4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Chronic Illness/Disabilities · Essays · LGBTQIA+ Books · Medical · mental health · non fiction · psychology

ARC Book Review | Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People with Disabilities by Belo Miguel Cipriani

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Firsts: Coming of Age Stories by People With Disabilities by Belo Miguel Ciprani

Published: October 1, 2018

Publisher: Oleb Books

Pages: 228 

Genres: non fiction, essays, LGBTQIA+, chronic illness, mental health, disabilities 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: authentic stories told by real people, books about living with disability, representation in literature

Foodie Vibes: whatever you like, because each person is different

 

Synopsis:

Take a step back in time with some of the best writers with disabilities as they recount their first adventure, their first heartbreak, and the first time the unexpected treaded into their life. From body transformations to societal setbacks, to love affairs and family trauma, Firsts collects the most thought-provoking and exciting stories of our time by people with disabilities. Contributors include Nigel David Kelly, Kimberly Gerry-Tucker, Caitlin Hernandez, Andrew Gurza, and David-Elijah Nahmod.

 

Review: 

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Oleb Books and Belo Miguel Ciprani for an ARC ebook copy. As always, an honest review from me.

Firsts is a collection of essays written by different people with disabilities, so that people with disabilities could accurately see themselves represented in the media. I don’t have a disability myself, so my thoughts on the book come from an able bodies point of view.

Each essay has a different author and therefore a different voice. Certain essays captivated me more than others, but I enjoyed and learned from each person’s experiences. Overall the writing is wonderful. I love that the book is a compilation of authentic life experiences written by and for people with disabilities. After reading certain essays, I wanted to seek out additional written work by the authors. 

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · mystery · psychological thriller · suspense

ARC Book Review | The Secret by KL Slater

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Scroll down to the bottom of the review for a fun bonus question. I would love to hear your answers!

 

The Secret by KL Slater

Published: July 27, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: — doesn’t list (Kindle)

Genres: psychological thriller, suspense, mystery

Rating: 4.5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: psychological thrillers, characters with a chronic illness or disability, family drama

Read with food: tea and popcorn ~ tea to relax and popcorn because its like a movie that you can’t stop watching

 

Synopsis:

You turn your back for a minute. And now your son is in terrible danger …

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and KL Slater for an ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

Captivating! Terrifying, in a good way! Can’t stop reading!

The Secret is a book that many people will be talking about for awhile. While taking notes for my book review, I must have written down “can’t stop reading” at least 5 times. There’s not just one good aspect, but various sort of random bits that I loved. So here we go:

– Alice! (the main character) She’s sweet, caring, concerned, the kind of honest person you’d want in your life.
– Chronic pain is represented well in the book. #ChronicIllnessWarrior #ChronicPain
– Sister relationships as adults ~ very authentic
– the suspense – I can’t say too much more without giving it away . . . but read the book!
– Alice’s relationship with her young nephew gives you hope.

There were very few parts of the book that I didn’t like. However the ending felt rushed to me. There was maybe 10% of the book left, and so many storylines to wrap up. I wish it was a bit longer to do justice for all the storylines.

And of course there are a lot of love to hate characters that make the book absolutely work. Sometimes I wanted to scream at them. But that’s more the mark of a great book.

So overall, I really enjoyed The Secret by KL Slater. Pick it up for a can’t put down read!

 

Random Question of the Review:

What book genre can you not get enough of?

5 Star Books · Book Reviews

Book Review: Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme disease by Yolanda Hadid

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Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme disease by Yolanda Hadid

Published by: St. Martin’s Press on September 12, 2017

Pages: 288

Genres: memoir, autobiography, health

Rating: 5 stars

Recommend to: people living with chronic illness, caregivers, really almost anyone 

Read with food: watermelon, aloe and honey slush to nourish your body with a tasty treat 

 

Synopsis:

From the star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills comes an emotional and eye opening behind-the-scenes look at her descent into uncovering the mystery of chronic Lyme disease.

In early 2011, just before her wedding to David Foster, Yolanda fell ill. From an outspoken, multi-tasking social butterfly she became trapped in a paralyzing mental cocoon. She suffered from severe debilitating fatigue, migraines, joint pain, anxiety, insomnia, Bell’s palsy, tremors, muscle weakness, severe brain fog, word retrieval difficulty, memory loss and intermittent loss of eyesight. As a diehard health fanatic, Yolanda always knew she had an infection in her brain, but due to the lack of proper diagnostic testing she landed in a dark maze of medical establishments that were quick to treat her symptoms but without clear answers to the cause. She fought tirelessly and traveled the world to find an answer; her determination left no stone unturned. Her perfect marriage became strained and let to divorce; but the strong bond with her children Gigi, Bella and Anwar was her motivation to fight through the darkest days of her life.

After a year of searching, discharged by Cedars Sinai with a chronic fatigue label, Yolanda Hadid was finally diagnosed with chronic neurological Lyme disease. She was honest, unapologetic, and raw in how she shared her battle with Lyme disease on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and her social media outlets. She received thousands of e-mails and letters, and met families who were suffering, lost, and scared, throughout her journey. She calls, gives advice, and lends support whenever she can to share her words of wisdom and hope.

In her book, Yolanda shares details of the western and holistic treatments she has done over the past five years, lab results, intimate details of her personal diary; her spiritual growth; the trials and tribulations regarding the stigma around chronic Lyme disease, how her relationships on camera and off have been affected by her illness; and how she uncovered the mystery of her own chronic disease through research, hard work and in a matter of fact and systematic fashion.

Review:

Let me start by saying this: I always have a blank sheet of paper as my bookmark to jot down notes as I read, to refer back to later while writing my book reviews. I didn’t write down any notes for this book. Not one! That wasn’t on purpose. I was completely engrossed in Believe Me, and forgot to do anything but read.

I’ve never watched the Real Housewives franchise, so I wasn’t coming into this book as a fan of the show. But I left this reading experience as a fan of Yolanda Hadid. Her strength, courage, tenacity, and kindness in the face of a very difficult chronic illness is inspiring. I learned so much about her journey and battle for health. She embraces conventional and unconventional medical treatments, doing her research to find out what may help her. I learned so much from this book, and I can’t recommend it enough. 

The only slight downfall that I should mention is that Yolanda had a lot of unconventional, untested by the FDA treatments, that cost a lot of money. I hope that people don’t randomly think to try all the treatments without extensive research and guidance by a health care provider. She does warm about this multiple times throughout. 

Believe Me is a book I will be thinking about for a long time.