The Silent Patient: Alex Michaelides

Title: The Silent Patient

Author: Alex Michaelides

Publisher: Celadon Books

Pages: 323

Rating: 5/5

I’ve been wanting to read this book since we got it in at my job. The hype for this book is well-deserved. I simply could not put it down, it kept me on the edge of my seat. We meet psycho therapist Theo Farber who has an obsessive need to get closer to artist Alicia Berenson, and also, accused killer of her husband Gabriel Berenson. Since the murder of her husband, Alicia’s life spiraled out of control, On many occasions she has attempted suicide and has become silent; not talking with anyone. Theo started working at Grove mental health hospital. He needs to know why? When? Where? How? As he does his intensive search into her family and regular life, he starts to fall deeper into her life. But What you don’t know is that Theo has some deep dark secrets himself, secrets you the reader would’ve never thought were true.
Once you read a chapter you think you have the pieces connected, but the author throws you another curveball and it gives you the initative to keep reading more chapters. I would’ve finished this in one day if it weren’t for my adult responsibilities. I definitely recommend this book if you’re into thrillers and suspense.

PS- I’m in love with the feel of the pages and the font.

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Walmart: Diary of an Associate- Hugo Meunir

Title: Walmart: Diary of an Associate

Author: Hugo Meunir

Publisher: Fernwood Publishing

Pages: 184

Rating: 5/5

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

What can I say about this gigantic, soul snatching, awful place? Journalist Hugo Meunière went undercover as a employee for Walmart for 3 months in St. Leonard in Canada. Within these 3 months Hugo gives us an inside look of the tragedy that is working at Walmart. The constant talks about numbers in the morning meetings, the disrespectful customers who treated the employees like crap, the constant fear of retaliation if someone said something they were unhappy with. I can attest to these claims. I myself worked at Walmart for four years and it was the worst four years of my life. I started off as a back room associate and decided to go for an opened position of department manager for the men’s department and boy did they give me grief for that. They really made me feel like I couldn’t do it; they doubted me before I could even get a chance to prove myself. I finally got the position and they basically threw me into two departments without any training, didn’t explain anything to me. I had to rely on one of my co-workers who was a department manager to help me understand our normal 9am paper work that was printed for us. Everyday I would come in to see my department tossed around with everything plugged from the overnight associates not doing their jobs. I myself have had the displeasure of working months and months overnight to help prepare for the super center to open for our store and it was exhausting. Honestly, working with a company that’s a bunch of leeches that wouldn’t care about you if you dropped dead. Such was the case one Black Friday. If you’ve heard about Black Fridays tragedies, I’m sure you’ve heard of the one where an employee got trampled on and died because of it….yep…that was my store. And that was a couple years before I started working there, to that day they still hadn’t settled anything with the victims family. This is only the tip of the iceberg here. There was also a girl who committed suicide that worked there because she couldn’t take the pressure of her life and work. A cashier once had an epileptic attack and they didn’t call an ambulance until half hour later….one other example is a girl that was 8 months pregnant and they wanted her to stand her whole shift to answer phones. A few co-workers and myself went off on management because of this. Overall, I enjoyed this book because in reality he’s not lying about what he wrote, and there’s a lot of people out there that are skeptic of what people say about Walmart…if it’s true…and I’m here to say…yes…it’s true.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review of the book.

Prison Torture in America- Paul Singh

Title: Prison Torture in America

Author: Paul Singh

Publisher: Science Literacy Books

Pages: 490

Rating: 4/4

Paul Singh gives us an inside look at the atrocious conditions that some of these prisoners go through on a daily basis, as far as their health is concerned. He worked alongside 15 other prisoners to get their accounts on the extreme and disheartening conditions they suffered in the hands of prison staff, both guards and medical staff. Singh goes on to discuss and describe the many times prisoners put in requests to be seen as an emergency because of their medical conditions and the countless times they were ignored or given false promises of immediate medical attention. A lot of the times these conditions got even worse and a lot of them on the brink of death, if not already dead because of the neglectful conditions they were left in. I know it’s a touchy subject for some that prisoners get rights in prisons because obviously, a lot of people think that they should be punished and have EVERYTHING taken away from them. Sometimes I myself am on the fence about this topic at times. Now I will say, I have no sympathy nor support murderers, rapists, child abusers, or animal abusers point blank! I believe they deserve the worse, however, the other prisoners who have committed smaller crimes, that actually have a chance to go back out into the real world and rehabilitate themselves shouldn’t be denied proper medical care or other prisoner rights. Its pretty disgusting and mind boggling how prison officials make it their business to destroy documentation of these prisoners so they won’t get in trouble with the higher ups or them just plain being evil and devious. I believe these issues need to be addressed more, and more has to be done in this prisons to make sure everyone is getting their proper medication or at least something close to it. This book is an eye-opener and I recommend everyone to read it. 
I want to thank NetGalley for the opportunity of giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review on this book. Looking forward to my next read. 

