Dreams should make you think, ‘If I had the guts to do it and I didn’t care what anybody thought, this I what I’d really do’.Rating:3 Stars
Sandy Shortt has been obsessed with finding things which have been lost, since her childhood rival Jenny-May Butler went missing. Having worked for the Garda, the police force of the Republic of Ireland, she left her job to start an agency which looks for missing people.
A man named Jack Ruttle asks Sandy for help looking for his younger brother Donal, who went missing the year before. She agrees, never expecting to become missing herself as she discovers the world where everything which has ever been lost goes to, a place called Here.
Jack goes on a search for Sandy believing that she is the key to finding his brother but learning more about her personal life than he should. Meanwhile, Sandy’s possessions keeps getting lost from Here but found in this world. Something is bound to happen but the both of them have yet to know what it is.
Intriguing and mysterious. That is how I would like to describe this novel. Just like Cecelia’s other notable works, Magic never escapes her reality. A woman who is obsessed on everything, everyone that is missing.
The description on Sandy’s character gave me an impression that this would be an adventurous journey. Though, I could say that Sandy’s character is the opposite of that. I was kind of hoping that she’s a bubbly, happy person but she wasn’t like that.Her character was a bit boring for me though I understand that this might be the reason why – she’s always fascinated with other people’s lives. Always looking for someone, searching for what is missing, but nobody looks after her. And this where the story gets much interesting. When someone finally looks after her after she’s gone missing. Now, she’s the one who needs finding.
I could say, I wasn’t that appalled as to how “Here” has been showcased in the book. I was looking for more magic, more enticing set up of the “place”. Though it doesn’t really exist in reality, I wish there was more vivid narrative of “Here”.
Still, it was a stress reliever read for me. Cecelia’s magical realism tugged my heart with all the moments Sandy has remembered upon coming face to face with all the things she’s missing in life. It’s like putting together puzzle pieces that are retrieved from a scavenger hunt a puzzle in her life that took years to be completed.
RATING: 4 STARS
I’d like to say, Cecelia Ahern’s books are my ‘comfort book’. Mainly because I already know that right before opening the book, I know I would love it just by looking at the covers and reading the title😍 It felt like none of her novels or stories will ever disappoint me.
So, I was screaming inside when my eyes caught a glimpse of a copy of this book piled underneath several copies of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on a local second hand bookstore I usually haul books from. Even though I had tons of time to browse for more books, I felt like going home immediately and settle to my room and read. 😁
The book was first published in 2005, Cecelia’s third novel right after Where Rainbows End.If You Could See Me Now is a story about Elizabeth Egan, a single woman who takes care of her 6-year old nephew, Luke. Ever since Luke’s mother went away trying to be “free”, Elizabeth has been his guardian providing him all the things he needs a six-year old child. But there’s one thing Elizabeth has never learned to give to his nephew.
Enters Ivan. Luke’s “best friend”. Who unexpectedly become part not just of Luke but also Elizabeth’s life. Ivan thought Elizabeth numerous things on living her life so that she can fully commit to protecting and loving Luke. Ivan became the “best friend” she never knew she needed.
At first, I couldn’t quite figure out what the story was all about. Reading the information provided at the back cover of the book, I thought this was about a love triangle of sorts. I wanted to knock my head off for thinking about that. Cuz it wasn’t like any love story at all.
“The mind is the most powerful thing in the body. Whatever the mind believes, the body can achieve. “
If You Could See Me Now was more like a coming-of-age fantasy. It reminded me of movies being screened during Christmas Season. Light-hearted, warm and very family friendly. A story of magic and love with a little family drama. A story of self discovery,of self love, and most of all, friendship. There are some elements from P.S. I Love You and Where Rainbows End that wasn’t on this book but to me it was a complete great story on its own.
Cecelia’s magic is overflowing on this story right from the very beginning until the very last sentence. In every character, there is that depth, and emotions; light yet moving scenarios would remind you of a feel good film you always watch as a child. The brought out the child in me while reading through every character, espacially Ivan. Though I’d love to have to know more from Luke’s mother, Saoirse.
The story will make you realize that us adults were once children and even now that we can provide for ourselves, we still need those childish feels of make believe to make ourselves whole as a person.Children will also help us find the things that we lost in the process of becoming adults.
“If invisible people eat invisible food, does invisible wind blow invisible trees?”
As I looked it up on Wikipedia, it says that there has been a filming rights given to Disney and Hugh Jackman was supposed to play Ivan. It sounds very promising thinking all the elements that Disney could add to the story but somehow, the project didn’t materialize. Nevertheless, I think, Ivan’s character is an unforgettable one.
Rating: 5 stars
Yes, I’ve read the book but nope, I haven’t watch the movie yet😅.
But, oh! What a relief I was able to grab this book and read it. Months ago, I kind of stir myself away from reading Y.A novels particularly those who have been being hyped about all over the internet. You can hate me all you want but I really loved to read books with deeper and much serious drama. But recently, work has been causing me so much stressed and do I need more stress and anxiety from Stephen King’s Misery and It? Naaahh, I think I’ve had enough (for now) that’s why I decided to maybe give YA a try. I bought a pre-loved copy from Carousell just in time that the movie on Netflix has just been released. And here’s my thoughts.
I just loved the idea of letters. Lara Jean pouring her her heart out on a letter she would never send, it was very hopeless romantic.
When the letters was sent out, I already had an idea that Kitty was the one behind it. 😂 I thought it’s a funny thing for Kitty to do cause I would have done the same thing if I was in her place😅
I love and hate this guy all at the same time. He’s yout typical jerk for one sec then on another he’s the perfect gentleman to Lara Jean. 😍
I have trust issues with him (especially when Geneivive enters the scene)but whenever he does something sweet to LJ, my heart rejoices💜💜
On Lara Jean👩🏻
At first, I also have some issues on Lara Jean’s character. Especially when she’s talking about her sister, Margot. I didn’t like it when she’s comparing herself to her. I can hear myself say ‘oh come, there she goes again.’ I almost DNF the book at some point because I find it really annoying.
Margot would say she belongs to herself. Kitty would say she belongs to no one. And I guess I would say I belong to my sisters and my dad, but that won’t always be true. To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
But I realized that it is one of the main story arch of the novel. She’s a teenager and she has some issues on her self confidence. Being always with her sister, I guess she struggle to find her own identity as a person. And then I realize that I also have that issue when I was her age. I guess everyone has.
My take away wisdom:
Finding yourself is one major part of growing up. As Lara Jean came face-to-face with the dillema of her secret love letters being sent, it gave her a challenge of lifetime. The love letter thingy might sound silly but I guess it implies a more serious lesson on Lara Jean. When Margot left for Scotland, she is deemed reponsible for the household, for Kitty and her Dad. After her letters are sent, the challenge was to stood up for her own feelings. She might have made some mistake on handling the issue but the story showed that it is part of self discovery. We were afraid to make mistakes when we were young but to think of it, we were helping ourselvess to become a better person.
- *thanks to Netgalley and Craig David Singer for providing me an advance reading copy of the book in exchange of an honest review*
Synopsis: (from NetGalley)
Dr. Emily Norton is a recent med school grad starting her surgical residency at a renowned hospital in Baltimore. She’s dedicated her life to science and reason—so when she receives a supposedly magical amulet from an eccentric neighbor, she ignores the old man’s warning.
Almost immediately, Emily’s well-planned world begins to unravel. At first, the problems are minor, like finding herself in trouble with the hospital administration on her first day at work. But soon Emily is dealing with much bigger issues, from losing her job and fiancé to being framed for a patient’s suicide.
As Emily struggles to comprehend the amulet’s strange effects, she also faces a dilemma about coincidence and fate: none of these disasters could have been caused by a mere amulet, right? Because everyone knows: there’s no such thing as magic.
Desperate and confused, Emily will need to use every bit of her reason, love and faith to confront and conquer the cursed amulet—even if it means forsaking everything she’s ever believed.
To be completely honest, I though this book should be categorized as a chic-lit. Emily’s character is your typical girl protagonist in that genre-but her story is different. As I read along, I realize that the story is deeper than I though it was. The events in the book leads to a more sinister meaning as the story unfolds. It was short and very fast paced for me but everything that happened in the book was supplemental to the main premise of the story. After finishing the book, I realize that it was not a chic-lit. It was more like a coming-age-story of a person about her faith, about her beliefs.
The reason I gave the book a four star rating is because I though the ending was kind of a bit boring for me. Though I needed all those events in the final few chapters, it felt like I got my ending on the revelation part of the book. All in all, it was a very pleasant read. The detour that the story took from being the chic-lit type to the part of self discovery is something I appreciate from the book and I was taken by surprised by it. It is very reccomendable to those who want a fast read but also fun and amazing.
#bookreview of The Silence by Tim Lebbon
In the darkness of a underground cave, blind creatures hunt by sound. Then there is light, voices, and they feed… Swarming from their prison, the creatures thrive; to whisper is to summon death. As the hordes lay waste to Europe, a girl watches to see if they will cross the sea. Deaf for years, she knows how to live in silence; now, it is her family’s only chance of survival. To leave their home, to shun others. But what kind of world will be left?
Before anything else, let me tell you about how I got to know about this book. One of the blogers I follow, Shannon, of Reads and Reels made a review of the movie A Quiet Place. She mentioned about how the movie somehow has the same story with this book by Tim Lebbon. I got interested because I absolutely loved the film though I never heard of Tim Lebbon before or any of his works. My curiosity got me and decided to check out the book. Thankfully, I did.
Before reading the book, I tried my hardest not to compare it with AQP. I don’t want to end up not liking the book because it might not have the same pace and thrilling elements of the film it somehow resembles. I aolso don’t want to expect too much from it. But the similarities are really spot on. I really can’t help myself from imagining the actors from the film portraying the characters in the novel.
(some spoilers ahead)
But despite the obvious similarities, I can say that this a great and awesome book on its own. I could have finished it one sitting if only I could stand not going to work and read all day. One element that I mostly loved from the book is the family love reitirated by the characters. Aside from the elements of an apocalyptic- thrilling novel, it shown a deep understanding of a father’s love to his family, that a man would do anything just for his family to be safe. Andrews family’s journey to surviving the carnivorous bat-like creatures is very realistic and a bit moving at the same time.
The mixture of thrill and dramatic scenes is very compelling. Through out the book, you’ll feel a lot of emotions. Love for your family, fear for your life and hatred with the world.
My take-away wisdom:
The planet we used to live-in doesn’t look like the same as it was years ago. As the digital age continues, it seems that our Earth continue to detiriorate as well.We didn’t know if scientist could ever find a cure for cancer or discover a much deadly disease. In the story of The Silence, our planet was faced with the emergence of killer creatures. Somehow, the world was back to the stone age. Almost every discovery from the past century has been useless in the new challenge of survival. What the book showed me is the possibilty of our world to become uninhabitable in the future. If we continue not to take care of our planet, mother nature might take away the very place we lived in.
“One per cent… and then that’s it. I’ll probably still carry the iPad with me, just in case we find somewhere to charge it. Maybe the power will come back on one day, and perhaps the mobile network masts will fire up again. But there’s a cold winter to get through first, and when we come out on the other side—and we will, I have no doubt of that—it will be into a whole new world. But that’s the future.
For now, all is silence.”
Excerpt From: Lebbon, Tim. “The Silence.” Titan, 2015-04-14T04:00:00+00:00. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.
#bookreview of Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
How can you know someone you haven’t met before? Joyce Conway asks that question after he met Justin Hitcock, an American lecturer who came to Ireland to talk about architecture at Trinity College. The two met at salon, both wanted to have a haircut, with both their taxis waiting for them outside. Joyce thought that Justin is familiar but she’s certain they’d never seen each other before.
Joyce had suffered from a miscarriage after years of trying to have a baby. She’s on her way home with her dad after she has recovered from the tragic fall that caused her to lose her baby. She had her blood transfusion of which she suspects of being the cause of her newly acquired knowledge. She is now an expert in speaking foreign languages and historical buildings; something she never studied before. More so, she remembers flashes of memories-but not her own. She dreamt of a girl she’s sure she never met.
On the other hand, Justin was on his way to the airport to flew back to London, where he would meet her daughter. A divorcee, Justin is still trying his best to be back on dating zone again. In doing so, an attractive doctor whom she met at Trinity College persuade him to be a blood donor. He might be saving someone else’s life after all. After seeing Joyce, he felt a rush of familiarity. Sure she’s pretty and attractive, but there’s more to her than her outer apperance. It’s the first time they met but why does it feel that they have known each other for so long?
Can this meeting be more than just a coincidence?
This book is another proof of Cecelia’s magic! I just can’t get enough of her stories these past few days and I must say, I need to read all of her books soon! I’m so in love with her characterization and story telling that whenever I emerged into reading one of her books, it felt like my heart is being touched by something special.
When is a coincidence just a coincidence,though?And when, if at all, should it be seen as something more?
Excerpt From:Ahern,Cecelia.”Thanks For The Memories”. HarperCollinsPublisher 2009
Going back with the book, I must say it is one of her best. Just before reading it, you would appreciate the effort put in the beautiful cover. It was like telling you to open your doors to unxpected possibilities- which is also the main premise of the story.
Thanks for the Memories was told in two different point-of-views of the two main character, majority of it being told by Joyce herself. I enjoyed the parts where Joyce came home at his father’s house and stayed with him for a while. I love how Cecelia showed the strong bond between Joyce and his Dad. Being close to my own father makes it more heartwarming for me. I also realize that when Joyce’s dad is calling her Gracie (her mom), it alludes to the title of the book since the name Gracie is derived from the Latin word Gratia which means Thank you. On the other side though, I found this book not that much of character-driven (which is something I really admire with Cecelia’s writing)and it somehow affects the pacing of the story. I want to know more about Joyce’s relationship with Connor (her ex-husband) and how it fell apart aside from the fact that they lost their child through Joyce miscarriage. I’m also asking the same thing on Justin’s point of view. A little bit of a back story of how is he as a family man would have made me understand his character more.
Nevertheless, this is such an amazing and magical book. Cecelia’s stories are simple yet briliantly told in an touching way.
It also reminded me a bit of the movie ‘Serendipity’ starring John Kusack and Kate Beckinsale. With the things going on in their individual lives, fate seems to coincide and make way for them to be together, pretty much what ‘Seredipity’ is all about.
My take away wisdom from the book will be solely coming from Joyce’s character. No matter how fed-up your life has been, don’t expect it to be the same for the rest of your existence. Because somehow, out of the sadness and crap going on, you still don’t know what fate would bring you. After all of your suffering and loses, God might have given you a perfect and even better gift. Just learn to open your heart and mind to unexpected possibilities.
It’s July already and it’s my birth month! Just celebrated 22 years of my life and I couldn’t be more thankful!🙏🏻
I think it has been a fruitful year for me,with a lot of things I never thought I could do but I did!
Thanks to lucerebecca for tagging me to do the #ultimatebooktag ❤️
This post has been over due for so long and I’m really glad I finally got the time to post it😁
I love doing booktags on Instagram that’s why I’m very glad I’d get to do one on my blog😊Thanks again Luce.😘
📖🚘Do you get sick while reading in the car?
It depends.😅if I’m reading in my phone, I don’t, but if I’m reading a hard copy,it’s harder for me to concentrate and I ended up being sick most of the time.
📖🖊which author’s writting style is completely unique to u and why?
Stephen King’s.I started reading some of his books last April and I was drawn into his writting style. He could creep you out with just simple words and descriptions.He’s writting is not the kind to overwhelm you that much but would give enough reason to be scared or thrilled.😱😨
I had to edit this post because I want to include Cecilia Ahern in my answer. I love her books so much and just recently, I realize that her books has a certain magical touch. Her books sounds cliche to me at times but once you started reading her, you know you’ve been touched by something emotional or heartwarming. Also, the twist she puts on her story are brilliantly executed and very well-thought and it makes you admire her even more!
