Ghosted • Review

  • Author: Aisha Tritle
  • Title: Ghosted
  • Saga: Stand alone 
  • Published: February 14th 2022
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Stars: 4 🌟
  • Official Synopsis: When social media obsessed Audrey is offered the chance to test a program where she can meet ‘ghosts’ – digital impressions of people created from their online data – she eagerly accepts.
    But then she runs into the ghost of Luc, the one that got away. How does he seem to know Audrey’s deepest, darkest secrets? And what is the true purpose of the program? As Audrey ventures further into the twisted virtual world, she realizes that she’ll have to find out exactly how much Luc knows… Or risk everyone finding out about her.

REVIEW

Aisha Tritle writes action-packed, suspenseful sci-fi short stories with a plot that could be our future.

Ghosted is about AI and dating. Audrey works at a company where they create virtual experiences, she’s testing a new dating app, but it’s not real, the candidates are ghosts, data for dead people or people from your past. Soon Audrey’s past could come to light and her reputation could be damaged, as her past is not entirely pure.

The novella also talks about the connections we make online and how we want to be accepted and not feel alone.It’s not just dating, Audrey needs to check the likes she receives on social media and fears for her reputation.

It’s a short story that will leave you wanting more, there is a lot of mystery around it and with an air of realism, this could be our reality in a couple of years.

Sweden Ideas • December 2021

TO READ

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils – Selma Lagerlof
The story recounts Nils’s adventures as he is transported over the countryside on the back of a goose. From this vantage point, Nils witnesses a host of events that provide young readers with an abundance of information about nature, geography, folklore, animal life, and more.

Children

Findus and the Christmas Tomte

Snow is falling on Pettson’s farm, and Christmas is approaching. Findus, the talking cat, tells Pettson that he is excited about the Yule Tomte’s visit and gifts. «Oh dear!» thinks Pettson, «How can I explain that the Yule Tomte may not visit cats. Findus, however, is adamant that the Yule Tomte must visit, and because Pettson does not want to disappoint Findus, he comes up with a plan to build a Yule Tomte that can move and speak and give Findus gifts–but it is going to be very difficult to keep this secret from the curious cat, and even harder to design a convincing mechanical Yule Tomte! What Pettson needs is a little bit of Christmas magic…

Christmas in Noisy Village 

The noisy children of three neighboring families are celebrating the season by baking cookies, cutting and decorating trees, eating fruitcake and tarts, and opening Christmas gifts.


Seacrow Island

The four Melkerson children are a little bit worried on reaching Seacrow Island, where their father has rented a cottage for the whole summer without even setting eyes on it. On the boat a man told Pelle, the youngest Melkerson, that the cottage’s roof leaks. They disembark in the pouring rain.

Seacrow Island, however, turns out to be full of all sorts of wonderful surprises. Pelle loves animals, and here he finds Bosun, the most gigantic dog he’s ever seen, along with his irrepressible owner, Tjorven. Johan and Niklas meet Teddy and Freddy, two girls, as it turns out, who know all about boats and exploring. As for nineteen-year-old Malin, she falls in love for the first time. By the end of the summer, all four children and their father know that Seacrow Island is home. 

Mio, My Son

With help from a genie, young Karl Anders Nilsson travels by day and night, beyond the stars, to reach Farawayland. There, his father the King, who has been searching for him for nine long years, tells him his true name is Mio, and lavishes upon him the loving attention he never received from his foster parents back in Stockholm. Mio learns of a prophecy that has been foretold for thousand of years. With his best friend Pompoo, and his horse with the golden mane, Miramis, he must travel into the darkness of Outer Land to battle the cruel Sir Kato. 

Pippi Longstocking

Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!

The Brothers Lionheart

The two main characters are two brothers; the older Jonatan and the younger Karl. The two brothers’ surname was originally Lion, but they are generally known as Lionheart. Karl’s nickname is Skorpan (Rusky) since Jonatan likes these typical Swedish toasts or crusts.

