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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review - The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Not something I'd have picked up by myself (title and cover both aren't very... pick-worthy... ) but thanks to other bloggers, I'm glad I read this :)

I bet pretty much all of you would enjoy reading this charming story - it's about an independent bookstore owner (A.J. Fikry) and his family and friends... and people who love to read! There are quite a few references to other books and authors in the book, including Jeffery Deaver lol :)

I thought the ending was a little quiet, but I suppose it is fitting to A.J.'s personality. I thought I'd get a bit more emotional when reading this, but I didn't.

3.75 Stars but bumped to 4 Stars because it leaves an impression, more so than other novels I'd read this year.

Some quotes -

You're a good reader, and you'll probably see it coming. (Is a twist less satisfying if you know it's coming? Is a twist that you can't predict symptomatic of bad construction? These are things to consider when writing.) (p160)

We read to know we're not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone. (p249)

We are not quite novels... We are not quite short stories... In the end, we are collected works.. He has read enough to know there are no collections where each story is perfect. Some hits. Some misses. If you're lucky, a standout. And in the end, people only really remember the standouts anyway, and they don't remember those for very long. (p249)





Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Book Review - The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery Deaver

The Skin Collector  (Lincoln Rhyme, #11)




The Skin Collector (Lincoln Rhyme #11) by Jeffery Deaver

Readers who had been following this blog probably knows that Jeffery Deaver is one of my favorite authors in the murder/mystery genre, especially with his Lincoln Rhyme series. The Bone Collector is probably his best known novel, and this is a sequel of sort (well it's not really a continuation of the story, but references were made quite a bit).

I was going to re-read The Bone Collector (even if I hardly re-read) but the library copy came before I had a chance to. I hardly remember what happened... but that's okay.

This is more like a 3.75 Stars book but I'd bump it up to 4 because this is better than the other recent Deaver efforts. There probably isn't as much character development as I'd have liked, but most of the characters are like old friends anyway, so I appreciate Deaver didn't make too many redundant introductions; though it still has enough details for those who hadn't read the series before. I did enjoy reading this - with lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. At least something fun to read when I don't have to use my brain too much :)


Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review - The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity #1) by Heath Sommer

The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity, #1)

The Manufactured Identity (Manufactured Identity #1) by Heath Sommer

This book was highly recommended by a fellow blogger, Tea Time with Marce, so I had pretty high expectation! Maybe because of that, this book fell short... I like the plot twists (I was able to guess one twist, but not the subplot twist, so that was a good surprise) but I felt there wasn't a lot of character development so I wasn't attached to any characters. Nor did I feel much emotion about any of the characters.

Not sure if I would continue to the next book or not - I read the brief description, and it seems like 2 characters from the first book - whom I didn't think were really the main protagonists - would be the focus of the series. Tell me if I should read #2?

3 Stars


Note - I won a free copy of this book.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review - The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)




The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

Quirky and cute. It made reading fun! I really enjoyed the characters and kept wondering what'd happen. It reminds me a bit of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, but maybe a bit more light-hearted.

The only thing I wasn't too sure about is its ending... (see spoiler alert below) - if I'd liked the ending, this would probably have been a 4-4.5 book. As of now, it's more of a 3.75 but I'll bump it up to 4 just because this book stands out more than the other meh-reads I'd had.. I heard that there's a Book 2 coming out... will definitely watch for it!

4 Stars





SPOILER ALERT
(highlight the paragraph to read)

I wish the ending isn't so predictable. It makes it a bit too chicklit-ish. I think if it didn't have a happy ending (as in, if they didn't get married), or have a bit more of a surprise ending, it'd have make it more memorable. I suppose though, if the ending is different, then Book 2 would also be different... 

[/Spoiler]

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

In the end, we'll all become stories.




Saw this on facebook... isn't it the truth.


All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Margot by Jillian Cantor

Margot

Margot by Jillian Cantor

From Goodreads:

Anne Frank has long been a symbol of bravery and hope, but there were two sisters hidden in the annex, two young Jewish girls, one a cultural icon made famous by her published diary and the other, nearly forgotten.

In the spring of 1959, The Diary of Anne Frank has just come to the silver screen to great acclaim, and a young woman named Margie Franklin is working in Philadelphia as a secretary at a Jewish law firm. On the surface she lives a quiet life, but Margie has a secret: a life she once lived, a past and a religion she has denied, and a family and a country she left behind.

Margie Franklin is really Margot Frank, older sister of Anne, who did not die in Bergen-Belsen as reported, but who instead escaped the Nazis for America. But now, as her sister becomes a global icon, Margie’s carefully constructed American life begins to fall apart. A new relationship threatens to overtake the young love that sustained her during the war, and her past and present begin to collide. Margie is forced to come to terms with Margot, with the people she loved, and with a life swept up into the course of history.


Many of us probably have read The Diary of Anne Frank (I read the Chinese version when I was a kid). But what if her sister is still alive?

Interesting premise huh. It was just an okay read  - I think there is so much potential, but this read a bit more like a chicklit than what I was expecting.

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film


Night Film by Marisha Pessl 

From Goodreads:
NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and Goodreads Choice Award Nominee! 

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.




I was excited to read this book as it sounds very intriguing. I was drawn into the mystery, and really wanted to find out what happened. 


It would have been a better book if (1) it's shorter and more concise - I found myself skimping through parts of it (2) has a tidier ending - and I am not the only who felt like, "wait, what happened...?"


For some reasons, I think this will actually make a better movie than a book. 



Note - The book was borrowed from the library.



All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.