REVIEW | The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

BookReview12:17

The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)Description

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg returns to the enchanting world of The Paper Magician.

Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

Even though she is only an apprentice, Alvie is an inventor at heart, and she is determined to make as many discoveries—in as short a time frame—as she can. Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is.

Alvie’s enthusiasm reinvigorates her mentor’s work, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair… -goodreads.com

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this review I would like to point out that this book is a spin-off of another series. The series is called The Paper Magician Series. Since it is a spin off you can read it without reading the others, but you might miss out on a few things.

What I Liked

This book was enthralling, I could not put it down. I remember very vividly that when I first picked this book up I read for a few hours without even trying. For some reason reading for hours on end is starting to become difficult, I am not sure why. Anyway, I was very much pulled into this world. Charlie N. Holmberg does a wonderful job of creating and sculpting this world and her characters. While the world is well established in her previous books, this spin off does not leave you in a spot where you don’t understand the world around the characters, another bonus. Her world and her magic are refreshing and different.

One things I really liked about the main character was that she was not impulsive or quick to action. I felt like the character thought about what she did. For me, I love that in books. I often find myself put off by characters who just mindlessly jump into action and only seem to pull off things due to luck. So this was a very refreshing thing to have thoughtfulness as a trait in a lead character.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that got me was that I want not really surprised by anything in this book. While I did very much enjoy the story and characters I never had the moment where I said to myself, “NO WAY!” It was predictable. But, this can also be a plus for some. Some people why don’t like surprises or enjoy when they are right when predicting an outcomes to a book or a plot twist. This is very much a readers preference and does not make the story itself less enjoyable. Even though I was able to predict a few things it did not in anyway make me not enjoy the ride. In fact, I really enjoyed it regardless.

Overall Thoughts

I would say that this book is unique, it has a great with a magic system that for me was very different from books I have previously read. It was a fun book filled with adventure, relationships, magic and bonus had a great main character that I felt like I could relate to on some level. I would say that if you find the description or any of the things I said interesting you should give this book a read.

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Author Links

Charlie N. Holmberg

hhttp://www.CharlieNHolmberg.com

Twitter: @CNHolmberg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnholmberg/

Instagram: cnholmberg

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Book Information

Publisher: 47North

Publication Date: May 15th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781542047913

Pages: 236 pages

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* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. SignOff12:17

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REVIEW | The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

BookReview12:17

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child MurdererDescription

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I noticed while reading this novel is that Kate Summerscale is very thorough. Her knowledge of not just the crime itself, the perpetrator, and his family, but of the town and the time period are easily noticed. She goes into detail of the events of the town and the economic and social conditions that not only put our child murderer and his family in, but may have even contributed to it. Some of the information she shares in this book you know she had to look long and hard for it.

Another things I liked about this book was the content of the book. Now, I enjoy non-fiction very much and enjoy a book mystery. But, this book was different. It deals with the life of a child murderer. Someone who at a very young age decided to kill one of his parents. To me that both intrigues me as well as worries me. A child is meant to me innocent and this action/situation is the farthest things from innocent. Due to this the entire time I read this novel it was both almost morbid, but very thought provoking. It made me think about many topics, but I don’t want to list them because that might be considered a spoiler. I rather not spoil this book for anyone.

The last thing that really stood out to me was the ending of this book, it was an unexpected turn I was not expecting. While a majority of this book made me uncomfortable due to the subject the ending made me think even more about human nature and how and if people can change. Many non-fiction authors tend to stop at the “big” event, sometimes that is a disservice. I really appreciated that fact that Summerscale no only covered and researched the murder and trial, but continued and expanded beyond the “main” event.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing that can be seen as a negative with this book is that it contains a lot of background information. For some people this can be a downside to the book. I personally did not have a problem with this because I loved learning about the town, culture, and other events happening at the time. But, I recognize that for some this is not what they signed up for when they picked up a book about a child murderer.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this. I think Summerscale did a wonderful job researching and telling the story of Robert Coombes and his brother. Throughout I was interested and I often found myself thinking about the book once I put it down. For me that makes a good non-fiction read. I would say if you enjoy non-fiction, true crime, or reading about morbid topics this book is for you. I just would keep in mind that you will also be learning about the time period etc., but I feel it is needed to understand the environment the Coombes boys lived in. I ended up giving this story novel 4 stars.

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Author Links

Kate Summerscale

http://www.katesummerscale.com

Book Information

Publisher: Penguin Press

Publication Date: July 12th 2016

List Price: $28.00

ISBN:  9781594205781

Pages: 378 pages

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REVIEW | Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan

BookReview12:17

Women of Resistance: Poems for a New FeminismDescription 

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker. –goodreads.com 

What I Liked

One of the main thing I like about this collection of poems is the fact that you can tell it is written by a wide array of women. You can tell they all have different life experiences and circumstances. For me, that is a sign of a well rounded collection. Due to this the poems are very different from one another, but they all share that single thread with one another. Feminism, strong women. This also led to there being so many different voices and I found myself really enjoying the scope of styles and stories that these individuals wrote.

