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 ♡

Advertisements

Book Haul | Lisbon Book Fair 💸

I’ve already mentioned in my wrap-up that I met one of my favorite authors at the Lisbon Book Fair this year. Today, I’ll be telling you all about the book fair, the people I met and the books I got. Hope you enjoy!

May 26th

On this day, I went to the fair specifically for the book signing with Sara Blædel. She was there to present the latest book of hers that came out in Portugal and, of course, to sign books. She also gave the crowd a sort of pep talk by telling us how she writes and giving writing advice.

IMG_4610

She’s super nice and she made me laugh a lot during her speech. Also, look how beautiful she is holy crap 😍

This was the first time I ever met an author, so I was rather nervous, as you can probably tell by my face and weird smile 😅

I met a lot of fellow bloggers at the fair and was recognized by someone who watches my booktube videos, which was very cool 👌🏼

What I got

61EbHoCPfKL

June 2nd

This was the day we had scheduled a booktube meeting. I finally met all of the people I watch on the daily and honestly I wish we could have days like this one every single week! 😭 The Portuguese booktube community is rather small, so we all know each other and we are very close. I can’t wait for the next time I get to be with them! 💕

We all brought with us some books we didn’t want anymore to donate, but beforehand we went through each person’s books and kept the books that we wanted. I ended up giving a couple of mine away, and I also kept some books.

Books I got for free

Image result for the babes in the wood ruth rendell  Image result for road rage ruth rendell  Image result for the snowman jo nesbo book cover  Image result for the secret place tana french

The Babes in the Wood by Ruth Rendell

Road Rage by Ruth Rendell

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

The Secret Place by Tana French (the hardcover is on BD for 63% off!)

             Image result for o falador mario vargas llosa   Image result for tales of terror and detection edgar allan poe cover

O Espião Português by Nuno Nepomuceno (Portuguese thriller)

The Storyteller by Mario Vargas Llosa

Tales of Terror and Detection by Edgar Allan Poe

What I bought

Image result for the nest cover    Image result for the nightingale cover

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

June 10th

This was another day in which I went to the fair just to meet an author – this time my favorite Portuguese author.

I had actually ordered another one of his books, but it didn’t get here on time so he didn’t sign that one 😭 But he did sign four books, so that’s quite a lot – poor man! 😅

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Meeting Mário Zambujal is definitely a highlight of my life – the fangirl was real, y’all! 😄 He wrote a little paragraph on each book, a dedicatory for me, so I will cherish these books forever, you can bet on that 😋

What I got

Image result for eudora welty the optimist's daughter cover  Image result for the real life of sebastian knight cover

The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov


Alright y’all, that’s a wrap on my adventures through the Lisbon Book Fair of 2018. I think I behaved quite well, I only bought 5 books and they all had a very high discount! 😋

Have you met any of your favorite authors? Let me know all about your experience in the comments down bellow!!

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

I’ve Got News For You!!

I have finally succumbed to my desire to create a booktube channel in English!! My first video is now up 🎉 It’s an introduction to the channel in which I talk a bit about myself and tell you about the things I like.

I really hope you enjoy it and that this video doesn’t suck too much 😅

Please let me know if you have any video requests, I will gladly film them for you! 😋


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

 

Spotlight #1 | App for Writers

Hi everyone! I was contacted about the Character Notes Planner app, a character profile planner and note keeper for writers to record story notes, and they asked me to divulge their work here on the blog.

This app was designed to help writers and authors organise ideas and notes, specifically for planning custom character development. It’s a place to write notes on the fly when inspiration hits, and squeeze in micro-writing space and character planning drafts when out and about. 

I thought it would be helpful to some people – I know there are a lot of writers out there who maybe struggle with this, so I hope this helps!

Screenshot ImageScreenshot Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developed by Twenty-Nine Comms, here are some of its features:

  • It features a writing prompt list of detail for creating character story and helps consistency with writing for fiction novels, novella, plays, games – and anyone who wants to plan character background detail in a beautiful format.
  • Enter details and characteristics for all your characters, upload photos, add avatars and add links for each character card. Edit and save at any time.
  • Export single, multiple-selected or all character cards and export to PDF or email without leaving the app.

Screenshot ImageScreenshot Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Anna Bowden, the director, has to say about why she built the app:

“I’ve always loved writing tools, stationery, notebooks and being organised. What I didn’t love was rifling through thousands of pages and words trying to find the reference to one of my characters and which arm was broken. Over months and months of writing I was making decisions about multiple characters that I couldn’t keep track of for continuity.”

“An author once told me she ‘carried her characters around’ until their story revealed itself, as part of her creative process. This stuck with me and I often found myself frantically jotting down character notes on my mobile phone on the way to work. Now, I have my app and they can come along in my pocket for whenever inspiration hits.”

