Category Archives: Book Reviews

Twenties Girl: Sophie Kinsella (A Book Review)

6063187

 

Twenties Girl: Sophie Kinsella (A Book Review)

Twenties Girl is your favorite chick flick played in a written form that’s bound to send you into fits of giggles as you read along. Join Lara and Sadie’s mishaps of adventures as they went on their search for the necklace that could change everything for the better… or worse.

From the beginning, I already felt the connection to Lara Lington, the protagonist of the story and an independent ‘twenties girl.’

Being a twenties person myself, I’ve had an experience of my own concerning breakups, (at flings in particular since I never had an intimate relationship with someone yet) If taken on an euphonic approach, this refers to a person who’s genuine enough to take the far more serious stage to go steady together, who’s able to successfully get the nitty-gritty from the other and from there, a relationship can truly blossom into forming a stronger bond than before.

Her parents had done their part into coaxing their daughter into moving on by now since it’s been a couple of months since the breakup happened with Lara’s significant other. I appreciate her parents’ gesture more than she does, as she’s already grown tired of hearing the roundup of advices they’ve already equipped on. It was on that exact moment where I’ve truly felt her agony into the life crisis she’s stuck herself with.

Lara’s way of dealing with this issue is something what most people my age, or who’s been through thick and thin long enough to encounter it themselves would possibly do. And I don’t entirely blame her from wanting to do so herself, she’s intrigued into hearing out a closure, after all.

Her position as an entrepreneur is similar to the struggles I had back when I was still a student myself. Lara’s case though is a bit different than what you might have in mind, but the struggles of finding a market, a client in particular that matches the right firm to outsource with is indeed a difficult task indeed. My situation may not be as on the same level as hers but I sympathize with the troubles she’s encountered a whole lot because not all startup businesses begin with a satisfactory outcome as what most successful people have experienced in their days of getting to where they’ve reached so far.

When it comes to traveling on our own paths without the company of no one, we all need someone to keep our chins up in times of doubt and what seems to be a hopeless situation we managed to get ourselves into. I do admire a character that has shown great optimism and would say the words we needed to hear, especially on desperate times. Kate, her companion is the ever loyal assistant we could always count on to cheer and help us out.

The story took an interesting turn as Sadie stumbles upon a great discovery, to what her purpose really is in the first place. That perhaps was the best revelation on their adventures, the very reason why she and Lara became a team right after. I’d very much like to have a Sadie Lancaster to serve as my conscience, the instinct you get right at your gut that tells you to go by it instead of the tactic you’re originally planning on. She may also act like a total jerk than I am on other occasions but she’ll be unexpected as ever, leaving you a trail of unanswered questions, a mystery that yet needs to reveal itself on a certain moment.

What I find both interesting and a bit frustrating to do as you tried reading continuously as you consult a dictionary from the time to time are the word origins. Kinsella’s has a different twist to it since the setting and characters take place in England while I’m still new into learning their expressions and whatnot. But in spite of all what’s been said, it was educational in terms of their dialect and an enlightening journey to engage with their way of how they play with words which is as different from other nations.

As what most avid readers have struggled with, it can’t really be helped that you have to skim through or type the words ceaselessly to learn and expand your vocabulary even more. It’s the fun and dull of reading for me. I very much wanted to enjoy the story but I guess if you wish to improve your literary words and capability into composing vocabularies where your voice is most likely to be found, this is a practice book enthusiasts of all types and curious individuals should learn to do.

The unique feature this novel has is the bond of friendship each character acquired along the later chapters. Each are partnered unexpectedly, you can’t help but wonder if such friendship exists, the kind where two people you’d never thought would get along turned out to be the best of friends who haven’t met until now. This specifically is on the protagonist and two other people who played a significant part on her journey.

There were a couple of life lessons to be included here for the reader to remember by. Some of these morals include realizing what love truly means for a person. Everyone has a different concept of love of their own. And it seems in Lara’s case, we might have done the similar move she did on our times where we think we’re ‘in love’ with them.

I personally don’t see the harm behind fighting for the love you’ve had with the so-called significant other of yours. What makes it a bit of overboard is taking such measures so desperately; you’re unaware of the consequences at stake where ‘give and take’ is no longer applied on the relationship. No matter how much you love them for the traits they have, you can’t keep on making excuses for their bad behavior. Especially if this involves whether or not they share the same feelings you have.

