Posts by Erik McManus | Breakeven Books

I am a Web Designer and Developer! Im very tall, love comic books, and I'm very outgoing. Check out my book blog Breakeven Books!

Book Review: Easy Recipe Cookbooks

Thanks to Callisto Media Inc. for sending me copies of The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Jen Fisch of ketointhecity.com and The Complete Convection Oven Cookbook by Robin Donovan for review.

These cookbooks are fantastic! I made so many of the recipes from them and they were all delicious and really easy to make. My favorite is the Almond Butter Smoothie. I tried it because I had never even heard of almond butter and it was sooo good. The best part is that is is very healthy for you too!

My second favorite recipe would have to be the Garlic Parmesan Salmon. I cooked dinner for my friend Elizabeth (she is a pescatarian) and we had this with garlic bread. It was so tasty!

All the recipes are very straightforward. No difficult tasks, they speak to you in human terms that everyone will understand and they are quick preparation meals. These cookbooks are perfect for anyone on a busy schedule that has little time to cook. You get the best of both worlds because you don’t spend that much time cooking and you still get a delicious dinner.

You can find these books on Amazon!

Book Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I was sent these books by Callisto Media Inc. to read, use and give an honest review.

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Book Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

Thanks to Netgalley for sending me this copy of Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi. This book was really good and I loved the writing style 🙂

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Synopsis: For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

I reeeeeaaaally enjoyed how this book was written. Each chapter alternated between the two main characters. Their thought processes were very much so how a young 20-year-old would think about and make decisions. And when it came to Penny, she always had a list of options to choose from for situations that were awkward to her. Her brain was like a compendium of pros/cons lists.

Penny was very funny and awkward. She deals with problems in unusual ways which just makes her that much more interesting. Sam has had a hard life and is making the best he can out of what he has. His heart has been broken and he is just trying to figure out how to take the next steps in his life while keeping his head above the water. Also, he is an excellent baker 😛

These two meet each other through a mutual acquaintance and become friends that only text each other but don’t hang out. They are essentially support systems for each other hence the title “Emergency Contact”.

If you want a cute love story set in modern day about two social misfits, then this book is for you. It was published by Simon & Schuster Canada and you can find the book on Amazon.

Book Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler

Another book reviewed for STORGY’s online publications. This one is called Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler. This book was a collection of short stories and boy oh boy were they brilliant! There wasn’t really any that I didn’t like.

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One was about a mother who lost her son to illness and she couldn’t move on without him in her life. She was searching for anything that could bring him back to her and help her escape the constant weight pulling her down into a life of suffering without her child. Then she finds an owl in the attic that she believes has the spirit of her son in it. She feeds the owls and takes care of it as if it is her own child just to feel normal again.  I found this very sad but also interesting as everyone copes differently when dealing with grief. This mother chose a reality that was easier to handle than believing in her actual reality.

Another was about a girl who was born with a disability where her hand is permanently curled in towards her. She doesn’t allow this to stop her from becoming a track star. It was very inspiring and shows everyone that a disability doesn’t stop you from achieving your dreams.

My favorite one was about a girl who stops into a cafe for a job application and ends up having a nice chat with a gentleman while she waits to take her interview. This story shows how one little interaction helps her realize that she needs to think for herself and that she can’t just live to please others but has to live for herself. It kind of symbolizes the start of her life and breaking free from her chains.

All of the stories end with one line that just gives you chills and leaves you thinking “wow, now that is a statement”. Overall, I loved this collection of stories. They were refreshing and fun to read.

Book Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by STORGY to review and publish on their site.

Oh and hey if any of you bookworms are out there traveling, you can use my promo code for Airbnb to sign up and get $45 off your first stay!

Promo Code: www.airbnb.ca/c/emcmanus31

Talk to you later bookworms!

Book Review: Flow by Clare Littlemore

Another book review was done by @saramact for Flow by Clare Littlemore. This one is a great book for YA readers who are into dystopian futures.

