Book Review Round-Up: June 9

OK, so I’ve had a bit of extra time to read more books lately (it helps when you read instead of browse social media). I have a few book reviews to post this week, so let’s get started!

As a note, all links posted are to each book’s Amazon page for order/pre-order.

Anxiety Management for Kids on the Autism Spectrum
by Christopher Lynch
Releases July 1, 2019

Rating: 5/5

I have quite a bit of experience around anxiety and the causes around anxiety, but wanted to get a deeper understanding of the differences for kids with autism. I have absolutely no background on autism, so this is totally new for me. This book was quite eyeopening: it clearly spelled out different circumstances where a child may break down, and goes into the possible reasons behind why it might’ve happened although it might’ve looked like it came on from nowhere. The author goes into a lot of the common reasons of anxiety and breakdowns for these kids, which makes a lot of sense with the background knowledge he supplies throughout the book.

I found this to be extremely educational. Even for a person with little to no background knowledge on the subject, I could easily understand what was being discussed. This could possibly be of use to other populations of kids who also have issues with anxiety, such as kids with ADHD or overly sensitive children, that can be easily overwhelmed. As a layperson, it also humanizes some of what we see in public when we see children who break down, and it isn’t always something that the parent can control.

Everything Below the Waist: Why health care needs a feminist revolution
by Jennifer Block
Releases July 16, 2019

Rating: 5/5

Holy cannoli! This book is chock full of information and so many bits of historical information around why healthcare is the way it is for women today. I really didn’t expect that when I requested this book, and I’m pleasantly surprised by that.

I have a public health background and did an internship at Planned Parenthood as a student, so these issues are near and dear to me. Jennifer Block did a great job at processing all the information and history around topics like birth control, abortion, and other women’s health issues like how women have typically not been valued in the health care arena. I actually learned a lot of new information, which was intriguing to me and makes me think about the current abortion restrictions; will we possibly see some of these brown bags come back in states that have incredibly restrictive abortion laws? (If you don’t know what this is about, get the book, because that really made an impact on me!)

This is a VERY information dense book. It may take some time to read, but it is a GOOD read for women to understand the historical reasons for the current state of women’s healthcare in the United States.

Drawing: Trees with William F. Powell
by William F. Powell
Released May 7, 2019

Rating: 5/5

I like to draw webcomics, yet I hate drawing scenery. This makes for boring comics.

I requested this book on NetGalley to see if I could really get some tips and tricks on drawing trees, and the artist definitely produced some good ways to handle drawing different types of trees and branches. This might be geared towards the physical artist with a pencil, but someone who is digitally learning how to draw can also utilize the steps in this book to create better looking scenes.

Thanks for reading this week’s round-up! I’m always looking for more books to read, so if you think something might be down my alley, just send me the name and I’ll take a look. 🙂


New Release: Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

After looking for some horror books to try and get into, I found this book by chance on NetGalley and was not disappointed!

Click the image to go to the Amazon page

Published: June 4, 2019 (today!)
Author: Ann Dávila Cardinal
My NetGalley Rating: 5/5

My NetGalley Review:

It might look like I give a lot of positive reviews, but it’s more the fact that I’m extremely choosy about the books I spend my time with. I’m glad I picked this one up when I was perusing through NetGalley!

I’m a big fan of creepy stories, and have had an extremely hard time finding a good creepy story to read. This one definitely tickled my fancy. The author did a fantastic job in transporting the reader to Puerto Rico, the beautiful areas to the crime ridden ones, to move the story along. I felt like I could picture the locations that they went to.

The romance in this book was fantastic. I appreciate an author who can cultivate relationships and not just plunge the poor reader into a cold bath of “I love you soooo much”although it might not be relevant. I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, but I felt satisfied after seeing the loose ends tied up.

As a biracial person myself, I found the focus on identity to be grating at first, but it did make sense as the story continued. I can’t dock stars for that. 🙂

If you enjoy creepy things, with a bit of romance and mystery in a tropical setting, I’d suggest picking up the book… it just came out today!

What I liked about the book:

When I enjoy a good book, I want to read it during work, not only after work! I binged this book today whenever I had a chance to pull out my Kindle at work and kept reading because I really had to find out how this whole thing was going to end.

This author really did her research on drugs and drug addiction, which I noticed from the last few pages of the book that she did quite a bit of research into this whole novel. The pang of desire for an addict and how easy it is to start using was just so well written out that I could really feel for the characters who were involved with addiction. It was interesting to see how many characters addiction touched in this story.

I also enjoyed the characters. They had realistic drives and interests with backgrounds and history that made sense to their personalities. Relationships were cultivated and not forced, which I really appreciated since I really abhor super romantic and not realistic romantic writing. It felt like romance was a side point and not the focus, which was great because Ann Dávila Cardinal really focused on the creepy stuff! Yay!!!

Speaking of creepy: I enjoyed the thread of unease throughout the book. I also enjoy SCP Foundation stories. It’s not totally on the same level of SCP, but is definitely a step in that direction that is hard to find for some reason.

What I wasn’t a fan of:

The main thing I wasn’t a fan of in the writing was just how quickly everything wrapped up into a nice bow. I wasn’t totally expecting some of the main characters to do what they did at the end, and those relationships felt a tad rushed. (It might be because it’s also a YA — this isn’t my typical genre so I’m not sure what to expect) ((I also edited my original statement because I don’t want to spoil the story))

One minor thing that did get on my nerves was the focus on being biracial and not belonging. I totally get that there’s a reason for it, but it hit a little too close to home for me as a biracial person… though Ann might know as well, being a Gringa-Rican!

Who is this for?

Anyone who is looking for a quick read of multicultural urban horror!