Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It Only Happens In The Movies

When Audrey meets Harry, it's the start of a truly cinematic romance- or is it?

Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliche rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart....- excerpt from book.

It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne is about falling in love at first sight, about how a divorced family is like and also about dealing with a heartbreak. Which teenager never had struggles? It's just a common thing and honestly this book highlights family problems, relationship problems which are quite average but what makes this book deserving a publication? I would say the uniqueness of discussing romance movies is what kept my attention captured, otherwise I felt that the female character was just an ordinary teenager.

To my annoyance I felt that there wasn't enough growth to the main heroine but it did happen gradually instead of an instant. Throughout the plot she has many interactions with her peers where there were interesting ones and some boring ones which I felt I can make do without. The male counterpart needs more attention as well, he was quite sidelined and I wished there was more of his background revealed. His interaction with the main character are parts that I enjoyed but when it comes to her thoughts and her school life, it's just normal.

The plot had an okay pace with not too many plot twists making the book barely grasping my attention. Often I would just speed read through only paying attention to conversations. I definitely enjoy her assignments and thoughts to romance movies but without those parts, the plot is just meh~. I would not really recommend this book and I can't really comment on the writer as she is quite famous for a trilogy. Maybe I need to read those to properly judge her writing style but in all honesty I just liked it, I don't think you're missing out on anything if you did not read it.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Lara Jean is having the best senior year. And there's still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach week after graduation, and her dad's wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she'll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekend.

Life couldn't be more perfect!

At least, that's what Lara Jean thinks...until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans-but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to? - excerpt from book.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han is the last book in the series, it's truly a bitter sweet one for me as I was reluctant to finish the book, dreading the ending. With an eagerness to read, I jump into the story the instant I've gotten the book and my attention was easily captured. The author made this young adult romance so exciting to read about as there were many new events for Lara Jean and her family. The ups and downs were just so entertaining, never failing to amaze me through the reactions of the characters. 

I was waiting and waiting for a certain male character to show up as I wanted a spicier romance for Lara Jean but sadly I was just anticipating too much. Lara Jean is on a search to find what she wants, her journey and growth truly made her special, the way she dealt with situations was genuine. I love how tight the family is and how that one person's actions and reactions would affect the family's dynamics. A heartwarming family from start till end, I love how they would stay so close and honest with each other.

To drill down on the characters, they are realistic people written by the author. The author potrays them well and pulls you in till you have that feeling that you know them well, like Lara Jean is your real life friend. I love how Lara Jean grows up gradually in the story, I often have moments of conflict when she is making decisions, I'll be like oh no sister, you shouldn't do it that way. As for every other character in the book, they fit in quite well with their personality, doing things they are meant to do perfectly.

I had no idea how the plot would go at all, I was happy that I didn't try to anticipate anything and just go with the flow. The flow was indeed good with surprises here and there. I love the plot twists although childish but very realistic. Indeed this was a heartwarming book with moments that you can treasure when it comes to family. It was a good conclusion to the series but I cannot hide that I was disappointed at some parts but nevertheless it was still acceptable. Overall I would say this series is worth picking up, giving you a good amount of romance, fun, family and teenage problems. I highly recommend this to those who want a refreshing take that is non cliche contemporary young adult series.

Monday, January 22, 2018

What To Say Next

"Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're so weird," she says. I look at her, or at least her chin, and discover that an offhand comment by Kit can disrupt my respiration. "But good weird, you know?"
Good weird.
Good weird is what I've been telling myself I am for years, when being just plain weird was too much of a burdern to carry. Good weird is the only solution to the problem, when normal isn't a viable option. Good weird may very well be the opposite of cool, but I've never aspired to cool. At least, not the version I'm familiar with.
"Thank you/"
"Speaking of weird, I have a random question for you. What can you tell me about quantum mechanics?" Kit asks, and a shiver makes its way from the bottom of my spine all the way to the top.
My sister suggested that I think up some small-talk ideas in case Kit came back to my table today.
Top of my list?
Quantum mechanics.
It's almost enough to make me reconsider the entire concept of fate. - excerpt from book.

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum is about two people who are not in the same click in high school but starts to interact with each other. A traumatising incident caused the popular girl Kit to suddenly sit at David's table.  It's definitely something that has never happened to David as he eats alone all the time. He rather have the quietness than to be bothered but why did Kit sat with him. 

I like how the author emphasise on biracial as it's not a topic often talked about, especially for those who are in America as from where I am it's quite common but there are always issues involved. I'm pretty sure it's the typical ones such as cultural differences, religious practises and principles while growing up. For someone like Kit who is half and half it's quite hard to get the correct footing as people would ask that question of "so what race are you". I find it quite rude but then again children are innocent because they don't understand how it impacts the person asked. That is just part of the important topic, another one would be a socially awkward child and how he fits in high school. 

I find David's perspective to be interesting to read when he is all alone thinking about his peers, how he views them and how his sisters gives him warning about those people. Of course all those socially awkward people are not entirely the same but they do go through the same struggles, trying to either fit in or be invisible. Of course we will never see the end of the "normal" people judging them and the extreme ones will bully. 

When those two interact, what are the conversations and activities that they partake, how they feel about each other are parts that enhances their personalities. I totally loved how the author manage to make the story flow without boring the readers, everything was light and easy yet a heavy message was subtlety told. Having a simple plot yet giving it life through the emotions and reactions of the characters made you feel closer to them. Lastly, how they grow directed the book to its plot twists.

A good page turner, this thin book packs a punch to your emotions and leaves quite an impression. For all those contemporary young adult lovers, this is one book you should not miss. I have heard that the author's debut was good, so after reading this I am convinced to pick up that other book.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Without Merit

"Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness"

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother's former nurse, the little half-brother isn't allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there's Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn't earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her---until she discovers that he's completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she's never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves -- excerpt from book

Coming from the author who took this genre with a whirlwind and a storm, her books are something you will learn to love. Latest from her collection of great books, this story focuses on a seventeen year old with family issues. She is someone who will trigger your feels in a sense that you might be able to relate to her. Her issues are not of the odd ones and definitely something common in our society.

Many characters are involved with our main heroine, she's quite conflicted with most of them. From her point of view, she would tell how she sees them. You can gauge her personality by her thoughts and action and realised that some days I'm just like her. I absolutely love it when she interacts with her family as it's the key to capturing my attention. Another character that caught my heart would be the love interest of Merit. He is one individual that is mysterious at first and when you get to know him better, the more you'll love him. Every other personnel in the household are certainly unique/normal enough to read about, I swear you'll never be bored.

As a new adult genre, do not expect too much of the plotline and you will enjoy the book. The events that happened are results of reactions from the characters of the book. You can expect a smooth and intriguing story but at some point it was slight bore where you wished something would happen already. But luckily for the plot twist it held my attention once again. 

Overall I would say this book was good but not as good as my favourite November 9. The character growth is good but the plot is average. There are certain moments that pulls at your heart string but not strong enough. The conversations about a certain issue highlighted in the  book can be related easily and that's one of the important things that I appreciate how the author approaches it. Without a doubt if you're a fan this book is a must have, but comparing it to the other two I've read, this is currently 3rd place.

Friday, January 5, 2018


Caraval by Stephanie Garber was reviewed as similar to The Night Circus hence it enticed me to buy it. With that kind of anticipation I was greatly disappointed as it was no where near that book at all, no where near a circus theme as well. In the end this book was more focused on games that are played on human emotions and decision making. The setting could be similar to a circus but to me it wasn't enough to fit the description. With a beautiful cover, you can easily be fooled to purchase the book but here I am advising you that this book is nothing to be missed.

What I can praise about this book is the mysterious characters involved. The side characters were quite intriguing as not much are revealed about them. These characters adds on to the suspense of the book. As for the main heroine, I find that she is too uptight and she hardly grows in the book, it certainly took some time but the progress is not ideal. Her interactions with other characters are often brief and her reactions were just acceptable. I would have love to see more reactions from other parties that interact with her. The most mysterious person unfortunately did not get much revealed towards the end of the book and I'm thinking the author has plans for the next book.

A roller coaster ride is not what you'll find for the plot line, albeit some plot twists this book is not able to capture my attention well. I felt that many incidents happen without proper build up to it. Often at times, I'm wondering what would compelled the plot to turn out this way. One things for sure is that the plot twists are unpredictable which is the motivation for me to complete the book. With the mysteriousness shrouding the book, it was worth reading to the end just to find closure to certain questionable people.

Do not go in with high expectations and I'm pretty sure that you'll enjoy the book. But since I have gotten reviews about comparing it with The Night Circus, it totally ruined how I viewed the book. It wasn't awesome but the author did go a good job on the plot twists seeing that this is a debut. I do recommend this book for fantasy readers as it's somewhat fresh in terms of the type of setting.

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