Toddlers are a**holes by Bunmi Laditan

It took some time considering the rating of this one. It is just such a well written book that I had to give the proper number stars. It’s judgemental and sarcastic and under no circumstace should you read it as black on white, rather take it with a pinch of salt.

People, it is supposed to be ironic and sarcastic, or at least I really really hope so. Nevertheless, it is an awesome little book meant to ease the tension of raising a toddler.
Now go read it!

My name is Caillou by Christine l’Heureux


This little book is so adorable, the reader falls in love immediately with Caillou, through his stories and the cute illustrations.
The only suggestion, probably the wording should be more creative. I imagine that in French it sounds more natural.
I plan to check out the other Caillou books fo my son, preferably in hard copy. I am curious of they were published in more languages.
All in all, we loved this delightful book with my son. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Publishing Date: May 16th, 2017

The absence of Evelyn by Jackie Townsend

A book for the soul, with candid references to loneliness, love above all in unusual ways, relationship struggles and longing for identity. I enjoyed this one slowly, with endless cups of tea and crumble cakes.

Evelyn’s absence itself is a character in its own right, a strong presence paradoxically. I was especially imoressed by Townsend’s skill to bring such strong connections together through the memory of someone dear.

All characters are beautifully portrayed, each in his own right, with weaknesses and so many hopes. Somehow it seemed to me that the novel is a lot about hope. For Olivia hoping to find her identity by pursuing her dream. For Carlotta hoping to find her dad and the meaning of her own family relationships. For Rhonda is hoping to get some closure about the lies and truths throughout her life. For Marco is probably hoping he doesn’t ruin anyone else’s life like he mentioned it; though I believe his secret hope is to find himself again and accept the importance of relationship with his daughters.

This novel is deep and thoughtful like a cup of green tea at sunrise, with specs of wishful thinking and candid realisations. In a book club it could spark so many discussions. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys this type of writing, as describe throughout my review.

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

House of Names by Colm Tóibín

IMG_20170416_185424_088House of names by Colm Tóibín is a heartbreaking retelling of the story of Clytemnestra and her children. A novel full of vengeance, strong-willed characters, all plotting each other’s fate.

In my opinion, the strongest is Electra, who learned from the most powerful villains how to organise, calculate and rule the fates of others. Tóibín’s style is objective, each character tells its own version of what happened, adding their own feelings.

In the beginning I thought I completely understood Clytemnestra up to the final act. Then, Aegisthus’ actions also seemed well-meaning and calculated, yet proved as vengeful and personal as befitting a villain. Then I started to put my hopes into Orestes, only to realise that his friend Leander had the reins of what would happen next. And still, Electra proves it all in the end. What a captivating read, I honestly wouldn’t have thought I could enjoy it so much, it being based on an old classic I was not too fond of.
The novel will be published on May the 9th 2017 and if you like retellings of old classics you should definitely give it a try. It’s sublime ! Colm Tóibín proved to me yet again how talented he is.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

Lalibela’s wise man by Matshona Dhliwayo

This is a beautiful novella, full of wisdom and learnings. It somehow automatically reminded me of Coehlo’s Alchemist, with a plot set in nowadays’s consumerism world.

I started it one evening and could not put it down until finished. This says a lot about the simple and witty style, able to quickly captivate the reader.

What I found very impressive were the tasks given by the wise man and the rich information on Ethiopian culture and people, despite the short prose. It made the book unique and thoroughly enjoyable.

I would like to thank the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Bloom Girls by Emily Maine Cavanagh


This book is an addictive gem which could have been even more, had the style been just a little more subtle. I would have liked a bit more suspense, though clearly this is more psychological at family/relationship level.

The characters each have a complex baggage and get to know each other throughout the book, even though they are family. This just stands to prove how important communication between family members is.

There is a continuous emotional struggle at individual level, juggling between memories before the father’s death and after. Cal, Suzy and Violet are the Bloom girls and they couldn’t have been more different from one another. They each mourn their dad in their own way, finally coming to terms and getting to know him better after he was no longer there.

