Book Review: Outrun The Wind


Title: Outrun The Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Rating:


The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta. To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia-where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’s second rule. She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

My Review

This book was hard for me to get into after the opening of the story line. It just seemed to get slow and long winded. Then it picked the speed back up and became quire interesting again. The author knew what she was talking about but at the same time put her own twist on the lore and mythology. I loved that. She kept true to the original lore but added her own little twists that did not interrupt or harm the lore and mythology. The characters were a little sketchy written up but you could fill in the details that the author left out. I would have like to have more of the back story on Kahina but that might be another book or a forth coming book. Atalanta was a very interesting character and deserved more backstory then the bit we got in my opinion.

Overall this was an interesting book though I have to be honest, I don’t know if I will read another of her books. This one did not really make me want to read another, but that may change if I look at another one of hers. I rarely choose a book based on an author but more on the story it is supposed to or going to tell.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Dietland


Title: Dietland
Author: Sarai Walker
Rating:


The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.

Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.

My Review

Ok, my stepmother Brenda read this then told me that I needed to read it. So I did. I want to warn you that this book and it’s subject matter is a very hot topic for me. I belong in that morbidly obese category and have stayed in that category ever since I was a child. I went through all the “bullying” that Plum goes through all the time. It is not something or anything new to me. My school years (kindergarten through senior high) was a torturous hell hole for me with my schoolmates. Needless to say this book struck a cord in me so forgive my language and if I go long in this review. I will explain in the review why this book deserved a five (5) star review but what made it lose a star.

The Five (5) Star Part

So Plum is a obese woman that answers letters to a teen magazine but she doesn’t have an office in the building because of her size. No, the book does not come out and say that but that is the implication and I am sure that is why she doesn’t. Plum thinks she is ok with this cause like most obese women she has been brainwashed into thinking she is not as good as a size 0 woman. Bullshit I say. The opinion that Plum has of herself appalls me but I understand it cause I was brainwashed by society, magazines, tv, and my schoolmates into thinking I was no good because I wasn’t skinny or did not wear the current “in” thing. It took me until I was out of college to finally realize that I did not need anyone’s opinion on how I looked much less on how much I weighed.

I learned to love my double layer stomach “tires”, my breast that were not the perkiest things, my arm wings, my junk in my trunk, and last but not least my jiggly thighs that always tells me that I am moving. You see, I am alive. That is the objective of my life. I am alive and try to make it the best I can. Would I like to be a size 0? No, I would not mind a size 18 maybe, but never a size 0. Would I like to have perky boobs, a flat stomach, less junk in the trunk, no arm wings, and no thigh jiggle? Not really, each of those are parts that make me who I am today. Do I still have self esteem issues? Hell yeah, but I try not to let it bother me for more then five (5) minutes. Do I sit and look at a piece of cake and think of all the calories and fat in it? Nope, I just don’t eat as much. Usually two (2) bites and I am done.

You see, where Plum was planning on having the gastric bypass surgery I had a sleeve gastrectomy. Did I do it to lose weight to make myself thin? Hell no, I did it for my health. I weighed 400lb before surgery. I knew that if I continued I was gonna have more and more health problems. I had tried just about every sensible and logical diet that I could. No, I never did the fad diets like Plum did, but they tried to lure me into trying them, but to be honest common sense (which my parents told me I always had to much of) told me it would never work. So I did my research and decided that even though the gastric bypass would be quicker and I would lose more weight the side effects were not what I wanted in my life. I choose the less invasive version with the sleeve gastrectomy. The doctor removed 70% of my stomach which means I can still eat anything I want but in a lot smaller quantity then I could before. Now do not think that either of these options are easy or a “cop-out”. You still have to work your ass off to lose the weight. I have lost over 100 pounds with my sleeve and I do not regret it. Yeah, some days I miss the fact that I can not eat an entire large pizza in one sitting but does anyone really need an entire large pizza? I don’t think so.

