Fave Fifteen of 2015

Hi Reader! Is your holiday good so far? 2015 is almost over in a matter of days and I think it has been a great year for me. Two things in particular, first, I got into blogging and I’ve met such amazing¬†people who love the things I love to do ūüėČ . Second and definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me in my entire existence here on earth is finally getting into med school. So YAY to 2015, thank you Daddy God for this year and with fingers crossed Hi 2016!

Now contrary to those wonderful things, I have read a total of 40 books out of 80 this year which means (if you know me in goodreads) that I haven’t completed my reading challenge. *hides in shame.

Why you ask? LIFE HAPPENED.

But even though I didn’t make it, I believe I’ve read more than a handful of¬†great books this year and so I present to you a list of my¬†fave fifteen books of 2015. TA-DA!

15. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Genre: Science Fiction

I believe I’ve said enough about how cool this book is in my past posts but if it’s your first time hearing it, you can check out my review here. Also, this one’s going into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg.

14. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Genre: Adult Fiction

This book talks about a story of a woman, a wife and a mother who tries to live her life the way it used to be even after being diagnosed of a  neurodegenerative disease.

13. Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern

I think everyone have heard of this book of course since it was adapted into a movie entitled Love, Rosie with stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin (omg ‚̧ ) . Now I don’t think I can fully express how frustrating yet beautiful this story was unfold. Grab it and see for yourself. Full review here.

12. A Dance of Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Genre: Epic Fantasy

It’s the latest book from the series A Song of Ice and Fire. I know that a lot of people have seen the TV show but have not read the book yet because well, it is a big book. There is just so much that this book has given and oh Jon Snow.

11. Everday by David Levithan

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

This is one helluva of a book. The premise is totally unique and it taught me so much. Gosh, I love David Levithan. A genius he is.

10. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Genre: Science Fiction

This book reminded me of X-men which is not bad. It’s totally wicked and I really love the conflict between the two protagonists.

9. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young-Adult

A book that talks about serious subjects such as depression and suicide. It opens up a more realistic view of people suffering from such mental issues. Full review here.

8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

I’m so glad I picked this up before the year ends. It’s one of those books that reveals its secret in the most perfect way.

7. It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Genre: Young Adult

Another book that talks about mental health issues. You know when a book has authenticity in it because it manages to touch your soul. I believe that this book realistically depicted what a person suffering from depression is actually going through. My respect to Mr. Ned Vizzini. Full review here.

6. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Genre: Romance, Coming-of-Age

I’ve recently known this author through a friend and now Haruki Murakami is one of my all-time favorite author. This is the first book I’ve read from him and I can’t stop recommending it to friends. Full review here.

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Genre: Coming-of-age

Everything about this book is thought-provoking and reading it was like a journey of a lifetime in the eyes of girl. Woah right? So yeah, this one isn’t just my favorite for 2015, it for a lifetime as well.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genre: Romance

Oh yeah, every girl (probably) have swooned over Mr. Darcy and why not? Really this is a classic I will forever love.

3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire-Saenz

Genre: coming-of-age

I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again. I am in love with Ari and Dante. They’re probably one of the best characters I’ve read so far. This book could teach a lot of people into what a person’s identity and individuality really is. Full review here.

2.  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Genre: Contemporary, coming-of-age

I could just talk about this book for hours but of course I cannot. But in just a few words let me tell you that reading it has been an eye-opener. The story of the kid with a nightmare and a monster may seem simple but in its simplicity it has shown the truth about life.

1. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

Genre: Coming-of-age

It’s a debut novel and I think this book is responsible for why I am into blogging right now. After reading it, it was like WOAH! I’ve recommended it to almost every one I know and I couldn’t stop talking about it. I only read it this year but I’ve reread it twice already. So you see, saying I LIKE this book is an understatement. The protagonist here has a mental disorder and the whole experience of reading it was different.¬†Full review here.


 

Thank you for reading that long list of mine.¬†You may have noticed that I’ve read a couple of coming-of-age and science fiction genres this year because well I love those genre. And If you may recall, I’ve posted a list of the series I should get into this year here but unfortunately, I only started a few and never completed any.

Why you ask? LIFE HAPPENED.

So that is the reason why I only have one book in a series in this list. And hey, ’twas an epic book. ūüėČ


 

How about you? Do you have any book in this list that also belongs in your top reads this 2015? Let me know down below and share it with everyone else too. Cheers to 2015. Bye for now, readers.

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 ūüėČ ] 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! ūüėČ God bless.¬†

A Pulitizer Prize-winning book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Published on:

Format owned: Paperback

Genre: Classic, Coming-of-age,

Overview: 

Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel‚ÄĒa black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930’s.


I couldn’t believe why I just decided to read it this month. So I finished it a couple of weeks ago and you guys were right! THIS IS AN AMAZING BOOK! Clearly, I have been deprived of a great story. The moment I opened its cover and devoured its content piece by piece I never experienced such a wonderful childhood journey. It was honest, insightful, raw, and everything else I would ask for a book. It is the kind of book that worms it way into the deepest part of your mind and soul and it cannot be denied that it will forever leave a mark in your entire existence. It influenced me in so many amazing ways and I gladly learned a lot from it. Scout was such a wonder! I’m going to shut my mouth now because i fear i might not give justice to this book. I definitely recommend this book to everyone!

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is about the Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors!!!


I have listed out my all time favorite authors, tried narrowing it down as much as possible and it took me all the necessary comforting to come up with this list. So here it is:

J.K. Rowling

She will forever be part of every fiber in my being. She has greatly affected me and I will forever be thankful for that.

C.S. Lewis

Aside from the Harry Potter Series, I grew up with Narnia! C.S. Lewis brought me into a magical place that I will forever feel nostalgic with¬†even though I was never there physically ūüėÄ

George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire series is an intimidating read what with more than 800 pages (?) per book! But man, how greatly I admire the world created by Mr. George. His way of writing is just so detailed and descriptive you will just love those big books of his.

Rick Riordan

YES! YES! OF COURSE! I love the series he writes, it transports me easily into a more interesting and awesome world.

Suzanne Collins

She is the reason why I got stuck in the dystopian fiction genre for months. Like, literally MONTHS!  I came to bookstores looking for dystopian fictions to read because The Hunger Games Trilogy was so gripping and action-packed that I just got hook with anything like it.

John Green

Then we have the coolest, awesome and ever famous author of YA novels! The moment I grab hold of one of his books I instantly fell in love with his writing. It¬†was insightful, humorous, honest, and beautifully unique! And the characters he creates, oh man! how I love everyone of them ūüėÄ

Rainbow Rowell

Okay, so aside from John Green, I turn to Rainbow Rowell when it comes to anything YA! I just love her characters, her writing, and everything in her stories. I cannot help but relate to most of them. ūüėČ

Jane Austen

I only read Pride and Prejudice (but the rest will be read soon I am certain) and I cannot but one second not admire Miss Jane Austen’s way of unraveling her stories. Her writing is both fun and full of substance.

Harper Lee

I recently read To Kill A Mockingbird and it has just become one of my All-time Favorite Books. You guys were right and I cannot believe why I deprived myself with this amazing read. She is a great storyteller and very insightful. I feel like grabbing her book again and reread it. ūüėÄ

Paulo Coelho

This man has brought wonders to this world. I will not be afraid to say that he is one of the greatest writers that has ever lived. His books are a source of inspiration in this crazy world we live in. I will forever bring his books with me wherever I go.

DISCLAIMER: Photos of authors were taken from Goodreads. 

I did it! I did it! HOORAY!!!!

This is an accomplishment! HAHA so that’s it ūüėÄ

How about you?¬†Does any of these authors above included in your list? I’d love to know who those are, so you can comment it down below!

 Have a wonderful day ahead and God bless :*