Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Leaving Paradise

I just started this book called Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. (I've been reading a lot of books by her lately).

It's a story about Caleb and Maggie.

One night, Caleb gets drunk at a party, decides to drive home and ends up hitting Maggie who also happens to be his next door neighbor. Caleb gets sent to juvie for about a year while Maggie spends that same year getting numerous surgeries and attending weekly physical therapy sessions and trying to forget the nightmare that was that night.

The story picks up when Caleb gets a review at juvie and is allowed to leave earlier than his original sentence. It just so happens that Caleb gets released right before senior year is about to start and Maggie will be going back to school for the first time since the accident (she completed much of her junior year with the help of tutors). Caleb and Maggie are both kind of returning to what used to be their norm and they approach this situation with different attitudes. Maggie realizes that over the past year, she went from being pretty popular to not having any friends. She is now the outsider and is receiving much unwanted attention due to everyone knowing about the accident and the fact that she now has a very obvious limp. All Maggie really wants is to get out of this town, Paradise. Caleb on the other hand returns home thinking that he's served his punishment and is now ready to move one and make up for what he did. He is realizing that it won't be that simple. His parents don't really know how to be around him, his sister has gone goth, and Maggie hates him for what he did.

I'm not that far into the book yet but so far it seems really interesting. What attracted me most was really the thought of how someone might fall in love with the person who basically turned your life upside down, and not in a good way.

How do you fall in love with the person who ruined your life?

I guess I'm going to find out.

Chain Reaction: Book Review

I've been reading like crazy lately. Finished the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elekles. It's a series in the sense that each book is about a different brother of the same family and the characters overlap but it's not the kind of series where you have to read it in order.

Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3)Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I'm going to keep it short a simple for this one.

Luis is very different from his Alex and Carlos. He still has the confidence/cockiness that is a Fuentes brothers trademark but what he does not have is the bad boy image that his older brothers had. Niki experiences something very personal and traumatic that results in her losing trust in all boys, especially the ones from the South Side.

The story itself was interesting and much more dramatic towards the end than the other two were (and there is no denying that the other two had dramatic endings). I loved the Alex and Brittany wedding scene and Carlos and Kiara panty discus scene (you'll have to actually read it to know what I'm talking about because I'm not going to ruin the amazing-ness by summarizing it).

Now that I've finished the series I can say that my favorite of the three is probably Perfect Chemistry because it was the original, everything was a surprise and the ending was just perfect. Second is Rules of Attraction, I love the chemistry between Carlos and Kiara and the moments they have together are a lot more intense and passionate than in any of the other books. Last but not least is Chain Reaction. (so basically I like them in the order they came out)

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rules of Attraction: Book Review

This is the second book in the Perfect Chemistry series, which by the way is probably going to be on my list of favorite book series. I love the cheesy romance and the opposites attract cliche.

Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2)Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Also reviews on my blog

Finished reading "Rules of Attraction" and I have to say it went really fast. I couldn't put the book down and now I think I'm becoming a huge fan of Simone Elkeles.

Reading the other reviews, I noticed that many people commented about the similarities between Rules of Attraction and Perfect Chemistry. I gotta say, yeah there are similarities (two people who are polar opposites meet and fall in unlikely love; bad boy involved with gangs; resistance to love; boy thinks about giving up the girl for her own sake but eventually changes his mind, etc.) but I still felt that the book was different and unique in its own way and the characters were different and really it wasn't all that much the same... just similar structure.

I loved Carlos. He was different from Alex in that he tried harder to put up the bad boy front whereas Alex seemed like he didn't really try for that. I liked that Carlos was a hard candy with a soft center.

Kiara was the shy girl breaking out of her shell. I found her feelings for Carlos to be real and believable and most of the time I was right there along with her getting annoyed or enticed or whatever else.

The relationship itself was much more sudden than in Perfect Chemistry. The build up was different. In Perfect Chemistry there was a slow progression to the first kiss, the sex scene, and the ending. In Rules of Attraction, it was a lot more jerky. It was like one second they hated each other and were resisting their feelings for each other, the all of a sudden there is a kiss, then the almost sex, and the sex, and the climax. It was all just really fast, though I think that was appropriate for the relationship between Carlos and Kiara.

Anyway, I really like this book and now it's time for me to move on to Luis and Chain Reaction. :D

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Perks of Being a Wallflower

I'm currently reading "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. Here's what it looks like in case you were wondering.
I've already read this book but that was four or five years ago and frankly I don't remember it much. Now, they're making a movie based on it and Emma Watson, AKA Hermione Granger, is playing Sam which is really pretty exciting. So, I figured I might as well re-read and refresh my memory on the story. I'm only on page 75, which is about a third of the way through, and boy is this book good. So for those of you who haven't read this or don't know what it's about, I'm going to give you a quick description. It's a coming of age story about a boy named Charlie who just started high school. He is what's called a "wallflower" which basically means that he sorts of stays on the sidelines and observes rather than being in the action itself. So Charlie just started high school and he's having his first experiences with the real world. The book is written in letter format, Charlie is writing letters to an unknown person, and in these letters he describes events that are happening in his life as well as some of his own thoughts.

Like I said, I don't remember this book from the first time I read it and I'm thinking that's probably because it didn't really connect with me on the same level at the age of 14 as it does now. At 14, I was probably in the same period of my life that Charlie is and was too busy being a wallflower and completely naive towards with reality of the world that the book was... well just a book. Reading it now, I find myself connected with Charlie so much more and realizing that a lot of these thoughts that he's writing about are things that I've probably though of too.

One of my favorite parts is the end of the November 15, 1991 letter where Charlie is talking about photographs and glory days. He basically says that children look at their parents old photographs from when they were kids/teens and think that they their parents were a lot happier at that age than they (the kids) are now. Charlie says that he wants to tell his kids that they are just as happy as he was at that age and he hopes that they believe him. I read that and had a sad smile on my face because I realized that I do that too. When I go through something bad, something that's a normal teenage problem/challenge/insecurity, I find myself thinking that I won't want my kids to feel the same way. The weird thing is that I'm only 18 and thus not planning on having kids any time soon but yet I still think about the ways I want their life to be better than mine.

I didn't realize I was going to write this much but I think I like writing my thoughts on a book as I read it so maybe I'll be doing more of that in the future. I'll end this post with a quote from the back cover of the book.

"Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor." 

Book Review: What Happened to Goodbye

I read this book a while ago but felt like writing a review for it... maybe its just me procrastinating about studying for my midterm. Anyways, I absolutely love Sarah Dessen books and I could read every one of them over and over again and not get tired. Here's her latest masterpiece.

What Happened to GoodbyeWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As much as I liked this book (I don't think there is a single Sarah Dessen book that I don't like) I don't think its the best one or even close to the top 5. I don't know what it was exactly but I felt like this book lacked something, that things that made all the other books so great. Maybe it's just that I didn't really connect as well with the two main characters (especially Dave).

With all that being said, I still really enjoyed the book and the three stars I felt like giving are probably just a result of having really high expectations for Sarah Dessen books. I liked the story, I liked the character's ups and downs and McLean's realization moments and it really was a good read. It's just not my favorite Sarah Dessen book I guess.

By the way, in case you are wondering, my favorite is Along for the Ride. I could dream about Eli all day. sigh.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Review: Perfect Chemistry

So I just finished reading this amazing book called Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and wrote a review for it. I figure if I'm going to blog, I might as well blog about everything because at least that way I will never run out of things to write about and thus will never have a legitimate excuse to not blog something for a while.

  Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1)Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to begin! Going into it I was expecting a very cliched story and I have to admit I'm not even sure why I chose to read this book after having read the title and the little synopsis. Whatever the reason, I did end up reading the book and the beginning did start off very cliched though I found myself wanting to read more. The first couple chapters establish how polar opposite Alex and Brittany are yet they something in common. They live in totally different world.... dadadada. The whole beginning was very predictable and, like I said, cliche. The further I got into it though, the better it got. Alex and Brittany's connection grew stronger and more undeniable and I couldn't wait for them to finally get together. They both go through the whole falling-madly-in-love process and the whole time I found myself rooting for them. I desperately wanted them to work out and have a happily-ever-after fairy tale ending though something bad was bound to happen.

The ending was perfection. After about half-way the whole book went by really fast, as in I lost track of time because I was so into it. The conclusion was perfection and I'm so glad that it was made to seem more realistic than total cliche and that it didn't happen so fast.

Emotionally, the book played all the right music. I was grinning from ear to ear, hurting for Alex and Brittany, craving for Alex, and definitely feeling that passion that is there between them.

The more I read the harder I found it to put the book down. The story was beautiful and truly a love story. It might have its fair share of cliches but the cliches are done right. Someone reading this book probably likes contemporary love stories (think Sarah Dessen, Deb Coletti, etc.) in that case the book hits all the right marks and leaves you completely satisfied.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mrs. Selena Bieber

I was with my cousin, the radio was on and there was a Selena Gomez song playing. (I think it was "Love you Like a Love Song" but that's beside the point) Someone asked who the song was by and I said Selena Gomez. My cousin responds by saying, "She's going to be Selena Bieber soon!" I looked at her and gave her a what-are-you-talking-about look and she assured me that this was true because a girl from school had said so. She said that Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are in fact engaged and will be getting married soon. 

As far as I know, this isn't true but the whole incident got me thinking about how strange it is that even kids so young (my cousin is a nine-year old third grader) are gossiping and that too about celebrities they've probably never met, let alone know personally. 

I don't know if I was the same way when I was that age (only about 10 years ago) but I find it fascinating. I don't know if gossiping is just part of our intrinsic nature or if it's something we pick up along the way. Either way, why do we do it? Why do we find other people to be so fascinating? Gossiping about people you know, as horrible as it is, can still have some reasonable explanations but what do we get out of gossiping about total strangers? I guess talking about a mean rumor might make us feel better because it makes the person less perfect but what do we get from spreading a neutral rumor or gossiping about something positive even, like marriage.

There's so much about his world and people that will never seize to amaze me, and I hope that you never stop being amazed by world around you either.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quote #1

"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

Daydreaming on a Lake

Yesterday I went on a two hour boat ride with the family on Lake Union. It was a nice sunny day, rare and rewarding for Seattleites, and I spent much time day dreaming about things that may or may not ever happen. For example, there were boat houses all across the edges of the lake and I imagines myself living in a boat house. Just imagine. Waking up in the morning, looking out the window and seeing water instead of pavement. Stepping outside to read and you can have your feet just dangling in the lake. It just sounds so peaceful and AMAZING!

Of course the problem with day dreaming though is that later when you get realistic about things, you notice all the flaws. Boat houses seem great and all for spring and summer but in the winter you're left to deal with the cold. It will be colder near the boat house than in the city because you're right on the water. This isn't so great, especially since I don't like the cold so much (at least this is what I've decided as Seattle's long, cold winter comes to an end, I'll probably think differently in July when we have our annual heat wave). 

 Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't know if boat houses have heaters, and I'm sure they have electricity but where is their electrical connection? Isn't it dangerous to have electrical wires by the water? 

I also day dreamed about owning a large boat one day. The kind with a cabin to sleep in. I want to be able to go out into the water and just stay there for a while, surrounded on all sides by water and having left the world's worries ashore. 

Anyway, this is my first blog post, so here's to what will hopefully be a successful blogging endeavor. I guess right now I'm just sticking my toe into the blogging waters. :D