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Book Review: Love Letters: Extraordinary Loving for Everyday Living by Paulette Dahl

Cover of Love Letters: Extraordinary Loving for Everyday Living by Paulette Dahl - Reviewed January 2017
Love Letters: Extraordinary Loving for Everyday Living by Paulette Dahl is truly a gift from her heart to yours.

When I first read Love Letters, I ditched the suggested guide and read it cover to cover. Mainly so that I would be able to give an appropriate review on content. However, this review will cover content and experience, as I took some additional time to experience the book as recommended, by reading Letters randomly.

Reading the book in rogue style (cover to cover) tugged at my insides in a blessed way. Something within me knew that certain letters were just. Right. Dahl doesn’t back down from the darker, deeper emotions that visit each of us during the course of living. The importance of the emotional pairings demonstrates the duality of perception. Not simply that life is duality but rather, that acceptance of the emotional experience is okay. It is okay to accept grief when it comes to you. Same with depression. The Letters acknowledge these seasons in our lives, along with an appreciation for them and a line of caution about how they may impact us. There is a balance and sense of honour for each Letter, regardless of the topic. Readers will experience emotional ties to this book that they didn’t know they had and should prepare to be surprised by what arises.

Take some time with the book.

Readers should take the time to enjoy the preface of Love Letters, as it explains Dahl’s intentional use of Love as a verb (yes, with a capital L!), rearrangements and dis-section of some terms. As I was reading the preface, I was thankful for the explanation of the deliberate choices she had made in getting her point across. I am also deeply grateful for her sharing the process it took to arrive at the concept for the Love Letters.

When reading the book as intended, I arrived at the same set of letters a few times and have come to appreciate the need for constant reminders during this season of my life. I discovered that reading the Letters out loud had more impact for me. Made me read at a slower speed and really consider the communication from the Letters to me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The length of the Letters is perfect (maximum of four pages) and the smaller details are well-thought out (like the hearts around the page numbers). I would recommend it for anyone who would like to look at their emotions in a different way, is looking to explore their internal world, or is curious about what Letters may let them do.

Four stars.


Completed this for BookTasters. Want to get free books in exchange for an honest review? They’re fabulous to work with and I highly recommend them!

Book Review: The Farm on Nieuw Land Road:Jenna Kroon Series by Hannah Warren

Cover of The Farm on Nieuw Land Road: The Jenna Kroon Series by Hannah Warren - Review January 2017
The dynamic dancer, Jenna Kroon, is back in “The Farm on Nieuw Land Road” by Hannah Warren.

This is the second book in the Jenna Kroon series and another home run for Warren. After witnessing multiple tragedies in the first book, The Cottage on The Border, Jenna is back with her eyes open to her past and a focus on her future.

She is across the pond now, in New York, dancing with a large dance company. Jenna is surpassing her previous dance experience in Europe. She has begun to make a dramatic entrance in the American dance realm. With her hours of dedication and practice, success is inevitable. As she is preparing to complete an entrance examination to a highly coveted choreography course, she stumbles across a glimmer of friendship and struggles to open herself up to the notion that she can be likeable and, in turn, friendly to others. Jenna, as all beings are, is complex and her complexity is what makes her interesting. Grappling with the level of friendship plus her intense dedication to dance lands Jenna where she seems to consistently land, in the hospital.

Upon her discharge, Jenna decides that she is going to heal her head wound at home, at the cottage she was in during book one. This doesn’t last long and she ends up staying with the at Nieuw farm, which proves to be as adventurous.

At Nieuw Farm, Jenna discovers more about herself than her past and unearths her potential while healing, again, from an apparent eating disorder.

THWAP!

Like a shot of whiskey, Warren’s writing and storyline looks great in the light, goes down smoothly and sends heat through the body.  The second book of the trilogy hits hard. We go deeper into Jenna’s vulnerability, exposing her humanity to the cold air of reality and connection. Personally, I am perched with anticipation for the third novel in this series. Jenna is an enjoyable character and I will relish the third installation in this series.

Finally, I would like to comment on the cover art for the novel. The artwork captures the intensity of Jenna’s personality, the focal point for the book. The setting is the secondary influence to the reader’s eye. Readers will also notice that Jenna’s character is, rightfully, placed above all else.

Another solid five stars!

Format: ebook
Pages:  312
Days to Read: 8


Completed this for BookTasters. If you’d like to get free books in exchange for an honest review, they’re fabulous to work with and I highly recommend them!

Book Review: The Cottage on The Border: Jenna Kroon Series by Hannah Warren

Cover of The Cottage on the Border by Hannah Warren - Review
The Cottage on the Border, the first in the Jenna Kroon series by Hannah Warren, captures the depth and complexity of love, struggle and family.

In Cottage on the Border, Jenna is a successful dancer who embodies duende. She is a master of the mixture between physical expression and emotional connection with music. Jenna’s poor health habits catch up with her early in the book and she is hospitalized. Her hospitalization culminates her career. 

In this hard time, Jenna reaches out to her brother for help. Vincent will always help his family first and comes to Jenna’s aid. Together, they begin work on Jenna’s healing path. Vincent’s roles as professional and brother are one of the secondary themes and is one key to understanding Jenna.

After small successes, Jenna discovers she has an incredible gift along with a family history that is much closer than she previously believed. Jenna wants to continue working through her struggles and demands (as is her nature) that she be left alone to do so. She and Vincent work on a method so she will be successful then it is Jenna and her ghosts.

With her piles of blonde hair and violet eyes, she dives into her treasure trove of history, alone.  

The Cottage on the Border delves into the full character of flawed humanity. I found myself cheering all the characters, which speaks to the depth of Warren’s character development. History and morality would dictate that I should not sympathize with people who have done such horrid things. This is a testament to Warren’s  writing style. Her additional sheer genius in allowing us to travel with Jenna in all her discoveries is what made this a mouth-watering read for me. Like Jenna, I couldn’t stop.

Reading The Cottage on the Border is a great experience. I simply cannot wait to read the other two books in this series.  Jenna is addicting, her struggle is superhuman and I need to know how it turns out. A solid five stars.

Format: ebook
Pages: 228
Days to Read: 9


Completed this for BookTasters. If you’d like to get free books in exchange for an honest review, they’re fabulous to work with and I highly recommend them!

Book Review: The Blood Red Nails of War by Hannah Warren

Cover of The Blood Red Nails of War by Hannah Warren - Review
This is a review of The Blood Red Nails of War by Hannah Warren.

The Blood Read Nails of War is a historic novella that digs into your soul as a quick read with relatable but wonderfully troubled main characters. Meeting as teenagers on the brink of finding themselves, Elle, Agnus and Jacques push boundaries and end their discovery of each other as quickly as they started it.

Duality is ever present between Elle and Agnus  and their differences lend well to the third in their triangle, Jacques.  Elle creates a sordid atmosphere and Agnus is forced to make a decision as a blossoming teenage girl. Jacques has an affection for Agnus and is horrified with his sister’s actions and the resulting actions from Agnus.

After a lengthy separation, the three meet again as adults. Revisiting childhood memories quickly, they deal with being thrust together by the First World War quite maturely. Those memories make way for serving the wounded from the front line. They prove to be a formidable team who works tirelessly. Each doing their best to represent their passions as war rages around them.

Warren’s writing is fast-paced, eloquent and an absolute pleasure to read. Depth of characters is established quickly through interaction with their environment and other characters. It is a pleasure to invest in well-developed characters. I cannot wait for more installments of this series as it has dug its nails into my heart.

 



Book review is provided for 
BookTasters. If you’d like to get free books in exchange for an honest review, they’re fabulous to work with and I highly recommend them!

 

What’s Up at ReadViews: January 2017

It’s January, a fabulous time to read, review and generally be ambitious.

Reading-wise, I’m pretty excited about this year. I’ve made a personal goal of reading 40 books. You can join me on Goodreads and see how I’m doing with the reading challenge!


Here are the ReadViews you can expect in January:

Cover for The Blood Red Nails of War by Hannah Warren - Reviewing January 2017
The Blood Nails of War
Author: Hannah Warren

Cover of The Cottage on the Border by Hannah Warren - Reviewing January 2017

The Cottage on The Border: The Jenna Kroon Series
Author: Hannah Warren

Cover of The Farm on Nieuw Land Road by Hannah Warren - Reviewing January 2017
The Farm on Nieuw Land Road: The Jenna Kroon Series
Author: Hannah Warren

Cover of Lover Letters by Paulette Dahl - Reviewing in January 2017
Love Letters: Extraordinary Loving for Everyday Living
Author Paulette Dahl


This month I’ll be reading:

Cover of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Reading in January 2017
The Great Gatsby
Author: F.Scott Fitzgerald

Cover of Alice Munro's Best: Selected Short Stories - Reading January 2017
Alice Munro’s Best: Selected Stories
Author: Alice Munro

Cover of Daring Greatly by Brené Brown - Reading January 2017
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Author: Brené Brown

Cover of The Rose and The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh - Reading January 2017
The Rose and The Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh

For The Girly Book Club

Cover of Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra - Reading January 2017
Only Daughter
Author: Anna Snoekstra

How to Love Reading (Again)

While your coffee order is being filled, you look around and you see people hanging out with friends and then, you spot them. And their love.

 

The reader. The solitary person hanging out with characters of a distant land, breaking through the depths of the human imagination while waiting for their work day to start.

 

You’ve wondered how people can spend hours in a bookstore. *Let’s not kid ourselves, book lovers would live among the stacks if we were allowed*.

You’re curious about what drags people into paper, ink and imagination. What could possibly take one from the land of the living into…a book.

Here’s a few things you can do to become a book lover:
  1. Start slow, it’s not a race.
    There’s literally no reason for you to start consuming books as if your blood is made of letters and your cells punctuation. Start with one book.
  2. Pick a good book. For you.
    There are millions of books out there. There are recommendations to go with each of them. Start with a book that appeals to you. Some questions to ask: Who do I admire and want to learn more about? What are my hobbies? Do I want to read a story or hard facts?
  3. Make the time to read.
    If you’re not a big reader, 15 minutes a day will ensure that you’re getting through that book. If you want to go hardcore and finish a book in a few days, then go for it. Take your time and relish the time you have to spend with the book.
  4. Start a reading log.
    This can be a simple sheet that says the day you’re reading, the book you’re reading and the amount of pages you read that day.
  5. Rinse and repeat.
    This is the most important step. Even if you didn’t like and/or didn’t finish the last book, try again. There are many more opportunities for you to fall in love with the depths of the printed human imagination.

If you’d like to get some ideas, take a look at my Readviews.

Book Review: The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

the-year-of-yes-by-shonda-rhimes

Wondering what might happen if you say yes for a whole year?
Discover how Shonda Rhimes did with “The Year of Yes”

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too. The Year of Yes is about a journey into breaking out of the pantry and into the small crack of life’s light.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

 


Interested in gifting The Year of Yes? Take a peek on Amazon.