TJ’s last summer in cape cod (Garfield whyte)

It took me some time to finish reading this book. from the premises of the book i thought it would be very interesting.
The story is about TJ; a teenager whose about to spend the last summer with his uncle before he heads to college. Peter, the uncle, is married and has lots of affairs, he constantly cheats on his wife. TJ usually covers up for his beloved uncle but still feels guilty coz he loves aunt Judy (his uncle’s wife). in this last summer TJ whose in love with his naive girlfriend “Maggie”, he becomes a cheater himself, and as the story goes, the reader realizes the bad influence his uncle has on him. Nevertheless; as the last summer unfolds, TJ wouldn’t change a thing of his last summer before heading to college.
The idea is interesting but i found it hard to keep going back to it and read it because it was long and boring especially when the events weren’t surprising enough and the style of dialogue is somehow cheesy. I wished it was a bit more shocking, or something more tragic about it.
This is the second novel i read for Garfield Whyte, while the first one i found very interesting and different, i thought this one is not one of his best works.

tj

Book Review: “Collected selected words: UK|Thailand|Italy”

“Good boys go to heaven, bad boys go to Pattaya”

I was in a trip when I read this book, and it couldn’t have been better timing nor better setting.

In this book, Author “Jonathan Finch” wrote about his memoir. But its different than any memoir that i read before. It is a combination of the people he met, his nuclear family, the exotic birds, the prostitute who took care of him , and his dying father. Going from one chapter to another , i found my self learning something new about cultures and personalities, sometimes its funny and other times it is sad. what i loved the most about this book is a hidden message “always  trust your instinct”.

“That is another thing about LA. She makes Rosta and people like him get it all wrong.”

The author wrote this book in a very smooth way, during my reading i caught myself thinking that the writer was talking to a friend rather than a stranger. and  in few chapters, especially the long ones, he would mention “the reader”. I thought it was smart. It felt like the writer was really present with each word.

the only thing that i thought was a set back is the complains about the things that occurred to him, especially his comparison of the laws and the styles of living in Europe and Thailand. Other than that i recommend this book for people who like travel books, especially if your destination is Thailand.

“As soon as I arrived in thailand I felt i had come home,  and the feeling has to be one of the strangest in the world.”

collected

 

A Book Review: “Allerleirauh”

 

“Remember to run. Run and never look back”

Allerleirauh is a fairy tale with a outrageous take; it features paternal rape, hatred, deception, and of course love. Although I never read the original story. I thought this one is very interesting, I never thought that i like to read fairy tales at this age, but I still read it  with concentration and lots of enjoyment.

However, my only problem in this novel was Aurelia herself. I hated her character and i couldn’t sympathies with her. I thought she was way too naive, too spoiled, and continually contradicting herself. first she demanded from her father “the king” a coat with the thousand furs in order to slow down her wedding and find a way to escape. After her escape, the coat remained her protector as she refused to take it off up on her arrival to the near by village. then she was criticizing the hunters and her father for killing all these animals.

aller“Boys were often like their fathers; wanting to hunt and hurt the unknown.”

I thought “Klaus” the prince, was also naive that he couldn’t connect the run away golden hair princess, with the beast who came in to his protection.
Nevertheless, I loved the simplicity in the writing, and the description of the characters. whenever i read a novel i try to put my self at the writer’s shoes. and i can feel the love of fairy tales for Chantal Gadoury. Her description of the balls, dresses, the curled hair, and the Princess emotions truly created a world which engaged her readers.

“One-Two” Book review

“Sometimes, inorder to start all over again one needs to step back, not forward”

long time ago I read a story called “the girls” by Lori  Lansens. It was about the two oldest sisters who were joined at the head and their extraordinary story.

When I got the chance to read the psychological drama “One-Two” by Russian author Igor Eliseev. I thought that we have already seen this and done that. However, once i started with the first page i was so captivated with the story and i discovered its much more than a conjoined sisters who lived the abuse, the hardship of life and their struggle to survive, where the events unfolded in Russia in 1980s and 1990s. Its a total a new meaning of whats beautiful, the pursuit of happiness, how to look at a glass half full, not taking each other for granted , and most of all it reminded me that being different is good. Being different is a miracle!

“And still they didn’t hurryone to die, demonstrating incredible miracles of longevity, clinging to life by all means possible; and the more worthless it was, the more unwilling they were to leave”

Reading this story made me sad and moved by their emotions. I enjoyed the unexpected ending and i couldn’t hope for a better one. Also I truly felt that the author wrote it with care, to gather all of these meaningful advices for the reader. I kept highlighting my favorite quotes and they were so many it became hard which one to choose in this review.

I recommend this book for everyone who questions life and its hardship. It even holds a greater message, how to stay human until
the end.

 

Book Review (The Inter-Terrestrial)

I’m not really in to SCI-FI books but I really wanted to read this book as I thought the main idea is interesting.alien Let me start by saying that the story starts slow then many complex things happen.

Basically The Inter-Terrestrial is about a boy (alien) called Bloxnor, whose father was a soldier and died while fighting in the Neptunian Lunar war. Tarooma (his mother) took her son Bloxnor and moved to  phase six. after adjusting to his new life, Bloxnor accidentally fell in to planet earth, where he met Becky  ( a human), and had a son with her, half alien and half human (an inter-terrestrial son). Since he went back to phase six, Bloxnor (became a scientist) trying to figure out a way to go back to the forbidden planet earth in order to reunite with his son “Charlie”.but aliens from neighboring planets (Mars and Venus) think they own the Earth and are adamant that it not be used by higher species without their consent.

