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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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Outsiders

The OutsidersThe Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot.
But all the wrong things, not the things you want to learn.
Sixteen years on the streets and you see a lot.
But all the wrong sights, not the sights you want to see."

Ponyboy Curtis reminds me a bit of Holden Caulfied (of "Catcher in the Rye"), but less cynical and more idealistic. The story revolves around Ponyboy's family and friends who belong to the "Greasers" part of society. They are from the lower class and their social stratum always clashes with the "Socs"-- the rich kids from the West Side. Ponyboy narrates this from a point of view of a 14-year-old kid who has seen too much, experienced too much and was forced to grow up fast. This is the same boy who loves books, clouds and sunsets.

I agree with Rainbow Rowell's review that the narration is just seamless. I can even hear their voices in my head including the accent and the twang.

I'm probably a few years late in reading this book, but I guess a story becomes a classic piece if it's socially-relevant at any given point in time. Big thanks to my friend who recommended this, among many other recommendations. My next step now is to watch the movie. :)

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Sunday, May 04, 2014

Hyperbole and a Half

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That HappenedHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that should be bought and enjoyed while turning the pages and admiring the illustrations. I was not a reader of Allie Brosh's blog, but this book made me a fan. This recounts some aspects of her life and it is funny, charming, witty and true. The depression and anxiety stories are poignant. What makes the stories hilarious is how I can relate to the feelings and situations in real life.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Liesl and Po

Liesl & PoLiesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

...If you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light.

I have read other Lauren Oliver books and I know her stories are well-written. I am also used to dystopian themes, but I also know that this is a children's book. What I didn't know is that this story was written in a way that can be heart-warming even (and especially) for those who have experienced a death of a loved-one.

This story contains the ingredients of a wonderful children's book-- alchemy, magic, love, pets, friends, family and sunshine. The story began in a dark place but as it unfolds, it seethes with innocent, warmth and hope.

But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.

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