REVIEW: Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Digital FortressTitle: Digital Fortress

Author: Dan Brown

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Release Date: 2004 by Corgi books (first published 1998)

Purchase: Amazon (Paperback or Hardcover)

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When the NSA’s invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage … not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but also for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

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Dan Brown is one of those authors that people really admire and love, but I think Digital Fortress is his least loved book by the readers. When I visited its Goodreads page I saw a lot of one-star reviews. I, on the other hand, liked the book. I am not really raving about it but I don’t think it’s terrible either.

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, I am not a fan of the sci-fi books but because this is a Dan Brown book and it seems to me everyone has read at least one Dan Brown book, I decided to read it.

I don’t know what to expect with the book, at first I was very skeptical about it. But as I read my way through, I realized that I quite like it. The mystery thriller aspect of the book was great. What I love about mystery thriller books is that you don’t know for sure who the real villain is until you finish the story. Brown sure knows how to thrill the readers.

However, the book scored low to me on the sci-fi aspect. I major in IT so I have a little background on algorithms, codes, hacking data and all the other techy stuff in the book. However, the kind of technology in the book seems really far-fetched to me and there are some aspect of the book that seems really questionable. Like for example, the NSA doesn’t have backup for their main databank? YOU HAVE THE WORLD’S TOP SECRET INFORMATION AND YOU DON’T BACK IT UP? What kind of IT guy are you? Seriously.

The kind of technology this book has on the period of time the book was set at was unbelievable to me. Oh well, I guess that’s fiction for you. But even though it’s fiction it’s supposed to be believable and I don’t think this book is believable, in terms of the techy stuff. But I’m judging the book by its capacity to thrill and capture the readers’ interest and the book did a great job in that area, hence the 4 stars.

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REVIEW: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend (Confessions #2) by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)Title: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend (Confessions #2)

Author: Louise Rozett

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: June 25th 2013

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…

…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

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I really enjoyed the first book to the Confessions series, Confession of An Angry Girl and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend. What was so charming about the first book was that at first you may think it is just a cliché high school story but when you look closer, it’s not. It’s about the struggle of being a teenager, the difficulties you experience when everyone realizes you’re different. As a young adult myself, I find myself really drawn into the story and the struggle of the characters. Especially Rose. I love Rose to death and I feel sorry for her because almost everyone around her treats her like crap. I just want to hug her and protect her from all the evil of this world!

“Sometimes people help each other, and get messed up in each other’s business; sometimes we stay out of it and let people find the way themselves. It’s always right to offer help, but not all help is right.”

And then there’s Jamie. No matter how swoon-worthy he is, I still think he’s a douche. Why does he need to be so complicated? Ugh! WHY!?

“I did the wrong thing, and I lost him for real.
But did you do the wrong thing? Jamie thinks it was the wrong thing. But do you?
No. I don’t.
I didn’t do what Jamie would have wanted me to do, but that doesn’t mean it was wrong.”

And then there’s the ending which was so heartbreaking. This book is so frustrating, but in a good way. I feel really engaged in the story, like I am part of it. And for me, that’s always a good sign that a book is great. It’s important for the author to make the reader feel like they belong in the characters’ world.

I feel a really strong connection to Rose and the story stirs so much emotion in me. Oh the feels! I’m not usually into angsty YA books, but Rozett did a great job on this series. I’m pretty sure there will be a third book, we can’t be left hanging just like that.

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MINI REVIEW: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)Title: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2)

Author: Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: August 13th 2013

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Hardcover)

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When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy fromNew York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

mythoughts

I really adored Burn for Burn so I was really excited to read this. First of all, I think the cover is gorgeous. I have a soft spot for pretty covers. I did mention that Burn for Burn was “tamer” than I expected. But Fire with Fire brought it up a notch this time which I really love.

The three main characters have very distinct identities so it’s not confusing to read their point of views. I think I have mentioned this in my review for Burn for Burn but I really love Kat’s personality. She’s strong and feisty! And yet she knows how to have fun.

“It’s all about attitude. You act like you’re the shit and guys are so dumb they’ll totally believe it.”

I also like Lillia, she’s not the typical stuck-up rich brat. She’s actually very nice! The character I’m the least fond of is Mary, she’s too soft for my liking. I understand what she’s been through but I just want to see more fierceness in her, you know?

Overall, the book is great. In fact I think this is better than the previous book. What I do not love, however, is the cliffhanger in the end. It was also my biggest pet peeve in the first book. But oh well, I guess I can do nothing but to patiently wait for the third book to come out.

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MINI REVIEW: Against the Wall (Against the Wall #1) by Julie Prestsater

Against the Wall (Against the Wall, #1)Title: Against the Wall

Author: Julie Prestsater

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 20th 2012

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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Shelly Gelson had it all…a job teaching English at Carver High, her best friend Mel working by her side, and she’s engaged to her high school sweetheart Chase Marino. That is until Chase breaks her heart and leaves her for another teacher at the school. Now Shel is left broken hearted and trying to figure out what she wants while watching Chase and the home wrecker make moon eyes at each other.

Enter Matt Fuller, Shel’s friend for the past 5 years and the perfect rebound. He’s gorgeous, smart, funny and fits into Shel’s idea of the right guy. Only problem is there may be more there than just a simple rebound. Is it a way to fill a void left by Chase, or is there more smoldering between these two friends?

Find out what happens when the bell rings and the teenage drama ends and the adult drama begins. Who says being a teacher is boring? They obviously haven’t met the teachers at Carver High.

This book is Rated R for adult content.
Sex: Yes!
Profanity: Hell yeah.
Booze: That too.

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We’re used to the notion that teachers are like angels. They’d reprimand us when we cuss, always urge us to do good in school, they’re the people we ask for help and advise. But in truth, they are not angels, they are humans too.

We’re teachers, not nuns and priests. No vow of celibacy here

I think what makes Against the Wall a memorable read is the humor combined with romance. I am such a sucker for romantic comedy. It’s my weakness! And of course, SheL and Mel are such smartmouths. What makes me love them both so much is that they’re both teachers but they cuss like sailors. And they’re both so witty too.
I also find it interesting that the main characters is an expert. I have never encountered a woman who’s so into beer, so much so that she won’t date a guy if his beer preference is Honey Blonde. Now, don’t ask me how Honey Blonde tastes, I’m not into beer! But I learned a thing or two about beer because of this novel.
I fell in love with this book right from page one. It was such a delight to read. If you’re into rom-com New Adult books, you gotta read this!
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