My Super-Compact Self-Care Script by Neeta Oza – Book Review

It’s always a pleasure to be asked to review Neeta’s books as they are always filled with positivity and motivation. My Super-Compact Self-Care Script is another beautiful addition to Neeta Oza’s A-Z Self Help Series. Neeta has a positive writing style which always leaves me feeling great after reading her short books, they leave me feeling empowered and ready to make a real change in my life.

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My Super-Compact Self-Care Script is filled with an A-Z to help guide you into practising good self-care, it is filled with great reminders that you are important as a person and that you must take good care of yourself to be the best version of yourself. This book managed to find me during a really rough time in my life and I am hoping I can use some of its guidance during this time. I feel as though I am impacted greatly by the advice and messages within this handbook and I will use them to help guide me on my own journey to practise good self-care.

I would highly recommend any of Neeta’s Self Help books as they are enlightening to an open and positive mindset. They are small, compact and easy to read, very easy to pick up and put down as many times as you want as are the rest of the books in this series. Neeta is a fitness instructor who works with the Mind Charity,  who has worked amongst many inspirational speakers such as Gary Vee.

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“O is for Open – Open your thoughts to new possibilities, close yourself off from anything you sense is not right for you, whilst staying focused on your aspirations.” – My Super-Compact Self-Care Script by Neeta Oza

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Purchase your copy of My Super-Compact Self-Care Script by Neeta Oza here. (Affiliate Link)

If you would like me to review your book or you are wanting to participate in an author interview, email me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com.

The Existence of Amy by Lena Grace Riva – Book Review

Here is my no-spoiler review of The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva. (4/5 stars)

The Existence of Amy follows the story of a young woman who seems to live the perfect life from the outside looking in. But inside Amy is dealing with undiagnosed mental health problems that are beginning to rule her life. They are affecting her ability to live, work and have a relationship with anyone.

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Amy loves her job and has a great relationship with her work collegues despite the fact that she cancels many of there plans due to her over excessive worrying over small tasks. Even riding the bus to work is a stressful expeirence for her, and at times it can all be very overwhelming leading to a downwards spiral. After fidning out one of her closest friends, Ed, is moving to Singapore with his wife. Amy finds herself on a bigger spiral than she’s ever expeirenced before.

I could relate a lot to Amy and the situation she has found herself in, she can still remember a happier time in her life and is wishing for that time to come back but isn’t quite sure whether that’s even possible. She has a fairly good support system available to her with her work collegues but she refuses to let them in and struggles alone. She finds it easier to block of the world than to ‘face the music’ which I can relate to.

There is no real drama in this book, other than Amy’s daily struggles with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Depression but it was fast paced and didn’t loose my attention once. This is the kind of book that you can enjoy in one sitting as it’s very easy to read or you could just pick up it up here and there without any issues of getting back into the story.

I do believe that The Existence of Amy gives a realistic example of what it is like to live with mental health problems and how much of your life they can affect and about how quickly thing can spiral. This book delves deep into Amy’s inner working’s with her OCD and her depression.You can really begin to understand how she feels about life and how she manages to try and cope with everything that is going on within her head. We can also witness her mental illness progressing during the book until the point where she needs someone else to interviene. I did find myself getting a bit emotional during certain parts of this novel as I felt I could truly understand how she felt during harder parts in her life.

I fond myself rooting for Amy as I wanted so deeply for her to find hapiness and to be able to overcome her barriers and I’m sure I won’t be alone in this feeling. I am left wanting to know what happens after the ending of this book and I can only hope that Amy’s life manages to improve to a state where she can regain what she felt she had lost and that she can continue to flourish.

I can’t really fault this book at all, it is well written and I enjoyed following Amy’s stories. I’d be interested in reading more of Lana’s books as this one was very easy to read and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

‘Hi Amy, how’s thing?’

‘Good thanks.’ I lie.

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You can buy your copy of The Existence of Amy here from Amazon. (Affiliate Link)

If you are an author wanting a book review or an interview dont hesitate to contact me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com so we can arrange something.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – Book Review

Here is my no-spoiler review of ‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell. (5/5 stars)

Back in July, I ordered myself ‘A Blind Date with A Book‘ and I was very surprised to receive Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Eleanor and Park.’ I was intrigued by the blurb and drawn to the beautiful cover art.

Eleanor and Park tells the story of two misfits who meet on the school bus. Eleanor has bright red hair, she is overweight and wears clothes that do not compliment her in any way. Park is half Korean and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the townspeople. Slowly they begin to bond over comic books and mixtapes, learning to love whilst falling in love. Eleanor and Park quickly become unseperable despite them both knowing nothing that first love’s almost never last.

Eleanor and Park is the first book I’ve read by Rainbow Rowell and I am in love with her writing style. This book was an absolute breeze to read and I hardly wanted to put it down, I was so captivated by Eleanor and Park and their love story. Eleanor and Park is written in the first person prespective from both Eleanor and Park’s I wasn’t crazy about the idea of reading another multiple-perspective book but Rowell has done a great job at showing us the inner thoughts of both Eleanor and Park. Eleanor hasn’t had the easiest of upbringings and her home life is still rather rough which does reflect in her personality and the way she acts with Park. She struggles to let him in and I think part of her is afraid to love him.

