Book Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, Maira Kalman (Illustrator)

Why we broke up

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Book Description (from Goodreads):

I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Book Review:

In this story, through a long letter that Min is writing to Ed, we explore their relationship since they met until their breakup.

What I loved: The beautiful illustrations by Maira Kalman that enrich the story.

My favorite characters: Ed (for most of the book) and Al (Min’s best friend who was incredible supportive of her).

The story is rich and descriptive, I read the book in two days, I couldn’t wait to find out more about Min’s box and the story behind it and I was more caught with each page.

The book has some really mixed reviews in Goodreads, for that reason I think is important to mention that the writing is more complex than in other books from the same genre (the author definitely has his own style), there are some really long sentences and references that sometimes can make you lose track a little (I had to re-read some paragraphs but this didn’t make me enjoy less the book).

Would I recommend this book? Yes, because is a story full of emotions, has a good plot and because it kept me intrigued until the end.

My favorite quote from the book “You either have the feeling or you don’t” Hawk Davies.

Book Review: Ryan Hunter (Grover Beach Team #2) by Piper Shelly

Ryan Hunter

I loved “Play with Me” by Piper Shelly and in that book I fell in love with Ryan’s character.
When I found out that another book would be released, but now from the POV of Ryan, I knew I had to read it.

In “Ryan Hunter (Grover Beach Team, # 2)” we learn more about Ryan’s feelings towards Liza and we see more of the Soccer team.

The book was an easy read, engaging, sweet and fun with a lovely romance.
I really loved the main characters that the author created for the Grover Beach Series (Liza and Ryan) and I found Justin (one of the secondary characters) very likeable.

I must say than from the two books of the Grover Beach Team Series, this from Ryan’s POV became my favorite.
This book made me smile a lot, kept me reading without a break (it was impossible for me to put it down) and now is part of my “To re-read” shelf.

Overall this is a well written and very enjoyable book that I really recommend, specially to people who like YA books and stories with romance and sports (to have a better understanding of the story and the characters I recommend to read first “Play with Me” the Book 1 in the Series).

If in the future more books of the Grover Beach Team Series are released, I’ll definitely read them.

Book Review: The Lightbearers by Nora M. Garcia

The Lightbearers

Book Description (from Goodreads):

THE LIGHTBEARERS is the story of an ancient Egyptian King and Queen, Akhenaton and Nefertiti, who have been reincarnating together for the past 3300 years. They have been entrusted with the mission of The Lightbearers, whose responsibility is to be guardians of the human race and to enlighten any whose path they cross. Through reincarnation, during each of their lifetimes, they strive to overcome violence, greed and injustice and in each lifetime they leave pockets of individuals with whom they have shared their secrets of life and death. They have also been ascribed with the powers of telepathy, astral projection and psycho kinesis. They are highly evolved and highly enlightened.

Discovery of their innate mystical powers is facilitated by the assistance of an alien being who introduces them to the mission of the Lightbearer. Through a series of flashbacks two of their previous lifetimes are revealed beginning in Ancient Egypt and including 17th century France where they switched genders.

The story unfolds in the 21st century where Jean Crystal, Nefertiti’s incarnate, has been kidnapped by Dr. Natas, whose plan for world domination has been temporarily disrupted by Jean and her husband George, Akhenaten’s incarnate. Jean and George have discovered a secret about Dr. Natas experimental school, a school completely computerized and robotized.

Jean is held captive on a laboratory table by a motion sensitive laser directed toward her central nervous system. Not realizing this, upon awakening from a narcotic sleep induced by the doctor, she attempts to move and is suddenly wracked by a mind numbing pain. The more she moves the more pain she receives. By astrally projecting herself she is able to overcome the pain and investigate her circumstances. George has already been assassinated and while awaiting her own demise, George pays Jean a visit in the lab, assuring her of their eternal vow to each other. Jean is very shortly, thereafter, assassinated. Upon the joyful reunion of their spirits on Petite Terre, a tiny island just off the Normandy Province of France, Jean and George plan their return. While it is possible to determine their gender and the time in which they return, they cannot predetermine their identities. They must pick a place, a time and a signal by which they can find and identify each other in their subsequent lifetime. In this particular lifetime, their favorite song was “Imagine” by John Lennon and so on the first Monday of October, 2024 at 12 noon, they decide to meet outside the computer science building on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. She will find him sitting under a tree near the building with a guitar strumming “Imagine”.

Their reunion takes place 20 years later, albeit not without a hitch. Together they set out to rescue the United States from Dr. Natas’s well-placed plans, he has already begun to execute.

