Saturday, May 8, 2021

Graphic Novel Review of My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noelle Hébert & Translated by Shelley Tanaka


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: "A deeply emotional graphic memoir of a young woman’s struggles with self-esteem and body image issues.

All Marie-Noëlle wants is to be thin and beautiful. She wishes that her thighs were slimmer, that her stomach lay flatter. Maybe then her parents wouldn’t make fun of her eating habits at family dinners, the girls at school wouldn’t call her ugly, and the boy she likes would ask her out. This all-too-relatable memoir follows Marie-Noëlle from childhood to her twenties, as she navigates what it means to be born into a body that doesn’t fall within society’s beauty standards.

When, as a young teen, Marie-Noëlle begins a fitness regime in an effort to change her body, her obsession with her weight and size only grows and she begins having suicidal thoughts. Fortunately for Marie-Noëlle, a friend points her in the direction of therapy, and slowly, she begins to realize that she doesn’t need the approval of others to feel whole.

Marie-Noëlle Hébert’s debut graphic memoir is visually stunning and drawn entirely in graphite pencil, depicting a deeply personal and emotional journey that encourages us to all be ourselves without apology."

My Review: I loved the cover of this book, the illustration style is stunning. I have to admit that I struggled with this book a lot more than I expected. It definitely took on a darker tone than I expected and it didn't really raise up out of it much. I had been expecting throughout the book to find a bit of hope or a bit of a break through in the struggle with body image but we didn't really get that too much. It definitely illustrates the struggle that comes from relationships with our bodies and food and the words of those around us. Is there ever really a time where people come to peace with their bodies or find that body positive attitude? This is definitely a personal struggle for so many and everyone handles it so differently and you can't always tell when someone is struggling so much.

My Rating: While this was a difficult book together emotionally, I do really appreciate the way the author managed to bring to light this often private and personal struggle. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion. 

You can find out more about the author and her books on her Goodreads Page.

My Body in Pieces was just released in April so you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can request it at your local library or bookstore.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Review of Stella by McCall Hoyle


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Middle Grade March

Synopsis: "Even dogs deserve a second chance.

Ever since she was a puppy, Stella was trained to use her powerful beagle nose to sniff out dangerous chemicals and help her handler keep people safe. But during a routine security inspection, Stella misses the scent of an explosive. The sound of the blast is loud and scary. Unable to go back to work because of her anxiety, Stella is retired as a working dog.

When a young girl named Cloe wants to adopt Stella, the beagle knows this is her last chance to prove her worth. But how? When Stella smells a strange chemical inside Cloe’s body, a scent that surges just before the girl has a seizure, Stella’s nose makes the connection. But how can Stella warn her new family without them thinking she’s having an anxiety attack? How can she convince others that she can be a new kind of service dog and hopefully save Cloe’s life?

Told from Stella’s perspective, this story is about a special dog who must find the courage to overcome her fears in order to help save a young girl with epilepsy."

My Review:  Being an animal lover and a rescue dog lover, I could not resist this book. This was a much more emotional journey I ever expected, especially being told from Stella, the dog's, point of view. Poor Stella goes through quite a bit in her little life, but she never looses that love of people and that wanting to be a good dog. I also love the way Hoyle was able to bring in a bit of diversity with a character with epilepsy into the story, some young readers will really be able to connect with her. We also get a bit of a connection with mental health issues through Stella herself, another wonderful way to connect to readers in a different way. This was really a beautiful story and I hope so many other readers will give it a chance and pick it up, young and old alike.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and can't recommend it enough, it hits you with all the feelings and gives such hope.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about McCall Hoyle and their books on their Goodreads Page or Website.

Stella was released in March so you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review of Heart on a Leash by Alanna Martin


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "A pack of rescue huskies inspires love and romance in a coastal Alaskan town fractured by feuding families—but can young pups really teach frozen hearts new tricks?

Taylor Lipin has made it her life's mission to leave her hometown and its ridiculous, century-old feud with the Porters behind. But when her sister needs help running the family inn, Taylor agrees to return to Helen, Alaska on a temporary, definitely not longer than two weeks, basis. Or so she thinks, until she's quite literally swept off her feet and into enemy territory by three happy huskies and their drool-worthy owner, Dr. Josh Krane.

Though Josh didn't grow up in Helen with the rest of his Porter cousins, he's heard the stories: Porters rescue huskies. The Lipins are cat people. Keep to your pack. But Taylor is too tempting to give up—plus, his dogs love her.

As Taylor and Josh grow closer, tensions in the town escalate and the need for secrecy starts taking a toll. Soon they'll need to decide whether their newfound love is just a summer fling or if they've found their forever home."

My Review:  This book immediately captured my attention; adorable dogs on the cover - check, small town atmosphere - check, secret lovers - check. I had a lot of fun reading this book, it definitely gave me modern day Romeo and Juliet vibes with family feuds, verbal duels, and a lot of longing lovers. Luckily, this is a contemporary romance so we get that happily ever after and it doesn't take a turn for the tragic. I really enjoyed the characters, Taylor's reluctant return but still full of love for her family. Josh just kind of gets sucked into the turmoil without wanting it but by family blood. I also loved that the dogs played such a role in the story, it kind of makes me want huskies! The family feud was really played up a lot but Martin also manages to poke a bit of fun at it by showing through various characters how ridiculous generation long feuds end up being. All in all this was a fun and enjoyable read and I am looking forward to more books in the series!

My Rating: I was really drawn in by the cover of this book and was intrigued by the synopsis, and the story did not disappoint.  I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for more in this small town and hope to see the family feud broken down!  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. The above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Alanna Martin and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Heart on a Leash was just released so you can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.