ten mini book reviews pt 15 featured image

Ten Mini Book Reviews Pt. 15

Hello everyone! I’m back with another set of mini book reviews!

ten mini book reviews pt 15 featured image

I do think I’m slowing down my reading, as I tend to spend a large amount of time on TikTok. I have to curb that habit for real as I do want to read more books! Not only do I have a ton of library books I’m trying to get through, but I also want to read more books from my own large collection as I’m trying to declutter them. I don’t want to get rid of them before reading them though, so I need to prioritize getting through them for sure. That being said, most of these books are library books LOL. Here’s what I’ve read lately!

Note about my ratings: I’ve switched to using the StoryGraph to track and rate the books I’ve been reading. This site uses 1-5 stars, 5 being the highest, in 0.25 increments. Feel free to friend me on the StoryGraph – my username is StarringPamela there!

Reverie by Zee Lacson

I mentioned this book recently in my September 2021 Life post as I went to a lecture from Lacson on being a self-published author. This is a YA book following London, a teen who just moved from Illinois to California. London has a dream shortly after she moves about a boy and it feels so real for her. Soon enough, she starts dream of him more and more, realizing that they are both real and she wants to try to find him.

I did enjoy the book a lot. It was such a cool concept and I loved how realistic London felt. I mentioned that to Lacson after her lecture. I feel like a lot of times I get so frustrated in YA when a fantasy aspect is introduced to their otherwise realistic life and they react so bewildered instead of being excited or just going with it. Because, let’s be real, if all of a sudden you were on some grand fantasy adventure, yeah you might freak out but it would be so cool too! Anyway, it was such a fun story and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

I’m still reading through the Clare books… This one wasn’t terrible though. It follows the character Simon over the course of a few years in the form of a collection of short stories. Familiar characters pop in and out and and I did feel like it was a good way to wrap up that part of the series. It wasn’t actually the end of those characters, as I did read the next book before this one so I did have a lot of spoilers, but for me it felt like a good wrap up. I’m sure the characters will continue to show up as Clare tends to weave characters into the other series she writes as they are all set in the same universe. Anyway, it was fine.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria

I saw this book on TikTok and had to pick it up from the library. This book is a collection of essays and poems from Hispanic authors. I really appreciated the book. At times I get frustrated as so many Hispanic stories are always so unrelatable to me as they tend to highlight those who are poor, undocumented, addicts, etc. I recognize those are important stories, but I do wish there were more stories closer to my experience. Either way, the stories were still interesting and I did enjoy reading them even if I couldn’t always relate to them. y

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Living Simply by Sally McGraw

I found this book on Libby and checked it out through my library. I was trying to find books on minimalism and so I picked this one out as one of the few available ones (this topic is popular right now!). It’s a teen book so it was a bit too simple for me but overall had good tips for a teen or adult beginner to minimalism.

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The World as It is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes

As I continue to enjoy memoirs, I decided this would be a great read! And it was! I really enjoyed Rhodes’ memoir of working for the Obama Administration at the White House for eight years. It was cool to get a glimpse of Obama from Rhodes’ perspective and another inside look at what was going on during the big events during those years. It was also interesting to hear of Rhodes’ family life and struggling to balance his work life with his home life. And then he and his wife trying to figure out their lives after their jobs came to an end was really interesting to read about. I feel like at the end of each administration so much goes into thinking “what’s next” for the outgoing President and their family, but not so much their employees that will also be unemployed after the end of the term. It was a great insight and I really enjoyed reading it!

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

When a Toy Dog Became a Wolf and the Moon Broke Curfew: A Memoir by Hendrika de Vries

I got this book for free from the publisher for review purposes. I put it off for so long and I do feel bad about it! But I am glad I’ve finally read it! De Vries tells her story of being a young child in Nazi occupied Amsterdam, sharing how her father was arrested, her memories of her mother fighting to keep the two of them alive, the Jewish “stepsister” she and her mother hid in their home until someone told on them and Nel was taken away, and how they nearly starved to death towards the end of the war. It was such a powerful story and it is going to stay with me long term I’m sure.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage

I’ve been trying hard to learn more about handling my finances. I’m in a fortunate place where I have a good amount for my present self, but I want to make sure I’m taking care of my future self too. I checked out a few books from the library and my librarian friend recommended this one! She’s a fan of Chelsea Fagan’s YouTube channel The Financial Diet who wrote this book with the same name. I did enjoy Fagan’s book and I did end up subscribing to her YouTube channel too. I did think a lot of this book was more on the simple side as I have done a lot of research so I’d already encountered a lot of the information in the book. However, I think it’s always good to review the basics and the fact that the same information comes up again and again makes me sure that it works and I do feel reassured that I’m on the right track.

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Broke Millennial Talks Money by Erin Lowry

Lowry is quite similar to Fagan in the sense that they both work to help millennials understand money and take control of their finances. Lowry’s book was unique as she gave “scripts” for talking about money with friends, coworkers, family, and more. It focused more on the social aspects of money and how to be more open about it. I really enjoyed the scripts and have used a few to try to get my parents to open up about their plans for retirement and their will (although with little success still) and my sister to see if she’ll agree to take care of my son if anything should happen to me (although the aforementioned parents have already called dibs).

I gave this book 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Bad with Money by Gaby Dunn

This was the last of the books that I picked up on finances and it was my least favorite. It wasn’t really written to be educational about finance, it seemed to have been written to allow Dunn to share all her poor financial decisions in her life as a warning to others. That’s what I get for not really reading the blurb on the back and just picking it up due to the title! Don’t get me wrong, the stories Dunn shared were interesting, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for and Dunn’s humor was a little on the annoying side for me.

I gave this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

I DNF’ed this book back when it was first released. It had just been “too soon” in both a good way and a bad way. But I finally decided it was time to read it and I’m glad I did. While it doesn’t really share anything new, it does show us Clinton’s side of the story for the 2016 Presidential Election. In this book are her thoughts, concerns, and some really great reflections on her experience as a Presidential Candidate. Something about this book did annoy me though. I think because I viewed it as Clinton’s opportunity to answer the question of “what happened” but Clinton is explaining all the things that did happen. It was a disconnect from my expectations to what Clinton actually provided. Again, I don’t often read book blurbs, but if I had then I’m sure that I would have had more reasonable expectations.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Now I am getting close to finishing my yearly book reading goal! My goal is 100 books in 2021, and these ten books bring us to 85 for the year! Hopefully I can squeeze in 15 more!

Thanks for reading!


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