Posted in Book Reviews

Sunday Mini Review: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.

All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover

⚠️ SPOILER ALERT ⚠️ SPOILER ALERT ⚠️ SPOILER ALERT ⚠️ SPOILER ALERT ⚠️

✦ SYNOPSIS ✦
Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.
Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.
All Your Perfects is a profound novel about damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page – turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

✦ MY THOUGHTS ✦
I finished this novel in two sittings and all I have to say is that this is a must read. I loved this novel so much that I want to talk constantly about it. Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors and she did an amazing job here. The story itself is very interesting and the writing style is so unique. Also, I give this novel a huge five stars and I would give it another 50000 if I could.
To be completely honest, this book left so many questions in my head. It definitely made me question the definition of love. Is it a real thing? If so, how strong is it? How strong is the battle between love and life? One thing that I learned from this novel is that life can be both good and bad at the same time. It’s up to us how we’ll see it. It can be great if we focus on the good things. On the other hand, it can be really bad if we move our focus on the bad things in our life.

Did I mention that I loved the premise?

The plot is divided in two segments – before and now. The before part refers to Graham’s and Quinn’s past when they discover that their partners cheat on them. This is how they two meet and as the result of Ethan’s (Quinn’s fiance) and Sasha’s (Graham’s partner) affair, Quinn leaves Ethan and Graham leaves Sasha. This situation wouldn’t be so interesting if Graham and Quinn didn’t immediately fell for each other. After that, they are constantly running into each other.
Step by step, they get too attached and they get married. Graham and Quinn are madly in love and everything is perfect until they discover that they cannot have children. This is a huge deal for both of them, and it starts slowly ruining their lives. Quinn is broken, she locks herself away from everybody, and Graham is afraid that each of his moves will somehow hurt Quinn. He is sad because he is aware that he will never be the father. However, he is more sad because he must watch Quinn suffering and he knows that he cannot help her.
As the time goes by, their marriage becomes worse and Graham is afraid to do anything. He sees that Quinn is sad, but he is too afraid to ask anything. On the other side, Quinn thinks tha Graham changed so much that she cannot recognize him any longer. The final point in their marriage is when Quinn discovers that Graham kissed another woman and after she discovers that she’s pregnant – she loses her child. Graham begs Quinn not to give up on them and that’s when Quinn decides to visit her sister in Europe.
Her trip is meant to be her recovery from everything, even from Graham, but then he comes to Europe for her. Graham faces Quinn, showing her all letter that he wrote for her during their different phases of marriage. It is Quinn who decides what to do next.

My rating: 5/5⭐


Posted in Nekategorizirano

Harry Potter Movie Marathon

The boy who lived…

Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter. Do I need to say something else? Of course not! Harry Potter is well-known to almost everyone and if you are a bookworm, the chances that the Harry Potter series is your favorite series are huge. As a kid, I loved watching the HP movies and it was always so magical. Unfortunately, I belong to one of those who saw the movies first and only later I read the books. After I read the entire series, I decided to buy all books. I just had to.Watching and reading about Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the gang was such a special experience and everytime I watch or read it again, I learn something else. What I really love about HP is that everytime you reread/rewatch it – you become somehow different person than you used to be. My favorite HP themes include friendship, love, and magic. It’s so important and the way it is mixed in one story is just brilliant.

There are too many sub-topics and I plan on writing about them in some of my posts. It’s almost impossible to talk about HP in general because you can’t say a thing without mentioning something else that’s connected to it. But what you can is actually talk about your feelings, how you feel about it. For me and my sister, it has become some sort of tradition to watch a Harry Potter marathon at least once a year. We buy snacks and spend days in our room watching the movies. What is so special for me in such moments is that we discuss after each movie, what we like and what we don’t like about it. For example, we find Dumbledore’s death devastating and how is it possible that they live in a magical world, everyday they experiment with magic – but they can’t make him alive. On the other hand, it wouldn’t have the same effect and the story wouldn’t be remarkable. My favorite characters are Snape, Dumbledore, and Hermione and I love them so much. Like I said, I will talk about them in my following posts.

