Blog Tour ARC Review: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman- Julietta Henderson

Title: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman

Author: Julietta Henderson

Publisher: Mira Books

Pages: 400

Rating: 5/5

When you’re twelve years old and your best friend dies life can be very hard. Norman Foreman loses his best friend Jax suddenly and he is left with a empty hole in his heart. Jax was an amazing kid. He was caring, outspoken, and he helped Norman come out of his shy and quiet shell. They had a five year plan set as a comedic duo. You see, Norman and Jax loved comedy and they made sure to always put on a show. Their dream was to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Even Sadie, Norman’s mom, misses Jax. Not only was he an amazing friend to her son, but he made her home lively with his presence, often getting into little schemes. Being a single mother, Sadie lost her dad (whom was also a comedian; not so successful though) a year before she had Norman. Her grief and heartbreak led her to questionable behavior, such as drinking and having one night stands. As a result, she doesn’t really know who Norman’s father could be. She often feels she’s not a great mother, considering she can’t do anything to get her son out of his misery. It doesn’t help either that her boss is a pain in the butt. After she spills all her woes on her co-worker, whom comes up with a plan to help Norman and Sadie look for his real father.

This book was simply amazing. It’s a story about friendship, love, family, and never giving up. The way Julietta brought the characters to life was refreshing and she really takes you on an adventure with all the different characters she brings aboard this road trip. Huge thanks to Mira books, NetGalley, and Harlequin for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Existence of Amy- Lana Grace Riva

Title: The Existence of Amy

Author: Lana Grace Riva

Publisher: Independently Published

Pages: 283

Rating: 5/5

Trigger Warning: 
OCD, Depression, Social Anxiety, Anxiety

‘The Existence of Amy’ does an amazing job showing you the everyday life and the stresses that Amy goes through. Amy has a full-time job, has her own home, and tries to maintain friendships. The thing is it’s hard for her to do all this and her friends have no idea the mental anguish she goes through everyday (Sally was just a horrible person; so entitled).

This book is one that most of us could relate to and the subject manner isn’t so heavy. It’s like you’re living whatever Amy is going through as if you’re in the present moment with her. The constant voice in the back of your mind, constantly tugging at you…trying to make your day a living nightmare. No matter how hard Amy tried to push these thoughts out of her mind..she just couldn’t. I really truly felt for her. I’m glad that she had at least sort of a friend in Ed. He seemed to be the only one who truly cared about her.

I think it’s safe to say that after reading this book, it’s so important to have a support system and learn to listen to people. I want to give a huge thank you to Lana Grace Riva for gifting me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I truly enjoyed it

Review: The Bullet Journal Method- Ryder Carroll

Title: The Bullet Journal Method

Author: Ryder Carroll

Publisher: Portfolio

Pages: 310

Rating: 2/5

I heard about this book when I was working at a Barnes and noble College bookstore. It was very popular with the kids, and I added it to my TBR list. I started Bullet journaling back in 2020. I started it mostly to keep up with my bookish things. Mostly Readathons. Now I’m using it to track my reading for the month. 

The ‘Bullet Journal Method’ is really for people who want to live a bland and organized life. I’m pretty sure the youtube videos you’ve been binge watching on BUJO spreads are doing a better job at giving you an idea of how you can use your journal. I mean if plain is your thing… then hey…this book is for you. 
The book started off good, but then everything was getting repetitive and too…how can I say?…self-helpy? It just really turned me off and I just wanted to speed through the book and finish it already so I didn’t have to DNF. It’s a total bummer I didn’t enjoy it.

ARC Review: Silence is a Sense- Layla Alammar

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!

Title: Silence Is a Sense

Author: Layla Alammar

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 5/5

‘Silence Is a Sense’ is a remarkable and thought provoking story of a young woman who fled her country, Syria, that is worn-torn. Currently she resides in the U.K. where she writes columns for a magazine under a false name, The Voiceless. With her writings, she shares her insights as a refugee asylum seeker. She suffers from PSTD from the violence that is shed throughout her country and in the process she has basically become mute. Her editor however, keeps probing for more material and more insight from The Voiceless. But, she’s hesitant on it.

