My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

mydarkvanessaMy Dark Vanessa was one of the books I’ve been curious about for some time because of the many 5-star ratings I’ve been seeing on my WP feeds as well as in Goodreads.

This is the dark and disturbing story of Vanessa Wry, who at 15 was abused by her 42-year-old teacher, Jacob Strane. The book is written in alternating chapters between Vanessa’s past and present life.

In as much as I want to like this book the way I was expecting to like it, I just couldn’t. This is a very important and note-worthy subject to read but I guess I was expecting to feel more like anger or something but many parts of the book just made me felt indifferent and bored. Moreover, I think that the story dragged too long and I didn’t find enough growth or character development from Vanessa. To be honest, I didn’t like her, I don’t feel for her at all. She was so naive to believe and trust everything Jacob tells her when it’s obviously full of crap.

Although I understand the importance of the hard subjects of this book, it didn’t turn out to be a great read for me. It was repetitive, vague and long with unnecessary fillers. I didn’t like a single character in the story as well. I do, however, acknowledge how the author showed how abuse affects young girls and how topics like this should be talked about more.

Quotable Quotes:

“People will risk everything for a little bit of something beautiful.”

“Sometimes it feels like that’s all I’m doing every time I reach out—trying to haunt, to drag him back in time, asking him to tell me again what happened. Make me understand it once and for all. Because I’m still stuck here. I can’t move on.”

“Because even if I sometimes use the word abuse to describe certain things that were done to me, in someone else’s mouth the word turns ugly and absolute. It swallows up everything that happened.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Death’s greatest power is not that it can make people die, but that it can make people want to stop living.

~Fredrik Backman

WWW Wednesday 25-Nov-2020

It’s the last Wednesday of November and the cold season is here! Work has been keeping me busy the past couple of weeks but thankfully, I’ve had some reading done.

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

What the Wind Knows will have a special place in my heart! It was a very beautiful story and one of my best reads this year. 5 stars!

With the Beatles is a short story from my favorite author, Murakami. It’s a  beautiful and quietly sad story. 3.5 stars.

The Year of the Witching started off quite well for me but I didn’t like the last quarter of the book that much, I think I was expecting something more and something else but still a good read. 3.5 stars.

Currently Reading

transcendentkingdom

I’ve started reading Transcendent Kingdom and I find the pace too slow for my taste. I think I need some patience if I want to get through this book.

Up Next

I’m eyeing these two books at the moment but we’ll see what happens next!

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

Quote of the Week

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

~Marcus Aurelius

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

theotherboleyngirlI very much enjoy historical fiction, in fact, it is my favorite genre, and reading (or watching) about the Tudors is always highly enjoyable. This is my second read from Philippa Gregory this year, the first being The Constant Princess, which I should say I really enjoyed and learned a lot from. I wasn’t sure what to read next and I’m not familiar on the correct order of the books in the series so I decided to pick this up since it is what I’m familiar with.

The Other Boleyn Girl is the story of Mary Boleyn and how King Henry VIII was attracted to her when she was fourteen. Soon they became lovers, however, the king started to have interest on Mary’s sister, Anne. Mary is submissive and kind. Anne is fierce and notorious. Very little is known about the life of Mary and it was clever of Gregory to give life and use her less known character to lead us or show us Anne’s character and story from a different perspective.

This is really a good take on the Boleyn sisters. Definitely a page-turner despite it being a lengthy read. Very interesting, enjoyable and captivating. I can’t wait for my next Gregory read.

Quotable Quotes:

“If it means something, take it to heart. If it means nothing, it’s nothing. Let it go.”

“I would know you anywhere for my true love. Whoever I was and whoever you were, I would know you at once for my true love.”

“The world hasn’t changed that much; men still rule.”

“You can smile when your heart is breaking because you’re a woman.”

“Anyone can attract a man. The trick is to keep him.”

Rating: 4/5 stars 

Quote of the Week

You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.

~Patrick Ness

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

thebookofnightwomenThe Book of Night Women is the story of a green-eyed girl named Lilith born in a Jamaican sugar plantation sometime in the 18th century where colonies are in transformation and maybe the worst time for slaves suffering from British cruelty.

To be quite honest, this book was hard to read. The dialect made it quite difficult to get through, I had to reread so many passages in order to understand but it was part of the story itself so it was worth all the reread and focus specially in the first 100 or so pages. Next, this book is so brutally honest, raw, real, compelling. The violence and inhumanity the slaves had to endure may it more difficult to read. It hurts to read about the brutality, cruelty and other horrifying things the slaves suffered from during those times.

I must admit, this book was slow but there was a moment where I got hooked and didn’t slow down anymore from there. It is a gripping story. Very informative, educational and thought-provoking read. It was beautifully written and my first from Marlon James. And I’m planning on reading another.

Quotable Quotes:

“Hate and love be closer cousin than like and dislike.”

“Bad feeling is a country no woman want to visit. So they take good feeling any which way it come. Sometime that good feeling come by taking on a different kind of bad feeling.”

“Make me tell you something else about reading. You see this? Every time you open this you get free. Freeness up in here and nobody even have to know you get free but you.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 11-Nov-2020

It’s Wednesday once again, how time flies! I had very little time to read this past week, well, you know, sometimes life just interferes with my reading. 😉

Anyhow, welcome to another WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

mydarkvanessa

I didn’t like My Dark Vanessa as much as I was expecting to like it given the reviews I’ve read before I started reading this book. I don’t normally read reviews before reading a book but I’ve been seeing this on my feeds for some time and saw many 5-star reviews. I don’t know. It does have a lot of very important things to tell us, it’s definitely not the content that I’m having issues with, that’s for sure. Maybe I didn’t like the way it was written and because I find it unnecessarily long.

Currently Reading

whatthewindknows

I’ve read more than half of What the Wind Knows and it is a beautiful story so I hope to finish it this week. 

Up Next

I don’t always get to follow my scheduled books to read next but I’m in the mood to start with these three.

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

littlewomenLittle Women has been on my shelves back home for like forever. I guess, it’s one of those classics that has always been there in the shelves even before I was born. It’s a shame that I only finally got to read it this year but hey, it’s better late than never!

This book has a very simple but realistic plot. There were four sisters who all have different views of life, different dreams and ambitions. Jo the feisty and most carefree and with whom I can relate very much, Beth who happens to be the saint of the family, Meg who wants to become rich and Amy, the youngest and a brat. So the story focuses on these four sisters and how they try to achieve their dreams by facing different challenges and learning the different virtues to live a good life.

I am very pleased to have finally read Little Women, though this made me long for a sister. It’s a very touching and heart-warming story packed with life’s lessons and how I wish I’ve read this when I was a kid. I enjoyed the book so much and I can fully understand now why it is considered a classic.

Quotable Quotes:

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

“I like good strong words that mean something…”

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight. Even the sad, sour sisters should be kindly dealt with, because they have missed the sweetest part of life, if for no other reason.”

“Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”

“Because they are mean is no reason why I should be. I hate such things, and though I think I’ve a right to be hurt, I don’t intend to show it.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

There is no need of any competition with anybody. You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good. Accept yourself.

~Osho

WWW Wednesday 04-Nov-2020

Hello, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Up Next

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki

kokoroI don’t quite remember how I first got across this book but as many of you know, I have a soft spot for Japanese literature and I haven’t read any from Natsume Sōseki so of course, I shouldn’t pass on this.

Kokoro is a Japanese classic about betrayal, self-isolation, guilt, bitterness and loneliness. It tells the story of the narrator, Soseki, a university student drawn to a far older man whom he calls Sensei and Japan’s transition from the Meiji society to the modern era. Sensei is a lonely man and visits someone’s grave every month. After graduation, Soseki had to go home and look after his ailing father who hopes that his son finds a good job with the help of Sensei. However, when his father’s condition worsened, he received a letter from Sensei which made him leave his father despite his condition. The letter reveals Sensei’s past and his decision to end his life.

Kokoro is not a book everyone will like but if you enjoy reading stories that dig deep into the characters’ lives and with very little action, not to mention slow-paced, but intense, I would gladly recommend this book. 

Quotable Quotes:

“No matter how full one’s head might be with the image of greatness, one was useless, I found out, unless one was a worthy man first.”

“The truth is, the only things I would have thought worth saying at the time are those things which I shall say here, and it was then too soon for me to write such a letter.”

“I believe that words uttered in passion contain a greater living truth than do those words which express thoughts rationally conceived. It is blood that moves the body. Words are not meant to stir the air only: they are capable of moving greater things.”

“I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now, in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves.”

“It is not you in particular that I distrust, but the whole of humanity.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.

~Neil Gaiman