To sum it up, the Harry Potter series/movies is perfect and I think nothing can compare to it. It sends you to another, entirely different dimension where you learn how with little magic and love, you can change the world. Oh, and one thing to remeber – It’s not about ‘me’, it’s about ‘us.’

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

✦ SYNOPSIS ✦
Katsuyamas never quit – but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.
She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.
Then her mom decides to sell the shop -to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

✦ ROOTS ARE IMPORTANT ✦
The book This Time Will be Different is all about family and the importance of its roots. Hannah is the one who tells CJ that she should never forget who she is. She tells CJ about their family history and how they never forgave what McAllister did to them. However, CJ’s mom has something little different to say.
She tells CJ that it is important they forget about their past and just move on because owning the flower shop doesn’t bring them any money. Hannah goes mad everytimes CJ’s mom mentions this fact, but they avoid fighting in front of CJ. Also, the fact that CJ’s mom doesn’t tell CJ anything about her father shows that she simply doesn’t care about family roots.

✦ THE IMPORTANCE OF DIVERSITY IN STORIES ✦
I can’t stress how important it is to have some kind of diversity in books. You can hate the book, but reading about various topic will make it better. The same goes for this book. I personally didn’t enjoy this book because it was just too much. It takes a lot of time to get into the story and I found CJ boring but what I really liked is that there are various interesting topics such as lesbian and gay issues, racism, and Japanese culture in America. It was refreshing to read about it and especially I liked reading about Japanese culture. It is so interesting and I rarely find something like this.

✦CARING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE ✦
This is the topic I’m really excited to write about. While I was reading this book, I noticed that CJ’s mom is always looking for new jobs for her daughter. She tells CJ how important is to educate yourself and I really loved it. It is important to take every chance you get, in order to have a bright future ahead. Unfortunately, CJ simply doesn’t care about it, and she’s not interested in such things, which is bad because she is only 17.

✦ OVERALL ✦
I was so excited to read this book because its story sounded intriguing, but I ended up being slightly disappointed. It takes a lot of time to get into the plot, and some parts of it are just confusing. However, I enjoyed reading about various topics and putting some romance into it is just one big plus.

My rating: 3/5⭐

Posted in Bookish Talk

What It’s Like To Be A Mood Reader

If you are following me on Instagram, then you probably know that I am such a mood reader and it’s hard for me to stick with any tbr list. Earlier this month, I made that August tbr list and I am proud to say that I am on my third book. I don’t think I’ve ever gone this far with my tbr list. However, it is really diffcult for me to say what dictates my mood – sometimes it’s just about how I feel, or I noticed that I like to associate my reading with the current season. And this topic has been for far too long in my mind and I decided to finally talk about it.

As a huge mood reader, I struggle to pick up a book I want to read. There are times when I change 654236 books just to find the one that will match with my mood. I get so mad when I can’t decide what to read because I don’t want it to happen. Why can’t I just stick with my tbr list?! Ugggh.. When I was younger I thought that there is some problem with me because sometimes I spend days, even weeks just to find the right book. Later, I discovered that it is called being a mood reader. Yay…If the book I’m currently reading doesn’t match my mood, the chances of ending up in a reading slump are huge.

Any sort of schedule is just a huge mess! I can’t follow my book reviewing schedule because what I want to read today, might not be the thing what I want to read tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. That’s why I tend to post at least one review in one week. So yeah, I suck at planning and sticking with my plans.

Deadlines are my worst enemies. Even when I was a student, deadlines were so depressing for me and I was afraid of them. I just feel so much pressure and my work cannot be done properly.

The most important think is that even though there is just too much pressure, I like being a mood reader. With every new season, I get so excited about the books I want to read and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I read what I want and life is too short to be dictated by people or any tbr list.

