Faithful and Devoted: Confessions of a Music Addict, by Jenna Rose Robbins

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4 stars

 

Faithful and Devoted: Confessions of a Music Addict is exactly what it sounds like. Jenn’s journey through Spain following Depeche Mode is quite the adventure.

 

And it comes with the most heartbreaking ending.

 

The tone is fun and inviting. Though the novel definitely for a niche audience, writing style will beckon the reader to stay. Events flow so naturally together that it makes the ending shocking—forgive the Clickbait aura I just channeled.

 

It’s full of conflict. And yet it never feels like a disheartened story. In fact, for all the risks taken, there’s plenty of learning done. And plenty of reward. Almost all the events were delicious morsels of happiness for any fan. They’re sure to leave a jaw or two on the floor.

 

Regardless of who the reader’s favorite band is, this is a fun little read. It highlighted a wide array of the ups and downs of being a die-hard fan. It also sends a positive message about risk-taking. There’s always going to be a risk of something bad happening. Don’t let it stop you from enjoying your life.

 

 

Buy it here!

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Silent Screams: An Autobiography, by Susan Aguilar

Writing about ones tragic experiences can be rough. There’s a certain level of emotionality to be presented that sometimes gets difficult. Silent Screams is one such auto-biography.

 
The beauty of putting it out there is not only therapeutic at times, but it’s also a beacon of hope. “You’re not alone,” it says. “You’re not alone,” is also a sad statement. Things that shouldn’t happen to people are happening to more than statistically reported. Silent Screams, much like the title alludes, feels like exactly that. The tone is that of the author putting words to paper hurriedly, like they’re trying to get the images out of their head. Or trying to tell the story before they’re discovered. It helps to enhance the reader’s emotional experience. Things are kept fairly short–background information given where needed, characters come and go as needed. Even the writing style remains shortened.

 
Some editing and polishing would be beneficial to the message of the narrative. And there’s a powerful one.

 
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Parenting at Your Best, by Roni Wing Lambrecht

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4 stars

 

There’s a lot of parenting self-help books out there. I feel as though many of them are a little lofty. Setting expectations too high, or presenting goals that reflect ideals from television. Parenting at Your Best, however, feels very humbled, very down-to-earth. The parenting tips in there are simple, yet sensible. Respect is a big theme, and I think that’s where a lot of parents fail. They treat their child as property instead of someone to be included. Differences of opinions will inevitably happen (both with children and some of the tips mentioned), but Parenting at Your Best does offer some sound advice. I liked their approach.

 

Buy it here!

Chasing Evolution, by Roy T. James 



Sounding more like a textbook or scientific journal, Chasing Evolution takes on the subject of current sexual practices and standards. What are the scientific reasons behind them? Where in the evolutionary chain did humans start these? 
The wording is heavy, and at times, convoluted. Remember when I said it sounds like a journal? It’s jargon-heavy and sometimes difficult to follow. The way the information gets broken up in the narrative enhances that. The book’s divided into chapters depending on thesis. It doesn’t help the flow of the points the author’s trying to make. 
The author provides examples to their points using the animal kingdom and general human society. Sometimes they seem relevant. The ones involving the animal kingdom did, at least. I’m still undecided as to my opinion about the others. They occasionally came off as “women are the root of this,” at least when taken in the context of the modern world. It seemed like psychological and societal factors were more of the intended reasoning. I’m not saying that was the authors intent, however. Perhaps it was just the language. 
I still have mixed feelings about this novel. I like the idea. The execution method could be adjusted for a wider audience. 
Buy it here!

An Incredible Talent for Existing (A Writer’s Story), by Pamela Jane

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One of the most encouraging things someone can hear is how late someone achieved their dreams. They didn’t wake up at the age of 23-24 with a degree in hand and their foot inside the door. Nor did they know what they wanted to do until well past that. Or have encouragement to do so. Yet, despite all that, the author still manages to achieve what they wanted.

 

As soon as I saw the title, An Incredible Talent for Existing, I knew I was in for something special. And I was. This book has more motivational potential than quite a few self-help books. The author recounts how their life derailed, and how they got it back on track. Except (because, you know, life) things don’t go as planned. It’s realistic, and it gives a lot of hope for other people who aren’t handed things on a silver platter. Now, that’s not to say that the author didn’t put in their fair share of hard work, but persistence pays offs. Being patient does as well. At least, within boundaries enough to not stall the journey.

 

Most importantly: it’s okay if it’s not happening now.

 

The author’s writing style complimented the story. It felt nostalgic, light, and airy. And hey, sometimes real life makes a much better story than things contrived.

 

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Love Your Life, by Cheryl Marks Young

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4 stars

 

Love Your Life is a straightforward self-help book. While the title should be a dead giveaway, the purpose is to help you feel like your life has purpose. A reason to get out of bed every morning, something so many lack.
It breaks things down into a literal step-by-step. It starts in the head, and works it’s way to the physical world. It breaks things down further with easy-to-understand analogies and real life “testimonies.” I put the word in quotations because it doesn’t offer quotes from the client. It’s the author’s retelling of the story that we get.
The end of every chapter comes with a little section to fill out. A visual and engagement aid that allows the reader to get involved.
My only real issue is that it takes the same pitfall most self-help books take. Now, this doesn’t apply to the entire book. There’s lots of content that doesn’t assume this. But, it assumes the reader has money. Without offering alternatives, certain key points get emphasized with “my client hired.” That is not a reality nor an option for lots of people. I know it’s difficult to target all audiences. It’s not realistic. Which is why I’m thankful it happened very little. It still allowed for a broad target audience.
Think I’m gonna try it. What could go wrong?
Buy it here!