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.

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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.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson | Book Review

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“I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. “The sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. I’ve had this book for two months, but I haven’t had the time to read it. So, a couple of days ago, I finished it, and I honestly enjoyed it so much. Now I get why everyone keeps recommending it. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of two twins, Noah and Jude, who are really into art. They have a strong bond, and they tell each other everything. Jude is very protective of her twin brother Noah, and she always stands up for him, because he is very shy and doesn’t speak up for himself.  Years later, something tragic happens to their family, which affects Noah and Jude’s relationship as they grow up. However, As the have fallen out of each other’s lives, they will go through many hardships that will make them miss how things used to be.

I’ve never read anything by Jandy Nelson, but oh my this book moved my feelings in a way I didn’t expect at all. The story was emotional, romantic, and sad. And what makes more beautiful is the poetic writing style, which flows perfectly in a way that pulls you into its pages and makes it very hard to put the book down. It’s also very rare for me to care about all the characters in a book, but this one made me care, like more than I thought I would. The side characters were great, and they added something unique to the whole story.

So, the story is told in alternating point of views. And it starts with a Noah’s chapter when he is 13 years old telling us about his life, before things go bad. On the other hand, Jude’s chapters are told after the tragedy when she is 16 years old. There’s definitely a time gap between the chapters, which makes the story a little bit confusing, because you have to connect the dots as you read. I liked Jude’s chapters more than Noah, because she was really mature for someone who’s only 16, I liked her character and she felt special to me. But, Noah was really adorable and he really made me laugh. His chapters were kind of confusing, because sometimes I couldn’t tell whether what he was describing is real or not. But, I liked how his chapters were splattered with paint, it was really cool. Despite their differences, they’re both artists, and that’s something that will help them forgive each other. The end was predictable, but I loved it.

When they’re both apart, Jude and Noah struggle with their self identity, and it becomes difficult for them to grow their passion, because sadness and guilt is taking over their lives. A lot of things in the book are relatable. Like the way Jude and Noah find it easier to immerse themselves into art, and ignoring the real world as it doesn’t exist at all. The characters were imperfectly perfect, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with them. To wrap up my book review, I’ll Give You The Sun is a tear jerking story about family, love, and loss. It’s the kind of a book that will give you all the warm and fuzzy feelings. Highly recommended.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind | Book Review

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“Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re having  a relaxing Friday. I was planning on reading three books this week, but I only managed to read one book, because you know life gets in the way sometimes and you can’t do anything about that. Anyway, Perfume is a classic book that’s originally written in German. So many people have recommended this book to me, so I got it from my local bookstore, which was on sale. Lucky me I guess. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book takes place in France in the eighteenth century, and it follows the story of an orphan man named Grenouille, who was born with an exquisite sense of smell. The weird thing is that he has no scent of his own, like any human being, and he can’t even smell himself no matter how much he tries. He can recognize the scent of any object in the room and describe it. And on top of all that, he has the ability to recall any scent he has ever smelled. Later on, he becomes an apprentice for a perfumer named Baldini, and from this moment, his skill of creating scents develops better than before. One day, he comes across a young girl who has a unique scent that he’s never smelled anything like it before. After a couple of days, he kills the girl so he can keep as much of her scent as he can. However, Grenouille’s obsession with scents will make him question his self identity, and change his entire life.

I’ve never read any book like this one before. It literally blew my mind. The concept is very original, and thought provoking. The writing style of the book was brilliant, and so vivid. And the way Grenouille was describing everything he smelled made me feel like I was smelling the book while reading it. It’s one of those books that hold your attention from the first page. Also, this book gave me mixed emotions. And let me tell you that this book isn’t just about nice and wonderful scents. Throughout the story, Grenouille also describes how bad the streets smell, and the way women and men smell gross and disgusting all the time. Now let’s talk about Grenouille.

The beginning of the book was morbid. Grenouille has so much hatred towards humans, and his hatred increases a lot throughout the book. It’s like he lost hope with humanity, and he wants to do nothing with them, or even be around them. I think that because he grew up with a lack of affection, and he never experienced love in a healthy way, or any kind of relationship, which is really odd. From the moment he was born, nobody wanted to keep him, because he didn’t smell like normal babies. There was something off about him. And he was treated like someone who didn’t matter. Everyone ignored him and feared him. But, the only thing he had was his ability to compose any scent he has ever smelled. His skill is beyond comprehension, and he knew he had to take advantage of it. I’ve got to say that I hated/loved his character at the same time. He’s thoughtless, evil, and he has this pathological, and twisted side to his personality, which gave me the creeps. But, he knew how to take advantage of his own remarkable skill. I like his persistence and tolerance to work for other people, so he can train himself, and gain some experience when it comes to creating phenomenal scents. The first half of the book was really good, but then his quest to take hold of unusual and perfect scents depended on killing female teenagers in their sleep. I kid you not, the way he killed each girl gave me nightmares. While he was doing it, he had no sympathy whatsoever, and he only cared about himself. His striving for greatness wiped his feelings completely. Since he is scentless, he wanted to create different scents for himself, so he could manipulate people by each scent he pours on himself. I know it sounds crazy and terrifying. The end of the book was insane. I didn’t see that coming.

