December 1, 2009

Review Smash: The Notebook, Julius Caesar, and Along Came a Spider

I read these three books during the October Read-a-thon, so I thought I would review them all together, too.

BOOK: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
BOOK #: 82
REASON READ: October Read-a-thon, Countdown Challenge, Random Reading Challenge, Clear Your Shelves Challenge
PUBLISHER: Warner Books
GENRE: Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
FORMAT/PAGES: Hardcover/ 214 RATING: 4.5 Stars

The story is that of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson. When Noah comes home from WWII, he finds everything he left in need of repair, from his plantation home to the relationship between him and Allie. Allie is now engaged to another man. She realizes that her passion for Noah did not diminish with time. But the obstacles that ended their relationship before still remain and the ocean between them is wider than ever. But Noah is determined he will win Allie back and what unfolds is a breathtakingly moving love story. I loved the movie and I loved the book. Nicholas Sparks can just steal my heart with his words before I even know it and I am in love with the story. This is my third book I have read of his and I know I will be reading more.

"She read the letter again, more slowly this time, then read it a third time before she put it back in the envelope. Once more, she imagined him writing it, and for a moment she debated reading another, but she knew she couldn't delay any longer. Lon was waiting for her." "I don't want to live the rest of my life thinking about you and dreaming of what might have been. Stay with me, Allie."

BOOK: Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
BOOK #: 83
REASON READ: October Read-a-thon, Random Reading Challenge
PUBLISHER: Barnes & Noble Books
GENRE: Fiction, Drama, Tragedy
FORMAT/PAGES: Part of an anthology of his work/29 pages
RATING: 4 Stars

Everyone pretty much knows the story of Julius Caesar. Shakespeare is a challenging author/playwright to read, but it is worth it. His words flow like poetry even when it is prose. If you need help deciphering some of the lines, that is not a sign of idiocy, but the result of a 21st century reader reading 17th century English. There is going to be a disconnect because it is nearly a different language. The words are generally the same but they are arranged in a wholly different manner that takes a little deciphering. But, in my opinion, it is worth the challenge to read some of the most intelligent and beautifully written words you will ever read.

I loved the delicate character of Brutus. I loved the political arguments, which is not unlike the political climate today. I liked the opposing personality traits of the men surrounding Caesar. I liked the use of foreshadowing the tragic ending through the use of omens coming to Caesar throughout the play. It is really a play worth reading.

"He reads much; He is a great observer, and he looks Quite through the deeds of men." "Of all the wonders that I have yet heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come."

BOOK: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
BOOK #: 84
REASON READ: James Patterson Challenge, Random Reading Challenge, Clear Your Shelves Challenge
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
GENRE: Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
FORMAT/PAGES: Paperback/464

This is the first book in the Alex Cross series. The story is of a psychopathic serial kidnapper and serial killer who calls himself "the Son of Lindbergh." The man is so terrifying that even the FBI cannot outsmart him. The story is also of Gary Soneji, a popular math teacher at an elite private school. He is cocky though and knows he is smarter than most. So he kidnaps a little girl and her best friend and kills the family. All while they are being watched by the Secret Service. He's that good. Alex Cross works with the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police to try to figure out how to catch a psychopath who seems to be smarter than he is and who enjoys the chase.

I have read many JP books, but this was my first Alex Cross novel. I like the character of Alex and thought he was very relatable. The story was terrifying. I had the urge to hire a security guard for my house while I was reading. I was definitely sucked into the story. I can't say I liked it was my favorite of JP's books, but I liked it enough to pick up another Alex Cross book.

"I wondered if Soneji had known that. And what it meant if he did. As a psychologist, the murder filled me with a sense of dread. It told me that Soneji was organized, confident enough to play with us, and willing to kill. It did not bode well for Maggie Rose Dunne and Michael Goldberg." "I'm trapped in a nightmare. None of this makes any sense to me. I didn't kidnap anyone's children. Someone has to believe me. I'm Gary Murphy, and I've never harmed anyone in my entire life.' If I followed him, what he was telling me was that he was a multiple personality...truly Gary Soneji Murphy."

Other Reviews/Opinions on these Books:
The Notebook:

Julius Caesar:

Along Came a Spider:
Socrates' Book Reviews

If you have read and reviewed any of these books, leave me a comment and I will add your review to this post!


  1. Wow - that is quite the eclectic cadre of reviews! ;) I just found your site, and enjoy your style, though - I'm following now, and looking forward to what you have to say!


  2. I read Julius Caesar in high school. I did like it, although it's not one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. We had to memorize Mark Anthony's speech where he goes, "Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to mourn him." etc., etc.

    Nicholas Sparks I'm not really a fan of....

  3. I thought I'd read The Notebook, but that synopsis doesn't ring a bell, so I guess I didn't.

  4. I read Along came a Spider this month.. and well i kind of think it is an ok book.. it was terrifying.. but well something about it didn't work for me!

  5. I absolutely adored The Notebook, now the movie I can only watch once...otherwise I would be sobbing for days. Loved Along Came a Spider....I'm an Alex Cross junkie!! You won't be able to stop with just this one!!!

  6. I've never cared much for Sparks' books but I did love the movie "The Notebook" so maybe I should give the book a chance.

  7. The Notebook is more than what you just reviewed. Cheers to Nicholas Sparks.

  8. The Notebook was so touching and sad. I couldn't bring myself to watch the movie - the book was so good.

  9. Well that was a bunch of diverse reads! And I need to start doing the same thing ...writing a bunch of short reviews so I can start 2010 with a clean slate!

  10. I have been given several Nicholas Sparks books but I haven't read any yet. Maybe in 2010.


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