ARC Review: The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

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Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear.

Review

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Going into this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I am not an avid reader of “Christian fiction”, so I was a bit wary, even though the synopsis sounded very interesting. However, I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. I was getting into a slump whilst reading The Night Women by Sara Blædel, but then I picked this one up and finished it in just a couple of days! The writing is so pleasant, it reads like a dream 👌🏼

There are two main points of view: Ellie’s and Grayson’s. Ellie’s sister, Mac, disappears, leaving a trail of blood on her boat. Ellie is worried sick and thinks her sister might be hurt. Grayson, a Coast Guard, is following a lead on stolen cocaine and is convinced that Mac is involved and that she faked her own death. Besides these two, there are occasional POV of other characters as well, which shows us what is happening on all sides of the story.

She pressed her ear to the latch and heard the faint trickle of water. No amount of screaming would lift her voice out of this deep hole, so she didn’t waste her strength.

I really liked the main group of characters that we follow, they were a joy to read about. Oh, and I finally found a character who thinks in tricky situations and doesn’t just act out of their overwhelming emotions. Thank you, Colleen Coble, I love me a smart character🙌🏼

This story involves drug trafficking, terrorism and assassinations, and that makes for a super gripping story that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Also, a lot of current themes and issues we’re facing right now are mentioned, which just makes the book even more real and relatable, in a sense.

I’ve never really met anyone who tugged at my heartstrings.” He kissed her palm again, then moved up to her wrist. “Until now, that is.” He lifted his head and reached for her at the same time she moved toward him. His lips covered hers with a gentle yet masterful touch, and she was lost.

Throughout this year, I have barely read anything with romance in it and, to my surprise, this is a mystery with romance!! Oh my, I really missed reading about people falling in love – and now it’s all I want to read… Additionally, this is very good romance. No insta-love, no mental abuse, no manipulation, none of those tropes! The only “trope” that is present here is the “girl who doesn’t realize how beautiful and amazing she is” – but there’s a reason behind that! It was just so wonderful to read about the couples in this, I’m so happy I picked this up 😍

I did find an issue with consistency, namely regarding a character’s eye color. Most of the time, she has “golden-brown” or “amber” eyes but, out of nowhere, someone mentions her “blue” eyes. I won’t hold that against the book though since this is an ARC and I’m sure they corrected the mistake. Also, we’re human! But I did notice it, so I thought I should mention this tiny lapse.

One of my favorite parts of this story was the secrets that were revealed, stuff from the characters’ past. I’m always a sucker for a good book with tragic backgrounds and shocking revelations, and this was no exception, loved it!

I also loved the setting, it takes place in Lavender Tides, which is a coastal area. This makes for a wonderful background, full of houses right by the water, giving us summer vibes. This book is downright refreshing – in every sense of the word!

In conclusion, I am now a fan of Colleen Coble’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. I might pick up the first book in this series, which follows one of the great characters I met in The House at Saltwater Point. I hope my review gets you pumped to pick it up, it’ll be out in the US in just a couple of days! 🎉

4 4/5 stars

Have you read any of Colleen Coble’s books? Which one(s) do you recommend?

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on The House at Saltwater Point and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

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How to Read More | Tips & How I Read

Hi everyone!! Today’s post is one that was requested. Last week I got a comment on one of my videos asking me to talk about my reading routine and how I make time to read ⇣

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Since this is a subject that I love, I was very excited to talk about it on my new channel, so here it is! 😋

My 5 Tips
  1. Manage your time wisely
  2. Make the most of your time – read any time you can!
  3. Take your books everywhere
  4. Multitasking is key
  5. Find your perfect format

I hope you enjoy this little video and that it’s even remotely helpful! ☺️


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Netgalley Haul | June ’18

You guys already know I have problems with self-control, right? Well, that’s even worse when I go on Netgalley… I have gotten some books in the past weeks, so I’ll be sharing my excitement with you 😍 I really should stop requesting books until I read the other ones, but it’s been hard because there are so many exciting books on NG 😕

But enough rambling, let’s get into the books…

¡click the covers to go to the NetGalley page!

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder. Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education. With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.


This one I got because it kind of reminded me of Jack the Ripper, who is a fascinating figure to me. Also, how can you resist this cover? 😍

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers | Oct 2, 2018

Sadie by Courtney Summers

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.


