Friday, December 9, 2016

Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Synopsis :

It was only a prank: diverting cash from Wyatt Telecom's executive slush fund to throw a retirement bash for a member of the loading dock crew. But when corporate security catches up with Adam Cassidy, a low ambition junior staffer at the high-tech behemoth, they call it something else: embezzlement, to the tune of nearly $80 grand.

Ruthless CEO Nick Wyatt is impressed by Adam's scheming, and offers him one way out-take on the role of a rising corporate hotshot and infiltrate Wyatt's rival, Trion Systems. His mission is to get close to Trion's legendary founder Jock Goddard, and his ultra-secret "Project Aurora," and report back to Wyatt.

With Wyatt pulling the strings and a dramatically improved identity, Adam is set up as Trion's new boy genius. Suddenly, he's got a sweet new Porsche, a closet full of $1,500 suits, and even a lovely lady who thinks he's a dream. But it's all just a mirage, because Adam is about to learn that nothing is what it seems and that it isn't paranoia...everyone is out to get him...


Having greatly enjoyed reading Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder in August this year, I have been on a lookout for his other titles each time I went book shopping.  It was such an excitement when I came across this title recently when I was least expecting it.  Actually, I didn't bother much about the title. As long as it's written by Joseph Finder, I will certainly want it.

Paranoia did not disappoint.  It's a corporate espionage thriller which was both engaging and thrilling.  I wasn't supposed to read this yet as I have a few other titles  that take precedent but I was too impatient to wait.  Character development can be better but plot wise, it was exciting and I am always a fan of twist in the storyline and I certainly got that.

I think Joseph Finder is a wonderful thriller author and having just read two of his titles, I want more!

By the way, a movie adaptation of this book was released in year 2013. If I am not mistaken, it's very different from the book.  Knowing me, I prefer the book anyday.

Friday, December 2, 2016

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult


Synopsis :

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged... until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister's Keeper is the story of one family's struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.


Books by Jodi Picoult are never straight forward. It has to either be thought provoking or heart tugging.  In this book, it's gut wrenching but in a good way.

Anna filed a petition against her parents to prevent them from harvesting her kidney for her sister who is suffering from leukemia.   But is that all there is? Are there no other reasons?  Is that what she really didn't want to do?

I read this book over a couple of days.  I am glad I read it while at home cos I was crying buckets on and off.  Some people didn't like the ending but then I always like a twist in a story and I certainly get unexpected twist in this title.

I have yet to catch the movie.  I shall one of these days.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Synopsis :

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.


This book is both funny and sad...I can even go so far as to say it's funnily sad and sadly funny at the same time.  There are moments of near heartbreak but the next moment you will be ROTFLOL (rolling on the floor laughing out loud) ...er...did I get that right?

I felt for Judd throughout the book as he tries to come to term with all that happens and although he didn't say much, readers can sense that he missed his dad too and in a way, he missed is siblings.  There's a lot of stories that developed from this especially involving other siblings like Wendy and Philip.

It's quite like a chic lite but the main focus is a guy so what's the term for a male version of chic lite? 

I enjoyed this book and am happy with it. :)
 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford


Synopsis :

Following a terrifying encounter in the quiet English countryside, a young woman flees to New York in search of a new life. Adopting the initial M as her name, and reinventing herself, she embarks on a journey that will lead her to the catwalks of Paris, where she becomes the muse and star model to France’s iconic designer Jean-Louis Tremont. When M meets the charming and handsome actor, Larry Vaughan in New York they fall instantly in love and marry. Soon, they become the most desired couple on the international scene, appearing on the cover of every celebrity magazine, adored by millions. With a successful career and a happy marriage, M believes she has truly put the demons of her past behind her. But M’s fortunes are about to take another dramatic twist. A series of bizarre events turn out not to be accidents at all, but assaults on M and her family. The dark figure from M’s past, a psychopath with deadly intent, has made a vow: to shatter M’s world forever. But M also makes a vow: she will do everything to keep them all safe. When those you love are threatened and at risk, there’s nothing you won’t do to protect them… you’ll even resort to breaking the rules! Moving from New York to the chic fashion capitals of London and Paris, to the exotic locations of Istanbul and Hong Kong, this new tale from a renowned storyteller is a genuine page turner.

