Monday, 31 October 2011

Author Spotlight #3

Audrey Niffenegger


About this author
 from Goodreads
Audrey Niffenegger (born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan) is a writer and artist. She is also a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003), was a national bestseller. The Time Traveler's Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpredictably time-travel and his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his constant absence. The film version is due for release in 2008. 


News from Niffenegger's site...(In FAQ Section)
What are you writing now?
I have started to work on a novel called The Chinchilla Girl in Exile. It is about a nine-year-old girl named Lizzie Varo who has hypertrichosis (she is covered with hair) and her desire to go to school (she’s been home-schooled by her clever and amusing Aunt Mariella) and what happens when she does go to school (things get weird).



Audrey is the author of
A Time Traveller's Wife
Her Fearful Symmetry


Audrey is truly one of my favourite authors, both her books got five stars from me which I'm almost positive her next will. If you haven't already add her to your wishlist :-)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday Sensation #4

Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen


Goodreads Synopsis
Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.



My Review
This is one of those books which you may not read without someone's recommendation like I did, you think 'Oh it's about a circus, I'll pass.' BIG MISTAKE I read this from a recommendation from Dani over at Pen to Paper, and that was my exact reaction. This book was absolutely, undoubtedly the best book I've ever read and I think I may even read this again... which if you know me means it was good! (I never read a book more than once because I think there are so many books out there it's not worth reading the same book twice) 


First off Jacob! Such a loveable character yet has this dark dangerous side which although we only see once or twice in the novel it makes him all the more enticing.  I must admit I saw him as much more of a well built character unlike Robert Pattinson that we see in the film, which while we're on the subject is a really good adaptation! I really like Jacob, he is a good protagonist always spurring the novel onwards in ways which you do not expect. His kindness is sometimes unbelievable when it risks his own life which makes his character even better for the heart of the reader. 


Second Marlene, sometimes I found myself disliking Marlene for leading Jacob on even though she knew it was so dangerous but that is splashed away quickly with the love story which establishes itself in the novel. Marlene unearths a shining knight in Jacob from one of the very first times we meet her. 


Rosie the elephant is by far the best character in the novel, and amazingly responds to Polish. For a character that does not speak it is surprising we find so much love within this character, I think this is partly due to the cruelness we see which she is going through. The fact that Rosie has so much compassion for the people around her no matter how strong she is is empowering for the reader. Compassion is something I love in a character in a novel and when it comes from someone who can't even speak for themselves is special. 


Genuinely even if you think this novel isn't for you try it! It is the greatest book ever! I don't think I can find the words to praise this book enough. 



Saturday, 29 October 2011

Stray - Rachel Vincent Review



Goodreads Synopsis 
There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . . 
And I'm one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
I'd been warned about Strays -- werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back . . . for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever -- and whoever -- I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays -- 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them . . .
Review
I have to say although I found Faythe so unbelievably annoying during half of the book, boy can she kick ass! Up until about half way through I found the book readable but it wasn't gripping me until I hit 50% and like magic it turned into a really fast paced workout.

Faythe's character in particular seemed to really grow up and mature due to the situations she was put in and became a protector for Abby. It is clear as a reader that Faythe has a lot of growing up left to do which I am assured by a friend she does do in the next three books.

I particularly like the character Marc, he is very well developed and is far less annoying than Faythe herself ( I know I keep reiterating this but you'll understand if you read it) Although Jace is like the bad boy figure I have to say I am more drawn to Marc as Faythe's boyfriend than Jace, but where would we be without a love triangle.



Some of the book I found quite horrific for a young adult book, the details were very specific and I felt I could imagine most of it how Vincent described it. Faythe definitely is a good role model for teenagers as she never gives up her goal... and then goes back for a little revenge after which is always good fun in a novel. 

