07 February 2013

Refuge Review

Refuge is an exciting realistic peak into Afghani and Pakistani culture and life. It feels incredibly authentic and has some really down-to-earth likeable characters. I fell in love with Charlie immediately and was slowly won over by Noor. It's a really great read. I have only two complaints. Their first kiss was a little too uninhibited for me. Given Noor's devout faith, I believe she would have been more restrained. Secondly, I wish I had known it was part of a series. I stayed up well into the night reading, getting only fours hours of sleep, only to growl in disappointment when it ended with a heart-wrenching cliffhanger with no second book in sight. Don't get me started on how sick I am of series reads. But despite my gripes, Refuge is a really compelling read from start to finish. 4 stars

Word to the wise: If you've ever wondered what it must be like for an intelligent well-read woman to grow up in this culture - read this book. If you simply need to escape and read something totally different - read this book.

Whippersnappers: Expect the violence and brutalities of war, occasional profanity, as well as mentions to sex, nudity, and physical abuse.

Noor reminded me a bit of this famous Afghani refugee.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

46 comments :

  1. It seems like an interesting book! Is it anything like A Thousand Splendid Suns?

    www.trendinginfashion.blogspot.com

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    1. I haven't read that one so I can't compare. But now you have me thinking I should. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. I have a friend that would love this book! Might be a future gift :)

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  3. Oh I love the cover! I really like to know if a book is part of a series. Also I agree with you on the kiss it should reflect the culture. Great review! Do you think you will continue the series?

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    1. I'm kinda anti series these days but pretty hooked on the couple. I think I will. :)

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  4. Ooo this sounds really interesting! I've been wanting to step out of my reading comfort zone and I'd love see how an intelligent woman lives in a culture like that. Thanks for the wonderful review, Juju! :)

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    1. O you should Katie.
      It might be a great one to share with your mom too.
      She's a reader right? :)

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  5. OH, I know your pain on the series issues. I have been seeking out stand-alones more and more these day. Great review, Juju!

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    1. Right? Series have become total turn offs for me.

      I'm so glad I'm not alone.
      :)

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  6. Ah! So this is the book that gave you such trouble. ;D

    I've not heard of it before; SO glad you enjoyed it, Juju! Thanks - as always - for the review.

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  7. This sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. Ah, cliffhangers are so frustrating! And I agree with you on the series thing, although I'm currently translating one. :) Standalones are a real treat nowadays.

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    1. They've totally become like treats. Perfect word for it. :)

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  9. Sounds interesting and quite different from my normal reads. Boo on the unexpected cliffhanger and yet to be published sequel!

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  10. Ugh, I hate when books end in cliffhangers even when they're part of a series.

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  11. This book sounds fascinating! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Also what a striking cover! Thanks for sharing and for your thoughtful review. :-)

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  12. OMG...it sounds totally mind blowing!

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  13. Oh, I hate, hate, hate when I don't find out I am reading the first book in a series until I am almost finished or until I finish the book. There should be a disclaimer on all books these days indicating whether it is a series or not. I'm glad you enjoy it though!

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    1. Yes! Something. So I see it coming. It's like running a race only to find no water at the end.

      :)

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  14. This isn't really my taste, but I am really glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  15. Thanks Juju for your lovely review. First in terms of the kiss I get your point. I suppose my feeling was that Noor got caught up in the moment. After all, later she castigates herself for what she did.

    In terms of it being a series all I can say is that it wasn't meant to be. I finished the first draft in 2009 just before I went off to produce a film called Remember Me. Six months later when I returned home I was shocked to discover that the book not only needed a shocking amount of work but also that it was incredibly long - in fact over 250,000 words. I decided to split the story up and concentrate on the first third.

    The good news is that the second book won't take as long to write. After all I have the first draft to work off. Also my characters are clear to me now - it's not as if I can go back and change their backstories. I am hoping to have it done by late May.

    If you want to be alerted as to when the book is coming out please go to www.ngosborne.com and you can put yourself on a mailing list.

    Thanks again for the review. I have been fortunate to receive emails from women all over the world, some even from South Asia, who have had to fight just like Noor. Right now we're trying to raise money for a women's shelter in Kabul because at the end of the day as a father to a beautiful 3 year old girl and a husband to an amazing wife, I can't think of many causes more important than that of fighting for women to have the capacity to choose their own destinies rather than have men choose them for them. To me that is theme of the Refuge.

    N. G. Osborne

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    1. Hi Nick!

      Thank you so much for coming by and sharing your thoughts with me.

      So how many books do you foresee making the series?

      That's really wonderful what your doing raising money for the shelter in Kabul. What a beautiful theme.

      I look forward to your future writings.

      Best of luck and thanks again for stopping by.

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    2. Sorry Juju for the very tardy reply.

      The series is going to be 3 books in total but I am now thinking of publishing book 2 and book 3 at the same time - I am also considering publishing the books chapter by chapter as I write them for readers who'd like to comment on them / give suggestions etc before they are totally finalized. Love everyone's thoughts on whether they think this is a good idea.

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    3. Hi Nick!

      Personally, I could never read chapter by chapter installments. I don't even like web series that comes out mini episode by mini episode. I wait until the series is done and do a marathon. But that's just me personally. ;)

      Good luck deciding and thanks for coming back and answering my question.

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  16. Wow, this book sounds fascinating to me. I am so curious to read this, since I've never heard of it much before.

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  17. Fab review as usual...and I have to say I LOVE your ever evolving site. I hope you're logging it because Baby Whimsy will want to totally take it all in again one day. ^_^

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    1. Aw thank you! :)

      You think?
      I hadn't thought of that.

      Thank you my dear friend.
      I always appreciate your unique perspective.

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  18. I am always looking for something different and this fits the bill. I enjoy reading about other cultures and learning about them. I would never have this one on my own. Thanks Ju-ju!

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  19. Gah! I hate heartbreaking ends :( ... Also, you changed your blog's look!!! O.o I kinda miss the old one. But.. this one is cute too in it's own way. lol Sorry...It was a bit of a shock to me at first! ;)

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    1. Totally cool. :)
      I wanted something sleeker and more true to me.
      I miss the doily edges but I do love being able to change the background.

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  20. This one sounds pretty wonderful. I haven't heard of this one, so I'll have to check it out.

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  21. This sounds like just the kind of book I like to read in the winter. The warmer the setting the better.

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  22. I so agree about suprise series books. #1 there are too many out there..what ever happened to stand alone books #2 I don't like waiting for book 2!!! LOL

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  23. Okay, I'm suuuuper interested. Never heard of it, but can't wait to try it! :0)

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  24. Oohhh. So sorry for the cliffy. I really hate when that happens and it feels like that's the norm now.

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  25. FYI - I have just started posting rough chapters of the second book for anyone who's interested - beware they are rough but many readers seem excited about reading a couple of chapters a week. I am posting them at http://refugebook2.tumblr.com/ and the password is aamirkhan

    If you want to stay up to date for when more chapters are released please go to http://www.facebook.com/Refugenovel

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    1. Thanks Nick! That's awesome news. And I really appreciate you giving me the heads up and password.

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