Review by hsimone -- My Trip to Adele

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hsimone
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Review by hsimone -- My Trip to Adele

Post by hsimone » 13 Jul 2017, 11:03

[Following is a volunteer review of "My Trip to Adele" by A.I.Alyaseer, R.I.Alyaseer.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Three different people from three different parts of the world have one thing in common – their love for Adele. In My Trip to Adele by co-authors A.I. Alyaseer and R.I. Alyaseer, the authors use the British singer, Adele, as a driving force to shape their story.

Strong and independent Nadia longs for nothing more than to go on a trip with her ten-year-old son for the first time. Mysterious Elias desires to meet up with the woman he met years ago and cannot forget. Unsure Yaser is doubtful that his marriage can be saved. Adele’s songs have been a big part of their lives and they have lived through their share of unhappiness. Question is: will they be able to reach their destination – Adele’s concert in Verona, Italy?

Walking into this read, I tried to keep an open mind. The reviews are mixed and I did not want my mind to be swayed one way or the other prior to reading. Told in multiple perspectives, the reader is given a snapshot of the troubles within each character’s lives. From women views and struggles in the culture of Jordan to forced child prostitution in Morocco to the realities and temptation of Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, there were several aspects in this novel that were lacking. Of the three main characters, there wasn’t much development or big lesson that they learned. The reader also wasn’t given much background to some of the characters, leaving at least two of three flat and even irritating. It’s great to show that not every relationship is perfect in life, but when there are pages upon pages of arguments and complaints, then I tend to lose respect for the storyline in general.

The biggest disappointment in this read, though, was the ending. There wasn’t any resolution to the characters’ problems, leaving the reader guessing on the outcome to each of them. In addition, the whole last chapter felt rushed and a whirlwind of information. I also found it unfair to build up Adele’s concert throughout the entire read when only one of three characters actually end up attending. Due to this, Nadia, Elias, and Yaser never actually meet or connect in any way, which adds to my disappointment since I enjoy when multiple characters’ storylines converge in some way.

Due to lack of character development and plot holes, I give this read a 2 out of 4 stars. Perhaps those who really enjoy Adele may find it easy to ignore some of the above-stated issues. However, I wasn’t able to overlook them.

******
My Trip to Adele
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Post by bookowlie » 22 Jul 2017, 14:12

I enjoyed reading your review. Like you, I have seen mixed reviews of this book and wasn't sure what to think. I appreciate your detailed analysis. Plot holes are always a turn-off for me so I am going to pass on this one.
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Post by Gingerbo0ks » 22 Jul 2017, 14:33

What I like about this book now being book of the month is reading the varying opinions of everyone. It's interesting to see what one person may have liked, another does not. I am still in two minds about what I think to the ending and you make some very good points.
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Post by tarafarah7 » 22 Jul 2017, 15:05

When this book was BOTD in the past, I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I feel bad, but I didn't get the chance to read it in full. If the 3 characters do not have a connection or never meet, why tell their 3 stories? Why not just one story and expand upon it? Was there not enough to tell in just one of the stories that the author turned it into 3 individual ones? I just assumed that there would be a connection between the 3 of them other than the Adele concert. When there isn't a connection to make I have a difficult time understanding the purpose for the book. Obviously, I am not an author and I know many say they write for themselves, rather than their readers, and that is the purpose within itself. It still seems like there is a piece missing, as you stated. Being that I didn't read the book, though, I guess I could be totally off base and really have no room to discuss its contents. :-)

I enjoyed reading your review, @hsimone. It's not often we see reviews of 1& 2 on this site because it is meant for recommended reads, rather than the opposite. It's good for us who write reviews to see what one of this nature looks and sounds like, in case we need to write one like it one day. You did an excellent job explaining why you gave it the rating you did, complete with examples from the book, itself. Thank you so much...it was very helpful!

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Post by hsimone » 22 Jul 2017, 15:50

bookowlie wrote:I enjoyed reading your review. Like you, I have seen mixed reviews of this book and wasn't sure what to think. I appreciate your detailed analysis. Plot holes are always a turn-off for me so I am going to pass on this one.
Thank you, bookowlie, for reading and sharing your thoughts. Yes, I was reluctant in reading this because of the mixed reviews - I tend to lean the direction of not liking the read when the reviews are mixed. Plot holes are the same for me, so if this turn off for you, then I would agree of you passing on this one.

-- 22 Jul 2017, 22:52 --
Gingerbo0ks wrote:What I like about this book now being book of the month is reading the varying opinions of everyone. It's interesting to see what one person may have liked, another does not. I am still in two minds about what I think to the ending and you make some very good points.
You are absolutely right - I like seeing everyone's opinions of the books chosen for BOTM, as well. It speaks to how varied our reading community really is! Thank you for sharing, Gingerbo0ks. :)

-- 22 Jul 2017, 23:03 --
tarafarah7 wrote:When this book was BOTD in the past, I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I feel bad, but I didn't get the chance to read it in full. If the 3 characters do not have a connection or never meet, why tell their 3 stories? Why not just one story and expand upon it? Was there not enough to tell in just one of the stories that the author turned it into 3 individual ones? I just assumed that there would be a connection between the 3 of them other than the Adele concert. When there isn't a connection to make I have a difficult time understanding the purpose for the book. Obviously, I am not an author and I know many say they write for themselves, rather than their readers, and that is the purpose within itself. It still seems like there is a piece missing, as you stated. Being that I didn't read the book, though, I guess I could be totally off base and really have no room to discuss its contents. :-)

I enjoyed reading your review, @hsimone. It's not often we see reviews of 1& 2 on this site because it is meant for recommended reads, rather than the opposite. It's good for us who write reviews to see what one of this nature looks and sounds like, in case we need to write one like it one day. You did an excellent job explaining why you gave it the rating you did, complete with examples from the book, itself. Thank you so much...it was very helpful!
Thank you, tarafarah7, for such a thoughtful response. :)

The missing connection between the three really was off-putting for me. It looks like there are those who didn't mind that the three never met, but I always like to see how multiple perspectives come together. From your observations, it seems like this might not have been a book for you either. But, that's what great about our community - how differently we all think, whether we love the book or not so much.

Yes, it's always tough to give a book a 1 or 2 for a rating. Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort, and I would think authors are proud of their work at the end. However, it would leave me with an unsettling feeling if I gave a book a rating higher than what I thought it deserved. It sends the wrong message to future potential readers, so even though, it can be hard sometimes, I know I have to honest.

Thank you so much for your feedback and I'm glad that you feel a review like this may be helpful for others who are thinking of giving a read a lower score. This is so sweet of you to say! :D
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Post by DennisK » 22 Jul 2017, 21:49

hsimone, I think you have missed the whole point of this story. This story is about freedom. There are conflicting definitions of the word, freedom. One states that freedom means you can do whatever you want to do – be whoever you want to be. The other definition is what you find when you discover and submit to who you truly are – what you truly are. For instance, Nadia was going to ditch her son, and go to Rome by herself. Fortunately, she realized who she truly was and she returned to her role as a mother to her young child. What if she did attend the concert? What then? The singers sing their songs, pack up their gear and leave. I see Nadia standing there, amongst the litter of a deserted stage – to return to a deserted son who will eventually desert her. The same applies to Yaser. What if he found his freedom in the arms of a prostitute – would he truly be free? He was wise to return to his children and his wife – his wife, who incidentally, did finally agree to go to Rome with him. So she was already starting to change.
The characters of this story didn't need to meet each other. The message was already stated. The story was already told. If I were to criticize these authors, I would suggest the ending needed a bit more …. embellishment.

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Post by hsimone » 23 Jul 2017, 04:14

DennisK wrote:hsimone, I think you have missed the whole point of this story. This story is about freedom. There are conflicting definitions of the word, freedom. One states that freedom means you can do whatever you want to do – be whoever you want to be. The other definition is what you find when you discover and submit to who you truly are – what you truly are. For instance, Nadia was going to ditch her son, and go to Rome by herself. Fortunately, she realized who she truly was and she returned to her role as a mother to her young child. What if she did attend the concert? What then? The singers sing their songs, pack up their gear and leave. I see Nadia standing there, amongst the litter of a deserted stage – to return to a deserted son who will eventually desert her. The same applies to Yaser. What if he found his freedom in the arms of a prostitute – would he truly be free? He was wise to return to his children and his wife – his wife, who incidentally, did finally agree to go to Rome with him. So she was already starting to change.
The characters of this story didn't need to meet each other. The message was already stated. The story was already told. If I were to criticize these authors, I would suggest the ending needed a bit more …. embellishment.
That's an interesting point, DennisK, but missing the point of the story, as you say, doesn't change my views of the presentation of the book. To be honest, I don't see Nadia being free since she still is where she lives and her ex-husband will always be there to add to her stress and affect her relationship with her son; Yaser's situation hasn't really changed; and Elias sees Malika, but then what?

I still stand that I would have like there to be a stronger connection between the three. If this was set up as anthology rather than one story, maybe it would be different. In an anthology, characters typically don't have to have some type of connection. But, in a story, I expect there to be some reason why specific characters were chosen and how do their stories connect to each other.
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Post by DennisK » 23 Jul 2017, 13:08

hsimone wrote:
DennisK wrote:hsimone, I think you have missed the whole point of this story. This story is about freedom. There are conflicting definitions of the word, freedom. One states that freedom means you can do whatever you want to do – be whoever you want to be. The other definition is what you find when you discover and submit to who you truly are – what you truly are. For instance, Nadia was going to ditch her son, and go to Rome by herself. Fortunately, she realized who she truly was and she returned to her role as a mother to her young child. What if she did attend the concert? What then? The singers sing their songs, pack up their gear and leave. I see Nadia standing there, amongst the litter of a deserted stage – to return to a deserted son who will eventually desert her. The same applies to Yaser. What if he found his freedom in the arms of a prostitute – would he truly be free? He was wise to return to his children and his wife – his wife, who incidentally, did finally agree to go to Rome with him. So she was already starting to change.
The characters of this story didn't need to meet each other. The message was already stated. The story was already told. If I were to criticize these authors, I would suggest the ending needed a bit more …. embellishment.
That's an interesting point, DennisK, but missing the point of the story, as you say, doesn't change my views of the presentation of the book. To be honest, I don't see Nadia being free since she still is where she lives and her ex-husband will always be there to add to her stress and affect her relationship with her son; Yaser's situation hasn't really changed; and Elias sees Malika, but then what?

I still stand that I would have like there to be a stronger connection between the three. If this was set up as anthology rather than one story, maybe it would be different. In an anthology, characters typically don't have to have some type of connection. But, in a story, I expect there to be some reason why specific characters were chosen and how do their stories connect to each other.
Judging from those posts I've read, most people would agree with you. I suppose most people expected an adventure story – a more literal read. I took it allegorically. The theme of this book was “freedom”, and that was what tied all three of these people together – not the physical meeting at a concert followed by some adventure.
Hsimone, if you were writing this story, what would you have Nadia do – given her situation? I think she did find freedom by accepting who she was. To make my point, I'll share something personal about myself. When I was in my 20's, I wanted to get married. My friends warned me about taking on the “old ball and chain” - they said that I would lose my freedom. I got married, and I didn't lose my freedom – I gained it. You see, I wasn't meant to be alone. I was made to be only half of two people. I was released from a burden that I was carrying throughout my younger years. In my marriage, with all of its restrictions and compromises, I found freedom. Nadia's life is what her and her creator made. She is a child's mother and with all of the restrictions and compromises that go with the love of her son, she will find her freedom. The same applies to Yaser's story. Elias and Malika's story was a little confusing to me as the story was given from Elias' perspective, but I think the real story was about Malika. She found the kind of freedom Nadia was looking for – but could never have.
There is a lot I can criticize about this book. I don't think it is anywhere near perfect, but it effectively dealt with an important and fundamental subject. With more effort and refinement, I think these two writers have the potential of becoming more acknowledged in their profession. I also continue to think this book deserved more credit than you gave it.

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Post by hsimone » 23 Jul 2017, 14:01

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, DennisK. I think we might have to agree to disagree on this one. This is one of the cool aspects of OBC - the different ways people think and interpret a book. No doubt that these authors have much potential. And it is absolutely your right to feel this book deserves more credit, just as it is my right to have a different opinion. Thank you, again, for your thoughts. :)
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Post by DennisK » 23 Jul 2017, 14:11

hsimone wrote:Thank you for sharing your thoughts, DennisK. I think we might have to agree to disagree on this one. This is one of the cool aspects of OBC - the different ways people think and interpret a book. No doubt that these authors have much potential. And it is absolutely your right to feel this book deserves more credit, just as it is my right to have a different opinion. Thank you, again, for your thoughts. :)
Thank you for yours, Hsimone!

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Post by hsimone » 23 Jul 2017, 14:17

DennisK wrote:
hsimone wrote:Thank you for sharing your thoughts, DennisK. I think we might have to agree to disagree on this one. This is one of the cool aspects of OBC - the different ways people think and interpret a book. No doubt that these authors have much potential. And it is absolutely your right to feel this book deserves more credit, just as it is my right to have a different opinion. Thank you, again, for your thoughts. :)
Thank you for yours, Hsimone!
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