Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

[Book Review] Landing by Emma Donoghue

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2007

TITLE: Landing


GENRES: Romance, Lesbian, Fiction

THEMES: Long Distance Relationships, Cultural Differences, Romance

SUMMARY: The story revolves around two women, Sile (pronounced as Sheila) is a 39 year old Irish flight attendant from Dublin which also has an Indian descent and Jude a 25 year old museum historian from the rural Ontario, Canada. They met on a plane when Jude travelled abroad for the first time. They formed a unique friendship from phone calls and E-mails. In spite of distance, they found comfort with each other then fell in love. With distance, race, cultures and age, the adversity of maintaining a stable and lasting relationship is the core of the story.

Kindle Edition 2013.


The Theme: After researching about the best lesbian novels to read, I have seen that Landing has been consistent on the top of the lists and seeing the author’s profile, I had this urge to read this novel as soon as possible. The LGBT theme is good that it does not fully exhibit popular lesbian issues as the main characters' adversities are about distance and enduring their differences. The delivery of light romance despite their imperfections is very effective in the first parts. There is this amusement whenever they were exchanging E-mails so I can recommend this to those people in Long Distance Relationships who haven’t met each other or just met in person in just a few times.

This novel explores the problems of loving someone who is 5 Thousand Kilometers far away from you. It is true that love does not choose people, time and distance; because of this there will come great struggles in between. Reading the mini summary on Goodreads made me curious to read it expecting much. I want to explore how LDRs work because I have friends currently in the same situation.

The Characters: My view about the two characters is not the same. I admire how Sile fought the struggles just to find ways to be with Jude, the way she will do anything for love being a mature modern woman herself. There is a part where she almost gave up but the way she stood up in the end is still admirable. On the other hand, I find Jude as careless, less rational and emotional though she has this very adorable side. I can see that the author planned their differences carefully to create conflicts that readers could sympathize. The more they differ, the more also they become closer. Whenever they exchange E-mails, you can feel this unconscious hunger to know and cling to the other. Emma Donoghue made them opposite with complexities so that they would find a virtual home in each other.

The Story: Like I said, the first chapters made me smile due to the characters’ blooming romance. The humor injected is satisfactory. As the plot progresses, the spice lessen because of unmoving narratives involving the other characters like Sile’s friends. A lot of happenings seem stagnant at the middle part especially when Jude acts up. It is also one of those few novels that took me longer (two months) to finish due to lack of progress to some important parts of story. Either you can predict how will it end or be disappointed although it is not a sad end at all. To be honest, it made me upset that one of the character’s realization just came in the end.

My Verdict: Overall, this novel is good for those who want to know the struggles of  LDR relationships and the sacrifice one should give. Lessons could be learned about love but don’t expect to be moved that much. Prepare yourself of boredom at some parts and disappointment on one of the characters.

My Rating: 2/5

My Favorite Lines/ Quotes:

"You could know a friend all your life and still find it a complete mystery why he or she loved this particular individual, out of all the people in the world."

"In the market I saw a woman in a cafe and thought, why can't I love someone like her instead of you?" - Jude's deleted line in her E-Mail to Sile.

"Love isn't a problem, geography is." -Jude

"... moving in with someone is always a risk, even if you stay in the same city. You're putting your heart in their hands." -Sile


Friday, June 20, 2014

This is What Happy Looks Like [Book Review]

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Date of Release: April 2, 2013, Jennifer E. Smith Inc.

The story is about two young teenagers whose affections broke the line between the worlds of fame and being kept. Graham Larkin is a superstar, in the other side he is just like any other ordinary adolescents. He fell in love and experienced things beyond the silver screen for an ordinary girl he met in the cyber world. Ellie has this red hair and passion for poetry whose mother is persevering just for her to Harvard. The mother and daughter have dark secret which made them run away years ago to prevent her father, a politician from ruining his career. Yes, they were the illegitimate family until her mom decided to take her away and go far away from his father. What would it be like when these two worlds: One, succumbed into the people’s attention and the other one, must hide from the world? In a very modern but almost unimaginable way, they met online, become friends and developed intimate feelings which would encourage Graham to choose Maine, the state where Ellie lives (and his family too at the moment) to be their place of setting for their movie shoot. When they met, there were unexpected commotions of emotions, confusions and realizations.

