TTT: Ten Books I`m Thankful For

Harry Potter funko
                               TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone celebrating! Please feel free to send all the pie leftovers to my house. On a more serious note, today we`ll be discussing the books that we love and cherish, the ones that warm our hearts. We`ll talk about the books that made an impact on us and why we adore them so much. So pick a hot chocolate, hide under your favourite blanket and continue on reading.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
What a shocker, I`m going to start with the series that`s probably on everyone`s list. But Harry Potter is magical, pun intended. J.K. Rowling gave us a fantastic set of character and a complex world. She taught us about friendship, bravery, and chivalry, amongst other things. She gave us Sirius Black:). 
To Kill a Mockingbird

2. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
Apparently, this book was recently banned in a school in America and I`m so outraged. Because it`s one of the best books that you can read against racism. It`s a gem that teaches young minds to be good and kind and to not let society change them.

3. "Alice`s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll
A whimsical story that everyone should read at least once. I think this is an amazing book for kids because it will challenge them and stir their imagination. And it`s just as enjoyable reading it when you`re an adult.

4. "Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie
I have another children-lit classic and that`s the unique story of "Peter Pan". It`s another story with great life lessons and especially the consequences of not wanting to grow up. But to be fair, I`m almost 28 and I`m not sure adulthood is for me.
The Hunger Games

5. "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The one that launched hundreds of "duplicates". I know that now most people are tired of dystopia and a part of me gets it. We live in a shitty society and the books that are out now have nothing original. But personally, I love dystopia. And "The Hunger Games" portrayed a terrifying, but somehow possible future world.

6. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky
Some people hate and some people love it, but I think it`s one of the best coming of age books out there. It`s certainly one of my favourite YA contemporaries.

7. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami is my favourite author, so I`m thankful for all of his books. Because most of them have magical realism, it`s hard to describe them. But they`re so lyrical and beautiful! This one is about Toru Okada who goes searching for his wife`s cat and from then on a set of inexplicable events starts to happen. I know it`s a poor synopsis, but with Murakami`s novels, you don`t want to give too much away. You just have to let them steal your heart.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

8. "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli
I`ve talked about this book a lot and let me tell you, the hype is real. It`s funny and heartwarming, with amazing friendships and supportive parents.

9. "The Idiot" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
This is one of my favourite books of all time and one that stayed with me long after I read it. Just like with "To Kill a Mockingbird" it shows how corrupt a society can truly be and how those that are different or innocent, are labelled as "idiots" or strange.

10. "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness
Did you really think that you can escape a recommendations post without me not mentioning "A Monster Calls"? Think again. This is a raw and emotional story about grief and moving on, one that everyone should pick up in their lifetime.

And that`s a wrap. As a certified bookworm, I`m thankful for all the books out there, though slightly terrified by the size of my TBR. But I`ve decided to include the ones that I love the most. Let me know in the comments if any of these were ou your list as well.

TTT: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Children To Read

Harry Potter
                                    TTT is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Ah, the subject of offsprings! When you reach a certain age and you`re also married, that`s all everyone will ask you about. Are you content with your workplace? Who cares, when are you having kids? Are you in a happy marriage? Who cares, when are you popping a little one? Did you win the Nobel prize? You can`t be a 28-year-old woman and not be a mother.

OK, like usual, I might exaggerate things. But there is a certain pressure on women, an archaic idea that we can be truly fulfilled only when we have children. And for the record, I`m in a very happy marriage and I do want kids. Just not right now. A few years ago my husband and I agreed to give it a go and sadly, it did not pan out. So I decided that I`m not going to stress about it anymore. When the time is right, the time is right. And when the moment comes, here are the books I want my mini-me to read and hopefully, love.

1. Harry Potter
Imagine the excitement of your kid reading this wonderful series for the first time (and also yours, at your 20th reread). Think of the bond you`ll share. The excitement of sharing the same house. Or the drama of being in separate ones.

2. "Nobody`s Boy" by Hector Malot
This was the first book I truly loved and I remember how shocked my dad was to see me reading all day. Sadly, at 14 I was more interested in MTV than books. Anyways, the story was so beautiful and emotional, I was hooked instantly. It was the first time I finished a book in a day.

3. "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I did the mistake of reading this book only this year and as an adult, I did not have the same magical feeling about it. Society has corrupted me. But it`s definitely one of those stories that kids will enjoy.

4. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L.Frank Baum
Again, a beautiful children`s classic novel that is full of life lessons.

5. "Alice`s Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but as a child, I did not read many children-lit classics. That`s because in Romania we obviously studied our own books and the library did not have that many copies. And I wasn`t that much of a reader until high-school anyway. I definitely want my kids to read these books at a young age, as I think they`ll enjoy them more when they`re young.

6. "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
I sound like I broken record, I know that. But it`s one of my all-time favourite books and it`s such an important book about racism, prejudice and ignorance. I cannot recommend it enough!

7. "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton
Considered by many a modern classic, "The Outsiders" tells the story of a group of outcasts and their strong friendship. You often hear people how much you mean to them, but these kids would literally die for each other. It`s sad and emotional and it poses some important questions about class discrimination.

8. "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas
I won`t go into too many details, but this is an important book that everyone needs to read and later on discuss. 

9. "We Should All Be Feminists" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What if it`s a boy? Why are you brainwashing your kid with liberal propaganda? OK, I`m sure none of my lovely readers think that. Sadly, many people in society still have preconceived notions. And that`s why I want my future kid to know that everyone should be treated equally and have the same chances.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.” 

10. "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak
I`m a history nerd just like my dad. And I hope that my kid will share our interest as well. If not, I have a trick up my sleeve and that`s "The Book Thief". Because I believe that this is one of those heartbreaking stories that make you want to know more about history and what led to such tragic events. 

Obviously, there are many more books I want my future kids to read. I also have to accept the reality that they might not be readers. Though for me it`s hard to believe that. I honestly think that anyone can enjoy reading as long as they find the perfect book for them.

Book Review: "Genuine Fraud" by E.Lockhart*

Oh boy, where do I begin? You know how I normally have long intros and babble on like one of the Gilmore Girls? How I like to be positive, bake cookies and spread kindness (with a side of sarcasm, ofc)? All I can say is that I`m no writer and I appreciate the work that someone puts into their work. However, when a book is a complete rip off of something else, it is hard to be kind. So I`m sorry if I`ll offend anyone with this review. I`m not going to deny that E.Lockhart is a talented writer and state that when "We Were Liars" came out, I highly enjoyed it. But this book is a fraud. Because it`s the gender-swap, reverse story of "The Talented Mr Ripley".

I get that nowadays it`s hard to write something truly original. Everything was inspired by something else. But this book was a copy, a case of stolen identity if you will. Come on, even the murder weapon and the scenario is the same. On top of that, whilst the situation was plausible in the 50`s, it`s hard to believe that it can work nowadays.

I have not read "The Talented Mr Ripley", but I`ve seen the movie countless times. It`s one of my favourites, from the impressive cast to the beautiful locations. The story and especially that ending is a masterpiece. (and Jude Law has a cute bum bum, so yeah) I`d totally recommend it and I might tell you to read "Genuine Fraud" afterwards just so you see what a mess it is.

Anyways, change Tom Ripley into Jule, Dickie into Imogen, Marge into Forrester and you have the cast of "Genuine Fraud". The love for jazz is replaced by the love for Victorian literature, which made it a bit more likeable, but not enough to save it. Other than the confusing reverse-chronological storytelling it`s pretty much the same to the movie/book. I mean, it`s terrible rip-off, but hey ho. And whilst the movie ends with an open ending that suggests that Tom is going further and further down the rabbit hole and he will eventually get caught, our psychopath walks free. The thing is, I was able to connect somewhat with Tom due to Matt Damon`s good acting. But the way Jule is portrayed, you feel no connection to her whatsoever. Everyone in the book is a one-dimensional, shallow person. The book has no substance, just a fancy setting. 

The one thing I partially liked about this book was the feminist vibes. The book constantly challenges the way women are viewed by society:

"She knew that women were rarely the centers of such stories. Instead, they were eye candy, arm candy, victims, or love interests. Mostly, they exited to help the great white hetero hero on his fucking epic journey."

However, there was a quote that annoyed the hell out of me: "she was scrappy yet willing to please, feminist yet feminine". Like I said, this book had a pro girl power message, so I was confused about that part. Are feminist supposed to be angry, manly looking witches? Because hey, I`m a feminist and I like lipsticks and pretty dresses. And other feminists don`t, but feminism is not a "one size fits all" type of thing.

Maybe if I hadn`t seen "The Talented Mr Ripley" I might have given this book 3 stars. But because it`s such a cheap knock-off, I can`t give it more than 1 star. I`m not trying to discredit the author, but I think it`s lazy to take the complete story from another book and just tweak it a bit to make it your own. 

