Beast Rider – Tony Johnston [BOOK REVIEW]

beast rider tony johnston arc netgalley abrams amulet books book blog diary of difference diaryofdifference goodreads social media facebook instagram twitter mexico us

★★★

A fantasy that stays true to many young people, that dare cross a border, searching for a better life. A fantasy, but also a cruel reality of what truly happens to these young boys and girls, and all the journeys they have to go through, fighting for a better tomorrow.

This is the first book I have read by Tony Johnston, and the reason I chose to read Beast Rider was because we get to see a twelve-year-old Manuel leave his small town in Mexico to join his older brother in the US.

As a girl myself, I had a family member that lived in another country, and I have always had my inner battle of going abroad to search for a better tomorrow and sadness of leaving my old life behind. With Manuel, you get to feel his hopes and fears, his nostalgia for his hometown and family, his thoughts and learnings at every step of his journey.

A few points bothered me slightly; the grammar in this book needs to be edited immediately. The character keeps using two words in a row row, and after a while while, it gets quite off putting off putting (you see what I mean?). I truly hope this is editing mistake, and not a writing style. There are a lot of Mexican words, without any glossary included. I can understand the words, but some people wouldn’t – and not being able to know the meaning can be a nuisance.

Purchase links: Amazon  🌟 Barnes & Noble

While reading about the journey of Manuel, I couldn’t help but remember exactly how I felt in a few points of my journey:

  • To Go or Not To Go

Manuel’s brother left the small Mexican village and now lives in Los Angeles. Manuel loves his big brother, and wants to join him desperately. He secretly plans his journey and decides to leave the town, after a lot of hesitation, in order to find his older brother. The battle between to go or not to go is the biggest battle one person can have with themselves. It is always hard, no matter which way one decides to go. And when Manuel decides it is time to go, I knew exactly how he felt, when I myself made that hard decision as well, and left my comfortable home to go and live in a foreign country.

  • The Journey To a Better Tomorrow

Manuel’s journey is not easy at all. In order to cross the US border, he had to become a ‘’beast rider’’ – someone who hops on a train. He tries multiple times, and various unlucky things happen to him, he gets stopped by the police, he is attached by a gang, people steal his most valuable items. But despite everything, Manuel’s spirit never leaves him, he is always hopeful he will find his brother soon. I loved the motivation and determination in the young Manuel, and it is so amazing to watch him grow through his experiences.

  • The Final Destination – Was This What I Really Wanted?

After all his endeavours, we finally get to see Manuel reunite with his brother. But what happens if you finally reach your destination, and this happens to not be what you wanted to? Manuel struggles to fit in this lifestyle, he can’t recognise himself, or his brother, and he is emotionally wrecked. He misses his family back home, and he realises that what he thought he would achieve once he finds his brother is not happening. When you feel all roads are closing on you, it is time to make a decision. And making his final decision, Manuel proves to have grown so much, and I admired him this entire book.

A beautiful story about all the emotions and journeys that young people go to. We all have dreams, and some of us reach for them, and act on them. Sometimes, these dreams turn out to be our life-changers, and sometimes, these dreams seem great, but are not ours to take. And this book showed me that that’s fine too. It’s okay to realise you suddenly don’t belong. It’s okay to act on your dreams, and it’s also okay to make mistakes. As long as you stay true to yourself, everything will be alright.

Thank you to the publisher Abrams Books and NetGalley, for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Advertisements

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.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest |

 

Incoming Postcard Happiness

The amazing community of lovely people always brightens up my day!

Special thank you for these four postcards/cards! I love them all dearly!

reddit postcard art card blog

Thank you to:

  • /u/stockman1984 , for the universe postcard (top left). I loved the quote you included inside! It is truly amazing!
  • /u/MaeveTheBrave , for the lovely donut card (top right).
    Amazing ”did you know” – Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier, is the smallest state capital in the USA – population wise! Less than 9000 people live there! I had no clue about this – and thank you for teaching me a fact or two 🙂
  • /u/bubs57  ,  for the YESSS! card (bottom left) and the amazing Nutella recipe! I haven’t tried it yet, but most certainly will soon!
    P.S: If anyone wants the recipe, please let me know 🙂
  • /u/gigi700gigi , for the amazing Morning Sun Postcard (bottom right). You have a lovely handwriting, Gina! I loved the postcard and I would love to visit Califonia some day!

