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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Rating: 4-and-a-half stars

Conor O'Malley has nightmare and he's afraid the monster from his nightmare will come to him in real life and the nightmare turns into real. So when a monster shows up, he's not afraid at all. That until the monster interferes in his life and shows him what's hidden under his nightmare.

Patrick Ness did it again! That's the first thing I had in mind after I finished reading this book. In my opinion Patrick Ness is one of the authors who aren't only good at creating loveable and believable characters but also good at create engaging plot. A Monster Calls shows exactly a great author he is. It might be short but it's deep nonetheless. There are stories written for more than 300 pages and you can't still feel the connection with the characters and there are stories written only 100ish pages and you feel in love with the characters since the first chapter. A Monster Calls fall into the later.

Conor is a poor kid; his mother is sick and has been through many treatment with barely a result. I've experienced what he experiences in this book and it wasn't easy for me, who undoubtedly an adult and has many people supported me. Conor on the other hand, is alone and has to deal with all those stuffs by himself. He doesn't have friend at school because everyone pities him, and it doesn't help him at all. And that's why the monster comes to him. The monster comes to tell him a story and after that, Conor must tell him his story, the story in his nightmare.

It's great story with a great message. It's also beautifully written. It's a must read for anyone had experienced loss in his/her life.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams

Title: The Stranger You Seek

Author: Amanda Kyle Williams

Publisher: Random House

Rating: Three-and-a-half stars

"The papers have called me a monster. You’ve either concluded that I am a braggart as well as a sadist or that I have a deep and driving need to be caught and punished."

A letter was sent to police, taunting them, mocking them to capture the serial killer who has brutally murdered three people, at least, as far as they know. Keye Street, a recovering alcoholic addict ex-FBI profiler was asked by her long-time friend Rauser to help him solve the case, but then the murder acknowledged her and contacted her. It's one thing to get involved in a case but it's another thing to have it get into your life. Was is someone she knew? Will it draw her back to her addiction?

I'm a huge fan of serial killer stories, I've watched Criminal Minds, I've read Hannibal the Cannibal series, and planning on getting my hands on Mr.Ripley's series. When I saw this book on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it, the blurb offered the things that I liked in serial killer stories. The story was written in first-person POV which sometimes can be annoyed but the annoyance is quite limited in here. Even though Keye Street is a selfish arrogant with a tendency to push herself to the limit, she's a reliable narrator and a good observant so I could imagine the situation quite well. The killings were described in details, although not to the point of gory so it's quite safe. Even though the story isn't as depth in profiling serial killer as I would like it to be, it was good and believable. There are a lot of things I knew already either from Criminal Minds or my simple googling session after watching the series, but there are things I didn't know as well and it was fun to read. Well, not exactly fun but you know what I mean.

I think fan of darker mystery, serial killer cases, Criminal Minds might enjoy this book.



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