Review: Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

disappearing earth julia phillips

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Mystery

Disappearing Earth was another book chosen for the Squad Longlist, and I was very excited to read this slow-burn mystery set in Siberia. Although the blurb might imply this is a series of events started by the kidnapping of two sisters, this is less a plot-driven book and more about each of the characters. We get several different point of views and explore the motivations, fears, nostalgia, disillusion and loss of these people, who are connected to the kidnapping in one way or another, sometimes only very loosely.

Each chapter focuses on a different character, and this makes Disappearing Earth very much a slow burn, as we see month by month a snapshot of their lives. The author did such a great job in turning a narrator in one story seamlessly into a secondary character in another’s a few chapters later. Each character has a rich inner life, and is haunted by loss, uncertainty, societal pressure, judgment, by lack of options in such a remote place. Their dreams and aspirations often turn to nothing, and my heart broke so many times, even for characters I didn’t particularly like. This book was a beautiful exercise in humanity. Continue reading

eARC Review: Throwaway Girls by Andrea Contos

throwaway girls andrea contos

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: YA Thriller, F/F

I received advance copies via Edelweiss and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In Throwaway Girls, Caroline’s best friend has gone missing. The day she disappeared, Caroline was supposed to meet her, and the guilt is suffocating. As she tries to get over a painful breakup and the loss of the one person who made life worth living, Caroline now must find her best friend – she knows the police isn’t looking in the right places, and as they try to frame a teacher, Caroline knows he’s not guilty. It’s someone else – someone who’s been taking girls no one cares to look for.

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Weekly Wrap-Up 21 – 27 July 2020

Hello readers!

So by finishing Disappearing Earth I officially need to buy more books to complete the Squad Longlist. At the same time, I haven’t read any of the books I last bought so I’m feeling guilty about that and will take a few weeks more before buying more books! But I expect sometime until September to be actually finished with it! Very excited. I also finished Throwaway Girls, which was a regular thriller and checked all the boxes for a quick / fun read! I enjoyed the noir vibes it gave (and the fact that it was F/F), even though it didn’t wow me. Next I picked up It Would be Night in Caracas and it’s really, really good so far!

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Review: Space Race by Deborah Cadbury

space race the battle to rule the heaves deborah cadbury

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: History, Non-Fiction

The Space Race is an exciting time in history for me, although somehow the implications of the Cold War on its development and how insanely tight the deadlines were completely went over my head until picking this up. All I had really absorbed in school were “cool space things” and a vague notion that this was going on during the Cold War.

Deborah Cadbury writes this incredibly interesting story as a thriller, and you follow both men (von Braun and Korolev) follow their dream of space at great cost, with lots of political and personal dramas, at times lauded as heroes or eyed with suspicion. While this makes for amazing storytelling, I had some issues with the portrayal of Wernher von Braun. Continue reading

Why You Should Read Know My Name by Chanel Miller

know my name chanel miller

I can’t make myself write a review for Chanel Miller’s Know My Name, although I gave it 5 stars in Goodreads – it’s strange to review a book that left me so raw in terms of “brilliant” and “beautiful writing” or “one of the best books I’ll read all year”. Those are all true but barely scratch the surface of what this book means to me and to others.

Chanel Miller’s account of who she was before the attack and what happened to her after is incredibly heartbreaking and shines a light on the very real problem that is the justice system. She is a “perfect” victim – she had her sister with her just a few minutes before to witness that she was drunk, she had witnesses who saw what the rapist was doing to her and caught him, keeping him there until the police arrived, she had a good job, friends, came from a middle class background, was educated and all around a “good girl”. And yet, she was re-traumatized by the process, silenced and given a whole new persona as a drunk, very willing young woman who “cried rape” after regretting her encounter and became “hysterical” in the trial. She had her voice silenced and dismissed, while her rapist had his voice amplified and taken as the true account of events, even when the claims were ridiculous. His sentence was even more ridiculous. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up 14 – 20 July 2020: Bye-bye Goodreads Links

Hello readers!

I finally got a copy of The New Jim Crow in eBook and I’m very pleased. It’s a really great book, so I wanted to have a copy anyway!  This was a fantastic read and made me so damn angry. I’ve picked up a few anti-racist reads from Brazil as well, since it strikes me as lacking (and hypocritical) to only read about what happens in other countries. I’ll look for some German reads, too. I finished also Space Race, which was so good but also problematic so I deducted a couple stars. I started and DNF-ed Each of Us a Desert (sadly), and started both Throwaway Girls and Disappearing Earth!

I’ve also decided to stop putting links to Goodreads on my reviews. I do this for every review, and have a few times also added links to Skoob (Brazilian Goodreads) and once or twice to The StoryGraph. But, unless I want to spend a lot of time searching links for other platforms as well, or add at least these three which I use more or less, it’s quite unfair to put only Goodreads, especially considering its link to Amazon. As I’ve been trying to slowly disconnect myself from shopping through Amazon, promoting Goodreads doesn’t make much sense. A few posts I’d already prepared and scheduled, and will still have the links, but I think people don’t even use those to add books to their TBRs, so hardly something that will be missed.

