A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

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5stars

“You are a normal person. We all are. We all have brains that work differently, that’s all. You guys have been handed challenges. But you are worthy of happiness and health and help.”

Title: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater
Author: Jude Sierra
Number of pages: 258 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a very sweet book with a good portrayal of mental illness.
Bad things about this book: It’s hard to read. Read the trigger warnings first.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. It’s a story to be read by everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Pretty intense. Read with an aching but hopeful heart. I cared for these characters and, even if I won’t know what choices they decide to make, I will know in my heart that they’ll be okay and living day after day. Together.

Books about mental illnesses are always very hard for me to read. Books like this are somewhat triggering but I can’t help but read them; I feel the need to know other point of views, to learn more, to be able to help myself and others with new information. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone struggling to keep themselves afloat. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone using unhealthy behavior.

He tries to give his body over to the sounds of a great big earth around him, understanding that he is very small, a tiny piece of something greater, a small glimmer of either light or darkness, depending on his choices and will.

Reid suffers from an illness called cyclothymia that I have never heard of before. It was hard to read how he struggled in the past, is struggling with recovery in the present, and will struggle with it for the rest of his life. Reid is a magnificent boy who has a brain that works in a very peculiar way and it makes his life very difficult. He really tries his best. Reid touched my heart with his personality and the way he wants to be seen by the world, and by the amazing and handsome boy he starts crushing on, Joaquim.

Joaquim finds himself in it too deep and too soon with Reid. Reid is not an easy person to be with, but it won’t be a mental illness the cause for him to walk away from someone he can see himself building something concrete with. Why would he run away when things get difficult? He asks a lot of questions and is destined to make mistakes, but he is a very patient boy and his feelings are deep and real. He can’t run from them.

Reid doesn’t pray, but sometimes he likes to think that the energy he and the others put out into the world might make a small difference.

The portrayal of mental illness is done in detail, wonderfully, and painfully. Nothing graphic, nothing just to give us some drama. Things aren’t okay, and they’re explained in a way that you understand both how Reid is feeling and how Joaquim is elaborating the info he’s getting. It’s a painful process, but it’s liberating. Joaquim is seeing Reid for who he is; he is not his mental illness, he is a boy fighting to get better, who wants an adventurous life and to love and be loved. Reid and Joaquim were sweet and cheesy and adorable. All the kisses, the hugs, the little touches, they were all elements that made their love story, one to desire. I will never be loved like that and it makes me sad.

When I finished the book last night, I closed it and realized I wasn’t in the mood for anything else; I was left empty yet full, no space for anything more. I went to bed and waited to fall asleep recalling one of my many happy made-up scenarios, because I knew that if I started thinking about the book, I’ll stayed awake analyzing every single aspect of my life. I hope I’m not the only one that uses made-up fantasies to fall asleep in order to avoid falling into the endless stream of anxious thoughts about life.

I keep sighing thinking about Reid and Joaquim. Those boys stole my heart. I’m so glad I somehow found this little book and impulsively bought it. I knew my impulsiveness had more pros than cons!

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Inside Darkness by Hudson Lin

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4stars

Title: Inside Darkness
Author: Hudson Lin
Number of pages: 269 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of emotions in just a few pages. Intense.
Bad things about this book: Too many emotions to handle, at least for me.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Arc from NetGalley

I know I’m late! I’ve had this arc for quite some time but I read the summary very fast and only after been approved I realized it was about mental health. I wasn’t in the mood because my mental health is conditioned by what I watch/read so I wanted only bubbly, fluffy, easy books about good feelings, sunshine and rainbows. So days went by and I didn’t start it.

The day it was published I ordered me to read it, and I did, and I liked it. It was hard and it triggered me a little, but all in all it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually enjoyed it, even if I read it as fast as I could just to get it over with.

I struggled a lot because the feelings in it were so strong, so deep, and they were like a giant boulder crushing my chest. It was a wild ride, very important and insightful. I learned things I don’t think I’ve ever questioned about. The world is a harsh place and, as much as we like to face it head up, it comes and leaves scars so deep it’s hard to cope.

