Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and where to find them (by Newt Scamander, or JK Rowling if you want to be like that)

Fantastic_beasts

Book: 99/100

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them is an additional book written for the world of Harry Potter. It is a Hogwarts textbook that describes all the magical animals that us Muggles have no clue about.

It is about the 100th time I’ve read this little book. Not more than 50 pages, it is an interesting part of the Potter franchise. There are plenty of animals in there that you’ve stumbled across if you read the books – werewolves, dragons, pixies, gnomes, etc. The book contains “notes” written by Harry, Ron and Hermoine and that makes it even more entertaining.

gnome

I had a little laugh at the beginning of the book – it starts off as a normal Zoology textbook – or in this case Magizoology (I may be wrong) with the “What is a beast?” chapter.

Worth the read!

PS: This is yet another book-to-film that is happening. It will be highly interesting to see if they will be able to make a decent movie!

PPS: You see the 99/100 right?! Finishing last book tonight, will be posting a gloating post on Monday! 😀

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Double Review: A Walk to Remember (Nicholas Sparks) and Nights in Rodanthe (Nicholas Sparks)

AWTR

A Walk to Remember

Book: 97/100

Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of town reverend Hegbert Sullivan, is the butt of everyone’s jokes at school. She doesn’t deserve it – she is kind-hearted and caring and sees the best in everyone. She meets Landon Carter in drama class, a class he only took to get out of taking Algebra. Landon doesn’t have plenty of goals – he floats through life and doesn’t really consider what he is doing.

Landon asks Jamie to the high school dance as a last resort and she accepts. She turns out to be  a good choice because she helps him with the things other girls wouldn’t have bothered with: breaking up fights and cleaning puke.

Jamie asks Landon to be the male lead in the annual play that her father wrote about his life. He reluctantly agrees, and has to suffer through his friends taunts because of it.

Landon starts to see just how amazing Jamie is and grows closer to her despite her outdated clothes. He falls in love with her and when he sees her on the opening night of the play, everything changes. Hegbert is still unhappy with their relationship but he seems to want to give Jamie whatever she wants.

Jamie tells Landon that she has a rare form of leukemia and she is dying. He is heartbroken and shattered and the entire town is grieving for the loss of a precious life – someone who truly doesn’t deserve it.

Jamie starts weakening and Landon knows he wants to do something incredibly special for the girl that saved his life. What will Landon do? How will he and Hegbert cope with her death?

Rating: 8/10

I’m giving this book an 8 because it is really good, tells a complete story in about a hundred pages, and is very rare because I had tears in my eyes after reading it – that never, ever happens. It is one of those cases where life is just so unfair. Jamie is truly a good person and didn’t deserve death. Landon didn’t deserve to have someone change his life and give him direction and just lose her.

Really recommended, because this was Sparks when he was still an exceptional writer, not a sentimental commercialized one.

Nights in Rodanthe (Nicholas Sparks)

Nights_in_Rodanthe

Book: 98/100

Adrienne Willis meets with her daughter Amanda for a very specific reason one afternoon. After the death of Brent, Amanda’s husband, Adrienne watched her daughter losing her grip on life and neglecting her grandchildren. Deciding to intervene, Adrienne decides to tell Amanda about a story no one in her family knows about her.

Years earlier, after her divorce when Adrienne felt very bad about herself she did a favor to a friend and went and took care of her inn while Jean was on holiday. She meets the only guest, Paul Flanner, a neurosurgeon with his own issues a few days in. He is about ten years older than her and they connect through their similar issues and divorces. It doesn’t take long for them to become romantically entangled but Adrienne knows that Paul is planning to leave – he is heading to his son who is also a doctor but working on an outreach program in Africa to mend their broken relationship. Paul leaves, promising to always write to her until they can meet up a year later.

Back in the present, Adrienne tells her daughter that Paul died in a car accident in Africa. Her daughter is devastated for her mom and realizes that they have something in common. Adrienne tells her daughter that although the grief of losing a husband can be overwhelming it doesn’t mean your life has to stop as well. Amanda leaves and immediately starts being a hands on mom again.

