REVIEW // Mer by Joelle Sellner

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33825562Title: Mer

Author: Joelle Sellner

Genre: Graphic Novel (Comics), Fantasy, Young Adult

Date Published: April 19th of 2017

Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors

Number of Pages: 128

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh. After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be … human.

Rate: 3 of 5



Thoughts bannerAs a reader, I haven’t really been exposed to much graphic novels that I really am not sure where to classify such type of books, ergo, I all flag them down as “comics”. Which is really weird. So, please, forgive me if iI flag a graphic novel as “comics” the next time–I’m still wading my way in through the genre. 🙂

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicholson #1) by Louise Rennison

Title: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicholson #1)

Series: Confessions of Georgia Nicholson

Author: Louise Rennison

Date Published: January 1st, 1999

Publisher: Harper Teen

About:

A year’s worth of diary of the blossoming teenager, Georgia Nicholson. What ensues are the day-to-day record of her unusual, but often hilarious, life at home, school, friends, and boys.


Rate: 3 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*

It just took me two nights to read this book because it’s really a fast read and really funny, too! That perfectly sums up how I gobbled this one up. The thing that made me just flip through the book is just the sheer hilariousness of the book. It precisely outlines the struggles of a teen; the burdens (and sometimes bordering to outright stupid) was boxed into it. There were so many antics that I can’t help thinking about myself when I was that age. Let me assure you, I did so many stupid things. Haha. And well, yeah, that’s it. It was just really funny and it lived up to it’s promise that “You will laugh your knickers off!”.

It’s not that deep of a book as opposed to my past reads such as Sweetbitter and The Kite Runner so this is a wonderful breath of much-needed fresh air. I think it was a very good sum up of a teenager’s life. And it was written in the ’90s so I was delighted that there were still no cellphones for the younger people.

That’s just about it. The ending did open a curiosity for a next book and I was like Ahhh, I want more of this! Do not end, please. No!

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But no, it just ended. I’m definitely going to read the next book but it’s not in my nature to read a series consecutively (apart from Harry Potter duhh, because well, that’s Harry Potter haha). I won’t be reading it now, but soon. In the upcoming days, hehe.

I rated it only 3 of 5 because I did like it. And I know that it’s supposed to be funny, a super light-hearted one, and a teen book. In fact, I do remember reading these types of books when I was in high school and these are the types of books that opened my eyes on things that are not so familiar to me because the Filipino culture is different from the culture in the US, UK, and in the other parts of the world. I know it sounds stupid to say that these were my eye-openers, but these kinds of books made me understand what it’s like to be a teenager in the other side of the world, you know?

While it’s a really cute read, I reserve my 4 of 5’s and my 5 of 5’s to those I have fallen in love with.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s really good if you want a few laughs! (Sometimes laughter can make you feel a lot better.)

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And yes, I just started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

P.S. You know what? I think I’ve already seen this book when I was fifteen or sixteen. It’s quite an old book since it was first published in 1999. But by that time I was a little intimidated with the title, well, because of the following. First of all, “Angus”–I didn’t know what it was or who it is or whatever (turned out it was Georgia’s cat). Second, “Thongs”. Come on, thongs. In a fifteen-year old’s perspective? In a very conservative country? Come on. Lastly, “Full-Frontal Snogging”. Hellooooo? Hahaha. So yeah, I was kind of intimidated with the title but, after a few years my mind’s eye opened up and told me not to be such a baby. LOL, I’m kidding. Going to university really helped, I seriously saw all kinds of things in there.


I must add here, the author of this cute read passed away just this year, Louise Rennison. It is with sadness that I learned of this while researching about the book for this review.


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Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler

Title:  Sweetbitter

Author: Stephanie Danler

Date Published:  May 24th, 2016

Publisher: Knopf

About: The tale of a young woman from a small town transitioning to the appeal of the big city that is New York. She finds herself landing a job in one of the exclusive restaurants in the posh Manhattan. What follows is the year in her life in the restaurant scene.


Rate: 2 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*

I’m not one to be in the look-out for popular and new books, especially those that are “hyped-up” because I read all kinds of books—from old books to new books to children’s book, etc. So, I fairly read everything. (I don’t know if that is counted as a well-rounded reader, but oh well.) My only waterloo is the genre non-fiction especially biography-type books. I rarely find books, let alone pick one up, of the said genre that I like.

