A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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Summary

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ulti …more

My Thoughts

you are the noor in my eyes and the sultan of my heart.

One of my favorite things about the books were all the potential quotes I can write out and use. It was so full of wisdom. Lets get into the book then…

This book completely rocked my world. The novel is a fictional work but the historical events are not which makes me think that it is possible that people actually went through what the characters in the book endured.

I felt for Mariam’s character the most because even her happy ending wasn’t really happy. She had a mentally unstable mother who commits suicide, a father who openly rejected her and married her off to a man about 3 times her age. She loses 6 babies and is brutally abused by her husband, she has to tolerate a second wife, eventually kills this man and is put to death. But in the end, she is glad that she is dying the way she is. Her acceptance of her death broke my heart just because I was hoping for some type of miracle at the end. Some kind of escape. I guess the reality that you can endure pain till the end of your life with very few laughter is what truly bothered me. That this can be anyone’s reality. I loved that Laila and Tariq found their way back to each other. With the way the story was going, I wasn’t sure there was going to be a happy ending for her either.

Most of us are very fortunate that we come from or live in nations where war isn’t literally at our back door. Some of us have never or will ever experience the sound of bomb or see the body parts of our loved ones blown to pieces before our eyes. But there are people in certain parts of the world who are not as fortunate, people who don’t rejoice over fireworks because it triggers something in them. I just weep and pray for everyone who has had to endure this type of trauma.

My favorite relationship in the book was between Mariam and Laila. The mother-daughter bond that was voluntary and not fueled by blood. Mariam’s commitment to Laila till the very end is the type of #goals I aspire.
Overall, I liked the book. It was so heavy however. Just one tragedy after the next. But a very well written book. Have you read it?

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Exit West by Moshin Hamid

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image from google images

synopsis 

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whisper …more

My thoughts

This book was a bit underwhelming for me, mainly because I expected the intensity I got from Guapa in this book. I guess this is a reminder that not all books about Arabia (in both books, no specific country was named, but Arabia is kind of inferred) have the same story.

Exit West started out interestingly enough but dulled towards the end. The author in the beginning allowed readers to get to know Saeed and Nadia but still left a few things out that I was hoping to discover about them later, but it never happened. The author in the beginning of the book also seem to invest in their relationship, but again, just left it alone. I was interested in their love story.

I also wish the “door” would have been explained more, I was aware of what “the door” was, but I would have loved to know what actually went into the process, how the migration was till they reached their final destination.

Everything was just presented on a surface level, for example, the lives of refugees in a different country, or Nadia’s decision to wear a hijab but still engage in sex and drugs. For me personally, I think if an author is going to “go there,” they should go all the way. Meaning if you are going to touch on a serious important subject then you should completely explore it. I didn’t feel that Moshin Hamid did that.

Reading the book reviews, I felt that people had strong feelings and connection with this book that I didn’t feel. I’m not sure why I didn’t connect. It just seem so unsettling, well kind of like the life of Nadia, Saeed and other refugees running away from their homeland because of turmoil. I wasn’t too fond of how Moshin foreshadows the end of the story very early on in the book, like, why should I continue to read it if you JUST told me what the end is going to be.

What I do hope for for this book is that many people in the West read it just so they know how it feels like to be a refugee in a foreign country. I think it is important for readers to know that there are people who want to have a very normal life, like Nadia and Saeed that just wanted to go to cafes and sneak around to be together, just normal stuff. But are unable to because of a war torn country and are forced to grow up quickly. It shows how war and surviving can make people miss out on things that most of us take for granted.

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich book review

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Summary

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich is a rollicking and poignant romantic comedy about a young widow who decides to get in shape…and winds up getting her groove back–and a whole lot more! Holly Brennan used food to comfort herself through her husband’s illness and death. Now she’s alone at age thirty-two. And she weighs more than she ever has. When fate throws her i …more

My thoughts

So I checked out this book because I wanted a fun easy read. I’m not usually into Chick-Lit even though I am obsessed with Chick- Flicks, but I liked the cover, so I said why not?! Right?!

Let me preface by saying this, I have never written a novel, neither have I publish anything EVER so I already respect Stephanie Evanovich for being a published author. That said, this book was awful! The worst book I’ve read in a while, actually the worst book I’ve read, I tried to read it 3 times and didn’t finish it and I cursed myself afterwards, its called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, now THAT book is awful! Big Girl Panties is just, bad.

Let’s talk about the author’s choice of words in the sex scenes. Stephanie used words like “take her” and “intrusion,” this sounds like unwanted sex to me. All the sex scenes just seem so forced and I couldn’t tell if they were intended to be awkward or her writing made it awkward. Also, one of the characters Chase loved spanking his grown adult wife, I mean?! I think Stephanie was going for readers thinking of this as a fetish, but it was just annoying and wrong.

There was quite a bit of body shaming in this book, which made me curious as to how the author looked like, so I went to go check her out and she is a heavy set woman. This shocked me a little because she didn’t show any compassion towards Holly, the main character who is was fat. Maybe it was her attempt to be candid but it didn’t come out that way. She made Holly too self-hating and insecure and attached it to her weight but I think the self-hating and insecurity was probably brought on from her abandonment by her family and dead husband. Anyways, I do not recommend this book, but if you want something to light to read, you can choose something else. Hahaha. But Stephanie is a little bit funny. I had laugh out loud moments.  

Have you read this book? What do you think of negative reviews?