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Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira | Book Review

Love Letters to the Dead - Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path. 

I'm still not sure how I feel about this book so I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

The title alone made it seem like this book is astounding and impressive but the story is not as good as I expected. I like the idea and its concept-- writing letters to dead famous people. But there's something in it that is so vague and I don't know if it's the characters or the story itself. There are parts that I really liked, yes, but there are moments that seemed exciting at first and then turned out to be boring and quite trying too hard to develop a good story. 

I couldn't connect with Laurel in the first half of the book. I wanted to sympathize her because, of course, it's hard to move forward when you've lost someone you love. Feelings of loss and the pain is not easy to deal with. Sadly, I couldn't. I just... 
She's kind of frustrating. She's trying too hard to be as brave as May-- wearing her clothes, listening to songs May liked etc... I even thought she's obsessed with her sister that she's almost copying her to but she she still ends up being frail and helpless. And then things started to be interesting eventually as Laurel became more open. Things made sense and somehow I understood her. 

Although this review is apparently negative, I would still recommend this one especially to the readers who enjoy epistolary novels.

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

The Lover's Dictionary - David Levithan

Unique, adj.

Particularly remarkable, special, or unusual. 

That's the only word I can come up with after reading the book. I really adore the way the story is presented for it's a love story and a dictionary at the same time. It is written in a dictionary format and comprised of short vignettes. The words are so clever, enchanting and well defined to connect to the story. 

I find myself enjoying the nameless-main-character-who-remained-anonymous-throughout-the-whole-story's honesty. Like:

grimace, n.

Yes, I keep the water next to the bed in case I get thirsty at night. But it's also for the morning, so you can take a sip before you kiss me. 

Levithan's honest portrayal of all the facets, emotions and complications in a relationship is fascinating and that kept me going into devouring this book.

Overall, it is a quick and emotional read since the story is full of love and pain and anyone can relate to the story (although I admit that I, myself, am no expert in the field of love.)

"Just remember, life is a box of chocolates. "

- Midori Kobayashi; Norwegian Wood 


Reblogged from Bright and Shiny Shiny:
The Dresses Worn By All The Best Actress Oscar Winners
The Dresses Worn By All The Best Actress Oscar Winners
Fire with Fire - Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han

Before reading: 
"Yes. My girls are back! This is it!" 

After Reading: 
"Wait. What on earth have I just read?!"

I read Burn for Burn almost a year ago and was having doubts if I should re-read it first before reading this one. Good thing is that, the book reminds you what happened in the previous one without re-reading or even scanning it. Although I didn't like the first book as much as I like this one because Burn for Burn is a major major major cliffhanger. Everything was so blurry and vague, I was left hanging and wanting clarifications. (Plus the fact that I didn't know it is a trilogy.) 

Fire with Fire is way intriguing and interesting compare to Burn for Burn. It's a different read from book 1 because it is more focus on the consequences and aftermath of their "sweet, sweet revenge" to the people who wronged them. It is a satisfying follow up book from Burn for Burn. 

Everything was like an extreme roller coaster ride. It was so intense, especially the last chapters that I never saw anything coming. 

I simply adore my girls-- Lillia, Kat and Mary. Oh, God, my girls! I seriously love their relationship, although they're very casual, you know that they love and care for each other. Sweet. The characters are well defined that they started to feel like real people.

Lillia is definitely my favorite character. I found myself much more engaged with her. I think she's the more mature in this book. I love her classy and sophisticated side. She's changed and grew up. She became the person I wanted her to be in the first book- a strong princess Lillia. She never let anyone, not even Rennie, bring her down. That's my girl! Surprisingly, there are times that I was rooting Reeve for her. Weird because I really wanted him to suffer for his douchebaggery. His soft side made me like him but I couldn't love him. 

Kat remains the badass girl. I love her for that. She's not scared to be herself. She's still spunky and sarcastic. I adore her for being so considerate, loyal and very nice to Mary and Lillia. I was hoping to see her soft side though, so I'm crossing my fingers to see the softer side of her in the final book. 

And there's Mary, sweet little Mary. At first, I found her chapters a bit boring and I couldn't connect myself to her that I sometimes wanted to just skip her part. And then the twist came. I was kind of expecting it because I'm fully aware and it's apparent that there's something supernatural about her (view spoiler) I didn't see it coming. I was surprised big time. I had to pause reading for a moment to ask myself "WHAT WAS THAT?" She just fueled my curiosity. I have so much questions in my mind I just can't even. 

The ending is a massive confusion. OMG that ending. It left me, once again, dangling. I really really really can't wait for the final book. I'm anticipating so much things already. 

Overall all I can say is good job Han and Vivian! 

Is it just me?

Reblogged from SilverThistle:

Fire with Fire book cover is so gorgeous ♥

Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood Publisher: Vintage - Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood is the first Haruki Murakami novel that I have read and as an introduction to Murakami's works, it's all worth it. 

This is basically a simple and almost normal story of young people in love with very profound emotions. I can say that this book is interesting and beautifully written in a comprehensible language; not actually cliche and boring. The characters are well-defined, natural and realistic. 

Toru Watanabe, the protagonist, narrates the story by reminiscing his old days as a college student, his friendship with Kizuki, how he met Naoko, Midori, Nagasawa, Reiko and other characters. Generally, the story revolves around Toru, Nako and Midori-- their rather odd relationships, their way of coping with life and death and their struggles in life.

Midori Kobayashi is my favorite character. She's indeed vivacious, fun and outgoing. I love her random quirkiness, her random thoughts, I love her for labeling herself as working class instead of being smart. She represents life in the story especially to Toru, she gives him hope for his future and for a new start.

Murakami's way of storytelling is fascinating and enthralling; it's as if the characters have a special connection with me, it's as if he put me under his spell and that spell makes me more eager to read/finish the book.

Overall, this novel is emotionally satisfying and I highly recommend it because I, myself, am in love with this book I do not know how to put it into words. 

P.S. The ending is open-ended, open to readers' interpretations and I'm still trying to interpret it.