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Search tags: kindle-first
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review 2017-06-18 21:57
A Small Revolution
A Small Revolution - Jimin Han A Small Revolution - Jimin Han

This is a pleasant surprise. It's a Kindle First book I got a few months ago, along with the audio upgrade, that had so much more to it than I expected. At it's core the story is about four college girls who are held captive by a guy with a gun for reasons that blur between the personal and the political. But this isn't about some rejected college student who wants to take out his anger by showing power, it's more of a hostages make people listen situation.

Yoona is the protagonist and I loved the way she tells the story to Jaesung. It's not done in a way that makes it sound like she is relaying it to him later and that everything is fine. She talks to him as if he is her conscience. Jaesung is another character who is not in the room with them but he is still a part of it. You know from the beginning that Jaesung has something to do with why Lloyd, the gunman, has these girls in this room at gunpoint.

I appreciated Yoona, Jaesung, and Lloyd as characters, as would-be or possible revolutionaries. I loved the niavete they possess and the way each works through that in their own way and the way the interference, or not, of parents rang true to life for me. Some are very involved, others not so much or not at all. I couldn't help but feel for Yoona, not just in that room but as other events became known. Then there's Lloyd's unraveling, what brought him to the place, what motivates his conversations with the negotiator and I loved the negotiator. Much of the book isn't even about the room they are in but the way they all came to be there and these are the scenes that surprised me most.

I enjoyed the story embodied a part of American life by being about people who were the first or second generation to be born in the US, by being about people who still have ties to the land of their parents. I appreciated it as a story about Korean-Americans, which I feel is a group we don't hear much about, but also about Korea and a dorm room in the US. The story elements fit together beautifully and the only thing I would wish to change about it was a little more denouement.

Also, I really love this cover. Its perfectly captures the feel and tone of the story without giving anything away. Every time I see the cover since finishing the book, I get a little wistful about the story and all the characters and everything they wanted to do and everything they wanted to fix about the world.

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text 2017-05-06 23:50
My Kindle First choice for May
Dead Certain: A Novel - Adam Mitzner
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text 2017-03-13 21:49
My Kindle First choice for March
A Criminal Defense - William L. Myers Jr.
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review 2017-03-13 15:11
Wildcat by Sara Paretsky
Wildcat: V. I. Warshawski's First Case (Kindle Single) - Sara Paretsky

A fun little story!
I wouldn't call it V.I's first case so much as her introduction to bad guys. She didn't really go on a case, but was being a nosy child chasing things she maybe shouldn't have.
It made for a good, quick read though. It also helped shape why V.I. became the private detective that she did. This incident would have created that whole spark.
I loved the movie, so it was nice to read a story with a familiar character. I definitely want to read more now too!

 

 

Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2017/03/wildcat-by-sara-paretsky-7.html
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review 2017-03-03 00:22
The Original Dream by Nukila Amal, translated by Linda Owens
The Original Dream - Nukila Amal,Linda O... The Original Dream - Nukila Amal,Linda Owens

The writing was beautiful but I lost the overall point of the story. It never felt like I found the revelation it was adding up to which left me with a feeling of disappointment after a promising ride.

Along the way, the book was quite pleasant to read. The author changed from the third person point of view in the chapters about Maya's life and second person point of view in the chapters that are in her dreams, leaving a clear distinction between them and alleviating the reader from any sort of confusion about whether you were in reality. I really liked the way she did that because though it should eventually have been made obvious by events and characters that are only in one or the other, the style choice made it easier on me.

Her life and her dreams were both interesting and fun to read about. Maya's dreams included parts of her real life but also distortions of it, delusions and sense sometimes in a single scene. Each scene was written in a way that propelled the plot forward, challenging Maia in the dream or Maya in real life to see things differently, or at least contemplate the differences.

The writing is gorgeous and this book had one of my favorite openings ever.

My father is a moon orchid, white, from the jungle. My mother is a red rose in the garden, near the fence. They met one morning in the port. Gave birth to me. Pink baby frangipani. A funerary flower.

Isn't that just gorgeous? I  get how it's also kind of nonsense, but it sets up a certain expectation of how the story will be told. The first chapter goes on this way, metaphorically talking about her parents and ancestors and there's a place where she goes through a photo album that is written in this romanticized way that just pulls at me. It was such a strong beginning. I had felt like it was all adding up to some revelation of who Maya or Maia was or what her place in the world was and then I felt like it just fizzled away in the last chapter. I did't get it.

That said, don't let it or the rating distract from trying the book out alone. It was only that the end doesn't make the plot clear but some stories just beautifully meander around and it's still nice to read. I would definitely read this again over several classics I was forced to read throughout college. I would read it before Dickens, for sure.

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