Book Review:

Reincarnation, astral projection, telepathy, robots and romance, are some of the elements that make The Lightbearers a very interesting and captivating story.

The protagonists of this story are Jean and George, two Lightbearers with some special powers who have been together through different lives and times and are trying to fulfill its mission of helping humanity (although this is not an easy task for them!). The author did a nice job making these two characters really likable and interesting.

The book starts with Jean (in the contemporary times), who is in the hands of the evil genius Dr. Natas, owner of Alpha Beta Corporation and creator of a school that uses robots instead of humans (He is a true villain, dark and very manipulative, who won’t stop until he gets what he wants).
There are some unexpected twists and turns involving some of the secondary characters (I won’t give any spoilers here), but all of them contribute to make the story even more interesting.

With a mix of science fiction, action, romance and supernatural aspects, this is an entertaining book (well written and with good characters), that I really enjoyed, kept my attention until the end and I will surely recommend.

Book Review: This morning I woke up dead by Mindy Larson

This morning I woke up dead

Book Description from Amazon:

Things are seemingly perfect for Hadley Christensen and Dominic Morris. They’re engaged, both of them have promising careers in the medical field, and they’re happier and more fulfilled than they have ever been. When Hadley heads off to work one morning, she realizes things aren’t as they seem. While staring into the headlights of a fast approaching oncoming vehicle, life as she knows it is forever altered. Her last breath on Earth is only the beginning.

She isn’t about to die.
She is already dead.
No one else knows but they are all dead too.

This powerful realization forces Hadley to leave Dominic behind and exist in another realm. Neither soul handles the painful separation well, nor can their bond be broken. Even in death. Hadley is given the rare privilege to make contact from the other side, desperately hoping to convince her beloved of his true state and ensure they be together once more.

This Morning I Woke Up Dead takes you on a journey of discovery as two souls fight against their undeniably difficult situation of being tormented and separated by different realms of existence, proving that those who are destined to be together will not be kept apart by a beating heart.

Book Review:

My Rating 4.5

“This Morning I Woke Up Dead” explores the existence of an afterlife, a different realm of existence, and how life could be in that place.

I loved the beautiful love story of Hadley and Dominic, from the beginning I was waiting for them to find their happy ending.

This book also addresses some difficult issues, like the loss of a loved one, the grief and what follows for those who remain, but the author manages to do it very well.

Something I enjoy in books is the narrative from different POV, in this book the story alternates between the POV of Hadley (the main female character) and the one from Dominic (Hadley’s boyfriend), this allows us to see what they are experiencing in a parallel manner and in two different worlds.

For me the narrative of Dominic (particularly at the beginning) was really heartbreaking, through the pages you can feel his pain, his agony over the loss of Hadley, but also all his love for her.

Reading the book there were times when I experienced some sadness, but there were also moments that really made me smile (one of them was while reading how Hadley and Dominic met and began dating).

Besides the main characters there are others that I found good and likable, like Logan (Hadley’s “Guide”) and Emerson (Dominic’s sister) and it’s interesting to learn their stories.

This book is an emotional journey for the characters as well as a journey of learning and I think the author did a very good job in showing this in the story.

Something I think is important to mention is that there are moments in the book with transitions between past/present, one realm of existence and the other, in which you should pay attention so you don’t lose track of the progression of the story.

As the writing in this book is emotional, and the characters feel very real, be prepared to possibly shed a few tears as you read.

Overall I think this is a really good book and I recommend it, also I look forward to reading more from this author.

Currently Reading: This morning I woke up dead by Mindy Larson

This morning I woke up dead

This morning I woke up dead by Mindy Larson is the book I’m currently reading, as soon as I finish I’ll post the review.

Book Description (from Amazon):

Things are seemingly perfect for Hadley Christensen and Dominic Morris. They’re engaged, both of them have promising careers in the medical field, and they’re happier and more fulfilled than they have ever been. When Hadley heads off to work one morning, she realizes things aren’t as they seem. While staring into the headlights of a fast approaching oncoming vehicle, life as she knows it is forever altered. Her last breath on Earth is only the beginning.

She isn’t about to die.

She is already dead.

No one else knows but they are all dead too.

This powerful realization forces Hadley to leave Dominic behind and exist in another realm. Neither soul handles the painful separation well, nor can their bond be broken. Even in death. Hadley is given the rare privilege to make contact from the other side, desperately hoping to convince her beloved of his true state and ensure they be together once more.

This Morning I Woke Up Dead takes you on a journey of discovery as two souls fight against their undeniably difficult situation of being tormented and separated by different realms of existence, proving that those who are destined to be together will not be kept apart by a beating heart.