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. 🙂

DANGEROUS PIE!

DANGEROUS NOVEL PIE!

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.”

PINOYPETERPAN Says:

5 of 5 stars


OTHER REVIEWS OF PAPER TOWNS:

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

PINOYPETERPAN Says:

2 of 5 stars

EVERYBODY NEEDS A HAPPYFACE SOMETIMES (A review of Happyface by Stephen Emond)

First, I wanna say thanks to Tina for letting me borrow this great book. ***hugz***

I’ve read Happyface just when I needed it most. It reminded me of three things: 1) that everybody could start anew. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to move on and leave the past behind. You could always put a clean slate in front of you. 2) Another is putting a smile on your face could really make a big difference. That even though you had a rough time at home, you could always smile at the office or at school and worry about it later. It’s just like letting the good vibe in because you could not face the whole day by thinking about the things that caused you to frown. 3) And finally, to not forget to put your game face on. I’m not saying that you need to pretend to be someone else but it is sometimes advisable to not let them know you thoroughly. Life is a game, and in a game you don’t let your opponents know what cards you hold or your plans.

I like how Emond makes the novel so graphic. The illustration makes it feels like somehow I’m reading comics without the balloons. The story is a bit typical but it has a sense of authenticity in it. It reaches the reader in a personal level because it was written in a way that the character was confiding to his journal. The story was also plausible because Emond didn’t make the situation so complicated that it could cross to the reader as something that could happen to anybody. I guess I could relate to it personally because me and Happyface got something in common when I was same age as he is in the novel, the journal with doodles and drawings in it and the smile. My Supervisor always tells me whenever she saw me frown or in a bad mood then immediately switched to smiling, “Smile, and the whole world smiles with you”. She told me that I remind her of that quote from Pancho Magalona (I don’t know who the effing guy is or where those quote came from but what the hell right?).

My Journal and Happyface

 

Front page of my Journal
This is how I draw myself in my Journal

A light read with a fun story and a great illustration to boot. I definitely recommend it to everyone. If you wanted to read something that reminds you of puppy love, of high school life, of happy times, of friends. Read this. ^_^

Other reviews of Happyface:

One More Page

Guy Gone Geek

PINOYPETERPAN Says:

5 of 5 stars

A Letter to Blade (A Review of “Playing Dead”)

To BLADE:

I remember you told me, “I’m going to blitz your mind”.

Well that’s what happened Blade. I was not that sure at first when you started telling me things about how to stay down, being invisible or the way you put it, “Playing Dead”. I was having trouble following you around the city that you knew so well because I’m not so sure why we are hiding on the first place. At the age of 14, you seemed so troubled. Street-smart, quick to react, very observant, and knows how to handle a knife are the traits that keeps you alive and you’re so secretive when it comes to your past. I like how you bring me to your world, it was like the city is a jungle and there’s just one rule, you have to be tough and smart to survive. As we go on our adventure, you begin to tell me things. You called me Bigeyes but I don’t mind. We go to places you called snugs, been followed by thugs that haunts you because of your past, and then came Becky and her daughter Jaz. I’ve seen you become a child again whenever your with Jaz, smiling when you put her on your shoulder while she taps your head in a playful way. But then, everything went wrong. You forgot to play dead.

Your Friend,
BIGEYES

PS: Don’t worry, I’ll keep tabs about you. I will always follow you BLADE.

THE ASTONISHING ADVENTURES OF FANBOY AND GOTH GIRL

Before I start, I want to thank Ace (The Godfather of GR-TFG) for the book.

Who would not pick this book up from a rack? Great cover, a very clever title and not only that, as what Newsday said, what a find. I know some of you might say, what’s the diff, pretty sure that it’s another geek story novel but I tell you, it’s on how it was told. Barry Lyga makes me remember the fanboy in me. References to the comic gods like Brian Michael Bendis (House of M, Powers, Jinx), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) and Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Watchmen) reconfirms my faith in comics. Those who are not into comics (or Graphic novel as what fanboy would defensively say) could still like the book because the story itself is heart wrenching.

Donnie is a 15-year-old comic book geek who spends almost all of his free time making a graphic novel of his own, schemata. Way too smart for his age and he hates almost all of the jocks at school except for his only friend Cal. Out of nowhere, Kary a.k.a Goth Girl creeps into his life and added a shade of black to the story. Great book but a little bit confusing and I’m almost not satisfied as to how it ends. I also hoped that there would be more explanation as to why Goth girl acts that way, a background as to how she become who she is when she and fanboy met.

Anyways, I would not go into a very detailed description of the book. Instead I wanted to share something I think both fanboy and I got in common.

1. We both like comics.

2. We both think that our stories and drawings could go somewhere (not now, but back when I was still his age).

3. I think that we both like it because it is our escape.

I think almost all of my drawings, comic strips and whatever are either lost or I already tear it up. Some are private or too personal that I’m not inclined to share. I’ve been able to dig up some (I’m just a kid when I drew them so be kind, hehehehe):

*I think, this one is way back grade school days.

*I was planning on making a comic book when I was on high school and if I remember it right, this one was a villain. hehehehe

*I was part of the school newspaper way back high school and we needed a comic strip to fill the spaces, but I think this one didn’t make the cut. hahahaha

When I was reading TAAOFBGG, whenever fanboy was doing Schemata, I also felt myself holding a pencil and missing the joy it could bring to me. Feeling the paper first, then thinking of how you would execute what’s on your mind with the paper infront of you. So to Barry Lyga, hands down to you. Great book. Rating: AWESOME!!!

KING DORK

“Life is a wince-a-thon”

You really can’t win in this game called life because at the end, you die. But to make it much more unbearable, you have to pass through an obstacle course that could wear and tear you inside out. What an effing guy’s supposed to do? You put a salt on your open wound, rub it and feel the pain then wear a SMILE.

Chi-Mo is someone at the bottom of their school hierarchy, included in the infamous dud chart, the one who gets laugh at during PE for having his balls a little bit seen by normal semi-hot girls in a not-so tasteful way. A very interesting character, he doesn’t speak much but he thinks too much. He does have a friend (not an imaginary one), Sam Hellerman (because he was the guy who sat next to him in alphabetical order from the fourth to eighth grades). Both of them belonged to a band called ahm, erh, whatever. It was always being replaced like a girl changes clothes up to a point that I couldn’t keep up. Nah, I’m just messing with you guys because I like all of their band names (shame some of them didn’t even last for a week). Just to give you a preview:

BAND NAME : TENNIS WITH GUITARS

LEAD AXE : Love Love

BASS AND RAT CATCHING : The Prophet Samuel

VOCAL, KEYS, BUMPING, GRINDING: Li’l Miss Debbie

DRUMMER : Beat Beat

FIRST ALBUM : Amphetamine Low

COVER – White with the album title in tiny black type on the back. The band name does not appear anywhere on the outside packaging.

SECOND ALBUM : Phantasmagoria, Gloria

PHOTO – A police dog licks a broken doll’s face.

RATING: Totally AWESOME!

NOTE: The only two real person there is the lead axe and the Bass player (with a little bit of rat catching on the side) anything else is made up. None of the albums have songs in it.

My only hang up with this novel is the father angle. Was it suicide? Or murder? Maybe an accident? I don’t know, even though the epilogue did try to explain it, to me or even to Thomas Charles Henderson (That would be Chi-Mo’s real name BTW), it would remain uncertain. But who needs closure? That’s life, it gives you something to think about but never bothers to give you an answer. Like I said (or the author of this book, who cares?), “Life is a wince-a-thon.”

With all seriousness, hands down to Frank Portman, he knows words that would be good in a sentence like lyrics to a song.

UNWIND

This novel tries to resolve a very much debated question: is it right to end a life if it’s still unborn and unwanted?

PRO-LIFE VS PRO-CHOICE

ANSWER: “THE BILL OF LIFE”

“It states that the human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. However, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, a parent may choose to retroactively “abort” a child … on the condition that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end. The process by which a child is both terminated and yet kept alive is called unwinding.”

This is the first novel that I’ve read written by Neal Shusterman and I really don’t know what to expect. After reading the first chapter I got hooked already. It fascinates me how he always try to merge the line dividing insanity and possibility, making all of his ideas (even though not thoroughly explained) believable. He taunts your mind to imagine things so morbid and creepy you would want to stop reading just to remove the thoughts but still read it simply because you want to know every gory details and there’s nothing you would want to miss.

A great book, I enjoyed reading it even though there’s a lot of disturbing parts but I think those are the one that makes this book so unique for me. The idea of having a kid for the sole purpose of being an organ donor is not new to me (My Sister’s Keeper), it was the way it was presented that makes the difference. It could also make you sympathize with the “unwinds,” to feel their pain, the state of being unloved, be angry, disgusted, scared and the feeling of being worthless. Shusterman also makes an effort and succeeded on making every character on this novel interesting because they have their own story to tell. There are also parts of the book that stands out. I like how the three main characters (Connor, Risa and Lev) ended being together when they escaped (or on the case of Lev, kidnapped) being unwound. Also the rumored story of Humphrey Dunfee, how twisted and sick it was. Same goes with the part where the Admiral shows Connor the “crate.” It was the most disturbing part for me, the picture that my mind imagined it would look like keeps popping in my head. I also like the part when Roland was being unwind part by part, organ after organ while he is conscious (it reminds me of the movie “Awake,” the only difference was that in “Awake” the patient was in a state called anesthesia awareness). Lastly, I really like the Akron AWOL story that inspires the “terribles” to revolt against the system at Happy Jack Harvest Camp after the clappers detonates and for me it is the climax of the book.

I’d give it a two thumbs up and if I could raise my feet with them,I just might.