Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 New Year Reading Resolution




I’m not big in making resolution. I’m a modest person who keep my foot on earth. I know that some people will be stunned by my wonderful achievement in reading, so I don’t want to make people jealous with my amazing resolution and achievement. I’m such a person with a caring personality, so I’m going to make my reading New Year resolution seem easy and simple…

Fine, I admit it. This has nothing to do with my caring personality or whatsoever. I don’t like to make too-high resolution because I will feel like the resolution is chasing after me. I’ll be haunted by my own reading challenge. Sounds kind of silly, but well… that’s me.

So this is my reading resolution for 2012:
1. Read 60 books in 2012
(Like I’ve told you, I don’t enjoy having too much book expectation. I’m a student after all. I wish I could make it 100 books in 2013/2014)
2. Finished all books by Sarah Dessen
(So far I’ve read Just Listen and The Truth about Forever. Planning to read What Happened to Goodbye next and then the rest of her books)
3. Read my copy of Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
(I don’t feel the passion to read Vampire Academy series anymore after reading the last book, Last Sacrifice. I’m not a big fan of Jill or Sydney, and I can’t stand the thought of heartbreaking Adrian with the awkward Jill. I mean, ewhh. Sorry, Jill. Gotta gather my strength first before reading Bloodlines.)
4. Write more reviews and other things in my book blog
(Would people mind if I read a short review? I myself prefer long review. However, some books don’t give me strong feeling, so I can only make a short review for them. Well, as Jean de La Fontaine said, ‘but the shortest works are always the best.’ *wink*)

Well, I think that’s all for my reading resolution. In my life resolution, I wrote things like: ‘decrease my intensity of eating instant noodles’, ‘eat more vegetables’, and ‘stop questioning why heroines in novel could be such an airhead sometimes’. Well, that’s another story and I won’t post that kind of resolution here. Not sure if anyone even spare their time to read it haha.

Have a nice day people! I hope you read a good book today. :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Bad Apple by Laura Ruby





A good book with smooth writing and a thoughtful message.

Many people think Tola Riley as a really strange girl. A girl with too much imagination. A freakish green-haired girl. A girl who has piercing on her nose and maybe some mysterious parts on her body. The hottest news about Tola Riley is, she has affair with her art teacher, Mr. Mymer, and the teacher gets suspended because of their love thing.

People talk about Tola all the time. Classmates mock her. Enemies stalk her. Family refuses to talk about the affair issue. Reporters digging news around the neighborhood, interviewing everyone who thinks that they know the real story. Do they really know?

No one ever listens, so why bother to explain? Why not leave up to their expectation? Why not enjoy the amusement of being a bad girl?

The truth is not as glamour as it sounds. Tola does dye her hair emerald green, and the only piercing she has is on her nose. She is a talented artist who loves to paint based on her fairytales fantasy. She loves Grimm’s fairytales very much and she loves to bring Grimm’s book all the time because she wants to remind people that fairytales are grim. And Tola is never, ever has an affair with her art teacher. She’s friends with Mr. Mymer, yes, and she does accidentally meet him in the museum that day. But nothing has ever gone between them.

No one has bothered to listen anyway. Everyone quickly jump into conclusion that Tola is a confused, young girl who has been persuaded by her art teacher. Tola’s mother is furious, and she will do anything to make Mr. Mymer fired. No one will listen, because Tola is a liar. 

Will Tola tell the truth? Will people believe in her? And most importantly, will her family finally listen to her and break the ice between them?

Bad Apple is a simple and quick-read book, and I enjoy reading it. Tola’s character seems very real to me with her artistic side and her obsession with fairytales. Tola is very fond of telling the fairytales when people are begging her to tell the truth. Fairytales, with the twist of fate and wicked step-mother, seem like a sort of escape for Tola. Ever since her father leaved her family, Tola always tells fairytales, so much that people call her liar.

There will be times when you start wondering: who is telling the truth, Tola or people around her? Sometimes you can’t tell whether Tola is making up fairytale to herself or she speaks honestly. I am pleased that Tola and her family are growing up throughout the story. I don’t feel quiet much attachment with this book though. I think there are not much left stories about supporting characters like June or Seven. Still, I like this book, the repeatedly mentioned of some fairytales, and the clear message of the story.

You have to figure out what you believe all for yourself.


I rate this book:

Three maples! Like it, but doesn’t give me much impression. Recommended to read in spare time.

Review: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier





I'm giving this book: 5 out of 5 stars


The story is set in Britain and Ireland before the time of Christianity. The framework for Daughter of The Forest is a Germanic tale, The Six Swans, a wonderful story from the collection of the Grimm Brothers. Daughter of the Forest is a beautiful and tearful tale, and I find myself crying in many parts of the story. 

Sorcha (pronounced: Sor-ra) is the youngest child and the only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. After her mother’s death, Sorcha and her six elder brothers live freely. Quiet abandoned by her father, the seven siblings become so dependent on each other. Together they learn the secrets about their forest and the mythic tale which surrounded it. 

One day, their father comes and tells them that he brings a new mother for them. Lady Oonagh is a beautiful woman with proper manners, but all the siblings know that she is dangerous. She is not even human. The seven siblings try to destroy her dark power using the forest power, but Lady Oonagh knows what they try to do and catches them. Sorcha is able to escape, but her six brothers must suffer Lady Oonagh’s curse. She turns them into six swans, and the only time they return to their true shape is on the day of midsummer and midwinter. 

Sorcha, with help from mythical creature of the forest, knows that there is a way to break the spell. She has to sew six shirts, one for each brother. The shirts must be made from a thorn bush, and she has to suffer the thorns cutting through her hands while she sews the shirts. She must tell nobody about her brother’s spell, and she has to sacrifice her voice until the curse is lifted. If she says even one word before the curse is undone, then her brothers will remain swans forever. 

I find the story is really beautiful, and there are times I find myself drawn deeply into the story. The meeting of Sorcha with a guy from her enemy land plays a great part of the story. Red, the red-haired man who saves her when she is almost drowned, happens to be one of the leaders from her enemy land, Britain. The story of Sorcha and Red is really fun to read. I love most about the way Red protects Sorcha and understands her even though Sorcha can’t say anything at all. 

Daughter of the Forest is a really good book and I really recommend it, especially for people who loves remake of fairy tales. Sorcha is a wonderful heroine and she has my sympathy. I admire her dedication and love to her family and her land. Red is a suitable hero to balance Sorcha with his strength and his patience. In short, a must-read book! 

Finally I fell asleep, still staring into the candle flame, curled up by small Alys for warmth, with my brothers’ names sounding over and over in my head, as if by saying them I could keep them alive a little longer, just a little. Just long enough.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Illyria by Elizabeth Hand



Rogan and Madeline are cousins. Their fathers are identical twins. Both are the youngest of six siblings. Both were born in the same day. They grow up together, and they are really, really close.

So Rogan was darkness, I was light, and over the years the metaphor was extended to include just about every doomy literary reference you can imagine—Caliban and Ariel, Peter Pan and Wendy, Heathcliff and Cathy, Abelard and Heloise, Tristan and Iseult, Evnissyen and Nissyen . . .

Maddy always protects Rogan from his bully brothers. Rogan always shows his magic world to Maddy. Rogan has the most beautiful voice Maddy ever heard. His voice is so pure, wild, and somehow magical. He has a pure talent, inherited from their great-grandmother who was a wonderful actress. Maddy breaths nothing but him. He is her air, her element, her everything.

They thought that they would be together forever. However, they don’t what future holds. Rogan is always a wild child. When they are both fifteen, he joins a band and starts skipping school. He has new friends and he starts smoking pot. Maddy is worried but she can’t do anything to stop him. She doesn’t know how to. Slowly but surely, Rogan seems to drift away from Maddy.

Maddy loves Rogan, loves him passionately. But she also envies Rogan’s talent.

I thought of how Rogan moved, of his hands drawing patterns in the air. I thought of how he walked, shoulders canted back slightly, head tilted as though he were trying to listen to some far-off sound. His face raised always to the light; the way he’d stare at you so intently it was like a challenge, even if he said nothing.

There was a subtle undercurrent to everything Feste said, everything he sang; as if he knew some other, deeper, secret meaning attached to the play, something strange, even supernatural; something the rest of us could never hope to understand, although we drove ourselves crazy trying to.
Especially me.


Maddy wants to have some glamour or magic, a voice to summon up anything extraordinary, offstage or onstage. She wants to show enchantment onstage like Rogan so effortlessly always does. She doesn’t know how to have glamour… unless she learns it from Rogan.

And that’s how Maddy plays onstage, as if she is possessed by Rogan. She calls the memory of her cousin, and she pretends that she is Rogan. She builds a character, a shell, and is she builds it right, something comes to live inside it.

Rogan will always live inside of her… even when they start growing
apart. They will always be together. Forever.

I was afraid to guess at what might be there, beyond the tiny stage; afraid to give a name to what we saw there, just as I couldn’t give a name to what I felt for my cousin.

Magic; love.

Endless longing; a face you’d known since childhood, since birth almost; a body that moved as though it were your own. These were things you never spoke of, things you never hoped for; things you could never admit to. Things you’d die for, and die of.

“Rogan,” I whispered.

“What?” He turned to me, and his eyes gleamed peacock-blue in the footlights. “Maddy? Why are you crying?”

“Nothing. Rogan.” He put his arms around me and I trembled. “Just you.”


