Tuesday, 28 October 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Blurb (adapted from Amazon):

For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend, decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope.

But life can change in an instant.

A cold February morning… a snowy road… and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.

As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

My say:
I picked up this book after seeing the movie trailers on tv. I'm always intrigued when popular books are made into movies. But weird as it maybe, instead of enticing me into watching the movie, the movie trailer made me want to read the book!

And I'd have to say I was happy I did. I thought the story writing was unique. The present day follows Mia's accident and her time in hospital. But while she is unconscious, she has an out of body experience, being able to see what is happening around her. Whilst this in itself is a different perspective on things, it's the flashbacks throughout the book that let's us get to know Mia and the relationships with the various people in her life, especially Adam. I thought this was really smart writing.

My rating just fell short of a 5/5 because I felt there was something missing in bringing the whole book together. I also felt, at the point in time, that the ending was quite abrupt. But then I read the sequel, Where She Went, straight after so I understand things a lot better. For those who don't have the luxury of reading the second book though, you may have this same experience.

Recommendation: A great book that will get you hooked on Gayle Forman.

My rating: 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim

Blurb (adapted from Amazon):

Avicenna Crowe's mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing.

The police are called, but they're not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid.

But Avicenna has inherited her mother's gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery. And when she uncovers a link between Joanne's disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city's dark and seedy underbelly, unaware how far she is placing her own life in danger.

My say:

This review will be a little disjointed. I read The Astrologer's Daughter a while ago but haven't had the time to write this but here goes…

"Only the strong-willed can change what's in the stars. It's always, and only ever, up to you".

I liked this book. I can't say I loved it though, largely because I didn't feel like the story was really smooth reading and I was left wanting more.

The idea of astrology, being able to look to the stars coupled with some basic facts, was compelling. It was what grabbed my attention when I initially heard about this book. But I think what made this book worthwhile was Avicenna's (Cenna) discovery and growth. She learns about her mother and their past while using her 'inherited' skills as an astrologer to uncover some long buried secrets.

The things I struggled with in this book are very nit-picky. I felt it strange for the police to leave a young girl home alone when it appears there is foul play in her mother's disappearance plus a home invasion that spooks her. Avicenna's relationship with Simon Thorn also left me with more questions - maybe there'll be a sequel?

Recommendation: An easy read. Mystery with a twist.

My rating: