ARC Review: The Hawkman

Title: The Hawkman

Author: Jane RosenBerg LaForge

Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating: 3 Stars

I received and ARC copy of The Hawkman: A Fairy Tale of the Great War by Jane Rosenberg LaForge in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for this advanced reader copy which was released on June 5, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

This book, just shy of 300 pages was gruesomely painful for me to get through, and I’m using the kindest words possible to explain how treacherous a trek this read was for me. It took me a whole four months, probably the longest I’ve ever spent reading a single novel. If it takes you this long to read a rather short book there is either a serious problem with your comprehension or you simply prefer to be happy than to put yourself through the pain of 280 pages filled with a story you simply, no matter how hard you try, cannot get absorbed into.

I was intrigued by The Hawkman by the cover art to be quite honest, with mystical creatures and alluring fonts. Even the synopsis, promising a tale of the world during the Great War, infused with a fairy tale imagination seemed promising of an instant classic. However, despite some interesting parts hear and there, The Hawkman proved to be a disappointing and tedious read for me.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Hawkman”

Books To Remind You How To Never Stop Being Sad

Dear fellow Babblers,

There are several coping mechanisms and treatments out there whose sole purpose is to ease people out of their pain, suffering, sadness – all the pessimism infesting their lives one way or another. There is electric shock waves for the most extreme cases and some Hershey’s Kisses for the light, blue devil tears. One morning feeling like fresh sunny D and by evening aching for that cigarette ? Absolutely. That is what Power Yoga is for. And for those whose sadness turns to seething, rippling anger ? There is that $150 Equinox membership. For the poor souls grieving a loved one comes group therapy. And for the unlucky ones, unfortunate enough to crawl through life in a hazy blur of their own tears, day in and day out there is Prozac, Fluoxetine, medical Marijuana – the whole nine yards. Everything comes to how to be happy. How to live the most fulfilling life possible, hurting the least amount of people in the process of flying ourselves towards self fulfillment.

Sadness has existed in multiple forms and has been addressed and dealt with in countless ways,regardless of how one’s culture may choose to address and identify it. As a book blogger, my main area of interest and concern is on the treatment of mental illness by authors and how they use characters as victims of this serious, yet somehow overlooked illness, how plot is used to unravel and explore all the little yet detrimental symptoms of a mental illness and the ways in which an author’s writing and descriptions of their characters speaks, in and of itself, on mental illness.

As a blogger, writer, editor, academic, active reader, I have met and had several relationships with characters and have, throughout the years have been left with the scars, marks and, in conclusion, love and a certain intimacy with certain characters, their stories and the voices from which they were told. Here below I’m sharing with my readers not the books that I feel are therapeutical and relieve readers of their gloom. Instead these books are what I like to call “How To’s On How To Never Stop Being Sad.” Each and every one has touched my heart in one way or another, never fulfilling it, more often than not emptying it bit by bit. No one is ever in search of sadness but when they, or at least I, find it in between pages it is not a sort of sadness that breaks but rather one that bends, making the heart all the more stronger.  Continue reading “Books To Remind You How To Never Stop Being Sad”

ARC Review: The Dark Beneath The Ice

Title: The Dark Beneath The Ice

Author: Amelinda Bérubé

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Expected Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Horror/Thriller, LGBTQ

Rating: 2.5 Stars

I received an ARC copy of The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for this advanced copy which was recently released on August 7, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve read very few ARCs in the last few months as I have devoted my time and energy to traveling, relocating to New York and focusing on personal physical and mental wellness. I’ve mainly kept my reading schedule close to my most beloved authors along with some rereads here and there. However, reading the Goodreads blurb of this new title, now one of the most trending amongst the Young Adult reader community I just couldn’t help myself. This short teaser offered by Goodreads gave me oh such high hopes for an epically thrilling read. I was sadly disappointed with no greater sinking feeling than being misled and sadly disappointed. A book of such great potential but has been executed in such a way that the horror is nothing more than banal mockery, attempting to match up to Paranormal Activity and Black Swann.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Dark Beneath The Ice”

ARC Review: The Museum of Us

Title: The Museum of Us

Author: Tara Wilson Redd

Publisher: Random House/Wendy Lamb Books

Expected Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: YA, Mental Illness

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I received an ARC copy of The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as Random House/Wendy Lamb Books for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on June 26, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

Sometimes, well, often I find myself sitting at my kitchen table, walking down the street, laying in bed, riding in an airplane without really being “there.” I slip away from reality for moments on end, dreaming about far off places, worlds, and possibilities. I get a sort of idea in my head and just like that become obsessed with dreaming it to life. A lot of my time is spent in these fantasies that it is very easy for me to lose my grasp of reality. That being said, The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd is a book that instantly speaks to dreamers like me. It is a spell binding story of the dangers of becoming so absorbed in the world of fiction that life outside of it appears almost meaningless by comparison.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Museum of Us”

Review: History is All You Left Me | And the Tears Continue

Title: History Is All You Left Me

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: SOHO Tean

Publication Date: January 17, 2017

Genre: YA, LGBTQ, Mental Illness

Rating: 5 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

History is All You Left Me is the second novel of debut author Adam Silvera, his first being More Happy Than Not. This is a tragic story of love, loss and letting go (awesome use of alliteration here Delphine!). Silvera’s novel shows that mourning does not only mean grief but also accepting grief as period of picking up oneself and accepting what is to come. This is a compellingly heartbreaking read and tore me apart from the very first sentence:

“You’re still in alternate universes,Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you’re having an open-casket funeral”.  Continue reading “Review: History is All You Left Me | And the Tears Continue”

Review: The Sun is Also a Star | Blinded by this Sunny Star

Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: November 01, 2016

Genre: YA

Rating: 4 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

This book is an outpouring of tears and everything that any girl looks for in romance – affection, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, hopefulness. The Sun is Also a Star is a book on race, immigration, young love, hope, family – everything and anything that can be connected with love. Just like in Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon effortlessly brings together romance and culture by bringing together two young people from different worlds, representing love not only as a union between two people but also an understanding of dreams and differences between worlds and how these worlds affect dreams (wow, that was a riddle in an of itself!). Continue reading “Review: The Sun is Also a Star | Blinded by this Sunny Star”

Review: More Happy Than Not | Everything To Rather Be

Title: More Happy Than Not

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: Soho Teen

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Genre: YA, LGBTQ, Mental Illness, Science Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

How am I just now reading Silvera ? One of the most anticipated books from the debut author in 2015 and I’m just discovering his writing now, in the beginning of 2018. How is this even acceptable for any YA reader ? More Happy Than Not is a whirlwind of tragedy, misfortune, self-discovery, and an utmost pursuit of happiness in a reality where happiness is taken for granted and lost more easily than it is gained. This is a book of struggles between race, sexuality as well as oneself. It’s everything that I could ever hope for in a modern YA of today. This is a page turner that goes back in time recreating the demons of young Aaron Soto’s past and his determination to erase it all, even if it means losing more of himself than just his past.  Continue reading “Review: More Happy Than Not | Everything To Rather Be”

ARC Review: The Book of Pearl | The Masterpiece of a Thousand Headaches


Title: The Book of Pearl

Author: Timothée de Fombelle, translated by Sarah Ardizzone  & Sam Gordon

Publisher: Candlewich Press

Expected Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 2.5 Stars

I received an ARC copy of The Book of Pearl in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as the translators of this edition, Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on February 06, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

The NetGalley copy I read is actually a translation of Timothee de Fombelle’s original French, Le Livre de Perle, a well known book of fairytale and magic, being published back in 2014 by Gallimard Jeunesse.

The Book of Pearl is exactly as the title of this post suggest: a masterpiece of a thousand headaches. I really can’t describe this book in another, more precise way. So much happened that it does not cease to amaze me how the author was able to keep up with the overlapping times, characters and even worlds, and then somehow blur the initially disjointed stories together. Even turning the last page I’m at once amazed an in need of an excedrin. I’m just at a loss on how all the characters, events, and worlds, I repeat WORLDS, even happened all in different times but then by the end all became one. I’m not sure if this makes me a lazy reader or if anyone else who has dared read all 300 pages of this feels the same as bimbo Delphine over here.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Book of Pearl | The Masterpiece of a Thousand Headaches”