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.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott | Book Review

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“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Over the weekend, I didn’t get to read anything, because I was babysitting my sister’s kids, and there was barely any free time to sit and read quietly. So, I finished reading Little Women on Sunday, which was honestly more enjoyable than I thought. I don’t why, but I don’t buy classic books that much, but I promised myself to read more this year, and so far so good. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

The story follows the lives of the four March sisters, who live in a cozy house with their mother, and Hannah, the housemaid. It’s Christmas time and their father is away fighting in the civil war. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are so sad, because they’re not celebrating this special time of the year with their beloved father. It’s a hard time and their wealth is not as it used to be, so each one of them has to work to support and help their mother. However, throughout the story we get to know the March sisters more as they grow up, find love, and discover their passion.

I’ve always wanted to read this book and I’m beyond happy that I did. I used to watch the anime adaptation of this book when I was a kid, but reading the story feels different and so much better. I was afraid I won’t like it, but I ended up loving it, to the point where I just wished it was longer. I honestly expected the writing style to be difficult, but it was easy to follow. The side characters made the story more interesting and enjoyable. I loved Laurie, even though he was annoying at times, but I think he would be the perfect brother. When it comes to the March sisters, each one of them is totally different and has her own idea of femininity. My favorite thing about this book is that it reveals to us their flaws and the way they’re dealing with them, especially in a society that expects girls to look and act perfectly all the time. Mrs. March is against the idea of typical gender roles, and we see it through the way she teaches her daughters to be passionate, courageous, ad follow their dreams. Like Joe, for example, she hates dresses, parties, and she has tomboyish hair, but her parents are letting her live her life the way she wants. I really like Mrs. March. She’s so patient and kind to her daughters. The only character I didn’t like was Beth, even though she is a big helper to her sisters. But she just wants to stay home, cleans, and never wants to go out in the real world. Home is her happy place, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the thing is that she doesn’t have a dream, ambition, or an opinion of her own. I just don’t like characters like that. Even though the end of the book is predictable, the story was such a heartwarming one.

To wrap up my book review, Little Women is a delightful story about the adventures of four sisters. They’re so different, yet you can’t help not to see yourself in one of them. In the hardest times ever, the sisterly love between them is what keeps them together. Surrounded by their mother, every day she tells them a story or a valuable lesson about life. It’s one of those books that will definitely take a place in your heart.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon | Book Review

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“We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I was sick the last couple of days, but today I feel much better. I’ve watched many episodes of my favorite tv shows, and I managed to finish The Sun Is Also a Star, which was way better than I expected. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This story takes place in New York and it follows the lives of two teenagers. Natasha is a Jamaican immigrant who’s been living in America since she was eight. She believes in science and wants to be a data scientist. Unfortunately, her family is going to be deported to Jamaica in less than a day. On the other hand, Daniel is a Korean American boy whose parents have big expectations for his future, and they want him to be a doctor. But, he wants to be a poet, and he believes in fate, and coincidences. However, Daniel and Natasha will meet unexpectedly and they will fall in love with each other.

I know what you’re thinking. A story about two people who fall in love in less than a day? That sounds so cliché right? But it’s not at all what you expect. I thought it was going to be silly and predictable, but I was completely wrong. This story is realistic, funny, yet so sad sometimes. It’s told through Natasha and Daniel’s perspectives, and It talks about immigration rights, the struggles of immigrants, and how hard it is for some parents to provide everything for their kids. I loved how short the chapters are, the side characters, and their back stories, which made me like the book more. The writing style is simple, very enjoyable, and it flows beautifully in a way that touches your heart. There are so many heartfelt quotes in this book that I just want to print out and hang them in my room, because they’re so relatable, and every time I read some of them, they just give me all the feels.

There are two kinds of people. Rational people who believe in logic, and other people who believe in fate. And that’s how Natasha and Daniel are. They’re both different, but in a way they complete each other, and their connection doesn’t seem forced or something, it just feels so right. Also, Daniel’s sense of humor is everything, he just made me laugh a lot. I really admire Natasha’s stubbornness, and I can relate to her personality. When it comes to the end of the story, I really liked it, because it felt so real to me. To wrap up my review, The Sun Is Also a Star is a heartwarming story about family, love, and taking chances. It’s a reminder that no matter how much you plan your future, you never know what it holds for you.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline | Book Review

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“People who matter in our lives stay with us, haunting our most ordinary moments. They’re with us in the grocery store, as we turn a corner, chat with a friend. They rise up through the pavement; we absorb them through our souls.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. It feels like summer already, and I’m really sad that winter is over, because I’m definitely not a summer person for sure, but I like when the sun hit my window, and makes my room so bright. Anyway, last week I read Orphan Train, and it took me three days to finish it. It’s really a short book that I think you can read in one sitting, because the story is gripping and beyond emotional. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book is set in 1854 where orphaned children were transported by one of the Orphan Trains from the city to the country for better adoption opportunities. Not all of those kids found a loving and kind family, and one of them was Vivian, who’s now a widow living alone in a huge house. One day, Vivian asks her housekeeper to hire someone to clean her attic, then after a couple of days, her housekeeper brings Molly, a 17 year old girl who’s had her fair share of bad foster home experiences, and now she’s living with Dina and Ralph who are only fostering her because of the money they get. Because of the fact that Molly has stolen a book from the library, she is now in a real trouble, and she has to do community service, otherwise she’ll get in juvie. So when her boyfriend tells her about working for Vivian, she immediately agrees. However, Molly and Vivian will bond together in a way they never thought they would, which will help them find the true meaning of family, love, and friendship, through telling their stories to each other.

This book was honestly an insightful and heartbreaking story about the Orphan Train movement, which I’ve never heard about before, until I’ve read this book. So many children were only adopted to work as servants or to help in the farm. They were treated abusively, deprived of food, and didn’t even go to school to get a proper education. And that made me feel so sad, because it’s based on a true story. I can’t even imagine how that felt like. To be treated like you are someone who doesn’t matter when you’re just a kid and not be taken care of. It’s so disheartening. The writing style is very simple, yet so deep and very emotional. And it’s one of those stories that will stay with you. I didn’t expect to fall in love with it, but I did.

The story is told through two perspectives, in the present and in the past. Molly tells her story in the present, and we get to know her personality, her family, and her boyfriend. She’s very stubborn, always gets in some kind of trouble, and she’s also a bookworm. She loves reading, but she doesn’t want everyone to know that about her. And the most thing I like about her is that she speaks her mind. I just like when people say what they’re thinking. I have to admit that Molly is hard to like, but I totally understand why she acts very tough, and doesn’t let her guard down to anyone. I mean honestly, who blames her? On the other hand, Vivian told her story in the past, and she also talked about her traumatic childhood, and how she was abused and treated so badly. I kind of sympathized with Vivian more than Molly, and I was really moved by what she went through. I just loved her chapters, because I was so eager to learn more about her, and how she got through her hard past.

Orphan Train is a page turner and inspiring story about two different characters who have so many things in common, despite their age differences. They faced many misfortunes in their lives, but they were courageous enough to fight and get through so many awful moments to live and have a better life. They helped each other and changed each other’s life for the better. To wrap up my review, this story is so powerful and an eye opening, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | Book Review

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“No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Last week was so hectic and I didn’t have time to read anything at all. Because life gets in the way sometimes, and you have to deal with that. But, today has been relaxing so far, so I thought of writing a blog post about Ready Player One. I bought this book a while ago, and I decided to read it before the movie adaptation comes out. And it was mind blowing. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book takes place in the future in 2044, where the world is going down. The only way people can escape this horrible world is by spending most of their time in a virtual reality video game called the Oasis, which is inspired by the 80’s pop culture. Everything is possible inside the Oasis. You can be whoever you want, and do whatever you like. So, when James Halliday, the creator of the Oasis dies, he leaves an easter egg hidden in this virtual world, and in order to find it, the players have to look for three keys, and go through three gates. Whoever finds the easter egg, will inherit James Halliday’s fortune. However, When a boy named Wade Watts finds the first key, his life will change in a way he has never expected.

Here’s the thing, Bookstagram made me buy this book to be honest, and I’m not even ashamed of that. It seems like everyone is obsessing over this book, so I wanted to see what that fuss was about. And when I started reading it, I became obsessed too. This book has a bit of everything which is why it’s so compelling and easy to get lost into. And the concept is so cool, and interesting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live inside the Oasis? It’s basically everyone’s dream. I loved the world building, and the characters, especially Art3mis. I’m not sure if I like Wade, but he’s so relatable. The book starts with so much info dumping, and it’s hard to get into the story, but with each page things start to make sense and you feel like you understand what’s really going on. I also loved knowing James Halliday’s life and how he created the Oasis. I wasn’t familiar with all the 80’s pop culture references, but I still enjoyed the book.

When I finished this book, I didn’t think it would leave an impact on me. I know it’s an adventurous and fun story, but the more I think about it, the more it becomes so relatable. When James Halliday created this virtual video game, most people weren’t that much into playing and solving the puzzles that he left. They just logged into the Oasis, to escape the destruction and horrors of the real world, and they just wanted to be happy and change themselves into different people and have a happy life. When it comes to Wade, in real life, he’s overweight and he has acne all over his face, but inside the Oasis, he has the perfect body, and his skin is clear. There are parts in the book that shows us how the characters struggle with their self identity and strive for too much perfectionism, and believe that if they want other people to like them, they have to change who they are. Which makes me really sad, because there are people who feel the same way, and it’s really disheartening. On the other hand, I like they way this book portrayed the friendship relationship between the characters. When it comes to the end of the book, it was predictable, and I kind of guessed how it would end. Regardless, it was a really an entertaining and addictive read. I would totally recommend it.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee | Book Review

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’m planning to read more books that are out of my comfort zone this year. I really want to explore different genres that I usually don’t go for, because I think it’s good to read diversely every once in a while. I’ve been wanting to read To Kill A Mockingbird since ages, and I’m happy that I did. I was afraid I won’t get into it and like it, but it proved me wrong. I can’t stop thinking about it, and I really wish I read it before. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book is set in Alabama in 1916, and it follows the story of a widower lawyer named Atticus, and his two kids, Scout, and Jem. Things in town are going pretty normal, until people hear about some awful news. A black man named Tom Robinson is accused of raping a white girl, and everyone believes he did it. Later on, Atticus decides to take Tom’s case, and defends him in court, even though many people disagree with him. Throughout the process of proving that Tom isn’t guilty, Atticus life will be complicated and it will put Scout and Jem in danger.

