Review: Making Tracks by Ian Harding

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Making Tracks
Author: Ian Harding
Genre: Poetry
Release date: August 16th, 2016

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Description:

Ian Harding’s second collection of poems is a celebration of learning through observation. Life’s journey leaves an indelible print carved from the beauty of love and nature with many laughs, questions and twists with each stride. There are poems that offer readers simple observations where others delve deeply searching truths.


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Review: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams by Jeff Russell

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams
Author: Jeff Russell
Genre: Thriller
Release date: September 30th, 2015

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Description:

What if a person could live in their dreams? What if the power of imagination could erase the inequities of life? The staff at Eden Perpetual Life Care makes that possible and Katrina Hammond turns to them when nothing else can ease the pain of her mother’s progressive illness. The residents of Eden live in a medically-induced dream state, a fantasy world based on their secret desires. They are freed from the torments of their physical existence but at a terrible price, for where her mother goes Kat cannot follow. When Eden offers Kat the position of in-house neurologist, letting her pursue her vocation while watching over her mother’s dreams, she reluctantly agrees. And when investigative reporter Morgan Brewer shows Kat what it means to be young and alive her own dreams start coming true.

But dreams are not always what they seem. An anomaly in the brainwave patterns of some residents suggests subconscious distress, and when Kat defies management’s order not to probe deeper she discovers something sinister taking place behind the pristine walls of Eden. Unsure of what to believe or who to trust she must now find a way to rescue her mother and the other residents before she herself becomes trapped in their perpetual nightmare.


The Girl Who Watched Over Dreams holds an interesting premise: What if we can live on in our dreams? An idea that reminded me a bit of Black Mirror’s San Junipero. Though I loved that concept and appreciated how realistic the author made it sound, the novel failed to develop all the other aspects I was interested in.

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Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes

– SPOILER FREE REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Ugly Teapot (Book One: Hannah)
Author: Fred Holmes
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Release date: March 30th, 2016

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Description:

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.  She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.


The Ugly Teapot is a cute novel filled with action and both a heartwarming and heartbreaking message about family and loss. The best part? We’ve got Hannah as our main character – a realistic 14-year-old girl experiencing grief after her father’s death and trying to cope with it. Though in the end I found the story a bit clichéd, I thought it was an interesting way to deal with the theme of grief and moving on. Continue reading “Review: The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes”

Review: Spring Delusions by Zahra Ammar

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Spring Delusions: Chaotic Poems of Despair and Blooming Hope
Author: Zahra Ammar
Genre: Poetry
Release date: September 19th, 2016

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Description:

Words are our only tools to express the physicality of the chaos in our minds. It is tedious and painstaking process to create something, anything. Emotions are not words, hence, to put them as such, requires quite a bit of searching, meandering and stumbling. I believe my affair with these alphabets will never be satiated. Yet, I have tried to sing some broken tunes, sketched some bleakness and shared fragments of my inner hope.

I have often had a love hate relationship with poetry. Its enigmatic power has often left me confused but also enlightened me. Although rhymes are fun and easy to tap your foot to, it is the rhythm or sometimes, the lack of it that can truly sear through the heart. For me, simplicity is key. It is graceful. It is alluring.

Each poem is handwritten, followed by typewrite for easy bookmarking and commenting and is accompanied by an illustration, meticulously and thoughtfully crafted. I refuse to acknowledge that illustrations are for children’s books only. There is no age limit to vision. Seeing is as much a part of feeling as reading and imagining is. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in making them.

The poems I write do not follow any rule in particular. Although well-versed in writing verses, I opt to experiment with a variety of things, from alliteration to repetitions, and rhyme to meters, and mirroring to collating. Some poems have written themselves. Some, I have agonized over for days and nights. Writing and rewriting, getting it just right and then starting all over again. It is an organized pandemonium of the human self.


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Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)

– SPOILER FREE MINI REVIEW –

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Alien Love Story
Author: A.K. Dawson
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release date: June 21st, 2016

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Description:

Love at first sighting.

Life is a headache for 15-year-old Dan. This isn’t some kind of metaphor. Dan suffers from migraines that make just about everything he does unbearable. Added to that he’s lost almost everyone he cares about. So he feels lonelier than the last puppy in a pet shop.  But one day he sees a mysterious girl digging in the rubbish bins behind his house. Just by being near her, he finds that all his pain goes away. So he wants to see her again, of course. And get to know her. But she’s a bit strange. And her big eyes make her look, well, like an alien.  Does she really exist? Or is she just a figment of an overactive, under-loved imagination?

Close encounters of the romantic kind.

From Northern England to outer space, and from Dan’s bedroom to the sandwich shop over the road, ALIEN LOVE STORY is about a close encounter of the romantic variety. But there’s more to it than that.  This book is about discovering parts of yourself you never knew existed. It’s about coping with grief and somehow moving on. And it’s about how Dan breaks into a mad scientist’s lab to perform a daring rescue – but that bit comes much later.

For now it’s enough to know there will be excitement, adventure and kissing. Lots of kissing. We did say it was a love story, didn’t we? So fasten your safety belt, put on some background music and enjoy the book.


Sadly, I couldn’t finish this book and left it at 32%. Up until that point it was easy to read, silly and filled with humor, a quirky read. My issues with this novel came from all the tropes that were thrown at me instantly and the characters themselves. Maybe at another point in my life I would have read it, but right now there are some of the tropes I avoid at all costs.  Continue reading “Mini Review: Alien Love Story by A.K. Dawson (DNF)”