Bon Bons to Yoga Pants by Katie Cross

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Helllllo readers, today’s review is really special because it comes from an author who sits very close to my heart. A lovely lady I have known since I first started blogging and when she asked if I would read this book, not a fantasy tale I jumped at the chance. It’s always really lovely to be asked to continue reviewing books for an author especially with such a jump in terms of genre. A lovely little review and a book you should go and get hold of a copy now. (yes, now)

Lexie Greene has always had such a pretty face.

Unfortunately, that’s where it seemed to stop. She’s grown up hearing her Mother constantly remind her that she needs to lose weight. And twenty-two-year-old Lexie knows she’s overweight.

With her younger sister’s wedding on the horizon and a crush to stalk on Facebook, Lexie’s had enough. She gives up her constant daydreams about food and joins a dieting group. As the pounds melt away at the gym, she finds that life on the other side of junk food isn’t what she thought.

Bon Bons to Yoga Pants is an inspirational hit about a girl coming to terms with herself, and her past, all while navigating a world of food and fitness.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows the utterly darling Lexie and her struggle with mother and sister over her weight. She knows they’re right she just doesn’t want to combat it, just yet. With a wedding coming up and the potential dating game about to step up a mark Lexie wants to shift those pounds. Joining a diet group and trying to stop herself dreaming of doughnuts we read along as Lexie struggles to come to terms with her eating, her family, her feelings of loss from the death of her father and her want to please Bradley it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow.

Gah, so many things in this book resonated with me. I’ve always been a little on the chubby side, dieting a little and then falling off the dieting wagon and I also have struggled with my family and their ‘fatist’ way. My Grandmother, whilst on the day of my graduation, stated ‘I don’t think you’ve put on a little bit of weight, I think you’ve put rather a lot of weight on,’ whilst passing me a mack-off chocolate cake. Soul destroying but I get it. I found Lexie utterly wonderful, she knows she a bit on the big side and it’s eating away at her confidence and her family aren’t helping in the slightest.

In terms of characters each are really well developed; Lexie is determined and strong willed but she’s also emotional, struggling with her identity and her grief. Rachelle is a confident best-friend and I thought her and Lexie contrasted wonderfully although I would have liked to have seen more of her. Supporting characters Mira, Pat and Bitsy are all really well developed to give the story more weight and Bradley sounds like the perfect mix between American lad and English gentleman. Gah dreamboat.

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The writing is strong and well-written as with everything I’ve read from Katie. There is enough description, dialogue and also character build up throughout out. I liked the interweaving of the stories although it would have been nice to see more into the lives of Rachelle and Lexie’s sister McKenzie. I know that this is a novella but I really wanted to see more into their stories. I thought the book as a whole was very good at helping quash the demons that sometimes tell us we’re not good enough. It feel very heart-warming but also self-loving which I thought was a lovely touch and ‘effing swan addition/movement and links were a brilliant thing to include.

My only wobble was I thought there could have been more struggles between Lexie and Bradley and their relationship and her striving to lose the weight. It did feel as though the stories was partly disconnected and could have been linked. At the start it really was linked to the worries Lexie hadabout meeting him but as the story continues for me it was a little too sweet?

Overall a lovely little tale to while away the afternoon; I thought the romance was a little sugary sweet but that’s just me and I often have these wobbles with more romance books but the characters are strong, Lexie was just brilliant and I want to read more from Miss Cross in this genre. Yes please very much.

Linnnnnks

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Every Day a Hope by Marci M. Matthews

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Helllllllllo readers and welcome to another review from yours truly. Today’s book is a little difficult to review as it’s the first of it’s kind that I’ve read before and that’s pretty exciting. The first thing to mention is that when this beautiful little book turned up it had inside a perfectly packaged envelope. When I opened it up out spilled an added envelope inside full of little stickers, a white feather and some sparkly bits. It made it feel all the more special.

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Through tiny stories and illustrations, Every Day a Hope encourages and empowers readers to examine emotionally difficult issues, while instilling confidence, introspection, and creativity. In each page, Marci M. Matthews addresses familiar concepts in a unique manner, designed to evoke thoughts, feelings, changes in perspective, and the ability to embrace the positive. The concepts in Every Day a Hope are taken from Matthews’ work with survivors, but the book is accessible to anyone who wants to find new ways to approach life with a positive outlook. Accompanying pages encourage readers to embark on their own explorations by asking questions and providing space to draw, write, keep lists, and create in whatever ways inspire them the most.

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So I’ve tried to include a number of pictures to try and give an idea of what the book is but I think I would have to describe it as an inspirational, interactive, colouring-book style journal. It’s filled with little quotes, thoughts, pictures that are written in a way that you can colour in parts, draw in parts, and add your own bits and pieces as you work your way through. It’s the kind of book that you dip in and out of rather than sit down and read in one go I would say but you could pick it up open up a page and find a lovely little bit of inspiration or positive energy.

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Now normally I wouldn’t really be for this kind of book because it is very sweet and coy but I think it’s the perfect book for someone that needs a little lift. I’m not quite sure what the target audience is for the book because it doesn’t strike me as a young adult book but then the writing is quite young for an older audience. For me it’s wonderful. As I’ve mentioned I’ve been struggling a little. It comes with moving away from home, trying to work out what I want with my life and the like and this book is wonderful. I just pop it into my handbag and just add to it when and where I fancy. The cover is gorgeous and it could be easily mistaken for a journal so it doesn’t look like I’m scribbling in a book (although I am.) I think that it could be a real confidence booster for young girls thinking on it maybe eleven and up as it would be a really sweet way to inspire confidence in little young ladies.

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Overall I do really love this book; yes it’s a little quirky, a little cutesy and it won’t be for everyone but for me it’s a great little read. You can open it up, scribble away, read a little, write, tear pages out and pop them up on your mirror or in your diary. We are all dealing with things, no matter how big or small and this is the perfect pick-me-up. Also, good to note is that it isn’t preachy in anyway at all and that did surprise me. Sometimes self-help type books can become a little in your face but instead it’s a subtle and elegant book. I think it’s a wonderful present for friends and to put a smile on someone’s face.

Liiiinnnkkks

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