Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad #2) By: C.B. Lee | Review (+Giveaway)

Amazing cover!!!

Not Your Villain (Sidekick Squad #2)

Genre: LGBTQ+, YA, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: October 5 2017
Synopsis:

Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.

After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?

Sometimes, to do a hero’s job, you need to be a villain.

Book Review:

I loved this book so much that I had trouble putting it down. I feel like I talked about how C.B. Lee gives the reader a conventional and non-conventional narrative atmosphere last time, but just in case I didn’t, I think readers of this book will love,  as I did, the way theme of love and friendship are blended into the story with this amazing amount of ease that you almost forget you are reading a story.

The main characters are just so relatable. I can usually tell when I’m reading a story even if I am really into a book, but not when it comes to the Sidekick Squad series. From start to finish, the narrative incorporates a consistent and present bubble of humor, honesty, progressive relatability, acceptance, love AND excitement!

Reading this book you get so swept up in the funny, cute and friendship “aww” moments that when the action starts you’re just as shook as the rest of the characters!

At least that is how I felt. I love when books keep surprising you because it gives you the opportunity to never be bored with surprises and adventures in every single chapter.

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A House Without Windows By: Nadia Hashimi | Review

A House Without Windows
By: Nadia Hashimi
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Culture, Mystery, Family, Friendship
Rating: 4 stars
Reprint release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks/ Harper Collins

Synopsis:

A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

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“Life Partners”| Review

Life Partners Promotional Photo (Cutesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Life Partners (2014)

 Staring: Leighton Meester, as Sasha, and Gillian Jacobs as Page, with supporting roles by Adam Brody, as Tim (the boyfriend), Gabourey Sidibe as Jen (aka one ‘N’ Jen) and Beth Dover as Jenn (aka two ‘Ns” Jenn). Released in April of 2014, the film was directed by Susanna Fogel & co-written with producer Joni Lefkowitz.

Life Partners, a truly honest-to-goodness down to earth film, tells the story of two close and infinitely linked best friends, Sasha & Page; late twenty-somethings in need of a bit of cognitive and spiritual growth. As the two pursue relationships and proper adulthood behavior, their un-linkable bond tethers at the seams when Page enters into a serious relationship. Through out the film, the two equally are sort of forced to face eye-opening life style changes, which prove to be developmentally difficult.

Meester & Jacobs as Sasha & Page (Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

Page—needed to stop being taken care of all the time and getting her own way, and Sasha needed to move her life forward not only with her love life, but her career as well while adjusting to Page having a boyfriend.

The main reason I enjoyed this film was because it does such a great job of incorporating a strong, friendship bond between Meester’s character, Sasha, and Jacobs’ character, Page even when the pair were at odds with one another. The best instance in this case is after Sasha begins to date Vanessa—the former ex of one of the girls’ friends Jenn (aka two ‘Ns’). Following an awkward, double date at a bowling ally, Page and Sasha go for a hike and ‘discuss’ Sasha and Vanessa. What I really enjoyed about this scene was Sasha and Page’s reactions to one another when they realized the other was lying about how they truly felt in regards to Vanessa. Instead of coming clean, both continue to layer the conversation with subtext as neither wants to let the other out lie the other, regardless if both of them know that the other isn’t being honest.

Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

(Photo Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures).

Yes, Page gets into a serious relationship with a guy she originally thought wouldn’t be her type and yes, we see Sasha go from one lesbian relationship to the other, but that relationship isn’t what grounds the story or film. The core of Life Partners, is Page and Sasha working on away to find a new balance with one another with Page’s new boyfriend. In my opinion, one of the best things this story and film succeeds at is avoiding some the stereotypical clichés of this kind of, three is a crowd/third wheel/love triangle relationship, like: the jerky boyfriend, an overtly, whinny/emotional girlfriend, the dominating boyfriend, and the three second love at first sight trope with Page and Tim’s relationship.

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