The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, deals with the struggles that a young Afghan boy, Amir, goes through as his life goes on. He is not alone in his...moreThe Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, deals with the struggles that a young Afghan boy, Amir, goes through as his life goes on. He is not alone in his childhood because of his best friend Hassan, who is the son of a servant to Amir's father. As the characters proceed through the story, Hassan is confronted by hooligans and Amir does nothing to intervene and help his best friend, which results in the decision of Ali, Hassan's father, to take Hasan and leave the servant position he had. Amir and his father are forced to move to the US when a communist regime takes over. In the US, Amir finds his wife, returns back to Afghanistan to his replacement father (his father's most loyal business partner). From this point on, Amir goes all through Afghan trying to figure out his true identity. The way that Khaled Hosseini is able to build up the intensity of each new life changing event in Amir's life is quite remarkable. One example is how quick Amir and Hassan's friendship is altered in one quick episode. Instead of realizing that his best friend is being harassed and assaulted, Amir turned the other cheek and let the one person he trusts the most to be beaten up. This feeds into the idea that this book is very depressing. There are many traumatic events that are depicted throughout this book, which would make many readers choke up and have tears racing down their cheeks. As long s you can bare the horror depicted throughout Amir's life, you should find this book to be just as remarkable to you as it was for me.(less)
The novel, "Who Moved My Cheese" is a book that I will never forget about and will always try to implement throughout my daily life. The story starts...moreThe novel, "Who Moved My Cheese" is a book that I will never forget about and will always try to implement throughout my daily life. The story starts off with a man who meets up with his friends from high school for a high school reunion in Chicago. They all get something to eat and discuss how their lives are going and what they are up to. The narrator of the book explains to his friends that he has gone through rough times with his company, but was able to get through it with his story about "Who Moved My Cheese?" His friends were intrigued and insisted that he tell them all the story. The story starts off with four characters who live in a maze and run around to find cheese in order to survive. "Sniff" and "Scurry" were mice and "Hem" and "Haw" were littlepeople. They had all gone out each and everyday to search for a new cheese source. They had all found what they were looking for at Cheese Station C. Each and everyday, the mice would get their running shoes and leave early in the morning to follow their routine to Cheese Station C. When cheese at Station C ran out, everyone had to find new cheese somewhere else. Sniff and Scurry were quick thinking and had left Station C to explore and search for new cheese. Wile they were doing that, Hem and haw had been disappointed and would not move until their cheese had returned. Haw ended up leaving the maze to find new cheese while Hem stayed stubborn and waited for his cheese to return to station C. In the end Haw finds his cheese at Station N and meets with Sniff and Scurry there too, while Hem stays at Station C. The readers are left to decide if Hem actually got up to find his cheese cause the rest of the characters heard noises coming from the maze. This story is a great way to get people to adapt to new situations that they are put into each and everyday of their lives. It is a short, morally sound novel that should be read by everyone. The good thing about the book is that it is age appropriate for everyone. From young teens to elderly people. Whether you work in an office in a cubicle or own an entire corporation, this book will teach you some very good life lessons that can be applied to almost every situation you will face.(less)
The Great Gatsby is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's best works of literature. It starts off with the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway, moving to West...moreThe Great Gatsby is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's best works of literature. It starts off with the narrator of the story, Nick Carraway, moving to West Egg (area in Long Island) because he wants to learn about the bond business. To his surprise, his neighbor is the mysterious Jay Gatsby, who throws enormous house parties at his large estate every Saturday. Since Nick has connections from Yale, he knows a few people who live in East Egg, so he drives out to see them. His friends, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, introduce him to the