eARC Book Review: Time in a Bottle by Kathleen D. Tresemer 

Time in a Bottle

Goodreads Synopsis

Beth Frye wants what we all want: to be accepted, maybe even cool. But high school’s tough for a music geek.
Things start looking up when she discovers vodka. It gives her cool friends, a gorgeous guy, and the chance to perform in NYC: all her dreams are coming true.
But, as her drinking addiction gets worse, things get complicated. She ends up in the hospital, someone is stalking her, twin brother Teddy’s trying to fix her, and that cop keeps hanging around.
Get some help? No thanks. Beth just wants what she wants, when she wants it!
The book includes helpful resources and discussion questions.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking, Assault, Rape, Being drugged, Underage Sex, Rehabilitation, Relapses, Near-death experiences, Attempted murder.

**When a book is not categorised as Fantasy that automatically includes the more dangerous and scary stuff…all Trigger Warnings apply.

When I requested this book, I had no idea that it was going to be focused on such heavy topics. Apart from the alcoholism…but that was in the synopsis. I feel like this book was so much more than what we were promised and that it encompassed everything. Nothing was sugar-coated.

Beth and Teddy are twins, brother and sister, and they have a system that they work with. Beth needs help and Teddy’s there, rushing in, ready to save the day. This works, until it doesn’t anymore. Beth enters this spiral that leads her further down a hole and she can’t pull herself back out mainly because she doesn’t realise how deep in she’s fallen.

I’ll admit that at the beginning, I didn’t like Beth. There was no love lost there and I wondered if I should even feel sorry for her. Her attitude was not something that I was a fan of. She was extremely rude and bitchy and didn’t regarded anyone’s feelings in any way, shape or form. She barely cared about herself. This story was told from two sides, Beth and Teddy’s. I liked that we saw how she thought nothing was wrong, and then through Teddy’s eyes, you saw how things were slowly falling apart.

I feel that this book greatly showcased what substance abusers do to their loved ones. Maybe it’s not on purpose, but who’s behind them? Either trying to help or unknowingly making things worse. Something I read a while ago talked about funerals and about how they’re not for the person who died, they’re for the family and people they left behind. To help them cope. To give them some sense of peace. I think it’s similar for the people in this book. What they do, or what happens to them, doesn’t just affect them only.

I was shocked the further I got into this book because as I said, I wasn’t expecting it to be so heavy. Would I have still read it knowing what it entailed? Honestly I don’t know. This is why Trigger Warnings are important. I think they would’ve played a part in my choice.

I’ve had this book sitting in my Kindle App for months and I was reluctant to read it. I forgot why I had requested it and I didn’t see the sense in reading it. I do think that the stuff mentioned in this book is very important and it could help a lot of people out there, so there is a silver lining to all this. Sort of.

I do like the way the author went about this book. Nothing seemed too forced and everything was done in stages. I liked that the book was separated in parts by why of months. It helped with keeping track of the time frame. At the start of each part, the author included a quote that related well to what was going on in the story at the time.

I try to stay away from books like this only because I never know how to feel when I’m done with them. I have to admit that realistic stories of this kind are way too scary for me to frequent.

I did really like the book though. My lower rating is because of the lack of overall warning of what this book contained and the fact that the book was on the shorter side but had chapters that were 2 pages long. That’s a bit of a peeve for me so I wasn’t a fan. Really great style from the author and I think she covered just about everything.

Read: 18 May 2017
Rating: ★★★.5

Publication Date: 19 June 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire PRess
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kathleen D. Tresemer

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: Then Comes Love by Lindsay Detwiler

Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

Three generations of women,
Three second loves,
All with a dose of chaos mixed in.

Sometimes in life, changes can be good…

After losing her husband, her five cats, and her home, Charlotte Noel hates feeling dependent. As Charlotte tries to find her identity in this new stage of life, she comes to realize that drama never ends, dance aerobics can be a war zone, and love is always a possibility.

You never know when a midlife crisis is going to strike…

Charlotte’s daughter, Annie, is going through struggles of her own. Recently divorced, she is feeling frumpy and worn-out. Run ragged, Annie mourns her youth and wonders where her life is headed, all while hoping she can help her daughter Amelia get it together.

Settling down can be overrated, especially when you’re falling for a rock star look-alike…

Amelia is the wild child of the family. Working three jobs, because she just hasn’t figured out what she wants in life, she realizes happiness isn’t always settling down with a steady, dependable man; sometimes it’s about following your true passion and living on the edge.

No matter what age you are, life and love can be crazy…


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

By the title alone I wanted to steer clear of this book because I could sense what was coming. I’m rarely in the mood for a romance novel and I’d forgotten why I’d requested this book in the first place. I’m glad I did though because this is so much more than a mere romance novel.

We are introduced to three generations of women: Charlotte, the eighty-one year old discovering that just because she’s old, it doesn’t mean that her life has to be over. Annie, a fifty year old who has to reinvent herself after the love of her life walks out on her. And of course, Amelia, the thirty-two year old who’s eccentric and devil-may-care behaviour is trying to lead her to the path of fulfilment but the idea of ‘safety’ leads her in a different direction.

First thing’s first, this book did not read like a romance novel. It was more humour than anything else. I found myself laughing only a few pages in and by then I was pretty sure that I was going to enjoy this book. And I did.

Charlotte’s character was possibly my favourite out of the three women. I have no idea what it feels like to be eighty but this woman did not read like an eighty year old. I kept having to remind myself of her age because the story ran away with me. I think that was a bit different though and I liked that about the book. By doing that, making the characters seem younger, she opened up the book to all ages.

I feel like the main message in this book was: stop running. These characters were so scared to face the music that they kept running away but once they stopped and took a moment to take everything in, new paths opened up for them.

“Sometimes love changed everything. Sometimes love came when you least expected it. Sometimes you gave up on life, gave up on finding out who you were supposed to be.

And then, when you’d forgotten what it felt like, when you’d dismissed the ideal entirely… then, well… then came love.”

Lindsay Detwiler’s writing was superb and extremely fast paced. I sat myself down and finished the book in no time. She really has a way with pulling you into the story and holding your attention up till the very end.

I’m not saying that this book opened up the way for romance novels for me but I’ll definitely be reading more of this author’s work. That was a nice break from the ‘serious’ books I’ve been reading. If you’re looking for a light read that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy in the end, this is what you need.

Read: 11 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 18 March 2016
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Lindsay Detwiler

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eBook Review: The Nightingale Circus by Ioana Visan

25289872Goodreads Synopsis

Don’t be shy and come inside! The Nightingale is waiting to take flight!

Welcome to The Nightingale Circus! Listen to the singer with an enchanting voice. Watch the knife throwers who are also prosthetic builders. Here is a telecharger on the run and a ballerina with no lungs. There is a broken pole dancer and an Asian bot. You’ll be amazed by a regular girl who becomes exquisite and frightening at the same time.

They’re better known as the famous Nightingale, the Blade Masters, the Magician, the Swan, the Firebird, the Rocket Girl, and the Golden Lady.

They are all waiting to tell you their story about how they came to the circus and why they stayed.

This is a companion short story collection to Broken People.


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Nightingale Circus is a companion novella to Broken People. It focuses on the backgrounds of the different people who also make up the main acts of the circus.

We have Cielo, whose voice touches your soul and ends up trapping you in this web and you find yourself never wanting to part from it. Rake and Spinner are the Blade Throwers, so enhanced that they are almost indestructible. Nicholas’ power is…I need to go a bit deeper into that because I feel like there’s more to him than meets the eye.

There are a few other characters whose history we take a look at, see how they were inducted into the circus. The amount of time it took me to get to this book was way too long. Ioana Visan does it again! She’s definitely one of my Top 5 favourite authors. She never disappoints.

This was an extremely quick read and I enjoyed every page. I always manage to get swept away with Ioana Visan’s writing. I definitely want to read Broken People and be reunited with these amazing characters. I feel like even though Big Dino has a certain idea of who he admits as circus acts, it’s like he specifically finds people who won’t fit in where the outside world is concerned. People who are different…he gives them a home and keeps them safe.

I’m totally intrigued by the plot, the writing, the characters. Everything really. This is a novella of course, and while it doesn’t read like a full length novel, it certainly makes you curious enough to want to know what happens next. There was absolutely nothing I disliked about this book.

Read: 8 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 1 November 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Ioana Visan

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communications, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information

Goodreads Synopsis

In 2014, author and photographer Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate.com called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. Since then, Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like. The nearly 220 librarians photographed also share their personal thoughts on what it means to be a librarian. This is What A Librarian Looks Like also includes original essay by some of our most beloved writers, journalists, and commentators including Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Paula Poundstone, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Jeff VanderMeer, John Scalzi, Sara Farizan, Amy Dickinson, and others. Cassidy also profiles a handful of especially influential librarians and libraries.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I took way longer than necessary to finish this book. What attracted me to this book was the fact that it celebrated Libraries and Librarians and I’d never seen a  book like this before so I wanted to find out what these Librarians said about the profession I want to go into one day.

Kyle Cassidy put together pictures, quotes, conversations with authors (I only recognised two- Neil Gaiman and G.R.R. Martin) and stories from different people about how the library shaped or changed their life. Many of these stories spoke about the library being this fantastical place that you walk past everyday but you don’t notice it unless 1. you’re looking for it or 2. you’re lost and just happened to find yourself at the doors.

I feel like Cassidy did this book justice. He worked years on it to make it what it is and I’m honestly very impressed with it. I’m not sure if I’d ever read this book again but I want to own a hardcopy of it so it can be on display in my personal library. If people ask me what’s so great about libraries, why be a librarian? I’d like to give them this book as an answer and explanation all in one.

One of my favourite quotes in this book is pictured below:

Screen Shot 2017-05-01 at 11.55.44 PM.png

Susan K. McClelland says: “Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords! We are ever vigilant, curious, intelligent, and kind. Libraries are the banners that we carry proudly into the fray! Forward, ever forward!”

I like that. I love that she says librarians are warriors. I want to be a warrior princess one day too. Imagine if my kids went to school and on career day they ask them what their mom is and they reply: a warrior princess.

As I read each page of this book I found out so much I didn’t know. I learnt with each new story and I felt this huge surge of pride rush through me because this! This is what I aspire to become one day. I want to pass on the fact that knowledge is power, knowledge can be found in books and libraries hold more than just those books. The amount of things that libraries and librarians do for us is so widely spread that you won’t know what you have until it’s not there anymore.

G.R.R. Martin on why certain characters (in his books) appear to be around libraries more than others: “Well, Tyrion in particular says that books are a weapon. As a sword needs a whetstone to keep it sharp, a mind needs books, and his mind is his weapon. He has no physical prowess in a world that values and esteems physical prowess above all, so he has to fight the knights and the lords with his mind. And books are a way to keep the mind sharp, keep the mind flexible, test yourself against other voices, other ideas, and learn things. Because you ever know what you’re going to need to know in some future time.”

This book made me want to visit my childhood library and hug all the librarians and thank them for existing. I hope that one day I can be even a small fraction of what they are. Thank you librarians!

Read: 5 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 16 May 2017
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Kyle Cassidy
Editor: Ronald Rice
Foreword: Richard Russo
Afterword: Emily St. John Mandel

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

Book Review: The Power of the Unseen by Marcel Borgi

The Power of the UnseenGoodreads Synopsis

When you finally depart this existence for what comes next, how would you like to be remembered? For Marcel Borgi, the answer was one that would change his life forever. Lacking the funds to leave a large inheritance or the free time to volunteer, Borgi soon became fixated on one particular goal: he would be the guy who spent every moment of every day happy-all the time and with no exceptions.

In his dedicated pursuit of happiness, Borgi did more than discover the power of positivity. In fact, he discovered an entirely different world. Though technically the same as the world we are used to, this new world is experienced through a lens of knowledge and awareness, injecting every moment with newfound joy and meaning.

With a foreword by Mars Venus Coaching global network CEO Richard Bernstein, “The Power of the Unseen” is your front-row seat to Borgi’s life-altering journey. Learn to leave the “yester-world” of fear and stress behind for a new world of enlightenment, peace, and joy-and discover your own “today-world” along the way.


I received this book from the author through Goodreads First Reads

‘A book for believers or non-believers- and one that definitely targets those who believe that there is something more to life, or whatever goes beyond.’ ~ Marie-Christine Tayah

I’m not one to read books that focus on religion or spirituality, they’re just not my cup of tea, but I was drawn to this book because of a line in the synopsis. ‘-he would be the guy who spent every moment of every day happy-all the time and with no exceptions.’ A book that focuses on being happy? Yes please, I’m sold.

I have read other reviews for this book and many, if not most, of the people are Atheist. I felt like this was perfect in the sense that I’m a Christian so we’d have opinions of those who believe and those who don’t. Many of the things mentioned in this book are common sense almost, in that I knew but I never thought about it. I feel that they were things that needed to be said in order for people to take note of them.

What stood out for me was the power was thought. That our thoughts reflected greatly on our reality and what goes on around us. Borgi talked about the Laws of Attraction and even though I’d heard the term before, I never allowed myself to think about what it really meant. He talked about how if we focus our thoughts on love, trust, appreciation and acceptance, it emits forces of attraction. Fear, anger, disappointment and hatred emits forces of repulsion. He says that even thinking about things that are bad/going bad for us will automatically cause those things that are good/could be good for us to be repelled and vice versa.

Three great truths to acknowledge:

  1. Your thoughts are very powerful.
  2. The way you think affects your way of life.
  3. Ask. If you believe, you will receive.

There were many things in this book that hit me in the personal feels and that made me happy because finally someone gets it. I don’t have to struggle for the words anymore because it was all written there in black and white.

A few things I didn’t agree on but I think that’s based on personal beliefs and opinions. What I didn’t like about this book was the fact that Borgi referenced a lot of authors. This wouldn’t usually be an issue but it got so much that I felt like I was reading these other authors’ works completely. I liked Borgi’s writing style but some of the authors’ he referenced, I didn’t care for.

The last part of the book focused on the real reason of why I picked it up in the first place: happiness. Borgi says that these three virtues:

  • Forgiveness and asking for forgiveness
  • Communication
  • Love, love and more love

will strengthen our personalities as individuals and bring us collective happiness.

I started out loving this book but as I got through each part, that love turned to like and almost dislike because of the constant referencing. I rated this book 3 stars because I did like what I read and I do think that Borgi has a point. Our way of thinking does affect us whether we want to acknowledge this or not. This book really put things in perspective for me. It solidified the fact even more that I want to stop my negative ways of thinking and try to be more positive.

Read: 30 April 2017
Rating: ★★★

Publication Date: 20 November 2015
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Marcel Borgi

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: Among the Flames by Shelby K. Morrison

25662710Goodreads Synopsis

After fleeing her home in Tharien with the Emperor’s forces hot on her heels, Aia Wynnald has only one goal: To end the two-thousand-year-old discrimination against Benders—a race of beings like her, with a misunderstood gift. But when the Emperor’s Church of Mighty retaliates with a new threat, her noble plans are put on hold.

With her companion Cole Balain, a former enemy, by her side, Aia must halt the devastation triggered by her well-meaning actions. The only way she can fight the Church is with the help of a disenchanted group of rebel Benders who’d sooner submit to their fate than follow Aia’s lead.

Can she inspire them to fight and work together to resolve this new crisis, or will her ingrained submissive nature bring her, and the Benders of Dyel, to their knees?


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Among the Flames is the long awaited sequel to From the Ashes (review here). After the events that took place in book one, Aia and Cole flee and end up teaming with a group of rebels claiming Aia to be their liberator.

