Book Review: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!

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And that could be an understatement.

I’ve read eight Koontz’s books so far and I loved this. Really. I will not spoil you about anything, if you have not yet read this series. The story was not the “most-original-story-there-is” but that’s Koontz’s specialty – he turns that “old-story” into something you never thought of.

This is the story of Odd, who was named because of a clerical mistake on his birth certificate. But then his characteristics match his name and so everyone calls him that. He sees dead people. And fortunately, he saw something out of place one fine day and that led to him and the story. (You see how hard I’m trying not to reveal any bit of the story)

He then sets out to possibly save the world, or simply his town with his girlfriend Stormy.

If you have read the book, I don’t know how you managed to think right after reading that ending. The first half of the book had its significance because of the writing and story-telling but the second half hooked me because of the story itself.

The whole concept of Odd writing his own story after it all happened intrigued me. He was the narrator who had experienced everything and now he had the responsibility to accurately narrate the incidents as they were.

I love the way Koontz’s writes his dialogues!! They are the reason I love to read his books so much. If anyone’s out there, who is a fan of dialogues, and I assume you’ve already read any Koontz’s book, PLEASE continue reading his books because they are all different yet alike . The writing is so powerful that I knew I’d love this book when I reached page 3. We should take some tips from him because he sure knows how to grip his audience.

Also because this review is turning into a “rant-plus-appreciation-thing” I’d like to clarify that Dean Koontz’s doesn’t send me money anonymously or dedicates me all his books. I appreciate him and feel the need to promote him to everyone I know and don’t know. It’s my moral duty to let people know of his greatness.*

*Also I do these promotions for free. But I’d die of happiness if he really did anything mentioned above. Not that I want his money. I’ll be happy just receiving all his books. For free, that is.

If you want to buy this book partly because you could imagine me staring at you is didn’t, you this link: Buy Odd Thomas at Amazon.

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GIVEAWAY- Silent Fear by Lance & James Morcan

 

I may not have been active these few months but I have brought for you a great opportunity which I don’t think you would want to miss!

I AM HAVING A GIVEAWAY!

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And the best part? Everyone wins something!

You could either win a paperback of new crime-thriller novel (with shades of horror and sci-fi) Silent Fear OR you could also sign up to review the book and get an ARC!

You just have to give your email id in the comments section and if you’re not comfortable doing so, just email me your email address and tell me if you want to review the ARC version or you want to enter in the giveaway.

Just a simple step and you have a chance to get a brand new unreleased book.

Oh, and it releases on 31st October! On Halloween! Remember the date. Read your book up until then and provide your opinion for the book before the book even hits the bookstores near you. Exciting, isn’t it?

Here’s something about the book:

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SILENT FEAR (A novel inspired by true crimes) is the latest novel by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan, authors of seven other published novels including THE NINTH ORPHAN, WHITE SPIRIT and INTO THE AMERICAS.

It’s available now on Amazon’s Kindle Pre-order program at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HRYTVC/ and will be available to purchasers on October 31. (The paperback is available via Amazon now).

SILENT FEAR Synopsis:

Detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the deaf in London. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

As you can see on the book’s Goodreads page, early advance reviews are excellent: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33590532-silent-fear

They have also set up a new discussion group on Goodreads to promote the book at:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/237556-silent-world-a-discussion-group

And here’s the SILENT FEAR trailer that promotes the book and planned feature film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8bv1vbQxYo

 

So email me on vrushalipathak2107@gmail.com and just sit back to get a chance at winning a new book!

The winner will be announced on 24th October, 2017 IST. 

Book Review- The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

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Tim Carrier likes to enjoy a beer after work – but when a jittery stranger sits next down to him one night, and Tim lets a misconception over his identity stand for a moment too long, his wayward sense of humor looks set to lead him into trouble.

As the stranger hands Tim a cash-filled envelope with the words, ‘You get the rest when she’s gone’, it becomes clear that he has been mistaken for someone very different from himself – for a cold-blooded killer. And when the killer walks into the bar a split second latter, Tim realizes the encounter, may not only cost him his peace of mind, it could cost him his life….

PLOT

I actually liked the plot. Koontz’s choice of plot and his twists never cease to impress me. A simple plot of mistaken identity could cost a man his life.

Tim, sitting in a bar, starts talking with a man with a large envelope. He mistakes Tim as someone else. Tim starts playing him, just for fun. The man hands him the envelope and leaves. But inside, Tim finds cash and a photo of a woman. He realizes he did a mistake. A minute later another man arrives. He is what Tim thinks is the ‘supposed-killer’. He is.

Tim gives the envelope and tells the killer that he changed his mind and he doesn’t want anybody killed. He gives the killer the cash telling it’s his ‘no-killing-fee’. Tim thinks like the man mistook him for the killer, the actual killer might mistake him for the man. But he was wrong. The killer had his doubts.

Tim finds the woman, Linda who lives alone. Doesn’t really talk to everyone. Has a car in her kitchen. And they both run. Tim now thinks he is personally liable for the life of the lady because he is in the game and the killer would want both of them dead anyway.

And the chase begins. And in the way they both learn of secrets they are hiding.

A mention about the back story of Linda and how she is the one getting murdered is not something I expected. It was weird to read about the incident that started it all and I’m not trying to give away any spoilers. It was a minus for me but I was happy with the whole plot.

CHARACTERS

Tim didn’t disappoint. He didn’t make wrong choices. He fought. And he was witty enough to outsmart the killer at times. He is the actual ‘Good Guy’ and has every quality the main protagonist should have.

Linda on the other hand is this awkward woman who lives alone and has her own take on things. She’s an author who wrote depressing books and she was good at them. She takes a liking for Tim because he tried saving her life a numerous times.

Krait (not his real name), the killer is a pyscho who likes neat houses. He breaks into random homes to stay the night. If he finds a house not clean enough to his standards, the owner’s music tastes not suit him and the clothes not neatly ironed he may kill the owners. He now detests Tim and Linda for being able to live when Krait himself is behind them, trying to kill them.

WRITING STYLE

The book is clearly a pursuit story and it is the perfect cat and mouse game. Everyone tries to outsmart each other, trying to become better than the other. The dialogues got me to fangirl over Koontz’s writing so much. I have soft spot for people who can write clever and witty dialogues. And he did it.

The book is divided into three parts called – ‘Right Place at the Wrong Time’, ‘Wrong Place at the Right Time’ and ‘Wrong Place at the Wrong Time’ which I did think was clever and  suited the plot very well.

MY REVIEW

This definitely made it to the ‘Top 5 Dean Koontz’s Books’ with its fast and exciting chase story. I’ll give it 4.5 stars.

You’ll like it if:

  • You are a Dean Koontz fan.
  • You like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • Great writing. Great dialogues.
  • You like a pursuit story.
  • A quick read.
  • Weird house-loving killer with excessive OCD.

You’ll not like it if:

  • You are not a Dean Koontz fan and this is your first book. I recommend you try his other works first.
  • You don’t like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You don’t like a pursuit story.

Other books by Dean Koontz that I reviewed:

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz

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Book Review- Velocity by Dean Koontz

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On the windscreen of his SUV, Billy finds the first note.

He thinks it’s a hoax.

The schoolteacher dies.

The next note reverses the scenario. If Billy takes the note to the police, a mother of two young children will die. If he doesn’t, an unmarried man who won’t be missed much will die…

Billy must think the unthinkable, fast, in an accelerating nightmare. More communications from the killer follow, with ever tighter deadlines. Each is more personal, more confrontational than the last until he is isolated with no one to rely on but himself. Finally he must risk everything to save the intended victims….

PLOT

The plot started so strong when a person- Billy, leading a boring normal life of bar tending and going home, encounters a weird note stuck on his car. It appears to be a sick joke played by his bartender friend. He ignores the note and the worst happens. Someone actually dies.

The next note, he sits in confusion as his police friend decides to intervene and investigate. Again, a murder. All the evidence points towards Billy although he is innocent.

The story progresses on Billy trying to find out who is actually murdering people and making him the murderer. The plot was what kept me hooked to the book. Koontz’s writing is good, especially the dialogues but this time I had a plot to hook on to. The book went really well till the last, maybe, 50 pages. I enjoyed how the plot twists were unpredictable and I couldn’t guess them.

But when the last 50 so pages came, I was not sure I liked how the story went. The real murderer was close to a revealing and the revealing itself disappointed me somehow. I thought about who could have framed Billy for murders he didn’t do. An enemy? Or someone after him? But Billy had a quiet life and he didn’t know a lot of people.

CHARACTERS

There were not too many characters. Billy was the ‘one man show’ for the most part. There were other small characters including Lanny- his police friend and person who made an appearance in the middle with a task as instructed by the murderer himself.

Billy was this normal guy who liked things as they were. Any change upset him and I believe that is why he was chosen to go through this entire ordeal. He was continuously challenged and was tested. His patience level was strong but still there were times when he couldn’t take anymore and had a burst of emotion. I agreed with his decisions pretty much every time and he gave me no reason to complain.

WRITING STYLE

I am a huge Koontz’s fan and I have that inherent bias of considering his every book a masterpiece. And since I have read 7 of his novels I pretty much get his writing even more. This was a ‘no-nonsense’ book, with great editing and could make you seated till the very end. The suspense in the way it is written is captivating but I admit the last 50 pages have a little downfall, not in the writing but in the plot itself. It may change things for you, a little.

