Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

IMG_20180912_080838_868

5stars

I was going to live my life. I was going to spend time with people who cared about me and whom I cared about. I was going to be comfortable in my own skin even when some people wanted to make that impossible for me.

Title: Here to Stay
Author: Sara Farizan
Number of pages: 304 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The writing style, how the feelings of the main character could be felt.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Important, frustrating, emotional, and funny! I didn’t get much of the sport’s terminology, but I still was on edge when they were playing.

PLOT —-
The story follows Bijan’s life in high school; he’s part of the basketball team, is shy and has a crush on a beautiful girl. People, based solely on ignorance and jealousy, feeling threaten by his newly found success in the team, start hating on him, photoshopping his face on a terrorist body. Just because of the colour of his skin. The book follows him during the days after the photo went viral at school, his feelings, the reality of things hitting him hard, and the eye-opening fact of what fear, however irrational, can do to people. It’s terrifying.

CHARACTERS —-
The characters were nicely written; you hated who you were supposed to hate, and cheer for the ones you were supposed to cheer on. There wasn’t the usual case of loving the antagonist. Here the antagonist is so hateful you can’t do anything but despise everything he is and everything he stands for.
I liked Bijan a lot. Trying to be strong, telling people he is okay when he’s everything but okay. Trying to be a high school boy, with a crush, with friends he trusts, playing a sport he loves. Trying to be a hero in his own story when the world wants to paint him as the bad guy.

“Your mom raised you to be an upstanding young chap, you’re smart, you’re tall, and you can put together a mean bowl of cereal. You’re a catch!”

THOUGHTS —-
I was furious. I’m always furious when I read about ignorant people making someone’s life a living hell because of their own ignorance, misinformation, and fake patriotism. Like they know generic stuff because they read a few article titles, so they feel entitled to hate, because they are right, they read it somewhere even if out of context. These people should disappear like poof, you racist you gone! You bigot you gone poof!!!

“Most people aren’t worth knowing, It’s the Age of the Asshole, man. It’s their time to shine. Doesn’t matter what race, religion, orientation, or gender. If you’re a jerk, the world is yours for the taking.”

CONCLUSION —-
The book is short, it’s easy to read and you’ll find yourself finishing it in just an afternoon. Its themes are important, but the book is not heavy or dark. It’s the reality of high schoolers who just happen not to be white, and the ignorant people that put all of them in the category of their choice. Until it’s still something that happens, books like this one, are going to be needed. And as mad as they make me feel, I will keep reading them and spreading the love.

firmablog

Advertisements

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram ☆

IMG_20180905_080844_753

5starsplus

“You’re okay,” he murmured.
“No, I’m not.”
“I know.” He rubbed my back up and down. “It’s okay not to be okay.”

Title: Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: I loved how calm and sweet this was, so very real!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I can’t recommend it enough.
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I have never read a more relatable character than Darius. I loved this book with all my little heart. Feelings are overflowing. This is not an excessively sad book, it has sad parts but it’s a hopeful journey, and we get to see it through a very sweet boy’s eyes.

This story filled my heart with a bittersweet joy. I’m so glad I’ve read it. I’m happy, a sort of calm and quiet happiness.

I loved the quiet. Even if it sometimes made me think of sad things. Like whether anyone would miss me if I was dead.

Darius is bullied at school and it made me furious, not only because of the bullies but because of his dad telling him that if he was just more normal he wouldn’t have these kinds of problems. What kind of father tells that to a son? To a bullied son? To a bullied son who has also depression? He has a lot on his plate and he’s trying his best, he doesn’t need a father not being on his side.

Normally, I was thrilled to get pizza – it was pretty much the best dietary indiscretion ever – but I could feel Dad watching me at every bite, flaring his nostrils.

His dad infuriated me because he is exactly like my mother. Ever since I remember my mom has been obsessed with weight. I’m overweight, I have been this way, more or less, since I got my period at 9 years old. Pretty early, I know. Ever since that day I started getting curves and everything I ate stayed there with me. I have been thinner in the past, but it didn’t last, surely because I’m not supposed to be that way. I’m happy with how I am. I do care about my health and take care of myself, but this is my shape and people shouldn’t see that as bad or wrong.

Darius gained weight because of his medication, he really doesn’t have a problem with it. He has a problem with his father having a problem with it. Take that and add that he is going to Iran, her mother’s birth place, for the first time to meet his grandparents and relatives. Everything is overwhelming and different. Luckily, he meets Sohrab, a friend of his grandparents and they immediately click. They are destined to be friends. Great friends!

I liked that I could be silent with Sohrab.
That’s how I knew we really were going to be friends.

I love Darius and Sohrab together; they don’t get along all the time, they had a rough first outing together, but the nice thing about friends is that they can forgive you. Darius really needed someone like Sohrab, and I’m happy he got to meet him and bond with him. It helped him a lot. The subtlety of the LGBT theme was just right; I wasn’t disappointed it wasn’t more present, more told on page, because that’s just another way Darius was dealing with everything that’s been going on in his life. I liked how he just wasn’t ready to tell anyone, not even us, the readers.

Darius’ story was one of growth, family, friendship and understanding that is okay not be okay, but trying their best every single day. I loved this book, the way it built slowly, telling different stories that came together in the end. I loved it. I hope there are more books like this one out there, because as I needed this one, other people might need them in the future. I recommend it with all my heart.

firmablog

Single Malt by Layla Reyne

20180908_152534

4stars

Title: Single Malt
Author: Layla Reyne
Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey #1

Number of pages: 194 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: I just like a good crime book, and this is good.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do!
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Leaving the fact that it was hot as hell, also heartbreaking as hell, everything as hell, the action in this book was excellent!! The mysteries, the investigations, the twists, you don’t know who is involved in crimes until it may be too late!

I enjoyed it a lot. Like a crime show episode with a sort of cliffhanger ending. What is going to happen now??? Who knows! I sense pains of the heart but also a happy ending that I know I’m going to get because I read the synopsis of the last book of the series. So even if I’m going to suffer I know it’ll be worth it.

Aidan “Irish” Talley lost his husband and his FBI partner in a car accident 8 months ago; he is grieving, which is understandable, he feels guilty, and is stuck in this loop when he needs to start thinking about moving on. Because moving on doesn’t mean forgetting people who we loved but lost too soon, is getting a grip on our lives because we deserve living and being happy. Aidan isn’t at that point yet, even if he shows a lot of interested in his new partner, a lot of interest!

Here comes Jameson “Whiskey” Walker, tall and beautiful with a smile that gets him everything he wants. He has wanted Aidan for three years, but he was happily taken; now he gets to partner with him and maybe finally get a chance at taking things to a more pleasant level. But Aidan doesn’t seem ready to let go of his late husband, and Jamie is crushing harder and harder. Things are going to get difficult.

The case is super interesting; a facility storing very dangerous pathogens has been hacked and our agents need to stop further attacks to avoid a bioterrorist attack. But, as usual, things aren’t as they seem: possible moles, danger, accidents that aren’t accidents, the agents being domestic cuties, and a lot of not so subtle flirting. Aidan, though, is still afraid, but we see a different side of him and it’s both heartwrenching and hopeful.

I’ll read the sequel as soon as I can. I already miss Jamie; he worked his magic on me, too. And Aidan isn’t bad, either. On the contrary, those two are going to get a lot of love from me, I know that!

firmablog

Cloaked in Shadow by Ben Alderson

20180908_152706

3stars

Title: Cloaked in Shadow
Author: Ben Alderson
Series: The Dragori #1

Number of pages: 350 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Elves with magic and shapeshifting abilities!
Bad things about this book: There were a lot of grammar errors.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a nice story!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I’m unsure. While I liked it, and enjoyed it, I felt that something was amiss. I’ll give this book 3.5 stars, a good rating, for a book full of potential, with a main character that was a tad melodramatic and emo, an ex that was forced to play a role that I felt unnecessary, and a prince that was sweet and adorable (Hadrian has flaws but he is a cutie).

Some scenes felt a bit random, like wth is going on, why is Zacriah acting like a child? He was at times annoying, I could picture him in my head whining. The ex-boyfriend thing still bothers me: it just didn’t make any sense and it ruined a nice situation with a pointless scene played by our drama queen Zac!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, even with the many grammar errors I found (then instead of than, lots of your instead of you’re and more), and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Hadrian and the ever so theatrical Zac!

Things left unexplained that I hope are going to be explained in the next two books, because, yes, this is a trilogy and it sounds promising. I have the second book ready, but I never binge read a series; it will have to wait. I just hope the boys are going to be okay in the end, and I hope that Zac will start acting less childish and get a grip! Things are more difficult now and he is needed!

Elves, shapeshifters, druids, magic, there’s a little bit of everything and I will be there to see how the story unfolds, no matter what. The cover made me read the book, it’s beautiful, and the story made me stay. I’ll be here until the end, fingers crossed it’s not going to be the end of the happiness the boys clearly deserve!

firmablog

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

IMG_20180829_153320_465

5stars

I have one foot in winter and one in spring.
One foot with the living, and one with the dead.

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Cassidy Blake #1

Number of pages: 285 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The way the city is beautifully described.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Well, now I must go to Edinburgh. I must! Last year I was contemplating going, but the only month I could maybe go was also the most expensive of it all. After reading this book, though, I just know that I need to find a way because that city sounds both magical and spooky. I want to see with my own two eyes these haunted places. The graveyard sounds promising for some ghostwatching.

I always enjoy books meant for younger readers because we don’t get the usual, often forced, love storyline. You get to enjoy the story and its characters and that’s it. It’s refreshing to stop worrying about who loves who, so my focus was all on the ghosts and on the very sweet main character, Cassidy.

Cassidy has a best friend who is a ghost! Can you believe that? Sometimes I think stories in my head that stay there, and one of them was about a medium woman who has a sort of sidekick best friend who was a ghost. Loved the coincidence, loved the story.

Every time I get nervous or scared, I remind myself that every good story needs twists and turns. Every heroine needs an adventure.

Victoria Schwab writes in a way that keeps you glued to the pages. I wanted to read and read and read until I reached the last page, satisfied and extremely curious about what was to come next. That beautiful woman hasn’t disappointed me yet, and I doubt she ever will. A woman like that will have my attention and my love for years to come.

With the details that went into describing Edinburgh, I’ll be surprised if the readers didn’t want to go visit. This book will boost tourism, and it certainly will contribute to the growth of young readers. The description of every single place, and people, had me daydreaming of me one day walking around those same streets with a hot beverage in hand and my eyes sparkling with curiosity and delight.

This book is an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. The story is deep, emotional, magical, a bit scary but not much, and no matter your age, you’ll be glad you gave it a chance.

firmablog

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet ☆

IMG_20180824_100052_509

5starsplus

One day I’ll live a life that doesn’t force me to make such cold-blooded decisions, she thought. But today is not that day.

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennet
Series: Founders #1

Number of pages: 503 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the steampunk-ish fantasy world!
Bad things about this book: I want the sequel right now.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some here will whisper of liberty – but you can’t be free if you aren’t alive.

I LOVED IT!!! I loved it more than I thought I was going to! It surprised me, in an incredible way. I went in thinking I was going to find another amazing adventure by Bennett and found exactly that but so much more! I’m amazed, I’ll talk about this book with everyone!

This book is certainly different from Bennett’s Divine Cities trilogy; it is less dark and pretty straightforward, but it doesn’t lack twists and revelations that took the story on a very enjoyable level.

I liked Sancia right away; a former slave who’s been tortured and modified so that now she hears the scrived devices and feels the objects she touches learning all their secrets. In this world, there are devices modified through antique symbols to defy their natural role in the world. For example, you have a sword, you modified it telling it the gravity it’s feeling is 10 times the one it actually is, so the sword, when used will hit harder and make so much more damage. The scrivers use all their knowledge to come up with more ways to tell objects they should be doings things that’ll defy physics laws. I found this very fascinating.

What I loved, like really loved, about this book, was how it gave the world a love is love state of being. There were many political problems with the merchant houses, the foundries, the crimes, etc, but at least who you liked wasn’t an issue and I thought it was refreshing as hell. When I saw a character blushing because they saw a naked shoulder of a same gender character, a SHOULDER, my eyes opened comically; I was so glad Bennett thought of giving his characters the freedom to choose whoever they wanted to love with the normality our real world should have done from the very beginning of time. Giovanni saying he wanted to go to an exotic island because he’ll be among so many gorgeous sailor, made me smile so much. There were so many funny moments in this book.

Of all the side characters there were, and I’m always afraid about many side characters because it means some are expendables at some point, Clef was definitely my favourite. Brilliant, emotional, deep, and so selfless. Berenice has many more sides of herself that she will show us, I’m sure of it. Orso managed to be okay-ish at first, but then I warmed to his grumpiness. He gave a kind of vibe that made me doubt everything he did, a vibe that told me he was going to do something I wouldn’t approve. Gregor, sweet Gregor, what can I say about him? Follower of rules, he wants a better place for people to live in. He has this utopic dream of the world being a big happy place with people helping one another. He likes to think he’s doing the things he does for the greater good and he does, maybe it doesn’t always end like he intended but he tries his best. I liked him a lot and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do now, after everything that happened in Tevanne. Oh boy, things happened, so many things.

I will now be waiting anxiously for the sequel, because I didn’t have enough of Tevanne and I need more of it and of its characters. I got to know them, and I’m now like a mama hen, and will be very protective of my babies. Don’t you dare hurt them, Bennett! I’ll be heartbroken. After the Divine Cities’ trilogy, I can’t help but being scared.

firmablog

Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee

20180825_095925

5stars

Title: Not Your Villain
Author: C.B. Lee
Series: Sidekick Squad #2

Number of pages: 307 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved reading the story through Bells’ eyes.
Bad things about this book: It left me wanting for more and now I have to wait.
Do I recommend it? Yes!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I love Bells and I loved him as a narrator. Maybe this book had less action than the first, but it had more details about meta-humans. The bad guys weren’t in this as much as I would’ve liked, I guess they’re going to be all together for the grand finale?? I sure hope so! I want to see our heroes kick some corrupted meta-humans’ butts.

I liked how the first chapters took place during some events of the previous book, and we could see some scenes from Bell’s point of view. From book 1 I already knew Bells was a good friend, even if he was keeping a pretty big secret, he was crushing on Emma, he was a caring son, a boy everyone seemed to love and want a piece of. This book confirmed everything I knew and introduced me to a whole new part of Bells; he is emotional, respectful, is scared but it doesn’t mean he’ll give up. He keeps going, for his friends, for his family, for his fellow meta-humans, for the world. He wants to be a hero even if now the world thinks of him as the most wanted villain in the country.

Bells is strong, but how strong? He has a lot of stamina, but just how much? We’ll find out so much about Bells in this book and I loved every second of it. He is a fragile thing, putting on a smile even if he’s hurting inside. I think he is the bravest of them all.

In Not Your Sidekick we got a glimpse of Jess’ genius younger brother, and in Not Your Villain he is part of the action. He is a delight. Sassy and shy at the same time. He has a crush on Bells and that’s just the cutest thing ever: how he acts around Bells is adorable. I hope we get to see more of him in the third book: he deserves a book for himself after the book from Emma’s pov. Will he get it? I have my doubts, but I’ll love to read something from his pov, even if it’s a short story.

Captain Orion is kidnapping meta-humans, the Collective is keeping everything under wraps, the League is not easily trusted anymore, and defense robots (more like killer robots) will make getting to the bottom of the corruption situation a lot harder that I thought. With all of that going on, and personal feelings getting in the way, Bells will have one hell of an adventure. I’ll miss him as a narrator a lot, I love reading about his emotions and everything that went on in his head.

The third book can’t come soon enough. I’m already very impatient!!

firmablog