REVIEW: Things That Happened Before The Earthquake

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TITLE: Things That Happened Before the Earthquake

AUTHOR: Chiara Barzini

GENRE: Fiction

PUBLICATION DATE: August 15, 2017

PUBLISHER: Doubleday Books

ISBN: 978-0-385-54227-2

PAGES: 320 pages

 

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synopsis

Mere weeks after the 1992 riots that laid waste to Los Angeles, Eugenia, a typical Italian teenager, is rudely yanked from her privileged Roman milieu by her hippieish filmmaker parents and transplanted to the strange suburban world of the San Fernando Valley. With only the Virgin Mary to call on for guidance as her parents struggle to make it big, Hollywood fashion, she must navigate her huge new public high school, complete with Crips and Bloods and Persian gang members, and a car-based environment of 99-cent stores and obscure fast-food franchises and all-night raves. She forges friendships with Henry, who runs his mother’s movie memorabilia store, and the bewitching Deva, who introduces her to the alternate cultural universe that is Topanga Canyon. And then the 1994 earthquake rocks the foundations not only of Eugenia’s home but of the future she’d been imagining for herself.  (courtesy of Goodreads.com)

RATING: 4/5

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REVIEW:

 

I have read bunch of books before and Things That Happened Before the Earthquake is one of those books I enjoyed reading; a very intriguing story of a young girl Eugenia. For me reading this book is such an extraordinary experience. It talks about different topics which I think really diverse; social differences, families, friends and self-finding. There is something with the first chapter that got me hooked with the whole story, I mean, Eugenia is such an interesting character! She was careless for the world was cruel for her. They moved to LA and everything in her life started to change. Her personality and her story is something that everyone should know. She is the BEST representation for those teens who lost their way in our society, those who tries to find themselves and wants to express who they really are. At the same time, she seeks attention and love from the people around her specially from her own family. What makes me cry is when the time she asked, why can’t her family be like the other families? It really hurts like hell for me at that point; I felt all the emotions of the character.

There is some point in this book that you will feel down, happy, angry and so many other emotions. The author’s way of describing each scene is really vivid and the characters are really amazing. I love how the author makes everything in this book so natural in real life which you will find so relatable and will keep you reading it until the end. I have learned so much from this book about friendships, family values, happiness; self-finding which Eugenia often struggles about. I know she’s not that perfect character for everyone but her story is worth reading! There are lot of lessons in life here. I love how imperfect each character is and how they find happiness out of those flaws they have; this reminds us to love ourselves infinitely.

One thing I slightly dislike about the book is that it took time before the earthquake happened. (lol) but anyway I love everything that happened after that EARTHQUAKE, it was so perfect. Those parts really mark on my mind and makes me realize many things like we take things for granted most of the time. We humans only see the value of a thing/ when it’s already gone; this book reminds us to be intact with our family. Their return to their home country signifies “THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME” we may find ourselves happy in a strange place, there will always a time you’ll find yourself longing for HOME.

All in all, I love this book. I highly recommend it to all

rchace

 

-MELLANIEANNSDUQUE

 

 

Review: Tash Hearts Tolstoy 

TITLE: Tash Hearts Tolstoy 

AUTHOR: Kathryn Ormsbee 

IMPRINT: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

ON SALE DATE: 6/6/17

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8933-1

FORMAT: Hardcover 

AGES: 14 up

PAGES: 384

Synopsis:

   VIR(TU)ALLY YOURS

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight; She’s gone viral. 

   Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina-written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver *the best web series ever* 

   And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award. Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Cause; a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL-if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

   Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)



Review:

   I’ve read a lot of romance novels before, and I’ve been so picky about romance books; Tash Hearts Tolstoy is one of my newest favorite romance novels this year! 

   If you are looking for a light and easy read for summer this one is for you! The story is really cute! I just love everything about this book. 

   First the cover, it’s really adorable the color used for the cover is so stunning, it’s pretty much simple but looks cute! plus say hi to the guy on the cover (Leo Tolstoy). The story is about a girl who loves Tolstoy she literally talks to her Tolstoy posters (that’s so cute!) She got recognized for her Unhappy Families YouTube series which shocks her and everything quite change. She felt pressured about things.

