Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review- The Collaborator by Mirza Waheed

The Collaborator on Goodreads


It is Kashmir in the early 1990s and war has finally reached the isolated village of Nowgam close to the Pakistan border. Indian soldiers appear as if from nowhere to hunt for militants on the run. Four teenage boys, who used to spend their afternoons playing cricket, or singing Bollywood ballads down by the river, have disappeared one by one, to cross into Pakistan and join the movement against the Indian army. Only one of their friends, the son of the headman, is left behind. The families in the village begin to think it's time to flee, to search for a place of greater safety. But the headman will not allow his family to leave. And, whilst the headman watches his dreams give way beneath the growing violence, his son, under the brutal, drunken gaze of the Indian army captain, is seemingly forced to collaborate and go into the valley to count the corpses, fearing, each day, that he will discover one of his friends lying amongst the dead. "The Colloborator" is a stunningly humane work of storytelling with a poignant and unpredictable hero at its heart. In one of the most shocking and brilliantly compelling novels of recent times Mirza Waheed lights our way into the heart of a war that is all too real.

Release date: 2011
Published by: Penguin Books Ltd.
Page numbers: 336


Like most books I have been reading since the past few months, The Collaborator had been sitting on my shelf for years. When I picked it from my TBR jar, I was more than happy to finally get to it. I don't remember reading reviews of the book as the sole reason I bought it was because it is set in Kashmir and as a topic that interests me, I feel disappointed to say that I haven't read many such books.

When I finally started reading The Collaborator, I was slightly let down by its slow pace. While author Mirza Waheed's writing is beautiful and he portrays melancholy in a way that's admirable and inspiring, I felt the story itself lacked not only pace, but interest as well, somewhere. It seemed to me like it was not moving.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the knowledge I gained from this book, because- and again, this is something I am ashamed of- I never really followed what happened in Kashmir. My sole explanation for this is the fact that I was too young, which isn't always a good excuse. Anyway, so while I did learn a lot; some things which I will never forget, some pictures that'll never erase from my mind, I felt like things were moving too slowly because I never though I'd take almost a month to finish this book.

The Collaborator is told from the point of view of young seventeen year old boy whose name we never get to know, which for me, is true art. Employed by Captian Kadian to look after the dead bodies literally tossed across the border, left behind by all his friends who go away to become militants, this young boy is a hero. I found him to be so relatable, because when I put myself in his place, I would've probably done what he did.

Overall, The Collaborator is a poignant read that gives a brilliant insight into life in Kashmir, and author Mirza Waheed's melancholic writing is beautifully depressing.

Buy the book: AMAZON

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday #226

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spines, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhatena
Publication date- February 27th 2018

Goodreads Summary: 

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that. 

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

This book sounds EXACTLY like the kind of books I LOVE to read. 

Which book are you waiting on this Wednesday? 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Teaser Tuesday #86

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along!

"I love you, Kate." He leaned over her shoulder to kiss her collarbone. 
"Well, I don't love you, asshole." She paused. "But even if I did, my love isn't blind. I'm on to you. I'm gonna figure out your little game."
His stomach knotted. This was no game. 

-Twin Sacrifice by Jennifer Lane 

Goodreads Summary:

My twin brother is determined to kill himself, but I won’t let him.

I just discovered the sacrifice he made for me when we were young.

Now it’s time I return the favor. This time I’ll be the one with the secret.

Psychologist Matthew Durante’s twin brother, Justin, has struggled with mental illness since their parents died in a house fire. After Justin is accused of setting off a bomb that killed an innocent woman, he lands in a maximum-security psychiatric hospital.

In the face of Justin’s unrelenting suicide attempts, Matthew grows frantic to keep him alive. And as the pieces of their past fall into place, Matthew decides bold action is his only choice, no matter the cost.

Set against the backdrop of weapons manufacturing, terrorism, and a dark family secret, Matthew and Justin fight for survival, redemption, and most of all, for each other.

I'm so excited to be reading this book! 

Which teaser have you shared this Tuesday? 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review- Indecent Exposure by Tessa Bailey


Is there a problem, Officer? 

Jack Garrett isn’t a police officer yet, but there’s already an emergency. His new firearms instructor—the one who just dropped every jaw in the academy gym—is the same sexy Irish stranger Jack locked lips with last night. The Olympic gold medalist and expert markswoman is now officially off-limits, but Jack’s never cared much for rules . . .

Katie McCoy’s been cooped up in a shooting range for too long. A wild love affair is just what she needs to let loose, though she never imagined it would be with her smokin’ hot trainee. She cannot get involved with Jack—but a quick fling? Perfect. Falling hard for a charismatic recruit with an equal amount of sex appeal and secrets? Bloody stupid.

Jack’s charmed the pants off plenty of women (literally), yet few have ever looked beyond his perfect surface. Until Katie. He’ll do anything to keep her in his life . . . except tell her about his past. But a tiny lie of omission never hurt anyone, right?

