Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

Jerusha 'Judy' Abbott is a 17-year-old John Grier Home orphan who was given an opportunity to attend college by an anonymous sponsor. This sponsor is a Trustee of the orphanage. 

He happened upon Blue Wednesday, Judy's feisty essay mocking the system in which John Grier Home is run, and was deeply amused. The only payment he asks of Judy is a detailed letter of her personal and academic life every month.

The sole encounter with the generous mysterious man Judy recalls is from when he was leaving JGH. Strong headlights of his car driven by the chauffeur silhouetted his tall figure. This influenced her to call him Daddy-Long-Legs.

This epistolary novel first published in the early 20th century introduces a loquaciously spirited voice of a very fortunate young lady.

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My very first 'Judy Abbott' experience is the cartoons version that used to be on the television every morning. Of course, I wasn't able to follow through to the end because school started. Also, did you know that I always had this idea that the anonymous sponsor is Judy's father? I was wrong and disappointed it did not turn out that way.

Judy exudes a reckless, honest, aggressive, flawed and vivacious personality. Her letters resonates of youth that is beyond timeless. The narration seemed very authentic that I did not question once if it was really written by a teenager.

My disappointment is mainly on the fact that Judy wasn't set free by the education she received but bought for instead. I know it's a debatable and rather a detestable thought but if you think about how she ended up with a man several years her senior, a man who spoiled her lavishly, a man who tried to control her every choice... you might see my point.

The author (who happens to be the grand niece of Mark Twain, so I heard) styled the story this way, in my opinion, to portray Daddy-Long-Legs as the proverbial knight-in-shining-armor to a gritty maiden in need of someone to belong to.

Although I was taken aback with the ending, I still like it! Also, this book is considered a YA. What a cherry to our cobbler! 


The Every Boy by Dana Adam Shapiro

A treasure this pirate has discovered from BOOKSALE! I got this book for only 60 pesos. 

There was a silver seal inside that says "LIBRARY OF PAUL DEBONIS". At first I thought it was an award-kind-of stamp like the Printz but I searched the internet and it wasn't. Also, there weren't anything relevant enough that justifies whether this book belonged to the few Paul Debonis' that I found. Very mysterious. Very intriguing.

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Henry Every has had a very complicated childhood. His relationship with his nothing-short-of stubborn and stern of a father can be described as 'difficult'.

One day, he dies.

His mother discovers a ledger and hands it to his father. This ledger contains the life he has lived and what influenced his untimely death.

EVERYone must read this philosophical experience of an insightful boy who died just when he's starting to discover the world.

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One of the monumental quotes of this book contains the idiom 'can't see the forest for the trees' which means 'not being able to see the bigger picture'.

What a melancholic, complicated, confusing, coming-of-age experience! I tell you, this is a heavily jargoned book. I hated and loved it but mostly hated it because the momentum of my reading was continuously disturbed as I fumble for my lifesaver, my dictionary.

I don't understand how cruel authors can be. Mr. Shapiro tried so hard to make The Every Boy a literary piece that it got me wondering whether the book would even be considered a literary piece. He deliberately killed his own protagonist the exact moment it was becoming a happy-ending. He just had to serve us, loyal readers, a bitter aftertaste.

Though from the very beginning, we knew the boy we are reading about is dead. Yet I rooted for him. So much feelings. So much investment. This book is like a bad love affair that scarred you so much you're still in love with it.


Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

Althea Crawley is in deep need of financial help as she is relying solely on her ungrateful step-sisters to support their whole family.

Alas! Lord Boring, the handsomest richest most eligible bachelor arrives. He is said to be hosting a ball and his best friend for like evs Mr. Fredericks is said to attend. 

Althea with her mother and step sissies attend the ball. They are all charmed with Lord Boring as he is quite the antonym of his name. Although Althea is quite vexed with Mr. Fredericks' conservative nature. She quickly succumbs to prejudice and decides that she doesn't like him.

Is there truly something more to Mr. Fredericks or did he deserved the prejudgment?

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A lighter version of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, Keeping the Castle makes the former an easier experience for today's readers to understand its essence. Though in my opinion, nothing can contend with Pride and Prejudice.


The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

Colby and Bev has been the best of friends since time immemorial. While on a longed-for post-senior year The Disenchanments' band tour/road trip, their relationship experiences a setback as Colby discovers that Bev's future plans has changed.

Along the road, Colby tries to understand the girl he thought he knew as well as finding a new master plan for himself.

