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review 2017-02-03 18:42
Caresaway Review
Caresaway - DJ Cockburn

  Wouldn’t it be great if we could cure depression? The automatic answer to that is yes for basically anyone that’s suffered from it. Depression is a soul-blackening, mind-numbing, emotion-pummeling destroyer of happiness. No one ever wants to be depressed. There are no positives that can be found in it. So the idea of being able to cure depression is fantastic, right? Well, in Caresaway, D.J. Cockburn takes a slightly different view on it.


What if one of the side effects from the pill that could cure depression was that it turned you into a psychopath? Well, first off, let’s be clear about what a psychopath is. Psychopaths aren’t necessarily mass murderers.  Key traits of psychopathy are a lack of empathy, not feeling guilt, selfishness, and the ability to charm the pants off other people to get what you want. (Did that make anyone in particular pop to mind? People with psychopathic tendencies aren’t as rare as you think they are.)  Look at who currently holds the highest electable office in the United States, and think about it for a second.


People with psychopathic tendencies make great businessmen, don’t they?  When you’re willing to do whatever you need to get ahead, no matter what the fallout is, you can go far in business. There are definitely people with psychopathic tendencies running companies around the world today. But, as in Caresaway, what if the secret got out? What if everyone who wanted to get ahead was willing to turn into a psychopath if it meant getting ahead in business?


Caresaway is an intriguing speculative fiction novel because it examines what this would mean on both a personal and worldwide level. It is told from the viewpoint of the man who created the drug. The creator suffered from depression himself. It’s interesting to watch his arc in this novelette and consider what decisions you might make if you were him.


Overall, Caresaway is a good read if you enjoy speculative fiction. It definitely made me sit back in my seat and think about the situation for a bit afterward.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review consideration.

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/caresaway-review
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review 2017-01-31 18:18
How to train as the #2 hero
Sidekicked - John David Anderson

I haven't read a large amount of middle grade fiction but I must say that I've really enjoyed John David Anderson's writing thus far. Sidekicked was a lot of fun and right after finishing it I added two more of Anderson's books to my TRL. The story revolves around Andrew "Drew" Macon Bean (admittedly a fantastic name) who is not your typical sidekick. His powers aren't the usual 'faster than light speed' or 'stronger than steel'. Nope. (I'm not going to reveal his powers because they are truly unusual and it'll be more fun for you to read it and found out for yourselves.) However, he is a typical nerdy kid just trying to make it through middle school unscathed. There's the usual pre-teen drama about who likes who and fitting in but on top of that is uncertainty about the safety of themselves, their families, and the town. Like Miss Bixby's Last Day, Anderson doesn't shy away from tough subjects. The drawbacks to having superpowers such as having to lie to one's parents, worrying about the mental health of one's mentor (the Super assigned to each Sidekick), and navigating adolescence are dealt with in a very loving, realistic way. Drew is a likable character and I think boys as well as girls will identify with him and become invested in his story. If you have kids in your life who are obsessed with superheroes but are not overly enthusiastic about reading maybe you could suggest that you read this one together. I have a feeling it will be a hit. :-) 9/10


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-12-27 17:37
I wasn't even that surprised
The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

I have to be honest...Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist was a bit of a letdown. When I saw that she'd come out with a book with excerpts from her diaries written during the making of Star Wars I was SO excited. The punny title, the front cover with that iconic hair, and the premise had me immediately adding it to my library hold list. It turns out that this is not a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat or makes you feel as if you've learned something monumental about the person who is writing the book. The book focuses on one subject and sticks to that ad nauseum throughout. And the worst thing was that it wasn't even that earth-shattering. For me, the best part was when Fisher talked about her relationship with the Star Wars franchise after so many years and how she's had to navigate the world of fandom. I always find that so interesting because for celebs it has to be like moving through an alien landscape. (Now that is a book I'd like to read.) Strangely enough, this experience hasn't deterred me from adding her other book, Wishful Drinking, to my TRL. Hopefully, that one will be on the blog in 2017. XD This one gets a 4/10.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-12-14 01:51
Lightning struck twice
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things - Jenny Lawson

I actually finished this book last week but as the site was down I'm taking the opportunity to post it now. :-)


