Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: The Final Testament of the Holy Bible

Title The Final Testament of the Holy Bible

Author James Frey

Release Date April 20, 2011

James Frey isn't like other writers. He's been called a liar. A cheat. A con man. He's been called a saviour. A revolutionary. A genius. He's been sued by readers. Dropped by publishers because of his controversies. Berated by TV talk-show hosts and condemned by the media. He's been exiled from America, and driven into hiding. He's also a bestselling phenomenon. Published in 38 languages, and beloved by readers around the world. What scares people about Frey is that he plays with truth; that fine line between fact and fiction.

Now he has written his greatest work, his most revolutionary, his most controversial. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. What would you do if you discovered the Messiah were alive today? Living in New York. Sleeping with men. Impregnating young women. Euthanizing the dying, and healing the sick. Defying the government, and condemning the holy. What would you do if you met him? And he changed your life. Would you believe? Would you?The Final Testament of the Holy Bible.

It will change you. Hurt you. Scare you. Make you think differently. Live differently. Enrage you. Offend you. Open your eyes to the world in which we live. We've waited 2,000 years for the Messiah to arrive. We've waited 2,000 years for this book to be written. He was here. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible is the story of his life.

I've read one other book by James Frey before. You know, the book that caused all that controversy... A Million Little Pieces, yeah. That's the one. I really enjoyed his writing. Having read and enjoyed that book was one of the reasons I was interested in reading this book of his. The other reason was because I was interested in a book that pushed the boundaries and wanted to shake things up a bit.

The book started out really well, but it lost its momentum over time. It began to feel repetitive and boring. The biggest example of this was the unrealistic amounts of sex that Ben Zion has with his followers. By no means am I offended at the thought of the Messiah having sex with anyone (or even a number of people), but it was more outlandish than realistic in the book. I feel like it would have been more powerful and meaningful to have him sleep with a few people he encountered rather than nearly everyone. Instead of conveying a message of love, I got the message that the Messiah had a very healthy libido.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. While it wasn't the thought-provoking book I thought it was going to be, it was worth the read.


3.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book Review: Marina in a Green Dress

Title Marina in a Green Dress

Author Alan Davidson

Release Date May 20, 2012

New to London, Jessica Tye is alarmingly obsessed with MARINA, a lush West End stage musical. With its storyline, its music -- and its sensational boy lead singer, Kennedy Orr, who won a TV talent show to land the role. She's often composed letters to him, in her head. When she finally puts pen to paper, it's for an emotional outpouring only, not for posting......until, surprisingly, her dull boy friend decides to teach her a lesson and mails it.

He's not to know that Jessica's letter will spark off amazing and unsettling events.....because Kennedy Orr has some obsessions of his own.

What a weird little book! It was unusual and romantic and slightly creepy. It was hard to put down. I don't think I've ever read anything similar.

Alan Davidson is a fantastic writer. He developed a complex and fascinating story in Marina in a Green Dress. The little book blurb doesn't do the book justice at all.

My only complaint is that the book started out a little slow. Once it picked up speed, though, it went full steam ahead.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Fire

Title Fire

Author Heather James

Release Date January 5, 2013

Is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?

Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? But then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.

Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.

This might not be a book that I would have chosen for myself normally. I'm very glad the author contacted me about reading and reviewing her book. I would have surely been missing out on a fantastic book.

Heather James has created a unique fantasy world with amazing detail. What I really enjoyed the most was that she was able to incorporate the history and politics of her fantasy world in a way that was interesting. Never once did I feel like I was being fed information solely to further along the story.

The characters in the story were great as well. James was able to create and maintain separate main characters wonderfully. Everyone feels like they have their own personalities and differences. I very much enjoyed Roxy's character, but I'm also very excited to find out more about Jasmine and her abilities.

The book started out just a little slow, but quickly picked up. By the end of the book, it was very fast-paced and I was rather disappointed that it ended. I'm looking forward to the next book and wish Heather James good luck!


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review: Room

Title Room

Author Emma Donoghue

Release Date September 13, 2010

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Room is told entirely from the point-of-view of a five-year-old. The writing is unlike anything else I've read before and I'm still unsure if that's a good thing or not. The narration takes a while to get used to and, even by the end of the book, I still wasn't thrilled about it. I must say that I felt Jack was done very well. Jack seems like other five-year-old boys that I know. He's naive, selfish, and slightly annoying. While all of these things might sound bad, when in context, they aren't. He's a child and, even given his circumstances, he's a lot like a child should be. Emma Donoghue did a really great job at making Jack come to life and made an excellent choice in having him narrate the story. I believe it's much more powerful through his eyes as opposed to his Ma's.

A few things that I didn't enjoy:

Overall, this book is difficult for me to review. I've read many reviews where people say you'll either love it or hate it and that's just not true in my case. I definitely didn't love Room, but I didn't hate it, either. I can't really recommend or not recommend it to anyone.


3.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review: Scars

Title Scars

Author Cheryl Rainfield

Release Date March 24, 2010

Kendra hasn't felt safe since devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse began surfacing, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail-her abuser s identity. Someone is always watching Kendra, following her and leaving menacing messages, and making her fear for her life. Kendra cuts to relieve the pressure: it s how she copes, along with her brilliant expressive artwork. Her mother is too self-absorbed to listen, so Kendra finds support elsewhere: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy a family friend, and from Meghan, a friend and maybe more. Will they ever learn the truth about Kendra s terrible secret? Scars is the story of one one girl s frightening path to the truth.

WARNING: This book (not the review, however) can be triggering for anyone that has dealt with self-injury or sexual abuse.

This book was amazing. Cheryl Rainfield does an amazing job at telling Kendra's story.

Rainfield's writing, at least in this book, is incredibly powerful. Her choice of language, especially during the parts about self-injury were real and raw. I was able to feel Kendra's pain and my heart broke for her. After the identity of the abuser is revealed, I had to take a couple of moments away from reading because I felt sick. Many times, especially towards the end of the book, I had tears in my eyes.

I devoured this book once I sat down to read it. Even though I mentioned that this book can be triggering, the ending was one of hope. It wasn't an ending of perfection and rainbows and butterflies, but hope... hope that one day, even after all the struggles we've been through, things will finally be okay.


5 out of 5 stars