Thank You, Next Book Tag

Happy Saturday!

These past few days have been a whirlwind of activity, and I’ve had little time to do anything. Unfortunately, I haven’t been around in the blogosphere lately. So I wanted to start the weekend off with a new tag post.

I thank JoBeth from Blue Binding for tagging me. Please do not miss out on her blog!

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Top Ten Tuesday | First Books I Reviewed

Happy Tuesday, bloggers!

Who’s happy to go down memory lane? Blogging for almost three years, I forget where I’ve come from and what books I’ve read or even reviewed. So having this prompt is a good surprise.

Top Ten Tuesday, originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a weekly meme. For this week, we’re going back in time and show off the first books we reviewed. I want a mixture of reviews I made on Goodreads and my blog. So you may see a few of my favourite books and ones I haven’t read in years.

I hope you love the post!

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Book Blogger Confessions Tag

Morning, book fam!

I wish weekends were longer than just two days. Three would be optimal. We all need more time to read or to hope we will read, when in reality, all we do is waste time, thinking of doing just that. Am I right?

Okay, I found this great tag on Bibliophagist. Sara hasn’t tagged anyone in particular, so I thought I’d take a chance at this.

I hope you all enjoy the post and have a great weekend!

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Love But Probably Won’t Read Again

I hate these sorts of lists. I don’t like reading a book just once. I hope to enjoy it multiple times. Unfortunately, since I’m such a bloody emotional reader, some books have disappeared from my TBRR list. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, discusses books we won’t reread. Here are my picks:

 

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I adore Leigh and her writing. I cannot get enough of her work. Even though The Language of Thorns is one of my favourite fairy tale collections, I don’t usually reread anthologies. But with this one though, I don’t want to damage this beautiful book any further. Yeah, I’m weird. I don’t like when books are damaged. But this is so damn gorgeous though. It should be cherished…from afar and with special white gloves.

…And there go my Sheldon tendencies again.

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I absolutely love this time travel series. And I’m a dedicated follower of the show (who isn’t when you have Sam playing Jamie?!). But I can’t reread the book again. The first one is beautifully written, but the ending gutted me, and I cannot read Jamie’s torture again. I’d rather trade a month of not reading than put myself through that scene. I don’t know how readers stomach it.

 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

I’m still debating over this choice. I loved reading The Wicked Deep, and I’ll recommend it to everyone. But since I’m a mood reader, I feel that I’d just wreck myself all over again. The ending is predictable, but the emotions are not. I never thought a standalone novel would do that to me, but here I am.

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Long story short, I balled after I finished reading Nightingale. My mom happened to walk in on my cryfest, so I explained what happened in the book, then cried even harder. The book is gut-wrenching. Even though I recommend it to historical lovers, I tend to warn them about it since it has strong character arcs that some readers may not like.

 

Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Yes, in my high school years, I went the “dark” path, and I haven’t wavered much past it (neither has the colour of my clothes). So I was a huge Vampire Chronicles fan. Unfortunately, it hasn’t aged well, nor have I regained my love for it. Some issues stemmed from when the author sicked her fans onto a blogger who gave her book a one-star review. I understand some authors hate seeing that kind of review. But the way Anne handled the whole situation by blatantly telling her fans to bully this poor blogger made me lose all my respect for the writer.

Don’t believe me? Find more information here.

Wrap-Up: July 2016

roundup

In July, I found some memorable reads and some fantastic ones. I’m only eight books away from my Goodreads Reading Challenge! Woo!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

A thought-provoking WWII story that explores the heart-breaking journey of two sisters who survive in occupied France. I haven’t cried so hard when I finished this book.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

A heart-pounding and character-driven fantasy that is sure to captivate any reader. Sabaa has a rare and upcoming talent that I hope will enchant me even more. I simply adore her debut novel. Her characters are one the best I’ve seen in years. I can live in her book for weeks!

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

I can’t ask more from Kelley. She sure knows how to write a suspenseful and action-packed thriller. I love how Kelley brings out the psychologist in her. Her ability to address mental illness is superb.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong

A great Canadian read from my favourite author. This novel has a sprinkle of mystery, suspense, and supernatural. I love the banter between the two main characters.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong

A heart-wrenching fantasy that will not let you go! Kelley excels in her fantasy worlds. She is a master in her craft. I’m in love with this Cainsville series. I was not expecting this ending. Wow, I’m blown away. I can’t wait until Rituals is out!

Kelley’s fourth book in the Cainsville series will be out on August 9. You can also find the first five chapters here.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (4.5 actually)

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US

 

Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

1000H-9780312577223The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Published by: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: February 3, 2015

Genre: Historical fiction, WWII

Extent: 440 pages

Rating: 4/5


 In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.


“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

I’ve been wanting to find another historical fiction set in WWII, and Kristin Hannah delivers just that book. I was hesitant with Nightingale because I was worried of how she might portray this war. You see, this book doesn’t centre around men and soldiers; it depicts the heartbreaking and secretive war women and children endure while men are at the front. Kristin’s writing lets you smell the gunpowder, hear the planes overhead, and listen to the cries of Parisians. What sets this book apart from other works is how Kristin shows you the aftermath of the war. Some books simply conclude at the end of the war. But she emphasizes the sense of loss, the shock, and the heartache.

I have not felt so empowered and so torn than I have when I read this book. There were times when I forced myself to put it down. Not many books have made me do so. At the beginning, I didn’t see Isabelle as an inspirational character, but later on, she grew on me. I asked myself what I would do in her situation, what I would undergo so I can live, how I would survive, and what I would give up in order to be the person I need to be. Her history and storyline completely gutted me.

Now, at first, I resented Vianne. I wanted her to hold on to Isabelle, rebuild her bond she once had with her younger sister, and show her sister what a family is meant to be. But then she gives up her house, her body, her sanity, and her safety for others, and I can’t help but be proud of who she becomes. Both Vianne and Isabelle are polar opposites, but their character development is astonishing. I was also disheartened when I witnessed the war moulding Sophie, Vianne’s daughter, into a hardened young adult. I wanted to keep telling Sophie to hold on to her childhood memories. What I love in Nightingale is how the Nazi Germans instill the fear into every Parisian, how that fear breeds division and segregation, and how the war shapes a generation of silence. Kristin illustrates this gradual fear, not an instantaneous one.

Kristin has beautifully crafted a powerful story that will make you question what you would do in a time where the future has no certainty. Nightingale turns out to be more than just a war story; it shows the forgotten and often hidden strength women have inside themselves.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon Canada | Amazon US