Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

The only reason I got myself to spend money and spend time on this book is curiosity. It was one of the top ten bestseller's list on National Bookstore and any other bookstores here in the Philippines. Probably because the author herself did a tour here in our country but also maybe she's good, let's be generous on compliments.

I'm not saying she's not good, in fact i'm planning to buy her other titles which are Delirium and Pandemonium. I'm just not yet convinced, that's all.

Shall we begin?


The story is about Samantha Kingston. She has 3 best friends: Lindsay, Ally and Elody. The four of them are the most popular girls in school. In this book, Samantha dies. And she gets to relive the same day of her death for a whole week. She's been given a chance to right the wrongs in her life, the inevitable suicide of Juliet Sykes(the girl they've always been bullying), the true colors of her boyfriend(Rob) and Kent McFuller, her longtime childhood playmate/best friend.

The book is really easy to read, you really don't need a dictionary because the words used are very simple and light. I guess the target of this book are the preteen/tween and adolescent girls who don't read that much, based on the book's theme. I'm pretty sure boys would get a little bored or weirded-out if they try to read this.

The only thing that keeps you going-on on reading is the same reason I bought this book: curiosity. I found it bland and typical but there's something about it that's so consuming, so in-the-moment feel. I loved the quotable quotes too. Jay Asher was right when he said: "You'll have no choice but to tear through this book!"

Until now I'm still curious about some specific things in the book, did the last day meant to be the very reality of her death or those 7 days of rewind was just some sort of her closure to life?

Nonetheless, good read!

North of Everything by Craig Crist-Evans

I bought this at a BOOKSALE in a mall where we frequent. It cost me 40pesos. Great find, yes!

Told in free verse poems, this book is about a boy and his family moving to Montpelier, Vermont from Miami, Florida. The story revolves around the changes that was occurring every change of season. From having a new baby sister to learning about his father having cancer, the coming of his death and their adjustment to the situation.

Though the story might be that simple and cliched, it was written in a way where the reader will have sincere sympathy throughout this boy's narration. You don't even know his name and the poems are somewhat simple and not written in a way where it will require you time to decode. I read it for less than 20 minutes and I'm very happy, a quick escape to the reality of other people, drama to the simplest manner of narration. I am not disappointed.

"Once in a while--rarely--does one close a book, sigh, and feel goose bumps. This happens in North of Everything--a touching, heart-rending story that adds to Craig Crist-Evan's great and growing contributions to young adult literature." --Lee Bennett Hopkins

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

From the looks of this book, you'll know it's something different. Beyond what's already out there. They said you can't judge a book by its cover but with this one you can. Even the publishing house of this book which is, QUIRK BOOKS, Philadelphia... gives you a hint. Well the book's really quirky, to tell you honestly.

Let's begin.

This book starts with a prologue where our main character Jacob Portman narrates his life and his grandfather's life. Upon the death of his grandfather, he convinced his parents to let him travel to a Welsh island where his grandfather had been as a child, in care of Miss Peregrine.

He went to the island with his father who is an aspiring ornithologist. During their 2-week stay, Jacob and his father had different businesses to do in the island, Jacob in search of the house Miss Peregrine runs while his dad is occupied with the birds of Cairnhorn(island's name) so they only see each other either at breakfast or at dinner.

Jacob almost didn't find the whereabouts of Miss Peregrine, until Emma, the used-to-be paramour/sweetheart of his dead grandfather, showed up.

And the rest of the story? Well, it was worth my time reading it. I'm sure it's worth yours too. *wink*

This novel is gripping, Mr. Ransom had me ransomed 'til the very end of it. Filled with photographs that are just as hauntingly captivating as well, not to mention its undeniable history because they happen to be REAL AUTHENTIC VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHS from which the author had selected from collections.

This book... it was adventure to the very last photograph.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

To tell you honestly, this book is quite depressing. I'm telling you this not of the intention of stealing the experience away from you but to tell you bluntly, you're going to want the sadness as much as the whole story-line, characters and John's witty and insightful narration. This book is the holy grail of YA novels, so far. This and The Fault in Our Stars, also by John Green.

(Disclaimer: I have read quite a few, I'm a teenager, I love all the YA novels and I understand some may not fully agree when I say it's the holy grail of YA novels, but really, IT IS.)

Here's how the story goes:

Miles Halter went to Culver Creek Boarding School in search for a life that's something more, something more than he was. He was looking for his "Great Perhaps" (he is somewhat obsessed with reading biography books and Last Words before the death of a certain famous person, and so, Great Perhaps is a Last Word that inspired him to pursue Culver Creek).

Upon his arrival, he met Chip Martin(his roommate). Miles immediately became a part of Chip's posse and they call him Pudge(for whatever reason I don't quite understand, but okay). And Chip is called the Colonel (because he's sort of the tactical leader of the group).

Pudge met Alaska Young
(because I'm selfish and I already told you that the book is depressing but the kind of depressing you want to feel, I'm not going to further describe Alaska here, the book will tell you all about her)

The Colonel, Takumi(a foreign student of Japanese decent) and Alaska have been long-time close friends in Culver Creek. They've been doing pranks every year, something to spice up the boring atmosphere of the said boarding school. Since Pudge is one of them, they let him in on everything including these epic epic pranks. That's when Pudge realized that his Great Perhaps has begun.

Something terrible happened and that's the "after" part of the book. That part is the depressing part, like they say, you take the good with the bad. That's what I did and with it, I found wisdom you can never really get anywhere else unless you read the book or experience the same thing in your life. 

The "before" is light, happy and amazing. It's like John Green gave you a set of the coolest friends you will ever meet then he takes them away.

I love this book so much and this review might not give enough justice to it, forgive me. I just finished reading it last night and the emotions are overwhelming. You get sucked in right to their world as soon as you start reading, even after reading it, you can't help but go back there a few more times. I feel bad I didn't get this book when I first saw it back when I was just 13 y/o. I had the misconception that it was about two teenage hobos who wants to go to Alaska. I was wrong. I was wrong like when I thought of life like it's just about living and breathing.

Life is choosing the Labyrinth, even when it blows. It's about dealing with the suffering. It's about surviving it every second of the day. It's seeing past through it and focusing on just living it and staying free of all the personal issues we cage inside.