Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

By Amy Chua.

I'd given this book more, for some parts I'd love to give full 5 stars, but then other things set me back to 3-4 starts, but on the balance, it's 3.5 stars.

"Bill Clinton recently told some Yale students that you can only be really great at something if you love it..."
"But just because you love something, I added to myself, doesn't mean you'll ever be great. Not if you don't work."
This paragraph pretty much sums up the book for me. This is one paragraph that I agree with absolutely and unequivocally!
As to the rest of the 229 pages.... well, mixed feelings, I suppose.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

One of Us is Lying

by Karen McManus.

I am torn between "Aaaw..." and "Wow. That was cool!"...
I must say, I have never seen/read "The Breakfast Club", so those parallels are alien to me.

I really enjoyed this book! The way that at 1.30 am you don't want to put it down and wonder if drinking more coffee will help your eyes to stay open, because you just have to know what happens next... It's one of those books, that I call movie type of a book. When you are reading it, you can see every scene, you imagine every character, every dialog so vividly, so clear, it's like watching a movie.

Being not a fan of YA and having rather preconceived opinion (yes, yes, I am that old wagon, that tells her children "When I was your age...") of it (most times is just overhyped, too obvious, too dramatic... ), I have to say, this one was a pleasant exception.

This book is a good example, that if something is well written, it's good, regardless of its genre, style, etc...
And this book is well written.
Very smooth narration. Even though the story is presented from four different characters, two boys and two girls, it does not feel jumpy, inconsistent or overlapping. There is no confusion, you don't need to flick the pages to check in, whether it was that one, or this one...

There might be no astonishing novelty in the plot, but the idea is still well presented and executed so that it holds your attention.

So, it starts from a school detention session of five students. One of them takes a drink of water and... dies. He suffers a fatal reaction to peanut oil...
Freaky accident? No, impossible. Murder? Yes.
But who would do such a thing? And why??...

Simon was not a popular high school student in a conventional way. Yet, he had a reputation of a weird guy who has a blog where he posted other people's secrets and dirty deeds. Someone cheated on a girlfriend? Made a show of themselves? Lied about something?... be sure it will appear on Simon's blog. The four in detention, who were with Simon, are no exception. They have their secrets, their embarrassing moments. But, then, who doesn't?

Would one's embarrassing moment, a lie, a feeling of guilt be enough to kill a fellow student?

I must confess, from around middle of the book I could foresee where it was all going, but it was still rather satisfying to follow the story.

I really liked the way the characters were composed and how their portraits got more dimensional with subtly added details every now and then.

My favourite one is probably Bronwyn. I'd also say Nate, but he was a bit too sweet for a bad boy. Addy is another great one. You just don't know what that girl can come up with next... Cooper was probably the least intriguing, even though his secrets were deeper than expected. He was kind of "expect the unexpected" type of guy. So even though the surface seems smooth and plain, you know it's not. And it doesn't take long to figure him out.

There was a bit of sappy slag going here too, but not too much, so it did not get on the way. Besides, it was cute :))

So, yes, definitely well deserved four stars.
I should check The Breakfast Club.

P.S. Oh and I like Variations on the Canon

Hello, hello! Book lovers and Coffee lovers are very welcome! This is a blog where I am writing about books that I have read and share some...