City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson | review

I can truly said I’m a different reader from three years ago. Lizzie from 2014 wouldn’t have imagined the kind of books she would read at twenty two.

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City of Saints and Thieves
by Natalie C. Anderson
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
on January 24th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Mistery

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

My rating

4_star

I enjoy diversity in books, that doesn’t mean I dislike authors who prefer to write only the things they know or follow the hype or what is trendy right now. But I’m finding so much pleasure in reading books placed in another countries, with so many different characters and exotic plot settings. I’m looking forward to read more “own-voices” novels as well.

I want to say that is the reason why I read this book so quickly or picked it up in the first place. It is not. I knew nothing about the plot. What made me purchase it all those weeks ago was the cover, so beautifully designed.. I didn’t like the two sentences I read from the synopsis. I never like the kind of synopsis that start with a comparison between the book and previous bestsellers or famous novels.

And even when CoSaT isn’t the next YA Gone Girl, it is a great novel that borrows the cruel and poignant stories of so many refugees from Congo to bring us a compelling novel about sisterhood, sacrifice and fear. Introducing us to a new culture and a new reality for so many out there.

There were some gaps, yes. This story wasn’t perfect but just remember that this is a fictional world based in true stories and the author can take some liberties with her work, so even when I didn’t understand some of her decisions or I have so many unanswered question i like this book so much that I want to share my love for it with you guys.

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik | Review

Hi, everyone

I came to the conclusion that this year I won’t be writing many reviews but I will write reviews about the books that have left an impression on me this year and maybe even my entire life. Books that have made me change a little bit.

Things I Should Have Known
Things I Should Have Known

by Claire LaZebnik 
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
on March 28, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Rating:4_star
Steamy Level:2_steam

From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.

I saw this book in my goodreads timeline, I can’t remember who marked it as to-read, but the cover was interesting enough for me to read the synopsis and, at first, I didn’t want to read it, books like this one are too personal and overwhelming but at the same time I knew that somehow, some way I’ll read it.

The thing is, this friend of mine saw said book in her timeline because I marked it as to-read. She asked me when we would start it as if it was an unspoken true that we will in fact read it as soon as possible. It was the most improvised joint reading I’ve ever had. So thank you, gul, for making me finish it even when I was too overwhelmed to continue.

I won’t talk about the plot as I tend to do, just let me tell you that it’s by far the most accurate book about a autistic person as on of the main characters. The behaviour, the constant questions, the blank canvas expressions ready to be molded so society don’t feel endangered by them. Everything remarkable is in this book, simply and beautifully told.

Books like this are written to teach us how to accept the different. That there is nothing wrong in having autism. And that love, even when they can’t express it, is an important part of what they are.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas | Review

It’s been awhile since I wrote a review, as a matter of fact it’s been awhile since a post anything in this blog. And even then some continue to follow and like my old posts, thank you for that.

THUG was my most anticipated YA release of the first half of the year. It was going to be the first book I read about the Black Lives Matter movement, something I’ve heard of before but never really deep into it. As a non-USA citizen I’m not up to date with all the problems affecting that country but discriminitation and lack of opportunities is a global problem.

So yeah, THUG jumped right into the top of my TBR once it was published.

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The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Published by  Balzer + Bray
on February 28, 2017
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 5_star
Steamy-level:2_steam
ad1b9-goodreads-button

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life

This might not be an own-voices novel but it is inspired but real events that took place in 2010, that’s when Thomas first thought about writing a book like this. So, no it wasn’t intended after the last USA election when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named won. This book tells a story more important than a single man.

THUG  is about Starr, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in the worst part of her city because her father refuse to move out saying that he wants to help her community from the inside, but at the same time Starr attends a fancy prep school, Williamson High School. She knows how to be two very different girls, the Starr from Garden Heights, Big Mav’s daughter who works at the store, and Williamson Starr, the only black girl in her class trying too hard to fit in.

Williamson Starr doesn’t use slang, she doesn’t say it even if her white friends do. Williamson Starr holds her tongue whe people piss her off so nobody thiks she is “angry black girl”. Basically Williamson Starr doesn’t give anyone a reason to call her guetto.

But that division is wrecked after she witness the murder of his best friend, Khalil -his unarmed black best friend -at the hands of  a white cop.

The Hate U Give is more than a well-written emotional book. And at the same time is more than the social/political message it sends. THUG will be timeless, it will overcome all trendings in YA novels. It was a story that needed to exist to give us the perspective we were lacking of. To teach us.

Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter.
Be roses that grow in concrete.

Though, THUG was about Starr and how she overcomes her fear to speak up for herself and Khalil and fight for justice. Her family, white friends and boyfriend play a important role in giving context to this story. The way Angie Thomas portrayed those relationships was anything but a cliche.

“What is Tumblr anyway? Is it like Facebook? ”
“No,  and you’re not allowed to get one. No parents allowed. You guys already took over Facebook.”
“You haven’t responded my friend request yet.”
“I know.”
“I need Candy Crush lives.”
“That’s why I’ll never respond.”

Did I love THUG? It’s more than liking or loving it. It has giving me so much, it has made me think, it has feeling a gap in my reader life. As I said before it is more than just a well-written novel and it has to be read by everyone.