February Reads!

I’ve made a pact with myself this year, to ensure that I read at the minimum, 3 books a month. I have seen people read much more, but I think x3 a month is suitable for a daydreamer like me! Here are three amazing books that I had the pleasure of reading in February 2018.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

My Verdict:
I loved how this was based on a true story – it makes it that much more special. This book really gave me the feels – it was so painful to read at times, but the people in it (I can’t really call them characters as they were real people) and their support of one another just gave me hope about humanity in general. It is hard to believe that such evil existed, yet some people could be so kind. I was still thinking about this book, the people, the horror, long after I had turned the last page. 5 stars.

American Panda – Gloria Chao

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.
With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.
But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?
From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

My Verdict:
I absolutely loved this book. I loved the plot, the themes, the way it was written, the humour and most important the mother-daughter relationship. This is the exact kind of book all teenagers should read. It explores repression, self-love and family – I will books like these were written when I was a teenager (which wasn’t so long ago, so I am enjoying them now). This book will make you cry because it was so poignant. Also I loved how realistic the story and characters are – this is brilliant portrayal of real life – and is exactly what everybody needs. 4.5 stars.

The Fear – C.L Taylor

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.
Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.
But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

My Verdict:
I absolutely loved C.L Taylor’s new thriller. I loved the originality of the plot – the exploration of sexual grooming and the impact it has on the victims. The book seemed fast paced – mainly because I was enjoying it so much and found it difficult to put down. The theme of the book is very dark and reading through Lou’s flashbacks (or diary snippets) of when she was in France with Mike was quite sickening. These images were very realistic and frightening – so some readers may find it disturbing. The rawness of it all definitely made a great thriller and tense novel. The blurb doesn’t mention another important character – Mike’s ex-wife, Wendy. Wendy’s side of the story is very important in the novel as it shows how she too was Mike’s victim. I very much liked this exploration of character – and without giving too much away, Wendy had a very big part in the plot. 4.5 stars.


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