This is a novel set in post-war Germany. The main character is a fifteen year old boy who fell in love to a thirty six year old wo...moreSpoilers everywhere!
This is a novel set in post-war Germany. The main character is a fifteen year old boy who fell in love to a thirty six year old woman. The first part of the book is mostly about their sexual relationship. It is pages and pages of sex after sex after sex. What makes it different from the books I've read before is that this is about a forbidden sexual romance of a young boy and a mature woman whereas in most books it is old man and young girl. The sex scenes are written pretty well and even if it is a weird and controversial one I enjoyed reading it from the boy's point of view. (I saw the movie trailer by the way and it felt gross and wrong to see Kate Winslet's touching a teenager).
The second part is about the meeting of the boy and the woman in a court room (they have been separated at the end of the first part). The woman was charged with murder because her past job was a guard of a camp. If you are familiar with the Holocaust these camps are where the German guards placed the Jews and then after some time they will kill the Jews using the gas chambers. So this is the woman's work, she was alleged to be the leader of the guards and the one who was responsible at the accident that happen. That night of the accident the church where the guards kept the Jews was bombed. The bomb caused the fire. It started on the church's roof. The Jews inside the church started yelling but the guards outside the church did not help them escape. The gates of the church remained locked. Then the Jews inside the church were burned to death. She confessed that she did not unlock the gate because she decided that it might cause panic and maybe they can't control the Jews if they open the gate. She also admitted that she's the one who wrote the report (the boy who is narrating the story will reveal that the woman can't write that report because she's illiterate). The woman chose to admit that she committed murder rather than blew her cover-up that she's illiterate.
It's hard to understand the character of this woman named Hanna. While reading it I tried to analyze why did she make that choice. I'm trying to put myself on her situation and I'm still wondering if I would do the same thing given that I love reading books. Would I chose to admit that I'm illiterate to prove my innocence? It's a hard decision but I think maybe the character believed that she will be charged guilty no matter what she say so she chose to at least retained her cover that she's literate.
I only gave it three stars because I felt that the idea of the book is excellent but somehow the author didn't execute it well. I wished there are more dialogues and the characterization is more in-depth. Sometimes the narration is too lengthy and I felt like I'm distanced from the character's feelings. The monologue of the narrator is too long it felt like reading an essay rather than a novel. The author will spoon-fed the reader with a lot of ideas it makes it boring and irritating. It seems like he wants to say something but I felt lost with his words. It is false eloquence, I think the author thinks the longer he explained something the better ;p. However, I still recommend this book or (maybe watch the movie.)
This is my first time reading a John Grisham novel. Based on what I read from book reviews here in goodreads wherein sometimes reviewers compared auth...moreThis is my first time reading a John Grisham novel. Based on what I read from book reviews here in goodreads wherein sometimes reviewers compared authors or they sometimes mentioned their favorite authors, I had this idea that John Grisham wrote serious novels. I'm surprised to find out that this one was not a serious type of novel, but more of a light and humorous one. For me it is a light reading wherein you can read and enjoy it and not be stressed out (compared to Jodi Picoult's). There are parts that for me are really funny like there's this scene that they need to put a Russian doctor on the witness stand out of desperation.
What I really like about it is that I learned a lot of things about the legal system and about lawyers in America. How was it like working in a law firm and all these things lawyers do to make money. And the book also shows continuity because it does not stop from one case. So, I learned that in being a lawyer sometimes you will lose your case, but you can learn from your mistakes and win your next case. I also like the realistic portrayal of lawyers wherein there are lawyers who are almost perfect and there are lawyers who are not that good in litigation. Some only care for money and there are some who genuinely care for people. I still don't know if this is the best book from John Grisham, but this is the latest one so maybe if you are a John Grisham fanatic you really should read this. (less)
The story involves a very interesting rape case. This is my first time reading a rape case wherein there's a big part of me who thinks that the rape v...moreThe story involves a very interesting rape case. This is my first time reading a rape case wherein there's a big part of me who thinks that the rape victim is annoying and I am actually rooting for the rapist. The sweetheart defense is really strong and it's hard to tell who's lying and who's telling the truth. Jodi Picoult is really good at this and it really makes me think hard about what is really going on. There are a lot of twists and turns that makes the story more exciting and engaging.
