Friday, February 11, 2011

Book Review: Three meters above the sky by Federico Moccia

Author: Federico Moccia
Original Title: Tre metri sopra il cielo
Country: Italy
Rating: 5 stars


Last year in October, I saw a commercial on a Spanish television to an upcoming movie about two teenagers with different backgrounds and social statuses that fall in love with each other and the obstacles they come across. Now I've seen a lot of movies on this subject and it seemed like just another Romeo and Juliet story. Until I saw the guy's bike. When I saw that motorcycle I knew I had to find out more about the movie. And that's how I found out that it was actually made after an Italian book. I also found out that it had an Italian adaptation and a book and movie sequel. I decided to read the book after I saw the Italian movie on Monday.

My review:

The book's central characters are Babi and Step.

Roberta "Babi" Gervasi is a seventeen year old girl who's about to graduate high-school. Babi is the typical good girl from the upper middle class: she's always dressed properly, she has an acceptable boyfriend, she only hangs out with people with the same social status, she goes to a private school. The only wild spot in her life is her best friend, Pallina. Babi tries really hard to be the girl that her mother, Raffaella, wants her to be, even though part of her hates it.

When she meets Stefano "Step" Mancini, she sees him as the exact opposite of what proper means:  he doesn't come from a wealthy family, he's had troubles with the law, he doesn't have a degree, he doesn't have a job, he likes to party a lot, he's getting into fights whenever he feels like it, he likes illegal races.

At the same time though, Step is the one that makes Babi feel loved for who she really is, not for who she's supposed to be. He gives her the chance to be herself without judging her, even though she's not doing the same thing for him. She isn't able to accept the differences between them and she always tries to change him, make him "proper", acceptable.

The death of Step's best friend and Pallina's boyfriend, Pollo, changes everything. Pallina is suffering a lot and she finds it very difficult to be around Step, who reminds her too much of her lover. Babi and Pallina don't have much to say to each other anymore and that makes their friendship become weaker and weaker. Step suffers a lot because he considers himself guilty for the death of his friend.

Six months after the death Pollo, Babi tells Step that she's seeing another guy. Realizing that he lost her, Step decides to leave the country and go to the US to try and move on.

I thought the book was very good. And I liked the change it brought to the whole "first love" subject. Even though it might seem predictable, because you know that Babi will fall in love with Step and you also know that their love won't last because of their differences, it was still enjoyable.

I didn't like the fact that Pollo dies, because I think his love story was one that was meant to last a long time and because he was a fun character, a softer Step. Also, I  hoped that by the end of the book, Babi would become acting like a grown-up. But I guess that she thought that bad things happen when you're not acting properly and she got too close to tragedy and that scared her. And it made her fully embrace the lifestyle that was acceptable for her mother and for the people with the same social status as her.

I think it was a very good book, especially for a debut and I think I might try some of his other works.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book around the world Reading challenge

Last week, while I was at a bookshop near my house I realized I was into a "I don't know what to read" phase. I know what I have to read and what I want to read. But it's one of those phases when nothing appeals to you. So in order to escape this weird step I decided to try something new, something I've never did before: a world tour in books. I decided to read books written by authors that I've never tried before, from different countries/cultures.

So I started searching on the internet and I found this blog that holds a challenge like the one I had in mind. I may not be able to "visit" the whole world this year, but I think it's a start. It's sort of a "never-ending" challenge.

I'm going to post a list of the books I've read and their authors and countries of origin as I read them.

This week's stop was Italy. I had a lot of fun. I'll be posting the review later in the day.

What about you? What do you do when you enter a phase like this and what's your method to get out of it?

  1. Italy - Three meters above the sky - Federico Moccia
  2. France - Premier Jour - Marc Levy
  3. Russia - Casual - Oksana Robski

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4 cups

Blurb (from Abingdon Press):

When her comatose husband died in the ICU while on life support, the whispers about Dr. Elena Gardner began. Another death during her training puts her under suspicion. When the pattern is repeated in the hospital where she is attempting to start over, the whispers turn into a shout: “mercy killing.” What is the dark secret that keeps Allison’s lips sealed when she should be defending herself?

Despite her move to a new city, the midnight phone calls that started after her husband’s death follow Elena. Who is the woman who sobs out, “I know what you did?” What does she mean by “You’ll pay?” And what can Elena do to prevent it?

Two physicians, widowers themselves, offer support, telling Elena they know what she is going through after the death of her husband. But do they? And is it safe to trust either of them with her secret? 

 I just finished reading this book about half an hour ago and I must say I was impressed. Before I did the request for this book at NetGalley I asked myself a million questions about it. I was afraid this was some ER/House M.D. medical drama. I am really sorry I believed that. While it is a medical drama, it's also a mystery novel.

At the center of this novel is Elena Gardner. She is a few weeks before she completes her residency and will be able to start her own practice. Her husband, Mark, died a few months before due to a stroke, after being for two weeks in a coma. She's a very complex character. She's a very good doctor and she knows how to interact with both patients and their families. I also liked that she admitted her mistakes, when she made them. I think that in makes her look more...let's say human. Instead of the "I can never get it wrong" attitude that some doctors have, she realized she did a mistake and she accepted it. I liked that very much.

You can also tell that she really loved her husband and that his death was something that was really hard for her to deal with. She's almost scared to move on with her life, feeling that "her sense of security died with her husband".

Her "shoulder to cry on" is David. They met in the resident school and they've been very good friends ever since. He's the one that knows her better than anyone and the person she goes to when she needs an advice, a friendly face or just someone to eat dinner with. He also has very strong  feelings for her, but I think he waited for a sign that she was ready for his feelings. I think her decision to accept to move to Dainger was his sign and he finally tells her how he feels.

I really liked how the author managed to keep the mystery up until the last 30 pages or so of the book. I really didn't guess who the killer/stalker was. I liked that a lot and also the fact that it wasn't predictable to me.

What I didn't particularly like was the fact that the novel was a little slow at first. It didn't really bother me, I was just anxious I guess.

I liked the book and the author's writing style. And since I learned it's the third book in the series Prescription for Trouble I think I'll go hunting for the other books to read them.

I loved it photo Image10.png

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:
   Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry

Recently Read:

A Werewolf in Manhattan by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Going to read:

Against the Fire by Kat Martin

Teaser Tuesdays


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

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser today is from Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry. Here's the teaser:
As she passed the Dallas city limit sign, she felt she should say something to mark the occasion. Something like, "Good-bye Dallas, hello Dainger."

I hope you liked the teaser. What was yours this week?
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