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!
While reading Making Faces, I laughed, cried, cheered, swayed and even clutched the kindle to my heart with overflowing feelings. If you want to feel, read Making Face. Oh, I felt every word, every sentence, every thought and every character.
I specially loved Fern because readers like me are in a continuous search for (mentally) strong female protagonists. Fern in Making Faces in unforgettable and you will love her for her straight-forward, sometimes blunt and otherwise beautiful perspective of life and those around her.
Making Faces is filled with so much love, appreciation, grief, loss, admiration and is truly inspiring without even trying to sound like an inspirational novel.
Amy Harmon did justice to highlight each and every character with beautiful narratives and interlinked stories and sequences. It was a touching read and Making Faces will stay with me forever.
Tip: Sit with this book with a box of tissues. You're going to need lots of them for all the right reasons.
Love you so much, Amy Harmon! You have a beautiful soul!
Buy your copy of Making Faces right 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!
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
Here is the reason why.
Pretty Wicked is a well-researched novel. The workings of a psychopath is detailed and through Ryann, I could acknowledge how she worked and justified her actions. For the world, she is perfect example of a good girl and ticks all boxes of social acceptance. But, underneath all that lies another layer of her personality. A personality that is intelligent, dark, egotistic, liar and a prime manipulator. She has everyone eating from her hands, except for Estevez, her father’s partner.
I admired the graphical and sensory representation of each and every killing that Ryann undertakes. It made me feel like I was sitting in the front row to watch her work. No matter how she picks up her victims or the various ways she kills them, the clues add up and make her the focal point. I can only blame her fifteen-year-old age and the immaturity it entails.
I enjoyed how the novel was written from the perspective of a psychopath and not from the viewpoint of the same-old-detective. I was thrilled, scared, happy and even sad withRyann and her experiences.
When another psychopath came into the plot, I really hoped they’d work together. You must think I’m twisted, but I can’t help it. I was looking forward to it.
I’d guessed who the other psychopath was because I seriously paid attention to the clues neatly placed in the writing. But, again, Kelly Charron threw my expectations out of the window with a major plot twist in the end.
Kelly Charron’s writing is beautiful and I admire the way her simple way of writing actually made me excited.
Pretty Wicked is a page-turner and a must read.
Get your copy from: Amazon.com
Release date: February 7, 2017
My gut twisted with the fact that her father was not an alcoholic or a drug abuser. I expected him to be the usual going-on-a-bender type. But, no, it was his daughter risking her life just for the sake of keeping up with the bills.
Noooooo, she doesn’t turn into a prostitute either.
She uses her brain! Accept my apologies, if you’re disappointed!
Chelsea is intelligent and finds a way to make some risky money. She is practical and the complete opposite of her laid back father. She knows her problems won’t go away unless she does something about it. She is not expecting anyone to take care of them and finds a way (dangerous way) to make sure her bills are getting paid.
Chelsea is a normal teenager risking her life for something as basic as food. She also does commit silly mistakes that validates her as being a human being and acting her age. She is intelligent and witty.
She doesn’t have answers to all her problems, but she sure is persistent to find the solutions. I really like that about her!
Chelsea is not the generic teary-eyed teenager crying over a boy. However, there are still some slips she makes because of her young age that makes her even more appealing. Her motivation is practical and it broke my heart on countless occasions.
Not once does Chelsea blame her father for not keeping up with the expenses (except in the final chapters). Through her, I could see what a normal teenager would hope her life to be and when it is not, how does the society look at her as well. I was on an emotional trip with her.
Honestly, the narrative was so captivating that even if Nate, the probable love interest in Chelsea’s life didn’t make an appearance, I sure as hell would’ve finished reading her story anyway. She is that powerful.
I love it when such strong female characters are written and I thank Julie Dill for developing Chelsea’s character so well.
Chelsea also strikes an unlikely friendship with Miss Stella and it is beautiful. Both are missing something important in their lives and are filling it up by each other’s company. “Girl Power” for sure!
The last page threw me off completely because I didn’t see it coming. Damn it! I have so many questions.
Most important of all:
Will there be a sequel?
There has to be…..I hope….Dear, God!
Pre-order your copy of from: Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble