Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (Book Review) 

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Oh what a beautiful story about a young adult who went halfway across the world to fulfill a promise, and along the way it had made her discover a lot of things about her mother, and especially about herself.

Plus, I was officially hooked, and after reading it, I knew that there was just something fishy and mysterious about Lina’s identity especially about her parents.

Anyway, as a reader of the story, you could totally feel like you were actually there in Florence, Italy. Taking it all in the beauty of the place, imagining yourself walking along the Piazza Signoria while eating your gelato.

Then another thing is that it is such a surprise to know that only a few weeks ago, I’ve just finished reading a book written by Richard Paul Evans. Who is actually the father of Jenna Evans Welch, the author of this very heartwarming novel. I mean, what a coincidence!

And if you’re such a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” then this book is definitely a must read for you especially if you’re totally into traveling. Cause reading this tends to feel like you’re actually exploring Italy even if you’re only within the walls of your bedroom, or laying in your couch. It’s like traveling using your book.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review) 


IT ENDS WITH US BY COLLEEN HOOVER is an unforgettable story that was obviously written in dedication to all the women who are fighting the same battle like its main character named Lily. Which is a reality ever since the old times. 


 

Honestly, it was kinda hard for me to express my emotions after reading this. For I have read almost all of Colleen Hoover’s novels. But this is so far the most mature and entirely different story from all of her other works. Why? For it is very realistic. Sure, at the beginning of the story it was so exciting and makes you feel so giddy reading its first few chapters but it’s much more than that. For its the kind of novel that would really make you think that if you were Lily. How would act if you were in her situation? Well, of course it’s so easy to say NO. However, it isn’t that simple especially when there are a lot of things that you would really have to consider. Well it’s a good thing that Colleen Hoover was able to pull it off in the end! By writing such very strong and empowering words that would inspire a lot of women to fight not just for justice but also for what is best for you and your love ones when you are in that kind of situation. Oh definitely worth reading all the way. 

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

MY BOOK REVIEW:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is your typical story of a good girl falls for the bad guy. But that’s how the author would want its readers to think of as they would start reading into the story.

Well I have to admit, when I’ve started reading its first few chapters of the book, I actually did find the story a bit disturbing. I guess it’s because that even though the whole concept of it was sort of typical, it’s just way too intense for me. I also find their arrangement of their friendship turned to lovers to be so weird, (you’ll know it when you read it).

As for its two main characters, Travis Maddox is a very complex character. For he’s so intense and full of surprises! Mysterious? Maybe. He may look disastrous on the outside, but the real Travis is a guy who is extremely smart and so passionate especially when it comes to those people that he truly loves. As for Abby Abernathy, now that’s a character that I was totally deceived of. At first, I actually thought that she’s the kind of girl who is totally innocent and doesn’t have any idea of the ways of the world. But I was totally wrong about her. And after getting an idea of these two characters, it really made me think that looks can truly be deceiving.

So even though that I really had a roller coaster ride and had such mixed emotions while reading this book, it was still such a good story to read; but definitely not the kind of story that I would want to go back into. And it is so weird that most of my friends who’ve already read this book really had a great time reading this. I guess I’m just the exception to the rule. I don’t know. But one thing is for sure. The concept of the story is definitely not my typical cup of tea. Although it’s true that there were some similarities from E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Trilogy (which is one of my favorites), but this novel entitled Beautiful Disaster wasn’t able to capture me as one of its avid readers of the story of Travis and Abby.

But just because I wasn’t captivated into the story doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good one. As I’ve already written, it is a good story. And since I’ve already planned to write a review about the book, so might as well write an honest review. It’s just my opinion and I hope you understand. I may not have enjoyed it as much as I wanted to. But for sure, there are quite a number of readers out there who’ve been totally hooked into reading it.

Thank you so much! 🙂

 

 

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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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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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (Book Review)

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Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

-A Summary From Goodreads.com

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

This famous young adult novel is one of the most heartwarming stories that I’ve ever read. A story that actually left a mark on me that also kept me wanting for more of Eleanor and Park. And ever since I’ve noticed this book by the time it was published, and made it into one of the most popular stand-alone books; I’ve always been intrigued into reading this one since I’ve already read Ms. Rainbow Rowell’s first book entitled ‘Attachments’. Although I did enjoy reading the first one, but her second book is something that has turned into a favorite of mine.

