A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) by Louise Penny

I came to like this series so much, it is amazing I am only reading it now and thanks to #pennypushers on Goodreads. The discussions are still ongoing, so if you read the novel make sure to check them out on the group page.

In A Fatal Grace, the writing style, the plot and the characters are all rendered in a skillfull manner, with ease, mystery and beauty in a witty sense. There is more revealed about the lives of each characters we knew already from the first book, especially inspector Gamache and some of the villagers. Agent Nicol appears again and she is hiding something dreary, which will most likely come up again in the next books.

I cannot say I really suspected the killer, yet there were some strong hints. At the same time, Lousie Penny has this superb skill of distracting you from the real culprit until the very end, even if she does throw clues all over the place pointing in more directions. And that’s exactly what I like most about her style. I simply cannot get enough and very much looking forward to the next novel.

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The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

A poetical dystopian novel, short in explanations, confusingly adorable at times because of the mother and child relationship. Tough to chew when thinking of the father/ husband who left them alone in crisis – and why did he?

Ambiguously tense because what happened was a flood, or maybe worse, could have been also a big fire or destruction for or without any reason. Post-apocalyptic happenings without much detail.

Yet the world is as usual, people helping each other, going back to basics, surviving, struggling, hoping to be reunited with the loved ones. And the end is the new beginning, relearning to be together, finding love in memories and present details of a big hand or a faithful smell of grainy skin.

I was thoroughly impressed and confused at the same time, still this short novel has something special to it beyond the usual dystopia. Must be the poetical style interspersed with references of things and events that could have happened before, with some clue to what will come next.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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The Copengagen Affair by Amulya Malladi

IMG_20170927_072701_454I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, definitely one of the best among Womens’ fiction and Romance. Copenhagen is one of my favorite capitals too, so I was marveled and overjoyed to be traveling back to beautiful places I’ve been to in real life.

The novel itself is a colorful mix of relationship dramas, coping with depression, gossipy friends, lovely complex characters that turned out to be less shallow than it appeared in the beginning. A lot of infidelities, yet each story telling more about the real reasons behind the cheating eg. being belittled by the family, wanting to seem stronger than in reality, big egos and playful nature.

The flow of the novel kept me alert and addicted to the plot and the easy yet literary style. The characters are from all sorts of backgrounds, most of them already become part of the rich class with all its perks. There is also a lot of humour, deliciously entwined to wittiness and sexual apropos. Despite all there is vagueness as to what is going on behind the scenes sometimes, which just spices up the imaginary element.

I’ll definitely read Malladi’s other novels, her witty literary style is such a breath of fresh air among Women fiction! Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

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Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan

A deeply flawed world with a family curse to destroy them all

Love above all is sacred and complex. In Beauty is a Wound we discover the miraculous hunt for love throughout generations, only to realise how fleeting the moment is, how curious the human being can become when the need for revenge becomes all-encompassing.

The writing is convoluted like the plot, with long stretches of historical Indonesian sequences, only to swiftly get back to the “action” of love vs revenge, completing the circle until the end of the novel.

The characters are sublimely portrayed, each with their own quirks and particularities, uniting them against all odds. I enjoyed the highlight of love between the four widows in thr end, mentioned three times for its importance. Meanwhile and up til that point the vengeful husbands each fighted for their love, family or personal image.

This is definitely a novel transcending simplicity, covering topics like rape, family curses, life and hardships during war, politics and human nature. It calls for discussion on multiple levels and I am looking forward to the “babblingbookclub” questions and debates.

I consider this is a must read for those who like complex worlds interspersed with satire and bits of fantasy, where nothing looks like it seems from the outside.

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ACK!: One simple secret on how to beat bad days, and live a happy, joy-filled life by Cory Sanchez

An illustrated little book for adults about mastering that little voice in your head

This little book put me in a great mood, just by reading it and looking through the cute illustrations. I have read tons of feel good or how to be positive strategies. Ack! summarizes some really basic concepts and acts as a reminder for every day morning sessions of waking up stronger and prepared with a good mood that can influence the whole day.
I bought the ebook and I am really considering ordering the hard copy for the beautiful illustrations and being able to browse the book more often by touch.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The cover of the book drew me in and the hype on social media. It turns out this is one beautiful account of the incredible life of Evelyn Hugo (yes, I kept thinking she had to be real) and her struggle to become rich and without worries in life.

When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things.”

Evelyn’s life is highlighted by her 7 marriages (!). It sounds like plenty, yet reading about each marriage is synonymous to her 7 developmental stages on her way to building herself and her career. The love of her life is heartbreaking, yet so full of meaning and longing for normality in the abyss of judgmental people of the time.

I loved the newspaper inserts on each section, it all contributed to making the story feel real and drew me in even more. This beautiful style of TJR really made the book unputdownable for me and I am longing for more of her writings now.

“Evelyn always leaves you hoping you’ll get just a little bit more. And she always denies you.”

Monique’s life takes a turn immediately as she starts working with Evelyn on her biography. She is deeply influenced by Evelyn’s actions, she becomes bolder to ask for more and changes throughout as each section of Evelyn’s life unfolds. The real reason she was asked to write the book is finally brought to light in the end of the book and clears away many doubts, sort of adding to the craziness that was Evelyn’s life.

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”

This is a story of love and learning to become a better person even if only towards the end. A story where love doesn’t necessary mean the conventional, but at the same time an aspiration to be beyond the self. A story transcending the many marriages that meant each a different stage of getting from rags to riches, of manipulation and eventually making a family. A beautiful mix of spiced up feelings in a juicy writing style. A must read.

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Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

This book tossed and turned me upside down, gripped my attention like an obsession due to the writing style and amazing cliffhangers.

I didn’t suspect many things which turned out in the end. The atrocities or the level of crime is quite substantial, so I would only recommend it to those who are used to the genre.

The characters sem to be in a continuous flow of action at both physical and psychological level. They are so well depicted and the relationships so intertwined that it may boggle the mind.

I’m going to check the sequel for sure, and very soon. I am so curious what will happen next with the Royals.

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Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova

A well-written biography of Maria Sharapova, full of emotion and truth about her life and career evolution. I didn’t know much about her, nor the particularities of tennis as a professional sport. She has honestly wrote down a detailed account of her most important challenges, matches, hopes and fears. I learned a lot about her style and determination to win it all, about this strong mentality of a champion. It’s amazing how many hours and years it takes to become the dream.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this arc.

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) by Louise Penny

A superbly written detective novel with all the great features of mystery, human kindness, bits of philosophy and evil lurking in the most unexpected shadows.

I started to understand and like Inspector Gamache. Yet my favorite character in this book was Clara. Her strong personality, empathy, determination and wittiness were somehow key to this novel.

I’m so happy and grateful to be part of the buddyread on Instagram for the whole Inspector Gamache Series.

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Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

This Southern Gothic style novel packs a whole lot of feelings and psychological ideas of abandonment, lost dreams, childhood hopes and self-awareness.

Joel is a picturesque character of an amalgam of sorts, a puzzle of a boy put together from many pieces of hopes and dreams for s better life, a boy who just wishes to be loved, yet experiences way too many traumas for his age. I loved the book up until 60% and then it became tedious with descriptions and stories that could not properly draw me in anymore.

All in all, I just felt sorry for Joel the whole time and was in awe of the writing style which is incredibly poetical. Too many voices expressing too much at once, a dizzy adventure of imaginary encounters. I am glad I read this book as part of one of my favorites instagram book clubs.

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