[REVIEW] The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones @PRHGlobal

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover – look at it and admire that gorgeousness. The second thing is its genre dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel which I don’t read often and try to read more of. Synopsis of the book also intrigued me and lured me to find out what’s hiding behind that cover.

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones is about a post-apocalyptic world where there are salt lines that protect communities against very deadly ticks. Many people live in a zone that is free of ticks but they still have some fear that the ticks will get to them in some way. The society has created some out-of-zone tours which cost pretty big amount of money for people who want to venture outside the Salt line in order to see the nature and see what’s outside. We have a famous pop star, Jesse and his girlfriend, Edie, a well-known tech guy, Wes and a woman who has a few secrets called Marta among other characters. On this journey they have been prepared for the dangers that are ahead but not quite for the dangers that actually await them when they go outside the Salt line.

Before going into this book I came across a one-star review of it but the reasons for the rating wasn’t that clear so I went with an open mind because I liked the sound of the synopsis. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book this much! It was a very interesting dystopian book filled with government conspiracies, dangerous ventures and much more. The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was the way Goddard Jones wrote her characters – I loved reading about Wes and Marta and how they bonded, I have to note that the first part of the book was mind blowing to me and that ending was so good and when the second part came I was a bit underwhelmed because I expected something else but I still enjoyed reading it and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book. There were a few parts of the world-building and explanations for some actions that were unnecessary in my opinion but this was still an enjoyable read which I couldn’t put down.

Fans of dystopian and post-apocalyptic books will find The Salt Line very interesting and very enjoyable.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House International for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘The Salt Line ‘ to your TBR: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt Line, The Next Time You See Me and Girl Trouble (stories). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

Find her on:  Website, Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads

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[REVIEW] The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir by Maude Julien @OneworldNews

I was attracted to this book because I adore memoirs but something stood out when I came across this book because when I read its synopsis I was immediately intrigued. I added it to my to-read-list and then began investigating it further.

In Maude Julien’s memoir The Only Girl in the World we enter the world of power, control and madness but at the same time of escape and finding salvation from it all. Maude Julien’s father is an individual whose personality is deranged – filled with lunacy and ideas of upper most greatness. At a young age Monsieur Didier had a majestic plan which was to raise a superhuman – someone who will make him proud and who he’ll teach all the necessities one needs to conquer this world. He managed to get a child from some people and promised them that she’ll be given the best education he can afford and that she’ll be safe in exchange for her parents to never see her again. The girl he ‘adopted’ later on became his wife and they had a child named Maude. His wish of creating a superhuman was  becoming a reality with the birth of Maude and he began doing everything he could to make her exactly that. The training involved her to, at a very young age, drink alcohol and build tolerance for it, holding an electric fence for ten minutes without flinching and other horrifying things. With all these things that happened to her she still managed to stay sane and overcome some large psychological damage caused by her parents with the help of therapy and her friends.

The one thing that instantly pulls you into the story is the first three pages of the Introduction when Maude tells us her fathers chilling plan and at the end of it she writes ‘That child was me.’ I felt shivers down my spine when I read this Introduction. Once I began reading this book I kept turning and turning pages because the story it contains is unbelievable and gripping. The things her father teaches her are ludicrous and I will provide some examples of her fathers ‘wisdom’:

‘If you go and live with other humans, they’ll treat you the way the ducks in the pond treat Pitou. They won’t think twice about making mincemeat of you for the stupidest reasons, or for no reason at all.’  pg. 13

‘‘You don’t know how lucky you are to be spared from being polluted by other people,’ he tells me.’ pg. 19

‘Love is a colossal sham to amuse the masses. If anyone ever tells you he loves you, don’t believe him. It will be because he wants something from you: your power or your money. Never,  never, never trust anyone. I alone know what’s good for you. If you do as I say,you can rule the world and overthrow the darkness.’  pg. 141

‘You see what living beings are like? You think Perisaut is so sweet and affectionate towards you, but he wouldn’t think twice about eating you if he could – he’s happy enough eating his own kind! People are the same, they’re cannibals, quite prepared to betray you and eat you. Do you see now why you can’t trust anyone but me?’ pg. 172

These are clear examples of his lunacy and grand ideas for her. What amazes me is how she managed to find hope from all the torture and torment she endured. I just wish that we had more of her now life story because I’d be interested in learning about her education as a therapist and the ways she overcame her struggles. We do get a glimpse into her now life where she talks about the effects she has suffered due to trauma but I wish it was longer.

