Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Truth About Celia Frost… by Paula Rawsthorne…

This is another one of those long-time-coming book reviews. i read this book many months ago and i have been putting off writing this review. Not because it is not a good book, but simply because i didn’t find the time to review it and i was feeling a bit unsure about writing a review for a book that’s really meant for middle graders. The question in my head was; should i review it from the POV of a middle grader or from the perspective of an adult or as a parent? i finally decided i will review it just as me, because i can’t be anyone else… silly, wasn’t i, to complicate things like that? Hahaha…

So on with the review.

514trybfppl-_sx325_bo1204203200_i like this book. i don’t say super like because it’s a good book, just not one i would re-read anytime soon, mainly because i am not the target audience.

Celia Frost is a young girl who has led a weird life so far. She has been told by her mother that she has this strange blood disorder which can be life threatening. Her mother tells that to all the schools she has been at but has never brought her to the doctors, as far as Celia can remember. She can’t do the things normal kids does because her mother won’t let her, telling her that if she got even a small cut, she could bleed to death. So it’s a lonely life for Celia.

Celia gets teased a lot about her disorder. And one day she decides to fight back against the school bully. In the struggle, she is cut. Then her mother packs them up immediately and moves away. They have moved often before, but never at such short notice. Celia says goodbye to the only friend she has, a little old lady who is their neighbour.

At their new place, which is some faceless complex of flats, Celia meets a boy, whose brothers are tough but protective, and whose mother is loving and warm; a family Celia always longed for. They start spending time together and Celia feels that she is finally living a little. Celia starts to question her mother’s strange behaviour and even her own disorder.

A private investigator is hired by a mysterious lady and Celia gets kidnapped. But he is a PI with a heart, even he didn’t know he had that, and Celia is rescued. Her mother finally tells the truth and it is more surprising than one would imagine.

This is a good first thriller mystery book for middle graders. The story is engaging and fast paced. The characters are familiar and easy to relate to. The language is at the right level for middle graders. i would recommend this for a keen reader who likes some mystery and tension in their stories.

syc

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars… by John Green…

This book, this story, deserves the glowing reviews it has been given.

i LOVE it! Ok, there are very few books i dislike but this is one i will remember for a long long time; this is one which when i remember it, i smile sadly and nod knowingly, in appreciation of the window which John Green has given us into a world which is sad but yet so powerful.

faultinourstars20170310Hazel is terminal. She always has been. She has accepted and has learned to live with it, trying her best to live the life she has been given as close to how she wants to as possible, or at least to the extent her parents and doctors allow her.

And when she least expected it, life throws her a curve ball in the form of Augustus Waters; a handsome, tall, in-remission boy who accompanies his friend to cancer support group. As their relationship develops, we are privileged to see how terminally ill young people deal with death and living in the knowledge of what is going to kill you.

We watch how Hazel and Augustus relate to each other, to their grieving and fearful parents, to their doctors who are trying their best to offer some sort of treatment, to their friends who are outside of this cancer bubble and to their friends within the cancer bubble.

We see how each of these people cope or not cope with the harsh reality of a terminal diagnosis, how they choose to stay and love on or choose to walk away and forget.

Their adventure to find the author of Hazel’s favourite book reveals some wonderful moments and makes you think what you would and would not do for the one you love when they are dying, what it means to love someone even if it is only for a short time. The funny moments are precious, the sad moments are poignant; i laughed, i smiled, i cried a little, i cheered and my heart was moved.

i have not told you much at all about the storyline or even about the characters involved. It is a book i think you need to explore for yourself. So go out, get it and read it.

i truly wish all young people, who are faced with such illnesses, and their loved ones, every happiness life offers them, and every comfort and peace when the time comes to let go.

syc

Book Review: The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden… by Jonas Jonasson

I have been meaning, as usual, to write this review for a couple of months now. But as usual, life happens, Christmas stuff and then one’s son breaks his arms before Christmas… anyhow, I am now getting to it.

This is the second book I have read from Jonas Jonasson and I LOVE IT! You can read my review of “The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” here.

girlwhosavedking“The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden” is once again written in that matter-of-fact tone of voice which is serious and funny at the same time. This story follows a young African girl, Nombeko, who raises through the ranks of the sanitation industry in the slums of Johannesburg, from latrine barrel mover to being in charge of the whole area. Gifted in Math and having an ability to understand how people think/work, along with a hunger to learn, she sets her sights on getting to the National Library in Pretoria.

But as life would have it, it didn’t happen. She was run over by a drunk driver on her way to the National Library, who turned out to be the head engineer of the top-secret nuclear facility in South Africa. He made her his servant at the facility for many years. It sounds bad, but she did get access to the library at the facility and food and shelter. She made friends with 3 Chinese sisters who were at the facility for similar reasons and amazingly learned to speak their Chinese dialect.

The highly unlikely but wholly probable thing happens; the engineer got into trouble and somehow, she came to be in a position where she was negotiating with one of the world’s most feared secret service over a nuclear bomb and ends up on the run from them.

Her next stop – Sweden, where she meets the love of her life, Holger, and his crazy twin brother who has an even crazier girlfriend. The twin brother has ludicrous plans to harm the monarchy and the King of Sweden. Once again, she manages the circumstances and the people involved superbly and they live in relative peace for a while.

But her life adventures were not over, the nuclear bomb remained (yes, a super unlikely situation but still within the realms of possibility) with her all these years and now it threatened to upset her life again. And so they went on the run again, getting crazy twin brother’s girlfriend’s grandmother involved.

Her ability to speak a specific Chinese dialect enabled her to be able to gain access to a high-level Chinese official whom she met while in the engineer’s service, who was able to help her gain access to the King of Sweden. With a few more twists and turns, she managed to get rid of the bomb, save the King and avert an international political affair, and still crave out some sort of a life for her and her beloved Holger.

I have given out more of the story than I usually do but I felt I had to. I wanted you to see how wonderfully unlikely, yet amazingly beautiful this story is. I can’t tell it like Jonasson but this gives you a tiny peek into it.

This book is so funny and yet it made me think about people and their fears, and what we do with our fears and how that affects the people around us.

If you have not read any of Jonas Jonasson’s books, I would highly recommend it.

Happy Reading!

syc