Book Reviews, Books

Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

29059581Rating: 4/5


In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.” Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself.


The first part of this poetry book is hands-down my favourite and I found it quite interesting that she mentioned the songs she was listening to while pouring her deep thoughts into paper.

The poems in this book will speak to your heart and soul and what a beautiful thing that is. Raw, honest, remarkable; it’s poetry at its finest. Just like art, it’s not always pretty but it will make you feel things.

In a nutshell, if you love poetry, you should definitely give this one a read!

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers, and the author for providing me with a Copy of this beautiful book.

Goodreads link: Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Amazon link: Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Book Reviews, Books

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens


Rating: 5/5


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Stevens targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more in a novel that explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.


Secrets upon secrets upon secrets; what a wild journey that was!

Want to get a feeling of what this book’s about? Take a handful of secrets, mix it with a tablespoon of revenge, add a teaspoon of abuse, love, and obsession then toss it all in an abyss of lies.

“This isn’t just a stage-one disaster. This has gone into a nuclear meltdown too-late-to-run explosion.”

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt completely and utterly helpless? Lindsay Nash has been there. The young woman found herself trapped with an abusive husband, Andrew Nash, who’s not just a mean drunk but also a possessive, controlling, and jealous human being with a knack for playing mind games. Despite being a good father to their daughter, Sophie, he’s an absolute threat to his wife’s wellbeing. Once she had enough, Lindsay plotted her escape; an event that will change her life forever…years later, Andrew is back in town after spending a good chunk of his life behind bars due to an accident. Soon after, strange things start happening and Lindsay is totally convinced that it is her ex-husband, playing mind games with her. Is he coming after her? Trying to make her pay for every year he’d spent in prison? Did he change and she’s just being paranoid? Or is it something far more disturbing?

“Get out of my head. Get out. Get out.”

As an avid reader of the genre, it soon enough becomes less about the who and more about the why and it’s definitely the why and how in this story that got me flipping the pages, trying to get to the bottom of it all; a wild ride that only makes perfect sense towards the very end of the book.

Ms. Chevy can definitely write a good mystery, no questions asked. I enjoyed analysing every situation from both, Lindsay and Sophie’s point of view. I also appreciated the swaying between the past and present which definitely helped getting a clearer idea on the characters’ background and the roots of their troubles.

From the very beginning, this story will catch your attention and you’ll find yourself sprinting downhill, driven by your uncontrollable curiosity. As secrets keep unravelling, you suddenly realise that no one can be trusted or can they?

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a good story, splashed with secrets, twists, and turns. This book will definitely get you to second-guess every line you read as you try to uncover the who/why/how of this rather nerve-racking mystery. So proceed with caution!

I would like to thank NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Chevy Stevens for sending me an ARC Copy of this remarkable book!

Goodreads link: Never Let You Go

Amazon link: Never Let You Go

Book Reviews, Books

Halfway by Lokesh Sharma & Anubhav Sharma


Rating: 4/5


A few hundred people wake up in an auditorium with no memory of their past, scared and confused, struggling to remember who they are and how they got here. A voice draws their attention to the person standing on the podium, impeccably dressed, an air of calm confidence about him that suggests he has the answers to all their questions.

As he starts explaining the situation, they slowly begin to realize they are in a futuristic realm called Enigma, where dead humans are reborn and brought to trials for the crimes they committed in their human-lives…


I just finished reading this book and now I’m rather confused because I don’t know how I actually feel about it. Okay, truth be told, I loved it but the fact that I have to wait for the next book to get some answers is torture!

I quite enjoyed the beautifully-written story. The futuristic realm also known as Enigma is very well built and the characters all have a nice depth to them. I loved diving into their past and learning more about their lives and struggles whilst they were still on earth. The suspenseful touch was my favourite because it got me all intrigued and then mercilessly left my curiosity pending at its peak. I was dreading the approaching end of the book because I had a feeling I wouldn’t get all the answers and guess what? I didn’t. So I genuinely hope there will be a sequel because I need answers!

