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Empower Yourself By Miranda Kerr

Empower Yourself By Miranda Kerr
Published Sept 9 2014 by Hay House

Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o of the Publisher, via Netgalley.

Goodreads

Summary: Following the overwhelming response to Treasure Yourself, Miranda continues to explore similar themes in her latest title, providing insight on what she believes it means for young, modern women to be empowered in all areas of life and how this can be achieved.

For Miranda, one of the most powerful tools to facilitate change, both in her own life, and in the lives of others, is the use of positive affirmations. Here, she has written over 250 personal affirmations that can be used to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, harmonious relationships, fulfilling career and happiness.

“When we have the courage to speak our truth, no matter how difficult that may be, we tap into the infinite power that lies within us.”

“Come with me on a nurturing journey. I believe we all have a responsibility to bring peace and harmony into our lives and to share these experiences with others. My wish is that the thoughts and affirmations in this book will help you to focus on the positive, leading you to a life of greater self-care and joy. To be your best you have to do your best. And when you continually look with optimistic eyes, you empower yourself!” — Miranda Kerr

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I love Miranda Kerr. She’s one of my favourite Victoria Secret’s models. I’ve always been curious about the books she’s written (her books always seem to be wrapped in bookstores, so I never really know what’s inside) are about and so I jumped at the chance to read this book.

Empower Yourself is a self-help book that leans more towards the daily affirmation, coffee table book type of self-help. If you’ve read Demi Lovato’s Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, Empower Yourself is pretty similar.I enjoyed Empower Yourself, it was quick to glance through and certainly lifted my spirits after reading it. Empower Yourself, is as the title suggests, filled with daily affirmations about how you can empower yourself by loving yourself, finding your voice, voicing opinions, respecting your body and others (among others). Its a great book that you can pick up after you’ve had a bad day and I can certainly see myself following some of these affirmations. They’re great reminders of how you can treat yourself and others better and love and appreciate yourself. Empower Yourself may or may not change your life, but it can certainly help you to remember the more important things in life.

The only thing I’m not such a great fan of is the pictures. The beginning and end of the book is filled with pictures of Miranda, which doesn’t contribute to the book and depending on my mood it might make me feel less empowered but more annoyed.

Regardless, Empower Yourself is supposed to make you feel good about yourself and for the most part, it does its job. Empower Yourself is a good book to have but not necessary to buy.

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Scratch By Rhonda Helms

Scratch by Rhonda Helms
Publication Date: Sept 30th 2014

Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley.

Goodreads

SummaryThe most painful scars are the ones you never see. 

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that’s the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she’s reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she’s put up. Like Casey, he’s a senior. In every other way, he’s her opposite.

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can’t fathom, he’s intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that’s messy and unpredictable. He doesn’t know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach – or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.

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Scratch had a strange magnetic pull on me. It’s a book that’s simple and romantic, yet captivating.

Scratch had likable characters. I liked the main character, Casey and felt that her story was incredibly compelling. Although Scratch is a simple and light read, it explores some dark themes and how it affected Casey growing up. Casey is frustrating: she constantly has her guard up and takes people on an emotional roller coaster. In parts, she’s unintentionally mean. But she’s human — she learns, she accepts and she grows. The character development was evident and made her seem more relatable.

I really liked how there was mystery surrounding Casey’s past. It kept me guessing and turning pages. The ending was heartbreaking — Casey’s character development shone through towards the end, and her facing up to her childhood trauma and taking charge was brave and applaudable. It was intense, heartbreaking but encouraging.

I loved the romance between Daniel and Casey. Daniel is a gentleman and incredibly sweet (though he has his flaws, to which he acknowledges) and I really loved their connection. They do fall in love pretty quick, but it isn’t insta-love which I appreciated. Their relationship was a lot of work but they made it work.

Scratch is quite fast paced and hooks you in almost immediately. It was emotional, romantic but simple enough to read on a lazy day. I’ve enjoyed Rhonda Helms’ previous writing and similarly I have nothing but praise. I would definitely recommend Scratch for contemporary romance lovers.

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4

The Black Mage: First Year By Rachel E. Carter

The Black Mage: First Year By Rachel E. Carter
The Black Mage #1
Published August 12th 2014 By Astraea Press

Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads

Summary: Before the age of seventeen the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice –follow tradition, or pursue a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight or mage…

For 15-year-old Ryiah the choice has always been easy. Become a warrior and leave the boring confines of her lowborn life behind. Set to enroll in the School of Knighthood on the eve of her next birthday, plans suddenly shift when her twin brother discovers powers. Hoping that hers will soon follow, she enrolls with Alex at the Academy instead –the realm’s most notorious war school for those with magic.

Yet when she arrives Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Every “first-year” is given a trial year to prove their worth –and no amount of hard work and drive will guarantee them a spot. It seems like everyone is rooting for her to fail –and first and foremost among them Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

When an accidental encounter leads Ryiah and Darren to an unlikely friendship she is convinced nothing good will come of it. But the lines become blurred when she begins to improve –and soon she is a key competitor for the faction of Combat… Still, nothing is ever as it seems –and when the world comes crashing down around her, Ry is forced to place faith in the one thing she can believe in –herself. Will it be enough?

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If there is a book that can turn around from meh to absolutely brilliant it is The Black Mage.

I struggled reading the first 30 pages or so of The Black Mage. It was slow, tiring and confusing — what with all the horses and things. I don’t read too many fantasy books so maybe this is why this is all a bit unfamiliar to me. That aside, The Black Mage are comeback kings, sucking me into the story 30 pages on.

The Black Mage picked up almost immediately once the main character Ryiah and her twin brother Alex finally makes it to the Academy. I really enjoyed their time at the Academy and though the concept seems similar to Harry Potter, The Black Mage certainly holds its own.

It is interesting how students of the Academy get to choose factions of their own choosing and how magic isn’t simply about casting spells (ala Harry Potter) but required more stamina, more concentration, more combat. The world within the Academy was wonderfully built and executed. It was different from what I had expected which is a pull factor.

I really enjoyed Priscilla and non-heir Prince Darren as antagonists, and also loved the friends that Ryiah made. The friendship that Ella and Ryiah has is heartwarming and lovely. It defied the status quo of highborns and lowborns.

I definitely enjoyed Darren and Ryiah’s love-hate relationship and there were some things I expected would happen but didn’t think it would be so quick. (No insta-love, so don’t be put off!)

This is the first book in a series of four, and I certainly am looking forward to the rest of the series seeing how the ending was just a huge crazy mess! I’m keen to see how relationships play out, highborns vs lowborns and of course, Ryiah’s magic.

The Black Mage is exciting and incredibly fast paced, and one that is great for fantasy fans and Harry Potter fans! The Black Mage captivates and enchants in the most magical of ways.

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