Category Archives: 06 ROMANCE

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

5 Stars

Before Eleanor and Park, there was Juli and Bryce.

I remember the first time I read this book, I think I was around eleven. I was at the sweet age of butterflies and puppy love. This book left an impact because at that time I was only starting to understand what the fuss was all about. Few days ago, I decided to read this book again, wondering how different my perception would be from my eleven year-old self. The funny thing is, I think it still has the same effect as it did many years ago.

“One’s character is set at an early age, son. The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life.”

At this point in my life, there are very few books that can make me feel like a little kid again. Flipped is one of them. It’s amazing how this short book is able to bring me back to my childhood, to the time of first loves and first heartaches, no matter how long it’s been. The story’s strength lies on its simplicity and, ironically, therein lies its complexity. Through my second reading, I saw things I think I might’ve missed many years ago. Back then, all I saw was a story of innocent love, of how Bryce reminded me of my crush, but now I know there’s more to this book than meets the eye.

“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss. But every once in a while you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”

Materialism, false pretenses, prejudice, superficiality—these are things my eleven year-old self has yet to comprehend. But now I see the big picture. I love how the author was able to create two societies through two families. In a way, they are foils of each other.

“Get beyond his eyes and his smile and the sheen of his hair—look at what’s really there.”

Today, people care too much about appearances that we forget about substance. I think more adults should read and re-read Flipped. It not only brings back the tenderness of childhood but it also reminds us something that we’ve forgotten—something that we should always remember. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie Mcguire (Maddox Brothers #1)

2 Stars

A lot of people will probably hate me for this review but I have to be honest. How do I even begin? I feel so many conflicting emotions right now but hovering above them all is disappointment. Beautiful Oblivion left me with a strong feeling of dissatisfaction. I think the only thing worse than starting a book with prejudice is starting one with too much expectations.

I loved Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster so I was very excited to read this one—which I think contributed to the frown on my face as I write this review. Most reviews I’ve read from fellow book bloggers and in Goodreads have been positive and everyone talked about this big twist—people were shocked, upset, surprised, you name it. I blame the lateral-thinking addict in me for being so epicly let down by the twist that shattered the Jamie Mcguire fanbase because I was not surprised at all. I figured it out very early on in the book, probably too early—that it killed all the excitement. I believe I’m not the only one who had it all figured out from the start. Was it because I knew there was a twist and I was actively looking for it? Honestly, I felt that the secret was laid out so clearly throughout the story it was almost impossible to miss! This is why I’m baffled as to how many have failed to see it.

The “Big Secret” aside, let’s get on with the story. This book is about a different Maddox brother, Trenton. What is it about the Maddox boys? There’s something about them I can’t quite put a finger on. Maybe it’s the darkness in them? Come on, I’m sure every girl dreamt of taming the bad boy , being that one girl that finally gets the wolf settled—I think this is where the charm of this series comes from. Trenton definitely lives up to the Maddox name. He has the looks, the charm, the fighting skills, almost everything Travis—only, he’s not Travis. Sorry but I’m still a Travis girl through and through. The story runs parallel to BD and WD so we get to see snippets of events as seen by the people around Abby and Travis. We even get some “deleted scenes” so to speak–things that happened off-text from the original books. I thought those parts were interesting.

Beautiful Oblivion is supposed to be the first part of a series focusing on the Maddox brothers and I’m guessing all of them are just as hot as Travis and Trent, and I’m sure Mcguire fans will devour them just as eagerly. The truth is I didn’t enjoy this book as much I would’ve liked. It’s hard not to compare it to Beautiful Disaster, impossible even, and that’s where lies the problem for me. Travis and Abby’s story was volatile, tender, destructive, innocent and all-consuming all at the same time—this one just didn’t have that same fire and gentleness. That doesn’t mean this is a bad book, it just didn’t hit the right spot for me. Anyway, I’m sure fans of the original books will still find themselves engrossed regardless of its shortcomings.

“I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. Every woman who’s met you wants a shot at you. How could you ever think you’re the consolation prize?”

 

My Goodreads Review

Read my other reviews for Jamie Mcguire’s books:
A Beautiful Wedding
Walking Disaster
Beautiful Disaster

Want to know what THE SECRET is?
*Ultimate Spoiler* Read at your own risk!

Continue reading Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie Mcguire (Maddox Brothers #1)

A Beautiful Wedding by Jamie Mcguire

1 star

Sometimes, the best endings are those that leave room for imagination.

That’s exactly what I thought after reading this novella. I wish Jamie Mcguire just stopped at Walking Disaster because I felt that the first two books already concluded the way they should have. Beautiful Wedding just killed all the charm that ending had. Filling in every single bit of information missing from the other two books was a total miss for me. I felt like readers were deprived of imagining and filling in the missing bits for themselves. I was hugely disappointed with this novella, especially concerning Abby’s reasons for marrying Travis. I just ended up feeling bad for Travis instead of being happy for the two of them.

There is a point of telling too much, and this was telling too much.

Know when to stop. If you don’t want to spoil the spark that Beautiful and Walking gave you, skip reading this novella. Trust me, it’s better that way.

Read my other reviews for Jamie Mcguire’s books:
Beautiful Oblivion
Walking Disaster
Beautiful Disaster
 

Review: Eleanor & Park

4 Stars

“Tell us, why has Romeo and Juliet survived four hundred years?”
“Because,” he said quietly, looking at his desk, “because people want to remember what it’s like to be young? And in love?”

Young love. It’s something we’ve all experienced and got a taste of, something most of us have forgotten… a distant memory, a whisper, a soft melody from the past. Reading Eleanor & Park was like going back to that childhood, when everything was so simple yet important, and when love was just… love.

Continue reading Review: Eleanor & Park

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

1 star

When someone dies, people ask you how you’re doing, but they don’t really want to know. They seek affirmation that you’re okay, that you appreciate their concern, that life goes on and so can they.

I read this book because a friend from Goodreads recommended it to me so it was such a downer when I didn’t love it as much as she did. To be honest, I didn’t like it at all. I don’t know, maybe the plot wasn’t big enough for me? It felt more like a short story than a novel.

There was an overflow of descriptions and the narrations suffocated me. I skipped so many paragraphs and there were so many times wherein I just jumped straight to the dialogues just to get to the story. There were also a lot of filler conversations which really bored me. I felt like I was reading a “puberty novel” like Sweet Valley High, and I outgrew that sort a long time ago so I was not very happy.

Continue reading Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

1 star

Why? Why? Why did I read this book?!

I have no idea why this was written, or why it was  even published.  The drawings were nice and all, but the content itself… It was page after page of boring narration and storytelling. At first, I thought it’ll be something like Perks, but it wasn’t. I don’t even know what to say. I can get this story anywhere, or from any of my girlfriends and it’ll probably be more interesting.

Continue reading Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Walking Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

4 Stars

I’m love with Travis fucking Maddox. There, I said it.

Yes, I just finished Beautiful Disaster yesterday in one sitting, and today I devoured Walking Disaster in three effing hours. I couldn’t help it. I needed to. I loved this fictional tortured bad boy that much.

Sometime between the moment I turned the first page of Beautiful and the last page of Walking, I fell in love with him.

“One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy, the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never.”

Continue reading Walking Disaster by Jamie Mcguire