Book Review: I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas

“You’re just another story I can’t tell anymore.” — pleasefindthisIain S. ThomasI Wrote This For You


32nd – I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas, pleasefindthis

Rating: ❤❤❤❤(Good read, definitely!)

What is it about: I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for. You were meant to read these words.

What I Love: The eerie yet lovely lines. The blunt, full of pain words that hits the heart hard. The complimentary dark photography.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing.

Wise Words: People aren’t pictures. And you can either take a new picture or throw the old one away.

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo and Story Summary: Goodreads and Unsplash

Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.” — Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale 


30th – A New York Times bestseller – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah  

Rating: ❤❤❤❤(Good read, definitely!)

What is it about: The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

What I Love: It is subtly brutal and beautifully written all at the same time.

The unique way the story was told, future to past, is also commendable.

What I Don’t Love Much: The parts that felt a bit dystopia-ish.

Wise Words: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

…nothing speaks quite so loudly as cheapness.

the failing of a student to learn is the failing of the teacher to teach

It is easy to disappear when no one is looking at you.

Magic, to be its best, must be unexpected.

We remember the missing as much as the lost.

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo and Story Summary: Goodreads and Unsplash

2016 Reading Challenge Update: April Part 2

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


I have read seven books last April and the first four are posted here. As promised, here are the three more good reads I had last month!

25th –A book at least 100 Years Older Than You  – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

What I Love: It is simple, succinct yet it can impact your views in life. Now I know why it’s one of the best classics.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.”

“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…”

26th – A romance set in the future – Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

What I Love: I am glad I picked this in a whim because I have no idea of the Poet’s Corner. I love how the suspense builds and how the story cascades. I love the poetries included and the diversity of poets this book have showed.

Finally, the twist gave me goosies!

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”

“Mistakes. Trial and error. Same thing. Mistakes are how we learned to walk and run and that hot things burn when you touch them. You’ve made mistakes all your life and you’re going to keep making them.”

27 – A book recommended by a family member – You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner by Joel Osteen

You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: In 8 UNDENIABLE QUALITIES OF A WINNER, Joel Osteen focuses on the irrefutable traits and attributes of highly successful people. These personal qualities are tested through the ages and all types of circumstances. These practical principles guide the lives of champions.

What I Love: The wise words that touched my soul.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“You don’t need their approval when you have God’s approval.”

“You need to be around people who know more than you and have more talent than you. Don’t be intimidated by them; be inspired.”

“You weren’t created to simply exist, to endure, or to go through the motions; you were created to be really alive.”

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credit: Manrepeller, Shamilar, Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

2016 Reading Challenge Update: April Part 1

update

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


As promised early this week in the middle of a coffee date, here are first half of the seven awesome books I have read last April. (YES! I finally read Harry Potter!)

22nd – A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

What is it about: Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s trademark of easy, light read. The email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer are my favorite parts. They are packed with wit and friendship-love in between.

What I Don’t Love Much: There are some a bit boring parts.

Wise Words: 

23rd – An autobiography – When a Good God Allows Rape by Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza

When a Good God Allows Rape

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

What is it about: There are a lot of horrible things that happen in this world. But one of the worst is when an innocent gets violated. Why does God allow such things to happen?

What Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza went through when she was 15 has been a very public and strong statement of pain, healing, and grace. She has now put her story into a book that she hopes will show people that there is hope, healing, and wholeness for those who have experienced abuse and this kind of pain. What Satan meant for harm, God meant for good.

What I Love: This book is a blessing. It is empowering and eye-opening. The author and her family’s unrelenting faith is strengthening.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing. 🙂

Wise Words: 

“We don’t question the purpose of suffering when we think someone deservers it… But we find it irreconcilable, hard to understand, when bad things happen to good people. The math doesn’t add up; it just doesn’t make sense to us.”

“Would I allow this tragedy to define my faith? Or, would I allow faith to define this tragedy?”

“The reality is we live in a fallen world where we are victims of people’s sinful choices, including our own.”

24th – The first book you see in a bookstore – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖(GREAT READ!)

Why only now: I replaced What is it About? to Why Only Now? because I am sure EVERYONE knows what this book is about.

You know I’ve been a reader for years but I am not really fond of magic and fantasy (because I think my imagination is limited), thus, I really have no plans on reading Harry Potter books neither watching its films. Then for my 2016 Resolutions, I wrote that this year I will (finally) give this series I try. And so I did!

I will not say this because I fear of being mobbed by the millions (or maybe billions) of Potterheads but I am really glad that I finally read it. It is indeed a GREAT READ. ❤

What I Love: Everything. The opening chapter is engrossing.

I love the poetic mystical notes in between action-packed and witty paragraphs.

I love how a complicated world (for me) was explained beautifully.

I love that it is endearing, and then it’s also funny, and then it’s also exciting, and then it’s also creepy and then it’s also wise.

I love the twist!!!

I love its wholeness and everything in  between. Rowling truly has a great gift with words.<3

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing.

Wise Words: 

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

25th – A book written by a comedian – Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read!)

What is it about: From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

What I Love: It’s a wise read. A fun read, too. Fey is blatantly honest and I like it.

What I Don’t Love Much: The explicit words.

Wise Words: 

“But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”

“People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.”

“Sometimes if you have a difficult decision to make, just stall until the answer presents itself.”

“When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”

“…the best thing a mom can do to be a better mom is to carve out a little time for herself.”

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop SugarGoodreadsQuotesgram and Pinterest

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

P.S. Part two next week! 😀

2016 Reading Challenge Update: March

update

“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.” ― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train


Thank you Holy Week’s five-day-long break for letting me catch up read! 😀

18th – A book that’s under 150 pages – Kindred Spirits 

Kindred Spirits

What is it about: If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s trademark of easy, light read.

What I Don’t Love Much: It’s so ‘light’ for me or maybe because I am no fan of Star Wars. 

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

19th – A book you haven’t read since high school – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

What is it about: Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

What I Love: The dialogues, the way it was written. The subtle comedy hidden between some serious-looking lines.

What I Don’t Love Much: I cannot say. Maybe classics are just not my cup of tea.

Wise Words:

“The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.”

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

20th – A book set in Europe – After You (Me Before You, #2) by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)

What is it about: Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

What I Love: Jojo Moyes’ skillful tugs-the-heart storytelling prowess remains. I still shed a few tears while reading the last chapters.

What I Don’t Love Much: The problem with sequels is that they can never, ever top the first book. While After You is actually good, Me Before You is not just better, it’s Moyes’ best (for me).

Wise Words:

“Too many people follow their own happiness without a thought for the damage they leave in their wake.”

“The only way to avoid being left behind was to start moving.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

21st – A book that’s becoming a movie this year – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

What is it about: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

What I Love: Everything!
The creepy prologue.
The three-view and all-engrossing overlapping storytelling.
The several thought-provoking red herrings.
The sudden surprising twist and turns.
The intricate details unravelling softly like a flower getting rid of its layers of petals slowly..
The unexpected ending.
Again, everything!

What I Don’t Love Much: Yep! Nothing!

Wise Words:

“Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.”

“…let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things—their looks and their role as mothers. I’m not beautiful, and I can’t have kids, so what does that make me? Worthless.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

 

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova: A Review and A Reading Challenge Update

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We have pills for headaches. We have antidepressants for sadness. We have God for believers.We have nothing for autism. – Lisa GenovaLove Anthony


I know I am in love with a story if:

  • It affected me personally.
  • It left me haunted.
  • It gave me book hangover I can’t brush off and
  • I want to know the end, but I don’t want it to end.


I felt these all  with Love Anthony by Lisa Genova.

17th – A book that takes place during summer – Love Anthony by Lisa Genova.

And today I will tell you why.

What is it about: Two women, each cast adrift by unforeseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship.

Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony’s short life.

Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband’s long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again. But surprisingly, as she does so, Beth also find herself channelling the voice of an unknown boy, exuberant in his perceptions of the world around him if autistic in his expression—a voice she can share with Olivia—(is it Anthony?)—that brings comfort and meaning to them both.

