Monday, July 08, 2013

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Publication Date: December 2006 
Publisher: Speak

From Goodreads:
Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

3.5 stars

"I go to seek a Great Perhaps."

Miles “Pudge” Halter is obsessed with people’s last words. In search of “A Great Perhaps”, Miles transferred to Culver Creek, a boarding school in Alabama. In Culver Creek, he soon becomes friends with a number of people from different backgrounds. There are the Colonel, Miles’s roommate who is very smart and loves to play prank; Takumi, a Japanese guy whom Miles is not really friends with until after; Lara, a beautiful Romanian girl whom Miles has his first sexual experience with; and finally Alaska, a free soul whom no one in Culver Creek really understands.

Soon enough, Miles’ life is filled with piled assignments, prank planning, and new habits like smoking and drinking. It doesn’t take long for Miles to fall for Alaska. The smart, beautiful, sharp-tongued, self-destructive Alaska. But Alaska plays games, and there are so many layers covering her true feeling. And after, nothing will ever be the same.

Reading Looking for Alaska, I was quite baffled by how different it is from my first John Green’s book The Fault in Our Stars. Both books are amazingly written and filled with brilliant conversations, yet the two books have their own charms that will appeal to very different kind of readers. I might have enjoyed TFiOS more, but Looking for Alaska with its fabulous characters, the thought-provoking questions, and the witty humor it brings also holds a special place in my heart.

Looking for Alaska brings up tastefully some heavy issues that made me stop and think for a moment. The complexity of the characters blew me away. As much as my divergence with some characters’ behavior, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike any of them. This book is an either love/hate book, and I’m glad (and so relieved) to say that I liked this book. Thought-provoking and brilliantly written, Looking for Alaska may end up as your next favorite book.

"Sometimes I don't get you," I said.

She didn't even glance at me. She just smiled toward the television and said, "You never get me. That's the whole point."

 3. 5 cups of tea!
An engaging story with gorgeous writing. 


Friday, July 05, 2013

Review: Easy by Tamara Webber

Title: Easy
Author: Tamara Webber
Publication Date: May 2012 (ebook edition)
Publisher: Berkley Trade, Penguin USA

From Goodreads:
Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

I told myself, this isn’t happening. My boyfriend of three years was not breaking up with me so he could bang coeds with shameless abandon.

Imagine your boyfriend want to break up with you just because he wants to do other girls while he’s young. What a [insert your favorite swearing here to call him]. That’s exactly what happened to Jacqueline. Her high school sweetheart and member of the popular crowd, Kennedy, broke up with her for the exact reason and now Jacqueline is nothing but a miserable wretch in her college.

Jacqueline doesn’t even want to go to this college – she just followed Kennedy when she applied here. Now she’s miserable, her grades are falling, and she has no friend outside of her Kennedy circle. Until her professor told her to do some tutoring with her assistant, Landon, and although the tutoring sessions are only held online, Jacqueline’s grades do improve. She also has some kind of friendship with Landon, although she has never met him in person.

Another guy attracts her attention – Lucas, the guy with bad boy looks that saved her earlier. Lucas, with his piercing gaze and mysterious attitude, perks Jacqueline’s interest. But Jacqueline doesn’t know, that Lucas and Landon might have the same secret, the secret they’ve been trying to keep from her…

Since characters are always my favorite aspect in a book, I will start with the characters in this book (whom I’m truly, wholly in love with). Jacqueline, high-five, girl! I’m so, so proud of her in the end. Jacqueline started off as a sad and miserable heroine, but she ended up becoming a heroine to look up to. She’s smart, she’s level-headed, and the most important, she knows what to believe and what choices to make. Her character development is very realistic, and it’s nice to have a heroine who doesn’t let romance interrupts with her dreams. Even after she finally has the happy ending she truly deserves.

Landon! Oh my gosh, there’s just something special with the guy who can bring smile to your face with his texts only, right? I love his witty replies, the way he teases Jacqueline, and his smart humor. I sure can’t blame Jacqueline for getting attracted to a guy whom she hasn’t ever met. And awwwww, Lucas. He might be the sweetest guy I’ve ever met. He asks permissions for everything, and he would never force you to do anything you don’t want to. Plus, he’s an artist! Lucas seems like bad boy you usually meet, but actually there are many things going beyond the surface. I assure you, there’s nothing like typical love triangle in this book.

I love this book so much, and I really wish that more people would read it. Even if you didn’t just endure a nasty breakup like Jacqueline, this book is a must-read. It’s smokin’ hot, it’s sweet, and it’s smile-inducing…. it’s Easy.

As for being somewhere you’re not supposed to be – maybe you’re here for a reason, or there is no reason. As a scientist, I lean toward the latter. Either way, you’re off the hook. You made a decision; now you make the best of it. That’s all you can do, right? On that note, I’m off to study for a statistical mechanics quiz. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to prove scientifically that your ex isn’t worthy of you, and you’re exactly where you should be.


4 cups of tea!
This is such a lovely book! I still have a smile in my face when I remember this. :)


Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Year
Author: Gayle Forman
Publication Date: January 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

From Goodreads:
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

4. 5 stars

It’s so hard to write a review for a book you absolutely love.

Just One Day is exactly what I think it would be, and more. It is beautiful, heart-breaking, and just insanely awesome altogether. Really, I expect no less from such wordsmith like Gayle Forman. Similar to If I Stay and Where She Went, Gayle Forman sure knows how to play with your emotion. I lost count on how many times I gasped, squealed, smiled, and giggled to myself when I was reading it. This book messed out with my heart big time, and I loved every single minute of it.

The book opens with Allyson, an American good girl who’s supposed to have the time of her life. The European tour is nothing but a series of too-much-cultural-injections for her. But just when Allyson is ready to go home, she accidentally meets a charming and Dutch actor who introduces himself as Willem. Willem is mysterious, carefree, and he makes Allyson feel like someone different. Someone who is not her. When Allyson accepts Willem’s invitation for one day journey to Paris, she doesn’t know yet that such a short time can make so much impact in her heart.

I like Allyson. It takes time for her to develop into a strong character, but I really admire her determination. It’s so easy to identify myself with her character. Willem is a great character although he’s still a mysterious character to me. Words can’t even describe how much I’m yearning to read Just One Year. Dee with his awesomeness is exactly what you need as a friend.

It seemed like I went on a whirlwind journey when I read this book – up a hill, down a hill. You may predict what happen next, but it won’t loosen up the feels. The settings are lovely and it made me want to book the first plane to Paris. By the time I finished this book, I was suffering with a serious case of wanderlust. Just One Day is a wonderful read that I’d recommend to anyone with a love for YA, and I can hardly contain my excitement to read Just One Year.

It’s totally crazy. I don’t even know him. And I could get caught. And how much of Paris can you see in just one day? And this could all go disastrously wrong in so many ways. All of that is true. I know it is. But it doesn’t change the fact that I want to go.

So this time, instead of saying no, I try something different.

I say yes.

5 cups of tea!
I'm in love with the characters and the setting in this book. :)


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