Norwegian Wood: A Book Review

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Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Vintage Books

Published on: September 2000, (originally published on 1987)

Genre: Romance, Coming-of-age, Contemporary

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

Review:

Let me start by saying that this book is not just a love story. In my opinion it equally speaks about each character’s way of dealing with this crazy puzzle of reality. I haven’t read yet the other books of Haruki Murakami and after this I think I may have just added a couple of books to my ever-growing TBR pile.

Let’s get into a little more detail here. First with the writing. Oh, how beautifully constructed the sentences were. Haruki Murakami has a way with words indeed as it is both intricate and deep. Reading it was like one of those moments when you unconsciously take a pause because you just have to feel its existence and think about its meaning. Those kinds of sentences stir your mind, heart and soul and sometimes most of it stays with you and then you live by it for the rest of your life.

With the characters, they all have different battles to fight for but because of it each of the character is interwoven in such a crazy complicated way. I think their lives can be likened to an intricate meshwork of clothing wherein no matter how different one type of fabric is, it can still be connected to another type of fabric by a single piece of thread. With Naoko, I genuinely feel sad and little mad about her. I don’t know but maybe its just the way I’m wired up but I felt optimistic towards her “progress”. I mean, she already have Toru as her anchor here and she’s got Reiko as well and it made me feel like there is redemption for her after all. Really, she caught me off guard I don’t know if I’m being too naive here but I just didn’t expect that of her. Reiko was a butterfly stuck inside the cocoon for what seemed like ages. I love her character–the honesty, the wise words and the friendly aura. She was broken but I think because of that she learned the way of life. She is a funny yet sensible character. Then we have Midori, the coolest character in this book. I like how liberated, honest and deep her character is. She is straightforward about dealing things, she doesn’t mask what she is and how she feels towards things and I like how it makes her a brave character. I find her existence in Toru’s life actually stabilizing. It’s like she brings a whole new world in front of Toru but its sad how sometimes it goes off unnoticed. And finally we have Toru-I fell in love with his mind. I mean his thoughts were dark sometimes I know but it strikes me everytime words come rushing out of his mouth and its so simple yet very thought-provoking. Basically the image down below says it all.

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(c) The Reading Room

Honestly, I never thought I’d feel a lot of things with this book. I’ve heard good things about the author but I just thought this book wasn’t my cup of tea until a friend recommended it to me. I mean he’s got all praises for this book and it led me to curiosity. I actually expected less from it, didn’t read any reviews and never asked him more than about the genre to avoid disappointment (yes, i did). And oh boy, how happy I am I did those mentioned above because there was a lot of things that caught me off guard whilst reading it. Haruki Murakami is writer that has left me with sensible and life-saving advises. I admire the life he gives to each of his characters and I’m excited to be reading all of his other books.

Have you read this book? What do you think about it?

A book with a color in the title: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Publisher: Scholastic

Published on: August 2002 (first published on 1908)

Format Owned: Paperback

Genre: Child Literature, Coming-of-age, Classic

Overview (via Goodreads)

Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.


You know that moment when a child’s mouth opens up and words come rushing out of it. Words that are pure and raw yet insightful. Words that caught you off guard and you become momentarily dazed until realization kicks in and everything starts to take shape.

Reading this book is refreshing and will make you look at life worth living. The words in particular are simple but somehow it manages to embrace you–heart and soul and its just so beautiful. Anne with her wild thoughts and ideas will make you realize life is serious enough, it doesn’t need your help in adding to its seriousness and so a sprinkle of imagination you have since you were a kid would do no harm. [ as long as you return back to reality 😉 ] Imaginations make life more interesting and livable. They make you see things, brighter and wonderful and great. It’s basically like reading fiction, as most people say, reading is a bit like hallucinating, you imagine things, things that are far more interesting than reality will ever be. So you see, imaginations could be our temporary escape from this crazy labyrinth of reality when life gets tough.

Another thing this book teaches is how easy it is to find happiness in our daily lives if only were not so engrossed with odd side of life.  Days would become hard to live by when we only focus on the bigger things because sometimes, it’s the simple things that makes the journey less stressful. Like seeing a flower on the side of a lonely road, having ice cream on a hot sunny day, witnessing a rainbow after the rain, taking a glimpse of your crush or even realizing you’ve got money tucked on your to-be washed jeans (which is enough for yet another ice cream). All these things, will always put a smile on your face and so you realize, life is still beautiful after all.

There’s so many things I’d like to commend on this book, like how it talks about growing up and the realizations you have once you reach a certain age that is definitely not childlike anymore. Or those things Anne taught us like how it was okay to become ambitious and competitive as long as you do it for yourself and the people you love and that no one should be harmed while doing so. And the most important thing this book talks about is the unconditional love form a family, blood-related or not. I adore every character in this book especially Matthew and Marilla. Those last few chapters managed to stir my heart. It made me want to buy a ticket instantly, go home, crawl into my parents bed and hug them so tight.

Reading this book made me feel nostalgic about the once easy life I had as a child-no big worries, no deep pains, no hard decisions, nothing complicated just right and wrong, black and white… Maybe when life is getting so stressful, we could awaken the inner child in us for a while, try to look things through a child’s eye and then maybe we could see the beauty there is in this things we call life.

So there, i just did a review on a classic novel (exhales deeply…..then freaks out) HAHAHA, you guys know, I don’t do classic reviews, but this one just had a big impact on me especially on where my life is right now. So I just have to talk about it.


P.S. I know most of you have read this book but come on, we all fall for the trap of good book and so we reread it. And its always great the second, third and fourth and nth time around. I hope you have/had a great day today. Keep your imaginations working kiddo! 😉 God bless. 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe: A Book Review

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Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books

Published on: February 2012

Genre: Coming-of-age, Contemporary, Young-adult

Synopsis: 

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review:

THIS BOOK IS SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!

Before I talk about WHY, let me tell you WHAT the book is all about. Here we have two male protagonists. Aristotle, is this angry teenager who seems to enjoy solitude contrary to what other thinks about him– a sad, lonesome little fellow. But Ari does not care about what other thinks. Then, we have Dante, one of the most beautiful person I’ve ever met (in the fictional world), who sees the world differently and who is so sure of himself. So they met at the swimming pool and thus begun their lifelong friendship.

Now, lets talk about why i love this book. Basically everything about it is just sooo beautiful that this book seemed like it grasp my heart, encased it in its beautiful cover, touched the deepest part of my soul, grabs hold and wont let it go. Can you see what I’m talking about? HAHA

Lets get into detail, this is a coming of age YA novel that deals with friendship, familial love, homosexuality and discovering ourselves. Now this book does not have that kind of heavy theme or plot that revolves around the characters but instead it has this feeling of reality. Of those small important events that actually happens to us too and makes life what it is. So basically it is RELATABLE!

The familial love that surrounds the two main characters exudes to you from the insides of the paperback. They are the most supportive parents in a YA novel and i love them so so much! Now with Ari and Dante, the special friendship they discovered was something that is so life-changing. Both of these characters are insightful and makes you have that moment of silence when you slowly puts down the book, takes a pause, stares into the abyss, be mesmerized by the beauty of the words and allow it to change your perception of things. I love the character development that Ari goes through. He is the youngest of the family, with a huge age gap with her sisters and who has a brother in prison. He struggles about finding out more on why his brother got into prison and why his parents act like his brother is dead. And his dad, a war veteran, who became distant after the war. He was this angry teenager, who cant figure it out most of the time, then he met another lonesome boy named Dante and they spend most of the time together. Dante, oh my i love him! He is this kind of guy you’d like to spend time with and he’ll make you feel like everything is alright when it obviously isn’t. Dante’s friendship with Ari develops into a deeper thing– HE IS IN LOVE WITH ARI! ha! ❤ ❤ and so romance develops. With the ending, it was again beautiful. But at some point, to me it was like clumped up together. I feel like at some point it was shoved directly into Ari’s face. Maybe I just needed Ari to slowly understand what he really felt and not like its being spoon-fed to him. But overall, it beautifully ended. And honestly, I have to say this and it rarely happens to me in a book, it made me cry and feel soo good at the same time.

Honestly this book is simple, yet as cliche as it may sound, the simplicity of this book makes it beautiful. It is slow-paced that showed those small details and made me appreciate it even more. This book is something that makes you understand people. Makes you think things through and in a way enables you to discover yourself. And I totally agree with this one quote of the book “We all fight our own private wars.” 


P.S. This is probably one of the first book reviews I did on my blog. I wanted to share it again to all of you my lovely readers because I sincerely believe that this book will manage to change your perspective in some important things. 😉

Have a wonderful day ahead, wherever you are! God bless!