January + February Wrap-up

Wow! These past two months have flown by really quickly. I’m really proud of myself because I have managed to read 13 books so far this year and it’s only Feb. That’s way more than I ready the whole entire year last year. I guess it helps too that I work at a bookstore and it feeds my addiction of purchasing new books. These are the books I’ve read so far. Not pictured are 5 more that are e-books.

These are the books I’v read:

January Titles

  1. Becoming- Michelle Obama…. 5/5
  2. Maid- Stephanie Land….5/5 (A.R.C)(e-book)
  3. 23/7: Kramet Reiter….3/5
  4. The House of Impossible Beauties- Joseph Cassara….5/5 (A.R.C)(e-book)

February Titles

5. Grief Sucks, and I just Want to Feel Better!- Stacey St. Holder….3/5 (e-book)

6. Getting Grief Right- Patrick O’Malley….3/5 (e-book)

7. I used to be The Sun- Valeria Eden….5/5

8. Selena’s Secret- Maria Celeste Arraras….3/5

9. The Girls at 17 Swann Street….5/5

10. I’ll Be There For You- Kelsey Miller….5/5 (e-book)

11. On The Come Up- Angie Thomas….5/5

12. Parkland- Dave Cullen….4/5

13. Prison Torture in America- Paul Singh….4/5 (A.R.C.)(e-book)

There you have it guys. I’m really excited to continue my reading journey for the rest of the year.

On The Come Up: Angie Thomas

Title: On the Come Up

Author: Angie Thomas

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 464

Rating: 5/5

Whewwww!!!
Allow me to regain my balance after having fallen off my chair from this amazing book!
I’m not just gassin’ it up either, this book was worth all the stars.

Bri is a 16 years old and misunderstood. Trying to steer from her father’s legacy, she tries to make a name for herself by trying to get into the rap game. Bri’s father was an underground rap legend name Lawless who unfortunately lost his life to the dangers of the street. Bri’s life isn’t exactly a fairy tale. Her mom was a drug addict who finally got the help she needed and was able to return to her children’s lives. Unfortunately, she lost her job due to the riot’s the previous year and the loss of money affected her church. After that her life is full of shutoff notices, trying to find food at food banks and walking with used and abused shoes. So she focuses on her rap battles and trying to make it with the help of her aunt Pooh. Even though Bri is a feisty, outspoken, and impulsive, she’s very bright and is fighting for a great cause and for the well-being of her family (her brother and mother can’t be the only ones trying to provide for her, besides they have dreams too) Of course, she has to go through a few scares and make a few life-changing decisions but, it’s all worth it for family. I don’t want to give away a lot from the book except that it’s worth it and really makes you realize a lot of things about issues that are important in today’s society. 

Just a few things:
I hate Supreme and the Crowns.
Long and Tate can go sit on spikes balls.
Mrs. Rhodes needs to stop being so dumb and naive.
Hype….oh Hype…Just to keep it PG…you suck!

An Open Letter to Thin People Who Feel Infringed on by Fat People on Airplanes

This made me a little sad. People can be so mean and judgmental.

Fluffy Kitten Party

You don’t know me, but I know you.

I see you glance at me over your magazine or phone at the gate. You cast your gaze downward when I meet it. “I hope I don’t get stuck next to her,” I imagine you thinking as you go back to scrolling through your social media feed. Maybe you tweet about me, the fat woman sitting across from you at the gate, whose hips can barely be contained by the generous seat. Maybe you text your thin friend, who will understand your anxiety about being seat next to me on the plane.

I wish I could tell you that I’m also terrified of being seated next to you. I’m afraid of how you’ll look at me, what you’ll say to me. I’m afraid that you might film me, film how my thighs struggle against the seat and invade your space, perhaps to…

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The Girls at 17 Swann Street- Yara Zgheib

Title: The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Author: Yara Zgheib

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

I borrowed this book from my job (because they’re that awesome) and I absolutely loved it. The Girls at 17 Swann Street was a perfectly written book about 7 young ladies who deal with physical and mentally exhausting eating disorders. All these young ladies are at a treatment facility because they need help. Some of them have heartfelt stories about their journey dealing with an eating disorder. This novel takes you on a emotional roller coaster and while I know Anna is dealing with a lot, at times she made me super frustrated and I just wanted to jump through the pages of the book and give her a little shake and tell her to realize what she’s doing to herself. Of course, that’s why the author wrote this a novel with such a controversial topic; to make those that don’t understand, understand. 

