January 31, 2012

Book Review: Breathless

Title: Breathless
Author: Lurlene McDaniel

    What is the toughest request anyone can be asked to fulfill?Travis Morrison is a champion diver and one of the most popular kids at school. On the first day of summer vacation, while boating on the lake with his friends, Travis attempts a silly stunt dive that goes wrong. He fears he has broken his leg. Instead, his trip to the hospital reveals he has a rare form of cancer, and to save him, the doctors tell his parents they must amputate. In an instant, Travis's life and the lives of everyone around him are forever changed. Travis is determined that he and only he should decide the course of his life. He has a plan, but he can't carry it out alone. Will he convince one of his friends to fulfill his most important request? Lurlene McDaniel tackles a controversial subject, probing the issues of personal choice and quality of life.

Thoughts On The Book:
     The story revolves around one of the most controversial issues we're facing today  EUTHANASIA. Euthanasia is the process of painlessly helping a terminally ill person to die. Known also asassisted suicide or mercy killing, euthanasia is illegal for humans in the United States. Generally, euthanasia is performed by lethal injection, using the same drugs as those on death row are executed. There are four major characters in this story: Cooper, Travis, Emily, and Darla.
     Travis has a cancer and when he can't take the pain anymore, he asks his friend Cooper , Emily, and Darla to help him end his life. He researched the internet for options and he wanted to die drowning in water.
     The story chronicles the dilemma of Travis's friends of whether to help him or not.
    Yes, I'm still not in favor of mercy killing, but I am not in the position to judge what they have done. Honestly speaking, if I were in their shoes, I wouldn't really know what to do. I would be torn between my religious belief and the pain of seeing your love one suffer and wanting to die.
     However, I still believe that only God has the right to take your life. He won't give a challenge you can't overcome. If you are in pain, just think of all the suffering he's done for us and you will be enlightened.
Days before the planned drowning in the lake, Travis was rushed to the hospital due to some complications. He was in coma and the doctors wanted to cut his other leg. But before that happens, Travis suddenly died. 
     The ending of the story is little bit puzzling. I'm not really sure who injected the insulin but I guess it was Cooper since Trevor told him about it. Insulin overdose can't be detected in your blood.

Quotes From The Book:

"Most people believe they have a clear idea of what's right and wrong. Many say they know how they'll act, or how they'll handle an extreme situation. But to be honest, no one knows. Not really. Even if you say, 'I'll never do this or that.'  it actually might not be true. Because no one of us truly knows what we'll do when the circumstances become so overwhelming and complex that we can't even tell right from wrong. And then there are the totally unforeseen situations, when life deals cards you never expected, or when something's that's considered wrong morphs into something right and your mind determines that what once was the rule is not written in stone."
"Everybody dies; that's a fact. Sometimes it blindsides people. Sometimes people get a glimpse of the big picture and decide to cheat." 
Rating: 4/5

January 30, 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith

    Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
     Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is     Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.
     Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Thoughts On The Book:

     The plot is good. It's very unique. There's a little touch of Before Sunset in it only that it happened in an airplane and it ended in a happily-ever-after. The book has a very catchy title and a very striking book cover. It's fast-paced which made me finish it in one sitting. I wasn't bored. The story is typical and it can happen to anyone and whoever that anyone is, I wonder what goodness she's done to deserve a love story like this. Reality wise, I guess it's seldom that this kind of love story will happen. You're lucky if you have one.
     Character wise, they seem like the typical teenagers. On the top of their emotions, feeling like no loves them, and then finally realizing that they were wrong. I love the female protagonist especially her name. H-A-D-L-E-Y. It's really cute. When I get married and will have a family, I want my daughter to be named after her. :DD
     Oliver's character seems nice too. Very real. He's a gentleman. He doesn't make you nervous. He makes you at ease with him. I love how he helped Hadley inside the plane when she's having a panic attack because of being claustrophobic.
     Overall, this is a very nice book. Teenagers will love this. 

