Category Archives: Contemporary Reviews

Editorial Review – American River: Tributaries

 

Title: American River: Tributaries

Author: Mallory M. O’Connor

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

American River: Tributaries follows the lives of three families of Irish, Mexican, and Japanese descent. Though their ancestors all settled on the American River in Northern California, the generations following spread out across the country, making the families’ interconnection all the more unlikely. But as the characters’ lives overlap and collide, they undergo tremendous growth and are opened to new levels of understanding of each other, of life, and of themselves.

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Breathe In – Book Review

 

Synopsis:

Breathe in. Breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.

The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.

Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera setup to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die…is still out there somewhere.

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Fires – Book review

 

Novel titles are seldom as apt as Tom Ward’s Fires, which follows Guy, a firefighter in a town dominated by its vast steelworks, and Nathan and his friends, teenage arsonists whose lives are otherwise foreclosed by poverty, corruption and ‘the system’. Guy and Nathan’s paths eventually cross in expected and unexpected ways – most of them fiery – in an intermittently compelling narrative suffused with anger and loss.

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Young Jane Young – Book Review

 

Its a narrative as old as time.

Young, naive woman meets succesful, prominent and married older man and is mesmerised by his charismatic persona that she decides to pursue him. They inevitably get caught and get caught up in a scandal. He asks for forgiveness from the public and his wife.

The wife has to put her game face on and forgive him; she stands by him and his career and puts the mantle of ‘wronged but strong woman on’ and she gets lauded for this behaviour. Its the ONLY thing that gets her through the days when she wants to scream and shout from rage at the shame and humiliation of it all. 

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Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

 

How to describe Eleanor Oliphant in a five hundred words or less?
She’s 29 years old and thinks telling people she works in an office is the fastest way to get them to stop asking questions about what she does.

She can go days without ever talking to another living soul. And no, her potted plant – for all its photosynthetic capabilities – does not count.

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Queen of Katwe – Book Review

Image result for queen of katwe book

 

As a non-fiction book set in Uganda, Queen of Katwe is a novel I would never normally have picked up. However, something in the story called to me and, having read the entire book in a matter of hours, I don’t regret that decision in the slightest.

Queen of Katwe details the life and experiences of Phiona Mutesi, the young, female, Ugandan chess player from the poorest of the slums who somehow managed to learn chess and become the best player in the country, despite having virtually no resources, or even enough food to eat.

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Editorial Review – Orphan

 

Title: Orphan

Author: T. R. Connolly

Genre: Contemporary fiction, murder mystery

 

This short novel tells the story of Chunk DeLuna, an orphan in Brazil who carves out a criminal empire built on drugs, prostitution, gambling, and corruption. Along the way, the novel also shares the struggles of Suzanne and Lupe, the two women who have shared DeLuna’s life, enduring his harsh ideas of love and happiness.

The story is very interpersonal and, at times, quite gruesome as it tells of the people DeLuna has threatened, blackmailed, or forced to do what he wants. Most of the time, the focus is on how DeLuna expands his realm rather than the day-to-day practices, so readers get to experience the business side rather than the operations themselves.

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This Side of Home – Book Review

 

This Side of Home by Renée Watson

This Side of Home is the story of Maya Younger and her community. New shops have been opening up on their street and people that have been living in homes for years are suddenly having to move because of rising costs.

While Nikki, Maya’s twin sister, embraces the new neighbors and cool shops, Maya isn’t so open to the changes. And with a new principal mouthing on and on about “diversity,” Maya’s having trouble understanding how to handle all the new things in her life. Including new love.

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What to Say Next – Book Review

 

Title: What to Say Next

Author/s: Julie Buxbaum

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 272

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

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