Review: Three Little Words 




Synopsis:

“Sunshine, you’re my baby and I’m your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.” Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. 

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a biography that readers everywhere need to read. It gives readers a deep insider’s view to the foster care system. Sure we all think that it’s great the kids will be taken care of and all. But not all foster homes are perfect. Just like the fact that Americans are forced to believe about a 1950’s ‘ideal American family image’ that no family actually lived up to…society isn’t always that great. Inside this nonfiction book, I got to journey through the writer’s life as a foster kid and how she overcame the obstacles. I was deeply troubled by what occurred to her while in foster care and my heart tore in a million pieces. No child should have it worse when being taken care of…yet this woman did. I spent some time in foster care myself due to both my parents; however, my time in there was okay. But not all are lucky. I knew what happens. I remember seeing my day taken away from us kids the day before foster care picked us, kids, up…thus, relating to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir was easy and sad. Bad memories…Three Little Words is a well-written book. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Garden City Rules 




Synopsis:

Kathryn “Kat” is bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin high school. She is hoping, as most girls do, for acceptance, popularity, and, most of all, a boyfriend. But the sudden death of her father changes everything. Her family begins to unravel. Her mother becomes absent, and she finds herself in trouble and sent away.

Devotedly, Steve, her oldest brother, rescues her and takes on the responsibility of raising her and her brothers. They keep a watchful and protective eye over her as she begins her long awaited high school years. High school brings her everything she wanted—acceptance, popularity, and a boyfriend—as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her past.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Garden City Rules by Michelle Courtney is a contemporary YA piece that readers won’t be forgetting any time soon. The plot immediately draws readers into its emotional rollercoaster ride. Sad, tragic, and beautifully written. There was so much inside this book. I was easily able to identity with not just the main character but all of the characters. Their story took me in deeper. I felt their pain, their frustrations and the tensions were real. Growing up while trying to do what’s right for one’s siblings is hard. Without parents in the picture, it’s left to the older or oldest sibling to carry the burden. Life is hard enough without losing people one loves. But as the story progressed, it went from sad to peaceful. The understanding and love was powerful. Watching the characters grow, was interesting. Definitely, a page turner. Michelle Courtney not only wrote about loss and grief,  it also about struggling with popularity, acceptance, and dating. Responsibility was another important theme. This book was super easy to read. The plot went by faster than I thought.  The Garden City Rules is one read that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. 

Review: Losing Deseret


Synopsis:

For Mormon teenagers, their Bishop is one of the most important people in their lives, second only to their parents. What happens if the Bishop abuses his authority and misbehaves? Badly…

Chris is Mormon, from a long line of Mormons–the church is his life. But as high-school graduation approaches, the secret perversions of his bishop are uncovered and tear at the fabric of his life and faith. Unable to look away, he picks at the carefully constructed layers, and the more strings he pulls, the more things unravel, until the light in his world is replaced with evil and perversion, and he is forced to confront the ambiguous and murky division between good and evil.

Rating:

Review:

Losing Deseret by Brice Bogle is an interesting coming of age story. It immediately plunges readers into the realities of life. Things that should be pure are sometimes the most corrupted and evil bodies that the characters will ever know. Religion is the center for everything. Many civilizations have based their ways on a religion of some sorts. Religion is a system for humans to organize their lives and when that part fails them…things change. 

Brice Bogle has created a novel that will leaves readers questioning everything. Losing Deseret is deep, thought provoking, and entertaining. It was very easy to relate to Chris. He’s the main character telling readers the story. His life is believable from the beginning to end. Important role models have major impacts on one’s life and this book shown exactly that. Plus, it allowed me to watch Chris mature as a young man. His journey was beautifully woven in a way that keeps readers in…Losing Deseret has a lot of social and religious issues. That made it a must read. I enjoyed reading this novel, and I look forward to reading more by Brice Bogle in the future. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Pepper’s Ghost

Pepper's Ghost by [Auten, William]

 

Synopsis:

Charlotte Alexandra Long is determined to create her own life, but severe reverberations await her at the crossroads of each decision and always the possibility that the very thing she put in place on her own terms could be wiped away by an uncertain future. As Pepper’s Ghost weaves in and out of her experiences as a teen and young adult, and locations in the South and Midwest, Alex emerges from the remains of young Charlotte, but her evolving identity will never escape being an outsider in society’s eyes. After a series of ill-fitting jobs, Alex joins a traveling amusement company as a sideshow performer, where illusion and reality interplay through the metaphor of an old theater trick. She faces challenges from her troubled but devoted father, her self-absorbed mother, a spectrum of circus employees, and emotional ties to memories and places that give solace in times of ambiguity and loneliness.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Pepper’s Ghost by William Auten is a YA read that will lure readers into its depth. The young character, Charlotte Alexandra, aka Alex, is interesting. She is unlike most leading female characters. What she really is surprised me…her journey was one wild roller-coaster ride after another.  The dynamics of family life are played throughout this read. The parents make the life for Alex a bit more complex than should be. I liked how as a main character she was constantly challenged. Alex took on each challenge moving through life the best she could do. Sometimes things worked out and sometimes not. William Auten portrayed the realities of life along with fantasy in way the just made readers like myself more curious. Memories…and emotions were strong, it was easy to be swept up within them. Pepper’s Ghost is a coming of age tale that comes off as entertaining, mysterious, and deep. The plot was developed and the pace was steady. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: I Was A Bitch 


Synopsis:

After waking up from a coma, Lacey Jones discovers that she is the ruling queen bitch of high-school and in the middle of a love triangle with two guys. If only she hadn’t lost all memory of it!

When Lacey Jones wakes up after a horrific accident, she realizes that she’s lost all memory of the last two years. In this time, she has turned from a wallflower into the gorgeous and popular Queen Bee of her high school. Adding to the confusion, she is confronted with two guys who claim to love her; her football star boyfriend and the mysterious and attractive Finn.
Now, Lacey has to figure out who she can trust as she starts to put her life back together and slowly discovers what really happened on the night of the accident.
Will she be able to resist her developing feelings for Finn and stay loyal to her boyfriend?
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

I Was A Bitch by Emily Ruben was the most fantastic drama emotional coaster that I have ever read. Okay, that was a mouth full of a sentence but it’s true. Emily Ruben sent me deep into her character’s life. From the title, readers like myself can guess what happens…but none are like this beginning. Compelling from the start to end. It led me wanting to know…kept turning the pages and before I knew it, I had finished. I was beyond pleased with this novel. The young woman’s tale wrapped itself into my heart and soul.  I felt her confusion and wonderment as she realized her situation. Imagine waking up, and thinking your one thing when, you’re actual not. Then people come bursting in and your left thinking exactly who was I…

Lacey was a teenage girl who was the baddest bitch in high school territory. Somehow that life crashed and she found herself in the current state of confusion. Lacey grew up…her personality changed and her direction towards others did so as well. I loved her for that. The realization of who she really was and who she wanted to be was a huge question throughout the book. I was definitely rooting for this queen bee. Lacey has a way of drawing in readers like myself to her. Something about her…keeps one interested. I don’t want to give away too much, but this was overall the best read ever. I Was A Bitch is a novel all females need to read, regardless of their age. I found myself wanting to re-read the entire story again. It felt so real that it was hard to put down…I can see this becoming a big screen picture. I really hope it does. Emily Ruben is indeed a talented writer. She baited, lured, and hooked me into it. I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future. I Was A Bitch is a must read for all.

Review: When the Summer Ends

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Synopsis:

A tale of love and friendship set in the 1950s, When the Summer Ends tackles society’s views of the times.

Aika Rowland is a young lady affected by undiagnosed Aspergers, and struggling to live her life; her famous family has its own problems and often she is overlooked, finding it hard to fit in with her outlandish clothes and strange mannerisms. That is, until she meets rough, tough Greaser girl, Cherry Knox, the girl who shows her what love is really about.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

When the Summer Ends by Ellie Morris is well-written and shows a lot of issues at hand that our society faces today. As a reader, I could sympathize with the characters. A family going through many issues. Issues like an older brother being gay, a father who can’t stand up to his demanding wife, and the daughter struggling with who she is and developing an attraction to another female. This was indeed an emotional thrill ride. As each cahracter went through their issues and self-discoveries. But desipte all that was happening the sibblings supported one another. That made me feel good. Gender issues as well as sexuality and racisim were also other issues that were brilliantly brought up within this historical read. Quite a journey to go through. Never a dull moment. Love isn’t something that we can box up and define. It’s something that changes as life evolves. Love isn’t hatred. Ellie Morris brings these themes into her highly entertaining world of fiction. Overall, I recommend this new title to readers everywhere.

Review: The Run Begins

Synopsis:

Lou Malloy is 18 years old and ready, for the world, but is the world ready for him. His brother Sam has left and his sister wants to move to Florida with the family. Malloy is having none of it and on a wild moment decides to hop in a boxcar going he knows not where. The important thing is that it’s not in Kansas. He has a problem and that problem is money. He doesn’t have any until Henry Lowe, who is in the same boxcar, offers Malloy the deal of a lifetime. All he has to do is help Lowe rob a casino in Georgia. With the promise of a big payday, Malloy throws in with the scheme and seal his fate forever…. AND THE RUN BEGINS

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Run Begins by J. Frank James is an excellent yet highly refreshing read. J. Frank James introduces to readers a character that is unlike any other criminal. Most don’t care about family nor open up like a book yet Lou Mallery does just that. A young man growing up in a rural small-town and never gets the approval from his parents…only his sister knows that he tried to stick up for her and why…but his parents only think of him as a young punk who is nothing but trouble. Funny how when  an accusation label becomes one that you fulfill later on…Lou Mallery leaves his home and heads into trouble all own his own. Getting involved with something that involves a whole lot of money can be very dangerous indeed. When Lou Mallery gets out of jail…more problems will arise and when they do readers will be gobbling up the books as J. Franks writes them. The Run Begins is a realistic crime fiction tale that will intrigue readers from page one. I was impressed with J. Frank Jame’s writing and this is the second of his novels that I have read. Overall, I  highly recommend this new title to readers everywhere.

Review: Gaikokujin – The Story

 

Synopsis:

外黒人 is a spiritual rag, to riches adventure. I have been blessed to live a ‘storybook life’ but not in any glamorous way. Writing this book has allowed me to examine my role as a person of color—which I refer to as ‘melanin-rich’—in a society which has proven itself to be hostile toward non-Caucasian people. Because this is part memoir, part historical treatise, and part survivor’s guide, it is my intention to stretch the parameters of a conventional novel.

In Japanese, the word Gai-koku-jin, literally meaning outside-country-person; i.e.  the foreigner, is traditionally written as「外国人」. I, however, am coining terminology by replacing the middle character with「黒」, which is pronounced identically but means ‘black’ instead of country. Not only does this symbolize my own cultural perspective, but it also represents a set of circumstances which is not limited to any race or country.

Book 1 of this trilogy is told through the eyes of a confused child. A stranger in my own home, like so many neglected children, I found a surrogate family in the street—mainly at our neighborhood basketball courts. After learning how to ‘make a dollar out of fifteen cents,’ I was headed down a tried-and-true path for disaster until, ironically, a Beast and a Serpent came to my rescue.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Gaikokujin-The Story by Taknan Amarn is one powerfully yet captivating story. A novel like this is a must read. Taknan Amarn gives his readers a story rich in culture, history,  and philosophy. His characters give readers a show not tell, version of life and how society operates. Society doesn’t always operate in a way to benefit all people.  Those of color and gender were mistreated in ways none of us can expect. That and the issues of poverty didn’t help these groups much either.

Gaikokujin – The Story is told by the Taknan Amarn’s point of view. His fictional world allows readers to see a side of the world most of us choose to ignore. Society’s norms take control of us like the Devil having complete control over what we say or do. Readers will follow a survivor’s journey through these troubling times. A refreshing and symbolic novel that readers will enjoy reading. I look forward to reading more by this talented writer and highly recommend his novel to readers worldwide. Gaikokujin – The Story is the story readers won’t want to miss. Absolutely inspiring…and suspenseful.

 

Review: Mojo and the American Female

Synopsis:

A collection of short stories spanning more than a decade woven together to create the misguided anti-love story of a young man learning about relationships and the opposite sex through music, movies, and television.

From music and baseball industry professional Sean (SW) Hammond, comes Mojo And The American Female, a collection of provocative short stories on his life as a Lost Boy in search of Winnie Cooper.

Raised on rock n’ roll, with a particularly strong affinity for women who rock, Hammond blends an unparalleled view of pop culture and philosophy that follows him from his early twenties through his early thirties. Mojo And The American Female is rich with photography capturing Hammond’s days as a tour manager on Warped Tour and working for Sony Music Entertainment, as well as bringing to life the music, movies, and television that has plagued his rational sense of love and relationships. From childhood viewings of Full House leading to his lifelong hatred of John Stamos, his introduction to the Riot Grrrl movement and Kathleen Hanna, and to a questionable infatuation with The OC’s Summer Roberts – each story blends a reflective Kevin Arnold-like inner monolog with Wild Turkey.

