Review: A Spell of Winter, by Helen Dunmore

a spell of winter helen dunmoreRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Gothic Literary Fiction

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‘I saw an arm fall off a man once,’ said Kate.

So begins A Spell of Winter, the inaugural winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, now known as Women’s Prize for Fiction. I am partial to a good Gothic story, so it comes as no surprise that I loved this book!

A Spell of Winter tells the story of Cathy, a girl living with her cold grandfather and her brother Rob in England, in a big house that once was full of life, before her mother ran away and her father was locked away in a sanatorium. As Cathy’s life becomes more complicated and full of dark secrets, and World War I slowly starts to threaten the their quiet town, she must not let herself break. Continue reading

Review: Stubborn Archivist, by Yara Rodrigues Fowler

stubborn archivist yara rodrigues fowler

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary Fiction, Contemporary

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Stubborn Archivist is the story of an unnamed character, whose mother is from Brazil and father is an Englishman. Born in England but still with a foot in Brazil, she navigates life and tries to understand her identity and where she belongs.

This book came recommended to me by Rachel – thanks so much, this was such a great rec! Continue reading

Resenha: Felicidade Clandestina, por Clarice Lispector

felicidade clandestina clarice lispectorNota: ★★★★☆

Gêneros: Contos, Ficção Literária

Goodreads / Skoob

Meus colegas de classe e eu fomos obrigados a ler esta obra durante o Ensino Médio e, na época, lembro que nos chamou a atenção o conto O Ovo e a Galinha: nenhum de nós entendeu nada, e o conto nos deixou tão atônitos, que eu nem mesmo me recordava do resto do livro. Mais de dez anos depois, essa linda edição da Rocco me convence a dar uma segunda chance a Clarice Lispector (ou três: acabei levando também A Hora da Estrela e Água Viva). Continue reading

Review: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong

on earth were briefly gorgeous ocean vuong

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Literary Fiction

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On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is Ocean Vuong’s beautiful collection of thoughts, memories and impressions written to his mother. He explores his childhood, the story of his mother and grandmother and what they sacrificed and lost to the Vietnam war and then moving to the United States in search of a better life.

I did not know what to expect of this book when I picked it up, although I heard amazing things about it, I did not even know anything about its story at all. And it blew me away. Continue reading

Review: Convenience Store Woman, by Sayaka Murata

convenience store woman sayaka murata

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary Fiction

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Convenience Store Woman is the story of Miss Furukura, who has been working at the same convenience store for the past eighteen years. Her life has not changes since her twenties, and that is how she thrives: she knows what the store needs, the correct level of enthusiasm to greet costumers, and what to say when. But as she gets older, the pressure increases for her to get married, changes jobs or, preferably, both. When she meets a man at the store looking for a wife so he can comply to societal norms, she sees in him the perfect convenient relationship to also get friends and family to accept her. But this bitter, small-minded man will create chaos in her perfectly orderly life, and perhaps not for the best. Continue reading

Review: Dig, by A. S. King

dig a s king

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Young Adult, Literary Fiction

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I first heard of this book from one of Ariel Bissett’s channel and was immediately drawn to the cover – then the synopsis sounded intriguing. I was not sure what to think of literary YA fiction, as it made me think of books like The Catcher in the Rye (which I dislike), but since then I heard a few more positive reviews about it and decided to pick it up.

The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm. These are the five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family’s maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being simple Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-figure bank account, wealth they’ve declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grandchildren. Continue reading

Review: A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, by Eimear McBride

a girl is a half formed thing eimear mcbrideRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary Fiction

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A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is a story of a young woman whose brother has survived a brain tumor, and now tries to navigate through life knowing he is different and less intelligent than others. It explores what it’s like to be a girl completely on her own, facing religious struggles, suffering trauma and just trying to cope but finding yourself always going back to the unhealthy behaviors that help you forget.

First of all, this book has quite serious trigger warnings – I am listing all of those I could remember down below and unfortunately reading them includes spoilers, but I would not advise a reader to go into this book without knowing that you’re in for an emotional, brutal ride. If you are sensitive to some topics, check the TWs below before picking it up, ESPECIALLY if you’re a sexual assault/rape survivor. Continue reading

Mini-Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

the strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Magical Realism, Literary Fiction, Young Adult

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is well-known among book bloggers and booktubers, a gorgeous magical realism story about Ava Lavender and her family, who has generations of pain and magic in their history. Her family seems to be cursed to fall in love foolishly. Ava is born different, and is mistaken for an angel by a pious man.

This book is written beautifully, and I specially liked the descriptions of the baked goods in the family’s bakery. Made me hungry! This short book packs the story of four generations of this family very well, it never felt too short at all. There is so much beauty, pain, prejudice, love and betrayal, it’s very emotional and I was addicted to this.

The magical realism part, however, bothered me a little. Perhaps because I’m Latin-American, I expected the magical realism to be executed differently. I wondered if it was perhaps fantasy instead, but it isn’t quite. That made me frown a bit, but it’s a pretty good book in any case! I was very impressed by this debut!

Review: Ghost Wall, by Sarah Moss

ghost wall sarah moss

Rating: ★★★★★

Genres: Literary Fiction

Goodreads

Ghost Wall is the story of a group of students, a professor and a local family who want to re-enact the life in the Iron Age in Northumberland. As they become more and more involved in the re-enactment, tension builds and threatens to explode into violence.

Ghost Wall is one of the most impacting books I’ve read all year and I am sure this will stay with me for a long time. First of all, the writing is absolutely beautiful, and it’s all I want from literary fiction – nothing pretentious, but gorgeous nonetheless and with so much nuance to it that I surely missed a lot of details on this first read. Continue reading

Review: Remembered, by Yvonne Battle-Felton

remembered yvonne battle-felton

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary fiction, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

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This is such a beautiful literary work, I am so glad to have picked this up!

It’s 1910 in Philadelphia and Edward is in the hospital. His mother has no idea if he will make it through the night, although it does not look likely – so his other mother, his biological one, insists that it’s time he knows of the story of his family. She is a ghost, but a very outspoken one who will not rest until her family’s history is passed on and Remembered. Continue reading