Still Alice by Lisa Genova

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“… just because [butterflies’] lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic… See, they have a beautiful life.” 

Alzheimer’s Disease is a serious problem and not a normal memory loss due to aging. The vast majority of it are elderly starting from the age of 65 but it has been discovered that early onset could also be affected. Early onset disease are those who have Alzheimer’s under the age of 65. It typically attacks people who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. It a gradual progression and deteriorates the memory and body function until the severe to fatal stage.

An emotionally gripping book that’s completely different and nothing compared from the regular melodramatic Nicholas Spark that didn’t discuss fully how Alzheimer’s disease could ruin a person’s life. Still Alice describes how Alzheimer’s disease gradually progresses and deteriorates starting from simple forgetfulness, personality change and long term memory loss. It was written in a perspective of Lisa Genova, a neurologist. This book is informative and full of scientific descriptions. It gave readers a whole new perspective on what is really an Alzheimer’s disease.

Alice is a neurologist and Harvard professor. A woman in her 50s that’s suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease that’s genetically acquired. Forgetting family members, friends, and even herself as the progression of the disease is haunting especially during the ending. Reading this book is an eye opener. It gave me a perspective on how a terminal disease could ruin not only a person’s life but their family and friends. It is well-paced, thought provoking, emotional, and inspiring. It made me emotional from the halfway until the end. The main reason I read this is for my thesis paper. I want to put myself in the perspective of someone who is starting to have the disease. What is really happening and how the memories destroy a person’s life.

I highly recommend this book for someone who wants to read an inspirational and moving book.

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Prodigy by Marie Lu Book Review

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Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

 

“He is beauty, inside and out.
He is the silver lining in a world of darkness.
He is my light.”

Prodigy is the second installment in the Legend trilogy. After June and Day escaped from Los Angeles, we follow their POV as they join the Patriots and assassinate the new elector, Anden. Prodigy is jam packed with actions and emotions that will grip you from the beginning until the end.

This book started after the events of Legend in which John, Day’s brother died and June and Day escaped from the horrors of the Republic. There are a lot of questions left unanswered and left me lost and clueless. I began to question the society and future. What if this will be the kind of government for the future generations? What if this will be the future Los Angeles? I cannot fathom the world in which our grandchildren will live in. I have read a lot of Dystopian books to know that this trilogy is one of the best I have read so far.

Marie Lu’s writing style is phenomenal. The world building and the major and minor characters are so believable. I’m completely hooked especially with June and Day’s character. I feel connected with June. I know there are a lot of decisions she need to make despite the circumstances but her character came out too strong and independent. Both major characters executed a well developed characteristics compared to the first book which I admired. I was too impressed because most of the second book in the trilogy in most YA books came out to be fillers or boring but this one isn’t. I thought I will get too annoyed with the same plot that we see in most Dystopian books but Marie Lu’s writing is impressive and unique.

A fast paced and one sitting book that will surely make the readers flew through the pages. It is jam packed with actions, heart wrenching scenes, twists and turns all throughout the book. I highly recommend this to readers who wants to have an emotional roller coaster ride. It is definitely worth it. All of Marie Lu’s writing is highly recommended. I gave this a 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

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Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

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“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”

Holding Up The Universe is the second young adult book written by Jennifer Niven. It’s raw, poignant, inspiring, and well-paced YA contemporary that talks mainly of finding yourself, mental illness . I’ve been seeing this for awhile on Goodreads and Bookstagram. I have a high expectation for this one because I enjoyed reading All The Bright Places. To be honest this lived up to the hype. It’s a light-hearted read compared to the depressing All The Bright Places.

“Life is too short to judge others. It is not our job to tell someone what they feel or who they are. Why not spend some time judging yourself? I don’t know you, but I can guarantee you have some issues you can work on. And maybe you’ve got a fit body and a perfect face, but I’ll wager you have insecurities too…”

Libby Strout is known as “America’s Fattest Teen”. Even though she’d been bullied for how she weigh, it didn’t stop her to feel confident about herself. Jack Masselin is suffering from prosopagnosia a rare kind of disease or sometimes called face blindness. He cannot recognize his family, friends even his own self. He has no friends and doesn’t want to get close to anyone. Until he met Libby Strout and everything changed. The story opens up to all bullies and being bullied about how they look and basically about mental health issues.