Posted in Book Reviews

Sunday Mini Review: Into the Wildbarrens (The Gems of Elsana) by Christian Sterling

Thank you to Christian Sterling for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

✦ SYNOPSIS ✦
We know him well. Ever-flowing wisdom. Concealed power. A white beard and a proclivity for mentoring chosen ones. In so many stories, we find ourselves enamored with a kindly wizard guiding our protagonist, curious to his roots, source of power, and hidden knowledge. This is that wizard’s story.

Falin is only twenty years of age, and with nine-hundred eighty years to explore the world, he is eager to begin his quest for the Gems of Elsana. As one of ten wizard’s acting as peacekeepers to their land, Falin must first embark on a journey to gather the Gems, four jewels that provide wizards with their full power. Once a century, a wizard sets out on their quest, accompanied by four Champions from each kingdom within the The Crown of Elsana. Falin considers himself lucky, joined by a sage healer, elven assassin, drakkish warrior, and mandorian prince. All seems well until the elder wizards reveal they expect Falin’s quest will take them into the Wildbarrens, a desolate and horrid land teeming with creatures of the Dark. Given the circumstances – and to the chagrin of Falin’s honorable Champions – the group is accompanied by an unscrupulous pair of outlaws claimed to have traveled through the Wildbarrens. In their expedition, they come across friends and foes, countless landscapes, all while uncovering a sinister plot threatening the balance of Elsana.

In this feel-good fiction, we are cast into a world brimming with our favorite elements of fantasy with new twists unlike anything we’ve read before. Within The Gems of Elsana: Into the Wildbarrens, Christian Sterling has cultivated the start of a series with unparalleled charm, action, humor, romance, and thrills. All ages will be sure to enjoy this story from its first magical pages, to its last.

✦ MY THOUGHTS ✦
I just remembered that I have never posted this review on my blog, but it is still there on my Goodreads and Instagram page. I loved this book so much because I am a super huge fan of this type of fantasy. The book contains all elements that are necessary to build a coherent story. It was so easy to follow the plot that I fell in love with it.
Moreover, I loved the relationship between certain characters, it has brought so many feelings for me. I highly recommend this book to all fantasy/adventure lovers out there, you are going to love it.

My rating: 5/5⭐


Posted in Journal

On Anxiety: How I deal with it

Anxiety, noun:
an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future

Many articles say that anxiety is a healthy feeling, which I find completely wrong. For so many years I’ve been dealing with this feeling and I have to say it is the worst thing. As a kid I wasn’t noticing anything ‘weird’ about my mental state. Or at least, I didn’t pay attention to it. Also in my elementary school everything was okay. I was that happy child who had many friends and I was satisfied with my life.
The problem appeared sometime in my high school. When I was a teenager, I was complaining about almost everything, but I thought it was normal thing. Aren’t all teenagers like that? I started to build this negative self-image and I was never satisfied with my body. I started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I was watching all these girls in my school and I wanted to be like them. They were beautiful. As I changed my school, I lost contact with my old friends – even though they said we will keep in touch.
I was so lonely there and I never let anybody come close, I was afraid that if I befriend someone, they will leave me just like my ex friends did. I was alone and I built my own world where my only company was music. I was listening to music basically 24/7. Even my classes couldn’t keep me away from it. I developed my own clothing style, which was so different from other teenagers.
From then, I started getting ‘ugly’ and ‘angry’ looks from the people from my school. It was clear that they did not like me – they thought I was freak. I also heard their not-so-silent whispers making fun of me and my styling. Because, you know, it’s not cool to be different in high school. There was time when I pretended to be sick just not to go there, my school was my type of hell. I thought that my high school was built just to hurt me.
And that’s when I started seeing my therapist. At the beginning it was so difficult for me to open up, I am a very shy person. With every new meeting it was easier for me to talk. I told him how I feel and he said it is okay to sometimes feel like that. Everybody has doubts and all of us break sometimes. But the important thing is to get up stronger than you were before. And I think it open my eyes…
Even now, with my twenty-five years, I still carry this uncomfortable feeling of not being liked by my friends and family. I still catch myself walking in fear of losing my close ones. But I also remind myself that it means that I love them and nobody can say what tomorrow will bring, but it should never stop us from enjoying the moment.
My point is that anxiety is a serious problem and I don’t think there is cure from it. We must talk to ourselves and the self-talk is so important, because it’s you – you are the creator of your future and you will enjoy the present moment as much as you let yourself enjoy it.

