Reviews

Review : Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Daisy Jones & The Six

Author : Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher : Ballantine books

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All right. I’ve seen so much hype around this book everywhere (blogs, bookstagram,…) I ended up buying it pretty fast. In the end, I’m giving it 3 stars.

It was NOT a bad read. I feel like rating it 3 stars is bad, but it’s actually medium. The story was nice and most characters were okay, but that’s it. One thing I really liked though is the format. Putting the whole book as an interview is so clever and stimulating to read ! It made it an easy read, and I read it fairly quickly. Some parts were really interesting to read especially the end, and I enjoyed the parts with Karen and Graham, even though they’re not main characters, but mostly, 80% of the book was just okay.

Okay is the perfect word for this book. Most of the time, I read while not being very invested with the characters. The only ones standing out are Daisy and Billy. Bonus points for Camila and Karen, but I would have liked to read more about the other members of the band. In the end, I just read for the sake of it, not out of curiosity. I couldn’t bring myself to care for the songs, even though the author bothered to fully write them.

I have no idea why I couldn’t love it more. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. Maybe it’s because the band is fictional and therefore I couldn’t picture the scenes in my head ? I think I would have like better a book like this with a real band interview, such as Rolling Stones, or Kiss !
Another thing that bugged me a little is the number of clichés used in this. Since I wasn’t even alive in the 70’s, I can’t tell how much of the “drugs, alcohol and rock” there actually was in this era, but it felt a little forced in the book. Daisy’s a sad junkie, Billy a sad alcoholic, and the rest of the band just barely exists in the background.

I’m grateful for Camila’s character, as she felt really genuine, and she’s the one I could relate the most to, as she doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, and is fine living her life away from the music industry, even if it means being away from Billy.

As I said, the end was my favorite part. I felt like the character finally grew and made more sense, and this is when I felt the closest to them. Such a shame I had to wait until the end for that !

I still recommend this book, because I know it is well-written. My personnal taste is the only thing that kept me from enjoying it fully, and if I can judge by the reviews I keep seeing everywhere, most people will like it.

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Do you think you’ll read this over the summer ? If you have read it already, what did you think about it ?

Thanks for reading  !

See you soon,

Jade

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Bookish talks

Half year review !

Wow, June is already nearing its end ! I feel like 2019 is really going faster than the other years… (As if it could haha). In order to bring a little order in all that chaos of the year, here is a review of the things that I’ve done and read so far, and what’s coming next.

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Bookish things

This year I set myself a goal of 50 books to read ! I read 45 in 2018 and I figured I’d be able to top that a little. And I was apparently right, since according to Goodreads, I’ve already reached 64% of that goal.

It’s probably because I found reaaaaally good reads in the beginning of the year ! Here are some of them :

The Wicked King, Holly Black ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Skyward, Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A curse so dark and lonely , Brigid Kemmerer  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Legendary , Stephanie Garber ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Honestly this year started extremely well regarding reading. The books listed above are complete must-reads in my opinion, and I’m so happy I got to read them all. Is there any you have read ?

I have also started being active on Netgalley this year, and I spend a lot more time than before reading e-books. I was absolutely CONVINCED I could not enjoy reading on my phone… And yet here I am, and it’s super convenient, especially while commuting to and from work !

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Most importantly, I started this blog in May ! I can’t believe it’s only been a little over a month and you’re already almost 100 following me (despite me having no posting schedule whatsoever haha). This is growing to be a fairly big part of my life during my free time, and I love the community here ! I really hope to be able to continue updating this blog for a looooooooooooong time 😀

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Final bookish related thing that kind of happened this year is I started volunteering at my local library ! Technically, I started at the end of 2018, but I had no time to get truly invested there, and now I get to take part in the “management” of the library, if I can call it that. I didn’t expect to like it that much, and I’m probably going to write an article about my experience there sometime around. It’s a small village, but it makes everything much more interesting as I have to be very versatile to deal with how the library works.

