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review 2018-07-16 12:54
Mud City (The Breadwinner, #3) by Deborah Ellis
Mud City - Deborah Ellis

After reading Parvana's Journey, I decided to hop right into Mud City to see what will happen next to Parvana and her family. However, once I started to read it, I quickly discovered that this book followed her friend Shauzia, not Parvana. That's didn't deter me from reading the book, of course, because I loved Shauzia in the first book and was looking forward to her journey since last we heard from her. I just had to change my expectations of what the book was going to be about. And is was such a fantastic read! Reading these books have been a wonderful experience. I'm enjoying it tremendously. They have been heartbreaking, especially this installment for very personal reasons which I will explain momentarily. But these book have been a valuable experience throughout.

 

I'm going to start off by talking about Shauzia. This is the first time we get the story through her perspective. In The Breadwinner, we see her through Parvana's eyes. We learn that she wants to escape her life in Afghanistan by going to the sea and traveling to France. At the end of the first book, we learn that Parvana and Shauzia make a promise to meet in twenty years on top of the Eiffel Tower to know that they were able to make it out safely. In Parvana's Journey, the only mention of Shauzia we get is through the letters Parvana writes to her. We don't actually see her. So this is the first time we get to learn more about her. She is a lot more hot-headed than Parvana is. She is someone who fights hard for what she wants, not paying any mind to the consequences. Shauzia is more of a loner and a fighter than Parvana, and I wouldn't have her any other way. She makes some foolish mistakes, but she comes out the better for making them and I'm now looking forward to learning more about her and Parvana in the last book in the series! 

 

Deborah Ellis continues to write about difficult subject matters in an approachable way so that anyone, children and adults alike, can understand and empathize about the wars happening in Afghanistan. I am learning so much about what happened in Afghanistan in the past for it to be the way it is now. Although, I remember some of what happened through personal experience. I lived across the Hudson when the World Trade Center Towers were destroyed. I saw them crumble down. I saw the sky covered in the thick, black smoke. I saw people running around, trying to get their families together. I heard yelling and crying and screaming coming every which way. I was stuck in traffic for five hours in a ride that should have taken ten minutes. All of that is still fresh in my mind. So reading about that in this book, it was so hard for me... but I'm glad to see that this book didn't shy away from mentioning that terrible event. I'm glad it's being talked about and written about and taught to younger kids. That this book shows that there's good and bad everywhere. That even though what happened in New York that day still haunts and hurts a lot of us here in the States, that there are people in Afghanistan who are hurt by those same events and that they, too, want the violence and suffering to stop. Just knowing that this book is out there for kids to read and learn that not everyone is cruel gives me hope.

 

I'm going to stop now. Reading Mud City and then writing this review has made me emotional, I know, but I had to get this out. This is an amazing book. An amazing series! Please, if you have not read the first two, give them a shot. If you have, read this one, too! It's just as good as the first two. Read it to your kids, if you have any, or just read it for yourself. They are such great books and I highly recommend them.

 

And now I'm off to read the final book in The Breadwinner series. I'm a bit worried to see how everything is going to end, but there's no way I'm going to stop now. I want to know the ending and I can't wait to read My Name is Parvana.

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text 2018-07-14 14:47

https://shop.forreadingaddicts.co.uk/collections/bags

 

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review 2018-07-14 14:08
Parvana's Journey (The Breadwinner, #2) by Deborah Ellis
Parvana's Journey - Deborah Ellis

After how much I adored the first book in this series, I decided to continue on with Parvana and her journey to find her family. I'm glad I did. This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, painful story about a young girl as she travels throughout Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. I'll put it bluntly, this book is a difficult read. People are dying, children are starving, and there's violence throughout so... it's not for the faint of heart. However, I highly recommend you read this book if you've read the first one and appreciated the story within.

 

Parvana is still an incredible character. In this book, she is very angry and tired and looses patience quite easily with the other children. Can you blame her? Her entire life has been nothing but strife and chaos. She's a young girl who knows war and only war. And it's getting to her. I felt so strongly for her in the first book, but I feel so much more for her in this one. She's been through so much already and you know she's only going to experience so much more pain still. Asif is a new character and I adore him, too. He starts off as a brat and, as the story continues, he's still a brat but he acts more like a brother to Parvana. He's sweet and caring, he just doesn't know how to show it. Another character that's new to the story is Leila. She is a lovely little girl with a vivid imagination who joins Parvana and Asif on their journey to find Parvana's family. She is free-spirited and so sweet; I adore her so much!

 

Ellis did a fantastic job in writing this book and creating these characters. She is bringing awareness to what happened in Afghanistan and is helping young children understand that part of the world a little more. She is urging for us to help in any way we can so that way people in Afghanistan, especially women and children, have a chance to live a life free from war and violence and starvation. I love that she wrote these books with the intention to help those in Afghanistan.

 

I love this book just as much as I love the first book in The Breadwinner series. I will continue to read the rest of this series because I want to know what is going to happen with Parvana. I have to see how her story will end. I hope she is able to find peace and happiness one day. I truly do. And I shall continue to read in order to find out! Please read this series! To learn more about our history, Afghanistan's history, and the history of many women who have lived through the war under the Taliban rule. It's a heavy read, but one well worth the weight. 

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review 2018-07-05 18:01
Compromising situation leads to three couples finding happiness.
The Vision of a Viscountess - Linda Rae Sande

This story had an interesting mix of love stories. It was one story that brought Marianne and Jasper together because of a compromising situation. Their time on Sicily, where most of the story takes place, introduced us to many other characters. There was an opportunity for a second chance at love for an older couple, as well as a new relationship for another couple. I liked Marianne as she learned to enjoy the world around her and the "Roman Arts", though her dislike of glasses went a bit too far. Jasper was a romantic at heart and was a sweetheart. His honesty with Marianne made me fall in love with him as well.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-01 13:21
June 2018 — A Wrap Up

 

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Shaman Rises by C. E. Murphy

 

Read my series review here. Meanwhile here are two of my fave quotes from the last book:

 

 

 

Don’t you just love it when a favorite author of yours quotes/alludes to the work of another favorite author?

 

I saw Morrison’s face twitch like he couldn’t believe I was baiting the Master, and also like he couldn’t believe that he couldn’t believe it. It was Schrödinger’s twitch, neither believing nor disbelieving until we got out of here alive.

 

But then that is how Jo does things! She dares where she shouldn’t and that is one of the reasons this series was fun to read.

 

 

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Soulless by Gail Carriger (Manga)

 

Some books are just too beautiful and the manga series for the Parasol Protectorate books is one of them! I love how the characters are drawn. Ms. Carriger’s wit shines brightly in each dialogue. Mostly, I have trouble believing I have these books in my life and on my shelf. Thanks to my sister who would get me the moon and who visited Seattle, I do! I intend to savor these three books and so am taking my time reading them.

You can check out the covers on my Instagram.

 

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Tarnished and Torn by Juliet Blackwell 

 
 
View image on Twitter
 

Juliet Blackwell's giving me major @judypost vibes. Her books have the same patient way of deepening into interesting plots and create a homey feeling that keeps you reading long into the night!

 

 

This succinctly explains why I keep returning to the series. A few weeks will have gone by and I’ll suddenly think of the next book to read from this series. That is all it takes for me to start reading!

 

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Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

 

I dunno what it is but Yelena has started to piss me off. It could be her attitude towards others or her magic. Either way, I am finding it more and more difficult to like her with each new book I read. Valek, on the other hand, has become less of the token YA hero and in the process of being fleshed out into an actual character. In this book, we are shown how life has been for him and the training he has received to end up where he did. I have always liked the connection he has had with Ambrose. Yet it seems to be coming to an end and quick. The supporting characters were their usual entertaining selves. We are also introduced to a new character with a history of having been abused. She comes across as prickly and immature at times but I liked her tenacity.

 

Would all this be enough to get me to read the next book in the series? Let’s find out!

 

 

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Romeo Redeemed by Stacey Jay

 

I don’t even know where to begin. Okay, wait I do:

He is a liar!

No, he loves me!

He is a murderer!

No, he loves me!

He is a traitor!

No, he loves me!

This goes on until the very end, which happened on a happy note. Not impressed. At all.

 

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Sleepy Hollow #2-4 by Marguerite Bennett

 

I found these to be all right.

 

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Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

 

Much better than the last one. I am only reviewing this one because I enjoyed reading it. The lead couple seemed beyond redemption but that was the only cliched part. The time they took in coming closer, discovering each other, and initiating physical contact of any sort seemed realistic.

 

Another thing that I liked was how hard the author worked to show us how Arrows lived their lives. Simple kindness was a concept unknown to them because they had never been on the receiving end of it. The main characters connected with the shifter alpha and conveyed how inept they were at this. Small changes that slowly lead to better lives for these soldiers were fun to watch.

 

Ms. Singh expertly introduced another shifter pack in this book and took us just a little deeper into the world of the water changelings, as well. There are no signs of this series ending, especially with all the characters to be written about.

 

What I didn’t like was how quickly the problem of the bad guy was solved. Yeah, I know he wasn’t the Big Bad but the story had been setting him up that way. So much evil and all it took was half a page of writing to extinguish it,

 

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Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

 

So many reasons for me to have loved this book:

 

The Humor

 

 

Galina, of course, is a ghost who is trying to help a caged Mercy from a golem or rather The Golem. All she manages to do is roll around the head of a decapitated vampire. It was funny. You had to be there, okay?

 

The Mercy

 

She was completely herself…outmaneuvered, overpowered, and with no chances of escape. Once or twice, she even took out some time to wallow in self-pity but that didn’t last long. Mercy is used to being the weakest player in any supernatural game. So, she doesn’t let that hold her back for long.

 

The Adam

 

The book gave us Adam’s POV, which I loved. Another thing was how Adam was pitted against people who were stronger than he was. He was out of his depth and couldn’t afford to start a war with the vampires. While all of that was happening, Mercy was far away from him, having been kidnapped from right outside their home. In short, he was putting up with shit that Mercy has had to deal with all her life lol

There is also his acceptance that Mercy is going to be drawn wherever trouble brews. In fact, she doesn’t realize this truth but he does and had made his peace with it. This is how the scene goes when they are finally reunited:

 

Start of Spoiler

 

(spoiler show)

“I killed the Golem of Prague—for real this time,” I told him. “After I used him to kill all the vampires. I don’t know how many he killed. Lots, I think. Mary figured out how to mass-produce vampires, though I gather they had quite an expiration date. The problem was he didn’t want to stop with the vampires. Your help was the only reason all of the people in the Jewish Quarter aren’t dead.”

(spoiler show)

 

End of Spoiler

 

A guy who doesn’t lose it after being faced with such an information overload is someone who has already accepted life with Mercy is going to be exciting!

 

The Relationship

 

The faith he had in Mercy being able to take care of herself was one of my favorite things about this book. It was the same trust that Mercy placed in him. That didn’t stop them from taking action where needed. I think they have never been stronger than they are in this book.

 

The Surprise

 

Oh boy! I mean it made complete sense when it was revealed but I loved the juiciness of it. I am so glad I didn’t let the previous book keep me from reading this one!

 

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Black Magick, Vols. 1 & 2 by Greg Rucka

 
Okay, this was equal parts scary and intriguing. I haven’t yet started connecting with the characters but I am liking where the story is heading.
 
 

 

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Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

 

I just love how poetic Flavia sometimes gets even with such a scientific mind. Look at this piece of writing:

I want to know who I am before it is too late — before I am no longer the same person — before I becomes someone different. Although there are days when this seems a furious race against time, there are others when it seems to matter a tinker’s curse.

Combined with the reticent father she has had for a parent, her mom’s death, and her sisters’ scathing behavior towards her, it is words like these that make the reader feel deeply for Flavia.

 

Dogger will remain my fave character from these books. He is broken too just like Flavia is but in a completely different way. Below is a sample from a conversation he has with her:

Do you have any brothers or sisters, Dogger?

Yes I do, Miss Flavia. Do you wish me to tell you about them?

No.

Thank you.

I love how he looks out for Flavia without seeming to; it could be why her father can pretend not to care about the trouble she regularly gets into!

 

Flavia also says things like:

 

 

Oh, and the ending just broke my heart even though I saw it coming. Can’t wait to see the direction this series will take now!

 

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Vallista by Steven Brust 

 

Remember the thing that I said at the beginning of the post? Here are the opening words:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a human assassin in possession of an important mission must be in want of a target.

 
 As you can expect, I got a chuckle out of it.
 
While Vlad spends his life acting like an idiot, what makes these books worth reading are two things:
 
The repartee between Vlad and his familiar, Loiosh. I find it really funny. Consider this scene where they have spotted a huge white monster disappearing around a corner:
 
Are we going after it, Boss?
After it? Are you nuts? What if we caught it?
I love it when you break out in common sense.
(I kept walking.)
Boss, you said…
We aren’ going after it. We’re just going in the same direction.
 
Vlad believing that he is a tough guy who doesn’t stick out his neck for anyone and yet that is exactly what he manages to do every time! He gives a damn, which is why he is a likable character.
 
 
 
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The Black Tower by P. D. James

 

Typical Dalgliesh story that kept me hanging on every word until I finished it!

 
This is what I have been up to in June. What have you been doing?

 

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