rebyukuno

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Stephen Chbosky’s novel was simply admirable. I loved the right blend of themes associated throughout the story. The characters were all special in their own ways and easy to relate to, especially the main protagonist—the gifted and above average teen—Charlie. (I don’t want to spoil those guys who haven’t read this yet)

There were likable tidbits from this book: The awesome book titles mentioned, the good taste of songs for mix tapes, the late-night drives and the list of things you would have to smile about when you get old goes on. 

The story of Charlie and his friends proved that we all have those different kinds of dilemmas to face while growing up and learning life’s lessons—after all—is hard as getting an A for a difficult subject. Whether you are a wallflower type of person or the absolute opposite, you’ll have the perks of life when you let yourself enjoy and “participate” it. :)

About the “overrated” and “hyped” issue, those labels just goes along when a lot of people have read a book. At the end of the day, it’s still up to the reader whether s/he’ll be influenced by other people’s comments. And yeah! The story of Perks is pretty much a long-lost relative of Looking for Alaska.

I gave this one a high rating and added it to my “favorite-reads” list. Why? Because I can’t put the book down + this book was simply–INFINITE.

Rating: ★★★★★

Looking For Alaska

Maybe I loved this book in an instant because I loved Skins UK (TV series), too. I saw such resemblance when it comes to booze, cigs and all that rebellion. This was my first John Green read and it didn’t disappoint me. 

YOLO (You Only Live Once) life it is– the characters pulled off, they’re evident with flaws but I adored them, how they f*cked up with their pranks and how they stood up for each other. I feel sad for Pudge and the gang for the loss they’ve been through. After the reveal of the perhaps-ending twist, I almost jaw dropped and then it hit me–WHY HAVEN’T I THOUGHT ABOUT IT?! It’s hard making a review of this without spoilers. o.0

They say a good book would make you pause and say “damn/f*ck/sh*t” and this just kicked me right in. Indefuckingcredible, thought-provoking, outrageous read. I hate this novel for leaving me affected. The Famous Last Words and poetry got my attention. Everyone indeed is in to seek for The Great Perhaps in one way or another.

Rating: ★★★★★

To Kill A Mockingbird

Superb brilliancy. Unpredictable Masterpiece. Two thumbs up all the way!

To Kill A Mockingbird told social issues and moral aspects daringly with intellect—culture, racial discrimination, political system, justice, innocence and curiosity, broad thinking and experience. Characters exhibited genuineness—from the clan of Finch to Boo Radley to every person in the story—all were simply unforgettable. The pacing was on the right track, it would get your mind working from the start.

The way the story has been told was close to perfect. Harper Lee is magnificent and one-of-a-kind. No wonder why this book has been given huge recognitions, respect and praises. This book wouldn’t be a “classic” for no reason–truly made a “standard” and is highly recommended.

I would gladly read this book again. No regrets.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Kite Runner

Stunning and dominant. A memorable novel that’s full of moral, passion and a good flick of wisdom. I couldn’t keep my hands away from this book, it’s irresistible!

The story of Amir and Hassan’s wonderful relationship was simply touching. The book taught me a lot of new information about the marvelous Afghan culture and the way Afghans have lived their lives before, during and after the war. I learned few words from the Afghan dialect, too. Zendagi migzara.

How the deep secrets unveiled was put in the right place and at the right time. It gave me goose bumps, left me surprised and moved. Khaled Hosseini was just brilliant and his debut novel was undeniably a high quality one. Thumbs up!

Rating: ★★★★★

Kapitan Sino

Silver book [trip na trip ko ang cover] tungkol sa isang superhero, sakit ng gobyerno at sakit ng lipunan. Bilib pa rin ako sa mga punch lines at mga tagos na quotes ni Ong. Mahusay ang pagkakalarawan sa bayan ng Pelaez, repleksyon ng isang tipikal na bayan sa Pilipinas na puno ng istorya, mga taong hindi mawawala sa bawat barangay (chismosa, tambay, mga batang naglalaro, mga batang may mga pangarap, atpb) at mga hindi maresolbang problema.

Karamihan sa mga mamamayang may dinaranas na suliranin ay laging nag-aabang ng tulong at ng pwedeng sisihin sa kanilang problema. Hindi makagalaw ng may kusa. Reklamo dito, reklamo do’n. Kurakot dito, kurakot do’n. Hatakan pababa, turuan kung sino ang may pakana. Mistulang gasgas na pahayag pero totoo. Kung lahat lang ng tao (o kahit karamihan ng tao) ay may tamang disiplina edi hindi na natin kailangan ng bayani para sumagip sa oras ng pangangailangan.

