Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

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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.

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram ☆

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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.

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Single Malt by Layla Reyne

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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!

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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3stars

“Just because some people actually work for their money doesn’t mean they are beneath you.”

Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
Series: Crazy Rich Asians #1

Number of pages: 527 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: Some parts made me laugh a lot.
Bad things about this book: Too many details about money and brands!
Do I recommend it? I’ll say you must give it a chance if you find the blurb interesting.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I did it. I finished this endless book. I liked it, it had fun parts, but there were just too many descriptions. Pages and pages of details of this crazy rich Asians’ extravaganza. Too many pages. This book was 527 pages, 300 of descriptions, 227 of the real story, maybe. The many POVs didn’t bother me much but I felt so disconnected with Nick and Rachel because they were barely there. What do I really know about them?? Just a few pages, that’s it.

With books this long, it’s easy to get lost in the details, but if you know exactly where your story is going, then the pages fly without even noticing. This is not the case with this book; it felt long, it felt endless, and it felt at points pretty plotless with unnecessary chapters from random people’s point of views. Did we really need to know all those things? Did we? I don’t think we needed them.

I get that this is supposed to make us see the over the top lives of these crazy rich Asians, but I only saw pages and pages of designer names, amounts of money spent on things and how many each thing cost. Tell me once, tell me twice, but at the third time I’m just going to roll my eyes. I get these people are filthy rich and some of them spend so much money that could last me and my whole family multiple lifetimes, but the story didn’t need to relay on this kind of info, but on Rachel being thrown into these people’s lives, and some insights from some key characters’ point of views. I finished the book not really knowing any of them, so I’ll soon forget them.

I read the summary of the sequel and I don’t know if I’m going to read it. I’ll give it a lot of thought but postpone buying it until I’m really sure I’m going to read it. I wasn’t going to read this one, but the movie was going to come out and, if I can, I like going to watch movies adapted from books, after reading the books first. I don’t know why I do that since then I spend the whole movie comparing and thinking about scenes that I thought would’ve been great to see but weren’t there. I liked the movie and I liked how different it was; they focused mainly on Rachel’s pov and I liked that choice.

If you’re curious about this book after seeing the movie, or just because it sounds interesting, then pick it up. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it, maybe you’ll find it entertaining. But at least you’ll see with your own eyes, not through mine or someone else’s.

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Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker

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5stars

“But if we could say what we meant without the dillydallying, we’d get to the good parts so much quicker.”

Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Number of pages: 220 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s adorable, with sweet characters, a lovely romance, a cute dog, and one of the most wonderful endings ever.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This was so cute and adorable. I was afraid we were going to get drama but there wasn’t any. There were just two people slowly falling in love, getting to know each other, spending time together, all of this thanks to a runaway dog who looks like an Ewok.

Griffin was just so lovable from the beginning. Sweet, a little shy, a little bossy, and really good at his job. Dane is just as sweet, he is good at his job and he loves his dog with all his gorgeous heart. Fate made Wicket, the ewok dog, find Griffin when he escaped from Dane’s parents’ house. Wicket is a marvelous dog, and he just did the most wonderful thing for his dad! Sometimes it takes a dog to start one of the most romantic love stories I’ve ever read.

“All I learned today was that my dog is having the time of his life with the man of my dreams, and I’m stuck here with you guys.”

Griffin and Dane liked each other instantly, but it wasn’t really instalove. They started texting, then calling each other, then when they finally meet they understand that what they have might be start of something real and important for both of them. The way they talked, the way drama wasn’t part of the equation because sometimes thing can be simple, made my heart grow a few sizes, and made me wear a big smile from beginning to end.

The side characters were just as lovely, no antagonists who were put there to disrupt their relationship. We had Griffin’s landlady, Bernice, who’s like a firecracker on drugs. I haven’t found a lady this funny in a very long time. Then there’s K, Bernice’s boyfriend or something like that. They are a power couple. As much as the two main guys, these two also had an important part in the story and I loved how nothing was done to put some drama into the mix. This book was just perfect the way it is.

I loved this book and it was what I needed when I went looking for a light, fun, and romantic book to put me in a right mood for harder books. Highly recommended!

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The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

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4stars

If and when our world ends, it won’t be from a meteor or a viral outbreak or some other cosmic event; it will be us. We will be our own undoing.

Title: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Good things about this book: It’s the right amount of weird.
Bad things about this book: The last page leaves you wanting more.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I was so into the story that I didn’t even realize the book was over when I reached that last part. Why did it end that way?? I want more and more and more!!

It was different, and it made you think. I was so happy about the cameos of Hutchinson’s other books’ characters. I almost cried when Henry appeared! I miss Henry every time I find myself thinking about We Are the Ants; it’s one of my favorite books.

This book can be officially declared peculiar. Elena was born from parthenogenesis; that can be explained scientifically, but her let’s say weird situation doesn’t stop to a virgin birth, because Elena hear voices from the siren of Starbucks to a My Little Pony, telling her she has the power to heal people, and she should do it, or else the world is going to end. That’s a little too much responsibility for a young girl struggling with a massive crush and trying to avoid bullies.

The first person Elena healed, that one first miracle that put in motion the apocalypse, was a girl named Freddie and Elena has a huge crush on her. Freddie is certainly not the person Elena thought she was and getting to know her is going to put her patience to test. It put MY patient to test, but then I got to know her and the reasons behind her hard façade and I ended up liking her.

With the end of world, people disappearing all over the world, her love life being a total mess, and the voices being very insisting, Elena doesn’t really know what to do. She is set on finding out why Freddie was shot like that would make her understand why the world is ending. Why does finding the reason is that important? Elena is trying to avoid the real problem!! Elena is like a lot of us.

We make choices. We make bad choices. But we still deserve the right to choose.

I really liked this book. Like all of this author’s books, there are serious issues being portrayed and analyzed. I found that this had the right amount of serious and peculiar, just the amount that I usually love. Elena is a nice main character, she isn’t without flaw, often irritating, but you just cheer for her to be able to save the world, get the girl, be happy with her bff and family. Easy, right?

Not the lightest of reads, but neither one of the hardest. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. This author needs to have more love from readers all around the world.

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Fence #9 by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, Joana Lafuente & HamletMachine

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5stars

That’s what I’m fencing for. My last year. My last chance.

Title: Fence
Author: C.S. Pacat (Author), Johanna the Mad (Illustrator), Joana Lafuente (Illustrator), HamletMachine (Illustrator)
Series: Fence #9

Number of pages: 29 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: Nicholas blushing!!!
Bad things about this book: I need MORE!
Do I recommend it? If you’re not reading this comic, I’m judging you a lot!!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

This volume was amazing. Tanner and Kally’s friendship is the cutest. And Nicholas blushing because of Seiji is always great to watch. Because Nicholas doesn’t blush when others hug him or talk to him, but he blushes when Seiji is close to him, takes his wrist, or glares at him. It’s beautiful!

20180816_153106Look at him blushing!!!

The tryouts are almost over; I’m so curious to know what’s going to happen next. Nicholas and Seiji are going to challenge each other soon, and after those last few pages, I suspect Seiji is not going to be himself because of his suspicions about Nicholas. I have some ideas about Nicholas’ mysteries, and I think I might be right but I’m willing to bet I’m going to be surprised by the revelation.

20180816_153126“Look at me” Nicholas is giving me a lot of vibes. Like a lot!

As usual, I’m cursing the world because this comic comes out monthly and, you know, a month is quite long, and the more we go forward with the story, the more I’m impatient to know what’s going to happen to our beloved fencers.

Have you noticed how Seiji likes to think himself as a loner and seems to be thinking only about himself, but when it comes to Nicholas he is just more, does more, cares more? I noticed, and it’s making the whole tryouts a lot more interesting.

20180816_153039I love the way Nicholas looks inside Seiji’s head. You can’t tell me I’m delusional. Things are changing.

GIVE ME MORE NICHOLAS, GIVE ME MORE SEIJI. GIVE ME MORE!!!

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