Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: Stan By: Richard Wold

StanStan by Richard Wold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stan Foster can't remember anything other then jumping off the bridge and being pulled out of the Hudson. At least that's what he thinks at first. Soon the visions of bodies, corpses, darkness fill his head. The only light seems to be the psychiatrist at the hospital that is treating his amnesia and unnamed disorder.
Abigail Petrus has a big heart and a painful past. When an enigma of a patient walks in, intelligent, no sign of mental illness, talented, but there is something - Abby let's Stan in closer, even after his release and becomes invested.
Soon Stan is reunited with his old life, as an artist and something else, something older and darker that has come to earth in human form.
Is it possible for everyone to be redeemed? Or do leopards never change their spots?

I found myself going back and forth in my head with this book and then finding a deeper question developing for discussion (wishing I read this with a book club) - and the end.... okay, I am hooked, Mr. Wold, please do not leave me hanging!! This is an original story, unique. It has a way of grabbing the reader, up and down, making you ask deeper questions as the story unfolds along with the characters. I really enjoyed this.

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Review: The Virgin Diet By: JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS

The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 DaysThe Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days by J.J. Virgin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***** This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads *****

Not all Diet books are the same. First, let me disclose I have a lot of food allergies and intolerance. This is not something I was born with, it was something that just happened. One morning I woke up to say goodbye to all dairy. Now, the nut thing, I was born with.
It is hard to find books filled with information, diet, recipes, or any form of education when you have these issues - all this in one book, amazing. The author is a nutritionist and gives the basics, along with the reasons for cutting certain foods out. With simple easy to understand instructions, tables, where certain ingredients hide, wonderful hints, and helpful recipes - I think that this is a great book. Is it easy, no. Of course being pushed to consider coconut (which triggers migraines in me) is not the answer as any substitute and finding that "perfect fit" will be hard for anyone in similar circumstances. But being healthy is the goal and making our families eat better and feel better is too. First you eliminate the 7 food types from your diet, then slowly reintroduce. See how you feel, the results in your body. Maybe you might want to cut them out completely. Again, there are great recipes found for the reintroduction.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Looking For Alaska By: John Green

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Miles Halter has entered "The Great Perhaps", or better known as Culver Creek boarding school in Alabama. As far as he could escape Florida and the nothingness and noones he knew.
It is here that he is taken under the wing of his roommate Chip, The Colonel, and falls under the spell of the enigmatic Alaska. Alaska who burns brightly and broods darkly sometimes at the same time.
I would like to say I liked this book, I would like to say that I could relate (for I know this story to close in reality), but no - I struggled. The characters were not relatable, the story so long and uninteresting that I could have put this down and never picked it back up again (which is very rare). When I did finish, I did realize that this story might open conversation, is it the only book out there to do so - no, but the book has that going for it, it also takes the male perspective, another plus. When a teen dies suddenly, answers can never be found, but over time, maybe a sense of peace can come to those that continue to live on.

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Review: One Way Out: The Inside History of The Allman Brothers Band By: Alan Paul

One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers BandOne Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band by Alan Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***** This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads ******

Mr. Paul has gathered every surviving member of the band, past and present, to give an honest, raw account of the band, each other, the music, what was, and what happened. Duane Allman's demons come into account, the drugs, the fame, the brilliance that died too soon. The darkness that fell over them and yet through it they continued, they made music.
I love how this is told and weaved - the stories from different perspectives at the same time making a whole picture, developing a multi-dimensional history lesson, a vortex of sorts. The illusion is gone, the men now stand before the reader and their story has truly been told.
This is not for the faint of heart, or the reader that only wants the glossy Teen Beat version or even the Rolling Stone, this is for the reader looking for the truth - or the many variations that give the reader insight into where the truth is.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Half Bad By: Sally Green

Half Bad (Half Life, #1)Half Bad by Sally Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the time Nathan was born he was different. He was half White Witch, half Black Witch. Not any Black Witch though, but the most powerful Black Witch to ever live's son. This makes him not just an oddity, but extremely dangerous.
After his mother's death he is raised with his half siblings and his grandmother, always with The White Council watching and keeping track...until they take him and cage him. For when Nathan turns seventeen, as all witches, they are to receive three gifts. These gifts are given through the blood of their ancestors, making them even more powerful, having them come into their own. Nathan is a risk. With a prophesy, The Council could use him, but nothing is ever set in stone. Time is ticking and as the White Witches show their treatment you begin to wonder just who is the true evil ones and if Nathan doesn't go through the ritual he will die. He knows he is a trap, a tool, and he is not all bad.

OMG!! If you have waited to get lost into a story that will find it's way onto your shelves and make it's way into your conversation - This Is IT! From the writing style, the setting, to the original story idea, everything jumped off the page! - I was BLOWN away. I have to share this one with everyone, it is BRILLIANT! I can not wait for this to continue! I wish I could give it more stars!

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Review: All Is Silence By: Robert L Slater

All is SilenceAll is Silence by Robert L. Slater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A plague, epidemic, virus, has occurred leaving by some numbers only 1% of the population alive. They were the immune, or the ones left in a dead like state functioning. Lizzie is one of the survivors. She has just lost her mother and her half brother, quite possibly her mind (afterall she does have a history of that). With limited power and contact outside, small steps outside into the world beyond brings both the devastation and promise of what is left of humanity. As Lizzie gathers a new family of old friends and misfits, she finds herself on the run from danger into the unknown and into the best and worst the new world has to offer.
I could not put this book down! I was lost into the dystopian world created by Mr. Slater, the amazing Lizzie - a wounded, heroic, powerful character, who has faults but the strength within that pulls through to another day is hopeful. My heart pounded as I devoured the pages, you will stay up all night to read this one. I can't wait for the continuation!

