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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

  • Character development - this was outstanding!
  • The plot - I could never see what was coming next
  • The language- Hosseini writes so beautifully
  • Mmmmm I guess my only complaint is the concurrent two stories 
Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon |

I wasn't really expecting much when I started reading this book. I had tried reading The Kite Runner, but to no avail - I didn't get hooked onto it. However, I decided to read this after my friend had recommended it, and I was in for a huge ride.

The book starts off with Miriam, and we follow Miriam's journey. I really got a sense of maturity from Miriam, and felt pity for her when she fell upon hard times. Hosseini's description particularly moved me in Miriam's tale.

Hosseini then continues with Laila's story. Although I was initially frustrated with the change in focus to Laila, after having been hooked on with Miriam's story, Hosseini gives a real depth to Laila, and eventually I grew to treasure Laila's story as much as Miriam's story.

Hosseini intertwines these two girls' stories beautifully. Not only did his vivid, appealing description of Kabul and these girls' circumstances keep me reading, but also the plot twists in the book. His characters are not stereotyped, and there is a real nuance in them. These characters all appeal to the characters in some way, and really make for an interesting story.

For me, I loved how this book opened my eyes regarding the political situation in Afghanistan. I had no idea what happened in Afghanistan at the turn of the 20th and 21st century, and I loved how Hosseini used Miriam and Laila as vehicles to explore this.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone - in fact, I already have, and my friends who have read it have all loved it!

Keep reading and loving books,

The Novice by Taran Matharu

Sunday, October 25, 2015 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

The Breakdown

  • The concept is amazing and really draws you in
  • I loved how Matharu combines fantasy and action 

  • A bit slow to start
  • A bit predictable

      Rating: 3.5 stars
      Goodreads | Amazon |

      The Summoner, written by Taran Matharu, is a book that combines fantasy with action and adventure. I came across this book whilst shopping in Dymocks, and was hooked by the blurb, which goes along the lines of this: 

      When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

      As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs

      Such an interesting blurb! What drew me in the most would be the whole concept of the Adept Military Academy. To me, that was a nod to Harry Potter, with Hogwarts being the magical teaching ground. As I read however, I found that Matharu really incorporates other fantasy series, such as Digimon/Pokemon demons, which kept me reading even more! I loved how subtly Matharu incorporated this, and how it took me a while to figure it out. 

      About the actual plot of the story... I liked it as well. Instead of one climax, there were plenty of scenes to interest me, and for me to worry about Fletcher and his friends' fate. Matharu keeps you reading and hooked onto this novel by always having a challenge for Fletcher and his friends to face, or a new place for them to explore. 

      My main complaint about this book would be the predictability of it. Especially for the touted tournament towards the end, I called who was going to win, and even Matharu's cliffhanger ending. The start yes, is a bit slow, and throughout the book, I kept questioning why Matharu hadn't talked about certain characters in a while, however, this was overshadowed by how Matharu makes everything so appealing. 

      I really enjoyed reading this book, and I feel like anyone who's into fantasy or action will love this book as well. It wasn't too hard to understand the world that The Novice is set in, and should be fairly easy for anyone to read!

      Keep reading and loving books!

      Before I Die by Jenny Downham

      Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Geraldine 0 Comments

      The Breakdown


      • Zooey's character development

      • Tessa and Zooey were disagreeable characters
        Rating: 2.5 stars

        Tessa has just a few months to live. 

        Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. 

        Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. 

        Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. 

        That movie, Now is Good is what really made me pick up this book. Due to my recent K-pop infatuation, I watched a music video by Ailee, and it featured that said movie. I was intrigued and before I read any movie, I had to of course, read the book first!

        The character development of Zooey for me was very uplifting. I really disliked this book at the start because of Zooey and her carefree, reckless attitude to life. However, once she gets pregnant, she gradually turns to be a mature adult. For Tessa though, I didn't feel as if there was much character development. In fact, I'd even say that she gets worse towards the end, her bitterness constricting me from the novel.

        I'm writing this review a few days after I read this book, and I'm finding that I still linger on some bits, like what happens after the book? I guess this is one of those books that you'd love to have a sequel to, but you don't at the same time.

        I'd say that this is a 2.5 stars of 5 for me. I understood some of the intentions behind what Tessa did throughout the book, but I really couldn't condone much else, such as the illicit shoplifting, etc. It didn't make me weep as much as I predicted either....

        Keep reading and loving

        Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

        Sunday, October 18, 2015 Geraldine 0 Comments

        I don't know if I'll be back from my hiatus... I might try reviewing books again for a while - definitely slipped off from doing that over the past two years :( 

        The Breakdown

        • Description- so good, that I didn't need to have dialogue to make it interesting
        • Quotable quotes!!! 
          Rating: 5 stars
          Goodreads | Amazon |

          It's been so long since I've read a book like this; one with not much dialogue, but still managing to suck me in anyway. I was hooked into the book because of the unique concept, however Anderson kept me reading with her vivid description, that paints a beautiful picture of Neverland, the Sky Eater tribe, of Tik Tok, of everything in general!

          Anderson really cuts at the heart, this story revolving around first and lost loves. The book is written in such a beautiful way, that so many sections are quotable.

                                 "You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like"
                                                                  -Tik Tok

          Jodi Lynn Anderson, the marvellous writer she is, goes past the traditional ideal of Neverland, where people never grow up. She makes it clear that, while people in Neverland don't physically grow up, they emotionally age and change, with a spectacular ending that shows how Tiger Lily has changed. I love the characterisation, the quotes, so much about this book!

          Words really cannot express how much I enjoyed this novel! I would recommend this book to anyone, whether they be a fan of Peter Pan or not. It's enjoyable, and I know that I will be looking out for some of Anderson's other works!

          Keep reading and loving books,