Release date: January 30th, 2018
Published by: Avon
Page numbers: 384


I love Tessa Bailey's books. They are fun and sexy and overall I have a really good time while reading them. Indecent Exposure is the second book in Tessa Bailey's Academy series. I thoroughly enjoyed Disorderly Conduct, the first book in the Academy series so I was really looking forward to Indecent Exposure. So needless to say I loved getting to know Jack and Katie.

So let's start with Jack. We'd met him in the previous book. Jack is easily the least enthusiastic guy about the Academy. He only got in because his best friend Danika made him do it. On top of that Jack loves his drink a bit too much and he is definitely hiding a lot of demons underneath. At first I didn't think I'd like Jack. But that was until I saw his redeeming qualities. Jack was a good guy below the surface. Yes, he was not perfect and made mistakes but who doesn't.

Then we have Katie. I loved Katie. She was such a sweetheart. Katie has come to America for a few weeks program where she will be teaching at the shooting range for the Academy trainees. What she doesn't expect is to bump into a charming stranger the night before who then turns out to be one of her trainees. Katie was a strong heroine. She wanted to have new experiences in life and live life to the fullest. 

Jack and Katie may seem like total opposites at first but they work. There is a definite attraction between them and they easily understand each other. Jack is totally smitten with Katie from the first glance itself- a case of insta lust if not insta love. But Katie while attracted to Jack, is still a bit hesitant. She is afraid to let anyone become too dependent on her and Jack with his alcoholic issues is not a sure thing.

Tessa Bailey's writing is smooth and fast paced. There wasn't a page where I was getting bored or feeling like things were being dragged out for no reason. The events take place swiftly enough to keep you hooked. Now I cannot even begin to say how excited I am for Danika and Greer's story. The teases we got of them have me salivating for more. Overall, Indecent Exposure was a fun read which I would recommend to all romance readers.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author/publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Blog Tour + Giveaway- Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

Of Sea and Stone

Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 2014


Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother's tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress.Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks. 

Book Buying Links:

About the Author:

 I'm the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.

Author Links:


Blog Tour Organized by:

Book Tour + Giveaway- Firebloods by Casey Hays

by Casey Hays
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
326 pages
Jude Gallagher thought she was crazy.

It all started when the boy next door made her hear music—inside her head. All the time.

It was torture.

She didn’t think things could get worse. But then one hot summer, her best friend Kane O’Reilly decides to tell her how he really feels about her. Music inside her head? That’s nothing compared what happens next.

Things only turn stranger when she and her lab partner Frankie Melmack begin a project to prove the existence of the Vatra u Krvi—a race of people tied to the mythical Phoenix. Add in a neglectful mother and a magic ring, and the insanity that defines Jude’s life is pretty well complete.

Heat surges across the Nevada desert, and the best and worst parts of Jude Gallagher’s life collide as myth meets reality. In the middle of the chaos, she begins to hear more than just music. And she has to wonder…

Maybe... just maybe… she really is crazy after all.

Casey Hays developed a love for young adult fiction while teaching high school English literature. She writes fantasy sci-fi and dystopian--all with a twist of romance. She is best known for The Arrow’s Flight Series (Breeder, The Archer, Master), a YA Christian dystopian, which includes The Scent of Lilac, an Arrow’s Flight Novella nominated for a RONE award for Best Novella of 2016, and A Heart of Flesh (the first NA in the series). Her short story "Edge of a Promise" is featured in the collaborative anthology PREP FOR DOOM. Currently, she is working on two more novellas for Arrow's Flight as well as the Firebloods series based on the legend of the Phoenix. Look for book 2, Scorch Song, this spring.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Review- Inferno by Dan Brown

Inferno on Goodreads


‘Seek and ye shall find.’

With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.

A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.

With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history’s most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

Release date: May 14th 2013
Published by: Bantam Press
Page numbers: 465


After The Da Vinci Code and Angels and DemonsInferno was the third Dan Brown book I read. I had actually watched the movie when it came out, and I could relate to it on a whole new and practical level of reality and acceptance, which had me curious to pick up the book. When I ended up picking the book name from my 2017 TBR jar, I was more than excited to finally get on another Robert Langdon adventure.

Inferno starts very abruptly with Langdon somehow waking up in a hospital in Italy and escaping the dangerous Vayentha with Doctor Sienna Brooks. When a mysterious object with an inscrutable message is found in Langdon's jacket, a search begins for decoding, discovering and destroying Bertrand Zobrist's gift for the world.

I found the story to be very slow and with unnecessary details sometimes because for a 400 plus pages book, the story itself only revolves around a couple of days. But, as always, Langdon's adventures are packed with action and knowledge, a combination I've grown to appreciate and admire. I wish more people would worship this incredible hero who is someone to look up to!

Dan Brown writes the most meticulous and accurate stories that have the reader on the edge of the seat from the starting until the very end, and Inferno wasn't any exception as it proved to be another marvel of Brown. However, I do have a soft spot for this one because I learned so much from this book.

Overall, I would highly recommend Inferno if you care about the world and art and when you know you have time to invest in a book as this is a long, but a bloody brilliant one.

Buy the book: AMAZON (IN)