I am unique in my own way

Posted in Journal

On Music: My favorite bands

Aside from reading, I also like to listen to music. Even as a kid, music played a very important role in my life because it helped me to better understand my feelings. Of course, back then I was only listening to country music because I didn’t know English language, but still it was something. My performances would always make my parents laugh, because I would sing, dance, and ‘play’ some kind of an instrument.

Everything changes for me when I start studying English language in my elementary school. At my age of 10, I didn’t know that I was interested in languages, I was just intrigued by the fact how people from different places can understand each other by studying foreign languages. I think I was that type of annoying student… I won’t say I was a nerd, but I was very happy when my English language teacher gave me some extra activities to do at home. Step by step, I started discovering music in English language. I was blown away! My favorite songs back then were Fame by Irene Cara and Don’t Stop Never Give Up by S Club 7. My teacher loved listening how I sang them, even though I think I sounded pretty bad, uggh.

As a teenager, I discovered rock music and it’s still one of my favorite genre. I started with Metallica and decided that was it – they are my favorite band. However, after a while I realized there are a way too many bands out there and Metallica is just one of them. I started listening to Avenged Sevenfold, Anathema, Panthera, Apocalyptica, Guns’n’Roses, Paramore, AC/DC...

Now, I still stick to these bands and here are some of my favorite songs performed by them:

So Far Away – Avenged Sevenfold
Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold
Size the Day – Avenged Sevenfold
Turn the Page (cover) Metallica
The Day That Never Comes – Metallica
Sad but True – Metallica
Anyone, Anywhere – Anathema
Not Strong Enough – Apocalyptica
Don’t Cry – Guns’n’Roses

Beside rock music, from time to time I like to listen to indie music and classical music. It is my way of relaxing and sometimes when I’m reading a book, I can listen to these types of music.

Do you have favorite band or singer? What are your favorite songs?

https://www.musicfromb2z.com/fall-music-composition-using-mini-erasers/
Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson

In the tradition of Laurie Halse Anderson and Sara Zarr, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won’t stay silent.

About The Art of Breaking Things

✦ SYNOPSIS ✦
Seventeen-year-old Skye has her sights set on one thing: getting the heck out of Dodge. Art school is her ticket out and she’s already been accepted to her first choice, MICA. All she has to do is survive her senior year, not get too drunk at parties, and be there for her little sister, Emma. Sure, she’s usually battling a hangover when she drives to pick Emma up, but she has everything under control. Until he returns.

When her mom’s ex boyfriend slithers his way back into her family, it’s all Skye can do to keep the walls of her world from crumbling. Her family has no idea Skye has been guarding a dark secret about her past – about him – and she never thought she would have to face him again. She knows she has to get away from him at all costs. But how can she abandon Emma?

Skye’s heart is torn between escaping the man who hurt her years ago and protecting her loved ones from the monster in their midst. Running away from her fears isn’t an option. To save her sister – and herself – she’ll have to break all the rules.

✦ SEXUAL ASSAULT, PEDOPHILIA, DRUG ABUSE ✦
Skye is an art student in high school and she works hard to get her scholarship at an art school. Her Mother and little sister are everything in her life. She loves them, but because of her secret – she can’t truly express her love for them. When she was twelve, Mother’s boyfriend, Dan molested her. Because of that, Skye hides herself in drugs – she drinks every night, she smokes joints, and she hits on the random guys.

