Book Review: Everything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell

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★ ★ ★

Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and often relatable, Everything is Flammable is a graphic memoir with raw storytelling, and simple art. After her mother’s home is destroyed in a fire, Bell returns to her hometown in rural Northern California to help her mother get things in order and buy a new home. Spanning through one year and touching on issues such as anxiety, financial hardships, and a tenuous relationship with her mother, Bell’s humor and brutal honesty unfold into a profound memoir. While certain topics in this were at times difficult to read, I think Bell captures the overwhelming and uncertainty of anxiety and just going through life with it on top of dealing with anything else that comes along.

The beginning was like an small introduction into Bell and her life, before getting into the aftermath of the fire, which I liked because it gave the readers more insight into who she is. The characters were portrayed in such a way that by the end, you want to know more about them, and where they went from there. The artwork is simple, dark, and engrossing–I actually went back just look through the pages and appreciate it. Everything is Flammable is a well crafted graphic memoir that, more me, was just the beginning look into Bell’s work, and I look forward to checking out more in the future.

Synopsis

In Gabrielle Bell’s much anticipated graphic memoir, EVERYTHING IS FLAMMABLE, she returns from New York to her childhood town in rural Northern California after her mother’s home is destroyed by a fire. Acknowledging her issues with anxiety, financial hardships, memories of a semi-feral childhood, and a tenuous relationship with her mother, Bell helps her mother put together a new home on top of the ashes. A powerful, sometimes uncomfortable, examination of a mother-daughter relationship and one’s connection to place and sense of self. Spanning a single year, Everything is Flammable unfolds with humor and brutal honesty. Bell’s sharp, digressive style is inimitable.

Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Uncivilized Books

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I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry

9780143130406

★ ★ ★ ★

While I am pretty savvy when it comes to budgeting, I only know the basics. It is important to know all you can with finances, but I admit it has always overwhelmed me, so I was looking forward to reading this and gaining more insight and knowledge. Broke Millennial is a good read for cash-strapped 20 or 30-somethings, ready to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and tackle those financial difficulties and situations. Broken down into 18 chapters and an epilogue, Lowry offers practical input on everything from budgeting to getting out of debt, to investments and retirement. You can either read from front-to-back, or skip ahead to sections that are best suited for your current situation. Each chapter ended in a brief, bullet-point breakdown to make sure you read everything that was covered.

As someone who has yet to graduate college, but is already thinking ahead, I found Lowry’s advice and guidance to be realistic and smart– without any condescending tones, it was like chatting with a friend who wanted to offer the best way to go about financial planning. I’ve already recommended this book to a few friends, and share bits of information whenever it happens to come up in a conversation. This was a lighthearted and at times funny, easy-to-maneuver financial self-help guide that removed the stress surrounded by finances– it is a great introduction with approachable steps at gaining control of your money.

Synopsis 

Broke Millennial shows step-by-step how-to guide to go from flat-broke to financial badass. Unlike most personal finance books out there, it doesn’t just cover boring stuff like credit card debt, investing, and dealing with the dreaded “B” word (budgeting). Financial expert Erin Lowry goes beyond the basics to tackle tricky money matters and situations most of us face #IRL, including:

• Understanding your relationship with moolah: do you treat it like a Tinder date or marriage material?
• Managing student loans without having a full-on panic attack
• What to do when you’re out with your crew and can’t afford to split the bill evenly
• How to get “financially naked” with your partner and find out his or her “number” (debt number, of course)…and much more.
Packed with refreshingly simple advice and hilarious true stories, Broke Millennial is the essential roadmap every financially clueless millennial needs to become a money master. So what are you waiting for? Let’s #GYFLT!

Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Tarcherperigee

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I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

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★ ★ ★

Here and Gone is an unsettling and intense thriller that I wanted to love. The premise was intriguing, the pace set to keep me questioning and interested—and while I liked it, but at times I was skimming details that didn’t add to the story. While I am not fond of multiple POVs, I thought it was fitting with this story, reading the events through Audra, Danny, and Sean’s eyes build up throughout as it unfolded.

I was rooting for all of them, and couldn’t help but feel for each of them. I thought Here and Gone was well-written, fast-paced, and engaging. I am only left wondering about one character, but I thought it was a well-rounded ending. It’s a short, quick read that I finished in two sittings, and I will be on the lookout for more published by the author.

Synopsis 

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them…

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 20th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group

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