These girl’s stories made me so emotional and I really felt bad for all them, especially poor Valerie. Honestly that shocked me the most. I highly recommend everyone to read this book and hopefully you will learn as much as I did. It’s moments like this that I appreciate authors who can make you feel so many emotions while reading their writing.

Selena’s Secret- Maria Celeste Arraras

Title: Selena’s Secret

Author: Maria Celeste Arraras

Publisher: Atria Books

Pages: 240

Rating: 2/2

I was really excited to have purchased this book because it was about Selena. I haven’t read anything from her surprisingly and I thought this book was going to be really good considering that I was a big fan of Maria growing up. I started reading a few pages and instantly all my emotions and memories of Selena came rushing back. I was very disappointed to see that this book just ran around in circles and never really gave us what we wanted….TO KNOW THE DAMN SECRET! At times I felt like Maria was favoring Yolanda. In my head all I can think is how she could feel bad for someone that murdered in cold blood someone else? Especially someone like Selena. Granted I also learned a few things I didn’t know about the case, such as her relationship with the Doctor and her business dealings in Monterrey. I will agree though, I do not like Selena’s dad at all. To me he’s just a money hungry individual who likes to just make money off his dead daughters name, and basically wants to own rights to every single thing out there with Selena’s name on it. All in all, I really don’t recommend this book because the title is very misleading and there’s just too much running around in circles.

The House of Impossible Beauties- Joseph Cassara

Title: The House of Impossible Beauties

Author: Joseph Cassara

Publisher: Harpercollins

Pages: 416

Rating: 4/4

Joseph Cassara has created such an amazing story. This was my first LGBT book and I’m so glad I have it a chance because I will admit that it was starting slow for me. It was probably maybe also the fact that there were a lot of characters to keep up with. I was surprised to learn that this story pays homage to the House of XTravaganza back in the 80’s and 90’s. This proves I need to expand my horizons when it comes to books. If you read up on this fabulous place , you’ll realize they deal with the same issues as in The House of Impossible Beauties. It tells the story of young gay and transgendered characters that have to deal with with their everyday lives while at the same time deal with rejection from family members and strangers, self-identification, The virus, addiction, discrimination, murder, violence, and so on. Pretty much a real in depth look at the life of a sex worker and the trial and tribulations of life. 
Angel is a young queen fascinated by the glitz and glam of the drag scene. (she’s a sucker for some Dior) She loves to go shopping at the high end stores in manhattan and being around the Harlem ballroom scene. She eventually meets the legendary queen Dorian, and falls in love with Hector, a dancer. Since Angel has to deal with her toxic family and her trauma, she longs to be in a family full of unconditional love and overall have a tight knit relationship. This is also for people who also are looking for the same. Angel and Hector set up their own House and in come Daniel, Juanito, and Venus. Venus years to be with a rich man who can take care of her. She quickly learns how that can backfire. We also learn of the tragedies that hit the house including Hector’s. 

This book is full of a lot of emotions. I remember being on the train and being shocked towards the end of the book. I love a story that does that. I’m glad I picked this ARC up from work. Stepping out of your reading comfort zone is great. I remember being super excited because the author used a lot of Spanish phrases I’m familiar with.

23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement- Keramet Reiter

Title: 23/7: Pelican Bay and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement

Author: Keramet Reiter

Publisher: Yale University Press

Pages: 312

Rating: 3/5

I REALLY wanted to like this book, but it lacked a lot of content. Even though it gave you some background on how Pelican Bay and the SHU came about, I just felt it was too statistically out there. The author focused mainly on two individuals. While it gave you a little glimpse on the inside of what these prisoners have endured, I still wish she would’ve used more inmates’ personal experiences. This book does give you some great research ideas and does give you an idea of the life of a prisoner, but I wanted more. 

If you do want to read about Solitary Confinement and some perspectives from a few inmates, check out:

Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices of Solitary Confinement- Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd (no endorsement for this book)
I really feel like you get that more personal, in-depth look you want in the life of a solitary confinement prisoner. 

I really wanted to write more in this review, but there’s only so much you can write about something you didn’t really enjoy.