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Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Quin lives in The Beck, a savior society. Her community has risen from the ruins of a land shattered by Mother Nature. But Beck law is tough. Quin knows that the rules must be followed in order to sustain life in a place where floodwaters constantly threaten existence. A single violation could land her in Clearance.

But some laws are harder to follow than others. And as Quin discovers the horrifying truth, she knows she cannot stay silent forever.

This novel is about a girl named Quin who lives in a dystopian society called The Beck. The story focuses on her struggling to survive in the strict society and discovering more about the ways it works, finally discovering its darkest secret.

The story begins with her working in Agric, a group that is responsible for cultivating the food for the entire society, with her two best friends, Harper and Cass. We are shown the strict requirements for maintaining a role as a productive member of The Beck society in their daily life and in their twice-yearly fitness and mental testing. Soon after this test, the three friends are separated – Quin to be transferred to Patrol (a police-like group within the society), and Harper to Clearance, where those no longer deemed fit enough for Beck society are sent, never to return.

This is where the story gets even more intense, as Quin moves to her new training with Patrol and gains more access to information about how The Beck society works. Quin and her new patrol friends attempt to investigate the Clearance section of the society, and soon discover the dark secret they would wish never to have learned.

The novel is well-written with good flow that keeps the story moving naturally. We become attached to the characters easily, and all the twists and turns are well revealed. The novel kept my interest easily, and I was always eager to sneak in a few more pages whenever I had the chance. I love dystopian novels, and this society was just as intriguing as the big hitters in this genre like Divergent and The Hunger Games, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

My only complaint is that the end of the book felt more like the climax one would expect in the middle of the book, with very little resolution – so I’ll have to read the sequel immediately. It’s definitely a cliff-hanger ending, where we only get a taste of the direction Quin and her new Patrol friends must turn to try to improve the horrific society they have found themselves in.

Book Rating: 5/5

Click on the image below to check out the book’s Amazon page 🙂

Disclaimer: We were sent the book by the author to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: Supercharge Your Book Sales with Unbiased Reviews by T. Buburuz

This is a short and sweet review for you guys on a helpful book for authors trying to get attention to their books. Supercharge Your Book Sales with Unbiased Reviews by T. Buburuz is a very quick read (25 pages) and has resources to help authors with approaching book bloggers and reviewing sources to get insight and critical reviews on their books.

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Synopsis:

Discover the simple secrets to getting free reviews by the truckload so you can skyrocket your book sales!

This results-driven guide includes:

* how to get your books reviewed for FREE by legitimate unbiased reviewers
* mistakes you want to avoid when contacting prospective reviewers
* how to effectively track your submissions
* why you should never pay for reviews

PLUS

* best practices to use when contacting perspective reviewers
* 55+ reputable book bloggers who review self-published books for free
* additional resources for even more legitimate unbiased book reviewers

You will be delighted to discover how easy it is to get unbiased legitimate book reviews for free when you go about it the right way, and you’ll also be inspired to write even more books when your reviews start flooding in!

I will admit that there is not much content to this book but it gets to the point and one thing that I really like about it is that it highlights different verified book bloggers to approach for a review. Anything that will help bring good attention to our little niche of book bloggers is awesome in my books 🙂

The author also invites book bloggers to contact him if they would like their book blog listed in his reviewer list. I believe his contact info is in the book to do this. The best part is that it is FREE. You can access the book below!

Book Rating: 4/5

Rakuten Kobo Canada

Book Review: Every Watering Word by Tanya Manning-Yarde

A new review of Every Watering Word by Tanya Manning-Yarde. This is the first poetry book I have read for review. I wouldn’t say I am necessarily into poetry but this book was actually pretty good.

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Synopsis: This collection of poetry is an ensemble of many themes. Every Watering Word encompasses poetic rumination about women’s self-discovery; stories about coming of age; explorations of sex, sensuality and eroticism; epiphanies gleaned from motherhood and marriage; the structure and impact of racial and gender oppression; the trials, tribulations and triumphs experienced by love; the inheritance of jazz music and honoring the Black Christian tradition while exploring tensions underlying what it means to be African-American and Christian.