The characters were very modern. These times one of the uses of the internet is to connect with people, including strangers no matter where we are in the world. Fate made these two young people to accidentally meet through e-mail, the rest of the story follows. Is it possible for two young people to truly to fall in love in the world of worldwide web? They resemble teenagers though in different world, have something within their hearts, things they want but they do not know, deep ones that could make them happy.
In the story, Graham was this young boy, famous, rich and admired by many as an actor, in the novel, it is said that he loves his career and would rather continue than pursuing his education as advised by his parents while Ellie, an ordinary girl, not rich and is a “nobody” compared to him is a young lady who dreams of meeting her father someday. To see your father on television and you cannot go see and get near him because he is unreachable and is prohibited by fate and even doesn’t even know you are kind of sad and lonely things. Trying hard to survive a fatherless life with a goal to enter college and save and there comes this Mr. Idol who at the end saved the day and her future.

The story has a lot of commonplace elements. I would say that it has this usual storyline where Mr. Great falls for Ms. Nobody then they have to endure everything. This suits young readers who are dreamy and hopeless romantics who fancy knights in shining armours ready to save damsels in distress. For the cyber friendship, the author infuses norms of modern present society that is so much into modern technology and the way we could make the world small by e-mails, chatrooms and social networks. The fantasy of meeting someone great online and finding true love, in this scenario, it happened to two different people who became friends and shares their thoughts in their everyday lives.

On the deeper side, Ellie’s mother disagreed to continue her blossoming connections with Graham the fact that she was afraid the Press (the world) would discover who they were and avoid what consequence it could inflict to them and her father. There is a very short time frame if Graham finding out the secret, then why did the senator try to do so? Did he happen to have an effort to find them or just secretly support her daughter even though her mother hides her from him? For sure he has these connections and power. The climax that I expected is that the senator and his long lost daughter would have the chance to talk and acknowledge each other than what happened in the book that she just shook hands with him as a stranger. That moment was her chance, her first and maybe the last to tell him who she really was.

The ending I would say is realistic though in a sense that Graham was still Graham and Ellie, due to his love for her was financed to go to Harvard to study. The author did not close the story if they ended up as lovers together or not; the ending just showed that it was not the end because they will still e-mail each other. What does happy looks like? As the title asks the readers, it is about contentment and feeling complete for whatever life brought or might bring for us.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey [Book Review]

My  E-Book in Books HD Windows 8 app.

What could make a book the fastest selling paperback of all time as well as NY Times E-book fiction best seller for sales on Amazon’s best seller list? Emerged from a “Twilight saga fan fiction”, Erika Leonard also known now as E.L James swept the world especially women with this erotica novel sprouted as “Master of the Universe” in with unique, overwhelming but widely accepted erotica about a domineering sadistic billionaire with dark issues in the past and an inexperienced and demure coed bonded by their attempted BDSM (Bondage/ Discipline, Dominance/Submission) relationship. The book is a combination of romance, comedy, drama, mystery plunged in spicy erotic sex scenes in a not so normal type because of sadomasochism issues.

The two main characters captured the interests of the readers because they have this mix of eroticism, romance and deep personality issues which their true love to each other endured. Within the book, there are so many repeated phrases or expressions and some of them were Ana’s biting of lips, rolling her eyes describing her inner goddess and Christian’s quirking up and cocking of head making me focused more on their body languages connecting to what they feel be it lust or excitement. Some conservative people would look up to the story as “porn”, “disgusting” or immoral but the open minded would say that psychological issues made the characters behave the way they do especially for Christian. The sadism/masochism theme in the story is way interminable that a reader may feel disgusted at first but as the story progresses and deep feelings of love was being emphasized, deeper sympathy would sprout.  For an instance, I too felt Christian as “bad” at first because of that weird and hard contract and that he did just make it for his own pleasure. As I went through pages, I more and more discovered that he had fallen in love with Ana and just can’t accept it digging down the unknown reasons he doesn't want to fall in love.

What are my favorite parts of the story? First, I love when Ana talked about something in her sleep, I already knew what it is the time when Christian told her she spoke about it when she was sleeping. At the climax part of the book, it was said that she had said that she needed him but in the book 2 (Fifty Shades Darker), Christian mentioned what she really said and as what I expected, she told him that she love him. Second, the end part when Ana became angry of the ultimate pain he gave her and I succumbed in that poignant part when Christian was begging Ana not to leave him. For a strong, ideal and control-freak man, begging someone not to leave with strong emotions is way emphatic and dreary. Love can only do that.
Haven’t finished reading the book 2 (Fifty Shades Darker) but I sense in the end, they would end up together and they would sooner solve issues blocking their way as a couple before I read its wikia.

Indeed, this novel did not only conquered the world but it showed love in another form and that as humans, we may not be all perfect and good in the eyes of others but love could wipe those shadows of darkness away making us happy in spite of hidden pain and insecurities in our hearts as made by the past or the norms we live with. --faf