Book Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor.pngAbout the Book

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.


I saw Born a Crime by Trevor Noah on NetGalley and decided to request it although I really didn’t think that I would get approved. Two weeks later, I had the book. If you have been following this blog then you may have seen a number of posts that I have written about the book. I couldn’t stop talking about it even before I started reading it. I have featured it on my Diversity Thursday Spotlight post, Ten Books to read if your book club likes African Literature ,WWW Posts, monthly-wrap and Friday Finds. Yes, that is how excited I was about this memoir.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a collection of essays. In each essay, Trevor narrates stories about his life and focuses on a particular memory or event against a backdrop of South Africa’s history. The main theme of this book is apartheid and life as a biracial child during this dark period. As Trevor explains, interracial relationships were punishable by law although the whites were freed with a warning while the blacks got imprisoned. He talks about spending his childhood  behind closed doors because his family was afraid that the government would take him away and arrest his mother. He also talks of how apartheid separated him from his father. These narrations are emotional and I found myself angered by the injustices that the black people in South Africa went through for so many years. Racism is illogical and ugly and I never knew  just how bad it was in SA before reading this book. It is crazy to think that I was born in the same year as Trevor, grew up in Africa like he did but under totally different circumstances. Growing up, I didn’t know much about apartheid apart from little bits of information through history lessons and movies like Sarafina. I was 10 years old when apartheid ended.

Trevor narrates his story the same way that he presents his standup comedies; mixing reality with humor. I found myself laughing through the chapters and sometimes wondering if I really should be laughing. I mean they are serious issues but Trevor just has his own way of narrating things so that they are serious and funny at the same time.

“But the more we went to church and the longer I sat in those pews the more I learned about how Christianity works: If you’re a Native American and you pray to the wolves, you’re a savage. If you’re African and you pray to your ancestors, you’re a savage. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water to wine, well, that’s just common sense.”

The story takes us through his experiences during apartheid. He also shares his experience with domestic violence. At the same time, this is a story of a man determined to get through a tough life and succeed in a world in which he was never supposed to exist. The stories about his childhood escapades were hilarious. As a self-confessed naughty kid with a funny mom, he had so many hilarious adventures.  I also like how Trevor mixed historical background and personal stories to create better understanding of events which is great especially for those living outside South Africa.

“People always lecture the poor: “Take responsibility for yourself! Make something of yourself!” But with what raw materials are the poor to make something of themselves? People”

The final chapter in Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was  tough to read. I have heard him speak about his mother getting shot before. If you have watched his standup comedies in SA, then you may have seen that bit about his brother calling him to tell him that their mum had been shot. However, I never knew the circumstances that led to that call. It was heartbreaking to see what his mother went through. It is even worse to think that the same thing still happens especially here. Women get battered while everyone looks away. Sometimes from the outside, it feels hopeless because what can you really do? You can’t stop the fights and you can’t also call the cops because they will do nothing about it. It was a sad reality. That is the thing about this memoir; his story is my story and everyone else’s story. It may not be exactly the same but it is something that everyone knows about and may have experienced at some point in life.

born-a-crime-2Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is a book that I highly recommend to everyone. I am not just saying this because I like the guy and think that he is brilliant and funny (just mentioning it in case it is not yet obvious). However, this is a book about family, a mother-son relationship, friendship, racism and a person’s ability to overcome all hurdles in life. It is also a coming of age story. I am so proud of Trevor for all that he has achieved in life. He is an inspiration to all the people who have ever faced any adversity and felt like they don’t belong.  I think this is an inspiring story for our continent too. I mean watching Trevor touring the world and now hosting the Daily show, overcoming so much to get there….wow!  This is an inspiring memoir that will make you laugh and cry through the chapters (sometimes at the same time). If you are looking for a diverse read then you should definitely pick this one. If you want to understand more about South Africa and Apartheid (from an insider’s view point), this is the book for you. Seriously though, just get the memoir. It is a wonderful!

“Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.”
Trevor Noah, Born a Crime

I received this book from NetGalley and Spiegel & Grau in exchange for an honest review. I am really grateful to the publishers for giving me the chance to read an ARC of this book. Thank you Trevor Noah for sharing your story with the world!

 About Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is the one of the most successful comedian in Africa. He is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning program The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Noah joined The Daily Show in 2014 as a contributor.Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, Noah has hosted numerous television shows including South Africa’s music, television and film awards, the South African Comedy Festival and two seasons of his own late night talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah. He made his U.S. television debut in 2012 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has also appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, becoming the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on either late night show.

He continues to tour all over the world and has performed in front of sold out crowds at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia as well as many US cities.

A brief extract on racism and apartheid from  the book:

Apartheid, for all its power, had fatal flaws baked in, starting with the fact that it never made any sense. Racism is not logical. Consider this: Chinese people were classified as black in South Africa. I don’t mean they were running around acting black. They were still Chinese. But, unlike Indians, there weren’t enough Chinese people to warrant devising a whole separate classification. Apartheid, despite its intricacies and precision, didn’t know what to do with them, so the government said, “Eh, we’ll just call ’em black. It’s simpler that way.”
Interestingly, at the same time, Japanese people were labeled as white. The reason for this was that the South African government wanted to establish good relations with the Japanese in order to import their fancy cars and electronics. So Japanese people were given honorary white status while Chinese people stayed black. I always like to imagine being a South African policeman who likely couldn’t tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese but whose job was to make sure that people of the wrong color weren’t doing the wrong thing. If he saw an Asian person sitting on a whites-only bench, what would he say?
“Hey, get off that bench, you Chinaman!”
“Excuse me. I’m Japanese.”
“Oh, I apologize, sir. I didn’t mean to be racist. Have a lovely afternoon.”

The Breakdown by B. A Paris

Breakdown InstaCass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…


The Breakdown by B.A Paris is one book that I couldn’t wait to read this year. Behind Closed Doors is one of my favorite thrillers and so when I saw that Paris had written a new book, I just knew that I had to get it. The story begins on a cold stormy night when Cass is driving home through a wooded, scheduled road when she sees a ‘stranded’ woman in a car. A series of events occur leading her to leave the woman behind only to wake up the next day and the woman is dead.

The entire story revolves around Cass whose world quickly disintegrated after the encounter with the murdered woman. A lot goes on including a possible stalking and an early onset-dementia. With her failing memory, Cass became an unreliable narrator. She did things that didn’t make sense and her memory kept slipping. I thought her character was quite sympathetic but I just couldn’t figure out what was real and what wasn’t around her. I knew that there was more to the story but couldn’t guess what was happening.

This book wasn’t twisty. As a matter of fact, it felt like nothing much was happening especially since most of the story revolved around Cass and her thoughts about events around her and the murder. Another thing that bugged me was the coincidences. I really wasn’t convinced by some of the things that happened around the big reveal. They felt a bit convenient. Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop reading the book. I know that sounds confusing but it is true. The writing was addictive such that the issues that bugged me didn’t affect my reading experience much.

The final 100 pages were even more addictive especially after the big twist. I had accurately guessed part of the reveal and motive but not the entire twist. Certain characters changed from the role of victims to the avengers which I thought was exciting. In the end, the reveals were not shocking as in BCD but this was still an entertaining read.



ARC Review: Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo


There are things even love can’t do… If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love…’

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, dances with prophets, appeals to God. But when her in-laws insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 80s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.


I can’t explain how excited I was when I found this book on NetGalley. It was my first African Lit from the site. Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo centers around a married couple, Yejide and Akin. The two have been married for three years and are childless.Yejide is already feeling the pressure of being childless in a society where women are recognized for their ability to be mothers. Family, friends and even strangers start pushing her and she ends up making numerous trips to the hospital looking for medical solutions. When science fails, she starts seeking unorthodox interventions such as visiting spiritual leaders and witch doctors.

I think that the portrayal of Yejide’s struggles and how society kept pressuring her was so accurate. It is something that happens a lot in our society. I don’t know if that happens in other parts of the world. I empathized with Yejide. Culture plays a key part in the story. I can’t say much about this but I liked how this was portrayed through speech, dressing, and customs. I love reading about other people’s cultures.

The book is set in Nigeria at a time of political unrests leading to student’s protests and an attempted coup. This reminded me of Chimamanda’s Half of a Yellow Sun which is also set in a similar period. However, the state of the nation does not have much impact on the characters apart from a few critical times when they get caught up in the mayhem. I still felt like the author did a great job with the setting. Even if the unrests were not a key part of the story, they were still evident.

The story is told by the two main characters, Akin and Yejide which enables readers to see how the two are dealing with the issue. It also helped in the character development because we get to know the two better through their narrations. Another aspect of the narration that I enjoyed was the use of two timelines. We get to know about Yejide and Akin three years after marriage. However, there are chapters that take us back to when they made in University and their courtship.

Stay with me by Adebayo Ayobami is a well-written story about a woman’s struggle with childlessness, societal pressures and loss. It is through this book that I learned about pseudocyesis which is shocking and heartbreaking at the same time. There are a number of twists and secrets that made it difficult to predict the ending. The beautifully articulated prose, setting, female protagonist and the themes all made this a wonderful read.

This book reminded me so much of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin. I recommend this book to all fans of African Literature and everyone looking for diversity in literature.

About Ayobami Adebayo


Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for Creative Writing. Ayobami has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Hedgebrook, Threads, Ebedi Hills and Ox-Bow.
STAY WITH ME- UK (Canongate, March 2017) US (Knopf, August 2017) is her debut novel.

Book Review: Tell Me How This Ends by Victoria De La O


Brothers Jude and Ryan McAllister are inseparable. When Jude stepped in to raise Ryan after the death of their mother, it became the two of them against the world. But the scars it left were bone-deep. Then Lizzie Price comes along.

Lizzie hopes Ryan’s kindness can help heal her wounds from a toxic relationship. But when she meets Jude, their powerful attraction makes him difficult to resist. The problem is, Lizzie doesn’t realize Jude and Ryan are brothers, and they don’t know they’re falling for the same girl.

By the time the truth comes out, everyone is in too deep. Ryan is in love, Jude is in denial, and Lizzie wants both brothers. All of them agree that no one deserves to get hurt. But love and desire have a way of testing even the strongest bonds.


Tell me how this ends by Victoria De La O starts on a slow pace. However, a few pages into the story, I was completely hooked. As described in the blurb, the story revolves around Jude, Ryan (brothers) and Lizzie (the love interest). Lizzie meets the two guys almost at the same time though at different places. At first, she has no idea that the two know each other.

What I liked

The story is narrated through the three POVs. I really liked the narrative style y because it gave different perspectives of the same events. As a reader, I could see the relationships from the three views and understand what each character was feeling, thinking and dealing with the experiences.

The bond between the brothers was the best part of this story for me. Having being left alone at a young age, the two only have each other. Jude takes care of Ryan and it is evident that Ryan adores his big brother. They are always there for each other and it seems like they don’t really have anyone else. I love the little things that they did together such as playing basket or waking up in the middle of the night if one of them had a nightmare. This relationship was just beautiful.

Family is one of the themes in this book. Apart from Jude and Ryan, we also get to know more about Lizzie and her family. She is very close with her brother Jeff and also her folks. Family issues came up and it was interesting to see how they were addressed.

Apart from family, friendship was another key theme. I liked the friends that Lizzie had and just how much they supported her. Ryan and Jude also had some great friends with the later opening up to people over time. The friends were support characters but the author did a great job of making them part of the main story.

The characters in this book are well developed especially Jude and Ryan.  Having lost his only parent at fifteen, it was interesting to see how Jude became Ryan’s guardian and best friend at the same time. He sacrifices a lot for his brother and always puts him first. I liked other details about him like how neat he was and how he used to wash dishes immediately they were used. The author shared many little details that made Jude quite real and relatable. Ryan was my favorite character. I just liked the guy. The fact that he was nerdy introverted and even his stutter made him endearing. I just wanted the best for him. Lizzie was a complex character. She had just survived an abusive relationship only to find herself falling for two guys. They were all flawed characters who we get to see grow through the chapters.

What I didn’t like

I know from the blurb it is obvious that there is a love triangle. This is what I actually didn’t like. I don’t mind love triangles in stories but the fact that the guys were brothers bothered me. They were both good guys and I didn’t like the idea that a woman could come between them especially after what they had been through.  I think the relationship also bothered me because the three characters were great but it was obvious that one, two or all three would get hurt. That is how love triangles end up but I didn’t want that to happen to any of them. Anyway, the ending of the book is heartbreaking though beautiful at the same time. It was not what I wanted but it was a satisfactory conclusion.

Final Thoughts

Tell me how this ends by Victoria De La O is a wonderful book about family, friendship, love and loss. It ended up being quite an emotional rollercoaster. I was completely lost in the story such that for a few hours, the world around me ceased to exist. The story is well written that it became easy to emotional connect with all three characters. It has an easy flow and ended up being a quick read. I recommend this book to all fans of this genre (new adult/romance).

ARC Review: The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimentel


Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .




The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimentel begins with the wedding preparations. Family and friends are on the way to the wedding venue. In this group, there is Ruby and Ethan who used to date a while back. Ruby is the bride’s sister and Ethan is the groom’s best friend.  Right from the beginning, it is evident that Ruby is yet to move on although it sounds like Ethan no longer has any feelings for her.

The chapters alternate between now and then. Ruby is the main narrator in ‘now’. Through her POV, we get to see the current events. The stress of planning the wedding and being around her ex. The ‘now’ chapters alternate between Ruby’s and Ethan’s POV and they focus on the couple’s earlier days when they started dating all through to the breakup.

What I liked………..

The setting was great. The characters are Americans but the wedding is being held at a castle in North East England. It sounded like a beautiful town with ancient buildings and a sea front. I also liked the idea of a small town where there was a lot of gossip and few secrets. Everyone knew everyone. The characters in the town were great. They may have been minor characters but I liked them.

The characters in the story were believable and easy to connect with. I liked Ruby and her best friend Jesse who used to discuss everything. I haven’t had a best friend like that in ages so I guess that is why I liked the friendship. I also felt like Ruby’s character was very well developed. She was likeable and easy to relate with although her being so hang-up on her ex was annoying to some point although understandable.

The story is simple and well written. I liked the fact that it wasn’t easy to guess how Ethan felt about Ruby. This made it more interesting to read on to find out how the two end up. I also liked the fact that there so many different themes and not just the romance. The theme of family was predominant in the narrative as we got to know the two main characters and their family complete with the issues that they were facing.

What I didn’t like

This is not my usual genre so I can’t really remember why I decided to read the book. However, that is not what I didn’t like. Throughout the story, there were hints that something happened to cause the breakup between Ruby and Ethan. I couldn’t have guessed what it was. However, finding out the reason just confused me. I can’t share what it was because of spoilers but I just don’t know how anyone could be blamed for something like that. I really didn’t get that bit.

Final Thoughts

I recommend this book to all fans of this genre. If you are in the mood for a romantic novel, a wedding themed book or just a good, fluffy read then this one is for you. The book is described as a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. However, I can’t tell how the two books compare because I have never read any of the Austen classics.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

ARC Review: Safe with Me by K. L. Slater

safeAbout the book

Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even …

Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?


Safe with Me by K. L. Slater is about a woman on a revenge mission. It is clear that Anna hates Carla right from the start. The two women meet at an accident scene years after the incident that caused the grudge. Anna is still angry about whatever happened between them but it seems as if Carla doesn’t even remember her. However, this encounter sets off Anna’s revenge mission.

The story is narrated in a way that keeps the incident a secret up to the final chapters. As readers, we only know that Carla did something wrong to Anna but we don’t know exactly what it was. The book has multiple narrators. Anna takes us through her troubles at work and her revenge mission at the same time. I found myself sympathizing with her at first. I mean everyone gets overwhelmed by work at some point, right? I feel the same way about filing just like Anna felt about undelivered mail that kept piling up lol. Anyway, we soon get to see just how bad things are for Anna at work as her obsession with revenge also becomes apparent. Her narrations were so dark. As a reader, it felt like being trapped in the mind of a psychopath. She is also an unreliable narrator which added to the mystery of the story because it was hard to determine what was real from her perspective. Anna is also a complex character with a number of conditions such as OCD. As the story progresses, Anna becomes creepier and it is then clear just how disturbed she is. Soon, everything spirals out of control.  Slater was able to create such a realistic character that I found myself mixed up about Anna. I felt sorry for her at some point but she scared me in other chapters.

“You could say it feels a bit like dressing up in the brightest party clothes so nobody sees how low and lost you feel underneath. You’d be surprised how easy it is to hide your true feelings with a smile and a kind word”.

Other narrators include Anna’s old neighbor, Mrs. Peat who is her only friend. Her perspective helps us get insight into Anna’s life from childhood to the incident that changed her life. I liked the friendship between the two women because they seemed like such an odd pair. There are other narrators who help in connecting the dots through present and past narrations.

One thing that I truly enjoyed about this book is the fact that everybody had a secret. Each of the characters was deceptive in a way. Some of the secrets were dark including murder and abuse. Others were funny like a certain character pretending to be weaker than she really was so as to get sympathy. Other secrets were creepy and simply horrifying. Finding out the secrets was one of the most exciting parts about this book.

 “It always amazes me how it is so easy to appear one way to the people around you but to live inside as someone else entirely.”

Safe with Me by K. L. Slater had a number of twists that kept me guessing throughout. The story took so many turns that it was hard to predict how it will go. I tried guessing but ended up being wrong a couple of times. It wasn’t even clear who the villain was. I enjoyed most of these twists although some of them were a bit off, bizarre and somewhat unbelievable. That is my only issue with the book. I especially didn’t like the final chapters.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller then you may want to read this. It was a quick read and I loved the anticipation that had me going through the chapters fast to try and find out about the incident that caused the grudge between Carla and Anna. If you like unreliable, creepy narrators then you may also enjoy this one. The book does have some heavy themes surrounding Anna’s family and her past. However, I definitely enjoyed this debut novel by Slater and look forward to the author’s next book.

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica


She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated


 I love a good psychological thriller. I guess that’s why I enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Gone Girl by Gillian Fynn and Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris. A friend gave me a copy of Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica last week and the synopsis got me intrigued enough to drop everything else on my planned reading and start reading the book.

Pretty Baby is a wonderful psychological thriller. It had everything that I look for in a good suspense novel. The suspense was well maintained right from the start when Heidi and Willow met. I kept trying to predict what would happen next but each twist came as a surprise. They were so unpredictable.

The story is narrated from three main perspectives. Heidi and Chris give narratives on the present. Willow mostly gives the background story by narrating on the past. The three perspectives are narrated interchangeably through the chapters giving the story such a good flow.

SCARED BELOVEDI liked the three main characters because they all played major roles in the narratives. However, I thought I understood them pretty well as the story went on but Heidi surprised me as the story progressed. Character development is done pretty well in the book. The twists are many, each chapter  ends with a cliff hanger and the suspense is so intense that I found myself totally lost in the story. It has been a while since I have stayed up so late at night reading a book. I even woke up at 5am in the morning to complete the book before heading to work. Yes, it really was that good.

Pretty Baby by May Kubica is one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read in a while. It reminded me of how much I like this kind of books. If you enjoyed any of the books mentioned in the first paragraph of this review then you will like Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. This is highly recommended for all fans of psychological thrillers.

Ps:Is anyone else excited about watching The Girl on the Train? I just watched the trailer and now I can’t wait for the movie.

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I finally read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I used to be intimidated by the book and assumed that it would be quite complex especially being categorized as a classic. However, the book turned out to be quite an easy flowing, enjoyable read.

To Kill a Mockingbird is narrated by almost 9 year old Scout. Scout lives with her brother, Jem and their father, Atticus. They also have a friend who features prominently in the book, Dill. Atticus is a lawyer who happens to have been assigned to defend Tom Robison, a black man accused of raping a white woman. Also prominent is the story is ‘Boo’, Mr. Radley. He is a key character although readers only get to interact with him through the children’s narrations.

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird revolves around Atticus and his children, his defense of Tom and the children’s interactions with Radley. The book examines key themes such as racism. Scout is a child narrator and so readers get to view racism through her perspective. Its heart wrenching to see how the kids lost their innocence when they had to face the ugliness of racism and the unfairness of the world. Dill and Jem are especially affected by the injustice that they witnessed during the Robinson’s case.


Apart from racism, there was also an aspect of prejudice in the different social classes. For instance; the Ewolls and Cunninghams were regarded poorly by the townspeople due to their social standing. Aunt Alexandra especially openly discourages the children from mingling with the low people in society.

There are a number of interesting themes in this novel that I will not delve into so as not to turn this review into a literary criticism. However, I will just mention that my favourite part of this book was definitely the child narrator aspect. I also liked all the main characters especially Atticus, Jem, Scout and Dill. Scout is an endearing heroine; she is portrayed as being brave. I also liked the fact that she was a tomboy and quite proud about it despite everyone’s effort in forcing her to be more ladylike. I adored the relationship between Scout and her brother, Jem. I love how they used to fight as most siblings do and then make up the next minute. There was one particular physical fight that was a bit funny to read about. After the fight, I found myself smiling when the two siblings walked to their separate bedrooms but not before bidding each other good night. Jem was a little gentleman always taking care of his sister and trying to emulate his dad. I love how at only 11 years old, he started referring to himself as an old man.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story about awakening. It’s also a story about bigotry and injustice. However, it is also about friendship and family. I am glad that I finally read this book. The courtroom scene reminded me of my Grisham novels and had me at the edge of my seat waiting for the verdict. The children’s antics kept the story moving even when there were no major happenings in the narrations.  I highly recommend this book to everyone who has not yet read it.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Book Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

I have to thank the book blogging community for putting this book on my radar. I read numerous reviews and mentions and got curious enough to buy the book. I am definitely glad that I did.

Review, shall we?

November 9 by Colleen Hoover is about Fallon, a former actress currently living in the aftermath of tragedy and Ben, an inspiring writer. The two characters meet on November 9. This date becomes an important date in the book since everything revolves around it This is also the one day that Fallon and Ben agree to meet each year over a period of five years. They also agreed not to communicate or contact each other at all apart from on that date.ROMANTIC


I really enjoyed reading November 9. Fallon and Ben were likeable characters. They both had their own struggles but it was great seeing how the relationship impacted on them. I think the author did a great job in developing the story especially given the premise of the relationship whereby the main characters only met once a year.Despite being unusual,it  still seemed believable and kinda romantic.


There are sections of the book that seemed a bit clichéd, too mushy and corny but still this didn’t take away the fact that the story was beautiful. The romance was undeniable.

I also thought it was quite a page turner. It was so fast paced and so I found myself looking forward to the next November 9. The twists were  good. For instance; one of the major twists was finding out how the two characters were actually connected through their pasts.

I never used to be a fan of YA and especially romantic themes but this year has been full of surprises. I really enjoyed reading this book. I can picture it as a movie/film and I hope it will be adapted into one.









This meme is currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So here’s my 3 W’s for the week.

Recently Finished

Over the weekend, I read two books on a whim. They were not really on my TBR but I just picked them randomly.

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurtson

I have watched the movie adaptation of this book but only got to read the book recently. I loved the book though I really struggled with the dialect used in the dialogues. It was a beautiful book but tragic.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

This has to be one of the best books that I have read recently. It tells the story of slavery and the fight towards its abolition. It had everything that I like in a book. I especially liked the fact that it has strong female protagonists.

Currently Reading

I am finally reading Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Warning: This next paragraph may contain spoilers about the book

It has been a rather weird experience. I don’t know  why I assumed that the book was about civil rights. Imagine my shock when the first thing I came across was the ghost of the baby haunting 124. The throwing of things around, the resurrection of Beloved are not things that I expected. Honestly speaking, I have always been scared of the supernatural especially  anything ghostly. Furthermore, for the first time in years I had a nightmare on Monday night and woke up too scared to go back to sleep. Beloved, the resurrected woman was the star in my nightmare although in the nightmare she looked and walked like the girl from the movie, The Ring. This is definitely not a book that I would have picked on my own. It was a challenge by my book club so I will read it to the end. I look forward to finding out how it goes. In addition, the book won some awards and is said to have been the book that contributed to Toni’s Nobel Prize award. So I am soldiering on. Hopefully, there will be no more nightmares about ghosts. BELOVED NIGHTMARES

By the way, I read somewhere that the book was inspired by a real story about a mother who had to kill her baby to save her from slavery.



The Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

I stumbled upon this book. When I woke up from the nightmare mentioned above(the Beloved experience), I decided to read something light before sleeping again and this is the book that I found nearest to me. It is a book about a taboo topic, teacher-student relationship. I have never read anything like it so just taking time to see how the story unfolds.

Reading Next

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Killa Mocking Bird

It’s about time that I finely read this widely acclaimed classic.

So what’s on your WWW this week? Have you read any of the books on my post? Did Beloved give you nightmares? Share the links to your WWW posts and I will definitely pay you a visit and see what you have been up to.