Friday, June 4, 2010

Little Bee

I just finished Little Bee by Chris Cleave, the sad story of a young girl from Nigeria who has witnessed unthinkable horrors. She meets a British couple on vacation, Andrew and Sarah, on a beach in her home country. Something happens on that beach, something that you do not find out until the middle of the book. Somehow, Little Bee is eventually able to escape to England. She is placed in an Immigration Detention Center for two years, at which time she is let out by an administrative mistake. She finds her way to the home of Andrew and Sarah to find out that Andrew has killed himself because of what happened on the beach, and she has shown up on the morning of the funeral. Although Sarah is at first shocked to see her, she befriends her and they work out what happened on the beach. Little Bee looks after Sarah's son, a boy named charlie who refuses to answer to anything but Batman. Little Bee and Sarah must both struggle to adjust to a whole new way of life.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Child 44

I just finished the book Child 44, the story of a Secret Police Operative in Communist Russia, Leo. Leo is at the top of the game with a promising career until he receives the order to investigate his wife Raisa under suspicion of being a traitor. He knows that if he claims Raisa is a traitor, then she will be killed but he will survive. If he denounces Raisa, then not only he but his parents as well will be killed or sent to work camps. Leo is prepared to denounce her when he finds out that she is present. He decides to say that she was not a traitor, and waits to be arrested. But it is months before that day comes. Finally, when he believes that he is about to be executed, he is taken in to headquarters and reassigned. He is sent down to a small town where he is given the role of simple beat cop. He thinks his life is over, until he stumbles upon the murder of a child. Then another. And another, all killed in the same way. Suddenly, he and his wife are deep into an investigation that leads them back to their old life in Moscow. With all the odds against them, they still must find a way to stop a cold-blooded child killer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

American Hunger (Black Boy Book II)

After eading Book 1 of Black Boy in class, I decided that I wanted to go on and read Book 2 on my own as an independent reading book, and I loved it. Book 2 continues on with the story of Richard Wright into his years living in Chicago with his family. He struggles through a number of dead-end dishwashing type jobs, and is finally forced to go on the relief system. He cleans hospitals and sweeps the streets for meager pay, all the while beginning his career as a communist. He joins the local John Reed club (affiliated with the communists), and is soon elected president. However, from here, things begin to go downhill. There is much tension between the communist and non-communist members of the club. Fighting breaks out, accusations are tossed around, and Wright finds himself in the middle of it all. As a writer, he recieves criticism for being an intellectual, and is constantly accused of being against the working class. Eventually he is thrown out of the party and the club, and the communists refuse to even talk to him. Even throughout the hardships he has faced, he continues to stay strong and support his family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Enemy

I just finished the next book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, The Enemy. This was different from the rest of the books in the series, where Reacher is an ex-miltary policeman. This book is a throwbackback to New Year's Eve 1989, and continues in to 1990. Reacher is the Military Police Commanding Officer in Fort Bird, North Carolina. He has just been transferred there from Operation Just Cause in Panama, and is not sure why. On New Years Eve, he recieves a phone call about a dead General who died of a heart attack in a sleazy motel room a few miles away from the base. A few hours later, he recieves another call of a murdered Delta Force soldier in the woods around the base. The next day, there is another call that the commanding officer of Delta Force has been murdered in a town a few hundred miles away. Reacher is suspected by the Delta Force members of having involvement, and they will get their revenge if Reacher can not find the real murderer first.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gone Tomorrow

Gone Tomorrow is the most recent book published in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I have read most of the books in this series, and really enjoy them. I recently bought this one along with another at Barnes and Noble, and read this one over break. Reacher is the main character, an ex-military policeman with no residence and no permanent ties to anything. He basically drifts around all over the United States, doing odd jobs and getting involved in numerous cases and mysteries. This particular case pertains to an investigation into a top secret Delta Force mission that occurred in the 1980's. Reacher is dragged in to it when he witnesses the women with the information shoot herself in the head on a subway at 3 a.m. in Manhattan. He is interviewed by NYPD officials, private investigators, and then federal agents. Then it gets bizarre. The agents refuse to identify themselves, and Reacher decides to look in to this incident further himself. He enlists the help of the dead woman's brother and a helpful NYPD Detective, and together they begin to track down lead after lead. They are lead on a wild goose chase which connects to ex-soldiers, army missions, and even a congressman running for Senator. This book is a thriller, and always keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Killing Pablo

Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden is the story of the hunt for the infamous Colombian drug dealer Pablo Escobar. Escobar, leader of the Medellin Cartel, was the biggest cocaine supplier to the United States throughout the 1980's and 1990's. He owned numerous mansions in Colombia, a residence in the United States, and controlled half of the Colombian government. This led to major problems during the manhunt for him. A majority of the government officials were on his payroll, and the ones that weren't were blackmailed or threatened in to helping him. Eventually, the situation got out of hand and the United States had to get involved. Agencies such as the C.I.A., F.B.I., and Delta Force got involved. These agencies spent months looking for Pablo, through car bombs, shootouts, and government blockades (at one point, Pablo ordered a group of prison guards to point their guns at the warden--they obliged). However, after a foot chase through the streets of the city of Medellin, Pablo was shot and killed. This was a great book, and I was shocked at the level of corruption in the Colombian government. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting true story.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice, by an anonymous author is the story of a young girl who starts life on the straight laced side, until she is exposed to drugs. Her life then goes on a downward spiral from there. She runs away from home, starts dealing drugs, and sells her body. Yet somehow, after all of this, she was able to get off of the drugs and return to a normal life...for a while. Her former friends were brutal to her, and would not allow her any peace. She would constantly be called names like a goodie goodie, and would be pushed and jostled in the hallway at school. One day, she was even sexually assaulted. Finally, towards the end of her diary, she was babysitting for a neighbor when it happened. Someone laced some chocolates with Acid and slipped them to her. She went on a bad trip for a week. She had to spend time in a mental hospital which was sick, and somehow managed to make it out alive. She found new friends who stayed away from drugs, and was on the right path. In her last entry everything seems like she is on the right path. Unfortunately, we are left with a message at the end she died two weeks later from a drug overdose, unsure of whether it was intentional or murder. Although this was a quick, easy read it was still a good book.