Quotes from the Book:

"Is it possible not to ever know your type - not even know you have a type - until quite suddenly you do?"
"Not everyone makes it fifty-two years, and if you do, it doesn't matter that you once stood in front of all those people and said that you would. The important part is that you had someone to stick by you all that time. Even when everything sucked."
"Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?"
"In the end, it's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity."
"There's a formula for how long it takes to get over someone, that it's half as long as the time you've been together." 
"You wait for ages, and then two come along at once."
"Love is the strangest, most illogical thing in the world."
"Love isn't supposed to make sense. It's completely illogical." 
"People who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else."
"Did you know that people who meet at least three different times within a twenty-four hour period are likely to meet again?" 
Rating: 5/5

January 24, 2012

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

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Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Title: Th1rteen R3easons WHY
Author: Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers. 

Thoughts On The Book:
What encouraged me to read this books are the cover and the title. The title is so intriguing and so I got interested. The plot is nice. The story-line is good but halfway through the book I got a little bored. I expected some emotions. The story gets confusing sometimes and I guess it lacked something. I can't seem to figure it out but there's something missing in the story. I was disappointed. It felt like I haven't read the book at all.  Yes the plot was genius, with all those tapes and the suicide, and the people linked together. I'm a fan of suspense genre books and so I guess I'm a little bias. That's just the problem with this book. I expected more from it. More emotions. More thrill I guess. He should have added more of those what-will-happen-next thingy or scenes that will make his readers think. Overall, it's not a bad read. We have different tastes afterall.

Rating: 3/5

January 17, 2012

Book Review: Message in a Bottle

Title: Message in a Bottle
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Paperback Edition, 370 pages

     Thrown to the waves, and to fate, the bottle could have ended up anywhere. Instead, it is found just three weeks after it begins its journey. Theresa Osborne, divorced and the mother of a twelve-year-old son, discovers it during a seaside vacation from her job as a Boston newspaper columnist. Inside is a letter that opens with, “My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together….” For Garrett, the message is the only way he knows to express his undying love for a woman he has lost. For Theresa, wary of romance since her husband shattered her trust, the message raises questions that intrigue her. Challenged by the mystery, and driven to find Garrett by emotions she does not fully understand, Theresa begins a search that takes her to a sunlit coastal town and an unexpected confrontation. Brought together either by chance or something more powerful, Theresa and Garrett’s lives come together in a tale that resonates with our deepest hopes for finding everlasting love. Shimmering with suspense and emotional intensity, Message in a Bottle takes readers on a hunt for the truth about a man and his memories, and about both the heartbreaking fragility and enormous strength of love. For those who cherished The Notebook and readers waiting to discover the magic of Nicholas Sparks’s storytelling, here is an achingly lovely novel of happenstance, desire, and the choices that matter most.

Thoughts On The Book:
    Message in a bottle is about the story of two people, Garrett Blake and Theresa Osborne, both recovering from their past relationships, and happened to find each other because of the bottle which contains Garretts letter to his deceased wife, Catherine.
     The story may sound cliche but with Nicholas Sparks' touch, you will surely love this novel. It isn't as superior as Sparks' previous novels but I enjoyed reading it, though there are some boring moments. I love how Sparks established the characters and how each line is carefully chosen. What brought a difference in the story is the unexpected twist at the end of the novel. I don't want to spoil he story so I wont mention what will happen at the end. But if you're a fan of Sparks and have read his works, you'll probably have an idea of what I'm talking about.
     The story tackles the issues most couples are facing these days. It tackles issues on failed relationships and how to cope up. The story tells us that is you really love someone, you must do whatever it takes to be with that someone; no pretensions, no hesitations. Do not force yourself to love someone even if you don't. You should always bear in mind that love is not forced. If you're ready to move on, love one day at a time. It takes time to heal.

Quotes from the book:
"There are lots of men out there - men who could fall in love with you at the drop of a hat."
"I have come to realize that destiny can hurt a person as much as it can bless him."
"Real people had real agendas, real demands, real expectations about how other people should behave."
"If you simply ignored the feeling, you would never know what might happen, and in many ways that was worse that finding out you were wrong in the first place. Because if you were wrong, you could go forward in your life without ever looking back over your shoulder and wondering what might have been."
"Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy." 
Rating: 4/5