I must say, the whole story is really intriguing. Moreover, I was kinda surprised when I’ve read the summary of the story for it was mentioned that Park is a Half-Korean and Half-American teenager. I guess it was really something that I’ve never encountered before, and it’s one of the reasons that I’ve decided to read this book.

About the setting of the story, it was during the 80’s. A generation that I’m not familiar with. So while the author was describing the young adult life of Eleanor and Park. Reading it was also getting an idea of what it’s like to live during those times; which made me realized on how those days were much more simpler than I thought, and quite different from our generation. However, even though that I was too late to experience it. I’m still proud to be born in the late 80’s.

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The story of Eleanor and Park is a story about first love. Something that many of its readers can truly relate themselves into. These two main characters are not only opposite on the outside, but also as to who they really are. Including the kind of family that they both have. Eleanor leads a life that is so full of sadness. For the kind of family that she has is truly a wreck, and she just tends to feel that there is no end to all of the agonies that she is going through. Whereas to Park, he leads a simple and beautiful life; it’s not perfect but it’s something that one could truly be grateful for. And he always has the love and support of his very own family. Two opposite young adults who’ve found each other so that they could also learn from one another.

Reading this book is like a wake-up call to me especially on the part about Eleanor. It made me realize on how bless I ‘am in so many different ways. For I have a good family, that I’ve been able to go to a good school, and then to have a good job after that. It is really something that I’m so grateful beyond words; which also makes me a bit emotional whenever I look back to all of the struggles, and sacrifices that both of my parents have made for their kids, in order for them to have a good life.

While reading all those things that were described about Eleanor and her life, I’ve felt so sad for her that it made me pray and wish that something like that shouldn’t actually happen to any person. But if it is, then I hope that person could go through life as bravely as she did. And also, I think Eleanor wouldn’t have been so strong if it weren’t for Park. For he is the one great miracle in her life. His love for her has made her strong and brave to face everything that she is going through. And in a way, you could say that Park had truly saved Eleanor.

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This novel also tells us that everything that we do, and happens in our life has a perfect reason; especially to all those people that we’ve already met, and will also meet along the way. The purpose might be unclear. But in such perfect time. Everything else will truly make sense to us. And that is something that we really have to believe in.

It is a very unforgettable story and something that I would really like to share to anyone I know who still haven’t read this wonderful novel. Thank you.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (Book Review)

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The title character of The Little Prince is a pure and innocent traveler from outer space whom the narrator encounters in the Sahara desert. Before the little prince lands on Earth, Saint-Exupéry contrasts the prince’s childlike character with different adult characters by having the prince hop from one neighboring planet to another. On each planet, the prince meets a different type of adult and reveals that character’s frivolities and weaknesses. Once on Earth, however, the little prince becomes a student as well as a teacher. From his friend the fox, the little prince learns what love entails, and in turn he passes on those lessons to the narrator.

The little prince has few of the glaring flaws evident in the other characters, and he is immediately shown to be a character of high caliber by his ability to recognize the narrator’s Drawing Number One as a picture of a boa constrictor that has eaten a snake. Nevertheless, the prince’s fear as he prepares to be sent back to his planet by snakebite shows that he is susceptible to the same emotions as the rest of us. Most notably, the prince is bound by his love for the rose he has left on his home planet. His constant questioning also indicates that one’s search for answers can be more important than the answers themselves.

-A Summary from SparkNotes.com

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

A beautiful thought that was shared by the fox to the little prince.

I don’t know why that it took me so long to read such a great story. For who would have thought that such a small book could give such very profound wisdom’s to its readers. And I was so caught up into it that I’ve finished reading this in just one sitting.

The thing is that, I’m already a bit familiar of the story of “The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry”. Back then in high school, this book was actually assigned to us in our class for reading and further discussion. But at that time, I wasn’t always that present in our classes, which also made me missed it when my English teacher was already discussing this. And so by the time that I got back, all I did was just read the summary so that I could catch up to all that I’ve missed. Plus, you know what they say; one can never appreciate something if one is in such a hurry.

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So I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m really going to read it again; not the summary, but the whole story itself. For as an avid reader, this is definitely a must-read. But as the years went by, I still haven’t got the chance to. Then ten years later, while I was making a list of books to read for this year. I’ve decided to include this one. It is because of the upcoming animated film adaptation. Moreover, I also wanted to own an actual copy. And it was just recently, while I was waiting, and wondering around a bookstore that I’ve finally decided to really buy it, for I was also thinking that it was finally the perfect time to read it.

Then last weekend, I went out to visit my parents. So I bought this book with me. And without me knowing it, I was totally drowned into the whole story of an old pilot meeting the little prince in the middle of nowhere in the Sahara desert.

As I’ve written earlier, it is indeed a small book, and such a short story. But it’s much more meaningful, and so full of wisdom. At first glance, you might think that this is a children’s book, but I don’t think so. For even at the beginning of the story, you can really comprehend the first lesson that the narrator really wants its readers to understand about the grown-ups.

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Moreover, I know that there have been tons of reviews that have been written about The Little Prince. But, I still want to share my very own views and thoughts about the book; and there are about five of them; personal insights that I’ve learned while and after reading this.

And here are the following:

The first thing that I’ve learned while reading the book is that grown-ups tends to get so busy about the hustle and bustles of living in order to survive, that they also tend to forget the simple pleasures of “Living a Meaningful and Wonderful Life”. I’m not talking about the idea of getting rich, or being so successful in one’s career or business. I’m talking about stopping for one moment, and to take it all in. You know the idea about doing the little things that you love other than your work; spending more quality time to your family, your friends, and of course to yourself; then picking some cheat days just so that you could also enjoy the pleasures of eating; traveling into such unknown places, and a whole lot more.

The second insight is that the grown-ups sometimes do not fully comprehend the deeper meaning of things, and can be a bit narrow-minded. For there was actually a thought that was mentioned in the book that when you’ll mentioned a house to a person. All that he would ask is the price of the house, or the location itself, and will just say that it’s a fine house. But how can he know that when he didn’t even ask about how it really looks like, the surroundings, the atmosphere that really goes into it. For such one is caught up into the world of figures, and materialism.

Another part in the story that shows such narrow-mindedness was also about a Turkish Astronomer who has presented his own discovery in the International Astronomical Congress by wearing a European costume instead of his very own traditional Turkish costume. In order for it be more acceptable to those people in the congress. Well that’s absurd!

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The third one would be about the children. For they are so pure, and innocent; so full of life that they tend to wonder about a lot of things. And as time passes by, it’s either that such simple mindedness could be taken away from them because they’ve already been swallowed into the world of the grown-ups, or they still remain true to their selves for they know of what really matters. And they are still as open-minded even if they’re already exposed to the realities of the world.

The fourth is about traveling. For one should not just travel just so that you could set foot into a place, and pose for a picture; to travel is also a learning experience, and to see a new place for what it is. I’m talking about exploring the food that you usually don’t get to eat from where you live; and observing the people who lives there, especially about their culture, and their way of living. Moreover, a traveler should also know how to take it all in the things that are happening in front of him. For a camera can never fully capture the beauty and wonder to all the things that are happening right before his very eyes. So whenever we are already into that actual experience, we should at least stop for one moment to observe all the things that are happening around us. For that is a wonderful learning experience for a wanderer.

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And the last one is all about taking importance of what really matters.

So what is truly important to us?

Love?

Family?

Successful Career?

Health?

Happiness?

Friendship?

Wealth?

Of course, there are so many things that we really want out of life. But the most important thing that we should ask ourselves is that

“Are we at peace about everything?”

Cause if it is, then that’s when all the things that we want in our life will truly fall into place. Moreover, life is so full of challenges, and one must take the risk to be brave; something that we really need from time to time.

So as I end this blog of mine, and send it into the void, I would also like to point out that to search for what we really want is important. But we should also try to not be so caught up into it, that while we’re so busy looking. We may tend to oversee that all we ever wanted is just right under our noses.

And I’m so glad that I’ve found this book again. For it is definitely worth reading.

Thank you.