Review: Fire’s Fury by Lisa Papademetriou

Title: Fire’s Fury
Author: Lisa Papademetriou
Pages: 243
Publisher: Knopf Books
Source: Netgalley

At the end of Siren’s Storm, the Sirens were defeated, and now the town of Walfang is once again a peaceful beach community.

Or is it? Gretchen and Will are still haunted by the memories of the night the Sirens were destroyed—Gretchen because she can’t remember what happened and Will because he doesn’t know how to tell Gretchen what he saw. He doesn’t even understand what he saw, but he does know now that Gretchen is more than what she seems, more than a human girl. And at the same time, he is more in love with her than ever.

Gretchen knows there’s something wrong, too. She feels like an alien in her own body, but she doesn’t know why. And she feels a presence stalking her at every turn. Have the Sirens returned to Walfang? Or has some other force come to claim her?

REVIEW:

But maybe, in a strange way, everyone does have different hearts for different people.

Reading Fire’s Fury at first was confusing. It stared slow for me and I had a hard time focusing on the flow of the story but eventually it picked up and got my attention. The issue I had with it was since it started slow it also ended abruptly. The middle and ending part for me felt like it was written in haste leading to a confusing and somewhat “unfinished” conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad writing – I did enjoy it but I wasn’t connecting to the story no matter how focused I become. Given the time, maybe I’ll re-read the story and I might redo this review but for now it was a so-so book for me. Wasn’t excited about it, didn’t hate it at the same time. It was a love and hate relationship.

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Book Review: Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Title: Between You and Me
Author: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Pages: 288
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN: 1439188181
Source: Netgalley

In Between You and Me, twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade has built a life for herself in New York City, far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. But when she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey since they were separated as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has become one of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrities and carrion for the paparazzi. But the joy at their reunion is overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her controlling parents. As Kelsey grasps desperately at a “real” life, Logan risks everything to try and give her cousin the one thing she has never known—happiness. As Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between saving her cousin and saving herself.

REVIEW

I just finished Between You and Me and I have to tell you guys I have mixed feelings regarding the book. There were parts that I liked, there were moments I was soo frustrated I didn’t want to finish it.

When your wrapped with wealth, power and popularity – what does one do to keep up with its pace and what are the things one is willing to sacrifice to maintain and keep it? Between You and Me gives us that look-see of what it has to take to be a celebrity and what it means to be always in the limelight. This novel is inspired by the life of Britney Spears (NOTE: I have never liked the singer but was intantly curious).

Okay so onto the story, here’s what I like:

  • It was written well. When it came to pacing, progression and story line I don’t have anything bad to say. I have never read a single novel from both authors and it was amazing at how fast I finished reading this book. From the moment you read the first few pages, beware! It is a very quick read and you are given information back and forth so be sure that you buckle your seat belts.
  • It is a story about THE pop star, who doesn’t want a glimpse of it? Everyone Most of us loves to gossip – that’s a fact. Granted that it is only “inspired” but reading the story gives you a different take on the whole Britney Spears’ hullabaloo.

Okay so what don’t I like about the book:

  • It was very tiring to keep up. It was very emotionally draining to read about Logan-Kelsey-their family-everything else. Logan was an awesome character, very strong and dedicated but at the end of the day one should have the idea on when to say no and when to stop with all the drama and craziness. I was loving and hating her at the same time. Lastly Kelsey’s parents. Read the book you’ll understand why.

It takes a lot to be successful but it’s a different idea if you are successful and in show business when everyone is keeeping an eye on what you do and judges you on the results of your actions. Between You and Me gives us a different view behind a persons situations – it doesn’t just pertain to popular and important person – but it concerns everyone of us.

Before you give judgement to a person and what happened to them, be sure that you know most of the facts or at least you have an idea on what’s happening leading to a particular scenario scenario. Better yet, keep your opinion to yourself.

I may be part of the minority who didn’t enjoy the story but give it a try, you might like it. As I said, I am part of a portion, there are reading who are loving it. In my opinion,  was just too tiring to read – as I have said above, it contained to much drama for my emotional compass to digest but asides that it is interesting. 🙂

Book Review: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

Title: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
Author: Kim Edwards
Pages: 401
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143037145

On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down’s Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century – in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night. Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own.

REVIEW

If you’re in a situation to either keep a secret that will destroy your love one’s lives or to deal with a scenario that can possibly give pain and regrets, what will you choose? The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, a story about a fathers journey through grief and sadness as he gave away her daughter believing that it’s the right thing to do. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – great plot, written awesomely yet there’s something lacking in the story. Okay so let’s discuss The Memory Keeper’s Daughter starting with the story line.

Dr. Henry faces difficult decisions and faces unsurmountable consequences through his life after delivering his wife’s twins and came to a decision to give away his baby girl who was born with Down’s Synndrome. No one can really know what to do in this situation and no one can really blame what the doctor faced that night. I mean people can point fingers and throw moral obligations but at the end – whatever actions one does, we’ll suffer the consequences of everything in the future. We can speculate that it’ll be different if he decided otherwise but if you really think about it, no one knows how it’ll be until you are really there. That’s where the dilemma started – believing what is right from wrong. It’s really hard to debate on what’s right and wrong since everybody will have a different perspective and decision but that’s how Dr. Henry wanted it and that’s the start of his troubles.

His marriage was never the same after that night, Norah was just not moving on. Not even trying but rather made stupid decisions that she decided were justifiable from the hurt that she was facing. Everything with her was one sided – What about me? My feeling? My loss? Well, what about your husband’s and your son? It was just painful. Paul, well there’s really no development there as well as Bree who is Norah’s sister. Edward gave us a glimpse of here and there but character development with these two was lacking. What I didn’t get was why Phoebe’s character didn’t get the exposure or “voice” that was supposed to be the driving force behind the whole story.

Next is the pacing. When you think that you are close to the climax, it mellows down then after a few chapter it seems to be reaching the climax again but it mellows down one more time and that went on and on a few times. That was frustrating – that was what bothered me as well. The story went on and on and resolution was written in the last few chapters of the book. It was like Edwards wrote a big chunk of sulkiness and problems, 3/4 of the book then wrote out the ending just to resolve the whole thing. The ending was missing something that I couldn’t really point out too. I would really loved to have read the why’s of Dr. Henry. Why he decided to give his baby away, I would have appreciated if he was given a few chapter to defend himself and make us realize on the why’s but rather Edward killed that character. Heart attack while running. Hmmmm. Really? Very convenient.

What I did love about the book was its ability to give me the emotions needed to follow the story and finish the book – it was an emotional roller coaster  to say the least and that isn’t a bad point in this review either. There are a few books that can do that and Edwards has that talent of keeping a reader focused, intrigued and curious up to the resolution of the story. In addition, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter was a very difficult topic to tackle, so a point goes to Edward for giving us a story that one can remember. How you remember this book depends on the readers but for me, it’s a love and hate relationship that I would love to revisit in the future.

What I also love are the tons of philosophy in the story.

You can’t stop time. You can’t capture light. You can only turn your face up and let it rain down.

Here’s another one

Photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell.

and last but not the least –

Either things grow and change or they die.

I’d love to share this scene as well for you guys to remember:

“How?” he asked softly. “How could he never tell us?”

She turned to him, serious. “I don’t know. I’ll never understand it. But think how his life must have been, Paul. Carrying this secret with him all those years.”

……

“Our lives could have been so much different.”

“Yes. That’s true. But they weren’t different, Paul. They happened just like this.”

“You’re defending him,” he said slowly.

“No. I’m forgiving him. I’m trying to, anyway. There’s a difference.”

“He doesn’t deserve forgiveness.” Paul said, surprised at his bitterness, still.

“Maybe not,” his mother said. “But you and I and Phoebe, we have a choice. To be bitter and angry, or to try and move on. It’s the hardest thing for me, letting go of all that righteous anger. I’m still struggling. But that’s what I want to do.”

That’s probably the most beautiful thing I read in the book.

At the end of the day, it’s really a matter of perspective and approach with this book. I didn’t love it, I am not the only one. There are a number of people who loved this book  so it really depends on how you’ll take everything in. Would I recommend it, sure why not. As I said, there are people who hate it but there are tons who adore it so I want everybody to give this book a chance.

SIDE NOTE: Since I admit that I am a reader who do judge a book by it’s cover – the cover is awesome. Very eye catching there’s no doubt about it and the title gives that mysterious vibe to it that will make you insanely curious and interested in the novel.

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: I just noticed that I am always most of the time disappointed in a book with US No.1 Bestseller selling point, note to self  in the future- be hesitant in the future unless proven otherwise.

 

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder (The Body Finder#1 Series)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pages: 327
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0061779814

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

REVIEW

Violet can sense the dead, a gift that is very unique but haunting. Not only can Violet “hear” the dead but she can also remember their echoes especially if they have died prematurely or before their years. The Body Finder is a combination of different elements – paranormal, romance and serial/murder mystery – but the impression it left me is that it’s heavily on the romance side.

It started off by giving us a view of Violet’s life, it slowly shows us of how was it growing up and how is it today as she continuesly cope with her gift. Her gift is hereditary, she was not the first to have experienced what she is going through but somehow her experience is more compared to her relatives. For a serial book, it was heavily leaning towards Jay and Violet, on the romance side and most of part of the book it was not as enjoyable as it should be. I mean, I get it – Violet likes Jay and Jay the same – but to repeat the angle over and over again in each chapter most chapter  is nerve racking. Oh the drama. I get the picture, move on!  I felt that the serial killer angle was just added but not the main theme – but that’s not really the case since it should be the other way around right?

I felt that the story build up was slow and then when it came to the near end, everything was quickly finished with a big bright red bow. It was too perfect, to quick and to flat – the momentum of the story goes up, plateuas, and then goes up again and eventually plummets down fast. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, it was actually a fast read – enjoyable as it should be but the execution of the story was all over which makes reading it not as I expected it. Bottom line is – The Body Finder was an okay read but it didn’t deliver enough for me to go gaga over it. It’s interesting enough for me to read the next book and I definitely hope things would go up from there. Stays at 2 stars on my list.