Heartless By Marissa Meyer|Book Review

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

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

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

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

 

A World Without You By Beth Revis | Book Review

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

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

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

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

Shatter Me Series By Tahereh Mafie | Book Review

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“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

Hello, my bookish friends. Hope you’re doing well. Today I’m going to review the Shatter Me series, because it really holds a special place in my heart. It was the first dystopian series I read, and it really got me into reading. Two days ago I finished rereading Ignite me, and I had this bitter/sweet feeling, because it was like leaving my favorite world behind. Okay, I’m going to stop, and start my review.

This book is set in a futuristic/dystopian world, where everything is collapsing. This world is ruled by The Reestablishment, which is a government that aspires to transfer this world into a completely different one, by changing the language, the rules, and the way people live. When a girl named Juliette touched a little boy and he died, the government arrested her, and kept her in prison. But in fact, Juliette has a killer touch, so if she touches anyone, they’ll die from pain. She hasn’t communicated with anyone for more than two years. However, Juliette’s life takes a drastic change when the commander of sector 45, Warner, decides to get her out of prison, and train her to work for the government.

Can we just take an appreciation moment for Tahereh’s writing style? The flow of words is beautiful, rhythmic, and poetic. It’s like reading poetry, and I loved that. The characters development was so noticeable. Especially in Unravel Me, and Ignite Me. The first book starts with Juliette as the scared, and shattered girl who just thinks that death is the answer for her misery. But, when she meets Adam and talks with him, she falls in love with him because of his kindness. Personally, I think that she fell for Adam, because he was the first boy who ever talked to her, and helped her. I was totally against their relationship from the beginning, because there was something not right about them being together. I know that Warner has a destructive, heartless, and cruel personality. But oddly, I had a soft spot for him from the beginning. He’s one of those evil characters that you can’t help yourself not to admire. Maybe what I said sounds strange, but I knew there was some goodness inside of his twisted heart. There was one thing that I didn’t like about Juliette in the first book. She was thinking, and imagining a lot about how love feels like, and how would she feel if someone touched, and loved her for she is. I was like WAKE UP JULIETTE! DO YOU KNOW HOW POWERFUL YOU ARE! She was beyond CRINGY! But, when she went to Omega Point, she started to change and I liked that. Also, Can I have a friend like Kenji pleas? He really made me laugh. His sense of humor is catchy. Especially when he jokes about Juliette’s feelings, and she gets mad at him. He’s one of those characters that lighten up every situation for everyone. So, I’m going to talk more about Ignite me, because it was the best book in the series.  Juliette didn’t take it easy when Warner told her that Omega point was destroyed. She had to choose between two things, wallow in grief and sadness, or accept what happened and be strong. Of course she chose to be strong and work on strengthening her power with Warner. Even Kenji was astonished at how she completely became a new person with a clear mindset. Also, the fact that Juliette is finally with Warner made me so happy, because I waited so long for this moment. And the story of his mother and ruthless father broke my heart into pieces. That part of the book where he goes to see his mother and then Juliette comes inside and sees him sitting in the corner, because he’s just found out that his mother is dead! Poor Warner! So many awful things happened to him. Also, can we just talk about how obnoxious Adam was? I didn’t feel sorry for him! I was really mad at him like GET OVER IT! He liked the weak, kind, and obedient Juliette who always listens to him, but when she broke up with him, he was so mad at her that he wished she was dead. I honestly wanted to slap him in the face so bad! But Warner brought the best out of Juliette’s character, because he believes in her, and in her power. He encourages her all the time. The only thing I didn’t like about the book is the end. Because Anderson’s death was fast with no plot twist or anything. Other than that, the book is literally so thrilling, intense, and engaging. Seriously, if you haven’t read the Shatter me series yet, you’re missing out! So recommended.

The Muse By Jessie Burton | Book Review

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“Like most artists, everything I produced was connected to who I was – and so I suffered according to how my work was received. The idea that anyone might be able to detach their personal value from their public output was revolutionary.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing great. Well, I have this weird habit where I sometimes forget that I have a blog, and book reviews to write, which makes me feel awful about myself. But, I promise that I’m going to dedicate more time to write more posts on my blog. Anyways, since I’m not feeling fine today, because I woke up with a horrible fever, I thought why not write a book review? So, here we are. Today’s book review is about a historical fiction book, which takes place in two different time periods. So, Let’s start!

