Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

It has been a while since we spoke about Non Fiction books here, hasn’t it? In the May’s edition of review shots I am going to talk about three different kinds of non fiction – a poetry from a new age poet that I love, a comic about us, and a world war II memoir. Did I pique your interest? So let us get started! 


Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sharing a copy for review and it no way affected my unbiased and honest opinion.

In this edition of #reviewshots I am talking about three different kinds of non fiction – a poetry from a new age poet that I love, a comic about bookworms, and a WWII memoir. Did I pique your interest? #minireview Click To Tweet

Love Looks Pretty on You

elgeewrites Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir Love Looks

Author: Lang Leav 

Genre: Non Fiction – Poetry 

No. of Pages: 224

I am sure Lang Leav is no stranger to any of us. And in her sixth book she has brought her magic back. I kept underlining her and highlighting so many of her lines, especially the ones about abuse in relationships and being a strong woman. 

When my best friend told me

she was in love

my first thought was,

‘I hope he is good to her.’

And it suddenly occurred to me,

what I held in my heart for her

was hope, when it should

have been expectation.

I love that her prose/poetry has always been easy to read and relate. I have felt in her earlier works she talks a little too much about heartbreak and being in love for my taste, and there is nothing wrong about that and it is just me, not her. But she has proved herself as a matured writer in this one. 

Final thought: Though monotonous at times, the author moved past from the heartbreaks to more mature subjects. 

Recommended to: If you liked her previous works, this should be on your list as well

Book love

elgeewrites Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir Booklove

Author: Debbie Tung 

Genre: Non Fiction – Comic

No. of Pages: 143

Have you ever thought about the crazy things that you been doing as a bookworm? Of course I would not blame you because I do them as well. And this book is for you. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who loves books.

Book love kept me grinning throughout the book because it was all true. And it was as if someone took a peek into my life and just drew them but in a less clumsy way.

Though it would hardly take an hour to finish this one, I would suggest to go through this book slowly and enjoy taking a laugh at yourself. 

Final thought: Catch yourself smiling at the quirky bookworm habits 

Recommended to: Must read for book lovers!

The Zookeeper’s Wife

elgeewrites Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir zookeeper

Author: Diane Ackerman 

Genre: Non Fiction – Historical

No. of Pages: 368

I read The Zookeeper’s Wife for the A-Z reading challenge last year and I have no idea why I had not reviewed it until now, other than the fact that I forgot to. And there is a well known movie as well adapted from this historical drama. 

The invasion of Germany into Poland and the consequent bombing affected not only the people but also the animals that were held in the Polish zoos. The zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski save Jews by letting the stay in the empty cages. The Zookeeper’s wife follows the life of a ‘sorta’ family that socializes with ‘guests’ after the dark and caring for the animals during the day. 

I love reading the Holocaust and WW II novels so I quickly jumped at the chance to read this one. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. There were more interesting parts, like where Jan tries to help the prisoners escape than the zoo life at home. 

Final thought: Interesting premise even if it is slow and dragging at places

Recommended to: History buffs.

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Have you read any of these books? Do you read poetry as much as you like to? What is your feedback ratio on Netgalley? Let us talk. 

Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

Before I let go by Marieke Nijkamp: A Book review

I picked this book when I was looking for another book of Marieke Nijkamp and I could not find it on the store. I read the blurb, which I rarely do, and got ready to dig into the mystery set in the obscure town near Alaska. Let us see how Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp turned into, alright?

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About Before I let go

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp Cover

Book Name: Before I let go

Author: Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adult

Characters: Corey, Kyra

Setting: Alaska, The USA

Plot summary of Before I let go

The story begins with Corey returning to her small town called Lost Creek,
Alaska after she heard her best friend Kyra is dead. As she tries to understand what happened to Kyra, Corey is pushed away from the very town she grew up in and lived for sixteen years. 

Kyra and Corey have been best friends since childhood. They have stood together through thick and thin, especially when Kyra was diagnosed as bipolar and the villagers started treating her differently.

But now everything appears to have changed. Everyone speaks of Kyra lovingly and treats her like someone special, now that she has gone. What happened in the past few months and how did Kyra even die? You need to read Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp to know more. 

Book review of Before I let go

For starters, I don’t think it was meant to be a mystery novel, thanks for nothing, Goodreads!, because there was no suspense, like at all. Somewhere in the middle of the book, we already know the ‘what, when, why and how’. The plot had a lot of things going on, but the storyline became so predictable and lacked pace. 

Well, the book talks about mental illness and the kids are sexually diverse (a pansexual and an asexual) but I can not be the judge of the realness of the representation. The atmosphere was creepy and sinister until the end, which I liked. 

Things that worked for me

  • The friendship between Kyra and Corey was strong. The whole story revolved around that instead of romance. for a change.
  • I liked the writing style and it kept me invested until the end despite the other flaws.
  • I liked the eerie setting and frankly just reading about this small town in a remote place.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I felt the pace was so slow and it became kinda repetitive after a while. 
  • I didn’t particularly relate to any of the characters, which were bland and flat.
  • The non-lead characters seemed under developed as well.

Bottom line

Before I let go talks a lot about strong friendship in an eerie and hostile environment. If you like reading about mental health with diverse characters you might like Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp.

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Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan: A Book review

It has been a while since I reviewed a translated work I think. And if you are doing the Year of Asian challenge, read this review of One Part Woman and then the book right away. 

About One Part Woman

One Part woman

Book Name: One Part Woman

Author: Perumal Murugan

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Literary, Translated work

Characters: Kali, Ponna, Muthu, 

Setting: Tamilnadu, India

Plot summary of One Part Woman

Set in the southern part of India, the story revolves around Kali and Ponna who have been married for twelve years. They are ridiculed and ostracized for not conceiving a child by their family, friends and the entire village. They have been called names and shamed about their fertility at every instance. Despite having doubts about having a baby, they try to save their face in front of the society. 

They have met with many astrologers, made offerings to the Gods and done every ritual sacrifices to their deities but to no avail. As a last resort, their families ask Ponna to take part in a specific festival celebrating the half-man-half-woman deity, when any man and woman can consensual sexual relationship with one another. 

Will the couple take up the offer? What effect would this offer have on their relationship. You should read One Part Woman to know more. 

Book review of One Part Woman

Though initially written in my mother tongue Tamil, I read One Part Woman in English and I am glad I did that. While I have heard high praises about the original, I am not sure if I could have digested the rawness in the story. 

One Part Woman portrays emphatically the society’s stand towards a couple who are childless, or God forbid choose not to have one, especially in the rural areas. 

Are you looking for a translated literary work that stays true to the original? Then #OnePartWoman should be your choice. Read my review here! Click To Tweet

There are a lot of racial and sexual slurs (not more than other novels of the genre though), but nothing that called for the riots and calls for banning the book. I think the political and casteists should leave the literary world alone.   

Things that worked for me:

  • I loved the layered and flowery writing style of the author. 
  • All the characters are well thought and fully developed. I loved Ponna’s strong and fierce character.
  • The book ends in a kinda cliffhanger and continues in the next part, the end worked for me.
  • The rural life in the south India is perfectly etched.

Things that didn’t work for me:

  • The rawness in writing goes in hand with a lot obscene sexual and racial slurs. That is one reason I am glad I didn’t read it in my mother tongue. 
  • I didn’t get many of the slurs and slang, despite it being my mother tongue. 
  • There are times the flowery writing might seem overdone and drags the pace.


If you want to read a translated work that portrays rural south India then One Part Woman should be your choice. I am definitely reading the part two soon. 

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Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin: A book review

Y’all know how I successfully completed the A-Z reading challenge of 2018! I know I know, I surprised myself and I am definitely signing up for the next year too. And that is how I heard of the highly rated Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin as I was on the lookout for the letter ‘Y’. 

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To be fair I would have been okay with just a decent read because my aim was more to tick that letter off. Did that happen with Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin? Let us see, shall we?

About the book

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin Cover

Book Name: Young Jane Young

Author:  Gabrielle Zevin

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Rachel Grossman, Jane Young (Aviva Grossman), Aaron and Embeth Levin, Ruby Young

Setting: Florida, Maine, The USA


Loosely based on the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal from the yesteryears, Zevin talks about the other side of the story in her book, Young Jane Young.

