The Image Of Deception: My Review

While waiting for the sequel for Lambs Can Always Become Lions, I picked up Charlotte Anne Hamilton’s latest release, The Image Of Deception and not one second do I regret it. This is the book I’ve always wanted to read. This is the book I’ve always wanted to write. And lately, one of my new favourites.

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Release: 2018
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The story:

When Clarissa finds out that her boyfriend of two hears has been cheating on her, she sets up a date with the other woman, pretending to be him. Without a plan, she meets up with Megan, and realises that she had no idea she was dating someone who was already taken. Together, they start plotting revenge on him, except what neither of them had in mind is that feelings would get in the way…

My opinion:

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

One thing I really loved about this book — apart from the fact that I live for its plot, it’s really the best thing ever trust me — is the fact that both main characters are about my age, and at a similar point in their lives. There are a lot of (YA) books with characters in high school, but the thing is, the next thing kinda is New Adult and the characters in that genre usually already have a job and such, and I find it kind of hard to find books where the main characters are actually college students, dealing more or less with the same things that I deal with right now. For that and just that I am grateful for this book.

Now let’s just move on to the part where it melted my stone cold bisexual heart. Both Clarissa and Megan are absolutely wonderful, realistic characters, and I just loved the dynamic between the two of them. It was sweet to see them slowly falling for each other without accepting it at first — slowly, and then all at once.

I also really loved Megan’s roommate, she was such an inspiring character! That’s just one of the things I love about Charlotte Anne Hamilton’s books, they are so beautifully diverse.

Bonus, Clarissa has an adorable dog who is to die for!

Overall, the pace of the book was perfect, the characters were adorable, and it ended with a positive message — I just love that Megan and Clarissa gave up on actually getting a revenge and concentrated on their own relationship, going at their own pace and supporting each other!

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Books I Want To See Adapted As Movies Or TV Shows

I swear I’m trying to post more often than once a week, I’m working on it… In the meantime, I just uploaded a new video on my channel where I talk about books I want to see adaptated as movies or TV shows, which is basically one of my favourite things to talk about!!

Tyler Johnson Was Here: My Review

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Tyler Johson Was Here is Jay Coles first book, and  it was published in 2018. I have to say, I heard many great things about it, even before its publication, and I was highly anticipating the read: it didn’t let me down! And before I even continue, can we take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this cover is?

Genre: Contemporary, YA
Release: 2018
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The story:

When Marvin’s twin brother Tyler starts hanging out with shady people, Marvin feels lost, but it’s only the beginning. After a party turned into hell by gunshots and police intervention, Tyler disappears, and the police starts looking for him, except Marvin isn’t satisfied with the relsults, so he starts looking for him by himself, until a few days later Tyler’s body resurfaces, along with a video of his last moments: he was shot by a policeman. But to Marvin, Tyler can’t be just another teenager who became a victim of police violence and racism. Tyler was more than this, he was his brother, he was a son, and he deserved better.

My thoughts:

This book was absolutely heartbreaking, and made me feel powerless. That being said, it’s a very important read, and I definitely recommend it.

Marvin is an amazing character, who feels deeply for his brother and his family. He is faced with unbelievable situations, and reacts in a very human and relatable way in my opinion. I found the way he pushed away his friends and isolated himself extremely true to reality, and also really heartbreaking. He his a senior in high school, and on top of everything else, is supposed to choose a university for the next year, which was also an interesting aspect of the story.

I know I may have said similar things while reviewing The Hate U Give or Dear Martin but this book was a punch in the guts, and an eye-opener. As long as racism, profiling and police violence are still a thing, the world needs book like Tyler Johnson Was Here. And it was a very powerful read, especially considering it was Jay Coles’ first publication.

The plot also included a romance which I did not really expect, but it was super sweet. I also really loved Marvin’s best friends Ivy and G-mo who completed the cast of the novel along with Tyler, his mom, and his father who is in prison and writes letters to Marvin – I also really liked that touch.

Overall, it was a well-rounded book addressing very important topics, and I would definitely advise you to check it out!

Similar Recommendations:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (review)
Dear Martin by Nic Stone (review)

Dear White People on Netflix

Feel free to share your opinion in the comments and recommend me similar reads!

Love, Hate and Other Filters: My Review

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To be honest, this book had been on my TBR ever since I heard about it, and I even bought it a few months ago so I really don’t know why I didn’t read it before. I heard many great things about it, and I’m glad I finally read it because I really enjoyed it.

Title: Love, Hate and Other Filters
Author: Samira Ahmed
Release year: 2018
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The story:

Maya Aziz is a senior in high school, trying to find a perfect balance between her parents’ expectations and what she truly wants. They want her to go to law school and have the perfect arranged marriage, while her dream is to study filming at New York University. To her already complicated life as the only brown student of her school, add a terrorist attack where the supposed perpetrator carries the same last name as her, as well as a cute boy whom she has a secret crush on, and you get Love, Hate and Other Filters, Samira Ahmed’s fantastic debut novel.

My opinion:

Love, Hate and Other Filters was a very beautiful and refreshing book. I loved reading through Maya’s perspective, and also really enjoyed the fact that this was a quick read. The book tries to tackle the issues of racism and islamophobia in the United States, and I think Samira Ahmed really succeeded in that aspect of her novel.

Warning: May Contain Spoilers

I absolutely love the main character Maya. She is the only daughter of a couple of Muslim Indians who emigrated to the United States before she was born, and she has to deal with all the high hopes that her parents have put on her career and marriage- wise. But her dream, ever since her dad gave her a camera as a kid, is to become a film-maker. She even applied to NYU, and was accepted. All she has to tell her parents is that she has actually been accepted and NYU, and wants to go there, and also maybe just want to get married just yet. Maya is strong and knows what she wants. She is also a huge nerd, who loves movies and works in the film section of her local bookshop, which is probably my favourite thing about her. I also really loved her friendship with Violet, as well as her relationship with Phil, even if it was all too predictable – it was still definitely enjoyable. Even though I can’t even begin to understand Maya’s life, I also sometimes found her rather relatable sometimes – in her passion for what she loves, and her relationship with her parents for example – and that’s something I always love in a book.

As for the other characters, aside from Maya’s aunt Hina, who succeeded in not getting married and spends a lot of time with her, we also have Maya’s parents, who struggle to understand her, and Kareem, the perfect Indian Boy her parents wish her to marry. They actually do share a few movie-worthy romance moments, but thankfully, the love triangle was not too shoved into our faces which is something I definitely appreciated. I also love how Kareem supported Maya’s dream no matter how their relationship turned out. That was definitely a pleasant turn into the novel.

Before I end this review, I just wanted to say how much I love the cover. And finally, I really appreciated how the book kept an open ending, it was a nice touch and it was also very realistic, and a good reflection of how much one’s life can evolve in between high school and college. Love, Hate and Other Filters was definitely worth the read, and I really recommend it, especially for the issues it deals with.

Similar recommendations:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (review)
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (which I haven’t actually reviewed?)

Please feel free to recommend me more similar books!

Sing Unburied Sing: My Review

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Sing, Unburied, Sing was written by Jesmyn Ward. It was the winner of the National Book Award in 2017. I heard of it from my favourite bookstore Shakespeare and Company, and as I was studying African-American literature for one of my classes last semester, I decided to pick it up. Not one second did I regret this decision. Although it took me quite some time to finish this book, it was definitely worth the read.

Title: Sing, Unburied, Sing
Author: Jesmyn Ward
Publication year: 2017
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The story:

Jojo is thirteen. He lives with his grandparents and his drug addict mother Leonie. When he is not at school, he spends most of his time caring for his little sister Kayla. When his father Michael is set to be released from prison, his mother decides to take both of them on a trip to take him home, along with one of her friends. The trip also revives old memories about her brother Given’s death, as well as the time her father spend at Parchman, the same prison Michael was at.

My thoughts:

Sing, Unburied, Sing was a troubling and beautiful story. It is unique and well written. Ths plot is slow paced, and mainly follows the perspectives of Jojo and Leonie, alternating from one chapter to another, which shows the struggles that both of them are facing, both in their life in general – Leonie lost her brother, her mother is sick, her boyfriend is just getting released, while Jojo is growing up with a mother who doesn’t really take care of him – and on this trip in particular.

I read this book after reading some of Toni Morrison’s work, and found that it somehow had a similar atmosphere, with what of the ghostly presences faced by both Jojo and Leonie. Although unlike Beloved or The Bluest Eye, it does take place nowadays, it sometimes gives off the same kind of eerie feeling. Maybe it’s just because it’s something I am unfamiliar with, but I think it made this book quite powerful.

Overall, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a family story, that deals with love and coming of age, and also manages to tackle the issue of police brutality and racism in general on several occasions, which is yet another reason why I would recommend this book. It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely worth the ride.

June Wrap Up

I can’t believe it’s July already, but the good news is, I presented my thesis and I am done with my studies, so hopefully I will have more free time to read!

Books I read this month:

Journal du dehors by Annie Ernaux ⭐⭐⭐/5
History is all you left me by Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 (review)
George by Alex Gino ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review)
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
King Kong Théorie by Nathalie Despentes ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Books I’m currently reading:

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Se Perdre by Annie Ernaux
Break.Up by Joanna Walsh