domenica 13 gennaio 2013

Review: Pushing the limits - Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Pages: 392
My rating: 

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My thought:
This book was oustanding, and I really cried my heart out.. Noah and Echo (this name is so touching, so sweet, so out of time.. *_*) are the characters I love the most: troubled, terrified, alone against the world but strong enough to fight and discover love. I  lost my mind for them, I cried for them and felt as they were real..
Noah and Echo are lost souls whose hearts are broken in thousand pieces: Noah has lost his parents two years ago in a fire and as a conseguence, he has been divided by his little brothers. He wanders through foster families, too busy to take care of him or unable to give him the love and protection he needs. From being a school star, a basketball champion and good student, he becomes the 'bad boy', the one everyone avoids and the one with 'bad company' (that is not bad at all, mind you! Isaiah and Beth are sweet hurt guys, even if they act as badass..).
Echo is one of the best characters I found in books since forever. I really really really love her, I respect her and maybe I'm a little bit envious of her strenght and her bravery. What she has been through, all her memories.. Really, they broke my heart in tiny pieces. I wish I wer Lila, her best friend, to hug her and hope that all the evil would have gone away..
Everytime she remembered something, my hairs raised on the arms: how could a mother do something as terrible as what Echo's mother did? I wasn't able to understand, really!
When Noah and Echo found themselves, I was soooo happy! They really deserve being together, because their love is so sweet, so pure, so perfect that I was believing in them since the start.
Echo's dad and Ashley made me so angry.. I don't know if in such situation, I would have been able to forgive.. But I'm happy Echo did, because it couldn't be any different!
I cried when Echo thinks about her brother and how he would have acted if he was alive..
Aires would have loved this baby, regardless of who his mother was, regardless of how our father treated him. Why? Because that’s the way he’d loved me. Aires loved me unconditionally. He loved me when I was a scared child. He loved me when I was a bratty preteen. He loved me as a hormonal teenager. When nobody else in this world could love me for being an unsure, self-absorbed, timid scaredy-cat, he loved me.
I'm looking forward to read the second book by Katie McGarry, because she's so damn good in describing broken bodies and souls.. :')

They all asked the same questions and promised help, but each of them left me in the same condition as they found me—broken.

We’d read about sirens in English this fall; Greek mythology bullshit about women so beautiful, their voices so enchanting, that men did anything for them. Turned out that mythology crap was real because every time I saw her, I lost my mind.

[My father] had never paid this much attention to my mother. If he had, I wouldn’t be the school freak.

“I won’t tell anyone. I promise.” Noah brushed my hair behind my shoulder and tucked a straggling curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins, and why did it have to be now? “Look at me.” I met his dark brown eyes. His fingers skimmed the back of my hand. The sensation tickled like a spring breeze yet hit me like a wave rushing from the ocean. His gaze shifted to my covered arms. “You didn’t do that, did you? It was done to you?” No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. My entire world collapsed around me as I answered, “Yes.”

Beth had been both wrong and right. Echo couldn’t hurt anyone, especially when she seemed so breakable herself. But the need I felt to be the one to keep the world from shattering her only confirmed Beth’s theory. I was falling for her and I was fucked.

Echo pulled her hand away from mine, ending perhaps the most erotic moment of my life.

Young girl, tragically scarred, attempts to return to her normal life, only to find out her normal life doesn’t want her back.

I must have killed a lot of cows in a past life for Karma to hate me this much.

My mother might be crazy and she’d tried to kill me, but she was still my mom.

[Echo was] my opposite. And right now, everything I wanted.

Kissing her became my single reason for breathing.

Just like she’d said, she’d gone back to her life and, in theory, I’d gone back to mine. Problem? I didn’t like mine, not without her.

Echo was becoming essential, like air.

The term boyfriend didn’t seem to fit Noah. I liked to consider us … together.

Noah Hutchins, in fact, a human being, was overtly, on purpose, touching my scars.

