If I didn’t think North Korea was a strange and cruel country before reading this book, I certainly do now. As a Westerner, this way of life boggles my mind and I applaud the bravery it took to write this book and open the lid on the cruelty that is manipulating these people’s lives. Peter Chang is an angry soul who becomes a killer soldier to escape the demons of his mother’s death. Eventually he is assigned the job of watching out for another spy whose assignment is to marry and inform on a top Korean leader. Kim Suk didn’t realize just how twisted and cruel Kim Sung was until she ends up in a loveless marriage to him. She ends up having an affair with Peter and, although I’m not sure they are in love, they end up depending on each other to survive. This is more than a love story and I had to keep checking to make sure it is actually a non-fiction book because it is truly unbelievable which is what makes it so interesting and hard to put down. The writing is superb and the characters, although flawed, are written flawlessly. There is quite a bit of sexual content which may be a problem for some people but this is a story that needs to be told to open people’s eyes about North Korea and the regime there. This is a book that I just couldn’t stop reading. I read the digital version which worked well on my ereader. The cover doesn’t look particularly enticing but the old man sitting on the bench will make sense within the first few pages.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Year of the Crystal Children is an interesting adventure/mystery novel written for young adults but could be enjoyed by a lot of the older generations as well. The subject matter is very relevant to today’s world where technology rules and government advancement in this area has led to questions of just how much should “big brother” have access to in our lives. For me, this novel is like the book 1984 written by George Orwell for this generation. Bailey is a normal teenager who lives in a time when drones are used to monitor citizens’ movements and students wear I.D. tags that record their every movement. When Bailey returns to her school to retrieve her cell phone, she stumbles on a government secret that leads to her arrest and incarceration in a rehabilitation school where she meets a group of kids who have also been unfairly arrested due to their curiosity. This motley crew are intent on finding out exactly what the government is up to in the woods surrounding the rehab school. I enjoyed this book and found it to be a fast and easy read. I particularly liked the characters which were well written, believable and, most important of all, likeable. At the very beginning of the book, which is a perfect place to put this, the author adds a few facts about some of the concepts discussed in the book. It was very interesting and helpful while reading the rest of the book. This was an ebook and formatted well on my ereader and the cover was interesting. I hope this book becomes part of a series because there is much more to tell in Bailey’s story.
Monday, 15 June 2015
Monday, Sunday is a disturbing erotic novel about a young widow who lusts after a teenage boy at the same time that she is dating his father. The events unfold over only a few days but a lot happens. I enjoyed the style of writing and the character development was really well done. The story moved along quickly and read easily. The problem for me was the whole concept of a grown woman leading on a teenage boy, and Laney very much does just that. I realize it does happen but I just found parts of the storyline to be quite off-putting and felt like I needed a shower after I finished reading them. The main character, Laney, is a horrible human being who is incredibly vain and unlikeable. Christopher, the teenage boy, is not much better although his actions and behaviours are realistically written as those of a disturbed young man. The fact that the relationships, apart from Laney and Chris’s, are so well written makes it hard for me to completely dislike this book. If it were most any other erotic book I would probably have loved it but the storyline was too much for me. I read the digital version and it read well on my ereader. The cover is fine as well although it was the title that drew my attention. I’ll probably check out another book by this author because overall I like the style of writing.