So, reflecting first on the cover—a broken glass of wine. I must admit that the cover is gorgeous. Simple, but gorgeous.

This book takes a small peek, a year, in the life of a young woman. I don’t know much about New York City but what I do know is that the career-ladder in NYC is a very cutthroat industry to be and to compete. The first time I read the book I wasn’t exactly thrilled. The first two or three chapters were just lulling for me, it lacked the catch that I was waiting for in the story. Because of this, my motivation to read it further was kind of lowered. I even contemplated on just putting it down and not finishing it. But then what stopped me was the very good reviews that I read in GoodReads. It is really hyped up over there so I thought, Eh, what’s the harm? I got a copy might as well read it. Maybe further along the line I’d find something to interest me and catch my attention. And admittedly, the story became better at the middle of the book. I was glad I didn’t put it down. But it wasn’t enough to get me hooked up on it…

I read the bio of the book (an act I’m trying to discipline myself on doing these days because I often just pick up a book randomly) and of course it told of the tale of a young woman going to NYC to find herself in the big city. Incidentally she got a job in the restaurant scene. Although I found, much to my disappointment, the restaurant scene just a backdrop. A tale supposedly about a year in the life of a restaurant employee. I lost the sense that it was about the restaurant scene because it didn’t really touch the culinary scene. I do get that the book is not about the culinary thing or cooking, but still I anticipated it nonetheless. What was focused on was the wine. The restaurant bit just became a vague outline and an environment in which the main character walked around within a year. It just became a channel of the story not delving into the technicality of the world within. Which was what I was really waiting for. The sheer lack of backstory and details on the characters are also disturbing.

I wasn’t particularly thrilled. The story was focused more to Tess’ (the main character of the book) life AROUND and not WITHIN the restaurant scene.

There’s this particular qualm in me that says, Should I like it? Many people liked the book and the story. Personally, I think it was just all over the place. (I’m sorry for sounding very harsh, I’m aware that I’m never the writer but then again I am a reader.) I don’t get why some people would say that this is their favorite book of the year. I don’t get how this became the literary darling this year….I guess it all still comes down to reading tastes. One reader indeed is different from the other.

I didn’t quite grasp what the story was about. Was it about her life? Her story of growing in the city? Her going away and finding herself? Finding love? Heartbreak? Of being forced to grow up alone? The reality of life? It just seemed like a little of everything. It was just the victim of poor cohesiveness. I didn’t know up until the end what the story was building into. I didn’t know the central goal or the central point which it was aiming for.

And all of these factors just poured one on top of another that the story failed to beguile me and to just lose myself within it. It failed to catch me by the neck and say Please read it, read it, you have to know what happens in the end.  I’m kind of sad that I read it half-heartedly. Instead, I just read it “just to know what the hype about this thing is.” But apparently, I still don’t understand all the rave about it still.

But this is what I have observed all throughout the book, it dropped truth-bombs everywhere. Like bam there’s a truth of life right there. And bam okay here’s another one. And in that sense, it was quite good. I’ll say it again: this book is a gold mine of good thoughts that applies to you (more or less, haha).

So, yeah. Mixed feelings, I guess. With all my heart, I wanted to like this book. But I just really cannot. Everything just converges to me just not liking it.

P.S. I didn’t mean to be harsh. I just wanted to voice out what I thought of the book. And frankly, I don’t see the sense of me trying to say something when I’m thinking of another. Faking my thoughts on it won’t do this little space of mine any good. I hope I didn’t sound so harsh and mean. I was just trying to tell my opinions on it and my take on the book. Here’s to reality.


Do I recommend it? No. Sorry.

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Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

 

Title: Lost in the Sun

Author: Lisa Gruff

Date Published:  May 26th, 2015

Publisher:  Philomel Books

About: The story of a kid who had an accident that resulted to the death of a kid his age. Trent blames himself for the misfortune that happened and continued to deal with his terrible thoughts alone. He scribbled down his thoughts to a notebook he calls “Book of Thoughts”. Then comes in Fallon Little, a girl he has known since he was little. Small town. Fallon has this scar all across her face that no one seems to know how came about. A most unlikely friendship occurs between the two as they try to deal with forgiveness and trust together.


Rate: 3 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*

Seems as if I had been reading so many deep books that disguise themselves as children’s books! Haha. I have no complains this is a good one. I devoured this book in just three days. I normally read a book for a week but there are just some parts in the book just makes me go, “Wait, I need to know what happens next.”

Trent, the subject and the story-teller of the book, seems to me like the average 12-year old. The struggles of a twelve-year old kid is not really that big when compared to the adults, eh? But what happens if this kid has a bottled-up anger and heartaches inside of him that has rooted from a broken family and an accident that still happens almost a year after? Trust me, that’s not something a 12-year old can deal on his own. No one has to deal with that alone.

The friendship between him and Fallon, for me, symbolizes new beginning for him. Here is this person, scarred, and not just scarred that can easily be camouflaged. It’s a scar across the face. I think Fallon echoed Trent in some places. Fallon is scarred, quite literally. She embodies what Trent should be. A scarred kid, but nevertheless, happy. And still going on in life. She isn’t sorry for herself because that happened to her. Instead she whips up all these fantastic stories about how she got her scar. She doesn’t see it as a hindrance. She sees it as something that just happened in the past. And all things in the past can never be changed. But you sure can change your attitude about it.

I guess that’s it. That ends my thoughts about it. Sorry if this is not a thorough review and just some notes that I was thinking while reading the book.  This kind of reminded me of The Thing About Jellyfish, mainly because it is also a deep book about the truth that is children have struggles and woe, too. Sometimes it looks stupid in the adult’s perspective but that’s just it. We all have our burdens in life.

Friendship is a wonderful thing. It’s the most extraordinary thing—it can heal you, it can make new experiences for you, it can make you happy again. Because, after all, who doesn’t like new beginnings with a new friend?


*HEADS UP, SOME SPOILERS*

So why “lost in the sun”?

I’m sure if you read the book you’ll see it. Trent loves baseball. And in one game a team he was rooting for lost because of a ball that was lost in the sun. But, everything that’s lost in the sun can be found again. Just like how Trent Zimmerman learned how to forgive himself and found out that he can start over again.


Do I recommend it?

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Kinda yes, Kinda no.

It’s confusing really. But I’ll say yes.This isn’t the average children’s book. This delves in the mind of a 12-year old. (Well, it’s in the point of view of Trent soooo yeah.) So if you are curious on how Trent resolves himself again, well then, go ahead and pick up a copy!


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Ballet Shoes (Shoes #1) by Noel Streatfeild

Title: Ballet Shoes (Shoes #1)
Series: Shoes
Date Published: September 2003 (first published in 1936)

About:
Brought together by their Great Uncle, the three girls Pauline, Petrova, and Posy resolved to make “Fossil” their last name since they were all orphaned as babies and do not have their very own family names. The three girls were adopted by their Great Uncle and left in the care of two women in his house in London while he goes on expedition and travel. After Posy, the youngest of the bunch, was brought into the care of the said ladies, a note came along saying that their Great Uncle would be back in five years’ time and that he would be leaving money. But five years passed and no sign of the man. Money is diminishing. They found themselves struggling to pay even the schooling of the children. That’s when an academy of the arts took them in for free. Pauline had a delightful time, Petrova hated it (always the slight tomboy that she is) and Posy was just naturally cut out for it. The children learned helped the expenses by doing some theatre work.

Rate: 3 of 5
Okay, I’ll confess something. I picked up this book because of the cute cover. Sorry, but I really like pretty covers. (And I cannot lie, haha) And also because the series’ name is “Shoes”. Now, who doesn’t like shoes? As a girl very addicted to shoes, I can vouch that shoes are the best. Shoes complete your style. Okay, I am getting off-topic. The book. Okay, the book.
This is the type of book that you read as a child. The type of book that reflects the true nature of life yet still so light-hearted. At first, I thought it would be a lulling book. And I won’t lie, for me, there were some parts of the book that just felt like it was slapped in there just to fill  it up, you know? Also, I have observed that this book had so many things going on. It wasn’t just working on one thing towards the ending. It was like whoop-there’s a new problem; whoop-solved it; whoop-here’s another one; whoop-ha! solved it again! So in that sense this is a good book to engage the young readers.
The ending of the book also opened a slight expectancy of a sequel. Well, in my case, I knew all along that it is a series. Because it is published in 1936 haha! So duhh. (I just realized that this was first published around the time that my grandfather was just ten years old!)
All in all, I wasn’t really crazy about this book because, let’s face it, it is kind of old. And sometimes there are just some circumstances that’s just not relatable. But old is gold. And if you are trying to just engage yourself with some good ole readings for children I believe this would be a wonderful addition to that growing bookshelf of yours.
I will also try to read the rest of the series soon.
On that note, by golly, I am kind of  getting too passionate about my GoodReads To-Read list. As of the time that I am writing this, I have 650 books now on the line to being read. And of course, let us not forget about my requested Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs). Well, yeah. I am screwed. But hey, books! 
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Oh, Joey.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, if you like classic children’s book that has so many things going on. Haha. 🙂

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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Date Published: April 27, 2004
Publisher: Riverhead Books
About: It is the story of two people–Amir and Hassan. Amir is the child of a wealthy man in Kabul while Hassan is the boy’s servant. It starts off in the two children’s childhood and the unusual friendship of master to servant that has bonded the two. It is a tale of love, friendship, family, politics, war, and forgiveness.
Rate: 5 of 5
I don’t know why I’m reviewing this book when it has been already established a thousand times over that it’s a very good one.
To those who’ve read the book: See what I did there?
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No, not a good one. A very good one. God, I don’t even know how to phrase my opinion on the book. IT’S SO GOOD IT HURTS. Haha.
It’s kinda hard to review the book without giving away some spoilers (which is the case for every book I read actually haha).
It’s the type of story that will keep you on your toes. Never in my two weeks of reading it did I ever lose interest in this disturbingly life-like story. You may wonder why I took so long reading it. It’s because I parted it everyday because I didn’t want it to end. Though I have often said that I love reading children’s books, these are the kinds of books that gives me a fresh outlook on reading. I live for these kinds of books–those who gives you so much chance of learning things.
I wasn’t such a fan of the cover. It looked chaotic. But damn, the story, is an organized chaos. And I loved every page of it. I also liked the fact that I had to research some stuff so I’ll be familiar to the flow of the story. In a way, I’ve learned some new cultures, political perspectives, the harshest realities that happens, etc. It’s such a real book, you know? It doesn’t feel like you’re reading a book. It’s like reading an intricate life journal.
I rarely rate books 5 of 5. But, by jolly, if I can give this book a 10 of 5 I would.

*HEADS UP: SPOILERS*
So, who is ‘the kite runner’?
I can’t believe how at the end of the day Amir is “the kite runner”. I always thought that it is Hassan or Sohrab. I thought that Amir was just a glorified story-teller. I was like this when I read the last sentence of the book: p7xqlayxs6uda

Do I recommend it?
Oh my god. A big whooping YES.
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I hope you guys have a chance to read it! Because it is so amazing.

Oh my God. It’s July.
Gifs via,  via, via –Giphy.

The Zombie Room by R.D. Ronald

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Title: The Zombie Room

Author: R.D. Ronald

Publishing Date: April 10, 2016

Rate: 2 of 5

*Get a copy from Book Depository*

I never read the synopsis of books. I am one of those strange people who either reads a book because of the title OR the cover. Don’t judge me. Anyhow, because of the title I actually thought this was some horror book. Well, in some aspects of the book it was kind of horror—just in reality terms.

Down to the nitty-gritty, I rated it 2 of 5 primarily because I thought the ending was hurried. I felt that there was still strong potential to the story but I thought it just ended abruptly. And also because I am not such a fan of crime fiction. I guess I really am the girly-girl even in reading books.

Another thing, because the book touched sex trafficking—okay not just touch, it was a big theme of the book—there was this little part of me as a woman that made my heart ache. Just thinking that these things happen (maybe not as extreme as in the book, I’m not quite sure) in reality. It’s just so sad. Not just for women but for our society as a whole.

The writing was beautiful. The story is good. Just the ending ticked me off a little bit. Okay, a lot.

So…if you like crime fiction books then this would be a worthwhile read! Unfortunately, this just isn’t for me.

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