Book Review

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Today I'm breaking down my book review into Light Reads and Heavy Reads.

Light Reads

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios (Dark Caravan Cycle Book 1)

Jinni are always interesting to read about and this was no exception. I liked Nalia as a character. My favorite part was her time in the ocean. I liked that while there were two men it wasn't a love triangle. The two supporting female characters were strong and developed. I just thought originally that this was a standalone book and it is so not.

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Cattredge  (Iron Codex Book 1)

This took me two weeks to read and just never took off. But the story was interesting which is why I kept reading.

That said I tried to dive into book two and blah... the story doesn't pick up. So I sent the series back to the library without reading. Weird.

Heavy Read

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

"I read the book, marveling at the clarity and naughtiness of its author. But I really didn't have to. Just looking at it, just wanting to read it - that already meant I doubted, and I knew that. Before I'd read four pages I already knew my answer. I had left God behind years ago. I was an atheist. I had no one to talk to about this. One night in that Greek hotel I looked in the mirror and said out loud, "I don't believe in God." I said it slowly, enunciating it carefully, in Somali. And I felt relief. It felt right. There was no pain, but a real clarity. The long process of seeing the flaws in my belief structure and carefully tiptoeing around the frayed edges as parts of it were torn out, piece by piece - that was all over. The angels, watching from my shoulders; the mental tension about having sex without marriage, and drinking alcohol, and not observing any religious obligations - they were gone. The ever-present prospect of hellfire lifted, and my horizon seemed broader. God, Satan, angels: these were all figments of human imagination. From now on I could step firmly on the ground that was under my feet and navigate based on my own reason and self-respect. My moral compass was within myself, not in the pages of a sacred book. When we got back from Corfu, I began going to museums. I needed to see ruins and mummies and old dead people, to look at the reality of the bones and to absorb the realization that, when I die, I will become just a bunch of bones. I was on a psychological mission to accept living without a God, which means accepting that I give my life its own meaning. I was looking for a deeper sense of morality. In Islam you are Allah's slave: you submit, and thus, ideally, you are devoid of personal will. You are not a free individual. You behave well because you fear Hell; you have no personal ethic. If God meant only that which is good, and Satan that which is evil, then both were in me. I wanted to develop the good side of me - discipline, generosity, love - and suppress the bad: anger, envy, laziness, cruelty."

There are some horrifying aspects of this book. And I don't mean to gloss over them or make this all about me. But when she get her citizenship and started to become her own person and work through things, I was right there with her. I have done that growing and discovery. The above quote is one of my favorite passages. Because I have done that.

This book is a great, horrifying read and I am glad to have read it.