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review 2017-09-07 19:03
Amazing Book on Macrobiotics!
The Complete Macrobiotic Diet - Denny Waxman

I started reading Denny Waxman's book because I am interested in health and natural healing. I started by looking at his website when i was searching for a macrobiotic counselor. Then, I learned about his non-profit macrobiotics school the Strengthening Health Institute. Once I got there, i found the best macrobiotic book ever in the Complete Macrobiotic Diet book. 


The book itself was the easiest macrobiotic book that I have read and has so many ways to improve your health through easy to implement tips. He is all about adding instead of subtracting things to your diet and routine... such a great way to think about things!

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review 2017-09-02 06:04
Good Me. Bad Me.
Good Me Bad Me - Ali Land

By:  Ali Land


Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: 9/5/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  4 Stars  




UK author Ali Land has dedicated her new breakout psychological gripping thriller to mental nurses everywhere. In fact, it happened to be a conversation the author had with a teenage girl when she was working as a mental health nurse that sparked the idea for the book. 

Ultimately this became her chilling debut hit, GOOD ME BAD ME. An Interview with Ali Land 

Land, once a full-time nurse to a full-time writer. It seems her former career has inspired new talent in the area of mental health; crosses psychological thriller. This is one highly courageous debut novel, and can only imagine how difficult this was to write — as she delves into the disturbing mind of a teenage girl. 

Milly (Annie) tries so desperately to be good. However, is this possible? A strong contender for debut of the year! 

“ . . . The playground. That’s what she called it. Where the games were evil, and there was only ever one winner. When it wasn’t my turn, she made me watch. A peephole in the wall. Asked me afterward. What did you see, Annie? What did you see?” . . .

“Forgive me when I tell you it was me. It was me that told.”

Annie’s mother Ruth is a serial, killer. (Peter Pan Killer). Her mom kidnapped and murdered children.

Annie has finally turned over her mom to the authorities. She loves her but she must keep her from killing other children. 

Now she has a new family with a new name. Milly. This is her chance to start over. 

Or so she thinks . . .

A foster dad named Mike. A psychologist, an expert in trauma. His wife Saski and daughter Phoebe. (Phoebe is not so nice). Phoebe turns out to be a bully, making it more difficult for Milly. She turns others at school against her.

Milly has enough problems with the stress of her traumatic childhood, sexual abuse, the guilt of her mother and the damage she has inflicted on her daughter, plus the upcoming trial, and now this girl and this family. 

Plus, the voices in her head. The continued taunting voices from her mom. The lessons she taught her.

She curls up in the floor. She read once that people who are violent are hotheaded, while psychopaths are cold hearted. Hot and cold. Head and heart. But what if you come from a person who’s both? 

What happens then?




The person Milly wants to run from is also the person she wants to run to. Game on.

Milly has secrets. What is she hiding?

Will she ever be normal growing up with an abusive and murderous mother? Good or bad?

She wants desperately to do the right thing, but her mother’s voice urging her on to do bad things. A child groomed and sexualized from a very young age, now fifteen. She has to take the stand. 

“Good me. Bad me. Siamese twins inside of me at war.”

The upcoming trial and the dreams. Now another toxic home. What happens when the trial is over? Can Milly fit in anywhere? Maybe she thinks there may be no place. 

A skillfully woven plot, with an unreliable narrator, GOOD ME BAD ME is heart wrenching, engrossing, terrifying, disturbing and filled with horror, tension, and suspense. 

This unsettling yet gripping tale will keep you glued to the pages. The author does an outstanding job of portraying mental and physical damages and trauma to a young disturbed girl and its outcome… A struggle between good and evil. 

For fans of Ruth Ware, Candice Fox, Wendy Walker, Louise Jensen, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. (love the cover and the twisty conclusion).

A special thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/20/Good-Me-Bad-Me
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review 2017-08-31 16:25
Review: Words on Bathroom Walls
Words on Bathroom Walls - Julia Walton

I received a copy from Netgalley.


Never expected to get approved for this one and was quite surprised and pleased when I was. (I so rarely get approved by Random House). Really impressed with the book as well. (Always kind of makes me feel a bit guilty when I get approved for something by a publisher I don’t get approval from and then find I don’t like the book. Thankfully not the case this time.)


This novel tells the story of teenager Adam who suffers from schizophrenia. Adam has quite a unique personality, he knows he’s schizophrenic. He sees illusions, people who aren’t there but the interesting thing I found was while each of these illusions of his seem to have their own personalities and speak to him, he’s actually quite aware of the fact that these people aren’t real. They seem to be some form of emotion he can’t express.


The novel follows Adam as he struggles with his illness and a new experimental treatment drug and starting at a new private Catholic high school. Dealing with the bullies, the geek who winds up becoming a good friend and the girl he has a crush on who becomes a friend and something more.


The novel is told in diary entries through Adam’s therapy sessions – he refuses to speak to his therapist and writes down what’s been going on in his daily life. He’s got a brilliantly blunt tell it how it is attitude, and can be deliciously snarky. Added in some complicated family drama – dad not in picture, mom has new husband. The mom’s new husband was actually pretty decent if a bit dim. Though step dad’s mom was a nightmare.  Some interesting ideas on faith as well considering Adam attends a Catholic private school without being too preachy.


Quite realistically handled as well, I though. Some deep emotional turmoil, a sweet romantic storyline as well.  Well handled, without being sickly sweet, fair amount of drama, but not too over the top. Ups and downs, sad and funny. Likeable characters, believable parental involvement. A really good read.


Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children’s for approving my request to view the title.   

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review 2017-08-28 21:10
Don't Think the Book Knew What It Wanted to Be
The Devil in Silver - Victor LaValle

I am just as shocked that I found "The Devil in Silver" to be a three star read. This was a tough one for me to get through. I almost DNFed it at one point because I just found myself getting bored with this book. I think the reason why is that it started off as kind of a potential horror book that turned to thriller/mystery than a dialogue of sorts on how persons in our country are treated with mental health issues, to the current state of prejudice that exists in the U.S., to immigration, back to horror and back around again. I just kept waiting for an epic payoff and it didn't come. 


"The Devil in Silver" starts off with a man named "Pepper" being carted off by the police to the New Hyde Hospital. Pepper we find out got into a fight with off duty cops he dropped him off there by saying that he has to be crazy to be fighting the police. I would say though that this is where the story lost me. Pepper is a white guy, a big old white guy, but white. I just can't believe in New York City the police would be this blatant to do this to someone who is not a POC. But that's just me and my hashtag lizard truth talking right now.


I say this about Pepper though cause it took me a while to realize that Pepper was white. Like almost to the 60 percent point when someone mentions his hair and I realized wait, Pepper isn't black? And then I realized another character was black and I think for a second I went into a momentary state of what the hell? Did I read this before and forget? And then I had to go back and re-read chapters and then finally gave up.


Pepper we realize is a bit lost. He has a crush on a neighbor and thought he was helping her out and now is locked up for a mandatory 72 hour hold. No I don't know if this is legal or not, since LaValle did some research on this I am going to guess this is legal, but it does suck. 

And from there we start reading a book about the general everyday horrors of being in a psychiatric unit. I know that LaValle is trying to provoke a reaction to us as readers. And believe me I felt pity, anger, and just plain sorrow because of course I know and get this is probably a reality for a great deal of Americans out there. I am just puzzled to how horror fits in here. We get some peeks at horror with the talk of a "devil" roaming the unit and eating/killing people. But then we just shy away from that for pages and pages. 


I really think the book could have been tightened up a bit. And not going to lie, when we get to the second act so to speak, after Pepper and his merry crew confront the devil I lost interest in the story. I tried to struggle through this and finally just finished it in one seating the other day so I can get this over and done with.

If you are going to read LaValle, I suggest you read "The Ballad of Black Tom" or "The Changeling." This book seems to be a hybrid of a lot of different genres and didn't do any of them very well IMHO. 

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review 2017-08-28 00:37
The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane
The Night Guest - Fiona McFarlane

The Night Guest opens with elderly Ruth fearing she can hear and smell a tiger in her house--in Australia. One of the great pleasures of this book is its unreliable narrator, unreliable not because she's deceptive but because her mind isn't what it used to be and may be getting worse. Yet the phantom of the tiger presages what may be a real danger: the arrival of a woman named Frida who claims to be a government carer. Is she, or is she fleecing Ruth?


Ruth's narration leaves just enough room for the reader to come to their own conclusions about her and Frida. Some things are left diaphanous, but not so hazy as to cause confusion. On top of that, the prose is terrific: distinctive but not overbearingly poetic. McFarlane capture fine states of feeling or consciousness with her language and imagery. I really delighted in reading it.


Not so delightful is the nature of what's going on, or even the suspicion of it. My grandmother, who died a few years ago, suffered from dementia. She had an excellent aide, but my parents eventually had to put her in a nursing home close to where they live. Even the best of those places upset me, and it was hard for me to see my grandmother--the smartest person in my family--lose herself. This recent experience made it difficult to continue at times.


I also found myself thinking about Frida's race and physicality--she's a brown-skinned and heavyset woman. Ruth is tiny and was fair-haired. What's being said about Frida and race? I searched reviews and finally found one that addresses the issue by referencing the author's own explanation (in the Sydney Review of Books, here). This explanation satisfied me, though I'm still wondering about Frida's size.


Finally, it was lovely to see a bit of romance between Ruth and her almost-love from the past, who's even older than she is. A delicately handled rarity in literary fiction.

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