Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French kiss is great. Lola and the Boy Next Door is also great. Stephanie Perkins is great.

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Young Adult: Romance
Pages: 338


Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

I just finished this book. I've been reading it since last week but due to our quarterly exams, which I really need to prepare, I got delayed everyday. So now, finally, I finished it and I have great things to tell about it.

When I started reading Lola and the Boy Next Door, I got bored. I'm not a girl so I cannot get into the "fashion matter" of Lola. Also, I don't like the describe-all-manner in the first few chapters of the book. I first thought that Anna is better. In Anna, I got into the story at the very first chapter and enjoy it. But in Lola, I need to force myself to continue because I know that this must be great. Now, here's the thing. After finishing the book, I finally concluded the difference between the two. Anna and the French Kiss started with the introduction of the guy-to-be and then followed by sweet scenes. But at the past middle part, there are a lot of hanging moments. In Lola and the Boy Next Door, the hanging moments, for me, are on the beginning then suddenly we were placed in a sweet parts. I salute Stephanie for this matter.

Lola is just a typical girl, except for the costume matter. She improved very little in the story. We define dimensional or 3D characters as someone who developed throughout the story. From weak to great, for example. But in the case of Lola, many things about her didn't change. Her attitude and relationship with other people, especially to Norra, are the improvements I greatly like. Actually, we can never mind the other because attitude is one of the important traits for a character to develop.

Cricket, also, improved very very little. I don't know what's happening to me. I super like this books but I admit that the characters improved very little. Cricket is nice, talented in the field of mechanics, and is always in need to be present in his twin competitions. That's all. Nothing more.

Since this is romance, let's talk about the love factor of this book. The love between the two characters started years before the time in the book. Then when they met again, Lola found out that she still have that feeling for him. I think this kind of love is very rare for today's romance novels. Many of today's works started from not knowing each other then falling in love. But this book, it's different. I, again, salute Stephanie for expanding her imagination out of the boundaries.

Overall, I still like this book. I like the minor characters and their characteristics. I just have this problem with the main characters development. But I assure swooning, smiling, fantasizing , etc while reading this. Great work!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: Lola and the Boy Next Door (2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB ofShould Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
"I bury my face against his chest and smile. Someday I'll tell him about my teacup."

-Lola and the Boy Next Door
by Stephanie Perkins

Note: Visit again tomorrow for my review of this book. I like it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Star Trek 2009 "Live long and prosper."

I have never watched other versions of Star Trek, only thing 2009 version. So I want to tell that I'm going to review this as a stand alone and not relate it to the original one.

Star Trek (2009)
Directed by: J.J. Abrams

As a fan of sci-fi films, I mostly want disaster films where Earth is going to be hit by a freaking asteroid and the hero save the world just in time before we all got toasted up. I've never watched space wars. (I think I've watched Star Wars before but I can't remember. I have no idea what it was about before.)

In the current star date, USS Kelvin investigates a "lightning storm" in space. Minutes later, a huge Romulian ship emerges and lock missiles to them almost destroying the Kelvin. To save the crew on shuttle crafts for evacuation, acting caption Kirk engaged collision course of Kelvin to the Romulians while his son is being birthed by his wife on an escaping shuttle.His son, Jim, will face a very thrilling combats with Nero, Spock and himself.

I can tell you that when I was watching this film, I can't get my eyes off the screen. It's like I'm lock to it.
The special effects are great. The ships of look very real like it was really up there ready to travel in maximum warp. The sequence of events, although I became so confused about the people from the future, are also very great and logical (speaking in Spock tone.)

My concerns, however, are on the characters. Though this a film, characters must remain round. Jim and Spock, for me, are very flat in this film. They don't have any progress. What they are in the start are still them in the end. Jim, a full of humor yet intelligent guy, still the humorous and intelligent guy.

I'm, somehow, satisfied with Spock. He learned to be human despite wanting to put logic first. He learned to express his feelings. Love and hatred.

Nero, the villain, is also somehow flat. The reason he became bad is because his planet was consumed by an exploding star killing his family. So he seek revenge to the Federation planets. But is that so? There's nothing in the film showing his feelings. Just him commanding to send missiles while he seat on his cozy romulian caption seat.

Overall, I think is still a nice movie. I'm giving it a 3.5/5 XD. I think that's fair.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs: A Goodbye

Maybe, the most influential person to me when it comes to leadership, vision and creativity was the man who showed the world that apple is more than just a fruit, Steve Jobs.

I first knew Steve Jobs when I had received my very first apple product to own, an iPod touch, which until now is still alive and kicking. That was about two years ago since my mother gave that iPod to me. Since then, I became a very big fan of Apple Inc. Especially their CEO, Steve.

Known for wearing black turtleneck and faded jeans during keynotes, Steve had inspired a lot of people, that includes me. I became very interested in Steve's life that I read the scroll-worthy page of Wikipedia. So how he had inspired me?


I prefer to be a subordinate rather than take the responsibility of being a leader. Leaders carries vital responsibilities that will enable the group to do something worthy. A leader must be harsh so that everyone will follow him. That was my old perspective of leadership. 

However, since I knew Steve, I learned a lot of things. A leader shouldn't be that harsh to his fellow in able for them to follow him. I read some articles saying Steve walks in the corridors of Apple Campus bare-feet. Sometimes, carrying a flame thrower and pointing it to random people in the hallways. I learned that humor is also vital for leadership.

But when it comes to business, business is business, no humor. Steve was known to be strict when it comes to every detail of their projects. I read last year that Steve called Google to change the yellow color of their icon to a little more dark saying that it distorts the beauty of the main screen. 


A visionary man, Steve believed that he can change the world. And he did! I don't know if Steve was the one who said this but this quote is always referred to him. "...because the ones who are crazy enough to think the world that he can change world are the one who do." It's a very inspirational, motivating and powerful quotation. 

I learned to set goals for both myself and others. I sometimes dream that my club, Book Buddies, where I am the president, will sometimes be called one of the prestigious clubs in our school. For myself, I know this is crazy but I want to win the Nobel Prize. Hey, it's not bad to dream. I can recall that I said to my of my classmates, "I cannot die now because I have a Nobel Prize to win." I know how crazy it sounds. 


Both in art and science. Steve is known for his innovative inventions. He didn't invented neither that personal computers nor the music players, but he changed the way they are seen and called them 'revolutionary'. I learned from him that thinking something crazy is not always unworthy. I can prove that using my last year's Investigative Project. I used rain to power a calculator for almost two weeks (It can last long however the electrodes began to rust). At first I was like "Can that be possible? I should be crazy enough to think about this." But it worked! I scored the highest, higher than the top 1 student, in the Investigative Project and earned the wow of my Chemistry project. Now I'm working on a new source of power but I will say to you, this is the craziest idea I've ever thought so far."

I tried to apply as many lessons I learned from the one-dollar-earner-CEO. And I'm very proud of the changes in my life today. I excel and excel every time. My ideas become crazier and crazier. But Steve had been crazy also. Crazy enough to think he can change how humanity lives through his inventions. 

Today, I'm in grief after learning his death. Cancer is really deadly. That's why I'm taking medicine for my college. I want to research the cure for cancer. And that is again one crazy idea. 

He was a friend, a mentor and inspiration. Even we never met, I will truly miss him. 

Flags at the Apple campus waving in half-staff after
the announcement of Steve's death. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB ofShould Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"And then he bounds forward again, and his face is illuminated by pink and white twinkle lights. His difficult equation face. "See you around?" What else can I say? I gesture at my window. "I'll be here.""

-Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

P.S. I super like the scenes and where Anna and Etienne are present. :)) 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dracula (Classic Starts) - retold

I'm not fond of reading horror books. I better like horror movies that reading horror books. For me, I cannot find the horror feeling when I'm just reading it. Until I read Dracula. Even though it is a retold (I cannot even know the author who rewrite this), I can still feel the horror, tense and suspense while reading.

Title: Dracula
Author: unknown
Publisher: Sterling
Pages: 143

Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania for a business deal with a Romanian nobleman, only to find himself ensnared in the horrific world of Count Dracula, a mysterious man with an evil secret. Worst of all, the Count is now headed towards London - and Jonathan's beloved Mina. Can this monster ever be destroyed?

I know that a lot of people know the story of Dracula. Some of you might have discussed it with your literature teacher. But not me. Since my childhood, I heard this vampire Dracula but never had the chance to read his story. So last month, while wandering a local bookstore to buy some Time for Kids Almanac, I came across a shelf that house these books published by Sterling. They are all retold of classics. I found myself interested with the books so I took sometime to choose what book to buy. Finally, I picked up Dracula.

Jonathan, an ordinary businessman, traveled to meet Count Dracula to discuss some business about buying a house in Carfax. But this man is not ordinary. He live in a castle with not even one mirror. He likes to talk to Jonathan in the evening. He doesn't eat - always saying that he had already eaten. And he can climb the walls of the castle like a lizard. You may want to add that he sleeps in a coffin.

Though a retold, this version of Dracula never forget to bring the horror out of the words. I usually read this at night that's why even the faintest sound can freak me out. Especially when I'm reading the parts where blood is emphasized. One negative comment I want to say is that it was written in a VERY fast-paced manner. There are no breaks between scenes. It immediately jumps off to the next and the next and the next. Well, I recently understood why. The publisher, Sterling, main purpose with these retolds is to give the readers the main story. They get rid of all dead scenes and just write the main, only the main, story.

In conclusion, this is a nice retold. Go grab it. Especially those who want to read Dracula but don't want to read the long novel of Bram Stoker.

Reviving the Blog

It's been a LONG time since my last post in this book blog. I've been so much busy in school. Homework here, homework there. Projects here, projects there. It's cruel! I kinda miss this blog a lot and too bad I didn't took care of this properly. UNTIL now.

I decided to revive the blog and do some posts again. However, this blog will not only tackle about books. I will include movies, personal stuff and more. I will still join memes but not regularly because I don't know when I can read books since my free times varies.

Hope to see you soon.


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