Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

23587115Title: Spontaneous

Author: Aaron Starmer

Pub Date: August 23rd, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

A darkly funny and spectacularly original exploration of friendship, goodbyes—and spontaneous combustion.

Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc.

Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on.

Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. It’s an explosive year punctuated by romance, quarantine, lifelong friendship, hallucinogenic mushrooms, bloggers, ice cream trucks, “Snooze Button™,” Bon Jovi, and the filthiest language you’ve ever heard from the President of the United States.

Aaron Starmer rewrites the rulebook with Spontaneous. But beneath the outrageous is a ridiculously funny, super honest, and truly moving exemplar of the absurd and raw truths of being a teenager in the 21st century . . . and the heartache of saying goodbye.

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Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Title: Born a Crime: A stories from a South African childhood.

Author: Trevor Noah

Pub Date: November 15th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Synopis from Goodreads:

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

I really like Trevor Noah in The Daily Show. And I really like memoir audiobooks narrated by the author. So this book was just a perfect pick for me. Trevor shares with us an amazing story of childhood so much different than anything I know. He was born in South Africa when interracial relationships were illegal, but his mother was fearless and she wanted a child. She asked her white friend for that child. She was relentless so she got that child. So Trevor was born into a black family, but he was coloured. He wasn’t black and he wasn’t white. And at that time how you looked and what colour your skin was crucial. The whole system was based on that. There were towns where black people lived, where white people lived, coloured, Indian, Asian. How you lived and what you were allowed to do was based on how you were classified racially.

The story of Trevor’s childhood is centred around his mother. She is the true hero of his story and we learn so much about her. Trevor tells us about tough choices she had to make, about her stubbornness and fearlessness. She’s truly amazing women, and it was thought to listen to what happened to her at some time in her life. She’s extremely strong.

You can learn a lot while reading this book. It tells a story of life in the aftermath of apartheid. It shows us how hard it is to judge someone who committed a crime. How unjust world is. But the story also has its light moments. It’s not all serious. Trevor’s mother lessons about women and romance are very good. Stories of Trevor’s romantic endeavours are quite funny, cute and a bit sad.

Mini Reviews of Humorous Books

29431095Title: Man, I Hate Cursive: Cartoons for People and Advanced Bears

Author: Jim Benton

Pub date: October 18th, 2016

My rating: ★★★★☆

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Fantastic collection of comic strips. Each of them will make you chuckle, and at the same time will make you realize that the world can be a lonely and cruel place, and some of those strips are coming from a somber place. But dealing with this sadness with those comics strips will brighten your day. I wanted to share so many of those comics strips with my friends, because they say something that I cannot say, but I feel and understand.

Two of my favourite strips (majority of the book are my favourite strips):

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Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops #1 & #2 by Jen Campbell

12640991Title: Weird Things Customer Say in Bookshops

Author: Jen Campbell

Pub date: 2012

My Rating: ★★★★☆

View on Goodreads | Buy on  amazon.co.uk |amazon.com | Book Depository

 

 

 

 


Title: More Weird Things Customer Say in Bookshops16174631

Author: Jen Campbell

Pub date: 2013

My Rating: ★★★★☆

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But best – just go and buy in in a bookstore, and say some weird stuff when you at it!

 

 

 

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667 Ways to F*ck Up My Life by Lucy Woodhull

30896288Title: 667 Ways to F*ck Up My Life

Authors: Lucy Woodhull

Pub Date: August 16th, 2016

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

View on Goodreads | Buy on  amazon.co.uk |amazon.com


 I rarely choose a typical chick-lit with a woman chasing a man as my read. I prefer to watch romantic comedies, not read them. But the blurb said that this is a great book for fans of Broad City and Bridget Jones, so I decided to give it a try. And I stand with my initial preferences – I’d rather watch a 1.5h movie with the same plot than read the book. But I still quite enjoyed reading the book, so I gave it three stars – it’s not bad, and it’s not great, and I’ll probably forget all about it soon.

Dagmar Kostopoulos is having the worst day – she just got fired from a publishing job because she didn’t want to have sex with her boss (someone else wanted, and now she’s taking over Dag’s job), her boyfriend told her he just got a great job in L.A., and he’s moving there, without her, also, he cheated on her. Continue reading