Publicat în Cyndy Aleo, Uncategorized

Undying (Undying #1) by Cyndy Aleo

Synopsis:

What if the world isn’t ready for your miracle?

Cameron Tattersall’s wife, Adrienne, should not be cooking breakfast when he wakes up. After all, he buried her yesterday. Yet the woman in his kitchen not only claims she is his wife, but also refuses to accept that she’s supposed to be dead.

Cameron doesn’t know what this woman is: hallucination, con-woman, or bona fide miracle. For all he knows, he’s crazy, but her reappearance may return the only thing he ever wanted: a life with Adrienne.When their families discover Cameron isn’t alone in his house, the couple learns coming back from the dead has its own set of trials: angry surviving family members, confused insurance companies, and a media storm that simultaneously wants to build the couple up and tear them down. There’s also the matter of just who, or what, was buried in that coffin. Or not buried.

Thrust into the spotlight, Cameron and Adrienne have to decide whether living under a microscope is a fair trade for a miracle, and to reconcile their need for privacy with the desire for answers.

Review:

I probably cried when I was reading some sad books when I was a child. I definitely remember crying a damn cascade while reading half of the Harry Potter books. But it’s been decades ago and since then, my masochistic brain keeps looking for books that would tear me apart completely and make me feel everything that the characters feel at such a deep level that I’d forget that I’m crying for the pain of an imaginary person.

When I started this book I chose it because of how interesting the idea looked. Maybe it’s a thriller with an impostor trying to impersonate the dead wife of a poor husband. Maybe it’s a zombie book. Maybe it’s a fantasy one. A dead wife showing up in her husband’s bed next day after her funeral? I literally had no idea how things could have evolved. But what I definitely didn’t expect was to cry uncontrollably after the first chapter. I have no words to explain how amazing this book is. Without notice, the story starts flowing through your veins, touching every part of your soul, forcing your brain to feel absolutely every single damn thing that Cameron feels. You’re thrown into a path of pain and anguish so deeply that you feel the story at the most personal level. Because what is the biggest fear of all of us? Not spiders, not monsters, not poverty, not loneliness, not our own death. But the death of our loved ones. And the feeling that no matter how much you’d wish, there’s absolutely nothing that you can do to stop that, to help them, to keep them longer next to you.

Cameron goes through all of this in the year when he finds out that his wife, Adrienne has a devastating form of cancer. She’s young, beautiful and healthy and all of a sudden the terrible news descend over them. And one year is not enough to get used to the idea that the whole future that you imagined is shattering to pieces. But one year of suffering is also clearly not going to make things easy when he wakes up after her funeral to find her in their kitchen. Young. Beautiful. Healthy. Undead. And cooking breakfast.

So what follows is exactly what you would imagine. Because Cameron lives in our universe, not a parallel one, not in a fantasy world. He lives in this one, where miracles don’t exist, when you cannot continue your life like nothing happened after the wife that you just buried literally just came back from the dead. The world will not allow it. You will become a „case” that needs to be studied and explored from all the practical angles: legally, medically, by lawyers and doctors and churches and media. Over and over again, since there seem not to be any answers that could solve such a mistery.

I loved how realistic the author treated her idea. She took an unthinkable fact and throw it in our society that is very far from accepting the impossible as possible. There’s nothing forced, nothing romantic and magical about it. Her characters don’t treat the whole thing just like a miracle because the human brain simply doesn’t work like that. No matter how enormous the happiness and amazement can be once they accept that what happened is true, they are still very well anchored in reality and take the whole right and mundane road to understand how was it possible.

Every reaction, every gesture, every word and action, even the ones that piss you off are all perfectly drawn and completely understandable and realistic. I loved the fact that nothing comes easily, that the characters actually go willingly into the chaotic carousel that their lifes became, even if sometimes they cannot feel in any other way than totally overwhelmed by what’s happening to them.

If you have any doubts about reading this book, just take them all and throw them into the garbage right now. You need this book! The storyline is flawless, the writing, the characters, the action, everything has a bright, shinny „perfect” label on it! You will be carried through the whole spectrum of emotions, you will cry, laugh, be surprised, melt into a puddle, die of curiosity and live the whole story at the same intensity as the characters are.

Reclame
Publicat în David Staniforth, Uncategorized

Imperfect Strangers by David Staniforth

Synopsis:

How well do you know the people you see every day? Sally hardly knows Keith. They’re practically strangers until the day she smiles at him. Would you smile so readily if you risked losing your friends? Would you smile so readily if you risked losing your life? Unfortunately, you can’t begin to know a person until you let them in. Imperfect Strangers: A psychological thriller that simmers to a dark and dramatic climax.

Review:

If you’re an extrovert, this book will probably turn you into an antisocial creature. And if you’re an introvert, already not a big fan of human interaction, well… I’m guessing you’ll feel even less the desire to get out of the house. Like…ever!

I was in such a strong mood for a phychological thriller and this book was honestly the best choice I could have made! I looooved it! I don’t even know how to start describing how perfectly the author mastered the whole story, the evolution of Keith, the main character of the book and the development of the relationship with his object of adoration, Sally.

To how many people do u smile or say „Hello” or „Thank you” to during the day? How many of these people are strangers? The security guys from your office or apartment building, the vendors from your regular grocery shop, the bus drivers on your commute, the courier from your favorite food delivery place. You’re a nice, decent person, so you salute them and acknowledge their presence. You know all of them by sight, but they are still strangers to you. But what if…you are not a stranger to them? Not anymore, since the day when, unlike most of the people, you smiled to one of them in a way that, for him, it was personal and intimate.

Sally doesn’t know it yet, but once she smiled to Keith, the veeery awkward security guy from her office, their relationship started already. And it’s just a matter of time until she will find out as well. And once she does, it might not be in a way that she will like it.

I think the best part of the novel is the way the author built a whole history of his main character. Instead of just throwing an anti-hero that is just mentally disturbed or pure evil, David Staniforth creates a very credible background that facilitates the evolution of a mental illness. We dive into Keith’s childhood memories in the most disturbing way, when the teriffied child inside of him still kicks in and takes control over the adult Keith, reliving those awful years over and over again. There was no way for him to escape that horrible life as a kid and once he grew up, it was too late to even try fixing things. Because his normality looks completely different from our normality and from his perspective, Keith sees himself just a bit awkward. He does know that he’s not quite like everyone else, but in no way he understands or identifies the magnitude of his sickness. And this is probably the most horrific thought that haunts you throughout the entire read. How so many people are living in their own, distressed universe and how little do we know about this. They look normal, act (almost) normal, but once you interact with them, you might discover that it’s like meeting an alien from another planet. That absolutely nothing that makes you, you, is common or known for them. And whatever moulded them in such ways during decades is probably completely impossible for you to comprehend.

The whole book keeps you on pins and needles and every step that Sally takes towards Keith makes you want to scream at her „RUN!”. But she doesn’t. Because she’s a nice person. Just like you are. And you continue to smile politely to all the strangers in your life, to help them if you can, to become a friend for those who seem lonely, completely unaware of the dangers that lie behind their awkwardly sweet replies, having no idea that their brain would never resonate with all the things that you find normal.

I rated the book with 5 stars on GoodReads without even a blink of an eye. The sinopsis is already sending you chilly vibes on your spine and the execution of the whole idea is brilliant.

Publicat în April Fernsby, Uncategorized

A Deadly Delivery (A Psychic Cafe Mystery #1) by April Fernsby

Synopsis:

Karis Booth has had psychic abilities for as long as she can remember. But this is the first time she’s used them to solve a murder. 

Things are changing rapidly for Karis. As well as filing for divorce from her unfaithful husband, she decides it’s time to make peace with her estranged sister, Erin. With trepidation, Karis visits the café which Erin owns. To her great relief, Erin welcomes Karis back into her life with open arms. 

During their reconciliation, a young woman, Carmel, calls into the café with a bread delivery. As Karis watches Carmel, she experiences a strong psychic vision. She sees two shadows following Carmel. Only one of the shadows belongs to Carmel — the other belongs to the person who is going to murder her later that day. 

With help from her sister and an old neighbour, Karis does all that she can to find out who murdered Carmel. It doesn’t help that the investigating officer is an ex-boyfriend who broke up with Karis because he couldn’t cope with her psychic abilities. Despite this, Karis won’t rest until she finds the killer. 