Taking place in Florid, Aviva Grossman, a new intern has an affair with the handsome Congressman Aaron Levin. When it comes out in the open, the congressman’s life stays impact, despite the negative news and Aviva’s life is turned upside down. But all that is the past.

Now, she has moved states and reinvented herself as Jane Young, an event planner, and lives with her headstrong daughter Ruby. When she is convinced to run for the mayor of her small town, her past catches up.

Ruby realizes her mother is not who she believed to be and takes things up in her own hands. Did that end well? Did the Grossman family have a chance to reconcile? You will have to read Young Jane Young to know more.

My initial thoughts

In Young Jane Young, we read about the present life and the aftermath of the scandal through the eyes of five female involved Rachel Grossman (Aviva’s mother), Jane Young (Aviva’s new life), Embeth Levin (the congressman’s wife), Ruby (Jane’s daughter) and Aviva herself (in a Choose Your Adventure style narration). 

I generally like books that have different POVs. I know they usually are either hit or miss and there is no in between. And Zevin nails this down. 

As much as I understood the actions of the 13 year old Ruby, they still irritated me, especially when she is portrayed as a rational and feminist kinda kid. I didn’t feel related to any of the characters but that, surprisingly didn’t seem a negative in Young Jane Young. 

Apart from the story as much, Young Jane Young brings out the double standard and misogynist society we live in, especially because IT REALLY HAPPENED.

Though I was kinda young and living in a different continent altogether to know all the details, I remember how we joked about the seductress and tore her apart while Clinton’s political life and marriage survived. And we went on to diss about Hillary Clinton about deciding to stay with him. I think this is a powerful feminist story in its own way. 

Things that worked for me

  • The plot is definitely interesting and is worth talking about. I didn’t quite expect Young Jane Young to turn out to be a feminist tale.
  • The writing is fast and engaging. I never felt even a moment’s lag in the pace of the story. 
  • I loved reading different point of views of five strong women. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I didn’t relate to any of the characters and the actions of few of these characters really irked me. 
  • It takes a while for the story to pick and for the reader to understand what really happened in the past.
  • Choose Your Adventure style narration for the last part felt too gimmicky for my liking.


If you are ready to face the misogynistic side of the yesteryear’s scandal, Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin is for you. I liked Gabrielle Zevin’s engaging style of writing and I will definitely be reading more from her. 

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Review shots: A comic, poetry and World War memoir

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: A Book Review

It has been a while since I had a book that got me riled up like THUG did it for me. When I saw Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, I thought it would be my ticket to reaching it again. Well, to know if it happened or not, you should read my book review of Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu ahead. 

About Moxie


Book Name: Moxie

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Genre: Fiction – YA

Characters: Vivian, Seth, Claudia, Lucy

Setting: The USA

Plot Summary of Moxie

When the boys at Vivian’s school get away with their sexist slogans and actions, Vivian circulates out feminist zine called Moxie anonymously to bring the girls together. Her actions and ideas garner attention and soon the school girls walk out to support one of theirs claims. How Viv and her friends stand up to the toxic environment forms the rest of Moxie.

Book review of Moxie

Moxie talks about topics that are highly relevant today – feminism and rape culture. It highlights the importance of speaking out and the power of collective voice. 

I loved how the shy and obedient Vivian turned to be the voice of the rebellion and protest. The story may have been written for a younger audience but worked for me – to an extent. But then, the story also had its flaws that left me unimpressed. 

Things that worked for me

  • I adored the new and old female friendships that were formed during the story.
  • The messages on feminism and rape culture certainly made me worked up and agitated.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • Some of the characters were so one dimensional that they seemed straight out of a parody.
  • The romance between Seth and Viv was so forced and the book could have easily been romance free.
  • While there were adults involved, why the situation was never brought to their notice?


If you are looking for a book to help to start a conversation about feminism with your niece or nephew Moxie may be the one for you. I felt it was more of a middle grade book than a Young Adult literature. 

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