Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


Rate:
5/5

Goodreads Description:
Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons. 

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave.

The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Review:
Jesus this was such a wonderful book! There are a few set of books that I can consider worth it and this is one of them for sure. It was so interesting, informative and just something that deserves to be shared not just for information but for the recognition that the family of Henrietta and Henrietta herself deserve, particularly after how they were played. What are the chances in life that something like this is discovered, the effect that someone, that their insides, can have on the future! Not just a single person, a single family, but generations to come! How sad and weirdly ironic that she herself held what scientist needed to have been able to help save her.
This book covers a wide set of topics, ethics, science, racism, legality, technicalities and well... lots of ism and ities. 

Recommend it?
Freaking yes, this should be assigned reading. 


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: All the missing girls by Megan Miranda


Rate:
5/5

Goodreads Description:
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

Review:
This was such a good book, I can't believe I did not read it sooner. It took me a while to understand how the book was being doing, from later dates until the date of the disappearance, and I sure as heck wasn't expecting a bunch of the things that were happening. It's sad for me but so great at the same time. It made for an exciting book. This is a book I will shove in everyone's face and tell them to read it about 50 times. 
I love the way that Miranda developed her characters, it was just so good!
I cant, I sound like a broken record with this book I know. The book isn't lying when its somewhat compared to The Girl on the Train, its that addicting... Unless you didn't like that book, then you probably would like it either. The book itself reveals why the story is done in reverse but like the girl on the train you have your suspicions as to what happened to the missing girls, but you are never truly right and in the end, the most unexpected person did it. 

Recommend it?
Freaking yes, it has been a few days since I finished the book and as you can probably tell, I am still not able to put coherent thoughts together. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Rate:
3.5/5

Goodreads Description:
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Review:
The book reminded me a bit of Coraline in the aspect of creepiness surrounding kids. Not kid s themselves but things happening to them.

The things happening him as child were just so harsh but that is just the reality of things at times, and THAT is what pissed me off, that some parents would actually do things like that. The story could be a bit hard to follow at times and I don't know if this was because as a young kid he couldn't understand them himself or if this had to do with the writing in the book itself. This was my first Neil Gaiman book so I have nothing to compare it to yet, there is a long waiting list for his books so I will have to get back to you all on that. 
After a while I had actually forgot that there was a present and that there was a funeral which added to my confusion. 
The book was creepy in the part that this is a fear targeted more towards adults, things that if kids read it they wouldnt be as creeped out by it as we would be. Like Coraline, which by the way is also written by Gaiman, its has the aspect of your family not being your family, and as soon as you don't accept that, shit will go wrong.

Recommend it?
Yeah, it was enjoyable, a tad creepy and even though I was a tad confused at like 3 parts of the book, I still really dug it