[ARC] Generations by Flavia Biondi


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Matteo, due to some issues with his lover, decides to leave Milan and come back home. Not at his father house, however, because maybe he never forgave Matteo for being gay. Matteo moves with his grandmother, where he finds also his three aunts and his pregnant cousin.

Matteo must then learn how to live with his family, and this change will bring him new responsibilities, since he will have to help his invalid grandmother and do the house chores.

Generations is a moving and compelling book, and at the same time it is light as a feather; Matteo’s coming of age will happen also by discovering the past of his family and the difficulties faced by the previous generation.

This book was truly a beautiful discovery, both concerning the narration and the illustrations, a book I absolutely suggest to read.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

* Generations by Flavia Biondi ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham


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Kitty has a sister, but among the two of them it’s Kitty the most beautiful, charming and attractive one, but, season after season, Kitty does not gain any suitable marriage proposal. When her younger sister is going to get married Kitty panics and marries Walter Fane, a bacteriologist deeply in love with her.

The painted vail begins in one of the occasions when Kitty betrays her husband with Charles Townsend, British dignitary, married and with a couple of sons. The story develops in China, Hong Kong, where Walter and Kitty moved after the marriage.

Walter, shocked and desiring to punish his wife, chooses for them to move to Mei-Tan-Fu area, where a cholera epidemic rages.

The painted veil is a novel about delusional loves – like the one of Walter toward Kitty, but also Kitty’s toward Charles – but it is also a coming of age novel. Kitty – the only POV’s thoughts we can read about – at the beginning of the novel is a shallow and egoistic woman (lessons taken from her mother), but in Mei-Tan-Fu, during the epidemic, she changes after the meeting with a group of French nuns, devoted in helping the sick people.

Kitty will abandon the selfishness that drove her character and she will be able to see the reality as it is, and to think about other people emotions. The novel is compelling for the main character inner evolution, and for her determination.

The movie made from the novel is likely, a part of a change in the ending, a little bit less dramatic. I prefer the book ending, in my opinion more coherent with the premises build during the story.

* The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english

How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran


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England, 1990. Johanna Morrigan is fourteen years old and belongs to a weird but nice family: her father lives with a disability check and hopes to get rich with his music (that maybe is not so good), her mother gave birth to a couple of twins (that adds up to the other children, Johanna, Krissi and Lupin) and is going through a period of depression.

Johanna is smart, loves music and books and has a talent for writing, but her character and appearance do not make her attractive for other people of her age. Her worst moment however is during a local television show, and from that time she decides to build herself again and become memorable.

How to build a girl? By changing the name, then orienting the musical taste and improving the appearance (hairs, make up and the way of dressing), and then by finding a job where the girl’s skill is appreciated. Johanna so becomes Dolly Wilde, who works for a musical magazine – and who writes reviews, hardcore smoker and open to any kind of sexual experience.

How to build a girl is a novel about the coming of age; it features an independent main character – even if I honestly do not share the most of her choices – who slowly becomes aware of the society around her and understands better how to fit in. Johanna has an original but realistic family, two parents who love her and want the best for her future e a bunch of complicated brothers.

The novel is overall nice, but I did not particularly like the main character – and the fact it’s difficult to relate weights on the whole reading experience – and the novel does not provide particular ideas or original choices in its development.

* How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran ★★☆☆☆½

*I read this book in english

[ARC]s by Becca Price


Becca Price è un’autrice di libri e racconti per bambini di cui ho già parlato nel blog (vedi Dragon and dreams, Fairies and Fireflies, The Snarls e l’intervista all’autrice). Mi sono accorta in questi giorni di avere ancora due suoi libri per bambini da leggere e recensire: Heart of Rock e Bridge of Seven Stones.


Becca Price is an author of children books I already talked about in the blog (see Dragon and dreams, Fairies and Fireflies, The Snarls and the interview to the author). I recently noticed that I had other two of her books to read and review: Heart of Rock e Bridge of Seven Stones.

