Category Archives: Book Reviews

Buy Yourself The Fucking Lilies Book Review

About: Tara Shuster gives some tips on things that worked for her to help her condition her life and give herself a healthier mindset. She calls it reparenting herself. She also gives many examples and recommendations.

Narration: Shuster herself narrated the book. Her narration was heavenly. I loved it!!!

Recommend: I very much recommend this book. I plan on going back and reading it and taking notes. I also plan on attempting quite a few of the habits she recommends. Journal writing, letters to my past loves, etc.


It’s exhausting—and, it turns out, impossible—to try to manage other people’s judgments.

No one cares. No one is watching you.

It turns out you can’t command the perceptions of others, and the more you try, the more you risk losing your own sense of self-worth and alienating people. It took decades of running myself ragged trying to gain acceptance from others for me to learn a fundamental truth I would now like to share with you: No one cares. No one is watching you. No one is tallying the total of your decisions, judging you from afar. They are not doing this because they are too worried about themselves. They are making all kinds of judgments about their own lives and worries, and I love you very much, but they are just not thinking about you right now.

For you, I see something grander: I see a life that you consciously live. That you curate and cultivate and create for yourself, a life in which you are self-aware AF, grateful for the luck that you are here at all, a life in which you love and also let yourself be loved. I see you engaged to your life, holding it firmly yet tenderly by the hand like it’s your soulmate, bringing it in for the deepest of make-out seshes. I see you feeling up your life in the most passionate of embraces. That is what I see for you.

Life Is Short, Death Is Forever Book Review

About: The author writes about his interpretation of life and many other philosophies. The book is also filled with many silly jokes that go with each chapter.

Narration: I think the narrator did a fantastic job. I personally feel like the author would have been best suited to narrate this book though.

Recommend: I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, I’m going to be rereading it as soon as I can.


Treat each healthy day as a gift.

The sergeant-major growls at a young soldier, “I didn’t see you at camouflage training this morning.” The soldier replies, “Thank you very much, sir.”

Come Back To The Swamp by Laura Morrison Book REview

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Working on her ecology degree, Bernice finds herself in the middle of a major project. She is cleaning up a local swamp and studying the natural plant life while doing so. During one of her visits, she’s confronted by a woman who claims to be the lake. She’s told never to return again. She refuses to listen and refuses to believe the woman is the lake. She thinks it’s a homeless woman who is in desperate need of help and a drug detox. While investigating the truth about the woman, she uncovers more than she could have ever bargained for.

This wasn’t a bad story at all. I can’t say I was in love with it, but I didn’t hate it either. It had a lot of great potential. I also loved how unique the story was. I really loved the swamp being personified. That’s why I felt it had great potential. The problems I had with it were the time gaps with no real explanation. I also felt like a lot of the story really needed to be detailed a little better. It felt like it kind of jumped and warped in many ways. I found myself having to listen to parts over again thinking I missed something.

The book was narrated by Chelsa Stephens. I was quite impressed with her performance. I am sad to say that I think if it hadn’t been for listening to the audio, I may have checked out. I would have missed out on an incredibly adorable and unique story because of that. But I digress. I’m not sure if I’ve listened to anything else by Stephens, but I am definitely open to listening to other audiobooks narrated by her. I want to see if she saved the story or if the story saved the story.

If the story were enhanced and reread, I feel like it would deserve full five stars. It really needs a lot of improvement before I can say that. The characters could be a little more built. They come off as robotic sometimes. The story could also be elaborated on in many different areas. It really has some amazing potential. I really did love the unique aspect behind it. I didn’t hate it at all. I liked it very much. I just didn’t love it.

French Illusions by Linda Kovic-Skow Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Linda wants nothing more than to become a flight attendant. It’s her dream. The only way to make this a reality is to learn another language and fast. She gets the idea to become an au pair for a family in France. She quickly learns that this journey won’t be as easy as she originally hoped for. While there are enjoyable moments, there are moments that make her feel absolutely miserable. There are people who treat her awful and never give her the benefit of the doubt about anything. She finds herself juggling her au pair duties and looking for schools that will give her an amazing way to learn French.

