Spotlight: A Court of Miracles

Disclaimer: I signed up for this blog tour long before FFBC uploaded a very controversial picture regarding the Black Lives Matter movement in their Instagram story. They have since deleted the picture, however I want to clarify that this post will be my last post with the blog tour company at least for the time being because of their highly insensitive remarks. This post is purely book-related because Kester Grant is an amzing author and she deserves all the attention for her new book. Please don’t forget to sign the petitions, educate yourself on a system that actively discriminate against black people and do your part as a good citizen.

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be part of the Court of Miracles Blog Tour today!

BOOK INFORMATION

The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles #1)

by Kester Grant
Publisher: Knopf Children’s
Release Date: June 2nd 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.

In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Bookdepository | Google Book

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Kester Grant is a British-Mauritian writer of color. She was born in London, grew up between the UK, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the tropical island paradise of Mauritius. As a wanton nomad she and her husband are unsure which country they currently reside in but they can generally be found surrounded by their fiendish pack of cats and dogs.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest

Read an excerpt here!

GIVEAWAY

Don’t forget to enter this giveaway to win in a copy of THE COURT OF MIRACLES! (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Announcing the Soshelf Distancing Club, Take 2

Time flies. I can’t believe half of the month is already over and I’m in my third or fourth week of uni already. Days seem to blur together and if you woke me in the middle of the night, I’d 1) hit you because you’re evil and 2) definitely not know what day of the week it is. There’s an exception though.

Claire @clairefy and I started off this project a little while ago because we wanted to create something inspiring during social distancing (click here if you want to find out how we found each other) and now, almost 2 months later, we have officially wrapped up our first round of our book club! (Stay tuned to read my blog post of all my impressions of this book club.)

I still can’t believe we did it. It’s honestly one of the best things that has happened to me during quarantine. We’re a jolly group of girls from all over the world that randomly met in the book bloggersphere. We love reading, talking book gossip and just sharing what‘s on our minds and it’s easily become one of my weekly highlights!

Anyways, to get to the point of this blog post, this is the official announcement that our book club is opening sign-ups again. If you feel like meeting a group of awesome girls, here’s your chance! We normally meet every weekend on Zoom for an hour and I’m not lying if I say that it’s the best way to kick off a weekend.

If you’re interested, fill in the form below and we will get back to you asap. Form closes next weekend (24 May)! For more information on our book club, read our previous announcement here and just in case, here are the key facts:

  • Who? Anyone who feels like discussing books
  • What? We came up with the idea for this book club to create a vibrant group of girls with love for books
  • When and where? At this point, we have mostly met every Saturday on Zoom to socialise during social distancing and to discuss the chapters we’ve agreed to read
  • You can participate even if you’re still in your PJs

Btw, we haven’t picked a book for our next round yet but the genre will be YA fantasy (see the options in the sign-up form). We can’t wait to hear back from you!

If you can’t view the sign-up form on my page, click here: https://forms.gle/FmyxVte3y24GdyFAA

An Update on Coronavirus Life

Hi guys!

These past few days have been lovely! Spring has finally arrived in Germany and the weather outside is absolutely beautiful. Yesterday I saw the first bee in our garden (I have a childhood trauma from bees and wasps), and I think it’s also the season for ladybug mating because I see so many ladybugs these days!

Here is a little update on my current state. On Wednesday, I was finally tested on corona and the results came in…

POSITIVE

Such a surprise! Before that, my brother was tested positive too, just like my mum, so it wasn’t much of a shocker at all. I finally decided it was about time to really get tested (if you didn’t read my previous post: The local health authorities didn’t want to test me and the rest of my family because we weren’t showing any symptoms on the grounds of “no medical indication”, which I highly doubt…) because uni starts in less than 2 weeks and I really had to know if I could “go back” by then (also I wanted to know if I could tell my children one day I was corona positive and that it was so bad and everything).

Anyways, the day I was tested (Tuesday), I was without symptoms, but I think I might’ve developed some? The thing is, I never know if it’s coronavirus or just my pollen allergy. Take my headache for example, which I had the day after my test results came in: I still don’t know if it was from corona/sitting outside in the sun for too long/my pollen allergy/watching too much TV. My sinuses are constantly swollen because of my pollen allergy which would explain why I got a headache in the first place because there’s such a huge pressure in my face area. It could also explain why I’m also slowly losing my senses of taste and smell because my nose is constantly stuffed-up. For example, I wasn’t able to taste/smell ginger today which my dad added into our meals. It’s so weird! Apparently, the coronavirus is able to affect the taste buds which is really fascinating. I asked my brother (who has definitely developed these symptoms) how he felt about it and he said, “I feel great about it! Now I never have to worry about opening the windows to air my room!” I love his way of thinking.

