Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The relationship between mother and child can be a beautiful thing.

However, it’s not always and it’s not exclusively. Oftentimes it can be messy, complex and immensely stressful for both parties.

In Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng, weaves an intricate tapestry of such relationships.

The resultant story is one of family, loyalty, community and independence. When I went into this book, I thought it was a story, set in the mid-1990s, about the adoption of a Chinese baby by a white family in suburban Ohio and the resulting community reactions/interactions based off that adoption. There is an adoption. The baby is in fact Chinese, but this baby, her birth mother and her adoptive parents are only a very small part of this deeply emotional tale.

Full disclosure, I never cried but I was moved. I was angry at times, sad, emotionally drained. I had my curiosity peaked, I had my temper flare and most importantly, this story made me think about it even when I wasn’t reading it.

I think that is a sign of a strong literary fiction novel doing its job. I had never read a Celeste Ng book before and I was deeply impressed by her subtle way of totally drawing the reader in to the emotions, drama and angst of her characters.

I definitely plan to read more of Ng’s books in the future. Additionally, I did listen to the audiobook for this and thought that the narration was excellent!

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The Rules of Magic & Practical Magic

Happy day bookworms!  I hope everyone is having a productive Tuesday!  This past Friday, I finished up reading, The Rules of Magic by the infinitely talented, Alice Hoffman. As with many books that I fall completely in love with, it takes me a while before I am able to sit down and put my thoughts of a book down in words.  This book is no exception to that!

I borrowed The Rules of Magic from a friend – after I lent her my copy of Practical Magic she went right out and bought and read Rules.  I knew from her raving about it that it was equal in stature to PM. The Rules of Magic, the prequel book to Hoffman’s super successful, Practical Magic, leads readers through a coming of age tale starring everyone’s favorite Aunts: Jet & Franny Owens. Unbeknownst to me, they also have a brother, Vincent, who is equally vibrant and naughty.

Starting very early, this lyrical book weaves together so many different aspects of the Owens history and lives that pieces of Practical Magic start to fit a little better into place. Hoffman’s style is flowing and beautiful, you cannot help but be swept up into the story. I cried, I laughed and I left a bit of me behind as I closed the final page but I also took something with me: hope & love – that’s what a story should do to us. I would give this book all the stars if I could – it certainly deserves it!

If you are curious about Practical Magic as well, I finished it last October and wrote the following thoughts upon completion: I absolutely adored this- read it in a weekend. The writing is beautiful. It is quite different from the movie version but stands really strong in its own right. I did picture Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in my head though the whole time I was reading it- which really made it come alive. If you haven’t read this, you should!

Have any of you read these books? or any of Alice Hoffman’s writing? I would definitely like to read more of her books – if they are anywhere near as captivating as these two, I know I will love them!

Review: The Beautiful Ones


Release Day: October 24, 2017

I received an early copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press so I ended up actually finishing it on the release day.  The Beautiful Ones surprised me with the smoothness of the text.  I had never read anything by this author, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I will definitely read other books of hers now.  There was a lot more romance in the story than I would typically seek out in a novel (I am far from a ‘romantic’) but it is subtle and romantic in a way that even I could relate to and enjoy.  While I was reading, I kept thinking of how much it reminded me of a more modern version of William Makepeace Thackeray’s, Vanity Fair, but with magic!

The atmosphere was thick with old world upper class traditions (most notably, gossip!) and excesses; easily transporting the reader to the streets and parties of Loisail (the city where the majority of the action takes place).  The main characters were quirky and full of vices; spewing forth with inner desires.  It is told from the perspective of multiple characters and moves along at a steady pace; although it may be considered a slow burn, taking a while for the action to truly heat up.  There is plenty of beauty and angst in this novel to keep one entertained and I would certainly recommend it to friends who enjoy novels of love, envy and magic.