Posted in Book Related Blog Posts

Best Books Of 2019

Hello everyone! This is Author Anthony Avina, and today I am here to share with you all the top reads of 2019 on my website. I’ve reviewed over 160 books this year, and as we close out not only 2019 but the decade, I thought it appropriate as we head into 2020 to look back on 2019 and see what were the top books of the year. So without further adieu, here are my top picks of 2019! 


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Best YA Romance: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio 

A beautiful story from emerging author Christine Riccio about the choices we make in life, and what we would do if we could go back and change things. A story of following your dreams, living the life you want and finding love, and how hard a person is willing to fight to hold onto that dream and that love. 


Best YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy: Nexus (The Androma Sage #2) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

This exciting concluding chapter to the Androma Saga duology was a whirlwind sci-fi adventure in the YA genre. Authors Lindsay Cummings and Sasha Alsberg did a wonderful job closing this story out, creating a universe under the forced rule of a pair of siblings that seek control, but as a young outlaw turned hero seeks to save her makeshift family and stop this threat, the siblings find they are more pawns than true rulers in this quest, and an even greater threat is set to emerge on the galaxy. A must read sci-fi adventure! 


Best Fantasy: The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K Lowy

A brilliant fantasy driven narrative from author Louis K Lowy, which showcases the downfall of a father and husband and the journey he takes to find the true meaning of life and a life well lived. Finding what matters most in life and holding onto it as the protagonist struggles to find their way back home again, this is a fantastic read for 2019. 


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Best Mystery/Crime: A Shattered Lens: A Detective Preach Everson Novel by Layton Green

If you are looking for a great murder/mystery series to sink your teeth into, then the Detective Preach Everson series is for you. Author Layton Green’s second novel is a masterpiece of the genre, expertly crafting a murder mystery that pushes the protagonist to their limit both professionally and personally. This book serves as both the perfect continuation of the series and a great book for newcomers to enjoy as well.


Best Comic Book/Graphic Novel: Spider-Geddon by Christos Gage

While there were many great comic books in 2019, and many that I still need to read, out of all the comics I read that were published this year, my all time favorite had to be Spider-Geddon. A great sequel to the epic Spider-Verse storyline, the return of the Inheritors and the imminent threat they pose to the Spider-heroes of the Marvel Multiverse make this a thrilling read. Spider-Man is an essential hero to the larger Marvel Universe, and the comic book industry as a whole, and so exploring not only his story but the story of several other spider heroes in the multiverse is always a thrill. Add the terrifying and powerful threat of the Inheritors to the mix, and this storyline makes for a wonderful read. 


Best Contemporary Romance/Fiction: If Only by Melanie Murphy 

One of my all time favorite reads of 2019, Melanie Murphy’s debut fiction novel was a brilliant novel. The characters were engaging, the fantasy element of seeing various lives if the protagonist had made different choices was a great addition to the plot and yet it didn’t overpower the overall theme and romance of the story whatsoever. Its a story many people our age can identify with and the author’s voice and tone in the novel is entertaining, engaging and refreshing to read, making this a must read of 2019. 


Best Dystopian Thriller: A Single Light (The Line Between #2) by Tosca Lee

A great ending to another brilliant duology, author Tosca Lee has created a wonderful dystopian thriller that showcases the continued struggle for survival in the face of a massive breakout. Months after surviving the events of book one, the protagonists must fight for survival in a crumbling society, and as secrets threaten to tear them apart, they must find that which makes life worth living in the face of great danger once more. A must read novel of 2019!


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Best Science Fiction: Hybrid by Rebecca Henry

My all time favorite sci-fi read of 2019, my good friend author Rebecca Henry has created a fantastic story that delves into the best aspects of the sci-fi genre. Secret government operations, powerful aliens who have influenced society, time and space travel and so much more. It’s a sci-fi fans dream read and I highly recommend reading my full review to get a sense of this amazing novel. 


Best YA Historical Fiction: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

If you are a fan of History’s Vikings or the legends of Norse Mythology mixed with historical settings then you will absolutely love Adrienne Young’s “The Girl The Sea Gave Back”. The novel is a sequel of sorts to “Sky in the Deep”, and expertly crafts a story of a young girl considered an outcast her entire life and burdened by knowledge of fate, and a young man striving to make a better life for his people years after the end of a decades long war. Its a great way of continuing the story of the original novel while focusing on new characters and a new period of time in this wonderful world the author has created. 


