Books

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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Book Review: Seven For A Secret

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Wow … Just wow😀 It took me a week to finish this book, not because it was boring or anything but because I had to travel and run some errands that’s why I couldn’t finish sooner. I actually couldn’t put it down, it was very interesting and unique in its own way. To tell you the truth, I haven’t read the 1st sequel, I felt lost regarding the characters backgrounds but I managed to move on with the story because it’s not related to the first sequel somehow.

Meet the Wilde brothers, star coppers who are trying their best to clean New York from corruption, slavery and other criminal acts, but how can they do that when the people they work with are the ones ruining the city and breaking the law.

I loved Timothy’s character, he’s so adorable and vulnerable in his own way. Sensitive and tough at the same time, trying his best to save the city and its citizens. Inters his crazy brother Valentine, who’s older than him and a little bit lunatic (exaggeration), his character is funny and witty, just adorable. They both try to save the lives of Black-White woman and her nephew.

The plot was written in a very clever way, the beginning, the climax and the ending were really unpredictable at all. I didn’t see that coming. And regarding the characters and the confusion the reader is left with, totally awesome. Leaving the reader to decide who is this character!? (No Spoilers).

Won’t be my last book for Lindsay Faye …. Looking forward to reading all her books😀

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Book Review: The Ex

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I was really looking forward for this book. Can’t say I’m disappointed but at the end, you come to figure out that the story is overused. We’ve seen it in movies and other books but in a different way. Don’t want to ruin it for you or write any spoilers, but it was okay.

The writing style was easy, reading pace was fast because I wanted to know who really did it! It was a page turner. If you’re into lawyers, cases, courtrooms, judges, evidence and stuff like that then this book is good for you. Giving it 3 or 3.5 stars doesn’t mean it’s bad, no actually it was good but needed something extra special to make it wow.

Olivia Randall, a successful lawyer comes to the rescue of her Ex whom she ruined his life 20 years ago. Jackson Harris is charged with 3 murders, one of the victims is a famous New Yorker and a very popular name in the media after the Penn Station shooting.

Loved Olivia’s character, I saw something of her character in me. She dislikes routine and boredom and tries to break her routine by ruining the people very close to her. Now Jackson’s character was very hard to comprehend, it looked unreal because I don’t know you can find men like that anymore in our world but maybe there are.

This is my first reading for Alafair Burke and won’t be the last.

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Book Review: Thirteen Ways of Looking

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A book consisting of a novella and other short stories? How boring can that be? I really don’t like short stories because I always feel that you cannot get attached to a character or a plot. But this book proved me wrong. I laughed a lot and got frustrated a lot … such a funny and amazing book.

The author takes us in a journey of faith, religion, self-esteem, exploration of the soul and how we can live with each others in peace never minding neither our race nor religion.

The novella (short story) is a bout a retired judge who became very old, lost his power and became dependant on others to help in his daily life. He used to have the power/control over people now it’s the other way around. It takes about his last day in life, before he dies. The humour in this short story was really amusing, i loved the authors description of everything, how the previous generations see things now in modern life and how everything has changed to something not quiet bad or good.

The next story was very short … I didn’t relate to it that much because I felt it was useless.

Sh’khol was really amazing … loved how the author showed the overwhelming love of a mother to her child that it made him lose confidence or not know how to deal with things on his own … an accident happens and then the mother realises that it’s time for her to give her child space and let him explore the world even when he’s handicapped.

The last one is one that made me frustrated. It talks about a woman who was brutally abused and beaten by someone who later becomes a man of power. The ending of this story was really powerful, how she confronted him and confronted herself with all the scars on her body. Beautiful.

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Book Review: The Girl On The Train

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I finished this book in less than 2 days, I honestly couldn’t put it down because it was a real page turner. It starts really fast and things build up quickly but then it slows down a bit, later it goes really fast and bam … THE ENDING! Which really shocked me! It was almost an open ending, depending on how you want to see it and that’s what I like about literature, it’s up to your imagination. Love it.

The story about a girl who takes the commuter train from Euston to London twice a day, passing by the old house that she used to live in 2 years ago. Not wanting to remember the past, she creates a beautiful life of a couple living just few doors from her previous house, but then she sees something and the next day, she finds her self bruised and has blood on her. She tries to remember but it has been blocked out. What did really happen that day?

The characters were brilliantly built and developed. Living with someone you really don’t who they are will just make you wonder about your own life. Rachel is a maniac, Anna is ***** and Meghan is someone who is trying to make her boring life more exciting which leads to life threatening events. Scott & Tom are really something, won’t talk about them, I’ll leave them to you to explore.

The story talks about the need of men in women’s life and vice versa. How desperate one can be to love and be loved. What they’d do to make then in their life, the extreme actions they’d take just to be with them and how this can change in heartbeat when betrayed.

The debut novel was really great. Looking forward for upcoming books by Paula Hawkins

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Book Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling

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Just brilliant. I really loved reading the first book of the Comoran Strike series. I’ve accidentally picked the 2nd book without knowing that it’s a series of a private detective and his assistant, and without me knowing that the writer is J.K. Rowling herself. After reading The Silkworm, I became attached to the style of writing, the amazing details and how the plot is written and twisted. I did some googling and found out that it’s a series of books having Strike & Robin as the main characters. So I picked the 1st book to form a background for the 2 main characters.

Boy was it fabulous. I enjoyed reading every detail, every page, ever conversation in this book. The crime and how it was written and formed was just mind blowing, I mean, I doubted so many characters but never came close to the main character. After finishing the book, I kept asking myself “What was going inside her head when she wrote this book?”

I’m going to start with the characters and talk about them for a bit. Comoran Strike, is an army man who got injured in Afghanistan, lost his foot and came back to work as a private detective. Having financial problems and got dumped by his fiancé whom he hasn’t bought a ring for. Then comes Robin, his temporarily assistant, who’s very clever and sufficient. She’s engaged to Matthew whom you come to dislike later on (Book 2) and who likes her job a lot and very good at it. They form a great team in investigating crimes.

Now, the story is about an adopted black model Lula Landry, who commits suicide from her balcony after being witnessed being happy and satisfied, but all the evidence say that she jumped from her balcony, except for her brother John Bristow who hires Strike to investigate the death of his sister, unfolding dirty family secrets and past

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Book Review: The Demonologist

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Okay, I’ve never ever read a book from this genre or horror-like genres so I was pretty scared and terrified reading this book, especially when you have a wide imagination and can turn words into pictures and see everything in front of you while you read.

The first scene that got me terrified was the one in Venice:/ and the other one in the yard while he was talking to Belial in the swing :S The writing, the details and the description of everything in the story was just magnificent. Yes, I got a little bit bored wanting to know what’s the purpose/reason for the devil to choose him but ….

The ending was left really wide open. Whether he chose good and rewarded with something he was seeking or he chose evil and was given what he was promised. What each character represented. Thin woman–> Devil. The pursuer –> The Church. That’s my interpretation.

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Book Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

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I can’t describe my feelings for this book in words because words won’t do this book justice. It’s just amazing, beautiful, dreamy, delicious, yummy, heavenly, beyond amazing, mouth watering etc. You name it. As if you’re having a delicious meal and reading a book at the same time.

I’ve never read Culinary Romance before, and I’m new to this genre but all I can say is that I’m hooked and will be addicted to this genre very soon and to the writer of this book Amy Reichert.

The story itself is simple and fun to read, nothing out of the ordinary but how it’s written and shaped makes it really interesting and beautiful. You can see through out the novel how the two main characters Lou and Al’s persona change and develop becoming better persons because of positivity and love. How someone is willing to change his bad attitude for the person he/she loves. How we become blind for people who don’t really deserve us. And finally, how food has a great affect on our life.

I can’t wait for her next book which is coming out this July and I’m already searching for other Culinary Romance books❤

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