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Sunday, November 6, 2005

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Book Review: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1); By Lemony Snicket

rate } ♠♠♠♠♠
genre } teens | children | young adult | fantasy | mystery | dark humor
release day } 1st December 2000
publisher } Scholastic, Inc
format } hardback
isbn } 9780439206471
pages } 162 pg.
source } bought
age group } pg 13
interest } young adult | teens
challenge }
Buy @ | Nolly Book | D BookHaus
The Bad Beginning
(A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
By; Lemony Snicket

Via GoodReads Dear Reader,
I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My 2 Cents Written not just for kids, but it’s an enjoyable book for any audience of all ages, this is a beginning of a different sort of children's literature. No goblins, no boogeyman, no ghost nor monster lurking under the bed. But mostly, telling a story of a harsh reality base fiction about 3 suddenly orphaned Baudelaires children; namely Violet (Inventor), Klaus (Bookworm, Brains) & Sunny (Biter).

Kids would love this. Adults would be appalled reading this but they would still read this. Reluctant readers would also love this book. It has all the ingredients they need.
It began with the horrible news regarding the demised of their parents in a weird fire that burnt down their house, leaving them with a fortune that's not spendable until Violet, the eldest, reach the age of 18. Mr Poe, is the one in charge of them until he found a guardian for the kids, which came the character Count Olaf. A count and an actor, who do whatever in his power to keep them as miserable as he could until he could touch their rightful inheritance. And when I say do whatever, I meant whatever! From serving them lumpy porridges, making them do all sort of chores, repairing the Count's manor and to wed the eldest child, Violet.

I have fallen in love with this series, and I couldn’t wait to start reading the next book. I was actually reading a breeze through this book. Lemony Snicket knew how to exactly pick on your emotions through his writing. I feel sorry for the kids and I do wish for their safety. (Yes… I’m officially emo with this book.) 

Oh! Heads up! This book is depressing. Darkly depressing. Count Olaf is an incredibly.. annoying and evil.

Another feature of this series would be the introducing of advance vocabulary for the kids, alongside its meaning into the context. It would be a great learning tool for any parents who would like to introduce some major words for their kids, without pulling out a dictionary.
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Monday, October 10, 2005

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Book Review: The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3); by Lemony Snicket

rate } ♠♠♠♠
genre } fiction | young adult | fantasy | dark mystery | adventure | juvenile
release day } 29th February 2000
publisher } HarperCollins
format } hardcover
isbn } 9780064407687
pages } 214 pgs
source } bought
age group } pg 13+
interest } reluctant readers | children | teens
challenge } -
Buy @ | Nolly Book | D BookHaus

The Wide Window

The Wide Window
(A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)
by Lemony Snicket

Via Goodreads
Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all.If you haven't got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair.I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My 2 Cents
If you hadn’t read the last 2 book before this book, please do, or you be so lost that you have no idea what’s going on. As I have expected, I am completely hooked on this series. I’ve been reading this back to back and I have never been so proud with the  Baudelaire orphans. They are strong and leaves quite an example to the readers. No matter how bad the situation was, they managed to strive through it.

This is however another awesome read from this series. The plot didn’t slow down at all, I ended up sitting down and forget everything, and just sit down to read this in one go. I feel like I should not leave these kids to the crabby hands of Count Olaf!

Overall, yup! Another awesome book!

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Thursday, September 1, 2005

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YA Book Review: The Lovely Bones; By Alice Sebold

rate } ♠♠♠♠
genre } fiction | young adult | mystery 
release day } 29th August 2006
acquired } 20th June 2005
publisher } Little, Brown & Company 
format } paperback
isbn } 9780316166683
pages } 384 pg.
source } given
age group } pg 18
interest } pg 18 +
awards } Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel (2002), Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2003), South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2005), Iowa High School Book Award (2005), Puddly Award for Fiction (2003)
Buy @ | Nolly Book | D BookHaus

The Lovely Bones; Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold

Via Goodreads
Shockingly original and completely unforgettable, The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that's calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive -- and then some. But Susie isn't ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

In the tradition of Alice McDermott, who wrote so elegantly about death in Charming Billy, Sebold unveils a book whose presence will linger with readers for a long, long time and signals the arrival of a novelist to be reckoned with.

My 2 Cents
*** SPOILERS ***

I wasn't really aware on what is the fuss all about when this book came out. I thought it would be just another chicklit so I should just avoid it like a plague. A couple of years later, I have stumbled onto this book once again and reread the reviews given by my friends. A nudge inside me told me I should just try reading it to see what's the hype was all about.

And I did!

Boy, I was wrong in all places about this book. The first page drew me in and I can't put the book down until I've finished it!

It's a haunting tale of the 14 year old, Susie Salmon (yes, like the fish), who narrated the tale of her life, her family and friends. She was raped and murdered  in the late 1973 and then resided in her heaven. She watched in bitterness as life goes on down below back on Earth. She watched the effects of her death upon the living. How her friends came together and become close with her family. How the obsession of looking for her killer also destroy her parents' marriage. She even watched her murderer went on with his life and met his other victims in heaven (although she has no idea who they were in the beginning).

This is not the tale of the tale of her death, which in turn not a detective story. But it's like watching a Hallmark movie (now that's an idea) revealing in the pages of your hands. It's more about loss, coping and affirming life after the death of a love one. Not just for the ones Susie left on earth, but also for herself in heaven. It’s heartbreaking reading her trying to reach her family, her friends and the guy she fancied. It pissed me off Susie didn’t get the justice she deserve, and her body ended up gone, couldn’t be found anywhere by her parents. Yet In the same time, I’m glad, her murderer got his karma and because of that, Susie gets to let go and move on.

If I like this book so much, why did I give it 4 spades? Because I hate the ending.. I wish they find her body and the murderer get caught.

“Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. It was that day that I knew I wanted to tell the story of my family. Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained.”

“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

“Between a man and a woman there was always one person who was stronger than the other one. That doesn’t mean the weaker one doesn’t love the stronger.”

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

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BTT: Detective Qualitites

btt2Hosted by: Booking through Thursday

Most people I know enjoy some sort of mystery stories. My mother-in-law loved police and courtroom procedurals. My mother likes detective fiction. There are also murder mysteries, general mysteries, and hard-boiled detective stories, with protagonists such as Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Amelia Peabody, Kinsey Millhone, Mamur Zapt, and Perry Mason to name a few.

  1. Do you enjoy reading mysteries?  Yes. A good mystery is a wonderful Mystery.
  2. What’s your favorite kind of mystery? Fantasy, Supernatural, Murder
  3. Do you like plenty of blood and guts, or do you prefer the details to be left to the reader’s imagination? A bit of both but more blood and guts.
  4. Do you prefer mystery stories based in the author’s time or in previous centuries? Either can be fun.
  5. Do you prefer mysteries based in your own country, or in distant lands? Distant lands. I like it away from home.
  6. Do you like to figure out the solution, or do you allow yourself to be carried away with the story? Get myself carried away.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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BTT: Series

btt2 Hosted by: Booking Through Series

Probably most books stand on their own. But a lot of them are part of a series. J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy comes immediately to mind, as well as Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap series, Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series, and lots more.

  1. Do you read books that are part of a series? Yes very much.
  2. Do you collect all the books in the series before starting? Sometimes, if they are already in full set.
  3. What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book 1? I just borrow it first just to check it out.
  4. As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books? Yes! sometimes, I just go back just to get back into the expecting mood.
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Monday, June 20, 2005

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BTT: Children’s Books

btt2 Hosted by: Booking Through Thursday

With J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince making its sensational debut last weekend I started thinking about children’s books. There have been a lot of wonderful ones over the years, The Cat in the Hat, Where the Wild Things Are, Bambi, the Mother Westwind stories, the Chronicles of Narnia, the Chronicles of Prydain, Nancy Drew, and on and on.

  1. As an adult, do you own children’s books? Yes, at first, I felt embarrassed about it, then I remembered, adults wrote them and the books are really good.
  2. If you do, do you still read them even when there are no children around? Yes.
  3. What were your favorites as a child? Now? The Magic Faraway Tree books, Enid Blyton, etc
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Thursday, June 16, 2005

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BTT: How Many

Booking Through Thursday Hosted by: Booking Through Thursday

Some people are like my uncle, and they read four or five books a week, every week. Some are like my father, and read four or five books in a year.

  1. How many books do you read in a week? Month? Year? One in a week. 4 in the month. Minimal 65 books for a year.
  2. What’s the best book or series of books you’ve read so far this year? 3. It’s hard to find books that I really love.
  3. What’s the worst book you read this year? Did you finish it? None so far.
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Thursday, June 9, 2005

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BTT: Format

Booking Through Thursday Hosted by: Booking Through Thursday

Some people, like my mother, only read paperback books. Others prefer hard cover books. Some read hard cover books because they come out first, but prefer paperbacks otherwise. And you?

  1. Do you prefer to read hard cover or paperback books? Paperbacks. But if have no choice, I get the hard covers.
  2. Why? Lighter, thinner, easier to bring here and there in my bag
  3. Do you read books in the other format anyway? Nope *edited on Feb 18, 2011* yes! E-books!!
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Tuesday, June 7, 2005

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BTT: Coffee Table Books

btt2 Hosted by Booking through Thursday

My own personal definition of a coffee table book is a book that is large, over-sized, has lots of pictures, is about a specific theme (e.g., Georgia O’Keeffe’s 100 Flowers, steeple chasing, Disney Animation, the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.) and generally speaking not something that most people would sit down and read in an afternoon. Coffee table books are often displayed singly or in piles for the benefit of guests to peruse, to stimulate conversation, because they look good, or whatever.

  1. Do you have any coffee table books? Yes
  2. Do you have one or two, or would you say you have a collection of them? one or two.
  3. Do you keep them on your coffee table? If not, where? on the coffee table
  4. What are they about? just recent magazines to read.
  5. Have you read them? All of them? None? Why? Yes. something to read during boredom.
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Thursday, June 2, 2005

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BTT: Buy, Borrow, Trade

Booking Through Thursday Hosted by: Booking Through Thursday

Some people like to be surrounded by books, and keep everything they’ve ever read. Others don’t like the clutter, and keep them long enough to read them. Most people seem to be somewhere in the middle…

  1. Do you buy the books you read, or do you borrow them from the library or from friends or from somewhere else? I do them all! Buy and borrow from friends and library!
  2. Do you prefer new or used books? Either are fine. As long as they are readable.
  3. If you buy them, do you keep them? Yes!
  4. If you don’t keep them, how long do you hold on to them before letting them go? What do you do with them? A while.. a very very very very long while.
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Thursday, May 26, 2005

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BTT: A Number Game

Booking through thursday Hosted by: Booking Through Thursday

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading a bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

1. Are you currently reading more than one book? Yes, I usually read more than one book at a time. It’s hard when another book tends to peek my curiosity in the middle of another book; such as Harry Potter.

2. If so, how many books are you currently reading? At the moment I am reading 2 books at the time. Yes I can’t decide.

3. Is this normal for you? Honestly I usually have like 5 books in one time. of course i would develop my sole interests in one book and they just ended up DNF (Do not Finish) pile.

4. Where do you keep your current reads? It’s on my bedside table, computer table, travelling bag, work bag.
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Thursday, May 19, 2005

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BTT: An Introduction To Genres

btt2 Hosted by: Booking through Thursdays

1. What kind of books do you read?
   I read several genres books that includes, Horror, Mythology, Fairytales, Legends, Folklores, Fairytales retelling, fantasy, Dark Goth, Young Adults, Paranormal, Supernatural, Arthurian, Adults, Graphic novels, Mystery & Thrillers.

2. Why? Provide specific examples?
    These are my favorite genres and I keep going back here. For example, books about Lycans. I must have any books that has Lycans characters. Don’t ask why but I have to.. Another example would be mythology. I have to get any books on any mythology around the world. Mythology, fairytales, legends, folktales are civilization builders and I like to know all of them, it’s a history buff spice read =D

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Saturday, January 1, 2005

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The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events 02); By Lemony Snicket

rate } ♠♠♠♠
genre } fiction | young adult | fantasy | dark mystery | adventure | juvenile
release day } 30th September 1999
publisher } HarperCollins
format } hardcover
isbn } B0044UHV9U
pages } 190 pgs
source } bought
age group } pg 13+
interest } reluctant readers | children | teens
challenge } -
Buy @ | Nolly Book | D BookHaus

The Reptile Room

The Reptile Room
(A Series of Unfortunate Events 02)
By Lemony Snicket

Via Goodread
Do snakes make you nervous? How about salamanders? Does the mention of a brass reading lamp give you conniptions? Is a long knife something you wish to avoid? A car accident? An odor? Cake? Clues to a bloodthirsty crime?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “‘Beware’ doesn’t begin to cover it.”

My 2 Cents
Oh woe… I hate to say it but I am not liking the fact the story slowed down here. I spent longer days in reading this than my previous one. Maybe, it’s due to the snakes…

I can help thinking how true Count Olaf character is in the real world. Not as Count Olaf, but a person who would do anything to do what Count Olaf did to orphan.

Nevertheless, the author managed to make me glued to the series. I was totally drawn into the series. The deeper introductions of the orphans’ background open up a little so we learn some more of their background. I can picture this series would be a big favorite among the teenagers.

*edit entry* (3/12/2011)
Boy I was right about that favorite among student thing. *Gloat* hahhaa

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