[Book Review #25] Paper Towns by John Green

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Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

Book Specifications:

Author: John Green

Format: Hardbound

Part of a Series: No.

Release Date: October 1, 2008

Publisher: Penguin Publishing

No. of Pages: 305 pages

Price: 720.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Adventure, Contemporary, Mystery, Teens, Realistic Fiction

Book Review:

The Cover: Basically, after having to read it, I must say that the cover might as well be the book’s everything. The red push pin is such a big symbol for the book, since it was the same push pin that can be found in Margo’s clues. (You’ll understand if you read the book.) Attractive, yes, but the cover shouldn’t be the only thing that’s attractive. (3 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The story revolved on the life of Quentin Jacobsen who spent basically his whole life loving Margo Roth Spiegelman, a girl who made it her life’s mission to love mysteries, who paid him no attention until one night when she needed our protagonist’s help. The book was strategically divided into three parts. The Strings, The Grass, and The Vessel; four if we’re to include the prologue. Below are short analyses of the segregated parts.

  • The Strings was the part where Margo visited Q in his room to ask for a favor: to accompany her as she claims vengeance from her ex boyfriend and best friend. They basically spend a full night pulling pranks on said people and this is the part where Q falls harder for Margo. Being an innate adventurer, Margo made sure to give Q his best night yet. This was also the part where Margo educates Q on paper towns. On paper people. Towards the end of this part, the duo paid a visit to an amusement park, where they spent their remaining time trying to get to know each other a little better. This has got to be my favorite part among the three.
  • The Grass started with Margo’s disappearance. The search for the girl with a passion for mysteries went on and on, and for me, it got a little dragging, considering the time spent for Q to find his first clue as to where he (or they) could find Margo. The story then progressed as Q and his gang went on to find the next clues as to Margo’s whereabouts, forming theories about Margo’s real condition. They thought of her dead, completely isolated, alone and whatnot. They came so close to giving up trying to find Margo, but in the end, it was Quentin who found out where her next, and possibly last, clue as to where she really is. He was ready to miss his own graduation just to finally get to see Margo, considering that he was absolutely sure of his whereabouts. This was the most dragging part of the book and there were some chapters that I deem highly forgettable and unnecessary. It is within these chapters that I felt bored with this book.
  • The Vessel, also known as the last part, was the part where everyone was in contemplation waiting to get to see our mysterious girl. Now, unlike the past two parts of the book, the chapters in The Vessel are in hours. These hours signify the remaining hours before they get to see Margo. This third part started with the car ride with Q and the gang. What I loved about this ride to Margo was that every second was needed. Every second really did count considering the deadline they were trying to meet and the distance they were trying to cover in such a short amount of time. Their short stops were strategically planned and everyone had a role to play to keep their time sufficient to meet Margo on time. I liked that, and it entertained me enough to finish this book. 

This was a dragging story, and I honestly didn’t expect it from John Green. He’s one of my favorite male authors and he was writing in my favorite genre, and this was just really disappointing. But I did like the first part of the story, though! (3 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  I didn’t really appreciate the ending with Margo not coming back with Q. I get why Margo left. To leave the paper town was her goal. But Q went to new heights just to see her again and her neglecting that prize for Q was quite unfair. The ending was so disappointing because it didn’t really meet my expectations. Q solved a whole lot of mysteries to be able to see Margo again. And her decision to not come home with Q was absolute shit. I’m sorry John Green, but that’s my opinion. But, as I’ve said above, I found the last part quite entertaining so, yeah. (1 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: So far, the only John Green books that I have read are The Fault in Our Stars, Looking For Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (which he co-wrote with David Levithan), and this book. And I didn’t quite like it just as much as the first two books. It’s not my favorite, and I might say it’s a one-time read, if not DNF. If not for the movie coming out this year, I might not have given this book a chance at all.. Hopefully, Cara and Nat’s acting are enough to change my opinion about this book.  (2.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“The town was paper, but the memories were not.”

“I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back.”

“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”

“Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severely brain-damaged three-year-old.”

“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

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Graham & Ellie: A Match Made Through Emails

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He was a popular movie star. She was a humble small-town girl. Both were living mainstream lives. Both contented with what they had. That is before they started to talk through emails.

It all started on a night like no other, when Graham Larkin, huge movie star, missent an email to a simple and innocent Ellie O’Neill about a favor to walk his pet pig, Wilbur.

This Is What Happy Looks Like started with the brief get-to-know interaction between the two characters. Ellie and Graham’s love started with Graham’s need for a pig walker on a busy night. He mistakenly sent it to a girl named Ellie, who, obviously, isn’t a pig walker. After a few more emails, both of them were interested in meeting the other, but both of them were convinced that their meet-up has to take a rain check, considering the distance between them. Until the day Graham’s movie shoot took place in Ellie’s hometown.

