Big Little Lies Book Summary

Big Little Lies Book SummaryAs everybody knows, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…

So, they are not exactly little.

But, when it all starts, they are not that big either.

So, let’s just call them:

Big Little Lies.

Who Should Read “Big Little Lies”? And Why?

“A brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive,” Big Little Lies should disappoint no one.

Especially not women.

But read it if you are a man, nevertheless.

Liane Moriarty Biography

Liane MoriartyLiane Moriarty is a bestselling Australian author.

She spent some time working as a copywriter at an advertising company before embarking on a career as a writer.

In 2004, she published her first novel, Three Wishes, written so as to obtain a master’s degree in creative writing at Macquarie University.

The Last Anniversary followed two years later, after which What Alice Forgot and The Hypnotist’s Love Story came out.

In 2013, Moriarty’s fifth novel, The Husband’s Secret, made both The New York Times and The USA Today bestseller lists; the rights to the novel were soon acquired by CBS Films, and a Blake Lively-starring thriller is already in production.

Big Little Lies – which debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list in 2014 – was adapted last year into an award-winning HBO miniseries, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

The two have already optioned the rights for Truly Madly Guilty, which was published in 2016.

Moriarty’s last novel, Nine Perfect Strangers, came out just last month, September 2018.

Find out more at http://lianemoriarty.com.au/

Plot

Big Little Lies opens with two very interesting and thought-provoking epigraphs.

The first one is a schoolyard chant you’re probably already familiar with: “You hit me, you hit me, now you have to kiss me.” The second is a pledge and promise by the Pirriwee Public School:

Pirriwee Public School
. . . where we live and learn by the sea!
Pirriwee Public is a BULLY-FREE ZONE!
We do not bully.
We do not accept being bullied.
We never keep bullying a secret.
We have the courage to speak up if we see our friends bullied.
We say NO to bullies!

And, of course, there’s a reason for both of these epigraphs.

Chapter 1

Not the least because the book begins at Pirriwee Public School where the parents of the children who go there participate in a fundraising trivia night.

However, this is not just an ordinary trivia party. Namely, it’s an “Audrey and Elvis” trivia night, which means that all the women present are dressed up as Audrey Hepburn, and all the men are dressed up as Elvis Presley.

Obviously, this means that it’s kind of hard to realize who’s talking to who and what exactly is going on there. And then, an Elvis punches another Elvis across the jaw, and he falls into an Audrey. Two other Elvises pull him away. An Audrey buries her face in her hands and turns aside.

And as someone is shouting “Stop this!” and another one is wondering whether to call the police, a siren is heard wailing in the distance.

Also – a scream. And another. And another. It seems that they are all coming from a nearby balcony.

Then we hear everyone blabbering about things as confusing and diverse as the American spelling of “mum” and helicopter parenting, the Erotic Book Club and French nannies.

Suddenly, Detective-Sergeant Adrian Quinlan utters a chilling sentence: “Let me be clear: This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.”

So, apparently, someone – presumably, one of the parents – has died.

However, Moriarty doesn’t tell us who. Instead, she goes back in time to tell the whole story.

Chapter 2 – Chapter 70: The Six Months Before Trivia Night

The second chapter begins at the fortieth birthday of Madeline Martha Mackenzie as she is driving to Pirriwee school to take Chloe, her five-year-old daughter, to her orientation day.

However, at a red light, she has a slight mishap: she goes out of the car, and as she runs back to the driver’s seat, she trips.

Jane Chapman, a single mother of another five-year-old, Ziggy, happens to be in the car behind her. She goes over to help her and the two strike a friendship.

Soon, Jane meets Celeste Wright, a friend of Madeline and mother of two twin children – Josh and Max.

Madeline, Jane, and Celeste become inseparable. Their goal – to become the new Blond Bobs, the mums who “rule the school” with their perfect haircuts (hence the name) and their horrendously gifted children.

The Blond Bobs are “mum prefects,” explains Madeline. “They feel very strongly about their roles as school mums. It’s like their religion. They’re fundamentalist mothers.”

However, all is not well beneath the surface. In quite a short period of time, we learn that, unfortunately, all of these women have to struggle with some significant problems in their lives.

1. Madeline’s Two Marriages

Madeline’s problem seems to be the least serious one.

An alpha female with substantial wealth and strong will, she is married to the dedicated and steadfast Ed. Chloe is one of the two children from that marriage, the other being Fred.

However, Madeline is also mother to teenage Abigail, whose father Nathan abandoned them when she was an infant. The problem is that now Abigail, for some reason, is growing too close to Bonnie, Nathan’s new wife.

2. The Price for Celeste’s “Perfect” Life

Moving on to Celeste.

As Jane realizes from her first meeting with her, she is “so unacceptably, hurtfully beautiful, it [makes] you feel ashamed.” However, the fact that she is exactly like a woman should look like doesn’t mean that her life is exactly like a woman’s life should be.

On the contrary, in fact.

You see, just like Rupi Kaur warns in one of her poems, she has somehow confused anger with kindness. And even though her life seems perfect on the surface, she is in fact continually beaten up and abused by her wealthy husband, Perry Wright.

And she puts up with it.

Possibly because she has developed some form of the Stockholm syndrome. Possibly because she loves her husband so much. Or maybe because we grow up with life lessons such as the one shared by the schoolyard song Moriarty uses as an epigraph to her book.

“No one deserves to live like this,” Celeste’s counselor Susi says at one point.

What does she know? – thinks Celeste. After all, she hasn’t seen the whole of their lives:

She hadn’t seen the expression on the boys’ faces when Perry spun his crazy stories about early-morning flights across the ocean. ‘You can’t really fly, Daddy. Can he fly, Mummy? Can he?’ She hadn’t seen Perry rap-dancing with his kids or slow-dancing with Celeste on their balcony, the moon sitting low in the sky, shining on the sea as if it were there just for them.

‘It’s almost worth it,’  she’d told Susi.

Perhaps it was even fair. A little violence was a bargain price for a life that would otherwise be just too sickeningly, lavishly, moonlit perfect.

So then what the hell was she doing here, secretly planning her escape route like a prisoner?

3. Jane’s Painful Trauma

Jane, a new arrival in Pirriwee, has a terrible secret of her own. Namely, she doesn’t want anyone to know what happened on the night her son Ziggy was conceived. Spoiler alert: she was basically raped as a 19-year-old girl by a guy named Saxon Banks.

Yes, she was there to have sex with him. And yes: she did not change her mind and did not say “no” when it all started. In fact, “she helped him take her clothes off” and “giggled like an idiot” throughout.

However, instead of replying “yes” to Jane’s murmur “condom?” Saxon started choking her and convincing her that it’s fun: “You’ll like it. It’s a rush. Like cocaine.”

He backed off after some time.

But then it got worse:

He positioned her underneath him and shoved himself inside her as if he were operating some sort of basic machinery, and as he moved, he put his mouth close to her ear and he said things: an endless stream of casual cruelty that slid straight into her head and curled up, wormlike, in her brain.

‘You’re just a fat ugly little girl, aren’t you? With your cheap jewelry and your trashy dress. Your breath is disgusting, by the way. Need to learn some dental hygiene. Jesus. Never had an original thought in your life, have you? Want a tip? You’ve got to respect yourself a bit more. Lose that weight. Join a gym… Stop the junk food. You’ll never be beautiful, but at least you won’t be fat.’

Jane didn’t resist in any way, silently agreeing with everything. “When he rolled off her,” says the novel, “she didn’t move. It was as though her body didn’t belong to her anymore, as though she’d been anesthetized.”

4. The Intertwining of the Stories

Jane shares her traumatic sexual experience with Celeste and Madeline. Interestingly, the two know exactly who Saxon Banks is: a cousin of Perry, Celeste’s husband.

However, in order to protect Jane from further pain, Celeste and Madeline decide to keep this a secret from her; at least for the time being.

Things go from bad to worse when Ziggy is accused of biting and choking Amabella, a classmate of his. While interrogating him, Jane realizes that it is not him who has done the bullying, but Max, one of Celeste’s twins.

Now, Jane too has a secret she doesn’t know how to break to Celeste.

Meanwhile, Celeste’s marriage deteriorates even more. So, she starts renting an apartment for herself, so that she has a place where she can hide from Perry.

Chapters 70 – Chapter 78: Trivia Night

The “Audrey and Elvis” Trivia Night arrives.

On that very night, Josh tells Celeste that it is his brother Max – and not Jane’s Ziggy – who is bullying the other children.

And Celeste realizes that Max too is confusing love and violence, mimicking the behavior of his father. There’s no way back: Celeste has no other option but to leave Perry. Perry, in the meantime, finds out about Celeste’s secret apartment.

When the two – visibly shaken – arrive at Trivia Night, Jane sees Perry and recognizes him as the man who had raped her.

Perry doesn’t deny this: so as to avoid trouble for himself, he admits to having used his cousin’s name on several occasions such as the one described by Jane.

And he shows no remorse for it. Instead, in the argument which follows, he hits Celeste.

Enraged and out of nowhere, Bonnie – Madeline’s ex-husband Nathan’s new wife – pushes Perry from the balcony.

And now you know: he is the parent who dies in Chapter 1.

Big Little Lies Epilogue

Madeline soon learns the real cause of Bonnie’s actions: she had an abusive father; the argument simply brought to her mind unwanted and repressed memories.

Everyone who has witnessed the event decides to lie in her favor. Everybody thinks that she doesn’t deserve to suffer for killing a man like Perry.

However, Bonnie turns herself in. Fortunately, she is merely sentenced to two hundred hours of community service.

A year later, Celeste works at a family law firm. She has set a trust fund for Ziggy and found a new meaning in her life. Namely: to share her story.

At a public event, she introduces it with five straightforward words:

This can happen to anyone.

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“Big Little Lies Book Summary Quotes”

They say it's good to let your grudges go, but I don't know, I'm quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet. Click To Tweet All conflict can be traced back to someone’s feelings getting hurt, don’t you think? Click To Tweet Reading a novel was like returning to a once-beloved holiday destination. Click To Tweet Those we love don’t go away, they sit beside us every day. Click To Tweet Nothing and nobody could aggravate you the way your child could aggravate you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Liane Moriarty knows how to tell a story. Especially if it is one about suburbias, secrets, and sex.

And a hurting woman.

This novel – just like The Husband’s Secret – has three.

And they are all carefully and compassionately portrayed, their lives intertwined within a disturbing story told with a lot of style and humor (yes, humor!)

Funny and scary, Big Little Lies is a hell of a good book.

And no – those are not our words.

They are Stephen King’s.

 

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Ready Player One Summary

Ready Player One SummaryA Novel

You know your book is good when Steven Spielberg decides to adapt it into a movie.

And you know you’re a good writer when Spielberg picks you to co-write the script.

And when that movie is described as “pure magic,” earns half a billion dollars and becomes one of the highest-grossing films of 2018… well, we’re obliged to write a summary of the book.

So –

Ready Player One?

Who Should Read “Ready Player One”? And Why?

“The guests don’t return for the obvious things we do, the garish things,” says Dr. Robert Ford (played by the ever-phenomenal Anthony Hopkins) in HBO’s Westworld. “They come back because of the subtleties, the details. They come back because they discover something they imagine no one had ever noticed before… something they’ve fallen in love with.”

Well, Ready Player One is a book based on this premise. It’s an adventure driven by the pursuit for an Easter Egg planted in a worldwide VR game!

And if you like Westworld – as different as they are – you’ll like this one too: just add some laughs; a lot of laughs. You’ll like Ready Player One if you like Stranger Things as well.

Because just like that TV show, Ernest Cline’s novel is full of references to the nerdy things from the 80s. (You’ll see why in a minute).

So, something like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Only without that much politics. And with much more video games.

In summation, to quote Nicolette Stewart: “if you are geeky or grew up in the 80s or love sci-fi and fantasy or video games, oh man, go read the whole thing right away!”

And you can start with the first two chapters here!

Ernest Cline Biography

Ernest ClineErnest Cline is an American slam poet, novelist, and screenwriter.

He initially rose to fame as a performer at Austin Poetry Slam venues, becoming a champion in both 1998 and 2001 (hear him performing his most famous poem here).

Interestingly, he went on to become a screenwriter before becoming a novelist: after generating much local interest, his screenplay Fanboys was bought by the Weinstein Company and turned into a movie in 2009.

Two years later, he published Ready Player One which is already considered an SF-classic, winning both the Alex and the Prometheus Award in 2012.

In 2015, Cline published Armada, another New York Times bestseller. In March this year, the Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation Ready Player One premiered to wide popular and critical acclaim.

Cline is currently working on an Untitled Ready Player One sequel (and with Steven Spielberg’s input).

Find out more on his magnificently designed website: http://www.ernestcline.com//

Plot

As we hinted above quoting Westworld’s Dr. Robert Ford, Ready Player One is basically a 400-page long search for an Easter Egg inside a VR game.

We know already from the first chapter – that is the prologue: chapter 0000 – how that search escalated.

Namely, on the evening of February 11, 2045, the main protagonist of our book, a poor Oklahoma teenager named Wade Watts, managed to find the Copper Key – the first of the three hidden keys – and the whole world stood flabbergasted at the news.

“Dozens of books, cartoons, movies, and miniseries have attempted to tell the story of everything that happened next,” writes Wade, “but every single one of them got it wrong. So, I want to set the record straight, once and for all.”

Ready Player One is that record-setting account.

And the story begins five years earlier, on a January evening 2040, with the death of James Halliday. We learn on the very first page that James Halliday was the designer of OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game “that had gradually evolved into the globally networked virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis.”

On a daily basis, you shriek in disgust!

Well, don’t humans have smarter things to do in 2040?

Well, apparently not, for the very simple reason that it’s not exactly a bright future the one Wade Watts is living in.

Due to an energy crisis caused by the depletion of fossil fuels and the consequences of global warming and overpopulation, the world is a sorry sight to behold and living in it is not exactly something you can enjoy.

Well, James Halliday seems to have felt the same way when he jotted down in his collection of undated journal entries called Anorak’s Almanac (Chapter 91, Verses 1-2) thus: “Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.”

Now, if everybody in the world is playing your game, then it’s quite obvious that you are a filthily rich person. However, James Halliday dies a 67-year-old bachelor with no heirs. And the only thing he leaves behind him: a video message labeled Anorak’s Invitation.

In it, he explains that he has planted an Easter Egg inside the OASIS and makes a promise that the first person to find it – will inherit his entire fortune.

Wade Watts is thirteen when James Halliday dies. He is an orphan, living with his aunt in the “stacks” of Oklahoma City. As evidenced by the very word, the “stacks” are not exactly a luxurious place: nothing more but a bunch of trailer homes piled on top of each other.

A smart guy with a “cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish,” Wade Watts is (like most of the world) a dedicated “egg hunter,” or gunter – which means that he spends every free moment of his life searching for Halliday’s egg.

And it’s not the easiest job in the world: Halliday didn’t have time to playtest the game, and he warns in his testamentary video that his Easter Egg may be hidden “a little too well.”

The only thing the players have at their disposal are just a few verses about some three keys and a hint that “familiarity with Halliday’s various obsessions would be essential to finding the egg.”

And since Halliday was a teenager and a geek in the 1980s, suddenly the whole world is fascinated with 1980s pop culture!

This explains why Wade – logged to OASIS as his avatar Parzival – spends most of his time researching 1980s video games and movies. (The geeky girls playing ukulele is something on the side).

During the process, he comes across some fascinating insights:

I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.

One day, Wade realizes that the first of the three keys mentioned in Halliday’s awful poem is located on Ludus, one of OASIS’ virtual worlds.

While exploring the place, he meets Art3mis, a famous blogger and female gunter. It probably goes without saying that he has “a massive cyber-crush” on her. In his words: “her face had the distinctive look of a real person’s, as if her true features had been scanned in and mapped onto her avatar. Big hazel eyes, rounded cheekbones, a pointy chin, and a perpetual smirk. I found her unbearably attractive.”

Anyway, Wade advances further in the game when he defeats Acererak at Joust; as a reward, he gets the Copper Key. And, suddenly, the name Parzival appears on “The Scoreboard” – which is basically the only thing featured on Halliday’s website.

And now we are precisely where the prologue already got us. We move on to unchartered territory from here on.

So, Parzival clears the gate, by playing through the Dungeons of Daggorath video game and role-playing the character of Matthew Broderick in the still-enjoyable film of our (at least, my) childhood, WarGames. Art3mis does the same shortly afterward, and Wade’s friend, Aech, follows.

Since Wade is now pretty famous, his fame, naturally, brings him some money; and he earns enough to make a living by being the face of a few virtual products.

However, it also makes him the man of interest to Nolan Sorrento.

Now, Nolan is not just any guy: he is the head of operations at IOI (Innovative Online Industries), a multinational corporation who spends a lot of dough to take control of OASIS and monetize it.

Of course, finding the Easter Egg is a great way to do it; and finding the guy who’s closest to finding it – is the easiest.

However, Wade refuses to join IOI. Sorrento’s response is brutal: IOI blows up the stacks where Wade lives. Fortunately, our character is not there; unfortunately, his aunt is.

Wade has no option but to move Columbus, Ohio, where he assumes the pseudonym Bryce Lynch. He even lives in an anonymous apartment designed explicitly for OASIS users. And not just any type – the hardcore type.

Speaking of hardcore: Wade thinks about forming an alliance with few gunters such as him. In addition to Aech and Art3mis, the alliance should include Daito and Shoto – because, in the meantime, they have also acquired the Copper Key.

However, when you have a huge cyber-crash on somebody, it’s only reasonable to put her before any kind of alliance. Even if you have the IOI on your heels.

That doesn’t go that well, though, since Art3mis seems more interested in the Hunt than in Wade. Which makes her attractive to IOI as well: at the birthday party of OASIS co-founder, Ogden “Og” Morrow, IOI operatives called Sixers tried to assassinate Wade and Art3mis.

They are stopped by Ogden, who both physically and metaphysically looks like “a cross between Albert Einstein and Santa Claus.”

Five months pass and Art3mis becomes the first player to find the Jade Key.

In the meantime, Wade, aka “Parzival,” plays a perfect game of Pac-Man. However, he receives nothing but a quarter as a prize. Aech gives him a hint, and he heads off to the planet Frobozz. There, he solves Zork, the text adventure game.

Using some unfair methods, Sorrento discovers the Jade Key as well and unlocks the Second Gate. Parzival learns from Shoto that the Sixers have killed off Daito – not his Avatar, but the real guy.

After some time, Parzival unlocks the Jade Gate as well: a Voight-Kampff polygraph-like machine in a Blade Runner universe.

After some time, he completes the arcade game Black Tiger – by the way, Cline’s favorite game – and, as a reward, he receives a virtual mecha.

And then he goes a step further, acquiring the Crystal Key via his knowledge of Rush, the Canadian rock band. After listening to “Discovery,” the third movement from the 20-minute long title track of Rush’s 1976 album 2112, Wade discovers a clue which should help him unlock the final gate.

He messages Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto, but Sorrento places a force field around Castle Anorak, rendering the guys incapable of opening the Crystal Gate.

Ready Player One Epilogue

Wade manipulates his new identity so that he can be arrested and, thus, be able to enter the premises of IOI.

While there, he hacks into the company’s intranet and acquires everything necessary to ruin Sorrento: from the attempts on his life to the murder of Daito.

He then escapes and shares the new-found info with his friends.

An attempt to organize storming of Anorak Castle is interrupted by Ogden, who offers the players some protection at his home in Oregon. There, Wade meets the real-life Ogden, as well as Aech (Art3mis and Shoto are hooked into immersion pods, so he doesn’t meet them).

The day of the battle arrives.

Accompanied by Aech’s Gundam and Art3mis’s Minerva X, Parzival uses his mecha, Leopardon, to fight Sorrento’s Mechagodzilla Kiryu.

Eventually, the merry company manages to open the gate.

But the Sixers use something called the Catalyst to destroy the castle in its entirety, killing all the avatars in its vicinity.

However – Parzival survives.

How?

Because of the quarter, he won after playing the perfect Pac-Man game; remember: that grants an extra life!

Parzival enters the Crystal Gate, promising in advance to share the fortune with his friends. After role-playing quite a few Monty Python and the Holy Grail characters, Parzival eventually manages to retrieve the Easter Egg while playing Adventure.

This gets him a few crucial things from Halliday: full control of the OASIS, killing/resurrecting avatar privileges, and a Big Red Button that can wipe out OASIS altogether. Also, a lesson:

I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world: I didn’t know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

Sorrento is eventually arrested.

And, back in Oregon, Wade and Art3mis finally meet in person.

Her name is Samantha, and she is everything Wade expected and loved all this time.

And, yes – it ends exactly as you would expect:

My heart felt like it was on fire. I took a moment to work up my courage; then I reached out and took her hand. We sat there awhile, holding hands, reveling in the strange new sensation of actually touching one another.

Some time later, she leaned over and kissed me. It felt just like all those songs and poems had promised it would. It felt wonderful. Like being struck by lightning.

It occurred to me then that for the first time in as long as I could remember, I had absolutely no desire to log back into the OASIS.

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“Ready Player One Summary Quotes”

No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful. Click To Tweet You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever. Click To Tweet One person can keep a secret, but not two. Click To Tweet You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out. Click To Tweet A river of words flowed between us. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

An instant New York Times bestseller, Ready Player One is a “ridiculously fun and large-hearted” book with a “deeply felt narrative [which] makes it almost impossible to stop turning the pages.” (NPR)

It is certainly something that everyone who is at least a bit nerdy will enjoy. Because – as Rebecca Serle of HuffPost says – Ready Player One “has it all – nostalgia, trivia, adventure, romance, heart and… some very fascinating social commentary.”

