A Bookish Weekend

Why, hello there, April! Imagine we’re on the second quarter of 2013? Oh, how time flies! Anyway, what have I been up to lately? Well, I finally had time to catch up on my reading last Holy Week. Apart from giving time to reflect on my spiritual life, the holidays allowed me to recover from my reading backlog. Remember when I joined the 2013 Reading Challenge at the beginning of this year? After reading a book or two, I literally stopped altogether because my day job and other wedding-related stuff got the better of me. It was only after Miggy left for the US that I tried to pick up where I had left.

Anyway, since February, I was able to read six books from my to-read list. They are as follows:

The Valkyriesby Paulo Coelho
Ratings: ★★★★☆

I have read a couple of Paulo Coelho’s novels, and I’d say that this one’s different from them mainly because Paulo and his wife were the main characters in the story. It is Paulo’s personal account in fighting his own demons. 

Everyone has their own demons. Facing them and eventually conquering them take a lot of courage and determination. In this novel, Paulo, along with his wife, demonstrated his struggles in battling his own beasts. His wife played a significant role not only in supporting him in mission, but also in discovering her own strengths. This book may start off dull, but the story gets better as you flip through the pages.

The Catcher in the Ryeby J. D. SalingerRatings: ★★★☆☆

This novel is one of the all-time favorite classics, and there’s no doubt about it. I have heard and seen most Holden Caulfield’s teenage troubles in movies, so I didn’t really find anything more interesting in this book. Perhaps I’m not really much into classics, hence my judgment. Reading through its pages, I had the feeling that it was almost the same as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.I noticed that when I’m not really into the book I’m reading, it would take me weeks or months to finish it, and this is the case with The Catcher in the Rye.

Despite all these, I did like how the book ended. I have always had a soft heart towards love for siblings, and I think I’ve made it pretty clear here in my blog based on previous entries, so the way Holden yielded to his baby sister’s request captured my heart. He did love Phoebe more than himself, so giving in to her plea was worth it.

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)by Isaac MarionRatings: ★★★★☆

Okay, I have to admit that I first heard about this book’s movie adaptation before I found out that it was based on a novel. Apart from novels involving vampires and werewolves, stories that have zombies as the main characters don’t appeal to me either until Warm Bodies. My friends at work kept talking about it, convincing me into giving the book a chance.

Honestly, in the first few pages, I told Nica that I find the book gruesome, but the story becomes interesting, so I got past that unpleasant feeling. For the most part, I imagined the setting as in the movie, I Am Legend, starring Will Smith. You know, abandoned city, scarcity in resources, and the likes. Injecting romance into its plot was not at all surprising, but there was something to it that didn’t stop me from putting it down. I have to warn those who haven’t read this though, do not expect too much in the end. It could have ended a lot better in my opinion.

The Silver Linings Playbookby Matthew Quick
Ratings: ★★★★★

Much like Warm Bodies, Jennifer Lawrence’s win as Best Actress for this book’s movie adaptation made me want to read it. You know, I’m one of those who prefer reading the book first before watching the film version. I mean, I really liked J. Law in The Hunger Games, so that alone was enough reason to finally read the novel.

For this instance, I won’t speak about what’s in the story because I find the book too good to spoil. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence portraying Pat Peoples and Tiffany Maxwell, respectively was fitting. Although I haven’t seen the film, as I was reading the novel, I imagined them playing the part.

Note: I read The Silver Linings Playbook‘s synopsis in Wikipedia, and I was disappointed that they changed the story for the most part. One of which was changing Pat Peoples’ name into Pat Solatano. Boo. 🙁

Never Eighteenby Megan BosticRatings: Ratings: ★★☆☆☆

According to Goodreads, Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life. Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go. But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.

I’m sorry, but I think it was an awful version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. I didn’t find anything different in its plot, but I have to say that it featured awesome songs as its official soundtrack (i.e., Brick by Ben Folds Five, Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie, and Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine).

Angel Fallsby Kristin HannahRatings: ★★★★★

I have never heard of Kristin Hannah as an author nor have I known of this particular book. I only knew about this when I checked my book recommendations from Goodreads based on the ones I have added on my bookshelf. Boy was this a pleasant surprise.

This novel had the vibe of Jude Deveraux’s Holly because it was set during the holidays in Seattle. Anyway, the story evolved when Mikaela Luna-Campbell had a terrible accident, putting her into a coma for a month or so. As a loving and dedicated husband, Dr. Liam Campbell did all he can, even the most absurd idea, just to wake her up. He was so sure of their relationship as husband and wife until a thing from the past made him think otherwise.

It was one thing wanting to bring his wife back from a deep sleep, but knowing the truth about her past by accident was another. I admired Dr. Liam Campbell’s unconditional love and dedication to the family he had built with his wife for more than a decade. Hands down on how he handled the situation, and made an effort to put himself together despite all the setbacks he and his family had suffered from.

I personally liked the author’s writing style because this book kept me up all night!

So, how did you spend your long weekend?

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  • Cool! It seems you were lucky to choose such excellent five-star books. I rated Warm Bodies lower than five though. I am yet to read another Coelho’s book and your Brida is still sitting in my TBR pile. I really want to read it, but exciting books like Walking Disaster do come along and ruin my reading plans. Anyhow, wish you more books for this month!

    • I know, right? To finally have the luxury of time to read a few books during the holidays. Ah, Walking Disaster is making me giddy like a high school girl!Thank you, I’m still a few books behind the Reading Challenge. 🙁

      • I know. With all these good books coming, I think I’ll spend the entire April with Egyptian-inspired eyes. Their were lined in kohl. Mine are filled with kohl Haha!
        Try reading short stories. I think they count! Some classics are also think so you may try them. Good luck though. I spent almost a week reading the less-than-200-page The Animal Farm. 🙁

        • Hahaha! You witty kid.
          Classics aren’t exactly my thing… As I’ve written here, my pacing tends to slow down thrice as much on normal days.
          Whaaat?! I loved The Animal Farm back in high school! Oh, well. What may work for me may not work for everyone else, so to speak.