I got a bunch of eBooks on my favorite Brazilian bookstore:

the new jim crow michelle alexander afterlife julia alvarez Things we lost in the fire mariana enriquez

a falencia julia lopes de almeida a1dfo3leeyl6779512801591011264.jpg o arqueiro e a feiticeira helena gomes

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In my defense, I had a discount code and a lot of these were on sale (Policarpo Quaresma & Carta de um Defunto Rico were free!). I received a new discount code but I have a semblance of self control and won’t get more books! Probably. Maybe. Actually, I promise nothing. I’m dying to get to one of those asap but first I must read a few eARCs since I’m getting rather late with those. *sigh*

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SciFi Books for People Who Think They Don’t Like SciFi

Hello readers!

There are several reasons why a lot of readers shy away from SciFi: maybe you think it’s dry and boring and too tech-y; maybe you would rather read character-driven, emotional stories; maybe you prefer down-to-earth books and can’t relate to fantastical worlds; maybe you associate it only with alien-shooting and wars between planets (which, fair).

BUT. I brought the good stuff today! SciFi can go in so many directions, and doesn’t have to be the dry action-packed books that are so stereotypical of the genre. If you think you don’t like SciFi, maybe you just haven’t found a book that suited your personal reading tastes – there’s really all kinds of SciFi out there!

I’ve compiled a list with some fun, light-hearted stuff, some character-driven and emotional reads, some thrillers, and some cozy reads, too. Maybe you’ll find something that fits your reading taste!

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The Power Naomi Alderman Dark Matter Blake Crouch neverworld wake marisha pessl

The Power by Naomi Alderman / Goodreads

This is a bit of a divisive read, but I really enjoyed it! In The Power, women wake up one day with the power of electricity, shifting the power balance and changing who gets to lead the world. If you like dystopias, you might enjoy this Women’s Prize for Fiction winner! Continue reading

Review: In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

in the time of the butterflies julia alvarezRating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Historical Fiction

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story of the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands.

I picked up this book after recommendation from Michelle’s Custom-Made TBR (thank you, Chelle!). And it was such a great recommendation, this is an incredible book that I think deserves to be talked about a lot more. The Mirabal sisters are three incredible women, each one very different from another but bound by a beautiful friendship and unshakable loyalty to one another. Each one of them starts seeing the wrongness of the dictatorship (which they grew up with and were taught was perfect and good) and joining the revolutions, eventually becoming symbols of courage and defiance. Continue reading

Reading Latinx Books Project with @cbookrambling

Hello readers!

In case you didn’t know, I’m Brazilian! I know I hammer this into people’s heads, but it’s a big part of my identity that I am not sure shows on my blog very often, especially on my reading. It’s recently come to my attention the glaringly obvious fact that I read mostly books from US & UK – in fact, I might read more Irish books than Brazilian. Which is unacceptable.

Realizing this was a reality check and so I’ve been taking steps to read more Latinx books. To do that, Michelle is helping me come up with a TBR according to my personal taste. In case you didn’t know, she is a wonderful blogger (and fellow Latin American, from Venezuela!) who’s offering TBR-picking services for bookworms! Not just of Latinx books 🙂

If you, like me, want to diversify your reading, she will choose a few books for you and email you her picks according to your personal taste & what you’d like to read – I asked her for some Latinx books, especially some written by women, and she delivered! I’m excited to read books that were not on my radar at all or that I hadn’t considered picking up before. I’ve only read 1 so far but I loved it already and it’s always so exciting to get her emails!

(I am advertising this because she absolutely deserves it, but I haven’t been neither paid nor asked to do this. I used her service, paid for it myself and really enjoyed it. For full disclosure, we are friends for a few years now.)

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in the time of the butterflies julia alvarez este e o mar mariana enriquez near to the wild heart clarice lispector

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American author, and this book is about the Mirabal sisters with a fictionalized accounting of their lives, from childhood until the day three of the sisters are murdered by Trujillo men. This is a fascinating, heartbreaking but also very inspiring read and such a gem! (And recommended by Michelle!) Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up 07 – 13 July 2020

Hello readers!

This week I decided to go back to my exercise routine, and that took quite a toll on my reading!  I’m normally so tired when I get home I just want to have dinner and spend time with my husband and cat. It probably also doesn’t help that we’ve started with Season 2 of Dark. But that’s fine, since I wanted to scale down my reading anyway.

This week, I finished In The Time of the Butterflies, which was such a great read! It tells the story of the Mirabal sisters during Trujillo’s dictatorship until 1960, when three of them were murdered. I went on a bit with Space Race, which I think will take me longer to read than I’m used to for a book this size – perhaps another week or two. Then I picked up and DNFed The Price of Paradise. I first got it thinking it was a Latinx book (1940s Cuba), but it’s not! The author and main character are Spanish (it is set in Cuba, though), so I’m a bit upset this was advertised as Latin American. I read it for a couple chapters but ended up DNF-ing it. There were a few small things that kept annoying me during the book and I just didn’t think it was worth the effort to continue.

Next this week I will be picking up:

All of the eARCs above are F/F, in case you’re looking for some ideas of 2020 releases to read! I have so many ARCs still to read oh my gosh.

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