Sunday, 24 March 2013

Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Title: Just One Day
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: January 8th, 2013
Page Count: 368
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 3.5-4/5


When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Favourite Quotes

“Part of me knows one more day won't do anything except postpone the heartbreak. But another part of me believes differently. We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”  

“Or maybe it's not a miracle. Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.”

“You have to fall in love to be in love, but falling in love isn't the same as being in love”  

Few Wild Words Quickie

A cute read with awesome characters throughout, a wonderful and thoughtful story about self discovery.

My Thoughts

I've read previous books by Gayle Forman and I've enjoyed them. So I had to pick up 'Just One Day' when I got the chance. I had mixed emotions about this book, it was very much a rollercoaster of thoughts.

The first quarter of the book disappointed me, I was already preparing to give the book 2 or 3 stars. I was completely sure it wouldn't be as good as Forman's other books. The book lacked some sort of connection with me and couldn't really hold my attention. I guess there wasn't enough to engage me and keep me reading. However, it wasn't all that bad at the start, Forman created a beautiful description of all the places Allyson visited with Willem and really captured the mood of the different places.

For me, things got A LOT better after the first quarter of the book. One reason was the new characters introduced when Allyson starts College. The new characters were fun and quirky especially D'Angelo (Dee), and as you keep reading you get to know other characters better who gave off a bad first impression like her roommate Kali. There are so many other characters who I loved and they made the book all the more interesting, including the people at the French classes, the people where Allyson worked to save money, the people she met on her second trip to Europe.

The main character Allyson did change through the course of the book, mainly through self-discovery and experience. Allyson did annoy me at times because I felt like sometimes she was overreacting or being stupid but I guess her flaws made her who she was and by the end of the book I noticed a change. One word to describe Allyson by the end of the book would be: Brave.

The ending of the book took me on a journey, it was beautiful and exhilarating. I was feeling the emotions Allyson was, I was cheering her on to achieve what she wanted. The writing was wonderful and thoughtful, it made me think about change, how there is so much you can take from personal experience. The last few pages of the book nearly killed, did there have to be such a painful cliff-hanger?!?!

Then there was the snippet at the end of 'Just One Year', I wanted to cry, there are so many possibilities running through my head right now. I will probably be reading the next book.

I'd recommend the book if you enjoy reading about different places in the world, romance, and if you like books about self discovery. Or just pick it up and give it a try, I think there is something in this book that you'll probably like, even if it's one small thing.

Have you read this book yet and if yes what did you think?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Reading Slump: Solution?

In the past 3 weeks, I've started about 6 different books but haven't been able to finish a single one. I don't have it in me to pick up any of the books and read them. It drives me crazy to be at a point where I can't bring myself to read. Usually when I'm in a reading slump I just let it pass even if it means waiting a month. Well I want to find myself a few different alternatives.


I'd love to know about ways you combat your reading slump so I can experiment on myself. I'm already an impatient person so I have my fingers crossed that it will pass VERY soon. There has been a lack of reviews on my blog mainly because of the fact I haven't been able to finish reading anything.

What do you do when you're in a reading slump or having a book hangover?
Do you ever just wait it out?

Friday, 15 March 2013

Divergent Casting News: Four + Jeanine

Twitter exploded with the news about the casting of Four from the Divergent books. If you haven't read the series by Veronica Roth, head out and get a copy so you can join in the fangirling that takes place when casting news is made.
Introducing the actor that will play Four...
Theo James!
My intial reaction was:
Who is this Theo James?
This is when google search comes in handy, specifically google images. I spent about 5 minutes staring at his pictures. Theo James was definitely not how I imagined Four but I couldn't deny his rough edged hotness. The next place I explored was Theo James IMDb. I wasn't familiar with many of his acting credits except 'Downtown Abbey'. Then, I came to a point I had to just express my feelings in a post.
So here I am.
I have to say I can see Theo James as Four, he is NOTHING like in my head but the Four in my head is very much perfection so I don't think that was possible. I can't judge the actor just yet because I haven't seen him in role and usually I wait until the trailers and character posters before I make my mind up about the actor.
More Divergent casting news:
I'm doing fist pumps in the air right now. That is all for now.
What are your thoughts?
Did you have another actor in mind?
Have you seen Theo James in other roles?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

My First Audiobook: Yay or Nay?

Image Source
My First Audiobook: Yay or Nay?

I finally decided to throw myself into the world of audiobooks after seeing so many people being converted to this particular pathway. 
So I thought why not give it a go?
I would probably say at this point that my experience with my first ever audiobook was somewhere between a yay and nay. Somewhere between the good and the bad, and it was much more a trial and error sort of thing.
So the audiobook that I had chosen to listen to was 'Beauty Queens' by Libba Bray, and the narrator also happened to be the author herself. And I will say this straight away, Libba Bray is a super cool narrator, her accents are crazy awesome and hilarious.

Audiobooks: Take 1
So I should explain my experience straight from the beginning: my misconceptions of audiobooks.
For some reason, I thought that I could listen to an audiobook anywhere and everywhere and be able to do other work whilst listening to it. But NO that is not possible. Unless you want to confuse yourself straightaway about what is happening in the book just because you were listening to it while walking in the middle of a busy street, while on a busy bus journey.
I did exactly that- it didn't start or end well.
The thought 'why don't I listen to my audiobook while I sit on the bus' ran through my mind many times and as I had to spend about half an hour sitting down during the journey made it seem like a good idea. I basically listened to the book for 3 minutes and I was already lost as in what was happening and it felt like there was someone just blabbing in my ear.

Moral of the story: I would probably need to listen to my audiobook in a calm and relaxed environment.

Audiobooks: Take 2

I finally made time to start the audiobook properly. Straight from the start I was hooked. The different aspects of 'Beauty Queens' was fun and exciting, especially the various accents Libba Bray pulled off. There were laugh out loud moments and footnotes that were pretty awesome.

Something else I noticed about audiobooks that made me feel somewhere between yay or nay was the pacing. I won't lie, you need a good amount of time to listen to the whole book. The audiobook moves at a steady speed that allows you to understand everything thoroughly. But, there were moments where I wished I could somehow speed up the narration in a way where I wouldn't miss anything important as I wasn't always interested in specific parts. But I stuck through.

Another part of audiobooks that amazed me was the individuality of the different characters. Each was unique and you could totally work out who was who. It was also magical in so many ways, I felt like I was actually there in the book. Cool right?

I also learnt another valuable lesson with this audiobook. NEVER try to continue to listen to an audiobook when you are at a point where you are super tired and your eyes are closing. It's crazy but I actually fell asleep with my headphones in and the audiobook playing. It was like a soft lullaby in my ears and I couldn't even pin point when I had stopped listening. In the morning, I noticed a flat battery, headphones still in and when I recharged the battery I noticed I was about 4 more hours into the story. I learnt my lesson.

Carrying on, the book was awesome. However, then came to a point in the books where things went downhill. But I don't blame that on the audiobook but more on the plot line so I shall skip talking about it.

Overall, my first audiobook felt much like a testing experiment, I am not yet totally sold but I know there was some amazing aspects of them that I would love to experience again.

I would love to know if you have any suggestions of audiobooks that will blow me away?
What is your opinion on audiobooks?
What are some of your favourites?

Review: Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Catalyst
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2003
Page Count: 232
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Rating: 4/5


Meet Kate Malone-straight-A science and math geek, minister's daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend (to Mitchell "Early Decision Harvard" Pangborn III), unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all-or so she thinks. Then, things change as suddenly as a string of chemical reactions; first, the Malones' neighbors get burned out of their own home and move in. Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri's little brother. The days are ticking down and she's still waiting to hear from the only college she applied to: MIT. Kate feels that her life is spinning out of her control-and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart.

Favourite Quotes

"Look at the stupid, poor people. Look at the stupid, poor, burned-out people. Look at the stupid, poor, burned-out people, look at their dead baby. It's death porn for the masses."

Few Wild Words Quickie

There is definitely a beautiful gem hidden in this book.
My Thoughts

I started CATALYST with the thought 'this will be another typical/predictable read, sigh', taking into consideration that I had read SPEAK (which happens to be a favourite of mine). I would say it was mostly the summary's fault for making me think in that particular way.

Not much to my surprise, it did start off something like that - a predictable read.

The main character Kate Malone went straight onto my negative side not many pages in and knew all the wrong things to say. But, as I was reading, Laurie Halse Anderson's writing style clearly rang through. It was probably the reason that I just didn't put this book on my DNF pile only 10 pages in. There is something unique and beautiful about the author's writing even though Kate was annoying me.

HOWEVER...that didn't last for long. CATALYST started flowering into its full potential not long after.

Throughout the book you are introduced to a range of characters, from Kate's friends to the members of the Church. Most the characters were unique in their own way, making them stand out. Teri Litch was one of those characters that you grow closer to as you read on. She comes across as hostile and aggressive, though that may not change as the book progressed but you get to a point where you begin to understand her. Teri's story strongly drives the plot which is one of the reasons as a reader you can get to know her better.

Kate being the main character and all, you can see a change and growth in her as you read. You even begin to like her and see that she's not the most horrible and annoying person in the world.

Half way through the book, I swear my heart was pulled out from my chest and ripped into pieces, I shed many tears and had to put the book down for 10 minutes and rein in my emotions.

This particular event that takes place in the book set up the mood for the rest of the book. That is probably when you realise how amazing Anderson's writing is. Everything in the book feels REAL, like you are experiencing it. It's basically my favourite type of writing. At that point, I think Kate's voice comes through strongest and powerful. I will again repeat this book felt realistic!

A bonus for anyone who read Speak, CATALYST is set in the same school. AND GUESS WHAT?

Melinda from Speak makes an appearance and there is even short dialogue between Kate and Melinda. That was probably one of the awesome points of the book too. It felt like I was checking up on an old friend.

I wouldn't say this book is plot driven but much more about the characters and exploring them. I don't think this book will be enjoyed by everyone but it should definitely be given a chance.

Anyone else read the book?
If you have, what did you think?