Reading Buddies: A Monster Calls (Part 1)

Ok, I’m late again on posting my stuff, as usual. This should have been posted a week ago. Sorry guys. 😛 

Here are the questions and my answers:

1. “You’re a good boy,” Conor’s mother tells him. “I wish you didn’t have to be quite so good.” (p. 17) What do you think she means by that?

I think it means that the mom felt guilty. Conor was doing everything for her instead of the other way around. I remember when I was still young, I asked my mom why she does the simple things like folding my shirts, keeping my closet organized and cleaning up things for me when I could do it on my own. She told me that it makes her feel happy when she does these things for me. She said that she likes taking care of me. In Conor’s case, her mom can’t do that because of the cancer. Instead of Conor being a regular kid, he tries to take care of his mom by not disturbing her when she is resting. Because of that, she might feel like she’s taking away Conor’s youth. I hope I’m making sense. :))

2. Lily was once Conor’s closest friend but now he can’t forgive her. Why? Is he right to feel betrayed?

Lily might be Conor’s closest friend before but many things happened and some of it he wants to keep to himself. I don’t think it’s betrayal that Conor felt. He just wants to be left alone to think things through. I just hope that Lily would be there when the time comes that he needed someone to be there.

3. The monster talked about 4 stories, 3 from him and one from Conor. The one from Conor should be the truth. What do you think is this truth? (Feel free to speculate 😀 To those who’ve read this already, you can write what you first thought this truth was.)

I think that the fourth story that the monster wants to hear from Conor is when he loses his mom. He can’t admit it right now, like when his grandma told him that he would soon have to live with her. He won’t accept it. He wants her grandma gone because he knows that the both of them are ok on their own, he and his mum.  So, the monster wants the story and it would be the truth. No denial, he has to accept that his mom would die and that’s the truth the monster is looking for.

Candor: In This Town, You Are What You Hear . . .

Oscar Banks live in a perfect town, Candor. Nobody leaves Candor. Why would you? Everything you needed is already there. The messages make sure of that. Who would not want perfect parents or perfect kids, healthy living and zero-crime rate? But what if someone wants to be different? To not be perfect . . .

 The idea of subliminal messages being used for brainwashing was already out there. I remember way back high school, other says that many listens to Eraserheads (Local Filipino band) because it uses subliminal messages, hahaha :P. Going back, Candor was the first novel I’ve read that used it. Pam Bachorz makes you believe that it is real. The main character, Oscar Banks, seems to be in control of his mind. He founds a way to block the messages. He still pretends to be the model candor boy. He follows the messages like “the great are never late”, “respectful space in every place” and “always strive to be your very best”. Then something makes him change his mind . . . Great storytelling and plausible world building. At some part while reading it, I wanted to cover my ears. Maybe someone’s trying to brainwash me. 😉    

READING BUDDIES: Before Reading A Monster Calls

It was MIBF when I bought Patrick Ness new book, A Monster Calls. My friend Tina told me how good the book was and I quote her when she told me “I’m sure you’ll like it”. Looking at it by the time I got home, with a scarecrow-like illustration of what I think would be the monster, I told myself that I wanted to read it differently because it looks so out-of-the-box, it looks special. With that in mind, a tweet from a friend telling me that the book I’ve been pushing to other readers of our group was being reviewed. It was a great way to share/review a book that you think a group of your friends would like. Suddenly I got an idea, why not do it with this book? We do have a group at with a reading buddies thread. We read the book together but instead of posting our comments in the thread, we post it on our blogs. We read an assigned chapters every week. after 3 days, Tina would send us questions about the said chapters and we would be posting our answers every friday. We would be linking every blogs that would join us reading the book, so that our readers could see different points of view about it. I just hope That it works out. 🙂

Alfred Kropp: A Hero by Default

I just finished reading The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp #1) and Alfred Kropp: The Seal of Solomon (Alfred Kropp #2). Hands down to you, Mr. Rick Yancey for making a very unique male protagonist. Although I find Alfred Kropp a bit too honest and way too innocent, he was written plausibly. Both Action-packed and fast-paced novels, you would be left wanting to read more of Alfred Kropp.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp #1) : I already got a copy of this seating on my bookshelf for a long time now and there was no one asking me why I haven’t read it yet. I blame my GR friends, you know who you are. hehehe. But seriously, this is a great YA book. The world building, unlike any other fantasy books, is somewhat near to reality and that’s the way I like it. Others would try to let you swallow the story upfront, like here’s a cake and you should eat it all in one bite. But here, it started out like a YA contemporary lit. Then an unexpected event happens that turn the book into a fantasy. It was followed by series of events and info that would make the fantasy plausible. In short, AWESOME! 😉 

Alfred Kropp: The Seal of Solomon (Alfred Kropp #2) : After reading the first one, I immediately grab this so the adventures of Alfred Kropp would not be interrupted :). With this one, I like how the author withholds the information and suddenly drops it to you like a bomb in perfect timing to give the readers the effects he wanted. The consistency was there, which I think is necessary for a series. It should feel and read like the main character from the first is still the character your reading up until the end of the series. I suggest that you read the first one before you grab a copy of  The Seal of Solomon because some of the events here was directly related to the first. You wouldn’t enjoy it much because there would be a lot of questions unanswered. A great follow-up book. I can’t wait to read the next Alfred Kropp adventure. 🙂



WARNING: This book should not be read in public because it has a tendency to make you laugh and cry at the same time. It is very addictive to the point that you may not be able to put it down from start to finish.

I love the book and would definitely look for other Sonnenblick books. It is a tear-jerker and a funny novel. That is how I would describe it in few words. One minute you’re laughing so hard and then with just one phrase or sentence, ,a tear could possibly fall it could make you sad in an instant. Sure, I like to give five stars to almost all the graphic novels and superhuman stories that I’ve read but this one is on a different level. A lot of books nowadays are so thick. But if you ask me, the writer could have told that story in one paragraph. Authors sometimes could not get enough explaining things to readers that he/she ended up writing about it in four chapters. But you’ve got to love this book. Yes, there are hard to understand words (mostly medical stuff) but with a quick look at the dictionary and you’re fine. Every sentence you read out of it would not be a waste of your time. Sonnenblick does not focus too much on explaining things to you. He would rather capture the emotions of the character on that instant and make you feel it. It would touch your heart. Make you laugh and cry sad at the same time. I would not give any spoilers or details as to how the story goes. You don’t have to be of certain age, or sex to like it. Even if you only read specific genres like dystopian or high fantasy, you would definitely be grabbed by it simply because it could be real for all of us.

The Awesomeness That is Margo Roth Spiegelman (A review of Paper Towns)

This is my first John Green novel and I was not disappointed. Geek is the new cool, Green just proved that with Paper Towns.  There are so many reasons why I like it, 1) John Green created Margoverse, making the novel revolve almost around the awesomeness that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. 2) is how it is funny, geeky and cool at the same time. Finally, 3) is that it teaches you on how you could view life, friends and relationship differently.

MARGOVERSE. With the way Green created the novel, you would definitely get to know Margo. A girl you would sure be interested in knowing but at the same time others might get to hate. Green wrote her with a bit of complexity that we, the readers, would be the one to decide. A girl you could not put into a specific box. A mystery, an adventure, and a badass chick rolled into one but separately at the same time.

FUNNY, GEEKY and COOL. Who would not love the three main character that is Ben, Radar and Q. 1) Ben Starling is the funny guy here. The superglue beer sword, his countdown to peeing moments, and the bloody ben story are the parts where he shines the most. 2) The three of them got different levels of being a geek but for me Marcus “Radar” Lincoln is sums it all up. He’s very familiar with gadgets, always depending on “omnictionary” when in doubt and very punctual. 3) Q is the kind of guy who likes things just the way he sees it, constancy in everything, and life as a routine. The three of them is enough plus a road trip same date as their graduation to look for a missing girl is EPIC.

 LESSONS LEARNED: I’ll just qoute some of the parts I like. There’s no other way but to let the book speak to you to know what I’ve realized and hope that you’ll get it the same way I did.

Hope . . .
“The way I figure it, everyone get a miracle.”

On not letting your life pass you by . . .
“I mean, at some point you gotta stop looking up at the sky or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”

On being judgemental . . .
“That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people would want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.”

On letting go . . .
“It is so hard to leave– until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”


5 of 5 stars


Hell Could be a Refuge too (A review of Tomorrow, When the War Began)

It took me a long time to finish the book, not because I didn’t liked it but rather that I picked it up in a bad time. After all the parties and celebration died down, I started reading it again and liked it. The story started when a group of friends went out for camping, came back a few weeks later but found out that the country was taken over.

The reason why I liked it? It made me think. A lot of socially relevant topics was given a voice by the characters of TWTWB. Like how Ellie dealt w/ killing people, and how Robyn rationalizes the reason why other country resorts to invasion when Kevin commented on it saying “well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

My qualms w/ this kind of novel (when one of the character tells the story) is that the narrator tends to self indulge and if the main character is female, she tends to talk a lot about the guy counterpart and their love story. Other than that, the book is great. This is my 4th book for the YA-D2 challenge and I enjoyed reading it. I like how it makes me think so many what if’s. I mean, this novel could happen to any country and that’s what makes this novel timeless.


4 of 5 stars

KILL THE MAZE (A Review of The Maze Runner)

Thomas woke up in a box realizing his memory was totally wiped out except for his name. When the box had been opened, he found himself along with other boys in a place called “The Glade”.

One of the best YA I’ve read this year. The world that Dashner created was somehow believable not because of how it was described but what the characters felt. It has enough twist to keep you wanting more. The characters are interesting and the world building was not spoonfed to the readers, they would have to rely on how the main character sees it. The story was told by Thomas, what he felt, saw and observed was the only info you would get. Anything else, you would have to read between the lines.

This would be my third dystopian novel for the YA-D2 challenge. Great book and I can’t wait to read the sequel, “The Scorch Trial”. I did not read the first two or three chapters included in “The Maze Runner”. I wanted to read it at it’s entirety.

5 of 5 stars

Zombies (are they really the new vampire?): A review of Forest of Hands and Teeth

I feel like many YA writers do ride the bandwagon, that after vampires a lot of zombie novels are quite noticeable at bookstores nowadays. At least I could say that Carrie Ryan differs from them in a way that TFoH&T got heart.

To be honest, it took me a long time to finish the book and I almost gave up reading it. The female protagonist does not appeal to me like Katsa, Katniss or even Clary for that matter. The love triangle that the author created didn’t even make sense to me at first. But as I got to the half of the story, it gets better. That even though the characters are not that interesting enough, the never giving up of hope, not letting go of the dream and the relentless chasing of the unconsecrated makes me want to at least finish it. To be fair, there are parts of the book that are actually good. I guess I would say that it is not for everybody. I’ve read many raves and praises for TFoH&T that compelled me to grab a copy of it. Many book bloggers that I do admire and trust recommended it to me. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. I think I was expecting too much.

Like a food or a drink to a person, every reader differs from what books they like. I’m the type of reader that bases his judgement of the book on how the author makes the character appealing. For me, characters are everything. The writer may have a good premise but if the character lacks appeal, I don’t think that the novel will work. But again, that’s just me. This is the second book to my YA-D2 Challenge, I just hope that the next one would be better.

Other review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth:

One More Page


2 of 5 stars