Monday, December 28, 2015

REVIEW: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Sometimes the best way to find out what you're supposed to do is by doing the thing you're not supposed to do." 

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 

Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate,Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

Review (Spoiler free): 

I was pretty much forced into reading this book by someone who regarded this as an awesome book. I think that was partly why my expectations were higher than someone who dove in with no knowledge. I was told by my best friend and by one of my favorite BookTubers that if I was looking for a quick, cute, and fun read, this is what I should read. While it was cute at times, it was not quick. No offense Christine, but this did not live up to the expectation you gave me. I found that I could not get through this as fast as I wanted to. But all of this in mind, I still liked the story. I enjoyed the fact there was a story after her travels that showed a realistic life of a struggling college student. Though there were many aspects of the travels that I was like "Wait what, what just happened?", I definitely liked this book as a whole. It wasn't until the end that I started seriously fangirling over the characters and on what was going to happen next. I recommend this book, but not highly recommend. It's not on Fangirl's level.

Spoiler Discussions:  

Ok, Allyson... or Lulu... or whatever you want to be called. It's time we have a little talk. After waking up alone after a night of sex with someone that you've only know for, like, less than a couple days, it is not smart to go running through the streets of Paris while cars are going about their business. USE THE SIDEWALK! It is there for a reason! Geez, you almost get killed and here we are. The readers that are yelling at you like we're watching a dramatic TV show to get out of the way before you die! Also, did you not look for a note? And also, on a side note, if I were you and was hanging around Paris with a hottie like Willem, I. Would. Tell. Him. My. Name. It's common sense when you have sex with someone else after all. There are seriously so many bones that I have to pick with you. For instance, did you have a condom? And what if Willem had an STD? You know those aren't pretty right? But I guess since you are stained, it's all cute-sy. *sarcasm intended*
Two: I'm glad that after Allyson calls for help and flies home, we get to see how she adapts to college life. I wasn't expecting Allyson to wake up with Willem not there and I was not expecting us to read about events in Allyson's normal life, without hiding behind Lulu. I was very happy with her relationship with Dee. His character was very different. They way he explained why he altered his personality for friends was refreshing. After he said to Allyson that he wasn't changing anything, but he was just showing different sides of his personality, the ones that the other wanted to see, I realized we all did that. Dee was the great voice or reality.

At the time that I read this book, about six months ago, this was the second book I had read of Gayle Forman. At the moment that I am writing this review, I have read the second book in this series along with the novella. I adored the novella; it was a perfect way to end the story and I enjoyed it more than Just One Day and Just One Year. But even after reading 3 1/2 of her books, I'm not completely sold on Gayle Forman. I'm not in love with her, though I feel like I should be. I definitely do not hate her as an author, but I also don't feel blown away by her.
How about you? Do you like Gayle Forman?

Write you later, 
         Akiko <3

Sunday, June 21, 2015

REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
My Rating: 5 Stars

"In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google)."

Synopsis (From Goodreads): 

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review (Spoiler Free): 

I can not believe it took me so long to read this book. One word can be used to describe Fangirl: Uber-freaking-adorable.
Lately, I've been trying to find more books that are set in college. Mainly because that is where I want to be and because the college dynamic is different, students behave differently, and characters have more freedom. I would say anybody could read this book. I think there are many aspects that relate to different people. It has humor, sarcasm, inspiration, and more. 

Spoiler Discussions: 

One: Cath and Levi's relationship: 
I have to admit that I wanted a little bit more affection between them, but one of the great things about their relationship is the connection outside of the physical. Instead of showing readers kisses and make out sessions, Rainbow Rowell has banter and reading sessions. Both of their relationships with Reagan were particularly funny and creative. It wasn't ordinary and that is what I'm always drawn to. At first, I was scared that Reagan would get in between Cath and Levi, but as you realize that Reagan doesn't really care, it gets better!
Two: How much I despise Nick:
The whole section of Nick taking Cath's writing and not giving her credit astounded me. I wanted to smack him and myself for ever thinking that Nick would be a love-interest. I'm happy he wasn't though because he turned into something that was needed more: a chance for Cath to stand up for herself and not take anymore bullshit. I wanted to punch him again when he had the nerve to plead to Cath about letting him put her name on their work. It shouldn't be a question in the first place! Of course, he didn't even apologize. He just wanted the award that came with the story that they wrote.
Third: College, in general:
It may have seemed like a gigantic betrayal when Wren didn't want to be roommates. But like many situations, this betrayal was a blessing in disguise. If everything had gone according to plan, Cath would have never met Reagan, and in turn never met Levi. I absolutely love that this coming-of-age novel was set in college. Truth be told, it is more realistic this way. I was able to fantasize about college through Fangirl. It made me think what I would do in the Nick situations and  how I'd deal if I was out of my comfort zone.
To anybody reading, I just wanted to say thank you for reading what I had to say. It means a lot to me.

Write you later, 

Monday, February 2, 2015

REVIEW: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
My Rating: 4 Stars

"Do not accept an evil you can change." 

Synopsis (From Goodreads):

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Review (Spoiler Free): 

There is not much that I can say about this book. It's mostly because I feel like saying anything that is not in the synopsis will spoil you just the tiniest bit. Even if you knew an inkling of what I knew, it would not be ideal. So here is what I'm going to say: the book is different than any other I've read. My advice is to just jump in with no expectations. I loved this book, but don't know if it is everyone's cup of tea. I would recommend it to people who are not afraid of venturing out of their comfort zone. Sorry I can't say anything else!

Spoiler Discussions: 

.... This book, man. So many things to think about and write down. I have to talk about the writing style, THE twist, and anything else that comes to mind.
1) So I feel like most people did not enjoy this book because of the different way E. Lockhart wrote. Sure it did go down to the next line in the middle of the sentence sometimes, and it became annoying at times, but it was refreshing. It made the book fly by even though I felt like I was still retaining a lot of words and information. It was weird how the author was able to do that. I didn't really mind the writing style, but I suppose it's just opinion.
2) The ending was definitely a gigantic shock for me. I did not guess that all of her cousins were actually dead and that Cadence was imagining them. When I read about the dogs, I was sad. When I read about her cousins' funerals, I teared up! My jaw literally dropped, a tear ran down my cheek, and I had to read the page twice because I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Once I processed this peace of information, certain pieces of the book clicked back into my head. When her cousins were allowed to not go to the family meals, when John's father was aimlessly wandering around the island all sad-like and calling John's name, when I realized that no one else talked to Cadence's cousins other than her. It all clicked in. I think it was, by far, the most unbelievable and shocking ending I have ever read.
3) Miscellaneous! I loooved the way the book started. The super long metaphor about her dad "shooting" her when he left was a jaw dropper to open the book. For a second, I thought her dad really had shot her. It made me so worried. I also loved the mystery that every chapter gave. The way we learned about her accident at the same rate that Cady did was great. The map and family tree that was int he beginning of the book was very helpful too. When house names or kid names came up, I would go back to the front to try and get a clearer picture.
To all my peeps that made it this far: tell me what you thought. Did you enjoy the writing style or not? Did you think this book was powerful? A home run? Or not even a single?

Write you later,