Paper Soul

The way to my heart is not through diamond rings or expensive items. Lavishing me with flowers or cooking me a good meal. The road to my heart is paved with Paper Towns lined in Harry Potter and maintained by Aldous Huxley. Sometimes it can be dark like Gone Girl or full adventure like Percy Jackson. Find me in the stories that have helped define who I am. Understand me through the characters and see my world through their struggles. I will give any genre a try because i love discovering great new authors and books. I love to discuss anything literary, so feel free to comment on anything.

 

Professional ReaderFirst To Read 

10 Book Reviews


 

 

 

Tale of Two Lives

Lies You Never Told Me - Jennifer Donaldson

Elyse and Gabe have never met but are tied by destiny. They tell the story of their lives in parallel narratives, sharing their secrets little by little. Elyse is entering a forbidden relationship and may be repeating her mother's footsteps. Gabe finally realizes that the relationship he is in may be more dangerous than he thought.  Each will have to decide if the path they are on is the right one or beginning a new one is work their lives.

 

Pro:

 

  • Gabe and Elyse are enduring characters and it was a pleasurable experience to get to know them. I did like hat Gabe was not the Hispanic kid from the wrong side of the tracks who is dating the popular girl. Yet, he comes from a wealthy and educated family who loves him, with a sister who has a developmental disability adds to the dimensions of his story.. This is a character that does not get told as a protagonist much in contemporary literature. Elyse as well does not come from a  typical family background. Her mother is an addict and must be an adult faster than she should. It was interesting to see how stories unfold.
  • The tempo of the story is a steady unfolding. At the start, it is a little hard to move along with because of the missing connection between both characters. I was constantly guessing who the had done what and how the stories were connected.

 

Con:

 

  • The character development is a little shallow throughout the whole book. I had wanted a little more depth into the characters, the story would have been more well rounded. Elyse and the strained relationship with her mother’s addiction could have been explained more. As well as Gabe's family life and heritage compared to his girlfriends. The plot twist was interesting at the end but it took away from what the book could have expanded on and explored. Throughout the whole time, I just had a why these two question and it frustrated me a bit that it took so long to connect. More could have been done to make the plot twist not so predictable or give another twist that could have enhanced the plot.

Sticks and Stones

Vox - Christina Dalcher

How many words do you use in an hour? A day? A week? What if you could only use 100 words a day? Would you use them more wisely, or suffer the consequences of the 100-word rule? For Jean and her daughter Sonia, this is their reality. They must use their words wisely and so does every woman in the near future of the US. Yet, Jean gives the change to regain her voice but it comes at a price. A price that may silence everyone in the process. Will she allow a whole race to be silence for a brief period to regain her own?

 

Pro:

 

With the current political environment, this book seems to bring a realistic future of what it could be like for women. Recently, women have stopped the silencing of their voice. Through such movements as MeToo and literature/media as a Handmaid’s Tale. Bringing into focus the unequal balance between a male and a female as well as the roles they should play. Breaking the patriarchal hegemony rules that are placed upon them, in which a female's point of view is not valid. Dalcher also touches on situations of women having a chance to have a voice and choose to not use them. This can be through cultural domestication or passive naiveness.

 

 

  • Dalcher choices a strong and educated woman to be the lead protagonist. Jean is a headstrong linguistic scientist, who was on the verge of making a scientific breakthrough. The storyline follows her struggles of being silenced and having to be subordinate to her husband. The everyday struggles of what happens when someone can not voice how they feel or defend themselves. Not being able to soothe a child, speak of their day or even vent about a problem. Through this process, she realizes how much speaking in any form is vital to how a person views themselves.
  • Jean is a strong and educated woman, but like many women do not participate heavily in politics. She was not blind to what was going on and how the government environment changed for the worse. She chooses to believe that it would never happen., that her voice or actions could not influence in any way. Jackie is her polar opposite, the activist and headstrong political leader. She symbolizes the anti-culture in the book; outspoken, educated and lesbian. She refuses to conform and is the moral compass of Jean. Trying to make her realize that only you can give up your voice.

 

Con:

 

  • The book is very aggressive in the view of how the 100-word count is implicated. Picking a conservative religious group and leader. Although this is not a new premise, the way it is presented is a little harsh, although I do not know if that is the correct word to use. Maybe a point of view from another side would have made the story feel less one-sided.
  • Jean has an affair with a coworker. Although this relationship has a means to an end for Jean and a closing to the book, I didn’t really like her affair. The plot gave much reason to why she did what she did. Her home life was not a happy one and she felt disjointed from her kids because she could not participate in their lives like the father. Also, she had been stripped of all her merits and hard work. Yet I felt like the affair was a kind of cop-out.

 

Quotes:

  • A lascivious action made tender by the gentleness
  • I have words now, but I have no idea how to use them
  • Memory is a damnable faculty
  • Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
"“Read. Travel. Read. Ask. Read. Learn. Read. Connect. Read.”

- Dr. Seuss"
"“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.”

-Dr. Seuss"
"“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

– Frank Serafini"
"“I think it’s the books that you read when you’re young that live with you forever.”

– J.K. Rowling"

The Helper Owl

The Ghost, The Owl - Betsy Franco

 She has lost her way and cannot remember how to get back until a friendly owl spots her and decides to help. In Franco's graphic novel, readers are given a rich illustration of Eleanor and Aldus journey of self-discovery.


Pro: The illustrations in this graphic novel are very vibrant and colorful. They change with the mood of the plot which is a great indicator of what will happen or what is coming up. Portraying Aldus the owl as a helper to the ghost was [pleaseant to read about. usually, owls are not portrayed in this manner.

 

Cons: The illustrations could get a little overwhelming with all the details and colors. Sometimes they got in the way of what was happening in the story. There was not much development of the characters and would have liked to know more about the owl politics or what happened after Aldus helped Eleanor. Also knowing why the man was attacking Jessica and their relationship would have helped with the depth of the story. 

 

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

"“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

– Albert Einstein"
"“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.”

– Roald Dahl"
"“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

– Maya Angelou"

Risk it for Love

Worth the Risk (Pine Valley) (Volume 1) - Heather B. Moore

Summary: Alicia never wanted to return to her hometown but she only did to help her mother. She never knew she would run into her ex-friend and crush while working as a hostess. But when Jeff walks back into her life, can she forgive him for what he did all those years ago? Jeff regrets how he treated Alicia and wishes he could change the past. Even though that is impossible, he will try the next best thing; changing the future.

 

Pro:

 

  • Alicia was a very pleasant protagonist. She had enough flaws and struggles that the reader could connect with her and her emotions. Her relationship with her mother was flawed and strained which added to the complexity of the plot and Alicia herself. We have all felt the urge to make our own lives while at the same time the pull of responsibilities to family. Alicia is in constant battle with her life and her heart.
  • The book was a pretty face paced and short. Even with the story being a short story rather than a whole novel, Moore was able to keep them connected. This made a good fast read. It is also a good clean romance that focuses on the relationship and not the sexuality of a couples dynamics. There are some PG situations that make the story a little steamy.

 

Con:

  • This being a short story, a lot of interactions are speed up and don't really get to fully developed. This is the same for the development of the characters. Alicia and Jeff’s past are briefly described, so that i disliked him enough to side with Alicia. I would have liked a lot more explanation both between them and Alicia’s parents. That way I could better relate with Alicia. Jeff is the typical romance counterpart. He is successful, handsome and popular. I feel he was a bland template of a man with no real depth. I also feel that this depth was lost because of the shortness of the book.
  • For a short story, it is a pleasant and entertaining read, I would have like a little more development and surprises.

 

Controversial Reads

The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas Love, Hate and Other Filters - Samira Ahmed This Is Where It Ends - Marieke Nijkamp

I love books that make me feel something. Whether it is loss, pain, regret, happiness or love. The fact that the book has an effect emotionally to a reader means it has a very legitimate tie to the real world. This is the exact reason I wanted to read these three books. I knew it would provoke something in me and create discussion. I'm all for discussion, as long as its an adult and mature one. I know that my views are not shared by everyone and this is why I have held off on reviewing these books. But I feel we sometimes hide too much because of the fear. The fear that we will be yelled at, blamed, called names. So while I debate on whether to review these and other controversial books, Id like to know how you guys feel. 

 

Maybe not about the books above, but regarding books that hit a nerve. I'm interested to hear what you think

"“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy"

Back to the Dark Tower

So before the HUGE...HUGE disappointment of a movie came out, I posted about my feelings of the casting and trailer of the Dark Tower movie. I am an enormous fan of Stephen King.  I saw him at the Kimo with George RR Martin, read most of his books and by far love the Dark Tower Series. I love Roland and Jake as characters plus their interactions, not to mention the multi-dimensional feel of the book. So when the movie came out I cringed and of course, complained. I HATED the movie, everything I loved about the series had been stripped away and rushed. So I pretend the movie didn't happen

 

 

But then I stumble into this...Into a series really..... An article rumoring that the Gunslinger may return to the small screen. At first, I was slightly happy because a series would allow for more growth. I had this same hope with The Mortal instruments and look what they did to that.... Maybe I would have more hope if it was HBO picking it up instead of Amazon. Because I consider the Dark Tower in the same cinematography/maturity as Game of Thrones. 

 

So will I watch it...maybe

Will it be good.. probably not

What can I say I'm a pessimist

Because of current events

This Is Where It Ends - Marieke Nijkamp

I've wanted to read this book for a while, yet always pushed the book off for other ones. But I feel that I need to read it now. With the recent school shooting, political conflict and gun policy that has now been rehashed again. I'm interested to see how this author will depict such an emotional and hard topic. 

There is always a price to beauty

The Belles - Dhonielle Clayton

Want a smaller waist? A fuller bust or maybe a darker complexion. No longer do you have to go under the knife and have long recovery times. Instead of a surgeon doing alterations, the Belles are the artists. Every year there is a celebration to introduce all the coming of age Belles and to choose the Favorite, which will serve the royal family. Camellia is a Belle participating and hoping to become the Favorite. But be careful what you wish for because there is always a price for beauty and the standards are always moving. 

 

Pro: 

 

- Camellia is an amazing character. I loved her fierce determination and bold ideas. She wanted to create a path for herself that did not conform to others perspective. Even though sometimes these strong ideas and stubbornness would get her in trouble, she always tried to do whats best. Talking with others and checking her emotions to come to a clearer conclusion. Yet, she was made human by making mistakes and in turn trying to learn from her mistakes. I loved her resistance to the standards of beauty and the maintenance it required. She wanted to find the natural beauty in every person she tended to and met. 

 

- The idea of individuals manipulating features on a person was fascinating to me. How the Belles, through their gift, can change a person drastically in a small amount of time. They can change height, weight, skin color etc to what the person envisions. Clayton does a beautiful job of describing the process of manipulating beauty. Clayton also does an amazing job in displaying how the standards of beauty are constantly changing and the pressure of keeping up with the trends, the toll it takes on both the Belles, culture, and population. 

 

- This book I feel reflects the relationship we have with beauty presently. There is an impossible standard that is being set with the filters, social media and makeup that want to enhance, cover or correct. More is needed instead of less and the need to show the world how beautiful and perfect you are is reflected in the plot of this book. I have nothing against looking your best and wanting to put your best foot forward. It just seems instead of having conversations and learning we are replacing this with who has the most likes or the best contouring. 

 

_ I loved the mixture of relationships in the book. Although the alternative relationships were not accepted, Camellia had an open mind and saw past sexual preferences. This too reminded me of how our culture tends to be a don't ask don't tell society. The princesses ladies and the court had one life that was what the princess wanted but often that did not mirror their private lives. 

 

Con: 

 

-Some of the twist and surprises were anticipated and I could guess early on. Maybe I have read a lot of YA to know the clues. 

 

- I would have liked to learn more about what the Belles learned before they came to court and their history. So when they go to their coming out celebration a stronger bond with each character and really cheer for Camellia. 

 

Quotes:

 

- Dreams remind us of who we are and how we feel about the things around us

 

- Lies are as dangerous as a sword. They can cut to the bone.

 

- No one is a prisoner... Even you have the power to make your own choices

 

- Love is when hearts beat together

Currently reading

A Reaper at the Gates
Sabaa Tahir
Progress: 30 %

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Angelica has read 8 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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