Les Âmes Silencieuses: Critique

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L’autre jour au boulot une cliente nous a vivement recommandé ce livre en disant “Ne faites pas attention à la couverture, il est absolument génial“. J’ai donc décidé de suivre ses conseils et de me plonger dans la lecture du premier roman de Mélanie Guyard — que vous connaissez peut-être sous le pseudo d’Andoryss — roman intitulé Les Âmes Silencieuses. (Roman paru le 2 mai chez Seuil.)

Au niveau de l’intrigue, on se situe entre 1943 et 2012, les chapitres alternent entre la vie d’Héloïse pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, alors que tout son village l’accuse d’avoir couché avec l’ennemi, et la vie de son petit-fils Loïc en 2012, deux ans après le décès de sa grand-mère. Fraîchement séparé de sa femme, Loïc est chargé par sa mère d’aller vider la maison d’Héloïse au fin fond du Berry. Il n’est franchement pas charmé par l’idée, mais vu qu’il a perdu son boulot après s’être battu avec un de ses collègues, il n’a pas vraiment d’excuse. Au fur et à mesure que l’intrigue avance, Loïc en même temps que le lecteur découvrent un profond secret qu’Héloïse a caché toute sa vie… [TW viol]

Je suis une grande fan de romans historiques, même si j’en lis trop peu, et celui-ci tombait parfaitement dans la catégorie des livres susceptibles de me plaire, une fois plongée dedans. Et je dois bien avouer que l’intrigue est vraiment bien faite. J’ai mis un peu de temps à me plonger de temps, mais j’ai vraiment beaucoup aimé le personnage d’Héloïse. C’est un personnage extrêmement fort, qui dans sa jeunesse était prête à tout pour protéger son frère, y compris compromettre sa propre réputation et son avenir. Elle a emporté ce secret jusque dans sa tombe, cachant même à sa fille qui était son véritable père. Je n’en dirai pas plus pour vous laisser le suspense même si j’avais deviné ce qu’il en était bien avant la révélation finale…

J’ai aussi beaucoup aimé le personnage de Mathilde, que Loïc rencontre au village de sa grand-mère, et la complexité du personnage de Frantz. La quête de vérité de Loïc était vraiment fascinante une fois qu’on était dedans, et la fin du roman m’a fait vraiment chaud au cœur. Bonus: le petit speech de Mathilde sur le consentement m’a vraiment fait du bien !

Pourquoi je ne lui ai donné que 3/5 sur Goodreads : Tout d’abord, j’ai un eu un peu de mal à rentrer dans l’histoire. On me l’avait vraiment bien vendu, et au final il m’a fallu la moitié du livre pour vraiment commencer à apprécier… Même si cette deuxième moitié en valait le coup, j’ai été un peu déçue ! Ensuite, j’ai été un peu gênée par le machisme / sexisme au départ, même si ça s’est un peu dissipé par la suite. Mais ce qui m’a vraiment gênée et que je ne pardonne pas, ce sont toutes les remarques que Loïc a fait sur / à son psy. Je sais bien que de nombreuses personnes partageront son point de vue, mais franchement je trouve que la thérapie est importante (surtout qu’elle l’était bien dans son cas !) et c’est un mauvais exemple à donner au lecteur je trouve ça dommage d’en donner une si mauvaise image.

Mais dans l’ensemble, malgré un début un peu difficile je trouve que l’intrigue est vraiment bien faite, donc je le recommande sans me poser de questions !

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Novel Adaptation

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Authors: Ari Folman & David Polonsky
Genre: Non Fiction, Graphic Novel
Release: 2017
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The graphic novel was based on the original Dutch text, and was originally published in English. I read the French translation.

If I remember correctly, I read Anne Frank’s diary when I was in the 9th grade; that is, about eight or nine years ago. I remember struggling with it, but I also know that this book left a deep impact on me, and that I’ll never forget it.