For any memoir lover this is a must-read because of Maude’s chilling childhood filled with psychological control, torment but also hope that one can overcome severe trauma.

I would like to thank the publisher Oneworld Publications for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir‘ to your TBR: 

*Purchase ‘The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir‘ here: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Having escaped her parents’ clutches, today Maude Julien is a psychologist specializing in manipulation. She is working on a second book that examines case studies she has encountered in her work and is currently preparing a TED Talk on psychological control

Find her on: GoodReads

[REVIEW] The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

This book has been everywhere since September/November time: on Goodreads, on Instagram, Twitter etc. I read a few raving reviews and have wanted to read it ever since and when I got the chance I was so excited! I am so glad I had the chance to read it because this book is something very special.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies follows Cyril Avery from the age of seven and decade by decade into his seventies. Cyril Avery is someone who has been left as a child in care of two very peculiar people, Charles and Maude Avery. His adoptive parents’ peculiarity is pretty extreme because from an early age Cyril learns a lot by looking at them and observing their behaviour. One of the things his adoptive father always says to him is: ‘You’re not a real Avery’ which is a sentence he will remember all his life.  Since we follow Cyril decade by decade what happens next is that we follow him as he goes on to college and becomes acquainted with a boy named Julian. They become very good friends and their friendship is something that we learn a lot about throughout the book. This will be all I’m going to say about the synopsis of this book.

‘I sometimes feel as if I wasn’t supposed to live among people at all. As if I would be happier on a little island somewhere, all alone with my books and some writing material for company. I could grow my own food and never have to speak to a soul..’

“I was deluding myself, for love was one thing but desire was something else entirely.”

“It’s as if she understood completely the condition of loneliness and how it undermines us all, forcing us to make choices that we know are wrong for us.”

“I’ve always believed that if women could only collectively harness the power that they have then they’d rule the world.”

The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a book that leaves a mark on you – its story makes you turn the pages and dive into Cyril Avery’s life filled with moments of happiness and moments of great sadness. I loved the humour in this book and the line which has stayed with me is the ‘Cyril II’ because every time Cyril II was mentioned I cracked up. I laughed out loud reading this book and felt very sad and angry reading it. Boyne touches on many topics such as homosexuality in Ireland, the view of the church which was very assertive at that time, the AIDS crisis and much more. After I finished the book I quickly found the pages where Boyne talked about the inspiration behind this book and why he wrote it which I really enjoyed reading because it gave a new dimension into the story. This book has been pretty hyped up but it doesn’t fail like most hyped-up books tend to do – it is truly brilliant. I love following stories that span through decades like A Little Life so I knew that I would enjoy this one as well. I just found a small tiny thing annoying in the book and that was seven-year-olds talking about sex because it didn’t feel realistic [I might be wrong] but other than that I have no complaints. Once again, a wonderfully told story about a gay man and his struggles with finding himself.

You can obviously see by my review and rating that this is a book you should be picking up and reading ASAP.

I would like to thank the publisher Transworld Books (Black Swan) for sending a copy of this book my way in exchange for an honest review. I am forever grateful.

My rating: 

Add ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies‘ to your TBR: 

*Purchase ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies‘ here: 

*Purchase ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies‘ with free international delivery here: 

 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

John Boyne (born 30 April 1971 in Dublin) is an Irish novelist. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he won the Curtis Brown prize. In 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UEA. John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults and five for young readers, as well as a collection of short stories.
His novels are published in over 50 languages. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which to date has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and a film adaptation was released in September 2008

Find him on: WebsiteGoodReads, Twitter.

 

[REVIEW] Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind by Jaime Lowe

Whenever I stumble upon a mental health book I make sure to read it because to me mental health is the most important thing in one’s life. I try and read mental health books as often as I can and I hope this year will be filled with great mental health books. Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing my Mind is a very interesting and thoroughly researched book on bipolar disorder and the drug Lithium.

In Mental we are introduced to Jaime Lowe, a woman who suffers from bipolar disorder (bipolar I) and who as you can tell by the title takes lithium (a commonly used drug to treat bipolar disorder). In her memoir she tells us the story of her life with and without Lithium – her younger days filled with manic episodes which weren’t yet diagnosed and her post-adolesence life filled with therapy and taking medication in order to control her bipolar disorder. Even though this is a memoir it is also a well-researched exploration of the drug, Lithium – its effects, good and bad sides.

As I mentioned Lithium is widely known in treating bipolar disorder and the Lowe’s decision to include her research of the drug into her memoir works pretty well because it makes the novel in its way much more enjoyable. Mental does have some downsides because of its repetitiveness and switching from one story to the other in a chapter. Lowe provides us with a lot of historical information about Lithium, its components and how it was used in the past. While researching she has interviewed many psychiatrists, psychologists and scientists who gave her more insight on the drug as well as us, the reader. I have learned where the first mental institution was built and how mentally ill people were treated back then. I have highlighted a few quotes and interesting information from this book which I’ll share below:

‘’One of the first examples of hysteria was observed by Thomas Sydenham in 1681.’’

**

‘‘[talking about mania] There’s a magnetism to that kind of high, and I knew I could draw people to me.’’

**

‘’I turned into a comet or a supernova, bursting but going in no particular direction, aimed at nothing but intensely moving forward on a trajectory to nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Everything was eclipsed by me. I was the sun, the moon, the solar system, the beginning of time and the end.”

**

’’When you are depressed you want to be a time traveler, going back, going forward, being anywhere but in the here and now.’’

**

‘‘One night when H was away, the sky shook and lit up like war.’’

To anyone who loves learning about mental disorders or bipolar disorder in particular I would recommend this book because it contains plenty of interesting information and the work Lowe put in it shines through the pages.

I would like to thank the publisher (Blue Riders Press) and Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind‘ to your TBR: 

*Purchase ‘Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind‘ here: 

*Purchase ‘Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind‘ with free international delivery here: 

 

**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Jaime Lowe is a writer living in Brooklyn. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and her work has appeared in New York magazine, EsquireSports Illustrated, Maxim, Gawker, The Village Voice,  LA Weekly, and on ESPN.com. Lowe is the author of Digging for Dirt: The Life and Death of ODB, a biography of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Find her on: Twitter

[2018-READING-LIST] Books I’m planning on reading this year

Last year was a somewhat great reading year for me [I just wish I read more books]. I discovered many authors and read some excellent books that will stay with me for a while. I have decided to make a to-read-list post because I want to share with you my potential TBR for 2018. This year will be very busy for me so I’ve set a goal of 10 books this year but I have more on my 2018 TBR. I really hope to get to them all this year because they all sound wonderful and I am very excited to read them all! Some of the books are 2017/18 ARC’s and some are my own copies of books. *

*this list might get updated because of other new books coming out this year.

Let’s begin:

The Only Girl in the World: A Memoir by Maude Julien

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Maude Julien’s childhood was defined by the iron grip of her father, who was convinced his daughter was destined for great deeds. His plan began when he adopted Maude’s mother and indoctrinated her with his esoteric ideals. Her mission was to give him a daughter as blonde as she was, and then to take charge of the child’s education. That child was Maude, on whom her father conducted his outrageous experiment—to raise the perfect ‘super-human’ being.

The three lived in an isolated mansion in northern France, where her father made her undergo endless horrifying endurance tests. Maude had to hold an electric fence without flinching. Her parents locked her in a cellar overnight and ordered her to sit still on a stool in the dark, contemplating death, while rats scurried around her feet.

How did this girl, with her loveless and lonely childhood, emerge so unscathed, so full of the empathy that was absent in her childhood? How did she manage to escape?

Maude was sustained by her love of nature and animals and her passion for literature. In writing this memoir, Maude Julien shows that it is possible to overcome severe trauma. She recounts her chilling and deeply moving story in a compelling and compassionate voice.

As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann

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In the seventeenth century, the English Revolution is under way. The nation, seething with religious and political discontent, has erupted into violence and terror. Jacob Cullen and his fellow soldiers dream of rebuilding their lives when the fighting is over. But the shattering events of war will overtake them.
A darkly erotic tale of passion and obsession, As Meat Loves Salt is a gripping portrait of England beset by war. It is also a moving portrait of a man on the brink of madness. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a novel by a most original new voice in fiction.

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones

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In the spirit of Station Eleven and California, award-winning novelist Holly Goddard Jones offers a literary spin on the dystopian genre with this gripping story of survival and humanity about a group of adrenaline junkies who jump -the Salt Line.-

How far will they go for their freedom–once they decide what freedom really means?

In an unspecified future, the United States’ borders have receded behind a salt line–a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.

Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks–and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.

The Locals by Jonathan Dee

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A rural, working class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this urgent and inspired novel for our times.

Mark Firth is a home builder in Howland, Massachusetts who, after being swindled by a financial advisor, feels opportunity passing him and his family by. What future can he promise to his wife Karen and their young daughter Haley? When a wealthy money manager, Philip Hadi, moves to Howland to escape post-9/11 New York, he hires Mark to turn his his house into a secure location. The collision of these two men’s very different worlds — rural vs urban, middle class vs rich — propels Jonathan Dee’s powerful new novel. After the town’s first selectman passes away suddenly, Hadi runs for office and begins subtly transforming the town in his image with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family. THE LOCALS is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time. It is also a novel that is timeless in its depiction of American small town life.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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With the publication of her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters’ inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers’ finest work, and an enduring masterpiece.

At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small-town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Brilliantly attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated–and, through Mick Kelly, to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

The Blind by A.F. Brady

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‘Taut and intelligent’ Prima

‘Utterly addictive’ Lisa Hall

Every morning, psychiatrist Sam James gets up at six forty-five. She has a shower, drinks a cup of coffee, then puts on her make-up.

She ignores the empty bottles piling up by her door.

On this particular morning, Sam is informed of a new patient’s arrival at Manhattan’s most notorious institution. Reputed to be deranged and dangerous, Richard is just the kind of impossible case Sam has built her reputation on. She is certain that she is the right doctor to treat such a difficult patient.

But then Sam meets Richard. And Richard seems totally sane.

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

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WHO ARE YOU WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING?

When beloved high school student Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched – not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the police officer assigned to investigate. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters – Cameron, Jade, and Russ – must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.

In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka explores the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between reality and memory. Intoxicating and emotionally intense, Girl in Snow is a gripping debut novel that will linger long after the final page is turned.”

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

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In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

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In 1950, a young doctor called Norton Perina signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote Micronesian island of Ivu’ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub “The Dreamers,” who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He scientifically proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame and the Nobel Prize, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating personal consequences.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

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In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

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When Margaret’s fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings–the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec–struggle along with their mother to care for Michael’s increasingly troubled and precarious existence..

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

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Are any of these books on your TBR list as well? Have you read any of them? If so, do tell in the comments 🙂

[BEST OF] My favourite and most memorable books of 2017

I have been seeing a lot of posts from other book bloggers on Best books of 2017 and I liked the idea of showcasing my favourite and most memorable reads of this year because I have read a lot of pretty great books which I think deserve a shoutout! With every book I mention I will be writing a brief comment (my thoughts, impressions) on it. Let’s begin:

MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2017

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

I remember reading The Girl with a Clock for a Heart in the beginning of January and what made me do this was The Kind Worth Killing by the same author which was absolutely brilliant. I rather enjoyed this novel by Swanson and would definitely recommend his works to anyone who loves psychological thrillers!

