Monday, April 23, 2018

Mix N' Match (No Match for Love #3 ) by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review

Mix N' Match (No Match for Love #3 ) by Lindzee Armstrong | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This is the nth book of Lindzee Armstrong that I have read. I have been signed up to her ARC team and I get to be fortunate to get to read all her books for free. This is the third book in the series. Unfortunately, I didn't to get to read her books in chronological order. But it doesn't matter because each one is a stand alone, so you can read them in any order. Whatever suits your mood. 

This installment is the love story of Zoey and Mitch. These two are polar opposites but they seem to have an undeniable attraction towards each other, even if they tried to deny it relentlessly. Zoey is Brooke's best friend and maid of honor. Mitch is Luke's best man and also his loyal and efficient assistant. So, being that Luke and Brooke are going to be married, these two will most likely be closer to each other. And more so, because they both play a very important role to the wedding and to the couple. With the coming wedding going to be held in France and the couple unable to attend personally to the preparations and to avoid everyone uninvited and the press from getting wind of where the wedding will be, these two will have to step up and make sure that the wedding will be as planned. No hiccups.

This is probably the funniest of all the No Match for Love novellas I've read. Mitch and Zoey are like a cat and a dog that can't seem to help but be at each other's throats. Being put together in the City of Lights and where every corner seems to be a romantic spot, will these two be infected by the love bug too? Will these two finally be soften by the romantic scenery and finally admit that as opposites as they are, they too can find some common ground and be together?

I have read a lot of stories and love stories formed in Paris. I can't blame any of those authors. Just looking at those pictures of the city, you can't help but fall in love. These two characters in this story, Zoey and Mitch, were no exception. Paris is undoubtedly the city of love or the most romantic city in the world. These two have walked its street, ate the food and smelled its air. Yes, it's probably something in the air and these two, turned out to be not immune. Definitely! They caught the love bug too but not after a very strong resistance and constant bickering. But love is a more powerful force and these two have no more power over it. They finally surrendered.

I really enjoyed this story. Ah, Paris alone is such a treat already. I imagined myself walking through the streets of Paris, following Mitch and Zoey as they try to get acquainted with the city, at the same time trying to accomplish what they are set to do. All the picturesque landmarks and the museums, it's every traveler's dream. I totally enjoyed that. 

These two proved to be great friends to Brooke and Luke. These two would do anything for their two best friends and make sure that they got the wedding that they dream and they want. These two ended up doing what they probably wouldn't have thought doing, much less ending up in each other's arms and pretending to be exactly farthest from what they are. But in the end, pretending wasn't so bad at all.

I give this book 5/5 bridal bouquets. It's always amusing to listen or imagine two people always arguing or always trying to shoot the other down, but deep down, they can't wait to just be with that person. Definitely, opposites attract just like magnets. And Zoey and Mitch are just a concrete example. They're polar opposites, but their differences are what exactly draw each one towards the other. I just love the quote below. It summed up how these two are just perfect for each other. And wouldn't it be nice to actually meet and fall in love with someone who's exactly your opposite, like the North to your South, yet you can't imagine being with anyone else. He can turn your world upside down but you wouldn't have it any other way.

You have me so frazzled I don't know which way is up. You make me believe I can jump off a cliff and not only survive, but enjoy the ride down and make something good out of the disaster waiting for me at the bottom. You're crazy and chaotic and spontaneous. You upset all my carefully laid plans and schedules. And I don't care.

- Lindzee Armstrong, Mix N' Match -


Thank you again, Lindzee Armstrong for the copy.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Deadly Spirits (A Mac McClellan Mystery #4) by E. Michael Helms | A Book Review

Deadly Spirits (A Mac McClellan Mystery) by E. Michael Helms | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

One of my favorite genres is mystery. It's just lately that I started to like horror mysteries. I'd prefer reading them than watching horror movies. My imagination is too active for my liking and I'd end up imagining seeing those scary creatures in the room. But if I am familiar with the actors who are in the horror movie, it would seem like the movie would not be that scary anymore. I don't know if that's weird but that's how I see it.

