Tag Archives: Book review

A Girl Like That (Hardcover) by Tanaz Bhathena

Summary: A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don’t want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.


Jen’s Review-  This is a disturbing and heartbreaking debut that will make you ponder life in other places.  Zarin’s risks in this books are things that are socially ok in America… but in Saudi Arabia not so much.   From the moment you read the first chapter you know this book is going to end in tragedy, but how did it get to that point?  How did too beautiful lives end so violently… it builds an anticipation that I was not expecting.  You know it is going to end bad… but why?

This book received a lot of hate saying that it did not portray Saudi Arabia accurately.  So when I originally went into the book I told myself to throw any stereotypes I might have out the window and enjoy the book.

I enjoyed this book.  A lot.   Here is the thing, I don’t know what life in Saudi Arabia is like.  I was not born there and I have not visited.  I only know what I can read and see on the news and let’s be honest it is not the most flattering representation.    I can tell you that this book was heartbreaking and if it is accurate… well… you will have to read the book and form your own opinions.

The characters are rich with complexity and I fell for the characters, even the ones that made you cringe.  They are all just trying to live life to the best of their life circumstance.  This book touches so many complex issues that I really feel it is a must read books.  Especially if ever in your life you walked by someone and they whispered “a girl like that”

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Summary: Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.

My Review: At first this book took for ever or me to get into.   I almost didn’t finish it when I was about to throw the towel in I decided to give it another 10 pages and the story changed in a way that it suddenly became a page turner.   SO what am I trying to say here???? If you find yourself ready to quit this book, don’t.  It is a slow building burn that is so worth it.

The writing is fantastic the plot is curious.   The characters are memorable and if you are like me about to spend a lot of time in Puerto Rico, worth reading.

I really enjoyed the complexity of this book.  The story is fascinating and really good.   I liked the characters and how the relationships were not forced.

This was a solid 4 star book for me and once I got past  the slow build it turned into quite the page turner.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Summary: 10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

My Review:   Where to begin with this book?  This book is a very rough subject… it involves school shootings which sadly is a part of life in America now.    I am not going to get into the politics or anything like that but I will say this book is very interesting as it takes the politics out of it and tells the story from different point of views.

I found the POV from the sister and the ex girlfriend the most compelling.  I will say at first I though the story had too many POVs but in the end it worked out and I understand why the author did what she did.

This story is going to toy with your emotions and dare I say make you look at school shooters with new perspective.  (NO I AM NOT DEFENDING) I am just saying it will give you perspective.    I think this is a book that should be read as it will touch you in some way.

I simply could not put this book down.   IT was that good.

The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith

Summary: The Cuckoo’s Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

My Review:   When I found this book I was super stoked to read a book from JK.   Like everyone I am a fan of Harry Potter, in fact I often say Harry Potter got me through my first two years of college.
This book was fantastic which is to be expected as it is written by JK.   The characters are nicely developed and dare I say she might have built a mystery better than she did a fantasy world.  JK guys Harry Potter is better… but only because it is Harry Potter.

This book is well written and complex enough to keep you up on a work night.   I loved reading  this book and trying to solve the mystery.   Such a great story that I highly recommend you read if you need a good crime novel fix.