REVIEW: Holiday Reads 2017

HI. It’s me again. :B

WOOWW…It feels so weird posting another set of reviews in such a short amount of time. Must be the growing sense of having to go back to school in a week kicking in. Ha. Ha. Ha… I don’t think wanna go back yeett.. :( Like I’m ready to learn new stuff but at the same time, I don’t want to go back to the same old routine that comes with actually going to school, you know what I mean?

(EDIT: As of posting, I’ve already been back in school for like a week but my schedule’s still pretty lax so I decided to take advantage of it and finish writing this before it gets hectic again.)

ORIGIN – Dan Brown


“Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultra-modern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement – the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough – one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence. As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred other guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation – which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling, and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate the cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret. Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself…and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. Following a trail illuminated by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery…and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.”

*NOTE: Summary lifted from book jacket.

WHEW. That was…lengthy and quite possibly the longest book summary I’ve ever read in my entire life. Haha!

Okay, technically, this doesn’t count as a holiday read because I didn’t…read it..during the holidays. Lol. What? :P

But since we’re already here, I figured to just throw this in while we’re at it. So, here we go:

This is the fifth (FIFTH! Ohmygosh!) book in a series starring one Robert Langdon. I first came across this series back when I was in high school when only Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code was out. I don’t remember how exactly I came across them but I knew that both were very controversial books for the Roman Catholic Church. Naturally, I wanted to know why. So I went and bought them. Haha! I mean, oops. The movie adaptation on Angels and Demons also just came out and being me, I wanted to read the book first before seeing the movie. So I read those two, and then the next two ones that came after as well. Granted, the next two that followed wasn’t as controversial, but they were nevertheless engaging and action-packed, which is more than I can say for this book. I knew from the get go what would happen and who the culprit was. I didn’t know what the big secret was, of course. If I did, I wouldn’t have read to the end. The plot has also become, sadly, formulaic (e.g. Robert Langdon + famous personality’s death + smart lady partner + big mystery = novel). *Sigh*.

The opening scenes at the museum were pure magic though. Imagine attending an event like that. WOOWW. *Starry eyes*

BOOKWORM RATING (2/5): bookheartsbookhearts



“Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself. Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.”

*NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of the book.

This one I’ve had forever. Like, it was sitting wrapped in plastic on my shelf for like a more than a year because I never had enough free time to read it. But I finally, finally had the time so here we are. :D

This book was genius. I don’t even know where to begin. For one thing, it’s incredibly well-researched, which means the depictions of the different mental disorders were spot on and I really, really appreciate that. It also helped, of course, that the author was writing based on his own experiences too. Another thing I liked about this book was how genuine it felt, which, again, might be attributed to the fact that it is partly based on the author’s experiences. It was also really nice to see how it depicted a positive support system and how it affects one’s healing process. Finally, I liked how it somehow redefined the meaning of success. I liked how it showed that you don’t have to be encumbered by someone else’s definition of success, that you could become successful in your own terms, and that you could do it by being true to yourself and doing something that you really love. :)

BOOKWORM RATING (4/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookheartsbookhearts



“Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…”

*NOTE: Summary lifted from book jacket.

…Do I even need to review this book? Loljk. :P

Before I begin my review, can we just all take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this cover is!? *Stares.* I mean, really. It’s even prettier in person too. *Stares some more.* Okay, moment over. On to the review:

If you’ve already seen the movie (which I’m sure you have), then there really is no need to get this book. It’s exactly as the movie was. To be honest, I only wanted a copy because of the cover. Haha! But how exciting right? This is brand new content from JK Rowling herself. AND, we’re supposedly getting four more movies! Aaahh! SOO PSYCHED! :D

BOOKWORM RATING (3/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookhearts



Summaries here.

This series was hands-down my favorite read of the season. I might be slightly biased, of course, then again, when have I ever been NOT biased? I mean, I knew I was going to like the story the first time I ever saw A Thousand Pieces of You in a bookstore. Back then, that was the only book of the series that was out. But every time I would go in and browse for a bit, I would see it on a bookshelf. Eventually, Ten Thousand Skies Above You came out and then finally, A Million Worlds With You. When I realized that it would only ever be a trilogy, I decided to go ahead and add it to my Christmas wish list. And while I did get the trilogy for Christmas, I had to wait a little longer to get an actual hardbound copy of A Thousand Pieces of You. Haha! The bookstores only had paperback copies on stock but since the ones I already got were hardbound and me being me, they all had to be hardbound. So I waited…and was rewarded. Patience really is a virtue…

…that I do not have since it only took me like, maybe five days to finish the entire trilogy. Oops (I did it again. Lol. *wink*). I just couldn’t get enough…of Paul Markov. Haha! :P

But seriously though. It’s so rare for me to be so invested in a story to actually finish it as quickly as I finished this. I mean, the plot itself was okay, I guess, and I’m willing to bet that it’s also not the most scientifically sound. Still, I think that the story was carefully planned out and very well-written. It’s also kind of amazing to think about the possibility of the existence of parallel universes and how things might have turned out if you’d made different choices so I really enjoyed reading about the different universes in the series. The one in Singapore, for example, was one heck of a plot twist and Moscow-verse was a dream come true. Of course, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the Russia-verse was my absolute favorite. ;)

BOOKWORM RATING (5/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookheartsbookheartsbookhearts

BE MORE CHILL – Ned Vizzini


“Jeremy Heere is your average high-school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way…until the day he is told about the “squip.” A pill-size supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. By instructing him on everything from what to wear to how to talk and walk, the squip transforms Jeremy form complete geek into the coolest guy in class. Soon he is friends with his former tormentors and has the attention of the hottest girls in school. But Jeremy discovers that there is a dark side to handing over control of your life – and it can have disastrous consequences.”

*NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of the book.

I had high hopes for this one, I really did, especially since I enjoyed reading It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Sadly, I found it to be quite boring. I mean, sure, it’s challenging to go against something like interdimensional travel but to be fair, I did wait a couple of days to get over The Firebird Series. I was just expecting more, I guess. I mean, from the summary on the back page, it kind of sounded like something reallyy bad was going to happen. Like, I don’t know, he turns into a zombie or something? But yeah, that didn’t happen. The ending was kind of anti-climactic actually. All the other things that went on were nothing extraordinary as well. And to think that a supercomputer was behind all that is really disappointing.

BOOKWORM RATING (2/5): bookheartsbookhearts



“For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Max is the boy of her dreams – and only her dreams. Until the morning she finds him sitting next to her in class, very much alive. As Alice and Max get to know each other all over again. Alice learns that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s complicated and stubborn and has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. When their dreams start interfering with their waking hours, Alice and Max have to find a way to make them stop. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?” 

*NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of the book.

I first heard about this years ago in a Buzzfeed article and naturally, being the true romantic at heart that I am, wanted a copy for myself. None of the bookstores I normally go to had them in stock that time so I kind of forgot about until I came across it again recently. So when I got a copy during our gift giving at school (I high key requested it though. Haha!), I was so excited to finally read it. Who wouldn’t be when the plot is basically what every girl has ever dreamt of? I mean, getting to meat your dream guy in real life is #goals right? Right. Except for this book, it wasn’t. :(

The summary made it sound so magical and romantic but reading it just felt like I was reading some mundane high school drama. It was honestly such a waste of plot and the author could have done much much more with it. The characters were also as boring as the plot turned out to be. I’m seriously so disappointed.

BOOKWORM RATING (2/5): bookheartsbookhearts

HAH! Finally done! Woohoo! It took waayy longer than I expected to finish this set but y’know, better late than never. Haha! But now I have to get back to reading for school. See you guys soon! :D