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

Gather the Daughters still remains one of my top 5 books of all time. I loved reading this book during the summer. It felt really magical and it made the book much more real in my head. Even though the story is very dark it still keeps you intrigued and makes you miss it after you’ve read it. There’s no doubt that Jennie Melamed is an author to follow! I still think about this book from time to time.

Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman


Now onto the book that ruined me and scarred me. Call Me By Your Name is a wonderful and terrible book which I adored and hated reading. CMBYN is so amazing and the way the author makes you care for his characters amazes me. This book left me feeling depressed for two weeks but I still loved it and would love to re-read it in the future! Definitely recommend this one!

The Baltimore Boys by Joël Dicker

I actually own Dicker’s first book and plan on reading it after reading this one. The Baltimore Boys is so wonderful and it’s beautifully written that I have no words! It made me happy and it made me feel sad and that’s the power it holds. I still remember the story inside this book and I’m sure I will for a long time. Read it!

Nothing Holds Back the Night by Delphine de Vigan

I remember buying this book many years ago for just an euro and what made me read this book was the release of her newest one called Based on a True Story. I wanted to read her first book and then get to this one and I am so glad I did! Nothing Holds Back the Night is so good: from the story to the writing! De Vigan has such a talent for sentences and I especially loved that the story revolved around her bipolar mother. I highly recommend it!

Final Girls by Riley Sager

I will always remember this book as my first ever ARC! I remember seeing everyone reading and loving this book and I was no exception. Finals Girls is a great thriller with great twists that keep you reading on and wanting to find out more. After reading this book I watched every Halloween movie and enjoyed watching them all. This kind of story is so intriguing and scary!

MY MOST MEMORABLE BOOKS OF 2017

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Even though I did not adore this book it still left a mark on me. My Absolute Darling is a book you will definitely remember for a while because of its unusual story. I have encountered one of the most evil characters in this book which says something: the author did a great job at writing the story. If the blurb intrigues you I would say give it a go and read it!

On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety by Andrea Petersen

As someone who suffers from anxiety this book gave me a lot of insight into it as well as scientific research which was fascinating to read. To anyone who suffers from anxiety I would suggest this book because while it shows the author’s own experience with it, it also provides the reader with a lot of interesting scientific studies and information.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng. What is there to be said? Go, run, read it!

The Reminders by Val Emmich


This book was such a lovely surprise. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It’s such a heart-warming story between someone who wants to remember and someone who can’t forget.

This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression by Daphne Merkin

My interest in mental health books began two-three years ago so when I saw this book I had to read it. Merkin shows us an insight into her struggle with depression and how it affected her life. It’s a very interesting book!

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me by Bill Hayes

Hayes’ memoir is truly wonderful. The story of him and Oliver Sacks is so touching and I loved reading it as well as the photographs the author included. I still remember parts of the book I enjoyed the most.

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

Ragdoll was my second ARC I got approved for and I remember the exact date. January 20th. I was so happy to have gotten a chance to read it because it was pretty great. Definite recommendation for detective/thriller lovers!

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

This is the memoir which out of all of them I can say I remember vividly. The storytelling, the story, Lesnevich’s experience with combined with the killing of a boy. A very good book for any memoir or true crime lovers out there.

Down for the Count by Martin Holmén

Down for the Count was the first historical fiction/crime book that I’ve read that has a bisexual character. It was so good! Definitely recommend!!

Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan

De Vigan’s writing is superb and the story is very complex and keeps you wanting more after each page.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

This is might be my final book of 2017 and it’s actually pretty good. I would describe it as claustrophobic because of its setting. It’s truly scary at times and looking back at it a book that will haunt me for a while.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The story behind the book is very interesting even though I had some issues with it. I love dark tales and this was exactly that.

