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Ces Reads: Sharp Objects

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Voila! My blog is alive!

For today’s post, there will be no quarter life crisis topics, real life workplace angst, or growing pains just a simple book review from a nerd like myself. Let’s begin!

Last year, I bought a copy of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. I have read her previous books (Gone Girl & Dark Places) and being a fan of crime and mystery stories I loved her disturbingly awesome plot twists.

Anyway, I just finished reading Sharp Objects and I just had to tell someone (or blog) about how great the book is. I give it 5 stars for its well written characters, its amazing plot, and how it kept me guessing until the very last page.

The book is about Camille Preaker. A damaged girl with deep, scarring issues who happens to be a reporter from Chicago’s 4th best newspaper. Desparate for readership, Curry – her editor-in-chief – asked her to cover a murder story of two little girls found dead, strangled, with all their teeth out in a small town in Missouri called Wind Gap where she happens to be from. Confronted by demons from her past and family issues, she goes back home to the memory of her dead sister, her cold mother Adora, a manipulative bratty half sister Amma, and a weird step father Alan. As she investigates, she meets this handsome detective – Richard Willis. They work together in tracing the town’s history of violence to find leads in the murder cases. But then, she uncovers dark truths that involve people close to her.

I don’t want to give away to much so I’m stopping right here.

It’s an interesting read that keeps you guessing. The book makes you think like you know who the killer is but really… you have no idea. It also tackles a topic that is common to teenagers these days – cutting. A nasty habit that needs to be stopped. It also deals with peer pressure and shows you a picture of how mean kids can be. It’s disturbing (I can’t find another word!) because you know that these kinds of things can really happen in real life. I have seen too many CSI episodes to have a good mental image while reading the book. Ultimately, it was a great read that it made me write this review (of sorts).

It’s interesting. Exciting. Basically, awesome. Go and read it.

The Boy Who Lived: A Fan Girl’s Musing

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Feb-ulous Challenge Day 22 & 23

I love… Harry Potter.

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Here’s the new cover for the new editions to be released this year.

Move over Twi-hards because this year marks the 15th year anniversary of this awesome work of literature: The Harry Potter book series. I’ve been a fan since 2001. I remember reading my first ever paper back Harry Potter book: The Chamber of Secrets for a book report. It was sophomore year in high school and I didn’t know what it was about or that it was a series that’s why I read Chamber (Book 2) first before The Sorcerer’s Stone. I just knew that I had to find a book that’s easy to read. Being a crammer that I was, my plan was to skim the pages and skip some chapters and be done with the project but then after reading the first few chapters I was… enchanted. That was the beginning of my magical journey with Harry Potter.

My first ever Harry Potter book dated July 3, 2001

My first ever Harry Potter book dated July 3, 2001

The pages are already aging, the book's been with me for 12 years. That's half of my existence on earth. :)

The pages are already aging, the book’s been with me for 12 years. That’s half of my existence on earth. 🙂

It all sounds so geeky, right? But really, I’m a big fan. I got all seven books. Read them cover to cover at least 3 times. The first two are paper back while the rest are hard bound. I remember waiting for the release every single year and I would line up at the stores and search everywhere because it was sold out most of the time.

Books 1 to 7 occupy my top shelf. :)

Books 1 to 7 occupy my top shelf. 🙂

To say that they were well written books would be the understatement of the century. I can get lost in the books and be taken into the halls of Hogwarts and I could simply imagine hanging out at Hogsmeade drinking a butterbeer. What’s also amazing is how J.K. Rowling came up with all the spells in the book. She’s got spells for mundane stuff like lighting a room (lumos) and for keeping dementors (expecto patronum) and killing bad wizards (avada kedavra). How cool is that?!

I am still amazed how J.K. Rowling managed to keep us on the edge of our seats for 7 books. Turning every page of this “unputdownable” book. Their adventures every semester made my heart race and the losses made me shed some tears. It was heartbreaking to know that Sirius Black, Dobby, Lupin, Tonks, Dumbledore, and others had to die fighting off the forces of the Dark Lord that is Lord Voldemort.

My favorite is Book 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban

My favorite is Book 3: The Prisoner of Azkaban

Thinking about it, I now understand why it has a strong following. The story progressed as its readers matured. I always felt like I grew up with the characters. That’s why I cried when I read the dedication of the last book: The Deathly Hallows, it read:

The dedication of this book is split seven ways: to Neil, to Jessica, to David, to Kenzie, to Di, to Anne, and to YOUif you have stuck with Harry until the very end.

YOU. She was talking to me! Haha. I’m totally fan-girling right now but I was one of those who stuck with Harry and his story for almost a decade. It’s so awesome. 🙂

Harry Potter is a magical book that showed the enchanting world of witches, wizards, goblins, elves, giants, dragons, spells, Triwizard Tournaments, magical sports (READ: Quidditch), and most importantly it’s a story of friendship, courage, and the power of love. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Bookworm.

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Feb-ulous Challenge Day 13

I love shopping for books!

E-books are now a thing thanks to the Ipads and tablets that everybody’s going gaga over. But me? I prefer the real thing.

When I was younger, bookstores were only places to buy school supplies, notebooks, pens, everything but once I got into reading I’d hang out in bookstores more and look around for… well, books, of course. While girls my age loved to window shop for clothes, I window shopped for books. I’d spend a lot of time snooping around checking open samples of titles that might be interesting to read. Back in college, I remember reading half of a book in the store. I stopped when I saw the sales lady eyeing me like I’m a bad person privately reading instead of buying. Well, I was! Haha! A week after that, I returned to the store and saw a sign plastered in the shelf: “NO PRIVATE READING”. :))

Shopping for books for me is a great therapy. If I’m having a bad day, I’d stop by a book store, browse some titles, buy a book, and I go home and feel happy and excited to read my latest purchase. Bad day forgotten. A-ma-zing!