Getting back to Plum though. I think that if she could have gotten help when she was a child or young adult (college) then I think she would have been a lot happier and never would have settled for the job she had. I am not saying just from her parents I am talking about a nutritionist, a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist. Not that support group that just made her feel even worse after going to it. That group was stupid and not healthy it was more into the continued brain washing that society does to obese people. Once Plum got pulled into the New Baptist plan that was where she needed to be. That was a good support group. They taught her to love herself no matter what size she was. Personally, I don’t think anyone should have any weight surgery till they have reached that state. Being skinny is not gonna fix a damn thing for anyone. Honestly, some days I feel worse now that I have lost the 100 pounds then I did when I weighed 400 pounds (I have fibromalygia , several anxiety, and chronic depression). I was used to my 400 pounds and my body was too. Now that I have lost the 100 pounds my body took a long time to get used to the less weight. My bones and joint hurt worse now then they did before. Though I still continue to lose weight (12 pounds in the last six weeks) I am planning on stopping around 250 pounds. Yep, that will still put me in the mobid obese club, but that is fine. I am comfortable there.

I believe that Plum will start to lose the weight now that she realizes that she is not a piece of trash not worthy of being alive. Yes, she went a bit crazy with eating when she first started to realize that she was worthy but if you read the book you notice that she settles down. I have found that if you deny yourself what your body wants then it is just gonna demand it more and more and more till when you do give in you go crazy with it. But if you give it what it want when it wants then you don’t have that problem. If I want some ice cream I have ice cream though not in the same amount as I did before. If I want a cheeseburger then I have a cheeseburger (though I do try to make two meals out of it). It is just common sense and a hell of a lot of will power.

Plum is what most obese women are. Most are brainwashed into thinking they are not worthy of being alive by society, tv, magazines, books, etc. Her journey to realizing that she was well worth being alive and doing whatever the hell she wants is perfect and a wonderful story.

So what made it lose a star?

Everything else in the book. The “Jennifer” story line. Even now I am still trying to figure out how that played any role in the story line. To me it was not needed and quite honestly stupid to put in the book. I do not agree with the actions the females took and would never condone such a thing. If you want to protest then protest without violence or causing injury to another person. There is a reason we have a legal system and if the legal system does not handle it them karma and life will. Never ever take it into your hands to deliver justice. Yeah, there was plenty of times I wanted to plant my fist into the faces of my schoolmates. What good would it have done? None, they still would have tortured me for my size, it just would have taken on a worse torture to see if they could make me physically hurt them. How does that do any good to anyone? It does nothing good.

Because of the “Jennifer” story line I dropped a star on the review. Personally, it seemed like the author wanted to write two books and either was afraid neither would get published or her publisher told her that the only way it would be was to combine them. Yes, they were combined very well, but I still do not think that it added anything to the main story line and only hurt the book. This is my opinion and you are free to disagree and comment here. I no longer care what anyone else thinks of me. I do what I want & say what I want.

 

I purchased this book on my own & receive no type of benefit from this review.

Book Review: The Other Woman


Title: The Other Woman
Author: Sandie Jones
Rating:


The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you’ll read this year.

HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.

BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

THE OTHER WOMAN will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones’ chilling psychological thriller about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.

“The Other Woman is an absorbing thriller with a great twist. A perfect beach read.”—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Great Alone

“A twisty, deliciously fun read.”—Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us

“Fun and fiendishly clever with a twist you will not see coming. Make room in your beach bag for this one!” – Wendy Walker, bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten

“Thoroughly entertaining. Pammie is the mother-in-law from hell!” – Michelle Frances, #1 bestselling author of The Girlfriend

“Compulsive, claustrophobic, it spoke to my deepest fears as a wife and mother, grabbing hold of me and not letting go. Definitely a must read!” – Emma Kavanagh author of Falling

“Compulsive, superbly plotted, and all too believable! Earmark it now for your TBR pile.” – Michelle Davies, author of Gone Astray

My Review

This book took me completely by surprise. The way it started made you think this was just another soon to be mother-in-law that hated her soon to be daughter-in-law. Oh, but it was so much more then that. Then you throw in the groom’s brother, ex-girlfriend, and several other people in the plot line and you really can not figure out what is going on. By the time you actually figure out what is going on you are sitting there thinking how much more is this woman gonna take from this family. Then when the “proverbial shit hits the fan” you are sitting there with your jaw on the ground not even expecting what happened to have happened.

