Book Review: The Ghostwriter by A.R. Torre

If you have happened to read some of Alessandra Torre’s works, well… forget them. This is entirely different and will leave an indelible scar on your soul. Reading the final pages of this book in public was one of the most terrible ideas I had in life.

Said this, it’s the jaw-dropping, heartbreaking story of Helena Ross, an apparently unpleasant and cold bestselling writer who, being left by cancer with only a few weeks to live, decides to put her pride aside and hire her archenemy to ghostwrite her last book, the darkest secret of her life.
Major warning: Don’t expect a happy ending, no miracles happen here, just some painful form of relief.

This book is told through a past and present story-lines with various character’s POV’s. It’s, oh, SO well written, with a gripping story-line that sucks you in and won’t let go. As the reader learns more and more about Helena and her Ghostwriter, both characters grow on the reader and each other. Mind you, this is not a romance! I especially enjoyed how the book progresses the tension and suspense mounts. This is not a typical page turner, but it will suck you in and you will want to keep reading to learn why it was so important for Helena to write this book! There are not a lot of characters in this book and there doesn’t need to be. I loved the character development and how this aided in the impact of the twist in this book.
Needless to say that Torre’s spectacular writing makes it a whole worse (in a good way, of course).

Now, I’m sitting here, waiting for the movie adaptation because I absolutely need Jeffrey Dean Morgan in it (and, come on, even Torre herself supports my choice!).


Book Review: Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life by Julianna Margulies

I’ll be honest. I really wanted to write a review that wasn’t biased, but as a lifelong Julianna Margulies fan, I gave up before I even started.
If you’re going to read this book just to get tidbits and backstories of her TV appearances or celebrity friendships (ahem…hello George Clooney), I’m telling you, you’re in the wrong place.

Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life is about her life, starting from her eccentric and somewhat chaotic childhood traveling the world with a dysfunctional family, to the experiences and choices throughout her life that have made her the extraordinary woman she is today.
Having come to the end, all I can say is that I love her even more than before.

The book includes several photographs, some surely already known to most fans, others instead are beautiful testimonies of private life.
If you want to read a memoir, this one will not disappoint you at all.

Book review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

How can you write about the world of time travel and still make it unique? 

Before The Coffee Gets Cold manages to pull off the miracle of combining sentimentality and magic in a web of stories and characters that you can’t help but root for.

What if you could travel back to the past or take a peek into the future? But with the knowledge that you can’t change the present, no matter what?

That’s the question the quirky characters in this short novel ask themselves, and that’s the question we ask ourselves by the end of the book.

The time to drink a coffee, so much time is given to face our regrets or reassure ourselves of a choice. And a series of conditions that, if not met, will make the unwary digressors slip into perpetual oblivion.

But if we can change neither the past nor the future, what is the point of taking such risks? Is everything really immutable?

Read in one sitting, Before The Coffee Gets Cold brought me to tears on several occasions. Kawaguchi’s writing is of a simplicity that, were it not for the originality of the story, would be almost trite. And that is perhaps what made this book so enjoyable to me.

Book review: Closing Arguments by Sable Q. Burns

As a fan of anything that involves lawyers loving and fighting each other, I could not miss the chance to review this book.

Alice and Wade are two lawyers who used to be in a juicy but complicated relationship, being an underlying and her boss. But as it always happens, there is nothing like trying to avoid someone or something to end up in the opposite direction.

There are no holds barred in their courtroom clashes, until an unexpected event will bring them on the same side.

If you want a summer reading that will keep you glued to your beach chair, search no more. Vivid descriptions, winsome characters, absolutely brilliant dialogues, and some fun-filled scenes that will bring an idiotic smile to your lips. That’s how Burns won me over.

Here is the link to Amazon and Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

Book review: Looking Glass Friends by E L Neve

Looking Glass Friends: A Novel Inspired by Real Love Letters by E.L. Neve is much more than just a novel. It’s a dreamy weave of romance, poetry and philosophy, all at once.