*By clicking on the book’s  header you can view my review of it.

Happy New Year!

[REVIEW] Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

Before I start this review I want to give a little update since probably many of you have noticed I’m not as active with posting reviews. I started university in October so since then life has been very busy which meant little time for reading but now I’m trying to get back to blogging and reading because I’m very far behind my review copies and am very excited to read them. From now on I won’t be posting weekly but when I get the time to review. Note to publishers: No fear, I will definitely fulfill all my obligations to you and review all the books that were sent to me. Onto the review:

I always find describing synopses of books hard because I feel I’m not good at it but like always I’ll do my best to write a spoiler-free synopsis. The book begins in 1935 London with Jack Miller, who’s a scholar who hasn’t really found excitement in life. His day-to-day life has become pretty lonely and boring but one day he’s offered a chance to join an Arctic expedition which would really give him a thrill so he decides to join the rest of the men who are going. The men who are going are wealthier – we see this in the first twenty pages, how he fears that he won’t have enough money to pay for everyone’s drinks – than him and being in a lower position than the other men makes him kind of uncomfortable but that quickly changes as they head on to Gruhuken. In the first plan there were supposed to be five men who went accompanied alongside eight huskies. Two men were faced with certain difficulties before heading to their destination so there are three left – Jack, Gus and Algie. Their plan is to stay for a few months on the expedition and investigate the land. Gus becomes sick and is in need of surgery so he has to leave Gruhuken and Algie accompanies him because of the potential negative outcome of the operation. Our main voice Jack is left alone in the structure they built. Jack has noticed something dark creeping up on the strange place called Gruhuken. Is it possible his mind is playing tricks on him? Could it be possible that the others have seen what he has seen?

I haven’t read a scary book in a long while so this was quite an interesting read. This book is told in the form of  Jack’s journal entries and we are introduced to the daily routines and life in Gruhuken. The thing I liked about this book is that it’s a really fast and engaging read. It keeps you intrigued and never seems to tire you because you become very invested in finding out what’s happening in Gruhuken. Our main character Jack Miller is a great character and I love how we got to see his psyche change as the novel went on. The character of Gus was my favourite in the book because of who he was – a very lovable kind of guy. I admire Jack’s decision to stay on the expedition even though he’s seen certain things which would scare most people away and that shows his determination and will to not let anyone down. My critique would be that I wish we got to see more of an insight into Jack’s mind even though there were many insights I just wish they were written more in depth. I also wanted a better resolution to the story because Paver WHY!? I wish we would’ve gotten more answers to certain questions but it was overall a very entertaining read. I have to compliment her skills at making you scared at times because some scenes were really scary (especially while reading at night).

Dark Matter is a book any lover of ghost stories will definitely enjoy and also there are topics to analyse in it which make it even more interesting and worth reading.

My rating: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Michelle Paver was born in Central Africa, but came to England as a child. After gaining a degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University, she became a partner in a City law firm, but eventually gave that up to write full-time.

The hugely successful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series arose from Michelle’s lifelong passion for animals, anthropology and the distant past – as as well as an encounter with a large bear in a remote valley in southern California. To research the books, Michelle has traveled to Finland, Greenland, Sweden, Norway, Arctic Canada and the Carpathian Mountains. She has slept on reindeer skins, swum with wild orca (killer whales), and got nose-to-nose with polar bears – and, of course, wolves.

Find her on: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter and Facebook.

[REVIEW] All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker @BonnierZaffre

All the Wicked Girls is a book I have been seeing everywhere for a while and because of the success of the author’s first book Tall Oaks [which I haven’t read yet but plan to] and every blogger adoring it I got intrigued to try and read one of his books and so it happens that when I got a chance to read his second book I immediately took it. I have to say I enjoyed reading it very much!

The novel centers around a town called Grace where nothing ever happens but because it’s a small town when something does everyone is quick to learn and spread the gossip about it. We have two sisters called Summer and Raine Ryan who are very different and when Summer goes missing everything changes and this event shakes up the whole town. Why would Summer disappear? She was a model student, she was smart, kind and lovable. Was there something that Summer was hiding? Raine takes the disappearance of her sister very hard and while the whole town starts a search for Summer she can’t help but get involved and with a little help from Noah and Purv she tries to find out where her sister might’ve gone. Summer’s disappearance is unusual but so are the disappearances of other girls… could it be possible that they are linked? Will Raine be able to find out the truth behind her sister’s vanishing?

All the Wicked Girls is a very interesting read. The writing style is something that might not be for everyone but that wasn’t the case for me because I loved reading it and it gave me the feel of the town. There’s no doubt that Whitaker can write and create the feel of a Southern town with a few words and those are his strong points in my book. I did find some issues with this book and it was mainly the characters because putting Summer and Purv aside I haven’t felt empathy towards any of them. Raine wasn’t a character I particularly enjoyed reading because her actions made me not care for her in a way I cared for Summer and I do understand how losing someone close can feel but Raine felt flat but I only admired her determination to find out more about her sister’s disappearance. I have been reading this book for a few weeks because of life so that might’ve affected my experience with it but I doubt it did because I liked the story and not the characters so much. When I look back at my time spent reading this book I look at the good parts because the whole premise of a small town with darkness lurking is so well done that it gets you in a great mood and makes read on.

All the Wicked Girls is a great mystery/thriller book and I’m sure everyone who loves reading about a town filled with secrets will definitely enjoy this and be swept by Whitaker’s ability to create such a thing.

I would like to thank the publisher (Bonnier Zaffre) for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, Tall Oaks, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger and also for the Last Laugh Award.
A Guardian crime book of the month, Tall Oaks also featured in Crime Time’s top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed’s incredible summer reads.
Chris’s second novel, All The Wicked Girls, was published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.

Find him on: Twitter and Goodreads.

[REVIEW] The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel @HodderBooks

I was so excited when I got an email from NetGalley saying that The Roanoke Girls is READ NOW for a limited number of members and then with the speed of ten cheetahs I ran and clicked the button. I’ve read many reviews of this book and what intrigued me from the start was the darkness and strangeness of it. The Roanoke Girls is very interesting and very shocking.

After her mother’s suicide fifteen year old Lane Roanoke is taken in by her grandparents on their family estate somewhere in Kansas where things are not what they seem. Lane knows very little about her mother’s time on the estate but what she knows is that her mother ran away without ever speaking to her parents again. It is in this place that Lane meets Allegra, her wild cousin, who is being raised by Gran and Grandpa. Both Roanoke girls become close and go on many adventures in town but underneath Allegra’s presence lies something dark and twisted which soon Lane uncovers but the discovery becomes so shocking that it makes her flee the estate keeping very little contact with her cousin. She is called back to the estate many years later by her grandfather because of Allegra’s mysterious disappearance. Lane knows the dark secret this place holds and she isn’t quite sure that Allegra left willingly. Her appearance in town lights a fire on an old romance but also makes her have to deal with the darkness she tried  so hard to avoid. Will Lane be able to find the truth behind her cousin’s disappearance and will she be able to escape the darkness that has followed a generation of the Roanoke girls?

“Sometimes it’s a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness.”

I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll keep my thoughts spoiler-free. The Roanoke Girls isn’t a book you’ll usually stumble upon as well as the themes in it. This book won’t be for everyone and I have seen a few DNFs of it because of the major theme in it. Having read Gather the Daughters and pretty much loving it I was very excited to start this one because I love reading stories that are twisted and unusual and that show us humans and our darkest sides. I think that we all love finding out more about how cruel and deviant people can be and these kinds of stories intrigue us but at the same time repulse us. This is the first time I’ve read a book that deals with this subject matter so openly and because it’s the main theme in the story I felt very uncomfortable reading it at times but couldn’t stop looking away because I wanted to find out more. I think it’s best if you go into this book blind but reading a few reviews would be OK as well as knowing that it deals with many themes that some people will find triggering. The Roanoke Girls is definitely not for everyone because if you don’t like dark tales you won’t be able to get past first fifty pages. I have had some discomfort reading this book but that’s solely because of the main theme and this book isn’t a five star material for me. The story could’ve been better fleshed out and the scenes ended abruptly at times. I like that it had an adequate resolution to it and we got the see Lane’s ‘somewhat’ character development towards the end.

“…sometimes you have to hurt people just to prove you’re alive.”

If you’re not squeamish and like reading books that show the worst in people then this is the one for you.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher (Hodder & Stoughton) for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Amy Engel is the author of THE BOOK OF IVY young adult series. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. THE ROANOKE GIRLS (March 7, 2017), is her first novel for adults.

[REVIEW] Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng @PenguinPress

I remember back in March when I saw Little Fires Everywhere on Edelweiss that I had to request it because I love Celeste Ng’s writing and storytelling. It took me some time to get to this book because of other ones on my TBR pile but I am so glad I read it. From wonderful writing to well-crafted characters this book has got it all.

“It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?”

Little Fires Everywhere is set in a Cleveland suburb called Shaker Heights where everything is the way it should be. The people living in the suburb follow certain rules which make their lives more enjoyable and Shaker Heights the best place to live in. In this place we meet the Richardson family – from the parents Elena and Bill to their four children Lexie, Izzy, Trip and Moody. The Richardson’s are a wealthy family with successful and smart children as well as hard-working and loving parents. Bill is a lawyer and Elena is a reporter. A new family arrives in Shaker Heights – the Warrens – a mother and a daughter called Mia and Pearl. Mia is an artist/photographer and a single mother who came to the suburb for a fresh start and all she wants is to make her daughter’s life better– but Mia has something to hide. In this idyllic place the two families become closer with Pearl practically living with the Richardson family. The two women become close too with Elena Richardson hiring Mia Warren in order to help her out with money. This closeness makes an impact on the family dynamics too – Pearl becomes fascinated by Elena Richardson and Izzy becomes interested in finding out more about Mia Warren and her art. Everything changes when family friends of the Richardson’s try to adopt a Chinese-American baby named Mirabelle – this event puts everyone in a dangerous position and on opposite sides – particularly Elena and Mia. As Elena’s suspicions about Mia arise she becomes determined to find out more about her mysterious new friend. Will she be able to discover more about Mia and find out the truth behind her actions and if so at what cost?

Congratulations, you have survived reading my terrible summary of this book. Trust me, there’s so much more to it and I kept it vague. Celeste Ng is one of those authors you adore reading because of their excellent story-telling. I previously read her debut Everything I Never Told You so I was very excited to jump back into Ng’s world. Little Fires Everywhere wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be but it was very very good because the moment you read the first 50 pages you fall in love with the writing and get sucked into the story. It amazes me how with just a few words Celeste Ng can create such powerful emotions and bring her characters to life. As you already know there are many characters in this book – Elena, Mia, Trip, Moody, Pearl etc. – and what Ng does is make them come alive with giving depth to each of them. There are a lot of happenings in this book and I would suggest not looking at too many reviews and just going in because you’ll appreciate it more. My issues with this book weren’t much about the writing as you can tell but with the story because it didn’t exactly wow me even though it was very interesting and important. I think that many people will appreciate and enjoy this book. Her debut Everything I Never Told You still holds a number one spot for me because I can still remember reading it and completely loving it. It was so lovely being back in Ng’s world.

Do I recommend Little Fires Everywhere? YES, definitely. I think that everyone should read this book as well as her debut because she’s such a talented writer who’ll make you experience many emotions with her powerful words.

I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher (Penguin Press) for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘Little Fires Everywhere‘ to your TBR: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA’s Alex Award, and the Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award…more.

Find her on: Website, Twitter, GoodReads and Facebook