Jenny: Virtuous No More by Nora Blackstock

Jenny was a good, devoted wife. When her marriage to husband Mark grew distant, she took matters into her own hands to find out if he still loved her. He did, but his confession, and the things he wanted her to do, were shocking. To save her marriage, Jenny embarked on a sexual journey from which there was no turning back. She would no longer be the “good girl” that everyone knew and loved…” ~ Blurb from Amazon

My Take:
This publication previously came out in five parts. I’m glad that I received the complete set of the e-book and read the entire 171 pages in just a couple of hours. And – here’s what I think…

After seven years of marriage with both Mark and Jenny working full-time, pressures of work start to put stress on their seven-year marriage. As Jenny and Mark would begin to worry that the intimacy between them is shriveling down to almost nothing, they individually started to nurse the fear about how this might further affect their marriage. Until one day to her utmost surprise, Jenny  discovers a secret on Mark’s computer, and confronts him.  This causes Mark to make a shocking proposal to his wife. Jenny his conservative suburban wife – not so much into much experimentation now has a dilemma. However, she is determined to work on her marriage – but at what cost? This incident - is to set in motion a series of events that would deeply affect their marriage.  
 
Jenny: Virtuous No More is a compelling story which draws the reader in quickly right from the first page! This is no ordinary romance but a fast paced racy adventure with a surprise twist. Done in simple and straight forward tone, this engaging narrative will keep the reader wanting for more…  The author did a beautiful job in character development as it relates to Mark and Jenny. Incorporating occasional flash backs is skillfully used to round their characters and keep up the pace.   I thought it was smart of the Ms Blackstock to weave in the final plot thread – which added an interesting dimension to the plot.

This is a beautifully written work, with explicit detailed intimate scenes that leap right off the pages.  A well constructed emotional and passionate book which I believe erotic romance readers would eat up! This book would also be a good introduction to those wanting to explore this genre.

I received an electronic copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

61 HOURS -Jack Reacher by Lee, Child

Given how much I love mystery thrillers I can’t believe I never read any Lee Child’s books especially his popular Jack Reacher series. I have to tell you, all the accolades given to these series are well deserved. I borrowed an ebook copy from my local library which I read over the weekend.

Already, there are a lot of reviews about this book so I will go ahead and list some important take aways – From the title – 61 Hours you can already tell this is a count down to a major event. Jack Reacher the protagonist, an ex military man turned private investigator is a drifter. This time he hitches a ride and finds himself in a rural small town that has very limited police capabilities. As things begin to happen, a sense of an impending doom is imminent. The count down is already on which keeps you at the edge of the seat.

The author writes in simple and straight forward language – only facts that are relevant to the story – no fluff, all read meat. The book starts at a break neck speed and continues that way. The writing is third person POV, so the reader sees every angle which increases suspense.

The plot is complex where you peel away the narrative like an onion. The author creates various plot threads with each chapter ending in a cliff hanger. I love that the author takes time to build relatable characters. The reader gets to know the characters well enough where you establish some connection. As a result, I really found it hard letting some of the characters go at the end of the book.

This is a book to read when you have enough time to devote to it because you can’t put it down. Your heart’s racing and you feel you’re on roller coaster ride!

I’m not usually a huge fan of series, but I like that Jack Reacher series do not have to be read in order. Even though this #14 in the Jack Reacher series, you can start from any book without feeling as though you’re missing anything.

If you’re a mystery thriller fan and haven’t read this book, please do yourself a great favor by grabbing one!

I really would like to read a similar book from a new author, please feel free to suggest anyone, I would really appreciate it!!

Author – Child, Lee
Publication – 2010
Pages – 528
Location – South Dakota

About the Author:

“Lee Child is the #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and the Barry awards for Best First Mystery, and The Enemy won both the Barry and the Nero awards for Best Novel. “Jack Reacher”, the film based on the 9th novel, One Shot, stars Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike, Jai Courtney, and David Oyelowo and debuted in December 2012. Child, a native of England and a former television director, lives in New York City and the south of France with his wife and daughter”~ Amazon

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela


As soon as the news of President Mandela’s death broke last December, I was compelled to read this book to get a better understanding of this great man not just as president, but as an ordinary human being – a son, a father, a husband and a political activist.