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There isn’t any massive drama or action in this novel and I think that’s what I loved about it, it was simply a realistic love story between two characters who you could truly relate to.  Despite the lack of drama, this book was in no way boring and it had me reeling for more. Eleanor and Park is set in the 1980s which made a nice change as most modern love stories I’ve read are set in our century,  I loved all of the 80’s references that were included in this novel as I am a fan of the ’80s despite being a 90’s child.

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I’m going to be honest, but I found it incredibly difficult to review this book as I can’t fault it in any way. It wasn’t cliche like many love stories and the characters are so unique, unlike most characters Park and Eleanor are not perfect and they are flawed. This book was a real breath of fresh air and I was completely blown away by it. I was looking forward to reading Eleanor and Park but it turned out to be much better than I expected it to be.

Without giving too much away, I have to say that the ending of this book has definitely taken my top spot of book endings! If you are looking for a short romance that leaves you reeling for more, Eleanor and Park is the book for you.

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You can buy your copy of Eleanor and Park here on Amazon. (Affiliate Link)

 

Time Travel by Roxanne San Jose – Book Review

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Time Travel by Roxanne San Jose follows the story of Angelie who manages to create a time machine which her boyfriend John accidentally used to travel into the year 1970. Without knowing a way to return to 2015, John starts to make a life for himself in when Angelie finds a way to travel herself back to get him. Can Angelie convince John to leave 1970 to return to their life back in 2015?

I loved Roxanne’s vision for this story and this is the first book I can recall reading which is about time travel so I don’t have anything to compare it to. There was a particular part of the story I loved which was when the characters travel to the year 3050, her vision of this future of our Earth was creative and I enjoyed exploring that vision. In the year 3050, we meet Max, an AI robot who travels into the past with Angelie and helps her find John. Max was probably my favourite character in the novel because I felt his role in the story was important as he helped many of the characters throughout and he seemed like a robot I would actually want to meet. (I’m not a massive robot fan after watching I. Robot and Sophia the robot terrifies me.)

I felt like the characters in the story did lack personalities, without this I felt I couldn’t connect with the characters. When reading, it felt like we skipped over any introductions straight into the action, but I half expected the action to slow down so we could get to know the characters a bit more but it just never happened.

I feel like this book has all the basis for a great story, it just needs some improvement in parts. I loved the concept and the storyline itself. I just feel like certain parts of the story could do with bulking up and building a bit more personality as well as setting the scene. With a few minor improvements, I feel like this could be a really good book especially for someone who likes sci-fi and futuristic worlds.

You can buy your copy of Time Travel by Roxanne San Jose on Amazon here. (Affiliate Link)

If you are an author wanting a book review or to participate in an author interview, don’t hesitate to contact me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com so we can work something out.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young – Book Review

Here is my no-spoiler review of The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young (4 / 5 stars)

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I’d like to start this post by saying a massive thank you to Titan Books for gifting me this copy in exchange an honest review. I instantly fell in love with the cover and the title of this novel, I was blown away by the mesmerising cover by Larry Rostant. I think this is definitely my favourite cover art that I’ve seen this year. I also loved the beautiful bag and runestone I received with my book. (pictured above)

“Augua ór tivar. Ljá mir sýn.”
“Eye of the gods. Give me sight.”

Tova is a Truthtongue, meaning she has the ability to cast the rune stones and read them. Ever since she was a child she has lived among the Svell, where she never felt at home. She’d always believed that her people had sacrificed her to the Gods and that the sea had carried her to the Svell. The Svell use Tova’s gift of reading the stones to tell them the fate of their clan as they bring themselves into a war that could change life as they know it. The leaders within the Svell are divided, some wish to maintain the peace whilst others are ready to go to war with allied clans.

Tova encounters Halvard who is the new chieftain of Nadhir, and they both seem familiar with each other but can’t quite recall why. Tova spares his life and starts to question her place among the Svell and whether she wants to execute their demands. Can Tova change the fate of the clans, and finally find herself a home?

‘War is easy. His words echoed in my mind,’

The Girl The Sea Gave Back is the new standalone novel in ‘The Sky in the Deep’ series and it is written from the first-person perspectives of both Halvard and Tova. It also has flashback chapters written in 3rd person.

Tova is an engrossing character and not just because of her ability to read runes. She comes across as quite emotionally cut off until much later in the novel. She’s been through a lot with her upbringing and living among the Svell who all don’t try to hide the fact she is unwanted and hated by them all. Tova is quite skilled with a bow and arrow and really reveals her true self after meeting Halvard.

Halvard is a character from Sky In The Deep who is part of Clan Nadhir, I didn’t fully understand his character or his backstory and I think this falls down to me not having read Sky In The Deep. I prefered reading from Tova’s P.O.V but I don’t think the story would have worked without his perspective. I just feel like I didn’t have much of an emotional attachment of any sort to his character and I’d expect one from one of the main characters. The flashback chapters helped reveal the history of both Tova and Halvard before the events of this novel, which is really helpful as not much is revealed otherwise.

