Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 11 -The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket

This would be my least favorite book of all in the series. It progresses with a lot of ramblings instead of focusing on the main plot. I know I did not enjoy this one as much as the others, however towards the end, there was a slight twist in which I kinda bump my ratings up just for that. Yes, my initial rating was suppose to be 2 stars. I did not hate this book per se but it kinda drags on for me.

No offense to many readers who enjoys this series, but I find this book has too much rambling going on, especially on the water cycle and others. I get that this book is aiming towards the middle graders or the younger ones but the metaphor description is just a tad bit too much for me, considering this is the 11th book in the series.

I sense that this series is the near the end, and I find that the author is taking his time to end the series with a slight struggle to drag on. I might be wrong but I think that's how I felt while I was reading it. Lastly, I think it is still a good book for kids who enjoys some good mysteries fun with new characters.

Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Mistborn Series 05 - Shadows Of Self by Brandon Sanderson

And... we're back into the world of Wax and Wayne. I'm just gonna dive into this without delay. So many characters building was laid out with care in this book. Took me quite awhile to finish this but then again this is what Brandon does best, a generous well-thought character and world building in an Epic Fantasy genre per se.

I was skeptical that the second installment of the Mistborn series would be as good as the first. Boy, I was wrong. Some of the honorable characters from the first trilogy came back as a living proof to the current skeptical minds of these generation of Steam Punked-ness Allomancy, Feruchemy and Hermalurgist! Some of these great characters during the time of the Final Empire pops up with great shocking moments.

What's even worse was how much Wax has to unveil the ugliest truth in this series, and it is so strong of him for not being able to crack (emotionally) when he is dealing something so supernatural that he might not be able to comprehend the magnitude of the real truth of what this "God" has in planned for them in this particular world.

Honestly, I'm restricted in so many ways to review this book because I'm trying so hard not to spoil anything from the original series and this one as well. So much has happened, and so much to love. And I can't wait for the upcoming release, "The Bands Of Mourning".

Ratings: 4 out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Book Thief by Markus Zusack

Yep, this book tore me apart. The fact that this book ended so well, I was beginning to think whether I'm able to do this book justice by reviewing my thoughts.

So, I would just put in my favourite quotes and further explained my thoughts from there, here goes:

Quote 1
"He was constantly whistling a tune called the Radetzky March, and all the kids in town would call out to him and duplicate that tune."

The life in Himmelstrasse Molching (Heaven Street), Germany was described with bursting colours, life goes even during times of oppression. Kids are seen here were mischievously rascal to many of the folks in this street. How beautifully it has been described as the story progresses...

Quote 2
"Papa looked up. “Mistakes? I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but not joining the Nazi Party isn’t one of them."

A very powerful statement from a fellow German himself. Many of the bad eggs has joined this so-called party in view of Hitler's vision. However, Hans Hubermann here proves to be a veteran in the army, whom he has served during World War I and never once agree that Jews are any different from the rest.

Quote 3
"The word communist + a large bonfire + a collection of dead letters + the suffering of her mother + the death of her brother = the Führer"

An equation was formed by Liesel Meminger during her Nazi Youth parade gathering. As the session further develops, the creation of this equation sums up her tragic life story in which she cannot control her hatred towards Hitler. This was where the truth sets on Liesel. I can't help but to feel the sorrow in her eyes with the crowd chanting endlessly.

Quote 4
"He was not well-educated or political, but if nothing else, he was a man who appreciated fairness. A Jew had once saved his life and he couldn’t forget that. He couldn’t join a party that antagonized people in such a way."

In reference to Quote 2, Papa Hans Hubermann was a good man. A very good man indeed that I have bonded with this character ever since Liesel Meminger stepped foot in his house. He is a character that carries that fatherly warmth and loving care and as a human being, his personality was written so beautifully.

Quote 5
"She lay there, frightened, in a pool of blood, a strange tune singing in her ear. She recalled the knife, in and out, and a smile. As always, the whistler had smiled as he ran away, into a dark and murderous night."

There were so many good things happened through out the course of the book and while Liesel read this excerpt, this mental image of cold blooded murder just robbed away so many good things that has happened in her life. As in during this war period, many of the good things has been robbed away by just a WORD vision. Was Markus asking his readers to get ready for the ugly?