While the storyline is good. There are still hits and misses. I think what really killed it is that it is a bit too long. However, I kept reading it because I really wanted to reach the ending, which was predictable. The description through out the book is very good but some of the characters needed more development to really get to know them and be able to sympathize with them. I also think there could be a better choice of a cover photo.

Overall, Indie Sci-fi author Chad Descoteaux is definitely an author to watch, I think he got a lot of potential and stories to tell. If you like SCI-FI books, you need to give this one a read!

 

Book Review (Nostalgia: A city set up on a hill)

I just Finished reading the book memoir “Nostalgia: A city set up on a hill” by author (Garfield Whyte).

Normally, I wouldn’t choose high school memoir to read. However, Im really glad i did. It taught me something new and valuable of other cultures andnostalgia experiences.

In this story,”Garfield” the narrator; takes us in a Journey to his fondest memories from 1977 till 1984, during his education in Munro college. A boarding school that is located in Jamaica. Going to this school starts off as a dream to be numbered amongst the rest. Through out the memoir, he give us detailed description of “Munro college, such as; “the long wall and the amazing sunset”, “The barbecue and the bull sessions” as well as the well described disciplinary and academic teachers which  gives the reader a clear picture of the challenges that the students endured at that time.

” Being at Munro was what I was dreaming about, but still nothing that i was totally prepared for”

Nevertheless, the simplicity of the school, the  non-existing technology, and the safety they felt. were all taken in granted years later as it is what really shaped this generation.

At some parts of the story I felt like reading a poem, the author clearly loved his school, even the description of the cracked floors and the old buildings, were so dear to him and were so obvious in this well written memoir.

Despite some repetitive parts, I really enjoyed the author’s experience and well profound memory. Also, I was enlightened with some of the most important and amazing sights in Jamaica.  But most of all, The role of the Munro school in preparing these students to the outside read.

I recommend this book for people who like reading memories and those who are nostalgic of their own school memories! give it a read!

 

 

Teaching the lost generation in KSA

like any other usual day at work. the bill rings at 8 AM.  Its a moment that i detest the most, I’m about to get to the period that i teach, “English language for high school students”.

I entered this profession almost two months ago because i moved to KSA with my family. And since it is a man’s world in Saudia Arabia, international women are more likely to change their professions to teaching, and for more complicated reasons like the sponsorship. despite the different backgrounds and certificates. my colleagues at school are lawyers, business women, and graphic designers. But all ended up as teachers.

I didn’t mind the change of professions. As soon as i got accepted in a well known national school for high school girls; I gathered new materials, looked up new methods of teaching rather than the usual repetitive book. I wanted to be creative and be able to explore the journey of teaching. To my surprise, each day I entered the class, I listened to the non-stop pleading and complaining from the students . Begging me not to give them a lesson. So the first 15 minutes of everyday are usually wasted until i give them the million reasons why they need to learn english.

I keep reminding myself how it was for me when i was a teenager once, and i know how it feels like to be forced to get up everyday and go to school. As i would like to think that i succeeded in befriending my students, there are other times when it is almost impossible to give a lesson. the chaos, the ongoing talking amongst them. And thats how i caught myself in a situation where I lack the confidence to manage a class room. although I was confident enough with the fun material that i gave them. but its their refusal to learn that stroke me the most. 32 students in one classroom can be a bit overwhelming if only 7 of them brought their books and pens. most of them went far by not caring when they forgot to study their exams.

On the other hand; seeing the other teachers cry often has become a usual sight. Asking them a simple question like; “How is your day so far?”,  fills their eyes with tears right away. Knowing the usual answer;  ” They don’t want to learn anything” or “They wouldn’t stop laughing and talking during the class”. Last time i saw my colleague crying because one of her students gave her the middle finger.

empty classroom

Eventually, this excitement of teaching started to fade away and was replaced by the scripted lessons. I asked a colleague who studied education and had a teaching experience in another country, whether this is normal or not. Because as far as i remember, back in my days no body had the guts to ask the teacher not to give a lesson. My friend told me that it was her worst experience so far. It made me thinking why everyone starts pointing their fingers to the teachers for the students failure? I don’t consider myself as a professional teacher and i never will since it is not my speciality. But from my experience, the constant boredom and the stress that hunts the students from their society is what comes between them and the educational system.

The girls that i teach have no other life than social media and twitter, clearly because they live in Saudia Arabia, and so many things are restricted in this country. Usually graduates keep asking me how it is like to have a mixed prom and a graduation. because they will never experience that. and the word (mixed) excites them the most. they face this kind of oppression and they are lost between the western world and what they see on social media and then they get slammed by their reality, and thats when they come to school to express their dissatisfaction and anger.

I had occupied loads of jobs with longer hours but nothing compared to the stress and anxiety that teachers face everyday. all the other jobs are considered a vacation to this one.The feeling of not being appreciated, the endless preparations and the overloaded paper work is unbearable. Plus it is sad that teachers are under rated, and the students don’t looks up to them anymore. i asked my students one day to write an essay of their dream jobs. and out of the 60 girls that i teach, not one of them mentioned that they wanted to be a teacher.

This gap between students and teachers cannot be blamed on teachers only, neither the students. This generation is being taught by inadequate teachers for years now. teachers whom are meant for teaching are more eligible to guide these students and much better in evaluating their learning. rather than us, international women who come to their countries to educate them. maybe they feel that we are lost ourselves.

books