Pages: 266 pages
Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 3.98 ✭
My Rating: 4.2 ✭
Hephzibah and Rebecca are twins. One beautiful, one disfigured. Trapped with their loveless parents, they dream of a normal life. But when one twin tragically dies, the other must find a way to escape. Because if she doesn’t, she’ll end up like her sister (Source: Goodreads)
Black Heart Blue is a gripping tale of twin sisters, Hephzi and Rebecca, who have been subjected to abuse and religious extremism in their own family. I like how distinctive the main characters are: Hephzi, the extroverted one, bold at the outside but most fragile at heart and then Rebecca, her twin sister, who suffered Treacher Collins Syndrome, who seemed fragile but actually was a strong-willed child in protecting her sister. They are glaringly different but they complemented each other well.
I loved how the chapters perfectly interlaced between the ‘before’ which was told from Hephzi’s perspective and the ‘after’, which was told from Rebecca’s. I loved how every chapter of this book explores every range of emotions suffered by the twin sisters. I didnt weep as I read this but I did feel suffocated at times – the cruelty and the sufferings are just too much. The author’s style of writing is SO simple, it doesn’t beautify the story but it certainly matched the atmosphere of the book which was real and horrifying.
The story is medium-paced, it sometimes got too fast but thank God the author didnt jumble up things, unrealistically. The only issue I have with this book is the lack in depth but the shifting of the plot swifted so seamlessly, it managed to conceal the flaw. Last but not least, I loved this book and I’m certain, this is the kind of book that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended!
Pages: 244 pages
Genre: General Fiction, Japanese Literature
Goodreads Rating: 3.67 ★
My rating: 4.2 ★
After Dark is set within nocturnal dark hours – from 11:56pm to 6:52am. It follows a few characters on their adventures which strangely, connected to each other during the night. it centers around two sisters, Mari and Eri, who never knew each other really well and it leads to other characters, Takahashi, a jazz trombonist, a female hotel manager and her two staffs, a Chinese prostitute who was savagely brutalized by a businessman and a Man With No Face. Like any Murakami works, it deals largely with coincidence, randomness and alienation.
The narrative is strangely interesting. It’s told from a third person view, in the role of an imaginary video camera – it felt almost like a dreamlike screenplay, complemented with a set of vivid details and a very surreal storyline. Now, the storyline – it is Murakami, so don’t expect a full blown plot, packed with actions or a dramatic plot twist. It’s just a simple story, like nothing exactly happened and no real closure.
It is a well-paced story and I like how the story kept me in check with the time. I love how profoundly odd the book is and strangely, it’s the oddness that sucked me into the story. I was left guessing at every turn, not able to guess what Murakami actually intended to convey – which somewhow frustates me.
But that is the thing about Murakami is, he don’t beat the readers with explanations, instead he leaves the atmosphere of mystery until the very last page, which is oddly satisfying.
Pages: 417 pages
Genre: General Fiction
Goodreads Rating: 4.04 ★
My Rating: 3.6 ★
The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life – yet there was so much they didn’t know (Source: Goodreads)
Alright, here is the thing. I have been a really BIG fan of Diane Chamberlain over the years. She has the power of creating emotional and deep-wrecked stories than anyone I’ve ever read and second, what keeps me sticking to her books is the fact that she always provide the readers with new things to learn regarding history, places & medical stuffs. Yes, if you like Jodi Picoult, Chamberlain might become your favourite author as well.
However – I am sorry, I felt a bit disappointed with this book. It is too fast paced and all things were jumbled unrealistically. Something kept on happening until my mind couldnt cope with the story anymore, it felt too much. I enjoyed the story, it was emotional and nerve-wracking, but I wish Chamberlain would have focus on the main thing, in depth, rather than trying to make it “alright I will shove all the emotional shits here” which unfortunately lacked in depth.
Now, the characters and the POV. Some of the characters didnt really click though. For example, Noelle and Sam’s feelings towards each other. Sam’s feelings towards Tara. I couldnt feel the depth, it felt dry and at times, tedious. Secondly, about the POV. I dont have any problem with different POVs in this book but something really bugged me off – Tara, how Tara is awkwardly different in her own POV and from Grace’s POV. Its like two different persons & this certainly turned me off.
Despite the disappoinments, I still loved this book. The suspense and emotions created by the author never failed to keep me at the edge of my sitting. The plot twist – there are too many predictable twists but the major one, I REALLY DIDNT SEE IT COMING. And Chamberlain also never fails to provide us with new things to be learned, although there is not much in this book – about midwifery and gestational surrogate. And this certainly WONT be my last book of Chamberlain.