Monthly Archives: September 2015

George by Alex Gino

Standard

george

Title: George

Author: Alex Gino

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: August 25, 2015

Pages: 240 pages


BE WHO YOU ARE.

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


George by Alex Gino is a children’s book, but it is more mature than any other books I have ever read. It has this subtle way of educating the reader what it is to be transgender, and it opened a window for us to realize their life and emotions. I believe that this book is an important read because kids, at a young age, should know that transgender people are real; they have feelings, they could be anybody, and that they could be transgender and it’s okay.

George teaches kids and adults acceptance and unconditional love. It shows us that we need to be nice to one another because you’ll never know what someone is going through. The story is written simply because it should be this simple to accept someone’s identity.

“And you know what? If you think you’re a girl, then I think you’re a girl too!”

Quite a few books have made me cry this year, and George is definitely one of them. Bitter-sweet tears escaped my eyes because someone finally put it out there that you are okay; that you are okay if you are transgender, or bi, or gay, or lesbian.

You are okay if you are anything but straight.

“Well, you can’t control who your children are, but you can certainly support them, am I right?”

To all the parents who are struggling to accept their transgender kid, or gay son, or lesbian daughter — there is nothing wrong with them, with us. We are still the same child you taught how to read and say the ABCs. We are still the same child you taught how to ride the bike. Our sexuality and identity might not be straight, but we are still the same child you gave birth to. Nothing has changed. The world is already a cruel place, but as long as we have you, your love and acceptance, we will be okay.

To all who are struggling to accept their identity or sexuality — there is nothing wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with us. Our sexuality and identity is our normal just like how straight people like their opposite sex. The world can be cruel to people that’s “different,” but trust me when I say that it will get better. Life is scary. Life is difficult, but it is much more difficult if you keep on fighting who you really are. Don’t make your own life difficult. Love and accept yourself.

“Be who you are.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Standard

everything everything

Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Illustrated: Yes

Publisher: Delacorte Books

Published: September 1, 2015

Pages: 320 pages


“Just because you

can’t experience everything

doesn’t mean

you shouldn’t experience anything.”


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is about Madeline Whittier’s life. She seems like a normal teenager; loves to read books, runs an online book blog, wants to get a learner’s permit, and maybe visit the beach. Most importantly, she wants to experience her first kiss.

So, what’s stopping her?

Maddy has this disease called Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). I don’t want to bore you with facts so I’ll sum it up for you: Her immune system is compromised. She is basically allergic to the world. She is a bubble girl and she has been for almost eighteen years. She lives in a sterile environment and is being taken cared of by her mom (who, luckily, is a doctor) and her amazing nurse named Carla.

Maddy is content with her life; she has a close relationship with her mom, a huge collection of books specially decontaminated just for her, homeschooled, and she has internet. I mean, life could not get any better, right?

Then one day, her predictable life is turned up side down.

“Maybe we can’t predict everything, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

Olly is the new boy next door. “He’s tall, lean, and wearing all black: black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He’s white with pale honey tan and his face is starkly angular.” Perfect example of a mysterious, good looking guy that piques the interest of a curious girl, right?

Olly seems like a nice guy with good intentions.

He is also curious with the girl next door.

They have to meet each other.

“He’s not safe. He’s not familiar. He’s in constant motion. He’s the biggest risk I’ve ever taken.”


Ok. I am not certain if you know how much I DESPISE instalove. Everything, Everything is basically a curious girl who obsessively thinks about the guy next door leading to impulsive, and careless decisions. She fell for the guy, he fell for her. It fits every quality that usually make my eyes roll until I see my brain. Why such a high rating then?

I won’t spill much, but I actually had the feels with this book; it gnawed on my limbic system and left me hollow inside. Bonus: It wasn’t caused by the two sweethearts.

Maddy and Olly are “weird” in their own way. I don’t know how the author did it, but she managed to make their connection click. Was it because I can relate to how their relationship developed? Was it because she defied her mother just for Olly? (Which I did too when I was her age). Did I like it because it was relatable?

One more thing, I really like the diversity in this book; racially and sexually. Thank you, author.

All in all, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was an enjoyable read. Before I end this review, I would like for you to ponder on something.

“Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you could just change one thing?”

Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5 stars

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Standard

A monster calls

Title: A Monster Calls

Author: Patrick Ness

Inspiration: Siobhan Dowd

Illustrated: No

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Published: August 4, 2015

Pages: 240 pages


After reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, I remember lying in bed thinking, “What just happened? What did I do to myself?”

The book is extremely haunting not because of living monsters. No. It is haunting because of the monsters that dwell inside the body — inside a person’s mind.

You really aren’t afraid, are you?

“No,” Conor said. “Not of you, anyway.”

You will be, it said. Before the end.

