Book Review: The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant

The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

Page: 318

Publisher: BenBella Book Inc. (Thanks for sending me the book to review)

Published in: 2014

Buy it: BookDepository

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

So many secrets for such a small island. From the moment Anne Merchant arrives at Cania Christy, a boarding school for the world’s wealthiest teens, the hushed truths of this strange, unfamiliar land begin calling to her—sometimes as lulling drumbeats in the night, sometimes as piercing shrieks.

One by one, unanswered questions rise. No one will tell her why a line is painted across the island or why she is forbidden to cross it. Her every move—even her performance at the school dance—is graded as part of a competition to become valedictorian, a title that brings rewards no one will talk about. And Anne discovers that the parents of her peers surrender million-dollar possessions to enroll their kids in Cania Christy, leaving her to wonder what her lowly funeral director father could have paid to get her in… and why.

As a beautiful senior struggles to help Anne make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world without breaking the rules that bind him, she must summon the courage to face the impossible truth—and change it—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.

My Review:

The story starts off by Anne told the reader what were her objectives on the island, but there was no explanation why Anne was on the island in the first place. I do like the mystery part of the book, why Anne was on the island and why there were so many weird incidents happened on the island, these events did give me some suspense feeling about the book. The plot of the story is fine, although sometimes I feel like it’s not a very natural story line, like the author is piling up random events to make the story looks mysterious. I won’t say it’s not a good plot, but it doesn’t feel like a great one. The writing is cool, while shaping of the characters are non-existing (which is probably why I end up giving it a not-so-good rating).

I was quite satisfied with the book until some very unreasonable events happened between two characters, and it’s not a one-time thing, it keeps on coming which makes me started to hate the book. But I’m glad the story was becoming more reasonable and more exciting when it comes to the final quarter of the book. If the author can stop forcing some irrational events in this book, I think it can be a much better story to read.

I give this book 3/5 star, it’s an okay book.

 

Book Review: The War of The Worlds

The War of The Worlds by H.G. WellsImage

Pages: 199

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Original published in:  1897

Buy it: BookDepository

Synopsis:

In one night, there is a shooting star streak across the sky from Mars. A cylinder which contains aliens from the Mars is found on Horsell Common near London. Some naive locals approach the cylinder but they are quickly killed by the heat-ray emits by the Martians. After the Martians get used to the gravity of the Earth, the cylinder transforms into a gigantic killing machines. Meanwhile, more and more cylinders are striking onto the Earth. Martians starts a full invasion on Earth.

My thought:

As I’ve said for a lot of times, it’s an alien invasion story. What so special about it? It’s an alien invasion story from 18th century. It was an era when we barely have any technology. It’s a story which can amuse us nowadays, no wonder it’s a ridiculously creative story at the time it was published. I love the idea.

Let’s talk about the story itself, it’s an exciting story. The plot is not a twisting one but it’s quite intense because just like any other alien invasion story, people died. But of course, except the main character. There is only one main character in most of the time, but the book is too short that Wells didn’t invest much words on his characters which is one of few things that bothers me in this book. It is one of those plot-driven book rather than a character-driven book.

This writing is good enough. The description about the alien machines is precise and sufficient. I’ve read a short biography of H.G. Wells in the introduction section of the book. I found that he’s actually majoring in Biology in university, it’s one big advantage as a science fiction writer. When it comes to describing the alien thing in the book, although most of the things are fictional, he managed to present all the ideas in a reasonable which makes the story sounds very convincing, like something that actually happened in the real world.

4/5 stars. It could have been 5/5 stars but I really hate the ending. It could have ended in a better way. The ending feels like he was in a rush to end the story.

Overall, Wells’s stories are legendary, although I’ve only read one. LOL. He’s such an creative writer, most of his books are innovative. I conclude it by scanning all those titles. I definitely looking forwards to read more books from him.

Book Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Pages: 514

Publisher: HarperCollins (Pocket Edition)

Original published in: 1937

Buy it: BookDepository

Synopsis:

It is a story of an adventure. The Dwarves was living in the Lonely mountain and Thror was once hailed as The King under the mountain. But the Smaug hijacked their mountain and killed lots of the dwarves. After all these years, the grandson of Thror, Thorin planned to reclaim the mountain. Gandalf who is a wizard helped him to recruit the final member of their dragon-slaying squad, he chose The Hobbit- Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo Baggins was never a “adventure” person but when this chance has come, he left his home and started the adventure.

My thought:

I didn’t expect I will love this book that muh. Obviouly, most of the people who read it, loves it. But I don’t really have a high hope on this one. After I read the first chapter, it feels like the book has some sort of magic casted on me, I love it!

The setting is great. The writing of Tolkien is unique while it’s really cool to read. He wrote in a concise style, not much words are wasted, every single word counts. I love his writing style

One thing I love about the book while I really hate is that there is way too many dwarves. Until now, I cannot remember the name of every dwarf. However, it’s also athe thing that I really love about the story. I can’t tell you te reason but it just feels like a warm family-kind of characters, I nearly foget it’s a dragon-slaying squad.

My favourite dwarf is Balin. He alwyas has the faith in the Hobbit even when his dwarves company doubt the ability of their burglar. Also, Fili and Kili, I don’t think they deserve this ending. These 3 dwarves gave me the biggest impression.

Of course, I can’t miss our burglar, Bilbo. It’s kind of surprising that he transformed from what he was before the journey into what he is after the journey. That is also one of my favourite thing about the sotry. I think the Hobbit is a story of courage, I just want to go on a journey after reading this one. I feel invincible. But a story is a story, there will be no Gandalf to save our ass in trouble, this book did inspire me to challenge myself more though.

After all, I really love this book. It’s definitely an inspiring story and a very worth reading book.

I look forward to read the Lord of The Rings series and other works by Tolkien.

5/5 stars.

Book Review: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Pages: 514

Publisher: Penguin (Drop Caps Edition)

Original published in: 1847

Buy it: BookDepository

Synopsis: 

It is a story about Jane Eyre (very obviously). The story starts when she was 10 and she was an orphan. She lived with her aunt Mrs. Reed and her cousins in Gateshead. But she was never a favourite kid in the family so her aunt sent her to a charity school in Lowood where Jane spent 8 years there. Jane became a well-mannered lady there and she got a job of a governess in Thornfield Hall which is owned by Mr. Rochester. This is really where the story begins. As Mr. Rochester was a traveller while Gateshead and Lowood are the places that Jane spent her entire life in, when these two people meets, there was a lot of difference between them.

My thought:

First of all, I’ve to say the Penguin Drop Cap editions are absolutely beautiful. The cover design caught my eyes as soon as I saw it. It looks very well both on hands and on he shelf.

Okay, back to business. 😀

As such a famous classic, Jane Eyre didn’t fail to meet my expectations. Everybody I know says it is a great book to read, I found it very interesting and a book which is easily attached to. I don’t know if it is appropriate to compare this book to the novels by Jane Austen, but this book is much more dramatic than Jane Austen’s books. The plot of Jane Eyre is more fluctuating and more unpredictable. I love the plot very very much. Every events happened in the book are closely related and coherent.

Jane Eyre is such a likable character. In the era of the story happened, it’s pretty hard to find a girl like she is, she had an independent mind while still kept all the good manners. She is a very sensible and really eloquent speaker. I loved to read her speaking, it’s very enjoyable. I didn’t like Mr. Rochester much, sometimes he just got so unreasonable and unpredictable.

The book is beautifully written. Classics are usually more difficult to read but the writing in Jane Eyre is relatively easier to read. If you didn’t read much classics, this book is probably a good book to start with, it will help you to get accustomed to the style of classic in a less painful way.

One thing that I didn’t like about the book is that there are so many French dialogues. Because Jane is the governess of Adele who is a French girl, so Adele sometimes speaks in French and for reader who don’t know French will have no idea what she’s saying. But, luckily it’s not a big problem.

I know BBC made a mini-series of Jane Eyre few years before, I’m going watch it cause I love this book so much.

5/5 stars.

Fan Girl | Book Review

Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell 16068905

Pages: 448

Published: 2013

Buy it: Bookdepository

Shelf it: Goodreads

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My thoughts:

Before reading this, I didn’t expect this is such a great book to read. I don’t even have any intention to buy this before I saw a tweet about the $3.99 deal of this book on amazon. But after I read it, I regretted so much that I didn’t read it as soon as it came out.

The writing of this book is good. Dialogues are hilarious and sometimes really funny(Laugh out loud literally). The pacing of this book is great. It’s a page turner, you’ll never want to put this book put once you started it. Characters in this book are very likable, especially the main character Cath who is an Internet geek. I found her nerdiness very familiar, it’s almost like reading a character like myself. Everyone who are Internet enthusiast(better name than geeks huh)  will definitely love this book. I’m not really a fan of Romance story but I don’t dislike it either, but I found this love story explicitly likable. The love between Cath and Levi(another main character) comes in a natural way which is awesome. All the good things about this book come together to make it a VERY realistic story.

5/5 stars. Love it !

4 reasons to read it:

  1. Writing is perfect
  2. Very funny and hilarious
  3. Dialogue is well written
  4. If you’re Internet enthusiast

3 reasons Not to read it:

  1. You despise Nerd/Geek/Internet enthusiast
  2. You hate love story
  3. I can’t think of any more

The Humans | Book Review

The Humans by Matt Haig17790153

Pages: 294

Published: 2013

Buy it: Bookdepository

Shelf it: GoodReads

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

It’s hardest to belong when you’re closest to home…One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world’s greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears. When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he’s a dog. Can a bit of Debussy and Emily Dickinson keep him from murder? Can the species which invented cheap white wine and peanut butter sandwiches be all that bad? And what is the warm feeling he gets when he looks into his wife’s eyes?

My thought:

This is a brilliant book. Idea of this books is genius. The writing is great and the writer has a great sense of humour. The Humans is one of my favourite reads in 2013. Here is the reasons why.

At the start of the story, it is known that the real Andrew Martin has been captured. A replacement of Andrew Martin is “acting” by an alien with Andrew Martin’s appearance. When I read to here, I was like ” this is going to be so much fun to read”. Why? Because this alien apparently know nothing about how the world of human works, he need to learn it all over, just like a new born baby. It means that there are plenty of stupid mistakes being made when this alien is learning to adapt the life of human race, which makes the story really funny and makes me giggle a lot.

About the writing of this book, I think it is good. It is neat and concise. I really like how the author shows the feelings and the emotions of the characters, because the main character in this book is an alien, after all, he is not human, so his emotions must be different from normal human. Fortunately, the author did it perfectly to show the emotions of this alien.

Characters is this book are well-shaped. They have very distinct personality which makes them very easy to recall. Even a dog in the story, the author seems to have give him a character which is really interesting.

The plot in this book is awesome. Since it is a story about an alien adapting the live of human, you can see the view of this alien on human is changing gradually from despise the way human are living to understand human then to love human. Of course, it is a novel and alien is virtual. The most sensational thing of this story is that you can see how we are living in this world from a different point of view(the view of alien). This is the vital element of the success of this book (at least I think it is a success).

I’m giving this book 5/5 stars. Sensational book.

4 reasons to read this:

1. The writing is cool.

2. It’s a humorous story while it’s very touching.

3. It teaches you how to life a live.

4. It shows you a different point of view

3 reasons not to read this:

1. It is quite absurd at the start.

2. Just in case you hate alien story.

3. It is a serious book, not the book that will make you relax or so.

 

I am the Messenger | Book Review

19057I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Pages: 360

Published: May 2006

Buy it: Bookdepository

Shelf it: Goodreads

Synopsis from:

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

My thought:

This is the best book I’ve read in 2013. No kidding. I’m just so impressed by Markus Zusak’s writing. This is this first book of him I read and I’m planning to read more from him. So, lets talk about the book :D.

At first, I’m a little bit unaccustomed to the way that Markus Zusak write, there is a lot of short sentences in the books which divides a passage into lots of paragraph. But then, I feel good about it, because it just like what real life looks like. (Does it sounds right ?) This is what I’m going to talk about. This book is so REALISTIC. The story is happened in Sydney(I guess, correct me if i’m wrong), I just been to there in the summer vacation. When I’m reading this, the memory about Sydney just flash back in my mind and it feels so real. No only the environment, but also the characters is real as well.

I love the characters in the book. Each of the characters has a very distinct personality. This is what I love about this books, it makes the story seems like a microcosm of real life society. The writer reveals how the character feels not only by telling us but also by showing us. I love being shown how the characters feels rather than being told, it feels more like in real life.

This book is so unpredictable, I just can’t guess what is going to happen next. I love it. And the ending is just making me ” Woah !!! ” literally. Last time it happened when I finished 1984 by George Orwell. The plot of this book is brilliant. The book start off a little bit slow but it will pick up the pace right after the beginning and sprint to the climax at the ending part.

The behind meaning of this book is freaking huge which makes this book very inspiring and  encouraging. But the meaning itself is very obvious. ( I shouldn’t called it behind meaning XD) Anyway, I love the message that the write want to address through this book. Simply awesome.

One more thing, this book is so funny and hilarious. I keep giggling and sometimes laugh out loud when I’m reading this. But it becomes quite emotional at the end, it’s just PERFECT.

I’m giving this books 5 stars out of 5 stars, AWESOME book.

4 reasons to read this:

1. Realistic writing

2. Brilliant plot

3. Funny as hell

4. Awesome meaning from this book

3 reasons not to read this:

1. Not easy to get into the story

2. The meaning of this book is TOO obvious

3. If you don’t like awesome book. XD