The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir (Thi Bui)

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An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui.

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent — the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.


This is an important book! I honestly don’t know what to say to convince you to read it, but please: READ THIS ONE! Buy it. Read it. Re-read it. Give it to your friends and family. Give it to your kids. Let them understand how wrong what is happening in the USA and the world is.

The Best We Could Do tells the story of the author’s, Thi Bui, journey to the US as a refugee in the midst of the Vietnam War, as well as her journey to understanding her parents, and what they went through.

First of all, the art is just so beautiful! It’s one of the first things I “see” in a graphic novel, because if the art is not appealing to you, it’s kind of hard to get into it, right? Well, this one is just gorgeous! Then the story is told in a very cool way, as it relates what Thi is feeling in her present life, and relating it to her upbringing and her parents’ experiences.

I have to say that I’m not well versed in Vietnam’s history. I’m from Portugal, born in the 80’s, and while here we know of the Vietnam’s war and everything that happened, it was always mentioned in a very superficial way, because at that moment we had other issues here in this country, such as a dictatorship of our own to learn about. The point is, I wasn’t aware of some of the things that happened, and the dynamics of what happened in WW2 and after. But I learned a lot while reading this book, because not only did it taught me, but it made me curious enough to go look online for more information.

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This is the main point of books for me, to expand our horizons. A book that makes you question, and learn, and curious for more? It’s something that everyone should read.

In a point in history when refugees are being demonized by ignorant people, it’s more important than ever to support this book. To learn from someone who was a refugee herself. To read a side than most of us won’t be able to completely understand, but we can empathise, and try to learn to do better. Right?

So, guys, this book will be out soon. Buy it, review it, share the word. Talk about it. READ IT!

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2017 New Adult Reading Challenge: Book Recommendations (2)

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Hey guys! As you know, this year I’m doing the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge, created by the amazing Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, and because I’ve read some amazing NA books last year, I thought that I could recommend some to you that fit in the Book Bingo from the challenge.

Today I’ll focus on the first 5 topics:

6. Book about friendship
7. Book with music or art
8. Book out of your comfort zone
9. Book based on its cover
10. Diverse novel

All books here are books I’ve read and really really liked. Click on the names of the books to be redirected to my review of said book


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NA books just about friendships are not easy! So I’m going for books where friendship is super important.


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I’m just now noticing that these are ALL about music!

In Your Dreams
Loud is How I Love You
More Than Music
Maybe Someday
Stay Until You Break


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This is not a very easy theme. All these books had elements that were sort of weird to me.

Progress
Hot Not to Fall
Hopeless
Sever
#Junkie


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 I’m a sucker for gorgeous book covers, and they’re not that common in NA.

Wasted Words
Finding London
Confess
Lessons in Gravity
Right Where You Are


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I really liked all of these, and I have a few more that would fit this category.

The Understatement of the Year
Outside the Lines
That Thing Between Eli & Gwen
Adulting 101
For The One


So, next week I’ll post another 5 categories. Have you read these books? What did you think of them?

Good Boy (Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy)

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Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.


Once again, I read this book as a buddy read with  Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, go to HERE to read her review of this book.

GUYS! GUYS! GUYS! I’m so happy about this series, you have no idea! You know there’s a moment when you’re blog, that you think “yep, it has all been for this!” (not really, but you get my drift, right?), well, I felt truly accomplished somehow when I got an eARC for Good Boy, which was probably my highest anticipated book of 2017.

For those of you who still don’t know this, Good Boy, and its series WAGs, is a spin off of the Him duology. Him and Us tell the story of Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning, how they reconnect, fall in love and manage a relationship within the world of professional Hockey. WAGs will focus on Wes’ teammates and it’s gonna be glorious. Good Boy tells the story about Blake, Wesmie’s neighbour, friend and Wes’ teammate, and Jess, Jamie’s sister, after they met (and hooked up) in Us.

I knew beforehand that I was gonna love this book, because Elle and Sarina write in an hilarious and awesome way. This book is just so funny! To top it off, I already loved Blake and Jess too, because they, especially Blake, had a lot of page time in Us and he’d already proved how awesome of a person he was and how much of a dedicated friend he was to Jamie and Wes. So, anyone who would do anything for his 2 best buds, already had a high approving rate in my book.

But Blake is even better now! Reading from his POV was such an unique experience, because he’s now one of my favorite romance heroes ever. Blake is not just funny and dedicated, but he’s got the biggest heart ever. And he’s never afraid of his feelings! I love it when a guy just embraces whatever the hell he feels and wants. Have I mentioned how hilarious he is?

And Jess? She’s so awesome too! I love that she just wanted to prove to her family and herself that she could do it on her own. Sometimes it takes us awhile to find our way to something we love and it was what happened to her, but she did it, and throughout the doubts and insecurities, she keeps going. I love her!

The romance is all kinds of hot :D. I really really liked how confident Blake was about their connection, and how Jess tried to fight it. I liked that they were always there for each other and supported each other through everything. And also, I really really loved the pacing of it.

Ultimatly this book made me feel awesome. The main characters were amazing. The romance was great. The Jamie and Wes’ moments warmed my heart. But most of all, it was so so good and it made me laugh like crazy.

So, if you like a great romance, with some awesomely comic nuances. If you liked the previous collaboration of Elle and Sarina. GO READ GOOD BOY NOW!

A Thousand Pieces of You (Claudia Gray)

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Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer — her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul — escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows — including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt — as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores an amazingly intricate multi-universe where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.


