A Crush?

You have surpass

The timeline of my other admirees.

You’re the most human of them all.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children: Library of Souls

LibraryOfSouls_final_300dpiOkay, it’s been about 3 days since I’ve finished the last book of Miss Peregrine’s series by Ransom Riggs and I’m still gathering my thoughts.

I’ll start with the plot. Library of Souls continues on from Hollow City and protagonist Jacob Portman discovers that he can control the monstrous hollowgast. Thanks to this strange power, Jacob escapes along with Emma Bloom and Addison, the talking dog. They continue to search for their friends, caretaker Miss Peregrine and the ymbrynes (women with extraordinary abilities and in charge of Peculiardom) who have been taken away by the antagonistic wights led by Caul.

Following breadcrumbs, Jacob and Emma eventually find themselves in Devil’s Acre, a dangerous and awful dimension, and learn more about these wights especially Caul and his ulterior motive which involves the long-lost (well, hidden) Library of Souls. According to legend, access to the library means ruling over Peculiardom…

Well-written (creating vivid imagery), Library of Souls never misses a beat. There isn’t a chapter wasted on something mundane – the ending is an exception but even that put me on the edge of my seat. Everything’s at stake, living up to the plot and therefore believable. The world of Peculiardom becomes more complex but navigable. The photos included in the book are amazing and really attracts your attention – no matter how creepy some of them are.

There’s one thing that I don’t like and that is the parents. I wish their relationship with Jacob is explored more. I know that they’re wary of him since they think he’s crazy, but they seem to be flat characters and just ridiculous.

As for Jacob and Emma, they brought tears to my eyes, putting me on a roller-coaster of feels :’)

Overall, Library of Souls is a satisfying end to the series but it makes you wish that the story should continue or want Riggs to write another book in the same universe.

I can’t wait for the adaptation of the first book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children¬†(directed by Tim Burton) with Asa Butterfield as Jacob, Ella Purnell as Emma, Eva Green as Miss Peregrine, Samuel L Jackson and Judi Dench. Hurry up, 2016!

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

imageThe Rosie Effect. Well, what can I say? It’s as brilliant and witty as The Rosie Project.

The sequel follows Don Tillman’s marriage to Rosie who eventually becomes pregnant. Emotionally detached, Don aims to be a perfect father through research but this research leads to dramatic confrontations and layer upon layer deception, making you laugh and sigh “oh, Don.” All these things Don face causes a growing distance between him and Rosie, and he has to find a way to win her back.

The Rosie Effect is well-written, so thorough that it made me cry – I can’t find a fault with this book. I didn’t have trouble understanding or lose interest despite the very, very, very rational/academic writing style. It made the story and character believable.

I fell deeper in love with the characters and no matter how different and nerdy you are, you’re still a person with feelings and deserve to be loved – I love that Don and Rosie don’t change each other despite their differences. It’s precious and an example of a not-perfect-but-healthy relationship :)


The Other Side of the World

imageDespite some moments of losing interest, The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop (my creative writing lecturer at uni :)) managed to keep me hooked. It’s well-written and heart-wrenching – enough to evoke sympathy for the protagonist even though I found her a bit irritating at times.

The novel is about Charlotte struggling with motherhood and her marriage to Henry, only to be pressured into moving to Australia to start afresh. She wishes to remain where they are and when they eventually move to the other side of the world, Charlotte’s desire to return flourishes further, effecting her relationships.

I appreciated the exploration of the struggles and conflicting emotions of a migrant and someone who’s living in multiple places – the feeling of always being an outsider even though you’re actually one of the locals or being shunned by your own race because you don’t have the same “look” or living outside the country where your family came from. Being an Australian sometimes makes me a bit displaced too (especially when questioned about my ancestry), so it was something that makes this book worthy to read – plus details of post-colonial life aren’t glossed over (bonus points for thorough research).