I am pretty disappointed in this book.  For a book that's about the great-grand daughters of Emma Harte, there's no substance and certainly no depth in any of the characters and in the storyline. 

I quite double of Barbara Taylor Bradford actually wrote this book because if she did, then she has very most lost it.

There's nothing much I can say except I will never read another book by Barbara Taylor Bradford again.

 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Certainty by Madeleine Thien


Synopsis :

Madeleine Thien's stunning debut novel hauntingly retells a crucial moment in history, through two unforgettable love stories. Gail Lim, a producer of radio documentaries, is haunted by the mystery of her father's Asian past. As a child, Gail's father, Matthew Lim, lived in a Malaysian village occupied by the Japanese. He and his beloved Ani wandered the jungle fringe under the terrifying shadow of war. The war shattered their families, splitting the two apart until a brief reunion years later. Matthew's profound connection to Ani and the life-changing secrets they shared cast a shadow that, later still, Matthew's wife, Clara, desperately sought to understand. Gail's journey to unravel the mystery of her parents' lives takes her to Amsterdam, where she unearths more about this mysterious other woman. But as Gail approaches the truth, Ani's story will bring Gail face-to-face, with the untold mysteries of her own life. Vivid, poignant, and written in understated yet powerful prose, CERTAINTY is a novel about the legacies of loss, the dislocations of war, and the timeless redemption afforded by love.

Madeleine Thien is an Asian Canadian author. I was given this book by a friend who's migrating to another contry and I kept and read this book most in my car and while waiting for traffic.

It' s a rather sad book and has lots of flash back.  I didn't quite like as I find the flow of the story wasn't really connecting but yet at the same time I was much intrigued by the story of Matthew and Ani.  That, to me, should be the focus of the book and in my opinion, if only it was developed that way, it would have been a great book.  

As it is, it's only a rather good book.




 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Bible Of Clay by Julia Navarro

Synopsis :

 In St. Peter’s Basilica, a man sits in a confessional asking forgiveness for a murder he’s about to commit. And a young priest begins a desperate journey to stop him.

It’s the beginning of a ruthless race to find a rumored cache of sacred texts that could be one of the most explosive discoveries of all time. For as Clara Tannenberg and a team of renegade archaeologists journey deep into an Iraq on the brink of war, another far more sinister group is determined to get there first. Sweeping from the time of the biblical patriarchs to the front lines of the Iraqi conflict, from the horrors of Nazi Germany to the back rooms of Washington, D.C., The Bible of Clay is a novel of unrelenting, thought-provoking, and all-too-plausible suspense.


This book is not spiritual at all and has nothing much to do with the Christian faith other than that the clay tables the archaeologists are trying to find supposed to have contained words by Abraham on how God created the world.

Other than that, its a struggle against time to find these tables in an archaeological site before the Iran war starts.  There's lots of characters and lots of frictions and it was all quite confusing at first but as the book settles itself down and the plot develops itself, the picture became clearer.

There's no one that I can really cheer and root for in this book.  While Clara Tannenberg is supposed to be the main character, there are many others vying for the limelight as well and Clara is not someone likable...in fact, I was quite hoping she would fail.

It took me quite a while to read this, reason being it's a thick book but also because I was busy with other commitments.  I was pretty glad to have finally done with it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The President's Daughter by Jack Higgins

Synopsis :

When an evil extremist named Judas Maccabeus discovers that the president of the United States has an illegitimate daughter living in France, he strikes quickly, kidnapping and threatening to execute her if the president does not launch a military attack against Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

And it's up to our heron Sean Dillon to rescue her.  And rescue her he did. The End.

That basically sums up the entire book.  


Thrilling....yes.
  
Plot....acceptable.

Character development....not really. 

 It's very much the type of book you read during holidays, sitting by the pool or keeping boredom away while waiting for flights.