Review: Tangerine, by Christine Mangan

tangerine christine manganRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction

Goodreads

In Tangerine, Alice is unhappy with her life in Tangier, Morocco. The beautiful, warm city cannot seem to let her breathe and she loathes to leave her flat – but the arrival of her old friend Lucy is about to change all of this, although perhaps not for the better.

This is a very atmospheric, glamorous read, one of those books set in the suffocating heat that make you feel suffocated, too. I didn’t know what to think of this book in the beginning, the plot and writing style giving off vibes of The Talented Mr. RipleyBased on a True Story and Bitter Orange, so it did not feel original. The plot twists were not difficult to foresee either and, although entertaining, I did not think the book was particularly unique or excellent. Continue reading

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Review: Dry, by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

dry neal shusterman jarrod shusterman

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Young Adult Thriller

Goodreads / Amazon

Dry is the story of Alyssa, a teenager whose normal life gets disrupted irrevocably when the drought suddenly turns into an apocalypse: the taps go dry. There isn’t water anywhere, the markets have been emptied out and there is a promise of violence in the air. When her parents go missing, things become far worse, and now Alyssa must do whatever it take to save herself and her little brother.

I haven’t read many YA thrillers before, and this left a very good impression! The main difference to adult thrillers is definitely the main characters being teenagers and, on top of the problems caused by the lack of water, they also had to deal with crushes and thinking about school, and also the less graphic violence present on the book. Continue reading

Review: Sadie, by Courtney Summers

sadie courtney summers

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Young Adult Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary

Goodreads

When Sadie finds out her sister Mattie has been murdered, her world falls apart. There was precious little in her life to make it worth it, and now with Mattie gone, nothing will stop her from getting revenge on the man who killed her. Told in a podcast style as the journalist West McCray investigates and tells the story of Sadie and Mattie, its unique story-telling is great to listen to.

Sadie was a book I had both high and low expectations on: I’d heard the audiobook was amazing, but I hadn’t heard more on the blurb than that, so I hardly knew what the book was even about when I started it. It took me a good third of the book to really get into it – while the narration IS fantastic, Sadie’s character starts out as basically nothing but anger and thinking she’s super dangerous and is going to kill a man, but nothing in her really inspired me to believe she WAS dangerous or anything more than her anger. But as the book progresses, and her character gets fleshed out a lot more, along with the complicated, imperfect people in her life telling their sides of the story, my heart started aching for her, for all she went through and all she lost. Continue reading

Review: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

bad blood john carreyrouRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Goodreads

I saw Rachel’s glowing review of this book on Goodreads and my interest was immediately picked. I wasn’t originally going to read this book because the words “Silicon Valley Startup” kind of threw me off and I wasn’t too keen on reading a “business book”. Boy, was I wrong.

Bad Blood tells the true story of John Carreyrou’s investigation on Silicon Valley’s Theranos, an obscure company led by the brilliant Elizabeth Holmes into overnight success worth 9 billion dollars. Theranos’ product, however, a device that uses a person’s blood to quickly and efficiently perform 200 blood tests with just the prick of a finger – was a fraud, and could be putting people in danger.  Continue reading

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: Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

freshwater akwaeke emezi

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Fantasy

Goodreads

Ada’s father wanted a girl child so much he prayed – and his prayers were answered. By another god altogether than the one he prayed for – and thus the children of the snake goddess Ala, bloodthirsty and merciless, were born in the body of Ada, driving her insane little by little.

This is a dark, gritty and delicious fantasy. I was hooked from the beginning! There are several fantasies out there with gods, but a lot of times the stories are rather tame. Freshwater is not tame at all – it makes you feel like you are going through all the dark thoughts Ada is going through, like you could understand the limitation a god feels in human flesh. It was so, so interesting a read. Continue reading

Review: Remembered, by Yvonne Battle-Felton

remembered yvonne battle-felton

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Literary fiction, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

Goodreads

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

Review: Lost Children Archive, by Valeria Luiselli

lost children archive valeria luiselli

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads

Lost Children Archive tells the story of a family on a road trip across the United States during Summer. As they go through what might be the last trip they take as a family, heading towards the area known as Apacheria, where the father tries to capture the echoes of the last people to give in to the white invaders, while the mother works on a collection of sounds that will, hopefully, together tell the story of the refugee children that are lost.

On the surface, this book is about a family trip, and with gorgeous writing the author takes us through the hot days, the slow pace of the story mirroring, I think, the pacing of something that is already a memory, a Summer day from years ago. But the story is truly about family, refugees, history, how documenting is important and the different ways of documenting. Quite fascinating! Continue reading

Review: Normal People, by Sally Rooney

normal people sally rooney

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads

Normal People tells the story of Connell and Marianne, who go to school together and have a complex relationship – in school, they pretend they hardly know each other, but at home, they have a quiet friendship with underlying, barely disguised desire. It follows them throughout the years as their relationship changes, ends, starts, develops and constantly threatens to break.

If you have feelings and want them squashed into a sobbing mess, well, this is the book for you! Let Sally Rooney break your heart and she will quietly and brutally do so. Continue reading

Review: Bottled Goods, by Sophie Van Llewyn

bottled goods sophie van llewyn

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Literary fiction, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction

Goodreads

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