Miss Fortune, Lauren Weedman

Miss Fortune, Lauren Weedman     *Minor spoiler alerts* I received a copy of Miss Fortune from First to Read.  Lauren Weedman is a comedian/ actress.  She has written for the daily show and been in several shows.  This is her answer to a mini biography of sorts.  Short stories that make us laugh and cry.  Stories about her love, marriages, friendships and son.  I loved the little anecdotes, mixed with mild neurosis and dark humor.   To be completely honest, I had never heard of her before, but I was beyond interested in her story.  Making her way through showbiz with sarcasm and pluck, I have to admire her.  She talks glowingly of her love for her son Leo, fondly of the Texan theater guru that changed her life.  There is no kidding from her mistakes, no throwing blame, just honest- funny- life.
This book will be out March 15th; be on the lookout!
Adult Content (check).  I give it a five, language and light drugs, sexually explicit.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

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13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Mona Awad

13 ways of looking at a fat girl, Mona AwadI received a copy of this book from First To Read. It was heralded as a humorous look at the body stereotypes…. Something witty and sarcastic and meaningful. I hate to say it, but I can’t see it. This book never made me laugh. I barely smiled. It was one terrible cliché after another. Truly I wanted to like it, I simply could not find anything redeeming from it. As a woman that has struggled with her weight, felt these issues, well the book just seemed tacky.

The book came out February 23, 2016 (last Tuesday).

Adult content- 6.  Language, sexual content.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Where it Hurts, Reed Farrel Coleman

Where it hurts, Reed Farrel Coleman*Minor spoiler alert* I got a copy of Where It Hurts from First to Read, and while it started slowly for me I really enjoyed this book.  Gus Murphy is a former cop who lost everything when his son passed away from a heart defect- his badge, his family, his friends… perhaps his sanity.  Going through the motions, he now drives a van for a rinky-dink hotel and spends down time nursing his wounds.  One day an old con named Tommy D comes to the hotel for help finding his own son, TJ’s murderer.  Gus explodes.  Later he goes back to make amends, but too late.  Now Tommy and TJ are both dead and Gus is in the middle of the madness.  This book took me on a wild ride of false leads and heartbreak to a finish I never expected.  I highly recommend it.

This book came out January or 2016, go get it!

Adult content scale- a solid seven.  Lots of language, violence, drinking and sex.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Becoming Ellen, Shari Shattuck

Becoming Ellen, Shari Shattuck*Minor spoiler alert* I got a copy of this book from First to Read, as I got Invisible Ellen (the first in what I hope is a long series).  To begin, I will say that you should read Invisible Ellen first both for character background and because it is beyond awesome.  Becoming Ellen picks up about a year later.  Our heroine is still skittish and unused to attention but learning to be brave, and to like herself.  A bus accident forces her far from her comfort zone, making her let herself “be seen” by a detective and a little girl that needs her.  Then there’s drama at work and a sick little boy.  What’s an introvert to do?  Personally I could not put this down and finished it in one day (dinner may have burned).

I feel like these books are so special and so important because they teach that you needn’t be physically perfect to be needed and wanted.  Stereotypes can’t stop anyone.  I love that Ellen is growing in a healthy way.  I love that the author celebrates everything she can do.  The book was written well and flows smoothly.  The characters are beautiful, touching and sometimes hilarious.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Truly.  It is out for sale- go buy it!

On the Adult Content scale we remain at a one.  Some language.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

 

Invisable Ellen, Shari Shattuck

Invisable Elleen Shari Shattuck   *Minor spoiler alerts* I received this book (and published most of this review) April of 2014.  The fact That it is still fresh in my mind, to me, is a firm indication that it belongs here.  While I did receive a copy from First to Read, I also bought a copy later and got one for a friend.

I loved this book for a myriad of reasons, not the least being that this is not your normal “fat girl” story where a slightly overweight woman becomes skinny and finds confidence and love.  (There is nothing truly wrong with these, I just loved that this one didn’t take the easy route.)  Our main character, Ellen, has real and deep routed problems that have made her an observer of life, never really wanting to be part of it.  She takes the bus to work, cleaning Costco overnight.  Stays away from people, if she doesn’t interact she won’t be noticed.  She doesn’t like herself.  Ellen is morbidly obese and hates herself for it, but food fills the void.  It makes her whole and no one ever cared enough to show her how to eat better.

Meeting and helping a blind woman is her first step to being part of the real world, or “visible” as Ellen sees things.  Temerity doesn’t care about Ellen’s scars or weight, that helps Ellen to branch out; allow more people in.  This novel wraps several lives around itself, each story one that society could easily overlook.  We are programmed to.  What is amazing is what happens when you don’t look past these things, these people.  Please, please, please read this book.

It is out now!

Adult content scale -extremely low.  There is some language, but I would have no problem giving this book to a young adult.  I don’t know that it even rates a one.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Rescued, Phoebe Rose

Rescued, Phoebe Rose*Minor spoiler alerts* I received a copy of Rescued from the author in exchange for a review.  Tessa is a pleaser, a rescuer of cats and a starving psych student.  Thomas is a CEO of his own company making fitbits.  A feral family of cats bring them together as they try to get mama cat, Melon, adoption-ready.  Toss in an ex-girlfriends’ wedding, crazy parents and a shut-in roomie and you have… way too many issues to power through.  Both Tessa and Thomas need to take a deep look at themselves and decide how to go for what really matters.
I loved this story, it had a nice flow to the writing style.  I was never bored, always wanting to see what happened next.  I didn’t always like these characters, but I was always pulling for them.  They were real, approachable, messed up… human.  I would read this author again.
Adult content (check) language, drinking, lots of sexual content (it is a contemporary romance…).  I give it a five on the adult content scale.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Where to get the goods

As you may have noticed I am obsessed with First to Read.  They have a spectacular thing going here.  You give your info, email.. the usual.  In exchange you have the chance to either reserve a copy (if you have points/ get there in time), or go into a drawing for a copy of a book that is not released yet.  Now, you don’t get to keep these, they do expire; but you get an obscene amount of time to read it.  What do they want in return for their awesomeness?  Your thoughts.  Just a review, which obviously I love to do any way.  These are all eBook.  Now the drawback- my lazy butt has to wake up at like midnight and log on so that I can guarantee my book (I have roughly 1200 points), this stinks but it has a large following and it is first come first serve.  They do have an email to alert you on the day new books come out, but mine doesn’t show until at least noon.  After work, there are no guaranteed copies left.  To bypass this, I recommend coming in daily, preferably morning.  They will have a note sporadically to let you know when the next round begins.  I find that that note goes away.

My library is awesome!  I have an Overdrive app on my phone and tablet that allows me to link to their eBook selection.  I think they share with about 40 other libraries, so the selection is pretty darn great.  There is a spot where you can request books you don’t find, and your books are easy to download (I just get the Kindle copy and it shows up in my app) and will remind you a few days before return.  You can renew, or just finish the book.  It returns itself so there are never late fees.  Drawbacks- about every 6 months I get locked out and have to contact the library to let them know I am alive and haven’t moved.  Also, the waiting list can be murder.  Not knowing if it would be my thing, I didn’t want to pay for 50 Shades of Grey; I was number 78 in line and they had 3 copies.

Sony books turned into Kobo years ago and they are a neat little store/ app.  I loved the ease of the layout of their store, but I don’t like keeping my debit card on file so I was disappointed in the fact that I could not figure out how to keep gift cards on file and go by that.  (Let’s face it, gift cards allow me to keep a firm grip on my addiction to books.)  On the plus side, they constantly generate lists of books they think I would enjoy, and track my reading.  There is a spot where you can see how many books/hours/ pages you have read.  There are also little awards you can win by reading at night say, finishing your first book or series.  So many different things!  If there is a young person in the house, they might love that- it may, in fact, get your reluctant reader to look at books a bit differently.

Kindle currently holds my heart as far as stores/apps go.  It is so easy to keep track of everything!  As I am finishing a book in a series it will offer me the chance to give it a star rating from there, and offer me the chance to buy the next book.  They make managing gift cards easy, once you attach one to your account you can reload it again and again with the amount of your choice.  There’s even spots where you can give yourself an allowance- say, $5 every check goes here- or request one.    This needs a debit or credit card on file obviously, but if you want to just keep buying gift cards from the store and loading them you never have to give them a credit or debit card.  You can just shop from that!  Now, the drawback I have found is that if you preorder a book, they don’t take the money until your book is out.  Me, I preorder books to be sure I budgeted for my favorite authors.  I have the money available right now!  I keep track in a log of what I spend from my gift card because I don’t want to forget something that I budgeted for- it would be easier if I could just go to the website and see what I had.

Of course, Facebook is full of gems. I love the bookriot page, which has great pictures and fun stuff. They talk about new and coming books and keep me abreast on what might be worth a splurge.  Then there is ifreebie books (just type it into your search bar) and they let you know about tons of free or cheap books. Choosy books does the same, and has a base of authors that will give you a copy of their book for the price of a review. You get emails from both of these. Drawback? There have been review rounds where I didn’t want anything.Also, daily newsletters. You may want to pick just one.

Who has an Android smartphone? There is an app called Free Books (fairly self explanatory) which allows me to catch up on the classics for free. Along those lines, Project Guttenburg is another. Really there is no drawback here. Free Books is easy to navigate and has a large selection of the classics.I am sure there’s the same for Apple and Microsoft, but have never worked with them. Have I missed any? Let me know!

Links:

choosy bookworm *comes with a few read-for-review options*

Bookperk * bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*

EBook discovery  *comes with some read-for-review options*

First to Read *all read-for-review, but you only get the book for so long, and if you want to guarantee a copy you had best check with them before five in the morning.*

Bargain Booksy * bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*

EBook soda *bargains brought to your email daily, free up to $5.00*

Early Bird Books  *discount and free  books*

As I said, you may want to look at these and just pick your chosen few.  I think I get at least five emails a day maybe more.