Review: Bottled Goods, by Sophie Van Llewyn

bottled goods sophie van llewyn

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Literary fiction, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

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Bottled Goods is one of the most interesting and unique books in the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Longlist! It tells the story of Alina, who lives in Romania in the 1970s and is suffering the aftermath of her brother-in-law running away from communist Romania and leaving her and her husband to deal with the suspicion, interrogation and violence.

A bit under 200 pages, this took about a couple hours to read, and I highly recommend it to people who love a bit of magical realism! This was my favorite part about the book, how seamlessly the author managed to add magical elements to an otherwise heavy story, adding some whimsical and funny moments. Continue reading

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Mini-Review: My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing

my lovely wife samantha downingRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Psychological Thriller

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I love a good cold-blooded murderess story – they’re hard enough to come by, but what My Lovely Wife does is something I hadn’t seen before, with a couple who decides to spice up their marriage by kidnapping and murdering young women.

It’s difficult to stand out among so many new thrillers coming out all the time, and by now I’ve read so many that they become predictable. But My Lovely Wife really stands out, and for good reason: it’s addictive, it’s fascinating and the main characters are so unapologetically cold and not trying to justify their actions. I am obsessed with this book and highly recommend it! I was stuck in traffic for a really long time and this got me through it without a hint of irritation. A sign of a really amazing book.

Review: Milkman, by Anna Burns

milkman anna burns

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary Fiction

Goodreads / Amazon

Milkman tells the story of an unnamed girl in an unnamed city, where the social rules to belonging are strict and don’t allow for straying too far. When the gets the unwanted attention of the Milkman and becomes the center of gossip in the city, she knows she’s in danger.

It took me several days to actually finish Milkman, because this gorgeous and witty book demands focus and can be dense to read at times. There isn’t a lot of dialogue going on and the paragraphs can be long, which by no means makes it a boring read at all, just a slower one if you’re used to, say, reading thrillers or other fast-paced stories. Although this was 350 pages long, it did feel more like 450-500 pages. Continue reading

Review: The Pisces, by Melissa Broder

the pisces melissa broder

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism, Erotica

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The Pisces is the most infamous book I’ve seen in a while, getting the same kind of reaction from people as did Fifty Shades of Grey when it came out – a snobbish dismissal and fascinated curiosity. When it came out, the only blurb I heard of was this was a book about fish sex. Then it made the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and I heard people I really trusted saying that this book was amazing and to disregard its abysmal 3.23 rating on Goodreads. I am SO thankful for those people convincing me to read it! So shout-out to the Women’s Prize Squad: Hannah, Sarah, Callum, Steph and Rachel. Definitely check out their reviews, they’re amazing. Continue reading

eARC Review: Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire

middlegame seanan mcguire

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

Goodreads / Amazon

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

I finished this book days ago, but I keep thinking about it. It definitely left an everlasting impression on me and I now need a physical copy on my shelf.

Middlegame is the story of two kids, Dodger and Roger. One day, when they’re both eight years old, they find out that they can communicate with each other without phones or actually being physically present – via quantum entanglement, they can speak to one another on the other side of the country and see what the others see. Almost – but not quite – feel what the other feels. Which, for Dodger, is the best thing that could have happened – she is a math genius, but otherwise hopeless when it comes to making friends, spelling and being normal. Roger is sweet tempered and has a love for language, finding in Dodger a great, daring friend. But they don’t know where they come from – they’re both born on the same day, have the same eyes, both are adopted… could they be twins? Could they be… not human at all? Continue reading

Review: An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

an anonymous girl greer hendricks sarah pekkansRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Psychological Thriller

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I just posted about The Wife Between Us, and right after reading that, I picked up this one! It came out this January, and I am hoping Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen will write lots of more books.

Jessica Farris’ life has never been easy, but now it’s becoming more difficult as her father loses his job and the bills for her sister’s therapies pile on. She signs up for a psychological test for the money she will receive from it. Jess doesn’t really know anything about the test, except that it’s about ethics and morality – maybe it’s some sort of personality test. She has no idea what she’s getting into… Continue reading

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?

Continue reading

I Marie-Kondoed My Books

Image result for marie kondo gif

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.

Continue reading

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