Before I start this review, I want to state that I do not read blurbs at all. It’s both a blessing and a curse for me. I do it on purpose. It has nothing to do with me being lazy. I just love going into a book not knowing anything about it if I can help it. Now that that’s stated, I didn’t realize this was a memoir, and I didn’t realize it was set in 1979. These are two important factors. As I was going through the audiobook, I had several issues with the book. I don’t really make notes. I should, but in this case, I’m glad I don’t. My opinions were unjustified after learning what I did at the end of the book. It caused me to reevaluate my feelings about the book. It quickly changed my feelings to positive ones. It’s a very beautiful and touching story. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to write after going through all that.

This book was narrated by Lucy Floyd. I think she’s the main reason I kept assuming this was a more modern novel. She just has this very modern and upbeat voice. I’m not saying this as a bad thing. I really enjoyed hearing her narrate. I’m also not blaming my negative feelings about the book on her narration either. Her narration kept me listening despite the negative feelings about the book. I’m grateful for that. I wouldn’t have realized the gem I was reading had I not given it a chance. This is another narrator I don’t think I’ve listened to before. I will look for other books narrated by her.

I had my misgivings about the book for some reasons I will not discuss. Especially now that they have been found unfounded. I think I’d like to go back and actually read the book one day. It’s such a beautiful and inspirational story. This girl had so many obstacles standing in the way of her dreams. She didn’t let them stop her. She kept going. Yes, she experienced anxiety. The treatment of her brought her down many times. It’s normal though. She’s a trooper. I look forward to reading the sequel.

The Boston Girl By Anita Diamant Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Known as The Boston Girl in the early 1900s, Addie Baum takes a trip down memory lane. She’s interviewed by her granddaughter about her life. Addie never felt like she was anything special. Her family immigrated to the United States after she was born. She was the youngest of three girls. Nothing she did made her or her mother happy. Her life changed drastically when she went behind their back to do something she enjoyed. She kept going on through all of the small and major events that happened in her life.

I was introduced to this lovely book by a book club I attend once a month at my library. I’ve read The Red Tent. Ironically enough that was for the same book club. Both were beautiful books. I can honestly say this author knows how to tug at a person’s emotions and leave them feeling completely invested. There are times it’s a bit sneaky. The ending was especially very emotional. I think the only criticism I have about the book is that I feel like it would have been nice to hear all the questions that the granddaughter asked.

I was so lucky to have found this book on Kindle Unlimited. I had the option to read and listen to the book. I was originally intending to do both. I wound up absorbing the book too quickly for that. This book was narrated by Linda Lavin. I absolutely loved her accent! I am going to be so heartbroken if I find out that it’s not authentic! Either way, she added so much color to the story. I think it was the biggest reason I got so weepy at the end. I was a blubbery mess. I can’t even explain! Anyway, had I not known better, I would assume that she was actually Addie. She channeled Addie so well. It was magic!

This was such a beautiful story. I knew I was going to love it from the beginning. The book club coordinator has amazing taste in books. I think out of all the books she’s chosen in the years that I’ve been in the club, I’ve disliked maybe three. This story was just so beautiful. It was full of family love, life lessons, and historical events. It also showed a lot of empowerment. Addie was a majority independent woman. That’s extraordinary for that time frame! I fully recommend this book.

A little private joke to see who else has read this book with me.

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The new King of Louisiana has unexpectedly shown up in Louisiana for a visit. His reasons are simple. He wants to know what happened to his right-hand man, Victor. The one he left in charge of Louisiana so he could continue running Las Vegas. If that’s not bad enough, a were winds up dead right outside Eric’s house during a party. With everything hitting the fan, Sookie finds that she just can’t depend on Eric to uncover the answers. She decides to team up with BIll so they can figure out what’s going on and clear Eric’s name.

First comes murder:

This book is where we kind of start seeing the fall of Eric and Sookie. To be honest, I never really liked them as a couple anyway. I mean they were great friends. He supported her when she needed it and vise versa. They just didn’t make a good couple in my opinion. It’s kind of obvious in this book that the series is winding down to a close. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I’ve really loved reading this series. However, I do realize that not all stories can be told forever. Everything comes to an end eventually.

