Book Review: Emily Posts

Emily Posts is about a middle school girl named Emily who looks up to Emily Post and tries to use her life lessons in her own life.  To be honest, I’m not really sure what made me choose this book to review, and while it is geared towards kids it took me a bit to get through because Emily and her friends can be absolutely insufferable at times.  Yet, somehow, representation matters and I was pleased to see that her younger soon to be step brother’s best friend was a wheelchair user that had cerebral palsy (and was also super sneaky!)

Emily works on a podcast at school, but when a partnership comes from a large company with the school it seems that the climate march Emily is concerned about and wants to publicize gets shut down by her principal.  In order to distract her, they change the visit of a famous actress who was coming to the school so Emily won’t try and get her friends to skip school and attend the march.

Meanwhile, there’s also a new girl in school and Emily is quite a bit jealous and not so great to her.

Overall, brought me right back to middle school and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.  But it does have some good lessons about working together, standing up for what you believe in and perhaps how to go about getting what you want in the right ways so you won’t get in a lot of trouble with, well, everyone.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.


Middle school podcast advice columnist + social media influencer wannabe Emily Laurence takes on the principal at her school to stand up for a climate march, in this fun, school-based drama for ages 10 and up. For fans of Gordon Korman and Susin Nielsen.

Emily is the ringleader for her school podcast, Cedarview Speaks — Sponsored by CoastFresh! But her plans for middle-school fame and social media influence are derailed when Amelie joins her eighth-grade class. The new arrival has a seemingly endless supply of confidence and a gift for leading people. Or leading them astray, as far as Emily’s concerned.

Emily puts her old-fashioned sense of etiquette into practice. Rather than confronting Amelie, she focuses her energy on creating a podcast story about an upcoming climate march. But her story is censored by the school principal. When she protests, Emily gets cut from the podcast crew . . . and Amelie takes her place!

Can Emily use her influence to spread the news of the climate march, reclaim her place on the podcast team and expose the flaws of CoastFresh? Can she balance her impeccable manners with twenty-first century activism? And how will she ever manage to work alongside Amelie?

With a light touch and plenty of humor, Emily Posts explores issues of social media, influence, corporate sponsorship . . . and the fraught waters of middle-school friendship.

Book Review: The Haunted Mansion: Storm & Shade

The Haunted Mansion: Storm & Shade is from Disney and based loosely on their Haunted Mansion attraction.  This book is set in New Orleans, where Audrey has just moved to town and is trying to fit in and make friends.  She ends up finding 2 blocks away a mansion that is supposedly haunted and ends up visiting it with some friends.  A Category 3 Hurricane is also supposed to hit and her friends families as well as hers have to decide if they are going to evacuate or ride it out.  Audrey ends up making friends with someone at the Mansion named Stirling, and ends up realizing that it may be a ghost and a lot of the ghosts there can see and hear everything she and her friends have been doing and saying, even if they couldn’t see them at the time.  Some strange things start happening and Audrey and her friends are worried that if they can’t stop it, soon they too will end up as a happy haunt at the mansion.

I loved that this book was set in New Orleans – it really lent itself to the spooky haunted and voodoo vibe.  It’s about 400 pages long so a bit of a longer read, but a lot of fun and takes you right into the action in the mansion with the friends yourself.  If you enjoy the Haunted Mansion ride and all things Disney, you’ll likely enjoy this book!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Welcome, foolish mortals, to an original and eerie novel inspired by the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disney Parks!

When high school student Audrey Perez moves to a town that’s supposedly home to a haunted mansion, she and a few of her new friends decide to investigate. Audrey is quickly swept up in a macabre mystery and eerie adventure that holds the fate of the Haunted Mansion’s 999 happy haunts in the balance. A storm is coming—both literally and figuratively—and it’ll be up to Audrey and her friends to save the Mansion—and its ghosts—before it’s too late. But can Audrey do so while dealing with her own anxieties and while caught in a love triangle between her boyfriend and the enigmatic Sterling—who just might be a ghost?

Read on, foolish mortal, if you dare . . .

Book Review: The AI Metaverse Unveiled – Working, Playing, Living and the Convergence of Artificial Intelligence in the New World


The AI Metaverse Unveiled is a very detailed book about Working, Playing, Living and the Convergence of Artificial Intelligence in the New World.  This is a world where technology meets imagination.  You’ll learn about web3, the blockchain, NFTs, and all the industries that AI is making an impact on.  Want to learn more about how AR can be used to help athletes train? How your avatar can have some sweet Nike kicks? What the ethics involved are and what you should be aware of if you or your business starts to go down the path of including AI and the digital universe?  All of this and so, so, so much more will be answered if you read this book.

If you have any interest whatsoever in AI – then this is the book for you.  It will fill you in on all the various ways it has been utilized already – such as NFTs, with music releases and concerts, and even in the fashion world.  I knew that AI and the metaverse were growing all around me, but I didn’t realize just how many different areas of my life it was already in place and how it has been evolving since it first came out.  This book taught me a lot – I never really thought of AI in terms of retail and marketing – but the thought of not having to go to a mall but being able to see how certain clothing or accessories might fit on me without even needing to leave the house to try them on and then to purchase them seems incredibly appealing!  Since Cybersecurity is an area I have interest in I paid the most attention to those areas of the book – but there is really something for everyone no matter what your industry or interest might be!

I give this book 3.5 stars, simply because it had just SO much content it was overwhelming at times, but it was very informational and interesting.

I received a free copy of this book to read from Reedsy Discovery

About the Book

“A Short AI Metaverse Story Wrapped in a Big Book About Technology” Step into the captivating realm of “The AI Metaverse Unveiled,” where technology meets imagination, and the future unfolds through the lens of artificial intelligence and the Metaverse. This groundbreaking book, weaves a narrative that transcends traditional tech literature, offering a unique blend of storytelling and technical exploration. In this visionary work, the reader is introduced to Arthur, the AI Avatar, a digital protagonist who guides us through the intricacies of the metaverse. Each chapter unfolds with a theatrical scene, bringing complex concepts to life through vivid examples and real-world scenarios. It’s more than just a book; it’s an immersive journey and glimpse into a future where AI and humanity stand hand in hand. From the dawn of the metaverse to the convergence of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and web3, “The AI Metaverse Unveiled” meticulously charts the evolution of our digital universe. The book details the impact of AI on industries such as Retail, Marketing, Science, Gaming, Healthcare, Sports, the Workplace, Skill Acquisition, Law, Ethics, Cybersecurity, Investing, Space Exploration and culminates with a grand finale of 22 bold AI Metaverse predictions.



Book Review: Hope Fights Back: Fifty Marathons and a Life or Death Race Against ALS

Hope Fights Back: Fifty Marathons and a Life or Death Race Against ALS Hope Fights Back is the story of Andrea Lytle Peet.  When she was 33 years old she was diagnosed with ALS.  Most people with ALS die within 5 years.  Once Andrea got over the initial shock of all of this, she decided that since she could no longer run marathons she would race them on a trike.  She also decided that she was going to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states, hoping to finish with the Boston Marathon.  She also started getting tattoos – a swallow bird on her arm for every year she lived past her “expiration date”.

This book was very emotional.  You go through all the doctors appointments with Andrea as her mobility begins to decline and she is looking for answers.  When things seemed hopeless, you find out that Hope Fights Back and Andrea always seems to pick herself back up and find something to fight for with the help of her very supportive husband, friends and family.  When Covid hits in the middle of her quest to get these marathons done you feel for her – because you know she doesn’t have all that much life ahead of her.  I teared up several times – but her perseverance also put a huge smile on my face even more times. The hurdles she had to jump to get some of these races to allow her to join them, sometimes seemed worse than some of the hills she had to bike during her races but Andrea either found a way or found a way to pivot.  You’ll see when you read about what happened with Boston.

This book was very emotional but also brought me so much joy and now I have to figure out how I can see the documentary about Andrea and her marathons that was filmed throughout the book, especially after hearing about some of the things that happened behind the scenes!