I already read four of her books (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact and the Plain Truth) and it feels good that although there are a lot of elements that are still the same I still find this one interesting from her other works. What I like about it is that the plot is well thought out compared to Plain Truth, indeed its plot is very fluid. I like the comic strip parts of the books even though they are fillers, they are nice fillers. I like the Dante's references and how it connects with the storyline.
My only complaint is that I find the ending not satisfying because it lacks closure. I think Jodi Picoult's novels are limited with word count because the story is already really long and maybe she can't write the continuation anymore so it ended that way. I feel bad that there is no court drama in this novel and majority of it is focused on investigation. However, I still find this novel thought-provoking and well written. (less)
The book started a bit slow. Compared to the other Jodi Picoult books that I've read (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact) this seems a bit...moreThe book started a bit slow. Compared to the other Jodi Picoult books that I've read (My Sister's Keeper, Nineteen Minutes, The Pact) this seems a bit dragging and you probably be bored reading the first half of the book. The thing that I don't like about it is some of the parts of the book is irrelevant and is only there as fillers. Like for example, the paranormal aspect of the story wherein Katie can see her sister Hannah's ghost in the pond. The love story of Katie and Adam is also written poorly. Also, the flashbacks are written in italics that you can hardly read it.
Despite of those flaws, the second half is really interesting and fast-paced. The thing that I really look forward to is reading the court drama in every Jodi Picoult book. It makes you think hard and sometimes it's hard to not really get into it even though you know that it's just fiction. The ending of the story is probably one of the most disturbing and shocking endings that I've read. It is open-ended and it leaves a big question in the mind of its readers.
At the end, we learned that Katie's mom was the one who killed the baby and she confessed it to Atty. Hathaway after Katie's trial (the decision of the court: Katie is guilty but she will not be put in jail but will suffer a sort of experimental house arrest). Technically, Katie is still free despite the fact that that was the verdict (seems like a victory in the part of the defense) but after the shocking confession of Katie's mom the lawyer was put in the pressure of telling the truth or just keeping it for the sake of everybody. And the story just leave it there with a little bit of hint that the lawyer might just keep it a secret because she has developed a bond in the family.(less)
Salamat sa classmate ng kapatid ko na indirectly ay nagpahiram sa akin ng book na ito. Masasabi kong sakto lang ang libro. Kung nabasa mo yung mga blu...moreSalamat sa classmate ng kapatid ko na indirectly ay nagpahiram sa akin ng book na ito. Masasabi kong sakto lang ang libro. Kung nabasa mo yung mga blurbs nila Bb. Joyce Bernal at Boy Abunda, etc. maaaring maiisip mong exaggerated at OA na ang mga puri nila. Maganda naman ang book. Minsan napapangiti niya ako. May mga pagkakataon lamang na medyo corny at pilit ang mga jokes na ang sarap nang ibato ng libro sa pader. Kung naging natural sana ang mga cheesy na biro o di na niya tinangkang magbiro ng corny mas mataas pa sana ang rating na ibinigay ko.
Note: I'll post more this weekend. I'm just too busy to write a review. :)(less)
This book has a very interesting protagonist/narrator. He loves prime numbers. He hates brown and yellow. He knows a lot about capital cities of diffe...moreThis book has a very interesting protagonist/narrator. He loves prime numbers. He hates brown and yellow. He knows a lot about capital cities of different countries. He finds it hard to understand human facial expressions, jokes and metaphors. Etc. Etc.
Actually if there's a real crime (not just a killed dog) and a bigger mystery and somehow a more complicated plot I'll give it 5 stars. But the story is very simple so just 3 stars. I still like it because I learned a lot about Math, Science, Sherlock Holmes, etc.
Also the atheistic comments and the dry humor makes it more compelling and enjoyable. (less)
I'm quite surprised reading this because I thought this book will be like The Litigators (the first Grisham book that I've read) wherein the focus wil...moreI'm quite surprised reading this because I thought this book will be like The Litigators (the first Grisham book that I've read) wherein the focus will be the courtroom and a trial. However, this book is about this rookie tax lawyer who was hand-picked to work in this law firm in Memphis. The firm gave him a high salary, a house with a low interest mortgage and a brand new car. He was offered a lot of material things and because he was not that rich he accepted the offer. Later on he found out that the firm was secretly governed by the Mafia and the law firm was only a facade. He cooperated with the FBI and he tried to gather evidence, but in the end the firm knew about what was he doing and then it became a chase in the end when he escaped the firm.
