Sunday, 25 August 2013

''A Bend in the Road''- Book Review

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: 2001

Genres: Novel, Romance, Suspense, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5


A  Bend in the Road was amazing!!! I really liked it. It tells a story of love, memories, and the things caused by love and secrets of the past. 

Miles Ryan is a deputy sheriff. A couple of years ago, he had lost his wife, Missy, in a hit and run. He believes that it was done intentionally by somebody. But nobody knows who killed his wife. And Miles is still looking for that person who ruined his life, and the life of his son.

Miles is an affectionate father to his son, Jonah. Jonah's teacher wishes to see him because Jonah is having some problems with his lessons. Miles meets the teacher, Sarah Andrews. Sarah offers to give extra attention to Jonah. Over time, as Miles and Sarah come across each other frequently, a friendship develops between them, which eventually develops into love, deep love. Both are very serious about the relationship. And to Miles, Sarah is the best thing that has happened to him since his wife died.

But then secrets unfold... terrible secrets of the past unfold that may greatly affect this love they have for each other.

I have to admit that I could guess who had actually killed Missy Ryan. In spite of being a little predictable, the book didn't fail to impress me. At all. In fact, I really, really liked it. The whole novel is a wonderful mixture of Sarah and Miles's relation and Miles trying to discover who had killed his wife, and the secrets that are revealed. The two plots are hugely intertwined; both serve as the main plots of this novel. There was also suspense at times. Though I could predict the identity of the killer, this didn't make the novel less enjoyable for me. In fact, the novel kept me wondering what would happen next. It was a wonderful page-turner.

A Bend in the Road is filled with emotional intensity. First, there is the love story of Miles and Sarah, which is quite sweet. It doesn't get cheesy at all. Secondly, the deep feelings that are revealed with the terrible secrets.

After I had finished reading it, it made me ponder for some time. It was very moving, very intense, and beautiful.

4 out of 5

Friday, 23 August 2013

''Hard Times''- Book review

Author: Charles Dickens
Published: 1854

Genres: Novel

Rating: 4 out of 5


Compared to other Charles Dickens novels, there are relatively a few characters in this novel, and no noticeable subplot. ''Hard Times'' is the shortest novel by Charles Dickens. It is also the only Charles Dickens novel not to have any scenes in London.

The story is set in an industrial town named Coketown. Here, the working class people who work in the mills, known as ''Hands'', are subject of many ''fictions''. The owner of some such mills is the ruthless and easily detestable Mr Bounderby, who is always declaring that he is a self made man and how an unprivileged childhood he had had. Mr Bounderby's friend is Thomas Gradgrind, who is so fond of facts that he has never let his children read anything, or know anything fictional. He has given strict education to his children from their childhood. His two eldest children, Louisa and Tom, play important roles in the story. After Louisa turns into a young woman, Mr Bounderby, who is at least thirty years older than her, proposes his marriage with her, which she accepts due to some reasons revealed in course of the novel.

A part of this novel deals with Louisa's married life and the difficulties she comes across, how the strict education from her childhood made her emotionless. The latter part of this novel deals with a crime for which an honest person is apparently falsely accused.

Dickens's characters play a more vital role in his novels that his stories do. The character development in this shortest novel of his is no less significant. My favorite characters in this novel are Louisa, Rachael and Sissy. These three characters have got much emphasis and depth. Stephen Blackpool is also a likeable character. Louisa can be considered the main character of this novel. I really felt sympathy for Louisa. Mr Bounderby and Mrs Sparsit were quite detestable.

''Hard Times'' was mostly a grim novel. With a relatively few characters (if compared to the other Dickens novels), the novel spends much time giving emphasis to the sad lives of Louisa, Stephen, Rachael, and also the unfortunate love of James Harthouse.
I really liked this novel. Despite being comparatively short in length, the development of the characters and incidents were really very good. 

4 out of 5

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A short blogging break

Hello friends!

This is to inform you that since I'll be having my exams soon, I'll be really busy with studies, and so I'm taking a short break from blogging. But that doesn't mean I'll not be posting at all! I may post now and then, but I'll really start getting active from sometime in September, after my exams end!!!

I'll be back soon!

Monday, 5 August 2013

''True Believer''- Book review

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: 2005

Genres: Novel, Romance, Mystery

Rating: 4 out of 5


I liked True Believer. I really did! As a book by Nicholas Sparks, it is much different from his usual-themed, cliched novels.

I like Nicholas Sparks's books. I enjoy reading them. But I cannot deny the fact that his books are cliched and sappy. . They are enjoyable and feel-good, but yet nothing great. But SOME of his books are exceptional. I loved Safe Haven, for example. And it can also be said in the case of True Believer.

True Believer is an amazing book. It really is. It is a beautiful love story, surrounded with an excellent background AND setting. And moreover, it is not just a romance novel. It is a romance AND a mystery.

Jeremy Marsh is a journalist. In his career, he has exposed many quacks, many fake psychics. One day, he gets a letter from a resident of a small town, mentioning about mysterious and ghostly lights seen at a cemetery of that town. The writer of the letter requests Jeremy to come and investigate this. Many residents think the lights to be the presence of something paranormal. Jeremy is interested, and arrives in the town.

The writer of the letter, Doris, explains a legand that is connected with the appearance of these lights. Jeremy goes to the town library to do some research works in order to investigate the matter, and there he meets the librarian, Lexie.

Lexie, who initially does not want to get involved with Jeremy, gradually starts spending more time with him, and gradually they fall in love. Two stories follow: Jeremy, with the help of Lexie and the local people, investigating the matter, and the love story. Lexie feels that this love is very unlikely to lead them anywhere: she is happy with her small town life, and he is accustomed to city life. Where will everything lead?

If does sound like a typical Nicholas Sparks novel where a girl and a boy fall in love and there are so many difficulties to unite them. But it isn't. Perhaps mainly because of the surrounding characters, backgrounds, and the setting. This novel has an amazing setting! A much better location than the other Sparks books that I've read! The supporting characters also contributed a lot to the story! And also, the two main characters were unique. They were really unique and remarkable. I loved the novel not just because of the story, but also because of these aforementioned things: the amazing setting and the amazing main and supporting cast. The mystery is not something that raises too much suspense, nor is it so interesting; but however, as it is present as a background, it is one of the things that make this book so wonderful. 

I liked this book. A lot. It has become my second favorite Nicholas Sparks book, after Safe Haven.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

''Prince Caspian''- Book Review

Author: C. S. Lewis
Published: 1951

Genres: Novel, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 5 out of 5


Our four protagonists, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, are waiting at the train station. They will soon be starting for their schools. One year has passed since their adventures at Narnia. Suddenly, everything around them starts to change, and they are transported to Narnia once again! Though, in their world, just a year had passed, more than a thousand years have passed in Narnia. They discover the ruins of the castle where they used to live when they had been the kings and the queens of Narnia. But why have they come back to Narnia? That's because Narnia needs their help again.

Prince Caspian is the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In this novel, our four protagonists again have the responsibility to bring back peace and justice in Narnia. Narnia has no peace, no magic. The magical creatures are mostly destroyed- though some still survive by hiding. Cruel kings rule the land. And the four children have the responsibility to restore the throne to the rightful king of Narnia, Prince Caspian, and to bring back the magic, the enchantment, the beauty, back to Narnia.

I liked Prince Caspian more than I liked the first book in the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I had loved the first book as well, but I think the first book was too fast paced, and didn't have too much time to develop the characters (Peter, for example, had not much depth). But Prince Caspian has much more depth and emphasis on the characters. Edmund and Lucy had been well-developed in the first book, and I loved how Susan and Peter's characters also got depth and emphasis in the second book. I also loved Prince Caspian! This book is also quite fast paced, but I think it had more depth. And it was also very engrossing and exciting, an adventure-filled page turner! I also loved the short history that Aslan describes near the end of the novel. We get more insight of Narnia and the magical worlds in the second book. I loved the overall concept and the story. And I can't wait to read the next books in the series!

5 out of 5

Thursday, 1 August 2013

''The Choice''- Book Review

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published:i 2007

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5


I didn't love ''The Choice''. But I enjoyed reading it. The Choice is definitely a tearjerker, and while it can certainly be not called one of Nicholas Sparks's best works, The Choice was a comfortable and enjoyable read.

Travis Parker is in his early thirties. He has a good life: a good home, talents, a great job, and great friends. But he knows that he needs a life partner and a family to make his life complete. Gabby Holland, a pediatrician, is his new neighbor. Travis and Gabby first meet with a misunderstanding, and when this misunderstanding is cleared, they become close. Gabby joins Travis and his friends on a weekend sailing, she joins Travis for a motorcycle ride, and she invites him to dinner, eventually realizing that she is in love with Travis. But, she already has a boyfriend, Kevin. Where will this lead?

The Choice is divided into two parts. The first part shows how Travis and Gabby fall in love. The second part is set eleven years after the first part, where Travis has to make a very difficult choice.

I enjoyed reading this one. It is a bit slow paced novel, if compared to other Nicholas Sparks books. But it was definitely a comfortable read. I liked the second half more than the first half. The second half was quite emotionally intense. I also liked the characters, both the main and the supporting ones. I liked Travis and Gabby, obviously. But I also liked Stephenie. I liked Allison, Megan, and Liz, because of the kindness they show to Lisa and Christine.

While the first half may sound a bit typical Nicholas Sparks love story, the second half is more emotional, more impressive. While I certainly don't think it was a great read, I definitely enjoyed it and it was, well, worth a read.

3 out of 5