I received a free e-copy of this book to read on Readsy Discovery.

About the Book

Andrea Lytle Peet was thirty-three years old when she received the death sentence of her diagnosis. Grappling with the fact that she will likely become paralyzed and die within two to five years, Andrea experienced an unexpected spark that evolves into a seemingly impossible goal: to become the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all fifty U.S. states on her recumbent trike. In her mission, she recaptures the freedom of racing and inspires others to appreciate their bodies.

HOPE FIGHTS BACK chronicles what happens when we choose to live instead of waiting to die. Andrea’s words are awe-inspiring for athletes and non-athletes alike. The reader intimately witnesses her tenacity, determination and bravery, not only in taking on her goal, but in her day-to-day life. In a world where “hope” sometimes feels quiet and aspirational, Andrea reveals that hope is, instead, a valiant warrior that changes everything when it fights back.

Book Review: You Surround Me

Trigger warning: This book contains explicit content and difficult topics.

You Surround Me tells the story of a school year from the perspective of 2 of the kids in a pretty tight knit group of friends, Kenna, who is a junior and Logan who is a senior.  Kenna’s best friend is Logan’s sister and Logan’s best friend is Kenna’s brother.  Their Mom’s also are best friends from back in their college days. Kenna has had a crush on Logan since she was three years old and Logan has been oblivious, although at the beginning of the school year he started seeing her as more than just his best friend’s little sister. Most of the book is spent with Kenna trying to figure out if Logan likes her back, and then once they decide there might be something there, they try to keep it from Kenna’s brother Matt.  Also with such a large friend group as well as their families, there are a lot of different sub plots throughout, not all of them revolving around Kenna and Logan.  I don’t want to give too much away though, as there are many twists and turns and this book was nothing short of a roller coaster.

This book was long – it was almost 700 pages and it took me quite some time to get through, even though I enjoyed almost all of reading it. (Some of the topics are a bit deep and harsh, so while overall I did enjoy the book, there were some spots that were tough for me to read.)  Like I said, it was an absolute roller coaster and I was so happy that Kenna and Logan had such a wonderful friend group.  It seemed that everyone in the group had some sort of challenge in their life that they had to overcome – parents who had passed away, parents who were abusive or addicted to drugs and may or may not be in their lives, some were getting bullied at school, etc – but their friends didn’t care and were there for them and supported them no matter what.  I was a bit jealous of how close they all seemed to be, even if they were fictional.

I would give this book 4.5 stars! This is the first book in a series, and I am looking forward to reading the rest, as I imagine that they will follow the rest of the friend group – but even if it continues to follow Kenna and Logan and their families – the ending did leave some things open. (Though there was enough closure for me, for those of you who might be worried that you’ll be left hanging!)  Now I’m not sure how to bring myself back into the real world after spending so much time with this group.

I received a free ARC from Reedsy.

About the Book

My best friend’s brother? My brother’s best friend?

It doesn’t get any more cliché, yet…I can’t help but want him.

Kenna Ayken is a junior in high school, and she’s been crushing on a boy forever. Too bad he’s never shown a similar interest in her. But when his home life goes from bad to worse, they find themselves growing closer. Suddenly their friendship is becoming more tangible and true, something separate from her brother, a new bond that is just for them.
All these years he has never once glanced at her in a meaningful way…
Until he does.

I’ve known Kenna my whole life and she’s always felt like another little sister to me.

Until now.

Logan West is a senior in high school, and for the first time since he’s known her, he can’t keep his eyes off of his best friend’s little sister. Matt has never liked seeing any guy with her, and he sure as hell would have an issue with Logan pursuing her, and now things at home are getting…harder. When Kenna walks in one day, she sees just how bad it’s become, and reacts in a way Logan never would have expected.

