Book Review: Stone Bruises

Title: Stone Bruises

Author: Simon Beckett18189475

Sean is a young Englishman who is on the run. He finds himself on a remote farm in the French countryside, where he accidentally steps in the trap, set for animals. Because of the bleeding, he passes out and after a while, he wakes up in an attic. He’s confused at first but finds out that a woman from a farm took care of him and his wound. However, her father, old Arnaud, who is also a farm owner, doesn’t want him on his estate. Nevertheless, Sean stays on the farm, because the injury is really bad.

His past is chasing him but at the same time, he’s attracted to the mysteries of the farm and its residents.

I read Beckett’s mysteries when I want to read a good crime novel but at the same time I know, I won’t have to think much while reading. His books relax and entertain me. They are always good enough and until I read this book, I was never disappointed.

Book Stone Bruises actually combines two stories – first is about Sean on the run and how he ends in the farm, while the second story are snapshots from Sean’s past from London and the events that lead to his run.

After Sean’s arriving on the mysterious farm, I was constantly in tension, what secrets would be revealed and I was expecting horrific crimes that residents on the farm are hiding. Things were unveiled but I had to wait almost to the end of the book. And it was far from shocking and far from horrific things that I expected to be revealed. Until the end, this book was just describing Sean’s daily routine on the farm, his work and tense relations between Arnaud and his two daughters.

I didn’t like none of the characters and I can only assume, that this was an intention of the author if he wanted to show intolerable relations on the farm and its eccentric inhabitants. I even didn’t have a good opinion about Sean. Despite the fact, he was on the run, he still insisted in intolerable conditions and allowed to be humiliated by old man. He involved himself into something that was not necessary. He could leave anytime. But no, he stayed on the farm and got himself into a strange and unenviable situation.

I was also disappointed with Sean’s story about his past/crime he committed. Through the book, the story is progressively revealed but I expected so much more from it also.

As I already mentioned, all the secrets are revealed. But in the last few pages, which is really a pity. It was just too much of everything and not shocking at all. Too bad.

This book was not bad, but in my opinion, there are many other better crime novels to read, so I would probably not recommend it. Just grab some other book, if you want to enjoy a good mystery.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Did you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? Did you read any other Beckett’s books and what did you think about them?



Book Review: Matched

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie7735333

Cassia lives in a futuristic society where everything is determined. Officials are determining what people will do, how they will behave, when will they die and who are gonna love. And so, on her seventeen birthday, Cassia gets her Match – someone who is perfect for her and she’s gonna spend her life with him.

Cassia is enraptured because she wouldn’t want to have a better Match. But something unexpected happens while viewing information about him – for a few seconds, some other face appears on the screen. Cassia is in shock because that never happened before and further because she knows who the other boy is. More and more she’s falling in love with him and in the same time she’s starting to discover all the failures and irregularities of the Society. Torn apart between two boys, she’s realizing that she wants to make her own decision who’s she gonna to choose.

I heard for this book before but I was not interested in it. But the other day, I saw it in a library, read a description and it actually sounded interesting and I liked the idea of described dystopian world. Unfortunately, I was not impressed by it because I felt like I already read about it in other dystopian novels. Still it was not bad at all since it’s a society which is easily imaginable. A restricted system where individuals can’t make decisions on their own, about themselves or their lives, because everything is dictated by others – The Officials who are qualified to choose what is best for individuals and for society.

The main characters were nothing special and for me, they were not developed well. They were dull, just like most of the dialogues and I couldn’t really identify with any of them. Cassia is a regular teenager, whose life revolves around Match Banquet and her Match. When her Match become Xander, her best friend, she’s thrilled and relieved.

Surprise follows when she sees another familiar face on a screen. It’s Ky, also her friend but they were never hanging out together. And that was the most disturbing thing in this book for me. She was never interested in Ky before. She barely knew him. But because of a few seconds of his face on a screen, she suddenly loses her mind and she becomes totally obsessed with him. Not only that, she also starts to doubt in the Society and their rules, which was really unbelievable to me. Also later, when they start hanging out more, I haven’t felt any sparks between them or any connection at all. Which made me even sadder and feeling bad for Xander. Despite the fact, we don’t get to know him well, he sounded like a nice guy and he didn’t deserve being rejected in that way.

What has saved the whole story was the ending. I have to warn you all, that this book is terrible slowly and it could be shorter. Nothing much happens, we don’t get much action until the end. However, the ending somehow outweighed that and last few pages were interesting and shocking and stirred my interest again. I will read a sequel, but I really hope it would be better (I need more action! and drama!).

Rating: 3/5 stars

Did you read Matched? What did you think? Did you liked it or not? Are sequels worth of reading (but please, don’t spoil!)?



Book Review: Max

Title: Max

Author: Sarah Cohen – Scali28231016

Max is a fetus inside a blonde and blue-eyed German mother. His father is also German and influential figure in the German army. However, there was no love between them, they served to one purpose only – to conceive a child in a Nazi program “Lebensborn” (Fountains of Youth). The purpose of the program was, to conceived as many purebred Aryan children who will become the future leaders of the Third Reich.

Already as a fetus, Max is aware of this and he’s not attached to his parents at all – he thinks that Germany is his mother and Hitler his father. Since his conception, he wants to become a concept of the Aryan race and he’s successful in this – he’s a first child born in a Lebensborn program and later he’s always an example to other children.

His unconditional trust in Reich begins to crumble when he become friend with Lukas – blue-eyed and blond Polish boy, who must hide he’s a Jew. Max starts asking questions and he’s beliefs begin to crumble.

I was attached to the story from beginning because of certain real historical facts and narrator of the story. I didn’t know much about Lebensborn program and I was drawn in this book because of this subject immediately.

Another thing which fascinated me was the narrator in this book. The story is told from Max’s point of view and he’s only a fetus in his mother’s abdomen when a story begins. And… how can somebody so small and who’s barely a fetus, can be so wicked already? However, in some strange way, I actually sympathized with him and felt sorry for him despite the fact he clearly showed signs of malice and that he was obviously brain-washed even before he was born!

Max is a perfect product of Lebensborn program (even before his birth). Even when he was still in a womb he was planning to become the best and one of those who will, in the future, help Hitler with his projects and their realization. I felt sad but in the same way it was somehow funny, reading about that kind of thoughts from an unborn child. And after his birth, Max was relieved because he was true Aryan not only by heart but he also looked like one. Blonde, blue-eyed, beautiful complexion and physically fitted all the measurements that were performed in the program. And precisely because of his physical qualities and deeply sympathizing with Nazism, Max is the one, who, from an early age helps in Reich.

If I was shocked at times, reading about all malicious thoughts that Max has as a fetus, I was even more shocked later, when he was a child participating in different actions. It’s hard to read about a child who enjoys in cruelty and is proud of himself and the things he’s doing, despite the fact, that innocent people are dying because of him.

Therefore, I was actually amazed by his immediate attachment to Lukas. Max has noticed Lukas because of his appearance but I was surprised that their friendship lasted even later when Max found out who Lukas really is. Nevertheless, Max still needed a lot of time to begin doubting in his Nazi beliefs and  realizing that many things they’re doing are wrong. In a way this is logical – you can’t change your beliefs and ideas over night especially not about something that you believed in it even before you were born.

Although, I found their relationship unusual and it didn’t convince me like it should. I didn’t understand why they are so attached to each other and what dragged them together. Their friendship made me confused.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who want to read more about the history, about a Lebensborn program but they are not interested to read nonfiction. You still can learn a lot by reading this book.

Max is a book, which is, despite its difficult topic, written in a humorous way and it can be a quick read. Certainly, the most interesting part of this book is, that it’s written from a perspective of a little Nazi fanatic which fascinated me the most.

Rating: 4/5 stars

If you read this book, please, share your thoughts with me in comments! Or, if you have any other similar book recommendations.