Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Getting His Game Back by Gia de Cadenet

25 Days of Book Reviews logo.

DAY 1

Thank you to Dell and NetGalley for eARC to read and review! Getting His Game Back is set to be published January 25, 2022.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Mental Health
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Khalil Sarda went through a rough patch last year, but now he’s nearly back to his old self. All he has to do is keep his “stuff” in the past. Real men don’t have depression and go to therapy—or, at least they don’t admit it. He’s ready to focus on his growing chain of barbershops, take care of his beloved Detroit community, and get back to being the ladies’ man his family and friends tease him for being. It’ll be easy . . . until Vanessa throws him completely off his game.

Vanessa Noble is too busy building a multimillion-dollar tech career as a Black woman before age thirty to be distracted by a relationship. Not to mention, she’s been burned before, still dealing with the lingering hurt of a past breakup. Besides, as her friends often remind her, she’ll never find a man who checks all the boxes on her famous List. Yet when she desperately needs a shape-up and happens upon one of Khalil’s barbershops, the Fade, he makes her reconsider everything. Khalil is charming, intelligent, sexy, and definitely seems like he’d treat a woman right . . . but he’s not Black.

Vanessa may be willing to take a chance on Khalil, but a part of him is frustratingly closed off, just out of her reach. Will old patterns emerge to keep them apart? Or have they both finally found a connection worth throwing away the playbook for?

 

Light blue text that says "Book Review" over a stem of while orchids.

My heart is so full of love for this story! Gia de Cadenet does a magnificent job weaving together the experiences of interracial relationships, men’s mental health, and women in STEM careers into a gripping, heartwarming story. Getting His Game Back is a must-read!

It took a while for me to get into the story. Lots of short scenes with huge time skips. I wasn’t sure if this story would be for me. But once things settled, I enjoyed every single page oh my goodness! A lot of that had to do with Khalil and Vanessa’s incredibly satisfying, slow burn romance.

Vanessa and Khalil are instantly drawn to each other when they first meet in Kahlil’s barber shop. They have such great chemistry and feel more at peace within each other’s company than in past relationships they’ve had. The past is an unshakable barrier that keeps them from taking chances on something that feels so right.

As a black woman in STEM, Vanessa faces adversity in her personal and professional life despite her many successes and equal capabilities (i.e., is CEO of her own business and known as the “App Goddess”). She’s reluctant to date white men because she and her grandma (adorable nicknamed Ma-Max, short for Maxine) have had bad experiences with interracial dating. Vanessa felt she’d been treated like an object, something to “try out” than as a real person because she was black. Dealing with the sting of backhanded, polite racism and sexism from colleagues and others who don’t take her seriously. Enter good-natured, big-hearted Khalil who she struggles to separate from those who’ve spurned her.

Khalil, who is half Algerian, has previously faced similar objectification but in a different way. Most notably during his college years. He attended an HBCU school (if I’m remembering correctly) where he was sometimes an outcast or other to experiment with because he was white. It took him a while to realize that and his mental health seeming to decline compounded those feelings of being less than a person and a man.

I appreciate the mental health rep in this book and how it deep dives into the stigma surrounding men’s mental health. The signs and symptoms of depression are depicted within raw, heartbreaking scenes where you can feel alongside Khalil his harsh self-loathing about not being good enough, not man enough. There’s no sugar-coating what Khalil is experiencing. And while some of these scenes may be to read (see content warning), it shines a bright light on the fact that mental health is nothing to be ashamed of and the importance of asking for help and having a support system.

There’s so much to love about Vanessa and Khalil as individuals and together. They are down-to-earth, hard-working, good people. Vanessa helps out with small businesses. Khalil’s barber shops operate in black communities. They support each other’s career and life goals in encouraging ways. They click in a way that’s so beautiful and inspiring, seeing each other for who they truly are as a person.

Getting Back In the Game was evocative, sweet, well-written, and relatable. I highly recommend adding this book to the top of your tbr list!

CW: depression, thoughts of suicide (see below for 24/7 resources)


24/7 Support That’s Here For You

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harm to others, please seek help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.org
US and Canada – Text HOME to 741741
United Kingdom – Text HOME to 85258
Ireland – Text HOME to 50808

National Alliance On Mental Illness
https://nami.org/Home
NAMI Helpline – Call 800-950-NAMI
Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741

To Write Love On Her Arms
https://twloha.com/

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Reivew: My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain, Illustrated by Ella Bailey

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Book, Mental Health
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: A touching story about a little boy whose worry monster follows him everywhere he goes. It’s there when he gets dressed, when he wants to play with his toys, and even when his friends come over to visit. How can he escape his worries?

Having struggled with anxiety for as long as she can remember, Nadiya Hussain has written this heartfelt story to ensure that no child suffers in silence–no matter what shape their worry monster may take.

 

My Review: My Monster and Me talks about anxiety and what it looks and feels like from a child’s point of view in an interesting way.

The monster represents the boy’s anxiety who went everywhere with the boy. The many ways anxiety affects daily life is accurately illustrated through well-drawn scenes.

It’s not until someone sits down to listen to the boy – allowing him to fully express how the monster makes him feel – that his anxiety lessens. The ending I liked a lot for its authenticity and hope of a brighter tomorrow.

I think this is a good way to start open conversations about our fears and worries. I liked reading this story with its wonderful illustrations and representation of anxiety.

Categories
Books of the Month

[May 2021] Book of the Month: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Image via Goodreads

Title: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Mental Health
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Recommended?: Yes

Goodreads Summary: It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Thanks A Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas

Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Thanks A Lot, Universe goes on sale May 11, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Middle Grade, LGBTQIA+ Fiction, Mental Health
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: A moving middle-grade debut for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong

Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn’t know if things will ever be “normal” again . . . Ezra’s always been popular. He’s friends with most of the kids on his basketball team–even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he’s too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him . . .

But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no choice but to take the leap and reach out. Both boys have to decide if they’re willing to risk sharing parts of themselves they’d rather hide. But if they can be brave, they might just find the best in themselves–and each other.

 

Content Warning: suicide, depression, social anxiety, panic attacks (see end of post for 24/7 resources)

 

My Review: I loved Thanks A Lot, Universe so much! This riveting debut novel that touched upon so many important things, such as middle school drama, being an outsider looking in, friendship, mental health, sexual identity, and navigating complicated feelings.

I loved the adults in this book. Their varying approaches on what would be best for Brian and his younger brother, Richie, were interesting. I loved Sergeant Oliver States, Mrs. Clelland, and Gabe (though he’s a high schooler) the most. They weren’t patronizing to Brian nor lectured him. Instead, they gave him the space to work through his jumbled feelings while, which seemed more valuable and productive towards handling the overall situation.

Mental health is a huge part of this novel. The author does a great job showing the causes and signs of social anxiety, panic attacks, and depression in both children and adults. The book aptly details and expresses how someone with them feels, thinks, and behaves.

Brian was easy to connect to. Middle school is rough, especially if you have social anxiety, which Brian refers to as SAWS (Super Awkward Weirdo Syndrome). The acronym made how he experiences life and how he sees the world more personable. I could feel his inner turmoil throughout the story. On his 13th birthday, he’s dealt with such a shocking, heavy blow that puts him in a precarious position that no kid should have to go through. It was heartbreaking.

Ezra was a great main character as well. It’s not often I connect with all the main characters of a story, adding to my amazement. Middle school is such a chaotic time full of physical, mental and emotional changes. Ezra feels this greatly with his circle of friends, who he is as a person, and his relationship to Brian.

I think readers will be able to relate to Brian and Ezra on multiple levels. Making friends is hard. Change is hard. Growing up is hard. It’s hard not to feel lost and unsure. One thing that I was glad to see pointed out was when Brian reflected on guidance his sister once gave him about how he will eventually find “his people.” It’s an incredibly important bit of wisdom that is sometimes years in the making. You can easily see how “not fitting in” affects Ezra and Brian differently.

Chad Lucas has crafted a successful debut. Thanks A Lot, Universe was a fantastic read and welcome inclusion in the middle grade genre! It’s perfect for school summer reading and classroom libraries. The story is as enjoyable as it is emotional, providing beneficial and relevant lessons and experiences for this age group and beyond. There’s so much more I want to say about this poignant book, but can’t because of spoilers. Definitely worth the read though!


24/7 Support That’s Here For You

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The Trevor Project
https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
1-866-488-7386
TrevorChat available
Text START to 678678

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.org
US and Canada – Text HOME to 741741
United Kingdom – Text HOME to 85258
Ireland – Text HOME to 50808

National Alliance On Mental Illness
https://nami.org/Home
NAMI Helpline – Call 800-950-NAMI
Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741

To Write Love On Her Arms
https://twloha.com/

Categories
#PubDayTuesday ARCs Blog Tours Book Reviews

[BLOG TOUR] ARC Review: Float Plan by Trish Dollers

Thank you St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Float Plan is on sale now!

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Mental Health
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Heartbroken by the loss of her fiancé, adventurous Anna finds a second chance at love with an Irish sailor in this riveting, emotional romance.

After a reminder goes off for the Caribbean sailing trip Anna was supposed to take with her fiancé, she impulsively goes to sea in the sailboat he left her, intending to complete the voyage alone.

But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.

In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future.

 

Content Warning: Death by suicide, depression.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harm to others, please seek help.  24/7 support and resources are listed at the end of this post.

 

My Review: Float Plan beautifully weaves together a story or grief and loss as Anna (the MC) – rather than continue on isolated and depressed – searches for closure on the high seas after the loss of her fiance by suicide.

It was a great idea to explore such heavy/important topics through sailing trip because it gave Anna the freedom to really examine her feelings, her relationship with Ben, why he might have committed suicide, and figure out how to continue on with her life without him. As she gets to know Keane – who she hires to help guide the sail – she sees her inner turmoil reflected in a whole new light.

Keane is a charming and optimistic man who lives freely as a passionate, professional sailor. But the loss of his leg made it hard to find opportunities, causing cracks to form in his up-beat persona. His character is the perfect counterpart to what Anna is going through.

Anna and Keane’s personal stories really put a spotlight on how trauma affects one’s mental health: the hardships of living day to day within a new normal that has a dark gaping hole in it and learning to love life again. Anna’s life used to be all “Anna and Ben” but now she’s unsure how to be just “Anna” without Ben. For Keane, it’s proving he is more than his disability. It’s a painful story and I want to wrap Anna and Keane in a big hug and help them.

Float Plan is also an exciting adventure as you travel with the characters to places you may or may not have heard of or been to, learning little known histories of people, places and events along the way. Trish Doller paints a colorful, scenic view and cultural experience of Anna and Keane’s travels. The details and what the characters encounter made me want to travel to some of these places someday.

Tragically beautiful yet fun and humorous, Float Plan was an enjoyable contemporary, second-chance romance. I was transfixed by the emotional depth of the story and its characters. The ending left me wanting more. I highly recommend Float Plan by Trish Doller if you enjoy books set at sea, second chance romances and plots that take you on a transformative voyage.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

TRISH DOLLER is the author of novels for teens and adults about love, life, and finding your place in the world. A former journalist and radio personality, Trish has written several YA novels, including the critically acclaimed Something Like Normal, as well as Float Plan, her adult women’s fiction debut. When she’s not writing, Trish loves sailing, traveling, and avoiding housework. She lives in southwest Florida with an opinionated herding dog and an ex-pirate.

Buy link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/float-plan/

Social Links: @TrishDoller on Instagram and Twitter


24/7 Support That’s Here For You

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The Trevor Project
https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
1-866-488-7386
TrevorChat available
Text START to 678678

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.org
US and Canada – Text HOME to 741741
United Kingdom – Text HOME to 85258
Ireland – Text HOME to 50808

National Alliance On Mental Illness
https://nami.org/Home
NAMI Helpline – Call 800-950-NAMI
Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741

To Write Love On Her Arms
https://twloha.com/

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Kind of Coping: An Illustrated Look at Life with Anxiety by Maureen Marzi Wilson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Nonfiction, Graphic Novel, Mental Health
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “I forgive myself for what I couldn’t do today, and resolve to try again tomorrow. It is enough to just keep trying. I. Am. Enough.”

ABOUT: If you struggle with anxiety, you may feel like it’s you against the world all the time. Sometimes, your anxiety can be too much to handle all at once—wouldn’t it be nice to have someone around that understood exactly what you were going through?

Meet Marzi! She struggles with anxiety just like you. In Kind of Coping, join Marzi as she (kind of) copes with her own anxiety from day to day, finding the humor in her condition with this collection of funny, encouraging, and supportive comics that show you the best you can do sometimes is just kind of cope—and that’s totally OK!

Whether it’s a panic attack or an awkward social snafu, Marzi knows what you are going through. With over 150 full-color doodles that deliver hope and inspiration, unconditional support, and big laughs, let Marzi share her journey with you.

 

My Review: Another great read from Maureen Marzi Wilson. I absolutely loved Kind of Coping for its authenticity and realism about life with anxiety.

I loved how honest and personal Marzi was while at the same time adding humor to the narrative. The narrative is illustrated in different ways, which made each page a worthwhile and informative read.

A question that stood out to me was, “Why does it feel more acceptable to be physically ill than mentally ill?” This stuck with me because there is still a negative stigma surrounding mental health, making others reluctant to seek help or be ashamed by it.

Kind of Coping creates an open and safe place to talk about the hard parts of mental health and anxiety. It aptly explains what anxiety is, what it looks like, and feels like in all its complex layers. I liked the different coping strategies and the tips people can use to understand and help someone with anxiety. It reminds the reader over and over that it’s okay to not feel okay or worried and that there’s always something you can do about it if you keep trying.

Kind of Coping is a super creative way to talk about anxiety. I could relate to much of what’s talked about in the book and I adored the illustrations. I highly recommend Kind of Coping to everyone because mental health matters.


More by Maureen Marzi Wilson

The Little Book of Big Feelings (ARC review)

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Brown Sisters #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quotes: “But no one can be fine all the time. So we’ll stay here while you’re busy being not-fine, and we won’t move until you’re done, and that’s okay.”

“I was worried about the mechanics of moving on, but that’s not who I am. Putting gold frames around my scars. That’s who I am.”

ABOUT: Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

 

My Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown was magic and fun and feelings – I loved it! This story felt so real and personal. I was captivated from start to finish.

My heart is overwhelmingly full of love for Dani and Zafr. They felt like authentic people with real problems. I felt connected to them and could see parts of myself in both of them.

Dani is a confident, intelligent black woman ready to conquer the world. She is black, bisexual and aromantic. Romance, relationship and feelings are a big N-O for her. She is a sorry-not-sorry kind of girl who doesn’t care what others think about her. I wish I had a tenth of her confidence and academic prowess. I also liked how comfortable she is in her own skin. I still cannot fathom what her area of study is but I love how intensely passionate she is about it.

Zafir is intuitive, Muslim, enormously kind, has an anxiety disorder, a hopeless romantic, and likes reading romance novels. As a fellow hopeless romantic, I adore everything about him and he must be protected! I love how his nonprofit, Tackle It, provides an open and safe environment for boys to teach boys that it’s okay to have/express feelings and that taking care of their mental health doesn’t make them weak or less masculine.

Dani and Zaf have great chemistry and mesh well together. Their instant connection is undeniable. They’re clearly meant to be, but they both want different things. I liked their witty and hilarious banter whenever they were together. They are both family-oriented people. What I liked most was that neither pushed the other to be something they’re not.

The main characters are diverse, which is awesome! I personally can’t say if the bisexual and aromantic rep was done well. It felt like it was and that it was positive. The anxiety rep was good. I’ve yet to come across a character whose anxiety is at the same stage as Zaf’s, so that was really nice to see.

There’s a lot to love and appreciate in Take A Hint, Dani Brown. The characters grow exponentially as the story progresses. This charming fake dating romance had everything I love about that trope and contemporary romance as a whole. I am extremely happy to have read this book.

Take A Hint, Dani Brown is the first book I’ve read of Talia Hibbert’s. She is such a strong writer. I am now a huge fan and can’t wait to fall head over heels in love with her other books.

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! Ten Rules For Faking It goes on sale January 5, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUTWhat happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.

 

My Review: Ten Rules For Faking It is a light but sweet office contemporary romance I enjoyed reading more than I thought I would.

The book opens with a unique punch that is at first cliché but then makes you feel secondhand embarrassment for Everly. But I was hooked from then on hoping beyond hope that something good would come out of this for her.

I liked how the story suddenly becomes a smaller scale version of The Bachelorette. It’s an interesting turn of events in opposition to Everly’s “Ten Rules For Faking It” list to turn her life around. It was a well balanced internal and external conflict.

What I loved most about this book is the apt representation of social anxiety disorder. Anxiety – from what it looks like on the outside versus how it actually looks/feels on the inside – is translated so well through great writing. The author really understands intricacies and subtle nuances anxiety has on the mind and body.

Everly is an empowering character. There’s a lot to love about Everly once you get to know her, such as how she loves her job as a radio producer.  I related to Everly so much and understood from experience why she is the way she is. Nobody wants to feel anxious or afraid all the time. Nobody wants to be mentally exhausted after socializing. It’s hard to appear “normal” out of fear of being judged. And having anxiety isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Chris is a great character who’s been fighting demons of his own since childhood. I liked getting to know his character during the chapters in his POV. He has a wonderful, close relationship with his two older brothers, which was nice to see.

Ten Rules For Faking It is very much a character driven story where all the characters seem to have something about themselves to overcome. I was wholly invested and wanted to read more afterwards. There are two characters in particular I would love to read a story about.

