The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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“The finest of pleasures are always the unexpected ones.”

— Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

    Hold on to your hats, my friends, The Night Circus is coming to town and it has brought its magic along with it. I started this book without the slightest clue of what I was dipping my toe into. It didn’t take me long to realize that my whole mind was submerged in a star-filled mystical world where anything is possible if you hold your arms wide open and let the enchantment embrace your mind and body. Erin Morgenstern’s novel is a visual experience that will haunt your imagination like none other books have done so yet. Its intricate attention to details stimulates your senses into believing you’re a rêveur who’s been up all night until the arrival of Le Cirque des Rêves. It holds onto your gaze like a star-filled night and bestows upon you the desire to smile, to discover, to vow your life to a circus that took form through written words. The Night Circus is the story of Celia and Marco. These two individuals who have been bound to a challenge forced upon them by their masters since a very young age, will soon go face to face as the circus serve as their venue, their battlefield. It is their ignorance of how the victor is decided that the tale shifts from a competition to a collaboration, one that will lead them into an unexpected love story set in a magical ambience.
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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

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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The Midnight Star ( The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu

MY RATING: ★

“There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.”

– Marie Lu

capture-decran-2017-02-26-a-14-32-12With the last book of the trilogy read, I can confirm that this one is my favourite trilogies ever. It beats out Divergent and Hunger Games easily. Maybe because I always loved Fantasy more than Dystopian trilogies. The Grisha Trilogy was amazing but I found flaws in the 1st book. The Young Elites hasn’t. 

If you haven’t read my reviews for the other two books of this trilogy you can find them here : The Young Elites (#1) / The Rose Society (#2) 

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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

Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri

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    Imagine parachuting off an airplane. From the moment the doors are opened till your two feet touch the ground, there simply isn’t an instant where you can stop to take a breath or pause to embrace the excitement. Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri delivers a just as electrifying read with his first American debut. This page-turner is a chunk of enthralling police procedural. Translated by Anthony Shugaar, Kill the Father gives any crime novel enthusiast exactly what they crave for. The story follows two individuals carrying completely different backgrounds that still affect their present day in so many ways. First, we have Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli who is currently still on leave after surviving a horrible disaster and, second, we have Dante Torre, a man who was trapped inside a concrete silo by a person who proclaimed himself as The Father during more than a decade of his childhood. Dante Torre has since then become a consultant with hypersensory perception for countless specialists. After the discovery of a horrendous crime scene, these two individuals are brought together on a mystery that will soon expand into a disaster of a much grander scale.
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Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

MY RATING: ★

It started out great. The world building seemed good, the characters seemed lovable and not getting on my nerves. But then it suddenly shifted to something else entirely. I decided to finish the book because I had hope it would get better but it didn’t and I’m pretty disappointed.

Throughout the story you expect to understand the plot holes. But nope. You don’t get to. We never really understand why Denna was bethroned first, the wars between kingdoms how did it start? I think these information and so many other can contribute to a greater world building. 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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5 Books about Mental Illness

Today, is the Bell Let’s Talk Campaign ! For every post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #bellletstalk they will donate 5cents to mental health initatives. For this purpose, I find it pertinent to list my favourite books having mental health issues and themes (they all have a rating of 4+ on Goodreads) 🙂

1.Norvegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 

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Probably one of the Murakami’s best work. Using his deeply visual prose, the author succeeded in bringing a character struggling with mental illness during one of Japan’s toughest times. The layers and the depth of the character are worth the shot. Murakami will offer you the most amazing reading experience ever.

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The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe

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“Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I’ll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you’re honest, as honest as any reporter… You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn’t it?”

— Kendall Francois

    The Spider and the Fly is a blend of memoir and true crime. You can’t help but wonder how it could be possible. Maybe the writer is the criminal? That would definitely would be interesting, but this book has something just as bewitching. This piece of literature is journalist Claudia Rowe’s first book in which she chronicles her connection with serial killer Kendall Francois. Working for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, Claudia Rowe’s fascination for the mystery behind the discovery of a serial killer who is arrested for the murder of eight prostitutes stashed in the attic and the basement of his home has brought her to embark on an ambitious and dangerous adventure. In fact, her curiosity brings her to maintain a four year mail correspondence with a serial killer behind bars. While her decision to decipher a serial killer’s motive to take lives also brings ruin to her own life, The Spider and the Fly discloses a journalist’s road to self-discovery and her attempt to understanding her deepest pains and passions.
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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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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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    After checking out Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood and appreciating the patent Agatha Christie inspiration in her stories, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to read her second book, The Woman in Cabin 10This time, the story essentially takes place on a luxurious cruise ship. How is that possible? Leave it to Ruth Ware to bring readers a closed-room whodunit mystery. If the setting isn’t enough to convince you of its potential, then watch a fascinating protagonist hinder your ability to trust the narrative. In the end, you’re bound to find a great mystery with Ruth Ware. The story kicks off with Laura Blacklock, a travel journalist who’s been lurking in the shadows of her coworkers and waiting for a golden opportunity to prove her worth for quite some time. After experiencing one of the most traumatic experiences in her own home and coming out of it unharmed, she’s propelled onto an assignment to cover a cruise on the Aurora because of her coworker’s sudden and unfortunate unavailability. In front of a grand number of sketchy high-profile figures, a couple of journalists with hyena-like personalities, an ex-boyfriend and a mysterious cruise ship staff, Laura Blacklock will come across something terrible by being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. A desperate need to find out the truth then takes her over.
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The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner

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    Psychological thrillers are growing in popularity nowadays. Everywhere you go, you’re bound to see a new one ready to become the next big thing. The appeal behind this genre is however far from being superficial. The narrator, the characters, the pacing and the twists all come together to form a truly enthralling story. From the bestselling author of The Good Neighbor, A.J. Banner now dives into the story of a marine biologist who, after a dangerous diving expedition that resulted in a traumatic head injury, is now confronted with a severe case of amnesia that took away four long years from her memory. Under the care of her dear husband on a remote island, Kyra Winthrop starts to get flashes of past events, bringing her not only to doubt herself, but to doubt everyone around her. The Twilight Wife takes readers by the hand and carries them along with Kyra as she slowly uncovers her past. While doubt remains her biggest enemy during these tough times, it also transpires as her greatest ally in distinguishing fact from fiction.
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Cracking The Quebec Code by Jean-Marc Léger

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    Thanks to over 30 years of data collected by the Leger survey firm, a mission to paint a portrait of Quebec was commenced. Four major surveys, thirty complementary interviews with Quebec leaders and an interesting semiometry analysis later, Jean-Marc Léger and his colleagues Jacques Nantel and Pierre Duhamel have published a book that unveils the subtleties that characterizes Quebecers. It’s no secret that Quebec has a lot of particularities and remains one of most fascinating places to discover in the world. Its history is rich and its culture has evolved over centuries. To this date, a lot of those two elements transpires through its landscape and its people. Cracking The Quebec Code is an attempt to pinpoint traits that distinguishes Quebecers from the rest of Canada (ROC) and Americans. It’s only after discovering that 71 percent of the attitudes and behaviors they’ve analyzed where similar between Quebecers and the ROC that the focus was turned towards the precious 29 percent. It’s within those percentages that the authors have concluded having discovered what makes Quebecers different from the rest of the population.
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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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