Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wonder by R. J. Palacio Review


Author: R. J. Palacio
Publisher: Knopf Books
Recommended for: Middle grade +


August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?


Wow. Wonder is a really good book. It was touching and Auggie has such an adorable personality. Beauty is only skin deep they say. Auggie may not be perfect but he has such a good heart. The writing style consist of many character's perspective. I'm glad to see Via, Jack, and Summer's POV. This kept the story engaging. I also like the backstory of Auggie's parent and his favorite aunt. There was a good flow in the story and I didn't get lost. Every adventures he goes through is fun and exciting. Let's just say you get to see him in a difficult situation kids deals with + his deformity.
Final thoughts:

I highly recommend this book. It was better than what I expected. It gives a positive message to people. Auggie was a very interesting character. He has his weak points but he never gives up. That's because there are people who supports him and love him. I think that's such a great takeaway message.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maggie's Chopsticks Review

I got the pleasure of reading a cute picture book called Maggie's Chopsticks from NetGallery. Thanks Kid Can Press.

Maggie's Chopsticks

Written by: Alan Woo
Illustrated by: Isabelle Malenfant
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Published on: July 30, 2012
Recommended: for ages 3+

About: Little Maggie got her first chopsticks and she's trying to use them.


It'd been a while since I pick up a picture book to read. I think the last one I read was Where the Wild Things Are back when the movie came out. On the contrary, Maggie's Chopstick is completely different from that. I thought this picture book was cute. Alan Woo create a basic premise that's easy to follow and Isabelle Malenfant's art is really nice. The character design of Maggie and her family was not bad. It's nice to see a picture book with Asian related topics. I think majority of us know that chopstick is a utensil used in Asian culture.

As for the story, it's pretty simple. Maggie is trying her best to use the chopstick like all the other people in her family. You get to see her using different means to achieve her goal. I find it cute and hilarious at times. I think explaining to people what sapao is might be helpful. Will she triumph in using her chopstick? You'll have to read it to find out. Overall, Maggie's Chopsticks is definitely a cute picture book to read to the little ones.

Book Haul #1

I'm beginning to think in my mailbox post is just like a book haul. Since my in my mailbox is still on reverse mode(still got a few more to do), I'll call this post book haul #1. I got lots of books in this week. I think I've maxed my book purchasing quota for the year lol. You may have heard about these books since a lot of them came up in many people's book blog an v-book blog.

I was really excited when all of these came in ^O^. I'm gonna have fun reading for a while now. So here we go.

I wanted to read something cute and sweet:

Anna and the French Kiss-Stephanie Perkins
Lola and the Boy Next Door-Stephanie Perkins

-->Heard a lot of good reviews of Anna. I've been wanting to read this. Lola is a companion with different characters and story I think. I'm so ready to read some cute romantic YA books.

The Mara Dyer Series...

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer-Michelle Hodkin
The Evolution of Mara Dyer-Michelle Hodkin

-->Mara wakes up in a hospital and she doesn't know how she got there and her friends are dead(only she survived)..sounds like a dark, scary?, mystery YA book. Can't wait to read them.

The Diviners series...

The Diviners-Libba Bray

-->First volume of the Diviners series by Libba Bray. I'm currently listening to her Beauty Queen audiobook right now and it's absolutely awesome. I thought why not check this one out since she's venturing into historical, paranormal, murder mystery genre. The Diviners is set in 1920s and Evie just move to NYC to live with her uncle who runs a creepy occult-like museum. Unfortunately recent murders are happening there too so Evie and her Uncle will have to find the culprit. I heard the villain in this book is super evil here. I'm very curious to see how the story develope.

The Benny Imura series...

Rot & Ruin-Jonathan Maberry
Rust & Decay-Jonathan Maberry

-->I wanted to read more books about zombies after reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Rot & Ruin and Rust & Decay are book 1 and book 2 of the Benny Imura series. It just sounds really fun to read about Benny, a teenage boy, who starts zombie hunting with his older bro, Tom, and grow as a person through different obstacles he faces. Also Flesh & Bone (the last book of the series) is also out but I think I'm gonna wait until I finish these two first before I get it.

Vampire Academy series...

Vampire Academy-Richelle Mead
Frostbite-Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss-Richelle Mead

Blood Promise-Richelle Mead
Spirit Bound-Richelle Mead
Last Sacrifice-Richelle Mead

-->A highly recommended series by many book blog I've read and video book blog I've seen. Thus, I gave in to getting the whole six books of the of the Vampire Academy series. If you've seen my post earlier, I kind of got Bloodlines and The Golden Lily and realize that I should read the Vampire Academy first even though the Bloodline series focuses on a different character of the same world. So I got it. I'm hoping this will be a good vampire books read.

That is it for this haul. I'll put reviews of these books up once I'm finish with them. If you've read any of these books, feel free to comment about it below. If you have any suggestions of cool books to read also please comment below. Till next time ^0^.

Local Library Bookstore Finds

From Local Library book store.

I went to check out two local library's book store around my area to find some books to read. Thank you Friends of the Library for having these stores. It's a great place for super affordable books and the purchases helps fund our local libraries. Some books were actually in really good conditions and yea.. some were just old. The hardest part was going through the selections and hoping they have the one that I wanted. Therefore, these were the books I picked up:

Upside Down Inside Out-Monica McInerney
-->Sounds like a fun relaxing read.

Maximum Ride Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports-James Patterson
-->I have the first two books of the Maximum Ride I was pretty happy that they have volume third in hardcover.

One Day-David Nicholls
-->I knew that the movie came out a while ago but I wanted to read it first before watching the film.

The Elephant Keeper-Christopher Nicholson
-->Sounds like one of those tearjerkers type of book. A boy befriending an elephant and stuff happens.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan-Lisa See
-->Sounds really touching.. a girl, Lily, and her laotong, Snow Flower, communicate by writing poems on fans. But Lily made a mistake..(I want to know what she did.)

State of Wonder
-Ann Patchett
-->Sounds like a good adventure story in the Amazon rainforest.

Generation Dead-Daniel Waters
-->I do have the paperback combine version of book one and two of the Generation Dead series but this is the hardcover copy of vol.1 for a gotta get it. Teenage zombies + high school..I say why not.

The Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold
-->I was thinking to myself wouldn't it be nice if I could find a copy of The Lovely Bones and right in front of me..yep. The cover might look old but it's the inside that counts.

My Year of Meats-Ruth L. Ozeki
-->Debut novel of Ruth L. Ozeki. Not too sure how meats play in part in this story but sounds interesting.

Ya'know, it was actually a worthwhile trip going to the library bookstores. Scored a ton of neat books. Definitely check the place out if your local libraries have them. Till next time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Review

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I've heard of this book for a while and I've been curious to read it. I started it sometime earlier this year and got through half of it. I was able to finish it and reflect upon it and wanted to give a general review. It's a short and simple book but there's a deep philosophical meaning in it. Here's a quick review on it that won't spoil the book.

What's it about:

The Alchemist is a book about a sheaperd boy, Santiago, who goes on his personal journey to find treasure but he discover something more. On the way he meets a gypsy, a king, an alchemist, and many more people which will impact his life in many ways.

My thoughts:

I always love story about the main character(s) going on adventures because that's how conflicts and obstacles can pursue. Santiago is but a young teenage boy who's trying to make something of himself. His self discovery and how his character evolves throughout the book is the thing that makes this book shine. As he meet each side character, he would learn something from them and matures as a person. The setting was great. He travels from Spain to different town sand crosses the desserts to Egypt to find the Pyramid where the treasure lies. He was able to pick up another language and learn about different cultures and different ways of thinking. Also, alchemy did come into play later in the book and you'll find out how if you read the book. I really enjoy the last half of the books and the end leaves me in awe a bit. Overall, The Alchemist was a great book about one's journey of self discovery and I did learn a few things out of it. It's a good book and I do recommend it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In My Mailbox Rewind (2)

I wanted to thank The Story Siren for having the In My Mailbox meme.

Rewind #2

This time I'll do a few different ones.

From Walmart:

Fated by Alyson Noel
Echo by Alyson Noel
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

So these didn't deliver in from of my door but more of a purchase. I went to Walmart a week ago. I was walking around the book aisle and saw so many young adult books. These fours sounds interesting so I picked them up. Fated and Echo are the first two books of the soul seekers series. The series sound really neat since the main girl, Daire is the destined to be a Soul Seeker. Looks like there's animal spirits involve too. Next, I also picked up the first two books of the Bloodline series, Bloodlines and The Golden Lily. I'm not familiar with Richelle Mead but I heard she wrote the Vampire Academy series, which was pretty good. I probably should read the Vampire Academy series too to see how the two series relate since they are both set in the same world. From the excerpt at the back of the book, it looks like it's about Sydney, an alchemist girl and Jill, a vampire, who are roommates in a boarding schools and they'll be venturing into crazy adventures of sort. Sounds good.

From Amazon:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

I had some funds left from the Amazon gift card so I got these two books. Heard excellent review for Throne of Glass and been tempting to get it. It's about a female assassin venturing in a grand adventures. Just sound so awesome. As for The Peculiar, I was reading an article on the newspaper raving about how wonderful this dark steampunk YA book was and I might as well pick this up too. Also it was very cool that Stefan wrote this story when he was in high school and it got published two years later. Lastly, I really love the mechanical bird on the cover(so shiny).

From the local library:

Oh! How I love how you can borrow digital copies of books from library. It's really convenient and I don't have to worry about returning the books on time. I'm putting my kindle to good use ^O^.

Borrowed e-books:

Die For Me by Amy Plum

First book for this series..It's set in Paris..The main girl meets an angel? Hoping this will be good.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

A middle grade book about a boy born with deformity in his face and his venture to a real school life. You get to read about his journey and the viewpoint of other. Sounds good.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Chaos Walking series was talked about by many book bloggers and book v-bloggers. They said it was good but not for the faint of heart. I was really happy when I saw it was available so I decided to try it out. Hoping it'll be fun. Just think.. A boy and his in a town of men...where he'd never seen a female girl before...his journey is gonna be crazy, dark, and scary.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Borrowed book two which continues the story from the book above.

That's it for now. Till next time. ^O^

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Quick Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Wow. Just finish reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Really enjoyed it. Brings me back to my high school days and all the crazy stuff that goes on in a teenager's mind.
It's a coming of age story about a teenage boy transitioning into high school life. The story consist of series of letters that Charlie writes to a random person and I thought this format was quite entertaining. Charlie is just a pen name he use and all the people in the story he change their names too. He talks about life, love, and lost. We get read about his family and how that environment molds him into the person he is. All in all, Charlie is a good kid who's just a wallflower. We also get to read about the obstacles he had to overcome and how he befriends Patrick and Sam, two seniors that became his greatest friends. These two are wonderful characters. The story was touching at times and it's sad at times and it felt real. Overall, it was a solid read and it makes me feel infinite.

Currently reading: (here's some of the many. I jump around between different books depending on what I feel like reading)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Cloud Atlus by David Mitchell
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter bu Seth Grahame-Smith

Monday, December 10, 2012

In My Mailbox Rewind (1)

OK now for the fun part..

Since it's December 2012 now, the next series of posts will probably be the in my mailbox post. These posts will consist of books I've purchased, borrowed, received as gifts, etc. throughout this year. The funny part is that it's going to be backward and when I get to the beginning then it'll go forward. Confusing? You'll see what I mean.

These books came in today from the Black Friday Sale from BookCloseOuts. A lot of Young Adult(YA) and middle school read books:

As You Wish by Jackson Pierce
The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey (Autographed)
The Princess Curse by Marrie Haskell
The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

Notes: As You Wish was in paperback and everything else were hardcovers.

Why these books?

As You Wish was another twist to Aladdin. The Hunt has an interesting vampire story. Entwined was a twist to the twelve dancing princess as well as The Princess Curse. Cold Kiss has a revival of dead boyfriend gone wrong sounds interesting. The Humming Room is a twist to The Secret Garden and The Kneebone Boy because the story was interesting.

Also Jason Chan's art on the cover of The Princess Curse, The Humnming Room, and The Kneebone Boy was gorgeous so that's a plus.

The reviews for each books will be out once I finish reading them. It might be a while because I have a lot of the currently reading books to finish.

I wanted to thank The Story Siren for having this meme.

Reading Time Begins

Hey there. Pa-ru here. This is my new blog focusing on the books I read, will read, and interesting upcoming books. The books may be in physical copies, digital e-books, or audio books. Also the books may be novels, poems, graphic novels, etc. I read various types of books so I wanted to share my love of them to you. Last year I got into reading the Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson and I really loved The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I still have to finish The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

My favorite books of all time are The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa. I couldn't narrow it down to one book because I adored them in different ways. Catcher in the Rye for being a coming of age book and Be With You for being a pure love book that's heartwarming. I really want to thank all the book bloggers and book v-bloggers for introducing me to awesome new books. I also want to thank the authors too because without them, we wouldn't have wonderful books to read. With work and school consuming most of my life, I'll try my best to squeeze reading here and there as much as I can and keep up with this blog.

In 2012..
This year I started to enjoy reading more than before. Earlier this year I won a basic kindle reader from work so I was able to get free classic novels and literature from Amazon and I was able to borrowing digital e-books from the library. I also saw some good Amazon kindle book deals which got me a lot of books for a good price. The kindle is good. The comfort of having a vast array of books on hand is wonderful but I do miss the physical touch of a read book. I wasn't sure what are some good books to read so I heard my friends talked about reading reviews of books on Goodreads. The site helps me narrow down books that I wanted to read so my to be read list won't be infinite. Thus, my journey on acquiring books and reading books begin. All right. Without further ado, let's this book blog begin. \(^O^)/