Booksish Discussions

Favourite Friendships in Books

As much as I love my OTP’s and ships I also love seeing amazing friendships in books. Ones that stay as friends and no romantic developments happen later. So I thought I would share some of my all time favourite friendships in books.

1 Cinder and Carswell Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles – they are hilarious and sassy and I adore their banter throughout the books. Their scenes together are some of my favourite!

2 Darrow and Sevro from Red Rising – they have such an amazing friendship! They go through so much in the books but they never betray each other. They are always there for each other and call each other out when they do something wrong.

3 Dorian and Chaol from Throne of Glass – they are two of my favourite characters in these books and I always love their friendship and how much they go through and their friendship never wavers. I cannot wait for them to meet again in the final book!

4 Nina and Inej from Six of Crows – I love how they love and support each other. It’s so amazing to see female friendships in books. How they look out for each other and get advice from each other ang generally enjoy spending time with each other.

5 Magnus and Samirah from Magnus Chase – they have the cutest friendship! I love Magnus is considerate of Samirah’s religious beliefs and how Samirah always looks out for Magnus.

6 Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices – best parabatai’s ever! They have such a wonderful friendship and I wish we got to see more of it.

7 Amani and Shahrzad from Rebel of the Sands – they quickly become friends in the first book and by the end of the trilogy they have one of the best friendships ever! I loved it so much especially when Amani is given the chance to ensure the survival of one of the characters and she chooses Shahrzad even though she could have saved Jin or Ahmed instead.

8 Percy and Grover from Percy Jaackson and the Olympians – Rick Riordan definitely knows how to write great friendships! These are another two that I adore! They even have an empathy link!

9 Harry, Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter – of course I couldn’t write about my favourite friendships without including these three! I love their friendship right from the first book to the end!

10 The Secret Seven/Famous Five by Enid Blyton – this is taking it way back into my childhood! I loved the friendships the kids have in both these books so much!

Well there you have it! These are some of my all time favourite friendships!

Let me know what your favourite friendships are! I love reading books with amazing friendships in it!

Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesday – Books I Want To Re-read

Hey booknerds! It’s another Top 5 Wednesday post! This is hosted by Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes where you share you top 5 for the chosen topic for that week. You can check out each weeks topic over on Goodreads.

This weeks topic is a freebie so as I missed the first week this month I thought I would do that one! So the topic I chose is books I want to re-read!

Ah so many books you guys! I have so many books I want to re-read but I never get the chance! So here is the books I really want to be able to re-read soon:

1 The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo – I recently re-read the Six of Crows and I loved it even more the second time around so I really want to re-read the grisha trilogy especially as King of Scars is coming out soon!

2 An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I adore the first two books but it has been so long since I read them that I want to re-read them before reading Reaper.

3 The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh – ahh I adore this duology and I so want to go back into this world

4 The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare – my favourite of the shadowhunter books and I especially want to re-read them before the new series releases next year!

5 The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan – this is one of my favourite rick riordan series and I really want to dive back into this world!

So I’ve always struggled to re-read books but recently I’ve started re-reading them via audiobook and I am loving it! So I am hoping to get to these soon!

What books would you love to re-read?

Adult Books, Books by Muslim Authors, Fiction Books, Muslim Shelf Space

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar Book Review

I read this book a month ago and I still think about it. It was such an amazing story of love and loss and how everything can change in the blink of an eye. I highly recommend reading this book!

map of salt and stars

Rating: 4.5/5

For anyone who hasn’t heard of the book here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is to Syria what The Kite Runner was to Afghanistan; the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker—places today’s headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again.
It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.
More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.
A deep immersion into the richly varied cultures of the Middle East and North Africa, The Map of Salt and Stars follows the journeys of Nour and Rawiya as they travel along identical paths across the region eight hundred years apart, braving the unknown beside their companions as they are pulled by the promise of reaching home at last.

This is a beautifully written, poignant story. And it is so relevant to what is happening with the refugee crisis around the world. I heard about this book a while ago and had eagerly been awaiting it’s release and it did not disappoint. I must warn you though, have tissues ready, I was teary eyed throughout the book.