The truth is that nobody knows how she feels. Even Sky herself don’t know what to do. She realizes that it is not natural that Dan touched her the way he did, but she can’t search for help when even her Mother doesn’t believe her. She’s on her own. Skye’s Mother is an alcoholic – she drinks every night and she is often moody. Because of that, it is difficult for Skye and Emma to have any kind of healthy relationship with their Mother.

Ben is a friend of Skye and she has a crush on him. He plays in a band and he does drugs at parties. Once he crosses the line, Ben’s parents send him to a rehabilitation centre expecting him to be clean after some time. They think Skye is the bad influence and they won’t let her get in touch with Ben. In some way, we realize that Ben is the one who badly influences Skye, because she just follows the pattern.


✦ ART AS A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION ✦
In this book, Skye uses art to express her thoughts and feelings. She has tried so many times to tell her Mother what Dan did that night, but somehow she couldn’t. She was scared and she thought that her Mother won’t believe her. She has tried once to tell her what happened, but she was too drunk to believe it. Skye sees her rescue in painting. Once, she starts working on that big, mosaic project – the truth comes out.

✦ CHARACTERS ✦
Skye is a brilliant and really strong character. Well, her only option is to be strong because she has to protect her little sister. She doesn’t want Emma to suffer the way Skye does. She is protective, but sometimes it cannot be seen because Skye shows her love towards Emma and her Mother in a wrong way. I think that’s because they, as a family, never had a healthy relationships. They could never talk about their feelings and secrets. There was no time for such things.

The little Emma is so smart and energetic character. She is amazing and even though she is only twelve, she knows how to deal with problems. I think she was forced to mature early. There are times when their Mother cannot take care of them just because she is drunk. Their Mother is the weakest character and her miserable life destroyed the perfect childhood.

‘There’s no such thing as perfect, Lu,’ I say softly.
‘Because we’re all a little fucked-up.’ I poke her in the arm and she looks at me,unsmiling. ‘That’s what makes us interesting.’

The Art of Breaking Things, Laura Sibson

✦ OVERALL ✦
This is a glorious book and I am so happy I got the chance to read it. It was emotional and I wanted to hug Skye and give her some love, she really deserves it. It broke my heart that she went through so many things alone. I love the strength in her and she will always be my hero, my super woman.
On the other hand, I hate Dan and I think the ending isn’t so strong. I don’t like how he just vanishes into a thin air. I think the ending could be a bid different and I felt like the book is unfinished.
To sum it up, I quite enjoyed reading this book and I will definitely read more of Laura Sibson books.

My rating: 3.5/5⭐

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Commute by Erin Williams

An intimate and powerful visual exploration of the blurred lines between yes and no, consent and assault, and the daily decisions women must make between being sexualized or being invisible

About Commute

Thank you to Abrams ComicArts for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

✦ ABOUT THE AUTHOR✦
Erin Williams is a writer, illustrator, and researcher living in New York. She’s the coauthor of The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People and The Big Activity Book for Anxious People.

✦ SYNOPSIS✦
In Commute, we follow author and illustrator Erin Williams on her daily commute to and from work, puncuated by recollections of sexual encounters as well as memories of her battle with alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. As she moves through the world navigating banal, familiar, and sometimes uncomfortable interactions with the familiar-faced stranger she sees daily, Williams weaves together a riveting collection of flashbacks.
Her recollections highlight the indefinable moments when lines are crossed and a woman must ask herself if the only way to avoid being objectified is to simply cease to draw any attention to her physical being. She delves into the gray space that lives between consent and assault and tenderly explores the complexity of the shame, guilt, vulnerability, and the responsibility attached to both.

