Review: The Rogue’s Wager by Christi Caldwell

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Title: The Rogue’s Wager

Author: Christi Caldwell

Published: 25 October 2016

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads summary

Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.

Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.

When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

Review

The book starts off with Lord Robert Dennington being summoned by his grandfather, Duke of Somerset and with that unfortunate meeting; Roberts’s view of life and women in general was forever changed. I read the prologue and all I can think is the grandfather is one cold son of a bitch and how he chose to show that Robert was wrong was just brutal exceptionally brutal. Honestly, I would be surprised if Robert came out of the meeting unscathed. Anyhoots, with this unfortunate meeting Robert starts to lead what I call the YOLO/Satan lifestyle where he just couldn’t give a damn about anything and enjoys his life to the fullest and thus years down the road it is exactly this behavior that enables him to meet Helena and the rest is history so they say.

With this book, I liked how Helena is anything but the typical beauty you always see in historical romance. For one, she is crazily tall and her height is 6 feet (for an asian who is only 5’3, I consider anything more than 5’5 is crazily tall), she is lean, barely has any hips but her most distinguishing features are the scars all over her face and her body. Plus part of her face that does not have any scars is average looking yet Robert still fell in love with her. Robert who is just born gorgeous fell in love with Helena because of her wit and personality. This makes me have hope for my own love life to be quite frank.

Aside from being the non-typical beauty, I also enjoyed Helena’s characterization in the book. She is both exposed to the harsh realities of life yet also sheltered that it makes Helena seem very childlike in one scene yet in another she is this bad ass of a woman attacking Robert with a knife. How Christi writes Helena’s character was well enough that it does not look fake and overworked.

Whilst the majority of the plot followed the typical historical romance template, towards the end when the true antagonist was revealed I was shocked because I had not anticipated said character to be so heartless and so evil as to do what they did. I thought the antagonist would just be the one and that was it, I never expected there to be a mastermind behind what Helena and Ryker went through.

The reason why I didn’t give this book a 5 rating eventhough I enjoyed it immensely was because:

  • I rarely discuss book covers in my review because I find it irrelevant unless I actually bought it but the books cover for this book, I just have to put my two cents in. The models look so stiff and uncomfortable it comes across as extremely fake and the guys hair. Just a no go. That color of blonde does not suit him. He looks like a Ken doll and in all honesty I almost didn’t read this book because I had judged it by the cover.
  • I wanted to know more on why the antagonist did what they did. What was their background story? I am not too sure if this will be discussed or revealed more in her upcoming books (I hope so) but for now I am left unsatisfied.

Overall, this book is awesome for a light and fun read. I am so excited for the next installment in ‘The Sinful Brides’ series because the hero in the next book is none other than Ryker!!! I am now silently praying please God, please let Netgalley have it soon.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

WWW Wednesday

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and you just answer three simple questions and BA-DA-BOOM! You are done.

So the three WWW’s are:

  • What are you currently reading
  • What did you recently finish
  • What do you think you’ll read next

 

Currently reading:

The 13 Problems by Agatha Christie and The Psychopath Whisperer by Kent A. Kiehl. Both these books were given to me as Christmas presents by my two best friends, Jell and Cyril. I have never read anything by Agatha Christie and Jell who has read her work work recommended and actually gave me one of her books for me to read. Am reading it now and so far so good, Miss Marple seems like a devious old lady to me and The Psychopath Whisperer well it’s no secret I am intrigued by that of psychopaths and the workings of their minds.

 

Recently finished:

Death and Her Devotion (Rogue Vows #1) by Kendra Elliot, Burned by Her Devortion (Rogue Vows #2) by Melinda Leigh, Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen and. OMG! I just realized now I had read two books by the same author. Why didn’t I realize this sooner? Unfortunately for you the reviews for these books will only be up in February 2017. Why you ask? Well, it is because I have so many backlogged reviews from back when I was in my reading/blogging slump that when I got to doing them I realized I was fully booked for reviews for the next two months.

 

Reading next:

I borrowed some books from the library for the Popsugar 2017 reading challenge that I am planning to do so maybe I will read those first but we will see because I tend to change my mind. The books that I borrowed are A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten (?) Books I’ve Read Being Given 5 Star Ratings in 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this weeks topic is  “Top Ten Books of 2016” whereby you can choose however you want to write it so I chose Top Ten-ish Books of where I have given them 5 star ratings either on Goodreads or on my book blog. Let’s get started!

When doing this meme I have realized by going through my Goodreads list is that I don’t give a lot of books 5 star ratings. Currently I have only given 12 books out 53 books that I have read, 5 star ratings. That is only 22%. Am I really a harsh book critic? I don’t think so I mean I gave 17 books 4 star ratings. Also, the books I rated 5 stars in the first half of the list are my favorite books and they are my yearly reads books so yeah. Enjoy today’s post guys! 😀

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Come on, guys! How can you not absolutely LOVE this book? This book was beyond AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Mind you, I have never watched the movie in fear that it would disappoint me. I read this book all the time and every time I read it, it gets better kinda like wine. Gets better with age. Yeah, it romanticizes the mafia but who doesn’t? The ending where Michael got his revenge, pure bliss! Man, talk about revenge is a dish best served cold!

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It is not just this book that got 5 star ratings from me. It’s the whole Millenium series. I love the heroine, Lisbeth Salander, she is the anti-heroine whilst this book isn’t my ultimate favorite in the Millenium Series (the last one is) it gives us a glimpse of Lisbeth and what made her, her.

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Another heroine whom I love. She is strong, independent and another round of bad-ass-ery yet she is also young and inexperienced in terms of magic and being the Abhorsen which shows when she is fighting monsters and trying to save her dad and the world. It’s a nice perspective to see/read how she too can question herself and yet when she chooses her decision she sees it through and gung-ho’s it out. One thing I find annoying with this series is how the sequel is 19 years later and is completely with new characters. Like damn you Nix! I wanted to read more about Sabriel and how is she doing. How she became an expert in being the Abhorsen but no just had to skip all that and next thing ya know, she is already married with two children and 19 years has passed. Like dafuq.

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Why did I give this a 5 yet the lightning thief a 4? Hmmm… I can’t remember but whatever. It’s no secret that the Percy Jackson series is one of my favs which is also a yearly read which I can’t really do as much because I don’t actually own any of the books. It was a miracle I managed to finish the series at all to be honest. Although I am reminded of the time where I read the entire series in one day because I couldn’t borrow any more books from my uni library and yet I didn’t want to not read it. Let’s just say after that binge session I had nothing short of a migraine.

  • HP & The Sorcerers Stone/The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

Must I say anything to this making the list? If you have read my blog long enough you MUST know that HP is the ultimate of ultimate of the ultimatest of my favorite series… favorite books… favorite everything. Nothing and I mean NOTHING can eclipse the love I have for them.

  • Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

I was seduced by its cuteness.

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This is the second book that I actually gave a 5 rating when I started doing this blog. The book just gave me the feels man and I am an emotional person. So when you write a book that just kicks me in the feels I just lose.

  • Kill The Father by Sandrone Dazieri

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I really don’t bother to link the Goodreads link unless you can read Italian. To be honest I was about to give this book a 4 rating until…UNTILLLL!!! I read the ending. Magad! The ending… the ending knocked my socks off so hard it went flying once around the Earth and slapped me back. I WAS SHOOOOOOOOOKKKKKK by the ending, I am not even sure if my review will do the story JUSTICE! You guys still have to wait till next year though. Huh.

I kind of ranted about how I love the books enough so Imma just let this one slideeeeee. My review for Duke of Pleasure is here btw if any of ya’ll interested in reading it.

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I really enjoyed this book even if it is historical romance. I am starting to think I am going through a romance phase. My review will be out in a few days (?) so I’ll link it here soon (if I remember that is).

So there ya go, my top ten (ish) books that I have given a 5 star rating. Which books have you read in 2016 which was lucky enough to get a 5 star rating?

Review: Fatal Passions by Adrian Vincent

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Title: Fatal Passions

Author: Adrian Vincent

Published: 12 October 2016

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5 anythings

Netgalley description

An inconvenient wife, a suspicious husband, a lover who refuses to leave — the flip-side of love can all too easily turn out to be murderous hatred.

In trunks, under floorboards, in remote ravines — even in their own beds — the bodies of those for whom their lovers’ passion proved fatal have been found, and often through the stench of decay.

One ingenious killer boiled down his wife’s remains in a vat at his sausage factory.

Another throttled and incinerated a perfect stranger in order to stage his own death and thus escape the charge of bigamy.

Then there were the lesbian schoolgirls who bludgeoned to death the mother of one of them with a brick in a stocking. Her crime: she had tried to keep them apart.

Whilst one woman kept her lover in a secret attic for years until he shot her husband dead.

A dark narrative, Adrian Vincent expertly brings together some of the world’s most notorious killer.

In sixteen fascinating case histories, Fatal Passions tells the true stories of those who have literally loved someone to death.

Review

I am a huge fan of murder mysteries be it fictional or non-fictional (although I prefer knowing about non-fiction murder mysteries from the comfort of my own home under my warm blanket) so when I saw this book in Netgalley I just had to request for it because it has 16 stories in it and its about murder? Count me in!

The stories themselves were great but I had wished that the author provided some footnotes or a bibliography to ensure that the stories were had backing and it wasn’t mostly creative license. I mean with murder especially one that has to do with passion the writer wouldn’t even need creative license the story practically writes itself! But anyways with having footnotes and such the reader (me) can go do their homework and learn more and know whether the authors sources are legitimate, I mean this happened in real life not just from imagination.

Another thing which could have added oomph to the book was if the author had included pictures along with its respective stories. To put a face to the story as they say. That way it adds depth and a 3 dimensional-ness to the story, so the readers can see how these murderers and their respective victims look like.

Apart from this, I felt that the authors style of writing kept the readers from feeling like it was a heavy read even with the amount of details that the book had (still wishing it had a bibliography/footnotes though) as he conveyed the information with interesting quips and inserted humor here and there.

Overall, the book is great if you feel like reading something non-fiction that is light and fast to read.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

#FridayBookShare – The Devil’s Prayer by Luke Gracias

#FridayBookShare is a book meme created by Shelley wilson

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With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so I’ve created a Friday Book Share game to help search for that ideal read.

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on the book you are currently reading/finished reading this week and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

 

So here is my #FridayBookshare:

 

First Line:

According to a thirteenth century legend, a young Benedictine monk known as Herman the Recluse, from the Podlazice monastery in today’s Czech Republic, was sentenced to be walled-up alive for breaking his monastic vows.

Introduce the main character:

Siobhan: Caring, responsible, brave

Denise: Loving, vengeful, repentant

Delightful Design:

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Audience Appeal:

Readers who love a mix of real history and fictional story-telling with a dash of action and splashes of gore.

Favorite Line:

He laughed. “You can call it what you like. Justice, karma, revenge. You want your life back. Give me their souls and I will give you your life back.” Truly he was the Prince of Darkness.

Review: Who does he think he is? by Emily Kerr

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Title: Who does he think he is?

Author: Emily Kerr

Published: 15 December 2016

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 4/5 anythings

Goodreads summary

Lady Aurelia Osbourne-Lloyd has long wished her bank balance was as big as her name. But her home, Leydale Park, is more of a pile in a state than stately pile, and with her father off ‘finding himself’ in Thailand, it’s up to her to turn the family fortunes around by entertaining demanding tourists.

When – thanks to her father’s interference – a Hollywood production company chooses the estate as a location for a Regency movie, a whole new level of chaos enters Aurelia’s life. Her quiet days shattered and privacy non-existent, she has no choice but to go with the flow and let them take over.

Never mind the added distraction of dishy leading man, Xander Lord, who may have an ulterior motive for wanting to get close to her…

Can Aurelia keep her cool in light of all the upheaval?

Review

Another day another book. At this rate I will even complete my updated reading challenge of reading 55 books in a year. 55 books isn’t as much when compared to other readers but hey I tried my best, I might update it again if I reach the 55 books milestone. (Mind you I wrote this review on 7th of December so I am confidently sure that I will surpass 55 books)

With todays’ review I will be discussing the book ‘Who does he think he is’ by Emily Kerr. After reading ‘Killing Jane’ by Stacey Green I was in need of a book that was light and funny and predictable. Emphasis on the predictable, due to ‘Killing Jane’ totally killed my reading high of which you can read why in my review here.

This book is just the book to cure me from a buzzkill read because it ticks all the boxes. Funny? Check. Light read? Check. Predictable? Check.

Now, the reason why I did not give it a 5 was because of the ending but I’ll get to that later. First, I liked the banter and interaction between our two main characters, Xander and Aurelia. I find their interaction to be sweet and funny especially since Aurelia herself is already funny to begin with what with her inner monologues talking about how her house is so huge that “a burglar could probably camp out here for a week without getting discovered”. I was a bit miffed that there weren’t more interactions between because when they do become an item it lacked that extra oomph of which I had hoped would happen. They just kind of got together quite fast without much interactions to bind them together although if it was me and some hot actor I’d fall for him quite as fast too now that I am thinking about it. Hmm…

This leads me to the ending, because of said lacking oomph and interactions when they got together at the end I was bit like okaayyyyyy because Xander is all taking the relationship to a whole new level of seriousness which kind of did not appear throughout their interactions.

Also, the end of the plot did not explain how them being together will resolve Aurelia’s finances in the long run. Like is he going to help her financially? Is she going to do more house tours because of him since they are dating and he did use the house as a movie set. Realistic boring stuff like that bothered me a bit if I have to be honest but overall this book is still a great read for its quirky characters, its humor and how it is a fun and happy read.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

WWW Wednesdays

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WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words and you just answer three simple questions and BA-DA-BOOM! You are done.

So the three WWW’s are:

  • What are you currently reading
  • What did you recently finish
  • What do you think you’ll read next

 

Currently Reading:

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Death and Her Devotion by Kendra Elliot (Rogue Vows #1)

To be quite honest I read this kind of halfway and left it to read something else so now I have to reread it because I completely forgot everything. Ma bad. I requested it in Netgalley pretty much because I thought the cover was pretty cool. Has a very ethereal out of this world feel, if you get what I mean.

Recently Finished:

 

I am starting to think that whenever I read a 5 star rating book (in my opinion), I will definitely read a book that is just ugh or worse leaving me so confused I have no idea what rating nor review to give it. Why? I was already frustrated enough reading the ending for ‘The Devil’s Prayer‘ then for me to read something so not worth my time such as ‘The Bachelor Auction‘ which let me tell you girlfriend was so all over the place what with characters that defo do not act their age is just B-SHIT….AND THEN to read a story that was so confusing for me as to whether it was good or bad or in between or WHAT???? until I have no idea what rating to give it on Goodreads I just gave it a 3  (I am talking about you ‘All Darling Children‘ don’t you try to slither yo-damn-self away from me). I just feel so frustrated man. FRUSTRATED! Can anybody just relate to how I FEEEEELL?? THE FRUSTRATION I FEEL IN MY HEART??? Huh. Cait from PaperFury was right when I took her quiz of what type of book reviewer am I and I got ‘The Flammable Feels Master’ and damn straight I am! Huh. I legit feel so sad over my frustration with the two books I just read. They ruined my happy reading streak. HAPPY READING STREAK *pooooof out the window* Her post/quiz is here btw, you guys defo need to try the quiz. It is so much fun.

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right you are Hilary, right you are.

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one gif isn’t enough to portray MY FEELS

 

Reading Next:

I seriously have no idea how people just know what to read next? How? Tell me how. I usually go into deep debate on which book to read from my Netgalley TBR list. DEEP DEBATE PEOPLE…WITH MYSELF. Maybe I will read another romance novel or the next novella in the Rogue’s Vow series. Maybe. I ain’t promising nothing.

 

Things I wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this weeks topic is “Things I wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree”. I say things because I have no idea what I want for Christmas considering I am a muslim and don’t celebrate Christmas anyway but I love getting free presents! and also I have no clue what I want.

  • I would not mind ONE BIT if Santa left a fine specimen of a man (or should I say men?) under my Christmas tree because hello who would say no to beautiful men (Unless ya’ll lesbian then that I would understand). OMG! Just imagine… droolHenry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Jason Momoa, Tom Hardy…. the list goes on and on!

 

 

 

  • All the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books which have beautiful covers (aren’t they beautiful?)

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  • BOOKMARKS! I, for once in my life would like to have a proper and cute bookmark rather than a small piece of paper. I mean they’re so cute it looks like they are squashed between pages 😀
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You can get em at the Etsy shop “MyBookmark

  • For my exercising purposes for my new body (I have been wanting to get said hot bod for 10 years now so far it hasn’t happened but one can wish for miracles, no?) I would definitely want a home gym complete with treadmills and weights section (damn! my Christmas tree has to be GINORMOUS for a home gym to fit underneath it)
  • Money. I want tons and tons of money. You would say this is unoriginal and not creative but I beg to differ with said money I can open my own business. Which will then keep the money rolling so I can have more money that I can use to buy stuff I want and/or need. I can buy make up. I can buy more books. I can buy the whole of Kinokuniya if I wish. I can help mom pay her debts off and my own debt. See money can bring you happiness, you just gotta know how to use it. Obviously if you just use money for clubbing and partying and drugs or whatever, it ain’t gonna go anywhere. You gotta have a vision with what to do with that money. My ultimate vision is when I start my tuition part-time job is that I can install internet at home. With this, I can start online creative writing classes which will then lead me to having confidence to finally write my own book and also the boring side is pay off my student loans but who gives a damn about that am I right?

 

 

Review: Killing Jane by Stacy Green

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Title: Killing Jane

Author: Stacy Green

Published: 31 January 2017

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads summary

WHAT IF EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER HEARD ABOUT JACK THE RIPPER IS WRONG …

A young woman is brutally murdered in Washington D.C., and the killer leaves behind a calling card connected to some of the most infamous murders in history.

JACK THE RIPPER

Rookie homicide investigator Erin Prince instinctively knows the moment she sees the mutilated body that it’s only a matter of time before someone else dies.

She and her partner, Todd Beckett, are on the trail of a madman, and a third body sends them in the direction they feared most: a serial killer is walking the streets of D.C.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING.

Erin must push past her mounting self-doubt in order to unravel a web of secrets filled with drugs, pornography, and a decades-old family skeleton before the next victim is sacrificed.

THE ONLY WAY TO STOP A KILLER IS TO BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME.

Review

‘Killing Jane’ had the premise and plot to be a great book had it not been for the main character, Erin Prince. I truly had a problem liking her character. For a cop she behaved very un-cop-like. I understand that this is her first job as a homicide detective and murders whether it be fiction or non-fiction is hard but how she handled herself constantly grated on my nerves.

Erin, when she is on the job she is uptight, bratty, judgmental and altogether unprofessional. She lashes out at her partner Beckett and hurls abusive words. It does not help matters that her insecurities amplifies her feelings of being unworthy for such a high profile case. While I do empathize that she was a rape survivor and is still dealing with PTSD it still does not give her the excuse to be brutal and mean to her partner who has been nothing short of kind, patient and understanding. She also has issues stemming from the fact that she came from an upscale family and is uncomfortable that her father’s reputation is very well known but come on, nobody chooses their family. You are born into it and whether she likes it or not her family is wealthy and she did pave her own way in life away from her family’s prestige but she cannot see that. Had her character been younger I would have sympathized more with her but in this book she is 38 year old. So it makes one wonder why is she acting like a child in some scenes from the book.

Another element of the book that I dislike is the part where Erin’s brother towards the latter half of the book was concerned. I felt that, that part was irrelevant and added nothing new to the plot nor the characters. It felt more like a filler scene more than anything.

All of that said, I do like Beckett’s character. I felt like he is a good partner for Erin (hopefully she improves by the next book) as he has the experience to counter her rookie-ness. I also liked how the author incorporates aspects of mental illness, rape, exotic dancer and the such in the book although I still feel execution wise it could have been better.

All in all this book was not one I enjoyed due to its main character having flaws that just does not bode well for the flow of the plot. ‘Killing Jane’ would have been a great book had its main character just grew up and had her shit together because the plot, the premise of the book was there and it promised so much! It ruined my book high!!!!! You can say under a nutshell that I am disappointed. If somebody asked me will I read the next installment I would probably answer with a maybe, IF Erin Prince’s character improves. If she is still the same I will unfortunately have to pass.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

#SaveAleppo

Tales of Zainab

Hi, everyone.

I know my blog is solely dedicated to books and book-related stuff but I wanted to post this. If you’re on Twitter then you might be aware of what happened in Syria and if you’re not then here is what happened:

I watched this one video yesterday and there was this little boy crying over the dead body of his father who was killed because he was a part of white helmets – a volunteer team of first responders who plunge into rubble to save trapped civilians. Watching that video was so painful that I still cry remembering the miserable condition of the little one who didn’t deserve any of that. He deserves to live a happy life filled with memories of a beautiful childhood. He doesn’t deserve to watch his father die like that. And that’s not just him but it’s the same for every family living…

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