This one was sent to me by St. Martin’s Press and I am beyond excited to read and review it. The review will be up by late August 😉

Young Adult | Sep 4, 2018

My Whole Truth by Mischa Thrace

Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. She never wanted to be invisible in her own family, she never wanted to crush on her best friend Alyssa, and she definitely never wanted to know how effectively a mallet could destroy someone’s head. 

But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder.


This cover captured my attention and, after reading the synopsis, I couldn’t resist! I’m very curious to read from the perspective of a high school student that is arrested for murder, never read anything like that before.

Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult | Oct 2, 2018

The Girl from Berlin by Ronald H. Balson 

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten…

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war, and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna—though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope—the ending of which is yet to be written.


This one was also sent to me by St. Martin’s Press. It’s the next book in a series – you can read my review of the previous one here. I think I’m going to enjoy this one way more, I’m very excited about it.

Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers | Oct 9, 2018

Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan

When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenage foster-child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare try to track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear that someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

As she battles the demons from her past, can Josie stop this killer before another precious life is taken?


Although this is part of a series I’m not familiar with, I couldn’t resist that title, so I’m gonna dive in head-first and pray that you can read these out of order 😅

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers | July 19, 2018

And Then There Were Crows by Alcy Leyva

New York City has always been a big fat sack of stress attacks for Amanda Grey. From turning herself into knots to evade rubbing ass cheeks with strangers on the train, to round-housing public bathroom door handles to stave off plague contaminations, Grey has always found the simple technique of avoidance best in dealing with NYC. What’s always saved her—what’s always served as her bastion from the City’s bright lights and cat-calling construction workers—was the little one-bedroom apartment in Queens she’s shared with her parents. Of course, that’s all about to change.

When her parents go on an extended vacation and leave Grey to her own devices, she quickly manages to screw everything up, soon finding herself broke, behind on rent, and facing eviction. That’s how fast life in the city goes: One second, your biggest concern is rising Metrocard costs and avoiding eye contact with creepy looking children. The next, you’re nearly murdered by a man infested with demons, one of which you’ve rented your bedroom to, and before you know it you’ve set into motion the biblical apocalypse prophesized in the Book of Revelations—literally.

Grey goes from a woman concentrated on clamping down on her own personal demons to the woman responsible for recapturing the six Shades she’s unleashed on the city. To accomplish this, she must venture out into a society even more alien to her now than before—oh, and try to stay alive, too. She manages to survive by accepting the help of Barnem, a seraphim who just happens to reside in an upstairs apartment and also just so happens to be equally terrible at human interactions as she is. Oddly, the demon Grey now shares an apartment with also steps up to help her vanquish the Shades, though she can’t be sure if it’s out of roommate loyalty or a secret plot to enslave humankind. Probably the latter.

Together the unlikely trio faces a bevy of social demons, from navigating political warfare, to breaking the curse of infomercials, to figuring out exactly how Grey becomes the leader of a cult. For Grey, it becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between the ills of society and the influence of the Shades. She begins to notice that living with her social anxieties makes her more sensitive to the oddities around her, which, ironically, seems to make her the perfect person to deal with the world’s mounting weirdness. As Grey comes to be part of a society that has accepted the strange ways we communicate with each other, she questions if the “social sanity” she felt excluded from her entire life ever really existed in the first place.


I am auto-approved to read Black Spot Books’s titles, and when the synopsis is to my liking, I don’t think twice and immediately send it to my Kindle. The reviews say it’s dark, gruesome and hilarious, so I’m very curious 😋

General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy | July 3, 2018

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

The dangerous beauty of Lavender Tides is harboring secrets that reach around the world.

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her—would he? 

Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie, who seems to view him as the true enemy.

Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.


I saw this book on Zuky’s post a while ago and thought the synopsis was very intriguing, so I requested it as well.

Christian, Mystery & Thrillers | July 3, 2018

The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker by Kerry Wilkinson

‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’ 

A village with something to hide.

Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She has no memory of how she got there. But she does know that another girl was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer…

A community torn apart.

Eleanor is a normal, every day teenager. She argues with her mum, spends her days with her best friend, and is looking forward to a carefree summer of sunshine and music. Who would want to hurt her?

A shocking secret.

Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something awful links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she find out the truth before it’s too late?


There’s been some buzz around this book, so I was very curious. And then I read that first line of the synopsis: ‘I will never forget the night I drowned…’ – I mean goddamn, don’t you want to immediately read this? 😱

Mystery & Thrillers, Young Adult | Jul 26, 2018

Smothered by Autumn Chiklis

A humorous debut crossover young adult novel about what happens when entering the “real world” means moving back in with your mother, inspired by actress and celebrity Autumn Chiklis’ real life. Eloise “Lou” Hansen is graduating from Columbia University summa cum laude, and she’s ready to conquer the world. Just a few minor problems: she has no job, no prospects, and she’s moving back into her childhood bedroom. Lou is grimly determined to stick to a rigorous schedule to get a job and get out of her parents’ house. Shelly “Mama Shell” Hansen, on the other hand, is ecstatic, and just as determined to keep her at home. Who else will help her hide her latest binge-shopping purchases from her husband, go to SoulCycle with her, and hold her hand during Botox shots? Smothered is a hilarious roman à clef told via journal entries, text messages, emails, bills, receipts, tweets, doctor’s prescriptions, job applications and rejections, parking tickets, and pug pictures, chronicling the year that Lou moves back home after college. Told from Lou’s point-of-view, Smothered tells the story of two young(ish) women, just trying to get it right, and learning that just because we all grow up doesn’t mean we necessarily have to grow old. (After all, what is Juvaderm for?)

 

Finally, a lighter read! This one was just sent to me by St. Martin’s Press as well, and it sounds like a perfect summer read, as I said in my Summer Reading Recommendations post. My review should be up soon 😉

New Adult, Women’s Fiction | Aug 7, 2018


Alright y’all, those were the books I got from Netgalley this month. I’m planning on taking a break from requesting until I read all of these, but we’ll see if I can stick with it 😅

Did you get any books lately? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments down below!!

Thank you for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Summer Reading Recommendations 🌡

As it is now, officially, summer in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to talk about the books I recommend for the warmer weather ☀️

I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of a seasonal reader – meaning I tend to read books according to the season and/or time of year. For summer, I usually prefer lighter reads, such as romance novels, maybe a fantasy book here and there and just not-so-serious books in general. You definitely won’t catch me reading Anna Karenina in the summer, just saying 😅

This being said, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite summer reads, and also some new or upcoming releases that I think are very appropriate for this season. Let’s get started!

click the book titles to read my review!

My Personal Favorites

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The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger – 4.5/5 ★

Dreamology by Lucy Keating – 4/5 ★

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour – 4/5 ★

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You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan – 4.5/5 ★

In Real Life by Jessica Love – 4/5 ★

The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day – 4/5 ★

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – 4/5 ★

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The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han – 5/5 ★

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – 5/5 ★

Summer Days & Summer Nights by Various Authors – 4/5 ★

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – 4/5 ★

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – 4/5 ★

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – 5/5 ★

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick – 4/5 ★

New or Upcoming Releases


Smothered
by Autumn Chiklis (review coming soon!)

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera


What are your summer recommendations? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Soooo apparently it’s the middle of 2018 already…….. time to FREAK OUT 😱

Like last year, I answered this tag in video – hope you enjoy!!

Questions

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
5. Biggest disappointment.
6. Biggest surprise.
7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
8. Newest fictional crush.
9. Newest favorite character.
10. Book that made you cry.
11. Book that made you happy.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation that you’ve seen this year
13. Favorite review you’ve written (booktube or written)
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Bookshelf Reorganization 📚

So you might have noticed that, from time to time, I like to take all of the books out of my shelves and clean and reorganize everything. A few days ago, I decided to do the same thing, and I made a bookshelf reorganization video 🎉

Once again, I kind of organized them by genre and grouped all of the books by each author together, since that’s what makes the most sense in my mind. I made a little scheme of what is where on my shelves, so you can find that below – hope you enjoy!! 👇🏼

What is where

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After taking this photo I realized I should have switched the first thriller shelf and the historical fiction one so that all of my thrillers could be together, but they actually look better this way, so I’ll keep it like that 🤷🏻‍♀️


How do you organize your shelves? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡

Review: This Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

thisdoesnot.qxp_dont try coverThis Does Not Leave This House by Julie Coons

Goodreads rating: 4.00

Pages: 186

Genre: Adult, Non Fiction, Religion & Spiritualism, Self-Help

Date published: January 13, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback

Synopsis

How does a little girl survive an abusive mother, Catholic school, rape, and a near-death experience? Raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother (who once tried to trick her into having an abortion), Julie Coons was also raped in college by a stranger and later married an abusive man who threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave. Suffering from physical and mental torment resulting in very low self-esteem, Julie often felt so completely alone during the many struggles of her life that she tried to take her own life.

