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review 2017-12-09 02:19
The Opposite Effect (Enigma Book 8) - Sh... The Opposite Effect (Enigma Book 8) - Shandi Boyes
I am a big fan of the enemies to lover’s trope—so when I discovered it would be the feature of The Opposite Effect by Shandi Boye I could not wait to dive into the story.  This is the eighth book in The Enigma series, however there is no need to read the previous books prior to reading this installment.
The Story
In this installment, readers are introduced to Brax Anderson and Carla McGregor. Brax is a tattoo artist and manager of Inked, the number one tattoo parlour in Ravenshoe. He is a self-claimed bachelor and does not intend to settle down. The only woman who owns a piece of his heart is his grandmother. No other woman has breached the walls surrounding his heart until the day Clara McGregor walked through the doors of Inked.
Clara is unlike any woman Brax has ever encountered. She sets his blood on fire; however, she had other things on her agenda, which did not include hooking up with a tattoo artist from a different side of the tracks.
It is said opposites attract, but Brax and Clara not only attract they also sizzled. These two together made for some laugh out loud moments. Their interaction was funny, entertaining and snarky. The story was easy to follow, and I enjoyed how the events unfolded.
There was a part of the story which I had an issue.  It had to do with the male protagonist's desire to keep mentioning a particular part of his anatomy throughout the story. If I did not know, better I would  believe it was a character. Every time Clara appeared, he saw it fit to mention its reaction to her. At first, I did not mind, but too much of one thing after a while can become intolerable.
The Characters
I enjoyed getting to know Brax. As the story was told solely from his POV, I had no trouble connecting with him. There were moments throughout the story when I felt he was speaking directly to me. I understood what made him tick. If you were to ask me, what kind of man is he my answer would be confident, sexy, protective and caring?
The words that first came to mind when I met Clara was snobbish and entitled.  Fortunately, she managed to redeem herself by the time the story concluded.  By this time, the words I would use to describe her were determined, sassy and proud. She challenged Brax and made him feel things no other woman was able to do.
Unfortunately. I never connected with her. I believe my disconnection stemmed from the fact I never felt her emotions throughout the course of the story. The author made it known she was down on her luck but I was not feeling her desperation. Clara was a mystery for most of the story. I did not understand why she was desperate for a job but owned expensive things. Everything I learnt about her I learned through Brax’s POV.  Her voice was silent throughout the story.
The secondary characters helped to make things interesting. They added to the fun moments in the story.
The Romance
I did not connect with the romance, which I contribute to me not connecting with one-half of the couple.  The issues I had with character growth, manifested itself in the development of the romance. Once again, I only got Brax’s perspective. I knew how Brax felt about Clara, but I had no idea how she felt.  While Brax’s feelings were demonstrated throughout the story, hers was told from his POV.
Despite my issues, I enjoyed The Opposite Effect, and I would read more from this author.
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review 2017-11-29 23:08
The Telomere Effect
The Telomere Effect: The New Science of ... The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger - Dr Elizabeth Blackburn,Dr Elissa Epel

Most of the guidance on living better wasn't new, but the science behind it was new for me and incredibly interesting. It made so much more sense of the standard lifestyle and health advice that I have felt a little bombarded by at times.
Let's be honest, we've all heard things like eating better and spending more time outside are so good for us to the point where it's almost annoying to hear again. At the same time, what makes this book stand out from all the random advice we're given from almost every form of media is that it provides concrete biological evidence as to why these effect us the way they do. Blackburn and Epel don't just say things like, eating sugar is bad because they have calories and calories makes us fat, but they breakdown the way sugars effect us in the short and long term and why some sugary foods are worse than others. They cite research and they specify what was accounted for within it. I don't often see things like what the control was asked to do or what factors were controlled for, like whether or not the researchers had accounted for whether a person smokes. These finer details really make the book stand out among those aiming to inspire people to live better. Their evidence is way more concrete than the random correlations that I've seen others talk about.

I enjoyed the "Renewal Labs" and the "Telomere Tips" at the end of each chapter where several ideas to help with each change were given and the way the authors stress that small changes are better to make in the beginning or just focusing on one thing to change rather than trying to make a radical lifestyle change. Add something or expand the change when it has become a new normal in life. That makes sense and we all know to do it, but the writing style really gives the reader permission to take things really slowly, as opposed to some other health books I've read before. They actively encouraged that the reader make the smaller changes rather than bigger ones that have been proven to not last in what seemed like countless cited studies. I also appreciated the way they had information on how long the effects of a short change lasted on the body and whether the longer term effect was good or bad.
Telomeres are interesting little things that give me some hope. I come from a family t hat is generally told we look younger than we are, so I didn't come into the book concerned for my healthspan. Honestly, it was one of the books I had chosen because Dr. Blackburn is a Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine for the very discovery of telomeres and telomerase (along with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak). I had no idea how all those things that lifestyle and health people tell you are actually connected to health and looking young but it makes sense now. Especially the looking young part.
After having read a few self-help and diet books on this sort of thing, it was helpful to get to this one. Honestly, I wish I could have just started here. It helps me wrap my head around what I need to do to make changes to know the how behind it all and not just get what seems to me like random associations. Shortening telomeres are more quantifiable than whether or not I feel better when I do something. It also made a whole lot more sense out of how and why you can have too much of a good thing that should make you healthier but really only makes you sicker.

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review 2017-10-21 02:16
Review: The Delphi Effect
The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker

I'll admit I snagged this one mostly on the strength of the author's name.  I've already read previous books by Rysa Walker, and very much enjoyed them.  From the blurb it sounds potentially interesting, but not particularly original.  But I trusted the author, and I'm glad I did.


Anna Morgan is a seventeen year old who is jaded by the foster care system.  She also has the ability to communicate with the dead.  However in this story her communication is facilitated by a dead person attaching him/herself to Anna inside her mind.  She calls them "hitchers". And typically it's one at a time.


At the beginning of the story Anna is playing host to Molly, a young girl who had been murdered and wants Anna to communicate with Molly's grandfather, a retired police officer, in order to provide him with information that will hopefully catch her killer.


But there's more going on here than a simple murder mystery.  Molly's murderer was tied to a much larger scheme involving kidnapping and experiments. And Anna's contact with Molly's grandfather brings her, and her gift, to the attention of this nefarious group.


Anna, along with her younger former foster brother Deo, are both in danger.  Along the way they do have some allies, including Anna's therapist and Molly's grandfather.


I'll admit the basic plot isn't terribly original, although I did really like how Anna's gift was handled and the way it worked.  But it's much better and more engaging that it may sound.  What takes what might have been well-worn ground in another's hands and turns it into an interesting story is Ms. Walker's skill in writing a well paced story with believable characters and likable protagonists.  


And while there are occasional hints of attraction between Anna and another character, it remains infrequent and very slow burn.  There's no insta-love or teen angsty romance here.  Something I very much appreciated.

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text 2017-10-19 20:57
Currently Reading: The Delphi Effect
The Delphi Effect (The Delphi Trilogy) - Rysa Walker
Timebound - Rysa Walker

I started listening to the audio version of "The Delphi Effect" yesterday and I'm enjoying it so far.

I previously read "Timebound" by the same author, and enjoyed it, so I was hopeful I'd enjoy this new one.  First in a trilogy, already have the next one ready to go thanks to Netgalley (official release is next week).


The premise isn't terribly original, girl in her late teens has the ability to communicate with ghosts.  Our MC Anna is latched onto by the ghost of a murdered girl and she wants Anna to communicate what she knows to the murdered girl's retired cop grandfather in order to catch her killer.


But it's interestingly written, and Anna is likeable.  There's also something else going on here, hints of a secret group, experiments and a powerful man. One that may have something to do with Anna's "gift" and may want to stop her.

Yeah, not terribly original, but still enjoyable.  Ms. Walker can write.

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