I got this from the author. He reached out to me April of last year through this blog and asked if I would want to review his book. Yes. It seemed like that was a lifetime ago. Time flies too past and as always, I'm playing catch up with my reviews. Reading has never been a problem for me. I can read two or three books in one day, if I have nothing else to do. It's always been writing the reviews that's a challenge. It seems like I have to be in the mood. Sometimes, I find myself in a certain mood to write a review for another book instead of the other one that I was supposed to or planned earlier on to write a review. There's no exact formula on how I write my reviews. These past few days I tried another method. To try to write one for each day. We'll see if I can sustain it. I really hope so.

This mystery story at first seemed like not really ghost related. Like Mac McClellan, I too was skeptical at first. I too thought the mysterious deaths were done by someone alive and breathing and not by a ghost. How the events had turned out in the story was very interesting and curious. It's enough to make the hair on my arms stand on end. 

The mix of a ghost story and a series of murders is very fantastic. The addition of the paranormal element into the story tends to draw me in ever more. Who can resist a ghost purported to be on a killing spree? Really curious, right? Good thing, we have Mac, as skeptical as any PI could be. Of course, in his line of work, he can't just accept or take anyone's word for it. Evidence is important and it had to be as tangible as possible. More so, it should stand scrutiny and probe. 

Like the rest of the small towns where everybody tends to know everybody, that's what's going on in this story also. Everyone seems to be connected to one another. And that connection, that somehow contributed to how the case of the murders were solved. Of course, we can't discount Mac's PI prowess and skills. 

I just really like how the murders were resolved. It wasn't predictable but yet you can't help but suspect that there's a connection between some of the characters in this story. Now, I am curious what the other previous books were about. What were the previous adventures of Mac? Did they all had a sprinkling of the supernatural?

I give the book 4/5 old school tape recorders. Like these old relics of the past, a good old detective work goes a long way. And that there are no secrets that will stay hidden. Eventually they all come out into the open. Just like the very old murder in this story, even if it was after three long decades, finally it was resolved. Even if closure was delayed, at least that body and mystery could now be put to rest. I really enjoyed this book. The suspense of how dead bodies just fall one after the other with no obvious reason or suspect. I was glued and I didn't let go of the book until the story was over. It's been a while since I last read mystery stories like this. I have missed this. Thank you again, E. Michael Helms for the book copy. What's next for Mac? 

By the way, I love that Henry is part of this story. Having loyal and cute pets in a story always adds a certain element to the story. Plus, I love dogs. The love and hate relationship between Sheriff Pickron and Mac is also very amusing. It seems like Mac tests the sheriff's very limited patience and knows how to push the wrong buttons of the sheriff. I feel sorry for the sheriff, yet in a way felt he deserves it also. 

And I just love this quote. I am hoping I could use this sentence in real life. But it would go like this. "What right has my asthmatic lungs have to tell your liver what to do?" I don't smoke and I don't drink, so my only right to claim for authenticity to the statement is my having hereditary asthma. 

What right does my liver have to tell your lungs what to do?

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.
- E. Michael Helms, Deadly Spirits -

Angels' Whispers (War Eternal #1) by J. F. Cain | A Book Review

Angels' Whispers (War Eternal #1) by J. F. Cain | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I've always been fascinated with Angels. There was even a point in my life where I was bordering on obsessed with them. I collected angel figurines and even read a lot of books on them. I even had a notebook where I had notes about them. I listed the names of the most popular angels, their special characteristics and what they can do. I also noted those very unique names so I could use them to name my kids. I still have that notebook until now. No kids still though. So, when the author reached out to me through the contact form on my blog last October 2017 asking me to review his book, I agreed without thinking. It's about angels, there's no way I'm going to pass that opportunity. Just so know you also, I had bought and read books on fallen angels by Lauren Kate and Becca Fizpatrick and I have ebooks for Thomas E. Sniegoski's fallen angels books too. Yes. Not too obvious that I am a great fan of angels and their stories. I am a believer too that these heavenly and otherworldly beings exist. I have a few experiences which in a way could be attributed to their interventions. 

