The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah | Book Review

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“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are. Today’s young people want to know everything about everyone. They think talking about a problem will solve it. I come from a quieter generation. We understand the value of forgetting, the lure of reinvention.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. The Nightingale is one of the books that I wanted to read before the year ends, because I heard so much about it. I finished it last week, and I’m still having a book hangover. I want to read another book, but I can’t seem to let go of the story and the characters yet. The struggle is real. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the lives of two sisters during world war two. Vianne is happily married and has one daughter named Sophie. She’d never thought the war would come, but when her husband tells her that he’s going to the front, her life is not the same anymore. The invasion of France has begun, and everything Vianne had dreamed of vanished away. On the other hand, Isabelle is still young but reckless. And she is willing to fight the enemy and defend her country not matter what. When the man she loved abandons her, she joins the French Resistance Movement and leaves her old life behind. However, Vianne and Isabelle’s lives will intersect during one of the most painful and terrifying times, and the war will force them to make risky choices in order to stay alive.

I’m a big fan of historical fiction books, because every time I read one, I learn some facts and stories that really happened or I’ve never heard of, which is awesome. Even if the story is not based on a real war story, it always leaves me with something. When I started reading The Nightingale, I didn’t expect the story to be a rollercoaster of emotions. It was literally heart wrenching. And I think what makes this story interesting, is that it’s about the relationship of two sisters during the German invasion of France. Their childhood wasn’t perfect, because their mother died, and their father was always drunk and upset. What they went through as little girls taught them so much. When it comes to Vianne, she’s become a teacher and a loving mother who appreciated her family more than anything. Even when the war started, keeping Sophie alive was her priority. And Isabelle changed from being an impetuous  girl into a courageous and strong woman who helped so many people. She wanted to be known for her bravery and fighting for her country. Her character development was remarkable. She went through hell to save people from getting killed. She is such a role model.

My favorite thing about the story is that it focuses on the role of woman during the war. Like Vianne who helped many children. And Isabelle, who helped so many men with the her friends in the French Resistance Movement. They both helped and fought in different ways. The story also shows how the German Nazi soldiers were treating the French people, and how they made them lose their jobs just because of their religion. Everyone was struggling from the lack of food and money at that time of war. People were killed and some of them were sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Reading about all of that was heartbreaking. It’s impossible to read this book without crying. So keep a tissue box beside you, because trust me, the end will make you ugly cry.

To wrap up my review, The Nightingale isn’t  just a story  about war, it’s a story about family, love, survival, and sacrifice. And what people are willing to do just to protect their loved ones. It’s a haunting and tear jerking story. I highly recommend it.

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult | Book Review

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“What if, ladies and gentlemen, today I told you that anyone here who was born on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday was free to leave right now? Also, they’d be given the most central parking spots in the city, and the biggest houses. They would get job interviews before others who were born later in the week, and they’d be taken first at the doctor’s office, no matter how many patients were waiting in line. If you were born from Thursday to Sunday, you might try to catch up – but because you were straggling behind, the press would always point to how inefficient you are. And if you complained, you’d be dismissed for playing the birth-day card.” I shrug. “Seems silly, right? But what if on top of these arbitrary systems that inhibited your chances for success, everyone kept telling you that things were actually pretty equal?”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’m pretty sure everyone knows Jodi Picoult, because she’s quite popular. I only read Between The Lines three years ago, and I loved it. And ever since then, I’ve been wanting to read more of her books. So, when I picked up Small Great Things, I had high expectations of the story, and honestly, this book exceeded all of them, and I didn’t think it would affect me this much. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of an African American woman named Ruth. She is a labor and delivery nurse. One day at the hospital, a new baby is born. So, Ruth goes to the baby to examine him and make sure he’s fine. While she’s doing her job, the father tells her that he doesn’t want her to touch his baby, and he wants another nurse. Ruth feels so upset about the fact that he only told her that because she’s black. The next morning, while Ruth is monitoring the baby, his heart starts to collapse. Even though she was told not to touch the baby, she starts CPR, because at this moment nothing matters except keeping this baby’s alive. But, when the father sees her, he decides to file a lawsuit, because he believes she killed his son out of hate. A few days later, Ruth is charged with murder, and her medical license is suspended. After that, her case is taken by a white public defender named Kennedy. Ruth finds out that the baby’s parents are white supremacist, and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to see her in prison. However, Kennedy tells Ruth that if she wants to win the case, she shouldn’t talk about racism in court.

The story is told through three points of view. Ruth who’s an African American nurse that has a son named Edison. Turk who’s a white supremacist and the father of the baby. And Kennedy, who’s a white public defender. We get to hear everyone’s side of the story which is really interesting. Because each one has a different opinion about the murder case.

Ruth has lived her life doing everything as she was told. She raised her son Edison, and he’s a smart kid. She’s worked in the hospital more than twenty years, yet none of her friends there stood up for her when Turk blamed her. They told her she was exaggerating, but she knew that had nothing to do with how she felt, it was about her race. I sympathized with her, because she went through so much to become a nurse. Her mom taught her to work harder and not complain. She dedicated herself to her job, yet that wasn’t enough. And it was heartbreaking.

Turk’s chapters in the book were the hardest for me to read. Because he made me sick to my stomach. He’s all about violence and hurting black people. Even his wife was a white supremacist, and she encouraged him to hurt more people. They’re both disgusting. And they bonded over hate instead of love. Reading about his life literally made me want to vomit.

Kennedy is Ruth’s defender. She’s really good at her job, and she’s willing to help Ruth no matter what. But, she had no idea what Ruth has endured her entire life. And she learned a lot from her. I really liked how they became friends, even though sometimes  things were intense between them.

This book is based on a true story, and real people. And it’s such a powerful story that deals with important, and heavy topics. Like racism, white supremacy, violence. And I have to admit that it was an uncomfortable read, because it made me aware of things that I haven’t thought about before, and it made me remember so many moments when people I know, made a racial joke or comment on someone, because their skin color was different. I wish I could go back in time and say something. There were moments in the book that showed acts of racism that most people don’t really pay close attention to. Like when Ruth went to the supermarket with Kennedy, and when they were leaving, the security guard asked Ruth to step aside, so he can search her bags, even though he knew she paid for them. Why didn’t he ask Kennedy instead? I felt angry for what happened to Ruth, and I didn’t imagine the story would get into me that deeply.

I’m really fond of the book title, and it carries a good meaning. The small things that all of the characters did, led them to have great things in the future. I still don’t know how to feel about the end of the book, because it’s too idealistic. Regardless, I loved this book. To wrap up my review, Small Great Things is a thought provoking story about racial discrimination, white supremacy, and what happens in court when those issues are discussed. It’s the kind of book that you want to talk about with other people. I highly recommend it.

 

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly | Book Review

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“Reading became my sanctuary,” Belle continued. “I found so much in those books. I found histories that inspired me. Poems that delighted me. Novels that challenged me…” Belle paused, suddenly self-conscious. She looked down at her hands, and in a wistful voice, said, “What I really found, though, was myself.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’m really excited for today’s blog post, because it’s about one of my favorite Disney stories. So, when I saw ‘Lost In A Book’ at the bookstore, I couldn’t resist not to buy it, because it’s a retelling of Beauty And The Beast, and it has a gorgeous cover, like seriously, you could stare at it all day. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

The story starts with Belle in the Beast’s castle. When he notices how unhappy she is, he gives her the library in the castle as a gift. Belle feels so excited to spend her days surrounded by books, and to read any book she wants. One Day, as Belle wanders around the library, she stumbles upon a book called Nevermore. This book isn’t like any book she’s ever read. In fact, Nevermore is a magical book that Belle can teleport herself into it’s perfect world any times she wishes. After a while, she gets attached to it, and ignores her reality. Her friends in the castle start to notice her constant absence, and feel worried bout her. However, Nevermore has its own rules to follow, and if Belle doesn’t pay attention to them, she will be trapped in it forever.

Here’s the thing, I’m really obsessed with Disney fairy tales. Especially Beauty And The Beast. I just like how wise, and smart Belle is. And on top of all that, she’s a bookworm.  So, we all know the original story, but in this book things are so different. The story is a strange mix between The Beauty And The Beast and Alice In Wonderland. And I loved it.