Quote 6
"What? Is there a monster down there?" Papa asked

Max, the Jew has been placed in their basement to seek refuge. Whilst Papa ask Liesel to stick back to her routine by reading the book, she was afraid and when Papa asked this question in which made me, as the reader, smile, everything was restored by the mere fact Quote 5 literally stomped me by a down hill surprised.

Quote 7
"The Jew stood before him, expecting another handful of derision, but he watched with everyone else as Hans Hubermann held his hand out and presented a piece of bread, like magic. When it changed hands, the Jew slid down. He fell to his knees and held Papa’s shins. He buried his face between them and thanked him."

From a reader's POV, a German who is also suffering from the events of World War II, this scene makes it even more gut wrenching-ly heartbreaking. I've teared. Simple act of kindness goes a long way regardless of race and religion. So beautiful!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Little Jakey 01 - Book 01 - Little Jakey's House by Richard Edgley (Illustrations: Kalpart)

**I was given this book with an honest review.**
It has been years that I've picked up a children's book to read. I do not remember myself reading any children's book for the past 10 years. I dare say this because I've volunteered in teaching English to the under privilege kids who doesn't have the opportunity by exposing themselves with the English language. Hence, I've read quite a bunch back then.

Alright, back to reviewing this book. This book is fun! It is easy to read, simple to understand, no hidden stories behind (unless it's in the second book). I like Little Jakey and his adventure in searching for his new house and home. There are some big words, which I think it's a good learning curve in which I assume the audience is maybe around the age of 7 to 8 which is during their first few years of elementary.

The art is vibrant and catches my attention on how adorable Little Jakey, the great panther can be. Many of the illustrations depicts the forest with great depths and how easy it is to distinguish trees and bushes. Might I say, the art on the river fall seems beautiful! This add to a great bed time story for the little ones too! 

About the Author:
Richard Edgley grew up in United Kingdom on the outskirts of Chester. He has lived all over the world, working and travelling. This is the first book of a series.

Book Details
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Animals / Big Cats
Author: Richard Edgley
Format: Paperback, 28 pages

Publisher: Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency (SBPRA)
Pub date: August 2014

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell)

Depression - feelings of severe despondency and dejection. (Google Ref)

Honestly, there were so much hype about his book. I would never have pick this one up if it wasn't in my list. Surprisingly, this was very much as engaging as all the books that I've read from Rainbow. It is so raw to the core when each of the characters were being built with the ugly reality side of life. Moreover, the more you read the more you felt that you were being part of their family. A real-life depiction of how family is journeying with a serious case of a depression patient.
This book is separated into 2 parts. It's more like 2 semesters in college years.

1st Half
An introduction of who Cath/Cather Avery is, and how she has this social awkwardness where college is a major change in her so-called perfect life. Although one suffers from this paranoia of social awkwardness (Sophisticated-Ly speaking, She's An Introvert...pffft), one does know how to make stupid decisions too. The first half has concluded that there is nothing wrong with making friends at all but it is always a big NO-NO in mixing with the wrong ones.

2nd Half
Here's where the deeps stuff comes in. We have already established that Cath and Wren are twins and they can never be apart. However, the reality of life does not show us life is a bed of roses. It is so poignant that siblings arguments are real and by patching things up needs a lot of self-shedding of our own pride.

Shock factor, I just knew that the book "Carry On" has just been released a week ago. Now I'm anticipating to read about the love story between Simon Snow and Tyrannus Basilton "Baz".

"They could hear the engine; it sounded closer than the voices shouting inside the house. Her sister reached up like she might touch it. Like she might grab on. The girl squeezed her sister's other hand, trying to anchor her to the steps. if you leave, she thought, I'm going with you."

This quote had me all teared up! Since the book "Carry On" has been released, would Rainbow release anything on the ten thousand word Fiction by Cather Avery titled "Left"?

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Mistborn Series 0.5 - The Eleventh Metal by Brandon Sanderson

In such a short read, Brandon is able to pull off a Mistborn fight scene with Allomancy? How awesome is that? We are being brought back with how Kelsier was out from the Pits of Hathsin and is getting himself trained to be a Mistborn by his mentor, Gremmel. Although, it's a short read, the pacing was good enough to capture your attention of how Kelsier was a stubborn asshole nobility. Haha!!! All in all, it's a fun read, not great but fun.

