The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

I have read a number of Sarah Dessen’s books, so that makes me no stranger to her stories formula and style and I have to admit that I have loved many of those. After reading The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks last week, I was still in the mood for something that’s light and chill, that’s how Dessen came to mind.

The Moon and More is about Emaline, a small-town 18 year-old girl from Colby, spends her last summer before she’s off to college, trying to figure out a lot of things in her life. She works in their family business, has a great family, has a perfect boyfriend and a full ride to a college just two hours away from her home. Sounds great, right? Then suddenly comes in the picture her biological father, who has been MIA for most of her life, who also wants her to go to Columbia for college. She starts to have issues about her relationship with her boyfriend, Luke. She also has to deal with two New Yorkers who rented one of their beach houses: Ivy, an award-winning filmmaker and Theo, her intern who will make Emaline realize the huge possibilities that outside of Colby can offer.

The book has many elements that made me happy. It portrayed things that happens in  a normal day-to-day life. The characters were believable and very relatable. I found comparing myself to Emaline for a few times. I have also related to her a lot about the family thing and being anxious yet excited for the future. I admired Emaline’s character because she was simple and content of the life she has, in a sense that she wasn’t too eager to get out of that small town and she wasn’t obsessing about the grand things that life can offer although she was still curious as to what’s outside of Colby has. I found Theo’s character frustrating towards the latter half of the novel, maybe because he was overly optimistic that he had the tendency to become overly persistent and pushy. I know it wasn’t bad at all but to me he somehow became too confident and close-minded. Setting wise, of course I loved it, as I’ve said before I love me a story set in a small-town and add in the beach, oh boy will I ever get tired of that. ^^

I enjoyed reading this book and will recommend it if you want to read something to kill time but I will say that this isn’t my favorite out of all the books of Dessen’s, she has better books than this one. I know I wanted something light to read but this is too light to my liking. For me, this is a so-so book, not so great but not so bad either. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite quotes I’ve found in the book:

“As long as you were moving, you were always going somewhere.” – I don’t know what it is but this somehow is inspiring for me.

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” – Another inspiring one isn’t it? Yes? No? 😀

“You can never be sure of anyone until you’re close enough to see them clearly.” – I found this striking because I know for sure that it’s true.

“Life is long. Just because you don’t get your chance right when you want or expect it doesn’t mean it won’t come. Fate doesn’t punch a time clock or consult a schedule.” – For me, this is the most inspiring out of them all.

“The mistakes you make now count. Not for everything, and not forever. But they do matter, and they shape you. If you take nothing else form what I’ve been through, at least remember this: make your choices well. Because you’ll always be accountable for them. That’s what being an adult is all about.” – This has been a constant reminder/nagging for me since I’ve read it,  make your choices well. Being an adult is truly hard.

“The thing is, you can’t always have the best of everything. Because for a life to be real, you need it all: good and bad, beach and concrete, the familiar and the unknown, big talkers and small towns.” – I agree.

That’s all folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this one. Feel free to let me know your thoughts about this folks if you’ve read it. 🙂

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

200009-the-rescue-680x1020Since I have been reading a lot of crime-thriller novels for quite a long while already, after the last book I’ve read it then hit me. I thought it was time to take a break from the detective world and things about murder and serial killings and try something new to read, genre wise I mean. I noticed that the thing that I looked forward to from the last book I’ve read was some cheesy, corny lines and a lot of giggles and feels. So I thought, it was time for some romance novel and when you say romance the author that automatically comes to mind is the ever so great Nicholas Sparks or at least for me.

The Rescue started out when Denise got into a car accident and her four year-old son, Kyle, got out of the car and was lost in the woods. A volunteer firefighter, Taylor McAden, came in the picture as the one who saw Denise’s car and helped out to search for Kyle. And that was the beginning of it all.

I am a fan of a story set in a small town – it’s easier for me to imagine the place – and  of course, mysterious guys with mysterious past, who wouldn’t get curious with that. Add in a simple, yet beautiful and courageous woman which I found so admirable. Someone who was ready to do anything and sacrifice everything just for the betterment of her son. I also liked that the fact that the leading man wasn’t the typical millionaire living in a grand world with perfect looks. I liked it that he was just a simple man, working here, volunteering there and basically just wanted to live a simple, uncomplicated life. Two thumbs up for that.

Though it has a slow start, it was still a fun and smooth read. I did not find it hard to read at all, in fact, I’ve read this only for two nights. At some point, I was concerned if all of my questions will be answered in the end and I was so glad that it all did. If you want to read something light and pass your time then you can give this a try, I have even shed tears in one or two parts. Would I recommend this? Of course, I will. I have enjoyed reading this one. ^^

Let me end this post by sharing some of my favorite quotes I found in the book:

You’re going to come across people in your life who say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.” – I just couldn’t agree more with this. So true. Actions speaks louder than words, indeed.

People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book.  When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start  up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.” – I find myself guilty of this, in the literal sense about the characters.

Even now, not a day goes by when I don;t wish I could turn back the clock and change what happened.” – Who wouldn’t agree with this. This is me, everyday.

Hope you enjoyed. If you have read this book, feel free to share what you thought about it. 🙂

A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag

tami hoagThis was one of the last books that I’ve picked up in my favorite second hand bookstore some time last year mainly because the cover gave me a slight creepy feeling and it was a pretty thick book which what I was going for at the time.

A Thin Dark Line is about finding the truth and giving justice. People of Bayou Breaux has been terrorized with fear when the mutilated body of the murder victim, Pam Bichon has been discovered in which the prime suspect was set free because of technicality. Nick Fourcade, the detective assigned with the case was suspected of planting the evidence and a number of people was convinced because of his tarnished past. But Nick was so determined to find out the truth and to give Pam justice and so is Annie Broussard, the deputy who found Pam’s body.

I liked how the story started, I thought the epilogue was written in a unique way that has really captured my curiosity. I remember feeling so frustrated as I was reading, the book also showed an ugly side of the law and the people who should be upholding it. But the frustration was more for Annie and how she was treated or should I say bullied by her colleagues for her conviction of a crime she witnessed. The way her coworkers played her, chewed her, looked down on her, those made me want to slap those officers in their faces left and right and give them a fiery flying kick. Those people really had gotten on my nerves. The book also had me guessing as to who the culprit was which I like of course, I had a few changes in mind which added to my frustration and enjoyment. The author’s misdirection was on point. The twist in the end was something I did not see coming which was a plus but I found it not that impactful for me. I also thought that the story was a bit dragged on maybe that’s why the thrill and anticipation wasn’t held on that much.

A Thin Dark Line didn’t disappoint me. All in all, it was a great and enjoyable read. The characters were believable and the differences in their personalities made it more interesting. All the loose ends were nicely wrapped – a huge CLAP CLAP for that – and with that I felt so contented and satisfied. Not supplementing my curiosity and/or not answering all of my questions in a story is the thing that I hate the most. Will I recommend it? Of course, I will. It’s a good book to read. Tami Hoag is definitely an addition to the list of crime-thriller authors that I like.

Rate: 👍👍👍👍

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

13579626I started reading this book without knowing anything about it so it kind of shock me when I found out while reading this that this is a ghost story in a unique way. It’s a story about a family who went back to their country house to claim their inheritance from their deceased father and husband, Richard Walkers. The house was inhabited by two ghosts, Alice and Sandra, who also once resided the house when they were alive. The story was told interchangeably by the characters, using each part/room of the house as the setting.

The whole concept was really appealing to me, I thought it was really good, the story of the living and the dead intersects in the present time. Sounds cool, right? But I don’t  know, honestly, I am not a fan of this book. The characters were all flawed, fighting their own battles with themselves: vices, sadness, loneliness, and even suicide. I did not find that weird or alien at all, maybe I just did not get as to where those negativities came from or maybe I was just not that convinced about it. They all seemed to hate Richard Walker, except for Trenton, but it wasn’t really explored as to why they hate him or maybe the reasons were not strong enough for it to be convincing. It was just plainly told, he was an asshole, but I don’t really understand as to how and why.  I was so eager and curious to know but that wasn’t given to me. Also Trenton was so engrossed with committing suicide but I just don’t get why he wanted it so badly, or maybe the reasons were, again, just too shallow for me. I don’t know, those parts really frustrated me a lot.

