To tell you honestly, I am quite not sure where I found the time to read seven books in a month. When I look back at March, I realized that I actually went out a lot more than usual. (I’m a homebody, remember?) Maybe it’s because I read three thin novels that’s why I managed to read 7. I told you I pretty much have all the time in the world. I love my job, I can do anything I want after work hours. Anyway, even though I’ve read two books more than usual, I still can’t say March is a good reading month. The books I read for this month didn’t evoke that much emotion from me. Heh.
1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I didn’t really know what to expect from this book. All I know is that it’s on my book wishlist since forever simply because I’m itching to read a trilogy/series/saga/etc. I guess I like reading about the same characters over and over. I bought it without knowing that it’s actually a mystery book, aiming to solve two cases at a time. I actually thought it has a tinge of fantasy to it. But I was dead wrong.
I instantly liked the book, though, because I love reading mystery novels. I got hooked in the case, and I couldn’t stop reading until they solved it. The characters are interesting, too, especially Lisbeth. However, the other case they need to solve has a lot to do with finance and the stock market. I think I cheated a little. I read everything but I glossed over the parts wherein they discuss finance and stock market and etc., etc.. I really could care less about Financial Journalism. The historical case, on the other hand, was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat (my bed, really), keeping me awake past my bedtime. It was only halfway through the novel did the characters meet. It was only then that the story got exciting. I just think the author explained too much things that shouldn’t be explained at all. I love details but this book is too detailed. I don’t know. It’s good to explain hacking because it is essential to the story. But explaining every little thing about it takes the fun out of everything. Everything just go too technical. I cannot wait to watch the movie, though. Both the Swedish film and the one to be directed by David Fincher.
2. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Bought this at Booksale for only 40PHP. It was a good find but I finished the book half-asleep. It’s not that the book is boring, it just so happened that I was tired and sleepy when I read it. But it was short so I still finished it right away. With my barely conscious brain, I managed to judge the book to be good, really good. I’m not that familiar with the story but I pretty much know what will happen.
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been adapted in different formats over the years, but the book’s still worthy to be read. In narrating the events that happened, Stevenson used an outsider’s point of view, someone who also doesn’t know what’s happening, someone who is shocked as much as the readers to know what truly happened to Dr. Jekyll. Though readers may already know what happened, he used a style that will make readers anticipate what happened. What I also like in the book is how it manages to make the readers question the good and evil sides of humanity. Not a lot of books can provoke readers to think.
3. Popped by Chinggay Labrador
It’s about KPOP, and that was enough reason for me to read it. I have yet to read a Summit book that I will truly like. It’s not exactly a waste of time to read because it does have a few good parts. However, I still do not think any non-fangirl would have the power to read Popped. I am fangirl, was a rabid one, too, but some parts just make me cringe. Fangirls already know the ups and downs of loving KPOP/Kdramas/Kmovies/etc. A book clearly depicting how insane fangirls can be is quite unnecessary. I should give credit to the writer, though. She is very well-researched. The characters’ reaction to situations are very realistic, too. What I don’t like is how they are pretty much pushed to situations that only a fangirl can conjure in her silly little dreamland. So all I’m saying is, Popped is like a fangirl’s every dream coming true in a novel form.
I discussed this with my sister and we pretty much have the same thing to say: FANFICTION. It’s like a fanfic written by anyone online. This is quite demeaning but I have read better fics that didn’t make me pay P150. It’s just sad because there’s so many things to explore in a fangirl’s life, so many perspectives to play with. Yet, the author chose the easy one. I wonder if she had ever read a fanfiction. I feel kind of evil to say all these. But I have read tons of stories like this, many beautiful ones unpublished. I have so much more to say but I’d rather not say it. Heh.
4. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Reading Tuck Everlasting wasn’t part of the plan at all. I just got bored at my parents’ store so I head to Booksale and purchased this book along with three others. I had seen trailers of the movie but I really couldn’t remember what it was about. The book cover’s a little misleading, though, since Alexis Bledel doesn’t look 10 years old, and Winnie, the lead character, is only 10. With this being said, I should head on to commenting on the book.
I have always been fascinated with anything that deals with immortality. This book deals with the topic in a really good way, a way that will really turn off anyone from being immortal. Sure, immortality sounds good, too, but as one of the characters in the book says, being immortal kind of eliminates you from the natural cycle of life. Dying is as essential as living, and knowing there’s an end to everything gives life more sense, more excitement, more value. Tuck Everlasting is a children’s book and even if it deals with such a complex topic (immortality), I’m pretty much sure any kid would love it and understand what the author is trying to say. So Tuck Everlasting, along with The Graveyard Book, goes on the shelf that I will make my future children read.
5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
When I’m neither in love/like nor annoyed with a book, I end up not having much to say about it. That’s how I feel about The Secret Life of Bees. It has been weeks since I read this, and I don’t think I’ve made up my mind about this book. It’s about a girl named Lily Owens who ran away from home with her black nanny, Rosaleen, during the decade when the color of the skin determined the social status of a person. It’s about her quest on finding out what truly happened to her mother. Actually, it’s a lot more than that, I’m just not that emotionally attached to the characters in this one to dig deeper. The book is based on a tragedy that happened when Lily was just a child. The gravity of the situation can weigh down anyone but it didn’t affect me all that much.
The story is endearing enough but I still cannot find myself to really like it. I do understand that I got bored at some parts. I just thought the book has too much narration with only a little dialogue and action. The story picks up and gets a bit more interesting (for me!!) when the awesome Zach (the heroine’s love interest) is introduced. I like how the story doesn’t revolve around the romance between Zach and Lily but you can still see how the situation affects the both of them and how it changes them, especially Lily. The book has one too many peculiar characters and I just think a book/series/etc. should only have a few (or just one!) for these characters to shine. Each character has a distinct peculiarity that no one really stands out that much. I’m not ever sure if what I’m saying makes sense!
6. Hoot by Carl Hiassen
It was the mystery of the running boy that go me hooked in this novel. But when the secret’s finally revealed, I started losing interest in the story. I just don’t feel like the story’s engaging enough. I’m thinking that maybe I’m too old that I can no longer understand this Young Adult novel. I just think it leans more on the youthful side of the Young Adult genre. Also, it concerns saving the burrowing owls, and I just can’t force myself to get attached to stories dealing with animals. I’m just not a fan of novels about animals. Though, the book isn’t mainly about that.
Maybe I would like this book more when I read this when I was in high school. It’s about going against up to bullies, deciding for yourself, standing up for what you believe in, and making friends with anyone, even if s/he’s an oddity. Maybe if I was only 16 when I read, maybe I would have liked it more. Maybe I’m just being biased right now.
7. Every Girl’s Guide to Boys by Marla Miniano
Whenever I read a book from Summit, I always end up disappointed. I really don’t understand why I keep reading Summit novels. But Ayessa has a lot of Summit books and encouraged me to read this one since she said I could probably relate to the main character. She was right. It’s about this girl named Chrissy, who pretty much has everything and is as happy and contented as anyone can be. But our similarities stop there. (Also, I do not have everything. I think I have enough, a little more than enough sometimes.) Chrissy kind of wished she has things other things to worry about; and she soon got her wish granted.
I actually have a lot to say about this book but I will sum it up to three things. First, the characters are a too mature for high school students. I cannot relate to them in any way. When I was in high school, I was still too busy playing. I had no time to have boy problems that I’d get in trouble with my parents. Also, I cannot relate to their lifestyle. Maybe it’s because Marla Miniano’s books are always based on the city that’s why her characters are a bit mature. I DON’T KNOW. They live a too extravagant lifestyle compared to mine and to the majority of people I know, to tell you frankly. Second, poor, poor Nathan. And last, I am nothing like Chrissy. I will never lead on anyone. I will never choose a guy over another one just because this other one happens to be a jerk. N-O-P-E. I am not like Chrissy. So yes, I didn’t like how Chrissy and Nathan end up together. It was quite obvious from the very start, though. BUT, like Chrissy, I still have a lot of things to learn so I will not dare set-up my own advice blog, seeking to solve the problem of today’s youth. No mockery intended.