Sunday, May 19, 2019

Book Review: Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

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Synopsis:
Nine years before the Senate campaign that 
made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego.  Barack discovers that he is inescapably bound to brothers and sisters living an ocean away—and that by embracing their common struggles he can finally reconcile his divided inheritance. A searching meditation on the meaning of identity in America, Dreams from My Father might be the most revealing portrait we have of a major American leader—a man who is playing, and will play, an increasingly prominent role in healing a fractious and fragmented nation.




My Review: 

    I have become really fond of this book. This book is an open gate towards stories of history, a beautiful yet sad portrait of Africa, true images of a real world. The reason why I wanted to read this book in the first place was that I wanted to know more about the past of the man who was once the President of America, the first African American to be elected as the president of the United States, a country where racism against black people was bluntly expressed in this book. 

    This book was written way before Obama became a president. This book was truly inspiring to me in many aspects and forms. It was inspiring in the sense that in a way it was a portraying of Obama's journey of self-discovery, a reflection of his past, his childhood, his adolescence, turning points in his life, his family's history, his life, but it was also a picture of the truth, of what was really going on in places he was in, in the black communities in Chicago, America, his life in Hawaii, in Indonesia, in Kenya... Therefore, it not only showed us what and who has affected Obama to become the person he became but it outgrew that to show us who is Barack Obama and why is he the he was. 

    It gave me a greater understanding of a world, of stories, of realities I wasn't aware of. It also contained some great beautiful stories from the past, history of societies. I highly recommend it. And if he was to write another book like many years later, I definitely would read it. You could see that he was a genuine person, not just as a person but also genuine in his feelings and sentiment. 

   The book's language was relatively modest and simple, however, if definitely wasn't a light read, it was a heavy book, that towards the middle, I was struggling to finish it but I am so happy I did. 

   However, what I didn't appreciate about this book was that it needed concentration, it was heavy, dead serious book where you'd need to concentrate to get absorb it all in which didn't go well with the fact that I usually read before going to bed, so I'd say that to get the full hang of the more political details of this book, I would need to read again. Towards the middle of the book, it contained too many details of a timing of Barack Obama's life that it was just hard to keep up, like to the point you'd get bored but don't yet give up on the book because after that small part, it's about to get so much better.

   Overall, I really enjoyed this and would recommend it to anybody who is interested in reading about an inspiring journey of a successful person and the 44th President of the United States.

Rating: 4/5 

Mariam

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Book Review: Consequences by Aleatha Romig


Synopsis: 

Anthony Rawlings had a plan—to teach Claire Nichols to behave.
Claire Nichols had a plan—to survive!

In an unfamiliar bedroom within a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols wakes to memories of a brutal abduction. All of her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met—Anthony Rawlings. Unbeknownst to Claire, Anthony has had her in his sights for a long time. Every action has consequences—and his actions resulted in their chance meeting.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive as she comes to terms with her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood is now dependent upon the tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed tycoon. Anthony may appear to the world as a prosperous, benevolent, kind businessman, but in reality Claire learns he is also a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as your told, public failure is not an option, and don’t divulge private information. Failure to follow these rules and more, are met with serious consequences.

In an effort to earn her freedom, Claire learns her lessons well and before long, she unknowingly captivates her captor. Anthony/ Tony reluctantly becomes enthralled with Claire’s beauty, resilience and determination. Their interaction instigates strong emotions, including—fear, anger, love, and lust—as their journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion.

From the opening criminal abduction, through the twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Aleatha Romig utilizes vivid detail, allowing this novel to unfold like a movie.

Can you put the pieces of the puzzle together? Claire Nichols abduction wasn’t a random act—did she learn her lessons well enough? Will these unlikely lovers remain true--or will she learn the truth before it’s too late?



My Review:


   I was honestly disappointed for the idea of this book was one that I personally found intriguing but it wasn't executed well enough.

   The first half of the book was going real well. It was okay and I found the author to be doing a good job with some aspects, more specifically the 'psychological' aspect. But then the second half was just bad and I didn't like, I was going through pages without reading most of it and for the last quarter, I just skipped to last ten pages or so. I just completed the book out of mare curiosity.

   The plot as I was saying took a not so fun, provocative kind of turn. The story was being stretched. Really. There was a lot of events that were a bit repetitive, I mean we got the point so it got boring and that's mostly why I skipped a lot of it. I don't know if I will be reading the sequel but if I did, it would be out of curiosity.

   Overall, this book was just not so good. I liked the idea, I honestly did but I didn't like the plot and I also liked Claire before she was brain-washed and I can totally understand to how she acted the way she did at the beginning of the story. However, I didn't know what to think of Tony so I won't even go there . So I personally wouldn't recommend this book.




Title: Consequences
Author: Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #1
Rating: 1.5/5

Mariam

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: Pawn by Amiee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Synopsis:
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.



If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.


There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.


My Review: 

   Wow! That was so much fun to read. It was surprisingly original as well, I mean, with all the dystopias out there you'd think that there would be a small possibility for a new original story but here we are, and Amiee Carter sure didn't disappoint! And I actually read this book in one day, possibly if I am right in about 3 hours in total - Hey! I had the time ;) But here is the thing, I hate starting a series which all of its books aren't all released yet. It's a hella torture and I don't fancy it. Nonetheless, here I am, agonizing over when will the sequel be out and how will the story go and blah blah. So it's not as fun, waiting that is and I reckon that a lot of you would agree.

   Onto the story! So it starts out fairly normal, you know, like we'd expect from a dystopia where people are suffering and under the mercy of the government and all that. People were ranked and the higher their rank was, the better life they'd get. But everything literally changes when Kitty agrees to this something. and that is when the story really starts. And I liked how we got a taste of both, being one of the higher ranks as well as being one of lower, suffering ones which the author did brilliantly! However, this ranking thing highly reminds me of The Selection which surprised me for some reason, actually its because I read the Selection after Pawn and found this idea in both although The Selection was out first, yeah so you get the point.

   The world-building was really good in a lot of aspects but we don't get as much as we need from it to get fully immersed in it and it was also the slightest bit odd. I am looking forward for more of everything in this story; the world-building, the love story - possibly a love triangle which I am excited to see how that will turn out to be and hoping it won't be a cheesy one - so yeah, everything. And although there wasn't really much of a cliffhanger, it ended peacefully to an extent and that I appreciated.




   The plot was intriguing. A bit twisted. A bit complicated. A bit bloody but without that much blood. It was thrilling to say the least. The sudden turn of events was not something that I expected. A lot of characters were there, I felt but I handled quite well keeping up so it wasn't confusing. All of the characters were well-written and I liked Kitty - although I despised the name - but unfortunately she didn't stand out enough as I wished she'd be, she was a normal heroine, one that I read hundred times before. She didn't have that much of a unique voice. However, there was this particularly this one character ( Kenox ) whom I felt we were a bit distant from. I wish we got more of him because he was a noteworthy character in the story and played a huge role but guess we won't get that until later, in the sequel. Perhaps some altering chapters between him and Kitty? Too much, maybe but we'll see.


   Overall, Pawn was a refreshing read for all those fellow dystopia lovers out there. As it was an enjoyable and thrilling read for all. It was a story about sacrifice, decisions, love, loyalty, and greed. A creative plot with heartfelt characters written exquisitely by Amiee Carter. So if dystopias were your cup of tea, the I'd whole-heartedly recommend this book for you!

Title: Pawn
Author: Amiee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Source: NetGalley ( For Review )
Published: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5 

"Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with an e-copy"

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes" -- Marcel Proust
xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

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Synopsis:
Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.


When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.











My Review:

   That was such a good book! Like seriously, I didn't expect it to be that good but yeah, it was. And the reason why is basically because it was fun as well as interesting and the characters were definitely a major factor in how this story turned out to be. The concept of this book I found at first a bit odd yet intriguing but then I grew to being familiar with it throughout the story and I really liked it to the say the least!

What I Liked:
  • The love story. IT WAS THE SWEETEST! Together they were just spellbinding and individually they were also so lovable. Luke was like the perfect boyfriend and London had this attractiveness to her character and I loved them both.
  • The characters in general were all well-crafted and I salute Cat for that. They were lovable as well authentic and they greatly added to the story.
  • The plot itself was really fun. One where you can sit and read while having a good time and that is what you'd want from a story, right?!
  • The twist! Oh yeah, there was one and a unique one too and boy! did it not make this story as awesome as it was. Because basically what it was that London had a messed up memory where she lives her life day by day and her memories are the future... or what she thought it all was. And as it odd as it may seem, it kinda sounds differently or less odd when you read it.
What I Didn't Like: 
  • We didn't get much of a detailed ending as to how things ended which I usually don't mind but in this book it was kind of a bummer, just not as satisfying.
   Overall, I really did enjoy reading this book. A nice storyline with an engagingly sweet love story. The twist on this book was new as well as witty in the sense that it went well with the plot. The writing style was smooth and easy to follow. Moreover, the whole story just kind of lingered in my mind even after finishing it, guess I was sad that it ended. So, I do recommend this book for all of you contemporary novel readers out there ;)

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat patrick
Series: Stand-alone
Source: Owned
Published: June 7th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5  

Yay! So as promised I posted a review, school is still not in full force yet so I had quite some time to read and write the review :)
xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters

Synopsis:
نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪archetype book‬‏Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.



Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.


My Review: 

   That was hella good! I was superbly impressed with this story, for I didn't expect it to be that good. But, it was and it exceeded my expectations and I am happy to say I loved this book. The closest book I can compare this book with is The Host, they are still completely different stories but I can see that those who enjoyed the Host can enjoy Archetype as well. Furthermore, the premise of this book was you'd call a thriller, I was hooked from page one.

   The plot, Phew! That is just another thing. I was honestly never bored, always at the edge of my seat, for the story was just packed with incidents, twists and turns. The story as a whole was just enjoyable and thrilling I would say. There were some scenes in this story that would just get my heart to squeeze a bit. I thought it was really good and full of incidents, an actual story. The author just did a fantastic job putting it all together. The author's writing was what you'd call sophisticated with a nice and wide range of vocabulary but still easy to follow. 

   The characters, I liked the characters, especially Emma and shockingly, Declan, I mean he was still a sweet-heart. I think the characters were well-written, not the best but good and they contributed a big part in making this story as good as it was.  I am also looking forward to knowing more of Noah in the sequel but I can say that I'll love him.


   As for the romantic aspect in this story, I would say that it is yet to blossom in the sequel. We could see snippets of a love story, I don't know what else to call it but it fitted the story and went well with the plot. And the ending was a brilliant, kinda complicated one and I didn't see it coming but I loved despite it being a cliffhanger but now, I just can't wait to read the next book. 


   I liked the idea behind the book, it was thoughtful in my opinion, it kinda reflects a couple of things we have in real world. And although part of the main idea was a bit too science-fictiony for me but I didn't mind it too much, it was still interesting and very well-executed. And what was even more twisty was that Emma fell in love with two but not in the sense that would come to one's mind, it wasn't as cheesy as I made it sound but you'll have to read the book to get what I am talking about, enough to say that it added to the story some heat. 

   Overall, this book guys was an amazing, heartfelt story with a main idea that we do not see very often. I was unexpectedly happy with what I found in this book, from the characters to the story to the writing, the author definitely did pull it off all together astoundingly. I had a fun time reading it. So if you are looking for a good fantasy/scientific fiction/dystopian novel with a bit of romance and an entertaining and intriguing storyline, then I'd say to definitely give this book a try.


Title: Archetype
Author: M.D. Waters
Series: Archetype #1
Source: Review Copy
Release Date: February 6th 2014 by Dutton Adult
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

*Thanks to Dutton Books for providing me with a review e-copy*

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: Shift by Em Bailey

12654775Synopsis:
Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.

But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.


My Review: 

   Woah! That was peculiar! No really, this book was quite different from probably anything that I have read before. I mean, aside from the intensity as well as the unusualness of this book, I would say that this book was pretty good. The first few chapters were somewhat boring or not as eventful as the rest of the book, it started out fairly normal, nothing out of the real world and then BOOM! well, not boom because it kinda came out gradually but enough to say guys that there is a paranormal twist on this story which I'll be telling you what I thought of it later on in the review ;)

   So first of all, I really liked the story from Olive's - the protagonist - point of view, it was definitely something and the author's writing style was also a smooth one and I found it easy to follow. In addition that she was capable of writing her characters pretty well, like she profoundly created them while perfectly sticking to the specific theme of each character. 

   The concept which this story was built on, imitation, was actually portrayed in a way that intrigued me, it was a bit weird as well as spooky but still original. So the paranormal aspect of this story was a blast to read and took the story to a whole another level, that's for sure. However, there were also some moments in this book where I was SO close to giving up on finishing the story, I guess because the story frustrated me at some parts that I didn't want to complete reading but I am glad I did because it was good.

   Overall, it was a good book with a unique idea. I can say that the chance of coming across a story with a similar idea is a really low one. It was a story about imitation, death, friendship, love, family, finding safety, strength and hope. So I'd say to read it just for a change of scenery, away from all the vampires, werewolves and whatnot. That, and the fact that it was fun. I mean, this book can definitely still be a hit or a miss but I would say that if you are a fan of paranormal novels then go ahead and give this book a try.


Title: Shift
Author: Em Bailey
Series: Stand-alone
Source: Owned
PublishedMay 22nd 2012 by EgmontUSA
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3/5  

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery." Charles Caleb Colton
xoxo, Mariam
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