Then comes betrayal:

This book was narrated by Johanna Parker. The entire series has been narrated by her. She’s done a really fantastic job. I feel like if they ever do an animated version of this series, they should hire her to voice act as Sookie. I have paired Sookie’s personality with her so much since listening to this series. I also love the authentic southern vibes I get from her narration. It makes me feel at home.

Let’s not forget the secret plot:

While I can’t really say this is one of my favorites of the series, I really did enjoy the book. I am getting very sad to see this series go, but I’m glad that I finally got the chance to get around to reading them. I’m also more than aware that my stubborn self will most likely reread them all again in the future. Maybe even without the audiobook. Who knows? It’s one of my favorite series of all time.

And most important. THE TWISTS!

The Only Woman In The Room by Marie Benedict Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Marrying a powerful man to keep her family safe from the events to come, Hedy has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until it’s too late. She finds herself wanting to escape the horrible situation she finds herself in, but can’t seem to think of a way. Until she overhears something that makes her realize just how bad things are to come. She finally makes a plan and flees to America. She winds up becoming an actress. She also becomes a scientist.

I enjoyed this book right from the very start. I didn’t really do any research on it or read more into the book than I really had to. So it came as a shock to me when my mom informed me that this is based on an actual actress. I’ve since done the research and am really impressed with her. It makes me sad that her being an actress is more prominent than the fact that she was an intelligent woman who invented things. But I digress. My mother and I read this for a book club meeting at our local library that wound up being canceled because of the pandemic. I hope they make a new meeting after it’s all over so we can discuss it!

This book was narrated by Suzanne Toren. She did a really amazing job. It’s like she actually stepped into Hedy’s life. She became Hedy. It’ll be hard to listen to any other work of hers without thinking of Hedy. It will be worth it though. If for anything else but to see if she becomes all of the characters she narrates. She made a tragically beautiful story even more so. In many ways.

This was an incredibly beautiful and inspirational novel. I am very glad I got the chance to read it in all honesty. I’m glad that I have it in my library so that I can go back and read it again any time I want. I’m thankful to be living in a time where I can speak my mind openly and do anything I want to. Sexism is still a thing, but it’s harder to deny somebody something just because of their gender. At least not openly. This is a book that I strongly recommend.

The Every Stone by E.A. Sandrose Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Yrund is taken from her home and forced into mining. The people who have taken her captive are looking to collect all stones. Especially the every stone. This stone is known to have the power to do everything. It will make the owner of the stone very powerful. Yrund does not believe in this stone. She thinks it’s just a tall tale. All she wants to do is go home and be in the presence of her family again. She works hard hoping to eventually earn her freedom. Everything is going fine until something unexpected happens, and she finds herself on the run. She also finds herself in possession of a very valuable stone.

My reaction to the build up and back story:

I didn’t really care for this story at all. The only things that really made this story readable were the stone and the amazingly rich culture that surrounds the story. I mean I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed it enough to keep reading it despite not really liking the main character at all. The story could be very strong. It has a great uniqueness about it. I just feel like it fell flat a bit. There are so many places that really could have been elaborated on so much. I also didn’t like how critical and judgmental the main character was over everybody else. It just got so belittling and condescending. The stone was a true gem though. Not sure if the pun was intended there or not.

Every time the stone said something funny or cute:

This book was narrated by Ulka S Mohnty. I absolutely loved her narration! It was amazing. I felt like I was actually a part of the world. The accent she gave was beautiful. It felt authentic. It felt real. I want to say it probably is her native accent, but I don’t want to presume here. People that presume things irritate me. But I digress. I really would love to listen to other books narrated by her. Her voice is just so soothing and alluring. Hopefully, that doesn’t come off as creepy. It’s just my honest opinion.

Whenever it seemed they were about to be caught:

I really came across as aggressive in this review. I wasn’t intending to. I did enjoy the story. I just feel like it didn’t really meet expectations. If it weren’t for the silly stone, I think I would have been very annoyed with the story and character development. That being said, I did not hate the book. I may even give the book another chance in the future if I’m being honest. I’d also give other books written by the author a chance.

