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review 2015-11-24 00:00
The Cruelty
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text 2014-03-30 04:51
New Book Releases To Check Out
The House at the End of Hope Street - Menna van Praag
The Cruelty - S. Bergstrom
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave - John Boyne,Oliver Jeffers
Byrd - Kim Church
Every Day Is for the Thief: Fiction - Teju Cole
Riding a Crocodile - Paul A Komesaroff
  • The House at the End of Hope Street: A Novel by Menna van Praag (March 25, 2014 by Penguin Books [Goodreads]
  • The Cruelty by S. Bergstrom (March 15, 2014 by JKSCommunications) [Goodreads]
  • Stay Where You Are And Then Leave by John Boyne (March 25, 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)) [Goodreads]
  • Byrd by Kim Church (March 18, 2014 by Dzanc Books) [Goodreads]
  • Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole (March 25, 2014 by Random House) [Goodreads]
  • Riding a Crocodile by Paul A Komesaroff (March 11, 2014 by River Grove Books) [Goodreads]
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review 2014-03-19 02:52
The Cruelty
The Cruelty - S. Bergstrom
Pardon my language, but holy shit. Why isn't this book a movie? The Cruelty is so expertly written, so fast-paced, so impressive, that I don't really know what else to say to start this review. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but I can definitely tell you that it was not to be so wholly immersed. I read this from cover to cover in about three hours. I pawed through the pages like a woman possessed. Yes, it's that good.
To get this out of the way, let me give you a quick heads up. This is a book that begs you to suspend disbelief to fully enjoy it. Think of it as an action-packed Hollywood blockbuster. Yes, things happen that are convenient. Yes, Gwendolyn is only 17. In the hands of this talented author, that doesn't mean a damn thing. You'll want to believe. S. Bergstrom treats us to the transformation of a young girl. The transformation from your typical, shy teenager, to a kick-ass covert operative. I hate to compare things, but honestly? Think Taken, if Liam Neeson were a 17-year-old girl. Are you hooked yet? Just wait.
Add in the rich backdrop of Europe, and this book had my undivided attention. Gwendolyn finds herself is the darker, less traveled parts of Europe on her mission to find her father. She sleeps in slums, cons people for money, and does things that she never thought herself capable of doing. The Gwendolyn at the end of the book is someone who is so totally different from who she once was, that it's mind boggling. She's harder, stronger, and definitely not someone you'd want to mess with. I gaped at the events in this book. I really did. There's this undercurrent of violence to everything that happens. It's gritty, but it's also realistic. These things are going on out there, whether we want to believe it or not.
I know I'm rambling. I can't help it. This book stole my capability to wax poetic. I think it sums it all up to say that The Cruelty is like your favorite action movie, but with a younger protagonist. It deals with human trafficking, violence for the sake of violence, and all those dark things we choose not to think about. It does it well too. Read this. That's all I can say to you. That, and that this is an author I will be watching very closely from now on.
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review 2014-03-10 01:50
Everything's Better With Cyanide
The Cruelty - S. Bergstrom
The hardest part about not believing in God isn’t knowing there’s no heaven.
It’s knowing there’s no hell.

The thing with human trafficking is, that it has been glamorized beyond recognition in contemporary romance it has started to sound like an appealing way to meet your one true pair. Such a horrible reality has been fluffed out by exceptionally attractive, kinky and ruthless alpha heroes with a heart of gold in fiction that it has started to become a selling point in books.

This is not that kind of book.

For readers who have see the film Taken, this is exactly that storyline except its the daughter who has to find her kidnapped father who turns out to be a CIA field agent. With the help of their former Mossad agent neighbour and a hacker friend, seventeen year-old prep school senior Gwendolyn Bloom discovers the truth about her father who just disappeared after a “meeting” in Paris. The secrets that he harbours sends her on an elaborate chase across Europe, opening her eyes to a world beyond the comforts of the Upper East Side that she loathes, changing her from a bullied introvert to a creature of infinite cruelty in order to save her family.

At its core, The Cruelty should be a five-star, favourite shelf book for me. It’s 4472 kindle pages, with an addictive, easy to latch on narrative dragging Gwendolyn in an impossibly adrenaline pumped, gruelling adventure with Mossad operatives in Paris, prostitutes in Berlin and the Czech Mafia in Prague. It takes you to their seedy underbellies, the world of desperate refugees and runaways. A culture and a civilization away from our own, shrouded in an atmosphere of abandon, hopelessness and decay. 

This is the Paris of the Nigerians who wash the visitors’ coffee cups, the Paris of the Arabs who sell them little Mona Lisa magnets from blankets spread out on the curb by the Seine.
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video 2014-03-06 22:40
The Cruelty - S. Bergstrom

The Cruelty Book Trailer by @BergstromScott

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