Books

Book Review: Jane Steele

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I have to say this … I became a huge fan of Lyndsay Faye’s writing after reading the Timothy Wilde trilogy and she made me love Historical Fiction and can say that I’m addicted to this genre because of her.

Her style in writing, in building up the characters, narrating the story, the events and how the plots develops amazes me. You think you know how it will end but later you find yourself you are wrong for she is no ordinary writer that let you figure out things before the ending.

Jane Steele relates to Jane Eyre’s novel somehow, however you want to see it or relate it it depends on the reader himself. Actually Jane Steele tells her story by addressing the reader every now and then. Whatever Jane does through the story, you can’t but fall in love with her and her unique characters, even when she becomes a criminal killing people who are hurting the people she cares about the most.

She has been sent away from where she used to reside with her aunt to a boarding school where she commits a murder and escape with her school friend to London where her character changes dramatically due to the events she faces with her friend Rebecca Clarke.

Then she learns that the place where used to reside need a governess and applies for the job because her mother once told her that this place belonged to her but her aunt Patience took it from them. She becomes the governess of the residents that now belongs to Charles Thornfield and falls in love with him but he himself has a dark past of his own that we discover at the end.

I myself fell in love with Charles Thornfield with his wittiness and sweet language when addressing Jane, either when comforting her or teasing her, he’s such a magnificent man.

A must read for sure❤

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Book Review: A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice & Fire)

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I can say that I’m proud of myself for finishing this book in less than a month and I can also say that I’ve enjoyed every word and page of this book. I cannot explain to you how mind-blowing this book was. Probably the best so far, can’t judge for I haven’t completed the series but so far it’s the best. The characters, the scenes, the language used in this book is beyond amazing, I really don’t know how George R. R. Martin comes up with such words and descriptions of characters and events but he’s one hell of a gifted writer.

In this book we come to know more about Lysa, Catelyn’s sister. How they killed her baby from Littlefinger, who did it and why, which made her suffer her whole life until she became pregnant from Jon Arryn.

Sansa being in love with Ser Loras but then she becomes disappointed when she learns that she is to be wedded to Ser Wallis who’s the crippled brother of Loras and Margery. I felt sorry for Sansa in this book for what she has gone through. I wonder how she’s keeping it together with everything that has happened to her and knowing that she’s the reason that King Joeffery is dead, well that was something. I did’t expect Ser Dontos to have a hand in it but he did and the one who was arranging all of this was of course Littlefinger (I hate him).

There is one character which I loved in the T.V. show but hated in the books. It’s Robb Stark, God how stupid he was. Doing stupid things just because Jeyne nursed him and not listening to his own mother, no wonder he got killed and Jeyne stayed alive. I wonder if she had a hand in his murder. Hammy well I guess I’ll never know until I read the 4th or 5th book.

The description of Brienne of Tarth is outrageous, I mean how ugly can a woman be hehe. The words said to her or about her are really awful and she doesn’t seem to care. But I loved her more and more in the books and how devoted and honourable she was.

Now, let’s move on to Jaime Lannister who was really awful and wicked in the beginning of this book until the end when his character has changed dramatically after he knew that his sister was sleeping with other men just to get to what she wants. That broke his heart and made him realise the things he’s done in his life and how she wanted to repent or do something honourable which was saving Sansa even after he knew that she killed his son. I also liked how they changed his look in the book, he became bald with a long beard. I kept imagining his face without hair.

Deaneries comes to know of Ser Jorah’s unfaithfulness and banishing him as a punishment. She couldn’t kill him because (from my point of view) she had feelings for him but couldn’t or wouldn’t admit, on the other hand he did admit that he loved her and he wanted her forgiveness but she didn’t grant him that. Poor old man. I love his character a lot.

In this book, we also get to know more about The Night Shift and The Wildlings. How the night shift was created. Who was in control and how it became under Jon Snow’s control. At the end of this book he becomes Lord Commander and thinks of how he’ll fight Stannis Baratheon. I felt sad for him and Ygritte, i think they would have made a great couple if she had survived in this series. She was a wildling by heart, she loved Jon deeply but she couldn’t abandon her people, the same thing applies on Jon Snow. So sad😦

Oh and the ending was WOOOOW. I didn’t see that coming. Now I can’t wait to see/read what will happen or what she’ll do!

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Book Review: A Clash of Kings

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“The roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground The Kings of Winter sit their thrones”

I can’t believe I’ve finished this book. Finally, I’m done with book two and moving to book three. I can say that I’m really proud of myself for reading this great sequel Song of Ice & Fire. It’s not an easy read at all but it’s worth every minute, hour, day, week, and months spent on reading them. From my own personal opinion, these books should be taught as they are considered literary masterpieces.

Book 2 is better than book 1. For I struggled a lot in Book 1 to get to know all the characters, kingdoms and stories connected to families and lands. In book 2 we see a depth for some characters and we learn more about their pasts and what made them the way they are now. I got confused with some characters from the show. In the book Reek is Ramsay but in the show Reek is Theon, I did some googling and it did a lot of explaining. I have to admit, the books are much better than the show, but still the show is amazing.

Now, I’d like to see what will happen to Sansa, Theon, Bran, Rickon, Robb & Arya in Book 3 and I’ve heard that book 3 is totally different than the show.

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Book Review: Beside Myself

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This is one of the weirdest and most enjoyable books I’ve ever read so far. It frustrates you, makes you mad, upset, angry and all those awful feelings, you get them for real. The concept of the story is new, or maybe this is my first read for this kind of plot.

The story is about two identical twin sisters that swap places/identities at the age of 7 when they were playing a game, but things find another way when Ellie won’t swap back to her identity and keeps acting as if she is Helen. Helen becomes frustrated and tries to tell her family the truth but everybody thinks that she has mental problems, when Ellie is the one who is having some issues dealing after the death of her father.

At the beginning, you get really confused trying to connect the dots together, who is who. Ellie, Helen, and Smudge. The story goes back in time and then back to real life with different personality. You can see how young Ellie is different from the grown up Ellie and the same goes for Helen. And I was also wondering if the mother herself is suffering from mental illness for not admitting the problems her daughters were going through or when she denied the incident that happened to Helen who’s supposed to be Ellie and called her a MONSTER. It’s a bit confusing, but the ending left me heart broken:/

The plot is really good, the characters are beyond amazing, how she shaped them, from up to low and the other way around. Dealing with mental illness with a family that doesn’t want to admit there is a problem and neglecting it shows that to could lead to many other problems.

Well done Ann Morgan.

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1919 – أحمد مراد

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امراه في العقد الرابع سجيت فوق مرتبه نحيله كالخرفه المهترئه تغطيها بطانيه من الصوف تشبعت عرقا و قيئا دمويا و رطوبة لزجة، ستة أيام” خلت على الوهن الذي دب في الاوصال مرخيا حبائله على جسد كان يموج فتنة و حياء”.

رواية اعجبتني بكل تفاصيلها و شخصياتها و الاحداث التاريخيه الموثقه بالاماكن و التاريخ.

أبطال هذه الرواية ابطال حقيقيون كان لهم دور كبير في ثورة ١٩١٩ التي لم اعرف عنها شيء الا من خلال هذه الرواية و جعلتني ابحث اكثر و اكثر عنهم لأقراء عن ماضيهم و بطولاتهم، و لكن تم تغيير في الاحداث خصوصا الاحداث الخاصه بحياة الابطال الشخصيه (من الخيال).

قلم أحمد مراد جريء و جميل في نفس الوقت،،،اعجبني جدا تطور شخصيات الروايه و خصوصا عبدالقادر اللذي لم اتخيله بأن يصبح هذا الشهص على الاطلاق، دولت المرأه الصعيديه اللتي نسيت العادات و التقاليد بسبب الحب، و أحمد اللذي حطمه الحب و الحياة في مصر اصبحت لا تطاق لذلك هرب الى اسطنبول.

الحوارات المصريه الصعيديه كانت جميله جدا

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دروز بلغراد: حكاية حنا يعقوب-ربيع جابر

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ربيع جابر … ابداع في الروايات التاريخيه❤️

حكاية حنا يعقوب اللذي تم اعتقاله فجر يوم أسود بعد ان خرج من بيته ليبيع البيض المسلوق و لكن تم شمله مع المنفيين من الدروز اللبنانيين لاعتدائهم و قتلهم المسيحيين في لبنان بعد ان تم رشوة الضابط ليستبدله مع احد ابناء الشيخ غفار و حل محل ابنه سليمان.

قضى حوالي اثنا عشر سنه في الحبس و التعذيب و الجوع و العمل الشاق و الامراض و الوباءات،،،كل هذا من غير سبب. كل ما كان يريده هو ان يعود لزوجته هيلانه و ابنته برباره اللتي تركها و هي صغيرة جدا.

“خيموا عند سفوح تلال صخرية فيها كهرف غير عميقه تضيء من ظلمتها عيون صفراء. أشعلوا نارا فاختفت العيون. أصوات الجبل منعتهم من النوم. كأن أشجاره تحكي. الهواء ساكن حيث استلقوا و السماء شاهقه مزروعة بالنجوم”.

وصف معاناة السجناء و ترحيلهم من مكان الى مكان وسط الجبال الموحشه القارسة البرودة يجعل القارئ يشعر و كأنه من ضمن المحابيس الدروس ،،، يعيش معهم الامهم النفسيه و الجسديه ،،، طريقة سرد القصه جميله جدا، كئيبه و حزينه جدا و لكنها اتقنت وصف المعاناة على اكمل صورة، خصوصا وصف وباء الكوليرا.

اقشعر جسدي بعد ان انهيت قراءة اخر صفحه و اخر سطر في الرواية

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رائحة التانغو-دلع المفتي

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تتطرق الرواية الى عدة مشاكل يواجهها المجتمع الكويتي و العربي،،،مشاكل زوجيه، سياسية، اجتماعية، دينيه، و الشخصيات المزيفه. كتابة جريئه تحاكي واقع المرأه في العالم و بالاخص مجتمعنا العربي.

لم تعجبني الرواية في البداية و لكن بعد الانتهاء من نصف الرواية اعجبتني جرأة الكاتبه و كيف تطرقت لموضوع التدين الشديد، أطفال سوريا، و البدون بكل جرأه و شفافيه و لذلك اتصور تم منع الروايه في الكويت.

زهره تعاني من الوحده بعد ان تركها اولادها لاكمال دراستهم في اوروبا و انشغال زوجها عنها دائما و اهماله لها و لذاتها. تريد خيانته و لكن هل ستكمل بمخططها؟! ما اللذي يمنعها.

نهاية لم اتوقعها ابدا.

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Book Review: The Fatal Flame

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“Time is a tyrant, words our last and only weapons” Timothy Wilde, April 16, 1854.

By this sentence ends the last book of Timothy Wilde, the brave copper star of New York city. I’ve never ever enjoyed a sequel this much. The characters, the setting, the plot, the language, the writing style, how characters develop and how the city and corruption changes and develops is just brilliant. I can say that I’m in love with Lyndsay Faye for producing such a sequel of Historical Fiction. I’ve never fancied this genre but thanks to Miss Faye, I’m now addicted and proud.

The story wasn’t as strong as book 1 & 2, but it has a conclusion of Timothy’s love life with either Elena or Mercy (no spoilers) and his relationship with his brother Valentine Wilde which wasn’t in good terms for a long time. We also have a conclusion for Silkie Marsh and some of Tammany Hall’s corrupted men.

The story starts with Dunla Duffy, a worker in a factory who is warned of a fire to be set soon and the warning note ends up in the hands of Timothy Wilde. Investigation starts and people get hurt and killed in the way when Valentine Wilde announces his participation as a candidate for Alderman. Alderman Robert Symmes will stop at nothing to prevent him from taking his place, even if that meant killing people. Not to mention that someone is setting his buildings on fire.

That plot is not as important as where the journey of the 2 brothers take us, how they hate each other and quarrel all the time because inside their hearts they love each others and can’t come to admit it. How things end with Elena Boehm, Timothy’s landlady and who has been bedding for a while after Mercy Underhill left him to become a famous writer in London but then shows up at his door.

The final scene/chapter or the end of the book/trilogy was overwhelming. I felt happy and sad at the same time for Timothy. But it was just the perfect ending I could have ever imagined for my beloved Timmy❤

Well done Lyndsay Faye.

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Book Review: #GIRLBOSS

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I really loved this book. It’s what every girl out there need who is struggling with herself, her job and her place in society. The language of this book is so simple and many people can relate to Sophia because she is just a normal girl like us. She isn’t a business graduate, or a multi-millionaire daughter who inherited her family’s wealth. No, she actually doesn’t hold a college degree, and that what makes her a great person. Not that everybody should drop out of school, but this means, that even those who couldn’t beta degree can be successful.

I loved how she didn’t care about what people thought of her and how she looked to others, she was confident of what she is and that what made her what she is right now. Sometimes, we all struggle with ourselves even if we have everything, there’s always this missing thing but she managed to find it at the end and made it big.

The one thing that I didn’t like is that I felt that few things were repeated over and over again in few chapters.

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Book Review: Career of Evil

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This is by far the best Cormoran Strike & Robin Ellacot sequel/series. Not because of the crime events or the murders that are happening, oh no! It’s because of the development of the relationship between Robin & Strike. In the first book, they’ve just met, but Strike talks personal when Robin finds him wasted in a pub. In book 2, the reader sense there’s something between the two of them but can’t actually determine if it’s real or from the reader’s imagination. Now, in this book, we find out what’s really going on between them, or maybe some of it. I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to have spoilers in my review!

The last page … Oh the last page, kept me on my nerves! How am I supposed to wait for the next book to find out what really happened! That cliffhanger will leave Strike & Robin lovers/fans tensed.

Now, let’s talk about the story. Part of a severed leg ends up in Robin’s hands and a letter that has a song tattooed on Strike’s mother’s body. Who could have know about it? There are 3 men who are most likely to send Strike body parts, one of them is the killer but how can they find out when the police themselves are pushing them away from the investigation.

Through out the story, you get to see how Robin’s character develops when we learn what really happened to her when she was in college and the reason behind her dropping out. Also we find out how Strike really lost his leg and what happened to the rest of the soldiers with him. These incidents affect their judgments and leave them vulnerable.

Now, don’t expect this book to full of events and mysteries in terms of crimes and criminals. I actually found the crime/mystery plot moving kind of slow. This book actually focuses on the relationship between Strike & Robin as I said before.

And I’ve just learned that HBO is teaming with BBC to adapt these series and make them a TV Show. It will be called The Cormoran Strike Mysteries *shake it* Can’t really wait😀

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Book Review: The Gods of Gotham

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This book deserves more than 5 stars … Whatever I’m going to write in this small review rectangle won’t do it justice. The characters, the setting, the buildings, the words and language used, just amazing. This book is a historical fiction and the writer did a great job in doing her research before writing this book.

This is the first sequel of Timothy Wilde adventures. If Timothy was a real life character, I’d marry him without thinking❤ I can’t explain to you how I’m in love with his character, attitude, kindness and cruelty to those who are doing harm to innocent people.

The story falls back in 1845 when a huge fire destroyed many pars of New York and the Potato Famine hitting Ireland and sending the Irish to New York … All these incidents changed the fate of many in NY City and the NYPD was formed to keep its citizens safe.

After being scarred physically and emotionally, Timothy Wilde takes the job as a copper star offered to him by his older brother Valentine. Because it’s the only job he can have after being disfigured. Angry and frustrated n the streets of New York, he meets little Bird who’s all covered in blood … is it hers? Later on ,,, investigation leads to finding 19 dead bodies of young children, hatred letters from the man calling himself The Hand of The God of Gotham. Timothy promises to keep Bird safe and find out who killed those little kids … while trying to find out who really killed those children, Tim learns a dark secret about the woman he loved all his life that will leave him shattered to pieces!

The novel discusses many aspects of that era in New York. Religious, political, romantic, financial, scientific, women’s freedom etc. From what I think, this book can be taught in universities and schools because it’s just amazing. Loved it

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Emirates Literature Festival-Dubai 2016

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I’ve just come back from Dubai where I’ve attended the Emirates Literature Festival for the first time in my life … Where was I? Really! I mean, why haven’t I read or heard about this festival before? Maybe because I was busy with raising Jana? Maybe!

Anyways, I came to know about this festival 3 weeks before it was supposed to start. I got very excited that there were authors that I’m a big fan of would be attending the festival. I got the permission from my husband, asked my aunt to join me and started booking. I booked the same hotel where all the fuzz was happening, Intercontinental Dubai Festival Hotel, which turned out to be a great hotel. And my flight was on Aljazeera (KD 63/-). It was the first time that I flew on Aljazeera, it was ok for a short trip, more importantly their timing is punctual.

Let’s talk about the festival … I arrived on the evening of Thursday 10th of March 2016. Didn’t book any sessions for this day. The whole celebrations and fun started on Friday afternoon. I went down there around 12pm where people were queueing for their favourite authors to sign their books, others enjoying their time chatting together, some people enjoying books shopping in the area (They set a book store inside the hotel selling the books of the authors attending the festival-WHSmith), and kids enjoying the activities prepared for them. The atmosphere was just amazing.

My session was supposed to start at 1:30pm, I arrived a bit early & got to know a very nice old lady from the UK where we enjoyed our time chatting together about books, authors and life. She was so sweet, we even sat together when the session started and commented on few things. The first session was about Under Cornwall’s Spell where authors Liz Fenwick & Jenny Colgan talked about their love for this particular place in England. I loved this session a lot, both authors were nice, funny and kind. They shared their experiences and talked about their characters. They also mentioned how it’s very difficult to write about the place you’re living in trying to make it sound nice when it’s totally the opposite. After the session, I asked to take a photo with both of them and they were adorable. Just look at the photos😀 I was really looking forward for meeting Jenny Colgan, such a nice lady. Later, they signed my books yeeepppeeeee.

The next session, took place at 3:30 pm in a bigger hall. Ofcourse, it needed a huge space to hold the audience/fans of the one and only Mr. Michael Dobbs who has worked with Margaret Tatcher and writing the political books/series House of Cards. This session was mind opening to the political lives of politicians and how it’s not easy to be a politician. The difficulties they face in real life, writing about it and continuing to write about it. Mr. Dobbs talked about it all, and how his book series were picked to become a TV show. He also mentioned that he’s working on season 5 right now. Oh, and that funny joke about Donald Trump hahaha:) After the session, I went to stand in the line for him to sign my book, he did with a bonus photo and a huge smile from him😀 Oh such a nice man.

I was able to attend only 2 sessions, but I was determined to make it on time at night to meet the famous author from my country Kuwait Saud Alsanousi. He makes me feel proud, saying that this great author is from my hometown. I reached the hotel at 9:30pm after having dinner outdoors, and saw chatting with some people, I went immediately to my room, got my book and came back downstairs for him to sign my copy of his great book. He was really nice and adorable, and I loved what he write on my book😀

It was the loveliest weekend ever, I loved every minute spent in the festival. I’ll make sure nshallah to attend the festival every year:)

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