Postcard from Rhode Island – RandomActsofCards

postcard usa reddit instagram

It has been a while since I have shared the postcards I’ve received. This year, I’ll try to post a bit more, as I know you love looking at the lovely postcard!

I received this postcard from the lovely reddit page – RandomActsofCards!

Special thank you to /u/sweetbabysister for sending me this postcard! I have only a few states in this format, and I am really looking forward to collecting them all 🙂

Do you like sending postcards, and how did you start doing it?

Los Angeles Times – Postcard

Hello guys.

I am so, so, so sorry that I was away for a while. Maybe you missed me. Maybe not. Who knows.

While I was away I received not so many postcards honestly, but that is all because I am moving to England next week, and I wanted to have some two weeks time brake, so the postcards wouldn’t come to the Macedonian address, but go there, to the English one.

This is what I got while I was away. Well, this is just one of them, hehe 🙂

It’s from the USA. Peter (/u/Devee) sent it to me, as a thank you for my Tinkerbell postcard . I love this dinosaur card though. It is amazing. It is a photo by Ricardo DeAratanha, who is a photographer at Los Angeles Times. It is called Dinny, and it’s a 150-foot-long Apatosaurus, at Cabazon Dinosaurs.

Peter, thank you so much!

Ina ❤

snapchat-4875705356441129580.jpg

Welcome To The Joy-Based Living Tribe

“My True Tribe is made up of individuals who stand for my well-being. And they are the most important and valuable story-tellers in my life, next to me.”

~ Debbie Happy Cohen

snapchat-4439644072361749354.jpg

Thanks to Debbie, I got this card. I am so glad to be a part of the Joy-Based Living Tribe! 

 

 

The Scary Story Behind the Sleepy Hollow, New York

Do you like scary horror stories? You are just on the right place, because I have one for you.

One of the many reasons why I love Reddit and why I love /r/RandomActsofCards. Thanks to /u/ljsweenes , I got a postcard from the USA, New York. I love those kind of postcards that hide a story inside them, and I love writing about it. It makes me fulfilled and happy. It definitely makes my day.

It’s not a simple postcard… This one is very scary!

And this is the story:

The story of the Sleepy Hollow is that some school teacher, called Ichabod Crane, is being chased by the :Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow”, thought to be Brom Bones, the town bully. Legend tells of the Headless Horseman riding every midnight, carrying a flaming pumpkin and sword. He would look for victims walking and cut off their heads. The only way to escape his attacks was to cross the old bridge, past the Old Dutch Church, at the edge of town.

 

Do you know a scary story you want to share from your town? We’d all want to hear it! 😀

 

snapchat-2126385374665595702.jpg

Have You Been To North Dakota?

Today, I received a card, and I spent some time looking at this house. It is just perfect. I wish I could visit it, and I regret not travelling to North Dakota. When I have the chance, I’ll definitely go, and I’ll try to find this house!

I am sad though, because I don’t know who sent me this card. It is from Reddit, but it just haunts me.

Well, whoever you are out there, I hope you’ll see this post and read how thankful I am for receiving this card. It made me wonder who lived in this house, and if there are any people inside, living, even though to me it looks deserted and abandoned.

I just hope you’ll see how much I appreciate your card.

THANK YOU

img_20160424_123826.jpg

Hello from Yosemite!

This is one of the most beautiful places in the US, with waterfalls, lakes, rivers and plenty of big mountains to climb.

Mountain Dogwood along the Merced River

One of the two major waterways in the Park is the Merced River, which carries rainwater and snow melt from the high Sierras and drains the southern part of the Park.

How can you not love this view! Just look at the postcard I got. It’s so incredible. It’s heaven, you’ll have to agree with me. Just imaging the wind blowing and the sounds on the river around you, some animals passing by, and the sound of trees waving. It is a paradise for the soul, and I wish I was there to really feel it.

Thank you /u/coolcatjames, for the amazing postcard from Yosemite! I love it!

img_20160424_123934.jpg

 

Yes! It’s Wonder Woman!

wp-1460017840252.jpg
Postcrossing ID: US-3817446

I love comics and I love Wonder Woman! This card made me so happy today! She is very popular these days, almost as Superman and Batman, and I am very excited about the upcoming movie in 2017.

Have you heard she was born Princess Diana of Themyscira, and also the princess of the Amazons? And she is the daughter of Zeus.

Graziela, thank you for your card!