I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

 

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

 

I read I Woke Up Dead at the Mall because the title and the book cover really intrigued me but I was actually really disappointed with the book.

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall is about Sarah who have just been murdered and now she needs to come to terms with her old lfe for her to move on. She and the other ghosts like her stay at the mall where there is a floor for dead people like her. However, Sarah cannot just let go of her old life especially because her killer is still free.

The concept of the book is actually pretty decent but the reason I hate this book is because of the romance. I just hate it when romance is forced in a story. You know… books can be great even if there’s no romance in it. I would have been contented with Sarah’s soul searching and her attempt to save a person from her killer. And that ending too. I usually like it when books end in a different way other than what I expected but here, the ending is just a way to force the romance again. And Sarah for me is a very flat character and she just becomes more and more annoying as the book progresses.

All throughout the book I was looking for something more but the book was not able to provide it. If you’re after a quick read, this book might be enough but if you’re looking for something interesting that will excite you, this is not it.

Hate List

Hate List

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And then I’d spend about an hour, my room darkening around me, wondering what the hell happened to make me unsure of who I even was.

Did you ever have a fear that the people you love aren’t what they seem? That there are other sides of them that are not the person smiling in front of you, playing with your hair and making you laugh? That they can do horrible things that you can’t imagine they could? For Valerie Leftman, this became a reality. Her boyfriend Nick whom she loved so deeply just showed up at school one day and started killing people – targeting people who were on their hate list. Several months after the incident, Valerie must come back to school and face the people who may or may not think she’s guilty as well. And every day was a struggle.

I’ve read books about suicide and consequences of bullying before but never did a book made me cry like this. I basically cried after every page… real tears. It’s because Valerie is not perfect. Some are right – she may not have pulled the trigger but she has a part in the shooting. But the best part is she knows that. And she’s trying her best to come to terms with it.

This book is a very emotional one. It stirred a lot of emotion inside of me. I felt anger and grief and confusion. But most of all, it made me evaluate my life.

Jennifer Brown made brilliant characters in this one. There are some times when I’m annoyed with Valerie but I guess that’s one reason I liked the main character. As I’ve mentioned, she’s not perfect. But the people around her are crap. Her family sucks. Her old friends suck. Her life really sucks. And I guess that’s what the book really wants- to show a person’s struggle. We are all fighting battles everyday- battles against ourselves, the people around us and our environment. But some got it worse than the others. Some people won’t notice but the worst part is someone does and takes advantage of that weakness they see in you.

And this book really sends a message about the people who have done bad things. I am not justifying any bad thing ever done but like Nick, maybe there’s more to bad people than the bad things they have ever done.

This book also sends a message about hate. And that’s why I’m doubting the five stars I gave this book. Honestly, I’m still thinking about it. I expected the ending to be different. I expected Jennifer Brown to establish what hate does to people. I expected this book to somehow teach the lesson further than what it did.

But I guess Jennifer Brown chose to send a message of hope.

I may have second thoughts about the five stars but this book is great. The stars aren’t the one this book made me doubt. Hours ago, I had a favorite book. Now this book and On the Jellicoe Road is fighting for the spot.

Overall, if you wish to read a book to really feels something – this book is a great choice!

Lady Midnight

 

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

But we loved with a love that was more than love-

For me, this line from Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee perfectly summarizes what this book is all about.

Emma and Julian are not ordinary teenagers. Apart from being shadowhunters – half-human/half-angels who protect these world from demons- Julian is responsible of raising his four siblings and Emma would do anything to avenge her parents. All of these are because of the Dark War led by Sebastian Morgestern as the Clave, the shadowhunter government, believes. But Emma knows better, someone else killed her parents and she’d go to great lengths to find out who. Lady Midnight focuses on the Los Angeles Institute and on an investigation about a series of killings. Typical Shadowhunter Jobs. But there’s a lot more at stake, secrets have to be kept and not everyone is what they seems. In the middle of all the secrets and dangers, Emma and Julian have each other, fighting side by side as parabatais. But they loved with a love that was more than love. The forbidden kind.

A lot of people are annoyed that there is another Shadowhunter book. But I say you can’t have too many. After reading the Mortal Instruments Series and the Infernal Devices series, I wanted more stories. I wanted more of the Shadowhunters’ lives and adventures. There is something unique about Shadowhunters that seem to draw me in. Cassandra Clare writes beautifully. She writes chapters in such a way that will keep you hooked, thrilled and asking for more.

But it’s not the writing style that keeps us all interested in the Shadowhunter World, it’s the characters. Yes, they’re almost all the same – a strong heroine and a hero that is both fierce and gentle that girls fall heads over heels for. But they all seem so real. Except for them being half-angel. What they say and what they feel seems like something a real person would say. That’s Cassandra Clare’s talent- she can make characters so relatable that she can make you laugh with them and cry with them. And by the way, I absolutely loved Mark. Still love Jem more though.

And I also liked how this book centered about love – all kinds of love- family, friendship and romantic love. And there’s also a lot of human emotions involved such as vengeance and desperation.

This book also teaches us that sometimes good people do bad things in the name of love. It might be wrong but a part of me completely understands that. It doesn’t justify it though.  But I still think that we all need to remember this:

NO ONE is ever the billain of their own story.

Overall, I hgihly recommend this book to people who loves reading young adult books. This book is action-packed but at the same time is full of emotion. I found myself punching pillows throughout the book. Definitely a great read especially for Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices fans.

 

Saving Francesca

 

Saving Francesca

 

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

 

I want to be an adjective again.

But I’m a noun.

A nothing. A nobody. A no one.

 

I have read Melina Marchetta’s On The Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock and I absolutely loved those two books. In fact, On The Jellicoe Road is one of the best young adult book for me. That is why I expected this book to blow me away like the two books I have mentioned. But then, all throughout Saving Francesca, I keep feeling like there is something missing.

Saving Francesca is obviously about Francesca, a girl whose mother insisted that she go to St. Sebastian’s which is actually a boy’s school that claims it’s coed. This makes her ‘stuck’ with people she’d never hang out with in her previous school. But that’s not really her problem. One day, her mother did not get out of bed. Suddenly, her lively mother does not even want to leave her own room. This book is more than just about a girl trying to survive high school, it’s about a girl trying to find the strength to handle her mother’s acute depression.

The concept for me is very striking. Let’s face it- a lot of people do not understand depression. The book also has a lot of lessons about family and friendship. That is why I can’t seem to understand why I feel like this book could be something more but it has not achieved it’s full potential. Maybe it’s about I’m expecting something similar to the narrative Marchetta used in On The Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock. In this book, it’s somehow different. Saving Francesca is actually a lot ‘easier’ to read and I gues somehow it reduced the book’s impact to me. The characters are strong, though. Every character is different and interesting but I think that they don’t blend together quite much. I would also like to point out that this book is not romance! Sure, there’s teenage love here but that is not the center of this book.

I also feel like the ending is quite rushed. I know that Marchetta seems to like open-endings but this book was more of cut short.

All in all, I think this book is good. I have read in goodreads reviews on how people loved it. But for me, this book has no impact. All throughout I feel like I’m trying to reach something that is not there. There is a huge possibility that my disappointments are because of my expectations though.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

We cling to our fairytales until the price for believing them becomes too high

 

This book was published on 2011. Since then, I have seen friends reading it and telling me to read it, that it’s one of the best books they have read. I was intrigued with the praises they gave the book and of course, the cover… The cover gives you an illusion of a creepy horror book that will give you nightmares at night.

Five years after, I finally decided to read the book. And I am so disappointed. It’s not like the book sucks because it’s quite appealing. The reason I’m disappointed because I expected too much. Others talked about this book like it will change me but it didn’t. The book was average. The book was your typical fantasy/adventure/young adult book except it has extraordinary vintage photographs that go with it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob who initially thought that he was an ordinary boy until one day his grandfather mysteriously dies. In the last minute of his grandfather’s life, his grandfather left him clues and his grandfather insisted that he should go to the island. But here’s the creepy part.. Jacob sees a monster nobody else can see. And then Jacob starts to wonder if the stories his grandfather told him since he was little were true. And he has to find out.

At first, I really liked the book. I liked the mystery. I liked Jacob. But then, everything became typical. What I’m saying is this book is good but it’s not extraordinary the way I thought it would be – the way everybody says it is. I guess I just expected something really dark because I’m into the darkness at the moment. But if you really like fantasy/adventure, this might be a good read for you. This book really reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

All in all, this book is quite good. But definitely not one of the best for me.