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Review: And the Mountains Echoed

Title: And the Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

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I wanted to read this book since it came out. But I was never lucky enough to get it in my Library and I was more than happy when I could borrow it. And I hoped that Hosseini won’t let me down.

It’s really hard to write what this story is actually about because there are so many narratives and their stories are creating integrity of one story. Each of those characters is having an important role in this book and all of them are somehow connected. But the main theme is a story of a brother and sister, Abdullah and Pari. They live in a small Afghanistan village, where life is incredibly hard and each day is a struggle for survival. And those hard conditions are also a reason why brother and sister have to separate. In this separation are involved several various people and their stories are creating a bigger story of this book.
Their stories are different because they belong to different social classes. There are narratives who are extremely poor and some who have all the power and wealth. The story also doesn’t take place in the same time period, but skips between different periods varying from 1949 to 2010.


Hosseini knows how to write a beautiful book that will surely break reader’s heart. Language is beautiful and his descriptions of scenes, events, as well as people and their tragic fates, are breathtaking.
The first thing which really attached me in this book was a multitude of different narrators and their stories. Descriptions of a hard life, embedded in a completely different culture and reflections of different individuals. How at times people can be completely devoted to fate and accepting (current) situations. But mainly the tragic separation of Abdullah and Pari. Pari, who was, as a little girl, sold to wealthy family, where she should had better life and conditions to live in. And on the outside she really had everything. At first when she lived in wealth and later when she avoided war when her “mother” took her to Paris. Yet, at the end her life was no better than Abdullah’s, who stayed in Afganistan and later fled from the war. Each of them has had a hard life.
At first, I had some problems with jumping between different time periods and life stories of different narrators but this also makes this book more interesting and genuine. It seemed interesting to me how Afganistan changed through time, from the time when it was on it’s highest point and later when it was destroyed by war. And how people were looking on this when they found themselves under certain conditions. And how did the poor and wealthy people comprehended the time before and after the war.
Certainly, Hosseini is master of relationships between people. I can’t name any other author who would be able to outline relationships within families and between people in this way like Hosseini does. Love, hate, disappointment, hope, all this emotions, and feelings are beautifully poured into a story. And his characters become so alive and real.
Despite everything, I would just add that this is my least favorite Hosseini book so far. I liked The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns more but, of course, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t absolutely loved this one also and I can’t wait for next one to be published.

Rating: 4/5

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Review: Finding Hope

Title: Finding Hope

Author: Colleen Nelson

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I received eARC to read and make a review. The book will be published on 19th March 2016.

This book is written from two different points of views. The first perspective is from Hope, fifteen years old teenage girl and the second perspective is from her older brother Eric, who is a drug addict.
Hope is young girl struggling with family problems. She lives in small town, where everybody knows each other. Her parents kicked her brother Eric out of the house because he can’t quit drugs. She still wants to help him desperately and provides him food and money. Eric is ok with that, because in that way he isn’t worried where he’ll find money for drugs. But with the start of new school year, Hope starts to attend school in a bigger city. She knows that this is her only chance to leave her life behind, and starts with new life (without a burden of Eric’s addiction) and make some friends.
At first everything goes well, she has a great roommate and she makes friends with a group of “popular” girls. But one day she refuses to do something that they want and she becomes their target. In the same time, her brother appears in front of her school and she doesn’t know what to do. The only bright spot in her life is her online boyfriend Devon who she never met.


I liked this book. It was interesting and I really loved the poems that Hope writes. I think that Eric’s perspective is really well written. He acts like “a real” drug addict – he doesn’t care about other people, their feelings or how his actions will affect them. At the end he doesn’t care about Hope either, he just wants her money. And I liked this. I mean… I felt bad for him, for reasons why he started using drugs, but his character was really interesting and real.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Hope. Ok, she’s young. But she’s extremely naive. At the beginning of the book, I tried to understand her. I get that she loves her brother and this was a reason why she was giving him money (but, c’mon which drug addict buys food?). But her actions in school was something that I still can’t understand. But at least she showed some courage at the end of the book and I like her a little bit more because of that.
But a character that bothered me the most was their mom. She was just someone in the background, doing nothing. And I felt bad for her, for her inactivity and for her family. Sending your kids away and pretending that this will solve problems is not a solution.