Rating: 6/10

I enjoyed this quick read by Sparks. The story is sweet and well told and believable. It is the first time I’ve ever read Nights in Rodanthe, so it was completely fresh and original. I enjoyed that the characters were older because I’ve always thought it highly unfair that only young people seem to fall in love in books J I am considering watching the movie but there are some unhappy reviews floating around on the internet (if you’ve seen it, drop a comment!)

Have you read it?

Book Review: Blindsighted (Karin Slaughter)

slaughter

Book: 94/100

Dr. Sara Linton works as both a paediatrician and coroner for Grant County. She is known and respected by all her colleagues, although she hates it when she has to work with her ex-husband, police Chief Jeffrey Tolliver. They are forced to work alongside each other again when Sara discovers the brutally murdered Prof. Sibyl Adams, a blind chemist while having lunch with her sister Tessa. She calls Jeffrey after she unsuccessfully tried to save Sibyl, and Jeffrey knows that it will be his job to tell Sibyl’s sister, detective Lena Adams, the news.

Lena takes the news obviously hard and initially blames Sara for her sister’s death. After the first stage of grief passes, she becomes determined to be in on the investigation. Jeffrey has his misgivings, but understands that it is part of Lena’s healing process.

Sara has been tentatively dating Jeb, a chemist in town. He seems genuinely interested but she knows she won’t ever fall as madly in love with him as she once was with Jeffrey. He seems to take her cancelling their dates because of her work really well, but she still doesn’t really connect with him despite his affable charm.

The next missing person is Julia Matthews, a university student who resembles Sibyl. The police arrest her ex-boyfriend Ryan Gordon, but it quickly becomes obvious that although he is a highly unsavoury fellow, he isn’t the serial rapist.

Julia is found naked and dying on Sara’s car and although Sara manages to stabilize her, Julia kills herself in front of Lena, saying that she can’t cope with what she remembers of her ordeal. Sara starts to notice that it seems the victims were specifically placed in places where it was inevitable that she would find the bodies. It forces her to remember her own rape – abut since her rapist sends her a card each year on the “anniversary” of her rape it is highly unlikely unable that she will ever be able to. Tessa warns her that if she doesn’t tell Jeffrey, Tessa will. Sara leaves the trial manuscript of her rapist in Jeffrey’s house and he is so shocked and saddened. She is angered when she doesn’t hear from him, but he is merely stunned speechless and heartbroken and doesn’t want to cause more damage by saying the wrong thing.

Lena is taken captive by the rapist and Sara, Jeffrey and the police force are desperate for more knowledge. Will Lena survive? What will Jeffrey say to Sara and will they ever reconcile? Who is the rapist that is terrorizing Grant County?

Rating: 7.5/10

Zoë has been strongly campaigning for me to read some Slaughter. I put it off for a long time – the woman’s name is SLAUGHTER – but eventually got around to it.

I was really impressed. As a debut novel, Blindsighted was exemplary. My one problem was that I figured out the killer – and it was a rookie mistake in the book that confirmed my suspicions, not some amazing dormant investigative skills.

I really like the writing style of Madam Slaughter. I am always a fan when an author knows how to tell a story without using too many events to make things clear.

The suspense was really well done. It is so obvious that Sara is in great danger that I wanted to scream at the pages for her to run fast and hard. I thought she had amazing survival courage all throughout the book, and was really touched and saddened by how she wouldn’t ever become a victim.

Thoroughly recommended!

a TRIPLE book post!

Hello! I am running out of time to post these books (because I am so exemplary person and want to show I HAVE read the 100 books I said I would) so this is a series post of the three books that makes up the series Daring to from Nora Roberts. Enjoy!

Book 1: Daring to Dream

Book: 93/100

Margo Sullivan grew up in the Templeton Manor. She witnessed all its grace and beauty, the love and care of Tom and Susan Templeton, and made best friends with Laura Templeton, their daughter, and Kate Powell, a cousin of the Templeton’s they adopted after her parents died in a car crash. As the housekeeper’s daughter, Margo feels included but still not within reach of the success and wealth she so seriously wants. Blessed with outrageous beauty and charm, she decides to leave right after Laura’s wedding to peter Ridgeway, a man she, Kate and Joshua, Laura’s older brother, detests. Joshua learns that she is planning to leave and is furious, but she still goes.

