Wide Open – Amy Bodossian [BOOK REVIEW]

Wide Open is one of the few books of this kind. I personally am not a huge fan of poetry, and I don’t enjoy reading it too often, but sometimes a book comes and makes me wonder I act this way. Amy Bodossian truly wrote something beautiful and unique, and I look forward to reading more poems from her.

I have to say a huge thank you to Outside the Box Press, for letting me have a copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

Wide Open (Published by Outside the Box Press) is a book that contains poetry written about love and sex. Amy writes with so much emotion and oh, the feels! It can be very straightforward and harsh at times, and it can be warm and loving as well, and it is a perfect blend of feelings and emotions that make you see the art of love and sex in a completely different and unique way. In the book you can also see a lot of amazing illustrations made by Amy, which perfectly represent each poem.

I wouldn’t say I loved it, because I don’t easily love books, but I have to mention that this one did surprise me in a very pleasant way. It is incredibly open and very thorough, and I believe it deserves a place on your shelves as well. It makes your body shiver from her words in an unusual way, and it helps you realise to always keep your heart open – to new loves, to new experiences, to new adventures, to new opportunities!

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How A Good Person Can Really Win – Pavan Choudary [BOOK REVIEW]

I have received ‘’How A Good Person Can Really Win’’ through Goodreads, in exchange for an honest review. I will honestly have to say that I had a very hard time finishing this book, and even that took me months, while I was reading other books inbetween. My full rating is 3 out of 5 stars and here is why:

  • About the book

How a Good Person Can Really Win is a self-help book that is supposed to help the good people to win in life. It is a book that is designed to show you how you can be one of those people that isn’t bad, but still be successful and prosper in life. The book is split into three parts, and it focused on both the bad and the good persona, comparing both sides and pointing out the differences between them.

  • The Good and the Bad

The thing that put me off this book a lot was the focus of the bad person. Yes – I do realise that the book is split into a half bad / half good part, and yes – I do realise that we need to see the difference. But when you consider yourself a good person, and have this book in your hands, that is supposedly made to make you realise how you can win, all you read is about how bad the bad person is, and the response (solution) to this is an advice for the bad man to change.

This has occurred on so many occasions, that made the book feel useless for me.

Even though I have to agree that the ending is focused on the good persona and there are actually a few tips on how you can win over the bad guys – most of the advices were for the bad people to not do those nasty things they keep doing.

So my question to the author here is: Who would be the target audience in the book? The logic answer is – the people that claim themselves as good-makers and believe in a better tomorrow. But what the book says is – a book that tells bad people what they are doing and how that is wrong in 100 different ways. Too bad that those people are not the ones reading the book.

On the other side though, I have to admit that there were many excellent examples of real life, and many situations that were realistic and relatable. There were a few very excellent advices as well, and I am sure that I have learned a few things from this book.

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Piasa – Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

The author – Mr. Michael Kott sent me this book for an honest review! I honestly enjoyed reading every single page, and I couldn’t put the book down, which deprived me from some sleep a few nights. This is what I thought about PIASA:

This is a very warm story that covers the life of Sara, a young little girl (don’t call her that, she’ll get angry!). My apologies – a young fifteen-year-old lady that survives a car accident while her whole family dies. In times when destiny is hard to accept, she will get involved into resolving the mystery behind the legend of the Piasa, and this adventure might actually mean a new start in life for her!

For a lady of this age, this destiny is extremely hard to accept, and on top of that, she has a few scars that will mark that experience probably for the rest of her life.

Her life is not easy – she lost her family, and all of her belongings, and here she is now, at her Aunt Claire’s hotel, still unsure whether she is ready to move forward with life.

Sara is a very unusual character. I have to admit that at times, she would made me cringe. Some of the things she says and does doesn’t comply with my opinion, but there are things that I really loved about her. I loved the way she is coping with all the challenges she has, after everything that she’s been through, her ability to admire someone the way she admires Mike, to start believing again, even despite everything that happens around her, to seize the day and enjoy the moments that life can offer. I love how she would find hope even in the darkest of places.

