Book Review: Molding my Destiny

Note: I got a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which reads as follows:

Details:

Title: Molding my Destiny

Author: Patrice M. Foster

Publisher: Smashwords Edition

Release Date: December 18th, 2016

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir

Pages: 189 (eBook)

Synopsis:

(As read on Goodreads):

Molding My Destiny is Patrice M Foster’s story of overcoming depression. Her Journey from rock bottom and back determine to beat the odds. She forge ahead not only surviving to thriving through forgiveness, acceptance and determination healing begin. Her memoir details her battle through poverty, neglect, and abuse. You can plunge to the depths, forever swallowed by the darkness of depression. Or, you can climb out inch by agonizing inch and survive…and even thrive.

My First Thoughts:

I don’t read a lot of memoirs, or nonfiction in general unless the topic really intrigues me. However, I’ve been trying really hard to expand the shelves on this site so that I can attract all sorts of people to my blog and let them leave with something different to read. So when the author approached me with this book I wanted to read it and I wanted to help her get her story out there.

Overall Thoughts/Opinion:

WARNING! This story is not for the faint of heart. It mentions things such as rape, parent/family abandonment, depression, anorexia, prostitution, racism, homelessness, wrongful imprisonment, etc. If any of these topics bother you, read at your own risk!

Some of you may be wondering why I stated the warning above, it’s because this book is very real. There’s no sugar coating things. There’s no glitter to make bad situations less horrific to read. Yes, things aren’t overly explicit, but there are enough details there to make the mood very real for the reader. And because of that, this book was very hard for me to read at times.

For the most part, this book was an interesting read and very insightful into Ms. Patrice’s life. I can’t really say that I enjoyed reading the book. I don’t mean that in a negative way, this book had a lot of advice and powerful messages for young women, minorities, etc. But it’s like I can’t say that I enjoy reading books about the Holocaust, mass shootings, or the history of slavery. This book, like those things, was very depressing to read and it made me really want to reach out to the author and scream at the world for being unfair. There are happy moments in this book, but they are greatly overshadowed by the misery and darkness that has followed Ms. Patrice throughout her life.

My main complaints about this book are the timeline and the pacing. For the most part the author went in chronological order. However, there were times in which she would go off a tangent that would take the readers away into the future from where the story actually was. Sometimes this was fine when a person doesn’t get mentioned again after that point, it gives the reader closure for them. But most of the time it would be about future events that could have been placed later into the book just fine. By occasionally going back and forth between distant past and not so distant past, it can make it hard for the reader to follow and keep up with where they are in the timeline. One thing that might help this book is a more structured timeline, for instance heading off a new passage as May of 1998  if what happens in that section occurs in May of 98’. That way, readers aren’t so confused on where they are in the timeline and the author can go off on tangents without fear of losing them.

My other complaint was the pacing. Most of the pacing issues I had were because of the back and forth of the timeline. But there were times when the author would spend a great deal of time in one area of the story, and then briefly glance over a part of equal or more value. I understand that this may be due to limitations in memory, but it messed with the flow of the story some. Also, I felt like this story ended like a chapter before it did because Ms. Patrice made this wonderful speech about how she overcame her adversities, how she changed as a person and why, and just gave a lot of insightful comments about life for the reader to take away and then there was the last chapter. I felt that after reading that speech, the last chapter kind of fell short of its intended mark, and the real ending to her memoir was less powerful than the speech before.

Overall, though this book is an interesting read and I’m glad to have read it!

Final Thoughts:

This book is not for the faint of heart, I cannot stress this enough! Molding my Destiny contains a rape scene, neglect, parent/family abandonment, abuse, poverty, depression, and anorexia. If any of the listed themes disturbs you or makes you uncomfortable, please read at your own risk. Molding my Destiny is a real dark, but true story about the author’s life from her childhood in Jamaica through her years growing up in America until now. While there are many light and positive moments described in the book, the overall mood is depressing and can be a downer. So if you’re impacted greatly by what you read or aren’t looking for something depressing to read, this book might not be for you. If you loved collecting quotes or inspirational pieces you’ll find them here!

Rating:

3/5

The only problem I had with this book was issues in structure, which is completely understandable for a first time author. If the author does decide to edit this book, the issues can be easily fixed. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good read full of life lessons and inspirational quotes.

Related Reviews/Books:

Book Review: The Memoirs of ‘I’

I was given a free copy of The Memoirs of ‘I’ by the author in exchange for an honest review, which reads as follows:

Details:

Title: The Memoirs of ‘I’

Author: Yolanda De Iuliis

Publisher: Lumphanan Press

Release Date: April 29th 2016

Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Pages: 385

(Side note: I normally place a picture of the book in the review, but the author requested a picture of me and the book, which I have yet to take. I will add the photo when I can!)

