Me on the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jägerfeld: Book Review

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What other readers say about the book:

All I can say is pick up a copy of this book as soon as it hits the store.
It was a fun, easy read with a likable protagonist who kept me interested in her story.
I like it when I pick up a book and it ends up surprising me.

Book length: 280 pages.

Me on the Floor, Bleeding is a unique novel about a rather tragic yet ironic set of incidents that follow after the protagonist Maja, saws off a part of her own thumb accidentally while using an electric saw. The story is adequately filled with emotional suspense, shocking moments and a sort of poetic feel that carries the novel forward in an entertaining manner. A point to be noted however is that the novel has a target audience; that is, it will appeal in particular to teenagers and young adults than it will to readers from other age groups.
Jenny Jägerfeld shocks us immediately in the beginning with both the incident of Maja sawing off her own thumb and the immediate reaction of those around her. The reaction depicted however is most definitely a satire towards the nature of today’s society by the author as her classmates right away start taking photos of the accident instead of trying to help her.
Although it is only the first chapter, the accident and Maja Mueler’s bandaged thumb is mentioned throughout the novel and has plenty of references, of which some are ironically humorous. For example, the fact that she was trying to make a wooden shelf for her sculpture class in spite of a shelf not being a sculpture exactly, is as humorous as the fact that everyone she talks to always keeps reminding her of that.
Suspense comes into play as she finds her mother gone without a trace when she goes to her place for her custodial weekend. In the absence of any adult supervision, Maja decides to crash at a neighborhood party where she actually meets someone whom she finds to be exactly what she needed. Things seem to be heading towards good when suddenly a twist in the story turns things around once again for young Maja. Let us not spoil the story by informing you about that twist except of course to say that it only serves to make the story far more interesting.
Me on the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jägerfeld is an award winning novel from the Swedish writer and was translated to English by Susan Beard. There isn’t much in this novel that can be critiqued negatively, but keep in mind that since this is a European novel, certain references and scenarios might not make much sense to the average American reader. Nonetheless, the difference in culture is also a strong point of this book as our readers might find the test of a subtly different culture to be a refreshing break.

The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti: Book Review

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What other readers say about the book:

I hope many people will read this book.
It is a compelling story and is a well written debut novel.
This novel enlightens readers of the struggle of Ichmad’s life and relates every powerful emotion of a lifetime of uncertainty and struggle.

Book length: 353 pages.

The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a powerful book and one should not underestimate its power to fill readers with strong emotions. Although surrounded, affected and shaped by it, The Almond Tree is by no means a story about what’s going on in between Palestine and Israel. In fact, it has little to do with the reasons and the parties involved in the long struggle; it is rather an account of a Palestinian family that faces the repercussions of the violent development.
The plot of The Almond Tree is developed around Ichmad Hamid and his family: a meritorious student who is forced to leave the path of education and become a labor in order to support his mother and siblings. The young man’s hopes and dreams are crushed in an instant as his innocent father is accused and taken away for being a terrorist by the foreign (Israeli) soldiers occupying their village. As their home is blown to bits on account of the aforementioned false accusations, Ichmad and his family is left with little more than Ichmad’s extraordinary intellect to face the violent and unforgiving world with.
This is a very heavy novel that stretches human suffering to its extent, both in physical and psychological terms. What is amazing is how the debutant Corasanti manages to portray the undying human spirit that survives on hopes and beliefs even during harshest of conditions. It is a critically acclaimed novel with virtually nothing in it that does not work and is definitely worth a read for anyone who wants a peak at what is going on at the other side of the world.

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini: Book Review

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What other readers say about the book:

Each one of the characters was so well developed and I love the way Hosseini tells the story from the perspectives of so many different people.
I couldn’t put the book down, was captured by every page and then felt sad when the story ended.
Too many disjointed story lines when the most compelling story was the one we finally returned to at the end.

Book length: 417 pages.

Khaled Hosseini is a master of tragedy and just like his previous books (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns); And The Mountains Echoed is a tragedy as well. The Afghan-American writer once again depicts his ability to create amazing characters that impact the reader emotionally and the complexity of these characters further imprints themselves onto the reader’s psyche. It is a treat to read the story which these wonderful characters are involved in, especially since Hosseini has established Afghanistan to be such an enchanting background for his stories.
The opening in itself shocks the newcomer with a grim and upsetting storyline which tells us that Abdullah is going with his father and younger sister to a rich family where his sister Parwana is to be sold. During his journey to Kabul, Abdullah is totally unaware of this one fact and that in itself sets the sad tone which is so typical of Khaled Hosseini novels.
The reader experiences a variety of emotions with the turn of each page as Hosseini introduces a number of different characters with their own little stories and backgrounds, all of whom are directly or indirectly connected to the main plot; although are often presented in a disjointed fashion. The way in which the author connects the seemingly disjointed characters and makes them crucial to each other, deserves some praise as well.
As a few critics have pointed out, the only weak link in this highly sought after novel is the fact that it slightly falters in living up to the promise which the very first chapter makes to us. Some have felt that the novel introduces a few too many stories to remain focused on Abdullah and Pari’s perils. Therefore, the readers might not feel the pang of pain with such severity as they might have felt otherwise. That being said, it is the opinion of a few and not everyone; even those that critique it on these grounds admit And the Mountains Echoed is a superb piece that is hard to put down. Whether you are a fan of Khaled Hosseini or not, you will in any case, find this book to be more than worth your time if you value excellent characterization and tragic enchantment.