We Hunt the Flame – Review


Pure of heart. Dark of intent.

There are not enough words in the English language – screw it, any language for the matter – that can describe how much joy reading this book has brought me. Albeit I have taken my time with reading it, my copy sitting on my desk for a couple of months; just watching me, waiting for me to pick it up and just devour it. I am glad I waited after my exams have finished to start this book, to dedicate all of my focus to it. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, with so many of my mutuals on both instagram and twitter waxing poetics about WHTF.. boy was I wrong. Arabic names, places, food and general words are sprinkled so delicately into this wonder of a book, making the story even more dear to my heart. There is a glossary and pronunciation guide to accompany the book that can be found here!

Review

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

Be as victorious as the name I have given you, and bring the desert to its knees.

The world that Faizal so gloriously paints is so dear to my heart and I honestly loved every moment of reading. I loved that I related to so many words and food ; I grew up with my culture not very represented in western media and finding this gem of a book proudly displaying all of its aspects in a tale makes my heart want to burst. Heres to more books so unapologetically Arab!

This is a Pinterest board I made for We Hunt The Flame.

this is a very short review because I adore this book very much and do not want to overthink it / enjoy it less by breaking it down.. maybe some time in the future (AKA before We Free The Stars (THE SEQUEL TO THIS GLORIOUS BOOK!) comes out) I will do a reread and write more about each character. Just know I love the Zumra with my whole heart.


We Died In Water

By Meg Flores // Pub date Oct 1 2019.

I RECEIVED AN ARC FOR THIS BOOK.

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆

This is all it takes to disbelieve a thing – a glimpse. A soft undoing.

We Died In Water is a bewitching poetical memoir that forces the reader to fully grasp the journey enclosed – both the heartache and learning that comes about from a relationship.

Though I have no experience in heartbreak, in leaving or being left, I did find myself engrossed in how Flores manages to almost make her troubles seem artistic. She mixes paragraphs that drag you like sand meshing into the ocean ,  and a sentence or two crashing into you like waves. I found myself rereading pages, and pausing at some to just think about the hurt and continuity that both mother and daughter went through.

We come apart and turn colorless.

As someone who is very much into poetry, a couple of pages from this work has made itself into my journal. Thank you for pouring your heart into these pages.

If you would like to pick up a copy of We Died In Water, please visit your local book store or if you prefer to get yourself a signed copy, head to Flores’ shop.

credits for my image, made using:

Ipad mockup: Anthony Boyd Graphics

Scene mockup: Junnxy @ CM

The Girl the Sea Gave Back

I received an ARC for this book.

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for providing me with a digital ARC!

This is my first book by Adrienne Young and thought I had mixed feelings about it at the beginning, I am very happy with the ending and the path this book lead to.

About halfway through the book I was convinced this was going to be a simple 3 star but the more I pushed myself to read the more i really started to connect with Tova.


“The truth was everywhere. It was in everything. You only had to open your eyes to see it.”

I really liked that the book was heavy on her characterisation, and how everything always related back to her heritage and past.

— mild spoilers ahead —

The one thing I think I wasn’t entirely comfortable (or perhaps I just didn’t understand) was the constant mentioning of Halvard. It almost seemed that there was infatuation after their limited intereaction but I got over that towards the end.

The romance (expected, I mean this is a YA) was sweet and just the right amount, didn’t feel over saturated and unnecessary.

The Secret History

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star?

I’ve seen this book worshipped by the “dark academia” fanatics on tumblr.

I definitely have heard of Donna Tartt’s talent of attracting a reader like a magnet, inticing in a very eloquent way. Despite all of this, I wasn’t prepared for the ending of this book.

By far, the best use of a plot twist I have ever read.

I think I didn’t get the sense that I really love these characters, until the end of the book. The way Tartt describes her characters is interesting and something I haven’t come across before. She somehow manages to put them on a pedestal and simultaneously portray them in a bad light.

It was quite a lengthy read, but I found myself taking my time with this book because I wanted to really devour it.

Ex astris, sara

While You Were Reading

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

If you’re looking for a light rom-com book that pulls you out of a reading slump, look no further!
Beatrix “Bea” Babbage is a bookworm who moves away from her home to a different city to start a new life — following a ruined celebration — and finds exactly that.
This was a I book I did not want to put down. it had everything I love and more; coffee, books, cute barista’s, annoying but loving sibling relationships! though I usually identify a lot with the characters of a book, I didn’t get that in this one…. usually I would be pretty annoyed by that and it would affect the rating BUT Bea’s characterisation was amazing! Don’t get me started on the beautiful one who writes book quotes on her latte cups.

Annotations inside a book is something that fills my heart with so much joy, and this book inspired me to start doing just that in my books!

Ex astris, sara

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – and so am I.

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

Having heard so much praise about this book, I wondered why I couldn’t just pick it up and read it. I believe that WHEN you read a certain book can affect the type of impact it has on our souls. I started reading this lovely, heart-breaking but also heart-warming tale of loneliness, friendship and kindness by Gail Honeyman in the end of one of my busiest months as a student. My exams are just around the corner, and I just couldn’t resist picking this up off a Big W shelf when I was walking by. And I am so grateful that I did. This story brought me to tears so many times, made me smile so big – I didn’t realise it was placing its clutches on my heart, making a home for itself. Definitely a must-read for everyone. everyone should experience the joys that come with reading such an insightful book into the world of Eleanor, how she’s overcome her tragedy.

Eleanor’s interactions with others is a motif for how she develops herself through her self. I enjoyed the developing friendship between Eleanor and Raymond, and what I loved most about is their lunch meets. Having Eleanor meet such a friendly and caring character helped her realise that the world is different from what she’s been led to believe. I loved the flowers she’s received from co-workers, having a cat that she takes the responsibility of looking after – it was an anchor to reality, for her I believe. If you are hesitant about picking up this book, definitely reconsider.

Ex astris, sara

The Wrath and the Dawn

WRITING: ☆☆☆☆☆
CHARACTERISATION: ☆☆☆☆☆
OVERALL : ☆☆☆☆☆

As someone who hasn’t read A thousand and one nights, I don’t know if I can judge this book against the original. But I honestly loved this book heaps. I loved reading about characters with names I hear and associate with my culture and society, with issues that (were a little exaggerated) but I would not mind a Tariq of my own. I loved the writing style of Renee Ahdeih, and I cannot wait to read the sequel and the short stories she’s written.

(very little mild spoilers if you squint below, so be warned!!!)


I did not like Khalid at the beginning, and I was honestly wanting her to go along with her plan and end him. Though that changed as the book went along. One thing I would’ve loved is for Shazi to be stronger. To be more fierce and to have interacted with more female character other than Despina (whom I LOVED btw, she was great even though we barely saw of her or of her relationships)

the beginning of the book was quite nicely paced, but I feel like the second half of the book, especially the last couple of chapters were very rushed. nonetheless, I give this book a 4/5