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Book Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.


I’m so sorry, but I didn’t like this book. I thought that story was really predictable because there aren’t any major twists during the plot that would shock the reader and spice up the story a little bit.
Even the characters seemed really average to me. They just felt flat.
Of course, the main character Zelie is independent, which is now expected of girls, but at times she’s also thoughtless and most of the times she doubts about herself. But the reader knows that in the end, she will find strength and self-confidence in every situation. And of course, during her “plot journey,” she’ll become a young, independent woman. Amari is supposed to be her opposite – shy and always keeping a low profile, but I’m sure, she’ll also be completely different girl/young woman at the end. There is also some love, romance and discovering sexuality. I think that in the future we can expect a love triangle also.
The story is pretty obvious about its main theme – let your voice be heard and don’t let the system(?)/others break you. Carry on, be yourself and be proud of it. It’s going to be hard but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

Probably the story more fits younger readers and they would like it more than I did. Because I was really bored at the moments.
Oh, and can I say something about the ending: f*** it. No reader deserves such a cliffhanger.
We shall see if I would continue with the series.

Rating: 2/5 stars

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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evely Hugo

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid32620332

Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress and she became a celebrity icon because of her incredible life from the 50’s to the 80’s. She was not only famous because of her roles, but also due to her seven marriages. She has always carefully hidden her private life, but now she decides that it is time for the public to really get to know her and who she really is (was).

But, she is willing to share her life story with only one person in particular – with a fairly unknown magazine reporter Monique. Monique doesn’t have an idea why she is the one. The only things she knows is, that this is a chance fo her life.


Evelyn Hugo, glamorous icon, decides to share her intimate life with the public. She demands that the only person she’s willing to share all aspects of her glamorous and scandalous life is unknown magazine reporter Monique. First, Monique thinks that she’ll just write an article, but soon she’s surprised by Evelyn suggestion about exclusive biography offer.

Monique, who is currently in the phase of divorce from her husband, naturally wants to know more about Evelyn and her loves. The book is formed of different parts – the Monique story and her visits to Evelyn. Longer chapters where each one is dedicated to one of Evelyn’s husbands. And short newspaper articles, which are presenting the media’s response to Evelyn’s circumstances at a given moment. Because of the structure, the book is even more remarkable. But the plot itself is the one which makes this book so incredible.

The main point of the story is, that Evelyn Hugo, a sex symbol and celebrity icon, wants to reveal her private life to the public. Through decades of acting career, she gained an intangible celebrity status, men wanted her, women wanted to be like her. Yet, was Evelyn Hugo really what the public saw? At the very beginning of her story, we quickly find out that she wasn’t. Public image is very different from that of private life. We realize that she is not as flawless as one may think. That she used many tricks to succeed and many more to stay on the top. What did she have to sacrifice in her way, and was it (at all) worth it at the end? Her life story is even more interesting since it begins in the 1950s and is then a representation of different times.

The book also exposes how the media present their truth, and how easily they can be manipulated. Of course, the advantage is that Evelyn’s story takes place in the past, before the time of the Internet. Now, it would be harder for Evelyn to manipulate with media or hide some stuff she’s done.

A character of Monique was not my favorite and her personal story didn’t interest me. And besides, she’s put into a shade of beautifully designed character of Evely Hugo. I am not sure whether this was authors intention, to expose Evelyn even more, or is Monique’s character simply weak. Overall, all the characters in Evelyn’s story were astounding and truly vivid.

This book really surprised me in a good way, because at first, I didn’t have the intention to read it. I thought that this story wouldn’t be something I was interested in. But it is beautifully written, the plot is interesting and full of twists. Evely Hugo’s life was not a fairy tale, though it seemed so in public. When reading, it’s interesting to think about what Evelyn has done for fame and who was using who – all her husbands her, or was it opposite? And, was it worth it?

Great book and I highly recommend it.

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Did you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

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Book Review: Bonjour Girl

Title: Bonjour Girl

Author: Isabelle Lafleche

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Clementine leaves Paris, her school, and her past, to attend a Parsons fashion school in New York. She wants to leave behind an unpleasant experience with her famous mother and her, now ex-boyfriend.

Her desire is to succeed in the fashion world with a fashion blog about people who can be an inspiration in the fashion industry. In the new school, she immediately became friend with Jake, but also quickly realizes that competition in the fashion industry is severe. The atmosphere in the school is very competitive, and Clementine also gets “enemies” who would do everything to crush her in public. Luckily she has her friend Jake by her side. And Jonathan, fashion photographer, to whom she immediately falls crazy in love.


Book will be published on 25th August 2018. I got in on NetGalley for an honest review.

In the forefront of the story is the fashion industry and traps of it. Mostly bullying, especially on social media. Cyberbullying is currently a major problem among young people (and older ones), so I was interesting, how the author would deal with this topic in the book.

The story is very “modern” because it includes a lot of things that are currently popular. There are mentions of popular stars, events, songs, … There are also many references to social networks, Instagram and Twitter, which are currently the most powerful social media out there.

Nevertheless, I thought the story was very superficial. At the end of a reading, I had the feeling that the author tackled too many topics in the story, but she did not complete them. All story seems so faint, there are no concrete answers, and the story actually reminded me of self-care guides for well being and good manners. On the moments it felt like the story was written by some grandma for her granddaughter, who is supposed to act according to her guidance.

Even the romance, which could spice up the story, does not end up the best. Again, I had an impression that it was written for twelve years old girls, who would giggle while reading about kissing. But a relationship between Clementine and Jonathan soon feels odd for older readers. There is just no chemistry between them.

Clementine is a very dull character. She is boring, yet, she wants to work in the fashion world. She is very unconfident, but through the story, she begins to believe in herself more and becomes more self-confident, with a great help of “a book for a young ladies “(about how they should behave and react in different situations). Pretty absurd. And her idea about the blog… Such fashion enthusiast would have a blog for years already! There is nothing unique about having a fashion blog or fashion IG anymore. But she’s hiding her idea about it until her first post, which is a total success. Which, again, seemed extremely amazing to me. We all know, how much effort and work you have to put in every post and how many readers bloggers have at first.

So that the story is very flimsy, it can be seen during reading. The most obvious example of this is when Clementine invites Jonathan to a date and he rejects her because he’s busy because of his work at New York Fashion Week. Even I (and I don’t have a clue about fashion) know that this is one of the biggest events in the fashion industry and no real fan of fashion would forget when it is.

But I did enjoy between descriptions of all the eccentric clothing described by the author in details and all the locations Clementine visited with her friends and I believe are currently very popular on the scene.

I can say that this book was an average read. Nothing special. Perhaps the author should keep in mind for whom this book is intended. I got the impression that it is for readers in late teens (18-20) and she should consider that while writing. Certain things seemed to be included just that in the end, the story had a meaning (famous mother, relative/professor, …). The book is no surplus, but it is probably a reflection of the time in which any teenager who is a little interested in fashion would want to succeed quickly with a blog and visit all the fantastic hipster/trending sites in New York.

Rating: 2 stars

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Book Review: The Girl before

Title: The Girl Before

Author: J.P. Delaney

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A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.

The eerie parallels in the two girls’ lives lay bare an enthralling story…and make this novel the must-read thriller of the season. (Source: Goodreads)


The book The Girl on the Train paved the way for mysteries, where the main role is an unreliable woman. And The Girl before follows this trend. In the flood of similar mysteries, this book is one of those who tries to combine the themes of different successful books.

The story switches between two personal stories. Personally, I really like reading books with multiple perspectives, even if it’s hard to separate from them at the beginning. I always struggle with who is who. In this book, I did not have a problem with the separation between the two women, even that their stories are very similar. Some things even repeats but one perspective is written in past and another is told in present.

The house is the main theme connecting personal stories, which I found interesting, but at the same a little bit bizarre. I mean, I loved the idea but at the same time I had difficulties to imagine a house or why should anyone wanted to live there.

The main characters are Emma and Jane. We are following Emma’s story in the past, while Jane’s is told from the present time. And the only thing that connects them is a particular house.

Both had personal tragedies, they are mentally at the bottom … Since the synopsis promised similar story as Gone Girl or Girl on a train, a reader knows that they are unreliable as a character and that we can expect a certain turnaround. At first, Emma and Jane seem different, as if they have nothing in common, except the house, but it turns out that it is not. Like most crime-like creatures, we did not like Emma, neither did Jane. I simply can not identify with such a type of woman.

 I did not expect much from this book. I read it very quickly because the chapters are short and it’s truly a quick read. Somewhere in the middle of the book, I thought that the book was actually very predictable, but then it began to get complicated on the next few pages. After that, the author began to exaggerate. With each new chapter came to a new twist and after a while, I didn’t know anymore who is lying and who is talking the truth or what was really happening.
I would recommend this as a summer read. It’s perfect for readers who like mysteries but still want to enjoy somewhere on the beach and not think too much about the story itself. It was fun and tense enough that I enjoy it.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read this book? What did you think about it?

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Book Review: Rosemary’s Baby

Title: Rosemary’s Baby

Author: Ira Levin

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“Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor – husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet’s circle is not what it seems.”

Source: Goodreads


Despite the fact that both, the book and the movie, are considered classics, I had no idea what this book (or movie) is about. According to the title and genre of the book, I concluded that it would be about baby, a devil (?) and that would be tense or creepy.

The book is quite short, so I read it quite quickly. It was fantastic from the first page and if I would have more time, I would probably read it in one sitting.

The tension is rising through the story. It starts innocently when Rosemary and Guy are searching for an apartment, and they find a perfect one but later hear a lot of unpleasant things about it. Nevertheless, they move in and Rosemary is beyond excited. She focuses all her energy on the decoration and the idea of having a baby. At first unusual neighbors, soon become part of their new life.

I didn’t found book neither scary or horrifying. I was just excited about what was going to happen. Since I didn’t know anything about the story, with each page I expected a shocking twist. As the thrill grows, the story becomes more mysterious until it reaches its peak. And during reading, we get to know Rosemary, who is a central figure in the book.

Rosemary is a girl/woman who would I consider as a person with no character. This is also a reason why she finds herself in this peculiar situation. It’s quite easy to manipulate with her because of her character. She is completely subordinate to her husband – although she would probably have claimed otherwise. But she is completely dependent on the husband, both financially and emotionally. She doesn’t know how to stand for herself, so she becomes a victim.

The story is actually rather simple, but it’s written so fantastically that I understand why it’s considered a classic. It does not contain turnarounds or unexpected situations. Ira Levin simply wrote the story so fantastically that it doesn’t even need them. Everything is in place. At first, I was a little bit disturbed by the ending, which seemed to me to be very average for such a book. But after thinking about it, I came to the realization that the ending is excellent. It’s simple, just like the story itself. But it still shocks the reader.

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Book Review: The Dry

Title: The Dry

Author: Jane Harper

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Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

(Synopsis is taken from Goodreads page. I changed it a little bit).


After only a few pages, I completely fell into the story. How could I not? The reader soon discovers, that there is something else going on, not just a story we read about. And that things aren’t the way they seem.

Location, where the story unfolds, makes everything more interesting and intense. A drought increases the tension in sleepy little town and it also supposes to be the cause of double murder and suicide. It’s a story about a small town with their typical inhabitants, where everyone knows everyone and where the past is never forgotten but it’s also affecting present even thoug people try to escape it.

It’s the same with federal agent Falk who tried to escape his past by leaving the town and moving to the big city but he’s back for the funeral of his best friend. Now Falk has to deal with unexpected death, his past and it’s secrets. Falk is not one of the most interesting detectives I read about. Actually, none of the characters stood out in any way. They are extremely good or bad. Those in between are almost irrelevant and do not have too much influence on the story. Falk as a character seems rather plain and it’s difficult for a reader to create an opinion about him. We can learn the most about his character from the records of his youth when he is described by his friends.

But the story was still tense enough for me, that I keep reading with interest. It was a quick read that kept me in tension until I read it. The ending was maybe a little bit unexpected because I surely didn’t foresee such an ending. Still, it was good enough that I will read another book about Falk.

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The Famous Five Series: Mini reviews of books 1-5

As I mentioned before, this year is the 75th anniversary of The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. That’s why I decided that I will re-read all 21 books from the series. I’m slowly finishing with reading – I still have one book to read. But here are my mini-reviews of first five books in the series. Synopsis and pictures are from the official site.

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Five on a Treasure Island

Julian, Dick and Anne are spending the holidays with their tomboy cousin George and her dog, Timothy. One day, George takes them to explore nearby Kirrin Island, with its rocky little coast and old ruined castle on the top. Over on the island, they make a thrilling discovery, which leads them deep into the dungeons of Kirrin Castle on a dangerous adventure. Who – and what – will they find there?

This is the first book and as expectedly this book is more of an introduction of all the characters. We get to know their personalities and setting, their adventure remains behind. Still, it was a nice read.

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Five Go Adventuring Again

In their second adventure, the Famous Five find a thief at Kirrin Cottage. They think they know who it is, but need to prove it. Will the discovery of a very old map help uncover the true culprit?

I thought this adventure was quite boring, especially for the second adventure in a row. Maybe it was because of the winter time and the fact, that friends were limited with outdoor space. Still, it was fun to read about secret passages and mysterious map.

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Five Run Away Together

The Famous Five discover that someone has been on George’s island. And what is locked in the mysterious trunk hidden on Kirrin Island? The Famous Five think they’re on the trail of smugglers – until they hear a child scream…

This book was really interesting. The bad guys were interesting characters and I enjoyed reading about our friends spending time on George’s island. They are so independent and what a lovely housewife Anne is! This adventure was intriguing and it kept me hooked until the end.

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Five Go To Smuggler’s Top

The Famous Five stay at the large old house at Smuggler’s Top. They discover secret hiding places, underground tunnels, and one night they catch people signalling out to sea! Are there still smugglers at Smuggler’s Top?

This book was dark! And because of that, it was amazing! Such a dark settling, with wonderful descriptions of marshes and creepy old house. The adventure was entertaining and full of twists. Not to mention spooky Block and new friends of our five friends. I was really entertained while reading.

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Five Go Off in a Caravan

The Famous Five go on a caravan holiday. When they stumble across a circus troupe, the gang are thrilled. But some of the circus people have more sinister plans than just clowning around…

The new location, a new adventure. As far as I love mysteries in Kirrin or Kirrin Island, I also love it, when Five go around, traveling and meeting new people. At first, I didn’t like this book, because I thought that kids were a little bit pushy. But after a while, reading became fun again. And there are smugglers in adventure again!

 

Did you read any of Famous Five books as a child? What did you think about them then and what do you think about it now? Do you remember any of this five books mentioned here? Please, share your thought with me!