Read It: London Belongs To The Alchemist

London Belongs to the Alchemist (Class Heroes, #4)

London Belongs to The Alchemist

Stephen Henning

James and Samantha Blake are back in London after an adventurous stay at their grandparents. They are now trying to go back to the life they left in London and are also excited to meet with old friends. Everything seems to be normal until they were invited to an underground party and learned that Super D is being given away by the mysterious DJ Alchemy. Add to that, Lolly Rosewood appears on their doorstep and seeks refuge in their home and proposes a truce. There are a lot going on at once and the twins’ trust for each other are tested as they are forced to defend their new found relationships.

  • Since I love Lolly, it really interested me when she appeared and became part of the Blake’s home. I was beginning to think that she might have turned over a new leaf but am happy that she did not change as much.
  • DJ Alchemy’s character was quite annoying. He has this self-righteous attitude and dreams too big but just cannot handle it. He is still a boy trying too hard to change the corrupt society.
  • With the inclusion of gangs/mafia, the plot just stepped into a new level. Besides Rosewood and the MI5 , they now have to deal with Mr Smith and others.
  • Its nice including love interests for the twins, makes you think that this really is a young adult fiction after all.
  • I loved the ending since it makes you hope for what is coming up next. Where is Samantha Blake?

Thanks to Stephen for letting me read his work. :)

You’re Not a “Plan B” Kind of Girl

mynihility:

Something nice to read and ponder on. :)

Originally posted on The Messy Life:

DeathtoStock_Spring7You deserve better than someone who is afraid to commit to you. It may seem like enough for now. You’re just taking things slow. Oh, how I know those little phrases of “one day” and we just need time.

You believe them.
And I’ve believed them.

But you’re not a plan B kind of girl.

You need to know that you’re not the invisible one standing in the back who gets chosen last.

You’re the girl who the team captain will be frantically hoping doesn’t get picked by someone else before he gets a turn. You’re a first-pick kind of girl. And no one worth having sits back and lets those girls wait around.

‘Cause every good man knows that the good ones get gone fast.

He should be jumping out of his skin in anticipation to call out your name and say “I pick you.”

“But he’s…

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Read It: The First Phone Call From Heaven

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The First Phone Call From Heaven

Mitch Albom

In Coldwater, Michigan, seven people have claimed to be receiving phone calls from their departed loved ones giving them reassuring messages about the the after life and giving them words of encouragement to go on living their lives. It is penned to be one of the greatest miracles that has happened in their town or perhaps the world. Is it real or is it a hoax? While everyone in town believes to have witnessed a rare miracle in town, Sully Harding, a grieving husband fresh out from jail for a crime he did not commit, thinks so otherwise. He believes that these miracles are just a fraud played by someone in town and tries to prove to his son (and more to himself) that miracles are not true and these phone calls from heaven are just man-made.

  1. The book has an interesting premise. Just like any other novel by Mitch Albom, it stirs one’s curiosity and touches one’s faith on bigger things that wait us in the after life. Mostly, it is an easy read to inspire you about the value of life and keeping faith.
  2. More than just an inspirational story. This time, the author introduces a character,Sully Harding, who is not a firm believer, someone who defies the cult and tries to prove that there is no such thing as a miracle. I think Sully is an interesting character because he embodies people who are ‘to see it to believe’ types.
  3. It would have been a better story if it were not for the multiple POVs (point of view) from the different characters. The shifting of POVs was too much that at times it gets confusing which thoughts I was reading about. There were no cues when the POV is about to shift and you get surprised that the setting has now shifted to another character’s environment. You will only realize this when the character’s name is mentioned.
  4. There were seven phone call receivers, and out of seven, only three were developed throughout the story (Jack, Katherine and Tess) with a few snippets about Elias and Doreen. The others? Their names were only mentioned but no background story at all. If the story were to revolve around the phone call receivers, it would have been great to be consistent with it. Why concentrate on three? You have others as well. I looks to me that they were neglected. Unimportant in the development of the story.
  5. The story was dragging. The supposed progress of events doesn’t take you up, it stops and remains on a plateau. It was disappointing how the climax became anticlimactic (at least to me). There was just too much nothingness going on and you just wanted everything to end.
  6. The only saving grace I believe was how Sully uncovered everything. I was actually rooting that he prove nothing of his hunch only to discover otherwise.

Read It: Thirteen Reasons Why

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Thirteen Reasons Why

Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returned from school one afternoon to find a mysterious package for him without a return address. He opens it and finds cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who committed suicide earlier in the month.

On those tapes, Hannah explains that the receiver of the tapes were connected to the reasons why she decided to end her life. And if the receiver listens through it all, he will know why and how he is connected in her demise.

My sister recommended that I read this book. I found its premise interesting. Recording a tape of what was supposed to be your suicide letter and sending it out to people who affected your decision was  exciting and scary at the same time but as it turns out, I may have set my expectations too high. I feel disappointed.

To stay true to the title, I also made my list of 13 reasons why the book was good or bad:

  1. The plot was good and exciting. Having to find out the reason behind a suicide through listening in a series of cassette tapes is something unique now that we live in the digital age. Cassette tapes are now obsolete and mentioning it excites us who listened to our favorite bands’ albums recorded in these little things.
  2. It is not everyday you read a kind of story detailing the events that lead to one’s decision to end her life. The idea is new (at least to me) and tickles one’s curiosity.
  3. I liked Clay Jensen. He sounded very sincere about the way he felt about Hannah. He also felt very troubled why he was included in the list of people why she committed suicide. I felt sorry for him because he liked Hannah despite all the negative things he heard about her and lost her even before he had the chance to confess.
  4. There are a lot of drama going on in highschool. It’s when you start to find yourself. School is not always about the good stuff. You encounter a lot of people with personalities and perspectives very different from you. You don’t have to hang with the people you think you don’t get along well with but you have to find the time to look for people who complements your personality well which I think Hannah failed to do.
  5. After reading through it all, I found the reasons why Hannah Baker committed suicide shallow. I didn’t really grasp the reason why. Yes, she was the new kid in school so she felt left out and experienced bullying  in a subtle form. If you ask me, there are far more worse bullying cases than what she had experienced.
  6. If you think about it, she was like trying to take revenge on the people who have hurt her feelings by blaming them for her death. But the thing is, she never stepped up against them, she let them push her around. If she did not like what they were doing or if she believes that these people have hurt her, she should have told them and maybe then people will treat her differently.
  7. I think it was unfair to put Mr. Porter on the list. He was their guidance councilor and was just trying to help Hannah out. The thing is, he does not know what she was depressed about. She gave him very little details but did not disclose it all and then walked out on him even before they even got started addressing her issues. So, how was he supposed to help her then?
  8. I hate Hannah. She was putting the blame on other people. She did not really try to look for solutions to her problems. She did not address them, she just let everything ruin her life.
  9. In the end, she was this girl who has severe trust issues. When she transferred to a new neighborhood, it seems like she was running away from her past life and trying to start on a new slate but things went out of hand. Maybe there are more reasons why she felt depressed and more unsettling events that happened than what she experienced in her new school.
  10. I think Hannah was very selfish. She was always thinking about herself how others are trying to ruin her life. She was very pessimistic about everything. She does not seem to see the good in others but dwell on the negative things she observes on other people.
  11. Hannah kept pointing out the cause and effect of other people’s actions against her. This is true for everyone of us. There will be cause and effects in every little thing we do to ourselves and to the people around us. I think this is one fact in the story which will remind us to be wary of our actions. We do not know the state of other people’s mind and we have to be sensitive of our actions and words.
  12. The book glamorizes suicide. Although the author tries to point that what we do to others have effects on their perceptions,feelings,whatever, it does not change the fact that Hannah Baker took her life. Hannah talks about why she took her life because someone wronged her gives an impression or an idea to already troubled kids that they can take revenge on people who hurt them by killing themselves and let the wrong doers live with guilt for the rest of their lives instead of facing their problems and asking for help.
  13. Suicide is not the quickest answer to your problems. It should never be the go-to option. Ever.

Read It: The Kafka Society

 

The Kafka Society

The Kafka Society

Ron Felber

Publisher:  Barricade Books

Publication Date:  May 2014

Price:  $16.95/ trade paperback original

ISBN:  978-1569805107

After all the ruckus on Jack Madson’s life, he starts a new life as a private investigator to try make up for every wrong he has done in the past. But after a night out, he finds himself in bed with Amber Starr, a stripper, and no memory of what happened the night before. As he was trying to start his day, he finds an unidentifiable human head in the trunk of his car and now, he is considered as a suspect. He tries to uncover the supposed murder but then an old friend, Tom Dougherty, now a head in FBi asks for his help to try shake off Havana Spice, a porn queen, who is blackmailing him after an affair. Thinking of helping an old friend, Jack now also pursues Havana to try stop her from blackmailing Tom. That’s when it hits Jack, that this is no ordinary murders, blackmail and whatnot. Everything is a tangled web of mischief done by the Kafka Society and it is up to him to try expose everything before it is too late.

I found the book exciting since I’m the type to read more to uncover more when mystery is involved in the plot. I generally enjoyed the book and would recommend this to those who love reading urban thrillers.

  1. I like the fact that Jack here is still presented as imperfect as how he was on The Man of Indeterminate Value. Yes, he is trying to live a new life away from everything he once had but that did not change his persona from who he was before. You can still see Jack as Jack and not as Jack the new man which is what I mostly read on other works about main characters turning over a new leaf.
  2. Reading this made me think about friendship. That you never really know who your friends are deep inside despite the fact that you have known them for a long time which is scary.
  3. The plot was very engaging. There was always a lead which makes you think again and again that he’s got it only to find out that things just got more complicated but you read anyway.
  4. The only down side of the book were the first and last chapters. I guess the author was trying to do the same style he did with the previous book which was Jack retelling the story of what had happened in the past how many days. I think that was unnecessary for this book since you almost forget the fact that Jack was just retelling the story only to be pulled back on the last chapter when he finished recounting the story to his lawyer. Tom was shot, Jeremiah survived, and he was released from prison – I think that would be enough for a good ending. Well, just my opinion though.

Thank you very much to Ms. Felicia for suggesting this book.

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