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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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.

Sing, unburied, sing by Jesmyn Ward

Beautifully written to the core, exquisite understanding of the human nature, a book set up to become one of the best of 2017.

I was amazed by the writing style, this being my first Jesmyn Ward book. There is a melodious ache in her words, deeply resounding and immediately compelling, comforting yet fantastic in a way. I would most likely buy the hardcopy and reread entire passages. I made so many notes on my kindle, so many beautiful phrases to treasure.

The characters​ in this book are going through complex struggles, psychologically and physically too. Jojo is my favorite and I felt so deeply with this boy, too mature for his years. I could not imagine being in his shoes, seeing and going through so much hardships and yet shouldering huge responsibility towards his toddler sister. His savior and role model is his grandpa, Pop. This just goes to show how important having a firm role model is to young kids.

Leonie is a wreck of a mother, I was engrossed by all her actions and way of thinking. I could not fathom her becoming who she was in the book. Her character is nevertheless well rounded descriptively and realistic.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes sublime writing about real life hardships. The message I manage to feel is that there is a glimmer of hope usually between the darkness of what life can be.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Make space by Regina Wong

A necessary manifesto for a simpler and more fulfilling life, without clutter and going against consumerism! I have been trying and slowly succeeding to declutter, it is difficult and overwhelming. The good news is that it is possible. This little book introduces the basics of minimalism with inspiring quotes that reawoke in myself the desire to simplify more, hence to live more.

“When we crave simplicity, we are not after an easier life. We are after life”. —Dave Bruno

I recommend this for those who are toying with the idea of finding a way to simplify their lives, this books is a great start!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Buddwing by Evan Hunter

This book was constantly toying with my patience and trust that the main character Sam Buddwing would find sooner than later some tangible clues as per his identity. I was really drawn into this book from the very beginning, only to be repeatedly disappointed by the style of writing, by the author refusing to give in a few pertinent clues in the first quarter of the book.

Don’t get me wrong, Evan Hunter has a marvelous writing style. In this book, however, th plot is thus constructed as if to baffle and frustrate the reader. At least this is how I felt for a whole week, while refusing to read anything else but this book, only to become (let’s put it bluntly) bored out of my wits, which does not happen .. if ever. My mood might have had a lot to do with it too.

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book, in exchange for an honest review. I will give another chance to Evan Hunter though and read one more book by him.

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A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

A deliciously twisted thriller, maybe one of the best I’ve read this year. I found it even better than The Couple Next Door and I cannot recommend Shari Lapena enough now. Her books are perfect summer reads too if you are looking for great compelling thrillers.

The writing style is more polished in this novel, making it addictive, simply unputdownable. I had trouble focusing on the daily chores with a toddler while reading this one. Luckily it is also a quick read and with the ending somewhat gratifying in the end.

Some of the characters are so multi-faceted that it spins the mind. Sure, I expected Karen to have secrets, just not as deep as it turns out in the end. Hence the deliciousness of the book so to say. Mind-twisting plans that were realised in favor of this powerful woman, leading at the same time to moral questions of all kind. So if she were really a battered woman it would all have made so much sense morally. Yet, there is a wow factor in her real secret that boggles the mind. It made me wonder how people and situations can surprise and trick others.

Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I am so glad I have asked for this one on Netgalley. Watch out for the publication date, coming up soon in July.

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The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro

First thing that comes to my mind is a wild thickness of detail, themes and plot I have rarely met in coming of age novels. This completely makes sense, due to the period of time portrayed and the hippy characters, their naive behavior and need for attention.

I was overwhelmed by this book and had trouble going past the first 50 pages. I believe one really needs the mood and patience to delve into the amalgam of it, I will definitely give it another go, because I felt its potential and its beauty among all the complex phrases and hidden meanings.

I definitely recommend this, it might be your next favorite book if you are up to the challenge of sailing through the depths of its happenings and ideas. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Are you a boy or are you a girl by Sarah Savage

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This little book is a great tool for assisting parents and educators about gender equality and differences. It will certainly spark some great discussions among bigger children, I expect it is best for kindergarten age. The illustrations are a bit sketchy, though it could be due to my ARC copy. Nevertheless, the drawings are able to highlight and show the essence of the book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The scent of rain by Anne Montgomery

This must be the year of depressing reads! The Scent of Rain will chill and shake you to the core, as the book is portraying life in the Mormon Fundamentalist cult, where kids are abused in the name of religion and the Leader is a maniac pedophile!

Anne Montgomery’s writing style is soothing and real. I especially liked that the story is told from multiple POVs, with heart warming surprises here and there. The author managed to weave beautifully both horror and love, and the faith in human beings who care ultimately for the moral right.

I missed more of Adan’s background, though I understood that the central character is Rose. Her story is the main trigger of disturbia, having an eye opening effect for the normal people living alongside the cult, who’ve been ignoring the horrors for long years.

I say this is a must read! The book is utterly captivating and mature, managing to bring the reader close to the happenings in a sort of magical way, though honestly I would never consider going there in person.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.