Monday, January 30, 2012

In My Mailbox #45: James or John?

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren.

James Patterson
The Postcard Killers

John Grisham
The Appeal
The Associate

Which of these two is better? That is a tough question. I've been reading these two remarkable authors these days. I can honestly say that I'm addicted to them both! But I think I like James Patterson more since I'm totally into crime/mystery novels, on the other hand, John Grisham is really wonderful when it comes to twist and turns and courtroom drama. I love them both!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: I, Alex Cross by James Patterson

Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain—they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable—a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.


I'm reading a lot of James Patterson these days, if you skim and read my reviews you'll see why he has become one of my most-read-authors nowadays and also I have two new books from him which I bought last week, they haven't arrived yet. So excited to read those! For now, let me  prattle on about this book.

The Story:
The plot of this book was wicked! A beloved family member has been murdered and Alex is devastated by this, he knows that there's more into this murder than meets the eye when he learned that his relative was involved in prostitution. Much as he loath the way Caroline died (she was chopped or minced into pieces by a wood chipper, eww right? What a nasty way to die!), there's only one thing that Alex wants, and that is to apprehend the killer who has taken Caroline's life so brutally and without remorse. He can't negate this feeling that there's a higher power in the works when he started investigating the case and ended up connecting the crime to the White House. Now that fact is a different playing field altogether. How can he possibly unearth this mystery if the White House was involved?

The Characters:
My favorite character is Nana. She is the one who holds the family together as one. Alex adores and loves her very much, he needs Nana to be there whenever he's in some kind of emotional wreck. Bree and Alex are perfect for each other. They know their strengths and weaknesses and they acknowledge and accepted those aspects as part of their relationship as a couple. Theirs isn't a perfect one but they know that hard work and dedication is the key for them to ultimately succeed. Alex's kids are just adorable. They both know that their father's work sends him away from the house almost everyday and they're fine with that and supports him all the way.

What I Want To Happen Next:
I hope that Alex and Bree will eventually get married and have their own kids someday. I also want some minor characters added to this series, maybe a new detective of some sort that will have a part in Alex's team of detectives.

Highly recommended, James's books are addicting and simply amazing! If you like non-stop suspense and relentless action, this book is for you!

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

When he falls ill on his way home from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover—then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.


This book was an accident. I had no plan to read it, never heard of it and no idea what it was about. Well, come to think of it, I know something about it actually. I knew for a fact that it was a movie that starred Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes and that it was critically acclaimed and won numerous recognitions and awards from different award giving bodies. These accomplishments of the novel piqued my interest, so when I saw a copy of The Reader I had this urge to read the book and find out for myself why The Reader has become a national bestseller and one of the most talked about books of all time...


I'm a voracious reader, I want to try books that I don't normally read but sometimes, it's not easy getting out of your usual comfort zone since I tend to get bored. The Reader was a good read. I can give it that, maybe it really has this depth and meaning into it... It's just that, it didn't really gave me any special thing about it. When I was half way reading it, I can portend that I wasn't going to like the rest of it. I did managed to finish the book, sadly, without any enthusiasm on my part. I like to be entertained, that's the main reason I read. Alas, The Reader didn't live up to my expectations, maybe I don't dig these kind of books (historical, biographies, inspirational and self-help books). I often opted for fiction and books with fast paced theme into them. If you like a thought-provoking novel, then The Reader is perfect for you. It didn't stir any feelings from me though...

My Rating: 3 ½ Stars


Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson


Detective Lindsay Boxer chases a jewel thief, a murderous movie star, and a killer with a vendetta against women and children. A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood red lipstick. The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling walks in on a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is an empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria. Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner Rich—and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her relationship with her fiancé and the Women's Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line—but is it enough to save the city? With unparalleled danger and explosive action, The 9th Judgment is James Patterson at his compelling, unstoppable best!


A top notch crime thriller! James is a master storyteller. From start to finish, The 9th Judgment has a steady control over its reader. Never ending suspense and heart stopping twists and turns, this may well be my favorite book for 2012 so far. The Women’s Murder Club is a group of women who help one another to solve crimes and each and every one of them have their own passion for police work and their own lives to live. I love a series that has these elements in them. I like to follow their loves through every book that comes out. For the 9th Judgment I think I go it all wrong, I should’ve read the first book. Instead I bypassed the previous 8 titles. Now I’m on the hunt to get all these books. Detective Lindsay Boxer is the main character and boy is she tough!

The 9th Judgment is a well-written crime drama that sometimes freaked me out. Series of shootings of mother and child plagued the city and the killer doesn’t leave anything behind but a cryptic message that he always writes using a lipstick roll after each gruesome act of violence. The Women’s Murder Club is rocked to their cores by this unimaginable crime, who would kill a helpless mother and an innocent child for no apparent reason at all? Is it some kind of pathetic revenge? Is it for fun? The list will go on and on and will never stop unless this killer is apprehended. A wife of an actor was shot inside their own home after a cat burglar cleared up the safe is another case that Lindsay has to solve and on top of this, she’s working out her personal relationship with her partner only makes it difficult for her to juggle her career and personal life simultaneously. Highly recommended!!

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Best Of Me by Nicholas Sparks


In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths. Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?


My very first Nicholas Sparks novel! Before my review, I’d like to tell something on how this book landed on my reading pile. Last Christmas, I’ve made a book wish list wherein I listed down all the books I wanted as gifts for Christmas. The Best Of Me was the last book I added to that list, and how did it end up there? Okay, Nicholas Sparks was due to visit the Philippines before Christmas and I saw this big promotional poster plastered on a certain mall depicting his latest book. I got curious and a bit excited, I mean, Nicholas Sparks is coming here! I’m not a fan, hardly, but the movie adaptation of his books is really good and it’s safe to say that I’ve seen almost all of them and liked them surprisingly (rarely do I read romance novels, only the ones with enough substance in them, same goes with the movies). At first, I wanted to go to his book signing and meet him, eventually, that didn’t happen. The Best of Me was given to me by a friend January of this year, so there goes meeting Nicholas. I did see on the news that the fans were all there to give him a warm welcome and I think that’s nice. I hope he’ll visit here again and I’ll make sure that I’m there on his book signing from start to finish.

The Best Of Me is a very emotional novel. Having read the likes of LaVyrle Spencer and Anne River Siddons, both powerful writers with numerous novels under their belts, I can’t help but compare Nicholas to them. I used to think that only women can write romance novels and that men can’t in anyway do it. I was proved wrong. Nicholas writes from the heart and his characters are splendid and always with a touch of uniqueness in them. I got misty eyed towards the ending of the book, how convenient right? I rarely cry from reading books (except Harry Potter, the scene with him talking to his parents on the mirror of Erised.) but with The Best of Me, the intensity and the passion Nicholas has crafted leaves no room for thinking, you can just feel the flood of mixed emotions and can't help but cry with Dawson and Amanda...because their feelings for each other is the true meaning of unconditional love...

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Monday, January 16, 2012

In My Mailbox #44: 2012 Book Bash!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  The Story Siren.
My very first 2012 book purchases! I told myself that I’ll go easy in buying books this year but I really can’t help it! Like last Friday, I was on my way home when I saw this people crowding around outside Powerbooks Megamall and I can’t miss any of that so I immediately went over the store and found out that there was a big sale going on! I elbowed my way and begun sifting through the pile of books and grabbed three books in the process. All of them were almost 75% off!!! I can’t believe my luck! 

Come Sunday, yesterday to be exact, I went to a bookstore near a certain mall and wanted to find out if they have new deliveries, since I haven’t visited the store for quite some time now, I was excited to see if they have those “gems” that I sometimes encounter. No such like, I only ended up buying one book but it’s a great find nonetheless…

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Hangman by Faye Kellerman

High school senior Chris Whitman confessed to murdering his girlfriend to spare beautiful, vulnerable Terry McLaughlin from having to testify at his trial. Years later, when the truth set Chris free, he married Terry, changed his name to Donatti . . . and became a professional killer. Now Terry's missing, Donatti's disappeared—and their teenage son, Gabe, has no one to turn to except his mother's friend, LAPD Detective Peter Decker, and Decker's wife, Rina Lazarus. The last thing Decker wants is Terry's sociopathic husband back in his world. And the hunt for Terry must share center stage with another case when a young nurse's body is found hanging from the rafters at a construction site. Caught between two troubling investigations and an increasingly precarious home life, Decker and Rina must make a difficult decision about sheltering Terry's son . . . even as the shadow of a serial killer falls across their own imperiled family.

The story has two main plots. Peter Decker again has a troubling new case that involves a body that had been found hanging from the rafters at a construction site. His trusted police officers Marge Dunn and Scott Oliver is once again called to investigate. The second plot deals with Gabe Whitman, an extremely talented teenage boy, his mother left him to the only person she knew that would take care of him, Peter Decker. Caught up with police work and baby sitting, Decker must find balance between these tasks presented to him. His hands are full...

How can I begin to review this book? I mean, Hangman was soooooo good! Faye Kellerman is in full force with this novel. From start to finish I can't read it fast enough. I especially like the storyline of Gabe/Chris/Terry. These three added spice to the entirety of this book. Of course, Rina and Peter can do without them but still, new characters is loads of fun. Faye gets better and better with every book she produces. The newest book is already out, Gun Games, and I can't wait to read it. It focuses on Gabe and a bunch of rich kids. I'm sure it's going to be a hit!

My Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: The Confession by John Grisham

Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?


Wow. The Confession was a blast!!! Just G-R-E-A-T! It's been a long time since I've read a book that gives me a reason to stay up late at night and read head-on every chance I get. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Anticipating what the outcome will be. A man was innocent and he was framed and locked up for a murder he didn't commit. He was psychologically bullied by the police into giving a confession. A confession that sent him to death row. 

While reading this book, I can't help but think, this kind of situation only happens in countries with poor judicial systems. But I was proved wrong. John Grisham is a master storyteller. I am in awe with his brain, where is he pulling these stories from? I say, keep 'em comin'! Having read almost all his works, this one is on my top 5 of Grisham's best. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

Is evil born or bred? This is the question Bennie Rosato must answer after her twin sister, Alice Connolly, drugs her and leaves for dead, buried underground in a remote field.As Alice slips easily into Bennie's life, doing her job, interacting with her friends, seducing her boyfriend, she never counts on the fact that Bennie is tougher than she seems. And that, against all odds, Bennie will escape.But escaping is only the first challenge. Alice's sociopathic lies are so believable that she has everyone convinced that she is Bennie, and Bennie is her deranged twin sister Alice. As Bennie descends further into Alice's life, she starts to feel the pull of evil herself. As the clock ticks and Alice gets closer to her ultimate goal, Bennie must face the shocking truth that she is perhaps more like Alice than she ever realized.


After reading the blurb of this book, it made me think twice, will I buy this book? The story seems far fetched and twins aren't my cup of tea, I ended up buying it anyway.I really liked the cover, it's so mysterious. I know that this book is part of a series, but after reading it, I can say that I don't regret not reading the previous books. This comment is in a good way, by the way. The book is like a stand-alone novel, even if you didn't read the entire series, Lisa managed to summarize all that you need to know about the events that precedes Think Twice. Think Twice is basically a good vs. evil kinda novel. When I was reading this book, I can't help but remember the twins of Sweet Valley High, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Haha. I know, it's a bit old school, but these two were very well-known during the 80's era. Anyways, these two is very different from Bennie and Alice. 

The Sweet Valley twins are like, totally close to one another and they grew up living in the same house so that's a real relationship. Bennie and Alice has a different take on being sisters. For example, Alice stole Bennie's identity and she buried her alive! Alice then concocted a plan to steal Bennie's money and disappear. What the heck right? There are some unrealistic parts in the book, like, how come the people who are close to Bennie wasn't able to tell that she's not Bennie, but Alice posing as her? But I totally loved this book, totally. Lisa added loads of twist and turns and that only made this book so hard to put down. And in that note, grab a copy and read Think Twice!

My Rating: 4 Stars

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