this book shook me to my core

Paper Doll Lina – Robyn Lucas 

Domestic violence, family, marriage, interpersonal relationships, domestic abuse, fiction.

Rating 10/10

Lina is a stay at home mother and housewife with two children and a husband that loves her. Their marriage at the beginning was rocky but they always found their way back to one and other. Recently her husband has been more distant and crueler with his words that belittle and make Lina feel absolutely terrible. He does things without asking her and expects her to be on board with the ideas. Her two children got an idea for a website and decided to go on television to get the website more seen; her husband isn’t supportive. He sees this as her bad idea and that the kids would get bored of their project. However,  her two children are deeply invested as well as she is. He gets mad and says that he wasn’t included in the plans despite her informing him of said plans. She had run into Noah Attoh, a famous movie actor, who helps the website get more coverage as well as being her friend. The two of them spend more time together and she realizes slowly when she reconnects with an old best friend that her husband is toxic and that she needs to get out of the relationship fast and with her children as well. 

Let me tell you I was crying when I was almost done reading this novel. It is not easy to read because domestic abuse is a very serious overseen issue. Lucas shares that aspect with this novel that sometimes domestic abuse isn’t physical but it is verbal and tends to be very nasty. What Lina’s husband was doing was a form of narcissism. People who are narcissists tend to manipulate others into believing their side rather than the victim’s side. They psychologically and emotionally abuse the victim as well as doing intentional things to ensure that the victim stays within reach by all means necessary. Sometimes victims of domestic violence do not get the happy ending or recognition that they are being abused when something terrible happens such as serious injury or even death. That is the reality that Robyn Lucas shares in this novel with these characters and sometimes it’s hard getting out of the toxicness of the relationship. I was so glad that Lina was able to get help that she really needed and the way that things happened was the right kind of justice that was needed. I highly recommend this novel as it goes over a serious topic that needs to be more addressed and there should be more education for domestic abuse of all kinds. This may be fiction but domestic violence and abuse is a very real issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

loved this so much, you need to read this too

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

Families, Korea, domestic fiction, family life, cultural, heritage, historical, fiction. 

Rating 15/10

Starting with Sunja, the daughter of a crippled fisherman and his wife, she is young and falls in love with a wealthy man. Later she finds out she’s pregnant and he is the father of her unborn child. However, he doesn’t want to marry her because he is already married and with three daughters in Japan. He tries to make right of the situation by offering her a house and funds. She rejects his offer and tells him to go away. While working with her mother at the boarding house, there is a sickly minister who is thankful for Sunja and her mother for caring for him. He asks the mother about Sunja and she tells him she’s pregnant but the father doesn’t want to be involved. Isak offered to marry her and give the child a name. Sunja takes the offer and both get married then leave Korea for Japan. Sunja and Isak stay at his brother’s place and her sister in law takes care of Sunja. When the baby is born, he is named Noa. 

Years later Sunja and Isak have their second child, Mozasu, when he ends up in prison thus making life much more difficult for his brother to supply for his wife and his sister in law. He has to make sure that there is enough food on the table and enough money to send both children to school. Noa is happy and content with his life and wants to further his education whereas his brother doesn’t want to further his education. When news of Americans going to bomb Japan’s Nagasaki, they flee where they live into the country with a family who hosts them. They return back to the city and go on with their lives. They all wish that they can go back home to their original country of Korea but life goes on for them and they have to be content that they are alive and healthy. 

I had seen and heard about this book for the longest time. I was hesitant to read because I typically don’t read historical fiction. I regret not reading this novel much sooner and I am blown away by the beauty of this novel. This novel took me on a journey through history around the time of 1900 to about 1989ish. Between those years were World War I, World War II, and the Korean War that this family, that was told in four generations, had witnessed over time. Not only that but they were going through their own experiences and trying to survive life that was not safe for them. I really loved the storytelling because this is a different perspective on history through the eyes of those who were deeply impacted by the wars and colonization. Not only that but discriminated against. This novel doesn’t just have discrimination from adults to adults but in the parts that were talking about the children of Sunji in school they too were discriminated against by other children. Discrimination in all types and forms is extremely harmful and mean. I found that this novel was beautifully written.  Overall, I really love this novel and the writing is beautiful and I had such a time reading this novel of different feelings and emotions. I deeply recommend this book in any format. Just know it is a very lengthy book but this is worth the read.

cute couple alert!

My Girlfriend is a T-Rex: vol 2. – Story and Art – Sanzo

Romance, domestic, dinosaurs, drama, comedy, manga, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Yuuma is still dating Churio. He is by her side all the time helping her navigate through the human world. Churio learns so much more such as buying a fridge and working a job. At least Yuuma is there to help her through it all.

When I first had laid my eyes on the first volume I fell in love and bought it without second guessing. I had gotten that manga a while ago and recently my boyfriend decided to surprise me with the second volume in the manga series. This one made my heart swell because of the sheer cuteness and loyalty that Yuuma has when he helps Churio learn and navigate through the human world. He is supportive, and she is very appreciative of him. I really do recommend this manga series. The title may be weird, but the plot is above and beyond. This review is short but I am withholding a lot of information because for one this is a manga and two I wouldn’t want to spoil all the cute stuff that goes on inside the manga so therefore the reader must go venture out to read this manga series. This manga series is perfect during in a time where we need a good heart felt distraction.

Dark Truths

The Turn of the Key – Ruth Ware

Thriller, mystery, psychological, domestic, Suspense, fiction.

Rating 8.9/10

Rowan got caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was put in prison for a murder she didn’t commit. The story told through letters to Mr. Wexham, she asks for help in clearing her name. She tells him how she got to the present circumstance. Rowan saw an advertisement for a live-in nanny that came with good pay and benefits. She decides to send her resume and plan to meet Sandra and the kids she would be taking care of. The kids and other people warned her of the haunted stories of the house. In these letters, she provides details of what occurred during her time at the Heatherbrae House. The truth comes out and unnerving.

This novel was intriguing and fast paced. Nothing that Ruth Ware had written before and I love the style of letters rather than just traditional forms of storytelling. This was fresh and enjoyable. However, the idea of a woman being in the wrong place at the wrong time was a bit of an overused cliché. Overall, I enjoyed the novel and hoping to read more Ruth Ware novels.

Dinosaur Human Romance? What?

My Girlfriend is a T-Rex Volume 1 – Story and Art by Sanzo

Romance, domestic, dinosaurs, drama, comedy, manga, fiction.

Rating 9.9/10

Yuuma meets Churio, a woman who is part human and part tyrannosaurus rex one day. She thinks he is afraid of her, but he isn’t. He is more scared of a measly small cat! They date and he tries to convince her to wear clothes and be more human. He takes care of her when she is sick and vice versa. They share adventures to surely remember for a long time.

I don’t typically read manga much, but this title caught my attention. I finished this manga and wished I could’ve found the second volume. There is a lot of comedy and romance as well as some sentimental scenes. I plan to hunt this down soon for sure because I would love to see if this relationship between Yuuma and Churio grow into something more serious. The artwork is beautiful and detailed. I recommend this as a start if one wishes to enter the world of manga because this is short and packs a lot in. There are many deep meanings behind the storyline that one can only unfold when they read the manga.

Memories… Forgotten and Regained Here

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty

Fiction, memory loss, amnesiacs, memory, divorce, domestic, life change, children, family, drama

Rating 10/10

After a nasty fall at a spin class, Alice Love had forgotten an entire decade of her life. Meaning she only remembers marrying Nick and becoming pregnant. She already has three kids and getting a divorce. Shocking! Alice is trying to navigate with her amnesia and getting reacquainted with her life. It isn’t easy for Alice to try to grasp why she is going through a divorce and is apart of the parent club at her children’s school. Her own children help Alice put the pieces together as well as understand the whole divorce as well as introduce themselves to Alice. As time progresses, Alice slowly remembers what happened in the past ten years of her life. A best friend died. An affair happened with her best friend’s husband with another woman. Even all the gossip with the parents at the elementary school. An incident occurred with Alice and Nick’s child and they reminisce the past. Nick offers to give their marriage another chance. Even their children want them to get back together too. At an event, all Alice’s forgotten memories come flooding back. Things go back to normality.

This book was incredible and was so addicting, a real page turner. I was sort of expecting that amnesia would be the issue and it would resolve through the narrative. Anyways I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it made me laugh and cry a little. It was a very different genre of book that I ever had read and becoming a fan of this author for her intricate writing and storytelling. Moriarty struck me in places and told the story perfectly as well as made me ponder about life in general. Life can happen at any moment, just got to adapt for the time being and hope for regularity afterwards.