Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Hi all!

As promised, I’m back with Audrey Niffenegger’s “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, which was indeed an interesting read. It had an original approach to the classic love story and gave new meaning to fate, soul mates and fidelity.

At first I though I wouldn’t like it so much because I’ve already seen the movie, and it did seems so, to my disappointment, after the first few chapters. But later on it got better. It started getting new and different from the movie and I’ve realized that I should stop comparing them, so I did. And it was much better after that. I ended up giving it 5/5 stars and I think it deserves it.

The title of the book gives the story away and so that is pretty much what the book is about. But it was the little things, seemingly hidden within the actions, that actually made the book a great one.

The book presents the story of Henry and Clare, who’s love seems to transcend time. Henry meets Clare when he’s 28 and Clear is a 20 year old art student. But Clare has know Henry since she was six. This weird situation can be explained by the fact that Henry suffers from a condition that makes him time travel at random occasions, arriving usually at times that have some emotional meaning.

The two fall in love, seemingly united by fate, and try to live a normal life as much as possible. The book presents their life together, their joys and struggles, from both points of view.

I really liked the style of the book, because you could actually feel all that was going on, be happy or sad and I especially loved the tiny bits of the characters that made them real. They had flaws and pieces of their true personality seemed to appear in flashes.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and thanks to the perfect and sweet ending, it left me with a smile on my face. I think it is worth reading, but only if you have the time to really sink into it, because it’s fairly long.

If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Time Traveler’s Wife.

That’s all for now, next time I’ll be presenting Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Paulo Coelho – By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Hi all!

As promised, I’m back with another Coelho book and I’m starting to like his books a lot. This is only the second one I’ve read from him, but I’ve heard good things about a few others too that I’ll definitely read in the future.

As far as I can tell, at least from these two, the main idea that he tries to focus on is finding happiness in life and following our dreams. This has been presented in both books, but in this one, it’s a bit different.

The book presents the story of Pilar, who meets her childhood friend again after many years. She discovers that he has changed as he has seen much of the world and discovered its miracles, while she stayed in the same little town building herself a safe and stable life.

She finds that she doesn’t want to return to her routine, and changed herself by what she learns by his side, she chooses another life for them both. Rediscovering her love for him, she understands that true happiness lies in following ones heart and not the “Other”.ย  And even though the road of our path can be hard and we may suffer along the way, because “God hides the fires of hell within paradise”, it is worth all sacrifices to live our dream.

The book also talks about spirituality, about communicating with God and using the gifts we were given. It presents an interesting concept, that is the feminine face of God, present in all religions in one way or another, but it is not yet accepted by the Catholic church. It talks about the different sects that have already accepted Her as the Great Mother and look to Her for guidance.

I found this interesting because this was something I’ve not heard about before, but somehow it makes sense.

Furthermore, I liked the way the author presented the struggles within Pilar as she tries to follow her heart and be happy with the man she loves. The story is a touching one, written in a style that the reader can sympathize with the characters and is reached by the message of the author.

I would recommend it, because it can really give you courage to face your fears and follow your dreams, especially if you read it at crucial times in your life.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the book in a to-read format online, but you can download it from various sites if you’d like.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

Hi all!

It’s been a while, yet again, since I’ve posted anything, but this is definitely going to change in the future. I’ve finished my exams and finally finished my thesis also (which I still have to sustain, but at least the hard part is over ๐Ÿ™‚ ), so in a few more days my summer vacation will also start ๐Ÿ˜€

I have a lot of plans, including catching up on my reading, which I have neglected the past few months. Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” I think is a good start.

This was definitely perfect the book to read right now. With all the stress that was laid on me the past few weeks, I ended up feeling pretty lost, but I think the book got me back on track.

I’ve looked over some reviews of the book after I’ve finished reading it, and it lead me to believe that this is one of those books that you either love or hate. And I personally loved it.

The book presents the story of a young Spanish shepherd named Santiago. His life changing adventure begins when he realizes he had had the same dream twice and talks about it with an old man, who calls himself the king of Salem.