Angels' Whispers. This story is a classic good versus evil. Here the unending battle between good and evil is showcased. This reminds me of scenes in the movies when a person is caught in a moral dilemma and he has to make a very significant decision. He's pictured with an angel on his right whispering him to do the right thing. Period! While on his left, the devil could not be outsmarted. He's whispering what the opposite decision would give the man. He's trying to buy him with material things, power, or a mighty boost to the man's ego, or all of the above. A lot of the same scenes are pictured out in this story. The only difference is, the devil or the angel picks a person they can influence. Obviously, those with thoughts and deeds that are leaning on the bad side are picked by the devil. Honestly, the devil doesn't have to do much. He just have to whisper what benefits will come out of it to inflate the man's ego or add to his wealth. The person succumbs just easily. The devil and his cohorts know that they only need to play with the man's selfish needs and desires and it's a done deal. No resistance at all. On the other side, the angels also take interests in humans who are trying so hard to do good. These charges are still susceptible to the devils persuasion but the angels make sure that their hold on their charges are as solid. Especially, if their charge is going to play an important role in the overall scheme of the good versus evil scenario.

Alex Mayer, the center of the Superior of the Angels' attention. Aranes was tasked to take a close guard on Alex. And then, Aranes broke the most sacred rule of all when she saved Alex' life after an avalanche. And the most confusing thing of all, it seems like the Eternal Source is also taking a very special interest in Alex and Aranes is yet to find out. What could be very special about Alex? Aranes vows to uncover that mystery.

This is a very good start to a very intriguing and captivating series. As I have said, I have read books about angels, both fallen and not. And this book is not anywhere the same or a repeat of those stories. Of course, you can't roll out the part where these heavenly beings fall in love too. But apart from that and the age old war between light and darkness, nothing else in this story is anything I have heard before. One aspect that I really like is Aranes being the leader of all the Angels. Even higher than Michael (my guardian angel), Raphael or even Gabriel. I totally am thrilled with the author championing women empowerment here. Yes. Aranes, a woman, leads all the heavenly hosts and she's very close to the Eternal Source. Very close in fact, that breaking the most important rule in the book had not lost her title and power. She knows something very big and important is going on and she needs to get to the bottom of it. She will need to do her own research since the heavenly sources and archives are not going to reveal the answers to her. 

Aside from the host of angels and demons mentioned here, other supernatural creatures are also in this story. There are werewolves and vampires also. It seemed like these two mortal enemies are also gearing up for war, just like the angels and the demons. These creatures have also chosen which side they are on. There's more too. It seemed that these creatures too are out to get the humans. So, the humans are not only in danger of the devils unflinching influence but also in mortal danger from the vampires and maybe the werewolves. Ah, the plot just keeps on getting thicker. 

I was really hooked to this story. Not to mention, the really paralyzing suspense and that some characters are not exactly what they are. I also liked how the tension, the push and pull, the undeniable chemistry and the strong connection between Aranes and Alex was set to play. I too was caught up in Aranes' dilemma. If I were in her shoes would I succumbed to these feelings that I thought I was immune to or was not supposed to feel toward my charge or would I fight it to the last inch of my power and strength? Or even give up everything for it? But then, it also raises the most controversial question. If God is love, then aren't angels allowed to love too? This question is one of the most important elements in this story. It explores its implications and maybe the consequences for the angels if they ever happen to fall prey to this most and greatest of all human characteristic. I simply relish this part of the story. 

This story reminds me of the movie "City of Angels" with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan. So, if an angel falls in love with a human, does that mean it would be the cause of downfall? We have yet to find out. That question is yet to be answered and the story is just starting. And that is not the only concern here, even more pressing is the impending great war between light and darkness. Lucifer is adamant that he takes over the heavens and be the superior ruler. Or, that there might just be hope for him. Maybe he can still go back to the fold of the righteous and bask in the light again. That aspect of Lucifer's situation is a prospect that seems to just hold a very very tiny glimmer of hope. The story hinted that. Oh, I would love to see that happen--Lucifer becoming an instrument of good again. After all, he was once the greatest of God's army. His hubris-- he thought could be greater than God. In a way, he got what he wanted. He's the king of darkness now, yet there seems to be a part of him that seems to be not at peace with it. I hope these things get cleared in the next book.

I give this 5/5 pairs of angels wings. I was totally captivated by this story. It's an altogether different examination and unearthing of these enigmatic beings. It's another version of the exploration into the ever waging war between light and darkness with the fate of the humans in the midst. I am looking forward to the sequels of this book and I am sure, they are not to be missed. I guess, I'll never outgrow my fascination with angels if stories like these are always going to end up in my hands. I really hope not. I am going to remain just as ever fascinated by new stories about angels. Thank you again, J. F. Cain. I genuinely ate up this story. And yes, I admit. I feel sorry for not having read this sooner. Please forgive me. I think Aranes is whispering that you should let this slight pass.

