[REVIEW] The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

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Harvey Swick is a ten year old boy who is bored. One day a mysterious man appears from his window and offers him a place where he’ll have fun and won’t be bored anymore. The idea of just having fun sounds appealing to Harvey so he agrees on going with the stranger to the the ‘Holiday House’.

The Holiday House is heaven for children. The days are bright and sunny and in the evenings Halloween appears. It’s a perfect home for children. Harvey was promised a lot of fun and that he can leave whenever he wants. But not everything’s perfect in this house…

As Harvey spends more and more time in the house, playing outside and having fun, he begins to suspect that something’s very wrong with this place.

In my opinion, Harvey was kind of more mature for his age. Often in some situations he did or said things that made me think this. The last 40 pages were hard to process, I felt like the ending was rushed and some of the scenes in the book were kind of unreal to me.

Overall this was a great children’s book. It was dark and fun.

My rating for this book is:

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[REVIEW] A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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I’ve been eyeing this book since January. As each day passed I got more and more excited for it’s publication. After six (most torturous days) days it finally arrived. This book is something special. I love this book with all my being. As the reviews and description say, this book is ‘heartbreaking‘ but even if you’re not a fan of sad books I’d still recommend reading it. Hanya Yanagihara is a spectacular author. She created characters that are so real. Again, this book is something special. By turning pages and getting deeper into the book I felt drawn into the story, to the power it held. You feel like you’ve witnessed four decades of Jude’s life, which in a way you have.

The story is centered around four people Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm who move to New York in order to ‘make their way’. As the story progresses we ascertain that Jude is different from the other members of the group. As we read on the story centers on Jude and his story. We find out why he’s different and more about him. Jude St. Francis is a wonderful character and very complex as all of the characters. What stands out about him is his mysterious past that troubles him even after all those years. We’ve got Willem, JB and Malcolm who each have their own stories.

I really have no words to describe this novel. It is truly a masterpiece. How Yanagihara makes you feel protective of Jude and you actually have hard time reading through Jude’s past. This is a story of friendship and it’s meaning. But in the description it says ‘’… transcendent hymn to brotherly love..’’ I have to disagree with this because this is a story about love, friendship, ups and downs of this world.

This novel made me realise how you can’t truly know a person without sharing something whether an adventure, a bad experience etc. Also that memories which we try to neglect can never be forgotten, they are still with us somewhere.

I have nothing more to say because I don’t want to ruin the wonderful and terrible experience of reading this book. I will try and re-read this novel in the future when I’m much older because I know that I’ll appreciate and understand it more than I do now. I’ll just say this is the first book that made me cry in years and that this is one of my favourite books ever.

I give this book:
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[REVIEW] A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I haven’t been affected by a book like this for a long time, nor thought about one for this long after finishing it.  This story that spans 30 years between two generations is one of  brutality of women under different regimes in Afghanistan.  Mariam and Laila share their separate stories before they come together to help each other through the darkest part of their lives under the Taliban. This unrelenting story about sacrifice and hope is one that I will hold close forever.

I am so grateful to Khaled Hosseini for giving this insight into a land I know so little about, for within the story giving the cruel history which I can understand a little bit better now.  And he does it in a way that makes my heart ache for the destruction of these cities and lives of these women. His writing is seamless and really manages to somehow put me in a country and culture I’ve been so ignorant of.

This story was hard to read a lot of the time, I’m not going to lie.  Of course, I had heard that Hosseini’s novels were usually depressing, but as time went on, I kept waiting for a turnaround that felt like it would never come.  It was hard to read this novel, but Mariam and Laila gave me strength to keep going, as weird as it sounds.  They brought hope through their bond and the bond of the children that even through the worst of times was enough to keeping waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Hosseini understands somehow so clearly the extreme fears, and in this case not so extreme, of women.  He showed this through these two characters, and I will respect them forever.  Laila for her outspokenness and her desire for change and Mariam for her sacrifices and endurance of her life.  They are true heroes that I am so, so grateful for.

Khaled Hosseini is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and needless to say, I’ll be picking up his other books very soon.

Rating:

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[REVIEW] I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak’s I Am The Messenger is a truly unique tale of what happens when ordinary Ed Kennedy receives a card with just three addresses which spurs his journey as the messenger to those in need.  It is a touching novel that really makes you see just how connected all our stories are

I was wary going into the book.  I did not want to be disappointed after reading The Book Thief, and while the writing styles were the same, the narrative in this novel was refreshingly different and suited the story.  How Zusak could take all my favorite aspects of his writing but still make it wholly new to suit a different tale is a real testament to how his writing really puts the reader in the setting.

There was so much truth in the characters of Ed and his friends.  They were so believable as new adults struggling with their own way and backgrounds.  Each one was extremely interesting, especially with the way they tied into the story.

My favorite part of this novel was the premise.  It was such an inventive and completely unprecedented one, unlike anything I’ve ever read before.  The way Ed gets sucked into this adventure and completely absorbed by the mystery of it in turn captured my interest, making me want to keep reading.  Even the first scene captures you with its equal parts drama and humor.  It certainly sets the tone for the novel.  Every single story was important to the message as a whole, and I loved every one of them.  Each one had a role, and though seemingly unrelated to each other, came together in the end to make the message. 

The story is witty and poignant and sometimes emotional, and Zusak certainly does not disappoint for my second of his novels.

Rating:

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