Monday, November 21, 2011

The Gift by Cecelia Ahern

Introduction: 2 weeks to finish reading this book... what a shame! Oh busy life... :( Its sad that it took me so long to reach the ending of this book. Coz it was really touching... magical if I may say. I was literally sobbing while going through the last chapter. Not that its something new, its so easy to make me cry anyway... especially when its a story about family struggles.

Overview: Lou Suffern is practiced in the art of concealment. He is, also, always overstretched, trying to do too many things at once. His overburdened schedule gives him few moments of peace, even in his sleep. And when he spends time at home with his wife and family, he is always distracted, and, mentally, somewhere else.
On a cold winter morning, Lou is on his way to work when he encounters Gabe, a homeless street dweller, sitting outside an office building. Lou is intrigued by him, and contrives to get him a job in the post room. But this act of charity rebounds on him, and Gabe’s presence begins to grate on Lou -- particularly when he discovers that the latter seems capable of being in two places at the same time. Christmas is drawing near, and before the season is over, Lou’s life will be irrevocably change by the casual act of kindness he has performed.

My Opinion: Lou is a selfish jerk who thinks only about his career, and everyone else around him just nods and dont do anything about it. Then along came Gabe who gave him the gift to be in two places at the same time. I dont like Gabe... there's just too much mystery thrown in that he became vague as a character. Some situations are very improbable, but hey... its fiction, right? So whatever... :p Anyway, the ending, like what I said earlier, is very touching indeed.

This book will make you question your priorities, and make us see the sad truth that most of us neglect the really important things in life. Since its almost Christmas (a month or so away from now)... this book is a perfect read. Perhaps this will help us celebrate this season in a more meaningful way.

I guess the last thing I can say about the story is... we are no different from Lou. Most of the times we are so busy trying to reach our dreams - to be number one at work and be the best in what we do... that often times we forget to be the best in the MORE important things - like being the best daughter or son, the best mom or dad, the best sister or brother, the best wife or husband. Cliche as it may be, but there are far more important things than money.

Lets not be like Lou, and wait for his dying moment before he started telling his family how much they meant to him. Everyday, let the people we truly love know that they are what matters most to us. Because not only dont we have the magic pill to give us a second chance, we also dont have the privilege of knowing how much time we have left in this world. So lets not waste a second.

My Rating: 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Babylon Nights By Daniel Depp

Introduction: It took me forever to finish this book because I was a little tied up with life lately. I kinda feel guilty going home and looking at this untouched book... but I was just basically very tired to pick it up, more so flip the pages. Until yesterday, by the pool side... I managed to finish it at last! :)

Overview: Anna Mayhew, an almost "has been" in Hollywood, is planning her suicide. Vincent Perec, a razor wielding fan, is planning her murder. Then along comes private investigator David Spandau to put a hitch in both their plans.

Babylon Nights is Daniel Depp's follow up to 2009's Loser's Town, which introduced readers to the cut-throat, seedy underbelly of the film industry through the eyes of former rodeo rider turned movie stuntman turned private investigator, David Spandau. With Babylon Nights, Depp has written a tight and well told story using his background in the film industry to craft a true noir crime novel.

My Opinion: Depp has somehow transported me into the fascinating worlds of a fading Hollywood star, a psychotic fan, an ex-stuntman now problematic private detective and a black pimp. I witnessed and understood the passion of Anna who prefers dying than being tagged as a "has-been"; I became interested in the life of David, who would drink to drown his heartache; The crazy stalker who threatens Anna's life, and the very amusing pimp named Special.

This book is filled with surprises... a good read for me, if I must say. I liked how the love story between Anna and David developed. I even liked the ill-fated romance (or was it?) between Amalie and Vincent. Even though Vincent is the antagonist here, the author managed to make me sympathize with him... he gave him a heart through Amalie. Even Special, who surprised us in the end, is a very intriguing character indeed. 

I know there are a lot of little questionable twists in the story, like how Anna all of a sudden changed her mind about killing herself when she paid a significant amount of money for the vial that would do the trick. For me, the reason was just not established well - if David's presence or Vincent's threat... I guess only Anna knew. But anyway, overall, this book is fun and entertaining.

My Rating: