Dan Brown - Deception Point

Publisher: Doubleday (2009)

ISBN: 9780385504225 (US) - 9780593054277 (UK)

My Rating: 3.5/5

WHAT WAS LOST WILL BE FOUND ... Washington DC: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned at the last-minute to deliver an evening lecture in the Capitol Building. Within moments of his arrival, however, a disturbing object - gruesomely encoded with five symbols - is discovered at the epicentre of the Rotunda. It is, he recognises, an ancient invitation, meant to beckon its recipient towards a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. When Langdon's revered mentor, Peter Solomon - philanthropist and prominent mason - is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes that his only hope of saving his friend's life is to accept this mysterious summons and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon finds himself quickly swept behind the facade of America's most historic city into the unseen chambers, temples and tunnels which exist there. All that was familiar is transformed into a shadowy, clandestine world of an artfully concealed past in which Masonic secrets and never-before-seen revelations seem to be leading him to a single impossible and inconceivable truth. A brilliantly composed tapestry of veiled histories, arcane icons and enigmatic codes, The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced thriller that offers surprises at every turn. For, as Robert Langdon will discover, there is nothing more extraordinary or shocking than the secret which hides in plain sight... (

My thoughts

This was my first book from Dan Brown, after watching "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons", and I have to admit it was quite a page turner for me.

Robert Langdon comes to Washington to give a lecture, but instead of an audience he finds his friend's Peter's severed hand mounted on a wooden base - the fingers pointing towards the Rotunda ceiling fresco of George Washington. This is how it all starts, and with Mal'akh, a tattooed and steroid-swollen villain, Robert now has to put together the pieces of some ancient source of power.

I do have to admit, that some of the passages felt lengthy and unneccessary, sometimes even chapters where I thought it was just a filler - such as the extensive details about Science of Noetics. I'm still not sure whether it was me or whether it just had nothing to do with the whole story.

Not wanting to give anything away, but I didn't see the twist at the end coming.

I think anyone who likes the world of Robert Langdon and the hidden symbols in "The DaVinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" might probably be slightly disappointed, but will like it nonetheless.

Diane Krueger - Ein einziger Kuss

Publisher: Acabus (2009)
ISBN: 978-3941404908
Language: German
My Rating: 3.5/5

"Kiss one of them" - Angie and Kate are challenging her friend Carolyn at the Empire, a nightclub in London, during one of their regular Friday nights there. This is how it starts. Carolyn walks towards the twins, Matt and Luke - the two boys Angie and Kate can't take their eyes off.

But the 18-year-old Carolyn wasn't thinking about the consequences of that kiss with the result that the following weeks of a rollercoaster of emotions. And an unexpected meeting with her ex-boyfriend Josh doesn't help the cause, because her heart belongs now to only one person.

From now on, any encounters with the twins end either in complete happiness or tears. And while the twins are more and more successful with their plan to establish themselves as a pop-band ("the Thorntons"), Carolyn is facing her own decisions about her future: College or professional dancing. Then she meets the very talented dancer George, who she trust immediately, and the decision seems to have been made.

Carolyn faces new challenges and has to figure out who her heart belongs to. (

My thoughts

Carolyn cannot understand her friends' admiration for the twins Matt and Luke. So when she gets asked to give one of them a kiss she just goes ahead and does - starting a rollercoaster of events, emotions and lots of romance.

I liked it! I liked it mainly because I love the 80s and it was a wonderful journey back to that special time. This first novel from German Author Diane Krueger is mainly addressed to the young teenage reader or those -like me- who enjoy the reminiscence of the 80s. The book is not only telling us Carolyn's story in a wonderful bubbly language of the young, but also allows us to remember the music of the 80s which we all loved: Pet Shop Boys, Donna Summer, Taylor Dayne, Jimmy Summerville among so many other. With real dialogues and wonderful writing, I read this book within days.

PS - Yes, I do know the author personally, but the above reflects my honest opinion!