Serle may have given the book its most perfect description: “the grown-up’s Harry Potter.”

That is – if you are still a child.

Maybe a Holden Caulfield-type of child.

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Turtles All the Way Down Summary

Turtles All the Way Down Summary

About two years ago, on September 20, 2016, in a video on his (and his brother Hank’s) YouTube channel VlogBrothers, John Green said something millions of people around the world didn’t want to hear:

“I don’t know if I’ll ever publish another book. And even if I do, I don’t know whether people will like it.”

It was, apparently, The Fault in Our Stars’ fault, which had turned Green from a Person Who Writes Books into a Person Who Wrote That One (Highly Successful) Book.

Fortunately, on October 10, 2017, “Turtles All the Way Down” was published.

And people liked it.

And there’s going to be a movie.

So – what are you waiting for?

Who Should Read “Turtles All the Way Down”? And Why?

Needless to say, “Turtles All the Way Down” will be a treat for all John Green fans out there.

People who enjoy watching “Monk” or suffer from OCD will probably enjoy reading the book as well; for one, they will have no problem identifying with the book’s narrator.

But as “The New York Times” said in a lovely review, “one needn’t be suffering like Aza to identify with it. One need only be human.”

John Green Biography

John GreenJohn Green is a bestselling American writer, the author of five hugely successful novels.

His debut novel, “Looking for Alaska” won the Printz Award in 2006, the year his second novel, “An Abundance of Katherines” came out.

“Paper Towns” was published in 2008 and adapted into a Cara Delevingne-starring film adaptation seven years later.

In 2012, Green published his most successful novel so far, “The Fault in Our Stars.” The movie came out two years later and was even more successful, earning more than $300 million against a budget thirty times smaller.

John Green is also a famous vlogger.

And – this is relevant – he takes medications for his OCD.

Plot

If you ever want to start writing a book, here’s a great way to start it:

At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time – between 12:37 P.M. and 1:14 P.M. – by forces so much larger than myself that I couldn’t even begin to identify them.

These words, uttered by sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes, instantly reveal to us that the narrator of “Turtles All the Way Down” is a bit of an OCD type of person (not to mention fictional).

Soon enough, we realize that she’s OCD all the way: sitting in the school cafeteria, it seems that all she thinks about is how the food she eats is then eaten by the bacteria inside her.

Because, after all – no need reminding us, Aza! – the human body is made up of about fifty percent bacteria. And, as far as she is concerned, some of these ugly little creatures will most probably kill her. Sooner or later.

Her strange defense mechanism?

Repeatedly opening a callus on her finger, draining out what she thinks are pathogens, and bandaging the spot once again.

Yeah, like that could ever work!

But, then again, someone who has to eat lunch at 12:37 P.M. afraid, on a daily basis, of getting a deadly Clostridium difficile (C-dif) infection – may not be able to think that straight.

And Aza doesn’t.

At the moment, she is so deep into her own thoughts that she has troubles following the quite exciting discussion her best friend Daisy has with another friend, an art student named Mychal.

Apparently, Russell Pickett, a construction magnate and a billionaire, has disappeared in the wake of bribery and fraud investigations. And his company, Pickett Engineering, is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone with any information regarding Russell’s disappearance.

Daisy reminds Aza that the missing person is actually the father of Davis Pickett, an old friend of hers; this brings in Aza’s mind a memory of her looking at the sky with Davis at a camp about five years ago; but, then again, the sentence in which she relives the memory is just too beautiful; so, we’ll leave it for later.

Anyway, before you can say “but, wait a minute – it can be dangerous” – adventure is on the way!

Daisy and Aza canoe across the White River and at sneak onto the Pickett residence. There, Aza downloads a photograph of Mr. Pickett from a motion-activated camera, but very soon the girls are caught by the security guard.

Aza and Daisy tell him that their canoe has holes in it and that they know Davis; so as to check their story, the security guard takes them to him. Fortunately for them, Davis does remember Aza and, after a brief chat, he takes the girls home.

Back there, Daisy shows Aza an article which says that the Pickett estate should be inherited by Tua in case Mr. Pickett dies.

Strangely enough, Tua is not the name of a brother or a relative of Davis, but the name of Mr. Pickett’s tuatara. And no – that’s not some Spanish word for “girlfriend,” but the Maori designation for a very interesting type of a reptile.

A reptile!

Some weird guy that Mr. Pickett, isn’t he?

One can hardly blame Aza and Daisy for continuing their investigation the day after – despite the scare from the previous evening. Especially after realizing – via some sketchy work by Daisy – that the police know less than them!

But, then again, the police always know less than at least somebody, right?

And they are not exactly flawless.

Anyway, Aza insists that, before they do anything else, she updates Davis with the missing info first (the photograph from the security camera) and the two start texting that evening.

The next day… well, the next day it’s time for a double date: Daisy has apparently made some arrangements with Mychal, but their date will go through only on the premise that Aza is to be there with Davis as well.

So, naturally, Aza invites Davis.

And, expectedly, he agrees to come.

Aza’s mom, however, is not that thrilled when she finds out who her date is, warning Aza on date night that wealthy people are often somewhat inconsiderate and insensitive. If you’ve ever been – or even seen – a teenager, you already know how this one ends: Aza snubs her mom and heads off to Applebee’s.

The discussion there is mostly about Daisy’s “Star Wars” fanfiction stories – Chewbacca’s love life… really? – and maybe even about some other things; however, our narrator is too disinterested and defocused to hear them, so we don’t hear them as well.

Be that as it may, after they finish their meals, the four agree to go to the Pickett mansion to watch a movie.

Obviously, we’re not talking about watching it on a laptop or even a big-size TV; nope – the Picketts have their own home cinema.

But before they go there – and while Mychal and Daisy are busy browsing through the invaluable art in the house – Aza and Davis go outside and take a stroll on the golf course.

Too romantic opportunity (remember camp, five years ago?) for Davis not to take Aza by her hand and for Aza to not open up about her anxieties and fears – as well as about her never-fully-healed wound on her finger.

Aza tells Davis that she is continually falling into a spiral. “The thing about a spiral is,” she informs us at the beginning of the book, “if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.” The catch: “Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.”

Somehow, the cheerlessness of the discussions leads to a mentioning of Davis’ father.

Insisting that he cannot trust Daisy and Aza to keep quiet about their investigation. Davis gives her $100,000 – which he pulls out of cereal boxes!

(A quick question: why is there absolutely nothing of that sort in any of my cereal boxes, John Green?)

With the hush money in her pocket – it is literally that – Aza runs back to the house where – surprise, surprise! – Daisy and Mychal are kissing. Soon the girls leave – but not before being offered – and getting – the notes from Russell Pickett’s phone by Noah, Davis’ little brother.

Next morning, at Applebee’s, Aza goes through the notes and notices a strange phrase among these notes: “the jogger’s mouth.” Daisy arrives, and Aza gives her her share of the money.

Since it’s quite a lot of money, Daisy nearly starts crying and immediately goes on a daydream-tour of her future: she is finally able to quit working at Chuck E. Cheese’s and go to the college she wants.

Fast forward a few days, and you can see Daisy parking her new VW Beetle in the school’s parking lot; and at her house with Aza, just after the classes, she proudly pulls out her new laptop.

Aza – channeling her mother – scolds Daisy for being inconsiderate with her money; but Daisy replies that Aza knows nothing about what it means to be poor.

Speaking of someone who knows even less –

That very same night, Davis picks Aza up and takes her to dinner and then outside so that they can watch that evening’s meteor shower. It’s cloudy and it’s difficult to see anything.

But, just like when they were 11 years old doing the exact same thing, it matters not the least to either of them.

And that’s our cue for a sentence from the first chapter we promised you earlier:

We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Before too long, Davis opens up to Aza: apparently, don’t you know it – he’s a poet! And since poets are what girls usually dream about since the dawn of times – well, not exactly – Aza kisses him on the lips.

If you know someone with an OCD (or have ever watched an episode of “Monk”), you are probably aware of what follows next:

Aza immediately realizes that she has enough bacteria in her own body even without taking in some more, so she nervously interrupts the kiss.

(Fun fact: she has 80 million new bacteria)!

Time for a therapy session with Dr. Singh.

You’d think that he would be able to help, but, a few days later, the same thing happens all over again. Aza and Davis go to the movies (or in their case, Davis’ house) to watch “Jupiter Ascending” and, possibly disinterested (who can blame them?), they start kissing once again.

Once again, Aza breaks off the kiss and rushes off to the bathroom to clean herself from the kiss. And, naturally, she ends up drinking hand sanitizer.

Wait a second!

That’s not natural at all…

Well, this book is getting darker and darker by the page.

Aa is evident by now, if Aza and Davis go on dating they’ll have to find a way to date without holding hands, hugging, kissing and stuff.

The solution writes itself: FaceTime; aka – they use Macs.

In the meantime, Aza discovers two things: 1) that Davis has a secret blog; and 2) that Daisy holds a secret grudge with her… or, about a million of them.

How does she find out about the latter?

Well, one night, she decides to spend some time reading Daisy’s fan fiction. One of the characters, Ayala, is especially horrible: anxious, panicky, exhausting, spoiled, ruing everything for everybody… You know, just like… her?

That’s right: Daisy’s “Star Wars” fanfiction is actually a vent for her frustrations with Aza!

As a result, their friendship briefly deteriorates, leading up to a car accident during a heated argument between the two while Aza is driving.

Aza wakes up in the hospital, overhearing that her liver is lacerated and worrying that she’ll get C-dif infection anytime now.

The solution is in the bathroom: hand sanitizer!

Fortunately, Aza’s mom sees her.

And Aza, for the first time in her life, realizes that she is her own worst nightmare.

Turtles All the Way Down Epilogue

“The problem with happy endings,” notes John Green through Aza at one place in “Turtles All the Way Down,” “is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”

Bleak. So bleak.

But a nice way to unravel the epilogue of this novel’s plot.

Not accepting any visitors, Aza spends two weeks in the hospital and returns to school in December. There, she comes across Daisy, and, catches up with everything happening in her absence.

One of these things is Mychal’s photographic work Prisoner 101 being accepted to an art show happening in an unfinished part of the Indianapolis sewer system.

So, Daisy and Aza go there the next day and, when Aza starts feeling anxious, the two take a walk and begin exploring the drainage tunnel system off of Pogue’s Run (built by Pickett’s company).

Soon enough, they realize that they are in “the jogger’s mouth”! The stench reveals one more thing: there’s probably a dead body near them.

So, the next day Aza tells Davis of her and Daisy’s discovery. Davis cries – and that’s the last time the two see each other in quite some time.

