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The Last Reader

 "I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place."

- Anne Tyler

Anna and the French Kiss  - Stephanie Perkins
"Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn't a place. It's a person. And we're finally home."
The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

I got this book as a Christmas gift. I normally highlighted lines that i find interesting or lines that i can really say "this is so true" and with this, i almost highlighted every page. I also love how the concept of the writer in writing this book.

A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets - James   Bowen

I personally love this kind of book. Bob is so cute and it makes me want to have a cat like him. James is an inspiration to all homeless people. After reading this book, I've ended up watching Bob's videos on Youtube.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15946117-a-street-cat-named-bob
South of the Border, West of the Sun - Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
""Lots of different ways to live. And lots of different ways to die. But in the end… all that remains is a desert.""

Book Review : The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters  - Rick Riordan

Grover was captured by Polyphemus (an evil Cyclops) and needs to be rescued. The tree of Thalia has been poisoned which made the magic walls of the Camp Half Blood open to monsters. The quest of finding the golden fleece (that can heal Thalia's tree) was given to Clarisse but Percy, Annabeth and Tyson (a baby Cyclops, which happened to be Percy's half brother) will also do the quest with the help of Hermes.

I love this book more than the first one. I think even if I didn't read the first, I can still follow the story. It's also good that Riordan included some background stories about the characters or names that was mentioned. It's very helpful for those who don't have a lot of knowledge about Greek Mythology (Ahem). My favorite character here is Tyson. He's cute (not to mention that Douglas Smith played his character in the movie) and he likes Rainbow (a Hippocampus).

Book Review : The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks

I was crying (hard) while reading the last few chapters of this book. I remember a good friend of mine (Ate Aida, Bennito's second mom) who died last month because of cancer. I visited her when she was in Hospice and after almost 3 weeks, to her burial. She is a nice person and it's sad that she's not with us anymore.

I bought this book two years ago (one of the first books i bought when I arrived here) and started reading it until the first chapter. Instead of continue reading, I watched the movie online and cry over it. Then I forgot already to continue reading the book. I know right! The book is much better.. They didn't include some of the best scenes (that can be found in the book) in the movie.

The last time that i cried (hard) over a book was after reading Tuesday's with Morrie by Mitch Alboms. I definitely love this book.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6859861-the-last-song

Book Review : Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

Please Look After Mom - Shin Kyung-sook

How much do you know your mother? Are you often mad at her because she’s irritating? Does she always ask you to do some household chores? Or are you considering her as the witch in your own fairytale?

 

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin is about the disappearance of an illiterate and elderly mom in a crowded Seoul train station without his husband’s knowledge. Her family, including her four adult children, is desperately trying to do everything to find her and as they continue searching, they realize how little they know about their mother, like they don’t even have a recent photo of her, and they starts to blame themselves for giving her less attention.

"When you write 24 July 1938 as Mother’s birth date, your father corrects you, saying that she was born in 1936. Official records show that she was born in 1938, but apparently she was born in 1936. This is the first time you’ve heard this." - page 4

The novel is divided into different parts and each one was narrated by the family members including Chi-hon (the eldest daughter and a novelist), Hyong-chol (the eldest son and the favorite one), the neglectful husband and mom herself. Mom’s background reveals through flashbacks as the novel continues. All her sacrifices for her children, how she handles her unfaithful husband and her generosity not only towards her family but also to other people.

"Mom was the kitchen and the kitchen was Mom. You never  wondered, Did Mom like being in the kitchen?" - page 60

The participation of the reader is present by the author’s way of using “you” (second person) in this novel and though it’s quite perplexing in some parts, it still works well. It demands us to ponder and ask ourselves if we are also like one of mom’s children or the husband. Shin has done a great job on reminding us the importance of honouring not only our mother, but also the people who have done a lot of selfless things for us. The changes of the woman’s role are also present by showing how different mom’s life before compared to her children who are living in the present time.