gorgeous Jordan Baker, whom he soon is with in an intimate relationship. Jordan informs Nick that Tom has a lover named Myrtle Wilson. Mr. Gatsby soon invites Nick to one of his popular house parties and meets Jordan there. Jordan is told by Jay Gatsby that he is still in love with Daisy, so Nick creates a scheme in order to get the two together. When Nick invites Daisy over for tea, she doesn't know that Gatsby is there, until they have an awkward reunion and start their love up again. Tom soon finds out that his wife is having an affair with Gatsby and becomes enraged. After this, Daisy realizes that she must stay loyal to her husband and goes back to East Egg with Gatsby. As they go to East Egg, Daisy is furious about stopping her relationship with Gatsby and doesn't realize she is about to crash into another car. In order to avoid it, she swerves and ends up hitting Myrtle and instantly killing her. Gatsby agrees to take the blame for the accident but it quickly turns on him when Tom tells Myrtle's husband, George, who shoots Gatsby in his pool and then fatally shoots himself. Nick is overwhelmed by the things happening so he breaks up with Jordan and moves back to the midwest. This novel is the perfect window displaying a clear picture of the Roaring Twenties in America. It has become a very popular read because it is such a short novel that is easy to read. The main character Nick, is a one dimensional character who seems to just guide the reader around the area and introduce us to new characters. He doesn't change as much as you would expect him to. Yes he did come from rags to riches, but as a whole, he only figured out that the rich are living in a crazy world. One aspect I didn't like about it was that it was like reading a diary entry. The book was more of what Nick saw rather than the opinions of everyone else being spoken about. I guess it was good with distributing the amount of ideas flowing between the characters (plus the fact that it was short), with the amount of pages the story was written in. I would only recommend this book to people who just want a good read on a non-busy weekend. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. (less)
James Patterson has created a page turning, murder/kidnapping mystery called Along came A Spider, which will keep its readers actively reading. Reade...more James Patterson has created a page turning, murder/kidnapping mystery called Along came A Spider, which will keep its readers actively reading. Readers will travel along with Alex Cross in order to find a psychopathic serial killer who is on the loose and up to no good. The adventure begins in Washington D.C. where Gary Soneji, an extremely intelligent math teacher, who is plotting to pull of the crime of the century by kidnapping the daughter (Maggie Rose) of a movie actress and the son (Shrimpie Goldberg) of the Secretary of the Treasury. He is able to kidnap the children, and trick many police officers, secret service men, and others. This is when Alex Cross, famous detective, is put onto the case. He has a Ph.D in psychology and seems best suited to deal with this horrible case. The story is then advanced with a demand for a ransom, body of one of the children, and a love affair between Cross and Jezzie Flanaganis (first female supervisor of the Secret Service) that seems to be very deceiving. Will Alex Cross be able to stop the sinister Soneji from killing his victims? If you really want to find out, you need to read this book!
The book seems to be taken over several years in the Washington D.C. area and has a few main characters. One is Alex Cross, who is the protagonist of the novel. Alex is an African American who is a single father (wife Maria died from a shooting that occurred before the novel) trying to solve his recent kidnapping case. He is a very family oriented man, because there are numerous instances where he has heart to heart interactions with his children, of whom he cares so deeply for. His main goal in the novel of course is to take down the infamous Gary Soneji. Gary is a math teacher at the Washington Day private school. He has a split personality and it is very clear in the book. One part of him is telling him to commit his heinous crimes (calls himself Gary Soneji), while the other side is telling him that he shouldn’t commit anymore horrifying crimes (calls himself Gary Murphy). Gary is a character that must be analyzed in order to get the whole picture of why he does what he does and his motivations. One thing that he really wants is attention, because there was a part in the story where he left a note for the police at a crime scene saying, “I want to be somebody!” The next character is Cross’ lover, Jezzie Flannagan. She is a young woman who falls in love with Alex. This is tragic because she is white and he is black. She handles the racism much better than Alex does.
This was a very good book for one. The reason is that the book always keeps the reader questioning who is responsible for what. The reader will always be guessing as to who had kidnapped the girl and who murdered the teacher. There is so much action and suspense that the reader will not be able to help speeding throughout the chapter in order to get to the next scene. The antagonist of the story can be sympathized with and also un-sympathized with. Gary has two personalities with two extremely different motives. The reader can either see Gary as a trapped man in a killer’s body. Or a killer trapped in an unsuspected civilian’s body. Either way you look at it, this character’s can be analyzed in many other ways. I liked this book and recommend it to others! 4.5 stars for Along came a Spider. (less)
James Patterson has done it again. Step on a Crack is one of the most thrilling novels James Patterson has come up with yet; of course credit is due...more James Patterson has done it again. Step on a Crack is one of the most thrilling novels James Patterson has come up with yet; of course credit is due to Michael Ledwidge as well. The story takes place in present day New York City, and Christmas time is just around the corner. The former president and First Lady are enjoying a lovely dinner at a restaurant, until the First Lady suddenly dies from what seems to be poison in her food. Not too far from the restaurant is Maeve Bennett, the protagonist’s wife, who is dying from cancer. To comfort her are her 10 children who seem to be running amuck in her hospital room. A few days pass and the First Lady’s funeral is set up at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. While the service is occurring, gunman ambush the funeral and take the well-known guests (actors, politicians, athletes, etc) in attendance hostage. The situation gets worse when the gunman start killing/releasing the hostages at certain periods; one of the victims is the current Mayor of New York City.
This is where our beloved main character, Mike Bennett (detective and former hostage negotiator) is called in to help diffuse the dire predicament. When the gunmen get their demand for money and get away vehicles, the hostages and the gunmen are dressed in robes and hoods, which inhibit the police from taking out the gunmen with snipers. Now it is up to Mike to determine who the hostages are and who the criminals are. Will Mike figure out who is the gunman before more lives are lost? I guess you will just have to read this amazing book yourself to find out! I liked this book for many reasons. One reason is that the protagonist resembles that of Alex Cross, another well-known detective in Patterson’s other novels. Both Alex and Mike share similar qualities. They are family men (both have children; Mike has 10!), experience losing their spouses, and are dedicated and determined to solve the case on which they are assigned to. Another reason that I like the book is because the characters are put into everyday situations to that of an actual police officer from NY. It even included some real detective skills, like finding hair particles and matching them to suspects.
There are not too many characters that play a significant role. There is Mike Bennett, Maeve Bennett, their children, the gunmen, the Neat Man, and police officers from the NYPD squad. Although there aren't too many characters that readers can get attached to, the characters presented holds an immense amount of human emotions, which are displayed throughout the novel. Mike Bennett is a hard working detective trying to make an honest living and provide for his motherless children. Like any human being, Mike is able to display emotional feelings even though he is a fictional character; it seems like he is more of an actual person, rather than the thought of him being a character in a book:
" I felt a joyful smile invade my face when I looked at them again. My kids really were angels."
It is that reason why the reader can easily connect to the main character and sympathize with him. The fact that Mike has to solve a case, coop with his wife’s death and care for his 10 children. One quote that shows Mike is a family man is on pg. 153, where Mike says:
"it's hard to describe how I felt when I stepped into the kitchen and saw my children fully dressed for their Christmas pageant. I was convinced that I was dreaming, or maybe even dead, seeing the kids transformed around our breakfast table into some surreal Renaissance painting of a heavenly multitude."
Mike also knew that he would have to keep himself composed while he wawss infront of the kids:
"I wipped my tears on the sleeve of my robe as Chrissy hugged me hard and gave me a butterfly kiss by fluttering her eyelashes on my neck. A deep breath helped me pull myself together. If Maeve saw me cry in front of them, she'd kick my ass."
The way James Patterson uses language transports the reader into Mike Bennett’s life and takes us along his path to catching the criminal’s of the story. If you are interested in a detective thriller that has many twists and turns, you won’t want to miss out on reading James Patterson’s Step on A Crack. I give it a solid 5 stars. (less)
I found James Patterson's novela, 1st To Die, an AMAZING story to read. The story starts off in a hotel suite at San Francisco's Grand Hyatt Mandarin...more I found James Patterson's novela, 1st To Die, an AMAZING story to read. The story starts off in a hotel suite at San Francisco's Grand Hyatt Mandarin Suite. There is a newly wed couple occupying the suite that night, who were David and Melanie Brandt. Unfortunately, their happy wedding night was interrupted by a man by the name of Phillip Campbell. He kills the couple and flees, leaving San Francisco's top homicide detective, Lindsay Boxer, on the hunt for a killer. Lindsay is focused on the case, but can't help but get sidetracked by her potentially fatal blood condition. Boxer can't solve the case without the help of Cindy Thomas ( news reporter at "The Chronicle"), Claire Washington (Medical examiner and Lindsay's best friend), and Jill Bernhardt ( an assistant D.A.). As the book progresses, there are two more cases involving a newly wed couple being murdered and send Lindsay all over the country. These 4 women collect clues, make new friendships, and try to take down a serial killer that is on the loose. In my opinion, I think this is one of James Patterson's top novels. The overall tone of the book was very exciting and thrilling. The chapters were very short, but yet James Patterson was able to add in extreme detail. Since the chapters are really short, the reader may have a certain urge to read into the next chapter and continue to because one may not want to stop reading after they found out about another murder. The amount of detail put into these scenes is remarkable. Unlike the first James Patterson book I read, "Cross", this novel was more about the actual story rather than the cold blooded murder scenes. This one actually talked about the protagonist having a life outside her work. For example, she had a relationship with a co-worker, Chris Raleigh. Overall, it was a great book to read, and I highly recommend other readers to have a look at James Patterson's works of literature. (less)
James Patterson's novel, "Cross" was a great book overall. The fact that James was able to incorporate important information on all of the characters...moreJames Patterson's novel, "Cross" was a great book overall. The fact that James was able to incorporate important information on all of the characters in a quick manor. You didn't seem to remember every character's story, but you were given just enough information to understand what ideas each character stands for. The fact that this book was an action packed thriller kept me even more interested into the book. I cannot stand it when authors ramble on about pointless details that do not serve a purpose to the main idea of the plot. In this book, there are many things that will maintain to keep your attention. For example, Michael Sean Sullivan (also goes by the name "The Butcher" because of his extremely gruesome attacks/killings with the use of a blade/knife/scalpel) is a serial killer that lures his victims to a concealed area, rapes her, and then brutally murders her (Sullivan is also a mercenary paid to carry out hits on certain targets). Another example is the fact that there are so many other action scenes, like Michael facing off with mercenaries trying to kill him; kind of an IRONIC TWIST that he has become the hunted rather than the hunter. These things are the reasons why readers are constantly engaged with the book. I think the first time I put down the book was when I hit the 30th chapter. The plus side to James Patterson's "Cross" is that the chapters are quick and diminutive. The way the authors speaks throughout the novel is the opposite of maundering. If you need to know something about a character, James Patterson explains it. He never tells you information that will in turn prove to be irrelevant information. I am the type of reader that is entertained by sheer suspense and pure astonishment. Even though this book was a good one too read, it also provided a few things that I didn't find too fond. One major turnoff is the fact that the characters in the story all seem to find disappointment or sadness throughout the amazing journey. Characters like Alex, Michael, and the henchmen for the mafia's all lose a life or get injured. Alex Cross has been going through rough times ever since he was a little boy. His mother had died and he became an orphan. As he grew older, his wife, Maria Cross, had been gunned down by "The Butcher" and died in Alex's hands (which is a devastating event). At near end of the book when Alex is facing off with the butcher, he is shot twice and falls to the ground. These are some terrible events that just bring Alex Cross's overall morale down. These tragic events also occur to the villainous characters of the story. Michael Sullivan was a killer and deserved to go to jail, but what he went through is extreme. He has been cornered by mafia henchmen and barely escaping with his life, he has had his children and himself being shot at (while playing in the park), and he is killed at the end of the story. Michael may have been a bad guy, but that is a life too harsh for any person to live. I feel like James Patterson's story writing is starting to lose it's exciting action packed feeling and turning into a cold stoned killer's novel. It is starting to just turn into a depressing murder story, rather than an action packed novel that always has the good guy (Alex Cross) win. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. I would strongly recommend this book to any readers that enjoy a good mystery/ murder story.(less)