In 1967, a Trinidadian immigrant woman named Odelle moves to London to pursue her passion for writing. One day, she receives an acceptance letter from The Skelton Institute to work for them as a typist. When she meets her boss, Marjorie Quick, she feels that there’s something charismatic about her. As days go on, Odelle meets a guy named Lawrie in her friend’s party. After that party, they meet a couple of times, until they fall in love with each other. On a cold morning day, Lawrie shows up in The Skelton Institute with a huge painting that his mother left to him when she died. However, The history behind this captivating painting will change Odelle’s life in a way she never thought of.

In 1936, an artist girl named Olive lives with her parents in the south of Spain. She is naturally skillful with painting a breath taking canvases. But, she doesn’t show them to anyone, even her parents. Her father sells paintings for a living, but she knows that her father won’t sell her paintings or value them. Later on, a guy named Isaac comes with his sister Teresa to work for her family, she starts to like him and develop feelings for him, and she befriends his sister. However, when Olive shows Teresa her painting, Teresa does something that will change her life, and Olive’s.

You know that moment when you’re too engrossed in a book, and you lose sense of everything around you, because you’re not in reality anymore! Yeah, this book made feel like that, plus my feelings were all over the place when I finished it. I don’t even know where to begin from. The vividness of the writing style and the detailed descriptions of London and Spain made me feel like I was sitting there. And the true story behind Olive’s painting made my heart ache. I liked when the characters talked about how we see and feel a painting, and how it leaves each one of us wondering differently. There are lots of important themes mentioned in this book. Like, war, immigration, and feminism. Teresa is absolutely my favorite character, because she is so persistent and courageous. I loved that moment when Teresa brought Olive’s painting to the living room instead of Isaac’s painting, she wanted to prove to Olive that her painting was worth it. She told her to go out there, go to art school, and defy society’s rules of whom should be a painter. But Olive ignored her, and she kept hiding behind Isaac’s name, seeking recognition and fame through him. I get why she did it, because women weren’t acknowledged as artists in that period of time. No one ever would buy a painting that was painted by a woman. Isaac was Olive’s inspiration, the one who made her paint non stop. Even when he told her it’s all in your head, you’re already talented. She told him you don’t get it, I need you. I really felt like crying when I read that part! I know the book has two different stories and characters, but Odelle and Olive have so much in common actually. They’re both artists, and afraid to put themselves out there. Because, what if they don’t live up to people’s expectations? What if they don’t live up to their potential and feel stuck forever in self doubt? I think lots of us can relate to that. Which really feels disheartening to hide what you’re great at, just because you’re afraid of what people might think of you. Now let’s talk about Odelle. She’s an ambitious writer, but throughout the book she struggled to believe in herself. But, Marjorie pushed her to publish her essay. I like how at the end, Odelle realized that Lawrie wasn’t good for her, and her career was more important  to her than being in a relationship. This book has strong female characters that went through hardships to show the world their potential, which is something to live up to. It’s definitely one of those books that will leave you with a new perspective on so many things.

 

Salt To The Sea By Ruta Sepetys | Book Review

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“War is a catastrophe. It breaks families in irretrievable pieces. But those who are gone are not necessarily lost.”

Hello, my bookish friends. It’s been a while, and I really wanted to post a book review last week, but life got in the way. Anyways, today I’m going to review a historical fiction book by Ruta Sepetys. This book just blew me away with its fascinating plot. So let’s start!

Salt To The Sea takes place in world war two in 1945. It follows the story of four young refugees. Joana, a Lithuanian nurse, Florian, a Prussian who has a secret mission, Emelia, A fifteen year old Polish girl, and Alfred, A sailor who is full of himself. All of them are trying to escape from East Prussia by going on a ship called the Wilhelm Gustloff. A ship that will save their lives and thousands of refugees from this horrible war. However, Each one of them has a dark secret and painful past. Through the crucial times of world war two, they’ll come across many obstacles that will make their journey to the ship complicated and full of dangers.

Now let’s discuss this book. The story is told by four perspectives. Joana, Florian, Emelia, and Alfred. The chapters are short and it somehow reminded me of All The Light We Cannot See, because it also has short chapters. It’s probably because whenever we think of reading a historical fiction book, we imagine lots of dates, and complex words, but it’s the opposite of what we think. Every time I read one, it makes curious about the facts that are mentioned in the book, and it also makes me more interested in history. What I liked about this book is that we don’t just get to read about how one character felt or thought about the war. We read about the struggles and sacrifices of those characters that they went through just to save their families. If you’re like me and never heard of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, then you’re going to be totally blown away. It was a military German ship, which was supposed to transfer thousand of German people to safety. Unfortunately, it was sunk on 30 January, and more than 9000 people had died. It’s known to be the biggest maritime disaster in history. How did I not know about this before? I honestly couldn’t put this book down. It’s like each chapter begged me to read the next one. I’m not much of a history lover person, but sometimes I like to read one for a change. And this one definitely lived up to the hype. I know that those characters are fictional, but somehow I got emotionally attached to them and what they were going through. This book also contains true facts and stories about world war two. It’s such a masterpiece with an insightful plot, and gripping characters. I can’t recommend this book enough.

The Way Back To You By Michelle Andreani | Book Review

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“The beauty of being young is that you can change your mind a hundred times and life is still before you with all the options.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I just want you to know that while I’m writing this book review, it’s raining outside and I’m enjoying my cup of latte with delicious homemade butterscotch cookies. Does it get any cozier than this? I don’t think so. So, let’s start our review!

This book tells the story of Ashlyn Montiel. After she died in an accident, her best friend, Cloudy felt so shocked and heartbroken. She missed her presence every day, because Ashlyn was like a sister to her. Ashlyn’s boyfriend Kyle, didn’t take it easy either. He was wallowing himself in sadness, and falling apart. It was obvious to everyone around him, because he didn’t care about anything in his life anymore. But, things start to change when cloudy finds out that after Ashlyn’s death, her organs were donated to three people. So, she decides to go on a road trip with Kyle to track those recipients’ lives, hoping that by meeting them, they would find some closure to their grief.

I honestly picked up this book without reading any reviews about it. I literally had no idea what the book was about. I guess I was trying to be spontaneous, which is rare when it comes to choosing a new book. Trust me on that! Anyways, I loved the beginning of the book, because I kept reading the book page after page, even though I started reading it late at night, but that didn’t stop me. When I get into a book, the world around me doesn’t exist. The plot was fast paced, fluffy, and heartwarming. I loved how Cloudy went on a road trip and forced Kyle to come with her. That road trip was full of drama and good times too. That part of the book when Kyle saw the cat on the street and it somehow reminded him of Ashlyn’s eyes was just emotional for me. I felt really sad for him. Also, I admire the relationship between Cloudy and her sister, and the relationship between Kyle and his father. Because, it’s actually rare that family members as fictional characters get along in contemporary books. They always fight and usually the parents have no say when it comes to their kids’ lives. They just don’t know what’s going on. It’s so annoying.  To conclude my review, I  really recommend this book for you guys, especially if you’re in the mood to read  an adorable book.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion | Book Review

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Hello, my bookish friends. Hope you’re doing great. Well, I was supposed to have a hectic day full of work, but I got the day off, and the things that I need to get done are postponed for two days, so I guess the odds are in my favor today. So, I’m going to review The Rosie Project and The Rosie effect. Let’s start!

Don Tillman is a geneticist professor who has Asperger’s syndrome. He lives his life by specific routine, obsessed with planning, and scheduling everything in his life. When it comes to relationships, he’s never had a second date, and he hasn’t dated anyone in a long time. So, he decides to start ‘The Wife Project’ to find his perfect soul mate that is exactly like him. However, when he meets Rosie to help her find her biological father, he changes ‘The Wife Project’  to ‘The father project’ and along the journey of searching for her father, he can’t help himself not to like her. After finding his perfect soul mate for life, Rosie. Now he wants his life to be exciting and full of unpredictability. So, they decide to move to New York together. While he has a lot on his plate to deal with, Rosie surprises him with her sudden pregnancy that makes it hard for him to digest. However, Don will face some difficulties in preparing himself to be the perfect father for his child.

I have mixed emotions about those two books. I liked them, but I didn’t love them that much. The Rosie project started with Don as the narrator in an interesting way. He’s quirky, serious, and he has a sense of humor. And the way he always evaluates and plan for everything in his head is fascinating. But, when he met Rosie you could notice how complex for him it was to break his routine and try something different. Let’s talk about Rosie. She’s literally the opposite of Don’s character. She is confident, brilliant, and fierce. I think her character added something unique to the plot. The possibility of two incompatible people ending up together is what made me want to read the book till the end. I couldn’t put it down, because I was so engaged in the book. On the other hand, The Rosie Effect wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it would. I couldn’t even finish it! The plot was repetitive, which made me feel so annoyed. I didn’t care about the other characters, or what happened to them. I just kept flipping the pages until I read the last page only, because yeah it was really that boring. However, if anyone asks me whether to read those books or not, I would tell them to read the first one only, because the second one is so disappointing.

Have you read The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect?

I’d love to know your thoughts on those two books.