Saturday, 28 December 2013

Book Review: The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

This has been the most unusual book I've read so far. They are stories of people written in, how do I saw this, uhm, different formats. Every chapter is a different person with a different perspective on his/her life. One of my favorites was that one of this girl who everyone thinks is some kind of a whore who steals boys just because she wants to and that she can. They don't know that she sometimes (or maybe most of the time) hates herself for being that way. There's this guy she's dating and has been faithful to so far and she wants to leave him and is convinced to leave him because she knows or thinks she knows she'll just break his heart. She thinks she's desirable especially when it comes to her body but she doesn't think she's beautiful. In another chapter wherein it's her little sister's point of view, the little sister feels that she has never felt more alone without her older sister because the older sister is now in college and thinking of other things. The little sister talks about how her older sister has always been there for her and how she would defend her if someone bullied her. There was one part of her chapter where she talks about her older sister coming home after prom and tells her to come outside with her and they're just lying there in the grass and watching the stars. It reveals a lot about the complications of teenage life in high school, where there's so much drama and, of course, possibilities. I think that many would be confused while reading the first parts of it because they were all expecting the good old format of a traditional novel.I sure was, actually. It's a book worth reading again and again and it even gives you advice in how to find direction where you're feeling lost. That's how most teenagers feel in high school. They feel like they are just floating and drifting in the sea of people without purpose sometimes. It's a good book for teens to read, and I hope that they all put to heart the things they learn from it.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The story starts with Death describing his favorite sky which is in the color of Chocolate. It then movies into the events that lead to the book thief's first stolen book. It's a gravedigger's handbook, and I imagine that the look on her foster father's face upon discovering it must have seemed close to the painting, Scream. My head certainly imagined his mouth agape at it. The next ones were also quite interesting. By next one, I mean the next stolen books she'll have. It's nice because it's a story that starts before the war, trudges through the war, and ends well after the war. It was Nazi Germany in a whole other perspective. I always imagined that life in the middle of a war was very difficult and quite grim. The book begged to differ. There was happiness even while there was war. I love the dark humor of Death. It's very compatible with my sarcastic philosophical nature. The story had the potential to make me cry. Death had the potential to make me laugh until my breath runs out. I certainly hope that I'm one of those souls who'll stand and look him in the eye when the time comes. I haven't seen the movie. Yet. It'll show here in the Philippines on February and I am certainly hoping to be there on the opening. I'm only praying that it would do the book justice. It was an amazing read. It's haunting and makes me feel like I haven't truly lived a life, even at my age. I love papa's silver eyes. I love the fact that they were called silver, not some light grey or transparent very light blue. They are silver in the book and henceforth, silver in my head. I confess, the book gave me goosebumps. It was not how I expected it to be. It felt like I was there even though I wasn't really there. It was as if I was sitting there with Max painting pages of The Word Shaker or racing in the mud with Rudy or listening to Papa playing the accordion, mama calling me a Saumensch and whacking me with a wooden spoon or with Liesel reading The Shoulder Shrug or The Whistler. I swear, I could smell that murky basement they were crammed into the second time when the bombs really came. It felt like I was under all the rubble then, too, on the next one. The imagery and the words were swirling around me with this one, It made me think a lot. It wasn't the kind of book that made me scream or yell or cheer. It was the kind that made me quiet for a long time. We had our Christmas Party yesterday and I was really quiet. My friends were all wondering what was wrong with me. There was nothing wrong with me. My case wasn't some kind of flu or like that. It was a book. This was the first time I became really quiet after a book. I don't know why I'm quiet. It just felt like screaming or cheering was inappropriate. Quiet was the option left. It's emotionally draining without being overly emotional. It makes you think of really deep things and I thought that was amazing. It was beautiful and I'm reading it all over again. Heil Hitler!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

About the latest review...

It was actually my second time to write a review about that book. The first time was on the other day but then we had a blackout and a power shortage and I was so pissed off because I was about the end the whole review! Uuuuurrrggghhh!!! It was frustrating. I was angry. Really angry. I had worked a long way through that one and the first one was actually more than twice as long as the latest one. I'm very grateful to Steve for giving me that book to read. I can't forget how flattered I was then and I am so glad I read your book. It was amazing and I sincerely hope that you write more and soon. Your fans need that second book any time now Steve, so please do hurry. So far, things have been quite fine here in Bohol. There are still aftershocks but we're used to them already. I miss it when we didn't have a lot of electricity. We did a lot of stargazing and outdoor camping during those days. It was difficult but very fun. Although the loss of electricity happened when Leyte was ravaged by the Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan). We were all devastated by that. The wouns will heal but I know that the scars of that calamity will remain. We're still doing relief operations here for the Tacloban victims and I pray that thy'll recover soon and fast. It may have destroyed the lives they have built and established but it has given them a chance to renew their lives. The events that have come through here in the Philippines were eye-openers. They've changed the way we view our life and our ways. Everyone hopes that better things will happen after all the pain and the suffering we've all experienced. Happy holidays to anyone who has actually read all this :D

Scapemaker by Steve V. Cypert

I have generally mixed feelings for this book. I have no idea if I love this book or not. The structure was good, as well as the organization. It's interesting enough that I actually finished reading it. Although I am sad to say that I did not scream in agony over Doby's death or cried happy tears when Matt and Amer had kissed. Honestly, this had disappointed me because that's how I know if a book was fine, good, great, amazing or just too damn awesome to actually want to let go of. Also, I really don't belong to any of its fandoms. Now for the more intricate details. Let me start with the story. It's a good one. It really is. I love how the author, Steven, writes in such detail. But the thing is, after a while, I kinda get bored. Not that the narration is boring. No. It's more like it's too slow or lengthy at times. I find myself speed-reading so I could finally get to the dialogues or the action. The plot was very well thought of so it was okay. It really is an interesting book with an interesting story but I'm not sure if I have come to that point of being "in love" with the book. But when the action started happening, I was stuck to it. I imagine it would have been like being high on drugs but since I've never been high or on any kind of drug, I wouldn't know how that felt. I truly do want to read the next one. Next part is, the characters. I just couldn't connect with them. I know that they're all interesting in ways and they do interest me but I just could not be very passionate with them. In the initial part of the story, I was generally sad about what happened with Matt losing his dad to Sandstorm prison. Who wouldn't be when a boy as young as him lost his own dad? But it's wasn't an overwhelming kind of sad. The book didn't elate strong emotions from me I think that's a real problem for me. I know when a book is amazing when it can make me tear up or rage in frustration or blow up in anger when the characters do something real stupid. I was really missing that part about reading a book. I felt sort of distant with this one. I think that's because I couldn't get to know the characters that well. I was reading about them but they were strangers to me. I'm surprised at how good the physical aspects are described in this book when the emotional and personal aspects are not as clearly defined. I find it difficult to imagine many of the characters so vividly in my head. The book needed more personality to it. The difference was that I saw them as characters and not really as people. They weren't very real to me because there was a lack of information about them. I'm not asking for addresses or phone numbers or schools or something like that. It needed more of the little details like for example, Mr. Xoner hated cats because they always looked at Mr. Ferret funny like he was the most delicious thing in the world. Or something like, Matthew wears his lucky socks at every game, and hasn't washed them for 3 years since he'd won his first game. The little details that made the characters more like people you would actually know and say hi to in the halls or whenever you passed by. As I was reading the book, they seemed distant and unreachable to me, like I'd reach out for them and I'd just be ignored by them. I did not like that, to be honest. They seemed more like characters in a story following a plot than people who've ended up in a whole lot of trouble or looking for trouble to get to their goal. Books are worlds in and of itself. To simply put, I was more like a bystander while I read and did not quite belong in it. My favorite characters so far are the triplets, Stanford, Stanley and Nacia. I love the bit where they can't be like a few feet away from each other. That would be so amazing if that were actually real. It's awesome, and fun. Next on my list is the world of the book itself. It is magnificent and I really wish I were a scaper just to get into their school. I am so jealous of these kids! Ugh! I wish I was in there with them to make things a little more crazy with them. This last part is about the cover. Like any other reader, I would also consider judgement over the cover. It's a nice cover but I don't find it eye-catching or very intriguing. The cover kind of adds to that desire to read it. It's a nice cover but it could have been better. Or creepier. Or something just as eerily like the book. I find the cover too simple for a story of this magnitude and honestly think that it does not do the book justice. Just saying. 

P.S. Mr. Cypert, please write the next book because I really want to know what happens next, and I'm curious about this Nox guy I've heard so much about. Thanks :)