What is it about:When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.
Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.
What I Love: The unpredictable ending. And the annoying Eadlyn has matured now. 😉
This is indeed better than The Heir.
What I Don’t Love Much: It is still a bit weak for me compared withthe 3 first books of the series which I read for a night only. Yes, three books in one night , that’show great they are.
Wise Words: “This is a dandelion, ” I told him. He shrugged. “I know. Some see a weed; some see a flower. Perspective.”
“You have to embrace the idea of imperfection, even if the thing that is most perfect for you.”
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!)
“What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.” ― Anthony Doerr
After almost two weeks of reading at night, I can now finally post an update for the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge. This book required a lot of time and effort. But once you’re done, you can definitely say that it is worth it.
Disclaimer: I am not a student anymore, but I think my former school libraries and my English teachers now suggest reading this book. 🙂
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
This book has intimidated me for quite sometime now. But after a few book friends told me to please try it, I took a leap of courage and read!
530 pages are, for me, tedious but this book is just… phenomenal.
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
I was able to read this book and yes, I think it is definitely unique and it is a stand out..
First of all, I would like to thank Aira of airareads for tagging me in this ‘Would you rather Tag’. I am sure that this will be fun. Yeah, I’m giddy. 😀 So here it goes…
Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?
Oh I actually preferred standalones. Why? Because I’ve been disappointed with some trilogies. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Hunger Games and I am a fan but the sequel novels are not as great as the first book. It’s not just Hunger Games actually. I have read several trilogies that have promising first book but disappointing sequels, like Shatter Me, Divergent and especially Uglies.
Would you rather only read male or female authors?
Oh this is hard! But thanks to my Goodreads stats for showing me that 4 out of my top 5 most-read-authors are male! I am not actually surprised as my favourite authors are actually men. Some of you know them already, because I’ve been ranting about Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom throughout this blog. Haha. 😀 Plus Paulo Coelho and my mystery fave James Patterson!
Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?
Uhm. I am from the Philippines so I opt to buy books at Amazon, if I have some extra cash! Thanks to my awesome friends who share ebooks for FREE!
Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?
Honestly, I would like to say nooooo to both TV shows and movies. Haha!
Though it’s actually amazing to see words transform into life, I have seen a looot of epic fail novel-based movie/TV shows. On the other hand, there are exceptions like the Breaking Dawn part 2 movie which is actually better than the novel.
So if I have to choose, I would rather books were turned into movies.
Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
I don’t actually have target pages or books per week or per day. Yes, I do have a 2015 Reading Challenge but I don’t observe a strict no. of pages per day or no. of books per week.
Because for me, it actually depends on the book. There are books that can keep you awake until dawn and there are novels that are just so boring and take weeks to finish. In short, I just read. 🙂
Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?
If you have read my About page, you would probably know my answer. My biggest dream is to be a writer, in a major national newspaper here in the Philippines. And as a writer, I look forward in scribbling my own novel as well. So yes, I would rather be a professional author than a reviewer.
In reality, I am now a PR writer but becoming a professional author is still a far far far away dream. Let’s just hope I can make it come true. 🙂
Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?
I am working as a Public Relations writer now but that doesn’t mean that I’m good in selling things. Haha! So I would rather be a librarian and be surrounded by boooooks!
Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?
Thanks to my Goodreads stats again for showing me that I’ve been reading a lot of mysteries and romance novels and yes, these two are my favorite genres. On the other hand, I am now reading new genres and new authors because of my 2015 Reading Challenge. Luckily, I’ve read a lot of new awesome authors and books!
Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?
I’d be honest here. I am now reading a lot of ebooks because of two reasons: budget and convenience! Yeah I’m not yet so blessed with extra cash to spend to buy physical books so now I read ebooks. But I love physical books! I love smelling them! 😀
This is indeed fun! So I am sharing this awesome tag with these equally awesome bloggers:
My first encounter with Mark Haddon‘s storytelling is surprising. Just when I though that this book, with a very looong title, would be a crime mystery it appears it is not.
Christopher John Francis Boone is the exceptionally intelligent young man who have written the book, the novel used first person perspective. The Curious Incident started with a crime, the gross murder of an ill-fated dog in the night time. The superbly gifted fifteen-year old accidentally discovered the ‘crime’ and it has made him curious about the things that surrounds him.
On the other hand, it is not as if Boone is playing a wise detective here, though according to him he’s doing a Sherlock Holmes-ish task as he goes after the dog’s murderer. Because the little man is not cognitively and emotionally normal,takes all things literally and cannot understand human emotions.
This would make the whole story a witty yet matter-of-fact experience with words.As he tries to discover who committed the crime, Boone’s young mind will then uncover secrets and turmoil about his own parents.
The fact that the content of the book is like a treasure that slowly unfolds while I continue digging makes this novel so special. I am used in predicting what would be the book’s content and even its ending. But with The Curious Incident, I was caught off guard, in a positive way.
I really thought that there is a bigger crime after the dog’s murder, but I am wrong. Because the rest of the book placed me in Boone’s place. A boy who is intellectually gifted by emotionally incapacitated. As I turn the pages, I have come to understand how he, as a boy with such condition, bravely face and make decisions on his own.
What I also love about this book is its wit. Boone, with his brain who knows every prime number up to 7,057, is indeed funny not because he meant to be hilarious but because he is just that. His dislike of yellow, his constant mind-boggling thoughts, and his insensitivity are witty and entertaining.
On the contrary, Mark Haddon was also able to give just the right amount of depth in this light-hearted story. The seriousness of the dilemma of a normal family was discussed with just the right amount. It is really impressive how Haddon balanced the light and humorous aspect of the book and its serious realistic premise. Surely, he is indeed a brilliant wordsmith.
PICKED UP WISE WORDS:
“Prime numbers are like life. They are very logical you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
“People do a lot of talking without using any words.”
“You could still want something that is very unlikely to happen.”
“Loving someone is helping them when they get into trouble, and looking after them, and telling them the truth.”
Haddon ended the novel in a conclusive manner. This is indeed a good read from beginning to end.
When you look at the other side of the coin, Paulo Coelho’s writing style is a bit boring because it talks about the realities of life. There are no supernatural characters; there is no dystopian type of settings, there is no thrilling crime to be solved. The novel is straight to the point and realistic.
It took me almost two weeks before I finally finished Veronika Decides to Die . For the record, two-week duration is already a fast read for me when it comes to a Paulo Coelho novel.
He is an undeniably good writer, but most of his novels are really quite boring, especially the first half of the books. There are those ideas and character monologues that I found uninteresting.
Though when you look at the other side of the coin, Paulo Coelho’s writing style is a bit boring because it talks about the realities of life. There are no supernatural characters; there is no dystopian type of settings, there is no thrilling crime to be solved. The novel is indeed straight to the point and realistic.
Also, I find this book ‘meaty’ when it comes to principles or facts in life. Veronika Decides to Die is another Coelho novel that possesses the depth that is rare in modern novels.
With insanity as its main topic, Coelho allowed his reader a peak on a world that he experienced living, a world inside an asylum. I commend the author’s bravery in discussing, though in an indirect way, his own experience inside a mental institution full of ‘insane’.
I also like how Coelho introduced the main characters of his novel that are all inside the Villete. They are:
Veronika, a 24 year-old young woman, who decides to die because of life’s predictability;
Zedka, a depressed woman who left his husband for his first love;
Dr. Igor, the doctor who studies Vitriol, a drug he believes that can cure insanity;
Mari, a 40-year lawyer, who suffered panic attacks because of her fears;
And Eduard, a schizophrenic young man who wanted to paint his visions of paradise instead of becoming a diplomat like his father.
Though this novel in not really a mystery thriller, Coelho managed to raise my curiosity on how Veronika, who committed suicide at the beginning of the novel, will face the last 5 days of her life. (Yes, it isn’t an instant death). And how his ‘insane’ characters lives will connect and overlap.
This is the first time that I have guessed the ending of a Coelho novel. 20 or more pages before the ending of the story, I already have hinted how the characters lives will go in the end. So I think Coelho is a bit predictable in this novel.
PICKED-UP WISE AND REALISTIC WORDS:
“There is always a gap between intention and action.”
“Suicide demands that people think of themselves first and of others later.”
“People always tend to help others- just so that they can feel they are better that they really are.”
“Real love changes and grows with time and discovers new ways of expressing itself.”
“People never learn anything by being told; they have to find out for themselves.”
“Insanity is the ability to communicate your ideas.”
“The best way to avoid trouble is to share responsibility.”
“No one should let themselves get used to anything.”
“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road: the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what you encounter.”
“If people don’t like it, they can complain. If they don’t have the courage to complain, that’s their problem.”
“Like children, the insane will not budge on until their desires have been satisfied.”
“Society had more and more rules, and laws that contradict the rules, and new rules that contradicted the laws.”
“Laws had not been created to resolve problems but in order to prolong quarrels indefinitely.”
“People talked more openly to psychiatrist than they did to a priest because a doctor couldn’t threaten them with Hell.”
(I’ve told you! Coelho novels have a bunch of wise words!)
If you are a fan of realistic novels, this is a MUST read. If not, you MAY want to try.
If I Stay byGayle Forman has been on my bookshelf for sometime before I finally read it. I must admit that it was the movie trailer that got me interested in this book but after I have read some reviews that If I Stay has ‘The-Fault-In-Our-Stars-like’ theme it took me sometime to decide whether to read it or not. Yes, I am not a fan of Augustus and Hazel story. But after reading this book, I would like to humbly disagree with those who said that this book and The Fault share the same theme.
Mia, a 17-year old cellist, lost her entire family, her mom, dad and little brother, in a tragic car accident. Narrating the story through her point of view, Mia’s ‘soul’ tells her life and family’s story and her struggle in making an important decision, whether to live or to die. She vividly recalls memories shared with her family, her boyfriend Adam and her best friend Kim while clearly describing the events that happen around her ‘not-so-dead’ body.
As I have rated it with four stars, I would say that I really like this book. It is, for me, a page-turner as Gayle Forman managed to shift each scene from the past and the present cohesively in an effortless manner. The shift and the way the story and events unfold made me want to finish this novel in just one night, which I somehow did. I love the simple funny lines that evoke humor in a not-so-trying-hard way. I am surprised that I have occasional chuckles while I am reading this book.
Mia and the rest of the characters are also relatable not just for teens, as I am not a teen myself anymore. This novel also tackles ordinary moments in life that seems usual events but appear as the pillars of one’s life that can help decide whether to stay and continue life or go to the world of the unknown.
THE TEARJERKER MOMENT: I was put close to tears when Mia recalled how she watched when her mom gave birth to her little brother Teddy, which include her cutting Teddy’s umbilical cord. She then describes the close relationship she has with her little bro and her agony of Teddy not being able to have girlfriends, not being able to graduate and so on. I am myself the eldest among six siblings and I can relate to her fear and grief, especially when she finally learned that Teddy is dead.
PICKED-UP WISE WORDS: People believe what they want to believe. Women can handle the worst kind of pain. Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.
THE ‘WRAP’: The ending is for me a good cliffhanger and prelude for the next book, ‘Where She Went’. I am excited to know how will Mia be able to cope with her lost and how will it affect her dreams as a cellist and her relationship with Adam.