Thursday 21 March 2024

Book Review: "Four Eids and a Funeral" by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar

Kindle     Paperback
⭐ out of 5

If you've read any of my other recent book reviews, you'll know that I start them all off in the same way and that is by saying that every book I read and review starts off with the full heart-load of 5 stars and that I'm always hopeful that they'll all still be firmly stuck in place by the time I close the back cover.  You'll also know that I'm not shy about taking off stars, usually for copyright or trademark infringement but if there's a magic little sentence then that star stays firmly in place.  I also always give my reasons for taking off stars, they don't just disappear for no reason.

Let's get going shall we?

I love reading and learning about other cultures and I'm hoping I'll come out of the other side of this book a better person cos right now I have to admit that I don't know what an Eid is or even how to pronounce it!  I'm guessing that it's a date because of the cover and this is a children's book, but I'm hoping I'll find out for sure as I read this book.

I'm also a romantic at heart, but comedy is a toughie for me... most comedic books, especially rom-coms don't usually even start a smile... will this book be any different?  I really hope so!

Oh dear, a trademark infringement already... I'll give the authors the benefit of the doubt, but one more mention of a trademarked or copyrighted anything and the first star is coming off.

I don't know anything about Ms Barnes but I already care and understand after a single chapter.  Will this book have me in tears rather than laughter?

Oh dear, there's a swear at the start of the second chapter that really isn't appropriate for such a young audience so the first star is coming off already unfortunately.

And now there's a well-known singer so the wobbly star has officially fallen... that's two stars lost in 2 pages - will they be the only ones?

And another even worse swear on the next page that is really only suitable for older teens rather than the younger teens that this book is aimed at... this book started off amazingly well and I could honestly see me enjoying every word, but not any more.  Will I get to 25% without losing another star?

And another swear two paragraphs later... how on earth did this book get published?!

In the space of only three pages, this book has gone from "great going!" to  "I give up already" because there's another trademark mentioned.  It was a fantastic first chapter but I'm quickly losing hope of regaining that sense of being desperate to keep reading unfortunately.

Now children who are still at school are able to legally drive!  Maybe I'm out of touch with America, but over here in the UK that's illegal until you've got at least your provisional driving license!  That's another star gone now!  After only two chapters I'm already down to 2 stars so there's only one possible one left to lose before I stop reading waaay before the end of the book!

I've made it through 6% of the book so far this afternoon and I've already had to take 3 stars off... will I make it to 10% without taking off the last one?

Apparently there's 6 hours and 45 minutes left in the book so it seems like a good opportunity to finish for the night and get stuck in again tomorrow.  Thankfully that chapter was considerably better than the previous ones so maybe the authors were both having bad days when they wrote them?

Chapter 6 was OK to good-ish so hopefully I'm over the not-so-good bits now.  Gonna aim for another chapter before lunch and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll leave me feeling more positive than negative about the book.

Thaaat's more like it!  This book definitely has it's good points so the bad ones can almost be put to one side.  I've got 6 hours and 8 minutes left in the book apparently so I'm gonna aim for one more as I've read two in just under an hour so I'm hoping I'll've read another one in plenty of time.

Just finished reading the third chapter of the morning and I think I get where the comedy bit of this rom-com is supposed to be, but it's  a bit gentle for me and I haven't even started to smile yet.

Just finished Act 1... does that mean that I'm a third of the way through the book or something?  The authors are well into the characters lives now which makes for better reading I reckon.

And there goes the final star for copyright usage.  Only 36% of the way through and I'm giving up unfortunately.

Thursday 22 February 2024


...we're back.

It's taken the best part of a month but the S4CG site (minus the members area) is finally back online.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

You'd better hurry up and... whatever you want to keep from the members area 'cos it's definitely gonna go, hopefully starting today, but we shall have to wait and see.  Basically, get your skates on 'cos the members area is gonna be non-existent soon!

Tuesday 9 January 2024


...the manuscript and synopsis are finished, so it's time to celebrate with J2Os and chocolate for the rest of this evening now.

4 down, only 1 final chapter to go

I've just finished the penultimate chapter and been for yet another wee, so I'm gonna have my penultimate single chapter reward choccie and make a start on the last chapter of JanNo.

