Alex Pettyfer + 13 Reasons Why + Katniss

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have to ask this question. Is there really no one else that is blonde, good-looking, "fairly hot," and a teenage boy in the movie industry today but Alex Pettyfer? Seriously. Alex Rider. I Am Number Four. Beastly. Rumored to be Jace in the Mortal Instruments movie adaptation. Possible selection as Peeta in The Hunger Games. Listing the movies, it seems like it's not a lot, but seeing that these are all based on Young Adult novels, I think we may be seeing a pattern here. Don't get me wrong; he's cute and likable and all -- and I'm really not complaining because I actually do like him haha -- but it is sort of funny. To be honest though, I did try to come up with other actors that could play the roles he did -- and I'm most curious to figure out who will play Peeta -- but I can't really think of any. I guess that's a good thing for him.

Speaking of movie roles, I don't know if this is just a rumor or is confirmed, but apparently Selena Gomez is going to be playing Hannah in the movie adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Hmm... Selena Gomez can be cute, but I just don't see her as a depressed, suicidal teenage girl. I really can picture Kaya Scodelario playing her instead. She was Effy in the popular UK show, Skins. She pretty much played a very troubled, depressed girl, and she was amazing at doing so, to say the least. Who do you imagine playing the role of Hannah?

And while we're at the topic of picking movie roles, who do you think should play Katniss Everdeen? This is a bit of a stretch, since so many people have so many different choices! But I have to say, without thinking of their ages, I'd say Kaya Scodelario, Emma Roberts, and possibly Camilla Belle. However, I think I would prefer it if they brought in a completely new actress.

What do you think? Any ideas for replacements for Alex Pettyfer? Who should play Hannah of Thirteen Reasons Why and Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games?

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 2.5 stars - Good for Paranormal YA fans, just not the right fit for me

What I Liked: Maggie Stiefvater's a good writer; plain and simple. Her words are unpretentious, and flows without effort. Sometimes it even sounds poetic. While the events in the book can be very cheesy, her writing tones it down and makes it actually believable. Also, I LOVE the cover.

Indifferent about: the characters. I like them, but not as much. I didn't really care much about them and their relationship to be honest.

What I Didn't Like: Their love story. I didn't get it. I didn't get where it came from, what its basis was, and why they like each other. I thought it was cheesy, and just not for me. I didn't care about them, like I said, and I didn't really root for them or anything. I know a lot of people really liked this aspect, but for me personally, it was a bit of a miss. Another thing was that I thought the pacing was slow. I have to admit, I was bored and rushing in the end.

Skip it if: you don't really read YA much, and if you're like me who's getting a bit tired of the whole werewolf phenomenon.

Read it if: you do like Paranormal YA with a bit of romance. I recommend you check it out for yourself. I know a lot of bloggers and my reader friends who really enjoyed this!

Overall: I can see why people love it so much, but this was just not the right book for me, that's all. It just wasn't my type.

where I say bye to one of my favorite places.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If you have ever seen the movie, You've Got Mail, you probably remember the main female character, Kathleen Kelly, and how sad and heartbroken she was when she was closing her bookstore. She really felt like she was losing something that held so many of her memories.

And I know it's not quite the same, since first of all, I don't own the bookstore and second, Borders is a "huge bookstore company" and not a mom&pop shop. Regardless, I felt exactly this way when I went in this particular Borders this past weekend.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I have had a lot of memories in this bookstore. When I first got to California from the Philippines -- I was 15 -- my parents would drop me off at this Borders and leave me there for hours while they were out job hunting and doing errands. I didn't mind at all, because I loved the place so much, plus these trips really helped me a lot when I would miss my family back home and feel homesick.

This has also become a 'designated hang out/meeting spot' for my best friends and I. We no longer hang out as much as we did in high school due to different college and work schedules, so we would always catch up here. My boyfriend and I also had a lot of simple dates and some of the best conversations here, even back when we were just friends. We'd hang out here, browse for new reads, talk about books, or talk about whatever at all. And to be honest, this is the place I go to when I just want to relax and unwind after a difficult and tiring day or something. There's just something incredibly homey, welcoming, and cozy about the place.