Even though I’ve never experienced what Libby had been through, I can still relate to her character. She’s inspiring and her character development is too strong. Through Jennifer Niven’s powerful writing style, the story is so real and believable. I’ve heard a mental illness of prosopagnosia from a Kdrama: Girl Who Sees Smell but the character in it is the antagonist. I was hooked when I’ve read the synopsis and knowing it’s about a fat girl  being bullied and falling in love with a guy suffering from prosopagnosia. This was recommended by my friends and I’ve been seeing this on Goodreads and Bookstagram.

Overall, I find the story is quite boring, slow paced at the beginning and lacking sometimes . This lived up to my expectations and to the hype. I recommend reading this to all readers who love reading YA contemporary.

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March Book Haul

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It is difficult for a book hoarder like me to check out online stores on Facebook and Instagram and look for a cheaper price of books. Going to bookstores like Booksale and National Bookstore especially if it is on sale this month is a lot difficult because I couldn’t go out without  buying 1 or 2. Here are the books I’ve hoarder this month of March! I bought some of it  from my friends.

  1. First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom

I bought 4 books from my friend for a cheaper price and this is one of it. I only read Time Keeper when I was in High School and I’ve been wanting to read his works especially this one.

2. Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

3.Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen in Vintage Classics

I bought all of the Jane Austen Vintage Classics from a group on Facebook for a cheaper price but the owner hasn’t even read the copy yet. I already read Pride and Prejudice last year and I loved it. I buddy read Persuasion with my friends from Book Club PH this month. We’re hoping to read more classics this month of April

4. Persuasion by Jane Austen in Vintage Classics

5. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen in Vintage Classics

6. Emma by Jane Austen in Vintage Classics

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This is my current read and I love the story already! This is my first time reading the works of Charlotte Bronte. I head a lot of great stuffs about this book. I haven’t even read Wuthering Heights yet.

8. All the Lights We Couldn’t See by Anthony Doerr

Ever since I’ve read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, I’ve been hooked into reading Historical Fictions. I’m looking forward to have a buddy read with a friend from Book Club probably next month. This is one of the books I’ve bought from my friend.

9. City of Lost Souls

This is on sale on Booksale for only 230 pesos! I couldn’t believe that this Hardbound copy is way more cheaper than my Paperback version of COLS. I have a Paperback copy of Lost Souls and read it 2 years ago. Now, I have two copies of it!

10. Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

I bought this for a cheaper price on Instagram. Even though it has yellow pages, the seller still haven’t read this one.

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Ebook vs. Traditional Book

The advancement of technology is changing our fast-paced world. We could all use the internet and applications to make out day to day lives more accessible. There are a lot of mediums today that we could use for reading books. All you need is search Google and download e-books. There’s no payment needed. Tablets, smartphones, Kindle, and e-readers has become a trend nowadays. Why not visit the local library or bookstore?

E-books  has also its disadvantages even though it’s     much cheaper, easier to carry on the go, can adjust the brightness and size, read in the dark, and millions of books in one device. It’s also light compared to the huge size Hard bounds. It’s unhealthy way of reading because it can make eyes dry and blurry due to tiredness.

People don’t realize that there’s pleasure in reading physical copies. Reading physical books can let us feel and smell the pages between the book. I know, carrying books is heavy and bulky especially Hard bounds. There’s nothing more satisfying than to see your books pile up on the shelf. Reading books is easier for the eyes and holding it can make you experience the story without distractions. No need to charge it unlike e-readers that uses electricity. Lastly, it relaxes your soul and takes you away from technology and social medias.

The argument between E-book vs Traditional books has been debated on the internet for years already. There are people who are in favor with e-book and other with books. In my case, I read both on e-books and books. I’m in  love with hoarding, collecting physical copies and even write reviews about it. I even go to signing and let the authors sign my books. It depends on the book that I’m reading. If it’s an auto-buy author and worth it, then I’ll buy the physical ones. I only read on e-books if I’m looking for a good book to read and to see if it’s worth it.

In my case, it is a case to case basis. There’s no definite winner between those two. Whether you are a book lover or e-book reader it doesn’t matter what medium you use as long as you’re enjoying the book. What matters is the inside and letting yourself immerse to the world you’re in to.

Top 15 Favorite Books of 2016

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TOP 15 BOOKS THIS 2016
1. Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass Series)
2. It Ends With Us
3. A Court of Thorns and Roses
4. Empire of Storms (TOG series)
5. An Ember In The Ashes
6. The Wrath and The Dawn Duology
7. Cress
8. Mara Dyer Trilogy
9. Lady Midnight
10. Snow Like Ashes
11. Between Shades of Gray
12. Unexpected Everything
13. Everything Everything
14. Northanger Abbey
15. Pictures of Dorian Gray

Least Favorite
1. Something in Between
2. Dreamology
3. The Beautifull Casandra
4. Paper Towns
5. Never Never part 3

These are the books I have read and loved. I’ve set my reading challenge to 50 this year. School will be hectic because of thesis. That’s why I won’t be reading a lot of books this 2017.

Something In Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.

The hype was all of Goodreads, Instagram and blogs. The main reason at I read this is because it’s the book of  the month of our Book Club and I was drawn by the cover. The illustrations, typography and even the color scheme is soothing and appealing for a YA contemporary. It looks like a light hearted read and when I read the synopsis, I was highly motivated to know that the main character and author is a Filipino. The concept of immigration is interesting to read knowing it’s from a perspective of a Filipino. Who wouldn’t be interested right? An A+ student who suddenly knew they have no green card for years. Her life, scholarship, and american dream will all be shattered in a blink due to the threat of deportation.

I know this book is a very important story to the author. I understand that it’s a personal life story during her teenage years which is badly written in a 400 + YA fiction.  There wasn’t anything that happened at all. Just cliche romance+ rants about living in America + cheerleading + degrading Philippines.

Reading the chapter 1 was OKAY but going through this excruciating 400 + pages was like going through hell. I cannot comprehend how people LOVED/ENJOYED reading a book wherein Filipinos are obviously degraded. I finished this hoping something turns out well in the end like a major plot twist? maybe? but I was wrong!

The characters especially Jasmine Delos Santos is not a likeable character. A cry baby, immature, annoying, and self centered who makes bad decisions knowing she’s from a prestigious school with an A+ grades. The plot was boring all throughout. I was expecting more from the characters but nah. There’s no character development at all. All I read are the stereotypical portrayal of Filipino’s tradition, custom, and values. The patriotism and nationalism that I was looking for were not there. Instead just rants about being American and living in America.

It’s just too sad that the author is implying as if the Filipinos migrate to America just to be a maid, janitor/janitress or other blue collar jobs. Maria, Royce’s maid Jasmine’s mom graduated in a private school in PH but come to live in America as janitress. The part where they’re nearly deported and her dad told her he’ll just apply as a jeepney driver in PH even though he graduated in a private school. See the difference how Filipinos are seen someone who’ll only work blue collar jobs. Jasmine and her siblings depicts the children who lived in America for years have adapted their set of standards. Living to the so-called American dream, Filipino traditions are lost including learning to speak the language itself. Filipinos who migrate tend to never go back to live in PH because they are blinded by the good life they have while living in another country. It’s like they’re saying Philippines doesn’t offer good education and job.

I thought the romance part will bring justice to the book but It just made things worst. Royce and Jazzy baby’s insta-love has no feels at all. They look like two annoying lovebirds who are so indecisive. They were happy at first then broke up the next day then suddenly make-up. Not to mention the insignificant reasons they argue most of the time.

Overall, the hype doesn’t deserve this book. For some, this might be the YA contemporary for them for me, it’s not. There are a lot of YA contemporaries out there that deserves attention. Too bad this is my first time reading a book from this author. I might not read another book from her again.

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