Hindi ko akalaing ayos naman pala ang librong ito. Medyo na-boringan kasi ako sa description sa likod. Pero natuwa naman ako sa mga patama at aral na nakalakip sa istorya. “Maging bayani ka ng sarili mong buhay.”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Jane Eyre

Elegant tale of a remarkable literature heroine. Jane Eyre’s story showed feminine power and will to be independent. Readers would be inspired by her sufferings as a child to her well-deserved success in life and love.

This novel is surely timeless, and you should have the patience to finish it. It’s not like your easy-to-get-by literary love stories. Jane Eyre and Rochester’s touching romantic tale was a bit predictable but how they overcome the odds and ended up in each other’s arms was classically sweet and proved that love is such a moving force.

Charlotte Bronte was gifted with amazing narration and her description for every paragraph in every chapter was astonishing. Characters were unique for every part they’ve played, the setting was fantastic and easy to acquaint yourself into.

There were so many themes that evolved throughout the story, all of which were given importance and their own relation to Jane’s triumph. The teeming deep words wouldn’t make you go out of the flow but will enrich your senses as a reader. *clap clap*

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Avengers

“Awesome” is such an understatement for this movie. It kicked-ass. Exceeded expectations. Super humans. A movie for all ages. Worth the money. Worth the wait. Thrilling. A front-runner for the movie of the year (imo).

There were so many breath-taking scenes. Hilarious punch lines were delivered so damn well! You’d fall in love for every character even for Loki. 112% credit for the special effects. Well-paced–not too fast nor too slow. Not a dull moment. Flick of absolute greatness!

Chelsoi’s Flick Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★

The Lovely Bones

Heaven and Earth. Tragedies and Coping. The living and the dead.

The story had a wicked start and a touching finish. Lovely Bones was well-written with honest tone. Susie Salmon was brutally murdered when she was 14 years old. She now tells us how it was to live in heaven and how she continued to look over her family who was adjusting to her loss.

It’s amazing how Sebold imagined what heaven would be like (not only how it would look but how it would feel) and how dead people would continue to look after the loved ones they have left behind. The transition of the main protagonist’s story with her before-death and after-death life was nice. The ending failed to satisfy me, though. I hoped for a bloodier finish for Mr. Harvey but it didn’t happened.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Alchemist

Dreams and Personal Legend. Magical Adventure. Adorable places. Tons of thoughts to ponder. Inspirational and moving read.

Paulo Coelho–the brilliant and outstanding writer he is–have emphasized the importance of overcoming the obstacles you’ll meet along the way towards your journey in fulfilling your true aims and goals in life. The truth was also stated that many people have failed to achieve their dreams and drifted along a different path much safer even though they heart didn’t desired it that much.

I have always wanted to read this book religiously once I have a copy I can call mine. A real book–not borrowed nor downloaded thru the internet. And cheers, it’s the first book I bought this 2012. Many readers loved The Alchemist. Some readers found it boring. I fall into the first category. The Alchemist, by far, is the most inspiring novel I’ve ever read.

Following your dreams is such a cliché statement and yes, it may be such, but that’s one of the essential things a man can do with his will. One of the priceless things a man can put his wisdom and whole heart to. You can consider it luck or destiny & I’m sure many people have aspired for it–living out your dreams the way you want it.

Rating:  ★★★★★

2

Hangover (2009)

Some guys just can’t handle Vegas. You get drunk and forget last night’s craze. You had fun then get f*cked up the morning after. Friendship and power trips could play good music or could put you into some serious trouble.

Zach Galifianakis (Alan) and the rest of the pack were hilariously awesome. Kick-ass comedy that exceeded my expectations! 

Chelsoi’s flick rate: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

The Hunger Games

Stunning adaptation. I was truly captured by the way the characters (their outfits included), places and events (from austere to gory to excruciating heights of excitement) was finally made into motion picture. I mean, some exceeded the things I’ve imagined like the Training Center, Arena and The Capitol that were such wonderful, wonderful sights.

I liked the way Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson portrayed the main protagonists of the story, add to that the natural humor of Woody Harrelson. And yeah, Alexander Ludwig & Liam Hemsworth (Cato & Gale) were hot. The selected actors & actresses gave justice to the characters, fair enough, they’re too many to praise and mention. For a PG-13 movie, I was satisfied with the blood that gush out throughout the movie. It has been loyal as possible to the book and I appreciate it.