While there are some people who really hate on this place because it's a "big bad company owned" bookstore, I personally don't care. I love this place. Sure, it's a disadvantage that they have to sell books at normal retail price, (and I do love to support smaller book shops) but because I had a personal attachment to this bookstore -- even working for a year here -- I will genuinely miss it.

These are photos from when I dropped by this weekend. Walking in the store was harder than I expected; Everything was on sale. Most of the shelves were empty. Books and papers scattered on the floor. Employees obviously stressed and upset. There was also such an unbelievably long line. It was actually a very sad sight to see.

In My Mailbox!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Here's the books I got this week. Three from the library and two were purchased from a used bookstore.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Fat Chance by Leslea Newman
The Gates by John Connolly
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I just finished The Bell Jar, and am currently reading Chocolat. I have to say, it's making me crave hot chocolate. That could be a good or a bad thing.

Reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reading this can be compared to the feeling I get when I'm on a roller coaster. That excitement, that thrill, and the nervousness I get when the car slowly ascends to the top. We get to the peak, and the car stops there for a few seconds. I know what's going to happen, but I don't know when it will. I want to get out, as I ask myself why I even got on the ride in the first place. Then, without any warning whatsoever, the car plummets down down down. I've lost control, and I can't really do anything about it. The only way down is to drop.

Basically there are two parts in The Bell Jar: the good and the bad. The first half of The Bell Jar is as normal as it gets. The second half is where everything gets darker and more twisted. It gets harder to read, mainly because it's so difficult to even begin to imagine being in the main character's shoes. It was also very scary to see how on-point and realistic everything was, despite the fact that I can't directly relate to what the character was going through.

As I read this book, I also started to think a lot about sanity, in general. I kept thinking, how would I react if I was in the main character's shoes? What would I do? Would I know the difference between sane and insane anymore? Would I be able to tell? This novel got me thinking of those things, which of course could be a good thing or a bad thing. Having said that, The Bell Jar is dark and depressing. It can definitely put your mood down, but I also found that it can also be an eye-opener as well. It made me thankful that at least I am not at all close to the main character's state of mind. It also was very humbling, because I realized, that no matter how normal we are -- or we think we are -- we are as vulnerable as everyone else. We are still human. This can be quite a scary thing to realize, but it is reality, and is something everyone eventually learns to work with no matter what.

Now if you're wondering if I liked or disliked The Bell Jar, I have to say I liked it. However, this is one of those books you can not judge based on its literary merit, but on the overall experience and effect it had on the reader instead. So if I have to give it a technical rating, I'd give it 3 stars. But for the experience itself, I have to give it 5.

hop hop hop!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome to my blog! If you came here from the Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy-for-Books, thanks for visiting! This is where I talk, rant, rave, and gush about all things, books! This week, Jennifer asks, tba.

I'd love to check your blog out as well, so please leave your link here if you can. Also, visit me on Twitter! Happy Friday, everyone!

A sad, bad day for bookworms like me.

Well, at least in my area. Apparently, Borders and B&N are both bankrupt. This isn't really a surprise. They've been struggling for a while now. But what is the sad thing about this bankruptcy happening are the stores closing around the US. Where I live, there are 3 Borders and 1 B&N that are fairly close to me. All of them are closing. I have to admit, while I love to support mom&pop shops, Borders has got to be one of my favorite bookstores. I have had great memories in there.

I have spent countless hours there, sometimes alone, sometimes with other people. This is our designated "catch up" spot. My best friends and I meet and hang out here all the time, and this is also one of the treasured places that my boyfriend and I like to frequent. The two of us always have "Borders dates," -- clever name, I know! -- where we just hang out and talk about books and whatnot. And to be honest, sometimes I just like being in there, even when I'm not going to buy anything! It's such a relaxing and cozy place; a perfect place to unwind. Basically, this was our place to be. (I even worked there for about a year!)It's very sad knowing it won't be around for very long.