   It also talks about family, I like Tash’s family it wasn’t perfect like everyone have but they are so cute together. 

   Tash is really a lovely girl; jolly and do everything for the things that makes her happy and that’s what I love about her! 

   It also talks about happines, the real meaning of happiness. I made me realize a lot of this like in order to have genuine happiness we should first be true to ourselves and that what we really call BLISS.

   The friendship of Tash, Paul and Jake is really unbreakable. They support each other no matter. 

   (I wanted to talk about more about this book but I’m afraid I might spoil you all hehe.)

   All in all I love the book and I highly recommend it to all. I hope you love it too! 

Posting my review on YouTube this weekend! Watch out for it! 


-MellanieAnnSDuque
  

BOOK MAIL 📫 | HARPER COLLINS INTERNATIONAL 

Synopsis:

Mark and Giulia’s life together as a fairy tale romance. They fell in love at eighteen, got married at twenty-one, and started their dream life in San Francisco soon after. But when Giulia was twenty-seven, she suffered a terrifying and unexpected psychotic break that landed her in psych ward for nearly a month. One day she was vibrant and well adjusted; the next, she was delusional and suicidal, convinced that her loved ones were not safe.

Eventually, Giulia fully recovered and the couple had a son. Soon after Jonas was born, Giulia had another breakdown, and then a third a few years after that. The couple’s life were pushed to the edge of the abyss, and everything they had once taken for granted was upended.


Huge thanks to HarperCollinsInternational for sending me this book! You can also watch my short unboxing video on my channelBookmail from Harper Collins http://youtu.be/uSYqEdD5i5M

-mellanie

BOOKMAIL📫| DOUBLEDAY BOOKS

Earlier this morning I was handling my I.D to my mum just in case there’s a bookmail coming today and then she asked me “how on earth did you know something is coming?” “I just feel it” I said to her while laughing.  So, it poured so hard that is why I stayed home and cancelled my agenda today..and luckily a book mail came!! 

Here’s the book I got today from Penguin Random House and Doubleday books. Thank you so much for sending!  💕

About the book:

Title: Things That Happened Before The Earthquake 

Author: Chiara Barzini 

Synopsis:

Mere weeks after the 1992 riots that laid waste Los Angeles, Eugenia, a typical Italian teenager, is rudely yanked from her privileged Roman milieu by her hippie-ish filmmaker parents and transplanted to the strange suburban world of the San Francisco Valley. With only the Virgin Mary to call on for guidance as her parents struggle to make it big, Hollywood fashion, she must navigate her huge new public high school, complete with Crips and Bloods and Persian gang members, and a car-based environment of 99-cent stores and obscure fast-food franchises and all-night raves. She forges friendships with Henry, who runs his mother’s movie memorabilia store, and the bewitching Deva, who introduces her to the alternate cultural universe that is Topanga Canyon. And then the 1994 earthquake rocks the foundations not only of Eugenia’s home but the future she’d been imagining for herself. 

About the author 

CHIARA BARZINI is an Italian screen and friction writer. She has lived and studied in the United States, where she collaborated with Italian Vanity Fair, GQ, XL Repubblica, Italian Rolling Stone, Flair, and Marie Claire, while writing essays for American publications such as The Village Voice, Harper’s, Vogue, Interview, VICE and Rolling Stone. Her fiction has appeared in BOMB, The Coffin Factory, NOON, The New York Tyrant, VICE, and Dazed & Confused. She is the author of the story collection Sister Stop Breathing. 

Website: chiarabarzini.com

Twitter: @chiarabarzini

Instagram: @chiarabarzini

Facebook: chiara.barzini

-MellanieAnnSDuque

REVIEW: One of Us is Lying 

Title: One of Us Is Lying 

Author: Karen M. McManus

Pages: 368

Genre: Fiction 

Publication date: May 30, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

ISBN: 978-1-5247-1468-0



Synopsis:

Pay close attention and you might solve this.


On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.



Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5)

Review:

Mystery books are one of the genres I just love to read. Why you ask? Because they’re intriguing and captivating. There are puzzles to solve and as a reader, I get to play Sherlock Holmes piecing together clues, thinking about possibilities and drawing my own conclusions. Doesn’t that sounds thrilling?

I have read various mystery books before which I have enjoyed reading, but this one is different usually take a few chapters or so before something really good happens that seals the deal, but the author doesn’t beat around the bush just to make the story line longer than necessary. In fact, she drops the ball from the very first page. BAM! you’re hooked…and I was.  

As readers, we all have our own favorite genres, writing styles, and reading habits. Personally, I’m not too fond of dual or multiple POVs  Every character has their own chapters which I found a little frustrating because I wanted to read my favorite character’s side most of the time. Some character POVs just weren’t that interesting. Nevertheless, I think this writing style is a good way for the readers to have an understanding of each character’s personality.  

On the first part of the book the main characters were introduced; Bronwyn the Brain, Addy the Beauty, Nate the Criminal, Cooper the Athlete, and Simon the Outcast. Each of these characters are flawed to some extent harboring secrets they don’t want people to know. When Simon dies, each of them become suspects…but only one is lying. Deep in misery, these characters all begin to publicize their darkest secrets until the truth is finally unveiled.   

Apart from the mystery, the suspense and the thrill, I love that this book is about discovering that you can actually become friends with those you normally gossip about through unexpected scenarios in our lives. The people who we least expect to be our friends actually are the ones who sometimes end up sticking by our side through the rough times.One of Us is Lying is a story about acceptance and forgiveness. The characters are flawed and so are we. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. We keep secrets because we think it’s safer to do. But we should all remember that nothing will remain a secret forever. The truth always comes out no matter what we do. It’s best to just accept and do what is right even though the right thing can be scary. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone, you should all read this and be in love with all the characters villain or not.. it turns out my guess about who did the crime was right…read the book and let’s talk soon!😉

MellanieAnnSDuque

REVIEW: I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Title: I Believe In A Thing Called Love 

Author: Maurene Goo

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books

Publication date: May 30, 2017

Genre: Fiction (Contemporary, Romance, Ya)

Ages: 14-18

Pages: 336

ISBN: 978-0-374-30404-1



Synopsis:

Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)


Review: 

  Everyone seems to be so addicted with Kpop, and Kdramas including me. Kpop, Kdrama and other Korean stuff are really fun to watch, listen and learn! They do have that magic to persuade their audience. Since I was born in Korea, I grew up learning about Korean culture and learned how to speak basic words. I eventually became a big fan of Kdramas, so when I heard about this book… my world suddenly stopped. I was beyond ecstatic… I mean who wouldn’t be thrilled to read a book inspired by Kdramas?

   I’ve never tried to read books inspired by Kdramas before, so I’m not really sure what to expect. However, the whole concept of first love in this book, which the author links with Korean Dramas, is intriguing and really unique that will make the reader go gaga over it. In fact, if you’re a big fan of Kdramas, I suggest you check this out 100%… Don’t even think about. Plus, look at that cover! It’s so pretty and I love the colors!! 

   Let’s talk about the main character, Desi is such a cute girl. She’s so pretty and sweet though she’s also a disaster, in the book she doesn’t have luck when it comes to boys even though people see her so perfect because she’s one of the top in her class, she work so hard for things because she wanted to be like her mum, to make her dad proud. She is also funny! On the other hand, is her night shining armour; oh my! I really love him! He’s so cute! He’s one of my fictional crush now (here). 

  What I love about this books is the bond Desi and her dad. They are really adorable, though Desi grew up without her mum her dad managed to make Desi a good kid, I salute him for that! And the author for creating such inspiring character like Desi and her Dad. I know being a single parent specially if your kid is a girl and you are a dad it’s hard to take care your child… plus Desi’s friends they are really amazing! Makes me miss my best friend even more when I read this one.

  One thing I slightly disapproved about it is that some words like nuts, crazy is used in the book quite often which I believe not okay with readers who have anxieties just like my friend. It would be a little stressful for them if they read those words.

  But over all I did love reading it, it was an easy read! It was really enjoyable!;) A total diverse book because Desi’s parents are from different parts of the globe.

   If you love k dramas I guarantee you’ll love this too!

MellanieAnnSDuque