Safe and Sound

A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair

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Pub Date Aug 22 2023 | Archive Date Oct 10 2023

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Don’t panic—Mercury Stardust, AKA The Trans Handy Ma’am is here to help!

For too many people, the simple act of contacting a plumber or repair person can feel like a game of chance. As a transwoman and a professional maintenance technician, Mercury Stardust has discovered (the hard way) that we live in a world with much to fear. If you've ever felt panicked about opening your home to strangers in order to fix a maintenance issue, this book is for you.

Renting a home can be a complex process—from finding a safe and affordable space, to hiring help for moving in and out, and of course, managing any repairs that come up during your stay. 

You deserve to feel empowered to take matters into your own hands—and it’s not as hard as you might think. In this book, Mercury will show you how to tackle the projects that need improvement in your home—from how to properly fix a clog in your bathroom sink and safely hang things on your walls to patching small and medium drywall holes.

Safe and Sound includes:
  • Guidance for over 50 simple home maintenance projects, such as replacing your showerhead and troubleshooting a faulty garbage disposal.
  • Chapters covering basic and handy repairs for your plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and safety needs. 
  • Advice tailored to renters to minimize permanent changes.
  • Helpful illustrations and QR code links to videos to help you on your journey.

Remember—a little bit of knowledge can go a long way toward making you feel more safe and in control of your own life.
#1 New York Times Bestseller

Don’t panic—Mercury Stardust, AKA The Trans Handy Ma’am is here to help!

For too many people, the simple act of contacting a plumber or repair person can feel like a game...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780744079074
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 55 members

Featured Reviews

Mercury Stardust is the greatest for putting this book out! I've followed her for a while on TikTok so when I saw she was putting out this book I knew I had to check it out. She gears this towards apartment renting but I own a home and I think it's great for homeowners too! Knowledge is such a great thing to have when you are living on your own.

Some of the things covered are what to look for in an apartment, what to do when you first get into your apartment, different repairs in all aspects of your home (sinks, toilets, etc), what kind of tools you'll need and what you don't need, things you'll need for safety and security, even for when you ultimately move out of your apartment.

I loved everything about this- including the artwork throughout! Thank you Mercury for putting this book out there! Thank you Netgalley and DK for the advance reader copy for my honest review!

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I adore Mercury. Get this book if you’re a renter or first time homeowner. It’s excellent, lots of great tips and supports. Ok, now we’re done with that part. Can we stop with being such dicks to trans people? Can that stop being trendy or popular or whatever? Because just stop. Mercury is a beam of light and joy in this world, she radiates helpful and caring. Can we just acknowledge how great she is? Get. This. Book.

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“Safe and Sound: A Renter’s Guide to Home Repair” is a thorough and easy to understand guide for anyone just starting out with their own place. It covers everything from the tools you should have in your toolbox to basic plumbing and electrical to how to cover those pesky nail holes you tapped into the wall to hang that favorite poster.

I had seen a number of Mercury Stardust’s videos online and was excited to see that she created a whole book on home repair. This guide is perfect. The pages are well designed and easy to read. Directions are easy to understand. Illustrations are simple, but clear. Perhaps the best part is the words of encouragement readers can access via QR codes spread throughout the book. As someone who is nervous about ANY kind of home repair, the reminder to breathe and the option to hear words of encouragement are amazing features.

This book would be great for any renter or new homeowner. “Safe and Sound” is a fantastic gift for young adults who are getting their first place, even if they are moving into a dorm room.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book provided by NetGalley and the publisher, DK. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This is THE guide for renters! Mercury does an incredible job explaining the financial and technical skills we need to have in order to rent safely and affordably. She has drawn out how-to guides for complex issues and she gives thorough explanations on how to diagnose and solve everything else.

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Thanks NetGalley for this book preview!

This book is gorgeous. The formatting is amazing and makes each page so easy to navigate - including materials, instructions, what not to do, and tons of drawn images to show what to do and what the thing you are working on looks like. I especially love the color images of the Handy Ma'am throughout showing confidence in the work she is doing. While I am FAR from a competent person when it comes to home repair, I feel like with a book like this I would want to try. Even Mercury's encouragement about not being great at something (like drywall repair) right away was fantastic.

