Bad girls throughout history

   This book, written by Ann Shen, is about, as the subheading says, 100 remarkable women who changed the world, such as Josephine Baker, Marie Curie, etc… You can read about how these powerful women, from multiple eras and places changed history to make the world a better place. One page is dedicated to each of them, explaining what they did next to a beautiful watercolour portrait illustration.

   What I really liked about this book were the facts that it is very pleasant to read and it changes from a typical history book. The format is quite nice with the text and picture for each woman. It is very informative but also inspiring and fascinating. It allows us to know more about some women we’ve already heard about and to discover new ones at the same time. This book is very human, it is a great celebration for women and gives hope to an even better place for them in the world today.

Moonlight

Moonlight is an american drama that was directed by Barry Jenkins and came out in 2016, it was adapted from a play. The movie received 3 oscars including best picture.

   It is about the story of Chiron, a black man living in a rough neighbourhood in Miami. The movie is divided in three parts. The first one is when he was a child, he was excluded from the other people in his school who were mean and chased him. The second part is when he was a teenager, still bullied by the students in his class. The last one is when he is an adult. Between his tough school environment and his drug addict mother, he tries to accept his homosexuality and find his place in the world.

   I absolutely loved this movie for many reasons. First, the story is really touching and shows a lot of poetry and sensibility in a harsh environment. The cast is amazing and all of the actors’ performances are breahtaking, no matter their age. The music is very well used to make the scenes captivating and the images and colors are striking. Although I really liked it, I think the third part could have been a little more exploited.

The help, Kathryn Stockett

   The Help is a novel written by Kathryn Stockett and published in 2009. It is quite known since then, it was a best-seller, but I really wanted to talk about it because I think it is really worth it. It deals with racial segregation in the USA in the 1960’s, which is a serious and important topic. The story occurs in Jackson, Mississippi, a southern state where segregation was present everywhere.

   We follow the life of two main characters, Aibileen and Minny who are both African-American and who work as maids for white families. The third protagonist is Skeeter, she is a young white woman who studies journalism and she has a different mentality comparing to the other white women she spends her time with. Indeed, even though she also has a maid, she cares about her and behaves well with her, not like the rest of her friends. When she comes back to her house after finishing her studies, she finds out that Constantine, her maid, left without saying anything. Then, she decides she wants to collaborate with black women to write a book about the maids’ living conditions, life, etc… At first, this project seems impossible due to the racial laws of the time but a surprising friendship will appear.

   This book is quite hard to read in english because it is written in an oral way so I actually recommend to read it in french. I loved this powerful story because it showed that even if there was segregation, some black and white people could still be wise enough to work together in order to change things. The events that happen are well told because the author was herself born in Jackson and raised by a black woman. A movie was adapted from the book in 2011, the cast is amazing, the actors embody their characters so well. Even if you’ve seen the movie, you can still read the book because there are some differences regarding the point of views, etc…

Delicacy

   Delicacy is a novel written by David Foenkinos in which a young woman called Nathalie is the main character. At the beginning of the book, she lives an enviable life : she’s in a wonderful relationship with her husband and has a great job. Unfortunately, everything falls apart after seven years of marriage when her husband is hit by a car during his jogging and dies after getting in a coma. Even with her family and friends, Nathalie can’t find some comfort and feels like she will not be able to live without her husband. One day she decides that she has to keep living and so, go back to work. There she is everyday confronted to her boss Charles who is desperately in love with her and Markus, one of her co-workers, who she has kissed one day for no reason.

   What I loved in this book was Foenkinos’ writing style : very simple and beautiful. Also, there was a little bit of humour, which is always nice. Something I had never seen before : between two chapters there are sometimes lists or quotes related to what happened in the previous chapter. I found it surprising, unusual and thought it was a great way to keep the reader reading by adding something that changed from the chapters. The short chapters and simple writing makes the novel accessible and easy to read. You can find some great quotes in it and you can read the whole book in just a few days because it is a short novel.

Mickey Bolitar trilogy, Harlan Coben

   This summer I read Shelter, Seconds Away and Found, three thrillers written by Harlan Coben. The main character is the same one in all of them : a teenager who has quite a complicated life. Indeed, his father just died and his mother is sent to rehab. Therefore he has to live with his uncle and go to a new highschool.

   Each book tells the story of Mickey and another character linked with him such as his girlfriend, his parents or a friend. There are mysteries like disappearance, murder, shooting and the protagonist is always down to help his friends getting out of the trouble.

   My favourite novel was the last one, Found. Eight months after his father’s death, Mickey finds out that his father’s body is not in his coffin so he tries to find him. It isn’t the only story of the book but it definitely is one of the best from my point of view. The end of the novel focuses on it and I thought it was an awesome and very thoughtful conclusion of the trilogy.

   These are books you can read really fast and I recommend it to those who like suspense and mystery novels.

By the river Piedra I sat down and wept, Paulo Coelho

   Paulo Coelho is a brazilian writer, especially known for his worldwide best seller, The Alchemist. You can recognize his novels because of his flowing style of writing, moreover his stories always have a mystical part. Indeed, he talks a lot about religion and spirituality in a very philosophical way.

   By the River Piedra is written in an internal point of view, Pilar’s one. She is an independant woman who decides to meet her childhood friend after 11 years without seeing him. He became very involved in religion and chose to dedicate his life to it. At first glance, they are very different although what unites them is their wish to change. They both go in a french village in the Pyrénées to talk and find themselves out. This story is essentially about love and their relationship.

« Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided »

   This book was the first Paulo Coelho’s novel I’ve ever read. Before I started it, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because of the religious side of it, but I actually liked his writing style and the fact that he explains things in a simple way makes it easy to understand everything. It is also quick to read because it is not too long. There are a lot of beautiful quotes that I loved. I personnally think this book has good life lessons and after reading it, it feels like you’ve learned a lot. That’s why I really enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone.

Am stram gram, M.J. Arlidge

Last summer I read a detective novel entitled Am stram gram, written by M.J. Arlidge. This thriller with a lot of suspense follows the life of Helen Grace, a commander who tries to solve a very worrying investigation.

Two people are kidnapped and confined illegally in a place from where they can’t escape. All there is with them is a gun and a message : « You must kill to live ». From that moment they are trapped, they have a choice to make, murder the other person or be murdered. These crimes reoccur again and again, letting the agents perplexed because the victims don’t seem to have a link between each other.

I wouldn’t particularly recommend this book because, even if it’s catchy and I read it very fast, I was a little disappointed about some aspects of this book. I personnally think that the chapters are too shorts, it barely satisfied me. Moreover I think the end was hard, indeed it gives no respite to the reader and it could have been exploited more.

I still enjoyed reading it thanks to the very tense and suspenful moments !

Wonder, R.J. Palacio

Wonder is a novel written by the american writer R.J. Palacio, published in 2012. The protagonist, August, is ten years old, live in New York but he has never been to school because he doesn’t look like kids his age. For the first time, his parents send him to school.

August has a rare facial deformity called the Treacher Collins syndrome and to undergo operations, he must be home-schooled by his mother. His life will change from the moment he goes to school and is confronted to children who have never seen someone with his desease. We follow his life through several characters’ narration like his sister or his friends. In school his integration is difficult, he has a few friends and also ennemies which generates a peaceful moral war between them the whole year.

I read this book three years ago because I saw it all over magazines and it made me curious. Once I had the book in my hands, I read it very quickly because I loved it. I think the story is very realistic and touching, I loved the fact that we could see the story from different characters’ point of view. I personnally think that everyone can read it, no matter the age but to me it is particularly efficient when young people read it because it learns not to judge someone by his appearance. I recommend it to everyone.

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is an american romantic dark fantasy by Tim Burton that came out in 1990, starring one of my favorite actor, Johnny Depp, and Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest and others.

It shows the story of Edward, a young man created by an inventor. This latter died before finishing Edward, letting him with scissors instead of hands in his castle. Then he is hosted by one family of the city but falls in love with the daughter, Kim. At the beginning he is welcomed by everyone in the neighbourhood, everyone likes him and make him work with his « hands » by cutting the bushes in an original way. An incindent make all these people hate him then and he runs away from them by going back to his castle.

I’ve watched this movie several times since I’m a kid and I love to watch it during winter time.

The picture of Dorian Gray

   The picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical and fantastic novel written by Oscar Wilde, a famous Irish writer, and published in 1890. The story occurs in the worldly life of England during Victorian era.

   The main character, Dorian Gray, is a close friend to Basil Hallward, a famous painter. Basil is quite fascinated by Dorian’s facial beauty and decides to paint a picture of him. Gray gets to meet Lord Henry one day, another friend of Basil. Dorian will soon be influenced by Henry’s vision of life, that beauty is the most important thing, and will become jealous of his picture because it will never be old while he would age. His desire will become reality : Dorian is going to stay young and beautiful forever but his picture will age. Despite that, his life will not be as beautiful as he thought it would be.

   I recommend this book because I loved Wilde’s writing style, I think it is so well written. You may think the story is boring and not be attracted by it because it’s an old book but it’s not boring at all, it’s catching and very readable.

Inception

   After I loved the movie Interstellar, I discovered  Inception, from the same producer, whose name is  Christopher Nolan. This film is a science-fiction thriller which shows famous actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, etc…

   The character played by DiCaprio, Dom Cobb, is an « extractor », a thief who steals someone’s secrets from his subconscious by entering his dreams. Then he becomes sought by the police considering what he does is illegal. Saito, his lastest target which the operation failed with, offers him the opportunity to try something renowned impossible until now : inception. It means that you implant an idea in a mind. Dom and his partner choose to accept the challenge but they will soon be disturbed by an unsuspected enemy.

   In this movie, the characters alternate between dreams and reality, which will probably make you lose your mind ! It is better not to miss any scene and even to watch the movie twice to clarify the story.

   I loved the particular ending and highly recommend to watch the movie !

Don’t turn around, Michelle Gagnon

   Don’t turn around is a novel, more particularly a young adult thriller, written by Michelle Gagnon. We follow the adventure of Noa Torson, a teenage girl in her city which is Boston.

   Noa, young orphan hacker, wakes up one day on an operating table, a cut in her chest. She will succeed to escape this unknown place but the men who worked there are going to track her. Between hiding places, friendships, runs and discoveries, Noa will do her best to make it out and she wishes she’s going to find out the truth.

   From the first line you will be transported in an endless (as it seems) crazy experience with suspence and you and the main character will never have the time to rest.

   I loved it because the story is catching from the beginning and it never disappointed me. We can easily identify to Noa Torson, the main character, because, even if she’s a strong girl, she still has a lovely sensitivity. There is also this virtual side, indeed it talks a lot about technology with the hackers and we can identify to that too while learning some stuff about it.

   The first tome of this series made me waiting for the next one with impatience !