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review 2017-06-25 14:23
Review: The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso
The Bravest Thing - Laura Lascarso

 

Brilliant!! Loved this.

This book is still working through me. Some books will do that to me. They'll keep me thinking about it. So as a review I'll just leave some amazing quotes here;

Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is be honest with yourself about who you are and who you love.

 

Sometimes some people are bad for us. And Seth was toxic for Hiroku.

"There’s no air in the room when you’re around, no space in my mind for my own thoughts or will. You make me hate myself. And if you really love me as much as you say you do, why would you want that for me?”

~~ Hiroku about Seth

 

 

The two dragons inside me are always battling. One wants darkness and pain; the other wants goodness and light.

 

 

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review 2017-06-25 03:19
Book Review: Shadows On My Soul by Leigh Jarrett
Shadows On My Soul - Leigh Jarrett

First off, trigger warning - there's is on-page male on male rape in this book. Be aware. The blurb hints, but doesn't spell it out. It's thankfully not drawn out, and done with sensitivity toward the subject matter.

This was my first book by this author. I liked the complexity of the characters in this book, but they exasperated me as well.

Supposedly best friends as well as business partners, Justin has kept a huge secret from Derek, and Derek has a secret of his own. Neither of them has the emotional maturity to discuss things honestly and openly, and their relationship was highly dysfunctional. Even at the end, which is supposedly a HFN/HEA, I didn't believe they will make it. There was a ton of unnecessary drama that could have been avoided if Derek wasn't so emotionally stunted and hadn't make such stupid assumptions, and if Justin hadn't lied for so long. Both of them needed therapy after the trauma (Justin for being violated, and Derek for having seen the violation first hand) to help them cope, but neither got that.

Their inability to read each other's facial expressions and emotions also threw a big wrench into their relationship, so much so that it made no sense considering that they had been best friends since their high school days. They just didn't really seem to know each other at all.

In addition to this, the two of them are also apparently completely oblivious to how their friends perceive them - Justin pretends to be straight and not in love with Derek, and Derek has one-night-stands to distract himself from being in love with his supposedly straight, supposedly best friend, but to everyone around them, they appear to be a couple.

The writing itself was perfectly fine, but the characterizations and the constant back and forth drama between the two main characters who have lied to each other, by omission or directly, for years, in a story that was billed as a romance, didn't work for me.

YMMV.


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-06-24 21:17
Life in the country isn't always as boring as it seems...
A Second Harvest - Eli Easton

David Fisher's lived his life according to everyone else's dictates. His father and then a wife and two kids, following the beliefs of the Mennonite church. But now his wife's passed away, his kids are grown and off at school and David's all but turned away from the church. David finds himself really just going through the motions of running the family farm.  Every days basically the same until the day he meets his new neighbor, Christie Landon.

 

Christie's escaped the city after leading life in the fast lane for years. A friend's close call when he overdoses causes Christie to re-evaluate his life and head for the country where he plans to sort out things at his aunt's house that he's inherited upon her death. Christie's looking to slow down, regroup and re-evaluate his life until he meets his new neighbor, David.

 

David and Christie are total opposites on the surface. David's closeted. He's lived his life in Lancaster County never travelling anywhere or seeing anything of the world. He's dreamed of if...his collection of National Geographic magazines can attest to that. At 40 years old not only does it seem like his life is over...it never really got a chance to start. While at 30 years old, Christie's a college graduate, he's got a solid career as a graphic designer, he's partied, walked on the wild side, seen a bit of the world and reached a point where he just wants to put the brakes on.

 

Neither of these men are really looking for a relationship but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants and common sense doesn't really factor into it. 

 

I liked the slow burn on this one. Seeing David and Christie build their relationship over food and farm work. Watching as Christie slowly draws out David's awakening sexuality until David neither can nor wants to deny it.

 

I really liked both David and Christie. David for me was someone who was thoughtful,  strong and honorable. He stuck by his convictions regardless of how hard it was...when he was confronted by members of the church or his own children he didn't automatically do the easy thing and capitulate to what they wanted. While Christie was out and proud he was also a kind, caring and compassionate person. 

 

"A Second Harvest" had all the makings of an incredibly good story and while I enjoyed it.  It didn't make the same connection for me that other books by this author have. I'm honestly not entirely sure why this one didn't totally work for my but I do think at least part of that was due to the narration. I was fortunate to be able to listen to the audio book for 'A Second Harvest' which was narrated by Will Tulin, who is a new to me narrator and unfortunately for me this narrator just didn't quite work. His voices for the characters weren't the same as how I had imagined they would sound and I found this to be a bit distracting. While he did check off my basic checklist of 'what I look for' in an audio book, the voices just didn't work for me. So I have to caution that this is a very subjective opinion being expressed here. 

 

"A Second Harvest" is a story not just of two men discovering each other but themselves. Other than my issue with the audio, I'm not sure why this one didn't work for me...maybe it wasn't quite the type of story I was looking for at the time...who knows sometimes things work, sometimes they don't and this time was just ok and not 'howl at the moon awesome'.

 

********************

An audiobook of "A Second Harvest" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-24 14:50
Home School and First Aid
Acep First Aid Manual - Gina M. Piazza,American College of Emergency Physicians

At the beginning of this month, we were staying in Virginia in a hotel (we were visiting family) and on the last morning of our stay, the fire alarm went off and taught us that our Fire Plan was good for the house, but not for a 6 story hotel with fire alarms blaring at an ungodly hour ("I only recognize on 5 o'clock a day" Hawkeye from M*A*S*H) and the kids were just unable to function...they went on remote to the elevators with us yelling at them (to be heard over alarms) to come to the stairs and then to the nearest exit (they were headed for the main exit). We made a plan for traveling and have followed it since. 

 

So when I was at the library checking out books for my summer of books (I start planning school for next year over the summer) and I found this book. I remember that every time I go to get my certification from the Red Cross, there have been changes. Most things stay the same, but there are many things that are changed, so I think this book is going to be part of our school this year. 

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text 2017-06-24 13:32
Reading progress update: I've read 77%.
The Bravest Thing - Laura Lascarso

 

You don't get what you deserve.

You get what you think you deserve.

 

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