Patrick Ness is a master puppeteer and I, the puppet. He knew exactly how to tug the strings to make the reader feel certain emotions. He easily manipulated my emotions from being scared, hurt, feeling betrayed, happy, to ugly crying in a heartbeat. His words were raw, powerful, and unrestrained.

Looking back, I don’t remember any description of Conor. However, that did not matter because somehow the author managed to put me, the reader, in Conor’s shoes. Suddenly, I was the teenager who’s feeling the grief, and pain, and suffering. I was suddenly sent back in time when I was feeling the same emotions.

Having no description of Conor did not matter because I was Conor.

Brilliantly scary.

A Monster Calls totally caught me off guard. This book is easily one of my best reads ever.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. Don’t do any research and don’t read any spoilers. Put your guard down and embrace vulnerability.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Standard

uprooted

Title: Uprooted

Author: Naomi Novik

Published: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Del Ray

Pages: 438 pages


Uprooted by Naomi Novik was one of my longest reads this year; even longer than J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which, by the way, has 870 pages.

Up to now, I am still very confused with what I just read so I need you to bear with me.


Gregory Maguire, author of the Wicked, said that Uprooted is “Bewitching.” I say, it’s “Confusing.” Maybe “Bewildering” or “Perplexing.”  You might say, “OMG! How dare she say those words? The book was sooooo good!” Well, my friend, I am very glad the book worked for you. Sadly, it wasn’t for me. Here are the reasons why:

  • The main character’s name, Agnie-who-tf-knows-how-to-spell-her-name-much-more-pronounce-it, was just too much to remember. If only she had more substance in her characterization, I would have tried to remember her name.
  • I understand that the book is Fiction, but there was a severe lack of feminism. Woah. Wait. Feminism? Why do you need feminism? This is just a book.

wrong opinion

When a woman is about to be raped because men think they can do anything they want — because they think she is just a piece of meat, because he is a man and he is entitled to have any woman he wants — that’s when you need feminism.

The sad part was, the main character was reprimanded for “teasing” the rapist; for “looking good for him.”

NO, NO, NO!

1) The main character did not dress up for him.

2) You can look good for yourself, and yourself only.

3) If you decide to dress up, that doesn’t mean anybody who thinks you look good can touch you.

  • The plot was too dense. There was so much going on and so little time to process.
  • There was magic, gore, and so much blood. What was missing then? Well, my attention. This book took me 14 days to finish. Granted I was busy, but when you are interested in something you always make time because you want to, not because you have to. I had to make time.
  • The plot change in the end threw me off. As a nurse, flexibility in your daily routine is very important. It is very easy for me to adapt my schedule when I am working on the floor because I love what I do. It was difficult for me to adapt with the change in the end of the book because it barely caught my attention in the beginning.

I usually try to say something nice about the book after I “bash” it and this is that part.

Wait for it. Wait for it.

Ok. I have nothing.

Just kidding! I do have quite a few good things to say about the book.

  • The author tried to do a proper world building in the book. Her world building helped me see the gory bloodshed which caused my pulse to quicken. It made me clearly visualize decapitations, bloody battles, and ghastly creatures of the dark (one of them reminded me of Groot’s features from The Guardians of the Galaxy).
  • The sex scene. Why is this a good thing again? Ok, we are all adults here (if not, kids, avert your eyes). The main character and The Dragon had a lust filled sex scene that lasted for a good page or two that left little to the imagination. Though they never had any chemistry in the book, they somehow managed to do it before war broke loose. “Welp. I never liked you, but there’s a war so we better get to it!”

There you have it, ladies and gents!

I should put a little disclaimer somewhere that states to not let my book reviews influence your experience.

Anyway, I hope you have a better experience with this book than me.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

One Lovely Blog Award

Standard

Wow you guys! I received my second award from Grape Fruit Books!

This award is the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you so much Sania!

OLBA


Rules:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself. 
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

Facts:

  1. I was born in the Philippines and was raised by my grand parents from my mother’s side. My mom had to leave me to work as a nurse in the US when I was four to give me a better life.
  2. I was bit  by a dog when I was a kid. After that, I was very leery with dogs until I met Dopey. I mean look at him? Isn’t he just handsome?Dopey
  3. When I was a kid, I would not eat any meal until my betamax for The Little Mermaid was on. spongebob nah
  4. One of my cousins always had an accident every time I was with her. I don’t think I was bad luck; she was lucky because I was the one who got help.
  5. I met my fiancée on the internet and we talked for six months until we finally got the chance to see each other in person. We just celebrated our 7th anniversary.
  6. My mom and I were not close (see #1). We became close when I got kicked out (long story).
  7. I lost my passion for reading when I was in high school but it was brought back magically by J.K. Rowling. hp

Nominees:

Skyes Book Blog
Tea and a Good Read
Ever So Mela
Books at Dawn
Read at Midnight

I know. I know. I’m a million nominees short.