Posted in #Dark, memoir, Non Fiction, True Crime

Girl A: The truth about the Rochdale sex ring by the victim who stopped them By Girl A #Review #Dark #NonFiction

Hello book friends, I hope you are all having a great week!

I have started to watch more TV recently, and have been binging on Netflix shows, unfortunately that has moved me away from reading as much, but I have remedied this over the last couple of weeks and have got my Mojo back…I think.

Why did you pick it up Vicci? – **THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’ ** After watching this show, and feeling so angry, I wanted to find out about the girl, and if she was OK now and living a happy and healthy life, I didn’t manage to find this information, but I did find this book.

Be warned, this is not a fluffy feelgood book, this is gritty, graphic and heartbreaking. This would probably be a good book for people in the Social Worker profession to read about what not to do!

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My Thoughts

A heartbreaking read of true events, in May 2012 nine men were convicted of sex trafficking and other offences including rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

This is the story of one of those girls.

Only known as Girl A in the news, this is the harrowing story of a young girl that were groomed, raped and then ultimately sold for sex, all under the eyes of the police, social workers and her parents.

The men involved were all of Asian/Pakistani descent, and occurred within their own community, however this is not a book about race, this is something that happened and is still happening to young girls.

Girl A or Hannah for the purpose of the story was from a well off family who fell onto bad times, her father lost the business he had,and they had to downsize their house and move to a different area.

This is where she met Emma, who befriended her for ulterior motives.

After finding new friends “Hannah” used to go to the local kebab shop with Emma, there they were given free kebabs, chips and drinks, this soon led to Vodka and parties.

Only being 14, this was the best thing ever, her parents didn’t know, and the owners of the kebab shop gave her and her friends everything she wanted, they even picked her off and dropped her off, as the friend of the shop also had friends that ran a taxi company, all of this was done for free, they never asked for any money, or anything in return……until they did!

Hannah is then drawn into a spiral of harrowing and horrifying despair, and when she finds the courage to speak up, she is let down by the very authorities that are supposed to be there to protect her!

I can’t tell you how angry I was reading this book, these poor girls were failed time and time again by the authorities, and the one lady that knew what was going on and told the police time and time again was brushed aside, even Social Services who KNEW what was happening in that area, brushed it aside and said that it was a “lifestyle choice” by the girls!! 14 YEAR OLD GIRLS!!!!

This is not a lifestyle choice, this is RAPE!! These men were all 40-50 years old!

This book was heartbreaking, and I really hope that “Hannah” is now happy and living a normal and happy life, she is one brave lady to tell her story.

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About the book

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BBC DRAMA ‘THREE GIRLS’

What do they find attractive about me? An underage girl who just lies there, sobbing, looking up at them…as they come to me one by one.

This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A – the key witness in the trial of Britain’s most notorious child sex ring.

Girl A was just 14 when she was groomed by a group of nine Asian men. After being lured into their circle with free gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be ‘passed around’ by the gang. The girls were all under-16 and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.

When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now, the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Biography, memoir, Non Fiction

Brutally Honest Mel B’s tell-all memoir by Melanie Brown @OfficialMelB @audibleuk #Nonfiction #Memoir #AudiobookReview

How are we all?

I seem to have jumped into some sort of parallel universe as I’m starting to read quite a few Non Fiction books, which is not like me at all.

We all know who the Spice Girls are, even if you don’t like them, they were a force to be reckoned with in the 90’s, and they are back #Girlpower

Why did you pick it up Vicci? –  I saw Mel B on TV giving an interview about this book, and it resonated with me, I understood a lot of what she was talking about.

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My Thoughts

Mel B was always the very outspoken, ball-bashing one of the Spice Girls, if it needed saying, she was probably the one to say it, she gave no-shits about what people thought about her, and was very happy with this thank you very much!

Except this was really what she wanted people to see, she was actually a girl looking for love, mainly that of her father, he obviously loved her, but I think that she wanted to be shown how much she was loved, instead of being told that she wasn’t going to amount to anything, or that she was just a nuisance.

Melanie doesn’t hold back in this book, she is indeed Brutally Honest, she tells you about everything, from the drinking, to the drugs and more.

Her relationships with her friends, family and lovers are also included, including lots of old stories about how she got into the Spice Girls, and also about the man that she calls the love of her life, Eddie Murphy.

She also tells the story about her 10 year marriage to Stephen Belafonte (pronounced Steffan, cause he’s a dick like that!)

At the beginning the relationship was good, but it was quick, they were married really early on in the relationship, and he started to more than a healthy interest in her work/friends/money etc. So much so, in the end he had full control of everything!

