Sunday, 26 July 2015

#2. Reading Challenge 2015 books' reviews

Back again for more book reviews!

I picked these for this time -

A book with more than 500 pages: Pandora by Jilly Cooper
A classic romance: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A book that became a movie: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Pandora by Jilly Cooper. 

No picture ever came more beautiful than Raphael's Pandora. Discovered by a dashing young lieutenant, Raymond Kelvedon in a Normandy Chateau in 1944, she had cast her spell over his family - all artists and dealers - for fifty years. Hanging in a turret of their lovely Cotswold house, Pandora witnessed Raymond's tempestuous wife Galena both entertaining a string of lovers, and giving birth to her four children: Jupiter, Alizarin, Jonathan and superbrat Sienna.

Then an exquisite stranger rolls up, claiming to be a long-lost daughter of the family, setting the three Belvedon brothers at each other's throats. Accompanying her is her fatally glamorous boyfriend, whose very different agenda includes an unhealthy interest in the Raphael. During a fireworks party, the painting is stolen.

The hunt to retrieve it takes the reader on a thrilling journey to Vienna, Geneva, Paris, New York and London. After a nail-biting court case and a record-smashing Old Masters sale at Sotheby's, passionate love triumphs and Pandora is restored to her rightful home. - See more at:

Jilly Cooper
I found this thick book with an interesting cover lying in the second hand book store and I thought Hmmm…should I get it? I’m really glad that I did. This was the first time I was reading something by Jilly Cooper and after Pandora it is not going to be the last.

The book is set during the 19th century and revolves around a painting called Pandora by a famous painter Raphael. The painting is the pride of the Cotswold household, a family of artists and art dealers. The seven sins that Pandora releases in the painting find their way into the plot, ending with Hope finally being restored. There is no one dull moment in the book, absolutely none, it is that interesting! I love the world of artists and paintings and this book had me drunk on it. The multiple mysteries, suspense, adventure, twists, romance (sex is something Jilly is not shy about, everyone has done it with everyone in the story!), dramatic moments and even a legal moment for a law student like me keeps the pages turning. The characters are crazy and individual. You begin to like a character but soon find out their dirty secrets and you go…What!? I hate you now! and the kinda characters that appear despicable happen to be the ones you fall in love with. I think that is genius plotting!
After I turned the last leaf of the book, I was consumed by this crazy desire to paint and maybe create a masterpiece? I did draw but it was no painting or no masterpiece. However that is how addicting the book is. I couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it for days! I would definitely recommend this book.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 

I found this summary online thought it apt to describe this book. –

Wuthering Heights,  published in 1847, revolves around the passionate and destructive love between its two central characters, Emily Brontë's headstrong and beautiful Catherine Earnshaw and her tall, dark, handsome, and brooding hero/devil, Heathcliff.
Many people, generally those who have never read the book, consider Wuthering Heights to be a straightforward, if intense, love story — Romeo and Juliet on the Yorkshire Moors. But this is a mistake. Really the story is one of revenge. It follows the life of Heathcliff, a mysterious gypsy-like person, from childhood (about seven years old) to his death in his late thirties. Heathcliff rises in his adopted family and then is reduced to the status of a servant, running away when the young woman he loves(Catherine Earnshaw) decides to marry another. He returns later, rich and educated, and sets about gaining his revenge on the two families that he believed ruined his life.
I’ve heard much about this book and Bella is obsessed with this in Twilight, I thought why not read it for the challenge. I don’t know what I was looking for…I knew it had to do with an unconventional love story but this story was just disturbing. How does one call this a romance?
Heathcliff  is sadistic, dreadful, and evil. Catherin is someone I thought I should like but her character never connected with me. In fact, I completed the book with no favorite character, even the protagonist, Mr Lockwood, who I thought was being overly interested in the dead Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine’s daughter Cathy, Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff.
The writing itself was good and that was the only think that made me finish the novel. Also, my curiosity to know just how twisted and dysfunctional the characters will get. How did Bella even compare Edward with Heathcliff?
The ending is something I was pleased with. I had liked the character of Hareton, he seemed to be the only sane man (or at least the least insane) in the whole drama, and I was glad he got to start his life fresh and Cathy got freedom from Heathcliff. I closed the book happy, but that didn’t made it a pleasing read.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

Just how many times am I going to keep re-reading Harry Potter. Maybe forever, it seems. This is my third time reading Half Blood Prince and I still couldn’t put down the book. This book was my exam breather. After long hours of looking at my law notes, Harry Potter was the relaxation.
Half Blood Prince always made me sad. It is where Dumbeldore dies and going through his death is fresh each time for this Potterhead. But it is also now that Harry realizes that defeating Voldemort is no easy job, even for a great wizard like Dumbeldore, and that his near future is decided in respect to the job he has to do. Off the series I feel this is one of the most important, for it gives all the vital details that holds the entire plot together. It never ceases to amaze me how great a story weaver and story teller Rowling is!

Happy Reading!

note: images don't belong to me!


  1. I love finding little treasures like the first book you mentioned, so much fun!
    Good luck with all of your reading challenges!

    1. Yes! Second hand book stores always surprise you!
      Thank you!

  2. I'm currently reading Order of Phoenix so I'll be getting to Half Blood Prince again soon. I feel like once Order of the Phoenix happens, everything just keeps getting darker and darker in the series through to the finale. Half Blood Prince is a good one with all the background information on Voldemort. I do wish the movie would've shown the Order and Dumbledore's Army fighting with the Death Eaters though in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower.

    1. Order of Phoenix is my favorite one! I couldn't agree more when you say the books keep getting darker, the movies even so. Half Blood Prince movie, however was a huge disappointment for me!
      Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Ah, Wuthering Heights is the book I can say is officially the worst book I have ever read >> What you mentioned at the start about how it wasn't shaping up to what you expected? Well that kind of lasted the whole way through for me. It just seemed like there was no reason for them being kept apart in love, but that they were simply making a problem they didn't really need to. Amongst others, that book bothered me. I do like Twilight, but Bella needs a better reading taste :)

    Harry Potter was an okay book, but even someone who didn't fall in love with it can definitely admire JK Rowling's creativity! Keep rereading those books you love <3

    1. I'm really glad there is a person who feels the same away about the classic. The few I've mentioned the book to seem to have an opposing opinion. They all love Heathcliff and it just goes over my head XD


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