Recent DNFs and Mini Review

25902919Title: Public Library and Other Stories

Author: Ali Smith

Pub Date: November 5th, 2015

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Why are books so very powerful? What do the books we’ve read over our lives—our own personal libraries—make of us? What does the unraveling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us?

The stories in Ali Smith’s new collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make.

Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. At a time when public libraries around the world face threats of cuts and closures, this collection stands as a work of literary activism—and as a wonderful read from one of our finest authors.

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The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

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Title: The Things We Wish Were True

Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Pub Date: September 1st, 2016

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

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We Awaken by Calista Lynne

30341730Title: We Awaken

Author: Calista Lynne

Pub Date: September 29th, 2015

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Series: Six of Crows #2

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Pub Date: September 29th, 2015

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopis from Goodreads:

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

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BOOK TRAVELING THURSDAY: Mental Health

It’s Book Traveling Thursday! It is a weekly meme hosted by Catia and Danielle. At the beginning of each month, they post a list of weekly themes. After choosing a book that fits the theme, you look at different covers of various editions and write your blog post with the original cover, the covers from your country, your favourite cover, and your least favourite cover. To find out more check out Goodreads group!

This week’s theme is: Because Mental Health matters! Choose a book that deals with mental health. This is a very important topic, and here where I live, an often overlooked topic. Books that deal with this topic are of interest to me, but I always need to know if the mental disorder is portrayed truthfully. One of the main things that annoy me immensely are stories of people that are ‘cured’ of their mental disorder because they find a boyfriend or girlfriend, that this new love and relationship is canceling out any fear or problem the person had before. The recovery from mental illness cannot be put so simply like that. The book I decided to feature this week is The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer. In America it was published under title ‘Where the Moon Isn’t’

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Swing Time by Zadie Smith

swing-timeTitle: Swing Time

Author: Zadie Smith

Pub Date: November 15th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth andOn Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

This is just hard. Zadie Smith is one of my favorite authors. I adore her other works, and when I heard about her new book I was excited. I couldn’t wait to finally read it. And now I read it. And I’m not happy. It wasn’t anything as enjoyable read as her previous books. It was quite frankly boring.

It’s a story of women friendship. There are two story lines that intervene a little bit, the first plot line is the present time when the main character is working for superstar Aimee. The second storyline is her childhood and friendship with Tracey. The main character is quite flat and uninspiring. We learn so much about her life and her history, but still, I’m left with an impression that she is just a mean to tell us a story of Aimee and Tracey. She’s the main character but not the main focus.

I struggled to follow the story u because it was jumping between different times and places constantly. I was getting lost and every time it took me some time to adjust to the new place and time. This was a big issue at the beginning, but later in the book, it was pretty easy – one chapter about Aimee and one chapter about childhood and Tracey.

The most interesting part of the story for me was reading about the superstar that is pouring her wealth to a poor village in Africa. Without thinking about the repercussions of such actions. Just thinking about solving the problems of poverty and education and health care with money, and feeling good about herself. Having a vision and a good noble goal, but not stopping for a while to judge if her actions are truly solving any problems in the village, is she helping or harming them?

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Title: Dumplin’

Series: Dumplin’ #1

Author: Julie Murphy

Pub Date: 2014

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Synopis from Goodreads:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

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