I recommend this quick read to anyone, can be a very good summer/holidays book too. There are lots of issues and points thatcan be discussed also in a book club. Very curious to read others’ thoughts on it.

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

The good neighbour by A.J.Banner

This has been one crazy ride, completely blown away by the sheer depths of secrets people can have. I am sure it is like this in real life, yet it makes it that harder to believe in simple minded souls. I liked the style, it was a super quick read, addictive and surprising at times.IMG_20170427_102217_183.jpg I did not understand Sarah’s reasoning about accepting Johnny back. I had the feeling that the ending as left open has so much potential, I already know what I want to happen next.

I was fully captivated, despite the very simple and to the point language. Suburbia style, friendly, emotional at times, complex characters with many unresolved issues, marriage difficulties, rebel teenagers, loss and forgiveness.

If you are looking for a quick psychological thriller, go ahead and read this and let me know how you liked it. I expect controversial opinions.

It happens all the time by Amy Hatvany


This is an eye-opening novel, full of strong emotions and hard truths. I recommend it to everyone, just really make sure you talk openly with your kids about body image, sexual behavior, what is what and how to behave in certain situations. It is so important in the world we live in!

I haven’t read much about the book beforehand, nor any reviews. I preferred to just dive in and see for myself what made it so discussed in social media.

I had many contradictory feelings towards both Tyler and Amber, main characters in this book. I somehow tended to understand each separately yet I was furious with both and with how society is so particular and protective about men vs women when it comes to sexual behaviors.

There are many problems highlighted in the book: anxiety disorder, eating disorder, rape, parenting and role models or the absence of.

I liked the chapter structure from the POV of both Amber and Tyler, it made the plot and the atmosphere more rounded in a way.

Finally and not wishing to reveal any spoilers, I was content with the ending, and how the characters got their closure and their will to move forward in a positive way.

Lola by Mellisa Scrivner Love

Lola took me on an addictive journey through the drug cartel business of Los Angeles. The book itself being “unputdownable” due to the unique plot and style.The main character impressed and depressed me at the same time, yet above all proved how strong the self can become due to unimaginable hardships and horrors throughout childhood.

I got engrossed and deceived by humanity by reading this. Meanwhile, I was impressed by the literary style of depicting thugs and gang street life. Lola, the character, is exactly how she should be, in my opinion, exactly how one would become had they been through similar experiences. Lucy is mirroring young Lola, and Lola finds through the little girl her goal in life. They end up having only each other as meaningful persons. It’s heartbreaking.

I highly recommend this. Expect cold-blooded murder and drug addicts acting inhumanely. Expect an eye for an eye attitude and survival of the fittest.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.IMG_20170421_093243_087

Rooted by Idabel Allen

3.5 rounded up to 4 for the controversial Southern spirit mixed with New York language

This book was really something different! I got into it fairly quickly and was surprised by the pace and style drawing me in, despite the unnatural melange of characters, happenings, family ties refinding their purpose and connections. The mix and match of language and story is unforgettable, pretty original to say the least.

My favorite character who underwent a significant rebirth or development is Grover. I had a feeling from the beginning that he was the guy who would clear things up eventually, yet he took even more responsibility than I would have imagined. I also liked Miss Josie’s warmth and understanding about human nature and real life. I was somehow so grateful for the goodness she helped spreading towards Sarah Jane and Slade.

The book is sprinkled every few pages or so with old wisdom phrases and aims to teach about the hardships of life, taking ownership of one’s actions and how they could affect other people. Family is the center of it all, the idea that without family one is nothing.

All in all, this book has it all, and the Southern lifestyle seems to be the base and the heart of the plot. I recommend you give it a try and check for yourself if this novel suits you. It has a way too colorful mix of events and moods to be straight to the point and it is not that easy to classify.

Thanks so much to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.