The Paris Hours by Alex George | One day in Paris and four intertwined fates!

Happy Publication Day to «The Paris Hours» by Alex George!

In this new historical fiction, Alex George showed us the wondrous City of Love, Lights and Art, and four amazing stories that unwrap in a single day in Paris. If I’d need to describe this book in one word, the first one that comes to mind is “dreamy”. And while the story itself does not contain any sliver of magic, I was constantly in a dream-like state whenever I picked it up. 

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If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha | A picture of modern-day Seoul focused on current popular trends: K-pop and K-beauty!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an orphan and always need to prove yourself to the world? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to lose your voice and having to adjust to whole new life, a whole new world around you? Or having to do anything in order to support yourself and your family, even when that “everything” encompasses selling your own body?

«If I Had Your Face» is a debut novel, set in modern-day Seoul, South Korea, following four different women who live in the same apartment building. There is Ara, the girl who lost her voice and works in a hair salon while sharing her apartment with her childhood friends Sujin. Kyuri, the girl who works in a “room salon” [completely different from the hair salon!], a prostitute who made it to the top of that industry. Miho, an artist who is dating one of the wealthiest heirs in Korea. And finally, Wonna, the wife whose relationship is going through a rough time.

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In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn | I haven’t cried that much in a long time

I love it when the ARCs I choose end up on my favorites of the year list. It doesn’t matter how many of them might not be the best, and how many I might DNF during the year, because there are always a couple that will stand out in the best way possible. 

After reading «In an Instant», I will read anything Suzanne Redfearn publishes in the future. Atmospheric and utterly heartbreaking, the story of the Millers family made me cry multiple times, the tears of sadness and joy. 

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Saving Missy by Beth Morrey | Is it really for readers of «Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine»?

This happens every single time! The publishers pitch the book as “perfect for readers of…” and I immediately fall for it, especially when they reference it to «Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine», which was my favorite book of 2018.

Will the readers of «Eleanor Oliphant» find similarities and love «Saving Missy» just as much?

My answer is No. BUT! (there is always a “but”, isn’t there?) «Saving Missy» has the same feeling of warmth and wholesomeness as «Eleanor Oliphant» did. So if you loved it because of how attached you grew to the character and how much you wanted her to do well, «Saving Missy» will be perfect! However, don’t expect any mysteries or funny moments. 

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Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid | The tale of “good intentions”!

Reading in December hasn’t been the best so far. This has been one of the busiest months of the year, with many extra hours at work, many blog posts to prepare for the end of the year, and just, in general, the whole hustle and bustle of Christmas season. I’ve spent too many hours at the malls trying to figure out Christmas gifts for family and friends, and I still didn’t buy all of the things I wanted.

«Such a Fun Age» was a perfect book for this busy time of the year. Captivating and engaging, this novel brought to light many important subjects in an easy-to-read way.

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson | When the quality of the book didn’t match my enjoyment

«Life after Life», the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award in 2013, is a mesmerizing historical fiction with the element of time-traveling. It was a perfect read for the colder days, which transported me to England during the First and Second World Wars, where we followed the Todd family and discovered how different choices, little missteps, and decisions could affect the life course in very drastic ways.

Ursula Todd was born on February 11th, 1910, and she died on that same night. However, under different circumstances, Ursula Todd was born on February 11th, 1910 and she lived. 

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Dear Lily by Drew Davies | The perfect book to take on a trip to Copenhagen!

When I finally get my stuff together and plan a trip to Copenhagen, this is the book I will bring with me to read on the bus, airport and on the flight! Touching, witty and very emotional, it’s a perfect book to space out, lose yourself in someone else’s life, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of traveling.

Set in Copenhagen, Denmark, «Dear Lily» is a collection of letters from Joy to her younger sister Lily, where she recollects her experiences of moving to a different country, getting a new job, finding friends and dealing with mundane struggles of everyday life.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang | A disturbing allegory of women’s place in the Korean society

I didn’t like it… 

Here, I said it. I honestly don’t think there is a single person out there who read this book and said: “I liked it”. Yes, most can appreciate the writing style, the story, the meaning behind it, but OMG, it was weird. 

I also don’t think it’s a good book…

There are certain stories that I read and not necessarily love but, as I said, appreciate the thought and the deeper meaning. However, if the author had to resort to disturbing and pornographic content to explain her point of view and present this allegory, it doesn’t compel me to know more about the real-world problem. In fact, it does the complete opposite, making me want to run away and not face these issues.

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Normal People by Sally Rooney | An unsettling story about sex, love, and relationships.

«Normal People» by Sally Rooney is not an easy book to review. I’m still not entirely sure if I liked it or not. 

Does it really deserve the 5-star rating I’ve given it immediately after turning the last page? I can’t answer this question yet.

There are books that instantly become our favorites, and there are books that will stay with us for a very long time, the little plot details engraved in our memory. Even though you won’t be reaching to re-read those books any time soon (or ever). That’s how I felt about «Memoirs of Geisha» that was an extraordinary reading experience and one of the first adult books I’ve ever read, and that’s also how I feel about «Normal People» by Sally Rooney.

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They Call Me the Cat Lady by Amy Miller | Another attempt to find a book similar to “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”!

It was so difficult to sit down and write my review for this book. There are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, it was one of those books that didn’t spark a conversation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t like it, but it felt like something I’ve read before, not bringing anything new to the table. And secondly, even though I did enjoy this book, I didn’t feel compelled to make other people read it.

«They Call Me the Cat Lady» was a fun, sad and mysterious book. The plot twists were intriguing and I did want to find out more about Nancy Jones’ past, but at the same time, it wasn’t anything extraordinary.

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The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker | “Isn’t the future always an imaginary thing before it comes?”

If you go into this book hoping to get a thrilling science fiction world setting, you’ll be disappointed. This is a Literary Fiction with just a little bit of a dystopian element that helps to propel the plot forward. This is a book that focuses heavily on characters’ choices, believes, their wishes and dreams. 

«The Dreamers» by Karen Thompson Walker isn’t a book for everyone. Surprisingly, after a very “rough” start, I slowly fell in love with the story and many beautiful quotes.

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Three Ways to Disappear by Katy Yocom | The most stunning debut of 2019!

This ARC has been on my Kindle for a couple of months already. After requesting it on a whim, based on the most gorgeous cover and interesting blurb, I was a little wary to actually read it. I couldn’t be more wrong! 

In this brilliant debut novel, Katy Yocom brings us closer to the fatal reality of the extinction of Bengal tigers, layering her novel with intricate family relationships, and emotionally-gripping journey of two sisters, Sarah and Quinn.  

«Three Ways to Disappear» is by far one of the best Literary Fiction books of this year! With such a powerful first novel, Katy Yocom instantly became my new favorite author, and I can’t wait to see what else she will come up with in the future. 

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Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | A slow-burn courtroom drama!

I did it, guys! I finally managed to finish this book! It only took me… what? two and a half months? 

Maybe I should have DNF’d it as soon as I realized that this book wasn’t for me, which happened at exactly 7% into the book. Or maybe I made the right decision to actually read all of it, so I wouldn’t wonder later on if I misjudged the book. I don’t know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Right after finishing «Miracle Creek» I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, but as I sat down to write my review, I thought it would be unfair to the author and the book itself to give it a lower rating when I couldn’t pin any flaws to it, other than “it wasn’t for me”. 

As a result, I won’t be rating the book, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! 

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Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood |How far will you go to protect your child?

T. Greenwood, the author of acclaimed «Rust & Stardust», is releasing her new novel – «Keeping Lucy» that will be available for purchase on August 6th. I haven’t read T. Greenwood previous works but felt very How far will you go to make things right? How far will you go to protect your child? lucky to receive the ARC of her newest book, especially because «Rust & Stardust» has been on my radar ever since its release last year. 

Set in a world where women were seen primarily as housewives, putting their husbands’ needs above anything else, but also the world that has seen Eleanor Roosevelt appointed the chairwoman, fighting for human rights. The world where women finally received the first slim chances to flourish in the society ruled by men. «Keeping Lucy» focuses primarily on women, women’s right, the possibility of choice and freedom.

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Maggsie McNaughton’s Second Chance by Frances Maynard | My second attempt to find a new favorite!

I desperately keep searching for books similar to «Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine». I would love to experience again the same emotions I felt towards Eleanor and her complicated and messed up life. And I keep falling for the blurbs “for fans of Eleanor Oliphant” and then get disappointed when the book doesn’t live up to my expectations. 

This happened with «Where’d You Go, Bernadette» and now again with «Maggsie McNaughton’s Second Chance» by Frances Maynard. These books weren’t bad! (although, I hated Bernadette with all my heart!). And, in fact, I’d like to read another book by Frances Maynard – «The Seven Rules of Elvira Carr», which sounds way more like something I’ll love.

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