It’s 1997. It is the era of missives, emails and printed books, where mobile phones are still a thing for rich people.

Neil is married to Fay but unhappy with his life choices to the point of considering suicide. Ellie is married to Jake, mother to a five year old and lives the high life.

On a day like any other, Ellie walks into the local bakery to buy cream puffs for her son. On a day like any other, Neil decides that the client on the other side of the counter is worth giving up the secret stash of cream puffs he had set aside for himself. As a way to say thank you, Ellie gifts the kind baker with a copy of her favorite book, “Atlas Shrugged”.

The rest of the review can be found here on OBC.

Book review: The Korean Word For Butterfly by Jamie Zerndt

The Korean Word For Butterfly by Jamie Zerndt is a thoughtful and emotional novel about fabricated opportunities and the desire for redemption, about making choices and dealing with their consequences. It is set in South Korea during the 2002 World Cup and under the shadow of escalating anti-American sentiments cast by the deaths of two Korean girls hit by a U.S. tank, a tragic accident that really happened.

The story unfolds through the alternating perspectives of the three protagonists, as their lives cross and weave together in the aisles of an English school at the gates of Seoul.

First, we meet Billie and her boyfriend Joe as they set foot on Korean soil. They are two high school graduates who filed bogus paperwork (literally) to embark on a year long challenge as teachers in Korea, driven by a need for adventure and by the wish of a life-changing experience. They land, full of dreams and hopes, and with a vision of the country that might or might not be idealized. Upon their arrival, they are welcomed by Moon.

Moon is a former music producer, currently working at the English school, and ex alcoholic who is trying to piece his life back together. His wife Min Jee left him, taking their three-year-old son Hyo from him, after he hurt the child’s arm in a moment of drunken numbness. Shaken by the accident, Moon has since then stopped drinking, while trying to rebuild the relationship with both his son and his wife. He is the one in charge of vetting new teachers for the school and the one to discover that Billie and Joe are frauds.

The rest of the review can be found here on OBC.

Book review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher

“If you knew, for sure, that you were going to die in 10, 20 or 30 days, what would you do?” This is the unsettling question posed by Van Fleisher, author of the political (and mildly sci-fi) thriller Final Notice

Under the lead of Vijay Patel, a brilliant doctor with a passion for technology, the company VitalTech develops a smartwatch that can predict the exact day you are going to die. There is just a tiny glitch: as smart as that watch can be, it cannot predict the possible effects of such a peremptory deadline on the human psyche.

The main story follows the testing stages of the VT2, that’s the name of the avant-garde device, carried out on a sample of a hundred of seniors. The VT2’s technology monitors and analyzes in real time every change in the body of its wearer to such an infinitesimally small point that it can tell how many days they have left to live, issuing a “final notice” that warns them to contact their doctor immediately. Needless to say, not everyone does it. The book shows us some of the final notice recipients as they struggle with the harsh reality that their time on earth is ticking. Some get their affairs in order, some say their goodbyes to the loved ones. Some take the occasion to settle old scores. They premeditate murders, or simply flip, kill people, aware they will never pay for their crime.

The rest of the review can be found here on OBC.

Book review: My Trip to Adele by R I Alyaseer and A I Alyaseer

My Trip to Adele is an enjoyable and intriguing novel, written by siblings A.I. and R.I. Alyaseer, that tells about love and life, all of this with the music of Adele in the background.

I was drawn to it by my own love for Adele’s music and by its settings, so different from each other and culminating in the suggestive Arena di Verona in Italy, a real gem of my country.

Throughout the chapters we follow the story of three dissimilar people whose lives have been deeply impacted by Adele’s songs.

The first protagonist we meet is Elias, a Moroccan man living in Rome, Italy. Eight years before, he met a very young Malika on a trip to Marrakesh, whom he left with the promise to meet again one day. The wish to find again his long lost love will lead him back to the suggestive scenarios of Morocco and to the memories of the brief moments they spent together.

The rest of the review can be found here on OBC.