Book Review: Peace and Plenty – Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Genre : Non-Fiction, Self Help, Inspirational
Format : Owned book
Rating : 5/5 stars

In my opinion this is a book to pick up when intuition calls. I remembered more than 2 weeks ago I had the sudden urge to read this book (and it’s on a special day) so even though it’s a 600 page tome — due to its large print edition — I didn’t hesitate to begin my reading journey.

And I’m glad to say, this book came at the right time, just when I need to read this. The content resonates with me so well which is like what my May horoscope mentioned, it changed my core belief. I’m beginning to understand the meaning of change comes within, as the more I read, the more I yearn for contents like this.

Achieving financial serenity in our life will set everything in order and in place. A good lesson to get our money management in order.

I doubt that this would be a good book if it doesn’t bring out something in you and I would say this is a gem for those who chose this book to read at the right time.


Book Review: Wish Upon A Star by Trisha Ashley

Genre : Holiday, Romance
Format : Owned book
Rating : 3/5 stars

I was fairly interested about the story at the beginning but eventually I felt it dragged on too much towards the end with lengthy prose describing the characters, what they’re doing and mundane details that I tend to skip through the paragraphs without conversation. The story started magically but the magic wore off towards the end.

The romance is very predictable and you can see it coming for miles, I was hoping for a more subtle and nuanced relationship but they just came across as direct and at times I was like “Hmm, that’s it?”

Spoiler! The evil exes part also doesn’t quite cut it, they seemed quite made up to me and superficial. OR perhaps it was meant to be that way? I’m not quite sure. Spoiler!

Despite the short falling of the love story, this book emanates warmth of Christmas and wonderful baking anecdotes. I like the excerpts from Cally’s articles about cakes and learned many types of cakes.

A cosy small town + love story + generous folks = a light and easy Christmas themed read.

Book Review: The Dream Jumper’s Promise by Kim Hornsby

Genre : Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Format : eBook
Rating : 5/5 stars

I started this book without hoping much but wow I was impressed. The story moved in a steady pace, revealing  one mystery after another.

Cast against the tropical islands of Hawaii, it’s a story about Tina the dive shop owner and the men in her lives. Her husband Hank went missing one night presumably dead, leaving Tina struggling to move on and then Jamey the guy who dumped her 10 years ago started walking back into her life. Not to mention also the presence of her husband’s best friend Noble who was Tina’s rock during her survival of her husband’s demise.

If you think you’re in reality, think again! because you’re still in a dream. The book revolves around vivid and lucid dreams, more often than not leaving you wondering whether you’ve woke up from a dream inside a dream or you’ve returned to reality. The author has cleverly written the symbolism of dreams and signs from dreaming. The pieces of flashback in between chapters fits into the mystery puzzle perfectly.

This is a well written book with plenty doses of suspense and plot twists! I am starting to like these genres if all the books are this good! 😀

Book Review: The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano

Genre : Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Format : eBook
Rating : 5/5 stars

This is one of the books that I couldn’t peel my eyes away even though it’s 4am into the night and I really needed to sleep.

Here’s the excerpt from Goodreads:

When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody’s name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She’s been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others–everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she’s stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it’s a dangerous thrill that Melody can’t resist. He’s insistent that she’s just a pawn in the government’s war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?

I’m impressed by the originality of this book. It’s a unique story about a mafia family that veers away from the usual contemporary romance settings of college, office, small town romance… most intriguing. Reading about a girl who grew up constantly living in fear and running away all her life is something different from my usual picks.

I liked the fact that a male author writes from the POV of a female character. He fleshed out her character so well that at some points through the book I wept for her. I feel for her, the fragility of her fake identities, never being able to be herself, missing out on all the little things in life, events that we all took for granted yet unreachable for her and all the things she could never have.

I am tired of living, but what keeps me from dragging a blade across my wrist or diving off one of the crippled bridges that cross the polluted rivers my motel rooms predictably border is the idea of life — that somehow, someday, I will figure a way to experience what it is like to live in unfettered happiness, to bask in the freedom of security, and finally to understand the person I am supposed to be.

There’s just so much I loved about this book, the brilliant use of words, the tragic description of Melody’s life, the black sheep character of Jonathan and <SPOILTER ALERT> the bitter sweet ending of the book.

I hope I could get my hands on the next book which has the same story but written in the POV of the male character — Jonathan. I would definitely recommend this book to romance readers who wants an short venture away from the usual contemporary stories.

Book Review: Leap Day by Wendy Mass

Genre : Young Adult
Format : Paperback
Rating : 5/5 stars

It all happened in the course of a day, a sweet 16th birthday, a leap day, a book humourous in its own way. Born on a leap day, Josie is about to celebrate her 16th birthday for the 4th time and the whole book revolved around Josie’s journey on her big day.

By reading the blurb I thought Josie was a psychic who could read other people’s mind but in fact what happened was the whole story was written in alternating chapters. One chapter written from Josie’s POV and it switched to everyone else’s POV in the next chapter, describing what everyone else was thinking and also their perception about Josie. And that’s what it means to be reading other people’s thoughts 🙂

Each of the characters has their own story told this way. Josie’s parents, her brother, her friends. As her morning started lots of events happened throughout the day, it was thoroughly fun to read what’s going on in Josie’s teenager’s life and it all build up to the mysterious lakeside finale which was a ritual for every 16 year old in the town.

I loved how Josie faced her challenges bravely by staying true to her values. She has a supportive family and a bunch of close friends who loved her for who she is. Try not to judge this book from an adult’s perspective instead read it as the things we went through as a teenager and this would be a rather relaxed and light read.

Book Review: Practical Mindfulness by Ken A. Verni

Genre: Self Help, Spiritual
Format : Hardcover
Rating : 5/5 stars

This is a very good handbook for someone who wants to start practicing mindfulness and incorporate that into their lives. It offers a comprehensive guide and a step by step method in learning to be mindful and applying it daily. I’ve practiced some of the methods given and so far it has been useful and applicable.

I love the later section in the book which provided ways to practice mindfulness and applying it in life’s situation like learning a subject, facing exams, dealing with crisis, teaching it to children and etc.

The topics are conveyed in a compact manner spread across 2 pages yet contained profound wisdom.
I love the snippets of notes/tips that spreads across the pages which augmented the facts and doesn’t break the flow.