Fuck me and the rest of the world, I was in love.

“Baby, no one would ever make the mistake of using the word ugly with you. Especially with me around.”

The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see—the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived.

There’s nothing you can do wrong when just breathing makes everything right.

I gazed into those beautiful eyes and knew I loved her more than I loved myself.

venerdì 11 gennaio 2013

Review: Millie's fling - Jill Mansell

Title: Millies' fling
Author: Kill Mansell
Pages: 501
My rating:  

Bestselling novelist Orla Hart owes her life to her friend Millie Brady, whose rotten boyfriend has just left her. So Orla invites Millie to Cornwall, where Millie looks forward to a summer without any dating whatsoever. But Orla envisions Millie as the heroine of her next novel and decides to find Millie the man of her dreams. Except the two women have drastically different ideas about what kind of guy that should be.

My thought:
The best way to descrbie this book is: WOW!
Did I make clear my feeling toward this book?! :D
Well, I really appreciated it, especially because I didn't expect much from it: the book is going to be released in Italy on 17th this month and the editor sent me a copy to rewiew.. To tell the truth, this is the first book by Jill Mansell to be translated in italian!
Now I want to read all her books, and I'll suggest her to all my friends!
There are lots of characters worth to know them..Jill created a great universe! I think I'd like having Millie as best friend.. She's so nice, so funny, so reliable and sweet.. I really adored her! Hester, her best friend and flatmate, is really lucky, also becuase she found Nat, the perfect boyfriend: he's a chef, he forgives her mistakes, he's hot as hell and well, hot as hell :DD
Everytime Jill assumed Orla's POV, I was so light-hearted I wanted to hug everyone and everything in sight..
Well, the multiple happy ending was clear from page 1, but not all the books need a mysterious plot to be pleasant!

mercoledì 9 gennaio 2013

Review: Women with big eyes - Angeles Mastretta

Title: Women with big eyes
Author: Angeles Mastretta
Pages: 384
My rating: 

Women with Big Eyes is Mexican novelist Ángeles Mastretta's most widely read work, now available for the first time in an English translation. Each of the stories in Women with Big Eyes reveals a different woman, yet they are linked by a single thread: the uniting revelation that women share an unnamed force, whether it comes in the form of iron resolve, flaming passion, or simply the knowing and mystical ways to nurture a soul. 

Mastretta's women are vibrant, sly, wise, earthy, and full of life, with stories that mesmerize. From these pages, they gaze at you, into you, each representing an aspect of what it means to be a woman with big eyes-able to see the world for what it is, to wink at it, and to make an uncompromising life within it. 

Ángeles Mastretta is a delightful storyteller, and these tales are shot through with sex and laughter. Women with Big Eyes makes a perfect, exquisite gift for any woman with a passionate heart and radiant eyes.

My thought:
That was a piece of art. Really!
I actually don't really like South-american writers, mostly because I usually find their stories too much distant from my world. I tried with Isabelle Allende (because a friend of mine told me: "You're not a woman if you haven't read Allende's books"), in particular "The house of the spirits", but I fell asleep more often than not and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who brought the same result as Allende's book.. :D
BUT! I really needed a female author from South America in a challenge hosted on aNobii. I chose this book only because it was small and seemed 'less worst' then others.
I simply loved it and I find that I miss it too!
It's composed by short stories that has one feature in common: they have women as main characters. Women who are really different: there is the married, the lover, the betrayed, the young, the dying, the child, the unappreciated, the too-much appreciated, the crazy, the worker, the insecure, the wife, the daughter, the mother.. 
There a lot of them, and there are lots of tales. I dindn't like some of them, didn't mind some others, but I certainly loved a lot.. The author is able to use words as she please and everytime, she creates wonderful worlds in which women live and act.. 
Some quotes are memorable, really!
It surprised me, because I didn't find it distant from my way of life, indeed I found these women so close to me that it seemed they were old friends.. :)
I'm so happy that I've discoverd this author! I want to read everything she has written so far! ^^

Review: Don Camillo - Guareschi

Title: The little world of Don Camillo
Author: Giovanni Guareschi
Pages: 180
My rating: 

Disaster threatens when a mild-mannered Italian priest wages a personal war against the village communists.

My thought:
Another great italian book that should be well known all over the world!
I bought this book years ago, because a friend of mine was constantly talking about Don Camillo here, Don Camillo there.. I didn't want to start it though, 'cause I thought it was a boring, appalling and not-for-me reading. Well, this book is my refined wine: it has been in my library for years and it aged wonderfully!
I read it really quickly and when I finished.. I wish it had been longer!! It made me laugh so hard that my mum heard me from her room.. :D
There are two main characters: Don Camillo, a priest and Peppone, the 'communist' mayor of the village. They spend their time annoying each other, doing things just to make the other angry, hating each other and so on.. They are nemesis, they wish they could live without the other and always speak ill.. But at the end (at the very end!!) they are friends, they protect the other when in need and really fight for good reason! (more or less.. =P)
Beyond the funny side there is so much to discover: friendship, Italian situation post-war, way of life in a little country.. :)
Really really advised!

lunedì 7 gennaio 2013

Review: Two for the dough - Evanovich

Title: Two for the dough
Author: Janet Evanovich
Pages: 326
My rating: 

Bounty hunter Stephanie Pum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie's bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso - a suspiciously weatlhy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend - the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli - who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch - only makes the hunt more thrilling...

Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move... and his next move might be Stephanie's last.

My thought: 
OMG I do so love Janet Evanovich and the world she created! *_*
Telling the truth, I found this second volume of Stephanie Plum's novel even more amazing and appealing than the first one.. Maybe is due to Joe Morelli, one of the sexiest character I have ever found in my readinng experience.. I think I fell in love with him! *_*
He has great sex appeal, he's cool and well.. He's just adorable with Stephanie. I really love them together! *_* And I'm waiting for Joe to ask her.. Well, to ask her something!! 
Joe Morelli is not the only gorgeous character I found in this book: there are so many, it's hard to talk about them all!
First of all, of course, Stephanie herself. She's a great female character, she should be elected as president fot female characters.. Everyone should learn from her!
I wish I had a Stephanie Plum as friend.. That could be something interesting! She's funny, she's not perfect, she's hilarious, she's.. Well, you got it, don't you? :D
Another woman in this story that took part of my heart is Grandama Mazur. Ahaha!! Omg, she's  truly, madly and unbelievably nuts.. She really made me laugh so hard I couldn't stop!!
Here she starts to help out Stephanie and the two of them are extraordinarily extraordinary!!!
The book is funny, characters are strange, situations are even more stranger.. A perfect mix of whatever a reader hopes to find in a book, GUARANTEED!

venerdì 4 gennaio 2013

Review: I am Nojoud, age ten and divorced

Title: I am Nujood, age ten and divorced
Author: Nujood Ali
Pages: 188
My rating: 

Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.
Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled—not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood’s case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention. Her story even incited change in Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, where underage marriage laws are being increasingly enforced and other child brides have been granted divorces.
Recently honored alongside Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice as one of
 Glamour magazine’s women of the year, Nujood now tells her full story for the first time. As she guides us from the magical, fragrant streets of the Old City of Sana’a to the cement-block slums and rural villages of this ancient land, her unflinching look at an injustice suffered by all too many girls around the world is at once shocking, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable.

My thought:
I study arab language at university and I am always the first in defending this world. I always say to anyone who speak about it without knowing: don't judge so easily! There are lots of thing you should know before saying any word..
In this case, I tried to come up with some excuse for this story, but I couldn't.
How can a man -even if defining him 'man' is insulting for the oher human beings- marry, harass and hit a girl who is only nine years old and could be his daughter?! Poverty, ignorance.. seriously, they are NOT excuses for such behaviour.. 
While reading this book, I felt so helpless, so angry, so out of me!! There are lots of bad, terrible things in this world, no doubt. But abusing little girls is something that my mind cannot event think about!
I'm glad Nujood made it and became a free woman.. But my heart is still sad at the thought of the thousand girls in the same situation who weren't strong enough to rebel.. and I really think Nujood was extremely fortunate in being freed: NGO, international journals and foreign countries were so horrified with this story that they decided to intervene..
I don't think she would have been safe without them!

Review: Letter to a child never born, Oriana Fallaci

Title: Letter to a child never born
Author: Oriana Fallaci
Pages:  102
My rating: 

Sorry, I couldn't find any plot in english on the web!
You'll have to trust me! :)

My thought:
When I read books like this, I feel proud to be italian. Yes, we have many problems and lots of things don't work as they should.. But once in a while we do something good! Oriana Fallaci was a great journalist and writer, but first of all, she was a memorable woman... 
So, she wrote a short book about pregnancy and being a mum.. What is so special?
It's an amazing book, intense, meaningful and more often than not, painful. 
Oriana speaks with the fetus that is growing inside her and while I was reading, I wished my mum had written it: it's a touching dialogue, even if disenchanted and absolutely hard on the world that is waiting for the child. The writer warns her baby about his/her life to be: Nothing will be easy, people will be mean and no-one will give anything free. She wants him to be ready to fight in order to conquer his space in the world..
I really enojoyed the reading, though it wasn't easy sometimes and maybe  it can be truly understood only my mums or mums-to-be. No problem at all, I decided I'd have to read it again once I'll be a mum myself!
Best part is the trial one that left me heartbroken..
This book should be mandatory for mums, women in general and why not? Also for me, because they can be the best parents in the world, but ther will never understand what does it mean carrying a baby inside them.. :)

martedì 1 gennaio 2013

2013 Reading challenges!

I so do love Reading challenges! *_*
I'm too much in, that's the problem!

This year (counting only the ones hosted on blogs) I'll follow:

1) Mystery/Crime reading challenge, hosted by The crafty book nerd

2) European reading challenge, hosted by Rose city reader

3) Monthly Keyword reading challenge, hosted by Bookmark to blog

4) TBR Reading challenge hosted by My reader's block

5) 2013 Bingo reading challenge hosted by Reading in winter and Creativity's corner

Ok, I thin it's enough for now! :D

lunedì 31 dicembre 2012

Review: Being Henry David - Cal Armistead

Title: Being Henry David
Author: Cal Armistead
Pages: 270
My rating: 
Expected publication: 2013,03,01
Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York Ciry with no memory of anything -who he is, where he came from, why he's running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Herny David Thoureau. And so he becomes Henry David or "Hank" and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of -Walden Pond in Concord, Massachussetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The obly way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.

My thought:
I really liked this book!
First of all, the main character (Henry David, Hank or Daniel.. He has lots of names!) is so sweet, tender and perfect to cuddle I fell in love with him!
We follow Henry David while he's looking for his identity: who is he? Where does he come from? Why did he run away? Slowly, he starts to rembember things from the past: he's more than good in playing the guitar; he can ran really fast and he has a sister. But this memory is painful and he tries so hard to remember something.
During his journey, he finds friends, such as Jack and Nessa, two brothers who run away from their violent father or Thomas, a Thoureau's expert and lover who accepts Hank in his house without questioning.
Page after page, we find out more about Henry David and his sorrowful past.
At the end, when he remembers his life, I cried a lot! And I really wanted to hug him!
Despite my high rating, I didn't quite liked the end, because it's short and doesn't explain all the things that needed to be explained. Just to tell, ehat about Jack? What about Tessa? And Hailey?! I really wanted to read about the reconciliation between Daniel and his family.. Though his meeting with his dad is really marvellous! *__*
I want to know about his future, his choices, his life aterward.. I don't like to imagine too much!!