Book review: Library of Souls

I was ecstatic when I found that the final installment of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” series was out late last year. The previous book left readers off with a cliffhanger as the children were in the midst of a great escape plan, where protagonist Jason Portman just discovered he had a new powerful power.

It was wonderful that the “Library of Souls” dived right in from where it last ended, and managed to live up to my expectations to deliver a solid ending to the trilogy. This is particularly so given that the earlier two books have set a remarkably high bar.

In the third book, I relished in the author’s continued use of actual vintage photographs that he had personally collected throughout the years to enmesh them within the fictional story plot. For me, this is exactly what elevates this series from good to excellent for I love how it breathes new life to these old images that have been repurposed for a new use. This picture in particular stood out for me: Continue reading

Book review: Eleanor and Park

I have came across SO MANY raving reviews for this young adult title that was released last year, the most memorable though would be by John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars”:

“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”

After reading such comments, I was resolute in getting my hands on a copy of the book despite knowing that it is a romance novel, a genre that rarely floats my boat. And as highly expected, it did turn out to be a very lovely read by author Rainbow Rowell, which I thought would be in time to recommend for this Valentine’s Day.

The protagonists of this novel are a pair of high school misfits Eleanor Douglas and Park Sheridan who fell in love while sitting beside each other on the school bus. Cliché as the set-up might sound, what makes this book truly enjoyable is how most of us could in some ways or another relate to the emotions and struggles that the characters experienced while growing up.
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Book review: The perks of being a wallflower

The perks of being a wallflowerI first got to know about “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” because of the film adaptation starring the amazing Emma Watson. By the time I got to the book, it felt like another regular coming-of-age book offering everything expected from a young adult fiction…and nothing more.

Written by Stephen Chbosky, the story features main protagonist Charlie, an awkward teenager suffering from schizophrenia and his freshman year in high school. The plot was strewn together through a series of letters Charlie penned for an anonymous friend, where he revealed his struggles and emotions as he embarked on new friendships, particularly with best friends Sam and Patrick, and his initiations into youth and adulthood, dabbling with love, sex and drugs.

The feeling I had happened when Sam told Patrick to find a station on the radio. And he kept getting commercials. And commercials. And a really bad song about love that had the word “baby” in it. And then more commercials. And finally he found this really amazing song about this boy, and we all got quiet.

Sam tapped her hand on the steering wheel. Patrick held his hand outside the car and made air waves. And I just sat between them. After the song finished, I said something.

“I feel infinite.”

And Sam and Patrick looked at me like I said the greatest thing they ever heard. Because the song was that great and because we all really paid attention to it. Five minutes of a lifetime were truly spent, and we felt young in a good way.

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Book review: The Hunger Games

With The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins set to hit the silver screens this spring, I got my hands on the book, having heard numerous raving reviews and fan pages dedicated to it.

It was overall an entertaining read that I ravenously devoured in less than two days but I admit that I was not blown away by it, largely because I have never been a huge fan of young adult fiction.

Being the first of the trilogy, The Hunger Games is set in a dystopian society, akin to George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in a post-apocalyptic world called Panem where North America once existed.

The highlight of each year in Panem would be the Hunger Games, a savage competition where 24 teenagers from 12 districts, which are state-like areas drawn up, are thrown into an arena to battle one another until a sole survivor remains.

The entire man-eats-man death tournament is also broadcasted live on television not only as a form of rich-man entertainment but also aims to send out a strong anti-rebellion message to the poor.
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