Saturday, April 05, 2014

Panic

PanicPanic by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A lot of contemporary YA authors are good at writing dystopian novels and Lauren Oliver is one of those. I have yet to finish her Delirium series because I wasn't that much excited reading the third one ("Requiem"), but I am intrigued by her stand-alone books.

The latest one, "Panic", contains themes about survival, fear, love, friendship and the strong urge to get away from a suffocating life. I'm sure a lot of YA readers can relate to those. I applaud the twists of the stories, although I am not that enamoured by the characters. There were a lot of gripping moments, but the ending seemed abrupt and left me a bit disappointed. Overall, this is still an interesting read and has a storytelling quality that is still Lauren Oliver.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the reasons why I was not disappointed with this book is that I let go of my initial notion that this is a horror story. The pictures may have given this book a creepy look, but I think that's what made it interesting. The story was created and inspired by actual, random, old photos. I was immersed in the world that Jacob discovered-- a world of peculiars, time loops, wights, hollows and ymbrynes. The plot is mystical and magical, but it also contains themes of family, friendship and love.



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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading the first few sentences of this book felt like falling in love at first sight. I knew I was in for a treat. I also knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride. I couldn't peel my eyes off it.

Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

— W.S. Merwin

My head is a mess right now. A few hours after I finished reading the book, I don't think I can write a decent review. I have had my fair share of reading coming-of-age books, but this is probably one of the best. It's everything I want for in a story and I didn't want it to end. The writing was smooth and reading it felt like watching the story unfold on a screen in front of me. It was funny, witty, deep and emotional all rolled into the main character's simple wish to understand the world and himself.

This is a story of friendship, family, life and love. The characters are not without flaws. The Universe is an inscrutable entity with secrets that the characters want to unveil. In the end, the answers to their questions and the enlightenment to their confusion are just in front of them.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Sky Is Everywhere

The Sky is EverywhereThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jandy Nelson is a brilliant writer. This story was written in a beautiful, almost poetic way. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of the plot.

This book revolves around Lennie Walker who has survived the death of an older sister, Bailey. During her time of grief, she felt guilty about being in love and living her life knowing that Bailey will never experience that nor will she ever share moments with her again.

The thing that disappointed me about the plot in the initial up to middle part of the book is the way Lennie reminded me of Bella from the Twilight series. She was torn between two guys-- her sister's fiancé, Toby, who started getting sexually attracted to her, and a new boy/heartthrob in town, Joe. This part of the story made me decide to remove one star from this review.

I mean, if the quote below can describe how she felt with Joe, I don't understand why she still got confused:
"I've always been into the Big Bang theory of passion, but as something theoretical, something that happens in books that you can close and put back on a shelf, something that I might secretly want bad but can't imagine ever happening to me."

Well, my father passed away last year and it didn't make me want to have sex with anyone who totally understood how I felt. I wanted to stop reading, but I thought I'd give this a chance. I also would have given this one or two stars, but the end part redeemed it. I like the way Lennie began to focus on her family-- her Gram, her uncle Big and her "lost" mother, Paige. I appreciate this part when she started to open up and realize how selfish she has become.

This part got me a bit emotional:
"My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy."

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your LifeThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don't know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn't you. That isn't you at all.

I found this book because I found a quote about music a few weeks ago in Tumblr that made me search for the author. This is one of those books that I would take as light reading and one would either love it or hate it depending on how you can relate to Elise, the main protagonist.

This book ended up surprising me with its witty characters, funny lines and inspiring quotations. There are lines when I feel like the author got a thought or two from my brain and wrote them on this book. The story is easy-flowing, like reading someone else's diary and relating to this person in a lot of levels. I think I wanted a music-infused, fairy tale kind of teenage experience that's why I like this book.

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