• Endometriosis – Survive It

  • Challenges and their Progress

    Immigrant Stories Challenge

    1 of 3 - 33% Completed


    Library Books Reading Challenge 2012

    1 of 12 - 8% Completed


  • Proud to be an Addict

    Reading Challenge Addict
  • Listed!!!

    Parajunkee Design

When the wind blows by James Patterson

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
Set against a sinister backdrop of genetic engineering and illegal scientific experimentation, When the Wind Blows dares readers to test their notions of human evolution and medical science. Frannie O’Neill is a caring young veterinarian living in the Colorado Rockies, trying to erase the memory of her beloved husband’s mysterious murder. It is not long before another neighbor suddenly dies, and FBI agent Kit Harrison arrives at Frannie’s doorstep. Kit is hell-bent on solving the heinous case despite resounding protests from the FBI and the thrashing of his own internal demons.

Kit secretly pursues the investigation, yet witnesses keep turning up dead. Then Frannie stumbles upon an astonishing discovery in the nearby woods, and their lives are altered in ways they could never have imagined. Simply knowing the secret of Max — the terrified 11-year-old girl with an amazing gift could mean death.

As more and more diabolical details are unearthed, the murderer’s bloody trail ultimately leads the trio to an underground lab network, known as “the School.” Here scientists conduct shockingly incomprehensible experiments involving children and genetic alteration.

But perhaps not so unfathomable: Doctors and medical researchers who have read Where the Wind Blows say the events described in this book could actually be a reality in the next 20 to 30 years. If not before.

The View:

I managed to read a James Patterson after what feels like forever. I really enjoy reading Patterson books as I find them 1. Entertaining and 2. Fast reads. “When the wind blows” had all the elements of a book anyone would enjoy – the plot was thick, fast paced and well-conceived; the characters were unique yet imaginable and the writing simple yet capable of keeping you glued to your seat.

When I started reading, I thought that the plot was a little too far-fetched with no ounce of reality in it. But as I kept reading through it I started seeing why and how this story came through. Most of the experiments made sense to me but they also made me cringe at the thought of something like this actually happening. When Frannie, Max and Kit enter the school and see the state of the labs and how specimens are in there, I almost felt like throwing up. I felt a deep sense of empathy for the mothers … The ending however made me smile and I really liked how things turned out for all of them (well, most of them)

The characters were lovable. I loved loved loved Max and there were times when I wanted to be her. When I was young I typically dreamt of getting up and flying.. Most of my dreams were so real that I actually felt light and weightless. As I grew older I no longer had my flying dreams and that really upset me. Max reminded me of my dreams and my childhood fantasies. Frannie and Kit make a great pair. The minute the characters got introduced I wanted them to have a relationship so I was terribly glad they did.

Overall I really enjoyed this book.. The short chapters, the catchy plot, the simple story-telling and the unique characters really entertained me and for that, I will give this a 4 on 5.


kavyen

Lowcountry Punch by Boo Walker

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads

After the worst Christmas Eve of his life, DEA Agent T.A. Reddick leaves Miami for the magical city of Charleston, South Carolina, hoping a return to his roots will heal a broken heart and the guilt of killing a friend. The sleepy and sultry town of Charleston is filled with echoes of the Old South: genteel playboys, society debutantes, and quiet cobblestone streets. But as Reddick will soon discover, there’s danger lurking under her charming veneer. When a movie star’s death shines a national spotlight on Charleston’s underground cocaine trade, he must go undercover to find the main supplier and shut him down. As a hurricane bears down on the port city and the DEA gets ready to spring its trap, Reddick must contend with more than he ever could have imagined.

Brash and bold, TA Reddick is a hero you won’t soon forget. Lowcountry Punch is an action-packed novel that will have you on your knees begging for more.