There were just some things that disappointed me, though. First, the story of the Mockingjay Pin being cut and changed ‘cause I know it’s a vital part for the whole series. Second, The scene where Rue died wasn’t that tear-jerky but it still reached to my senses. Third, why only two kisses [Peeta & Katniss]? HAHA! Fourth, Katniss’s struggle to know her true feelings for Peeta wasn’t emphasized.

I have read the book prior to watching the movie so I clearly decided not to raise the bar of my expectations so high because there’s the fact that you can’t squeeze all tons of information from the book in a two-hour flick.

To sum it up, I was impressed and blown away by this movie. Definitely one of the best movies–even though it’s too early to say–of this year. Two thumbs up! Can’t wait for Catching Fire!!! :)

Chelsoi’s flick rate: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I Am Number Four

I am aware that there’s already a movie adaptation of this young-adult read and I have had plans of watching it but before I do, I decided to read the novel first and it was out of curiosity. Aliens who don’t look like typical ones.. hmm.. quite catchy. Peculiar beings with super powers. Battle between different worlds and creatures. Young love and friendship.

There were nine special young Garde from Lorien. The first three were killed and John Smith, or better known as “Four” is next in line. His destiny was already written and it’s up to him and to Henri (his guardian/cepan) how they would face the challenge and try to reverse things.

Four’s legacies were impressive and made me wish I have one. Events that took place in the first part of the book were predictable, especially those parts where John fell in love with Sarah and how he made friends with Sam (an alien believer in their school.) Cliche for this kind of read.

As the mysteries and his legacies continue to develop, the story then starts to be more exciting. Six’s appearance and Bernie Kosar’s highlight just made the climax of the story even better. The true action I have been waiting just settled on the last part and I think it would be better if it had more of those than young love thingy. But well, it’s still good, though.

Mixed emotions rushed through as I finished the book—justifiably adventurous.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Catching Fire

The relationships and ties from Hunger Games have evolved. Talents and wits have shown off more evidently. Friendship and betrayal and logic. Better outfits (Oh, Cinna!) Mouth-watering foods. Oh yes! Damn that gorgeous arena! I couldn’t ask for more. The way the plot was laid was almost perfect.

This book actually delivered better hits of brutality than those told in Hunger Games. And that improvement made me damn happy. The maturity of the unfolding characters, the experience and the new offer of the morbid games did its touch to excite readers–not just excite–electrify and spark fireworks, if you know what I mean. *wink*

Definitely the kick-ass twist of events would make you hold on to this book ‘til you finish it. The cliffhanger left me with goosebumps and that “What the f*ck?! No! not that bold ~*END OF BOOK TWO*~ typewritten words!” expression.

Given it five stars, well, I was supposed to have it on four but I guess this book was exorbitant enough to make me give out generosity with ratings plus I liked the kind of trick Collins did–made me hungry and ask for more.

Rating:  ★★★★★

Dance, Dance, Dance

Mysterious and compelling. Savory comments on growing up, getting old, getting laid. Sexy times, liquor, long drives, society, flicks, Rock n Roll music, and fantasy.

I am amused by Murakami’s way of leaving protagonists with no name or aliases at all. It makes the story more interesting, not focusing on a sole character but on the whole composition—that is. The point of figuring out the knots or the loose connections in your life was a so-so theme but the way he narrated it and put things into context made things look more fastidious and finer.

I know it’s a bad and wee bit stupid move for me to read this one before its prequel (A Wild Sheep Chase.) but I read some commentaries that this book was actually sorted out of the “Trilogy of the Rat” so I decided to give it a try, and given that scenario, I’ll just read the series on reverse. Some creative crap technique, huh?

I had an impression that I’d defer this book along the way and just go back and read it when I feel like getting myself lost in a slow paced novel. I thought this would be the first Murakami read that’ll disappoint me but then again, my favorite author proved me wrong.  Characters (Sheep Man, Yuki, Yumiyoshi, Gotanda and Kiki) who slowly connected the dots kept me up. The inexorable twist would be the bomb! Serve the killer lines just before your reader goes back to relaxin’. Nice one.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Choke

If you’re going to read this then the choice is yours, just be sure you’re open-minded enough. Below Average isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

See also: Dull

See also: Expectations are to blame

Some of the medical mnemonics caught my attention and some disturbing facts. There’s a lot of repetitive phrases that seems to be Palahniuk’s signature.

Weird book not because of the story but because it wasn’t that surprisingly mind-fucking unlike the author’s other novels. Would’ve given it a solitary star if not for the cover illustration.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I’m happy that the first book I finished for this year (2012) is an excellent, mundane work/memoir of Haruki Murakami. It took me some time to read the whole book, well technically – e-book because I’m still saving money to buy some that I could include in my future piled up archive of wonderful novels and literature. What a positive note, right?

