The Passage is a vampire story. It is about blood sucking abominations that man-kind created while developing a serum in...moreBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Passage is a vampire story. It is about blood sucking abominations that man-kind created while developing a serum in the hopes of discovering immortality. But instead of infinite healing potential, they invented an illness that resulted in humans transforming into immortal monsters. Their experiment created millions of vampires while at the same time killing off billions of humans. While the army was secreting developing the virus they injected a special composition of it into six year old Amy, and due to her young age, she was altered in a different manner. She would have been considered a success, if the virus did not abolish the majority of mankind. She seemingly became immortal and after 93 years appears to have only aged 10 years, she retains most of her humanity and did not become a vampire, yet she has a connection to them. She is able to communicate with them telepathically. The Passage details the development and the devastating effect of the virus during the 93 years since its inception. This book shows what has happened to mankind, and how a small group of humans are fighting back.
Justin Cronin has to date, written four novels, two of them in The Passage trilogy. The third book in the series, The city of Mirrors, is supposed to be released sometime in 2014. Cronin has won numerous awards for his writing. The Passage is a horror story, and it is told in a third person narrative using several different tactics including diary entries. I found the switch between third person narrative and diary readings to be confusing, especially when some of those diary entries were 1000 years after the events in the book. There are numerous protagonists throughout the novel, but Amy seems to be the constant.
The story was interesting and original. I really enjoyed the beginning, which I thought was well written and engaging. However, I found the middle of the book to drag a bit, and to be a bit boring. I understand that Cronin wanted to fill in some information to gap the years between the onset of the virus and year 93, but I did not enjoy how he did it. I did not like the use of the diary entries. I did think that Cronin's concept of the vampire was fascinating. I also liked the characters that he focused on, and I thought his character development was well done.
I recommend this book as a good read, and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I liked how this book ended, and I could see the potential for a future story.
The Storyteller is comprised of several separate and distinct stories that interconnect. Sage is a young woman who has a...moreBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Storyteller is comprised of several separate and distinct stories that interconnect. Sage is a young woman who has a disfiguring facial scar, and she is battling an inner torment that disfigures her far more than the scar on her face. Josef is a 94 year old, healthy, German man who no longer wants to live because he is tormented by his past and the things he did as a Nazi commander at Auschwitz. He asks Sage to help him end his life. Minka is Sage's grandmother and she is many things including a survivor of the Holocaust as well as a creative writer. Within is included a story that Minka wrote about a young woman who falls in love with a vampire.
Jodi Picoult has written 20 novels, including My Sister's Story. The Storyteller is both a drama and a historical novel. The story is told in a first person narrative from the point of view of the character whose story is being revealed.
I enjoyed the story and I liked how the past and present combined to slowly reveal the truth. I thought the characters were well developed and multidimensional. My favorite was Minka; I enjoyed reading her tale. I thought she was a strong and resourceful woman, and I found it fascinating how her fictional story about Ania and the Vampire saved her life. It provided both a sense of hope, as well as entertainment to the other prisoners, because it was a metaphor for love and redemption. The Storyteller may have been about the Holocaust, and parts of the story provided a heart-wrenching view into what it was like, but it was so much more than that. It was really about forgiveness, and not just for Josef, but for all of the characters and on many different levels.
I liked how the story unfolded, and I was surprised by the twist at the end. I recommend this book as a very good read, and if you enjoy reading about the Holocaust, both the horror of it as well as the triumph over it, then you will enjoy The Storyteller.
“Mary folds her arms. “I know I've told you how I left the convent, but did I ever tell you why I entered it?” she says. “My mother was raising three kids on her own, because my father walked out on us. I was the oldest, at thirteen. I was full of so much anger that sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night with the taste of it in my mouth, like tin. We couldn't afford groceries. We had no television and the lights had been turned off. Our furniture had been reclaimed by the credit card company, and my brothers were wearing pants that hit above the ankle because we couldn't afford to buy new school clothes. My father, though, he was on vacation with his girlfriend in France. So one day I went to see our priest and I asked what I could do to feel less angry. I was expecting him to say something like, Get a Job, or Write your feelings down on paper. Instead, he told me to forgive my dad. I stared at the priest, convinced he was nuts. ‘I can’t do that,’ I told him. ‘It would make what he did seem less awful.’
