[BOOK] Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

StatisticalThis book was an extremely fast read for me. It helped that it was an easy book to comprehend and the writing was very fluid. Looking at the title, I was expecting it would have some sort of a mathematical/statistical relation kind of like in “Abundance of Katherines” by John Green where the character, throughout the book, tries to come up with an equation that would predict if one is a dump-er or a dump-ee. Anyway, compared to that John Green book, this did not touch upon the mathematical area at all aside from its title. I just thought it was sort of misleading in a way to have that as a title. It was mentioned in the book though, to be fair. This reminds me of times when I first listen to a song (while knowing the title) where I try to find WHY the composer chose that specific title for a song. Most of the times because that word or phrase gets repeated several times, mostly in the chorus or because it just makes perfect sense and any other title would have sounded wrong. The title “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight” is obviously a very good title. It’s quite intriguing but like I said, misleading. I feel like it was chosen simply because it sounded cool.

Moving on, this book is about Hadley Sullivan who is on her way to London to attend her father’s wedding. The book starts off with Hadley missing her flight by 4 minutes which then leads her to take the next available flight where she meets a dashing, young, British guy named Oliver. They spend the whole flight talking to each other and.. do I need to carry on? You know what happens. Duh. I’m not going to talk about it any further as with just a few sentences, I could easily tell you the whole story and spoil it for you.

(Can I just say, I had a hard time reading the name, Hadley, in my head. I wanted so much to just read it as Hayley as it rolls off the tongue quite easily than Hadley.)

Read it yourself if you just want a quick read. It is a typical, predictable love story that you’ve probably already imagined happening in your life. I know I have. If you don’t like such cheesy, obvious storylines, best not to read it. It’s not going to blow your mind but it will give you the feels. 

UPDATE: I might have been too harsh on my rating the first time. This was actually a good book and a good read. I stand by what I said that it’s not spectacular. Nevertheless, it was not horrible either. Pleasantly average would be a good description for it.

NinthMelody rating: 3.25/5*

*Updated after much contemplation

[BOOK] Warm Bodies.

warm-bodies-coverI thoroughly enjoyed the movie version starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer so I decided to read the novel that it was based on. After reading the first few chapters, I realized it was mostly the same as the movie except for some details that might not have translated well on film or maybe they thought were unnecessary. There was something at the end that caught me by surprise though which I did not expect at all since it did not happen in the movie version.

“Warm Bodies” is a sweet love story between two different people or creatures even that transcends everything that’s normal and acceptable. When we think of zombies, we think WALKING DEAD. They’re the ghoulish, brain-eating creatures that don’t have the capacity to think or feel aside from their hunger for brains. “R” is different though. When he and his zombie pals encounter a number of teenagers out on a scavenging trip, he sees Julie and instead of doing what a normal zombie would do, he decides to protect her and take her with him on his airplane home.

I love the fact that since I’ve seen the movie, I see Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer playing the characters in the book. That helps as I don’t recall the characters being described in careful detail in the book. Given some changes in the settings, events and some storyline, I felt like I was making a slightly different movie in my head with the same movie cast. Since I really enjoyed reading this book, I will definitely read more of Isaac Marion’s works. I saw that he had a book that serves as a prequel to Warm Bodies called The New Hunger.

He is also currently working on or in the process of releasing a sequel to Warm Bodies which remains to be untitled. From his Goodreads page, this is written:

I’m about 70% of the way through writing it and expect to finish in early 2015. It’s going to be a much bigger book (it’s already 60 pages longer than WARM BODIES) and a much bigger story. I’m not ready to say much about the plot yet, but here are a few questions that I’ve been asking myself since I wrote WARM BODIES’ last page: What will life be like for R as a new human? How will he fit into society? How will such an alienated social infant handle a romantic relationship? Will he remember his past, and what will that do to the new person he’s trying to become? What happens to the Dead after the “cure” begins to spread? What is the cure? What are the Dead and why do they exist? What else exists? Just how weird has the world become if it’s allowing mythical undead monsters to become real? How is humanity dealing with this new reality, and how will bad people exploit it to regain power and rebuild the old status quo? And most importantly: how do R and Julie spread the revolution they started? Can something as old and stubborn as human nature be challenged? If given a blank page, can we rewrite ourselves? Can the world change?

CONSIDER ME EXCITED!

NinthMelody rating: 4/5

[MOVIE] The Book of Life.

The-Book-Of-Life-PosterThe Book of Life is an animated film that tells a story of love, friendship, family and culture. The film is told in such a way where there is a story within a story. It starts off with a museum tour guide, Mary Beth, leading a bunch of unruly kids to the Museum of Mexican Myths and Legends. This is where they read off of the Book of Life which contains all the stories of the world. One such story is about the Mexican town of San Angel on the “Day of the Dead” festival. La Muerte, the ruler of the Land of the Remembered, gets into a wager with Xibalba, the ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, wherein whoever wins will be the ruler of the Land of the Remembered. La Muerte and Xibalba agree to the wager by betting on 2 young lads, Joaquin and Manolo, for the hand of Maria in marriage.

I love the vibrant colors of this movie and it just looks beautiful on screen. It is very much in contrast to the topic of death. Even so, in this movie, they bring color to death unlike any other. Normally, when we think of death, we simultaneously imagine BLACK, WHITE or GRAY. In this movie, however, the most colorful of colors is associated with death especially in the Land of the Remembered where everything looks so alive which is ironic since this is where the dead end up going. In the Book of Life, being dead has never looked more lively.

NinthMelody rating: 4.5/5

[BOOK] Attachments.

The moment I saw this book at the bookshop, I knew I would enjoy reading it very much. I didn’t buy the book right there and then but it was always in my “TO-BUY” list until I finally got it last December. Unfortunately, I only got around to reading it now and actually read Rainbow Rowell’s two other books first – Fangirl and Eleanor & Park.
Attachments
Attachments 
is a story about Lincoln, a Systems Security Officer at a local newspaper, The Courier. The job sounds fancier than it actually is as all he ever does is check the employees’ emails whenever they get flagged and it’s his job to send them a notice or reprimand. Two of the employees, Beth and Jennifer, constantly get flagged emails but Lincoln can’t bring himself to reprimand them as he has developed a soft spot for the two. He enjoys reading the conversations between the two and finds himself falling for one of them, Beth – who has a rockstar boyfriend, by the way.

I love how simple it is and that it was a very enjoyable read. Once again, it’s one of those books that nudge me to look for something more fulfilling in life, something that gives my life purpose. That’s exactly how Lincoln felt with his job. He knew he was capable of so much more than just snooping at other people’s emails at night.

More than that, I also loved the email exchanges between Jennifer and Beth. They actually made me “LOL” quite a few times. They were witty and sarcastic – two of the things I wish I was more of. What makes this work is that they were living in 1999-2000 when the world was anxious of the Y2K phenomenon. Back then, personal email exchanges between employees made sense. It was normal. They did not have smartphones that could send instant messages. Emails were most practical. Imagine doing that now – sending personal emails between employees. It would be 1) too annoying trying to erase them from the mail inbox, 2) obviously not secure and 3) it would take minutes for the reply to reach you – we just don’t have the patience for that nowadays. We want everything at our fingertips. With instant messaging, we have the sense of satisfaction just seeing the other person on the other line “Typing a message…”

To be honest, I liked Attachments more than Rainbow Rowell’s other two books that I’ve read mainly because I personally liked Lincoln. He was a nerdy, sweet guy and “cute.” (At least I imagine he is.. hahaha) The characters are very likeable and I don’t recall any moment where I hated their actions.

NinthMelody rating: 4/5

[BOOK] Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Me-and-Earl-and-the-Dying-Girl-cover“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is Jesse Andrews’ first novel and it has gotten wonderful reviews. I only heard about this book from the Booktubers I’ve been watching on YouTube. I gotta say I became obsessed with these booktubers on YouTube for about a week or so. They introduced me to so many potentially amazing TBRs that my list has gotten much longer.

Anyway, this book is narrated by Greg who is a high school senior who does not exactly have friends in his school. He prides himself in being a floater in high school wherein he does not belong to one clique but instead socializes with all but not too much so as not to be associated with a particular one. The closest to a friend that he has is Earl. They both found a love for making films so they spend their time making homemade movies together. One day, Greg’s mother “forces” him to spend time with his classmate, Rachel, who has leukemia. Despite his protestations, he gives in and hangs out with her to appease his anxious mother.

I liked this book because it wasn’t trying too hard to be all inspirational and motivational and it didn’t expect you to have a wondrous lightbulb moment of clarity and epiphany. In fact, what it was trying too hard in, was in making you drop the book and move on. You know, those warning signs like, “This book will not do you any good. Drop it now or regret it later.” But of course, those reverse psychology tactics worked on me. I did not put the book down. Actually, I did not want to because it was such a fun read despite the sad topic of cancer.

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” made me cry (probably because it’s that emotional time of the month) but still, even “Fault In Our Stars” failed to make me shed a tear. The two books have a similar melancholic topic but this book does not have that typical romantic theme where the protagonist will fall for the dying girl. No, this is not like “A Walk To Remember.” (I love that book, by the way.) This is a story about friendship, self-realizations, growing up and acceptance of what is.

This is being turned into a movie starring Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler. I cannot wait to watch it.

Feel free to watch the trailer below:

NinthMelody rating: 3.5/5

[BOOK] To Kill A Mockingbird.

As I have previously posted that I would be accepting the “[Re]Read To Kill A Mockingbird Challenge,” I did read and finish it within the stipulated period so I am glad to say that this is a SUCCESS.

mockingbird1Before this challenge, I had no idea whatsoever what this book was about. I know this is a classic book that schools normally require students to read but in my school, this was not included in the list so I never really got to it. Now that I have, at least I can say that I have read one more classic book. hahaha..

I will not give a synopsis of the book since it’s very readily available. To Kill A Mockingbird is a novel that talks about controversial issues about racial and gender disparity which was present back in those days and unfortunately, in some areas, still do exist. It has been a very long battle against inequalities, (may it be racial, gender, etc.) but is a battle we have yet to win.

This book is narrated by a little girl named “Scout” whose father was appointed by the court to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman. It’s refreshing to see the world through the eyes and mind of a little girl and it reminds readers how innocent and simple things can be, if only we don’t make every little thing so complicated. Sometimes children know more about what’s right and wrong than adults do and this book is a gentle reminder of that. We must not underestimate the power of a young mind. It is through their minds that our future rests and it is also up to us to help them shape the right mindset.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-“ 

Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents,” said Miss Maudie.

it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. 

2015-06-03 03.05.55

I think this book has a wonderful message and it would benefit all of us if we realize these lessons and values. The world would be a much better place if we just put ourselves in the other person’s shoes before doing anything. We spend too much time judging people using “adjectives” that we personally came up with that we sometimes forget to look at the facts. Or that we give too much importance on these “adjectives” when ultimately they’re nothing but opinions and we fail to look at what’s important.

NinthMelody rating: 3.25/5

[BOOK] after the quake: stories.

71ZQbdoLeoL._SL1500_This is my 3rd Murakami book and I’m really still trying to get used to his way of writing and thinking. It is so unusual that it is sometimes difficult to follow but at the same time, fascinating.

“after the quake” is a collection of short stories with a common theme related to the Kobe earthquake in 1995. The stories are not at all related but they are all connected through the characters’ various responses related to the earthquake in Kobe.

There were a couple of stories that stood out for me: Super Frog Saves Tokyo and Honey Pie. These two are the last two stories in the book and they were the ones that left a lasting impression.

Super Frog Saves Tokyo was so random that I found it so amusing and surprising. A giant, talking frog suddenly appears in Katagiri’s home which tells him that they both must save Tokyo from a massive earthquake that will occur in a few days. Doubtful that he will be able to do anything, Katagiri questions “Frog” (not Mr. Frog) as to why he was chosen, of all people, seeing as he just an ordinary man who doesn’t have any particular skills that might help save Tokyo from the forthcoming destruction. “Super Frog Saves Tokyo” was the most out-of-this-world out of all the stories in after the quake but it was also the most interesting and fun.

Another story that I liked from this book was “Honey Pie.” Compared to Super Frog Saves Tokyo, this is more of a contemporary genre. This is a story about Junpei, a short-story writer, who has been in love with his friend, Sayoko, ever since they were in college. Due to his reluctance to tell her his feelings, he loses out to their other friend, Takatsuki, who ends up marrying Sayoko. “Honey Pie” is a gentle reminder of what it would be like to live a life of regret if we don’t seize the moment.

The other stories didn’t quite make it to my “INTERESTING LIST.” There were times I was just lost (not in a good way) and I was weirded out by how the story unfolded which is odd because I really like WEIRD and unusual things. I was thinking maybe it had something to do with the translation of the book since it was originally in Japanese that maybe it would have made more sense in its original presentation but I don’t know. I guess I’ll never know unless I learn how to speak Japanese.

NinthMelody rating: 3/5