Oh, my gosh... How is it already the middle of April? My TBR is growing daily, but I'm chipping away, with many good books to look forward to.
First up: The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya. This is the book I chose for the April selection from Book of the Month. The first chapter retells her experience on Oprah.
Summary from Penguin Random House: Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
The other books I am reading:
The Last Time I Lied by by Riley Sager
All the Beautiful Lies by Peters Swanson
Other Peoples Houses by Abbi Waxman
When Life Gives you Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Our House by Louise Candlish
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James has received exceptional reviews, with a 4.5 rating on Goodreads. Falling within the genres of mystery, historical fiction, thriller, and gothic fiction, I had high expectations. I buddy read this one with a colleague, and we had identical feelings throughout the novel. In the end, I think I may be in the minority here, but this book was just 'meh' for me I really wanted to love it, with its gothic undertones, murder investigation, and haunting border school setting, but it felt disappointing. However, don't take my word for it, as many of my favourite Bookstagrammers loved it! In my opinion, the characters were flat, and the story was all over the map. I felt like I was simultaneously reading 4 different books.
“Her Pretty Face” – Whose pretty face you may ask? I wrestled with this question throughout the novel, with many red herrings strategically placed throughout to throw me for a loop.
I absolutely loved this domestic suspense novel, and finished it in two days. Shocking, violent, and raw, this book grabs the reader and doesn’t let go.
This novel explores reinvention, grief, and retribution, and leaves you wondering if people can truly change.
This title releases in Canada on July 10, 2018!
Thank you so much @robynharding and Rebecca from @simonschusterca for sending me this ARC.
Jar of Hearts claims to “grab you by the throat,” and that’s exactly what it did. A sophisticated, and chilling psychological thriller, with a mix of Orange is the new Black, Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter. This book is spectacular and I devoured it one day. Split into 5 parts, with different narrations, this book will have you reading well into the night.
What I loved most about this book was the author's ability to have you sympathize and hate Geo simultaneously. Are we the product of our parents? And I don't mean that in a purely biological sense either. The cycle of abuse is real, and violence is often passed from one generation to the next. I remember discussing this with a colleague years ago, when she brought up an article about generations of violence and the cycle of child abuse. She fully believed that as a child of abuse, she was statistically likely to pass this on to her children, and because of her traumatic childhood, decided to not have children. What a tragedy. This story affected me both emotionally and psychologically. It also leaves you to reflect on how emotions influence our decision-making.
Jar of Hearts will definitely be a buzz-worthy book when it releases in Canada on June 12. Make sure that you pre-order. This will be an incredible summer read.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
I will warn you that this book is heavy! It has dark subject matter, with explicit details.
I received this ARC from NetGalley and St. Martins Press - Thank you!
Photographing books, one day at a time.