Mojo and the American Female is the byproduct of one too many romantic comedies. Inspiration, enlightenment, and delusion fuel Hammond’s quest as he searches for a bit of meaning to life and someone to share it with.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Mojo and the American Female by Sean Hammond is a book that targets many readers of all ages. There are a lot references to movies, music and a journey of one’s life throughout these things. I thought that this book was highly interesting in that I have not read anything like it. There is so much inside tis book that readers will be reading it over and over again. Readers will catch onto the themes and enjoy  following Sean Hammond’s book based on pop culture. This can be read in one sitting and is very educational in its own way. I enjoyed reading this debut book, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

 

Modern Girl: Chapter 2 – Revised

Modern Girl

Chapter 2

Family Issues

Okay, so I shared with you a bit on my early disasters with guys and a bit of my whole life summed up. But now, wait for it…..wait for it……yes, you now get a full sneak of my family issues that I had to deal with.

Oh, boring right? Well, wrong. These aren’t just issues but a peak into how I completely embarrass myself constantly.

At the end of my ninth grade year, my dad had left us. He left all three of kids with his parents. If it weren’t for his parents, I don’t what or who I would be today as of right this moment. I could be a totally evil, illiterate, hillbilly who had no life goals. How…disappointing..I instead turned out to be a pro reader, and unfortunately have more life goals than I know what and how to achieve them all.

So, my siblings and I went through one hell of a shocker when dad left and never said a goodbye. That’s when I lost all respect that I did have for my father. It was gone. Nada. Goodbye! Hello, grandparents!

I love my grandparents, however, we kids had a rough time not getting yelled at because we were kids we make mistakes and like most kids we blamed the other kids. I being the oldest of the bunch was the worse one when it came to accepting all responsibility. My brother, the middle kid, end of taking all the blame. I mean who would go blaming a beautiful baby girl, the youngest and the baby of te family for doing something wrong? No one that’s who!

I kind of realized what I was doing..and at the same time, I still blamed my brother. I was te most immature older sister anyone has ever meet. One word I would use to describe my younger self was a brat! Yes, I can admit I was an obnoxious outrageous little pest in the whole world. No denial here. Just a lot of shame, that I was like that.

Probably drove my little brother nuts. I don’t know. Anyway, my siblings were straight A students since kindergarten. Me….I did well in kindergarten got passed onto the first grade and then got held back a year. I remember those days. I couldn’t talk to former classmates because I was so humiliated by my lack of intelligence at the time. I wanted to hide in a wall somewhere, unfortunately all the walls were perfectly flat no crevices to hide in at all. I was a loner from first grade up until my third grade year.

So, everyday my siblings would come home with perfect grades. All A’s. Me…I was making D’s in math in everything we did in the awful subject. I still hate it to this day. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I finally made a B in everything I did in Math. Yeah, late bloomer. I was a major disappointment as an older sibling. My younger siblings loved the outdoors, were into sports and super smart. Me …I lacked in smarts, I preferred indoors, hated sports, and liked my solitude. Sounds like a loser right? I sure acted like one.

Growing up without a proper mom, sucked. I had no one to talk to about boys, my feelings, or girl stuff with. My 5th grade year, I got my girl thing. A year before everyone else. I was on the hot school bus on our way home, when I realised something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until I got home, I realized why. How embarrassing right? I had to go up to my grandma and tell her. I didn’t feel comfortable telling her nor telling someone like my dad. But, I had to tell somebody right?

Sixth grade came around and all the other girls got theirs. I felt like a wise old woman. Because I knew everything about having the girl thing. So, a lot of girls were coming up to me asking questions. Felt nice to know something that everyone else didn’t know about yet and to be looked up to. Made me feel great for a time being. Then I got into major trouble because I befriended a girl who was boy crazy. I wrote notes to guys to meet me in the library, and I never gave the notes to these guys…and well. My grandma went through my drawers, found the notes..and guess what?

She thought me, a sixth grader wrote these notes to the guys to meet me in our school library to have sex!

I didn’t know what that word meant or what it was about. But man, looking back at that day and what my grandma jumped to made me feel worried of what she thought of me as her granddaughter. I mean I was only 12 years old. What twelve-year-old girl thinks about sex at the age? Okay maybe now-a-days girls might, but back then hell no, we didn’t. I told my grandma no repeatedly to that outrageous thought but she didn’t believe me at all. How do you convince someone you’re not lying when they already perceive you as guilty so fast? I didn’t know what to do or to say to change her mind. It’s funny though…because I can’t lie worth a dime. It’s easy to tell when I do lie. I can try to lie but I know I will never get away with it, unless half of the story is true. But, I was telling the whole truth and yet, I wasn’t believed. Adults! Omg…

They think they know everything…

However, being an adult myself, it’s not easy. I don’t know everything. I have my faults, fears, and bad days. I do try to be the best I can be but most days, I feel like I fail rather than succeed.

My grandma is the strictest person I know. But she also is the move loving grandma I know. She loves you so much that she can’t let go of some of her old habits and ways of doing things. It’s the modern-day and time, yet she and now my grandpa struggle with letting us have freedom to make mistakes. So, every time we did make mistakes, and we did make a lot of them, they would jump down on us fast! Like a German Shepard jumping down on a robber who broke in. Yikes!!!!

My grandpa use to be that cool guy who let us go to everything, which left my grandma playing the bad cop role 99.99999% of the time.

Now, it’s just they are so worried about us kids especially, with the way the world has been turning out. Going to college, doesn’t look like fun anymore. Gun shooters everywhere. Random colleges been victims of these horrible crimes. Maybe doing college online is one’s safest bet. Right? What could possible go wrong with online classes? Um…maybe the price!

If your grandparent tells you to sweep of the deck and you do it too slow beware, they will attack. Just like a snake always trying to strike at your heel. I swept the porch too slow..got yelled at. I swept it faster, I got yelled at for sweeping it the wrong way!

So, then they come out take the broom from me and sweep it themselves. And then it comes…my being lefty is the reason I wasn’t doing sweeping it right! Really? Come on! Of all the things for an excuse to yell and that’s why? I was sweeping the deck off wasn’t I?

Days like that made me angrier that a swarm of bees when something tries attacking their hive.

Family, you got to love them.

Love them for their worst, love them for their best, love them because love is the best gift of all.

The Outcast Part 1

Jeff Burris, was one of many kids who were left to grow up alone on the streets. He had to learn to fight or to be beaten up. Now sixteen, Jeff has learned to make his way up in the world. He started helping an elderly man cut his lawn. He soon was offered a job as a shop assistant at the man’s store in town…
Until there there was a robbery. The police found a gang of street kids who claimed the Jeff had given them keys to break in.
The police took the keys the kids had and indeed they were the shop’s keys.
Jeff didn’t do it. He wondered how the others he knew got them. And why did they say he gave them the keys. He would never hurt the older man like that. The older man was generous enough with paying Jeff. He also gave Jeff a free room to live in and made him an assistant. The older man’s trust meant a lot to him. The police went to inform the shop owner of the event. But when there they found the shop owner dead. Laying on the floor, blood everywhere, Jeff ran to the old man’s side. No pulse. The police took a look around and some asked the neighbors questions. Jeff was heart broken. First, the shop is broken into and stolen from. Second, the gang blamed him for the crime. And now someone had killed the only person who had cared about Jeff.
What’s going to happen now? Will the police arrest me for both crimes? Who did this?
Jeff’s tears and sadness turned slowly to anger.
The police took the body away and told Jeff that he wasn’t to leave town. And that he needs to grab his stuff and find another place til there were done investigating the house.
Jeff feeling numb went to his room and took a bag of cloths and a picture of him and the old man at a baseball game. As Jeff remembered that day, the tears came down even more…
Where will I go? He thought. A police woman came in and asked him if he was okay.
“Yeah, I’m..”
“It’s okay.Things like this happen all the time. We will find the murder and most likely the one who gave the keys to that street gang.”
“You, think I’m innocent?”
Looking at Jeff’s eyes, she felt his pain. “Yes, I do. I knew the old man. And he thought the world of you. Like his own son. He talked about you a lot.”
“Thanks..where do I go now?”
“The next door neighbor, Susie. She said she’d take you in, in a heartbeat. Plus, she said how could you survive without her good cooking?”
Laughing for the first after everything that happened, Jeff felt a touch better. “Yeah her cooking is the best.But it won’t be the same with out him..”
“Come on, I’ll walk you over.And I promise I’ll tell you everything we find out.”