100% would recommend.

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Non-bookish life

I’ve been temping a lot so far. Fortunately, I managed to get two internships for the summer. Both are in book stores, and I started the first at the beginning of the month. It’s very interesting and I love recommending books to people. As an intern, I don’t do as much as I wish I did, but it’s still lovely !

Now… I had a project of getting back in college to study book publishing, so I started working on my case to get in and applied to 3 colleges.

Good news, I got in all 3 and got to choose ! So I’m currently figuring all this out, and preparing to move out my mom’s house (woohoo !) around mid-August, if all goes according to plan. That’s really big for me as I get to study what I love, in a beautiful part of France surrounded by big forests and preserved parks as well as lakes and mountains. I probably will have less time to read and blog about books, but it’s sooo worth it !

My cousin also managed to make his professional projects happen, and I’m super happy for him, so I’ll also be celebrating it soon 😀

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This article is a little bit of a mess haha, but I hope it’s still clear enough. All in all, 2019 has been a stellar year for me, and it’s a little bit stressing, as I keep waiting for karma to happen and annoying stuff starts. I hope it won’t !

How has your year been so far ? Are there any good reads that really stuck with you and you recommend to everyone who will listen ?

Thank you for reading all this !

See you soon,

Jade

Reviews

Review : Steel Frame by Andrew Skinner

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Steel Frame

Author : Andrew Skinner

Publishing House : Rebellion

Release date : August 22 2019

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It had been a while since I last read a sci-fi book. I believe the last one was Skyward, which I thought was AMAZING. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t commit to Steel Frame. That and a few other things.

Here’s the bit where I usually write a little about the plot, and the global point of the book. But… I couldn’t even understand that. At all. I ended up DNFing this after 100+ pages/approx. 300 pages, and by then, I still couldn’t understand what the book was about.

Sure, there’s someone named Rook, who’s part of a jockey team, that flies shells and they go somewhere fight someone/ something ?

What are jockeys ? -> Jockey fly shells.
What are shells ? -> Uh… Bird-like exo-skeleton ? That’s what I understood, and I’m pretty sure that’s not correct.

So many things are not explained. The reader is thrown into the story, with no explication whatsoever. You read about a group of people who are cons for something. Then they have to go somewhere (a ship ?) where they get recruited by a company to do something. And couldn’t understand what that something was. Just as I couldn’t understand the world the author tried to build. Where are we ? What’s the main character backstory ? What are shells ? WTF is going on ?? On top of that, I didn’t realize that the main character is female until I re-read the synopsis on Netgalley.

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So many questions are popping in my head while reading, and there’s never an answer to them. Maybe there are later in the book, but honestly, if I can’t understand what’s going on within the first 100 pages of a book, I’ll just give up.

There was so much potential for it to be a great book, but it just lacks too much background information for me. Maybe it’s just my understanding of the book that’s messed up, though. It has happened before that I read something and DNFed it for not understanding the world building, and other people just loved it.

As far as I’m concerned, I’d say that more work needs to be put on this book.

Thanks to Netgalley and Rebellion for providing me an e-arc of the book !

Steel Frame releases on August 22, so if you want to make up your own opinion about it, you can already pre-order a copy on the usual websites !

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I’m so late on reading all your posts guys !! I need to have a WordPress afternoon soon x)

Thanks for reading me !

See you soon,

Jade

Reviews

Review : The QB Bad Boy and me by Tay Marley

The QB Bad Boy and Me by Tay Marley

The QB Bad Boy and me

Author : Tay Marley

Publishing House : Wattpad books

Release date : August 13th 2019

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This is such a perfect read for summer ! I’m absolutely in love with Dallas and Drayton !

I first heard of this book on Wattpad years ago. I thought it was amazing there, and I still think it is now, as Tay managed to land a book deal for her story. With summer just around the corner, contemporaries are more and more appealing to me, and especially cute teen romances. I couldn’t have found a better read to fulfill my desire for this genre of book.

I’m no longer in high school, but I’m still not old enough to feel lost when reading a romance set in this context. A love story between a quarterback and a cheerleader could have been super cliché, but the author managed to make it more interesting than two popular high schoolers thinking they’re a perfect match.

I read the 400 pages of this in two sittings, and only because I had to get to work, otherwise I would have sat through the whole thing in a few hours only. It’s the kind of book that makes you stop thinking, and makes you feel like you’re young and free, and in love yourself, even when you’re not. Not many books make me so entranced, so for that alone I’m giving it a 5 star rating.

Dallas and Drayton, the main characters are both strong headed, while being huge softies on the inside, the best friends are a little too discreet for my taste, but they’re good supports for both Dallas and Drayton. I’m especially thankful that Dallas does not completely forget her life from before Drayton after she starts seeing him. She still does things for Gabby, her best friend, and most importantly, she doesn’t forget what her goal in life is, especially college-wise. She makes her dreams and her professional life come first. Amen to this !

The ONLY thing that bothered me a little was the cliché of the dead relatives that seems to be frequent in teen stories. And Nathan, Dallas’ brother who is extremely laxist in my opinion, considering he’s supposed to have the “parental authority”. Again, this is very common in this type of books, so I was not entirely too surprised by this.

Anyway, when you read a romance book, you expect it to make you swoon, and this one did it for me, all while dealing with some important topics (death, parental pressure, etc…) . It was adorable and refreshing. If you don’t mind a few cliché-ish things (kissing in the rain for instance), that might be your must-read this summer !

This releases on August 13th so make sure to grab a copy then !

Thank you Netgalley and Wattpad books for providing me with an e-arc !

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Do you have reading plans for the summer ?

Thank you for reading !

See you soon,

Jade

Reviews

Review : Trapeze by Leigh Ansell

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Trapeze

Author : Leigh Ansell

Publishing House : Wattpad books

Genre : Romance, Contemporary

Release date : September 10th 2019

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Summer is coming, and so are summer reads ! Contemporaries are my to-go genre for the summer, and when I saw Trapeze on Netgalley, I thought it would be a great read for the beginning of June (even though I’m not sure why the cover doesn’t show a trapeze artist…)

First of all, this is a Wattpad book. I used to love Wattpad before so many kids used it ! There were a lot of amazing stories, especially romances, and they were pretty cool to read. I’m sure there are still some around, but they’re drowning in horribly written fanfictions now… Anyway, I’m super happy Wattpad one day got the idea of creating a publishing house for the gems on its website.
Some books there really deserved the love, and it’s great the group is helping those stories get into the world in a more professional way. Good job Wattpad !

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As all teenage romances, Trapeze has a few clichés in it : Corey is the outsider, the “weirdo” and Luke, main love interest is the popular guy with a secret. Family relationships aren’t great and drama is never too far, and the “villain” of the story was pretty easy to figure out.
That being said, I must admit a few things surprised me, especially towards the end, and this is why I liked the story. There are some clichés, but everything is not one, and the author still tried to make a few things realistic regarding Corey and Luke.

Moreover, the characters are really likeable, and I found myself rooting for both MCs, but also some background characters, such as Kim and George, two of Corey’s friends (that could definitely be more present by the way, they’re nice !)

I wouldn’t say this is a spectacular book, but it’s a nice cute beach read that I thoroughly enjoyed !

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I’ll be a little less active this month, as I’m interning in a bookstore, and I have a long-ish commute time ! It’s great for reading, but as I work best on a computer, and don’t have much time on it lately with the internship and all, I won’t be posting as much as usual ! I need to get organized and plan posts haha !

Thank you for reading !

See you soon,

Jade

Reviews

Review : Nefer the Silent, Christian Jacq

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Nefer the Silent (The stone of Light #1)

Author : Christian Jacq

Publisher : Pocket books – Simon & Schuster

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Deep in the heart of the Upper Egyptian desert lies a forbidden village where bands of artisans prepare the tombls of the Pharaohs. Guarded by a handful of elite soldiers, the hidden city shelters the most precious of treasures: the Stone of Light, a legendary stone of magical power. When a devious military officer schemes to infilrate the city and capture the sacred gem, his subversive plot is twarted by an unlikely hero: a desert wanderer who falls into a maze of treachery and betrayal, desire and danger…

 

My opinion :The story revolves around the Place of Truth, a mysterious village around Thebes, where many secrets are held, and very few allowed to access them. There are 3 “main” protagonists : Ardent, a sixteen years old boy who wants to get in the Place of Truth and become a painter, Silent, who was born in the Place of Truth and left it to hear ‘The call” of art that will let him come back to the village, and Mehy, a curious counsellor, who wants nothing more than to acess the Place of Truth’s secrets and destroy the village along.

This is my first Christian Jacq book and I’m delighted by it. As a big history and ancient Egypt lover, I was excited to dive into this story, set in one of my favorites era ! I was not disappointed. I’m still surprised by the speed with which I read. It took me less than a week to read, when I thought it would take me twice that time. However, I was a little scared about all the historical references I might find and the difficulty of it. Thankfully, everything that needed explaining was explained easily, in a few line. No page long footnote !

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The writing style is fast paced, I never got bored, and the change of character’s “POVs” is very coherent within the story, which is not the case in all books. I’m glad I never felt like I was reading too much or too few about anyone. The balance was perfect, and it makes a good chunk of why I enjoyed this so much.

Not only that, but the characters are really likeable. From the beginning. They all evolve throughout the story, and yet, I loved them since the beginning, which is exceptionnal for me, as I usually have a hard time getting into books. Even Mehy is one of those “love to hate” villains, and I’m really curious about his plans in the next book (which I already have and plan to read next month)

I really felt like I was in the Place of Truth with the characters, like I was living in that era and was interacting with everyone. Somehow, that book is truly alive, and captivated me as I had not been in a while (since Skyward in February/March, I think). Christian Jacq was a hit a few years ago and was kind of forgotten since. Terrible mistake ! I hope his books get rediscovered soon, because they’re really worth it if you’re a historical fiction fan. Even if you’re not, it’s still pretty enjoyable.

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Do you read historical fiction ? If so, share your favorites in the comments !

Thank you for reading !

See you soon,

Jade

 

Bookish talks

Unpopular opinions

Hey guys !

When it comes to books (and maaaany other topics in general), we can’t all agree on everything. Sometimes, we hate books others loved, and vice-versa. You saw it in the title, today we are talking about unpopular opinions. Here are some of mine, and I hope you have a few of your own to share on the comments to compare !

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The Lord of the rings

JRR Tolkien

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Tolkien’s most well-known work is one I’ve only partly read, and might never finish at all. I also haven’t seen the movies. I first started reading it a couple years ago, because of the hype, and not out of interest, which should have been a big red flag. I can objectively understand why a lot of people think JRR Tolkien is a genius. The world building is extremely complex, the characters are powerful, and a world-saving quest is the main plot. I respect the HUGE amount of work Tolkien has put in his books. However, it simply did not click with me. I was bored quickly and only read till The Two Towers. I never read the last book. I can’t bring myself to care for the story,  no matter how many times I tried picking it back up…

The night circus

Erin Morgenstern

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Bookstagram made me buy this book in 2018. What a waste of money. When everyone describes it as magical, I could only once again describe it as boring. The story took way too long to take place for me. So much that I even DNFed it as the action was slowly starting to happen (after 100+ pages !!). If you want a copy of The Night Circus, I have one to sell, with no regrets.

The Shadowhunters series

Cassandra Clare

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This one is not all bad, as I did like the first books. My problem with the TMI series is that it went on for too long. It could have been only a trilogy and I would have been okay with that. Most characters were likeable, except Clary, and that’s really a shame. Secondary characters were written better than the MC… Come on, seriously ?

A court of Frost and Starlight

Sarah J. Maas

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Unpopular opinion because, unlike many, I liked this novella. I’ve seen this book receive so much hate because of its lack of action… The thing is, it’s a novella… It’s not supposed to be action packed. It’s only a transition between the ACOTAR series and the next one set in Prythian that will be released at some point. I was simply happy with reading about the Inner Circle’s life in Velaris after the events of ACOWAR. I expected nothing more, and was satisfied by this read.

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All right folks, that’s it for me ! Do you have a bookish unpopular opinion ? Feel free to share yours in the comment section ❤️

Thanks for reading me !

See you soon,

Jade

Bookish talks

Unhauling books

Hey guys !

I decided to clean up my shelves the other day, and realized that I was out of room for new books… And also that some of the books I have, I no longer wanted. Whether it’s because I didn’t like them, or don’t care for them anymore, I figured it was time for me to say goodbye to them, and proceed to a little unhaul of the shelves. I’ve never done this before and it got me thinking about what I can do with those books… If you’re in the same situation, or coming close to it, here are a few ideas regarding what to do with books you want to part with.

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  1. Selling them

This one is pretty obvious, and most people I know go with that option. Within the bookstagram community, it’s not odd to see a few people offering to sell their unhauled books to their followers for reduced prices. It’s pretty good, but you have to be willing to put the price in for the shipping fees, which can be pretty expensive depending on the books’ destination.

An other selling option is selling to a second-hand bookstore. No matter where you live, I’m sure you have one of those small cozy bookstores in your area. They often buy books reaaaaaaaaally cheap, but at least it’s still some money going in your pocket !

2. Charities

Charities, especially ones advocating for education and access to culture for all will gladly accept books donations. You might make someone’s day by giving them your unwanted books all while giving your previous babies a new home.

Here are some charities you could donate your books to :

3. Libraries

Libraries are everywhere, but we don’t always think that our own books could have a new life there. I started volunteering at my local library in 2018 and I had no idea how precious book donations can be. Of course, your books need to be in a good condition to be donated there (no tear in paper, no dog ear, no stains, etc…, or really minimal and almost invisible), but most of the time, the library will accept the donation. The budget for cultural structures is SUPER LOW and any new material will be very welcomed by the staff. This also applies for school, so if you have kids, siblings or any youngling in your family, feel free to ask their school if they might have use for some of your  books.

4. Recycling

If your books are too damaged or no one else will take them, maybe it’s time to say farewell to them. Before throwing them in the trash, remember that books are made of PAPER and paper can be recycled. Don’t put it in the normal bin, but rather in a bin dedicated solely to paper waste. It’s good for the environment and your books still will have somewhat of a new life.

Maybe you could even use some pages for crafts or your own home decoration !

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I know those are all pretty  basic solutions to unhaul your books, but many people forget they exist, especially the donations’ part. This is my favorite option and if I did not live in France and read mostly English books, I would donate to a library, as I volunteer in one and used to love those places as a kid !

Thanks for reading !

See you soon,

Jade

 

Reviews

Review : Enough is Enough by Michelle Roehm McCann

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Enough is Enough

Author : Michelle Roehm McCann

Publisher : Simon Pulse/Beyond Words

Release date : 8th October 2019

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Young people are suffering the most from the epidemic of gun violence—as early as kindergarten students are crouching behind locked doors during active shooter drills. Teens are galvanizing to speak up and fight for their right to be safe. They don’t just want to get involved, they want to change the world. Enough Is Enough is a call to action for teens ready to lend their voices to the gun violence prevention movement. This handbook deftly explains America’s gun violence issues—myths and facts, causes and perpetrators, solutions and change-makers—and provides a road map for effective activism.

Told in three parts, Enough Is Enough also explores how America got to this point and the obstacles we must overcome, including historical information about the Second Amendment, the history of guns in America, and an overview of the NRA. Informative chapters include interviews with teens who have survived gun violence and student activists who are launching their own movements across the country. Additionally, the book includes a Q&A with gun owners who support increased gun safety laws.

My opinion :

Aimed towards a young American audience, Enough is Enough is a guide book to what young US residents can do about gun violence. The author says it right at the beginning : as a young american, you can change the laws regarding gun policies in the US. 

Divided in three parts, we learn about gun-related issues, how those same issues took roots in the country, and finally, what we can do to change that.

I expected a big book, with tiny letters and a thousand footnotes, and was pleasantly surprised to find out I was dead wrong about this. All the numbers and facts are illustrated, notably with charts that are easy on the eyes, and not only that, but throughout the book are scattered several interviews of american teens who are standing up to gun violence, which remind us that all those mass shootings were real, and that real people are doing something so that no more people die in such manners.

In the end, it was a pleasant read, about a dreadfully serious topic. Reading this is a great way to educate yourself to an issue plaguing the US, and learning how to do something about it, the latter point being, I believe, the main reason Ms. McCann wrote the book.

As a French adult, I felt like the author was not adressing me at all, which is kind of a shame. I know gun violence is horrible, and that the american youth is the next generation who will be able to act on the law to change it, but other persons than them care about this problem, even outside the US.

By reading this I wanted to educate myself to gun-related issues, and I did . Simply, the wording made me feel like a third wheel. This is clearly not adressed to me, but if you’re between 15 and 25 and an american citizen, you’d probably benefit from reading this, and I look forward to see how this book might make young people get involved in political life to make the US a safer place for everyone !

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Big thanks to Netgalley and Simon Pulse/Beyond Words for providing me with an e-ARC of the book !

Thank you for reading !

See you soon,

Jade

Reviews

Review : Pax by Sara Pennypacker

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Pax

Author : Sara Pennypacker

Illustrator : Jon Klassen

Publisher : Balzer + Bray

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This story, written with 2 POVs follows Peter and Pax, a 13 year old boy and his fox, who are separated as war is coming to their town. Upon realizing how wrong it is, Peter engages in a journey to find the one he considers his best friend and be reunited with him.

 

This was such a cute read ! I hadn’t cried while reading a book in a good while, but I ended up tearing up within the first 50 pages… It shows how friendship is a strong connection between two persons, or even between someone and their pets. It made me want to hug my cat and never let him go… (I tried and since he doesn’t like cuddled he hissed at me and tried to claw me…)

I am a little surprised how it is marked as a middle-grade book (or a least destined to “kids” between 8 and 15) when you consider all the topics present in this book. It’s written in a way everyone can understand, but the realness of the topics is still very much present. Here are some major points you can find in “Pax” :

1. Loss

Peter is forced to leave his fox behind, even though they have always been inseparable. He’s lost a part of him, which is why he decides to brave the world to go find Pax. Peter’s mom is also absent, as she has died a few years prior to the story, and the boy frequently thinks about her, and how he misses her. Finally, Peter’s dad has left him to go to war, which is the last tether of the family to break.

2. Loyalty and friendship

The whole story is based on Peter going to find Pax. They’re best friends, and Peter doesn’t want to stop at anything to find him. He would go through hell for him. Along the way, he finds someone who grows on him, and he learns to understand the way other people might think, and to like it.

3. Self discovery

Even though the boy is on a quest to find his fox, he also is discovering himself throughout his journey. Being away from what he always has known as home and from his family, Peter realizes that he is free to be who he really is. But who is that ? Through the story, he tries to understand who he is, and how to open himself up.

Those are the main points of the story, and, in a way, it did remind me of The Little Prince, by St-Exupery. How a little boy goes on a journey, and discovers not only the world, but how to live his life and meets new people that open him up to the things that exist. I’d say I recommend it if you have kids that like to read, but honestly, I believe everyone should read this, and remember how there is always light in a dark world.

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Do you have any middle-grade book recommendations ?

Thanks for reading me !

See you soon,

Jade