I’m a bit shaken because this is not entirely a happy story, but it has happy moments and so much hope. When the world seems to be dragging you into the deepest abyss, there can be a ray of sunshine that’ll help us keep the darkness at bay. Whatever it may be, there’s hope about finding it and that’s worth being in this world a little longer. Just to see the light at the end of the darkest of tunnels.

The characters were well written and relatable, old enough to have day by day issues similar to mine. Once in a while it’s refreshing reading about adults not having a precise clue about what to do with their lives and being as human and fragile as I feel most of the time.

Long story short, this book was hopeful and core-shaking, it gave me anxiety, palpitations and a mild panic attack. But in the end, the little smile on my face was reward enough to deem this book worth the time it took me to read it.

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A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

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5stars

“Are we going for an anchor or a compass? A memory to ground you, or a spark to guide you forward?”

Title: A Closed and Common Orbit
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #2

Number of pages: 364 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how simply yet complex this book is written.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, really nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes! 10000% yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I don’t know how to describe it. It’s calm, it’s important, it’s original, it’s innocent, it’s beautiful.
I don’t know how else to say how I feel about it. I was a passenger in the characters’ journey, a witness of their lives. Nothing happened that left me angry, baffled or annoyed. Everything fit perfectly together even though the story took place in the past during a 9-year gap, and in the future with lots of things not described while in action but after they happened. Yet you didn’t crave the information because with everything that you knew, you easily placed things in the right place. I loved this about the book: feelings were important but they weren’t forced into you with dramatic events, you developed them by knowing these characters and “living” with them during their everyday lives.

Sidra, previously known as Lovelace, the AI in the Wayfarer, is having a hard time adjusting to her new body. Everything is so limited; she doesn’t have eyes everywhere and doesn’t know everything. Pepper and Blue are taking care of her but there’s only so much they can do; Sidra needs to take care of herself and find a way to fit or else she’ll be dismantled and her friends arrested.

Alternating from Sidra’s chapters, we also have Pepper’s past life chapters in which we know where she came from and why she is so determined to help Sidra. Pepper’s story is sad but hopeful even when the hardness of life made hope impossible in young Pepper’s eyes. She is an enhanced human, created to serve, and made believe there is nothing outside the factory’s walls where she is kept alongside other girls to work as slaves.

Past and present seemed unconnected, almost two different books read at the same time. But they weren’t and when you see the connection, you start seeing the big design and you love every bit of it.

This is a story about family and friendship. A family you make for yourself. Sidra and Tak’s friendship was adorable. Tak is an Aeluon, a silver alien with scales as skin and cheeks that change color depending on feelings. Tak is also a shon meaning he changes gender once a month. This is never up for discussion; it was simply accepted as something that happened and people changed pronouns accordingly. This kind of diversity was refreshing and seeing Tak as both male and female and understanding more about their culture and habits, made me like Aeluons more than I already did after the first book.

All the aliens are weirdly fascinating. I hope I can see more of them in the next book! I just have to wait until the end of July. I can do it, right? Only a little patience.

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Hoarfrost by Jordan L. Hawk

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5stars

“I’d watch the world burn if it meant keeping you safe!”

Title: Hoarfrost
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin #6

Number of pages: 232 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how cute were the couples: Whyborne and Griffin, Christine and Iskander.
Bad things about this book: It bothers me a little that Whyborne isn’t studying more spells. He doesn’t know how to do much!
Do I recommend it? Yes! Of course!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I couldn’t wait much longer so I started another one of Whyborne & Griffin’s book! I read there are going to be 11 and now only 9 are out. I read this one that is the 6th so I still have a few to read slowly. I’m going to miss them so much when it’ll all be over. I don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

Whyborne and Griffin are now happily married and are enjoying some time of peace, until a letter informing Griffin of his father’s death put him in a whirlwind of emotions and nightmares. He never reconnected with his father after he found out about his love for Whyborne and he doesn’t want his mother to leave this Earth without seeing her again. Then one day, his biological brother who works in Alaska, sends him a letter asking for help identifying a weird relic and our crew leaves Widdershins for a long and cold journey north.

