I read six book this month. Here are my reviews.

“Touching Earth” By Rani Manicka

Stars: 5/5

Blurb: THE BALINESE TWINS — Beautiful and exotic, they exchange an island paradise for the shabby squalor of London, and innocence for corruption.

THE SICILIAN — Ricky Delgado strikes a devil’s bargain with a blood goddess: ‘Build my temple and bring me the souls of damaged people, and you will see what rewards I give.

THE COURTESAN — Elizabeth makes her living from men’s desire. With a flick of the switch in her head, she feels nothing: no pain, no hate, no sorrow, no joy.

THE ARTIST — Anis takes to painting as an outlet for his rage. His artist’s eye knows his subjects before they know themselves, and he paints them all, a gallery of broken people.

Can they escape the deadly web of decadence and sin?

Review: “The rats ate an island, but we’ll eat a whole planet. Think about it. We really are like rats. We give nothing to any other creature on this earth. We don’t make honey, our milk is only for our own, our flesh, which is supposed to be sweet, we consider too precious to be eaten by another. We don’t know how to make nests out of our saliva. Even after we are dead we won’t allow out skin to be used for leather. We just know how to shit and fuck.”

This book was nothing that I expected it to be. The characters, the description were phenomenal.
I am tired of “pure love” in books. Those young adult books, with perfect people, with perfect characteristics, so not real, that it makes you vomit.

This book on the other hand showed the truth. People who are unconventional, with their unconventional stories and love. Love, that is the real thing. When someone sees your ugly side and still wants you.

Rani Manicka captured the world, where cocaine is dominated. It reminded me of “The Wolf of Wall Street”, first you are successful and you think you will stay the same way. You can quit at any moment, just not now, not today, maybe tomorrow and the tomorrow never comes. The ugly side of this world, filth, prostitution, sex, jealousy, death.

Nutan, Zeenat, Anis, Maggie, Elizabeth, Bruce, Ricky and Francesca–their stories were captivating and I was rooting for them. But this isn’t a book with happy endings.

“The mirror is a dangerous thing. It is sincere in the company of the insincere.”

“Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn

Stars: 5/5

Blurb: “Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Review: Wow. When you think you were close to figuring it all out, na-ah.
Gillian Flynn has interesting ideas in her head. I definitely will read more of her. If you like mysteries and people who are just messed up, this is definitely the book to read. I call it “wtf”-ish, there were scenes that left me speechless and I realized more that humans are just messy animals. 

“A thousand splendid suns” by Khaled Hosseini

Stars: 5/5

Blurb: Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

Review: “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman.”
Khaled Hosseini did it again with his beautiful stories. Stories, which are hard to forget and move on. His stories, I always carry with me. The characters, the hardships and Afghanistan. I have never been there, but I’m fond of the country through Khaled Hosseini. I have never known or let’s be real cared much about Afghanistan. It was faceless for me. I didn’t know anyone from there, I was just not too interested. As an Armenian, I was consumed by my country’s tragedies, which I assumed was so rare. I was so wrong.
I loved the quote which said:
“Society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.”
Just this sentence could help many countries, you can’t dismiss 50% of the population and hope everything will turn right.
The characters’ stories were heart wrenching. Laila and Mariam are a pure example how women should stick together. Always.

     “You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life” by Jen Sincero 

Stars: 3.5/5

Blurb: From “Fear is for Suckers” to “Your Brain is Your Bitch” these chapters provide enlightening lessons: How to stop doubting your greatness, how to love what you don’t love about yourself, and how to tap into source energy to live a bigger life than you’ve ever imagined.

Review:  I love self help books that motivate you and guide you. This books was really good, sometimes you need to hear the same message over and over to really grasp it. I listened to this book while getting ready or exercising and I recommend to “read” this book through listening.
“Love yourself, believe in yourself, because you are a badass.” This message will become my mantra. I loved that it talked about that both mentally and physically one should be in their prime, because you will benefit from it. And if you really set your mind into something, it will happen.

“Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty

Stars: 2.5 /5 

Blurb: Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.
Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?
In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Review: I have never wanted a book to be short, as this one. It was long. Not that I hate long books, quite the opposite, I love thick books, because they are a challenge. This book wasn’t pointlessly long. It could have been a nice 200 pages book. It went on and on and on about one day, which i grasped wasn’t something mystical. Yes, an accident happened and it wasn’t a happy day, it was traumatic, but the book could tell the same stories in a shorter version.

I liked that it talked about metal illness, post traumatic stress disorder, hoarding, guilt and just accident that happen just because life happens.

The only characters I liked was Vid and Tiffany. They were real and raw, without bullshit. Oliver was good too. Clementine and Sam were annoying, I especially didn’t like Clementine.

In conclusion, just when something happens people need talk and discuss.

I don’t understand the hype concerning this book. this was the second book from Liane Moriarty, and I’m not sure I like her works. The Husband’s secret wasn’t too awesome either.

 

“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard 

Stars: 1/5

Blurb: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Review: *yawn*
YA books in a nutshell: let’s take a girl, who has a family and is poor and somehow she has some “skills”. Then two/three boys will fight for her attention and love, but one will be WAY better one, so the other won’t even stand a chance and roll with this scenario.

I rolled my eyes too many times, but gave the book every single chance. I saw this book EVERYWHERE, on Youtube, goodreads, pinterest, instagram and any social media out there.

Whenever I read a fantasy book, I do compare it with Harry Potter. While HP is the most exquisite work of art, with beautiful scenario and full meaning, other fantasy books don’t come even close to it.

Cal and Maven. This was like Thor and Loki. Thor (Cal) who is all actions, all power and all all, while Loki (Maven) soft spoken and not that strong and always overshadowed by his older brother. I’ll go further and compare Mare with Jane. I’m not saying Thor is lame, but this book reminded me of it. Not original at all.

Hunger Games wannabe also. Revolution (which was pretty much supporting terrorists, I don’t care how noble their intentions were, but bombing shit here and there–sounds like psychopaths to me). The ruined island….I’m not saying you can’t be inspired by other works, but to rip off that much and nothing original–it’s a big no.

And the twists…. I’m surprised that people didn’t see that coming. Really? The plot twists, I could see from miles away. I knew this Mare is going to be oh-so-special. I knew the guy who gave her the money is going to be someone important. Maven part…I’m yet to see someone betraying their mom. People can betray their dads, but not moms. Especially if they are second to be King

If they make a movie out of this, won’t be surprised…

 

These are all the books I have read. Did you read any of these? I went bazinga with Red Queen, I just hope for authors to be more creative.

Lilly

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