Posted in Bookish Talk

What happened to my reading goal 2020

Hello everybody,

it’s been almost a year and I don’t even know how to start this. I remember when I took a break in March because I really needed some time for myself, some quality time. Unfortunately, COVID 19 took all my free time, and I felt very stressed and nervous. I was afraid of what could happen to all of us. And all that, unfortunately, had an effect on my reading goal for this year.
My goal for 2020 was to read 100 books. I know it’s a huge thing, but I really thought I could do it this year. I usually read around 70 books per year, so it was not impossible thing for me. However, the Corona virus affected my reading goal. I was unable to read anything for the past 8 or 9 months. I tried reading but my mind wandered. I couldn’t focus on what I was reading. I started reading like at least 10 books, but none of them I finished. I have read about this problem. Many readers had this thing, too. On the other side, some readers experienced completely opposite thing. All they could do was to read books. It is different for each one of us. How do you cope with pandemic? Did it affect your reading goal? Tell me about it.

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 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

Sunday Mini Review: Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

✦ABOUT AMBER SMITH✦
Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, and Something Like Gravity. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her partner and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at AmberSmithAuthor.com

✦SYNOPSIS ✦
Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.
But they are neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.
The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

✦ MY THOUGHTS ✦
Chris and Maia meet each other in quite unusual circumstances. Chris almost hits Maia with his car and ‘it’s not a big deal’. They don’t care about each other, but they feel some sort of connection. Somehow they always come back to each other. Unfortunately, Maia and Chris don’t understand each other because every single thing that Chris does, Maia reads it wrong. It’s like they two speak entirely different languages.
I see them suffer. I really feel sorry for Maia and her loss – it’s horrible. But I also understand Chris, he must feel bad too. Coming out as transgender must be difficult and I hate that he had to suffer earlier. I just wanted to hug them both and tell them that they are not alone in this world.
What I really liked in the book, was that when Chris and Maia started open up to each other. It’s like Maia is completely new person and Chris is not the same person either. Falling in love is not something we can choose, it just happens. And falling in love means believing in another person.. trust them. It also means being brave.
I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it to everyone. It’s well-written and its characters are just beautiful. This book helped me to understand that it doesn’t matter how different we are, we still live the same life. We feel the same. We laugh. We cry. And I think there’s nothing more beautiful than equality. I will definitely read more about transgender characters.

My rating: 4/5⭐

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 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?