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The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
Prix : EUR 8,41

1.0 étoiles sur 5 Run! (Away!!!), 26 juin 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (Format Kindle)

Spare yourselves; do not buy this book. It was almost physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and NEVER COME OUT. What on earth caused this book to receive such acclaim???

So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but ok for now.

But the rest.... In no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care

- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every suddenly sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that goes for the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been put on this earth only to fawn over, praise and massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? He reminds me of kids who want to be rock star for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the crowds of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - actors, maybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much, but WRITERS?? How many would you even recognize??? Also, within the very first chapter, we learn he's all about his Italian shoes, expensive NY apartment and trophy girlfriend, while being a self-aggrandizing whiny lying cheating ass***e - and there's a rule at the end of the book about hooking readers in the first chapter - oh well.
So a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer... God knows I love books but even I found this a bit indigestible.

- laughable secondary characters; the Jewish mother skit, the 'frustrated but deep', loud, manipulative bar owner - OH COME ON. It sounds like those Hollywood movies with 40 writers, one of which has to shoehorn comic relief in there, so you get a tap dancing number in a concentration camp. The Republican lawyer who has a cash machine where his heart should be, the threatening, grandiose, immoral publisher - none of which is deep enough to understand TRU LUV.

- which brings me, inevitably to the 'love' (sic) story. Oh please. I'm writhing inside. While I very much accept that age difference is not an impediment to Luv, a 34-year old 'falling in luv' with a teenager because she's 'dancing in the rain' (sic) sounds like... Drumroll... INFATUATION, or LUST. Mister bigshot writer (which one? Does it matter?) should have a way with words, but seems utterly incapable of self-analysis, diagnostic, soul-searching etc. And from there we get the MOST INANE dialogues I have EVER read outside of Barbara Cartland books. Even 33 YEARS later, the dude wallows in self-pity and 'she's the only one I'd ever love' whines that would make me want to smash a baby into a wall. Why were you in Luv, exactly? 'Cause she made you sandwiches and 'took care of you'??? I kid you not, this is what their whole relationship is about, and - wait for it - they only hang out for THREE MONTHS. Also, the kid is (spoiler, but do you care at this point) orphaned and suffers from psychotic breaks - is there anything that screams 'victim' any louder to you? Ach, it reminds me of Lars von Trier movies.
So, ok, you may be attracted to someone 20 years your junior. But if that someone fits the description above and has massively crushed on you - well, I've got news buster; you're just exploiting someone's intense vulnerabilities and the fact that you throw the rest of your whole life away afterwards doesn't make your. Luv 'more sacred'. It just makes you a creep who is unable to deal with reality and leads you to befriend only one person for the rest of your life, another creep.

- when does the police. Ever. Lets. A civilian. Lead. An. Investigation???? Especially in the US of A???? You have got to be kidding me.

- oh the writing, oh the writing... I'll take an inch out of my sting because I read a translated version, but still - English AND French are both my maternal languages and as I was trying to go back and forth to imagine what the translator could have improved I was left in the dust. Oh, the maudlin, immature, 'poor-me' waterfalls in this book - oh what about the editing, the verbatim copies of previous pages - oh the psychological characterizations and depth that could fit in a thimble, oooh.

It was atrocious. I can't believe this even got published. Maybe because there are publisher characters in there? Maybe because Dicker held someone's mother for *cough* blackmail? I don't get it. Read anything else.

The Breach
The Breach
Prix : EUR 4,23

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un-put-down-able!, 25 avril 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Breach (Format Kindle)
Wow. I don't know how I missed this trilogy, although it defies classification - action, thriller, sci-fi... and thus may be hard to find on your usual top bookstore shelves.
What can I say? I felt I was watching a non-stop action movie (I never felt such a thing reading a book), with a rock solid structure. I mean, if you're going to up the ante with super-secret alien artifacts, super-efficient bad guys, a super-random hero... you have to be ready to fall back on your feet and not evaporate in a puff of air, or let your readers down with a few pirouettes. Well, Lee's got it down. He's tight, efficient, precise - and more importantly, considering the elements he put into play (alien stuff...), believable. A trustworthy writer. After a while, I just 'relaxed', because I knew that no matter how many insane loops he put us through (and he's got a great imagination for those), we would get out plausibly AND get an explanation. Not to mention the very smart use of things already mentioned earlier in the book (which means you, reader, can also demonstrate your mental agility;0), the swift paradigmatic changes that open whole new worlds of thought/problems (ditto, reader). Also, no generic 'bad guys' who just have a daddy complex - even those are fleshed-out and made comprehensible, which was a long shot at the beginning.
I have to admit I love spending time in the company of smart people, so The Breach and Ghost Country were a treat. On to Deep Sky now...!!!

The Secret History (English Edition)
The Secret History (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 7,88

2.0 étoiles sur 5 Self-indulgent (massive spoilers ahead), 3 mars 2014
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Secret History (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
Well - nothing very very likeable in any of the main characters. The narrator is entirely boring and passive - things keep happening TO him, and he reacts, without any kind of vigor, happy to do nothing but accidentally learn Greek and stare at the only girl character.
The others... could be intriguing, but then again, nothing allows us to connect to them. Why is it that in any 'Oops-I-killed-someone' book, the unwitting murderers' reactions are always so unsatisfactory? (Camus' freaking Étranger starts that list for me). So those kids who are as klutzy as they come drown their sorrows(? Guilt?) in massive amounts of alcohol and drugs?... Hmmm... Fascinating. Aaaaand??
11th hour discoveries; oh wait, we were all completely fascinated by our teacher. Well this is a case of 'telling without showing' - I never felt Julian Morrow was anything other than a 2-dimensional character, and name-dropping (Orwell, Marilyn Monroe) ain't gonna change that. Also, hardly present at all.
The only unbotched suicide made no sense, especially after a grandiose profession of love.
And, oh lord, the absence of editing - not everyone is fascinated by selective New England colleges and their snarky, emotionally autistic and plain spoilt students. The book was grossly too long. Also, some awkward repeats and sentences that made no sense, jarringly out of context. There was no depth to the characters, no soul-searching, just booze, booze, drugs and more booze.
I'm giving it 2 stars for believably creating a character one would really want to kill. And killing him.

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition)
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 2,68

5.0 étoiles sur 5 simple, obvious... but we don't do it -, 12 décembre 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
You can sigh over the concept - yes yes, we've heard it all before, enough already!
Well, no. Not enough, never enough. It's interesting how our minds run away from the practice of loving ourselves. It's interesting to see the boundless benefits that come from loving ourselves. It's interesting to see the countless other strategies we pursue with more or less success - to success - when this one, the simplest and most powerful is possible the hardest to accept.

Prix : EUR 6,35

1 internaute sur 2 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good entertainment, 15 octobre 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Divergent (Format Kindle)
Elanor Anardil's review Oct 14, 13 · edit
3 of 5 stars
bookshelves: dystopia

I probably shouldn't read other reviews before I write mine... and other reviewers shouldn't have such massive expectations when they read a new book and/or should not constantly compare said new book to previous loved ones....

Anyhoo, let us consider Divergent on its lonesome; good entertainment. Yes, some things were expected (the love story, Four's real identity...), others made no sense (more on this later), but overall it was readable and I read it in one sitting.

Many readers were offended by the strict division into 5 factions (6 if you include the factionless) and thought it would never fly in the 'real world'. I see they have great faith in their fellow men and women; there have been MANY insane political systems in the history of the world, and even today there are countries where women have to walk around like undead mummies and get killed when they show an ankle, get married/raped at 12, many places where violence is the only true currency, many places where dictators rule... So what's another crazy system? We as a species are nothing if not adaptable - and our own systems could legitimately be considered cuckoo by outside observers (and they are).

It also doesn't bother me that we're in future Chicago without knowing (yet) how we got there. It may be explained or not - whatever.

Tris - the heroine - is not perfect, but she turned off many people by showing disgust for anything Erudite (although she could have been one of them, her brother became one, and so was her father). Also she loves guns.
Let me make this clear; heroines don't have to be perfect (ie; like ME) for me to appreciate them.
I also suspect Tris will have to come round to this part of her personality and the world at large and learn to love 'intelligence', she will have to deal with her bias and prejudice. That's a character arc. Like Harry making his peace with Slytherin. I think the point is that we destroy our own selves if we keep fragmenting everything (society, ourselves)... and that's exactly what being Divergent means. Tobias is a lone voice in the dissenting choir, but I think events will prove him wise. We're all everything, so stop bashing the world they live in; that was VRoth's point!

