How We Disappeared

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Hanover Square Press
April 3rd 2019
Hardcover
350
English
August 19, 2020 August 30, 2020

Singapore, 1942. As Japanese troops sweep down Malaysia and into Singapore, a village is ransacked, leaving only two survivors and one tiny child.

In a neighboring village, seventeen-year-old Wang Di is strapped into the back of a troop carrier and shipped off to a Japanese military brothel where she is forced into sexual slavery as a "comfort woman." After sixty years of silence, what she saw and experienced still haunts her.

In the year 2000, twelve-year-old Kevin is sitting beside his ailing grandmother when he overhears a mumbled confession. He sets out to discover the truth, wherever it might lead, setting in motion a chain of events he never could have foreseen.

Weaving together two time lines and two very big secrets, this stunning debut opens a window on a little-known period of history, revealing the strength and bravery shown by numerous women in the face of terrible cruelty. Drawing in part on her family's experiences, Jing-Jing Lee has crafted a profoundly moving, unforgettable novel about human resilience, the bonds of family and the courage it takes to confront the past.


About the book

How We Disappeared is a book that narrates the true story of oriental women at the time of the Japanese occupation in China, of how they were kidnapped from their villages, often even in different countries, to be locked up in pleasure homes for Japanese soldiers. We follow the direct story of Wang Di from the time she was born until her old age and of a little boy whose grandmother, on her deathbed, makes a revelation that will upset his life and that of his family.

Premise. This book is not suitable for everyone. There is talk of violence and states of starvation that can hurt the most sensitive minds. And even the strongest ones like it happened to me. So take all precautions to read this book.

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The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale
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, Book # 1
Del Rey Books
January 10th 2017
Hardcover
323
English
May 1, 2020 May 3, 2020

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa's mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa's new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa's stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse's most frightening tales.


About the book

The Bear and the Nightingale is a book set in the cold Russia of the 14th century where a patriarchal society still reigns. We follow the story of a landowning family, who, despite the high social level, suffers from hunger in winter. Their home is located in a northern village where winter lasts 7 months and is well hidden in the forest.

The family is made up of the father, Petr, mother, Marina and 4 children and the story begins with the father returning home and his wife gives him the news of being pregnant for the fifth time. Her nanny tells her that pregnancy will kill her because she is too weak, but the woman wants baby because the girl “will be like her.” Some time later the baby is born and named Vasilisa, Vasja for the family, but unfortunately the woman dies.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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, Book # 7
Bloomsbury Childrens
July 21st 2007
Paperback
620
English
December 12, 2019 December 18, 2019

"Give me Harry Potter," said Voldemort's voice, "and none shall be harmed. Give me Harry Potter, and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded."

As he climbs into the sidecar of Hagrid's motorbike and takes to the skies, leaving Privet Drive for the last time, Harry Potter knows that Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not far behind. The protective charm that has kept Harry safe until now is broken, but he cannot keep hiding. The Dark Lord is breathing fear into everything Harry loves, and to stop him Harry will have to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. The final battle must begin - Harry must stand and face his enemy...


About the book

Last book of the Harry Potter series (I know, it’s not technically the last, but technically it is so I won’t read anything else from the author). Last book in which the author can shed light on the various mysteries narrated in 7 books. So, first I will talk in general about the book and then I will go into detail about the series indicating “spoiler” from that point on, for the few who haven’t read the series yet and don’t want to know anything.

We are at the end of the sixth year, we are finally at the point when Harry turns 17 and therefore, according to the magic law, he isn’t a minor anymore and from that moment on he can use magic even if not in school. Also, from then on, for various reasons, Harry is no longer protected from his mother’s sacrifice and therefore Voldemort can kill him if he leaves his maternal aunt. The order of the Phoenix does everything to make this detachment as painless as possible but will it succeed? Meanwhile Bill, Ron’s brother, gets married but the reception is ruined, forcing Harry, Hermione and Ron to flee. Will Harry survive?

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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, Book # 6
9781408855706
July 16th 2005
HArdcover. ebook, paperback
542
English
December 6, 2019 December 11, 2019

When Dumbledore arrives at Privet Drive one summer night to collect Harry Potter, his wand hand is blackened and shrivelled, but he does not reveal why. Secrets and suspicion are spreading through the wizarding world, and Hogwarts itself is not safe. Harry is convinced that Malfoy bears the Dark Mark: there is a Death Eater amongst them. Harry will need powerful magic and true friends as he explores Voldemort’s darkest secrets, and Dumbledore prepares him to face his destiny...


About the book

Sixth and penultimate book in the most widely read series in the world, or so I’ve heard. I liked this book more than the last one but there is something that made me give 4 stars instead of 5.

We are back to school, everyone finally believes Harry, the minister of magic has changed (thank goodness, even if the new one isn’t better) and Dumbledore is increasingly mysterious.

Our three protagonists (I would say four because I like Neville) received their O.W.Ls. and must choose which courses to attend in the sixth year. Harry thinks he can’t become an Auror because his score in potion isn’t excellent, but as soon as he arrives at school he discovers that Snape is no longer the potions teacher (he has finally become a teacher in Defence against the dark arts) and therefore the new teacher accepts students with his grade.

Obviously he doesn’t have the books and therefore the teacher lends a book which he will later discover to have belonged to the half-blood prince. But who is this prince?

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
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, Book # 5
Bloomsbury
June 21st, 2003
eBook
800
English
November 28, 2019 December 5, 2019

Harry is furious that he is stuck at the Dursleys’ house for the summer, when he suspects that Voldemort is gathering an army, and the wizarding authorities seem unwilling to do anything. Harry’s so-called friends are trying to keep him in the dark. But he knows that Voldemort’s forces can find him wherever he is; he could be attacked at any moment. Harry is finally rescued from Privet Drive by members of the Order of the Phoenix – a secret society first formed years ago to fight Voldemort – and discovers that maybe he is not alone in this battle after all.


About the book

Fifth book in the series and I think this is the book that I liked the least. And it can be seen by the two stars. This review will be a bit incoherent because I honestly don’t know where to start or what logical thread to follow. I wrote my thoughts while reading (first time I do this with the series) so now I have to try and put it all together and I don’t know if I can do it.

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