A Step Toward Falling

Author: Cammie McGovern
Published: November 10, 2015
304 Pages

Reviewed By:Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Neither of us is exactly living the dream. But we’re living something and that’s more than either of us expected this year.’

In A Step Towards Falling, Cammie McGovern tells a poignant, compelling story of not judging people on appearances and knowing how to fix the things you’ve broken.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing – until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a centre for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

Kim’s Review:

I really loved McGovern’s book, Say What You Will. So, when I saw another book by the same author on sale, I snatched it up! I wish I could say that I love A Step Toward Falling just as much, but I can’t. Unfortunately, in trying to make the story and circumstances believable, McGovern actually made the story more frustrating than anything else. When Emily and Lucas didn’t say or do anything for Belinda when she was attacked, the principal and “discipline committee” make it sound like they are just as bad as the attacker. I absolutely do not agree with that. We all know that teens are idiots; they’re immature children trying to act like adults. Society has this wonderful habit of changing its tune to fit whatever its narrative is at the time. I don’t mind the community service punishment, it’s just all the dramatics of calling a disciplinary hearing and requiring the kids to defend themselves that felt “kangaroo court-ish” to me.

McGovern was trying to salvage some likability for Emily and Lucas, but didn’t adjust the plot accordingly. For the record, of course it was wrong for the kids to just walk by without intervening; both Emily and Lucas acknowledge that very quickly. But one thing that McGovern is excellent at is portraying disabled people with empathy instead of pity. I liked all of the disabled characters in this book. I liked the way we can see into Belinda’s mind with clarity and realism. It’s a great way to look at her as a person as opposed to a label. Emily and Lucas were so sweet and redeemed themselves perfectly. Overall, I enjoyed this book. All that annoyance I felt at the beginning of the book, dissipated relatively quickly. This is actually a pretty good book for teens to read, with a little discussion. As I said with Say What You Will, learning the perspective of others is never a bad thing. A pretty good read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US This post was created Saturday and when I (Jessica) was looking up the links on Amazon- I saw the paperback was just $4.19, so I grabbed a copy! You can’t loose at that price!!!! Hopefully at posting the book is still cheap! 
Amazon UK

Blog Tour: Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation

Today I share my review for my stop on the blog tour for Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation by Bernice Bloom. This is the ninth book in the series and I previously reviewed Dairy of an Adorable Fat Girl. I have enjoyed the books in this series I have read, I need to read them all!

Book Description:

Mary Brown receives an invitation to a funeral. But she has absolutely no idea who the deceased is. She’s told that he invited her on his deathbed, and he’s very keen for her to attend, so she heads off to a dilapidated old farm house in a remote part of Wales. When she gets there she discovers that only five other people have been invited to the funeral. None of them knows who he is either.

NO ONE GOING TO THIS FUNERAL HAS EVER HEARD OF THE DECEASED. WHAT IS GOING ON??

Then they are told that they have 20 hours to work out why they have been invited in order to inherit a million pounds.

Who is this guy and why are they there? And what of the ghostly goings on in the ancient old building?

Featuring Mary Brown, star of the Adorable Fat Girl series of books, in her greatest adventure yet.

This is book nine in the series, but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book or as part of the series.

Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation
Author: Bernice Bloom
Published: November 12, 2018
175 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 27- December 6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

I had previously read and enjoyed Diary of an Adorable Fat Girl and jumped at the opportunity to read another ‘Fat Girl’ novel by Bernice Bloom!  This is the ninth book in the series, though it could be read as a standalone.  This one also has a genuine mystery to it!  Mary receives notification to attend a funeral of a man she does not know and has never heard of.  In fact, ALL of the people at the funeral do not know the deceased. No one knows what is going on and what will happen next.  I really wanted to see how this was going to end, and it delivered! 

There were two time periods in this novel: The past dealing with the deceased’s life and the present dealing with Mary and the others at the funeral.  These two time periods come together to form a complete story. Once you know everything, it makes sense in a satisfying way.

This is an enjoyable read and there is a follow-up to Mysterious Invitation.  I cannot wait to read it and see how the story continues!  Be sure to read this series. You will love the “Adorable Fat Girl”!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

My name is Bernice Bloom and I write funny novels about a crazy lady called Mary Brown in my ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ series. 

Mary is funny, gorgeous and bonkers. She’s also about six stone overweight. When she realises she can’t cross her legs and has trouble bending over to tie her shoelaces without wheezing like an elderly chain-smoker it’s time to take action. But what action? She’s tried every diet under the sun.

This series is the hysterical story of what happens when Mary joins ‘Fat Club’ where she meets a cast of funny characters and one particular man who catches her eye.

The series follows Mary as she goes on safari, on a cruise, to a weekend yoga retreat and on an incredible adventure when she receives a mysterious invitation to a funeral.

The stories are laugh-out-loud funny and will resonate with anyone who has dieted, tried to keep up with any sort of exercise programme or spent 10 minutes in a changing room trying to extricate herself from a way too-small garment that she ambitiously tried on and is now completely stuck in. xx

Contact Bernice:
Website
Twitter @Bernice1Bloom
Instagram bernicebloomwriter

https://www.facebook.com/BerniceBloombooks/

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Dumplin’: Book Review and Movie Comparison

Author: Julie Murphy
Published: September 15, 2015
384 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 26- December 4, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Jessica’s Review:

I had heard about Dumplin’ and when I found out it was going to become a Netflix movie, I very quickly listened to the audiobook. In fact, I finished the book a few days before the premiere on Netflix.

Dumplin’ was just an average read.  I’ve read books that were worse and others that were well done.  Dumplin’ is a book supposedly about body positivity that did not really deliver. Willowdean is fat and knows it.  She also doesn’t care that she is fat until a hot boy starts working with her. Then she begins to have body issues and becomes insecure.  She is also dealing with the death of her aunt who was also a very large lady. 

There is also drama occurring with her BFF (they are seemingly growing apart) and it is also pageant season for teens in the very small town that Willowdean lives in. Also, her mom is in charge of and runs the pageant, and even won it one year. 

This is really the extent of the story: lots of teen drama with a side of a beauty pageant.  There is also a love triangle that develops.  Of course Willowdean prefers  the hot guy over the other guy who would be more suited for her (I liked him better than Bo the hottie).

 Hearing about Willowdean’s relationship with her aunt is what kept me listening to the book.  I enjoyed finding out more about her aunt’s life, which Willowdean did not know about. I was also curious as to what was going to happen during the pageant.

If you like books with teen drama, this will be the book for you. It was a miss for me.


Movie Comparison:

Movie Trailer for Dumplin’:

I wanted to watch Dumplin’ once I saw a trailer and saw who was in it: Jennifer Aniston playing Willowdean’s mom, and Bex Taylor-Klaus as Hannah.  My conclusion is this: Watch the movie first then read the book. There are a lot of differences from the movie compared to the book.  In the book there is a love triangle, and to me the movie seemed to combine both boys into one character.  The teen drama is negligible (which can be a good thing).  You don’t really see the extent of Willowdean and Ellen’s friendship and falling out as was in the book. 

Both the novel and movie are just average for me.  The film does better with body positivity than the novel did for me. The author Julie Murphy makes a very brief (blink and you miss it) cameo in the film, which is always exciting.  I love it when authors get to see their vison become a film (and hopefully it was close to their vision- I know they have basically no control over the film).

The movie was also filmed in Georgia which is always exciting. We are “Little Hollywood”, yet not so little anymore!  I thought one scene looked familiar and when I saw the end credits I had to look it up” Yes- It WAS the Cobb Civic Center that was used in the film

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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