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”

Review: An American Marriage

Title: An American Marriage

Author: Tayari Jones

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Social Rights

Rating: 4 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

A sad, tragic love story; a couple so deeply in love but whose timing destroys their lives. An American Marriage is one of the most highly anticipated novels of 2018 earning itself a spot on the Today Show as well as the Oprah list. A novel of love, rage, heartbreak and all that causes and results from it, this is a raw piece of work. Though a work of fiction if someone was to tell me this was nonfiction I would easily believe them. That is how realistic the plot and characters came across to me. Even the themes discussed – racism, human rights, marriage and family – all growing into deeply debatable issues in today’s progressive society, were explored and intricately opened, welcoming the reader into a global debate. The story was not a happy story, nor were any of the characters happy characters but it gave a deep reflection into everyday life and the issues and risks that come along with just getting out of bed every morning.  Continue reading “Review: An American Marriage”

Currently Listening To | La-La Land

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is going to be the first post part of the ‘Currently Listening To‘ category of my blog. My reading habits are about eighty percent dependent on my mood. I am what is to be called a “mood reader.” While I usually stick within the genre of Young Adult circulating around a theme of mental illness, I am basically what you could call a ‘mood reader.’ Sometimes I read because I’m nostalgic for earlier, perhaps more happier times in my life while other times I read just because I want an excuse to lay in bed all day with a Coca Cola. I always have a book nearby with numerous titles taking up space in my kindle. It goes without saying that books take up a large part of my life so it’s only natural that how I feel on a day to day basis is a partial result and becomes a partial cause of what fictional universe I’m currently dreaming myself to be traversing.

Anyway, this same logic applies to the tunes booming from my headphones. Always, there is a book peaking out of my purse. Similarly, I am always with headphones in my ears. Whether I’m at home, waiting in line at Trader Joes or walking down the street to school there is something always playing in my ears. Music, just like books plays a huge part of my life as it’s always there when I want to groove, dream of a life not mine, block out the world around me, feel as though I’m not alone in my sadness, discover some feelings I never knew to be burrowed inside of me.

La-La Land. Ever heard of this phrase ? I’m sure you have. All bibliophiles are notorious for choosing to live in “La-La Land” over the reality so clear and distinct before their very eyes. All through my childhood, adolescence and now straight into my early adulthood I never managed to shake that habit of losing myself in my thoughts. I tend to get some sort of random idea in my head and for an unpredictable amount of time become so obsessed with it that I almost, well, just about entirely lose focus of what I’m even doing. My mind begins to spin as I imagine alternate universes, becoming infatuated with all of these “what-ifs.” Sometimes these alternate universes bring me to my past, other times they whisk me away off towards the future and in rare cases they take me into the body, mind and world of someone, or something not me at all. While where where I am taken by these these initial thoughts always seem to take me by surprise as they develop like a spider weaving it’s web, the thoughts themselves are always the result of a feeling and these feelings, if not sprouting from books can be traced to music.

How I feel comes in waves, sometimes high sometimes low, with a soft hum edging it towards far into La-La Land, what I’ve been calling an ‘alternate universe.’ I’m sure we all come in and out of La-La Land, sometimes willingly, others by the force of reality pulling us back to our lives’ obligations. The slightest sensation can affect this. For me, music influences my flights in and out of La-La Land, and I’m sure it does for all of you as well. Below I have put together my La-La playlist, or the songs that take me back and forth between the pink sidewalks and purple clouds of my imagination and the blue sky and green grass of my reality. Upon listening to some of these tracks maybe you’ll be taken to a place like Narnia or maybe you will just get bored and skip to the next song, it all depends on your own alternate universe idea. Either way, I hope at least some of these songs bring you to a whirlwind of possibilities and make you dream, just as it does for me.
                         Continue reading “Currently Listening To | La-La Land”

