Book Review: Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Rating: ★ ★ ★
Read: August 2017

I’ve been reading YA Contemporary books recently and in this one, we follow Sam who’s grieving for his bestfriend’s death. They’ve been friends their whole lives and, well, each other’s the only one they’ve got. So when Hayden took his life, Sam was lost and the only thing he’s left with is a playlist. Throughout the book, Sam’s trying to figure out the answers to why Hayden did what he did using the playlist he’s left Sam with.

I liked the idea of this book and how lessons are thrown in chapter after chapter. I gave it a flat three stars because I just felt like I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I thought I would. The book entirely wasn’t dragging, but I feel like it lacked something along the way, like, there could’ve been more.

The cover was amazing and I liked it very much. Michelle Falkoff’s writing was okay, and I’m definitely going to read Pushing Perfect.

 

“People are going to say a lot of things. And some of it will be helpful, and some of it will be annoying, and lots of it will get on your nerves. But they’re saying it because they found it helpful when they lost someone. They mean well.”

 

Book Review: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Read: August 2017

In this hilariously sarcastic novel, we follow Audrey who just broke up with his boyfriend, Evan. He’s in a band and all he talks about is himself, the band, and did I mention himself? Oh, yeah, right. As she does, his boyfriend came up with a new song for his band and it’s all over the radio, which is totally okay for Audrey if it wasn’t about her and their breakup!

What made me love this book so much is the humor, the sarcasm, and just plain Audrey herself. I just loved reading her so much, and I just can’t enumerate all the thing you should love about this book.

The strong points in this book for me beside the characters are their love for music. Really, I just found myself listening to all the songs they’ve mentioned in this book. Victoria’s and Jonah’s characters are just as adorable, although I found Victoria annoying somewhere along the book, but in the end, I just loved them.

Robin Benway has made a very great job writing this book as it truly has made me laugh out loud the whole time. The lesson for me is that, we can’t run away from our problems. Sooner or later, we just have to go out and face it. It’s just the way life goes.

 

“The more you start to love someone, the more you ache when they’re gone, and maybe it’s that middle ground that hurts the most, when you can see them and still not feel like you’re near enough.”

 

Book Review: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Read: July 2017

I know it’s been a while since I last read a Nicholas Sparks novel, but this year, I found myself chain-reading his books. One of the things that I love about reading a Nicholas Sparks novel is that it always feels like catching up with an old friend, and it just draws me closer to him every time. I don’t think there will ever be a book by this author that I will hate.

In The Best of Me, we follow Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier, two high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. More than 20 years later, their paths cross again in the same place where they made so many memories years ago. As they look back and catch up on the years they’ve been apart, they realized that their feelings for each other has never changed.

This book was gripping and overall emotional. It’s a combination of the magic of true love and tradgedy, but it’s amazingly written just like any of his other novels. It just made me admire Nicholas Sparks even more; the way he writes is inspiring and I cannot stress enough how much I loved it.

The ending may not have been what the readers wanted, but it has still moved me in so many ways. Truly, this book has turned into one of my favorites.

“Because you aren’t just someone I loved back then. You were my best friend, my best self, and I can’t imagine giving that up again,“ he hesitated searching for the right words. “You might not understand, but I gave you the best of me, and after you left, nothing was ever the same.”

Book Review: See Me by Nicholas Sparks

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Read: July 2017

Nicholas Sparks has done it again with yet another well-written book. I loved how he mixed a little bit of mystery and suspense in this one, and just can’t put the book down. It left me at the edge of my bed, eager to find out what will happen in the end.

In See Me, we follow Colin Hancock, a 28-year old with a dark past that he just wants to set aside by trying to make things right and Maria Sanchez who has a very traumatic past that made her return to Wilmington in the first place. As soon as Colin and Maria’s paths collided, challenges and disturbing events have taken place.

I’ve never been into reading mystery and suspense books before, but I’ve always wanted to give it a try. In See Me, I got just what I wanted as it was not as intense as the other books that really focuses on those genres. It’s a great start, for me, at least.

What I liked most about this book is how well Nicholas Sparks has written it despite trying to mix genres along with his usual romance-chick-lit books. There are lessons in this book about life and how people can change if they only put their hearts into it. Most of the time, I found myself having realizations about growing up and why we all even bothered to speed things up when we were little.

Overall, this book was amazing in many ways; I don’t even have the words to explain all of it other than that Nicholas Sparks has proved to us again that he is a master when it comes to writing.

“While she’d been certain that things would be better once she was settled in, she’d slowly come to realize that job stress simply came in different flavors, and this one wasn’t much better tasting than the one before it.”

Book Review: Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Rating: ★★★★
Read:
May 2017

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I know what I’m getting myself into when I started reading this book. In fact, I’ve been resisting reading it for a long time since I bought it for I keep asking myself if I’m ready to jump in another tearkjerking ride that Nicholas Sparks’ novels are known for.

Trying to take a break from the city and her always busy life, Theresa Osborne takes a much-needed vacation at Cape Cod when she stumbles upon a corked bottle with a scrolled-up letter inside.

When she arrived back to Boston, she agrees with her friend, Dianne, to publish the letter in her column. Soon after, her cloumn turns up two more letters written by the same person, Garrett Blake.

Intrigued, Theresa finds herself travelling to North Carolina, where she finally meets the mysterious Garrett Blake and discovers that her suspicion about Catherine is true. After spending most of her stay in North Carolina with Garrett, they develop a unique relationship that they tried to keep even after Theresa went back to Boston.

Throughout the story, we watch the couple fall in love even more with each other,  and how they learned to compromise for something they really want to work out. Somehow, whether we admit it or not, we all have a Garrett inside of us. By relating to Garrett’s experiences and struggles, we are drawn and connected to the couple’s story.

All in all, I find this book a compassionate story of a person looking for love and a person who never thought he’d ever be capable of loving someone again. Garrett and Theresa’s story is heartbreakingly beautiful with all of the lessons its readers will learn; both Garrett and Theresa gives each of us hope that everything will work out.

For this review, instead of putting a quote at this part of my review, I’m putting an excerpt from Nicholas Sparks’ interview with the New York Times about this novel:

“Message in a Bottle was inspired by my father after the death of my mother. In 1989, six weeks after I was married, my mother and father went horseback riding. They were avid riders and very comfortable on horses, and were simply walking the horses along a scenic trail. For a reason that no one can explain—we assume it was the horse, a rather skittish Arabian—my mom fell out of the saddle, off the horse, hit her head on a rock, had a cerebral hemorrhage and died.

My mother and father had married at the age of twenty-one and my father was absolutely crushed by her death. They’d been married twenty-seven years and my father didn’t have the slightest idea of what it meant to be a grown-up without my mom. A lot of people wear black to a funeral. My father wore black every day for four years. He pretty much became a recluse. He pulled away from his family and friends, he stopped going out, he stopped doing pretty much everything. All he did was go to work and back home again. It was heart-breaking to watch.

After four long years of worrying about him, my father finally started taking baby steps out in the world again. He started reconnecting with family and friends, eventually he started to date again—think more years passing—eventually he met someone in particular, eventually he fell in love again. And then one day, about seven years after my mom had died, I got a call from my father. “I’m engaged,” he said.

Now, I was happy about that, not because I didn’t care about my mom—I adored her—but because I’d been so worried about my father. Kids worry about their parents the same way parents worry about their kids, and I was glad that he’d finally found someone.

Two days after that phone call, my father was driving home late one night, fell asleep at the wheel of his car, crashed, and died.“

I’m leaving you with that. It’s heart-breaking, and I have no words for it.