Watermelon – Marian Keyes [BOOK REVIEW]

A lovely read! Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors of all time. The story of how I discovered Marian is quite funny, actually.

It was back in the days when I was a teenager and I was in love with the Gifted Series from Marilyn Kaye. I have read only the first two books and I have asked my mum to bring me the rest of them (there were six in total). She came back with a book with an author that had a similar name, and here we are today 🙂

I have read Watermelon a long time ago, but I have decided to share my thoughts with you now.

This is a chick lit book about a woman left on her own right after she gives birth to her first child and then goes back to her parent’s house to start her life over.

This is a story about bravely, love, family and all little things that will melt your heart.
Prepare to cry – Actually, prepare to cry a lot, and don’t say I haven’t warned you.

A story that will stick with you for years after you’ve read it. The characters that will make you wish you met them and were their friends over and over again!

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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 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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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.

Purgatorium – J.H. Carnathan [BOOK REVIEW]

Imagine waking up without knowing where you are, not remembering who you are or why you are here – only to realise that you are in coma, and you only have a few days to live.

In order to get out of this ‘’in-between’’ place, you have to beat your demons… Would you be able to do that? Would you be able to realise what you were doing wrong, and become a better person?

Purgatorium is a wonderful thought story.

The main character is very unique, and a lot of people can relate to that certain type, for many different reasons.

I like how the story covers a little bit of Dante’s idea for a Purgatory, and a little bit of Alice in the Wonderland fantasy. I love how the time is presented, and every day has its own lost soul to help the main character.

The pace of the book goes easily, as it is nicely split into little chapters, all split into separate days, so we can keep track of where in time we are.

I found the character really amusing, how he changes over time, how he realises that he should have been a better person and tries to fix his life and make amends.

The story will blow your mind – it did blew my mind for sure. Expect to find a lot of unexpected things to happen, lots of twists, that will haunt you in a good way, for a very long time!

This story is so intriguing, unpredictable, and definitely worth reading. It makes you wonder about the true values in life, about who we really are, and all the sins we are making without realising the consequences.

It also makes you wonder whether a person can really change, entirely become a better person, or would he try to be a better person, just so he can have another chance in life to continue living the way he always used to live his life.

This is definitely one of the books that will make you want to re-read it over and over again.