The Circle By Dave Eggers | Book Review

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“We are not meant to know everything, Mae. Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day? Young people are creating ever-present daylight, and I think it will burn us all alive. There will be no time to reflect, to sleep.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. So, I bought a bunch of new books as a birthday gift to myself, and I haven’t had the time to read them all except one book, because I’ve been away for two weeks. Anyways, today I’m going to talk about The Circle, because I was eyeing this book for a while, and when I started it, it made me think a lot about the world of social media nowadays. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of Mae Holland, who gets the opportunity to work in The Circle,  which is the most advanced internet company. When Mae explores the campus, she feels that this place is where she meant to be. As days go by, Mae becomes consumed by her work and she rarely sees her family or friends anymore. Later on, she starts to question The Circle’s morals, goals, and whether it would change people’s lives to better or worse.

Let me start by saying that this book annoyed me so much. The premise is thought provoking yet disturbing  at the same time. So, The Circle’s goal is to be as transparent as possible. They want to install cameras everywhere, and they want to make it mandatory. Because they strongly believe that if each person is monitored, and if people have access to observe each other all the time, then they would behave better and reconsider their actions. The idea is crazy, and I honestly can’t imagine living like that, because I’d literally lose my mind.  Let’s talk about the writing style. It was easy to follow, but sometimes I felt like I was reading an article that’s filled with so many statistics and numbers, which made me lose interest a bit, but I kept reading because I desperately wanted to know how the book would end. But before I talk about how I feel about the end, I want to talk about the characters. Mae is the main character in the book. She is so self absorbed, and selfish. All she thinks about is herself and how being transparent to everyone will make her a better person, but that turned her into the worse version of herself. Engaging herself in The Circle’s programs was consuming her life, and she rarely had enough hours of sleep. And the fact that people could see her, made her change her food choices, and suppress her feelings, because she didn’t want anyone to think she is unhealthy or weak. And I hate how she forced her Ex boyfriend Mercer to engage more in the  Zing Program. He is the only reasonable character that I really like in this book. Despite his efforts to convince Mae that she’s wasting her life for the sake of this company and forgetting the people she truly loves, she didn’t change her mind at all. Even her parents have no role in the book whatsoever, and that’s why I hate most of the characters, because they have no depth to their personalities. Especially Mae, I just don’t know where she stands, or what does she really want to do with her life. When it comes to the end of the book, she could’ve changed how things are supposed to be, but she chose not to. Like how selfish can she get? The end was disappointing, but I kind of saw it coming. To wrap up my review, the idea of The Circle is intriguing, but I feel like the execution didn’t do it justice. And the characters were flat to me, but this book surely gives you a lot to think about, and it makes you think about the power and effect of social media, and how some people are glued to the internet  24\7 hours believing they’re living their lives, but they’re totally not. This book made me feel terrified of the world of social media. I just wanted to stay away from the internet for a while. Regardless, this book carries a lot of important lessons, and I think everyone should read it.

With Malice By Eileen Cook | Book Review

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Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. To be honest, I haven’t read that much in June, because life has just been crazy busy. But I managed to read With Malice, which was so addicting and intense. Once I started it, I just couldn’t put the book down and sleep. It really exceeded my expectations. So, let’s review this book!

Simon and Jill have been friends since forever. Jill is shy, smart, and really wants to study law in college when she graduates from high school. On the other hand, Simon likes to party too much sometimes, and she doesn’t care about her education at all. So, when Jill and Simon go on a road trip to Italy with their school, their friendship starts to fall apart. One day, Jill and Simon fight about a boy they met there, then a couple of weeks later, Jill wakes up and finds herself in the hospital. Not knowing why she is there, or what happened at all. The truth is that there was an accident and Simon was dead, but Jill was in a coma and she woke up with no memory of the previous six weeks. However, as soon as she wakes up, the investigations begin, because everyone believes that Jill killed Simon out of jealousy.

This book reminds me a lot of The Girl On The Train. The plot is kind of similar, but in a different way. It’s also twisted, because while you’re reading you keep asking yourself who’s right and who’s wrong, and you begin suspecting Jill and then someone else. This book kept me guessing. I knew something was weird about Simon, I just didn’t feel comfortable about her character and how she treated Jill. Also, everyone thinks that Jill is spoiled and has it all, because her father is rich. But, in reality, she doesn’t. Which I think lots of people can relate to that. Everything not always what it seems, and sometimes people misjudge you. I liked her mother, but her father was really irritable. This book also shows a difference between a toxic friendship and a healthy one. Simon forced Jill to do things she didn’t feel comfortable about, just like she was her follower and she’s got to obey her. But, when Jill met Anna in the hospital, she felt it was easy to open up to her and tell her about so many things. I also like how Jill is a feminist and she has a blog about important feminism issues, which is really impressive. At the end of my review, I would totally recommend it if you want to read a fast paced thriller book.

The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold | Book Review

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“Inside the snow globe on my father’s desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, “Don’t worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He’s trapped in a perfect world.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you had an amazing Eid and ate lots of chocolate. Today I’m going to review one of my favorite mystery books that made me fall in love with books that have the same genre. I read this book long time ago, like maybe five years. And I reread it last year, then I remembered that I haven’t ever reviewed this book which is honestly weird, because I love reviewing books that I really like. So, let’s review this book!

On a cold winter evening, A fourteen year old girl named Susie Salmon was walking back home from school feeling happy, because she had a good day. But, when a piece of paper fell out of her bag and went flying because of the wind, she went after it. Then a man in front of her caught the paper. He invited her to his house, to see the thing he built up, but she refused and said that it was getting really late. The man kept persuading her until she agreed to go with him. Unfortunately, she didn’t know that she was going with a murderer to his own house. Despite her efforts to escape from his basement, she was raped and killed by him that night. Even though she is dead now, she can watch her family and friends from the afterlife, and make them feel her presence. However, she struggles between avenging her killer, and letting go of what happened and looking forward.

This book was creepy and scary, and it actually gave me goosebumps in a bad way. The details of Susie’s murder were really descriptive and awful. It was just heartbreaking to read that part of how she was murdered. But the writing style was gripping to the point where it was hard to put the book down. Now let’s talk about the characters. Mr. Harvey was giving me the creeps. He was pretending to be nice, but he was actually a heartless man. And his obsession with building too many wooden doll houses wasn’t normal. Susie’s family was having a difficult and painful time accepting her death, especially her father. He was suspecting every man to be the murderer of his daughter, and honestly who can blame him? Even Susie’s sister Lindsey was feeling uncomfortable every time she saw Mr. Harvey’s green house. It’s like she felt he was hiding something. And then when it comes to Susie, at first, she couldn’t accept that she is dead and away from her family, but then her rage makes her father do something out of anger. So she decides to let go and move on, so she could live peacefully in her own world. That was such a great growth in her character. This book isn’t just about seeking vengeance for Susie’s murderer. It’s about how each one of her family was coping in their own way, and how they stopped searching for her murderer, because they realized that finding him won’t change the fact that she is dead. Karma is real, and Mr. Harvey will finally get what he deserves. At the end of my book review, I really recommend this book if you’re into fantasy and mystery books. There’s also a movie adaptation, but it doesn’t include specific parts of the book. Regardless, it was great. So, before you watch the movie, don’t forget to read the book first. So you can get a better understanding of the story, and all the characters.

Brain On Fire: My Month of Sadness By Susannah Cahalan |Book Review

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“Someone once asked, “If you could take it all back, would you?” At the time I didn’t know. Now I do. I wouldn’t take that terrible experience back for anything in the world. Too much light has come out of my darkness.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. So, I’ve been in a weird reading mood ever since I finished reading  A Little Life. It’s like I want to read something light and funny, but I can’t bring myself to choose one. And after so much thinking, I’ve realized that I’m going through a phase where all I want to read is sad and heart wrenching books. So, I decided to read Brain On fire, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. To be honest, I don’t read memoirs that much, because I’m afraid that I’ll lose interest in finishing the entire book. But, I finished this one in one sitting, because it was too interesting to actually put down. So, without further ado, let’s review this book!

This is a true story about a journalist named Susannah Cahalan. When she graduated from college, she started working at the New York post. She finally had everything figured out. She had a boyfriend, a loving family, an exciting career that she dedicated herself to, and her own place. One day, she started having those compulsive thoughts to do things she’s never done before, and act differently from the way she used to. She thought she was having an intense flu, but that was totally wrong. One afternoon, She had an emotional breakdown in the office and she started crying and yelling until she passed out. Every doctor she went to, thought she was having schizophrenia or depression. But all her medical results were totally fine. Despite that, her health was getting worse day by day, and she was having psychotic episodes. However, throughout the book we follow her complicated recovery journey from a mysterious illness, and how it had affected her life.

The way she talked and explained her life during that painful period was so touching to the point where it made me cry. Staying in the hospital and having repetitive therapy sessions were too much for her. All the doctors couldn’t find what was wrong with her, until Dr. Najjar found out the name of  her rare brain disease. After that, she started getting better and got back to her normal life again. In the book she talked about how she didn’t remember anything from that specific period of her illness, and how her family explained to her the way she was back then. She also helped so many people who were having the same disease as her, and some of them were cured because of her. I really find it so fascinating that the human body is like a machine, and if one part stopped working, then everything will go down. It’s such an incredible, terrifying, and a raw memoir about what it’s like to be misunderstood by others, and having hope for things to get better in the end. This is one of those books that I’ll definitely recommend everyone to read, because trust me, you won’t regret it.

A Little Life By Hanya Yanagihara | Book Review

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“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. It’s halfway through Ramadan, and it’s just insane how days go by so fast, because there’s barely enough time to do everything. But, I managed to read A Little Life and today I’m going to talk about it, because that was the most overwhelming book I’ve read so far this year. So, Let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of four friends. Malcolm who’s an architect, Willem who’s an actor, JB who’s an artist, and finally Jude who’s a lawyer. After their graduation, they decide to move to New York and live there together. They always talk about their past and childhood, except Jude. No one knows anything about him, and where he came from, because he’s always been secretive about his past. However, throughout their years of friendship, Jude’s past will unfold, and it will affect each one of them in a way they’ve never expected.

Oh God, I don’t even know where to begin from. This book ruined me, and made me cry so much. When I started reading it, I thought it was going to be about the four of them, but it wasn’t. It was specifically about Jude. He had a tremendously horrible childhood, and I honestly can’t even describe how heartbreaking it was. What he had to go through was beyond painful, and sometimes I really had to put the book down, because his story was getting too much for me to handle. But, When he turned sixteen, his life changed and he had many amazing opportunities. He’s become a successful lawyer that everyone respected and feared. Regardless of his success, he found it hard to trust anyone, except Willem. He’s the only one who understood him and kept his secret. Now let’s talk about the others. I loved JB’s sense of humor and how he had something funny to say in every situation. And when It comes to Willem, at the beginning of the book we are told about his home town and his brother Hemming. And finally, Malcolm which there wasn’t much about his life. However, considering the fact of how huge this book is, I wished there was more about the three of them and not only Jude. Because technically, throughout the book we are only left with Jude and Willem. I also loved Jude’s professor, Harlod. He was so affectionate, kind, and giving to Jude, just like the father he’s never had. Despite how painfully tragic the end was, it is still one of those books that it’ll always stay with me. It is a story about love, friendship, and how they can change someone’s life forever. But, before you read this book, there are things that you have to take into consideration. This book talks about heavy topics in details. Like, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Also about mental illness, and self harming in a descriptive way. So please be aware of that. Finally, it’s such a profoundly written book with  unforgettable characters. Even though it was an emotionally draining  for me, it really touched me deeply in so many ways. And I’m glad that I gave this book a chance and read it.

Heartless By Marissa Meyer|Book Review

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“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.”

Hello, my bookish friends. Hope you’re doing well. I know lots of people have read The Lunar Chronicals, because they’re really hyped, but I haven’t. I heard good things about the series, and hopefully one day I’ll read it. As someone who loves books, it might be shocking that I haven’t ever read anything by Marissa Meyer. So, I saw Heartless all over my Instagram feed, and I didn’t even know what it was about. But, when I went to the bookstore last month and saw the book, I was like I can’t leave without buying this book, because first of all, it has a gorgeous cover, and second of all, it’s about the queen of hearts. So I bought it and I’m glad I did, because I really enjoyed it. Let’s start our review!

This book is set before Alice fell down the rabbit hole, and it follows the story of Catherine, before she became the queen of hearts. Catherine is kind, sweet, and full of potential. Baking scrumptious sweet treats is her passion, and she’s always dreamed of opening her own bakery with the help of Marry Anne, the court maid who’s also her best friend. But, that’s not how things work out in royal families. She has to get married and dedicate her life to ruling her kingdom with her husband by her side. When the king of hearts proposes to her, she refuses to marry him, because she doesn’t want to be a queen. Instead, she wants to follow her dream of baking. But, her parents don’t agree with her, especially her mother. However, things get complicated in the land of hearts when she meets Jest, the court joker and falls in love with him.

This book is my favorite one this year. I’ve always loved Alice In Wonderland and its characters. I really couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out that it is about the queen of hearts, because unlike most people who hate her, I really like her. And reading a whole book about her was like my dream has finally come true. This book hooked me up from the beginning, because it started with Catherine and her passion for baking. And as someone who’s obsessed with baking and always trying to come up with recipes of my own, reading this book felt like such a treat. Even though I enjoyed reading it, there are things that I liked, and things that really annoyed me. But first, I’m going to talk about what I liked in this book. We all know that the queen of heart is filled with so much anger and fury, but in the beginning of the book, she is totally different from that. I liked getting to know Catherine from another angle. I also like Catherine and Marry Anne’s friendship, because they were like sisters who told each other everything. There’s also an instant love moment between the court joker and Catherine, but I didn’t feel it was really instant that much, because I quite like him too, and I can see why she fell for him.  One of my favorite parts about this book is when Catherine was describing her baked goods with such a passion, because that made me hungrier with each page. Especially the pumpkin cake, I really craved one so bad. Oh God, and the macrons! All of those scrumptious sweets in the book made my sweet tooth get worse. The Cheshire cat was so funny and I liked how he appears from nowhere and teases Catherine , because that was really funny and it made me laugh. Now moving on to the things I didn’t like in this book. I really love Catherine, but I hate how she dealt with things. Like when the king of hearts wanted to marry her and she agreed, she was complaining  all the time that no one understood her or knew what real love is. I just found that so annoying, she could have made better choices, especially in the end of the book, but she chose not to, which literally ruined everything. I didn’t like her parents, especially her mother, because she has a strong belief that women should only marry a king and not do silly things like baking or opening a shop, because that was only for men. Even her father kept telling her the same thing over and over. So much sexism in this book. Even though I liked this book, it was kind of a slow paced, because it was really detailed and the font was tiny and it really hurt my eyes. The end of this book was so fast and terrifying. Because the plot turned upside down, and all the characters were trying their best to fix what happened, but there were so many obstacles in their way. I felt so heartbroken and shocked for how things changed for Catherine, because I wanted all the characters to get their happy ending. Overall, I would really recommend this book if you love Alice In Wonderland and its whimsical world. Such a brilliant and adventurous retelling that is filled with magic and interesting characters.

 

A World Without You By Beth Revis | Book Review

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“I guess when someone’s gone from your life for a while, all you think about are the big things. The big regrets, the could-have, should-haves. Or the big moments, the memories that are going to be with you forever, those life-changing moments, like first kisses and first confessions and first trusts. And you think about the lasts too: the last kiss, the last words, the last moments.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Last week I finished reading A World Without You, and I’m still not feeling okay. Before I started reading the book, I thought it was a science fiction book about time traveling and protecting history, but I was wrong. I haven’t read a book in three days, because I’m still having a book hangover, and my mind is still stuck in that world. So, let’s start our review!

This book is about a boy named Bo. When his parents send him to the Berkshire academy for troubled kids, Bo thinks that he is a time traveler, and this academy is for kids with special powers. When Sofia the girl he fell in love with dies, Bo is certain that she is stuck somewhere in the time stream, and he has to travel to the past and bring her back. But in fact, this academy is for kids who have mental illness, and Bo suffers from a dissociative disorder, which makes him lose touch with his reality, and live in the world he’s created inside his head. And Sofie isn’t actually stuck in time, she suffers from depression, and she committed suicide. However, throughout the book, we follow the recovering journey of Bo, and how he struggles with himself to understand what’s going on inside his head.

The story is told through Bo, and his sister Phobe’s point of view. I think Phobe’s point of view made sense of everything in the book. Even in the last pages she told us about Bo’s first Psychosis episode when they were playing together as kids long time ago. I really sympathized with Phobe, because she’s the perfect daughter who has everything figured out, and no one ever expects anything bad from her. Unlike Bo, who’s the exact opposite of her. Her parents attention is focused on Bo and his health, and she felt like they neglected her. She felt ignored, and her dreams were just dreams that won’t ever come true, because all of her parents money was for covering Bo’s school expenses. I know lots of people who read this book believe that Phobe is self absorbed, and all she thinks about is herself. But I don’t really think she is selfish,  she just wants to be noticed and not be treated like a perfect person who’ll never ever makes mistakes. Moving on to Bo. Reading this book felt like a punch in the gut. It was too painful to be inside Bo’s head. And as a reader, sometimes I couldn’t tell what true and isn’t, because Bo’s delusions felt too real to me too. And the whole thing about saving  Sofia felt like it was never going to end, because Bo was too invested in the idea that she was stuck in the Salem trials. It was really hard for Bo to believe that there was something wrong with him, because he refused to be helped so many times in the book. I know that I hated his father, but at the end, I realized that he was also coping with his son’s illness by his own way. To sum up my review, I really like books that tackle important topics like that, because there are lots of people who don’t know about mental illness disorders. When I finished reading the book, I read stories about people who had Dissociative disorder, and how they recovered and learned to control their illness. It was so inspiring, because most of the stories broke my heart and I can’t really imagine what it feels like to go through something like that. I highly recommend this book.