Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cleanup by Norah McClintock




Book Summary (from the book)

“Connie, you have to help me”, a breathless voice said in Spanish. “They think I killed Mr. Richard. You have to tell them I would never do such thing.” 

“But, Maria—“ 

She begged me to hurry. Then the phone went dead.

Connie Suarez, downsized from her job as a legal secretary, is working as a maid. She’s getting used to picking up after people. But she is not prepared for the mess that awaits her when she arrives to work one morning to find her employer dead. Connie’s co-worker Maria, an illegal alien from Colombia, quickly becomes the prime suspect in this murder.

Connie soon realizes that she is also a potential target for violence. The question now is, will she be able to clean up the mess that Maria is in without getting killed herself?

My Review

I received this book from the Early Reviewers program from LybraryThing, and here is my review.

Why did I ask for this book? When I read the synopsis I just wanted to read it, I like a book with a strong female character and if it happens to be a Latina with whom I can identify even more, why not?.

Turns out I didn’t feel identified with the 2 main characters, but simply because our lives are very different (luckily for me I have to say). However, the problems surrounding them are so current that is easy to understand their actions. (I wont get any political here, but if you haven’t watched Rosie Perez video on how is “easier to be Latino” you are in for a treat). Off course I am not saying that this is only a Latino reality, or that just because you are part of a certain ethnicity you are necessarily doomed, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, the book. It makes part of the Rapid Reads series, and it was indeed a fast read, so it was perfect during the Read-a-Thon. But it wasn’t fast just because it was a short book; it was fast passed and well written and there were not dead moments in the story. 

Connie has to help her friend, even though she keeps finding out that Maria has been keeping a lot of secrets from her. Not that they were best friends, but there were the type of things that you share, at least without too many details.

I haven’t read anything else from the author, but I liked her style in this book. The characters are presented with enough details so you understand their actions, but you are not swarmed with details that then pop up by surprise.

In all it was a fun read, a different read. I would recommend this book when you need something between books; I wouldn't call it a "sherbet" because it has a little bit more content than the books I usually classify in that category, but since the whole plot passes by really fast it works perfectly to open your head for a new coming story.



Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Passage by Justin Cronin (RIP #7)




Book Summary (from the book)
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy –abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape –but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only her has the power to save the ruined world.

My Review
This is my last addition to the R.I.P challenge this year. I had fun, but I went through all the books that I wanted to read that fell into the category and I want to change genres a bit…at least for a while.

So, how did I get to this book? Bookrageous off course! Josh from Brews and Books actually talked about the book on episode 39 this year, and then I read Rebecca's (The Book Lady)review on it. Long story short...I put it down on my TBR list, reserved it at the library and waited, and waited.

Now, I really tried to finish this one before entering the Read-A-Thon…but a cold got in the way and so, my two book “challenges” this year (2 and only mind you, I’m new at this) merged. Luckily they did so beautifully.

Let’s get to the book shall we? The book is written from a third person’s point of view, we are just the observers. However, it keeps jumping from character to character so we are not necessarily following the same person, but just the same story.

The author places the story as B.V or A.V (before or after the virus, which allows him to play with how far in the future are we, although there are a couple of references to 2014. Why is this important? Because the world has collapsed and a lot of things are lost, just part of the memories of survivors and that makes it tangible as future but then again far away. I’m not sure if I’m being clear with this but is the best I can put it in words.

What is the virus? Well, I’m not ruining anything by telling you that is kind off a vampiric virus. It starts as a scientific study (this part I totally loved, even though I’m not a virologist, that’s my BF domain actually) and then the government gets his hands on it, more specifically, the Army wants it.

Because you see, is not the glittery vampires we are talking about, is regeneration, not getting old, etc…sort of Resident Evil with a similar outcome (is bad, just in case)

Needless to say, the virus, or better the patients treated with the virus get out of control, and is chaos. That’s when the world collapses, panic arises, and we shift in time. Colonies have been established, hiding from the virals, trying to survive. And this is what makes it so different from Resident Evil (well, there is more, but for me this is the main point): we see the people, how things have changed and how they haven’t, the struggle to survive, without endless action scenes and monsters everywhere.

Oh don’t get me wrong, the monsters (virals, smokes, etc) are there, is just that they are not the main point of the story, is what pivots around their apparition, how society changes and how humans react to such cataclysm.

I won’t give away more details, because there are some nuances that I think are better discovered little by little. Is a big book and I will admit that sometimes the pace was a bit slow (or maybe was the cold medicine?) but it picks up. For me the rhythm was more like a roller coaster, in a good sense, you get comfortable and the BOOM something happens and you keep shooting glances to the other side of the page to make sure everyone is ok. 

I don’t have a favorite character, but I like them all. They are well constructed, not perfect by any means, but complicated enough that you want to know a little bit more of their background so things might make sense.

I really enjoyed the book and I want to read The Twelve soon. 


24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 24

Hello everybody, first of all: I won!!! I never win!

Books finished: 5 

Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1211
Hours slept:1.5
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Opposite Title Puzzle Challenge; Book Sentence, Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

Only one hour to go...but I'm struggling not to fall asleep again. Specially so close to the end line.