It was also a little bothersome for me that the story was told by many characters, if I’m not mistaken I was reading like seven point of views, and that was just too many for me. Good thing though that, the story wasn’t so repetitive, it may be a new character’s point of view but usually it picked up where it was left off. There were parts wherein the story being told from the present to the past then back to the present, I found some of that a little confusing.

I am a fan of the whole idea of it: the living people and the  ghosts residing in one house full of history, secrets and mystery and using every part of the house as the setting. It thought it was a brilliant idea, a big clap clap for that. I guess the execution and delivery just wan’t enough.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? I’m really curious.

Sight Unseen by Robert Goddard

SightUnseenThis is the first book that I’ve read by Goddard. I picked it up randomly in my favorite thrift bookstore so I started reading it not knowing what to expect. The story centered about an abduction of a two-year-old girl named Tamsin Hall and a murder of her sister Miranda Hall on 27th July of 1981 at Avebury while out in a walk under the watch of their nanny. One of the witnesses was a Ph.D student David Umber, who was sitting in a pub waiting for his appointment with Mr. Griffin, who was supposed to show him a velum bound books that he claimed could help Umber in his study about the Junius’ letters but he never showed up. Then twenty-three years later, the wounds was again reopened, and David Umber embarked on a quest to search for answers, to know what really happened that day at Avebury.

I have to admit though that the start has kind of confused me maybe because it was describing about a place or history that I wasn’t really familiar with. And speaking of which, there really was a history involved in this book about British politics, the Junius’ letters played a role in this. I must also admit that during the parts in the book wherein it was telling the story behind the letters and where it came from and who wrote them, I felt lost because I couldn’t really comprehend it and I told myself that it was somewhat understandable because it was something that I really had no idea, it was just so alien to me.

But the story itself was pretty much captivating, I had my guesses as to who the culprit was but I never stuck to any one of them for so long because of the twists and turns on the plot. I wouldn’t say that it was cleverly written as some parts were just weird or that they just came out of the blue and I wasn’t really that satisfied about the ending but I wasn’t too disappointed about it either. I also felt like the other characters were abandoned, in a sense that I would want to know what happened to them and that also pertains to the culprits.

I admire and have always been fascinated about the authors who can skillfully weave history into their stories while coming up with interesting twists and I am convinced that Goddard has that. All in all, this book is a good and decent read to pass your time and chill out with. And I am definitely interested to read more of Goddard’s works.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

41LaBpUJBHLI have set no expectations for this book because if you know me, I usually read crime thriller novels, young adults and yes romance and this book is not one of those though, technically, it is about relationships. My problem with humor books as to why I don’t usually lean on reading them is because most of the time I don’t get them, I just don’t understand them. I think my sense of humor isn’t really that great but I’m really glad that I gave this a try. I must admit though that it took me weeks to read this, well the latter half I just finished literally like two hours ago from typing up this post.

Modern Romance isn’t just about humor, which is actually a huge bonus, it also presents facts, analysis and statistics about how today’s romance works, which makes it like a legit study. Those things and add in to the consideration that he worked with sociologists, got involved with focus groups and made his own researches and even incorporated his own experiences that made me feel like I was reading a thesis but with a touch of comedy which I found really awesome and not really burdensome to read. Modern Romance covered everything about relationships, from how love and relationships differed and evolved from the 1950’s and the factors that ignited such changes to how it is today. He even tackled about the role of technology to love and relationships, its effects, the advantages and the disadvantages as well. He basically covered from the first acquaintance to marriage and beyond.

I can be the president of the No Boyfriend Since Birth Club meaning I have no experience at all with dating, commitments and stuff but I still found this book relatable, so how much more to people who have really experience such things. I can say that Modern Romance offers you knowledge and laughter as well. I’ll give you this quote in the book that still cracks me up until now.

“You are a lotion that moisturizes my heart. Without you, my soul has eczema.”