Even though I really liked the character of Sara, my favourite character has to be Mike. The way he thinks, acts and motivates everyone around him is unique. Mike is one of the characters that will make you realise and question some of your decisions in life.

The only character I couldn’t connect to at all was Pamela. I honestly am not sure why – it might be that there weren’t too many situations involving her that would make me care.

The story hooks you onto it and it is hard to put it down. I have never heard about the legend of the Piasa before, and one part of me wanted to find out before reading the book. I am glad that I didn’t, as I found out slowly about it, page by page, and that is an experience that will stay with me.

I love how it is presented that life is so unpredictable in so many ways, that mysteries are all around us, and that we are able to move forward and win – only if we wish to believe that we can do it. And sometimes, we are in doubt, and that is when precious people come into our lives – it all happens with a reason.

The only thing I wish was different about ‘’Piasa’’ is that I could’ve read this amazing book way, way sooner, when I was fifteen. I can’t wait to read the second book of this series – Cryptid.

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The Help – Kathryn Stockett [BOOK REVIEW]

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This is a book where coloured maids in 1963 are afraid to speak up.

This is a book where they gain the courage to tell a white lady what actually happens inside their lives.

No one is ready to hear the truth, everyone is scared for their future, but bravery is a strong attire to have, and the maids prove they have what it takes.

Lot of courage, lots of excitement, anxiety and me biting my nails over and over again, but definitely book that’s worth reading. And definitely a book that will open your eyes about what actually happened back then.

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My Trip To Adele – R.I. Alyaseer [BOOK REVIEW]

My Trip To Adele is a book unlike any other. We are introduced to three different life stories, all of them connected to Adele in a wonderful way, and every one of them will teach us many lessons, bring tears or laughs on our faces and remind us who we are and why we exist in this world. This is a book of how a singer or a song can connect so many people and touch so many hearts in a way no one else could. A book about keeping traditions and breaking them, a book about love, bravery and most of all – HOPE.

Let’s meet Elias. A Moroccan man that has lived in Rome long enough to believe he is Italian, with a Moroccan dust left in his soul. Through Elias, we will find out about how many years ago, he paid a prostitute for her services and fell in love. His love for Malika is undescribable. While other men would pay hundreds to only have her body, he would pay thousands more to have her soul, even for a night. He would never touch her body, but they would spend hours and hours talking about meaningful and meaningless things, about what it is like outside this city, outside this country, what can the world offer…

Malika has so many wishes and hopes, she sells her body so one day she would be able to leave this town, leave her family, and explore the world. Get married and have children, and be successful, and learn the English language. When life parts them from each other for eight years, Elias goes back to the same old city to look for her, and Malika has already left town. Sharing one special singer, there is only one place where he can find her – an Adele concert in Rome.

In Las Vegas, we have Yaser and Mariam, a married couple that lost its sparkle many years ago. Both are surgeons and spend a lot of time at work. And when they come home to the kids – everything is a routine. Yaser pretends to enjoy his TV Show evenings and the Prayers that Mariam wants to attend. He pretends to believe in God just to please his wife. They are not a happy family inside the house, but Mariam makes it sound perfect on the outside – they have the perfect social media photos, and they go to the most expensive places on a holiday, what could be so bad? He feels trapped inside a routine and wants to escape, but he also believes in saving his marriage, and following his marriage counselor, they are trying to revive their happiest memories, and that is when they decide to go to an Adele concert in Rome.

On the other side of the world we will meet Nadia and her son Waleed. Nadia is a strong woman that has been coping with her now ex-husband’s betrayals. She raised her son oh her own, and the love she feels for him is indescribable. Only a mother knows how much she adores her son. When her son gets hurt on her ex  husband’s third wedding – Nadia decides that she would fight for her and her son, she will no longer be trapped, and she will finally enjoy a lovely holiday with her son – going to Adele’s concert in Rome.

This book is written in an amazing, fast pace, and you will never notice how you have scrolled through the pages and hours have passed. There were times where the character’s description was basic, and sometimes Adele’s presence would be too exposed, but all the characters are different in their own way, and every story has its purpose and its lesson.