 

A certified Korean tear-jerker. I had a hard time to finish reading this novel because it’s hard to read when your eyes are filled with tears. From what I’ve read, Shin has won countless awards in her homeland for her works and Please Look After Mom won the Shadow MAN Asian Literary Prize 2011. This book is also her first novel to be translated into English. And I personally would like to thank Chi-Young Kim for expertly translating this amazing novel so it can be appreciated by readers, including me, from different countries.

 

I recommend this to those who are into deep emotional stories (like me) and also if you are interested in learning about some Korean cultures like The Full Moon Harvest.

On the last page of the book, I wrote a short letter for my mom:

Ma, I miss you so much! I’m sorry for everything.. for being stupid and selfish sometimes. I may not say it often but God knows how much i love you. If given by chance to choose another mom, i will still choose you. Thank you for all the things you’ve done for us. I love you so much. – Kath

Source: http://kathreads.tumblr.com/post/97399092850/please-look-after-mom-by-kyung-sook-shin-my-rating

Book Review : Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent - Veronica Roth

Am i too late for this? I just don’t want to join the hype. I can’t help not to think of “Matched” trilogy my Ally Condie while reading the first two chapters of this book. I’m aware that almost everyone is comparing this to THG but I didn’t felt like that. I don’t have any idea about the story of Divergent though everyone (in blogospere) was talking about it specially before the movie came out. So i think i don’t need an introduction for this.

I personally enjoyed how Tris (Beatrice) evolved through the Dauntless initiation. I love the idea that she cannot be manipulated to do something or believe something that she don’t want to. I wish I can be somehow like her. Well i know that i’ll also choose Dauntless if given by chance but my result (on the quizz in the book) is Abnegation. Oh, just like her. So now let’s talk about Four. *sigh* Four *sigh* Haha! I definitely love this guy. I love the fact that he let Tris to know his weaknesses. for me that’s one of the characteristics of a real man. I have to admit that Theo James (who played Four in the movie) didn’t get much of my attention. So i’ll just keep on imagining another guy as Four. Some chapters made me cry specially the pages 443 and 471.

 

It’s a brilliant book that it kept me insterested in what’s going to happen on the next chapters. I also love the playlist specially the songs from Flyleaf. Kudos to Ms. Veronica Roth considering that this is her first novel.

 

I’m still waiting for the DVD to be available here and I’m excited for Insurgent.

Source: http://kathreads.tumblr.com/post/96446057040/divergent-by-veronica-roth-rating-in

Book Review : Guilt by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Guilt - Jussi Adler-Olsen

The fourth novel of Department Q series by Jussi Adler-Olsen and this is also my first time to read a Adler-Olsen’s novel. I read this in english by the way and it’s also published as “The Purity of Vengeance” and “Journal 64”.

 

In 1985, Nete Rosen is happily living her life with her husband, until he meet Curt Wad again. Two years after the death of her husband, Nete Hermansen returns with her maiden name and with a plan. She will make her revenge to those people who were responsible of making her teenage life miserable. In 2010, Detective Carl Mork from Department Q which handles cold cases, investigates the disappearance of Rita Nielsen, owner of a brothel. Upon reviewing of the case, Rose, Carl’s new assistant, discovers a series of other missing persons disappeared at the same time as Rita.

 

This book was a gift from my fiance (who’s into mystery/thriller/crime novels) and he was the one who chose this book. He said the author is great and I guess he’s right. What I like with this book is that I (and also the readers for sure) know already who’s responsible for the crime (missing persons) and the reasons after reading the few first chapters. It’s like I want to go inside the book and tell Carl and his crew about it but obviously, I can’t. And towards the end, I was surprised because the things i thought I knew was wrong. I wasn’t expecting that. Sprogo Island played an important part in this book and I’m glad because I’ve learned something about Danish history. I can say that my favorite character here is Assad, Carl’s Syrian assistant. He’s funny, smart, mysterious because no one knows where he lives and eccentric. I’m looking forward to know more about him. This book can also considered as stand-alone but I think I still need to read the previous books because I, somehow, cannot relate to the incident that happened to Carl and his partners. The story is entertaining and shocking. No wonder why Jussi Adler-Olsen is one of the great crime fiction author. Highly recommended!

Book Review : The Catastrophic History Of You And Me

The Catastrophic History of You and Me - Jess Rothenberg

This is about a girl named Brie who died after her heart got literally broken by her boyfriend, Jacob. To be more precise, she had a heart failure (acute congestive cardiomyopathy in medical world) and died. She ends up in a pizza parlor called “Little Slice of Heaven” where she met a guy in his leather jacket and 80’s style named Patrick. The book will take you to Brie’s afterlife experiences while going through the five stages of grief before she can finally rest in peace.

 

The author created a realistic and likeable characters in this book. Brie for example, is adorable, strong, sarcastic and selfish (at times). Her love to her family and friends is also undeniable. She made some unfavorable decisions during her journey through the five stages of grief which I think is understandable since well, she’s a teenager and a (dead) human. The good thing is she grew as a person (or spirit) during and after the stages. I like her love for the 80’s music which is very rare for teenagers nowadays. (80’s kid here by the way). Then there’s Patrick, an appealing, sweet and mysterious guy who became Brie’s guide in the afterlife and partner in crime during her “revenge” plan. And mind you, “love at first sight” didn’t happen between the two of them, not even “love triangle”. The revelation of his past is unexpected but it made sense through out the story. My favorite character in this book is actually not a person but an adorable basset hound named Hamloaf. He’s so cute and smart.

 

The chapter titles are clever and also the way how the story was divided into five parts made me fall in love with this book. The author knows exactly what her reader wants not to mention the unpredictable plot twists. A combination of paranormal, contemporary and fantasy, this book will make you think of what is waiting for us after death. What does it look like and how does it feel like. How painful and heartbreaking it would be seeing your family and friends continuing their lives without you. But thankfully, this book is not only about death, afterlife and goodbyes. It’s also about acceptance and moving on, living and loving the life you have while you still have the chance. Life can be full of lies, betrayals and revelations but how you handle and accept these things can make your life easier and more happier. Life is far too short to be sad and miserable.

 

This is a great book and I’ll recommend this not only to young readers who’s heart got broken but also to those people who’s having a hard time moving on. This one is a good book for you.

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Book Review : Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

I’ll be honest. It’s quite hard to make a review of this book without giving out spoilers because of the exciting plot and twists so i’ll make it short and simple.

 

Amy Elliot and Nick Dunne fall in love with each other and eventually, they get married. After losing their job in New York because of recession, they transfer to Nick’s hometown in Missourri. To support them, Nick borrowed Amy’s money to buy a bar that he’s managing together with his twin sister, Go. On their 5th anniversary, Amy goes missing leaving Nick as the primary suspect of her disappearance. He claims he is innocent but all the evidences are clearly pointing at him. The book is told from Amy’s diary and Nick’s narration after the disappearance.

 

Though a bit slow at the beginning, Gone Girl is incredibly well-writen and the characters voices are convincing. I feel like watching the movie, seeing and hearing Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike saying the words while I’m reading. Though I think Neil Patrick Harris (Dessi Collings) fits the role of Tanner Bolt. I’m saying this because of Bolt’s character and attire (especially the tie). This book made me feel like hugging/punching the characters (Nick and Amy to be exact) at the same time. It’s confusing (in a good way) and I didn’t know what to believe anymore. While I’m still under the state of confusion, another revelations appeared which made me more curious and excited. I honestly don’t know what to feel about the ending. Somehow I’m disappointed because that’s not how I want it to end and at the same time, I’m also thinking that it’s the perfect ending for them.

"Because every morning you have to wake up and be you."

This is my first time to read Ms. Flynn’s book and I’ve heard that her other works are also amazing so I think I’ll enjoy reading them. She’s a very talented writer and I like how she played my emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a superb mystery/suspense novel.