Book Review

Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Book Review

 

simon vs the homosapien agenda

Pages: 303

Publisher: Blazer & Bray

Published: April 7, 2015

Synopsis:Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama f

or the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts:

I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book when I picked it up. My initial interest was sparked when I found out that there was going to be a movie based on this book.

I picked it up as an audiobook from SCRIBD. And it was very enjoyable.  This book is a coming of age story about two male high schoolers who have been talking via email, as they establish a relationship and face the struggle of coming out. But there is a twist, our main character Simon Spier has his e-mail fall into the wrong hands and all of a sudden he has to face being blackmailed and risk having his email messages leaked to the entire school. And although he isn’t ready to be out himself, he is more worried about outing the boy that he has been talking too.

 

This book is written in an upbeat and very fun writing style. Becky Albertalli really sucks you into the story. There is a little mystery involved because the main character doesn’t know who the person is that he has been emailing too, all he knows is that the other person is a male and goes to his school.

I really enjoyed that this story wasn’t superficial. There was no instant love. The two main characters didn’t know what the other person looked like until almost the end of the novel which I thought was an honestly a very fresh way of writing a YA love story. I loved that this story showed that there is so much more than falling in love with a person’s outer shell, and how important it is to fall in love with the inner shell first.

This story I think teaches a lot about not only love romantically but how to learn to love yourself too. Throughout the e-mails that the two characters send to one another, they acknowledge their past relationships and why they didn’t work out and they stop shaming themselves in thinking that something is wrong with them. I think this is such an important message for today’s youth.

There is a lot of diversity in this book which should be noted, there are colored characters and LGBTQ+ representation. And all of it is done so perfectly. This also has healthy relationship representation which is important to note as well.

I enjoyed my experience with this book, I can’t wait to see the movie. If you are planning on settling down with this book I recommend you have your oreo cookies out and your tissues on hand because if you are like me, you will tear up at some of the cute little parts in this book.

Overall, good read, good representation, good audiobook.

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

Rina

Book Review

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Book Review

great gatsby

Pages: 180

 

Date Published:  Originally published April 1925- republished September 2004

Publisher: Scribner

Synopsis: On its first publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby was largely dismissed as a light satire on Jazz Age follies. Today, it is acknowledged as a masterpiece: a love story, an exploration of the American dream and arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of his neighbor Jay Gatsby, whose parties at his Long Island mansion are as lavish as his past is mysterious. Yet Gatsby cares only for one of his guests: his lost love Daisy Buchanan, now married and living across the bay. In Fitzgerald’s hands, this deceptively simple story becomes a near-perfect work of art, told in hauntingly beautiful prose.

Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, has written a new introduction for this edition. He writes, ‘While a great novel should possess many qualities, the most essential is certainly the ability to enchant, to cast a spell over the reader’ – an ability possessed in full by ‘this ever-fresh, this ceaselessly magical novel’. Our edition also features a two-page note by the director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola recalling his work on the 1974 film adaptation, in particular, his ingenious solution to the lack of dialogue between Daisy and Gatsby in the original novel. Sam Wolfe Connelly, a young artist based in New York, has created a series of color illustrations and the striking binding design. The metallic endpapers and slipcase are printed with a 1920s-inspired design by the artist. (Goodreads)

Review:

Hey Bibliomanics,

Welcome Back to another review. Today’s review is my thoughts on rereading “The Great Gatsby”. I remember when I first read this book back in highschool, I remember thinking that it was so thin for it to be a classic. And as one may assume, I didn’t enjoy it when I read it the first time. It still holds true that anything that has ever been assigned for school reading, I just don’t enjoy very much.

Fast forward to this year, I decided to reread it…

With the book only containing 180 pages, one may assume this book doesn’t get deep. But, thats were you are wrong. This is one of the most rawest books I have yet read. There is so much going on. I noticed that there was a common theme in the book of wealth and love.  Rereading, this novel made me realize that this is one tragic love story. But, although it is tragic, it is so beautiful.

The story takes place in the 1920’s. This is a time in American History were flappers were around, prohibition of alchol was happening, and the parties were wild. This book is set after WWI when the soldiers are coming home and everyone is basing the amount of wealth that they have on how much materal objects they own. In the novel, money is being thrown left in right. An example of this would be Gatsby, throwing huge parties in his manision. This is first evident in chapter 3, when Fitzgerald talks how most people that attended Gatsby’s gathering came without invitiation and that there were very few actually invited guests ( Fitzgerald, 45). Which, can send the message that Gatsby had enough money to accomodate anyone who stopped by his party.

My Thoughts:

This novel is enjoyable. I think that there is a lot of things that a person can connect with in this book. I really enjoyed seeing that all the characters in the book although they functioned together as a unit, they were all so flawed. Each of them was battling a personal demon. I think that a lot of the time they used money as an escapism. Essentially that was evident with Gatsby, he would throw extravagant parties in hopes of attracting Daisy in to coming to one of them on accident.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really long time since I read it. I think that the experience was even better because I marked up all my favorite qoutes and scenes that stood out to me.

