Less : The 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner should be on your reading list!

 

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Arthur Less has hit rock bottom.

His fiftieth birthday approaches menacingly, his last novel has been rejected by his publishers, and, worst of all, his former lover of nine years has just sent him an invitation to his wedding. What can a person do when they feel at their lowest? Why, get away from their problems, of course!

In a desperate attempt to be far , far away from California when Freddy gets married, Arthur decides to accept all symposium and event invitations he has received around the world, thus embarking on a mini Odyssey of his own. Continue reading “Less : The 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner should be on your reading list!”

Heartbreakingly Beautiful Stories : Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion

There is something painfully beautiful about heartbreaking stories.

 

Whether it is about war, family, friendships or love, it doesn’t really matter. Some stories just tend to break your heart, and you still end up loving them. It’s not strange to see why – if a story has the power to make you break down,  it means there is something essentially important to you in there, or something very, very beautiful.

The last book that made me feel that way was one I read about a month ago. Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. So, let me introduce you to it, and you will probably see what the fuss is about.

When two worlds collide

In the small, impoverished neighborhood of Trenton, Dominique helps her mother make ends meet after school, while dreaming of getting in NYU and becoming a professional dancer. In uptown New York, Ben is a musical prodigy, who aims at being the best violinist in Berkley. It only takes a moment for them to meet. And a moment to change each other’s lives.

Dominique will not have the courage to tell him where she comes from, weaving one lie after the other. At the same time, Ben is turning more and more obsessed with his striving for musical perfection. What Dominique doesn’t know, is that Ben keeps a secret of his own. And his secret is much more serious.

In a time difficult for both of them, will they finally be able to be honest with each other? Which one, if any, will be able to leave their hardships behind and set a course towards their dreams? And, most importantly, what will they have to sacrifice in the meantime?

This is Someday, Somewhere

I could start by saying what an amazing book Someday, Somewhere is, but I feel that it wouldn’t do the book justice. Therefore, I will put it this way: Someday, Somewhere is the best book I have read in 2018. Portraying the everyday hardships of two completely different worlds, Lindsay Champion manages to communicate thoughts and feelings in an absolutely marvelous way.

Portraying characters in an incredibly relatable way, the author manages to help the reader understand the heroes’  backgrounds, their lives, and the reasons the two of them are drawn together. In a magical and effortless way, the reader is immersed in the feelings of a struggling teenager, and the mind of a musical genius.

Love, pain, and everything in between

The story is filled with moments of heartbreak, friendship, pain, and adorable scenes of falling hard in love. The author narrates this so adorably, that it could have been corny, but not the way Lindsay Champion describes it. There is something very special about a story that takes you back to your first awkward feeling of falling in love. It is a delicate and difficult thing to describe. However, the author does not disappoint.

A story filled with melodies

Can there possibly be more things to love in a book? Yes, indeed there can. Someday, Somewhere is filled with music.  Wonderful scenes and carefully picked songs that create a very fitting soundtrack to the story of Dom and Ben. Long after you have read about their adventure, the music will linger in your mind – and that makes it all the more perfect.

I could go on about this story, but sometimes less words do better justice. So, what you actually need to know about reading Someday, Somewhere is this: This book will break you heart, and it will be  absolutely worth it.

Uplift, by Grant Corriveau

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Have you ever wondered what happens in the cockpit of the plane that is taking you home?

What happens when the green lights flash in the cockpit, but the red lights indicate an error at the same time? What kind of decisions does a captain have to take during a flight? And does it ever get boring?

If you’re a frequent flyer, you have probably wondered about what happens in the cockpit. What goes through a pilot’s mind when something goes wrong? Is everything alright just because you have realized nothing suspicious during your flight, or might something have gone wrong without you realizing it?

And, even when it’s not such a specific question, have you ever wondered what kind of training a person has to endure in order to become a pilot? How much do you have to want it in order to make it happen?

Uplift is here to answer your questions

These are only some of the questions you get answers for in Uplift, a book written by an experienced pilot. Constructed by small informative pieces in combination with true events that the author and former pilot has lived through, the books is a must for people who love flying. This is an absolutely enjoyable read with sudden bouts of laughter at times, but also some very moving moments.

Funny, real, moving

Written informatively and attracting the reader’s attention immediately, this is a humorous story that will leave you with more knowledge about the people taking you home when you board that plane. When you finish Uplift, you will certainly feel a lot more respect for these hard working people that do whatever there is in their power in order for you to reach your destination safely.

Uplift taught me that flying is not just another job. It is hard and often dangerous, and it is not meant for everyone. I have thus gained a deeper understanding, and I loved that.

I geeked out over Geekerella (and I’m not sorry)! Geekerella, by Ashley Poston

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Geeks of the world, unite!

We’ve all been there – there are some things we obsess over that most people don’t. This is how the “geek” term got to exist in its current form, right? There are many things you can geek out on : a sci-fi series (I mean, hello Doctor Who!), comic books, you name it. So when you stumble upon a book  whose main character is, well, let’s face it, actually you, you tend to love it immediately. Which is how I came to love this wonderful, geeky, absolutely adorable story of Elle. Let me introduce you to our modern Cinderella.

Move over, Cinderella. You have some serious competition!

Elle  is the ultimate fan of all things sci-fi, and Starfield, the classic sci-fi series, is her absolute favorite. She knows all the lines and all the trivia. Starfield is part of her life. Which is good, because living with her sour stepmother and her spoiled twin  daughters is an everyday trial to her sanity. Having already lost both mother and father, her only consolation in life is Starfield, which she used to watch with her dad when he was alive. That is, until she receives a message from an unknown person, who seems smart, funny, and, above all else, a true fan of all things Starfield!

Along comes Darien

Darien never expected to become a star. Becoming a teen actor was strange enough, but after his last series he managed to get the lead role in the Starfield movie remake. Things don’t seem all that rosy, however, as Starfield’s hardcore fans seem to hate him being casted as Prince Carmindor. Darien feels alone, and like an absolute fraud. The only thing that makes him smile, is those text messages he exchanges every day with that unknown girl.

Two characters who seem so different, come together in the most unexpected way. By mere luck, they will come to know each other. Maybe, after all, they have much more in common than what they had expected.

Modern, sweet, real

Geekerella is the most modern and real version of Cinderella you could find nowadays. Simple, true, and incredibly witty, the heroine is a completely relatable and lovable character. Ashley Poston has retained some basic features of the fairytale, and has used them as pillars for her version of the story. The result is more than satisfactory, as it is obvious that the original version blends very well with this one.

Both main characters have a well described background, thus making it easier for the reader to understand the reasons behind every feeling and reaction – in fact, Darien is a lot more relatable than the original fairy tale’s prince. Surrounded by their friends and foes, both Elle and Darien are active heroes who fight against fate for what they want, which makes them all the more likable.

What makes you a Princess?

Geekerella contains a genius alternate concept to what makes you a Prince or a Princess. In both their occasions, the “title” they come to wear has nothing to do with their birth or pedigree and everything to do with how they feel inside and how much they have struggled, and this I applaud wholeheartedly.  Here comes a modern fairy tale that doesn’t use entitled figures.

Both heroes start off as underdogs, both of them work hard, and a wonderful messages is laid out for the reader to see: you don;t need to be born into something in order to achieve it ; you need to want it badly and work for it hard. Now, isn’t that a much better aftermath than our dear old Cinderella?

An ode to our inner geek

Geekerella is an ode to your inner (and why not? outer, too) geek. Here’s to people we consider underdogs, here’s to lonely people, to all of us out there who struggle. Geekerella is here to remind us, in its own sweet way, that dreams come true – not with the help of a fairy godmother, but with will, work, and loved ones surrounding us.

 

 

“Come back to the swamp”…and I dare you not to get scared!

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Bernice hadn’t signed up for this.

All she wanted to do is complete her research in Cleary Swamp in order to complete her PhD. But, when an old woman approaches her screaming and claiming she IS the Swamp herself, she realizes that something is going horribly wrong in that place.

It’s an ordinary day for Bernice when it all starts.

As every morning, she goes out to Cleary Swamp for her professor’s project. But something is different today. An old woman suddenly approaches her, screaming, demanding she leaves the premises.  And that’s not even the most peculiar part of the event.

After the strange woman declares that she herself is the soul of the swamp, Bernice will start researching on the history of the area. What she finds is disturbing- can the old woman really be the young girl who was declared missing in the area decades ago?  Our heroine will make the mistake of going back there, and that’s when she realizes a frightening truth: the Swamp wants her, and it will do anything in its power to keep her there.

A classic horror story

Come back to the Swamp is a very intriguing horror story. Carefully constructed, it involves a good amount of humor, and Bernice’s internal monologues and thoughts are very enjoyable. The novel is a blend of unique ideas and classical horror, thoroughly reminding the reader of the classic horror movies of the sixties and seventies. Even though its length is surprisingly short, it admittingly works incredibly well in this story. Not long enough to tire the reader, not so short that it would leave you with unanswered questions.

If thrillers are your thing, make sure to give Come Back to the Swamp a try. This is a pleasant, quick read that you don’t want to miss out on.