Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | Book Review

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“It was like being able to fight, she realized. And being able to change accents. They were powers that lived in your body. They would never leave you, no matter how you looked, no matter who loved or didn’t love you.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Last month I didn’t read that much really, because I was away visiting my family, and it was really fun, but I missed my reading routine so bad. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to read in August at all. Anyway, I finished Genuine Fraud last week, and it was surprisingly so gripping. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

Genuine Fraud follows the story of an eighteen year old girl named Jule, who’s on the run. In the beginning, Jule is living lavishly in a hotel in Mexico, but then she ends up leaving, because she’s afraid of being caught. Later on, we follow Jule as she tries to cover up her tracks after committing murder.

This book made me feel so shocked throughout the whole time I was reading it. I’m not a big fan of thrillers, but this one makes want to read more. It’s so different from We Were Liars, because the writing style is straightforward and not poetic at all. But, you have to connect the dots and really pay attention to the little details. Not going to lie, it’s very confusing most of the time, because the story is told backwards, but it literally keeps you on the edge of your seat, and I really liked that.

Jule is a strange mix of personalities. She’s tough, athletic, smart, and manipulative person. The way she projects herself in different situations is fascinating. She’s the type of a protagonist who gets away with everything in a very skillful way, because she’s always a step ahead. I don’t know how I feel about her to be honest. The female friendships in this book are very messed up, toxic, and filled with jealousy. And the characters were using each other for their own advantage, which was so awful. Sometimes, I felt so sorry for Jule, because she had messed up situations and difficult past, which kind of led her to be this imposter person who won’t let anyone stop in her way.

To wrap up my review, Genuine Fraud is a very complex story about self identity, wealth, and unhealthy female friendships. And I think it’s such a perfect summer read. Highly recommended.

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Replica by Lauren Oliver | Book Review

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“A strange and baffling truth: that the people we’re supposed to know best can turn out to be strangers, and that near strangers can feel so much like home.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Today I feel so energized, so I thought of writing a book review. Well, I have mixed thoughts about this book, because there were some parts that I didn’t like, and some parts that I loved and were really mind blowing. So, without further ado, let’s review this book!

Gemma is an average teenager who’s been sick her entire life for mysterious reasons. Her father is rich, and he owns a huge pharmaceutical company and he travels all the time. One day, Gemma finds some articles online about her father’s company helping Haven’s illegal researches on real people by taking them against their will. Later on, Gemma runs away from home and plans on going to Haven with the help of her friend, in order to investigate the truth of her father’s connection with the awful cloning experiments.

Lyra is a clone who’s made in Haven Institute. She’s been living her entire life there, and  never been out in the real world. She’s been under several painful medical experiments and treatments by the scientists at Haven to see how much longer she can live. So, her knowledge is very limited and she can’t even form accurate sentences. One day, Lyra and another guy escape from Haven and decide to live in the real world. However, they’ll meet Gemma and her friend outside Haven, and the four of them will face so many challenges and difficult situations trying to unravel Haven’s secrets.

The concept of the book is so creative and creepy. And it reminds me of Orphan Black. Because of the whole cloning researches and experiments. You have 2 books in 1. The first side is told from Gemma’s point of view, and the other one is Lyra’s. And you can start with any side you want, or switch back and forth between both sides. I started with Gemma’s side, and her chapters were so easy to fly through. But, when I started reading Lyra’s chapters, it was difficult to connect with her, because she couldn’t tell what’s right or wrong, or what’s even real. I felt so sorry for her to be honest, because she was trying so hard to understand everything, and my favorite thing about her is that she was so determined to learn how to read. The writing style was so gripping and I couldn’t put it down. I loved how the author provided explanations about the Haven institute, and the facts and infos were so scary but so good, it was like watching a Tv show.