I'm not entirely sure why it's taken my so long to read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. As I mentioned in the post where I reviewed Let's Pretend This Never Happened, I freaking LOVE Jenny Lawson and her writing. I actually picked this book up last year shortly after it came out but as with many things I was distracted and I only now got around to it. I adored it. Her debut novel is much like her blog where it's snippets of stories from her life (which is nothing short of eccentric and bizarre like her which is why I love her so much) mixed in with colorful anecdotes. Furiously Happy is a completely different kettle of fish. There are still tales of her life which are off-the-wall but the main focus of this book is Jenny's struggles with mental and physical illness and how she's decided to view it. Instead of seeing it as a dark cloud that obliterates all the joy from her life she has instead chosen to embrace all of the happy moments in between and LIVE THEM UP. Her joyousness and love of life is felt on every page. It's a fantastic pick me up. She takes the stigma of mental illness and throws it completely out of the window (making sure that it's wearing a funny sombrero on its way out). There's more taxidermy and of course arguments with Victor but the overarching theme is shining rays of light into the darkness of mental illness. I've already gotten one of my co-workers reading it and she said that from the first page she was hooked. That's two ringing endorsements, ya'll! This one is a 10/10 for sure and if you don't read it you'll surely regret it.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-12-13 22:54
Book Review of Hockey Karma (The Forever Friends Series) by Howard Shapiro. Illustrated by Andres Mossa
Hockey Karma (The Forever Friends Series) - Andres Mossa,Howard N. Shapiro

The highly anticipated sequel to the award winning “The Hockey Saint” taking place ten years after “Saint” ends. The legendary Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson, now thirty two, has been the world’s best hockey player over his fourteen year career because of his out of this world talent and his smart play. But he can’t stay on top forever, and when he starts making mistakes on the ice, his career and family life start to crumble.


At the same time, Tom Leonard, his agent and best friend, is completely overwhelmed by a project that he and Jake were supposed to be working on together. A project that could have a huge impact on people throughout their city in need of a helping hand. As Jake sinks deeper into a funk over his lost status due to his deteriorating play and the emergence of teammate and rookie phenom Barclay Pedersen, Tom realizes he’s on his own. At the same time he rediscovers someone from his past who he never thought he’d see again. In that burgeoning relationship, Tom discovers the importance of taking chances and starts to believe in himself.


Can Jake break out of his downward spiral and Tom finally find the courage to step out of Jake’s shadow?


Review 4*


I am not a huge reader of graphic novels. But, having previously read The Stereotypical Freaks by this author, when he contacted me and asked if I would be willing to read this graphic novel, I quickly agreed. He sent me a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.


Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson is a very troubled character. I felt for him as he dealt with issues that affect us at one time or another. Unfortunately, I didn't like him as much as I thought I would. Being a professional ice hockey player, he has had to deal with his fair share of injuries and pain. However, he is now faced with dealing with his potential replacement, who is a lot younger and eager to prove himself, which makes him jealous.


His best friend and agent, Tom Leonard, meanwhile, has problems of his own. I really liked him. He really wants to make a difference to the local community, but when he meets an old flame, he must decide whether to follow his head or his heart.


Because I hadn't read The Hockey Saint, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the story. However, I needn't have worried as it takes place ten years later. As I mentioned above, I am not a huge reader of graphic novels, nor am I a follower of ice hockey. I must admit that it took me a while to get into this story, as I am out of practice reading this genre of books, which includes comics. However, I enjoyed the story as it unfolded. The author has included a play list to listen to whilst reading this book. However, I didn't have any of these songs available to read to on hand, so persevered without them.


The illustrations are excellent and show the progression of the story; this made it easy for me to picture the scenes. I did find the story a little lacking dialogue wise, but this is because I am used to reading novels written in text, where the author has to use words to describe things in more detail and there is more interaction between characters. The story, once I got into it, gripped me and I found myself emotionally involved. I felt for Tom as he wrestled with his commitment to a community project and his love for an old flame. However, I didn't have the same emotional tug with Jake, even though he's going through a tough time himself. Maybe this is because, although I could empathize with him, I haven't been through the same problems he faced.


I congratulate Howard Shapiro on a fantastic tale that touched me deeply. Because this is a graphic novel, his writing style is difficult to judge but I would say it's evenly paced. The flow is also difficult to judge, though the illustrations made the scenes flow seamlessly.


Although I enjoyed reading Hockey Karma, I find that graphic novels are not my cup of tea. However, I highly recommend this book if you love reading them, or are an ice hockey/sports fan. - Lynn Worton

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