Saturday, August 16, 2014

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It feels strange to have spent so much time wishing for something, for someone, and then one day,to just stop.

There are books that absorb me into a different world as soon as I read the first line or first paragraph. Every time I open this book, I got transported to the world of the Song sisters. It doesn't matter if I'm reading it while eating lunch or while I'm commuting home. I think this is because of the way Jenny Han writes. She's a good storyteller even if the story is as simple as writing letters to likeable boys and them finding out about it.

You'd rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.

I would like to think of myself as a passionate person and throughout the years, I have had a lot of crushes and have fallen infatuated (or in love) with men and boys-pretending-to-be-men. I've been friendzoned or forgotten or probably laughed at because I used to write poetry or send trying-hard-to-be flirty messages. The main character of this book, Lara Jean, reminded me of that side of myself and my experiences while growing up.

This story is funny and focuses not just on the drama of teenage crushes, but also on the love between siblings that even developed more after their mother passed away. It was about taking responsibilities, making life-changing decisions and accepting the consequences even when they smack your right back in the face.

The ending was a bit abrupt for me. Maybe it was because I wanted to know more about what happened to Lara Jean and the boy she chose.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wonder

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish every day could be Halloween. We could all wear masks all the time. Then we could walk around and get to know each other before we got to see what we looked like under the masks.

August "Auggie" Pullman started the fifth grade. This story is about his experience going "mainstream" after being home-schooled. This can be the usual YA/coming-of-age fiction except for the part that Auggie was born with a congenital defect that distorted his face, thus, earning him several rude nicknames from other kids. "Wonder" tells how Auggie faced (no pun intended) the challenges of meeting new people and learning (the hard way) who among those are true friends. We have all gone through that challenge at least once in our lives.

This book is well-written. There are chapters that show other characters' points of view. It's fun to read through them while keeping in mind the personalities of these characters. This story inspiring. Those who have been bullied or judged because of physical appearance can relate to Auggie's experiences. Surprisingly, I was touched by the ending. I didn't expect this book to make me cry, but I guess a little bit of kindness and a lesson on kindness can go a long way.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Say What You Will

Say What You WillSay What You Will by Cammie McGovern
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

But it's possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It's sad, perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.

Like many YA novels, this book has this coming-of-age and teenage-falling-in-love themes. What's unique about this story is that it revolves around two people who have physical and psychological disabilities. They struggle with their states of well-being and, at the same time, face the challenges of making big choices in life.

The first part of the book is very engaging. The characters are endearing with their own flaws that made me like them more. I was not hooked during the latter part of the book though. It felt like it was unnecessarily prolonged and the ending felt abrupt and forced. I was not as touched as I expected. For a book that's being compared to Rainbow Rowell's "Eleanor and Park" and John Green's "The Fault in our Stars", maybe I expected too much.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Landline

LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wasn't that the point of life? To find someone to share it with?
And if you got that part right, how far wrong could you go? If you were standing next to the person you loved more than everything else, wasn't everything else just scenery?


I think I've mentioned it before and I will mention it again-- I want to write like Rainbow Rowell. She has this style of incorporating current pop culture, geekiness and love into a story that makes me giddy and with characters that I can truly relate with.

"Landline", however, is not the typical Young Adult novel I am used to. The main characters are within my age bracket and there is a bit of supernatural mystery included in the plot. This is not Rainbow's best compared to the other books I've read so far, but there's something familiar and comforting about her storytelling that reminds me of a hot cup of chocolate, a warm blanket and a good book during rainy days.

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Monday, July 07, 2014

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"After all, it's one thing to run away when someone's chasing you.
It's entirely another to be running all alone."

I wanted a light read that could bring back that dreamy, heart-thumping, cheek-blushing feeling that is love (or infatuation, whichever suits your fancy). I chose this book and I wished I could have started reading it while waiting for my flight in the airport because my imagination would have run wild.

Everything happens for a reason, including the a few minutes worth of delay, wrong timings and separation. This is a typical story of a 17-year old girl who is coping with the divorce of her parents, re-marriage of her father and falling in love. I find the main characters charming, especially Oliver, but maybe I expected too much from the love angle that the story fell short. I was probably looking for more swoon-y moments.

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