Even though I am a little bit disappointed because I wanted a plot focused on courtroom dramas this book is still thrilling and has a strong message (money is not everything and will not make you happy). Also, I like John Grisham because compared to Jodi Picoult his novels are centered on lawyers not the clients. I'm looking forward to read more of his works. (less)
"I can well imagine an atheist's last words: "White, white! L-L-Love! My God!" - and the deathbed leap of faith. Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, "Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain," and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story."
This is a very typical story of faith against adversity and faith still manage to triumph in the end. What makes it unique is that Pi, the main character is a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim at the same time. His trial of faith and survival starts when the ship that he and his family together with their animals (because they are zookeepers) sink in the Pacific.
He found himself inside a lifeboat together with his animals orangutan, hyena, zebra and a tiger. It was similar to the movie Castaway, but instead of being totally alone he has animals with him. It was actually pretty similar to National Geographic and you will learn a lot about animals and their behaviors.
I think this book is really informative and thought provoking and very brutal. There are scenes that are really horrendous like cannibalism, etc. However, all in all I think this is really a must read. Its get kind of weird and boring sometimes, but it's not really preachy.
I think it has a lot of symbolism that I just can't interpret yet. I think the tiger and the other animals maybe symbolize something.
What I learned from it is that sometimes we really need to believe in the unbelievable and believe in something, whatever religion it is. This book actually acknowledges Atheism, but not Agnosticism. I think what the author tries to point out is that better believe than doubt and just make a stand. Believe in Science if not Religion or believe in Religion than doubt both Religion and Science.(less)
I never would have thought that I'll have the chance to read this book, for the reason that I don't even know that this book exist. However, when I on...moreI never would have thought that I'll have the chance to read this book, for the reason that I don't even know that this book exist. However, when I once again attended a meet-up by The Filipino Group in Goodreads last April 10 2011, which was also a celebration of the first anniversary of the group, Kwesi and I had the opportunity to swap books.
I have given him the book 1st to Die by James Patterson and he gave this book to me, which I don't have any idea what the book is all about. But judging on the title "Godless" I have a feeling that it will delve on Religion and Atheism.
Reading the backcover of it I was already fascinated, a teenage boy bored of his parent's religion (Catholicism) decided one summer to create his own religion, which was Chutengodianism, a new worship which fundamentally believe that the Town's Water Tower was the one and true God.
A big part of me immediately relate to that kid. I would say that I also found going to churh, listening to priest, praying rosary, reading the bible etc. boring. Most of the time, I believe I am a non-believer, an atheist, but no I think a Skeptic is the perfect word for me. I want to believe in God but I wanted proof, I want to see it before I believe it.
I find it really funny that this book is so natural. There are a lot of things the character said about Religion specifically Catholicism that are really offensive. I'm thinking if you're a believer of Christian Faith you might find it blasphemous or the book was like questioning Religion and it puts Religion on a bad state and there are a lot of the propaganda but for me it doesn't felt contrived or it doesn't felt like I was forced to believe in it. It's like here's the thing, think about it and it's not like here's the thing, believe in it. If that even makes sense.
I also love that the book is very funny and sarcastic. It's like reading this, I laughed out loud and I can't stop it. I even think about it's like a long time ago a book made me feel that way. And yeah I found books that made me laugh, special. It's like a very nice friend that could lighten up your mood and will give you a stomachache for its dry wit.
It's a very nice read and I really recommend it, just be open minded especially if you're a Catholic. I don't find questioning faith and God wrong or even found Atheists bad people. It's a very thought provoking and imaginative book that would really got you thinking about your own faith as well.
I also find the ending of it satisfying and it's a great way to end the book. Jason, the main character ended it with an epiphany or a reflection about himself, and there is that uncertainty about him and what he really believes in, that I find amazing and haunting.(less)
This book reminds me so much of Pretty Woman. A man and a prostitute falling in love with one another.
