Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Muse

Book Title: The Muse

Book Author: Jessie Burton

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date: July 26th  2016

“I’m doing the absolute opposite of giving myself away. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll be completely visible. If the painting sells, I’ll be in Paris, hanging on a wall. If anything, I’m being selfish. It’s perfect; all the freedom of creation, with none of the fuss.” ― Jessie Burton, The Muse

I was a bit reluctant to pick this one up as I have read Jessie Burton’s previous book “The Miniaturist” and was quite disappointed with how the whole story was wrapped up after having such a great plot.

If not for a book club I’m part of, I don’t think I would have picked it up soon, though I did promise myself that I would give the author a second chance. And that I did.

A painting was found and the mystery that lies behind it came to life. I truly loved the interlocking stories that was set in the 1930’s and the 1960’s concerning this painting. We come across different characters and personalities which was the perfect ingredient to add to an engaging plot line.

I would totally recommend this book if you are a fan of historical fiction, mystery and art. I would also advise not to judge this book by The Miniaturist especially if you weren’t so keen on it.

 

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Sugar

Book Title: Sugar

Book Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Published Date: June 1st 2015

“I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.”

I was very intrigued by the synopsis of this book and thought I’d take a risk with it as I had no idea what to expect out of it. I can say that I was truly pleased that I did take this chance.

The book follows Sugar, that’s her nickname, a teenage girl who is struggling with her weight and having difficulty dealing with her emotions regarding that. She lives with her mother and brother, who are equally overweight – her mother more so and is in bed rest. They tend to body shame and emotionally abuse Sugar as a way to release their own frustrations. Adding to Sugar’s misery, is her peers at school who also bully her whenever they get the chance.

Then she meets Even, whom she bonds with and gets to experience all those life-changing moments as he sees her for what she is and not just her body.

I wouldn’t consider this an easy read as it had touched base with lots of important subjects such as body-shaming, bullying, emotional abuse and so much more.

You can’t help but feel sorry (and extremely angry) for Sugar. It was such a depressing, yet a very inspiring book that I believe is worth the read.

Though I do feel compelled to warn you that upon reading this book to stay far away as possible from the kitchen or any snack drawer you might have.

Beware of your appetite!! This book will have you craving every type of food imaginable.

Happy Reading!

Book Blog, Penguin U.K. Books

ARC Review : The Wardrobe Mistress

Book Title : The Wardrobe Mistress
Book Author : Patrick McGrath
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Expected Publication Date : September 7th, 2017


My first book by this author, Patrick McGrath.

A historical set in London and its theater, during the 1940’s, we follow our protagonist, Joan whose husband, Gricey, just died and she was over-engulfed in grief. After certain events, she discovered a secret and realized her husband is not the person who she thought he was.

With such a beautiful cover, I really wanted to love this book. Badly!

I found the first chapters as readable as could be. I was interested in Joan, her relationships with her daughter plus the husband, and quite a few characters being introduced in the book.

I kept on reading on the hope that things will eventually make sense, but Alas! I was almost halfway through the book till new things started to happen and it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The author have prolonged the grief part a bit too much and everything else was just vaguely described.

For a historical, there wasn’t much talk about the war or the events. For a theater-based book, there wasn’t much description about it either.

I believe those who are passionate about the theater might (I still say might!) find it more interesting than those who don’t. I personally have never been to a theater before and wasn’t able to imagine or connect to it throughout the book and actually found it a bit dull.

I wouldn’t really recommend the book as I didn’t really get anything out of it.

 

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Book Title : The Wardrobe Mistress
Book Author : Patrick McGrath
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Expected Publication Date : September 7th, 2017


My first book by this author, Patrick McGrath.

A historical set in London and its theater, during the 1940’s, we follow our protagonist, Joan whose husband, Gricey, just died and she was over-engulfed in grief. After certain events, she discovered a secret and realized her husband is not the person who she thought he was.

With such a beautiful cover, I really wanted to love this book. Badly!

I found the first chapters as readable as could be. I was interested in Joan, her relationships with her daughter plus the husband, and quite a few characters being introduced in the book.

I kept on reading on the hope that things will eventually make sense, but Alas! I was almost halfway through the book till new things started to happen and it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The author have prolonged the grief part a bit too much and everything else was just vaguely described.

For a historical, there wasn’t much talk about the war or the events. For a theater-based book, there wasn’t much description about it either.

I believe those who are passionate about the theater might (I still say might!) find it more interesting than those who don’t. I personally have never been to a theater before and wasn’t able to imagine or connect to it throughout the book and actually found it a bit dull.

I wouldn’t really recommend the book as I didn’t really get anything out of it.

 

Thanks to @penguinUkbooks for this book, which was given in an exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Behind Closed Doors

Book Title : Behind Closed Doors
Book Author : B.A. Paris
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : August 9th 2016


I love psychological thrillers so it’s no surprise I’d be rushing to buy this one but only picked it up after having read lots of good reviews about it. The hype! Oh yes, the hype.

Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage or so it seems. This is your typical looks-can-be-deceiving kind of plots and it takes one little slip to uncover it.

The book was super easy to read and to get into. The characters were well introduced and the plot neatly unfolded.

BUT, one of my major issues with the plot is that it got repetitive, and I didn’t appreciate the past and present chapters. I thought it was totally unnecessary especially when it was nearing the end of the book.
Second BUT, that it didn’t make me sit on the edge of my seat or worry about how Grace will get out of her messy situation. Jack was told to be evil but we didn’t get to fully see that. I was patiently waiting for the ‘gross’ and evil parts that never came.

I want to say I’d recommend this book but I’m sure there are far much better psychological thrillers out there that’s worth the time and read.

 

 

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : Half of A Yellow Sun

Book Title : Half of A Yellow Sun
Book Author : Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Publication Date : September 12th 2006


 

There’s no argument that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of the best authors out there, in my opinion, with her exceptionally flawless writing and narrative style. Having loved and praised Americanah, I had to check out her other books and somehow I found myself group reading Half of a Yellow Sun.

A Historical fiction that is recounted with the point of view of three people, each chapter by one of them. Ugwu, the houseboy who works for a university Professor. Olanna, The professor’s mistress and Richard, and Englishman who’s in love with Olanna’s twin sister. We follow those three and other characters, back and forth, between the early 60’s and late 60’s, with events leading up to the Nigeria-Biafra war.

I can’t help but give a standing ovation to how the book, chapter and parts where structured. It was absolutely clever and I believe no one, but Adichie, can pull it off that easily and effortlessly. I was able to follow the plotline without any difficulty and was immensely enjoying it.

Another standing ovation for how brilliantly, a subject that may be kind of a bore to me, was expertly relayed thus had me hanging and interested in every word. I’m not a big fan of political or war related books but Adichie’s style makes it hard not to get absorbed in it.

But…

It’s quite a shame that for some reason, I cannot connect or fall in love with any of Adichie’s characters. I haven’t liked any in Americanaah and the same with Half of a Yellow Sun. They sounded flat and devoid of any characteristic-ish flavor. I wasn’t able to sympathize or root for any of them. I especially hated Olanna as it was confusing on how Adichie wanted to portray her. She wasn’t weak but she wasn’t strong either. Maybe, just maybe I could have liked her twin sister whom I felt was the most real of any of the characters.

As real as the writing is, and as the events, her characters are not. That was why I could not have given this a full five stars.

I would recommend the book though. It was worth the read but not worth the hype.

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Kind Worth Killing

Book Title: The Kind Worth Killing

Book Author: Peter Swanson

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Publication Date:  February 3rd 2015

This book is for sure The Kind Worth Reading. A psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of whatever it is you are currently sitting on!

Two strangers meet at the airport and decided to play a truth-telling game. After a few drinks, it becomes a plot of a murder which is a necessary one since its decided that the world needs less of such people – which people? You need to pick it up and read it to find out!

This is a highly addictive read and truly a page turner. I enjoyed it immensely and was actually rooting for the killers to get away with it. It was also so full of twists and suspense that I was just taken away with and not able to put down.

I gave this a four stars because as much as amazing it was (it really was!), it did have a minor “but” which I think most could overlook. There were some repeated narrations/chapters which I thought was unnecessary and just added pages to the book. Again, four stars because there are also some elements in the book which I didn’t really like and hoped it was different.

Overall, I would totally recommend this book without hesitation, and I’m just about dying to discuss it with someone right now!

Book Blog, Other Reviews

Book Review : The Upside of Unrequited

Book Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Book Author: Becky Albertalli

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5

The good news is that this book is readable. I was able to tolerate it till the end. Well, just about!

The bad news is that this book is all hyped up.

Or maybe, just maybe its targeted towards a really younger generation, though I have a feeling my eight year old niece would drop it after the first few pages.

It’s about Seventeen year old Molly who is unlucky in love or its more like she’s afraid to take that leap and act on the zillion crushes she seems to be having. She’s afraid of rejection and has this idea that fat girls have to be careful. Unlike her twin sister who is somewhat the total opposite of her. In a turn of events, Molly finds herself at the attention of not only one, but two “cute” boys that got her living in an emotional turmoil.

I really should have paid more attention to the synopsis. Now that I have written it down, it makes me wonder why I have even bothered to pick this one up. I’m blaming it on the cover. This is a truly “don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of situation.

Cover aside, I have read quite a number of YA book which I thought really did a good job of delivering important messages with a good plot line and impeccable writing styles.

There wasn’t much of a writing style on this one. No character progression. No storyline basis as well. If it was a TV show, it would be one of those shows that you put on just for the sake of some noise in the room while you are doing something else. Or watching ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’

Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with it. Just move on.