Noting was more important than that unparalleled moment when love revealed its power. The power that defines everything, that takes away all your choices and makes you find the strength to go up against mighty forces.
- J. F. Cain, Angels' Whispers - 

Thanks again, J. F. Cain for the copy.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Children of Neptune (Children of Neptune #1) by Makenna Snow | A Book Review

Children of Neptune by Makenna Snow | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I have always been fascinated with mermaids. There's just some haunting yet adorable quality about them. I can't count how many times I have watched Disney's "Little Mermaid". And lately, books about mermaids seem to end up in my arms. This is the second book of three about mermaids that I read this year. I got this one from Netgalley.

So, this is a story of a 16-year old princess. An heir to the throne and is next in line to take over the rule of the kingdom of mermaids. They're in an invisible island protected by Neptunes's power from humans. This princess is Jet. She's homeschooled and is very much protected from the life of ordinary teenagers in their kingdom. Then, out of a suggestion from one of the members of the council, Jet is to join the high school and mingle with the people. This is also a way for the royal family to reach out and appease the people's increasing unease and distrust of the ruling family. To Jet, it's really a challenge because she doesn't know how ordinary teenagers act or what they do for fun. Add to that an assignment his father, the king, had entrusted to her. She had to succeed in it because a lot is at stake.

This is like mythology meets the modern world. It's a fusion of those two things. The story obviously talks about the descendants of Neptune, God of the sea. They're sheltered from humans and yet they also have their own technology which to humans could be compared to the internet and mobile phones. Just because they're from the old world, doesn't mean they have to remain in the old era.

It's amusing to watch Jet blunder through high school and learn things all on her own. She has a lot of things to learn and it doesn't help that there's a teacher that's out to make sure that she doesn't succeed. It's more than she bargained for. Like a normal high school, she gets to meet the most popular girl and of course, crushing on the cutest and kindest guy in the campus. Jet has to prove that she's not just a fragile princess and that she too can hold her own even out of her comfort zone or more appropriately a fish out of water.

What I really like about the story is the fact that Jet can talk to animals and she has this really cute pet sable named Peppercorn. The name is even too cute. I can just imagine Peppercorn being cute and cuddly. Jet has the ability to talk to animals and her conversations with Sable are just so hilarious. Listening to their conversations, it would sound like Sable is the older of the two. It seemed like sarcasm is Peppercorn's forte and Jet is not exempted from that. Often, Jet is the target and recipient but it's also evident that these two have a very close and special bond that cannot be questioned. Peppercorn is first and foremost loyal to Jet and she knows how Jet thinks and often, she's like Jet's conscience and her number one motivator. I really like the relationship of these two.

With regard to the background story and how Jet's people came to be, the author did provide enough background and history for the readers to understand how the kingdom sprang out and how humans didn't even know they exist. And as the story progresses, more information about families, other characters, rivalries and hidden agendas were unveiled. Apparently, envy and the thirst for power is not only a weakness for humans but for Neptune's children as well. 

The Quadrivium. A lot of the things and events in this book happened or is centered in this place. This is their high school. The council has a meeting chamber within the campus also. A lot of whispered conversations and plans are plotted and conspired within its walls. It's halls and rooms are privy to a lot of secrets. 

This story also reminds me of Nancy Drew. Jet being given a special assignment by no less than the king and also because she has a personal stake in the success of the mission. So, like Nancy Drew, Jet has a tendency to stick her nose in places and things bigger than her. Like the young spy, Jet has a very strong instinct and often her gut feel would lead to interesting places and stumble into very unexpected discoveries.

All in all, this is an interesting story with a lot things thrown into the mix. There's mystery and conspiracy. There's myth and then some elements of modern technology also thrown in. It also talks about relationship between parents and children. How some parents wanted to carve a path for their children and these kids have no choice but to strictly follow that path. To stray from it would be tantamount to disloyalty and a disgrace to the name and family. There are also children who try to protect their parents instead of the other way around. So, different parent-child relationships are explored here which is what makes this story relevant to the modern YA readers. I appreciate that even if there are a lot of things happening in this story. The significance of the message about that vital yet fragile relationship between father-daugther or father-son or mother-daughter is not lost in the colorful mythical background and the host of varied and complicated characters. It actually stands out without really giving obvious emphasis to it. 

I give the book 4/5 cute sables. I think there are two things that I love the most about this story. One is Jet's character having to be a princess, a Nancy Drew wanna be and a female version of Dr. Doolittle. So, the clueless princess actually turned out to be something very incredible and not because it's inherent in her. She had to work through most of the things and even had the scratches and bruises to prove them. She's not afraid to earn her place and get her hands dirty, which is actually admirable in a princess. The second thing that shines out of this story is as I have said, the subtle exploration of a parent and a child's relationship. Again, it's not the focus of the story but somehow it finds it's way in the center of things and in the thick of things. It floats out to the surface. It's the common element among the characters. How that relationship plays into the formation of that certain character in this story and how it also contributes to how those characters end up in the last pages of this first book.

Our futures may be mapped out for us, but there's always more than one route to a destination.
- Makenna Snow, Children of Neptune - 

Thank you again, Netgalley and Makenna Snow for the copy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

War of the Ashers (The Petros Chronicles #2) by Diana Tyler | An ARC | A Book Review

War of the Ashers (The Petros Chronicles #2) by Diana Tyler | An ARC | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I got a very upsetting news yesterday. The worst part is I was rendered helpless by the situation. I can't do anything about it. I have no recourse. All I wanted to do was to lash out and hurt someone. I wanted to claw out someone's face, or twist someone's arm or just hit something just to get the frustration out. But I didn't get to do any of that. I had to channel that bad energy to my work online. But not after I gave the person a piece of my mind. Actually a feedback that's worth a novel in length and it wasn't enough because the person I sent it to was just a point of contact. Just a messenger and wasn't even responsible for the whole debacle. I'm thinking of posting that distressing incident here, just so people will know what an unfair thing it was. I haven't decided yet. I'm not sure if it's even worth the effort. What I really want is to have a direct line to that person/people who were responsible for that insensitive, unprofessional and lack of integrity to answer to what I have to say. Maybe, if I really really dig hard enough, I would find them. The internet holds a lot of information and I think now a days, nothing is sacred or too private if you're just persistent and patient enough. But I don't think I need to do that. I don't want to appear like some crazed and disgruntled person, though I really want to go crazy and run amok because of the helplessness. I wish that whatever they did will come back to them and bite their ass really really hard. Like chomp on it with all the fury of a rabid dog. That's how pissed I am with what happened. If only I could declare war or maybe just boycott that organization, if that's even possible. I think boycott is not too far out. Hmmm. Sounds like a plan. Disclaimer: I have never done something too outrageous or gone ballistic before. I am not a confrontational person. Although I had a few moments of acting out of character or what I call temporary madness, I haven't done anything that's bordering on psychotic. This is just me thinking out loud. If only and how I wish my words have power.

So, speaking of war, War of the Ashers is the second book in The Petros Chronicles. In the this installment, Chloe and her brother have gotten to know more about their powers and have explored more of it. They learned how their powers work and the extent of what it can do. A lot of things happened in here. Like the first book, Chloe has to travel. In book one, it was to the underworld and this time she has to do journey into another world to discover more about her destiny and how she can save Petros. This time, there's a reunion with her brother and story explores the relationship between the twins. A lot of background stories about other characters were doled out in this book also. Most of all, the story behind the unbeatable force that Chloe has to stop in order to save Petros--Mania. There were a lot of stunning surprises and revelations too.

As I have said, a lot of things happened in this second installment but I wasn't in any way confused. The events were clearly done and I think I really enjoyed this book more than the first. Things are getting clearer and clearer. It's now very clear what Chloe had to do in order to save Petros. There were a lot of traveling to places and between time periods which was very interesting. I think this installment gave out a lot of background stories which give the readers a better understanding of the events that lead to the present and how some very unlikely and unassuming characters were very significant. 

One of the things that I liked in this installment is more things were revealed about Damian. Readers are given a chance to know and understand more of Damian's character. Also, I think his character had the most transformation in this story. I think he has come a long way to being just Damian, the individual and the Damian that's half of the twin and brother to Chloe. This time, it's not just about Chloe. There is more on Damian and Ethan too. More about Damian's personality and his relationship with Chloe was explored. Ethan and Chloe's relationship also did not escape that exploration. 

I did not expect how this book ended but alas, it's not over for Chloe, Ethan and Damian yet. They still have another adventure to go to and an unfinished business to wrap up for good this time. Wow! The way the story is shaping up is totally out of the left-field. I didn't see this coming and going in this direction. And I mean that in a good way. It's totally a surprise which I absolutely like. There are a thousand and one possibilities of what will happen in the next book and I'm dying to know how it will turn out. Diana Tyler, great job on that. 

As I have said, I totally enjoyed this book better than the first one. Looking back, I did enjoy the first installment but this is way way better. I am even more riveted and undeniably invested now in the trio's quest to save Petros. I give this book 4.5/5 storms. Unlike storms, although a lot happened in this story, it was not chaotic at all. In fact, everything was made clearer to me even more. The background story was solidified, characters' histories were exposed and strengthened, and most of all, the best part is the three main characters' growth, maturity and development. It was very tangible in this book. When you look back to the first installment, these three have come a very very long way and the experiences they have gone through have shaped their characters beautifully. Although those experiences were far from pleasant, in fact, traumatic and unbelievable. I would say, character build up is the best part of this installment. It was amazingly done. It was what stood out for me.

He found it took very little guile to tempt adults toward wickedness, so long as he pandered to their selfish desires.

You talk about selfishness like it's a plague or something,  and yet everything you do is selfish.
- Diana Tyler, War of the Ashers - 

Thank you again, Diana Tyler for the ARC.

Other books in the series:

Age of the Ashes (The Petros Chronicles #1)


Friday, April 6, 2018

Perfectly Misunderstood (Perfect Series #4) by Robin Daniels | Book Blitz and Giveaway

Perfectly Misunderstood 
(Perfect Series Book #4) 

Author: Robin Daniels
Publisher: Bluefields
Publication Date: April 4, 2018

This dual perspective book is the final installment in the Perfect Series but can be read as a stand-alone.

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Jayden Valdez is an overachieving intellectual. Mike McGinnes is Franklin High School’s dumbest jock. Even though they barely know each other, she finds his personality repulsive and he thinks she’s got a giant stick up her you know what. Mike and Jayden are surprised and annoyed when their teacher pairs them together for Spanish tutoring. Both feel it’s a complete waste of time, since nobody could learn from a person who bugs the crap out of them. Not to mention that their reputations might be ruined if people realize what they’re doing. But it doesn’t take long for Jayden to discover that Mike has a secret—he isn’t the person he appears to be. Much to her dismay, Jayden finds 'Secret Mike' strangely attractive. And for some crazy reason, Mike is amused by Jayden’s clever insults and witty banter. Suddenly, they have a much bigger problem than their mutual disdain. What started as irritating tension is beginning to feel more like romantic tension and acting on it would be a very bad idea.

(Mike): Jayden’s glare intensified, and I could tell she was sending me mental death threats. Eventually, she gave up and sat down across from me. “Was that so hard?” I asked.

“About as hard as you head.”

“I have harder parts than my head,” I countered. Her eyes grew wide at the implication. I let her stew for a second before lifting my sleeve and flexing my bicep. “You think that’s hard? You should see my abs.” I’d said it as a joke, but it was basically true.

She was surprised for the briefest moment, then she grunted. “How Cro-Magnon of you.”
“Your grunt suggests you’re familiar with the genotype on a personal level.” I smirked.

Jayden’s eyes narrowed. “At least I’ve evolved. Your face suggests that you haven’t yet.”
I tsked in good nature. “Your face might be prettier than mine, but your manners prove you haven’t evolved as much as you think.”

Robin Daniels is a sixteen-year-old trapped in a middle-aged body. She's married to an amazing guy and has five cute but crazy kids. When she's not chasing children or writing books, she's coaching volleyball or working on her blog. She tries to read as much as possible, but often gets distracted by Netflix. Robin's favorites include napping, dessert, pedicures, Christmas, Arizona winters, and Diet Coke.

