2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK PUBLISHED THIS YEAR 7/50

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For the book published this year, I picked Never Never (Never Never, #1) by Colleen Hoover. Why? Well, honestly, it was the book cover that made me list this book in my 2015 Reading Challenge list.

Never Never (Never Never, #1)

I hope you will agree with me that the cover is indeed enticing. It raised my curiosity and after reading the novel I am glad to say that the words behind the ‘cloak’ is as thought-provoking as the cover.

As what I’ve said in my goodreads review, “When the book ended I was like: What the heck! Is my copy incomplete or what?”

The story is short yet it was able to raise a lot of questions. So you will keep on reading and reading until voila! you’re in the last page and majority of the question is left unanswered!

This book’s sequel is to die for! Really!

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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK WITH BAD REVIEWS 6/50

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I thought it will be hard to look for a book with bad review that is worth reading but as I researched to complete my 2015 reading list, I was quite surprised that there are a lot of celebrated books that had a lot of negative criticisms before.

One of which is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

I have been planning to read this book after it’s movie counterpart made it big in Oscars. I haven’t watched the film yet, even the trailer, but I heard it was really good. So after I discovered that the book wasn’t warmly welcomed during its debut, I listed The Great Gatsby in my 2015 Reading Challenge as the book with bad reviews.

If you will ask me if it deserve those negative comments, I will not say no. Not because the book is a waste of time. It isn’t. I think this isn’t just my cup of tea.

So there!

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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK FROM AN AUTHOR YOU LOVE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET 5/50

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It was during the latter part of 2014 when I stumbled into the Rosie Effect as I was looking for new authors to try. Well, I guess that day was my lucky day as after I read the story of Don Tillman, I automatically fell in love with its creator, Graeme Simsion.

So for my 2015 Reading Challenge, I picked him as the author that I love. You know I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom and I love them more! But I have read ALL their novels already! I am currently waiting for more from those two great scribblers!

On the other hand, Simsion is also a good writer so for the book from the author that I love part of my reading challenge, I picked The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2).

The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)

Obviously, it is the sequel to the massive hit Rosie Project. The story is still great! Don Tillman is still annoyingly funny. The BMI computation is still there but! It isn’t as great as the first.

I’ll elaborate more in my book review that I hope I can write soon!

Ciao!

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Top 10 Movies to watch on Valentine’s

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Too much sweetness isn’t good for the health but the season demands ‘cheesiness’. So let me present you another Valentine-related top 10 list. After the 11 awesome novels that I posted days ago, Top 10 Novels to read on Valentine’s, here is my Top 10 movies to watch this coming heart’s day!

Just like what I did last time, these movies are from the list of films that I have already watched. Thus, if you’re favorite movie isn’t included, maybe I haven’t watched it yet. 😉 Also, let me note that this list is not ranked.

50 First Dates (2004)

‘Forgetful’s love story.’

Henry, a veterinarian, met Lucy in an island in Hawaii when his boat breaks down. Known as a womanizer, he finally wanted to settle with his ideal girl, Lucy. Until he discovered that she is an ‘amnesiac’. Thus, he should make Lucy fall for her over and over again, every day.

THOUGHTS: Adam Sandler’s wit and humor will keep you entertained while Drew Barrymore’s heartfelt acting will make you love the movie more.

If you want a full-effort man, then make HIM watch this! 😉

Titanic (1997)

‘The tragic love story.’

A fictional romance set in a true-to-life tragedy and is now considered a classic. That is Titanic. When the poor Jack met the rich Rose in the ‘ship of dreams’, they fell in love. Unfortunately, the ferry sank killing one of them, But their story did not end there.

THOUGHTS: I was a young lass when I first watched this movie so I do not really understand it at first. But when I finally watched it as a grown-up, this is indeed a classic love story worth sharing.

The Wedding Singer (1998)

‘Love song’s love story.’

Robbie, the wedding singer, and Julia, a waitress, were friends who are both engaged. On Robbie’s wedding day, her fiancee changed her mind. To help her friend heal a broken heart, Julia asked Robbie’s help in planning her wedding with her own fiancee. Little did they know that they will eventually fall for each other.

THOUGHTS: A movie where the epic ‘Grow Old With You’ song came from. Isn’t that enough to make you watch this film? 😍 Drew and Adam’s chemistry is also so fun and cheesy to watch!

Oh! That airplane scene was just so heartwarming. I melted with Drew actually. 😁

The Proposal Movie Poster

The Proposal (2009)

‘The boss-employee love story.’

Margaret Tate is an established editor-in-chief in a well-known publishing company. She doesn’t believe in love that is why she never got married. But when she had a work visa violation which will result in her being deported in Canada, she was forced to propose a marriage to her assistant, Andrew Paxton. The two settled in a mutual-benefiting deal. As they got to know each other, they eventually fall in love.

THOUGHTS: This is indeed a fun to watch rom-com flick. Sandra Bullock’s acting prowess is just commendable while Ryan Reynolds is just so cute!

Breaking Dawn (2011)

‘The me-against-the-world love story.’

Bella Swan and Edward Cullen finally tied the knots in Breaking Dawn Part 1 . After the adversaries they had been through, the couple was able to survive. But their story doesn’t end there as well.

THOUGHTS:

I know you see this coming cause I am really a fan! 😊 I just love their wedding scene. The setting, those white flowers are just so breathtaking, the vows, and the couple itself. You need to see the sexy scenes of a vamp and a human! It’s funny yet hot! 😁

If Only (2004)

‘The turn-back-time love story.’

Ian, a businessman, lost her girlfriend Samantha in a car accident after they had a fight. During that night, Samantha asked Ian to just love her. The morning after the accident, Ian was surprised to hear and see Samantha, alive and well. Once he realized that the day is like a deja vu of what happened, Ian tried to alter the events to be able to save the love of his life.

THOUGHTS: The story is pure and heart-tugging as it involves death. But most especially, the film emphasized that a couple must always make an effort to show their love for each other. Because no one knows what will happen next.

Love and other Drugs (2010)

‘The medical-related, funny and needy love story’.

The successful sales rep for the recently launched ‘sex’ drug Viagra, Jamie, is a known womanizer until he met Maggie. As he professed his love and his intention to commit, Maggie, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, refused. But Jamie did not stop. As they explore love and drugs, the couple realized how much they need each other.

THOUGHTS: Aside from the commendable performance of my favorite actress, Anne Hathaway, the movie’s plot is really worth to watch. The story explored way beyond sex and he part that explains Parkinson’s disease is an eye opener as well.

Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet (2010)

‘Serendipity’s love story.’

Sophie accidentally discovered an unanswered ‘letter to Juliet’ while in a pre-honeymoon trip with her busy fiancee Victor. She answered the letter and eventually got to know the letter’s writer, an old woman named Claire.

As they both look for Claire’s long lost love, Sophie found her own with Claire’s mean but cute grandson, Charlie.

THOUGHTS: Some may argue that the premise is so usual, boy meets girl, hated each other, then falls in love. But what I love about this movie is it’s deeper take on enduring love. Take Claire’s love story.

The lines in the movie is memorable as well!

One Day (2011)

‘An odd yet tragic love story.’

Emma and Dexter met at their graduation party, then make-out but agreed to be friends. As the movie showed the two characters on every July 15th of more than 20 years, starting 1989 up to 2011, viewers came to understand how strange their love story is.

THOUGHTS: The oddity of this flick makes it realistic. Anne and Jim showed a person’s imperfection and the capacity to love as well. The ending is sad but I think it’s the most moving part of the movie.

One more spot left, but I think you know this is coming! Here comes two flicks based on Nicholas Sparks’ novels. I did not include the Notebook because I already featured it in Top 10 novels list. So here it is!

Safe Haven (2013)

‘A dangerous love story.’

Katie never let her guards down against men until he met and got to know Alex. After she decided to finally let her heart love again, the ghost from her dark past threatens a comeback which put her and Alex at the brink of a collapse.

THOUGHTS: Critics may say a lot of negative comments for this flick but I will still love it. Yes, the book is way better. (It is actually a regular phenomenon nowadays.) But I think Julianne and Josh deserves praise in their portrayals. Also, North Carolina’s beauty is just so awesome!