In Nangijala, a land in «the campfires and storytelling days», the brothers experience adventures. Together with a resistance group they lead the struggle against the evil Tengil, who rules with the aid of the fearsome fire-breathing dragon, Katla.

Historical Fiction

 The Faculty of Dreams – Sara Stridsberg

In April 1988, Valerie Solanas — the writer, radical feminist, and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol — was discovered dead at fifty-two in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco, alone, penniless, and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings.

In The Faculty of Dreams, Sara Stridsberg revisits the hotel room where Solanas died; the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol; the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood, where she was repeatedly raped by her father and beaten by her alcoholic grandfather; and the mental hospitals where she was shut away. Through imagined conversations and monologues, reminiscences and rantings, Stridsberg reconstructs this most intriguing and enigmatic of women, articulating the thoughts and fears that she struggled to express in life and giving a powerful, heartbreaking voice to the writer of the infamous SCUM Manifesto.

A Manor House Tale

Is at one and the same time a complex psychological novel and a folk tale, a love story and a Gothic melodrama. It crosses genre boundaries and locates itself in a borderland between reality and fantasy, madness and sanity, darkness and light, possession and loss, life and death. Lagerlof’s two young characters, Gunnar and Ingrid, the one driven to madness by the horrific death of his goats in a blizzard, the other falling into a death-like trance as a result of the absence of familial warmth, rescue each other from their psychological underworlds and return to an everyday world that is now enhanced by the victory of goodness and love.

The Death of a Beekeeper – Lars Gustafsson

In the beginning of the winter thaw, Lars Lennart Westin has learned that he has cancer and will not live through spring. Told through the journals of this schoolteacher turned apiarist, The Death of a Beekeeper, is his gentle, courageous, and sometimes comic meditation on living with pain. Westin has refused to surrender the time left him to the impersonation of a hospital, preferring to take his fate upon himself, to continue solitary, reflective life in the Swedish countryside. «I took little walks and noticed that in the last months the pain had actually colored the landscape in a peculiar way. Here and there is a tree where it really hurt, here and there is a fence against whose post I struck my hand in passing.»


Hanna’s Daughters by Marianne Fredriksson

Anna has returned from visiting her mother. Restless and unable to sleep, she wanders through her parents’ house, revisiting the scenes of her childhood. In a cupboard drawer, folded and pushed away from sight, she finds a sepia photograph of her grandmother, Hanna, whom she remembers as old and forbidding, a silent stranger enveloped in a huge pleated black dress. Now, looking at the features Anna recognises as her own, she realises she is looking at a different woman from the one of her memory. Set against the majestic isolation of the Scandinavian lakes and mountains, this is more than a story of three Swedish women. It is a moving testament of a time forgotten and an epic romance in every sense of the word. (


The Saga of Gosta Berling by Selma Lagerlof

Set in 1820s Sweden, it tells the story of a defrocked minister named Gösta Berling. After his appetite for alcohol and previous indiscretions end his career, Berling finds a home at Ekeby, an ironworks estate owned by Margareta Celsing, the «Majoress,» that also houses and assortment of eccentric veterans of the Napoleanic Wars. Berling’s defiant and poetic spirit proves magnetic to a string of women, who fall under his spell against the backdrop of political intrigue at Margareta’s estate and the magnificent wintry beauty of rural Sweden. 

City of My Dreams – Per Anders Fogelström

A summer evening in 1860 a young man named Henning walks into the city he has dreamed of. Times are changing, industries are forming and new possibilites are opening up.
The narrative follows a group of working-class people on Södermalm in Stockholm between 1860 and 1880.

The Historians by Cecilia Ekbäck

It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right hand of Sweden’s chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. When Laura’s best friend Britta is found murdered, however, she is determined to find the killer.

Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to Jens Regnell, private secretary to the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens does not understand why he has received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to ascertain the truth.

Contemporary


I Go to America: Swedish American Women and the Life of Mina 

Near the end of her life, Mina Anderson penned a lively memoir that helped Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg create «Kristina,» the central female character of his beloved emigrant novels, a woman who constantly yearns for her homeland. But Mina’s story was quite different. 
Showcasing her previously untranslated memoir, «I Go To America» traces Mina’s trip across the Atlantic to Wisconsin and then the Twin Cities, where she worked as a domestic servant, and her move to rural Mille Lacs County, where she and her husband worked a farm, raised seven children, and contributed to rural Swedish community life. 
Mina herself writes about how grateful she was for the opportunity to be in America, where the pay was better, class differences were unconfining, and children–girls included–had the chance for a good education. In her own words, «I have never regretted that I left Sweden. I have had it better here.»

Anxious People – Fredrik Backman

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to set an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman 

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. 

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages-

Mystery

The Ice Princess – Camilla Läckberg 

Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Kazakhstan  Ideas • November 2021

TO READ

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata
Eleven-year-old Jaden is adopted, and he knows he’s an “epic fail.’ That’s why his family is traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a new baby—to replace him, he’s sure. And he gets it. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels…nothing. But when they get to Kazakhstan, it turns out the infant they’ve travelled for has already been adopted, and literally within minutes are faced with having to choose from six other babies. While his parents agonize, Jaden is more interested in the toddlers. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. Jaden finds himself increasingly intrigued by and worried about Dimash. Already three years old and barely able to speak, Dimash will soon age out of the orphanage, and then his life will be as hopeless as Jaden feels now. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn’t pure blinding fury, and there’s no way to control it, or its power.

Historical fiction

Woman in Exile: My Life in Kazakhstan by Juliana Starosolska

Juliana Starosolska was taken by the Stalinists from her parents’ home in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and deported in a sealed boxcar to a distant and primitive outpost in Siberian Kazakhstan. In «Woman in Exile, » she records her ordeals in a series of vignettes that capture the horrific, the humane, and even the occasionally humorous aspects of her experience.
Her father was arrested by the Stalinists and sent to a forced labor camp deep in Russian Siberia, where he died less than two years later. In the spring of 1940, the rest of his family, who had remained behind in Ukraine-Juliana; her frail mother, Daria; and her brother, Ihor-were forcibly deported by the Soviet government. They were forced to live and work under the most brutally primitive and backbreaking conditions.

The Great Thinkers of the Kazakh Steppe

This book is a collection of biographies of the great people that made Kazakhstan’s history. Some of them were real heroes of their time, some were not understood and were even thought they were traitors, however, their input into the future was very significant and their achievements cannot be diminished. You will find out about our national composers-akyns, poets and Khans. You will learn about the three judges that established the first legal system in Kazakhstan. Some of the characters might seem mythical, but the stories about them still live among us

 Folk Tales From The Soviet Union: Central Asia And Kazakhstan 

Wonderful and beautifully illustrated folk tales from the formerly Soviet Union make up this collection. Five traditions of Central Asia are represented: Uzbek, Kirghiz, Tajik, Turkmen and Kazakh. Contents include: Three Brothers / Which Was the Biggest / Clever Ashik / The Padishah’s Daughter and the Young Slave / The Greedy Kazi / Yarty-Gulok / A Mountain of Gems / A Bought Dream.

A Far Wilder Magic • Review

  • Author: Allison Saft 
  • Title: A Far Wilder Magic
  • Saga: Standalone
  • Published: March 8th 2022
  • Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult,
  • Stars: 4 🌟
  • Official Synopsis:

When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.

A Far Wilder Magic is a charming story about similar souls that at first, they do not realize. It’s a Dual POV and is a character-driven story, is more about inner development than an action story, still, things happen, I like the magic system, it is not very heavy but interesting.

Wes is a dreamer, he dreams to be an alchemist, his last hope is a prestigious alchemist in a nearby town, but when he arrives to become her apprentice, she is on a trip without a return date, in her place is her daughter, Margaret.

Margaret is a social outcast, she doesn’t have friends in town, because she is different, she wants to participate in the annual hunt, but she needs an alchemist.

When Wes and Margaret meet at first they don’t get along, it seems that they have nothing in common, especially since Margaret has barriers, (like a porcupine) but little by little, they will get to know each other, make friends, and something else.

Also, this is a romance-focused story, very slow burn and sweet. It was a lovely story, beautifully written style, and felt atmospheric and cozy. It’s about two lonely people who find their place in the world and someone to share it with. Both have familiar issues and scars, want someone to love, and want to belong somewhere.

I liked seeing the growth of both, despite looking different at first and having grown up in different environments, deep down they are similar and they both want the same thing.

I found alchemy interesting and I would like to know more about it and the magic system, also about the world, it felt like a mix between 19th century America but with a bit of modern technology, without being steampunk.

Read it if you like: Slow burn romance, character-driven stories, pretty written style.

Swan Song Of My Era • Review



I accepted to participate in the blog tour of Swan Song Of My Era, organized by Turn the Page Tours.

TITLE:  Swan Song of My Era
AUTHOR: Elsie Swain
PUBLISHER: Okiyoto Publishing
RELEASE DATE:
April 13, 2021
GENRES: YA Contemporary

SYNOPSIS:

What happens when Hope Vale, an aspiring Vitiligo make-up artist who wants to eradicate the market of whitening products meets Spes Zrey, an arrogant Hugo-Boss awardee struggling to shape her Designer dream, as they envision reshaping Asia into the next fashion empire together?

Set in Malaysia, this Contemporary Fiction is all about the grueling ambition against all hurdles of reality to break the confinements of Gender and the stereotypes of preferred white beauty in Asia.

REVIEW

Swan Song Of My Era is a YA Contemporary Story, with a lot of symbolism and representation. The story takes place in Malaysia and tells us the story of Hope and Spes, two talented artists, Spes wants to be a fashion designer and Hope a makeup artist.

They could not be more different, Spes seems like a cold person, she is focused on her goals despite receiving criticism, she knows who she is and that she has the talent to achieve it. Hope is more friendly and has good friends who support her, but strangers tend to judge her based on her appearance.

It is a story that mentions important issues such as gender identity and appearance. Spes is expected to be more feminine while Hope has vitiligo and receives hurtful comments about her skin. Both want to change the concept of beauty since the ideal is white skin and European features (despite living in Malaysia).

I like the symbolism, for example, the title, at the beginning, they tell you that the swans sing their most beautiful melody just before they die and here, Spes wonders what would happen if you are a young artist and you have already reached all your potential.

There is romance! It is sweet and slow burn. Beautiful.

Read it if you want a diverse story, about two talented artists who want to change the idea of beauty.

Thanks for the opportunity to read it.


BUY LINKS:

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/swan-song-of-my-era-elsie-swain/1139322877

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Swan-Song-Era-Elsie-Swain/dp/981498924X

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/a/25463/9789814989244

Author’s instagram: ihttps://www.instagram.com/elsie.ilye/

Lobizona • Reseña

  • Autora: Romina Garber
  • Título: Lobizina
  • Saga: Primero de una duología
  • Fecha de Publicación: Agosto 4th 2020 
  • Género: Fantasia juvenil
  • Stars: 4 🌟
  • Official Synopsis:
    Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
    Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
    Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious «Z» emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

REVIEW

¿Les gustan los cambiaformas? Si fueras uno ¿en que te transformarás? A mi me gustaría ser un zorro o alguna ave. Este año he andado con el modo de leer historias con folklore latino o realismo mágico. Así me encontré con Lobizona: Fantasía urbana, Brujas, Hombres lobos, con folclore e historia argentina, ambientando en Miami. 

Manu ha vivido toda su vida escondida, una de las razones es porque es indocumentada, la otra son sus ojos que se asemejan al sol. Cosas pasan y termina en un Lunaris, Manu ha encontrado más gente como ella, ¿Pero qué pasa cuando ella no manifiesta ningún poder? Por suerte, pronto hace amigos que la encubren y juntos tendrán una misión: encontrar el padre de Manu.