Yes choosing your whole life at 16 sucks, especially when it means you will NEVER see your family again etc. Again, the point of the book maybe?

Now for some inconsistencies;

If the Dauntless only keep 10 people/year.... how many of them can really be around?! Especially with their high mortality rate and with getting rid of older people...?
Getting rid of so many applicants makes no sense.
Utter violence IS NOT bravery. Bullying, torture, gratuitout beat-ups, enucleation, attempted rape or murder without accountability or justice IS NOT BRAVERY. Killing kids IS NOT BRAVERY. Sucking it up, moving on and plottting your revenge IS NOT... well, you get my drift. Some of the tasks are LUDICROUS in difficulty - and then again; on on earth do they have to do with couraaaaaaage? The Dauntless all seem to b
I love that there is so much violence and death around the Dauntless but Tris is all 'shocked' 'gasps' 'horror' 'disbelief' when she hears Divergents are in danger - dude, when are you NOT in danger exactly?!
Also, qualms and pain over defending herself... when again the setting is so violent and Tris is supposed to be so badass and explosive, and people kill other people right and left. The guilt trip is really just annoying.
Why is Tris always mentioned as being 'selfless'? I see her as refreshingly and necessarily selfish - if she weren't, she would be dead. A lot. And liking guns makes perfect sense for a tiny woman in
I don't understand what exactly drew Tris (annoying nickname) to the Dauntless, or how someone who had such a mousy existence prior could turn into a fit athlete in a month - or in an hour. She's not appalled by the violence, she's not looking for justice, she's more an 'eye for an eye' kind of girl. Why is she digging the 'need' for survival, why does she accepts blindly the idiotic and random tasks set before her that will also get some of her peers killed or thrown on the streets? Why does she buy into all that? I understand the need for freedom and adrenalin, of course, but not the random ruthlessness. Did her moral sense disintegrate when she left her gray clothes behind?
The book title could have us hope for more information into, you know, Divergents. How come everyone isn't divergent to some degree? Even changing factions at 16 makes you 'conversant' in 2 factions! And they all go to school together before the choosing ceremony. Wouldn't there be more interaction?
As someone said, 'what's the deal with the trains???!!'

Ok, gotta stop, getting myself worked up.
Overall, I liked it and read it quickly. When I slow down, I see the cracks - so maybe I shouldn't. It was fun while it lasted.
On to book 2


Supernatural Freak (English Edition)
Supernatural Freak (English Edition)
Prix : EUR 0,89

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Aha! This is good!, 31 août 2013
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Supernatural Freak (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
Well, I had a very good time with Supernatural Freak!

- it takes place in London and I loved the little touches; characters calling each other Mr Wang and Mr Turner, not just Bob and Joe. Informality was just one of many ways to interact, not the ONLY one. There is, appropriately, a ghost - England is the most haunted European country. We get a little taste of London, and true stiff-upper-lip characters who can blush and aim to be proper (although the phrase 'British aplomb' may be overused;0)
- The heroine has 4 nationalities, and speaks many languages - again, refreshing and culturally deeper than most urban fiction. I look forward to seeing those themes being more developped in sequels.
- the cast of secondary characters was endearing and well fleshed-out, as well as not strictly 'normal'; the heroine's uncle is an alcoholic and an actor, and she shares a house with him and 2 geeks, another friend is a gay police officer... and well, she HAS friends who care for her, which is nice. And they do not necessarily act in an expected fashion; James doesn't throw a hissy fit when he learns Robyn's had boyfriends, for instance.
- the book is a cornucopia of references - Chinese zodiac, fairies, djinn, wizards and witches, reincarnation, ghosts... - but it works. The action never stops anyway, so not much time to think!
- for the first time in a while, I actually like the heroine. She's smart, resourceful and educated. She also knows when to call it quits. And she has a very interesting powers and mission arc unfolding before her.

There were a few 'maladresses' in the writing, a bit of a graceless conclusion that didn't resolve everything... but I'm sure all of this will be amply sorted out in the next book. During this one, Robyn was intent on survival, (and exposition had to happen somewhere in there as well), but I look forward to going deeper into her universe;0) Go James!

Cessez d'être gentil soyez vrai ! : Etre avec les autres en restant soi-même (1DVD inclus)
Cessez d'être gentil soyez vrai ! : Etre avec les autres en restant soi-même (1DVD inclus)
par Thomas d Ansembourg
Edition : Broché

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un livre de référence!!!, 28 août 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce livre propose un changement sain et 'extra-ordinaire' de nos habitudes (qui souvent ne nous satisfont pas); nous voulons être des gens 'bien' et pourtant nous critiquons sans merci; nous voulons être heureux et versons dans la négativité; nous voulons communiquer efficacement avec autrui et on se tape dessus...
La solution est très simple (comme les idées les plus efficaces...) et pourtant très ardue à mettre en œuvre! Mais la force de la communication non-violente, c'est de nous brancher sur nos propres besoins, puis sur la longueur d'ondes d'autrui - littéralement sur l'humanité - y compris sur ce qu'ont pratiqué Gandhi, Luther King, Mandela. Ce livre m'accompagne depuis plus de 10 ans, et je continue à venir y chercher des réponses et de la sérénité, un peu différentes à chaque étape de ma vie. En plus, Thomas d'Ansembourg, que j'ai vu en conférence, est roulant de rire;0)))
Franchement, ce bouquin peut veut atteindre bien plus profondément que vous ne pouvez le croire - si vous le voulez, bien entendu!

PS; bien que ce soit Marshall Rosenberg qui est à l'origine de la Communication Non Violente, ses livres sont beaucoup moins digestes que Cessez d'être gentil. Il vaut donc mieux commencer ici!

Prix : EUR 4,49

1 internaute sur 1 a trouvé ce commentaire utile :
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Read Lois Lowry's The Giver instead..., 22 août 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Matched (Format Kindle)
Soooo... I was going to say I did not like it, but I see there are sequels that may remove my sore points.

A dystopian (maybe utopian;0) society, where everything is fixed by the Officials; who you marry, what you eat - you can't give a bite of your food to anyone else - what you wear, what job you'll have, who can come inside your house, what you read, watch, listen to... etc etc etc.
Of course, the heroine will slowly grow to see the cracks and awaken to other possibilities. Of course, we're rooting for her, seeing as we are, you know, not living in an Orwellian of Huxleyian reality (although sometimes I wonder). Okay.
Half the fun of such a book is watching the writer create a consistent paradigm.
That worked. Benevolent and encouraging Officials was good stroke.
The other half of the fun is watching the hero start to question things.
That didn't work out so well.
I felt Cassia's desires did not lead to a 'political' awakening. She randomly questions some aspects of her Society, sometimes coming out with a full-fledged analysis, sometimes not at all - and then does not act. It's hard for me to see where characters sit on the meek to rebellious continuum, I felt they were more inconsistent than unpredictable. Also, as we say in French 'tout ça pour ça?'... Cassia is always re-acting to events, never anticipating anything, except for doom, which gets annoying. All this for what? The 'result' seemed pitiful - although as I just noted, there ARE sequels which could take us through Cassia growing a backbone, a more relevant political positioning and a widening of the scope.

And what is it with the slew of Mormon women writing love stories?

PS: am reading The Giver after a review suggested it, and it's MUCH superior, especially in terms of describing the awakening of the protagonist's soul (and ACTING instead of dilly-dallying).

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1)
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1)
Prix : EUR 3,71

3.0 étoiles sur 5 Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhgggrrrrrppppphhhh, 22 août 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) (Format Kindle)
I find this book a bit hard to rate.

- I felt the atmosphere was very well crafted, the eerie emptiness of Morganville, the threats both in daylight and darkness, the fear of night (which is what drew me to vampire lore when I was just a wee bairn), the feeling that no place is safe but... a 'glass' house... Creepy, scary, old school bad vamps, yay!

- On the other hand, the 'heroine', 'Claire', is just plain annoying. She has a massive chip on her shoulder about being 'so smart', generously smeared with self-pity, keeps whining that she's a big girl BUT cries for Mom, or Shane, or Michael, or Eve or anyone as soon as someone says boo, will not report actual harassment at the beginning of the book when she couldn't know what kind of place she landed into ('I'm fine - I just ran into a door' What is this? Battered woman central???), and stamps her foot in order to go to class - ie, outside the safe house where EVERYONE and their dog is trying to kill her - and she does not even enjoy her classes all that much. There are SO MANY contradictions! She read 'all the classics' but she only seems interested in biochemistry and science. She's smart enough to have Harvard begging for her but she goes to a trashy Texas college to be 'close to her parents' who certainly are not close enough to come see her the day she gets a severe acid burn! You want your wuvy darling to be safe, and you send her to the most dangerous place on earth AND a college for morons?! Whoohoo, way to go!

Also the sexual prudery is beyond irritating; 'Claire! You're living with BOYS??!!' Dude, half the 16 year olds in America have already lost their virginity and know more sexual positions than their parents. Puhlease. Alright, so the guys are 18, which is a staggering 2 years older, OHMG, get the Bible ready... except that wait, all chuches have been annihilated in the vicinity of Morganville. One wonders how one builds a sense of morality in a town owned by vampires anyway...

I'm getting annoyed of reading books where I like everything but the heroine.

Also, the last condition; never to leave Morganville again... rather than just getting the hell OUT??! What are you, nuts?? So Harvard will just have to get over it, won't they, while you'll be stuck forever in Frat Vampire Landlocked Town??? For someone so 'smart' (Alright Claire, you DID know World War II wasn't specifically anout the Chinese, woohoo, your brain cogs are generating smoke at this point), that perspective doesn't seem to bother her much...

Oh, dammit, I'm moving on to number 2, in the hopes it gets better. The atmosphere IS suitably chilly after all.

The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones
The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones
Prix : EUR 5,49

4.0 étoiles sur 5 It works, 14 août 2013
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Mortal Instruments 1: City of Bones (Format Kindle)
After reading some cutting reviews about TMI...

Well, I liked it.
It probably helps that I'd never heard of the writer, nor the books before.
It also helps that I was not constantly comparing this work to others - no one has dibs on hero dynamics, plot turns, family-related surprises, vampires-werewolves etc, betrayals, 'magic' etc etc... I find it much more rewarding to come to a book without too many expectations, and especially without a Genre Encyclopedia-chip on my shoulder. It becomes a conundrum for many readers; they love the genre (magic, fantasy, urban fantasy...), so they want to read more such books, and then obviously they complain because it reminds them of previous ones.
Guys, EVERYTHING has already been written. If you want to keep reading (or watching movies), you're going to have to suck it up.

So.... off the top of my head, this book was MUCH better than the Percy Jacksons, or the Beautiful Creatures, or the Summon the Keeper (of which I only read one, so I may not be completely equanimous). Alright, so there was some awkward exposition, I still haven't figured out how that universe works (I wonder why I'm more interested in this than almost anything else when I read fantasy/uf...). Yes, the heroes are angst-ridden teenagers (you like YA? That's what you get), yes there is an awkward love triangle, no, I don't understand the appeal of the heroine... Alright.

But overall, it was a pretty tight plot, things moved along, the dialogue was unexpectedly funny, there were some interesting twists, Jace is very enjoyably arrogant (I actually like arrogant characters), AND not everyone is good. The heroes' parents were not 'the good guys', they messed up quite spectacularly.
There are interesting references - finally no more 'talking down' to teenagers; Bosch, Diego Rivera, Blake... There are nice settings - the Downworld diner springs to mind.
Also some more subtle things; Clary keeps saying Isabelle is a bitch, but Isabelle never actually does anything bitchy to her - prejudice and insecurity from the main character, not the writer. Also, on the subject of prejudice, those kids are going to have to examine their own racism - which is perceived by other characters but not by them.
Characters' gestures and movements were consistent with their state of mind (a pet peeve of mine 'she glared at him, sighing' - impossible). Also, they grew. Also, domestic violence, abuse, homosexuality and again, racism are addressed in the book.

Yep, I like it. On to number 2

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