The Storyteller–Jodi Piccoult

So now, I am back again! I have finished reading the Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult. I have read two of Jodi Piccoult’s books–House Rules and Nineteen Minutes and I must say, this is one of her best books that I have read. So here is my review!

The Storyteller–Jodi Piccoult

 

Jodi-Picoult-The-Storyteller

 

Mourning the passing of her mother, Sage Singer decides to attend a grief support group. She doesn’t expect to start an unlikely friendship with an elderly man also attending. Josef Weber is a beloved, retired teacher and Little League coach. Together they attempt to heal.

But one day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses but then he confesses his darkest and long-buried secret, one that irrevocably changes Sage’s worldview. She suddenly finds herself facing questions she never expected, such as what do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all, if Sage even considers his request, is it murder or justice? The Storyteller explores these issues and more in this “profound and moving novel about secrets, lies, and how the power of stories can change the course of history” (Shelf Awareness).

03d7b-my2breview So the topic Holocaust has always intrigued me. Storyteller is about a girl who befriends an old man she met at the grief group and the two form an unlikely friendship until the man tells her that he was a former SS Nazi soldier. Worst, the girl’s grandmother was a Holocaust survivor. So when he confesses to her, asking her to forgive him for the crimes he had committed including even killing him, can Sage actually forgive him let alone kill him?

So overall, her is my thoughts

  • Jodi Piccoult has done tremendous research while writing this book. She herself had admitted that she had talked to many Holocaust survivors who had told her about their experiences as well as learning how to bake. The topic “Holocaust” is a sensitive issue where one must write in precaution. It’s one of the worst event that ever happened in history and to this day, still, Holocaust is the main topic in history.
  • There are three main characters–Sage, Josef and Minka. Leo is more like a backdrop who is assisting in helping Sage to bring Josef to deportation after his confession. Sage to me was initially my least favorite character but later on in the book, she gets matured, concerned about her grandmother and overall, becomes confident in herself as she starts a relationship with Leo, who is working in Department of Justice
  • My favorite character in this book is Minka–Jodi has tackled well writing the experiences of Holocaust using as a first person–it’s harrowing especially when writing details about worst conditions at the ghetto and Auschwitz. Minka is truly a brave heroine who went through many obstacles–losing her parents and sister and also her best friend, she witnessed many horrors during the war and including seen SS soldier Reiner Hartmann killing her best friend. Minka’s vivid description genuinely portrays the stories of real life Holocaust survivors, truly inspiring the generation.I also like Minka’s relationship with her father.
  • Minka’s story has fascinated one of the SS soldiers, who happens to be the brother of notorious Reiner Hartmann. Because of her ability to speak German, Minka and this soldier grow an unlikely invisible bond where Franz later on wants to know what happens in the end.
  • Last but not least is Josef Weber who claims that he is Reiner Hartmann. When you read his view about the atrocities and notorious crimes he had committed against the prisoners at the camp, you sometimes had to put the book down, unable to read it. But (spoiler alert) there is a strong twist towards the end when we find that Josef was actually Franz and not Reiner

Overall I give this book

 

76293-five-stars

Well written, more like a reality book with harrowing descriptions of the holocaust.

 

Stay tune for my next review!!

Quotes

 

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End of Sabbatical

I know I haven’t posted anything for the past few months–I have been sabbatical. But I am going to be back again! Starting this month!

So my plan has changed a little and I will outline the books I am going to blog below

  • 14th October 2017–The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult
  • 31st October 2017–Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • 10th November 2017–Road to Elephant Pass
  • 20th November 2017–Like a Flowing River by Paulo Coehlo

Stay tuned!

Classical Music theme 1–Frederic Chopin

OK, besides from book blogging, I decided that I will also start a bit of music blogging, especially on classical music theme.

So how many of you all love listening to classical music? Maybe a few. I play the piano and currently I am pursuing a diploma on the piano. And yes, I do listen to classical music. My iPod consists of all classical music–most of them rather. And since I am currently reading books and no books to blog at the moment, I decided weekly, I will do a music blog, and starting from today will be starting the first ever classical theme blog–starting with Frederic Chopin.

OK….any one who is into classical music knows who Frederic Chopin is.  Here is a picture of Chopin along with a brief biography.

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Frédéric François Chopin (/ˈʃpæn/French: [fʁedeʁik fʁɑ̃swa ʃɔpɛ̃]; 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin,[n 1] was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. He gained and has maintained renown worldwide as a leading musician of his era, whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.”[1] Chopin was born in what was then the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.

At 21 he settled in Paris. Thereafter, during the last 18 years of his life, he gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by teaching piano, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann. In 1835 he obtained French citizenship. After a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French woman writer George Sand. A brief and unhappy visit to Majorca with Sand in 1838–39 was one of his most productive periods of composition. In his last years, he was financially supported by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. Through most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health. He died in Paris in 1849, at the age of 39, probably of tuberculosis.

All of Chopin’s compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some songs to Polish lyrics. His keyboard style is highly individual and often technically demanding; his own performances were noted for their nuance and sensitivity. Chopin invented the concept of the instrumental ballade. His major piano works also include mazurkaswaltzesnocturnespolonaisesétudesimpromptusscherzospreludes and sonatas, some published only after his death. Influences on his composition style include Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. BachMozart and Schubert, as well as the Paris salons where he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, musical form, and harmony, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period.

Chopin’s music, his status as one of music’s earliest superstars, his association (if only indirect) with political insurrection, his love life and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era in the public consciousness. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying degrees of historical accuracy. (curtesy of Wikipedia)

OK, Chopin is one of my favorite composers. Since he belongs to the romantic era of the music period, his piano songs are well let’s say, sound romantic–consists mainly of emotions. Some of his pieces are extremely hard but I wanted to play Chopin so badly!!!

OK, so I will list out five of my favorite Chopin pieces of all the time

  1. Nocturne No. 20 in C Sharp Minor

Anyone watched the Holocaust movie called The Pianist? Good movie by the way based on true story. Anyway, this piece was composed in 1830. The piece at first starts with a sad melancholy pace and in the middle, it plays a bit happy. This piece has a haunting effect on the listeners and I am actually trying to learn to play this piece on the piano

2. Etude in E Flat Major, Op 10 No. 11

I like this piece. I haven’t tried this piece yet.

3. Etude No. 12 in C Minor (Revolutionary)

This is a solo piano piece by Chopin composed somewhere in 1831. Apparently, this was composed at the same time during the November uprising in 1831 of failed Polish revolution against the Russians. Chopin used his emotions in this masterpiece which he clearly outlines in the piece.

4. Waltz in E minor No. 14 Op Posth.

I played this piece for my Grade 8 piano examination and I can’t believe that I played this piece. It has a playful dainty tune in the piece, and there were some parts where you have to play fast and some with delicate and playful emotion. Overall , I like this piece

Last but not least…

5. Nocturne in E flat Major, Op 9 No. 2

The most famous piece of Chopin. I think you might have heard this music in the movies.

So, do you like my list of Chopin favorite music?

Find out which composer is for my next week classical theme!

 

Orange Boy-Book Review

Hello everyone! Long time no see…so I have been pretty much being pre-occupied lately but that doesn’t mean I am not going to stop reading books. This time I read an interesting book called “Orangeboy” by Patrice Lawrence. I just finished reading the book and so here is my review

 

Orange Boy–Patrice Lawrence

oran

Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through.

NOT ANY MORE. NOT SINCE MR ORANGE.

Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise – he’ll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it’s been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They’re after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they’re going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon’s out of choices – can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books (2 Jun. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • Genre–Y/A, Family, Social Issues, Mystery and Thriller, Detectives, General

About the Author

Patrice_Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Susses. This meant great holidays and even better food. Shoe found her way to east London in the 90s and lives there with a partner, a teenager and a car called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi, and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum and bass, Bruce Springsteen and music from Studio Chibli Films. Music can’t help creeping into her books.

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OK So first of all, this is young adults fiction book and yeah I normally don’t read such stuff. But you got to admit that the front cover of the book is -a-mazing!! So I was at the book store and I saw this book and the front cover intrigued me and so I bought. Nice right? Anyway, I finished reading the book and I must, it is an awesome book.  This books is kind of like an urban thriller with family drama and social issues, particularly on street gangs, guns and road violence including drug business in the streets of London.

So basically, the main character, Marlon has promised his mother that he will never be like his older brother Andre, known among the street gang and police as “The Bukka”. However, he goes on a date with a girl named Sonya who offers him some ecstasy and when she dies, Marlon gets into the glimpse of the world in which his brother used to be in. His life suddenly turns upside down when he realizes that he is the main target and that a group of thugs are coming after him, seeking revenge. Marlon, who used to be a goody boy now soon exposed to this gangster world, trying to seek answers, why these thugs are seeking revenge from his family.

So here are the things that I truly enjoy reading the book.

  • I love Lawrence’s style of writing–her writing is precise and unique. It actually keeps the reader at a pace and I truly enjoyed her writing.
  • The book mainly describes about the social issues and family drama. For example, Marlon’s mother, who is working in a library is trying her best to become a good mother to her two boys and she was heartbroken when she thinks that Marlon is getting into the gang world that her older son, Andre used to be in. She tries to be a strict mother but at the same time dedicated mother to both Andre and Marlon–which is according to the main character a contrast to the main antagonist D-Ice’ s mother who had abandoned both D-Ice and his older brother Tayz.
  • OK there are some parts that are realistic. Anywhere in the world, if a black man as much as he is from a decent background becomes the main suspect in the police world. A good example is Sonya, the girl that he went out on a date with is a white girl and pills were found on Marlon’s pockets which Marlon claims that Sonya had given to him but the police refuse to believe that.
  • I like this friendship between Marlon and Tish–an extraordinary friendship in which Tish tries helping Marlon.
  • Sometimes I don’t really like the main character–he can be so annoying sometimes!!

So over all, I will give this book

5 Star Rating

Stay tune for my next review!!

 

The Asylum–Book Reveiw

Hi Everyone! I am back again!

So I just finished reading the Asylum, a Swedish novel written by Swedish author Johan Theorin which is a psychological thriller. It took me two months for me to finally finish the book (since I have been reading other books lately) and finally I finished it! So here goes my review…

The Asylum–Book Review

the-asylum_jacketpicUK

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Doubleday (October 1, 2012)

Language: English (Original Swedish)

Genre–Thriller, Suspense, Crime.

Summary

We don’t talk about sick or healthy people at St Patricia’s. Words such as hysteric, lunatic and psychopath…They are no longer used. Because who amongst us can say that we are always healthy?’ An underground passage leads from the Dell nursery to Saint Patricia’s asylum. Only the children enter, leaving their minders behind. On the other side are their parents – some of the most dangerous psychopaths in the country. Jan has just started working at the nursery. He is a loner with many secrets and one goal. He must get inside the asylum…What is his connection with one of the inmates, a famous singer? What really happened when a boy in his care went missing nine years ago? Who can we trust when everyone has something to hide?

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All right, so this story is a chilling Swedish psychological novel, where the protagonist, Jan Hauger, who is a pre school teacher with secrets of his own starts his job at the Dell Nursery where it is located near a mental asylum known as St Patricia’s that holds the country’s most dangerous psychos as well. This novel divides between past and present and the author eventually helps us to get a glimpse on Jan’s thoughts. Eventually, we find that Jan is actually a disturbed young youth who had also being locked up in a mental institution himself when he was a teenager and he has a difficulty of getting connected with the people. He is also on a quest as well–he mainly took up the job simply because he wanted to find someone who is locked in St. Patricia–his childhood love named Alice Rami. Throughout this book, it simply talks about obsession as Jan is obsessed to find Rami in the institution.

So here are the things that I liked about the book

  • I like the writing style of the novel–the writing is engaging and well written.
  • There are some tense moments in the chapters that makes you wonder what is going to happen next.

Things I didn’t really like

  • Despite this being a psychological thriller, I feel it’s not as scary as it sounds like. Not like the Girl with the Dragon tattoo.
  • Cannot feel connection with the characters–all the characters seems to be having flaws.

Over all I rate this book three stars but I do recommend this book though. It has some thrilling sense in it.

Stay tuned for my next review!!!