Writing Naked A Memoir by Arnie Quibranza Mejia : Book Review

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From Goodreads: Writing Naked, A Memoir shares my past through vignettes about my family, significant other, friends and the love we shared through life’s ups and downs. This memoir touches upon the predicament that my family and I faced after our voluntary exile to the United States of America after the 1986 Philippine EDSA Revolution because of my father’s involvement in the Marcos administration as a military officer. It examines the difficulties of adjusting to a new society and diminished socioeconomic status. It offers insight on the difficulties of immigration and how ultimately the place I had made my home could easily be taken away as I am faced with the possibility of deportation. I hope to give readers the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and relate to mine as they read about my coming out and my family’s acceptance of who I truly am. I hope to inspire other gay men to embrace who they are and hopefully learn from my mistakes and of those around me. This memoir will bring forward the issue of immigration laws and gay marriage and the people it affects. It will also serve as an opportunity for readers to closely examine their safe sex practices and serve as a warning for those who are careless. Writing Naked, A Memoir is an inspiring story of love, loss, hope, family and acceptance in our society today.

Publisher:  University of Santo Tomas Publishing House

Date of Publication: September 19, 2016

Date Read: December 2016

Source: Author provided me a copy in exchange for an honest review

 

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Writing Naked is an honest and raw narration of the author’s life from the moment he set foot in the US soil up to the point when he went back to the Philippines and the colourful events that transpired in between. Writing Naked is a story of trials and success, of heartbreaks and acceptance, and there is something so beautiful how honest it sounded. How much of the author’s heart was put into this work of art. And though the reader may have undergone different circumstance, the book was still relatable. You can identify with the author, and I think that was the beauty of it. How it was able to transcend from the pages to the real world. This memoir will let you see the journey of the author, from puberty to adulthood, from being socially awkward to being confident in his own skin, and it speaks of how we go about our own lives. It was figuring out what you want in life and finding comfort in the decisions you have made, may it be a colossal mistake or something so trivial.

Writing Naked isn’t just about the journey of the author, I loved that it showed the close family ties of Filipinos especially in time of dire need. How resilient Filipinos can be, and how they can strive wherever they may be in the world. This book just shows how well Filipinos can adapt well in the society he belongs to. This book painted a life though not perfect but was real as it could get. Three things I took away from this book” 1. Always pursue happiness. 2. Be able to adapt to survive and 3. Embrace who you are, your weirdness, all the things that make you different. Embrace change and be comfortable with it! This book taught me a lot of things, and I hope you guys could experience the same thing! Definitely worth the read!

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Lace Bone Beast: Poems and Fairytales for Wicked Girls by N.L. Shompole: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads: Here is emptiness. Here is a mouth after a recent excavation, black with soot, devoid of kisses. Here are hands, trembling against the soft ache of morning, here are eyes, wet, wide, half-full of sky and loneliness. Here is belly, back, femur, spine, ragged and smooth all at once, all at once. Here are dreams, ink black and speckled, lost behind the eyes. Here is a muted elegy, crow’s feet feathered over the eyes like lace. Here are the last strains of a dirge, wild, discordant, free.

Publisher: http://kingdomsinthewild.com/

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Date Read:  December 2016

Source: Publisher provided me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW

For big fans of milk and honey by  Rupi Kaur you will definitely enjoy this one, or even more. Lace Bone Beast isn’t something you come across often, it was truly a gem. The way the author painted each scenario is impeccable, enough for you to devour every thing that is written. The poems were sincere and raw, it had the power of enthralling its reader without overdoing it. It was perfectly digestible, every meaning of each poem was not lost on me. It has the ability to draw you in, it has the ability to elaborate something so profound and offer it to you in a different light. It empowers just as much as it accepts you as your true self. You don’t encounter something like this on a daily basis, it was an affirmation of life’s ever mysterious ways such as grief, love, forgiveness, self-worth and everything in between. It was truly something one should read at least once in his lifetime.

NL Shompole has the talent on making you feel the impact of her every word. And I now consider her as one of my favorite poets. I love that her poems are something you can identify with and is also something that only gets better each time you read them. Her poetry is brimming with wisdom. They say poetry is the highest form of literature, and NL Shompole did an amazing job in this collection. It was subtle when it needs to be, and assertive when it must. You wouldn’t miss the message it was trying to send across. It had a keen observation to details without missing the essence of each poem. It wasn’t overwhelming. If for anything, it offers comfort and support.