Belle resembles Alice’s personality a lot. Belle is not the character we all know. It’s like every time she jumped into Nevermore, she stopped thinking in a reasonable way. And she started comparing her old life to the magical one, and the luxury of the perfect life she’s missing out on. Also, she’s so curious to the point where her curiosity led her to many dangers. Most of the time, I felt like I was reading about Alice instead of Belle. Because she is as naïve as Alice. I didn’t really mind that, it just felt weird to me. When it comes to the other characters, I felt really sad for them, because they felt abandoned by Belle, even though they offered their help, she didn’t take it at first, but when her life was at stake, she asked for them to help her. I don’t know if it’s just me, but she was quite selfish at times. My only complaint about this book is the fact that there wasn’t much of the Beast’s point of view. I didn’t feel his presence in the story that much, and I really wanted to know what he would say or think at times. I think what makes this book unique and different, is that at the beginning of the story, we are introduced to Love and Death as sisters, who are fighting over Belle’s fate. It was such a captivating beginning. Also, the end of the story was fast, and I wanted more of the story. Other than that, Lost In A book is a magical and adventurous story about love, family, and friendship. It’s an easy and fluffy book, and if you’re a fan of Beauty And The Beast, I recommend this one for you.

The Miniaturist By Jessie Burton | Book Review

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“Growing older does not seem to make you more certain, Nella thinks. It simply presents you with more reasons for doubt.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope your Tuesday is going great so far. The weather has been getting colder, and I’m loving it! Because colder weather always puts me in a good mood. Anyway, I really love historical fiction books, and I’ve been wanting to read The Miniaturist, because there was so much hype around it. So, I actually finished over the weekend, and I still can’t tell if I loved the book or not. But, without further ado, let’s review this book!

The book follows the story of Petronella Oortman, who is married to a wealthy man named Johannes Brandt. When she arrives in Amsterdam to meet her husband, she feels so excited about starting a new life as a wife. Unfortunately, Johannes treats her in a cold, and distant way, and he doesn’t really care enough to get to know her. He always travels far away and leaves her with his sister, Marin. One day, Johannes decides to buy a cabinet dollhouse as a wedding gift for Petronella. This dollhouse is a miniature version of the house they’re living in, but it’s empty. So, Petronella plans to furnish it. Therefore, she asks a miniaturist artist to make for her tiny furniture. Despite being precise, this miniaturist sends more miniature objects to Petronella that she didn’t even ask for, so she makes it her mission to find out the identity of this mysterious person. However, the cabinet dollhouse opens up Petronella’s eyes to things she didn’t pay attention to before, and reveals many hidden secrets in the house.

First of all, this book was confusing as hell, and very hard to get into in the beginning. But then, it started to make sense for me. Because when you finish it, you have to go back and read the first chapter again, and you’ll understand why the beginning is misleading. The writing style is a bit different, but I loved how descriptive it is. It’s very vivid and atmospheric. You can picture Amsterdam’s streets, the dollhouse, and how each character looks like. And I think that adds something unique to the story. The plot is very slow paced, and sometimes I was this close to drop it and pick up another book instead. But, I kept reading, and around 200 pages things started to get interesting and I couldn’t  put it down. To be honest, I enjoyed the writing style more than the story itself.

Let’s talk about the characters. First of all, Petronella is the main protagonist of the story. At first, she arrives at her new house with high expectations, then she gets disappointed when things don’t go as the way she imagined. She is filled with frustration, and crushed hopes. And she feels like her presence doesn’t mean anything to her husband. I sympathized with her, but she was such a passive character. She lets other people tell her what to do, and she doesn’t speak or stand up for herself. There were parts in the book when she was going to do something for herself, but she didn’t. And that really annoyed me. She’s just the type of character that waits for her life to miraculously change, and people around her acknowledge her, and make her feel worthy of herself. And I think maybe that’s because of how young, she is. Second of all, The title of the book refers to the mysterious miniaturist artist who occasionally sends miniature objects to Petronella. This miniaturist knows a lot about each person in the house, even their secrets, but no one knows who this person is. I was really intrigued to know the identity of the miniaturist, and I wished this person could tell us more about themselves. Also, the fact that Petronella didn’t meet the miniaturist at the end, made me feel so mad. Third of all, Johannes is Petronella’s husband, but he doesn’t act like one. He rarely sits and talk with her, and he doesn’t offer her his affection at all. I really think he’s selfish, because he just wanted people to know he’s married, so no could figure out his secret. But, he deprived Petronella of the life she wants. It’s like she was an accessory to him, not a real person. All he cared about was his wealth. Fourth of all,  Marin is Johannes’s sister, and she doesn’t show any emotion at all. Always so serious. And she’s in charge of everything in the house. But, her relationship with her brother is strong. She cares for him, and he is protective of her. She’s definitely the only character I like in the book, because everyone respects her and follow her lead. She’s strong and I like that.

What I like about this book is that we get to know the background story of each character, and how that lead them to where they are now. The characters’ growth was great. Also, this book explored important themes. Like, sexuality, religion, feminism. Race. The end of the book was a major disappointment. So many loose ends. I would definitely give it 3\5 stars.

To wrap up my review, The Miniaturist is a stunningly written book  that gives you the perfect sense of the seventeenth century  in Amsterdam. But, as I said, the first half of the book was just so meh to me, the second half of the book was where things started to pick up. Still, I love Jessie Burton’s writing, she makes the words come to life. If you’re a patient reader, I recommend this book to you. Because it’s one of those books that you have to take your time with to get into it.

How To Stop Time By Matt Haig | Book review

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“That’s the thing with time, isn’t it? It’s not all the same. Some days – some years – some decades – are empty. There is nothing to them. It’s just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Here’s the thing, I’m obsessed with anything involving time travel. T.V shows, books, movies, you name it! I just find the idea of time travel between different timelines fascinating. Seriously, if I could have a superpower, it would definitely be time travel. Like how awesome that would be! Anyway, last week I read How To Stop Time, and I was completely hooked. Can’t deny the fact that I chose to read this book, because of its beautiful cover though! But, it really has a beautiful and intriguing story as well. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of a forty one year old man named Tom Hazard. There’s one thing that people don’t know about him. He has a rare medical condition called ‘Anageria’ that makes him ages very slowly than normal. Even though he looks young, he has lived hundreds of years. Therefor, Tom has moved a lot between different cities, just to protect himself from people. However, Tom can’t ever fall in love, because that will expose his situation, and endanger his life.

If you ever watched The Age OF Adaline movie and loved it, then you’re going to like this book. It kind of have the same concept, but it’s more twisted. I loved how the plot pulled me in.  With every page, I wanted to know more about Tom’s life and how he lived hundreds of years with his secret. And the book did that perfectly. I also didn’t expect the story to be so emotional! It really made me cry.

Now let’s talk about Tom. He’s the main character in the book, and he suffered a lot because of his rare condition, to the point where the people in his village killed his mother, because they thought she was a witch that came up with a spell, that made her son’s physical features not change at all. And he watched his mother die. His childhood was tragic and painful. He has lived his entire life in fear of people’s judgement. And he scarified himself just to protect the closest people to him. And that shows how loyal he is. But, what he went through, made him interested in history, because he met  Shakespeare, Captain Cook, and so many famous people in the past. And all of that led him to be a history teacher. Because he wanted his students to believe that history is a part of all of us, and we are all made up of stories that will become history in the future.

To wrap up my review, there are lots of things in the book that I haven’t mentioned above, because I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Overall, I really liked this book and I wish it was longer. It’s a thought provoking story about time, and how it affects in ways we don’t realize at all. I highly recommend this book.

Saint Anything By Sarah Dessen | Book Review

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“Just because a person isn’t talking about something doesn’t mean it’s not on their mind. Often, in fact, it’s why they won’t speak of it.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Here’s the thing, I haven’t ever read any of Sarah Dessen’s books. I know, shocking right! But, a couple of months ago, I bought Saint Anything without knowing what the book was about, and last week I read it, and let me tell you that I wasn’t disappointed at all. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of a typical teenage girl named Sydney. She has always been the good daughter who doesn’t disappoint her parents. On the other hand, her older brother Payton, is the exact opposite. He always acts without thinking of the consequences of his actions, and gets himself in so many bad situations. One night, his parents receive a call that Payton was drunk driving, and he hit a boy. Therefor, Payton now has to pay for his reckless behavior, and take responsibility for what he caused. However, Payton’s new life in jail is not going to be easy, and his bad choices  will affect his family, especially Sydney.

As you know, I love reading late at night, because for me, it’s the best time of the day to read peacefully. And when I started this book, I just didn’t want to sleep, instead I wanted to stay up late and read as much as I could, because I really got into it. Plus, I love books that talk about family, and real life issues. They’re just my favorite. The book was thick, but that didn’t affect the pace of the plot.