The last three hundred pages are definitely worth the wait and I can't wait to read the second one!!! Although I have to say I hope she grows up a lot in the second book! I can see the love triangle lasting most of the six books as much as I want her to be with Marc, but we'll have to see what Jace has in store for us in the next book!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Time Flies Friday #5

Time Flies Friday is a blog hop where we discuss our favourite children's books from their childhoods


The Rules :)
  • Follow Passion for Novels as host of the meme
  • Please add the blog hop button so everyone else can enjoy their childhood books again!!
  • Post about your book and why you love it so much!
  • Add a link to my blog at the top of your post (http://passionfornovels.blogspot.com/)
  • Add a link to your blog on the linky at the bottom of the page
  • Make sure you visit all the other blogs!!!

The Pig with Green Spots - Enid Blyton

There is no synopsis anywhere for this book so you'll have to put up with me I'm afraid!!
This short story is soooo cute, it is about a girl who's grandma has a money box which is a Pig with Green Spots!    

The cute little drawings throughout really made the story come alive. Blyton really captured my imagination with this one and although I can't remember that many details I always remember that little Pink pig with the Green spots. As far as I remember at first she thought the pig was ugly and as I can't find my book I'm unsure whether she actually breaks it or not at the end.





Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wishlist Wednesday #6

This is a blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper

Simply select a book from your wishlist and tell everyone all about it!! I really love this post as it helps me know what I'm actually going to buy next as sometimes my wishlist gets a little rejected!

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness
Amazon Synopsis
It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches. 

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...

This book sounds really interesting, I'm always partial to a good paranormal story :) I like he idea of a Vampire genticist, this sounds like a fun mix of characters and ideas which I really look forward to reading!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday #2

This is a blog hop hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, who is particularly partical lists. So every week they set up a top ten list for people to write their top tens on.


This week we have...


10 books you'd want to read at Halloween!

I have to say I read books that could be for Halloween all year round as I'm quite partial to paranormal!! So here goes....

1. Breaking Dawn - Stephanie Meyer, well I had to pick one of the Twilight saga didn't I? The fact that this one is just about the be released in cinemas makes me really want to read it again!

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling, I personally think this is the darkest of the seven books and why not go back to Harry Potter for Halloween, It doesn't have to be a new book to get you in spirits for the spooky day!

3. Dark Matter: A Ghost Story - Michelle Paver, this is one for my Halloween read this year, I've had it about 3months on my bookcase and I'm quite excited to read it! 

4. The Hidden Child - Camilla Lackberg, this is the book I'm currently reading, and what better around Halloween to have a good old murder mystery story.

5. Club Dead - Charlaine Harris, this is my next instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, after not really enjoying the first then loving the second I can't wait to find out what happens next. 

6. Dearly Departed - Lia Habel , This book was given to me by Netgalley and is about a Victorian Vampire, after a few really good reviews I'm excited to get my teeth into this one... excuse the pun  :D

7. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson, this amazing classic is one of my favourites and perfect for Halloween  what better than a monster hiding in the dark! Edward Hyde is definitely a good monster. 

8. The Radley's - Matt Haig, I actually read this over the summer and found it really enjoyable. The vampire plot is quite different from others you experience in these sorts of novels and was a fresh change which was really good. 

9. Mary Reilly - Valerie Martin, A book inspired by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, told from the point of view of a maid in Jekyll's house, this read was really good and i was really surprised how Martin managed to tie the plot line in so well!

10. The Signalman - Charles Dickens, I read this in high school and really loved it, the suspense in it is really good and it's really short!! So why not read a classic on Halloween? 

I really liked this Top Ten Tuesday!!! I might have to do a lot of reading around Halloween now!!!!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Author Spotlight #2

Cecelia Ahern

Goodreads
Cecelia Ahern was born on September 30, 1981 in Dublin, Ireland. She is the daughter of the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. On 14th December 2009 it was announced that Cecelia had given birth to her first child with partner David Keoghan, a girl named Robin. She was secretly married on 11 June 2010 in County Kildare, Ireland. Her older sister, Georgina Ahern is married to Nicky Byrne of Irish pop group Westlife. Cecelia was a member of the Irish pop group Shimma who finished third in the Irish national for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000. She attended Griffith College Dublin and obtained a degree in Journalism and Media Communications.

Cecelia Ahern wrote her first novel, PS. I Love You when she was twenty-one. It was published in 2004, the number 1 bestseller in Ireland for 19 weeks and sold in over forty countries. The book was adapted as a motion picture directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and released in 2007 in the United States.

Her second book, Where Rainbows End (US title: Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne) won the German CORINE Award in 2005. She contributed with short stories to charity books and is also the co-creator and producer of the ABC comedy Samantha Who?



I have to say I love Cecelia Ahern, sometimes her books are more like fairy stories transporting you into a magical world and sometimes just giving you a really good piece of fiction. Her new book The Time of my Life has just been released and I'm itching to go out and buy it!!! 
Ahern really captures my imagination and inspires me to write, in particular The Book of Tomorrow. You will not pick up one of her books and find them the same as all the others, her plot lines are completely separate with very few parallels. 


Her books include
PS I Love You
Where Rainbows End
The Book of Tomorrow
Thanks for the Memories


Definitely an author to put on your shelves ladies and gents!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop


The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is a blog hop hosted by I am A Reader not a Writer. This giveaway hop is amazingly HUGE so make sure you check out as many links as you can so you can win lots and lots of prizes

Rules
- You must be a follower of the blog to enter (either GFC or Facebook)
- You only win ONE of the three books to choose from
- You must fill out the form below to be eligible
- You must give an email address, this will not be shared or put publically on the internet
- Other entries can be earned by following the questions on the form below :-)
- The contest will run until the 31st October 2011 at midnight GMT The winner will be announced on the 2nd November 2011
-Please note if you do not reply to the email sent to the winner within 2-3 days then another winner will be chosen

After much deliberation these are the three books of which you can choose ONE

Blood Bound - Rachel Vincent
Bound by blood, condemned by fate
As a bloodtracker, Liv is extremely powerful. And in a world where power is a commodity that can get you killed, Liv's learnt to survive by her own rules.
Rule number one? Trust no one.
But when a friend's daughter goes missing, Liv is bound by a potent magical oath. She can't rest until the child is safe.
And that means trusting her dangerous ex, Cam.
A sinister prophecy tells that she and Cam will be the death of each other, yet Liv's tired of being a slave to destiny. She's ready to play the forces controlling her world at their own game.
No matter what the cost.


Monster Island - David Wellington
It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia.
In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world — and perhaps the evil genius behind it all.From the other side of the planet, a small but heavily-armed group of schoolgirls-turned-soldiers has come in search of desperately needed medicine. Dekalb, a former United Nations weapons inspector, leads them as their local guide. Ayaan, a crackshot at the age of sixteen, will stop at nothing to complete her mission. They think they are prepared for anything. On Monster Island they will find that there is something worse even than undeath, as Gary learns the true price of survival.

Undead and Unwed - Mary Janice Davidson
MaryJanice Davidson's cult hit Undead and Unwed is a delightful mixture of Sex and the City and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Waking up in a tacky coffin, and wearing off-brand shoes, Betsy Taylor can't believe the horrible turn her life has taken–then she discovers she's a vampire. Soon, Betsy becomes a participant in a power struggle between the forces of darkness. With only her friend Jessica and the hunky vampire Sinclair to help her, this new "Queen of Vampires" will have a tough time getting her afterlife straight.

100 Follower Giveaway

Well today I reached 100 Followers and decided to reward my lovely followers with another giveaway! Unlike the last one you have a choice of THREE books, of which you will receive one if you win the competition!

Rules

  • You must be a follower of the blog to enter (either GFC or Facebook) 
  • You only win ONE of the three books to choose from 
  • You must fill out the form below to be eligible
  • You must give an email address, this will not be shared or put publically on the internet
  • Other entries can be earned by following the questions on the form below :-)
  • The contest will run until the 6th November 2011 at 10pm GMT
After much deliberation these are the three books of which you can choose ONE

Shiver - Maggie Steifvator
Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance




Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell. Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.


