Review: Einstein’s Beach House by Jacob M. Appel

Einstein's Beach House

Einstein’s Beach House
Author: Jacob M. Appel
Publisher: Pressgang
Publication: October 1, 2014
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
My Rating:

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Synopsis new

A couple adopt a depressed hedgehog; a mother is seduced by the father of her daughter’s imaginary friend; a man kidnap’s his ex-wife’s pet turtle. In eight tragi-comic stories, Einstein’s Beach House: Storiesfeatures ordinary men and women rising to life’s extraordinary challenges.

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Einstein’s Beach House surprised me! I didn’t know what to expect from this book and from this author but the overall impact it brought me was beyond my expectations. This book consists of 8 short stories, each with different themes but all in all, coming up with one thing — life experiences.

The writing style of Jacob M. Appel is so impressive. He has this unique plot and great, three-dimensional characterization and he laces everything with humor and emotional conflict that even if each story was short, I felt as if I was reading a regular-length book.

I made a brief review for each story because I was too overwhelmed with everything in this book and here they are:

1. Hue and Cry

This is the first short story of Einsten’s Beach House. It’s a dark and twisted story, with an underlying sensitive issue that centers a man who is a sex offender. How he was treated by the people around him totally describes harsh reality. I don’t know exactly what to feel about this but I can say that the author very well establishes a great reality-based story.

2. La tristesse des hérisson

This second short story held a very heavy topic which was handled perfectly with humor. It’s about a couple who adopted a hedgehog. Sounds a bit normal but the moment they took the hedgehog home, their relationship slowly went downhill because of some psychological issues that were focused on the hedgehog. If you read this book blindly, you will appreciate the hidden message the author was conveying. This short story is beautiful and gripping. It’s psychological and an eye-opener. We tend to blame other people for the fault which is entirely done by ourselves and act this defense mechanism which is so-calleddisplacement.

3. Strings

“It’s much better to not be okay when you ought to be fine, than to be perfectly content when you really should be falling to pieces.”

Well this third short story hits home. It’s about a 40 year-old woman who was approached by her ex-lover who’s a musician, for a favor. At first I didn’t get the message behind the story but when I reached the ending– wow! The story sent a deep, powerful message that hit straight to the core. It’s about defining the value of success and failure and how each person’s approach towards these things vary. It’s also more about moving on and forgiveness.

4. Limerence

The fourth short story of this book completely stole my heart. It’s heartbreaking. It’s a flashback story about a teenage boy and a girl whose friendship started right when they were in high school. Despite the girl’s imperfections and issues in life, the boy slowly developed feelings for her, which was unfortunately not returned due to the girl’s circumstances and misfortunes. I love how this short-length of a story felt longer than I’ve thought. There was so much emotional depth in this story. The melancholy tone also made me feel like I’m reading a Nicholas Sparks book. From the beginning up to the end, I was pleasantly moved because of the great characterization the author was able to distinguish and the emotions being poured that tugged at my heartstrings.

5. Einstein’s Beach House

Now this fifth story is more about the things that usually happen in the family household. It’s about a couple with two kids who live in a beachfront house which was perceived as Albert Einstein’sbeach house. As they later on made the house a source of their income through the tourists that usually visit because of their curiosity, they later on learned that in fact, the house was originally owned by Einstein’s niece. What made this short story brilliant was how the author emphasized the essence ofsentimental value for a particular thing and how a person values childhood and family relationships. The ending of this short story was so touching!

6. The Rod of Asclepius

By far, this sixth short story is my most favorite of all. I loved the dark theme in which a father and a daughter bonded through some twisted kind of activity. In this story, the father was introduced by the author in a very mysterious way. He pretended to be a doctor whenever he enters the hospital and when he’s inside a particular room, he injects random patients, basically killing them. But he always did it together with her daughter who was a seven year-old. As the girl grew up, the memory of what happened still lingered and even served as a traumatic experience to her. This is such a brilliant, dark story. It’s cringe-worthy and as usual, very well-written. It also gives a reader something to ponder in the end.

7. Sharing the Hostage

This short story is particularly funny! It’s about a divorced woman who wanted her tortoise, which was already in the hands of her ex-husband, back. The ex-couple didn’t have a child but the way they value the turtle, sharing a joint custody, as if it’s their own child, was so hilarious and strange. The woman and her lover planned to abduct the tortoise from her ex-husband but when they’ve already had it, they realized that maybe after all, they shouldn’t have took it because it won’t survive in their planned trip. All throughout the story, I was laughing because of its unrealistic but hilarious approach. In the end, I realized that the story itself shows the importance of giving value to a certain thing– no matter how small or big it is.

8. Paracosmos

The last short story of Einstein’s Beach House is charming. The story centers around a small family consisting a couple and a daughter. The daughter had an imaginary friend whom the couple thought was alarming. This short story is realistic in a way because having an imaginary friend is part of childhood. The message behind the story was also amazing. It emphasizes importance of family bonding and of course, the importance of fidelity.