It'll be weird waking up and coming downstairs, knowing that I've finished writing the entire novel in only nine days!  Not sure what I'm gonna do with myself for the entire day lol

One of my deliveries has turned up, just before lunch, so I'm just waiting for my weekly groceries and the other delivery to turn up now, then I can finish off the three J2O's, the tub of chocolates and a mocktail, then seriously regret it for the rest of the day and evening lol

3 down, 2 to go

Just finished my third chapter of the morning and I've only got two more to go, so I've had my single chapter choccie reward and been for yet another wee (not been having a good time with my bladder recently), so I'm gonna make a start on the penultimate chapter now, while I keep my ear out for the door and my lunchtime carer, then my groceries and the two deliveries.

2 down, 3 to go...

I'm starting to pick up speed ready for the sprint down the finishing straight... the end is in sight now and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll finish it hopefully before my groceries arrive - I can do this!!

Time for my single chapter choccie, another hot drink and a wee now I reckon, then I can hopefully get another chapter under my belt before my lunchtime carer arrives.

1 down, only 4 to go now

I've rounded the final corner of the marathon and can see the finish line in sight.  I'm so close now!

Time for one of my last single chapter choccies and then I'll get on with the second chapter of the day... the J2O tops will definitely be popping soon but I'm not going to rush it and I've still got my lunchtime carer, groceries and 2 deliveries due, so will have to stop mid-sentence for each of those, but I can do this... I just hope that the last chapter doesn't make me cry lol


Monday 8 January 2024

5 down, 0 to go

I've just finished today's five chapters and I'm gonna stop there so that I can have my two rewards and leave the last 5 for tomorrow so that I can have my 5 chapter reward tomorrow too, as well as the celebratory things to celebrate finishing it in under 10 days without cancelling anything.

4 down, 1 to go

Just finished my penultimate chapter of the day, less than a minute before my carer arrived, so I've had my lunch and single chapter treat, so I'm gonna go and take my plate out, put the heater on and write my last chapter of the day.

3 down, 2 to go

I'm impressed with my speed this morning!  I've written two chapters in just over the time that it took me to write the first chapter of the day so that's pretty good.

My lunchtime carer could turn up any time soon, so I'm gonna have my single chapter choccie reward and make a start on the penultimate chapter of the day... the finish line is drawing closer and closer now and it's starting to feel real that I'll have written my second novel as a young Yule widow in under 2 weeks again.  I can do this motivating myself and living alone lark!

2 down, 3 to go

Not too bad for a morning's writing... 2 chapters written in about 4 hours, including the time I was with my carer and the ssllooww start to the first chapter.

I'm gonna have my single chapter choccie reward then get cracking on the third chapter of the morning.  If I keep cracking on like this I'll hopefully have made a start on the fourth chapter by lunchtime and the last chapter of the day finished by mid-afternoon then I can stop writing until tomorrow when I'll hopefully finish the entire manuscript and be able to indulge in the rest of the tub of chocolates, and the rest of the J2O's and be finished in under 10 days without putting any kind of halt on my life, like I have for the previous years.  I just hope I don't start crying when I put the final full stop of the story into the manuscript tomorrow otherwise I'll potentially have to answer the door to my groceries with a tear-stained face which would be soo embarrassing lol

1 down, 4 to go

Just got my first chapter of the day written and I'm gonna stop at 5 chapters today so that I can have my 5 chapter reward tomorrow too.

My morning carer could turn up at any time so I'm gonna go for a wee and make a start on the second chapter while I'm waiting for her.

Saturday 6 January 2024

5 down, 0 to go

I totally forgot about my weekly bath this morning, so I've only been able to write 5 chapters instead of the 7 or 8 that I'd hoped, but that's OK 'cos it leaves exactly 10 chapters left to write, so I'll have the day off tomorrow to refresh my muse (the bath gave me a second wind) then do 5 chapters on Monday and the final 5 on Tuesday, around my groceries being delivered, then I'll have the last can to officially finish JanNo for another year.

Gonna crack open my 5 chapter J2O reward and my last chapter choccie of the day, then veg out until bedtime I reckon.

4 down, 1 to go

I've just written my fourth chapter of the morning and my lunchtime carer could turn up at any point, so I'm gonna enjoy my fourth chapter choccie of the day while I wait for her.

I'll definitely be getting my 5 chapter reward today, but how many more than that will I achieve I wonder?

3 down, 2 to go

Just finished my third chapter of the morning, so hopefully 7 chapters should be pretty easy and I might even be able to sneak in another day with 8 chapters would be awesome!

Gonna have my chapter choccie and see what the time is doing after that before I decide on having another hot drink or not.

2 down, 3 to go

Just finished my second chapter of the morning and I'm shivering 'cos I'm so cold, but can't put the heater on until my lunchtime carer has been and gone otherwise I'll lose it all while the door is open.  I've earnt my second chapter choccie reward though, so I'm gonna devour that now and get cracking with chapter 3 I reckon.

1 down, 4 to go

I was awake and down here before 5am, so I've already cranked out my first chapter of the day and I haven't got any visitors (other than the carers) coming today, so I might be able to get another 8 chapters written today, with any luck... just four more to go before I get my 5 chapter reward though!

Time for my first chapter choccie of the day now, then make a start on the second one while I wait for my first carer to turn up.

Friday 5 January 2024

8 chapters... one day have just been achieved for the first time in JanNo24 with enough time to scoff my single chapter chocolate and check my emails for the first time in 24 hours, before I take my last two pills of the day and climb into bed.

I'm seriously impressed with myself now and I'm gonna enjoy ever last taste of that chocolate and go to bed with a smile on my face.

7 down, 15 to go now

I've cracked it with the 7th chapter of the day so I'm gonna have my single chapter choccie reward then get cracking straight on with chapter 8 so that I don't have to either rush it or have a late night tonight.  It wasn't an early start either so to hopefully get 8 chapters written as well as the two carers and the assessment has really impressed me today.

6 down, 16 to go

I might just about be able to sneak in 8 chapters before I hit the sack, but it all depends on how fast I type this next chapter.  I've written 6 today though and I'm well into the teens left to write now, so unless something goes seriously wrong that I need to sort out straight away, I'm right on track to finish on Tuesday now that my bathroom refitting has been put back by a week to it's original date so I don't have to worry about my bladder as well as my writing next week, thankfully.

I've got potentially my last cuppa on the go and my single chapter chocolate reward, so I'm gonna devour that and crack on with chapter 7 now I reckon.

5 down, 0 to go

I've just earnt my 5 chapter treat as well as the single chapter choccie so I'm happy with that.  Writing another two chapters in about 4 hours is pretty achievable but I wanna aim for at least 7, ideally 8 today.

I've drunk my 5 chapter reward already, so time for my single chapter choccie then crack on with my 6th chapter of the day.

4 down, 1 to go this afternoon

I'm rattling through the chapters at a good speed this morning 'cos I've just written my fourth chapter of the morning so I'm gonna go for a wee, have my chapter choccie reward then wait for my carer before I start on my fifth chapter.

Will I be able to write 8 chapters today instead of my usual 7??

3 down, 2 to go

Just finished my third chapter of the morning and my second carer could turn up at any time, so I'm gonna have my single chapter choccie reward but not another drink, even though I'm gasping.

Will I be able to write another 7 chapters before bedtime today?  I've managed it most days, so I'm cautiously hopeful that I'll manage it today too, but we shall see.

2 down, 3 to go

The assessors have just gone and I've finished my second chapter of the morning, so I'm gonna make my third (or is it fourth?) drink of the morning and then have my reward before cracking on with my third chapter of the day, hopefully before my lunchtime carer arrives.

First chapter of the day down, 4 to go

Just like normal, the first chapter took a couple of hours to write, but I've got it under my belt now, so I'm gonna go and make myself another hot drink and have my first chapter choccie reward of the day.

Thursday 4 January 2024

7 chapters down and...

...that's me finished for the day now.

I'm relieved that I can stop climbing now and just let gravity take over... assuming I can get 7 chapters done more often than not, I'll hopefully be finished on Tuesday, but I'm not gonna rush it or put pressure on myself to finish it by then, I'm gonna keep taking my time and enjoying the process.

27 chapters down, 23 to go.

Time for my chapter choccie then close down the writing programmes for another day I reckon.

6 down, 24 to go lol

I'm over the top of the hill now so it's just getting to the finish line in one piece.  It's gonna be weird 'cos I've got a house assessor coming out tomorrow afternoon for a "5 minute assessment that you don't need to be there for" but I will 'cos they will have to come through the house to get to it lol.  Sunday is my usual meal with my in-laws then Monday starts the bathroom "being totally ripped out" for "up to 2 weeks", so that'll be fun, in a not sort of way lol

I'm gonna have my chapter choccie reward and maybe try and sneak in a 7th chapter before bedtime.

Pretty proud of myself for everything I've accomplished today!

5 down, 0 to go so...

...I'm officially half way through the novel now and I'm gonna indulge in another treat-sized bar of chocolate for reaching the end of a chapter, a Glitterberry J2O for reaching 5 chapters in one day and a J2O Mocktail for hitting the half way point... basically a lot of liquid this afternoon lol

4 down, 1 to go

I'm definitely gonna have earned my 5 chapter reward pretty easily today 'cos I've just finished my 4th chapter of the day, so I've only got one more chapter to write in about 6 hours to get my reward and be able to say that I'm already half way through it!

It's been a weird few days, but I'm almost at the top of the hill now, then I'll be able to see the finish line and I'll be getting my second wind ready for the sprint finish to completion in less than 10 days!

3 down, 2 to go...

I've just sped through the third chapter of the day and my muse did all the typing again, I merely provided the body!

Time to have my chapter choccie before I start on the next one while I wait for the door to go with my lunchtime carer... I'm within touching distance of the half-way point of the entire novel now and after only 4 days!

2 down, 3 to go

What an intense chapter that was to write!  I've got slightly over the target word count for that chapter, but every one of those words typed themselves and it's what editing is for after all, right?

Time for my chapter choccie, another hot drink and writing my third chapter in 4½ hours (including the time with my first carer of the day) which ain't too bad.  I've still got about 2 hours before my lunch slot starts, so I'm hoping to bang out at least another chapter in that time... gotta have my chapterly reward first though lol

1 (and a bit) down, (not quite) 4 to go

The first chapter took a couple of hours to write and I forgot to have my chapter choccie, so I'm catching up on myself now with the reward and updating this blog.

Now that the first chapter is out of the way, I should be able to breeze through the rest of the chapters today... it's always the firsts that are hardest to write, both of the novel and of each day, but now that I've got it under my belt for today, hopefully the other four (or hopefully more) chapters should be a lot easier now that I'm in my writing headspace for today.

Wednesday 3 January 2024

7 down, just in time

I'm feeling really proud of myself right now 'cos I've managed to knock out 20 chapters in 3 days and I haven't had a single uninterrupted day throughout.

Tomorrow and Friday I've got a couple of deliveries arriving as well as my two carers every day, Saturday is free (other than the carers) then Sunday is very limited time-wise.  I've managed to knock out 20k already though, so I'm feeling pretty proud of my achievements and I'll be half way through by the time I go to bed tomorrow.

I'm gonna take my last two pills of the day, have my chapter choccie then head to bed methinks.

I'll be back again in the morning, hopefully earlier than I was today lol

6 down so far and I'm hoping... make it to 7 before I hit the hay.

T'was a veery slow start this morning and I've had times when I've had to stop writing for a while today, so to achieve 6 chapters is pretty good going I reckon.

I'm gonna have my chapter choccie reward as well as the belated 5 chapter reward then see what the time is like and if I've got time to put in a 7th chapter.

Proud of myself for getting so far ahead already.  It's looking likely that I'll hit the half way point tomorrow then I can breathe for a while on Sunday before it all starts again on Monday.

5 down, 0 to go so...

...everything from now will be a bonus.

I've had my chapter choccie but make myself a mug of coffee before I realised that I'd earnt my 5 chapter reward, so I've brought that in and I'll open it when I've slurped my way through the coffee.

I reckon another chapter is pretty easily doable before I hit the sack, but if I can get two done then I'd love that 'cos it'll be easier maths for me and I'll have reached the half way point before Friday which is even better... if I carry on like this, it'll be half way after only 4 days which is even better!

4 down, 1 to go

Just finished my fourth chapter of the day, had my chocolatey reward and made myself another mug of tea to keep me going.  It's looking likely that I'll've finished the 5th chapter, hopefully by round 4.30pm then I can have my big reward and anything else is a bonus.  I'll be over half way before the weekend which means I can relax and enjoy Sunday rather than worrying about how far behind I'm getting.

I can do this, despite all the interruptions I've had so far this week and I haven't put myself under any kind of deadline (other than within the time limit of JanNo) so I've been able to relax and enjoy it more than in previous years.

3 down, 2 to go

I've just finished writing chapter 16 so I'm gonna have my chapter reward before my lunchtime carer comes then the afternoon is all mine, now that the plumber has been, taken the measurements and gone to his supplier.

I'd love to get to chapter 20 before I hit the sack, but that's another 4 chapters so I doubt I'll manage it, but that's OK as long as I get at least two written this afternoon so that I can get my 5 chapter reward.

Two down, three to go

The second chapter of the day only took 1½ hours to write, thankfully, but the plumber is due any time now so I'm not sure how much I'll get written before I have my lunch, but as long as I get five chapters written so that I can have my J2O then that's fine by me today.  I've already written 3 days worth of chapters in total so anything else is a bonus today.

1 down, 4 to go so far today

That first chapter took 3 hours to write so I'm well behind schedule now, but it's down on paper/screen so I've only got another 4 to go before I've earnt my reward... will it only be 5 chapters today?  I hope not, but it's OK if it is.

Time to go for a wee then have my first single chapter reward of the day I reckon.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

I've managed...

...7 chapters today and I'm stiff as a board and in a lot of pain, so I'm gonna leave it there for today.

Tomorrow is gonna be weird 'cos of the home improvement measurement thing but I'm hoping to get at least 5 chapters done and dusted again.  13k in 2 days ain't too bad and I'm well into the writing headspace now, thankfully and I'm on track for finishing at the start of next week, probably Tuesday 'cos of not being home for a few hours on Sunday, but I'm feeling quietly confident that I can manage it despite so many interruptions.

I'll see you all again tomorrow.

6 down now and...

...I'm cautiously hopeful that I'll manage 7 or even 8 chapters before I hit the sack tonight.  

I've managed a smidgen over 12k in two days, so I'm pretty impressed with that and if I keep on at this rate, I'll have finished it by Tuesday morning.  I'm not getting too hopeful though 'cos there's some home improvements starting on Monday and I've got someone coming out to take measurements tomorrow morning, and my groceries could turn up at any time now, so I'm playing it by ear until either the home improvements are finished or I've finished the novel, whichever comes first.

If I can finish JanNo as well as getting everything else sorted, I'll be particularly proud of myself 'cos I won't have put my life totally on hold so that I can write and the pretty major improvements are gonna impact my writing too, but I'm doing it for enjoyment purposes rather than speed now and I've just gotta remember that.

That's...'s 5 chapters written so the other chapters are gonna be bonuses.

Time to go and grab my reward and then munch down on a treat-sized bar of chocolate.

Four down, one to go but...

...I'm gonna leave off starting to write it until after I've had my lunch (cue my carer turning up at 2pm now lol), then I'll hopefully get it finished and my reward drunk before my groceries arrive, then with any luck, another couple of chapters before bed time so that I can relax instead of worry on Sunday.

I've got someone coming out to measure up for my new bathroom tomorrow morning as well as both carers so it's all go this week, but as long as I can knock out at least 5 chapters every day except Sunday, I'll be finished on the 10th with any luck, then that's it until November.  Gotta find inspiration for NaNo24 and JanNo25 before then though lol

Another 3 down and 2 to go

I've had 3 treat-sized bars of chocolates as my chapter rewards so far and I've just gotta write another 2 chapters before I can have my 5 chapter reward of a J2O... will I make it to 7 chapters before bedtime tonight?  I'm trying to remain cautiously hopeful that I will, but if not, then that's OK too.

Monday 1 January 2024

What a start to JanNo!

T'was a very slow start to JanNo this morning... it took me 3 hours to write a single chapter but I've managed to knock out 6 chapters today so I'm well on track for finishing in plenty of time.

I've got my groceries due tomorrow, but as long as I can knock out at least 5 chapters a day, I'm happy with that.

I've got a 'site visit' at 9am on Wednesday too, so I'll be happy with another 5 chapters that day, then Thursday to Saturday are free so I'll hopefully be able to crack out 6 or even 7 chapters a day, Sunday I'm out of the house for a while but I'm hoping to get a chapter in before I leave and hopefully another 2 or 3 when I get home then Monday onwards is the bathroom refitting for 'up to 2 weeks' so I'll get as many chapters as I can under my belt while that's happening but if I don't make it to 5 a day then that's totally OK - I've got 30 days to crack out 44k which sounds like a lot, but now that I've got things started, it should hopefully be pretty smooth sailing until I get to the last couple of chapters which are my other sticky points.

I'm gonna do it... there's just more going on than usual this year but that's OK, I'm gonna aim to achieve it but not give myself a hard time if I don't manage it.

3 down, 2 to go before...

...I can have my first Glitterberry J2O of JanNo.  Like always, the first chapter was tough going to get started, but I'm into the swing of things again now, so knocking out 2,000 words this afternoon should be pretty doable I'd've thought.

I'm getting to know Saskia and especially Jayden who is me when I was his age so I'm just trying to see things through my teenage eyes and writing it under Jayden's name right now.