The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep by Steven Heighton

Elias is sent to Cyprus to recover, where he attempts to find comfort in the arms of Eylul, a beautiful Turkish journalist. But the lovers’ reprieve ends in a moment of shocking brutality that drives Elias into Varosha, once a popular Greek-Cypriot resort town, abandoned since the Turkish invasion of 1974.- Goodreads Blurb

MY RATING : ★★ (4.0)

Bewitchingly touching, this book is about humanity in all of its forms. When I first read the blurb, I expected a political and historical novel but it is so much more. What we have here is a protagonist, an ex-soldier, struggling with the traumas of war in Afghanistan and is sent to Cyprus to “recover”. But he spiraled down a path of no return: a brutal event happens to him and he ends up  in an abandoned town populated by a group of exiles and refugees.

“Rationalizations are daytime creatures, less plausible by night”

The focus of the novel is of course the evolution of Elias, and, oh my, the character development was on point. What’s really special is that as a starting point, Elias is already introduced to us as a broken man with his PTSD moments from Afghanistan. But it doesn’t stop there. He will undergo even more unfortunate events obliging him to fight his own demons while dealing with new encounters. Continue reading

King’s Cage : How This Book Saves the Red Queen Series

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Before starting, know that I’ll be reviewing Glass Sword first which is the second book to the Red Queen series, you can read my review of the first book here.

MY RATING : 

This book was a mistake let’s skip to the 3rd one.

No, I’m just kidding! I still have to review it 😉 This sequel follows Mare after she ran away from Prince Maven to find others like her: people who were born as peasant, had red blood ,but ended up having the abilities that Silver people have.

All right Trang, where did this book go wrong? I mean, you still gave it a solid 3, right? To start off, I expected a lot from this sequel since Red Queen was amazing for meit was a 5 stars well-deserved fantasy action novel. And I’m sorry, but I will always compare novels within their series. But 3 stars go mostly to the introduction of new characters and discovering new abilities ! That being said, let’s go around the ONE THING I found annoying : Continue reading

Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

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“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.”

— Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

    If I told you that Invisible Monsters was supposed to be Chuck Palahniuk’s first novel, before Fight Club were to ever happen, but was rejected by publishers for being too disturbing, would you believe me? Countless people have found themselves falling head over heals in love with this novel to the point of calling it Palahniuk’s best work of fiction and their own favourite book of all time. While Fight Club became a world-wide classic piece of literature and one of the most critically-acclaimed masterpiece in cinema, Invisible Monsters has all the ingredients necessary to blow your minds away just as effortlessly. The story is told by an unnamed narrator who’s had a freak accident on the highway that left her face horribly disfigured (goodbye jaw). Once a fashion model that caught the eye of every individual that crossed paths with her, now she struggles to be seen and loses sight of her own purpose in life. It’s upon meeting Brandy Alexander, also known as the Queen Supreme, a woman who undergoes more surgeries than you could count on your fingers to become the most beautiful woman alive, that the narrator learns some of the most valuable lessons regarding identity and love. Invisible Monsters is not your ordinary novel. It is one of the most artistic and unorthodox work of fiction that you’ll ever come across in a sea of books.
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The Girl With All The Gifts : Book vs Movie

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MY RATING: ★(4.2)

A beautiful re-imagined zombie apocalypse plot centered around childrens’ behavior and what young minds can do. Melanie is a young girl who waits every day for 2 agents to come get her, strap her to a wheelchair, stabilize her head and push her to class. Her teachers taught her about the Hungries, those who feed on people. The minute they can smell human’s flesh, blood, they are triggered and can’t stop. Melanie can understand that but she also wonders why children keep disappearing from the classroom or why each time she tells the sergeants “Good Morning”, they look at her strangely and turn a blind eye to her.