Inspired by the words of the king, Santiago decides to pursue his dream to find the treasure by the Egyptian pyramids. His road is full of turns, as he ends up many times in places he would never before imagine, but all contribute in him finding his path.

The book is a greatly philosophical one, and I think that is why I liked it so much. It covers the theme of destiny, of the importance of following ones dreams and the unity of the universe. The presented thoughts have a magical and mysterious intonation, as the role of each thing on Earth is explained, with the steps one has to take in order to become one with the world surrounding us.

The role of an alchemist is also described and it is quite different from the one we normally tend to think of. It is pretty awesome nonetheless and I don’t think I would mind being the apprentice of one ๐Ÿ˜€

I loved this book because I really wanted it to be real. I want to believe that there is more to life than want I can see around me. Because sometimes it can be rather depressing, and I love books that restore my hope in the beauty of the world and make me want to live life to the fullest, and not just settle for the ordinary.

I think it is worth reading, but I guess it’s not everyone’s cup of tee. So if you do want to read it, here’s where you can find it online: The Alchemist

This is all for now, and next time (hopefully soon) I’ll be presenting Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo

Hi all!

It has been a long time since I’ve been here and I can’t even imagine it myself that it took this long to finish “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It is indeed a long book, and I knew that when I started it, but I also knew it would be great. And it was. I have to admit, this was one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. But definitely, this was the worst time to read it, and I guess that is one of the reasons why I finished it so late.

I have a lot on my plate nowadays, balancing work, exams and preparing for my Bachelor’s Degree certification, so all I needed was a good book to keep me focused ๐Ÿ˜€

The weird part is that I don’t think I’ve fully understood that it’s over. I keep thinking about reading another chapter in my spare time, but then I remember, there’s no more chapters left. I guess I really got used to the characters, with all the time I’ve spent on them. And I miss them, because each one was a very interesting person, be it in vices and faults, or decency and good will. And the plot itself is very captivating and complex, with turns you don’t anticipate and many threads to present the lives of the many characters, that somehow are still woven together.

The book is actually the story of a young man named Edmond Dantes, who although very young, would soon become captain of a ship and also marry the love of his life, Mercedes. But this perfect future is soon destroyed, as Edmond is accused by Danglars, a fellow official on the ship, and Fernand, a man in love with Mercedes, to be a conspirator. Although innocent, Edmond is still imprisoned, as the king’s attorney tries to save the life of his father.

He stays in prison for fourteen years, during which he befriends the Abbe Faria, who becomes his teacher and father in their despair. When this beloved guardian dies of an unfortunate illness, Edmond finds that he was given once again a chance at freedom, and even wealth.

He returns to his home town, but the life that he left behind was nowhere to be found. The good people he remembered were all driven to misery, while the ones who plotted against him were successful and rich. And so, the plan to avenge himself stirs in the mind of Edmond, naming himself from then on the Count of Monte Cristo. He gradually enters the lives of his former “acquaintances” and by manipulating the threads of destiny, he tries to undo the wrong and bring ease to his years of pain, by punishing those that punished him with the undeserved sufferings at the Chateau d’If .

As I said, the story is a rather complex one, and also presents some very interesting ideas about destiny, about hope and about happiness. Each character is beautifully displayed, and we can almost see into the recesses of their hearts. Every pang of pain, every glitter of joy can be felt by the reader also. And I think one of the saddest episodes of the book was when the count revisited his dungeon and listened to his own story told by the guide. I’m not afraid to confess, it did indeed bring tears to my eyes. And I love when a book can achieve that, because that basically means that I bow before the author for being able to write this. And in case of this book, the bow isn’t only for that particular scene, but for the whole book. It is a masterpiece, no doubt about it.

I guess this is all I’m going to say about it for now, because I feel I could go on and on, but it’s not the time for that ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, if you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Count of Monte Cristo.

So, I guess that’s all for now. I’m not really sure when I’ll be back with the next book, probably not that soon, due to causes I’ve already listed. But when I do return, I’ll be reviewing Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read!

Rejtล‘ Jenล‘ – The 14-carat Roadster

Hi all!

As promised, I’m back with Rejtล‘ Jenล‘’s “The 14-carat Roadster” (“A tizennรฉgy karรกtos autรณ”) and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by it. I admit, I have heard from a lot of people that it is a great book and it even got on the list of the 100 best Hungarian books that are totally worth reading, but still, when I checked what it was about, I wasn’t at all impressed. And I only started reading it because it was on my to-read list (due to the previously mentioned best books list) and, frankly, I didn’t have anything else to read on the train ๐Ÿ˜€

But like I said, I was pleasantly surprised and I really enjoyed it, even from page one. It’s got a great style that makes it perfect for when you are looking for a light read. It kind of reminded me of Agatha Christie’s books, only instead of mystery and puzzles, we have funny characters and wild adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

The story presents the adventures of one Gorcsev Ivรกn, a young man who has a very interesting way of being, doing things at an impulse, without thinking of the consequences. He falls in love with Anette Laboux, the daughter of a minister and somehow gets involved in the greatly complicated story of the Alfa-Romeo with parts made out of 14 carat gold.

The story is filled with twists and turns as the car gets stolen, then retrieved, then stolen again, and of course there is the thing with how Gorcsev joined the army, but sent his secretary instead with the promise that they will change places, but something always comes up and the secretary is left to make the lives of the generals miserable ๐Ÿ˜€

The book is a real page turner, because it never gets boring not having the time to get boring. One thing happens after the other, and these things along with the characters are hilarious ๐Ÿ˜€

I would definitely recommend this book and I think in the end it was the perfect choice after “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. If you would like to read it online, you can find the English version here: The 14-carat Roadster, and the Hungarian version (if anyone is interested) here: A Tizennรฉgy karรกtos autรณ.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about something a little more edgy: Marquis de Sade’s “The 120 Days of Sodom”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Hi all!

I finally finished “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and even though I quite enjoyed it, I have mixed feelings about it in all.

My cousin, who is also a book-maniac like myself, is very fond of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and she said that he is a great author, but still, she didn’t really like this book in particular. And before reading it, I’ve gone through some reviews to know what I’m up against and what I found was that a lot of people liked it, but also a lot hated it. So I didn’t really know what to expect. Also, one person said that the plot of a book seems like a really weird dream from which you just woke up. And I think I agree with him the most.

The story at places is really captivating, for instance the beginning and the ending. I was really fascinated when reading the first chapters and I felt that I’m really going to love this book, but then the plot became more complicated ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, the book tells the story of the town of Macondo, from its founding until its destruction and presents the life of the Buendia family, one of the founding families, over a period of a hundred years.

At first that town is a really peaceful and magical place, where the gypsies would have fairs and present their mystical merchandise. What I liked most in this part, and I guess throughout the book, was that magic was presented as if it were part of reality and not something supernatural.

But as usual, a place a like Macondo can’t stay in such a perfect state without any consequences, now can it? So the state sent people to become the authorities of the town and organize the election. And because the election didn’t go so smoothly, it ended in a war between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

In the following chapters, we see how the war has its way with the Buendia family, how it turns their lives into tragedy even when the war is over. The family members have also an issue with falling in love with other members of the family, which leads to other unlucky events. But the main thing about this family is that almost no one can seem to find happiness and they’re left with their hearts sunken into sadness, grief, envy and most importantly, a devastating solitude.

What was interesting in this book was the way how each family member affected the destiny of the others, and how everything seemed to fall apart gradually from the beautiful beginning of when they arrived in Macondo, lead by the idea of a dream.

What I didn’t like, on the other hand, was that the writing was a bit foggy, and at times I didn’t know what was going on. And the fact that a lot of characters had the same name didn’t help with my confusion. And the style in places was, indeed, a bit boring and a few times I even thought that I am never going to finish this book. But the instant that I did, I felt amazed and I realized that I did like it, because the message did get through somehow. And the fact that the ending was pretty awesome did help with me thinking that ๐Ÿ˜€

So I guess I would recommend it, but beware, you will need a lot of patience and it is not an easy read, but worth it, I guess, in the end. I already miss its magic ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, if you want to read it online, you can find it here: One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Next time I’ll be talking about Rejtล‘ Jenล‘’s “The 14-carat Roadster”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hi all!

I finished reading this book rather late last night, but I couldn’t bare to put it down. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but actually, I think I have found my favorite book of all time ๐Ÿ˜€

I wanted to get my hands on the book ever since I saw the movie (which I loved btw :D) and learned that it is based on a book. But, of course, as it always happens when you see the movie first and read the book later, you are influenced by the movie and have certain expectations. But the book didn’t fail me. Actually, it turned out to be one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. And I want to make something clear, because at a point Dorian points out in the book, that if you are fascinated by something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you also like it. But I liked it. Well, loved it, actually ๐Ÿ˜€

The book presents the story of Dorian Gray, a young man whose exquisite beauty charms everyone who sees him. A painter, Basil Hallward, is stricken by his angel-like face and wonderful soul, and they become close friends. But when Basil finishes his masterpiece, a full sized painting of this dear friend, Dorian finally sees for his own the effect of his beauty and in a moment of despair, brought on by the words of Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian wishes that he would remain always as young and beautiful as he is now and that instead, the painting would grow old. Little does he know that his prayer has been answered.

Dorian and Lord Henry soon become good friends, and the young man is highly influenced by his companion’s views and theories about the world and he seems to discover himself in them. He changes, slowly but surely, form a pure young boy into a man with a bad reputation. But his beauty never leaves him. And all the harm he does to his soul has not a mark on him. But is has on the painting, as it gradually morphs into something hideous and evil.

Dorian is frightened at first, because he does not understand what is happening. But as he destroys his soul more and more, he feels a kind of joy to look at the portrait growing uglier and him being forever beautiful. But his conscience catches up with him as he commits his cruelest deed and fails to do a good one. He realizes that he is tired of the life he’s lead and the terrors the portrait beholds. The only question now is, how can he get out of the deal?

As I said, this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It is a marvelous psychological study, because, as I see it, it somehow comes down to man’s search for happiness. Dorian sees happiness, influenced by the words of Lord Henry, in beauty and the fulfillment of the senses. He searches always for new experiences, so he can experience life.

Lord Henry’s views, on the other hand, have a sort of philosophical demeanor in a way. And what he claims is not all that bad, at least in my opinion. Some of his theories stirred something in me also and I feel that now I may understand myself a little better. And I love it when a book does this. Actually, quite a few books have made me really think of various topics and I loved them for that, but this is the first book that ever made me think about myself. It made me see life in another way, something I didn’t really see before.

Another thing I loved about the book is its time setting. Actually, I love all British classics that take place in that era, because they have a certain air that I truly love, and it always makes me think that I’ve been born in the wrong time ๐Ÿ˜€

So anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to those who like the classics ๐Ÿ™‚ If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Picture of Dorian Gray. You can even download it from there if you’d like.

So that’s all for now and next time I’ll be presenting George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. (I miss this book already :D)

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Meg Cabot – Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You #5)

Hi all!

I’m back with the last book of the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “Missing You”, and I have to say that I was really surprised when I started reading it, because it is a bit different than the previous ones. It’s more serious, more real and, frankly, this was the first time I could actually identify with Jess.

I guess, in the end, it turned out that this is actually my favorite of the series, but not because of the plot. If I had to choose based on the plot, it would still be the third. What I liked about this one is that is taps a little more into psychology and even more into the problems of young people, mainly the question “What do I want to do with my life?”. But, of course, the story also involves some crime fighting, to which Jess is already used to. But let’s start at the beginning ๐Ÿ™‚

The story takes place a few years later, and it seems everything has changed. Jess and Ruth are 19 and in college in New York, with Mike and Skip crashing on their couch for the summer. And it turns out, a lot has happened in the last years. Jess had helped the U.S. government in the war in Afghanistan, something she returned from broken. Not only had she lost her power, but she wasn’t quite the same either. And this had somehow lead to her and Rob breaking up and her moving to the big city.

But now, a year later, Rob shows up and asks her to find his sister. And as Jess discovers her power has not left her after all, she finds herself on a new case, this time dealing with an amateur pornographer interested in underaged girls.

But as she goes home to “do justice”, she feels weird being in the small town again, with so many things that have changed. And Jess knows that being home again means she will have to face Rob and finally talk about what happened between them.

The story is interesting not only because of the non-violent and quite clever way Jess handles the criminal, but also because we have a chance to really glance into her mind and soul, and maybe identify with her, as she seems as lost as anyone could be at that age. And sometimes it’s good to know there’s someone out there (even if she’s fictional) who doesn’t quite know what she’ll do with her life, and seeing that everything turns out the way it is supposed to can indeed give the rest of us some hope ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, this was a good book, I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. If you’d like to read it online, you can find it here: Missing You.

That’s all for now, next time I will be talking about Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Meg Cabot – Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You #4)

Hi all!

I finished reading “Sanctuary” last night, but I was too sleepy to review it then, so I will do it now ๐Ÿ˜€

When I was told by my BFF, who has already read these books a couple of years ago, that you can read them really fast, I said okay, but even she was a bit amazed by my speed ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, this is always a good thing, I think, if you can read a book quickly, because it not only means that it’s interesting, but also you don’t take a lot of time with it. This, mainly the last part, is important, because I have a lot of books on my to-read list that I can’t wait to read. Like the one I’m reviewing after I finish this series. I’m not going to reveal the title yet, let that be a surprise ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, the forth book of this series was actually pretty interesting. Maybe even more interesting than the third one. But that one’s still my favorite up ’till now ๐Ÿ˜›

The story starts out at Thanksgiving, when the Mastriani family gets an unexpected visit from their new next door neighbor, Mr. Thompson. It turns out his son has gone missing. But as Jess is returning home from Rob’s, where she’s sneaked out to a second Thanksgiving dinner, she finds Nate Thompson, but he is clearly not in the best of conditions: he is dead in a cornfield, with a strange symbol carved into his chest.

This, of course, sends Jess, along with Rob, on a new adventure to find the murderers and as the synagogue is the criminals’ new target, along with another missing child, they find out that this may not be your average serial killer, but something a little more extreme.

Jess and Rob head for battle against the violent militia group, helped by Chick and the other bikers, but will it be enough to stop them? Maybe now’s the time to reconsider the FBI’s offer…

I liked this book because it had mystery, it had romance and even a little Hell breaking loose ๐Ÿ˜€

I would recommend it, especially if you’ve read the first 3 books, than don’t stop here ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Sanctuary.

Well, that’s all for now, next time I’ll be presenting the last book of the series, “Missing You”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚

Meg Cabot – Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You #3)

Hi all!

I just finished book three of the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “Safe House”, and I have to admit that I liked it a lot more than the first two. This, I guess, is due to the fact that the story gets a bit more serious, and maybe even a bit frightening. And, of course, this is the third book, so I kind of got familiarized with the characters, and it’s usually more fun after this happens.

The story starts only a couple of weeks later than the second one has ended, and we find Jess coming home from a two week vacation that followed the orchestra camp. And as she returns, she learns that a terrible thing has happened: a girl from school, who was quite popular, has been cruelly murdered. And by the reasoning of the other popular kids, this was all Jess’s fault, who wasn’t around to find her with her psychic ability.

Things heat up as another girl gets kidnapped, and Jess manages to find her in the last minute. Of course, this only leads to the FBI getting even more on her case, not to mention that she is threatened by an anonymous caller that she will end up as the previous victims if she doesn’t stop asking questions. And what about the fact that she seemed to become Miss Popularity overnight and boys started to ask her out? Yeah, Jess has got a lot to juggle in this story too ๐Ÿ˜€

As I said, I really liked this book, this is the best so far from the series, and I would recommend it. Another thing I liked about it, that it even had a bit of psychological presentation when it came to the person of the murderer. Just a bit, but I was pleased anyway, because that was what I’ve been missing.

Anyway, if you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Safe House.

I guess that’s all for now and next time I’ll be talking about book 4, “Sanctuary”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read ๐Ÿ™‚