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04/10 Wednesday 09:51PM

book review

The Bruneions Monthly Book Review brings you reviews of popular books available from dBookHaus, Brunei.



Kyla’s memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

While SLATED may at some instances fall into some of the usual dystopia traps (not every book needs a romance), it generally wriggles itself right back out of those traps, and more importantly, touches on the aspects that make dystopia what it is - it gives you the feeling that such a world can happen. Beyond that, the book is thoroughly readable. It's engaging right from the start, and Kyla is an intriguing main character. She's fascinating because she doesn't know who she is now or who she was before, but she lives in fear of her unknown past - what could she have done to be slated?



THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

In his seventeenth novel, Sparks adds the presence of unexplained mystical presences that help shape the characters’ lives. Ultimately, THE BEST OF ME is about the characters being haunted –haunted by ghosts, past loves, and the possibilities of what could have been.

In following the fates of these characters, Sparks surprises the reader with not always providing the anticipated results as the pages are turned. Instead, what the reader anticipates does not always materialize in the expected way.

The twists and turns, the underlying love story, the uniquely imaginable characters, and the well-synchronized storytelling all culminate into a heartfelt and memorable novel.



A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu), were polite, interesting and helpful. They were two years ahead of their classmates in maths and had exceptional musical abilities. But Sophia and Lulu were never allowed to go to a sleepover, participate in a school play, choose their own extracurricular activities, get a grade less than A, and not be the #1 student in every subject (except gym and drama). And they had to practice their musical instruments for hours every day, even during school breaks and on family holidays.The Chinese-parenting model certainly seemed to produce results. But what happens when you do not tolerate disobedience and are confronted by a screaming child who would sooner freeze outside in the cold than play the piano?

In BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER, Amy Chua relates her experiences of raising her children the 'Chinese way', and how dutiful, patient Sophia flourished under the regime while the tenacious, hot-tempered Lulu rebelled. It is a story about a mother and her two daughters. It's also about Mozart and Mendelssohn, the piano and the violin, and how they made it to Carnegie Hall.

It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it's about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how Amy Chua was humbled by a thirteen-year-old. Witty, entertaining and controversial, this is a unique and provocative book that gives an insight into the rigid parenting methods of the east.



“Charming” doesn’t even begin to cover the magical delight that is ORDINARY MAGIC. From a fascinating magical world to laugh-out-loud character interactions, there is nothing ordinary about this book at all!

In Abby’s world, magic isn’t anything special: it’s a part of everyday life. So when Abby learns that she has zero magical abilities, she’s branded an “Ord”—ordinary, bad luck, and quite possibly a danger to society. The outlook for kids like Abby isn’t bright. Luckily for Abby, her family enrolls her in a school that teaches ordinary kids how to get around in a magical world. But with treasure-hunting kidnappers and carnivorous goblins lurking around every corner, Abby’s biggest problem may not be learning how to be ordinary—it’s whether or not she’s going to survive the school year!
ORDINARY MAGIC is as good as a Pixar movie in terms of having both kid and adult appeal. Young readers will be fascinated by the colorful, yet familiar, world that Rubino-Bradway creates, replete with magic carpets, boarding schools, and kick-ass family members. Readers will surely get a thrill out of ORDINARY MAGIC.



If you like intelligently written randomness that is somehow skillfully organized but dotted with points of unnecessary musings just for a joke, this book is for you. This book is reading bliss for any stressed out working woman or man who wonders what goes on in the successful woman's head.

"Before Liz Lemon, before ‘Weekend Update,’ before Sarah Palin, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately half-hearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.
Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: You’re no one until someone calls you bossy."

BOSSYPANTS will be especially intriguing to those who enjoy behind-the-scenes peeks at life in the show business — and Fey delivers.




The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society . When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: Van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger-- including Violet's and her father's. Violet's search for the missing Van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure who she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.

TOKYO HEIST has a little bit of everything -- mystery, intrigue, danger, romance and manga. A definite recommendation for all mystery lovers.

Learn Language On The Go
It is entirely possible to learn a language online and these days, there's a site or app to suit every level of enthusiasm. More

Saloma in My Car
I would not define myself as a 'Feminist', I cannot say that I am ardently passionate about burning brassieres or hosiery but I do believe that I am a humanitarian ... More

Francophonie Week 2015
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE BRUNEI (AF Brunei) is proud to announce the celebration of their annual event – Francophonie Week 2015 - from the 21st until 28th March 20 ... More

Filipinos in Brunei by Cécile Castilla
Written by Cécile Castilla, this book is a collection of stories and experiences from twenty individuals who have share their live journey which brought them to ... More