MY REVIEW

I would have absolutely loved this book if not for the plot twists in the end and after considering the book as a whole I’d say that I have read better books from him. It would still be in my ‘Top 30 Books of all Time That I Read’. I will give it 3.5 stars.

You’ll like it if:

  • You are a Dean Koontz fan.
  • You like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You like a fairly decent size book (basically not too small and not too big)
  • Great writing. A huge advantage.
  • You are reading as an enjoyment without really thinking about every small detail there is.

You’ll not like it if:

  • You are not a Dean Koontz fan and this is your first book. I recommend you try his other works first.
  • You don’t like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
  • You’d rather read a short read. Or an insanely epic book.
  • You are reading because you want to get inside the story. Then I’m sorry the end will disappoint you a bit.

Other books by Dean Koontz that I reviewed:

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz

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Get to Know Me Tag

I saw this tag at Rae’s blog and I decided to do it but I never got around posting this. So here it is.

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Vital Stats

  • Name: Vrushali
  • Birthday: 21st July
  • Star Sign: Cancer
  • Occupation: Student

Appearance

  • Hair color: dark brown/ black
  • Hair length: just a little past my shoulders
  • Eye color: brown
  • Best feature: eyes/hair
  • Piercings: Two in each ear
  • Tattoos: I want something but I haven’t decided what

 

Firsts

  • Best Friend: There was this girl who was my best friend in 3rd But then I shifted and we lost contact. I still remember her though.
  • Award: I got 99.75% in 1st It’s true! Somehow in India, it’s possible.
  • Sport: Soccer
  • Real Holiday: summer vacations
  • Concert: I haven’t gone to any concert. I went to programs by some singers but they were not really concerts

Favorites

  • Film: Made of Honor, Titanic, all the Marvel movies
  • TV Show: One Tree Hill, House
  • Color: RED!!
  • Song: currently… Pillowtalk by Zayn
  • Restaurant: US Pizza, Pizza Hut, Domios Pizza.. you see a trend?!
  • Shop: Crossword
  • Book: Shantaram, Pride and Prejudice, Midnight

Currently

  • Feeling: Happy
  • Single/Taken: Single
  • Eating: Just finished a pizza!!
  • Thinking About: What should I do next?
  • Watching: unnecessary TV
  • Wearing: Capree and a t-shirt

Future

  • Want children: I don’t know
  • Want to be married: Maybe
  • Careers in Mind: Chartered Accountant and a blogger and an author
  • Where you want to live: I haven’t thought about it but someplace good

Do You Believe in…

  • God: Yes
  • Miracles: Yeah I believe sometimes they do happen
  • Love at First Sight: I think it is more of attraction at first sight
  • Ghosts: yes, I need to see them before I really, really believe them
  • Aliens: I do but I want to see them too!
  • Soul Mates: maybe not
  • Heaven: Yes
  • Hell: I do believe
  • Kissing on the First Date: Depend on the person
  • Yourself: yes! What does this mean? I do believe in myself!

 

See ya!

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True Story of an ex-DUFF


*This is an unedited version I wrote a year ago but couldn’t put myself to publish. Here it is anyway because I shouldn’t be embarrassed of who I was, or who I am. No one should. And neither should you.*


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If you have ever seen the movie “The Duff” you’ll know what it means. But if you haven’t, it is simply an abbreviation for ‘Designated Ugly Fat Friend’. They are the kind of friend that almost every group has; the kind of friend who is the ‘approachable’ one. He/she is the friendliest of all the people in the group among the rest of style divas or rock stars. If you look around you’ll see a DUFF in every group. They may not be ugly or fat but the essence of this is that they are the people who are in front of their friends and guard them from all sorts of people out there.

I was a DUFF and this is my story.

This is about 4 years ago. I had a best friend. She was beautiful, intelligent and kind to me. We met in 8th standard and we were inseparable since. We went everywhere together. We ate our food in the recess together, played games together and talked to each other almost every day. She was the best ‘best friend’ I ever got.

At that time I was more of a shy girl and I didn’t know how to talk to boys and what to talk about. It was then that my best friend came to rescue me. She used to talk flawlessly to them and I decided to learn by observing her. But unfortunately my social skills didn’t permit me to even open my mouth in front of them.

Then came a time when most of the boys came to talk to me. They’d ask random question about my best friend and I’d happily answer thinking I was improving my talking skills. It was practice.

Everything went smoothly until my best friend ended up in a different class than mine because of the subjects she chose. We talked for about a few months but we both knew we were slowly getting apart due to studies and lack of time: she went to study in an academic institute after school so that left us with no good time together. This growing apart costed us and we both lost touch even though we were still in the same school.

Then she got new friends and I got too but I never forgot her. But I guess she did. During my last few months at school she would often pass by and won’t even notice me.

We are no more best friends. I still feel bad for our friendship and her.

It was not until I saw the movie few months ago that I came to know what happened with me 4 years ago. I was the DUFF. There are many things that are mentioned in the movie and I don’t want to spoil you so I’ll just tell you the basic things.

The DUFF is the one that more friendly. That was me. The DUFF is also the one who’s more approachable: for their friends. I was that too. Boys came to me to ask about my best friend. The DUFF is often caught either talking to their friends or talking about their friends to other people. That as me too.

And as I saw the movie I realized I was a DUFF (I’m no longer one). To tell you the truth being a DUFF is nothing to be ashamed of. It sure feels like an atomic bomb when people point that out in your high school but it is not bad after all. Actually it’s nothing but a silly abbreviation created to make people feel bad.

Here’s what I think.

A DUFF is a normal person like you and me. A DUFF is only labeled that because of the fact that they hang out with people who are not like them. Like in the movie Bianca, the main lead, has two beautiful best friends and she feels judged when she is with them. She feels that everyone will judge her by comparing her with her best friends. The thing she feared was the people’s thinking about the outer breauty. Sure Bianca was beautiful from inside but are there people who still believe that people are actually beautiful from inside. After hearing that she’s actually a DUFF she breaks her friendship off with her two best friends.

At the end of the movie she comes to know that they were actually her best friends. She felt bad because of the fact that she was the one when guys came to, to talk about her best friends. But then she understood she’s no DUFF, she’s herself. And she’s proud to be someone who’s different from others.

If you’re reading this and you think you’re a DUFF, cheer up. It’s no bad thing. It’s something which will help you to be you. If people say you’re a DUFF, say yes and move forward. Be the bigger person. Dress up like you want. Eat what you want. And be the people you want. Be the approachable one or choose to be different. It’s all your choice.

But just remember: You being the DUFF is something that’s temporary. A few years from now you’ll realize that you are no more the person you were before. You changed, for the better.

 

What Is Love?

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Love. What is love? I guess, I can tell. Love is when your mother tastes the coffee before giving it to your father. Love is when you see a stranger smiling and you smile back. Love is the look on your face when you just opened your birthday gift. Love is dancing in the rain like no one’s watching. Love is the tear in your eyes when your friend forgives you. Love is doing what you love even when people are against you. Love is saying ‘thank you’ even when it’s not Thanksgiving. Love is helping your younger brother with his homework. Love is exchanging friendship bands even when it’s not ‘Friendship Day’.Love is helping your mom without her saying so. Love is spending more time buying a gift for someone else than shop for your own clothes. Love is hoping for the best when everything seems wrong.

Love is making every day count. Love is believing that you ‘can’ when everyone is making you believe you ‘can’t’. Love is thinking about others before thinking about yourself.

Love is love. Love is red. Actually love is every color you can think of. Love is sympathy, kindness, happiness and courage. Love is bravery. To love is to be brave. Sometimes loves makes you stronger and vulnerable at the same time; stronger by making you believe, making you ready for all kinds of people out there. Love makes you vulnerable by making you open your heart to someone who can either care for it or break it. But according to me, love is the most special feeling of all. I guess believing in love is the next thing to believing in magic!

Art Journal Pages #1 

I’ll be sharing some of my art journal pages in a book. You can find my post explaining it here.

You can also see my other art journal pages on my Instagram account @vrushalipathak. I update there more frequently. 

I made this without any printed material. And that’s a kind of challenge I’m accepting – not using any kind of printed paper or image. I’ll be drawing and painting everything by myself. And so far I’ve been very honest to this challenge. Let’s hope I keep it tgat way in the future. 

The color combination in this page is soothing to the eyes. Nothing bright. Just neutral and soft. I like the girl and the camera illustration. The girl I drew myself without any reference and the camera I referenced from Pinterest. 

Friday Art #17 – Lord Ganesha 

Lord Ganesha is a elephant-faced Indian God and my favorite. Although I don’t play any favorites but He’s the one that listens to me when I talk to Him. It’s true. I close my eyes and simply pray to Him. And I ask Him a favor which is usually about people I know and (you can choose not to believe it but it’s true) almost every time I get my wish. Well, not every time. Just mostly. 

And now for those who think “Why didn’t you wish for a million dollars kind-of-thing?” God answers the prayers which are free of selfishness. I’m not praying about me. I had my exams and I never prayed that He should pass me. I orayed that he should pass me if only I did good. And I’m not the most religious person you’ll meet but you need someone, right? Just don’t be selfish for a second when you pray to God. 

And here’s a painting I did 3 years before and gifted to a friend.