This book introduces, for the first time, chapters from Griffin’s point of view. I liked reading his thoughts, his feelings, his love for Whyborne. I also loved how we now know what torments the poor man, why he continues having nightmares about that fire in Chicago and the creatures in Egypt. Griffin hasn’t got an easy life but his love and life with Whyborne has given him a new reason to live and to fight for what he has, no matter the consequences.

There are a lot of surprises in this book; new interesting characters, the obvious bad guys that you can see from miles away but it still surprise you a little when they’re revealed, and more whiny but adorable Whyborne. I just want to know why Whyborne doesn’t know more spells since he’s had that damned book for years. He should be the most powerful sorcerer of the world but he doesn’t study!! Pick up the book and do your homework, Whyborne!! I’m not sure I like what happened at the end of the book but I’m curious as to how that will change the following books.

I will read the next book next month. I don’t want get to a point where I don’t have more Whyborne and Griffin to read. I can’t have that!

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Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

I wanted to save everyone. I wanted it so bad. Maybe it’s because no matter how much I try, I can’t shake the thought that they’re dying because of me. I fell on a hand and I brought the world to the brink of war.

Title: Waking Gods
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #2
Number of pages: 320 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I love the writing style and all the science!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

What a rollercoaster of a book. I was left shaken and with my jaw on the floor. So many things happened. So many twists I should have taken into consideration but instead didn’t so I was genuinely surprised. And shocked.

The first book ended with Rose literally coming back from the dead without her memories of working with Themis and her team of soldiers and scientists. This book starts nine years after that, with Rose feeling out of place and like a fake, and with Kara and Vincent still being the Themis pilots going on tours around the world. A new organization for the protection of Earth has been founded and it has the giant robot as sole protector of the planet. But the feared alien invasion, even if later than anticipated, decided to arrive and one after the other, bigger giant robots than Themis start appearing on Earth in highly populated cities. People in power don’t know what they want, they are scared, and scared people make mistakes. Things weren’t looking very good for humanity.

I still love the writing style of this book: the dialogues, the journal entries, and the mysterious man behind it all. It felt like a movie was playing inside my head while I was reading. No long descriptions, just the characters interacting among themselves or involved in some mission that could be fatal. Sometimes this kind of narration is refreshing.

The third and last book of this trilogy, Only Human, is on its way and I will receive it soon. I have already put it on my may tbr list so I will read it as soon as it gets here. I’m really curious about what is going to happen after than ending! I didn’t really see any of that coming. These books would make a really great mockumentary movie.

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[ARC] My Lavender Boyfriend by Marina Ford

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4stars

Often when I was alone in bed, which was pretty much every night, I had this feeling of phantom arms embracing me. I don’t know if this was a sign of my loneliness or what, but it was as though my body remembered what it was like to be with someone, even while I was forgetting.

Title: My Lavender Boyfriend
Author: Miranda Ford
Number of pages: Don’t know, it doesn’t say (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 23rd 2018
Good things about this book: Simon is adorable and I like a lot how the book is written.
Bad things about this book: It was different from what it was told it was going to be.
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a try.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

Awww this book was so sweet and adorable yet it was still missing something, but it didn’t have the drama or miscommunication I usually find in romance novels and for that I was glad. And also for that this will get 4 solid stars from me!

Simon, screenwriter now film professor is asked to be in a fake relationship with gorgeous actor Nick because Nick needs to clean his name and image and being with Simon can be exactly what he needs for the public to see him as a new and improved person. Nick was the sweetest and he got handy and flirty and you could see how not fake it was from him. I wish there was more about him, I feel like I’m missing so much more cuteness from that sweet big boy!

What was it missing, though? Well, this book promised me it was going to be about Simon and Nick being fake boyfriends then, obviously, developing real feelings, fall madly in love and have a happy life together. While it delivered what was promised, at the same time, it sort of didn’t. It was in the background. Nick felt like a side character, one of those who interact a lot with the main character but isn’t as important to the story. But Nick was important; without him, Simon would have never done everything he did, he would have never confronted his demons.

