Monday, January 28, 2019

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Synopsis :

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

This is what I say :

Never Let Me Go is a rather unsettling book.  I didn't know what to expect when I picked it from my shelf months ago.   It became my 'traffic light' book, you know, books that I read while waiting for the traffic to turn from red to green and it certainly took me a long time to complete this...months actually but I have read a few books this way so I know it's achievable.

Normally, I would select a title that's light and easy to read and easy to put down too, something does doesn't need me to think but just to keep me company like the Stephanie Plum Series.  However this time round, I might have made a mistake in selecting Never Let Me Go.

.The story is from a perspective of a girl called Kathy and her coming of age in a boarding school with children of similar fate as her.  What fate, you ask?  Well, set in a dystopian society, these children were 'breed' as clones for their organs for their original human beings.  It is a fate that they accepted and never rebel against.  Such is the society and acceptance of the society.

The story really explores the thoughts and emotions of the characters and involves a lot of soul searching.  It would be more appropriate if it was read in a more conducive manner (certainly not in a car in front of a traffic!) to get the best of of it.

It can be thought provoking and sad if one really gets into the characters.  There's actually a movie adaptation for this book and for someone who don't like movie adaptation, I think I would prefer to watch this story rather than to read it.

I like the book but not the environment where I read it.  I certainly didn't do the book justice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Death In Holy Orders by P.D. James

Synopsis :

On the East Anglian seacoast, a small theological college hangs precariously on an eroding shoreline and an equally precarious future. When the body of a student is found buried in the sand, the boy’s influential father demands that Scotland Yard investigate. 

Enter Adam Dalgliesh, a detective who loves poetry, a man who has known loss and discovery. The son of a parson, and having spent many happy boyhood summers at the school, Dalgliesh is the perfect candidate to look for the truth in this remote, rarified community of the faithful–and the frightened. 

And when one death leads to another, Dalgliesh finds himself steeped in a world of good and evil, of stifled passions and hidden pasts, where someone has cause not just to commit one crime but to begin an unholy order of murder. . . . 

This is what I say :

This is one of title from my Reading Marathon and yes, this was read in December last year around Christmas time.  I can't really tell how long it took me as I was reading this at the same time as a few other titles but if memory serves me right, I started this much earlier but only was serious about it right around the holiday season.

Like most P.D. James's title, it's an investigative novels and this time round, the investigation took the detectives to a small theological college in a village somewhere in the UK.

LIke most of P.D. James's title, it wasn't very thrilling but rather mellow but I do enjoy the writing as it reminded me a bit of Agatha Christie's style but different.

I think this is the third or forth title by this author that I have read over the years and I have a couple more of her books so it's a slow and steady read as well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis :

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. 

Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. 

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer. 

This is what I say :

My interest in titles by Gillian Flynn peaked towards early this year with the netflix series 'Sharp Objects'   While I had a difficult time watching it as a series, I have a feeling I would enjoy it as a book.  Such, when I had a chance to do a book exchange recently, I selected Dark Places as I feel it would be similar feel as Sharp Objects.

I love this book.  It's the first of my reading marathon last year and I brought it with me during my trip to the capital city.  It took me two weeks to complete this book as I am super tied up with other stuff as well.

For a title, it's a good start.

It is a dark interesting thriller and just builds up where suspense is concern and while the ending is quite unexpected, I guess it was time to end and ends it the author did. 

My favourite character's Ben and not Libby but I felt adult Ben didn't get much attention from the author and I kinda wish he did but I guess too much attention on him would be dangerous as his silence in the wh0le matter is imperative for the development of this story as he does know what happened.

I was surprised to note that there's actually a movie adaptation which stars Charlize Theron as Libby.  I watched part of the thriller and while Charlize is a great actress, I can't really see her as Libby.  

You can be sure I will be on a lookout for other titles by Gillian Flynn from now onwards.  Any specific titles you can recommend?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll Series Book 1) by Tami Hoag

Synopsis :

California, 1985. Four children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn’t yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer’s escalating activity.

Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He’s using a new technique—profiling—to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.

As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves—or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.

This is what I say :

I read Deeper Than The Dead as an ebook in December.  It took me a couple of weeks as I read this in between other titles  that I have with me.

Written by thriller writer Tami Hoag, Deeper Than The Dead is indeed pretty thrilling and I can say I quite enjoyed this title.   The last title by Tami Hoag that I read was six years ago and I didn't quite enjoy it but it's a different experience this time around.

The characters are all quite identifiable and likable although no one actually stands out as being outstanding.   I guess the exciting part would be to figure out who the killer is and there's a few candidates that the author highlighted and it could have been either of them but it wasn't that difficult to pin point the actual killer.  

I shall be reading the second book in the series so watch out for the review of that coming up real soon.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Hello 2019

It's four days in the 2019.  I think the year is still new enough for me to wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

How are things four days into the new year?  I received a couple of bad reports during the start of the year but I am believing and claiming better things for this year.

For reporting purpose, I did six books for my year end reading marathon.  I started strong but I got distracted towards the end of December.

I re-shelf some books on my shelf and after the re-shelfing, the books don't look as intimidating as previous. Perhaps I will do a bookshelf tour one of these days.

In the meantime, here's to better things for the year 2019.

Wishing us all, blessings of good health, good wealth and happiness for family and friends.

Let's get going then.....