Book Review (#97): Amok by Anna Tan

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Title: Amok

Author: Anna Tan

Publisher: Teaspoon Publisher

Published: June 2021

Rating: 3/5

All Putera Mikal wants is to gain the Amok Strength, the supernatural power granted by Kudus to the Mahan royal family. No matter how religiously Mikal keeps his vows, Kudus still denies him the Strength—whilst his father, Sultan Simson, flaunts the Strength despite his blatant defiance of the Temple and the priests’ visions of coming doom.

Then the prophecies come true.

Taken captive, Mikal must find a way to liberate his people and restore his throne in Maha—and the key to this is the Amok Strength. But what does it take to gain Kudus’ favour?

I finally finished reading the book Amok by Anna Tan and I am ready to provide ya’ll with an in-depth and HOPEFULLY SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

Before we start, I would like to thank Anna Tan and Teaspoon Publishing for providing me with this ARC in return for an honest review. Let’s get started ladies and gents!

Amok tells the story of Prince Mikal, Prince of Maha, first city-state of Terang and his struggles in faith to their God Kudus due to the fact that he has yet to come into his Amok strength powers. The Amok strength is a legendary power that all royals can gain access to once they come of age (mind you Mikal is 15 at the start of the book). But no matter how much he keeps his vows and does what he is supposed to do nothing has changed and he still has yet to gain any Amok strength. 

Then some BAMBOOZLEMENT happens! Where Maha is invaded and destroyed by their enemies and the people of Maha, royalty included is thrown into a life rife with suffering and humiliation where one does not know who is friend nor foe. How will Mikal overcome this obstacle and gain back his honour, his pride and his rightful place in Maha as Maha’s royal Prince.

DUN DUN DUNNNNNN

If you follow me on my bookstagram (do follow me guys if you haven’t, links down in the description) you would kind of realize I took issue with one and ONLY ONE aspect of this book and that aspect was my utter disdain and annoyance with the main character Prince Mikal.

OMG I DONT EVEN KNOW WHEREEEE TO BEGIN WITH ANNOYANCE WITH HIM.

Ok ok I will chill and talk about other aspects of the book first.

Push my disdain for the main character aside, I actually really enjoyed this book. The writing is great and reeled me in like I was a fish on a hook, floundering around trying to understand my own roller-coaster of emotions as I was reading this book.

I liked the Malay phrases as well as the Malay elements used in the books makes me feel included you know, because duh I’m Malay (Sarawakian Malay but whatever still Malay). It was so much fun reading how the men practiced silat, they used keris and parang to fight, seeing how they used baju kebaya and samping along with calling people according to their titles such as Baginda Paduka, Laksamana etc because let’s be totally honest who uses those terms now in their daily life? (unless you work with the sultan I guess but for everyday people you dont really call people Laksamana do you?)

The plot was awesome… really kept you at the edge of your seat and when some characters that I liked died I did feel the pain of loss because you want them to survive. You want them to be able to overcome this enormous adversity and go home and be happy.

But alas, like I said previously, the enjoyment of this book I could not fully savour due to my problems with the main character. 

The main issue I have with Prince Mikal is the fact that he is mostly self-centered, entitled, privileged and the most whiny character I have ever read. Yes, you can make a defense saying that he is a child and whilst I agree 15 in our modern standards is still a baby but back then 15 you are already considered a man and mature plus he is a Prince. Mikal isn’t an ordinary boy, he is a Prince with responsibilities attached to that royal bloodline of his and yet because we read this book from his perspective all I saw was an entitled and spoiled Prince who needs to have everything given and delivered to him on a silver platter.

Not only that, my god, is he stupid. He is so absolutely idiotic. 

I say this because Prince Mikal has become a prisoner of war and is now a slave for his former servant Yosua. Not once did he ever think to pretend to be a slave/pretend to be broken and humble himself so he could learn the enemy’s routines and memorise the relative map of the enemy’s land which in turn could help him devise a way to escape. Something ya know, anything, but no all we read for pages on end is just Prince Mikal constantly… CONSTANTLY… complaining why me, why didn’t I get my Amok strength, why is this happening to me, this is not fair, always about him and his predicament.

First few weeks I get it man you’re in shock and you dont know whats going on what’s going to happen but as a Prince that must have had some sort of training like get your shit together man. Devise a plan. Like okay, right now you’re in this predicament how will you get yourself outside of said predicament which reminds me that Prince Mikal is a reactive character.

