Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | This Train is Being Held by Ismee Amiel Williams

SYNOPSIS
When private school student Isabelle Warren first meets Dominican-American Ale Rosario on the downtown 1 train, she remembers his green eyes and his gentlemanly behavior. He remembers her untroubled happiness, something he feels all rich kids must posess. That, and her long dancer legs.

Over the course of multiple subway encounters spanning the next three years, Isabelle learns of Alex’s struggle with his father, who is hell-bent on Alex being a contender for the major leagues, despite Alex’s desire to go to college and become a poet.

Alex learns about Isabelle’s unstable mother, a woman with a prejudice against Latino men. But fate – and the 1 train – throw them together when Isabelle needs Alex most. Heartfelt and evocative, this romantic drama will appeal to the readers of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

MY THOUGHTS

First of all, I want to thank to the publishing house Abrams & Chronicle Books for giving me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First of all, I liked the romance between Alex and Isabelle and it was very emotional to read about it. The relationship between these two people is so beautiful and unique. Just reading the author’s description of it, makes me want to cry. Also, I like how the author, Ismee, tells the story in two ways. First of all, we have this cute, slow-burning romance between these two people. On the other hand, we have two emotional family stories. Even though I enjoyed the cute one, I was really interested in their families and their lives.

Isabelle chases her dreams. She wants to be a famous dancer someday and, honestly, she could be anything she wants. Her family is wealthy, but her mother has strict rules. I found very awkward the relationship between Isa and her mother, and it kind of bothered me. There are some situations when I couldn’t undrstand Isa’s mother. It’s like she is from another planet and I couldn’t help but think that she felt lost.

Moreover, Alex chases his dreams, too. He wants to be a successful poet, but his father has different plan for him. He wants him to be a sport star. This relationship between Ale and his father is even more annoying than the previous one. I was so angry about the fact how Alex’s father controlled his life. I wouldn’t say that Alex is a flat character, but there is something undefined about him. I do like more Isabelle in all this story and I see Alex as Isa’s lost part. She needed him in her life to complete her as a person.

Overall, I quite enjoyed reading this book, and I the author’s attempt to talk about certain issues is clearly seen and it’s a really good thing. I recommend this book to the people who like slow-burning romances.

My rating: 3/5⭐

Title: This Train is Being Held
Author: Ismee Amiel Williams
Published on: February, 11th, 2020
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young adult
amazon / goodreads

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Talk

Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav | Highlights

A Love Letter to Bali

I will never forget those slow, languid days, warm and balmy. The sun was a pomegranate red, ripe, and full of promise, painting the pink sky. We stayed in a Grecian-style villa, overlooking the shoreline, watching the waves crash onto the lazy stretch of sand below.
The daylight sunk into starlight like a slow transition, as we lost track of time altogether. My skin grew luminous and shone from the inside, glowed like a lantern. White crescent moons appeared at the bottom of my fingernails. My hair grew thicker, wilder. We were feasting on exotic fruits and midnight conversations that drifted into the sea salt breeze.
We slept. We woke up in the half-light to watch the sun come up. We didn’t write a single word.
Mischievous monkeys scampered across our balcony. Frogs hopped in our path and out of sight again, the sound of their croaking ever-present. Tiny birds darted in and out of our line of vision like thoughts.
The half-moon yawned when we waved goodbye to another moment, lost to memory. The walls learned our secrets like how you like your coffee black and I like mine with cream and sugar. We left something of ourselves behind.
He feels like the culmination of every good deed I’ve ever done.


From: Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav

As you can see, this is another post about the last book I read called Love Looks Pretty on You. I like the author’s word choice and the emotions that the author gave us are wonderful. There is some soft vibe in the book that makes you feel emotional and I think only a few authors can achieve it. Lang Leav was successful in her language to show us all these emotions. To describe how you feel is quite complex task to do because there is always this variety of emotions. Everyone fights their own battle and there are always the good and the bad feelings inside of us. Happiness versus sorrow. Peace versus anger. It’s up to you to decide how you feel and how your life is going to look like. You just have to understand your feelings.

Also, the author’s descriptions are marvelous. They are the upper level of the language and it’s something that will always attract me. As you can see, Lang Leav did an amazing job at this point and I want to read such descriptions all the time. The book Love Looks Pretty on You is full of these amazing descriptions and I highly recommend you to read it. Do check it out!

In my previous I left you the Amazon link, so you can order it if you want.

Posted in Bookish Talk, Journal, Journal, My Journal

Wedding Vibes Everywhere!

Happy December, friends!
This is my first post in this month and this time I will not be complaining about not posting earlier because guess what I’m getting married! And I think this is a good reason for not writing quite often. Yes, I’m beyond excited about everything and I had like a billion things to do, but somehow I managed to remain calm. My wedding preps are almost done, every single detail is planned and all I have to do now is to stay calm and wait for my wedding day. The wedding will take place in one of the hotels in my city, on December 21st. I know it’s like two weeks from now and even though I look calm outside, I swear I’m screaming inside. I have everything – my wedding dress, my bridesmaids, and decoration. Everything’s here and I hope I will have control over these things. Huh, now putting these thoughts into words gave that strong feeling of anxiety. I guess it’s normal thing. Anyway, I’m really happy and I can’t wait to get married.

On the other hand, previous two months were quite hectic for me and I didn’t manage to read anything. I really had so many things to do and I mentioned all of them in my previous posts. I was so busy and I missed reading so much. I hope I will read at least one or two books before the year ends. I think I will go for some light read, maybe some good holiday book. Unfortunately, I really have no idea what to read and your book suggetstions are very welcome at the moment. I want to read something romantic, snowy, and christmasy. Speaking of the holiday romance, have you guys seen the movie Let It Snow? I remeber four years ago I read this book by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle and I really loved it. I was so happy when I heard that they are making the movie based on this book and I even downloaded it. I just couldn’t find the time to see it.
For those of you who have seen the movie, what do you think about it?

I kind of realized that the last two months are all about my personal things and it’s less book oriented, but it’s because we get busy sometimes and we barely have the time for anything. I didn’t give up on reading and I will never do that. Reading has a really special place in my heart and it’s something that makes me happy. I hope you understand me now.

Have a great weekend,

Posted in Journal, Journal, My Journal

November Activities: My Graduation

Hello friends,
again I broke my promise by saying that I will be more active this month. It did not happen. If you follow me here you probably know by now that I suck at planning. It just never goes as planned. However, I have big news, are you ready?

I am proud to say that this month I graduated!

I am so happy and I can’t believe that I’m not a student anymore. It’s over now and now I’m a teacher. The funny thing is that my graduation surprised me at first because my final exam in Syntax was way too difficult. I studied but I thought I will have to re-sit it next time.
Also, I made a promise to myself that this is not the end. I will continue studying and exploring things that I’m interested in. In my opinion, we should encourage ourselves to always do something new. To learn something new. Life is useless without learning and knowing new things. It’s really important and I think people don’t talk enough about it.
We should motivate younger people and show them that without education your life is not complete. Let’s all agree on this one, please.
On the other hand, my graduation surprised me and my life turned upside down somehow. Everything’s different now and I barely read anything this month. I started reading Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, but I read only like 20 pages of it. I opted for this book because I really love The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I have some strong emotions towards that book. It’s one of my all-time-favorites. I dare to say that Imaginary Friend is somewhat different and a bit of unusual considering the fact that Chbosky wrote it. I also started reading Love At First Swipe by Gareth Fosberry and I already like it. It feels good to read something other than a fantasy. One of the many reasons why I barely read is that in December I will move out. We are still buying all neccessary things for our home and honestly it takes a lot of time.How’s been your November so far? Have you read any good book?

Have a lovely week,

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?

Posted in Bookish Talk

August 2019 TBR Pile

Happy August, book fellas! I still cannot believe that July is behind us – time flies indeed. In my previous post, I was talking about the books I read in July. Some of them I really liked and some of them I wish I hadn’t read at all. All in all, July was quite interesting and enjoyable.

Now, it’s time for me to make my August TBR pile. I must admit that I am horrible at planning and everytime I plan on doing something – I fail. It’s like the Universe doesn’t want me to schedule anything, uggh! I am also worried a little bit because I will have some very important events this month (at least two of them) and both of them are happening in the last two weeks of the month.The important thing is that this time I will try my best and hopefully by the end of the month I will say: Yes, I have made it! But, we shall see…

Considering the fact that it’s summer, I will read some light reads and some of them will be self-help books. I am that type of reader who depends on seasons – during summer I tend to read something light (romance, contemporary YA), and during winter I like to read some other things.

Commute by Erin Williams
This graphic novel is going to be my first August reads and I am beyond excited about it. It’s the first graphic novel that I’m reading and I just know I’m going to love it! Or maybe hate it. I checked it out and it seems to be that there are only two types of readers – the ones who loved the book and the others who hated this book. I hope I will be in the first group. Anyway, I’ll let you know.

That cover tho! It’s gorgeous

An intimate, clever, and ultimately gut-wrenching graphic memoir about the daily decision women must make between being sexualized or being invisible.

From its covers

The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson
I started reading this one in the last week of July, but somehow I didn’t get to finish it. I’m like maybe four chapters into it and it’s very interesting. It’s about the teenage girl, Skye, who doesn’t want to live in Dodge. She feels like she had enough and all she wants is to move out. The only thing that can save her is her art school that has already accepted her. Now, all she needs is to survive one more year without causing any major problem. It seems easy, but her secret from the past could change everything.

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura
I must be honest about this one, I only picked it up because I found it somewhere on somebody’s list of recommendation. Plus, its plot sounds intriguing, so why not to give it a try! Basically it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl, CJ, who is not sure about what to do with her life. Her Mother has it all – and she knows what’s the best for her daughter. However, CJ feels like a failure and she doesn’t live up to her mother’s expectations. She finds herself a hobby- flowers arranging. CJ helps her aunt Hannah, but she doesn’t agree with her about the meaning of flowers. Everything is just almost perfect until her mother decides to sell the shop.

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith
I am so excited about this one – I saw its covers and that was it. I just had to buy it. I can’t wait to read it because it sounds like a great story. It’s about a transgender who fell in love for the first time and it tells about the way it changes them. You see what I’m talking about? WE LOVE IT ALREADY, RIGHT? I will (hopefully?) tell you more about it in one of my following posts.

Just get up: And Manifest Your Inner Genius by Isaac Samuel Miller
This book is supposed to be an ARC and I hooope that it will arrive sometime in August. As far as I know, it’s is some kind of biography/self-help because it talks about the author itself. It shows up the way he fights his way out of a life of crime, drugs, mediocrity, and poverty. It sounds great to me and I would like to read this book. Also, I will always support budding authors, I have huge respect for them.

These books found its place on my August shelf and I will try so hard to read them all. That would be great!
What is on your August TBR?

Posted in Nekategorizirano

What I Read: July 2019

Yaay we have made it! It’s 30th of July which means it’s time for monthly highlights and I’m so excited. It has been quite rough for me and I was in a reading slump twice this month – which is really bad and I hate when it happens. I have read five books and most of them I liked very much. However, this is my July reading list:

Dark Soul Experiments by Bre Hall
I received an ARC of this book at the beginning of this month and I was super excited to read it because it was my very first physical ARC *screaming loudly*. It’s basically about the girl, Ren, who gets transported in the past when a guy gives her a charm bracelet. She finds it so confusing and thoughout the book, she has to make sense out of these stories. I left the full review on my blog, so if you want to read it – just scroll down. I really find this book very special – the plot is unique and its characters are brilliant.

I Heart Hawaii by Lindsey Kelk
This is the book that I got in my mail and I just couldn’t believe it. I ordered this book like months ago, but I somehow forgot about it – it took two long months to arrive here, huh.. So yes, I was really happy and of course I had to read it immediately. This book is the last one in the I Heart series and it just blew me away. It is about Angela who accepts her friend’s job offer and they go to Hawaii. There, she spends her time watching silky sunsets while having fun at the beach. However, she realizes that even Hawaii cannot make her problems disapper – they won’t go away just like that. I wrote full review on my blog, so feel free to scroll down and read it. I’m so happy about this book, but also very sad that this series has come to the end.

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
I have also read this one somewhere at the beginning of this month but somehow I didn’t write about it. It’s just that I was so excited to read it because Christine is one of my favorite booktubers and she’s awesome – but somehow I didn’t enjoy reading this book. Shane is a shy girl who has no friends and she feels that she did so many mistakes just because she is an introvert. All of sudden – she is off to London where she signs up for a semester abroad. There she meets Pilot, a guy she likes immediately. However, Pilot has a girlfriend and Shane isn’t sure what to feel any longer. I saw Bookstagram going crazy about it – many people absolutely loved it. However, I found it quite boring and predictable. There was nothing special about its characters and they were so poor in sense of developing.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
This book was recommended to me so many times, but my tbr list was just too long to pick this one up. However, I’m very glad I did read it because I find Red Rising brilliant! It was so amazing and even though I don’t usually pick up sci-fi, I really enjoyed in this one. Pierce Brown is an amazing author and I definitely want to read the entire series. Also, I want to mention that the fifth book in this series, Dark Age COMES OUT TODAY! How amazing is that? Red Rising is all about space – Darrow is a helldiver from Mars whose wife Eo is hanged. Now, Darrow is turned from a Red into a Gold. He is changed completely – so strong – and he passes all his tests. And guess what? He is picked by the House Mars to fight against other houses. Who will win? The plot is extraordinary and the author is so talented – well done!

Love and Hate by Lara Wilde
Another good book this summer comes from the talented Lara Wilde. I recieved an eARC this month and I knew I was going to like it. It is a cute love story between Leonor and Manel. They fell in love when they were teenagers, but one summer night Manel gets very jealous and breaks up with Leonor. She gets desperate, she calls him every night but he never responds. In the end, Leonor decides to forget about him and just to focus on her career. Everything changes one day in their future when they bump into each other. The plot is set in Portugal and its descriptions are everything. They are so beautiful and I fell in love with them. It is a light, sunny read and it’s perfect for this month.

Annnd that’s it! These are the books I read this month and I’m quite satisfied with them. I hope I can manage to read more books in August. How many books have you read this month?

Posted in Bookish Talk

Summer Recommendations

Our July is slowly ending which means that the first half of this summer is already behind us. And to be honest, I don’t know how to feel about it. I really like summer and sometimes I don’t want it to end, but I’m also in love with autumn and everything that comes with it.

But, let’s not be sad – we have the entire August for our summer reading and in this post I want to share my favorite light reads. If you are looking for something to read at the beach while drinking your lemonade, then here are some suggestions for you.

  1. I Heart Hawaii by Lindsey Kelk
  2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  3. Going La La by Alexandra Potter
  4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  6. Cherry Red Summer by Carina Bartsch
  7. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  8. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  9. I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
  10. Love and Hate by Lara Wilde

These are some of my favorite books and I think we should read them during summer. Most of them contain some romantic story and they have brilliant descriptions, you will never get tired of them.

What are some of your favorite summer reads?