The way Haruki Murakami lays his thoughts is just beyond amazing. Refreshing to the mind and he makes it a point to insert some good-to-smile-at-while-reading statements in between his stories about long-distance running, being a novelist and triathlete.

I admire how he makes it a point to relate his career as a runner to his career as a novelist to the basic, oh-yes-you’re-right deep and fruitful lessons in life. There’s a lot of quotes to ponder on. Lots of thoughts and his adventures to appreciate. He showed how he is as a fragile and strong individual at the same time.

If not for the paper works and requirements and all that school related stuff. I would’ve finished the book earlier. But still, if there’s a will, there’s a way. I have done some good time management to insert some time in reading in the midst of my busy-ness.

One of my favorite lines in the book: I knew that if I did things halfheartedly and they didn’t work out, I’d always have regrets. Believe me, there’s a lot more. You better read this book. I’m not that good in giving reviews but you surely have to give this book some time of yours. It’s worth it – well, for me. :)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Thirteen Reasons Why

Everything affects Everything. A straight-forward and suspenseful read.

I do understand that everyone of us has their unique range of capabilities to cope up with problems and different limitations–and that’s what Jay Asher have given emphasis on his debut novel. Though I still think the reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide were shallow and blaming people as a defense mechanism ain’t good.

The book was nicely-written. The sarcastic lines to the deep ones. Many of the characters were very easy to dislike and that added up to the spice of reading this novel.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Brida

Magical. Devotional. Fine-time read.

Paulo Coelho–not just talented–but a gifted human being. He always takes his readers into a new divide. Into different places and situations that’re simply unique.

The Tradition of the Moon and Tradition of the Sun, Witches, Soul Mates, Mundane beings and the things between the visible and the invisible were just some of the themes of this novel. I actually liked the pacing of the story and sometimes, I get the thrill of how The Magus would keep his feelings for Brida even though he’s feeling that moment to tell her that she is his soul mate, but there were off-points to when the story seems to be losing from its frame–or maybe it’s just me. Haha! And yes! There were a lot of quotable quotes to jot down and to be inspired of.

The Alchemist–which I’m going to re-read one of these days and make a reviewkuno–raised the bar in such a high standard and I guess that’s the main reason why I didn’t loved this novel as much as my first Paulo Coelho “encounter”. I truly liked the book, though.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Hunger Games

Spectacular characters. Out-of-this-world setting. Unbelievable magic of Suzanne Collins’s imagination.

I have finished this book within a day. That goes to show how interesting the plot is, something fantastic with the flow of the story which lead me not to bring down the book. Now I know the reason why it’s always compared to the classic Battle Royale (I’ve seen the movies but I haven’t read the novel yet). That’s one of those factors that pushed me to read this book, and to my surprise, I totally friggin’ liked it!

Katniss and Peeta were just lovable from the start, and it was a bit predictable that they’ve got that spark between them (I bet you’d know even if you didn’t read the overview). There were times that I could see myself running through the forest and feeling the heat because it’s well described by Suzanne. I also liked the fact that there were food descriptions in the book, made me hungry–really. Other characters have shone within their respective moments also. Just the right blend to bring out the imagination of the readers into a different dimension (Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Rue, Gale, and the list goes on). 

I’ve expected more blood and gory encounters, though. I wasn’t really that moved with how other Tributes were killed and how they failed to end up being a Victor. Still, the concept–I liked! and the story flow never bored me and I guess that’s important. Keeping your readers up to finish the story with passion :)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Twisted revelations. Spontaneous. Psychologically thrilling story veiled in a dark theme. 

Misty Marie Kleinman Wilmot is the main protagonist of the story–of the coma diary. She’s a frustrated and holistically wounded artist. Her husband, Peter Wilmot has been on a vegetative state because of a failed suicide attempt. As the diary passes each page day by day–the secret rituals and perplexity of her in-laws and her current, creepy state was showing off. 

Palahniuk shares his stories in an appreciative way that he makes it sure that his readers would get more useful information they deserve. The atypical type of fun facts (i.e., in this novel – Graphology & facts about well-renowned artists), that’s what I’m talking about & that’s what makes me love Chuck’s novels more.

Just for the record, I didn’t expect this book to be this amazingly bold and tragic. Out-of-the-box and rational writer, that’s how Chuck truly is.

Rating: ★★★☆☆