Review: Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith

Red Velvet Crush

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Rock music, a broken family, challenging sisters, and the crush of first love—Red Velvet Crush has everything you need in a summer read. For fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistEleanor & Park, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

Teddy Lee’s mother ran off when she was in second grade. And ever since, Teddy Lee, the often-overshadowed middle kid, has tried to keep her family together. But her older brother Winston usually keeps himself busy with smoking, drinking, and girls, and who knows what else. Her younger sister Billie is occupied with her shoplifting habit and boys . . . and who knows what else. So when Teddy Lee finally takes the songs she’s always written and forms a band, maybe it’ll bring everyone closer together, maybe it’ll be her time to shine. Unless Billie steals the spotlight—and the boy—just like she always does. Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters—both the unconditional love and the unavoidable resentments—in a novel full of music, urgency, the first blushes of love, and the undeniable excitement of hitting the road.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith is a deep story of two sisters. One of them is always being overshadowed by the other one. Teddy Lee just wants her family to be a family again. So, she comes up with an idea and let it roll. But it isn’t too long before her sister, Billie once again takes over…and things go down hill from there. I liked Teddy. She seemed likable and wanting what’s good for others. Her family is in this broken weird phrase. One that cannot be shaken. Her father loves her and her sister. He raised them when the mother left and still sends stuff to Billie despite what she does. Christina Meredith realistically displayed a dysfunctional family, teenagers, and dreams. I found it all interesting.

Review: Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World



Synopsis:

Andy Cohen, New York Times notable author of Follow the Other Hand, introduces the Assumpt!, a breakthrough way to make better business decisions, faster and smarter.

Orville Wright, co-founder of modern aviation, dismissed the idea of creating a landing strip. He assumed that if man had to smooth out the airstrip, he didn’t deserve to fly. Houdini, master of escapes, didn’t know how to exit a new model car. He assumed that all door handles operated in the same way.Even the smartest, most successful and talented people make assumptions. 

Yet good decisions are often stymied by assumptions that go unchecked.So why does this book encourage you to make assumptions? It turns out your assumptions are a key component in your daily decision-making process. But how do you identify your assumptions? How do you separate out those that help or hurt? Build or destroy? Solve problems or create new ones? 

This book shows you how to utilize your assumptions productively and in ways you haven’t imagined. Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World is full of big ideas–it’s a unique book that will change how you make decisions and in turn increase your success in business and life. 

Reviews

“Decisions are only as good as the assumptions they are built on. Cohen shows you which ones to use and which to watch out for. ” –John Danner, UC Berkeley and Princeton faculty member, global advisor and keynote speaker.

“Andy challenged the thinking and attitudes of my team with some real eye-opening consequences. In my experience, it is rare that such an impactful person can translate these skills into written form. Reading this is like he is in the room with you.” –Irene Dorner, former President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC USA

“The vast majority of security issues we face today stem from misplaced trust assumptions. This is a must-read for the security professional.” –Colonel (Ret.) Greg Conti, Ph.D.

About the Author

Andy Cohen is a popular and recognized TEDx speaker, author, and international thought-leader. He has a degree in experimental psychology and a room full of prestigious advertising awards. Andy has taught at the world’s most respected universities including New York, Cornell, Duke, UC, Berkeley; ISB (India); and CKGSB (China).

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World by Andy Cohen is exactly that. This is one nonfiction guide that challenges, provokes, and teaches readers. The principles and content inside are based on the writer’s experience. His background in the business world is shown throughout the pages. Easy to follow along. I’m a full-time student and an entrepreneur. This book helped me understand a lot. I always make assumptions more so than my peers. Weeding through the good versus bad assumptions was made easier after reading, Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World. Andy Cohen’s book is indeed the best tool for all. Whether you’re a student, work in business, or an entrepreneur, you can easily learn what it takes to keep from making the wrong assumptions. Mistakes happen all the time. But if one could help prevent a good handful from being repeated, then it’s worth it. I really enjoyed following along. The chapters and writing style were well-done. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Review: Dead is Dead and Other Stories 



Synopsis:

‘Dead is Dead’ is a collection of twenty compelling stories which focus on the complexity of being human. All of the stories have already met with success: broadcast, appearing in magazines or doing well in international competitions.

The title story, Dead is Dead, is set in colonial Africa and is told from the point of view of a little girl. Her father’s gun goes missing and so does one of the servants. Events unfold and end in tragedy, and in the little girl coming to a new understanding.

In ‘This is not Miranda’s story’ a woman observes her neighbour’s wife becoming a mother and, at the same time, sliding into madness. Here’s a small section from it: ‘Tim came round the next Saturday. He brought the big pram with the baby at one end and Hayden at the other. When I asked how Miranda was, he said, “She’s convinced that this little one is a daughter, although it’s obvious he’s not. She calls him Eve.”’ 

‘The Sleeping Handsome’ retells the story of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ but with a male sleeper and set in modern times.

‘My Beautiful Dad’ is written from the point of view of the son of a man who is becoming a woman. Finally the boy meets the woman his father has become: ‘I push open the door to the café and there is ‘Rosalie; quite beautiful, long blonde hair, long slender legs elegantly crossed. She wears earrings that hang almost to her shoulders, silver bangles on each smooth arm, a short skirt, high-heeled shoes, a lacy blouse buttoned up to her cleavage, the hint of breasts. She holds her hand there, the long fingers fiddling with the top button, wanting to undo it .’ 

Matilda is dealing with writing a philosophical essay on the subject of free will and determinism, it is also her birthday and her mother, with whom she does not get on, is coming to stay, next door there is building work going on and bones are discovered. These are the themes for ‘Matilda, the Determined Woman’.

‘Polly’s Day’ is about the awfulness of war for the families whose men have gone to fight. It is set during the Second World War with flashbacks to the first. Here’s a section from one of those flashbacks: ‘Mum was in the kitchen. She was crying like she had been on the way to school, only worse. Gran looked up as Polly came in; her eyes were red and her face all wobbly. But it was Uncle Artie who said it, ‘Your dad’s dead. Killed. In action.’ 

‘When Mum came in from the bedroom, she had pink cream on her face but you could still see the other colours underneath, especially just below one eyebrow where there was a rim of black coming through. Her lips looked sore, too, swollen and bitten and when she yawned, it was almost as if she was trying not to cry. She walked through to the kitchen end of the living room.’ This is the opening to ‘One of Those Days’ a horrific story about a dysfunctional family, a battered wife and mistreated children. 

In ‘Dead Heading the Roses’ the narrator is dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and the request from her neighbour’s son, who has become a paraplegic, for her to help him die. It starts like this: ‘Three years ago, Dylan, who lives next door, slid off the roof. The fall didn’t kill him but now he is unable to walk or talk. He communicates by blinking. One for no, two for yes, several when the right questions aren’t being asked.’ 

And there are plenty more stories, all gripping, all beautifully written and insightful, all of which will leave readers wanting more.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Dead is Dead and Other Stories by Jane Seaford is a brilliant collection of stories. Each story has its own point of view of major issues. Issues readers know and can relate to…I found myself exploring the human nature. Raw, realistic, and complex. Relationships within members of our own family or outside of it..can be messy. Confusion, emotions tugging at war, and the moments that readers will never forget. I don’t know how the writer, Jane Seaford did it, but she captured life in a nutshell on every page of her stories. I was hooked, captivated, and stunned. Her writing style is clear, easy to follow, and powerful. The messages are deep, thought provoking, and will leave readers wondering what next. Dead is Dead and Other Stories is a fascinating anthology of fiction that all must read. Once, I began reading these, there was no stopping…overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

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