This is Mandela’s compelling autobiography starting from his early days in his rural home town in South Africa through his incarceration for 27 years and eventual release in 1990. This book not only gives detailed account of the events of apartheid in South Africa, but it also takes a comprehensive look into the history of South Africa, Mandela’s lineage, the various tribal groups as well as the culture of the people of South Africa.

Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom goes on to recount the enactment of apartheid laws, institutionalization of racial discrimination and subsequent formation of the various political parties. This book is very informative with lots of shocking facts and horrendous revelations of oppressions suffered by blacks under the colonial regime. The fact that the story is from Mandela’s perspective make this book the more heart-wrenching. You will find a lot of important detail not generally known out there that occurred during this time in history. I find this a well written book which totally immerses the reader into the in humanities suffered by the black the people in South Africa and the resilience of the human spirit. I also love that Mandela bares his mind as he discusses his strengths while at the same time, talks about his weaknesses, his regrets and failures – all without any reservations.

This story is done in clear, frank and convincing tone. The conversational style employed by Mandela make Long Walk to Freedom a quick and easy read.

Highly recommended for anyone still curious about apartheid in South Africa. Engrossing, introspective, and thought-provoking!

Author – Nelson Mandela
Pages – 565
Published – 1995
South Africa

Book review: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

veraoleks:

Besides wanting to share with everyone, I’m reblogging this as a reminder to myself to read this book later – Enjoy!

Originally posted on Watch this space:

It’s time. Time for me to finally review one of the biggest books to come into the young adult genre in recent memory. There’s already a movie coming out and, let’s be honest, everyone and their mother has read this book by now. But that’s not going to stop me from getting in my two cents! Not even the fact that TFIOS (as it is so lovingly acronymed) has already been reviewed on my blog by Samantha can stop me. So, here goes.

A review of

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

TFiOS

Published by Dutton Books, 2012.

Rating: 8/10

What’s it about?

Teenager Hazel Grace is dying, maybe not right away, but she knows that eventually her crap lungs are going to betray her. She spends all of her time trying to minimize the amount of hurt she inflicts upon the world, but one day, at Cancer Kid…

View original 450 more words

The Last Olympian

This is a guest post written by a young adult reader who I would simply call Mr. R. – Thanks for writing!

“All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds are against them. Kronos is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, his power only grows.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.” ~ Blurb from Amazon

Review:
I read the book The Last Olympian which is a fiction Greek mythology book by Rick Riordan. The Last Olympian was very good; it combines Greek mythology with modern day troubles. The book is the last in the series about a group of half-god half-humans trying to save the world from a Titan trying to rebirth. Percy Jackson; the books protagonist is a very likable hero, he is very powerful because he is the son of Poseidon but he is very modest and helpful, which makes him a nearly impossible to hate.

Rick Riordan writes this book in way young adults and adults can understand, he has tons of battle scenes but incorporates humor into the entire book to keep things light-hearted. He doesn’t make any character “invincible” and writes the characters to be like real high-school teenagers going through and awkward stage in life while finding out they are sons and daughters of Greek Gods. All in all this was a great book and one I would suggest to anyone that loves fantasy!

Author – Rick Riordan
Publication Date – 2009
Number of Pages – 432
Genre – Fantasy/Adventure
Setting - New York City
Time Period – 21st Century

About The Author:

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults. For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award…Read More at ~ Amazon.com

Behind The Facade

“Katherine Pearson is happy with her life. She has a successful, doting father, a rewarding job and is soon to be married to a man who adores her. When she is kidnapped by an Irish terrorist, her world is destroyed. Years later, she still suffers from disturbing flashbacks and an inability to form new relationships. When she meets the enigmatic American, Michael Hunter, she believes she may have finally found love again. However, can you ever really know what is beneath the surface? Her new-found peace of mind is shattered as the reasons for her kidnap are revealed and dangerous secrets come to light, linking her father to murder and sexual exploitation.” ~ Blurb from Amazon

My Take:
I really enjoyed reading this book! This debut novel written by two sisters is loaded with intrigues and suspense. The first couple pages are captivating and has a lot of action, but the middle part seemed a little like the story ran out of steam. But that didn’t stop my excitement for what I thought was great story.

Katherine’s character is presented as a sad and edgy young woman who is nursing some inner issues. As the story goes on, the authors release bits and pieces of information to keep you interested as you keep reading but not enough to explain entirely what’s going on. The plot is layered and the story goes back and forth between the present and the past. This made me stop a couple of times to reread some parts in order to make sure which time period is being discussed. Apart from that, it is overall an enjoyable book to read. As you read on you discover other interesting plot threads that would keep pulling you in, this strategy created so much anticipation in mind that I couldn’t wait to get to the end.

While Katherine is a troubled young lady, I find her character endearing. In the story, she enters into a complicated relationship, while still distressed from a past event. This decision kept me wondering “what” could have happened to Katherine in the past. This smart strategy forces the reader to feel for Katherine and at the same time hope for the best for her.

Even though the ending was a nice surprise, there was quite some rigmarole and unnecessary details leading to the wrap up. That not withstanding, Behind The Facade is a fascinating piece of work that I would hate to spoil it by going deep into the plot. I love the human trafficking angle and how it shines light on what goes on behind the scene. If you love mysteries with complicated plots and surprise ending, then you’d have fun with this plot which flows similar to opening a can of worms with a lot of twists and turns!

I purchased a Kindle copy of this book during a recent give-away for – I think $1.99 – not a bad deal…

Author – Rebecca and Victoria Heap
Genre – Mystery
Publication Date – Jul 28, 2013
Pages – 304

About The Authors:

Our names are Victoria Bracegirdle and Rebecca Bentley. We are twin sisters and we live in Bolton, a multi-faceted and friendly town in Lancashire, UK. Our maiden name is Heap so this is what we have used as our pen name. We can’t say if we are identical or fraternal twins as no-one, least of all our parents, seems able to agree on this. It doesn’t matter to us. What matters is our mutual love of reading and literature and our symbiotic relationship, which has facilitated the inception and creation of our first novel… Heap Twins.com

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author – Rebecca Skloot
Publication Date – 2010
Number of Pages – 400
Genre – Biography
Time Period – 1956

She’s been dead for decades but her cells live on!

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave…” ~ Burb from Amazon

My Take:

From time to time I like to dabble into non fiction stories. Non fiction (if it’s not comic), has to be gripping and irresistible for me to want to read. This is such an awesome book to check out! I find it remarkable – the amount of time and effort Rebecca Skloot, a graduate student at the time – put into researching this first novel of hers. It is said she spent ten years doing research and interviewing subjects for this story. I have to say, the final product is well worth all the effort.

On the surface, this book sounds scientific and boring but I assure you, it is nothing like that. I personally do not like or understand science, but this book is so intriguing and quickly sparked my interest. Scientific terms are not so heavily used and even when they are, they are easy enough for any lay person to follow. I learned quite a number of significant things. For one, it is astonishing that (prior to Henrietta) no other cells had been found to behave the way HeLa cells did. Secondly, all the amazing new discoveries in medicine that has happened with the help of HeLa cells is unbelievable. Nonetheless, the fact about removing Henrietta Lacks’ cells without her consent and her family’s ignorance of this fact until twenty years after Henrietta’s death raises ethical and moral issues – which Rebecca Skloot rightly explored. Apart from this, while Henrietta’s cells grew into a billion dollar empire for the science and research world, her family are languishing in abject poverty without the ability to even afford health insurance. This is a book you really want to read for yourself. It is a story of discovery and of love and unity for family.

Notably, Rebecca Skloot’s writing is powerful and at the same time respectful for the Lacks family. Though most of the Lacks family members are of low-income and uneducated, Skloot took time to befriend them and explain in detail her findings of how their mother’s cells has been wonderful in aiding the advancement of medicine and all the diseases that can now be cured with the help of HeLa cells. She also went ahead – without bitterness or judgement – to show the injustice done to Henrietta and subsequently to some of the family members who were also experimented upon without their consent.

Hey! – this is a great book that you cannot put down. Just try a page or two – I promise you’d be hooked like I was. This is one of those true stories that keep you on the edge of your seat. It drives you to ask a lot of questions and look for answers about why and how some of the things happened in this book, it is just an eye opener. This book indeed is a non fiction that reads like fiction. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack is fast paced, enthralling, and thought-provoking.

This is a great old favorite which has won so many awards since it was written. Readers of true stories would eat this up.

About The Author:

Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her award winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan…Read more ~ RebeccaSkloot.com