptions of time. I liked this book and there are certainly ideas and practices that can be put to good use. I think that to be truly successful with it we will have to exercise willpower and stick with them, not just try them once and give up.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Movie Review: 13th

It’s 12:30am and I cannot sleep. I just finished watching the Netflix documentary, 13th by Ava DuVernay, and so much of this movie has shaken me. I’m by no means a politically or socially ignorant person, however, my awareness and self-education in the two matters has largely taken place over the past 1/2 years. Watching this movie, I must come to terms with the fact that I (along with the rest of the US population) have been brainwashed into thinking that slavery was truly a construct of the past. That we live in a time, where there certainly are racial issues, but overall, we have overcome the fundamental issues of slavery. And we have not. We have revised the system many times and given it new names, the newest which is the mass incarcerations, the prison construct system. 1 in 3 black men will see prison in their lifetime. Will my husband, or my son be one of them?
As a white Muslim women, I have the privilege of taking off my Hijab, of taking off any garment that marks me as “other”, and can blend into the crowd of humanity in our nation. My gender might set me apart, but racially, I would not be viewed as a threat. My husband, not only has the strike of being a black man against him, he has a double strike against him as a Muslim black man. He does not have the luxury of taking off his skin color so that he does not immediately appear to be a criminal. Our children, while able to pass as white, would more than likely be identified as Latino or Hispanic of origin and therefor still carry some racial/ethnic stigma or burden that I myself as their mother would not have.
The problem that arises with this realization is: What can and should I do about this? Is confronting racism and discrimination whenever I encounter it truly enough? Can a Stay at home Mom of three children under 5, Full-time college student really make a difference? How much time do I have to devote to this issue to truly make a difference? If the world is run by (To quote my Sociology Teacher:) “old white men”, then can I as a white middle class woman really do much? There is so much hatred in this world, so much systemic discrimination, a complete us vs. them mentality that it is hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

But we must believe it is there. We must hold out hope, that even our tiniest actions, from teaching our children to love everyone equally, to helping that old Black/Hispanic/Asian lady with her groceries, will sprout the seeds of change that we need in our country right now. Only by picking up the phone and calling our representatives, by emailing them will our voices be heard. If there is a protest rally in your city, maybe you should contact the organizers to see if they need any supplies, a few cases of water? Might not be a bad idea of you can’t put in the hours of being there in person. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Review: Jukebox

The cover and the synopsis drew me in and this author doesn’t disappoint. Her novel Jukebox is full of old-world charm, set in London where you can just feel the character’s confidence and ruthlessness mingled with the British accent in a unique combination. When you think of mobsters, you typically think Italians, but open your mind because these London leaders of the seedy underbelly are going to take you for a ride, along with tea and crumpets. Nick, the lawyer but aspiring record label owner, Mel, his benefactor and Avery a spunky journalist all collide together and have a rip-roaring adventurous time. When things look to good to be true, they often are Nick is finding out, and Avery is pure determination to uncover the story she has sniffed out about Mel. For humor, originality, plot twists and overall great command of the English grammar I highly recommend this book.

Book review: Echoes of Paradise

Echoes of ParadiseEchoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Celeste is undergoing a midlife crisis, her job and her marriage make her feel trapped and lack the passion they once had. As an artist, she’s lost her zest in life, add to that fact that her secret true love Connor passes away, leaves celeste devastated. Once odd things start to occur around her, she sets out to find out if Connor is still here, desperately trying to tell her something.
This is a book I would set on the quasi paranormal with a twist of fantasy shelf, it deals with love, fate, the power of the human mind, questions of the afterlife and how our preconceived notions of all might be expanded a little more with some faith. If you read this as a simple romance novel you might not like it too much, but I think it was a good story. There were no grammar errors or sentence structural issues which was a nice touch compared to some other books I have read; so great job editing team!

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Review: Trickery

Trickery (Curse of the Gods #1)Trickery by Jaymin Eve
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I almost wished I hadn't stumbled upon this book... Almost. The only downfall is I have just finished this book and the next isn't out yet. Willa was a breath of fresh air. As heroines go, she was not tripping over her feet in servitude (at least not for long) and she was not a female that simply rolled over at the first "smoldering" look a male gives her. Her antics were hilarious and entertaining and the mystery of the Abcurse brothers kept me turning page after page to figure it out. Emma was the perfect best friend, popping into the story to help in sticky situations and the popping back out, leading her own life.
This was a great new discovery and I will be keeping my eyes open for the next book in the series!

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Book Review: Peach

Peach: An Exceptional Teen's Inspiring Journey for Universal AcceptancePeach: An Exceptional Teen's Inspiring Journey for Universal Acceptance by Jenevieve (Peach) Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peach, is truly an inspirational person. She suffers from a life altering disease, one that is not easily treated and will be with her throughout the course of her life. And as human beings go, we are not the greatest overall, but every now and then you stumble across someone who will stay on your mind long after they are no longer there in your presence. This book is an accounting of such a person. Peach see life as half-full, she does not lament her condition and go through life crying woe me as so many of us do if we do not get every single little thing we want right when we want it.
Written beautifully and in an engaging style, this story is a coming of age tale in ways. We follow along as Peach grows from being the “invisible girl” on the side lines to a young adult who is using her condition to teach us all about the meaning of our lives. This book is one of those that is worth picking up and then passing around to all your friends and family.

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