Books

Set Me Free: The Story of How Shakespeare Saved A Life – Salvatore Striano [BOOK REVIEW]

I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review of this book from Text PublishingNetgalley! The translator of the book did a wonderful job, as it didn’t feel at all like it was translated!

This is a story about an Italian prisoner that tells us how the prison system works, all the unfairness in it, and this is also a story that tells us how a person can still turn up good into a bad environment, and I was very happy that I witnessed that change from one chapter into another.

The way it was written was quite good, even though at times it felt a bit blunt and boring. Shakespeare was used in the book a lot, and sometimes he was overused and was in places where he shouldn’t have been. I believe that Shakespeare had influence over Sasa, but not as much as the theatre itself. I believe it was the theatre that made Sasa free, and not Shakespeare in particular. At the end of the day, I actually think that Sasa made himself free… Sometimes you only need a little push and nothing more.

I loved Sasa’s character, and I loved the way he sees life. I love how he sees the positive in all the negative, and besides all, he still wants to be a better person. We are all human, and we all make mistakes, and sometimes people know they made mistakes, regret them and want to become better. That is exactly what Sasa did, in an unfair environment.

I thought the prison was presented a bit unrealistic, as we all know what happens inside, and as much as Sasa wouldn’t hurt anyone if not necessary, almost 90% of the other inmates would – on regular basis. This was a little fact that annoyed me a bit. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read another book from Salvatore Striano.

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Books

How A Good Person Can Really Win – Pavan Choudary [BOOK REVIEW]

I have received ‘’How A Good Person Can Really Win’’ through Goodreads, in exchange for an honest review. I will honestly have to say that I had a very hard time finishing this book, and even that took me months, while I was reading other books inbetween. My full rating is 3 out of 5 stars and here is why:

  • About the book

How a Good Person Can Really Win is a self-help book that is supposed to help the good people to win in life. It is a book that is designed to show you how you can be one of those people that isn’t bad, but still be successful and prosper in life. The book is split into three parts, and it focused on both the bad and the good persona, comparing both sides and pointing out the differences between them.

  • The Good and the Bad

The thing that put me off this book a lot was the focus of the bad person. Yes – I do realise that the book is split into a half bad / half good part, and yes – I do realise that we need to see the difference. But when you consider yourself a good person, and have this book in your hands, that is supposedly made to make you realise how you can win, all you read is about how bad the bad person is, and the response (solution) to this is an advice for the bad man to change.

This has occurred on so many occasions, that made the book feel useless for me.

Even though I have to agree that the ending is focused on the good persona and there are actually a few tips on how you can win over the bad guys – most of the advices were for the bad people to not do those nasty things they keep doing.

So my question to the author here is: Who would be the target audience in the book? The logic answer is – the people that claim themselves as good-makers and believe in a better tomorrow. But what the book says is – a book that tells bad people what they are doing and how that is wrong in 100 different ways. Too bad that those people are not the ones reading the book.

On the other side though, I have to admit that there were many excellent examples of real life, and many situations that were realistic and relatable. There were a few very excellent advices as well, and I am sure that I have learned a few things from this book.

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Books

Piasa – Michael Kott [BOOK REVIEW]

The author – Mr. Michael Kott sent me this book for an honest review! I honestly enjoyed reading every single page, and I couldn’t put the book down, which deprived me from some sleep a few nights. This is what I thought about PIASA:

This is a very warm story that covers the life of Sara, a young little girl (don’t call her that, she’ll get angry!). My apologies – a young fifteen-year-old lady that survives a car accident while her whole family dies. In times when destiny is hard to accept, she will get involved into resolving the mystery behind the legend of the Piasa, and this adventure might actually mean a new start in life for her!

For a lady of this age, this destiny is extremely hard to accept, and on top of that, she has a few scars that will mark that experience probably for the rest of her life.

Her life is not easy – she lost her family, and all of her belongings, and here she is now, at her Aunt Claire’s hotel, still unsure whether she is ready to move forward with life.

Sara is a very unusual character. I have to admit that at times, she would made me cringe. Some of the things she says and does doesn’t comply with my opinion, but there are things that I really loved about her. I loved the way she is coping with all the challenges she has, after everything that she’s been through, her ability to admire someone the way she admires Mike, to start believing again, even despite everything that happens around her, to seize the day and enjoy the moments that life can offer. I love how she would find hope even in the darkest of places.

Even though I really liked the character of Sara, my favourite character has to be Mike. The way he thinks, acts and motivates everyone around him is unique. Mike is one of the characters that will make you realise and question some of your decisions in life.

The only character I couldn’t connect to at all was Pamela. I honestly am not sure why – it might be that there weren’t too many situations involving her that would make me care.

The story hooks you onto it and it is hard to put it down. I have never heard about the legend of the Piasa before, and one part of me wanted to find out before reading the book. I am glad that I didn’t, as I found out slowly about it, page by page, and that is an experience that will stay with me.

I love how it is presented that life is so unpredictable in so many ways, that mysteries are all around us, and that we are able to move forward and win – only if we wish to believe that we can do it. And sometimes, we are in doubt, and that is when precious people come into our lives – it all happens with a reason.

The only thing I wish was different about ‘’Piasa’’ is that I could’ve read this amazing book way, way sooner, when I was fifteen. I can’t wait to read the second book of this series – Cryptid.

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Books

The Canadian Alternative: Cartoonists, Comics, and Graphic Novels – Dominick Grace (Editor), Eric Hoffman (Editor) – [REVIEW]

Thank you to the author for sending me this book for an honest review through Netgalley.

I started read this book with no knowledge about the background of comics, especially for Canada. I have always loved comics, but never really read anything that speaks behind the scenes of how it started, what is the philosophy behind it.

I expected this book to teach me a lot of new things, and help me see the world in a different point of view, and I wasn’t disappointing at all. This is not a book that will deprive you from your sleep at night – in fact, it is one of those books where you read to learn, and it might seem boring at times, but that is only because it is full with information at all times. Wonderful read.

 

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Books

The Night Raid – Clare Harvey [BOOK REVIEW]

If you are a fan of drama, history, romance, World War II related books, heartwarming read and words that will make you laugh and cry at the same time – The Night Raid from Clare Harvey is the perfect book for you.

In the time of the World War II, in a factory in England, women work their way to earn a bit of money for themselves and their families. All of these women have their own stories and their own secrets.

When a woman comes to the factory to paint the ladies working the night shift, a lot of secrets will reveal itself. The stories of love, broken hearts, never-haves, hopes and dreams for the future will be painted on that canvas.

Full with passion, mystery, warmness and moments that will stay with you forever, Clare Harvey captures all of these and more in this amazing book.

She describes the characters in a unique way, she gives them life and meaning, and in a page or two you will already be inside their world, going through their happiness and pain.

This book was quite fast paced – in the meaning of, the story goes on smoothly, and there aren’t any sideway streets where you can get lost into. It was easy to keep track of what is happening from the very first beginning and easy to stay on track as well.

Clare managed to capture the World War II period in England quite well. I would never know how it was then, of course, but by reading the book, I could find myself being there, stuck in that time, stuck with those principles that we don’t believe in now. Stuck in a time where people believed that if a woman becomes pregnant during her working time, she has to either give up the baby, or live in a house full of other women that ended up the same way as her. Stuck in a time where gender equality is not a thing, and how could it be?

I would definitely recommend The Night Raid to every one of you, because it is a perfect blend of history and romance, of sadness and happiness, and of such powerful women that fought against all odds to survive and achieve in what they believed in!

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