Book Review – The Traveler

TITLE: The Traveler
AUTHOR: Darren Simkin
ILLUSTRATIONS: Darren and Daniel Simkin

So I was at my favoritest ever used bookstore, and I found this book on the bargain shelf. Knowing me, I probably paid about a quarter for it.

The Traveler is about a boy named Charlie. One day, he packs up all his time in a suitcase and travels until he finds something important enough to spend his time on.

This is an adorable little fable. From the big, bulky decades to the raggedy days… The illustrations are simple, the story is told like poetry. I loved everything about it.

I know I’m being vague, but there’s not much I can say without giving the ending away, and I don’t want to do that.

As a side note, I often wonder who decides where a book gets shelved. I mean, this is poetry, which should be non-fiction, but somehow they got this book listed as fable and shelved with fiction instead. Not that it matters to my review, but I wanted to muse about it for a minute. (Okay, okay, and I’m word count padding, but still…)

The cover prices is $12.95, which might be a little pricey considering what it is, but the book is so sweet and the story is so perfectly told. Go out and buy like ten copies and pass them around your friends. You’ll be glad you did. 5/5 pages.

Book Review – The Last Thing I Remember by Andrew Klavan

Title: The Last Thing I Remember

Author:  Andrew Klavan

Format: Hardback

Written: 2009

Published: 2009

I picked up this book on a lark I saw the title and it lured me in, making me wonder what the book was about; I read the synopsis and I was pulled in a little deeper.  I opened the book and it was just the same as the synopsis and I found myself curious, little did I know I would had just grabbed one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!

The book starts off with a young man sitting in a room strapped in, with signs of torment on his body, not knowing how he got there and what happened to lead him there.  The last thing he remembered was doing what almost any teenager his age did, which was chatting with friends watching a movie, playing music and working on homework just before bed.  There was nothing else to indicate as to why he should be where he was and why the voices on the other side of the door have determined that he is no longer of use and needs to die.

The fear and confusion that is felt by this young man, whom you learn is named Charlie is remarkably believable, and a very clear and vivid picture is painted of Charlie and his situation as he tries to figure things out and has realistic flashbacks to his normal everyday life and fights to get free and survive.  It doesn’t take long for the action to really pick up and your heart start to race and pound as you feel for Charlie in his situation.

Now as I write this review, I’ll be the first to admit that Charlie can come across as a Gary Stu (that too perfect person) as he is a bright young man who is getting good grades in school, loves the country he lives in (The United States), is a black belt in Karate, and a good Christian young man, in a way he is an all American boy.  Yet despite these amazing credentials, they are played off nicely and Charlie still comes across as a likeable and believable character, and it is these traits that help drive the story and make what would be too un-real become realistic as he escapes from seemingly impossible situations.

Yet the story is not all about Charlie in that room waiting for death remembering what little of his life from before, he quite literally goes from the frying pan into the fire on several occasions.  To be honest, you get sucked in and you find everything from the despair that Charlie feels to the power of what little hope he can find when he finds it.  Nothing is easy for Charlie to say the least and as you learn what happened between his last night as a normal kid to the present that he finds himself in, answers come but more questions arrive and I have to say I look forward to reading the next book here soon!  Over all, I have to give this book a 5 out of 5 as I haven’t had a book grip me as well as this one did, nor react as strongly to the emotions written here as I did this book.  To be honest my words miserably fail to describe how well I loved this book and I hope, despite my failing, you will consider picking this book up to read it!

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