-End of Event Meme: 

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 
    Definitely this last one; my energy from my nap went away and I had to keep changing positions not to fall asleep

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

    I honestly think is really hard if you don't know the reader. I would suggest having something of non-fiction to the side but keeping it with a light tone, like A.J. Jacobs

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

    I loved the event as it was 

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

   I can't compare it with other years, so in my opinion everything worked nicely :)

5.How many books did you read?

   6
 

6. What were the names of the books you read?
    The Passage; Cleanup; Jersey Angel; The Guinea Pig Diaries; El misterio de las Tanias and My stroke of insight


 
7. Which book did you enjoy most?

    The Passage for Fiction and The Guinea Pig Diaries for non-fiction.

8.Which did you enjoy least?

   Jersey Angel...

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

    I wasn't, but I would like to thank everyone who visited my page!

11. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?


    I will definitely participate next year, probably at Fall. As a reader, and maybe as a cheerleader. I'm not sure I'm ready yet to be a host :$

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 23

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 5 

Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1185
Hours slept:1.5
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Opposite Title Puzzle Challenge; Book Sentence, Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

2 more hours to go!

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 22

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 5 

Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1141
Hours slept:1.5
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Opposite Title Puzzle Challenge; Book Sentence, Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

Right now the house is so quite. Right before my nap, my boyfriend was keeping me company, but I manage to leave the bed letting him sleep. Poor thing, I think is his turn with the cold I had. So for now is just me and my cat who, incidentally, keeps taking over my reading chair every time I standup to write an entry.

I can't believe there is only 3 reading hours left!

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 21

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 5 

Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1099
Hours slept:1.5
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Opposite Title Puzzle Challenge; Book Sentence, Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 20

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 5 

Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1089
Hours slept:1.5
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Book Sentence, Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

Initially I was supposed to only sleep for half and hour...but it seems like I was more tired than I thought!

Here is my entry for the Book Sentence Challenge:
In other news, I left my chair abandoned for a little while and guess who took it?



 He was pretty comfy in my spot!

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 18

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 5 
Reading know: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D
Pages read: 1089
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 17

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 4 
Reading know: El misterio de las Tanias  by Sebastian Edwards
Pages read: 988
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Challenging Book Challenge; Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

24 Hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 16

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 4 
Reading know: El misterio de las Tanias  by Sebastian Edwards
Pages read: 903
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:Time Flies, I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 15

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 4 
Reading know: El misterio de las Tanias  by Sebastian Edwards
Pages read: 815
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:I Love Fall; Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 14

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 4 
Reading know: El misterio de las Tanias  by Sebastian Edwards
Pages read:765
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 13

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 4 (See below)
Reading know: 
Pages read:729
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 
 
Mid-Event Survey
1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
So far I'm not feeling that tired, although my eyes are a little bit. However, I think that's mostly the cold getting back at me (it's always worst at night)
2) What have you finished reading?
 The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman; The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
3) What is your favorite read so far?
Is a tie between The Passage  and  The Guinea Pig Diaries
4) What about your favorite snacks?
Not a lot of snacks so far, when I'm sick I don't have much of an appetite
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
A couple, but the one that I liked the most so far (new that is) is Books, Biscuits and Tea. I loved the page design. We don't have reviews in comon which I like because it opens reading horizons.

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 12

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 3 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman )
Reading know: The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Pages read:653
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

This is my first "snack" today, I'm not counting the Chili, because that was lunch...although later tonight I guess it will become a snack ;)


Cappuccino and Peanut Butter and Jam!

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 11

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 3 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman )
Reading know: The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Pages read: 599
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 10

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 3 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman )
Reading know: The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Pages read: 555
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

I didn't advance that much this hour, but is ok, I'm still standing. So far I haven't feel like napping, even with the cold medicine! My boyfriend has been super supportive and his Chili was amazing! So far I haven't win in any of the challenges :(. But maybe later?

Back to reading!

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 9

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 3 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman )
Reading know: The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Pages read: 517
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

My laptop died :/ I guess it was about time, it has been 4 years of a lot of usage. Luckily I have my desktop, but I was so comfy not moving out of my chair for the last 8 hours...oh well. Reading is going well...but my coughing is getting annoying. It feels like I've been doing crunches all day

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 8

Hello everybody,

Books finished: 3 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman )
Reading know: The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
Pages read: 493
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies 

You know what's sad? I just finished possibly the worst book I've read in 2012...and it was the #40 in this year reading goal. Is sad because is the first book I will be giving a lonely mushroom, and the first book during the whole year I considered not finishing! 

Anyway, back to reading now. It can only get better after this.

24 hour Read-a-Thon: hour 7

Hello everybody,
Books finished: 2 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock )
Books started: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Pages read: 398
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies

24 hour Read-a-Thon: hour 6

Hello everybody,
Books finished: 2 (The passage by Justin Cronin;Cleanup by Norah McClintock )
Books started: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Pages read: 328
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Book Bingo; Turn to pageOldies but Goodies

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 5

Hello everybody,
Books finished: 1 (The passage by Justin Cronin)
Books started: Cleanup by Norah McClintock
Pages read: 258
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Oldies but Goodies

24 hour Read-a-Thon: Hour 4

Hello again,
Books finished: 1 (The passage by Justin Cronin)
Books started: Cleanup by Norah McClintock
Pages read: 172
Hours slept: 0
Mini-challenges in which I'm participating: Oldies but Goodies

I'm quite exited to read this book,I got it through the LybraryThing Early Reviewers,and it so happens is the first ARC that I've ever received :).