It was surely a pleasure to read this poetry book, I can highly recommend this one to readers who want to venture out on poetry. NL Shompole’s writing style will hit you straight to your heart, and yes it will linger. Her poetry is the kind of poetry you’ll crave once in while.

Rating: rating_5stars

the heart is a casket for forgotten things

Love the body through

all the stages of ruin, and
resurrection.
 
Love the body through
the dark winter, and
into spring.
 
Love the body
for it has housed you
through the collapse, and
the catastrophe.

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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: Book Review

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Synopsis from GoodreadsWhen four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

Publisher: Doubleday

Date Published: March 10, 2015

Date Read: November 2016

No. of Pages: 720 pages

Setting: New York

REVIEW

 

A Little Life is a slow burn. It would consume you bit by bit until it becomes part of you. Until it inhabits your soul.

After much contemplation and deliberation on what would be the most eloquent and convincing words to put in this review, still I came up short. Well for starters, I honestly don’t think I can give this book the justice it deserves. But because I have a social responsibility (yes I do believe book bloggers/reviewers have a moral obligation/ social responsibility) to at least convince even a single soul to read this book, then I would have to do with whatever my mind could grasp and deliver in this review, however vague or however too all over the place it may sound. Just bear with me on this one.

A Little Life will change you. I would have to start with that warning, or wisdom whichever way you want to look at it. It will change your perspective, may it be for the better or otherwise, it is all up to you on how you will take it. A Little Life isn’t for everyone, not for the faint-hearted, not for the impatient ones, not for the squeamish, not for the weak. I guess before diving into this book you have to prepare yourself and I don’t mean it in a shallow way. Prepare yourself to get hurt. Prepare yourself to shed tears and I mean lots of it. Prepare yourself to die a little inside, repeatedly. Prepare yourself to be shaken to the core. Prepare yourself to feel immense sadness. And even then, yes even with all the preparations you took, the precautionary measures you’ve set, you’re never ready for the inevitable impact. It will be something that will haunt you in your lifetime, I guarantee that. A Little Life needs your undivided attention, it needs your time and your whole heart. You don’t rush it, it is that kind of book you savour. I finished reading it in a month. I’m not a fast reader, on a monthly average I could do 5-7 books, and that’s not really a lot considering the work I have and other commitments, but I managed to finish this in a month which I can say as a pretty decent pace. I could have rushed it if I wanted to, but I have learned that this is the kind of book you don’t rush finishing. It is something you relish. You have to feel for the characters, you have to know them well, the ins and out of their lives just like how you treat a real friend. Because for a moment while you are immersed in their story, they are real too. You’ll appreciate how layered the story was and how rich the words used by the author. It was carefully crafted, the words were deliberately used to make a statement, to transcend outside the confines of the pages. It was lyrical as it is raw. There were too many wisdom from each page, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve ran out of tabs to use. And those are not just mere words jumbled to make a sentence, it was the affirmation of the life we are living, or the lives we never thought possible, or the lives we wish we had. It was all encompassing. Its beauty lies in the complexities and how all the lives of the characters intertwine making a beautiful tapestry.

New York as its setting added to the beauty of the book. How it was able to paint the city in such simple yet captivating light. The beauty of New York was not really the focus of the book, but it definitely set the mood of the entire story. There was a sense of tranquility and feeling of warmth that the book was trying to convey, while masking something so profound and larger than life. I could not quite fully explain it but the book had this pull on you, that once you started reading it wherever you maybe you’ll always go back to the story. It is as if it is summoning you to come back to it. The story will ricochet in your head every chance it gets. It is really something one could not easily forget. 

The characters are well thought-out, they are flawed yet had redeeming qualities you couldn’t miss. They have the power to make you feel as though you know them personally, they speak to you in a level of understanding that you didn’t even know is possible. I loved how the author was able to put history into different characters making them unique and truly realistic. It was complex and at the same time rich and colorful. A Little Life will show you two sides of a coin – the cruelty of human and the goodness in their hearts. And though it might not be something you are accustomed to reading, much like in my experience, it will give you the sense of realization that indeed life has many facets and faces and the beauty of it is coming to the conclusion that wherever it might lead us there’s always something to learn from it, one should just find the silver lining of it all.

Jude’s story had me bawling, there was this heavy weight on my chest that I just couldn’t lift off. His story was disturbing and yet I was so drawn to it that I had to know what happened in the end. Reading his story was an emotional torture  at best. And I didn’t know I had that strength to read through that. It was not only Jude’s story that struck me to my core. As I’ve said all these characters have rich history, they are beautiful in their own right. I loved Willem’s story as well and I think I cried for Willem just as much as I cried for Jude. And don’t get me started with Harold, that last part had me crying silent tears, my heart is breaking for him too!

You have to have the proper mindset before delving into the depths of this book. It has sensitive topics that are shocking to the conscience but at the same time needs to be addressed.It truly turned me into a different person. It felt like I had to look at the world in a maturer way, seeing the details with new eyes. There was something melancholic and page after page you will feel a sense of foreboding, something one could not simply ignore. Every torment, every tear shed, every emotional distress, they were all worth it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

RATING: rating_5stars

 

“Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified.”
Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

 

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A Sudden Crush by Camilla Isley: Book Review

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From GoodreadsJoanna Price is a city girl with the perfect life. She loves her job as a book editor, she just married Liam, high profile bestselling author and the man of her dreams, and she’s headed to the Caribbean to enjoy two weeks of paradise for her luxurious honeymoon.


Connor Duffield is a gruff, grumpy rancher from the Midwest. He is a country boy who has a no-nonsense approach to life, more scars than he’d like to admit, and he hates city girls.

So it’s just a misfortune they have to sit next to each other for a six hour plane ride. Even more so when their flight is caught in the perfect storm and Joanna wakes up stranded on a desert island with Connor, the very man she hoped she would never have to see again.

Why are they alone on this forsaken island? What happened to Joanna’s husband?

When her dream honeymoon turns into a hilarious tropical nightmare, Joanna’s first thought is survival. However, she and Connor will quickly discover just how boring paradise can be. As the days turn to weeks, and then months, this mismatched pair will have to learn how to coexist and how to resist the sparkles of an attraction they weren’t prepared to feel.

When they are finally rescued will Joanna’s marriage be saved as well, or will the life she knew and loved be in ruins?

 

Publisher: Pink Bloom Press

Date Published: February 4, 2016

Date Read: December 2016

No. of Pages: 240 

Setting: Island, Chicago

Get your copy here: Amazon and Book Depository

 

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Light and fun read!

Sudden Crush is just the book you need when you’re stuck in an island (pun very much intended). It was an easy read that will get you hooked from very first page down to the last. If you loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne you’ll definitely enjoy this one as well. It had the perfect amount of drama, romance and depth. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you’ve been with me long enough, or have noticed my taste in books, you very well know by now that love-hate relationships is one of my favorite book tropes. Oh goodness I live for these kind of books.

Sudden Crush is highly addictive, you can’t just put it down. The banters of the two characters – Connor and Joanna, oh my god! They are so cute I want to hug them both. Joanna is such a fun character to read, she was witty and relentless, a trait I really admire in women in books. And you have to give it to her to successfully make a friend out of a monkey – Manny. It was so cute! Connor on the other hand is a brooding male protagonist. He rarely talks but when he does it was serious and no beating around the bush – truly has a no-nonsense approach to everything. They are the complete opposite of each other, but reading them is such pure delight. It’s like you’re just waiting for them to finally fall in love with each other so you can finally move on with your life and be happy. But that comes a little later in the book. You have to patiently wait for everything to unfold, but I promise it will be rewarding.

This book is the perfect escape from reality – it is the epitome of a work of fiction. It was unrealistic, because come on it doesn’t happen often that a woman and a man is trapped in an island, add the fact that they loathe each other, and yet you’ll be so drawn to it as if it is the only source of your entertainment. Because for a moment, it truly is. Sudden Crush will veer you away from the stress of your every day life, for a fleeting time the lives of Connor and Joanna will be the only thing that mattered. Their story wasn’t rushed or forced, it had the perfect pacing. It had the right amount of drama and twist, enough to keep the reader interested to see what’s about to unfold in the end. And boy that ending was so cute I can’t wipe that silly smile off my face. It was everything nice and then some. This is the perfect pick me-upper after reading a very depressing book! Highly recommend!

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K. V. Dominic Essential Readings and Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic: Book Review | Poetic Book Tours

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Synopsis from Goodreads“K. V. Dominic Essential Readings” gathers for the first time the three most important works of poetry from this shining new light of contemporary Indian verse in English: “Winged Reason,” “Write Son, Write” and “Multicultural Symphony.” A fourth collection of 22 previously unpublished poems round out a complete look at the first 12 years of Dominic’s prolific and profound verse. Each poem includes unique Study Guide questions suitable for South Asian studies curricula.
Written in free verse, each of his poems makes the reader contemplate on intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, political, and social issues of the present world. Themes range from multiculturalism, environmental issues, social mafia, caste-ism, exploitation of women and children, poverty, and corruption to purely introspective matters. From the observation of neighborhood life to international events, and everyday forgotten tragedies of India, nothing escapes the grasp of Dominic’s keen sense of the fragility of life and morality in the modern world.

Publisher: Modern History Press

Date Published: September 1, 2016

Date Read: November 2016

No. Of Pages: 284

Source:  Copy provided by Poetic Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Check it out on Amazon.

About the Author: Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.

Review

RELEVANT AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING

We need more of this in the book community. This masterpiece had to be written, not just for the sake of empathy but more importantly for awareness. I always challenge myself with the books I read, there are books that are easy to read and will be forgotten in the years to come, but also there are books that would stay with you – this book is one of them. The beauty of how it depicted the pressing issues in the society that we live in, lyrical yet with impact. Something that had to be said over and over drilling it into the minds of the closed-minded ones. I commend how rich and how it was able to show the other side of what people usually miss out. It wasn’t just promoting awareness, but immersing ourselves into the reality that we face day in and day out. It was more of an invitation to do something about it, to finally stand up for what we believe in. Stand up for the things they often shut us out.

The poems varied from important social issues, to culture, women’s rights and yes even environment. You would easily notice the author’s persistence to make all these problems and all these issues be relevant, to be talked about and eventually resolve them, in whatever for it may come from. I commend that the author used his vast knowledge and experience in concocting a truly revolutionary work. I loved how he used the written words as medium to send the message across. It is as if it is a summon to awaken one’s sense to see past the veil of oppression and passivity. It was more than a collection of poems, it is a voice that demands to be heard.

Take the poem Mother’s Love for an instance.

Maternal love, love sublime

Inexplicable, unfathomable

Noblest of all emotions

Visible both on human beings

and other beings

xxx

Maternal love is transcendent emotion

Both human species

and other species possess

I am perplexed

by some sporadic disasters

A mother offering her

affectionate daughter

to please her lover’s sexual urge

How could she throw her dead child

to the hungry wold?

How could she suppress

the divine emotion of maternal love?

also the poem I Can Hear the Groan of Mother Earth

I can hear the groan of mother earth

being raped by her own beloved human sons

Having sucked all milk from her mountain breasts

quarry deep out of construction mania.

and this passage from the poem “A Nightmare”

A lavish wedding feast was served in the town hall,

rich delicacies heaped on the plates,

were relished by the pompous guests

I could see two ragged girls outside

struggling with the dogs in the garbage bin.

Now this poem is my favorite: Pleasures and Pains

Pleasures and pains;

two sides of a coin.

We toss it early morning;

majority gets the pains side.

Pleasures come like sprinkle,

while pains fall like deluge

and continue like monsoon.

Happiness is a mist

while sorrows shower like snow.

There was something so haunting about his poems. KV Dominic’s poems were written in such a manner that it is easier to grasp and fully digest, it was straight to the point without any reservations whatsoever. It was as honest as it could get. My ultimate favorite would be the whole collection of poems under Write Son, Write.

Now I could highly recommend this one for someone who wants to branch out to poetry and at the same time would want to immerse himself in social awareness and the present predicament that the humanity faces. This would be the perfect book.

Rating: rating_4stars

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Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads:  The compulsively readable #1 New York Times bestseller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangle not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

“Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train.” —Vanity Fair.

“The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl… [It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.” —The New York Times.

“Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery… Hang on tight. You’ll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.” —USA Today.

PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in London. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

Date Published: January 2015

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Date Read:

No. of Pages: 478

Edition: Mass Market PaperBack

Source: Fully Booked

Setting: Euston, London

 

REVIEW

THIS MAY SOUND A CLICHE BUT I SERIOUSLY HELD MY BREATH THE LAST 50 PAGES

I have a few experience with mystery/thriller so whenever I come across one, I don’t know if I was just being easy to please or the story was really good to warrant such reaction from me.  I know a lot of people has been saying that Girl On The Train is just another second rate version of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which I have read some three years ago. I was one of them, operative here word: was. I easily dismissed this book the first time it came out, Gone Girl has been a favorite book, and having heard of the premise of Girl on The Train made me a little unsure if I would read it or not. While it is true that there is the element of Gone Girl to it, with a girl missing and an unexpected twist, one cannot help to compare, it is inevitable.  But then Girl on The Train have proven itself to be worthy, it also had its own uniqueness, if only you detach yourself from Gone Girl and see Girl on the Train as it is – just what I did. It would be unfair to this book if we see it as just a second rate version of popular one right? I believe, each book has a right to be read once and not have preconceived notions about it. Read first and then judge, I think that’s how it is supposed to go. So my advice is, give this book a try, yes even if you loved Gone Girl with all your murder-mystery-thriller-loving heart.

 I am always drawn to books with unconventional and dysfunctional marriage as its plotline, it is not what we are accustomed to seeing, well at least on my part, maybe that’s why it appealed to me so much. I do understand, however, that this book isn’t exactly for everyone, either you hate it or you love it, there’s no exactly in between.Unreliable narrator is always a hit or miss for me. The Girl on The Train is hitting it where it should. I loved how Rachel’s character is portrayed, you somehow empathize with her and at the same time suspicious of her actions. You are blindsided and then bam! I loved how everything and everyone are connected paving a way into this complicated scenario that will grip you more than you can possibly allow it to. Girl on The Train had proven itself to be something engaging and beautiful on its own. Paula Hawkins had an incredible talent of trickery, toying people’s mind, shaping their heads to believe in something and then end up presenting something else entirely. I had my suspicion already, and I was 80% sure who it was, but then bam, just like a smack in the face, I didn’t see it coming! It was concocted in such a clever way, much like you didn’t know what hit you until it’s too late.

This book covered a lot of topics that are fully relatable – alcoholism, failed marriages, domestic abuse, a lost career and so on and so forth, though one may not have undergone same extent, but there was sense or element of reality to it that one could not simply miss. No wonder it easily made itself as a best-selling book in a short span of time after its release. Though the book, started off a little slow, the half part definitely made up for it. It was written in such a way that it was easy to grasp and easy to weave in and out of. It was the kind of book that will pull you in, as though time had little importance. It was worth losing sleep over. Once you’ve reached the last 100 pages or so, you have to finish it, no matter what the time was. 3 am? It’s nothing but a little sacrifice, finishing this book is rewarding and satisfying, you can’t just choose sleep forestalling the inevitable end. Nope, that’s not how it’s going to work with this book, it demands your time and you will gladly succumb. No questions asked. It has been a while since that happened to me, more often than not, I always choose sleep over anything else, yep even if I only have 50 pages left, sleep always wins. Well, this book was obviously an exception. And I have no regrets.

Writing this review is proven to be harder than I thought, I wanted to give it justice, but I feel like I am coming short. I just hope I could persuade even a single soul to read this book. And oh, just a tip, please don’t watch the trailer or the movie before reading this,  I think it goes without saying, but then there are people, (me, sometimes) who will go watch, at least the trailer first, before reading the book. For the love of everything that is holy, don’t do that or else you’ll spoil yourself big time!  I have read this one a few days before it hits movie theaters, and I was so great at stopping the urge to watch the trailer. Looking back, had I watched the trailer, I wouldn’t rate the book just the same.

 

Rating: rating_5stars

“Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps”
Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

 

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Between Here and The Horizon by Callie Hart: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads: “You think you know me. You think you want to know me. But trust me, Miss Lang. Pursuing me will be the worst mistake you ever make. I’m broken beyond repair…


…and I take great pleasure in breaking everyone else around me.”

Ophelia Lang needs money, and she needs it bad. Her parent’s restaurant is going under, and ever since she lost her job teaching third grade elementary, scraping enough cash together to pay the bills has proven almost impossible. Her parents are on the brink of losing their home. The vultures are circling overhead. So when Ophelia is offered an interview for a well-paid private tutoring gig in New York, how can she possibly say no?

Ronan Fletcher is far from the overweight, balding businessman Ophelia expected him to be. He’s young, handsome, and wealthy beyond all reason. He’s also perhaps the coldest, rudest person she’s ever met, and has a mean streak in him a mile and a half wide. A hundred grand is a lot of money, however, and if tolerating his frosty temperament, his erratic mood swings and whatever else he throws at her means she’ll get paid, then that is what Ophelia will do.

Her new boss is keeping secrets, though. Awful, terrible secrets.

The ghosts of Ronan Fletcher’s past are about to turn Ophelia’s future upside down, and she can’t even see it coming.

Note: Between Here and The Horizon is a brand new standalone contemporary romance novel from USA Today bestselling author, Callie Hart. Between Here and the Horizon does contain some scenes of violence and sexual content, and so is directed at audience 18+

Date Published: October 18, 2016

Date Read: October 23, 2016

Source: Kindle Edition

Setting: The Causeway, Maine

 

REVIEW

This book is anything but a typical romance novel. 

Who puts a shocking twist in the first 20% of a book? Apparently this author. To be completely honest I was about to DNF this one, it felt like I’m not going to enjoy it or I need to read other books that are more to my liking and more of something I was in the mood for. I was in the mood for romance novels, and upon seeing that this book fell under that category plus look at that gorgeous cover, I started it immediately. But as I’ve mentioned, the first few chapters proved to be hard to get into, I couldn’t see where the romance will come in or how it will play out, but then after that shocking twist, I knew I had to continue or it will forever haunt me. And so here I am, writing this review. The first tip is, be patient with this one, I swear it gets better. It just needs some getting used to, but once you’ve moved past the hard parts, it will be rewarding. Trust me on this.

The ghosts of Ronan Fletcher’s past are about to turn Ophelia’s future upside down, and she can’t even see it coming.

That part of the blurb, OH MY GOD, it foreshadowed what’s about to happen! And yep, no one saw that coming! I was at a public transportation when I reached that part and it was so hard to contain my shock. This is the internal struggle of a reader, everyone is going through the notions of their own lives and there I was battling with all the emotions I am struggling to contain inside me. And I tell you, it ain’t easy.

Writing this review is harder than I thought. I want to tell you about the goodness of this book but how can I when I can’t tell you who ends up with who and what happens to this and that. Okayyy. How do I go about this without spoiling something? I guess I would have to be as vague as possible. So please bear with me on this one. I just don’t like to kill the mood for you by accidentally revealing a major plot twist, I will do the best I can to give you a somewhat good review, despite me going around the bush.

This book had the mystery/thriller element to it that made it different from a lot of romance novels out there. It wasn’t what you are expecting. It will continually surprise you until the very end. This is the reason why I enjoyed this book so much, there was the element of surprise, the readers are constantly guessing what will happen, conjuring up theories as to where will the story might lead, and then everything will not go the way they imagined it to. It was hard to pull off something like it but Callie Hart made it look effortless. This is the first book I have read by her, and to say that I am missing out would be an understatement. If all her books were as shocking and as unique as this, then count me in. And my favorite thing in the world, MILITARY men! Haha I don’t know what is it with stories about military men, but I love reading books about them!

So if you like:

Brooding and angsty male protagonist with a soft side deep down the recesses of his being

A strong female protagonist who takes no shit from anybody

Steamy steamy moments (Oh boy)

A shocking twist

Coherence of story from the prologue down to the last page

The search is over, you have found your match! This book is definitely for you!

I appreciated the coherence of the story, from the prologue, which had set the perfect mood but did not give anything away, down to the last chapter where everything made complete sense. It was the kind of book that will leave you in awe. The book was well thought-out, save for the few issues I have, all in all, it was an amazing read. I couldn’t wait to start yet another book by her and see where Callie Hart’s imagination will take me!

 

 

RATING: rating_4stars

“He was a man possessed. I was a woman lost. Together, we were two halves of something fragile and delicate, beautiful in its complexity.”

Callie Hart, Between Here and the Horizon

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