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One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel | Read-Along

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    Narrated by a twelve-year old boy, One of the Boys is the story of a shattered family. Emotional and absolutely riveting, Daniel Magariel’s debut novel immerses you into the mind of a child who simply wants to join his father and older brother on their plan of starting a new life away from their mother. There’s nothing more important for our unnamed narrator than to be one of the boys. Winning the war was only the first step to starting over in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Things however are not what they seem when the psychological and physical abuse by the father are about to become a routine ordeal for these children. The story presents us the evolution of two kids as they try to adapt to their new situation, overcome the new challenges of a motherless life and please a father who’s habits become much more evident and destructive. Buddy-read with Trang, One of the Boys has become one of those short yet mesmerizing books of the year. With an ending that had us in awe, we can definitely say that this novel is one that should be read with caution.
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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison | Read-along

MY RATING : 

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

15170864Not to be mistaken with H.G. Wells’s Invisible Man (see the gif), this classic by Ralph Ellison brings another definition to being invisible. Indeed, while H.G Wells’s novel talks about the real power of invisibility in a science fiction genre, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man refers to it as a racist and ethnic term. This phenomenal classic from 1952 retells the journey of a black man in a 1930s America and how racism rages on and divides him.

For this occasion, me and Lashaan were reading along this classic so I thought it would be interesting to share both point of views. We had the same rating (4 stars) and were completely amazed by the story. Continue reading

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

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“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

— J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

    Everyone is a goddamn phony. It’s almost impossible to finish this book without having that sentence engraved in your thoughts, forever. The Catcher in the Rye was one of my most surprising reading experiences yet. It’s not your conventional young adult story. It is a book that has known censorship before embracing immense fame. It’s popularity grew at an exponential speed and ended up getting incredible praise among teenagers. How? It was all in Holden Caufield, the protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, and how so many adolescents were able to relate with him. This story is a glimpse into the life of Holden Caufield. He narrates the events, one after the other, and puts forth his entire thought process in black and white. After learning that he once again got kicked out of high school, Holden Caufield decides to follow his gut feeling and takes a trip to New York City. Through these events, readers uncover a child who’s simply falling into adulthood. In this story marinating in a theme of coming of age, Holden Caufield is an elegy for adolescents. It’s through his confusion, his angst, his pain, his pleasures and his desires that we see his struggle to remain a child, yet swimming in a world of adults.
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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

MY RATING : 

“If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?”
Blake Crouch, Dark Matter

img_1756Alright folks, brace yourselves for Trang is about to geek out about this book. Jason Denssen, a professor of astrophysics living a comfortable life with his wife and his kid until one day… he’s abducted, drugged and woke up in the same city but nothing is the same. He doesn’t have a wife, nor a kid, but is a renowned researcher who just accomplished the most amazing breakthrough of the year:  he had succeeded in creating quantum superposition of an object that was visible to the human eye.

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

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“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

— John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

    We’re all bound to hear about Mr. Steinbeck and his famous and critically acclaimed novels at least once in our lives. Of Mice and Men figures among his most popular works of fiction and there’s no denying that the praise it has received over time is very well deserved. This story follows the search for labour of both George Milton and Lennie Small. While George is a small, but smart individual who’s patience is always tested by his huge, loyal, but simple-minded friend Lennie, George’s continued support and friendship puts him in a tight spot far more often than he would have wished for. It’s upon arriving at a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley that their luck had changed and a job for both of them was offered. However, things are not as simple as it seems since Lennie’s inability to control his inhuman strength and to adapt and comprehend people and his surrounding is liable to wreak havoc. Of Mice and Men is a relatively short story that contains countless themes ready to assault every reader’s conscience and leave them bewildered and saddened by the end of the story.
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The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen (Vol.1)

MY RATING: ★

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‘ I don’t understand a word she’s saying. Nobody does. All we know is that it means everything. She’s been doing this for an hour, and it’s been all climax. Every second is the best of my life so far. ”

The artwork alone can steal all the stars from my rating. But not only  the drawings are great, the storyline is astonishing.

