Category Archives: Booked

Book Reviews

The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

The Eyre Affair by Jasper FfordeMeet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend.

There is another 1985, where London’s criminal gangs have moved into the lucrative literary market, and Thursday Next is on the trail of the new crime wave’s Mr. Big.

Acheron Hades has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre is gone. Missing.

Thursday sets out to find a way into the book to repair the damage. But solving crimes against literature isn’t easy when you also have to find time to halt the Crimean War, persuade the man you love to marry you, and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Perhaps today just isn’t going to be Thursday’s day…

The Eyre Affair is the first book in the Thursday Next series. The novel starts with Thursday meeting with her dad, who is an eradicated and rogue ChronoGuard trying to stop the French revisionists from changing the past and future and also telling Thursday about when the world might end (but that doesn’t really start until the next books). Thursday is a Crimean War veteran, lost her brother and probably the love of her life when she left the war. She works in London’s Special Operatives (SpecOps) as part of the LiteraTecs (SO-27), who polices various literary fraud in London. Thursday gets recruited to SO-5 (the Search and Containment unit of SpecOps) to help capture Acheron Hades, being a former student of his. Unfortunately, things took a bad term as her workmates get killed in an ambush attack with Acheron Hades. Thursday wakes up in a hospital with bare recollection of what happened to her, and then finds herself being told by her future self in a colorful sports car that Hades is alive and that she should take the LiteraTec job at Swindon, her hometown. And that’s when her world becomes even crazier.

Continue reading The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fforde)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

It’s a story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.– blurb from the back of the book

I’ve been trying to find this book for almost a year but always failing. This is just like The Virgin Suicides…a copy keeps evading me, until that day at National Bookstore when I finally spotted a copy of this. I bought it immediately, savoring the idea that I finally have this book. :P

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel, filled with letters from Charlie who seems to be writing to you, the reader, because “she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.” Charlie begins to tell you of his adventures during his freshman year of high school, of how his friend Michael kills himself, on how he met his friends Patrick (aka Nothing) and Sam. Every letter is filled with stories of his experiences with his family (who is actually quite normal), his friends and their encounters with drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex. Continue reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde (image courtesy of bodies never look like this.

It’s Easter in Reading — a bad time for eggs — and the shattered, tuxedo-clad corpse of a local businessman Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III has been found lying beneath a wall in a shabby part of town. Humpty was one of life’s good guys — so who would want him knocked off? And is it a coincidence that his ex-wife has just met with a sticky end down at the local biscuit factory?

A hardened cop on the mean streets of the Thomas Valley’s most dangerous precinct, DI Jack Spratt has seen it all, and something tells him this is going to be a tough case to crack… – blurb from the back of the book

We all know Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and had a great fall…but do we ever wonder why he fell? Jasper Fforde explores this idea in his first Jack Spratt novel, The Big Over Easy. The novel starts with the introduction of Detective Sergeant (DS) Mary Mary, who is applying for a job in the Reading Police Department. She’s a good detective, though she always ends up having to do difficult choices for herself. She thought she would be working with Friedland Chymes, her number one idol but as with every new employee, she had to start out low — in the Nursery Crime Division (NCD) under DI Jack Spratt.

Continue reading The Big Over Easy (Jasper Fforde)

Something Rotten (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 5]

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde (image courtesy of detective Thursday Next is on a mission — and it’s not just a mission to save the planet. If only life were that simple.

Unemployed following an international cheese-smuggling scandal, our favorite cultural crime-fighter is faced with a world of problems: Hamlet’s not attending his conflict resolution classes, President George Formby is facing a coup led by dastardly Yorrick Kaine and, what’s more, the evil Goliath Corporation are refusing to un-eradicate Thursday’s husband, Landen.

Will she ever see Landen again? Is shopping the new religion? Can Thursday prevent Armageddon? And who will babysit her son while she does it? – blurb from the back of the book

If you were (or still) a fan of Nancy Drew or have read Agatha Christie novels, you’d probably like Thursday Next. Thursday is Nancy Drew and Hercule Poirot thrown in a Harry Potter-like land: an alternate England where there is a special police department named Special Operatives (SpecOps) who deals with EVERYTHING (from literature to the undead), where having a stalker is normal, where time travel is possible and where dodos make good pets. What a world, eh? I definitely agree. :)

Something Rotten is actually the fourth Thursday Next novel in Mr. Fforde‘s Thursday Next series. In case you’re a new reader of his works (like me), you don’t have to worry about getting confused with the characters because more or less each character was re-introduced at the start of the novel. Thursday Next is a literary detective at SpecOps-27, the Literary Detective department (or LiteraTec) of the SpecOps. Thursday is also the head of Jurisfiction in the BookWorld and after living there for two years, she wanted a break for her to properly take care of her son Friday and to find a way to get her husband Landen back after being eradicated by the ChronoGuard (the time-travelling department of SpecOps — SO-12) when he was two. So she goes back to Swindon with her son, her pet dodo Pickwick and her son Alan and Hamlet the Prince of Denmark (who wanted to see if the reports about him from the real world a.k.a Outland is true). Thursday heads back home and tries to fix her life again (and to bring her husband back), but then finds herself under an assassination plot, responsible to get rid of Yorrick Kaine, a fictional character who got out of an unknown book and was planning to become a dictator and of course, to stop the world from ending. What’s new?

