Writing through Rose Tinted Glasses

The blog of Rose Summers – A bright-eyed realist who shares her random musings in 500 words or less (most of the time) and/or videos.

Fit Friday – Review: Quick & Easy Stress Busters: 5-Minute Routines for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Anna Selby

Initial reaction: I really loved this book for more reasons than one. It’s quick to pick up, easy to read, and shows beautiful pictures of different stretches and poses to de-stress by. I use quite a few of these techniques myself.

Full review:

Three years after initially reading this book, and I still use it (as of 2016) as a go-to guide for simple stretches and stress relief poses. I first picked up Anna Selby’s respective guide as a library reference and was pleased to see how it breaks down different movements that are helpful during certain times of the day, in different environments (specifically different rooms of the home) and targeting certain spots of tension in the body. It provides a great introduction to different techniques (yoga, pilates, AT, meditation, massage, etc.) that can be used to build strength and release tension, though primarily as a stepping stone for people to explore and see what’s right for them.

The poses were easily to understand and in full color photographs that the reader can follow along with and try at their leisure. I tend to do the headache reliever since I get headaches during extreme weather changes and other instances, and I found it really helps me. The shoulder easer’s another I do since my work tends to have me at a computer for long hours during the day. It gives you illustrations as well as step-by-step walks through each pose and stress busting technique.

Overall, it’s a resource I would recommend for anyone looking for stress-relief exercises and techniques, and certainly worth incorporating in addition to other dialogues/references on the subject.

Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Initial reaction: There were moments I found myself connecting with the narrative, because – for all intents and purposes, it had it’s heart in the right place. Finch and Violet have some very honest accounts of the issues they’re dealing with.

But there were so many things wrong with this book to counteract the good of it.

Full review:

I thought of two songs in my head in the aftermath of reading this book: Gilbert O’ Sullivan’s “Alone Again Naturally” and Tove Lo’s “Moments.” Both thematically bringing to mind things about this book, so have at them if you’re curious and haven’t heard them.

Preface to this review: I feel “All the Bright Places” had moments of accuracy mixed in with things that tried to drive home the point so hard and so unrealistically that it undermined the intentions of the entire narrative when it was all said and done. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Niven was inspired to do this with several noted losses in her family and loved ones, but inspiration and getting factual details right does not excuse one from completely skewing the emotional clarity and promise of a work, especially when there are so many details that are straight up manipulative. I don’t say this to be crude, but I was so upset with the way this book chose to depict suicide and mental illness that I couldn’t return this book back to my library fast enough – I was horrified. I got the intention behind the book, but the execution just wasn’t…there.

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Review: Hold Me Close by Megan Hart

Initial reaction: What a rollercoaster ride of a read that was. It was hard for me not to become emotional about the subject matter given how Effie and Heath’s history and relationship come across. Hart examined many angles in this difficult case rather well for the narrative, and I could identify well the various emotions and dialogue dimensions the respective cast had throughout the story. At the same time – the time jumps were often jarring and pacing felt off, making it rather disjointed. But the narrative left me with a lot to think about, and I feel like I have a long review to write just to show how it managed to convey some of these issues.

That said, if you asked me whether I enjoyed this novel personally, I’d say I appreciated the read absolutely, and I couldn’t put it down because of how well written and intimate it was. But it’s much like what my thoughts about “Tear You Apart” ultimately came to be – I have mixed feelings over it. Ironically, characters from “Tear You Apart” had prominent roles here.

Full review:

I’ve a feeling I might break the character limit over my expansions of this review, but I think the subject matter is worth talking about because the book covers a lot of ground. My primary issue wasn’t the type of ground it covered (because kidnapped and abused teens coming to terms with what happened to them and showcasing the problems they have as adults is a difficult topic in itself), but how it chose to show it in places. Nonetheless, I think this is one of those stories that will stay with me a while, and it still has the gears in my head turning as I’m penning this review.

Fun fact: Elizabeth, Will and Naveen from “Tear You Apart” make an appearance here, since the art place/seller that Effie markets her pieces at features the characters. I think this novel happens concurrently with the events of “Tear You Apart”. It’s no surprise to me since I knew that Hart brings back characters that have been mentioned/showcased in some of her previous narratives.

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Review: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

Initial reaction: I’m still trying to decide how to do the review for this book. Should I do a standard discussion review to kind of vet out all of my feels on this book, or should I do “Black Iris: The Musical” – which would be all in verse? (ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN HAVE NOTHING ON YOU – you may say, but I don’t have that kind of confidence. >.<;;;) Maybe I might do both? I honestly have no idea yet.

In any case, “Black Iris” was a read I really liked and appreciated for the journey collectively speaking. There were parts I wasn’t so thrilled about but I figure that’s a discussion I can leave for the full review. I’ll have to meditate on it more so may be a little bit before I post the full review, whatever form it takes on.

Although I should say: “Burn Away” by the Birthday Massacre is definitely the song this book made my head come back to. (“There’s a fire in the city of pictures/leaving nothing but ashes below/it’s only forever for a day/Tomorrow is burning away.”)


Edit #2: This book is dark as heck. And I feel like I could talk about it for days, which is going to make this review a challenge.

Full review:

Screw it, bumping this up to 4.5 stars. I do have some issues with the narrative that I’ll point out towards the end of this review, but I just noted in my Top Ten Tuesday (and I wholeheartedly believe) this was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I won’t end up breaking the character limit for this review, but I will expound a bit on what I enjoyed about this novel (though it’s always difficult to try to explain the ways in which you love what you read/gained from the experience of what you read.)

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Review: Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard

Initial reaction: Oh man, this was a book I was very much looking forward to reading, and the imagery and dark qualities of the story really drew me in for a time, but unfortunately it became very difficult for me to read after a time because of familiar cliche elements and stuff that just didn’t mesh right. I’ll have a comprehensive review on my thoughts about this after I give myself time to meditate over it, but this adaptation of Alice left me on the fence, and I’m not sure if I’m going to rate this between 2 – 3 stars.

Full review:

I’ll first say that it’s been my full intention to read the rest of this series to its completion, I just haven’t had the time, and it’s been a while since I’ve read the first book “Splintered.” I’m hoping to change that in 2016 to see where this series goes ultimately.

But ye Gods, the moment I first saw this book, I fell in love with the cover. Also, having the promise of recounting a twisted version of Wonderland? Completely sold me. I’ve read my fair share of YA interpretations of Alice in Wonderland (“The Looking Glass Wars”, “Queen of Hearts”, etc.”) and am mostly fascinated by the ways people choose to tell the tale.

Continue reading “Review: Splintered (Splintered #1) by A.G. Howard”

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