Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo

This book is a marvel of words and whispers from old souls, deeply charged with grief and hope at the same time. I was amazed by the structure of the novel and its intensity up til the very end. I had tears in my eyes by the end, that’s how Adebayo managed to transform the reader and utterly grip his attention.

Akin and Yejide built their marriage on expectations and the common desire to have children. Yet the complexity of life comes between their individual plans and ruins everything. That is the big picture. The details are a cocktail of colorful neighbourhood practices, language, traditions and unnerving in-laws, jaw-dropping reasons for the what and why of things that happen all through the book.

The Nigeria portrayed between 1985 and 2008 is modern, exotic and at the same time like a timebomb politically speaking. The perfect setting matching the mood of the novel so well. Somehow, I got the feeling that the plot is literally in tune with the historical background: the beginning of the relationship between Akin and Yejide, the transition to democracy (the hope of having kids finally), the voting, the waiting (for a sign of love and at the same time the results of the voting), the violent protests (the climax when Yejide thinks she lost a child again).

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book, received as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Shake hands or die by Michael Northey

A mystery which is not really mysterious, rather whimsically remote. A bunch of strange village characters who meet over tea and cake to discuss gently various pressing topics. A wannabe journalist who struggles to get the story of his career only to end up dead, understandably so. The Vicar is the key to it all, shaking hands or not shaking any. No character whatsoever is sane enough to make the plot effective. It can all be seen as a comedy of the human nature, led to some weird extremes. Depending on the mood one might enjoy this to some extent. For my part I had to force myself to read to the end, the last third of the book is mindboggling.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book. It definitely offered afresh perspective over church and village life

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

When all phrases and words mix together like the perfect batter for cake and the mystery part is the sprinkles on the top: this book just made me incredibly satisfied to feel the “un-putting-down-ability” of the reading process. This gem of a mystery/thriller is well worthy of the 5 stars available.

I admit I was suspicious of the high rating and all the hype. From the very first pages though, the mood, characters and story drew me in. I felt for Iris and got enraged each time she dug something new about Will. I was hoping he is somehow not as bad or unfortunate as it seemed. I was pining for more love between the pages. Thank God for Evans’ help and guidance to Iris! And then it all became realistically gory and moral to the end. And it felt like it should have been exactly like this and no other way.

Kimberly Belle’s magestical style is infectious to the point of really seeing eye to eye with Iris’ actions. I am glad she is portrayed like a strong woman despite her being a wreck for most of the time, yet somehow determined to get to the bottom of all the lies.

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City of Skies (The Shadowislands Saga Book 1)

A majestical dystopia, with a unique story line that really made me connect with the main character Nora Hunt. I’d say it is a must read due to the wonderfully crafted characters and plot, I fell in love and got intrigued by the secrets lurking in the City of Skies and beyond.

In the beginning Nora seems naive about her origins and her potential. She asks too many questions in her head to the point of becoming annoying. Nevertheless, it all makes perfect sense that she should be thus, she was hidden in the East division to be protected from the Verans or Lumini Lords and only found out about her destiny recently after being moved to the West to become a raider. Nora has so much to learn and understand aboht herself and the world she belongs to, there is so much at stake.IMG_20170303_131336_328

At some points I sensed some faded similarity to other dystopian novels out there, still the Norse mythology made it believably unique. By the end of this first book in the series I got almost addicted to say the least and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

Farah has a beautiful way with words and I really enjoyed the style of writing. Thank you so much to the author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

IMG_20170303_153253_986A compelling read, with bits of magical learnings about self-worth and candid slow prose to soothe the ridged reality. I liked this a lot, it is only missing a dollop of perceived links between wishful thinking and the actual characters.
The book is structured by chapters with delightful titles, giving a hint about the atmosphere to come.
The slow pace of the prose matches very well the transformation of the main character, Lotus, from massage parlour ji (low class prostitute) to becoming a teacher and heading a school for the migrants’ children who could not afford an education. The transformational factor is Lotus’ relationship with photographer Bing. The story is beautiful yet realistic, not pure fairy tale, which I really enjoyed .
The characters sometimes lack though a particular fluency in their actions, usually depending on others more than on oneself. This indecision is probably what makes the flow of action lacking oomph and at times continuity in my opinion.
All in all, this is a superb novel and I highly recommend it to those who are interested in other cultures and societal factors.
Many thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.