This was a super short summary of how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m currently reading War and Peace (when I picked up the book 4 weeks ago, I was joking that I only read it because I was hoping that by the time I finished it, this whole madness might be over but turns out the joke was on me) and I’m loving this book so much. It connects to my soul in a way I didn’t expect, even though I was never a big classics reader and I don’t find it necessarily easy to connect with them either. Also I started reading Serpent and Dove (so far I think this book is totally overhyped) as well as Yes No Maybe So (funny story: I totally forgot I received an arc of the book last year (I’m so sorry Balzer+Bray) and I actually had to have it resent to me from my uni flat. Yeah I suck).

I hope your week has been treating you well!

Book Talk: A Witch in Time

Title: A Witch in Time
Author:
Constance Sayers
Publisher: Redhook  (Hachette)
Publication date: February 11, 2020
Pages: 448
My rating: 88%

A young woman in Belle Epoque France is cursed to relive a doomed love affair through many lifetimes, as both troubled muse and frustrated artist.

In 1895, sixteen-year-old Juliet LaCompte has a passionate, doomed romance with the married Parisian painter Auguste Marchant. When her mother — a witch — botches a curse on Marchant, she unwittingly binds Juliet to the artist through time, damning her to re-live her affair and die tragically young lifetime after lifetime as the star-crossed lovers reincarnate through history.

Luke Varner, the worldly demon tasked with maintaining this badly crafted curse, has been helplessly in love with his charge, in all her reincarnations, since 19th century France. He’s in love with Nora, a silver screen starlet in 1930s Hollywood. He’s in love with Sandra, a struggling musician in 1970s Los Angeles. And he’s in love with Helen, a magazine exec in present-day DC who has the power to “suggest” others do her bidding.

In this life, Helen starts to recall the curse and her tragic previous lives. But this time, she might have the power to break the cycle…

A Witch in Time is perfect for fans of A Secret History of Witches, Outlander, and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Hi guys! This is more of an informal book talk on A Witch in Time so I hope you don‘t mind my random rambling.

I randomly picked up ‘A Witch in Time’ a few weeks ago because I was intrigued by the blurb. I’m a sucker for witch stories, and the fact that this book would have three different time lines made me really excited about this book.

Quick summary

The story starts with Juliet, a sixteen-year-old girl who begins a naive love affair with a painter (who initially paid her to be his muse…guess he ltook painting her like one of his French girls a bit too seriously and put it on a whole new level) . Once her mothe finds out, she does what any other good mother would do — she drags her daughter down to the kitchen, performs some painful dark magic on her and, there you go, puts a curse on her daughter’s former lover. Too bad she accidentally curses her daughter too. This is where we get to the juicy part: How did she know this sort of magic? And how could this curse go wrong so badly? Too bad Juliet now gets reborn every time she dies and will probably never find out the reason because death has a way of finding her.

Present day Juliet, now called Helen and a recent divorcee, doesn‘t remember a single thing about her past. It‘s only until she meets Luke Varner that her memories come flooding back (the physical consequences low-key reminded me of The Butterfly Effect) and from there we are taken on a wild ride.

My thoughts

This book put me on an emotional rollercoaster. It‘s hard to put it into one box because it has a little bit of everything — fantasy, romance, historical fiction and so much more. What initially seems to be a simple curse only, quickly turns into a much darker story where the lives of Helen/Juliet versions, Luke and Auguste Marchant are unevokably connected to each other.

A Witch in Time is a fascinating read, but what makes it even more intriguing is the character growth each character experiences throughout time. With nothing but a little bit of guidance from Luke as well as her own ‘memories’, Helen is pushed through a series of unfortunate events in her past lives. While she initially wasn’t the most likable character I have ever met (she was a little bit too posh for my taste and living the bougie D.C. lifestyle), she did go through significant changes in a very short time and it surprised me how much character depth the author was able to project on her in this very short period. Even though all four ‘Juliets’ that we meet throughout history bear the same soul, all of them are their own person in their own right. As Helen slowly unveils the secrets to her pasts and the mystery surrounding her mother, she is thrown into a web of betrayal, unrequited love, cruel reality and hope. It was fascinating to follow the different leads that inevitably accumulate in tragic events that shaped the future and curse of Helen forever. It was even more interesting to see how the different side characters have evolved over time, uncovering the different layers to them which at times really surprised me.

I love how the author was able to lead the characters through different times and locations — from late 1890s Paris to 1930s Hollywood, to 1970s LA to present D.C. — the reader is instantly wrapped into the richness of history and the author’s love for details. There is so much charm in every single page and I love how each time epoch read like a single story, yet every story is also connected back with present-day Helen. It was like a quick rewind through history, and with the nostalgic and almost melancholic, at times unexpectantly hilarious writing style, I slowly grew to love the world the author has created.

I expected the story to be much more fantasy-heavy but it was the star-crossed element to the book that was the soul of the story— a bittersweet tragic love story with people that are cursed to experience losses over and over again. It’s a story about trust and friendship and what can happen if you test fate.

The ending

It would be a lie to say that I weren’t blown away by the ending. It was neither predictable nor kitschy and instead gave the reader just the right amount of hope and sweetness. I’m so glad the book had an epilogue — I don’t think I could’ve slept the next few days if we didn’t get to see the last peek at Helen’s future. One of the most unexpected reads that I’ve grown to love during social distancing!

Btw, I cried about 5 times while reading the book and that’s even a high for me as an emotional reader

5/5 stars // 88%

I Have Coronavirus (Very Possibly).

Hi lovelies,

Yes, you read it correctly. There’s no way to sweet-talk out of it — I’m a possibly corona virus-positive person. I know, we are all possibly corona positive, but I know for a fact I was very likely infected.

I’m a very hygiene-conscious person. My hands look like old parchment because the regenerating skills of my skin cells can’t keep up with the amount of soap and hand sanitizer I use all the time (I’m a medical student so there’s that). I stick with the general rules: Don’t go out, wash your hands, don’t touch your face. At the time I (possibly) contracted coronavirus, I wasn’t working and I didn’t leave the house except the garden (not even for grocery shopping).

My downfall was the weekend. You see, my mum is a nurse, and she knows how badly medical staff is needed right now (and she loves her work). She was on sick leave the weeks before (she had the flu, just like most people around that time who paid a visit to the doctor in case you’re wondering), and once she felt fit enough to work again, she immediately returned to work. Hospitals are hopelessly understaffed right now. She did all her shifts and even took up additional ones because someone has to take care of the sick.
On Wednesday morning, she received news that one of the consultants she was closely working with had contracted corona. That means she might’ve run around with coronavirus in her body for 5 days (she had returned to work on Saturday, hence 5 days already; and no, she didn’t go to other places except the hospital and our home). She wasn’t the only person from the medical staff being infected though, there were at least 2 other people in her ward that had contracted the virus too.
Us at home on the other hand, we were in constant contact with her before we even knew she had corona. We always have dinner together, we do the laundry together, yadda-yadda-yadda, and most importantly, we talk. A lot. So when her test results came in positive a day later, we knew we were probably all positive too. According to the official guidelines in Germany, people who were in physical contact with verifiably corona positive people, are required to take a corona test. I fit right into the category, right? That’s what I thought too…. until my mum called the health authorities and they told her that as long as we’re not showing any symptoms, it wouldn’t be “necessary” to take a corona test. If you ask me, this is a completely economically-based decision. Obviously I have very mixed feelings. Period.

Quarantine, but at least with a view

In a nutshell: I probably have coronavirus, but I will also probably never know for sure because health authorities/the German government/a greater power are (basically) denying average citizens like me to take a test immediately if there are “no indications”. I know it’s even worse in other countries, but it’s also frustrating if you know it could be handled better.
My whole family is now in self-quarantine at home (even my mother who showed symptoms such as coughing, fever and pain in the limbs, isn’t staying at the hospital), and as long as we’re not showing any symptoms, that’s the place we will spend the next two weeks at.
We are good. We’re okay and I would even say we’re in a pretty privileged position because we have a big garden to hang out in and good friends who show kindness in these times and do the grocery shopping for us. But it’s frustrating to see there are decisions that are taken away from us for reasons out of or control.

Stay safe, people. Normally I’d finish this off by saying “Hug your loved ones tightly” but just take care, folks.

How the Soshelf Distancing Club Came Rolling Around.

A few weeks ago, social distancing started. My introverted side couldn’t have felt more excited because not going out suddenly became legit, and I didn’t have to come up with excuses of why I preferred staying at home over going out with friends. It was so cool. I started reading again (I never stopped fyi but I didn’t feel guilty about neglecting stuff for uni anymore either.) The German government announced that the new semester would be postponed for two weeks to 20 April. Yay!!!

What I didn’t expect however was that my social side would have this sudden feelings of a person who unexpectantly wins the lottery — an overwhelming fortune that you don’t know how to deal with. I got bored. I read more books (I’m currently reading War and Peace with hopes that by the time I finish, this madness may be over (I’m currently on page 400/1500)). I signed in on twitter after a year of ignoring it. And I tweeted the following:

Please mind the fact that I’ve never been in an online book club. I only wrote it so it wouldn’t be too awkward to say ‘I WANT TO START AN ONLINE BOOK CLUB’. Basically I lied.

Can you see it? I catfished people into thinking I had some experience in doing online book clubs. I don’t. I’ve never even been part of any type of book club, except for one or two readalongs online, which I found to be super stressful to keep up with though — you usually follow a certain thread and hope that someone hasn’t written down your exact thoughts yet OR the thought of writing everything down you want to say scares you so much, you don’t bother writing anything at all. So, I only wanted people to see my tweet so they could invite me to their book clubs hehe. In-person book clubs, if possible. I basically lied to self-invite myself to book clubs. And suddenly, this happened:

Claire @clairefies replied and said she was excited about this idea too! I wasn’t sure what to do with this new piece of information. Could she possibly love the idea of doing live online book club meetings too? As in doing book discussions on Zoom? Would she be willing to team up with me to do a book club? So I nervously DM’ed her and her answer was…YES. Yes, she was feeling my vibes, my vision, my longing to get super bookish in times of corona, yes! Flash forward almost a week later and…

The Soshelf Distancing Book Club was born! And it was even more exciting to see that people around the world were keen on this project too because we had people sign up from places I have never even heard of! Also I don’t know if you noticed but we purposefully named our book club “Soshelf Distancing” because it’s a pun on “Social Distancing”….Yes?

We will have our first meeting on Zoom next Sunday. I won’t know a single person except for Claire (whom I basically only just met too, but we immediately hit it off!) but I’m so happy nonetheless. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed will be the first pick of our book club (it was so funny when we were brainstorming on which books to put up for voting because oftentimes we only knew the cover but not the title) and I’m stoked about the idea that we might create a small vibrant community where everyone can share his bookish thoughts. It was quite the struggle to even find a right time to set up a first meeting because we all live in such different time zones! But it’s a thing and I can’t wait to see this project rolling.

Thank you so much for reading my post! Have you ever participated in some sort of book club? How did you like it?

I Have a Book Club and You Are Invited to Join!

In a nutshell: Claire @clairefies and I teamed up to found an online book club called the “Soshelf Distancing Book Club” and you are more than welcome to join!!! YES, it’s a real book club where we’ll chat about books during social distancing, and it’s possible to do it without leaving the house!

Here are the key facts:

  • Who? Anyone who feels like discussing books can participate!
  • What? We came up with the idea for this book club to create a vibrant group of readers where everyone can speak his bookish mind and get geeky
  • When and where? We will probably meet every 3 days over Zoom to discuss the chapters we’ve agreed to read
  • No worries, most of the people you’ll meet haven’t met before either
  • You can participate even if you’re still in your PJs
  • Here is the sign-up form (ETA: I’ve added the sign-up form below)

The sign-up form will be open until Saturday, March 28, and we will announce the winner title (which you’ll pick) on Twitter (@clairefies and @bookrapt) right after that. Everything you need to know will be in the sign-up form. We can’t wait to see you!

Leaving the Book Blogging World For Good?