After a short time the abuse started, but as she explains it wasn’t hitting straight away, it was verbal and emotional abuse, and it was done so subtly that she didn’t even realise what it was.

It’s hard to see when you are in it (although it becomes horribly, blindingly obvious when you are out of it) that the emotional upset you feel with your partner doesn’t just exist between the two of you or in your bedroom. It is an energy that fills a house.

She was Gaslighted, mentally and emotionally abused, which finally led to physical abuse.

When you are reading the book, you find that it does jump around a bit, from past to present, Melanie admits to having ADHD which is why I think it does this, it doesn’t seem to be in any sort of chronological order, it’s like she thinks of something and has to get it down before she forgets it, and I loved that about it.

For 10 years this woman was beaten down to feeling like nothing, and even at one point tried to kill herself, she was self medicating with drink and drugs to stop these feelings, and for the whole time she felt like, and was told it was her fault- THIS IS ABUSE

Melanie is an incredibly brave woman to open up her life to show everyone, and I applaud her for this, it shows that abuse does not discriminate, old, young, rich or poor, it can effect anyone.

Mel tells her story, warts and all, and explains how, to those people that say “Why didn’t you just leave?” that it isn’t that easy, some people don’t even realise that they are being abused.

There are 15 signs on the cover of the book, these are all RED FLAGS, it is incredibly important that people recognise these signs, and maybe, just maybe it will help, even just one person.

I think she is one HELL of a brave lady for doing this, and I hope that her and her family are super happy now 😘

🎧🎧 – Narration for the audio book was by Zaraah Abrahams who was fabulous, she sounds very much like Mel B when she speaks, so by the time it was halfway through, I had forgotten it was a different person narrating it.

15 Signs of Domestic Abuse:

1. Tells you that you can never do anything right.
2. Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away.
3. Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members.
4. Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs.
5. Controls every penny spent in the household.
6. Takes your money or refuses to give you money for necessary expenses.
7. Looks at you or acts in ways that scare you.
8. Controls who you see, where you go, or what you do.
9. Prevents you from making your own decisions.
10. Tells you that you are a bad parent or threatens to harm or take away your children.
11. Prevents you from working or attending school.
12. Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets.
13. Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons.
14. Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.
15. Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

If this is you, then don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it, you are not alone, it is NOT YOUR FAULT, he doesn’t have to hit you for it to be abuse #ThisIsNotLove #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou

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About the book

Brutally Honest
By: Melanie Brown, 
Narrated by: Melanie BrownZaraah Abrahams
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 27-11-18
Publisher: Audible Studios

The memoir from the real woman behind the leopard print, for real women everywhere.

As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, has been an international star since the age of 19. And yet there are sides of Mel that no one has ever seen or really known.

Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success. With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and Melanie’s trademark Yorkshire humour, this audiobook removes the mask of fame and reveals the mother, wife and daughter behind the Spice Girl everyone thinks they know.

The audiobook edition features narration from Melanie, her daughter, Phoenix, and her mother, Andrea.

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Posted in memoir

How To Be Alone by Lane Moore @hellolanemoore #bookreview

Happy Saturday book lovers!

Today I have a review for a bit of a different book for me,a memoir filled with wonderful insight and tremendous humor!💛

How To Be Alone by Lane Moore

My Thoughts

An authentic and raw memoir told with humor and honesty….

For anybody that has ever felt lonelier in a room full of people than they would if they were Buy themselves…. this is not a self-help book it is a memoir… Lane Moore has laid herself bare in these poignant essays about human connection… from a troubled child, to a tragic teenager, to a triumphant adult… Lane Moore has struggled throughout with making connections that some of us take for granted….

I thoroughly enjoyed Lane’s insights of not only herself but of others as well…. some of these essays were hard to read, but they were all totaled with integrity and a generous dose of humor…. really appreciated that humor was found in even the darkest of situations… some of these essays really resonated with me and I found myself sharing some of the insights with my friend on our weekly walk and my oldest son who is away at college….

This definitely is not my usual type of read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was well written, relatable, and tremendously insightful…. I love humor in my books and this book had a huge dose of that! I absolutely recommend this book I think it will resonate with most people, because most of us have had times in our lives where it was harder to connect then others….

*** many thanks to Atria for my copy ***

About the Book

The former Sex & Relationships Editor for Cosmopolitan and host of the wildly popular comedy show Tinder Live with Lane Moore presents her poignant, funny, and deeply moving first book.

Lane Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had.

From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift.

How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words. 

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  • Have a lovely Saturday! Berit☀️✨