Read: The Anatomy of Cheating

The Anatomy of Cheating by Nesly Clerge

I read three fiction this year, and this is the worst read of the little lot.

The plot was predictable, although toward the end, say, 3/5 into the book, the twist was kinda cool though I somewhat saw it coming. There’s no way else to twist and turn at that stage, unless you add another murder, or another lover, and the book will just go on and on until it ends at page 743.

My girlfriend (no offense to you, my lovely Too Much Trouble – love your initials btw! p.s. remember ‘Dolphin’ from Beijing 2008?) recommended this read to me as a means to distract me from my reading slump. Also, the three of us (tsk, Vuckovic) were talking about something naughty and we all love to read so this semi-naughty read came up. I remember how TMT was telling me how this book changed (some of) her perspective in a good way. I don’t think it had impacted me in any way, because, murder – that ain’t common where I grew up/live!

(Yeah, who knows. I know.)

I won’t recommend this for serious or casual nonfiction readers, not even as a ‘quick break’ from reality. Also, I think the author came up with a great title for a not-so-great book! What a waste!

Read: Gangs of Stockholm

Gangs of Stockholm by Luke G. Dahl

This is the only book I read in 2018 where I corresponded with the author via email a couple of times. I’m so glad to have wrote him, because he wrote back!

Like many readers out there, we read certain books to support new authors; all without any exchanges (e.g. gifts, cash, follow-backs, etc.), we voluntarily give them reviews so that they could gain some exposure through our reviews. So yeah, this was one of those reads for me.

I choose not to divulge what the author has shared with me – but in all, the book was a good read as it gave me a glimpse inside a city I am unfamiliar with – Stockholm. Bits of culture, family values, school life, etc. There’s a little love story entangled within the violent pages, amidst the dangers leading a double life (normal kid in gang).

p.s. I got into trouble with Amazon over one of his books. I stupidly mentioned in one of my book reviews (not this book) that we corresponded. It wasn’t even a biased review, as in favorable toward the author (I be damned as I didn’t screenshot my review), and I didn’t even give that read 5 stars. Regardless, Amazon Books, being the sh*th**d they always are, decided to ban me from their platform. So while I still get to purchase books, I am no longer allowed to post reviews. What bollocks!

Read: Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise

Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise,(房思琪的初戀樂園), by Lin Yi-Han

Lin Yi-Han committed suicide not long after her book was published. She also did an interview, and if you understand Mandarin, you should watch that interview on YouTube before reading the book. I’m sorry there aren’t any English captions available. But if you read this article on BuzzFeed, and then watch the video, it might add mixed (anger, sympathy) emotions. I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing.

I read this book in quite a few settings (I normally take a long time to finish a book because I could only read at night when the house is dead quiet with zero activity). Cover to cover, page for page, word for word. It’s explicit, it’s painful, and it just makes you want to track that m*thaf*ck* down and castrate him, if not, kill him with your bare hands. It’s a novel, alright. Yes, it’s a novel.

In the beginning of the interview, she said, I paraphrase (weakly),

“Many people will summarize the book as though the story is about a young girl who was raped (whose innocence was violated by a rapist).”

She then continued,

“I won’t say that’s it (accurate), but here’s what I believe the story is about – It’s a story of a young girl who fell in love with a (her) rapist,”

“There’s love in there – love.”

I’m sorry as I’m not going to break the entire book down and give you a proper synopsis. You can Google further. It’s a sad story. It’s a sad society. But when brought to (real) life, this sad story and society applies to every country – adults abusing children. Teachers abusing students. Sexually, mentally, physically, everything.

I took a long time, trying to get my hands on her book. I don’t know if my country had banned it, because I queried nearly all the local bookstores and all came back and said they didn’t carry it and that I’d have to look elsewhere.

I searched, got impatient, but eventually read it on my Kindle anyway. This book – is lethal – lethally tragic.

That is all.

p.s. I’m racing to write about every book I’ve read in 2018 so please bear with my weak bad prose.