Best Mystery Crime Thriller: The Sixth Wicked Child (4MK Thriller #3) by J.D. Barker

The exciting final chapter in one of the best crime thrillers of the decade, author J.D. Barker’s “The Sixth Wicked Child” is the brilliant concluding story in the 4MK Trilogy. The shocking game of cat and mouse between the protagonist and 4MK is taken to new heights in this novel, as readers are forced to examine whether or not the series protagonist is the hero they’ve been led to believe, or will he turn out to be the villain all along? A twisted tale that pushes everyone to their limit, this was a phenomenal read and one of the top books of 2019 for me personally.


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Best Nonfiction: Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley by Carol Es

Last but certainly not least is author Carol Es’s book “Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley”. A heartbreaking and emotional journey, this non-fiction read was one of the best of 2019, and took readers through the author’s life as well as through the harrowing journey of being caught in the midst of a cult. It’s a gritty and realistic novel that will catch the reader off guard at times, but is well worth the read. Highly recommend! 

Posted in reviews

If Only By Melanie Murphy Review

If you had the power to see what life would have been like had you made a different choice in your life, would you use that power? That is the question for Erin as chaotic life gets turned upside down in author Melanie Murphy’s novel “If Only”. 

The Synopsis

Erin is about to turn thirty and her life is definitely not where she thought it would be. She hates her job, she’s jealous of her perfect flatmate – and she has just called off her wedding.

A trip home to Ireland to celebrate her birthday with her beloved grandmother is exactly what Erin needs, and she’s spent days preparing herself to break the news about her broken engagement. 

What she’s not prepared for is the gift she receives: a secret family heirloom that will change everything.

Could this be the answer Erin has been looking for – the key to the happy life she’s always dreamed of? Only time will tell…

The Review

Wow, what an incredible read. I had to get that out there right away. While author Melanie Murphy has received wide acclaim on my website for her first novel Fully Functioning Human (Almost), the author’s second novel and debut fiction book was a massive success in every way.

The author does a masterful job of creating a cast of characters readers can relate to. From protagonist Erin and her journey of self-discovery while dealing with the struggles of life, to her core group of friend she rallies behind when dealing with these struggles, all the while trying to manage their own lives and issues, each character brings an important element into Erin’s story and makes the reader truly care about these fictitious people. 

The author’s ability to create such descriptive atmospheres truly immerses the reader into the settings of this novel, from the bustling streets of London to the cosy warmth of the Irish countryside and small town villages, readers will instantly fall in love with this novel at every turn. For me personally as a reader, I instantly connected with Erin and her relationship with her grandmother. 

For some of you who know this already, this year hasn’t been easy as I lost my own grandmother in early January. She was one of my best friends and truest supporters, and not a day goes by where I don’t miss her. Reading this story and the close relationship Erin had with her grandmother made me instantly feel closer to my own, bringing a small bit of tears of joy to my eyes as the author’s characterization of the protagonist brought fresh memories into this reader’s mind. 

The Verdict

 This is a must read novel of the year. A top contender for contemporary romance of the year, Melanie Murphy has cemented herself as a not only entertaining author but a writer who creates characters readers will instantly connect with and be entertained by. What the author does best in this novel is use the more supernatural elements of the other lives that could have been lived sparsely, focusing more on the lessons learned from these trips and the life Erin is constructing for herself. It is a fantastic novel that everyone should check out, so be sure to grab your copy of “If Only” by Melanie Murphy today!

Rating: 10/10

After reading a book that deals so much with relationships and finding the right person for you, one starts to think about their own relationships and keeping it healthy and maintained. In that regard, sites like Regain have the resources to help those seeking counseling or advice. Click this link https://www.regain.us/advice/counseling/ to learn more.

About the Author

Melanie Murphy is an author and online content creator from a small village in Dublin.

Her YouTube videos have amassed more than sixty million views online, reaching people with warm personality and her life lessons as well as her views on divisive topics such as sexuality, women’s rights, health and relationships. Also some silly fun stuff, just ’cause.

In 2017, Melanie published her first non-fiction book, “Fully Functioning Human (Almost)” which sold thousands of copies, received many positive reviews and topped the Irish book charts. Her debut novel, ‘If Only’, was released in the summer of 2019. It spent weeks in the Irish fiction chart and was chosen as one of the Diet Coke Book Club summer reads!