If you did love them as you might say, you have to let them go eventually, knowing that in your heart they aren’t the people you really should entwine with for the rest of your life. This possibly is the hardest step for someone who’s had a breakup or experienced rejection after doing the noble gesture into letting the other know how they truly feel for them. With that, you have to learn to accept this person would never want to do anything with you despite the experiences you’ve shared with that made you see the possibilities love has to offer. As easy it was to say than actually doing it, respecting their decision and being genuinely happy for their new journey without you on it is the best step to deal with heartbreaks.

Love, as one of its theme shows, sets out such an example of how it can sometimes come to the person you’d never thought you end up crossing paths with. Then as it happens, just thinking about the scenario of becoming a couple makes you jittery all over with hope in your eyes.

Moving on, on the other hand takes another toll as it talks of how it affects a person coming from both perspectives and different scenarios. Relating to two sides of their story is an understatement but it’s what I felt throughout. I sympathize on how they chose to deal with their issues and I can definitely see the reason behind their intent to why they decided to apply it. They think it’s for the best, but what they’re merely doing is making it look like they refused to open the doors to other people.

As for Sadie’s prime role, I’m utterly determined she serves more than a great aunt to Lara or a ‘guardian angel’ as she was once quoted. Sadie Lancaster is a conscience we’ve tried to shut out but failed miserably on several occasions we’re able to encounter. She’s the nagging voice we hear on our heads, the one who takes charge of the lesser of the evil options we have left on the place to deal with.

It may not get us the best results as we expect it to be. Rather, the experience itself is all part of the life lessons we’re yet to see for ourselves, on timelines varying on each individual. Oftentimes, it could be a cold hard slap on the face. But even so, it’ll do the trick into making us remember to choose wisely between several choices this time. And that’s what matters.

As for the flaws behind the story, I was a bit disappointed at the so-called ‘plot twist’ the author provided but I thought better of it since there aren’t enough supporting characters to take such roles. Other than that, there’s the issue of not having enough of an introduction concerning Lara’s household. On her sister, especially who’s merely presented as a finicky lady who rambles on and about for a long time not until she get everyone’s full attention and proclaim her love to a certain family member which is a way of hers to make a good impression and appear as someone simply admirable in awe to their success.

I believe having these qualities isn’t at all balanced. I’d like to see that even characters labeled as an antagonist still has something good in them that could make us think of her differently aside from what the author perceived them to become.

There were life lessons ahead applied in an unusual way you would’ve never think of and that was the most unique trait I could ever name in this very book.

I give this a rating of 8/10.

Despite the fact I’m not much of a fan on genres such as this, I was in for a ride and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed on how it came to be. Not in the slightest.

My high praise goes to you, Sophie Kinsella. You just earned yourself a new fan of your works.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Child Called ‘It’: Dave Pelzer

51wmjnljmwl-_sx322_bo1204203200_

A Child Called ‘It’: Dave Pelzer (A Book Review)

Graphically intense and utterly heart-wrenching. Its narration truly feels like child’s call for help, yearning for a sense of belonging from a family who’s disowned him for their mother’s sake.

A Child Called ‘It’ is the first part from his trilogy of My Story where on this particular novel, he narrates the various encounters he’s experienced starting on his primary years at age 4 until 12.

An immensely powerful read, A Child Called ‘It’ tells the story of a young boy named Dave Pelzer, a victim of child abuse coming from his own mother done to him daily out of spite. Out of the number of siblings he’s had, Dave remained the only one receiving blows from here and there as his mother pleases, to the point where everyone in the family disowns him and is eventually considered a nobody.

From the wretched ‘games’ his mother has come up with, it’s a miracle Dave managed to survive all of the hideous attempts she forced him into doing to no avail. There are just about a hundred punishments unimaginable done to him whenever he does a ‘bad deed’ not until he’s finally gotten the help he truly deserves to have.

The entire novel of his first book is well written in a manner that you could imagine every single incident the author has described his terrible childhood from the beginning until the last chapter. The many instances alone he experienced would make it seem as if you too had carried the heavy burden he’s given all those years ago. Emotions emphasized throughout the novel are strongly felt, even to the reader. His hatred on the people whom he shared the same blood with is explained in a calm manner, that of a naive child who only wanted a love from no other than his household.