It is a few months later that Aza hears that the police have discovered Russell Pickett’s body. She texts Davis and some time later he knocks on her door.

He gives her a gift: a painting by Raymond Pettibon.

This painting:

Turtles All the Way Down picture

Then, he tells her that he’s moving to Colorado with Noah.

And then the twist: Aza tells us that the novel we’ve been reading all this time is, in fact, a product of her third mental breakdown, which has happened many years after the above-described events.

Apparently, Aza is now married with children.

And writing helps her feel healthier and more stable.

OK, somewhat less bleak.

But still bleak, nevertheless.

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“Turtles All the Way Down Summary Quotes”

Your now is not your forever. Click To Tweet True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter. Click To Tweet The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company. Click To Tweet I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell. Click To Tweet You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person and why. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Turtles All the Way Down” (just like all other books by Green) is beautiful and moving, intriguing and humane.

In the words of Guardian’s Matt Haig: “It might just be a new modern classic.”

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A Gentleman in Moscow Summary

A Gentleman in Moscow Summary

A Novel

Ready for a great unusual story?

How about an aristocratic fairytale from Soviet-era Moscow set in the Metropol Hotel and spanning more than three decades?

If so – join Amor Towles as he describes the extraordinarily meaningful life of “A Gentleman in Moscow.”

Who Should Read “A Gentleman in Moscow”? And Why?

If you are interested in the history of the Soviet Union in the years between the Bolshevik coup and the death of Stalin, then you’ll undoubtedly enjoy “A Gentleman in Moscow.”

You’ll enjoy it even more if you want a skillfully written novel which, just like its main character, exudes with the long-forgotten artistic manners and sophistication of the European aristocracy.

Amor Towles Biography

Amor TowlesAmor Towles is an American novelist, residing in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, New York City.

Born and raised in Boston, he received a BA from Yale and an MA in English from Stanford.

In 2011, he wrote “Rules of Civility” which became an instant bestseller. “A Gentleman in Moscow” was published five years later to the same critical and popular acclaim.

Find out more at http://www.amortowles.com/

Plot

1917–1922: The Bolshevik Coup

After Lenin’s Bolshevik coup of 1917 and the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s gentry is suddenly faced with a cruel, but rather obvious choice: flee the country and leave everything behind or stay in Russia and pray not to be killed.

Unlike most of his relatives, the titular character of Amor Towles’ novel “A Gentleman in Moscow,” Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, chooses the latter, moving into the Metropol Hotel soon after the beginning of the Revolution.

1922: The Sentence of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov

However, as one may expect, as the subsequent Civil War is nearing to its end, on June 21, 1922, the Count is identified, caught, and speedily tried.

His fault?

Writing a revolutionary poem a decade ago.

If you’re having troubles to swallow that as a crime, think of the reasons Plato gives while cruelly banishing the poets from his ideal City-State; or, better yet, think of Osip Mandelstam, a magnificent Russian poet, who suffered a similar destiny because of this poem for Stalin.

Anyway – back to our book.

The Count’s sentence is, fortunately, somewhat mild compared to the usual punishments dealt at that time of chaos. Namely, he is sentenced to a life of house arrest in the Metropol Hotel.

Considering the stellar reputation of the Metropol Hotel (the largest and most luxurious hotel before the Revolution) and adding to it the fact that the hotel is the very place where the Count has lived for the previous four years, one is right to suppose that he may have gotten away unscathed from this one.

However, when the Count returns to his room, he finds out that almost everything he owns has been confiscated and that he has now been moved from his luxurious Suite 317 on the third floor to the attic, i.e., a single room on the sixth floor of the Hotel.

1923: Nina, Mishka and Anna

Naturally, the Count finds it difficult to cope with his new life. He spends most of his days reading, dining and drinking, “threatened by a sense of ennui — that dreaded mire of the human emotions.”

Fortunately, after some time, he befriends Nina Kulinova, a nine-year-old girl obsessed with everything princess-related.

So, the Count alleviates his boredom by either explaining to her the rules of aristocracy or exploring the hotel with her; the latter is made even more interesting in view of the fact that Nina has acquired a passkey and is constantly able to show to the Count some hidden rooms and passageways.

Eventually, on Christmas, she gives him the passkey as a gift.

A year passes, and the Count is visited by Mikhail Fyodorovich Mindich – or Mishka for short – a somewhat underprivileged poet, but his best friend as well, ever since the Count rushed to help Mishka in a schoolyard fight.

Just as many other poets of the day, Mishka feels all the enthusiasm in the world for Communism: it is the promise not only of a utopian future but also of entirely new art!

That very same day in 1923, the Count also meets Anna Urbanova, a film actress at the height of her fame. Even though she initially makes a poor impression on the Count, later that night, she invites him to her suite and seduces him.

In other words, a great moment for us to familiarize you to the style of Towles with an eloquent quote on first impressions:

After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? For that matter, what can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli. By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.

1923-1926: The Suicide Attempt

Years pass, but the Count’s ennui doesn’t. His inability to understand the world around him causes this boredom to deteriorate to a state of utter depression. And even that is exacerbated by what’s happening at the Metropol Hotel in the years following the Civil War.

And this can be illustrated best in a character the Count sarcastically refers to as The Bishop. He is an incompetent individual who quickly rises through the ranks exclusively because he is a Bolshevik.

First, he is a waiter at the Piazza (the Hotel’s less elegant restaurant) than a supervisor at the Boyarsky (the Hotel’s premium restaurant) and, by the end of the book, the hotel manager himself!

In an attempt to introduce equality where none is needed, the Bishop files a complaint to have the wine labels removed and make all wines either red or white.

Since, as an aristocrat, the Count has prided in his knowledge of excellent wines, he interprets this as the final attack and deciding attack on his worldview and way of life.

So, in 1926, on the tenth anniversary of the death of his sister Helena, he decides to kill himself by jumping of the hotel roof. He is stopped by a guy named Abram, a handyman and amateur beekeeper. Abram – who comes from the same province as the Count – offers Alexander Ilyich Rostov some honey.

The honey has a distinct apple taste, and this evokes in the Count memories of his childhood which prevent him from killing himself.

“if a man does not master his circumstances,” realizes the Count, “then he is bound to be mastered by them.”

And so, he decides to take control of his life by – get this! – taking a job at the Boyarsky restaurant as a waiter. Though he has never worked a day in his life, he is pretty sure that his knowledge of the dining rituals of the rich will help him excel.

And, unsurprisingly, they do.

The 1930s: The Unkind Years

Even though the Count manages to find some purpose while progressing through the ranks as a waiter, Russia is quickly losing its own.

The once-precocious little girl Nina is now a young Bolshevik aiding farm collectivization in the provinces. However, numerous peasants oppose the idea of collectivization and, as the government exiles them to Siberia, Nina starts wondering if Communism is actually able to deliver on its promises.

Mishka shares the same doubts as he battles daily against the Party’s censorship practices, all the while convincing himself that Russia’s great contribution to the world is destruction. “For as a people,” he notes, “we Russians have proven unusually adept at destroying that which we have created.”

Our churches, known the world over for their idiosyncratic beauty, for their brightly colored spires and improbable cupolas, we raze one by one. We topple the statues of old heroes and strip their names from the streets, as if they had been figments of our imagination. Our poets we either silence, or wait patiently for them to silence themselves.

From time to time, Anna Urbanova – once again famous, but now mainly playing roles of working-class heroines – visits the Metropol and she and the Count rekindle their romance.

Still working at the Boyarsky restaurant, the Count has a new job as well: to tutor Osip, an officer of the Party, in French and English language and culture.

1938: Nina’s Return and Mishka’s Banishment

And then the inevitable happens.

A year before the outbreak of the Second World War, Nina makes a brief appearance at the Metropol. Now a 25-year old girl, Nina also has a five-year-old daughter, named Sofia.

She explains to the Count that her husband has been arrested and sent to Siberia and asks him to watch over Sofia for a couple of months.

The Count agrees, and Nina leaves.

She never returns, though.

Meanwhile, Mishka does the unthinkable: he has an outburst against censorship and his editor Shalamov after the latter one asks him to cut out a passage from Chekhov’s letters in which the great Russian writer praises German bread.

And just like Nina’s husband, he too is sent to Siberia.

1946-1950: Sofia’s Injury and Mishka’s Death

Sofia is a thirteen-year-old girl when the Great World War ends.

During a game she regularly plays with the Count, she falls on the stairs and hurts her head. The Count – despite violating his parole – rushes Sofia to the hospital where she is quickly operated on.

Fortunately, the surgery goes fine, and Sofia recovers. The Count also manages to escape further punishment: Osip smuggles him back to the hotel.

In 1950, the Count is visited by Katerina, the long-time lover of his friend Mishka. She informs him that Mishka has died and gives him his last work: a collection of quotations about bread from famous works of literature.

The Count reveals a secret to Katerina: the poem he was tried for was actually written by Mishka! The friends decided to publish it under the Count’s name, because, at worst, he risked imprisonment.

Ironically, the Count realizes, the poem had saved his life, because, if not for its revolutionary undertones, the Bolsheviks would have certainly killed him as an aristocrat representative of the former regime.

A Gentleman in Moscow Epilogue

It’s 1953 (the year of Stalin’s death) and Sofia – who has grown into both a beautiful young woman and a talented pianist (taught by Viktor Stepanovich, the conductor of the hotel band – is invited on a tour to Paris.

The Count – who has planned this for a while – sees the tour as an excellent opportunity for him and Sofia to escape the Soviet Union.

Thought through over the course of the next several months, his plan – which includes Italian clothes, Finnish passport, American hat and jacket, and a bottle of hair dye – is seemingly watertight.

Unfortunately, the Bishop (by now the manager of the Hotel) uncovers one of the Count’s maps and deduces what he plans to do.

However, just before he phones the authorities, the Count faces him with pistols in his hands and locks him in one of the storerooms. We learn that years earlier, while exploring the hotel with Nina’s passkey, he had discovered the pistols behind a wall panel in the office of the hotel manager.

On June 21, 1954, exactly 32 years after the Count had been sentenced to life in custody, Sofia performs at the Salle Pleyel.

After the show, she quickly cuts and dyes her hair, puts on the Italian clothes and rushes to the American embassy. There, a friend of the Bishop named Richard Vanderwhile helps her leave the Soviet Union and fly off to America.

At exactly midnight, following the Count’s request, Richard Vanderwhile organizes the simultaneous dialing of thirty different phones in the Metropol.

The Count uses the mayhem to put on the American hat and jacket and head, with a Finnish passport in his possession, straight to the train station.

However, there we find out that it’s all a ruse: he gives all three items to Stepanovich who boards the train to Helsinki in order to confuse the police.

As for the Count – well, he’s off to smell once again the apple orchards of his childhood. And to top things off, Anna Urbanova is waiting for him at a Nizhny Novgorod tavern.

