REVIEW | Wonder Woman: Warbringer By Leigh Bardugo

Book Review

18302455Description

Daughter of immortals.

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.

Daughter of death.

Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together.

Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

What I Liked

I have been reading Wonder Woman comics since I was a young girl. I vividly remember having a very large bind-up of “The Best of Wonder Woman” or something very similar to this and running to my basement to look at this strong woman standing up for what is right. Most of readings have revolved around Diana being older and had already left her home so it was wonderful to see her as a young teenager. While she was shown in this different way, she kept her personality and her resolve.

I also enjoyed the characters Leigh Bardugo created. While Diana is a powerful and awe inspiring character I loved that she made just as strong and wonderful characters that Diana travels with. Now, I have to say that when I was reading this story I came across these illustrations.  I really encourage you to check them out, they really shows how awesome and unique each one of them is. I found myself connecting with them and feeling like I was just another friend in their group, which I personally find difficult.

Last, but not least this book was nearly impossible to put down. I was buddy reading this book with my friends Amy and Lia, you should really check them out, and all three of us ended up finishing the book way ahead of schedule. I had to force myself to put this book down and go to bed I was so involved in it.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like was that some of the actions taken by a particular individual, if you read the book you should know who I am talking about, made no sense and seemed to kinda come from no where. While I can find a reason for their actions, it seems pretty far fetched.

Overall Thoughts

This was a very fun and fast paced read. I think it is well worth picking up from your local library or from the bookstore. The characters are fun, you get to dive a little bit into greek mythology, and you get to go on an epic adventure. I don’t know about you, but I read to learn something new or go on adventures to far off lands. Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer was nothing short of an adventure.


Book Information

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Publication Date: August 28th 2017

List Price: $18.99 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 978-0399549731

Pages: 384 pages


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Review | The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

Book Review

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Description

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her eleven brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia was in high school and had dreams of becoming a history teacher and opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. ISIS militants massacred the people of her village, executing men old enough to fight and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia and her two sisters were taken to Mosul, where they joined thousands of Yazidi girls in the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be sold three times, raped, beaten, and forced to convert to Islam in order to marry one of her captors. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to the safety of a refugee camp. There, surrounded by bereaved and broken Yazidi families, Nadia decided to devote her life to bringing ISIS to justice.

As a farm girl in rural Iraq, Nadia could not have imagined she would one day address the United Nations or be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She had never been to Baghdad, or even seen an airplane. As a slave, she was told by her captors that Yazidis would be erased from the face of the earth, and there were times when she believed them.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to ISIS, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

What I Liked

The Last Girl has to be one of the most thought provoking books I have read all year. When you think about genocide and all the gruesome things that go along with it many individuals feel like that was something of the past. Something that ended in WW2 when the Nazi were defeated. But, that is not true. Many people in recent years have watched the news and heard of the horrible things that ISIS has done to individuals, communities, and towns. But, not many people hear a first hand account in detail. This is what this story does.

Throughout this book I was constantly writing notes in the margins. I was making constant connections to how the Nazi’s treated the Jews. I was heart broken hearing about what she and her loved ones went through and I just am ashamed that it happened less than five years ago. This book truly is an eye opener. It does not sugar coat things, but tells you how it was.

Not only did this book give me a better and more in-depth understanding the events over seas, it also exposed me to a culture I had not idea existed. I personally love learning about other cultures and beliefs, since I was a young girl I would read books on these subjects. I really appreciated that not only did Nadia tell us about what happened to her, but also told us about her people, her family, her community.

One thing I wish to make clear is that this book does not hold back. Nadia Murad does not hold back and is very vocal about what has happened to her. If anything in the description of this book makes you uncomfortable, please be aware it is discussed in the book. This includes discussing genocide, rape, living as a refugee, and more.

Overall Thoughts

While this book does discuss difficult topics and for some can be too much, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a while that has opened my eyes and has taught me so much. I have already recommended it to many of my friends and family. I suggest you pick up this book if you are interesting in reading a first hand account about the actions of ISIS, want to read about a strong woman, or learn more about the world around you. It is written very well and is one of the most personally influential books I have read this year.


Book Information

Publisher: Tim Duggan Books

Publication Date: November 7th 2017

List Price: $27.00

ISBN: 9781524760434

Pages: 306

More Info

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*I received this book through blogging for books  in exchange for an honest review.*

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Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Book Review

18302455Description

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

What I Liked

First off I will say that The Hazel Wood is nothing like I have read previously. I was expecting a generic fairytale laced story turned evil, but I got something different…better. I will add that the fairy tale aspect does not overly come out to play right away. I know for some people who have read the description are under the impression this will happen, but I enjoyed the slow build. For me this made the story better. The way the story was structure I was waiting for it, waiting for those who live at The Hazel Wood to strike. The suspense I felt throughout this book was immense.

Another thing I enjoyed were the characters and their relationships. I felt like the characters stayed true to themselves even when the plot took twists and turn down the rabbit hole. When I was surprised by their actions or their reactions, it still felt like something the character would do. I also enjoyed the relationships and dynamics between Alice, her mother, Finch, and many more characters  I don’t want to spoil. The relationships felt real because they showed their faults and everything wasn’t perfect. I find that sometimes relationships are not realistic in books because they are just so perfect. But this book showed dynamic relationships, both over all positive ones and negative ones. I will admit I found myself hating a particular character and I was not expecting myself to feel that strongly.

Lastly, Writing was beautiful – I could picture everything. I could picture Alice riding in cars, sleeping in motels and bedroom. I could see The Hazel Wood and all the normal and magical twisted places she visits. Her writing was laced with imagery and it worked very well. A nice little bonus is that Melissa Albert makes references to many literary works, both modern and classic works. I appreciated each ones of these from Harry Potter to Wilkie Collins.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the negatives of this book was there were a few times I felt that things were a little to easy, but I felt it did not take away from the story in any way. This was the only fault I found and as you can see, it is a pretty minor one.

Overall Thoughts

This was one of my favorite fairytale inspired stories. I ended up staying up past midnight to finish it and I have not done that in a long time. The writing was beautiful, the build up was perfect, and the characters and dynamics were done very well. If you are even slightly interested in this book I suggest you pick it up either from the store or your local library once it comes out. I would be surprised if you ended up disappointed.


I loved this book so much I actually made my first aesthetic for a book.


Book Information

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: January 30th 2018

List Price: $16.99

ISBN: 9781250147905

Pages: 368


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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Review | Honeybee by Trista Mateer

Book Review

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Description

You will meet people in your lifetime who demand to have poems written about them. It’s not something they say. It’s something about their hands, the shape of their mouths, the way they look walking away from you. Honeybee is an honest take on walking away and still feeling like you were walked away from. It’s about cutting love loose like a kite string and praying the wind has the decency to carry it away from you. It’s an ode to the back and forth, the process of letting something go but not knowing where to put it down. Honeybee is putting it down. It’s small town girls and plane tickets, a taste of tenderness and honey, the bandage on the bee sting. It’s a reminder that you are not defined by the people you walk away from or the people who walk away from you. Consider Honeybee a memoir in verse, or at the very least, a story written by one of today’s most confessional poets.

What I Liked

This poetry collection is filled to the brim with emotion. Every poem you can see that Trista Mateer is writing from her heart and it is beautiful. Even though her words are beautiful and they are both filled with pure joy and deep sadness. You can feel the ebb and flow of her emotions even when the poem is a mere line or two. For me this is a must when I am reading a poetry collection. Another must for me is that I am forced to stop and think. A poem needs to invoke reflection and some type of thought. This could be internal or just thinking about what the author who penned the work truly went through. Honeybee achieved this as well.
Another thing I liked was the fact that this collection had a story to tell. It wasn’t a bunch of one off poems thrown together and sold as a book. Each poem has it’s well deserved placed in this book. Each one is essential in telling Mateers story and I am so happy that she told the story that she did.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not enjoy was the fact that at times I felt so disconnected from the author. Now stay with me I know this sounds weird. Even though I was able to feel her emotions and I really empathized with her. I have had heartbreak in my life and do love someone very much. I just never myself have felt hear break this deep and this emotional. So I personally had a heard time connecting a hundred percent. But that in no way means that this is a bad collection or to say that you wont connect with her a hundred percent. This is something that is personal. That is what I love about poetry, it is so personal of an experience and each person will experience it differently.

Overall Thoughts

Honeybee is a wonderful collection. I felt rage, sadness, and happiness within the short 160 pages. That is something difficult to do, but it has been done here. The words are beautiful and are accompanied by cute illustrations and little tidbits that increase the enjoyment tremendously. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading poetry dealing with relationships, intense emotion, and loves to hear a heart-wrenching story.


Book Information

Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing

Publication Date: May 1st 2018

List Price: $12.95

ISBN: 9781771681360

Pages: 160


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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Review | Make Yourself at Home by Moorea Seal

Book Review

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Description

From the author of the blockbuster hit journals The 52 Lists Project and 52 Lists for Happiness, here is a home style book to help you express the creativity and style you already have!
This book is all about beautifying your life inside and out. Organized room by room, each chapter delves into what each room represents in our lives, and how we can feel at home in our spaces and at home in ourselves. You don’t have to have the perfect life or perfect home in order to infuse your space with your signature spark and feel comfortable in your space. Each of the six room chapters includes:
– A deeply personal essay from online curator and style maven Moorea Seal.
– Exclusive looks into her beautiful personal space and tips for infusing your home with comfort and creativity.
– Two inspired, on-trend, beginner-friendly DIY projects to personalize and decorate your home on a budget.
– Droolworthy looks into the homes and inspiring lives of a diverse set of creative women, with their best tips and tricks for comfortable, creative decor.

What I Liked

First off I have to say this is a beautiful book, inside and out. I very happy that a book about decorating your home and making it your own space visually is something you would display or have on your coffee table. You can tell serious thought has been put in.

What I enjoyed about this book the most was the fact that it had sections dedicated to particular rooms in your house or apartment. Then it focuses on how you can take your own style and apply it. Not only does it give you inspiration, but it also give you a DIY for each of your rooms. I love this idea because you have a part it making the room. For me I love to see things I have made with my own two hands, it gives me a sense of pride to see something I made being displayed and not falling apart. I also liked that you hear from not just the author, but also many others. It is nice to get inspiration and tips from all over because not everyone has the same style. I approached that this book does not take the cutter cookie philosophy to design.

Another great thing about this book is that at the end it does delve into design a bit. It talks about colors that can be used and which ones work well together. This is very helpful to those who are new to decorating and I think will help people take a few more color risks.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like about this book is that it is perfect for a home or an apartment, but it is not ideal for people who still live at home with their parents or are away at Uni and are living in a dorm room. While some of the information can be useful, it is best suited for those who own or rent a place of their own. I also would have liked to see more style tips and examples of how to apply the ideas in this book. I am someone who loves visual and I would have loved to see more of the beautiful photographs that are already inside.

Overall Thoughts

I will admit I am a long time fan of Moorea Seal’s books and this one did not disappoint me. This is a lovely book; it is a great to pick up if you are in need for some home inspiration. If you are someone who is new to interior design or decorating, just moved, or looking to refresh your space I think this is very useful. Like I said previously, this book is not a cookie cutter home decoration book. It helps you decide what you like most and how to incorporate that into your space. It is all about making your space a place that makes you happy. That is something I really enjoyed about this book and I think others would enjoy as well. I highly suggest that you look into it.


Book Information

Publisher: Sasquatch Books

Publication Date: September 26th 2017

List Price: $24.95

ISBN: 9781632170354

Pages: 224


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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REVIEW | The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Book Review

18302455Description

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

What I Liked

This is one of the best books I have read in 2017. It is a thriller that keeps you guessing and on edge. Ruth Ware’s Woman in Cabin 10 following the events on a luxury cruse from the point of view of Lo. While you start off neutral when it comes to Lo soon you come to see that she is an unreliable narrator. Lo is written in such a way that it is hard to tell what is real and what isn’t, I found her to be one of the better examples of an unreliable narrators because she is so relatable and seems so real. Another bonus for this book was that nothing was predictable, there were so many twists and turns and I did not predict most of them. I don’t know about you, but I have found a lot of mystery or thrillers to be very predictable and it can be such a bore. The Woman in Cabin 10 is not this.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was the atmosphere of the story. I loved that it took place on a secluded ship in the middle of international water. It added so much to the story because you knew that no one has left the ship and no one knew came into the ship. It also seemed to mirror Lo. Not only was she mainly on her own trying to solve this mystery, the ship was alone at sea sailing to the port across the Atlantic Ocean.

What I Didn’t Like

While I absolutely loved this book I felt like the first 50 pages or so were not as expected and at times unneeded. I was actually thinking about putting it down because we weren’t on the ship just yet. So if you do decide to pick this book up, keep this in mind. Also, I felt that some of the relationship events that happened didn’t always add anything to the story, but was there just to create friction in the story.

Overall Thoughts

This book, even with its faults, is one of the better thrillers I have read. Not only is it one of the best thrillers, it is one of the best books I have read in 2017. Ruth Ware is an author I can easily see myself picking up more of her novels. In fact the day after I finished this book I went out and picked up The Lying Game. Her writing is lovely and easily flows. I found myself reading for hours without realizing the time passed.

If you want to read a thriller pick up this book. If you want to read a book with an unreliable narrator pick up this book. If you want to read a book that will keep you on edge pick up this book. If you want to read a book that will throw you for a loop read this book! If you couldn’t tell already, I think everyone should pick up this book.


Book Information

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Publication Date:  July 19th 2016

List Price: $26.00 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 978-1501132933

Pages: 352 pages


 

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REVIEW | Coloring with Thread by Tula Pink

Book Review18302455Description

Color a Whimsical World with Needle & Thread!

There is no name more closely linked to ornate and fanciful fabric designs than Tula Pink. Sewists and quilters have long delighted in using her fabric to create whimsical sewn creations. Now hand embroiderers, too, can join the fun and stitch her signature designs with needle and thread!
In Coloring with Thread, you’ll find 17 of Tula’s animal and floral designs from her best-selling fabric collections rendered and primed for hand embroidery. Step-by-step stitch instructions for over 20 embroidery stitches are included to help you bring adorable bunnies, chipmunks, octopi, and elephants to life right in your hands. Each motif features a color guide and thread color suggestions selected by Tula herself to ensure a gorgeous finished design. Plus, you’ll find every motif on CD-ROM, where they are ready to size and print for your individual project needs.
Whether you follow her color guides or make each design your own, you’ll love coloring with thread and stitching the whimsical world of Tula Pink!

What I Liked

The designs in this book really make this craft seem more fresh and modern. Every time I go to a craft store to try to find patterns I can only find ones that really would be better suited for my grandmother and her friends. Most are not relevant or just out of date. These are quite the opposite. I love the bold colors and are very in touch with modern and current trends. This is something I am very appreciative of. These patterns/stencils are something I would be happy to display.
Another great positive to this book it that it lists all of the colors that are used in the project if you want to recreate it. I have used a few online templates and I would go with a photo to the store and try to best match the color, but often I was always a little bit off. Additionally, I like how they list all of the stiches that are necessary to complete the project. I think this is great because you can either skip a project if you are uncomfortable with a particular stitch or until you have practiced it enough to feel comfortable. When they list the stich they also have the page number listed where you can see the diagram of the stitch.

What I Didn’t Like

While I loved that this book showed the diagrams of the stiches. I personally would have liked to see actual photos of the stiches. To see where the needle should be sitting in the thread if it needs to go through like a split stitch. Also some of them need a bit more of an explanation for me such as the Basket stich. But, all of this could be remedied with a quick search on the Internet. So it isn’t much of a big deal.

Overall Thoughts

I absolutely adore this book. When this book is released I am going to be going to be ordering it right away. Like I said previously this is one of the most trend conscious embroidery pattern collection I have come across. This book takes this “dated” and makes if more modern. I can create something I am happy to display and even gift to others. I also think that this is a great introduction to embroidery. It explains a lot of the basics and the images are crisp and clear. In some areas they even zoom in on the finished product so you can see the detail. Even if you are someone who had made a few pillow cases or decorations this book would be a great addition to your collection. It brings something new and excited to a classic craft.


Book Information

Publisher: Fons & Porter

Publication Date: December 20th 2017

List Price: $21.99

ISBN: 9781440248115

Pages: 96 pages


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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REVIEW | With Ballet in My Soul by Eva Maze

Book Review

cropped-iconw1.jpg*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Description

A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

What I Liked

Eva’s memoir is a mesmerizing story of overcoming difficult situations and making the best of them. Not only do you get to learn about an impressive individual you get to see her throughout her life. While many memoirs are accompanied by photos Eva goes above and beyond by providing many images from different times in her life. It made the story more personal because there was so many, but because they were placed throughout the text. I often read non-fiction and memoir and the images are bunched up eight in the middle of the book and the context is lost. Another thing I liked about this novel is the fact that you almost instantly feel a connection to this amazing woman. She doesn’t talk at your, but explains her life as if you are sitting with her at a table drinking some tea or coffee.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like was that I could not relate to wanting to be a performer or dancer as much as Eva. While this is not fault at all by the author or her story I can tell for my reading if I had an interest in this I would have enjoyed the story even more. Even though I am not interesting in performing or dance I enjoyed Eva’s story because her story is a wonderful one.

Overall Thoughts

I thought this was a wonderful written memoir. I can tell a lot of thought and heart when into it. This is a story of a strong and inspiring woman who have lived through so many modern historical events. You see things through her eyes and while she tells you her story you feel like her friend. Her story shows that no matter what happens in your life, you can still succeed. I would say if you want to read about an inspiring woman, read memoir, or you enjoy reading about ballet you should pick up this book. I want to say thank-you Eva for sharing your story, it was amazing to read it.


Book Information

Publisher: Moonstone Press LLC

Publication Date:April 1st 2017

List Price: $24.95 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 9780983498384

Pages: 200 pages


*You may have noticed that I have not added a star rating to my review. I did this on purpose. I want to remove the star ratings from my reviews and focus on discussing the things I like and things I didn’t instead of trying to force my opinions into a box.

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REVIEW | Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison

Book Review

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Surprise I have a review! Also, a quick heads up. I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

Thomas Jefferson fathered three girls: two white and free, one black and a slave. This book about Martha, Maria, and Harriet tells the fascinating story of their very different lives at Monticello and beyond, as daughters of one of our most brilliant and complicated Founding Fathers.

What I Liked

I have to say I really enjoyed a few things about this book. I like how Kerrison was not afraid to talk about slavery and shedding light and discuss the practice. I know a lot of authors write about the founding fathers they tend to or at least used to skip this part because of various reasons. Not only did she discuss it she showcased it right from the start. As many say, you must study the mistakes of the past to not make them again, so I am glad the whole past is being shown. Another thing I liked was how she introduced this story. She starts off with an informative introduction, but she also went back a few generations to set the “stage”. Not only did she talk about the birth of Jefferson’s daughters with Martha, she also discusses the lineage of Harriet to show that they truly were family by blood and not just in one way. For me that really sent a message. I myself am very close with my family and if I had half sister I could never imagine owning them. It just sheds more light on the mentality and the madness of the whole system. Lastly, I really liked the fact that I learned things I have never heard before.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I wish I had seen in this book, but may not be an issue in the final edition, is the fact that there is a bibliography, but there are no endnotes or foot notes to explain which facts are from which sources. If I were  to research this topic more and look to this book for a direction, I will have a difficult time finding the document that is relevant.

Overall Thoughts

Over all I thought this was a wonderful book. It was eye opening and genuinely learned from it. Even if you are not a lover of history, I would say this book is still worth the read. It deals with social norms of the time and it really leads you to reflect and think about how some individuals can be as great as to write the Declaration of Independence, but at the same time break his word and refuse to free his own children because that would not be acceptable. But, is also shows you that even if you have a sibling and the circumstances are a little different your lives could be very, very different. Lastly, this is a well done book, you can tell a lot of thought and research went into it.


Book Information

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018

List Price: $18.99 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 9781101886243

Pages: 288 pages


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REVIEW | A Sea of Straw by Julia Sutton

Book Review

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*First I want to thank the author, Julia Sutton, for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*

A Sea of Straw is not just a love story, it is about a man, Ze, who has to deal with a corrupt and horrible regime and a woman, Jody, who must find a way out of an unhappy marriage with a young child to find happiness. These two people meet in Lisbon by chance. What follows in not just a novel packed with romance, but a book that deals with individual heartache, living under the control of a corrupt government, and making difficult decisions that could have repercussions.

Before I get into the things I adore about this books, I would like to point out that you need to give this book about 50-60 pages before you decide to keep reading or not. I had a little bit of difficulty getting into it at first, but when I was able to get past those 50-60 pages I was invested.

A Sea of Straw had a historical background that I am not familiar with myself. This books takes place in Portugal during a period of time it was ruled by a fascist government. If you want a little more detail you can visit these links, Carnation Revolution and European Integration and Carnation Revolution. I do not want to give possible spoilers/information if someone wants to read this book without knowing background of this political time period and how it affected the Portuguese people . I have to say this is the first book in sometime that led me to research a topic on my own, for me this is a huge positive because it shows me how involved I was in the story that I needed to know more.

Another thing I enjoyed about this novel was the fact it showed not only the political tension of what Ze was going through, but it also showed what Jody was going through. Even though it was the 1960s when Jody and Ze met, Jody was still at the mercy of her husband even with the progress made for woman’s rights. This books does not shy away from talking about struggle and hardship, but in doing so exposes the reader to what feels like authentic experience.

I have to say that the story Sutton  wrote is so believable and raw that you have no choice but be rooting for Ze and Jody. You want them to have the love and life they deserve to have.

Description: 

Will a man walk two thousand kilometres for a woman? In 1967, Ze will. Salazar’s Portugal has become a prison for him.

1966: When Jody, young mother and designer from Manchester, arrives on the Lisbon coast, she brings the lure of ‘Swinging London’ to Portuguese painter Ze ‘s existing dreams of freedom. A nascent love is interrupted when, back in England, husband Michael forces her to choose between their 2-year-old daughter Anna and Ze . And Ze, at home in Lisbon and grounded by the state’s secret police, can only wait.

For both Jody and Ze, love is revolution. And personal and political threads weave their story, a period piece set amid the then socially conservative North of England, the light and rugged landscapes of modern Portugal, and the darkness of the dying years of Europe’s longest-running dictatorship. A Sea of Straw, with its pervading atmosphere of saudades, is a quest for love in revolutionary times.

-goodreads

Overall, I have to give this book 4 stars. It not only intrigued me enough to do my own research, but this novel is written so well. You feel for the characters as there are small victories and mourn and became angry when things are not working out for them. All I have to say is give a try and read it! I highly doubt you will be disappointed.


Book Information

Publisher: Cheyne Walk

Publication Date:October 25th 2016

List Price: $12.20 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 978-0993286339

Pages: 292pages


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