Books for Breakfast #53

Book Reviews

The reads this time were:
The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker
&
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

This book was the Noveltea Bookclub Book of the month! I read it a bit late, but even being almost 500 pages, it didn’t take me too long. I wouldn’t rank it as a favorite book, but it was still a good and interesting read. The story follows a golem named Chava and a Jinni, named Ahmad (at least, that’s his human name) as they try to lead lives in New York City. This book doesn’t have much action, except a little in the end, but it’s full of character development. It also has an interesting look into some legends, like Golems and Jinni. I haven’t seen much involving these creatures except for an old anime movie of Slayers with Golems and the Jinni from Aladdin. (which doesn’t quite count, I don’t think)
I really loved Chava, she was probably my favorite character. It was really interesting watching her grow as a character as she struggles with pretending to be human. I don’t even know what I would do if I couldn’t sleep. I’d go crazy! I also enjoyed the relationship she builds with Ahmad, as complicated as it is. Although, I still loved Chava the most, even more than Ahmad. She was just too perfect! She’s selfless, always puts others first, frets about everything, is rather shy, and well, she’s just an awesome Golem! 
There are so many characters in this that are secondary, but still have great stories, like Saleh the ice-cream seller. I ended up loving him so much! While there isn’t much action, there is still a lot that happens that makes you grip the book while you read. The backstories of Ahmad, Saleh, and the main villain/antagonist are spellbinding. Almost to the point where you kinda sorta fell bad for the villain, and you try to figure out if he’s really evil or not for a while, but you know what, I think he’s pretty terrible guy when you get down to it. He is kind of a big butt. (which bad guys tend to be) He causes A LOT of grief and man, he is terrible, just thinking about it makes me hate him. 
So, anyways, while not my favorite book, nor the type of book I tend to read, I still really enjoyed it! It was fun to read something of a genre that I really don’t read from much! 

I got this book from my mom, which she read for one of her bookclubs. I had read the back of it while book shopping, but put it back in favor of something else. The book is split between two characters with similar stories from different time periods. The first girl is from our time and she is an orphan who has been shipped around from foster parent to foster parent and has hardened a shell around herself that she lets no one penetrate. She’s rather cliched in that way, which was something that rubbed me the wrong way I think. She also has HORRIBLE foster parents, which made my blood boil. How could anyone place kids with that lady? Seriously? What does Social Services even do? The other girl, whose story we follow, was an orphan during the depression in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It was interesting to see the parallels in their stories, but her story was even more depressing. She’s in terrible homes right and left, until things finally start to turn around. 
It’s a story about survival and always fighting towards the future. It shows independence and how family isn’t everything, but the people around you help to push you up to greater heights. I read this book really fast, in about two days. It was an easy and quick read, since it seems to just fly by, even though there is a lot of stuff that happens. It covers the first 20 years of the one girl’s life and everything that happened to her then. It’s fast paced, a lot of emotions are shoved into it. I didn’t cry or anything, it didn’t tug my heart strings that much. My book tears are reserved for cat books and Tuesdays with Morrie
Next on my reading list is: Defending Jacob & Fin & Lady

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,’ga’);

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-44399366-1’, ‘auto’);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);

By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Kay

    I'm not sure I could handle Orphan Train. Mistreated children is just one of those things I don't deal well with! The Golem and The Jinni definitely sounded interesting, but I took the month off from NovelTea – all free time is dedicated to present making! 🙂

  • So far I'm enjoying The Golem and the Jinni, but I'm not that far along (probably just over a 100 pages). I'm hoping to do a lot of reading over the next few days to finish it. It's a good story, but it's also not something I usually read.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!
    ~Sara

  • I'm starting my present making right now as well! I'm glad NovelTea is taking the month of December off! Orphan Train was difficult to read at times, the childhoods during the depression were so heartbreaking!

  • It was very different than my normal book, but I did still enjoy the characters and the story!

  • Chava is just so innocent and lovable! She tries so hard to fit in, but it just goes against her nature! Her struggle is so touching.