I had to stop listening to this book, I was so irritated by the person reading I found I could no longer concentrate on the plot. She drones on and on--like a really bad Joan Crawford immitation. This is only the second time I've given up on a book.
I thought this books sounded pretty good, but I was mistaken. I should have known when the author is the narrator of his own book, never a good sign, and starts by listing all of the people to whom he is thankful...it's downhill from there. There is nothing that captures the attention of the listener, not to which the listener can easily relate. The author lists three categories that he mentions over and over and over: the categories are purely subjective and none of it makes sense. All he winds up saying (albeit over and over) is remember the good things that happen to you, focus on those things for 20 seconds and your good brain parts will grow. Bad book, bad bad bad bad.
I hesitated to buy this book after I read the synopsis, I was reluctant to get into something grim or saccharine. But, I finally got it and I am so glad I did. I know this is characterized as a YA book but it is such a lovely story and offers such insight into the triteness with which sick people are treated. The book also makes one step back and realize what incredible gift it is to be living a disease free existence--but that is not the crux of the story. Interestingly, the story takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hazel lives at 83rd and Springmill Road, only a few blocks from my house. All of the local references are excellent--except the hospital names.
I can not recommend this book enough.
This might be one of the weakest books I have ever heard. Christine Shepherd, the protagonist, is portrayed as everything from a weak, sick, helpless, pathetic female to a Ninja sporting an assault rifle and fighting the Taliban as she scours a harsh landscape to find her sister--who she believes is dead? Is she a prisoner or a freedom fighter? Christine manages, single handedly to take out a much sought-after terrorist after suffering multiple rapes, illnesses, starvation and beatings. One minute she is so weak she can not walk then suddenly she is sprinting after middle eastern thugs. AND she knows everything there is to know about AK-47s and Kalashnikovs.
Other characters are thinly drawn. Christine runs into many people during her dash across three countries--we're never sure where she is or how she got there--those characters are never fleshed out and all run together as gun clad mobs of dirty, bearded men with lust in their eyes and the veiled, beaten women who service them. At one point Christine manages to grab an imprisoned, battered woman and they escape the bad guys. For some reason she decides to return (with her fellow escapee) to her captors because...
Even Christine's sister, Elizabeth, is never a real character. As for the Aussie with melanoma, I have no idea why he was even a character in this book except to remind readers to wear sunscreen. Money in large quantities changes hands, disappears and appears with little explanation. Christine remains attractive enough in her blood and urine soaked robes to attract the attention of one of the bearded guys--the one with great eyes. What? She had been raped, beaten, and practically killed but she heals enough to have a romantic liaison with a Muslim guy she's know for...how long? It's never clear how much time has passed. Was it a month or a year?
How did this book ever get published?
I absolutely do not understand all of the great reviews this book has received. I found the book tedious, the main character completely unrealistic, philosophically challenged, and pretty ridiculous. How can one man charm and gain the complete trust of practically every Indian person he meets while mastering two dialects, mentoring young Indian children, acting as the only “doctor” in a 12,000 person slum (with only rudimentary first aid training) and solving political and criminal dilemmas at the same time. The book is LONG and arduous, I gave up after more than 16 hours of listening--the first two segments, I rarely leave a book unfinished. But I could no longer stand hearing about the great Lin.
Bahni Turpin was an excellent narrarator, especially for Josephine. She might have changed her voice, intonation or something when doing Lena's part of the story. She always sounded like Josaphine to me.
Yes, the story was interesting I just felt there were too many plots and not enough depth into the characters.
Josephine, probably because Ms Turpin sounded like Josephine.
This book seemed more like the first draft--before the characters were all beefed up and given personalities, backgrounds, a reason for being in the story.
This book was written with a great deal of thought and a touch of humor.
Everything the author said made sense and was totallly "do-able".
I would have liked to listen to every last word of this book before removing my headphones.
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