Friday, February 26, 2016

Dead Diary

3.5 Stars

Have you ever gone through and read your old diaries and journals from when you were little? A lot of the entries no longer made sense did they? Things happened in your life then that seemed important and you tried to take the time to write down every detail, but after you got to writing you thought, 'I'll never forget this!' so you quickly jotted down the basics, a brief interlude about how enemy A called you a name and the bus driver smelled bad and essentially left out everything that was so important and now you have no idea what you were talking about.

It's confusing to read right? 

Well, so is this book because that's exactly how it was written-like a young girls diary who is so tired and inexperienced at writing that she forgot all the important details.

We know she's tired a lot, we know she has a lot of ghost clients, but we don't know how she helps then, we don't know these intricate ghost backgrounds and life stories she refers to, we really don't know anything but that she somehow helps ghosts and a girl named Amber is confusing her with her on again, off again friendship.

The idea is fun, and the entries in Mathildes diary are exactly what you would expect from a young girl. The problem is-that doesn't give us a story. There's nothing fascinating about vague, daily diary entries. What we need is dialogue, intrigue, a mystery. Something that moves the story along and sweeps us away with it.

Maybe if Mathilde wasn't the only one telling the story, if there were chapters outside her diary or more detailed encounters with these ghosts than it would have been more interesting.

I admit, the cover, and the fact it was free pulled me in and I really wanted it to be good.

Cute book, but it still needs work.


Overall I give this series 4 stars, but as for Firelight that was just released-it deserves a full 5 star rating.

I've been reading Amulet for years, it's not your typical graphic novel publication with an issue released everything month. The author Kazu Kibuishi writes the books as well as drawing all the illustrations so starting this series was a real commitment. When one book of the series isn't so great, it's difficult to wait the year or so until the next book when the last one left a bad taste in your mouth and that's been the case for book five and six. 

I felt like I was holding on to the series, waiting for something new and exciting to finally occur, hoping I wouldn't have to give up on it for good without a proper ending. 

I loved the first book and immediately bought book two, but then had to wait for each book to release after-I did NOT want to give up this series!

The artwork is breathtaking, some taking up two full pages of amazing views from this world, the story is imaginative and intriguing. The characters have real depth even in the few interactions we witness in in the 100-200 pages filled with panels of just artwork.

The books really are fantastic, the last two releases waned a bit though. They're filler stories, catching up on all the things we need to know to move forward in the story and with book 7, Firelight, recently released I can understand why!

Push past books 5 & 6, learn all you need to know and let book 7 sweep you away. There's so much to this story, Emily and her brother are learning and maturing and are set to save the world... But not everything goes as planned!

Book 7 is THE best book in the series so far with two more books until completion. If you haven't read Amulet yet, now is the time to start because Firelight will leave you begging for more.

Absolutely fantastic read. I'll be re-reading the entire series now to prepare for book 8! 

These books are kid friendly and a great read at any age for fantasy and graphic novel lovers and the illustrations will blow you away.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Power of Broke

I heard Daymond John speak on Real Radio on the Monsters in the Morning show several weeks ago. He was discussing his overseas affairs, how he teaches people making dollars a day to double their income by making a few dollars a day on cell phone he provided them. 

I hadn't put much thought into it before, but I do the same thing. Perhaps a few dollars isn't as life saving for me as for the people he was talking about, but I sure could use those few dollars I save with coupons scanned from my phone, rebates I send in for on apps, the constant use of social media to sell myself and my ideas in hopes that one day I'll find that niche only I can fill and take off with my own business plans.

Then, The Monsters mentioned his book, The Power of Broke.

I was intrigued, a book about being successful when starting with nothing but an idea and a will to see it through? Yes please!

Aside from my winning personality and a great smile, I've got nothing. Nothing that could fund any of my crazy ideas when bills are piling up and a Big Mac and fries are fine dining.

Despite my interest and my desire to learn any secrets to success The Power of Broke may hold, I didn't go into this book with high hopes. I've read success stories before, I've read autobiographies of people I admire hoping to glean the smallest tidbit of advice to kick start my future success, but I've never found anything useful or even the least but inspirational.

The Power of Broke gives the read ALL the power. Yes, it's another book about success stories, essentially models you can't follow because that's not YOU, but the book isn't about following a model, it not a step by step guide on how to succeed. 

This book is about YOU. The entrepreneur trying to make their place in the market. The stories are inspiring, sure, but that's not what's important. What's important is the fact that these people had nothing, just like me, and found a way to make something. 

Again, there's no guide in this book saying do step A and B will come of it... No, this book tells you to be yourself, to know who you are, where your going. Don't just sell your product, sell YOU and your ideas and if that's not working, step back and figure out why. If it didn't work the first time, maybe it'll work the fifth time. Don't have enough money to expand? Maybe you should work with what you have and the rest will come later, or maybe you don't need that change at all.

The Power of Broke is packed full with Power Facts- inspirational facts about how large companies were once nothing, how individuals found a way to build interest in themselves and made a living from it. 

There are also 'Shark Points', pointers from the other investors from the show Shark Tank explaining how to stay motivated and to look toward the future.

All great ways to get pumped up to get going, but I have to admit it's also a bit disheartening. It's a very powerful tool, don't get me wrong, but it will also point out your faults, what needs work, why you haven't yet succeeded. It's difficult to hear, that all your success rides solely on your ability to keep going when everything seems to be failing. 

The Power of Broke is a great motivator, but it's still up to you to do the work. Reading is simple, applying what you've read is challenging.

If you're really broke, (as I am since I had to get this book through Blogging for Books to afford it) there is an explanation in the book for what SHARK means to Daymond John which he further explains (for free) on his website

I would suggest giving it a read and if it's enough to get you going then just imagine what this book can do for you.