The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (Book Review) 

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A story about an aspiring Indian Chef who was on a very long and short journey. But its a walk that has led him to his destiny.

A taste of life“. Yup, that is how I would describe the story of Hassan Haji. I must say, I’ve felt like for one moment being part of the hustle and bustles of Mumbai, backpacking around Europe, enjoying the simplicity of life in Lumière, and having a marvelous time eating in Paris. Its because of those French and Indian dishes that were described in the story that it also feels like I was eating and traveling while reading the book.

However, there is actually more to the story, and it all boils down into this favorite quote that I’ve read – “Good taste is not the birthright of snobs, but a gift from God sometimes found in the most unlikely of places and in the unlikeliest of people”. A beautiful thought that was passed down from one generation to another. An idea that despite all the struggles and success in life in order to attain the one thing that inspires you to be more passionate; you should never ever forget where you came from, and to be humble in all the things that you do.

Although, it is quite different from the film adaptation, but it was entirely understandable. Definitely a must read especially for those who are a fan of the movie.

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson (Book Review)

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Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.

-Summary by Goodreads.com

MY BOOK REVIEW:

As they always say, one could never predict the unexpected, for I have never truly expected to really like Julianne Donaldson’s second novel entitled Blackmoore. I think it was in the year 2013 that I got an eBook copy of this novel. And at that time, I’ve just finished reading the Edenbrooke which was also written by the same author. I’ve wanted to read it ever since it was published but I just got caught up in so many books to prioritize in my reading list, and along the way it was totally stocked-up in my lists of “To Read Novels”.

It was a year later that I’ve finally decided to read the book. So I started reading its few chapters, which I’ve noticed that this novel has some concepts that had be taken out in some classic novels that I’ve read before like Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, which were both written by Jane Austen and The Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

The novel Blackmoore talks about the blossoming romance of Kate Worthington and Henry Delafield (which is your very typical kind of love story). They were childhood friends in the beginning, and then as they grew up into adults it blossomed into a romantic sort of friendship. It is a common one, but what made this love story so catchy to the readers is that sense of thrill and excitement that one would expect as you go along into the story; that as a reader, you just can’t get enough of them that you really wanted to finish it all the way, and that is why this novel is such a page turner. I’ve also noticed when I started reading this that the main heroine Kate does seem like a mystery to me. There are some things about her that I just can’t get enough of. Of course she might seem like your typical Jane Austen heroine, a woman who is smart and kind. But she’s a bit feisty in some ways. She’s a head strong kind of woman and so full of strong-willed independence, and that’s what I really like about her. As for Henry, he is a very honorable gentleman. Moreover, he has turned out to be one of my most favorite male characters. He’s charming, kind, smart, and he’s someone who is not afraid to fight for what he truly believes in especially in the name of love.

And as a dreamer of being a wanderer, it made me realized that nothing is impossible when one would dream of seeing the world. Even if there are people, or some circumstances that are trying to tide you up from that dream. But for as long as you believe in yourself and would truly work hard for it, then surely in the near future such a dream would truly come true. Actually in my case, it finally happened a few months ago, which made me grateful for the experience, and more determined than ever to continue in pursuing and living that dream.

Edenbrooke and Blackmoore may be the only two novels that I’ve read that were written by Julianne Donaldson. But hopefully soon, I will be able to read her other novel entitled the Heir to Edenbrooke. For it’s been awhile that I’ve read such books by authors who still writes a good and charming “Proper Romance”, the kind of Romance that reminds us of the good old writing styles of Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte and many other classic romance writers. And this is truly a must read for all the fans out there of Classic Novels.

Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (Book Review)

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Goodreads Summary:

After her mom vanished in a stench of drugs and alcohol, Ruby continued to live in the family house alone. Finally found out, the introspective teenager is sent to the luxurious home of her older sister, Cora, whom she hadn’t seen in ten years. Everything there seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and supremely weird: her fancy new room; her lavish new wardrobe; the exclusive private school where she never quite fits in. Most mysterious of all is Nate, the friendly boy next door who seems to have a deep secret of his own. Another subtle character-driven teen novel by Sarah Dessen, the author of Just Listen and That Summer.

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My Book Review:

It is such a beautiful story. Truly amazing even though the first few chapters of it was kinda boring. But as I go along into the story that’s when I’ve started to realized that it wasn’t so bad, up to the point that I got so hooked up into reading it that I really wanted to finish it till the very end of the book.

The character of Ruby is your typical Sarah Dessen heroine. A person with a lot of typical teenage issues going into her life. But what makes her a bit unique is the way she has evolve in order to unlock herself, so that she can embrace the many changes that keeps on happening into her life. A change that she herself wasn’t really expecting at all.

At first glance, the title of the book was really intriguing, and it made me wanna read the book in order for me to find the significance of the title into the story. And I think it symbolizes the importance of knowing oneself. For almost all of us has something hidden within us which we don’t want to share with the others, even to our own families and close friends. And we try to LOCK it as much as we can so that they wouldn’t be able to get in. But it is up to us, for we are the KEY in opening a part of ourselves so that they can truly understand who we really are both inside and outside. Again, it’s truly a beautiful story. And it’s already included in one of the list of books that I wanna read all over again.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book Review)

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This beautiful and emotional novel by Jojo Moyes is about these two people who feels that the world is totally and utterly hopeless. Lou Clark is a 26 years old woman without any idea of what she really wants to do about her life. While Will Traynor is a 35 years old paralyzed man, who used to have a very successful career and an adventurous life, but all of it was taken away from him in just one night because of an unfortunate accident. Then one day, their world started to collide. Lou needed a job to help her struggling family, and Will needed a companion to assist him in his daily needs. Together they’ve formed a bond that would change them forever. Which has also turned their moments of love and friendship into one of the best and saddest experiences of their lives.

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I must say, Me Before You…

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Book Review)

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Goodreads Summary:

The author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while’s he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He’s a wallflower–shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age, and gender, a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen’s story. Charlie encounters the same struggles that many kids face in high school–how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs–but he must also deal with his best friend’s recent suicide. Charlie’s letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

This book is definitely not your typical kind of young adult novel. I think its because there is this sense of maturity in the story even though its more on about a high school kid. It’s the kind of story in which so many readers can truly relate themselves into. And Mr. Stephen Chbosky has written it in such a way that it’s readers can also understand the whole story by using such simple but very profound words. Moreover, it’s an epistolary novel in which it points out the many thoughts of it’s main character named Charlie through his letters/diary.

It is a very thought provoking novel, but it’s not something that I find so captivating that I really wanted to finish it as fast as I could. However, what I like about this book is that it made me recall of my high school days; and it made feel nostalgic of those unforgettable moments. For its a novel that tackles the life of being a high school kid like Charlie; but what makes this story kind of unique is that it shows that no matter what generation we will be in high school, there are somethings that will never ever change. Like we may have a difference in terms of whats in, our sense of fashion, or even the type of music that we listen to. But what will never change is that our sense of searching of who we really wanted to be when we grow up, our group of friends – in a way that we are searching for that sense of belonging  that will help us grow as an adolescent. And lastly the cycle of things, we enjoy our high school days for we know that time will come that we would really have to go, and realize along the way that things will never be the same. Friends will come and go, and that we have to leave our families behind in order to go independent to the next journey of our lives (which is college and after that the real world). These experiences would also be our guide on facing whatever it is that would come our way.

As for the film adaptation, that was definitely a good one! I mean the actors and actresses really did such great justice in portraying each of their characters that they were totally born for it. Plus, the soundtracks! It’s in the 80’s and early 90’s! So those were totally awesome to listen to.

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The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks (Book Review)

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Goodreads Plot Summary:

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

My Review:

Heartbreaking! Yes, that’s one word to describe the whole story. For its so sad beyond words, and it’s much more painful than in “Nights in Rodanthe”. Although, I really couldn’t say that this is one of Nicholas Sparks’ best works, but there’s just something about this novel that really pulls you into it, and makes you cry after reading it. Plus, I also like the way he puts all the connections in all of of it’s characters, making each reader being able to understand and visualize them, knowing how each character is important in the story.

As for the ending? It did came as a big surprise! Truly, I wasn’t really expecting it to end that way. But I guess Nicholas Sparks has it’s own reasons for ending it in such a bittersweet kind of way. Another would be the maturity of the novel, it’s just way too mature for my age. I think its really for those readers who’ve already experience so much in life. For they’re the one’s who can truly relate themselves into the deeper emotions of Amanda and Dawson. They’re the main characters in the story who are going through so much. And they’ve also reached that point in life where they’ve asked themselves, “Have I truly made the right decisions on how I’ve lived my life, and was it worth it?” and think about those decisions, the right one’s and the wrong one’s; and if the wrong one’s, they filled some parts of it with regret, and ask the “What If” questions on what it might have been.

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Although I was kinda surprised on how the story ended, but there are some parts in the story that I was able to second guessed, and that is who was Jared’s donor and who the dark haired man was. I guess reading tons of novels made me into a very observant kind of person, and good at guessing some parts of a story. But there are times that I did asked myself on how is it going to end. Since there are lot of heavy issues that are still needed to be tackled with, and If I were the author, I’ am definitely going to have a hard time concluding the story. And that’s how good Nicholas Sparks in terms of being a writer. For he has concluded it in a way that each reader would never expect him to.

Until now, I still don’t know if I still have plans for rereading the book all over again. For its so damn heartbreaking! The pain of reading it is just so unbearable, and even though I’m just a reader, it’s as if I’ve felt Dawson and Amanda’s pain; making me totally attached to it’s main characters. And I wasn’t really expecting to cry at the end of it, but I did. And just recently, I’ve just seen the film adaptation. It’s as beautiful as the novel. But, I wasn’t totally captured by the emotions that one would feel by being pulled into the story. So an advice for those who still haven’t read the book, or have plans of reading this, please prepare yourself a handkerchief, cause you are definitely going to need it.

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (Book Review)

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It’s kinda hard to write a book review about this young adult novel without giving too much of the story; for I definitely don’t want to spoil those who still haven’t read the book. So here it goes.

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this. I guess it’s because the first book that I’ve read by Jennifer E. Smith was definitely a huge disappointment. What changed my mind to read another of her works was because of Filipino Celebrity Ms. Kris Aquino. It was in her Instagram post that I was so intrigued by it (especially the title of the book), and then I saw on TV that Filipino Actress Kim Chiu was buying the book during one of her special appearance of Kris Aquino’s morning show; so I’ve decided to give it a try. But first, I was doing some reading about its reviews; it’s kinda okay. And then along the way, I’ve also found out that there’s going to be a film adaptation in which its chosen lead cast is Hailee Steinfeld. As for the other main character, that is still to be announced.

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As for the whole story itself, I find it to be very cute and charming. But what really captivated me as a reader is that, everything about these two main characters namely Hadley and Oliver is very UNCERTAIN. For their own mystery of never going to see each other again after a long flight from New York to London is very exciting. Two strangers on the same journey, but without any idea about their complete names or contact numbers! All they know about each other is sort of the idea as to why they’re going on the same destination; Plus, some trivial things about themselves. But upon arrival, something happened that separated them unexpectedly. And then one small slip gave Hadley the chance to find that mysterious guy! Should she go for it? And is it possible to fall in love in just a very short period of time?

There’s only one way to find out!