[REVIEW] Marriage of a Thousand Lies by S.J. Sindu

Marriage of a Thousand Lies is about a woman whose name is Lucky. This book offers a diverse cast of characters – we are introduced to a Sri Lankan family who live in the United States and our main focus is on Lucky and her struggles with being a closeted gay woman. Lucky is in a marriage with Kris who also happens to be gay. They both lead separate love lives outside their marriage which is perfect for them. Lucky is brought back to her old life when her grandmother has an incident – she is set to help out her mother so she goes back to her family home with the intention of taking care of her injured grandmother. You know how in every movie something unexpected happens to a person who comes back home well… Lucky sees her old flame Nisha and soon learns that she is about to get married to a man she doesn’t know or love. Their past brings them back to being more than friends once again and then questions arise: Will they be able to be together despite Nisha’s arranged marriage? Will their relationship succeed? Is Lucky willing to leave her strict life for the sake of love? The answers to all of these questions lie in this book.

There are many strengths in this book the main one being: the great representation of what it’s like to be different in a community that doesn’t accept and judges those who are. The second one is the romance part of the novel: we don’t see a typical male/female white person couple but a more diverse one – and I really appreciate that because I rarely read these kinds of books even though I try to include some of them once in a while. The idea of someone being on the edge between wanting to be with a person they desire but at the same time having to maintain a good relationship with their parents is definitely something that a lot of people (who are lgbtq+) will understand. This is why these kinds of books are necessary in today’s world – they tell people that they are not alone. This book is sad in its way but that doesn’t diminish the value of this book. My main concern was the writing in this novel – I felt like the chapters ended abruptly and it changed quickly from one scene to the other. But this shouldn’t discourage you from reading this book or avoiding it because of my problem with it.

If you’re looking for a diverse read with a great representation then this is the book for you.

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

My rating: 

Add ‘Marriage of a Thousand Lies‘ to your TBR:  goodreads-logo-square

*Purchase ‘Marriage of a Thousand Lies‘ here:  

*Purchase ‘Marriage of a Thousand Lies‘ with free worldwide shipping: the_book_depository-svg

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

SJ Sindu was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Massachusetts. Her hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook, I Once Met You But You Were Dead, won the 2016 Turnbuckle Chapbook Contest and was published by Split Lip Press. She was a 2013 Lambda Literary Fellow and holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University. She teaches Creative Writing at Ringling College of Art and Design. Marriage of a Thousand Lies is her first novel.

Find her on: Website, Twitter, Facebook and GoodReads.

Advertisements

[REVIEW] If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

I have to say that as a huge The Secret History fan this book was right up my alley and it will also be to Shakespeare and theatre enthusiasts. It has everything you’d expect: a close-knit group of friends living together plus additional things like: theatre (plus characters speaking to each other ‘in Shakespeare’), Latin, Greek and of course a murder mystery at the center of it.

The premise of the book is what caught my attention because of it being similar to TSH by Donna Tartt. The characters were very interesting and mysterious in their own ways which is a big plus for me. We have seven friends: Oliver. James, Alexander, Richard, Meredith, Wren and Filippa. You might think that with seven characters the author wouldn’t succeed in telling the story the right way but you’re wrong – M.L. Rio does it brilliantly. The mystery part of the book was in my case sort of predictable because of the actions by the characters. The way the author includes Shakespeare in her dialogue doesn’t ruin the storytelling but it enriches it and makes it unique. While writing this review I keep thinking about the ‘Castle’ they lived in, the classes they had where they drank tea, the theatre rehearsals, the feel of closeness but yet secrecy – this proves that the author can make an interesting atmosphere with her words.

Some parts of the book might be predictable but I viewed them differently – I look at the characters, their actions, the relationships between each of them – I view it from a psychological perspective and not as a complete murder mystery (which this book isn’t entirely).

Now onto what bothered me – I have to say that I didn’t like the way the last 100 pages were thought of or for the sake of it the whole premise of homo-erotic context in this book. Trust me , I appreciate when an author writes a good representation but to me what this part of the book offered wasn’t satisfying because it was featured into its whole premise –  to me that made it annoying and it was something that really frustrated me towards the end. Yes, this isn’t the only thing that the book focuses on but it’s something that caught my attention. Feelings aside, this was actually a pretty great debut novel!

This book will definitely be appreciated by everyone who enjoyed The Secret History and it will thrill them in a new and interesting way.

I would like to thank the publisher (Titan Books) for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘If We Were Villains‘ to your TBR: 

Purchase ‘If We Were Villains‘ here: 

Purchase ‘If We Were Villains‘ with free international delivery here: 

M. L. Rio is an author, but before she was an author she was an actor, and before she was an actor she was just a word nerd whose best friends were books. She holds a master’s degree in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College London and Shakespeare’s Globe. When she’s not reading, writing, or explaining why the Authorship Question is actually just a conspiracy theory, she fills her time with friends and family, wine and whiskey, and music made twenty years before she was born.

Find her on: Website, Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads.

[REVIEW] The Baltimore Boys by Joël Dicker

After a month of being completely cut-off from reading and blogging The Baltimore Boys was the perfect first book to start my summer filled with amazing to-be-read books. I have been reading it for a while but in the last 2 days I have completely devoured every word of it.

As I’ve given the synopsis above I won’t be revealing much about this book.  To people who have read The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair the character of Marcus Goldman will be familiar and in this book we learn more about him and his past with this sequel/prequel to the first book. I will note that this book can be read as a standalone. I have known about Dicker’s first book for a while and do own it but haven’t gotten to it yet. I am curious to know how I’ll perceive The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair now that I’ve read The Baltimore Boys – we’ll find out when I find some time in the future to read it (it’s very very long). I have to say that I loved reading this book so much! I was invested in the story and followed every single one of the happenings – I gasped, I rolled my eyes, I felt sad. There’s no doubt that Dicker is a brilliant young writer whose imagination easily translates into words with such depth. The book deals with two families – The Baltimore Goldmans and The Baltimore Montclairs – (it’s more centered around The Baltimore Goldmans) we experience the youth, adolescence and life of The Baltimore Goldmans through the lens of Marcus Goldman and occasionally we see the narrative change to some key events which are very insightful and keep the reader fully invested in the story.

I have to compliment the way Dicker crafted the characters of Woody and Hillel (as well as other characters) because I loved the way they came into each others lives and it made them more real. The way the author made characters have flaws and their own issues made me want to keep reading even though I found some parts to be a bit dry I still fully appreciated the book. The book alternates between past and 2012 (present) and we see Marcus tell his story as well as dealing with the return of his old flame Alexandra Neville. The idea that people who are very close can still have many issues with each other and not really know each other is something I find interesting to read about and this book was the perfect portrayal of that. I have to add that the last 100 pages were jaw dropping – just as you think that the author will give the reader something satisfying all changes and quickly becomes dust. This proves that the author has skills to write a great plot twist which (after finishing the book) leaves you emotionally empty.

‘Everything begins the way everything ends, and books often begin with the end.’

Overall this was a fantastic book about love, betrayal, closeness, loyalty among two families which will make you want to pick up more of Joel Dicker if you haven’t already read his first book. Seriously, this one needs to be on your shelves!

I would like to thank the publisher (Quercus Books – MacLehose Press) for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

Add ‘The Baltimore Boys‘ to your TBR:  goodreads-logo-square

*Purchase ‘The Baltimore Boys‘ here:  

*Purchase ‘The Baltimore Boys‘ with free worldwide shipping: the_book_depository-svg

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

Joel Dicker

Joël Dicker is a Swiss novelist, born on June 16th 1985. He is from Geneva, a French-speaking city in western Switzerland. He attended Geneva schools, and the University of Geneva law school. He received his Masters of Law from the University of Geneva in 2010. From an early age, Joël has had a passion for writing. At age ten, Joël founded La Gazette des Animaux (Animals’ Gazette), a magazine about nature that he directed for seven years. Joel DickerAt age 20 he made his first attempts as a fiction writer. His short story, Le Tigre, was honored in 2005 by PIJA (International Prize for Young French-speaking Authors)…more.

Find him on:  Website,  GoodReads,  Twitter,  Instagram and  Facebook.

[REVIEW] Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

into1 into2 into3 into4

myre

Hey everyone! I’m back to reading and reviewing! I wrote this review a few months ago so I thought I’d post it. Hopefully I’ll have a review up by next Wednesday! Looking forward to reading your reviews and blogging!

The novel follows Catherine Bailey who upon meeting Lee Brightman – a handsome, mysterious guy – instantly falls under his spell and starts a relationship with him. But as the relationship progresses Lee turns out to be someone else: his behaviour changes from a loving and caring to a controlling, jealous and twisted personality.

Upon the realisation that Lee isn’t who she thought he was Catherine begins to slowly pull away from him. She confides in her friends who she trusts the most – surely they’ll believe her? Shockingly they don’t believe her because a sweet, charming guy like Lee couldn’t do such a thing. What Lee does to her is cause her pain, trust issues and changes her mindset completely with his behaviour. Four years have passed and Lee is in prison and Catherne has a chance to build a new life for herself, she can forget about Lee. She meets Stuart Richardson a kind clinical psychologist who is set to help her overcome her fears and make it easier for her to trust people. Then on one usual day, the phone rings and she begins to fear for her life once again.

Into the Darkest Corner was an excellent read. The novel is made up of small chapters which switch back and forth from the past to the present. Elizabeth Haynes paints our protagonist really well – she shows to us that she is mentally unstable, fearful and real. I have to say that this subject matter is quite hard for a person to read. I can’t believe that this sort of thing exists in real life – abuse and rape should be stopped and the perpetrator should be punished with more rigorous sentence. I loved the way Haynes showed us Catherine – we got inside her fragile mind and got to re-live her story with her. We got scared for her, we cheered for her.  This was a hard but and an amazing read which deals with real issues in our society.

I would definitely recommend this page-turner to all psychological thriller fans because it won’t disappoint. An engaging novel which makes you think about it long after you’ve finished it.

My rating: ratingstarratingstarratingstarratingstarhalfstar

abtauthor

Elizabeth Haynes grew up in Seaford, East Sussex, and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. Her writing is partly inspired by her work as a police intelligence analyst in Kent.

She was encouraged to submit her debut novel Into the Darkest Corner following a creative writing course at West Dean College and it was published by Myriad Editions in February 2011. Elizabeth Haynes won the Amazon UK 2011 Rising Stars award and Into the Darkest Corner was Amazon UK’s Book of the Year for 2011. Following publication by Harper Collins in the USA it became a New York Times bestseller.

Find her on:   Website,  GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter