Book Review || Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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Hello, bookish folks! Funny facts: days and days of “I’m gonna schedule all the posts” and yet here I’m, still in need to write all next week post. And this one… even if obviously you will read the final result.

Well, today I’m surely gonna get my time to schedule a lot, since yesterday I hadn’t such a great day. Thanks to my mother. And since In don’t want to turn this one into “my mother trying to kill my soul – the  therapy” let’s go on with the discussion.

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Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: A. Knopf Bookss
Pages: 391
Rating: ★★★★

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

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Before digging inside the story and my view on it, I need to be clear: I never read the offensive blurb that concerned this novel at its start. So I don’t really know what it could be talk about or how it was written.

Well, this book hit me hard in a good way, while I was really… offended by some reviews. Even of popular reviewers on Goodreads. Even of other bloggers I follow. Also because there’s a difference between doing a critique and nearly entering a fatphobic argument. Or not being able to discern how much certain aspect impact a person’s life. Yes, I’m a bit salty. Mostly because this novel touch body issue, how people treat other people for their physical appearance. While people aren’t only shaped by their body image and what can revolve around it, sure it plays a part on who they are.  The way they related to their own body, issue, problems and benefits is still something that can influence a certain way to act.

Like, I don’t share the same time of fat that Libby has. I’m overweight, that’s for sure. People never let me forget that, like it was something bad, something which the main function was being mocked for others’ fun. And while I try to come to term with me, I have people always telling how “no, you’re not fat”. But I’m. I know my body. I know its shape.

This reality made and makes act in different ways. Not always, but sometimes it does. So, yes, is a big part of my life.  So it was important for me to read even that much about bodies.  Continue reading

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Wrap Up || January

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Hello, bookish folks ❤ How are you? I’m hope you’re well. Today is a recap day and we will talk a bit about this month…. I don’t say, right? Sorry, but introductions aren’t a things of mine.

It has been a quite harsh and yet calm month, where you manage to do the things you want but not enough to do a big progress with everything in general. I don’t know if you get me or understand the feel. Anyway, it’s time for…

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This time I decided to take no pictures of my reads because two of them are ebooks and one of the other three is a non fiction text that is no really esthetically beautiful. *Yes, Camilla is a shameful shallow bookstagrammer*

My non fiction books is: Myths of the Hindu and the Buddhist by Ananda Coomarswamy and Sister Nivedita. Is the first book I read for my novel research. I would have liked to finish it far before the end of the month but I’m really doubting that the limit of six months full of research is going to be enough. I’ve a quite long list of books about India that… as much as I love do researchs, I feel like it will be a: chose text-book or chose novels. Like a match. Anyway, at the end of the books I found few pages full of information and really well written. I had to add the help of Google for few things but it worked out really well and made me understand further all the myths I read before.

On the side of ” I don’t like you”, I’m talking of the two ebook: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica and  #prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid.

The first was… empty? One of the POV was a big misogyny man, one a traumatized girl (the only interesting POV) and the last was of the main narrator. I don’t feel really comfortable with the way some delicate issue were portrayed, because instead of making me understand it made me really hate the major characters.
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The Literary Salon || Quality VS Quantity

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Hello, dear bookish folks! I’m writing this late post while watching Criminal Minds and drinking rhum tea 😉 Strangely I’m kinda awake, since usually I started to feel  tired during the early night.

Today discussion is born a group discussion of blogger that I organized with my fellow italian bloggers. Right now I want to talk about this issue with you all and hear your opinions. Hope you will like it!

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There’s something that the literary community discuss, even if not as much as other topics: is the possible conflict  between quantity and quality. And there are at least three possibile point of view about this issue.

On my personal side, I’m totally neutral about this one. I’m honestly the type that is always happy to read books about the same world and characters if I’m in love with the series. Also, I think that writers should write about what they want as much as they can.

But, regardless what I think, the discourse is much more big. Let’s start with the authors that always write about the same things. Whit that I mean the same concept in the same world with almost the same characters. Like Rick Riordan, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. All of them are part of this category, for one element or more.

Writing a long series of novels, with a same set of characteristics, might bring alive some readers’ problems. Like following a series for a long long time. And maybe getting bored finding always the same set. But others might find every concept interesting and exactly what they were waiting to read from that author.  Continue reading

Of Writers || Writing of different cultures: the general inspiration

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I’m officially excited for this post. First of all I want to thanks Nandini of Unputdowanble Books for her help, with her answer and perspective. ❤ She was super gentle and open to talk. Also she made me feel calm and I didn’t burst out as I usually do.

Today I want to talk about my other passion: writing. And with a special focus on narrating about differents cultures. In this post I’m gonna focus just on one particular side of the discussion, mostly a basic and general approach about writing of something that can be really far away from us.

I think that is something that every writers must ask to themself before starting their novel or even at the end of it, when it’s time to set a major and well organized editing.

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Writing is hard. Everyone can agree about that. It goes side by side with self-doubt, insecurity and general fear. Basic fact? There’s nothing that a good research and feedback cannot solve. But while internet, books and people  help the writers, everything start from them and their words.

It’s a valid point while talking about a contemporary, when the writers must get sources from the actual moment, directly from reality. Valid too if the same must be done with a fantasy, a sci-fi or so.

When writing outside our culture, things get even more difficult. Let’s not deny it. It’s human. We don’t know everything. We live in a country and we integrate its atmosphere inside us. This enrich ourself but can get us blind on other sides. It’s one of the many reasons why big and little details must being handled with care. Always.

At the same time I feel that is important to notice that even with good research and writing, the writers can miss something from the culture they’re writing about or taking inspiration.  Continue reading

Book Review || The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

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Hello, bookish folks! I know that I wasn’t so active on the last days, not even commenting on other blogs but I’m more than three projects that I should deliver by the end of February. Seems like far away but every one of them requires a lot of time. I’m taking this day to schedule all the week posts and for today I’m leaving you all with a book review.

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Title: The Last of August
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes #2
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Pages: 317
Rating:★★★

Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

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I read the second book of Charlotte Holmes trilogy time ago, almost near the release date. Which is kinda incredible for my standard. I turned the first page and then another. I was happy, excited, a bit on the verge to express myself with the typical reader’s squeal.

It was different, a new situation for Charlotte and Jamie, far away from the “safety” of the college and the secure places of  A Study in Charlotte. From a little place the novel takes set in Europe, showing more and more revelations about the Moriarty and the Holmes families, as much as Charlotte past life. Which is not that “past”.

Something didn’t fully worked out since The Last of August didn’t left me the same good memory as the first novel. Many interesting details, anyway, kept me reading. For example, Holmes’ family is finally introduced. Not that they’re pleasant people. But it was still interesting tu understand more about Charlotte background. Continue reading