Together with their closest friends Meg and Alexa, a coming-of-age story of getting lost, redeeming oneself and friendship enchants us through The Disenchantments.

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It was a good story, worthwhile of anyone's time especially if YA is your taste in books as I am. I liked that The Disenchantments, the band, was a horrible band. I don't know why but it has that amusing quality to it. It seemed authentic in a way. I love the tragic oh-so-dramatic story behind Bev's self-destructive personality. I love Colby's nerdy wide-eyed helplessly-in-love boy aura. I love Meg's spunky best-supporting-role character and Alexa's quirky cutesy nature.

But let us focus more on Meg here because she has a lot to her than one can surreptitiously notice. I think she is secretly in love with Colby but she'll rather hold back and let him be happy with Bev because she is just this awesome girl-next-door who is mature and has a lot of adventure in her anyway. That notion is bittersweet. Amidst the whole dilemma of Colby and Bev, she stood out to me.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Told in a sequence of emails and the narration of Bernadette's teenage daughter Bee, we meddle into the life of an eccentric, gutsy and excessively feisty woman that is Bernadette Fox.

Discover the reasons behind her sudden disappearance and find out if Bernadette is certainly gone for good.

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Where'd You Go Bernadette is undeniably, easily and absolutely one of my favorite books! This is my kind of book. Witty, humorous, satirical, sarcastic and 'bitchy'. Yes, bitchy! And not the bad kind that you hate, it's the kind that you inexplicably adore. Bernadette is truly a hell of a character.

 I conclude that Maria Semple is an enthusiastic storyteller. The novel screams of literary but it was so interactive and fun that it seems to be juvenile fiction to most. Although, I'll always be proud of saying that the best books are in the YA genre.


Abandon Changes by John M. Cusick

A free short story I happened upon in Kobo.

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A mysterious package is asked of Rei, a smart teenage messenger, to deliver to a mysterious girl.

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It was intriguing enough, especially her struggle with romance on the side, but Abandon Changes is not for everyone. Not for me, at least.


Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Butter is the nickname given to a 423-pound boy by the bullies who forced him to eat a stick of it (butter!). After the horrible incident, our overweight protagonist has never been called by his first name again.

In the midst of being coaxed into joining the school band by the music teacher and SaxMan (his chatroom anonymous identity) making a promise to the girl of his dreams to finally meet-up with in New Year's, Butter veered into his own suicidal plot.

He sets up a website (ButtersLastMeal.com) where he will dine his way to death.

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Favorite lines:


A good novel with a great character. It was a portal to a lonely boy's world and how it felt like to be unwanted or ridiculed. Butter's humorous demeanor made it light to the audience. Otherwise, it would have been a never-ending sob story. I would give it 4 stars if I were the kind of person who gives stars.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I never really thought I'd give this much interest to a middle grade fiction.

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August 'Auggie' Pullman has a rare condition which is Treacher-Collins Syndrome (a craniofacial deformality). All his life he's been home-schooled but one day Auggie's mother starts to consider enrolling him in Beecher Prep. Auggie and his daddy disliked the idea but were finally convinced later on.

The boy was invited for an interview by the Beecher Prep principal, Mr. Lawrence Tushman. He was also introduced to three incoming 5th graders who toured him around the school.

Wonder, narrated by the different characters in the book, is a warm story about a boy and his struggle with being completely different.

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I appreciated how sincere Wonder was. It touched sensitive elements that are difficult to touch. Of course, the target readers would be children so the portrayal is important. 

And you know, not only the children but teens and adults are reading this too.

My favorite parts are from Justin's narration.

miranda's words keep coming back: the universe was not kind to auggie pullman.

i'm thinking about that a lot and everything it means. she's right about that. the universe was not kind to auggie pullman. what did that little kid ever do to deserve his sentence? what did the parents do? or olivia? she once mentioned that some doctor told her parents that the odds of someone getting the same combination of syndromes that came together to make auggie's face were like one in four million. so doesn't that make the universe a giant lottery, then? you purchase a ticket when you're born. and it's all just random whether you get a good ticket or a bad ticket. it's all just luck.

my head swirls on this, but then softer thoughts soothe, like a flatted third on a major chord. no, no, it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn't. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can't see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have always wanted to read The Book Thief since 2012 but found it hard to will myself to. I guess I was intimidated and/or got the wrong impression about its genre. The Book Thief doesn't sound far from The Lightning Thief anyway. I made a rash judgment.

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Narrated by a sort-of-a grim reaper in a cleverly sarcastic fashion, we plunge into the life of Liesel Meminger.

When Liesel arrived at Himmel Street, she is reluctant and defiant at first but warms up shortly to her adoptive parents (the quirky Hubermanns). Hans Hubermann is a painter/nicotine-addict who served Germany in World War 1. Rosa Hubermann on the other hand, a loud curse-like-a-sailor woman, works as a laundress to the elite side of their town.

Liesel's best friend is Rudy Steiner, a mischievous lemon-haired boy who has always been her partner-in-crime. A Jew arrives to ask for help. The Jew knocks on the Hubermann's door and inquires if Hans is willing to keep his old promise. Meanwhile, our protagonist develops a knack for stealing books.

In this Nazi-era setting, Liesel's life leading up to her adolescence is an amalgamation of fleeting events that leads us to a destined end.

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My favorite quote:


Another fantastic Nazi-setting historical fiction! It wouldn't have worked incredibly if we got a different attack to the narration. The book came out as something dark and dramatic but also remained familiar and plausible. I was irrevocably overwhelmed when I finished it. 

It was Rudy's character that bothered me the most.

The movie version is out next month - November! Here's to hoping it lives up to the book (even in a remote fraction because come on, people always say the book version is better!)


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris by her father who is a renowned tragic-love-stories' author. Upon her arrival in School of America in Paris (or SOAP), she befriends Meredith and instantly becomes a part of the posse. She meets Etienne St. Claire, a handsome English boy who she starts having feelings for.

But Meredith also, has deep-seated feelings for St. Claire! To top it all off, St. Claire is still with his long standing girlfriend, Ellie!

Will Anna get her desired 'French kiss'?

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I was being all high and mighty avoiding books like these but you know, I regret it. I regret staying away from cutesy teeny love stories because I loved Anna and the French Kiss! I don't know what's wrong up there in Hollywood but this should have been a movie by now. The story has a strong power of dragging emotions out. When I say that - 'strong power of dragging emotions out' - about a book, it means i'm immensely satisfied. Because in that case, for a time being, everything about the story was real to me.

My favorite line from Anna's character is: "You weren't alone, asshole.

That was so epic.


Geography Club by Brent Hartinger

Russel discovers that he's not the only gay person in their little town. He agrees to a meet-up with a boy he came across online. This boy turns out to be Kevin, the uber attractive jock that he's been crushing on since forever.

Suddenly, Russell finds more people within the LGBT gender. They form a support group and disguises it as the Geography Club.

And what about the outcast Brian Bund? Does he belong to Geography Club?

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This is one of my favorite gay teen fiction. Geography Club has a sincere and friendly atmosphere in it that charmed me enough to overlook the plot's lack of intensity. The narration was very clever.

I can't wait for the movie version!


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Forbidden, an incestuous love story of Maya and Lochan, portrays the struggle of two people who has no one else to rely on but each other. Growing up with a stuck-in-the-past irresponsible drunkard mother and three younger siblings, our protagonists' tale dramatically unfolds to an unexpected end.

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This Tabitha Suzuma novel has a high rating on Goodreads. I don't know what or how to feel. The story is alien to me, the situation is many things. It is repulsing, endearing, vomit-inducing, romantic, etc. I am confused. Terribly.

The message of course is, 'romantic love may be universal'. It made me over-analyze the psychological aspects though it didn't fully convince me as an excuse to their 'love'. To me, it wasn't enough to push the two of them past the familial boundary. Call me a prude. Forbidden is a book that lives up to its title.

As if the whole book wasn't controversial enough, the ending just had to be unspeakable. With its unconventional love story, the Vatican will surely forbid young readers to read Forbidden (or not if they all react similarly as I did).


Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Porto Vergogna is a spec of an island in Italy where The Adequate View is located. Pasquale Tursi whose father died just recently inherits this isolated hotel.

The ambitious Pasquale is working on his minuscule beach when he realizes that The Adequate View has a surprise guest! A beautiful American actress who is terribly sick landed on the young man's turf.

50 years to the future in the city of angels (LA), Claire Silver is on the brink of quitting her job when an old Italian guy and a 30-year-old man shows up at work.

In the hopes of encountering a good movie concept this time, Claire decides to hold on a bit longer. When her boss Michael Deane arrives, he is instantly in terrible shock upon seeing this old Italian guy.

The four of them takes a journey (literal) that will soon define who they are and how their lives turn out to be! 

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This book is an explosion of flavors. I got Italian/American culture, 60's celebrity gossips, humor, wit, midlife crisis, riveting and heavy drama, frustrated writer, porn addiction, plastic surgery PLUS so much more! You can tell that this seasoned author has had a lot of experience in life, either that or he's just an excellent narrator of other people's comic tragedies. I'd prefer to believe the former.

It took a while before I finished Beautiful Ruins, maybe it's because it was something far from what I usually read. I loved the book, there were boring parts but oh the nostalgia and catastrophe rammed in one interweaving story. It is so diverse and unexpected.

No wonder Emma Roberts and Taylor Swift decided to read it too.


The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

And yet another treasure found from BOOKSALE! Can you ever believe my luck?

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Jakob Kuisl is the official hangman of Schongau (a town in Bavaria). There has been a sudden commotion in Schongau. A boy has been found dead and incidentally has the witch's mark on him!

The town goes berserk as rumors of witchcraft spread.

Martha Stechlin, a midwife who brought Jakob's children to being, is the main suspect. She was immediately held in captive and due for stating a confession that would determine whether she will be burned at stake.

Meanwhile, Johann Lechner (court clerk) is provoked to act upon the matter swiftly for he does not want things to get out of hand as it did seventy years ago. Half of the women of Schongau were burned at stake seventy years ago, everyone was accused of being a witch.

The hangman strongly believes that Martha is innocent. Although he understands what the court clerk's intentions are, he couldn't help but meddle in the case.

Together with his daughter Magdalena's swain (Simon Fronwieser, the town physician's son), Jakob delves in deeper in this medieval mystery crime!

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I like it as much as I didn't like it. I have mixed feelings about this international bestseller. The prolonged agony of reading this book is tiresome. It was all too much but all too little. I don't really know what I want from this, really. It's just that, though I've enjoyed the medieval feel of it and having to encounter words such as doublet, tankard & wench, I needed something more emotional. The title as well is a little too misleading. Halfway through, I was thinking 'ooh, Magdalena is the witch! She is!'.

It's not a disappointment. It was still worthwhile.


She's Dating the Gangster by Bianca B. Bernardino

This was recommended to me by Tanny!

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Athena Dizon just arrived from Korea and recently got enrolled in Southwell High School.

Kenji, Southwell's very own gangster-looking bad boy heartthrob, meets Athena.

Coincidentally, Kenji's ex-girlfriend (whom he is not over yet) is named Athena 'Abigail' Tizon.

Somehow Kenji manages to persuade Athena into helping him get Abigail back. Unfortunately, the two develops feelings for each other.

Will Athena date this gangster for real? Join in the bandwagon and read on!

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A one-hit Wattpad success this is! She's Dating the Gangster is a crossbreed among Meteor Garden/Boys over Flowers, Romeo & Juliet and A Walk to Remember. We had our generic falling-for-the-bad-boy hate-love relationship plunged into a fast-paced whirlwind of events. It was all too unbelievable for a 144-page book but the charm and the pull of the story was evident.

This book is a total hit with the Pinoy youth. I just hope the production companies are smart enough to recognize this and buy the movie rights already... and fast!


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Only an author with the name of "rainbow" can make such a marvelous love story like Eleanor & Park.

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Eleanor, an eccentric and chubby redhead encounters a Korean boy named Park in the school bus.

Although their first impressions of each other were negative, their friendship improves while the story progresses. They easily became fond of each other despite the conflicting circumstances they are in.

Soon enough, they are falling in love!

Now why is Eleanor reluctant of their blooming relationship?

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The ending is just... I have no words for it! I was impatient because I had to read 58 chapters of Eleanor & Park, it was that long. I want to finish it fast, I want to know what happens in the end immediately. I almost gave up but something told me it would be worth the eye stress.

And I tell you, it was well worth every eye cramp! I could live another 58 chapters for that ending. Those endings make my life meaningful.


The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

It was early 2012 when I first read The Finishing School by Gail Godwin. According to some of the people from the Goodreads community, The Finishing School is a complete rip-off of Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

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Miss Jean Brodie, a sophisticated and cultured teacher of Marcia Blaine school, has decided to consume her prime years to prepare her chosen girls into becoming the creme de la creme.

Marcia Blaine is a conservative Scottish school for girls. Miss Mackay, the headmistress, has made it clear several times that she does not approve of Miss Brodie's unconventional methods of teaching.

Miss Jean Brodie and her set of girls faces the trials that befalls them. But the joyful years won't stay for long because soon, one of Miss Brodie's precious girls will betray her.

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While I've enjoyed reading The Finishing School, I cannot blame people if they think the book's concept was borrowed. There may be numerous similarities between the two novels but I dare announce, they are not at all the same.

There are many sociological/philosophical subjects tackled in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Subjects like Calvinism was deeply discussed. What I hated about the novel is how flat the narration was. I couldn't quite point a finger on it. Was it the sequence or the pace of the story that made it bland? I wasn't completely overcome with emotion when major points of the plot was revealed. You just know it when you should have.

What I love about this book is Miss Brodie and Sandy. The multi-faceted Miss Brodie, a hypocritical and delusional woman, is a kind of character that is hard to execute in a novel. Together with another conflicting personality like Sandy who is insightful and high on morals, I would say that this is definitely a story worth reading.

Lastly, I have watched the incredible movie adaptation in Alan95Haitch's Youtube channel. Maggie Smith and Pamela Franklin was a perfect match!


Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

A truly amazing novel. I saw this one at Powerbooks but ignored it. Afterwards, I read in a blog somewhere how great this book is. I returned for it but the employees couldn't find it. Alas! We were ready to give up and leave. Then miraculously, they've found it! One of the employees even joked, "Hope was really here!"

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Hope Yancey, whose mom is elsewhere the majority of her life, has hit another dead end. She and her lifelong partner Aunt Addie are forced to move from Brooklyn, New York to Mulhoney, Wisconsin.

Now the waitress/chef duo, challenging as it may seem to be, is ready to face the next chapter of their lives!

They are set to work at "Welcome Stairways", a diner owned by mayoral candidate/cancer stricken G.T. Stoop.

Meanwhile, Hope's (whose name used to be Tulip) relationship with the good-looking cook Braverman is escalating.

Will G.T. Stoop win the elections? Will Hope find her real father? Will Hope & Braverman take it to the next level? What about Aunt Addie? Doesn't she deserve a love life too?

Don't lose hope, find it all out in Hope Was Here!

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One of my favorite lines in the book:
Addie never promised that life would be easy, but she did promise that if I hung around with her the food would be good.

I've read so many blogs who praised Joan Bauer so much for her writing. Now I join the cult! This book is so refreshingly witty and humorous without trying too hard. It is sincere to its genre. Joan knows how to use her characters so well, the dialogues bounces off the page. This one's a contemporary classic. Hope Was Here is just something that won't go old with the readers. No wonder after ten years, they took pride in re-releasing the book with this artsy diner-themed cover.

There's a reason why I came back for this book. Whatever it might be, I am convinced that it has somehow to do with 'hope' and holding on. I'm glad I held on. This is one of the best I've read this year.


When my beloved YA authors tweet/retweet me...

This is actually a long overdue blog post but don't fret my friends for now I am finally sharing with you my Twitter interactions with these fantastic authors!



Gigi Amateau (author of Claiming Georgia Tate) is following me on Twitter!




On December 2012, Tom Leveen (author of Party and Zero) retweeted, tweeted and followed me on Twitter! I think that was very cool of him. I am a big fan of Party! Also, Jennifer Wolf tweeted me back!



Lucy Christopher (renowned author of Stolen) tweeted and retweeted me!



Tara Altebrando, author of The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life, tweeted me!



Jodi Lynn Anderson (author of Peaches) favorited a photo I tweeted!



And lastly, not in a million years would I ever think that THE Elizabeth Scott will respond to me. She's the author of Love You Hate You Miss You, the very first book I reviewed for this blog.


This is just a compilation for memory's sake. I really would not like to come off as someone who's bragging about this little recognition that I got. Although, I am very overwhelmed that these authors who I dream to become like one day shows how much they care.

Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend by Cassie Mae (A.K.A. Becca Ann)

I was looking for a good book to read and this popped out of nowhere. Since I saw the good reviews it got from Goodreads, I pursued it.

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Brody has always been in love with the girlfriend (Quynn) of his douchebag of an older brother Gabe. Now that Gabe and Quynn has broken up, Brody is getting ready to take over his brother.

The confusion begins soon after Brody notices his sign-language class partner, Haylie. Though Haylie is fat, she has a great personality that Brody can't help but fall for.

Haylie is known to be a matchmaking savant among her friends so she convinces Brody to let her help him out with him and Quynn.

Suddenly, Brody is torn between the girl he always had a crush on and the girl who makes him laugh.

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There are parts when Brody's narration got too annoying (maybe guys really think highly and obsessively of the girl they like this way... or not) but I've got to give it to Cassie/Becca for creating such an entertaining, if not yet too cliche, read.

This is the kind of book fat girls would want to read (I am a fat girl myself). Maybe not just even the fat girls, all the girls with insecurities and low self-esteem out there would find this book gosh darn awesomesauce!

The author got it right. She got the kind of boy we all wish is out there.


Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

The story was a generic of The Princess Diaries.

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Samantha Rousseau is happy living her simple life. Though there are struggles to be dealt with, she's contented with getting by.

Prince Alex D'Lysanal together with his aunt arrives from their kingdom Lilaria.

Her whole life will be heading to a different direction upon having dinner with the royals of Lilaria.

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Goodreads readers rated this book 4.08 out of 5 stars. I bluntly disagree.

Reasons why I think it's too pretentious:
  • It didn't convince me that there is such a place called Lilaria.
  • Samantha's "I can't be a princess. I don't want the fame and the wealth and the responsibility and oh the prince, I can't be in love with him!" character is beyond exaggerated. (Wake up girly! you're being too unrealistic, everyone wants to be a princess)
  •  The romance was fake. It was too fast, too made-up. No one will fall in love just like that, it was all lust. I hope the author just built the romance up with brilliant dialogue.
  • The love-making part went graphic.


The Bermuda Triangle by Charles Berlitz

My Dutch neighbor Brother Lou (Laurence is his real name though) is lending me his Charles Berlitz book collection. It's very generous of him, indeed.

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A well-researched book about the mystery and controversy of the 'Bermuda Triangle', Charles Berlitz has made a terrific job at this extensive collection of cases in his book The Bermuda Triangle.

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While I was engrossed by reading this, I sort of knew which conclusion it would led me to believe. Berlitz of course, was never biased in his narrations. Be that as it may, the most convincing factor why people are being taken away is 'alien abduction'.

Either that or it's the ancient Atlantean's crystal power outlet buried beneath the waters!


Lizzie Goes Wild

I've had this book for a really long time. I forgot whether a friend bought me this (if she did, thank you) or I bought this (if I did, thank you self). Long story short, I was bored and read it for the heck of it!

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Lizzie Goes Wild contains two short stories. The first one is about Lizzie going wild and the other one is about Gordo being a rat pack cool dude!

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I don't even know why i'm jotting this here. It may seem inconsequential but it counts for me. I miss Lizzie McGuire!



Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

This. Book. Is. The. Book.

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Lucy has long been searching for her dream guy Shadow, a talented graffiti artist that captivated Lucy through his street-art.

Ed, a high school dropout, is Shadow.

Will Lucy find Shadow? Will the street-art reveal Shadow? Will her expectations be met? Will this relationship work despite Lucy and Ed's compromising past?

Read Graffiti Moon and be captivated like I was!

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Another amazing Australian YA! Fresh story-line and inspiring characters. I am just in love.


The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

Yeah yeah, I said I didn't like it but what can I do? I have the books already!

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And the Ruby Oliver saga continues as conflicts with her ex-best-friends and ex-boyfriend continues! Also the search for potential boyfriend is on like donkey kong!

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This is possibly the lamest review for the Ruby Oliver series.


The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Alas! After a long long time, i'm finally updating my blog. You might be wondering where I went. Well, that's not important. I'M BACK!

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The Boyfriend List is Ruby Oliver's enumeration of all the boys who are somewhat/completely/almost/could-have-been involved in her topsy-turvy life!

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A one-sentence book review! There's a first for everything.

This book reminds me a lot of An Abundance of Katherines, which is also an enumeration type of story (and has fun-facts/footnotes too). I didn't really enjoy the book like I thought I would. Maybe i'm growing out of the genre (not YA per se, just the chick-lit-YA type). Though, I will admit I would have adored it four years ago.


Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Believe it or not, it was last year when I bought this book. I picked it even though there were many other books the all-too-knowing saleslady recommended. All good things in due time, or not. I was saving Chopsticks for a rainy day.

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This is a novel about Glory Fleming (piano prodigy) and Francisco Mendoza's (a new foreign neighbor of Glory's) abstract love affair.

Narrated in pictures, this visually engaging album will bewitch readers to go back and forth through the pages until they've finally satisfied themselves with a conclusion.

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I am not going to rob the other readers of the 'full Chopsticks experience' so i'm restraining myself into fully recounting the events that lies ahead. 

However, I am also here to tell 'my experience' and my personal opinion.
(if you haven't read it yet, do not go further than this parenthesis)

  1. There is no Willard Dunn School for Boys. Willard Dunn is the Chief Administrator of Golden Hands Rest Facility. I discovered it because I recognized the 'golden hands' logo in a pamphlet on the last few pages before the book ends. Also, if you look at the very first newspaper clipping of this book, a picture of Golden Hands' building is attached (you won't really know or care at the beginning, a phase where you're still clueless).
  2. All the paintings, books, trinkets and whatnot are Glory's. None of it were Frank's (as we all know now what Frank is). She was the one who drew them all as well. The F. Mendoza signature is void! Please refer to the last few pages, look carefully.
  3. Yes, it was Glory who had sewn the lettering of the boxer's name at the back of the boxer's robe. The robe which we are talking about is actually a gift from her father and not Frank! (admit it, we've all assumed it was him who gave it)
  4. The Julio Iglesias records are Golden Hands' property.
  5. Glory is an insomniac.
  6. Watch out for phrases like "This place is a hellhole", "PIENSA EN MI" and yours truly's personal favorite... "Tu hermano no tiene testiculos." (for an imaginary person, this one's got feisty attitude)

Questions and conclusions
  • Did Jo Ann Castle really gave Glory that autograph dating 12/5 (the year is another question, but this was the day she went missing) with a dedication saying "NO GUTS, NO GLORY"? If so, she might be the one who pushed Glory to elope (with herself!)
  • If Frank was really a figment of the imagination, how can the book explain their pictures together? Especially the ones when they went to Coney Island (the book's cover is nothing but a Coney Island fantasy?!)
  • If Frank is 'not real' then who did Glory lost her virginity to?!
  • Conclusion, the book is more or less letting the readers decide as stated on the mini-excerpt at the back. But they should also know that what they provide is what we get and what they've provided is this... when Frank's face showed up in the sticker of a Francisco de Mendoza wine bottle and in Glory's handwriting were "♥F" at the very last page, it was clear as day that none of it was ever true except maybe what Glory thought to be true (since, in my guess, this book is her personal 'mental patient' memoir)


Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

This book was suggested by a blog for those who are looking for novels that are similar to John Green's.

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Please Ignore Vera Dietz is a story about a girl who is coping with the death of her downtrodden alcoholic best friend.

Living her teenage life with a parsimonious father who pushed her to work at Pagoda Pizza instead of Zimmerman's Pet Store (where her heart really was), growing up the way she wants to becomes the hardest task of all.

What did really happen between Vera and her best-friend-in-the-whole-world Charlie Kahn? What were the events before his death? And is it possibly connected to the burning down of Zimmerman's Pet Store?

Don't ignore Vera Dietz and read Please Ignore Vera Dietz!

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KUDOS to this book for being interactively charming.  The narration is witty and the experience is superb. 

I felt the push and pull between the friendship of Vera and Charlie. It was very realistic and full of human emotions. It was sad how the two of them needed saving. They could have saved each other. I have made up several versions in my head. Of course, the outcome's always happy. But it wasn't how the book really ended and I keep coming back and every time I do, it's just regret and something else I feel.

I'm not so contented with the ending. I want people to get their pay. I am vengeful. I accept that about me. I am full of human emotions too. I want a short continuation. Or an alternative.

Maybe I've grown way too attached with this book. Maybe i'm such a hopeless romantic. Maybe that's why I keep going back. Maybe it's not regret and something else I feel but obsessive-compulsive-for-happy-endings. Maybe I want redemption for love lost. Maybe that was my 'something else'. For broken people to find self-redemption in finding love.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Remarkable. My time wasn't wasted. In fact, it was time well-spent.

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From the timeline of World War 2, an account of two teenage girls' battle with the aftermath of their unfortunate fate is laid in narration.

Best friends Kittyhawk (Margaret "Maddie" Brodatt, a pilot) and Verity (Lady Julia Lindsay MacKenzie Wallace Beaufort-Stuart a.k.a Eva Seiler, a spy) is a sensational team of two brave young ladies.

When Maddie dropped Julia in Ormaie (fictional place in France where she is sent as an undercover), neither of them thought how hapless both of them would soon become.

Julia was caught and held captive at Chateau de Bordeaux (an old hotel turned into a prison cell). She is tortured by Engel, Thibaut and their boss, von Linden to extract confidential information. She does it by writing endlessly the tale of how she and Maddie met, their heartwarming adventures leading to the present state.

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I have to admit, the first half of the book is quite boring. All those tiny little details about airplanes, places in England and abbreviations rammed up in your brain is quite disconcerting at times. Though it's the kind of disconcerting your brain needs. As it may be helpful facts in the future, you never know.

But the other half of the book, it's just totally captivating. Like the calm before the storm. Like the slow and deliberate brewing of a good coffee. It's just something I didn't expect it would be. This is a thoroughly researched novel. I wonder how long Elizabeth Wein took to finish this incredible masterpiece.

(The following may be a giveaway but I can't help myself for they are my favorite lines from the book.)

And this, even more wonderful and mysterious, is also true: when I read it, when I read what Julie's written, she is instantly alive again, whole and undamaged. With her words in my mind while I'm reading, she is as real as I am. Gloriously daft, drop-dead charming, full of bookish nonsense and foul language, brave and generous. She's right here. Afraid and exhausted, alone, but fighting. Flying in silver moonlight in a plane that can't be landed, stuck in the climb - alive, alive, ALIVE.


Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The novel has intrigued me ever since I saw its movie trailer 3 years ago. It still intrigues me to this day, after I've read the whole book!

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Set in the UK, Hailsham is a place where batches of human clones are nurtured by guardians and released into the world upon adulthood to fulfill their birth purpose.

A memoir of Kathy's journey from her early years in Hailsham up to the present.

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I am a good book-review blogger so i'm leaving it like that. I will not take away the experience from you. Also, do not read further. What lies ahead is my personal opinion of the book and it will indeed be lengthy and it will spoil you.

My goodness. Where do I begin?

For starters, I cannot further emphasize how much a controversy this book is. Kazuo is truly, a gutsy novelist (pun intended)! It raped my mind, it questioned my values and morals. It got the philosopher in me to ponder about the book's atmosphere, its reasons of existence. Wow. How dramatically deep of me, right?

Relationship of Kathy and her friends:
We all have a Ruth in our lives or have encountered one. It amazes me how subtle Kazuo is. You wouldn't really brand Ruth the villain in the beginning, not even Kathy did, but her actions we're gradual and deliberate. It's astonishing how much her huge insecurity towards Kathy bounces off the page and how much you develop a massive dislike towards her. Another thing, i'm very certain the author never wrote that Kathy was ever in love with Tommy (in the movie version, it was implied that she was) but how great it is that no implications were needed here? I felt it. It was only natural to be in love with the boy who's been your best friend since the beginning. She never said it but she never really had to. What a shame. I still hate you, Ruth.

Sometimes, it is brave to give up.


Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

This is my second Marchetta. She never disappoints!

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When Francesca Spinelli's go-getter fight-for-the-right borderline overbearing mother (Mia Spinelli, a communications lecturer at the University of Technology-Sydney) suddenly switches off, she is left with the burden to go on with life without the person who although constantly nags on her is the one running their household.

Having been just transferred to St. Sebastian's (an all boys school that recently just opened their place to Year Eleven girls), Francesca tries her hardest to cope up with the new school environment.

With a few classmates from her old school (St. Stella's) who also enrolled at St. Sebastian's, the story of learning to get along with the opposite sex, rekindled friendships, understanding your family and a little bit of romance unravels.

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I made the review short because I have quite a few things to say.

First off, Melina has an amazing talent to create character after character that all varies but works very well with each other. She already proved that in Jellicoe Road and proved it yet again here in Saving Francesca. It's impressive actually because they all are very complex, they all have stories and reasons why they are the way they are. I'd like to acquire the same talent too.

Although Jellicoe Road was sad and beautiful and intense, this one is lighter and easy to read. I like it very much, it didn't lack substance regardless the nature. This is the only book I've ever come across with, in my five years of reading YA novels, that the heroine's love interest is described as "not attractive". It is certainly a breath of fresh air because this seems to be a book that is being true to the readers. We all know that, in the long-run, it is the personal qualities of a person we are attracted to and not the too-impossible standards of beauty.

Let's all see if Francesca was ever saved in Saving Francesca!