Snapshot Review: Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Words in the DustWords in the Dust is one of those quiet, no fuss books that tend to get lost amongst the pop­u­lar, well-marketed titles. If I saw this book on the shelf I would, in all hon­estly, be put off by the old fashioned cover and prob­a­bly carry on by. But this is a heart­felt, intel­li­gent book and I sim­ply can­not praise it highly enough.

Words in the Dust, writ­ten by for­mer sol­dier Trent Reedy, tells the story of Zulaikha, a young girl liv­ing in worn-torn Afghanistan. The Tal­iban may be defeated, but Zulaikha is bul­lied daily and shunned because of her cleft lip. Until the day the American’s arrive and offer her a surgery that will trans­form her life.

Words in the Dust is a rich novel that flows so beau­ti­fully, giv­ing an insight­ful glimpse into a very dif­fer­ent cul­ture and way of life. It was heart­en­ing to see Zulaikha grow in con­fi­dence throughout the book and ultimately choose her own future. One of the aspects I loved most (and found particularly powerful), was how pro-women’s rights the book was, all the while maintaining a respectful understanding of a culture where girls and women do face a lot of limitations. To that end, the authors note at the end is also well worth a read. An excel­lent book for younger and older readers.

*Many thanks to Frances Lincoln Books for sending this for review*

Top 10 Reads of 2012

I had a lot of plans for this blog back in January. I really wanted to read lots, review regularly and get more involved in the book blogging community. Sadly, I guess life got in the way and Turn the Page has become quite neglected, especially since the summer. There are a few reasons for this, my laptop died and while I love my iPad, I simply cannot stand trying to write and organise blog posts on it, I took on a new job and an internship, and I kind of lost the drive to read for several months. I certainly lost the drive for reviewing. So – sorry to anyone who used to actually semi-follow things around here, and a big sorry to anyone I promised a book review for and didn’t deliver.

That being said, I did have a pretty great reading year and have some amazing books you need to read if you haven’t already.

So, here’s my list of Top 10 books Read in 2012.

 

Easy by Tammara Webber

I loved Easy. This is a self published novel but it is miles ahead of so many books I’ve read that have been traditionally published. Easy falls into the New Adult category and it was so good to read about protagonist closer to my own age.

If you’re looking for some hot moments, tension and a healthy, respectful, romance than this is the book for you. Easy isn’t just a romance, however, as it has a darker storyline and does include some well-written but unsettling scenes of sexual assault. Don’t let that put you off as Webber balances the two out nicely.

Continue reading

April Wrap-Up

Its time for my April Wrap-up!

Its been a slow month – both on the blog and in terms of reading. However, as you can see, I’ve upgraded to a self-hosted WordPress site and you’ll be seeing a few more changes in the coming weeks as well.

Also – May happens to be my one year blogoversary! I cannot believe I started this blog a year ago – it seems like yesterday – so I think I’ll probably celebrate with a good old-fashioned giveaway.

Best of the Bunch in April

Words in the Dust Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

In the tradition of SHABANU, DAUGHTER OF THE WIND and THE BREADWINNER, a beautiful debut about a daughter of Afghanistan discovering new friends and opportunities after the defeat of the Taliban.

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her–“Inshallah,” God willing.

Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha–but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?

While I personally think the cover design could use some work to make it more appealing, this is a touching story that gives an honest insight into a different culture and growing up in a war-torn country. A very strong debut and one I highly recommend. Look out for my full review later this week. Continue reading