Now let’s talk about the characters.  I like how the story starts with Sydney and how she feels about what her brother did. At first her life was kind of going well, but then she started feeling embarrassed when people knew about her brother. There was no one she could talk to about what she was going through, even her parents, and her friends. And that’s because her mother is an obsessive planner, who likes to plan everything ahead, and she volunteers a lot in so many social activities. And her father doesn’t have a say, he’s just okay with whatever her mother decides. All of her parents attention was focused on Payton, even when he was in jail. That’s why she felt neglected. But, when she met Layla, and Mac, she felt they were like family to her. That’s so relatable. Because sometimes, it’s easier to talk to a stranger about  your life. But Layla, and Mac’s life weren’t perfect as well. Their mother is sick and they have to take care of her most of the time. Even though their life was complicated, they were supportive to each other. Also, I really like Layla, and Mac’s parents. They’re so understanding, and nice. And I love the fact that they own a pizza place. Like seriously, they made me crave pizza so bad. The way Mac was making  pizza and studying  every afternoon, made Sydney fall for him. Let’s be honest, Who wouldn’t fall for a smart guy that makes a good pizza? I can’t really blame her. When it comes to Ames, who is Payton’s best friend, there was something off about him. I knew he couldn’t be trusted. And I hated how he acted like he was Sydney’s brother. I didn’t feel comfortable while reading about him, he just creeped me out.

What I admire most about the book is how flawed and real the characters are. There’s also a lot of character growth. You can notice how each character changes and make better choices. Many heavy topics were discussed. Like, drug addiction, and alcohol. And I think that what made the plot compelling. To wrap up my review, Saint Anything is one of those books that portrays family issues in a realistic way.  It also carries a lot of great lessons, and it definitely shows us that sometimes we find solace in the most unlikely places. I highly recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of Sarah Dessen’s books.

The Witches Of The Glass Castle By Gabriella Lepore | Book Review

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“Every emotion had its own sound. Fear, happiness, sadness, love. They were all uniquely identifiable. The only similarity was that they were all excruciatingly deafening, intense, and fierce.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I had such a relaxing weekend, and I managed to read two books. So, I guess I can’t complain! Anyways, this month Oftomes sent me a free copy of TWITGC  in exchange for my honest review. I finished this book in one sitting, because it was a quick and fun read. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of two siblings, Mia and Dino. When they both find out that they are real witches, their mother decides to send them the whole summer to The Glass Castle. Which is a school for kids to discover their powers and learn more about magic. This castle is owned by a woman named Wendolyn, and she also taught Mia and Dino’s mother how to use her power. When Mia and Dino arrive at the castle, they both feel worried about going through a new experience, and spending the summer in a place with complete strangers. Despite the fact that Dino has discovered his power before he has arrived at the castle, he doesn’t feel comfortable enough to train and let Wendolyn guides him. However, Mia is determined to do whatever it takes to discover her power. And throughout their stay at the castle, Mia and Dino find out that there are two types of witches.

Before I talk about my thoughts on the book, I just want to let you know that my opinions will not be affected by the fact that I was given this book for free. My review is going to be completely honest. Okay, now let’s talk about it. It’s been quite a while since I read a book in one sitting, and when I finished TWITGC, I remembered how magical it feels to be swept away in a completely different world for a couple of hours, and not just any world! A world with magic, witches, hunters, and a secret castle! Like does it get any better than this? It also has Harry Potter vibes. The writing style is easy to follow, engaging, and I loved how witty it is. I laughed a lot while reading it. I also loved the parts of the book where Dino was making fun of his aunt Madeline, they were just hilarious.

When it comes to the characters, Mia and Dino are the main protagonists. And as siblings, their relationship with each other wasn’t always easy. Mia was trying to connect with her brother at the castle, but he wouldn’t let his guard down, and talk about his fears and what was bothering him. And I think it’s relatable, because sometimes, when we go through something difficult, we think it’s better to not tell anyone, especially the closest people, because we feel that they won’t understand, or sympathize with us. And I totally get that. Despite that, I think Dino is my favorite character, and I could notice how he started to change gradually and started letting his friends in. But to be honest, I didn’t like Mia’s character at all. I was really annoyed at how reckless she was sometimes. If someone told her no to do something, she did it anyway, even if it was dangerous. Most of the time in the castle, she acted without thinking or caring about her safety, which really got on my nerves. The only thing I liked about Mia is the fact that she fell in love with Colt. I loved how he taught her to believe in herself. He was there for her when she needed someone to make her feel reassured that eventually, she’ll find what her power is. Also, I was really confused between Tol and Lotan, because I thought they were the same person at some point when I was reading. I kind of wished they had different names. Oh, and the plot twist at the final pages was so shocking! I didn’t see that coming at all. To wrap up my review, I really enjoyed the world building. It was dark, gripping, and mysterious. And I liked how things ended. I would recommend this book, it’s definitely the perfect read for fall.