Runs the whole month of April. Winner will be selected on May first and receive signed paperback copies of all 4 books in the series, along with a $50 Amazon e-gift card. Physical copies are only available for a winner in the US. For a winner outside of the US, e-books will be substituted for paperbacks. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Overcoming Shyness by Erik Myers | A Book Review

Overcoming Shyness by Erik Myers | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

Happy Easter everyone! For those who do not celebrate or commemorate the Holy Week, I hope you had a good weekend. My Holy Week was spent binge watching shows on Netflix. Finally, I started on watching those shows that everyone talked about so much on Instagram and on social media. I started watching Outlander because I got so curious and I actually liked it though. I thought it was slow going at first, but then it became really good. It picked up its pace and I'm loving Claire. She's very smart and very quick-thinking especially in very stressful and life-and-death situations where the only thing that saved her were her wits. I also watched Riverdale. I kept seeing trailers and ads about the series but simply choose to ignore them. Last week, my curiosity got the best of me and I succumb. Well, last week I decided was a week of relaxation. I even took time off from my online work. I was supposed to write my book reviews but I also decided against it and ended up getting pulled into the chaotic world of Riverdale. I actually didn't know that the series was an adaptation or based on the Archie comics characters. I really enjoyed it. I love Jughead's character and I didn't know he was Cody of the Zack and Cody twins of the Disney show "Suite Life on Deck." I just love Jughead and Betty's team up. I'm looking forward to watching the latest episodes. Yes, I got caught up on Riverdale and will have to continue binge watching Outlander.

Since I'm on the know now on Outlander and Riverdale, I also need to admit that I have to really catch up on my reading and reviews. Honestly, I think I have about more than 10 reviews to write. I'm thinking of writing one post for those short stories that I've read. One reason I've been putting off writing reviews for them is because I don't know how to fill a whole page. The stories were too short to come up with more than five sentences about them. So, that's one plan I have to really get on to also. Then, plan the rest of the week so I can at least write one review everyday after I do my online work. Sounds good enough, right?

I'm reviewing this book which I got through Instagram in April of last year. Yes, I know. I am so ashamed to admit that I just read the book January of this year. Finally, I found the time to write a review about it. So, this book is about overcoming shyness, as obvious as the title. It's a self-help book. When the author messaged me on Instragram asking me if I wanted to read and review his book, I thought that he saw right through me. How did he know that I was shy as a kid or at times I'm still stricken with low self-esteem? It was a bit of a mystery to me and I didn't mean that in a wrong way. I realized after reading this book, it may just be a case of "simply takes one to know one" or it's just the simple fact that he read my book reviews and saw the honesty and objectivity in them and would like to hear what I say about his book. 

If this book came out when I was in high or college, this would have been more helpful to me. At this point in my life right now, I could say that I've pretty much overcome my being shy. Yes, I think. Most of the time, my not talking to people is more of being more focused on my personal issues rather than being shy. It's more of wanting to be alone bordering on indifference, to contemplate on my life than actually being afraid of stepping up and meeting new people. But time and time again, I'm asked to momentarily forget about my own cares and talk to strangers, especially those that need help. I guess, maturity, confidence and being sure of one's self come together. The experiences I had helped me become confident and sure of myself and not afraid anymore of what other people may think. 

In a way, when this book found its way to me, it felt like fate in some sort. It's because for the past years, I don't know for how long, but I've been struggling with a lot of personal issues. I'm wondering if I've actually progressed or digressed. Meaning, instead of going forward and achieving things, did I instead fell so far down and worst off than when I first started. Reading this book sort of confirmed that I've actually come quite a long way. The years were not wasted at all. From that very shy girl, I've grown into a confident woman. I could say, I have various experiences and I guess, those have helped me find strength in times when I really need to hold on to something. I may not consciously know it but those experiences have somehow contributed to some hidden reserve of strength I could tap into when everything else has been exhausted. Truly, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

Reading this book had me agreeing to it all. Yes, that. Bold red check on that. Correct, et cetera. All very true. It's very straightforward and easy to follow. The hardest is just taking the very first step. Knowing that this book might not be written for me, because I'm not shy anymore is a great thing. Being able to relate to it first-hand is also a good thing because the fears and all the feelings that the author felt while he was struggling with his shyness were exactly what I've felt and have battled with for years before I was able to overcome this challenge. What I like reading about this was that it was written in a way like the author was just telling a story. He wasn't writing this as someone preaching on a pulpit but rather someone humble and bold enough to share his own experience. The author, like everyone else battled with this challenge and that what he did that helped him through it might be just what might help others who are going through the same thing. 

