Friday, September 15, 2017

A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

Synopsis :
Ever wondered where lost things go?
Ever since the day her classmate vanished, Sandy Shortt has been haunted by what happens when something – or someone – disappears. Finding has become her goal.
Jack Ruttle is desperate to find his younger brother who vanished into thin air a year ago. He spots an ad for Sandy's missing persons agency and is certain that she will answer his prayers and find his brother.
But then Sandy disappears too, stumbling upon a place that is a world away from the only one she has ever known. Now all she wants, more than anything, is to find her way home.
This is what I say :
At one time of my reading life, I was pretty crazy about Cecelia's title.  It was one collection that I want to ensure it's complete in my shelf.  That craze has since passed but I still enjoy Cecelia's titles once in a while.  My all time favourite has to be Rosie Dunne aka Love, Rosie aka Where Rainbow Ends which I read about 2 or was it 3 times and this is followed pretty closely by If You Cold See Me Now.
There's a couple more 'flings' with Cecelia's other titles but so far, nothing memorable but A Place Called Here is pretty unique by itself.
Imagine a place where all things which are lost in this world go to...socks, homework, assignments, keys and even human being!  Once they're there, they can't leave.  How do they get to Here...it is not known...one minute you're here and the next minute you're there...I mean Here. :)
I am still marveling at the author's creativity and unique imagination in coming out with such one of its kind story line.  I know that if I want to read something whimsical and cute, I just have to pick up a title by Cecelia Ahern and that's exactly what I would get...uniquely whimsical and whimsically unique and that's how A Place Called Here is.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Synopsis :

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including--perhaps--their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.



This is what I say :

I quite like The Time Traveler's Wife written by this author which I read around this time last year.  I remembering being real caught up the story and still loving it even now.  With that, I must say I have high expectation for Her Fearful Symmetry.

I bought this book from another reader and kept it for quite a while and only decided to read it during a recent holiday.

The story line started well.  I thought the novel has potential. Unfortunately, it didn't last.  Not that it wasn't good but just I didn't like how the story line took a turn for something rather morbid (in my opinion) and I just not willing and able to accept it.  I mean, how could she do that?  That's selfishness to the next level!!!  Just couldn't take it!!!

And then there's this side story of Martin and his wife Marjike, I really do not know how this fits into the storyline.  Other than Martin being a neighbor and an extremely OCD one for that matter, how does all this fit into what the author is trying to tell?

If there's a movie adaptation for this title, I think visually, it would be quite interesting, morbid and exciting at the same time.  For once, I think would prefer a movie adaptation rather than the book.



Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker


Synopsis :

Two abandoned souls are on the hunt for one powerful man. Soon, their paths will cross and lead to one twisted fate. Danny Hansen is a Bosnian immigrant who came to America with hopes of escaping haunted memories of a tragic war that took his mother's life. Now he's a priest who lives by a law of love and compassion. It is powerful men and hypocrites who abide by legal law but eschew the law of love that most incense Danny. As an avenging angel, he believes it is his duty to show them the error of their ways, at any cost. 

Renee Gilmore is the frail and helpless victim of one such powerful man. Having escaped his clutches, she now lives only to satisfy justice by destroying him, regardless of whom she must become in that pursuit.But when Danny and Renee's paths become inexorably entangled things go very, very badly and neither of them may make it out of this hunt alive. 


This is what I say :

The Priest's Graveyard is not Ted Dekker's usual supernatural thriller.  Instead, it is more a vigilante psychotic suspense thriller that kept me glued to it's pages for 3 days.

It's a good thing that I was super free for those three days and I was able to gave it the attention it wanted.  It was a great 3 day. *happy face*

I didn't like The Forbidden written by Ted Dekker with Tosca Lee.  I was pretty ok with House written by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti which I read last year.

This is one title written by just Dekker himself that I am reading although I have with me another series of his that I haven't read.  The storyline for The Priest's Graveyard was quite simple.  However, the author being a 'superstar' author that he is, is able to really explore human emotions, dimensions and makes you question morality and if one two wrong does make one right.  And also how damaged can one person be that they appeared undamaged. Sorry, can't share more without spoilers!

However, character wise, I didn't warm up to either Danny or Renee but they seems to warm up to each other pretty fast and pretty well.

Overall, it was a wonderful book to start off my holiday.