Here’s the truth, I was going to give this book  5 stars, but ended up giving it 3 stars, because of the fat and thin body shaming, which really bothered me a lot. Gemma is an overweight teenager, and she struggles with her weight. And she kept looking down on thinner girls, and feeling so sorry for herself, because being fat meant she didn’t deserve anything good in life, which is so wrong.  And the way thin and fat girls were described was so honestly so offensive. I don’t see the point of that, because it doesn’t help anyone. If the author focused on Gemma’s eating disorder and how she was dealing with it, instead of making fun of different body types that would be so much better. To wrap up my review, Replica is such a page turner, and it’s so engaging. But, the body shaming was a big no for me, and I think it ruined some parts of the book. So, if you’re going to read this book, please be aware that it deals with mental illness in a super negative way.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty | Book Review

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“That’s the problem with history, we like to think it’s a book—that we can turn the page and move on. But history isn’t the paper it’s printed on. It’s memory, and memory is time, emotions, and song. History is the things that stay with you.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I was planning on posting this review three days ago, but I was feeling sick. Thankfully, I feel lots better today, which is good, because I’m planning to read a lot today. I read The Sellout in June, and I feel like it’s one of those books that you have to reread and take your time with, to let everything sink in, because it’s an intelligent and important book. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

The book follows the story of an unnamed African American man in post racial America, after his father is killed by the LAPD. The protagonist lives in Dickens, and now his home town is in danger, because it’s going to be wiped off the map. So, he decides to reintroduce segregation, and slavery in order to reclaim his neighborhood. However, his decision to save his home town makes him guilty with two crimes, resegregation, and owning a slave. Later on, he ends up in the supreme court.

Let me just say that this book is so out of my comfort zone, but I’m glad I read it. I’m not into satire fiction at all to be honest, so that’s why it was a challenging read for me. The book started off strongly and I really got into it, but after 100 pages, things didn’t pick up as interestingly as the beginning, and when I finished it I felt mentally exhausted, because it’s such a thought provoking book. It wasn’t even that long, it was only 300 pages, but for me it felt like 500 pages, because it dealt with serious issues and heavy subjects. Also, I wasn’t familiar with all the cultural references in the book, but there were some lines that made me laugh and others that I read more than once because they were so sadly true.

To wrap up my review, The Sellout is the most uncomfortable book I’ve ever read. But, it’s really an eye opening read about racism in America. It’s unapologetic, brutally honest, and a clever book that has a sharp and witty plot. To be Honest, I don’t know if I would recommend it, because It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but reading this book was such a good experience for me.

A Million Junes by Emily Henry | Book Review

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“We both know that pain comes for us all. It’s almost a relief. Because if all of us are going to someday lose the people we love most, or be lost by them, then what is there to do but live?”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing amazing. I honestly feel weird, because my reading progress this year has been slow, but I’ve really enjoyed like 90% of the books I read, so I guess that’s what matters. I also read some different genres that I wouldn’t normally choose, and I personally think doing that every once in a while is necessary, just to keep my reading life a little bit interesting. Anyway, I read A Million Junes in May, and let’s just say that it’s one of my favorite books this year. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This story takes place in a small town in Michigan, and it follows June O’Donnell’s life. Her father died a long time ago, but she still finds it hard not to miss him every single day, because she had a good and strong relationship with him. One day, June goes to a party with her friend and she meets Saul Angert, a boy that she’s not supposed to fall in love with, because the O’Donnells and the Angerts believe they are cursed and they always should stay away from each other, otherwise, bad things will happen. As June and Saul’s connection grows, it’s going to be hard to break the rules. However, they both will make it their mission to unravel the truth behind the curse.

Emily Henry is officially my favorite author, because her writing style is honestly everything. So unique, metaphorical, and it completely swept me away into another world full of possibilities, love, and magic. The synopsis doesn’t tell you the full story, and it’s so much more than the conflict between the two families. The story has so many layers and each layer unfolds in a beautifully strange way. There are ghosts and lights that show June important memories from her past. I love magical realism books and this one blew away all of my expectations.

The characters are written so well, especially June. She’s a strong minded and rebellious character and I really like that about her. And her friendship with Hannah is my favorite thing in this book. Like seriously, I need a friend like Hannah in my life. She’s so supportive of June and always there for her no matter what. She’s the kind of a friend that gets you. To be honest, I didn’t expect to like Saul, because I thought he was mean and full of himself, but he was the exact opposite. He was so nice, and his sense of humor is so good. And I like how June and Saul connected with each other. They’re both dealing with family issues, and going through a hard time grieving over someone they lost, which made them closer than ever.

To wrap up my review, this book has so many touching and beautiful quotes about the meaning of life, grief, and love. And the magical realism in this book is so fascinating and atmospheric. It felt so real, and it literally pulled me into the magical world that only June and Saul had the ability to go to. I highly recommend this book.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt | Book Review

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“And as much as I’d like to believe there’s a truth beyond illusion, I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’ve spent today’s afternoon cleaning my room, because it really was a total mess and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Anyway, I’m glad that I finally read The Goldfinch this year, because everyone keeps praising this book, and I wanted to know if it’s worth hype or not, and it was definitely worth it. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of a thirteen year old boy named Theo, who lives in New York with his mother. She’s passionate about art, especially about a painting called The Goldfinch. His father is an alcoholic, and he left them a long time ago. One day, Theo goes to a museum along with his mother to see that painting, but unfortunately, something terrible happens, which makes his mother passes away. Before Theo gets out of the museum while everyone is terrified and everything is shattered, he takes away The Goldfinch painting with him and hides it. However, this painting will affect Theo’s life tremendously in a way he has never expected.

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read this book! I’ve heard mixed opinions about it, but I finally decided to give it a shot and it definitely exceeded my expectations. The writing style is so detailed and very slow paced, but in a way that makes you feel attached to the main character from the first pages. The story is told through Theo’s perspective at the beginning when he’s thirteen years old until his late twenties. So, when I started reading the first couple of pages I felt like I was inside Theo’s head because of the way he describes his life and analyzes every situation. He has a very interesting and curious perspective on the world, and I think that’s what makes this book so absorbing. And my favorite thing is that Theo sounds exactly like his age, unlike some books which sometimes the main character in them sound more mature than their age.

SPOILER ALAERT! Don’t read the rest of my book review if you haven’t read the book!

When Theo’s mother dies, he goes through painful times trying to accept what happened, and it’s so heartbreaking because he’s all alone. And throughout the book he goes through some phases of heartache and disappointment. Firstly, he lives with his friend’s family, and he feels like he always has to win their hearts and not ever show them how torn and sad he is on the inside. It’s like he’s pretending that everything is ok, but it’s really not, it’s so much worse. Secondly,  he leaves them and moves to Las Vegas to live with his father and his girlfriend. He feels so angry and sorry for what his mom went through with his alcoholic father, because he never treated her well at all, and seeing his father treats his girlfriend so good reminds him of so many moments that his mom felt so broken and betrayed by her husband. In Las Vegas he becomes friends with a boy named Boris, and they form a bond over sharing their sorrow and pain with each other through drinking alcohol and using drugs, which I felt it was too much sometimes to the point where they would end up dead, but gladly they didn’t. The whole point of using too many drugs is to numb and neglect their pain all day, and it was really so freaking sad that I felt so sorry for them. Thirdly, Theo leaves Las Vegas and returns to New York, and start working with Hobbie as an art dealer, and we see how he struggles with his emotions being back where he and his mother used to live. Fourthly, he makes major wrong choices with his life, so he decides to leave everything behind him to reconnect with himself and reflects on his life and do better. I really liked this part, because he finally started to take care of himself.

As much as I fell in love with this book and Theo’s world, there’s something that I didn’t like, which is how all the female characters have no depth at all, I just didn’t like any of them except Theo’s mother. Unlike the male characters! They were written in a way that makes you feel like you know them personally, and you can decide whether you love or hate them, but I couldn’t tell how I felt about the female characters, and it was so weird. Other than that, the book is excellent. To wrap up my review, The Goldfinch is a heartfelt and powerful story about loss, love, pain, and how can art affect our lives tremendously.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman | Book Review

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“You don’t think ahead in years or months: you think about this hour, and maybe the next. Anything else is speculation.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. It’s been a week since I finished The Light Between Oceans, but I didn’t have the time to post a review. I feel bad, but what can you do? Being an adult is not easy. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of a man named Tom who fought in world war one. After the war, Tom is so overwhelmed with everything he saw there and the death of his friends, so he decides to live in a quiet place in order to gather his thoughts and find peace within himself. Before he moves to a small island called Janus Rock and becomes a light keeper, he meets Isabel and marries her, and she agrees to live with him on the island. Unfortunately, things with Isabel hasn’t turned out so well. She had three miscarriages and she’s been feeling devastated and broken lately. Days later, a boat shows up on the shore carrying a baby girl with her dead father. However, Tom and Isabel have to decide what to do with the baby, and agree on a final decision.

