Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

A lovely, romantic tale featuring horrid first impressions, a Bollywood-style wedding, and so much more! 

DESCRIPTION:


A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself. 

     – Goodreads

Genre(s): Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Retelling

Publisher: Berkley Books

Expected Publication Date: June.4.2019

*Thank you First to Read for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*

REVIEW:

 As far as Pride and Prejudice retellings go, this is a fairly decent one. If you’re familiar with the original, then its easy to see the parallels between the two. Which isn’t a bad thing. It was entertaining trying to figure out how the big plot points of the original would unfold. Besides, there were moments where I was so completely engrossed, that I forgot it was a retelling! 

What I particularly liked was the dual viewpoint. We see what Ayesha is up to, how she feels, we understand her. We also get Khalid’s view! So his horrible first proposal? Completely makes sense because we’ve come to see how and why he acts the way he does. 

A big part of this story weaves religion (Islam) into the narrative. Both Ayesha and Khalid are devout Muslims, which is crucial to the way they interact with one another. I really liked how that was explored. 

The overall tone of the story is pretty upbeat and light-hearted. But there are moments where things got really real. It is a modern-day retelling so prejudice towards Muslims does appear. The way it was handled is important. Especially as hatred spreads through our society like wildfire. 

One thing I did not like? Lydia’s (okay, that’s not her name in this book, but I am not spoiling the story by telling you who she is) happily ever after. Ugh! Why?? She’s so annoying! :/

RATING: 3.5/5 stars

RECOMMEND? Yes! This is such a refreshing take on a classic tale. Plus, that cover! Googly heart eyes forever ❤

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

This book was so much more than what I expected! Loved it! Some serious gushing will ensue… 



DESCRIPTION:

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. 

     – Goodreads

Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Publisher:
Berkley

Expected Publication Date:
May.7.2019

*Thank you First to Read for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*

REVIEW:

Esme is a single mother in Vietnam when she meets an older woman that wants her to fly to America and woo her son, Khai. Esme sees this as an opportunity at a chance at a better life for her family so she agrees to do it. Upon meeting Khai, she realizes that he is a bit strange. When he tells her that he is autistic, she doesn’t really understand what that means. In the span of two months, Esme and Khai have to figure out whether they can form a lasting, loving relationship.

I absolutely adored this book!! Esme is unlike any character I’ve ever encountered before. She is a strong mother. Her every thought and action is dedicated towards giving her daughter a better life. In the States, she works hard. Not only at her waitressing job, but at her studies. She takes every single opportunity to better herself. #empowering

The story itself is also fascinating. It’s a lot of “will they or won’t they”. Once you get to understand the characters, you root for them. I mean, Khai (the love interest) is just so perfect. (Although I’d probably take his tatted up older brother 😉 ) . He’s incredibly smart, kind, and movie star handsome. What’s not to love? There were also a few juicy parts in the story that had me swooning haha.

The ending was super rushed and felt a bit off. But overall, this is a fantastic read!!!

RATING: 4.5/5 stars

RECOMMEND? YES!! To romance lovers and anyone looking for a feel-good read.

An Improbable Pairing by Gary Dickson

An interesting premise that unfortunately fell flat. 

DESCRIPTION:


It began as a simple flirtation . . .

In September of 1963, Scott Stoddard, an American graduate student, is traveling to Switzerland, when he meets the Countess de Rovere, a French divorcee; he is smitten, and she is intrigued. What begins as a little coquetry soon becomes a serious love affair, much to the consternation of the Countess’s ex-husband and mother, not to mention the Countess’s friends of European high society. A meeting of equals poses problems enough, but what about one between two people who seem to have so many differences? And when a man of traditional attitudes couples with an independent and self-confident woman, something’s got to give. It won’t be the countess. As their liaison transcends an affair that cannot be dismissed, they all agree that something must be done.
 
An Improbable Pairing
is a historical romance that chronicles the enduring themes of a young man’s coming of age and the rebellious love of the mismatched. This pas de deux, set in the golden years of 1960s Paris, Geneva, Gstaad, and Cannes, provides an insider’s peek into the worlds of haute couture, three-star gourmet restaurants, and lavish hotel suites—the domains of rank and privilege. But society’s privileged resist when an interloper threatens to upset their cozy structure. 
     – Goodreads


Genre(s):
Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance

Publisher:
Greenleaf Book Group Press

Expected Publication Date:
January.8.2019

*Thank you BookishFirst for providing an ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*

REVIEW:

Scott Stoddard goes abroad to get away from his parents. To gain a bit of freedom. While on his trip, he falls for a beautiful, extremely wealthy Countess. And then nothing happens. Nothing.
 
The writing is okay. The cover is gorgeous. But the story lacks a certain, je ne sais quoi. Everything just happens to go Scott’s way. Every perceived “issue” is resolved favorably towards him. I wanted to put this book down so many times because there was nothing happening. Seriously. There’s nothing in the story to hold your attention. I also didn’t care for Scott or the Countess. Their love story didn’t engage me. I actually found Scott to be frustrating sometimes. 

This was just not an enjoyable read. It didn’t captivate me in any way.  


RATING:
2.5/5 stars

December 2018 Audiobooks

December was a disappointing month in terms of audiobooks. None of these listens really blew me away. 

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I’ve always found this book to be a bit intimidating. Not because of it’s length, but because of the story. Granted, my knowledge of said story only extended as far as knowing Oliver is an orphan that is punished for daring to ask for more food. That’s it. That’s all I knew. And that premise has never caught my attention.
 
But, I wanted to check this classic off my list so I audiobooked it. And… while it wasn’t what I was expecting, I still only feel “meh” about it. 

Dickens has a way to of bringing the drab, dirty city alive. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed about his writing. And his characters! They all vary from one to the next. Although Oliver’s childish innocence reminded me of a young Pip. Anyway, the writing is great, the characters are interesting, the narration was on point, and yet I didn’t really care for the story. Hm.

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

This book first came to my attention when my book twin Morgana @Morganas Book Box reviewed it. Now, I need to learn how to be happier so of course this book quickly went onto my TBR. When the audiobook became available on OverDrive, I jumped at the chance to listen to it. 

The main point I got from this book: comfort is key. The Danish embrace comfort on a whole other level. Candles, books, food. Anything can be Hygge if it makes you calm and relaxed. Seems simple enough to do. 

It was a quick, fairly interesting read. As an introvert, Wiking’s description of Hygge sounds like a beautiful dream. I’m not a writer, so I can’t really put it into words. But. If you read this book, then you’ll figure out what I mean 😉

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides 

I thought the concept of this book was interesting. A college love triangle where the girl in the middle (Madeleine) is writing her thesis on the marriage plot found within Romantic and Victorian novels. But it fell completely flat for me.

My biggest gripe is how utterly pretentious this book is. Dropping author names left and right and expounding their ideas. So you know who Marquis de Sade and Cheever are. Kudos to you, sir. 

I think this book is designed to be read and appreciated by a certain group of people (i.e. English majors and people who thoroughly enjoy discussing literary themes). Me, I don’t like to overthink books. So I didn’t like this book. 

The only reason I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads: Leonard. He is one of Madeleine’s love interests. He is also a manic depressive. I thought his representation was fairly done so I bumped my rating up. Other than that. Nope. Couldn’t stand listening to this book.

Recommend? Only to fans of The Secret History

Favorite listen? Definitely The Little Book of Hygge. A great little book from the CEO of The Happiness Institute. Plus, I found his voice to be so soothing! 

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

I had high hopes for this book. The premise was extremely fascinating. Unfortunately, this turned out to be an overall “meh, okay” read. 

DESCRIPTION:


One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it 

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her…

As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams.

     – Goodreads

Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

Publisher: Berkley Books

Expected Publication Date: 22.January.2019

*Thank you First to Read for providing an e-ARC in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and based solely on the book*

REVIEW:
Oh my. The above description gives you an accurate representation of the synopsis. So I will forego my usual summary and jump right into it.

My problem with the book was the MC herself, Raina. She’s 29 years old but acts like a child. Stupid decision, after stupid decision. I get family pressure and expectations. I think that’s something we can all relate to on some level. But the way Raina went about things left me unsettled. Her immaturity confounds me. At one point she pretends to be lesbian to get her Nani to stop setting her up on dates. Her Nani is super supportive as their tight-knit Indian community hurls vitriol at Raina. Raina, a straight woman, suddenly becomes the champion of equality. *insert eye roll here* I won’t even get into what happens when she’s exposed.

The thing is. The book was well-written. And despite everything, the story was interesting. Told from Raina’s point of view, we tag along as she goes on various dates with the men on her Nani’s list. Which is where it’s relatability reaches epic proportions. Some of her dates are awful and the second-hand embarrassment is real. The story also flashes back every few chapters to a certain point in Raina’s life. To a certain guy, actually. Something that greatly influences her current life situation. 

This is also the second book I read this year where someone marries on their best friend’s birthday. Why is that a thing? Although in this case Raina’s bff, Shay, didn’t pick her own wedding date. Her mother did. There are 365 days in a year, people. Way to rub it into Raina’s face that she’s unmarried on her 30th birthday. Rude. 

RATING: 3/5 stars

One Day in December by Josie Silver

I absolutely adored this book!!

Description: 

A love story about what happens after you meet, or rather, don’t meet the one.


Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

   – Goodreads


Genre(s): Romance, Fiction, Women’s Literature
Publisher: Broadway Books
Expected Publication: October.16.2018

*Thank you First to Read for providing an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

My Review:
Laurie and Sarah are best friends. They met on their first day of uni and have been inseparable ever since. Rooming together for about 5 years. When Laurie has a moment with a strange man at a bus stop whilst she’s on the bus, she quickly tells Sarah she has found her dream man. And for a year, the two spend time looking around for “bus boy”. 

Of course, when Laurie finds him, it had to be her best friend’s new boyfriend. The one she is quickly falling in love with. Heartbroken by the turn of events, she hides the truth from Sarah and at her friend’s insistence, strikes up a friendship with Jack, bus boy.

Yes, you may think where this story is going to go. And you wouldn’t be completely wrong. But, the way the story is woven, will keep you firmly rooted to the book with a big smile on your face. 

When the book begins, Laurie and Sarah are sharing a flat together. They are in their early-20’s, living in London and trying to start their careers. Sarah, the more outgoing of the two is having a bit more success. While Laurie, the quieter one, is floundering a bit. They complement each other though. And to see their friendship, you realize how realistic it is. Because even though they are thick as thieves, they do have one big argument that kind of derails their friendship. But they’ve been friends for too long and nothing is really going to way of that. 

The story itself is told in alternating viewpoints between Laurie and Jack. The main one being Laurie’s, beginning with that day in December when she and Jack first lay eyes on each other in 2008. From there, the story progresses, encapsulating almost a decade of these characters lives in one book. And this format works. It doesn’t make the story long or too tedious. It’s not a month by month account. Rather, snippets every few months of what the characters have been going through at the moment. 

I should mention that because the story takes place primarily in London, the language reflects it. A lot of British expressionisms are used. Some went over my head, but that didn’t bother me. I’m pretty sure I got the gist of them. Besides, the writing is top-notch. 

Final Thoughts:
I loved loved loved this book! I honestly cannot wait for this book to be published so I can buy a copy for my best friend. It actually sparked a discussion between us as I told her about this read. What would we want the other to do if we were in a similar situation. Quite enlightening. Now, I have not stepped into my local indie bookstore all year and I am willing to pay full price for this one. That’s how enthralled I am with this book!

This book is perfect for hopeless romantics. Or for those in need of a good romance story. Cannot recommend this book enough. Seriously. ❤

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Chocolat by Joanne Harris


Vianne Rocher and her 6 year old daughter Anouk blow into a small French town on Carnival day. They open a chocolate shop, located across the way from the church, during the Lent season. As an outsider that beats to her own drum, many of the town’s citizens (including the local Priest) are against her and refuse to shop in her chocolaterie. 

I’ve watched the film adaptation plenty of times. It’s one of my favorites. Even though I haven’t watched it in a long while because it’s tainted by Johnny Depp. But I digress. I didn’t know the film was based on a book (shows how much I pay attention to what I watch) until I saw a post here in the blogosphere. Then I found a copy at the used bookstore and I had to read it. 

I went in with high expectations and I am not disappointed. I loved this book. It’s magical, and atmospheric. The writing is lush and really transports you to this tiny French hamlet. 

The story is told through two viewpoints: Vianne’s and Father Reynaud’s. We learn about Vianne’s history, how she and her mother were wanderers for most of her life. Moving through different cities in different countries. And we get more insight into her “magical” abilities. Through Reynaud, we see his unraveling. His obsession with getting rid of Vianne. How her presence in the town appalls him. We also see how and why he grew up to be the kind of person he is. It was all very interesting. 

My favorite parts have to be the food ones. Vianne has a knack for creating mouth-watering chocolates and cuisine. She knows everyone’s favorite chocolate and always has them ready for the customer. There’s a touch of whimsy around her. She and Anouk follow the wind, wherever it may take them. But she really wants to set down roots somewhere. 

There are broader themes in the book, primarily dealing with religion. The book basically begins with Lent and ends on Easter Sunday. That’s a whole religious time frame. But there are other themes as well. It’s a really fascinating book. Absolutely loved it. 

And apparently there are two more books! Why did I not know this before?!

Me right now

Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) – Laura Esquivel

Before I jump into the review, a little backstory. It won’t be long. Promise. *crosses fingers behind back* 😉

Today is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month here in the U.S. It is also Guatemalan Independence Day!!! WHOO!!!

In honor of the motherland ❤ , I had planned to read a book by a Guatemalan author in my native tongue. Unfortunately, finding said book has proven to be more difficult than expected. Therefore, I went a different route. Today Mexico is celebrating its own holiday. Finding a book by a Mexican author and written in spanish proved easier. So, here we are 🙂

THE REVIEW

Tita is the youngest of 3 daughters living in Mexico during the revolution. At 16, Pedro (her sweetheart), proposes to her. But when he asks her mom, Mamá Elena, for Tita’s hand in marriage, he is refused. Because Tita is the youngest daughter, tradition states she cannot be married as her life is to be devoted to taking care of her mother for as long as she lives. Mamá Elena instead offers Rosaura, Tita’s middle sister, and Pedro accepts. This is not simply a story of Tita being caught in a love triangle with her sister. But a story of how she fights against tradition and gains a semblance of independence. 

I’ve read this book multiple times. In English. It was actually required reading in high school. This is my first time reading it in spanish though. And I actually understood the narrative better. It’s not that it’s badly translated into English. It’s just the nuances of some words and idioms get lost in the translation. Reading it in its original language, I realized that there was a subtle difference in the way I experienced the book. For one, Mamá Elena is a lot more frightening than I previously thought. I felt way more sympathy for Tita’s actions with this reading. 

The story itself is narrated by Tita’s Grandniece. The book is broken into 12 monthly chapters. But it actually covers an expanse of time. When the story begins (January), Tita is not quite 16. By the 12th chapter (December), she is 39. 

There are elements of magical realism in the book. Something that is usually hit or miss with me because I tend to read books too literally. This is a hit! It adds a little something extra to Tita’s characterization. Which leads me to the food.

Oh my goodness! Each chapter begins with a different recipe that has some bearing on the story. Tita was raised in the kitchen, so these are her recipes. She cooks her feelings into her food. Which is where some of the magical realism appears. Pedro and Rosaura marry and Tita is the one tasked with making their wedding dinner. She is full of longing and disillusionment as she cooks. Which results in the wedding guests being filled with nostalgia and sadness. (She didn’t do it on purpose btw)! It’s all actually pretty interesting how this happens. It makes real the “it was cooked with love” sentiment. 

A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
As I mentioned, today Mexico is also celebrating. What is it celebrating? El Grito!

It commemorates the day that a Catholic priest, Hidalgo, rang the church bells (a battle cry) in Dolores (small town near Guanajuato), which marked the beginning of the Mexican War for Independence. Every year, the President (and other high-ranking officials) ring church bells and give a roaring cry to mark the occassion. 

If you can, I suggest you watch it.

It begins tonight, September 15th and lasts through the night. This is how Mexican Independence Day (September 16th) is rung in. (I’m not Mexican so please correct me if I’m wrong)!

EDUCATE ME!
Now, I know how my homeland celebrates its independence and I have an idea of how the motherland celebrates. 

How the U.S. celebrates 4th of July: Red, white and blue/flag clothing; Grilling; Beer; Fireworks. 

How Guatemala celebrates Independence Day (according to my Chapina momma!):

Traditional clothing (optional); Parade; Fair; Fireworks (which are low-key dangerous!)

But I am extremely interested in how other countries/cultures celebrate. I have a degree in Anthropology for a reason 😉 So, I toss it to you! 

How do YOU celebrate your country’s independence? Please let me know in the comments below!! 😀

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE!

Mini-Reviews: Anna Kendrick, Road Trips, Music, and Nicholas Sparks

More mini-reviews! Yay! This is what happens when you hunker down in your home to escape the heat outside. Honestly, I think all this reading is starting to burn me out haha. 

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

I listened to the audiobook version and I must say, listening to these celebrities narrate their essays and memoirs has been amazing so far. A bit of their personalities shine through. Anna Kendrick’s is no exception. 

I think Anna Kendrick has been the realest. She holds absolutely nothing back when talking about her life. And I could relate to her in a way I didn’t think would be possible. She’s an anxious oddball! Was I a huge fan of hers before? Eh, not really, sort of? I can watch the Pitch Perfect movies on repeat all day though haha. Now I think I’ll see her a little differently. She let her crazy out and I really enjoyed it.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy has been left home alone for a month. Her twin brother is at a “summer enrichment program” (aka rehab), her mother is setting up their new home in Connecticut, and her father? Well, her father died 3 months before in a car accident; Amy was the driver. Now Amy’s mother needs her to get the family car from California to Connecticut. Enter Roger, an old family friend. He has to get to the East Coast and is willing to do the drive with Amy. An amazing road trip ensues.

Roger and Amy go on the greatest cross-country road trip ever. Her mom had planned out the trip’s original route but Amy and Roger decide to take detours. Loved it. As they’re stuck spending hours together they get to know each other and help one another out. 

When you’re trying to read but your dog won’t let you lol

Throughout the book, there are pictures and receipts from the trip scattered around which I liked. Plus music playlists! It made Amy’s scrapbook seem real. And they come across so many people that help them on their personal journeys. Besides, they actually go to some pretty cool places!

I want to go on a road trip! Haven’t been on one in what seems like forever. Sigh. Morgan Matson is definitely one of my new favorite authors.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Frank is a vinyl record store owner in 1980’s England. One day a strange woman faints outside his shop. A tentative friendship springs up between him and Ilse. 

So vinyl records. Frank is an old soul, and refuses to sell tapes, cd’s and whatnot. He has a knack for finding people the music they need. Just by listening to your story, he knows what it is you should listen to. Now because he only sells vinyl, his store begins to suffer as people flock to pick up the new shiny tech. Actually, the whole street is suffering. Then Ilse appears and things are okay for Frank for a while. Then flash forward to 2009 and Frank has been dealt many blows. His shop is no more, his old shop neighbors have all either died or moved on, Ilse hasn’t been seen in so long.

Sigh. This book was an all-around downer. I picked it up thinking it would be like The Little Paris Bookshop but with music. In a way it was. Frank is very passionate about music and it’s all extremely interesting. Everything outside that is a bit of a bummer though. I dreaded picking this book up. It ends on a relatively happy note but getting there was a depressing read.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks



Erin is in an abusive marriage. Her husband Kevin, a detective in Boston, is extremely controlling and beats Erin for absolutely zero reason. She manages to escape to Southport, a small beachside town. There, she is finally safe, living a life of her own, and falling for Alex, a widower with two young children. But Kevin is desperate to find her.

Okay. This is my first Nicholas Sparks book and it wasn’t that bad. I’ve seen the movie adaptation before so all of the plot twists weren’t surprising to me. 

I think my biggest problem is the writing style. It kept telling me all these things, but not really showing it. Plus, some things were completely unbelievable. And oh my goodness, if Erin’s beauty was discussed one more time I was going to scream. Seriously. Her good looks were always mentioned. I’m sure she has other attributes! Ugh. 

Anyway, it was an okay read. 

If you made it this far, you’re a trouper haha




Happy blogging everyone! 🙂

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Ah, this book took me by complete surprise. I knew the basic premise of the story and I’ve seen the Gerard Butler movie a few times. Yet this book still managed to hold my attention.

Christine Daae believes the Angel of Music has been sent by her dead father to teach her how to become a better singer. Raoul, a childhood friend, is in love with her and is concerned that Christine is being duped by someone.

Okay, so the story itself is presented as factual by Gaston Leroux himself. The story is his proof of the claims he makes in the prologue. Apparently he really believed in the ghost. Also, the Phantom of the Opera has a name! He is frequently referred to as Opera Ghost or O.G. in the text (which I found kind of funny) but he also has a real name. Again, I’ve seen the movie and it always came off as kind of campy to me. But what I really enjoyed in the book were the gothic elements. It was a little dark and atmospheric.

The Opera Ghost’s history is actually really fascinating. And my goodness, is he one sick person! His torture mechanisms are so over the top. I pity the guy’s childhood but still. He’s low-key evil. What’s his obsession with Christine anyway? I don’t get it. Is it because she’s so damn naïve??

If you’ve enjoyed the musical or movie I would recommend it. The ending is completely different. It’s also partly inspired by real events/mysteries that occurred at an opera house in Paris, which gives it a nice, spooky element. I really loved this book!


2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Prompt: a book that is also a stage play or musical

Challenge update: 36/50