Ashley Graham “A New Model”

The full title of this book is called “A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like”

I have struggled with body confidence since grade five when I hit depression in school. From there it didn’t help in grade 6-8 when the boy you liked called you “a piece of blubber.” Since then, I have been learning to care for my body and realize that: yes. I am beautiful.

Ashley Graham presents a wonderful, insightful read on her confidence growing up and let’s the reader know that beauty is beyond size.

Well done.

Arianna Huffington “On Becoming Fearless”

You know those reviews that are like “praise so-and-so for that awesome title?” And you think to yourself “wow okay calm down big-shot reviewer.” *clears throat* Well. I now understand that statement.

This will be an honest review, with personal confessions *gasps.*.

I have had existential crises in the past, but it’s been clear that my past few months have been a fog. And it’s something that you just can’t put into words. I don’t know why I’m short-tempered, on-edge and unhappy. I’m trying to get better, just give me time. I recognize it, just let me sift through it.

Which may be one of the reasons why I decided it was time to read Arianna Huffington’s book On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Work, and Life. Because gaining confidence is one area I need to work on.

Her book does help the reader reach a certain calmness. Am I perfect? No. But am I trying? Yes. Can I be fearless? Heck yeah.

The Book.

So thank you Arianna Huffington for reminding me that I am human. I may not know what’s in store

for me, but as long as I keep putting myself out there, good things will come my way. I have to seize these opportunities, make the best of the situation, and tell myself: I can do this.

“Have you noticed that worrying doesn’t stop it from happening? And indeed, that we worry about many things that never happen?” (Huffington, 43).


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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

20160820_171904Finally made enough time to finish this book! It was quite enjoyable, albeit makes you wish it was an actual novel and not a performance script.

From the first 30 pages I felt for Albus Potter, and could relate to his character. I thought they did a good job with the storyline, and it does have some twists to keep you guessing.

Really, the only critique is that it’s a performance script, so most of the writing is cheesy. I feel that this is more suitable to see on stage, so that it provides the reader with the intended effect.

Maybe, just maybe, J.K. Rowling will make it into a full-fledged novel?

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Susie Steiner “Missing, Presumed”


Demolished this book in last two days at the cottage. The first few chapters are a tad slow, but only to establish the plot. Roughly 50 pages in, you will become hooked, so stay with it! I could not put the book down until I was done!

Missing, Presumed is a literary-crime novel written by Susie Steiner. Although the plot is based on the search for Edith Hind – a twenty-something graduate student at Cambridge whose father is surgeon to the Royal Family – the novel is more of a character analysis of DS Manon Bradshaw who struggles with her work & being lonely. In addition to Bradshaw’s development, the novel also takes place from many different viewpoints, which is a nice touch.

Overall, this is a brilliant novel with beautiful writing, many twists, and good character development.

“I sometimes think I don’t actually like anyone that much. That all I ever want is to be on my own. And then I can’t cope with it — with myself, just myself all the time, and it’s like I become the worst company of all 00 and there’s this awful realization that I need people and it’s almost humiliating,” – pg. 164 **big nod from me**

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Sarah Dessen “Saint Anything”

There’s something comforting in Sarah Dessen’s writing. Easy-reading for the summer.20160712_211216

Who doesn’t love some chick-lit?

Saint Anything regards all sorts of relationships. Family, friends, love, personal. This is laid out through the life of Sydney, who has always felt invisible. Her brother Peyton won the attention of many throughout their childhood. Peyton, however, begins to spiral out of control and finds himself in jail after a drunk-driving incident.

This leads Sydney switching schools and meeting the Chathams family after deciding to visit the local pizza place after school one day. There she learns more about herself and begins to realize that she too deserves to be heard.

The novel is perfect for anyone looking for a quick and easy ready.

“How a song can remind you of something specific in your own life, like it belongs to you. But how personal can it really be if a million other people feel the same way about it? It’s like a fake meaning, on top of a manufactured meaning, divided by a true.” page. 159.

BOOM. hit the nail on the head with this quote. cough “Do I Wanna Know?” Is the perfect example of this. scratch that. The whole AM album cough.

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Jojo Moyes “Me Before You”

Since my last few books have been rather – intense – I decided a chick lit read would be a good idea. Well. This book just broke my heart, so I don’t think that’s good.

Besides the heartbreaking feel, what a lovely read that messed with my feelings and thoughts. We should be living boldly, trying new things. Thank you Will Traynor for pushing us as readers to realize this.

Quotes I am quite fond of:

“The Thing about being catapulted into a whole new life – or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window – is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”


“But to live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.”

Dean Koontz “Saint Odd”

My favourite series is complete, and I don’t know where I go from here. I absolutely love Odd Thomas as a character. He has wit, humour, emotion, and just a sense of realness.

Alas, it is time for me to say goodbye to Odd Thomas as his adventures are complete. The final book in the series is brilliant, and brings us back to the first book, finally sealing the horrors that we as readers witnessed in Odd Thomas.

There really is nothing else to say about this series, except that it is fantastic. I think this is Dean Koontz best series and his best character. Aside from maybe a few other novels (The Husband, Intensity and Velocity) Odd Thomas beats the rest.

The writing flows, is real, and is a page-turner. Just look at how long it took me to read Tick, Tock compared to Saint Odd, and you can see that you should pick this series up!

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Sue Monk Kidd “The Secret Life of Bees”

This book is beautiful. Knowing I never read it in school, I think it should be mandatory.

I really can’t do it justice by explaining what happens, really you just need to find a copy of the book yourself and read it. Nevertheless, in sum it’s a coming-of-age story about Lily Owens, who finds herself running away from home. From there, she learns that the way she’s been seeing the world is incorrect, and the perspective has only been taught to her. The novel also deals with the power of females, and the strength they live with.

“The whole time we worked, I marveled at how mixed up people got when it came to love.” pg. 133

“You know what? You think too much. It would do you a world of good to stop thinking and just go with your feelings once in a blue moon.” pg. 155

— Now the above quote is about me. I think WAY too much. It is the worst to think constantly. And you sit there, and you begin to THINK about why you can’t stop thinking, and live like others around you. The worst.

“I watched him, filled with tenderness and ache, wondering what it was that connected us. Was it the wounded places down inside people that sought each other out, that bred a kind of love between them?” pg. 184

If these two didn’t end up eventually, I’ll be upset.

Dean Koontz “Deeply Odd”

Deeply Odd is more emotionally straining than the other books. Given that children are the main focus, be prepared to become teary-eyed. Odd’s world is becoming more complex and it will be interesting to see where this goes in the final novel.

Continue reading

Jill Alexander Essbaum “Hausfrau”

Well, well, well. Hausfrau. This book was tough to get into, but about half-way through it started to captivate me. The “plot” picked up, had me gasping at some key points, and also made me angry.

I’m not sure what changed. Either I became accustomed to Jill Alexander Essbaum’s writing, or the writing became better. Continue reading