Carrie-2011So I’ve finally read Carrie by Stephen King and oh my god, it is perfection and horrifying. If you’re not familiar, Carrie is about a social outcast named Carrie White with telekinesis. She’s mistreated by people and even teachers at school, and her religious fanatic mother, and basically the whole town. One day, her period starts (something she doesn’t know about) and a group of girls taunt her, throwing pads and tampons at her. This is the catalyst. Sue Snell, one of the girls, feels remorseful about what happened and makes it up to Carrie by asking her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom instead of her.

At first, Carrie suspects a trick when Tommy asks her to be his prom date but eventually accepts, breathing in freedom for the first time. Her mother protests but Carrie narrowly escapes and goes to the prom…but soon hell breaks loose when the ringleader of the tampon/pad event comes back for Carrie…one last trick sets Carrie on a rampage…

I love everything from the writing which evokes vivid images, the story structured in a collection of reports, academic essays, book passages and letters, and the characterisation – it’s amazing. King doesn’t go into much detail but still manages to create multi-dimensional and relatable characters, even Carrie’s mother. I felt sorry for her but I still hate her, of course. I found myself feeling like Sue and a couple of the teachers wishing that they could’ve and should’ve reached out for Carrie sooner. I wanted her to be accepted and all but I guess that would be too happy for an ending.

King’s description of telekinesis is interesting. He doesn’t go into detail about it. It’s a mysterious and subtle thing (unless Carrie’s extremely provoked), not an over-the-top superpower, and is left so at the end to keep you on the edge of your seat just like the surviving characters – Carrie White is forever branded into your mind.

Carrie is a cautionary tale: Don’t be a little shit at high school and before you judge and hate someone, think about what they’re going through. There’s too much tearing others down and isolating people because of stupid reasons like appearance and boring/quiet/weird personalities in the real world.

Lastly, the ending left me wide-eyed since it has a connection to another Stephen King story and it still haunts me…


Lo_Adaptation_HC_600x900A lot of YA dystopias begin with a setting that has been oppressed or ruined for years, so I was deeply intrigued with Adaptation by Malinda Lo. The book starts at the beginning of the apocalypse. Where we read a first hand account of it. The character experiences it.

Adaptation follows Reese who witnesses the impact of birds dying off and causing crashes. Eventually curfews are placed everywhere. Reese and her debating partner/crush David end up in a car crash caused by a bird and they wake up several days later in a classified place. They sign nondisclosure agreements by suspicious characters and head back to their normal lives…with strange abilities like telepathy and accelerated healing. Reese also meets a girl named Amber later and she isn’t what you think.

Adaptation isn’t a full-on dystopia. In fact, it’s more realistic with a little sci-fi on the edge. I was surprised by the plot twist and even more surprised that the major position the parent (Reese’s mother) has (I need more YA dystopia with parents in major roles – parents who are there for their kids), Reese and David don’t become super soldiers – which is becoming an annoying cliche. And one more thing: I was impressed with how bisexuality was portrayed. It’s important but it isn’t the only thing that defines the person.

I can’t wait to read the second book :)


imageWell-written and witty, Landline¬†by Rainbow Rowell is about Georgie McCool having relationship problems with her husband Neal. Her job as a TV script writer and dream to produce her own show takes priority over her family. And it’s close to Christmas.

Georgie ends up spending time with her mum, stepdad and half-sister Heather, and becomes anxious about Neal and her. She eventually finds an old yellow phone of hers, a landline, and discovers that calls made and received are…the person on the end of the other line is Neal. Neal, her boyfriend and not-yet-husband. Is the phone some sort of time machine? Is Georgie imagining things? Is stress from work and the current state of her relationship taking a toil her?

I liked the magic realism? in this book. It’s subtle but I thought the characters were a bit flat and annoying except Heather. And what’s with the stereotypes of non-white characters including Georgie’s stepdad? These characters are treated with no respect from the main characters. The stepdad is mainly in the background and awkward and a little submissive. Georgie’s colleague Scotty is whiny and Georgie and Seth, her co-writer, don’t really appreciate him – treating him like a child. Seriously? Talk about diversity.

Overall, I have mixed views on this book. Actually, I just want that old yellow phone.


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