Book Review

Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson|Book Review

SPEAK“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. (Goodreads)



Review:

starsstarsstarsstarsstars/5’s ( TRIGGER WARNING CONTAINS RAPE, BULLY, DEPRESSION CONTENT)

Yet, another really  great audiobook that I was able to listen too. This follows our main protagonist Melinda, who after calling the cops on a party finds herself to be friendless and learning to navigate high school as being known as the girl who called the cops on a party.

As one may assume, she isn’t the most popular person nor is she well liked. In order to survive Melinda decides that she is going to stop talking in order to deal with the events of the party.

This book is dark. It is filled with raw emotion yet it is so powerful. It teaches that your voice is powerful. This reads like a journal, almost as if Melinda is standing in your living room and sharing her story with you.

I think that this pertains mainly to the female audience whether or not on was raped, I think as females we can identify with unwanted male attention. The antagonist in this novel acted as if he was overly desired by the female population. However, as the book goes on one can see that the antagonist is viewed by many to not be as desirable.

I enjoyed this book because it was raw, and heartfelt. There is just so much heart in this book. Its a story of a survivor. I thought it was also a very difficult tale to have written  and for the content I think it is a good start to the conversation regarding rape.I have not read many young adult literature that rises awareness and conversation about rape.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina


 

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Book Review

I Was Here By Gayle Forman|Book Review

I was here

Image belonging to Goodreads, Gayle Forman and Viking Juvenile

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss. (Goodreads)



Review: 

starsstarsstarsstars/5 :(TRIGGER WARNING: DOES CONTAIN CONTENT ON SUICIDE)

I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman. I loved her book “If I Stay”, so I did have rather high expectations for this book. To be honest going into this book I really had no idea what it was about. I have been reading so much Stephen King for my writing class that I felt I need an easier read to follow and just lose myself in the story.

This book did it. I really enjoyed all of it. It is a dark book, if suicide is a trigger for you I recommend you read it with caution. With that said let discuss the book. The story follows our protagonist Cody, who is dealing with the grief of her best friends Meg’s death. When Meg’s parents gift Cody, Meg’s old computer Cody stumbles on files that may hint that Meg wasn’t the only person involved in her death. Add in a attractive rockstar and Cody hits the road to figure out what really happened to her best friend.

Like I said this book was very enjoyable. There was literally almost every element you can think to want in a book. It started of with being a mystery, grief stricken book, mixed with romance and a lot of family dynamic. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters. Cody is so relatable as the angry, grief stricken friend who just wants answers. Meg’s parents are just the perfect touch of creating a warm family dynamic in this book and also showing the contrast of Cody’s own dysfunctional family. What I really liked about the book is how open the characters and the conversations were between them. They faced challenges and at first our main characters Cody and Ben, a boy who is tied to both  Cody and Meg have difficulty of putting down their defense but as the story goes on you witness a strong friendship unfold as the characters are forced to really be there for one another as they are solving the mystery of Meg’s death.

I really enjoy Gayle Forman’s writing. She has a way of really taking the reader into the story. I felt like was on the trip along with Ben and Cody.  When I was done, with the book it felt like my friends had gone home after a day of hanging out. It was almost as if something was missing. I really enjoy books that make you think of them after you are done reading them. I love Gayle Forman and this book was no disappointment. If you want a quick read that will captivate your attention and make you wish the story never ended try this book out.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina


 

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Book Review

The Lovely Reckless By Kami Garcia|Review

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Title: The Lovely Reckless

Author: Kami Garcia

Pages: 384

Publisher: Imprint

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia, a contemporary romance full of loss, love and redemption…

Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad–an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

Your own heart will race with each page turn of this heart-stopping star-crossed love story. (Goodreads)

REVIEW:starsstarsstarsstars.5 /5

I  enjoyed this book so very much. It was literally everything that I wanted in a story. It had an element of love, and adventure. I love the fact that this book was so descriptive about the car races and the how it showed the police investigation. You can really tell that the other knew what she was talking about.

I loved the main two characters. I thought Marco, was just perfect. Although, he was meant to be portrayed as a bad boy, he had a very tender side to him. I really enjoyed how the relationship between him and Frankie played out. I liked that there was no element of instant love, which is often used in young adult novels.  I also liked that this book had a lot of other elements that it focused on, and didn’t just zone in on the love story element.