‘I was flesh and blood. I had a face. And most importantly, I could die.’

The Girl The Sea Gave Back starts off very slow-paced and it did almost lose my attention a few times, about halfway through the novel the pace did speed up and it became a breeze to read. I did much prefer the second half of the novel, I just wish the entire novel had been like this. There just wasn’t as much action as I expected from this novel, I read a lot of reviews on Sky in The Deep in an attempt to get a feel of Adrienne’s writing in preparation for reading this book. The action that was included was thrilling and very descriptive which reminded me somewhat of Tolkien’s style of writing.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back was intriguing and I loved the rune stone aspect of the novel as I myself, love runes so it was nice to read a book that included them. I was hanging on the edge of my seat during one of the late battle scenes and I was blown away by the quality of the writing.

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I’ve added Sky In The Deep to my ‘to be read’ pile and I will hopefully have a review for that soon! I would recommend this book to anyone who is into YA Fantasy and people who are into the Viking Era. I look forward to reading more of Young’s writing and I think she is a promising addition to the YA genre.

‘Nothing was sure until death came.’

You can buy a copy of ‘The Girl The Sea Gave Back’ on Amazon here. (Affiliate Link)

If you are an author wanting me to review your book or wanting to participate in an Author Interview, don’t hesitate to contact me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com

Darker by E.L James – Book Review (Audiobook)

Here is my no-spoiler review of Darker by E.L James. ( 4/5 stars)

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Darker by E.L James is the re-telling of Fifty Shades Darker but told from Christian’s perspective, the sequel takes off from where Grey left off.

After Anastasia leaves, Christian finds himself more desperate than ever to get her back, even if it means living on her terms instead of his. Christian is still struggling to deal with his past which is affecting his ability to have a future with Ana. Can Christian be the man who Ana wants? Will his past continue to drive a wedge between them?

I thoroughly enjoyed this re-telling of ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and it followed on beautifully from Grey, I listened to the audible version of this to save time reading and I feel this could affect the way I review books because it’s a totally different experience from reading in my opinion. I have already read this story previously so this may also affect the way I have reviewed this novel as I am not going to be surprised by any of the contents of the book.

Although everything about this story is the exact same as Fifty Shades Darker, we get to know more about how those events affected Christian which is something that we didn’t get in the original. As well as that, we are also given small segments of Christian’s memories of his birth mother and of Elena his mother’s friend who introduced him to the BDSM lifestyle.  These small snippets really are useful to understanding Christian as a person and I didn’t feel like I understood him properly until I read these novels.

Darker dives deeper into some of the childhood trauma that Christian suffered and how Ana’s presence makes some of the pain go away. I feel like their love definitely blossoms in Darker as they stride away from the initial submissive relationship that they had planned. E.L James has the ability to write really erotic work as well as approach the more delicate subjects such as child abuse with sensitivity.

I really hope E.L James decides to write a re-telling of Fifty Shades Freed to complete this series. I mentioned in my review of Grey which you can read here, that I had a hard time choosing who’s perspective I prefer, but after re-reading Grey and Darker, I definitely choose Christian’s P.O.V.

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“Baby, you read me like one of your books; except I’m not the hero. I’ll never be the hero.” – Darker by E.L James

You can buy your copy of ‘Darker’ here. (Affiliate Link)

If you are an author wanting a book review or to participate in an author interview, don’t hesitate to contact me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com so we can work something out.

Fight Dirty by Emily Goodwin – Book Review

Here is my no-spoiler review of Fight Dirty by Emily Goodwin (5/5 stars)

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Fight Dirty is the next instalment of the Dawson Family Series by Emily Goodwin, it can be read as a standalone novel or as part of the series.

Fight Dirty is set after the events of Cheap Tricks (read the review here), Owen Dawson is known for his ‘love them and leave them’ attitude, his high school sweetheart Charlie was the only girl he ever wanted more with, but he pushed her away and has regretted it ever since.

Charlie is leaving New York to return to her hometown of Eastwood after a split with her fiance, after years apart, Charlie and Owen are reunited and neither of them can deny that they still have a connection. Will Charlie give Owen a second chance? Can Owen prove to Charlie that he has changed from the boy she needs in College?

Fight Dirty is another beautiful love story by Emily that’s so easy to read and fall in love with. Her characters are always well written and relatable. Owen can be quite immature at times and could be considered arrogant but besides that, he does deeply care for Charlie and I loved reading about them and how they interacted with one another.

Charlie is really down to Earth and seems to ground Owen’s wilder side which made the chemistry between them so magical and fascinating to read. Along with all the other pairings in the Dawson Family series, they really complete the family.

I wish Emily Goodwin’s novels were longer and I truly hope that we get a Dawson family novel that completes the series and ties of any loose ends as I am not ready to say goodbye to them just yet. If you are a fan of romance that’s fast-paced and a little bit cheesy, then Emily Goodwin’s books are for you!

Buy your copy of Fight Dirty on Amazon here. (Affiliate Link)

If you would like me to review your book or you are wanting to participate in an author interview, email me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com.