2016 Reading Challenge Update: January

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Four books in one month! Am I slow? 😀

1st – A book with a blue cover – We Are Called to Rise: A Novel by Laura McBride

We Are Called to Rise

What is it about: An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves. Emotionally powerful yet tender and intimate, We Are Called to Rise is a novel of redemption and unexpected love. 

What I Love: The last few chapters where the lives were all connected. It was done flawlessly.

The strange set of characters/lives are interesting to read. They have their own stand-alone stories and it is impressive how they lives were interweaved.

What I Don’t Love Much: The length, I think, can be dimished. There are some parts that bored me a bit.

Wise Words: 

“We fail even though things matter very much; it’s the possibility of failure that makes them matter more.”

“What is most beautiful is least acknowledged.”

“So little matters so much, and so much matters so little.”

Terror

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

2nd – A book you can finish in a day – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

What is it about: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s heartwarming storytelling skills is a delight to read. I love the innocence, the softness and the fragility of her characters.

It took me 10pm until maybe 2am to finish this book. Yep. I wasn’t able to stop!

What I Don’t Love Much: The Simon Snow parts…

Wise Words:

“Words are very powerful.. And the take on more power the more that they’re spoken.”

“There’s nothing more profound than creating something out of nothing.” 

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

3rd – A murder mystery  – Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

What is it about: When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

What I Love: It’s creepiness at its best! It will leave you haunted ’cause it is insanely gross!

The red herrings are all well-written and I surely never saw what was coming! So greatly written!

What I Don’t Love Much: Uhm. Nothing! 😀

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

4th – A book recommended by someone you just met – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

What is it about: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

What I Love: The lightness, the thrilling anticipation, the KILIG-inducing scenes, the rawness. I love how the story unfolds. I love how the twists lead to the heartwarming ending.

What I Don’t Love Much: I expected too much. Maybe I expected more of something that I cannot honestly figure out.

Wise/Witty Words:

“People are shameless when it comes to cake. It’s a beautiful piece to see.”

“People are really like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads

 

2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK WITH A NUMBER ON ITS TITLE (10/50)

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After reading a lot of YA novels, I took a break and started reading the book listed in my 2015 Reading Challenge’s a book with a number on its title. What’s funny is among the 50 categories in this challenge, this is the category that I easily filled up.

1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1) has been in my TBR list since last year. In fact I have included up to the 11th book of this James Patterson‘s crime novel series. And finally, because of this challenge, I was able to start reading this awesome book collection!

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)

Genre: Crime Mystery

Published: March 2000

This book has all the reason why I become a fan of James Patterson. It is creepily gross and this is why the story is so engrossing and thrilling at the same time.

Three morbid murders of newlyweds in their honeymoon. Who would not find that creepy?

What I like best is how the story unfolds. Patterson was able to keep me guessing who the psychopath is and just when I thought I figure it all out, it appears that I am wrong yet right.

Confusing? Read it.

~

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.