See what I mean by laughter? I’ve actually learned a lot from this book and I can say that while reading Modern Romance you’ll find that you’re unconsciously scrutinizing and analyzing yourself, your ways and your reasons. And you’ll even realize that you’re applying Aziz’s facts and examples to yourself.

Modern Romance is a fun and enjoyable read. Would I recommend this? Yes, of course, if you want to read something that can give you knowledge and entertainment and at the same time is very relatable. So, I’ll end this post with another quote from the book:

“Have faith in people. A person may seem just okay, but if you really invest time in the relationship, maybe they’ll be greater than you assume.”

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

81XwkjrFvTLI know, I am so late in the bandwagon with this one and that was because when this book was at the height of its hype, I was actually busy reading other books. Though I wasn’t really behind with the knowledge that this has been compared with Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ so much which I haven’t gotten to read yet and I’m not really sure if I ever will but I’ve seen the movie and honestly, until now I still don’t know how I feel about it. Maybe that was one other reason why I sat this aside to read for quite a while.

While I was reading it, I kind of had a glimpse as to why this has been compared to Gone Girl. This book has been a mess from start to finish. No, it’s not the story or the book itself, I’m referring to the characters. Wow, can they get any messier than that? There are six main characters, three females and three males. The story were told interchangeably between the three females – which is nicely done – to whom I must say, all has a thing about motherhood or being a mom.

Personally, I found this book slow-paced in the beginning that made me kind of just forced myself to read it through then it got interesting when it started to play my mind. I found myself guessing here and there, speculating this and that, suspecting him and her. This didn’t just toyed my mind, it also toyed my feelings. I had a love and hate relationship with the characters especially Rachel. Their mentality and choices frustrated me big time like a lot. This is a psychological thriller indeed. It was gripping towards the end but there was something about the ending that didn’t really flatter me.

I could say that this is a decent and well-written book considering that this is the author’s first thriller book. It isn’t really that bad. All in all, it was an enjoyable read even though I was really ambivalent throughout the story which I think kind of added to the thrill while reading. There were also a lot of interesting surprises. Would I recommend it? I think so, if you are looking for something to pass time, you can read this in one sitting. But if you are a fan of Gone Girl or if you liked it so much, maybe lower you expectations with this one. There were similarities yes but bear in mind that this is a different book, different story. Just don’t expect it to be exactly the same with Gone Girl because they are not.

Bone Cold by Erica Spindler

n38560Surprise surprise! Another Erica Spindler book! Huh! I told you I’m obsessed with her novels. I actually find it hard to resist the urge and the temptation of reading her every book one after another. That’s how much I love her and her writings.

Bone Cold is another spectacular and thrilling read right from the beginning up to the end of course and confusing as well, in a good way. It started out with a girl named Harlow Anastasia Grail being kidnapped at thirteen together with her six-year old friend, Timmy Price. She watched him being smothered and killed by the kidnapper right before her own eyes then he went after her and severed her right pinkie finger. Harlow then found an opportunity and managed to escape and had become Anna North, a thriller novelist who resided in New Orleans. But after twenty-three years of hiding and protecting herself, she had again lived her nightmare when she received a series of letter from a disturbed young girl who claimed to be her fan, a closed friend disappeared and there were also a series of ladies being killed. She then realized that maybe these events may have something to do with her past.

This is another can’t-put-down, page turner book of hers. Seriously, time passed by quickly when I read this. One of the reason why I love Erica Spindler’s books is that she has the ability to capture the reader’s attention and interest right from the very first paragraph of her novel. It just simply gets you right from the very beginning slowly hooking you and spoiling you until you can’t get enough. She really can deliver creep and thrill right into your bones. She really knows her stuff.

Bone Cold reminded me of why Erica Spindler have been my standard when it comes to crime thriller novels. I was reminded why I love her and her works. Bone Cold kept me guessing as to who the culprit was all throughout the book. I love how the author portrayed or should I say ‘played’ Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), that was one of the unexpected things that happened in the book and where my ‘confusion in a good way’ heightened. I also love how the author presented the plot and the numerous twists and turns in the story that were pretty surprising and I did not see coming at all.

Here’s a quote a like from the book: “Life was about taking chances, facing the good … and the bad. It was about birth and death and everything in between.” Nice, right?

Would I recommend this book? Of course I do, why wouldn’t I? it’s a great book that have given me a pleasurable read.

Read it.

Panic by Lauren Oliver

bookcover_home_panicThis is the first book I’ve read by Lauren Oliver. When I’ve read the title, Panic, the first thought that came to my mind was that it’ll be about a character’s mental state, you know the things that you can associate with paranoia, trauma and fear but of course that wasn’t the case.

Panic is a dangerous life-risking game which played by graduating seniors every summer in the small town of Carp with a prize money of over $50,000. Heather never would’ve thought that she would participate in the game but she impulsively did so, at first when her broken heart have seemed like overtaken her sanity then later on was driven and motivated for the money for her sister in order to start a new life. While Dodge joined the game driven by anger and used the game in order to take revenge for what happened to his sister.

For me, this is a “so-so” novel. If you are after a light and easy read and probably will read just to kill time or for entertainment, you know when you just want to have to do something then this is an okay novel to read through. This is in a third-person point of view, my first in a long while for I have been reading a lot in a first-person point of view. The story changes between Heather and Dodge.

The characterization and the story itself is just okay for me I must say because it is just the usual and ordinary novel. There aren’t a lot of twists, not really shocking and is kind of predictable. Good thing that I didn’t read the back-cover teaser of this before I read it because if I did, I would’ve been a lot more disappointed with this. The teaser will make you expect a lot setting the bar high, it’s kind of misleading.

I think Panic wasn’t explored that much, I mean there was no history about it. It left me with unanswered questions as to why the police didn’t really try hard to step in to stop or at least do something about Panic, being it a “legendary game” in which there were death and injuries occurred. I also wanted to know as to how the judges were picked and how did they organize and manage the game and how did they come up with all of those challenges. And I just don’t get it as to why the kids of Carp chooses to play in a dangerous game that will likely cost their lives just because they don’t have anything to do during the summer. It infuriates me to think that they will risk their lives just because of boredom. I don’t know, in my mind it just doesn’t makes sense. I also think that the climax wasn’t there. I was waiting for it towards the end; I was waiting for something big, for something shocking to happen until it literally ended. I was confused. It seemed so easy.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Jojo-MoyesThis is the first book I’ve read by Jojo Moyes, in fact I discovered about this book from a post of one of my favorite bloggers. She included it in her Things I’m Loving Friday post and because I’m always in the lookout for new books to read so I thought I should give it a read.

At first I thought this is just going to be a light read of your typical romance novel but I can assure you that isn’t the case. I read this novel without having any clue or any background of what it is about, I just assumed that it is just your typical romance book with all of its cliche’s. That is exactly the reason why I hate reading something without having any idea of its content because it mostly ends up with the book slapping me really hard right in the face with its unexpected story but it is also the beauty of it, I must say.

I don’t feel like giving a synopsis of this book. I just don’t want to divulge the story because I feel like, that will ruin the beauty of the story.

Me Before You is a heart-wrenching, emotional and thought provoking novel. I can say it is a realistic story without a lot of exaggerations. Though I’d better prefer for it to have more dialogue lines but not too many that it’ll look like a script. I also like that it is in a first person point of view not only with the main character but with the few of the other characters as well. It gives the readers a peak of the other characters mind and their story.

Me Before You touches a sensitive issue, it makes you think. It makes you wonder what are you gonna do if it is you in the shoes of the characters. The ending is maddening and sad and tore my hear into a million pieces that it left me in a river of tears but I cannot get myself to disagree with it completely. It makes you weigh the options and chances. It made my mind and my heart really ambivalent. This is the kind of novel that’ll leave a print in your mind. That’s how good it is and that’s why I highly recommend it to give it a read.

I should say that this is the best novel I’ve read so far outside of my comfort (crime, mystery, suspense, thriller) genre. I think I have made an excellent use of time reading this. To tell you, I am still heart broken up to this moment that I am reliving the story.

Me Before You is a novel I did not see coming. Not at all.