Me gustó cómo toca temas como la migración, el permanecer en algún lado y los roles de género, porque en Lunaris, las chicas son brujas, los chicos hombres lobos y ambos tienen tareas que cumplir, aunque no estén de acuerdo con ellos. Esos roles son algo que el padre de Manu hace años intentó cambiar, pero fue perseguido y el rumor dice que está escondido.  Sobre la migración, Manu piensa que por fin encontró su lugar, pero ella es tan ilegal como humana en Miami que en Lunaris como bruja, ella es única y a los ojos de los más tradicionalistas, eso no está bien. 

Peru Reading Challenge • February 2022

Read the World Challenge: 
Every month I try to read a book setting in a different country from mine, USA, and UK. the story has to be setting in the country, the author may not be national, but it is preferable. The country is chosen by my brother and I started the challenge because I love traveling, history and culture, and I think that reading about different places and cultures, you learn a lot.

In February I read about Peru and these are some of the books I found

TO READ

Cuentos Populares de Peru para Crecer Juntos • José Morán Orti
Los 25 cuentos más conocidos de Perú. Una selección de las historias más entrañables para prosperar mirando al pasado y al futuro. Lo mejor de las tradiciones y las costumbres peruanas para los más pequeños. ¡También disponibles en audiolibro! Edad: 6 años. 25 de los cuentos más populares de Perú. Las historias tradicionales contadas como nunca para poder crecer juntos. Cada cuento explica una tradición peruana o enseña los valores del país. Mayores y pequeños se divertirán mientras conocen Perú. Con ilustraciones cuidadas, personalizadas e impactantes. Así, cada cuento tiene su ambientación, sus personajes y la magia que te transporta a Perú. Todos las historias están narradas como nunca: con descripciones detalladas, mucho protagonismo de los personajes, y de forma sonora, ágil y con misterio. Y también disponibles en versión audiolibro, con voces de actores de cine, música de banda sonora y efectos de sonido.

OTHER OPTIONS

Historical Fiction

La Perricholi: Reina de Lima – Alonso Cueto
¿Quién fue Micaela Villegas? ¿La actriz que brilló en el Coliseo de Comedias? ¿La amante que protagonizó junto al virrey Amat una de las historias de amor más polémicas del siglo XVIII en el Perú? ¿La belleza mestiza que sacudió los cimientos de la sociedad limeña de su época, desatando odios, halagos y envidias? ¿La piadosa que se arrodilló frente a un párroco para confesar sus pecados? ¿La díscola acusada de inmoral? ¿La madre que crio a su hijo con orgulloso amor? ¿O la contestataria que supo trocar un insulto en el nombre con el que se hizo famosa: la Perricholi? Estas y otras interrogantes atraviesan la trama de esta novela que recrea la desafiante vida de Micaela Villegas, enmarcada entre los últimos años del virreinato peruano y los albores de la Independencia.

El fuego en la niebla  – José Luis Villanueva
Novela histórica sobre Juan Santos Atahualpa, personaje mítico de la insurrección indígena contra el yugo español en el Perú del siglo XVIII (1742) que se revelo en la selva central cuarenta años antes que Túpac Amaru; pero sobre todo es la historia de Cosai, su lugarteniente, y de su oscura pasión por Isabel, mujer ashaninka de una belleza irresistible.
En la espesura sensual de la selva, la pasión y la muerte se juntan para dar lugar a una novela cautivante, cargada de realidad histórica y humana.

Ciudad Madre Caral. Cuna de la civilización en América – María Martha Calvo 
Ambientada en la costa central peruana hace casi 4,000 años, “Ciudad Madre. Caral, cuna de la civilización en América” se ha convertido en la primera novela de un escritor peruano que busca recrear los detalles de la vida cotidiana de muchas familias que tuvieron que afrontar  momentos cruciales marcados por los grandes cambios y desastres climatológicos que mermaron el esplendor de la Ciudad Sagrada de Caral, de Áspero y de otros famosos asentamientos urbanos de la época localizados en el valle de Supe, al norte de Lima. Las vivencias y el sentido de superación de los personajes principales de esta historia recreada por la escritora María Martha Calvo transmiten al lector un logrado acercamiento emocional con realidades que parecían definitivamente olvidadas en la lejanía de los tiempos.(