⚡️🍎Harry Potter Series or The Twiligh Saga?
This question is the one I’d really love to answer. I really don’t like when people keep on comparing these two series. For me they’re both awesome in their own way – and very different from each other. Twilight is full of romantic love while Harry Potter speaks of all sorts of love and magic.years ago, I would have said Twilight, no hesitations,cuz i havent read Harry Potter back then.
I was in my first year in highschool and my introduction to everything YA was Edward Cullen and his awesome vampire family.I love everything about it- the books and movies,the actors it was just something that I really looked forward to. The Wizarding world only came up to me when I just graduated from college, still unemployed,bored and nothing to do at home aside from staying up late while watching or reading.Then a local tv network aired the 7 harry potter films weekly and that’s when I decided to read all the books and sort myself on pottermore.com.(I’m in Ravenclaw,btw💙)
So,I must say that I just can’t choose one over the other.⚡️🍎
📚🛄Do you carry a book bag?
I don’t. I prefer to read with my phone while I’m away or if I’m travelling so I don’t need to carry one.
👃🏻📚 Do you smell your books?Yesss!Who doesn’t? I mean, I think if your a bibliophile, it is one thing you’ll always do. Old or new books smells good to me.
📖✏️Books with or without little illustrations?
Without.I love to imagine things as the story goes along.
📖😕What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?
I really can’t think of something that really bothered me but I I guess it’s Slumdog Millionaire(originally Q & A) by Vikas Swarup. I enjoyed reading every chapter because there’s always bomb waiting to explode but later, I realized that the flow of the events in the book is very overwhelming that is also become unrealistic towards the ending.
👧📚Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!
When I was in my early years in gradeschool, I always ask Papa to bring me home coloring books. What I got were story coloring books of rapunzel,goldilocks and the three bears(and other fairytale books). I really wanted to do the coloring part but I never really learn to color inside the lines,hence, I learned to read fast😂
📖What is the thinnest book on your shelf?
The thiniest book on my shelf right now is a book called’Time Heals All Wounds’ which I found from a booksale years ago.It was sort of a biopic of the author and her story is really sad because of the abuse and violence she has suffered.
📚What is the thickest book on your shelf?
Breaking Dawn(in hardbound) and The Goldfinch(in paperback).
📚👩🏻💻✏️Do you write as well as read?Do you see yourself being an author in the future?
Yes I do.There have been so many times that I attempted to write a story of my own everytime a new idea or scenario enters my mind and most of the time I fail.😭But I’ll never stop trying! And yes, I see myself being an author in the future(no pressure,self😅) I guess it became my secret dream as I grow up and discover the power of literature and creative writting.
📚📆When did you get into reading?
(Going back to my answer on no.7😆)Since I was in grade school,I’ve always been in love with reading and people always know that books are my favorite thing in the world.
📖💟What is your favourite classic book?
I don’t think I’ve read enough classics to say that I have my favorite but so far, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird is something worth reading for me.
📚🏫In School what was your best subject?
📖🎁If your were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated… what would you do?
I’d still keep it.Cuz prolly, that person is really close to me to know that he/she knows I love books in general and I don’t want to him/her to feel bad.
⚡️🤤What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?
I can’t think of anything except for Divergent Series. I don’t love this series as much as I love Hunger Games but it is still a good dystopian book.
🎦What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while filming?
Sometimes I become impulsive that I become over excited and in turns out that shot/ take wasn’t good at all.
📕What is your favorite word?
👓📚Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb?All of the above?
🌹🌺Vampires or Fairies? Why?
Vampires. I love Edward Cullen.❤️
🦊👼Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?
Angels..They reminds of heaven and God.
👻🦊Spirits or Werewolves?
Werewolves…from twilight..like Jacob Black or Seth Clearwater😁
👻☠️Zombies or Vampires?
💑Love triangle or forbidden love?
Never been to a relationship before but I’d like to see two people fighting for their love,more romantic.
💑⚔️Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?
I rarely read romance books nowadays but I’malso not the action-loving type of person so I’d say full on romance❤️.