When Yrund got really judgmental of other people:

Not The Same By Gianna Gabriela Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Aron has had to play the adult figure for his younger brother since he was ten years old. His father split, making the decision to never have anything to do with his children ever again. In response, his mother turned to a less than honorable man to help heal. Instead, she wound up becoming addicted to drugs. Dependent on them and the man just to survive. He learned at a young age that he would never be able to fully depend on his mother to take care of him and that his father was never going to be in the picture again. Even though he loved and cared about his little brother and would do anything for him, he resented his mother for forcing him into that role.

Feeling protective of the boys in this book like:

This book was very emotionally invoking. Aron is so relatable in so many ways. Especially for those in broken families. I feel like this story gives hope that things can get better. It shows that there are people out in the world that do care. It’s just hard to see that with the surroundings that are given. I do wish I had seen more of the story. I wish there were certain parts of the book that really played a stronger role. I could have read and read into the story behind all of this. I also hope that there will be another book with the way this one ended. It would be another point of view, but I would be totally fine with that.

Finding myself in constant deep reflections in this book:

This book was narrated by Justin Mills. I really felt like he did a perfect representation of a kid who’s grown up in a broken home. He is talented if he can just swoop right in and take over a personality like that. I would love to hear other books he narrates to see if he completely takes over a character’s personality. I’m sure he is. It’s either that or he completely relates to the character. There are many of us who can in all honesty. Many of us who were forced to grow up too young. But I digress. My point is I’m impressed.

My emotions through the whole book:

While I wish this book had been way longer than it was, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed all of the positive messages that are represented behind the story. The author also puts a lot of powerful and uplifting things at the end of the book as well that had me teary-eyed. There’s another book in this series of novellas. I read it and enjoyed it just as much as this one. Actually, I enjoyed it more if I’m being honest. Both were great works though. I can’t wait to see if there’s news on a third!

My overall thought of the book:

Into The Fire By Gregg Hurwitz Book Review

Evan has been battling if he wants to continue what he’s been programmed to do most of his life. He has completed his personal missions and wants to settle down into a normal life. Everything seems to be falling into place until Max calls him for help. Max just lost his cousin who appeared to be investigating a very dangerous scandal. He left Max with something very important and winds up putting Max and everybody Max knows lives in jeopardy. Not knowing where to turn, Max lucks out by running into the last person that Evan helped. What seems to be a simple case turns into a very twisted ride.

When Evan goes on a mission to take the bad guys down:

This book gave very serious vibes like it was the last book in the series. I have rooted for Evan with every book. I know he’s done bad things, but he’s trying his best. He protects those he cares about. The fact that he’s able to care about people with the way he’s been programmed to be is amazing in itself. I was so mad about the ending. I won’t say why. I refuse. Anybody who reads my reviews knows I refuse to give any spoilers about a book at all. I prefer the reader read it and then contact me so we can talk about it. But yes. If there’s not another book in this series, I’m going to rage.

Seeing Evan trying to be a better person for Mia and her son:

This book was narrated by Scott Brick. Unless I’m mistaken, he narrated all five books. I’ve loved his narration in them. There’s something intense and terrifying about his voice. Well, not all the time. Just when he needs to pitch it in the right moments in books. I do not think these books would have been as intense had I read them and not listened to them. I hope I can track down other books he narrates to listen to them as well. I have recently learned that a person can develop a voice crush. I would say I’m pretty much there.

When something happens after things are finally dying down:

I really enjoyed this series. I’ve enjoyed this entire series. I’m currently working on talking my mom into reading it. I may do a buddy read with her. As if I need an excuse to read this series again. It’s a fantastic and intense series. The whole book has made it feel like it’s the last book in the series. I’m really hoping that my feeling on this is wrong. Other than subtle hints I’ve gotten, I haven’t really seen any concrete evidence that it is. Especially with the ending of this book. We shall see. Either way, I recommend this whole series.

When Evan continues going with multiple series injuries: