Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: marriages, divorces, beautiful gowns, milkshakes, grief, abuse, disease, homophobia, abortion, suicide, diversity, striking blond hair, women’s rights, sex, money, true love, old Hollywood glamour, movies, spotlights and expensive wine.

This is a beautifully written book, and I can understand the hype around it. Even though I knew this book was not my type, I still wanted to give it a shot.

The thing I liked the most about this book was Evelyn’s relationships. And that includes not only her marriages, but also her friends, her true lover and all the people around her. It’s safe for me to say that this book changed my perspective about marriages and relationships in general. There are so many good quotes about marriage, love and self-respect that I know I’ll take them with me for life. Here are some of them:

“Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”

“Heartbreak is a loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”

“She always made sure the bad was outweighed by so much good. I…well, I didn’t do that for her. I made it fifty-fifty. Which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick through a hell of a lot of bad.”

“Sometimes divorce isn’t an earth-shattering loss. Sometimes it’s just two people waking up out of a fog.”

It is impossible to not imagine a cuban version of Marilyn Monroe while reading this book. There is no doubt in my mind that Marilyn was one of the people that inspired this novel.

The other thing that is still on my mind was how smart Evelyn was. She knew she had nothing but her beauty to climb the Hollywood social ladder. She had no money, no studies, no family, and yet, she got where she wanted. At some point later, she tells Monique: “.(…) And taking pride in your beauty is a damning act. Because you allow yourself to believe that the only thing notable about yourself is something with a very short shelf life.”
I love that TJR decided to name the book “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”. I know it was not a random name she picked, and I love the reason behind it.

It is a great novel. The more I think about this book, the more complex it gets. I really enjoyed it.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Becoming by Michelle Obama

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“For every door that’s been opened to me, I’ve tried to open my door to others. And here is what I have to say, finally: Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases and stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.” – 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: politics, piano lessons, basketball games, Easter egg hunting, pride, the Queen of England, Beyoncé, travelling, the military, racism, the Secret Services, law school, grief, children, opportunities, elections, motherhood, healthy eating and living at the White House.

Even though I’m not an american citizen myself, I have always felt a lot of respect for Barak and Michelle Obama. Now, after reading this book, I feel like I respect them even more as human beings.

I remember thinking a few years ago that Michelle should run for office. But now, after reading her bio, I finally understood that that would never happen. I can’t blame her. This is NOT a book about politics, even though there is still a lot about it. This book is about a strong woman, about a family, about growing, about helping others, about becoming.

This is a very honest and inspirational biography in my opinion. And I cried. A lot. The feeling of pride, love and hope I felt while reading this, made me so incredibly happy. This book reminded me that there are still good people out there that genuinely care about others and actively work to make the world a better place. Michelle is the intelligent, caring, confident, strong woman I could only dream of being one day.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Circe by Madeline Miller

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“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pigs, wine, exile, goddesses, nynphs, stars, minotaurs, jealousy, monsters, boats, nectar, heroes, trojans, lions, messengers, power, molly, motherhood, beauty, mortals and witchcraft.

THIS WAS SO GOOD! I’m so happy I finally picked this up. The hype made me do it… again.

This book reminded me why I was always fascinated by greek mythology. I learned so much about characters I never heard about (Glaucus, Scylla, Perse,…), and also saw others in this book that I knew my whole life (Zeus, Helios, Hermes…). I personally never heard about Circe before this book so I was curious to hear her story, and now I understand how important she was especially to Odysseus. I really liked her story, more than I thought I would!

Madeline did an amazing job writting this book. She had the ability to put together different main stories from greek and roman mythology in this book, and she knew exactly how each character would fit in. It was beautifully done and very well written. I don’t have enough good words to describe this novel. What can I say? I completely fell in love with this book.
This is without a doubt a must-read for anyone interested in mythology. Such a treat! I’m definitely picking up “The Song of Achilles” soon.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

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“They were flying: not high, but not touching the earth, either; they were in the snow, part of the snow, suspended and whirling and dancing, in blue light. They were energy in movement, no effort at all now, all the ease of the dance without any of the pain-they were drifting, they were flurry; they were eddies in the air made into bodies; they were snowflakes.“ – 4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: fires, pushy jocks, SPOT trackers, wood cabins, plane crashes, rifles, bears, monkey plushies, ballet in the snow, viral videos, antibiotics and motivational magnets.

I don’t usually gravitate towards science fiction/alien books. It’s just not my cup of tea. Then I saw this book, I read the synopsis and I thought I should give it a shot – plus, the cover was beautiful! I’m always trying to read different types of books to get out of my comfort zone, so I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but I started reading it anyway. 

Long story short: I’m very impressed. This book was absolutely beautiful, and exceeded all my expectations. I’m really into survival books, and a young adult version of that was exactly what I needed. It’s definitely NOT a heavy book – for my surprise! It was very easy to read, I loved the writing style, and I only put the book down when I had to.

The writing was one of my favorite things about this book. Nick has a writing gift. His writing is smart, beautiful and leaves you hungry for more. Most chapters ended in “mini-cliffhangers”, so you were always wondering what was going to happen in the next chapter! And can we talk about the scene when Emily was dancing in the snow for Aidan? I seriously felt that in my heart, and that does not happen often.

The atmosphere was absolutely magical. The book is set in Alaska, and through my reading I was transported there. The snow, the cold air. The descriptions were so authentic, it’s impossible to read this book and not feel the cold – I had to grab a few cups of hot tea myself, no joke!

Emily was exactly the kind of heroine I like: strong, intelligent and skilled, but still human. Qualities I find in other female leads I loved before, like Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games”. I loved the other side characters too – especially Aiden and Bob – but Emily was definitely my favorite.

I’m shocked I liked this as much as I did. I honestly hope this book gets the hype it deserves! It’s a unique, beautiful book that you should read with your own eyes to understand the magic.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Random House Children’s Knopf Books for Young Readers for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched #2)

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“Do not go gentle into that good night.” – 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: paint brushes, canyons, maps, blue tablets, poems, secrets, boats, the society and the Rising.

Crossed is the second book on the Matched series by Ally Condie. You can read my review on the first book Matched here.

It took me so much time to finish this book! I admit I had some trouble finishing it, but I finally did it! Even though I loved this dystopian concept since the start of the series, I found the second book very slow and difficult to go through. Sure, the story keeps developing… but at a VERY slow pace. A big part of the book occurs in the same spot – the canyons – and almost nothing exciting happens! The most interesting event that happened in my opinion is when we discovered that Xander has a secret of his own. I wasn’t expecting it to be honest, it was a great twist!

One thing I liked is how we followed not only Cassia’s point of view but also Ky Markham’s point of view! I really liked this change in comparison to the first book, I was curious to see Ky’s thoughts and feelings.

I also loved the new characters, they added some spice to the story, for sure. Specially Indie and Vick!

So, what can you expect from this book? My answer: there’s a lot of poetry and art, a lot of slow running and searching… and more poetry and art. 

Overall I still enjoyed it, I just wish there was more happening in the story. The ending was satisfying and it made me excited to grab the last book of this series! I’m hoping the last book has more action and surprises.

xoxo, Neide