Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scheherazade

ScheherazadeScheherazade by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This short story is the perfect distraction. It's long enough to be interesting and short enough to leave something for my imagination. Albeit short, this story still contains the signature Murakami style of writing with intrigue, sex and hints of sadness. Every once in a while, when I need an escape from reality, I will read a short story by Haruki Murakami. :)

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Long Way Down

A Long Way DownA Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are reasons why people enjoyed or loathed this book. I have a love-hate relationship with this one.

“A Long Way Down” is the first Nick Hornby book I’ve read. Like some or most of us, I'm more familiar with the movie adaptations of his books, such as “About A Boy”. Watching the movie of “A Long Way Down” prompted me to read the book. I was curious. The plot was interesting—four people who were about to commit suicide met at the top of a building and created an unusual relationship with each other.

I thing that surprised me while reading is how often Nick Hornby’s writing makes me laugh out loud. He’s funny and witty. There are some thought-provoking lines and some flat and uninteresting ones. I wonder if I should read his previous books to see if I may turn into an avid fan. :)

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was curious and I wanted to be scared out of my wits. The story started as creepy and ended up being different from what I expected. Other people may not like that, but the plot grew on me.

Judas Coyne is a rock star in the twilight of his years. He faced his greatest challenge when a ghost started haunting him. Was it for revenge brought about by his promiscuous lifestyle or was it something else? The story has unexpected twists and the characters' have their soft spots.

This is the first Joe Hill book I read and I must say, the style of writing reminded me of his father, Stephen King. I am planning to read a couple more of his books and I won't mind this story to be adapted into screenplay (just like "Horns"). :)

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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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