As my summer vacation officially comes to an end in just a matter of hours, so does my leisurely reading. So I thought I should write some reviews about them books before I start wiping off the fictions and fantasies, and replace them with whatever stuff I’m bound to learn in med school. Remember that pile of books I posted way before summer started? There were some 6 or 7 books there if I’m not mistaken and I’m proud to say that I managed to read more than that amount—13 books—for the duration of the entire break! And yes, I read most of those on the pile although not all because I tend to buy new books whenever the opportunity presents itself (i.e. whenever I pass by a bookstore). In short, I love books more than I love reading. Plus, it didn’t help that I often look up books that I fancy online and the next time I hit the bookstore, they’re there right at the tip of my nose. Anyway, enough of this blah blah blah. I don’t have much time. I need to sleep early. So here goes.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
It’s the first book that I read during the break (in fact even before graduation) so I’m afraid I no longer remember nor can write everything there is to remember and write about the book. But I do remember befriending Charlie and wanting to continue on with the rest of his journey as a high school student. What happened to him on his second year, third year, fourth? Did he make it to college? What course? Questions like those lurked in my mind as I stare at the last page of the book. And one more thing I like about the book is its reference to other literature works and well-known classics via Charlie’s English teacher who gives him reading assignments in/outside of the class. I got curious and wanted to read them as well because embarrassing as it may be, the only book I’ve read from the bunch was A Separate Peace and I only read it because it was required in high school. So in a way, the book made me realize that I still am illiterate when it comes to literature and in turn, it ignited in me the passion to read more and more and more.
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Looking for Alaska tackles pretty much the same issues as that of The Perks of Being a Wallflower so the transition from one book to the next was smooth enough that the two books kinda complemented each other. If there’s any element that set this book apart from the previous one, it was Alaska’s death. Yes, Alaska died. And the facts weren’t clear as to whether it was an accident or an act of suicide so it introduced a mystery in the story and I love a good mystery. In the end, I don’t think it was solved but at least it brought about some realizations to Pudge and the other characters. And oh, I like the living Alaska too. She’s strong-willed and a feminist, just like me. ;)
by Suzanne Collins
Finally had the time to read the final book to the Hunger Games series. And while Mockingjay is exciting, suspenseful and spine-tingling as expected, I still prefer the first book—The Hunger Games. I guess that Eureka moment of discovering a superb book is irreplaceable. And I really don’t like the ending with Katniss and Peeta living happily ever after while Gale was just thrown in some other district. I mean, I was Gale all the way until I met Patch (see next book). Hahaha! But other than that, two thumbs up to the book! :)
The Hush Hush Series (Hush hush, Crescendo, Silence)
by Becca Fitzpatrick
It is quite embarrassing to admit that I’m patronizing young adult novels, teen paranormal romance at that, but it’s a guilty pleasure. I mean, people are saying things about the Twilight saga but I loved it and I still do, but I’m done with vampires and so I tried fallen angels. And boy, I got hooked with the Hush hush series. I really stayed up late at night and lost myself reading them. Seriously, what’s not to love? I really like Patch for one—smart, sweet and funny all at the same time. I also enjoyed the writing for it throws in mounds of mysteries until it reaches the climax and only gets solved at the end of the book, and the end is not even an end for it is a cliffhanger leaving you hungry for more. Eeep! Now I can’t wait for the final installation of the series. Hihi.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor
This book gave me a mental image of myself sitting outside a coffee shop, pencil and sketchbook at hand and drawing the scenery in front of me because that is exactly what Karou does. It’s too bad I don’t have such gifted hands. Anyway, I also like the concept of the book. It’s a twist to the classic perceptions of angels and devils. Yes, it is another one from the angel bunch although I didn’t know it beforehand. On the downside though, I didn’t enjoy much that a great part of the book focused on the flashbacks of Akiva and Madrigal’s tragic love affair. I would’ve preferred an exclusive Karou-Akiva love story. Then again, maybe that would come later, on the second book which I’m excited to get my hands into. But other than that, I really like the book. It’s a magical world with chimaeras and angels and wishes and flying after all. :)
My Name is Memory
by Ann Brashares
I am such a sucker for love stories, so much so that I was drowning in tears by the time I finished the book. My Name is Memory is a good love story. And a sad one at that. I don’t know how much of the truth the book holds but with a love that strong, I’d like to believe that nothing is indeed impossible. I earnestly like the idea of a long-enduring love that lasted for lifetimes, all the more that they never gave up on it no matter how unlikely the circumstances were. It is a love that sees solely the soul, not minding the age or the appearance or the status. Just love in its purest and truest form. Aside from my innate hopeless romantic state of being, I also enjoyed the book because I am one who incessantly ponders about life and death, and the book is nothing short of that. It tackles a many aspects of the soul, the mind and the thread that connects lives to lives. In addition, it takes you back through time and touches many aspects of humanity. Admittedly, I initially felt like reading a History book; what with ancient Greece and Ptolemy and World War I and World War II. But it did get better with each transition from one life to another, and with the unfolding of the extraordinary and unforgettable tale of Lucy and Daniel. Obviously, it’s my favorite book from the 13 that I’ve read during summer.
Matched Series (Matched, Crossed)
by Ally Condie
After the undeniable success of the Hunger Games series, hundreds of dystopian novels suddenly popped out of nowhere. And one quiet night like this, I did some research about such books and happened to stumble upon one called Matched. It piqued my interest upon learning that Disney bought the movie rights to this young adult trilogy (the third book isn’t out yet). So I read it. Matched is a dystopian romance meaning to say that it kinda concentrated on love in the middle of a dystopian society as compared to THG which only touched the subject matter rather than focus on it. It was okay with me but Crossed, on the other hand, had too much deserts and canyons and carvings. It did help that the book came with this page illustrating a map but still, my imagination couldn’t quite match the words to create the right pictures of the scenery in my head. In terms of the dysopian theme, I think the Society (what their society is called) is too controlled to the point of exaggeration and has extremely absurd rules against running, keeping priced possessions, entering a neighbor’s house, stuff like that. But I don’t know. I’m not sure if I’m judging it the right way because I am not really familiar with dystopian societies other than Panem.
The Lover’s Dictionary
by David Levithan
I am extremely drawn to weird things, books included. While The Lover’s Dictionary is a commonplace kind of love story, the way it was written sets it apart from the rest of the books of the genre. It is written in the form of dictionary entries; that is, alphabetically arranged words with definitions which were more of the roles they played on the life of the unnamed narrator. Chronology is out of the question but one can visualize the bigger picture effortlessly. The story is easy enough to piece together to give just enough details into the ups and downs of their relationship. Besides, it appeared to me more of a diary than a novel with the thoughts of a lover. Sometimes, it even felt like my own thoughts written on paper by somebody else. It’s probably the closest thing to reality that you can get from a book and that makes it such an easy read. So relatable. And if you’re like me who jots down quotes from books, you will get a lot from this one. And I’ve learned a lot of new words too. It is the one book that I religiously read with a real Merriam-Webster dictionary at hand.
Sundays at Tiffany’s
by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonett
Date on the inside cover of the book says that I bought it 06-12-11. More than a year ago. And I believe I’ve already told you about it here, but I read it again that’s why it holds a place in this entry. Second time, yes. Because for some reason I couldn’t recall (prolly school-related), I didn’t finish it the last time and already forgot where I left off. Good thing I didn’t regret reading it again for it is such a sweet love story and the twist and turn of events at the end was something I didn’t expect. But I liked it anyway. And Michael is really one of my favorite fictional boyfriends. Hihi. Also, I still haven’t seen the movie but from what I know, they made Michael a kid who grew up while Jane was growing herself. That shouldn’t be the case, however. Michael was forever somewhere in his 30s, from the beginning of the book until he became a real human in the end (oops, spoiler!). But movie adaptations of books are always a disappointment so nothing new there. Right, right?
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
It’s beautiful. It’s depressing. It struck me as a strange read with bold letters and sketches appearing in the middle of the pages, and with Death as the narrator. But it is interesting. The kind of literature English teachers would have their students read. In fact, there are Questions for Discussion at the back of the book, which I’m guessing are exactly for the said purpose. It’s packed with history—Holocaust, Hitler, Jews, okay you get the picture. But more than that, it speaks of the value of books and the power of words. Again, the kind that teachers would be proud to discover and add to the curriculum for the next semester. For one, it’s not the most exciting available in the market which is like the top qualification needed for an English reading assignment. Haha! It’s also thick with small font size that it took me a week to finish it, but I’m not complaining. It’s worthy of my time. And maybe yours too. It’s not a Michael Printz Honor Book for nothing. Perfect book to end my summer. Very touching.
‘Til the semestral break? ;)