Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · Reviews · Wrap-Up

Binding of Bindings #23: June Book Wrap-Up

There it goes…
Off into the sunset, out with the tide, out like a firecracker.
We had been waiting so long for its arrival, were so happy to see it here, but now it’s gone again.
Snuffed out for another year.
June.

 

WAIT.
No…not that June!
This June.

The happy one.
Well…anyways…

 

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~* June Book Wrap-Up *~

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1. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
2. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I LOVED The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, which I read at the end of May.

So naturally I sprinted into June on the wispies of young love, murder and supernatural powersMORE than ready to continue smirking and swooning uncontrollably.

And it was wonderful..

Apart from those shameful moments of Mara turning herself into an Afghan and spewing silly notions like “I was his“.

Honey, you aren’t a rug.

Get control of yourself.

But the series turned out to be wonderful. Even if it did go in a completely RANDOM science fiction direction that I was not expecting. Some of the romance fizzled out a little near the end too, but I still devoured these books like my life depended on it.

 

3. The Haunted by Denielle Vega

The Haunted

I received The Haunted in a Goodreads Giveaway (shockingly) and was SO excited to get my black painted finger nails all over it!

Danielle Vega is the author of that oober super popular horror series called The Merciless, which I FULLY recommend you go read if you like blindsides and a little paranormal torment in your life.

The Haunted was a classic haunting story about a girl who moves to a new town with her family after a traumatic experience with her ex-boyfriend. But their new house is legendary to the inhabitants of this small-town, and various stories of murders and strange happenings are brought to light.

I liked this book. But did I LOVE it? Eh.

It was a super quick read, and one that will grab your attention and keep you hooked. I just felt the ending was a bit rushed and that it could have been longer.

I was definitely left wanting MORE!

(See my review here)

 

4. My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

My Real Name is Hanna

Ready to get your heart ripped out of your chest?

My Real Name is Hanna begins in May of 1941 in Ukraine at the height of Adolf Hitler’s reign. The book documents Hanna and her families journey into hiding as the Germans attempt to make Ukraine “Jew Free”.

It is a work of fiction, but based off a holocaust survivor named Esther Stermer and her extended family along with four other families who survived by hiding in caves for over 500 days.

This book is heavy. This book is devastating.

But it’s begging to be read.

My last thought, before I say the Shema, is of the young mother Jacob told us about, while he choked on his own tears-a mother who smothered her own child in her winter coat before the shot came, so the child would not feel the bullet.”

(See my review here)

 

5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
(Again)

A court of thorns and roses

Okay…

…so maybe it IS the fourth time I’ve read this.

But you can’t blame me!

This book is…this SERIES is…

…it’s…

IT’S EVERYTHING!

In my defense, however, this reread is due to my lovely friend Tove (@fadingfairytale). She had NEVER read it and I have been on her case about starting the series for MONTHS. So she finally started it and MY OH MY, she loved it. OF COURSE!

My other friend Tabz (@literary_consumer) even joined our read, and now it’s turning into a hilarious slew of Instagram stories and even…something else 😉 (hint hint)

If you also haven’t read this series (cauldron forbid) then you MUST! NOWWW!!!!

It an amazing Fantasy Romance series packed with Fae, battles, curses, swoon-worthy high lords, love, heartache and badass females!

Just read it.

 

6. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

The Best Lies

If you’re looking for a book that will leave you feeling lost, confused, unsure of your current relationships, angry, sad and utterly devastated

…you’ve come to the right place.

The Best Lies is about toxic relationships, mental health, obsessive behaviors, manipulation, family dynamics, love, friendship and lies. It is a mystery/thriller but really, it should be categorized in the Allow me to rip your heart out through your eye sockets genre.

This is one of the BEST books I have read in 2019.

Sure the plot sounds simple and straight forward, but it isn’t. This book is complex. There are layers upon layers of intricate stitches, barely visible weaves sewn into the story, minute details and mannerisms applied to each character.

And all of it is so beautifully put together to make this GIANT quilt of…despairing love.

If you don’t read any of these other books, at least read this one.

(See my review here)

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih

My Real Name is Hanna.jpg

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Tara Lynn Masih, for an honest review.

Genre: YA/Historical Fiction/WWII-Holocaust

Plot: Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant, award-winning debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.

Sparse, resonant, and lyrical, weaving in tales of Jewish and Ukrainian folklore, My Real Name Is Hanna celebrates the sustaining bonds of family, the beauty of a helping hand, and the tenacity of the human spirit.

Opinion:

“My last thought, before I say the Shema, is of the young mother Jacob told us about, while he choked on his own tears-a mother who smothered her own child in her winter coat before the shot came, so the child would not feel the bullet”

A book hasn’t left me speechless in a while…

But here I am…

speechless.

This book will ignite a fire in your bones and put an ache in your heart.

It is a beautiful, devastating and horrific story, but a story of one light that is incapable of being extinguished.  

A light that burns so fiercely with conviction, resilience, hope and determination.

That light is the Slivka family.

My Real Name is Hanna is set in a small Ukrainian village called Kwasova where the reader is introduced to fourteen-year-old Hanna in May of 1941 at the height of Adolf Hitler’s reign. She describes the drastic changes to her town, the way neighbors and villagers begin to shun her family, and the non-Jewish children who throw stones at her siblings. How countless signs paint the Jewish people to be disease ridden with lice and infection, and that they should be eradicated from the Earth. As the Germans attempt to make Ukraine “Jew Free”, Hanna and her family are forced to flee their home into the forest. For two years they hide with other families in first a small shelter, and then underground caves for thirteen months.

 “We leave on the first cloudy night, so the moon won’t betray our fleeing figures.”

It is never easy reading the terrifying experiences that millions were subjected to during WWII. But it is especially difficult living those moments with a character you cherish so deeply, as they experience each second of terror, confusion and fear. Hanna is everything I could ever hope to become in life. She is brave, unyielding, and hopeful. She is a force that sees the beauty and kindness in the world, even when the same world seems so set on ripping her to pieces.

She exudes a strength that is almost unfathomable for a girl so young. She is impossible not to love as she portrays such compassion and care to her family members, and the families that run with them. But reading about Hanna was exhausting. It put a cloud over my already blue head, cut my air supply in half, and made my stomach flutter with anxiousness.

Reading this book is like holding Hanna’s hand as she is forced to live in darkness; starving and scared. All you can do is sit in silence, and hope that she lives.

“For she was in a black dungeon…for she was in a cage…She had been in that cage a long time now, but now long enough to break her spirit.”

Where reality really set in for me, is when the families arrive at the caves. Their plan is to live underground, in the hopes that they won’t be found and that they can survive until the war ends. Though this story was incredibly sad up until this point, my stomach didn’t actually drop to the floor until Hanna began crawling inside. To say this moment is heavy, would be a completely inappropriate and horrid description of the situation.

It isn’t heavy.

It’s devastation.

But with each moment of bleakness and suffering, there are tokens of brightness littering this story as well. Countless people assist the families in finding shelter and food, there are meaningful stories shared during their days in hiding, and a tree that is a symbol of their hope and salvation. The writing is superbly done, and the voice of Hanna is captured beautifully by the author. She is youthful and views her surroundings with a tint of innocence, but knows the seriousness of the situation she and her family are in. She is an old soul full of wisdom and strength, and you can’t help but look up to her.

Though these characters are fictional and created by the author, the Slivka family is based on real-life survivor Esther Stermer, her extended family and four other families who survived WWII by hiding in caves for over 500 days. My Name is Hanna is an incredibly important story that NEEDS to be shared with all ages. In a world where there is so much hate and lack of communication and listening, this book will will serve as a reminder that we are all human and deserve the same amount of decency.

Please read this. It’s important.

“I am jealous of how quickly they forget”.

5-stars

 

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