Tagged: Parent-Child Relationship

Pieces of Me – Review

About the Book

Pieces of Me, Carrigan Richards

Teen/Young Adult Drams 302 Pages

Carrigan Richards Publishing (August 13, 2013)

One second. 

Seventeen-year-old Corinne has everything. Her life. Family. Friends. Boyfriend. But in that one second, she loses it all. Now she’s left with harrowing nightmares. Hallucinations. And panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. She tries everything to take the pain away, but there’s only one option she sees as a true way out.

When Corinne is sent to live in a psychiatric institution, she doesn’t want to talk. It’s pointless. They can’t help her. But slowly Corinne opens up and wants to remember what it’s like to be happy so she begins reliving her past life to her doctor. She knows she can’t live in the past, but she sees no future and is faced with the hardest decision of her life.

About the Author

Carrigan is the author of Pieces of Me, a young adult contemporary romance, and the Elemental Enchanters Series, a young adult paranormal romance. She was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, playing with her two furbabies, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

Jenn’s Review

Another debut novel. YA/teen lit, not exactly romance, but it has a sweet little love story built into it.

This wasn’t an easy read for me. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be when Carrigan emailed me about reviewing PIECES OF ME. My family has front row seats to the unpleasant faces of mental health problems, and this stirred some painful memories.

Corrine is dealing with a lot. So much, that her parents are checking her into a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. She’s been through a lot, and at seventeen, she doesn’t have the life experience to sort out who she can really trust.

The author’s style feels a little clunky to me, not uncommon in debuts, but she more than makes up for it with realistic, sympathetic characters. I had a few moments when I needed to put the book down for a reality check (I really wanted to have a heart to heart with the protagonist, Corrine, about her less-than-best-friend, Lisa, who has serious issues of her own).

This is a teen read, but as a parent, I would approach this with caution. I would like my own daughter to read this, because, at 13, she’s already dealt with a suicidal friend. However, the storyline is heavy, and I’m not sure her attention span would stick it out. Without pulling out my personal soapbox, mental health issues, especially anxiety, depression, and PTSD are things that need to be talked about. They need to be on the table, and it’s time for the stigma to fall away. Ms. Richards takes a giant step in that direction with this story.

All of that said, the writing is a bit stiff, and the flashbacks get blurry, making the timeline a little hard to follow at times. This is one of those times that I would encourage the reader to stick it out. The story is worth it. The ENDING is worth it. Grab your tissues and hang on, because the further you get into the book, the harder it is to put down.

For those who might write this off as a depressing book, I challenge you to stick it out. Millions of people deal with these kinds of debilitating mental health issues every day, and Ms. Richards adeptly portrays the headspace of someone (especially a young someone) at the end of their rope.

And spoiler alert: the story has a happy ending. It’s not a unicorns and rainbows happy ending, but it’s a well-written happy ending. Four stars, and a standing ovation for Carrigan Richards for tackling this book.

Jenn reviews YA Fiction PIECES OF ME, a Carrigan Richards novel, in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle and in paperback editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Fateful Decisions – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Trevor D'Silva's Fateful Decisions

About the book:

Fateful Decisions by Trevor D’Silva

Historical Fiction     325 pages

Black Rose Writing     October 25, 2017

It’s 1915 in the heat of WWI. Two friends heading to England aboard the British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, meet and fall in love with a charismatic woman. After battling for her affection, Rachel Williams makes her decision, beginning a journey that no one can predict or soon forget. For the next thirty years, Rachel is forced to live with the choice she made, as the dominos fall around her, sequentially.

Is there a sinister force at work? Who can Rachel trust? Will Rachel ultimately regret her decision when she learns how it impacted others?

Set in America and Europe, history and fiction intertwine, commencing with the sinking of Lusitania. Historical events like The Russian Revolution, Prohibition, The Great Depression and World Wars I and II also play important roles in the lives of the characters and the decisions they make to love, betray, forgive, and reconcile.

About the author:

Trevor D’Silva has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering; M.S. degrees in Engineering Management, and Environmental Engineering; and an Associate degree in Accounting. He has lectured in mechanical engineering and environmental science subjects at various colleges. Fateful Decisions is his first novel, encompassing history and fiction from WW I to the end of WW II. He uses his free time to expand his knowledge in history and reading crime, thrillers, and mystery novels.

Jenn’s Review:

Every so often, a book slides across my desk with a concept that utterly fascinates me. Trevor D’Silva’s Fateful Decisions is one of those books. The idea of a book following one person through the inevitable consequences of decisions both large and small… That alone pulled me in. I read the sample to get a feel for the author’s writing style, and paused – but the concept, and the opening chapters’ scenes won the day.

Fateful Decisions is a debut novel, and I’m hoping that Mr. D’Silva continues to develop himself as a writer. His style in narration and dialogue is very stiff and feel almost unnaturally formal. It’s not a style I typically continue reading, but in this case, I found myself continually turning pages to find out what happened next, while developing my own feel for how the characters each sounded in dialogue.

The plot was what kept me in the book, turning the pages as I moved through the timeline. I am fascinated with the idea of cause-and-effect related to decisions, and this was the focus of the book. To that end, I think Mr. D’Silva could have slowed down some, to help the reader connect more fully with both historical events and the events in the lives of his characters. 

Thirty years is a LOT of time to cover in 300 pages, and the author did this efficiently. While it was fascinating to read the chronology of world events as seen through the eyes of various characters, at times I found myself scratching my head, questioning the plausibility of THAT many coincidences in one life (or even three lives as this story rolls along).

The book is full of plot twists and uncanny developments and spans just about every major world event between the sinking of Lusitania and the end of WWII, so be prepared for a wild ride.

While I found the author’s style stiff, I would still recommend this book to fans of early 20th century history. 

Jenn shares her thoughts on Trevor D'Silva's historical fiction novel "Fateful Decisions" on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions (also available on Kindle Unlimited as of this writing) here. [Affiliate link]

New Rules for Positive Parenting – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews New Rules for Positive Parenting by Jerre Ader

About this book:

Published April 12, 2016 by Difference Press

Parenting is a responsibility of epic proportions. As a parent, you’ll have your child for a year when they are a baby, four years when they’re a toddler, and preschooler, a child for five years, and then for eight years when they’re a preteen and a teenager. Then you are mostly done with your job of parenting. How you do this job of parenting will have an impact on your child for the rest of their life. 

But, don’t despair! There are no perfect parents. We didn’t have them, our parents didn’t have them, and our children won’t either. However, we can all be parents who are good enough. 

In New Rules for Positive Parenting, author Jerre Ader reviews research on new brain science and attachment theory and what it tells us about raising secure children. She describes how beliefs and behavior patterns, or schemas, can be developed in childhood and stay with us and impact our thinking and behavior as adults. The way a person describes the childhood they had provides useful information about how their own child is likely to attach. 

Your attachment style impacts 90 percent of your relationships. The attachment process occurs throughout the life span. You will learn how you can develop acquired secure attachment and pass that secure attachment on to your child. 

Parents who change can change their children.

Jenn’s Review:

It’s been a while since I read a book that left me undecided on whether I liked it (or agreed with it, in the case of nonfiction). Jerre Ader’s New Rules for Positive Parenting falls in that category.

I got this book because our daughter recently rounded the teen mark and with that, came her desire to attend brick and mortar public school for the first time. What we had going on worked, but I knew we could improve our relationship.

New Rules does lay down valuable, science based information on attachment, and some of the ways parents can foster better relationships with their children. Ms. Ader also makes valid points about how our own childhood attachment wounds affect adults, and those remaining wounds go on to affect our relationships with our children, I felt her suggestions on how adults can heal these wounds fell short of helpful. [Note: I’ve read a number of the reviews for this book on Amazon, and she’s gotten a number of 5 stars, with a large number of those from self-identified therapists – Maybe my lack of understanding in this department, specifically in psychology contributes to this.]

I also struggled with her whole insistence that we should not tell our children “no.” I’ve heard this idea before, and I simply cannot get on board with it. Times will always arise where trying to compromise or conversate a child (whether 3 or 15) is neither appropriate nor practical. 

I would recommend this book to new or want-to-be-parents, especially. Parents with older children may, like me, struggle with this information, whether from deep seated patterns (from childhood and current situations) or from practical experience. Like any nonfiction work, my recommendation is to approach it with an open mind and take away anything useful you find. 

Thrice Read Books review of Jerre Ader's New Rules for Positive Parenting - Nonfiction - Self Help - Parenting - eBooks

Purchase this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle format here. [affiliate link]