P.S. I still love you – Jenny Han

Rating :1.5/520698530

The sequel for “To all the boys I’ve loved before.” Starts the book with the continuation of a letter Lara Jean wrote. Confusions and gossips could Lara take it all?

The author should just added a few pages to the first one and let the first book finish because I did not think my 9 hour reading was worth it at all. I was curious about the first one so I decided to continue but I was unlucky to read it. Lara is 16. Only sixteen but acts like 12 and do stuffs like 20. And Peter was a jerk.

I think this is the best depiction of “Nice guys finish last.” Really.

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To all the boys I’ve loved before – Jenny Han

Rating :2.5/5
Lara keeps a box full of goodbye letters for the boys she loved and got over with. Until someone sends it all away.

The relationship of the Song sisters were the only good part I read. Mainly because after the death of their mother, the eldest tried very hard to fill in their mother’s absence. And their father who cooked Korean dishes to keep in touch with the culture in their mother’s side.

The other parts…I don’t really know. I can’t just stand how Lara is in love with every person. The book ended with an open ending that made me read the next book but…

Overall I did not like this book. I just thought the characters were not that relatable or realistic.

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

Rating :4/5

Sage befriended an old man who turns out to be a former war criminal during the Holocaust. He one day ask her to kill him. She is horrified although she was not practicing jew her grandmother was a survivor of the Holocaust. As Sage tries to make her decision of what to do about the old man, he begins to tell her his story. In a parallel way her grandmother begins to tell her own story. These two stories help Sage decide what she needs to do.

The first pages where Sage narrates her daily life and the allegories that is written in italics who is about and upior(a monster) and a girl was okay for me. But when Minka, the grandmother told her story, I couldn’t put the book down. It made me think again about all those people who died without a fight. Those who survived but lived day by day in their nightmares.

The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

Rating :4/5

In 1996 Tulsa, teenagers come two ways. If you’re a ‘soc,’  (a.k.a socials) you’ve got money, cars, a future. But if you’re a ‘greaser,’ you’re an outsider with only your friend. At a young age Ponyboy’s parents died in an accident and all he have is his two brothers and the gang who are all greasers. They play and dream like any other boys but in a society where fingers are always pointed to them they resort to other ways only they can understand. 

From beginning to end I was mesmerized by this wonderful book. It was fast paced and I fell in love with the characters in every chapter of the book. The character that I liked the most was Ponyboy’s oldest brother Darrel. After the loss of their parents he as the oldest in the family chose to work full time in a construction site. He is an athlete at his school and was good at everything that he got a scholarship to go to college but declined because he had to take care of his remaining siblings. He is responsible and caring but didn’t quite knew how to show his feelings towards his brother. But he was just really worried about what would happen to his brothers after all, he too was only just a kid.

The relationship within the gang was emotional for me. Some people may find it unnecessary to throw punches or use knives to display a commitment to a friendship but I find it brave. A little childish but they are young and this was the only way they can do it. They support each other no matter what. It left me teary eyed until the end of the book.

Today I just listened to two of my friends sharing their problems at home. Divorce, money problems and a loss of a parent. I too shared mine while my heart broke hearing the stories of my friends. This is the first time in my entire life to share something about a piece of my life and hearing theirs. I believe by sharing our hardship would bring our friendship more stronger. I’m a little bit afraid of the exposure now that they know something about me and I feel a little vulnerable. But we all have our stories to tell may it be our friends, the internet, the world our families to feel a little bit of relief.

The author wrote this book based on true theme.The book was inspired by two rival gangs at her school, the Greasers and the socs and her desire to show sympathy toward the Greasers by writing from their point of view. I little bit saddened to know that she decided to keep her name in initials because she was afraid that no girl can write a story about gangs at that time but I’m glad the book was successful to show that no gender can decide what you can and can’t do.

A must-read book. I believe this book is part of the curriculum in school so don’t hesitate to read it and just enjoy it!

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Rating :3.5/5

The Alchemist is a novel by Paulo Coelho where a shepherd Santiago learns that he has a treasure waiting for him. At first he was hesitant if he should drop everything right now and seek for the treasure. But as the book says, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. So he went for it but learned it was not an easy journey. Most of us struggle everyday to find out what we really want in our lives. Some of us push it aside for now or think it’s too late. This book shows that dreams can be achieved if we strive for it and makes us appreciate little and big beautiful things that nature gives us.

This book was more of a self development book rather than a novel. It is beautifully written and every page refreshes your mind. The last pages will make you realize that you can’t arrive at your destination with a straight path. There will be a lot of curves, ups and downs or maybe even a hole you can’t pass through. But there will be always a way, if you are really committed to it.

Maybe someone can tell you come back to reality, some things are never meant to happen. But your beliefs and determinations decide where you go not that because somebody told you it’s impossible.

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger

Rating :4.0/5

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger is set around the 1950’s. After getting into a fight with his roommate, sixteen year old Holden Caulfield, gets out of his dorm and narrates a couple of days wandering the city of New York City. A story about a young man who is going through a phase of isolation and doubts. A coming-of-age novel by J.D Salinger a book that can be loved and understood on many different levels of comprehension and each reader who experiences it will come away with a fresh view of the world in which they live.

I was always skeptical whether I should read this book every time I went to the library. And I am glad that I decided to go for it because I really loved this book. Although it has no definite plot, reading the mind of a boy who has problems with himself and the society had been a good 7 hour read.

The main character Holden, despite hating everyone and calling them phonies always tries to call someone for companion. He always feel he is alone and need someone to talk to.

What made this book inspirational for me is that there was a parts of me that Holden has. Since I moved to the Philippines, I transferred school almost every year. There were three phases of my school life. The part where I was being bullied, the time when I was a bully myself(not the kind of bully who hurts someone physically but by not being careful of my words) and the time when I was the one who watched bullies.

I was in grade school when I was bullied because of my ethnicity. Of course kids are not yet mature enough to avoid discriminating people like me who has chinky eyes and a not-so-good English from them but for a nine year old girl that scarred me. So I tried to study harder till I made the top 5 of our class but that wasn’t enough. I kinda felt isolated and alone despite all my efforts to make real friends.

I was transferred schools and met new friends but now I decided I was not going to pretend to like something that I don’t like and be honest about what I want all the time. It was up to them if they can accept me as I am. I was really frank to the point that I started to hurt the feelings of others it took me a while to realize this. And I learned that just because you’re honest, that doesn’t mean you did the right thing. Sometimes you just let people learn on their own or accept that everyone has their own opinions.

So here I am on my last year of high school finally be able to find myself more and more each day. But I witness every now and then some of my classmates who can’t fit in really well on school or the “bullies” who I was once was. I know how being isolated feels. I know how power feels like. Both had one thing in common : even though there are a lot of people are around you you feel alone. no one to talk to about your real problems because you’re afraid maybe they will think you’re weird and stop talking to you.

And so was Holden. He was the protagonist of this story and the only antagonist in this novel was his internal conflicts. His own doubts and fears. A lot teenagers had gone through self doubts and insecurities and vulnerability. But that’s okay, because I myself do not know how to make it all go away but I assure you that positivity can make you strong and make the biggest problems of your life light as a feather.

Shakespeare Retold : The Tempest

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Rating : 3.5/5

The Tempest by Martin Waddell & Alan Marks(Illustrator) is a shortened book for the play originally written by Shakespeare. The book opens in a midst of a storm where the King of Naples, his son Ferdinand, his brother, Sebastian, and Antonio, the Duke of Milan. An old Milanese courtier, Gonzalo are struggling. The ship is wrecked in a storm and all the passengers and crew are thrown into the furious sea. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, and his fifteen year-old daughter, Miranda, are watching the shipwreck from an island far away. She told him to stop but told her the real story of how they ended up in the island. He said once he was a Duke but his own brother Antonio overthrown him accusing him of using black magic. So he and his daughter escaped by the help of Gonzalo. They sailed the sea until they found an island inhabited by a deformed creature Caliban and Ariel a spirit he saved from a witch who is Caliban’s mother. The castaways ended up by the same island where Prospero resides. Ferdinand being separated with the group meets Miranda and fall in love. A book full of betrayal, love and magic eventually the good and the bad gets what each deserved.

I really enjoyed the book with the illustrations. Especially Caliban really scared me. I also liked how the book ends it with a short summary and informations about the author, the history of the book. Maybe later on I will read or watch the actual play.