FGH: Found, Grabbed, Hauled (IMM 10)

FGH: Found, Grabbed & Hauled is basically IMM – rebranded. Like the title said, this post highlights books that I found, grabbed and purchased this week. Includes bookish finds from second hand shops, bookstores, eARCS (Netgalley & Authors/Publishers) and anything book related.

Today version of FGH is mostly manga. I had a manga kick a few weeks ago and I am just posting this now. So let’s get on with the books. Continue reading

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Book Review: Afterwards: A Novel by Rosamund Lupton

Title: Afterwards: A Novel
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Pages: 400
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
ISBN: 0307716546
Source: Netgalley

There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there…

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who’s still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

REVIEW

Afterwards is a story about family & friendship with the complications of tragedies that can break ties, un-credit people and make you double think about what you really believe in your life and the people around you.

This is the first book I have read from Lupton and my experience so far is “so-so”. Afterwards seems like a great book with a mysterious cover and promising storyline but there are holes in the story that a reader will certainly notice.

  1. Explanation – when Grace and her daughter were being treated in the hospital, they somehow experience an out-of-body phenomenon which helps them follow the development of the tragedy in spite being in critical conditions. Okay, so my problem with this here is HOW was this happening? There wasn’t anything to prepare the readers about this part of the story and it was just laid there by Lupton and that can be quite confusing. It’s like the author decided to make this story interesting by doing something such as this which is not working for me in this case.
  2. Narration – I had a hard time following Grace’s thoughts. The narration was not really working for me for some reason. I enjoyed the story more when Grace just watched as the events passed by.
  3. Development & Disconnection – I just felt that the characters weren’t developed enough for the story. It was like reading bits and pieces and not getting the whole piece. And what sucks is that I have read Afterwards a few days ago but I can’t remember the story anymore. It didn’t have that needed appeal to me to make it memorable like it did to other readers.

Enough with the things I didn’t love about Afterwards, let’s see what I did like about the story:

  1. Mystery – Lupton had a great idea and wrote a story that isn’t as predictable as some novels are. The ending wasn’t what I expected and the person to blame was also not the person that I thought would do it. This is where the story excelled, the “shock” effect of who did it, why they did it and how they did it.
  2. Emotionally tugging – I did say above that I didn’t connect with Afterwards as I hoped I would BUT that doesn’t mean that the story didn’t provide readers with tear jerking moments. It did have its highlights – here and there – and although it might just be here and there, I’d say that’s a plus point for me since little emotion is better than nothing at all. A smile there, a tear there is much better than a blank face skimming through pages.
  3. Writing – Lupton can indeed write well. Her writing style basing on Afterwards can be troubling at first but once you are on the wagon, it can be a ride of excitement and anticipation. Pacing was slow at first but the mystery of the story is worth the slow start. I haven’t read Sisters, Lupton’s praised book before Afterwards, so I may not justify Lupton’s skills but so far I am not closing my doors to any novel from her in the future.

People who have read Afterwards had mixed emotions. Not everyone is a fan but there are definitely a hefty number of readers that enjoyed this book. Here are some reviews that might help you decide if Afterwards is for you –

You can also read excerpts of Afterwards HERE.

IMM: In My Mailbox (4)

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. The idea of In My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.

Here’s what I have for this week:

Went to the second hand book store to buy me some books and immediately saw these two (see below). Was soo excited and thinking that I need to find one more book without realizing that these two are books 3 and 8 of 10 books. Hahaha so instead of looking for 1 more, I’ll be on the lookout for 7 books to complete the series.

Nicolae (Left Behind #3)
Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

First they were Left Behind. Then they formed the Tribulation Force. Now they must face Nicolae. In the most explosive of the three books so far, the seven-year tribulation is nearing the end of its first quarter, when prophecy says that “the wrath of the Lamb” will be poured out upon the earth. Rayford Steele becomes the ears of the tribulation saints at the highest levels of the Carpathia regime. Meanwhile, Buck Williams attempts a dramatic all-night rescue run from Israel through the Sinai that will hold you breathless to the end.

The Mark (Left Behind #8)

Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins

His Excellency Global Community Potentate Nicolae Carpathia is back, this time as Satan. Resurrected and indwelt by the devil himself, it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy as the beast tightens his grip as ruler of the world. Ensconced in a new safe house, the Tribulation Force suffers tragic loss at the dawn of the second half of the seven-year Tribulation. The Trib Force moles inside the palace in New Babylon face tragedy and danger, and they must flee, take the mark, or suffer the consequences. The gloves are off, and the battle is launched between the forces of good and evil for the very souls of men and women around the globe.

 For the complete list of books, click HERE.
Netgalley:

Exiled (The Never Chronicles #1)
J.R. Wagner

James has never known an ordinary life. As long as he can remember, he and his family have been on the run—moving from place to place, never settling down, never growing roots. Now, just when he’s on the brink of manhood, the very thing his family has been trying to prevent tears him from all he has ever known and thrusts him into a place where he is powerless and alone.

Bent on finding a way back, James must brave a place reserved for the worst of his kind. He quickly learns that the land itself poses a greater threat than its inhabitants and if he is to have any chance of returning, he must work with the very people he’s been raised to fear.

James has known magic since just after he was born. As a sorcerer, his skills are exceptional yet when he wakes in The Never, his abilities are gone. Armed with nothing but determination and the will to survive, he braves a land wrought with dangers, mysteries and temptations meant to ensnare both body and mind and prevent escape forever.

Afterwards: A Novel
Rosamund Lupton

There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there…

Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.

Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who’s still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love.

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1)
Michelle Rowen

I don’t do dangerous. Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me…something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing-and I don’t know if I can get it back. Then there’s Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me…. NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising.

What’s in your mailbox?