That being said you need to read this book. The characters, the plot line, and the twists and turns it does makes for it to be a very interesting read. I highly recommend it.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Paradox Forged in Blood


Title: Paradox Forged in Blood
Author: Mary Frances Fisher
Rating:


From Mary Frances Fisher comes her debut novel, PARADOX FORGED IN BLOOD, a compelling work of historical fiction based on true events and stories passed down from the author’s family.

A murder on Millionaire’s Row.
A killer’s chilling words, “Shh. I know where you live.”
A woman tormented by her guilt-ridden past.

A historical murder mystery, PARADOX FORGED IN BLOOD is set in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1930s. Four decades after the murder of socialite Louis Sheridan, the cold case is resurrected with receipt of new evidence that transports detectives back to Nazi Germany. The only living witness, Ellen O’Malley, must confront a haunting secret and her complicit actions.

My Review

This book was difficult for me to get into, but I am in a huge depression (one of my major mental illnesses) so that could have been part of my issue with it. By and by the author knew her research & the era that she chose to write in. The characters were all well written and left enough to the imagination for me. The story line and plot was a bit difficult for me to get into but with what I said earlier that could be the issue. I would choose to read this book again once I feel better and see if my review changes.

I think part of my problem was that if Ellen O’Malley along with the maid had a backbone then the crime would have been solved right after it happened, but they did not have a backbone. Yes, I understand that their families were threatened and I can not, honestly, say I would not do the same thing. I would like to think that I would have told the police or at the very least talked over with my family for their suggestions. That part of the story line really bothered me a lot.

I would recommend reading this book. The mystery of the crook will keep you guessing even though you think you know who it is and you are right, but at the same time you are completely wrong. It was a very interesting first book and I look forward to seeing what Mary Frances Fisher writes next.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.

Book Review: Pandora’s Boy


Title: Pandora’s Boy (Flavia Albia Mystery #6)
Author: Lindsey Davis
Rating:


A suspicious death and subsequent murder send Flavia Albia down a twisted path to expose corruption and betrayal in Lindsey Davis’s next historical mystery.

First century Rome is not the quiet, orderly city that it pretends to be and in this environment, a very clever private informer can thrive. Flavia Albia, daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, is a chip off the old block. She’s taken over his father’s old profession, and, like him, she occasionally lets her love of a good puzzle get in the way of her common sense. Such is the case when one such puzzle is brought to her by the very hostile ex-wife of Albia’s new husband.

It seems that over on the Quirinal Hill, a naive young girl, one Clodia Volumnia, has died, and there’s a suggestion that she was poisoned by a love potion. The local witch, Pandora, would have been the one to supply such a potion. Looking into the matter, Albia soon learns that Pandora carries on a trade in herbal beauty products while keeping hidden her much more dangerous connections.

Albia soon discovers the young girl was a handful and her so-called friends were not as friendly as they should have been. The supposedly sweet air of the Quirinal hides the smells of loose morality, casual betrayal, and even gangland conflict. When a friend of her own is murdered, things become serious and Albia is determined to expose as much of this local sickness as she can—beginning with the truth about the death of little Clodia.

My Review

I thought this book was the first in the series. Once again, I need to learn to do my research before reading books. This is actually number six in the series. Though with reading between the lines you get enough of the back story that it did not matter that this was number six and not number one. I had no problems picking it up and reading without knowing what books one through five were about.

The was a very clever story line with a wonderful plot and characters. Though I do admit that I do not know much about Roman history during this time but I feel a woman private informer is a bit of a reach but I could be wrong. I enjoyed the boldness of Flavia Albia and how she did not let anything stop her from solving the mystery. Though I do think her husband is a bit of a loose minded person. Again this is my opinion of this book if I had known more of the back story I may understand why her husband acts the way he acts.

This basically is a story of a teenager’s group out gone bad. Flavia Albia has to sort though the teenager’s stories and their standing up for their friends stories. To which she does solve the case and no I will not tell you the end of the story here. The book is worth the read and I do suggest you read it, but like always with any series, I suggest reading them in order.

 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.