The book leaves you with many things to think about. Like whether our feelings towards each other, or the choices we make are unconsciously based on scents. It’s surely an interesting theory. The book is very graphic and disturbing. If you’re someone who can’t handle those kind of books, then don’t pick it up. But, if you like bizarre and spell binding books, then I definitely think you’re going to like this one. It’s a page turner, and the perfect book to read during the winter.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley | Book Review

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“If you look at the sky that way, it’s this massive shifting poem, or maybe a letter, first written by one author, and then, when the earth moves, annotated by another. So I stare and stare until, one day, I can read it.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re having a great day. Well, it’s the end of the first week of the new year, and to be frank with you, I’m not feeling it at all. I’ve been feeling sluggish all week, and even though I can totally blame it on my fever, I don’t think that’s why. And I haven’t read anything this week, which I feel so bad about that, but, I didn’t want to force myself, because that always takes away the joy of reading. Let’s just hope next week will be better. I’m just going to stop ranting about my life and actually start talking about Magonia. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of a fifteen year old girl named Aza, who was born with a rare disease, that kept her from having a normal life. She feels suffocated all the time, and can’t breathe properly. But, her family is really supportive and they take care of her all the time. The strange thing is, she always hears someone calling her name, but she doesn’t know if this is real or she’s just hallucinating. One day, Aza sees a ship in the sky, and when she tells her friend Jason, he believes her. After that, something unexpected happens, and she is taken by a ship to Magonia. A place above the clouds where she can breathe easily, and talk without choking. In Magonia, she will learn the truth about who she is, and where she belongs to. However, there’s a war coming between Magonia and earth, and she has to determine who will she be fighting for.

Can we take a moment and talk about how astonishing and magical the book cover is? I literally could stare at it all day. It also reminds me of The 100 T.V show. Despite the mixed review about this book, I really liked it. I know the premise is weird and hard to process sometimes, which I can see why. Magonia is basically a place in the sky, where there are people who can shift themselves into birds, and each one of them has its own bird who lives inside their rib cages. Also, there are sky ships that roam through the clouds, and air pirates who always threaten to destroy Mgonia. But, the idea of this book is so unique and refreshing.  The writing style is so beautiful, and it pulls you in from the first page. Now let’s talk about the characters.

The book starts with Aza telling us about her life and how she feels about it in a witty, and an interesting way. I also love how this book portrays the family element in a good and supportive way. On the other hand, there’s her best friend Jason, who she grew up with. They’ve been friends since childhood. He’s a science nerd, who’s obsessed with anything that sounds too hard to believe. His sense of humor is really funny, and he’s always there for Aza no matter what.

I really want to talk more about the book, but I can’t do that without spoiling anything, so I’m not going to. As much as I like this book, there is one thing that I didn’t like, which is how fast paced the plot is. I felt like everything happened so fast, without leaving some room for processing what was happening. That’s my only complaint.  I’m pleased with how things ended in the book, and I like the fact that the book cover is so expressive. Because, when I finished it, and looked at the cover again, I realized that it tells the story of the whole book. I mean, at first the feather and the birds coming out of it, didn’t really make sense to me, but then it did. To wrap up my review, if you’re someone who likes bizarre and illogical stories, then I think you’ll love this one.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett | Book review

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“Perhaps to be able to learn things quickly isn’t everything. To be kind is worth a great deal to other people. Lots of clever people have done harm and have been wicked.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re having an amazing day. Here’s the thing, I’m not much into reading classic books, but I love children’s classics so much, and I really enjoy them a lot. I don’t why, there’s just something heartwarming about them, or maybe because they remind me of my childhood. So, when I went to the bookstore last month, I bought A Little Princess. And I loved it. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of Sara Crewe, who’s the daughter of a rich English man named Captain Ralph Crewe. She’s been born and raised in India. When she turns nine, her father sends her to a boarding school in London. She feels so sad that her father is leaving her, but he promises to visit her and sends her anything she wants. After a couple of weeks, Sara begins to adjust in her new school, and makes new friends. Unfortunately, on her eleventh birthday party, her father dies, and leaves her orphaned and poor. So, Miss Minchin decides to let her become a servant and take away all of her fancy things. However, Sara’s life is not what it used to be, and now she has to deal with many changes in order to survive.

I used to watch the anime series adaptation of the book when I was a kid, but reading the book is a different experience. I wish I read it when I was younger. It’s an inspiring yet so sad. It’s like one second, Sara has everything,  then suddenly, she loses it all. It’s heartbreaking  for a little girl to be left alone in the world without anyone taking care of her. There’s this part in the book where she went to her room and started crying, because she didn’t process the fact that her father is dead and she’s totally alone. I’m not gonna lie, this part made me cry. And I guess that’s why books are always better, because you feel like you get to know and understand the characters on a deeper level.

At the beginning of the story, Sara has everything she wants. A loving father, a comfortable life, fancy dresses, and expensive dolls. Her father always spoils her. But, Sara isn’t like any other princess. She’s well mannered, kind, and compassionate. And she has a great imagination. She loves telling stories and she has the skill to make people listen to her, and make her stories sound so real. And she doesn’t mind talking to people who aren’t rich, in fact, she befriends Becky, who’s a servant at her boarding school. But, her life takes another bad turn which makes it harder for her to keep her spirit up. And we see how this sudden transformation from being the girl with everything to the girl with nothing and no one challenges Sara. She struggles every single day to keep her head up high, and act like a princess even if she doesn’t look like one anymore. Because, she believes that kindness goes a long way. What her father taught her, stayed with her. She went through an awful misfortune, but her life took an unexpected turn, because she had faith that eventually things will get better and easier. On the contrary, Miss Minchin is the opposite of Sara. She’s super mean, cruel, and self-righteous. And she treats people based on their social class and how rich or poor they are. Also, she was super jealous of Sara, because she couldn’t believe that a nine year old girl could have so many fancy and expensive clothes and dolls.  When Sara had nothing, Miss Minchin ignored her and starved her. She was literally nothing to her. Even though Sara is younger than Miss Minchin, she’s more mature and reasonable than her. Which shows us that just because someone’s is older than you, doesn’t mean they’re always wise.

To wrap up my review, A little Princess is a story about having faith, and believing that no matter what you’re going through, it will be worth it at the end. It’s a heartwarming book with so many life lessons.  I highly recommend it.

A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern | Book Review

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“It’s difficult to know which second among a lifetime of seconds is more special. Often when you realise how precious those seconds are, it’s too late for them to be captured because the moment has passed. We realise too late.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. The last book I read was really sad, and heartbreaking. So, I wanted to pick up a light book next, just to give myself a break from reading emotional books. And I picked up A Place Called Here. I just love the author’s imagination and creativity in her stories. Because, I’m really into magical, and out of this world kind of stories. If that makes sense. And this book was a great read. Without further ado, let’s review this book!

When a girl named Jenny-May Butler disappears, Sandy Short becomes obsessed with searching for lost things, and where they disappear. Every time she loses a hairbrush, or a pair of socks, she literally flips the house upside down, just to find her missing things. Years later, Sandy decides to run ‘A Missing Persons Agency’ by her own, and help other people find their missing loved ones, because doing that brings her peace in a strange way. One day, a guy named Jack calls Sandy, and asks her to help him find his missing brother. But, a strange thing happens to her the next day. She wakes up and finds herself in a a completely strange world away from everyone she knows. And she is confused whether this place is real, or just a dream. However, all she wants now is to find her way back home.

This is the second book I read by Cecelia Ahern, and I totally loved it. The premise is strange, and it’s really hard to get into, but the more you read, the more things start to pick up and make sense. It was really hard to put the book down, because I desperately wanted to know if Sandy will find her way home or not, and the whole point of her disappearance. It’s the kind of a book that makes you ask yourself so many questions about the characters, especially Sandy Short. Her obsession with finding every missing object, or even a person grew with her. Her parents used to tell her that a missing object will finally show up if you stopped looking. But, she didn’t believe in letting go, she believed that everything, or everyone disappears  for a reason, and she was determined to figure out whatever the reason was. I liked how smart and curious she is. But, I hated how she didn’t appreciate having caring parents. I also loved the parts of the book where Sandy was talking with her school counselor, because I feel like I got to know her better. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that they fell in love with each other. I don’t know, but it seemed off for some reason, and unrealistic. I understand that he’s very likable, and patient, but their relationship felt forced. Other than, I really liked his personality and how he was helping Sandy.

The end of the book was a happy one, but there were still some loose ends, and questions that I wanted to know the answers to. Overall, I think this book made me realize that sometimes what we are constantly searching  for is right there in front of us, but most times we don’t really see it. To wrap up my review, A place Called Here is a heartwarming story, with interesting characters, that you won’t stop thinking about. If you’re someone who likes books with magical realism, then I recommend this one for you.