Estación Delirio – Teresa Ruiz Rosas
Noviembre de 1984, Estación Central de Stuttgart. Anne Kahl, secretaria de una famosa clínica psiquiátrica, encabeza una caravana de mujeres que pronto abordarán distintos trenes que las llevarán a todos los rincones de Alemania. Anne ha asumido la misión de embarcarlas y, en buena cuenta, de liberarlas. Se trata de una operación clandestina, pues ellas son pacientes muy delicadas del Doktor Curtius Tauler, quien las ha dado de alta siguiendo un tratamiento poco convencional. Para Anne, una artista oculta, la liberación de las mujeres adquiere la estatura de una obra secreta, una performance que difumina los límites entre la razón y la locura. Años después, la escritora Silvia Olazábal rememora los pasos de Anne, su gran amiga.

El Copista – Teresa Ruiz Rosas
Amancio Castro, que fuera copista exclusivo de Lope Burano, el músico más célebre de su tiempo, cuenta los avatares de su pasión por Marisa Mantilla, joven aspirante a actriz y amante del famoso músico. Ésta es una cara de la novela; la otra, igualmente oscura, como en una luna siempre oculta, es la versión de Marisa en las cartas que le escribe a otra actriz. Amancio es un humilde «cholo», amante de la música pero sin el talento necesario para componer esas obras que copia a la perfección; Marisa es una niña mala de buena familia que inventa un juego perverso para atizar las llamas del amor de su provecto amante músico, e incorpora a Amancio, su desesperado esclavo «voyeur», al insólito triángulo de músico, musa y copista. Pero pocos equilibrios hay tan inestables como los de la relación amo-esclavo y los del amor.

Un mundo para Julius – Alfredo Bryce Echenique
Se centra en la Lima de los 50 en la que vive Julius, un niño que proviene de una familia adinerada y que ve desde muy cerca el mundo de sus empleados: llenos de costumbres y carencias. Esta novela es una crítica a la clase alta limeña de la época, caracterizada por la hipocresía, el racismo y la división de clases sociales.

En la última noche yo te amé, Paul Montjoy Forty 
Una novela de suspenso ubicada en Lima a finales de la década de los años ochenta. En un hotel de lujo es encontrado el cuerpo de una mujer. La causa de esta muerte habría sido un suicidio. Las investigaciones policiales no arrojan muchos detalles hasta que el periódico Tribuna Librelogra relacionar este fallecimiento con un poderoso hombre de negocios.

CONTEMPORARY

Yo era del mar y no lo sabía – Betsheba Gil Vásquez
Fui criada en un espacio donde la importancia de ser madre o esposa eran el punto máximo de felicidad y de realización personal, el culmen de la vida de cualquier ser humano, y hacia eso iba. Soy la mayor de cuatro hermanos, diez nietos y dieciséis bisnietos. Mi boda fue la mejor planeada, con destellos de cuentos de hadas y paisajes de ensueño, con melodías de princesas y vestidos más blancos que las nubes que observaba de niña; debía ser un sueño hecho realidad, no solo mío sino de la familia entera. Yo realmente creí que serían el inicio de una vida ideal y de una mujer perfecta. Puse a todos en movimiento con seis meses de anticipación solo para que un día antes del día soñado yo me enterara que no me casaría. Mi familia lo supo el mismo día; otros, al llegar a la Iglesia. Algunos me creen hasta hoy casada.

 El año del viento – Karina Pacheco Medrano
En un mercado de maravillas, ¿qué pensaba encontrar Nina? ¿Un juego de dados? Buscaba su viaje al pasado, dice. No sabía que el pasado es una mansión de muchas puertas. Y muchas ventanas. Y a veces, también, es una caverna sin puertas ni ventanas».
Una tarde, poco antes de la pandemia, un encuentro imprevisto trae de vuelta a la vida de Nina un espectro largamente anhelado: Bárbara, de quien no ha sabido nada en casi cuarenta años, la mira desde la bruma del pasado. Los recuerdos emergen; los juegos, el candor y los secretos de su infancia cobran vida nuevamente; pero, esta vez, la memoria que los ilumina está desprovista de toda inocencia. Para descubrir qué sucedió con Bárbara, Nina se embarcará en un viaje que la llevará, como en un descenso a los infiernos, hasta un pueblo enclavado en los Andes que fue especialmente castigado durante los años de la violencia política.

El bosque de tu nombre  Karina Pacheco Medrano
En las últimas páginas de un cuaderno infantil, un médico inglés descubre las revelaciones que dejó su padre sobre un ajuste de cuentas desatado por el asesinato de una mujer de la que nunca oyó hablar. En el intento por entender qué ocurrió, se sumerge en el viaje a las tinieblas que supone descubrir la violencia política que ha golpeado a Guatemala en el último siglo, así como en una sucesión de vueltas de tuerca que le muestran que la verdad puede tener muchas caras.

Lluvia  Karina Pacheco Medrano
La desaparición de una niña que juega a diario con seres mágicos, desplazados por la guerra que son víctimas del desprecio de quienes debían protegerlos, un grupo de universitarios que debuta entre las filas del MRTA, comunidades amazónicas que son arrasadas por la codicia del mundo moderno, un caminante que regresa al lugar de su nacimiento en busca de los retazos de su identidad. 
Como quien se asoma a un pozo infinito, estos nueve cuentos invitan a sumergirnos en los abismos de la inocencia, en un recorrido simbólico donde la memoria, como un torrente incontenible en forma de lago, de lluvia, de mar o de rocío, se infiltra en los paisajes más disímiles de una sociedad que pareciera no hallar redención. 

El Último Invierno – Kharla Aquije
Las situaciones de la vida real tiene su propia poesía, continuamente intercambiamos parte de esos versos sin detenernos a pensar. En El último invierno, Kharla Aquije toma conciencia de esto y retrata escenas donde tímidos adolescentes, pueden sentarse en una banca para estar al lado de la mujer deseada. Nos muestra también como leerle a un hombre con parálisis El extranjero de  Camus se vuelve el acto más humano que el mundo nos permite, o cómo lo perverso se puede instalar bajo la mirada de una tierna madre. El último invierno es un libro de momentos que el lector recolecta, logrando así que lo cotidiano tenga un lugar privilegiado en nuestros estantes.

La distancia que nos separa – Renato Cisneros
Narra la vida de su padre, Federico ‘El Gaucho’ Cisneros, uno de los militares más importantes de la historia peruana reciente. «Es la historia de un hijo que busca su lugar en el mundo a través del recuerdo de su padre»

Días bellos, pero no tanto
Escrito por Alonso Mesía e ilustrado por IOKE. Este libro de cuentos reúne diferentes historias fantásticas como la de un hombre que aprende a lidiar con un arbolito que le crece en el estómago o la de una pareja de novios con sarna, que te enseñarán a encontrar lo bonito en lo cotidiano. 

El susurro de la mujer ballena
Un clásico de Alonso Cueto que cuenta la historia de dos mujeres totalmente opuestas que se conocen en un vuelo de avión. Ellas descubrirán que fueron amigas en el colegio. Este libro toca temas muy comunes en nuestra sociedad como el culto al cuerpo y la idea de que se tiene de las personas que no se amoldan a los estándares de “perfección física”.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea • Review

  • Author: Axie Oh
  • Title: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
  • Saga: Stand alone
  • Published: J February 22nd 2022
  • Genre: Fantasy, Mythology, YA
  • Stars: 5 🌟
  • Official Synopsis: Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.
    Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

REVIEW

What a beautiful and whimsical story, the synopsis doesn’t lie when they say that have the magic vibes of Spirited Away (One of my favorite movies ever)

Every couple of years a beautiful girl is sent to the sea to marry with the Sea God, It is the only way to calm the God and end the storms, this year, the chosen one is Shim Cheong, the sweetheart of Mina’s brother.

Mina is a wonderful protagonist, she is very lovable. Is loyal, strong, and smart, above all, she loves her family and town, she is a girl with a mission: Reason with the Sea God and end the storms once and for all.