In a nutshell, this book only says three things. Overcoming shyness is forgetting what other people think, breaking out of your comfort zone and be unapologetically you. Everything starts with the proper mindset-- how you see things. It's forgetting what other people think. Knowing who you are, what you want and what you don't want. You should know yourself better. People can think all they want, as long as you know who you are, what your priorities are and your values, and as long as you're not stepping on anyone's toes, you're good. Your dreams and your aspirations are what will make you break out of your comfort zone. And this is very true. I have exactly done that and those great experiences I've mentioned earlier happened to me outside of my comfort zone. When I broke out of my comfort zone, I also broke out of my fears and my shyness. But it wasn't a one-time thing for me. It happened gradually for me. It also helped to be around people who are confident and very encouraging. I think one of the factors have helped me overcome my shyness was being friends with people who are so confident that you can't help but feel confident and beautiful too. These people saw me for my strengths and I started seeing myself that way too. And I guess, that's what true friendship is, you share the joys and the good things, encourage each other. I learned to live in the moment and not worry about what people may think, as long as I know I'm not crossing lines and hurting people. I've learned to enjoy my moments and not feel guilty about them because I have earned them rightfully. I have toiled and worked hard and enjoying the fruits of my labor is my prize. Don't feel guilty for sometimes indulging yourself, as long as it's just clean fun and not illegal. My guilty pleasure is travelling and food. Looking back, I don't feel guilty not having bought a house or any real estate. I spent what I've worked for on experiences. I didn't have a lot growing up and I have a lot of things I wanted to experience, so when it came time that I can afford them, I tried them and I'm not sorry because those experiences have made me a better and confident person. I invested in experiences because I needed to improve my self-esteem. I have to get rid of my fixations, my feeling of lack and my feeling of inadequacy by seeing the world and experiencing it. Travelling had broaden my horizon and have made me more tolerant when it comes to people. Being exposed to different cultures and stories, I have become less judgemental and have nurtured less preconceived biases of those people I meet. Each one has his/her story and not all of us have nice, princess stories or happy stories to tell. Horror stories contain good lessons too. And oftentimes you realize that there are people worse off than you, which is not really empowering but makes you appreciate the things that you have and kinder to people.

I give this book 4/5 cages. Overcoming shyness is like breaking out of a cage. It's liberating and empowering. It's not easy and is not instant nor it happens overnight, but all you need to do is just start with the first step and then things will just start to seem not as hard as they appear to be. It's also a process. I, for one am a work-in-progress. From time to time, bouts of insecurity and low self-esteem plague me. Honestly, I have been told a lot of times that I was ignorant, dumb and did not know better and I have been tempted to go back to those people and shove back their tongues into their big mouths but I didn't, because they were exactly those things they called me. Those words were only said because they wanted to feel good about themselves, though at my expense. I honestly hope wherever they are, they are happy so they wouldn't have to hurt people to feel good about themselves. Believe me, I have heard a lot of insults thrown at me just because these people assume they have figured me out and also because I refuse to kiss their asses. And not kissing asses is I guess, one more proof that I have overcome my shyness and bold enough to stand my ground, even if more or less it lead me to where I am now. Well, no regrets. At least, I would be proud to say I have always been honest to myself. If I can't be, then all this work of overcoming shyness or whatnot, may just be all futile. Still, it all boils down to not giving a care about what other people think. I always say, "Whatever makes your happy sweetheart," with full on sarcasm. Let them think what they want if it makes them sleep better at night. Just remember, you know yourself and you should be kinder to yourself. 

Getting out of your comfort zone is when the real magic happens in your life. Yes, it can be painful and uncomfortable at times, but it's like getting into a cold shower. When you finally take the plunge, the water stings for a few seconds, but then you get used to it and actually start to like it. Then afterwards, you feel awake and refreshed.
- Erik Myers, Overcoming Shyness - 

Thank you again, Erik Myers for the book copy.