I actually began reading this book because I saw the movie-trailer (haven't seen the movie yet) and I saw this book somewhere in a bookstore. All in a...moreI actually began reading this book because I saw the movie-trailer (haven't seen the movie yet) and I saw this book somewhere in a bookstore. All in all, I think it's a beautiful story about how love can overcome anything and about the realities of a relationship. Even though the story of a guy who's a time traveler is not something that is real to us, the love of these two people for each other and the trials and tribulations they experience are something that IS real to many of us. I love books and stories with time traveling in it. I always think about how that works but it's something that is hard to imagine. If you read this book it's great if you have a good memory because certain things come back in other chapters of the book. Furthermore, it can be frustrating at times that the ages of the two main characters differ every chapter but I myself did not experience any difficulty in this. I would say that the only con of this story is that on the one hand this story is incredibly romantic but at the same time also boring since from the start it's obvious they will end up together. But the story is also really unique and after 100 pages I really started to get into the story and got sucked up into the story. The last 100 or 150 pages were so exciting and it was hard to put the book away. (less)
**spoiler alert** This book is extraordinary. It's about a young women who hides in a bathroom for almost three months (someone hides them there and s...more**spoiler alert** This book is extraordinary. It's about a young women who hides in a bathroom for almost three months (someone hides them there and sometimes brings food to them) to avoid being killed in the Rwandan genocide (1994). Her faith in God is really amazing. In that bathroom she experiences, besides fear for being discovered by the killers, the extraordinary love of God and by trusting in Him and praying to Him she survives the genocide. After almost three months she and the other women she shared the bathroom with have to leave the house for the fear of being discovered. Even though they experienced really bad situations in which the chances on being killed are really high she holds on to her faith in God and she survives. But she also shows that she struggles with her faith in God and that at the most frightening situations she keeps praying to God. Thanks to God she learns to deal with the death of her family and even forgives her family's killers. This book made me cry so many times and really touched me. She touched me with her faith in God. She still believed in him in the most terrible situations and that really motivates me to work on my relationship with God. So this is definitely a book that everyone should read. (less)
This is an absolute must-read for just anyone and a wake-up call to the world. I read a couple of books about the genocide in Rwanda, but this is an a...moreThis is an absolute must-read for just anyone and a wake-up call to the world. I read a couple of books about the genocide in Rwanda, but this is an absolute must-read. The book's main topic is sexual violence (mostly done to women, but also to men) and consists of three parts: "The Roots of Sexual Violence in Rwanda", "Testimonials", and "Life After 'Death'".
The first part of the book is a desciption of the background in which sexual violence occurred, which is mostly about the origins of the Hutu-Tutsi divide in which the Tutsis were favored by the Belgian colonialists. The Tutsis were said to be of lighter skin and taller and thinner than Hutus. This created resentment among the Hutus and resulted in a series of killings, beginning in 1959. A popular uprising drove out the Tutsi king and from then on Hutus dominated the government. Violence against kept occurring throughout the years which culminated in the 1994 genocide. The direct incentive for the genocide was the assassination of President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. It's still unclear who assassinated him. It could've been either Tutsis or Hutus. What is clear is that the killings of Tutsis in 1994 was prepared for by Hutus and was organized. Radio and newspaper both played a major part in the genocide even before the genocide began. Tutsis were dehumanized by referring to them as "cockroaches" and "snakes". Sexual violence was done mostly to women, but also to men, and in a number of ways (for example: rape, mutilation, etc.). Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were subjected to sexual violence.
The second part of the book consists of thrilling testimonies and is told by 17 Rwandan survivors of the genocide (16 women and 1 man). I experienced anger, shock and sadness while reading these testimonies. It was really hard to read a lot of testimonies in one sequence. It's hard to imagine that these things actually happened and still happen to people. I read this book a couple of weeks ago and now that I read a couple of more books about the genocide in Rwanda I still can't believe these things happened.
The third part of the book is about the aftermath of the sexual violence that occurred during the genocide. The women and man that testified in the book are all infected with HIV and experienced problems because of this. ARV-treatment (special treatment for HIV) is expensive and because of HIV a lot of people aren't able to work and to provide for their children and adopted children. This part of the book illustrates women and men experienced a lot of negative consequences from the sexual violence they endured. Not only do they have to deal with health issues, they're also stigmatized by society because of their HIV-infection. Often their rapists are people they knew and they often still live in the same neighborhood. This part of the book also looks at how there was and still is being dealt with the perpetrators of the genocide. The authors talk about the role of the Rwandan government, NGO', the UN and the international community.