It still was a sweet story because what we saw about Simon and Nick, however small, was enough to understand why they went from strangers to lovers without much drama or words not said. It all flowed quietly and slowly, perfectly. Then, though, the story was much more about Simon and his dealing with his past and problems and the romance was left on the background. The title is “My Lavender Boyfriend” so I was hoping of having more of that.

This book was like the movie My Big Fat Wedding, a movie I hope you all have seen because it’s adorable. You’ll think the movie, if you read the title, is about the wedding, how the two main characters fall in love and tie the knot. Well it’s not about it. The movie is about the main character rediscovering herself, being the best person she can be, confronting her demons, her family, standing up for herself and finding true love that she didn’t think she was ever going to find. Also, this is one of the very few romantic comedies without drama in it and I loved every second of it.

This book is exactly like that movie; Simon’s love story is important and it’s adorable, you see how he starts relaxing when he is with Nick and you see how this peculiar fake relationship makes him grow. Simon confronts his past in the form of his ex-boyfriend who broke his heart, his present in the form of his family and his work, and his future in the form of Nick and a love story that promises wonders.

Long story short, I really liked this book, so full of sweetness, ambition, hope, and love. I started it and didn’t want to put it down. When a book manages to make me want to lose sleep, I say it’s a book worthy of the attention of everyone looking for a tiny piece of happiness in their everyday life. It did bring me joy so I’m hoping it’ll bring some to you, too.

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[ARC] Lock Nut by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

Did couples buy each other wedding presents, anyway? I mean, he’d be getting me, which some might say was quite enough to be getting on with.

Title: Lock Nut
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5
Number of pages: 330 (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 14th 2018
Good things about this book: Tom and Phil!! The ending!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes yes yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

I may have already mentioned it but I requested this book from NetGalley because I thought it sounded interesting and when I got approved and was ready to read it, I noticed it was the fifth book of a series. Bad luck? Au contraire, I’d say! This mistake made me discover one hell of a book series I have fallen in love with. There’s always room in my heart for more fictional characters to love and cherish.

This book was really sweet (besides the murders) and, surprise surprise, Phil wasn’t a bum in this one. After four books of him being the broody melodramatic man our Tom loves, I was ready to slap him if he dared do anything to upset my boy. He did, of course he did, but it wasn’t like in the first books when their love was just beginning. I forgave him almost immediately.

“You’ve got him well trained,” Dave said with a smirk.
“Too right. Want to see him come when I call?” I winked in case he hadn’t got the innuendo.

Cherry and Greg got married, left for Scotland for a pretty cold honeymoon, so now it was Tom and Phil’s wedding countdown. With only a few months to spare and a lot to plan, Tom is overwhelmed and overthinking. This led to some misunderstanding but not something to be worried about. Tom and Phil are super in love and it shows. There weren’t the steamy scenes we got in the first two books and I was weirdly okay with that, with only imagining how they had fun when nobody was around. I knew they were all over each other and that they loved each other so much they wanted to protect the other from harm.

There’s nothing easy about this protecting from harm business when they are always involved in murder investigations, though. First one man dead, then another, and Tom and Phil are once again among suspects they want to trust but can’t, seeing as it could lead to them getting badly hurt, again. Like that never has happened in the past.

Giving us a polite smile was a young man—early twenties, I’d guess—who set my gaydar pinging off the scale. So going by past results, he was probably happily married to his second wife and with a baby or six on the way.

I love the idea Phil has about Tom’s abilities being evolving because he’s using them more. I want him to stop thinking himself a fraud and try experimenting at home to see to what extent he can find what’s hidden. This will help him in the future and it will make their lives much easier when someone hires Phil for a job.

The ending was precious. Nothing over the top with forced tears or forced emotions. You find yourself truly invested in the lives of those two men and the feelings you are having are authentic. You are really happy they found each other again even if when they met at first one was the living nightmare of the other. The part where Tom reveals something hard about his past as a bullied boy, broke my heart. I think Phil needs to know this, not to make him feel guilty but I think he needs to know this part of Tom’s past. I think it’s important and I wonder why Darren, having witnessed the speech, didn’t say anything about it. I wonder if we’re going to come back to it in the next book. Because there’s going to be a next book, right? I need Tom in my life! I need more of him!

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