We received a few copies of the graphic novel at work (the only graphic novel authorised by the Anne Frank Foundation!) and I decided to borrow one. I read it in one sitting and I don’t regret it one bit. I don’t know what it is about it, but I really feel that it kept the original spirit of the diary perfectly. Obviously, it contains some of the original text, so that helps, but I also thought that the drawings matched really well, so that’s definitely a plus.

What else can I say? The graphic novel followed the original storyline of Anne’s diary, while using of course basic graphic novel format with dialogues, as well as a few maps of the safehouse which were definitely a great addition (I can’t remember if some maps or drawings were included in the original diary? Please let me know if you know!). In addition to that, it also includes some pages with key excerpts from Anne’s diary.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this one. My heart broke in a few places, and I worried and ached along with the characters even though I knew perfectly well how this was going to end. If you haven’t read Anne’s diary, then this might be a great way to discover her story! And if you have in facts, read it already, you can still rediscover it along with some great illustrations.

We must not forget about our history & our past, and this book is there to remind us of it.

Top 5 Wednesday: Mental Health Rep

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

May is mental health awareness month, and I can’t believe I still haven’t talked about it on here, as it’s a topic that I find very important. So without further ado, here are some of my favourite books with (in my opinion) very good mental health representation.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
rep: anxiety

This book really broke me. It was extremely beautifully written, and Kiko’s character arc was really brilliant. She really decided to be the one in charge of her own life, and absolutely rocked it, despite her anxiety and her abusive mom. I really recommend that you read it, if only to educate yourself on various topics! (Full review)

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
rep: anxiety and selective mutism

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a book that hit hard & close to home because of its anxiety rep. It’s also extremely beautifully written (I honestly love everything that Sara Barnard writes). And it’s very intersting because it shows all the discourse around meds, and how the main character struggles with them, but eventually accepts it, and how it actually helps and she does get better!! And I think that’s beautiful. (Full Review)

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Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
rep: anxiety and OCD

I waited so long for this book, and when it finally came out, I was glad that I actually waited. John Green put so much effort into it, and with OCD, dealt with a subject that was really personal to him. In my humble opinion, he did very will. I for example thout that the spiraling of thoughts seemed very accurate, and I loved this book all the more for it. The mystery aspect of the novel was nothing much (it was enjoyable but not mind blowing is what I mean to say) however the mental illness rep itself was absolutely fantastic. (Full Review)

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
rep: OCD

Not only does this book deal with grief, but it does so through the POV of a character who has OCD, and that made it all the more powerful and heartbreaking in my opinion. Now, I personally don’t have OCD, but I recognised some of the thinking process that Griffin went through, as I sometimes faced it because of my anxiety, and I thought it was extremely well made. History Is All You Left Me is a bit of a punch-in-the stomach kind of book, but that’s what makes it so good. (Full Review)

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The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
rep: autism spectrum

The Nowhere Girls is a very strong and powerful book that deals with rape and sexual abuse, told mainly through the perspectives of three teenage girls, and one of them is on the spectrum. Through her chapter, we get to see very closely how she thinks and feels, and how her mom tries all she can to help which was very beautiful. Among other things, it’s a book about being different, and how loved how Erin just accepted how she was: her main struggle was that people would not live her alone. She is a very strong and amazing character who went through a lot, and I love her so much. (Full review)

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sorry about all the gifs I just have a lot of feelings

Honorary mentions:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for its anxiety representation. For a long time, I thought that how I was feeling was only my shyness and awkwardness, and for that aspect I could really recognize myself in Cath. But anxiety is not normal! You can get help, and seeing a therapist is okay! It can actually go away, and you’ll feel so much better I swear. You don’t have to suffer like that.

Sorry I can’t make a post about mental health rep in books without babbling about Fangirl but this book was so important for me so there we go

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi: though it is never stated explicitely, one of the characters shows PTSD syndroms, and another shows signs of being on the spectrum. This book is written very beautifully, and does justice to each one of its characters, so I would really recommend it!

And that’s it for my recommendations this week, please feel free to share some of your favourite books with good mental health representation in the comments because I’m here for them!

Teaser Tuesday #53

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia @ The Purple Booker.

The rules are simple:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I am reading Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, a middle grade book with elements of Indian mythology, featuring a twelve year old girl who accidentally started the end of the world, and has 9 days to end it! It’s a Rick Riordan Presents book, and so far I’m really enjoying it.

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Here’s my quote:

“A particularly good book has a way of opening new spaces in one’s mind. It even invited you to come back later and rummage through what you’d learn.”

Find it on Goodreads!

Top 5 Wednesday: Emerald Covers

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

The theme for this week is a little bit different and I’m here for it! Today I’m presenting you my favourite emerald(ish) book covers. Four books I’ve read, and one on my TBR. Without further ado, here comes the list!

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#1. This absolutely stunning edition of City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. To be perfectly honest, this one is far from my favourite in the series, but how gorgeous is that colour on the cover? I love it so much.

#2. Just like the Mortal Instruments reedition of the series, I’m a huge fan of the new Penguin edition of the Harry Potter series. Well it’s now a few years old but you get what I mean, not the original edition. And The Chamber of Secrets just so happens to be green, so of course it’d make it on the list.

#3. Apparently this post is all about series because we got yet another volume of yet another series: Thorn of the White Rose by Rachel R. Smith. This cover is just mesmerising, just like all of Rachel’s book covers!

#4. I have to admit that generally I’m not a huge fan of the colour green, but I absolutely love that shade on the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. And this just confirms my theory that book series have a thing for green.

#5. Last but not least, the one I haven’t read yet: The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker. This one has been on my TBR for three years, what am I even doing with my life. And I absolutely adore the beautiful shade of the cover. If anyone has read it by the way, please let me know your thoughts! Maybe it will motivate me to read it!

That’s it for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday! Thanks for reading all this aimless ramble, and feel free to share your favourite emerald covers in the comments as well!

There’s Someone Inside Your House: My Review

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Title: There’s Someone Inside Your House
Author: Stephanis Perkins
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller
Release: 2017
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Trigger warnings: death, violence & gore

I remember when I first heard about this book, I got really curious about it. I really loved Anna and the French Kiss and both of its sequel, and when I learnt that the author would write a horror novel, I knew that I had to read it, even though it’s not a genre I actually read a lot. I then proceeded to forget about this book entirely (as it wasn’t even released at the time) until last week. The French translation was just released, and we got a few copies at work, so I borrowed one and binge read it through the weekend. It was such a pleasure to read Stephanie’s writing again!


there's someone inside your house

 

Although I really LOVE the pink colour of the original edition, I have to say that the French cover is also really aesthetically pleasing (and that edition is darn chunky too!)

 

 


The story:

Makani Young has a dark past, but she left it all in Hawaii. Now she lives in Nebraska with her grandmother, and although Osborne is not as sunny or interesting as her birthplace, she has made a couple of friends, and even developped a crush on Ollie, the mysterious boy who just dyed his hair pink.

But when her classmates begin to die one after another in the most gruesome ways, terror grows in the town (right along Makani’s feelings for Ollie) and she realises that her past might resurface any second.

My opinion:

There’s Someone Inside Your House is a novel about friendship, first love and family… And obviously murder. The book does contain some really graphic descriptions of violence and blood/gore, so if that’s not your thing you may want to reconsider! I don’t really mind it but I had to put the book down a few times because it was still a bit much to bear.

I don’t read thrillers very often but every time I do I rather enjoy them, and this one was no exception (despite the gore!) I really liked the diverse cast of characters, and I thought that the main character, Makani, was very interesting.

I also totally did not guess who the killer was (maybe if I reread the book I would see it coming?). But may I say, his motives were both bat shit crazy and fascinating! It was also very interesting to see the story unfold from several POV. Although most of it was told through Makani’s perspective, there were a few chapters from the perspective of the victims which definitely made it more exciting and interesting.

As in her previous books, I really enjoyed Stephanie Perkins’ writing. It makes for an easy read, and it’s hard to put the book down most of the time: what more could I ask for? (I know I said I had to put the book down a few times! But as I read it over a weekend, it was still mostly a case of not-being-able-to-put-the-book-down.)

Overall, I really enjoyed There’s Someone Inside My House despite its being a little bit out of my comfort zone. It definitely had some horror movie tropes, but also some interesting twists such as Makani’s back story and the killer’s actual motives. (Although, as I am a novice in the genre, maybe I was the only one actually being surprised, who knows…) Bonus points to Makani’s grandmother for being the best grandma and family she could have!

If you’re into horror/slasher story than this would definitely be the thing for you!

Quests and Quandaries: My Review

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First and foremost, many thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for a honest review. This doesn’t affect my opinion in any way. For some reason, it took me months to actually complete this book, but I finally did and here we go!

Title: Quests and Quandaries (The Floating Isles #1)
Author: Alda Yuan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release: December 2018
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The story:

Rahni is the heiress to the throne and has always claimed loud and clear that she would never go on a quests because she finds them ridiculous… That is, until the day her parents bind her with a curse, because going on a quest IS her destiny.

Having no choice, she embarks on said quest through the Eigen States, accompanied by three original companions, and determined not to let the laws of fairy lands and evil lands and many more rule over her decisions.

My opinion:

I DID have a lot of fun reading this. Rahni is both our main character and our narrator, and she is EXTREMELY sarcastic, and I’m always here for that. I found the take on heroic  stories extremely interesting and refreshing, although in the end, I thought that the story could have been shorter.

As I said on my instagram, my favourite things about this book were probably the concept — a girl sent on a quests by her parents and who does everything in order to make it as little heroic as possible — and how snarky the narrator / MC was. I also really liked her companions, the wolfhound Keran who hopes he can one day find his family again, and her childhood pal Jak who wishes he could do more magic, and also would do anything for her; and finally the talking lizard Naga. And of course, those they encountered along their way.

All in all it was a nice story but I wasn’t too much drawn into it. I feel like I didn’t have enough knowledge about this world to fully enjoy the story. Or maybe this just wasn’t entirely the thing for me? Who knows. I did have a lovely time reading this book, I just wished I enjoyed it more.

One last aspect I wanted to mention was the amount of footnotes used by the author as snarky comments from the narrator: as much as I thought it was fun at first, I eventually grew really tired of them and skipped most of them.

Overall this was a fun and original fantasy read, with many elements inspired by fairytales and twisted into something unique!

Top 5 Wednesday: SFF BFFs

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

The topic for this week is a crossover with the Booktube SFFs Awards, and the point is to discuss your favourite friendships in Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. So without further ado, here we go!


Thomas, Newt and Minho
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner

I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this series, but there’s one thing it did right, and that’s the friendship between Newt, Thomas and Minho. To be perfectly honest, they’re basically the reason I finished the series.

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Annabeth, Percy and Grover
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

We stan a powerful, fantastic trio of friends! When I was a kid, I wanted to go to Camp Half Blood and be friends with Annabeth, Percy and Grover because they were simply that cool. I could read their adventures over and over again, I’d never grow tired of them. Which reminds me that I still haven’t finished the Heroes of Olympus series if I am correct.

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Merry & Pippin
The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien

I read the LOTR series a long time ago (possibly 10 years ago?) and I struggled with the books quite a lot. I actually now wish that I enjoyed them more, but anyway. One thing I did enjoy was Merry and Pippin’s friendship. They went through A LOT of things together, and I 1/ really enjoyed reading about their random adventures and 2/ definitely think they deserve their spot on a list about Fantasy friendships!

Sansa Stark & Margery Tyrell
Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire

I can’t speak for the books because I actually haven’t reached that oart yet, but I really loved their friendship on the show. As much as I hated everything that Sansa went through when she was still in King’s Landing, she still managed to develop a friendship with Margery, a girl she could have resented as she married her fiancé, and I think that’s beautiful.

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The whole crew of the Rampion!!
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I was wondering and wondering who I would pick to conclude this list, but of course, my fantastic team of characters from TLC is the best of choices. Always there for one another despite their differences. They come from all over the world and beyond, and make one another stronger. I love them so much!


I always love good friendships in books, but if I’m being honest I had many friendships from contemporaries coming to my mind while writing this post, but not that many from Fantasy or Science fiction! Aside from the Golden Trio obviously but I wanted to be a little bit more original than that. I talk about HP enough as it is. So here’s my list, I hope you enjoyed this post, and feel free to share some of YOUR favourite SFF friendships in the comments! Have a wonderful day ♥

Teaser Tuesday #52

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia @ The Purple Booker.

The rules are simple:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

there's someone inside your house

I fell upon a great quote while reading and decided it was a great opportunity to share a Teaser Tuesday this week, especially since I haven’t posted much this month. The book I’m currently reading is There’s Someone Inside Your House, Stephanie Perkins’ crime novel that was published in 2017. The French translation was just released and I stumbled upon it at work which reminded me of how much I wanted to read it.

Here’s the quote, it’s from chapter 9, and apparently on p.103 of the original edition:

“A real dead body looked different from the ones on television or in the movies. There was nothing artful about it. Nothing positioned.”

Find it on Goodreads!

Top 5 Wednesday: Mother Figures

Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey and she has passed down the torch to Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. For more information and for future topics you can check out the goodreads group.

The theme for this week is mother figures, as mothers day is coming soon in the US! In France it will be on the 26th, so it’s just a little bit later. The first mom that came to my mind was obviously Mrs Weasley from the Harry Potter series, but I decided to go with choices that were a little less… Obvious!

In no particular order:

1. Leah’s mom in Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

The second mom that actually came to my mind when I saw the topic for this week was actually Simon’s mom from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because I absolutely loved the family dynamics in that book, but I eventually decided to go with Leah’s mom. She is very close to her daughter, and very supportive of her, and she is always trying her best, so I thought she definitely deserved a spot on this list!

2. Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Full disclosure: I am completely obsessed with Anne of Green Gables these days. I’ve been listening to the series on my audiobook for the past few weeks (or months? I think I originally started it in February…) and I just love the characters with all of my heart, all of them really. Marilla is very interesting as a mother figure, because she never married and eventually adopted a little girl with a brother, and they raised her together, and it is just SO SWEET. She brings so much to Anne, just like Anne teaches her so much.

3. Eden’s mom in Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Sara Barnard’s books always give me very nice family vibes and I absolutely loved Eden’s mom. She is just trying her best to raise her three daughters, including two she adopted when one of them was already a teenager. It’s something really admirable, and you could tell them she loved them so much, and only wanted what was best for them and it was BEAUTIFUL. I am all here for this kind of family portrayal in books!

4. Michelle Benoit from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Michelle Benoit is Scarlet’s grandmother, but she raised her on her own and that definitely counts as a mother figure. She is such a strong and interesting character, and I have to admit I wish we’d seen more of her in the books! And I definitely think she deserves a place on this list.

5. Auggie’s mother in Wonder by R. J. Palacio

And to complete this list, yet another strong mother figure, although her fight is completely different. August was born with a facial disfiguration, and throughout his life, his mother has to deal with the hospital interventions, the other kids, and the adults who don’t understand, and so on. That being said, Wonder is such a beautiful book, if you haven’t read it I definitely recommend you give it a go!

And that’s it for this week’s T5W! Feel free to share some of your favourite fictional moms in the comments, I’m always glad to discover new books featuring great family dynamics!