The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie Book Review

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie Book Review

Rating:

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 / 5

Synopsis:

One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?

Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.

Review:

I honestly thought that I wouldn’t like this one but alas, here I am giving it a whopping 5 stars. Judging the book by its cover again. 😅

When it comes to Agatha Christie’s books, I really prefer Hercule Poirot to Miss Marple but in this one, Christie didn’t involve much of Miss Marple on the scenes which surprisingly works. I think there’s a total of 20 pages max for Miss Marple, but of course she’s still the one to crack the case.

I got so invested with the story of this one that I couldn’t even put the book down. I loved why the book is titled “The Mirror Crack’d”. The story behind it is so fascinating:

“The mirror crack’d from side to side: ‘The doom has come upon me,’ cried the Lady of Shalott. Well, that’s what she looked like.”

She quoted The Lady of Shallot as the expression of Marina – the actress who was hosting the party. It was a strange description of her expression that got me so curious. I kept asking ‘What/Who did she saw?’ and I absolutely enjoyed the ending! I was satisfied with the answers in the end. I didn’t see it coming to be honest. It was quite a ride.

There’s a complexity in the story that I liked and a hint of something different that I truly enjoyed. This has a low rating on goodreads but I liked it, so of course I would recommend it to anyone looking for a mystery novel to read. 🧡

Favorite lines from the book:

“She couldn’t let the past go and she could never see the future as it really was, only as she imagined it to be.”

“In my experience, bossy women seldom get themselves murdered. I can’t think why not. When you come to think of it, it’s rather a pity.”

“If you look into somebody’s soul by accident, you feel a bit embarrassed about cashing in.”

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Book Review of The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas

Book Review of The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas

Rating:

5 / 5 🌟

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Review:

This is one incredibly gripping and sad book but is also filled to the brim with hope. Starr’s journey is not all bright and happy, because it’s the exact opposite of it. We were with her in the passenger seat when Khalil was shot, we were there when she got handcuffed, pointed a gun at, questioned, and threatened. It was all grim and infuriating, yes. But we were also there when Starr decided that enough is enough and that she’ll finally speak up. We felt her pain and anger. Angie Thomas made us feel it. She placed us smack in the middle of it like a teacher telling her class to listen and learn. And I did learn. And I picked up a lot.

There was one line that really got me, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” And that shit is so true on so many levels. This doesn’t limit itself on the white people, because Asians are so guilty of this too. Mind you, I’m Filipino and half of my family doesn’t even get what racism is all about. And I try so damn hard to educate them by sneaking some movies that tackles relevant and timely issues.

I’m so effing glad that I picked this book up. I’m not gonna lie, I watched the movie first and I fell in love with it that’s why I was extremely excited to read it. It broke my heart, made me cry, laugh, then cry some more. It’s a story that’s relevant and speaks volume that makes you want to lead a protest ala Starr Carter. I’m happy to see that Angie Thomas also injected the minority alliance in the story between Starr and Maya. Yass Queen, we love some Asian and Black friendship. 🧡🙌🏽

This is not the first book i’ve read about racial profiling and this definitely wouldn’t be the last one. I somehow couldn’t put my feelings into words and I know I’m not doing it justice but just bear in mind that I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read the second book!

Favorite lines from the book:

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”

“What is Tumblr anyway? Is it like Facebook?”
“No, and you’re forbidden to get one. No parents allowed. You guys already took over Facebook.”
“You haven’t responded to my friend request yet.”
“I know.”
“I need Candy Crush lives.”
“That’s why i’ll never respond.”

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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Rating:

5/5 🌟

Synopsis:

While the Titanic and Lusitania are both well-documented disasters, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known January 30, 1945 sinking in the Baltic Sea by a Soviet submarine of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army. The ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers — the intended capacity was approximately 1,800 — and more than 9,000 people, including 5,000 children, lost their lives.

