John Grisham – The Last Juror

                I was reading some of John Grisham when I was younger, and I loved all of those books. Then I had a long, long break, to be back with The Last Juror as my re-introduction to his novels. And if I was expecting another crime-legal-thriller thing as I remembered, I was wrong.

                The last jurorBut let’s start from the beginning.

                A quiet, small, Southern town. Not a lot happens daily. Most people are against any changes and progress; after all it’s Mississippi, the beginning of the 70s. The local newspaper is bought by a young, inexperienced man from the North. At the same time, a woman is violently raped and murdered, and the suspect is a member of a big, rich family with a reputation of being involved in a series of illegal activities. So, the trial begins.

                The novel is hard to classify – which is a good thing, at least for me. It’s a bit of legal thriller, a bit of crime story, and a lot of description of a Southern, small town at the brink of social changes – most importantly, de-segregation of black and white people. It’s also a story of a beautiful, unusual friendship between the young new owner of the newspaper, and the experienced, black woman with 8 grown-up children. All these aspects are essential to the story, and all together they form a great tale of Clanton over 9 years.

                The action is not even throughout the whole of the book. Sometimes it’s fast, but other times it slows down, as if to reminisce the lazy, hot, tiring days of summer in the South. I loved the scenes in the court, after all they are the main reasons why I ever read Grisham. As usual, they are vividly described, showing the author’s extensive knowledge about the subject.

                Do I recommend it? Yes, I do. But, with a doze of caution. If you’re looking for a mere courtroom drama, or a legal thriller with fast action, you may re-think reading this. But if you’re looking for a fascinating story, with a lot of different elements, thorough characterization of a town with its people and a crime thread, then you’re in for a treat!

 

My Rating: 7/10

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Word Prompt Rainy Days

I feel it’s gonna rain like this for days goes the lyrics of that song by Creed. And every time it’s raining outside, I hear it in my head. Like yesterday, when it was raining, the wind was blowing, and I was waiting for a bus for what seemed like hours.

But the promise I made to myself was to look on the bright side. And well, you know, we can’t change the weather, but we can change the way we react to it. So, as much as we love the sun (well, at least most of us), and we hate when rain ruins our plans of a beautiful day on a bike (or a picnic, or a long walk, take your pick), what is the good thing about the rain?

prawa autorskieWell, it may not wash everything away as in the song, but it does change the air. Trust me, with my breathing problems that I’ve had half my life, I know! And rain is water, and water is life – life for flowers, life for trees.

Best thing, though? It’s just such a perfect excuse to go under a blanket on a rainy day, with a good book, some candles and a glass of wine/cup of tea. When you don’t have to be waiting for a bus, that is. So, the next rainy day that may come your way, cuddle up, make a tea, and enjoy the change of air.

And remember the sun will come back again!

 

Word Prompt Rainy Days

 

 

 

Word Prompt – Haywire

2019-06-19 16_12_34-open book - Szukaj w GoogleYou gotta have a plan has got to be one of my favorite saying. I literally say that to myself a few times a week. So, I make plans. I make a plan for the day, for the week, for the whole month sometimes. I make a training plan, I make a learning plan, I make a reading plan. You name it, I have it.

                And then I live by it.

                Just kidding! Of course, I don’t live by it. You know when my plans for the whole week go awry? Monday. Tuesday, tops. Then it’s like, everything goes, and it’s haywire all over again. And what I do next week comes? I make a plan. And why? Because you gotta have a plan!

                I am exaggerating, obviously, but that is true that I do make plans, and it’s true a lot of them are thrown into trash. Plans help me have some basic idea, some structure, some point of action. I don’t care – usually – when it turns into haywire. It’s what makes life interesting.

               There’s one thing when haywires are just the best. Whenever I write a new story. I have a plan – even a rough one – and then the characters take charge. It feels like they make their own decisions. And then I just need to clean up the mess after what they’ve done. I didn’t believe it when other aspiring writers were saying that, but I have experienced it myself a few times already, and I Am Loving It. It makes me feel the most creative.

                So, maybe sometimes it’s good not to have a plan?

 

Word Prompt Haywire

 

 

A Dog’s Way Home – Bruce W. Cameron

                Yes, yes, I admit, A Dog’s Purpose is the reason for reading this story narrated by a dog. I mean, who’s not charmed by a tail-wagging, ball throwing, jumping furry friend a dog makes? I know I am.BellaThis time the protagonist is Bella, a homeless puppy found by Lucas. He takes Bella home and soon they become best friends. They live in Denver, however, where it’s forbidden to keep pit bulls, so Bella has to leave. Now it’s up to her to find her way back home. She travels thousands of miles, has many adventures on her way, and meets a lot of different people. But will she be able to find her way back to her human?

                Bruce Cameron writes about dogs like nobody I have ever read. He shows them so much love and warm it feels impossible not to be touched by it. Dogs Way Home is no exception. Bella is a great dog, devoted to his human, and full of love to other people she meets on her way. She’s funny and clever, and very determined. We see the world through her eyes, so the dialogues as well as characters of people are simplified. A dog is an honest, devoted animal, who doesn’t play any games and doesn’t betray, and we, as people, should be more like her.

                There was, however, something missing here – especially compared to “A Dog’s purpose.” Part of this is the plot was at places too simple, and Bella’s way home felt boring at times. A lot happens in the first part of the book, and then it slows down in a way upon Bella’s decision to go and find Lucas. Which is why I’m giving this novel just one star less than “A Dog’s Purpose.” Besides, I couldn’t stop wondering if one person really can go to such lengths just for revenge? Seemed a little far-fetched for me.

                Still, I do recommend it, and I recommend it to everyone – children, teenagers, adults of both sexes. It’s both moving and funny and awakes all sorts of emotion. It’s a voice of dogs in the world of people.

 

My rating: 8/10

My favorite the 100 characters – p. 2

A second part of my favorite the 100 characters, this time from the secondary ones – this covers seasons 1 to 5.

As always, spoilers ahead 😊

 

  1. Harper McIntyre

           Harper I barely noticed her in the first season, and when I did I thought of her as some silly, easily-impressed girl that fell for Jasper and his stories. In season two she was still neutral to me, and it was season three when she became one of my favorite secondary characters. I loved how she helped with rebellion against Pike, and then how she took her relationship with Monty to the next level – because honestly, if it wasn’t for her, Monty would not take this step!

            Harper is caring and loyal and has her heart in the right place. She was a great girlfriend/partner to Monty and a great addition to the cast.

  1. Jacopo Sinclair

           Sinclair He totally deserved more screen time than he got. A very intelligent and kind man, he was the best mentor to Raven, practically acting as her father. Not a leader type, he was rather quiet and kept to the back, but courageous and ready to do the right thing.

  1. Nyko kom Trikru

           Nyko The only healer Trikru had. Another loyal and strong man. Even though they didn’t show this too much, I still love his and Lincoln’s friendship. Nyko won me over, though, with the way he was with Luna when she lost all her people. Very supportive and sweet. I hate the way he was killed off.

  1. Maya Vie

            MayaAnother courageous soul on the show. I especially admire how she was fighting sort of “against her interests,” to stay true to her beliefs, and to do the moral thing. She was a true revolutionary and her death was especially heart-breaking.

  1. Kyle Wick

           Wick His relationship with Raven is one of my favorites on the show. I loved their chemistry, and I loved Wick’s sense of humor. He was one of the few characters that were lighting the mood with his sarcastic comments. I’m sorry he disappeared and didn’t have a proper closure with Raven. I understand, though, the decision “behind the scenes.”

  1. Luna kom Floukru

            My absolute favorite from them all the characters. She had relations with multiple characters on the show and could be a great addition, but instead she was killed too soon, and I felt her character was wasted.Luna

            I am going to write a separate post just about her. Now I just want to say – even though I hated the way she turned into this blood-thirsty monster at the end, I can understand it to some point. Throughout almost the whole season 5 I was like: “God, Luna was right, they all really should have just died!”

            Yeah, I did hate season 5!

EveI found this one while looking for books similar to The Hunger Games. And if I ever thought, even for a moment, this would be the next Hunger Games, well, I was wrong.

Eve lives in a boarding-school for just girls, in a world where most of humans died from unknown virus. The new United States officials are trying to re-invent and rebuild the country, now called New America. Eva and other girls graduating the school are promised utopian future in the city, where they can be artists, doctors, architects and whoever they want. But on the night before the graduation, Eve learns of the real fate that awaits her, and decides to run away.

Unprepared for the real world, with no real skills, she has to2019-06-17 14_43_47-Eve - Anna Carey (124270) - Lubimyczytać.plfight for survival and get to the place providing shelter for women like her. Fortunately, she finds help in the form of her ex-rival from school, and new love interest, a boy living in the wild, who knows how to survive.

I didn’t have much expectation towards this book – not after seeing the cover of Polish edition, anyway – so I couldn’t be disappointed. In fact, it was like I expected – I’d call it average. The world presented was interesting, but for me, not sufficiently described. The most important thing for me are usually the characters, and these, unfortunately, fell flat. The only interesting one was the rival-turned-friend. I didn’t like Eve that much, and her love interest felt too good to be true.

On the plus side, the language was quite pleasant and the plot quite interesting and easy to follow. I’d call it an enjoyable reading for one or two evenings, and that’s all. Not invested enough to read the other parts.

 

My rating 5/10

My favorite the 100 characters – p. 1

Here’s a list of my favorite characters from the 100 – from the main cast. There will be another list for the secondary characters.

Spoiler alert

Dah!

  1. Marcus Kane

         Being a good leader means knowing which battles to fight.

MarcusI think he has one of the best character developments in the series. In the first season I hated him, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one! But he transferred from being this oxygen-obsessed douchebag to a really caring, diplomatic and reasonable guy. I admire his leadership style and his striving for peace. I also appreciate his position during the Dark Year in the bunker. A great person and my favorite of all the adults.

  1. Finn Collins

This is our world now, and I think we can do better than the first time around.

Finn CollinsI know, I know. He’s one of the most hated characters because of the infamous shooting of 18 innocent Grounders, and his silly love-triangle with Raven and Clarke. As for the triangle, I couldn’t care less. For the massacre, though, I think it was a tragic moment Finn’s character. It showed how badly affected he was by what he has been through. People grief and react in different ways, and there are a lot of examples of characters staying strong through the most horrifying events. Finn was always more sensitive than most of the others. And then he “lost it,” which was a great way of showing how deeply damaged he was by this point.

I like Finn, because he was one of the most reasonable people from the initial 100. While the rest seemed to be going around wild and happy to be on Earth, he was helping Clarke find the supplies. He seemed care-free, but he was very responsible and an asset to the team with his tracking skills. He was an individualist and had artistic soul. He sacrificed himself for Raven and was the first one to seek out peace with Lincoln. He forgave Lincoln for trying to kill him without a single moment of hesitation. And then he turned himself in for what he has done, showing that even though he was damaged, he still cared about peace.

Sometimes I’m sorry people seem to be forgetting about all of this because of one moment of desperation.

  1. John Murphy

         Pain. Hate. Envy. Those are the abcs of me. Get rid of them and there’s nothing left.

MurphyRight next to Marcus Kane he had the best development in the show. I remember in the first season I was like “Please let him die already!” and now I’m like “Please don’t kill Murphy!” He’s far from perfect, and often does things to just save his own ass, but still… he’s the funnies and the most honest character in the show. I love his sarcastic comments, and I love how he always has something to say. And when it comes to this, he can save the day. And he was the first one to reject A.L.I.E. – and he never changed his mind.

The show just wouldn’t be the same without him.

  1. Monty Green

         I hope we do better there. I hope Jasper was wrong and we aren’t the problem.

MontyI loved his friendship with Jasper. I loved both Monty and Jasper right from the first episode, I thought them very funny, but still intelligent. I think Monty’s intelligence is not appreciated enough by the others.

I think Monty is very caring and loyal to his friends and his girlfriend. He’s one of the few characters that haven’t lost his humanity yet. Still, he’s a bad-ass – he killed his own mother (twice) to protect others, he found a way to let radiation inside Month Weather bunker, and he confronted Clarke about the list in season 4 and about how she was treating her friends. I especially loved him in season 5, while he was searching for a non-violent solution to their conflict, and when he saved the farm by himself. I respect and admire his choice to stay awake with Harper, and I love his final message to his friends – Be the good guys. He showed them that they could do this a different way and should be an example for all of them.

  1. Lincoln kom Trikru

         We’ve all got a monster inside of us, and we’re all responsible for what it does when we let it out.

LincolnThe first Grounder we got to meet. Very loyal to Octavia and to his people. Very brave and strong, but also kind and good-hearted. He was the first of Grounders to seek peace, and I think this is the trait I love most about him. He was also one of less selfish people, and ultimately sacrificed himself to save people from his clan from Pike.

And he was Luna’s friend!

I still get teary eyes every time I watch the scene where he dies.

  1. Raven Reyes

         I don’t choose pain. I choose life.

The most intelligent person in the show, hands down. Her genius brain saved all of them countless times, and I both admire that and am a little jealous. There are other things about her, though.

Raven

First, she is very strong. Maybe even the strongest mentally. She was the only one who broke out of A.L.I.E’s influence and wanted to get rid of her from her head. And remember when she froze herself to get rid of the A.L.I.E. leftovers at the end of season 4? She was in Becca’s lab on her own and did all of it herself – with the help of hallucinations, but in reality, she was on her own.

To be honest I didn’t care for Raven when she was first introduced. She grew up on me with time and became my favorite main character upon her reaction to Finn’s betrayal. She realized it fast, and confronted Finn. Then she knew Finn was lost to her and broke up with him. And she found it in her heart to forgive him. That’s when she stole my heart.

Except for that, she’s very loyal and has a good heart. She protected from what they were doing in Becca’s lab, she knew how to convince Luna to help them, and she stayed true to herself.

So, that’s all for the list. There is one person I would like to mention at this point.

Honorable mention:

Charmaine Dyioza

DyiozaI didn’t care for her character at all in the fifth season. I know she was loved by many and considered one of the best things that happened in an otherwise very bad season, but for me she was just blah. Maybe because I hate season 5, most of it was hard to watch for me, so I didn’t focus as much as on the previous ones.

However, season 6 is a revelation as far as Diyoza is concerned. She is just the most badass and interesting character there is. While Clarke is on apology tour, Raven complaining about Clarke, Marcus in a coma, and Murphy worrying about going to hell, Diyoza and Octavia are the pair I love most in these beginning episodes of season 6. I am truly surprised with myself for how much I am enjoying watching Diyoza scenes this season.

However, these are just a few episodes, and though I am very eager to find out what happens later with her, I don’t think I can say she is a true favorite. Yet 😊