Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Garden of Lies by Eileen Goudge

Garden of Lies
[Confession: I immediately branded this book as "chick lit" upon seeing just the cover, so I was pretty biased throughout reading this (a pretty sad assumption, I know, I know). I can't help it if the reviews on the book mentioned "great sex scenes" & "beautiful women"! SRSLY, those phrases just scream "ultimate chick lit"... Another term I'm using freely and discriminatorily (if there is such a term). I'll try to be more careful... But what the heck. (highlight for spoilers/rant)]

This is a story about a woman, who had the unfortunate (?) chance to change the lives of two baby girls forever. It discusses the pains and triumphs of these three women, as well as pointing out the men that they have loved and lost throughout the years. As mentioned in the title, the book dwells heavily on the premise of lies deeply interwoven in the relationships of these ladies. (Hint hint: no lesbianism involved, lol.)

I liked how Goudge used discussions on the political heads & issues of that time, giving the story a time frame, as well as an overall atmosphere. Part of the story takes place in Vietnam, and it was kind of sad, yet uplifting, to read the passages pertaining to that time of history. (highlight for spoilers/rant)

The story itself is not unique, but the way it's been told is pretty overwhelming, and you never know what would be around the next bend. While some of the events may have been foreshadowed in the text itself, it was not entirely predictable. I myself tried not to hold on to just one ending, as there seemed to be a multitude of them possible while going through the book.

One thing that annoyed me most was the huge gaps between the dates. It seems as if the story moved so fast; we see the characters moving from child to young adult to adult to the "golden age" pretty swiftly. Still, the story itself seemed not wanting of detail, so I simply took this fact with a grain of salt.

The sex was not as "steamy" as I thought it would be, in all honesty. It was more soulful and emotional instead of physical and intimate, the previous being something honestly not my style :P If you plan to read this for the sake of the sex scenes, I dare say it won't satisfy your palette quite well. Still, it's a pretty simple and a more-on-the-emotional-side story, with your typical "Prince Charmings" (who are almost always handsome and more or less older & fatherly) present to give the ladies their needs and wants. A decent beach read, but just that, I suppose.

Garden of Lies
 by Eileen Goudge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The First Escape by G.P. Taylor

The First Escape (The Doppleganger Chronicles, #1)
It looks artsy and all, but sometimes the artfulness somehow put me off. Truly, I adored the fact that there were comics (would you believe that?) in between the pages, but the rest seemed unnecessary sometimes. Still, I liked how I can imagine the characters and scenes easily enough, thanks to the illustrations, and it was pretty cool how the extra drawings and shadings helped in the overall development and atmosphere of the book, so the artsy stuff isn't so bad.

Speaking about development: this book is really quite action-packed. All the pages of this book were dedicated in telling us the fascinating adventures of Erik and the Dopple twins. Interestingly enough, the book narrates what happened in the span of just a few hours! It was honestly breath-taking and pretty exciting.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment of this series, and so does my youngest sister, who is currently in elementary. While the setting is dark and the words sometimes too much for my kid sis's vocabulary, she enjoyed it as a whole and summarizes the experience of reading this as "AWESOME". (She doesn't read much, but she does adore the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.)

Totally cool.

The First Escape by G.P. Taylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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