Category Archives: Book Review

Purple Hibiscus: Book Review

purple hibiscus

 

I honestly don’t know where to start in my process of review the book. I finished the novel on September 25 and I still feel feelings from the book. You know, those feelings that you get once a book touches your soul in a way that you will never be the same? It’s like that. I hoped to post this review that same week, but it couldn’t be done. This book is so amazing I had to perfect this review.

Pure raw emotion. That’s what you get from this novel. Kambili’s fear of everything. The way she copes is heartbreaking. The entire novel is heartbreaking. That is what real life is like – overall heartbreaking with moments and times of joy.

There is so much going on in this novel. Kambili and her family are Catholic and her dad rules the house with an iron fist. Kambili and her brother, Jaja, are terrified of not being perfect in their father’s eyes. Kambili often admits “I wish I thought to say/do that” so she can be praised by her father.

While her father owns his own factories and newspaper, he also donates a large amount of money to the community, gaining the title of  “Omelora”. No one ever knows of the things that he does in his personal life. They don’t know that he caused his wife to have a total of 3 miscarriages. They don’t know that the children are afraid to get of their specified schedule that he made because they never knew how their father would punish them. The fear that he instilled in his children made them to be robots and not their actual self.

That is what the novel is about. It’s about a 15 year old girl finding her voice and her personal sense of freedom in a hostile living environment, both inside and outside the home. While the domestic violence and child abuse is going on in the home, outside in country  where they live, Nigeria, a military coup starts to run the country. People are dying. Conspiracy theories start to form.

Despite all of this, Kambili finds her voice at her Aunts house, where she goes to stay for a bit due to certain circumstances. She finds her smile with Father Amadi. They form a friendship and affection towards one another.

This novel is about choices and how even one choice is good it can still have dire consequences. It is also about having faith and accepting differences. Just because someone else have a different view of something, does not mean that they are going to hell, as Kambili learns.

The interaction between Kambili and her brother, Jaja, is what makes this book. They don’t speak with words often, they speak to each other with their eyes. They know how to read each other’s thoughts in the stillness of the silence. They automatically know things about each other this way.

The indirect main character of the novel is Kambili’s paternal grandfather, Papa Nnukwu. Everything seems to be centered around him and the consequences of what happens to Kambili and Jaja after they spent time with him.

This novel is shockingly breathtaking and will make you want to read it all in one sitting. I’d like to thank the Goodreads group, Readers with a Cause for picking this novel for our book discussion.

This novel is being added to my favorites list.

Is it one of your favorites? Let me know!

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, books, Ebooks, Electronic Devices, Reading

An Abundance of Katherines Book Review

 

tumblr_m594prrf331r0yglfo1_400

 

 

 

Nineteen Katherines to be exact. That’s how many girlfriends named Katherine, child prodigy Colin Singleton has had. The last one, referred to as K XIX, is the one that broke him. He has a piece missing and doesn’t know how to fix it. He speaks multiple languages and can make an anagram out of any word, but cannot heal/find/replace this missing piece.

Colin having just graduated from High School in Chicago decides to go on a road trip with his best friend and religious-ish Muslim, Hassan.

They talk, the fight, they say “Dingleberry” and love Hardees’s Thickburgers.

They also get a job in the middle of nowhere and make $500 a week. Also, Colin makes his second friend ever, Lindsey.

Colin tries to prove to prove a theoretical math equation in his spare time. I did say he is a child prodigy which apparently equals nerd/geek.

Drama is a given. You will not be disappointed.

Themes include the unknown future, confronting insecurities, and being true to yourself. All three main characters go though all three of these themes.

John Green, how I love thee. This book was one of the most interesting and mind stimulating reads I’ve experienced in a long time. Not only does it go in depth into math with graphs. It also has multiple languages – including my favorite, German.

If you’re not into finding out the answer to if you can predict wither or not a relationship will last, or have an appreciation for other languages, this may not be the book for you.

Don’t worry; it had an appendix and footnotes. You won’t get lost.  This was a witty, funny, and an entertaining read. It only took this avid reader a few hours to devour all of its contents.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Reading

The Korean Word For Butterfly

Image

 

What an interesting book.

There’s multiple levels to this book and as soon as you’re enthralled in it, it ends.

Poof!

I felt so cheated. I have so many questions left unanswered. I hate when authors do this.

The book is written in multiple point of views of three different characters: Moon, Billie, and Yun-JI. Billie and her boyfriend Joe take a teaching job in Korea. Moon, a worker at the school, is the first person that interacts with the couple. The character of Yun-Ji came out of no where. She also works at the school, but never seemed like an important character to follow. It was confusing.

The novel takes place in 2002-2003 in Korea, while Bush was president of the U.S. Things were not easy for Billie and Joe to be in Korea at a time like this. Two Korean girls got ran over by an American Tank. Some Koreans hated Americans. It was a difficult journey for them from beginning to end, and it did end abruptly.

Moon. Poor Moon. My heart aches for Moon. He’s my favorite character of the novel. He’s the only character that is open about his past and has admitted to making mistakes. He is a strong character and has had his share of defeats.

Yun-Ji is a young Korean woman that is just finding her voice. She lives at home with her traditional mother and always working father. Yun-Ji is what is suppose to be the traditional Korean in this novel to show the cultural differences between Americans and Koreans – especially between her and Billie. The same thing happens to both of them and they handle that differently, of course.

It was a good, short, and deep book. I feel more educated about Korean culture and values now.

I also recieved it for free on Amazon’s Daily Kindle Deals. The book is currently listed for $2.99 on the Kindle store – which is a good price.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Reading

Lean In: Book Review

20131025-110323.jpg

Sheryl Sandberg has received more than her share of publicity as being Facebook’s chief operations officer. With her new book out, Lean In, it’s becoming more difficult to not hear her name on a regular basis. She has made her mark in the technology world. She hit the book world with both feet running. The book also produced something else, an organization, Leanin.org which Sheryl encourages everyone to visit at the end of the book.

The book starts off with Sheryl stating that her grandmother went to UC Berkley, her mother went to college, and Sheryl herself went to Harvard as well as Cambridge. This sent a message of “if you don’t come from a well-educated and financially stable family, you will not be as successful as I am”. Even though she puts it sweetly, it’s kind of a kick to the face. Sheryl Sandberg is what Peggy McIntosh would call “White Privilege”.

The only thing lacking in this book is cultural diversity, or any diversity other than males and females. The American office corporation is mostly populated with white Americans. This is addressed once in the book when an African American business man spoke with Sheryl after she’s been quiet at a business meeting and told her to start speaking up as the only female in the meetings, just like he had to speak up as the only African American in the meetings. Along with needing more women in the workplace, we also need more diversity – more people of different backgrounds.

Before I started reading, I thought the audience for this book were middle to late 20’s who either had an entry level position or for women who have been in the office for a few years. I was wrong. Even though the book offers insight and advice that everyone can use, the book is mainly for older women who are higher in the office work chain that, usually, already have a family and are being passed up for promotions.

The overall theme of the book can be summed up as women’s lack of speaking up in the workplace. This generally covers everything from isolating yourself in meetings to not speaking up during meetings because you are surrounded by people who are higher in rank and of the opposite gender. Women also make sacrifices to their careers by having families and making time for their families. This makes receiving promotions more difficult for women, according to the author. While women need to lean in more at meetings, men need to lean in more at home and help around the house. Sheryl is talking about gender equality.

There are many issues addressed in the book. Sheryl covers feminism, gender equality, business, family, career, leadership, and research. This book was put together beautifully. It flowed and had more than enough research to back up her opinions. She points out, however, that this book is not a self-help, directions on how to be successful, or a mentorship book. This is Sheryl’s manifesto. This is her life, her experiences and journey. With hard work, dedication, a few lucky moments, and some connections, she got where she is today. This book may be Generation Y’s The Feminine Mystique. No one has not tried to start a movement of this scale since, not until Sheryl Sandberg.

The reason Sheryl starts out the book with her grandmother is not only did her grandmother go to college in the 1940’s, but to also illustrate that not much has changed for women since then. The things that have changed are due to women standing up for themselves and letting their voices be heard. We have more choices in life. We get more options for picking our careers, but we still get paid less than men. Men are still preferred for most high paying jobs or jobs with power such as lawyers, doctors, and government officials. This will not stop until we all make the conscious decision to treat everyone equally and end gender stereotyping.

Overall, it was an insightful book filled with research and experiences – good and bad. It’ll be a good reference book one day for the future generations to look back to for life in the early 21st Century.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Reading

The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

Image

I started reading this book while on a flight from Orlando to Chicago before the July 4th weekend. I got half way through the book in the 2 hour flight. Honestly, I was distraught that I had to wait days in order to finish the book; however, I had an adventure to participate in a city I’ve never been in.

I finished the book while on the flight back home from Chicago to Orlando. It took everything I had to keep the tears from being abundant and noticeable to the passengers next to me, both of whom were men.

This is quite possibly the best love story I have ever read. Two ill teens coming together, bonding over a mutual friend, and apparently an amazing and fake (fake as in does not exist in our real world) novel, An Imperial Affliction, that they both loved and managed to travel to Europe just to meet the author, Peter Van Houten. I wish I could read this amazing fictional book just to know the obsession that Hazel, the main character, has with it. Plus, how does this fictional book end with no ending? That bothers me greatly.

The story is beautifully written and inspiring. There’s so many amazing quotes and life lessons to be learned throughout this one book that only took about six hours in total to read.

Upon goggling this book, I am thrilled to see so much fan art and retail sales via t-shirts, magnets, upon other things and trinkets. Some of my favorite fan art will be on this post. I will give all the credit to the artists and designers along with a link to their webpage that is embedded onto their works of art:

http://amy-liu.deviantart.com/

Image

http://maskedzone.deviantart.com/

Image

http://shadowfax913.deviantart.com/

Image

http://loorae.deviantart.com/

Image

http://tylermeows.deviantart.com/

Image

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, Quotes, Reading

My Bloody Life

Image

This book showed me a world I have never ever been a part of. It almost seemed like a horrid fantasy land, like Edgar Allen Poe’s vision of Oz, but it is not. It is a real place in the United States. It is a city known as Chicago.

Gangs are dangerous in multiple ways and that is the main message of the book. It takes you on a journey from Reymundo’s childhood all the way through his teenage years. The book is captivating, in depth, vivid, and shocking. It is difficult to put down due to the fast pace spiral Reymundo goes down – his own personal rabbit hole. He just keeps falling deeper and deeper going through the levels of gang involvement, decrease time in school, and his increased use of drugs and violence for different purposes and reasons.

Overall, this is an amazing book. The only other book that has exposed me to a world I have never known before and found this captivating was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

I am looking forward to reading the squeal to this book, Once A King, Always A King. 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Reading

Inheritance Cycle Book Review

I started reading Eragon months ago, I believe in March. I finished Inheritance a little over a month ago. I only started reading Eragon because my best friend and boyfriend highly suggested that I read it. It was one of his favorite series and he desperately wanted someone to talk about it with. Plus, his favorite animal is dragon. He does not know this, but … I watched the movie when he was at work one day (Sorry Babe!). I was about a quarter of the way through the book and I got curious. All I got to say is “What a horrible book to movie adaptation! It left out so many key details and put some characters in the wrong places and didn’t even have the characters look like the description from the book!”

I can’t believe I’m saying this but, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! Do not waste 104 minutes of your life. IMDB gives the move a 5/10 while Rotten Tomatoes give it a 16%…

The book is better, despite the fact that they were written by a teenage boy. It was entertaining  except for whenever the dwarfs met and had to talk politics. That just dragged on and on and on and on and on ….. and on. Dwarfs are very old and ancient race sticking to their beliefs and their customs, always staying patient.

I enjoyed witnessing the relationship and bond Eragon and Saphira develop as the story progresses. It’s such a deep emotional attachment to the point where they would not know what to do if anything happens to the other – which I found to be quite beautiful. I also like how the story trades off point of view from Eragon to his cousin Roran, whom is dragged into the mess that Eragon has created. Both of these characters go through different obstacles and character development and still windup teaming up together.

The books took me awhile to read, mostly because I had other things I needed to do and other things I wanted to do. Reading these were not particularly high on my list of things to do, but it was enjoyable. I was fascinated with the Elf city and the ancient language. This is a good book to read for pre-teens to young adults since, at it’s core, it’s a coming of age story. Both Roran and Eragon went from being teenagers to being men. Strong, resilient, driven, goal-oriented men.

For the girls, there’s Saphira – a strong, beautiful, and wise dragon. She develops and grows with Eragon in every way. The battle together, eat together, tried to get a mate around the same time. They also communicate telepathically to each other. Everyone would want this ability with their best friend. There’s Arya, the pretty Elf ambassador  whom is very skilled in fighting. Reading about Eragon’s relationship with her was one of my favorite parts because their relationship changes so often.

Overall, I’d recommend this book to people who like Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia. The one problem I had with this book is not knowing how to pronounce things in the dwarf/elfish language. That bothered me because there was no pronunciation guide.

Aside from not knowing how to properly pronounce the words in the other languages, and the chapters about the dwarf politics, it was entertaining. I was crestfallen at the very end. I wanted another book to be written due to the ending being so abrupt and final. I wanted to read more and to know what happens, but the author will not be writing another book for the cycle, sadly. I was so frustrated at the ending that I called my best friend and yelled at him. He replied with “Muhahaha! I had to share that ending with someone.”  I was furious. I wanted to write a letter to the author and demand his reasoning for not wanting to write another book and for ending it so abruptly. I decided against that since the odds of authors actually responding back to fan-mail is low.

This is just my opinion. Honest and true.

****Note: In the books there is a dictionary and pronunciation guide in the very back. I read the books on my kindle and found it frustrating to be going from one page to another just to figure out how to pronounce a word properly. The author should have just put it in the book while Eragon was learning the language as well. Take a note from J.K. Rowling and have a character pronounce it for us like Viktor Krum did for Hermione’s name. 

1 Comment

Filed under Book Review, Reading