The Hate U Give – A Review

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Title:                      The Hate U Give
Author:                 Angie Thomas
Genre:                   Contemporary Fiction
Topics:                  Friendship, Racism, Activism
Book Type:          Fiction
Publisher:           HarperCollins
Published on:     February 28, 2017
Pages:                   464
Rating:                 ★★★★★
Formats:              Audiobook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Short Review:   A rare, painful yet beautifully classic read.

“They finally put a sheet over Khalil. He can’t breathe under it. I can’t breathe.”

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A very rare, painful yet beautifully classic read. The Hate U Give easily tops the other YA releases of 2017 with its true depiction of a teen girl and her life being a minority.

Thomas personifies the victims of police brutality and reflects on the lives of those affected by the shootings and like incidents. It was soul stirring and eye opening how Thomas shed light into her community, how the stereotypes and specifically ‘THUG LIFE’ was portrayed. I always heard about the injustice with minority all around the world, being in Saudi Arabia, I’ve been on the receiving end of some gender discrimination but never thought that the Black in the US and minorities, in general, suffer through so much.

The Hate U Give was inspired by the Black Lives Movement and I was scared when I picked up the book because I didn’t want it to be another commercial attempt to end racism. What I loved about the book was that Thomas didn’t preach, she didn’t put an end to racism, just the beginning of it ( the end). It’s realistic, crafty, inspiring and so beautiful. The tragedy of Starr is heartfelt and her experience is owned by the reader, throughout the book it didn’t feel like just another story or just a bunch of handwritten characters, but rich personalities living a complex life. I loved every bit of this novel, it’s not just written brilliantly but also well thought out and planned.

Look out for young love, not the cliche cinnamon like romance that creeps most of us. The siblings never keeping secrets and then fighting over it, the parents acting cute and weird all the time, the grandparents being super humans, the family being supportive and crazy all the same, plus drama, loads of it. With gangbangers and drug addicts, with police and mean girls, all the usual, but all the rare.

A YA that deserves to be read in schools, at home, everywhere, by the children and their parents. It leaves us wondering about the tiniest of racism many of us suffer from but never question, about the power of speaking up and standing for something. I truly believe that this book is a start to a revolutionary step against racism everywhere, I hope that as citizens, we’re more careful and responsible and always, always listen to either side of the story.

One other thing Angie has taught me with her inspiring words is the importance of bonding with friends and family. In today’s world, especially with the YA novels, we often talk about ‘not giving a shit’ over stuff which eggs me because I’m the sentimental kid that would notice if you unfollow me on Tumblr and now I know that it does matter. That whatever and whoever you are, you’ll most probably never fit in, even when trying so hard to act, so let’s just drop it? Let’s be ourselves for real this time, not just tweeting or posting about it but for real. Let’s not take or give away any more of hate.

Before I end my review, I’d like to thank Angie for writing this book. You spoke up on behalf of all of us who wouldn’t and that’s something you should be really proud of!

I’d also like to share that the film was optioned by Fox 2000, with “Hunger Games” star Amandla Stenberg to appear as Starr. I’m thrilled and excited for the release, are you?

Synopsis


Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.

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Everything Everything – A Review

18692431Title: Everything Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Pages: 465

Rating: 3.5/5

Short Review: A thought-provoking romance of an allegedly sickly girl without an ending
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Synopsis

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

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Quoting Everything Everything

“Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.” 

“Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything.” 

“You’re not living if you’re not regretting.” 

“My guilt is an ocean for me to drown in.” 

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Thoughts on the book

Everything Everything is written beautifully, Nicola Yoon adds doodles, emails, and drawings which enhance the reader’s involvement. The book size, font, and all physical details are so convenient and certainly added to my experience. Based on this book, I’d definitely read more from the author; a bit of philosophical mixed with a hint of reality.

The story is different than most books I’ve read, I liked the presence of a terminal illness and I wish there were more of it than just a little description. I also felt that she entered dangerous territory by presenting a sickness she didn’t know enough of or perhaps failed to research. Yikes!

The young romance was a good addition but I just couldn’t follow, seems too easy and too quick. For the girl’s part, it’s still understandable as she’s never been outside so she’ll fall for just anyone but what’s with the guy reciprocating it? I mean it doesn’t just happen over a day in real life and that is what bothered me. Up until the point where the ‘love’ happens, it’s going great but then I felt being dragged out of my thoughts and just read the words failing to ‘feel’ the story. The ending was also a bit sudden and abrupt, part of me liked it and part of me was like

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But it doesn’t make the book all bad, what I liked the most was how beautifully the world was pictured, the beauty in daily life and interactions, the contentment of the protagonist despite her deprived life, the hope that was present throughout. The book had a sad and tragic theme to it but it doesn’t get melancholy, only sad enough to keep you hooked and want more but not enough to reflect on your mood.

The diversity is also impressive but the ending just took away a star from it. It was a good read overall and I recommend it despite its flaws but I wish no one with the actual desease as mentioned in the book does as Nicola implies how they’re not really living, I hate everytime a book or a movie shows an overweight protagonist; which happens ever so rarely btw, gets thin in the end and realizes how her life was yukh before. Its kind of similar in this book. Well that says enough.

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Find Everything Everything on Goodreads or order it on Book Depository

Soon to be a Movie, watch the trailer here!

Nicola Yoon | http://www.NicolaYoon.com

Twitter: NicolaYoon

Genre: Young Adult

Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

 

The Girl on the Train – A Review

the-girl-on-the-trainTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Psychological Thriller/Crime Fiction
Pages: 408
Rating:⭐⭐⭐
Line Review: A creepy and depressing criminal fiction with a terrible ending. Decorative-Border-Divider

Thoughts on the Book…

I didn’t hear much about it when I read it so I had no expectations and hence the book didn’t turn out to be disappointing or a complete disaster.

The girl on the train is written alright and the characters are all well laid out but oh they’re all so pathetic and terrible I hate each one of them. The female in this book are much worse than the men, they have no self-respect what so ever, each one of them. The book is slow paced and boring, we keep looking at cringy-worthy depressed Rachel in the train and she keeps cursing and further ruining her messed up life as we read.

We have a husband that cheats on his wife; Rachel, with his girlfriend and then marries her, Rachel is left lonely to rot until the husband wants her back? But that’s not the end of the story, there’s another mysterious and beautiful glamorous girl in the picture, morbid things happen to her, morbid to say the least.

The story starts veery slow and we keep waiting till it would grow pace but no, it won’t, in fact it’ll only become predictable and creepy by the time. There’s a lot of bullshit in the middle and well in the end as well.

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The reason I still gave away my three precious stars is because I didn’t throw the book away or put it aside even when it left me furious, I wanted to see if who I guessed to be was after all the villain of the story. I actually made two guesses and it was one of them so I’d give Paula some credit.

People said its very much like the Gone Girl but I haven’t read it so I can’t say, I do know it’s a depressing read and gets you in a bad mood and there’s nothing good and positive in the world of Rachel, the entire story makes you feel like you’ll never be cheerful again. Very much like the dementor.

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I remember Desperate Housewives making a similar effort to point the horrors of everyday lives but you see some reality to it, a touch that is human and familiar. What pisses me more off is the fact that The Girl on the Train seemed unreal at so many points, like only characters that were convenient were showed and the world was ignored. Family and friends who could’ve been there were missing or only touched slightly in a chapter or two.

The last bit was the time, it was confusing. Also I prefer when books show narrative of more than one person ( unless they’re written excellently lik HP etc.) here it was only Rachel and once I decided I hate her the story just became worse.

I gave one star for keeping me hooked till the end and the remaining two for the story and thriller provided. Maybe a bit suspense too. I’m doubting on 3 stars too. :O

Okay let it go.

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Quoting The Girl on the Train

“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps” 

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.” 

it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.” 

“I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough for that” 

“let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things—their looks and their role as mothers.” <—-This one offended me tbh, way too much.

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Synopsis

EVERYDAY THE SAME

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

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. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

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Well that’s pretty much all on The Girl on the Train, if you’d like to linger, you may wander around my site 😉

The Five People You Meet In Heaven – A Review

This review will follow my usual policy and format if you’d like to check out more of my reviews click here.

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Title
The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Author
Mitch Albom

Genre
Self Help

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

page-breakh.jpgQuotes from Five People You Meet in Heaven

❤“All endings are also beginnings. … We just don’t know it at the time.”

❤“Heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners.”

❤“Life has to end. Love doesn’t.”

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Synopsis

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer.

In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”

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My Review

A very few self-help books actually move past my filtering at the bookstore but Five People did. I was so intrigued and compelled by the title that I picked it up and read it the same day and well – here I am giving away all the stars. Mitch Albom is the only self-help author that I haven’t prejudiced against and this book is the sole reason why.

The story is about an old man who works at an amusement park and losses his life on his birthday. The story takes the protagonist to heaven and later he learns about life and discovers so much more that he never did while he was alive. His questions are answered and qualms are eased by people he meets in the heaven, all of whom he knew at some point in his life. So many memories, so much of love, so much of quoting and well a bit of everything good had me all teared up and sobbing by the end.

This book is beautiful, the story is like no other and Albom tells it naturally making you live through each part and smile and sob along.

The book is for everyone, kids, and adults and would interest readers of all genre. Have you read Five People you Meet in Heaven? If yes, let me know your comments on the book. There’s also a movie but I haven’t watched it yet, will do it soon after Eid.

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Buy Five People You Meet in Heaven!

(International)
Hardcover $21.10
Paperback $6.79

(Pakistan)
Paperback Pkr.676/-

The Problem With Forever – A Review

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I already review my latest reads, I thought why not participate in Semi Colon’s Saturday Review of Books.

This review will follow my usual policy and format if you’d like to check out more of my reviews click here.

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Title
The Problem With Forever

Author
Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre
Psychological Thriller/ Contemporary Romance

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

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Quotes from The Problem with Forever

❤“I forgot about everything. Because it wasn’t that important. Something else was. Living life with.”

❤“Life can be all too brief.”

❤“We’ve been separated. But we had never really been apart.”

❤“It was all about trying, and that was what I would do. I would try.”

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Review

The Problem with Forever was indeed a new experience for me, a different perspective and definitely an inspiring and eye opening read.

It’s about a teenage student who has been traumatized by her childhood experience as a foster kid and how her life takes the turn after the one tragic incident that changes her life for good. And just when you think it’s all over, there comes a pile of mess.

As usual, there’s a boy; Rider Stark, who’s your typical good looking guy in a bad company. The story starts from intense to a lighter side, from foster care to high school drama and bit of chick lit.

The concept is amazing and the plot is well laid out, the characters are all loveable in their own way.

  • Mallory, the main character who struggles her way as her past conditions her to be mute but she must change herself.
  • Ainsley, a lively best friend who throws herself out there and lives to the fullest but life isn’t very generous to her.
  • Paige, the girlfriend that asked for nothing but love, but we all know how that’s going to end.
  • Hector, the hot guy who is nice for a change.
  • Jayden, a character you’ll fall in love with, the sidekick that matters the most.

There’s so much more than you would welcome in your life as you dwell in this heartbreaking intense tale of foster children.

I laughed and cried and held it close to my heart as I turned those pages, those words will make you think of your nightmares, those kisses will make you live in your romantic dreams, this book will truly make you think about your life.

But wait,

What happened to Mallory during her Childhood?
What tragedies fill lives of the high school students?
Would Mouse find the Love of their Life?
What has fate decided for the ridiculously handsome but mysterious Rider?

Read The Problem with Forever to find out! Oh and let me know how it went for ya!

There are more books written and published by the Author, below are just a few more series that I enjoyed(almost), hope you would too!

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Series from the Author

Lux Series

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#0.5  Shadows
#1 Obsidian
#2  Onyx
#4  Opal
#5   Origin

Covenant Series

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#0.5 Daimon
#1     Halfblood
#2     Pure
#3     Diety
#3.5  Elixir
#4     Apollyon

Wait for It Series

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