**spoiler alert** For the record, my rating is actually 4.5 out of 5 stars.
So before I start dwelling on what I love about this book, I just want to p**spoiler alert** For the record, my rating is actually 4.5 out of 5 stars.
So before I start dwelling on what I love about this book, I just want to point out why, despite how much I liked the whole plot and the characters, I took off half a star. I feel like Ridge and Syd---although they were open about how they feel towards each other and that they handled most of the situations really well---could have avoided the whole mess if only they had the courage to do so. But they didn't. I was really disappointed with both of them when they kissed. I felt so betrayed for Maggie. They both say that it wasn't their intention or that they regret it but hell, we all know that in the back of their mind, they wanted it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have happened in the first place. I wanted to beat shake some sense into both of them. Especially Sydney. If she really was worried with hurting Maggie, she should have moved out of the apartment the moment she realized that what she felt for Ridge is starting to get out of hand. And that goes to Ridge as well.
Ridge. I love how Hoover tackled a protagonist with a disability. It was original and intriguing. I admit that at first, when I read that Ridge is deaf, I was awash with the uncertainty that I may struggle to connect with the character well and that how is she (the author) going to manifest communication for this character. But after a few pages, I was ashamed that my thinking was limited with just one form of communication. This story simply proved that a disability was never a hindrance for two people to fall deeply in love.
Sydney. I like her character despite my frustrations with her. I totally get that she's not perfect and tends to choose the wrong decisions sometimes, most especially when in love. I guess I'm just a sucker for making the right choices when it comes to a book character since I tend to be easily frustrated with female protagonists. Nonetheless, I still liked Sydney. What I love about her the most is that she knows her worth. Girls these days, when in love, is willing to be treated like trash just to have their feelings reciprocated. My copy is practically glowing from all the highlighted lines from Sydney, most especially those I can really relate to. Here are my top favorites:
"I don't want to be a Tori, Ridge. I can't tell you how much their betrayal hurts me, and I will never, ever do that to another girl."
"Does he feel this way about Maggie, too? Questions like this keep me from believing he could ever be happy with the outcome of his situation, because he lost her in the end. I don't want to be someone's second choice."
"Seeing him struggle with who he really wants is more pain than I'm willing to endure. I deserve more than he can give me right now, and his conflict is screwing with my heart."
"As much as I'm convinced he would do everything he could to protect my heart, I'm still too scared to hand it over. I don't want to give it to him until I know it's the only heart he's holding."
Maggie. As much as I love Ridge and Sydney to have their Maybe Someday, I will always have a soft spot for Maggie. She is a highly lovable character. There's this part where she caught Ridge checking out Syd, and she felt so insecure and told Ridge that she gets why he's looking at Syd like that, and I wanted to reach into the book and hug her and rap Ridge at the back of his head for making her feel that way.
All in all, I love me some CoHo from now on (I just tried this phrase, I am seeing this on almost all of the reviews on Hoover's books here in GR. Haha!). But I was really, really impressed with the author's ability to craft this kind of story line. It was so engrossing that I sometimes had to put it down due to overwhelming emotions. Hands down, this is one of the best plot I've read to date....more
Yet again, E.L. James did not fail to enrapture me with Fifty Shades' second installment.
Now, I believe I may have been Completely and Utterly SOH MY.
Yet again, E.L. James did not fail to enrapture me with Fifty Shades' second installment.
Now, I believe I may have been Completely and Utterly Smitten (C&US)---read the book to get the inside joke---with Mr. Grey from book one, but it seems like I've really fallen much more for him this time, if possible. He's just being much MORE: "Do you know how much you mean to me?", "You are my lifeline.", "I'm doing this because I've finally met someone I want to spend the rest of my life with."... Oh it just makes my heart melt! But of course, he's still the same overprotective and over-the-top jealous of Ana's guy friends.
Ana, on the other hand, have grown maturely in this book when it comes to her decisions. But she still makes me feel a wee bit frustrated sometimes when she mentally argues with herself about how she felt towards everything that's happened. Most especially when Christian revealed his "darkest" secret to her. Frankly, I'm not really surprised because it was evident from his previous actions (I hope I don't give much away with that)... Good thing she has her "subconscious" to rationalize her thinking.
While their relationship on book one is more on BDSM, it have evolved into something MUCH more here in Fifty Shades Darker. And with "much more", I'm talking about hearts and flowers in here. I really loved that they are open with each other; they acknowledge each other's opinion in every decision they make whenever it concerns their relationship. But, accompanying all these is also a much darker Christian Grey. I really was a little disappointed with book one because of the loose ends, plus the cliff hanger ending. In this book, though, every question I had in Fifty Shades of Grey were all answered. In addition, all the climax were really intense---and I'm not talking about their climax (Haha! I really don't know where I'm going with that). Anyway, I think the book has many different highlights, which I think is a treat because you don't get a lot of exciting parts in a single book these days. Plus, the main climax caught me off guard. I was basking with the aftermath of their passionate feelings toward each other and then suddenly, BAM! The climax is there. And the whole scene was riveting.
I LOVED every moment reading this book. If you've read the first book already, I know that you take my meaning if I say that this book is like an addicting drug, because like the first book, I couldn't put it down once I started reading it---which makes for my lack of sleep today. But, I wouldn't say that I regret spending the night reading it, because it really was worth it. Christian Grey, getting all hearts and flowers and revealing his darkest secret...isn't that the most tempting? Go on, read it right away! I know you want to... ;)...more
Aw, shucks. This book had me crying happy tears! I didn't expect to love the story this much... Albeit the story was told in verse, the idea of the whAw, shucks. This book had me crying happy tears! I didn't expect to love the story this much... Albeit the story was told in verse, the idea of the whole plot was very well expressed. Plus, I felt like I've also experienced every emotion Marcie was feeling all the while. It is just exactly my sort of contemporary book. A little romance here, family dysfunction there, mix it with music and a hottt rock band vocalist love interest, and there you have it. Definitely one of my faves!...more
The flow of the story is a wee bit similar to Lover Awakened and Twilight. And NO, it is not PNR. Before reading this---okay, during the first few pagThe flow of the story is a wee bit similar to Lover Awakened and Twilight. And NO, it is not PNR. Before reading this---okay, during the first few pages of the book---I honestly believed that this is going to be a Paranormal Romance. What with the whole "I'm not the man for you because I'm dangerous" shebang, it lead me to believe that maybe, just maybe, Christian is also a vampire. But NO, he wasn't...and I was crestfallen! (No, not really) That didn't stop me from liking this book, though. It was everything I wished Twilight was. HAHA. I know, that doesn't sound right. But, whatever. I wished Twilight was not YA, so E.L. James made my wish come true by writing this novel. I said that it was also a little similar to Lover Awakened because of the hot scenes, plus the depth of the story. Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't all about a hot and passionate love story, but also about the ability of love to heal even the most deeply scarred or---from Christian himself---even a fifty shades of f#@$ed up. I loved that it's also about the irrelevance of material things when it comes to happiness. While the story was intense, it also had me giggling at some parts. AND, the emails were very entertaining. I loved that, despite his horrific past, Christian still tries so hard to give Ana "more" than what he thinks he's capable of. The gliding part was oh-so-romantic! *sigh*
While I loved the book, I can't give it a 5-star rating due to the parts of the book that I found annoying. Like, Ana's "inner goddess". I hated her. I think she's the epitome of Ana's shallow and irrational side. Another reason is because I struggle to connect with the story itself because it all feels like a fairy tale to me---a dark, erotic fairy tale, that is. Plus, it left me feeling frustrated for not knowing why Christian is fifty shades of f#@$ed up. Maybe E.L. James will reveal that on the next book, but still....more
Rated 5-stars initially due to incessant tears after finishing the book. Quite frankly, I was a wee bit disappointed because befThe Fault in Our Stars
Rated 5-stars initially due to incessant tears after finishing the book. Quite frankly, I was a wee bit disappointed because before reading this, I expected it to be one of my 'best novels of all times' given all the hype here on GR. While it did left me in a puddle of tears, I couldn't say that it is the most amazing book I've read to date. Soooo I removed a star. It is, however, one of the best love stories ever written. I mean duh, it's John Green. ;)
So, here goes.