Things happen to him, the plot moves him along instead of him making decisions that affect the plot. This happens for most of the book where shit just happens to Mikal and he would complain about it to no end. It is towards the end of the book, I would say the last 100-200 pages he changes into a more proactive character but by then it was too late for me. 

Also, kan, he keeps complaining Kudus left him la, doesn’t love him la, this and that… sikit-sikit lost faith… ITS SO FUCKING ANNOYING… I GET IT LIFE IS HARD BUT THIS IS A FUCKING TEST FROM GOD… You think God when he tests you he just gives something that you can easily overcome especially for a person like Mikal who follows everything by the book but doesn’t truly have faith. He says he does and he says he has an epiphany and he will change and have more faith and truly follow Kudus (which to be honest with you gave me hope for him I wanted to like him damn it!) but then some small shit happens and Mikal is back to being that whiny punk that doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together and is all like omg Kudus why you left me, how could you Kudus, are you even real? MALAS AKU EH ORG KDAK TOK… PADAH TEK CAYAK AN KUDUS TAPI IDUP SUSAH SIKIT ALU LOST FAITH BAGUS SIK PAYAH EH… BAGUS SIK PAYAHHHHHH… AISH SETAN BENA

I gotta calm down… I gotta chill.. This wasn’t supposed to be a rant review…I cannot delve further into this without going into spoilers so I will just continue to my next issue.

This issue isn’t so much a deal breaker, it’s just confusing and that is the loyalty that Yosua has for Mikal. I dont get it… sometimes its borderline romantic so I am not sure if the author is queer-baiting or I am just not used to this type of unexplainable loyalty. 

This is because you don’t get to see the why of the loyalty, Mikal says that they grew up together and are best friends but that’s the thing, you have to wholeheartedly believe what Mikal says. You don’t get to see it unfold. You don’t see other characters talk upon how close they are and the background for it. There is no concrete foundation that you as a reader can see and understand the why. 

I had a microscopic problem with the magic system of the book. It’s not bad, I just wanted more explanation on how it worked, who gets what etc because it was pretty loose so you have to use a lot of your imagination to fill in the blanks. 

Again, I have to reiterate, everything else in this book chefs kiss… the writing SUPERB! IF EVEN THE WRITING PUN I DON’T LIKE TRUST ME FAM I WOULD’VE DNF’ED THAT SHIT but I didn’t because the writing is genuinely good. Plot also BOMBASTIC! It’s just the main character that was meh for me, maybe it’s because I am 28 and had to be the breadwinner of my family for the longest time and had to hold that amount of responsibility that when I see a whiny character that doesn’t even try to improve their own situation by any means necessary I truly cannot empathise. 

Thus, concludes my review for the ARC Amok by Anna Tan and again my review is my own and is only focused on the book and NOT the author. 

Book Review (#96): The Guest List by Lucy Foley

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Title: The Guest List

Author: Lucy Foley

Publisher: William Morrow

Published: 2 June 2020

Rating: 3/5

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley had potential to be a 5 star read for me to be quite honest with you. It had everything that I generally enjoyed in a murder mystery whodunnit… We have

  • Intense creepy atmosphere
  • Plenty of suspects with dubious backgrounds and motivations
  • Secrets galore!

But alas, it was not meant to be a 5 star read for me. 

First, there were no characters for me to relate to as most of them seem to be pretty unlikeable and when most of the characters are unlikeable it’s not much fun to read. The only reason I persevered was because writing kept me intrigued on who had died and who was the killer… was it somebody at the wedding? Somebody close? Why did they want said person to die? What is going on? Plus, the whole guessing game of whodunit is immense fun for somebody who loves murder mysteries.

But the thing that made me change my mind that this could be a solid 5 star read was how unbelievably convenient at how every main suspect for the murder was interlinked with one another. The first few interlinking of characters with said murder victim I can understand and see how it came to fruition but all of the main suspects? Are you for real? It just made the story less convincing ya know and when that happened I couldn’t suspend my belief any further. There’s only so much suspension of belief that one can take.

Had the ending did not end the way it did, I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed this book even more but what can you do. 

Would I still recommend this book? Most definitely, it was still a good read even though at first it was quite slow.

Book Review (#95): The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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Title: The Wrath and The Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Published: 12 May 2015

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Rating: 1/5

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Okay, this review is going to be the condensed version of my rant review because my god I can’t remember shit from this book except it was just such a shitty book honestly I do judge people who think this book is good. There I said it! I judge you all… Like this is the standard that we have today in regards of books? THIS IS IT?!

WE ARE EFFED IF THIS IS THE STANDARD

No offense to the author I am sure writing is hard to do but I will speak my truth and let it hang to dry on the clothes line of TRUTH AND RANTS!

From the top of my head because mind you I read this book like 6 months ago is the fact that:

  1. This book had no plot
  2. A façade of a boss-ass-bitch-independent female character
  3. ALL TALK NO ACTION

The reason why I say the book had no plot is because it truly didn’t, you get Shazi who volunteered to be Khalid’s next wife thinking all “yes, revenge is MINE! I WILL KILL THIS BASTARD” but then nothing happens… it just meanders for 80% of the plot. Where does it meander to? God knows… All I read was Shazi SAYING she wants to kill Khalid… SAYING she hates him but a few days into meeting him she already in love when EXCUSE ME KHALID KILLED YOUR BESTFRIEND!!!

She spouts all this bullshit of how she will kill him and whatever but nothing happens… she doesn’t even have two brain cells left to rub together to even form the most basic plans of how to kill the man. I mean for real, you volunteered to be his wife YOU MUST HAVE A PLAN RIGHT?

So, you’re telling me this bitch volunteered to be the wife of a known wife killer and who is renowned to be the best swordsman in the land and saying she wants to enact revenge and kill him and goes in with no plan whatsoever?

No plan on how to kill him, no trying to learn the layout of the palace, mind you she knows she only has one night to execute this shit.  So, you just volunteer just like that hoping your bullshitting skills are top tier that he hopefully won’t kill you? Bodoh betul la.

This girl is what people say as independent and fierce and smart? For real? Don’t make me laugh man. I have read far better heroines in historical romance.

You may say that oh it’s because she is young and whatever but that doesn’t change the fact that she only has ONE NIGHT to execute her plans to kill Khalid. ONE NIGHT and SHE DOESN’T HAVE A PLAN???? Not even a plan on how to escape??

Don’t even get me started on how she fell in love with Khalid MERE DAYS of meeting him. If I was her bestfriend I will crawl out of my FUCKING GRAVE TO GIVE THIS HO A BITCH SLAP SO HARD SHE MIGHT HAVE SOME COMMON SENSE.

Another, issue I had was Khalid himself. Yes, he was described as hot but hot guys in YA are all over the place give me something fucking new. You read how Khalid is a wife killer, how he is this absolute monster and how his people fear him but when you see him he is just a boy and it makes me question why do people fear him? Just because he kills his wives? If that is case why are there no riots? No coup d’état?

You’re telling me his citizens are completely okay with their King/Sultan/whatever claiming a young woman from their families as his wives and him killing them the next day?

Show me how and why they fear him so when juxtapose that with how kind he is to Shazi, it really hits home that he is complex instead of a caricature.

Not to mention the absolute bullshit reason why he kills his wife… It’s so absolutely stupid.

Essentially, this book irks me due to its bland and stupid characters and the non-existent plot. I can’t even. I will stop here you can listen to my rant review if you want to know the full length of my rant feels.

Book review (#94) : Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

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Title: Ayesha At Last

Author: Uzma Jalaluddin

Published: 4 June 2019

Publisher: Berkley Books

Rating: 5/5

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

I have a video review out for this book as well so do check it out if you want to know my review in video format if not LETS GO!

This book is basically a very loose retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I completely fell irrevocably in love with it this book as it is so much fun to read. I read it like in a day and just sped through it.

The writing, the prose everything was just so easy for me to read. In terms of characters obviously I love Khalid and Ayesha and the reason why I love them is because Khalid is just so pious and so honest about everything especially his religion for example he likes to use a kurta and he likes to wear like kopiah or a skull cap and then he’s just honest with people when they ask him about his beard whereby he declares he keeps his beard because it’s sunnah whereas Ayesha is more on the liberal side of religion where basically she doesn’t mind that her best friends drink or whatever and it reminds me of myself like you do you fam and it’s so much fun to see how they interact with each other where one is a conservative and the other a liberal and see how their views change each other.

Their views change the other for the better because we see how Ayesha slowly sees that Khalid’s strict obedience to his faith, his honesty and his straightforwardness has its merits and Khalid on the other hand learns to be more accommodating and be more diplomatic instead of dogmatic.

The reason that he realizes that he needs to learn to be more diplomatic is because he goes into trouble at work due to his new boss Sheila, who for some reason finds issues with muslim men who decides to follow their religion and honestly I don’t like this character Sheila.

It is not that she’s badly written it’s just because I don’t like that she’s a bit racist. She says that she does not trust Khalid because she believes that men like Khalid are sexist and so on and so forth because she has experienced it when she worked in Saudi Arabia, where the men were sexist and she wasn’t allowed to like walk out of her compound alone because obviously she’s a woman.

In my point of view I find that a bit ludicrous for her to think that way because first of all you accepted a job in Saudi Arabia… SAUDI ARABIA!! One of the most conservative countries in the world yet you’re surprised that you cannot follow your liberal ways, your liberal views in another country where the people have different culture so it’s like what did you expect Sheila. So, I don’t agree with her there and then she starts to like make life hard for Khalid.

Another character that I truly adore in this book is Ayesha’s grandmother and the reason why I like her so much is because she’s actually a budding detective as she used to study to be a police woman but because she got pregnant she decided to forgo that line of profession and I find it so much fun that she uses her intellect to find out the gossip without actually gossiping about it because it’s not her style and I wish and I really really hope that the author kind of made a spin-off like Nani (the name of the grandma) detective on the case it will be so cute!!

Aside from that, how the author portrays different types of Muslims; there’s conservative Muslims like Khalid and his family and you have semi-liberal Muslims like Ayesha and her family, liberal Muslims who don’t even follow the religion like Amir and there’s also Muslims who are not very good like Arik who is a douchebag. The reason I like these types of Muslim representation is because its realistic, not all Muslims are pious and not all people who claim to be Muslims are good people.

But my absolute and I mean ABSOLUTE favourite part of this book is the romance and the romantic tension between Khalid and Ayesha. My god! Their banter is so cute and innocent and YOU JUST WANT THEM TO BE TOGETHER! I have not wanted two characters to be together so much in my life and when the misunderstandings happened, my heart broke for them.

I would definitely recommend this book for anybody AND EVERYBODY!

I cannot wait for Uzma’s new book!!!

Book review (#93) : 13 Moons by EE Leen Lee

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Title : 13 Moons

Author: Ee Leen Lee

Published: 21 October 2014

Publisher: Fixi Novo

Rating: 3/5

13 MOONS will provide you with instant chills.
Office workers discover the gruesome secret behind the puppets used as workplace décor. A man tries to help the ghost of a murdered child haunting a playground. An abandoned well and a banana tree in a village garden conceal a decades-old crime. A couple struggles to keep their family together when their son becomes a zombie. And a nightclub with a supernatural door policy — depending on when you choose to go.
These stories reveal the darkness that threatens to seep through the veneer of day-to-day life.

Due to my past experiences with Buku Fixi books (yes I know this is Fixi Novo but you get what I mean), I tried to lower my expectations to not only low but non-existent so I wouldn’t emotionally scar myself again.

And to be honest with you the book was okay for me. The book consists of short stories but none of the stories truly resonated with me. I enjoyed them briefly for what they are but not more.

The stories premise was interesting but unfortunately it lacked substance (?) for it to be truly impactful for me. Although, this might be due to me disliking short stories generally.

Short stories don’t express the full story and my curious mind just wants to explore and know more onkh to be left disappointed hence leaving me unable to immerse myself in such stories.

Overall, the book is a good read if you’re looking for something easy and light to read.

Man, this is a short review but what can I say. It was okay hahahah.

Review: Horror Stories by Tunku Halim

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Title: Horror Stories

Author: Tunku Halim

Published: 1 February 2014

Publisher: FIXI Novo

Rating: 3/5

Review

The book was okay for me. It wasn’t bad but neither was it mind-blowingly good. Most of the stories were mediocre for me, I didn’t feel scared nor horrified instead I felt confused by reading some of them and occasionally bored. It could be that I am just not a short story person but overall the book and its stories did not leave a lasting impact on my mind.

Sorry my review for this book is so short. There’s only so much I can say for a book I feel lukewarm about.

Review: Garam by Ruwi Meita

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Title: Garam

Author: Ruwi Meita

Publisher: Buku FIXI

Published: 8 July 2016

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary

Seorang pemain piano di Surabaya ditemui mati, terduduk di depan pianonya, dengan bibir terjahit. Biji matanya dicungkil, meninggalkan lubang hitam yang amat mengerikan. Rambut palsu merah panjang menutupi kepalanya. Sementara otak dan organ-organ tubuhnya telah dikeluarkan secara paksa.

Kulitnya pucat seputih garam. Tidak, tidak sekadar seputih garam. Tapi, seluruh tubuhnya itu benar-benar dilumuri adunan garam.

Inspektor Kiri Lamari, penyiasat kes ini, terus dihantui lubang hitam mata pemain piano. Mata yang mengingatkan Kiri Lamari akan mata ibunya. Yang juga dia temui tak bernyawa puluhan tahun lalu.

Garam? Kenapa garam?

Review

I read this book months ago but it took me so long to actually review it because I honestly didn’t have much to say about it but since it is a Malay book, I thought that my two cents for this book would be appreciated especially since my intention is to shed more light on local books (although this book is written by an Indonesian author but hey whatever).

Garam (Salt in Malay) is a surprisingly good and easy read and I highly enjoyed my time reading it but because I have read an array of crime fiction novels, the plot for for Garam feels a dime a dozen and it is disappointing because although the plot twist was interesting and I did not anticipate it, it at the same time also feels anticipated if that makes any sort of sense. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was how the author inserts clues throughout the plot so the readers can figure out the true perpetrator of the killings along with the hero, Kiri Lamari.

So far those are all my thoughts regarding this book. Not much I know but honestly the book was just okay for me.

Review: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

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Title: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Published: 28 August 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Review

I have been busy with work and chatting up this guy from work although on this front it seems more like I am cornering myself into the dreaded friendzone which is such a shame because I would like to do the Devil’s tango with him if you get my drift so anyways back to the point, the point is that I just have been living life too much to be bothered to even read anything but when I received an email from a publisher asking me if I was interested in reading the next book from Kerrigan Byrne I was like…

“BITCH! You ain’t even gonna ask! It’s always YES to Kerrigan!”

Because girl, the last two books I read by her was just so bomb! I waited months to get the next book so as you can see my expectations are pretty high… pretttyyyy high so when I read it I was just so so confused by how disappointed I was.

The writing for this book felt so sub-par for me and the plot itself was flimsy AT BEST. Don’t even get me started on the atrocious dialogue present in this book. It

The first half of the book was great and I enjoyed the puppy love between Lorelai and Ash as it was so cute and innocent but towards the latter end of the book, the plot was borderline on non-existent and the dialogue/conversation happening between the two main characters were so repetitive and had no meaning nor resolution in sight.

Also, there were a lot of plot points in the book that in my opinion was written purely just for plot progression because honestly said plot point had no bearing whatsoever on the overall plot of the book one wonders why did the author even include it in the first place? One example for this is when Lorelai for some God damned reason fainted in a make out sesh with Ash and miraculously she never fainted again after that even though it was said that she does this FREQUENTLY as a way her body handles stress.

Another thing that annoyed me was how the author doesn’t show what happened to any of the characters and instead just tells us what happened as if that will satisfy our curiosity. By doing so, the author strips the readers empathy for the characters because I swear to God I could not give a shit about the characters whatsoever. I mean I can’t relate to Lorelai and her being a victim of abuse neither can I understand why Ash is so God damned pissed all the God damned time. Like bro, take a chill pill man. Jesus.

I think I was highly disappointed by the book because I waited months for it. MONTHS! Her other books were that good that I waited MONTHS! Will I continue to support the author, yeah definitely one disappointing book might just be a fluke because she is definitely talented.

* Book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

**

I was supposed to upload this review on the 21st but my internet was down and I had to go for TBOSIET training and completely forgot so here it is hahahaha.

My Bookish Pet Peeves

“Pet Peeve: Something that a particular person finds especially annoying”

It took me awhile to think of book related things that annoy me because I am relatively low maintenance when it comes to books.

I don’t mind when a book cover is skewed or the dust jacket is lopsided or folded incorrectly.

I don’t care if the sizing of books I buy that comes in a series isn’t uniform or standardized.

I could care less if my books has stickers on them.

I am even fine with insta-love.

The standards are THAT LOW (as I usually say if I managed to read Fifty Shades of Grey AND Twilight I can read and plough through anything) but a few has managed to irk me and so read ahead and enjoy!

Recyclable vocabulary

I find it perplexing that in historical romance different authors from different publishing companies always recycle phrases, vocabulary or even metaphors to describe the male anatomy. They usually compare a male’s penis or other parts of the body to either wood or steel or worse… velvet steel. I understand that in this genre everything is stereotypical and comes in a template but it makes you wonder is that the extent of vocabulary knowledge that a historical romance authors have?

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Ignorant Beauty

Another trope that just grates on my nerves. Why is it that in a book usually YA or contemporary romance, the female lead never realizes their beauty when they are obviously drop dead gorgeous. It boggles my mind because this is not normal. I am not the most beautiful woman on Earth yet I realize that I am at the most minimum cute. So if I know this of myself why can’t these characters do the same? Why must their beauty only be validated by a man? Why must their physical beauty only be known after a man has pointed it out to them? Why can’t these women acknowledge that they are beautiful and just own it? Had said female characters for example suffer from mental illness such as body dysmorphia then that is fine because that in itself is a whole other can of worms to be discussed. I feel like this trope need to die already and die a horrible death.

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Bookception

I just recently came to know this as one of my bookish pet peeves to be honest. I realized it when I was reading ‘Bookishly Ever After‘. In this book I had to read not one but two stories of which both are equally bad. I am not interested in reading a book read by the main character and written in the actual book that I am reading and especially not when both of them are just badly written and not to mention boring. A snippet here or there is fine to increase the readers interest but chapterSSSS is truly pushing the limit.

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The Mary Sue

My ultimate NEMESIS. This trope is not even an annoyance any longer as it has evolved from being just an annoyance to being an absolute despicable inhumane species of a trope. The best example I can give is Rey from the Star Wars franchise. I am all for girl power and feminism and all round bad assery but when her skills and powers are given with no background no explanation no nothing that is just bad writing and a cop out way to appease the masses of SJW (social justice warriors). Isn’t it better to flesh out her character to show how she had gotten so powerful in the movie? To show that this girl who has innate talent had to work hard to get to where she is but no she can do no wrong, she is the best and will be the best. She has no character struggles. She is beautiful, she is powerful and is apparently perfect in everything. It annoys me because this is not realistic, yes one might argue that Star Wars as a whole isn’t realistic but character development and growth and struggles are the same regardless of genre or medium used to express it.

Another example is Feyre from the ACoTAR. She is perfect in everything, everybody loves her, powerful beyond her imagination blah blah blah blah.

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So, there you have it my bookish pet peeve. Feel free to comment on your bookish pet peeve maybe I would realize another one that I never knew I had I am quite slow on the uptake in these matters.

Also have a youtube video on this matter although in said video I am just a rambling idiot because I have yet to master the speaking my thoughts eloquently in front of a camera.

The Eighth Day by Mitsuyo Kakuta

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Title: The Eighth Day

Author: Mitsuyo Kakuta

Published: 1 May 2010

Publisher: Kodansha

Rating: 4/5

The year is 1985. Kiwako is an ordinary office worker, in love with a married man, until an unwanted abortion causes her to snap. She kidnaps her lover’s six-month-old baby and runs away with her, eventually taking refuge in an all-female religious commune. Here, she attempts to raise the girl.

Fifteen years later, the child, Elena, is an adult contending with the difficulties of returning to her “natural family,” made up of a mother who doesn’t come home, an alcoholic father, and siblings with whom she can’t connect.

Review

You would think that with a plot where a scorned woman kidnaps her ex’s baby and then took refuge in a religious commune aka A CULT (?!!!), there would be far more things happening in the storyline that would put the plot to the Mission Impossible movies to shame but alas it was not to be and I went into this book expecting action, drama, intensity and MORE action but what I got was the complete opposite which is a slice-of-life type of book which let me tell you is definitely lacking in the action-drama department but surprisingly I kept on reading even though nothing much was happening.

The book was interesting in subtle ways, it didn’t focus much on the kidnapping of the baby but instead focused on how Kiwako would raise the baby in the situation that they were in and it was the prose of the book that captivated me. The prose was simple and unassuming yet it is the main reason why I kept on reading even though half the time I was wondering where exactly is the plot going to take us and the ending of the book was realistic in a way that it was messy and a lot of things weren’t answered like how it is in the real world.

Whilst reading this book I really pity the baby who was kidnapped and the young woman she grew to be. I honestly pitied her. She was raised well by the woman who kidnapped her she had a happy childhood living on an island heck even living in the cult the kid had a happy childhood only for it to be destroyed due to adults selfishness.