Sepetys (writer of ‘Between Shades of Gray’) crafts four fictionalized but historically accurate voices to convey the real-life tragedy. Joana, a Lithuanian with nursing experience; Florian, a Prussian soldier fleeing the Nazis with stolen treasure; and Emilia, a Polish girl close to the end of her pregnancy, converge on their escape journeys as Russian troops advance; each will eventually meet Albert, a Nazi peon with delusions of grandeur, assigned to the Gustloff decks.

 

Review:

Can I just say how amazed I am at this book? I love how the chapters are relatively short which made it incredibly easy to read, thus, unputdownable. It also consisted of different POVs that made the story flavorful and intriguing. All the secrets and lies. The way Ruta Sepetys wrote this was so powerful that I can’t help but feel scared and all over anxious for the characters. It made me cry several times.

The amount of research she’s put into this is nothing short of amazing. I didn’t know about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff because it was not mentioned in any of my high school + college history books, nor in my history classes – proof of just how overlooked it is. I felt glad learning something new but also devastated at how tragic the event is.

If you have not read this book yet, I urge you to run – NOT WALK – to the nearest bookstore and get this! It is by far my favorite read of 2019. A friend of mine suggested this book to me because I mentioned once that I was very into WWII stories. As I have mentioned before, I wanted a break from the contemporary and fantasy books and I immediately found myself falling in love (HARD) with Historical Fiction. Expect me to read and review more from Sepetys collection soon!

 

Sharing some of my favorite lines from the book:

  • “I became good at pretending. I became so good that after a while the lines blurred between my truth and fiction. And sometimes, when I did a really good job of pretending, I even fooled myself.”

 

  • “Per aspera ad astra, Papa,’ I whispered. Through hardship to the stars.”

 

  • “I wept because I had no shoes,  until I met a man who had no feet.” 

 

  • “How foolish to believe we are more powerful than the sea or the sky.”

 

  • “War had bled color from everything, leaving nothing but a storm of gray.”
Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations

Hello guys! So several weeks ago I received a message in instagram asking if I have ay blogpost regarding my recommendations. I didn’t have any and I thought it was a really good idea to create a post that contains all of the Cerize Approved Books.

So I scavenged my goodreads and checked all of my read books. I decided to categorize it by genre so you could just skip to the ones that interests you. I hope this helps!

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YA Contemporary Romance

By far the easiest genre to suggest so let’s start with this one. I used to be a sucker for meet-cute novels, enemies-turned-lovers, pretend boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. I enjoy having that ecstatic moment when there’s a really good scene between the love birds. That first touch, first kiss. Damn it gives you that warm, fluttery feeling when written right. So here are some of my favorites for YA Contemporary Romance:

  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell : Light, funny, and heart warming. I loved this even though several people I know didn’t like it.
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell : What can I say? I’m a Rowell Trash. Of all her books, this is my absolute favorite. Nerdy love with spontaneous dancing and a sibling relationship that involves writing fanfic that strangely reminds me of Draco and Harry? *wink wink* Come on, that’s great!
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han : The fashion and baking and pretend lovers? Need I say more??
  • Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli : Adorable and quirky book that contains great characters and screams THIS SHOULD BE A MOVIE in the plot line (and it did!!).
  • Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman : Intense. This shit broke my heart.

 

YA Dystopian

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I still love but is already heavily recommended by people, I decided not to include it here. If you liked that trilogy and enjoyed Divergent by Veronica Roth, then my friend, you are in for a way better ride.

I have to admit that my reading and interest in reading dystopian novels has come to a decline ever since the year I’ve read a tidal wave of books in this genre (i.e. 2014). But nontheless there’s a few that i’ve enjoyed and only TWO that I would definitely suggest to people.

  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi : By far one of the most underrated dystopian series but this is so good! Fast paced, great characters and fantastic plot!
  • Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu : A prodigy helplessly falls in love with a rebel while under mission and uncovers some deep shit the Republic has been hiding. Can you hear me sighing? Because I friggin love these kinds of stories.

 

YA Mental Health

For me, this is one of the hardest genre to read; Not because of the writing or the content, but because of the endings usually. They are incredibly devastating but at the same time opens up your mind to a lot of things that society’s afraid to talk about.

