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review 2016-04-07 18:31
NetGalley Review - A Mother's Secret
A Mother's Secret: A beautiful, heartbreaking novel of love, loss and hidden tragedy - Renita D'Silva

A Mother’s Secret is a rich tapestry of life’s stories, telling the heart-breaking tale of love, loss and loneliness. Despite all the pain, regret and anger, the author still manages to fill the reader with the feeling of hope, and dreams of second chances and new beginnings. Read every beautiful word, watch as each intricate stitch brings this remarkable tapestry together, enabling you to cherish it for years to come.

My heart still aches for this book. For the sensational world I have been a part of for the last few days. For the wonderful strong women who became my companions. I shed a tear for those women, not only for the hardships they went through, but for what I went through with them. They are all a part of me now, having shared their grief, pain, anger, love, secrets and ambitions.


I’m a sensitive soul, at one with nature. I don’t just see things. I need to touch and smell them. Sometimes these senses can be lost in a book, but Renita D’Silva has a magical way of bringing everything to life. I don’t just see the words she has written. I feel them, smell them, and taste them. At one point in the book, I even sneezed, due to sniffing too many spices. I love using as many senses to experience things. That's why I find this descriptive writing style so wonderfully beautiful.

If anyone asks me whether I have been to India, I can answer “Yes, I have. In the beautifully descriptive books written by talented author, Renita D’Silva.” Should I ever have the fortune of visiting India one day, I truly believe I will have the sensation of having been there before, thanks to this author’s books. Perhaps I will stumble across my very own ruin of a mansion, full of heartbreak and hope.

Reading a book by Renita D’Silva is a whole physical experience. I hope that anyone who chooses to read this will take their time and make the most of the colourful world that is truly brought to life within these pages. Take in your surroundings and allow yourself to be wholeheartedly absorbed by this beautiful book.

I haven’t said a lot about the plot of this story, as I want you to experience it in the way I did, not knowing how the story was going to progress, wishing for some things, surprised by others. I felt love for many of the characters. I also felt frustration and sadness at the blame, bitterness and self-destruction of the characters. This story really did take me through all possible emotions. I hope your journey through this book is as intense and memorable as mine.

Below are a few of my favourite quotes that give you an idea of Renita D’Silva’s beautiful and imaginative writing style:

“Durga blinks, seeing a cluster of cottages mushrooming from pebble-peppered earth, flanked by velvet fields, and, glowering from the top of the only hill, an old ruin.”

“We taste the darkness, inky and flavoured with shadows, spiced with intrigue.”

“The crows scatter in a demonic cackle, a constellation of black-winged foreboding, upsetting the grazing cows, setting the dogs howling.”

“I open my mouth to the heavens, sampling the fruit-scented, hope flavoured drops and laugh, for the first time since that day when my world shattered.”


Finally, before reading this book, I never thought I’d have a visual image for “bible-wielding shadows”, but I now do. It made me smile.

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy emotionally heart-breaking, yet also heart-warming tales of the struggles life puts the human soul through, and full of characters that are so well developed and believable they come to life before you.

I would like to thank the publisher, Bookouture for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1597345863
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review 2015-10-24 09:51
Powerful and important
Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

When Speak came out over a decade ago, it was ground breaking because of the way it dealt with teen sexuality. 16 years later, it is still relevant and continues to change lives because it isn’t afraid to tell the story of a teenager who had real problems and real reactions to them.

Melinda doesn’t have a whole cast of friends to rely on. She doesn’t have parents to rely on. When she called the police at the party at the end of the summer, she lost her friends and she is stuck all by herself not knowing how to deal with what happened.

In that way, Melinda’s character is heartbreakingly realistic. But, Melinda also has a certain wit that makes her more than just a character to which a ‘bad thing’ happened. It makes Melinda a character worth knowing and someone you want to cheer for.

This book also deals with rape in a way that I think is realistic. It doesn’t dramatize it (this may be the wrong word to use but I don't know how to better express myself) but rather approaches it in a way that shows the reality of it. There are some things that were a little iffy but I am not going to go into detail because SPOILERS.

This book wasn’t perfect, though. I did think there were things that happened towards the end that were perhaps too easy but at the same time, worked. I also wished that we weren’t cut off from one scene towards the end of the book because it was the most important in my opinion.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I finally read it after having it on my to-be-read list for ages.

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review 2015-01-02 19:08
It's complicated.
Beastkeeper - Cat Hellisen

          Arc provided by Henry Holt & Company through Netgalley

                   Release Date: February 3 rd

 

I had to re-read this story immediately after I had finished it for first time, because with only one read, I honestly did not know what to say.

 

First of all, I loved its first pages: They had that bitter-sweet tone of well done magical realism, and they held so much promise.

We get immediately thrown into this family's live, and we can see that something isn't quite right. Besides the obvious that is...

 

 Page after page we get sucked into Sarah's life, and how in the span of a few days everything she knows gets replaced by something out of a fantasy book.

 

Sarah is only thirteen, and she's not ready for what is coming into her life...in fact, I don't think anyone would, because all of a sudden she finds herself surrounded by a strange reality and sharing an existence with characters that aren't exactly loving, or trustworthy.

This means that there's a lot of crying, which is comprehensible.

Especially since this tale follows the path of the "old school of fairy tales", the one in which things happen because so...in which events mostly take a turn for the worse...where most characters are as flawed as possible, and finally where HEA is mostly a vague dream.

 

There are however some elements here whose presence, I found somewhat strange considering this is a supposed middle grade book ...

First Sarah has some serious tstl actions. Number one, the walking alone in a wood part, because doing things that adults say you shouldn't do are appealing...

 Then there's meeting a strange older boy in those same woods because so.

o_O

O_o

*shakes head*

 

For me this book has a serious identity crises.

First of all, I don't think this will appeal to the middle grade readers: the writing, the plot, the *oh, there goes my heart!* part. Too cruel for them, I think.

For the YA audience?

They want romance. Thankfully there isn't one in here. There's seeds _really strange seeds considering the characters ages. THE DIFFERENCE! _, but there isn't an actual romance.

 

Adults....

Yes, I think we are the most logical target, but once one starts analysing this and that.. *sight*

For instance, there's a part in which we are told that the curse affects the women and the man differently ...but in reality that's not quite so.

Then we have characters who apparently have thousands of years, and I wanted to know more about their lives.

I needed more backstory.

 

For me this had everything to be a five star book, but I could have used more development in certain parts of the narrative...however, _and especially with the re-read _ I have to say that despite the TSTL moments, and other elements, I ended up "falling" for this book.

And, now I am curious about the author's other works.

 

 Author's Official Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2014-12-31 18:26
Exactly my cup of tea :)
The Changeling Sea - Patricia A. McKillip

Heart-breaking, atmospheric and unforgettable.
This story was all I could ask for, and more.
It doesn't need three hundred or four hundred pages, much of them filled with boring details to tell its story.
It slowly arrives, it tells its tale, it imprints it in our hearts and minds, and calmly goes away...

A coming of age punctuated by loss and finding what's important in one's live.

"It’s an odd thing, happiness. Some people take happiness from gold. Or black pearls. And some of us, far more fortunate, take their happiness from periwinkles.”

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review 2014-11-29 06:17
Gorgeously heartbreaking
Like Water on Stone - Dana Walrath

This beautiful book

isn’t as fun to read.

It treats your heart like a stone

and tosses it into a lake

where it skips and skips and skips.

 

It’s not easy to read

you might have figured that one out

but it’s worth every moment of pain it will put you through

 

You see

it’s not a regular YA novel.

it is one that tells a story of immense loss

yet it also tells a story of familial love.

 

The author doesn’t cut back on the

gory details

believe me

I’d know.

 

But at the same time, she is honest

which is why this book is so heartbreaking

 

With its fierce characters

who continue to march on

You cannot help but fall in love

with not just with their innocent determination

 

You cheer for them

because they need to be cheered

Most of all though,

you hope,

you hope everything will be all right.

 

If you are a lover of truth and

a lover of heartbreakingly real stories

I’d say give this one a shot

and let your heart skip skip skip

over a lake of your own tears

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