misslexisaurus's reviews
49 reviews

This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook, by Extinction Rebellion

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challenging hopeful informative inspiring slow-paced

4.5

Everyone needs to read this book. Packed with facts, science and first hand stories, not only does it arm you with the information you need to really understand the climate crisis, but also with real solutions for it and the hope that we can make a difference.

The first half of the book provides a hard look at the reality of climate change and how it's affecting everyone and everything right now. It speaks to the many, many warnings that have been ignored and shares the lived experiences of those on the front lines.
The second half of the book was hard work for me, a couple of the essays were a little dry and preachy, but the final essays offered hope, motivation and action steps, something I appreciate. It's all too easy to simply state that the world is on fire and leave everyone to panic and figure it out themselves; presenting solutions in an accessible way helped to counter my climate anxiety and enable me to do something productive.

 On a personal note, the book helped me see my own place in the fight for climate justice and the changes I can make to make me a better activist. Specifically that hope is not my strong suit, meaning discussions with others quickly turn into me becoming upset and filled with fear and reacting accordingly. I realise it's important for me to surround myself with hopeful people and information most of the time in order to engage in discussions in a productive way - I can't share a message of hope and achievable change if I am hopeless and afraid. 
The First Ethereal, by E.L. Williams

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emotional hopeful inspiring sad tense slow-paced

5.0

 I'm struggling to put into words how much I loved this book and why. The First Ethereal is so relevant and rooted in reality while still being full of real magic, with a sprinkle of hocus pocus for good measure!

The underlying message is so beautiful and made me cry at various points through the book. It threads hope into the most painful, hopeless situations and highlights the beauty of humanity without ignoring the awful parts of it.

The characters are relatable and, despite having clear goodies and baddies, the plot manages to expose the shades of grey in each situation.

After luring you in with its light, warm and fuzzy opening, The First Ethereal suddenly kicks up several gears which serves to ensure the reader understands the confusion and overwhelm of the characters. From the opening chapters I would never have guessed we could have landed in those final chapters and yet, in a very natural way, we do.

I was so moved by the story, it made me think and really look at my own beliefs and the way I've been acting simply by showing the complexity of the human experience.

I can't wait for the sequel!
How to Keep House While Drowning: 31 days of compassionate help, by KC Davis

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emotional hopeful informative inspiring lighthearted fast-paced

5.0

I can't recommend this enough. Whether you regularly struggle with housework, finding yourself unable to keep on top of it or spending all your spare time cleaning, or if you just hit a period where life has happened and you find yourself drowning in endless chores, this book is a revelation.

I've been working on self care and self love for a few years now and this was a perfect next step for me. Reminding me of some things I had forgotten (like that it's OK for functioning to be the only aim sometimes) and teaching me new methods to make functioning easier on the really hard days.

Also, I cleaned my bathroom after reading the chapter on bathrooms!
Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou

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The objectively false statements about the nature of rape in "violence" angered and upset me so much I had to stop reading. I was expecting a book of wisdom and advice to warm the heart and inspire me to keep going, what I got was judgement and preaching.

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Redemption, by J.M. Darhower

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dark hopeful reflective tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I still had such bad book hangover weeks after finishing Sempre that I bought the sequel and I'm so glad I did! All my favourite characters continued their complicated, tense and heartwarming journeys, taking me on a roller-coaster of emotions along with them.

Haven's growth
Spoilerand seeing her build her own life and get to live her dream
was so hopeful and inspiring. I love that even in the epilogue her roots are honoured and are still impacting her. I have a space in my heart for Haven; she's so strong and determined and never lets the world jade her.
SpoilerI also love that when she moved to Chicago, she didn't give up art school.


The "meant to be" plot might be a bit much for some but I thought it was really well done and not overplayed.
SpoilerI actually thought it was nice to see Carmine, the man, self-destruct without her, while she tried to build a life of her own after her initial mourning period. So often we see women portrayed as unable to live without their love but she made a real go of it and I believe that, had Vincent not died, she would have moved on eventually.


I just loved being back with the characters again; I find them really well written and lovable. Darhower kept me guessing right up until the end about what was going to happen with Carmine and Haven's future and I cried when I finally found out.

Once again I had the problem of having to ask American friends what the different guns were; at one point in particular it seemed important to be familiar with the type of gun to understand what was going on.

Honestly I loved both these books so much and the message from the author at the end about being proud of your passions was just an extra touch of awesome.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad slow-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This is an absolutely incredible book and, at the same time, not at all my kind of book and one I had to really work at reading. I'm glad I did push through because it's a powerful, important and moving book but my complete lack of interest in celebrities made it very slow going.

Evelyn is an icon. She is strong, complex, smart, ruthless, loving. She is a character I admire and respect, and I could certainly learn a lot from her!

I appreciated that the book lives in the shades of grey, there is no good or bad person, no good or bad deed. Evelyn has always known that and she has made peace with it, putting her in a powerful position to live her life with no regrets.

I'm not sure I have the words to really talk about the book itself because it is so many things so beautifully done. Friendship, love, ambition, desire, heartbreak and so much more.
Through Evelyn we are forced to consider our own beliefs about life and people, and to see that nothing is ever black and white.

Even if you, like me, are not remotely interested in celebrity drama, it has so much to say about so many important topics that I would still recommend it without hesitation.