Another thing I liked about this was the fact that this was a collection labeled as feminist and was truly feminist. It talked about equality of all. There were poems that dealt with race, violence, and of course gender issues. It was a nice seeing a collection and a book labeled as feminist saying “All. All. All!” instead of “Us. Us. Us!”

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like, which is more me being unprepared than any fault of the book itself. Some of the poems were difficult, which I think they need to be to be true to themselves. But, this being unexpected made some of the reading difficult. But, as soon as I knew what some of the poems might be exploring I was fine. It was just the initial surprise. So just a warning, some of these poems explore very difficult situations.

Overall Thoughts

I would have to say I enjoyed this poetry collection. It explored the voices of an array of writings giving it a distinct feeling of authenticity. It also gives a voice to those who have gone through difficult experiences. It really makes you think outside of your own bubble and forces you to face it. If you enjoy feminist literature and poetry I would say you should pick this collection up. It was wonderful.

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Author Links

Danielle Barnhart

Danielle Barnhart

Twitter: @dani_barnhart

Iris Mahan

Image result for Iris Mahan editor

Website for both: villageofcrickets

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Book Information

Publisher: OR Books

Publication Date: March 13th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781944869793

Pages: 204 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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REVIEW | Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

BookReview12:17

Herding Cats (Sarah's Scribbles, #3)

Description

Sarah’s Scribbles,  Goodreads Choice Award for 2016:  Best Graphic Novels & Comics

“. . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … “
The Huffington Post

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing. 

goodreads.com

What I Liked

Sarah Andersen is one of the most funny human beings. Each comic I read in this book I laughed, smiles, and chuckled. This collection of comics lives up the hype of her previous two. Andersen has the ability to create simple comics that are highly relatable. By doing this she allows us to see the funny side of knowing we tell ourselves we are going to wake up and not hit snooze, but in truth we know we are going to hit to 1000 times. It also gives me and I would think others the comfort of knowing they are not alone in doing those types of thing.

One thing I really like about this collection is that each page is its separate comic. You can literally put it down on any page….if you end up putting it down. One thing that truly annoys me about some books is the lack of a natural stopping point while I am reading.

Lastly, I really enjoyed her style of drawing. It is simple, but has everything you need. It is adorable and creative. There is no fluff, apart for the kitties. Sometimes artists add to much and it can be distracting, Andersen has found a great balance.

At the end of the book the final sections are a message from the author that is geared for young artists. While I myself am not an artist her message is still relevant. Try, put yourself out there and keep at it.

What I Didn’t Like

Nothing, I loved everything. All bow down to Sarah Andersen! Eh hem… I mean go and get the book.

Overall Thoughts

If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this book. It is very relatable, humorous, and allows us to poke fun at ourselves. I have already texted and messaged a few of my friends they need to check out this collection. I know in the future if someone comes to me wanting a recommendation for something funny there is a very high chance that I will be recommending this. I ended up giving this 5 stars.

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Book Information

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publication Date: March 27th, 2018

List Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781449489786

Pages: 112 pages


Author’s Pages

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahcandersen?lang=en

Website: http://sarahcandersen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahandersencomics/?hl=en

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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REVIEW | Wintersong By S. Jae-Jones

BookReview12:17

Wintersong (Wintersong, #1)Description

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

What I Liked 

This book just felt like I was reading magic. As soon as I opened up my ebook I was sucked into the book and I could not put it down. I think I read this in a total of only 3 sittings. The main reason behind it was due to the characters. I really enjoyed Liesl and as the book went on I liked her even more. She was real because she had her faults. I hate when a character is just too perfect, it makes the story seem so fake. Another reason was the descriptions, S. Jae Jones paints the settings so well. I could close my eyes and feel like I could see everything. This book just swallowed me whole, it invoked real emotions from me and broke my heart. While I would love to keep gushing, I am a bit afraid I would end up spoiling some things for you. Bottom line is, the characters are well written and the world is vivid and beautiful.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that was a problem only some of the time was the pacing. At times it did feel slow, but this was not a constant issue in the plot. Even though it is not a constant, it is worth noting before jumping into this book.

Overall Thoughts

I ended up very much enjoying this book. I plan on eventually picking up the next book in the series. It delivered on is promise of adventure, brave young women, and a lot of heartache. Between her feelings for her sister and what she needs goes through as she goblin realm there is a lot going on in this book. Overall if you enjoy retellings and fantasy, this book is for you. Divider

Book Information

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

Publication Date: February 7th 2017

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781250079213

Pages: 436 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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REVIEW | Don’t Forget Me by Victoria Stevens

BookReview12:17

Don't Forget Me
Description

Seventeen-year-old Hazel Clarke is no stranger to heartbreaks, and being sent to live with a father she’s never met is the latest in a string of them. Even the beauty of eastern Australia isn’t enough to take her mind off her mother and the life she had to leave behind in England. But when Hazel meets the friendly, kindhearted Red and his elusive twin, Luca, she begins the slow process of piecing together a new life—and realizes she isn’t the only one struggling with loss. As friendships deepen and love finds its way in, Hazel also learns that when you truly love someone, they are always in your heart.

This sparkling debut novel is a touching testament to coming of age, falling in love, and finding home in unexpected places.

What I Liked

Nearly from the beginning I felt connected to the characters. I wanted everything to work out perfectly for all of them. For me, if a book causes me to have this type of connection it has well written characters. I recently read a book and I felt nearly nothing for the characters and it made reading it dull and boring even with all the excitement happening with the plot. Another thing that I truly loved about this book was not only how I connected with the characters, but how they connected with one another. Both friendship wise and family wise I enjoyed reading about their relationships, they seemed real and they never felt like they were forced.

I have to say another positive for me was that it took place in Australia. I rarely have seen a book that takes place here and it truly was refreshing. I found that this was maybe an unintentional thing, or I may be making a connection out of no where. But, Australia is such a beautiful and natural place. In my mind it is a place of sunshine and full of life. Britain from what I understand is a place where it can be rainy for a good amount of the place, even though it is beautiful. Having the main character  move from a  place that is known to be rainy and dreary to a place that I have perceived as bright and lively kinda mirrors the growth of Hazel.

What I Didn’t Like

There really wasn’t anything I can pinpoint that I did not like about this book. At times it dragged, but not for a noticeable amount of time.

Overall Thoughts

Overall this was an enjoyable read. I throughly enjoyed reading it and like I said earlier I was invented in Hazel’s story as well as her friends. If you see anything in the description I think you will enjoy this read as well. It is well written and has genuine relationships and growth.

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Book Information

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)

Publication Date: February 13th 2018

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9780374305604

Pages: 360 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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REVIEW | Live Lagom by Anna Brones

BookReview12:17

Live Lagom: Balanced Living, the Swedish WayDescription

An inviting exploration of “the new hygge“: the Swedish concept of lagom–finding balance in moderation–featuring inspiration and practical advice on how to find a happy medium in life, home, work, and health.

Following the cultural phenomena of fika and hygge, the allure of Scandinavian culture and tradition continues in the Swedish concept of lagom. From home design and work-life balance, to personal well-being and environmental sustainability, author Anna Brones presents valuable Swedish-inspired tips and actionable ways to create a more intentional, healthy lifestyle. Instead of thinking about how we can work less, lagom teaches us to think about how we can work better. Lagom at home is about finding balance between aesthetics and function, focusing on simplicity, light, and open spaces. Health and wellness in lagom is a holistic approach for the body and mind–including connecting more in person, caring for self, managing stress, keeping active, and embacing enjoyment in daily routine. Live Lagom inspires us to slow down and find happiness in everyday balance.

What I Liked

First off I want to say that this book is set up and organized in a wonderful way. It has chapters based off of home , work, environment, and many more. It  is great because if you ever feel like you need a refresher in a given area after your initial read you can go right to that. I think it is great because it facilitates the opportunity to work on only what you need to work on and focusing on that instead of having a very broad topic that makes it difficult for the reader to apply is to a specific part of their life.

Another thing I liked about this book was the fact that it was realistic. The book gave practical advice and was to the point. No where in this book did I find ideas or tips that were far out there. It is created in a way that people will actually be able to adapt it into their daily lives at their own pace. Another bonus is that the information was portrayed in a way that read nicely. There was not time while reading this that I wanted to put it down because I was bored, hated the writing, or felt it was too fake/cheesy. This book found the perfect between life/lifestyle advice and being meaningful.

What I Didn’t Like

One fault I did find with this book was that at times I felt like the book made this transition seem easier than it actually is. Changing your lifestyle and finding a balance takes a lot of work and dedication. That is why I stress that this is at your own pace. Take small or big steps to transition into the lifestyle you want. It is your journey, you determine the best way for you.

Overall Thoughts

I think that Live Lagom by Anna Brones is a great introduction to balanced Swedish living. There are little tips, facts, recipes, and great visuals to give you a true sense of what she is talking about. It gives great insight into how you can evolve the different aspects of your life. Overall I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I know that this book is one I will be keeping and referencing from time to time.

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Book Information

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Publication Date: December 26th 2017

List Price: $16.00

ISBN: 9780399581342

Pages: 224 pages

More Info

Author Bio

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I want to note that I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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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

18302455

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

Author Bio


*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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