The Crescent Stone (The Sunlit Lands #1) by Matt Mikalatos
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018
Rating: 3 ½ Stars
My comfort zone typically resides FAR outside of the fantasy realm, however the gripping cover design and terminally ill character within The Crescent Stone caused me to pick this one up, and I am so glad that I did. As the first book of The Sunlit Lands series we are introduced to a teenager, Madeline, as she battles the final months of lung disease. Madeline, and her comically relieving side kick Jason, exchange a year of service in the Sunlit Lands for her health and the promise of a pudding cup every morning. The encounters, battles, friendships and lesson gained from the Elenil society hit critical elements humans can certainly stand to be reminded of.
Author, Matt Mikalatos, delivers an exceptional young adult fantasy that pairs humor and death in this provocative read. Madeline and Jason provide us a unique education on many key lessons in how we treat one another, the lengths we’ll take to save ourselves and the importance of not judging a book by its cover. All lessons our parents likely tried to teach us, framed in a more exciting way by Mikalatos. A strong series opener, promising an exciting, young, fantastical storyline while instilling important takeaways.
*Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Shift Your Thinking for Success: 77 Ways to Win at Work and in Life by Dean Del Sesto
Publication Date: July 17th, 2018
Rating: 2 ¼ Stars
Business minded, non-fiction books are often quickly passed over by readers as they can be perceived as dull, un-engaging or lacking in actionable substance. However, as a young professional that LOVES to read I am continually pushing myself to diversify my choices to include a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Given my role in the business environment, I try to pepper my mix with business and self-improvement focused books. For this reason, I was excited to have the opportunity to read Shift Your Thinking for Success.
Author, Dean Del Sesto, is a successful brand and marketing guru. He is described as a “brander of 800 plus companies” and certainly seems to boast a successful business career. I was hoping his successes, failures and experiences would be well articulated and sprinkled among the topics discussed within, but was disappointed to see this was infrequently the case. In fact, not ONE study with actionable data was cited in this book. This may be a first for me, a business minded book lacking scattered personal experiences and analytical data, I was disappointed to say the least. I am often careful to recommend self-improvement books to readers for fear of turning them off to this genre permanently and while I’ve come across several five-star business reads, this is certainly NOT one of them.
*Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Revell, in exchange for an honest review.