Book Review: Easy


Title: Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Published: May 24, 2012
Publisher: Tammara Webber
Format: Ebook
Pages: 289
Type: Stand-alone
Bookshelves: Mature YA, Contemporary
Read: June 26-27, 2012
Links: Goodreads
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What can I say?

I'm seriously left behind in class! Just like Jacqueline, I missed class for two weeks! Not because of a heartbreak, though. Heehee. Anyway, I was admitted in a hospital because of Dengue Fever stage II and I just went to class a while ago. When I asked my professors for a remedial class, I was hoping to get a tutor as cool as Landon. Unfortunately, my professors have yet to read "Easy" since they told me to catch up the lessons by myself! Ugh! Talk about unfair. How come I don't get a one-on-one e-mail tutorial session??? How come there's no Landon Maxwell to save me from my two-week ignorance of Political Thought, Southeast Asian Studies, Ethics, Japanese Studies, Medieval Literature, and Majors! See what I mean? Landon Maxwell could be really helpful right now.

Really, guys. Easy by Tammara Webber is that good. I just have to remind you, though, that it contains mature subjects and themes

I was surprised by how heavy the plot is. I don't actually support some of Jacqueline and Lucas' decisions, but I'll leave it up to you to decide. Meanwhile, I'll share three lessons I got from the book. 
Here it goes!

1. Don't let your past take away your future. It doesn't define who you are today and who you'll be in the future. Live life like there's no second chance!

I got this from both Jacqueline and Lucas. Jacqueline throws away her dream of entering a prestigious music school to follow her boyfriend in a State University, only to find out that he'll break up with her just before their 3rd year anniversary. Jacqueline is devastated and she'll rather fail the class than to sit beside her ex for an hour-long Economics class! Thankfully, her bestfriend/roommate and Econ professor help her to get back to her feet. Her bestfriend starts to encourage her to come to class and her professor gives her a cool and intelligent personal tutor, Landon Maxwell.

The past of Lucas is rather heart-wrenching and tragic to the point that he almost stopped living by wasting himself. His father, a Ph.D. holder and a well-known scholar, shut down his senses and rationality because their horrid past is too much to bear. Thanks to Dr. Heller, Lucas is spared from a dead-life.

2. Do not fear. Step up. Let your voice be heard.

Two weeks after their breakup, Jacqueline is almost raped by a brotherhood rival of his ex. Good thing, Lucas is there to stop him. Knowing the shame that she'll get, Jacqueline decides to keep the incident a secret until it happens again. She escapes the second time around, but not her bestfriend's sorority friend. That's the only time they relayed the rape cases to the authority; however, they'll have to face the consequences of their prolonged silence.

3. Follow your dreams. 

That includes your heart's desire. Jacqueline will eventually decide if she'll pursue a degree in music or education. And she'll also have to face her heart. Whom does she love the most? Her ex? Landon Maxwell? or Lucas?

I know you'l enjoy this book, too! Enjoy reading! God bless you more. :)

This review can also be found at Goodreads! :)

Book Review: Ascend (Trylle #3)


Title: Ascend
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 326
Type: Series (Trylle Trilogy #3)
Bookshelves: YA, Paranormal Romance, Series
Read: June 25-26, 2012
Links: Goodreads
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What can I say?

I guess I would have loved and enjoyed this series if Wendy didn't end up with him. 

With all honesty, Ascend is a lot better than the previous books, Switched and Torn. Though I felt more comfortable reading the previous ones. because Switched and Torn left me with an insatiable desire to get to the end. But Ascend was different. I could say that it was a really good book if things didn't end up like this. I would probably even give it a 5! It just so happens that the ending made me furious. Roar. I was almost through it when things started to go differently. I could hardly keep myself reading to the point that I had to be dragged to the end of the book! If it weren't for mere curiosity, I would have stopped reading. Sob. Sob. I wasn't happy anymore. Seriously, if things ended differently, I would be the happiest reader ever. Unfortunately, imagination is far from reality.

I would have loved this book if he's not the guy. But then, he is. Sigh. :(

Anyway, Ascend is the final book of the Trylle Trilogy of Amanda Hocking. It follows the story of Wendy, a half Trylle and half Vittra Princess, who was taken back from the world of humans to Forening, the place where Trylles live. Wendy is a troll Princess who is about to take the place of her mother as Queen. She never wanted to become Queen, but she has to fulfill her duties for the sake of her people. She needs to protect her people against the evil plan of Oren, her father, the Vittra King. Oren wants to be King over the Kingdom of Vittra and of Trylle. He wants to spread violence across the troll cities, but Wendy is determined to stop him.

In Ascend, Wendy has grown to be the Princess that her mother would like her to become. She has become strong, powerful, wise, and kindhearted. A Princess that is very much qualified to become a Queen. She has also managed to harness her powers under the training of Tove, her fiance. Tove and Wendy have to marry each other in order to secure the throne. But their marriage won't work because they love somebody else.

What I love in the story was Wendy's growing relationship with her mother. It's nice to know that the Queen loves Wendy so much, though she didn't show much of it when she still had strength. But she had loved her more than Wendy expected. Wendy had a traumatic experience with her host mother when she tried to kill her when she was six years old. But then, the Queen truly loved and cared for her even before Wendy was born. It's heartbreaking that the Queen died just when they are learning to express their love for each other.

Alongside the Queen's death, Wendy has to face his father who never stops causing damage and chaos to Forening. No one has ever defeated the Vittra for centuries and no one knows how to kill the Vittra King because of his immortal ability. But Wendy has his blood running through her veins and that gives her an advantage over the Vittra King. 

Ascend would have been a really good book if Wendy ended up with the right guy, but then Amanda Hocking had a way to make it sound less awful and less disappointing. I guess many readers would even like the ending. Nevertheless, I feel heartbroken and betrayed.

Enjoy reading! : ) God bless you! : )
This review can also be found at Goodreads! :)

Book Review: Lola &d Boy Next Door


Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: September 29, 2011
Format: Ebook
Pages: 303
Type: Companion Novel to Anna and the French Kiss
Bookshelves: YA, Contemporary, Companion Novel
Read: June 15-17, 2012
Links: Goodreads
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What can I say?

I was actually surprised. I never thought I'd like Lola and the Boy Next Door. Honestly, I was purposely ignoring this book because I was discouraged by its negative reviews. I mean, who wouldn't be discouraged by the hundreds of raves? Yeah, so what I did was I pushed this book to the end of my reading list as much as I could. Mean, huh? But then I really loooove Stephanie Perkins! She made me fall head over heels for Anna and the French Kiss, so I was still secretly craving for Lola and the Boy Next Door. Apparently, I couldn't hold myself anymore and I finally buried my nose on its pages! Ha! :)

Okay, let me start. There were a lot of issues that bothered me in this book. Issues that I won't tolerate in real life. But then, I admired Stephanie Perkins. I admired the way she crafted these controversial issues without making it sound that she supports them OR rejects them. She just lays all of them on the table and leaves a room for us to ponder and decide. 

Concealing these issues is the story of Lola. She's a creative 17 year old girl who loves to dress up everyday. She vows to never repeat the same garment in a year! Unbelievable. So, she has this huge crush on his gorgeous neighbor, Cricket. They've been the best of friends until Cricket's 16th birthday. Cricket's family moved into a new place in order to make way for Calliope's, Cricket's twin, training. Cricket and Lola didn't part ways really well. So after Cricket's family moved, Lola was left heartbroken and rejected. 

Cricket's family is gone for two years and Lola tries her very best to forget him and move on. She did, well she thought she did. She got a new boyfriend, a band vocalist, who is way way way older than her. This made her parents anxious about her boyfriend. They never allowed Lola to go out with him without a series of interrogation and check-up calls.

When everything seems good for Lola, that's when Cricket's family returned. They've changed a lot, especially Cricket. He's still unbelievably good looking and gorgeous, but he seems different. He acts differently. He's A LOT nicer and A LOT sweeter to Lola! That's because he's undeniably, deeply, and truly in love with Lola since time immemorial! Sweeeeet. <3

But when Cricket admits this to Lola, her happy life becomes a lot more complicated. She becomes crowded with confused feelings, mixed emotions, and abrupt decisions. How would Lola manage this situation? What would happen to Cricket knowing that Lola has a boyfriend? How would Lola handle the issues pressuring her?
Lola and the Boy Next Door + Anna and the French Kiss
Photo (c): YABookTwins

See for yourselves and try to read it. Don't be discouraged by the tons of rages against this book. It's pretty cool. :) I think you'll like it. :) Cricket is awesome <3 HA HA! =)) PLUS Anna and Etienne are here in the book! <3 <3 <3 Though I was a bit disappointed because I can't recognize their voices. They didn't sound like themselves from the first book, but then I guess I'm just thinking too much. :P Overall, the book's fun to read. 

Enjoy reading! God bless!

This review is available at Goodreads! :)

Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere


Title: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Published: 1960; May 23, 2006
Format: Ebook
Pages: 354
Type: Stand-alone
Bookshelves: YA, Inspirational, Self-Reflection, Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What can I say?

I started The Sky is Everywhere yesterday after lunch, but I couldn't put it down. I kept reading and finally finished it at two in the morning. There I found myself awestricken by the characters (especially Joe!), the poems, the music, and Oh, the magnificent writing of Jandy Nelson. Her words danced in my ears as if they were notes perfectly partnered together. It was astounding!

The book begins with Lennie's (a.k.a. John Lennon) dying doppelgänger plant. Gram, her grandmother, belives that the health of the Lennie plant is adjacent with Lennie's overall condition. It is probably true since Lennie isn't emotionally stable at the moment. Her only and beloved sister, Bailey, just died recently because of arrhythmia. None of them expected Bailey's death. Besides, she is just 19 years old and looks perfectly healthy on stage. 

Lennie finds it difficult to accept her sister's death. Soon she becomes aloof with Gram, Uncle Big, her bestfriend Sarah, and even Joe, the new musical aficionado in town who visits her daily at home. Lennie thinks that no one understands her except Toby, Bailey's boyfriend. Toby goes to Lenny at night and they'll grieve for Bailey's death together. They'll try to find comfort in each other; however, their relationship grow a little more complicated. They find the wrong channel to express their grief.

Joe, on the other hand, is a musical genius. He plays almost all the instruments really well. Though he's new in school, he's more than qualified to temporarily replaced Lennie as the second chair clarinettist while she is on leave. He isn't just a musical genius, he's a heartthrob as well. He is hot squared, gorgeous squared, sweet squared, and the list goes on. And Oh, who wouldn't fall for his long eyelashes? Bat. Bat. Bat. Oh boy, he's "unfreakingfreakingfreakingbelievable!"

More than that, he is highly, deeply, completely, intensely, and passionately in love with Lennie! During summer vacation, Joe visits Lennie's home daily. He helps Gram; He brings dead bugs for Uncle Big (he loves dead bugs); And he patiently waits for Lennie until she finally wants to play music with him. I also love the way Joe respects Lennie as a lady. Joe wants to help Lennie move on from her heartbreak caused by Bailey's death:

"I’ve never met anyone as heartbroken as JL, I want to make her feel better, want to be around her all the time..."

But then, how will Lennie handle her situation? Joe is in love with her. She is in love with Joe. But TOBY...How about Toby and Lennie? And Bailey? 

Nelson handled this love triangle really well. I am also surprised by how the difficult issues (death, forgiveness, etc.) were treated wisely and truthfully in the story.

It's about death, life, love, family, acceptance, forgiveness, moving on...

As you read this book, I pray that your hearts will also be healed from the hurts, the pain, and the burdens you've been carrying. Enjoy reading! God bless!
"There once was a girl who found herself dead. She spent her days peering   over the ledge of heaven, her chin in her palm. She was bored as a brick, hadn't adjusted yet   to the slower pace of heavenly life. Her sister would look up at her and wave, and the dead girl would wave back but she was too far away for her sister to see. The dead girl thought her sister might be writing her notes, but it was too long a trip to make   for a few scattered notes here and there so she let them be. And then, one day, her earthbound sister finally realized she could hear music up there in heaven, so after that, everything her sister needed to tell her she did through her clarinet and each time she played, the dead girl jumped up (no matter what else she was doing), and danced. "
-Jandy Nelson 

