Review- Mischling

Mi41c0ib7y4l-_sy344_bo1204203200_schling by Affinity Konar

5/5 stars

We don’t always know ourselves, who we can become, what we may do, after evil has done what it likes with us.”

Pearl and Stasha are twins, connected by their minds and able to feel each other’s emotions. They are very similar, but Stasha constantly wishes that she was Pearl. She tries her best to be exactly like her sister in hopes that, one day, maybe she will just become Pearl herself. They both realize that one twin wouldn’t be herself without the other. Pearl and Stasha are taken away to Auschwitz and separated from their mother and grandfather. They are placed in special bunks filled with other pairs of twins and ‘anomalies’. The girls become part of an evil doctor’s experiment, one that tests their ability to stay connected even when they’re far apart. How much can one twin be altered in order for her to stay identical to her sister?

As soon as this book hit the NYT Best Sellers List, I knew I had to get myself a copy as soon as possible. I hadn’t read a book about the holocaust since I studied WW2 in high school a few years ago, so this felt like a very new subject. Affinity Konar absolutely blew me away. Pearl and Stasha were so naïve; it was painful to recognize the horrible situation they were in but not be able to tell them. “Do not trust this doctor that is trying to win you over! He is trying to hurt you!” I wish I could have screamed this to them through the pages of this book. I wish I could have done something instead of helplessly reading about a group of medical professionals lie, manipulate, and experiment on them. Reading Mischling broke my heart.

I will never forget how much love I read in the 338 pages of Mischling, despite all of the sadness and horror surrounding the twins. Pearl and Stasha survive off of their tremendous love for each other, their parents, and grandfather. It keeps them going. Pearl and Stasha tell each other that, as long as they can envision their mother’s paintings, she is still alive and rooting for them. It is beautiful to realize that children can find strength, even through the darkest times, in love.

I did a little bit of reading on Josef Mengele, the twins’ doctor, after I finished Mischling. I don’t even know how to voice my thoughts on such horrible actions this man performed on real, living people. I commend Affinity Konar for this phenomenal book on such a dark subject.

Mischling was amazing. I want to gift this book to a few people for the holidays because it’s just that good. Pearl and Stasha’s story may not be for the light of heart, but I do think everyone should read it at one point in their lives.

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November To Be Read!

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I know this is a little late, but I wanted to document my “TBR” for this month! It’s a little ambitious, considering I’m only ¾ way through my first novel of the month (The Nix). My concussion is still slowing me down reading-wise. I’m healing quickly so I hope to get back on track soon! This list contains 5 books that I would like to read in this moment. My priorities will probably change as the month goes on, so we’ll see how many of these I actually get through! Here’s the breakdown:

The Nix by Nathan Hill. This book came out at the end of August and has been at the top of my reading list since I saw it under the Best Seller section at my local bookstore. Every time I walk into the store I see it staring back at me, week after week, so I knew I had to pick it up eventually. I’m currently ¾ done with it and it’s been great. I don’t think I could do justice to the plot with a short summary, so I encourage you to click the Goodreads link to learn more about it!

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. My dad and I like to read a book at the same time and this is next on our list. (He’s currently wrapping up A Gentleman in Moscow). I’m an anthropology major with a focus in paleoanthropology/archaeology; This means that I love to learn about pre-Homo Sapiens hominids. I’ve read a lot of anthropology textbooks in the past few years and I’m excited to see paleo information in a book setting. There are a lot of different ways to make the evolution of Homo a very interesting tale, so I have high hopes for this!

The Golden Sword by Janet Morris. Last month, Perseid Press so generously gifted me a copy of High Couch of Silistra by Janet Morris. Janet Morris, herself, read my review and the publisher said she really enjoyed it. I am so honored that she devoted some of her time to my blog and am so excited to read the second book in her quartet! I love science fiction, especially when it has feminist themes and strong female protagonists. I know I’m going to love this next book.

A Door Into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski. This book came out in 2000 and has been called “A ground-breaking work both of feminist SF and world-building hard SF”. Again, feminist science fiction…I can’t stop myself from binge buying books of this genre. This isn’t a very popular book among my book friends, but I hope that I’ll be able to recommend it to them after this month!

Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger. I LOVE this book. The only problem is that I remember that I love this book, but I’m not sure why. In my mind, it’s one of my favorite books but I can’t quite remember what it’s about. I’m making it my mission to rediscover my feelings for Salinger’s less-known works. Catcher in the Rye is actually my all-time, #1 favorite book, so I have a very special place for Salinger in my heart.

I’m keeping my TBR pretty short for this month because I always end up reading books not on my monthly list. I somehow just ordered 4 more books online (I have no idea how this happened…) so we’ll see where November takes me! Please feel free to let me know what you’re reading as well!

October Wrap Up!

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The first 2 weeks of October were great for me– I finished 3 novels and was going strong. I was on my way to my goal of 8 books until I tripped and got a concussion in mid-October. I’m so clumsy, haha. The doctors told me to keep reading to a minimum so I was on a hiatus for about a week and a half. I slowly started reading again, but never quite made it to my goal. Still, I read 6 physical books and 1 eBook (not pictured). I’m pretty content with that! Here’s the breakdown:

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (fiction)- 5/5 stars

High Couch of Silistra by Janet Morris (science fiction)- 4/5 stars

Mischling by Affinity Konar (fiction)- 5/5 stars

The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison (science fiction)- 4/5 stars

Suck Less: Where There’s a Willam, There’s a Way by Willam Belli (autobiography) -5/5 stars

Graveyard Quest by K.C. Green (graphic novel/fantasy)- 5/5 stars

Sex Criminals: Volume 1 by Matt Fraction (graphic novel/fantasy)- 5/5 stars

Wow, I just realized that I didn’t rate any books under 4 stars this month! I usually have one 2 or 3 star book, so I’m really happy with my decisions in October. In case you didn’t know, you can keep up with my reading progress on Goodreads. I don’t post blog reviews for every book that I read, in fear of spamming email addresses, so add me there if you want to follow along. Also, if you want to see artsy photos of my books and bookshelves, my instagram is @hedgehogbooks. I’m currently doing a November Book Challenge, so I post bookish photos daily. Check it out!

Thanks to my subscribers for tuning in this October, I’m excited to see what November holds for me!