Monday, May 28, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of KatherinesAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The thing about chameleoning your way through life is that it gets to where nothing is real.

There is this child prodigy who tries to explain his penchant for girls named Katherine with some graphs and mathematical equations to form The Love Theorem. Then, there is this girl (not named Katherine) who thinks she is not living the life she wanted to live. All she wanted is to matter. They meet. They become friends. They shared laughter, tears, adventures, misadventures and a secret hiding place.

I am not into tangents and equations. Learning a new language is cool, but reading through a book and checking the meaning every so often of a word I don't understand can hamper my groove. On the other hand, there are still quotable lines. I like the Hassan-Colin friendship and the way they click. I think this is also the funniest John Green book I have read so far. I rate it 3 and a half stars.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Looking for Alaska

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken.

Miles Halter, a.k.a. Pudge, is the main protagonist of the story. His story started when he decided to change his boring existence. He left his parents for boarding school, made friends, fell in love and coped with the death of someone special. He met other colorful, clever and funny characters including Alaska Young. He goes through this roller-coaster journey where there's a lot of smoking and booze, with a dash of pranks and heartbreaks, sprinkled with teenage angst and hormones.

This is the second John Green book I've read. It still has its winning combination of witty and funny, which made me fall in love with his writing, but this one is also unexpectedly philosophical. Like his other book "The Fault in Our Stars", "Looking for Alaska" is another young adult/coming-of-age novel that touches similar topics such as friendship, love and death.

Yes, this book still has a lot of quotable quotes that really touched me. No, I did not cry as much as I cried in "The Fault in Our Stars" probably because the discussions about religion and spirituality did not really make me want to bawl out. This book made me stop, stare and think, "How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?" The next thing I know... Poof! Another John Green novel off my to-read list.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Before I Fall

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I guess that's what saying goodbye is always like-- like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you're in the air, there's nothing you can do but let go.

Imagine reliving the last day of your life over and over. You may not change the final outcome, but you get a chance to redeem yourself, make your last day more special and make your existence more meaningful. That's what happened to Samantha Kingston (Sam), the protagonist of this story. She needed a "wake-up call" in order to let go of her shallowness and realize the important aspects of life-- family, real friends, true love; and the lessons she needed to learn-- acceptance, non-judgement, respect.

The book began at the end and revolved around it. Initially, it was a bit slow-paced for me. The middle part became more intriguing and dealt with emotions I never anticipated. It's one of those young adult novels that deal with death but is not really as morbid as it sounds because the story is told from a young person's perspective. I developed a love-hate relationship with Sam as I read through her story. The ending was a bit abrupt and predictable but the cycle I had to go through before reaching that ending is unexpectedly enjoyable.

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