The optimism he’s kept to himself the entire time he lived in the same roof as his so-called family is what I truly admire about Dave. Despite the instances he endured alone, how his mother loathed for his existence and the attempt of having her own son hate himself as much as she detest Dave, are no match for the faith he had that someone, anybody would come and swoop him out of his home.

His hopelessness on the ceaseless torture experienced every single day finally reveled on as he came to the realization that even the person he believes would serve as his protector gave in to their mother’s wishes. I feel nothing but grief for the boy as his morale begins to simmer down until the detest he had is all bottled up inside him. The many instances he did are desperate even for his sake as he’s on a roll onto committing the various acts of theft to survive.

All the hard work he put his best into paid off as his renowned freedom is claimed after several years have passed. That was indeed pure bliss, especially on his case to be taken out of his so-called home he’s resided as long as he can remember.

The explanation and origin of child abuse in general, the hows and why behind it was well explained by David himself. I admire and have learned so much on the seriousness of the aforementioned issue, how it remains to still exist even to this day.

Two of these chapters struck to me the most for it shows the sudden change of his mother’s self-destructive attitude shown on her son. It may not be as true like she intended to do, but her gesture into being the mother Dave used to love takes an unexpected turn wherein a small part of her conscience wanted to care for him, still despite how she continues to punish the poor boy for simply existing to her life. But sadly, even the little love left within her isn’t going to let that change her mind into bruising Dave’s well-being into shambles.

The other one, as already written on the previous paragraphs is having the only hope that kept him going this far went to side with the family instead. It dawned to him that only he could save himself from the living hell he’s forced to reside with for the rest of his life. Part of his decision to remain strong and fight onward is a noble gesture, with this particular value a truly admirable lesson to live by to everyone in struggle with their own problems.

The single regret I had on this book was not seeing Dave’s own story coming from someone else’s perspective as he’s mentioned this belonged to him alone. A significant character, who also happened to be one of the saviors who ended Dave’s misery said so himself that going through all of the abusive relationships the author had between his mother wouldn’t be necessary. Either way, readers are informed on child abuse from the eyes of the victim and the effect it does to them along the way.

Regarding the book’s rating, I give it an 8/10.

A biography of survival and triumph, a life story of Dave Pelzer would inspire readers to strive onward, no matter what life throws back at you.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Openly Straight: Bill Konigsberg (A Book Review)

openlystraight_cv

 

Openly Straight: Bill Konigsberg (Book Review)

Genuinely heartwarming, honest and a coming of age story people has most likely experienced in their own journey towards discovering one’s true self further.

Not all endings need to be informant for a reader to enjoy. Sometimes, letting them keep on guessing and have their own set of conclusions as to how an author has written it is the best way to finish the story.

This is deemed to be true on Bill Konigsberg’s novel entitled ‘Openly Straight’ where it tells the life of Seamus Raphael ‘Rafe’ Goldberg, a Colorado resident who decided to continue his next life anew on an all-boy’s boarding school, without labels. This of course, includes covering his gay identity as he’s grown tired of being known simply as that and have people assume the worst out of him because of it.

At first, it seems he’s doing a fine job with this plan he got on going, keeping this significant part of his just to himself, thus a blossoming new friendship with the apparent straight guys around school begins. That is, until he starts falling over someone who never thought there are actually endless possibilities love has to offer, once its enveloped ones’ feelings completely.

The aforementioned statement above is what struck a chord to me, which is the prime reason why I consider this book worth reading. I like how the setting and the plot itself is relevant even to this day.

What remains a problem on most countries, still is discrimination of all types, especially on gender. Others, meanwhile are lucky enough to have this looked upon that resulted to same sex marriage being legalized in their state. Whereas, some aren’t so fortunate to have the said law implemented from where they reside. That may be the case, but the inevitable occurs no matter how the increasing number of people begun to show their support on the LGBTQ+ community.

I like how the author was able to acknowledge these and set out realistic examples of typical stereotypes that are often encountered by these people. The usual assumptions of the gays as flamboyant in nature and dresses up in feminine wear all the time is a ridiculous notion to think of.

There’s also the irrational fear the straight people have against gay people wherein they loathe the idea of themselves being romanticized even if no intentions are shown as what happened along the next chapters of Rafe’s story. Homophobic comments are also said throughout the novel and it’s saddening to hear this is still practiced as a term of insult with the perception of gays as mere weaklings.

Genders and sexual orientations aside, what I love the most is the differing opinions each character has that then welcomes the conflict occurring in the story, that also serves as the highlight in making the novel intriguing enough for the readers, they couldn’t simply stop reading in sheer delight not until they got to the bottom of it.

The perspective on both parties (Gays and Straight) is showcased in a well written manner, the option to take sides wouldn’t matter since each opinions stated by each character contradicts in a way that isn’t necessary to debate on, choosing what’s ‘right’ from ‘wrong.’

As much as I’m delighted for this novel, there’s a couple of flaws that marked a dent on some of its chapters. The first would be the unfortunate erasure over bisexuality’s existence in the community. An organization present in the story left out this particular sexuality and is visibly obvious on how it’s written: ‘gay, lesbian or transgender’ in reference to the statistics behind the percentage of these people who identified themselves as such are homeless after families disowned them.

Being closeted myself, it’s disappointing to have people who shares the same identity as I am shunned away from the other sexualities who are also fighting for similar rights as we are now.

Another is not so much a problem compared to the previous one as this is more focused on the minor characters within the story. I believe that even if fictional figures like them didn’t have enough appearance on other parts, they still deserve to have their own spotlight shone onto them, especially if they did made an influential impact to the protagonist.

After all, a background story on their part is also necessary to pique a reader’s interest on other possible favorites aside from the hero. This best applies to finding out the how’s and why’s of an event that led them such outcomes not to be left unanswered.

Whether or not you identified yourself on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, you’d definitely be able to sympathize Rafe’s incoming struggles with his new identity as an openly straight person.

This crisis can be compared on how even an ordinary individual like yourself would have troubles with being one’s true self, you’d be willing to take the risk of becoming a totally different person from who you are supposed to be, in order to gain approval from other people you wanted to befriend or just to simply make a good impression to them.

If you’re one of those people experiencing this sort of dilemma, dread no more for this book is made especially just for you.

As for the rating, I’d give this novel 8/10.

The unprovided details surreptitiously left unwritten on its other characters and it’s rather unnerving abandoned attempt to erase the identity of bisexuality are the cons of this book.

On the other hand, the steady pacing on each character’s dialogue and their own sense of thoughts into expressing them is perhaps a personal favorite of mine on this novel itself. That and how the reader’s capable of empathizing with the protagonist or any of the characters in general upon setting themselves in this story. After all, what’s the use of reading something out of leisure and not feel a connection at all?

Tagged , , , , ,

It Gets Worse: Shane Dawson

it-gets-worse-9781501132841_hr

It Gets Worse: Shane Dawson (A Book Review)

Humorous, captivating and above all, original. This book is appropriate for all ages. Not unless if you’re prone to crude humor, then I suggest you read this book with caution.

It Gets Worse tells the story of a YouTube sensation named Shane Dawson. Upon reading, we traveled back in time as he narrates his moments in life; good, bad and self-discoveries that’s bound to send you to tears as lessons are learned from all those experiences.

Shane Dawson is famous for creating all sorts of videos that brings his viewers intrigued and interested as ever as he continues providing entertainment for his viewers since 2008.

This includes impersonating celebrities and original characters he created. Parody videos both on television and the music industry are his other well-known content as well. Aside from that, he’s made movies of his own which unlike his success towards his YouTube career, doesn’t meet the same standards as his videos much to his dismay. He also happens to write books, all three a collection of his personal essays with his 2nd and most recent story of his considered a New York Times Bestseller.

His life, however didn’t start out with an overnight success. Like the rest of us, he struggled his way reaching the top to where he is now. Rejection was one of those criticisms he learned to take by heart for it’s the prime drive that motivated him into pursuing his career as a director. His childhood, in fact was probably the worst time of Shane’s life. He was bullied, humiliated and called names mostly for his weight. His current life, meanwhile is the exact opposite. 8 million subscribers have now supported his channel and up to this day is increasing, still.

Which then takes us back to the present. I personally have several dog-eared pages on my own copy wherein I considered such a favorite chapter of mine. The ones that struck me the most talks of own improvements he made upon himself. Looking back, I could relate to them in a way I compared it with my own experiences which are somewhat alike.

As much as I loved reading every single chapter of his book, I couldn’t help but state my dislike on its other parts such as the jumping time-frames occurring throughout the story. It took me a while to realize how he would narrate an incident that happened in this certain age of his life then would immediately proceed to another stage with the age gap way beyond than the previous one. As you read along though, you’d be used to this sort of adjustment which thankfully, didn’t ruin the whole story-line and the writing structure behind it.

On top of all what’s been said, this book really is something. If you’re into comedy that’s well balanced with other moods that fits in well with the story which also doesn’t merely revolve on the laughs all the time, then this book is guaranteed to do just the trick. It’s also perfect for those who’re still in their teens as most of these stories include being on the same age as the author himself back then with his troubles capable of being empathized by them.

Overall, I’d give this book a rating of 8/10 as already mentioned, there were a couple of chapters that seemed disarranged over its sequence but other than that, it was a good read.

Shane Dawson, you fantastic person you. Keep us all laughing.

Chapters to remember by: (May include potential spoilers)

 

•Chapter 2: 2 a.m.•

Coming into terms with his sexuality is one of the struggles he’s stumbled on and I admire him for being able to finally come into terms with it, having the courage to do so thanks to his brother’s support right from the start.

Coming out of the closet is a big risk to take, and nobody deserves to be treated in a degrading manner for their feelings of attraction on both genders. One doesn’t need to pressure themselves either because of the possible consequences they might face from the differing opinions a family or a friend of theirs can possibly remark on.

But at the same time, there’s the silver lining of acceptance. You shouldn’t be going through all that alone, after all. Like Shane, just as long you have someone you can trust on, especially at personal problems you don’t normally tell too often, no longer would you be afraid knowing a friend’s out there watching your back.

 

•Chapter 5: Chub Rub•

Each and every one of us will eventually come into that part of life wherein we must decide something for ourselves that can help us survive the constantly revolving world of adult responsibilities: College.

Whatever it is you decided to choose for a career, there’d be hardships along the way. A crisis will most likely occur where you begin to question every decision you made in your life that got you this far. Not all endings resulted in satisfactory outcomes to everyone either, no matter how much you tried to follow someone’s footsteps. In these types of situations only you can help yourself. And it wouldn’t make you less any educated if you decided to have your own path instead of retracing another one’s, or in such cases, not attaining one at all.

Many successful business people have achieved their dreams despite the lack of education they had on school. It’s a proven fact not everything about life can be learned merely from books. Look at how much these well-known entrepreneurs have managed to do. All it takes is a hint of courage and strong determination to reach these goals. From there, you might find the success you were hoping to have.

 

•Chapter 9: The White Bus•

A professor of mine once told us that religion is the opium of most people, and I can’t disagree to that.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to imply that I’m against religion and the whole idea of it. I’d rather not involve myself with such beliefs but I respect people for having one. What grinds my gears though is the idea of someone shoving it down your throat as ‘theirs is the right god to believe in and not yours.’

There isn’t simply any use if you’d only end up demeaning someone else for their upbringing towards the said subject. The least you could do is respect them.

 

•Chapter 13: The Ghost Of My Grandma•

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, we always assumed our loved ones never left our side even if they succumbed after many years have passed.

Moving on from their deaths was never an easy option to begin with. But eventually, we’ll learn to accept the fact that they’re no longer with us physically and we could only continue on with our life without their presence.

Mourning is inevitable, but through time, it can help us heal with the pain we’ve kept bottled up inside as the days went by.

 

•Chapter 14: Human Trash•

An individual has a particular liking on something they could consider as their potential drive into achieving their goals. But what all might not know is that criticisms played a big role in this as well.

Depending how we take such remarks from others, it actually makes us stronger and more pursuant into moving onward towards our dreams. Sure it crumbles our self-esteem just by hearing that, especially if this were to come out of somebody else’s mouth to whom you never expect would dare tell you frankly.

But know that with all the downers draining out your well-being from their toxic behavior, there’ll always be people out there who genuinely appreciates you for being yourself. These are the ones who gets you as you hoped they would be. They could also serve as your reminder as to why you were even striving for this plan of yours in the first place.

Tagged , , ,