Friday, August 15, 2014

FFS ~ Untreed Reads

Founded in 2008, Untreed Reads is a digital-first publisher and ebook distributor with one of the largest distribution channels in the industry, supplying titles to over 200 retailers and 98 percent of libraries worldwide. With a catalog of works covering nearly every genre and the option for publishers to distribute their content through its network, Untreed Reads is a full-service location for authors and publishers.

*Books source ~ Many thanks to Untreed Reads for providing review copies in exchange for honest reviews.


Author ~ Penny Jackson
Published ~ 13 June 2012
Pages ~ 117

My Rating ~ 4 bites

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Harris lives with her Professor dad and hippie mom in a NYC apartment until the day her mom runs off to Spain with the super, George Vasquez. Rachel’s mediocre life is turned upside down and she decides she needs to belong to a different family. A perfect family. She chooses the Butlers, but is any family ever perfect?

Very well-written this tale told from Rachel’s POV kept me interested and turning the pages if only to see what train wreck was around the corner. Rachel’s mom is definitely a flake and her dad is an alcoholic, but at least he holds down a job as a Math Professor at a local private school for the rich and privileged. However, how he handles Elizabeth’s defection earns my disgust. He has a kid who needs him and he’s totally selfish. Life after Elizabeth is up and down for Rachel so she decides she’s going to become a Butler since her classmates, Olive and Edwin Butler, seem to be the model of family perfection. She tries, but never comes close to succeeding in her quest. By the end she and her dad have survived and appear to have learned a thing or two about how to be a family even if it is just the two of them. All-in-all an enjoyable read. 

Author ~ Lilian Simmonds
Published ~ 11 July 2012
Pages ~ 11

My Rating ~ 5 bites

Against the advice of her family and friends Marion decides it’s time for her to live a long-held dream. She wants to learn how to ski. So what if she’s 62? You only live once, right?

This is a wonderful heartwarming short story about how you should follow your dreams and in fulfilling those dreams you just might find something you weren’t even looking for. I loved Marion though I did want to give her a little shake when it looked like she was just going to give up. This story reminds me of something my mom said to me once about a friend who wanted to go to nursing school, but she would be 56 by the time she finished. My mom said, “Well, how old will you be if you don’t go to school?” Ok, I don’t quite remember her exact age or chosen career, but you get the point I’m making, right? Don’t let age stop you from doing new things or following a dream. Marion was physically fit and able to ski (no brittle bones or anything that would be harmful to her health), so she had no reason not to give it her best shot. Fly, Marion, fly! *sigh* I miss skiing. All-in-all an awesome read.

Author ~ G.L. Zieman PhD
Published ~ 28 June 2012
Pages ~ 193

My Rating ~ 5 bites

Dr. Zieman has enjoyed an interesting and diversified career in psychology. Instead of the typical upscale office and couch setting he’s traveled far and wide, usually with nary a couch in sight.

I’m not usually a fan of non-fiction. It has to be something special to 1. catch my interest, 2. keep my interest and 3. make me actually finish it without skipping any parts. This book does all three. Dr. Z. writes an informative book about a field that mystifies the majority of us. Ok, maybe it’s just me. Despite a few classes way back in college (which I enjoyed, btw), it still mystifies me. The writing flows along, is easy to plow through and is not full of technical intraspecies jargon. In other words, I didn’t have to sit there scratching my head wondering what the hell he’s talking about. Easy to understand ~ check.

The chapters are well laid out and the anecdotes are as interesting as the writing is entertaining. I had heard about many of the problems in this book, but there were a few that took me by surprise. The treatment plans Dr. Z would implement were new to me also. The classes I had in college were basically intros, so there wasn’t much on how to treat the issues he mentions in the book. I loved how he had to think on-the-fly and how he listened and cared about the people he was helping. They weren’t just another file in his filing cabinet. Well, he didn’t really have a filing cabinet a lot of the time, but you’re picking up what I’m putting down, right? Interesting ~ check.

I mentioned Dr. Z.’s writing flows well and is easy to understand. The stories he tells are very diversified and he makes me care about the people in them. He has really done quite a bit in his field, most of it in a way that many would consider unorthodox and yet it worked. Sometimes I think the saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ needs to be erased from standard vocabulary. Just because something has been done one way for so long doesn’t mean another way won’t work better. Variety, after all, is the spice of life, is it not? All-in-all an excellent read.


  1. I love the message of Heaven on Earth! My mom is two years out of a 35 year marriage and it's been so hard to show her that life isn't over, she still has time to pursue the dreams she put on hold. She's finally getting that message - but it's a hard one to get sometimes. I may point her in the direction of this book :)

    1. Please get her to read it. It's short, sweet and heartwarming! Highly recommend it!