In a nutshell, I really enjoyed this book. The cliff-hanger at the end and the many unanswered questions will make you come back for more and you should, because this is one hell of a good story. I will recommend this book to anyone looking for a suspenseful read with so many twists and turns that will get you to frantically flip the pages, begging for more.

I would like to thank the lovely Lokesh Sharma for sending me a copy of this intriguing book!

Goodreads link: Halfway

Amazon link: Halfway

Book Reviews, Books

Thinking Like a Mountain by R. Edward Grumbine


Rating: 4/5


In Thinking Like a Mountain, we have excerpted a clear and inviting introduction to the science of conservation biology from Ed Grumbine’s previous book, Ghost Bears. Grumbine offers a succinct and evocative description of why we should all care about biodiversity, protected lands, connectivity, and extinction rates, and the advantages to be gained by attempting to ‘think like a mountain’, as so eloquently phrased by Aldo Leopold.


“Think big, think connected, think whole.”

Do we fully understand what makes nature tick? We sure have made some progress in that area but we’re not completely there yet! As the book states, we are starting to grasp the biology of thinking like a mountain but there is a huge difference between understanding a concept and acting upon it.

As a biologist, I found this book to be quite the interesting read and I genuinely believe that nowadays, everyone should be reading books related to our ecosystem and the biodiversity crisis. It is also about time we acknowledge the mistake of treating parts of the ecosystem as separate components when it is now rather obvious that everything is linked.

“Modern humans have an easier time with parts than with wholes and often forget that, in nature, interrelationship is as important as individuality.”

For example, when we’re carrying out an environmental study, we ought to take into consideration the plants, the soil, the water, the air, the animals, etc. because that is proven to be the best way to understand what is happening on a global scale, otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to correctly decipher our data nor would our conclusions have any palpable value.

Thinking like a mountain is not only about comprehending we’re just another part of the ecosystem but it’s also about acknowledging the long-term implications of our reckless actions. It’s not because we don’t live as long as mountains do that we should treat our planet with complete and utter disrespect. The earth does not need us but we sure do need it to thrive!

“Keep watch across space and time. Remember the distant future. All that fits will remain.”

I will definitely be recommending this to my Master Students and to anyone concerned about the future of our planet.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers, and the author for providing me with a Copy of this book.

Goodreads link: Thinking Like a Mountain

Amazon link: Thinking Like a Mountain

Book Reviews, Books

Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager


Rating: 3/5


Ivy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. “I stare out the window,” she says on the first spread of brown and gray, “looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don’t see any such thing.” But then Spring comes when “March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest.” And Ivy’s “heart dances with daffodils.” As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy’s world erupts into a riot of color.

Ivy in Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy’s eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author.


This is such a delightful read. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful which, at times, makes it a tad hard to concentrate on the words and the meaning of each verse but that doesn’t take away from the overall pleasant experience. I would recommend this, not only to kids but also to English learners, and to anyone interested in cute poems with rather exquisite illustrations!

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers, the author, and the illustrator for providing me with a Copy of this book.

Goodreads link: Ivy in Bloom

Amazon link: Ivy in Bloom

Book Reviews, Books

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs by Joseph Polansky


Rating: 3/5


A spiritual perspective on the 12 signs of the zodiac, the horoscope, healing and spirituality. People’s quirks and idiosyncrasies have deep spiritual roots. The horoscope shows us what they are. What are seen as flaws are really strengths deeply disguised or not used properly. Every sign is in essence a spiritual force and function and denotes a person’s deepest urges. This book explains these urges. It also contains meditations for each of the signs, and the herbs, colors, gems and reflexology points that will most benefit each sign. There are chapters on the unique spiritual path for each sign and the healing modalities that are best for each – and much more.


Astrology and spirituality; quite the fascinating fusion!

I actually enjoyed reading this book a lot more than I thought I would and that’s probably because the author manages to deliver the information in a positive light and from a positive standpoint, which adds a pleasant touch to the whole experience.

This book is a good introduction to astrology and the part I enjoyed the most was the one where the author attempts to decipher the logic behind each sign’s characteristics. The only thing that did not sit well with me was how the information was, at times, passed on as indisputable facts. But this was, nonetheless, an enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone seeking to learn more about the zodiac signs, especially from a spiritual point of view.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers, and the author for providing me with a Copy of this book.

Goodreads link: A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs

Amazon link: A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs

Book Reviews, Books

Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett


Rating: 4/5


Lonely and broke, Cleveland divorce-survivor Allie Harper believes all her problems would be solved if she could find a nice, smart, hot guy and enough money to get her car fixed. The hot guy arrives first: he’s in a crosswalk clutching a bag of groceries while a blonde in a Hummer is learning hard on her horn, sending the man’s groceries and white cane flying. How has this woman missed that fact that the man is blind? From the curb, an outraged Allie jumps to his rescue, rebagging the groceries as well. The money is in the bag. Literally- Thomas Bennington III, for that’s who the handsome guy proves to be, has bought a MondoMegaJackpot ticket along with canned tomatoes. Allie takes him home and turns his groceries into dinner for two. Later that night, Tom hears the numbers announced. He’s won. And he’s less than thrilled. PhD Tom had gambled on the odds of losing (175 million to one) to prove a point to Rune, a kid from the projects he’s befriended, that only losers buy lottery tickets. Instead, Rune, who’d helped pick the Mondo numbers, will share Tom’s jackpot. Allie and Tom grasp two things: one, they’re hot for each other, and two, the ticket is a hot target, and now so are they. Every scheming weasel in Cleveland will be after Tom’s millions. $550 of them. Yes, once the Mondo ball drops, it’s game on with killers and kidnappers as players. Allie and Tom need to get smarter about the threats all around them. On the run from one fancy hotel refuge to another and from one danger moment to the next, with only Allie s feisty landlady, Margo, and a couple of Cleveland cops for back-up, Allie and Tom evolve a strategy. First, turn in the ticket and claim the jackpot. Second, set up accounts to manage the millions. Third, stay alive to the end of the week…if they can. Too Lucky to Live debuts a talented writer in Annie Hogsett and a couple in Allie and Tom, a modern Nick and Nora Charles, who can power a compelling, amusing series with an excellent future.


“He loved books. I loved books. He loved poetry. I loved poetry. I liked to write. He liked to read.”

This book starts off with the promise of a good romantic story but it quickly turns into a suspenseful ride that will keep you on your toes.

When Alice Jane Harper encounters the charming Thomas Bennington III, she is completely and utterly oblivious to what she’s setting herself up against. After winning the Jackpot; a ticket which Thomas bought in the hope of proving a point to a little kid named Rune. The 10-years-old-boy who genuinely believes he could win the jackpot by carefully picking up the good numbers even though the odds of winning are around one-hundred-seventy-five million to one! With that much money in hand, danger is now lurking in the horizon and before they know it, Allie and Thomas found themselves running for their lives. Will they get out of this life-threatening-chase alive?

I quite enjoyed the turbulent ride along with the gripping mixture of suspense and mystery. The characters’ development is definitely praiseworthy and now I’m genuinely looking forward to the T&A Agency with one of those logos “We don’t just solve mysteries & fight crimes, we also help people find things and if you have a question, we’ll have the answer”. In a nutshell, this book needs a sequel!

I would recommend this mystery to everyone seeking to embark on a thrilling race, not only against time but against all odds.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Poisoned Pen Press, and Annie Hogsett for sending me an ARC Copy of this amazing book!

Goodreads link: Too Lucky to Live

Amazon link: Too Lucky to Live