This review is also available at Goodreads! :)

laurice-with-love <3

Miracles Happen: 1 Slot Just 4U :)

I praise God for He is in control of everything. I thought I was prepared for a stressful enrollment day, but I should have known better. It was really exhausting at school. Everyone was busy looking for subjects with slots. It turned out that the only available schedule for the subject I needed is from 6:00-7:30 pm. Whoa. I don't think I can handle a night schedule AGAIN--not with commuting from Bulacan to Ortigas everyday. OH NO NO NO. But then, I have no choice. I have to take the subject

So I surrendered everything to God. I allowed Him to take full control of my class schedule. And then.....

When it was almost my turn to add subjects, I checked the screen once again to see if there was any chance I could get an earlier schedule. THAT WAS WHEN I SAW IT.

I looked at the screen a little more closer to make sure that I saw it right. And of course, it was there. THAT "ONE" SLOT FOR THE 4:30-6:00 pm CLASS!!! I couldn't believe it! 4.30-6.00 pm class!!! It's still late, but it's definitely not as late as 6.00-7.30pm! 

Wheew! There were still a number of people ahead of me in the line, but Jesus wouldn't disappoint His people. I got the subject and now I am enrolled! :) Praise God!

Truly, God works in ways that we cannot see. Never doubt God's faithfulness and power just because you don't see Him moving. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are far greater than our thoughts. 

Just Believe. Have faith. Hold on to His promises.

Surely, you will witness God's Miracle right before your eyes. :)
All it takes is a mustard seed amount of faith and you can tell a mountain to move.

Be blessed! :)

I Won't Give Up--Faith!

"I won't give up on us even if the skies get rough..."

Nope. I'm not singing. Okay, maybe I am, but it's not what you think.

Yesterday (that was 53 minutes ago) was the roughest day of my week. School starts in a few days time and by this time, students are cramming with their class schedule. Fortunately, the I.T. experts of this Age did a really great job in coming up with the "online" enlistment. That way, students don't have to go into the trouble of going to school to enlist their subjects. Isn't that cool?

Wait 'till you get to try my school's online enlistment. Supposedly, my batch was scheduled yesterday from 9am to 5pm. However, most of us couldn't access the enlistment portal. It just kept on crashing the whole time. We couldn't add a single subject, or that was my case, at least.  It was not cool at all. T.T

With all the inconveniences I encountered yesterday, it was easy to give up. Thanks to my classmates' FB updates, I learned that most of them have already completed the 27 units required whereas I got ZERO units in hand. It disheartened me all the more when I saw the sections I like to get were already CLOSED. But then, I just kept my eyes fixed on the screen and my heart fixed on Jesus from nine in the morning 'til seven in the evening. I believe that He knew my needs.

If you'll look closely, my situation yesterday was highly impossible to salvage. But JESUS can make the impossible POSSIBLE! I was able to enlist 15 units by 5pm. It means the moment the portal closes, I'll be waiting for the rest of the university to enlist their subjects online--and that will take ONE WEEK--before I get to enlist for the remaining slots. 

However, God's hand was at work! He is true to His promises! He won't forsake those who trust Him! The enlistment portal should close at 5pm, but it didn't! (That's the first miracle!) Then, the enlistment process went really fast! (That's the second one.) Finally, I got to enlist all the subjects I needed! :"> Err. Not totally ALL because I lack one P.E. subject and another CAS subject, which I think I can still get at school. So, no worries! God is fully in control!

I know that it's easier to lose faith and give up when times are rough, but just hold on to Jesus Christ for He is true to His promises. Joshua 23: 14 says, "...You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed." Hold on to His promise that all things will work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8: 28). 

When everything is failing, it's hard to believe. But don't lose hope. Walk by faith and not by sight and all the good promises of the God will come to pass. 

Whenever you are faced with trials, always remember that God is sovereign over all things. He created the heavens and the earth. The Heaven is His throne and the earth is just His footstool. Is there anything too hard for Him to do? There is nothing that He cannot do.

Just walk by faith and not by sight because God will surely unfold His greatest plan for your life right before your very eyes! Don't give up even if the skies get rough or if the days get tough. Have faith! Trust God.

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