Lilac Girls By Martha Hall Kelly | Book Review

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“retrouvailles, another one of those words that do not translate into English, which means “the happiness of meeting someone you love again after a long time.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I have something to admit, I always find it hard to review books that I really like, because either they affect me, or they talk about life and sad things that the characters are going through, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by that. And guess what, today I’m going to talk about Lilac Girls which is in fact based on a true story. When I bought this book I didn’t know anything about it, except that it’s set in world war 2. It was such a horrifying, yet an honest story of brave women. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

The story takes place during world war two when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, and it explores the lives of three women. Caroline Ferriday is a socialite and a philanthropist who volunteers at the French consulate in New York to help orphaned children that were affected by war, by sending them food packages. On the other hand, Kasia is a young Polish girl who lives with her family in town. When she gets deeper into the politics and war, she decides to be an emissary for the underground movement. One day, her mission goes totally wrong when the German soldiers catch her along with her sister and mother, and send them to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Away from Poland, there is Herta who is a young ambitious German Doctor. She has dedicated her entire life for medicine and she would do anything to get better. When she hears about Ravensbruck concentration camp, she feels that it’s a great opportunity to pass. So, she signs her name for the offered position and takes the job. However, throughout the grotesque medical experiments on the female prisoners in camp that are executed by Herta, Kasia is determined to make it through the horrifying pain, and hunger in order to tell the truth if she survived.

SPOILER ALERT

This book left me in awe. The writing style was detailed, and the pace of the book picked up slowly. It’s the kind of the book that you need to take your time with, because it talks about real war events that happened. I’ve heard about the Ravensbruck concentration camp before, but reading about it is a whole different experience. And following those women’s lives in the camp was heartbreaking. The way they were treated was brutal and dehumanizing. Every single day in that camp was like a living hell. The female prisoners were tortured, raped, and punished for no reason. Some of them were attacked by dogs, thrown in a cold, solitary confinements for weeks, and killed.  The medical experiments on the female prisoners were gruesome. I felt sick to my stomach when I reached the part when Herta started executing the experiments, because they were explained in the book in specific details. Like seriously, don’t read that part of the book while you’re eating, because it will make you feel nauseous.

Now let’s talk about the characters. The story is told through Caroline, Kasia, and Herta’s point of views, and I think that’s what makes it spellbinding. Because, it’s really engaging to read about how each one of those three women were affected by war in various ways. Like Caroline, she is a New Yorker socialite, privileged woman, and she always did what was necessary to help with the difficult situations that France was going through. But when Germany invaded France, they couldn’t send enough food packages or money, because of the war. When it comes to Kasia, she wanted to be a Nurse, and her sister wanted to be a Doctor, but their dreams were crushed when they were taken to the camp. Each day there broke them, but Kasia was smart, courageous, and she wanted to survive to expose those guards, and doctors who harmed the female prisoners. The third character is Herta, who lived in Germany with her father, and mother. She wanted to gain more medical experience, but she had no clue what she was getting herself into. She was manipulated by the Doctors at the camp, because they led her to believe that she was just doing her job, and experimenting on healthy people was for the greater good in medicine. It’s interesting  to see how her personality shifted to a criminal and cold one when she started killing innocent women. I felt furious at what happened to Kasia’s mother Halina because of Herta. When the female prisoners escaped the camp, and years later after going back to their normal lives. Post world war 2, Caroline helped the Polish women known as the ‘Rabbits’ by sending them to the United states for treatment. Later on, she and Kasia brought justice for camp survivors by exposing Herta. I can’t believe how strong, and resilient the ‘Rabbits’ were. Sometimes, i wished the boo was told through Kasia and Herta’s point of views, because i wanted to read more about the life in the camp. Caroline chapters are my least favorite to be honest, because they’re really long, and sometimes that didn’t add up much to the story. And her love relationship with Paul was doomed from the beginning, i don’t understand how she had so much hope, even though she knew it won’t last. The end of the book was satisfying and i really liked it.