This book is her true story—telling all the secrets she was never allowed to tell to encourage and motivate others to heal their own lives and break the cycle of abuse. Her story shows that there is hope and life after abuse. Now that the secrets are finally out, Julie has found freedom. So can you. This Does Not Leave This House is a raw, poignant, and secret-revealing memoir written to lead a movement

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank the author, Julie Coons, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

So often I felt so completely alone during so many struggles in my life. I was raised by an abusive, narcissistic mother. I was raped in college by a stranger. I married an abusive man that threatened to kill me if I ever tried to leave. His abuse nearly killed me anyway. My mother tried to trick me into having an abortion.

Reading this book was not easy. Julie’s life is quite a rollercoaster, as you can probably tell by the synopsis and the excerpt above. When I got the book in the mail I thought it would be a very quick read, since it’s less than 200 pages long – but I was wrong! It took me a few days to finish, I was very moved by everything I was reading and I couldn’t bear to read the whole thing at once 😅

Although it is not an easy read, I HIGHLY recommend this little book to everyone – and I mean everyone. This is a story about abuse, and how Julie overcame it, how she broke the cycle. She broke two cycles, actually – growing up, she was abused at home, and she was later abused by her husband as well.

Julie is such a strong woman, I really admire her. She shows that it’s possible to be happy even after you go through hell, you just have to find your strength (in her case, her biggest strength was her daughter) and finally make a move, taking a step towards a better life. This being said, I would love to know her opinion of a couple of Colleen Hoover books, specifically the ones that include abuse and domestic violence. I’m very curious as to what she would think as she read them 🤔

The author also tells us about her experience with spirituality and religion. She had an out-of-body experience when she was still a kid, and she believes that made her receptive to spirits – meaning she regularly has paranormal experiences. She said something that was very interesting, although it really freaked me out: there are spirits that immitate people. She says one time she heard her husband come home and call out her name, heard his footsteps, but when she thought he was about to come in the room she was in, there was nothing. He was never there. Isn’t that fascinating but also extremely scary? I’m not quite sure how I feel about the paranormal, whether I believe it or not, but I do love to hear about people’s experiences! 👻

If you’re expecting a beautifully-written and lyrical book, that’s not what you’ll find. This is a very raw and unfiltered testimony, and it goes straight to the point.

It’s not just a book for people who have gone or are going through abuse, it’s a book for absolutely everyone out there. It might help you plan your own escape. It might help you in the future, prevent you from allowing abusive behavior. It might even open an abuser’s eyes to how their actions affect their victim.

This Does Not Leave This House is an incredibly important testimony. I have no words to describe what the author went through, and how this book made me feel. I also can’t express to you how important her story is, so I’ll leave you with some of the quotes I highlighted as I read.

Another lesson here is, don’t settle. Don’t marry someone thinking you can fix them or change. Protect your happiness, but don’t block the wall off too high either. Don’t miss out on that really good person because you are too blocked off. You don’t have to choose to hate or fear anyone or anything. It’s a fine line and a really intense journey. Just don’t distrust all men or all women. I used to have to remind myself not to paint everyone with the same brush. Abuse throws the abused into this real of feelings of fear and rage all at the same time.

I saved every penny for college because I knew my father was going to help my brother and not me. He felt it was more important for his son to go to college because his daughter could “just get married”, as he told me. I wasn’t raised to feel very strong as a woman. (…) After all this happened and I came out the survivor, I realized: I am powerful, not despite, but because, of my gender.

I hope nobody else knows what this feels like. If you have experienced anything like my experiences, I stand with you. You are not alone. You are not the rape. You are not the abuse. You are not the illness. No matter what it is, you are not that thing you carry around. You are a special person with a sensitive soul who deserves to be acknowledged. You are never alone. I stand with you.

You can’t change anything if you don’t ackowledge it. One person really can make a difference. I want to be that person and create a domino effect, so everyone will join in. I hope we can all join together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to start a movement of positive change in the world. Let’s work together to plant the seed and watch it grow. Life is a beautiful thing when there isn’t any abuse in it. Stop making excuses for the abuser. Stop continuing to enable them. Get it out there and get on with it.
Don’t you cry no more.

★★★★☆ 4/5 stars

Have you read any books about abuse? Are you planning on giving this one a try? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on This Does Not Leave This House and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!


Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