What I Love: Everything.

The two-perspective story telling.

The stark contrast of Olivia and Beth’s life and how their stories overlapped.

The journal and the novel within the novel itself.

The build of tension towards the heartbreaking yet peaceful ending and the jaw-dropping ‘bombs’ in between.

The vivid description of the beautiful island of Nantucket, especially the jubilant daffodils.

Lisa Genova’s words will clench and break heart your heart, it will make you think, it will linger.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“Time’s a funny thing, bending, warping, stretching, and compressing, all depending on perspective.”

“We have pills for headaches. We have antidepressants for sadness. We have God for believers.We have nothing for autism.”

“Love is felt beyond words and touch.”

“Marriage isn’t only about whether you love each other. You have to have mutual power, mutual trust.”

“Endings are difficult. Wrapping everything up in a tight, elegant bow. Leaving the reader with a satisfying The End. Saying good-bye.”

“…sometimes we need reassurance, to hear the words. A two-way conversation.”

“Most people love with a guarded heart, only if certain things happen or don’t happen, only to a point. If the person we love hurts us, betrays us, abandons us, disappoints us, if the person becomes hard to love, we often stop loving. We protect our delicate hearts. We close off, retreat, withhold, disconnect, and withdraw. We might even hate.Most people love conditionally. Most people are never asked to love with a whole and open heart. They only love partway. They get by.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads


Have you read this book?

Have you read other Lisa Genova novels?

What are your thoughts?

Let’s talk! 🙂

~

2016 Reading Challenge Update: Part 2

update

Before the year ‘leaped’, I was able to read four more books for this month. (My first update for February is here.)

So here are the awesome novels that I have read on and before the 29th. ❤

13th – A classic from the 20th century – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

What is it about: Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

What I Love: The depth of the the topic told in an innocent view is just flawless. Now I know the meaning of ‘classic’

What I Don’t Love Much: Honestly, the pace of the first few chapters are a bit slooooow for me.

Wise Words: 

“I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  💖 (Good read, definitely!)

14th – A YA bestseller – Ten Thousand Truths by Susan White

Ten Thousand Truths

What is it about: “Thirteen-year-old Rachel is bad news, or so her foster care worker tells her. She’s been shuttled from one rotten foster family to another ever since her mother and brother died in a car accident five years ago, and she’s running out of options. So when she gets caught shoplifting and is kicked out of her latest home, the only place left to send her is the last resort for kids like her; a farm in the middle of nowhere run by a disfigured recluse named Amelia Walton, whom Rachel names ‘Warty’ because of the strange lumps covering her face and neck.

Rachel settles into life on the farm, losing herself in daily chores and Amelia’s endless trivia and trying to forget her past and the secret she’s holding inside. But when a letter arrives for her out of the blue, Rachel soon realizes that you can’t hide from your past – or your future.”

What I Love: The descriptions of the lovely farm is just so vivid that it felt I was also there.

The literal ten thousand truths are both entertaining and informative.

What I Don’t Love Much: It is a bit short of that ‘oomph’. That feeling which give readers a book hangover.

Wise Words:

“Most of the beliefs in our shortcomings are spoken much louder from within than from anyone else.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

15th – A satirical book – Macarthur by Bob Ong

Macarthur

What is it about: A group of four boys with lives ‘destroyed’ in different ways but are united in ‘drugs’ and in a strong friendship bond.

What I Love: Powerfully written. The language used are explicit yet so real. The twists are jaw-dropping and saddening. The subtle way of tackling friendship within a group of ‘addict’ boys are heartwarming.

What I Don’t Love Much: None.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

16th – A science-fiction novel – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

What is it about: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

What I Love: I am no fan of fantasy and the ‘unplanned’ reading of this novel showed me I can love that genre, too.

Neil Gaiman is indeed a skill-full storyteller who can make you angry and scared. His words in this novel are short yet alive.