Continue reading Something Rotten (Jasper Fforde)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

Rating: [rate 5]

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeIn a Southern novel of unusual narrative charm eight-year-old Jean Louise, nicknamed Scout, tells about growing up as the daughter of a widowed lawyer, Atticus Finch, in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. She and her older brother Jem happily occupy themselves with resisting “progressive education,” bedeviling the neighbors, and stalking the local bogeyman–until their father’s courageous defense of a black man falsely accused of rape introduces them to the problems of race prejudice and brings adult injustice and violence into their childhood world. Despite a melodramatic climax and traces of sermonizing, the characters and locale are depicted with insight and a rare blend of wit and compassion. (Library Journal Review)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about innocence and prejudice that is told in the eyes of a little girl. The story starts with Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout, and her adventures with her older brother Jem and their mutual friend Dill who visits Maycomb in the summer. These adventures include reenacting scenes from Dracula as told by Dill, and “stalking” Arthur (Boo) Radley, the town’s bogeyman. School comes and Scout doesn’t like it, but agrees to a compromise with her loving father Atticus.

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House (Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker)

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (image courtesy of Westbowpress.comRating: [rate 3]
One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

The only way out is in.

House is the first novel written by two of the best Christian suspense fiction writers: Frank Peretti (author of This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, The Oath) and Ted Dekker (author of Thr3e, Blink, Black, White, Red). This is really interesting for me because I love Peretti, and I’ve started liking Dekker already, and I was eager to read something written by them.

WARNING: Post may contain spoilers.

House starts with a couple named Jack and Stephanie Singleton, on their way to a counseling session for a marriage headed for divorce. Jack is a writer while Stephanie is a country singer, and apparently, they couldn’t stand each other anymore. While driving, a police officer chased them because Jack’s brake light is out, and then it turns out they were lost. The police officer points them to an alternate route, but someone sabotaged their tires and they end up at Wayside Inn, this little house by the side of the dusty road. There they met Leslie Taylor, a psychologist, and Randy Massarue, a know-it-all businessman, who also got into the same accident as well. They start to settle into the Inn, and then found a table set for four in the dining room, as if the owners of the house were expecting them.

Continue reading House (Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker)

Thr3e (Ted Dekker)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Thr3e by Ted Dekker

Kevin Parson is driving his car late one summer day, when, suddenly, his cellphone rings. A man who identifies himself as Slater speaks in a breathy voice: We’re gonna play a little game, Kevin. You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you’re driving will blow sky high. End call.

Kevin panics. Who would make such a call? What sin? Kevin ditches the car. Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets the world on a collision course with madness.

Let the games begin.

I saw Ted Dekker‘s books October last year during one of our school’s book fair, but I never picked up any of his books because I was (and still am) a solid Frank Peretti fan. I have to admit, I was looking for the standard Peretti formula in other Christian fiction, and as far as I was concerned, only Peretti was worthy of being labeled that.

I got motivated to read Ted Dekker because of, yes, Frank Peretti. My friend told me about Peretti’s collaboration with Dekker on House (to be reviewed next!), and since then, I was curious about his writing. But because he has written so many books already, I didn’t know where to start (plus his books are expensive :p). When I got to the OMF bookstore, I got Thr3e because it was the cheapest Dekker in the store. :P
Continue reading Thr3e (Ted Dekker)

Dreaming in Black and White (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 5]
Dreaming in Black and White by Laura Jensen Walker (image courtesy of She’s smart. She’s savvy…She’s…well, she’s working on the thighs. And with God as her witness, she’ll never let that man spoil her happy ending!

Phoebe Grant is everyone’s favorite movie-geek — unbeatable at trivia, convinced that all the world’s a movie screen. She can organize a four-hankie chick-flickathon with a wave of her tall, nonfat, double-mocha. And she’s a shoo-in for the job of her dreams — movie reviewer for the newspaper where she works.

Enter Alex Spencer — not only gorgeous but also a film-buff, perfectly cast for a celluloid kiss and a fade to sunset. Unfortunately, Alex is the villain who sends Phoebe packing to the last place on earth she wants to be — back home to boring little Barley, California.

But wait. It couldn’t be. Dark, handsome and annoying Alex…in Barley?

Can Phoebe protect her hometown — and her heart — and prove It’s a Wonderful Life? Or is her promising future truly Gone With The Wind? – Blurb at the back of the book

The most of Christian fiction that I’ve been exposed to is mostly of Frank Peretti. I like the way he writes because he writes Christian novels in a way that they do not sound like it. He writes with such simplicity that it feels like his novels are true to life.

I never expected that there would be Christian novels that would fall in the chick lit genre. I’ve read a couple of chicklit books (specifically the Shopaholic series) but I don’t really buy them because (1) I don’t know what to buy because there’s so many books under that genre; and (2) most, if not all, are not 100% Pure. So I just resolved to borrowing them instead of buying them (and yes, they are quite expensive).

So I was really surprised to find a Christian chick lit last Friday. Biruin nyo yun. Surprised, curious and excited, if I may add. :) So now let’s go to the review. :P

Continue reading Dreaming in Black and White (Laura Jensen Walker)