The History of Love by Nicole Krauss – Book Review

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Hi everyone, I have finished the History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and thought I would share my review of it with you. It’s a lot different from what I’m used to reading, which is contemporary or fantasy, but that’s what made this book unique. This book has received a lot of notoriety for being compelling and beautifully written, however though I did like it, I found it to be a little bit confusing at times and hard to follow due to the stark contrasts in each of the character’s writing styles, and how they intertwined together. However, by the conclusion I did feel a little bit less confused as the author brought the three separate storylines together, and illustrated to the reader how they all fit together.

Brief Summary – 

Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother’s loneliness. Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who, sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn’t know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives… (this is the Goodreads description which you can view on Goodreads here: The History of Love

Plot – 

The plot I have to say is good, it’s creative, and is basically a mystery. There were a lot of times that something happened, or something was revealed and I was surprised, which is one element that I really liked about this novel. I would even say that the plot focuses heavily on uncovering mysteries. The premise of a book about a book was also really intriguing, and a different approach to storytelling than seen in the vast variety of literature. The plot also was saturated with writers. Most of the characters were writers and authors, and often the construction of a novel goes behind the scenes instead of being brought to the forefront of the readers’ attention. I also liked the deeper themes that were introduced such as fear of being invisible, authenticity, and the contrast between humour and death.

Characters – 

The characters were also really well developed and thought out. It was interesting seeing the relationship that Nicole Krauss created amongst unlikely individuals such as Gursky and Alma – one an old man, the other a young teenaged girl.

Writing Style – 

Many people have argued that the writing style has to be complex in order to tell such a complicated story,  but I really wasn’t a fan of how Nicole Krauss actually wrote each individual character’s perspectives, This is the part that I think really confused me. However, I haven’t really read anything like this before, and maybe if I was exposed to this unique style of writing more, I would be able to follow it better.


Overall, I give this novel 3/5 stars, for having an interesting plotline but not always being the most easy to follow. I found myself re-reading some parts, and when I read a book, I don’t want to have to go back and re-read and spend too much time trying to figure out what’s happening.

**Sidenote ** I will be re-reading this entire novel another time, because I read most of it while recovering from a rather unpleasant and complicated wisdom tooth surgery (which I’m still recovering from), so that may have influenced my ability to fully understand and enjoy this novel.

 

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – Book Review

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I can’t believe that I finished this book in less than one day! There was just something about it that kept me reading and not wanting to put it down. If you don’t know that The Wrong Side of Right is about, it follows the story of Kate, who’s mother has just recently passed due to a car accident. She finds out that her father is a senator that is currently running for US President. She is quickly united with him and thrown into the midst of the US presidential campaign in which she is completely unprepared. She meets the current president’s son (who just so happens to be her father’s opposition in the race to the Whitehouse), and promptly develops feelings for him. Due to the political nature of their relationship they have to hide it from the press and from each other’s families in order to not disrupt the political campaign. However, Kate is faced with numerous challenges being inexperienced in the realm of politics, and on top of dealing with publicity, must also deal with the loss of her mother and the unraveling secrets of her family’s past, while trying to get to know her father not only as a senator, but as a real human being. This proves to be quite challenging, and she is faced with numerous barriers and setbacks throughout the novel that she must overcome if she wants to develop her relationship with her father outside of the political campaign.

I have to say that I just loved this book so much. I might even re-read it at some point. I just could not stop reading. The storyline was so interesting, and I felt so bad for Kate because in all reality her life kind of did suck. But I’m glad that she eventually found security and happiness with her new family (being the senator and his wife and children). It was super interesting that Kate’s mother was a polisci major, and worked on political campaigns in her college years. It was also really interesting how she worked for a non-profit organization later on. Anyone who knows me knows that I love politics, so for me, a book that combines politics, a forbidden romance, and relationship building (aka Kate with her new found father), was the perfect book for me! It’s been raining incessantly for the last few days, so I’ve been staying inside for the most part with tea, and just reading. 🙂

I also really liked the main character Kate. I feel like in YA a lot of the characters are really strong and opinionated and assert their opinions whenever they have the urge to. However, that’s not always reality. I felt like Kate sometimes didn’t always say what was on her mind, things that she didn’t always agree with, mostly because she didn’t feel comfortable to do sonin an unfamiliar political atmosphere, with a dad she didn’t even know. I feel like that added a layer of realism to the character, as not always will we be brave enough to always say what we are thinking even if we disagree with some underlying value or in this case, policy. On the other hand, Kate did sometimes give her opinion when it mattered which I think made for a good balance.

The romance in this book was so cute! I loved Andy so much and I really do think that him and Kate belong together. They have so much in common, both being thrown into the world of politics involuntarily, and because of this they really helped each other. It’s really cool how even though their father’s were opposing in almost every regard, they could put the politics behind them and just be themselves with each other!

I give this novel 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who loves a forbidden romance, or US politics! I loved the way that Kate was able to finally distinguish her father from the senator that presented himself to the world. This book really illustrates how a career in politics can become so consuming, it can be difficult to separate work from your personal life and even your relationship with your family.

Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel:

“It’s amazing how much one person can change the world, even if they don’t know they’re doing it.”

“But it occurred to me suddenly that trust wasn’t an object, not something that arrived on your doorstep, solid and absolute. It was a decision, a leap.”

As a sidenote – isn’t this book so pretty? I just love the cover design. I can’t believe I found this gem of a book for only $6 on sale at my local bookstore, I’m so glad that I did.

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Book Review

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Hey guys! I just finished Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick! I have mixed opinions on this one. I have to say that I did really enjoy the plot, the plot-twists, and the mystery, paranormal aspect of this book. I was intrigued by Patch’s character as he was mysterious and no one really knew his true intentions until near the end. There was a lot of elements of this book that were kind of creepy, like dark figures in ski-masks following around Nora the main character, causing havoc. I’ve read a lot of these types of books before and I thought I had a good idea how things would turn out, but I was wrong, which means in my view that the book was successful in keeping the reader guessing through its intricate plot twists. The plot was much more complex than the description of the book leads on to, which I thought was good! I also liked how Nora didn’t fall for this mysterious Patch right away and the author built up a more realistic development of their relationship, which is something that is often lacking in YA literature. I thought the author also did an amazing job of keeping the plot moving quickly, there was never a time in the book that I got bored, and I found myself getting through this book fairly quickly. However, one thing that I didn’t really like about this novel, was the main character Nora. For some reason, she just kind of bugged me. It seemed that she just couldn’t make one intelligent decision. For example, who wanders into a dark alley on the wrong side of town when they know there’s danger? She seemed to me to be somewhat naive. I also didn’t particularly like Nora’s mother, she was always absent, and she didn’t really seem to care that much about where Nora was and what she was doing. How are these creepy things happening in her house and she’s completely unaware of all of it, leaving Nora at night alone? Overall, despite the fact that I didn’t really love Nora’s character, I did really enjoy the rest of the book and the premise of the storyline and I probably will be picking up the rest of the series eventually. Maybe as the series goes on Nora will learn to make better decisions and we’ll see her develop as a character (hopefully).

Overall, I give this novel 4/5 stars. It was a perfect read during exam season, as it was  one of those guilty pleasure reads. Yes, it was a little bit cliche, there were a lot of YA tropes present, but nonetheless I still enjoyed it.

Some of my favourite quotes from the novel:    

“Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn’t.”

“Patch wasn’t the kind of guy mothers smiled on. He was the kind of guy they changed the house locks for.”

“Patch’s eyes were black orbs. Taking in everything and giving away nothing.”

“Humans are vulnerable, because they’re capable of being hurt.”

The Light Between Oceans – by M.L. Stedman Book Review & Discussion

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A lighthouse is for others; powerless to illuminate the space closest to it

**sidenote** this is a random picture I took of a lighthouse, not the one depicted in the book on Janus Rock.

Summary – 

If you don’t know what this novel is about, it’s about a lighthouse keeper off of Janus Rock in Australia and his wife Isabelle, who have been unable to have children and have had 2 misscarriages and a stillbirth. This leaves Isabelle distraught as she wants nothing more than a family of her own. One day, miraculously a baby washes up ashore in a boat, while the man in the boat who is her father, is dead. Isabelle takes this as a sign from God, and begs her husband to keep the child, and he reluctantly agrees. The rest of the book is full of moral ambiguity and ethical dilemmas!

Writing Style – 

The very last page of this book indicates that this is M.L. Stedman’s first novel. I almost couldn’t believe it, it was so well written, you would never guess that this would be the first novel she has published. The book was rich with metaphor and description. I felt like she really establishes the setting extremely well. She appeals to all of your senses through her writing, and subsequently this makes the reader more attached and invested to the plot and to the characters. Some people have criticized the novel for moving a little bit too slowly, which admittedly it did in comparison to some of the other books I’ve been reading lately, but I don’t believe that took away from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

The Plot – 

This was a very interesting plot that dealt a lot with isolation, loss, pain, and as I mentioned before, ethical dilemmas. I really liked the originality of the plot, personally I have never read a book that follows the life of a lighthouse keeper, this proved to be a unique perspective. I felt like besides its originality it was really well pieced together, by that I mean, by the end of the book, I felt as if the reader gets the whole picture of what has happened. I have to say that throughout the book, I got pretty emotional at some points, I felt angry at some parts, sad, understanding, and happy. So really, the plot of this novel evokes almost every emotion! I also did learn more about Australia and the post World War I period a little bit through this book which I also really enjoyed, and every time there was mention to kangaroos I got a little bit excited because kangaroos are my favourite animals ever, and I would like nothing more than to visit Australia one day! 🙂

The Characters – 

I felt like the characters in this were really relatable, flawed human beings. Real people everyday have to make decisions, often based on their emotions, and then they have to live with the consequences of those decisions, especially if they are the wrong ones. The characters in general really demonstrated the reality of pain, and suffering and raw emotion, and flawed decision making.

Overall, I give this novel 4/5 stars for being so emotionally compelling, and showing the reality of human nature and human emotion. I cannot wait to discuss this book further in book club! If you like emotionally charged books that will pull at your heart strings, and probably keep you up at night reading, I recommend The Light Between Oceans. It is in my opinion, a literary masterpiece.


Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel: 

“You don’t think ahead in years or months: you think about this hour, and maybe the next. Anything else is speculation.”

“That’s how life goes on – protected by the silence that anesthetizes shame.”

“Putting down the burden of the lie has meant giving up the freedom of the dream.”

“…I promised to spend my life with you. I still want to spend my life with you. Izz, I’ve learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you’ve got to give up hope of ever changing your past.”

“The law’s the law, but people are people.”


Discussion: Do not read on if you haven’t read the book or don’t want to be spoiled


     I had so many feelings reading this book! I really could understand everyone’s perspective, Hannah’s – her longing for her biological child after the death of her beloved husband, a miracle that her child is still alive, Isabelle’s – though I don’t agree with her decision to keep the child, I have to try and empathize with her as she hasn’t been able to have children of her own and saw it as a sign from God. But I wanted to mostly focus on Tom. Even at the end of the book, when his wife blames him for everything (when really it was her fault), he still protected her even from jail! He didn’t want her to have to pay the consequences of her actions so he blamed the whole thing on himself! I think he should have told the truth to the police at that point, and explained to them their motives and Isabelle’s history with the loss of her children. The whole time Tom suffered so much, his conscience telling him he had to do the right thing for Hannah, but this conflicted with his love for Isabelle. I feel really bad for Tom and for Lucy-Grace they were the two characters that I just pitied the most, because other people’s hurt and loss and suffering became such a huge impact on their lives.

Spring Update!

Hey guys, I know I haven’t posted on here in what feels like forever (thank goodness exam season is over) so I wanted to give you a life/bookish update for this upcoming month!

I have been absolutely loving the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having, and I’ve been taking advantage of it by reading outside as much as possible. I’ve been trying to find the most peaceful places to read to try and decompress from such a crazy stressful school year, and before I have to start summer school. I’ve been out taking lots of beautiful spring pictures of cherry blossoms, magnolias, and other blossoming flowers! I’ll share some of these spring photos below:


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Recently I have been reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, I’m about three quarters finished, but I have put that one on hold until mid next week, as I have a book club book that I have to finish first! So technically at the moment I am reading both Hush, Hush, and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. Both of which I am absolutely loving. I know that Hush, Hush kind of has mixed reviews, and I haven’t finished it yet, so I don’t want to say that for sure I love it, because the ending plays a big role in my opinion of the book (Hush, Hush book review to come soon).

My May Reading Plans:  

Once I finish Hush, Hush I plan on reading the following books in May:

  • The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (this is my book club book for May) – Book Review coming really soon!
    • This book is set in Australia (my favourite setting, and the country I most want to visit, because I mean.. they have adorable kangaroos and koalas ❤ ) And it follows the life of a light house keeper situated on Janus Rock. His wife Isabelle, has had 2 miscarriages and one stillbirth and wants nothing more than a baby so she can start a family with her husband Tom. When a baby washes up ashore unexpectedly they have to make a decision, to keep it, or to report it and it possibly live in an orphanage. This book is full of ethical dilemmas! It’s my understanding that this is also a movie, which I will watch once I’m finished with the book and do a comparison of the two!
  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
    • This book was definitely an impulse buy. I went book shopping with some of my friends, and I saw this beautiful book, the cover of course caught my attention, and it was on sale, AND the write up on the inside of the plot intrigued me, so for $6 I would be crazy to just not purchase it! Admittedly I don’t know too much about this book or the author, but I’m excited nonetheless. The overview says that this book is about a girl who’s mother dies, and then her father comes into her life, only for her to find out that he’s a powerful politician running for US president, and she’s thrown into the midst of a campaign while falling for a rebellious boy that just might not be ideal for her father’s political aspirations. (Oooh!) Of course, as a political science major, who’s whole life revolves around politics I am more than excited for this one. I don’t think it will disappoint! The Wrong Side of Right 3
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin?
    • The third book that I want to read in May is kind of undecided at this current time and is most likely going to change. But as for now, I think I want to read Wolf by Wolf. It’s just been sitting there on my shelf for months, and I’ve been meaning to get around to it!

May means A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas!! 

I know guys, I couldn’t have an update post and not mention this. I know everyone is raving right now about May 2nd, and I am equally as excited, I’ve been counting down the days for almost a month now. There’s news that I might get an opportunity to get ACOWAR signed by her and if that happens, I’m going to be so happy! May is my birthday month, and that would just make my whole entire month! I’m so excited! Ahh! (P.s. I love Rhysand ❤ )


So May looks like a really fun and eventful bookish month for me! I’m super excited to read these books, and maybe, hopefully, meet Sarah J Maas!

Let me know if you guys think I should continue to add more spring pictures into my  future posts! 🙂 Or have any spring book suggestions, I would love to hear them! I will definitely be blogging more now that I’m done school and have more time!

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I just wanted to mention, that I found these absolutely adorable floral magnetic bookmarks in my local bookstore, and I have to say, these bookmarks are so pretty and way better than the paper ones. I might never use a paper bookmark again! They each have really cute inspirational sayings on them and are perfect with my springtime reading theme!

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard – Book Review

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I have just finished reading King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, after what feels like forever. I think I have been reading this book for over a month a now. I have mixed feelings on this novel, it was really well written, I do like Victoria Aveyard’s writing style and also the premise of the entire series. I started Red Queen last year and read Glass Sword right after, at the time I was really into the series and I literally could not wait to read King’s Cage, but by the time it finally came out, and I read it, I just wasn’t as excited about this series as I originally was going into the first book.

Part of the reason that I don’t think I enjoyed the novel as much as I thought I would, is because for me the fighting and combat scenes became kind of repetitive. These scenes were my least favourite in the novel because it seemed that they just lacked originality and intrigue. I more enjoyed the beginning of the novel, learning about the deep feelings that Mare has after the loss of her brother Shade, and her inner-feelings of hatred towards Maven.

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I would say that my favourite part of the novel was getting a deeper understanding of the characters that we have been following throughout the series. This book really allows the reader to understand the the villain, being Maven, and in some ways sympathize with him because of his mother’s dark pull on him. In addition, a new element that this novel brought to the series was the raw emotion of Mare. Especially when she was Maven’s captive, we got to see her thought process and emotions a lot more vividly than in the other books when she constantly engaging in the next task to further her agenda, where we didn’t get as good of a sense of her emotions. Also, I liked the development of her relationship with Cal, and how they helped each other overcome their nightmares of past traumatic experiences.

In my opinion the beginning and the very end of the novel were the best parts, the middle for me got to be less intriguing, and at some points it was hard for me to keep my attention on the plot.

That being said, if you did enjoy the other two novels, this one is still worth a shot. I know that this book has got many amazing reviews, and even got over a 4.5 star rating on Goodreads, so it might have just been me and my circumstances that made me not enjoy this book as much as I originally anticipated.

I give this novel 3.5/5 stars, and I’m hoping to re-read it along with the rest of the series again at some point, to see if reading the whole series together might change my opinion and make me enjoy it a bit more! Though I would still definitely recommend it if you liked the other two books because you do get a deeper understanding of the characters which is a really well done element in this book. Also, it’s important to note how pretty this book is! I took a lot of pictures of it because I found it to be an overall beautiful novel!

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King’s Cage is Finally Here!

If you didn’t know, today was the publication date for King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. I started Red Queen last June and read Glass Sword immediately after. I’ve been waiting what feels like forever for the third installment of this series so of course I absolutely had to buy King’s Cage today! I loved both Red Queen and Glass Sword so much, and I cannot wait to read King’s Cage, which I plan to start at the end of this month!

I wanted to share my excitement with you guys and show you some of the cool pictures that I took of this pretty book!

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I love how they all are matching variants of blue! They look so nice together on my bookshelf!

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