A relationship like Graham and Ellie’s is quite a challenge. An enormous amount of adjustment and dedication is required in order to get said relationship to workout, and that is if both of the people involved share mutual feelings for each other. I, personally, am not a big fan of engaging one’s self into a relationship without any certainty of safety and security in terms of privacy and the concerns of the heart. Falling in love with a high profile individual is hard, you guys! It’s not something that I would advice or recommend to a simple and down-to-earth type of girl. It’s too much of a strain.

But then again, if it’s meant to happen, it WILL happen. 🙂

How about you guys? What do you think?

This post is in participation of Jayvee of Writer for Misfit‘s #JenniferESmithMonth. Check out her amazing blog for more information! 🙂

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[Stacking The Shelves #3] February 2015 Bookhaul

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These books were all purchased within the month of February. I have to say, this month’s haul was something rather hard for me to do, considering that I started the month with, literally, no money. Although my copy of Golden Son didn’t came from my own savings. It was sent to me by my good friend @RedHelldiver from Twitter. It’s kind of a long story, and I will post it below. But here are some details regarding my book purchases:

  1. Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern  (Bought February 1, 2015) Bought it from an online seller, and I had to trade my copy of Attachments for it. No additional cash. Paperback, Movie Tie-in.
  2. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey  (Bought Februar 6, 2015) Fully Booked Katipunan, Hardbound, 760.00PhP
  3. Golden Son by Pierce Brown – (Bought February 11, 2015) Got my copy overseas from a good guy from Twitter. (Let me tell you the story as to how I acquired my copy. This started last December 2014.) When I went on bookstore hopping to find said book, I was disappointed to find out that our local bookstores won’t be receiving stocks anytime soon. When I got home I posted a tweet to Pierce Brown. My good friend @RedHelldiver replied and said that he was interested in sending me a (SIGNED) copy if I get 10 of my friends to read the first book in the series, Red Rising, and get them to tweet something about said book and mention him. After 3 days, all my friends did tweet him, and he immediately had the book shipped via USPS. It arrived on the 11th of February. Thank you, my good man! I am forever indebted to you! It’s Hardbound, and it costs 995.00PhP in our local bookstores.
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy Boxed Set by E.L. James  (Bought February 20, 2015) – Bought this set from my good book friend, Mia Garcia for the same amount as the price at our local bookstores. Boxed Set, 995.00PhP
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – (Bought February 21, 2015) Powerbooks Trinoma, Hardbound, 649.00Php
  6. Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor – (Bought February 25, 2015) Powerbooks Trinoma, Hardbound, 649.00Php
  7. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg – (Bought February 27, 2015) Powerbooks Trinoma, Hardbound, 649.00Php

After my January book haul, I accumulated a total of 10,930.00Php worth of receipts from Powerbooks, allowing me to sign up for their discount card for free. And after my application for said card, I was able to get some of these books with less 10% discounts! Life is good! And so is God! Thanks to Fully Booked, Powerbooks, and @RedHelldiver for my February Book Haul! I’ll post something like this again by the end of March! 🙂

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[Event Recap] #JamesFreyinPH

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Last February 1, 2015, I got the chance to meet the New York Times Best-selling author of the Lorien Legacies and Endgame: The Calling, James Frey, or otherwise widely known as Pittacus Lore. If the identity’s news to you, you might want to consult Google for further information. Yes, James Frey IS Pittacus Lore.

This post is my event recap of the said booksigning, and again, it’ll be filled with pictures. Though I will no longer discuss it in pure detail. You have been warned. Read no further if you don’t want to see dozens upon dozens of my pictures. 🙂

TRIVIA: James Frey was supposed to sign Endgame: The Calling books ONLY. Signing Lorien Legacies books like I Am Number Four, The Power of Six, etc. was not part of the deal. But way back a week, James announced that he is indeed the controversial author of the Lorien Legacies, and with that being said, National Book Store got permission for him to sign the said books as well.

January 31, 2015 – A day early.