And... the title it's called The Eleventh Metal. Guys, just read the Mistborn trilogy, it has so much to give while you're so bog down just by reading this mere 14 pages of the Mistborn saga. Moreover, the second part of the Mistborn trilogy is already on it's way... just give this a chance. It's that good!

Weblink: The Eleventh Metal

Ratings: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Egg by Andy Weir

How? How in the world? Just 4 pages and I'm blown away by agnostic revelation! He's that good! Are we waiting for another one like this? This is so darn good!

Weblink: The Egg

Ratings: 5 out of  5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Martian by Andy Weir

Oh My Lord, what a ride. What a fantastic ride as Andy has brought us into Mark Watney's lonely journey and journal in which it started out with him being stranded in Mars. Yes, the planet Mars. This book is really a work of good science fiction. Never have I read something so engaging this year.

There were so much humor that I can't control myself from laughing out loud. Even while I was doing my number 2 in the toilet, people from next stall might think me crazy in there. 

There were instances where there was a bit of a drag, but how can one not be, it's a long stranded lonely life out there.. Andy has already tried his best to make it sound as interesting as possible for his readers. This book does have the entertaining factor that keeps  you going. I truly love this book.

Of course, there were many NASA terms which made me do a little bit of a research which makes it even more interesting. I have never thought of so many short abbreviation used in this book that made me pick it up, where it has been around for donkey years without my slightest knowledge at all. As interesting as this might sound, the way it was presented wasn't dry, it's more like, you-will-get-the-idea eventually.

Writing was really good. I made myself read it because I wanted to before I watch the movie. Since it's a book adaptation, it's even more reason for me to read the book beforehand. My only regret is, WHY DIDN'T I READ THIS SOONER?

The intensity heightens up towards the end, and you're like rushing through to the end of the book in wanting to know what is the end result. It was so fast pace with emotional factor running through your body and mind at the same time. Fantastic read. Beautifully written and a well deserve award winning book! 

Some of my favourite quotes:

"I've been so busy staying alive " -- Mark Watney

When I first read this, it struck me bad. We might have taken Oxygen for granted but this sentence is a big slap to the whole world that we have taken our earth for granted.

Mark: I took it apart, found the problem, and fixed it.
NASA: "Dick."

This was when NASA advises Mark avoid by taking apart of the machine, in case it might blow up or cut him off with his oxygen supply. I've laughed so hard.

But I settled on "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees -- Mark Watney

He was stuck with all the 70s TV shows and songs, this was a great pun!

JOHANSSEN: When we pick you up, I will make wild, passionate love to you. Prepare your body
JOHANSSEN: I didn't type that! That was Martinez! I stepped away from the console for like 10 seconds! 
MARK: I've really missed you guys

This is the turning point by making me emotional. Towards the end, it was even more so.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Haul #04

I don't know what's got into me! The month of September seems like a busy one but NOT reading busy, it's shopping busy. I've been refraining myself from buying a lot of books because I've not been finishing my pile of books from 2014! Bad JBB!!! Bad bad bad!!! Well, without further ado, here's what caught my attention...

See it? Come on, tell me that you guys feel me. I'm agonizing the price with great temptation from buying them! 2 million books and it's ENGLISH books. Moreover, the price of Ringgit has been so weak, it's the best time to get hold of it! My 2015 pile! TA DA!!! I'm a good boy aren't I??? It is just RM5!!!

1) Abby Bardi - The Book Of Fred
2) Uwem Akpan - Say You're One Of Them
3) Greg Iles - The Quiet Game
4) Tracy Chevalier - The Last Runaway
5) Nadeem Aslam - The Wasted Vigil

Monday, September 28, 2015

Freaking out moments #23 - J.D. Netto (@jd_netto)

Lately, I got obsessed over Instagram. Yes, the social media of photos that I'm able to get connected not only with friends but authors too! *cough* In Denial *cough*

So here I am, browsing through my daily feed and I saw this post by J.D. Netto!

Well, of course I can't resist from getting myself into a Giveaway contest! So, I regram-med the whole picture by following the instruction as given in the picture. And this happens...

Fingers cross... 

Is this not a freaking out moment or what!!! I know I'm weird in my own way when it comes to authors. I am totally different when it comes to fan-gurling towards someone. Authors of course!!! For crying out loud, come on, they worked really hard too you know... they worked hard for readers like us to enjoy what they are able to produce.

Check him out! He's the author of "The Whispers of the Fallens" series. Follow him!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

INK Series 01 - INK by Glenn Benest & Dale Pitman

**I was given this book with an honest review.**

I have to admit, this is my very first review for a book directly from the author himself. Usually, I can never make time for this especially with my long list of to-be-read books and of course my slow reading habit. Honestly, I really wanted to pick this one up and try it. So, here goes... INK by Glenn Benest and Dale Pitman.

You'll know it when books are able you make you submerge yourself in their world with just a split second. I would never have captured myself if it weren't for the good story plot, moreover the writing in this book is exceptionally easy to grab hold of your attention through out!

There are reasons why I'm able to relate with all the characters in this book, it is because they have invested in good character development! Even when you're able to gauge that some characters are secondary in nature, you still have a soft spot for them. This is like watching a TV series, where you think they are not important, and BAM!, you know them well enough to even want them gone. That's how good this book has to offer.

Story plot was fantastic! The repercussion of being a famous graphic novel artist was very well explored with great depths. Subsequently, both the authors depicts that there-will-always-a-price-to-pay-for-fame incredibly well that you can even feel it in your bones. I will never understand what fame is until how this book explains it in specific detail on how traumatizing it can be in which I would definitely stay away from. 

The suspense was really good that it gets my adrenaline pumping! As horrific as this might sound, the more characters being introduced the greater the suspense. Lastly, I would assume that the pacing of the book would be to everyone's liking and reading enjoyment. Trust me, it does not bore at all.

Some might ask, "Would you continue on with the series?" -- My answer: "Of course I would!"

And there's one thing I might add, the author did not tell me that there will be A SEQUEL!!! Oh come on!!! How could he?
Seriously guys, give this a try. It's like a breath of fresh air.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Freaking out moments #22 - Carol Rifka Brunt (@Carolrifka)

It is a normal day with my same old routine, minding my own business, browsing through my emails and I saw this!!! 

I didn't expect the author Carol Rifka Brunt to follow me via Twitter!!! I wasn't expecting anything apart from reading her wonderful book entitled "Tell The Wolves I'm Home". It was such a good read and I am still in shock with no words that Ms Brunt followed me. Thanks for the follow Ms Brunt! Your writing is brilliant with great social emphasis!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 10 -The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket

Many mysteries were being built up from Book 1 to Book 9, and now 'The Slipper Slope' has unfold many of the mysteries by giving out bits and pieces of evidence and hints of what V.F.D really means to many from the characters in this book. 

The mystery of Jacques Snicket is has come to point of weirdness because his name itself does relates to the author Lemony Snicket. I'm wondering whether has the author had anything to do with the whole mystery behind the fire. Does he knows the Baudelaire's parents personally? Does he knows Count Olaf personally? Is Lemony Snicket part of the V.F.D. ? Let the mystery begin!

On a side note, Sunny is still my favourite!!!

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, September 6, 2015

BookTuber Buddy Read - Shoutout by @WhatKamilReads

Another shoutout from a fellow Booktuber! His name is Kamil from +WhatKamilReads. (YouTube Link: WhatKamilReads) I've been meaning to post this on my blog for the longest time but I haven't got the time to do it. So here goes, I've been surfing for BookTuber that loves reading books that are out of the world unique.

Well, I've bumped into Kamil not too long ago and I really like his content. He reads good literary fiction some of them are Award Winners and some are nominated. He reads diverse books and has a special way of reviewing them which made it so much more different from the YA booktuber bunch. Mind you, I have nothing against them but this is something a little more mature, something I was really looking for some serious discussion on history, region and some day-to-day issues. And guess what, I've made a friend! 

I've made a couple of good friends via the Booktubing community and I hope to post more of these blog when I got the chance of buddy reading with them. I am seriously hooked by their intellect! I must say, I love the idea of buddy reading. It makes it even more fun and interesting from people across the world! This is what the Internet is for!

Here's the video of Kamil shouting out my view on Tan Twan Eng's book titled The Garden of Evening Mists. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 09 -The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket

Well, well, well... I wasn't expecting such an ending. The whole time I thought it was a good turn of event that Count Olaf doesn't know nuts about the existence of the Baudelaires' at all. The author got me all bluffed up!

This whole book promotes greater suspense than any other books in the series. There were a glimpse of character building with the carnival's freaks and I have kinda grown attached towards them until the end. I have my reasons but then again it was explained clearly why they react the way they were.

All in all, this book makes me wanna go on with the next one. So, I won't want to review into such details by revealing too much.

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 08 - The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket

Sadly to say, this is one book in the series that I did not like. Well not all, but most of it. However, there are new clues and new highlights in the series that might explain what V.F.D is and there are documents in "The Library of Records" which has evidence about the fire with Baudelaire's parents and someone else. Their house were caught fire but there were 3 person in the house and one has escape death. Who is it?

Violet was captured and left Klaus and Sunny to save the day. I would just like to add that Sunny is one character that I love to read most about in this book because you can see how she has developed as a child with proper usage of words, NOT sentence but words. 

I would really want continue with the next book just to see how this book ends. 

Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Disruptive Faith: Expect God to Interrupt Your Life by A. W. Tozer

Soaking in, I'm soaking in what I've just read. It's only a mere 200 pager book and it took me more than 3 weeks to accomplish it. Never have I read a Tozer book before and this is my first. It's so RICH and COMPACT with so much to learn and dwell into how the Lord moves him to write as he writes.

Although the book cover and title pressing on the topic of Faith, however how Tozer start off with how a Christian is ought to live in the manner of Faith from God's perspective instead of men. It started from how carnal Christian looks at Faith and how lowly our thoughts that never would comprehend what God's original purpose of mankind in this world.

The gradual pace in each chapters from the creation of man in God's image crescendo to the all so ineffable majestic of God has been profoundly described with great points and arguments. I just can't control myself from saying how mind-blowing this book has brought me. In which, it leads me to ponder and dwell into it for so long, that I can't stop myself from enjoying this book even more.

You know how when a reader reads a book and a special quotes pops out and say "Now that's a great quote!" In Tozer's book, I practically wretched the book with yellow highlights, handwritten notations, brackets after brackets of my favourite discussion or arguments AND endless written "AMEN" in this book.

It is ever easy to read but it has so much to consume. I wouldn't call myself a staunch Christian but this book had me THINKING. I do have serious thoughts of being a Christian for the past 22 years and it is not a joke when it comes to the REAL definition of Salvation. What is it to be a Christian with Faith. God's perspective of Faith not men.

So many pointers to share and how wonderful it is to let someone knows the beauty of God's purpose behind all of His perfect plans for us. This book and genre is my first and I'm really liking it so far! Tozer, you're my new found hero in this genre!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I love it, I just love this book. Call me a nerd, geek or whatever, I just love how this book was written. So much fun and it's so interactive that you are able to visualize what has been described. It has so much elements from the 80s and I can't seem to stop myself from falling in love over and over again.

The writing is simple to get yourself into the world that was created. What holds me back is when something famous or familiar has been mentioned and I can't seem to stop myself from the Google-ing habit by searching all of the stuff mentioned. Ahh... Memories.

Plot wise. OMG, it's like a roller coaster ride! It goes up with so much anticipation, and you were let down with some stupid "I-should-know-better-than-to-get-myself-into-this-mess" kinda situation. Then it went back up again, and it goes down until it reaches the end. The end was so good to the point where you would say the book ended just right. No more no less.

"The OASIS was an online utopia (Virtual Utopia), a holodeck for the home. And its biggest selling point? It was free." -- Parzival

Never in my fiction reading life have I read about stuff in the far future has the words UTOPIA in it. In today's context of the future are all written with a dystopia world. Come on! There are at least some good world out there to talk about and this has lives up to it's expectations by portraying AT LEAST a virtual utopia. This very sentence itself caught my attention and made my day by making the right choice to read this book. There, I've said it. Too much Dystopia genre already... Enough already! I'm a really mean reader...

I would argue that masturbation is the human animal’s most important adaptation. The very cornerstone of our technological civilization. Our hands evolved to grip tools, all right—including our own. You see, thinkers, inventors, and scientists are usually geeks, and geeks have a harder time getting laid than anyone. Without the built-in sexual release valve provided by masturbation, it’s doubtful that early humans would have ever mastered the secrets of fire or discovered the wheel. And you can bet that Galileo, Newton, and Einstein never would have made their discoveries if they hadn’t first been able to clear their heads by slapping the salami (or “knocking a few protons off the old hydrogen atom”). The same goes for Marie Curie. Before she discovered radium, you can be certain she first discovered the little man in the canoe. -- Parzival

Well-said, honey, well-said.

Talk about songs being mentioned, to name a few (Sorry, I just can't help myself):-
1) Midnight Oil - 1987 - Beds Are Burning
2) The Plimsouls - 1983 - A Million Miles Away
3) John Waite - 1985 - Change
4) Def Leppard- 1987 - Pour Some Sugar on Me
5) Schoolhouse Rock - 1973 - 3 Is A Magic Number
6) AC/DC - 1976 - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
7) Rush - 1982 - Subdivisions

Moreover, recently I've read that Steven Spielberg has already signed on to direct this movie. Please please please don't screw this up. This is such a good book, please don't screw this up for the sake of the readers.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Monday, June 15, 2015

Freaking out moments #21 - The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

I'm really humbled. She is still in connection with most of her fans and readers. She's none other than Victoria Schwab!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Archived Series 2.5 - Leave the Window Open by Victoria Schwab

Hahaha!!! The FIRST name of Wesley Ayers has been revealed! The author never fails her readers when it comes to descriptions. The sounds, the thought & the ideas are all well-written with so much depths. Although, this may be one of the shortest love story that a writer could give, but many would find it really satisfying.

Guilty pleasure read of what Victoria has teased. Now, my question for her is 'When will we be getting the 3rd book?'

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Archived Series 02 - The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

You know what they say about a book sequel? Trust me, this book did not disappoint at all. I was hesitated to pick this one up but I didn't realize the plot was intriguingly captivating. Victoria Schwab, a master storyteller of it's own in the YA Fantasy genre never ceased to fail many of her readers. I must say, she's got me all shook up when it was beginning to turn messy!

Mackenzie Bishop, she made me so frustrated all the time when she's hiding a secret that PLEADS a lending hand from any trusted party. The problem with her is that she doesn't trust anyone. Many of whom that she knows are giving (throwing is more likely) themselves to help her, she went solo. In the end... You've got to read this book. I'm not gonna tell you! Shoo! Go!

We are being introduced with many of her peers in this new school where her parents think that it's a good change for such a traumatic events that they've all been through. Nevertheless, comical moments were still present in their day-to-day school lives. Chemistry of friendship and love were subtle, however it leaves the reader tingly for wanting more. However, I have come to realize that Lindsey was mentioned in the beginning and was missing towards the rest of 3 quarters of the book. Funny! (She's not much of a significance I guess... Sidelined!!!!)

Many gripping moments and a sense of violence was there. It has brought The Archived series to a whole new level. I thought we are gonna stick to PG until a snap! Literally cringe worthy til my spine went numb. Interrogations were bad, slamming and fighting were really well-written! I guess I have to say, everyone who's in the verge of giving up the YA genre, give this a go! You might want to re-consider of giving the YA genre another chance after this. I know I did.

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

I've chosen this book because I am buddy reading this with a booktuber named Kamil from @WhatKamilReads

I love this book! I love where the premise was set in Malaya. The message. The history. The beautiful landscape of Cameron Highlands. The usage of WORDS! It is so eloquent and articulate, I can't even praise it enough to justify. This book is so rich that I have submerged myself into the history of Malaya with the advantage of me being in Malaysia myself. I did not even see the beauty of my country in that manner. I'm ashamed of myself!

The book is written in a back and forth manner between 1940s and 1980s separated by chapters. You'll kinda catch on as you're reading it progressively. It started out from the heart of Kuala Lumpur and stayed on at Cameron Highlands through out the book. I do not really want to go into the plot as this book is meant to be a journey of pain, anger, forgiveness, restoration & love. Elements of emotions are subtle but it's loudly banging in your head that these thoughts of frustrations are meant to be out there for readers like us.

'You've forgiven the British?' He subsided from his seat. For a while he was silent, his gaze turned inward. 'They couldn't kill me when we were at war. And they couldn't kill me when I was in the camp,' he said finally, his voice subdued. 'But holding on to my hatred for forty-six years... that would have killed me.' -- Magnus Pretorius

This message is common to many but coming from a prisoner of war, I find this very powerful. Holding such grudge for more than what is expected would have killed you mentally. Humanly speaking, you'll be so bitter that no one is able to communicate with you anymore!

'... but I realized that much of the women's laughter and singing rising from the slopes was bitter with the harshness of their lives.' -- Teoh Yun Ling

Some might observe the harshness of live after the war but then again, people move on with laughter and singing. Although bitterness is shown but it's performed with a sense of melodramatic bitterness with great depth to it. As the saying goes, each person has it's own story to tell.

Following the example of the old men in the shop, Frederik poured his coffee into a saucer and blew on it. 'My mother used to scold us if we did that,' I said. 'Low class, she called it.' 'But it tastes so much better like this.' He picked up the saucer and slurped noisily from it. 'Try it.' -- Frederik Pretorius

The act of drinking coffee through a saucer! My grandma used to teach me how to drink coffee like that. Low class wasn't an issue back then but GOOD coffee tasting is what we appreciated most during the hay days of me being an ignorant boy who doesn't care about who his surroundings are.

He turns to me and gives me a bow so deep I think he is going to topple over. Straightening up again, he says, 'I am sorry, for what we did to you. I am deeply sorry.'
'Your apology is meaningless,' I say, taking a step back from him. 'It's worth nothing to me.' -- Teoh Yun Ling & Yoshikawa Tatsuji

'We had no idea what my country did,' he says. 'We did not know about the massacres or the death camps, the medical experiments carried out on living prisoners, the women forced to serve in the army brothels. When I returned home after the war, I found out everything I could about what we had done. That's when I became interested in our crimes. I wanted to fill in the silence that was stifling every family of my generation.' -- Yoshikawa Tatsuji

These 2 quotes reminds me of a feud between China and Japan on the matter of what is taught in the history lessons in Japan. Many Japanese of today will NEVER know the cruelty that has happened back in World War II. It has been wiped out from their education system. WWII is a sense of pride in Japan instead of shame. So when some Japanese came to other parts of Asia and knew about the oppression of these countries through them, they never ceased to feel remorse for what has been done.

"'Young man,'" the old monk said, "'tell me: is it the wind that is in motion, or is it only the flag that is moving?'" 'What did you say?' I asked. 'I said, "Both are moving, Holy One." "The monk shook hi head, clearly disappointed by my ignorance. "One day you will realize that there is no wind, and the flag does not move," he said. "It is only the hearts and minds of men that are restless.'" -- Nakamura Aritomo

Ahh... ponder ponder~~~

The Chinese in Malaya who could not speak English looked down on us for not knowing our own ancestral tongue. - 'Eaters of the Europeans' shit,' they called us. In turn we Straits Chinese laughed at them for their uncouth ways and civil service or to rise in our colonial society. There was no need of us to know any language other than English, my father had often told us when we were growing up, because the British would rule Malaya forever. -- Teoh Yun Ling

Trust me, there are 3 types of Chinese in Malaysia today. The English speaking Chinese, the Non-English Speaking Chinese and the Chinese who speaks both but remain unanimous until asked. That last sentence is no longer applicable because Malaysia will be celebrating it's 58th year independence this coming 31st August.

'We'll never talk about this again when we get out of this place. No one will ever know,' I repeated. 'Even if we never talk about it, it'll be there in your eyes, every time I look at you.' -- Teoh Yun Ling to Teoh Yun Hong

The voice of hope & despair intertwine makes this a really good read. Emotions...

In conclusion, are we able to get out of our own prison? Do we need a metaphor to release us from such agony of anger & pain from the past. Lastly, are we killing ourselves for what we are doing to ourselves today?

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saga Series 10 - Chapter Ten by Brian K. Vaughan

Reunion!! Reunion reunion reunion!!! It all happens so quick. The planet that they were looking for Izabel was about to crack open by birth (when I mean by birth, it is BY BIRTH). I'm not joking! Read it and you'll understand.

Ahh... I've always love family hugs. I wanna have me some hugging now!!!

Yes, there was reunion and there were disagreements as well. I can't help it! They are like bonded for each other for life! Look at them... Aww...

After reading this issue, I never want to mess with any girls anymore. They are mean!!! They are out for revenge with 101% determination that you will die in their hands. And as always, the ending is what makes me wanna read on again. Let's go!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Review Link

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Series of Unfortunate Events 07 - The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

WHOA!!! This is madness! Of all the books I've read in the Unfortunate events, this is DA BOMB! It has something to do with runaway, dangerous plots to get out of the village, excellent disguise by Esmé and more. This book has the adrenaline going and I think it's one of my favourite among the other books. I'm not sure about the subsequent ones.

The Baudelaires once again was brought into this village full of old folks and rules, whoever breaks it, the ultimate punishment is to be burnt at the stake. Brutal eh? No question asked, you break it you get the burn to death capital punishment. The kids were being given to a guardian who's a coward by all this folks and elders named Hector. Bonding was great but he's a real coward. I can't stand him but he has a good heart. So I liked him. Haha!

Anyway, every book is not gonna be pleasant until the end and now the chase begins. I can't wait for the next book now. Woot!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Review Link

Friday, May 15, 2015

Book To Movie Review 05: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (2014)

Oh gosh, where do I start? I was really afraid that the movie does not live up to my expectation. Having read the book with so much feelings and emotions, I don't know where to begin writing on the excuse of my long delay to watch this movie. Honestly, I don't even have a great excuse but all I can say is that I do have a wonderful time watching this movie. So good!

I love love love both Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort's performance by portraying the characters of Hazel & Gus so well that I just want to give them a big big hug for doing the show justice. Never once did I forget the crew behind the scenes,  they just did such a fantastic job in minimizing mistakes in the movie. I've always loved the crew behind the scenes because they are the coolest and I'm usually the kind of person who would love doing stuff behind. OK, IT'S DODGY!!! Back to the movie, this so-called independent movie brings out an A+ quality with minimal flaws especially on the Cinematography and Scenery shots. (Especially Amsterdam!)

What happened to awards? Hello???

I'm not going to dwell into the the summary or the plot of the movie. It will definitely give away so much for feels that I can't even described through out the whole movie. Just watch it! Even if you did not read the book, just watch it! Their acting is so raw, so good, so real! I can never stop raving about their performance.

Overall, it is a fantastic movie. Remember, prepare loads of tissues!

Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book To Movie Review 04: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (2002)

The second at it's charm. Closely adapted movie based from the book with just a minor twitch by minimizing some roles just for a few minutes of dialogue which was very clever. Some of the scenes were nicely done for movie purposes. All in all, I'm glad to be back to Hogwarts.

Dobby's CGI was clearly identifiable, however, the expression and voice acting was done right. Hence, the portrayal of Dobby was very well brought into the movie set. The only thing that was even more obvious was that, when Dobby was banging his head towards the wardrobe, you can clearly see Daniel is struggling to put on a I-CANT-GET-HIM-TO-STOP-BECAUSE-HE-IS-NOT-REAL-AT-ALL look.

Very much improved acting from all the cast but the dialogue for Draco Malfoy (portrayal by Tom Felton) always seems to be cringe worthy to me. I don't know whether it s the acting or the dialogue or the face. I fairly remember Tom Felton from "Anna and the King" and he was OK in it but as Draco, I find it cringe worthy. I hope to see more of him in the subsequent show as I think he might still be young to be a good villain role.

The Christmas scene at Hogwarts never fails to be part of the movie's scenic moments for all it's glory to their fans. The gathering of the great hall is much more toned down as to compared with the first. Sometimes just a few words from Dumbledore in The Great Hall would be nice. Can't blame as the book doesn't revolve around The Great Hall all that much either.

Many characters were introduced with great in depth acting. Tom Riddle, whom we all know was a past character in the school of Hogwarts. Seriously, who is he at the end of it all? Watch it as the plot of the movie really was a closely based on the book.

The end was great when Harry has made new friends and has discovered even more hidden mystery on his scars and origin of the existence of Voldermort unfold. I am anticipating for the next movie installment after I read the third book.

Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 stars