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“A Gentleman in Moscow Summary Quotes”

Fate would not have the reputation it has, if it simply did what it seemed it would do. Click To Tweet For as it turns out, one can revisit the past quite pleasantly, as long as one does so expecting nearly every aspect of it to have changed. Click To Tweet Here, indeed, was a formidable sentence--one that was on intimate terms with a comma, and that held the period in healthy disregard. Click To Tweet If patience wasn’t so easily tested, then it would hardly be a virtue. Click To Tweet For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Intriguing and eloquently written, “A Gentleman in Moscow” is a book – to quote Laura Freeman’s review from “The Times” (which, in turn, quotes Marie Kondo) – which “sparks joy.” There’s just too much human compassion here for you to ignore.

There’s also just too much refinement and elegance. “The book is like a salve,” writes PEN/Faulkner Award laureate, Ann Patchett. “I think the world feels disordered right now. The count’s refinement and genteel nature are exactly what we’re longing for.”

“How delightful that in an era as crude as ours this finely composed novel stretches out with old-World elegance,” agrees “The Washington Post.”

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A Man Called Ove PDF Summary

A Man Called Ove PDF Summary

A Novel

Ready for a feel-good story featuring a Swedish Ebenezer Scrooge?

If so – join us!

He is “A Man Called Ove.”

Who Should Read “A Man Called Ove”? And Why?

“A Man Called Ove” is both a light and a rewarding read – meaning you’ll read it in a single breath and you’ll feel a lot better after finishing it.

No matter who you are.

Also, you may cry at least two times while reading it. You know – because of that warm and tingly feeling your belly craves for from time to time.

Well, this novel is your chance to experience it once again.

Fredrik Backman Biography

Fredrik BackmanFredrik Backman is a Swedish blogger and columnist turned bestselling novelist.

He debuted with “A Man Called Ove” in 2012, and has published a book every year since then: “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” in 2013, “Britt-Marie Was Here” in 2014, “Beartown” in 2015, “And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer” in 2016, “The Deal of a Lifetime” in 2017 and “Us Against You” this year.

Number one bestsellers in his home country, most of Backman’s books have been translated into English and at least twenty-five other languages.

Plot

Fredrik Backman’s charming feel-good crowd-pleaser “A Man Called Ove” opens with a paragraph which promises nothing of the sort and which tells us, straight away, three particularly important things about the title character:

Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab. He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s torch.

So, to sum up:

1. Ove is a fifty-nine-year-old Swedish man; considering the fact that he has worked incessantly ever since he had been sixteen, fifty-nine means that he is also of retiring age.
2. He drives a Saab – which is basically as Swedish as a Swedish man can get.
3. He is your quintessential next-door curmudgeon. If you don’t know what that word means, think Ebenezer “Buh, humbug” Scrooge. Or, if you’d prefer a movie reference, something along the lines of W. C. Fields.

Speaking of Christmas and movies – please, be our guest and cast a look on the trailer for the movie adaptation of this novel, which came out few days before the start of 2016, i.e., on Christmas Day 2015.

That way, you’ll be able to put a more appropriate face to the name before the American remake starring Tom Hanks in the title role manages to etch in our brains a not-so-Swedish and Forrest-Gumpish type of Ove:

Just like the movie – oh, come on, if you didn’t like spoilers, you wouldn’t be here in the first place! – the novel begins in medias res (with Ove attempting to buy an iPad) and moves back and forth in time so as to fill the gaps of Ove’s story. Per our usual habit, we’ll summarize it in chronological order.

Which, really – just a word of friendly warning – takes away a lot of its charm and beauty.

A Man Called Ove and His Sorrowful Past

The story of Ove’s past explains a lot about his cantankerous and grouchy present demeanor.

When he is a very young boy, his mother dies, leaving him alone with his father. That’s, in fact, the reason why Ove has started working at such a young age. Not willing to leave him alone at home, his father (passionate about engines and nothing else) takes him at the railway to work with him.

One day, as he is cleaning out a railway car with a mean guy going by the name of Tom, Ove happens upon a wallet filled with money. He hands it over instead of keeping it, and, as a reward, the railway director gives Ove’s father a car.

A Saab, of course.

Ove has fond memories of this time of his life. He spends some of it going to school and studying stuff, and a lot of it repairing the Saab with his father, from whom he learns everything there is to know about discipline, tools, and, yes, fixing cars.

However, when Ove is merely sixteen years old, cruel destiny takes away his father away from him as well: he dies instantly after being hit by a train. Afterward, having no other option but it, Ove quits school and takes his father’s job at the railway.

After some time, he starts receiving letters informing him that the city wants to buy his house in order to bulldoze it and build a more appropriate one.

So as to stop that from happening, Ove decides to get a temporary job at a construction site. That way, he believes, he’ll be able to learn the craft and renovate the house himself.

In the meantime, however, he is demoted at his regular job, after being falsely accused by Tom of stealing money. So, while he is renovating his house, he tries to make ends meet by working as a night cleaner on a long-distance train.

But, eventually, he does quite a good job with the house; unfortunately, his sense of triumph is marred by the ultimate disaster as the house catches fire and burns down to the ground barely few weeks after Ove has finished renovating it.

Not having enough money for something bigger, Ove moves to town and rents a room.

At work, Tom steals his father’s watch, and Ove finally confronts him. Blame us for being partial, but we’ll describe this as quite a satisfying confrontation – a description we believe most of you will agree with. That is, unless you’re Tom or a masochist and you like being punched in the face.

Probably encouraged by his suddenly discovered strength – who knows? – Ove tires to sign up for the army. However, even this doesn’t go his way: he is denied an entrance on account of a congenital heart defect discovered during the medicals.

A Man Called Ove Loves Sincerely

And now for something completely different:

Love.

Because it happens to everybody.

Even to future curmudgeons.

Ove meets his love, Sonja, on the train – where else? – on which she is riding to school to become a teacher. “People said Ove saw the world in black and white,” informs us Backman of the effect the encounter has on Ove. “But she was color. All the color he had.”

And he goes on: “Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”

During the next three months, Ove rides the train with Sonja every single day. And then – she invites him out to dinner. (Remember: this is not America, but Sweden – they were ahead of us even in the 1960s).

Soon Ove realizes that Sonja is everything he has (n)ever dreamt about – and more! Recognizing his talent, she encourages him to start an engineering course, so that he can a better job, building houses. Starting with their own, of course.

And we believe that it is at about this time that she must have made one of the most beautiful and romantic comparisons you can find in the book; or, for that matter, one of the most moving descriptions of what loving someone means ever put on paper:

‘To love someone is like moving into a house,’ Sonja used to say. ‘At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home.’

A Man Called Ove Loses Everything

Unfortunately, you already know that Ove is a curmudgeon and that Sonja is not around him already in the first chapter.

So, what happened?

Well, three years after the start of their relationship, both Sonja’s father and her childhood cat die in a week. Sonja is distraught, but things turn for the better when she learns that she is pregnant. Getting a house now is essential.

So Ove and Sonja buy a row house on the same day that another couple – Anita and Rune – does. Anita is pregnant as well, so, unsurprisingly, she and Sonja have a lot to talk about ever since that first day. So, they become best friends.

By way of proxy, the same happens with Ove and Rune: they not only share tools between them, but also a sincere love for Saabs, discipline, and everything Swedish.

Things go well for some time, but then, as Ove and Sonja come back from a bus tour to Spain, their bus crashes. The result: the death of Ove and Sonja’s unborn baby, and her paralysis from the waist down.

Despite the accident, Sonja remains as loving and caring as she had always been, taking a job to teach troubled students Shakespeare. Ove, however, changes profoundly: he starts hating life and everybody around him.

That, unfortunately, includes his only friend, Rune, with whom (especially after the birth of his child) he has a row about every single thing, no matter how trivial and unimportant.

Their quarrel culminates a few decades later when Rune sells his Saab and buys a BMW. The audacity!

Soon after – that is, four years before the events happening in the present – two tragedies strike the neighborhood: Rune is diagnosed with Alzheimer and Sonja with cancer. Three and a half years later, Sonja, Ove’s one and only friend, dies.

A Man Called Ove and His Present

In the present, after being forced to retire, Ove decides to end it all and kill himself.

But not before making his usual morning inspection of the neighborhood (a remnant of his days as president), which always ends up with him tearing up flyers, locking up misplaced bikes, and cursing the “thirty-one-year-olds” who have supposedly wreaked havoc on a once nice and respectable community.

As Ove is preparing for his suicide attempt #1 – installing a hook in his ceiling – his new neighbors, Patrick and Parvaneh (or, in Ove’s dictionary, “The Lanky One” and “The Foreign Pregnant Woman”) – run their moving trailer over his flowerbed while doing a U-Haul.

Suicide can suddenly wait: Ove goes out and starts yelling at them and eventually steers the trailer in their stead. As a token of gratitude, later that day, the couple’s two daughters (the three-year-old Nasanin and “the Seven-Year-Old” whose name we don’t find out) bring Ove dinner.

The suicide plan is moved for the next day, which – of course! – starts with another inspection of the neighborhood. During this one, Ove confronts Adrian and Mirsad – aka “The Young Man” and “The Youth” – two friends, who are trying to fix the improperly parked bicycle of a girl living on Ove’s street.

Soon after, Ove is visited by Patrick and Parvaneh who bring him cookies and ask to borrow a ladder and a wrench. Anita shows up while Ove is irately fetching the items for his new neighbors and informs Ove that, due to Rune’s condition, the council (represented by the Škoda-driving “Man in the White Shirt”) wants to take him away from her, despite her wishes.

Ove slams the door.

And this would have been the end of the novel if Ove’s rope had been a bit tighter. But it breaks, and he fails to hang himself.

Morning #3 means suicide attempt #3 – this time using the painless carbon-monoxide-car-exhaust method. However, while Ove is in his garage waiting for the fumes to do their job, he hears an ambulance and then someone starts knocking incessantly on his garage door.

It is Parvaneh, and she is impatient for a very good reason: Patrick has fallen down from the ladder and, since she doesn’t know how to drive, she asks Ove to take her and her daughters to the hospital.

At the hospital, Ove is none other than Ove: he quarrels with a parking attendant and punches a clown in the nose. Nasanin – remember: she’s merely three years old – thinks that this is the funniest thing she has ever seen. The seven-year-old and Parvaneh aren’t that fascinated.

Morning #4 comes and brings with it Ove’s suicide attempt #4. This time, he opts for a quick and surefire solution: jumping in front of a moving train.

However, just as he is about to do that, a businessman faints and falls inadvertently onto the track. After some hesitation over what to do next, Ove is touched by the look of the young train conductor (who can do nothing about stopping the train), and, so, decides to help the man.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the only nice thing Ove does for the day: incited by Parvaneh he also helps a cat, which is brought back to life by Jimmy, Ove’s young and overweight programmer-neighbor who adores cats, despite being allergic to them.