Mina arrives at the Spirit Realm, an enchanted place, with gods, spirits, and creatures, a beautiful place and also dangerous place (for her) the only human in the realm. Soon she will be in danger but also makes friends, with whom she will have adventures and help her with her task.

I adored all the characters, all of them are likable and love, love the worldbuilding, beautiful and magical place,
the written style is very lyrical, feels like a fairytale, and really transports you to the story. Is a fast pacing story, always something is happening.

Summarizing: An adventure in the most magical place with a strong main protagonist who has an important mission and time runs against her. Fortunately, she will make loyal friends and she is smart and know how to solve clues.

Lobizona • Review

  • Author: Romina Garber
  • Title: Lobizina
  • Saga: Duology
  • Published: August 4th 2020 
  • Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Stars: 4 🌟
  • Official Synopsis:
    Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
    Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
    Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious «Z» emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

REVIEW

Manu has lived all her life hidden, one of the reasons is because she is undocumented, the other is her eyes that resemble the sun. Things happen and she ends up in Lunaris, Manu has found more people like her, but what happens when she does have any powers? Luckily, she soon makes friends who cover up for her and together they will have a mission: to find Manu’s father.


I liked how she touches on issues like migration, belonging somewhere, and gender roles, because in Lunaris, the girls are witches, the werewolf boys and they both have rules to follow, even if they don’t agree with them. Those roles are something that Manu’s father tried to change for years, but he was persecuted and the rumor says that he is in hiding. About migration, Manu thinks that he finally found her place, but she is as illegal as a human in Miami that in Lunaris as a witch, she is unique and in the eyes of the most traditionalists, she is not right.

Circus of Wonders • Review

  • Author: Elizabeth Macneal
  • Title: Circus of Wonders
  • Saga: Stand-alone
  • Published: 01 Feb 2022
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Stars: 4 🌟
  • Official Synopsis:

Step up, step up! In 1860s England, circus mania is sweeping the nation. Crowds jostle for a glimpse of the lion-tamers, the dazzling trapeze artists and, most thrilling of all, the so-called “human wonders.”

When Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders pitches its tent in a poor coastal town, the life of one young girl changes forever. Sold to the ringmaster as a “leopard girl” because of the birthmarks that cover her body, Nell is utterly devastated. But as she grows close to the other performers, she finds herself enchanted by the glittering freedom of the circus, and by her own role as the Queen of the Moon and Stars.

Before long, Nell’s fame spreads across the world—and with it, a chance for Jasper Jupiter to grow his own name and fortune. But what happens when her fame begins to eclipse his own, when even Jasper’s loyal brother Toby becomes captivated by Nell? No longer the quiet flower-picker, Nell knows her own place in the world, and she will fight for it.

REVIEW

It is the year 1866, Nell lives in a small English town, where she is not entirely accepted, all thanks to her skin and birthmarks that the villagers consider unlucky. With the arrival of Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders, her father betrays her by selling her, claiming that is for the sake of her happiness.


At first, Nell thinks about escaping, until she meets other members of the circus, mainly other female artists, with whom she will befriend.I liked watching Nell grow up, finally seeing herself as she is, regardless of the opinion of others, she is beautiful and unique and deserves to be loved. 
On the other hand, we have the brothers Jasper and Toby, they are more complex and gray characters, Jasper is ambitious, he wants to be the owner of the most spectacular show in the world and he will not hesitate to use Nell to achieve his goal.


The relationship of the brothers is complex, there is brotherly love, but also jealousy and secrets, there is much more there than what is perceived at first glance.


I think the book was sensitively written and is well documented. One of the characteristics of the Victorian era was their taste for  «freaks shows» 


In this novel, we see a bit of both sides of the coin, on the one hand, Nell being marginalized from her people, to be a star since people buy her doll, on the other we have Jasper, the one who procures her actors but at the same time considers your property and will not hesitate to sell or exchange them if you no longer need them,


The writing was lovely, the author has a beautiful style, it is a complex story, the setting is not pretty but the author makes it easy, and she makes you participate.