#bookreview of Cecelia Ahern’s The Year I Met You
While on ‘gardening leave’,thirty-four year old Jasmine decided to take her punishment quite literally- she started renovating her garden. As she was convinced that selling the company he helped to build with his friend, Larry is a good idea, she was faced with a major plot twist. Larry fired her and put her working life on hold for a year.Having alot of time in her hands for the one year she won’t be able to take a new job, she decided to dig up the roots of her life. As the seasons pass, her garden takes it course growing beautifully.So does her life – with the help of her neighbors, especially Matt Marshall.
Cecelia Ahern are one of those authors I started reading back in college. I’ve read quite a few of her novels, two of which have been adapted to films- Where Rainbows End and P.S I Love You. In fact, the release of Love,Rosie(the film adaptation of WRE) introduced me to the heart-warming and life-affirming lessons of Cecelia’s novels.So far I’ve read six of her works and absolutely adore each one of them, and The Year I Met You is no exception.
In my review, I listed down the things I appreciated and loved in the book.
(this list might give away some spoiler from the book!!!)
🌻 Gardening Leave. It was the first time that I heard of that term and I was quite surprised about it. I never heard of it’s concept before(knowing I majored in Human Resources in college). It was interesting to know that this kind of sanction exists in the corporate world and it was very brilliant for Cecelia to use it as the main premise of the novel. She once again showcased her talent in story-telling by giving ‘gardening leave’ a new definition- to know yourself after years of hardwork.
🌻Down Syndrome. It was very heplful to know a lot more about Down Syndrome from this book through Heather’s character. As Down Syndrome is a conditon where in the person is characterized with mental retardation, it was informative to know that they might think differently from most people but they are also human beings in general. They have the same feelings just like a normal person has and also the ability to work for themselves.In the book, Jasmine showcased her love and sincere concern for Heather, afraid that she might get hurt by other people who doesn’t understand her condition. There’s a support circle that she established to help her understand the people surrounding Heather and to discuss the decisions she wants to make as an adult. Heather on the other hand,wanted also to protect her baby sister. Despite her condition, she managed to help Jasmine discover herself and made her realize that she also needs a support circle to establish what she wants to do in her life.
🌻Monday O’Hara.😍The books is not that full on romance. In fact,it was more of self actualization and self-worth themed. But there’s Monday’s character….and I was baffeled by the cuteness of scenarios in which his character was in. Instead of being the headhunter who tried to woe Jasmine to get the job he was recruitung for, he has been a sweet addition into Jasmine’s life.
🌻You. The character being referred to by Jasmine in the book as you was none other than Matt Marshall. Her neighbor whom she used to loath because of just one incident that happened from years ago.Matt might not remember the incident at all but in Jasmine’s mind, she is still hoping for an apology from him. It just so happened that the circumstances around the neighborhood brought them closer to each other and they established a bond that she never expected to be formed. Matt who’s life as DJ was jeopardized after an offensive incident happened live during his radio show, was also on gardening leave just like Jasmine. To top it all,his wife left her without further notice. Jasmine unearvingly became part of Matt’s dilemma with work and family.
🌻Four Seasons. Winter,Spring,Summer and Autumn. The book was divided in this four parts. As Jasmine’s gardening leave come to a full circle,so does her garden. With her garden started to bloom on Spring, her life as well blossomed into something she did not expect.She discovered her neighborhood and started new realtionships. From the freezing dillema she faced on winter after she was fired, she digged up her personality and discovered a lot of things about herself.
Miracles only grow where you plant them.
Excerpt From:Ahern,Cecelia.”The Year I Met You”. HarperCollinsPublisher 2014
The book proved to me that there’s really a certain magic in Cecelia’s story telling. I love the way the story was presented, Jasmine was like talking to Matt through the entire book and it was brilliantly executed. I love the way she handed certain factual information to her readers about certain things, specifically in this book which is ‘gardening leave’ and the topic of down syndrome.
The wisdom that I’d like to take away from the book is that our life just like seasons, changes over time. We may not now what life changing happentance might occur as the seasons change but what we can only rely on is a fact that we always learn something from it- may it be the art of patience, wating and beingdiligent to improve our life.