Review// Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Author: Courtney Summers
Series: Standalone
Genre: Young Adult / Mystery
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Book Length: 308
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Review: 4/5

My Review:

‘How do you forgive the people who are supposed to protect you? Sometimes I don’t know what I miss more; everything I’ve lost or everything I never had.’

Best audiobook I’ve ever read, and I think it would be best read in audio format because it is told like a podcast with a full cast of characters, as well as through Sadie’s perspective and it switches between the two. These characters tell the story of a missing girl, Sadie, set on a mission to bring justice for her little sister’s death by their mother’s ex-boyfriend. I also really love the cover a lot; I think it’s so beautiful.

It was such an emotional read with so many grief-stricken characters; it’s hard not to feel for them. I liked how it went back and forth between the podcast about finding out what happened to missing Sadie, and Sadie’s first hand account of events as they happened – I really liked the contrast and it was so suspenseful when the podcast host, West, found more leads that got him warmer and warmer to the truth.

However, with that said, the one thing I was a bit iffy about was West. He felt a little bit one dimensional, like there was something off about him but I can’t even pinpoint what exactly it was. In addition, the open-ended conclusion felt a bit frustrating! Then again, a lot of real stories like this unfortunately don’t have clear, solved endings, so maybe the author was trying to pack a bigger punch by leaving it up to the interpretation of the reader. I’m not sure, but I still wish it had ended differently.

Overall, I’m really glad I finally got to read this, and I will be thinking about the story for a long time.

– Catherine

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Review// Those Who Leave & Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

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Author: Elena Ferrante
Series: My Brilliant Friend #3
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Book Length: 418 
Publisher: Europa Editions
Review: 3/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her abusive husband and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which have opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have pushed against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance, and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.

My Review:

“A community that finds it natural to suffocate with the care of home and children so many women’s intellectual energies is its own enemy and doesn’t realize it.”

Okay yes, I know the cover to these books are really ugly, but I promise you, what’s inside is golden.

However, for the first time in the series, I’m a bit torn about how I feel about this book, mainly because the one juicy part of the whole thing consists of something that I hate: insta-love / a love subplot that comes randomly out of nowhere. On the one hand, I like that it happened because it gave me something to to keep turning the pages for, but on the other, I hate that it happened because it felt so out of place.

This book takes place in the 60s and 70s, mentioning a lot about the university and worker strikes that happened during that time in Italy, which was really interesting. I love all the historical aspects of the book and how they always tie together so well with the characters’ lives. Not only do I feel like I’ve learned something through the historical events, but it also drives the plot along, which is nice. People’s ideas of the role of women in society also begin to change in this book and I thought it was fascinating to read the progression.

The girls are in their 20s and 30s now, and Lila is as stubborn as ever, but Lenu surprised me. At the end, it felt like she became an entirely different person, and it kind of bothered me because her actions were so out of character. Though they are all grown up, it’s evident that their lives in the neighborhood have shaped – and continue to shape – who they are, even if they’ve both moved away from it.

If I could change one thing about this book, it would be how obsessed everyone is with Nino. There is no one that I know who still fantasizes about their elementary school crush, and honestly, I think Lenu needs to grow up and get over it. It kind of annoyed me that she constantly tried to find ways to bring him up and how she’s still bitter about things that happened in their childhood between him and Lila. These girls are constantly comparing each other and trying to one-up the other, and while it makes for an interesting story, sometimes it just gets so childish.

But anyway, now that I’m down to the last one, I can’t wait to see where the plot takes these characters as Ferrante always ends her books on a cliff-hanger and this one was no different!

– Catherine

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Outstanding Blogger Award! 📚🎉

Today I will be posting about the Outstanding Blogger Award. Thank you so much to Maya @HerBookishDesires for the nomination! I’m really honored to have been thought of for this, it completely made my day. Please go check out Maya’s blog, it’s one of my favourites! 😊

Rules:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

Maya’s Questions:

1. If you could live in one bookish setting, where would you live?

I would love to live in Frell where Ella from Ella Enchanted is from, mostly because I like the idea of there being fairies and other mythical creatures living amongst humans in the world.

2. Favorite book cover of 2020 (the book does not have to be published in 2020, you just had to read it!)

I love this cover, and I loved the book too!

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3. What have you learned (about yourself, blogging, reading) since you started blogging?

Blogging and reading has strengthened my value of friendships. There are so many kind, thoughtful people in this community, and it felt good to be so welcomed right off the bat. I feel like the older you get, the less faith you start to have in humanity, but being here makes me believe that there are lots of wonderful people out there. It is just a huge bonus that they happen to share in my hobby!

4. What gets you out of a reading and/or blogging slump?

Taking a break from reading/ blogging is really the only thing that works for me! Then eventually I get bored or curious as to what books are out there, or I get inspired after reading someone else’s blog posts to start back up again. I think the biggest challenge though is realizing that it’s okay to take a break if I need to. Reading and blogging are my hobbies, not part of a checklist of things I have to get done every week, so if I need to take a break, I need to remind myself that it’s totally okay!

5. Why did you start book blogging?

I had recently fallen back in love with reading and wanted an outlet to share all my bookish thoughts, since my friends IRL didn’t share in that passion as much as I did. Sometimes you just need to scream into the void about something you love, you know? 😇

6. What is your most hated book trope? Most loved?

I don’t really hate any book tropes enough to use the word hate, but I would say one of my least favourite is insta-love. One of my most favourite is lovers to sorta-enemies to lovers (as you might be able to tell from my love of You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle above)! 🙌

7. If you could only pick 3 books to read for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Nominees:

  1. Kaya @AFictionalBookworm
  2. Kristin @KristinKravesBooks
  3. Aoife @PrettyPurplePolkadots
  4. Kira @KiraJeanette
  5. Mandy @DevouringBooks
  6. Sofia @BookishWanderess
  7. Mayeesha @HeadOverBooks
  8. Ashmita @TheFictionalJournal
  9. Leelynn @SometimesLeelynnReads
  10. Sofii @ABookAThought

My Questions:

  1. Describe yourself in a single word.
  2. What are three random facts about yourself?
  3. If you came back in your next life as an animal, which would you be?
  4. If you could turn any book into a movie, which would it be and why?
  5. What’s your favorite thing about your book blog?
  6. What do you like the most about the country you are living in now?
  7. Are you in any fandoms? If so, what are they?

Thank you again to Maya for the nomination, and as always do not feel pressured to do the tag! ❤️

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Joy of Christmas Book Tag 🎅❄️

I found this tag over at Jennzah and Erin’s blog, but it was originally created by Samantha on her booktube @ Novels & Nonsense.

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Admittedly, I haven’t done much research into all the new releases coming out soon and in to 2021, but I do have my eye out for Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle. I loved her debut novel, You Deserve Each Other, so I’m really excited for this one set to come out April 6, 2021.

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2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing it’s praises?

Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her so far.

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

I only read the first book of the series, but The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss has excellent world building!

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4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

A classic that I really want to read soon is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve had it on my TBR forever, but I’m going to use this post as a promise to myself to get to it next year. 🤞

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5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas?

To be honest, I would be happy to get any book for Christmas that someone thought I might like!

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling?

Even just the thought of City of Girls gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. It was one of the best books I read in 2020.

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7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

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8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

I love the time with my family; the baking; watching the snow fall; Christmas movies; egg nog; and hot chocolate!

I’m not going to actually tag anyone to do this, but if you’d like to participate in the tag, feel free to go for it!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Book Covers That Remind Me of World Famous Paintings #2 🎨

This post was really fun to write and informative for me to research the first time, so I decided I wanted to do it again!

Here are some book covers that remind me of famous paintings. If you missed the first one, you can find my original post here!

The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn

Recreating Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' with 3D printing and photography » 3D  Printing Media Network - The Pulse of the AM Industry
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The Night Watch is an oil painting done in 1642 by Dutch painter, Rembrandt. The title of the painting is misleading, as this scene is not meant to have taken place at night, but rather by the time the title was given to it in the 18th century, so much dirt and varnish covered the artwork that it gave the appearance of having taken place at night. The painting was commissioned by the city of Amsterdam and depicts civic guardsmen whose job was to maintain order in the city. This painting kind of reminds me of the cover of Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. This book is about a man who turns into a beetle over night; I haven’t read it, but it sounds like an interesting concept! 🤔 There are definitely not as many people on it as in the painting, but I can see parallels between the depiction of light in the middle, the dark colours people are wearing, as well as all the people looking in different directions.

The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky

A Brief History of the 'Ninth Wave'
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The Ninth Wave is an oil on canvas painting done in 1850 by Russian marinist painter Ivan Aivazovsky; this was his most famous work. What is known as the ‘ninth wave’ is actually a legend which says that the ninth wave in any storm is the strongest and most dangerous. In the painting, although the ninth, destructive, wave is approaching the sailors who are holding on to what is left of the mast for safety, there is also a depiction of hope through the colour scheme of the bright sky. The dark contrasting the bright reminds me of the cover for Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. This book is on my TBR and I’m really excited to read it for the slow burn romance. I’ve loved Christina Lauren’s books so far so hopefully this one is no different!

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? I’d love to know!

– Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter