Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Song for the day: This Isn’t the End by Owl City

When Theodore Finch a.k.a the freak and Violet Markey a.k.a. the good girl coincidentally met in a ledge on top of their school’s bell tower, they did not expect the effect that they will cause in each other’s lives.

(Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18460392-all-the-bright-places)

Note: Spoilers Alert! Read at your own risk! 

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I will repeat what I previously said in my short Goodreads review about this book here: It isn’t like The Fault in our Stars or Eleanor and Park. This book is much, much, more than that.

It’s true that like TFIOS, the guy also dies. And that this book also deals with living after a really terrible storm but, no. It, of course isn’t like Eleanor and Park at all. I don’t know why this novel is even mentioned. (But then again, this is only my opinion.) With that said, I will now begin this review.

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First of all, I would like to warn the people who are interested in reading this book because I assure you, you will cry. And no, it isn’t the peaceful kind of crying. Truthfully, I was a huge mess when I finished reading this book. Like eyes-puffy-head-and-chest-aching-snot-all-over-my-pillow-and-bed mess. But don’t worry because the pain and crying is all worth it.

It was really hard to read the last chapters of All the Bright Places because I know that something bad is going to happen and when it did happen, I felt like I stepped on a thousand shards of glass. That’s how much it hurts.

Now that’s settled, let’s start.

THE CHARACTERS:

Theodore Finch. He is the kind of guy who is impossible to exist in real life but I still love him. (Because who cares about real life? I’m in fiction heaven right now.) He plays the guitar, has a nice voice, writes songs, quotes dead poets, and writes cheesy lines like:

“You make me love you, 

And that could be the greatest thing my heart was ever fit to do… 

You make me lovely, and it’s so lovely to be lovely to the one I love.” 

He’s like the perfect boyfriend every literary fangirl is waiting for. But it’s not just those things that made me love this character. I love his humanity. His look on things. And my heart aches for him because all he ever wanted was to be treated like a person. Not a freak. Not someone who has an illness. He just wants to be Theodore Finch. A friend, a classmate, a son. A human.

Violet Markey. She’s good. She’s a writer, popular, down to earth, have a super famous blog with her sister, beautiful, nice, outgoing, and fun. But all of that was before her sister, Eleanor died in a car accident. After that incident, she turned into Violet Markey: the person who can’t wait to graduate and escape Indiana. Violet the coward, Violet who can’t drive, Violet who blames herself for her sister’s death, angry Violet, sad Violet. Empty Violet.

I like Violet’s character and as much as I want to say that a girl as perfect as her (the before Violet) doesn’t exist in real life, I know I’m just going to lie because I know a handful of individuals who are as perfect as her.

I feel so much pain for Violet. Her sister died in a car accident and she had a hard time dealing with that. But then she met Finch and he made her realize how good life is. And then she started to heal, started to talk about her sister, started to drive, even. But bam! Finch dies. He gave up his fight and she is left behind…again. I mean, how painful is that?! But I know that she won’t give up. After all, she made it this far.

THE PACE:

I love the way Violet and Finch’s relationship grew. They met by chance but they did not suddenly fall in love with each other. The relationship wasn’t sudden or hurried or slow. It was just…right. Both the characters have established themselves before the book turned upwards which is a really good thing because the readers have enough connection to the characters to understand them and sympathize with them.

I also like that they both took their time to share their own respective secrets to each other and that Finch waited for the right moment to kiss Violet. They even waited for each other to be ready before having sex. How nice is that?

THE WRITING: 

Jennifer Niven wrote this novel perfectly and even though I am still asking: “Why did Finch killed himself? Why? Why? Why?!” I know that it’s an important part of the story and that this book wouldn’t be this book if the author removed that part. (It was after all, the theme of the novel.)

I actually almost lost it again when I read in Jennifer’s note that she experienced the same thing as Violet. She was also left behind by a boy whom she loved so much and that she’s the first person who found the body, too. It’s all too sad and depressing. But I’m glad that she was able to turn that traumatic incident into this book that I know will help a lot of people.

