Review: We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)

This book was June’s hottest item. I remember seeing it being praised on every other blog I visited. I wanted to read it so bad that I went looking for a copy at three different bookstores. I finally got a copy a week or so later. I devoured it in a few hours. The way this book is written, with its short, poetic sentences, definitely lends to quick reading. I know some people hated it but I actually quite enjoyed the writing style.

Having seen this book reviewed pretty much everywhere, I knew there was a twist coming, and I have to say I pretty much figured it out halfway through the book. I thought it was pretty obvious, but it’s most likely because I knew to look out for it — and I know enough psychology to know what sorts of terrible things could happen to you following a terrible thing that happened. That being said, the actual terrible thing that happened wasn’t quite what I thought happened. There was no way I could’ve imagined that was what happened, so that was still a surprise. Sort of.

Other than that I really don’t have much to say about this book. It’s a quick, enjoyable, fulfilling read — unless you get annoyed by (a) the writing style or (b) the narrator’s personality, because she is kind of annoying… except I felt terribly sad for her and so I tolerated her annoying-ness. Which is probably what everyone else in her family thought of, which is probably why she ended up being so annoying in the first place. Hmm. Anyway.

[green_box] This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. [/green_box]

Review: If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

I had seen some reviews for this book around but wasn’t really interested to read it, until I got a copy from my subscription to Literary Box, a local startup where you get a surprise book package every three months (or so). It was there and it looked interesting enough so I read it.

The problem I had with this book was that the premise of the book was all laid out beforehand. Reading it, I knew there was going to be an accident, I knew Mia’s whole family were going to die. I knew Mia will have to decide whether or not she lives, and in a way I sort of knew what she was going to choose because… well, there’s a second book!

That being said, I did enjoy the book — after the accident, that is. The first few pages leading towards it was just filler in my opinion. It was so boring I almost didn’t go on reading. Anyway, once I went past that part, a lot of emotions were in play, and it was weaved together expertly that you actually feel everything Mia felt. Except that now as I finish this review, which is almost six months after reading it, I realize I don’t remember all that much about it. I even considered lowering down my rating, but I guess I must’ve liked it more back then. It just didn’t stay (haha).

One last thing: I still don’t get why she ends up leaving Adam (I know this because… second book, despite not having read it yet). I mean… is it her love for music that makes her stay and decide to go to Juilliard? Because I was convinced it was Adam’s love that made her stay. I guess I’m a hopeless romantic or something… but I really, really don’t get it. I personally would’ve left this book as a stand-alone, but I haven’t read the second book. Maybe it’s good? Maybe I should read it. Maybe.

[green_box] This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. [/green_box]

 

 

Review: The Girl with All the Gifts (M. R. Carey)

This book. THIS BOOK! It’s my favorite book of the year.

I grabbed a copy after reading a very vague short review on Book Riot. The back cover intrigued me. I delved in without knowing much about the book, and it was a great decision. The thing is, a lot of people would shy away from this book once they know what it’s supposed to be about. If I had known, I wouldn’t have read it at all. This is why whenever I recommend this book, I tell people NOT to look for information about it. Don’t look at the categorization because it will spoil the book. And even if you have found out what it’s about… please read it anyway, because this book is about so much more.

I mean, the whole possibly spoiling thing set aside, this book is about love. Not the romantic kind of love, but love between human beings and how it manifests in different aspects of our lives. There’s the love between a student and her favorite teacher, love between a teacher and her most brilliant student, love between a scientist and her work, and the love of a sergeant to his men, his country, and his task to protect people.

This book is written from multiple first-person point of view which can be horrible if not done well, usually resulting in confusion of who’s narrating, but M. R. Carey does it splendidly. The voice of each narrator was pretty distinct.

The book is action packed but also full of feeling. Scenes from it stayed with me whenever I had to put the book down, and the ending… well, the ending was unexpected but pretty much perfect because any other ending would’ve been too cliched. This was just right. Devastating but hopeful at the same time. It was perfect.

[green_box]This post is part of the Write On review-a-thoncreated and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen[/green_box]

Review: The Giver (Lois Lowry)

 

Whoa! The third book in my 30 Before 30 Reading List! This was a quick and easy read, in part because it’s a middle-grade book, but mostly because it was well-written and the story so captivating that I simply refused to put it down until I finished. Luckily it didn’t take as many hours as Room did.

The Giver is all the rage, of course, because there’s a movie coming up based on it, and of course you should always read the book before you see the movie (well, I’m not that strict with that rule, but still… I found myself looking all over for the book just so I could read it as soon as possible). From what I gathered by seeing the trailer, though, the movie won’t be anything like the book, because they’ve aged Jonas to appeal to the teen market, quite like what they did with Ella Enchanted, and made several plot changes, it seems. Oh well.The trailer looks promising though, and it will probably be a good movie if you try and forget that it’s based on the book, I suppose.

What The Giver is, then, is a dystopian story that I believe predates the trend of dystopian stories in today’s literature. It’s told from the point of view of Jonas, who is a twelve-year-old boy living in the midst of the society. This results in a story that doesn’t give you an elaborate description about what the society is like. Instead, the knowledge builds up as Jonas experiences something, and as the truth is revealed to him. Which makes for a surprising read, if not a bit annoying at times. I was SO annoyed with the “change” that Jonas can’t seem to describe that keeps happening. For a moment I thought his world was like The Matrix, but of course I was wrong.

There are so many things in the story that isn’t articulated right away, so you get taken aback by realization of what is actually happening every so often. And then, of course, there is the ending. The ending left me staring at the book for a long time. Then I looked up the other books. Except that the books aren’t continuation but rather other sorts of dystopian communities around. The realization that whatever happened to Jonas and the baby is entirely up to me was devastating, mainly because I find it very hard to think about it positively. Which tells you a lot about how grown-up minds work because I’m sure children who read this story will look at it the happy way.

I had written the lesson I learned from this book in the 30 Before 30 Check-in I did a few weeks back, but now that I look back at it, it seems like an oversimplification and a little bit obvious. There are actually a lot of “lessons” in this book. It’s definitely one I would re-read one day.