4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Young Adult

ARC Review | Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

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Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell 

Published: February 19, 2019

Publisher: Amberjack

Pages: 337

Genres: young adult, contemporary fiction, contemporary romance

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: books about bloggers and the internet life, fun but serious young adult novels, mother daughter dynamics

Foodie Vibes: candy corn and a Halloween movie to watch with your not yet boyfriend 

 

Synopsis: 

Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Amberjack, and Kara McDowell for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

Just for Clicks centers around Claire, Poppy – her twin sister, and their mother. Since they were little girls Claire and Poppy have been vlogging, blogging and doing all sorts of paid sponsorships for their mom’s online brand. The blog started as a way for their mom to share their family moments with friends and also allowed her to support herself and her family after her husband passed away. 

I like that the book explores how a well intentioned start can spiral a bit out of control if one doesn’t stop to reevaluate their life choices every so often. Also the contrast between Claire not enjoying the Internet fandom and Poppy loving it, allows for an interesting multifaceted look at the internet life a s career. Neither twin is wrong, just different. It’s nice to see that there’s not the good twin, bad twin dynamic going on. I also appreciated that communication played a big role in the story. Watching the characters learn how to communicate their needs to others was wonderful. And some of the revelations … let’s just say, it keeps things interesting!

There were very few moments that I didn’t enjoy. If I’m being very critical, then some of the miscommunications or non communications became almost annoying after awhile. 

But overall, I really enjoyed this fun upbeat look into the behind the scenes world of internet fame as a career. Complex relationships, relatable struggles and a whole lot of fun. Definitely recommend!

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

How do you deal with the downsides of blogging? 

 

Come say hi!

Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · mental health · non fiction · psychology · Self Help

ARC Review | Are u ok?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health by Kati Morton 

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Are u ok?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health by Kati Morton

Published: December 11, 2018

Publisher: De Capo Lifelong Books 

Pages: 256

Genres: non fiction, mental health, psychology, self help

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: improving yourself. greater access to mental health services, compassionate professionals

Foodie Vibes: healthy foods, for your specific health needs, that fuels your mind and body 

 

Synopsis:

A licensed marriage and family therapist and You Tube personality, Kati Morton answers the most commonly asked questions about mental health, including when to get help and where to find it.

Everyone struggles with mental health issues from time to time, but the greatest level of misunderstanding comes from knowing the difference between mental health and mental illness, figuring out whether we need professional help and, if so, how to find it. Are u ok? walks readers through the most commonly asked questions about mental health and the process of getting help. From finding the best therapist to navigating harmful and toxic relationships and everything in between, licensed marriage and family therapist and YouTube sensation Kati Morton clarifies and de-stigmatizes the struggles so many of us go through, and encourages readers to reach out for help. What are the red flags of a mental health issue? How do you go about making a first therapy appointment? How do you know if your therapist is a good fit for you? What are the best ways of talking about mental health with your family, friends and colleagues? There are so many questions and concerns, and in the down-to-earth, friendly tone that makes Kati Morton so popular on YouTube, Are u ok? informs and reminds us that we can get through the difficult times and we are never alone.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, De Capo Lifelong Books, and Kati Morton for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

Are u okay? is a comprehensive easy to understand book about the therapy process. The text includes information about what it is, explanations of acronyms, types of therapy, different professionals, what to expect with the actual therapy session, navigating insurance & payment, advocating for yourself and more. There’s even a quick bullet point summary of the vital information in the appendix. It’s a very approachable read. It’s great for someone who doesn’t know much about the therapy process or those looking to learn more about mental health. People who are familiar with therapy can still learn from the book, but some topics will already be known to them. 

I liked the writing style. It’s factual but informal to make those unsure about the therapy process feel comfortable. Also if you’ve watched Kati Morton’s videos on YouTube, her unique voice definitely carries over into her book. However, I can see where some people, possibly the older generation, might not be as comfortable with this more casual tone. 

Overall, I think there’s a lot of great information that can help a lot of people. Everyone can learn something from her book. A wonderful resource for people who are considering therapy or know someone considering therapy. 

Also definitely check out her YouTube channel for all things mental health. 

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

Kati Morton’s YouTube Channel 

 

 

 

 

Come say hi!

Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

4 Star Books · Book Reviews · fiction · mystery · Police Procedural · psychological thriller · suspense · thriller · Uncategorized

Perfect Girls by Alison James

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Perfect Girls by Alison James

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 333

Genres: thriller, mystery, psychological thriller, suspense, crime

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: twisted psychological thrillers, can’t get enough of them books, the horrors of modern day techonlogy

Foodie Vibes: tea and biscuits but beware …

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe. Tiffany. Melissa. They all made one little mistake…

When twenty-five-year-old Phoebe Stiles opens the door to her perfect apartment she doesn’t realise it’s the mistake that will kill her…

The body of the beautiful English girl is discovered months later – dumped behind the back of a department store. But who was the stranger she let into the safety of her home?

As Detective Rachel Prince pieces together the mystery surrounding Phoebe’s death, another young, blonde girl is found brutally murdered and abandoned in the grounds of an old theatre.

In the most dangerous case of her career, Rachel must track down the faceless individual to stop the body count rising. But to uncover the shocking truth, Rachel has to put herself at risk… can she catch the twisted killer, before they catch her?

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture, and Alison James for an ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Perfect Girls is a perfectly addictive novel. A psychological thriller that uses all of the modern day technology and social media advances to truly scare you. The author didn’t resort of cliches to make the book work. Definitely a unique and chilling novel. Perfect for a creepy Halloween read!

The detective from England ends up going to Hollywood to investigate the death of a young woman, who previously lived in her country. The local police wrap up the case quickly, but Rachel has some lingering doubts. Following her hunches, she crosses the country to investigate until she can figure out the truth. 

The book pulled me right in and captivated me throughout the whole read. I thought the premise and little details made for a unique, complex and intriguing story. The author was great at making me feel as if I was right there, especially with her descriptions of scent. Such little details, but they make the book that much better. 

The mystery was great. However the romance, which didn’t play much of a role, was kind of annoying. I could have done without it completely. Since it wasn’t featured much, it didn’t really bother me though. 

Overall, a phenomenal mystery that uses technology and social media to keep you guessing until the very end. 

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

Have you read this book yet? What did you think? 

Blogger Awards · Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Blogger Recognition Award

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A big heartfelt thank you to Laura Spoonie, who nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.

She runs an amazing blog, Laura Spoonie Blogs, about her journey through chronic illness, filled with content that inspires, educates and makes you feel a little less alone in the world. 

Definitely do yourself a favor and click here to check out her blog!

 

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The requirements for this award are as follows:

 

• Thank the blogger that nominated you

• Write a post to show your award

• Give a brief story of how your blog started

• Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers

• Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to

• Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them, and provide the link to the post you’ve created

 

__________________

 

My blog focuses mainly on books, along with other positive lifestyle content. Lately I’ve been making an effort to make it more well rounded and focus on quality content. Look out for Self Care Sundays and Friday Fun, coming soon … 

 

But onto the reason I started my blog.

 

I created my blog, because I felt I had something to contribute to the bookish community and the world. A unique voice that I hadn’t read in other blogs. Not that I’m some super special unicorn of a person. However, there’s so many unattainable lifestyle posts and I wanted to bring something a bit more realistic. Also I’ve found very few people who read the unique set of genres that I do. I was constantly having people tell me, on Twitter and Goodreads, that I was introducing them to books they hadn’t heard of before. So that’s when I knew I had a unique voice among book lovers.

I also am a lifelong learner and love sharing new information with others. A blog seemed like a great way to do just that! Blogging and instagramming is also a fun but goal directed creative outlet. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know so many wonderful like minded people since starting my blog earlier this year.

 

While I still consider myself a newish blogger … 

 

When does one consider themselves a seasoned blogger? … 

When you’ve put enough thyme into it? 

 

Okay, that was a bad cooking joke, but I’m kind of loving it anyways. 

 

Here’s my advice to new bloggers

 

1. Be yourself

The best content I’ve read is always authentic. Even if it’s a topic I’m not super interested in, the authenticity will always shine through, making the writing so much more captivating. There are so many blogs out there already, why not be yourself? Also I’ve found the writing process to be so much easier when I’m being authentic. And bonus, more people have commented, liked and in general been receptive to my most authentic, vulnerable posts. 

come in we re awesome sign
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

2. Interact with other bloggers and people in general

With so many people creating content, most people aren’t going to just stumble across your blog. Put yourself out there. Get on social media. Interact with other people. Type in a hashtag that related to your blog content. Comment on people’s photos, tweets, etc. Start a genuine discussion. Even if it doesn’t drive a ton of people to your blog, you’ll make some meaningful connections and have fun. That really is the most important part of blogging, anyways!

Also if you’re in a blogging slump, interacting with others might just pull you out of it.

 

group hand fist bump
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

 

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My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

 

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there, I wish I could nominate all of you. Here are just a few of the amazing people, whose content you should check out. Thanks for brightening up my day, lovelies. 

Jasmine’s Reading Blog 

Crazy Little Things

Thrifty Bibliophile

Tammy’s Reading Life 

Perpetual Fangirl

Sarah June

Swift Coffee 

Life Should Be Lit

For the Love of Books

Kook Bookery

Ruth In Revolt

Jill’s Book Blog 

Read with Allison

Reader Voracious 

The Past Due Review 

 

_________________

 

I hope you all learned a little more about me and my blogging story, motivations and goals. If you want to join me on my journey for lifelong learning, books, self care and some fun positivity sprinkled about, subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading this, all you lovelies. 

___________________________

 

Twitter: Follow @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

 

 

Thanks for reading. 

Peace and love, 

Amanda 

4.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · mental health · non fiction · Self Help

Gratitude for Happiness: How to Exercise Your Gratitude Muscles by Ged Cusack

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Gratitude for Happiness: How to Exercise Your Gratitude Muscles by Ged Cusack

Published: July 14, 2017

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 

Pages: 185

Genres: non fiction, self help, mental health

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: practical self help books, incorporating gratitude into your daily life

Foodie Vibes: a simple, easy to prepare, delicious meal of your choosing 

 

Synopsis:

If you’re ready to make Gratitude your habit and build your happiness, now is the time that you must read this book.Do you know that most of us focus more on what we haven’t got, than what we have got? 
Just by switching your attention and focusing on what you have got, you can attract more of the same.

Your gratitude muscles are like any other muscles, if they haven’t been used for a while they may need some warming up.

In this book you will find:

A simple process to help you flex your gratitude muscles and build a gratitude habit to enhance your happiness. Individual exercises at the end of each of the sixty sections, to help you build your own gratitude statements.   Four hundred and ninety sample gratitude statements (as guides) covering a wide spectrum of life, including:  Finance Relationships  Basic shelter

And much more: Three optional timeframes to develop your habit at your own pace. From steady progress or a set timetable to binge reading, you can decide.
Just reading a book isn’t going to provide you the benefits that you seek, so:  Read this book Work through the exercises Express your emotions for even the smallest gratitude’s  Be amazed by your results.

 

Review:

I won this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, the author and publisher for the ebook copy for review. As always, an honest review from me.

My rating is actually 4.5 stars, but since there aren’t half stars I round up.

Gratitude for Happiness is a combination self help book and workbook. The format goes like this: chapters arranges by topic, sub topics that delve deeper into each category of gratitudes, explanations of each gratitude, examples from the author’s life, and prompts for the reader to determine topic specific gratitudes in their own life.

The book is really user friendly. I have the ebook version and can easily write my gratitudes on a piece of paper. It doesn’t hamper my ability to complete the exercises by only having an ebook version. If you prefer to keep your gratitude work right next to the explanations themselves, consider purchasing the printed version so you can write directly in your book. I also like that the book helps guide each person to create a mega list of many gratitudes and then narrow them down to what’s most important to them. Very personal and unique! I read the whole book once through and am now going back to complete one gratitude exercise per day as suggested by the author. I really loved the examples in which the author reframes a negative thought into a positive one. It’s actually a technique taught in therapy and can be quite helpful to many.

Occasionally some of the author’s examples seemed a bit redundant and specific to him. If someone was struggling to figure out their own gratitudes in a particular section, they may or may not be helped by the author’s examples.

Overall, an extremely helpful book to practice gratitude in a purposeful way. I’ve already started recommending this book to family and friends, and want to purchase a physical copy for some.

 

How do you practice gratitude in your life? Journaling, gratitude lists, sharing on social media, prayer, others. Let’s encourage each other to find gratitude in our lives!

Bookish Posts · the BookTube-A-Thon

What I’ve Learned from the BookTube-A-Thon!

Most of you have probably heard of it, maybe even participated in the week long reading extravaganza. Last year was the first year that I had participated as a reader. For years I had seen things about the BookTube-A-Thon on social media and watched videos, but never joined in. Last year, I figured why not? It seems like fun!

 

I am so glad that I participated. With the BookTube-A-Thon coming up soon, I wanted to share with you all what I learned from my experience participating in last year’s BookTube-A-Thon.

 

  • The book community is so nice~ from comments on my bookish Instagram posts to encouragement to meet my reading goals and motivational memes during the late night reading sprints
  • Social media helps to bring like minded people together, and that’s a wonderful thing.
  • An honest, heartfelt, positive comment on someone’s photo that they’ve clearly spent time creating means a lot. Take the time to say nice things to fellow readers.
  • A week of reading and all things bookish is just plain awesome!
  • Reading challenges are fun, but it’s okay if you don’t complete them all.
  • I have way more time in my day than I originally thought. ~ I didn’t stop doing everything else in my normal day for the week. It’s about always having a book with you, and also making my free time into reading time.
  • I felt physically better that week than I had in a long time. There’s something to be said for focusing on fun, positive, relaxing activities for yourself. Ignore the negative people and do what you love! #LifeLesson
  • Audiobooks, graphic novels and children’s books are your best friend if you want to hit the 7 books in 7 days challenge.
  • Reach out to other people participating. Interacting with fellow readers is what it’s all about!
  • Have fun! Be silly! Don’t take it too seriously
  • To show my true personality ~ I’m fairly serious and plan out what I’m going to say about books, which is good when writing book reviews. But the BookTube-A-Thon Twitter sprints taught me to be fun, not think too much about what I’m posting and even silly at times.
  • It’s okay for me to take time for me! A week where it’s about me doing what I love, caring less about what other people think, and not putting their needs above my own.
  • It is possible to read 7 books in one week, but oh my goodness, I thought my brain might fall out of my head.

 

The BookTube-A-Thon and reading in general has taught me so much more than I thought was possible.

 

A big thank you to the BookTube-A-Thon, Ariel Bissett, and all the other people who work so hard to make the event possible.

 

How many of you are planning to participate in the BookTube-A-Thon this year?

 

What have you learned from the BookTube-A-Thon, the bookish community or reading in general?

 

Peace and love,

-Amanda