Empress of the World


by Sara Ryan

Nicola Lancaster is spending the summer at the Siegel Institute Summer Program for Gifted Youth where people of different talents and skills come together, living like college students for eight weeks.

Nic's had friends from theater and orchestra but never friends, like friends for keeps whom she can hang out with. She never had a relationship but she soon learns the complexity of it when she met Katrina the Manic Computer Chick who surprisingly also smokes but never does drugs, Isaac the Nice-Guy-Despite-Himself, Kevin the Inarticulate Composer... and Battle.

She's this girl whom Nic meets on the first day and refers to her as Beautiful Hair Girl and is somehow the opposite of Nic. They became friends, and as days pass spending their time together they become startlingly more than friends.

"What do you do when you think you're attracted to guys, and then you meet a girl who steals your heart?"

I loved this story that it almost turned me out into a lesbian. Kidding aside, I loved Nic's character because of her constant sweetness to Battle, whom she refers to her as Empress of the World because for Nic she stands out from the rest. Nic tries to talk to Battle but there are just some points when she can't understand her. Battle's character represents the adorable and irresistable girl you'd commonly meet along the hallway, she's more of the 'action speaks louder than words' type and has really nice hair so I don't wonder much why Nic fell in love with her.

Rating: 4 stars - I just finished this today, covering 2 days. The plot of the story was great. I never read anything like this before and to be honest, I liked it much although I just don't understand Battle's reason why she hooked up with another after knowing that Nic has a present for her. There are also some points where there are gentle vulgarity involved that will really make you think it's some kind of a true story. Ryan did great on this book narrating Nic's point of view and presenting the complexities of loving the same sex. I say, this is an inspirational book and a gift from Sara Ryan that should be read by teens.

Conversations with the Fat Girl


by Liza Palmer

Olivia and Maggie had been best friends ever since, but after Olivia's gastric bypass surgery everything has suddenly changed and she's not whom Maggie had known long before. Olivia changes her childhood history, hangs out with uber-fashionista socialites and gets to marry Dr. Farell who doesn't know she was formerly obese.

The two girls battle it out for their friendship: Maggie, wanting to save their genuine bond and be the best friend Olivia had all along versus Olivia, wishing to be a permanent sexy icon for her fiancé and for her new friends, although at the end of the day she's running back to her childhood best friend.

Rating: 3 stars - I liked the story but it just had too many 'F' word, but I guess it's part of the reality scenario the author tries to imply. I'm not a fat girl; I'm the opposite of it coz' I am slim but I could relate to Maggie having this struggle against life and friendship. Maggie's character seems to be pathetic but that's the cherry of the story - she has a lot of flaws making her human. You'd be seeing yourself relating to Maggie hoping to find true love and friendship.

Of Mice and Men


by John Steinbeck

The story revolves around two unlikely men: George, who is a short and stubby man and knows what to do, and Lennie, the tall man who has a brain of a child. Together, they embark on a journey to have their own piece of land.

They came across a job in a ranch in the Salinas Valley and it seems that their plans are within their grasp. But a shocking event came to their view: Lennie accidentally kills a woman due to his undying obedience to George and because of too much promises and goals George and him have in mind.

The story is a bit of a confusing read, but the plot is simple. You will actually like the character of Lennie because of his childish ways, and George who has this straightforward and frank attitude. This is the first time I've read a classic work of literature, and you will not be disappointed with how the story goes. It will make you hope for George and Lennie's hopes and will make you regret that they shouldn't have dreamt of it all the while.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars - This piece of Steinbeck's work is my first time to read such classic works. The story at first is hazy in sight and most of their dialogs are in a cowboy accent that it became hard for me to decipher what they were saying. But you'll get used to it if you continue reading the book. The last chapters were coming to a closure and by there, you'd get the idea of the story although you might not expect what'll happen in the end. :)

The Princess Diaries


by Meg Cabot

Mia Thermopolis is the common type, or so she thinks. She's a flat-chested five-foot-nine freshman who happens to be flunking in Algebra - she really hates the subject.

But a big surprise comes her way when she learns that her mom is dating her Algebra teacher, and the shocker does not only stop on that. Her dad also comes to New York to announce that she'll be the new heir to the Genovian throne. Plus, her Grandmére is coming too! And she's about to give Mia some lecturing sessions on 'how to be a princess'. But Mia doesn't want to be a princess, except for the privileges this would give. She just wants to be the same Mia, only better. But what can she do? She has no choice but to face the fact that she would be the princess of Genovia.

This book is awesome, like reading a diary from your best friend. I could relate to Mia since we both dislike Math and/or Algebra. It's kind of funny that she writes her homework in her diary. I really felt comfortable reading this one. Also, I was laughing at the fact that her best friend Lilly Moscovitz has a stalker who likes to see Lilly's feet on TV!

I recommend this book to anyone who basically dislike Algebra or generally the Math subject, has a crush inside the campus, has a best friend (but if it's okay if you don't have one), and a little feeling of inferiority that somehow makes you wish you were someone as cool as Lana Weinberger.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars - I liked the fact that this book was in a diary type and it was funny that the author used multiple punctuations! This book is fit for teens and pre-teens, it will make you happy and sad. It will make you dream and even be envious that Mia has such privileges. But the book also teaches the value of loving who you truly are and the people who stay true to you. You need not be beautiful to be appreciated because what matters most is that you love yourself.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson


by Mitch Albom

It's a true story 'bout a man of great virtue and influence. Morrie Schwartz was a former college teacher who didn't know what life was about until he suffered ALS, a sickness that eats away his life day by day. Mitch (the author) is touched by Morrie's undying perception that life doesn't end when you reach your death. The framework of the story revolves around Mitch and Morrie's sessions during Tuesdays, on which Morrie shares his wisdom about life, love, marriage, friends, family, and death.