To wrap up my review, this is an insightful, raw, and powerful book that I would recommend it to anyone. A story about war, friendship, love, and feminism that represents that era in a memorable, and thought provoking  way. If you love historical fiction books, then I promise you, that you won’t ever regret reading this book.

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern | Book Review

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“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is, your role, your gift.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. You know that feeling when you read a good book at the wrong time? Yeah, that’s exactly how I felt two weeks ago, because I was really sick and I struggled to finish it, even though it’s not that long. Anyways, after finishing this book, I kind of get why most people are praising it. Aside from the enchanting book cover, it really has an interesting premise. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

Hector Bowen, known as Prospero the Enchanter is a well known magician. People come from everywhere to enjoy his show and tricks. He left his wife a long time ago, but after she killed herself, he is now responsible for taking care of his daughter, Celia. At the beginning, they couldn’t connect with each other as a father and daughter would. But, when she makes a trick, her father intends to teach her the basics of magic. After many training sessions, Hector realizes that his daughter’s magic abilities are remarkable, and she is a fast learner. One day, he decides to invite his former magic teacher Alexander, to set a challenge between one of his students against his talented daughter Celia. After Alexander’s agreement to the terms of the challenge, he chooses a smart boy named Marco, and starts training him immediately. Celia and Marco have absolutely no idea that they’re competing against each other, or when the challenge begins. However, in a world full of magic and possibilities, two young magicians are destined to meet later in the future, and compete against each other. In order to win, one of them has to die.

This book completely hooked me up, I just wanted to dive into its world, and live there so I can go every midnight to the circus. It’s so mesmerizing, and it’s definitely one of those books that sweeps you off your feet, and makes you ignore everything around you. The writing style is so engrossing, and incredibly vivid. I literally felt like I was walking inside the circus, which felt so magical to me. Also, this book made me want to eat caramelized apples, and popcorn so bad. The precise description of the circus and each tent inside it, is fascinating. What makes this circus special, is that it travels across the world, appears in many different countries, and random places without specific time. But, it opens at midnight, and closes at dawn.  And that’s why people anticipate it, because it’s another whole experience. One more interesting thing in this book, is that Hector and Alexander taught their opponents differently. Hector taught Celia in a physical way. Like making her move things, cutting her fingers and making her rapair them over and over again with magic. On the other hand, Alexander relied on the theoretical training, and he made Marco read tons of books, and make notes. As much as I loved this book, there are some things that I just didn’t like. First, there’s a lot of time jumping, which I found really confusing. Second, the two main characters, Celia, and Marco were flat to me. Because the story begins with them as little kids, until they grow up, and it feels like we lived with them throughout the events of the story, but there was no character development at all. Third, the insta love between Celia and Marco was so cliché. I didn’t buy it at all. I feel like they were not supposed to fall in love with each other, but the author kind of forced them, just to create a magical romance scene in the book, but honestly it felt so wrong, and unconvincing. Fourth, there was no actual competing between Celia and Marco. I really was waiting for the big, exciting moment when they meet each other, and start the competition. But that moment felt so normal when it happened, and I honestly was so disappointed. Fifth, the book focused more on the circus itself, the lavish parties, and fancy dinners, instead of focusing on the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the circus was described in a beautiful, and engaging way, but it’s kind of neglected the characters, which made them have no depth to their personalities. The only character that I really liked and rooted for was Bailey. He changed a lot at the end of the book.  Sixth, I honestly don’t know what the purpose of the circus, I know it’s the place for the opponents to compete in, but at the end stuff happened, people died, and the circus closed. I expected Celia to win and run the circus again, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. To wrap up my review, I loved the magical realism in this book, except the character, they were less interesting than I thought. And despite the things that I didn’t like, I’d still recommend it.

Trapped In Silver By Emily Sowden | Book Review

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“There’s a humble blessing to being ignorant of things we don’t understand.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing amazing. I have great news for today. I’ve been selected as an official reviewer for Oftomes. They sent me a free copy of Trapped In silver in exchange for my honest review. It took me four days to finish the book, but it’s really not that long, and it’s so gripping. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of Ava, who lives in a small town called Wetherdon. Her father left a long time ago, and ever since then, she has been responsible for taking care of her foster brother Roan, and their farm. Her life is not easy as it seems, because sometimes, she pretends to be a boy, in order to sell their farm products in town, and protect herself from dangerous people. One day, she goes to a festival in town with her friend, but something unexpected happens. She is hunted by a group of animalistic men called The Berserkers, who want to kill her. Later on, she manages to escape from them.  When she finds out that her brother is missing, she makes it her mission to look for him. However, in a strange land full of monstrous creatures, she is keen on understanding everything, including the coming war. And along the way, she will discover the truth of who she is.

This book exceeded my expectations! The world building is magical, dark and mysterious. I was hooked up  from the first page. The writing style is so captivating, the story is fast paced, and it’s told through Ava and Ethan’s point of view. I loved how with every page, we learn more about Ava, her parents, and her foster brother Roan. My favorite thing about this book is the fact that the main character is a Female! Not only that! She is self reliant, courageous, strong, and she doesn’t take crap from anyone. And on top of all that, she really has a good sense of humor. Even though she makes wrong decisions sometimes, I still admire her personality. Because, you know, nobody is perfect, and she’s the perfect example of that. I also think that her character is relatable, because when people have good intentions and they plan on doing the right thing, sometimes they make the wrong decision, and that doesn’t make them bad people. It’s just that’s how life is, you have to make mistakes to learn from them. When it comes to Ava’s relationship with her family, she’s so protective of them and she wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt them. I also like how when Ava met Ethan, she didn’t fall in love with him immediately. Throughout the story, they were getting to know each other, and talking about personal things, which I really liked. The only thing that I wanted to know more about, was Ava’s locket. I kind of have my own theories about it, but I hope the next book will explain to us the purpose behind it. I really wanted to read from Roan’s point of view, because it would’ve been interesting to know how he feels about being a Berserker. Also, the plot twist in the last pages was so shocking! I didn’t see that coming! To wrap up my review, I really enjoyed reading Trapped In Silver,  and it was such a page turner! It also has The Beauty And The Beast vibes, which is amazing! It’s full of twists, and unexpected moments. If you’re a fantasy lover, then I really recommend this one for you.

The Nest By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney | Book Review

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“She was so much better at being alone; being alone came more naturally to her. She led a life of deliberate solitude, and if occasional loneliness crept in, she knew how to work her way out of that particular divot. Or even better, how to sink in and absorb its particular comforts.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Two weeks ago I finished reading The Nest, but I wasn’t able to find the time and write a proper review for this book, because believe it or not, I’ve had so much socializing lately and it was taking up all of my time. But, Since Eid is over, I’m now happy to get back to my reading routine, and tackle my stack of unread books. Before I start my review, let me just tell you that I’ve read very mixed reviews about this book. Not going to lie, I was afraid I won’t like it, but I ended up loving it. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

The Nest follows the story of four rich siblings. They spent their whole lives waiting for their inheritance, but they can’t receive it until their youngest sister Melody turns 40. After their oldest brother, Leo, gets in a car accident with a waitress from a party, their Mother spends the inheritance money on Leo to fix him, and hides his scandal to save their reputation. Years Later, when Leo gets out of rehab, his siblings hope that he has finally redeemed himself. However, Beatrice, Melody, and jack have their own issues, and they believe that getting the money will solve everything for them. But, Leo’s plan after the rehab is to focus on getting a new job, and leaving his old habits behind. So, Will Leo returns their money back and end their misery?

Reading this book made me feel like I’m watching a TV show about a rich and dysfunctional family, and I freaking loved it! The writing style was emotionally deep and it flowed perfectly. The pace of the book is slow at times, but I had no problem with that, because with every page, we learn new secrets and things about the Plumb Siblings, and that made me more invested in the story. And my favorite thing about this book is the fact that it’s set in New York! I literally felt like I was walking there, and that’s how descriptive the scenes in the book were. There are also side characters, and each one of them have a back story, which made the story more interesting. The characters are flawed and vulnerable, and that’s why they felt like real people to me. It’s so engrossing  to go into their lives and experience their past and what they went through. I sympathized with all the characters, but mostly about Beatrice. Her story just broke my heart, but I loved how her determination changed things for her at the end. The only character that I hated was Leo. I just didn’t feel sorry for him, because he ruined his life by himself. I would’ve liked to know more about their father, because there wasn’t that much about him. The end of the book was predictable, but it was a happy ending. So I can’t complain! To wrap up my review, this is one of those books that once you get attached to its characters, you won’t be able to put it down. It’s such a diverse book from what I usually go for, but it’s highly recommended. It’s a story about family, love, and friendship. And I think the end gives us a reminder that sometimes, going through the worst situations, brings out the best in people.

The Hating Game By Sally Thorne | Book Review

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“Love and hate are visceral. Your stomach twists at the thought of that person. The heart in your chest beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and clothes. Your appetite and sleep are schredded. Every interaction spikes your blood with adrenaline, and you’re in the brink of fight or flight. Your body is barely under your control. You’re consumed, and it scares you. Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game.”

Hello, my bookish friends. Happy belated Eid. Honestly, I love Eid preparations and how excited everyone is. And you know what the best part is? Baking yummy food for Eid, and that moment when the house smells so sweet and heavenly! Nothing ever can beat that. Anyways, when I finished ACOWAR three weeks ago, I went through a terrible reading slump, then I decided to read something light hearted and short. So, I picked up The Hating Game, because someone on Instagram recommended it, and it was such a funny/adorable book. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

When Bexley and Gamin, two publishing companies are merged together, Lucy and Joshua, the executive assistants are now forced to work near each other. But the thing is that Lucy hates Joshua, but she doesn’t know exactly what she hates about him. His quietness, how serious he always is at the office, or how he looks fresh at the end of the day, even though he works non stop. On the contrary, Joshua always wonders about why Lucy wears tight and bright dresses every single day. And her optimistic personality irritates him so much. However, when the company offers a promotion, the competitiveness between Lucy and Joshua over the promotion position gets out of control, which makes Lucy think about whether she hates Joshua for real or not.

I love reading books about people who work in an office. And honestly, this book reminded me a little bit of Attachment by Rainbow Rowell. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading it, because it made me laugh a lot, especially when Lucy and Joshua start judging each other. The writing style is so gripping, and I couldn’t put the book down, because it was so entertaining and hilarious. Let’s talk about the characters. Lucy is the kind of person who’s so nice, kind,  and she can’t refuse any favor from anyone, even if she should. And that got her in so many work related troubles. Because her Coworkers were taking advantage of how helpful she is, that she ended up doing their job for them, which sucks. Which I kind of relate to that a little bit, because I’m really a helpful person, and when someone tells me to do something for them, even if i shouldn’t, I find it hard to say no. We should all help each other out, but I personally believe there’s a difference between someone wanting your help, and someone using you. And that’s why we have to remind ourselves with that. Now let’s talk about Joshua. He’s the kind of a tough looking guy, that doesn’t talk that much and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Which is why Lucy hates him so much. But underneath all that, he’s totally the opposite of what people think about him. I really admire his personality. I love how the story gets deeper page by page, and how we get to know more about Lucy and Joshua, and their families. To wrap up my review, if you like books about people who have a love\hate relationship towards each other, then you’ll love this book. Such a heart warming, and fluffy read, and It will give you all the feels. I highly recommend it.

A Court Of Wings And Ruin By Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

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“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing amazing. I should’ve written this review book weeks ago, but I couldn’t, because I’ve been babysitting my nephews a lot lately, and by the end of the day I’m just so exhausted. How do parents stay sane! Anyways, today I’m going to review ACOWAR finally! I still don’t know how to feel about it, let’s just say that I have a love\hate relationship with this book. Without further ado, Let’s review this book!

After the damage that has been done in Velaris by Tamlin, a dangerous war is coming sooner than ever to Prythian. High Lady of the Night Court, Feyre returns to the Spring Court again as a spy for Rhysand, to expose Tamiln’s plans and use them against him, and to avenge her sisters. However, in the process of plotting against Tamiln, Feyre has to choose the right allies to help them win the war against Hybern.

Don’t you just hate it when you have high expectations for a book you’ve been waiting so long to read, then it ends up disappointing you? I have no problem with books that have almost 700 pages or even more. As long as the plot is engaging and not repetitive, I’m totally okay with that. This book surely didn’t need to be that long, because I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again, especially the chapters in the beginning of the book, but the last chapters were definitely better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with Sarah’s writing style, and I love how dramatic and twisted it is. But I don’t get why this book is so long?! It actually made me go through a terrible reading slump, and I hated that so much. Because this series is my favorite one that I have ever read so far, and I felt so upset over the fact that It didn’t live up to my expectations. What a bummer! Also, is it just me or this book feels like it’s just about Rhysand and Feyre making out? It was unnecessarily too much! Especially when they were making out in the library, which is by the way a safe place for priestesses who were sexually harmed!! Are you serious! Of all the places they could’ve chosen, A LIBRARY!! I just can’t even! Can we talk about how manipulative and sneaky Ianthe is? I knew she was trouble the moment she appeared in ACOMAF. Something was suspiciously off about her, but I’m glad about what Feyre has done to her, good riddance. I’m not going to to talk about Tamlin, because he’s totally not worth it, and I’m so happy that Lucian left him. One thing that really bothered me is that the book focused more on the new characters instead of the old ones, like Azriel, I still want to know more about him. Now, let’s talk about what I liked in the book. I really liked knowing more about Lucian’s mother and what his cruel father did to him. But, I was really shocked when I knew his real father, and I’m surprised Feyre didn’t tell him anything. Let’s just hope Feyre doesn’t make any stupid decision in the next book, because I think Lucian would feel upset if she doesn’t tell him the truth. I also like Nesta, because she’s her own person, and she doesn’t let anyone stop her if she sets her mind on doing something. When it comes to Mor, I hope we will learn more about her in the next book. To wrap up my review, there are so many moments that I liked in the book, but I’m not going to talk about them, because I don’t want to spoil anything more. Please don’t hate me for pointing out what I didn’t like in this book, because as I said, I love and hate this book at the same time and I’m definitely going to read the next books in the series. I hope you enjoyed my review, and hope you have a wonderful day.

A Court Of Mist And Fury By Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

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“There are good days and hard days for me—even now. Don’t let the hard days win.”

After surviving the cruel events under the mountain, Feyre tries to adjust to being a High Fae in the spring court. But, she goes through a hard time accepting the fact that she has killed innocent people there. Because of that, her mental and physical health is getting worse day after day. Her passion for painting is gone, and she doesn’t stand the idea of holding a paint brush anymore. And Tamlin is making the situation worse for her. He doesn’t allow her to leave the manor at all, unless he’s with her. She feels suffocated and trapped inside this huge manor. However, Feyre’s powers might save people’s lives from all the evil that’s coming, if she chooses to use them for the greater good.

This book literally kept me on the edge of my seat. It made me feel so many different feelings at once. Even though it is long, I feel like it’s fast paced, because so much is going on in it. The character development is my favorite thing in this book, especially Feyre’s. I like how she’s become aware of herself, and worth. And how she’s started taking charge of everything, without letting anyone underestimate her. I also loved getting to know the other side of Rhysand’s personality and his feelings toward Feyre. Also, can we talk about how selfish and possessive Tamlin is?! He made me feel so irritated to the point where I just wanted him to be dead. Anyways, the end was such a cliffhanger and I honestly can’t wait to see what Feyre is going to do next in A Court Of Wings And Ruin.