Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


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I'll be honest about my thoughts on If I Stay by Gayle Forman. The first few pages captured my interest easily. The story is about a happy family of four. The parents are both into rock while their 17 year old daughter is into classical music. They play electric guitars and drums. She plays the cello. It's a very easy and enjoyable read until the accident. I like how it is abrupt and in a sense, gory, not because of the emotions that come with it, but because of its realness. That's how life is, right? Problems, accidents, or trials strike us at the most unexpected way and at the most unthinkable severity.

As for the plot after that, it is kind of boring. BUT BEFORE YOU CLOSE THIS WINDOW AND RETURN YOUR COPY OF IF I STAY TO YOUR BOOKSHELFyou may want to finish reading this first. I say boring because the plot is just the usual patient visitations in the hospital and flashbacks in between. Other than that, you'll just have to read through it and enjoy the book as it is. When you reach the final page, you'll understand why the author chose to write it simply that way. The book feels raw. There are no baggages of what we call "artificiality or pretentiousness". It's so raw that you can feel and see the reality behind it. You see them as the persons they are and not just another fictional character.

I think the book isn't a story about death at all. It's not about whether you choose to live or die. It's about your choice after we lose everything we love. There may come a time that we'll lose (I'm not saying we will) everything we have. It may be our family...dreams..friends..career...or everything we hold so dear. And when that time comes, what will our choice be? Are we going to stay yet so lifeless?  Are we going to dwell on the things we lost? Or are we going to face the pain with courage, accept it, and eventually allow ourselves to see the possibility that great things await us?

You could ask yourself the same thing while reading the book. It seems to be open-ended, but if you read closely, Mia answered these questions. May her answer help you find yours. :) 




Book-iography


Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 243
Type: 2-book series
Bookshelves: Contemporary YA
Read: December 24 - 26, 2013
Links: Goodreads 
Awards: 
 Rating: Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CZaI7scaRZY/T-6iY82UV-I/AAAAAAAAAM4/elDbdko1hHc/s200/5+notes.jpg



laurice-with-love ♥

Find this review on Goodreads!




Commentary on Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


As a disclaimer to this blog entry, here's an excerpt from the Introduction of Orson Scott Card's most celebrated novel: Ender's Game.

 

You could disagree with me, but I believe that what you'v
e just read is a quality of a really good author. Good authors don't just tell good stories; they don't just tell "their" stories. They write stories that can speak personally to each of their readers; stories that their readers can own; stories that the author and reader can share; and these stories are what they both created in their minds and memory.

For this review, I would like to remind you that this is how Orson Scott Card and I painted Ender's Game in our minds and memory. It might be different for you, but I hope you find this review amusing because for me..

Ender's Game is really disturbing. I felt vulnerable while reading it. You know the feeling when you read a text and say, "Ha! I'm not that kind of person. Of course I'm not! Uhmmm..am I?" You're scared of your answer, but still you tear through your own guard and search yourself. Not just search, but see through the very core of your thoughts, principles, and actions.

That's how I felt in Ender's Game. It is, as I said, disturbing. Not in a bad way, though. I like how it brings out the need for you to analyze yourself and the circumstances that you cannot control. And ask, "How am I going to act? How am I going to respond?"

 If you think about it, the questions and issues the author poses are actually simple. It's too simple that we overlook some of it in reality. Why? I don't know. Maybe because these are the issues that are simple, but hard to deal with.

There are two issues that had me questioning for days. One is the issue on friendship. It is simple, but it is relevant to all. In the book, teachers isolated Ender to shape his mindset into thinking that he needs to excel on his own because he won't get help from anybody. But he still gained friends despite his isolation. However his teachers made them compete against each other. This made Ender feel he lost his friends. While reading these chapters in Battle School, I kept asking myself:
When does friendship end once competition begins?
Does true friendship end in competition?
Or better yet,
What is friendship?

The second issue that bothered me the most is Ender's struggle with himself. It touches on issues like man's double standards of morality and dualism. Throughout the years Ender was haunted by his wrongdoings. He hates himself for having so much blood on his hands. He hates the fact that he knew that what he's doing is wrong and yet he did it still. Disturbing enough? Yes, but I like how Orson Scott Card made Ender vulnerable to all his readers. It felt like he's naked to the very core of his being and it showed truth about human beings. That we also make mistakes and deal with our personal struggles. That we are also haunted, in one way or another by our past. 

I also like how the author set Ender against circumstances that he cannot control--circumstances that sometimes pushed him to make mistakes. Should Ender blame these circumstances? Should we blame the circumstances that shaped us for what we've done? What should we do? Is there hope for us--for people who've done unforgivable things? I leave Orson Scott Card to answer that.

I'm not saying that the novel is free of errors. I found some that I disagree with. There's a lot more issues to talk about, but it'll take me forever to finish it. :) Double standards of morality of I.F., Colonel Graff, or Mazer Rackham. Ethics. Politics. Leadership. Childhood. Siblings. Family.

Overall, I would love to leave this passage from 1 Timothy 4:12. I think this is the heart of the book.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, 
but set an example for the believers 
in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity."

To all the children, to the youth, to the young at heart...
...Go. Share your passion and creativity to the world. Let your zealousness make a difference.

P.S. Thanks to this cool blonde photographer for giving me this book! :D 

I've Been MIA for 4 months?? WHOA! So sorry! It Feels so good to be back! :)


I MISS YOU! 

Yup! If you're reading this post, I'm definitely hugging you right now! Oh boy, how long have I been gone? 4 months?!! Seriously?? Oops, so sorry everyone! I know, I know. I missed your lovely posts. I missed commenting on your recently read books. I missed sharing my 365DOTs. :( And... I missed you all. I AM TRULY SORRY for leaving you just like that. :( 

If I can just recap the past four months to you....which I think I'll be doing in the next couple of days! *squeal* By the way, I NEED YOUR HELP! SOS!!! As you're all aware, I have a lot of catching up to do! That includes catching up on your stories, testimonies, new books, new covers, new reviews, new news! If you can just help me catch up on some of the latest, talk-of-the-town books, I'd really appreciate that! :) Weee. It's good to be back! :) 


Thank you so much y'all! Thank you for the prayers! Thank you for the love! :)
You're all in my prayers! Take care everyone! Don't forget that Jesus loves you! :) 
God bless everyone!


Giving Audio Books a try. HELP ME?

I miss reading. Books. Books. Books. I realized it's hard to juggle reading with college, academic readings, and papers. Sure I get to read sometimes ( like 2x since 2013 started! *sob.sob*), but I really miss reading so I'm going to try something NEW...to me. Bahaha.

*drumroll*

Audio books! I haven't tried this, but I'm up for the challenge. :D I'm also not sure how it goes. Does the narrator changes voice to match the characters? Does the narrator read the lines with feelings? Are there many narrators? Wheeew. I really have no idea about audio books. I NEED YOUR HELP! 


Can you suggest the best audio book you've ever read? BEST is defined as:

  1. Compelling narrator
  2. 5/5 plot
  3. YOUR FAVORITE
Thanks everyone! :') God bless you all! :)


#365DOT Day 12: Serene Night




Disclaimer: 

#365DOT is a blog feature at Dainty Damsel Stories. It features at least one thing, event, or person that I thank God for the next 365 days of 2013. :] If you're interested in joining, hop in! I'd love to hear your stories! :] Just link me back and leave a comment. :'] Yay! A blessed 2013 to everyone!



To be honest, I had a rough day. I was tired, sad, pained. The one thing I just wanted was to simply be home and seek refuge from all the thorns the world is throwing at me. But when I finally got home, I hesitated to go inside so I stayed out and looked at the night sky. It was the most beautiful masterpiece I saw today.  The stars were lined in their rightful places. The moon shines so brightly at me. It was a serene night. 

I realized then that the rough day I had is just a tiny speck of dust compared to the vastness and greatness of God's plan for me and your life. 

If God could arrange the stars in the sky, how much more will God, our Creator, arrange the broken pieces of our lives?

laurice-with-love ♥


#365DOT Day 11: Dinner w/ the 'rents




Disclaimer: 

#365DOT is a blog feature at Dainty Damsel Stories. It features at least one thing, event, or person that I thank God for the next 365 days of 2013. :] If you're interested in joining, hop in! I'd love to hear your stories! :] Just link me back and leave a comment. :'] Yay! A blessed 2013 to everyone!



(Sometimes, the heart speaks louder than words and actions. 
So for tonight, I just want to say....)

THANK YOU LORD JESUS.   


laurice-with-love ♥


#365DOT Day 10: 6:59 AM






Disclaimer: 

#365DOT is a blog feature at Dainty Damsel Stories. It features at least one thing, event, or person that I thank God for the next 365 days of 2013. :] If you're interested in joining, hop in! I'd love to hear your stories! :] Just link me back and leave a comment. :'] Yay! A blessed 2013 to everyone!



At 6:59 a.m. it was a typical Thursday morning.
At 6:59 a.m. I was waiting in line at the MRT Station.
At 6:59 a.m. people were going about their usual lives. 
At 6:59 a.m. some were waiting for a cab; some, buses; and others, the MRT. 
At 6:59 a.m. a middle-aged woman in yellow and red was sweeping the streets of EDSA.
At 6:59 a.m. a passerby dropped a 20-Peso bill on the street.
At 6:59 a.m. a policeman saw the 20-Peso bill, but didn't know whose is it.
At 6:59 a.m. the policeman gave the 20-Peso bill to the street sweeper.
At 6:59 a.m. the street sweeper's face was brightened up with her heartfelt smile.
At 6:59 a.m. I took this photo to capture at least a glimpse of God's hand at work.
At 6:59 a.m. I thank God for allowing me to witness His sweet miracles.
At 6:59 a.m.....

At 6:59 a.m. the street sweeper could have stayed at home and left the garbage untouched. But she didn't. She sacrificed and cleaned other people's trash.
At 6:59 a.m. the policeman could have kept the 20-Peso bill to himself. But he didn't. He sacrificed and gave it to the street sweeper instead.
At 6:59 a.m. I could have observed other things. But I didn't. God made me see how He makes all things beautiful.
At 6:59 a.m....

God bless you! :')

laurice-with-love ♥


Waiting on Wednesday #8: If I Should Die






Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

For my eight WoW and 2nd WoW of 2013, I give you...

*drumroll*....If I Should Die!


Book-iography

Title: If I Should Die
Author: Amy Plum
Published: May 7, 2013
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Type: Series (Revenants #3)
Bookshelves: Paranormal Romance, YA
Links: Goodreads

Blurb:


I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?


Thoughts! :'>

The COVER...uhmm...is absolutely Photoshopped! UGH. They could have done better!! It looks like it was hastened to finish. .____.  COVER DESIGNER, kindly edit it! :) You have more like 5 months to make it look better! ^.^

Anyway, I love the blurb of the three books! I like the concept, but I haven't started reading it because I was waiting for this final installment. I don't want any cliff hangers to ruin my mood, so yeah. I'd rather wait for 5 more months to read the complete series than to weep in anguish while waiting after a cliff hanger. OR NOT. :P

Have you read the other two books? What are your thoughts? :)

God bless you! ;)

#365DOT Day 9: Baby Sam






Disclaimer: 

#365DOT is a blog feature at Dainty Damsel Stories. It features at least one thing, event, or person that I thank God for the next 365 days of 2013. :] If you're interested in joining, hop in! I'd love to hear your stories! :] Just link me back and leave a comment. :'] Yay! A blessed 2013 to everyone!


Wheeee! I thank God because today He gave us Baby Jana Samantha! 
Baby Sam is my churchmate's daughter. Isn't she lovely? Look at those eyes! They're eyes from and for heaven. 
I can't wait to play, sing, laugh with that little one! 

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
-Psalm 139:13-16

Life is a gift from God! Treasure it! 
God richly bless you! :)

laurice-with-love ♥


#365DOT Day 8: Coffee, Stickers, and Stories in between





Disclaimer: 

#365DOT is a blog feature at Dainty Damsel Stories. It features at least one thing, event, or person that I thank God for the next 365 days of 2013. :] If you're interested in joining, hop in! I'd love to hear your stories! :] Just link me back and leave a comment. :'] Yay! A blessed 2013 to everyone!


“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis
I couldn't have said it any better. Thanks C.S. Lewis! Tonight was special because in one sitting God gave me three things to be thankful for. First, I thank God because I finally completed the stickers for my 2013 Starbucks Planner! Eeeeeek! >.< How sweet is that! (^_^) I haven't decided which color to get, though. White or Black? Black or White? Hmmmm? O:)

Second, I thank God because for the first time this year I get to bond with two of my favorite people!  Hooray for Tuesday! Say "HI" to my mentor/leader/friend/brother-in-faith/teacher/father(mehehe, kidding) and to my best buddy/friend/brother-in-faith! :D

Third, I thank God for the meaningful four hours that we spent talking and encouraging one another. I thank God for people like them who aren't afraid to give a part of themselves to help others grow. Sometimes I wonder why I don't have that much friends, but now I do realize why. It's because God has given a handful of true friendsThank you, Jesus! 

The next time you see a friend, thank him or her! Thank God for his/her/their lives! :) Ooops. Hold it. Don't even pity yourself for not having many or any friend. Don't you see Him? Look beside you, above you, in front of you, around you...Jesus Christ--the BEST friend anyone could ever have--is practically everywhere! He's simply waiting for your call. :)

And oooh! I'm also here. Just call my name, I'll be there. You've got a friend! ;) Haha!

To all my friends (Yes, YOU)... THANK YOU! 

God bless us all! :)

laurice-with-love ♥


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