Monday, August 14, 2017

Time Flies

Image from web.  My exact sentiments.
Time seems to be going by faster than I remember them.  As it is, it's already mid August and in another four and half months, the year 2017 would end and  we would start a new year all over again.

This year, I am again reading so much less than the years before.  One good 'excuse' hahaha... is that I embarked on a new course of studies early this year and it will take me two years to complete this course so I am still reading but just that I am reading stuff of a different kind than what I normally do.

With that and with work and family and other stuff, leisure reading is really taking a back seat and a quick count shows that I have read just about twenty seven books since the year began.  That is very much less than what I am used to so with just four and half months to go, my goal of fifty books for this year might not be achievable.

However, with three holidays to look forward to these few months, I might be able to squeeze in about a dozen of so titles so hopefully I would be happy to end the year with forty titles. Let's see how it goes.


With such limited windows for reading, it is very difficult to decide what to ready first.  I am currently reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger who is also the author of The Time Traveler's Wife so if I don't complete it by the time my holiday rolls by next week, it might just come along with me to the land below the wind.

But knowing me, I will just have to bring along another title and trying to figure out which title would be half the fun and half the frustration I can do without so which title would it be, only time will tell (hint).

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green


Synopsis :

Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia—is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own.  But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. 

When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives and in their hearts.

This is what I say :

I got extremely frustrated when reading this book.  Another Piece of My Heart made me want to give the characters a piece of my mind!

Basically no one stands out.  Andi was quite a contender for being outstanding but her character took a change and she just somehow blend into the landscape of characters.  Ethan was pathetic throughout the book.  Emily was unpredictable, swinging from annoying to even more annoying to goodness knows what else.  And that's just about sums up who's who in the story as the rest are just wallpaper in the story.

I really don't get what the author wants the theme of the story to be as there seems to be no theme to get the storyline together.  Is it about extended family dynamics? Is it about teen pregnancy?  Is it about childlessness and adoption?  There';s no focus to bring the story together.

It's a bit like doing an assignment.  Started with something in mind but halfway change the direction of the assignment but not willing to waste what has been researched and written and ended pretty confusing.  A bit like what's happening now too, so I better end here!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Second Wind by Philippe Rozzo di Borgo

Synopsis :

The true story that inspired the major motion picture The Intouchables As the descendent of two prominent, wealthy French families and Director of Pommery Champagnes, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was not in the habit of asking for help.  

Then, in 1993, right on the heels of his beloved wife's diagnosis of a terminal illness, a paragliding accident left him a quadriplegic. He was 42 years old and unable to do anything - even feed himself - without help. 

The only person who wasn't bothered by Philippe's condition was someone who had been an outsider his entire life - Abdel, the unemployed Algerian immigrant from the outskirts of society who would become Philippe's unlikely caretaker.

As they say never judge a book by it's cover.  I certainly made the mistake of judging this book by it's cover....and it's title.  I thought it's a book of second chance, of hope and motivation and going on against all odds.  Maybe in a way it is about that but mostly the book is dark...it is depressing...sad....full of despair at time and generally, I had a hard time reading it.

However, I must remember that this is the story of one man...one who has lost almost everything including his movement and he is constantly in pain.  Who am I to judge that?

I do feel sorry for what he has gone through....and pray that the real Philippe has found peace in every aspect possible.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner

Image result for touch and go lisa gardner spoiler


Synopsis :

This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices. Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go.



This is what I say :

This is my first time reading Lisa Gardner.  It will not be my last time.  Touch & Go is really a refreshing thriller.

Because it's my first Lisa Gardner's book, I really didn't know what to expect and with totally no expectation, the reading experience really paid off.  It was exciting without been too overly so.  It was thrilling but at a controlled pace and not all over the place.  

While investigator Tessa Leoni seems to be the the main character in this series, Libby Denbe seems to be the one with the back story.  Plot wise and story wise it was enjoyable.  However, character development wise seems to be lacking and we don't really know the characters for who they really are. However, since the story line is good, I am quite ok with that.

I guess Lisa being a female author would appeal greatly to the women out there.  I am not sure how the men would find her books as I have come across some male readers who discriminate against female author.  All I can say is, it's their loss.

I exchange this book with a fellow reader as I was really keen to explore this author and I can safely say, no regrets.  Currently the book is with another friend and I think she's enjoying it too. :)