It’s still a good, slow burn story that was told well. I would read more books by Sophie Sullivan. I think this story will help a lot of people who are indecisive about who they are and what they want from life.

Categories
About Books Miscellaneous

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth | “Awareness” Book Stack

Happy Thursday, Bookworms!

📚💙Here’s my “Awareness” stack for Mental Health Awareness month!💙📚 I was inspired by fellow bookstagrammer @therealjverma and his amazing book stack to create one of my own.

My AWARENESS stack includes:
Ashlords
We Rule The Night
Awakened
Red Queen
Erak’s Ransom
Night Study
Eclipse
Snow Like Ashes
Seer of Sevenwaters

The bookstagram/book blogging community has been wonderful for my mental health because everyone here is so kind and supportive and friendly to one another. Let’s continue to always choose kindness in all we do.😊💜

I’ve included a list of 24/7 support that’s here for you from my review of Breath Like Water. As dear ol’ Evan Hansen sang, “Even when the dark comes crashing through / When you need a friend to carry you / And when you’re broken on the ground / You will be found.”

 

Mental Health Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The Trevor Project
https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
1-866-488-7386
TrevorChat available
Text START to 678678

Crisis Text Line
www.crisistextline.org
Text HOME to 741741

National Alliance On Mental Illness
https://nami.org/Home

To Write Love On Her Arms
https://twloha.com/

CONNECT WITH ME | GOODREADS | BOOKSTAGRAM

Categories
ARCs Blog Tours Book Reviews

[BLOG TOUR] ARC Review: Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab

CONTENT WARNING: This story does bring up self-harm, substance abuse, addiction, and suicide. Links to 24/7 crisis help will be listed at the end of this post.

[May 12, 2020 – May 26, 2020]

Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! Breath Like Water goes on sale May 19, 2020.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Mental Health
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Susannah Ramos has always loved the water. A swimmer whose early talent made her a world champion, Susannah was poised for greatness in a sport that demands so much of its young. But an inexplicable slowdown has put her dream in jeopardy, and Susannah is fighting to keep her career afloat when two important people enter her life: a new coach with a revolutionary training strategy, and a charming fellow swimmer named Harry Matthews.

As Susannah begins her long and painful climb back to the top, her friendship with Harry blossoms into passionate and supportive love. But Harry is facing challenges of his own, and even as their bond draws them closer together, other forces work to tear them apart. As she struggles to balance her needs with those of the people who matter most to her, Susannah will learn the cost—and the beauty—of trying to achieve something extraordinary.

 

My Review:
Breath Like Water is a must read page-turner that will take your breath away!

Mental health awareness and sports are a big part this incredibly deep story. In this case, we have a teenage elite swimmer who’s prime goal is to make it to the Olympics. You see how this demanding being an elite athlete affects Susannah in all its good, bad, and ugly glory. It serves as a reminder how important it is we take care of our mental health and be kind to one another.

I really like this book. It’s been fascinating having such an i depth look at the psychological affects of highly competitive sports on young kids who are constantly changing mentally, emotional, physically, and biologically. This book has been really eye-opening.

Susannah and Harry’s relationship is so lovely at its core. They really do bring out the best in each other, which is why it was so hard to watch them struggle internally and externally with themselves.

They’re so used to this one way of thinking that’s dominated how they live their lives that it causes an identity crisis. It’s rough going for these dynamic characters.

I’m not expert but I think the bipolar rep was done well and I loved how the author used it within the story. It really brought home how a mental illness affects a person’s day to day and how that person’s disorder affects familial relationships. It gives you the raw ugliness of it but how hope and change is more than possible.

This story does bring up self-harm, substance abuse, addiction, and suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of harming themselves or suicide, please seek help. YOU ARE LOVED. There is always someone to reach out to. I’ll leave some links down below.

The ending was bittersweet but I’m happy for where all of the characters end up. Breath Like Water is a great story overall. I think it will help a lot of people who are struggling right now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Jarzab is a Midwesterner turned New Yorker. She lives and works in New York City and is the author of such books as Red Dirt, All Unquiet Things, The Opposite of Hallelujah, and the Many-Worlds series. Visit her online at annajarzab.com and on Twitter, @ajarzab.

SOCIAL LINKS:
Instagram: @ajarzab
Twitter: @ajarzab
Author website: https://www.annajarzab.com/


READ EXCERPT HERE >>> Breath Like Water | Prologue


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