Tag Archives: book review

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent #1)

3 Stars

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.

Divergent reminded me of The Giver (Lois Lowry), The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) and Harry Potter (JK Rowling). I guess every dystopian fiction will always remind me of The Giver in one way or another.

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Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

1 star

In a world where vows are worthless. Where making a pledge means nothing. Where promises are made to be broken, it would be nice to see words come back into power.

Lullaby is the first Palahniuk novel that I was able to finish, and it will probably be the last. Not that it’s bad. It was good for what it’s worth. The plot was decent and it was a light-read… but for some weird reason I had a hard time reading it on a continuous basis. I had to stop every few chapters or so because it became tiring. Not in the sense that it was difficult to read, maybe the writing style simply didn’t suit my taste. I guess Palahniuk’s books are an acquired taste, something that falls on the “either you like it or you don’t”.

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Graceling by Kristin Cashore

5 Stars

When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?

Graceling was a wonderful book. It’s the first part of a trilogy but it can perfectly stand alone. Kristin Cashore wrote a colorful story filled with beautifully-written characters. The tone of the narration was neither too fast nor too slow. The pace was both slow and action-packed at the same time.

Katsa, the main protagonist, was a flawed yet incredibly strong character. You’ll be able to empathize with her easily despite her attitude problems. Her strength of character and willpower was so admirable that it was almost impossible not to like her. She was a girl who was aware of her imperfections and learned to embrace them. Po, the main male protagonist, was also a great character on his own. He was the voice of both reason and passion.

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Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

4 Stars

Because things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.

I wrote this review way back when the novel just came out and I consider myself lucky to be one of the early readers and to have read this without the movie or the cast influencing my perception of the book and its characters.

This book is a coming-of-age story revolving around the life of Charlie, an introverted boy who doesn’t involve himself too much with the things and events around him. In “wallflower” terms, he doesn’t participate. The story is told from Charlie’s POV, in a letter form addressed to someone, which the audience (us) gets to read. At first I was doubtful with the format used but as the story went on, I felt that it was just right. The pacing was refreshingly slow but not dragging. It felt as if I was really living Charlie’s life with him. You get to read his thoughts, his inner ramblings and opinions on his life, and the lives around him.

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His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

4 Stars

I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.

His Dark Materials is a trilogy that tackles the theory of parallel worlds, and more importantly, it parallels the present Church and Religion. The movie adaptation was an extremely watered down version of the real Golden Compass, and did not give it justice at all, so I hope potential readers won’t base the quality of the books on the horrible film.

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Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud

5 Stars

Freedom is an illusion. It always comes at a price.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy is set in a fictional London, wherein magic, magicians and demons are normal occurrences in everyday life, and that they actively participate in events all throughout history. In a sense, the trilogy offers an alternative, witty and funny “explanation” on how monumental events have happened in history. The story follows Nathaniel and his djinni Bartimaeus from his childhood as a young noble magician to his transformation to becoming the corrupted John Mandrake, and eventually his redemption and return to good.

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The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

3 Stars

It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.

This is a collective review for The Hunger Games Trilogy.

When I first read the book, my immediate thought was that it was a Battle Royale rip-off, but I set my prejudice aside and read it. I loved Battle Royale so the comparison was hovering over my head. The story turned out to be quite similar, but very different. I was engrossed enough to become a fan and root for Katniss even though she was unlikeable in so many ways. I liked how she embodied the modern heroine. The thrill and excitement was also brilliantly built up. It intrigued me on how she would survive the arena, on what she’ll do next, and on who’ll die next. I was satisfied with the ending of the first book. But I’m afraid I couldn’t say the same for the second and third.

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