Behind the Lens by Jeannée Sacken

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block - "Emotional" Person standing between bright earth and desolate earth

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This story was impossible to put down! It’s a book that I got incredibly emotionally invested in and needed to know what was going to happen!

Annie is a warzone photojournalist. While working in Afghanistan, she is attacked by the Taliban, and witnesses some incredibly horrific things. When she returns home is haunted by what she experienced. She is asked to teach in an Afghanistan school, and she accepts, but when she gets there, she can’t help but feel watched.

Continue reading “Behind the Lens by Jeannée Sacken”

All the Salt in the Sea by Tammy L. Harrow

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Person in dark woods titled "Suspense"

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is quite the fantastic story! It’s a great mix of emotion, suspense, action, and surprises, and I found myself unable to put it down!

We follow Abby who is on a trip to look for a friend of her grandmother’s. She is stepping away from a terrible husband, so the story has a really emotional aspect as the reader learns more about her marriage and husband. Finding her grandmother’s friend takes Abby on a journey to find the strength to leave her husband. When she heads home, things go sideways, and this turns from an emotional growth story into quite the action-packed story of suspense!

Continue reading “All the Salt in the Sea by Tammy L. Harrow”

Em’s Awful Good Fortune by Marcie Maxfield

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Okay, this book was an absolute delight! I got to experience the life of an expat, but through the lens of how it affects a marriage and the individuals involved.

I felt like Em was sitting down with a cup of coffee and telling me the stories of her life. It was a conversation weaving fun moments with ones of heartbreak. Em’s experiences as the wife of someone who chooses to live outside the US for extended periods of time for work was so interesting. I’ve traveled to China, and I found those parts of the story something I connected to, and laughed at, as I had some of those experiences. Other locations though were completely new for me, and I loved learning more about them! I loved the entire story, and I highly recommend it!

Continue reading “Em’s Awful Good Fortune by Marcie Maxfield”

Urge to Rome by Kyra Robinov

Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen
Urge to Rome cover with Rome landscape

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When Kyra begins to struggle with migraines, aging parents, teenage children, and working too much, her and her husband find an opportunity to move to Europe, and they jump at it!

Kyra’s story of her adventure in Rome is one that will sweep you away. Kyra’s memoir is honest and raw at times, making you connect with her and her life. I found her struggles and triumphs through her year abroad to be entertaining, emotional, and wonderful. She tells her story in a way that makes the reader feel like they are right there with her!

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Kid’s Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ve Been by Ben Everard with Mary Everard

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Illustration in Oh, the Places You’ve Been is beautiful. With a feel of watercolor at times, they are soft and colorful. Each page depicts a location where the penny in the story has been and my daughter really enjoyed looking at the details on each page.

Continue reading “Kid’s Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ve Been by Ben Everard with Mary Everard”

The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie by Saureen Naik Desai – A Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Photo of two children reading with label "Children's" intended to note that this article is a children's book.
The cover of the book The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie.  A little girl on a stone road with a travel bag and passport.
A passport in a bag with the text Travel. This is intended to inform the reader that the book is about travel.

What I Loved:

The story takes us through many countries and each image correlates with the country! The illustrations for each country were perfect. I loved how Princess Pudding Pie’s clothing changed to coordinate with the country’s flag colors!

How I Felt:

This book was wonderful! It’s a little trip around the world with a bit of education! Princess Pudding Pie greets the reader in each country’s “Hello” exposing the child to just a little language from each country. I found that I knew more greetings than I thought I did and my daughter enjoyed repeating the words after me.

Her clothing changes as we move from country to country, matching their flag colors. It is designed to resemble an iconic look from each country. I enjoyed discussing these pieces of apparel with her. She had a ton of questions about each page.

The background image is a recognizable landmark from each country. We got a chance to see the Great Wall of China, which was my favorite!

Finally, the BEST part, she shares a delicious treat from each country! There is excellent artwork to show the reader what the dessert is and Pudding Pie’s descriptions make you want to taste each one. This book should come with a sampler of these desserts!!

An image of Princess Pudding Pie's face showing the pie crust ring around her head.

My only complaint is Pudding Pie’s illustration. My daughter couldn’t figure out what was around her face and it continued to bother her throughout the book. She kept saying her crown had fallen down. I have to agree, it isn’t my favorite artwork either. However, this in no way detracted from how awesome this book was!

To Read or Not To Read: The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie is an excellent book for any young reader. The exposure to so many countries was easy to understand and was so enjoyable! This would be an excellent book for a preschool, elementary school, and absolutely at home!

Princess Pudding Pie has her passport and is taking us on a trip around the world! Each page has us visiting another country. The illustrations give a great visual of the country with the apparel, the background, and the food all being well represented. She greets the reader in the language of the country and the child can practice repeating the greeting. Each page is filled with a short blurb that is the perfect length for a young child. A great book full of tasty treats and excellent information from around the world!

  • The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie by Saureen Naik Desai
  • Appropriate For: Preschool to middle elementary
  • Page Count: 38 pages
  • Publisher: Mascot Books
  • Pub Date: February 4, 2020

The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie is scheduled to publish on February 4, 2020.

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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Spirit Baby by Nina Neilson Little

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“There’s an ancient Chinese belief that women possess two hearts; an upper heart associated with the standard Western heart, and a lower heart tied to the uterus. They say that women hold dreams of infants, lost children, and babies never-meant-to-be in their upper hearts, while babies destined to be born travel to their mother’s lower heart.”

Spirit Baby by Nina Neilson Little

What I Loved:

What a beautifully written memoir! I was so drawn in as Nina told her story of her struggles with infertility and miscarriage. Written with such emotion, it was beautiful to read.

How I Felt:

Spirit Baby is a memoir about Nina Neilson Little’s path to motherhood, but it is also a travel memoir of her times in China. I was absolutely drawn in to the descriptions and stories of China. Having visited China twice, reading her book made me want to go back and visit all the places I didn’t get to! Her descriptions of China are amazing. She discusses ancient traditions, the history of locations she visits, eating habits and rituals, and so much more! I loved how the story was written in a way that connected her travel experiences with herself and fertility.

She writes about her name, which I must admit, I was mispronouncing for months until I read this book (sorry about that Nina)! She tells the reader how she never enjoyed her name until, in China, she found all these traditions and beliefs that connected her to her name in a way she never had before. I love how she did this over and over in the book, giving life to these places and experiences.

Nina’s journey through this story is one with sadness and loss, however, she writes with such positivity that the overall feel of this book is uplifting and wonderful. She discusses her sadness and loss, her depression, and her healing. This is truly a lovely book with a wonderful, heartwarming story.

Content Warnings:

This is a book about struggles with infertility and miscarriage. This could be a trigger for some people.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Spirit Baby to any reader that enjoys memoirs or stories of travel. The descriptions of China are wonderful and the story of her path to motherhood is so beautiful.

Nina and her husband Chris have struggle with infertility for years. They have decided to head to China for a chance to heal and adopt. Nina takes us with her on her visits through Chinese streets and historical places. She tells us about ancient traditions, sharing the ones that she chose to partake in. Her journey through this story speaks of loss and healing. It is a beautiful journey that readers will be so happy to have gone on.

  • Spirit Baby by Nina Neilson Little
  • Sub-Title: Travels Through China on the Long Road to Motherhood
  • Page Count: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Illumify Media Global
  • Pub Date: April 22, 2019

I received a copy of this book for free from a giveaway hosted by the author. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #spiritbaby #ninaneilsonlittle #memoir #travel

The Wanderlust Diaries by Maria Martinico

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved: I LOVED this book from start to finish! The author’s writing style was so captivating! Have you ever sat down with a friend and they told you the craziest story? That’s what this felt like. I sat down with a friend and they told me of their travels. I got to hear the ups and downs and her side commentary. We laughed and cried together. It was amazing!

How I Felt: I have this book categorized as romance, and it definitely is, however, it is so much more than that. There are a lot of sex scenes in this book to be clear, but there is so much character growth. It was a journey for the main character, Charlie, and I was so drawn in. Her travels take her all over the place and she has so many experiences along the way. She meets an elephant, she learns to surf, she lives in a hut on the beach…I loved every step of her journey. This is the kind of book that I will read again and again.

I got the window so I could see the Pacific. I read once the Pacific Ocean has 75,000 volcanoes. I hope I see at least one. The joker in the middle seat is gorgeous and I’m trying not to look. He passed out right away and I’m going to have to wake him up soon to pee. Should I shove my crotch or ass in his face? These are coach choices.

Damn, he’s cute. Long, legs all scrunched up in the tiny seat. Eyelashes curled into a perfect semi-circle, like the smile on an emoji. Honey skin, and I caught a flash of greenish eyes while he settled in. Pile of nappy curls, bleached at the tips, either from sun or surf…or a kit. I snort, realizing my opinion of him will change entirely depending on which one it is.

I also am realizing I might think he’s cute cause he kinda looks like me, like we could be cousins. OK, I really have to pee, but waking people up is so intimate. Good morning baby, how’d you sleep? Focus on the spray of blackheads on his big nose and the stream of drool.

Turns out his name is Gabriel. His t-shirt was crazy soft. And I went crotch first.

Excerpt from The Wanderlust Diaries, Part 1 The Jungle, Chapter 1 Bangkok

To Read or Not To Read: The journey that Charlie goes on in this book has me suggesting this for anyone, however, there are many M rated scenes, so if you are ok with the dirty details of Charlie’s sex life (which were written VERY well), you should absolutely read this book. It was fabulous and I cannot recommend it enough.

Where To Find This Book:

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

We meet Charlie as she hops on a plane for a planned year of travel. She’s heading to Bangkok as her first stop. She gets the chance to assist in the rescue of an elephant before heading to her next stop. She journeys from place to place telling us of her escapades along the way and then she meets Malakai. She finds herself in a blissful world where she hopes to never walk away from, but she has secrets. Her past catches up to her and her world is flipped upside down.


I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

All Amazon links on SheJustLovesBooks are affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales from the use of them. If you fall in love with a book because of my review and you want to buy, I would greatly appreciate the use of the link on my page.