Imagine a world where your idols are Gods. Littereally Gods. They are selected in a particular way and they have 2 years of stardom, after that they have to die. The first volume introduces us to a young fan who got caught up with one of the wildest God of the gang : Luci… Lucifer 😉  Continue reading

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) by Stephen King

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“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

— Stephen King, The Gunslinger

    This is my first experience of Stephen King’s work. I am myself surprised that it isn’t one of his pure horror stories, but I also had a feeling I was going to end up exploring the Dark Tower universe before anything else. With an adaptation in the work, starring both Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba—two formidable actors, might I add—I vowed I’d get my hands on this series before indulging the movie. The first book in this series, The Gunslinger, introduces us to two mysterious figures. While their motives and their personalities remain ambiguous right from the beginning, you quickly get a grasp of who you’re dealing with as you tag along in their cruel and enchanted adventure. One thing ultimately drives this story forward and it all lies in the gunslinger pursuing the man in black through a desolate universe. Poetic and enigmatic, the first book in the Dark Tower series is a character-driven story that lays out a world that has yet to be fully understood.
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Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

MY RATING: ★★☆ (3.8)

Have you ever got the feeling where you’ve been hungry for a few hours but you wait to come home to get that meal. THAT ONE MEAL you were soooo looking forward to eat. Then, you go home and it’s not there anymore? HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT. It’s my exact same feelings about this book. Six of Crows were in my top books of 2016 and I expected a lot  from this sequel. The reviews came out in Fall and most of the people love it, so my expectations were even higher.

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Poor Folk by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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“And though I suffer for you, yet it eases my heart to suffer for you.”

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Poor Folk

    Crime and Punishment was an absolutely mesmerizing first experience of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s writing. Being able to read his very first novel, the one that brought him great fame, is an opportunity that I just couldn’t skip over. At 24 years old, he writes Poor Folk—tell me that’s not something to applaud about. This is an epistolary novel that portrays all the faces of human condition. Considered to be one of the most important pieces of literature set in the early beginnings of the Russian realism movement, this novel captures the emotional struggle of individuals who are confronted to poverty. From a desire for respect to a fight to live with dignity, Poor Folk is truly a unique work that is certain to impress readers. The influence of great authors also exude through Dostoyevsky’s writing; writers such as Gogol or Pushkin and many more. Poor Folk is the beginning of a young legend’s legacy.
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Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

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“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

— Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

    It takes a troubled soul to concoct such a fine cocktail. Infinitely beautiful both in prose and execution, Steppenwolf digs deep within the reader’s minds and bodies to hold us captive by the bones. German author Hermann Hesse has made a name for himself by writing some of the most philosophically-driven fiction that resonates throughout the confines of literature. His creations have been translated in countless languages, spreading his reputation on a global scale over decades and within countless societies. While certainly controversial during his time, Steppenwolf slowly claimed its title of a masterpiece. This novel has gracefully went through the test of time and came out victorious with countless individuals having dissected the very foundation that holds this sublime piece of abstraction together. However, the author himself has said: ‘Of all my books “Steppenwolf” is the one that was more often and more violently misunderstood than any other’. What else are we to expect of a story that claws through the mind of a man? Growling viciously at the mundanity that composes the bourgeois life, Steppenwolf unveils the complexity of a man’s own conscience with great poise and a touch of madness.  Continue reading

Uprooted by Naomi Navik

MY RATING : ★✩✩✩✩

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through.

untitled-1Ouhh a dragon who kidnaps the girls in the village! :O BUT NO. WAIT. A dragon? No no. It’s not even a frkn dragon, it’s a guy and apparently he takes a girl in the village every now and then (but no one knows why.AND OF COURSEEE as expected,  the girls don’t get tortured or whatever. They leave peacefully and has everything they want WHILE being taught magic. Dramatic. 

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Books Review: Milk and Honey // Dirty Pretty Things

Trang is back with another review ! From a new genre of books I’ve been LOVING lately : MODERN POETRY BOOK! These two books were very popular and were circulating on m Tumblr feed for a while.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: ★★★★★sfdsf

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Rupi Kaur is such a great author.

I don’t even know where to begin.

Her words are beyond perfection.

 I have always loved the power of words. And these 204 pages were a complete work of art. Poetry in his simple form. No complicated syntax nor vocabularies. Simply a girl, a victim, a woman who’s been through rape, heartbreaks and love. She uses the simplest words, so simple yet so efficient it hurts. There’s something about her poems that speaks to your inner woman soul, how society perceives you and how it can affect you. She stands strong against the stereotypes and encourages the empowerment of one woman to another. #GIRL LOVE  #yes to diversity  Continue reading

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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“The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

— Lois Lowry, The Giver

    Imagine a society where everyone is treated equally. There are countless rules in place to keep the community in check and not a single one is meant to be broken or overlooked. This is a community secluded from the rest of the world so that conflict never arises. The system in which they live structure every single thing to their very details. Pleasure and pain are non-existant as they are the sources of many actions that one does not want to see. Children are carefully taken cared of, year after year, until the age of 12. Upon this milestone, they are each given a respective job that fits their abilities. Its only after an in-depth analysis and thorough examination that the Elders find the perfect job for these children. A life-long supervision of every single person does, after all, give them an exhaustive idea of what these kids should grow up to be. This is a society where choices are not within your grasps, where secrets do not exist and where the present is the only relevant time. The Giver presents the theoretical utopia where routine dominates the playgrounds, but something much more vicious hides within its cowls. Continue reading

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it..”

— Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    Remember that book that comes to mind when you’re asked what you were forced to read during school? To Kill a Mockingbird would be mine. While required reading doing our education always seem horrible, the silver lining remains in everyone’s personal reading experience. It’s that ride that never seems to be identical from one person to another that makes every book a snowflake. As much as I’d love to keep the rant within me, I can’t help myself but to share a little story that has held me—and probably a hundred others—from being able to appreciate some of the most finest pieces of literature in the world at a younger age. Continue reading

Her Nightly Embrace by Adi Tantimedh

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    There’s nothing like stumbling into a whole new life when things don’t go your way. Adi Tantimedh writes the story of Ravi Chandra Singh, a failed religious scholar and a former high school teacher who becomes a private investigator right out of the blue. This Indian P.I. isn’t like any other (who is, right?). People see something special in him. At least that’s what everyone at the Golden Sentinels, a London private investigations and security company, think of him. Even if Ravi doesn’t believe in his unique abilities, he does know one thing about himself. He can see Gods. They don’t seem to want to speak to him. No, no. But they do appear at random moments and seem to have been thoroughly modernized to our time and age. Don’t expect them to be represented as they usually are in Hinduism. Enrolled in a company that deals with highly placed members of society—they always seem to have really sketchy lives and the most messed up stories to tell—Ravi quickly finds out that his new job is about to drastically change his life. And the exit? Not really an option. Continue reading

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

“Show Holmes a drop of water and he would deduce the existence of the Atlantic. Show it to me and I would look for a tap. That was the difference between us.”

— Anthony Horowitz, The House of Silk

    The number of stories based on the great Sherlock Holmes is astounding. But not all of them are approved by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate. It’s one hell of a honor for Anthony Horowitz to be grafted onto an author’s legacy like that. The House of Silk is the first book by Anthony Horowitz regarding Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. One can only be happy to see the dynamic duo back in action without it being another pastiche or attempt to freely recreate Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s work. It’s easy to grow tired of fan-fiction based off of one of the most genuine partners in crime in literature. In an abundance of tales lived by the great detective and his trustee sidekick, this one is set in London, 1890. It’s upon the arrival of a desperate fine art dealer that Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are put into a turbulent set of adventures filled with surprises at every juncture they reach. Each surprise launches the detective and the doctor onto fragile grounds that might lead them to live the most unexpected turns of events. Continue reading