Category: Review

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over

 

Author: Amy Bleuel
Published: September 5, 2017
355 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 11-19, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.

Learn more about the project at www.projectsemicolon.com.

Jessica’s Review:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I feel reading and reviewing Project Semicolon this month was in perfect timing.

Amy Bleuel started Project Semicolon in 2013 to give hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. The semicolon is used because in literature it is intended to continue a sentence versus ending it.  Using the semicolon, you show that you are choosing to continue on despite your situation. This is a symbol with so much meaning!

Project Semicolon is a non-fiction book that is comprised of many individual stories in their own words. These stories range from a few sentences to several pages. Some stories give details of their lives, some just touch on issues.  It does begin with a disclaimer/trigger warning that these stories could affect you if you have suffered and advises to stop reading if this occurs. At the end of the book is various organizations’ information on who to contact if you feel you need assistance.

Project Semicolon is a book you do not have to read in its entirety, but you should and I did.  It is a difficult read and one I took in steps to read.  You can feel the anguish that all the authors have in sharing their stories.  Some of the stories are ‘In Memoriam’, with those sharing stories after losing someone to suicide. I recommended reading all of Project Semicolon as the stories that touched me the most were in the second half of the book.   The stories that affected me the most were:

Teresa S (page 256)
Hayleigh H (page 280)
Kristie C (Page 307)
All were In Memoriam stories

In addition to the stories shared, there are photos of the semicolon tattoo in its various forms throughout the book that are the storytellers’ own tattoos. That gives each story an even more personal touch. I would have liked more details in some of the stories: Some are so brief we don’t learn much about the person’s story. Some stories felt incomplete (which they of course could be as they may still be facing their monsters) and some felt impersonal and like an essay. I would have liked to learned more on their journeys and what helped them succeed.

Project Semicolon does also include Amy’s story in her own words.  Despite starting Project Semicolon, Amy lost her battle with these issues on March 23, 2017 at the age of 31. Her legacy continues as Project Semicolon is still around helping those who need it today.  Here is an article I found that address Amy’s death and how complex suicide prevention is.

Amy’s story is here in her own words.

Project Semicolon is definitely worth a read and is a great organization that is devoted to helping others overcome their battles they face. If you feel you need help please get it. You ARE worth it and your story isn’t over!

https://projectsemicolon.com/

 

Frost by M. P. Kozlowsky

Author: M. P. Kozlowsky
Published: October 11, 2016
352 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Being human is her greatest strength.

Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.

She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders…

It’s his memories.

Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the one living creature she loves.

With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters…to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own? Or will her first journey from home be her last?

Kim’s Review:

Another zombie book! And of course I didn’t realize there were zombies till I got about halfway through. But this one is an easy 5 stars. I couldn’t put it down! It never lagged, there wasn’t any of that pretentious fluff that authors throw in to prove what amazing writers they are. Frost is a character that you can’t help but love and care about. She’s sheltered and innocent but with that streak of rebellion that is based out of her love for others. She’s willing to sacrifice everything for her best friend. She refuses to be influenced by the skepticism from Flynn and his father, all while being confronted by an attraction to Flynn. In a world of evil, she never loses faith. And the end is a doozy! I’ll admit that I didn’t see it coming and I loved it!! I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good action book or an apocalyptic thriller. And this is for teens and adults alike.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: London Hat Hunting Mission

Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas! This was a fun children’s book which I also learned from! There is also a giveaway going on for those in the UK.

Book Description:

Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.

The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.

London Hat Hunting Mission
Author:
Winnie Mak Tselikas
Published: November 18th, 2017
36 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 20, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

London Hat Hunting Mission is a fun and charming learning experience for children and adults! Being an American I don’t know anything about London and I had no idea of the extreme diversity that is in the city! This book was an enjoyable learning experience for me!

Our main characters are dolls of different ethnic backgrounds. They are Hope, Jun, Lea, and Parth and they end up going on a journey to help their friend Mr. Globe feel better. They are real dolls and the pictures of the dolls show them going all over London and along the way they learn a lot, including some words in foreign languages!

This is a great learning tool in so many ways: Learning about diversity in the ethnicities and cultures that represent London. We also get to go on a trip around London and there is even a ‘Hat Hunt Map’ showing where the dolls went.  I liked how there is a difference in the font to emphasize the learning aspect of where the dolls go and what the reader will learn.

I don’t have children but I highly enjoyed this children’s book. I would love to see where the dolls go next!

See Winnie Mak Tselikas and the adorable dolls:

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Contact Winnie:
Website: One Dear World
Facebook
Twitter @onedearworld
Instagram @onedearworld

It’s time for a Giveaway!! Win a hard cover book and one doll of the winner’s choice (UK only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter box.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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