I rate this book:
 
Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome! I love the tea flavor! A strong recommendation!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Review: Willow by Julia Hoban


I'm giving this book: 3 out of 5 stars

Injuring yourself on purpose by making scratches or cuts on your body with a sharp object — enough to break the skin and make it bleed — is called cutting.

Willow is a cutter. After her parent’s dead, she starts cutting her arm. Every time it becomes too overwhelmed for her, she’ll sneak out. Alone by herself, she pulls out one of her razors — she has many razors as her supplies — then she pulls up her sleeve, and cuts her arm. Sometimes it’s her legs. Or her stomach. Places where people won’t see. And it is amazing. It completely numbs Willow’s other pain.

This pain, this physical pain, was flowing through my veins like heroin, and I was numb, immune to the rest of it, I couldn’t feel anything but the pain, and I knew that I had found a way to save myself. page 313

She taught herself, she has trained herself, not to feel anything except physical pain. She’s completely in control of that. For seven months.

If she let herself, she’d drown in a world of pain. But she can’t let that happen, she simply wouldn’t be able to handle it, not that kind of pain. Thankfully she knows how to prevent such a thing. page 55

Things were simple before she met him. There was the accident, and there was the razor. Life revolved around both of them. Now things are far from simple. As she meets Guy, a senior in her new highschool who finally knows her secret.

Guy can’t let Willow keep injuring herself. And Willow won’t let herself to feel anything but pain. Things are intense in their earlier talks, but as the time progresses, Willow starts enjoying Guy’s company. They talk about books. They talk about Willow’s parents. They even talk about the accident, memory when Willow crashed her parent’s car and made them dead…

Could Guy save her?

Razor has been Willow’s lover for the past seven months.

Is she ready to part company with her constant companion?

Would Willow throw her razors? Or would she become too addicted to pain?

You won’t know the answer until you reach the last page.

New post... finally!



I'm really, terribly sorry for my absence in blogging. I'm just so busy handling my real life, and so I've been neglecting my blog. I'm also busy on Tumblr lately. Ugh, I know I'm making lame excuses, sorry. :'(

Oh well... so I'm currently reading Wither by Lauren Destefano. I love the story so far. I'm having some problem with books dealing with freedom, but this book is one great exception. Planning to read Oh.My.Gods by Tera Lynn Childs or Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.

Have a nice book day everyone! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen




Don’t think or judge. Just listen.

Annabel Greene has everything. Or rather, she used to have everything. Hanging out with the most popular girl in school, having part-time job as a model, and living in a big glass house with strikingly beautiful sisters. But everything is not what it seems.

Last year, her second sister was almost dead of starving herself. Her longtime friend and the most popular girl in school, makes school a hell because she thinks Annabel is making a move on her boyfriend. Annabel is sick of modeling and she wants to quit, but she knows that her mother loves modeling too much. And that thing, a really terrible thing that happened in the beginning of summer. So Annabel does the only thing she’s very good at… she keeps everything inside, and run away from people.

At first everything’s okay. She’s just fine, pretending that everything’s okay. But when Owen Armstrong comes to her life, something cracked up in her heart.

Owen introduces her to music. The true essentials of music. Owen always listens to her, and he’s always honest. He’s always honest to people. The one thing Annabel is really jealous of.

Slowly, Owen changes her life. And Annabel learns that she has to start listening to the voice of her heart, the voice that keeps calling for her…

“Plus there’s the fact,” he went on, making it clear he didn’t need me to reply anyway, “that music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment. Which is pretty amazing, when you actually think about it.”

It was pretty amazing. As was this conversation, so wholly unlike anything I could or would have ever imagined. “Yeah,” I said slowly. “It is.”

Review: Forever by Judy Blume




I picked this book for obvious reason. The simple title. Forever. Everyone is enchanted with that word. The constant.  Everlasting. Eternal. Here, and after.

Introducing a sweet couple, Katherine and Michael. Both seniors from different school. Both young, attractive, and curious about love. And mostly important, they believe in that word. Forever.
We get to see how Katherine and Michael meet up. First kiss. First sex. First serious relationship. First promise of forever.

Naturally, their parents don’t want them to take things too seriously. Eighteenth is too young to get tied up forever. They should see other person, other scenery, and other places. Their parents make them go to different places, and they will be stayed apart for six weeks. Of course, Katherine and Michael are furious. 
They will only have to prove to everyone, that they are destined for each other. Separating them will only make their love grows stronger.

But they don’t know, that forever…. Forever is a very hard word to keep.

Even though I think the ending is kind of harsh, the message in the book is clear: don’t get too hasty in love. If you promise something, mean it. That way, you won’t hurt too many people in the process. Because we grow from experiences.

“I love you, Michael Wagner.”

“Forever?” he asked.

“Forever,” I said.

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