The Lucky One Movie Poster

The Lucky One (2012)

‘Destiny’s love story’.

While a soldier in Iraq, Logan was known in escaping death. He considered a photo of a young woman as his lucky charm which kept him safe. As he went back to America, he decided to look for the lady, Beth. Wounded with trauma of war, Logan tries to fix everything while Beth resists falling in love as her ex-husband isn’t over her yet. How will their love story continue? Watch the movie.

THOUGHTS: A love story set under complicated circumstances, The Lucky One is a must watch flick. With the hot Zac Efron as your leading man, who would ever say no! 😁

There you go! Happy Valentine’s everyone!

💕

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BOOK READS: A Review of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Picture1It will not leave you haunted. It is not pornographic. Yet it conveyed a powerful message.

As I said in my recent post, I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson as part of the 2015 Reading Challenge that I joined. It is the BANNED book item on the list of 50 novels. Surprisingly, I don’t think this book deserves that ‘banned’ tag.

Genre: Fiction

Published: October 1999

Rating: 💖💖💖 (You MAY read it.)

THE STORY:

A ‘drunk’ 13-year old named Melinda called cops and busted an end-of-summer-party. Why did a teenager do that? Her best friend Rachel thinks Melinda wanted attention. But it is worst than that.

Since then, Melinda seldom speak. She lost her best friend and her parents’ troubles are getting in her nerves as well. Add the failing grades to complete Melinda’s catastrophic teenage life. Just when you thought that her life is already on its worst, the ‘bomb’ was dropped.

In the next half of the book, Anderson finally uncovered the truth; Melinda was raped. Will she speak about it? or not?

THE BLURB:

I will not say that it is a great read because it isn’t. But it is not bad either. It is worth your time.

Why? Because Anderson’s storytelling is simple yet it conveyed a powerful message. With plain straight-to-the-point words, the author was able to vividly paint the mind of a troubled teenager who is keeping a traumatic experience.

The first half of the book was also able to entice me to continue reading as I was curious why Melinda is not speaking. Anderson presented a lot of questions about Melinda which were all answered on the next half of the book.

Finally, I commend the book for standing up and ‘speaking’ up against rape. Contrary to what some critics say, Speak doesn’t have ‘soft pornography’ content. Instead, I felt Anderson carefully threaded the thin line between telling a rape story against telling a pornographic ‘sex’ story. 

THE WISE WORDS:

THE WRAP:

Anderson was able to give a just ending for such a thought-provoking novel. After all the darkness, Melinda was finally able to tell her true story.

2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BANNED BOOK (4/50)

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Because I want to be able to finish this reading challenge as early as possible, it took me two short nights to finish Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This short yet controversial book is reportedly banned due to its considered ‘soft pornography’ content.

Intrigued, I read this novel with anticipation for something gross, pornographic and offensive words about sex and rape. On the other hand, I am quite surprised. I have read nothing offensive or sensual in particular.

I understand that schools and professors who wanted banning of Speak among youths are conservative enough. But come on, Anderson’s novel about a teenager who was raped isn’t that bad. It actually promotes rape victims, young or not, to speak up. It an eye opener and not an endorser of rape.

Note: A full length review for Speak is coming.

So there you go for my Banned book for my 2015 Reading Challenge.

Next up! A book from the author you love that you haven’t read yet. Clue? The author’s initial is G.S. 😉

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Top 10 Novels to read on Valentine’s

Top 10 Valentine's

The ‘cheesiest’ day of the year is coming and to celebrate this year’s  season of love, I created a top 10 list of novels to check-out this Valentine’s! Because this is my list, these awesome novels are from my goodreads READ list. This means out of 103 books that I have read, I selected stories which I think is the best companion for this love season.

Whether you are in a relationship, single, no-boyfriend-since-birth, friendzoned, heart broken, widowed, hopeless romantic, or anything else, here are the stories that you may want to check out. I intentionally picked diverse type of love stories so anyone can relate. So here are the books that can teach and show you what love truly is.

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Honestly, I will not call myself a fan of this book but the story really says a lot about love. Two cancer patients, Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, fell madly and deeply in love amid their physical state. Green ended the story in a realistic yet very painful way. Yes, I cried!

9. The Host by Stephenie Meyer – A love triangle set during an alien invasion composed of a woman, a man and an alien/soul inside the woman’s mind. Isn’t it freaking strange?! This is the exact reason why I picked The Host. Meyer’s overly imaginative mind gave birth to Melanie who refused to leave her own body which was supposedly owned now by an alien/soul named Wanderer.

As Melanie flashes her fond memories of her love, Jared, Wanderer ‘Wanda’ also fell in love with him. On the other hand, these three had their own happy endings in the novel’s last pages.

8. Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho – This is not your ordinary overly romantic book yet it explains a lot about true love. Maria, a young Brazilian woman who stopped believing in finding true love met a handsome painter in Geneva. Despite their differences, they both discovered an ‘inner light’ that explains ‘sex in the context of love’.

If you’re fond of cheesy ending, I guarantee that you will get want you want.

7. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Love can give life even for a short time. I consider this book one of the saddest novels that I have read. (Yes, this made me cry as well.) Lou Clark, a positive and bubbly lass, was hired to be an aid for Traynor, a grumpy quadriplegic who has no desire to live.

As Moyes told how Lou tried so hard to change Traynor’s mind towards life, the characters then cared and fallen in love unexpectedly. But the reality of life will be the greatest hindrance of their blossoming relationship. In as mush as I want to change the book’s ending, I can’t. Yes it’s just so heartbreaking but it is realistic .

6. Where She Went by Gayle Forman – A follow-up for If I Stay, Forman continues Mia and Adam’s love story after Mia woke up. I chose Where She Went as the first book is not really focused on their love story. If I Stay is more on Mia’s decision making, to stay or to die with the rest of her family.

After Mia woke up, she did what Adam whispered to her, she left him. But it was not the end as they met three years after. As they revisit the past and rekindle the love, the couple realized the meaning of true love. The ending? It’s sweet.

5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Put away those tissues as this novel won’t tear you up, it will literally make you laugh. This is your not-so-ordinary love story as Simsion put together a genetics prof with a bit of social disorder and a barmaid yet fierce and intelligent woman.

Don Tillman has accepted that romance isn’t for him. His few friends suggested a Wife Project for him where women will be measure in terms of all his standards. Rosie is clearly not a woman who can pass Don’s standard, but as they work together in finding Rosie’s biological dad, Don discovered a new feeling that he isn’t use to, it is called love. How will he know and admit it? Read the book. 🙂

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4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – Look back to your high school first love with this novel by Rainbow Rowell. A feel-good and a bit funny novel  yet deep and serious at the same time. A not-so-beautiful red hair girl, Eleanor, paired with cute and bi-racial lad, Park, makes an interesting and romantic story of innocent love.

Until now, I am left hanging. Please Rainbow, tell us what’s that three words in Eleanor’s card for Park!

3. Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer – Years after the story has ended and the final movie was shown, the Bella and Edward story can still make my heart flutter. I am not fond of vamps but its the story that made me love them as a couple.

In case you don’t know them, Bella is a human who has fallen in love with Edward who is a vampire. As the series progressed, Meyer put twists, love triangles ahem Jacob, and trials in the couple’s relationship. In the end, they had their happily ever after forever.

the twilight saga @forkswa Instagram photos | Websta (Webstagram)

1 and 2 plus a BONUS! – If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know this is coming! Love in written words was introduced to me by my most loved author, Nicholas Sparks ❤. So definitely, this list will never be complete without his novels.

There are two spots left by I can’t really choose just two. So we’ll have a bonus novel! 😁

First is Message in a Bottle. Among all leading men of Spark’s novels, Garret Blake is my favorite. As a writer, it is a dream to have a man like him who can translate love into heart-tugging words. Though his love story with Theresa had a tragic ending, (I even watched the movie with hopes that it will not have the same ending as the book), their love story is just so lovely to remember.

Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle

A message in a bottle - Nicholas Sparks

I shed tears when I read Message in a Bottle. It haunted me and I thought that it is the only book that can do that to me. I figured out I was wrong after reading Nights in Rodanthe. This short yet moving novel gave me chest pains (seriously) as the story was told.

A 45-year old woman with troubled marriage, Adrienne, and a 55-year old doctor who tries to mend his relationship with his son, Paul, met and fall in love. But their life’s circumstances changed them and their ideas about love.

Pure is the best description for this Sparks novel. It isn’t too romantic yet it conveyed the deepest meaning of the overrated word called love.

Last but not the least, because this list won’t be complete without this novel, is off course The Notebook. Noah and Allie’s touching love story is now considered a classic. Who would not fall in love with a story that started at a young age and ended as strong and intense as ever even Allie succumbed to Alzheimer’s.

The reason why this story is the most celebrated Spark’s novel is it gives hope that forever may exists. Whose heart will not melt while reading how much the old Noah still loves the old Allie who sometimes cannot recognize who he is?

If you have not read this novel, aww! That’s the saddest!

Happy Valentine’s!

❤💕

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2015 Reading Challenge Update (3/50)

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It was just yesterday when I posted my ‘almost’ 2015 Reading Challenge. To show you I am taking this seriously, here is an update!

First, I crossed-out three items already, a book with a love triangle, a book set in high school and a book by an author you’ve never read before. Why did I do so? I have read three awesome novels already, here.

Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secrets has a lot of love triangle in it. In fact, the crime committed by Cecilia’s husband was brought by a love triangle. With the book that occurred during high school, Jacob of Defending Jacob was arrested when he was a high school student after his classmate was murdered near their school. Lastly, Jodi Picoult is the author that I haven’t read yet and her Leaving Time is my first glimpse in her exceptional writing skills.

For now, I am currently reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It will be the banned book in my reading challenge. So there you go for now!

Speak

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Super Book Update 1.2 (plus my 100th read!)

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I orginally planned for a two-part super book update until I realized that I reached a milestone in my reading life, thus, here’s the third and last part of this super update!

To be able to reach the 100th book read is considerably a milestone for someone like me who do not have the leisure to read a lot of books physically, yes, I read almost all books through e-books. In as much as I want to read ‘true’ books, my current income does not allow me to do some splurge with books, so for now I read the digital editions.

Drama aside, here my 100th book which, coincidentally, is my first read for 2015! Talk about hitting two milestones with a single novel. Though it was not my intention, Leaving Time by  Jodi Picoult became my super significant book read.

I know Jodi Picoult for quite some time already but I was not able to get my hands on her novel until Leaving Time. As her newest novel, I was quite curious on what the novel is about and after finishing the book, I have come to realize why Picoult is one of the most well known scribblers.

Jenna Metcalf’s story is melancholic yet humorous and exciting with the psychic Serenity and detective Virgil. As Picoult includes amusing and amazing facts about elephants, the novel became informative and the same time. The ending.. just caught me off-guard. Picoult’s a genius, indeed.

Leaving Time

Just because you screwed up once doesn’t mean you’ll screw up again.

Just because you leave someone doesn’t mean you ever let them go.

After the emotional novel, I read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This book has been in my TBR list since time immemorial yet I had doubts if its worth reading as I expect another infidelity story, which I hate really. Blame the title! Cause I am wrong. Moriarty blown my mind away as the story’s plots unraveled after Cecilia read a letter from her husband. Moriarty’s exceptional storytelling is shown as she wrote the connections between three separate individuals that have their lives away from each other. The ending is realistic as well!

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Falling in love was easy.anyone could fall. It was holding on that was tricky.

The last but definitely not the least is William Landay‘s Defending Jacob. Though the book cover isn’t really interesting, the words behind it refuted any doubts that I have when I started reading it. This is not your ordinary whodunit story as the storyteller, Andy Barber, is a prosecutor and father of Jacob, the main suspect of a gross murder.

I have read a lot of detective novels but with the fatherly element of Defending Jacob, I was given another perspective inside a crime. Landay’s plot twists as the story was told from the present to the past kept me engrossed and curious. Finally, when the explosive ending came, I was left awed. Landay’s a genius. Really!

Defending Jacob

The interior of a teenager’s mind is an endless war between Stupid and Clever.

So that’s it! I hope I can read more soon! 😀

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