Review: If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman
Thursday, 30 July 2015 @ 08:00// 2 comment(s)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak
Release date: April 1st, 2010
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages:  261
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.
I don't know what to expect when I started reading If I Stay. I've watched the movie and it was kinda meh. I started reading the novel last year and I just stopped in the middle of it because I thought it was boring. Then, not long ago I saw the novel just sitting on my table and decided to give it a second chance. It turned out, I was quite right about putting it down in the first place because If I Stay isn't exactly my jar of cookies.

Why I didn't like If I Stay:

-The plot is boring. I don't know if there's even such thing as a plot in this book. Because it's literally just a bunch of past events written together here and there and the current events just kind of slipped into it or it's the other way around I'm not sure.

-It's said to be heartwrenchingly beautiful, but what I got from this book was just utter boredom. I really tried to like this book, seriously. But maybe it's just hard for me to feel sad when the main character didn't even cry when her parents died. Maybe all the what ifs and flashbacks are supposed to make me feel sad. But they failed.

-Mia is too dull for my liking. She's just an ordinary girl with ordinary thoughts and ordinary life with ordinary friends and schools. Whoop. I think I missed something. She's a cellist! Yay! But, um.. So what? Isn't that supposed to make her less dull? You know what? I don't think so. She also lacks human emotions. Throughout the scene where Mia just stood there looking at her dead parents' bodies, I was like 'why aren't you fucking crying? Aren't you sad? What the heck is wrong with you?'

-The book is too long. I felt like reading a 500 pages book because I saw there was no point in many of the paragraphs. I could've just read the first and last pages and still not miss out on anything.

-Some flashbacks are completely useless and meaningless. The book is basically made of flashbacks, so it's expected for some of them to be meaningless and useless to the story. When I was reading through some flashbacks, I was like, 'Who cares? I don't want to know anything about you getting into stupid summer camp that has nothing to do with the story or how you spend your day with your grandpa! GIVE ME SOMETHING INTERESTING!!'

-None of the characters grew on me. You have to empathize towards the characters first if you want to enjoy a book. But, I felt utterly nothing when her family died because I never really got the chance to get to know them that deep in the beginning. It's so out-of-nowhere and the author just didn't give me enough time to know the characters that well to feel sorry when they're dead. The flashbacks also had no effects on me whatsoever. I was just bored through the whole thing when she recounts her past events about the other characters blah blah blah.

-The ending is so unsatisfying. Okay. I watched the movie first. So I've seen it coming. But still. I expected something truly life-changing from the book that has got 132160 five stars rating on Goodreads. But, no. I felt nothing.

In all, I can say that I don't recommend this book for anyone. Because it will truly make you fall asleep in the first few pages just like it did with me last year. It did it again, though, when I was re-reading it to write this review. But, if you love books with flashbacks in between the plot and a super ordinary main character, maybe you should read this.

My rating:   

Reviewed by Inas 

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Review: A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil, #2) by Soman Chainani
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 @ 08:00// 2 comment(s)

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: March 1st, 2014
Genres: MG, Fantasy
Pages:  433
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected. 

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.

Soman Chainani has created a spectacular world that Newbery Medal-winning author Ann M. Martin calls, “a fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, and humor that will keep you turning pages until the end.”
I've reviewed The School for Good and Evil before, click here to read it first. I wasn't particularly in love with the first book, heck, the only reason I was glad that I read it was so I could read the sequels, but I have to admit, this book totally surpassed my expectations. Like, WAY WAY surpassed my expectations.

Agatha and Sophie are back at home and living the happy ending that they chose together. For a moment, everything was perfect. But when Agatha secretly wishes she'd chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. The world they once knew has changed. Everything in the school has changed from the moment they decided to live their Ever After together. Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.

I loved so many things about this book I don't even know where to begin.

Sophie becomes this character that I loved soooo much! Actually, no, scratch that. She becomes super badass and super super brave and I loved her sooo damn much! I understood the reasons she does what she does and I felt like I could relate to her now. Well, she's still a tiny bit selfish but that's just her, she's always selfish no matter what universe she's in. The selfishness asides, she's just soooo brave and badass (I said it, didn't I?) and dark! Especially that one time when she has to go to the other tower to do something so so forbidden and super risky to save both her and Agatha from the wicked school. YOU GO GIRL!

The plot is nowhere near predictable. In fact, it's anything but predictable. It is satisfying, magic-packed, and so so mesmerizing. I kept finding myself getting surprised for every new stuff I found out. I just couldn't get enough of it! By the end of the book, I screamed out loud and silently crying for the next book to come out sooner.

We get to know more about Tedros here. Remember the dense and vain boy from the first book? He no longer exists. In his place, now stood another boy with handsome yet not-so-annoying face that I want to punch it. Tedros gets more screen time to the point where we know exactly what's actually hidden behind that handsome boy facade and you'd be surprised at how pure hearted and lovable he is. Deep inside, he's just a boy who longs for the exact same thing Sophie wants.

The conversations are hilarious and dark at the same time. I don't know if that's possible, but Soman Chainani really pulled it off when it comes to writing hilarious and dark conversations. This book is dark. It has its own way of making us drown deep in dark feelings and then pull us occasionally out of it by throwing humorous remarks here and there. I don't know why, but it just makes the book even more perfect and enjoyable.

NO MORE WHINY GIRLS WHINING OVER BOYS!!! This is probably the best of all. The thing I hated the most in the first book is the stupid girls spending their time whining over boys. Ugh. I mean, seriously, you could do BETTER than that! Um, I can't talk about this without giving some things away. So, SPOILER ALERT! When Agatha and Sophie come back home together, they accidently created an Ever After ending without boys in it. Them together means that girls don't need boys to save them, they can actually save themselves! So, there goes the world they used to know—the world where good fight against evil and vice versa—and here comes a new world where girls hate boys and vice versa. So, it's clear that they whiny girls are no more, right?

But, unfortunately, there's still one thing that makes me took half a star off my rating for this book.

The Agatha we knew is no more. I kinda liked Agatha in the first book. I liked her dark sarcastic sense of humor and how she doesn't trust anyone easily and how she would scoff at the whiny girls whining over boys and how she thinks everyone is stupid and the like. But, this time, it seems like she turns to the complete opposite of the girl she was before. She's the only whiny girl around here now. When the girls are no longer whine over boys, she still dreams of Tedros constantly and honestly I'm kinda sick of it. Just a little bit. I swear.

All in all, I think  A World Without Princes totally surpassed my expectations. I'm still in love with it even though months have passed. It's a dark and funny Middle-Grade book that's filled with adventure and magic that will totally keep you seated for hours. This book proves that even though the first book in the series sucks, doesn't mean the sequel sucks too. Because you know what? I would totally recommend the first book for everyone to read just so they could read the sequel after that. 

My rating:    ★ ★ . 5

Reviewed by Inas

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Review: School for Good and Evil, The (The School for Good and Evil, #1) by Soman Chainani
Sunday, 26 July 2015 @ 08:00// 3 comment(s)

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: May 14th, 2013
Genres: MG, Fantasy
Pages:  496
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.
Here is another Middle-Grade novel I've read this year. The last book in the series just came out a few days ago (sadly, I don't have it yet) and I feel like I should do a review of the first book before I read and finally review the last one (of course I'll do it after reviewing the second book too).

There might be some minor spoilers here, so if you haven't read the book, I suggest you to read only the last paragraph.

The School for Good and Evil is a school in which the students are trained to be characters of fairytales. Those who are trained to be the protagonists of the fairytale go to School for Good, while the villains go to School for Evil. But, going into this school means you have to be kidnapped first, which explains the majority of students that are unwilling to be there. But, Sophie is different. She wants to go to the School for Good so so bad. She dreams of being a princess and having a prince to sweep her off her feet. She also knows that you must have a good heart first to go there. So, she befriends a scary girl from the graveyard as her good deed, named Agatha. They become the best of friends. When the day comes for the School Master to take two children from their village to be put in the School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are taken. But, there must be a mistake as they find themselves in the wrong school. Agatha and Sophie must overcome the challenges in front of them as they question the purity of their friendship at the same time.

The very first time I picked this book up I thought it was going to be super awesome. I was really prepared for another Harry Potter world mixed with some fairytale shit. But, what did I get? Some annoying and stuck up girls wearing long robes and frilly dresses who constantly whine over boys incessantly for 24/7 and just can't seem to catch their thoughts.

I had a feeling that I wouldn't like the characters since the beginning. I was kinda right on this one. By the time I found out that Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed, I knew that there was no way I'm gonna like this girl. She only gets worse and worse the more I read this book. She chooses a boy over her best friend, she's also selfish as fuck. I couldn't appreciate her constant change on behaviour. One minute she's super nice to Agatha, the next she lies and stabs Agatha behind her back. I mean, I know that she's evil and all that, but can't she at least be able to make up her mind already?!

The conflicts are mainly because of boys. We get to see girls whining over their dream boys here. Girls hate each other because of boys. Girls fight each other because of boys. Girls beautify themselves because of boys. Girls wear frilly gowns because of boys. Like, please. Enough already.

The concept of friendship is confusing and doesn't make sense. Throughout the whole book, we're told that Sophie and Agatha are best friends. But it seems to me that Agatha is the only one who treasures their association. It's clear that since the beginning, Sophie only uses Agatha as her good deed without really considering her as a friend. Agatha overcomes many risks and danger just to rescue Sophie but still, in the end, Sophie always finds her way to betray Agatha while seconds after that she cries and apologizes to her. What I couldn't stand is that Agatha always forgives her. Every. Single. Time. It looks like that Agatha is the only one who truly sees the existence of their so-called friendship. Because Sophie doesn't even do that much to take care of it.

The boy is one stuck up and hypocritical character. He loves one girl after loving the other. He also badmouths a girl when he's with the other girl. I don't appreciate his love for any girl as he's actually not so sure about his feelings in the first place and doesn't seem to know what true love truly means.

Some things are just so bewildering I had to reread it a few times. There's this part when Agatha has to go to the School for Evil by crossing a bridge guarded by magic enchantment. I didn't understand what the hell really happens there and no matter how many times I reread it, I still didn't get it. Still don't, honestly. 

Even though I don't like this book much, there are still some things that I liked about it. Such as that time when they have to pass the test in the replica of Forbidden Forest (I forgot the name), it's just so exciting and adventurous, and boy do I love adventurous things! This book is so full with adventurous things here and there and I really liked it.

All in all, this book lacks many things in the term of characters and relationships. I'm not sure whether to recommend it or not because the sequel really ROCKS and there's just no way you can read the sequel without reading this one first. There are many adventures and exciting challenges complete with magic and prophecies in this book while at the same time full of irritating characters and unrealistic relationships. I'd say, just read this book so you can read the next one. But, I guess, I will leave it up to you to choose whether this book worthy of your time or not. 

My rating:    . 5

Reviewed by Inas

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How To Be a Fangirl/Fanboy of Books and Stuff
Friday, 24 July 2015 @ 08:00// 2 comment(s)


I decide to talk about how to be the most amazing and extraordinary species on earth a.k.a FANGIRLS slash FANBOYS. Because, well, who else is capable of teaching you to be the most astounding and mind-blowing species on earth besides one of the species itself? Or, in this case, ME!

Let me introduce myself first. I'm a fangirl of many fandoms. I'm a fangirl of bookish, tv series, anime, actors, actresses, and basically everything's fandoms. But, I think this assistance is best if you want to be bookish fangirls/fanboys. So, actually it also works either way if the title is How To Be a Bookworm. Because, well, this is a book blog after all.

Okay, so, first of all, I need you to throw your calmness out the window because one thing you have to know for sure, is that

So, throw that shit out of your life. Because starting right now, you need to overreact over the most trivial thing. Like when someone just sat on your book, or spill his coffee all over it, or insult your favorite character, YOU NEED TO FREAK OUT AND LASH OUT AND HAVE A FIT! Because one thing you must know for sure is that NO ONE MESS WITH YOUR BOOKS/OTPs/CHARACTERS!! In case you don't know what that's like, this is how you should react when someone does one of the above:

Because if you don't, then I really need to question the purity of your fanboy/fangirl's heart.


BUT, USUALLY YOU DO THIS ON THE INTERNET OR ELSE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL LOOK AT YOU FUNNY (you know, because caps lock basically means yelling in real life?)

When you're going to read a book. Do these things. Okay. So, I want you to start doing this sacred ritual every time you're going to read a book, the physical one, not the electronic one. Because it won't work on the electronic one. At least it's going to feel different.

This is you arriving at the bookstore.

You promised your parents or maybe your friends (those you're hanging out with in the bookstore) that you're only going to buy 1 or 2 books and that you won't spend more than 30 minutes. But, the truth is harsh and once you step into a bookstore, you're actually having a battle between you and your impulse control. And every single time, you lose. You hear me? You effing lose. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

But, you have no regret every time you do that. And you always do it no matter how much self-restraint you manage to own before stepping into the bookstore.

After, you buy those books, you bring them home, peel off the plastic wraps and start caressing the cover with so much love and passion you can muster you're practically hugging it.

After you've finished, you start opening the pages at random, bring the book to your nose, and you SNIFF THE BOOK.

That's right. You friggin sniff it.

Seconds later, you come to realization that

The stares of other people are nothing compared to the ecstasy of smelling your new books. So, it's basically worth it.

After you've finished those sacred rituals of reading. You finally get to do the most crucial thing. Which is, START READING!

You're totally in the zone when you're reading. You pay no attention to the world around you. A meteor could've struck the earth and you wouldn't even give a damn about it. All that matters when you're reading is the world you're drowning yourself into.

You will have various expressions and behaviors as you fall deeper to the world of your books. You're going to feel joy, sorrow, betrayed, and you'll probably cry. It depends on the books, really.

You're going to feel so much happiness when your OTP (one true pair) interacts or do cute stuff together.

And you feel so much sadness and sorrow when your favorite character dies as if they were your own family.

And then.. you continue reading the whole book. You were having soooooo much fun with all the characters when out of nowhere.. THE BOOK ENDS. You're not ready for it. Definitely not ready for it  if the ending was a cliffhanger. You start screaming and throwing things around and blaming the author for everything. You just can't believe the book betrays you after you put so much faith in it.

You're having a major BOOK HANGOVER for days. You don't feel like eating, taking a bath, or pretty much breathing because you know your favorite character just died and you just don't feel fair when you're breathing the air and he/she isn't. People will start telling you 'gosh it's just a book, get over it!' or 'they're not real'. But, they don't understand. THERE'S NO WAY THEY CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE GOING THROUGH. 

You start telling them that it's not just a book and they're not just characters. But, they're just too stupid to understand and you finally get tired of explaining.

So, you start doing this mental abuse on them inside your head.

But, you know what? Wasting your time on them is definitely useless and worthless, seeing that they won't understand any of us feeling at the moment. So, you decide to move on and grieve all alone by yourself.

You're in a phase of denial. You don't want to believe the book just ended and your favorite character just died and you started telling yourself you're okay when you're actually not.

But, you're finally able to move on. How? It may take a while, but in the end you'll be able to pick up a new book and START DOING ALL OF THE ABOVE ALL OVER AGAIN. Of course, you will always know that in the deepest part of your heart, that book will always have a place in your mind, body, and soul.

CONGRATULATIONS! You just officially became an official member of the fangirl/fanboy of books' species! Now, once you join, there's no turning back because there's just no way you could ever go back to being your old self. You will always act the same way towards every good book you read and there's no denying it.

Oh, you will also become highly alert for every word that has anything to do with your characters, OTP, books, or anything that has anything to do with the object of your fangirlsm/fanboism. 

Once in a while, you get to meet other people of your species. When you find out that they fangirl/fanboy over the same object as yours, you officially become buddies for life.

You will also be very easily offended if someone insults your object of fangirlsm/fanboism you can't help but feel sorry for them because they don't get to know the awesomeness that is your object.

You will also feel something stirs deep inside you every time your OTP interacts and can't help but do a happy squeal that probably will be heard by the people in Timbuktu.

And, yep. When your OTP/favorite character dies, you will also die. I mean, like, mentally and literally.

But, overall, you feel great about yourself because you know that you can see everything in a whole new perspective now. You will have a new schedule of activities now, which includes reading fanfiction, tumblr-ing non-stop, re-reading books, discussing books with your book buddies, and waiting for book conference/signings. Besides, now you have one goal in life that's quite clear: meeting the actors/actresses of the movie adaptation of your favorite book or the author of the book in real life. You will also feel full and complete and your life will also be colorful.

So, don't blame anyone if you've become a total fangirl/fanboy now. Especially not me.

"Wow, I just realized that this is one hell of a long post. But whatevz" -me

Posted by Inas

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