FINAL REMARKS: 

I know that suicide isn’t an easy subject especially when the author had a close encounter with it yet I believe that this book did a good job in depicting the life of a boy who committed suicide. Because at the end of the day, Finch is just a boy. A boy who have seen the ugly parts of life earlier than most of us. A boy who just wants to be treated like a person, for once. A boy hungry for love and attention and care. A boy who got tired in dealing with life.

It pains me greatly that at the beginning of the novel, Finch promised to himself that this time will be different. This time, he will stay awake. But he didn’t. He gave up the battle. He stopped swimming.

It hurts me even more that we can’t always save the people who have saved us. Especially when they think that they can handle it alone. It’s true that you need to take the first step. That you have to decide to help yourself. But you can’t do it alone. You can never do it alone. You need support which is one thing that Finch didn’t realize. He was too afraid to be labelled as an illness. Too afraid to be the freak that everyone thinks he is. Too afraid to hurt Violet and his family. Too afraid of himself.

It isn’t a lie that living is painful. It’s painful to think, to care, to trust, and to love. But just like this book, it is painful but good. Living, is still good. I guess that’s the ultimate message of this story. That even though life is full of shit, we must understand that it is just like us. Life is like humans. There are ugly and beautiful parts. There are lies and truths. There is darkness and rainbows. There are winters and summers. There is evil and there is good.

And sometimes, all we need is a map, a hopeful heart, and a piece of paper and pen to appreciate life. All we need to do is to let go of the bad and remember the good. We need to believe that this isn’t the end. The bad things will eventually stop and someday you’ll learn how to control them and not let them control you.

All we need is to wander through all the bright places and breathe. Breathe and look.

* * *

My rating: 5/5 stars

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All about Love, Rosie

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Plot: (Taken from IMDB)

Rosie and Alex are best friends. They are suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America. Can their friendship survive years and miles? Will they gamble everything for true love?

 

Aaaaand… *drum rolls* 

It’s finally here!!!!!!! The official poster and trailer of Love, Rosie based on Cecilia Ahern’s novel entitled, Where Rainbows End; starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. I’ve been waiting for this film for almost three months now because first of all, the leading characters. I mean, SAM CLAFLIN and LILY COLLINS in one movie?!! Insane.

Actually, the only reason why I read the book is because I saw some of their photos in Twitter and I am really happy that I decided to read it because the book is wonderful! Despite of the many frustrations that I’ve experienced while I was reading it, the book is good as a whole. To be honest, I gave up on this book for a day. It’s just that the story is so long and it was tiresome to read Alex and Rosie’s stupid choices. Also, it feels like they’re just endlessly running on a hamster’s training wheels. But as I have said earlier, it is still a good book and I recommend it to anyone patient enough to read the whole thing. (It’s worth it, I promise.)

Anyway, back to the trailer. The trailer. It’s perfect. I like the parts and lines that they’ve shown and the changes in the plot of the movie is also acceptable. They didn’t copy pasted the whole plot of the book into the movie and the parts that they changed are essential in order to showcase the more important moments of the story which are both good.

I’m sooooooo excited for this movie and I hope that it’ll be screened here in the Philippines. But for now, here is the beautiful trailer!!!

 

P.S.

If anyone knows the title of the song that they used, please comment it below! Thanks! 🙂

Book Review: Fire with Fire

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Note: This is a re-post from my other blog and SPOILERS ALERT!  

 

After the perfect revenge plan of Lilia, Kat and Mary failed, they are back to square one. (Not to mention that they have to avoid going to jail.) Reeves is still an asshole and Reenie actually got MEANER. So, the girls struggle to their daily lives because really, what can they do? Until one night, Mary found out Reeves’ secret. He likes the straight A+ princess; Lilia. Now, the operation break Reeves’ heart starts!

 

Fire with Fire. Oh, what can I say? It’s as good as the first book but with more mind-blowing plot twists that I never even predicted. (For the first time in forever~) Long story short, this novel is also AHHHH-MAZING! I swear Jenny and Siobhan are perfect authors!

