contemporary · drama · mystery · worst reads

One Moment

Author: Kristina McBride

Summary from Goodreads:
This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below–dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?

The latest novel from the author of The Tension of Opposites, One Moment is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

Comments:

I was so happy to reach the final page of the story. I thought it would never end. I hate giving up on books with hopes that the story would miraculously saved itself from my distaste. One Moment though failed to deliver.

The beginning was exciting; it’s just another fine day for Maggie and her friends till she gave in to a dare. Joey, her “supportive” boyfriend accompanied her up the trail to jump from the cliff. Suddenly, there was a shift in the air, shouting, and Maggie doesn’t remember a thing. What really happened that resulted to Joey’s death? I realized that what kept me going for the most part are the answers. I bet without the air of mystery, this book will be dead. Even though the answers were already revealed, I can’t believe how it dragged on and on and on.

Part of the book dealt with issues on fidelity in relationships. I just can’t believe how these group of kids, professing to be the closest of friends, have big secrets that true friends shouldn’t have tolerated or even made in the first place. I don’t think they understood what friendship was about. Again, an irritating part of the book concerns Maggie, who despite being so slow and annoying, was again the love interest of the boys. Sounds familiar?

And the ending? Uggh, don’t even get me started on that. It goes something like this.. “Yeah my boyfriend just died, and then Adam professed his love. So I’m moving on because I realized it is Adam whom I truly love. Yay, happily ever after for me.”

My Rating:

drama · historical fiction · young adult

Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Date finished reading: January 22, 2014

Comments:

Actual rating is 2.5

This had been a tough read for me – almost to the point of giving up. I checked the reviews and some people said the same thing. I’m proud to have endured and finished though. I had been thinking what is it that put people off so they end up putting the book down. Personally, there were too much details/info in the beginning – names, songs, blahs, smart ass kids – that most have a hard time relating to. Then, there’s Andi. Oh, who could stand this kid? Just full of angst!

I am not very familiar with the French Revolution but I’m glad to have even learned something. Of course that’s one of the great things about historical fiction is that you get to learn. But if you are a noob like me, then it would probably decrease your interest just because it isn’t much of the basics. I enjoyed the whole sleuth thing though, of discovering about Louis-Charles and Amade Malherbeau. I appreciate the author’s diligence in researching for facts then intertwining it with her fiction.

Despite of all the hate in the book, I’m glad it ended well. The last chapter had the decency to show Andi’s change of heart. I’m happy for her but of course she was just lucky that Virgil was there to save her twice.

It was a smart read but I don’t think it caters to all young adults.

“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.”

My Rating: ★★

drama · romance

Eleanor and Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date finished reading: January 16, 2014

Comments:

He sat up. He smiled. Something heavy and winged took off from his chest.
Eleanor hadn’t written him a letter, it was a postcard.
Just three words long.

And I just kept staring on the page when I reached the end. Stared, and stared, and stared.
This story is one of those books that I couldn’t forget. I was so drawn to the characters, to their story, to their future. It started out with the new girl Eleanor who was different; this being the reason why other students made fun of her. Then there’s Park, the Asian kid, who let the new, weird girl share his bus seat. Little did they know that this is where everything will start.

This is my first attempt at Rainbow Rowell’s books. I’ve heard a lot of good things about her novels and this book didn’t disappoint me. Immediately, I was engrossed in the story. I was there, on the bus, staring at Eleanor and Park sitting 6 inches away from each other. I love reading from both characters’ point-of-view. They were formed in such a way that I was able to relate to them. I even saw myself in them, caught in the daze of young, true love. We were made to understand how different they were from each other – Eleanor who might have lost faith in love because of her family circumstances; Park, whose parents’ love for each other would never end, diminish even. Despite of these, they completed each other; they need each other.. that is until… Eleanor’s stepdad ruined everything.

I love how the author can be indirect with her choice of words but you get it and you feel it. But her attention to detail is also awesome that you can really become a part of what was laid before you. This is the sort of story that just lingers, and my heart was racing as I got nearer and nearer the end.

Thank you Rainbow Rowell for introducing me to Eleanor and Park’s world. I would definitely read your other books 🙂

My Rating: ★★★★★

drama · fiction · young adult

If I Stay

Author:  Gayle Forman
Date finished reading: January 10, 2014

Comments:
I’m so relieved that I didn’t read this book just because it was a popular hype. In fact, I just randomly borrowed the book when I was meaning to read Just One Day and it wasn’t available.

It was the start of a perfect day. Mia and her family went off to visit friends and family. Little did they know that an accident will take place – one that will leave a huge crater on those around them. Nonetheless, Mis being the sole survivor gets to decide for herself – to leave or to stay?

I’m usually not into cheesy literature stuff, but there is something about this book that kept me going. One of the reasons would be the love I have for the characters. It wasn’t Mia; it was the people in her life. I love the back stories on her parents, grandparents, best friend, boyfriend all interwoven to create a unique symphony. It was also how music was such a huge part of this project. I can even picture them, on that accidental celebration of labor day, sitting around the campfire and playing music to their heart’s content. I profess that I lack knowledge when it comes to the musical selection for this book, but that was okay.

The only thing which was off for me was the last part – and that was what most readers seem to compare to Lovely Bones. C’mon Mia, there are a lot of others reasons for you choosing to stay. It’s not just about Adam. It must be the hormones, but hey I expected her to be deeper than that.

Overall, this is a feel good book. 😉

Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.

My Rating: ★★★★★

drama · romance

One Day (2011)

Where: Ps3
With: just by myself
Date of Viewing: January 03, 2014

Genre: drama, romance
Personal Blahs:
I find girl-boy best friend relationships cute. Moreover, romantic relationships should make partners best of friends anyway. I like the Dexter and Em duo and it made me reminisce on how great it is to have someone who loves you for you. The story is fast-paced, as each chapter is divided into a year, highlighting the 15th of July. It led us into how their friendship started, until they both went onto separate directions to live their dreams. It was obvious that they would end up together anyway, but what tragedy! They didn’t even get to raise that family that they wished. I think the movie gives up a thought to ponder upon, value the people who make you happy because you never know till when tomorrow comes.

Emma: Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today.

My Rating: ★★★★

drama · young adult

Thirteen Reasons Why

Th1rteen R3asons Why cover

Author:  Jay Asher
Date finished reading: January 3, 2014

Comments:
Like what other reviewers voiced out, I had highhhh expectations on this book , only to be disappointed. I really like the whole idea of the story – suicide, cassette tapes, high school drama and romance. I thought it was interesting to go through myriad of emotions of a teen who decided to take her life. But as I go deeper and deeper into the story, I thought the reasons were shallow, immature, and vying for attention. I’ve been thinking why I felt that way. Maybe because I went to a school without that drama. To be honest, I’ve actually had my fair share of experiences in high school, but I don’t ever remember thinking about killing myself. Sure, it was difficult, and same as Hannah, I wish there were times when the world would just stop. In the end, it would all go down to you and your decisions. It is not about other people anyway; it has been always about us loving ourselves. Hannah failed to do that. She had a lot of chances of build relationships, to form friendships, to trust people and talk about her feelings. But she shrugged all of that hope because she already made up her mind. It sucks that the people she thought she could trust turned out otherwise, but I’m pretty sure there were a lot more people who would have cared. I get the message of the story though and I think it encourages us to treat each other better. Other than that, I didn’t really enjoy and I was in a hurry to finish and get it over with.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

My Rating: ★★★(3)

biography · comedy · drama

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Where: the mall of LA
With: Mom, pangs, Miss P
Date of Viewing: Christmas 2013

Genre: biography, comedy, drama
Personal Blahs:
Watching this movies wasn’t part of the plan so I really had no idea what it was about. At the start of the movie, all I could think about is how I hate this lady! I have no idea who she was, but it was apparent that she was a miserable grouch. As the movie progressed, I learned that she was the author of the famous Mary Poppins. Mr. Walt Disney was so intent to buy her story that he would turn into a musical so as to keep a promise he made to his daughters. Mrs. Travers obviously didn’t want all of the ideas on her story was going to be shown to the public and made all unnecessary requests and comments enough to tick the crew and even Disney himself. In between the present occurrences, bits and pieces from Mrs. Travers life flickered on the screen; a trail of happy memories turned bitter by the weakened family ties during her childhood. She was a daddy’s girl and did everything to please him. He, in return, loved her, but was caught in the powerful grasp of alcoholism. I learned an important lesson while watching this movie. Sometimes, we become quick to judge people without bothering to know what might have caused it. The same was true for Mrs. Travers. I was quick to judge, but then the truth stood before me that all she wanted was for her father to be saved. We all have Mr. Banks in our lives – regrets, remorse which we need to let go before it consumes us to an endless void of bitterness.

Porter: Would you like me to unpack for you, ma’am?
P.L. Travers: Young man, if it is your wish to handle ladies’ undergarments, I suggest you take employment in a launderette.

My Rating: ★★★★★