I study Mary’s profile as she speaks. “The priest said, ‘What he did was wrong. He doesn't deserve your love. But he does deserve your forgiveness because otherwise he will grow like a weed in your heart until it’s choked and overrun. The only person who suffers, when you squirrel away all that hate, is you.’ I was thirteen, and I didn't know very much about the world, but I knew that if there was that much wisdom in religion I wanted to be part of it.””
“She faces me. “I don’t know what this person did to you, and I am not sure I want to. But forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying, You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me. It’s saying, You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.””
This was my favorite quote because it sums up forgiveness and why it is important(less)
Bridget Jones is back, but it is 14 years later. She has two small children and she has been a widow for four years. It i...moreBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Bridget Jones is back, but it is 14 years later. She has two small children and she has been a widow for four years. It is time she started to re-enter the world of dating, and although she is now 51, the first man she dates is a boy toy of 29.
Helen Fieldings created the lovable and amusing character of Bridget Jones. She has previously written two Bridget Jones books: Bridget Jones Diary and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. Both have been made into movies. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy continues the diary style used in the previous two books, and shares with the reader all of Bridget’s private thoughts through her daily diary entries.
Bridget Jones Diary, the forerunner of the chick-lit genre, is an enjoyable and humorous story. Bridget Jones is a delightful character, and in Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fieldings once again shares with the reader the ups and downs of Bridget’s life. In the previous books Bridget, a single woman in her mid thirties with the support of her friends, is looking for love while counting calories. In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy as in the previous installments, Fieldings accurately captures and relays the thoughts of feelings of a single woman. Only this time Bridget is 51 years old and a mother. She is once again looking for love with the support and encouragement of her friends, and she is still counting calories. Only now she is also grappling with social media and online dating.
I enjoyed the story, and I both laughed and cried with Bridget as she stumbled through life, dating, and motherhood. However, I did find the lack of grammar in some of the diary entries to be both distracting and annoying. “Look. Is absolutely fine being in on own on Saturday nights. Will simply clear out cupboard under stairs then get on exercise bike.” Location 604-5. But when she expands on a scene and includes dialogue, then the story becomes enjoyable. However I did find some of her diary entries amusing and funny. “Was trying to park car. This is impossible in our street as is narrow, curved and cars park on both sides. Had just reversed in and out of space fourteen times, then resorted to Braille Parking, i.e. forcing car into space by bumping cars in front and behind.” Location 853-56.
The story was predictable, and I could see what was going to happen with Mr. Wallaker almost as soon as he was introduced into the story, but I did enjoy the journey. I could relate to Bridget’s trials, tribulations, and successes. I recommend Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy as a very good read. If you enjoyed the previous Bridget Jones books, then you must treat yourself to the newest book in the series.
A Week in Winter is a collection of stories that are weaved together, and the common thread that pulls them together is t...moreBook review: 2 Treasure Boxes
A Week in Winter is a collection of stories that are weaved together, and the common thread that pulls them together is the location of the story, a small inn in Ireland. Each chapter is a glimpse into the life of a new guest. The beginning of the book examines the life of the proprietor and the birth of the inn.
Maeve Binchy was an Irish author and she published 16 novels; A Week in Winter was the last novel that she wrote. The protagonist in A Week in Winter isn't a person, but rather a place. It is Stone House, a newly renovated hotel on the cliffs of the west coast of Ireland. Each chapter tells a different story about the inhabitants of the inn during it's opening week. I enjoyed this book, it was a nice light and easy read. There were not any surprises, and not much excitement, but it was entertaining. I recommend this book as a good read. (less)
Reverb is a story of redemption, healing, and love, with a twist of foreboding. The majority of the story takes place in...moreBook review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Reverb is a story of redemption, healing, and love, with a twist of foreboding. The majority of the story takes place in Greece and revolves around James, a musician in hiding, and Elizabeth, a young mother recovering from the death of her husband.
