Saturday, March 23, 2013

Shuffle Saturday: Ever Enough by A Rocket to the Moon


Shuffle Saturday is hosted by Pretty in Fiction where you post random song from your ipod every week. This is quite new meme and I just want to try something a little different this week. :) This week's song is:




Ever Enough by A Rocket to the Moon

I will always be yours forever and more
Through the push and the pull
I still drown in your love
And drink 'til I’m drunk
And all that I’ve done,
Is it ever enough



I like most of their songs, and I think the video for this one is very beautiful. The lyrics are very sweet as well. ♥ The video honestly reminds me of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. :)

What are you listening to right now? (audio book included haha) Happy weekend, everyone! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: My Beautiful Failure by Janet Ruth Young


3.5 stars

She was a girl talking to me in the dark.

Billy is a new volunteer in the suicide hotline, and on the first day of his job, he receives a call from a girl named Jenny. Jenny told him that she was abused by her parents when she was a kid, and how her life went downhill after she started remembering the memories of the abuse. Billy wants desperately to help Jenney, but he is restricted by rules saying that it’s prohibited to form friendship with people who call. But Billy knows that Jenney is special to him, and he doesn’t hesitate to break rules and offer her his friendship. As Jenney’s calls become more frequent and more desperate, Billy has to race with time if he wants to save the girl whom he knows everything but her last name and her address.

My Beautiful Failure is undeniably melancholic, but it is also infused with lots of hope and wish for better days. The author might not be very successful in creating a guy’s voice, but the plots are very well-crafted and the story itself may as well happen in real life. To what extend you should push the boundaries between stranger and friend? There is a fine line between listening and being too much involved, and the main character, Billy, has problem differentiating the line.

Billy is not a character I liked instantly. With his caring personality and his obsession to become a psychologist, it shouldn’t be a problem to like him the moment I met him. However, Billy is a typical teenager with senseless belief that he knows everything about people, and it was hard to connect with him when he was being such a worrywart or a smartass. Billy is obsessed in saving people, and I can’t say that I don’t understand the need to do something amazing when you are young. I’m so glad that events in this book mold Billy into a more mature person in the end, and when I finished the book, it’s safe to say that I think of Billy as a friend.

Surprisingly, My Beautiful Failure is a short read and one I finished in no time. Despite my earlier difficulty to connect with Billy, I didn’t have difficult time appreciating the plots, the underlying message, and the supporting characters. All in all, My Beautiful Failure is not a book you would like to miss if you’re fans of contemporary or in need of something a little thought-provoking. The book itself is like a gentle reminder that after all, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

I rested my hand on one of the phones as if to test myself. The job was monumental, the ultimate responsibility. The way the rules were written, someday someone might call and mine would be the last voice that person would ever hear. In a few days I would start saving lives. But only if they wanted to be saved







I rate this book:
Four cups of tea. I like it, recommended to read in your spare time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Muse: {Movie Review} The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Watch the movie trailer HERE. :)

Happy Monday, everyone! Last month, I finally got to watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Being a huge fan of the book, I was so excited to watch it and I’m glad to say that I’m not disappointed with the result. I know that this comes as a very late movie review, but hey, it can serve as a gentle reminder for those who haven’t watched the movie yet, right? ;)



We accept the love we think we deserve.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an exceptional case – it was originally written, adapted to screenplay, and directed by the same person, the genius Stephen Chbosky. I myself sure would have been interested to watch it even if I had not read the book yet. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite reads last year. This coming-of-age story deals with heavy subjects such as drugs, abortion, LGBT, and alienation. However, the book still remains light and easy to read, and it feels very personal since the story is written in the form of letters. I promise that when you close the book, you will think of Charlie not as a character, but as a dear friend you're going to miss.



In the movie, Charlie is played by the young actor Logan Lerman. Lerman might not bring to life my adorable, sweet Charlie I met and loved in the book, but he perfectly captured the confused and emotionally unstable Charlie. I liked Lerman’s acting, although I must say that I didn’t love it, but his acting shows clear signs that he will improve even better in the future.

Sam, who is played brilliantly by Emma Watson, is a girl whom I can relate better compared to Sam in the book. In the book, we know Sam only from Charlie’s perspective. However, in the movie we are given special privilege to meet Sam and get to know her from third person’s perspective. Sam is a lot of fun, mistakes, and amends in the book, but she is more a girl with determination to improve herself in the movie. I admire her desire to improve herself – and she succeeded in the end. I understand better why Charlie falls for her, and that’s one aspect I note in the movie version.

Now, onto my newest favorite actor. Ezra Miller is truly, undeniably the star of this movie. He effortlessly brings us Charlie’s best gay friend, Patrick, in a flesh. His acting is what makes this movie one hundred times better. I liked Patrick in the book, but I loved him in the movie. His remarks, antics, and jokes in the movie didn’t seem memorized at all. It’s as if Miller himself could be Patrick in another life and another time. 


I’m so glad that the issues like drugs, violence, and sexuality are treated very carefully in the  movie. The scenes are not explicit at all, and we are left to complete the pieces in our mind. Although I was disappointed to find some scenes in the book are deleted in the movie, but the finished result is quite enjoyable. I’d like to think of the movie version not as the book adaptation, but as a complement to make the book a whole. The movie version may lack things that I liked in the book, but at the same time, it also has things that the book didn’t bring out successfully.

I don’t think it’s possible to compare the movie and the book since they are two different things I wholly enjoyed. If you decide to watch this movie, I recommend you to read the book first. That way, you will enjoy the movie even more since some things may be a bit vague in the movie version. My last advice: buy the DVD or rent it somewhere, because trust me, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is not a movie (or a book) that you would like to miss.

Thank you for reading this week’s Monday Muse! Next week, I’m going to talk about negative reviews and how I tackle it… or rather, how should I tackle it? So stay tune. ♥ Have a wonderful day, everyone! :)

PS: You can watch the deleted scenes of The Perks of Being a Wallflower HERE. :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke




3.5 stars

Looking for a fun fantasy read? Look no further, because The Assassin’s Curse got everything you want: fantasy, magic, assassin, and camel in a package! Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Camel! Ever heard of runaway bride? Sure you have. Ever heard of a runaway bride who steals a camel to pursue her dream of having her own pirate ship? Bet you’ve never.

The Assassin’s Curse is, as it suggests, an entertaining read. Things are crazy in this book that I couldn’t help but giggled all the time. Through a series of events, Annana the runaway bride saves life of an assassin who is ordered to kill her, Naji. Because of his vow in the past, Naji is forced to serve her now. Both of them want to break this curse that binds them together, but as time progresses, Annana starts thinking… maybe it won’t be so bad to be together all the time?

Oh my, I love Annana. An admirable heroine, she’s just what you ask from a pirate princess. She’s strong-willed, persistent, and of course: a healthy amount of stubbornness! Leila, Naji's ex-lover, is surely a character to hate. What a witch. (literally and figuratively) I don’t know what Naji sees in her, despite of Leila’s beauty. I instantly shared Annana’s dislike toward her the moment she is introduced in the book. I’m really hoping for more romance in the following book, because Annana and Naji can share some intimate moments! Watching them fight all the time is amusing, but I would very much like to see more sparks fly between those two. :)

Comical and entertaining, The Assassin’s Curse is recommended to those who wouldn’t mind slow pacing story and evil ex-girlfriend. The misadventures of Annana and Naji would not fail to crack you up, I promise.

"I have to protect you now." The words came out in a rush, like he was embarrassed to say 'em. I woulda been.

"What? Why?"

"You saved my life. That's how it works."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I rate this book:
 Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor!  A strong recommendation.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



”There’s no reason to think that we’re going to stop loving each other. And there’s every reason to think we won’t.”

It’s 1986. Eleanor is the new girl in school, and she’s not exactly blessed with the most fortunate appearance. She’s overweight, has unruly red hair, and wears clothes from thrift store. Park is the only one in the bus who lets Eleanor sit with him, although grudgingly. They didn’t warm up instantly either. It takes piles of comic books and shared Walkman to get them to start talking. Countless legendary songs and what feels like million afternoon-after-school in Park’s house to get Eleanor to open up.

But Eleanor holds many secrets, and none of them are pretty. She is bullied because of her looks, and to top it off, her terrifying stepfather is watching her every step. Park knows that he can’t always be Eleanor’s hero, and it drives him frustrated sometimes. Eleanor is acutely aware that their time has limit, because nothing good can stay forever. Nothing can stay, especially nothing as good as Park.

Eleanor didn’t have anywhere to hide her secrets. In a box, on her bed. At Park’s house, a block away.

She was running out of time with him.


When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew that I’m bound to love this book. I love flawed characters. I love slow-pacing romance, and I love little things that characters do when they fall in love. For those reasons, I love Eleanor and Park to bits and pieces. Park is so sweet towards Eleanor, and I found myself smiling when they start to warm up toward each other. It was impossible not to root for their happy ending, because they feel so real and you just want them to have the happy ending they really deserve.

I like Eleanor’s character, she is very strong even in her darkest days. Yet, sometimes I found her insecurity is a tad bit frustrating. Eleanor guards her heart with all her might, and I really wished that someday she could see that that Park loves her because she deserves to be loved.

Park is a half-Korean, and having a protagonist who comes from minority is one thing I’m very pleased about. I’m glad that his heritage doesn’t overpower the story either. Park is a very nice and considerate guy, and he is in every aspect a perfect boyfriend. I really like the way Eleanor depicts Park. She describes Park so vividly, so much that I can imagine Park when I close my eyes. Green eyes, black hair. Skin the color of sunshine through honey. Park seems almost delicate, but his taekwondo lessons build him into a warrior. It’s very adorable that each of them find things they appreciate in each other, although both are unable to see those special things in themselves.

I’m not a big fan of the ending, however. I love it when pieces of the story are put perfectly to make a complete puzzle, and I felt like I missed one big, important puzzle when I finished this book. I heard that the author is thinking to make a sequel, and I really hope that it’s true. Because we need more of Eleanor’s snarky replies. More of Park’s subtle understanding. More of Eleanor and Park together, creating a world where only two of them exist.

With the music, the gorgeous writing, and the intricate romance, Eleanor and Park wholly deserves a place in your bookshelf.

When Eleanor got on the bus that afternoon, the Asian kid opened up Watchmen right where they’d left off. They were still reading it when they got to Eleanor’s stop – there was so much going on, they both stared at every frame for, like, entire minutes – and when she got up to leave, he handed it to her.

Eleanor was so surprised, she tried to hand it back, but he’d already turned away. She shoved the comic between her books like it was something secret, then got off the bus.

She read it three more times that night, lying on the top bunk, petting the scrubby old cat. Then she put it in her grapefruit box overnight, so that nothing would happen to it.







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



PS: If my reviews isn't convincing enough for you to give this book a go, try reading John Green's review of Eleanor & Park here. :) 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Muse: An Introduction to New Online Bookstore!



Hello everyone! I apologize in advance because today’s post is more suitable for readers in Indonesia and Singapore. :) Today, I’m going to talk about the new IT place to get imported books, which is….

*drum rolls*

OPENTROLLEY!

OpenTrolley is a new online bookstore that is originally based on Singapore. They are quite new, especially in Indonesia. They only serve Indonesia and Singapore for the time being, but I’m hoping that soon they can serve other countries in Southeast Asia. :)

I think it's a great new alternative for imported book readers in Indonesia and Singapore, alongside Book Depository and Amazon. You can check out their website for Indonesian readers HERE and for Singaporean readers HERE..

And now, reasons why I’m so happy about this new online bookstore:

1. So many books to choose from! Every John Green’s books are available to buy, even the fairly new John Green box set! YAY! ♥ 
2. Quick delivery! Compared to orders from Book Depository which take almost forever to arrive to my house, 8-14 working days to arrive is totally fine for me. No more worries that my books may have been lost in the Pacific Ocean. :P 
3. Option to transfer via bank! Since I don’t have credit card yet, it’s way easier for me to transfer via my bank account. :) 
4. The neat packaging! I haven’t tried it yet, but everyone I know says that the packaging is very neat, with bubble sheet wrapper and carton box. Me loving it. ♥ 
5. Yay, NEW bookstore! ASDFGHJKLF. New bookstore is enough reason to be happy, right? :P

Sadly, every wonderful thing is bound to have some flaws:

1. The price. It’s a bit more expensive compared to BD or Amazon. T.T There’s no discount or book bargain, OMG WHY. 
2. They don’t have other editions of books available, US version only. I’m collecting UK version of Sarah Dessen’s books, but they only have the US version. I know that this is such a petty thing, but what I love about BD is that there are so many versions for one title. >.<



I haven’t bought anything there since I don’t know what to order yet, but I’m thinking of ordering Just One Day by Gayle Forman or Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral. I can borrow Just One Day from someone else but I want to own the book. >.< Chopsticks, ugh, I’ve wanted that book since forever. I’m not sure whether I’m going to love the story as much as I love the cover though. O.O

Dilemma hehe. What do you guys think? Which one should I buy first? :)

I’m going to update this post as soon as I placed my order and received my package, so stay tune! Next Monday I’m going to post my movie review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so don’t forget to stop by next week! Happy Monday and as always, thank you for reading Monday Muse. :)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Review: Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas


Beatrice is a seer with ability to see the future, but lately she keeps having strange dreams. In her dreams, she meets Echo, a beautiful guy who is wearing the clothes of her enemy. Echo is one of the Dreamcatchers, people with ability to shatter another person’s mind with their touch. Echo is her enemy, yet Beatrice feels strangely attracted to him. Her loyalty starts to waver along with Echo’s constant appearance, and when the Dreamcatchers attack, Beatrice needs to decide what she has to do in order to save her city and the citizens.

To tell you the truth, it’s… painful to finish this book. There are things that bug me a lot when I read this book. I’m very, very confused: why don’t they seem to have war strategies prepared ahead? I’m not asking for strategies on Sun Tzu's level, but I just found it very strange that the seers seem to be very eager to throw their lives away. Why don’t they asses their situation calmly and split themselves into groups, instead of running in a big group and try to kill as many as possible without any strategy prepared? The Keeper, the one who controls the city, doesn’t seem to plan any strategy in order to save her seers. I mean, I know that the seers are disposable, but surely it won’t hurt to keep victims in your side as low as possible, right?

Another thing that I found really strange is the fact that Beatrice’s loyalty is toyed between the Keeper, whom she has practically known all her life, and the man whom she has met only in her dreams. Echo might be gorgeous, yes, but it’s not like I would turn my back against my own team because of the guy whom I only meet in my dreams. What does Echo actually do to make Beatrice believe in him? (Aside from being gorgeous, mind you) I just can’t see myself to betray my own city, my own friends, because of things a mysterious guy said in my dreams. I really wish that Echo had brought more evidences to make Beatrice believe in him.

This book is too bizarre for me to truly enjoy and I’m not a fan of the world-building either, so it took me some time to finish it. I admire Beatrice’s strength though, and I really wished that there were a competition to begin with between Echo and Brandon, Beatrice’s best friend. I like Brandon, it seems like he truly cares for Beatrice. Echo is too vague for me to actually feel anything for him, so I can’t say much about him.

I can’t really recommend Luminosity, but I figure that since many of my friends have read this book and enjoyed it, some of you might as well end up liking it. I might be curious enough to pick the sequel though, because I want to see what will happen to Beatrice, Echo, and Brandon. Hopefully we can see more inside Echo’s head in the sequel, and more background story to enhance the story! :)

I am standing on a bridge, gun cradled under my armpit, combat jumpsuit soiled and stained with the grime of the City. The screams of innocent people reverberate from everywhere around me, and I don’t know which way to run. Everyone needs to be saved, and yet, I cannot save everyone. But somehow, the weight of it is on me, and it’s a heavy, suffocating weight. One I don’t want to carry, never wanted to carry, and yet I must.





 


I rate this book:
Three cups of tea. Not really my cup of tea, but some people might like it.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn


A red moleskin journal, tucked between rows of book of your favorite author in your favorite bookstore. It’s just natural that it will perk your interest, right? And if the book is a list of dares… it’s even more natural to do whatever it tells you to do.

It’s Christmastime in NYC, and maybe there is nothing Dash hates more than Christmas. To quote him, Christmas is, ‘the most detestable time of the year. The moo-like crowds, the endless visits from hapless relatives, the ersatz cheer, the joyless attempts at joyfulness—my natural aversion to human contact could only intensify in this context’. On the other side, we have Lily, who loves Christmastime gazillion times more than Dash. Lily loves everything about Christmas, so much that she even organizes her own caroling society. And yeah, she’s also called Third-Verse Lily by the carolers because she’s the only one who remembers past the second verse of any Christmas song.

Through the series of dares, Dash and Lily begin to get to know each other. It’s a scavenger hunt. No one knows what they will discover in the end of the hunt. Meeting the other through the journal is like magic, but what if… what if the ending is not-so-magical? Will the magic break when they finally meet in person?

To begin with, I love this book. It’s such a cute read, definitely one of my favorite contemporaries. There’s something so thrilling about scavenger hunt, and the idea of meeting someone-meant-to-be along the way is sooooo exciting. I love the characters in this book as well, each of them is easy to identify with in some ways.

Although I liked both Lily and Dash’s voices, I found myself liking Dash’s voice a notch higher. He’s such a cynical person with geeky streak, but it’s lovely that he can be a romantic as well. Lily is a person I wouldn’t mind to get along with. She’s the type of person that would bring smile on your face even on your darkest days. She has such upbeat personality, and I think they are perfect for each other. Snarky Dash and eager Lily.

This is a fun and light reading, but the story is very relatable. Love has never been explained that easy. The less we know about someone, the more we think that maybe that person is the one in our head. We carry on living that there is someone out there, someone who is the one and we know that the instant we meet. They guy/girl in our mind. If that doesn’t work out, then the person is not the one. But I guess we’ve already known deep inside. The universe doesn’t decide what is right or wrong. We do.

Recommended for any fan of sweet and fun contemporary, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is one of my favorite read-in-one-sit books. It’s cute, it’s fun… it’s addictive.

”Game over,” you say, and I don’t know which I take more exception to—the fact that you say that it’s over, or the fact that you say it’s a game. It’s only over when one of us keeps the notebook for good. It’s only a game if there is an absence of meaning. And we’ve already gone too far for that.








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


PS: I MISSSSEEEEDDD YOU GUYS A LOT! Hopefully you guys missed me too hehe. c:

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