Tag Archives: Opinion

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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Goodread Description:

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

 

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

***2 stars***

The Alchemist was recommended to me by a friend, who had been put on to it by another friend, who thought it was magic. This book will change our lives… apparently. Well, my friend hasn’t finished it yet, and I can see why.

I actually feel like I should give this 2 ratings/reviews.One based on its feel good quality, because that’s probably why people pass it on to friends. You read this book and it makes you feel fantastic, the entire universe cares about you, the universe cares about your dreams, wants you to chase them, and will help you achieve them. I should have read this in high school! The morals on the surface are pretty sound, if you want to achieve something, go for it. There will be obstacles in the way, that’s life. There are other cultures out there well worth experiencing, travel. So yeah, 5 stars for making people feel good, and think about their own lives.

Two based on the idea that this is somehow meant to show us how to live. You know, ‘The transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts’ easy on the cheese please!

Spoiler: The boy in this book has no real responsibility, so it makes sense that he could get up and leave on a whim. But what about people with responsibilities? Are parents or carers losers for not abandoning their loved ones in search of their personal legends?

On his journey he meets a girl he falls for (based solely on her looks), she seems to want him too. Now, apparently the role of women in this world is to sit and wait while men go to follow their dreams. No. Nope. Not for me, thanks. With absolutely no timescale on his return, she is meant to wait blindly till he comes back for her? What if he meets someone else along these travels? Afterall he actually ‘loved’ a different girl while he was home. Forget it mate. The women in this story don’t have their own personal legends, they can apparently only be part of a mans! Even though the minerals, like copper, have personal legends. Yeah, that’s not OK.

Spoiler: The boy is working towards finding his treasure. I kind of hoped the treasures would end up not including any material possessions. But it did, and he found it. Suggesting that all you have to do is work towards one massive jackpot, your big break,  like winning the x-factor or something. When in reality, much of life’s successes are built over time, with hard work and perseverance. This wouldn’t be such a problem if this was just a story, but The Alchemist to me is marketed as a sort of self-help, this is the way to live your life book. It’s suggested that by following your dream (whatever it may be) you’ll actually make the world a better place… but in reality, just because you have a dream doesn’t make it good and worth chasing, I mean, some people have awful dreams! Sometimes your heart is wrong, your brain needs to step in, ask you to use logic, sit down and shut up. Sometimes you have doubts, and they are well founded, refusing to self-doubt can be problematic and breeds ignorance.

This book basically tells you to be selfish, to do exactly what you want, regardless of who you might hurt or leave behind. That money is in fact the treasure we all seek, not love, not family, just gold that we didn’t particularly earn.

Basically, if this is read to be some sort of life mantra… maybe think twice about it. Otherwise its a cute story of a boy who followed his heart back home.

Happy Reading ❤

My First Audio Book Experience

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As mentioned in my previous post, I listened to an audio book for the first time. A couple of friends use audiobooks exclusively and it seems to work for them so thought I’d give it a try to supplement my reading. I’m going to go ahead and outline what I feel are the pros and cons of audio books as opposed to paper or e-books.

The number one attraction to audio books for me is that I don’t have to pause the rest of my life, loved that I could do other mundane things whilst enjoying a book…. dishes, walking, pretending to listen to other people (I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid). It actually appears that when I’m doing something mindless like running on a treadmill, I pay better attention to the narrator! I think it’s quite a personal thing, each person will have to experiment and see where the audio book fits best in your day-to-day life

Obviously there’s the space advantage, you can carry a lot more audio books around than paper books.

Audio books are clearly very convenient but there are some pitfalls, for example, my imagination is a little less engaged. Normally when I read books I determine the characters voice, their inflections e.t.c. but with audio books, there’s no choice. It’s in your ear and that’s all you’re getting. Although when it’s done right and the narrator fits the story being told, then its bliss.

With a book, if you lose concentration, you can easily reread the sentence or paragraph you skimmed. But if your mind wanders whilst listening to an audio book you might not rewind? I didn’t have much trouble staying focused this time, but in all honesty if my mind wanders at this stage, I probably won’t rewind, that will have to be something I’d work at over time. In the book I listened to (Heartburn by Nora Ephron) there were recipes scattered in here and there, had I been reading a book, I could have easily skimmed them. There is the option of fast forwarding with audio books, but there was no way of knowing where the recipe ends? So, I really just had to wait it out. This in a way can be a plus since audio books make you hear each word. You experience the entire book as the author intended, no skimming!