The other day I startled awake and I realised…we’re in our second week of social distancing. I haven’t been on my blog in an entire year. I wasn’t feeling very much like book blogging after years of trying to really do it, being only ‘semi-successful’ and never really finding my own voice. I was trying to find ways to engage with fellow book bloggers and authors but it never felt complete. You get what I mean? I felt like I was posting stuff that everybody was doing anyway — reviews, small opinion pieces (basically repeating other people’s opinions etc). I imagine that for an average blog reader, visiting all the book blogs must be like going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant — the thought of it is really exciting, but after your third visit to one of those restaurants you realise that although they all have different names, most all-you-can-eat restaurant offer a very similar taste in their food.

Then, I also started thinking. How do I even define ‘success’ in the book blogging world? Is it the number of followers? Is it the number of reviews? Is it coming up with creative ideas for new posts? Is it the number of review copies you receive from the publishers? I know, this idea is super shallow. And the answer is always ‘it’s a mix of everything’. But it also hurts a little bit to think that you pour so much time into a post and it receives…exactly zero attention. Okay, that was a bad example. Maybe 3 or 4 people will care enough to read your post, but that’s it. I feel like in nowaday’s world, we want everything to be quick. Quick likes, quick shares, quick articles. If you even bothered to read that far, I thank you very much. Anyways.

Review: A Simple Wedding

Title: A Simple Wedding Author: Leigh Duncan Genre: Sweet Romance Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Fall in love with Heart’s Landing, a romantic wedding destination, in the first book of a Hallmark series. Jenny always dreamed of getting married at Heart’s Landing. But when she finally visits the charming small town, she’s there to make wedding arrangements for someone else: her cousin, who also happens to be her boss and a famous movie star. Her cousin wants a simple wedding, not a media circus. To keep the event top-secret, she’s talked her assistant Jenny into pretending she’s the one getting married. Nick, a baker and lifelong resident of Heart’s Landing, is intrigued by this bride-to-be who starts visiting his bakery for sweet treats and conversation. It seems strange that her fiancé isn’t at least little involved with the wedding plans. As Jenny tries to keep up with her fickle cousin’s ever-changing demands—which exasperate the florist, the caterer, and several other vendors—she tries to hide her attraction to Nick. Meanwhile, the people in town talk Nick into trying to distract Jenny with a sightseeing tour in order to keep her from changing her mind again. The more time Nick spends with Jenny, the harder it becomes to remind himself that she’s already spoken for. Planning this wedding couldn’t be more complicated…and what will happen once the truth comes to light?

MY THOUGHTS

I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies. There, I said it. I like how they show imperfect relationships and sudden turning points in lives that change everything for a person. I know they follow a certain story formulas but I was curious to see how these storylines and emotions would translate into a book, and I was pleasantly surprised how well it was done. The story is about Jenny, a twenty-something professional who works as a personal assistant to her cousin, a famous Hollywood actress. You see, when private and personal life get mixed up, chaos has to be in the cards. No wonder it gets even more complicated when she is tasked to go to Heart’s Landing, a small town on the East Coast, to pose as her cousin who just got engaged after a whirlwind romance with a co-star in a movie. A Simple Wedding was a very light read, with lots of sweet and fluffy romance. Nick, who runs a bakery that specialises in wedding cakes (most shops in Heart’s Landing are involved in the wedding business), is initially less than excited to meet Jenny, who literally bumps into him while he’s on his way to make a cupcake delivery. However he quickly finds out that she has to be one of Heart Landing’s True Brides, which means he and the rest of the town will do anything to meet her wishes — there is something special about them. I liked how this book had a slow burn sort of romance with a couple that doesn’t rush into quick decisions but draws out time to treasure each simple moment. The author takes her time to carefully introduce the reader to each character and I really enjoyed seeing the tight-knit community growing together. What Jenny didn’t expect was to develop true feelings for Nick whom she can never tell that she is only a pretend-bride. The story exactly centers around this conflict — Jenny’s loyalty to her cousin, as well as her love for Nick. Over the course of a few weeks, we see how their relationship grows stronger against all odds, rooting for their happiness in times of uncertainty and betrayal. There were certainly some aspects that could have been more elaborated, such as her relationship with her cousin, it being rather shallow and not’t really growing over time despite their joint background. Nevertheless, A Simple Wedding gave me some very pleasant reading hours and I recommend it to anyone who is a hopeless romantic or is simply looking for a book for an easy and warm read.