Ten years later, Margo returns to Templeton mansion, running away from a scandal that saw her agent get arrested for drug dealing. She is broke and ashamed, and her mother doesn’t make things easier for her. Josh returns as well, and he is stunned to realize that he is in love with her after all the years and that she is still as beautiful as always. Kate takes a look at her finances and advises her to sell all her belongings and start over. She heads back to Milan and starts organizing to run a small shop there, but when she hears that Laura is divorcing Peter she heads back to Big Sur and decides to open the shop there. Kate and Laura decide to invest as well, making it essentially a family venture. They call the exclusive boutique Pretenses, a name Margo’s mother picked out, and the relationship between Margo and Anne starts to get better. Margo also starts a relationship with Josh, although she is reluctant to give everything to a man and leave her heart open.

Will Margo’s shop be a success? Will she be able to love Josh the way he deserve? What will Peter Ridgeway do when the family kicks him from his position at Templeton Monterey?

Rating: 7/10

Daring to dream is a very decent romantic book to read. I really enjoyed it. I actually read the series completely wrong. I read Kate’s story first, then Laura’s and only bought the first book of the series a few days ago at my favourite bookshop and started to read it.

Josh was well written. He came across as handsome and successful, a rich kid who wasn’t afraid to work hard for what he wanted (and we all know it is pretty rare to find that). I liked Margo because she always had to try the most impossible things and dreamt the biggest of all her friends. Even though she was insanely beautiful and knew it, she didn’t hesitate to help out a friend whenever they needed it.

Book 2: Holding the dream (Nora Roberts)

Book: 94/100

Kate Powell, orphaned as a child, grew up with her cousin Laura Templeton and Margo Sullivan, the innkeeper at Templeton manor, as sisters. Although she never really knew her parents, she thought they were amazing. When she stumbles across old articles of a law suit against her father, her fragile illusion on her parents are shattered. She questions everything about herself and the people they thought were above fault.

After getting her accounting degree from Harvard, Kate starts working and Bittle and associates. Through the next couple of years, she works her way up and knows that they will soon offer her a partnership. When the managing partners hold closed meetings, she suspects it is because of her. When she finds out that it is about her, but not because of what she has hoped, her world crashes even further into the ground. Bittle suspends her on fraud charges, and she is outraged that they could think that of her after years of loyal service. She is furious and ashamed; sure that everyone will remember what her father did and think that she is just like him.

Kate meets Byron Dewitt, the man the Templetons hired after they fired Laura’s no good ex-husband at a function hosted by the now married Joshua and Margo. Attractive, dynamic and charming, he irritates Kate because he flusters her. He manages to see her more often by getting her to help him house hunt. She breaks the news that Bittle has dumped her to him first, and his unwavering support makes her strong enough to face her family. They are furious on her behalf, and she has to do everything in her power to stop them from heading to her work place and causing trouble.

“Of course not,” Margo said dryly. “He’s gorgeous, charming, intelligent, world-traveled. Absolutely hateful.”

Kate starts working at Pretenses, the exclusive boutique she opened with Kate and Margo. Byron starts pursuing her in earnest and they start sleeping together. Kate is forced to start living a healthier lifestyle when she faints in Byron’s arms and they discover at hospital that she has stress induced stomach ulcers. Her family and friends band around her, and her adoptive parents are angry when they realize she has been holding back on them because she is ashamed at her father.

Bittle and associates contact Kate and asks for forgiveness after they realize how wrong they were. They ask her back, as a partner, but she isn’t sure that she should accept. Will she take back her job? Will Kate learn to keep stress at bay and live healthily?

Rating: 6.5/10

Like its predecessor, Daring to Dream, Holding the dream is a decent romantic book to read. It really isn’t soppy stuff, and that made me very happy. I’ve always liked that Nora Roberts writes strong female leads. There is nothing more boring than a stupid girl waiting to be saved by an arrogant man. I’m happy I chose to reread the series as part of the final push to finish my challenge!

Book 3: Finding the Dream (Nora Roberts)

Book: 95/100

Laura Templeton married Peter Ridgeway against the council of her loved ones when she was just 18 years old. She was deeply in love with him, nearly 10 years her senior, a dashing prince.

Years later, divorced and essentially robbed blind by her ex-husband; Laura is trying to rebuild her life. She has to raise her daughters, Allison and Kayla on her own, because she knows that Peter doesn’t really love them because he wanted sons. Ali, who is ten years old, is taking the divorce hard and although she loves her mother struggles to deal with the fact that her father isn’t in their lives anymore.

When Michael Fury comes back into her life, she is stunned. Joshua tricks her into letting him stay at Templeton manor after a storm destroys his house and stead, and she is very grumpy about it all.

Michael has his own demons. He is able to relate with Laura’s children because he went through the same thing – in his life his mother had remarried many times. A jack of all trades, Michael finally found something he loves doing – taking care of horses, training them and buying and selling. Josh sets him up with the important Monterey clientele on the eve of a Templeton Valentines ball and gets a date for his sister as well. Laura is furious with them both but thankful she has someone by her side when her ex shows up with his new fiancée – Candace Litchfield, the thorn in Laura, Kate and Margo’s side. She is horrified by the thought that her daughters are getting Candace for a stepmom. Michael unexpectedly comforts her and kisses her in front of everyone at the ball, giving them plenty to talk about.

The bad vibes between Ali and her mother gets resolved the day Michael gives the little girl a piece of his mind when she backchats her mother. Embarrassed, she chases after her mom and finds her crying. They make amends and Ali confesses that she thinks it is because of her that her father left. Knowing that, Laura is able to handle her daughter the appropriate way.

Laura and Michael finally start sleeping together, but she is still reserved about her feelings. Will they be able to move past the damage Peter Ridgeway caused? Will the girls be able to work things out with their mother and accept Michael as a possible replacement for their father? Will Michael be able to move past the memories of the life he lived?

Rating: 7.5/10

I liked this book the most because I had waited for Laura to find love again. Michael was perfect for her – he was pretty much the exact opposite of Peter, and that was just what she needed.

The series is very enjoyable to read, but I would mostly recommend it to Nora Roberts’ enthusiasts.

Have you read the series? What did you think?

Book review: The Testament – John Grisham

Testament

Book: 92/100

Troy Phelan is a billionaire business man who is on the brink of death. His legacy apart from his staggering fortune is his six spoilt children and three ex-wives.

He reads his last will and Testament to them after passing a test by three psychologists to prove that he is still sane, leaving them with the fortunes they so dearly want. After they leave, he pulls out another will, a handwritten one. The latest Testament states that 1) the will is only allowed to be read out loud a month after his passing 2) that his children’s debt will be paid off but only from before the day he past (which means that any new debt will not be covered by his estate), and 3) that the billions are dedicated to his illegitimate daughter, Rachel Lane, who is a missionary deep in the Brazilian jungles.

The six children, when they hear that there is a new will, immediately starts worrying and contesting the will. They cease most of their infighting; they hire new lawyers and start to fight against Troy Phelan’s lawyer, Josh Stafford.

Josh knows that Troy truly despised his children because of all the money they wasted and their indiscretions and horrible attitudes. He gives the task to find Rachel Lane to Nate O’Reilly, a recovering alcoholic in his firm.

Nate is sent to Brazil and meets Jevy – a helpful Brazilian who travels with Nate to the Pantanal, a very primitive area in Brazil. They meet Rachel after days of traveling, and Nate is fascinated by her. Rachel is a woman who has little worries about financial goods, putting her trust in God and being content with it. Her only mission in life is to serve the tribe, and as a qualified medical doctor helping them with their health problems and talking to them about Christianity. Nate, who has chased opulence his entire life, is stunned and humbled that someone can be so pure and unimpressed by the fact that she just became a billionaire. He is downright shocked when she declines Troy’s fortune, but accepts her decision and leaves the tribe.

On the way back Nate contracts Dengue fever and is taken to hospital. While there, deathly ill, Rachel visits him and whispers that everything will be okay. When Nate wakes up, Rachel is gone, making him wonder if she ever visited him in the first place.

Josh meanwhile is getting more adamant that the Phelan heirs will never touch the money. He realizes what Troy knew – that in their hands billions of dollars will cause unknown misery to the rest of the world. Malcolm Snead, an assistant to Troy, feels slighted that he wasn’t named in the will and decides that he is taking action. He sells his testimony to the Phelan lawyers, blatantly lying about what he witnessed in Troy’s last months.

Nate is finally well enough to return to the States and Josh manages to keep it a secret that Rachel declined her inheritance. They go through proceedings, and Josh convinces the lawyers that 50 million per heir is more than fair considering what they are known to do with available cash.

Nate returns one more time to Brazil to convince Rachel that she should take the cash. Will she accept? Will the Phelan heirs’ greed be kept at bay?

Rating: 7/10

It seemed that it took me ages to finish reading The Testament. It was really quite enjoyable.  Particularly, the contrast of the rich lifestyle the Phelan children lived in the States, and how unhappy they all actually were, and the plain and simple lifestyle Rachel lived and how happy she was with it.

It is obvious from the start that Troy was a cold and calculating man. It was also obvious what so much money does to people. It corrupted all his children, most of his employees. The worst was actually Malcolm Snead, who became a liar because he didn’t get the money he wasn’t promised that he would get. I really didn’t like him at all.

There were parts in the book I thought where it had a slow pace. It is probably why it took me ages to read – it was one of those stop and start events. I did really enjoy it though, and am definitely keen to try out some others from the same author.

Have you read it? what did you think?

PS: Check out for another (triple) review post this afternoon!

Book Review: Breaking Dawn (Stephanie Meyer)

breakingdawn

Book: 91/100

Bella Swan is finally marrying Edward Cullen. They made a deal – she would marry him if he turned her into a vampire himself and that they would sleep together before he turned her so that she can experience it all before becoming undead. He reluctantly agrees, sure that she will die in the throes of passion.

On their wedding day, Jacob Black, her best friend, werewolf and third part of their love triangle, shows up to do his duties and be her best man. He is horrified when he realizes Edward and Bella’s plan to make love before she becomes immortal – even though he doesn’t want that to happen, he knows it is much safer with her being a vampire sleeping with a vampire instead of a frail human. They disagree and Jacob flees to the woods.

Edward and Bella goes to Isle Esme for their honeymoon, a place Bella’s new father in-law, Carlisle got for his wife Esme as a present. They sleep together, but Edward is horrified by the bruises he accidentally left on Bella. She is persistent in getting him to make love with her, and in the end she wins, and he does.

When Bella discovers that she, a human, is pregnant with Edward’s child, they both freak out. When she realizes that Edward plans to have Carlisle abort the baby, she calls Rosalie, and the Cullen that always liked her least stands by her.

When Jacob hears that Bella is back, he heads to the Cullen mansion to go check what is happening. He is sure that by now she is a vampire, which is a direct violation of the treaty the Cullens and the Quilettes made ages ago, but he is shocked when he finally realizes what is going on. The fetus is slowly killing Bella, but not only is she determined to carry it to term, she is determined to survive as well.

Jacob decides that he finally has had enough of Bella’s constant infliction of pain on his heart, and leaves. He turns to wolf form and Sam, his pack leader, hears what has happened. He decides that the baby is a danger to Forks and the entire Cullen clan must be killed. Jacob is horrified, splitting from the pack. He warns the Cullens and knows Sam won’t attack with the Cullens waiting for them. Soon after Seth and Leah joins his new pack and the three of them helps guard the Cullens.

Bella goes into labour, and it looks like she is dying. Rosalie takes the baby from them to keep it safe and Jacob follows, intending to kill it. He imprints on the baby, Renesmee, and is unable to do so. Meanwhile, Edward is refusing to let Bella die. He turns her into a vampire by injecting venom straight into her heart.

Three days later, Bella awakens to her new life. Everything is even better than promised, now that she has her beautiful daughter, a best friend who is no longer in love with her, and some super self-control other new borns don’t have that enables her to not kill humans.

Life continues until Irina, part of the Denali clan, shows up. She wishes to make amends for all the drama with Laurent, the vampire who nearly killed Bella and was ultimately taken down by the werewolves. She sees Renesmee and thinks that it is an immortal child, vampire children who had massacred entire villages years before. They are unable to show her the truth and Alice sees her delivering the news to the Volturi, the leaders of all vampires, who have been waiting for something to take out the successful Cullen pack.

With the Volturi heading for them, will Edward and Bella survive the attack? Will they be able to convince them that Renesmee is able to control herself?