She lives in her home country of Ireland with her pilot partner, Thomas, her modern family and her two glorious rescue kitties, Bilbo and Molly Weasley. Her BSc (hons) degree in education & training from DCU catches dust above the fireplace as she writes books and uploads random videos to the internet for a living.

https://www.melaniemurphy.ie/

https://www.melaniemurphy.ie/book/

Posted in reviews

Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World by Melanie Murphy: Review

Growing up in the digital age can be difficult. Dealing with issues that arise when growing up such as body image issues, discovering your sexuality
and more can be hampered with the added pressure of constant online scrutiny. In that vein, YouTuber turned author Melanie Murphy has written a
book that explores the important issues of modern life that she has experienced and hopes to pass her knowledge and experiences unto a growing
generation in her book, “Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World. The Irish YouTuber hopes to bring her honesty and
unique brand from her YouTube channel to a whole new audience who may be struggling in life and may get the advice or the comfort they need knowing
they are not alone in their dilemmas. Here is the official synopsis:

In her first book, Irish YouTuber Melanie Murphy shares a series of experiences from the struggle that is growing up in the digital age:
cyberbullying, dumping by text, gaining (and then losing) too much weight, having acne in a world of Instagram filters, and, most of all,
finding the strength to tackle poor mental health. From self-image struggles to important life lessons about family, friendship, love and
mindset, Fully Functioning Human (Almost) is a warm, illuminating memoir full of wit and wisdom that doubles up as a life guide for millennials.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, reviewing non-fiction works is something I’ve only recently begun doing this past year. Normally ensconced
in my office chair with a YA or horror novel, the honesty and real life experiences told in the non-fiction format is something I’ve quickly
come to enjoy and connect with, and I am happy to say no other memoir has had me as invested as Melanie Murphy’s book. The incredible wit and warmth
in which she delivers her own stories is an emotional shot to the heart, (which is a definite good thing). The stories not only allow you to connect
with the author herself, but allow you to find ways to relate to her stories and get a firmer understanding of how to best deal with these real
life situations. Whether you are a young adult struggling to come to terms with your sexuality and the perceptions of said sexuality by those around
you or your having trouble determining which friends are your lifeline and which friends are toxic, this memoir has something everyone can connect
with.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed, I cried and I smiled as I dove into the complicated world of living life while connected to
the online world. As someone who is passionate about equality in all areas of life and thinks discussions about mental health and sex and sexuality
is important to begin incorporating in our lives, this story spoke to me on so many levels. The lessons imparted in this memoir show the honest
struggle of not only our generation but of future generations to come, and I think the kindness the author showcases along with the wisdom that
comes with experience and struggle make this a must read memoir and honestly the best memoir I’ve read in 2017. If you haven’t yet, I highly
recommend you pick up a copy of Melanie Murphy’s “Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living in an Online/Offline World” today!

Rating: 10/10

You can find Melanie Murphy at the following sites:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MelaNiieVideos
Twitter: @melaniietweets
Instagram: melaniiemurphy
WEBSITE: http://www.melaniemurphy.ie

Posted in Book Promotion, youtube

Melanie Murphy’s “Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living In An Online, Offline World Book Announcement

Over the years, the worlds of YouTube and the book industry have merged with the release of several popular YouTuber’s books, from Shane
Dawson and Justine Ezarik to Miranda Sings and Tyler Oakley. Ranging from fiction to memoirs, these books have revitalized an interest in reading
amongst younger audiences. One YouTuber is looking to not only continue that tradition, but to bring to light topics worth discussing, from
sexuality to body image issues and more. That YouTuber is Melanie Murphy, an Irish creator with a big following online, and her book is
“Fully Functioning Human (Almost): Living In An Online, Offline World.

Here is a little bit about the book and the author herself, Melanie Murphy.

In her first book, Irish YouTuber Melanie Murphy shares a series of experiences from the struggle that is growing up in the digital age:
cyberbullying, dumping by text, gaining (and then losing) too much weight, having acne in a world of Instagram filters, and, most of all,
finding the strength to tackle poor mental health. From self-image struggles to important life lessons about family, friendship, love and
mindset, Fully Functioning Human (Almost) is a warm, illuminating memoir full of wit and wisdom that doubles up as a life guide for millennials.
You can pre-order your copy of the book now. This is one of my highly anticipated books of 2017, so be sure to order your copies today!

Pre-Order Here –> http://amzn.to/2qmPxE4