Hazel Grace Lancaster is, in every way, the kind of MC that most readers will surely love: witty, intelligent, and selfless. So the book started with Hazel being all out hopeless and has wholly accepted her sickness and seemed like she was just waiting for that inevitable time to come and get her. That is, until she met Augustus Waters. 'Gus' is this hot guy, who loves video games, metaphors, and believes that to live a good life is to live extraordinarily and be remembered even after death. He is, like, the opposite of Hazel. I truly love the concept of these two cancer victims fell in love and created their own little forever in their numbered days. And also, the ending. The ending left my heart shattered and whole at the same time. Shattered because life and reality is sometimes so cruel; Whole because a love of this kind surpasses death and reality. It is boundless and infinite; The kind that no terminal disease can ever put an end.... *sigh*
*snaps back to reality*
So there is this one thing I recognized while reading it: the way the novel was written. Augustus Waters is awfully similar to how Colin Singleton (from An Abundance of Katherines) thinks, what with all the mattering after death and whatnot. And Hazel here is like the female version of Will Grayson (from Will Grayson Will Grayson), the same sort of depressed and bitter about life (and makes fun of it) character. Both Hazel and Gus are, like in every John Green novel, nerdy and hilarious in this John Green way. I can't help but recognize the same characters just in a different story and name.
Now, I'm not saying these like it's a bad thing. I mean, I love John Green's writing. I do. All his books are witty and ingenious and his writing is never a bore. Well, maybe this is mostly my fault for having ridiculously high expectations on this book. Oh well.
"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you."
"The world is not a wish-granting factory...I'll fight it. I'll fight it for you. Don't you worry about me. I'm okay. I'll find a way to hang around and annoy you for a long time."
"There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars."
"We all want to be remembered, I do too. I want to leave a mark. But the marks humans leave are too often scars. For about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar."
"But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, 'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves'."
"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. But I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful."
"You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices."...more
As a prequel to the Heavy Influence trilogy, Skid Out did its part as a very tempting foretaste of an interesting and intoxicating story and another swoon-worthy literary crush to come.
The plot portrays a coming of age theme, which is inevitably linked to sexual maturity. The story was mostly about the coming of age of a 14 year old Alyssa, who has never thought of feeling a different surge of emotion towards the her next door neighbor, Jake Masters, because he's practically family to her. She basically grew up with him, since Jake and her brother were childhood friends. Part of the story was taken from Jake Masters' P.O.V., giving us an idea of how he feels towards Aly. He has always had this feelings for her, but because of their age difference, he doesn't pursue her. Up until that day they took notice of each other again in a whole different way...
I rated this prequel 4-stars, not because I love fictions with rocker guy characters or because Jake Masters is an utter hottie (although, yes, both reasons were considered), but because the story was downright stimulating. However, I took off a star because I think it lacked a bit of thought-provoking moments.
The song Transposed, which was sent to me attached with this novella, has also added to Jake's teenage punk-rock side of the story. And yes, the song was so good it went straight my iPod. ;)
Ms. Ann Marie Frohoff has crafted an enticing coming of age story complete with fun and intriguing characters, which makes for a delicate yet pleasurable read. I cannot wait to read the first installment....more
An Abundance of Katherines. This is my second John Green novel after Paper Towns, and of course, it was as entertaining albeit less emotional, and asAn Abundance of Katherines. This is my second John Green novel after Paper Towns, and of course, it was as entertaining albeit less emotional, and as decidedly amusing. So yes, I loved it.
An Abundance of Katherines is about Colin Singelton, a child prodigy (and has always longed to be a genius, so that he can be someone significant) and has acknowledged himself as a certified dumpee. He was just recently dumped by his 19th girlfriend, who is also his 19th Katherine. Hassan, his arab best friend (and only friend), came up with the idea that instead of Colin moping around, they should go on a road trip. And so they did. But the problem is that they don't have any destination until they passed-by a town claiming to possess the grave of a prominent Archduke. Of course Colin insisted they visit the grave, so albeit Hassan's enthusiasm about history is not as vast as Colin's, they went through. Neither of them had any idea that entering Gutshot, Tennessee will shake their lives like a fugging snow globe and turn both their worlds upside down. ;)
While I loved the whole book, here are some of the things I liked about it: * The book has an interesting secondary character (Lindsey). And when I say interesting, I meant that she's, like, this is oh-so-cool and oh-so-bubbly person around everyone, yet you have this small feeling that she's just putting up a facade so people will think of her that way (a quality similar to Margo Roth Spigelman of Paper Towns). So you get intrigued about what the real Lindsey is like, and why she keeps that charade. * No love-at-first-sight cliche. Yes, as much as I loved some love-at-first-sight novels, I still get tired of it sometimes. So one of the things I liked about this book is that the characters slowly develop their feelings toward each other, thus making the story more convincing and realistic; so the story grows gradually on the reader. * Straightforward characters. Unlike other novels, the major characters bluntly say what they feel towards the other---no dilly-dallying, no hesitations; straight to the point. Because of this, the characters, as well as the story, is easy to comprehend.
As the main character ponders about mattering in this book, I, too, have come to a realization that: You can make a theorem that can explain the past, but you can never make one to predict the future. The past is a logical story, whereas the future is unknown. That the infinite future makes Colin's idea of mattering (formulating an original mathematical formula) impossible. But there are stories. We can all be forgotten but the stories will last. And so that way, people can matter. Instead of obsessing about our past mistakes, why not live the most of our lives and make it a story worth-retelling? You can't stop the future from coming. Don't worry or think too much of what was, think of what lies ahead instead. Think of what you can be or what you want to be, because there is always, always, room enough to be anyone. :)...more
I've never read anything like this; such a poignant story that speaks of life in a diffThis review can also be found at lythebookworm-ish.blogspot.com
I've never read anything like this; such a poignant story that speaks of life in a different way. The ending is completely the opposite of what I had in mind but I wouldn't want it any other way. I feel sorry for Q, (view spoiler)[what he and Margo could have been, (hide spoiler)] but he (and I should, too) needs to accept what is.
This is one of those books that evoke strong emotions in the reader, which will surely last for days, or at least for me. A couple of days passed but I still have this sympathy for Quentin and Margo whenever I think of this book. Most especially for Margo... (view spoiler)[It broke my heart when she described herself as a "paper girl", that she went to a paper town because she felt like she belong there---like she said, a paper town for a paper girl. She thought that if she went to a paper town that became an actual landmark, maybe a paper girl like her can also become real. I am so saddened that she thinks of herself that way, it was like she hated herself for pretending to be the perfect Margo everyone knew and loved most of her life; that she had to go away just to find her real self, all alone in an abandoned building, living all by herself. I know it sounds twisted---and I'm sure Margo is a bit disturbed to be able to do that---but it really got to me. Maybe it is the primary reason why I feel so sorry for her, because she went away and lived like that; because she wanted to live life the way she always wanted to, without ever worrying of what others would think of her. (hide spoiler)]
I wasn't meaning to cry (or even tear up) at the ending---because it was the kind that is heartbreaking but you have to understand why it all happened in the first place, and not blame the author for it---but this quote did me:
(view spoiler)["I stand in this parking lot, realizing that I've never been this far from home, and here is this girl I love and cannot follow. I hope this is the hero's errand, because not following her is the hardest thing I've ever done." (hide spoiler)]
(view spoiler)["I feel her hands on my back. And it is dark as I kiss her, but I have my eyes open and so does Margo. She is close enough to me that I can see her. [...] After we kiss, our foreheads touch as we stare at each other. Yes, I can see her almost perfectly in this cracked darkness." (hide spoiler)]
I am inclined to say that John Green is such a brilliant author, and Paper Towns is a truly amazing read. ...more