Out Of My Mind – Cathy Penman [BOOK REVIEW]

Cathy Penman messaged me through my blog, and asked me if I would like to read her book. I said yes – of course, and now I know – I made a very good decision that day!

Out Of My Mind is a book unlike any other that I have read. It is a fantasy book, with a huge sum of reality and psychological thoughts.

We follow the adventures of Laura, who is a woman with a special ability – to get out of her own body, and let her mind flow around in the air. She decides to keep her ability secret, because of all the risks she is under.

While her body is motionless, her mind can go places, see things and hear everything, but she can’t interfere with anything. She is just an invisible watcher.

The book is written with a lovely pace, and it made me unable to put the book down. It involves a lot of Points of View, from many different people, and even though for a moment I would lose track with all their adventures, they always connect to Laura’s story.

This book is amazing for so many amazing reasons, and I am so glad I got the chance to read it!

Check out her website here and order Out of My Mind below:

Quietus – David Sellars [BOOK REVIEW]

Sometimes, we don’t search for a particular book to read. It just finds us. That happened to me with “Quietus”. One of the best books I’ve read this year.

I connected to Nick immediately, and the story was appealing, so it was a struggle to close the book. This is one of the books that you read in one breath. I could connect with all the characters, with Nick, with Carrie, even with Sophie. The description about them made me like them in a different way, all of them, yes, even Sophie.

All Nick ever wanted, was to be accepted – to fit into society, to be noticed by his parents, and to fall irrevocably in love.
One out of three wasn’t bad. And Sophie: beautiful; passionate; impulsive Sophie; said she loved him too … up until the day she killed herself.
Wracked by grief and desperate to abscond, he moves to Jersey where he meets Carrie in the woods that surround his new home. She challenges Nick to confront his nightmare, and in doing so, risk insanity as he is besieged with deeper, darker, more sinister revelations about the girl he thought he knew.
He can run away from his girlfriend’s suicide but can he ever escape Sophie? Or the fact that her death … was his fault?

The author describes not only the physical part, but also their thoughts and how their mind works, and before you even realize it, you have this strong bond with every single one of them. The personality of Sophie is so well described, that’s it’s almost unbelievable. All the sociopathic characteristics, the whole building of this character is so appealing to read, it makes you want to know what’s wrong and how it can be fixed, and it is told by Nick, by someone who has affection towards this person and it tells both sides of the story, how a person can make you like them and make you hate them at the same time. The scenes are so realistic, that I felt like I was there. Each chapter is left unfinished, and it only makes you want to read more and more.

The whole death-life thing made this book special to me. It made me think way deeper than just how the scenes are put. Maybe I didn’t get the point of the story… I just wonder now. It will bother me for days, that’s for sure. It will haunt me and make me think again and again, deeper and deeper about what was the character’s purpose in this book. Why they were exactly where they were, and why did Nick went to Jersey right after his death in the first place. All in all, this indeed was a story that has a deep meaning behind her, that reaches into people’s minds and hearts and certainly stays there for a while, like I’m certain it will stay in mine too.

It is a story that makes us realize things about life, and then ask ourselves if what we believed in up until now is really true. It made me think how sometimes dead people can influence us, like Carrie influenced Nick, and Nick influenced Sophie. It makes me think how, in fact, it isn’t the dead people that influence us, but just us ourselves. When you think about it deeper, you’ll realize we don’t change because someone is influencing, but we change because someone woke up some thoughts in us, and it’s us that realize it all and then change.

Did Sophie kill herself, or they were actually there, because the whole trip was their imagination. Did they influence her, or it was only Sophie herself? I guess I’ll never answer some of those questions, but I still do think sometimes it’s us ourselves that realize some things, even though Nick and Carrie’s deaths had a purpose too. If there wasn’t a Carrie, there wouldn’t be an imaginary trip to Sophie’s hospital. And if there wasn’t a Nick, we’d never realize that she’s a sociopath.

Find out more about this book by clicking the image above or by visiting the author’s website.