maandag 22 april 2013

Review "The Living Room"

Some information

Title: The Living Room
Author: Bill Rofle
Pages: 155
Genre: Love Story (and more)
Published: June 2012
Publisher: Living The Dream Publications
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 5 stars


When success and even love are not enough, you need a miracle…

Daniel Clay has good looks, money, and a rising career as a New York investment advisor. Meanwhile, his personal life is barren of love and family. But when a distant relative dies and leaves him a house in England, Daniel embarks on a life-changing journey—toward love and his soul’s awakening.

He meets and falls in love with Claire, a children’s palliative care nurse. With her help, he opens his home and heart to comfort young patients in their final days. As Claire tends to the children in a beautiful glassed-in room overlooking the sea, Daniel prays for miracles. Just when his prayers are answered, a mysterious illness strikes him down and relentlessly drains away his life. With no hope for a cure, Daniel holds fast to a deep secret that he can never reveal. And now, he needs a miracle of his own.

My Review

Normally I really like books because of the plot or the characters I can really connect with. This time I had a different kind of feeling. I think I liked this book so much because it kept me reading. It read like a train and I wasn't able to stop the train or jump from it. 

Author Bill Rolfe writes a beautiful story for us, he once saw in a dream. A story without unnecessary elements (I like that a lot). A good story... nothing more, nothing less. A story about two people who happen to meet in somewhat strange circumstances (although... they weren't that strange... I once had a teacher who met his wife in hospital where he lay after an accident). 
In this story we meet Daniel Clay, a typical New Yorker. Work is the only thing on his mind. He doesn't have a family, he doesn't have a warm home to get back to every evening, so he just keeps on working till he drops. When Daniel inherits a cottage in England there's needed more than persuasion to get him there. Luckily his tutor at work had a big influence and almost forces him to take a break from work. Reluctantly Daniel books a ticket to Europe and there he finds the woman who can give him the family and warm nest he always missed without knowing it. 

Do not think this is an ordinary love story (hmm, can love stories be ordinary?? ;p). There's more to it... We find in Daniel a man who finally discovers what's really important in life and afterwards almost loses this newfound treasure. Will Daniel be able to keep his new love, his health and his job? Or will he have to give up on one of them? 

I recommand this book to different types of readers, but mostly to the lovers of love stories. This doesn't mean there's only one "genre" to be put on this book... Author Bill Rolfe writes in a no-nonsense kind of way which can be appreciated by lots of readers. He just keeps on writing the main plot without getting distracted, without the need to fill more pages, without the idea the readers wants more mysteries. It's just a good book and that's the reason why I think it deserves 5 stars.

Don't think I always give books 4 and 5 stars. It's not because I'm in a good mood either ;). Maybe these people just provide us readers good books and we need to thank them by giving some stars and good comment...

dinsdag 9 april 2013

Review "Tulagi Hotel"

Some information

Title: Tulagi Hotel
Author: Heikki Hietala
Pages: 424
Genre: War/Romance
Published: April 2012
Publisher: Fingerpress Ltd.
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars (or 3.5)


World War II has given Jack McGuire the chance to escape the confines of the Midwest and the family farm. An ace U.S. Marine fighter pilot, he risks his life each day with his squadron in the South Pacific theatre. For him, there's calm and camaraderie up there in the cockpit. But when the war ends, Jack struggles to find his place in civilian society. Turning his back on his home, family and inheritance, he returns to the Solomon Islands. Here he builds a hotel on the same island paradise he flew over in his years of combat. But when Kay Wheeler, the widow of his wartime best friend and wingman, comes to visit the island, Jack's orderly world is disrupted. He is forced to consider whether there's room enough for two in his reinvented life.


The reasons why I gave 4 stars to this book (I wanted to give 3 and a half, but that's not possible :p)are very simple. First of all I think this story is very well written! Heikki Hietala painted a scenery in this book that you can imagine perfectly. A place you'd certainly visit if you had the chance to. Secondly I love the fact that this is a story with several "genres" woven into it. I believe this book can be appreciated by lots of readers, even though they normally don't read the same kind of books. 
I can hear you think "why don't you give 5 stars if you liked this book that much?". Hmmm, maybe I'm difficult, but I believe a reader has the right to be difficult in some cases ;). Sometimes I found the book a little too long. I don't think it's possible to read this book in one sitting, but that's not necessary of course. Another reason why I couldn't give 5 stars, is the (in my opinion) hasty end. All of a sudden there are unsolvable problems solved and our main character feels happy again... Maybe that's possible... Jack (our main character) is a lucky man ;)

Despite this one lost star, I loved the story from the beginning on. Our main character, Jack McGuire, is an "easy" character to understand and sympathize with. Sometimes the other characters are important too (they make Jack the man he is) and the author spends just enough time on each of them. You understand them, they're 'touchable' and engaging. There's only one character I don't understand completely even though she turns out to be very important in Jack's life. Kay, the woman he falls in love with, is kind of a strange person and because of the things she said/did I couldn't connect with her.

Besides the characters, Heikki Hietala also described some beautiful moments and places in this book. It's not difficult at all to imagine these little pieces of paradise (and hell -> everything in this book begins with a world war). Sometimes it feels like you are a guest in Tulagi Hotel yourself and I loved this feeling.
One thing about these descriptions was a bit annoying sometimes... : they could be veeeery long from time to time. I think the author can delete quite a few sentences without losing the beautiful spirit of this book. Have to say that all my criticism doesn't mean much. After all this is a book I enjoyed reading and I recommend it to all kinds of readers! The language is very accessible and the book certainly reads smoothly :)