Review: Angels of the Pacific

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (William Morrow) for promotional purposes.

What a book! I personally found it to be a brutal and heart-wrenching read because the story really hit home for me. Short personal story: I am half Filipino and my maternal grandparents lived through World War II in the Philippines. My grandpa lived in Bataan, which was one of the centers of the war. My mom told me that my grandpa would describe that time in life as always running and never having any shoes. In fact, his birth records were destroyed during the war. When he came to America, he had to have a paper from the Philippine government certifying that his birth certificate was destroyed during the war. It’s crazy to think that my grandparents lived through some of what happened in the book. 

This book gave me goosebumps multiple times while reading it. I knew the Japanese occupation was harsh, but reading about the reality of it was something else. I’m so glad that the book shed light on life under their occupation and didn’t hold back on its depictions. It is so overlooked and needs to be acknowledged. I also liked how the book subtly touched upon the Philippines and their previous colonizers (Spain and the US). 

It is evident the author put in a tremendous amount of research in writing this story. Both Tess and Flor’s storylines were compelling, engaging, and well thought out. I liked how their stories showed two different points of view (one from an American nurse and one from a native Filipino working as part of the resistance) and how their stories intersected.  

Overall, if you are looking for a different take on World War II or just want to learn more about the Philippines during the war, I highly recommend this book! 

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Review: Beyond the Point

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of an Instagram book tour I did to promote the book. 

Omg what a beautiful book! It definitely lives up to all the hype. 

The story was mesmerizing. I became so invested in the lives of the three women. I felt like I personally knew them and that I was right there with them through their ups and downs. All three of them felt so realistic.

The author’s writing style is phenomenal. There’s something utterly captivating about it. 

Some people mention that this book should be classified as Christian fiction because of the talk of God and religion. I have read my fair share of Christian fiction and I don’t think this book quite fits that. There are mentions of God, but that’s mainly due to one character being religious. Just because the Christian religion is discussed in a book does not mean it is Christian fiction. There is so much more to this book than that (friendship, love, grief, etc.). 

My edition had a little bonus section at the end with filled background behind the novel, including interviews with real life West Point women. I enjoyed hearing their experiences. 

Lastly, I wanted to share a quote from the book about love that really struck me. The author writes,

“Love starts in the body. It starts with the tingling of toes and the rushing of blood and the lightness in the head. It feels a lot like pain…There are convulsions, nausea, heartburn, and breathlessness. There is a physical ache you feel when falling in love. It’s your heart making room for someone else, like a gardener is there, digging out a hole for a new plant. There is pain, and there is fear. The fear that the hole might stay forever”

pg. 151-152

Overall, I LOVED this book and consider it a new favorite of mine. If you’ve been putting off reading this book like I did (it had been sitting on my shelf since 2019), just pick it up already and read it! 

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