Review: Men Without Women

Title: Men Without Women

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Bond Street Books

Publication Date: May 9, 2017

Genre: Short Story, Adult Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

Another masterpiece from the artful clever Haruki Murakami. Before reading Men Without Women I read Norwegian Wood (my review can be found here). I had just come back from a long non-blogging hiatus and I was frightfully anxious to begin writing reviews again. However, having not written in a while, I felt that I lost much of my imagination and inspiration for writing. I mean, book reviews doesn’t take the strenuous amount of creativity and strength that novel or short story writing requires but there’s still a lot of thought that goes into the process. With this in mind, I really wanted to ease my way back in with an author I already knew and have never felt let down by. Murakami is that author for me. Norwegian Wood carried me away and made me feel as though all the thoughts, troubles, feelings that I had in the past few months were basic nothingness. Like all feelings of euphoria, I wanted to feel this way again. I initially told myself that after writing my review for Norwegian Wood I would get serious and start on my list of author requests and ARCs but here I am writing this long beat-around-the-bush explanation just to say I did no such thing. I picked up more Murakami. This time I’m here with an eccentric collection of contemporary short stories, Men Without WomenContinue reading “Review: Men Without Women”

Review: Norwegian Wood

Title: Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami (Translated by Jay Rubin)

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: September 12, 2000

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is going to be my first book review in quite a few months, my last being an ARC review of The Museum of Us close to four months ago, back in March. The reason being, I’ve been traveling and going through some serous personal and academic changes and self discovery, resulting in the majority of my energy being directed to myself and away from the book blogging community. I have been back in Los Angeles for a little over a week now and will remain here for the next couple of weeks before I fly across the country to New York in preparation of a masters program that I will be starting in September. I’ve been settling back into a calm, translucent life in my parents’ home, back in my childhood room of tower-high books and stuffed care bears all around me. It’s a luxury to be able to walk up and down my shelves and choose whatever I am in the mood of reading, unlike during my travels that I read whatever I could manage to get my hands on, or whatever was the cheapest and least had the least ridiculous cover.

I returned to the United States in low and glum spirits and I was a bit hopeless as to figuring out a way to cope as I’ve never been a girl good at coping and have always been rather hopeless at hoping. Books have always been my way of momentarily caging my sadness or sorrow which is exactly what I fell back on this time around. With the joy that I could finally for the first time in over a year pick a book off of my own shelf I chose a novel from my favorite contemporary author, Norwegian Wood by the legendary Haruki Murakami, and here is what I thought…  Continue reading “Review: Norwegian Wood”

Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought

Dear fellow Babblers,

To be back in the blogosphere. This is almost too much. I have forgotten how to come back to my keyboard so the fact that I’m here now writing even this much out is already too much. The thought of writing a post! But what fear that creates in me! Who will read? Did anyone even notice I was gone ? What’s changed amongst book reviewers lately ? What’s everyone been reading ? Are we still hung up on Adam Silvera or is there already someone new ? And writing to y’all ? What can, should, do I even do I give a life update that no one really even cares about? I mean, come on, I’m not Selena Gomez here. Well hey, I’m supposedly a book reviewer, right ? So why not write a book review ? Yeah, no. And why ? I really just cannot. There are too many thoughts, feelings, meaningless intentions pulsating in that dark and shallow corner in the back of my mind. I just cannot focus on critiquing any sort of thematics, language, or structure of the world spinning in another writer’s mind. So if this post is not a banal life update or a sophisticated book review, what is all this nonsense doing floating on your screen trying to get across ? Not even I, the thoughtless scribbler behind all of this can give a clear, to-the-professor’s-point response. All I know is I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed interacting with other bloggers. I’ve missed pouring my heart into my keyboard. Being away has brought me back. Fear has kept me away, but nostalgia has lead me back. What I have seen, done, thought in the past three months not writing, whether it be on this platform or another, is what has lead me to discover that writing is one of those hobbies, obsessions, outlets – call it what you will – that give me my spirit, soul – life…

…And so here, for this post is what I have seen, done, thought in the past three months of not writing:  Continue reading “Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought”

Wanderings: Morocco |

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve been gone from internet connection for quite a while now. I recently took a fifteen day solo trip back to Morocco. My first time visiting the country was back in December/January and I fell in love. You can read more on my initial Moroccan vibes here. From the delicately infused tea with just the right amount of sugar, to the maze of endless medinas to the kind and helpful, sometimes aggressive and flirty natives, Morocco is a place unlike anywhere else in the world.  Continue reading “Wanderings: Morocco |”

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”