Monthly Archives: April 2014

Quote #6 Franz Kafka

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“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” —Franz Kafka

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Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper

ImageI came across this book when I checked  one of my favorite reviewers in Goodreads and she gave it 5 star ratings, which surprised me because it wasn’t her usual genre. It intrigues me.  It must be that ‘good’ because reading all her past reviews gave me impression that she’s brutally honest about her feelings for every book she had read. I thought I should give it a try.

This book was written in Katrina’s POV. Katrina ‘Tree’ Lewis has been a widow for four years with a four and a half year old daughter named Abbey from her deceased husband Pete. Pete died in a train accident even before Abbey turned one year old. Bereaved and lost, she packed all their things and moved back to her small town Lauder Lake to live with her parents. With the encouragement and support of her four awesome friends, she tried to move on and start a new life at Lauder Lake.

Tree has been planning to invite a children’s musician to perform in her town’s small library. The idea struck her when she finally noticed Abbey’s growing obsession to her all time favorite cartoon Maxwell MacGillikitty, which its opening song was written and sung by a certain Adrian Graves. Her daughter’s obsession to this song inspired her to search his other works. Being forced to listen to the song repeatedly, her curiosity and infatuation for the man behind the voice slowly developed.

Her uncanny skills for research to find her elusive singer had paid off. She showed to Marissa the sample CD entitled “Songs for Natalie – Adrian Graves,” which she accidentally found at the Bruised Apple bookstore, a second hand bookstore she loved to visit when she was still young. The CD was her only clue to track down the whereabouts of Adrian Graves.

Adrian Graves appeared late and drunk on the day of his live performance. Tree was partly annoyed because he seemed unfit to perform in front of the children. She was having second thoughts if she made the right choice because she didn’t want to disappoint the children. She expected to see an older Adrian but was surprised that he looked younger.  The drunk Adrian finally loosened up as he nailed one song after the other. He got his audience attention including the parents as they sang along with him. Don’t be immediately discouraged if you were also disappointed at Adrian, believed me he had reasons why he did that.

You know, this is a romance novel so I wasn’t surprised to read that ‘unexpected electric zing’ once their hands accidentally touched each other. Obviously, there was  instant physical attraction between them.

Her attraction to Adrian made me smile and sent me howling with laughter when they had their first kiss. Sorry, I can’t say a word about it. But for those who already read the book, they knew what I was talking about.

There are chapters that would make you close the book for a while like you remember putting on hold cleaning the house because the itch to read the book kicks in. Since the succeeding chapters aren’t as appealing as the previous ones, going back to the chores you left before you picked up the book has become much more exciting than ever. That’s what I did. I get back to cleaning my place and tried to forget this annoying thought that the book isn’t engaging as it said it was. I don’t abandon the book just because the story is making me loose my sanity. I always gave the book a second chance. For now, I have tons of patience. I repeat, Tons.

I know it wasn’t easy to write a book the same way to be able to publish it. I now understand the hardships and sleepless nights some authors were going through so that they were able to write their books and publish it. It’s maturity I guess. Having read so many books in the past, even though some of it are hard to digest because the words are like jewelries, too expensive for my taste. Some were like a piece of cake suited for my taste, suited for my too ordinary vocabulary. No matter what words they created, I started to respect them. Going back, as I was saying, this was the part of the book some reviewers find it slow because I honestly and totally agree with them.

Succeeding chapters gave us a glimpse of how Tree and Pete met. How she went through overcoming her loss and heartaches for the untimely death of her husband. This also gave us a glimpse of how she solely raised her daughter and seeing her growing up without her father being around was difficult to bear. Depression came in and she indulged in it for quite some time but fought it for herself and for her daughter Abbey.  While Katrina has a lot of baggage which is too much for her to carry and a daughter on her sleeves, she enjoyed what she could get from Adrian and what they have for a moment.

I liked Adrian’s character. He’s a rockstar in the 80’s with a British accent and I could feel Kat’s shuddered delight whenever Adrian called her ‘luv’ in his accent. Like Kat, he too has his own ‘personal demons.’

As any relationship, it has its ups and downs. The relationship turned topsy-turvy. Adrian has been like opened book about his past except for one thing which he is trying to share with Tree. Tree on the other hand had kept Adrian at a guessing point. Both characters were matured adults who knew how to handle their past. They gave each other a space to tackle their own demons and learn to forgive themselves and take their second chances at life and love.

Abbey loved to spell her name like A-B-B-E-Y with an emphasis to ‘with an E.’ She’s cute, bubbly, witty and asked a lot of questions. All throughout the book, Abbey would give you the first impression that you would wish she is your daughter.

Finally, after reading this book, what I’ve learned was that sudden death in the family would make one enraged, haywire or ballistic.  I don’t understand before why this book took on a slow build up but after reading it, contemplate on it for a while, and now I came up with my conclusion. It just showed me how one was going through if one member of the family tragically died especially in the case of Katrina. She’s lowly building up her own family and then her husband died in a tragic accident and gone forever in her life and in her daughter’s life.

I also understand what Adrian was going through after so much being popular in the music industry and kept himself hidden in the public’s eyes. The popularity, the huge money he’s making was quite overwhelming for him. Being popular had also caused him betrayal and love lost from family and friends.

This is a good book, quite long but well written.