In other words, time for good deed #3 for the day: Ove takes Jimmy to the hospital.

They say that good deeds don’t go unnoticed, and soon enough, Ove is tracked down by a journalist named Lena who wants to interview him about the man whose life he managed to save at the train station.

By now, you are certainly acquainted well enough with Ove to know that Lena doesn’t get the interview; however, she does get Parvaneh’s phone number. And, on the way to the hospital, Parvaneh gets Ove to agree that he will teach her how to drive better.

But, Ove has another thing planned: suicide attempt #5. This time – using Sonja’s painkillers. However, he is interrupted by a screaming cat and, later on, a visit from Adrian who brings Ove his mail.

Adrian tells Ove that Sonja had been his teacher and, moved, Ove offers to help Adrian fix his bike. He brings the bike to the café where Adrian works and happens upon Mirsad, who we learn to have been Adrian’s boss, that is the son of Amel, the owner of the cafe.

Ove quickly deduces from the makeup on Mirsad’s face that the boy is gay and offends him; Adrian begs Ove not to tell Amel Mirsad’s secret.

The next day, however, when it’s time for suicide attempt #6, Ove is interrupted – this time, while trying to shoot himself with a rifle – by none other than Adrian and Mirsad.

Adrian tells Ove that Mirsad had come out before his father who, afterward, kicked him out of the house, and asks him if it would be possible for Mirsad to stay over for the night. Ove agrees, and it is with Mirsad that he goes on his regular morning inspection the next day.

During it, Jimmy joins and tells Ove that Rune is to be taken during that week.

A Man Called Ove Epilogue

Now, unknown to both Ove and Sonja, Anita had been petitioning to keep Rune by her side for the previous two years. Moreover, now that the decision has been made, nothing but the unity of the neighborhood can help her.

Ove – now heartbroken by some memories of his past times with Rune – joins his neighbors as they spend the next few days planning what to do. And they come up with an excellent plan: Lena digs up some documents showing improper conduct, and when the man in the white shirt shows up, he has no option but to back off.

And many more good things happen – almost all starring Ove in the leading role!

First, as a return of favor, Ove agrees to have an interview with Lena.

Then, he goes to speak with Amel and encourages him to take Mirsad back.

Afterward, the seven-year-old invites Ove to her birthday party, telling him that she wants an iPad as a gift.

Ove asks Jimmy for some help and this where the novel actually starts: the man called Ove goes out to buy an iPad.

After the birthday party, Ove has a heart attack and Parvaneh – with her new-learned driving skills – takes him to the hospital.

The doctor tells her that, well, Ove’s heart was just too big. Parvaneh takes care of Ove while he’s recuperating; and, soon after, she gives birth to a baby boy.

In the meantime, Mirsad and Jimmy fall in love with each other; soon, they marry and adopt a daughter.

Ove dies four years after Parvaneh and Patrick accidentally interrupt during his first suicide attempt. Over 300 people come to his funeral. In his testament, he leaves most of his money to Parvaneh’s children and Jimmy and Mirsad’s adopted daughter.

With the rest, Patrick and Parvaneh start a charity.

As the book closes, Parvaneh shows Ove’s house to a young couple in search of a place to live. The wife is pregnant.

And the husband – well, he drives a Saab.

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“A Man Called Ove PDF Quotes”

Ove feels an instinctive skepticism towards all people taller than six feet; the blood can’t quite make it all the way up to the brain. Click To Tweet You miss the strangest things when you lose someone. Little things. Smiles. The way she turned over in her sleep. Even repainting a room for her. Click To Tweet All people at root are time optimists. We always think there's enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like 'if.' Click To Tweet One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. Click To Tweet Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’” – says a starred review at “Booklist” – “this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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Out of My Mind PDF Summary

Out of My Mind PDFAre we judging too quickly? – Well, we all know we have a habit of doing just that.

Although it’s not something we should be proud of, it’s good first step to at least become aware of your tendencies.

The summary is premised on the events we found insightful and useful to share.

Who Should Read “Out of My Mind”? And Why?

Kids are undiscovered treasure, something of a gem that can’t be expressed in words. A miracle of nature that is enriched with mysteries that are worth exploring.

Out of My Mind is an insightful and life-altering novel that may change your perception about everything. We believe it’s suitable for each and every one because it entails situations and topics that we all encounter on a daily basis.

Sharon M. Draper Biography

Sharon M. DraperSharon Mills Draper is hailed as one of America’s most celebrated children’s writer and educators born on August 21st, 1948.

As an award-winning author, she managed to get into the hearts of those in need of hope.

Plot

Out of My Mind is a fascinating and much-appreciated novel written by Sharon M. Draper. Melody Brooks absorbs the role of a leading character in the plot and narrative. A thirteen-year-old girl suffering from with cerebral palsy and bound to a wheelchair embarks on a new adventure.

She manages to maintain the sharpness of her mind, but Melody is not able to speak and express her thoughts verbally. Melody feels strong despise towards her special-school program and the idea of not being able to share her opinions with the rest of the world.

This turn of events prompts Melody to embrace “fighting” as a way of life in order to find her place in this “wretched” society. Through a computer, specially designed to accommodate the needs of people with cerebral palsy, she can speak and participate in extracurricular activities.

Despite her successes, she can’t seem to find understanding on the receiving end, because the audience seems reluctant to acknowledge her achievements. This is the bitter truth Melody has to face and deal with its effects. Nonetheless, she finds a spark from within, which tells her that she is no different from the rest!

Her physical disadvantages may only serve a purpose and make her even hungrier for triumph.

Let’s take it from the beginning: Any child being born with cerebral palsy has a hard time, especially in adolescent years to socialize and live a normal life. Most parents bend over backward to provide their beloved ones with an equal dose of optimism, but that’s easier said than done.

Not being able to express herself, is the biggest frustration Melody has to confront and overcome. Despite being diagnosed by the doctors as a retard, her mother refused to accept the fact that her daughter is not on the same wavelength and is not receiving equal treatment as others.

Mrs. V. is a generous but demanding woman living next door, who teaches Melody to rely on herself. In fact, she pushes her to reach new heights without asking for help. Mrs. V. even open her eyes to the possibility that she can roll over by herself, crawl, work – basically everything.

Mrs. V. also provides Melody with basic training on how to get up whenever she falls off the wheelchair. These techniques evoke a new sense of self-sufficiency that embodies competitive spirit and self-love. Nonetheless, she continues to lean on her parents for pretty much everything – such as feeding, going to the bathroom, etc.

Melody’s mother is conceived when she is eight. Despite all the enthusiasm about the new baby, they both fear that the newborn may experience the same fate as Melody. She overhears them talking and falls into despair. Fortunately, the baby is born healthy, both physically and mentally.

As Penny grows and develops into a self-motivated person, who can do all the things Melody can’t, she envies her but not too much. From top to bottom, Melody loves her little sister and is happy about the joy she is bringing to the lives of their parents.

About the time Melody begins her fifth-grade adventure, the school inspired by new teacher agrees to allow special-education children to participate in standard classes. A dose of skepticism is felt in the air, and that’s what Melody dislikes the most.

Assumptions are made, that Melody doesn’t have what it takes to participate in all activities. However, she proves them wrong by passing the exam with a perfect score and knocking everybody’s socks off.

Melody proves its worth and has received the go-ahead to enroll in the qualifying exam. The goal is to somehow become a member of the trivia competition by stunning everyone with her readiness and intelligence. She does that, and the team welcomes her to its ranks.

Melody is excited for helping the team finishing in front and winning a trip to Washington DC for the national championship. Prior to leaving, she discovers that her flight is canceled due to weather problems.

The rest of the crew is already in Washington because they’ve taken another flight.

Out of My Mind Epilogue

The next day, Melody is both angry and disheartened for not making it to Washington. Although she insists on going to school, her mother is not in the mood to take her. In the meantime, Melody kicks and screams to warn her mother that Penny, has disappeared.  

By the time, they understand what Melody is saying – Penny finds herself in the middle of a car accident and is badly hurt. Melody feels awful for not conveying the message more lucidly. But no one blames her for the accident. Melody is relieved when she finds out that Penny is doing great and she’ll be fine.

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“Out of My Mind PDF Quotes”

Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes-each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands. Click To Tweet She talked to me like I was just like any other student, not a kid in a wheelchair. Click To Tweet Music is powerful, my young friends,” she said. “It can connect us to memories. It can influence our mood and our responses to problems we might face. Click To Tweet What your body looks like has nothing to do with how well your brain works! Click To Tweet It’s like I’ve always had a painted musical soundtrack playing background to my life. I can almost hear colors and smell images when music is played. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

You can’t expect anything less than pure excellence from Sharon. On numerous occasions, she has proven that her writings are “prepared” with the flair of a true master.

We find it highly compelling and most importantly eye-opening!

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The Power Of One PDF Summary

The Power Of One PDFThe book is basically the heart of South Africa, as it covers both sides of the story. The racial intolerance is spreading, and the apartheid era is going in history.

Now, an independent state, the South Africans can look back, and see how these ethnic prejudices hampered the technological and industrial progression of South Africa.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the plot!

Who Should Read “The Power of One”? And Why?

A novel translated into dozens of languages stands to reason why this novel is labeled as one of the greatest in the late 20th century.

The Power of One is best-suited for all people, especially for those living in mixed-ethnic environments and society. It helps you see the big picture, and refrain from judgment.

Don’t delude yourself with hatred, and open your eyes!

Bryce Courtenay Biography

Bryce CourtenayBryce Courtenay was a South African novelist, and a renowned advertising director who left a legacy of memories, and compelling work.

He died at the age of 79 in Australia.

Plot

The Power of One is a compelling novel which revolves around the life of a South African Boy named Peekay, as he trains to beat the odds and become a world boxing champion. He is guided by the fire burning inside him to “return the compliment” to school bullies who made his life miserable.

On the brink of the largest clash in human history, Peekay is living on a farm with his mother and nanny. It’s 1939; the world is preparing for a clash followed by egregious violence and crimes against humanity. He starts attending a boarding school and is frequently bullied by other African kids because he is English-boy.

They find a suitable nickname for him – Piskop, which can be roughly translated into “piss-head.” The mastermind behind the bullying is a bad-tempered boy with a swastika tattoo on its arm. He provokes Peekay by saying that Hitler will defeat England in next to no time, and drive England away from their land. South Africa will no longer be just a satellite state of the mighty United Kingdom.

The oppression he suffers there makes Peekay vulnerable, and he begins to wet his bed occasionally. Upon his arrival, he asks for help from Zulu (his nanny), to show him how to get rid of the “wetting” problem.

Peekay is miraculously cured by a medicine man, who comes to his aid and gives him a magic chicken. The doctor also instructs Peekay on how to summon up his strength and courage – named “the power of one.”

