A DISOBEDEINT GIRL – RU FREEMAN

A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman6350150
Published by the Penguin Group
Genres: Fiction, Asian Cultural, Contemporary, Family
Rating: 4.1/5 (I am partially biased because it was a Sri Lankan author)
Post Book Thoughts: Well don’t I live in a bubble!

A desperate young mother, a country in turmoil, a friendship betrayed.

Since her days in the orphanage, Latha has been a companion and servant to Thara, a more fortunate girl her own age. But since her trip to the hill-country, Latha has known she was destined for a better life. For now, she must watch silently as Thara receives all the luxuries Latha is denied, consoled only by the rose-scented soap stolen from the bathroom of her master’s house.

Years and miles away, Biso, a desperate young mother, flees from her murderous husband, taking her children with her to the remote hills. As Biso and Latha journey towards their separate fates, struggling to hold on to their independence, each will betray the people they love, changing the course of their life for ever.


Continue reading

YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE – WHITNEY GARDNER

25701463

You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner
Published by Knopf’s Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary, YA
For Fans of:  Art, graffiti, wonderfully diverse books, friendcentric stories
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.


Continue reading

IDA – ALISON EVANS

30720860Ida by Alison Evans
Published by: Bonnier Publishing Australia
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
For fans of: wonderfully diverse books, time travel, alternate universes!
My rating: 2 stars out of 5

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?


Continue reading

AND THE WINNER IS…

So, our first giveaway Celebrating Freedom and Diverse Books has come to a close!

For the entire month of February, So We Read This Book hosted a giveaway to promote some of Sri Lanka’s wonderful local literature. The prize? One of three incredible books written by Sri Lankan authors. The giveaway ended yesterday, and we’re all super thrilled to announce the winner.

So, without further ado:

*Opens envelope*

*looks at band*

Drum roll, please.

 photo lh_zpsqbknc39x.png

 photo lh2_zps9ddlwcwo.png

Congratulations Akiel!

We’ll contact you later today to let you know that you’ve won, and also to double check on which book you want as your prize.

To everyone else: thank you so much for following us, and for entering the giveaway. We’re sorry that we can’t give all of your gifts (we really wish we could) but we hope that you’ve got a few more books on your TBR and have learned a few things about our island.

Stay tuned for more reviews, giveaways and other bookish things, you guys!

gabrielle_sig

WAVE – SONALI DERANIYAGALA

16269945Wave: A Memoir of Life After The Tsunami by Sonali Deraniyagala
Published by Virago
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction,
For fans of: books that will give you Sads, stories about surviving grief and healing
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

On the morning of 26 December 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami that she miraculously survived.

In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She struggles through the months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny. Then, over the ensuing years, she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, from her family’s home in London to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood home in Colombo.


Continue reading

FUNNY BOY – SHYAM SELVADURAI

1075662Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Published by Penguin India
Genres: Historical fiction, Coming of Age, LGBTQIA
For fans of: diverse books, bittersweet stories of coming-out in times of war.
My rating: 4 stars out of 5

In Shyam Selvadurai’s remarkable debut novel, a boy’s bittersweet passage to maturity and sexual awakening is set against escalating political tensions in Sri Lanka during the seven years leading up to the 1983 riots. Arjie Chevaratnam is a Tamil boy growing up in an extended family in Colombo. It is through his eyes that the story unfolds and we meet a delightful, sometimes eccentric, cast of characters. Arjie’s journey from the luminous simplicity of childhood days into the more intricately shaded world of adults – with its secrets, its injustices and its capacity for violence – is a memorable one, as time and time again the true longings of the human heart are held against the way things are.

Exquisitely written, and masterly in its mingling of the personal and political, Funny Boy has established itself as a classic.


Continue reading