This got me thinking a lot about the future. It seems like with all these bookstores closing, that a world without bookstores and libraries is actually quite possible, as frightening as that may sound. So to get books, you either have to shop online for everything or get e-books. Now I don't mind either, but the whole experience of actually book browsing and book shopping would be gone. And this, to be honest, is a very big deal to me; imagining that my future kids and grandkids won't be able to have the same experience with bookshops like I did.

I don't know if I should blame something, or if I could even blame anything or anyone at all, but whatever the reason is, it still doesn't change the fact. Today is truly a sad day, and I feel like going straight to Borders tomorrow right after work... :/

Thoughts? And go and check if your Borders is closing. Here's me genuinely wishing it's not.

Fat Chance by Leslea Newman

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Judi Liebowitz thinks she's fat. And she's convinced, as she confides in her diary, that she'd be happier if she were skinnier. So when Judi becomes friendly with pencil-thin, glamorous Nancy Pratt, she learns Nancy's secret and joins her in the secret binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia. Before long, Judi's life spins out of control and her obsession with food, calories, and pounds is no longer another typical eighth-grade problem--it's a matter of life and death.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: I thought this was an okay read, but couldn't give it a 3. While the writing is good, the characters likable enough, and the story line very believable and realistic, I didn't really "feel" anything. I didn't feel emotionally invested in the story. I didn't get carried away by it, and it didn't really blow me away. I did however appreciate the thought behind the story, and the message it is trying to send, but like I said, Fat Chance simply did not stand out to me in any way whatsoever. It wasn't a bad book or anything, and I really appreciate the book like I said, but there wasn't anything special about it either. It's just the type of book I would forget very easily and not really recommend to others.

Literary Couples.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I already posted something like this about a year ago, when I first started blogging, but I wanted to sort of re-post it again since it is Valentine's Day. Now I'm not super into Valentine's Day or anything, but I do tend to love it and appreciate the thought behind this occasion. So to celebrate this event on the blog, I decided to re-list some of my favorite literary couples.

1. Henry De Tamble and Claire Abshire
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

2. Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter
A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks

3. Ron and Hermione
Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling

4. Allie and Noah
The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
- I actually put them here because of the movie version. But because they are book characters, I had to add them here :)

5. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

6. Severus Snape and Lily Potter
Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
- yes, you read it right ;) :Spoilers: Snape is probably the most misunderstood character in the history of literature, and Lily Potter has got to be the "perfect girl" that everyone just wanted to be with. Now I'm no James Potter hater, but man, I didn't expect him to be the jerk, and for Snape to be actually the "good guy."

7. Liesel Meminger and Rudy Steiner
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
8. Samantha Kingston and Kent Fuller
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I know some of them aren't technically couples, but I put them there anyway not because of the 'relationship status' but because of how they feel with and about each other.

How about you? Who are your favorite "couples"from books?

Valentine's Day.

To my favorite bookworms,

Enjoy today, whatever it is you're doing, whoever it is you're with, and wherever you may be. I know people say Valentine's Day is overrated, and is just like any other day, but regardless, it's a nice opportunity to commemorate the love you have in your life, and to celebrate your most treasured relationships. Whether it's for a family member, a relative, a friend, a significant other, your pets, or your books. So here's me wishing you a fun and a happy Valentine's Day.


Beware of the "Unprofessional Book Reviewer"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everybody has the right to voice out their opinions. However, to me, there's always a fine line between being honest and being rude. To me, her post was the latter. I found it to be inappropriate, insensitive, offensive, and just plain hurtful. If you are not aware of what I'm talking about yet, it's about a post written by an author, Sylvia Massara. (read it here; original unedited post here)

I think if she removed the name calling, and finger pointing, I could have probably tried to understand where she is coming from. But I can't get past the fact that she called book bloggers "smart asses who don't know how to do anything else." To be honest, I wasn't so much angry or upset about this and her post. It just really offended me and made me sad how anybody -- especially somebody who calls herself a "professional" -- could think that it's acceptable to say this publicly.

While there's not really much to say -- because I think her post speaks for itself -- I do have a message for Sylvia Massara herself. So if she happens to randomly read this, then this would be for you:

Please bear in mind that book bloggers are writers too. Professional or not. Like authors who work so hard at their craft, we also work very hard talking about your work. We don't get paid. Do we care? Do we complain? No. So I think we can write subjective reviews and comments all we want as long as we are not personally attacking you or bashing you. (Aren't all reviews and opinions subjective anyway?)

Also please realize that the so-called unprofessional book reviewers are your avid readers. We are the bookworms that spend so much time in the library borrowing or in the bookstore buying your work. We are the ones that talk endlessly about your stories and your characters. We are the ones that recommend them non-stop to others. We are the ones that get our family and friends to get your book. We are your audience. We all do this for NO. PAY. $0. Basically, for free. Why? Because we love it! We're passionate about this, and we do care about authors and other writers. We don't write reviews to ruin your careers. However, if you still think we shouldn't be writing reviews because we're not professionals, then I'm just sorry you think that way. But to be honest, the most fair thing you can do is to show a little bit more respect for others. Whether they are professional writers or not.

P.S. I'm a pretty damn good grocery list writer.

Just saying.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Synopsis: Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: On a previous post, I mentioned that I was getting tired of the whole Paranormal YA genre because I felt like some of the aspects of it are too overdone, but Hex Hall definitely made the said genre fresh again. At least, for me. It reminded me a lot of two good things; Mean Girls and the Harry Potter series. It had the same style almost; very funny, smart, witty, and very entertaining. But I loved the fact that it is its own story, and is not copying anything else or trying to be something it isn't. Having said that, as a whole, I thought the story was very original, unpredictable, and fresh. Definitely fun, and fast-paced. It is an entertaining page-turner, lead by a very likable main character and narrator. So to end this review, I give it 4.5 stars and highly recommend it to Paranormal YA readers.

Annexed by Sharon Dogar

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?

Rating: 3 stars

Plot line: 3.5 stars
This was why I picked this up in the first place. The first time I read the synopsis, I was almost immediately sold. The good thing is that as I read the book, I found that it was extremely intriguing, as the premise promised, and it will keep you interested. I did think sometimes it went a little slow, but at least it wasn't really boring.

Characters: 2 stars
As a whole, I liked all the characters. I liked the main protagonist, and thought he was very likable. I was interested in his thoughts, and even cared about what he had to say. What I didn't like, and this may sound weird, was that Anne Frank in this book was not the Anne Frank we know from her diary -- if you have read it. Her portrayal is different, almost as if the author changed her as a person. I didn't like this very much, and found the entire portrayal not believable.

Writing: 3 stars
The narratives are great; unpretentious and straight to the point. While it's not necessarily fast-paced, and the flow is just alright, I still liked it because of how the author was able to keep the suspenseful and intriguing atmosphere all throughout.

Very original and unique plot, effortless writing, likable-enough characters, and a fairly good story. It has its negatives -- like me not really believing this story -- and it's definitely not a favorite, but overall, I thought it was fresh and entertaining.

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Monday, February 7, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition. Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

4 stars

Review: First of all, I could not put this book down! It was impossible to, even when I kept promising myself, "one last chapter.. one last chapter.." This book kept me up, for a lot of reasons. It was definitely fast-paced, which I liked of course. It wasn't slow or anything, and I thought every chapter had a purpose. The plot line, also I have to say, is very intriguing. It's always interesting to read about the complicated lives and secrets of families, for some reason, and Fixing Delilah did a great job focusing on it, without it becoming too much. I liked the mysteriousness behind the story, and I absolutely loved the author's flow and style of writing. It seemed very unpretentious. As for the characters, I also liked each of them. I thought each of them had a purpose as well, and none of them were wasted. I especially liked the main protagonists, and loved the fact that I was able to actually care for them and their situation. Once they got me empathizing with them, I was hooked and just could not stop reading.

While I have to say this isn't necessarily a "favorite," or one that I would be raving about for days and days, I still really enjoyed it. I liked it, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good YA read.

what my weekend looked like.

Ended up sick, sneezing and coughing my way through Friday and Saturday. Thankfully by Sunday morning, I was a lot better. Cold was gone, and I was no longer feverish. Thanks to a very relaxing weekend, full of TLC from a trustworthy cold & flu medicine, some TV, few movies, good food, and of course, good books. I also was able to do a whole lot of reading, like I planned, so overall, it was a good and fairly relaxing weekend.

I will be reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath for the very first time, possibly tonight, and I can't wait. I don't know why it took me so long to pick this up, but hey, better late than never, right?

weekend, the flu, and reading.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Weekend is officially here. I hope you all are warm inside your houses, bundled up with blankets, hopefully with a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate with you! I unfortunately got the nasty cold and flu combo, but I am sure it'll go away by Monday. *crosses fingers!*

As much as I hate being sick, I do sort of like the perks that come with it -- spoiling yourself, excusing yourself from chores and errands, and getting a lot of reading time. So yes, I will be doing a lot of reading. I am planning to finish Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, start I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, and possibly do a little reread of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I will be re-watching some Sex and the City episodes, and will also of course be watching Glee after the Superbowl. (!!!!)

Anyway, that is it for me. Here's me wishing you a happy, warm, and sick-free weekend xx

Books that keep you up at night are dangerous.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Yes they are. I had a lot of stuff planned to do in the morning today, and had to get up earlier than normal. Yesterday, I had a plan: sleep earlier than usual so I'm not in zombie mode. Unfortunately, I picked up one of those books. Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler. I couldn't put it down. So let's just say I was definitely in zombie mode today.

There are a lot of others book that have done this to me. The favorites of mine -- that if you've been a reader of mine for a while you would know what the titles are -- The Book Thief, Harry Potter series, The Lightning Thief, etc. Some others like The Maze Runner, The Book of Lost Things, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, just to name a few.

So today I wonder -- and I know it seems like I've been posting a lot about me wondering and me asking you a bunch of questions -- what are the books that you think are guilty for keeping their readers up late at night and depriving them of precious, precious sleep?

Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: Owen, Frank, Audrey, and Jin-Ae have one thing in common: they all want to die. When they meet online after each attempts suicide and fails, the four teens make a deadly pact: they will escape together on a summer road trip to visit the sites of celebrity suicides...and at their final destination, they will all end their lives. As they drive cross-country, bonding over their dark impulses, sharing their deepest secrets and desires, living it up, hooking up, and becoming true friends, each must decide whether life is worth living--or if there's no turning back.

Rating: 2 stars

The plot line was what really made me pick this up and read it to begin with. It seemed very promising, like it was going to deliver a good story with memorable characters. Unfortunately, it was very flat for me that by the time I got to the middle, I was rushing to finish the book. I was bored, because nothing was happening. I was not interested anymore, and could tell it just wasn't going to go anywhere.

When it came to the characters, I also didn't connect to them very much. I felt like they had no personality. Because I didn't really find them particularly likable or relate-able, I couldn't empathize with them, or root for them. I just couldn't get myself to actually care about them. It was one of those things; you feel bad for what they're going through, but it is not really affecting you as a reader.

I didn't see any sort of development either, with the plot or with the characters. I felt like the story just did not go anywhere. It was a book about something interesting that just did not deliver. It seems like it had the potential, but instead, it turned out to be dry and flat to me. It wasn't entirely a horrible book. It had its strengths, but it's just simply forgettable to me.

These books are giving me nightmares.

Literally. The weird thing is, the books I'm reading aren't exactly in the horror genre, or in any way, "scary." This situation got me thinking about two kinds of dreamers: those that when they dream, only dream about light and happy things. And those who rarely dream, but when they do, only seem to get nightmares. Unfortunately, ever since I was little, I've been one of those that get bad dreams. No specific reason, I've just always been that way.

Lately, I have been getting nightmares from some of the books that I have been reading. It's odd, and certainly a new experience for me. Maybe I was too engrossed and attached to the story I was reading? Maybe I was just subconsciously scaring myself without even knowing it? I have no idea, but this really got me wondering. Have you had this experience before? And I don't just mean to get nightmares, but just dreams in general. Have you ever had a dream about, or that was sparked in any way, by a book? I know this is sort of a random post, but I'd like to hear all about it anyway! Here's me wishing you a nightmare-free sleep tonight, xxx.