I enjoyed reading this book, but it took me a longer time than I expected to finish it. I think that’s because I’m not used to reading classics that much, and the writing style is different from what I usually read. Nonetheless, it is an insightful book with real and important issues like racism, injustice. And it shows us how some people can be judgmental towards others, because of their skin color and their status. It also sheds light on morality, and the difference between the good and bad. And no matter how much you avoid bad situations, they are inevitable and part of reality. But, you can get through them by standing up for what’s right and ignoring what people think or say, because that in itself is bravery. So, the story is told through Scout’s perspective and she’s six years old when the story begins. Of course, she is an unreliable narrator, because she’s too young, and she only tells what she thinks, but not how she or the other characters feel towards what’s happening in town. Like I really wanted to know how Tom felt about his conviction, but his character had no depth in the book, which is really unfortunate. Now let’s talk about the Finch family.

Atticus represents everything good. He’s a patient father who’s compassionate towards his kids. He teaches them the right thing to do, and always has the time to answer their questions and giving them a good answer. And on top of all that, he’s an honest lawyer who always does the right thing. It’s impossible not to like him. Since Atticus is a widower man, he has a maid called Calpurnia, and she’s the mother figure in the story. She’s tough and strict on the kids, but in a good way. She always teaches them how to behave, and treat people. Honestly, she’s my favorite character. When it comes to his kids, Scout, and Jem. They’re really close and I like that, and Jem is so protective of his sister. Scout is smart, and she always fights with everyone, way too honest, and says what’s on her mind without thinking. But I really admire her personality. Over the course of four years, we notice how Jem, and Scout change throughout all of these years. In the beginning they’re both too young, and innocent. But, in the end, we see how they have a better understanding of how things work in life, and they also change the way they used to think about some people.

I like the character development, and how obvious it is. Most of the character change in the end, which seems realistic and relatable. Because, we constantly change, and it’s okay to change your mindset. There’s just something about growing up that makes you sympathize with people, and put yourself in their situation if you want to understand how they feel. And that’s how the Finch kids have matured in the book. To Wrap up my review, To Kill A Mockingbird is a wonderful and thought provoking story that has great life lessons, and It surely leaves you with lots of things to think about. It’s definitely a must read.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman | Book Review

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“And time is a curious thing. Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. memories, perhaps.”

Hello, my bookish friends, I hope you’re doing great. This week I only read one book, because I have an obsession with Grey’s Anatomy and I literally can’t stop watching it. I’ve seen A Man Called Ove around a lot lately, and people seem to love it, so thought I’d give it a try, and I’m glad I did. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of an old grumpy man called Ove, who lives by his own rules, and beliefs. It’s been six months after his wife died, and he’s still struggling every single day to wake up and go on with his day. His wife Sonja was the only light in his life, and now without her, his life is so dark miserable. So, he tries more than once to kill himself, but he fails at that. However, when a new family moves to the house next to him, his life will gradually change, and they’ll help him to connect with more people.

This book genuinely made me laugh. It’s such an amusing and emotional story about a man who learns how to cope with his life after the loss of his wife, who was the only one who understood him and saw in him the good things that most people couldn’t see. There aren’t many characters in the book, but I really like that, because they helped Ove, even when he didn’t want to. They were sweet and kind to him. The story is told in the present, and in the past where Ove used to work, and how his life was back then, and how it’s become after meeting Sonja. The chapters are short, and I really loved how we got to know Ove since he was a kid, and how tough his childhood was after the death of his father. He followed his father’s principles in life, and he honored him by taking his job right after he died. I mean, that part seriously made my heart ache. I feel like the storyline is predictable, and you can figure out what happens next, but the execution of it was simple in an easy and heartfelt way that gets into your emotions, and makes you admire and sympathize with the Ove.

Ove and Sonja were both different, but they complemented each other. Ove was a man who liked numbers, things that are logical and clear, and don’t require an explanation or an argument. But, Sonja saw the world in a colorful and optimistic way. She loved books more than anything. She liked going to cafes and sitting there for hours reading, unlike Ove who didn’t see the point of books and fantasy. He saw the world as it was before, and not how it actually is, because he was one of those old men who didn’t believe in technology, coffee machines, or how advanced and easy everything in life has become. He was an old school man and he appreciated that. He wasn’t a strange man, he just had his own perspective of looking at life.

To wrap up my review, A man called Ove is a funny, heartbreaking, and relatable story that is filled with so many bitter and sweet moments that will stick with you for a long time. This is one of those books that will cheer you up, and make you appreciate so many things in your life. I really recommend this book to anyone.