In conclusion, I have to say that this is a horrible book in terms of the experiences the women and man talk about in the book. But I recommend it to everyone because in my opinion sexual violence is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. Someone once said that killing someone is taking away someone's life but raping someone is taking away somebody's soul.
I really urge to you read this book. Proceeds from the sales of this book go to Mukomeze, a Dutch charitable organization established to improve the lives of girls and women who survived sexual violence in the Rwandan genocide.
I would like to conclude my review with the following quote by Eve Ensler: "Fragments, rape shrapnel, images, sensations that lodge forever in the body, in the soul. These testimonies are unbearable. The acts of hatred and violence unimaginable. The resiliency and kindness of the survivors beyond grace. I do not feel forgiving. I feel angry. I feel insane with outrage. (...) I urge you to be disturbed by what you have read, really disturbed. And then I urge you to get angry, get bold, become determined to do everything in your power to end this heinous violence everywhere in the world. End this violence that sustains gender equality, that keeps the world deeply and perilously imbalanced, forever at war. End this violence that gives global license to the destruction of women, that is the end of life itself."(less)
Well, it's actually the third time I read this book and it's still a beautifully written book. This is the book which urged me to study Gender Studies...moreWell, it's actually the third time I read this book and it's still a beautifully written book. This is the book which urged me to study Gender Studies. When I turned the last page I just knew I wanted to study Gender Studies.
In short what this book's about: it's an autobiography in which Dirie writes about her life and how she fled from home at age 13 when she was forced to marry a very old man. A really important topic is the circumcision she experienced when she was just 5 years old. She talks about the huge impact it had on her life and how it drove her to become active in spreading the word about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and that there are currently 2,000,000 girls at risk of becoming circumcised. But most of all, it's just an honest and beautiful book about an incredible woman who survived something bad. Her first name, Waris, means "Desert Flower" (the title of the book) and I love a quote explaining her name which also refers to her personality: "My mother named me after a miracle of nature: Waris means desert flower. The desert flower blooms in a barren environment where few living things can survive. Sometimes it doesn't rain in my country for over a year. But finally the water pours down, cleansing the dusty landscape, and then like a miracle the blooms appear. The flowers are a brilliant yellowish orange, and for this reason, yellow has always been my favorite color."
I also really like it that she isn't bitter but that she appreciates the African nomadic culture she lived in that the embraces that culture but also that she appreciates that she was able to experience "slow" (African) as well as "fast" (Western) culture. She also doesn't blame her parents for being circumcised but she tries to fight it in her own unique way.
I just want to close off this review with a quote from the last page which moved me deeply: "I feel that God made my body perfect the way I was born. Then men robbed me, took away my power, and left me a cripple. My womanhood was stolen. If God had wanted those body parts missing, why did he create them. I just pray that one day no woman will have to experience this pain. It will become a thing of the past. People will say, 'Did you hear, female genital mutilation has been outlawed in Somalia?' Then the next country, and the next, and so on, until the world is safe for all women. What a happy day that will be, and that's what I'm working toward. In'shallah, if God is willing, it will happen. (less)
This is a really good book, especially because Dallaire saw the genocide happening and he couldn't do much because the UN didn't think of Rwanda as a...moreThis is a really good book, especially because Dallaire saw the genocide happening and he couldn't do much because the UN didn't think of Rwanda as a country worth considering sending help to. Especially after some U.S. soldiers got killed in Somalia they were really careful to send troops to Rwanda. In my opinion the world abandoned Rwanda, and I think it would have been different if a genocide was going on in a Western country.
I liked reading the book, but at times it was hard reading because of the military lingo. I'm not a native English speaker and I can read in English, but the military lingo I think added up to the fact that English is not my native language.
I do recommend reading this book, because everyone has to know what happened in Rwanda and has to know about the fact that the world just abandoned Rwanda. Almost 1,000,000 people died in 3 months and between 250,000 and 500,000 girls and women were in some way sexually molested during and after the genocide. (less)
When I started reading this book I was skeptical. Even though I love romantic stories, I'm not too fond of vampires. Not because they're scary because...moreWhen I started reading this book I was skeptical. Even though I love romantic stories, I'm not too fond of vampires. Not because they're scary because I find horror stories and all boring. But this book is easy to read and I quickly began to like it. This is a story I really wanted to experience myself. The chemistry between Bella and Edward is just amazing and at times I wished I WAS Bella. Unfortunately, I often was drawn back to my own dull life in comparison to Bella's but then again: I'm safe... ;-) I will definitely continue reading the Twilight series.(less)
Maybe it was the Dutch translation, but I was glad when I finished the book. The book cover and the back of the book were promising, but these promise...moreMaybe it was the Dutch translation, but I was glad when I finished the book. The book cover and the back of the book were promising, but these promises weren't fulfilled. The story’s about Saira Qadar, who tells the story of her own family but also about herself. I thought it was a very chaotic book because of all the different stories, the different names and the different (I guess) Indian terms. Especially all the names were confusing, and it was hard to remember then. Ocassionaly, I experienced having to go backwards in the book to look up whose name it was that was mentioned. The unexpected turn at the end made the story more appealing but still I give this book 2 stars.(less)
This book made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me angry. This is a truly extraordinary memoir about a woman who, since the age of 11, experienced...moreThis book made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me angry. This is a truly extraordinary memoir about a woman who, since the age of 11, experienced the death of a parent, childhood abuse, rape, drug addiction, miscarriage, alcoholism, hustling, gangbanging, near-death injuries, drug dealing, prostitution, and homelessness. It's also how she overcame all of this. I loved reading this book, because it was easy to read. It felt like she was talking to me in person. The only critique I did have that the story became repetitive at one point, but I can understand why she described so much of her life. I can understand that all of these situations were important for her to describe. Throughout the whole book I wanted to give this book 3 stars, but I changed my mind when I read everything about Cupcake being in rehab and how she got herself together. In one day I read the last 200 pages. I just couldn't stop and wanted to know how she recovered. She truly inspired me with how she recovered, her faith in God and how she started to love herself. (less)
I started reading this book because of an online book club I recently joined. I really enjoyed reading this book. Mystery stories are not my thing, bu...moreI started reading this book because of an online book club I recently joined. I really enjoyed reading this book. Mystery stories are not my thing, but I did enjoy it. At one point I really wanted to know what would happen. I also liked the language that was used. The case was very thoroughly discussed and I liked the chapter "A Retrospection" in which everything was explained and the questions I still had got answered. I'm happy that I read this book. It's always nice to read something different from what I'm used to. The book I ordered also includes another Sherlock Holmes-story so I will definitely read that some other day. (less)
I had a lot of expectations of this book since a lot of people seem to be so enthusiastic about it, but I didn't really enjoy it. Maybe it's because o...moreI had a lot of expectations of this book since a lot of people seem to be so enthusiastic about it, but I didn't really enjoy it. Maybe it's because of my Gender Studies background, but I felt that the girls were stereotypically feminine (with the exception of Jo) and the used language was too cute for me to like. I know that this book was written in a certain time, but I just had a hard time liking it. (less)
**spoiler alert** Just like the first part of the "Twilight"-series I really really liked this book. I think Meyer is really good in creating this sus...more**spoiler alert** Just like the first part of the "Twilight"-series I really really liked this book. I think Meyer is really good in creating this suspense that makes you want to read more and more. If I could I would've taken this book anywhere. I didn't, because I knew it would get me into trouble because of my studies mostly and I didn't want to seem self-involved. I liked the different characters like Bella, Edward and Jacob. Jacob opened up a new world and that was really interesting. A lot of people have a preference for either Edward or Jacob, but I think they're both great. But I have to say that I was really glad when Bella and Edward were together again. The way their relationship is described is so amazing that it blew me away. The intensity of their relationship is beyond stunning. The only thing that made my reading experience a little less fun is that I already knew that Jacob was a werewolf. I saw a trailer of one of the "Twilight"-movies, while I carefully avoided them, and came to know about Jacob being a werewolf. But still this book was amazing and hard to put away. I am really curious what will happen in "Eclipse".(less)
Just like the first and second part of the "Twilight"-series I really enjoyed this book. Though sometimes predictable and sometimes not I definitely e...moreJust like the first and second part of the "Twilight"-series I really enjoyed this book. Though sometimes predictable and sometimes not I definitely enjoyed this and I'm really excited to read "Breaking Dawn", the last book in the series. (less)
Wow! That's the only word I have for the last part of the "Twilight"-series. Though a lot of the things that happened throughout the "Twilight"-series...moreWow! That's the only word I have for the last part of the "Twilight"-series. Though a lot of the things that happened throughout the "Twilight"-series was predictable a lot of things in "Breaking Dawn" were not at all what I expected. And that was really nice. I also liked the new situations and that Jacob had such an important part in the book by telling the story from his perspective. His dry humor made me laugh out loud several times, especially the titles of his chapters were really funny.
This book is definitely my favorite of the series. (less)