I didn’t remember much of the first book as it’s been years since I read it. A few scenes did pop into my head here and there but I was still able to enjoy this book as events from the first book were mentioned often.

“Remember, you are elite, and the elite do not bow to the weak.”

The book was fast paced from the first page and I liked that. I knew I was going to finish it pretty quickly. And I did. I started the book but then got distracted and ended up staying up through the night to finish the other 80%. Near the end, I even forgot that I was running against a deadline because of how much I was genuinely enjoying the book. As I said before, the book was fast paced, so as big as it was, I barely felt it.

There wasn’t any character development in this book but that’s okay because instead we had consistency. There weren’t random changes made in the story. If a guy was bad in the beginning, he was bad at the end too. No one had a sudden change of heart and I appreciated that. I’m glad that we got to enjoy our villains as they were. The rebels were like a group of family and when the rest of the world is against you, family is a welcome sight to come home to.

I like Aia as a character. She wasn’t afraid to ask for help and when she did, people thought her weak because it seemed like she couldn’t make decisions on her own. I did notice how at random times Aia would pull the ‘is it because I’m a woman’ card and it felt a bit forced in the sense that it seemed odd in the situation and very noticeable, distracting me from what the original argument was.

I feel like the story has definitely progressed from the first book and I enjoyed this a lot more than I did From the Ashes. After finishing this book, that two year wait was really worth it. I’m eager to see where this story goes.

Read: 25 April 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 25 April 2017
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Shelby K. Morrison

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

eARC Book Review: XODUS by K.J. McPike

XODUS (Astralis, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis

All Lali Yavari wanted for her sixteenth birthday was for her mom to come back. Instead, she starts flashing between realities and seeing people disappear before her very eyes. Then the unsettling Kai Awana shows up at school, and Lali soon discovers she has inherited the ability to astral project—with a surprising twist. When Kai offers to use his own unique ability to help Lali find her mother in exchange for her help on a misguided mission, she can’t refuse…even if she’s not quite sure she can trust him.

Don’t miss this award-winning urban fantasy adventure, where what one girl learns about her mother’s past will make her question everything she thought was true—and just might put her family in even more danger.


I received this book from the author on Instafreebie in exchange for an honest review.

XODUS tells us the story of Xitlali, dealing with the fact that her mom left, and figuring out her newly found powers of astral projection.

I found the beginning of this book to be slightly fast paced which was good as I thought I’d get through it quickly. I’d never read a book about astral projection before so I was really excited and since the writing style was pretty good, I had high hopes. Turns out that the writing style ended up being the only thing I liked about this book.

My two main pet peeves regarding books are annoying MC’s and a bad writing style. Since I didn’t need to worry about the latter, the former ended up delivering an extra dose of annoying MC. I wasn’t a fan of Lali from the get go. I’d be a bit freaked too if I discovered I could have out of body experiences but I feel like Lali’s freak outs were over the top. Sometimes I’d wish that she’d cool down a bit so we could get some explanations. This is when the story started dragging for me. Every chapter brought something new to freak out about and I was sick of it already.

You know what this book was full of? Lies, lies and yep…you guessed it: more lies. As a reader, seeing all this play out, I didn’t like it. It got old really quickly and to cover up for one lie, more lies would be added. And I’m not just talking about Lali. This entire book was just one big lie.

The supporting characters…can I even talk about them? To be honest, how this book played out it was all about Lali. So do they even matter? As long as she got everything she wanted, things were okay, right? *cue eye roll* Another thing this book was: complicated. One disaster after another and nothing could fix it.

I expected a lot more from this book but that’s okay. I’m just glad I could finish it even though I was so close to DNF’ing it.

As I said above: I liked nothing about this book except the writing style. The idea was a good one and I feel like the plot could’ve gone far but it wasn’t executed very well. I will not be continuing this series.

Read: 23 April 2017
Rating: ★.5

Publication Date: 19 September 2015
Publisher: Terracotta Rose Publishing in association with Fuzzy Hedgehog Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: K.J. McPike

Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad