Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For by Sara Pascoe | A Book Review

Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For  by Sara Pascoe | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I have to admit, I like stories about witches. In fact, my favorite TV show is Charmed. I remember hurrying home from school so I could watch it every Monday night. I just love those Halliwell sisters. 'Til this day, I still watch it on the web if I have a chance, because unfortunately, I did not get to finish the whole show. So, it's not a surprise that I chose to read this book.

Do you remember bumbling your way through something new? Like a new hobby, or a new craze or your first time to wear high heels? Channel that experience and picture it. That is exactly how the main character--Rachel or Raya, felt in this story. She has to clumsily learn and work through her new abilities as a witch. Sometimes, she had to learn the hard way. This is a coming-of-age story of Raya as a witch.

The story started slow. It started to get really interesting when the powers of Raya manifested. What sets it apart from the other witch stories is that the story takes you to  some places and times in history. It was for me a learning experience about another culture. Being transported to an exotic place set in an earlier era is always exciting for me.

When Raya's powers started to fully unfold, the story also started to peak. I think the highlight of the story is when Raya embraced her gifts. When she accepted who she is, it's when the story flew it's heights. I especially liked that part. I also liked Oscar's witty comments and replies to conversations. Oscar added more life and character to the story.

I give this story 3.5/5 black cats. I enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to the next location of Raya, Oscar and Bryony's adventures. I am looking forward to meeting new and exciting characters just like in this story.

Why does it seem like my life is always interrupted for other people and their problems?
- Sara Pascoe, Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn't Ask For -

Thanks again Netgalley for the copy. 


The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield | A Book Review

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield | A Book Review  by iamnotabookworm!

I have been MIA for about three weeks. I have another endeavor which I'm trying really hard to work out.  I am currently home away from home and I am hoping that this is going to be the break that I have been waiting for. I am praying that the Lord will have mercy on me and finally grant me this fervent wish.  I have asked the help of all my prayer warriors and from all the angels and saints in heaven to help pray for me also. 

One other reason which contributed to my being MIA from the blogging and the book world is that some keys on my laptop (technically my brother's which I borrowed) are not working. And they turned out to be the most used keys. What a pain it is! I have to resort to using the on-screen keyboard which is not as easy as the usual. I think it would take me a very long time to finish this review.  So, I might as well get on it.

Oh, did I mention that this review was supposed to be due the first day of August? Yes! I am way past the very dead deadline.  I have sent an email to ebooksforreview.com of my challenge. And this has been truly testing my patience and resourcefulness.

Like the story, we would never know how the smallest thing could affect or alter an aspect of our life. Just like the on-going challenge I am experiencing. I never thought that I would ever have this kind of problem and it affects me greatly because the laptop is my partner in this blogging and book reviewing lifestyle. I felt handicapped by this. The Smallest Thing is about a 17-year old girl who can't wait to leave her small town and live and breathe London. Until, a series of deaths in the neighborhood lead to more complications and heartbreaks. If you ask me, what happened in this book was not really a small thing. It was very huge and had affected the life of the main character Emmott and her small town deeply, that made her grow into a mature and selfless woman. 

I can relate to Emmott very closely. I think we have been all under a similar situation where we made plans for our future and have painstakingly and religiously took care of the details but then by some fortuitous event abruptly change all those plans. And all those other backup plans we prepared for such eventuality don't even apply. And the most heartbreaking thing of all, is we are forced to change the direction we are heading. We are not only forced to alter our plans but scrapped it all and do something else. The exact opposite. Even, start over. And much to our surprise and relief, everything works out in the end.

The story is very realistic. It truthfully mirrors real-life. Like how diamonds are made, we too have to undergo a similar process of polishing by going through high pressure and extreme temperatures to bring out our shine and be the best of what we are. We become strong because we have been tested and have survived situations we thought we could never get out alive. And like in the story, the simplest gestures often mean a  whole lot to others. Yes, a random act of kindness goes a long way. It gives hope to some. And for some people, they just need the tiniest spark.

My only wish was that it ended with a clear note on Aiden. He was key to the change in Emmott's character so it's just fair that his character should deserve a better picture of how he turned out in the end of the story.   

I give the book 4.5/5 Big Ben Towers. This is a very unassuming book but it packs a punch. It may say small but it would fill your heart with overwhelming emotions. Emmott started out as a typical teenager who can't wait to spread her wings and be her own person, like we were all were. Then, ends up doing the opposite because it was the right and the best thing to do. The situation demanded that she think beyond herself and she rose up to the challenge.


I don't have much to offer--a friendly face, a kind word, and a simple human touch, the smallest thing--but it's better than nothing.
- Lisa Manterfield, The Smallest Thing - 

Thank you again, Kathy of ebooksforreview.com for the copy. Sorry for the delayed post.