Reviews

Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

42201395SYNOPSIS:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


RATING: ☆★☆★

The cruelest and kindest thing a good book does is make you believe you live inside it for the space of a few hundred pages, that you are a part of something, part of its world, not just skating around the edges, too tied up in yourself to join in…until it ends and the illusion winks out, like a snuffed flame, and you’re left marooned, adrift, your head chilled in its absence.

The real world takes a seat at the back, and Rogerson’s imaginary one holds center stage. Continue reading “Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson”

Reviews

Review: Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

40190305SYNOPSIS:

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Like a Love Story is the kind of book I wish I read as a teen when I was still navigating the pathways of my sexuality and needed the kindness of a friend who sits with you in comfort by the fire and can’t change what’s wrong but reminds you that you’re not on your own. Continue reading “Review: Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian”

Reviews

Review: Seven Blades in Black (The Grave of Empires #1) by Sam Sykes

40389431SYNOPSIS:

Sam Sykes returns with a new fantasy that introduces to an unforgettable outcast magician caught between two warring empires.

Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of magical warfare. The Scar, a land torn between powerful empires, is where rogue mages go to disappear, disgraced soldiers go to die and Sal went with a blade, a gun and a list of names she intended to use both on. But vengeance is a flame swift extinguished. Betrayed by those she trusted most, her magic torn from her and awaiting execution, Sal the Cacophony has one last tale to tell before they take her head. All she has left is her name, her story and the weapon she used to carved both.

Vengeance is its own reward.


RATING: ☆★

It is with inexpressible grief that I must confess that this book was yet another disappointment.

The experience of reading this novel is rather cloudy in my memory, as it took me two weeks to finish it. I would often put it in the corner, the way one might lean a broom or umbrella when not using it, and pick up something more griping to read. The story spun a single night the length of many, and when I finally finished it, it was as though I were setting down a heavy weight—I felt light as a ghost. Continue reading “Review: Seven Blades in Black (The Grave of Empires #1) by Sam Sykes”

Reviews

Review: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

40121959SYNOPSIS:

A literary courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a young, single mother accused of murdering her eight-year-old autistic son

My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .

In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. An addictive debut novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, Miracle Creek is both a twisty page-turner and a deeply moving story about the way inconsequential lies and secrets can add up—with tragic consequences.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Where this book lands, it will leave a bruise.

After I finished, I sat there a long time, like a bolt-struck tree seared to its roots. My thoughts would not settle on the well-worn words. I felt as if I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what. A tight, reluctant ache might have eased about my heart ever since, but the impression of the event of Miracle Creek is burned indelibly upon it. Continue reading “Review: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim”

Reviews

Review: Dig by A.S. King

40714769SYNOPSIS:

The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm. These are the five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family’s maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being simple Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-figure bank account, wealth they’ve declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grand children.

“Because we want them to thrive,” Marla always says.

What does thriving look like? Like carrying a snow shovel everywhere. Like selling pot at the Arby’s drive-thru window. Like a first class ticket to Jamiaca between cancer treatments. Like a flea-circus in a doublewide. Like the GPS coordinates to a mound of dirt in a New Jersey forest.

As the rot just beneath the surface of the Hemmings precious white suburban respectability begins to spread, the far flung grand children gradually find their ways back to each other, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name.


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

Dig is a razor in print form—with just a faintly sheathed seething undercurrent of anger. Reading this book, a whirl of thoughts and feelings assailed me eightfold and I almost recoiled. Days later, there is a twisting feeling in my chest still, like cloth being wrung dry. This is the kind of novel that drives words out, that doesn’t really fit into easy boxes, that makes those who recommend it falter, before finally saying, “Just trust me.”

Just trust me.

“This book is supposed to be uncomfortable. I’d apologize, but I’m not sorry.”

The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, First-Class Malcolm. For these five teenagers, “family” was a word they said with gritted teeth and spittle flying, all their scorn bound up in it. There’s a thread running through their lives, marrying one to the next. It’s the breakage in the lines of their family’s history; a breakage that begun with Gottfried and Marla Hemmings.

Greed and something else—something worse—wound its creepers about the hearts of Marla and Gottfried and squeezed the warmth from it. Marla, encased in her armor of vaunted virtue, and Gottfried, trained around her cruelty, severed ties with their children, and soon after, their children begun to drift apart, stooped with the burdens of life while their parents reveled in soft living. The old couple, in their scathing indifference, had let themselves go on with this simplicity of conviction: “We want them to thrive.” But the wretched thing—and the thing they never dared talk about—is that whatever darkness prowled inside them moved into their kids, and their kids’ kids, like roots driving deep into soil, clogging and staining them, choking them like rot. But soon, reality wouldn’t let Marla and Gottfried settle on their well-worn excuses, becoming like a stone in their shoes, impossible to ignore.

Here are their grandchildren: The Shoveler meandering through the city with a shovel, drifting more than walking, dulled and faded and fatherless, and still no nearer an answer. The Freak whose world has gone white and everything dropped away, leaving her suspended, screaming, in a terrible void. CanIHelpYou? selling pot at the Arby’s drive-thru window because hate had eroded the parent she once loved, and who can’t figure out when the one person whose presence hung like a lamp in the darkness of her life went “from being [her] best friend to the worst best friend [her] mother could imagine”. First-Class Malcolm who is suffering a cloying, needy loneliness, and whose father’s gaunt face is not letting hope take root. Loretta who is hovering at the edge of madness, her only solace an imagination that fashioned the scraps of her life into a circus, a desperate lunge at the hope of melting the knife reality had buried in her side.

Five teenagers walking through untouched brambles, always digging, searching out every stone and grinding leave in the hope that one of them might yield the answers they’re looking for.

“Thing is,” he says, “we can run around the planet a hundred times and we’re still who we are.”

Dig is a story so strange, so outlandish and so maddening, that it felt like a fever breaking; yet, I drank it all down, with a kind of stunned curiosity, though at first I could hardly understand half of what it meant.

The experience of reading Dig is sometimes necessarily jarring: the story King tells is puzzling, drunken and garbled, out of kilter with what a tale ought to be. The frequent and liquid shifts in point-of-view give the whole a scattered and surreal look, but there’s a chiming clarity to King’s prose that held me like a swift-running current. My anticipation made a low thrum—the feeling like a scream building in my mind, and my amazement soon mingled with dread when the story—which previously felt distant and blurry—came into sharp focus, pouring forth a deluge of answers through a series of fragmented flashbacks about the characters and dumbfounding revelations about their pasts.

There are so many grace notes to appreciate about this novel, but a huge part of what is so wonderful about Dig is the clear and unabashed vituperation with which the author confronts issues like racism, white supremacy, abuse, and family dysfunction, and the piercing boldness with which she also writes of mental health, sex, and sexuality, and the deftness with which she then weaves it all seamlessly into the plot and setting.

Dig plunges its reader into the violence of the world we live in, and I was struck by the bitter, irrevocable reality of it all: a white family owning a souvenir slave bell, a neighbor with “100% White Power” tattooed on his arm (which, King later divulges, is based on a real person), a father abusing his wife, a girl missing, the cruelty of a parent who doesn’t care. This is the kind of YA book I wish I read as a teen: King seems to know exactly what teenagers are capable of and what they’re able to bear, and she doesn’t treat her teen readers as if they exist in some pristine, unspoiled state until they pick up a bold, unvarnished novel that makes them uncomfortable, squirming uneasily in their seats with the awfulness of everything.

I mean, white isn’t just a color. And maybe that’s the problem for them. White is a passport. It’s a ticket. The world is a white amusement park and your white skin buys you into it. A woman in economy argued with me about this once. She said, “I’ve heard this idea and it makes me uncomfortable.” 
“It probably should,” I said.

As mentioned before, the plot is split between five teenagers, and then again among other narrators. The five cousins have their own coming-of-age stories that intertwine eventually. In fact, their stories proceed independently for most of the book before they ever actually meet.

Dig features deeply nuanced and reflective characters. At the core of each of them, something red and primal snarls at the sheer rottenness of the world, wanting it overturned like a bowl of eggs, smashed at their feet. They want nothing but to fly away from the dead-end corridor where their lives had trapped and taunted them. To fly away from the prejudices that led to generations of hate, and from themselves, before they realize that family was only a shape they had been poured into—they did not have to keep it.

This is not to say that Dig is steeped in grimness. It is true that, by the end of the book, I had in no way softened in my attitude toward Marla and Gottfried. Their horrifying excuses only left room in me for utter disdain and hostility. Dig is, nonetheless, shot through with hope and unexpected shafts of livid sunlight. The present collides with the past, as the five teenagers attempt to find harmony between the two—a task that once seemed insurmountable for all of them. And at last, they’ll watch hate—a relic of the past—fed to the flames, so the gnarled, shredded roots of their family can grow again, nourished by love and acceptance.

“The best part of all of you is underground if you keep thinking those people define you. Our grandparents were rotten seed. Kept secrets. Worshipped money. Pitted their kids against one another. But we aren’t them. We can break free.” 

Reviews

Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn

40390752SYNOPSIS:

In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted… 

Bold and fearless, Nina Markova always dreamed of flying. When the Nazis attack the Soviet Union, she risks everything to join the legendary Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on the invading Germans. When she is stranded behind enemy lines, Nina becomes the prey of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, and only Nina’s bravery and cunning will keep her alive.

Transformed by the horrors he witnessed from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials, British war correspondent Ian Graham has become a Nazi hunter. Yet one target eludes him: a vicious predator known as the Huntress. To find her, the fierce, disciplined investigator joins forces with the only witness to escape the Huntress alive: the brazen, cocksure Nina. But a shared secret could derail their mission unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Growing up in post-war Boston, seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride is determined to become a photographer. When her long-widowed father unexpectedly comes homes with a new fiancée, Jordan is thrilled. But there is something disconcerting about the soft-spoken German widow. Certain that danger is lurking, Jordan begins to delve into her new stepmother’s past—only to discover that there are mysteries buried deep in her family . . . secrets that may threaten all Jordan holds dear.

In this immersive, heart-wrenching story, Kate Quinn illuminates the consequences of war on individual lives, and the price we pay to seek justice and truth.


RATING: ☆★☆★

I might not be currently lying on the floor physically, but I am lying on the floor spiritually… Continue reading “Review: The Huntress by Kate Quinn”

Reviews

Review: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

70897SYNOPSIS:

Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt’s cult bestseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement – both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

 


RATING: ☆★☆★☆

[flings myself onto a chaise lounge and wails dramatically] The fact that I’m not a part of an elitist circle of young scholars who quote Classics over dirty Martinis and toast to living forever and who might also be compelled to commit murder because they got too consumed by their Greek homework is the real tragedy here.

What’s this book about?

Murder always makes an auspicious beginning for any good story.

Bunny is dead, and his friends’ mercenary relief at having him gone didn’t take long before it turned sour. In The Secret History, the venom of remembrance falls to Richard Papen, and the bulk of the book concerns itself with the months leading up to that point. “This is the story I will ever be able to tell,” says Richard, and with that, the still depths of memory come shivering back to life.

In the days after Richard Papen sets foot at Hampden College, he is aimless, as unsteady as a poorly made bow, suffering a deep pang of loneliness and dejection. But then all of a sudden, at the center of it all, in a pocket of stillness within the simmering nest of his life, was them. A clique of rich and sophisticated classic majors who drift about with their heads full of myths, always at least half-lost in some ancient story, and who worship at the shrine of their highly eccentric professor, Julian Morrow. The closeness between them was palpable, and something about that struck Richard with a deep allure. They weren’t exactly unfriendly with the rest of the world; they were just friendlier with each other, and Richard spared no efforts in impressing on them that he could fit in as well. To that end, Richard changed everything, even the fabric of himself—adorning, embroidering, essentially reinventing the less glamorous aspects of his life. He was like a ghost interposing himself between lovers to feel what it was like to be alive, and that so much death would dog his heels soon afterwards is a brutal irony.

As in any group, there is tension, of course, but it never grew very heated between them. Neither did it ever quite abate. It was the tension of minds meeting, of differing interests, not the tension of a world about to become terribly complicated, ending in tragedy, six souls forfeit. A world where murder and lies and treachery were nothing but a currency they used to pay for the rest of their lives.

Let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.

Everything about The Secret History is as crisp and elegant as freshly pressed silk. So skillfully and engagingly that I was quite disarmed, and with writing surfeited with such beautiful delicacy I sometimes had to stop and stare, Tartt led me deftly from page to page, from chapter to chapter, through a messy, mad tumult of memories, like reflections in boiling water.

The Secret History’s flow is hypnotic, and Tartt sweeps the reader, with vivid and tender enthrallment, into a reverie about beauty and mortality and godhood, the ghosts of the books and writers she admires seeming to slip into the cracks between the lines, and, like many operas, the climax is tragic but beautiful. It takes a great amount of authority to write like this, and Tartt has authority in spades. Even when the plot lags, she finds a way to enliven the telling of her story: this is the kind of novel that deserves to be drawn out and savored, however much tempting binge-reading it may be.

The Secret History is a romantic dream of doomed youth that cared nothing for sense or self-preservation and “sailed through the world guided only by the dim lights of impulse and habit”. The dynamics between the characters will surpass your wildest definitions of dysfunctional. They were darlings and vipers—caught in a twisted pantomime of ambition and self-importance and their abominable fulfillment. But they had their own gravity, and were the center of Richard’s small, surreal galaxy.

Richard Papen chronicles his own tale, beginning with Bunny’s murder and his involvement in it—the admission so simple, so unornamented, unmarred by grief or regret, as if it were just a dry fact that could be taken out and studied without emotion. From then, his mind starts picking at his memories, like fingers at a knot, with the sort of cultivated assuredness you should know better than to follow into the dark.

This is how it happens: one minute you see the story as Richard tells it, his remembrances thrumming at the border of passion and desperation, but with a mental step to the left, and with the right perspective, everything suddenly flips, everything finds a new interpretation and, in an instant, the whole view changes. Suddenly, you can glimpse the lie, shimmering and perfect. You realize that there are too many images reflected in fragmentary style on the surface of it that don’t really belong there. It’s the things just beneath his words, as though Richard wrote them down, erased them, and scribbled over them.

Reading the latter half of The Secret History, I felt left out of the tale, sensed it slipping from my hold and altering in ways I hadn’t anticipated, then—at last—realization dawns: Richard is many things, foremost among them is that he’s a damn good unreliable narrator, and that’s one of the biggest triumphs of this novel. I’d been slow to grasp it, but when I seized it, that thread of truth, it became a sort of struggle to reconcile what I thought I knew with what I’m seeing unravel before me.

In The Secret History, a curtain is drawn back in Richard Papen’s inner theater and his storytelling mind gets to work: in the mists of his memories Camilla Macaulay was quiet and had a shadow’s talent for passing unremarked—she was a brittle, sharp-edged fragment by herself, always mentioned alongside her twin brother, Charles—while Henry Winter drew all eyes like a flare. For Richard, Henry had been a sunray, illuminating every facet of his world. Henry was beautiful, impassive, untouched by emotion or pain. There was always something unfathomable about him, something as inscrutable as the turning of his thoughts. He was the brilliant autodidact and linguistic genius who seemed to suffer people’s ignorance of ancient Greek as though it were a physical blow and whom Richard wanted to impress with a compound interest of human desperation (which, in many senses, later becomes his undoing). Julien Morrow wasn’t seen as anything but relentlessly benign. Francis Abernathy was only a rich boy who assumed the world was his oyster because he’d gone to the right schools and mixed with the right people and whose sexuality Richard—for reasons he cannot explain to himself, but which are pretty clear for discernable readers—was fixated upon. And, of course, Bunny who was a terrible person with a terrible affinity for reaching inside one’s innermost self and depositing, with wicked relish, gifts of self-loathing and insecurity, and whose murder Richard might have borne with more fortitude if Bunny hadn’t been so horrible.

All this knowledge, however, soon wavers and falters, growing feebler and harder to maintain, and that’s when Richard—as well as the reader—begins caroming upward into a state of heightened lucidity: Richard has been most naïve in those days. He trusted too easily and could not see into the cracks of the world, and his imagination has fashioned the quintet into something they were not, or at least, they were more than his depthless perception of them.