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – Incredibly deep and heavy content.
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – Depression
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Depression
  • Dreamland by Sarah Dessen – Physical abuse
  • Stay by Deb Caletti – Physical abuse

 

Fantasy

These are quite unique in their own ways. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard most of these already.

  • Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
  • Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo – Leigh’s best work by far. The characters she created is everything. The plot is amazing!
  • Dream Catcher Duology by Elizabeth Knox – This is very different from anything i’ve ever read which I liked. It’s new and refreshing.
  • Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan – Come on, this needs more hype. And the fans deserve the TV series we’ve all been begging for.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Like Elizabeth Knox’s work, Neil Gaiman gives unique stories that are very interesting and great. He’s pretty awesome if I might say so myself.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • More than This by Patrick Ness

 

Fantasy (Horror/Thriller)

Literal chills and couldn’t-sleep-at-night. I’m looking for that kind of fear and I was not disappointed!

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin : What the actual fuck is happening to Mara?? HOLY CRAP.
  • The Diviners series by Libba Bray (series still on going) : CREPPY AF and amazing timeline!!! It’s not your usual setup which I LOVED.
  • The Raven Boys (Raven cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater : For someone who can’t handle the intense fear. You can start with this series

 

Historical Fiction

Cried my eyes out and educational shizz down below. Currently my favorite genre.

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – Blind French girl made me nervous the entire novel.
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – Prepare your tissues.
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett – GIRL POWER!

 

Retellings

I haven’t read much from this genre but the ones below are absolutely great of course!

  • Wonder Woman : Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo : Well, the DC Icons series is great but for me this is the best one out of the three that I’ve read. If I have to rank them from best to worst, it would be Wonder Woman, Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas, and then and then Batman by Marie Lu. I haven’t read Superman yet, so wait for my review for that one!
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – Disney meets Star Wars. FABULOUS!!

 

Classics

I know a lot of people do not like reading classics but I do, that’s why I’m putting this in the mix as well for people like me or for those who wanted to try reading something written by someone who’s long gone.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Narcissist character which peacked my interest. Not to mention the quotable quotes page after page.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I thought this was a children’s book. I was so wrong.

 

Murder Mystery

My favorite genre of all time, hands down. Nothing beats a good bloody murder case.

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – My favorite from Agatha Christie’s works.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling (#1) and Silkworm (#2) by Cormoran Strike : I haven’t read the rest but I deeply enjoy the series.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn : Damn, Amy Fucking Dune. That’s all I can say.
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown : Seems weird that it’s here? Well, there are murders. And it’s a mystery!
  • The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

 

And those are my current book recommendations. Of course through time I will find new books that I love and the list will get longer and longer – hopefully.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope that my list would help you find something that you would love as well as I did. Happy reading!

ARC review: Running with the Wolves by J.E. Reed

ARC review: Running with the Wolves by J.E. Reed

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Rating:

🌟🌟🌟 / 5

 

Synopsis:

Ten realms will test everything.

For two years she led an alliance, forming bonds with people from around the world—but someone was watching. Chronopoint was only meant to be a game, until she found herself trapped in that world.

Fighting to survive, Kiuno discovers she’s not the only player who has been thrown into this strange land. Hideous, twisted monsters only seen in nightmares plague their every move. Untold powers lie at the hands of the chosen and flames dance at her fingertips.

Can Kiuno find the players from her alliance or will she be too late and discover death has taken far more than she ever imagined?

 

Review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was in a state of confusion in the intro but that’s almost always the case for me. The opening parts of this book was rather slow but it immediately kept up the pace. I enjoyed the idea of players getting sucked into the game and then there are those unlucky people who got sucked into the game rather unsuccessfully (like apparating in Harry Potter and they get splinched).

The writing is strong, and I’d even say that it’s really good. Even though I find the writing to be great, the characters for me were rather bland. Kiuno obviously was the chosen one with this unexplained powerful magic and is this heroine I expect to wreck havoc and be awesome and strong. I was disappointed in most of her parts, due to the fact that she has this power and is the protagonist of our story but I do not connect with her at all. Of all, I liked Blue and Maltack best and the drinking session of the group was my favorite scene.

I can see why people who read this says that it’s like the Hunger Games and Ready Player One met and mated and this was the resulting offspring. A lot of gamers and adventure seekers would really enjoy this novel.

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There are a lot of unanswered questions but I’m pretty sure that there’s a second book for this based on where it left off. There are a lot of unanswered questions but I’m pretty sure that there’s a second book for this based on where it left off. I would highly suggest the book if you’re looking for some adventure in foreign lands, sword fights, and encounters with wild creatures. 🌲🌵🌞🌧️❄️

Over all I think the book is good, just not what I’m planning to read at the moment that’s why I gave it a three. Thank you so much to the author, J.E. Reed, for providing me a copy of the novel. 😄 You are the sweetest! And good job on your book. 💜

Thanks for reading!

Eden Can Wait (Season 1) by Ray N. Kuili

Eden Can Wait (Season 1) by Ray N. Kuili

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Rating:

🌟🌟🌟 / 5

Synopsis:

When young Boston reporter Ryan West finds himself unemployed and his reputation destroyed as a result of a rogue journalistic investigation, he starts looking for alternative ways to pay his bills. When his search takes an unexpected turn, leading him to a shocking job interview, Ryan doesn’t know that he is about to discover one of the most daring experiments ever conducted—and the chilling truth behind it.

Buy full season 1 (episodes 1-7) of Eden Can Wait at a special pre-order price before the book is released on July 9.

Season 2 coming in Fall 2018.

 

Review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve always loved books and films that involve human experiments that’s why I was very intrigued in the beginning. However, I do not think this book is not my cup of tea. I read page after page about four people all stuck in a windowless building for months while they are training to be another person. The writing itself was good but it was rather lengthy and the story seems to be not going anywhere. I could not see the reason why they have to make people believe that they are immortal. It was only when we reached the end of it that we get ‘some’ of the explanations that we were looking for in the first 200+ pages of the book. Though I must admit, I liked the idea of raising a child surrounded by people you hired and trained to think that they’re immortal so that that child would grow up thinking that death does not exist. But this could have been explained in the beginning and would have made the story more compelling instead of releasing it all in the last few pages which made the ending feel like it was hastily written.

Though this one is not for me, I would like to thank Mr. Kuili for giving me a copy of your book and I wish you all the best for the rest of the series!

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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Photo by Cerize Sicat

 

Rating:

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 / 5 stars

Synopsis:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

 

Review:

In the beginning I was very confused and was starting to feel bored reading it because of the alternating POV as well as the timeline. I got the hang of it a few chapters in and I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading it. The book is so good because it was beautifully written. Doerr gave us a vivid picture of Saint Malo through the adventures of Marie-Laurie, a blind French girl who enjoys the puzzles created by her father and a boy who loves to fix radios thousands of miles away in Germany, named Werner.

I am currently in phase where I like reading novels about WWI and WWII or any book set on that timeline and I get why some people did not enjoy like the book. As I have said before, it’s confusing but I did enjoy this whirlwind of confusion because it somehow resembles the story itself. As a reader, we are thrown back and forth into the past where Marie-Laurie and Werner were just children, into the heat of war, and back again into the past just as the war was just beginning. It resembles the story in a way that no matter how far apart Marie-Laurie and Werner were, no matter how crazy and sad the world was that time, they still crossed paths. When I got to the last few chapters, I couldn’t put the book down because I was getting nervous and excited at the same time about the things about to happen.

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I deeply enjoyed this book and I’m glad I got my sister to read it too. I suggest this to people who enjoy stories with a hint of history injected into it. This is my first book for 2019 and I was not disappointed. I’ve been wanting to read it for so long but it was so expensive for a paperback so I waited for the sale to get it. Best decision ever. They say this book resembles The Book Thief which I haven’t read yet, but I’m curious so I think I’ll read that one this year as well.

That’s all for my review today. Thank you for reading and please comment down if you’ve read this book and what are your thoughts of it! I’ll be really happy to read your views for it.