Book Review: Save the Last Piece

Save the Last Piece is about Natalie – currently a nanny to a teen who is approaching the age of no longer needing her and an aspiring actress, she interviews to be a wedding planner’s assistant and gets the job.  Her boss, however, is quite the villainess. “Bridezillas are at times dangerous and rightly feared. But Zella on the on a bad day was a horror show.”  When we first meet Natalie, she is considering quitting her glamourous job of helping all the NYC brides have the wedding of their dreams.  She then backtracks to when she first gets the job and takes us through all the ups and downs and downs that Zella has put her through over the past couple of years.  What has she learned from reminiscing on all the bad (and some good?) times.

This book was a lot of fun to read, albeit it at Natalie’s expense.  The book starts with Zella, Natalie’s boss, pushing her out of an elevator and to her knees at a wedding they are working.  This seems to be the last straw for Natalie, who spends the rest of the book explaining to us where her life was at when she took the job and how things begin to unravel.  She spends all her time at Zella’s beck and call, and her relationship with her boyfriend is starting to suffer.  She never spends any time with him anymore as she is often out late at events and he gets up early for his job.  She was already barely having time to see any of her friends and now her time is spent tracking down umbrellas and socks.  Natalie is afraid to stand up to Zella initially, but often realizes that once she shows she has a backbone Zella backs down, but continues to be timid around her for fear she will get fired.  Others in the industry tell her there’s no way that she will fire her so close to wedding season with no replacement and I think that this gives Natalie more confidence to stand up for herself, though it sure does take a long time for her to do it!

I really enjoyed this book and getting a fictitious look inside the glamourous world of NYC (and surrounding area) weddings and even bat mitzvahs. If you’re into The Devil Wears Prada or similar, you’ll probably enjoy the book too.  It was a bit longer than I expected, so not an easy read in one evening, but perfect for a cozy weekend in!  I would give this book 4.5 stars!

I received a free ARC from Discovery.

About the Book

When Natalie takes a job as a wedding planner’s assistant in NYC, she is excited for the glamour of it all. But when her employer Zella, an in-demand New York City wedding planner, lives up to her reputation of being part Cruella Deville, and part Miranda Priestly, makes Natalie’s life miserable and she experiences crazy brides that demand everything from perfect pyramids of precious perishable wedding favors, she isn’t sure if she can take it anymore. Years of trying to prove herself to Zella, Natalie also fights off a poaching planner who wants to date her. After an incident at a wedding, Natalie questions her career choice. Will Natalie stay in a career that mentally defeats her, or will she go back to live her dream?
For fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Say Yes To The Dress.

Book Review: A Guy’s Guide to Relationships

A Guy’s Guide to Relationships: Growing Your Relationship through Language and Action is written by a guy for guys, but it is also for anyone who might be looking for help in making sure their relationships succeed.  While this book mainly focuses on romantic relationships and focuses a lot of the author and his wife, I think that the tips and ideas presented throughout this book can work for any sort of relationship – friendship, professional, romantic, etc.  The book is split into 2 parts – Language and Action.  In Part I the author goes over the “Five As”: Affirmation, Admiration, Appreciation, Affection & Attraction.  The second part focuses a lot on Expectations, Actions, Toxic Traits.   It ends with ways to find Growth in your relationship.

This book was interesting to me because it kind of helped me get a guys perspective on things.  Their brains can work a little different than women’s.  For instance, the author spoke a bit about how some men will not always tell their significant other that they like or love them.  They said it initially, so that remains to be true until they tell you otherwise.  But as an anxious woman, this is something that I fear to no longer be true often in relationships and to bring in a point that is made throughout the book – communication is key.  As is learning how your partner communicates and what some of their “tells” are.  The author noted that his wife always knows when he lies because of how he acts when he does it – so he’s simply stopped lying to her because she figures out the truth immediately anyway – so why bother?  But if he needed to lie to someone else who didn’t know him as well, he could probably get away with it.  He also noted that he could tell when his wife seemed to be down and over time was able to figure out what sort of things she might like for him to do or say to her to make her feel better.  He’s always attracted to her and has been since they met, but doesn’t always express that to her and some days she just might like to hear it from him.  I also think that the book focusing on expectations is really important too.  I’m not in a relationship but have spent a lot of time on dating apps and I often will ask the guys I match with what they are looking for as a way to manage my expectations.  If they’re not looking for a serious relationship I should expect them to act differently than someone who is – and then I don’t end up disappointed when further on down the line after I’ve become more attached this comes out.  I also really liked the author touching on various toxic traits –  of course drugs and alcohol came up as well as cheating, which you would expect in a book about relationships but he also focused on a few other traits that made me stop and think – projection, uncontrolled emotions and selfishness and time.

I give this book 4.5 stars.  While this book is, in theory, geared at men – I think it’s really helpful for everyone to take the time and stop and think about themselves, especially if they are in a relationship or are trying to be the best they can be to enter a relationship.

I received a free ARC from Discovery

About the Book

Intimate relationships are one of the most powerful forms of companionship that a person can have. Unfortunately, they are often hard to navigate and can become stale and dull. A Guy’s Guide to Relationships is one guy’s perspective on how to improve your relationship through language and action. This book teaches you the “Five As” of positive language where you will discover how to speak to your partner in a way that not only uplifts them, but improves the relationship as a whole. It also teaches the reader specific actions to support positive language that offers critical insight into not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. Finally, this book will challenge people to address toxic traits that may be corrupting them and their relationship before closing with steps to personal growth. A Guy’s Guide to Relationships is an exciting book for anyone looking to improve their relationship!

Book Review: Freeing Teresa

This book did come with a trigger warning: extensive description and discussion of discriminatory attitudes and actions towards people based on disabilities or age.

Freeing Teresa is about a woman with Down Syndrome, written by her sister, Franke.  When Teresa was born in 1964, doctors suggested to her parents that she be put in an institution.  Her mother refused, and she lived at home with her parents.  Her mother has since passed away, her father is approaching his 91st birthday and Teresa is 49 years old.  Franke and 3 of her siblings are trying to figure out where Teresa should go to live, as her father’s health is failing and they would prefer her to be settled before their Dad passes.  Her brother had initially told his father he would take Teresa in, but now none of the siblings want to take on the role of her sole caretaker and they are looking at other options.  Franke, though busy with her books and traveling to promote them, feels that Teresa is capable of making a decision for where she should live and is trying to advocate for her, but her other siblings keep excluding Teresa and her father from any conversation and have the CCAC deem Teresa incapable of making such decisions.  Franke doesn’t believe Teresa should go to a nursing home and instead thinks it is possible that Teresa can live with others who have Down Syndrome, or with her and her husband.  Her siblings continue to try and block every solution she tries to offer.  Franke’s family did not want this story to be told so many of the personal details have been redacted and their images/likeness have been photoshopped out of all the photos. She writes, “In photos throughout the book, the images of many family members have been blanked-out echoing their absence in my life”

I have to say, this book was not at all what I was expecting.  When I saw it was a true story about fighting ableism, I thought it was going to be some sort of facility or company that was causing all the issues for Teresa, not her own family!  As the story went on, I became more and more frustrated with her family.  Of course, I am reading this from a disabled person’s point of view, and if my brothers wouldn’t help me out when I needed it, I’d be terribly upset! Of course my situation is a bit different as I only have a physical disability – but from what was presented about Teresa she seemed pretty capable of making her own decisions about what she wanted to do and where she wanted to live, but it seemed like no one other than Franke wanted to take that into consideration.  I am not sure if the sister who had the husband who owned nursing homes was making some sort of deal off of her going there or what, but the way the other siblings teamed up against Franke and Teresa and their own father’s wishes was, well, disgusting.  It does seem like there is a sequel coming as the ending did not really resolve much of anything, but I can only hope that there was a happy ending.

I gave this book 4 stars and I would definitely recommend it to others – but be sure to keep an open mind. After the first half of the book I was flabbergasted and thought the whole book was awful, but I stuck it through and rode the rest of the roller coaster with Teresa and was happy I stuck it out.  If you consider yourself an activist or ally for the disabled then I think you would find this book to be rather eye opening.

I received a free ARC from Discovery.