This collection of poems was very interesting. It explored a lot of different subjects. Some of them were very intense where others had a softer tone. Some would make you feel like you were in a flashback. It’s hard to capture just one feeling about the book because there are so many stories intertwined with so little pages to capture them.

There was one that stuck with me. It is near the beginning of the book and is about a woman that is being punished for some wrongdoing. The family is actually lighting her on fire to teach her a lesson and show her that the man of the house is the one in control. It was brutal and hard to read but at the same time, this is done to some people and I can’t even imagine living in a situation like that where all you would ever look for is an escape.

The beauty of poetry is that I could be seeing one thing in this poem and someone else could see something totally different. It is pretty much up to the reader’s interpretation of what they want to think it means.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the author to read and give an honest review.

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March Giveaway Winner!

It has been a great month full of book reviews and blogging. Today I get to share with you the winner of the Star Wars sticker giveaway! There were a total of 19 entries into this contest and the person that will be adding some Star Wars Stickers to their collection is………. Valerie Venne! I will be in touch to get your stickers to you 🙂

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I was also notified today that my blog has reached 1000 likes on its posts so thank you to everyone who has been following along on this journey and for the continued support! You are all amazing and I couldn’t get to this point without you 🙂

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Talk to you soon bookworms!

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Bookstagram Shoutout

Time for another bookstagrammer shoutout. This week I will be featuring Instagram profiles of people that create and sell really cool handmade products! I will just jump right into it.

First off we have @thecandlecrate ! They make all kinds of cool homemade candles with different scents that sound quirky, fun and delicious. A lot of these would make me hungry, to be honest.

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Then we have @fromthepage who makes homemade book inspired soy based candles, lip balms, beard oils and more! All of the scents I see on this page make me want to know what they would smell like because they are themed like favorite places from books such as Avonlea for Anne of Green Gables or Pop’s Chocolate Shop from Archie Comics. I strongly suggest trying out her stuff 😛

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Something I have always wanted to try but have never done was subscribe to a book box where you are sent a different book each month. @onceuponabookclub is a book subscription box that sends out books to its customers each month and drops hints on its Instagram about what it will be.

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That’s all for this week but if you know someone that deserves a shoutout, hit me up in the comments and I will add them to next weeks post.

Talk to you later bookworms!

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Book Review: Clemmie’s War by Rosie Boyes

Our reviewer Sara has another great recommendation for you bookworms. She recently read Clemmie’s War by Rosie Boyes. Read her review below 🙂

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Clemmie’s War is about a young girl named Clemmie who finds herself in a place called Heartease, which seems to function like an afterlife for children who have died. She meets a house full of warm and wonderful characters who are strange but kind. She is soon followed by her Grandfather, who is not a good man and is looking to get to her at all costs to complete his mission, which we learn about later in the novel. There are many twists and turns in the plot, revealing new aspects of how Heartease and its characters operate in this parallel world. We soon discover that Clemmie’s arrival has caused a time rift which begins to cause drastic changes as well as earthquakes in Heartease. Doctor Rose, the head of the Children’s House, and several other interesting characters must travel back in time to repair the damage done and save Clemmie.

This novel is similar to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, in that it is a house in what seems like a parallel world to our own, where the children there are kept safe by their strange caretakers. Although all the characters here are essentially dead and living a second life in the afterlife, they are otherwise normal people. The characters are unique and strange, and well fleshed out by the author. If you are looking for a strange read that will make you smile, then this is a delightful book. There are constantly new developments and elaborations on the world of Heartease as you go along, ever-changing.

This is a cute story and I enjoyed the read. It was different than anything I have read recently. My only complaint is that it could have been better developed – there were often moments where it almost read like a synopsis of itself; instead of elaborating on a situation or conversation, it would glaze over it, where the story would have benefitted from more details. I would have loved to understand more about how Heartease and the subsequent time travel worked, and this would have been even better if the author had made the story more detailed.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Amazon!

Disclaimer: We were provided a digital copy of this book by the author to read and give an honest review.

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