* I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

October Wrap-up

This is quite a shocking moment in the history of my blog, as I`m doing a monthly reading wrap-up. Crazy, I know! This month not only did I read a decent amount of books, but I`ve also been pretty consistent with my reviews, so it`s a proud moment for me. I actually feel like a responsible book blogger for once. Pat pat, on the shoulders and a golden star! In October I have read a total of 5 books. Nothing amazing, but I did get out of my reading slump. I am still nowhere as near as I wanted to be with my goals, but we`re getting there. 

The first book that I have read in October was "Trapped in Silver" by Emily Sowden. Like I mentioned before, I am an official Oftomes reviewer and each month I`m taking part in their readathon. Because I had troubles with my computer, I couldn`t read this book in September, but I literally flew through it in October. This is a fantasy book that features demons, Berzerkers, shapeshifters and all the magical creatures you can think of. If you`re a fan of "Supernatural", then I highly recommend this novel. It`s so well-written, filled with interesting characters and a solid world building. If you want to know more about this book, check out my review here.

For our October readathon, we had to read "The Witches of the Glass" by Gabriella Lepore. Although this book had a promising start, I did not like it as much as I liked "Trapped in Silver." This book is about Mia and Dino, who one day discover that they`re witches and are sent to a castle to learn about their powers. There they make friends and Mia falls in love, the part where the book started to go downhill for me. By now, you all know I am not a fan of insta-love and I could not deal with the fact that Mia was calling the guy she knew for a couple of weeks her soulmate. I know you`re young but chill the f` out! It`s a shame though because I was really enjoying this book before that part. 

I have finally read my first Agatha Christie novel and all I can say is WOW! I mean, technically I listened to it on Audiobook and let me tell you, Dan Stevens was the perfect narrator. Everything from his accent to his voice inflection was perfect. As far as the story goes, I highly enjoy it and I must say that the ending took me off guard. I did catch on some things, but the way everything fitted together was absolutely beautiful. And because I loved Dan Stevens and Agatha Christie so much, I also listened to "And Then There Were None". Although this is her most famous novel, I did not enjoy it as much as the previous one. I mean, it was still great, but the ending was nowhere near as shocking as in "Murder on the Orient Express".

I did manage to pick up a YA contemporary and that was "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. All I can say is that this book is definitely worth the hype, combining a beautiful coming of age story with life lessons about stereotypes, discrimination, family, friendship and much more. The only thing that stopped me from giving this book 5 stars was the fact that sometimes the narrator felt too detached. But other than that, a beautiful and heart-warming story.

At the moment I am reading "Haunting Violet" for Halloween, but I`m not sure I`ll finish it by the end of today so I might include it in my November wrap-up. Let me know in the comments what books you`ve been reading this month.

Book Review: "History Is All You Left Me" by Adam Silvera

"History Is All You Left Me" Adam Silvera

It`s October, I`m reading "They Both Die At The End" and I`m only just reviewing "History Is All You Left Me". If you`ve been on this blog for a while, then you know that Adam Silvera is one of my favourite authors.His stories are beautiful and heartbreaking, and he just has a unique writing style. I am not the biggest fan of YA contemporaries, but Adam`s novels are pure gold. So why did it take me so long to review this book? Because like I mentioned earlier, Adam`s stories are heartbreaking.

The main character is Griffin, who recently lost the love of his life, Theo. The story is told between past and present, showing us the beginning of Griffin`s relationship with Theo, and the aftermath of his death. It also shows the progression of Griffin`s OCD, how it affected his relationship and completely took over in the end. Whilst there are some bittersweet moments in the past, there`s no denying that reading about the present will make you feel depressed. Griffin is a mess and the only one that gets what he`s going through is Jackson, Theo`s current boyfriend at the time of the accident. Neither of them ready to move on, they start a codependent friendship that revolves around their memories of Theo.

I adored this story, though I don`t think that this is a book for everyone. Or you at least have to be in a certain state of mind to read it. I mean, if you`re going through a depression, this might make things worse. Though the overall message of the book is a positive one, I suppose. Despite the heartbreak, it`s an amazing book about grief and moving on. When I was reading the epilogue and Griffin`s last words to Theo, I was smiling like an idiot. That part is so beautifully written, I don`t have enough adjectives to describe it.

I also feel that it`s crucial to say that this is an own voice novel, Adam being gay and suffering from OCD himself. So the portrayal of mental illness is spot on. It wasn`t easy being in Griffin`s mind, but I found it a great case-study for observing how OCD affects a person`s everyday life. From minor to major aspects, Adam showed a true representation of mental illness.

Needless to say, I gave this book 5 stars and you`ll definitely see it on my Top 10 Books of 2017 list.

Web Analytics