 

The characters are still not annoying. Well, except for Alex who needs to get his shit right. I mean, I get that he’s a teenage boy and with all the hormones he have, it’s possible to be a confusing person. But, ughhhhh. In the first book, he hooks up with Kat and of course, I ship them because DUH. And after that, it was revealed that he’s actually in love with Lilia. What the hell, man?! You can’t possibly be in love with two beautiful girls! You will ruin their friendship! Or their lives! (But most likely, their ovaries. Lol. Kidding.) Of course I’m ready to forgive him because I cannot hate someone like Alex. He’s so sweet and nice. Really, he’s the embodiment of the perfect guy in every girl’s dreams. But seriously, he needs to choose.

 

Meanwhile, I don’t have any complaints with Lilia except for her getting all the blessings that the universe could provide. Seriously, HOW CAN YOU BE PRETTY, SMART AND RICH AT THE SAME TIME?! It’s so unfaiiiiiiiir. She’s even surrounded with boys like Alex and Reeves. That’s just so messed up. (In a good way) If Lilia exists in real life, I would probably hate her for being perfect. (Gahd, I’m so shallow but seriously.)

 

Anyway, time to talk about my favorite character, Kat. I don’t know why other readers hate Kat. How could they? She’s the most realistic character among the three and she’s everything I want to be. Strong. Honest. Brave. It’s like the world can never bring her down no matter what kind of problems it throws to her. Also, I can relate to her wish to leave Jar Island. I want to do that, too. To leave my hometown and forget every damn thing that happened to me in here and start anew. Create a new phase in my life and control the parts of me that they will know. It is my dream to escape this paper town with so many paper people and shitty memories. Maybe that’s the reason why I can understand Kat more than anyone else in this series. Because I can see a piece of me in her.

 

Moving on with Mary. Oh, Mary. Or should I say Elizabeth? Uhm…no. I shouldn’t. Because if I do, I won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’m pretty sure that thoughts about the third book will fill my mind until I cannot think of anything else besides it. Anyway, in the first part of the novel, I pitied her. Because she’s miserable and living with a witch-like, half-insane aunt is not helping her. Not to mention that she’s in love with the sick bastard; Reeves. (Although, I kind of like Reeves now. But only when he’s with Lilia. They’re perfect for each other!)

 

Life is so mean to Mary. I know that she shouldn’t be paranoid that she’s got super powers (I’m calling it super powers. :P) and instead use it to blur her attention to Reeves and shift it to another one like, I don’t know, magic? Witch craft? Whatever.

I love Mary, I really do. Although sometimes her weakness is driving me crazy. That’s why when it’s revealed that she’s actually dead, I’ve completely loss my ability to think and speak. Because, Oh. My. Gosh. It cannot happen. NO. I mean, that’s freaking impossible. And MEAN. Also, creepy. NO. IT CAN’T HAPPEN. THEY CANNOT BE SERIOUS! JUST. NO.

 

But of course, they’re serious. She’s dead. Really dead. Her dad’s dead too. UGHHHHHH. This is so damn depressing and mind-blowing. Thank you Reeves and may you accept the fucking asshole of the year award!!! This is crazy. But then, I realized the many signs that I didn’t notice in the first place. I think that Reeves knows that Mary is dead which is a completely sane reason as to why he said “Go fuck yourself.” to her on Halloween night. And the name. Lilia mentioned it to Reeves the morning after Rennie died and he just exclaimed, “Who’s Mary?” Also, when the mummy boy from Halloween asked for her name, she said “Elizabeth.” And there’s the bouncer, too. OMFG. THIS IS SO FREAKING REAL. I can’t believe it. Asdfghjkl.

 

Mary is officially dead, and she realized it after accidentally killing Rennie. (I ain’t even mad.) Now, she’s on a murderous hunt. Well, good luck Reeves. I was hoping Lilia and you can have beautiful babies but if an insane teenage ghost is out there, thirsty for your blood, how can you freaking live?! Thinking about it makes my head hurt. I SERIOUSLY NEED BOOK THREE!!! 

 

But, all in all, it was a wonderful read and I’m definitely recommending it to all of you! Again, the writing is perfect. I cannot ask for more. Jenny and Siobhan, you guys rock! So please, pretty please, can you release it a month earlier? Like maybe, on August? Because September is too far away and I think I might die waiting for Ashes to Ashes. Have mercy on your readers. Please? No? Okay. Lol.

 

My rating: 5/5 stars.

A little too late introduction?

I’ve been blogging here in WordPress for about six months now and I still feel like I haven’t introduced myself to all of you properly. Well, at first my plan is to be as mysterious as I can but what’s fun about that? So, I decided to talk about myself a little bit in this entry. Forgive me because I don’t really know how to start for I hate introducing myself to people. It’s my disease.

Anyway, here goes nothing…

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Hi! I’m Jean, a sixteen year old girl from the Philippines who currently studies BA Journalism. I started blogging mainly because I love writing but I’m not confident enough to let the people around me read it. So, I started posting poems and prose that I wrote under a pretend name and much to my surprise, I received likes and positive comments from all of you! (Thanks! )

Yes, I'm the one with the glasses. This is the reason why I hate wacky photos. Lol

Yes, I’m the one with the glasses. This is the reason why I hate wacky photos. Lol

I came from a big family. I have 2 sisters and a brother and I love them no matter how annoying they are. I am the youngest child and I know that a lot of people thinks that we have the easiest tasks at home but, no. My family loves ordering me around and I don’t know why. Maybe because they know I won’t refuse them. Well, I don’t refuse them sometimes. (A LOT of times.) But they still love ordering me around. Trust me, they don’t get tired.

One thing that is so obvious about me is the fact that I love books. Scratch that. I live for books. I started reading Alice in Wonderland when I was six. And on my seventh birthday, I received books about Tom Sawyer, Aladdin and Rip Van Winkle. Then, Harry Potter got big and of course I became a Potterhead. (Who isn’t?!) I loved those books and they were the start of my unfathomable love for reading. Now, I’m in love with classical and YA novels.

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Some photos of my books! 🙂

Meanwhile, the thing that most people are surprised about me is that I listen to K-pop. Not just K-pop but Korean music altogether. It’s not a secret that a lot of people thinks K-pop is dancing and singing upbeat tunes while wearing crazy and colorful costumes but, it isn’t. There are various genres in Korean music and K-pop is just one of them. To be honest, I don’t like the upbeat pop tunes so much. Sure, I listen to them now and then but my real love is for alternative hip hop, rock, electronic, indie and R&B genres of Korean music. I also love sad and romantic soundtracks from Korean dramas and movies. (I watch them and variety shows, btw.) That’s what started my K-pop journey, actually.

Here’s my favorite Korean song as of now:

Speaking of music, I am also a big fan of YouTube artists like David Choi, Tyler Ward, Kina Grannis, Kurt Schneider, Sam Tsui, Alex Goot, Aj Rafael, Alex G, Tori Kelly and many more!

I love Asian YouTubers, too! From nigahiga, kevjumba and The Fu Music to YTF. I basically, live in YouTube. Lol.

I am also a fan of American and British TV shows. From The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, Once Upon A Time, The Originals, The Big Bang Theory and Castle to Sherlock and Doctor Who. You name it! I am a fangirl to the core.

Damon and Alaric bromance. D'awww!

Damon and Alaric bromance. D’awww!

Of course, I also watch anime and read manga. Actually, my favorite past-time with my brother is watching Detective Conan. (We are currently in episode 394. I know. We are so slow.) But I only watch it once in a while. My first love will always be and forever will be reading.

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Writing is my sanity. I think it’s my only purpose in this world. That’s why no matter how stupid and impossible my family thinks my dream of becoming a novelist is, I am still not going to give up. Because if I stop writing, I will be just a body with an empty soul. I just don’t love writing, I live for it. I live because of it, even. Writing isn’t something I just do, it’s a part of me. So, I will never, ever give up.

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I know that there’s still a long road ahead of me and that I’m just starting my own adventure but I am very grateful that I’m here and still battling with my demons.

I hope that all of you won’t get tired of my blog entries and I promise that I will write better poems and prose in the future. Also, thank you for your positive comments. It really means a lot to me. I love you all! *virtually hugs everyone*

-Jean.