I am absolutely going to be addressing a small mold issue according to Mercury's instructions this week. Feeling empowered!

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So glad that I got to read a copy of this before I go to a book signing to see Mercury Stardust! This was such a lovely little guide and a great resource for those of us who rent. Highly recommend.

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Thank you and NetGalley and DK Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am so glad this book exists. I've been familiar with Mercury Stardust, the Trans Handy Ma'am, on TikTok for quite a while and she is always a delight to watch so I was super excited to see she was coming out with a book with advice for renters.

There is so much packed into this book it's perfect for anyone starting their rental journey as well as people who just want to start learning more about home repair. Every piece of advice is delivered in an easily digestible way without feeling condescending as if this is something you should already know.

I'll definitely be purchasing a copy to reference any time I need to do some home maintenance. It also will make a perfect housewarming gift for anyone moving into their first home.

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Wow! I am really impressed by this book! I follow Mercury Stardust on Tiktok so naturally I requested her book. She goes into detail on everything you can think of. starting with renting your first place and all the things to consider and be prepared for. She talks about what to do when something goes wrong and the best and proper way to handle the situation; Even down to an emergency. Gosh I wish I had this book in my 20s when I first became a renter. This would have saved me endless headaches and stress. I requested this book through Netgalley not because I'm a renter but because I'm a homeowner and I see a lot of value in the advice she gives on repairs and renovations. Things that will help me in my everyday life such as building a home toolbox with what I'll actually need, how to unclog a drain, how to patch a hole in the wall, & so much more. I plan to order a copy of this book to keep on hand at home as a reference guide. I also know a few young adults renting their first apartments that I'll be gifting this book to. I'm so thankful to Mercury Stardust for writing this book and sharing her wisdom in a non-shaming and easy to understand way. I truly believe this book could help every person whether they are in a rental or are a home owner.

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Safe and Sound is one of the least intimidating DIY/home repair books I have read. Mercury Stardust does an excellent job balancing explanations and the overwhelming pressure of being a renter today. There are breaks in between chapters with mental check-ins and plenty of humor sprinkled in tutorials. Stardust teaches you not only how to make repairs but also informs you of your renter rights and even some guidance on how to find a place to live with empathy and compassion. I feel this book would make an excellent gift to anyone starting out on their own, experienced renters, and even new homeowners.

Thank you Mercury for helping me fix my toilet a few months ago and thank you for NetGally for giving me the opportunity to review this before the release date. This will certainly be a great tool for anyone renting.

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This was awesome! I wish I’d had this before my first apartment. This would definitely come in handy! This book is a brilliant collection of basically everything you’ll ever need to know about your renter basics and simple home repairs. A lot of this may seem intimidating, but reading over all the steps make it feel possible to do. I loved that it went over renter details like security, some of the laws that we should be aware of and a bunch more helpful resources. I absolutely would buy and recommend this book, especially to first time renters but even for home buyers. I would definitely recommend this!

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving a copy.

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This is absolutely perfect for renters and DIY'ers alike! I have been following Mercury for awhile on TikTok and enjoy her videos and they are SUPER informative! This is such a great book and the illustrations are great! I would def recommend to anyone who has someone coming out of college and needing a quick/easy repair guide!

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I loved this book so much. I loved the emotional resets at the end of each chapter, the compassion for renters that might not have known otherwise and gotten stuck in a difficult situation, and the straightforward way Mercury describes concepts. Mercury walks through each repair in a super easy to understand way and I am seriously so thankful that she wrote this book because as a renter, I have already been able to use some of the tips Mercury talks about in my home.

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I got a chance to view a copy early and it’s such a great book - for renters and homeowners alike! Especially love the tone and how accessible all the information is. Mercury does a wonderful job of helping readers feel empowered to tackle projects in their homes and offers compassionate advice and support along the way. The book is filled with QR codes to all sorts of great videos - pep talks, how-to demonstrations, and more, making you feel like Mercury is right there beside you cheering you on. The book covers so much - advice around apartment hunting, how to create a basic toolkit, lots of common issues and ways to repair them, info about personal safety, tenant rights, and includes so many other great resources. The book itself is also really well designed with colorful illustrations, fun text, and easy to follow steps. Great resource to have on hand and makes an awesome gift for a friend - highly recommend pre-ordering a copy for yourself today!

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This book is a great resource for renters. Mercury does a wonderful job at breaking down how to fix various issues around your home with simple instructions and very helpful illustrations. Additionally, she also provides some extremely helpful information on renting, such as what to look for, red flags, rental laws, and rental contracts. This was an extremely helpful book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the physical book because I know it will be a resource I use in the future.

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Safe and Sound is a brilliant and much needed book on home repair for renters, but it could be equally useful for homeowners who need a helping hand too. Mercury Stardust is a ray of sunshine and her book is such a wonderful gift to people looking for solutions to problems they could fix if they only knew how. Like she often says, “You’re worth the time it takes to learn a new skill.” And armed with this book, readers can.

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This is a lovely book and I am so glad to have had the chance to read it early. This book is so helpful and respectful. Mercury is a damn treasure!

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Mercury is a beacon of light in a world full of darkness, and her wit and gentle presence is something the world needs now more than ever. I leapt at the opportunity to read this book and while it’s pretty straight forward what you’d expect from a self help book, Mercury’s personality shines through and wraps you up in a warm hug the whole way through. Where other books of this nature feels like cash grabs, Mercury’s genuine care about your safe toy and knowledge is prevalent throughout. A must have for any renter or any Mercury fan

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I'm so in love with Mercury Stardust tiktoks that I was excited to see that she was getting a book. I loved the book and the concept,

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This is a great resource for renters, but even if you own a home it could be useful. Newbies in home repair can gain confidence to take care of things themselves. It has instructions, renting/moving advice, & even bits of mental health support sprinkled in. It has a nice layout. Mercury's wonderful personality shines through in her videos & it expands into this book. I need a physical copy in my life!

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Dropped everything to read this when I got the approval email from Netgalley.

What a lovely how to go guide for all things home/rental repair. I definitely want a physical copy to reference when I encounter some of these things that arise int house. I loved the way this was written with care and easy explanations and the diagrams are so helpful.


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Mercury Stardust is such a bright light and this book is reflective of that. It takes something as intimidating as home improvements and repairs and then breaks it all down in such a calming, easy to understand kind of way. I absolutely adore how she includes "Emotional Resets" at the end of each section. She easily identified the feelings you might be experiencing and shares some personal insights about her own struggles and what helped her through that. For instance, in a section that talks about washers and dryers and other luxury home appliance items, she talks about her being homeless for a time and the complexity that came with being a handyperson while seeing everyone else's "stuff" that they had in their life. And how easy it was to be tempted to compare what they possessed and what she didn't have at the time. She wanted the people who didn't have those items in their home to know that she sees them and understands. I found that absolutely touching and beautiful in a how-to home repair book.

I have a house but know absolutely nothing about home repairs or improvements. This book, along with the QR codes that she provides was everything that you'd be hoping for.

Oh and the artwork was fantastic.

Overall, I can't say one thing I'd change about this publication. Mercury and the whole team behind this release simply nailed it.

Thank you to NetGalley and DK publishing for allowing me to receive this E-ARC so that I may share my honest feedback and review.

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I was so excited to read this book because I'm a fan of Mercury Stardust's TikTok/Instagram videos. This book is about how to maintain and fix appliances in your living space. There is heavy emphasis on rental friendly repairs and Stardust tells you what activities you should leave to the professionals. At the end of each chapter, there is an emotional wrap-up. I really appreciated this because doing home repairs by yourself can be stressful and intimidating, but Stardust assures the readers that they are capable of doing it. Another aspect I liked is the emphasis on outside research. She repeats that you will become more knowledgeable about repairs by researching them online from a large variety of resources. There are beautiful graphics in this book as well as useful diagrams. This is not the type of book I would usually read, but it seemed very well written and beginner friendly.

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Mercury Stardust, also known as the Trans Handy Ma’am, is a wholesome content creator on TikTok who helps hundreds of people learn how to repair things at home on their own. She brings that same zeal to this book, featuring cute illustrations of her, and dozens of other graphics showing how to get something done from the plumbing, electrical, cabinets and more. Perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to do something on their own, like a new college kid, college grad, or someone purchasing their first home.

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