✦ THE FEMALE FACE OF SHAME ✦
In her book, Erin talks about an uncomfortable reality and the way she accepted the truth about herself. Erin represents many women who have experienced exactly the same thing. Almost every woman has been taken advantage of by some guy and after she felt shame. And now, Erin ecourages these women to talk freely about that subject. She tells us that it is natural to feel this way, but she also says that we should stand up for ourselves. There is something intriguing about the power of women that makes them so unique.

✦ SEXUAL OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN ✦
There is one big, ugly truth. Men view women as sex objects. No matter how much we try to reject that fact, it just exists. It’s our reality and the author of this book shows us that. Erin tells us her story about relationships with guys. Each one of them saw her as a sex object. This sexual objectification reflects on her self image in a way that she was constantly searching for male approval. She invites guy to come over her place, but she doesn’t feel anything.

✦ IT IS OKAY TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF ✦
Many women do not talk about female shame or any kind of abuse. Women are raped, treated badly, or were neglected and some of them just remain silent about that. They think it is something natural – the way it should be. The truth is that it is NOT natural and it should NEVER be like that. They deserve much, much better things and Commute is all about that. The author wants us women to be united and always support each other.

✦ OVERALL ✦
I really enjoyed reading this book and it was so emotional experience for me. Just the way Erin talks about her battles freely is so uncomfortable for me, and I admire her for her strength. It takes a lot of courage to talk about your life openly, especially when you have been through so much.
I also loved the illustration in the book and I can’t wait to order the final copy – it will be printed in color and I am beyond excited! Also, this book is not for young readers because there is some explicit content. I definitely recommend this book to adult readers who like to read self-help books.

My rating: 4/5 ⭐
Expected publication: October 8th 2019 by Abrams ComicArts

Posted in Bookish Talk

Reading Update: Commute by E. Williams and The Art of Breaking Things by L. Sibson

Hello bookworms,
It is Thursday and I felt like I need to write something here, so I decided to do the update on reading. As you probably know, last week I created an August TBR list and decided to stick with it. So far I have finished Commute by Erin Williams and I enjoyed reading it. While I was reading the book, I had the feeling that every woman needs to read this book. It is about women – learning that their voice is equally important and how it should be heard. It is full of feminism and I liked how the author carefully chose her words.

Commute contains some brilliant illustrations and you cannot run away from this book – it grabs your attention the moment you open it. The illustrations are personalized as the woman portrayed in the book looks very much like the author herself. I think it’s beautiful! Speaking of the illustrations – there’s some exciting news: the final version will be printed in colour. Yay! I will have to order it. I must have it.

Also, Commute is definitely something written for the adult reader because it contains some explicit content. You might not want to recommend it to the young readers. This book deals with some serious issues such as alcoholism, recovery, and addiction. We learn about the author’s battles and the ending carries such a strong message. I know I said that I wanted some light reads this summer, but from time to time we must read something that will rack our brains, right?

The second part of this post I wanted to dedicate to the book I’m currently reading. It is called The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson. I’m halfway through it and I just love it. It’s a moving story about the young girl Skye who goes through so much trouble. It breaks my heart!It is a really sad story and it also deals with some dark stuff like family abuse, drugs, and alcoholism. From the beginning of the book, I suspected that something is terribly wrong with Skye’s relationship with her mother’s boyfriend. And I was right!

All I want is to hug Skye and tell her that she’s not alone in this world. She puts on her brave smile every day, but I know that she needs somebody who will tell her that it is going to be alright. In this moment, I hate her Mother because she simply doesn’t care about Skye and her sister Emma. The only important thing for Skye’s Mother is to have a full bottle of vine. It’s just so, so wrong… I hope she will open her eyes and finally see the truth.

And that’s it. I hope to finish The Art of Breaking Things by the end of this week. Also, I will write the book review on Commute but it will probably happen sometime later in this month because I want to read the rest of my August TBR list, and then I will decide about my opinion and ratings.

What are you reading this week?