After a little pressure from some people… yeah, you, Kat and Cátia, I finally FINALLY read the first book of the Firebird trilogy.

I already understood a bit about what I was gonna read about, but still, A Thousand Pieces of You took me a bit by surprise and I ended up enjoying it a little more than I thought I would at first. I absolutely enjoyed the writing of this book, and the plot was awesome. Being a science girl myself, I really liked all the science stuff in the book, the physics elements, the multi-verses, everything. I loved the theory and the explanations. Honestly, I don’t know what took me so long to pick this one up.

The characters were a bit harder to love, mostly because the situations and worlds change them a bit. Marguerite is a bit of a conundrum… see, I kind of like her, but she does some shitty things during the book. I did like Theo and Paul, though I have to say that I saw what was happening and it changed a bit the way I see each of them. Most of all, I really liked her family!

Disclaimer: There is one particularly wrong scene in this book, if you’ve read it, you know what it is. The fact that Marguerite makes a decision that will change the Russia-verse Marguerite’s life considerably and is irreversible, is all kinds of wrong.

The plot was really awesome and entertaining, though I did guess some plot points! – I’m so freaking proud that I guessed 3 major things! Though it frustrated Kat and Cátia a little tiny bit :P.

I’m super excited about this series, and I can’t wait to read book 2 :D.

Have you read it? Let’s discuss…

Movie of the Week: La La Land

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Hey people! I haven’t talked about movies in a few months, but last night I went to watch La La Land, and given that the movie was just nominated for 14 Academy Awards, I thought that maybe I could share my thoughts on it.

I’ll start by saying that I wasn’t curious about this movie. I saw the trailers and they did nothing for me, on the contrary. I love musicals, I love Emma Stone, but everything else about this movie didn’t speak to me at all. Still, given the choice between La La Land and Resident Evil, my answer was obvious!

I have to say the movie surprised me a lot. I liked the cinematography and the overall feel of the movie. But beware, because of the way this movie was shot, it might make you dizzy and give you slight headaches, because it sure gave me one.

I also liked the story, it has that old Hollywood feel with a modern twist, and it’s very well accomplished. And more so, I absolutely loved the ending, those last 10 minutes made the whole movie for me, and I was so glad that it went that way.

Now, while I absolutely love Emma Stone, I can’t stand Ryan Gosling… sorry! I feel like he’s one of the most overrated actors of his generation, and while he has his good moments in this movie, I don’t think his performance was all that spectacular. To be honest, while these two actors work great together onscreen, I find it kind of strange that they didn’t look for other actors who could fill the singing part a little bit better.

While the movie was way better than I was anticipating and it’s a visual feast, I don’t find it a movie worth of 14 Oscars’ nominationsDamien Chazelle, the director, sure had a great vision, but is this the best movie and best screenplay of 2016? What about best actor and actress? I honestly don’t think so, but I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on it. 

I have to say though, the music?! FANTASTIC!

For the first time, I’m rating a movie (and I’ll start doing so), and I give this one a solid 4 stars.

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Now to you. Tell me your thoughts on La La Land.

How Not to Let Go (Emily Foster)

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From the author of How Not to Fall comes an electrifying, powerful new story about love, trust, and emotional surrender.

Once upon a time, med student Annie Coffey set out to have a purely physical fling with Charles Douglas, a gorgeous British doctor in her lab. It didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, secrets — and desires — were bared, hearts were broken, and Annie knew she had to leave this complicated, compelling man who remains convinced he can never give her what she needs.

Walking away is one thing. Staying away is another. Annie and Charles reunite at a London conference, rekindling a friendship they struggle to protect from their intense physical connection. Little by little, Annie gets a glimpse into Charles’s dark past and his wealthy, dysfunctional family. Soon, she’s discovering what it means to have someone claim her, body and soul. And she’s learning that once in a lifetime you find a love that can make you do anything… except let go.


Hey! Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so head to her blog in the next few days to check out her take on this book.

First and foremost, beware that this is a sequel to How Not To Fall, and I honestly don’t think you can read, understand and enjoy this one, without having read book 1 first. So, even though I do think this book is awesome, you should definitly pick up the first book first.

Once again I loved the writing, I think Emily Foster truly has a way with words. This book was entertaining and fun like the previous one, but it was also deeper and more emotional than the first one. But contrary to book 1, this one is told in dual POV, and WOW, it changes everything.

Annie is still a great narrator, but this whole story is about Charles.

I have to say that I’ve never read a romance with such a well done pacing and character growth. A long time passes since Annie fell for Charles and he tells her that he can’t love her, and again, a lot of time passes within this book. And Annie grows a lot, she learns how to let go of some things while protect others, but Charles learns how to deal with his past and present, and accept the future. And so much happens!

This book surprised me a lot. I liked the plot, the pacing and the characters (obviously). But I loved the talks, the depth, the understanding. I loved the support. I loved how they talked about everything that mattered and how everything made sense.

One of the issues I had with the first book was the amount of sex – crazy, I know – but here the balance was perfect, and it had way more meaning. I loved it. And I really liked how each little action had a reason behind it.

I don’t want to talk more about the book, because I don’t want to give anything away, but just know that I loved it. It was one of the most profound NA books that I’ve read.

So, I highly recommend this series. Read it. Think about it. This is not a perfectly happy NA book, it’s raw and gritty and it somehow felt real. Again… READ IT!