Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium #2) by Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland (Translator)

Synopsis at

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all

My Comments :

I picked up this book from  Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme(SJBEP). It's the community book exchange programme which is held every fortnight on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month at the USJ 2 Community Hall, Subang Jaya.

Personally, I have heard many people raving about works by this author. I didn't know that this book comes in 3 and this is Book two of the 3 books. 

Hence I was a bit confused in the beginning. However, it did not hinder my enjoyment of this book. It was full of suspense.

Love the plot which was fast paced. Love the way the author using the words. Genius.

I found myself rooting to Salander to beat the system. There was a surprise in the ending. It's certainly an enjoyable book.

However, I would not recommend this as reading material for young adults as it's quite violent in my opinion. There were description of rape and brutality. 


Monday, April 09, 2012

The Wedding Dress By Rachel Hauck

Book Description from

Four brides. One dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift—and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress—or feel certain she should marry Tim?
Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed”?
Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history—and its new bride—begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the beauty of finding true love.

My Comments:
I have read the author, Rachel Hauck, work before and like her writing style very much. 
After finishing The Wedding Dress I felt that she had exceeded what she had done so far in the previous work. 
I like the way the author stacked the odds against Charlotte and Tim's relationship.
In the beginning when I was reading the story of Charlotte and Tim, I did not give much chance between the two of them. 
After all, it was a whirlwind romance in which after the proposal, Tim seemed to have cool down a lot on the idea of getting married. Charlotte was also hounded by Tim brother's wife, Kathrine, who is a know-it-all type and over bearing. Then, in came the ex-girlfriend. Well, lets just say it's juicy enough to  keep the pages turning.
I love the way how she switch the story from Charlotte who is the latest recipient of "The Dress" and Emily who was the first owner of "The Dress". The switches were adequately spaced out. I did not loose track of what I was reading and of who is who in the story. 
Only one down side which I can comment about this book is that I felt that the other two recipients of "The Dress", Hillary and Mary Grace,  should have been given more space too. 
I like the way the book is written. Although there were many mention of Lord God, but it was inserted with such grace that it become part of the natural flow of the story without making the book  too preachy. I like the mysterious man in purple that kept making appearance in the story.
This is not just another romance fiction. It give a mysterious feel and there is an unexpected twist in the end of the story.
And to the author, Rachel Hauck, if you are reading this review, I what I would like to say is keep up the good work and I am looking forward to reading more books of yours.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneezeThe opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood by Jeff Gammage


This is the story of journalist, Jeff Gammage and his wife Christine, journey across the world to adopt a child from China.

It line out how he felt about the adoption process in his country which leads to their decision to adopt a child from China. It tells how they fell in love with their daughter, Jin Yu and the worries that they had about her health.

later, it tells the story on how the challenges they faced with when they came back to their home country

It also out line how much their life had changed due to Jin Yu and it led to adoption of a second baby from China

My comments:

Picked up this book from Popular Bookstore Sale last year.

The thing that I liked about this book that the language is easy to understand and the author had describe some things that readers might not know. For example the plague that happen in one orphanage which lead to change of policy in China.

Love the photos accompany with the story.

However, I felt that the title of the book does not really match with the story as it highlighted. It's more on what the author went through instead of the daughter, Jia Yu.

Some parts makes me felt that the author had gone poetic.

For example in page 114 where the author wrote that "I wonder, who took the time to find the likeness in our faces and in our hearts?How did this person know that Jin Yu was a good fit for us, and us for her? How did he or she create a family as similar as a family could be, consistent  and alike but for DNA?"

When I read this paragraph, I was thinking, "Gosh! I don't think the officials in China have the time to do this although there were a lot of stories floating in the printed and non-printed media about China's thoroughness and the red tapes there."

In page 165, the author was talking about how guilty he felt when he was wasting time in going to doctor's office and fertility clinic while Jia Yu was in China all alone, waiting.hurting, wanting and wasting her life. Where he wrote "she needed warmth and food and medicine. She needed laughter and love. She just needed just a little of what I had in abundance, and I did not offer. More appalling, it never occurred to me to do so. Not until I needed something from her, not until I wanted something from China, did I even think to ask."

I my opinion, the author was laying too much guilt trip on himself. How could he had known that Jin Yu was there waiting to be adopted when he and his wife were going through the process of trying to have a baby of their own? They had enough to think about at that time without thinking about the poor children in China, famine in other parts of the world, or child labour or green movement and other stuffs alike. 

All these section, makes me feel that this book is more about what the author had gone through and felt rather than about his daughter's journey. This must have been a hard book for him to write.


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