I arrived at National Book Store Glorietta 1 at around 9:00AM of January 31. (Yes, I was that early. Again.) Being MRT / Travel buddies, I arrived there with my good friend Anne. We were already the 6th and 7th in line to meet the author. (Crazy, right? And the first in line, Robert, arrived at NBS the night of January 30. He was 2 nights early. Yes.) Once the mall opened, I headed for Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4 to complete my Lorien Legacies books. Afterwards, I went home to spend some time with my family while my spot in the line was safe and secure. 🙂

At around 7PM, I was ready for yet another night of camping out with my book friends. I met up with Anne, again at the MRT and we went straight to NBS Glorietta. There, we found more of our group and we bonded instantly. There’s no better friendship than one formed through the love for books, indeed. We stayed within the premises of National Book Store while we wait patiently for the staff to settle in and arrange the set-up for the book signing the next day. Once the mall was ready to close, we settled outside the bookstore for our ritualistic camp-out.  Once we were outside, of course, my book friends would never say no to thousands upon thousands of photo opportunities. Good thing my monopod and bluetooth shutter was packed-up and ready for use. Below are some pictures. 🙂

1-horz(Now this is where my heart breaks and my feet hurts like heck.) Once we were fulfilled with our need for self-approval, all thanks to the millions of pictures taken, we went on an adventure to find the nearest McDonald’s to eat our dinner. I’m not kidding when I tell you that we literally went on a walk-a-thon just to find the nearest fast food chain. After several minutes of scouring the whole area, we found ourselves right where we almost started: at Greenbelt (which literally was like 4 corners from where we started.) Disappointed, we carried on and continued our search.

A little while later, Ate Charm, the admin of Endgame PH, (who was also a good friend of ours) sent us a text stating that James Frey was there at the line. Still hungry, we paid no attention to the text. Then, a second text came which contained curses, which made us feel that the information seemed legit. Intrigued, we contacted Ate Charm thru a phone call and once she answered, we heard loud screams from the background. James Frey really was at the line!!! Knowing that he was there, while we were like miles away from the line, it gave us the strength and energy to run across the area just to get to the venue as quickly as possible. We were like runners from the Maze Runner movie hoping to get to safety.We felt really stupid and disappointed at ourselves at that time.

When we arrived at the line, James Frey was nowhere to be found. What was left of him, was like 6 dozens of J.Co donuts, which, according to those who luckily got the exclusive chance of meeting James early, was given to them by the author himself. (Writing this part is extremely hard for me because reminiscing our dumb action of venturing away from our spot really just consumes me in a very negative way. Ugh.) Feeling disappointed, bitter, hungry, tired, and betrayed all at the same time, we finally settled at Family Mart to eat our extremely late dinner. But, unsurprisingly, our appetites were nowhere to be found.

Let’s move on, shall we? Now, right after we ate, we settled in our spot in the line (expecting that James will come back any minute). Some of the people from the Lorien Lounge, a group for the Lorics (fans of the Lorien Legacies), decided to play games. Some of us joined in on the fun, while some chose to stay at the side to lay low.

After hours and hours of waiting, playing games, and photo ops, we decided to, once again, leave the line, but this time, we wanted to go somewhere we can rest, take a shower, and eat. We decided to go to Henrick’s (Mia’s boyfriend) house and we stayed there for several hours and afterwards, we went back to the venue.

February 1, 2015 – Today’s the day!

We arrived back at the venue at around 7:30AM. Again, we wasted no time posing for more photo ops. We probably might be the most vain campers in the world. Below are some proof.

1521212_939760512708762_2085798004514983113_n-tileOnce registration was upon us, our energy was at it’s highest. We were extremely stoked to finally meet James Frey. But first, since we won’t be seeing the author until 2PM, we ate lunch. Afterwards, we killed our time at Time Zone until the moment was finally here! James Frey arrived as the audience welcomed him with wide arms and extremely loud screams.

10943754_10152674449821914_337598715314344655_nHe was interviewed, by the way, and here are some facts that I was able to take note of:

  • The sequel is finished and a title is still on the rocks, but unfortunately, he isn’t allowed to share any information about it.
  • Endgame is going to be turned into a movie thanks to 20th Century Fox!
  • The original puzzle in Endgame was constructed by the author himself, but it was ultra simple, and he, instead, hired 3 professionals who’s task is to make the puzzle a lot more complicated.
  • He’s a father of 3. Said kids haven’t got the chance to reads his works yet, and he doesn’t intend on letting them read his works until they reach a specific age.
  • James had a child crush on a girl named Sarah, thus the frequent name appearance of both the Lorien Legacies books and Endgame.
  • He believes that girls think boys who read are motherfucking cool. (Yes, he literally cursed in front of hundreds of his fans, and its what makes him such a cool guy!)

Right after the interview, he took pictures with the crowd. Ah! He was just in front of me in the picture!! Look: 10968396_10152674449146914_7999116308695018920_nIn the photo, the crowd was asked to raise the books by James Frey slash Pittacus Lore. If you can see the person who isn’t carrying anything but an Instax camera, you must know that I’m that person and I wasn’t able to raise his books because I was carrying 2 hardbound copies of Endgame and 5 hardbound copies of the Lorien Legacies. Boy, were they heavy! And after the photo with the crowd, the actual book signing went next.

