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Sunday, April 14, 2013

"Spare the Reader, "Spoil the Book"

Sometimes, when I don't want to finish a book but still want to find out what happened, I'd google to read the spoilers. I can't always find what I am looking for, but when I was looking for some discussion about the book I'd just reviewed (The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult) - I came across this site, which I think is great! It's like, you can read the book in 2 minutes! :)

http://spoilthebook.com/






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

Book Review - The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult



The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I have read a couple of Picoult books before - one I really liked (My Sister's Keeper) and one was just okay (The Pact). The premise of this one, about a Nazi SS guard asking the protagonist to help him die because of his past, seemed intriguing.  I was curious to see how Picoult would take on this topic, as there are already many very well-done WWII stories.

I was sucked into the story from the beginning, but the middle of the book, when the protagonist's grandma started telling her story, was slow. It dragged on and on and I couldn't wait till that part ended. It shouldn't make me feel this way because this section should make me feel really emotional - now don't get me wrong, there are definitely some graphic scenes (how could there not be? We're talking about WWII here!) - but the way it was written just seemed so flat.

I did like the ending, which as you'd expect from Picoult, had a twist. So at least it ended well. It made you think about what you'd do if you were the protagonist. I also liked the multiple POV (the protagonist, her grandmother, the horror story the grandmother wrote, and a Nazi hunter).  But at 480 pages it really could be edited down to speed up the pace.

A WWII story from recent years that I really liked is  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. I learned something new about WWII that I hadn't read before (which wasn't the case for the Storyteller), and the story just really touched me (kleenex please.)

A quote I did like from this book, upon the protagonist seeing her grandmother's mastectomy scars when she was child:

My grandmother smiled, and that was all it took for me to stop seeing the scar, and toe recognize her again. "yes," she said. "But see how much of me is left?"

3 Stars - would be higher if it was cut down to 300 pages or so. 

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.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Review - The Other End Of The Stethoscope - 33 Insights for Excellent Patient Care by Marcus Engel




The Other End Of The Stethoscope - 33 Insights for Excellent Patient Care by Marcus Engel

Brutally honest account on how the author, who was 18 years old at the time, was treated as a patient after a serious car accident that almost killed him.

Anybody who works in healthcare should read this - this is a short read that is straight to the point. Even though I am not involved in patient care, it still made me cringed as I hope I hadn't committed any of the "mistakes" he experienced.

Note - bought the Kindle version



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

Book Review - You Shouldn't Call Me Mommy by Susan Tsui

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You Shouldn't Call Me Mommy by Susan Tsui

Saw this on the library new books shelf, thought the premise sounded intriguing - especially since it touches on the love between a mother and son - though the mother is a robot. There are some great reviews out there when I checked, and it sounds like it'd be a thought provoking book.

But, I just can't get into it. I think it is the writing style, and I found the dialog a bit forced. Which is a shame... I think I need  Cliff Note summary just so I could find out what happened.

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.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes



Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Picked this based on other bloggers' recommendations. Not my typical genre - I'd still call it chicklit, but it gets a layer deeper than the usual boy-meets-girl. I decided to read it because everyone said grab some Kleenex when you read it.

A story that makes you cry? I'm game.

Yes it did make me cry. Yes, it made me stayed up to find out what happened on a work night. Yes it made me think what I'd have done had I been in the same situation (either as the male OR female protagonist). Yes I liked that the ending is a bit different.

But it was still predictable to me.

3.5 Stars - why not higher? It was a bit long and dragged on a bit, and some characters felt a bit flat and stereotypical. I did like it better than the typical chicklit though so 3.5 is actually a high score for this genre for me.



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 Antagonist by Lynn Coady



The Antagonist by Lynn Coady

Randomly picked his up from the library as the premise sounded intriguing - "Now pushing forty, he discovers that an old, trusted friend from his college days has published a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank’s own life. Outraged by this betrayal and feeling cruelly misrepresented, he bashes out his own version of his story in a barrage of e-mails to the novelist that range from funny to furious to heartbreaking."

It's an epistolary novel, which I usually liked. But the emails in the books didn't sound like emails at all... and I got irritated by the guy writing these emails and I just couldn't continue anymore. I suppose since I don't have much time now with a baby, I just have less patience... not that I didn't abandon books before, but I have gotten even more picky than before.

It did have some good reviews on Goodreads - so it's probably just me.

It got me thinking though - this is a female author writing a male protagonist. So can an author write a novel from an opposite sex protagonist convincingly? Or about experience they haven't experienced (or have done thorough research on?) I am thinking that if I had written a book about motherhood before I had a child, I think I'd have failed badly. The love I have for my child is not something I'd known prior his birth. Granted, all those cliche I hear are true, but you are skeptical about them until you experience it yourself... Or I suppose that's why I am not a writer since I can't put myself in someone else's shoes? 


0 Star - Did Not Finish



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.