Book Review: You Are Essential by Thomas Nelson Gift Books

You Are Essential: 100 Inspirational Reminders of How Much You Matter
Author: Thomas Nelson Gift Books
Published:  April 20, 2021

176 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read:  June 5-7, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars     

Book Description:

With 100 uplifting quotes and stories along with vibrant artwork, You Are Essential is for the essential people in your life–including you!–who need a reminder that what they do matters.

We all have essential people in our lives, whether they are friends, family, or someone we are meeting for the first time at the doctor’s office or grocery pick-up line. Designed to be given as an encouragement or thank-you to others or as a self-purchase to remind yourself how much the world needs you, You Are Essential includes:

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Encouraging stories
  • Colorful artwork

This timely and timeless book is ideal for:

  • Classroom and online teachers
  • Nurses, medical assistants, EMTs, pharmacists, and doctors
  • First responders and their families
  • Parents juggling both childcare and a career
  • Grandparents stepping in to help during turbulent times
  • Pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers
  • Grocery store delivery shoppers and postal service employees
  • Homeschooling parents and co-op leaders
  • Factory workers, car mechanics, restaurant personnel
  • And more!

The perfect way to let someone know you see all that they are doing and that you’re grateful, You Are Essential is a beautiful celebration of the human spirit and a reminder that no matter what, we will always need each other.

Jessica’s Review:

You Are Essential is a book for everyone as we are ALL essential!  When COVID hit last year many different types of occupations came to the forefront, and some that are usually not considered important/ essential suddenly became VERY important to all of us. I am in one of those professions (I work in a local government office) that is essential but not very appreciated by the public, still even now. It’s rare to get a thank you and more common to get yelled at.  I had a rough day at work when I had ordered You Are Essential, so it came at a good time for me. 

You Are Essential is uplifting and gives encouraging quotes, stories and scriptures. It shows how everyone is important with what they do: Sometimes we just need reminding! 

The book itself it pocket sized and is colorful and even has its own personal ribbon bookmark attached to the book.  It would make the perfect gift for those who need these reminders and a great little coffee table book. 

I plan to hold on to this one and read it as I need it.

I received a copy from the publisher via Amazon Prime.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister
Author: Sally Hepworth

Published: April 13, 2021 
309 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 26- June 4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small.

Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.

Jessica’s Review:

This is the fourth novel I have read by Hepworth and I have enjoyed them all!  The Good Sister. is not a thriller per se, but more of a domestic drama. We have dual narrators, both Fern and Rose (via her journal).  The reader will have their opinions of both twin sisters– which can change throughout the novel– and of their mother.  Fern is on the Autism spectrum, but functions relatively well on her own and works in a library(!) which is many readers dream job.

The sisters are twins and 28 years old who could not be more different from each other– including their appearance– but they take care of each other. They had a very difficult childhood, which the novel goes into. There is a little bit of a romance with one of the sisters and if you read thrillers like I do, you may figure out what is going on.  But then what keeps you reading is the drama!  I enjoyed the drama in this case and still had some surprises along the way. 

If you like reading mysteries and enjoy drama dealing with family relationships (because who doesn’t have that!?!?) then you should read this book.

It looks like I have found another ‘go to’ author to read with Hepworth!

I received a copy to read and review from the publisher via NetGalley. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren

Published:  May 18, 2021

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 2, 2021

Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not much of a romance reader; in fact, this is the first book I have read from writing duo Christina Lauren. (They are writing partners and best friends).  What piqued my interest in The Soulmate Equation was the similar concept to John MarrsThe One.   Other than the same basic premise, these are two very different books, and surprisingly I really enjoyed The Soulmate Equation! 

Basically dragged by her best friend into doing the GeneticAlly DNA test, Jess matches at an unheard of number with the founder, whom she has previously met and yes, they clash.  GeneticAlly says that they will pay Jess to spend 3 months with Pena to see what happens as the business is about to go public and stands to make a. lot. of. money.  And the business wants to capitalize on this match! Being Jess is struggling to make ends meet and take care of her daughter she agrees. 

This is one of those typical romance tropes (I hate you then later on maybe not), so you know where it is going and it was fun to see the journey. I did like that the main character’s name is Jess and her daughter’s name is even more unique: Juno.  There is even something unexpected that happens in the last quarter of the novel that I enjoyed.  

Remember that Jess is a ‘number person’ and there is a lot of science explained behind GeneticAlly where the reader can understand. I liked Jess and adored her best friend Fizzy: Everyone needs a Fizzy!  And as this is a romance book the chemistry gets hot and there are sex scenes which are not explicit, but enjoyable to read.

For not being much of a romance reader, giving it a 4-star review is saying something and the fact that I listened to it as often as I could and had it finished in just a handful of days says I liked it!  I enjoyed this novel and might just have to read more by this writing duo. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Patti Murin and she did a great job of bringing Jess to life for us. She might be another narrator for me to be on the lookout for! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK