I know that I’ve gone missing for a while and that I haven’t been posting any reviews for even longer. That’s why today I decided that it was time to talk a bit about some of the books I have read recently and specifically I will be reviewing: The 5th Wave, The Indian Bride, and Guess Who’s Leaving Tonight (Greek: Μάντεψε Ποιος Θα Φύγει Απόψε).
1. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave #1
Genre: YA Sci-fi, Dystopia
The Passage meets The Hunger Games in a gripping new series from Carnegie-shortlisted Rick Yancey. After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave. On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, until Cassie meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother and even saving herself. Now she must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. Cassie Sullivan gets up.
I discovered this book while surfing the Internet at just about the time of its publication and I immediately wanted to read it but a couple of months later I decided that I didn’t really want to read it and just never picked it up. Then the movie came out and I didn’t want to watch it before I read the book because I had decided that actually this would be a great book for me and that I did want to read it. Yes, I know. Consistency, thy name is Nora.
So, since this is a mini review, I will quickly tell you what I liked about the book, what I didn’t like and my final thoughts on it.
What I liked:
- The plot. I really enjoyed the action, and the story, and the concept in general.
- Cassie’s determination to find her brother no matter what.
- The emotions. The book had me crying, then smiling, then crying, then feeling afraid, then…you get the point. It was a very emotional read for me.
- I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
- The fact that it has a sequel. Because I couldn’t be satisfied with just one book, duh.
What I didn’t like:
- The change of perspectives as they happened. What I mean is that while reading I would reach a part with a couple of black pages and after these pages there would be a change in perspective. It just made it so hard to understand from whose perspective the story was currently being told. And also this was usually followed by changes in the timeframe so you didn’t always know for sure whether what you were reading happened before or after what you just read a few moments ago. This wasn’t really that big of a problem. I usually got what was going on easily enough, but it was a bit confusing.
- Ringer. If you don’t know who she is, then read the book because I’m not going to tell you. But trust me, you’re not missing out on anything, I personally didn’t like her at all.
- The fact that I don’t own the sequel and don’t have the money to buy it either.
- That’s it.
Final thoughts: The 5th Wave is a book that I honestly enjoyed reading. It is full of deception and mystery and suspense. I loved it and can’t wait to read The Infinite Sea.
Buy it: Book Depository
2. The Indian Bride by Karin Fossum
Title: The Indian Bride
Author: Karin Fossum
Series: Inspector Conrad Sejer #5
Gernre: Crime, Mystery Thriller
When perpetual bachelor Gunder Jomann goes to India for two weeks and comes home married, the town of Elvestad is stunned. On the day the Indian bride is supposed to arrive, the battered body of a woman is found in a meadow on the outskirts of town. None of the “good people of Elvestad” can believe that anyone among them would be capable of such a brutal murder. But in his quiet, formal way, Inspector Konrad Sejer understands that good people can commit atrocious deeds, and that no one is altogether innocent—including the café owner who knows too much, the girl who wants to be a chief witness, and the bodybuilder with no outlet for his terrible strength.
Another brilliantly conceived, dark novel from one of Europe’s most successful crime writers.
I found out about this book from a Book Recommendations video by a Greek YouTuber. She had described it somewhat like that (but in Greek, obviously): “There is a murdered woman in a Norwegian village and everyone is guilty.” And I was already adding it to my wishlist. What? Are you going to say that you wouldn’t be intrigued by this description?
What I liked:
- The mystery. There was a great deal of mystery in the book. Even when I thought that I had finally gotten the true murderer I was still asking myself: “But if that’s the murderer then why… and how do you explain… and what happened when…”
- That it was again a very emotional read. It wasn’t only the mystery that had to be solved and the suspense, it was also the fact that Gunder really had fallen in love with his wife and so many other things that made me angry, that I sympathized with, etc.
- Gunder Jomann. He is a quiet unmarried man in his fifties. No one in the village had expected anything exceptional from him. But in the book he displays a depth of emotion and a strength of character that are rare and unique to find. To be honest, I would recommend that you read the book only to find out about Gunder Jomann yourselves.
- The translation. This is obviously a translated read for me since I do not speak Norwegian and I have to say that the translation was very good. After having read so many books in English, when I read a translated book I can almost immediately spot things that were not translated as well as they could have been. However, I didn’t have this problem here and I was so glad because it made my reading flow so smoothly and I avoided all these awkward pauses when I automatically correct the translator. I mean, if I’m going to pay you almost 1.5 times (or more) the original price of the book on average, the least you can do is give me a decent translation.
What I didn’t like:
- The ending. And this is all I can say without giving away any spoilers.
- The fact that the book was neither the first nor the last in the series. As a book it didn’t feel like I was missing things just because I hadn’t read the previous four books in the series. But I think that, if it was at least the last book in the series, then the ending might have been different. As it is, the story felt unfinished to me, which is probably exactly the case since it is part of a series. But I am not going to read the rest of the series just to figure this out.
It was a good book to read. I highly enjoyed reading it and it was pretty awesome. But I am not going to read the rest of the series. Probably because I want to take down most of my TBR this year. However, I will be re-reading this one when I find the time and I do recommend it to all of you who love the Mystery Thriller, Crime type of book and to those of you who would like to read some more Scandinavian Crime literature.
Buy it: Book Depository
3. Guess Who’s Leaving Tonight (Mantepse Pios Tha Fygei Apopse)
Title: Μάντεψε Ποιος Θα Φύγει Απόψε (Guess Who’s Leaving Tonight)
Author: Chrysiida Dimoulidou
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Translations: None that know of (sorry!)
When Fofo met Minas she immediately fell in love with him and did everything to make him hers. And when she succeeded she thought that she was the happiest woman in the world. But twenty years later her patience is at its limits. Her husband is constantly cheating on her, underestimates her and treats her badly. She has now become overweight and lost all of her self-respect. A small accident forces her to stay in Athens for the summer and do physiotherapy while her husband and children go on vacation. Now she finally makes the decision and goes on a diet to lose all of her extra weight. But no one expects the rapid developments that will follow and which will find unprepared not only her family but also Fofo herself…
Okay I will admit that I did change the summary a little bit in the translation, but only because it was just too long and I did keep the main parts intact. Anyway, I was kind of disappointed by this book. I had expected a five star story from it but this wasn’t what I got.
What I liked:
- Fofo’s story is one that I believe many women that grew up at around that time would have understood and empathized with. She is a strong woman, who allowed herself to be brought down because she thought that she had fallen in love with a man, but who finally realizes that she matters and takes her life in her own hands.
- In that sense the book is inspiring. It warns you of the dangers you’re facing when you allow someone else’s happiness to matter more than your own self-respect even when they haven’t earned it and it also shows you that your life is your own and only you can set the rules about how other people treat you.
What I didn’t like:
- The fact that while I was reading about the present, I would start a new chapter and I would suddenly be thrown into the past.
- Fofo’s father. I think that if Fofo’s father had spoken up and given his opinion more often, then a lot of things would have been different. And I really didn’t like the fact that he hadn’t because a lot of ridiculousness would have been avoided.
- The fact that Fofo even considered staying with Minas for even one single minute. It doen’t matter that he was the father of her children, simply because he had never been a father to her children. And as for his behavior toward her, she should have tossed him out many many years ago. But now that she got a chance at a better life and happiness what does she do? She considers throwing it all away and going back to the really bad way things were. No just no.
- The ending. I am not going to say much about it, but I thought that what she did in the end was totally stupid and cruel. Some might disagree with me and say that she did what she needed to do for herself, but I call bulls**t.
And with that happy note I will end this review. I will only add that I did like the book as a whole, but there were some serious no nos for me in it.
Buy it: Psichogios Publications (though I am not sure that they do international shipping, but if I find it somewhere else where it would be easier for you to buy it, I will add the links here)
So, these were my three mini-reviews. I really hope you liked them.
Now it’s your turn…
Did you like my reviews? Do you think I should do more mini-reviews in the future or do you prefer the regular reviews? Have you read any of the books in the post and, if yes, did you like them? Would you like to read them?
Have you watched the 5th Wave movie? Have you read any of the other books in the Inspector Conrad Sejer series? Have you read any other Scandinavian Literature lately? If yes, what do you think I should read next?
Would you read Guess Who’s Leaving Tonight if it were ever translated? Are you interested in Greek Literature contemporary or not?
Tell me all about it in the comments below…
P.S. If you are interested in Greek Literature then come back tomorrow because I will be talking about all of the books by Greek authors currently on my shelves. Until then happy reading 😉