Erm. Got carried away so I bought four. :P

Erm. Got carried away so I bought four. 😛

Although some people prefer e-books or even audio books, I think, nothing beats the feel of the paper in my hands. The turning of every page and most especially the smell of a book. That, my friends, is why I still go crazy over books.

The Hunger Games

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1 Post A Day Challenge – ENTRY #2

A few weeks back, I got my paper back copies of the Hunger Games Trilogy. I saw the movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth. I kind of liked it so when my friends emailed me a copy of the e-books I said, why not. I read the Hunger Games e-book version and as expected it’s way better than the movie because it’s obviously more detailed. I think seeing the movie helped me appreciate the books even more because I already had an idea of what it all should look like.

After reading the first book, I fell in love with Peeta Mellark and got hooked. How can you not love him? He’s selfless, very sweet, artistic and sensitive. He’s Prince Charming personified! He’s not wimpy but he’s sensitive. He’s strong but he’s not a douche. He’s perfect BUT fictional. So that’s that for dreaming of Peeta Mellark. Too bad he’s fictional. Anyway, me being a sucker for cheesy romantic stuff, Peeta’s dialogues and the moments with Katniss were golden! My reading experience was filled with ooohs and aaawws. Thanks to him I can’t put the books down and I feel like I can’t read fast enough. I want to know what happens next.

Katniss. Aaah she’s this broody 17 year old girl who runs the show. I liked Katniss. I felt like she was annoying at times because she was this over-thinking jaded teenager and Peeta’s always at the end of her PMS and coldness. I can’t blame her though. She’s been through a lot with her father’s death, Prim being reaped and volunteering and being in the games. (Read the book, I can’t describe the games but its torture. Not totally gory but just plain power trip harsh). I got irritated when she couldn’t accept the fact that she likes Peeta but then again I know someone like that. Haha! Sometimes, it’s hard to admit that you like (or even love) someone. Why do I think that, you ask? That question would probably be answered in future entries with a different subject. 🙂

Other than Peeta, my favorite character would be Haymitch. I also think that Woody Harrelson was the best person to play that role. He’s this dysfunctional alcoholic mentor. You’d think that he’s just an asshole but after learning the things that the Capitol did to him and his loved ones you’ll understand why he is the way he is.

Haymitch Abernathy

Gale was also one of the main characters. He’s part of the Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle. It’s obvious that I’m Team Peeta but Gale is also kilig­-worthy. He’s this typical macho handsome dude. Let’s put it this way, if they belong to a clique in school, Peeta would be a member of the drama club and Gale would be part of the basketball varsity team and Katniss would probably be a loner brooding somewhere in the school campus. I think Gale and Katniss would have been together even before the games started if only they said what they really meant. I feel like, even in real life, we all end up being unhappy because we don’t say what we really mean and sometimes we don’t mean what we say. I don’t want to be a spoiler but you probably have an idea who ends up with Katniss.

I love Peeta! He loves Katniss. She loves Gale? Yeah, they’re screwed like that.

Anyway, I liked the trilogy because the concept of them being in this reality show – the Hunger Games were televised in all of Panem – appealed to me. I’m a reality show junkie. I watch everything from Keeping Up With The Kardashians to the Sing-Off. It’s a story of tyranny, power-struggle, deception, family and love. My favorite book would be the 2nd installment, Catching Fire. I finished the 3rd book, Mockingjay, in five days! Once you start reading, it’s hard to put it down. You’d want to know what happens next. It’s actually a good read but it’s still no Harry Potter but I liked it nonetheless. Have a go at it and may the odds be ever in your favor. 🙂

Starter for Ten

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A few years back, I saw this movie starring James McAvoy in HBO called Starter for Ten. Last Christmas, i was surfing the net for book titles i could put in my wish list and came across a book by David Nicholls called, yup, Starter for Ten. I didn’t knew it was an adaptation. I actually can’t remember much from the film just that James McAvoy was in it (i had a James McAvoy phase once). So I decided to put it on my list and fortunately i got it for Christmas.

I’ve been reading a lot of Nick Hornby books so I was getting used to the British humor so I found this book quite entertaining. It was about Brian Jackson an awkward, social class conscious, most of the time lost, but really smart kid who just finished high school and is about to embark on the second chapter of his life that is University (or college to us). He then meets Alice Harbinson, the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, and automatically falls in love with her. He also found himself part of the University Challenge team (some sort of Battle of the Brains). It’s a coming of age book that tells of his heartbreak, hopes, how he deals with change, facing challenges, and learning the answers to life’s biggest questions.

I liked the book because I sort of identified. I can kinda relate to some of the things he was going through. And it was funny too. Here are some of the lines i liked:

“All young people worry about things, it’s a natural and inevitable part of growing up…”

“What must that be like? To be admired before you’ve even said a word, to be desired two or three hundred times a day by people who have absolutely no idea what you’re like?” 

It was a good read. My brothers reading it now too. I think Brian is funny in a very unintentional way. He is the epitome of regular and average teenager who second guesses himself. He’s a little weird but you’re sure to find bits of yourself (a little bit of your teenage pimply self) in his character. We all are a little weird in our own ways. And we all did stupid things when we were younger. Some major blunders but definitely helps us know ourselves more.

Next read: One Day by David Nicholls