The View:

“Ugly to start with” is not a book I would pick up randomly. It definitely does not fall in my “always-read” category but what surprised me was how much I liked the book as I kept reading through it. Yes, there were certain stories that I would have liked to skip through (only because of the uncomfortable topics) and a few that left me thinking about it for a long time. But the point is, the book is impactful and isn’t that what you would expect out of a book like this.

Jason is an interesting character who grows and evolves with each incident in his life. There are stories were you see different shades of him adding a surprise element to the character itself. I liked that all of his reactions were acceptable..nothing over the top or unbelievable… Just genuine reactions from a boy who grows stronger with each passing day.

The authors writing style is vivid yet simple. The small town boy growing up in a community that could otherwise be termed “dangerous” is done well. Emphasis still remains on descriptions of events and places that any other author would have done away with; but John Michael Cummings has stuck to the integrity of story telling by keeping it intact. I enjoyed this book and would rate it a 4 on 5. There a few stories that could have been done better, but for the most part it was more good.

I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion on the book.


kavyen

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller’s father was a legendary lawyer whose clients included gangster Mickey Cohen. But Dad also passed on an important piece of advice that’s especially relevant when Mickey takes the case of a wealthy Los Angeles realtor accused of attempted murder: “The scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you [screw] up and he goes to prison, it’ll scar you for life.”

Louis Roulet, Mickey’s “franchise client” (so-called becaue he’s able and willing to pay whatever his defense costs) seems to be the one his father warned him against, as well as being a few rungs higher on the socio-economic ladder than the drug dealers, homeboys, and motorcycle thugs who comprise Mickey’s regular case load. But as the holes in Roulet’s story tear Mickey’s theory of the case to shreds, his thoughts turn more to Jesus Menendez, a former client convicted of a similar crime who’s now languishing in San Quentin. Connelly tellingly delineates the code of legal ethics Mickey lives by: “It didn’t matter…whether the defendant ‘did it’ or not. What mattered was the evidence against him–the proof–and if and how it could be neutralized. My job was to bury the proof, to color the proof a shade of gray. Gray was the color of reasonable doubt.” But by the time his client goes to trial, Mickey’s feeling a few very reasonable doubts of his own.

The View:

A W E S O M E!

I think I should just stop my review here, but for all rhymes and reasons I shall explain further. I picked this book because it was my book club’s read for the month of September. I have read a few books by Michael Connelly; but he probably failed to make a big impact because I don’t really recall too much.

When I read the book, I liked it. But I loved it after we talked about it. There were perceptions that I missed, characters that I dint see through and events that seemed trivial but were impactful. The plot gave much more to the reader than what an average legal thriller would. The beginning of the book was powerful, in the middle there were a few chapters that were drastically slow but the ending just blew me away.

The characters were lovable specially the lead. Who would not love a man who was still liked by both his ex-wives. I also loved his recollections of his successful dad. I believe that successful parents normally leave a bad taste with their children as they are forced to emulate their lives, so it was a welcome relief to see the respect there. The question they asked in the book club was “Did I think the girl was lying?”. My answer was “Yes, of course I did. No, there were no events that depicted her character negatively”.. but in my mind, I thought …. “Why not. This happens, doesn’t it? People fake attacks for money”. To my surprise only half of us thought that way. And the ones who didn’t remained as surprised as we were. :)

My rating for this book is “AWESOME” with a 5 on the side. My book club surely is the BEST!!!


kavyen

Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
Jason Stevens is growing up in picturesque, historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in the 1970s. Back when the roads are smaller, the cars slower, the people more colorful, and Washington, D.C. is way across the mountains—a winding sixty-five miles away.
Jason dreams of going to art school in the city, but he must first survive his teenage years. He witnesses a street artist from Italy charm his mother from the backseat of the family car. He stands up to an abusive husband—and then feels sorry for the jerk. He puts up with his father’s hard-skulled backwoods ways, his grandfather’s showy younger wife, and the fist-throwing schoolmates and eccentric mountain characters that make up Harpers Ferry—all topped off by a basement art project with a girl from the poor side of town.
Ugly to Start With punctuates the exuberant highs, bewildering midpoints, and painful lows of growing up, and affirms that adolescent dreams and desires are often fulfilled in surprising ways.

The View:

“Ugly to start with” is not a book I would pick up randomly. It definitely does not fall in my “always-read” category but what surprised me was how much I liked the book as I kept reading through it. Yes, there were certain stories that I would have liked to skip through (only because of the uncomfortable topics) and a few that left me thinking about it for a long time. But the point is, the book is impactful and isn’t that what you would expect out of a book like this.

Jason is an interesting character who grows and evolves with each incident in his life. There are stories were you see different shades of him adding a surprise element to the character itself. I liked that all of his reactions were acceptable..nothing over the top or unbelievable… Just genuine reactions from a boy who grows stronger with each passing day.

The authors writing style is vivid yet simple. The small town boy growing up in a community that could otherwise be termed “dangerous” is done well. Emphasis still remains on descriptions of events and places that any other author would have done away with; but John Michael Cummings has stuck to the integrity of story telling by keeping it intact. I enjoyed this book and would rate it a 4 on 5. There a few stories that could have been done better, but for the most part it was more good than bad.


kavyen

My Life in Black and White by Natasha Friend

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
What if you lost the thing that made you who you are?

Lexi has always been stunning. Her butter-colored hair and perfect features have helped her attract friends, a boyfriend, and the attention of a modeling scout. But everything changes the night Lexi’s face goes through a windshield. Now she’s not sure what’s worse: the scars she’ll have to live with forever, or what she saw going on between her best friend and her boyfriend right before the accident. With the help of her trombone-playing, defiantly uncool older sister and a guy at school recovering from his own recent trauma, Lexi learns she’s much more than just a pretty face.

The View:

“My Life in Black and White” is a good book that talks about the friendship between two girls and the drama that comes along with teenage friendships. When I started the book I expected it to be very similar to a Disney series, intact with two friends, cute boys who pose a threat to the friendship, other friends who form a part of the larger group, some booze, some car rides and the general good-tale-turned-bad-turned-good episodes.

Lexi was a character I did not like from the very beginning. She is a spoilt brat and her beauty only makes her appear even more proud and unapproachable. The girls friendship was something I enjoyed and I wish there were a few more tales of things they did together or laughs they shared. After her accident on that fateful night Lexi changes; you would think it would be for the better but on the contrary she becomes even more annoying (as if that was even possible). She complains about every small thing and does not appreciate any of the help offered. But all is well that ends well. Eventually she accepts the person she becomes devoid the beautiful face and even patches up her broken friendship. Aww! Dont we love happy endings!!!

I liked some parts and did not like some parts. The story was simple with nothing out of the ordinary and the characters were typical yet interesting. I think it will be fair to give this a 3 on 5.


kavyen

The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
It’s 1962 and all across America barriers are collapsing. But when Natalie Marx’s mother inquires about summer accommodations in Vermont, she gets the following reply: The Inn at Lake Devine is a family owned resort, which has been in continuous operation since 1922. Our guests who feel most comfortable here, and return year after year, are Gentiles. For twelve-year-old Natalie, who has a stubborn sense of justice, the words are not a rebuff but an infuriating, irresistible challenge.

In this beguiling novel, Elinor Lipman charts her heroine’s fixation with a small bastion of genteel anti-Semitism, a fixation that will have wildly unexpected consequences on her romantic life. As Natalie tries to enter the world that has excluded her–and succeeds through the sheerest of accidents–The Inn at Lake Devine becomes a delightful and provocative romantic comedy full of sparkling social mischief.

The View:

The Inn at Lake Devine is split into three parts and each part had a unique story telling style. Part 1 was hilarious, I found myself grinning and even laughing out loud at certain scenes. This was the part I enjoyed the most, teenage Natalie and the way she chooses to take things in her own hands will remain memorable for a long time. The latter parts had Natalie as an adult and portrayed her continued relationship with the Inn that once dint want anything to do with Jews.

I did expect the story to have a lot of serious scenes because it dealt with a topic such as anti-Semitism and was pleasantly surprised when it dint. There were a few chapters I did not enjoy because it seemed very laid back and slow, but most part of the book was enjoyable. The romance element was much-needed and showed Natalie in a different light. Certain memorable scenes are when the chef asks Natalie for sexual flavors, the food poisoning episodes and the time when she returns home and stays with her parents.

I liked the book as it had a lot of characterization in it. The plot was filled with a lot of elements that kept me awake reading and for that I have to give it a 4 on 5.


kavyen

Double Bind by Chris Bojhalian

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads
In Chris Bohjalian’s astonishing novel, nothing is what it at first seems. Not the bucolic Vermont back roads college sophomore Laurel Estabrook likes to bike. Not the savage assault she suffers toward the end of one of her rides. And certainly not Bobbie Crocker, the elderly man with a history of mental illness whom Laurel comes to know through her work at a Burlington homeless shelter in the years subsequent to the attack.

In his moments of lucidity, the gentle, likable Bobbie alludes to his earlier life as a successful photographer. Laurel finds it hard to believe that this destitute, unstable man could once have chronicled the lives of musicians and celebrities, but a box of photographs and negatives discovered among Bobbie’s meager possessions after his death lends credence to his tale. How could such an accomplished man have fallen on such hard times? Becoming obsessed with uncovering Bobbie’s past, Laurel studies his photographs, tracking down every lead they provide into the mystery of his life before homelessness — including links to the rich neighborhoods of her own Long Island childhood and to the earlier world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, with its larger-than-life characters, elusive desires, and haunting sorrows.

In a narrative of dazzling invention, literary ingenuity, and psychological complexity, Bohjalian engages issues of homelessness and mental illness by evoking the humanity that inhabits the core of both. At the same time, his tale is fast-paced and riveting — The Double Bind combines the suspense of a thriller with the emotional depths of the most intimate drama. The breathtaking surprises of its final pages will leave readers stunned, overwhelmed by the poignancy of life’s fleeting truths, as caught in Bobbie Crocker’s photographs and in Laurel Estabrook’s painful pursuit of Bobbie’s past — and her own.

The View:

Off-late some of the choices my book club made was so bad, that I barely got through the book. I expected the same for the Double Bind when I started reading it for the August meet. Much to my surprise the book captivated me from page 1, I barely could put it down. I even contemplated taking it with me to work so I could skim through a few pages during lunch hours. Not many books do that to me and specially none of the ones my book club chose this year.

I had not read “The Great Gatsby” when I read “Double Bind” for the first time, but I re-read it after knowing a little something about The Great Gatsby. My perception of the book before and after was much different. I knew Double Bind had some twist coming because of the way the story was progressing but not in my wildest dreams was I prepared for the ending. We talked about it in our book club to see if anyone anticipated the ending, many of us did find certain elements out-of-place like when she remains clothed during her intimate moments or the way she avoids her roommate. People who read “The Great Gatsby” also felt that the name references were sort of too-similar. But none of us bothered to read the doctor’s notes in sincerity; that is until after the ending came through.

I loved every little character in the plot and I loved them more after The Great Gatsby. Laurel by far carries the story forward and she does an excellent job at it even without knowing it. Her obsessions with the pictures makes a lot more sense as we get further through the book. The display of the pictures was an idea that made an impact, all of them in my book club loved that we could see some amazingly well-shot pictures and even debated through some of them.

Not just me but every one I discussed this book with loved it (now, that is a rare one). For the simple reason that this one left an impact I will rate it a 5 on 5. This one probably deserves more !!!


kavyen

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 129 other followers