Summer Reads: August…Ramble


A few months back I received a Klout perk in the form of a novel. My apartment is basically a small library- whatever you read, I’ve got a book for you. One of the money saving tips I’ve picked up along the way is to read all the unread books you have in your apartment before you buy anymore. Of course, there’s also the actual public library (for now, they might close down the one near me but then I’ll go to another one.)

Picked up this book and now I’m having a week of ‘book hangovers’:

HIGH:  THRILLER: I AM PILGRIM by Terry Hayes. Mr. Hayes is a journalist who moved to Australia and co-produced one of my favorite films of all time – Dead Calm. This is his first novel and wow, mind blown. It’s riveting. Sometimes I don’t read book jackets so there are no preconceived notions going into a book. I only knew it was a thriller going in and the twists and turns have been completely amazing. A former head of a deep undercover pre-9/11 team (think Scandal Papa Pope’s job) who investigated the spy community, is drawn back in to locate an elusive terrorist who wants to unleash biological warfare on the United States.

I AM PILGRAM

I AM PILGRAM

There are times in life when I’ve seen reports and thought ‘Why did you show the weak points in a public location so someone could blow it up?’ This book has a few of those moments and since I didn’t read the description I was confronted with 9/11 memories of my own (insert tears), and yet, this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in the thriller genre. I used to review thrillers and had to stop because I was becoming afraid to leave my apartment! I could hear the ‘dunt dunt’ of Law & Order when turning the lock. Aiya, the hazards of a writer’s imagination. This book is good enough to make me turn Mac Culkin again, but no, I read it whenever I can. The other night I was leaving a party and this guy, who had been flirting with me asked “Wait, you’re going home now (it was 1 A.M.) to read?” I pulled out I AM PILGRIM, told him it was riveting and made my exit. Doesn’t every New Yorker have reading material on them for transit time? (Okay, Candy Crushers, try reading more than a few paragraphs once in a while.)

The point is, this book is incredible. I want to write this well, this intricate, weaving together various elements that surprise the reader and keep them on edge. If you know anyone who likes thrillers, get them this book! Four 1/2 of out of five stars (1/2 star taken off for scaring the crap out of me!)

EH: LIFE ADVISER: Stirring The Pot by Jenny McCarthy – this is her 8th book. I’m going to preface this by letting you know I’m not a parent, so your right to choose and her right to choose what to do about vaccinations for kids, is not my battle. One of my friends sent belligerent tweets after I posted a photo of myself with Jenny, who was bright and charming in person, as I had known her to be pre-parenthood. (Yes, I have worked in entertainment and met her back in the day.) I privately responded to her and understand where she is coming from, but I wish she had not lumped me in there like I was supporting Hilter in a public forum. Everyone is welcome to their beliefs. That’s not what this book addresses and at least Jenny takes a stand, unlike so many watered-down celebrities.

The outgoing, bubbly blonde bombshell proves she is still a ringleader who can hold her own with Howard Stern. Reading a Jenny McCarthy book feels like spending time with that one girlfriend who you always had an amazing night out with, followed by her holding your hair back and then made you eggs and bacon to cure the hangover in the morning. McCarthy explains overcoming her fear of public speaking, mastering motherhood or at least a few life hacks to doing the best you can and not beating yourself up about it and also comes strong with TMI.

While entertaining, about 3/4 of the way through it seemed to go off the rails and I couldn’t finish it. The subjects didn’t flow naturally and were too random for me. I didn’t see the point in learning about her practically debilitating monthly periods. It wasn’t endearing, it was like, oh shit, that sounds really awful, but what does it have to do with girl power? There are fun moments that made me giggle so if you need a good beach read that even you with the A.D.D. can handle, this one is for you. (2 stars)

3. YA/SCI-FI RED RISING by the handsome (okay, sorry but he really has great eyes and that’s worth noting and he has a soap opera worthy name!) Pierce Brown is the first in a trilogy.9780345539809_p0_v1_s114x166 It took a few chapters for me to get into this book, there’s a lot to set up and take in, i.e. similiar to The Hunger Games, instead of districts, humans are given status by color *okay, yes that happens in our society but this is the future so colors are Red for Miners, and Gold for the Elite Class.

According to YA novels, the future is very totalitarian and we’re heading for more overt (hello NSA and yeah, hope you love my tweets) government ruling. Yet, this novel, once engaged is hard to put down, extremely hard. The main character, Darrow is a member of the Red race (thus the title), who’s wife is executed by the government and thus, he is recruited into a rebel group aiming to take down the Gold group. You might be thinking, hey future + violence + last man standing = Lord of The Flies/The Hunger Games and you’d be right, but you haven’t read this book and it is really great. Brown has met his calling as a writer and weaves a tale that combines all these elements of survival into a heart pounding read.

P.S. the sequel, Golden Sun

is out in January.

 

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