Hi all, I’m back. Here are the books I’m looking forward to in May.
So what books are looking forward to reading in May?
In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together: from their unconventional meeting backstage at a concert (and the long-distance romance that followed), to their fairy-tale wedding (and their groundbreaking artistic partnership), to the devastating losses that ultimately dissolved their romantic relationship for good. Throughout it all, they shared a bond more intimate than any other in Prince’s life. No one else can tell this story or can provide a deeper, more nuanced portrait of Prince–both the famously private man and the pioneering, beloved artist–than Mayte, his partner during some of the most pivotal personal and professional years of his career. The Most Beautiful is a book that will be returned to for decades, as Prince’s music lives on with generations to come.
I went into this book with no preconceived views on Mayte or Prince’s lives. I love his music but knew nothing of his private life or first marriage. Mayte wrote a book filled with passion for her dancing. Her hard work and dedication to being the best that she could be with a hard work ethic that started at a young age. With a background of being an army brat, moving around the world with her parents and sister also gave her a base on the kind of work ethic and lifestyle that Prince had.
Their’s is a love story that was strong, beautiful and romantic. You get a glimps at how romantic Prince was. He was totally wrapped up in her as much as she was with him. It was beautiful and had its share of heartache with the loss of their son.
This book had me in tears at points but had my romantic heart in a flutter at others. Mayte talked about intimate moments without giving everything away and kept certain things private which, to me, showed respect to him and their life. It’s not a tell all book it’s a glimps into the very private life of a notoriously private man. It made me like the book all the more for it.
I discovered more music by Prince through this book and fell more in love with him as an artist. Mayte is strong and loving. She never stopped loving him and even with his death shows that love by writing a book that makes you love them both. Plus that cover….oh that cover! How beautiful it is!
Buy: Amazon UK
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown is a speck of a place. High unemployment, it’s run down, and has seen better days. With the prospect of the junior hockey team of finally making it to the national semi- finals , the fate of the town rests on a handful of boys.
This book is one that reflects a deep love of hockey in a small town. The pride and the way of life that it has become is just as important as breathing, is well written. Kevin is the local golden boy, has the hopes of winning the semi final rests on his and Benji’s shoulders. Two friends who can read each others thoughts when they are on the ice. They are chalk and cheese but the friendship works well for both boys.
Maya and Ana have the same kind of friendship. Two girls who formed a life long bond when Ana saved Maya when they were children.
The dynamic of both sets of friends gets tested but it’s how well a friendship can survive a life changing event that makes this story.
This book is about is about the bonds of friendship. New ones formed, old ones under strain and some that just don’t survive. I love how that theme was woven in with hockey. The characters are varied and strongly written. While you know who the perpitrator and victim are its how the community reacts that is a big focal point halfway through the book.
I was captivated by this book. You get drawn into both sides of the event and all the while I was cheering for certain characters as well as feeling lukewarm to others only to have my feelings change as the story went on.
I have read all of Mr. Backman’s books and have loved them all for various reasons but find that with each book they become stronger. The varied themes that he writes about is something else I love about him. He can write about the elderly and young alike and gives each character and story a depth that is wonderful to read.
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Hi all. I have been AWOL for a while and will be for a while longer due to personal issues. While I won’t be posting much I will try when I can but things are going to be hectic for me until mid April and maybe longer. I will keep up with picks for the month and end of month round ups but beyond that, I can’t promise much right now and hope you can understand. Drop me a line and let me know which books you are looking forward to in March.
Here are the books I’m looking forward to this month.
It’s not Oscar’s fault he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.
Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties, he feels alive.
But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two brothers must come face-to-face with their demons–and each other–if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.
Oscar has his fathers looks but that’s about all they have in common. He is artistic, loves classical music and plays the violin. He takes after his mother in personality. He has nothing in common with his brother, who torments him, and feels that both his father and brother don’t know or like him.
Vance has his mothers looks and is jealous of his brother for looking like his father, who he idolises. Both he and his father love Reggae music, parties and having a good time. Both are selfish when it comes to thinking of others and Vance things his brother Oscar doesn’t like him much. He is always putting Oscar down for being a “sissy’ and acting like a girl. Vance is always angry but that anger hides something deeper.
As they both stand vigil at their father’s deathbed they both think about how the other brother has treated them wrong and how they are misunderstood. Both are scared and both are hurting. But when they are pushed into a future they never contemplated can they stand together or will it tear them apart.
The story goes back and forth between events from three years ago and the present. Each brother tells a bit of their own views on what was going on after the death of their mother and how they feel standing at their fathers deathbed. It’s a tale of two brothers who misunderstand each other and it seems impossible for them to find their way back to being what they were when they were younger. Both have issues, Vance hides his fear with anger, Oscar hides away and draws or listens to music. It’s a tough book in the way that it forces Vance and Oscar to not only look at themselves but also at the demons that drove their father to where he is now, to face the things that they fear the most.
Holding a vigil at a deathbed is incredibly hard and watching your loved one take their last breath is heartbreaking, but more so for two teenagers who have already lost their mother now wait to lose their father. It was an incredible book, well written in dealing with the emotions that are more heightened and the anger and fear of being completely helpless in this situation. It wasn’t a sappy book but one that dealt with the harshness of a family that wasn’t that strong after the death of their mother, a family that was struggling by for years with no emotional connection between the three remaining members. It was heartbreaking as it should be, a hard emotional read that brought me back to when I was with my family as a grandmother was in her final days. Some anger, some stories were told, memories relived and pain and sorrow as she took her final breath. This story deals with that reality.
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Buy: Amazon UK
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
When Tea Accidentally raises her brother from the dead it attracts the attention of Lady Mykaela, the most powerful Dark Asha in the land. Tea, along with Fox her brother is brought to the Valerian house for training. She is unwittingly brought to another tea house under the guise of bringing a novice an instrument she finds herself in a a heap of trouble and all hell breaks loose. Her training is brought forward at an alarming speed. she is thrust into a world that she not only excels in, but in many ways is beyond anyone else who has been a Dark asha.
Tea’s training is along the lines of how a Geisha trains but throw in magic and healing powers and you get ashas. Asha are people who have magic in them. Most use elements like fire, water, air and so on, but there are the rare few who use only dark magic and runes to do what others can’t and that is to have the power over life and death. Bone witches as the are also know as, are reviled unless needed to rid the lands of the monstrous creatures who threaten the people of the land.
It’s not what I expected but in a good way. I wasn’t aware of the similarities in the style the asha’s are train in as well as Geisha are trained in Japan. There isn’t much action in the story but what there is is fascinating and draws you in. The writing was fantastic and the storyline wonderful. I fell into the flow and found myself wanting more at the end of it.
It is the first book in a series but it’s not one that leaves you on the edge of a cliff. It leaves you on a gentle crest wanting more but knowing you can wait and can even sorta work out what the next step is. A breathtaking book in style and beauty!
ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review
Buy: Amazon UK
Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn’t have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver—that is, until he meets Clarice. She’s almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can’t get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together. Both tense and lurid, and brimming with suspense from the very first page, Perfect Days is a psychological thriller in the vein of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley—a chilling journey in the passenger seat with a psychopath, and the English language debut of one of Brazil’s most deliciously dark young writers.
I won’t get into the story as the synopsis pretty much covers it. Teo makes Misery look like a sane and normal human being! Teo does really unspeakable things to Clarice and he justifies it by saying that she is unstable and he is trying to help her. He also believes in what he is doing is absolutely fine and justifies what he does as for her benefit and if she would just listen to him he is sure that she would fall in love with him.
This is disturbing, Teo is obviously unstable and just pure evil. He shows no emotion, he manipulates those around him and when he does something vile he feels that he is doing it for the benefit of others and sees himself at the centre of his own little world and nothing and no one will stop him from having Clarice, not even Clarice herself.
This book gave me chills at just how methodical, cool, calm and collected Teo was in hi actions. The lies he told an how well he weaved his web while others fell into it willingly. I have read some reviews where some readers found this book to be “hilarious and funny!” I don’t know what book they were reading but it wasn’t this one! There is nothing funny about this story. It’s dark, twisted and disturbing in many ways….some dark humour but that’s as far as I am willing to go…
Buy: Amazon UK