“Things change too much. We’ve always got to fix the maps, repaint the borders of ourselves.”

The story begins with Nour just after her father’s funeral and then her family decide to move back to Syria where she struggles to adjust as she doesn’t understand Arabic as much as the rest of the family. This is where we first hear of Rawiya. It is the story her father told her of the young woman Rawiya who became an apprentice to the world’s greatest mapmaker.

From then there is two interwoven stories following the story of Nour and Rawiya. I loved both stories and seeing how Syria and the whole region once was through the story of Rawiya and then how unstable and dangerous it has become now through the eyes of Nour. The story of Rawiya also shows the bond between her and her father and her trying to remember him.

Nour has synaesthesia so the descriptions are so vivid and refreshing as she links what she sees and hears to colours. It’s the first time I have read a character with synaesthesia so I really loved seeing that. Each of Nour’s interactions and the people she meets along her journey as her and her family try to get to safety leave a lasting impression on her. Her story felt so real as if I was also travelling with her which made it even more heart wrenching. She goes through so many hardships but there is still hope among her family that they will make it to safety.

“Sometimes the smallest stars shine brightest, no?”

Rawiya’s story contrasted Nour’s in the sense that we see Syria when it was flourishing and when people lived in relative safety. Rawiya is smart and brave and kind and I really loved her and her story.

Another thing I loved was the way there was poetry included in the story. As Nour and Rawiya travelled from country to country the story is separated with a poem written in the shape of the country. The poems were not only beautiful and heartfelt but looked amazing too.

“People make such beautiful things, I think, even though they destroy so much.”

As I mentioned earlier this is the story of Nour essentially becoming a refugee and fleeing for her life. Her whole life is uprooted in one moment, their home destroyed and they literally leave with only what they can carry. This is the reality of many all over the world, who one day are living their normal lives and the next running for their life with only what they can carry.

I love that despite everything that happens to them they never give up even though they do sometimes doubt that they will make it to safety. Their strength is inspiring and it really made me feel for not only them but also for all the refugees across the world who are going through this.

“You choose what defines you. Being a refugee doesn’t have to.”

This is a book that I think everyone should read as it is a beautifully written, lyrical story and so, so relevant today. It kept me hooked throughout the book and it’s a book that will stay with you for a long time.

Blog Tours/Street Teams

Tied To Deceit By Neeha H. Brar – Digital Reads Blog Tour

Hey booknerds! So I’m part of Digital Reads Blog Tour and this time we bring you Tied To Deceit by Neeha H. Brar.

BOOK COVER PIC

So here’s the synopsis:

On a drizzly August morning, the inhabitants of the hill town of Sanover, Himachal Pradesh, wake up to the shocking news of the murder of the exquisite, secretive, malicious, and thoroughly immoral Devika Singh.
As Superintendent of Police Vishwanath Sharma begins to sift through the hidden secrets of Devika Singh’s life, it becomes evident that everyone who knew her seems to have a clear-cut motive for killing her.
Faced with the investigation of a crime that appears to have as many suspects as there are motives, Vishwanath Sharma probes the sinister web spun around a tangle of lies and deception.

Read on for a short excerpt:

Dr. Rajinder Bhardwaj, the owner and the head physician at Lifeline Hospital, Sanover, had showered after his brisk morning walk and joined his wife for an early morning tea. Gayatri Bhardwaj sat with her second cup of ginger tea on her favourite old, worn, woven chair on the verandah which overlooked their front garden: a tapestry of blooming carnations, marigolds, roses, and chrysanthemums. She longed for a clear, bright day and the dazzling blue sky of summer.

It was her favourite spot to sit in the mornings; a place from where she could witness the brilliant dawn streaking half of the sky coral; raindrops soaking everything wet during the monsoon; specks of silvery snow falling from the sky during winter. She could take in everything from the serene mountain peaks and the forest to their house—its roof, windowpanes, and the pebbled driveway that snaked its way criss-cross toward the outside big iron gate. She would sit there until Dr. Bhardwaj joined her after his daily ritual of a brisk morning walk.

They had done this for years despite the changing seasons and the changing equation of their marital relationship. They had spent endless mornings of their initial married years there, when their hearts were still giddy with the feeling of young love, and they would talk about everything and nothing. She’d been a bride at barely twenty, young and naive. He’d been ten years her senior, already on the way to establishing himself as a successful physician, the younger son of a landlord aristocratic family with old wealth. He had swept her off her feet then, and was all charm and charisma but then the magic slowly diminished and finally died due to his secret betrayals over time. Thousands of little resentments had replaced the early warmth. But their hearts, although heavy with bitterness and anger at the failed expectations, had gotten used to the solace of each other’s company that often comes with years of living together, and they never stopped performing this morning ritual of their married life.

Praise for Tied to Deceit:

“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise. Brar enhances her taut murder mystery with an engaging setting that effectively incorporates the local culture. The smart, believable denouement will have readers looking forward to Brar’s next endeavour.”
-Kirkus Reviews
“A literary mystery saga that includes far more depth and psychological and cultural insights than your typical murder mystery’s scenario.”
-D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review

AUTHOR PIC

Neena H. Brar lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, two children, a highly energetic German Shepherd, and a lifetime collection of her favourite books.
A hermit at heart, she’s a permissive mother, a reluctant housekeeper, a superb cook, and a hard-core reader.
Tied to Deceit is her debut novel.

For more information and social media:

Website: http://neenabrar.com

Instagram: @bookaddictnwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeenaHBrar/

Links to buy the book:

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar-ebook/dp/B07CZSVFX7/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar-ebook/dp/B07CZSVFX7/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tied-Deceit-Neena-H-Brar/dp/1775158039/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tied-to-deceit-neena-h-brar/1128485082?ean=9781775158028

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/tied-to-deceit

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Fiction Books, YA Books

Jinxed By Amy McCulloch ARC Book Review

I picked this ARC up at the Northern YA Lit Festival and I am so happy that I got this! I really loved this book and I loved that there was emphasis on STEM and that the main character, Lacey, was unashamedly nerdy!

Jinxed publishes on August 9th

jinxed

Rating:4.5/5

So if you don’t know what the book is about here is the synopsis from goodreads:

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the “baku” – a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn’t been accepted into Profectus – the elite academy for cutting edge tech – it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.
Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems … real.

So I wasn’t sure what to expect but it sounded really interesting and there was a mention of a cat so of course I had to read it (crazy cat lady here!). And I’m so glad I did as I loved it!

It’s a sci-fi book but it’s actually pretty close to real life that you can really believe the world it’s set in. I loved the way that STEM is a huge part of the book from Lacey wanting to be a companioneer, which is basically someone who comes up with the technological advances of the bakus, to Zora and her insane coding abilities!

This book although had some romance wasn’t a huge part of the book which I loved. There was more about friendships and everyone focused on building their career in their fields. The friendships was one of my favourite parts of the book. From Lacey and Zora’s friendship to Lacey and Jinx’s friendship and of course Lacey and her team mates in school. It showed several different types from old, solid friends to building new friends.

Zora and Lacey’s friendship is amazing because it was so relatable and realistic. They become friends through a shared love of wanting to work in similar career fields. This builds into the amazing friendship that they have.

One of my favourite quotes in the book is also about friendship:

Friendship is about choice. Not obligation.

Jinx was one of my favourite characters in the book with his witty, sarcastic remarks. He is sassy and snarky and forever getting Lacey in trouble. And I loved that Lacey never gives up on him and that he tries to help and protect Lacey. By the end of the book even I felt really protective over Jinx and I wish I could have him as my baku!

This book also dealt with how some people are privileged and that not having it puts you at a disadvantage. Lacey has to deal with the fact that although she has gone above and beyond all the requirements to get into Profectus Academy she is still rejected. But she didn’t give up and she worked hard to get to where she is despite the disappointment and resentment she feels.

This book kept me on my feet from the beginning and kept me wanting to read more, just one more chapter, which resulted in me staying up half the night to finish the book. Everything that happened felt like it was building up to something big and I just needed to know!

The ending left me shocked and I really hope that there is a sequel because I need to be back in this world and know what will happen after that ending!

If you have read this book then let me know what you thought!

Please note that all quotes from the ARC are subject to change in the final book.