I started reading this book with high expectations, because I heard good things about it. There’s also a movie adaptation, and someone recommended it to me, so I decided to read the book first. But, I didn’t really enjoy it that much, especially the first half of the book. It didn’t really pull me in or made feel something toward the characters, even though the premise seemed interesting and a little bit different than what I always read. Some chapters were good, and others were boring and made me fall asleep. I was going to give up on this book, but decided to continue on reading, and thank God after 200 pages things started to get better and more engaging. And I kind of sympathized with the characters and the choices they made. I think I like Tom’s personality more than isabel’s, because he’s so reasonable and he cares so much about his wife’s happiness that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her feel happy. I don’t hate Isabel, but I also don’t like her. I just find her so selfish and she only cares about her happiness regardless of the consequences of her choices that will affect people around her. And I think that’s because she’s living in a place away from people, which made her crave connection in a way that messed up her life.

The end of the book was so emotional it literally made me cry! I didn’t see it coming honestly. As I said, I really like the story, but I think the execution didn’t do it justice. To wrap up my review, The Light Between Oceans is a story about unconditional love, loss, forgiveness, and how sometimes they make people closer than ever.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | Book review

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“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Sometimes, when I read a good book, I find it hard to say what I think about it, because somehow it changed the way I think about some things, or made me realize some issues that I weren’t aware of them enough. And The Handmaid’s Tale is a story that once you read it, you won’t forget about it. It’s one of those stories that are really hard to shake off your mind. So, without further ado, let’s review this book!

The story is set in the post apocalyptic future where the U.S. government is taken over by the Republic of Gilead, which aims to control the society, change people, and bring the old values back. When they declare their takeover, people feel so frightened, and so many of them try to run away. Unfortunately, they have so much power, and they begin to hold people against their will. And most importantly, they look for women who are fertile, because they believe these women can help grow the society of Gilead. After that, they are taken to the women’s center, where they can learn the rules, follow them, and stick to the schedule of work. However, Offred, one of the handmaid’s tells the story of her life before everything changed. And through her perspective, we learn how terrible things go in Gilead.

I honestly can’t believe why I’ve been avoiding this book! Every time I want to read it, I pick a different book. I’m just glad I gave it a chance, because it’s definitely an unforgettable read! The idea that the society can change overnight is so scary. And having no say over your life at all is legit so frightening. This book is so dark, and bleak, but so gripping. It’s so freaking hard to put it down, even though there’s no plot twist, and things go slowly inside the house of the commander, somehow the story is still interesting. I loved the writing style of Margaret Atwood, and I found it so incredibly engaging.

Despite the fact that we don’t even know the real name of Offred, the narrator of the story, it’s so easy to get attached to her and feel what she’s going through in that horrid house. You can sense her fear and pain of not knowing what happened to her family, and how awful it is to be trapped in Gilead with no way out. Throughout the story, she remembers some flashbacks from her past with her husband and daughter, and I think that’s something she does a lot, to somehow preserve her identity, and remind herself that she’s not Offred, she is someone else. Also, in Gilead, the handmaids are not allowed to read, write, talk, own anything, or even see like normal people do. They wear big hats and always look down while they walk around the house. They are treated like a disposable object. If they don’t get pregnant after sleeping with the commander for the third time, they will be punished. Things can always go worse in Gilead. There are also side characters that we learn about their lives before, and after Gilead takeover. The only thing I wanted more of this book is to know how people outside the house of the commander are coping with the drastic and scary changes in this new society. I was super curious to know how they’re feeling and living their new life. The end of the book was not expected, I mean we don’t get a final closure, but you can guess how things went with Offerd.

It honestly blows my mind that this book was written years ago, because it feels like it was written a year ago or something. The way women are raped, and tortured, in Gilead is so awful. And they don’t have the choice to refuse that. They stripped their identity away, and It’s heartbreaking how Gilead is exploiting them. In there, women are the blame for everything, but men for some reason are innocents. It’s just insane how sometimes we see this in our society, and how women are blamed for things they have nothing to do with. To wrap up my review, The Handmaid’s Tale is an intriguing yet disturbing read that will definitely leave you with lots to think about, and so many questions. It’s a masterpiece and I would recommend it to anyone who is into dystopian fiction.