Book Review. The Kite Runner. #54

Hey everyone.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a coming-of-age, historical fiction novel that I’m sure many of you will have already heard of!

The story surrounds and is narrated by Amir, a Pashtun Afghan who lives in Kabul. This is a book about family, friendship, class, war and what it means to call a place home. The Kite Runner begins in 1970s Afghanistan before the fall of the monarchy and the later rise of the Taliban. We begin at Amir’s childhood and his friendship with the Hazara boy Hassan – his best friend and the boy he is jealous of most. As the two spend hours buried in stories, flying kites and going to the cinema the Kabul they know and love is unfurling around them, just as Amir’s relationship with Baba is. The winter of 1975 will set forth a series of events that change Amir’s whole life and the lives of everyone he loves.

I went into this book knowing that it was going to be heartbreaking, earth-shattering and tear-jerking and thats why I’m shocked that I was still so surprised when it ended up being all of those things precisely. I thoroughly enjoyed the Kite Runner, not just because of how it made me feel, but more importantly, because of what it taught me about the world I am living in today.

Amir’s description of Afghanistan is worlds away from the Afghanistan I knew, the Afghanistan I had seen, whilst growing up, on the news. In a similar way to Exit West, Hosseini humanises these parts of the world that Western media is so inclined towards demonising. Kite Runner is not just a powerful text that shines light on the horrors of modern islamaphobia, it is also a cry for help to all of the Afghani children who have been left out in the dark because of ignorance and arrogance. After finishing this book I felt like I had gotten closer to learning what it is to truly feel empathy for another human.

Hosseini’s characters are rich, beautiful and horrendous constructs, constructs that are balanced perfectly with accessible but provocative language. Amir’s narration is both extremely frustrating and painfully rewarding; Hosseini pushes us to hate his protagonist so that when we learn to love him we are all the more shocked.

I will say that this is not an easy read – I won’t spoil of course, but do not go into The Kite runner expecting a nice story or a fun read. I recommend this book to all of you because it is important that this kind of story is told.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth.

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T5W: Love Interests You Would Have Broken Up With

T5W: Love Interests You Would Have Broken Up With

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey. You get a new topic every Wednesday, and you list your Top 5 books related to that topic. If you’d like to take part, join the Goodreads group, and add your name to the list of bloggers & booktubers!

This is such a fun topic! We all know I love writing angry reviews when I dislike books, and now you give me the chance to complain about the love interests in them. Mwahahaha. Here are the love interests I would have pushed off a building broken up with!

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Oh Peter. How I wasn’t rooting for you when I read this book. I’m happy to say the movie has definitely made me see these books in a more positive light and I really want to attempt them again, but I would definitely break up with Peter.

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It’s no secret that I absolutely hated this book – review here. So I’m sorry to say, but I would have to absolutely break up with Hannah Baker herself.

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I was considering which John Green book(s) to throw hate at, but I definitely could not date Colin from An Abundance of Katherines. Not that he’d want me in the first place, seeing as my name isn’t Katherine.

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I will not jump on the Warner train. Ugh. I hate it when people romanticise villains, and I will never ship them.

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Both of these characters were downright annoying. I didn’t like them with each other, and still felt the same without each other. I’d break up with both of them!

Which characters would you break up with?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Top 5 YA Romance Books

Top 5 YA Romance Books

It’s been a week of romance with Valentine’s Day – and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to post about some of my favourite cliche romance reads. I’m going for overly cheesy and jam-packed with lovey-dovey teenagers, so if that sounds like your guilty-pleasure, check these out!

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The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

I read this book just last summer, when my reading tastes were rapidly changing, yet I still absolutely adored it.

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Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

The absolute definition of guilty pleasure for me, this one was so predictable but I couldn’t help falling for it anyway.

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Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother is moving all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. But since the death of her father, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute.

I haven’t read this book in a while, but it’s everything I love about road-trip romance. Including snapshots from a real journey (receipts, photos and playlists), I adored this book.

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Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.
But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

This whole trilogy is cotton candy fluff, and sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Cute, sweet and set in the beautiful city of Paris!

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Griffin has lost his first love in a drowning accident. Theo was his best friend, his ex-boyfriend and the one he believed he would end up with. Now, reeling from grief and worsening OCD, Griffin turns to an unexpected person for help. Theo’s new boyfriend.
But as their relationship becomes increasingly complicated, dangerous truths begin to surface. Griffin must make a choice: confront the past, or miss out on his future.

One of my more recent romance reads but I loved it! I only discovered Adam Silvera’s books last year and I’m so glad I did.

Which are your favourite romance reads?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Beautiful Quotes #116 / Everything Leads to You

Beautiful Quotes #116 / Everything Leads to You

Beautiful Quotes is a weekly meme hosted by me, where I post some of my favourite quotes. Any other bloggers are welcome to join me in this and just link my blog!

Hi everyone! I’ve been thinking a lot about romance books with Valentine’s Day in the past week, and I thought I’d share one with you today.

The past week has been busy, not just with some lovely Valentine’s celebrations but also with my Etsy shop opening! I’m so excited about this, and if you haven’t checked it out yet you can do so here.

Anyway, onto today’s book! Everything Leads to You is one of my favourite LGBT books, and one of my favourite romances.

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“We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. They tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.” 
― Nina LaCour, 
Everything Leads to You

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Stacking the Shelves #82

Stacking the Shelves #82

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga where we share books we’ve bought this week. Find out more and join in here!

It’s time for another Stacking the Shelves post with no books! I’m still on my book-buying ban with 7 more books to go, but I’m honestly really happy about the ban. It’s helping me realise I don’t need to buy as many books as I do and it’s helping me save some money! However, I did buy something book-related and very special this week for Valentines Day.

I bought my other half a gorgeous Harry Potter card that has a little pug on, from here.

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And to go alongside? I got him something we both love – Lego!

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We’re slowly collecting Harry Potter Lego, and I thought what would be more perfect than this?

Did you buy any books or bookish goodies this week?

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
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Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fireleft him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it. So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be. But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

This was one of those books I didn’t know I needed. I loved it, and I can’t imagine the Shadowhunter world without it now. First of all, I love that this was based on Simon, but included a wide arc of characters. I actually liked Simon throughout The Mortal Instruments, but actually being with him through a book really helped me relate to him.

The set of the Shadowhunter Academy was awesome to! It gave a link to each of these stories, and offered up something new to the Shadowhunter world.

“I think sometimes it’s too hard to believe in yourself. You just do the things you’re not sure you can do.”

I also have to tell you guys that it only took me like four days to read this 650 page book?! I think this is due to the clever layout of the book, being cut into short stories of 50-100 pages each. Every day I would aim to read at least 2 stories, and it just flew by. Honestly, the short story concept was so well done in every way. Interlinking the characters by having them come into the Academy was such a clever way to read about side characters, and not stray too far from Simon’s story!

“You just act, in spite of not being certain. I don’t believe I can change the world–it sounds stupid to even talk about it–but I’m going to try.”

Overall, this book is a must for Shadowhunter fans! It’s such a great bridge between The Mortal Instruments and The Dark Artifices, and I feel ready to continue with the next daunting series!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽


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Currently reading. To Be a Machine. #53

Hey everyone,

For the past week or so I have been reading To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell. The book is a series of essays and recollections that are each trying to understand what it is to be human in the face of modern technology. Transhumanism is the idea that the human body can be freed from its own anatomy so that the mind can live forever by becoming a computer.

I have really been enjoying this book, if not only because it is so interesting (as a lover of sci-fi) to read about real life cyborgs and super AI, also, more simply, because it reads so much like a piece of fiction. To Be a Machine is a piece of journalism that makes O’Connell’s experience with multi-millionaire tech moguls and cutting edge computer scientists feel like a dramatic adventure novel.

This book is certainly philosophical but it is also really funny. Whilst challenging his reader to define where they draw the line on life or death in the face of biotech that in the near future could allow us to upload our minds into software, O’Connell also makes us laugh at the absurdity of it all. To Be a Machine is a refreshing glance into a world of technology and neuroscience that you didn’t even know existed.

Although I haven’t finished yet I think I’ll have no choice but to recommend it!

Keep on reading!

And thanks again Beth.