Again, I was the 8th in line to have my books signed by James Frey. When it was my turn to have a small chat with the author as he signs my books, I told him:

Hi, Sir James! I totally loved Endgame, and Sarah was absolutely adorable. Her romance with Jago is absolutely cute and unique. Please keep her alive until the end.

Yes, I said all those things. And he actually gave me reply. He said:

Maybe. She’ll be alive up until the 2nd book.

Seriously. I don’t know what to feel with his answer. Should I be happy since I just discovered Sarah Alopay’s faith, or should I mourn the character’s early demise? I don’t know. I really, really don’t know.

I went home afterwards, and rewarded myself with a 3-hour nap. And no, my day wasn’t done. After I woke up, I reviewed for two major quizzes that were scheduled the next day! Superb, right? 😀

But I had fun! And meeting James Frey might be one of the best things that happened to my book-filled life! Until we meet again, Mr. James Frey!

Oh, and here are some books that were signed by the author. Please note that limited edition “Pittacus Lore” signature on my copy of The Fall of Five. I don’t know why but some people from the Lorien Lounge greatly appreciate said signature.IMG_1825

Thank you so much to the people of National Book Store for bringing James Frey / Pittacus Lore here to the Philippines! You guys are (seriously) the best! I’m looking forward to the next major book signing this March! Hopefully, I get an invite to the blogger’s forum. Wish me luck, guys! 🙂

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[Book Review #15] Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Book Specifications:

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. Anna, Lola, and Isla Series #3. (Sorry, I don’t know what to call it. Haha!)

Release Date: August 14, 2014

Publisher: Dutton

No. of Pages: 352 pages

Price: 720.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Chick Lit

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover featured a silhouette of the Empire State Building, an infrastructure and/or attraction that’s located at New York City. I know for a fact that NYC was a place indicated in the story, but I found it quite disconnected with the story of the book. They spent more time together in Paris than they did in the States, so I found it so. Although, the rose symbol that symbolized something of value between Josh and Isla was relevant. The iconic Arial font inscription of the book’s title was also displayed. It was good, but I expected more from it. (4 out of 5 stars)

CONFESSION: I got this book on the day of it’s release. Yes. And I just started reading it this year. Why? It’s because I don’t want to end the series. I’ve grown fond and so attached with Anna and Lola, and I didn’t want Isla’s story to be the last. I don’t know. I’m extremely sentimental like that. Haha!

The Story: The story focused on the budding romance of Isla Martin and Josh Wasserstein. Having opposite traits and interests, the two really found love in a hopeless place. Isla, having a crush on Josh since forever, really came through with her relationship with the guy. Josh, on the other hand, had the same feelings for Isla but was afraid to admit it to anyone else. Including himself. The pair is super dynamic and unique. They’re not your usual couple with time and family problems. Having different families and all, they really are opposites, and that’s one thing that made me fall in love with their story. Their contrasts were one of the many reasons why this book was my most anticipated read. I loved how their love story started with an awkward and weird encounter. It’s just my cliche idea of how endless love stories should start. Oh, and I love the fact that Josh’s an artist and Isla was the one who didn’t know what to do with her life. It’s usually the other way around. The girl has everything figured out and the guy usually doesn’t know what to do with his life. It sparked my curiosity and made me want to read this book more and more. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  May we all just take a few moments of silence as we accept the fact that ETIENNE PROPOSED TO ANNA, YOU GUYS! He got on one knee! Oh my god. I can’t control the feels. It just exploded when I read that part. It was so f*cking awesome and the moment was extremely giddy. I can’t emphasize it enough. You have to read that part! And as for Isla and Josh’s happily ever after, I loved the concept of Josh showing Isla his final work. His edited drawings where Isla’s opinions were put into notion. That part really put me to tears. Josh’s effort of taking down his whole life’s work is super sweet and it really made me say “awwwww”. Everything was in its place. There was no question left unanswered except for one. What happens to Kurt now? It tickled my curiosity but somehow, I can’t seem to care because of the happy ending. 🙂 (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: If I was asked if I’m going to read this book again, I would say yes in a heartbeat. Filled with feels, romantic quotes, and massive servings of swoon, Isla and the Happily Ever After proves to be my best anticipated read of 2014 (And yes, I am 4 and a half months late in reading it). ♥ (4.67 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?”

“I’ve always thought the best relationships are those that are as happy and content in silence as they are in action.”

“Crushes are so awful. I wonder if they suck worse for the crush-er or the crush-ee. I consider my three years of watching Josh from afar. Yeah, definitely the crush-er.” – Isla Martin

“Take a risk. Take a fucking risk. If you keep playing it safe, you’ll never know who you are.” – Josh Wasserstein

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