Some doors are meant to be closed, and when you try to reopen them, you remember why they were closed in the first place.
Book #46 for my 2015 Reading Challenge is my first Gayle Forman novel…
Well, this isn’t a terrible novel but I also didn’t find anything remarkable about it. It’s my first Gayle Forman read and I feel sad that I ended up disappointed. I had high expectations before reading this one because of the many great reviews. The characters didn’t appeal much to me and it would probably have been better if Scottie was a main character since he was the most intelligent among them. Cody, on the other hand, is the worst best friend character I’ve ever read. Enough said.
Anyhow, I won’t tell you don’t read this. Read it. It might be disappointing for me but it could be a great read for you.
Favorite quote : “…I don’t want to lose you because of the fucked-up way I found you.”
Rating : 2/5 stars
Book #45 for my 2015 Reading Challenge is a collection of short stories from my favorite author, Haruki Murakami…
This book is a collection of short stories set in different venues and features different themes/subjects like cats, monkeys, a firefly, jazz, friendship, chance, death, loss, etc. Out of these stories, some of my favorites or some that leave a deeper impression to me are The Mirror, The Year of Spaghetti, The Ice Man, Chance Traveller, Toni Takitani and Firefly.
Murakami’s short stories (and novels) make you dream differently. He’s able to bring out the magic of everyday life, he makes you see the extraordinary even in the most mundane situation. To cut the story short, there are no ordinary stories when told by Murakami.
Favorite quotes : “There are ways of dying that don’t end in funerals. Types of death you can’t smell.”
“Thinking about spaghetti that boils eternally but is never done is a sad, sad thing.”
“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”
“I may be the type who manages to grab all the pointless things in life but lets the really important things slip away.”
“What I saw wasn’t a ghost. It was simply — myself. I can never forget how terrified I was that night, and whenever I remember it, this thought always springs to mind: that the most frightening thing in the world is our own self.”
Rating : 4/5 stars
Life is what you make of it and Book #44 in my 2015 Reading Challenge made me realize to start making more of mine…
This book really hits you in the heart. Total tearjerker. It’s an amazing story about life and death and love and everything in between. It made me laugh but it also made me cry.
Will Traynor (Oh, Will!!!) and Lou Clark are very likable characters, unlikely but interesting pair brought together by circumstance. I really enjoyed how their relationship changed and grew because it’s very realistic.
The controversial issue of euthanasia was very carefully dealt with by Ms. Moyes in this novel. I already had an opinion about this topic even before I knew about this book and that still hasn’t changed. I strongly believe that a person with a fatal illness/disease or something like Will’s has the right to choose to die in their own terms. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m entitled to my own opinion, let me know yours in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.) It was very dramatic how Ms. Moyes presented this issue up to the later part of this book, making Lou look for every possible way to let Will change his mind, keeping her hopeful and letting her be more attached to him. Little does she know that Will had firmly made his decision.
This story will definitely stay with me for a long time and continue to reflect/contemplate about it. I don’t know how it’s like to live a life being once a man-of-the-world suddenly turned into a quadriplegic where you have to live the rest of your life in a wheelchair but somehow, the author managed to make us feel that while reading this book. It leaves me with sadness but inspires me to step back a little and have a look at my own life.
If you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favor… Read — and feel it — because sometimes, six months can be the best six months of your life.
Favorite quotes : “Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”
“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”
“…I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life — or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window — is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”
“I am conscious that knowing me has caused you pain, and grief, and I hope that one day when you are less angry with me and less upset you will see not just that I could only have done the thing that I did, but also that this will help you live a really good life, a better life, than if you hadn’t met me.”
Rating : 5/5 heartbreakingly beautiful stars
Book #43 for my 2015 Reading Challenge is this wonderful piece of historical fiction.
I never heard of orphan trains until I saw it on Goodreads. Apparently, about 200,000 homeless children from crowded cities in the US were put on these trains to find new families in the West. These children are then paraded in every train stops where people who are willing to adopt can check and question them. Those selected children will go with their new foster parents right then and there as soon as the paper works are done. Those who weren’t lucky enough to be chosen will re-board the train and try their “luck” in the next stop. Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was one of those children.
In this fictional tale, Vivian at 91, forms an unlikely friendship with Molly who is several decades younger than her. Their stories are interwoven together and thus came this beautiful book.
The writing was simple and the dual storyline was well-applied. It certainly kept my interest from start to finish. (And I love the book cover!)
Favorite quotes : “I am not glad she is dead, but I am not sorry she is gone.”
“You got to learn to take what people are willing to give.”
“I like the assumption that everyone is trying his best, and we should all just be kind to each other.”
“I learned long ago that loss is not only probable but inevitable. I know what it means to lose everything, to let go of one life and find another. And now I feel, with a strange, deep certainty, that it must be my lot in life to be taught that lesson over and over again.”
“So is it just human nature to believe that things happen for a reason – to find some shred of meaning even in the worst experiences?”
Rating : 5/5 stars