Although Morrie can hardly speak, he tries to talk to Mitch as often as he could to make him realize that he should value his life now more than ever before it's too late to turn back and do so. They always meet on Tuesdays at Morrie's house and are determined to finish their last thesis together - life. Sadly, Morrie died. But he died with a great life full of hopes and dreams.

Before I end this review, let me share you one of my favorite Morrie Schwartz' quotes:

"When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."

Rating: 5 stars - My rating for this book is 5 stars! I love the book as well as the story. It has a simple cover that shows humility and the simplicity of the story as well as the life of the person featured - Morrie Schwartz. I could say Mitch Albom has done it so well to retell the story of Morrie's Tuesday sessions.

I suggest you to read this book if you think that your life has become boring and stagnant. :)

Just As Long As We're Together


by Judy Blume

I liked how the story made me feel like I was really there. Judy Blume did a very good job especially when it comes to the conversations of the girls. It's like they were speaking for themselves! The way they talk (how Blume has written it) was truly convincing that the characters were teens. I kind of feel depressed for Stephanie and Alison because Rachel seems to be the perfect girl. I just didn't like how Rachel treated Stephanie just because she made friends with Alison (who claims her dog could talk). Rachel pinpointed the two as baby-ish people who can't learn to grow up. Then that's where conflict starts.

It's a must read for teens my age. You'll love the story and how it flows and eventually ends. Judy Blume has made me convince that she should be my favorite author next to Mitch Albom. That is in my opinion. :)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars - The plot interested me to read and move on through the chapters of the book. The characters were coming out of my page and I could picture them just as the author wanted them to be. I enjoyed this book very much that's why I requested the sequel of this from Bookmooch.com

For One More Day

by Mitch Albom

Have you ever had a moment to wish to relive a day with your mother? Chick Benetto, a fallen baseball star, who lost his life trying to commit suicide. He lost his life thinking he had been a failure, and that he had wasted it focusing on his baseball career.

The story involves certain apparitions, flashbacks and the ghost of his mother. Actually, when I read the book, I also considered Chick as a ghost because after that moment when he tried to kill himself, he saw his dead mother in bones and flesh. Chick is still skeptical whether the scene he sees is true or not, and whether his dead mother has really come to life.

I read the story in my longest reading period. Since I have busy schedules in school, I can't continue reading it in a breeze. I started this one in June and just finished it in early August. I loved the way how Albom describes things the way they were. He really touched my sentiments here when he presented the ghost of Chick's mother.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars - for its good plot and interesting story. It wasn't as great as the Tuesdays with Morrie, but it touched and inspired me somehow, and how suicide could ruin everything you've ever worked for. The last pages of the book moved me to tears but, again, not as tear-jerker as Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

This one is for the wishful beings who thought they never had everything in life. It's meant for those who have conflict with their families, especially with their mothers. It's a good read but Mitch Albom had just been good with this one. I suggest he should not get overwhelmed by the bestselling phenomenon brought by his first book. Though, all in all... For One More Day has made it to my favorite books list.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

by Mitch Albom

I loved how Mitch Albom made this story. Tuesdays with Morrie was better, but this was another addition to Albom's brilliance. If you like made-up places and heartwarming stories, this book is definitely for you.

The story revolves around Eddie, a repairman in Ruby Pier amusement park. He dies in an untimely accident and was faced with questions of uncertainty with regards to his death. He sees his life as a senseless timeline of dull moments and never saw it as a precious entity given to him. As Eddie sets foot to journey in the heaven (or just an imagined piece of it), he is welcomed by a person to whom he was entrusted. Each person has a story to tell, a relation to Eddie and a lesson to unfold. They come after another when they sense that Eddie has learned a valuable lesson about his life and that his life is intertwined with other people's lives.

The beginning was entitled 'The End' because according to Albom, "All ends are beginnings, we just don't know it yet." And with this line he started his story - actually it's not his story because it was Eddie's story. Albom made another touching story here because he really hit the part where I was vulnerable. Almost all ages could relate to Albom; his stories come in handy paperbacks but you would be much surprised of what's in store.

I recommend this story to anyone who wonders what heaven would look like or what heaven is made up of. The story implies a strong message that will be engraved in our hearts. It may not be a tearjerker like Tuesdays with Morrie which made me cry over for a couple of days and still got the hangover of it till now, The Five People You Meet in Heaven would surely give you a proper lesson on the values of life and will make you realize that your life does not only revolve on you, but is also connected with others' lives.

Rating: 4 stars - The plot revealed interesting twists like how the Blue Man came to be connected to Eddie and why Eddie was working on the Ruby Pier. The story also featured my country but to keep my review from being biased, even if Albom didn't make the setting in Philippines, I would still give this book 4 stars because the plot really revealed some interesting points in Eddie's life. But I didn't like the idea of jumping from one story to another and the dialogue was kind of slow and then fast. There were some points where the conversation lasted like it wasn't supposed to be read but instead, to be spoken.

The Bookworm

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21 years old. BS Interior Design. Bookworm. Computer-savvy and internet geek. Loves coffee crumble & Heath ice cream and feel good music. I blog about arts, culture, music, food and fashion.

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Currenly Reading

Currenly Reading
Enduring Love
by Ian McEwan

TO BE READ

  • The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
  • Looking For Alaska by John Green

I'm giving away these books at Bookmooch.com!