Rating: 8/10

I have to say that I really thought that the last installment of the Twilight saga was really well done. It is incredibly well rounded, addressing all the issues from the previous books and not leaving anything unresolved.

Bella was a much more impressive vampire than she ever was a human, and I enjoyed how well she seemed to develop her spine during the book.

It is a hefty read – well over 800 pages, and I questioned my sanity whether it was advisable reading it so close to the end of the challenge. I am glad I did though. It is always entertaining and actually quite well written.

Book Review: Key of Valour (Nora Roberts)

Book: 90/100

Zoe McCourt has witnessed her two new friends, Malory and Dana, successfully find the keys they were assigned to release the souls of three demi-goddesses that were captured by the evil sorcerer Kane 3000 years ago. Rowena and Pitte, the daugters’ teacher and guardian caused their souls to be stolen because they were too busy falling in love than doing their job. Back in Key of Light, Rowena and Pitte, who were sent to earth to find the three mortals that could release their charges, requested the three ladies to go on the quest in return for a million dollars each if they succeeded in their tasks.

Zoe watched both her friends succeed and knows that she as the last one will have to face Kane in all his power. She is supported by her two friends, their respective partners, her son Simon and Bradley Vane, a powerful and rich man who seems very attracted to her. She needs to deal with her insecurities around successful men – Simon’s father was one and dumped her when she fell pregnant – but Bradley is determined to win her over. His charm, good looks and obvious connection to her son wins her over and they start dating.

Kane is determined to stop her and goes after her from the start. He visits her in dreams, makes her see things, prey on her insecurities and frighten her, but she fights back every time, comforted by the knowledge that Rowena and Pitte put magical protection over Simon so that he would be safe from all attacks.

Will Zoe succeed? Will she learn to trust Bradley completely? Will Rowena and Pitte be allowed back into their world when the souls are released?

Rating: 7/10

Key of Valour was my favorite book in the series. It is a really good end to the story and clears everything up. I liked how Zoe ended things, how she didn’t lose hope even when she was running out of time and how she always put her son first. Her life is much better explained than Dana’s and Malory’s and you understand her insecurities much better.

Read my reviews of Key of Light and Key of knowledge here and here

Book Review: Key of Knowledge (Nora Roberts)

Book: 89/100

The second book from the Key trilogy picks up directly after the Key of Light, where Malory Price did her part of the deal to get one of the three keys to unlock the souls of three goddesses who got trapped by an evil sorcerer Kane for 3000 years and are waiting to be released. Malory also got her guy, Flynn, who is stepbrother to Dana, the leading protagonist in Key of Knowledge.

Dana, a librarian, is irritated when one of Flynn’s best friends and her first love, Jordan, arrives back in town. She wants nothing to do with him, but he is persistent and wants her back in his life. He tries to make her understand that he left town to become a successful writer and prove himself to the world after the death of the woman who raised him.

After Dana is chosen to be next in the Quest Kane starts visiting her regularly and when he starts getting violent they know he doesn’t care anymore about breaking the rules.

Dana and Jordan start working towards reconciliation and getting through their past. He feels insecure that she never read any of his books, but has no idea that she read them all and hid that information from anyone. He eventually tells her that the heroine of his first novel was based on her and the Peak, and together they realize that it could be a clue to finding her key.

Kane takes her back into Jordan’s book, because it was the book he wrote for her, and she is hunted by him in the world created by the book. Jordan begs Rowenna and Pitte to send him in as well, and he arrives to help her out. Will they get the second key? Will Jordan and Dana end up together? What is Kane willing to do to stop them from success?

Rating: 6/10

Another mediocre book by a brilliant author, Key of Knowledge is decent as fantasy material. I enjoyed Dana the most as such a dedicated book reader and lover of knowledge. I liked the way every key was incorporated by a part their respective finder’s character traits – Malory through art, Dana through knowledge and eventually Zoe through Valor.

Read my review of Key of Light here

PS: I am posting another book review to fit all the posts in before the 28th!

Weekend, Final Countdown and Birthdays

This weekend was hectic and lovely. I really like a busy weekend once in a while. On Friday I went to Gino’s to have some pizza with some colleagues. It was really wonderful. The pizza was delicious!

