Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The reviews on this book didn't match my opinion. The protagonist is the human version of a Black Widow spider and kills her men once she gets sick of them. She only lures in rich men and either becomes the sole beneficiary once they die, or if she doesn't marry them, she steals their money. The book seemed geared towards teen readers in that it spells everything out for you, you are meant to believe the woman became a murderess because she watched her mother kill her father. The actual content of the book (it is very sexual) made it clear to me it wasn't a teen novel. I was a bit disappointed in this novel.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
This is about a woman who overcame her battle with schizophrenia. Until her teenage years and a painful breakup with her boyfriend, she was a normal girl. But the breakup seemed to trigger something in her and she started hearing voices, they alternated between telling her to kill herself and directing her to kill others. She spent several years in and out of hospitals and finally with the help of new medication and encouragement from her doctors, she was able to overcome the voices for the most part. She still hears them, but can now control them- This was a very educational and emotional read.
Friday, April 11, 2014
This was a thriller where a cop is in prison for taking the fall for a crime he hadn't done (though he had stolen money which he wasn't convicted of) and is given a deal to get out if he brings down an illegal arms business. He takes on another life and enters a town that is very "valley of the dolls" meets Colorado City AZ. The mastermind of the arms dealing, Coldwater, is very charismatic and has started his own church to make the citizens believe the bunker he is building is actually for the "end of days". The ex-cop/con Jesse ends up falling in love with a member of the church who has a daughter with Coldwater. Jesse spends months spinning a web of deceit and ends up getting married during that time and finds his daughter who had been adopting when he was in prison. In the end the good guys win and Jesse takes up residence in New Zealand with his new family, the baby that the wife is pregnant with is never mentioned again. There seemed to be more going on in the book than there needed to be and a lot of time was spend building up to the climax, trips all over the place, a love story, a lost daughter, that didn't move the story forward.
Zusak's books are always original. I believe this is a teen book... In this one the protagonist gets a task from someone he doesn't know to see certain people. The message is given on a playing card. He studies the people and has to determine what they need. After he completes what he thinks he is supposed to do for the people, he is given another card and works his way through the deck. The tasks range from beating people up to keeping them company. His actions always help someone in the end. What he believes to be the last 2 cards help two of his friends, the last card is for him. The ending was sort of odd where you can't be sure the person sending the cards is actually human. The messenger becomes the message that everyone and anyone can do something for another that will improve their life. It ended with a "play it forward message"
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
This was an interesting read and exposed my ignorance of the apartheid in South Africa. The story starts with Mandela's childhood, where his future was very much influenced by his tribe; his father's side was from a long line of royalty. He, by chance, was given an English education and was pushed towards becoming a lawyer. The book talks about his struggles as well as those of his people. He talks about his marriages and how his imprisonments affected his family life. His life in the Robben Island prison quarry was hard, but he still remained pleasant. It was interesting to see him become president when he had started out as an enemy to the government and was sentenced to life in prision for treason. This was a very interesting book.