What I Don’t Love Much: None. 🙂

Wise Words: 

“Books were safe than other people anyway.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop SugarGoodreads, Quote Fancy, Board of Wisdom and Like Success

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads last month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

🙂

Let’s talk!

~

2016 Reading Challenge Update: February Part 1

update

With the help of Chinese New Year holiday, I started my month-long reading at full speed! 😀 😀 😀

Here are the six (yes, six!) beautiful novels that I have read since February 1 ! ❤

7th – A book translated to English – Norwegian Wood by by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

What is it about: Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

What I Love: Subtly sexual, poignantly moving, a bit saddening.

What I Don’t Love Much: The end was a bit predictable.

Wise Words: 

“Death exists not as the opposite but as part of life.”

“If you only read the books that everyone else is readin, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

“By living our lives, we nurture death.”

“No truth can cure the sadness we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness, can cure that sorrow.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

8th – A book set in your home state – Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan by Bob Ong

Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan

What is it about: A haunting story about religion and broken homes. Bob Ong, a Filipino writer, told an eclectic story through a journal of a teenage boy.

What I Love: I love a book that can give me goosies, and this one surely did it!

What I Don’t Love Much: I am not a fan of the format. And maybe I expected too much because Bob Ong is a well-acclaimed novelist here in the Philippines.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

9th – A book of poetry – Love & Misadventures by Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure

What is it about: Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

What I Love: EVERYTHING! Everything about this book is GREAT! The illustrations, the poem, the flash fictions. *smiling sigh*

What I Don’t Love Much: NOTHING!

Beautiful Words: The whole book is actually a collection of beautiful wise words. I could put them all here! 😀 But my favorite is this one:

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

10th – A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy – One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The One Plus One
What is it about: With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it’s hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn’t. Because you have to . . .

Jess’s gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she’ll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess’s teenage stepson, can’t fight the bullies alone.

Sometimes Jess feels like they’re sinking . . .

Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it’s like to be lonely. And he wants to help…

What I Love: It made me smile, chuckle and almost laugh, and it also made me cry, and almost weep.

Tinge with life’s complexities and miseries like bullying and a lying husband, Jojo Moyes have written such a beautiful book that is raw in emotion.

What I Don’t Love Much: Actually, nothing. This book is great. But it will not get five hearts because Me Before You is still better. 🙂

Wise Words:

“The choices you make now will determine the rest of your life.”

“Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you still had your mother or father at your back, you’d be okay.”

“When you work hard to get somewhere, it’s quite nice to show people where you belong.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  💖 (Good read, definitely!)

11th – A book that is published in 2016 – Never Never: Part Three(Never Never, #3) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3)

What is it about: Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

What I Love: The romantic toe-curler lines. Yes, they brought back the high school in me! 😀

What I Don’t Love Much: My Goodreads review is…

Impressed,

that was me after Never, Never Part 1.

A bit impressed, a bit confused,
that was me after I read Never, Never Part 2.

Not impressed, so confused,
that was me after I read Never Never Part 3.

That was it?
Really?
That was it?
*sigh*

so there…

Cheesy Words: 

“Texts get deleted and conversations fade, but I swear I’ll have every single letter you’ve written for me  until the day I die.”

Rating: 💖 💖 (Good yet a bit disappointing.)

12th – A sequel – Lullabies by Lang Leav

Lullabies

What is it about:  A sequel to the hugely popular, best-selling Love & Misadventure, Lullabies continues to explore the intricacies of love and loss.

Set to a musical theme, love’s poetic journey in this new, original collection begins with a Duet and travels through Interlude and Finale with an Encore popular piece from the best-selling Love & Misadventure. Lang Leav’s evocative poetry speaks to the soul of anyone who is on this journey.

What I Love: EVERYTHING! Yes! 😀 This might be more painful but this is still awesome. The poems, the ironies, the stories do tug the heartstrings!

What I Don’t Love Much: NOTHING!

Beautiful Words: Among the many gorgeous poems and lines, this is my favorite. ❤

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads

2016 Reading Challenge Update: January Part 2

update

Surprise surprise! I actually read six (06) books last month?! 😀

Here are the two additional books that I’ve read on the night of January 31st. (Yes, I am not kidding! :D)

5th – A book from the (my) library – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

What is it about: Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

What I Love: The way the story was told. From shifting perspectives with additional snippets of more perspectives after each chapter. It kept me glued thinking, wait… so what happened? Who did this? Who will…?

The diversity of life mess each women are in also gave the story a unique texture that make it more unforgettable.

Lastly, it gave me the ‘Oh!’ moment. I loved it when an author was able to surprise me, and Moriarty surely did!

What I Don’t Love Much: I cannot name what I don’t love about this book. Maybe, it’s just that my first try of Liane Moriarty, which is The Husband’s Secret, is better.

Wise Words: 

“Parents do tend to judge each other. I don’ know why. Maybe because none of us really know what we’re doing?”

“I mean a fat, ugly man can still be funny and lovable and successful… But it’s like it’s the most shameful thing for a woman to be.”

“How every relationship had its own ‘love account’. Doing something kind for your partner was like a deposit. A negative comment was a withdrawal.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

 6th – A book with a protagonist that has who your occupation – The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Small Backs of Children

What is it about: With the flash of a camera, one girl’s life is shattered, and a host of others altered forever. . .

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

What I Love: The brutal honesty, the cringe-inducing words that vivid descriptions of abuse, sex and even art.

It took me less than an hour to finish this book, maybe because it was short, but definitely because of the way it was written.

The language is intense, the description will hit you hard. Like what I said, brutally honest.

What I Don’t Love Much: The last few chapters were a bit off for me. It’s as if a train derailed, or a car which has lost its GPS connection. It’s just… off, for me.

Wise Words:  

“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”

“We are who we imagine we are. Every self is a novel in progress. Every novel a lie that hides the self.”

“Photographs replace memory. Photographs replace lived experience. History.”

“Do we secretly long for death to remind us we are alive?”

“There are so many kinds of love, but never a love, or a life, withour pain.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads

2016 Reading Challenge Update: January

update

Four books in one month! Am I slow? 😀

1st – A book with a blue cover – We Are Called to Rise: A Novel by Laura McBride

We Are Called to Rise

What is it about: An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves. Emotionally powerful yet tender and intimate, We Are Called to Rise is a novel of redemption and unexpected love. 

What I Love: The last few chapters where the lives were all connected. It was done flawlessly.

The strange set of characters/lives are interesting to read. They have their own stand-alone stories and it is impressive how they lives were interweaved.

What I Don’t Love Much: The length, I think, can be dimished. There are some parts that bored me a bit.

Wise Words: 

“We fail even though things matter very much; it’s the possibility of failure that makes them matter more.”

“What is most beautiful is least acknowledged.”

“So little matters so much, and so much matters so little.”

Terror

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

2nd – A book you can finish in a day – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

What is it about: Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s heartwarming storytelling skills is a delight to read. I love the innocence, the softness and the fragility of her characters.

It took me 10pm until maybe 2am to finish this book. Yep. I wasn’t able to stop!

What I Don’t Love Much: The Simon Snow parts…

Wise Words:

“Words are very powerful.. And the take on more power the more that they’re spoken.”

“There’s nothing more profound than creating something out of nothing.” 

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

3rd – A murder mystery  – Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

What is it about: When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A mystery and also a story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

What I Love: It’s creepiness at its best! It will leave you haunted ’cause it is insanely gross!

The red herrings are all well-written and I surely never saw what was coming! So greatly written!

What I Don’t Love Much: Uhm. Nothing! 😀

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

4th – A book recommended by someone you just met – Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

What is it about: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

What I Love: The lightness, the thrilling anticipation, the KILIG-inducing scenes, the rawness. I love how the story unfolds. I love how the twists lead to the heartwarming ending.

What I Don’t Love Much: I expected too much. Maybe I expected more of something that I cannot honestly figure out.

Wise/Witty Words:

“People are shameless when it comes to cake. It’s a beautiful piece to see.”

“People are really like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads