Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 468
Rating: 4.5/5


Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

Deskynowsky's Review:

I cried at the end, coz the pain was too much..

There were three parts of story in this book, Romance, Friendship, and Family.. As for the Romance and Friendship, it was kinda typical for me, and predictable.. So am not going to write much about it.. it was okay.. it was cute..

But the family story in this book was really hit me close to the heart.. this book deals with issue of losing an important member of your family.. In this book, it was Taylor's dad.. In my life, it was my dad.. all the feels that were described in the book were pretty much the same painful feels that I had experienced in real life.. I was crying towards the end.. it was too spot on.. I can relate to Taylor and her family..big time...

And I just feel I can't write more, coz I am kinda emotionally drained.. Read the book, if it's Morgan Matson, it is a guarantee that it will be a perfect (summer) contemporary read...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: Swimming at Night (or also known as The Sea Sisters) by Lucy Clarke

Author: Lucy Clarke
Published: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Touchstone
Pages: 384
Rating: 4/5


Katie’s world is shattered by the news that her headstrong and bohemian younger sister, Mia, has been found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Bali. The authorities say that Mia jumped—that her death was a suicide.

Although they’d hardly spoken to each other since Mia suddenly left on an around-the-world trip six months earlier, Katie refuses to accept that her sister would have taken her own life. Distraught that they never made peace, Katie leaves her orderly, sheltered life in London behind and embarks on a journey to find out the truth. With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and—page by page, country by country—begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death. . . .

Weaving together the exotic settings and suspenseful twists of Alex Garland’s The Beach with a powerful tale of familial love in the spirit of Rosamund Lupton’s Sister, Swimming at Night is a fast-paced, accomplished, and gripping debut novel of secrets, loss, and forgiveness.

Deskynowsky's Review:

I really enjoyed this book.. I think I was in the right mood to read this kind of book.. a good choice for an Adult Contemporary Summer Read..

I bought this book without knowing what it was all about, the cover of the book drew me in and when I read the synopsis at the back, this book promised an adventure of traveling to some summery places in the world.. (well, the mentioned of Bali won me over tho.. haha).

Basically this book was about two sisters, Katie and Mia Greene. And one day, Katie received a phone call at night then a visit from some officials that informed her about her sister, Mia who was found dead in Bali. Long story short, Katie and Mia were not in the best relationship situation and for the last six months (when Mia started her traveling journey) were kinda no-significant-communication and cold. Then after the death of Mia, Katie got Mia's travel journal, marking and answering some important events in these sisters life that lead to Katie who then decided one day to follow her sister's journey, traveling around the world to find some answers following Mia's death which by officials announced as an act of suicide.

I really liked these books mainly because of the characters, the twists, the drama, and the plot. The characters were really intriguing and how then the story shaped the addictive drama plot that untangling the mystery surrounding Mia's death layer by layer. Some of the twists were pretty unpredictable too. At the end, I really enjoyed the traveling adventure story in the book. It was kinda Eat, Pray, Love but with mystery and drama and also someone died in this book.

At first I thought this book was going to be a crime mystery kind of book, but it was not.. It was more mystery, drama, contemporary read and it was perfect to read at the pool-side or at the beach.. :)

This book has other name too, I think Swimming at Night is the title for the American Market. The book's original name is The Sea Sisters, I think this one is for the UK market. And I really enjoyed Lucy Clarke's writing style, recently she has new book published called A Single Breathe, it sounds amazingly intriguing, I might check that out soon ;)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April, 12th 2012
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 324
Rating: 5/5


Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-Shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor...never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Deskynowsky's Review:


Possibly the best Rainbow Rowell's book I have read so far (the only book that I hvn't read from her is Landline, but I will read it soon)..

The story, the characters, the development were so hypnotizing.. There was something really classic, timeless, and super attractive about Eleanor and Park.. I can't say anything more, coz I personally found this book flawless! And the ending, tho it was kinda abrupt, but I couldn't help to smile and think what I think that would be.. It got to be it! *wink*

I WANT THIS BOOK TO BE MADE INTO A MOVIE! I even made this super quick fanvid of who I think will picture Eleanor and Park.. Check it out! Haha and tell me what you think XD

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio and The Julian Chapter (Wonder Novella) by R.J. Palacio

Author: R.J. Palacio
Published: January, 3rd 2013
Publisher: Corgi
Pages: 315
Rating: 5/5


You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My Name is August.

I won't describe what i look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

Deskynowsky's Review:

there are only few books that have made me cry so far or as far as I can remember..... TFIOS by John Green, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and now... I can proudly add Wonder by R.J. Palacio to the gloriously tear-jerking reading list..

Not like TFIOS or A Monster Calls which cause more sad-tears and then post-reading it, you feel like you need a self-reflection time to kinda absorb everything.. Wonder is so self-liberating.. It causes happy-tears and you are just touched and can not help to just feel loved..

Reading this book and knowing this character named August Pullman (Auggie), I love him so very much, it feels like you grew up with him throughout the story.. The story is beautiful, well-paced, great development on every character, and the writing style is wonderful, I just flew through it..

This book is told in multiple perspectives but with Auggie as the main POV, so other characters POVs are more like companion. But it works for the story, and it's so fascinating to read what is inside Auggie's head and others too.. How much love these characters have and give to one another...

It's such heart warming and happy tear-jerking kind of book.. Another perfect summer read.. highly RECOMMEND IT!!! Oh, I wish this book will be made into a movie.. it will be AMAZING!!!!

Author: R.J. Palacio
Published: May, 13th 2014
Publisher: Knoph Books
Pages: 84 (ebook)
Rating: 4/5


Over 1 million people have read Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian.

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder, it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking.

Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?

Deskynowsky's Review:

Julian... I have mixed-feelings about him... I didn't like him and just thought him as a plain bully with no remorse, and her mom too.. But post-reading Wonder, I just kinda want to know what happen to him.. I know this novella just came out recently, and I decided to get it and read it instantly... and I am happy I did it...

In this novella, we get to know more of The Albans family, Julian's Mom and Dad.. and then, my favorite, Julian's Grandmere... I love her!

This book is pretty short, I think it is less than 100 pages (I read it on my IPhone, so I'm not really sure), we can see the development of Julian's way of thinking, right from the first time he met Auggie until after the last scene at the end of Wonder.

What really happen of Julian, What was he thinking when he was being so mean to Auggie, What really come upon him after everything, Did he regret what he did to Auggie, etc etc etc.. This Novella will give the answer to you :) and at the end, I am kinda proud of Julian too <3

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Book Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Author: Jay Kristoff
Published: September 1st, 2012
Publisher: Tor
Pages: 451
Rating: 3/5

Griffins are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shogun, they fear that their lives are over. Everyone knows what happens to those who fail him, no matter how hopeless the task.

But the mission proves far less impossible, and far more deadly, than anyone expects – and soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled griffin for company. But trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and Buruu soon discover a friendship that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on the brink of collapse. A toxic fuel is slowly choking the land; the omnipotent, machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure; and the Shogun cares about nothing but his own dominion. Yukiko has always been uneasy in the shadow of power, when she learns the awful truth of what the Shogun has done, both to her country and to her own family she's determined to do something about it.

Returning to the city, Yukiko and Buruu plan to make the Shogun pay for his crimes – but what can one girl and a flightless griffin do against the might of an empire?

Deskynowsky's Review:
This is going to be totally subjective of me.... At the end, this book won me over and I ended up liking it.. *silent applause*

So lemme tell U this.. People who are Japanese, students of East Asian studies or Japanese Literature, huge fans of Japanese Mangas/Anime/Music/Drama/Film or like me who happened to grow up and still until today with Japanese entertainment medias (Mangas/Anime/Music/Drama/Film) so have enough/decent knowledge of everything Japanese.. Probably will criticize this book coz that was the first thing that I did when I read half way through the book..

Am not saying that I am an expert of Japanese culture because I am not.... But I think the author needs to do more in depth research on the general Japanese custom or culture during the feudal times where I think this book based on and twisted it with the steampunk touch and supernatural.. People who watch Anime and read Manga of Samurai X, Inuyasha, and Sakura Wars will understand what I am really saying here.. The fist wrapping thing, I never seen that custom on any Japanese customary in feudal times or any time.. I believe it is more the custom in Chinese martial arts.. Then I kinda have problem with the name calling, you guys who learn or have learned Japanese calling hierarchy must know how complex this thing.. Yeah, so in the first half, I found the name calling in the book was not what I expected esp when I already used to read or watch Japanese mangas or animes or tv series or movies.. So it was really hard not to compare it..

I also have problem with the writing style, it was too over descriptive so it felt meaningless at some point.. This book had a really slow and dragging development.. And almost ALMOST cheesy in the romance department..

And you guys, this book had REALLY DIFFICULT Japanese terminologies! I was saved because I used to these terms coz I was kinda grew up with it (watched animes since I was a baby maybe) and I did learn Japanese language for two years.. But for people who don't have the knowledge, It will confuse you, but there was Glossary at the back of the book which I just realized after like 150ish pages into it.. Hmm.. Just a mild reminder for U who want to read the book.. There is Glossary at the back.

So why a quite high rating.. When I could overlook all those flaws, this book was pretty engaging.. I probably started enjoying it after halfway through it.. The story did get better and had faster pace than the first half of the book.. Tho the writing style was still kinda too over descriptive that kinda gave me a headache.. The romance, when you think it was going to fall to cheesy category with "the beautiful boy with green eyes", you are wrong.. And Kin, I like this character way more than the female protagonist who was also the main character in the book.. I personally like Kin so very much, I think his story was really interesting and I wish for more of him.. And I also like the world building so far.. The ending was kinda satisfying and cliffhanger-ish at the same time that make you were wondering "and what happen next"..

So that was my review.. At the end I enjoyed it and liked it too.. Can't wait to read the sequel!!! (Hope there will be more of Kin.....) :)