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.

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

9781501110368_87655Title: It Ends with Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Pub Date: August 2, 2016

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Honors: 

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I’ve read any other book by Colleen Hoover, but from what I heard, this one is completely different from her other books. This story is intense and heartbreaking, and it touches on serious and sensitive subjects, that for some may be just too hard to read about. Because of that, please look for specific trigger warnings if you want to make sure that this book doesn’t contain topic for which you may have a damaging emotional response.

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Cover of book The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly GardenTitle: The Butterfly Garden

Author: Dot Hutchison

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

Rating: ★★★★☆

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“You seem to have this strange image of me as a lost child, like I’ve just been thrown on the side of the road like garbage, or roadkill, but kids like me? We’re not lost. We may be the only ones who never are. We always know exactly where we are and where we can go. And where we can’t.”

‘The Butterfly Garden’ was a very disturbing and often uncomfortable read, but this doesn’t mean that it was not a great read. This book is not for everyone, a lot of triggers. I was engrossed in the book from the page one, it is written beautifully and made it all read so easily. For me, it was just the right kind of uncomfortable book.

Maya and a group of girls are rescued from The Garden – place where she was held captive by The Gardner. She was one of the precious Butterfly that The Gardner took, marked with a butterfly tattoo on the back, used whenever he wanted and kept them in a secluded garden. He is a brutal, twisted man that believes that was he is doing is showing love and care to those girls; he believes that he is a good person. He is obsessed with keeping his ‘butterflies’ beautiful and young – this is why all the girls have an expiry date… Continue reading