I specifically avoided listening to the book lying in bed around bedtime because  that’s a recipe for sleep!

In my opinion, listening to a book can be the same as reading it, after all the story is still conveyed to you, you just process the words via a different channel. Some people, myself included on occasion, still enjoy the feeling of curling up with a physical book. Those moments where you want quiet solitude with the voices in your head that make the stories come to life.

I’ll definitely keep listening to audio books, I enjoyed the experience and it’s very convenient, but I’m still a fan of reading books. Perhaps I just like the voices in my head, who knows?! 😛

Happy Reading ❤

Book Review: We Were Liars

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We Were Liars By E. Lockhart

Goodreads Description:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

My Thoughts:

***3 stars***

OK, so l did like the book. I enjoyed it, but it was VERY annoying at times. Lots of people have commented on the writing style, and I thought it wouldn’t be that bad… But it is! It made me re-read sentences that I didn’t need to, simply because they were so disjointed I couldn’t understand them. Its ok for the blurb, but its unnecessary in the actual book :/ Its not just the short sentences, which wouldn’t be so bad. Its the sentences that are literally broken up. That’s one.

The blurb tells you there are secrets, Its emphasized. They are called ‘the Liars’ So obviously I’m gonna keep trying to guess the secrets all the way through the book 😦  I didn’t guess right. But I was definitely too focused on trying to figure out the big huge secrets. There was only one big secret, and they didn’t all actually lie about it. They couldn’t? But anyway, That’s two.

The characters didn’t necessarily learn anything, or change for the better in my opinion. They are the same people, they are just a bit sadder. They are still rich, snobby, racist, self centered people by the end. That’s three.

The book was also quite confusing at times. There was a point I thought the main character self harmed. But no, she was actually describing a feeling? But then she was bandaged up? So was she hurt? or whaaaaat? That’s four.

Having said that, Its still a book I’m glad I read. The pacing is really good. It quickens a lot in the later chapters as the secret starts to unravel. I didn’t see the twist coming… 😮 😮 😮 I was dry eyed though.

Is this book worth reading? Yes, but its quite flawed. Don’t get too hyped.

Book Review: The Game by Amanda Prowse

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The Game by Amanda Prowse

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare…

Gemma Peters has everything a sixteen year old could want. Two loving parents, a good school, and close friends. Maybe sometimes her parents are a little overbearing, a little too adoring. But that’s the same for all teenagers, right?

Then, on the night of the school play, happy-go-lucky Gemma disappears without a trace. Where has she gone? Why has she been lying to her family? And, most importantly, will she ever come home?

A short story exclusive from bestselling author Amanda Prowse.

Goodreads link

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

***2 Stars***

This is a novella. The start of the story is really good and we get into the main crux of things pretty quickly. The author explored the feelings of the mum and dad very well. It would have been good to get to know the sister a bit too. There was no proper back story covering why the main character (Gemma) left home. She really only told one lie as far as we know, and we aren’t told why. The author does not properly explore the feelings of the main character. 

The end. <<<< That’s literally what just happened. The book ended. I know it was a short story but yeeesh!! Reads a bit like someone had a deadline. Once again it would have been good to explore Gemma’s feelings and understand how her mind processed her environments and the thoughts that lead to her decisions. 

If I hadn’t read other Novellas that felt a bit more complete, I’d potentially be put off them after reading this one. Novellas tend to leave me wanting more, but this one left way too much to be desired.

Book Review: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

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 Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

 

This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone.

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairy tales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

Goodreads link

 

My Thoughts:

 

***5 Stars***

 

Firstly, I didn’t read the goodreads description of this novella before I read it. I figured, Its 90 pages… I’ll just read it and find out the gist of it! And I’m glad I didn’t!!  Why? Well, because even though I had guessed that six and the mystery closet girl were one and the same, my heart still did a flutter when I read the confirmation! I somehow don’t feel like I would have had the same reaction had I read the description. So I can only apologize for taking that feeling from you by posting the description (Sowwii).

Having said that, its still worth reading!! There are still unexpected twists… well, one major one. Overall this book will make you feel amazing. I was giddy. I also can’t tell you how disappointed I was when I realised the book was over- Well, I was so disappointed I went online to double check how long the novella is. In case I was missing some pages!!-  Ha! Well look at that, guess I can tell you.

This book is part of a series… ‘Hopeless’. I WANT TO READ THE SERIES. So, guess what just made it to my wish list. Fingers crossed I’ll be reviewing those books soon too!