Book Review: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

i love Jodi Picoult’s books. i have a collection. Her stories have such a big heart at the center of them and they usually make me think about the issues they touch on.

offthepage20191009This one, however, i feel, is more light-hearted than usual. This is, of course, aimed at the YA reader rather than her usual adult audience. It still has a ton of heart in it but the issues are different from what she usually tackles and i feel that is what makes it refreshing.

i also wanted to read this book because it is a collaboration between Picoult and her daughter, what an interesting prospect; to be able to work with and create something with your own child.

Off the Page is the sequel to Between the Lines, however, it does well as a stand-alone. i have not read the prequel but now i want to.

Which young person does not dream of a happily-ever-after? Almost everyone does. But this book explores what one might have to give up for that happily-ever-after? Would you still want the happily-ever-after, even if it’s different from your ideal vision of it?

It takes the classic story of The Prince and The Pauper and turns it into a modern fairytale with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. Oliver, a prince from a book, and the love of his life, Delilah, are finally together, in the real world. But strange things happen which seem to indicate that the universe is pulling them apart. Edgar, who agreed to switch places with Oliver and go live in the book-world, is less than happy as the book seems to not want him to dictate how the story goes. Delilah’s best friend is also pulled into the book, literally. To complicate matters, Edgar’s mother, who is the author of the story Oliver is from, needs saving too.

i really love how they wrote the story from different perspectives and show us how different characters felt and wanted. It really built a fuller story. i also like dedication at the end, it talks about how every one of us has a story, whether or not it’s written yet.

So if you are up for an easy read, which has a bit of excitement, a fair bit of romance and lots of emotions, this is one for you.

Happy Reading!

syc

Book Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown…

Wow! It has been almost a year since i last posted a book review. i have been reading just not books and…

Confession: i did get stuck reading this Dan Brown book. Stuck as in it didn’t interest me enough to keep going at my normal reading pace. It took me a good few months to finish.

thelostsymbolDanBrown20190828Now, this is not the first Dan Brown book i have read. i have read two others and i quite enjoyed those. So i thought i would enjoy reading another one. i did, eventually, enjoy this one BUT it took a while for the story to get going. i remembered that Brown is usually quite quick to draw you in but for this particular one, at least to me, it seemed as if he took his time in setting up quite a bit of background and i felt it took too long for the action to really kick in. i was a third of the way into the book before it really hooked me. Truth be told, i almost gave up reading it a few times. However, i knew he was a good writer and plowed through to the “i-can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page” stage.

So we meet Dr Robert Langdon again, and he is once again caught up in a dark chase of some myth, which yet again, he does not truly believe in. But this time more is at risk; the life of his dear friend and mentor, Peter Solomon, and Peter’s sister, Katherine, as well as his own life.

i enjoyed how he drew on Masonic legends as well as an obscure branch of science, Noetic Science, entwining the secrets of these with important monuments in Washington D.C. The antagonist was a pretty scary character; a man so focused on his goal that he would do anything to get it. However, it was a goal based on his own interpretation of what this ancient legend claims to bestow upon the one who finds it. Such a single-minded man is frightening yet at the end, i pitied him because he was misled by his own desperate need to be recognised.

As always, the book is also filled with codes to crack and mysterious persons who help Langdon on his quest.

Would i recommend this book? Yes, if you like puzzles and mysteries, and don’t mind a bit more background setup at the start.

Have you read this book? Or maybe another Dan Brown book? Did you enjoy it? Care to share your thoughts?

syc

Book Review: Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult…

This is my 4th review of a Jodi Picoult book so you can say i like her books… a lot. i have read way more than four of her books and have liked each one. But i have only started writing reviews a few years ago.

This one took me a long time to finish because i got really emotional about the story and the characters; so much so that i had to stop a few times, take a break from it, then carry on again.

Picoult’s books are always emotionally draining to read (not a bad thing) because readers will come to care for her characters very much.

51a3hqmpafl-_sx315_bo1204203200_The gist of this story involves Paige, whose mother left her when she was five, and she always felt like she is missing something because of that. Her father tried his best but being a man from a generation which did not express themselves very much, it was hard on Paige. She leaves her hometown, hoping to get into art school in Chicago but ends up falling in love and marrying an ambitious young doctor, who seemed the perfect man. But when they have a baby, her past secrets and doubts about her self-worth and ability as a mother cause her to run as she tries to find answers in her past in order to come back a better mother/person.

This story hits close to home for me because which woman has not doubted herself when she first became a mother. i doubt myself, even now, sometimes. While Paige struggled with her doubts, i remembered how i felt when struggling with similar issues. i also got really angry at her doctor husband who seemed so absorbed in his career and his own family issues. i wished i could have gone into the book and shaken him awake, and i wished i could have said to Paige, “You are doing just fine.”.

If you are a first-time mother reading this, please know that you don’t struggle alone and that you are doing just fine.

By the time i was half-way through the book, i was begging for a quick resolution. But Picoult was not done. There was more to explore and it is worth the effort to stay with the story and worth the wait as the resolution is good.

Picoult has done well exploring the theme of motherhood, not just from Paige’s point of view but also from the viewpoint of her run-away mother and her rather famous and strong-willed mother-in-law.

i am not going to say much more about the story because i want you to enjoy it for yourself. So go read it and let me know what you think.

Here are some other reviews of Picoult’s books: 2013, 2015, 2016.

syc