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[ARC] Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross


La storia di Henni è ambientata in un mondo fantastico popolato da uomini gatto; durante l’infanzia della ragazza il padre è stato arrestato a causa delle sue idee, Henni è cresciuta così con la madre – molto integralista dal punto di vista sociale e religioso – e con la sorella minore.

Raggiunta la maturità per Henni viene il momento di essere data in moglie a un uomo scelto tramite riti religiosi; la società infatti è molto legata a miti e imposizioni, e il potere è accentrato in mani maschili.

Scoprendo che in realtà il rito è manovrato dai sacerdoti Henni sfida le regole imposte e fugge, venendo in contatto così con civiltà differenti, ma accumunate da una rigidità dei costumi.

Henni è una graphic novel interessante che tratta il tema della crescita, della religione e delle imposizioni sociali in modo arguto. La pecca per me sta nel disegno, i personaggi sono molto simili tra loro e lo stile non mi ha fatto impazzire.

Ringrazio l’editore per avermi fornito la copia necessaria per stendere questa recensione.


Henni’s story is set in a fantastic world where people are cat-men; during her childhood her father was arrested for his ideals, Henni then grew up with her mother – a religious and social foundamentalist – and with her smaller sister.

Once grown up Henni has to marry one of the man of the village, the husband is chosen by a religious rythe; the society Henni lives in believes in myths and religious impositions, and the power is in the hand of males and priests.

Henni discovers how the rythe is manipulated by the priests and decides to walk a forbidden path and then to run away; she then discovers other societies, different from her one but similar for impositions and rules.

Henni is an interesting graphic novel that deals about the coming of age, religion and society with a clever plot. The thing I did not like much is the drawing: the characters are quite alike and I did not particularly like the image style.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.


Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross ★★★☆

Blankets by Craig Thompson


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Blankets is the autobiography of the author in the form of comic where he talks about his coming of age from childhood, about his relation with his family and about his first love story.

Craig is born and grows up in a catholic family in Minnesota? and his life’s experiences happen in relation to the Church and the catholic religion, for example the summer camps.

The story is about a child that grows up in a young adult different from the others, who loves to draw and his bullied by other children better integrate in the society where they live. As teenager he meets Raina in a winter camp, and he spends with her a couple of weeks during summer.

The blankets the title refers to are the ones shared with his brother as a child (on a bed that used to become a ship where they were safe from the shark on the floor during their games) and the one made by Raina.

Overall the story is almost trivial: a boy grows up to adulthood and remembers some key events of his life, but it is to praise the author for wanting to share his life with the readers.

The parts I found most irritating are the ones about religion: I always found amazing how behaviours and teachings can be taken to the extreme on the basis of supposed directives directly (and mostly literally) from the Holy Scripture.


* Blankets by Craig Thompson ★★★☆☆½

*I read this book in Italian

The round house by Lousie Eldrich


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This book is set in 1988, but the tangle of laws that hinder prosecution of rape cases on many reservations still exists. “Maze of Injustice,” a 2009 report by Amnesty International, included the following statistics: 1 in 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime (and that figure is certainly higher as Native women often do not report rape); 86 percent of rapes and sexual assaults upon Native women are perpetrated by non-Native men; few are prosecuted.

The novel “The round house“, set in Nord Dakota and near a native americans reservation, begins talking about a tragic theme: the rape of native women.

The main character’s mother undergoes a sexual assault, the shock of the experience makes hard the reconstruction and the woman will close herself up trying to overcome the tragic memory.

Her husband, a judge, and her son Joe will try to find out the culprit in order to have justice.

The theme is interesting as the setting within a less known reality – the native americans one – the novel describes a different way of living and various characters.

The thing I did not like is the writing style: everything is filtered by Joe’s POV – dialogues included – and the reading experience was somewhat burdened by this. Another aspect I did not find completely believable is the way of acting of the main character, some actions were quite extreme considering his age, but maybe this is not due to my lack of knowledge about the context.


* The round house by Louise Eldrich ★★☆☆☆

*I read this book in English