The book captured my interest from the first page. The story was well told, and I liked all the characters, who I found to be well-rounded and complex. I enjoyed how the tale unfolded, and many parts I found original, although I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, and perhaps a tad too concise. Overall, I enjoyed the story and I recommend this book as a very good read.
Longbourn is a look at the world of Pride and Prejudice from a different point of view, from the view downstairs. It is t...moreBook review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Longbourn is a look at the world of Pride and Prejudice from a different point of view, from the view downstairs. It is the story of the servants who work at Longbourn, the home estate of the Bennets. The author, Jo Baker, has created interesting backgrounds for the lives of these people.
I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was well written and I liked the characters. I enjoyed tying the story into Pride and Prejudice. I thought it was an interesting look at the separation of class, especially in England during this time. I recommend this book as a very good historical read.
“She was as sweet, soothing and undemanding as a baked milk-pudding, and as welcome at the end of an exhausting day.” Page 50
“A blur of rich colours—one green velvet coat, one blue—and the soft creak of good leather, and a scent off them like pine sap and fine candlewax and wool. She watched their glossy boots scatter her tea leaves across the wooden floor. The two gentlemen were so smooth, and so big, and of such substance: it was as though they belonged to a different order of creation entirely, and moved in a separate element, and were as different as angels.” Page 195
“Fear now was a creature; it slithered around him, covered his face and got in amongst his hair and he could not breathe and he could not think, and he just stared across the wide poor land, and along the empty road, then spun to look back off the way they’d come from.” Page 236
“ It was not the end, of course; it was just an end. Mrs. Hill’s thread may have become snarled up into an intractable knot, but others were still unspooling. One had wound all the way out through the wild Derbyshire hills, and then along the gentler lanes of Cheshire, and then drifted across to the flat lands by the sea.” Page 328
Power Vs Force is a fascinating look at how spiritual power is superior to physical force. Dr. Hawkins backs up his book...moreBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Power Vs Force is a fascinating look at how spiritual power is superior to physical force. Dr. Hawkins backs up his book with thousands of tests to support his position. I recommend this book as a very good read, it is interesting and informative. Plus I like the way Dr. Hawkins shows how good will always overcome evil in the end.
The Year of the Flood begins in a post-apocalyptic world with Snowman living alone and yet somehow connected with a group...moreBook Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Year of the Flood begins in a post-apocalyptic world with Snowman living alone and yet somehow connected with a group of human-like creatures. As Snowman stumbles through his life, the events that lead up the ruination of the world are slowly revealed through flashbacks. Snowman is the same character as Jimmie from Oryx and Crake and both stories run in parallel. I liked how The Year of the Flood explained the ending of Oryx and Crake, because I felt that ending was a bit too open.
Margaret Atwood is a famous Canadian writer born in 1937, and she has written numerous books, short stories, books of poetry and essays. She has won more than 55 awards, both Canadian as well as international. The Year of the Flood is speculative fiction and the story is told in the first person narrative by the main protagonist, Snowman.
This trilogy presents a grim view of the havoc that genetic engineering could cause. I thought the characters were great and I liked where the story went, but at times I thought it was a bit too much preachy. I was listening to the audio book and didn't care for the religious songs. I am looking forward to reading the final book in the series to see where this trilogy is headed.
I recommend this book as a very good read, but it is important to read Oryx and Crake first.
Favourite Quote: “But I prefer to say, ‘We are what we wish’. Because if you can't wish, why bother?"
Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the story...moreBook Review: 2 treasure boxes
Revolutionary Road is really well written, but I am finding it quite depressing. I find it difficult to pick up the story to read it, due to the bleakness that emanates out from within the pages. Additionally, I do not really like any of the characters because I found them unlikable. Frank, the husband is cheating on his wife and for me this is a real turnoff. The story revolves around an unhappy couple.
The story addresses mental illness, and brings awareness to this issue. Revolutionary Road was released as a movie in 2008, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. I saw this movie in the theater, so I knew what was going to happen, and because I knew where it is going I was not able to fully appreciate the novel.
The writing was amazing and I give Revolutionary Road 3 treasure boxes for the writing, however the story was depressing and I did not like any of the characters so I give the content 1 treasure box, which leaves me to give the overall book 2 treasure box rating.
Haze is a confusing and long-drawn out science fiction story with one redeeming quality, the ending. I enjoyed the ending b...moreBook Review: 1 Treasure Box
Haze is a confusing and long-drawn out science fiction story with one redeeming quality, the ending. I enjoyed the ending because first the story ended, and second because I liked where it ended. I thought this was an okay book, and although Modesitt is considered an respected science fiction writer, I am not sure that I will read any more. Haze is a stand alone novel and not part of any series.
John, AKA Number Four, has joined forces with Six and now the charm is broken, they are no longer protected. Instead, with...moreBook Review:2 Treasure Boxes
John, AKA Number Four, has joined forces with Six and now the charm is broken, they are no longer protected. Instead, with the help of John’s human best friend, Sam and his shape-shifting dog, they are devising a plan to defeat the Mogadorians. But first they need to evade the evil aliens, who seem to be everywhere. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Number Seven, AKA Marina of the Sea, has her own problems but she is certain that John is Loric and is desperately trying to figure out how to contact him.
The Power of Six was much better than the first book, I Am Number Four. There were more characters, which made the story more interesting, and we learned a bit more about the deeper story. Also there was lots of action, which was exciting. I recommend The Power of Six as a good read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Rise of Nine.
John Smith is one of nine children from the planet Lorien. This small group of aliens came to earth about 10 years ago, s...moreBook Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
John Smith is one of nine children from the planet Lorien. This small group of aliens came to earth about 10 years ago, seeking refuge because their planet was destroyed by evil, extraterrestrial beings, the Mogadorians. These nine children, now all teenagers, have been isolated from each other and living incognito. Up until now, this has been necessary to ensure their safety and to allow them to develop their legacies, or super-human powers. However due to a powerful charm, the Loriens can only be destroyed in a certain order, and children one through three have all been murdered. John is next, because he is number four.
Pittacus Lore is the pen name for the dual writing team of James Frey and Jobie Hughes who wrote the young adult science fiction series, The Lorien Legacies. Not only is Pittacus Lore the name of the author, but he also plays a character in the series, a Loric Elder, from the Planet Lorien. I Am Number Four is the first book in the series, and to date three books additional books have been released. The story takes place on earth, and is told in a first person narrative by John Smith, a 15 year old teenager from the planet Lorien. James Frey is also the author of A Million Little Pieces; a book that was originally, inaccurately released as a memoir, because many details in the book are fictional.
John and his Lorien teacher and protector, Henri have never stayed in any one place for more than a few months. They know that the Mogadorians are hunting them, but when they come to a small town in Ohio, things start going wrong. This story has an interesting concept, but it is not very original. The book spends a little too much time in exposition and not enough in real character development. In some ways the characters are a little too stereotypical, and although the writing is fairly weak the story was still captivating. I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
The book was good enough to entice me to start the next book in the series, The Power of Six. If you enjoy young adult, science fiction then you will enjoy this book. If you enjoyed The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge then you will really enjoy I Am Number Four, because it is a much better story yet it is similar in many ways. I recommend this book as a good read.
The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various diffe...moreBook Review: 1 Trash Can
The narrator, a man who suffers from insomnia, is continuing looking for meaning in his life. He starts going to various different support groups, like The Vctims of Testicular Cancer support group, The Parasitic Brain Parasites support group and numerous others, pretending in each one that he too is ill. He goes to a different support group everyday as a method of dealing with his life and his insomnia. In the process he meets another person, Marla Singer, who also attends these meetings faking illness. While he is stumbling through life, he becomes involved with Tyler Durden, a man who is even more emotionally and spiritually messed up than himself.
I read about half of the book and then I had to stop. I found that these people were sick and I did not enjoy sharing their twisted view of life. I have also seen the movie, so I knew where the book was going. I did not like any of the characters, and I did not think the writing was especially good. Instead, the main focus seemed to be how to disgust and shock the reader. I stopped reading shortly after Tyler was urinating in the soup. It was at this point that I realized, I did not care about these people and I did not want to read anymore.
I do not recommend this book, I thought it was a piece of trash. Perhaps there is a veiled message against consumerism, but overall it is not worth reading.