Ever since setting up this site, I managed to finish only 4 books. Which means I have 4 books on pile, the reviews of which are waiting to be posted in this supposedly book blog.
Before my to-write-review pile becomes a real pile, and thus altogether making me even more the lazier to write full length reviews (as in over 500 words kind of review), here are short plot summaries and my quick reviews. I hope I could get around to writing the reviews for each of them. If only I am not always distracted by office work. Sigh. Haha!
The Divide by Nicholas Evans
This is a story of Ben, Sarah, Abbie and Josh, who started as a happy family with their regular summer vacations to the ranches of Colorado, until a series of events began to tear them apart, eventually leading to the tragic death of Abbie. The story opens with two skiers who found a body embedded under the ice, which turned out to be Abbie. Ben and Sarah, now divorced, meet again and unavoidably, the pains of the past returns to haunt them. The book then proceeds to show in “flashback”, the love story of Ben and Sarah, the journey of Abbie into becoming an eco-activist and a wanted criminal, of how Josh dealt in his growing up years the separation of his parents and the disappearance of Abbie.
I gave this book 4 stars. I liked it much but not well enough to give it full 5 stars.
Nicholas Evans has been a favorite ever since I read The Horse Whisperer. I loved the characters in this book and how intricate their personalities were. The Divide tells of the divide between men and women, parents and children, lovers, siblings. The mystery surrounding Abbie’s death keeps the pace going and the circumstances that made the family fall apart is worth thinking over even after you turn the last page.
SeinLanguage by Jerry Seinfield
This is a collection of short essays by Jerry Seinfield. A light read with short quips and anecdotes about everything under the sun — topics about differences about men and women, about a suit and dying, about travelling, the theater, and arranging furniture in an apartment, among others. Definitely a quick read (consists of only 192 pages) and guaranteed not give you any headaches, well except maybe after some laughs. I liked it well enough even if I don’t know who Jerry Seinfield is.
The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz
A year has passed since little Danny’s death – a year since his mother began the painful process of acceptance. But tonight, Tina Evans swore she saw her Danny in a stranger’s car. Then she dreamed that Danny was alive. And when she awoke, she found a message waiting for her in Danny’s bedroom – NOT DEAD. Was this a grim joke? Or something more? For Tina Evans, it was a mystery she couldn’t escape. An obsession that would lead her from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the cold shadows of the High Sierras.
I am a gushing Dean Koontz fan and I hate doing this but I gave this book 2 stars.
Probably because Eyes of Darkness is one of his “old” novels, first published in 1981 under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. The pace is there though only picking up after the first 6 chapters or so. Tina Evans is a likeable “mother” character but Elliot Stryker strikes me as a character whose background wasn’t well developed enough to be believable. The romance is shallow and predictable. The paranormal aspects of the story didn’t add to its appeal too. But this doesn’t mean I now like Dean Koontz less.
The Noah Confessions by Barbara Hall
Lynnie is turning 16 and all along she had been expecting to get a car as a birthday present. What she got instead was an old bracelet owned by her dead mother. Utterly devastated, she cut classes and went surfing. Her dad was mad of course but instead of grounding her, he hands her a box of manuscript and says, “Your mother wanted you to have this when it seemed you were losing perspective. I think now’s the time.”
The manuscript was written by Lynnie’s dead mother and contains family secrets and tragedies in the past – circumstances that would affect Lynnie’s choices in the future.
I am not much of a YA reader, in fact this could be the first YA fiction I have ever read (except of course the Sweet Valley, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books from way back), but I just couldn’t pass upon a Php 30 book from National Bookstore, so I gave YA fiction a chance.
This book was okay, I gave it 2 stars. It was an easy read. I breezed through the pages and finished sooner than I expected. I however found tiring, boring at times, the parts about reading the letters addressed to Noah. And the suspense about the crime committed by Lynnie’s mother during her teenage years was a little exaggerated I felt like I was listening to a radio drama or soap opera.
Call me shallow but I just don’t get the connection between Lynnie’s longing to have a car as a birthday present and the box of manuscript owned by her dead mother that she got instead. There are parts at the ending that I liked, a topic I wanted to talk about more thoroughly when I get around to writing a more decent review of this book in the future.
So there. I hope I have at least fulfilled the objective of this site which is to talk about books. 🙂
Before I end, let me tell you what’s in my currently-reading shelf these days.
I’m already on page 258 of 353. A little less than a hundred pages and I’m done.
This is the first book in the Prey series (consisting of 21 books) and even though I have already read the other books before this, I don’t mind. Lucas Davenport, the cop protagonist is like-able, as always and the chilling pace is quick and exciting. How will Lucas Davenport catch Louis Vuillon, a lawyer and a brilliant serial killer? This I will eventually find out.