Saturday morning I read Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I am so happy I finally started on her work. Slaughter’s books are really descriptive and intelligently written, without being too violent and therefore unreadable. The only glitch is I figured out who the killer was way before the book’s end, but luckily it didn’t deduct from the joy of discovering a new author.

Saturday night we had a braai for my sister’s birthday. It was really nice. Touch wood, but it seems the temperatures are slightly dropping in Johannesburg.

Sunday we went for a picnic at Rietvlei Zoo farm. It was also really lovely and so relaxing to sit under the trees and enjoy the cool temperatures.

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Skies at Rietvlei Zoo Farm

Book Challenge

It is the final countdown! I am on 94 books at the moment, and with only this week I will be reading my ass off to finish the last six. I can’t believe a year has passed!

Happy Birthday

To the best older sister I have. Happy Birthday Theranne!

And a quote for today:

Oscar Wilde

 

 

Five things Friday: Five Favorite Nora Roberts books

5 things friday pic

Happy Friday! I am nearly done with my book challenge (WTF). I have about a week left and will hopefully make it! For today’s post I am bringing to you my five favorite books by my favorite author Nora Roberts. Enjoy!

Black Hills

Set in the Black Hills, Dr. Lillian Chance faces great danger when someone starts attacking her wildlife refuge she established. Faced with terrifying danger, she needs to turn to Cooper Sullivan, the man who broke her heart as a teenager.

The antagonist’s crazy mind and vengeful nature keeps you on the edge of your seat. I also really enjoyed this because it has amazingly interesting facts about animals – reading a Nora Roberts book always teaches you some random trivia.

Chasing Fire

Rowena Tripp is a smoke jumper in Missoula and she loves living life on the edge. When it becomes clear someone on base is sabotaging equipment, she needs to start questioning everyone she trusts the most.

This was my FIRST book I read for the challenge – WOW. It means I haven’t reread this book in a year, and I loved it, so I really can’t wait to read it after I’m done.

The Witness

The night Elizabeth decides to defy her over bearing, cold mother, ends in disaster. She meets Ilya Volkov, part of a Mafia organization, and the night starts innocently but she witnesses her friend get murdered. She narrowly escapes death herself, manages to call the police and gets taken into protective custody. Her mother rejects her and she starts relying on the two agents protecting her. They both die, and Elizabeth flees once again.

Years later, Elizabeth, now Abigail lives in Bickford. She meets handsome and nosey police Chief Brooks Gleason and his inquisitiveness eventually frustrates her enough to tell him everything. They start a relationship and Abigail starts contemplating bringing Volkov down permanently.

This was Roberts’ 200th book and she has amazingly just improved. I have no idea how anyone can get 200 stories onto paper, so she really must be incredibly hardworking and talented. The Witness was an addictive read – Elizabeth was just a teen rightfully rebelling against a very strict parent and her life got ruined. The way she rebuilt herself was truly touching to read about, and her eventual revenge was so satisfying.

The Search

After Fiona escaped the clutches of serial killer George Allen Perry, she starts rebuilding her life with a dog training school – in remembrance of her fiance and his K9 dog that gave their lives to save hers. She meets Simon Doyle through the training school and they start dating. They are both in danger when it becomes clear that there is a copycat serial killer on the loose, intent on killing Fiona as an ode to Perry.

Serial killers fascinate me – it is probably a bit sick – and I always enjoy reading and trying to understand what goes on in their minds. The Search focuses on the calculated madness of Perry, Fiona’s courage to rebuild her life and Simon’s journey to being a responsible dog owner. It is really good and it is one of those books where you love dogs even more than usual because they are so awesome.

Northern Lights

This is a great book – Nate Burke is a depressed policeman moving to Lunacy, Alaska to restart his life as the sheriff. He starts dating Meg – an independent pilot and slowly starts getting a grip on things. When a murdered man is found frozen in the mountain it is clear that he has been there for a few years. People start dropping dead and Nate knows someone is desperately trying to protect their presence on the mountain that fateful day.

Seeing the Northern Lights is definitely on my bucket list, so enjoying this book was easy. It was also good to read about a man rebuilding his life and finding his way.

What are your favorite books by a specific author?