Review:

We all have guilty pleasures that we try and try to stay away from, but eventually we just give up to and succumb into temptation. Don’t we? One of this guilty pleasures of mine are chick lit books. I know, I know. The stories are more or less the same every time, there are no „wow” events that would blow your mind and the scenarios are not bringing anything challenging for your brain to digest. But still… every now and then I start missing chick lit so much that my kindle gets filled up in 2 hours with 137 books that will probably remain unread for the rest of my life. Pretty much like when you’re going to the supermarket while hungry and end up with a whole cart of useless products that will expire and die in your fridge, completely untouched. Do I ever learn my lesson? Nope. But the good part is that… well, at least books don’t expire. And honestly speaking, the pleasure with which I finally read that one chick lit book (from the hundred that I got) is priceless.
This time, my spark of joy was A Deadly Delivery: a crime/mystery novel, with a touch of paranormal. Fast, well executed, with a little bit of everything. The main storyline follows the suspicions death of one of the side characters but on the way, we discover a background family story full of guilt and regrets, a romance that was supposed to be dead and buried but seems to blossom unexpectedly and a lot of charming and heart warming characters. There’s literally not a single thing that I disliked during the whole reading time.
One of the things that surprised me is the age of the heroine. I’m used to this kind of books to have young and innocent main characters, whose naivety accentuates the humor of the uncanny situations they end up into. And considering how easily manipulated Karis was during her marriage, initially I thought she’s just a young chick, just discovering her new inner strength along with her psychic abilities. The surprise came later, when I found out that she’s a middle aged woman, with an adult daughter even and that she’s actually having this wakeup phase way later than expected. All of a sudden, the story caught new shades and I was forced to rethink everything in my mind, from the look of the characters to the relations between them and to the impact that every action has on them. And weirdly, the story became even better from that point on.
There’s not a lot to tell about the book if I don’t want to give spoilers that would ruin your reading. If you’re in the mood for something light that will put a smile on your face, A Deadly Delivery is a good choice. It’s not a shallow story, it has a good background, some heartwarming moments and follows some deep topics that are somehow avoided in this genre: abusive relationships, difficult choices when it comes to sick or old family members, the way past events that seemed unimportant actually leave scars that are never erased, asking for forgiveness and allowing you also to forgive yourself, etc. It’s a bittersweet read, leaving you with a warm feeling in the end, but carrying you through some areas that normally you might try to avoid thinking about.
Publicat în Uncategorized

Top 5 carti scrise in inchisoare

In aceasta perioada in care scandalul cartilor scrise in penitenciarele din Romania este inca departe de a se fi stins, ne-am gandit ca ar fi interesant sa incropim un Top 5 al cartilor scrise in inchisoare. Scrise… pe bune de data aceasta si in niciun caz in modul in care ne-au obisnuit prizonierii „de lux” din… CONTINUAREA AICI.

Publicat în Uncategorized, Virgil Ierunca

Fenomenul Pitesti – Virgil Ierunca

Fenomenul Pitesti - Virgil IeruncaFenomenul Pitesti

Virgil Ierunca

Disponibil la: Targul cartii 

Numar pagini: 96

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Sinopsis:

Ceea ce s-a petrecut la inchisoarea din Pitesti intre 1949 si 1952 merita un loc aparte in inspaimantatorul repertoriu al ororilor concentrationare ale veacului al XX-lea.

„Fenomenul Pitesti” apartine aceluiasi registru, la care vine insa cu o trasatura specifica: utilizarea sistematica a torturarii detinutilor de catre alti detinuti. Ideea ii apartine pedagogului sovietic Makarenko (1888-1939), specialist in delincventa juvenila si partizan al reeducarii detinutilor tineri cu ajutorul detinutilor mai vechi, aflati pe calea cea buna, dar facand parte din aceeasi clasa de varsta.

Virgil Ierunca povesteste una dintre cele mai cumplite experiente de dezumanizare pe care le-a cunoscut epoca noastra. Detinuti torturati cu un sadism de-a dreptul extravagant – daca sadismul poate fi astfel -, tortionarii lor impunandu-le sa tortureze la randul lor, ca sa li se conteste insasi calitatea de victime. In ultima faza a ciclului, nefericitii sunt constransi sa-si tortureze cei mai buni prieteni, ca dovada a convertirii lor launtrice. Toata lumea a fost torturata, toata lumea a torturat. Cei morti acolo si cei care au supravietuit au fost privati pana si de propria lor nefericire.

Virgil Ierunca a avut curajul sa intre in acest infern si sa-i devina istoric, pentru edificarea generatiilor viitoare.

Parerea mea:

Atunci cand am inceput sa fiu interesata de istoria din ultimul secol, de cele doua Razboaie Mondiale si de experientele terifiante puse la cale de guvernele totalitare, am auzit vag despre Fenomenul Pitesti. Insa doar putin, de parca ar fi fost un secret spus in soapta pe la colturi, de care toata lumea se fereste. Poate pentru ca este unul dintre cele mai crunte experimente desfasurate in perioada celui de-al Doilea Razboi Mondial si pentru ca, spre deosebire de ororile desfasurate in lagarele naziste sau in Gulagul sovietic, de data aceasta fragmentul acesta de istorie s-a scris chiar pe teritoriul Romaniei.

Volumul lui Virgil Ierunca are sub o suta de pagini, din care probabil jumatate sunt reprezentate de descrierea cadrului in care s-a desfasurat fenomenul Pitesti si de urmarile acestuia, odata ce adevarul a iesit la iveala. Aproape ca nu mi s-a parut surprinzator faptul ca marea majoritate a celor vinovati nu au fost pedepsiti, ca peste toate s-a pastrat un val de tacere, ca anii scursi de la acele evenimente, in loc sa faca loc adevarului, au ingropat si mai mult secretul. Pentru ca asta e modul in care, din pacate, mergeau si inca merg lucrurile la noi.

In toate inchisorile din anii Razboiului s-au petrecut lucruri cumplite. Insa ceea ce face ca inchisoarea de la Pitesti sa fi ramas unul dintre cele mai infioratoare locuri este faptul ca aici, victimele au fost obligate sa se transforme in calai, ca umanitatea a fost stearsa pur si simplu cu buretele, desi, aparent, poate parea unul dintre cele mai imposibile lucruri. In romanul 1984 al lui George Orwell am intalnit prima data in cea mai complexa forma a sa ideea de „reprogramare” a mintii umane. Nu doar prin modificarea culturii de masa, ci prin tehnici de teroare, de indoire a vointei individului pana cand aceasta cedeaza complet, pana cand devine o tabla stearsa, pe care poti scrie apoi orice iti doresti, facandu-l pe individ sa creada ca ceea ce se afla acum acolo sunt propriile ganduri. Atunci cand am citit acele pagini mi s-a parut ca, in realitate, acest lucru nu ar putea deveni vreodata posibil. Dar partea infioratoare este ca aceste idei au trecut totusi si prin mintea unor oameni (ii poti numi oare asa?) reali, care au ales sa le testeze. Iar experimentul a devenit ceea ce astazi este cunoscut drept Fenomenul Pitesti.

Un grup de detinuti este introdus in inchisoarea de la Pitesti si „dresat” cum sa procedeze mai departe. Grupul initial este singurul compus din tortionari pur si simplu, de oameni care nu au fost obligati sa faca asta, insa au ales totusi sa se conformeze. Printr-o teroare continua, noi si noi grupuri de detinuti, de victime, se transforma in calai, distrugand fizic si psihic tot restul prizonierilor. Victime a caror minte e rupta in bucati, care nu mai pot face fata suferintei fizice si psihice si care se metamorfozeaza in cateva zile sau saptamani in urmatoarea generatie de monstrii si care, la randul lor, vor repeta iar si iar acelasi ciclu. Nu este deloc un proces simplu, oamenii nu cedeaza din prima ci, pentru a ajunge in punctul in care devin neoameni indura chinuri infioratoare, accepta batai continue, suferinte morale, fara nicio pauza, fara niciun moment de respiro, se impotrivesc, lupta. Cu fiecare noua etapa ajung insa sa renunte incet la fiecare fragment de identitate, la orice urma de credinta, iubire, la toate valorile care ii faceau sa fie cine erau. Iar odata reprogramati, ei sunt cei care ii persecuta pe cei care isi asteapta mai departe randul.

