The surface breaks

The surface breaks de Louise O’Neill

309 pages, éditions Scholastic, à £10,99

Résumé : The day of my childhood kept turning over; dissolving like sea foam on the crest of the waves. I have been counting them, the days and the nights, the weeks, the months, the years. I have been waiting for this day.

Extraits : « I’ve never cared for beauty. Beauty fades, there’s no loyalty in it. My mother told me it was better to cultivate my wit, my intelligence. If I’d had a daughter, I would have told her the same. I would have made her strong. A woman needs to be strong to survive. »

« Love is never unnatural, no matter whom you decide to give it to.« 

Mon avis : The surface breaks is an adaptation of the famous fairy tale write by Andersen in 1837 and animated in film by Disney in 1989. I’m literally fan of this animated, and I think the most part of you are too. When I saw the beautiful cover of this book, bright and colorful I immediately buy it : who can resist at this beauty ? And I not regret this purchase : thanks to it, I return for a moment to my childhood, to the fabulous world of the fairy tales and Disney and I love that !

But for people who don’t know the story, I will explain the plot : under the sea, lives the little mermaid and his family, in the kingdom of her father. They live in peace, but the little mermaid want to break the surface and discover the human world, despite the opinion of her father. Her motivation ? She wants to discover the truth about her mother, disappeared above the surface when she was only a year old. For achieve her goal – be able to get legs and to live above the surface – she will made many sacrifices : first, leave her family behind her (especially her sisters), and second, the most sacrifice, give up her perfect singer voice. But her desires and her curiosity are so strong that she accepts these sacrifices and she finds herself alone in the human world. Above the water, she try to seduce a beautiful human that she saved from shipwreck a year ago. It is the only solution to keep her legs, to refound her voice, and the most important thing : to stay alive.

The surface breaks is kindly faithful of the original story, and I appreciate to rediscover this little mermaid, with more modernity and character.

In this adaptation, I found a feminist message that I don’t found in the original story, and I appreciate that very much. In the beginning of the story, our protagonist is dependent of his father, forced to obey in his rules and to made everything that he wants. Her sisters and herself are like dolls : pretty, smiling, and their father don’t allow her nor to speaks or made everything by herself. In the kingdom, the mer-men decide of everything, and the mermaids must to undergo in silence. When Zale, the pretender of Gaia, our protagonist, comes in her room and touches her, she can’t make nothing, because he is a man, he has the power, and she is just a woman, she must to made like all other women of the kingdom : keep quiet, suffer and obey.

But our protagonist is more than a pretty doll. She wants to break the rules, to achieve independence and freedom. One night, with courage and determination, she disobey and leave the kingdom to go toward the enemies : the Salkas, the Sea Witch. She brings a good message : think about yourself and never admit someone to think or made anything for you. You are your unique chief, you decide for you.

The surface breaks is a good adaptation of The little mermaid, with powerful and optimistic messages about the women rights. I like it !

Ma note : 7,5/10

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ISBN : 978-1-407188-96-6


How not to fall in love, actually

How not to fall in love, actually
de Catherine Bennetto

501 pages, éditions Simon & Schuster, à £7,99

Résumé : Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).

So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.

Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.

Mon avis : Emma is a woman which have all we can dream to have : a good job with good earns, many friends, an eccentric but lovely family, and a boyfriend. But one day, annoyed by her boss, she decides to quit her job, and in the same time, she discovered she’s pregnant by a man that she doesn’t love anymore. So she quit her boyfriend too, and she stand, pregnant, lonely, with no job and no money, because her ex-boyfriend has take all their economies to build his own business with his new girlfriend Sophie, an ex-friend of Emma… but she is surrondings by his family, and this is the most important, no ?

How not to fall in love, actually is a very good chick-lit novel. I have laugh in many times, especially with many characters like Harriet, the neighor of Emma, an old woman with a big dog, Brutus, which spy and film Emma and his life during the whole days. She’s very afraid of the thieves and sometimes, her reactions are very impressive and disproportionated. But she’s a good neighbor, caring of Emma.

But I have been sadness too, because the Emma situation is not easy. But she continues to live her life like always for her future baby, with positivity and smile. And like we say, under the storm hides the sun, many great things will to happens in her life… and especially one big surprise : a handsome man, stuffed but hilarious, which will appeared head her door in midnight. Like a surprise from the sky, this man, whose name is Joe, will going to change her life. I’m enjoyed to follow Emma in her news adventures, which their could possibly seems normal, an existence than the others, but I promise you that you will not be bored any second in her sides.

A great chick-lit romance, with sympathetic and funny characters, will gives you happiness and a lot of laughs.

Ma note : 7/10

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Brida de Paulo Coelho

249 pages, éditions Harper Collins, à £11,99

Résumé : This is the story of Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach Brida about the spiritual world. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world; and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch. This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure—it is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.

Extraits : « -What made you change your mind ?
-Love. I know a man who makes me feel complete. Three days ago, he showed me that this world is full of mysteries too and that I’m not alone.

« I need to take risks. I need to feel the fear of failing.. »

Mon avis : Paulo Coelho is very famous for these books where he speaks about spirituality and philosophy, like The Alchemist. He’s wrote many novels and biographies, like L’espionne, a beautiful Mata Hari biography, a Dutch dancer, which arrived at Paris in the XXs to conquer the French capital, but which known an horrific end. I loved this biography, and specifically this woman, fulfilled of courages and forces.

With Brida, Paulo Coelho came back with a feminine protagonist very special : she knows she’s a witch, and she came in the Forest to encounter The Magus, which detain the secrets of magic. She wants to learn The Tradition of the Sun and The Tradition of the Moon to became a real witch. Brida, in contact with The Magus, will understand the secrets of the Universe, and especially what is Love, the most powerful thing in the world.

It’s a philosophic history, and a little strange too. I confess that I doesn’t understand all the scenes, because sometimes, they appeared very odd. I think it’s a spiritual history, which learn to appreciate, feel and experience many sensations. The rythm is slow, like a good yoga session. I have been bored in many times, thanks to the rythmn, but also with the protagonists, who are not interesting, with the global history, which is too many spiritual and not enough realistic.

Thankfully, Paulo Coelho writing is beautiful, and I annotated many passages I adored which will made echoes to many people in others situations. I think they could bring hope, joy and peaceful to many people.

A spiritual and philosophical history, enough odd and abstract : I’m not entered in this magical story. But the author writing is beautiful, and I think that I’ll discover other novels of Paulo Coelho.

Ma note : 4/10

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Tuesday’s Gone

Tuesday’s Gone de Nicci French

447 pages, 22,10€

Résumé : Nicci French, the bestselling author of What to do When Someone Dies and Losing You, returns with the second book in the gripping new series that began with Top Ten Bestseller Blue Monday. Fans of Peter James’ Roy Grace series and Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series will love central character psychotherapist Frieda Klein, who is consulted on a grisly and seemingly unsolvable crime.For Frieda Klein the days get longer, the cases darker . . .Psychotherapist Frieda Klein thought she was done with the police. But once more DCI Karlsson is knocking at her door.A man’s decomposed body has been found in the flat of Michelle Doyce, a woman trapped in a world of strange mental disorder. The police don’t know who it is, how he got there or what happened – and Michelle can’t tell them. But Karlsson hopes Frieda can get access to the truths buried beneath her confusion.Painstakingly, Frieda uncovers a possible identity for the corpse: Robert Poole, a jack of all trades and master conman. But the deeper Frieda and Karlsson dig into Poole’s past, the more of his victims they encounter – and the more motives they find for murder. Meanwhile, violent ghosts from Frieda’s own past are returning to threaten her.Unable to discover quite who is telling the truth and who is lying, they know they are getting closer to a killer. But whoever murdered Poole is determined to stay free – and anyone that gets too close will meet the same fate. A gritty heroine, a gruesome crime and a terrifying hunt for a psychotic killer, Tuesday’s Gone is not to be missed by fans of psychological thrillers. ‘Nicci French knows just how to play on our worst fears’ Daily MailNicci French is the pseudonym for Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The couple live in Suffolk and have written twelve other bestselling novels including Beneath the Skin and Blue Monday, the first thrilling instalment in the Frieda Klein series.

Extrait « There had been minutes that had become hours, and hours that had been like a desert with no horizon.

Mon avis : This book is the follow-up of the adventures of Frida Klein, which succeeds to Blue Monday (that I have don’t yet read). But I think that the story could be read without to have read the first story – it’s like what I do, and I had understood the story.

One day, a psychotherapist discovers a man, naked and death, with one finger missing, in the room of her patient. An investigation is open to discover who is this man, why and how is death. The patient, Michelle Doyce, suffers of an mental disease and cannot give practicals answers to their questions. Frida Klein will going to work with the inspectors to resolve this mysterious case.

I confess that I took many times to read and finish this book, because it don’t attract me. The story was soooo long, there are so many details, the story miss structure and pace, and I was bored with these characters. In my opinion, the story was all over the place, the characters was too many, and that’s the reason why I was lost in this story, and my attention was faltered.

I’m disappointed with this book, but this don’t stop me to read another books in English in the future !

Ma note : 3/10

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Missing you

Missing you de Harlan Coben

399 pages, éditions Orion Books, à £13,99

Résumé : It’s a profile like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart and who she hasn’t seen in eighteen years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

Soon Kat is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she has ever loved – her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.

Mon avis : I’m so proud to have finished my second reading in English : a thriller by the master Harlan Coben – and I’m particularly enjoy to read this author because it’s figure many years that I don’t read one of these books. I think this second readings all in English was more difficult than the first, The Other Woman, because it’s a thriller with many details, mysteries and proofs that often it’s difficult to see.

Kat Donovan is a NYPD detective, and whereas she was in a dating site name YouAreJustMyType, she discovered her ex-fiancé Jeff that she loved yet. She begins to contact him, but Jeff seems to don’t recognize Kat. It’s very strange, and it’s disappoint Kat. Few days after, Kat meets Brandon, a little guy who is panicked because his mother is missing, but nobody wants to believe him – because his mother is an adult, and she can doing what she wants to do. But Kat takes the case of Brandon with serious, and what she and Brandon what they are going to discover is a big case of kidnapping and extraction of money.

I think this story is great. Like it’s a reading in English – and like my English is not perfect – I have many difficulties to understand all without traduction, and that’s the reason why I must to cut often the history to translate. I don’t feels the intensity and the pression of the story, but I hope that I could feels these in my next English readings.

What I take from this story is the danger of the dating site. Because nobody can understand who is the person which speak with us. Like the case of this story, this person is a pervert who stole an identity to achieve his goals. Unfortunately, this kind of stuffs is common in our world, and that’s why they are many warnings about the dangers of Internet.

A good thriller, with many suspenses which arrive to capture the reader from the beginning until the end. Harlan Coben is truly a good writer !

Ma note : 6/10

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