Review: Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

“I was ashamed, Mama, I can see that now. I don’t feel that way anymore. We will do the best we can with what we have.”

Everlasting Nora.jpg

Title: Everlasting Nora
Author: Marie Miranda Cruz
Genres: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Format: eARC
Publication: Starscape, 2 October 2018
Read: December 2018
Rating:
5-stars-small

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An uplifting middle-grade debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz’s debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shanty town inside the Philippines’ North Manila Cemetery.

After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today.

When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.

With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.

Content warning: violence, child abuse, classism, extreme poverty and hunger, kidnapping, descriptions of blood and other serious injuries


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Review: The End by Lemony Snicket

“You can’t live far from the treachery of the world, because eventually the treachery will wash up on your shores.”

The End

Title: The End
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 13
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Fiction, Children’s, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 337
Read: May 2016
Rating:
5-stars-small

the book | the author | the series

Dear Reader,

You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of THE END. The end of THE END is the best place to begin THE END, because if you read THE END from the beginning of the beginning of THE END to the end of the end of THE END, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.

This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can’t stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.

It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so THE END does not finish you.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

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Review: The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket

“One of the most troublesome things in life is that what you do or do not want has very little to do with what does or does not happen.”

The Carnivorous Carnival
Title: The Carnivorous Carnival
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 9
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Fiction, Children’s, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 286
Read: April 2016
Rating:
4-stars-small

the book | the author | the series

Dear Reader,

The word “carnivorous”, which appears in the title of this book, means “meat-eating”, and once you have read such a bloodthirsty word, there is no reason to read any further. This carnivorous volume contains such a distressing story that consuming any of its contents would be far more stomach-turning than even the most imbalanced meal.

To avoid causing discomfort, it would be best if I didn’t mention any of the unnerving ingredients of this story, particularly a confusing map, an ambidextrous person, an unruly crowd, a wooden plank, and Chabo the Wolf Baby.

Sadly for me, my time is filled with researching and recording the displeasing and disenchanting lives of the Baudelaire orphans. But your time might be better filled with something more palatable, such as eating your vegetables, or feeding them to someone else.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

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Review: The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket

“It is a relief, in hectic and frightening times, to find true friends.”

Cover: The Austere Academy
Title: The Austere Academy
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 5
Author: Lemony Snicket
Genre: Fiction, Children’s, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 221
Read: March 2016
Rating:
3-stars-small

the book | the author | the series

Dear Reader,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don’t. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.

Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night’s sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

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