Thursday, 30 March 2017

Review - Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Historical Fiction, YA
Edition : Paperback, Chronical Books
Pages : 241 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 3.61 ☆
My Ratings : 3.7 ☆

A wonderful murder story. Captured me right away! Emily Elizabeth Dickinson meets a handsome young man, known as Mr. Nobody and enjoys her flirtartion with him until a tragedy happened to the young man. Emily is determines to investigate the murder herself despite her chores her mother, Mrs. Dickinson instructed to do. Along with her younger sister, Vinnie, Emily discover shocking information and unexpected murder suspects.

This story reminds me of Nancy Drew adventures. I love Emily character. I love how she jots down her clues in a small notebook. I love how stubborn she is to continue her private investigation of Mr. Nobody's murder. The suspense is there and progressing well throughout the story. I just love the storyline. Simple yet intriguing. Good mystery build-up.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Review - Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy
Edition : Paperback, Snowbooks Ltd
Pages : 351 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 3.69 ☆
My Ratings : 3.5 ☆

Set in Victorian England. Gideon Smith who had lost his father and he was to find why his father was killed. Gideon was determined to follow Captain Lucian Trigger, his favourite hero and avenge his father's death.

It's cool! Victorian England setting. Indiana Jones style. There's vampires, mummies, pyramids and sky pirates! I can say it is a great idea. I was at first afraid to read sci-fi steampunk genre but this book really changed my views. The story is smooth, the idea is great but the writings is not enough to intrigue me. What fascinates me most about this book is the story line and the urge to know more of the adventures of Gideon.

I start to like it when meeting the mechanical girl, Maria. I must say that I dislike the opening or so to say the writing itself. Maria is a likable, mysterious character. Although Gideon and Maria's journey is different but somehow it suits and brings you to the unlikely relationship. But I loveeeee the ending. The graph is descending smooth towards the end and the unexpected twist makes me want to move to the second book.

I think I can recommend this book to the readers who want to try on this type of genre, for beginner.

Review - Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters In the End by Atul Gawande

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Non Fiction, Health > Medical, Science
Edition : Paperback, by Metropolitan Books
Pages : 282 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 4.39 ☆
My Ratings : 4.3 ☆

This is the first book on Health and Medical I read and it fears me at first for any jargon and scientific terms I do not understand but no such in this book. It is carefully explained and it is made sure the readers are not left googling on medical terms.

It is a good read for people who care for the elderly, even if you do not have care any elderly, it is some kind of preparation for yourself. Well, everyone is getting old. But reading this, getting old is scary. It cringe me every time I read on what could happen if this and this occur to you. It's a how-to book. For those who care for the elderly or terminally sick person, it gives you courage and what to do sort of solutions. Not many people knows what to do when it comes to such matter.

I recommend this book because it is full of information and guides on (if ever you face such situation, I hope we not) what sort of question to ask a doctor, where to seek help and such.

Review - Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Historical Fiction, Classic, Fiction
Edition : Paperback, by Arrow
Pages : 278 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 3.32 ☆
My Ratings : 3.6 ☆

Twenty years after To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout or Jean Louise Finch returns to Maycomb to visit her father, Atticus Finch. She finds a lot of changes in Maycomb in terms of political issue and her family issue. Jean Louise finds an unacceptable changes in her father and dueling with her own feelings towards Maycomb and surrounding, just not like what she remembers it as in her childhood time.

I personally just like this book but love the story as a whole (TKAM+GSAW).I still love Scout and Atticus. The bigger picture is that time changes, mind set changes, situation also changes resulting different approach of things. Still about "colours and race", that is what upset Scout so much, seeing her father shows different attitudes towards society in Maycomb. However, the explanation from her Uncle Jack, soothed everything out.

No. It's not a sequel to TKAM to me. Though I would love to find out about Boo Radley more, this is for me a continuous or a follow-up to TKAM. I can see why GSAW didn't get to be published then. If you are seeing GSAW as a sequel, you will be disappointed. Rated 3.7/5.0.

Review - The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Chick-Lit
Edition : Paperback, by Sphere
Pages : 358 pages 
Goodreads Ratings : 3.89 ★
My Ratings : 3.7 ★

I love books about books and this is the one. Caught my eyes just a second after I looked at it, grabbed it and to the counter for payment. Ha!

Nina who loves book and work in a library but lose it as the library turns into a downsized retail complex. Worrying with no job for living, Nina considers to open a bookshop, a mobile bookshop. She buys a van and moved to Scotland and become a successful bookseller. 

Simple, but the decision making, the new adjustment of new life, the new experiences etc. are what makes this book lovely. Nina character is slowly developed throughout the story. I can definitely related to her, especially on books and her decision making. It just happened that the Scottish community she settled for love books as well. The story evolves to something else; Nina's love life and helping two children for school and living.

All in all, it's about how to face the future and chase your dreams, not giving up half way not matter what. It's a lovely read.

Review - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Historical Fiction, YA
Edition : Paperback, Anniversary Edition by Alfred A. Knopf
Pages : 552 pages 
Goodreads Ratings : 4.36 ★
My Ratings : 4.4 ★

Holocaust. Set in Germany during World War II. Narrated by Death on a story of a girl, Liesel Meminger who comes of age in a war time. Being an orphan and taken by a relatively poor germans family, the Hubermanns. Hans, Liesel's foster father teaches her to write and read. Rosa who does laundry for the rich, swears a lot but really have a good heart. Conflict begins when the Hubermanns needs to hide a Jew, Max who is the son of Han's friend from WWI.

I love how the story is narrated by Death. It took me awhile to figure who is the narrator. Smack my head once I found out. Hans is absolutely my favourite character, followed by Rudy, Liesel's companion. There are a few moments in the story which broke my heart included the The Standover Man. The bombing of Himmel Streets. Damn, it broke my heart good.

I usually not fond of slow-paced book but there are something about this book that keeps me reading. Haunted.The story and how it was written. Poetic. There are so many quotes in this book that i love so much. Especially from Death, mesmerized me how every details can be described so well. The part where giving the reader a bit of the ending at the beginning. It messed up my emotions, in a good way. And it made me shed tears.

No. It's not a happy ending story. But I promise, it's a good read.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
Edition : Paperback, International Edition by Riverhead Books 
Pages : 401 pages 
Goodreads Ratings : 4.25 
My Ratings : 5.0 

"For you, a thousand times over!"

I am really mad at myself because I'm talking too long to read this good book. It broke my heart so many times.The Kite Runner is about friendship, betrayal, war, family relationship, decision making. Those are strongly portrayed in this book. It is a very beautiful story. 

With strong opening, each characters background is very well described, Amir was fantastically developed throughout the story. Set in Afghanistan, the readers is welcomed with the inseparable friendship between Amir and Hassan. Though at some point, I hate Amir because of what he did to Hassan, (a Hazara, a friend and eventually Amir's half brother), which bring himself almost a lifetime guilt. Beauty. The phrases and words combined, as smooth as melted chocolate!

I love for its highs and lows and everything in between. Amir and his father, Baba migration to America, live quite a good life while in Afghanistan is chaos with Taliban. Fifteen twenty years past, married to Soraya and the demise of Baba. News from Rahim Khan and fly to Pakistan only to know Hassan was killed. Leaving Amir with another decision in to make. I'm glad it is great in the end. 

Some of powerful quotes in the book:

"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." 

"And the beggars were mostly children now, thin and grim-faced, some no older than five or six. They sat in the laps of their burque-clad mothers alongside gutters at busy street corners… Hardly any of them sat with an adult male - the war had made fathers a rare commodity in Afghanistan."

"I'm so afraid…. Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening. They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you."

I feel love, I feel hatred and horror, I feel love and hate and angry and i feel a lot more of love. I cried. I cried a lot for Hassan, The Kite Runner.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Review - Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Fiction, Fantasy, YA
Edition : Paperback UKPublished November 17th 2016 by Macmillan Children's Books 
Pages : 450 pages 
Goodreads Ratings : 4.09 
My Ratings : 4.1 

I love this cover! Sorry I just need to say that.

Heartless, is a stand-alone novel, spin on some familiar characters from Alice's Adventure in Wonderland. It's an epic retelling focuses on the Queen of Hearts. 

Before Lady Catherine Pinkerton became the Queen of Hearts, she was just a girl who enjoys baking and sharing dreams of opening a bakery with her close friend, Mary Ann whom also Pinkerton's maid. Her mother however, Marchioness had a different ideas on her daughter's future, pushing her to marry the King of Hearts. As Cath struggles between pursuing her own dream and fulfilling her parents's dream, she finds herself falling for a complete stranger; new court joker of Hearts, Jest.

I really love the idea. We widely know that the Queen of Heart is the most hated character in Alice, who knows, she turned out to be just a girl who wanted to be loved. Meyer's characters are all familiar yet brand new. She successfully capture all the madness, the nonsense and the magic of the story we all know as a child years ago. She beautifully put on the spotlight on places and characters we never caught up before.

Heartless is told through Cath point of view, makes me really understand how she feels toward her dream and her love for Jest. Not to mention the heart pounding adventures she went through. I have to say that this is a slow-paced novel (I'm not very fond of slow-paced story), not until the Jabberwock second attack does the novel had my heart rate increased. All begins to unravel after that which makes it exciting. But credits need to be given. This slow-paced is where Meyer got to build her characters and places well. She really really takes time to build it!

From simple, nice, good-willed girl, Catherine Pinkerton changed to a Queen of Hearts full of fury. Off with their heads!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Review - Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Assalamualaikum and Good Day!

Genre : Fantasy, YA
Edition : Paperback, Published January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
Pages : 402 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 4.11
My Ratings : 4.1

I am thrilled to read and review this book! My first thought when seeing this book in a bookstore, "Oh wow! Circus story! Does it involve magic? mystery? or murder crime?". I definitely have not read any reviews or heard of the rumours and hypes. But I'm a fan of magic of course.

Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 
Story about two sisters, Scarlett who lived in fear - fear of their abusing father, fear of her sister, Donatella's well-being, fear of the past and the future for both siblings. Despite that, after seven years of determination of letter writings to the Caraval Master, three invitations arrived, for Donatella, Scarlett and her betrothed count she never met, to join and experience the magical caraval.

Though excited, Scarlett cannot risk to miss her wedding, one and her only chance of safety and security from her father, never to know Donatella has her own plan. Soon, both sister and a sailor boy Julian find themselves enmeshed in Caraval. Only to find the motive of the game is to find Donatella, Scarlett who fear of her sister's safety will not stop to free Donatella from the game. The longer she plays the game, her true heart desires and future begins unraveling.

I don't really like the characters though. The sisters bond shown is just not quite there. I cannot feel it enough. Scarlett keep thinking that she needs to get back to get married, but then she cannot because she has already involved in the game - she has to find her sister before get back home. It annoys at one point. She keep forgetting "Remember, it's only a game.", and rely on Julian, her fake fiance to snap her back to reality. But, I don't blame her of course, I felt like it's real too, judging by how many times my heart rate increased. 

I have to mentioned, Stephanie Garber's debut has its highlights. Caraval has strong opener and very 'shocking' ends. I love how the sentences strung together, creating the world for Caraval, deftly depicted in description and brilliant plot twist. Well, the type of book that I can finish in one sitting. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Review - Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Poetry, Non Fiction
Edition : ebookPublished October 6th 2015 by Andrews McMeel Publishing 
Goodreads Ratings : 4.37
My Ratings : 3.0 

It is very hard for me to put star for this book. This book the the collection of poetry by Rupi Kaur about love, loss, abuse, violence and femininity. My first thought of this book, "oh, yeah..okay". The author use simple words, simple English, short sentences which I have to say, plain. The poems are more of personal and it's difficult for me to review this.

I did not like the book until I reach the third chapter, the breaking. I have trouble with the illustration as well but then it gets better as i reach the third chapter, as I looked beyond the drawings.

What I like about this book is how it is divided into four chapters. The hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. I love the messages in it, not before 'the breaking' of course. This could make some use to women who experience loss and want to move forward in life. I like the rawness of the poems, the emotions to say.

It's good but not great.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Review - To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Assalamualaikum and good day!

Genre : Historical Fiction, Classic
Edition : Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition
Pages : 309 pages
Goodreads Ratings : 4.25 
My Ratings : 4.3 

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” 
This story is sets in the 1930s and cover a span of three years. It revolves around a small family of three and a black housekeeper in the fictitious town of Maycomb, Alabama. Narrated by the character, Scout Finch who lives with her brother Jem and her father Atticus. Both siblings having trouble and instinctively understand Maycomb town and its people. Their curiosity grows as more adult mysteries become apparent to them. Boo (Arthur) Radley who never comes out from his out, yelling Mrs Dubose, weirdness of the Cunningham family, etc.

The siblings then discovery that their father is to represent a black man, Tom Robinson on the charge of raping and beating of a white woman, Mayella Ewells. Jem and Scout and their summer friend, Dill, soon get to attend the trial and bewildered by the jury's decision on the convict. Shortly after the trial, Tom had been killed in an escape attempt. Followed by few more incidents afterwards, the attack on the children and the Boo Radley appearance.
“First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” 
I'm loving the characters especially Atticus Finch who thinks all men are equal and should be treated equally. It is how he teaches his children of his view on people. He advise his children not to use racial slurs, a character that everyone who look up to. The first part of the book is full of humour and the daily routine of the children, school, playing, following their curiosity. Part two is more serious as we come to the part where the trial ongoing. I love how "wise" Atticus Finch word/dialogue in this story and the choice of word is so perfect and enthralling. I highly recommend this book to those who like classic and historical fiction.

Reading this book it's like watching  an old movie. Now, I'm going to search for the movie to watch. Toodles!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Harry Potter Series Collection


I start off with my favourite childhood readings..well, not exactly a child by that time hahaha! I was 12 years old...okay, yeah a child. I read Malay translated for first two books and moved on straight for 4th book (English) and confused myself in the middle. That would explain why I have 2 sets of 3rd and 4th books.

These are my precious. 

not going to do any review on it because 10 years past :') Some of them aged 12 - 13+ years old and it's gathering dust and yellowing on the shelf. 

I starred them 5 on Goodreads mainly for the reason of the story line and a touch of magic. But gosh! I was a child back then, I don't even know about reviewing a book. All I know was that the story was so good I sacrificed my TV time for it. Who doesn't like magic?

I must say that the eight story was a bit not J.K Rowling's. But it has to be because of the screenplay and only dialogue. It fits however, the story. Why it has to be a play rather than a novel.

Definitely going to pass down to my future child.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

SyaMimi Reads!

Hellowwww Everyone!

I decided to make a new blog which will be dedicated only to my readings, together with my girly-days blog .:buDakPerempuanIni:. Feel free to browse my old blog as you wish. There are still some of valuable post there. :)

I'm using my real name for this blog. Sounds like I have grown up eh?

Well, to be honest, I miss writing. So, Hello!