Unpopular Book Opinions – WTF Was That

I’ve seen a tag going on about this topic recently, so I was thinking about talking about the books that I found not so my liking as opposite to all the hypes. I’m usually what you call a nice reviewer, the books I read always end up having 4-5 stars. But not today. Maybe some of you will be like, oh my god I’m not the only one!? Or this might shock you or enrage you but my opinions are very subjective so are yours 😉 Let’s keep it that way!

*Disclaimer : I will rage a lot ahah so don’t take it personally.2015-05-16-1431809026-4581001-thewrathandthedawn

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN BY RENEE AHDIEH 

I even titled my review as Why I didn’t like it  LOL

I think it was a joke to the original story, from the characters to the plot , nothing was to my liking.

An excerpt of my review: The way she tells the stories at night is supposed to be mesmerizing and enchanting. But I didn’t feel any connection. In fact, it was so dry and fast, I was surprised that  kind of story would keep a prince awake until dawn. Like I’ve read it in 10 mins.. I’m pretty sure she can do better than that. AND THOSE CLIFFHANGERS SHE LEAVES AT THE END ?? If I were the prince I would be like Avada Kedavra!! Continue reading

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti

MY RATING: ★/5

A father protects his daughter from the legacy of his past and the truth about her mother’s death in this thrilling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Good Thief.

“Everything breaks if you hit it hard enough.”

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Isn’t it weird how you love a book too much but you just run out of words to describe your love? This is the case for this novel. I don’t think I can ever express how grateful and deeply touched by this novel I am. If you liked the movie Logan, you’ll love this novel. It has the same father and daughter vibe but the dynamic is very special. We have a father Sam, who doesn’t know what’s good for his daughter Lou, because he always lived in the dark sides of criminal activities. The death of his wife is the turning point of his life and where he decides that he would never go back to those dark activities again and take care of Lou instead.  Continue reading

The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

MY RATING: ★/5

Hi guyss 😀 I’m back with a quick review ! (I’M ON FIREE)

Goodreads Blurb: Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.

Goodreads rating: 4.43 with 1,572 ratings 

This novel is the 3rd in the Seven Sisters series. But, I haven’t read the other two and I still got to enjoy this one. The novel can easily be a standalone novel because every book describes the perspective of a specific sister. The author makes it easy for you to follow, and as their stories are completely different, you don’t miss a lot of what’s been going on before. Continue reading

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen

MY RATING: ★ /5

Capture d_écran 2017-04-10 à 00.42.28Pulitzer winner,  Viet Thanh Nguyen came back with yet another amazing novel, a short stories collection depicting the lives of the Vietnamese refugees.

For those of you who didn’t know already, I’m Vietnamese. Born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City #REPRESENT. Reading this collection has made me extremely nostalgic about my childhood roots but also extremely grateful for my parents, my family and all my Vietnamese people out there. This novel reminds us of our own traditions. Somewhere between our everyday lives in America and dealing with obstacles in life, there’s always our cultural root that remains and embodies us. Continue reading

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (ARC)

MY RATING: ★ /5

Blurb from Goodreads: Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

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Fairytale retellings are one of my favourite genre these past years and the concept of the book is original and authentic. It’s built on two sisters, each of them is struggling with a lack of sensory feelings. Aurora can’t feel anything she touches nor can she speak and  her sister, Isbe, is blind.

The worldbuilding is very intriguing, as you read, you are dying to know more about the characters and their surroundings. I love how the romance is not the typical a princess falls for the prince type of clichés. Nowadays, fairytale retellings would focus more about women empowerment and other forms of love than romantic ones. The fact that the author has made her characters with disabilities amplify the struggles that they are having but also fortify their loves for each other.  Continue reading

The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachino

MY RATING: ★★/5

A prismatic tale of a group of characters who emerge and recede throughout the novel and touch one another’s lives in ways even they cannot comprehend, The Lucky Ones captures the intensity of life in Colombia as paramilitaries, guerrillas, and drug traffickers tear the country apart. Combining vivid descriptions of life under siege with a hallucinatory feel that befits its violent world, The Lucky Ones introduces a truly original and exciting new voice in fiction.

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The marketing campaign describes it as “a jigsaw puzzle”. Oh my god. Hell yes it was! Julianne Pachico not only tells a single story but many stories from different point of views and… in the same chapter. It was very confusing to me. I never knew who the narrator was or how it changed from one event to another, and slowly, it started to only make sense after a few chapters. I think the fact that it was all over the place ruined the reading experience for me.

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

MY RATING : ★★ (4/5)

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
― Amy Engel, The Roanoke Girls

After reading this book, Roanoke will be a name you won’t be able to forget. For me it’s Flowers in the Attic meet Riverdale (the TV SHOW). Suspense, thriller and devious scheming is what you’ll find in this book.The book introduced us to Lane, whose mother just committed a suicide leaving her orphan in New York City. Until one day, a social worker informed her that her two only relatives from Kansas wants to take her in. There,  begins the journey of Laney-girl into the house of dark secrets and the most twisted relationships.

Amy Engel’s prose is as enchanting as her characters. The peculiar thing about this book is when you tell the story out loud to a friend, or reflect on it, it doesn’t have any extraordinary aspects but somehow she managed to get me hooked through every page. The writing is simple yet delicate. You can feel the charisma from the characters through the descriptions and their behaviours. You become attracted yourself to the characters without knowing why.
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The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

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    Jessica Shattuck looks into one of the most devastating time period that mankind has ever known through a completely fresh scope. Set before, during and after World War II, The Women in the Castle brings to light the story of three women whose lives have known different facets of the war that raged on over a couple of long and dreadful years. It is under the same roof of Burg Lingenfels, a castle that was once known to host highly placed Germans, that the paths of these women will cross and their stories are unwrapped, stripped to their bones and exhibited in a shocking, yet beautiful manner. Jessica Shattuck brings to life three characters with their own personalities, own tragedies, own dreams and own decisions. By alternating between characters, she offers us a mesmerizing and detailed look at the highly contrasting visions that individuals shared during the war. Through impeccable writing, she investigates the thought processes of people who had followed ideals that were hammered into them by the culture that represented them and cleverly exposes societal values that were spread among the masses. From discerning good and bad to love and hate, The Women in the Castle is the story of three women who have fought their own war during the toughest moments of World War II and how they reconcile with their own past words and actions.
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The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

MY RATING : ★★ (4.4)

Since Lullaby for Little Criminals, I loved Heather O’Neill’s writing. And the fact that the author is from Montreal made me even more proud 😀

The marketing campaign compared it to The Night Circus. Alright. Let’s get this straight. I’m sorry but this has NOTHING to do with The Night Circus. Yes I’ve read it and you can read my review for that book here.

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I’d say this novel is more like The Series of Unfortunate Events – Adult Version. Rose and Pierrot are two orphans from the most unfortunate circumstances. The first part of the book is how they live in the orphanage, the raw difficulty and hard times from that period: child abuse and violence. It’s not an easy read, that’s for sure. Continue reading

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