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Waiting on Wednesday (on Friday!)

This week, I'm waiting on...

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan. Here's what Goodreads has to say:

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they had before, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution.

In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants in the body she wants to be loved in without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

Adult Book Mini-Reviews (4)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This book was the perfect kind of thriller, jam-packed with suspense but of a thoughtful nature. Some thrillers can take you on wild adventures but with resolutions you can see from a mile away, whereas this one was clearly crafted with care. I particularly loved what was arguably the largest plot twist of the entire book - if you've read it, you know what I mean! - and the heart-pounding hunt that followed. Another great aspect was the fact that both characters were, in some respect, equally flawed, which lent itself for an intriguing read, and put the dual perspective of the story to good use. My only complaint was that I felt the resolution was not as complete as it could have been, although this may have been done by the author's choice.

Recommended? Highly!

Speechless: Review

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Release Date: August 2012
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 288
Goodreads Rating: 4.11 stars

Review: Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse. But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

SPEECHLESS opens with an intriguing concept that brought an issue that perhaps can be considered old into a new light. Although topics like gossip and harmful secret sharing are nothing novel in young adult fiction, I've never read a book about a vow of silence, so this intrigued me. The plot is engaging right from the first page and doesn't let up until the book is over, without sacrificing any character development.

As with most young adult books, this novel definitely had a romantic angle to it, which I was not sure would be entirely fitting for the story. To my pleasant surprise, it wasn't jarring at all and fit in relatively smoothly with the events of the book. The romance itself was sweet, although not terribly original. I do sometimes wish that there would be a romance to really shake things up without the same old, predictable line.

What did bother me, though, was the author's treatment of minor characters. As there should have been, there was a large focus on Chelsea and the emotional consequences of her actions, but I wanted to know more about what happened to Noah, Kristen, and her boyfriend, and how the book ended for them too. They were important elements of the story as well and to merely gloss over it felt wrong.

All in all, SPEECHLESS was not quite a book that left me speechless (I just can't resist the puns) but it was a good read nonetheless. The plot concept was intriguing and executed well, although I did wish for a more original romance and a broader focus than just her inner turmoil. I would recommend this to any fans of contemporary, but this is perhaps not the right book for anyone who does not already enjoy the genre. 

Less Posting

Apologies for the lack of posting this week. I have had one of the busiest, craziest weeks of my life.

Waiting on Wednesday (77)

This week, I'm waiting on...

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. Here's what Goodreads has to say: From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and √Čtienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

I mean, do I even need an explanation for this? It's STEPHANIE PERKINS.

Adult Book Mini-Reviews (3)

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I enjoyed this book but didn't love it, something for which I partly blame my too-high expectations. I heard this book would be the historical thriller for those who don't like historical thrillers (more or less my category), and while it was quite good as far as books in that genre go, it still wasn't my cup of tea. My chief complaint was that the book just moved too slowly for me, both in terms of plot progression and character development, and it was only in the final quarter of the book that the pace picked up. It was this quarter that I enjoyed the most as finally I was flipping pages with the eagerness of someone who wants to know what happens next. Still, this had an inventive and unique plot based upon real events, and it was indeed quite interesting to read the perspective of someone as morbid as a hangman. Recommended? Yes, if you're a fan of historical fiction or want to try it out.

NW by Zadie Smith. I didn't know this before going on - and it didn't negatively impact my reading experience at all - but this is not so much a traditional novel as an experimental piece of fiction. I was a little thrown off at first but the raw, lyrical quality of the writing appealed to me almost immediately. It was like reading poetry encapsulated in story form, free from the rigidity of typical novels but still very much with a sense of coherency. This form lent itself very well to exploring the characters deeply and really giving insight into the inner workings of each of the four main perspectives, as well as showing how all their complicated lives and tensions connected into one main story. Note that this certainly is not a book for everyone. Recommended? Very highly so, but only to those who enjoy or think they may enjoy experimental fiction - it may fall flat otherwise.