» THE PRINCE OF MIST

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Genre: Mystery, Horror

“In an infinite universe, there were too many things that escaped human understanding.”

SYNOPSIS

A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret… .

It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist—a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.

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This might be the first time I’m going to leave a book unrated after I’ve read it. To be honest, I don’t know how to rate this book. I don’t know if I like it, or if it was okay, or if I don’t like it at all. All I can say is that the story began with one of the most beautiful first sentence I’ve read in a book (MAX WOULD NEVER FORGET THAT FARAWAY SUMMER WHEN, ALMOST BY CHANCE, HE DISCOVERED MAGIC.) and followed by a promising first few chapters. But halfway through it became a mystery that turned into something akin to a third rate horror movie. The last few scenes left me very frustrated that I almost stopped reading and the ending left a bitter taste in my mouth, as if I ate something over its expiration date.

Aside from that, there are questions left unanswered until the end of the book. Like, where did The Prince Of Mist really came from? Was he really a magician or a devil? Why did he turn out like that? Where was the cat? And how can they continue on living in that house after all that terror?

But I cannot say that I truly hate it, because really, I don’t. There was something about Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s prose that I really love. His prose is like a chewy marshmallow for me. I particularly enjoyed his Shadow of the Wind. The reason why I don’t want to rate The Prince Of Mist though, is because I have never really been into the type of horror that this book turned out to be. Even in movies, I avoid this type of plot the most. So maybe horror enthusiast might enjoy this book. But I guess this is not for me.

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tags: #book review #the prince of mist #horror

One of the books I bought last Manila International Book Fair. Will read this soon. <3

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tags: #the lies of locke lamora #scott lynch

are the titles familiar? ^___^ I’m having fun collecting the novel versions of Miyazaki’s movies (and the books kung saan naka-base iyong mga hindi niya original story). still searching for Mary Norton’s The Borrowers.

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tags: #books #ghibli library #hayao miyazaki #howls moving castle #castle in the air #my neighbor totoro
» OKAY FOR NOW

Author: Gary D. Schmidt

Genre: Coming Of Age, Middle Grade

Rating: ★★

“She came over and looked at the picture. Then she took my hand.
You know what that feels like?
Like what the astronauts will feel when they step onto the moon for the very first time.”

SYNOPSIS

Midwesterner Gary D. Schmidt won Newbery Honor awards for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boys and The Wednesday Wars, two coming-of-age novels about unlikely friends finding a bond. Okay For Now, his latest novel, explores another seemingly improbable alliance, this one between new outsider in town Doug Swieteck and Lil Spicer, the savvy spitfire daughter of his deli owner boss. With her challenging assistance, Doug discovers new sides of himself. Along the way, he also readjusts his relationship with his abusive father, his school peers, and his older brother, a newly returned war victim of Vietnam.

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So you’ve read a book.

It took you a long time just to look for this particular book and when you found it, it feels like fate. And then you read it even though there were so many to-be-read-books that have been in your shelves for months and years. But you read this book first. And you cannot stop even if you want to. It made you laugh because of the witty, sarcastic and adorable main character named Doug (I love it when Mrs. Windermere calls him skinny delivery boy), and it made you smile foolishly whenever Lil Spicer enters a scene with him (I love how the author can make a romantic scene without them telling cheesy lines to each other), it made you bawl your eyes out (because really, who will not cry over this book?), it made you hate almost all the characters at the beginning but then you slowly saw how they were changing and then you realize that they were not really bad guys, and then the book taught you life lessons in a subtle way but will stay with you long after you closed the book, and most of all, it gave you an open ended ending but still you feel quite contented with it.

Do you know what that ending feels like?

It feels like a promise of sunshine after a rainy day. Like a hot coffee when you just came from a very cold place. Like Christmas eve, when you are excited for the next day to come so you can open your presents. Like New Year with a promise of a fruitful year to come. Like possibility.

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tags: #book review #okay for now #coming of age

crying over this book. ;(

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Creativity is a god who comes only when he pleases, and it isn’t very often. But when he does come, he sits beside my desk and folds his wings and I offer him whatever he wants and in exchange he lets me type all sorts of things.
— OKAY FOR NOW
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tags: #quotes from books i read #Quotes from books I've read #okay for now #creativity #gary schmidt

looking for The Thief so that I can start reading this series already, :)

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I’m not lost, because I haven’t any idea where to go that I might get lost on the way to. I’d like to get lost, because then I’d know where I was going.
—THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING
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tags: #Quotes from books I've read #quotes from books i read #getting lost
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tags: #books #miyuki miyabe #the devil's whispher #mystery thriller #Japanese literature
It breaks my heart the way young girls pick themselves over, never thinking they’re good enough. You make sure you always remember, you’re exactly the way you’re supposed to be.
—Wallbanger. Alice Clayton
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tags: #Quotes from books I've read #quotes from books i read #wallbanger #alice clayton

Buckhorn series by Lori Foster. Got Forever Buckhorn last sunday. <3

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tags: #lori foster #buckhorn series
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tags: #bookmarks #penguin english library #lose yourself but not your page number #books #reading

this book made me cry. I got my own copy. :) will read it again in the near future.

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tags: #redeeming love #francine rivers #christian books
» THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON

Author: Sarah Addison Allen

Genre: Romance, Supernatural, Drama,

Rating:★★

"I’m homesick all the time. I just don’t know where home is. There’s this promise of happiness out there. I know it. I even feel it sometimes. But it’s like chasing the moon - just when I think I have it, it disappears into the horizon. I grieve and try to move on, but then the damn thing comes back the next night, giving me hope of catching it all over again."

SYNOPSIS

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes—which is a good thing, because Julia can’t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar … Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she’s hurt in the past?  
 
Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

***************

The plot itself was actually simple and predictable. There are many books out there that have the same story line. But Sarah Addison Allen’s prose is beautiful and enchanting that you will see this typical plot in a different light. This book is like a very common dish that became an entirely different cuisine when sprinkled with spices and secret ingredients.  The Girl Who Chased The Moon was sprinkled with magic; a strange town, a living giant, a wallpaper that changes depending on your mood, a person who has a sweet sense that he can actually see it floating in the air, and mysterious lights jumping in the woods at night, when there is moonlight. This book also has a touch of nostalgia and the bittersweet taste of romance. And then the secret ingredient was the prose itself. Sarah Addison Allen wrote it in a way that will draw you in, full of metaphors both sweet and intoxicating, like the richest wine that you will want to drink again and again.

But of course, this book was not only about the strange things that exist in the small town of Mullaby. It was also about being young, about making mistakes, about trying to make those mistakes right, about forgiveness and moving on, and most of all about growing up. This book will remind you that, what you were when you were young is not you, but just a ghost of your past self. It doesn’t define what you are in the present and most especially, in the future.

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tags: #book review #the girl who chased the moon #sarah addison allen #magic realism #family drama #romance

"Is the mind beyond you?"

"I don’t know. There are times when the understanding does not come until later, when it no longer matters. Other times I do what I must do, not knowing my own mind, and I am led astray."

"How can the mind be so imperfect?"

"It may well be imperfect, but it leaves traces. And we can follow those traces, like footsteps in the snow."

"Where do they lead?"

"To one self. That’s what the mind is. Without the mind, nothing leads anywhere."

—HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD, HARUKI MURAKAMI
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tags: #hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world #haruki murakami #japanese literature #Quotes from books I've read #quotes from books i read #quotes