Jane Bash - 33 Bits

Publisher: Jane Bash

ISBN: 978 1 4392 4850 8

My rating: 3/5

Etta’s world is a narrow one. Living in a small town on the edges of the Arizona desert, she has had few opportunities to shine. But when the aspiring author wins a local writing contest, she’s rewarded with the prize of a lifetime: an all-expenses paid vacation to England. Upon arrival, however, a series of travel mishaps leave her alone in the unfamiliar city of Birmingham, England, with no money, luggage, or passport. Yet what begins as a disastrous trip gradually evolves into a life-changing adventure. The young woman is embraced by the city’s residents, and she finds friendship, love—and devastating betrayal—in the most unexpected places. The experience is recorded by the gold charms on Etta’s cherished charm bracelet, which she hides away after she returns home. Years later, her daughter discovers the bracelet, forcing Etta to face the painful memories of her past. Inspired by a real-life antique, 33 Bits is moving story of hope and forgiveness.

My thoughts

What a beautiful idea! Jane Bash found a charm bracelet on a journey to the UK and writes a story around it. As Jane lets us know at the start of her book, the thirty-three charms are detailing a woman's journey through life in Europe - with an attempt to find this woman, the owner of the bracelet. For this reason alone it is worth a read.

Etta Johnson is this woman. A young woman from Arizona, she wins a local competition: a trip to the UK. Her mother and sister give her a charm bracelet to which she can add during her time overseas. And so she does with every charm representing another chapter or event during this adventure which turns out nothing of what she had initially planned.

It's a beautiful book and beautifully written, though I have to admit I did struggle here and there with the attempt of the phonetically written Birmingham accent. It took me a few attempts to understand the gist of it.

Etta's story is an interesting one, though I thought very drawn out over more than 350 pages. More sounding like a fairytale I had to put the book aside a few times - all of Etta's luck seemed to be put on a bit much. And even though with the constant reminder that it's set in the 1970s, the romantic words were over the top and soapy.

Having said all this though, I'm glad I've read the book. It's a wonderful ending and I do hope that Jane will be successful with her quest to find the owner of the bracelet.

Cecelia Ahern - The Gift

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 978-0007 326334

My rating: 4/5

Step into the magical world of Cecelia Ahern in this heartwarming bestseller! If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be? Everyday Lou Suffern battled with the clock. He always had two places to be at the same time. He always had two things to do at once. When asleep he dreamed. In between dreams, he ran through the events of the day while making plans for the next. When at home with his wife and family, his mind was always someplace else. On his way into work one early winter morning, Lou meets Gabe, a homeless man sitting outside the office building. Intrigued by him and on discovering that he could also be very useful to have around, Lou gets Gabe a job in the post room. But soon Lou begins to regret helping Gabe. His very presence unsettles Lou and how does Gabe appear to be in two places at the same time? As Christmas draws closer, Lou starts to understand the value of time. He sees what is truly important in life yet at the same time he learns the harshest lesson of all. This is a story about people who not unlike parcels, hide secrets.They cover themselves in layers until the right person unwraps them and discovers what's inside. Sometimes you have to be unravelled in order to find out who you really are. For Lou Suffern, that took time. (

My thoughts

A must read for Cecelia Ahern Fans!

I loved the book because after I had read the previous few books, I fell in love with Cecelia's stories yet again.

It's a common story: a busy husband and father, with a big career, wants everything, yet bigger and better, and not getting his priorities right. His family and health are suffering. Lou at some stage lost the ability to live until he meets Gabriel, or Gabe, a man living on the streets. After this his life changes forever....

Cecilia Ahern always adds some magic into her books. I wasn't able to put "The Gift" down. The story could be compared to a modern fairytale, and I believe almost everyone would be able to identify themselves with Lou, the main character. Even though the story seems very far fetched, it is something we have come to like about Cecelia's books. The story will make you reflect on your life - Lou’s life could be my life or your life. It reminds all of us the we have to re-focus on the important things in life again, like family, and not let it slip away - we only have one and should do the most with it!

The book is written in a style you've come to expect from Cecelia: easy, with parts that make you laugh, cry but also makes you think. I really liked it and can't wait to start her latest book "The book of tomorrow".