Afterwards - Rosamund Lumpton
There is a fire and they are in there. They are in there...
Black smoke stains a summer blue sky. A school is on fire. And one mother, Grace, sees the smoke and rush. She knows her teenage daughter Jenny is inside. She runs into the burning building to rescue her.
Afterwards Grace must find the identity of the arsonist and protect her children from the person who's still intent on destroying them. Afterwards, she must fight the limits of her physical strength and discover the limitlessness of love





Copying the competition button to your blog, the html is available to the left of this post





Friday, 21 October 2011

Time Flies Friday #4

As I'm doing a children's fiction course I decided to explore everyones favourite children's books from when they were children! Each week you select a book which you loved as a kid and explain to everyone why you loved it so much!!!

The Rules :)
  • Follow Passion for Novels as host of the meme
  • Please add the blog hop button so everyone else can enjoy their childhood books again!!
  • Post about your book and why you love it so much!
  • Add a link to my blog at the top of your post (http://passionfornovels.blogspot.com/)
  • Add a link to your blog on the linky at the bottom of the page
  • Make sure you visit all the other blogs!!!
Best Friends - Jacqueline Wilson
Synopsis from Goodreads
Gemma and Alice have been best friends since they were both born on the same day in the same hospital. It doesn’t matter that Gemma loves soccer while Alice prefers drawing, or that Gemma is always getting into trouble while Alice is a model student and daughter. But when Alice has to move, their friendship is put to the test. They call each other and write letters, but they’re used to seeing each other every day. Can Gemma bear to celebrate her birthday without Alice? Can she stand it when Alice starts making new friends? And with Alice living hundreds of miles away, will they ever see each other again?


I really liked this book when I was younger, 1, because it was Jacqueline Wilson and 2, because it was the only children's book I ever found (or any book for that matter ) which had the main character called Gemma!!! Wilson really expresses the distress the children feel when they are separated by their parents. As always Wilson addresses issues which are important to children and that's why they love her books so much!!

Add your linky below!






Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wishlist Wednesday #5

This is a blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper

Simply select a book from your wishlist and tell everyone all about it!! I really love this post as it helps me know what I'm actually going to buy next as sometimes my wishlist gets a little rejected!

Matched - Ally Condie
Goodreads Synopsis
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.





This is a novel everyone is talking about and I cannot wait to read it, it's definitely one at the top of my wishlist! It sounds like something I've never read before which is always a quality in a book that I look for!! I also love the cover which really draws me into the story :-) Can't wait to start this one!!

Post a comment on my Wishlist Wednesday below :D

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

This is a blog hop hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, who is particularly partical lists. So every week they set up a top ten list for people to write their top tens on.

This week

Judging Books by their Covers

1. The Book of Tomorrow - Cecelia Ahern
This book is so beautiful, but only in hardback. The lovely pattern on the cover is diary-like and has lovely gold leaf effect which really makes you drawn to the book (ooo shineyy)










2. Whistlin' Dixie in a nor' Easter - Lisa Patton
This cover is really lovely ( take a look at the larger cover linked for a better view) I love the wintery feel and the apple which has the smallest amount of snow on it. The mittons look like it's a child making the cover really innocent and beautiful









3. Chocolat - Joanne Harris
I love this book cover, and quite frankly it makes you really hungry just looking at it. I really like the little trinkets on the bottom which give away little details about the novel :D











4. The Crow's Vow - Susan Briscoe
This cover is so simple, I love the way the crow word is replaced by an image of a crow. Sometimes the most simple of covers are the most beautiful












5. Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid - Virginia Woolfe
This really shows my dedication to the cause of judging a book by its cover because I really dislike Virginia Woolfe. This really expresses the title well I think and well worth a look.











