Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Messiah Code by Michael Cordy

Brief blurb: 
The Messiah Code by Michael Cordy is a thriller that brings together science and religion. On one hand you have an ancient brotherhood awaiting a new messiah. On the other side of the spectrum, you have Dr. Tom Carter who is revolutionising the science world with his new DNA technology. In an assassination attempt gone wrong, these two worlds are brought crashing together. Can Tom's work help find the new messiah? Can Tom discover a miracle to save his dying daughter?

To read the blurb on Goodreads, click here.

My say:
I like a good thriller. While there were a few parts of the story that had me thinking "really?", I was happy in the most part to ignore those little holes and enjoy the story-telling. I really enjoyed the science side of the story. There has already been a great leap in understanding the human genome and the part certain genes play, but is it possible that miracles aren't random, that they are due to your genetic makeup? While I personally don't believe this to be true, it did get my imagination churning. I thought Cordy did well linking the two different elements, science and religion, together. The unveiling of the "messiah" was a bit of an anticlimax because you just sort of knew. In a way, The Messiah Code reminded me of The Da Vinci Code, and not because of the similarity in the names.

Recommendation: I thoroughly enjoyed being taken for a ride and definitely recommend this for those itching for a good thriller.

My rating: 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Has anyone read the book The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais? I recently watched the movie starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal, Om Puri and Charlotte Le Bon. It has got to be my favourite movie this year and one of my favourites of all time. I absolutely loved it!

I loved the storyline and the moral behind the story. It's not just about food, but also the clash and coming together of different cultures. The characters were excellent. You will laugh but love Om Puri's Papa and his thriftiness or stubbornness. Helen Mirren plays an excellent Madame Mallory. And Hassan and Marguerite (Manish and Charlotte), I could just watch their chemistry sparkle over and over again.

So, has anyone read the book? I bought it on my kindle so it is on my reading list (which is currently really long!). If you've read it, I'd like to know what you think. If you've read it and watched the movie as well, what did you think? Does the movie compare with the book? Please let me know!

And if you haven't seen the movie, here's the trailer...

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

My say:
I first heard of this book from one of Ingrid Nilsen's monthly favourites and I was curious to learn more. Read the blurb on Amazon and bought this for my Kindle right away!

Sam Kingston is popular. She's 18 years old, loves to party, has a popular/cute boyfriend. Then on a rainy Friday night in February, she dies in a car accident.

"They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me."

Like a recurring nightmare, Sam "wakes" up on the morning of her accident. Each time she does something different, changes an outcome, but each day ends the same. Initially, I have to admit, I didn't quite like Sam. I found her shallow and irresponsible. But perhaps that was Lauren Oliver's plan all along because as the story moved along, I came to like and even admire Sam. Each time she relives that fateful day, she learns more about herself and the people around her. She comes to appreciate the little things in life. It's probably a weird thing to say, considering she's reliving the same day over and over again, but throughout the book, there's a growth in Sam that warms you to her character. 

"So many things become beautiful when you really look."

I think this really sums up Before I Fall. Such a beautiful moral behind it all. I felt the ending was rather too abrupt. I had to reread the last few pages a couple of times to really understand the ending. Suffice to say, this was a book that made me laugh, smile and tear and I'd highly recommend it!

My rating: 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My say:
I had read many good reviews of the book and I told myself I'll buy it when I've gone through my stack of to-reads, which realistically could have taken forever. Then the movie came out. While I knew the basic analogy, the advertisements for the movie moved me - I wanted to watch this.

"But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying."

I'm not sure about you, but I find it difficult watching a movie after reading the book. Often, the book is so much better than the movie. The plot. The portrayal of the characters. You build a picture in your mind of what the characters look like. You take to heart the storyline. Then you watch the movie and everything falls to pieces. The characters are nothing like you imagined. The movie is missing bits and pieces of your favourite scenes (I understand some things or feelings cannot be portrayed the same way in a movie but don't you still feel betrayed?!). So I thought … I'll go watch this movie and then read the book.

Oh my gosh, I balled my eyes out at the cinema. How could you not? Even reading the many blurbs, reviews and watching how many movie trailers, I never expected the ending to be what it was. I was completely moved by the movie, so much so I bought the book straight after.

"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once."

And I love it as much as the movie. Let's just say about 90% of the book is reflected in the movie. Maybe more. Even down word by word in some of the script. It's beautiful as can get for a YA novel. You just want to laugh and cry with the characters. You love Hazel for her strength and her vulnerabilities. You love Augustus for his stoic humour and charm. Even when the battles get tougher and the story becomes more heart-wrenching, they still manage to draw you along their journey. A great book.

My rating: 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Finding Emma and Emma's Secret by Steena Holmes

My Rating: 3/5

Finding Emma is about 3 year old Emma being taken from her family. Without giving away too much of the storyline, Finding Emma essentially follows  Emma's family as they deal with her loss. It is now 2 years since Emma had been taken. Her mother, Megan, won't give up hope, seeing Emma everywhere. Her dad, Peter, is trying to find peace by, what I personally perceive, as giving up. One sister is regretful, believing Emma's disappearance is her fault. The other is struggling to find attention.

The story also follows Emma (or Emmie) and the older couple she's been living with. Whilst guilty of taking her, you cannot help but feel for the older couple as their circumstances unravel. Regardless of the circumstances, they really do love her and have taken good care of her. The story ends with Emma being reunited with her family.

While I found myself immersed in this book, there were a few things that bugged me. The relationship between Megan and Peter baffled me somewhat. While I realise such circumstances could be straining on any relationship, the relationship between Megan and Peter was often conflicting and confusing. You cannot have hope of finding your daughter if you are trying to metaphorically bury her all the time and chastising your wife for having hope. Megan coincidentally gives up hope when things look to be the brightest. Other than those little things, the book was an ok read.

 Emma's Secret is the sequel to the story. Emma has been reunited with her family, but can she forget the family she's known for the last 2 years? Similar to the first book, I enjoyed the book albeit a few niggly bits in the storyline. Again, Megan and Peter's relationship was quite confusing.