The Story of How We Met BY Ivy Oakes (REVIEW)

✨BOOK REVIEW✨
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐖𝐞 𝐌𝐞𝐭 BY 𝗜𝘃𝘆 𝗢𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀
𝗠𝘆 𝗥𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
𝗚𝗲𝗻𝗿𝗲 – Short Story/romance/Young Adult/comtemporary
𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗜𝗳
• 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚕𝚞𝚖𝚙
• 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚊 𝚏𝚊𝚜𝚝 𝚙𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚍 𝚢𝚎𝚝 𝚊𝚍𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎
• 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊 𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍
♥️“𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙨, 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧 𝙞𝙩, 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙛 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙛𝙩 𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙧.”♥️
First of all I want to thank the author who provided me with a review copy of this book and helped me getting out of my reading slump.

It’s a heart-warming story about family, love and friendship.
The story is set in a small town called Halley, where we are introduced to Sarah, who has just returned home from his uncle Joe’s place, her best friend ‘Alana’ her everything that she missed while she was away and here we come to know about the two brothers who have just moved into the town- ‘Julien’ who is Alana’s new boyfriend and his brother ‘Gary’.
But when Sarah met Julien (Alana’s Boyfriend) she totally fell for him and Julien fell in love with her too.

In spite of being a novellet, I am very much impressed me with the author’s writing skills and how well she has crafted believable characters.

I also want to talk about the cover, because it is supperr gorgeous! I am a person who sometimes judges the book by its cover but if specifically talking about this book then I must say that the story was as adorable as the cover (or tbh, it was much more beautiful as compared to the cover).

This is the first book in the series and to be honest, I’m thrilled to read the next book.

NetGalley Check-in #1

Hello Readers

I have seen quite a few book-bloggers doing NetGalley check-in where they share the titles that they are having on the shelf. So, I thought of doing this check in as well.

FEEDBACK RATIO- 40%

BOOKS ON MY SHELF – 9

THE SHADOW MAN- Helen Fields

The brand new crime thriller from the bestselling author of the Perfect series – Helen Fields is back with her first stand-alone novel!
He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.
Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go. Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth. Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.
 And he’s watching. 

THE BETRAYAL- Terry Lynn Thomas

Attorney Olivia Sinclair is shocked when she receives an anonymous video showing her husband Richard sleeping with someone else. After years of handling other people’s divorces, she thought she could recognize a marriage in trouble.
She angrily throws Richard out of the home they share. But days later she’s arrested—for the murder of his mistress.
Olivia knows she’s innocent but, with all the evidence pointing at her and an obvious motive, she must find the real killer to clear her name.
She may be used to dealing with messy divorces, but this one will be her most difficult case yet. Olivia’s husband has already betrayed her—but would he set her up for murder?

THE STRANGER IN MY BED- Karen King

‘We have a patient who has been involved in a serious accident. We believe he’s your husband.’
When Freya first met Phil, she thought he was the man of her dreams. He bought her roses every week, booked surprise trips to sun-soaked destinations, and showed her affection like she’d never experienced before. But over time the dream had become a violent nightmare. And now Freya is packing her bags, knowing it’s time she escaped their increasingly broken marriage.
But then Freya gets a visit from the police. Phil’s been in a horrific car crash and – as he comes around – it becomes clear that remembers nothing since their blissful honeymoon two years before, back when their relationship was perfect. All he wants is to be happily married again.

Freya knows giving him another chance could be dangerous. But now he’s the one who needs her, it’s a chance to turn the tables, and to change the outcome of their relationship once and for all. After all, he will only know what she chooses to tell him…

But what really happened during those two years of marriage? And as they start over again, who is safe? And whose life is in danger? 

THE LAST ONE HOME- Victoria Helen Stone

A razor-sharp novel of suspense about the lies families tell—and those we choose to believe—by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Jane Doe.
Lauren Abrams wants nothing to do with her damaged mother, whose spurious testimony sent Lauren’s father to prison for murder years ago. After a serial killer’s confession to the crime restored justice, Lauren chose to live with her father and grandmother. Now an adult, Lauren has come home to the Sacramento family estate for good, her mother’s lies be damned…
It’s been decades since Donna made her cheating boyfriend pay, but she hasn’t forgotten the past. She knows her estranged daughter has made a terrible mistake by returning to the estate. There’s more to the story of the welcoming old homestead—and her childhood—than Lauren knows.
As Lauren settles in, she is haunted by the questions of what really happened with her father, what her mother might be hiding, and what secrets the family ranch holds. It’s getting so dark, Lauren may not be able to see the truth to save her life.

LOVE ALMOST- Hayley Doyle

Chloe is deliriously in love for the very first time. But when Jack, her boyfriend of five months, is killed in a tragic accident, she is left reeling. Their relationship was amazing – but it never really had the chance to get started. Grieving but determined, Chloe decides to live life for the both of them and makes her way through the list of things they’d planned to do together – this time on her own.

THE OPEN HOUSE- Sam Carrington

Everyone’s welcome. But not everyone leaves
Nick and Amber Miller are splitting up and selling their Devon family home. But despite the desirable location, the house isn’t moving. Not a single viewing so far.
When their estate agent suggests an open house event, Amber agrees, even as she worries about their gossiping neighbors attending and snooping around their home.
But Amber has more to worry about than nosy neighbors. Because thirteen people enter her house that afternoon, and only twelve leave.
Someone doesn’t want the house to sell, and is willing to do anything to stop it…

THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS- Jane Yolen

Welcome to the Midnight Circus – and watch your step. The dark imaginings of fantasy icon Jane Yolen are not for the faint of heart. In these sixteen brilliantly unnerving tales and poems, Central Park becomes a carnival where you can – but probably shouldn’t – transform into a wild beast. The Red Sea will be deadly to cross due to a plague of voracious angels. Meanwhile, the South Pole is no place for even a good man, regardless of whether he is living or dead.
Wicked, solemn, and chilling, the circus is ready for your visit – just don’t arrive late.

A DARK AND SECRET PLACE- Jen Williams

For readers of Jane Harper and Rachel Caine comes a chilling thriller from award-winning author Jen Williams about a woman who discovers her late mother had been secretly corresponding with a serial killer for decades.
When prodigal daughter Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother’s baffling suicide, she makes an alarming discovery–stacks and stacks of carefully preserved letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave. The “Red Wolf,” as he was dubbed by the press, has been in prison for over twenty years, serving a life sentence for the gruesome and ritualistic murders of several women across the country, although he has always protested his innocence. The police have had no reason to listen, yet Heather isn’t the only one to have cause to re-examine the murders. The body of a young woman has just been found, dismembered and placed inside a tree, the corpse planted with flowers. Just as the Red Wolf once did.
What did Heather’s mother know? Why did she kill herself? And with the monstrous Red Wolf safely locked inside a maximum security prison, who is stalking young women now? Teaming up with DI Ben Parker, Heather hopes to get some answers for herself and for the newest victims of this depraved murderer. Yet to do that, she must speak to Michael Reave herself, and expose herself to truths she may not be ready to face. Something dark is walking in the woods, and it knows her all too well.

THE GOOD SISTER- Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law, delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters.
From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one, with a home and a husband and a fierce desire to become a mother. Fern is the quirky one, the free spirit, the librarian who avoids social interaction and whom the world might just describe as truly odd. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small.
Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.
Spine tingling, creepy, utterly compelling and unpredictable, The Good Sister is about the ties that bind sisters together…and about the madness that lurks where you least expect it

Are you reading or excited to read any of these titles?

emotional wellbeing and coping during crisis

What are emotions?

Emotion is a subjective state of mind. Emotions can be reactions to internal stimuli (such as thoughts or memories) or events that occur in our environment. 

What  is  stress?

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand.

Indulge in Physical Activity

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body.

These are the “fight or flight” hormones that evolution has hard-wired into our brains and which are designed to protect us from immediate bodily harm when we are under threat.  However, stress in the modern age is rarely remedied by a fight or flight response, and so physical exercise can be used as a surrogate to metabolize the excessive stress hormones and restore your body and mind to a calmer, more relaxed state.

Manage Your Time

When you feel stressed and tense, go for a brisk walk in fresh air.  Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine on a regular basis, either before or after work, or at lunchtime.  Regular physical activity will also improve the quality of your sleep.

At times, we all feel overburdened by our ‘To Do’ list and this is a common cause of stress. Accept that you can not do everything at once and start to prioritise and diarise your tasks.

Make a list of all the things that you need to do and list them in order of genuine priority. Note what tasks you need to do personally and what can be delegated to others to do. Record which tasks need to be done immediately, in the next week, in the next month, or when time allows.

By editing what might have started out as an overwhelming and unmanageable task list, you can break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks spread out over a longer time frame, with some tasks removed from the list entirely through delegation.

Remember as well to create buffer times to deal with unexpected and emergency tasks, and to include time for your own relaxation and well-being.

Take Control

Stress can be triggered by a problem that may on the surface seem impossible to solve. Learning how to find solutions to your problems will help you feel more in control thereby lowering your level of stress.

One problem-solving technique involves writing down the problem and coming up with as many possible solutions as you can. Decide on the good and bad points of each one and select the best solution. Write down each step that you need to take as part of the solution: what will be done, how will it be done, when will it be done, who is involved and where will it take place.

Try Relaxation Techniques

Each day, try to relax with a stress reduction technique.  There are many tried and tested ways to reduce stress so try a few and see what works best for you.

For example, try self-hypnosis which is very easy and can be done anywhere, even at your desk or in the car. One very simple technique is to focus on a word or phrase that has a positive meaning to you. Words such as “calm” “love” and “peace” work well, or you could think of a self-affirming mantra such as “I deserve calm in my life” or “Grant me serenity”.  Focus on your chosen word or phrase; if you find your mind has wandered or you become aware of intrusive thoughts entering your mind, simply disregard them and return your focus to the chosen word or phrase. If you find yourself becoming tense again later, simply silently repeat your word or phrase.

Don’t worry if you find it difficult to relax at first. Relaxation is a skill that needs to be learned and will improve with practice.

Get More Sleep

A lack of sleep is a significant cause of stress. Unfortunately though, stress also interrupts our sleep as thoughts keep whirling through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep.

Rather than relying on medication, your aim should be to maximise your relaxation before going to sleep.  Make sure that your bedroom is a tranquil oasis with no reminders of the things that cause you stress.  Avoid caffeine during the evening, as well as excessive alcohol if you know that this leads to disturbed sleep. Stop doing any mentally demanding work several hours before going to bed so that you give your brain time to calm down. Try taking a warm bath or reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that worry you.

You should also aim to go to bed at roughly the same time each day so that your mind and body get used to a predictable bedtime routine.

Reading for Stress Relief

It is a proven fact that reading can help reduce stress. Many of us take this simple act for granted, because we have so much “required” reading in our daily lives-the newspaper, traffic signs, emails, and bills. But how often do we read for pleasure?

Reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.

𝗦𝗼𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗜 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸 (REVIEW)

✨𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰✨
𝗦𝗼𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗜 𝗛𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻’𝘁 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸 BY 𝘼𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙖 𝘾𝙤𝙤𝙠
𝐌𝐲 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
▪️
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞- Poetry
𝐏𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭- 240

“𝐍𝐨 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐖𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞, 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐮𝐝, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐛𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬.”

Sorry I haven’t texted you back by Alicia Cook explores themes of depression, anxiety, heartbreak. I’ve a lot to say about the way she has put her feelings into words.
I am still astonished by the author’s understanding about what goes on in an individual’s mind when they are suffering from depression and anxiety.
Although I couldn’t connect to a couple of poems but I feel that there was something magical and powerful in the writing style.
The thing I liked the most about this book was that the poems were written in the form of tracks (Track 1, Track 2) and each track had a song associated with the poem. I’ve already added a couple of songs to my playlist.
I loved the concept of the book and I feel that both the sides (Side A and B) worked pretty well but I loved Side B more as compared to Side A.
I’ve written a couple of poems in my reading journal so that I could re-visit those beautiful lines again.
I’m sharing some of my favourite lines from the book—
🍂𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞 𝐦𝐞𝐭,
𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐦.
𝐈’𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐌𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐭𝐰𝐢𝐜𝐞.
🍂𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬.
𝚃𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚔s to Netgalley, Andrews McMeel Publishing and Alicia Cook 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚗 𝚊𝚍𝚟𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚙𝚢 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔 𝚒𝚗 𝚎𝚡𝚌𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚊𝚗 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚛𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚎𝚠.