Design a site like this with
Get started

Book review: First came forever, (Book 1, Angelheart saga) by Annie Woods

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA Romance |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was a delightful surprise! The story is beautifully written, it began with what seemed like an insta-love trope, between two young adventurers; a mysterious guy and a geeky girl. They met in a historical place in Camboja and from that point onwards it was love at first sight. The connection they felt to each other during their trip was so strong that it brought them together to the USA, where they began and set their new lives. Their purpose was to in the future accomplish some good for the children in need that they encountered on their trip.

That’s when the unexpected started to happen. The story was developed to a point that we were constantly surprised with unforeseen plot-twists! I couldn’t put the book down because I was so eager to find out what was going on. If you enjoy a dramatic spectacle like me, where we are encountered with curve ball after curve ball you will definitely enjoy this read. Royal meets girl, political goals come into play, an unknown person lurking in the shadows plotting against them, high school dilemmas – fitting in, new friends, defending gay rights and to top it off, a hot guy to mess with her head. All of these twists intertwined with the regular teenager’s life issues; essays, sports, complicated parents, which the author presented fast-paced, making it very interesting chapter by chapter. Since this is the first book in a trilogy (you can check out the other books in the saga here), it ends with a cliffhanger, full of last minute surprises and questions to be answered in the next book, which I will start right away! 🙂

photo at @tata.lifepages

Book review: The Thin House, by Jake Nickens

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | YA fantasy |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt pages fly in my hands so much as I did while reading The Thin House. It was such an easy and fun read, that I couldn’t make myself put it down until it was finished. At first I had thought because of the age of the main character (I believe it was 11 years old) that it was going to be a middle grade fantasy or a light YA fantasy, but I was mistaken. The story was divided into these detailed segments that introduce you to a certain “monster” of the Thin House and with each segment Finn’s character was developed and a hidden life lesson was presented to the reader. I was astounded by Finn’s maturity for a child, he frequently talks and thinks in what appears to be an elaborate and wise manner. However, I only really noticed that this novel was much more mature and intense than what I thought it would be by the mention of adult topics in certain segments, such as abuse, death and suicide. A trigger warning could probably be introduced at the start of the book.

From all the diverse characters introduced, my favorite was Chester. I just found that cuddly little jackalope adorable and I love how protective he was of Finn. I was also delightfully intrigued by a certain ‘happening’ that occurs when Chester is given something he had been craving throughout the entire novel. I hope to find mentions of this circumstance in the subsequent books of the series. I also felt immediately connected to Eden, I loved the scenes where she appeared and the story got even better after she was introduced.

photo at @tata.lifepages

Even though the story is divided into segments for the unique monsters, it has an underlying plot that keeps the reader interested about multiple aspects that unfold as the story progresses such as: the grandparents background, why Finn’s mom doesn’t visit the place and whats behind that creepy grandfather clock? I love it how the author connects events at the end of the book to small hints given throughout the story, so that the reader has that delightful nostalgic moment where he remembers that hint and goes “Ahhhh, that’s why!”. The novel is beautifully written, each monster is described so well that I had a clear visual on my mind and I must say I was even a bit scared! It speaks of family, friendship, stories, grief, etc, making the reader ponder at each underlying lesson. I hope to read the second book in the series! You can check out more about the author and his books over at his website.

North Street Book Prize – contest for self-published books

. tata.lifepages | Partner updates! |

As a personal project I have been branching out more to self-published authors, also known as indie authors, to help promote and spread word about their books. I will be reviewing almost exclusively works by independent authors in the upcoming months here on my blog as well as my main account. I was recently contacted by Winning Writers, a platform that creates resources for poets and writers, about an ongoing contest for self-published authors. This contest provides not only exposure to self-published works as well as some amazing prizes.

Various categories of self-published books may join the North Street Book Prize contest (Mainstream / Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction & Memoir, Poetry, Children’s Picture Book, Graphic Novel & Memoir) with no restriction of the publication date. I’ve listed the prizes at the bottom of this article, which are very impressive. They currently have a free book giveaway for the 2019 grand prize winner (Lay of the land) which you can download for free at their website.

Submissions until the 30th of June, 2020

Grand Prize Winner 2019, Poetry

  • Grand prize winner: $5,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and 3 free ads in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $525 value);
  • Top winner in each category: $1,000, a marketing analysis and one-hour phone consultation with Carolyn Howard-Johnson, a $300 credit at BookBaby, and one free ad in the Winning Writers newsletter (a $175 value);
  • A honorable mention in each category: $250;
  • Published online excerpts (1,000-6,000 words) from all entries that win a prize, along with critiques from the judges;

I will be supporting Winning Writers this upcoming month in spreading word about their contest and their work. Are you a self-published author? To find more information on the North Book Prize contest for self-published works check out their website.

Book review: Thoughts Alight Poetry, by Kawtar Elmrabti

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | Poetry |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been wanting to branch out to different genres, one of them being poetry, which I must admit has been short on my to-be-read list of late. The cover drew my eye immediately since it gives this relaxing and soothing feelings and motivated me to dive in!

This poetry collection is full of positive thoughts and heart-warming messages. I found it best to read a poem in the morning to brighten my day and a poem at night to go bed with something to think about. The book is divided into 4 main sections (Love thoughts, Hope Thoughts, Self Thoughts and Meditation Thoughts). My favorite poems were in the Hope thoughts section, with beautiful quotes such as “The Broken will always be able to love harder than most” or “Never apologize for burning too brightly” which I found relatable and which inspired constructive discussions between me and my boyfriend. If you enjoy poetry, these thoughts collection is full of love, hope and inspiration!

Book review: Pandemonium by Willow Anderson

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | fantasy |

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow! Guess who stayed up until 3 am last night binge reading this book? Yup guilty. Thank you so much for the author sending me a free e-book copy of this book, I devoured it. It was so thrilling, mysterious, seductive, dark, intense, mesmerizing! As you all know, I am head over heels for twisted, morally gray and seductive characters, which this book delivers on point with the Ring Master. Oh I can still picture his seductive stance and mysterious glances in my mind just typing about him. Not many books succeed in making me feel this way towards a character, and Willow Anderson delivered it and more!

The story reads fast paced, full of intriguing plot twists and alluring riddles for the reader to solve alongside the main character. I for one am addicted to love triangles, specially when they make you unsure of which love interest you like more, at the end I was cheering for both to win her heart and I knew my heart would be utterly crushed since only one could be victor. The bond between sisters is elaborated perfectly in such a realistic and enjoyable way that I felt instantly connected to their friendship. It made me long for a sister such as Victoria myself.

The author was able to leave us small clues throughout the story to hint at the ultimate villain, not enough for us to guess their identity, but enough for us to have that lucid incredible sense of nostalgic remembrance at each reference throughout the story once their identity was finally revealed at the end. I absolutely love feeling like “How did I not see it before?” once the villain is revealed.

Will I be reading book 2? YES!!!! A thousand times yes.

photo at @tata.lifepages

Book review: Enjoy Food!…and some more myths that still prevent you from doing so, by Pavel Stanishev

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | non-fiction | (Enjoy Food, #2)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was gifted a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest review. After enjoying so much book 1 from this same author I moved on to book 2, where the authors exposes true facts about various famous diets and how they seek fast results in short period of time. I found it very interesting when it was summarized that the best diet depends on a absolute change in one’s permanent eating habits. The book continues to present how each and every one of us have different eating habits and taste, so the diet should be specifically adapted for each person; like myself, I prefer salty foods ; so always salads over fruits. The author made me intrigued about discussions over the food industry and their analyses to input more sales ; I.e. super food, organic, gluten -free , low fat , etc and the myths created around these types of foods that always made me look for them without knowing the true facts behind it; were they actually beneficial as marketing exposes them to be?

The book relies its research on various scientific journals, with many quoted reports on the footnotes, which makes it very creditable. He even brings up some tips on how we can use filters on searching for nutrition and food information, based on science and reliable sources, for improved knowledge. In conclusion it is an enlightening read that brings up a very important point of view: people should focus more on consuming good & affordable meals; because they are healthy and balanced, cheap and tasty, and not necessarily just go for the most promoted alternative by brands.

photo at @tata.lifepages

Book review: Enjoy Food!…and the top myths that still prevent you from doing so, by Pavel Stanishev

. tata.lifepages | Gifted | non-fiction | (Enjoy Food, #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was gifted a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest review. The author describes in a clear manner his concerns about the current situation of food diets and trends. Nowadays, people (including myself) have been guilty of looking for a quick and short term diet solution and not really focusing on their health.

I particularly enjoyed the reflections that the author makes about the big picture on each subject that he brings ; sugar, detox, salt, diet, etc. it made me wonder about the need for balance among physical, mental and social aspects of my life ; which is the ultimate goal. One concept that brought me a much needed revelation was how the food industry uses marketing to mislead us to spend more money on expensive foods – e.g. organic x conventional food- instead of applying real concerns about the collective bigger good, which would entail a balance between health, environment and costs, etc .

I really enjoyed all the insights he presents and will definitely want to read more of his books, which even though are technical they are portrayed in a very easy to comprehend way with a lot of real and based sources, making me rethink how to enjoy my food even more !

photo at @tata.lifepages

Book review: Winter’s Wolf by Lou Grimes (The Cursed, #1)

. t a t a . l i f e p a g e s | Gifted | YA |

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was gifted a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest review. I was not expecting how much I loved this story!
It brought back all my feelings and love for the paranormal world. It gives me some “Linger” vibes (Maggie Stiefvater) however it has much more action and the characters are super easy to connect with. Louvette’s relationship with her mother and her best-friend (Cara) is so well portrayed, I found myself giggling with them at their playful jokes and fun times, Cara was definitely my favorite character, I was eager to read more about her.
Also could this book make me anymore hungry? I found myself salivating at how well the author described the delicious meals that Louvette and her mother shared (as a wolf shifter she requires a lot of energy). I loved the romance in this story, it was fluid and easy to fall in love alongside the characters. However at times the turn of events and the culprits seems a bit predictable, the shape-shifter story could have been introduced to Louvette in a more suspenseful way (her seeing a wolf outside her house watching her etc) instead of a question & answer session. I was AMAZED at how well the author described the moments when she is her wolf, I could vividly imagine her mind as a wolf, blurry in the background and focused on instincts. I absolutely loved when she was wolf.

Some Spoilers below! ****

I am very excited to read book 2, I hope it will give more of a background story to Emily Bonesteel as well to Hollows and his motives which I’m super curious about. I am also excited to read more about the pack life, how they behave, will they accept Louvette into their pack? I also hope to find out more about other packs and why they would want to steal her? For marriage? for a more pure blood line? All these questions make me super interested and eager for book 2!  

photo at @tata.lifepages