This book is dealing with some difficult topics, like addiction, sexual abuse and (internet) harassment. It’s definitely not an easy read. And I think that author made a good job to combine everything together.

Rating: 4/5

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Review: Caught

Title: Caught

Author: Harlan Coben

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Dan is a social worker, working with troubled teens. One day he receives a phone call from a teenage girl who needs help. When he arrives into her apartment he doesn’t find her there, but reporter Wendy and her team with cameras, who are filming him for their show where they expose pedophiles. Dan claims he’s innocent, but Wendy gathered so many evidence against him that he has to go to the law court.

Haley is seventeen years old schoolgirl who mysteriously disappeared. Her parents and friends don’t believe she ran away, they think that something terrible happened to her. Just like Wendy, who’s trying to connect Haley’s disappearing with Dan. But meanwhile she discovers something strange – a long time ago when Dan was still a student of Princeton University, he lived there with four roommates. And all of them except one, were ruined in last year by some scandal.

Now, Wendy’s trying to find a truth about how these stories fit together. If they fit of course.


For me, Coben is master of crime. Like I already mentioned his books never let me down. And it was the same with Caught. I have feeling that he truly deepens in his characters and there is never just one story in his book. But at the end all stories are so well connected into reasonable integrity. Just like in this book.

He’s characters are always so real. Their lives genuine and it’s not hard to relate with them or their situations in books.

You make so many calls in life that you don’t want to make – and you want those calls to be easy. You want to put people in neat categories, make them monsters or angels, but it almost never works that way. You work in the gray and frankly that kinda sucks. The extremes are so much easier.

Rare we can fit people into just one of this extreme categories. Each of us has something good and something bad inside. But if we still want to mark somebody with just good or bad result is, what happened in this book.

Dan is accused of pedophilia. He’s defending himself in court. But he can’t defend himself before friends, family, and other people. Because they already found him guilty. This book shows us perfectly how someone’s life can be ruined with too fast conclusions. Dan will never again be able to live a normal life because there will always be some doubt about him. And in time when we all have access to the internet it’s so easy to ruin somebody’s life. It’s not that hard to arrange some information or spread nasty rumors. But we have to ask ourselves how our acts will not only affect some other man’s life, but also our own. Forever.

And Wendy… The main character in this book. A reporter who’s inexorable, probably also because of her profession. And the tragedy in her life which has marked her so badly that she became uncompromising and she sticks with her principles no matter what. But we can see in her case that sometimes is better to listen to your heart.

And actually only Wendy bothered me in this book. She was so strictly about everything. But it was still a wonderful read, really tensed and I loved how everything connected at the end!

Rating: 5/5

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Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli19547856

Sixteen-year-old Simon is gay. Only one person knows for his secret and this is mysterious Blue, with whom Simon talks through emails. They don’t know each other true identities, except the fact that they are in the same high school.

Some day, Simon is incautious and he forgot to sign out on school’s computer, and some guy Martin takes advantage of that. He starts blackmailing Simon and threats that he will reveal all emails in public if Simon doesn’t help him with the girl he likes, Simon’s good friend Abby. Of course, Simon can’t say no but things never go as planned.

And during all the crazy stuff going on in Simon’s life, he continues exchanging emails with Blue. Their relationship grows stronger and more intimate. And with every new email, Simon wants to know more, who Blue actually is.


I loved this book! It was so sweet and nice. I enjoyed so much while reading it and I was sad when I finished it. And I really loved every single part of it.

First is Simon. He’s such a nice, and funny and sometimes awkward and geeky boy. I would love to have a friend like him. He’s a typical teenager with all the problems teenagers usually have. Every day he’s trying to find out, where he belongs. He’s confused with his life and wants to discover who he is. He’s confused but not only with his sexual identity. And haven’t we all been like that?

I loved how a relationship of Blue and Simon grew and became more and more stronger. And I couldn’t wait when Blue’s identity would be revealed. For every guy in a book, I thought that he would be the one.

Simon has the best family and friends. They’re all been supportive and by his side when he needed them. But many times I had felt that he’s fed up of his family. And again, didn’t we all be through that? I remember how I thought that everything my parents did was just stupid and they overreacted but now when I’m looking back, I know they wanted best for me. And in the book were exactly the same situations.

It’s been a while sice I read any LGBT book and I’m glad I picked this one next. Because it’s not only about coming out, but it’s also about everyday problems we all have.

I shouldn’t care if stupid people call me a stupid word, and I shouldn’t care what people think of me. But I always care.

Yeah, we all do.

Rating: 5/5

Did you read this book and if you did what did you think about it? Do you have any other LGBT book recommendations?

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Library Book Haul

It was time again, to visit a library. My local library is still closed and I don’t have any information when will they reopen it. It will be renovated and it’s closed since July. I can’t wait to see a new one!
But because it’s closed I’m borrowing books elsewhere. I’m really pleased with today’s library haul and can’t wait to start reading.

But first, a brief summary of books I borrowed last time. Here is a list of books and the number of stars I gave them.

Marilyn désossée (Marilyn Deboned) – 1/5

Bone Season – 3/5

Pure – 4/5

iBoy – 4/5

The Walled City – 4/5

Little Bee – I didn’t finish this book. I read a half of it and gave up. I can’t say it was not good and I can’t point out what was my reason for not finishing it. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for some types of books and maybe this happened here. I also won’t say that I never want to read it again. Maybe someday I will pick it up again. But right now there are so many other books I want to read and I didn’t want to waste my time with Little Bee.

For all books, except for Little Bee, you can find a review on my blog.


And now the books I borrowed today.

A wild ride through the night by Walter Moers
I heard about this book on some Youtube channel, but I can’t remember where.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

This book was a nominee for Booker prize in 2009. I own another book from this author, Fingersmith, and it’s amazing. And I just hope that this one will be too. Inscription on the book cover is promising a thrilling read and I’m hoping for that!

Caught by Harlan Coben

I often pick up a book by Coben, because he’s a great crime writer. Whenever I need relaxation, quick read, and a good crime novel, I pick up one of his books. And I always know that he won’t let me down.

The Collector by John Fowles

I heard only good things about this book. Every time I wanted to borrow it in a library it was unavailable, but I was lucky today!

And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Hosseini is just great. I love all of his books. Seriously, if you haven’t read The Kite runner or A Thousand splendid suns, what are you waiting for? ;) This is his latest book and I was glad I got it. And I will use it for my Reading challenge 2015 for “read a book with purple cover” (Slovenian edition of the book has purple cover).

And after visiting library, I stopped in a cute little bookstore near it. I heard that they’re selling Penguin’s Little Black Classics and I had to check them out. I bought three of them because I didn’t want to exaggerate. But it was hard. They’re just so lovely!
What do you think about them? Own any?

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The Infinity Dreams Awards

I was tagged by Michelle. This is my first nomination and I’m so excited. And you should definitely check out her blog!

RULES:

1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.

2. Tell us 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.

4. Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

FACTS ABOUT ME:
  1. I don’t like watching movies. I don’t know why but it’s hard for me to stay focused for two hours or more. I don’t have that kind of problems while reading, but movies are just no go for me.
  2. I live in small country called Slovenia (Europe).
  3. My big passion is traveling. I was backpacking in China this year and it was the most amazing month in my life. It was totally different from anything that I experienced before.
  4. I always wanted to work in a library or in a bookstore. But, unfortunately I never have a chance for that. Maybe some day…
  5. Because English is not my native language I’m always really anxious when I have to write in English. I know that my writing is not perfect and sometimes my sentences are really basic, but I hope that I will improve it that way. But still I can’t go over it and I’m always hoping that people will understand what I have to say.
  6. I never had a pet. And I would probably never had it. I’m just not a pet person.
  7. I still have my favorite child toy on my bed. It’s a teddy bear called Ficko. I love him more than anything.
  8. I still play Neopets.
  9. I would like to learn Web design.
  10. When I find something new I’m all excited but I give up really easily.
  11. I’m not attached to my hair – I know that some girls go crazy if they have to cut their hair. I’m not like that. Usually, I go from really long to short, without any problems.
QUESTIONS FOR ME:

1. What is your favorite book that has been released this year?

I would say that it was P.S. I still love you by Jenny Han. It’s so lovely written and I love characters and everything about this book.

2. What is your least favorite book that has been released this year?

I had high expectations when I started reading Vanishing girls by Lauren Oliver. But I was so disappointed at the end. I guess it’s always like that with hyped books. Most of the time they let you down.

3. What time period would you like to live in?

In the Middle ages. And probably I would not last long there – they would burn me as a witch, haha. But I always found this period the most interesting.

4. What is your favorite season?

Fall. If it’s not raining all the time. I just love colors and nature in Fall. And mist. Everything is just amazing.

5. Do you prefer Ebooks or physical books?

This is a really hard question. Ebooks are just more practical to carry them around. Everywhere I go, I have my Kindle with me and option to read what I want. And it’s great. But nothing can compare with reading a physical book.

6. If you were a matchmaker, what two characters from different books would you pair?

Anastasia from Fifty Shades of Grey and Joffrey from The Game of Thrones. I despise both of them and I would be more than happy to see those two together, haha.

7. Who is your favorite author?

I don’t have a favorite author. But there are some authors that I want to read every new book they publish because I loved all their previous books. John Green or George R. R. Martin would be good examples.

8. What classic book do you like?

Jane Eyre. I first read this book a really long time ago. And since then I reread it several times. And it’s still as good as it was the first time. This book really is amazing and Jane is such a strong and smart woman.

9. If you had to choose a dystopian society to live in, which one will it be?

None? :) But, because I have to choose, I say the one from Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. At least I would survive there.

10. What television show are you currently watching?

I don’t watch many tv shows. But I was happy when Fargo came out again. And American Horror Story, though I prefer previous seasons because this season really disappointed me.

11. Why did you start blogging?

I don’t have many friends who would read books and would be willing to discuss what they read. But I really like to talk about books and want to hear different opinions. And I thought that blog would be a great way to find people who would join me in a discussion. And it’s a place where I just write about what I think and sometimes this is enough for me.

THE NOMINEES:
  1. Neja
  2. Manca
  3. Nicole
  4. Michelle
  5. Hayley
  6. Stephanie
  7. Paige
  8. Heather
  9. Astra
  10. Ali
  11. Symone
QUESTIONS ARE:
  1. What is the longest book you ever read?
  2. Do you prefer male of female characters?
  3. What’s your favorite classic book?
  4. The movie adaptation of the book is out. If you read the book and liked it, will you watch a movie too?
  5. Where and when you usually read books?
  6. If you would have the option to put your name as an author to any book in the world which would this book be?
  7. Dou you write or underline in your books or not?
  8. Is there any particular book you reread multiple times?
  9. If someone wants to borrow a book from you, do you lend it?
  10. Is there any particular book or book topic that you refuse to read?
  11. How long ago did you start writing a blog?

Thank you to all who will respond to my nominations and I hope you will enjoy in this tag. I know I had fun.

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Review: iBoy

Title: iBoy

Author: Kevin Brooks

Kevin is an ordinary teenager, 16 years old who lives with his grandmother. One day, he’s meant to go home and meet his friend Lucy. He’s almost at home when suddenly, an iPhone falls on his head from the 30th floor of the same building where he and Lucy live.

Next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital with his grandmother and police officers by his side. They question him about the crime that happened at the same time when an accident happened to him – somebody beat up Lucy’s brother Ben and raped Lucy. But he already knows that. He feels that something strange has happened to him and that he has all sorts of information in his head. He slowly realizes that not all pieces of iPhone were removed from his head and somehow the remaining pieces combined with his brains. All the information he could access on his phone is now available in his head. He’s able to call, send texts and access to the internet with his brains.

Tom is determined that he will help Lucy with his new abilities by finding out who harmed Lucy and he’ll pay them back.


iBoy is a young adult book and it’s a great read. The story is really likable, although a little unbelievable in some moments. I thought it was great what happened to Tom and I would also love to have access to the internet in my head. Just imagine that and all possibilities that come from this! But in the same time this can also have negative sides. And I think that author wanted to point this out. Would I do only good things? Or would I also take advantage of this and harm other people with my actions?

This book is forcing a reader to think about that and pointing out that things are not just black or white. There is not just good and evil but also things between. That ethics is not something that we can easily define. And that every action, no matter good or evil, has consequences even if it’s done with good intentions. This is also a reason why I liked this book so much. With every page, I questioned myself what would I do if I would be Tom and how would I react? Just like Tom does. But of course, there are no obvious answers to that kind of questions.
But at the end, if a person is doing good and with his conscience, things will sort out. Like they do for Tom and Lucy but not without some action and tension.

Rating: 4/5