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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne *Reading Challenge Recap*

31 Oct


Challenges – #3/691 Ultimate Teen Book Guide, #3/782 Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition.

Synopsis – Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

Bruno’s friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

My original thoughts from back in 2012 can be found here.

Rating – I rated this 5/5


Ultimate Teen Book Guide – Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

Ultimate Teen Book Guide 2nd Edition – Book of Fairy Tales – Angela Carter, Private Peaceful – Michael Murpurgo (Challenge Book), The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (Challenge Book)

There is also a section on prison books which are listed below.

  • Furnace:Lockdown – Alexander Gordon Smith
  • Guantanamo Boy – Anna Perera
  • Incarceron – Catherine Fisher
  • Papillion – Henri Charriere
  • The Colditz Story – P.R. Reid (Challenge Book)
  • The Prison Runner – Deborah Ellis
  • Inside the Cage – Matt Whyman

Marine At War – M. Michael

3 Jul

Started – 10/6/12

Finished – 23/6/12

Format – kindle e-book

Synopsis – In 2001 I was twenty seven years old, and about to go to war in far off Afghanistan. Ten years later, I finally have told the story. Here is a true tale of Heroes and Villians, of Young Men fighting and dying for a pure cause-the defense of their country. I have been part of something truly great in my life, and now, I hope I can pass that experience on to you.

My Thoughts – I downloaded this book as it was free for a day in the kindle store. I’m quite a fan of true life books and war books so i thought this would be the kind of book that i would enjoy.

In it the author tells his story of being involved in the war in Afghanistan and all the horrors that go with it. I did enjoy the basic story of what went on during his time in a warzone, and his emotions on missing his wife and child and wondering if he would ever see them again.

However, the formatting of the book made it quite difficult to read. I dont think this is the authors fault, but for me it made the reading of the book quite stuttery and it kept making my attention drift away. Also, there were a lot of spelling mistakes. I know that this is part and parcel of kindle books, but for me this is also something that puts me off.

There was a scene with a young boy in, which i wont go into detail on but i am hoping that this was exergerated and didnt actually happen. It was horrific and horrible and i nearly stopped reading the book because of it. This is the most horrible thing i have ever come across in a book ever.

There was also some racist comments in this book. i hate, hate, hate racism and for me that was another reason why i didnt like this book. I am aware that these comments happen in real life, however i dont think its right and it really shouldnt happen.

In one scene he speaks to his daughter on the phone and i felt that this was a very good scene. It kind of brought back how much he was missing and the horrors that he was exposed to, and all he wanted to do was to get back home to his wife and daughter.

I also felt that the story didnt flow and there was too much conversation and not enough description as to what was actually going on. It made the story quite hard to follow at times.

This book is a real life account of a marines life during the war in Afganistan. It had so much potential to be a good story, however at times i just felt that poor formatting and spelling let it down. Along with some horrible scenes too i just felt that it wasnt the book for me.

Rating – 2/5

Strike Back – Chris Ryan

11 Apr

Started – 27/3/12

Finished – 10/4/12

Format – Paperback book


Synopsis – Two Soldiers. Sir Peregrine Collinson. Britain’s most decorated military hero. A best-selling author. And the Prime Minister’s personal envoy. And John Porter – seventeen years ago, he was one of the SAS’s most promising young soldiers. Now he’s a broken man: a drunken tramp living rough on the streets of London.


In Beirut, a brilliant young Sky TV reporter Katie Dartmouth has been captured by a ruthless gang of Hezbollah terrorists. She is to be executed live on television unless British troops are withdrawn from Iraq. A nation holds its breath and the Government is tottering on the edge of collapse. Both men believe they can save her. But only one of them can reach her.


Their paths last crossed seventeen years earlier. Now they are about to face each other again. And the strike back is about to begin.

My Thoughts – I brought this book back in 2010 when i saw it in a shop and thought that i would give it a go. I had heard of the author and i do enjoy books set in war zones, not something you would always expect being young and female!


This book is about John Porter. He is a former SAS soldier who due to a opperation going wrong he is forced to leave. Because of this event he ends up losing everything, his family, his home his whole life. Meanwhile a Sky News journalist is kidnapped in the middle east and a link to the past draws Porter back to the SAS for one last mission.


I enjoyed how fast paced this book was once Porter got out to the middle east. Plenty of fire fights, shootings, near death situations, everything you would expect from a book like this. I liked the amount of references to real life that this book held. It was about something that could happen, and already has. Indeed, what with the tragic events happening even today in the middle east it could be something that could have been based on real life.


I enjoyed the little bit of mystery held within the book to, the unfinished buisness between the two men and the big twist at the end? i didnt expect that to happen either. I loved how the story weaved its way into a brilliant ending.


There was only one critism i had. The main character is an alcoholic and all of a sudden he seems to have almost kicked the habit overnight. I just didnt believe that part, but as it was a tiny part to the story so it didnt effect my enjoyment too much.


I did think this was part of a series but its not, its a shame because i would have liked to see the story continued. However, I think the author is going to become one of my favourites.


Rating – 4.5/5