Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review (10) A Walk Across the Sun - Corban Addison

Pages:384 (ARC)
Publisher: HarperCollins (January 3, 2012)
Synopsis(from Goodreads): When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. With almost everyone they know suddenly erased from the face of the earth, the girls set out for the convent where they attend school. They are abducted almost immediately and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, beginning a hellish descent into the bowels of the sex trade.
Halfway across the world, Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crisis-and makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical working in India for an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent's human traffickers. There, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the trade in human flesh, and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. Learning of the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals.

My Rating:

Ahalya and Sita had the perfect life, until the unexpected happened; a tsunami hit their beautiful little south Indian town. Ahalya and Sita were forced to fight for their lives, and managed to have survived. However, they quickly learnt that they were the only ones in their family who made it. They were completely devastated by the loss of their parents. Being the older sister, Ahalya realized the responsibility that has been forced upon her, and she vows to protect Sita. Thinking fast, she called the principle of the convent school that she and Sita attend. The principle asked them to find a ride to the school and everything else would be taken care of.

With a glimmer of hope, Ahalya and Sita set out into the destroyed remains of the city, desperately looking for a ride. They managed to find one of their father's long time friend; Ramesh. He promised to find them a ride, as he too, had to get out of the city. Ramesh delivered his promise with the ride and informed the girls about a conference he had to attend, which was halfway to their school. He instructed the driver to take the girls to the school, and was kind enough to pay for the whole journey. Unfortunately to their bad luck, the driver was associated with the underworld, and sold the girls to criminals. They were sold multiple times after that and finally ended up at a brothel in Bombay(major city), India. However their journey does not end just yet.

On the other side of the world, Thomas Clarke; a successful lawyer in Washington, DC has faced his own set of problems. The loss of his six month old daughter, Mohini was excrutiatingly difficult for him and his wife. Since then, neither of them were able to return to their normal state, and made absolutely no progress of moving forward. His wife, Priya left him, in an attempt to fill the void in her heart, she went back home to her family in Bombay, India. Losing two of the most important people in his life affected Thomas' performance at work. To his good luck, his boss was very understanding and decided not to fire him. Instead, he offered Thomas one of two choices; To take some time off, and go on a long-overdue vacation OR to pursue a sabbatical in one of the organizations affiliated with their company.

Since a vacation is the last thing on his mind, he chose the sabbatical. After spending a fraction of his time asking around and researching, a position at the NGO caught his interest, it is a non-profit organization that prosecutes the regions human traffickers. It is also situated in Bombay, India, and he used this as an excuse to make things right with Priya.

Although they come from two completely different worlds, so to speak. Fate brings Thomas and the girls together when Thomas is sent on a mission by the NGO to rescue the girls. Their adventure is unbelieveable, as they make their way through different continents and are forced to adapt to different cultures.

My Thoughts
First off, I just want to say that this is a great piece of literary adult fiction. I know, I primarily stick to YA, but I got this one in my gift bag from the Ontario Book Blogger meet up. I read the back of the book, and along with the summary one of the first things I saw was John Grisham's comment, and that was what convinced me to read it. Once I started though, putting it down proved to be a difficult task! This book is set in Bombay (now known as Mumbai), India. It is also the place I was born in and visited this past summer. So it's pretty safe to say that everything is still very fresh.

The characters in this book are very well developed. Ahalya and Sita grow throughout the experiences they encounter in this novel. I found myself relating to Ahalya for the most part, this probably has to do with the fact that she is the oldest sibling (like myself). Understanding the issues from her point of view was easy, and I really felt for her. I also enjoyed Dinesh (a minor, but significant character). Dinesh was Thomas' roommate in college and now resides in Bombay. When Thomas arrived in Bombay, he stayed with him. Dinesh subtly adds humor to this very serious book, making it a little lighter. The prostitution aspect was very hard for me to take in. I found myself getting emotional several times throughout the book. It's so sad when innocent people are taken advantage of and treated so badly. I like that this book especially, has an epilogue. It makes the story realistic and also gives you hope that people can over-come these issues, and it also gives closure with the characters.

Like I said before, I was in Bombay this past summer and in the places and on the streets that are mentioned. But nothing registered! Everything came to me as a shock. The perspective I had of Bombay, is the complete opposite of what is stated in the book. I cannot believe how sheltered I have been. It is disturbing to see what extents people will go to for money. I honestly feel like I've been living under a rock! A Walk Across the Sun is a great eye-opener of how free we truly are. I highly recommend this book, I know it's very depressing, but it is a really informative read. This is Corban Addison's first book, I still can't believe how good it is!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. I'm still working through the books from my last post, but I got a few this week!

Eragon - Christopher Paolini; Inheritance came out recently, and everyehere I go, I see people reading it. So, I decided I wanted to be in on this series!

Eldest - Christopher Paolini; I bought the second one as well, hopefully I get into this series :)

The Book Of Holiday Awesome - Neil Pasricha; So excited for this one!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This week I decided to focus on e-books because I haven't read anything on my Kobo for a while.

The Scorch Trials - James Dashner; The second book in the Maze Runner Series. I really liked the first one, but I never got to the second one.