6. The Opposite House - Helen Oyeyemi
This cover is so interesting yet so normal! The fact that it's just a simple street but it's been turned upside down makes it all the more intriguing.











7. The Radleys - Matt Haig
I really like this cover, the one realeased in Britain really looked too innocent for me but the tiny dribble of bloof seen on the white innocent looking fence is really meanacing and this is why I love this cover.









8. Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
This book looks truely lovely, I love how the jar is really crisp and the people are in the background. The tablecloth makes the cover look really deep and really makes me want to read this book!









9. Skellig - David Almond
I really like the way this cover is incredibly simple and actually gives away the ending of Skellig without telling the reader. You do not realise the significance of the feather until you've got the end of the novel.











10. The Chess Machine - Robert Lonr
I purposely didn't read this synopsis for this because I was really intrigued when I saw it. I love the way theres weird people running around the cogs and no sign of chess pieces which makes the title 'The Chess machine' all the more exciting!

Monday, 17 October 2011

And the winner is ...

I'm pleased to announce that the winner of the 50 Follower Giveaway to win a copy of
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender
is...

Lindsay Healy
Congratulations!!

I will be emailing Lindsay now to let her know and if she doesn't reply within three days I will have to select another winner!



Please note the winner was chosen by random.org

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday Sensation #3

Random Acts of Heroic Love - Danny Schienmann



Goodreads Synopsis
An antiphonal narrative covers a physical trek from Siberia to Poland around the time of the Russian Revolution and an emotional journey from grief to love in the early 1990s.While on an adventurous journey to Ecuador in 1992, Leo Deakin and his Greek lover Eleni have an accident that leaves her dead and him inconsolable. After Eleni's funeral, Leo makes his way home to England to continue his academic work (he's writing a dissertation on ants), but he's crushed by grief and unable to concentrate. His father Frank is uncommunicative and of little therapeutic help; ditto for Charlotte Philips, a saccharine bereavement counselor: "If marzipan could speak it would sound like Mrs. Charlotte Philips." Leo's friend Hannah is sympathetic, though she seems at first ill suited to be Leo's romantic partner. Meanwhile, Leo latches on to Roberto Panconesi, a charismatic physics professor who promises to provide a philosophical framework making sense of the apparent randomness of life. The novel alternates between Leo's despair and a seemingly unconnected narrative in which Moritz Daniecki recounts the story of his life to his young son Fischel in 1938, a few weeks after Kristallnacht. Moritz's life has also been one of tragedy and loss. His incipient, innocent love for Lotte was interrupted by his service in World War I; after being captured by the Russians and imprisoned in Siberia, he made his way back to Poland and learned that Lotte was living in Vienna and engaged to be married. The reader must have faith that these deftly juxtaposed stories at some point will intersect - and toward the end of the novel they do, with satisfying resonance.While at times predictable and prosaic, the mutually reinforcing narratives ultimately convey debut novelist Scheinmann's message of the redemptive power of love

Review
This is one of my favourite books. I bought the Richard and Judy book club pack a few years ago and wow was this one my favourite! I loved how the two stories really intermingled through time (as you may know by now I love stories that have two narratives in different times. These stories intermingle through each characters journey to find the one they love, in the modern story it is a journey to let her go as she dies at the beginning of the novel. Yet the narrators both manage to find their love again in different ways. Schienmann's message in the novel is really important and it's that love will always find you again, which is a beautiful message (I'm a sucker for a good romance)

I particularly enjoyed reading about Moritz's journey from Serbia to Poland after being a prisoner, this is a area which I hadn't previously explored and although Moritz is close to death in some areas of the novel it is love that keeps him going.

I would love to read this book again to regain all the details myself but there are so many books out there to read I can't bring myself to do it! I would definitely recommend this one for anyone who is a sucker for a good romance or a journey to self discovery. I thought I wouldn't like it as I'm not really a war story fan but this really is one of the best novel's I have ever read.