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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