**** This is A First Reads, Thank You Goodreads *****

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Sharp Objects By: Gillian Flynn

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Journalist Camille Preaker was looking for big break, the story that would define her career - she just wasn't looking forward to returning to her hometown to get it. Wind Gap, Missouri - too small so everyone knows everyone's secrets, but large enough to hide a killer of children. A killer it seems that killed last year, now this year and has a distinct way of pulling the victim's teeth out.
Coming home to the town, to the home, to the memories that made Camille run far away to Chicago and not look back, to the reasons that she began carving into her body leaving only a circle on her back she could not reach - well, this all adds up to bad to worse.
The creepy and addictive style that Ms. Flynn sucks the reader into, the madness and almost macabre characters and town that make you finish the book in one sitting. The book is unsettling, but isn't that what writers are for, sometimes to put a mirror up to society and require them to look. I think I was spoiled with her other novels, although this is a very good one, I would want to introduce a new reader to her work to one of the others first.

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: We Are All Differently The Same By: Darren Hobden

We Are All Differently the Same: The Teachings & Insights from a Memory of Prior LifeWe Are All Differently the Same: The Teachings & Insights from a Memory of Prior Life by Darren Hobden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An honest account, the author takes us into his memory of The Room, the lessons gathered, his life, and the message to share.
The Room, a "missing link" between lives, or heaven - a definitive vivid memory since childhood. We are are linked, we are all spiritually connected, the messages along with Mr. Hobden's life story connects the reader.
This is a must read, this is a book that will find you and as you read the reasons will be known. Fans of Dyer, Hicks, Weiss, Myss will want to read this.

***** This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads *****

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends By: Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off FriendsBetter Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute tale of male/female friendship told from two different standpoints.
Macallan has experienced so much loss at an early age, it changed her. Having her father and her "special" uncle only goes so far, her friends and their families changed a bit once her mother died, so did she. That is until one day a new kid came into school and they began to talk. A friendship developed and over the years nothing and no one could stand the test of their devotion to each other - except each other.
Levi, the new kid. Found a connection with a girl and might have gotten razzed for it even though he got some male friends, no one could come close to being his best friend like Macallan. Once he confessed something deeper and she ran to her mother's family for the summer, but now he knows better.
I really enjoyed this story. With great snippets between chapters of the characters speaking to each other - a wonderful memory of When Harry Met Sally. I can say, been there.. had many male friends and loved the intensity the author brought forth about the stages that take shape. This is the book you will enjoy and feel great about letting your tween/teen daughter read.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: The Joy of Hate By: Greg Gutfeld

The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony OutrageThe Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage by Greg Gutfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you don't know Greg Gutfeld, if you do and like him, or if you hate him - well, here is a book for you. I guess it covers all the bases. Written in the way that he speaks, filled with the sarcasm, wit, and bite that only Gutfeld can deliver.
What is it that makes you angry? Truly angry? Is it that idea of anger, the need to be angry that is driving society - choosing what and who to be angry with, who to tolerate (now, that is strange, who to tolerate, by mere definition goes against itself)...
You will devour this book, laugh with it, ponder it, and most likely have to hide it when having to have people come over, but why not have a guilty pleasure - Greg is mine.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: M By: Tim Simpson

M: Book 1M: Book 1 by Tim James Simpson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for. Lady Bathory longed for immortality and enlisted men from all walks of life to find what was only whispered about so that she would be able to attain it. With villains and heroes from The Mummy and Headless Horseman to Sherlock Holmes to Zorro, it all comes down to good versus evil. Dracula has risen and time is running out.
I would have given more stars, for this is such an original story, wonderfully told - but needed a lot of proofreading and editing and for the heavy price of it I would have not expected the mistakes I found or the fact the it was part one and only 200 large print pages. It is a great adventure and I admittedly want more, I recommend borrowing this book though.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: About A Boy By: Nick Hornby

About a BoyAbout a Boy by Nick Hornby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the book that shows the brilliance of Nick Hornby. The humor, the rawness, the characters, the freshness.
The story told between a single selfish male in his thirties that has no direction in his life and a young boy who has played the adult in his single mother's raising and a bit of an outcast. When these two lives collide an amazing story comes forth. This is about growth, a little of redemption, about people and how we learn from others on the strangest places. Will and Marcus are somewhat the same coin just opposite sides. Be prepared to laugh, to cry, to be outraged, and to find that certain touch that only Mr. Hornby can give the reader.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: one page love story By: Rich Walls

One Page Love Story: A Year In LoveOne Page Love Story: A Year In Love by Rich Walls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fresh and wonderful. Short, sometimes a few sentences, sometimes a page and half - these are love stories. The good, bad, the raw, the fun, corny. Broken into seasons yet following only the whims of the author, these love stories find their way into the reader.
Perfect for the reader who is on the go, the one who keeps a book in the car, in the purse, in the desk, the one that looks for a "fix" multiple times a day and can find it in this book.

***** This is First Reads, Thank You Goodreads ******

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