The character notes planner app is now available on the Play store, for 1.99$! For now, it’s only available for Androids, but they hope that will change soon 🙌🏼

If you’d like to contact the creators, here’s their press contact: characternotes.app@gmail.com.


Have you tried any apps to help you with writing? Any suggestions for the struggling writers out there?

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

2018 Domestic Thrillers I’m Excited About

Last night I was scrolling through Goodreads and came across a blog post that really caught my eye. It was about ‘The Unputdownable Domestic Suspense Thrillers of 2018‘, so you can probably guess that I was very excited about it 😝 I’ve already read one of the books on the list and it’s actually one of my favorite reads so far, so that’s pretty great 😉

Since I got excited, I thought I’d share with you which of the books I’m most excited about, so here’s my list:

34275231Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

This one was in my shopping cart not long ago, but then the price went up and I didn’t like the edition that was available, so I ended up not getting it. That definitely doesn’t take any of my excitement though, because look at this synopsis:

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 
1. I’m in a coma. 
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 
3. Sometimes I lie. 

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?

How intriguing is that!!?? I can’t wait to get my hands on this one 😍 Oh, also Zuky and Abby gave it 5 stars, so that makes me even more interested 😋

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 35297426

This one was reviewed by a fellow Portuguese booktuber a while ago, and the first thing she said was that the synopsis says too much.

What we need to know is that this is about someone who went missing 10 years ago, and 10 years later there’s some sort of news about this case. It’s mostly told from the perspective of the missing girl’s mom, but there’s also the POV of the girl herself.

So this is, once again, something I’m very very intrigued by, and I definitely want to read it sometime.

36448554Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

I recently requested this one on NetGalley but I still don’t know whether it’ll be accepted. I currently own Behind Closed Doors by the same author but have yet to read it.

All I hear is praise for B.A. Paris, so every time a new book of his comes out I get pumped without ever having read any of the previous ones 😅 Am I a typical book lover, or what? 😄

I remember seeing that Abby gave it a low rating, but the synopsis had me very curious, so I might still give it a go.

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him…even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke 35099667

So, from what I got from all I read about this book, it features a main character that has amnesia and literally washes up on a shore in Greece or something like that.

I don’t think I’ve ever even read a book involving amnesia, but the idea of it makes me want to read every book with a premise of the sort. I think that kind of plot already makes for a rather gripping and anxious read, which I absolutely love when it comes to thrillers.

…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

36476218She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

This one I got from NetGalley not too long ago, the title really captured my attention and I immediately requested it once I realized it was still available.

I looove this trope of women who realize they don’t really know their husband that well, and that he’s been keeping all these secrets. I eat it up like a feast 👌🏼

I’ll probably read it this summer, maybe by the pool when I go on vacation ⛱

When twin sisters Rose and Bel Enright enroll in The Odell School, a prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. But the sisters could not be more different. The school brings out a rivalry between them that few ever knew existed. And the school itself has a dark underbelly: of privileged kids running unchecked and uninhibited; of rituals and traditions that are more sinister than they seem; of wealth and entitlement that can only lead to disaster.

For Sarah Donovan, wife of an ambitious teacher who is determined to rise through the ranks, Odell also seems like the best thing that could happen to their small family. But how well does she really know her husband? What lengths will he go to to achieve his goals? And when one dark night ends in murder, who is guilty, who knows the truth, and who has been in on it all along? SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE. Because murderers are almost never who you expect.

Our House by Louise Candlish 35924499

I saw this one for the first time on Abby’s blog and I was drawn to it because of the cover. I really like the colors and just everything about it.

Then, she posted a 4.5-star review and I reaaaally wanted to read it 😄 So apparently this is a story in which someone gets home and there’s literally a family moving into her house?? And then everything starts falling apart and her husband disappears and I am SO intrigued. I am definitely putting this one on my birthday wishlist 😋

On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue. 
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it. 

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

35376281I’ve been hearing about this author’s books for AGES now, but I still haven’t read any of them. I’ve started I Let You Go, but only read a couple pages because it was exam period. Maybe I’ll pick it back up soon 🙌🏼

There has been so much hype surrounding this one that it’s impossible to miss it, so I went ahead and read the synopsis one day – and I was sold, so I bought it last week 🎊 Here’s what immediately made me want to get it so bad:

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

WHAT!?!?! I need this in my hands NOW, I can’t freaking wait 😍

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware 36237273

Once again, I own other books by the author but still haven’t read them. However, I think I might read the latest one first, just because I’m so curious.

So from what I’ve heard, this is about someone who receives a letter about an inheritance, but it wasn’t actually addressed to her – just someone with the same name. However, she could use a bit of money, so she decides to go after this inheritance that doesn’t belong to her. Just this bit of information already makes me want to pick it up, and I will do so very soon. I’ve already pre-ordered the edition you see on the right, so it should be here in July 👌🏼

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.


So this is my top 8 of 2018 domestic thriller releases that I really want to read and that I’m excited about. Now it’s 1AM so I really need to go to bed and stop looking at books 😅 Hope you enjoyed this little post! 💕

Have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

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

Review: Lies by T.M. Logan

Image result for lies tm logan book coverLies by T.M. Logan

Goodreads rating: 3.97

Pages: 432

Genre: Adult, ThrillerMystery, Psychological Thriller

Date published: September 11th, 2018 (USA)

My rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Goodreads // Buy this book: Paperback & Hardback

Synopsis

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

My review

Firstly, I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I must say I read through this 432-page baby in NO TIME!! I started it last night and finished it today. It was all I could think about, I had to know what would happen next 😍

I hadn’t read the synopsis (or at least I didn’t know anything about the story going into it), so I went in head first, completely oblivious to what was coming my way. I must say I was most definitely not disappointed 🙌🏼

In Lies, we follow Joe, an English teacher who is married to Melissa. They have a little boy, William, who is 4 years old. One day, as Joe drives home, William spots his mom’s car and they both decide to surprise her. So, they follow her as she drives to a hotel parking lot. Then, they spot her as she meets with a man, a very suspicious interaction that makes Joe start to question everything and causes everything around him to fall apart.

This story doesn’t go where you expect it to, not in the slightest. And that’s what I loved about it. I had never read a book with a plot line such as the one in Lies, it felt rather refreshing. It’s a domestic thriller, but through the eyes of a man, unlike what usually happens, and it goes places I never even dreamed it would.

As the title suggests, this whole book is based on lies and secrets, which makes for a read that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what happened and the author keeps throwing revelations at you. You’re constantly finding out new things – it’s absolutely addicting, I could not put this book down! 😋

Since this is built upon lies, I had a ton of theories throughout the book. I took notes and highlighted stuff every time someone said something that didn’t make sense or that seemed suspicious. I wasn’t even remotely right for the most part, and I love that. I love when books aren’t predictable and keep surprising me 👌🏼 I was playing detective the whole time, which is something I love 🕵🏻‍♀️

Although this is well over 400 pages long, it doesn’t feel slow at all – there’s just a LOT of things happening 😅 There isn’t a very extensive list of characters, which is great because you’re not confused all the time. What there is is a whole lot of unexpected twists and turns – as well as inevitable situations – that keep coming at you the whole time, making this a very rich book. The main plot twist really messed with my head. I did not see that coming whatsoever, I could not believe what I was reading! 😲 It reminded me of The Wife Between Us because, although the plot twist is not even similar, I also didn’t see this one coming and I had to go back and re-read it, to make sure I was seeing right 😅

I kept saying on Goodreads that I was stressed whilst reading this. You have no idea!! I literally had to pause my reading several times because I was getting so anxious and aggravated 😨 This book has a lot of injustice in it, and that’s something that really irks me, especially when there’s literally nothing you can do about it. God, this was so damn stressful 😩 – but so worth it!!

Overall, this is a fast-paced book with an intricate and well-constructed plot that makes for a great and engaging read – especially after a bombastic plot twist!

★★★★☆ 4.5/5 stars


Update (June 14, 2018): changing the rating to 5 stars because I realized that it deserves it!

★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Have you read Lies? What did you think about that plot twist? Let me know in the comments! ♡

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Lies 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 ♡

Top 5 Tuesday: Covers with Green, Blue, Purple

Hi everyone!! Welcome to another Top 5 Tuesday post. T5T is a bookish meme hosted by Shanah over at Bionic Book Worm. If you’re interested in the prompts for June, you can check them out here.

This week we’re talking about book covers, so I’m super excited! If you know me, you know I love me some beautiful covers, so I actually made this a top 10 instead – hope you enjoy! 😋

Let’s get into it…

10. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Image result for strange the dreamer

9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Related image

8. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken

Image result for tale of prosper redding cover

7. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Image result for tower of dawn cover

6. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Image result for acowar cover

5. And I Darken by Kiersten White

Whit_9780553522310_jkt_all_r1.indd

4. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater 

Image result for blue lily lily blue coverImage result for blue lily lily blue cover uk

 

3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Image result for the final empire cover

2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Image result for name of the wind series

1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Image result for the raven king cover


I’ve now realized that I haven’t read most of these books, even though they have some of my favorite covers on my shelves – I better change that soon! Any suggestions about which one I should start with? 😉

See any favorites? Let me know all about your favorite book covers down in the comments!

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