However in this one the male protagonist was ov...moreThis book reminds me so much of Pretty Woman. A man and a prostitute falling in love with one another.
However in this one the male protagonist was over ninety years old and the female protagonist was about fifteen years old. The book was an easy read, I read it in one sitting. Good somewhat philosophical and it talks about life, aging, love and death. Nevertheless I was a bit disturbed with the age difference of the main characters so I'll just gave this one three stars.
Extra: This book was banned in Iran because a group of conservatives thought the book was promoting prostitution.(less)
The movie was okay. It was really boring at first and has a slow pace. It was really weird sort of that a movie with a g...moreMovie Review
The movie was okay. It was really boring at first and has a slow pace. It was really weird sort of that a movie with a great premise (clones being made as organ donors when they turned adults) was centered on a very contrived love triangle.
I'm just thinking it could have been better. However the ending was good. It was very depressing, the way it turned out for the characters in the end.
I'll just say if you're planning to watch it, just be patient because you might lose interest, just like my mother who actually didn't finish the movie.
Maybe I'll read the book since I have questions about the movie like why don't they just escape and what exactly was the purpose of the electronic band they're wearing. Or maybe not, I'll just read the wiki summary. (less)
At first I was like WTF did I put myself into. And then somehow I liked it and then I hated it again. And then the ending was Meh and I can't believe...moreAt first I was like WTF did I put myself into. And then somehow I liked it and then I hated it again. And then the ending was Meh and I can't believe I just finish the whole thing.
I'm giving it three stars because of the Shakespeare reference. More on it later.
The more on it later part
Part I: How on earth did this book arrived at my doorstep?
Actually I never really thought that I will be able to read this book which was recommended by these three people in Goodreads(Iyah, Kwesi and Rollie) since 1.) It's not available on 4shared.com and 2.) It's not available in any bookstores here where I live.
However, just weeks ago some guy here in Goodreads (come on, you know who you are) asked me if I'm interested in a bookswap and he offered this book. I can't remember if I'm the one who asked for it or he was the one who recommended it since I think he believed I'm a sex addict. o_O? (Lol, I'm just kidding)
So yeah we agreed on a bookswap and my book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson arrived first on his house and he texted me if I received the copy which at the moment I haven't received yet and I'm thinking at that point maybe the book was swallowed by the ocean, you know some kind of force majeure.
But no, the next day it did arrive at my doorstep.
Part II: Book Review
I never really planned to read it immediately because I'm currently reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. However that book bored me to sleepiness and I finally decide to read another book.
So I read the first pages and I was surprised because there's an immediate sex scene and this is between a fourteen year old girl and her English Teacher. And the one that really disgusted me is the way the teacher kind of moaned...which is like a Buddhist mantra? (just click the spoiler tag)
And I was like what the f*ck is this book? I mean the first chapter was already creepy and crazy. Just. What. The--
However what I found somewhat amazing in this book is that it managed to mix poetry and literature to the erotica/ sex part of the book, for example
(view spoiler)[She had assumed all obstacles would be overcome, that love was an ever fixed mark, that looks on tempest and is not shaken.(hide spoiler)]
Oooooooohw...Did she just quote Shakespeare? Come on how cool is that eh? And she also quote something from Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and some sonnets from people I don't know.
However the characters, the plot itself I didn't like it at all. There's a point wherein I like the book it's when Mr. Carr leave but when he came back again the book just got worse and worse. Reading this book remind me of watching a car crash. The characters all of them self-destructs, I can't even say that I like even one of them or I care for them. I actually hated all of them.
This reminds me of Wuthering Heights (a book which I didn't like) and School Days (an anime that I like). It's hard to rate a book like this actually and not all people will like it.
I recommend it to people who are okay with strong and violent sex scenes, language, rape scenes, sexual and physical abuse, pedophilia, polygamous risky relationships, adultery and all the filthy, dirty things.
I can't even say that this book has a powerful message since the plot and the characters are very superficial, shallow and plain stupid. But if you like to be disgusted or shocked, read this. (less)
I am one of the luckiest Goodreaders who actually won a copy of this book via the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways. When I received the news I was reall...moreI am one of the luckiest Goodreaders who actually won a copy of this book via the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways. When I received the news I was really happy, happy because I think this was the very first time I actually won something through luck.