The Death Cure - James Dashner; The third book from the Maze Runner series. This one came out recently. I cant wait to finish this series!

Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella; The last time I read one of her books was this past summer, I like her books because they are quick, easy reads.

Rebel Angels - Libba Bray; Second book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy. I don't know why I never read this one, I enjoyed the first one, and when I saw this one, I had to get it.

I went to the Ontario Book Blogger Meetup on Saturday, November 5th(which was a HUGE success!! Thank you Ontario Blog Squad, for organizing this event!). We were each given a surprise gift bag, with books that were gernerously donated by Simon&Schuster, Hatchette Book Group Canada, Harper Collins Canada, Scholastic Canada, and Random House Canada.

The Power of Six - Patticus Lore(ARC); (received from Laura @ Allofeverything) I liked the first book, and the movie, so I'm excited to see what happens in this one.

The Isle of Blood - Rick Yancey(ARC); I won this from the raffle they did as the blogger meetup!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin(ARC); I also received this one from Laura. I read great reviews on this one, and I really want to see what all the fuss is about! :)

Fever - Lauren DeStefano(ARC); The sequel to Wither. The finished copy comes out February 2012. I haven't read the first one, so that's going to be one of the next books i purchase.

First Day on Earth - Cecil Castellucci; I like the cover of this book, and it's about an Alien abduction! So I'm super excited for this.

Writing Gordon Lightfoot - Dave Bidini; This is a non-fiction (biography). I'm not sure if I'll get to this one anytime soon.

Guilty Wives - James Patterson(ARC); I've only read one of James Patterson's books before. I'm not a big mystery fan, but I'll give this a try.

A Walk Across the Sun - Corban Addison(ARC); The Summary from this one is quite interesting and it takes place in India (I'm Indian). :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop (4)

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This week's question is;

Q. Today's Question is something new, an activity. We want to see what you look like! Take a pic with you and your current read! Too shy? Boo! Just post a fun pic you want to share.

Book : The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox ia a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. These are the books I have this week.

Forever - Maggie Steifvater; This is the last book from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I Can't believe it's over.

The Lost Hero - Rick Riordan; One of my co-workers reccommended this one. I'm a huge fan of mythological creatures, so this should be fun.

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins; The cover of this book caught my eye. It's about witches, it sounds really intresting.

The Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman; I got this book in the Indigo Holiday Party gift bag.

The Eleventh Plague - Jeff Hirsch; Also got this one at the Indigo Holiday Party. I didnt know about this book until I got it. It's a dytopian and I'm really excited to read it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. This week's question is;

Q. Who is your superhero alter-ego?

WONDER WOMAN, hands down! First of all, I've always loved Greek mythology, and she's the warrior princess of the Amazons. Secondly, Justice League was my favourite TV show as a kid. Her powers include superhuman strength, flight, super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility - now c'mon who wouldn't want all of that?! For as far back as I can remember, I've always dreamed of being Wonder Woman. She's so fearless and empowering.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. This week's question is;

Q. What is your favourite type of candy?

Sour Skittles. I love the mix of sour and sweet! I like any sour candy, for that matter. But sour skittles is what I usually stick with.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review (7) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Pages: 372
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Synopsis(from book): Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris – until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near – misses end with the French kiss Anna – and readers – have long awaited?

My Rating:

The book starts off with Anna and her parents in Paris, France. Her parents are helping her get settled into er new dorm room. Anna's dad has forced her to finish her last year of high school in Paris. And the worst part, he didn't even ask her about it, the only reason he's being persistent is because he's trying to show off, since he's a famous author of romance novels. Anna, being a regular teenager did not want to leave her best friends Bridgette and Mike, and her crush Toph(things were just starting to go right between them!) back home in Atlanta. Now, it seems like she has to start all over.
But she finds herself making friends quite quickly, she becomes close to Meridith; the girl that lives next door. Meridith introduces her to Josh,Rashmi and of course the very good-looking; Etienne St Claire. She slowly beings to adjust to the Parisian lifestyle and spends most of her free time with Etienne, and her feelings for him grow. She has to keep reminding herself that he has a girlfriend. And she herself, has Toph waiting for her back home. But is it possible for her and Etienne to be JUST friends? She feels like there is so much more between them, but will they be able to work it out?
My Thoughts
This book is great, its such a feel-good book. Avery light easy read, I went through it pretty quickly. Stephanie Perkins does a fantastic job of describing Paris. I've never been there, but I liked that I was able to travel and experience the culture through the book. The atmosphere, language, food and architecture are all so different and interesting. It seems like such a fun, exciting place to visit. There's something about the culture that makes it feel so welcoming.
I absolutely fell in love with Etienne, as well. I mean; French name, gorgeous hair, and British accent - what's not to love? He's perfect. And compared to Etienne, Toph just seemed so plain and average. I felt the ending to be a bit predictable, but I liked that. It's one of those happy books that end on a positive note, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I definitely recommend this book, it's a nice light, fun, cute-sy read. It makes me really want to go to Paris and experience everything first hand!