BOOK READS: A Review and Personal History of ‘Rising Sun’ by Michael Crichton

Genre: Crime Thriller Published: January 27, 1992
Genre: Crime Thriller
Published: January 27, 1992

It has been six years since I have read, for the very first time, a full length novel. This happened not because I would like to do it, this happened because it is compulsory. I was in fourth year high school during that time. My English teacher, Mrs. Emilia Rivera, required each of her students to do a book report. No book report, no grade. In short, we have no choice. 

I was the English Club President back then and as our club adviser, Mam Rivera and I has kindled a bit close teacher-student relationship. (I ‘idolized’ her a lot and the fact that she took up Journalism is partly a reason why I also took up the same course.) Thus, I am a bit pressured to do best in her final straw of activities.

My classmates, eager to finish their reports as well, hurriedly went book hunting in nearby bookstores. While they scout for a book, I look for someone whom I can borrow one. (Money’s an issue back then.. Maybe still a bit until now.) Thankfully, my childhood friend and church-mate Lilet lend me a novel written by her favorite author which is Michael Crichton and it was the Rising Sun.

To tell you honestly, I cannot recall the exact details of the book. Hey, it has been more than six years already! But I remember vividly that the victim died because of sexual asphyxia. I also can recall that this novel, a murder mystery, is about how the Americans and Japanese fought for supremacy in the business world.

For a first time novel reader, Rising Sun is for me a pleasant introduction to the world of written words. With 399 pages, I cannot recall if I got bored. It is because Michael Crichton managed to write each page and chapters with a certain urgency that makes you read, read and read until it ends. Actually, this is the only book, as of now, that I have read thrice.

With a number of Crichton books on my virtual bookshelf and with numerous crime, murder and mystery books that is on my read list, Rising Sun has clearly made me fall in love with reading novels. Reading it, although at first is done unwillingly, appeared to be a decision that I would never regret.

THE ‘WRAP’: A Japanese business executive, later on, appeared to be the crime perpetrator. He then committed suicide.

PICKED WISE WORDS: The Japanese think strategically . . . Business is like warfare to them.

THE VERDICT: Highly recommended.

BOOK READS: A Review of ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

 

Genre: Young Adult Fiction Published: April 2009
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Published: April 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman has been on my bookshelf for sometime before I finally read it. I must admit that it was the movie trailer that got me interested in this book but after I have read some reviews that If I Stay has ‘The-Fault-In-Our-Stars-like’ theme it took me sometime to decide whether to read it or not. Yes, I am not a fan of Augustus and Hazel story. But after reading this book, I would like to humbly disagree with those who said that this book and The Fault share the same theme.

Mia, a 17-year old cellist, lost her entire family, her mom, dad and little brother, in a tragic car accident. Narrating the story through her point of view, Mia’s ‘soul’ tells her life and family’s story and her struggle in making an important decision, whether to live or to die. She vividly recalls memories shared with her family, her boyfriend Adam and her best friend Kim while clearly describing the events that happen around her ‘not-so-dead’ body.

As I have rated it with four stars, I would say that I really like this book. It is, for me, a page-turner as Gayle Forman managed to shift each scene from the past and the present cohesively in an effortless manner. The shift and the way the story and events unfold made me want to finish this novel in just one night, which I somehow did. I love the simple funny lines that evoke humor in a not-so-trying-hard way. I am surprised that I have occasional chuckles while I am reading this book.

Mia and the rest of the characters are also relatable not just for teens, as I am not a teen myself anymore. This novel also tackles ordinary moments in life that seems usual events but appear as the pillars of one’s life that can help decide whether to stay and continue life or go to the world of the unknown.

THE TEARJERKER MOMENT: I was put close to tears when Mia recalled how she watched when her mom gave birth to her little brother Teddy, which include her cutting Teddy’s umbilical cord. She then describes the close relationship she has with her little bro and her agony of Teddy not being able to have girlfriends, not being able to graduate and so on. I am myself the eldest among six siblings and I can relate to her fear and grief, especially when she finally learned that Teddy is dead.

PICKED-UP WISE WORDS:
People believe what they want to believe.
Women can handle the worst kind of pain.
Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you. 

THE ‘WRAP’: The ending is for me a good cliffhanger and prelude for the next book, ‘Where She Went’. I am excited to know how will Mia be able to cope with her lost and how will it affect her dreams as a cellist and her relationship with Adam.

MY VERDICT: Highly recommended.

Agony

It has been eight years since I dreamed of having a blog. Something I can call my own. Honestly, I have fears of bashers and grammar Nazis. People who might critique my write-ups. People who might oppose my opinions. Yes, it took me those long years to have the courage to publish my thoughts, my views and my what-not’s. Now it will be all available for the viewing and reading netizens. I am now ready for either praises or rejections, for either wow! or boo!, for anything that this blogosphere has in store for A Reading Writer like me.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Now my agony has ended.