I actually have no idea who the author was and what was the book was all about because I just randomly enter any books that are listed in the Giveaway list. So I'm like Sandra Brown Who? Nevertheless someone commented that Sandra Brown was a good author so even though I have no idea if I'll like the book or not I'm still excited to read it.
The book actually arrived very late and it just arrived this month of July when supposedly it should arrived earlier like in the months of January or February.My mom was the one who received the package and she was very delightful when she learned that I just got that free from a giveaway contest.
The package contained the book Envy, the one I won and another book which is called Chill Factor. The book Envy was in hardbound and I'm really glad because it was actually signed by the author. Which for me was also a first time to have a book that was actually have the author's signature in it.
I am really anxious to read it and I don't know what to expect. I was pleased that from the very first chapter I got hooked and I simply can't stop reading. The one thing I really liked about it was that you'll learn a lot of things about writing a novel, publishing, books, authors etc. I do like that this book draw me to that experience wherein I learned so much about book business because you know I really like books and it's just really interesting to know more about how novels are made.
I really like the concept of this one, there are two stories involved in this book, the story itself and also the story about Envy, the novel that this mysterious writer was trying to write. It's like there's a story and then within it there's another story. The plot of this book is layered between the two stories.
I could have given these 5 stars, it was a good story actually, it will keep you guessing and you'll find yourself reading and turning pages and after the end of a chapter you'll get more excited to get into another chapter. However I was disappointed on how everything ended I just felt that the mystery of the novel was really strong at the beginning but at the end it was just okay how the mysteries were revealed one by one and honestly I didn't feel that much excitement.
I really recommend it if you like romance and suspense in a novel and I just want to say that I really like this more rather than The Women's Murder Club and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. (less)
It is really hard to rate this book since it seems that this is a mix of cheesiness and cliche but it is also unpredictable and thrilling. It has som...more
It is really hard to rate this book since it seems that this is a mix of cheesiness and cliche but it is also unpredictable and thrilling. It has some terrible parts but there are also amazing parts.
Pros: 1. I love the title 1st to die and my assumption to who will be the "1st to die" is wrong so I guess that is a plus point for the book.
2. I really like the murder scenes it is very grotesquely describe that it made me shiver just imagining them.
3. The twist in the end about who's the true murderer is something that I totally didn't see coming and I think it is a great twist, very shocking indeed.
4. Even the epilogue of the book is exhilarating, I thought it is all over but there's still some heart-stopping action at the epilogue of the book.
Cons: 1. The characters and their relationships felt very awkward and contrived for me. The dialogues are very cheesy that it actually made me gag a couple of times.
2. Even the Women's Murder Club thingy felt a little bit push, it is just there for the sake of a bad ass title for the series but it is really lazily written. The parts wherein they're talking or even when they first met each other is very unnatural. They're like BFF's all of a sudden.
3. Lindsay's "blood disease" is a little bit cliche even the coughing of the blood part.
"I coughed a raw, burning stinging in my chest, then I shook and coughed some more. Gradually, I felt the spell recede. I took a breath, opened my eyes. I shuddered. There was blood all over the sink."
--What I mean is that this is really cliche when you watch those drama series on tv, you'll always have this scene.
4. The romance is a bit cheesy too, especially at the beginning of the book. Even their first night together is written in a very cheesy way it just made me puke.
5. Also another thing that pisses me off is how the chapters are really short and guess what this book has a total of 126 chapters and one epilogue. I am so not kidding.
6. Here we go again with James Patterson's ridiculous deux ex machina. This is not my first J. Patterson book and I've read the first two books in his Maximum Ride Series and that's what I notice about both of these books is that he uses deux ex machina all the time to just move his plot.
Like for example in this book, Jenks was inside the van and he is there because he's already a prisoner and then he have these handcuffs and some police who were watching for him etc. Then a GOD DAMN EARTHQUAKE came and he's free. I mean come on James Patterson this is just too convenient isn't it?
Okay ranting over, all and all I did enjoy this book and I really am grateful that someone from The Filipino Group here in Goodreads gave this book to me last December. Though now I'm not sure who's the original owner since I just pick it up on the giveaway pile. Nevertheless thank you whoever you may be :).(less)