This story is full of tragedy. And it really makes you value the things that you do have. I felt for Gatsby, as he explained how he tried to improve his life status in hopes of one day being reunited with Daisy and being able to impress her. I also think this novel is important to show that poeple are imperfect. The whole book has flawed characters as they are trying to survive but never truly living.

The characters in books are usually my favorite part, but these characters are so shallow. I loved Nick Carraway, whom I think is the only decent character in this book. Everyone else is obsessed with status and money that they put their most important relationships in jeopardy. Gatsby, does everything that he can in order to up his status in order to finally get a chance to be with Daisy. Yet, Daisy, is one of the most superficial characters I have ever read about. But, Gatsby’s love for her is so pure. Everything that Gatsby ever does is in hopes to win Daisy back.

This book is coated in symbolism. I came to really appreciate this. I loved how everything in this story tied up really nicely. There was no lose ends.  Which for a 180 page book, I really do appreciate.

If you have not read this book, I feel like you have to a least try it. If you read it in highschool, I encouarage you to read it again with a new persepctive. This story is tragic, honest and yet beautiful.

Contains Spoilers

I think that reading this as an adult, it makes a lot more sense to me and I can really make connections with the book that I wasn’t able to make as a sophmore. Some things that stood out to me, was the relationship between Tom and Daisy. I thought that it was one of those relationships that people are in because they don’t want to be alone. Tom is cheating on Daisy the entire time and he still gets angry at Daisy when she is being flirtaous in front of him with Gatsby. However, I honestly could not figure her out because she was claiming to love Gatsby and Tom at the same but yet she didn’t care if Tom saw her being affectionate toward Gatsby.

Another thing that stood out to me was the topic of wealth, how everyone in the book either wanted to be wealthy and tried to fit in with the wealthy crowd or they were wealthy and had no problem throwing their money around. Daisy and Tom, make it very apparent that they are wealthy and have money to throw around.

I found Daisy to be kind of a coward. She expresses how much she loves Gatsby and the book goes into an extensive story of how they first met. Yet, when she is asked to chose between Gatsby and Tom she doesn’t want to lose either of them and explains that she loves them both. This was one of the parts of the story that really made me upset because  the reader and Daisy both knows that Tom has been cheating on Daisy throughout the entire novel.

As one can tell I had an issue with Daisy!!!

If you read “The Great Gatsby” and you want to chat about it, leave a comment.

As per usual, with warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters, happy reading!!

Rina

Book Review

Your Creative Career: Turn your passion into a Fulfilling and Financially Rewarding Lifestyle By Anna Sabino| Book Review

Your Creative Career

(I was provided a copy for an honest review from Netgalley.)

Pages: 192

Publisher: Career Press

Release Date: 1/22/18

Synopsis: Anna Sabino is an artist, but certainly not a starving one. She wasn’t born into a wealthy family, didn’t inherit money from a distant relative, and doesn’t have a rich husband. But she made it as an entrepreneur, as a single woman, and most important, as an artist.

In Your Creative Career, she shows her fellow artists and creatives how to build a business that reflects their talent and true calling while generating serious cash. Whether the goal is to build an empire and be financially free, create a lifestyle business, or just to have more time, Your Creative Career guides you through every aspect of creative entrepreneurship.

If you want to start your creative career, transition into it, or give it a boost, this book is a must read that features:Proven systems and strategies to create ideally priced products that keep selling.The importance of going through all the steps of making it from idea inception and execution to branding and distribution.The importance of transitioning from artistic solitude to collaborative, creative entrepreneurship.
The most effective marketing and PR methods adjusted to the new reality of short attention spans and information overload. (Goodreads)

(Book Images belong to Ana Sabino, and Career Press.)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review:

This book came into my hands at the right time. I was really inspired by this book. I felt that it had a lot of good information for a person who is looking to start making money off their creative projects. However, I also felt like it was a nice shove into creating.

I wanted to start creating anything and everything after reading this. One of my resolutions for the last few years is to be more of a creative force. However, I have had a bunch of different excuses that always stood in the way of doing what I wanted and love to do.

I think that the biggest lesson that I have learned from reading this book is CONSISTENCY AND CONFIDENCE. I recognized that I will not always be making the best art or coming up with original content to create and thats okay. But, what I am personally not okay with is to stop creating out of fear that my work will not be recognized by others.

If you can’t tell yet, I really loved this book. If you are a creator or small business owner I highly recommend to read this book.

As I am not creating a physical product for sale, I felt a little disconnected with the passages that talked about product selling stand point. But, I still felt that everything this book talked about could be implemented in any creative situation that you may find yourself, whether you are a blogger, Youtuber, or even a small creator. This book is magical because I truly believe that any creative reader can gain a little something from it.

There was a lot of information that in the back of my mind I already knew about but, I still felt like it was a beneficial reminder. Most importantly it reminded me that in order to be a creator, you must be creating for the right reasons. Although, going viral and selling a product is a great thing, I personally gained that if I loved creating something I should continue creating it. However, I should also be open to creating things that I know my consumers would be enjoying as well.

Besides inspiring you this book, shows you the starting point of taking your creative side and moving it into a career. I really liked that the information was not overwhelming and it didn’t seem to be out of reach of accomplishment. I feel like a lot of times you can become overwhelmed with the information that is presented to you but, this book didn’t do that. It gave you a starting point, leading you on your way. And I really, really liked not feeling that my goals were not accomplishable.

I really liked that you could connect with the book because the author shared her own story, while she was leading you on a path of establishing your creative career. I like that a reader could relate to what the author went through, using their own creative experience.

This book definitely makes you reflect on your own creative process. Which I felt was very helpful. I personally, feel I have more direction on where I would like to take my creative projects.

If you are on your own creative journey and you need some inspiration, I think that this book would be right up your ally. If you have an idea execute it. Don’t let things hold you back from trying.

 

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

Rina

Book Review

Hopeless By Colleen Hoover|Book Review


HopelessPages: 410

Published: December 19th 2012 (first published December 17th 2012)
Original Title:Hopeless
ISBN 1301949825 (ISBN13: 9781301949823)

Synopsis:Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.(Goodreads)


Reviewstarsstars/5

I originally read this because I was trying to get out of a reading slump. Colleen Hoover has always been one of those authors that has always pulled me out of reading slumps. Her writing is addicting and her storyline make a reader invested in the story.

However, I didn’t find this to be the case with Hopeless. At times it was enjoyable, because it had a lot of different themes in it. I liked that there was a mystery plot that developed along with a romance contemporary that Colleen Hoover is known for.

I really liked the relationship development that occurred between Sky and Holder. I thought that their romance wasn’t as instalove as romances can tend to be. I enjoyed that they shared a strong friendship. I also like that at a one point in the story, there was a scene were the main characters were about to have sex and the female protagonist said she wasn’t ready, I felt like the male character did not pressure her to continue and supported her throughout her trying to piece together her past.

Holder wasn’t one of those book crushes that I usually get all the feels for from reading Colleen Hoover books. However, I did like how intense he was portrayed and his whole bad boy persona really made the book more interesting as he was a very big part of the novel. Sky, at parts was a really interesting character to watch because you can see her go through so many emotions. As a reader you can see her fall in love, and figuring out her place in Holder’s secret. Looking back on my reading, and thinking about Holder’s character. I feel like he was written to be to simple, as he is a character that was dealing with holding on too a lot of information and it didn’t seem like he was a very grieving character.

I didn’t like that the resolution of this story was so anticlimactic. The entire book build up the storyline and I felt like it resolved just too easily.  The story also had a lot of triggers, such a rape and suicide. I think that one of the main things that really made me give this book  2 stars is that it wasn’t very memorable. After I finished reading it I only really remembered some main points but not anything that made the story super enjoyable to sit through and read. Also, this isn’t a book I plain on rereading anytime soon.

Overall, this story just fell flat for me. I just didn’t find it to be memorable at all.  The entire book was just okay for me. I hope to enjoy “Losing Hope”, a little bit more.

Until Next Time With Warms Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green |Book Review

35504431Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship. (Goodreads)

Pages: 290

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published:October 10th 2017

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


Review:

This book was brilliant. I related to it on so many levels. Aza, spoke to me because I could see mine own battle with anxiety happen through her eyes.

Turtles all the way down, was very good. It wasn’t my favorite book that John Green has ever written because “The Fault In Our Stars” does holds that special place. I did enjoy it a lot because I was able to connect with it.

Our main character Aza has an anxiety disorder, which I identified with as well. There were so many instances in this novel that I felt that I had reacted to a situation in my life, in a similar way as Aza has. The one problematic area that I couldn’t connect with was when Aza, was prescribed medication for her anxiety right way without the doctor trying to find alternative ways to deal with anxiety.

I loved the relationship and friendship that this story developed. I think that it did show the honest truth and difficulty of what it looks like to date someone with anxiety. I can identify with the feelings that Aza, had when she was conflicted with two sides of herself and wanted to be closer to Davis but, at the same time she pulled away from him, and began to overthink every little bit.

I thought that Daisy, Aza’s best friend was written as a typical high schooler who wanted her best friend to just be able to have fun. I can see how she could be a problematic character in the sense that she was not always supportive of Aza, but I can see where her character struggled to understand what is going on with her best friend and although wanted to continue to be friends, but had to take some time to change her thoughts and  behavior in order to do so.

Overall, I thought that this was a beautifully written novel. I enjoyed that this novel also revolved around a mystery of what happened to the billionaire Russel Picket. The storyline was never flat, as it revolved around the constant suspense element while introducing the struggles of a character dealing with anxiety.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning about mental illness, and anxiety. There were also so many beautiful quotes in this book that I couldn’t help but flag every single one of them in my copy so I can go back and reread them in the future.

(Also, please know that if you are battling with anxiety or mental illness, you are not alone. If you need additional support please contact SAMHSA treatment referral helpline: 1-877-SAMHSA7. Or reach out to a school counselor or parent.)

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

Rina

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


 

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


 

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


 

 

#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

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