Peekay feels equipped and ready to face his school bullies. Nonetheless, things take a turn for the worse, as the bullies continue to give him a hard time, and beat him up on a regular basis. He is even forced by Judge to kill his chicken.

Peekay can’t stand it anymore, and can barely sit still. He counts on the doctor to help him, and psych him up once more. Despite the early enthusiasm, he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to cross that bridge. In the last moment, he is instructed to go to his grandfather’s house by train instead of returning to the small farm.

On this trip, Peekay bumps into Hoppie Groenewald, a boxer who shares his viewpoints and encourages him to become a boxing champion. Upon his arrival in Barberton, Peekay hears the disconcerting news – his mother had fired the nanny because she refused to convert into a born-again Christian.

While staying at his grandfather’s home, he lays eyes on a German Professor, who helps Peekay with his piano lessons. When the two superpowers collided, Hitler’s Germany and Churchill’s England; Doc (the German Professor) gets arrested and sent to prison.

Peekay becomes a frequent visitor in prison, and he even enrolls in the prison-boxing program. He receives first-class instructions and training from an experienced boxer named Geel Piet. Geel is half white and half black; the embodiment of South Africa that shall emerge in years to come.

After practicing with Geel, Peekay decides to provide support for the prison-boxing team in all regards. He starts to smuggle cigarettes and exchange letters for the prisoners, which helps him to earn the nickname Tadpole Angel. The guards have a sneaking suspicion about activities that are flying under the radar.

One of the guards catches Geel carrying letters and beats him to death with an intention to reveal the name of the rat. He refuses to double-cross Peekay and faces the cruel destiny.

In the meantime, Peekay is accredited as being the best boxer under-twelve with prowess to go for big scores. He is also a highly-talented pianist forged under the guidance of Doc. After the war, Doc is released from prison, and he alongside a local librarian urges Peekay to undergo academic tutoring to win a scholarship.

He obtains a scholarship to a prestigious University located in Johannesburg and enrolls in the school boxing team. Peekay leads his team to victory for the first time in its history, helped by his right-hand man Morrie, who is also his manager. At the time, he receives his first professional training from Solly Goldman, who is a renowned boxing coach and a prominent figure.

In the ring, he faces Gideon Mandoma. After a while, he discovers that he was fighting his former nanny’s son. Peekay once again pulls out a miracle and defeats the older and more experienced fighter in a stunning match.

Peekay is now determined to teach Gideon and other Africans to read and write English, but his idea doesn’t live up to its expectations, because the local police shut down the school.

They explain that under the new apartheid regime, all black teenagers must not leave their houses because nightly curfew is enforced. The kids continue their teaching through letters and other methods.

The Power of One Epilogue

Peekay makes his last final push to earn a Rhodes Scholarship to go to Oxford University in England. Demoralized by this failure, but not disheartened entirely, Peekay decides to raise money for college. While working as a miner, he rubs eyeballs with Rasputin, with whom he acquainted.

When Rasputin died, Peekay is amazed to know that his old friend has left him enough money to study at Oxford.

A sudden twist of fate delays his voyage to Oxford when he bumps into Judge. Peekay as a person no longer to be messed with, wallops Judge, and ends the fight prematurely. He then lays the English Flag over the Swastika Tattoo and ends the match!

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“The Power of One PDF Quotes”

Always listen to yourself... It is better to be wrong than simply to follow convention. Click To Tweet I learned that in each of us there burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out. That as long as it exists within us we cannot be destroyed. Click To Tweet Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do. Click To Tweet You've got to be quick on your feet in this world if you want to survive. Though once you know the rules, it is not too hard to play the game. Click To Tweet Pride is holding your head up high when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As one can already conclude – the novel covers bullying, revenge, loyalty, creativity, endurance, suffering, inner power, etc. In our opinion, this is a mix of qualities that we all experience in a lifetime.

Although Peekay’s intentions were not revolving around revenge, somewhere deep inside him; vengeance was filling his heart with motivation.

From top to bottom, this is one of those classic you wouldn’t want to miss.

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The Best of Me PDF Summary

The Best of Me PDFWhat is the best of you? Do you dare to take the road of uncertainty and put doubt on your methods for achieving happiness?

We were thrilled by every aspect of this fantastic novel, and we hope you’ll be too.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase:

Who Should Read “The Best of Me”? And Why?

Is this one of those teen novels that make you feel girly (if you are a guy)? Well, no! Nicholas’ style is unsurpassable in all regards if you ask us.

All things said, and considered – “The Best of Me” is best equipped for anyone who believes in true love. Finding your soulmate is perhaps the most beautiful encounter one can face in a lifetime.

Don’t be afraid to explore your inner beauties.

Nicholas Sparks Biography

Nicholas SparksNicholas Sparks is an American romance novelist, born on December 31st, 1965.

So far, he has published 19 novels and 2 non-fiction books that are exceptional as well. He is the author of Two by Two.

Plot

The Best of Me” is nothing shorter than a brilliant romantic novel written by the prominent author Nicholas Sparks. The main plot revolves around Dawson Cole’s return, to fulfill the wishes of his long-time friend Tuck Hostetler and person who sheltered him when no one else did.  

Upon his arrival, he lays his eyes on his high-school sweetheart Amanda, now a married woman who is on the same quest as Dawson. They break a few words, and then part ways.

As one can imagine, the presence of Amanda rekindles that romantic spark. They dread the idea of falling in love once more and suspect that Tuck has something to do with it.

Amanda is aware that every journey is fraught with danger, and this time the threat derives from Dawson’s family. Although Cole wants to escape from their grasp, the members of his circle pose a great danger to this reunion. Dawson’s future is also at stake!

The author also introduces us to Dawson Cole’s job – he is employed off the coast of Louisiana as an oil rig. Dawson nearly loses his life one day after a blast in the oil factory, but he is saved by an anonymous person in the water who shows him the way.

Not long afterward, he is informed about the death of Tuck Hostetler, his role model, and friend for life. On the spur of the moment, he decides to pack his bags and return home, to pay tribute to his buddy.

Dawson’s family is involved in various criminal activities, and he too is branded a gangster and a hooligan. Although he doesn’t share the same convictions as his family, no one attaches weight to the belief that one day Cole will become a law-abiding citizen like everybody else.

This unfortunate turn of events leaves Dawson isolated and earns him the title of a loner. However, this twist of fate is not new to him, because as a teen he ran away from his father’s home and settled in Tuck’s garage for the time being.

In those days, he for the first time met face to face with Amanda Collier – a girl from a wealthy family. They become lab partners and fall in love. Amanda refuses to pay heed to the warnings and suggestions said by her parents to leave Dawson.

They start dating, despite the idea of having to deal with the “boiling” pressure induced by the society. She soon faces a choice, to go to College, or stay with him. Dawson plays a part in convincing her that education is vital, and they make a decision to put an end to their relationship.

Not long afterward, Dawson finds himself in the middle of another problem. In a car accident, he kills a local doctor and is sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Upon his release, he leaves town for good and decides to try his luck elsewhere.

He finds Amanda at Tuck’s, and old memories start to roll in as he sits there in confusion. He is also surprised to hear that Amanda has nurtured a strong relationship with Tuck over the past few years, and received a call from Tuck’s lawyer to attend the last wish-fulfillment process.

They go to dinner that night and start to reminiscing.   

Amanda’s mother doesn’t miss an opportunity to lecture her about the danger she is facing by associating with Dawson. On top of that, she is a married woman! Nonetheless, her mother has no idea that Amanda’s marriage is falling apart because of her husband’s alcoholic urges.

The next day, Amanda and Dawson are summoned to scatter the ashes of Tuck at a nearby cabin that he chose prior to his departure. This activity binds them together, and they spend the day planning their next move.

Amanda takes leave, while Dawson stays at Tuck’s to work on a car, his old-friend tried to fix. In the meantime, Dawson’s insane cousin Ted creeps up on him with an intention to kill him – blinded by vengeance.

Dawson finds Crazy Ted’s truck in the woods and confronts him. Dawson learns that his cousin was behind the explosion that almost killed him. They cross swords, and Ted gets the worst of it.

The plot starts the untangle the following day when Dawson and Amanda for the first-time stumble upon a letter hidden in Tuck’s cabin. The writings reveal details about the love story between Tuck and his wife, which inspires them to pick up where they left off.

The Best of Me Epilogue

Amanda makes a surprising decision to return back to her family. She feels weak to go through raging scenario that fills her with dread. With little options but to flee, Dawson embarks on a long journey.

He returns to pick up the letter Tuck had written before. Upon entering the town, he lays eyes on the man that saved him.

Dawson tries to catch up with that man and enters a bar where he discovers that the son of the doctor he accidentally killed years ago, is tormented by his cousins. He saves the person but shortly afterward, Crazy Ted puts a bullet through his head.

In the meantime, Dawson overhears that Amanda’s son requires a heart transplant. He sacrifices himself for one last time without Amanda’s knowledge nor approval.

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“The Best of Me PDF Quotes”

Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you. Click To Tweet Life was messy. Always had been and always would be and that was just the way it was, so why bother complaining? You either did something about it or you didn’t, and then you lived with the choice you made. Click To Tweet There's a lot of magic between you too, ain't no denying that. And magic makes forgettin' hard. Click To Tweet I gave you the best of me, he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd exactly done that. Click To Tweet Love, after all, always said more about those who felt it than it did about the ones they loved. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This is one of those books that can get you to burst into tears. We loved the passion, the suspicion, the idea of not knowing – basically everything.

We warmly recommended this book, and vouch for the uniqueness of this novel. It most definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf!

A movie starring James Marsden & Michelle Monaghan is made based on this best selling novel:

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Tell Me Three Things PDF Summary

Tell Me Three Things PDFLet us tell you three things about “Tell Me Three Things”:

#1. The debut YA novel by Julie Buxbaum, the book was a critically acclaimed “New York Times” bestseller;
#2. The novel is a “perfect mix of comedy and tragedy, love and loss, and pain and elation”;
#3. It has one of the cutest and most adorable endings of a YA novel ever!

So, let’s go!

Who Should Read “Tell Me Three Things”? And Why?

Have you ever watched “You’ve Got Mail,” one of those adorable Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedies?

Or, in case (somewhat like us) you enjoy your old Hollywood icons better, “The Shop Around the Corner” starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan?

Well, “Tell Me Three Things” is, more or less, built around the same premise – in a YA Californian version.

If you are a fan of authors such as Jennifer Niven, Rainbow Rowell, and E. Lockhart, or Stephanie Perkins, Nicola Yoon, and Jenny Han – you should definitely give this book a try.

Julie Buxbaum Biography

Julie BuxbaumJulie Buxbaum is an LA-based “New York Times” bestselling author.

She has written four books so far, the critically acclaimed “The Opposite of Love” and “After You,” and the ultra-popular YA novels, “Tell Me Three Things” and “What to Say Next.”