Volumul nu este un roman propriu-zis, ci un amestec de marturii, documente, note. Autorul nu isi exerseaza talentul literar, ci doar pune laolalta dovezile adunate despre acest caz, expunandu-le fara inflorituri, facand paralele cu alte cazuri din istoria mondiala care seamana cu ceea ce s-a petrecut in Romania, desi teroarea nu atinge acelasi grad ca la Pitesti. Asa cum spuneam, probabil ca descrierea efectiva a acelor ani cumpliti nu este narata in mai mult de 50 de pagini din totalul cartii. Insa acele pagini sunt de o intensitate tulburatoare, te lasa socat, mut, amortit si ingrozit de ceea ce oamenii isi pot face unii altora. Parcurg tot mai multe carti care rememoreaza evenimentele si experimentele cumplite ale secolului XX si nu incetez sa ma ingrozesc de ceea ce poate face rasa umana.

Mi se pare necesar ca lucrurile sa nu fie uitate, desi avem tendinta de a sterge amintirile care nu ne plac. Am senzatia ca adesea consideram ca Romania a fost mai buna in timpul celui de-al Doilea Razboi Mondial doar prin faptul ca nu am avut lagare la fel de infioratoare precum cele din Germania sau Polonia, ca pe teritoriul nostru tratamentul pentru evrei, tigani si alte natii persecutate atunci ar fi fost mai bland. Fenomenul Pitesti este insa o dovada a faptului ca nu este deloc asa si, mai mult, ca numarul de monstrii aflati in posturi de conducere mai mult sau mai putin importante nu este unul neglijabil. Avem fragmente de istorie la fel de infioratoare precum alte tari, am fost la fel de rai, de cruzi si de lipsiti de umanitate ca si alte popoare. Pe langa povestile scrise ale celor care au trecut prin infernul acela si care vor mai dainui o vreme avem mii de povesti nescrise, mii de victime care au tacut, care nu au avut cui sa dea mai departe bucatile lor de trecut, care au pastrat amintirea iadului doar in sufletele lor si de care generatiile urmatoare nu vor sti. Pentru acestia sunt probabil anii in care ultimii martori ai acelor vremuri, ultimii oameni care au supravietuit infernului mai sunt inca aici si nu doar in amintiri.

Daca dati de volumul lui Virgil Ierunca prin vreun anticariat, prin vreun colt de librarie sau prin biblioteca parintilor, nu ezitati sa il parcurgeti. Desi nu la fel de mediatizat ca alte orori ale trecutului, este poate la fel sau chiar mai infiorator ca acestea. Si va va oferi cu siguranta o imagine completa a ceea ce se petrecea chiar aici, langa noi, desi avem probabil tendinta de a considera ca tara noastra nu a fost un spatiu la fel de teribil ca altele in anii aceia cumpliti.

Am descoperit si un site dedicat acestei pagini din istorie. Pentru o privire mai ampla asupra Fenomenului Pitesti, il puteti accesa AICI.

Multumesc librariei Targul Cartii pentru sansa de a citi aceasta carte.

Bile albe:

Stilul rece si obiectiv in care sunt povestite intamplarile de la inchisoarea din Pitesti, fara dorinta de a epata, de a prezenta totul intr-un mod mai exagerat sau cu inflorituri. Adevarul este de data aceasta mai cumplit decat orice poveste inventata de mintea omului iar Virgil Ierunca stie acest lucru si nu isi face un scop de a aduce o poveste, ci doar un set de dovezi care sa nu lase oamenii sa uite acele orori.

Bile negre:

Mi se pare ca autorul explica lucrurile pentru contemporanii sai, ca nu s-a gandit la cartea lui ca la o lectura pentru generatiile urmatoare. Vorbeste despre nume si intamplari secundare (nu cele teribile, de la Pitesti, evident) cu o familiaritate si usurinta ce te face sa banuiesti ca toate acele informatii ar fi fost la un moment dat general cunoscute, dar care, deloc surprinzator, odata cu trecerea timpului s-au pierdut. Iar cititorii de astazi vor avea probabil senzatia ca lipseste ceva, ca ar fi avut nevoie de un anumit set de detalii si cunostinte care sa le ofere o viziune completa asupra evenimentelor narate si mai ales, a consecintelor acestora.