The Orphans is a heartbreaking read that left me feeling extremely sad and sorry for these characters. I didn't pity them. My feelings were just somewhere in between.
Both characters are fragile and flawed. It was very different to what grief-loss books are these days. My sadness also came from a place where Ro thought his sister has moved on. Whereas, in reality, Jess was still the eight-year-old on the beach. She had just put a mask on of moving on which slipped from time to time throughout the book. She was right there with Ro, only she masked it.
Ro was a fresh, deep and his unpredictability gave me a glimpse at how his mind worked. It was thrilling to read his POVs as much as it was heartbreaking to feel his pain. I didn't expect the story to end the way it did which left me in unexpected tears and sadness.
The Orphans is a book you will cherish if ever abandonment and grief has accompanied you.
Get your copy of The Orphans by Annemarie Neary now.
The characters of Mark and Anna were well-developed and their intricate narratives offered me the right amount of insight I needed to know where their actions and decisions were coming from. Nothing was too much. Every word had a meaning which made me bawl on instances.
Usually, the endings in a book are meant to make you bawl your eyes out. But in The Man I Thought You Were, I teared up right from the beginning. It was a smacked-in-your-face kind of emotions that made me cry and feel so much dread.
The initial premise is cleverly written from Anna's perspective making the reader take sides with her. But when Mark's narrative began, I bawled like a baby.
Through this book, Leah Mercer made me realize that there is so much more to the characters than their mere names in the black and white ink. The sub-plots made of their pasts are so much like us, the people in real life. Marks's guilt crashed through me making bullet holes through my heart. So much guilt and suffering that was so real I could almost touch it.
THE MAN I THOUGHT YOU WERE is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of a book for sure.
While I insist you buy The Man I Thought You Were, buy a box to tissues as well. Don't complain I didn't warn you!
The prose of I Give You My Heart does have a certain level of sadness to it because the writing made me think how soon my son will grow up. Seeing Yuto move through the phases of his life and learning from his experiences is charismatic. Every word and device used in writing is symbolic and you have to dig deeper and think "Why was this added here? What does this signify?"
I did stare at the illustrations with awe, trying to relate them to words and believe me, this book will make you dive deeper into your conscience.
I Give You My Heart will be available for purchase this month.
Received this book through NetGalley.
language changes to sentence structures and word formations, this collection of heart-pumping stories are going to leave you feel like a completely different person in the end.
It is dizzying and haunting at the same time.
A common themes runs through all these stories and that is love. Through these stories, you will be taken to different parts of the world and experience emotions that are bound to make you question some or rather a lot of choices in your life. These stories are also bound to make you feel a little better about yourselves, because we are not perfect creatures. We're all flawed in our own way and it is heart-breaking to actually feel connected to the uncertainties and open questions with which Orlando Ortega-Medina ends each story.
Such a beautiful read which I will be reading again, and until the end of time!
Buy your copy of Jerusalem Ablaze: Stories of Love & Other Obsessions by Orlando Ortega-Medina.
One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel is a raw and naked version of what many authors have glamorized and dressed-up to soften the blows of domestic abuse, child abuse (which is psychological and physical). It is rightly done because the narrator is a twelve-year-old boy who's speaking his mind through the prose of One of the Boys.
The narrative is simple yet powerful; moving and desperate and everything in between. Even when the main characters in the book had no names, the story caught my attention from the very first sentence. I could only compare the anonymity of the characters to those people in video recordings whose faces are blurred or they sit in darkness and narrate their heart-wrenching story. This anonymity had the same effect on me. I did feel connected even when there was no mention of names. It was a high-risk play by the author, but the story left me feeling too much of everything and had my heart beating with anxiety. I could connect to the boys on every level.
With the straight-forward narrative, there was no place left for the reader and observer in me to comment or offer a suggestion. As a twelve-year-old boy and his fourteen-year-old brother, they did come up with possibilities and solutions on their own.
How do you cope up with a lying, manipulative, drug-addict father?
How do you seek help from a mother who you've abandoned to be with your father?
How do the boys overcome the psychological and physical abuse suffered by the hands of both their parents?
I have no idea.
I swear to God, One of the Boys made me cry for all those children tangled in this chaotic mess of a life. They're helpless at the hands of their abusers, whom they trust the most. There were disturbing excerpts throughout the book which made me re-read the passages even when they disgusted me to the bone. These passages also made feel grateful for having parents who are such wonderful human beings.
Coming back to the feelings of the boys suffering at the hands of their narcissistic father. Daniel Magariel did a spectacular job of showing the feelings of the two brothers. The angst, the helplessness, isolation, feelings of denial and confusion, and the fear of the unpredictable behavior and punishment at the hands of their father kept the boys on their toes and me on edge.
I reserved my pity for the parents who being adults couldn't get a handle on their own problems and how the boys suffered at their incompetence. The family was dysfunctional at best from all angles, but I rooted for the brothers till the end.
The style in which the epilogue was written was a massive risk, a kind of jerky portrayal of 'what could've been' and it brought tears to my eyes. We don't know what happened to the boys or their father or their mother in the end. It kept me up all night thinking about the possibilities.
Oh. The. Possibilities.
I'm open for discussion because this story/reality really stirred my soul.
Order you copy of One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel now!
Received this book through NetGalley!
A special thank you to Kim Turrisi for pouring your heart out. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to write such raw emotions that I could so well relate to at every turn. There is nothing pretentious about your writing or this story. It's heart-breaking and beautiful at the same time. I lost my dearest cousin in an accident 9 years ago because he was speaking on the cell phone.
"Never getting to say goodbye is excruciating. One of the hardest things to get a grip on when you lose someone you love."
It still hurts. However, with your writing, I could relate to every smile, every tear, every heartbreak, every memory I have of him. It's not easy and I'm grateful for this beautiful story.
"What's important to take away is that you are the sufferer, you did not cause the suffering."
Getting back to Just a Normal Tuesday, this story seeped through to my bones. Although the story focuses on Kai's struggles to understand her sister's suicide, it also throws a light on other facets of death. In the Grief Camp scenarios, it was gut-wrenching and soothing (at the same time) to know that there are people going through grief and loss of a loved one in their own way.
"Be kind to you. Nothing happened was your fault. You could never have prevented any of these tragic events."
Just a Normal Tuesday sincerely focuses on how you are not alone in the process of moving forward after you've lost your loved one. And how even a smile a moment can randomly turn into a meltdown. This book brought forth the tangibility of grief like a 'new' normal.
"I guess you're never really ready to lose a loved one."
I have so much to say about Just a Normal Tuesday. But I'm afraid to give away spoilers. You need to read the book to understand the uncertain depths of grief and loss and how it can turn even the most sane person's world upside down.
Order your copy of Just A Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi!
“Maybe I was destined to forever fall in love with people I couldn’t have. Maybe there’s a whole assortment of impossible people waiting for me to find them. Waiting to make me feel the same impossibility over and over again.”
Believe me, I did not expect this book to be so gripping and enriching. I can somewhere relate to June because she is one of those 14 year-olds who is too mature for her age. Her thoughts are on a completely different level. Through June, Carol Rifka-Brunt has shown a very unique side of love that is not bound by or dependent on physical intimacy.
“I thought of all the different kinds of love in the world. I could think of ten without even trying. The way parents love their kids, the way you love a puppy or chocolate ice cream or home or your favorite book or your sister. Or your uncle. There's those kinds of love and then there's the other kind. The falling kind.”
I have experienced love that's 'the falling kind' and Carol Rifka Brunt has just worked her magic in explaining why it is so right.
From the blurb, no one would realize what a miracle and outstanding this book actually is.
On the other hand, the author has touched a very delicate subject. AIDS. Although this book is set in 1987, the AIDS-related taboos are still masking out society.
This is one book I'd press upon people in years to come.
Order a copy of this evergreen story from Amazon.com
Let me start by saying–
It was so courageous of YOU to write about the most difficult times of YOUR life and YOUR ongoing battles. Battle seems like a small word, maybe war is what it is. I’m so proud of each one of YOU who contributed, and those of YOU who will read this book and realize – YOU are not alone.
These are gut-wrenching letters written by people who are suffering from various mental disorders, some of which include body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia, trichotillomania, OCD, anxiety and depression, self-harm, epilepsy, amnesia, social anxiety, anorexia, anger issues, bipolar disorder, fear of abandonment, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia, just to name a few.
Through a beautiful medium of Hello Me, It’s You, each one of YOU expressed what it feels like to be in YOUR shoes. I could feel it to my bones and even beyond.
There is nothing flowery about Hello Me, It’s You. The truth is bare, naked and vulnerable. It was like I was getting a glimpse of YOUR soul and what YOU are/were going through. It’s a constant war-zone if YOU’D ask me and YOU are so brave.
I can’t call Hello Me, It’s You a self-help book because it is not. And I recommend you don’t look at it or categorize it as one.
It’s a mirror for each one of those who are experiencing mental health issues, are struggling to cope up with one, and are scared to tell someone about your struggles and to be judged. This is one book which will give you the courage to open up. It is also a reflective book for those who are so quick to judge all the YOU’s in the world, who are in a constant war-zone.
Again, YOU are so brave.
I highly recommend it to readers of all ages. A special thank-you to Hannah Todd for taking the first steps to bring such an excellent, real and much-needed book for all generations.
Order or gift a copy from Amazon.com