Find out more at http://www.juliebuxbaum.com/  

Plot

Jessie Holmes is 16 years old, and she has just moved from Chicago to California with her father.

To be more precise – since Jessie kind of is – it has been exactly 30 days since the relocation.

Which only happened because 15 days before that her father decided to elope with a woman he had met on the Internet.

And that happened about 688 days after his wife – and Jessie’s mother – died from cancer!

So, in a nutshell, too many traumas for anyone to bear – let alone a 16-year-old girl, who, on top of this all, doesn’t even have someone – anyone – to share her pain and anger with!

She did have someone until recently: Scarlett, her half Jewish, half Korean “all-time best friend for life” with whom she shared a lot more than a million get-togethers at DeLucci’s Pizza and a mutual hatred for a certain Deena back in Chicago.

But, somehow, even this relationship doesn’t work that well at a distance.

You know what else doesn’t work well?

Everything!

Not only is Jessie now living with a recently widowed woman her father wants to replace her beloved mother with, but she is obliged to call this Rachel her “stepmother”!

And this “step-monster” – Jessie’s word, not ours – has a gay son called Theo who misses his father as much as Jessie misses her mother; so, Jessie doesn’t get along that well with him too.

But, wait… there’s more:

Her stepmother enrolls Jessie at a fancy hotshot school called Wood Valley High School (WVHS), which is way out of Jessie’s league – something she recognizes on her very first day there.

But then – something happens.

Jessie receives an anonymous email from a certain person who calls himself Somebody Nobody who offers himself to be her virtual “Wood Valley H.S. spirit guide”:

I have been watching you at school. not in a creepy way. though I wonder if even using the word “creepy” by definition makes me creepy? anyhow, it’s just . . . you intrigue me. you must have noticed already that our school is a wasteland of mostly blond, vacant-eyed Barbies and Kens, and something about you—not just your newness… — but something about the way you move and talk and actually don’t talk but watch all of us like we are part of some bizarre National Geographic documentary makes me think that you might be different from all the other idiots at school.

Against her gut – out of both desperation and hope – Jessie replies, and, soon enough, she starts regularly exchanging emails with this shy and obviously fairly smart SN.

The MO is always the same: SN and J start their correspondence by telling each other three things. In time, Jessie learns that SN can understand her better than many because he has experienced a loss as well – 196 days ago.

SN recommends Jessie that she befriend Adrianna Sanchez (or “Dri” for short) because he feels like Dri and Jessie can become good friends. This SN seems a great judge of character since Dri and Jessie do become good friends.

However, most of the Barbies at WVHS are the total opposites of Dri and the reason why movies like “Mean Girls” seem too real-life to be considered a parody. One of them, Gem, is evil personified and she becomes Jessie’s bully and tormentor.

Fortunately for Jennie, even though the Barbies don’t like her, the Kens seem to share SN’s interest in her.

Which, strangely enough, in time becomes a great problem, since Jessie really likes (messaging with) SN but has no idea who he is in real life.

There are three possible candidates:

Ethan, a smart and handsome Batman-shirt-wearing blue-eyed dark-haired nerd who goes to some of her classes and with whom she is paired up for a poetry project (ironically, T. S. Eliot’s “Waste Land”);

Liam, the lead vocalist of the band Oville where Ethan plays the guitar; also, the son of the owner of “Book Out Below” where Jessie gets a part-time job;

Finally, Caleb, the first boy Jessie meets after arriving at WVHS and someone who, coincidentally, seems to be texting every time Jessie receives a message from SN.

It can be either one of these three, but, as time goes by, Jessie sets her mind more and more upon only one of them.

Ethan.

Tell Me Three Things Epilogue

Jessie has a hard time combining school with work and after some time decides to take a break, and she goes back to Chicago to see Scarlett once again.

To her surprise, Adam, Jessie’s ex-boyfriend, is now Scarlett’s partner and, to her absolute amazement, Deena has become Scarlett’s best friend!

They settle things out, but somehow Jessie is not that unwilling to leave Chicago this time.

She gets the best possible inspiration she can ever get: a message from SN telling her that he wants to meet her at IHOP!

Is it Ethan?

Well, this is how things unfold at the very end:

“I want to kiss you, like, very much, please,” the secretive guy says to Jessie.

“You do?”, Jessie asks.

“I do,” he answers and soon everything falls away.

We read:

It is just him and me, Ethan is Ethan is Ethan and Jessie is Jessie is Jessie, and his lips touch mine.
But sometimes a kiss is not a kiss is not a kiss. Sometimes it’s poetry.

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“Tell Me Three Things PDF Quotes”

Just because you're strong doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help sometimes. Remember that. Click To Tweet

Other people can't make you feel stupid. Only you can. Click To Tweet

Not feeling like I belong anywhere has made me crave constant motion; standing still feels risky, like asking to be a target. Click To Tweet

Not knowing the right thing to do is not an excuse for not doing anything. Click To Tweet

There’s nothing lonelier than a hand on glass. Maybe because it’s so rarely reciprocated. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jodi Picoult has three things to tell you about this novel:

(1) I loved it. (2) No, really, I LOVED it. (3) I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum’s book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do.

And we have just one thing to add: we would have written the same had we been as eloquent and as creative as Jodi!

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Everything, Everything PDF Summary

Everything, Everything PDFA Novel

What if you were allergic to everything and, thus forced to live in a bubble?

And what if, in spite of that, you fall in love?

Everything, Everything” tries to answer both questions.

Who Should Read “Everything, Everything”? And Why?

“Everything, Everything” is a young adult novel, so, obviously, it should interest John-Green/Nicholas-Sparks-worshipping teenagers much more than adults, many of whom may find this book a bit melodramatic.

However, the book’s innovativeness, its lyrical descriptions, and heartwarming narrative may jerk more than one tear out of the eyes of many adults who don’t like YA novels so much, but who do want to leaf through a sentimental work or two from time to time.

If so, this one should be the next one on your I-want-a-break-from-all-this-madness list.

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon Biography

Nicola Yoon is a Jamaican-American author.

She majored in electrical engineering at Cornell University, but a creative writing class inspired her to subsequently attend the Master of Creative Writing program at Emerson College.

She wrote her debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” long after while working full-time as a programmer for an investment management firm and raising her first daughter. The book proved a huge success, and it was adapted into a movie released in May 2017.

In 2016, Yoon’s second book, “The Sun Is Also a Star,” was published, the film rights of which have been already acquired by MGM and Warner Brothers.

Everything, Everything Summary

Have you ever watched “Seinfeld”?

If so, you certainly remember the episode with the Bubble Boy, right? You know, the one with the boy who has to live in a bubble because unless he lives in a germ-free sterile environment, he may die instantaneously!

Well, the main character of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel “Everything, Everything” is a bubble girl, Madeline “Maddy” Whittier, who suffers from the very same disease.

She explains its nature and its consequences from the very start of the novel, telling us that her disease is “as rare as it is famous” and that it’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID):

“Basically, I’m allergic to the world,””she notes:

Anything can trigger a bout of sickness. It could be the chemicals in the cleaner used to wipe the table that I just touched. It could be someone’s perfume. It could be the exotic spice in the food I just ate. It could be one, or all, or none of these things, or something else entirely.

No one knows the triggers, but everyone knows the consequences. According to my mom, I almost died as an infant. And so I stay on SCID row. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years.

Maddy’s father and brother died a long time ago, so Maddy lives with her mother Pauline and her nurse Carla. She spends most of the time reading and watching the outdoors through the windows of her room.

One day, a family moves in next door.

Watching it from her window, Maddy notices three things.

One: that the father of this family is abusive and violent.

Two: that the daughter has a smoking problem.

And three: that the son is smoking hot.

Fortunately for Maddy, the son – whose name is Olly notices her back. Even more fortunately for her, despite Pauline’s attempts to keep Olly (and everyone else) away from Maddy, Carla has her back: one day, she sneaks the boy into Maddy’s house.

Soon enough, Olly basically becomes a part of the furniture of Maddy’s house every time Pauline is not around. And one time, Maddy even dares to leave her home for a few seconds!

Expectedly, Pauline finds out, and she bans Maddy from seeing Olly again. Even so, Maddy and Olly go on communicating by secretly texting each other.

After some time, they even decide to go on a holiday together to Hawaii.

Of course, the only reason why Olly would ever agree to such a foolish plan is a lie: Maddy tells Olly that she is on a new medicine and that she will be fine.

Surprise, surprise – she is not!

The second day in Hawaii, she begins to feel extremely sick and is taken to the hospital, where, for one brief moment, her heart stops beating.

Chilling…

Having found out about the young lovers’ plans in the meantime, Pauline travels to Hawaii and brings Maddy back home. Aware that SCID is not something you can mess around with, Maddy breaks off communication with Olly.

Barely a month passes, and Maddy sees Olly, his sister and their mother escaping in a van from the tyranny of their father.

Now, she doesn’t even have the chance to see him anymore.

And that should be the end of it, right?

Well, let us quote Yoon on that one:

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.

Everything, Everything Epilogue

One month after Olly leaves, Maddy receives a letter from the doctor who had treated her after her unfortunate Hawaii incident.

And the letter reveals something utterly strange: Maddy doesn’t have SCID. In fact, it’s the other way around: her immunodeficiency is the result of her enforced SCID row.

In simpler terms: Maddy is sick not because she was born that way, but because she has spent 17 years in a germ-free sick-secured environment which has never allowed her body to form a natural immunity.

This leads to one of two conclusions: either she was misdiagnosed as a child, or her mother is lying to her throughout her whole life!

Yes, it’s the second one: Maddy rummages through Pauline’s medical files, and all she discovers are just a few SCID-related internet articles!

So, why did she do such a horrible thing?

Two words: helicopter parenting.

After receiving some much-needed therapy, Maddy’s mother reveals to her that soon after the death of her husband and son, Maddy got very sick as well.

She didn’t want to lose her either, so, basically, after finding about this rare disease called SCID, she simply decided that Maddy has it as well. That way, she was able to keep her protected at all times.

The worst idea ever!

Oh, and we almost forgot the obligatory happy ending:

SCID-free, Maddy travels to New York and reunites with Olly.

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“Everything, Everything PDF Quotes”

Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you. Click To Tweet

Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love. Click To Tweet

Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it. Click To Tweet

Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything. Click To Tweet

I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Many epithets have been used to describe “Everything, Everything” and most of them have been beyond flattering.

The New York Times Book Review” called it “gorgeous and lyrical” and “SLJ,” simply, “wonderful, wonderful.

However, David Arnold may have been closest to the truth when writing that “Everything, Everything” offers “an entirely unique and beautiful reading experience.”

True to the case: even though we are not big fans of the sentimentality of YA novels, we would be lying if we said that this one didn’t attract our attention.

Built on a fairly original premise, “Everything, Everything” is nothing short of a masterpiece of its genre, definitely a book over which many teenagers will obsess for many years to come.

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