Synopsis:

To make one think is to change a generation, to build one thought is to grow a better world.

In The Memoirs of ‘I’, De Iuliis covers the years 2014 to 2015, providing a daily encounter with her writings, visions, dreams and thoughts, allowing you to see the world from a different perspective. Philosophical and soulful, these memoirs offer an account of a character struggling to self reflect on a daily basis, presenting a wonderful insight into the mind of a thinker.

This is a book that should be read by anyone who wishes to see through another’s eyes, or by those who want to look anew at the simple and extreme thoughts lying behind our existence.

My First Thoughts:

I don’t normally read nonfiction books; they’re rarely about subjects that I’m truly interested in. So I’ve never read a memoir before, I’ve read biographies written like stories, but never a memoir. I decided to take a leap, the author was rather nice in her review request and I’m always looking for new things to try.

Overall Thoughts/Opinion:

I’m rather pleased that I decided to step outside the norm for me and read my first memoir! It was quite the experience and I believe that I have gained more from this book than the author will gain from this review. Words utterly fail me in describing how wonderful and unique The Memoirs of ‘I’ was, but I owe it to the author to give it my best.

I absolutely loved this book and the experience that it gave me. It is not often that a book makes me stop and think, but The Memoirs of ‘I’ gave me pause almost every time I picked it up to read. Yolanda asks her readers many questions, some of which I have thought of myself and could answer right away, most though, threw me off and made me take a step back to think. I love it when books do this; I love it when an author challenges their readers to reconsider their way of thinking. Some of the questions were so simple that I felt stupid for not thinking of them first, others were rather frightening because their answers could change your entire perspective, and change is always scary for creatures like us. And not only does she ask you questions, but she allows room for you to write down your thoughts. Yolanda dedicates a few blank pages for all of your thoughts, and honestly, if you write small enough you can write your thoughts between entries or along the sides. I have never before encountered a book that gave room for reader’s notes, and that really stood out to me while I was reading.

Reading this book was an eye opening experience. It was interesting to follow another person as they live their lives, to see the thoughts running around their head, and the trials they can go through in a single year. It was the closest I could do to ‘live in someone else’s shoes’ and it was eye opening. And what really spoke to me was the advice that Yolanda gives her readers as she goes through her hardships. She never really explained what her trails were, just gave enough information for the reader to understand and connect, but she gave some of the best advice that I’ve ever heard. Her advice especially regarding relationships, whether romantic or friendships, really hit me hard, they were words I needed to hear. I loved her words of advice so much that I marked all of them with little post-it notes!

“We tend to fight with love and against love and we make excuses for this, and we also make convincing argument for and against love, yet instead of convincing yourself to be with someone you should remember that love should not have to be persuaded, it simply is what it is.”

As a poet myself, I enjoyed the occasional poem that she would throw into the entries. They were never truly specific, but they were powerful and beautifully written. Some of the poems resonated with me and others made me cry. For sure I’m looking forward to her book of poetry; I’ll snap it up the next chance I get.

Final Thoughts:

“It may seem scary to try something new, to jump into the sea, jump out of a plane, to fall in love, to trust something you do not know that you can really trust, to do whatever makes you panic, but you must overcome this and if you suffer you suffer. You must take risks in life because if you do not then you will always feel disappointment within yourself. You may just miss out on the most beautiful things.”

I would recommend this book to any reader, especially any individual feeling glum about their lives and need a pick-me-up. Through The Memoirs of ‘I’ Yolanda shows that anyone can hit a rough patch in their life and come back stronger for it. It is a book that challenges the reader to think outside their box, to consider things that has never occurred to them. And it gives a person an opportunity to learn and grow through the experiences of another, an opportunity to ‘live in someone else’s shoes’. I recommend that everyone should read this and share what they got from the book, because I’ll make a bet that it will be different, in some ways, to anyone else. I know that what I gained from this book is more than I’ve ever gained from reading, and will be different than what a friend would gain from it.

Rating(s):

5/5

Just stop and think! That’s what this book is begging its readers to do and I love it! I haven’t found many books that question or challenge a reader as much as The Memoirs of ‘I’ does. The questions are both broad and very specific. Some are frightening to think about because they may cause your perspective to change, even drastically. Others seem so simple that it surprised me that many people aren’t asking the same thing. The experience of reading about someone else’s life for a year is worth more than the price of the book, and all the poetry, questions, and sound advice makes this book even more priceless! Now, I will probably never read this book cover to cover again, but I will keep it close to me for whenever I need to read the passages that I’ve marked. I’ll keep it close and reread all the advice and poetry, and the parts of the book that spoke the loudest to me.

Related Reviews/Books:

COMING SOON!!!