As a whole, Einstein’s Beach House is a masterpiece and a real gem! I am so thankful to have been given a copy of this book from the author because it’s a book that I will forever treasure. The contents are all unique, amazing, and very well-written, in a can’t-put-it-down way. It’s a powerful anthology that explores every sensible and even psychological aspect of life. If you want a wholesome, thought-provoking reads, I highly recommend this anthology!

Rating:

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READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

xo pearl

 

 

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REVIEW: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder
(The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: January 3, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction,
Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
My Rating:

threestars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

MY THOUGHTS…

I have high expectations with Cinder, especially that most of my goodreads friends really love it. I found this book really promising since I’ve never encountered a cyborg character before and for me, it’s something that I won’t ever forget. But then, I guess I expected way too much. I tried. Honestly. But it didn’t really meet my expectations. *sigh*

However, there are factors that also make this book wonderful. I love Marissa Meyer’s imagination. I love how she created a lively concept of a dystopian world. Cybors. Androids. Insanely high technology. Lunars. New world after world war IV. Wow! I mean, the concept is really impressive.

But in the long run, I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t expect myself to develop annoyance with the main character Cinder. I love her character, I love how unique she is as a cyborg, but when it comes to the way she acts, I kind of dislike her. There is no consistency with her emotions. I’m upset how vulnerable she is whenever her stepmother and stepsister is around. But whenever she’s with the Prince, she’s so firm with her decisions to say ‘NO’ every time. She always declines the prince’s invitation and she’s acting so difficult like ugh! I also don’t like the way she’s acting like a brat to Dr. Erland when this man is the only person who can give her much information about her past. There are also times when she jokes around and for me it sounds like a sarcasm. No, I don’t like her personality at all.

Prince Kai, however, is a nice character. I love how tough he is when it comes to decision-making. He doesn’t even feel scared with the Lunar Queen. So, yeah, thank goodness he’s not annoying.

During the first chapters, I really hoped that something great will happen in the long run. Um, I don’t know but the twist– that wasn’t what I’ve expected. Well, maybe on the second book everything will turn out great. And hopefully Cinder’s character will improve by then. 🙂

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REVIEW: A Gate of Night by Bella Forrest

A Gate of Night (A Shade of Vampire #6)

A Gate of Night
(A Shade of Vampire #6)
Author: Bella Forrrest
Publisher: CreateSpace
Published: March 7, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy,
Young Adult, Romance
My Rating:

threestars

Welcome back to The Shade…

Derek and Sofia are finally enjoying a well-deserved break. Staying at a resort with good food, sun and sea, Sofia is thrilled to witness Derek’s re-introduction to the human world.

They would almost be mistaken for a normal young couple, if it were not for the red-eyed monster lurking in the shadows and watching their every move, waiting for his signal to pounce…

MY THOUGHTS…

Although I enjoyed the first installments of this series, I find it hard to have the same feeling with this 6th book. I mean, What. Was. That?! Holy crap. Why end such a book like that?

Anyway, this book is basically ugh, I don’t know what to think about. All the while, the book kind of annoyed me because I didn’t see any progress at all. The events were cruel and the characters were put into misery that I guess, is way too much for them to handle. The upper hand was obviously on their enemies– no question about that. I understand that it’s part of Bella’s scheme in order to continue the story but I guess it’s a worse thing to do. You can’t possibly torture your characters like that, especially at the ending. No just no!

I hate how the story went. It’s too disappointing. 😦 However, I am looking forward to read the 7th (the final book) of this series and hoping that the ending is worth it all.

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Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female (#2) – July 18, 2014

Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Kristin of Romance Bound. Anyone can participate! To play along:

  • Grab any of your favorite books.
  • Choose a female character whom you think is a feisty, fabulous, and fierce woman.
  • Describe the reason why you think she is feisty, fabulous, and fierce.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
    (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists.
    • Share a link to your own Friday’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female in the Comments and I’ll be checking it out!

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    This week’s Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female is Lillian Bowman of It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers #2) by Lisa Kleypas

    It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)

    Most of the historical romance female characters possess these qualities but Lilian Bowman, I guess, has it all. She’s not that beautiful according to the author but she has the fierceness that will make every royal man in London bow on her. In the book, Ms. Lisa described her as a woman with stubbornness. A daughter of a rich businessman in America, she was expected to behave in a womanly way. That means, she has to stay modest, shy, sweet, and with good manners to the ton. But what she did in the book were the opposite. Instead, she was seen doing horseback riding, playing boyish sports, and even joining men’s conversations at balls– which at first, didn’t please her love interest Marcus, Lord Westcliff. But don’t you know that being feisty, fabulous, and fierce in her own way eventually took the heart of Marcus? That’s the perfect thing about this heroine. 🙂

    Now share your thoughts and bring out your favorite favorite Feisty, Fabulous, and Fierce Female character! 🙂

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REVIEW: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)City of Ashes

fourstars

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

MY THOUGHTS…

(Spoilers ahead…) 🙂

This book is insanely amazing! I must say it’s just as good, or better than the City of Bones. It didn’t let me put it down easily, especially when I was at the last remaining chapters. I didn’t really mind how lengthy those chapters were to be honest because I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of the book.

It kept my adrenaline going. It’s such a thrilly, freaking amazing flight! I love how the characters developed more in this book. Simon turning into a vampire, the introduction of the new werewolf kid Maia, and the hot-damn shadowhunter Malik (although he wasn’t completely highlighted in this sequel), the digging out of Luke’s real feelings towards Clary’s mom, Jace’s struggle to keep his feelings for his ‘sister’, Imogen Herondale’s mysterious words to Jace at the end, Magnus and Alec (oh my God, Magnus and Alec??!), and especially– my most favorite scene– the kissing scene at the Seelie Court when they met the Queen! What was that?! This book is making me insane!

It also has lots of funny moments. I found myself literally lolling like an idiot while reading those parts, especially the part where Simon and Jace continued their annoying yet amusing banter. And that Magnus and Alec’s confusing ‘thing’ over there. This book is such an entertaining one!

I didn’t really regret diving into the world of Mortal Instruments. As I’ve said, this second installment is quite better than the first book. But while it’s an awesome continuation of the City of Bones, I’m a bit upset.  It could have gotten more than 4 stars but then, I thought I wanted more. There are still questions that are hanging, but of course, that’s part of Cassandra Clare’s scheme to make us lured into the next book, but I was really, really desperate to find out the answers to my questions. This book didn’t provide me those, so I was kinda sad. 😦 I guess I really have to extend my patience and read the next book to be able to know what’s really Jace and Clary’s real relationship because I really don’t believe they’re siblings. Seriously! I also didn’t like how Jace and Clary’s conversation ended during the last part of the book. It’s heart-shattering I literally cried. Why, I feel for Clary. 😦

The ending was also a cliffhanger. I don’t blame the author for doing that though. Maybe I’m already quite immune to those kinds of endings. In fact, I’m already expecting cliffhanger endings every time I delve into a series. Well, well, life’s just like that. Right now, I’m itching for the next book City of Glass. I want to see where all these goes. 🙂

My Rating for this Book: 4 Stars (This book is totally worth reading!)

Favorite Quote from this Book

“If you really love something, you never try to keep it the way it is forever. You have to let it be free to change.”

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REVIEW: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday

fourstars

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

MY THOUGHTS…

I received an ARC of this book free from the author and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First, I was really smitten by the book’s cover. Isn’t it so stunning?

I was even surprised to find out that the book does not only tell a typical, plain story but it outlines the life of the Russian leader Catherine the Great. Honestly my knowledge about history is so poor so I paused reading it for a while and review the background of Catherine the Great so as to have a better idea about the main character. Then I returned to reading and found it even more interesting.

I have to admit that the book is utterly brilliant. Ms. Sherry D. Ficklin has the wit to write down solid descriptions of the characters and put extra charm to them.

I love Sophia (Catherine the Great). This woman is true to her name. She’s great in every sense of a word. I admire her courage and intelligence. She’s a headstrong character who makes striking and great decisions and she has the inner power that will make women really proud. I also love her selflessness and the way she prioritizes her family rather than her own happiness. I just felt awed by the fact that she craves the feeling of being loved.

“Is it so wrong to dream of romance and tenderness? Of love?”

I also admire Alexander. I am so thankful for his existence in this book. He’s the character that’s too perfect to describe.

“There are many beautiful and wonderful things to see at court.”

“Like what?” I ask playfully.

He looks right into my eye and smiles. “Well, there’s you for one.”

“Are you flirting with me?”

Sergei. I can’t decide if he’s better than Alexander or the other way around. All I know is, he’s equally admirable.

“Be careful Princess. When waging a war of the heart, you must only fight if you are absolutely sure you can win.”

The plot is also impressive. I was honestly taken aback especially in the last remaining chapters. Goodness, that was such a twist!

As a whole, I didn’t regret reading this book. I enjoyed it and learned a lot about history, too so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. The greatest thing I also liked about this book is the profound messages of the story beyond what are written. It teaches you something about life and it simply gives you the encouragement to live and accept life’s challenges with bravery. One thing I also learned after reading it is to never trust anyone so easily.

And yes, the essence of love above all things. This book very well accentuates the true meaning of love.

No matter how many romantic poems you recite, no matter how many glorious tales of love you read, how can you really understand the condition if you’ve never found yourself in it?

My Rating for the Book: 4 Stars (For those who love historical fiction with a touch of drama, romance, and intrigue, this story will not disappoint you.) 🙂

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Teaser Tuesday (#3): July 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays (TT) is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Randomly open a page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
    (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    • Share a link to your own Teaser Tuesday in the Comments and I’ll be checking it out! 🙂

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    My teaser for this week: 🙂

    Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)

    “And then he does the most dangerous, reckless thing he could have ever done. He kisses me.”

    Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

     

    What are you currently reading? Join the fun and share your book’s interesting teasers below! 🙂

    xo,

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