About the Book

Freeing Teresa is a true story about an activist who tries to stop her powerful siblings from putting their disabled sister into a nursing home. She fails. And then must rescue her.
Franke James objected when she heard of the plan to put her disabled sister into a nursing home. Teresa Heartchild was just 49 years old and healthy. But the other siblings, who were acting as Teresa’s “guardians,” said that Teresa, who has Down syndrome, was “incapable.” Despite the objections, the siblings put Teresa into a nursing home, insisting it was necessary. But Franke refused to accept this, and she helped Teresa get discharged. That’s when all hell broke loose. The two sisters had to stand together—against their siblings, the medical system and the police—to defend Teresa’s right to be free.


Book Review: Confident Cyber Security

I received my Masters in Cyber Security in 2020 and am currently taking a refresher class at Harvard to try and see what area I’d most like to focus on for potential jobs in the future, so I always enjoy reading whatever I can about cyber security.  I found this book to touch on many, many, different topics and give you a really good overview for a starting off point if you’re just starting to get curious about cyber security and what all it entails.  It features some real-world examples which I always enjoy reading the most (unless they’re about Taylor Swift, ick) and gives you a little bit about a lotta things! If you already know a lot about cyber security, then this book can be a nice refresher (and probably has some examples you didn’t see before) but if you’re new to cyber security and are trying to find out if it might be a fit for you – then I definitely think reading this book would be beneficial.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The world is more digitally connected than ever before and, with this connectivity, comes vulnerability. This book will equip you with all the skills and insights you need to understand cyber security and kickstart a prosperous career.

Confident Cyber Security is here to help. From the human side to the technical and physical implications, this book takes you through the fundamentals: how to keep secrets safe, how to stop people being manipulated and how to protect people, businesses and countries from those who wish to do harm.

Featuring real-world case studies including Disney, the NHS, Taylor Swift and Frank Abagnale, this book is packed with clear explanations, sound advice and practical exercises to help you understand and apply the principles of cyber security. This new edition covers increasingly important topics such as deepfakes, AI and blockchain technology.

About the Confident series…
From coding and data science to cloud and cyber security, the Confident books are perfect for building your technical knowledge and enhancing your professional career.

Book Review: Passport To Spy

I’ve had Passport to Spy in my reading queue for several months, but it took me a while to actually get in to the headspace of where I wanted to read again (totally a me problem and nothing to do with the book).  Once I did dive into the story, I had trouble putting it down.  Kat Lawson was a investigative reporter and lost her job and ended up finding a new job as a spy for the FBI working undercover as a journalist.  Everyone in Germany thinks that she is on assignment to cover the holidays in Germany but she’s actually trying to find out about some stolen art.  While things start off smoothly, people start catching on that Kat might not be who she says she is and the story really starts to unfold.  I don’t want to give too much away but if you’re into murder mystery, spies and art heists, then you’ll probably enjoy Passport to Spy.

After finishing the book I found out that this is actually the 2nd book in the Kat Lawson series, but I was able to read it as a standalone and didn’t feel like I was missing out on any of the story having not read the first.  It also is kind of sort of based on a true situation, which the author explains at the end of the book.

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

After losing her job as an investigative reporter for The Phoenix Gazette, Kat Lawson has a new gig. The FBI has asked her to work undercover as a reporter for Travel International to cover Munich, Germany’s festive holiday scene—an excuse to get close to Hans von Hausmann, a very charismatic and popular museum curator suspected of hiding a cache of stolen masterpieces believed to be part of the World’s Largest Art Heist. The job comes with lots of perks: airfare, travel expenses, the opportunity to see the world…and for a seasoned reporter like Kat, nothing she can’t handle. But, when a trusted source is found dead, Kat realizes the tables have been turned. Armed with evidence that will expose a cache of artwork stolen from museums and the homes of wealthy Jews during the 2nd World War, Kat must find a way to avoid being caught by the German Polizie, who have enough evidence to charge her with murder, and those who want her dead to keep their hidden treasures forever secret. The hunter has become the hunted; now, Kat has a target on her back.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :