Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Friday, August 31, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #86 - Neverwhere

Today's review is for

Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 400

This is the story of Richard Mayhew who rescues a hurt young girl one night and ends up in the Underworld of London.  He no longer exists in London above where he had a life, a fiance, and a good job.  Now he is stuck in a world of forgotten people and places.  He befriends the girl he rescues - Door, and travels with her as she tries to discover who murdered her family.  Richard, Door, and her bodyguard, Hunter, travel between London below and London above all while being chased by two monsters as Door tries to bring a key to an angel that will unlock the mystery of her family's death.  And Richard is hoping that this will help him get home.

This was a pretty good book.  I am a Neil Gaiman fan, and this one did not disappoint.  It didn't drag, and you become invested in the characters and the story.  The only flaw I would say would be the ending.  Well - I wouldn't even call it a flaw - just predictable.  The ending was very predictable.  But the concept of the book was very neat.  The development of a parallel world - a parallel London - was well described and probably how many of us would imagine an underworld.

Check it out.  I think it is worth your time.

Stars: 4

Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #85 - Crazy Rich Asians

Today's review is for

Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
Pages: 544

This story is about the ultrarich in Singapore.  Rachel Chu, is a middle class Chinese American whose boyfriend, Nick, invites her to spend the summer in Singapore with his family.  He has not prepared Rachel for his family who is among the Singapore elite.  Nick's mother is already trying to sabatoge their relationship because she is sure Rachel (who went to Stanford and has a Ph.D) is no where good enough for her son, since she doesn't come from a wealthy family.  But Nick doesn't care. 

The two are in Singapore to attend a wedding for Nick's best friend, who is Singapore royalty.  Rachel is thrown into a huge 3 family triangle of aunts and uncles of Nick - all whom seem to have enormous fortunes.  There are few who are accepting of Nick and Rachel's relationship, and she has to decide if this is a world that she wants to be a part of.

I didn't like this book.  I thought it was long and boring, and had too many characters.  And that is saying something because I have read Game of Thrones.  This book had no character development and just spent the entire 500 pages talking about designer labels and jewelry.  These billionares never did anything but spend money on themselves and complain about anyone who was less rich than they were.  The writing was juvenille and when I saw a picture of the author I was surprised to find that it was an adult male.  Reading about nothing but designer labels and fake rich people got tiresome quickly.

Skip this.  I was hoping that because it was being turned into a movie I would give it a try.  But it was a waste of time.  Hopefully the movie will be completely different from the book.

Stars: 2

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #84 - Still Me

Now that company is gone and school is in session, I am hoping to be able to read more.  Although the weather is still beautiful, so it makes it hard to stay indoors.  Thank goodness for long tram rides around the city to help me have time to read.

Today's review is for

Still Me
Author: Jojo Moyes
Pages: 400

This is the 3rd book in the series "Me Before You".  Our main girl - Louisa Clark -has moved to NYC to work for a wealthy family as an assistant.  The wife is prone to depression and the husband feels that if she had an ally she would be more willing to go to public events that are required for their social status.  Louisa likes the power couple, and her new living situation on Fifth Ave, right from the start.  The wife - who was an immigrant to America herself - finds Louisa refreshing.

Louisa struggles with being far away from her boyfriend, Sam, and when he visits her in NYC their weekend is a disaster.  She is torn between her old life in England and her new life in NYC and she isn't sure how Sam and their relationship fit.

Then Louisa is told a secret by the wife, and soon that comes back to haunt her.  She is torn between keeping the secret and revealing it and keeping her job. 

This was a pretty good book.  ACtually - I liked about 3/4 of it very much - couldn't wait to get back to reading it.  But the ending....not so much.  It felt rushed and it felt like she was just filling space.  I was disappointed especially when she starts filling pages with letters back and forth between Sam and Louisa.  I saw this as a waste and I have never liked this style of story telling.  And the ending was very "cliche" that it made me roll my eyes.

I would not skip it - especially if you read the other books before this one.  I just think Moyes probably should quit this character now. 

Stars:  4

Monday, August 13, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #83 - The Story of Arthur Truluv

Today's reivew

The Story of Arthur Truluv
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Pages: 272

This is the story of Arthur Moses whose wife died 6 months ago.  He visits her grave every day to have lunch and speak to her.  While at the cemetery he meets a young girl named Maddy Harris.  Maddy - who is picked on at school, whose mother died and father is less than affectionate, befriends Arthur.  When Maddy finds herself in trouble, it is Arthur who takes her in and gives her a safe place.  Both who are lonely find comfort in their friendship.  Maddy - who nicknames Arthur "Truluv"- is moved by his eternal love for his wife.  And when Arthur's lonely neighbor - Lucille joins their clan, they become a family that depend on each other.

This book was....fine.  It was sweet, and the underlying story was cute.  It is no "Ove".  The story is so similar, but not as well written.  I find myself wanting to skip over passages due to them being boring or seemingly unnecessary.  And the story of the young Maddy borders on ridiculous.

I don't really recommend this book unless you feel like reading something that doesn't take much time or much thought.  Otherwise - stick with "Ove"

Stars:  2

Friday, August 10, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #82 - The Godfather

Today's review is for

The Godfather
Author: Mario Puzo
Pages: 468

This is the story of the Mafia family - the Corleones.  Don Vito Corleone is the most powerful mafia boss in New York City.  Tragedy strikes, and the Don's sons - Sonny and Michael - need to take over the Family operation.  The Corleones are desperate to hold on to their power in New York but it proves to be challenging.  The Corleone sons try to bring the other mafia Dons together to keep the peace, but find that this isn't as easy as their father made it look.

This was a pretty good book.  It is a bit surprising that I have never read it before - considering its popularity.  There are a lot of characters, and a lot of side stories that make it a slow read.  Don't mistake that for a slow story - it just takes time and patiences - not a story you can really skip or skim over.

I am sure I will read the next several books in the series, but I am not sure I will do that this year.  I was not drawn, by the end of the book, to see what came next.  So we will see.

Stars:  4