Find the book here:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author:

Author Leigh Duncan. (Photo by Chris Kridler)
Leigh Duncan, an Amazon bestselling author and a National Readers’ Choice Award winner, has written over two dozen novels, novellas and short stories, including A Simple Wedding, A Country Wedding, and Journey Back to Christmas for Hallmark Publishing, the Glades County Cowboys series for Harlequin, and her own Orange Blossom series. Leigh lives on Central Florida’s East Coast where she writes complex, heartwarming, and emotional stories with a dash of Southern sass.

Connect with Leigh:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Review: Matzah Ball Surprise

Matzah Ball Surprise

This Passover is starting to feel like the ten plagues might be coming back to haunt them before the weekend is over…one hilarious misstep after the next.

Gaby Fineberg just wants to get through Passover Seder without her “well meaning” family playing matchmaker. She needs a date, just for one simple meal—that includes singing, the history of her forefathers, and not one bit of yeast. The hot guy at her gym would be perfect. He probably hates bread, anyway, with a body like that. But when she finally works up the nerve to ask him…he doesn’t hear a word she said.

Levi Miller is deaf and happily single. Initially, he doesn’t know why this beautiful woman is talking to him, but it’s clear she needs help—and suddenly so does he. In a very complicated situation, Levi finds a simple solution. Gaby will pretend to be his new girlfriend to bail him out, and he’ll return the favor. But he didn’t bargain for a family dinner quite like this one…

Title: Matzah Ball Surprise
Author: Laura Brown
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Abtrennung

Matzah Ball was, hands down, one of my most highly anticipated contemporary romance releases in a very long time. I am currently trying to pick up some ASL and seeing that the main character is Jewish (I mean the book title literally screams “Passover food!”) made me super intrigued about the story. It’s diversity on a whole new level!

The book follows Gaby Fineberg, a woman who comes from a big Jewish family and who recently broke up with her boyfriend. Passover is just around the corner and since big families can get super nosy, she decides to ask out Levi Miller — a guy she just met at the gym — to pose as her fake boyfriend over the holidays so she can avoid awkward questions. With nothing seemingly connecting them — not even verbal language — the following days are destined to be one whirlwind of chaos and misunderstandings.

It was really easy to fall for the two main characters, Gaby and Levi. The book is told in dual POV, allowing each of them to have their own unique voices. Whereas Gaby was exactly the quirky, somewhat insecure but yet super fun character that I expected her to be, Levi was a whole different level. Seeing him being the professional disciplined deaf man with his own personal issues who eventually loosens up, you could feel the chemistry right between the two of them. I loved the easiness between them, seeing them fall for each other, as well as the way small gestures suddenly played a much bigger role in their lives since “standard” talking is not possible. Picking up these small hints and overcoming the challenges in communication was such a delicate feature of this book.
Now let’s talk about the big bear in the room: What initially drew me to this book was my curiosity to see how the author would translate non-verbal communication into dialogues in the book. In the end, it was really well executed! This book gave me a lot of insight on not only the everyday life challenges of deaf people, but also on how the deaf/hard of hearing community rolls. Their scenes were always really fun, and seeing their culture being integrated so well into the story was such a surprise twist. Before picking up the book I was afraid to have awkward feelings towards reading about a deaf character but none of this was to be true! Instead we learn a lot about life from their perspectives, e.g. how typing on phones are crucial for communicating with the outside world or seeing ASL beginners struggle with ASL. It was really cool how the author left some hints here and there on how to sign certain words too!
In addition, we also learn a lot about Jewish culture in modern America — something I have never seen being played out in a book before, so that was really interesting! With Gaby’s weirdly adorable family, it was no wonder this book left me charmed.

The only flaw I saw with this book was that the story takes place in a relatively short amount of time so the backgrounds of the caracters were not necessarily fully explored. I would have loved to see Gaby and Levi’s relationship being played out more, but given the story’s background, it definitely made up for it. Ultimately, Matzah Ball was a super light contemporary read that you will read in one sitting. Definitely recommend!

Find the book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

About the Author:

Laura Brown author photo

After spending her childhood coming up with new episodes to her favorite sitcoms instead of sleeping, Laura Brown decided to try her hand at writing and never looked back. A hopeless romantic, she married her high school sweetheart. They live in Massachusetts with their two cats and son. Laura’s been hard of hearing her entire life but didn’t start learning ASL until college, when her disability morphed from an inconvenience to a positive part of her identity. At home the closed captioning is always on, lights flash with the doorbell, and hearing aids are sometimes optional.

Connect with Laura:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads