Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wellness Warrior Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

12. Wellness Warrior by Lisa Douthit

Have you ever awakened to find you’ve contracted a devastating disease that ended life as you knew it forever? Lisa did . . . multiple times. After surviving four different cancers, she hit the final wall when a life-threatening autoimmune disease took over. Exhausted and discouraged, she had to make a choice: was she going to give in to disease and let nature take its course, or would she use whatever strength she had left to figure out what the hell was happening to her…and more importantly, WHY?
After immersing herself in the study of illness from a physical, emotional, and spiritual perspective, Lisa learned how to recreate her body from the cellular level while keeping her sense of humor. Throughout her crazy journey, she shares practical skills and a quirky higher guidance to create positive shifts in our health which will serve as a roadmap through the darkest hours of life.

My Review:
Lisa's journey through cancer and an autoimmune disease is one of a kind. There's not many people who have been through as much as she has. Her story was more like an emotional and spiritual process. While I'm not a fan of holistic and alternative therapies (like the whole shaman thing), I liked that Lisa was willing to give different things a try - things that she never would have imagined doing. I did find it to be on the slow side, as I didn't really care for her writing style. I could have done less with the dream parts, though - I think she went on a little bit too detailed with that. I wished there was more of the family dynamic during everything. I believe this book is suited more for anyone who has a chronic disease.

Ever since I got diagnosed with my heart condition, I have been interested in these kinds of books in which people share how they stayed positive or got through an illness or something. Going through a hard time makes you think about life and all of that. The main point I disagree with is that people choose to get sick or whatever from stress or what we do in our lives. While I do agree that stress, eating unhealthy, not exercising, etc. can lead to illness, I don't believe that it's the whole picture. I didn't plan to have my heart condition, nor do I believe that I could have done anything differently to avoid "getting" it. I've known people who seem to do everything right when it comes to staying healthy, but still got cancer, etc.

When it comes to being sick with any type of disease/condition, I believe people should do whatever they want to do to stay positive or deal with what they have. Different therapies/medicine work for different people, so it's about what works for you.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easterly Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday Easter Edition

I'm going to keep this short and simple. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter. Hope your day is surrounded by love and family.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Confessions of an Ugly Girl Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

11. Confessions of an Ugly Girl by Alice Wasser

Millie Glockenfeld will never fall in love. She will never get engaged. She will never get married. She will never live in a house with a white picket fence and 2.4 children. And all for one very simple reason: she is ugly. Fortunately, one thing Millie has learned over the years is that she doesn't need a man. She's got a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crazy but lovable cat lady who lives downstairs from her. What more does a girl need in life? But then one day Millie meets Sam Webber. He is adorably handsome and absolutely perfect (well, almost). And Sam thinks that Millie is beautiful. Now there's a chance that Millie might get the happy ending she's always secretly wanted... if only she can learn to look in the mirror and see what Sam sees.

My Review:
First of all, the story was told in a journaling format. In the beginning, Millie wants it to be about confessing what it's like to be single and ugly in her thirties. As the story develops, Millie winds up getting a boyfriend and it transforms into her confessing all about their relationship. Millie seems to be someone who has low self-esteem. I found her to be relatable as I think all females/women go through a period where they think they're not pretty enough to fall in love with someone. It was nice for a change to have the heroine be someone who wasn't necessarily skinny as society has made it out to be that the skinnier, the better. Millie seems to feel left out when her friends start marrying off and having kids and all that comes with it, as she doesn't feel that they can relate to her anymore. From personal experience, it can be hard to be in your late 20's or in your 30's when you're still single, not married and not having kids yet (as everyone else around you is doing that). The message that I'm getting to is that things may not always turn out the way you wanted them to by a certain time in your life and that's okay. I recently turned 29 and thought my life would be completely different than what it is now and that's not the case. However, I also realize that I'm not the only that feels that way and we're all doing great and that's all that matters. I just don't think some things are meant to be yet and I have to be patient.

Millie overstated the fact that she considered herself to be ugly. Even when a guy becomes interested in her, she still doesn't believe she's pretty enough. Fortunately for Millie, Sam comes into her life and sees her for who she really is. While Millie was relatable at times, I also found her to be extremely annoying as well. I liked Sam and it was different to get a glimpse into the life of someone who's quadriplegic. I couldn't believe how Millie's mom was, pressuring her to get married and not even giving Sam a chance, etc. I didn't particularly like the fact parts - it made Millie seem like a Debbie downer about everything. I did like how Sam made Millie see the bigger picture - that she is better looking than what she thinks she is and that size doesn't matter.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


The Day of the Wave Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

10. The Day of the Wave by Becky Wicks
      Topic: book that takes place on an island

Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day tsunami tore through their beach resort in Thailand. Just days after forming a life-changing bond, both were missing and presumed dead. Unbeknown to each other and haunted by one of the biggest natural disasters in world history, Isla and Ben are living very different lives, until over a decade later when a chance encounter throws them back together.

My Review:
Ben and Isla are only teens when they become friends while on vacation and experience a tragic event. Not knowing if the other survived, Ben and Isla go back to their regular lives - Isla back to London parentless as they died in the tsunami and Ben to rebuild what was destroyed and start all over again. Life moves on for them as normally as possible, with Isla living in fear and Ben living with tremendous guilt over what they experienced. Ten years later, Isla gets a chance to go back to Thailand for work and as the fates would have it run into Ben. Together, they are finally forced to open up about that fateful day years before. Isla has to face her fears and Ben gets to let loose his emotions/guilt which he has buried deep inside himself. In the process of doing that, they are finally able to move on and feel free from everything.

Note: On December 26, 2004, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake occurred off the western coast of Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that hit 14 countries and affected 5 million people worldwide. 230,000 lives were lost that day. This book is based on the events of that day and the days following. It's been known as the Boxing Day Tsunami, among other names.

I chose to use this as a book that takes place on an island. It does take place on islands during parts of the book, but not for the whole book. I may have cheated a little with this one, but I don't think it matters.


Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Theme Reveal!

The April A to Z Blogging Challenge is almost here. And today I'll be revealing my theme.

A to Z Theme Reveal

My theme is.........

A Book Extravaganza

I will be taking you for a ride along featuring classic book titles/synopses and some days I will be featuring books that have inspired or impacted me in any way as a little extra bonus.

Note: For anyone that's doing this same challenge, I will not be able to do a lot of visiting the first weekend since I will be out of town for a family wedding. I will, however, be posting those days.

I am looking forward to see themes of what others are doing.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Uncle Tom's Cabin Book Review & New Blog Update

Writing Tuesday

2016 Reading Challenge

9. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Topic: book at least 100 years older than you

Pictured is the title page of the first edition published in 1852.


Uncle Tom's Cabin changed forever how Americans viewed slavery, the system that treated people as property. It demanded that the United States deliver on the promise of freedom and equality, galvanized the abolition movement and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War. The book calls on us to confront the legacy of race relations in the U.S. as the title itself became a racial slur.

My Review
I have wanted to read this since my theatre company did the musical The King and I. That was several years ago (2012). One of the scenes in the show is the telling of Uncle Tom's Cabin in a play format. Although it wasn't my favorite scene, I wanted to read the book to understand it better in a way.

Harriet Beecher Stowe took a huge risk when she wrote this as slavery was considered acceptable back then. While there were people who knew it wasn't okay, no one really said a word because it would have been defying the government (in a way). I attempted to read Uncle Tom's Cabin back in 2012, but I just couldn't get into it and I put it on hold. Now that I've read it completely, I'm glad Harriet Beecher Stowe took that risk to portray that slavery was wrong.

This was an eye-opener to me. Although Uncle Tom's Cabin is fiction, Harriet's portrayal of slavery and what really went on is one of the truest accounts of that time. In this book, I appreciated how the different characters viewed slavery, from the ones who supported it in cruel ways (like Simon Legree) to the ones who saw it as wrong but couldn't do anything about it (like Eva and Mrs. Shelby).
Eva, along with Uncle Tom of course, were my favorite characters. I enjoyed how Tom stuck strong and true to his Christian faith despite everything he went through. Eva may have only been a child, but she had the wisdom of someone much older, who was also strong in her faith and that there's good in everyone. It was heartbreaking when she died.

As an American, America has had it share of mistakes. Slavery was one of them. Racism is another. I'm happy that slavery got abolished with the Emancipation Proclamation and the years after. Our country has come a long way since then in terms of racism and although we still have ways to go, I'm proud of what we have done accomplished.

I think Uncle Tom's Cabin is a must read for teenagers and adults alike.

So, I am happy to announce that my new blog is now out and I have my first post published. Check it out here: Writing With Meg.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!