This story was fast paced, and richly written with characters that were hard to resist. I couldn’t put this book down. I was extremely engaged with the relationship building in this book. I also felt that the plot was creatively written with the reader constantly wondering what is going to happen next and keeping them on the edge of the seat. The characters are so good, that it is very difficult not to get attached to them. I would highly recommend this book to fans of young adult and romance.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just A Few More Chapters,

Rina


 

 

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#booktube, 0 by 2020, Book Discussion, Book Review

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman|Book Review

Synopsis:orange is the new black With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.

But that past has caught up with her.

Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.

From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance.

Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

Review (Spoiler-Free):

This book was extremely enjoyable for a non-fiction. It was fast paced and it really kept you on your toes. As a reader I really got invested in the lives of the characters and felt along with them.

I sympathized with Piper’s story and it got me thinking a lot about the offenders in our prison systems, the types of conditions different prisons have and how tax dollars affect the prison system.

It also didn’t hit me that Martha Stewart served time. This was one of the topics of the book as the prisoners hoped that Martha would have come to Danbury.

There was LGBTQA+ representation in this book as it did follow a relationship of Nora and Piper, when Piper was younger. However, there was very limited interaction between Nora and Piper which was different from the Netflix show. I wanted to see more of the relationship between Piper and Nora. This was for many reasons, but mainly because the relationship between Nora and Piper in the Netflix show put a lot of strain on the relationship with Larry, who is Piper’s fiancee. And I had to remind myself that the Netflix show is more fictional and has difference then the non-fictional narrative.

Going into this book, do not expect it to be like the Netflix show. It is a lot more fact based and about Piper’s personal experience  as it was written from a collection of letters that she sent to her family and friends. Overall, it was very enjoyable and I gave 4/5 stars. I would really recommend this book if you are a fan of the Netflix show or what to give a go of non-fiction I think this is a really good place to start because this book will suck you in.

Reflection (Contains Spoilers):

I picked this book up after I watched the first season of the Netflix series and was hooked. I first started reading this as an audiobook, but in reality I am not a huge fan of audiobooks. I ended up picking the book half way through and reading an e-book version of it, although I owned the physical copy as well. Marina, why do you need 3 copies of the same book, if only I knew.

This book was very addictive, it goes through the Piper’s journey through the law and prison system after being accused as an accomplice that took large sums of money into the U.S. for an ex-girlfriend that was part of the drug cartel.

Some of the interesting things I found in this book was that the book was not heavily concentrated between the relationship of Piper and her ex Nora as the Netflix series does. Looking back, the show seems to be drawn out because I had to remind myself that Piper only did 10 months in prison before she was let go.

It was shocking to me how the woman of the prisons came together and became a family to Piper. I was also shocked to see how different Danbury was from the high security prison that Piper was at.

I wasn’t expecting that Nora had a sister. This surprised me because I didn’t understand why Piper had to carry the money back to the U.S. and stayed innocent. While Nora’s sister who is already in the drug trade would have been able to travel with the money. I also enjoyed getting to know Piper’s fiancé/husband and watching how supportive their relationship was.

This book was an excellent piece of nonfiction that a reader could tell heart and soul was put into it. I loved this book, please don’t be hesitant to check it out.

Happy Reading (OneLoveAlways),

Rina

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Book Review, Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them| Movie/Script Review

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themSynopsis:

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf. (Goodreads)

Review:

I have to say that I was not part of the hype, when the scripts for the rest of the Harry Potter world started coming out. Frankly, I have still yet to read the cursed child. But, one of my friends asked if I wanted to see the movie for Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them. I was stoked to say the least. In the back of my mind I remembered that there was a small book about fantastic beast that was out around the time Harry Potter was really big. So, I went on Amazon looking for the e-book, and that was when it happened I stumbled upon the script of “Fantasic Beasts and Where to Find them”. I clicked the “Buy Now”, button and downloaded the script. Best decision of a day well spent, I thought so.

I will be honest I am not a fan of scripts. I like novels, I like getting to the know the characters and having the setting painted right before my eyes. So, how is a script different. Well, the setting is described to you. There are small notes that say what is happening on the stage but there is no actual description or painting of what the world looks like. Secondly, because.a script is meant to be seen and not just read, the actors bring the flare. However, if I had to compare a script and a novel to book to movie adaption. The script wins, it was on point with the movie. I remembered some of my favorite quotes by character and sure enough I was not disappointed when they came up in the movie.

Enough, with how different a novel is from a script. Let’s talk about Newt. He was fantastic. I loved his character. I thought he was written perfectly. And the actor was so fit for the role. Newt, is an intelligent collector of magical creatures. But, what made me love him was that he was so humane to them and reminded me slightly of a common day animal activist. He was also knowledgeable. I think this story was a great example that people are afraid of what they don’t understand. The story shows how all the animals that were in Newt’s collection escape out of his suitcase and it is his job to find them. The unique thing about this animals is that they are all very different, exotic and they are causing mayhem in New York. With the help of some magical friends Newt, has a hard job a head of him trying to get back all his animals. Also, there is an evil wizard on the lose that is wanted for murder, and it’s not Voldemort. Have I convinced you yet to read this script?

Final Thoughts: I give the movie and the script 5/5 stars. It was captivating, and intriguing. Yet, the story was very heartwarming. I loved that the script stayed true to the movie. I loved Newt as the main character. I immensely enjoyed seeing the world that was created based on the instructions in the script. The world, of the suitcase was a safe and wonderful place, and every reader and movie enthusiast should definitely consider visiting it.

To Happy Readings, and peace on Earth!

One Love Always,

Rina

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Book Review

The Girl on the Train|Book Review

Title: Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkinsthe-girl-on-the-train

Pages: 336

 Synopsis

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? (Goodreads)

Review: stars stars stars stars/5

This book was the most unexpected experience. I purchased this book on a whim. I had an appointment to get my car serviced and of course I forgot my kindle. So, I found myself in Target, buying the book. I had my eye on this book for quite sometime, but I never could justify spending over 10 dollars. And the option for it to just sit on my shelf.

I’ll start by saying that this book although very wordy it was such an enjoyable fast read. I read the first 80 pages the first day that I bought the book. I literally couldn’t put it down.

Our main character Rachel, becomes a “witness” of a crime. But, as our story unfolds Rachel begins to quickly find out that she wants to solve the mystery more than anyone else. This story is told from three female perspectives. At the start of the book it was a bit difficult to keep track of who is who. But, as the book goes on you begin to really connect with the characters and truly see that each character has a very individual voice.

I found this book to be a mind turner. I thought I had it all figured out but, the ending sent me to doubt everything that I knew.

The characters were intriguing. They were so SCREWED up, that I couldn’t help but loving them. I felt they were very realistic to the situations that they were facing. Rachel, will send you running for the hills, or maybe for psychological help. She is smart, and witty. Yet, confused,terrified and depressed. Her depression is so real that, you can not help but feel for her. Anna, in my personal opinion is a blind character, she had everything handed to her and when she knew that there were events that were happening that were wrong, she very selfishly was able to look past them in the chances that her perfect life wouldn’t change. Lastly, Megan… What can you say about Megan, she was our character that made the story happen. She was raw, she was a mess, but she was so intriguing. I loved Megan. I thought that she was such a complex character, she had so many dimensions to her. And her life story was super interesting. Our male characters were minor  points in the book. Although, the were under a lot of suspicion the entire novel, I felt that their stories were not as powerful as the females. There is so much going on, and its really hard to guess what really Rachel saw of the train. But, the ending was mind-blowing satisfaction.

I enjoyed this book greatly. I would defiantly recommend it to fans of “A Girl with A Dragon Tattoo.”

Until Next. ONE LOVE.

Rina

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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday: Midnight Heir

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of “Books and a Beat“. Anyone can participate.

1.Grab your current book title

2. Open to a random page

3. Share 2 lines. NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!

4.Share Author and Title

Lady Midnight ” A boy with blazing blue green eyes and the blond girl he had seen at the shadow market the week before. They were both staring – not at him, but at the boy gripping his shirt. ” ( Chapter 16, “Lady Midnight” by Cassandra Clare)

Feel free to leave a comment with your teaser tuesday, as always if there are any books that you have to recommend please leave a comment or tweet me at: rinareviewsbks.

ONE LOVE,

Rina

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