Tag: The Bestseller Code (Page 1 of 2)

The Last Child Book Review

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The Last Child, by John Hunt, is the fifth book we have read for the 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge.  Like Shutter Island, the first book we read, The Last Child is a Mystery / Thriller, but that’s where the similarity ends.   In the first book, U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels, is sent to Shutter Island, a hospital for the criminally insane, to locate a lost inmate.  By the end of the book, though, we come away uncertain about who Teddy really is – the strong, capable law enforcement agent or an inmate himself who created his own reality as a way to deflect dealing with a tragedy in his life.

In The Last Child, Johnny Merrimon is a thirteen-year-old boy who has endured unimaginable losses and pain over the past year – his twin sister, Alyssa, was kidnapped and never found; his father, unable to handle the grief, ran off; his mother, Katherine, has withdrawn into a haze of drugs and alcohol; and his mother’s boyfriend physically and emotionally abuses both Katherine and Johnny. And yet, through it all, Johnny exhibits perseverance, dogged determination, and an inner strength that seems to elude most of the adults in his life. Johnny believes that his twin is still alive, and when a second girl is kidnapped, Johnny redoubles his search for her. This search unearths dark secrets in this small North Carolinian town, secrets others are willing to kill to keep.

Author John Hunt covers a number of adult topics through the character of young Johnny – grief, abuse, sex predators, family love, hope, faith, friendship, sin, courage – topics we don’t want to think that a thirteen-year-old should have to deal with….

Read the rest of my review over at It’s A Mystery Blog.

Little Bee Book Review

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Little Bee by Chris Cleave is the fourth book we’ve read from The Bestseller Code‘s 100 Bestsellers List and yet again, we are presented with a novel that is quite unlike the previous books we’ve read.  Little Bee is a 16-year-old female refugee whom we first meet in an Immigration Detention Centre in England, although we don’t learn her exact age until quite late in the book.


Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee’s story is a difficult one to read – you know something horrific happened in her Nigerian homeland, and while she can hardly bear to relate the events, facing those horrific memories, along with the resulting pain and emotional turmoil, is integral to her story.  She must face it all, and so, thus, must we.

The second main character is Sarah Summers, a thirtyish magazine editor living in a London suburb, whose life became intertwined with Little Bee’s when Sarah and her husband were “on holiday” in Nigeria.  She, too, has her own memories to face and life decisions to make.  Can Little Bee & Sarah deal with their past?  And, if so, how will their decisions impact their futures?

I cannot remember when I last felt this emotional while reading a novel.

Read the rest of my review over at It’s A Mystery Blog.

Primary Colors Book Review

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We have now read 3 of the 100 potential bestsellers listed in The Bestseller Code:

#100 – Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

#99 – State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

#98 – Primary Colors, A Novel of Politics, by Joe Klein



Primary Colors, A Novel of Politics, by Joe Klein

Even though the algorithm discussed in The Bestseller Code considered the same parameters, these three books illustrated just how diverse a result can come out of those parameters.  Shutter Island is a mystery/thriller, where the weather and the sea (water) are a main theme and everything looks gray and feels damp and drearyState of Wonder is a literary adventure where the Amazon (both the river and the jungle) is a main theme, providing color with plants, animals, and the indigenous tribes.

Primary Colors, A Political Novel, is infused with its own distinctive colorcolorful language, colorful descriptions of rooms, and colorful descriptions of the character’s clothing.  The story is told mainly through dialogue – so much dialogue!  As an introvert, I was almost overwhelmed with the onslaught of dialogue.   And then there’s the number of characters introduced – so many that the book really should come with a list of them.

Read the rest of my review over at It’s A Mystery Blog.


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