However sweet her nature seems, Camilla is not soft; her edges are gleaming and sharp, and in that regard—Richard realizes later—she is a lot more like Henry. They both know how to reach into one’s soul and play their emotions like a harp: Camilla strung her admirers along like fish on a line, and I often marveled how close she could slice the difference between hate and love. Henry sowed enough seeds to ensure Richard would know to follow; he’d tested his loyalty, prowling the edges of his trust, looking for a crack—but it all held. It’s almost unnerving—the way every argument turned out meant whoever did Henry’s bidding got a little more of Henry’s favor, and whoever didn’t lost it completely, the way Bunny had become a single rope twisted from the whole, hanging before their minds’ eye—separate and other—because Bunny committed the unpardonable sin of disobedience.

There’s also more to Francis and Charles than meets the eyes. Francis’ character was a quiet, still pool that held everything safe in its depths, but, occasionally, the extravagant façade would betray his plunging insecurity and frailty which ring like a bell in his frequent “are you mad at me?” and the way his hands often hang numbly, unmoving, by his sides instead of acting. Julian Morrow, whose words they all took as gospel, is a liar and his sinister figure permeates the whole of this tragedy. As for Bunny—and there is really no way to beautify the following—he’s an asshole. There was a hole inside him that needed to be filled with other people’s misery. But he hasn’t always been an asshole, and Richard has to dig deep to unearth that memory where he kept it buried under his self-serving desire to legitimize their crime and taper his own guilt, to realize that no currency would ever make him and Bunny even. But strangely, it’s Charles’ transformation—more jarring than a body turning itself inside out—that snags at me the most: how this boy, who had no sins anyone knew of or could guess at and whom Richard once describes as “a kind and slightly ethereal soul”, could have the capacity to become so horrible, everything that was kind in him suddenly driven out. But for all Charles’ faults, I would argue that out of the five of them, he is the one who felt the rawness of their crime most keenly, or at least more outwardly—and the fallout is an utter heartbreaker.

I could be wrong. I could be so spectacularly wrong about everything, but that’s just it: one of the things I most relish about this book is how you become the characters, breathing life into them, creating them from the faintest scrapings of information that you’ve been given—the harder you think, the more you see, and it just keeps getting more productive.

In this sense, and many others, The Secret History also relentlessly ponders the power of beauty to dazzle, to cast a ghostly light over a world that is deep-down stripped of color, and, in particular, to make those people who possess it seem smarter than they may be. We are always drawn to the lure of beauty, no matter the cost, and Richard Papen—with his “morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs“—was no exception. The quintet’s willful dedication to the ideals of art and beauty—which will eventually steer their fates towards calamity—held its own fascination, and a part of Richard wanted to do whatever they asked him to do. And it was a loud part. Back then, it seemed like a part worth listening to.

Beauty is terror,” writes Tartt, perhaps portending how the beauty that once shone like a flame, drawing Richard’s eye against his will would in time, like acid, eat away at the flesh of their souls. That it would, one day, all turn into ashes and ruin.

Reviews

Review: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

SYNOPSIS:36492488

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


RATING: ☆

I thought of various ways to preface this review; I was even tempted to embroider, to sugarcoat, to essentially reinvent, but now it seems, in the interests of candidness, most expedient to come to the point: I really did not like this book. And none is more stricken by this than me. Continue reading “Review: We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal”

Reviews

Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben

40697540SYNOPSIS:

A perfect family is shattered in RUN AWAY, the new thriller from the master of domestic suspense, Harlan Coben.

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs. 

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.


RATING: ☆★☆★

The fathomless love of a parent is a mysterious tunnel, and nobody really knows where it leads. It is this sort of intimacy that Harlan Coben so searchingly explores in this novel. Continue reading “Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben”

Book Recommendations

5 Muslim Book Recommendations For Your To-Be-Read

As an avid reader/devourer of novels and a Muslim, I often have to scrounge to find even a handful of titles that represent this aspect of my identity. Luckily, these past couple years saw the release of so many incredible books that portray various Muslim experiences and I genuinely struggle to adequately express the feeling of contentment and gratitude that accompanies seeing yourself reflected on the page. In the following list are 5 books with Muslim protagonists that I absolutely adore and that you do not wanna miss!

So, without further ado…
Continue reading “5 Muslim Book Recommendations For Your To-Be-Read”