eARC Review: A Prince on Paper, by Alyssa Cole

a prince on paper alyssa cole

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads / Amazon

I have received this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

A Prince on Paper is the story of Nya Jerami, knows very well what it means to have people assume things about her. Simple, fragile, perhaps in cohort with her traitor father. She went to NYC for her post-grad trying to turn herself into the strong heroine she has seen in so many movies, and failed. On the way back to Thesolo for the wedding of her cousin and friend Ledi, she realizes she will be seeing a lot of the playboy prince Johan. The insufferable, over-confident, handsome prince the tabloids seem to love. To keep the news away from his brother, and to stop people from still associating her with the treason from her father, they come up with a plan: they will pretend to be dating. Surely nothing can go wrong with this plan?

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Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Shortlist Reaction – Bland & Boring??

For those who didn’t know, I’ve been making my way through the Women’s Prize Longlist for 2019, together with Rachel, Callum, Sarah, Hannah and Steph! I’ve finished by now 9 and half books, having left some that I expect to be new favorites for last! Today we got the much awaited shortlist, and if you didn’t see it yet, here are the ones that made it:

It’s been a shock to everyone not seeing Ghost Wall & Normal People make the shortlist. I haven’t read those two yet, but from the blurb I’ve been hearing, they were such favorites. That The Pisces didn’t make it isn’t entirely a surprise, but a huge disappointment! This was such a strange, daring book and I hoped it would win the Women’s Prize. The Pisces spoke to me in such a deep level and brought to surfice all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, plus it was quirky and unique and quite brilliant. I’m saddened that the list is immediately less ambitious and original by the simple fact that The Pisces didn’t make it. Continue reading

I Marie-Kondoed My Books

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Hello readers!

Approach carefully. This post is full of traumatic scenes, such as books being given away without a second thought, and amateurish photography of said traumatic scene.

If you have been following me for a while, then you probably have seen a few of my unhaul posts, and you know I have NO SHAME when it comes to giving books away. Contrary to popular belief, Marie has no rule that you must burn your books and sacrifice writers in blood rituals. In fact, you don’t even need to stick to the 30-book “rule”. If you are confused about that, I suggest you read this very helpful article on why she got so misunderstood.

Here is what you need to know about the book step of tidying up with the Konmari method:

  1. Keep books that spark joy.
  2. Joy doesn’t mean necessarily happy, gushy feelings of feel-good and marshmallows. It can also have visceral, perturbing reactions that you… approve of. If a book is absolutely gritty and dark and you love it and will read it, by all means, keep it.
  3. Have a designated place for your books so you can see how much you have.

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Review: An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

an american marriage tayari jones

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

An American Marriage was the fourth book I read from the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist for 2019, and my curiosity was even bigger for this one because this book was also picked for Oprah’s Book Club and I’ve been seeing several positive reviews from people I know.

Celestial and Roy have been married for a bit more than a year. She’s an artist and he’s a young executive. One night, during one of their worst fights, he walks out of the hotel room and helps an older woman – who then just hours later will accuse him of raping her. Incarcerated although he is innocent, Roy watches the life he knew shatter. The both of them must find out hard lessons on loyalty, justice, race, Black womanhood and Black manhood. Continue reading

Review: Ordinary People, by Diana Evans

ordinary people diana evans

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

This is exactly the kind of book that draws me in, with the couples trying to figure out if staying together will eventually heal their relationship or if it will break them. Those are always emotional reads that make me look into my own self and reflect on my choices. I was ready to let Ordinary People destroy me.

Ordinary People is the story of two couples, Michael and Melissa, and Damien and Stephanie, living in London and trying to make their relationships work while staying true to who they are. Melissa finds it difficult to be who she truly is, consumed with housework and her children. Michael sees Melissa growing colder and colder towards him and cannot seem to get their relationship to be how it used to be… which makes him look at other women with different eyes. All Stephanie ever wanted was to have her family and a lovely home, but since Damien’s father died, it has been nearly impossible to have any kind of relationship with him. He’s distant, quieter and in his heart he feels like he doesn’t belong. Continue reading

Review: Number One Chinese Restaurant, by Lillian Li

number one chinese restaurant lillian li

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

Number One Chinese Restaurant is the story of the decades-long loyalties and tensions in the restaurant from the Hans, inherited from father to son, a place where once politicians went to, actors, even presidents – but somehow has not met real prestige yet. Jimmy, the manager, has big dreams for a restaurant of his own. His older brother Johnny worked so hard for so many years on the restaurant that he became distant from his own daughter. Nan has worked there for decades together with Ah-Jack and yearns to be with him. With all of the underlying drama waiting to boil, no one notices when Pat and Annie get themselves into trouble.

They were all friends, if one defined friendship as the natural occurrence between people who, after colliding for decades, have finally eroded enough to fit together. Continue reading

Review: Praise Song for the Butterflies, by Bernice L. McFadden

praise song for the butterflies bernice l mcfadden

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Historical Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

Praise Song for the Butterflies is the story of Abeo, a girl from the fictional country of Ukemby who is sent as a sacrifice to appease the gods and stop the wave of bad luck that struck the family.

I was worried about the book because of its heavy themes – I am rather sensitive and books full of themes like torture, slavery and rape are difficult to read, especially in audio format. It reminded me a bit of Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao, which I couldn’t even finish because it broke my heart and made me too anxious. And while this book was definitely heartbreaking, it didn’t feel so gratuitous and excessively detailed. There is a point, when dealing with difficult themes, that the way they’re described changes the story from relevant and helping give a voice to the people who went through those things, to just add a shock factor to the story. Continue reading

How I Deal with Frustration: not losing weight, junk food, being too tired to workout

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Hello readers!

When trying to become healthier, whatever that means to each person, there is for most of us many, many times when we just want to give up. Not losing weight, being so tired, not seeing improvement, being out with people and feeling like you’re the odd one out eating a salad. I haven’t started my healthy journey now. It’s been a year since I started and I almost gave up many times. I broke my disciplined routine more times than I can count. It took me a full year of trial-and-error, but I had a LOT of time to think about my weak points, my psychological behavior, and find out why I felt frustrated and how to deal with it.

So the stuff I describe below comes from a lot of thinking, a lot of researching and seeing what WORKED for me. Continue reading

Review: The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

the wife between us greer hendricks sarah pekkanenRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Psychological Thriller

GoodreadsAmazon

This was another of the thrillers to come out in 2018 that just caused so much talk in the bookish community! And with good reason.

In The Wife Between Us, Vanessa has just received shocking news: her ex-husband, who she divorced just a few months ago, is getting married again. And very soon. Her replacement, a gorgeous, young woman, is already starting to try wedding dresses. Vanessa suddenly knows one thing: she cannot let this wedding happen. But in this story, nothing is what it seems. If you assume, you’re already wrong. Continue reading

Review: Daughter of the Burning City, by Amanda Foody

daughter of the burning city amanda foody

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Fantasy, Murder Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

Goodreads / Amazon

Daughter of the Burning City is the story of Sorina, a girl who sees without eyes and has the power to create illusions a person can even touch and hear. Gomorrah, the wandering city she has lived in her whole life, is full of wonder, magic and danger. When a murderer starts killing her family, Sorina must find out who is behind this and why. To do that, she allies with Luca, the boy who cannot die, no matter how gruesome the attempts to his life. Is he trustworthy? Will she be able to keep her family safe? As impending war approaches, Sorina knows she must trade with care, but cannot help slowly coming to trust and befriend Luca. Continue reading