She’s just trying to find her purpose and to try and blend in with the regular people in her neighborhood. Apart from writing for the column, she also likes to observe her neighbors, and what they’re up to everyday; harmless. When a terrible racial involved incident happens at the mosque in her neighborhood, she has to make a decision if she wants to continue being silent or if she’s going to stand up for what she believes in. 

Layla AlAmmar did such an amazing job telling this story. Her writing is pure poetry. It flows so well and she goes into a lot of detail. I will be definitely getting more of her work whenever available. Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

ARC Review: Honey Girl- Morgan Rogers

Title: Honey Girl

Author: Morgan Rogers

Publisher: Park Row Books

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

‘Honey Girl’ was just an amazing piece of literature. You must absolutely read it. It has definitely been moved to the pile of books I have that have left quite an impression on me. This book deals with so many issues that many of us have encountered in our 20’s. The feeling of what we’re going to do after we graduate. The constant pressure of not being good enough, especially with not so supportive parents. 

Grace Porter is 28 years old and has graduated and obtained her doctoral degree as an astronomer. Now she’s having a hard time finding a job due to the major systematic issues affecting her not only as a woman, but a black queer woman. It doesn’t help that she feels she needs to live up to her fathers expectations. Seriously, he was the most annoying person ever (I hate parents who can’t let their kids choose their own dreams). To try to get away from all the madness and her own thoughts, Grace goes on a girls trip to Vegas…and well…we all know what happens in Vegas. Grace wakes up the next day, hung over with no recollection of what happened…and…a wife! A wife she remembers as smelling like flowers and sea salt. 

Join Grace on her journey of self-discovering and lookin for the woman who stole her heart. I absolutely loved this book. It showed that it’s ok to not be perfect or have your crap together. I truly admired the tight knitted relationships shown in the book. What you’ll get from reading this book….f/f romance, black women romance, and mental health representation. Huge thanks to Harlequin, Park Row, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Pigeon-Blood Red- Ed Duncan

Title: Pigeon-Blood Red

Author: Ed Duncan

Publisher: Book Publicity Services

Pages: 204

Rating: 5/5

Pigeon-Blood Red was an emotionally and heart racing crime novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is my first Ed Duncan novel and I will say, I love his style of writing and I will definitely be reading more of his work. 

The story focuses on Rico, Rico is a hitman (the way I see it)for a Chicago gangster named Litvack. Litvack has asked Rico to hold a beautiful Pigeon-Blood Red necklace; worth a lot of money. After the necklace lands in the hands of someone who it doesn’t belong to, Rico has to figure out a way to get it back from the thief. Not only that, but he’s also dealing with another score he has to handle. Confused by everything and also dealing with his own personal issues, Rico soon realizes how things take a turn for the worse. 

It so happens more people get involved into Rico’s mess, and he’s given orders to take them out as well. Rico’s conscience gets the best of him and he starts questioning if this is all a big coincidence or is there something else going on? I do have to say that I was really invested in Rico. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in another book…who knows…we might get it. Huge thanks to Book Publicity Services and Ed Duncan for reaching out to gift me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

ARC Review: Black Girl, Call Home- Jasmine Mans

Title: Black Girl, Call Home

Author: Jasmine Mans

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 200

Rating: 5/5

What a beautiful collection of Poetry from Jasmine Mans. 
I’m a huge fan of poetry and lately I’ve been exposed to a lot of talented writers. 
This book is like an amazing magical elixir. 
The book touches on many subjects that are still important to this day. They included police brutality, mental health, being black in america, LGBTQ issues, rape culture, and many others. This book is one that you will definitely want to re-read over and over as each time you come back to revisit it, it will hit you differently.
Huge thanks to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

ARC Review: MS-13: Steven Dudley

Title: MS-13

Author: Steven Dudley

Publisher: Hanover Square Press

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

Steven Dudley did a great job writing this book. It was very informative and statistical. It also did a great job explaining how the formation of the gang began, the expansion. Dudley goes on to explain the deportation processes including under the Trump administration. 
The MS-13 is a dangerous gang who use a variety of tactics to instill fear in those who dare to come across their paths, or if they feel in some way disrespected…even if it’s their own members. Ms-13 has expanded to many parts of the world. It’s really incredible to see the number rise year after year. The focuses on some of the lives of the gang members. How they have to live in fear everyday of possibly getting killed by their own members. A sad reality whenever you join a gang. 
El Salvador is full of corruption, racism, violence, poverty, and immigration issues. It’s no wonder many seek refuge in other countries, and turn to violence themselves. I can’t imagine the level of anxiety the country has always been in. 

I believe this book should be used in all Social Sciences classes. Especially those focused on Criminal Justice classes.
Huge thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Blog Tour ARC Review:Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices- Masuma Ahuja

Title: Girlhood: Teens Around the World in Their Own Voices

Author: Masuma Ahuja

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 256

Rating: 5/5

I absolutely loved this book. What an amazing idea to give the platform to these young girls so they can share their aspirations, dreams, and hobbies. Often times we forget that there’s young women around the world that have dreams and plans for the future, but no way to get an education they aren’t allowed to. This book did an amazing job with telling you everyone’s different stories, while at the same time giving you true facts about the countries these young women come from and a background about their lives. The Diary entries provided by these young women show their day by day routines and their aspirations. Many of the girls started in one country and ended up at another. It’s just amazing to see how young women have so much potential and so many bright dreams for the future of their countries (especially when it comes to the women living in these countries). I think it’s so important to show all girls this book. It deals with a array of issues such as: mental health, sexuality, LGBTQ issues, human rights, and environmental issues.

I had a few favorites like: Alejandra from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Anna from Australia, Chanleakna from Phnom Penh, Cambodia/Australia, Claudie from Pongo Village, Vanuatu. It was just really refreshing to see and read about other young women. I cannot wait to see the finished book with all the colorful photos. I wish nothing but the best for these girls. Huge thanks to Algonquin Young Readers, Workman Pub, and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Below you’ll see a few snippets of the book:

Girlhood comes out February 9th, 2021 and will be available for purchase at:

Amazon|B&N|Books-a-Million

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ARC Review: All of My Friends Are Rich- Michael Sarais

Title: All of My Friends Are Rich

Author: Michael Sarais

Publisher: Cloudy Day Publishing

Pages: N/A

Rating: 5/5

TW/CW: Drug use, explicit sex scenes, alcohol, divorce

Ever since I saw this book on the authors Instagram I knew I just had to read it. Boy! was I right. I absolutely devoured this book. If I didn’t have to work, I’d probably would’ve finished it earlier. 
*Leo Cotton hasn’t had it easy lately. Entering into his 30’s he feels like a failure. He’s soon to be divorced, he’s at a crappy job he hates, and he hasn’t been in the mood to write. Not only that but, as a result of not taking his meds…his bipolar is acting up and he’s engaging in some rather questionable behavior. After his best friend Sara asks him to be her best man, Leo starts to worry about how he’s going to afford going and participating in this fabulous and rather expensive wedding. He starts to panic of course because Leo’s friends are rich. They don’t have to worry about their credit cards declining or worrying about when their next meal is. 

After freaking out about this new expense, Leo starts to lurk on the app Grindr. He starts to engage in activities that eventually lead him to spiral out of control. He starts realizing how he doesn’t want to lose all that’s near and dear to him, and he definitely doesn’t want to lose on the possibility of happiness again.

I have to say that Sarais did an absolutely amazing job capturing Leo’s character. Leo was such an amazing and complex character. There were so many moments I wanted to slap him and other times I wanted to reach out and hug him. This story did a great job shedding a spotlight on mental illness especially when it comes to being a male with mental illness. I love the LGBTQ representation and I’m also glad there were important issues addressed in the book that are were and still are prevalent in today’s society. Also, can we just appreciate the spiciness that is splashed between these pages? Mr. Sarais…..well done!. Overall, I absolutely loved this book and I will say that it’s definitely my favorite book of 2021 so far. Huge thanks to Michael for reaching out and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.