Quidditch Through The Ages – J. K. Rowling [BOOK REVIEW]

For every Harry Potter fan out there, there is a book in the fictional library, that somehow wizards allowed for it to be shared with us muggles.

Note: I am not a muggle, I am, of course, a wizard, but I believe Hogwarts has made some admin mistakes and my letter is yet due to arrive!

But for you muggles out there, this book has been approved to be shared, and it talks about the most famous sport in the wizarding world – Quidditch. A sport in which Harry Potter was a star, just like his father and many famous people before him!

Quidditch Through The Ages speaks about the rules of Quidditch, the history, the famous teams around the world, the most famous players, the most exciting matches, the most devastating injuries, and the most mysterious endings of the matches.

While I was listening to it (Yes, I have the audible version – actually the second audio book I have ever read/listened to), this book made me feel like I was a part of this world, the same feeling I always get when I read the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling is such an amazing writer, and times and times again, I wish this world was real, and I wish I was part of it.

With my audio version, I also got the bonus scenes of the 2014 World Cup being held, and it being reported by Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter. It was the most amazing thing ever. It is also taken out from the Pottermore edition, so I think you might be able to find it online!

This book belongs to the never-forgettable shelf, alongside Harry Potter, and alongside all my other favourite books!

Note: Audible has an amazing offer that let’s you get one book for free once you sign up. So if you want to pick this book, or any other book, click here.

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The One And Only – Julia Ash [BOOK REVIEW]

When bio-terrorism threatens to obscure humanity, one woman has the power to restore hope.

Ruby Spencer is a wife and a mother. She also happens to be the only person that could save the people on Earth from dying! In moments when she is planning to resign from the U.S. Special Warfare Council, Ruby and her husband Clay are sent to one last mission.

With the last assignment being a low-risk mission to Taiwan where they need to analyze the zombie infection and consult with scientists, it seems like they are about to go on a long-deserved mini honeymoon.

But everything goes wrong! They get kidnapped, the biggest world powers all plan a war ahead, and it seems that only the ones that have Ruby are likely to win the war. They all fight over her, and she has no clue why. What makes her so special?

Review:

First of all, I have to thank the author, Julia Ash, for sending over this amazing book to me, in exchange for an honest review!  

The beginning of The One and Only is extremely breathtaking! I believe that the beginning might be the best part of the book, actually! The flow of the story is well-thought, and I especially loved the scenes where the author refers to the past, and made me feel like there was another book before that. It is quite easy to catch up with the beginning and the brief details of the past, but if in the future there is a prequel that explains it all – I would love to be the first one to know about it!

Now, the characters are probably the reason that made the book the way it is! We have Ruby, who is our heroine, a brave lady, ready to give all the love, courage and wisdom in the world. She is a mother, a wife, and a brave fighter that never gives up and is never afraid to stand up against evil.

On the other hand, we have her husband – Clay. He was… alright. I suppose? His love for Ruby and their daughter is incredible, but somehow, I could think of him as a manly enough figure in their relationship. He was smart and brave, but not as smart and brave as Ruby.

I couldn’t somehow connect with him.

The character that intrigued me the most is Ox. I loved how Julia has shown us the psychological profile of this man, and the way he thinks. It was lovely reading about his part of his story, and even though he was on the wrong side, it is what he believes in. And the way it is written in so extraordinary, that at times I could see myself giving him an excuse.

The only part that I couldn’t agree with, and I am refusing to accept is – THE ENDING! I will withdraw myself from spoilers, but that’s not how things should have ended! That is not the ending I wanted, that is not the ending I was hoping for. No, no, no. It made me upset, and angry, and I wanted to break something very bad! That was a huge disappointment for me and it changed my whole perception of the story and the book itself.

If you ever get the chance to read this book – you should expect a lot of twists, a lot of ups and downs, and if you are like me and are trying hard to not bite your nails – well, you’re about to fail. This is not your typical book about zombie apocalypse. This is not your usual book about a heroine being kidnapped. This is not your usual book of how a person saves the world. This will be nothing like you expected, and everything you hoped for.

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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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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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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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The Help – Kathryn Stockett [BOOK REVIEW]

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

This is a book where coloured maids in 1963 are afraid to speak up.

This is a book where they gain the courage to tell a white lady what actually happens inside their lives.

No one is ready to hear the truth, everyone is scared for their future, but bravery is a strong attire to have, and the maids prove they have what it takes.

Lot of courage, lots of excitement, anxiety and me biting my nails over and over again, but definitely book that’s worth reading. And definitely a book that will open your eyes about what actually happened back then.

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My Trip To Adele – R.I. Alyaseer [BOOK REVIEW]

My Trip To Adele is a book unlike any other. We are introduced to three different life stories, all of them connected to Adele in a wonderful way, and every one of them will teach us many lessons, bring tears or laughs on our faces and remind us who we are and why we exist in this world. This is a book of how a singer or a song can connect so many people and touch so many hearts in a way no one else could. A book about keeping traditions and breaking them, a book about love, bravery and most of all – HOPE.

Let’s meet Elias. A Moroccan man that has lived in Rome long enough to believe he is Italian, with a Moroccan dust left in his soul. Through Elias, we will find out about how many years ago, he paid a prostitute for her services and fell in love. His love for Malika is undescribable. While other men would pay hundreds to only have her body, he would pay thousands more to have her soul, even for a night. He would never touch her body, but they would spend hours and hours talking about meaningful and meaningless things, about what it is like outside this city, outside this country, what can the world offer…

Malika has so many wishes and hopes, she sells her body so one day she would be able to leave this town, leave her family, and explore the world. Get married and have children, and be successful, and learn the English language. When life parts them from each other for eight years, Elias goes back to the same old city to look for her, and Malika has already left town. Sharing one special singer, there is only one place where he can find her – an Adele concert in Rome.

In Las Vegas, we have Yaser and Mariam, a married couple that lost its sparkle many years ago. Both are surgeons and spend a lot of time at work. And when they come home to the kids – everything is a routine. Yaser pretends to enjoy his TV Show evenings and the Prayers that Mariam wants to attend. He pretends to believe in God just to please his wife. They are not a happy family inside the house, but Mariam makes it sound perfect on the outside – they have the perfect social media photos, and they go to the most expensive places on a holiday, what could be so bad? He feels trapped inside a routine and wants to escape, but he also believes in saving his marriage, and following his marriage counselor, they are trying to revive their happiest memories, and that is when they decide to go to an Adele concert in Rome.

On the other side of the world we will meet Nadia and her son Waleed. Nadia is a strong woman that has been coping with her now ex-husband’s betrayals. She raised her son oh her own, and the love she feels for him is indescribable. Only a mother knows how much she adores her son. When her son gets hurt on her ex  husband’s third wedding – Nadia decides that she would fight for her and her son, she will no longer be trapped, and she will finally enjoy a lovely holiday with her son – going to Adele’s concert in Rome.

This book is written in an amazing, fast pace, and you will never notice how you have scrolled through the pages and hours have passed. There were times where the character’s description was basic, and sometimes Adele’s presence would be too exposed, but all the characters are different in their own way, and every story has its purpose and its lesson.