#TBT Review: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Aslanea

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: January 2005

Read: March 2014

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) ‘Girls of Riyadh’ captures the trials and tribulations of a middle-class society quite unlike our own and blows the lid off all our preconceptions of Arab life.

Review: This was an interesting book that I am glad I read but will probably not read again. It is a story about four different women who is from Saudia Aribia or lives there now. Being someone who has never traveled there or known anyone from this particular country I can’t say for sure if it’s an honest telling but I can say it’s an interesting take on a different culture and society which I will never be  a part of. I do know people who are Arab but I was unable to ask them if they can vouch for this book or not.

Each story is different and follows the women through a part of their life. New love, going to school, going to America are some of them.

Some of the stories are great, as the women who find love and go to school have wonderful and fulfilling lives and are happy. They set their own rules and do what they want to do and makes their dreams come true. Despite their dreams being different from each other.

The story of the women who went to America bothered me a lot. I know this much happen a lot but it was still hard to read. Her husband turned out to be super abusive and she had a child and came back to her parents but because was getting a divorce and had a child she was an outcast and unloved and considered below everyone. I could not even imagine what it’s like to be like this and it hurts to read about despite it probably being true.

This was a story that was well written despite the content and I think it’s important to read and learn about other cultures despite not agreeing with them. I feel this is a good book to read now as with what is going on in the world and the views that are expressed about cultures like this one.

I will not read it again but I am glad I read it once.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS STORY IF YOU LIKE: Different cultures, stories about women, stories about different women, fiction like The Kite Runner.

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Review: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Category: Graphic Novel (YA)

Published: May 2015

Read: February 2017

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

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Review: I am by no means an expert of graphic novels. This is the second one I have ever read. I did love it thou and it actually made me laugh out loud at a lot of places in the story. There is so much to love about this and I can see why it was a popular web series before the author wrote this graphic novel. For her first one I congratulate her it was fantastic and she has a long career ahead of her if they are all like this.

It’s the story of Blackheart who gets a side kick, Nimona but doesn’t really want her. She just kind of shows up one day. She is witty and funny and gets in his way and wants to help him take over “the institution” that kicked him out after his arm was cut off by Goldenlion. She is a shape shifter so this helps in their endeavours as she can change in to anything at will. Things go well until she is captured and Blackheart has to find out where his loyalties lie and learn what Nimona really is about.

50153166af7ce96351859f1a9ab7d8e0The graphics are great, could be more colourful but I understand that is the style of this graphic novel. I love the names…Blackheart and Goldenloin. Nimona is a great character and is a girl with curves which is also great, not the normal women you find in novels like this. She is spunky and funny and is someone who will stay with you even after your done reading this.

There is also a big LGBTQ part in this graphic novel and being with the one you truly love, even if they hurt you physically or mentally. It’s sweet and I loved this part about this novel as well. It’s a take on medieval settings and the good vs. evil aspect which is funny and I love how it was done.

It was set up for a second but I am not sure if that will happen, if it does this book sets it up but if it doesn’t I am also happy with how things ended for everyone.

This book I would not recommend for anyone that isn’t 14 and above. There is violence and love and subjects they might not understand but it’s not too graphic that is super violent or gory.

IF YOU LIKE THESE YOU WILL LIKE THIS: Graphic novels, fantasy, medieval retellings, stories with LGBTQ elements and stories about strong women.

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Review: Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

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Category: YA Fiction

Published: September 2015

Read: February 2017

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more. She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

Review: This was a book that I was not sure if I would like or not as it’s concept was different but it turns out I thought it was a great book and I absolutely loved it. So much so that I have already got the second instalment and look forward to the third.

middle_560e828b359d9397421f37228e942cf59_walkon_1_bIt’s a take on the western YA style with Leah Westfall as the main character. Set in the mid 1800’s during the gold rush Leah is someone who can sense gold which makes her very secretive because this is something everyone wants. What is better during this time than a sense to sense gold?! She lives with her parents until they are killed and her uncle is trying to possess her as she thinks he  knows her secret. So she takes off after her best friend to head to California where there is gold to be had, and so much so you can pick it right up off the ground.

Due to the time period she has to dress up as a boy to make her way across and until she finds her friend she meets both good people and bad people. One notable character is Becky whom is a big part of this book and one character who you hate at first but grows on you as you get to know her better and why she is the way she is. Plus being a mother myself I understand her need to protect her children.

She finally meets up with her friend and they journey out with a group of wagons and a rag-tag group of people to make it to California. It’s adventurous, and dangerous. You meet Native Americans as well as stampedes of buffalo. There were parts where i was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen and if they were going to make it. 8088db0ab9ccdfab4c479967af267146

The writing was so good that I felt like i was right there. I also like how the author touches on thins like the Native Americans and how people were so scared of them and vilified them but in reality they were just families trying to make it as well. There is also a LGBTQ part of this story which is also interesting because of the time period. It’s an easy read as far as the writing goes but very descriptive. You can tell there was research done in to this story.

4f1097ff-9188-41a8-aa11-2418511b9bcf-jpg-_cb291892061_My only problem is with Leah’s uncle. The end was anti climatic and I get it’s setting up for the next book but he was made out to be worse than he seems to be. I am hoping that this changes in the next story.

This is a great YA read but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than 14. There is sex mentioned in it and injuries and racism. Which are all great subjects to teach about but might be a bit overwhelming for anyone super young.

YOU WILL LIKE THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE: Westerns, action, adventure, books with a bit of romance. YA books that are trilogy.

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Review: The Sisters by Claire Douglas

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Category: Adult Fiction

Published: August 2015

Read: Jan 2017

Score: 2/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) One lied. One died.
When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive. Haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets twins Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.
When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs. As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention? When the truth outs, will either sister survive?

Review: This was a disappointment of a book and I was really excited to read it so it made the disappointment even worse. It was a thriller but didn’t make sense and the ending was just horrid. I love thrillers and love all the new ones coming out, as it’s the thing right now, but this was not a top one at all which I am sorry to say.

It’s about Abi, who lost her twin sister in a accident that may or may not have been her fault. Than she meets Bea who she falls for, you never know if this is sexually or just as a friend but there are points where you are confused on which. Turns out Bea also has a twin brother, and there are feelings for him as well. All is good until things start to happen to Abi after she moves in with these twins and her things start to go missing and gross things are found in her room…where she sleeps (gasp!). Once the truth comes out she can’t handle it, or she can, or will she go crazy like she has before.

I was intrigued when I first started the book. It had so much potential as a thriller to be a really good book. Is the twins crazy or just one of them? What are they hiding? What is Abi hiding? Why is she so obsessed with certain things? I got half way through the book and it started to drag and just more what if’s happening. nice_cup_of_tea

Than we get to the ending. It was so anticlimactic. There was a twist, don’t get me wrong on that point, but it was kinda like…what the hell….and oh ew! kind of twist more than a WOAH that just happened kind of twist. Once you realised what was happening, and then it kind of just ended without any real resolution than your so over and done with this book.

The writing was good, I enjoyed that and I won’t put off this author again but I think this could have been such a better book over all. I would not read it again or really recommend it, BUT that being said I know that if you like thrillers and ones based in England you will enjoy this.

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